Tuesday, June 21, 2011

American Bob: "Flipped"

I done another thingee:


Luke Kruse said...

I to would appreciate a president who listen to reason.

Of course I'm sick and tired of the notion that believe and thought are in opposition.

I mean I became what most would call a religious nut-job though logic and reason.

Avistew said...

I've always thought the same thing, too, and I don't get it either. I don't get what's wrong about changing your mind.
I mean of course, someone who changes their minds all the time and for no reason might not be reliable. But someone who does because of new information is the kind of person I want making decisions that affect me.

Now, I understand where the stereotype comes from. It comes from politicians who just pretend to believe what would have them elected at any given time. Then, holding them up to promises makes sense, as if the second they're elected they just do the opposite, well people have a right to feel cheated. That's not what they voted for.

It's been blown out of proportion though, with anyone apparently susceptible to be accused of flip-flopping.

biomechanical923 said...

Great video Bob.
I was pretty harsh on your past few videos, but this "flip-flopping" business is something that I completely agree with you about.
I'd like to throw in that I think the "flip-flopping" stigma is based in no small part on America's society still being misogynistic, and viewing thoughtfulness, indecisiveness, and concession, as primarily "feminine traits" which are somehow thought to be bad, or at least something that people don't seem to want in their "red-blooded american alpha man" leaders.

Hey how did Romney get to be your governor? I thought Mass. was "notoriously" liberal. At least it has that image in the rest of the country.

Robert said...

Bob, what the fuck.... are you TRYING to lose fans? Or is your ego so big that you think you can do a show on politics without losing the rest of what is left of your fan base.

Its like, man..... heres this really smart guy with great taste in video games, he also has a lot to say, and almost all of it is worth listening to.... but damn, now he's starting to make a shitty spoofs or satires of whatever the hell. Oh well, at least over-thinker episodes are worth watching despite the long intros and unnecessary cam-whoring. At least he still gives good movie revie... but wait, these aren't movie reviews, these are just a bunch of audio clips of a grown ass man bitching about how painful it is to get paid to watch movies and post videos on the web..... then you had to get into politics..... ugh.

Please stop? Theres this part of me that thinks we can still get along because I just spent 3 hours playing Ocarina of Time on my 3DS.... but then you go and say shit thats just unforgivable like how married people aren't honest because they're married and how black people should be excluded from resident evil games simply because their ancestors were slaves and..... no.

At this point the only reason I'm still watching your videos is to learn how to refute your arguments.. don't do this. If you continue these shenanigans i'm going to have to waste my time elsewhere.

biomechanical923 said...


Maybe you should watch Bob's video entitled: "Building a Better Gamer" (Episode 33). That explains why you're wrong better than I can.

James said...

Here's the problem, though; like you pointed out with Romney, what happens if you flip-flop to the position that's wrong? I hate to bring up Obama again, but he's reversed his position too often to the bad decision (renewing the Patriot Act, keeping Guantanamo Bay open, maintaining Bush's wasteful spending policies). And I fully believe that, like with Romney, a politician should be punished if they change their mind to support a bad policy.

Cartogriffi said...

This is a topic that has annoyed me for quite some time, although I'll admit the video came off as rather too acerbic for my tastes.

Coupled to this problem is the fact that we've entered perpetual campaigning. It used to people that people would campaign, get elected, and then they were willing to compromise and discuss matters because they weren't under a microscope. Now I'm not suggesting we blithely let the government govern without being watched, but do we need talking heads on the news dissecting every such action every night?

If you'll allow a gaming analogy, since Morrowind every subsequent game that Bethesda Game Studios has developed has been announced later in its developement cycle and the developers have been progressively quieter about their games. While there are a number of reasons here part of it is the knowledge that whatever they say will be dissected and the scraps will be pushed to their logical limits - often with a chorus of Pro and Con gremlins frothing in the thick of things.

When every action taken by politicians is fodder they don't become more honest and more transparent, they start saying what the most vocal harridans want them to say and covering up everything else. Again, I'm not suggesting that politicians be free of scrutiny, but there is no reason that scrutiny needs to involve evisceration. At the moment politicians are catering to the campaign machines rather than the people.

Adam said...

I wasn't too sure about this new venture after the first video, but I think you improved quite a bit with this one. It's alright to be passionate about something and I don't mind dropping a well timed cuss here and there, but too much anger and too much swearing...Well it's like cooking: a little spice gives the meal a nice kick; too much ruins the whole thing. So great job here.

I will be honest though and say that the still photos of you...sorry but they just aren't doing it for me. I imagine they're meant to serve the same purpose as the Big Picture faces, but those cartoonish stylized images also are effective in disarming the audience and keeping things from getting too tense. The photos of you...I'm sorry but they're just kind of awkward. You probably can't use the Big Picture photos (and probably shouldn't in any case), but unfortunately I'm not sure what to suggest replacing them with. I was going to say try images of old school powdered wig patriots but then you might run the risk of the audience thinking you're commenting on the person. Hmmm...I'll have to think about this.

Chris Evans said...

How can anyone with a different political view point even have a conversation with you Bob when you make it very clear you think anyone who disagrees with you is stupid to the point of being sub-human? You didn't bring up any points to support your argument, you just spent four minutes insulting, and throwing up straw-man arguments. You basically paint anyone but the hard core left with a massively broad brush.

It's too bad too because I agree with you on the topic. Regan didn't start out as conservative as he eventually was, and often reached across the isle to get things done. He'd be crucified by today's standards.

The problem with Kerry wasn't that he flipped. It's that he voted for the war, but then tried to act like it was all Bushes fault. A large part of the 2004 election was about the war and the Democrat side tried to hang it purely around Bushes neck. People knew that both men were on the same side when it came to starting the war, and it wasn't like you could time travel and change the past anyways. The question was what to do now that it was started, and not enough people agreed with him on the direction he wanted to go. Trying to blame Kerry's failure on his change of mind isn't accurate. He lost because: "He voted for X, X didn't work, you're going to lose." X, in this case, being the war.

Avistew said...

@Adam: I agree that the pics of Bob don't work as well as those in the Big Picture. I think it might be partially because the BP ones are only face-shot, which emphasises facial features and makes them more expressive, yet relatable, and partially because, being drawings, they can be more cartoonish.
I'd suggest faceshots of yourself, Bob, to be then traced or otherwise cartoonised if you know anyone who can do that. Might work better, although then it IS very similar to the BP ones, wouldn't want you to run into trouble.

Honestly, with these pics, I'm not always sure what you're trying to convey, despite how exaggerated the postures are.

@Chris if the problem with Kerry is that he voted for the war, why vote for someone who not only did, but wants it to keep going, as opposed to someone who now wants it to stop?
Using things against one another during an election is sadly the way these things go, I doubt you can point at Kerry and say he was wrong to use such or such argument against Bush, and can't look at Bush and find similar instances of arguments that probably shouldn't have been used.

Also @Chris, I agree about Bob's tone. I winced when he talked about switching from a reasonable position to a wrong one. I'm pro-choice myself, Bob, but is there any reason you couldn't say "what bothers me isn't that he changed his mind, but that he changed it from a position I agree with to a position I don't agree with"? Did you have to say his position is "wrong"?
Of course, anyone thinks their position is the right one, that's why they have it. But it's hard for people to listen to you as a reasonable person when you sound like you consider anyone who disagrees with you to be wrong on principle.

