Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Atheists preach fiction with zeal


The American Atheist national convention promised, once things settled down from the pandemic, to again hold an annual convention in April 2023, this time right here in Phoenix. It was timed to compete with Easter. Tickets were $249 for adults but a mere $49 for students. They really want to make it easy for the kids, don't they? I assume someone showed up, but I can find no reports on Google of anyone actually doing so. 

It was promised to be a... who are we kidding? Atheists don't promise anything. Who needs promises! Surely they don't want promises. By definition they believe there is absolutely nothing beyond this moment right here. 
If Atheists are right and their is no god, How did we get here?

Several years ago,  their keynote speaker was activist atheist Richard Dawkins. Here's evidence of what an advanced thinker he is:

In his book, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins speculated that in the beginning, Earth had an atmosphere composed of carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia and water. (There is absolutely no proof that Earth ever had such an atmosphere; in fact, the most common source of methane and ammonia is waste from already living matter. But it's the only way his theory works.) 
Then, through energy supplied by sunlight, or perhaps lightning or perhaps exploding volcanoes, these simple compounds were broken apart and then they re-formed into amino acids.
Now, granting him his first assumption about the composition of the atmosphere, then granting him his second assumption about the energizing of it, we are still faced with a problem: the amino acids he claims were formed in this mysterious way would have immediately begun breaking down again and returning to the compounds of CO2, methane, ammonia and water from which they supposedly formed. 
But not in Dawkins’ world. 
Somehow, a variety of these amino acids gradually accumulated in the sea, and then found each other, and then combined into protein-like compounds. (It takes 50 such amino acids, linked in exactly the right combination, to make ONE protein, but okay.)

Then, according to Dawkins’ description, “a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident”—a molecule that had the ability to reproduce itself. His origin of life theory continues that similar molecules, having somehow miraculously found each other, decided to cluster together. Then, again by an exceedingly improbable accident, they wrapped a protective barrier of other protein molecules around themselves as a membrane to prevent the amino acids from being reabsorbed into the methane/ammonia soup.
Then what, Mr. Dawkins? Does it end, ‘and they all lived happily ever after’?
Though he admits that such an accident was exceedingly improbable, he maintains that it must nevertheless have happened. Why? Because we are here.
Wait: that’s not the scientific method I was taught in school.
  • Theory: The Moon is made of green cheese.
  • Test: Fly men to the moon.
  • Result: Men bring back rock samples, no cheese.
  • New theory: The Moon is made of green cheese but it's covered in rocks…
How many trips to the Moon does it take, how deep do you have to dig, before you formulate a new theory that doesn't include green cheese?
Dawkins’ theory – and honestly, it doesn't even rise to the level of "theory" – was proposed some time ago. Not surprisingly, a line in the preface of that book read: “This book should be read almost as though it were science fiction.”  

