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May 27

Atheist Ireland hit out at Dundalk IT for using €30000 of public funds for ...Talk of the TownAtheist Ireland have hit out at Dundalk IT for spending €30,000 of state funds towards the provision of a Catholic chaplaincy service. The group obtained details through a Freedom of Information request on the amount DkIT pays to employ full-time ...

May 27

It is natural, I suppose, to surround oneself with people whose political, religious, and philosophical beliefs we share.

May 27

Yesterday I received Jerry Coyne's sure to be a classic book, Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible. I'm loving it!Since his book is such a bestseller I also appreciate his high endorsement of the Outsider Test for Faith. He described it and wrote, "This rational and quasi-scientific approach is promoted by the ex-preacher John Loftus...Given that beliefs matter, the wisdom of this approach is unquestionable. But if it's used honestly, its outcome is inevitable." (pp. 85-86)

May 27

I'm opposed to Jeffery Jay Lowder claiming he's a philosopher, which he does. This is a screenshot of his Twitter profile claiming he's a Philosopher of Religion. He only has a B.A. in Computer Science earned in 1995 from Seattle Pacific University. I have a great deal more qualifications to claim I'm a philosopher, but I don't do so. It's for others to say, and they say that of me once-in-a-while. I rarely even see a real philosopher claim he/she's a philosopher. It's an accolade others bestow on you, and/or given to you by the university you teach at. So Lowder is arrogant to say so. It does not matter what others say or how many of them say it. One of the responses from his echo-chamber of a blog is to compare Lowder to Socrates. If Socrates was a philosopher without credentials then Lowder can be one too. Lowder even "liked" such comments! *cough* Lowder is someone who, as far as I can tell, never read a paper at a philosophical conference, much less published in a philosophical journal. And he never taught a philosophy class either. He doesn't even have a Wikipedia page! ;-) At best he's self-taught, which isn't bad, but there is a big difference between a directed philosophical program taught by experts and being self-taught. It's much worse than this when it comes to Socrates. He not only didn't have any academic credentials, or write anything, he was rejected by the scholars of his day. More than this, if Socrates came to life he wouldn't be able to write a philosophical paper that would pass peer review. If you look at his reasoning--brilliant and original that it was for his day and the reason we hail him as a philosopher--his arguments in Plato's Dialogues are at an introductory college/university level, not the highly technical philosophical level demanded by today's philosophers. In fact, Socrates probably wouldn't even be able to understand most philosophy today. He wouldn't know anything about Oriental philosophy, that's for sure. Nor would he understand a great deal about either the Continental or Analytic traditions in philosophy. He wouldn't be able to understand much of the Philosophy of Religion, since a great deal of it is based on the new religion (to him anyway) of Christianity. And modern discussions of ethics and justice have by-passed his brilliant and original contributions significantly, as they have to his arguments on behalf of immortality and the afterlife. Socrates would have to catch up on the history of philosophy before he could even make a contribution. For surely one cannot understand Immanuel Kant without first understanding David Hume who awoke him from his dogmatic slumbers, as but just one of many examples. And Socrates didn't know anything about modern science either.My point is that the era of Socrates is long past. This is a new era with better levels of argumentation by those recognized to be scholars. It's been said that Aristotle was the last person who knew everything that could be known. That day is gone too. We now live in an era of specialization and in this era there are recognized standards requiring credentials along with a certain quality of work. My claim is that Lowder doesn't meet these rigorous standards, and even if he did he should keep silent about it. Otherwise, doing so makes him look bad. The reason why this matters and that our disagreements are important to be forthcoming.

May 27

ChicagoNow (blog)Sorry Kevin Sorbo, there is no atheist vs Christian in scienceChicagoNow (blog)If an idea doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong. This is something that pseudo-scientists like Kevin Sorbo and misguided young earth creationists don't seem to understand. They are trying to preach the notion that science is segregated between ...