I understand how easy it is to get passionate about these things, but this video wasn't about abortion. It was about flip-flopping. I feel it hurts your point and message when you say things like that.

6c898700-5c58-11e0-92aa-000bcdcb5194 said...

Flip flopping is "dragging our political process down into the mud"?

You know what REALLY is dragging our political process down?


How the fuck do you get off calling 50% of the American electorate "mouth breathing troglodytes" because they have different political views than you?

Way to elevate the political discourse.

Oh, and here's a protip from the other side of the aisle:

The market for elitist gasbags denigrating Christian conservatives is fucking saturated.

We get it from Hollywood, TV, newspapers, radio, books, and now we get it from you.

Just what we fucking needed. The last few seconds of the day that weren't filled with liberal condescension and derision have now been filled.


counterpoint said...

keep it up. don't let the haters get to you. i am constantly amazed at certain posters who *routinely* bitch about your stuff, but keep coming back to watch more! i've disagreed with some of your direction in the past, but to so overtly hate what you're doing, yet still crawl back for more (while chastising you) just doesn't make sense.

it was really weird, what happened this last gov. race in CA. Whether you like him or not, it was weird to hear how Jerry Brown's 1970's policy positions decisions were SO relevant and indicative of his ability to serve. That said, he did get elected.

JDude said...

@Luke Kruse:

No, I'm sorry. "Thinking" and "Believing" are in EXACT opposition to each other.


Believers trust their convictions, whether they be gut instincts or inherited from others, to a fault in which the only research they do on the subject is in order to validate the beliefs they already hold.

It's faith, and faith is BULLSHIT. Faith is, by definition, believing something is true when the evidence clearly doesn't exist to support it, and when the evidence opposes the notion point-blank.

I defy you to tell me how you used "logic and reason" to reach a position of religious belief. I'm serious, lay it on me. "Pascal's Wager?" That it's safer to hedge my bets on a vengeful all-powerful post-mortem torturer existing than not?

Yeah, I think Yahweh, God of War, would see through a ruse like that, and given his track record, not be too pleased about it. You don't choose your beliefs; belief in anything comes when your sense of reason is satisfied with the answer.

I feel safer living my one life as a free being with a mind, and disbelieving all religions for the explicit reason that on every front of confirming their validity, they have failed, miserably. I CAN'T belief them, and any religion that tries telling me that faith, blind belief, is a virtue, and that I'll be rewarded or punished on the basis of whether it failed to convince me or not, is a religion that waved the white flag and outright told me it had no answers, only vague promises and threats that nothing can keep.

When I hear the religious threaten me with Hell, I know it's a trap for the weak-minded, who don't realize that they're favorite scare-tactic is an admission of defeat, and an appeal to the non-thinking ape that no longer commands this body.

Angry Man said...

Another great episode. So what if it's just Bob bitching about how fuck-awful this country's politics have become. Not enough people do that in a straight faced manner.
Posted this on facebook.

Luke Kruse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Evans said...

The point was, as culpability for the war goes, Kerry didn't have clean hands. So the strategy to denigrate the war and put the blame all on Bush didn't work. They put too much time into that ineffective strategy. If Kerry had never voted for it, that strategy might have worked. Both men were for it, though, so you couldn't contrast on the derision to go to war.

His new position did help him with the people who wanted to end the war. There just weren't enough of those people to swing the election for him. It's more about the mood of the American people about the war at the time rather than him changing his mind.

Also, I don't mind that Bob has a different political view than I do. It makes some of his observations more interesting since I get to see it from a different side. I don't appreciate his denigration of everyone who disagrees with him. I'd be happy to look at the information that lead him to his views, but that's not what he gives here. His statements that 'this is right' and 'this is wrong' is backed up as well as some one claiming 'god says this is right' and 'god says this is wrong'. If you want to claim to have superior reason, then present facts and evidence to convince people you're right. His claims are just based on him having superior morality backed up by nothing.

Luke Kruse said...


So do you believe everything that Zeitgeist, Eved3nc3, Penn & Teller, the Four Horsemen, or any other wannabe-intellectual atheist figures tells you, or is it something else?

I'll post my process of becoming a religious nut-job in overly simplified statements:

All my life I thought there was a God, in 2007 it donned on me that the Bible is His revealed word, and there is no logical reason to think otherwise. Lastly in 2008 I became a Calvinist and so all my thought power is used to understand and rationally explain my faith (trust) in Christ. Which also includes sifting through all the political and cultural baggage that has been heaped onto it for nearly 2 millennium.

Were you looking for something more specific?

Mads said...

@ Bob:
Much better than the last one when it commes to communicating a clear and relatable message, and explaining that message well. You argued a single point, and you argued it well. The issue is far less complicated, yet clearly, a lot of people still disagree with it. The majority of comments here that are against it appear to be ad hominems, and that's also good. I mean, it's not ideal, but on the bottom line, if your opponents are attacking you and not your arguments, you're usually doing a bang up job on your arguments.

At the end of the day, a lot less of this piece was oppinion.

I also want to say, in regard to the subject, that this is not an entirely new trend. It has always been costly to change your mind, but in some cases, it's more so. The John Kerry debacle really was an outlier, but back in the 50'es, a danish prime minister who felt completely cornered went to the podium in parliament, and uttered "you have a point of view till you take a new one"...and for whatever reason, because he flip-flopped in the most ballsy manner possible, he wasn't particularly punished over it.

Sadly, it probably still has to be emphasized with more conviction than "I changed my mind".

"I took a new point of view", tho, now that's good. Whether or not it's right doesn't come into it, you just seized the fucker. Grabbed it by the neck. Now it's yours. You don't have to admit you were wrong, even if that's the implication, you only have to admit that you were compelled to take the new position.

I think the problem with Romney is partially that he doesn't appear strong enough. If people think you flip-flopped and you don't even defend it, you appear weak.

It still ties into the fact that americans demand a strong leader, but you can be ponderous even while you're strong. Just don't pussyfoot around it.

661e6642-9c40-11e0-a547-000bcdcb471e said...

@That guy with the long name made of numbers and letters

"Oh no we're the majority in America and in the entire world and yet we're soooooo oppressed."

If you don't like being labeled as a stereotype, stop being stereotypical.

Working at Wal-Mart and listening in to conversations had by "The Folks", those thoughtful and even-tempered bunch of people, I sometimes wonder how we survived this long as a country.

Their minds are childish, their beliefs are warped, they hardly ever actually READ the book they claim to believe in, and the part that always makes me laugh is that their very lack of intellectual curiosity gives them an incredible amount of pride. It's like listening to a sheep explaining how noble he is for never leaving his pen.

tl;dr Stereotypes exist for a fucking reason. Yes, even atheist stereotypes.

Dave from canada said...

@ Luke

So you believed something all your life, and then decided a specific version of said belief was infallibly true without any evidence and you are claiming that belief and reason aren't in conflict?

There are plenty of logical reasons to doubt the veracity of the bible. Like the several thousand different denominations that all claim theirs is the truth. A perfect message from a perfect all knowing being would not be capable of being misconstrued.

I won't even go into the bit where the bible endorses rape and slavery.

Luke Kruse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Luke Kruse said...