More recently, Robert Shapiro, professor emeritus of chemistry at New York University, said that Dawkins’ theory of the spontaneous popping into existence of self-replicating nucleotides was exactly that: fiction
“No nucleotides of any kind have been reported as products of spark-discharge experiments,” he said.
And not for lack of trying. Scientists have been trying every combination of ingredients and energy they can think of for over a century; no luck.
Shapiro stated that the probability of such a self-replicating RNA molecule randomly assembling from a pool of chemical building blocks “is so vanishingly small that its happening even once anywhere in the visible universe would count as a piece of exceptional good luck.”
Nevertheless, Shapiro, Dawkins, and many other scientists believe that this or something like it happened - not just once, but over and over again! 
How is it possible that the intelligent design work of thousands of (presumably) intelligent scientists has failed, where blind chance is believed to have succeeded?
Dawkins’ improbable fairy tale about self-replicating RNA and organic soup having been completely discredited, with no realistic alternative being offered by any other evolutionist, one would think he would at least consider the possibility that his pet theory is wrong. But that is completely unacceptable. 
According to him, “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane or wicked.” Well, nice to see he’s keeping an open mind.
Dawkins claims that evolution “is as much a fact as the heat of the sun.” Really? I can apply the scientific method to measuring the heat of the sun. But how do I measure evolution when the only theory of life’s origins – spontaneous generation and reproduction of amino acids in an organic soup – has been shot down and no other origin theory has been proposed to replace it? And don't talk to me about Earth being 'seeded' with life by a meteorite from outer space. That doesn't solve the problem, it just moves it to another place.
In his book The Blind Watchmaker, Dawkins admitted that “some species of the unjustly called ‘primitive’ amoebas have as much information in their DNA as 1,000  Encyclopædia Britannicas.” Yet he blindly, fervently maintains that such encyclopædias evolved from the already dis-proven life-origin fairy tale.
Here’s another Dawkins gem: “Evolution could so easily be disproved if just a single fossil turned up in the wrong date order. Evolution has passed this test with flying colors.”
National Geographic referred to the fossil record as “a film of evolution from which 999 of every 1,000 frames have been lost on the cutting-room floor.” They weren't lost, any more than cut film is lost. It is deliberately removed because it doesn't fit the vision of the movie maker. Similarly, the 'lost' fossils were ignored because they didn’t fit with the preconceived notions of the evolutionary paleontologists who dug them up.
Says zoologist Henry Gee (an evolutionist, by the way): “To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”
To be fair, it must be pointed out that, while Dawkins has always been an evolutionist, his atheism only became rabid after 9/11. He said: “Science flies you to the moon. Religion flies you into buildings.”
But saying there is no God because some – or even most – religionists are hypocritical hate-mongers is throwing out the baby with the bath water.
Dawkins, if he has read the Bible at all, claims it is “just plain weird, as you would expect of a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents, composed, revised, translated, distorted and 'improved' by hundreds of anonymous authors, editors and copyists, unknown to us and mostly unknown to each other, spanning nine centuries.”
Well, it was written over 16 centuries, not nine, and Dawkins clearly knows nothing of the care the copyists took to pass it on accurately. And the fact that its message, from “love your neighbor as yourself” in Moses’ day to “love covers a multitude of sins” 1600 years later in Paul’s day argues against Dawkins’ characterization of it as ‘a chaotically cobbled-together anthology of disjointed documents.”
“Yahweh,” he says, "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser, a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”
We can forgive Dawkins not knowing what godly jealousy is. But as for the other pejoratives:
  • Unjust: He gave Adam and Eve better clothes than they had made for themselves even after they had just trespassed on his property and stolen from him. He granted the first murderer, Cain, immunity from the death penalty that even Cain believed was his due.
  • Megalomaniacal: When the population of Babylon defied His command to disperse, a “megalomaniacal” god would have destroyed them. Yet Yahweh simply confused their languages.
  • Racist: He caused it to be recorded that all humans descended from the same family – something, by the way, that your god, Darwin, did not believe; and that Darwinian belief, that their are different races of humans based on their looks, was and is a primary cause of most of the racism that has persisted down to our day.
  • Misogynistic: Why were the books of Esther and Ruth written? Why record the accounts of Sarah, Rebekah, Miriam, Jael, Hannah or Abigail?
  • Infanticidal: In the account of Moses’ birth it was Pharaoh who was infanticidal, not God.
  • Ethnic cleanser: Sure… the Canaanites were wiped off the face of the earth at God’s command - not because of their ethnicity, but because of their disobedience to God's laws. What Dawkins and his fellow atheists overlook is, first, that God gave them 400 years in close association with His people to learn to change their ways (Genesis 15:16); secondly, their way of life, much like the world we live in today, had become a Sodom and Gomorrah on a large scale, centering on disgusting sexual practices and zero respect for life. Archaeological digs turn up a multitude of evidence of infanticide, torture, and temple prostitution. According to Halley’s Bible Handbook: “Archaeologists who dig in the ruins of Canaanite cities wonder that God did not destroy them sooner than he did."
 As to some of the other adjectives, “homophobic” literally means fear of homosexuals; God fears no one. “Filicidal” refers to killing one’s own son. It was the Jewish nation, in league with the Romans, who killed God’s son. “Sadomasochistic” has to do with getting sexual pleasure from giving or receiving pain… I got nothing. I can't think of a single passage that could be twisted to paint God as sadomasochistic. I think Dawkins was caught up in his own rhetoric.
True, religious nuts have given Dawkins plenty of ammunition. Another of his famous quotes: “Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper, distinctly heard the voice of Jesus telling him to kill women, and he was locked up for life.” But, Mr. Dawkins, as you say, “he was locked up for life.” You say Sutcliffe’s craziness proves God doesn’t exist, I say the jury’s justice proves He does.
The NatGeo channel told the story of a “murder” within a troop of chimps. The murderous chimp wasn’t brought to justice. He continued interacting with the rest of the chimps as if nothing had happened. Justice is a trait we copy from God, not something we evolved from apes.

In Dawkins’ own words, “In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice.”
If there is no justice, no rhyme or reason to life, why get out of bed in the morning? Why try to prolong life, try to improve one’s mind, manners, or lot in life? For that matter, why spend the $249 to attend an atheist’s convention?
As I've said in previous articles on the subject, atheists are whistling in the dark. Their vociferousness doesn’t prove the absence of God. The louder they get, the more they prove their real meaning: they wish they could prove God doesn’t exist, but they know they can’t wish Him away.
Your polite comments are welcome. You can read another of my columns on Creation versus Evolution here.
 Bill K. Underwood is the author of several books, all available at Amazon.com. You can help support this site by purchasing a book.

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