May 26

Phylogeographical analysis of the dominant multidrug-resistant H58 clade of Salmonella Typhi identifies inter- and intracontinental transmission events : Nature Genetics : Nature Publishing Group It's an open secret that the 'Intelligent Designer', who is central to the ID hoax, is the god of the Christian Bible. All those who invented the hoax and are perpetrating it on a gullible, uninformed public, are fundamentalist Christians determined to subvert the US Constitution prior to establishing a Taliban-style, extremist Christian Theocracy in the USA. The Discovery Institute was specifically set up with this aim in mind and even produced The Wedge strategy as an initially secret program to achieve this within five years (that was some 15 years ago). As I say, this is no secret and only those who still fanatically support the movement continue to delude themselves that people don't know about it, so they need to keep denying it, even still being careful to never refer to 'God' in case people twig the deception and realise that its an attempt to smuggle biblical creationism into public schools disguised as science - as though we don't know already and as though it wasn't exposed as a subversive, politically-motivated fraud in the Kitzmiller vs Dover Area School District trial. This means, of course, that the 'Intelligent Designer' is supposed to be a benevolent, anthropophilic god who created the Universe, Earth, and all life on it, just for humans like it says in the Bible. So, it always comes as a shock to the victims of the ID hoax when you point out just how nasty this 'Intelligent Designer' would have to be if it were real and really creates everything, even if it looks like whatever it is has evolved. Take, for example, the Salmonella typhi bacillus that causes typhoid and used to kill millions of people before medical science discovered ways to treat it, including antibiotics. This no longer fills the graveyards of Europe with the bodies of children along with the victims of those other little pieces of 'Intelligent Design', cholera and poliomyelitis. Now, however, apparently angered at the way humans have interfered with its 'loving' plan for the children of Africa, the 'Intelligent Designer' has hit back against the humans who had the effrontery to invent antibiotics, and has redesigned the Salmonella typhi bacillus so not only is it now resistant to our audaciously designed antibiotics, but it is also capable of quickly developing resistance to any new antibiotics we might come up with. The emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) typhoid is a major global health threat affecting many countries where the disease is endemic. Here whole-genome sequence analysis of 1,832 Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) identifies a single dominant MDR lineage, H58, that has emerged and spread throughout Asia and Africa over the last 30 years. Our analysis identifies numerous transmissions of H58, including multiple transfers from Asia to Africa and an ongoing, unrecognized MDR epidemic within Africa itself. Notably, our analysis indicates that H58 lineages are displacing antibiotic-sensitive isolates, transforming the global population structure of this pathogen. H58 isolates can harbor a complex MDR element residing either on transmissible IncHI1 plasmids or within multiple chromosomal integration sites. We also identify new mutations that define the H58 lineage. This phylogeographical analysis provides a framework to facilitate global management of MDR typhoid and is applicable to similar MDR lineages emerging in other bacterial species. Phylogeographical analysis of the dominant multidrug-resistant H58 clade of Salmonella Typhi identifies inter- and intracontinental transmission events Vanessa K Wong, Stephen Baker, et al.; Nature Genetics (2015) doi:10.1038/ng.3281Copyright © 2015, Rights Managed by Nature Publishing Group Published under licence #3636720182532 The problem creationists have, whether disguised as scientists or just plain old scientifically illiterate loons who believe (probably with some justification) that Bronze Age goat-herders were better informed than they are, is that if they are going to wave all the nice things as evidence for a creator, they have to take ownership of the nasty things and account for those with the same theory (I use the term loosely) otherwise they just come across as an ignorant hypocrites. So, perhaps an apologist for Intelligent Design or one of their willing dupes would like to try a little honesty and explain why their invisible creator friend seems so keen to make people sick and die that he has entered into an arms race with medical science and continually seeks to find way around our attempts to prevent sickness and suffering, and just how this fits in with being a loving, anthropophilic god who did it all because he loves us so. Any takers, or will it be the usual avoidance and/or abuse? By the way, if you ask an evolutionary biologist to account for this, there would be no need for abuse or evasions; you would get a simple, straightforward answer that any half-educated child could understand with little difficulty. Obviously, that option isn't available to creationists. 'via Blog this' Income from ads will be donated to charities such as moderate centre-left groups, humanist, humanitarian and wildlife protection and welfare organisations. If you've enjoyed my blog please show your appreciation by giving to a great cause - Oxfam Be Humankind. Feed the world.