@Dave from canada

Actually the existence of God was just self-evident fact and there is enough research on the Bible to have apple supporting evidence to acknowledge Jesus.

Are those examples of logical reasons? Because they are very poor examples.

How many of those denominations are actually right and consistent according to scripture? Not many.

Why can't perfect scripture be misconstrued? Humans are the ones reading it after all and creating their own doctrines through eisegesis.

As for "rape" and "slavery," according to your own logic because you used those words in a sentence you endorse them as well. Obviously that's just silly right?

Dave from canada said...

@ Luke.

Provide said evidence. If there is as ample evidence (keep in mind that the bible cannot be used to prove itself, so all evidence must come form extra biblical sources) as you claim, it should be easy.

"How many of those denominations are actually right and consistent according to scripture? Not many."

Neither are you, so its irrelevant. Shall I go down the list of bible prohibited things that are commonplace today? Or do you want to save face and abandon this particular line of discussion.

"Why can't perfect scripture be misconstrued?"

Because the purpose of communication is to communicate. Failure on either end is still failure. Being capable of being misunderstood is a flaw. A pretty serious one, what with its ability to cause some 90% of the worlds population to be condemned to hell...over a typo. Unless of course you are an adherent of unconditional election. In which case you have the issue of god being an evil malicious sadistic asshole.

"As for "rape" and "slavery," according to your own logic because you used those words in a sentence you endorse them as well. Obviously that's just silly right?"

Your retort sure was. I was referring to the parts of the bible where GOD endorses slavery and rape. Not just where they happen, but where they happen because of him and it is presented as a good thing.

The rampage the israelites go on after escaping egypt is an excellent example. Poor Midianite women.

6c898700-5c58-11e0-92aa-000bcdcb5194 said...

Dude, you work at Walmart?

I've heard only losers work at Walmart.

Why would I lower myself to respond to a mere minimum wage slave?


Kinda sucks when someone takes a snotty elitist attitude and applies a stereotype to you.

Welcome to the club.

Arturo said...

Bob, I have to say that I've never really cared about your politics all that much when it was just another entry on your blog. This new format makes it all a lot more interesting. It even makes US politics look like a diving-off point for bigger, broader, more universal things.

JDude said...

@Dave from Canada: Heh, smackdown. Sorry I wasn't here for most of it.

@Luke: Yeah, buddy, I don't listen to anyone in particular, and if such people were ever wrong, they'd adjust their position upon understanding this if they truly behave in a secular manner.

But yeah, you've provided us with nothing in the face of our arguments. Suddenly you decided to be a Christian. No reason given.

You mention how "self-evident" god is, and I'll tell you right now how and why that's a load.

I don't mean to project, but whenever I hear that, usually it's because they can't answer the question of the infinite regress.

That's fine, neither can scientists yet, really. Though there is a lot of speculation that non-existence is NOT the default state of the Universe, and that it is in fact, impossible for fundamental reasons at the heart of physical law.

This however, is far from claiming that because we have no answer for what "started" everything off (if anything) that we substitute the most complicated, unnatural skyhook possible in a god.

You tell me; does it make more sense that the Universe occurred through simple and natural means, or that some massive celestial intelligence came similarly and less believably from nowhere and fashioned the Universe, it's laws, it's planets, stars, people and animals in one fell swoop.

If "something" cannot come from "nothing", then where the Hell did this sky-daddy come from?

If we know anything, we know that intelligence, even of the most rudimentary sort, can only come about after extensive and gradual natural selection. Certainly intelligent beings can MAKE other intelligent beings if they know how (ie, computers), but the original intelligence has only ever been found as a late-in-the-game result of extremely gradual mutation and selection.

In short, it's not reasonable or logical to choose a quick, unexplainable intelligence over a long, gradual, natural process.

If your god exists, prove him, with compelling evidence. If you can't give a good reason for believing it exists, a reason that holds up against scrutiny, then you are being irrational. And if you live your life according to this thing you can't justify to exist, you're even more-so. As such, it only serves to weaken and confine your mind.

It's your mind; FIGHT for it.

Tim said...


Here's a few thoughts for you:

I agree with you that the existence of God is not self-evident and saying so is certainly not any form of proof. But have you considered this:

You say that belief occurs when there is not sufficient evidence to prove the existence of something or the truth of an idea and I think that's a fair statement. And if the existence of God is not self-evident, than faith or belief is required there.

But wouldn't you also say it's logical that while there is no evidence to support the existence of God, there's also no evidence that would definitively disprove his existence either? In which case, wouldn't your choice to not believe in any form of religion without any definitive proof that none are actually correct also constitute a form of belief in itself, to the effect of "I believe that God does not exist?"

If we're going on pure logic and reason, I would also have suggest that the idea that all intelligence is the result of gradual natural selection is somewhat of an assumption, isn't it? I mean after all, we can only judge it based on intelligence here on Earth since we have no experience with any form of life beyond out planet, galaxy or plane of existence if you will. That would be the equivalent of a creature that can only exist in the dark depths of the ocean deciding there can be no form of life outside of the seas by the simple reason that it hasn't encountered it.

I would also suggest that keeping your mind free from confinement doesn't only mean casting off the chains of dogmatism, but also keeping it open to possibilities beyond our current level of science and experience. Is that not logical?

David (The Pants) said...

Cool video Bob!

JDude said...

@ Tim: "But wouldn't you also say it's logical that while there is no evidence to support the existence of God, there's also no evidence that would definitively disprove his existence either?"

Here's the problem with that. There is an INFINITE number of things I cannot disprove. I can't disprove the Flying Spaghetti Monster, or the great invisible, intangible dragon standing in the middle of the road, or the Great Juju at the bottom of the sea.

I can never know with ABSOLUTE certainty that the Abrahamic Judeo-Christian God isn't just some big cheat, shaping the Universe to APPEAR to have formed naturally as some cruel trap against the skeptics he evidently doesn't value.

No, I'm REASONABLY certain, and that's all I NEED to be. I know the history of this religion and the many mutations it's undergone. I see the traps in scripture designed to appeal to the best and worst of us, and I've evaded them.

Occam's Razer is such a handy thing; it doesn't rule out the probabilistically unlikely, outright, but it does offer a good mindset in looking for the simplest explanation.

I find it much more likely that out of many needs, religions formed by human hands.

The Bible, and every such holy book I've encountered, offer us a view on reality that is patently inconsistent with what we've discovered to be true. The claims, actions and knowledge deities pass down in them show that these so-called superior beings have as much understanding of the Universe they supposedly created, as the humans who took the dictation all those thousands of years ago.

No, I am not absolutely certain, but in the M. Night Shyamalan movie we call religion, I've been paying attention. I've seen the director's attempts to fool me and lead me away from the reality of his plot-twist. Sorry Menaj, but Bruce is a ghost. I'm not fooled.

JDude said...


"If we're going on pure logic and reason, I would also have suggest that the idea that all intelligence is the result of gradual natural selection is somewhat of an assumption, isn't it?"

Well, then the question is, how, aside from natural selection, does life emerge?