May 26

Aging Catholic Nuns Get Care at Jewish Nursing Home - ABC News As the Catholic Church winds down in the USA, what to do with so many aging nuns is becoming a major problem. But have no fear, centuries of bigotry, persecution and racism can be cast aside when the need arises. The aging nuns are being put into Jewish retirement homes to be looked after by the very people that they once taught others to despise and persecute. Fortunately, it seems that Jews are prepared to forgive their enemies and do into others what they would have others do unto them. Why has this crisis arrisen? A researcher at the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found that there are more nuns over 90 in the USA than under 60; over 80% of nuns in the USA are over 60. There are now too few young nuns to care for the elderly ones. The Sisters of Charity of New York now has just 270 nuns, down from its 1960s peak of 1,350. There have been no new sisters in the U.S. in the last 20 years! The Sisters of Charity were the first to approach the nonprofit Jewish Home Lifecare for help, followed quickly by the Manhattan-based Franciscan Handmaids of the Most Pure Heart of Mary and the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It certainly fit our needs. We can stay together, we have our own little chapel. They went out of their way to find a space for us to have Mass. I have to say it was so nice I was a little reluctant, because I took a vow of poverty. Sister Loretta Theresa Richards, 86 The only drawback seems to be the food: I miss the bacon. I notice that we never get ham or pork chops. The food is good, though. Sister Maria Goretti Mannix, 83 I wonder what the long line of anti-semitic Popes would have made of all this love and mutual respect. It's good to see a bit of decent Humanism can bypass centuries of indoctrinated hate and bring a little comfort and happiness in a person's declining years, but one has to wonder at a Church with so much wealth that turns to a Jewish charity to care for its aging servants. Even allowing for the vast sums they've had to put aside to compensate their victims, surely the Vatican could sell off some of its treasures and help out. Credit to Why Evolution is True for the tipoff. 'via Blog this' Income from ads will be donated to charities such as moderate centre-left groups, humanist, humanitarian and wildlife protection and welfare organisations. If you've enjoyed my blog please show your appreciation by giving to a great cause - Oxfam Be Humankind. Feed the world.

May 26

Raw StoryRichard Dawkins insists he's not an angry atheist: Clarity can be mistaken for ...Raw Story"I hate your f***ing guts. I hope you get hit by a big church van tonight. And then you die slowly." Not my words, I remind Richard Dawkins, but an excerpt from an item of lively correspondence generated by his atheism, posted on his website. It's ...and more

May 26

Vancouver Sun (blog)Atheist Rev. Gretta Vosper to be “reviewed”Vancouver Sun (blog)Gretta Vosper,” the Toronto clergyperson and author who proudly promotes herself as an atheist and publicly denounces all forms of religion. The move happened quietly this month, when two United Church adherents from the Toronto conference, Ann

May 26

Indiatimes.comThis North East College Is The First To Accept Transgender And Atheist StudentsIndiatimes.comJorhat College (Amalgamated) is the first Indian college to openly accept transgender and atheist students. The July academic year admission forms will be the first in the region to have an option for transgender in the gender column. The form will ...

May 26

Listened to Beyond Belief BBC R4 broadcast Sun 24th May on iPlayer this morning. It featured Stephen Law , Nick Spencer , Marylin Mason - with a brief inserted piece from Rory Fenton - in conversation with Ernie Rea.

May 26

Daily MailAtheist mother bans her children from school trips to churches and mosquesDaily MailAn atheist mother has stopped her children from going on school trips to churches, mosques and synagogues - because she does not want religion forced on them. Claire Baker, 32, of Middleton, Manchester, believes an atheist upbringing is as much a ...Atheist mum bans children going to churches and mosques on school tripsMirror.co.ukAtheist Mom Bans Her Kids From Visiting Churches And Mosques On School TripsThe Inquisitrall 4 news articles

May 26

TIMEBangladesh Bans a Hard-Line Islamist Group Suspected of Killing Atheist BloggersTIMEAuthorities in Bangladesh have banned a radical Islamist organization suspected of involvement in the murder of three secular bloggers who were hacked to death in the majority-Muslim South Asian nation earlier this year. The attacks on Avijit Roy and

May 26

Allow me to reiterate a plea I've made more than once in Skeptophilia; would everyone just stop and learn a little bit of science and a few critical thinking skills before forwarding every damn thing you see on Facebook and Twitter?I say this because of two stories I ran into in the last couple of days.

May 26

Deutsche WelleUneasy neighbors in Turkey: atheism and IslamDeutsche WelleThe association is the first of its kind to be legally recognized in the Turkish republic, and also the only known atheist organization tolerated in any nation across the Muslim world. However, Romano stressed that the legal acceptance of Ateizm ...

May 25

Mirror.co.ukAtheist mum bans children going to churches and mosques on school tripsMirror.co.ukA mum has stopped her children from going on school trips to churches, mosques and synagogues because of her atheist views. Claire Baker says she believes an atheist upbringing is as much a choice as being brought up with a religion - which she does

May 25

Manchester Evening NewsAtheist mum bans children from school trip to church and synagogue - and says ...Manchester Evening NewsAn atheist mum has stopped her children from going on school trips to churches, mosques and synagogues because she does not want religion forced on them. Claire Baker, 32, says she believes an atheist upbringing is as much a choice as being brought

May 25

So, you've decided you are going to campaign for creationism on the Internet. This handy, print-off-and-keep, handbook contains lots of tricks and techniques you can use to win arguments against scientists and people who have read books on evolution and so understand it. The most important thing is that you must never accept any evidence which doesn't support one of the different versions of creationism, no matter how good it is or how well it's been proven. Always tell yourself that there is no such thing as scientific proof so science can never prove what it claims. This means that your beliefs are just as good as science and science is just another faith. Obviously, because yours is the only true faith that means science is wrong. Stick to that at all costs and never admit that beliefs based on evidence are better than evidence-free beliefs. You are entitled to your own opinions so they are just as good as the opinions of people who study science. Now, you need to decide which sort of creationist you are going to be because there are several different ones to choose from and the arguments you are going to try to get away with are going to be different for different versions. Of course, there is nothing to stop you being several different sorts of creationist depending on who you are debating with and it sometime pays off to keep changing arguments when you can't win with a particular one. The main versions of creationism are: Young Earth Creationism - all evolution is impossible. Main Belief: Because your favourite holy book says so, Earth is only about 6,000 years old and everything was created by magic exactly as it is today. Points to Emphasise: Evolution is impossible because something called the Second Law says so. All geology can be explained by a flood about 4,000 years ago. Points to Remember: Your task is to persuade people that the Universe was made just for them because this is the only way they can feel important enough. Young Earth Creationism - very rapid micro-evolution happens. Main Belief: Because your favourite holy books says so, Earth is only about 6,000 years old but life has evolved extremely quickly since to give us all the different varieties. Points to Emphasise: Micro-evolution can happen at warp speeds but macro-evolution is impossible because of something called the Second Law. All geology can be explained by a flood. Points to Remember: Your task is to persuade even people who know a little bit about biology that the Universe was made just for them so they can feel important. Old Earth Creationism - Evolution happens, so does geology, but God did it all. Main Belief: Your favourite holy book is allegorical but still literally true so a day can be millions of years when you need them to be. Points to Bear in Mind: Can be tricky to use because you have to accept some scientific evidence but not the evidence you don't like. Easy to fall into traps if you don't know much science. Points to Remember: Your task is to persuade even people who know quite a lot about science so can see Earth must be very old to still think the Universe was made just for them so they can feel more important. Intelligent Design Advocate - Evolution is impossible so everything must have been designed by an intelligent designer. Main Belief: Your favourite holy book is literally true but that has nothing to do with who the Intelligent Designer is - got that!? Points to Bear in Mind: Intelligent Design claims not to be based on religion and to be a real science but always supports a literal interpretation of your favourite holy book, so it can be difficult to remember never to talk about 'God' or 'Allah' doing the necessary magic because science doesn't include gods - which is why it's wrong. Points to Remember: Your task is to get people to doubt science so religion can be taught as science in schools and people will vote for religious fundamentalist. Intelligent design is designed to make people with no hope for a better life feel they are so important that the Universe was made just for them, so they don't mind being at the bottom of the pile and will even vote for people who'll keep them there if they are pious enough. Intelligent Evolution Advocate - Evolution happens but only when an intelligent magic