Natural selection is the only mechanism we've ever found that explains the existence of life. Upon the Big Bang, and subsequent supernovae, this Universe was just a mashing of energy and atoms crashing into each other. In this chaos, it took billions of years for one star to explode, forming complex elements in the resulting nebula. These elements converged back upon each other to form our Sun, and allow a solar system with rich chemical diversity. Our Earth formed in the Goldilocks-zone, with the right chemical mixture to allow the one in a billion shot of the natural formation of the self-replicating molecule, DNA (possibly RNA). From that, it took most of Earth's lifetime for DNA to replicate and mutate so that true cells, and eukaryotic cells could allow for multicell life. After millions and millions of years, a single truly intelligent species emerges. Us.

Unless worlds exist in which spacetime warps and speeds up time GREATLY relative to us, intelligence takes a long time to occur naturally.

Hoyle might have been wrong in his analogy of the twister and the scrapyard, but for a god-like being to be created spontaneously at the beginning of the Universe, he's right on the money. At any rate, such a being wouldn't be a god, because it would be of the natural world. It would be mortal, it would be finite in all aspects. All gods are SUPERnatural.

Now, I know what you might be saying. Our Universe COULD have been initiated by intelligent beings traversing a Multiverse. But I'd bet everything I own against that being the truth, and I'd bet my LIFE that such beings developed via SOME form of natural selection.

I'm open to a feasible alternative, but first someone has to think of it. How can you get from raw energy/material to a complex, intelligent being naturally? Gradual change over immense lengths of time, thus far, is the ONLY sound theory. If you have one, provide it. Myself, I'm not clever enough.

Kenedy said...

OK Bob, I've found both these political videos interesting and you gave good explanations for what I consider very sensible views, but they just sound too much like you sitting on the couch in a bad mood bitching about something that's pissing you off on the news. Which is something I do too, but I never feel a need to share it with other people. Sure they've got rational commentary in them, but you also do things like call you're opponents neanderthals and the GOP "these assholes", which just strikes me as bad taste. I realize that these videos are supposed to be entertaining, and the whole "angry rant" tone usually does a good job of that, but that doesn't mean you have to use nasty ad hominems.

That being said, I hope you make more of these, because I really do think you have a unique voice in politics.

biomechanical923 said...

@JDude, Tim, Luke, and Dave

The sheer amount of passive-aggressive anger in all of your posts is beyond hilarious.

I'm an Agnostic and I think you're all a bunch of idiots.

Maybe you guys should read a little bit about Epistemology, Empiricism, the Socratic Method, and Methodological Naturalism.

If it were possible for any phenomenon to be considered "supernatural" (outside the realm of having an natural explanation), then by definition, it would be impossible to test such a phenomenon using natural means.

In other words, since it is impossible to test the supernatural using any natural (scientific) means, then it is also impossible to know with any certainty that anything supernatural exists, therefore we simply disregard the existence of the supernatural when devising theories and performing experiments.

Dave from canada said...


I was wondering when the agnostic apologists who don't understand what agnostic means would arrive.

"The sheer amount of passive-aggressive anger in all of your posts is beyond hilarious."

You know, I've always felt that any argument that could be boiled down to the phrase "u mad?" isn't worth making. Our anger, real or imagined has no bearing on whether what we say has any logical value...so why even rbing it up?

Some of us are taking positions because we've tried to gain as much information about the subject as possible and make an informed decision. Some of us apparently just up and decided. One of these is the right way, and one of these is the the wrong way to figure shit out.

You trying to pull a South Park by telling us we are both wrong is equally invalid unless you can back it up.

Chris Evans said...

The talking down of religious people as stupid, against science, and reason is just incorrect and born really just born out of ignorance of history. The church trying to suppress scientific advancement has been popularized in recent years but it simply isn't true. I'd recommend reading Dr. James Hannam's books

The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution


God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science

You don't have to believe in god, but don't lay false claims on religious people simply because you're too stupid to know better.

Dave from canada said...

@ Chris

I guess we must have imagined that whole business with the sacking of alexandria, and the dark ages, and the forced repentance of Gallileo.

I guess the pope never claimed condoms cause aids, no religious person ever tried to force creationism into the classroom, and the muslim world such a haven for scientific advancement.

JDude said...


You'd be right. Using natural science to decry supernatural science, WOULD be circular reasoning.

...IF we had ANY proof of the supernatural existing to begin with.

One. Give me ONE example of something supernatural that CANNOT have a natural explanation. I guarantee that you won't do it. I'd be willing to bet everything I own, and my very life, that you will not show me anything that can ONLY be explained via supernature.

The supernatural is something WE invented to explain functions and effects we had no understanding of. I mean, fucking MAGNETS, how do THEY work, yo?

But even hypothetically, just as the natural cannot perterb the supernatural, the supernatural, by definition, cannot interact with the natural. The moment it does, it MUST be part of the natural world. It's that simple. If something can interact with the atoms and energy of our natural Universe, then it is PART of that natural Universe.

@Chris Evans:

Oh...did you just bark up the wrong tree...

I don't read creationist books. Can't really. You see, I'm allergic to bullshit.

Galileo. That's the only example I NEED, but I will provide others.

You tell me with a straight face that Galileo wasn't set upon by the Catholic Church like a pack of wolves.

They had a MAJOR cow with him discovering craters and mountains on the Moon. They had a MAJOR cow when he demonstrated that other planets had moons of their own.

He was persecuted and ostracized for threatening their religion with facts that contradicted their teachings.

And tell Giordano Bruno (who said that earth rotates around the sun) that religion doesn't persecute science. This man was burned at the fucking stake.

And religion has ALWAYS done this. They keep whatever science gels with their beliefs and even celebrate when they think it supports them, but EVERYTHING that has come at odds with that has been met with the fiercest opposition, with NOTHING rational to back it up.

Evolution, today, should NOT be a fucking debate. It's the truth, motherfuckers, adjust to it. Yes, the Catholic Church has lost some of it's teeth, and now endorses evolution, but it doesn't speak for the other thousands of sects that try, with the same ignorant arguments, to discredit it. And it is SO...fucking...SAD.

Then of course, we have radiometric dating. A nail in the coffin of the belief that the world is only 5,000 odd years old, so naturally the religious object to it's validity, without understanding that if radioactive decay WAS that fucking fast, planet Earth would still be MOLTEN.

That's the thing. ANY time that religious people deny scientific findings, in favor of what their holy-books say, they ARE being anti-science.

And it's DESTRUCTIVE. People go to faith healers instead of doctors, or just HOPE that "god will make them better!". And then, of course, they DIE.

The Church interferes with Africa, and tells them that condoms will INCREASE the risk of HIV, and learning about witches causes a massacre of innocent children.

I'm sure that the original scientists were supported by the church back in the day; the church controlled EVERYTHING. If science were to be done, or art or anything, it was only going to be done by commission of the guys in power. This is why the vast majority of art from those times had SOME measure of religiosity in them. Gregor Mendel could only apply himself to his research on genetics by becoming a monk.

But if you're going to tell me, for a SECOND, that they weren't going to TURN on these scientists the SECOND they threatened the religion that kept them in power (and they most certainly DID) then you are lying (figuratively) to my FACE, and I don't appreciate it.

Read books, by ACTUAL scientists.

Tim said...

This is Tim (the other m sucks one)

I just wanted to say that the other Tim is not me. I am an atheist. I believe both religion and it's followers are fucking stupid. Remember that in case you need to make a distinction from now on.

6c898700-5c58-11e0-92aa-000bcdcb5194 said...