entity allows it to and only in ways He it wants. Main Belief: Your favourite holy book is literally true but that has nothing to do with who is intelligently making things evolve - got that!? Points to Bear in Mind: Even though science has proved that evolution happens and even complex structures can evolve, there must be a place for an intelligence otherwise there would be no place for God an intelligent creator like your favourite holy books describes, so you wouldn't be important enough. Points to Remember: Your task is to make people who know a little bit about biology think they should still be religious because there is still a reason to think they have a close personal relationship with the creator of the Universe. Remember, if you've decided you're going to flip between these different versions of creationism, you're going to have to remember which set of beliefs to drop and which to adopt as you flip. Some people prefer to stick to just one version but they then can't change arguments when they're losing. Things to AvoidNever give a direct answer to a direct question. Evolutionists will often try to trap you with this sort of tactic - which is cheating because they have lots of evidence and facts. Never answer them, because you may say something that can be shown to be wrong. Never say what evidence you would accept as proof of evolution because a clever evolutionist might cheat and produce the evidence. You will then have a problem explaining why you told lies - something a lot of evolutionists and even some religious fundamentalists think is dishonest. Admitting you did it to try to make it look like you had an open mind will lead to all sorts of problems. Although you can claim there is masses of evidence for creationism, never be specific and never ever say how it could be falsified. This is like presenting an evolutionist with an open goal. Never be drawn into a discussion about what evidence you have that there is a creator. Remember, you are trying to get people to think creation is evidence for a creator even though there is no evidence for either so being sidetracked into discussing evidence can be tricky. Never be drawn into discussing the contradictions and provably wrong claims in your favourite holy book. Just assert that there are no contradictions and that all the science is absolutely true, and change the subject as quickly as possible. There are a couple of questions you should never answer because they are designed to expose your scientific ignorance. They are: What do you think evolution is exactly? How do you think the scientific Theory of Evolution seeks to explain the mechanism by which evolution occurs? The problem here is that you might have to risk finding out about real evolution and real science and so having your faith tested, and if you answer them you will either show you don't know the subject you are posing as an expert in, or will be prevented from attacking all the usual creationist parodies of evolution later on. When you find yourself in a corner, which will probably happen very often, there are several standard tricks and tactics you can use: Use ad hominems. This is where you attack the person not their argument. Call then Satanists or say they have no morals, or say they are too stupid to understand the arguments you have put forward. Accuse your opponent of using ad hominems. Tell them this shows they have run out of arguments and have conceded defeat, so you have won. Demand answers to an irrelevant question before you answer theirs. Ignore any answers and repeat your demands. This often makes your opponent give up in frustration so you can claim a 'devastating victory'. When faced with persistent demands that you answer a direct question, claim to have answered it earlier. Most people following a debate don't bother to check back so you might well get away with it. Provide a random link to an Internet site, preferably a creationist one, and claim the question is fully answered there, or the point being made is refuted by it. Again, lots of people don't bother to check these links. Become obnoxiously condescending and adopt an air of smug moral superiority. This can infuriate your opponent and might even make them become angry. You can then patronisingly ask them why they are so angry and if there is anything you can do to help. Offer to pray for them. A lot of evolutionists stop bothering to debate you at this point and you will have won. Remember to use your god as a weapon by threatening your opponent with it. Or resort to passive aggression with phrases like "I'll pray for you", "Jesus still loves you even though you hate him", and the killer quote, "You'll be sorry one day!" So, what arguments are you going to be able to use? Remember, because you don't have any evidence and can't refute the real scientific theory of evolution, you are going to have to attack parody versions of evolution, hoping the audience won't know enough to realise it's not the real thing. You can find lots of these parodies on creationist websites which specialise in giving creationists false argument to try on people. Generally, they are the same misrepresentations of science that they use to get scientifically illiterate people to give them money in return for making them feel more important. Some useful parodies of evolution theory