Hey Tim, you misspelled "it's" wrong.

Before you open your yap about who is "fucking stupid" you might want to learn how to fucking spell.

The proper term is "its" because it's possessive...dumbass.

biomechanical923 said...


I did back my point up. Read it again if you need to. I think it is you who does not know what agnosticism is.

@ JDude

That's not really a contrary argument, you simply rephrased exactly what I said in your own words. Maybe you should also read what I said again.

I wrote IF the supernatural exists(which we don't know), then by virtue of the fact that it exists outside of nature, that it is impossible to know with full certainty whether or not it exists and is also impossible to reliably test, since we have no natural way to control a supernatural variable.

You're then demanding of me proof for something which I already said cannot be scientifically proven, and declaring victory. It's pretty easy to bet your life away that something which cannot be proven, cannot be proven. I'll bet my life away on a tautology any day, it doesn't mean anything though.

Atheism is based just as much in faith as religion, because both sides claim to know with certainty something that is impossible to know.

Please try to be a little more Socratic in the future. It may stop you from immediately spewing venom at anybody who disagrees with you.

Psyckid008 said...

Ugh. It's always been a pet peeve of mine when idiots try to "own" someone by correcting a minor spelling error.

Anyway, great video Bob. This is quickly becoming my favorite series of yours. And don't listen to people who tell you to tone down your opinions on any sides. As far as I'm concerned, the brutal honesty on what you think on either conservatives or liberals is always what attracted me to my favorite political vloggers.

biomechanical923 said...


Supernatural phenomena may or may not exist. Since we can't control it, then we just don't fucking worry about it, and we limit our studies to testing things which are natural.

Aaron said...

@Tim: I agree. Religion is pretty fucking stupid when you get right down to it.

Aaron said...

I keep seeing a repeating, scene in my dreams,
I'm weeping peacefully, in a green pasture of sheep
who breathe deeply, relaxed on the grass, asleep when
I see these factions, of masked men, with axes, creepin

I can see, that we're captured, but when I scream, the assassins
begin laughing, and the sheep don't even seem to gather
the fact that their masters are grabbin and smashing their backs in
in a graphic fashion and draggin the cadavers past em

the sadness from those savage actions I had to fathom
never passes, even though, they were so overtly imagined
they show, actual patterns of what can happen to those trapped in
the rapture of the Holy Ghost if they don't open their lashes

and focus on what matters most... before they cash in
choke and pass and go in a casket, or blow in the passing
wind over the ocean as scattered ashes and bone fragments
just hopin their pastor was accurate

what kinda creator would make a race of people
and make em act a certain way or else He deems 'em evil?
HOW can You give a living being the freedom to breathe
and then lead em into sea of decievers who greet em, see,

it's not a miracle, when you beat a disease [please]
it's not a miracle, when you breed and receive
a baby from a lady, it's nature, you can pray to a tree
it don't mean the seasons are changing cuz you believe in the leaves

faith is a crazy made up way to explain, what you can't explain
in way that you can't debate it, it's insane that we live in a nation,
that's innovative enough to create a station in space
but we still praise the pages of an ancient publication

considered great.... in the motherfuckin middles ages,
I'm sick of the way this civilization blames their hatred
on a simple fictional basis such as Satan it makes me
sick to my stomach, it's just disgusting aint it?

and I'm sick of censorship committees, grippin the dicks of Christian Ministries
who are admittingly, just letting any priest get a piece,
of greased little boy keester and get away free
while they celebrate Easter... Jesus, it's un-fuckin-believable

that you people still worship invisible entities, I mean,
who seriously wants to live for infinity? are you kidding me?
if you guys wanna censor a bigger lie, try the validity
of a city sittin in the sky, where everybody who died is now living

better yet, convince me that the visceral presence
of an invincible peasant will some-how better my fuckin intelligence
and gimme some evidence, heaven exists, besides some lessons
written by guys who couldn't technically give any relevant tips

except that I should be a celibate twit who cries like a bitch
to a timeless spirit everytime that I'm fearing some shit
the entire idea of religion's been queer since it was twisted
to it's limit, now it's a just mere hindrance

Luke Kruse said...

@ Dave from canada

Evidance of what? That there is a God? I said that was self-evident. Do you want the reasons why it is self-evident?

So which church is Biblically consistent? You obviously know which on it is. Also you list of prohibitions will probably be a list of activities forbidden by the Law such as the Sabbath. Christians are not under the law and beside no one CAN maintain the law.

Misunderstanding is a flaw of the reader. I'm not just talking about misunderstanding I'm talking about what is culturally and traditionally motivated. How is god a "evil malicious sadistic asshole" if He elects people?

Anyone who reads the Bible would know that God does not endorse slaver or rape. God has curses his enemies by having there women ravaged but that doesn't make rape good. Rape is bad as so God brings that and other bad things on his enemies.

So you sympathies with the Midianites why?

Luke Kruse said...

@ biomechanical923

I find it interesting that an naturalist bothers to lecture someone on truth since naturalism undermines knowledge and truth.

To understand what I mean go to youtube and watch there series titled "Naturalism ( Atheism ) is Irrational"

biomechanical923 said...

@ Luke Kruse

"Rape is bad as so God brings that and other bad things on his enemies."

I hope you're a troll, because that is one of the stupidest things I have ever read in my life.

When they say "rape is bad" it means that "you are bad if you rape somebody".

What kind of a fucked up god would say "thou shant not rape, unless I don't like them, then you can sexually violate them all you want" That is just profoundly fucked up, Luke.

biomechanical923 said...

P.S. I'm not a naturalist, nice strawman though.

Luke Kruse said...

@ biomechanical923

Looking at your newly created commandment I see you are good at making strawmen yourself.

How are you not a naturalist?

You seem to imply that that the natural world is the primary (if not only) means of understanding reality.

biomechanical923 said...

@Luke Kruse

Traditional naturalism insists that everything in the universe can be explained naturally.

I am not a naturalist because I do not know whether the supernatural exists, so I cannot make such a claim.

I do not say that the natural world is the only means of understanding all of reality. I say that the natural world is the only means of understanding the natural world.

There is no sense in wasting one's time trying to use science to find evidence of the supernatural. There is equally no sense in wasting one's time trying to use magic to find evidence of natural science.

Agnosticism (or Methodological naturalism) does not claim there is no supernatural world. It simply claims that the supernatural can not be known by physical, scientific means.

Aaron said...

@God believing Tim: There is absolutely no proof of god. Why would I believe in something when there is nothing to prove that he/shit/it exists. It's unfair to say that we should have prove that he/she/it doesn't exist because you can literally say that about any unfalsifiable figure. Even if there is a god, how do you know it's your god? How do you know that it isn't Zeus or the flying spaghetti monster? The burden of proof is on you. Not us.

Luke Kruse said...

@ biomechanical923

"I am not a naturalist because I do not know whether the supernatural exists, so I cannot make such a claim."

Don't you mean to say that you are not a naturalist because you don't know if natural is all there is?

Since you ignore the supernatural for lack of evidence do you also ignore ideas or morality for lack of evidence?

Dave from canada said...


“I did back my point up. Read it again if you need to. I think it is you who does not know what agnosticism is.”

No, you didn’t. All you did was assert that we needed to read some epistolmology.