are: The purpose of evolution was to evolve modern humans. Evolution claims humans evolved from monkeys when a monkey gave birth to a human baby yet no one has ever seen this happen. Evolution claims that when a species evolves into another species all the other species have to disappear, so monkey prove humans didn't evolve from them. Evolution claims there should a complete fossil record of every step in evolution for every species, so any missing fossil proves evolution is false. Evolution claims there were intermediates as one species changed into another, so there should be half crocodiles/half and birds, half fish/half dinosaurs or half monkeys/half humans. You can make this as silly as you want. Evolution is a theory about fossils, so all the gaps prove the theory is wrong. Evolution is just a theory which means it's just a guess without any evidence. Darwin invented evolution because he was a Communist and hated God. You can probably make up lots more of these parodies. The trick is to make them so silly that it looks like evolutionists must be mad to believe them and ignorant people can feel smug about being able to see the stupidity in the theory that those mad scientists who think they are so clever can't see. Remember, you have to make people you are trying to trick into being creationists feel smugly self-important and feel good about being scientifically ignorant. You're probably a creationist yourself because someone made you feel better about yourself with those same tricks. Because you have no evidence, any arguments you use will need to be fallacies. Some people might feel uncomfortable about using arguments they know are false but remember your real objective here - to impress your invisible friend with your devotion and earn lots of Brownie points. Even if you are dishonest you can always say sorry later and it might well appreciate your willing self-sacrifice, just like it appreciates other martyrs. Worrying too much about things like personal integrity, moral responsibility, etc, is just selfish when you're devoting your life to Jesus/Muhammad. Anyway, even if you do trick people into believing something you don't believe yourself, they might not realise you've tricked them, so they might still admire you for it. And what could make you feel more important than being able to get people to believe something, even if it's not true? Common fallacies you can try are: Circular reasoning. Examples: the Bible must be true because it says in the Bible that the Bible is true; what the Bible/Qur'an says is science, therefore what the Bible/Qur'an says is science; there must be a creator because the Universe was created by a creator; there is no evidence for evolution so none of the evidence supports evolution; a god gave humans a soul therefore the human soul proves there is a god; everything had a beginning therefore the creator didn't have a beginning therefore there is a creator. Ad hominem. Attacking the sanity, moral character, intelligence or motives of your opponent discredits their argument, even if the argument is factual and doesn't depend on the sanity, intelligence or motives of your opponent for it's validity. Non sequitur. The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. Examples: "I believe in the Bible, therefore the Bible is true"; there is no evidence for evolution therefore the locally popular god did it; this small piece of science is wrong therefore all science is wrong; science sometimes changes its mind therefore all science will one day be proved false; a small number of biologists doubt some of the details of how evolution works therefore evolution is false and all the other biologists are either lying or are stupid; "I can't believe that's true therefore the science must be wrong and all the scientists must be mad". The 'Taxicab Fallacy' fallacy. The argument that you can't use the errors in the Bible to prove there are errors in the Bible because you are relying on a document that you're claiming is unreliable. Fails to recognise that the evidence being relied on is the evidence of errors, not the reliability of the Bible, but this is considered a very clever argument by Christian apologists like William Lane Craig, so you stand a good chance of getting away with it like he sometime does. In any case, it'll leave your opponent dumbfounded at the stupidity of your argument. The straw man. Where a parody of the argument, or a misrepresentation of the argument is attacked instead of the argument itself. As a creationist, you should practice all these straw man parodies because they work on people who don't understand the arguments well enough to notice. In many cases, your entire debate will consist of you trying to get away with the straw man fallacy so lots of diversions and assertions will be needed. You will often need to accuse your opponent of not understanding the subject. Personal necessity and undesirable consequences. If we evolved and weren't created by the creator of the Universe, we're not important enough. There must be a god and an afterlife because the thought of death is too frightening otherwise. If evolution is true all my creationist beliefs are wrong. What the scientists say must be wrong because I wouldn't like the consequences if it were. This depends on the belief that the Universe was made just for