Gnosticism refers to what we can know or what we believe we know. Agnosticism is the position that we cannot or don’t know. Gnosticism is on an entirely different axis than theism. You are not an atheist OR an agnostic. One deals with belief, on deals with knowledge. Calling yourself an agnostic in this context is like calling yourself a human because anyone who isn’t seriously deluded is one as well. Trying to make it out like some golden mean third option is what demonstrates you don’t understand the term. You’re either a theist or an atheist. Gnosticism is a whole other thing.

“Supernatural phenomena may or may not exist. Since we can't control it, then we just don't fucking worry about it, and we limit our studies to testing things which are natural.”

Except that people do take this nonexistent ‘supernatural’ seriously. In fact, MOST do. And that leads to a mess of problems. No good is done burying your head in the sand.

“Atheism is based just as much in faith as religion, because both sides claim to know with certainty something that is impossible to know.”

No. A thousand times no. Atheism is merely the rejection of the claim that god exists. That requires no faith whatsoever. We aren’t claiming to know with certainty. We are pointing out that simply saying god exists is not meeting the burden of proof. For a guy who claims everyone else is stupid, you sure have difficulty knowing what things mean.

Dave from canada said...

@ Luke

“Evidance of what? That there is a God? I said that was self-evident.”

Your idiocy is self evident. See how easy that was? It also means nothing if I can’t back it up. You don’t get to just call something self evident and not have it challenged. Evidence please.

“So which church is Biblically consistent? You obviously know which on it is. “
There a many a backwater splinter church with their own hyper orthodox interpretation that let’s them have all the underage child brides they want. There are many more churches who just edit their bible to not talks about the stuff that is considered morally reprehensible now.

“Also you list of prohibitions will probably be a list of activities forbidden by the Law such as the Sabbath. Christians are not under the law and beside no one CAN maintain the law.”

Wrong. Christians are SPECIFICALLY beholden to the laws of the old testament as spelled out by JESUS HIMSELF during the frigging sermon on the mount. Matthew 5:17-5:20. Now either your infallible god king is wrong, or your understanding of the bible is. Either way, my point is made.

“Misunderstanding is a flaw of the reader. I'm not just talking about misunderstanding I'm talking about what is culturally and traditionally motivated”

Not when the person delivering the message is infallible. And infallible being would be incapable of delivering a message that could be misinterpreted. Why isn’t it in every language? Why is it even possible for us to get it wrong? How mindnumbingly incompetent is your god if he can’t even do the job that a fucking phone can do?

“How is god a "evil malicious sadistic asshole" if He elects people?”

The principle of unconditional election as adhered to by 5 point Calvinists is that god decided beforehand who he will save from hell/obliteration and faith/works/good deeds don’t matter. Which means a serial killer could get saved and a charity worker damned because god said so. That’s being evil and malicious. Giving people the illusion of choice, knowing full well which of them are going to make it and allowing them to suffer is incredibly sadistic and malicious.

“Anyone who reads the Bible would know that God does not endorse slaver or rape. God has curses his enemies by having there women ravaged but that doesn't make rape good.
Rape is bad as so God brings that and other bad things on his enemies..”

I’m going to post this separately so everyone can see this. Do you have any idea how earth shatteringly STUPID that is? You might as well say that the germans didn’t endorse the holocaust..which si why they reserved it for their enemies. And what kind of loving god arranges for innocent women to be raped as punishment for what their fathershusbands may have done (which, given the context of the old testament, was likely to be some variant of “they were there”)

You are also wrong, because the old testament explicitly outlines the conditions under which Hebrews can be enslaved....as though any of this was morally defensible against anyone.

“So you sympathies with the Midianites why? “

For those unfamiliar, the midianites are a group that the post exodus Hebrew run into. God has moses order the Hebrews to kill them all. The Hebrews do so, but spare the women. Moses gets pissed and tells them to kill the women, except the virgin girls who are to be divided among the people as wives. (read sex slaves). It is important to note that we aren’t talking 18 year olds here. Mary, 2000 years later, was 14 at the time of her pregnancy. Women got married young. So when they say virgins, we are talking tweenage.

Why do i sympathize with the midianites? Why don’t you? Why are you, a man from the 21st century clearly intelligent enough to create a computer defending genocide and mass child sex slavery?

Tim said...

Hiya, this is non-atheist (I guess) Tim again. Apologies to evidentally offended atheist Tim.

First of all, getting back to JDude: My point was less an attempt to support the existence of God than to suggest that if you're reasonably sure that God exists without being certain, that is still to some degree a belief. And if you can engage in a belief in any form, is it necessary that belief be in such opposition to thinking and reason when anyone else indulges in one as well?

As for the Bible, I'm not convinced in it either. Even if it were the word of God it would have been filtered through flawed humans and therefore have mutated and been twisted and turned for other ends.

However, I don't think one has to believe in the Bible to believe in the possibility of some being that created the universe and as such, I'm not sure it's not entirely logical to evaluate the basis for whether God or some other such being exists based solely on the religious trappings or crazies that follow them. The fact that I know a lot of really idiotic Pink Floyd fans doesn't stop me from liking the band's work.

And as to the Big Bang, what do you make of Roger Penrose's theories that the low entropy in effect during the Big Bang suggests a chain of cyclical universes, or Wun-Yi Shu's suggestion that there was no Big Bang but that the universe is in a constant back-and-forth of contraction and expansion since the expansion of the universe at its current rate violates the laws of physics.

That brings up Biomechanical's point of proving the supernatural. What is the supernatural really but phenomena which have not yet been explained by science? Mesmerism and hypnotism were once considered supernatural. Many medical procedures that save lives would probably seem supernatural to someone from the far past. While it gets a bad rap, I definitely think elements of parapsychology will eventually become part of accepted science once they can be quantified in laboratory settings. And passive-aggressive? How do you figure?

@Aaron: I don't think I ever said there was proof of God existing and am not trying to prove it to you since that would as you correctly mentioned that would be impossible. I'm simply asking questions, a key step in the Socratic method.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

My problem isn't with politicians changing their minds... my problem is with politicians saying whatever they think will get them votes regardless of what they believe.

Kerry didn't "change his mind" about the war in Iraq... he just wouldn't be able to drum up votes from the left while supporting it, so he started spouting rhetoric in the other direction. Same thing's happening with Romney now. He didn't change his mind about abortion, just just can't get Tea Party votes while openly supporting it.

You're trying to portray it as if these politicians thought over their views and reached the decision that the other side might be right. That, unfortunately, could not be further from the truth. They simply said what their party wanted them to say so they could get more votes and get elected. A politician "flip-flopping" is not a sign of thought... it's a complete absence of thought.

JDude said...

Well, since Canadian Dave has got Luke and Bio by the balls, I think I'll stick to the most recent thing directed at me...

@Religious Tim:

I don't "believe" that no God exist, I LACK belief that they do exist. I can tell you that the odds stack up in one corner, and that this suggest to me that I not take religious claims seriously. All of this is based on e weighing evidence or the lack thereof.

"As for the Bible, I'm not convinced in it either. Even if it were the word of God it would have been filtered through flawed humans and therefore have mutated and been twisted and turned for other ends."

Here's another thing; perfection is bullshit. It's a concept that simply cannot be. EVERYTHING is "flawed" to some extent. If a god exists, it's not going to be perfect in any sense.

"However, I don't think one has to believe in the Bible to believe in the possibility of some being that created the universe. The fact that I know a lot of really idiotic Pink Floyd fans doesn't stop me from liking the band's work."

Yeah, well, having read the Bible, I can tell you I'm not a fan.

We can speculate all day on how the Bible might have been misinterpreted, but it gets us exactly nowhere. And neither, frankly, does positing the existence of a super-being that can will Universes into existence.

My point is, why in the Hell would you propose something like this? It's silly, and it brings more questions than answers. If this being came from another Universe to make this one, then how did it come about in the OTHER Universe? How does it manipulate matter and energy?

It tells us exactly nothing to propose that an intelligence made the Universe. It's called an infinite regress: what created the creator?

"And as to the Big Bang, what do you make of Roger Penrose's theories, or Wun-Yi Shu's suggestion"

I don't know enough about these things to argue them very well, but my understanding was that the Universe was determined as being on a runaway expansion, and given we've detected evidence for pre-bang events and know an awful lot about the first microseconds of the event, I'm inclined to think it happened.

As to violating the laws of physics, I'd amend that to "laws of physics as WE understand them". I might be totally wrong on this.

I still fail to see the point in bringing up this topic. Where are you going with this?

"What is the supernatural really but phenomena which have not yet been explained by science? While it gets a bad rap, I definitely think elements of parapsychology will eventually become part of accepted science once they can be quantified in laboratory settings."

Don't know a thing about parapsychology. Could be legit, could be hokum.

As to what you're saying on the supernatural, the difference is we've had the ability to detect and observe these things to determine what, if anything, is going on.

When I say "supernatural", I'm talking about magic, gods, ghosts and ghoulies. You propose maybe that these things are real, but have a natural explanation rather than a magical one. I used to think like that when I was a Christian. But the problem is, we've never found compelling reasons to believe these things aren't merely the products of our imaginations. CAN they exist? Yeah, with a truckload of "givens", but we've seen no reason to believe they do. At least with dragons you had dinosaur bones to pick over.

biomechanical923 said...

JDude, what about things that exists in dimensions or universes outside of our own? Perhaps even in universes where the laws of physics are different than our physics.
Would those objects be considered supernatural to our universe? Or would you consider that natural? Or maybe "natural where it came from, but not natural here"

biomechanical923 said...

@ Dave

"You're either theist or atheist"

That's a load of bullshit bro. Belief in the existence of the supernatural is not dichotomous. You can force somebody to "pick a side" if you really want to, but you can't force somebody to actually believe it. Picking a side without actually believing it is tantamount to a guess. You may as well have flipped a coin.
That's like me saying "Am I eating chocolate or vanilla ice cream? ANSWER NOW!!! Oh by the way, whatever you answer, you have to believe it too."

It's bullshit, and it illustrates why "I don't fucking know" is a valid response.

Mads Tejlgaard said...

@ 6c898700-5c58-11e0-92aa-000bcdcb5194

Actually, if he misspelled "its" wrong, then that would imply there's a right way of misspelling "its", which makes no sense, as there can be no distinctions between misspellings; they're all wrong.

Obtw, I'm a horrible speller and have horrible grammar...but then, I'm not the one giving importance to these things over substance. You are.

Dave from canada said...


“That's a load of bullshit bro.”

No it’s not.

“Belief in the existence of the supernatural is not dichotomous.”

Yes it is. You either believe something or you don’t. There are degrees to how much you might belive something. But anything over zero is belief.

“ You can force somebody to "pick a side" if you really want to, but you can't force somebody to actually believe it.”

I’m not forcing anything. I’m just stating reality. Theism is a binary choice. You either belive in gods or you do not.

“That's like me saying "Am I eating chocolate or vanilla ice cream? ANSWER NOW!!! Oh by the way, whatever you answer, you have to believe it too."”

Wrong in so many ways.

1-I’m not asking WHICH god do you belive in. A correct metaphor would be me asking you if you were eating ice cream. You either are or are not. I didn’t ask about the flavour, if you ate it before or will again. I asked if you are eating it now. You either are or are not. You cannot be neither eating and not eating ice cream.

You’ve misrepresented a binary question as a false dichotomy. The bit at the end where I force people to believe it is also puzzling. I’m not even sure what point you were trying to make with that.

“It's bullshit, and it illustrates why "I don't fucking know" is a valid response.”

You might not know what you believe, but that doesn’t mean you don’t believe it. I don’t know is not a response to ‘what do you believe.’ As I said before, belief and knowledge are entirely different planes.

That’s why the label of agnostic is so stupid and only used by those who don’t get what it means. I’m an agnostic atheist. I do not belive in gods, and I also think we can’t know. These are not contradictory positions. Logic and reason dictate that unless we have evidence for something, we should not assume it exists. The default position for anything is disbelief until sufficient evidence is provided.

To use your ice cream metaphor, it is as if I asked you if you are eating ice cream and you said you didn’t know. Now you may not know. You could be drugged or unsure of what you are eating etc. But i don’t know hoas no bearing on whether or not you are eating ice cream. You either are, or are not.

Just like you either are or are not a theist. You might not know whether or not you believe in god, but any answer other than YES means you are an atheist. Which means that in all likelyhood, you and most self described agnostics, are atheist. Whether you can admit that to yourself is your issue. But none of it warrants this insipid pride in not coming to a conclusion.

Bobby said...

That was excellent! A much more amusing and insightful piece than the first. Definitely on-board with this.

biomechanical923 said...


"You might not know what you believe, but that doesn’t mean you don’t believe it. I don’t know is not a response to ‘what do you believe."

This is the definition of a Non Sequitur.

JDude said...


"JDude, what about things that exists in dimensions or universes outside of our own? Perhaps even in universes where the laws of physics are different than our physics.
Would those objects be considered supernatural to our universe? Or would you consider that natural? Or maybe "natural where it came from, but not natural here" "

Here's the thing. Yes, it's almost certainly likely that other Universes exist with varying physical laws, or at least different values for those laws. Just how different any of them are from our own is debatable to the extent that such speculation becomes almost pointless.

One thing I would posit, however, is that whatever matter finds itself in one Universe must adhere entirely to the rules of that Universe. If the laws that allowed inter-Universal beings to survive, or even manipulate matter in their Universe, are not PRESENT in our Universe, then it is unlikely for them to survive and recreate those same feats in our Universe.

It might be entirely natural for their Universe to have emerged uniquely from our own or from others, but this does not mean that they can interfere with OUR Universe in the same manners that would make them so extraordinary in THEIR Universe.

In other words, I cannot accept a notion of gods or spirits as they are envisioned, to have anything to do with our Universe, even as mistaken entities from another Universe. There's simply no room for them to be plausible HERE.

Now, a DEIST god? That might fit with inter-universal beings, but still, we have no reason to believe this is true, nor do we have any evidence to reasonably offer it as a possibility, and it does not answer any questions.

Chris Evans said...

Very open minded of you. You don't read the book but assume is full of BS.

Believe it or not they aren't religious books, they're history books, written by a Doctor of History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge.

They aren't creationism. If you even bothered to do a simple google search you would have seen that they are historical books about the churches effect on science and philosophy during the middle ages. You're knee jerk hatred of all things religious is making you look like stupid.