you therefore reality is bound to be just how you would like it to be. As a creationist you probably find this a convincing argument and so you can depend on those you are trying to trick also falling for it. Begging the question. Assuming the answer in your question so your opponent has to appear to agree with you to answer it. Examples: If evolution is true why do humans have souls? Why are there no transitional fossils? Who designed complex systems? How did everything come from nothing? There are a few names you should memorise and learn to spell correctly as they can be confusing and are easily muddled up. They are Richard Dawkins (evolution, Atheism), Stephen Hawking (physics, Big Bang, Atheism) and Charles Darwin (evolution). Try not to say Richard Darwin or Stephen Dawkins because people might laugh. It's also worth making sure you spell Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Isaac Newton correctly. You can claim that Einstein was a creationist who believed in God if you need to, just like you can claim that Hitler was an Atheist. Be prepared to change the subject quickly or even break of with passive-aggressive condescension when you get given evidence that those claims are false, though. A lot of your fellow creationist can get quite a lot of mileage out of those false claims so don't dismiss them lightly. Finally, here is a list of debating tactics commonly used by creationists of all varieties: Repetitive assertion. Just keep repeating your claim and ignoring any refutations. Eventually your opponent will get bored and you will win. Quote the Bible/Qur'an. Your invisible friend will really appreciate it and it can drive away serious evolutionists who'll conclude there is no point in continuing with you. Change the subject. When you're stuck simply change the subject to something like morality, the Big Bang, the Declaration of Independence, Hitler, etc. Demanding an answer to a non-existent question, or even one which has just been answered. A lot of people watching won't check. Dismiss scientific evidence as 'sciencist' and therefor a 'faith'. Claim the science support creationism even if you can't say why. Dismiss any evidence as 'not evidence'. Condescend, patronise, threaten, or question the motives of your opponent, especially when stuck. On social networks like Facebook, block, especially just after asking a question. Abuse. Too much personal abuse can get you banned from some Facebook groups or Twitter so remember to block your opponent first so they don't see it and complain. If your opponent has a blog you can often post lots of abuse there. Remember to get your friends to do the same. This discourages people from disagreeing with you and makes you feel good. Remember, this is just a brief guide but it should be enough for you to impress your creationist friends with your debating skills and knowledge of science. You can always add to the lists of fallacies, parodies, debating tactics, etc as you gain experience. Pay attention to how people like Ray Comfort and Eric Hovind use these techniques on gullible people and see if you can emulate them. If all else fails you can try my Fundomatic God ProverTM which generates random arguments for any deity and any holy book of your chosing. Make sure you use the right god and holy book - the arguments are the same but the names are different, obviously. If you are at all worried about being dishonest or beginning to question the morality of trying to trick people, just look at how rich some of the professionals are. A very large income can go a very long way to helping salve what little conscience or remnant of personal integrity you once had, and remember you're doing all this to impress your friends, especially your invisible one, or maybe just to get that nice warm feeling of self-importance that comes from tricking people into believing things you know aren't true, or to support an extremist right-wing political agenda. The end justifieds the means, eh? Income from ads will be donated to charities such as moderate centre-left groups, humanist, humanitarian and wildlife protection and welfare organisations. If you've enjoyed my blog please show your appreciation by giving to a great cause - Oxfam Be Humankind. Feed the world.

May 25

New York Daily NewsTexas pastor's wife defends Josh Duggar's actions as 'playing doctor' on noted ...New York Daily NewsThe wife of a Texas pastor incited a major controversy on a noted atheist's Facebook page when she deemed reality star Josh Duggar's admission of molesting five girls as "playing doctor" and that the female victims should also be held accountable.Pastor's Wife Gets Ripped Apart Online for What She Posted on the 'Atheist of ...TheBlaze.comPastor's Wife Says Josh Duggar Was Just 'Playing Doctor' And Blames VictimsFOX News Radio (blog)Mom of gun-toting Quiverfull family: 14-year-old Josh Duggar was 'playing ...Raw StoryThe Inquisitrall 8 news articles

May 25

NDTVBangladesh bans radical Islamist group accused of killing atheist bloggers ...Fox NewsDHAKA, Bangladesh – Bangladesh has banned a radical Islamist group accused of attacking and killing atheist bloggers and writers. The Ministry of Home Affairs said Monday that the Ansarullah Bangla Team was banned in response to a request by police

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