Galileo was attacked but not because propagated heliocentrism, as people like to push. Galileo (and Foscarini) got in trouble with the church because they were suggesting a theological solution. They were making the claim that you could interpret the bible in a way that would allow the earth to revolve around the sun. The church at the time was in a power struggle claiming that only the church it's self was allowed to interpret the bible, fighting the Reformation that was pushing to allow anyone to interpret the bible. Galileo involved himself in church politics and that's what caused him to be set upon.

Galileo was right in both case, (The sun and the reformation) and the church was wrong, but the reasons behind the events are important. If he'd just stuck to the science the church would have ignored him.

Chris Evans said...


You're throwing a lot out here, and this isn't really the place to go over it all (length limitations). I agree with your points, but not the hatred you place on all the religious because of it.

Faith Healers for example, yes they are destructive but they are hardly alone. Are you going to try to be straight faced and tell me there's no medical quackery people try to ground in science? They just talk about toxins rather than demons but it's the same shit. Ever seen the Ionic Detox? Or everything ever written by Kevin Trudeau?

Do you even know why the one theologian in the church claimed Condoms would increase the risk of HIV or are you just grabbing headlines? The claim isn't that a condom increases the risk, but that it promotes indiscriminate use and that increases the risk. His argument is that, rather than sleeping around and having faith that a condom will protect you 100%, it's better to be limit your partners. (Look at how much I had to write and research in order to counter your half a sentence claim. It's so much easier to just lay false claims.)

I do read books and articles by actual scientists. On both sides. You might want to open your eyes and do the same. But don't insult me when, by your own claims, you're ignorant on the subject.

JDude said...


I WAS going to do a point-for-point against you here, but then I realized, why? All I'd REALLY be saying to each was how I REALLY didn't care. It's all just a smokescreen.

I don't CARE about when religious institutions grudgingly endorse science, or whether Galileo (who was still a Christian) tried to play the apologist and find a way to make his findings match his religious beliefs. I don't CARE about quacks (who I strongly doubt are making it past the FDA, and who I strongly doubt are respected or taken seriously as scientists) pushing bullshit medicine, when there have ALWAYS been phonies.

I don't CARE if Pope Darth Sidious was promoting abstinence over protection, and given that speech he made to oppose it, I doubt Richard Dawkins does either. File your grievances with HIM, why don't you?

I don't care, because at the end of the day religion is an institution that is anti-logic, anti-reason and wholesale anti-science at it's HEART. When I hear people say things like, "God doesn't want you to KNOW, he wants you to BELIEVE!" I'm all too aware that the intent is to coax people into abandoning knowledge in favor of ignorance, and it's killing our world.

Harvey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Harvey said...

You should change the name of this feature to "Big Picture" and rename "Big Picture," "Obscure and Arcane Minutiae." Keep up the great work in all of your platforms.

Joseph said...


Listen, I can see past your anger, but your arguments lack solid foundations.

"I don't CARE!" how is that different than the blind religious nuts you despise so much? Both sides have a majority that are presenting their arguments poorly with the personal insults. Now this is a response to your 'Bible supports rape and slavery' arguments.

Your "God endorses rape!" argument. Read Zechariah 22:25-29. Know the customs. Jewish Custom: women who weren't virgins before marriage were labeled outcasts, no man wanted to marry a woman that wasn't a virgin. If a man rapes a betrothed woman, then he is put to death and the woman is not found at fault. However, if a man rapes a woman that isn't about to be married and in doing so taking her virginity then he must pay her dowry to her father and marry her; never be able to divorce her. Why marry her? As I've said before she would be labeled an outcast by her community. Marrying her would save her from exile plus the bastard rapist is forced to pay and care for her the rest of his life. Nothing there condones rape, it punishes.

Also the Bible doesn't endorse slavery, not in the sense you think anyway. (Exodus 21:16; Deuteronomy 23:15-16; 24:7) What "slavery" it does have however, is prisoners of war/criminals or indentured servitude (i.e. paying off debts). Their masters still had to treat them fairly and the servants had to respect their masters because it was the master that was in charge of their life.

In short it wasn't like the slavery of black or white slaves prior to the Civil War, but indentured servants from the colonial period of America.

It doesn't matter to me if your angry or don't CARE. Just don't sling mud against the Word creating false claims that it endorsed slavery or rape to justify your intense hatred towards an opinion that doesn't agree with your own. Arguments being filled with "I don't think..." "I know that's right because I think..." or "I believe that..." these are not sound arguments on your part.

Shalom (I'm not Jewish, but I just want to wish you peace).

Dave from canada said...


I hope you’ll forgive me for taking on something aimed at you.

@ Joesph

RE: Read Zechariah 22:25-29.

So rape is ok as long as he marries her? What an enlightened people. How is forcing a woman to live and continue having sex with her rapist a punishment for him? If anything it rewards him by making everything official and punishes her for being raped. What kind fo twisted logic are you using?

Next you’ll be telling me that the ones we should be feeling sorry for are the midianites, because can you image how hard it must have been on the mythical Hebrews to murder that many children?

The only thing he is ‘saving’ her from is arbitrary shame in her backwards misogynistic culture. That still doesn’t get around the issue of the multiple points in the bible where God has the Israelites commit genocide, only to keep the virgin girls for themselves as wives. Oh except for the portion that are set aside for Yahweh himself. I’m sure there’s nothing sinister behind that.

RE: slavery

Bullshit. Slavery is barbaric and inhumane and ANY being with even an early 20th century system or morality, let alone a supposed all knowing, all loving creator of everything who knows the future.

One thing you don’t mention is that if a master gives the slave a wife who bears him children, THEY stay permanently when his term is up. In that case the slave can ask to remain. Then you drive an awl through his ear and he’s a slave forever. Such compassionate treatment, using a man’s wife and children as hostages to keep him enslaved forever.

Oh and not only is it legal under the bible to sell your daughter as a slave, but she can’t ever leave. Unless her master decides she isn’t good enough in bed in which case her father has to buy her back. Presumeably to sell to someone who will have more fun raping her.

And many of these ‘prisoners of war’ are the families of tribes the Israelites wiped out for kicks. How the FUCK is that justified.

“Their masters still had to treat them fairly”

/spews cola all over keyboard.

Exodus 21:21 you immoral son off a bitch. How the fuck is that fair? What kind of monstrous assholoe are you that you think it is “FAIR” for a man to beat his slave to death and get off scott free as long as the slave survives for a day or two. What the bloody fuck is wrong with you?

“In short it wasn't like the slavery of black or white slaves prior to the Civil War”

Right, it was considerably less civilized. I don’t recall anyone in the deep south selling their children into slavery. Or wiping out entire nations and keeping the young girls as live in concubines.

I really have to thank you for showing more beautifully the problem with religion than I ever could have, In mid 2011, with gays finally getting the rights they are due, black dude in office, and joss whedon getting a major motion picture, I am having a conversation with someone who is claiming that slavery and rape weren’t all that bad.

This is why people like me and Jdude get so ‘mad’ you’ve abandoned all pretence of moral reasoning to exist in scraping, bowing devotion to an imaginary deity whose morality is so incredibly backwards that he makes some of his most fanatical followers look benign. Your religious has made you sacrifice the very things that make us more than a pack of balding apes.