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more about “Inside the Atheists Studio“, posted with vodpod

Guy becomes a guest on his own show while Johnny fills in as host.

Stuff we talk about in this episode:

Music by Steadman

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What REALLY Happened to the Dinosaurs [video]

I decided to take my adaptation of a horrifying creationist children’s book and make a video out of it:

What REALLY Happened to the Dinosaurs

I found this hilariously appalling children’s creationism book available for free download. I decided to improve upon it by replacing the text with my own. You can see the original here (warning: not safe for children).

This is space. In space comets, asteroids, stars, planets, galaxies, and a giant nameless book all orbit the Earth.

This is a list of things to learn about. You can learn everything there is to know about each subject in just one day!

In dinosaur times the Sun looked like a heart and two humans liked to get naked with dangerous animals and one slow one.

Back then it was normal for a naked man to lie with a beast.

A pterodactyl shit on the girl’s face while they were building a pointless sign and road.

Reading makes dinosaurs hungry!

One day a giant Fraggle attacked Tokyo with a rolled-up newspaper!

There was a wooden box with a door and a pixie.

The box marked a mysterious spot underground where all the fossils turned pretty colors and got jumbled up into random layers.

Pterodactyl silhouettes! Quit smiling at the unusually thick rainbow and RUN!

Finally, this badass went around stabbing all the dinosaurs in the face with his double-sided spear. And that’s what REALLY happened to the dinosaurs.

For the record, I realize they would be more accurately called “pterosaurs,” but “pterodactyl” just sounds cooler.

*UPDATE: Watch the video version here.

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PODCAST: lukeprog

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Luke Muehlhauser, author of the blog Common Sense Atheism as well as the Conversations from the Pale Blue Dot podcast.

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Rational Theism (Irony Alert)

What Would Jesus Read? Richard Dawkins.

So, fellow atheist blogger, Drazzel, got me thinking once again about something that baffles me over and over and over. In his post, he relates a story about a friend who called him a “fundamental atheist.” Drazzel rightfully had difficulty even comprehending what that could possibly mean.

As I said, this got me rethinking an old question—why do theists continually try to equate atheists with themselves in debates?
It’s hard for me to make sense of this (as it is with most of the arguments coming from that side). I can’t go a week without hearing “fundamentalist atheist,” or “atheism is a religion,” or “belief in [insert scientific theory here] takes a greater leap of faith than theism” (since I do accept rational scientific theories such as the big bang and evolution by means of natural selection, as do most atheists, I usually ignore the fact that being an atheist doesn’t make someone a “Darwinist” or any other kind of “ist”).
What in gods’ names are they thinking? You would never hear an atheist claim that theism takes just as much rational thought as atheism, or that theism is a science.
What could possibly be beneficial about projecting your own image onto your opponent? Assuming of course that you believe your position is superior.
Let’s take these one by one, shall we?
• Fundamentalist Atheist
Perhaps this is a result of confusing “outspoken” with “fundamentalist.” I do think it would be very hard to be a fundamentalist about not believing something. Fundamentalism takes its beliefs as truth, regardless of what the evidence says.
Is it possible to be a fundamentalist evolutionist? Maybe, but I doubt there are very many of those. But is it possible to be a fundamentalist atheist? I don’t think so. If everyone around you believed that invisible unicorns controlled the traffic signals, you might scream your head off telling them how crazy they are. I don’t think this would make you a fundamentalist.
I should find it difficult to put it any better than Richard Dawkins answering this very charge:

Do not mistake passion, which can change its mind, for fundamentalism, which never will. Passion for passion, an evangelical Christian and I may be evenly matched. But we are not equally fundamentalist. The true scientist, however passionately he may “believe”, in evolution for example, knows exactly what would change his mind: evidence! The fundamentalist knows that nothing will. 

• Atheism is a Religion:
This one is just silly. Sure, religion can be defined many ways, but no coherent definition of religion could ever include atheism.
If you define religion as somewhere along the lines of “a group of people who share a similar worldview or philosophy,” then you would have to include political parties and most fan clubs. I would contest that a worldview is made up of beliefs, not the lack of a particular belief. If this definition is expanded to include people who share a lack of a belief, then we are all part of the A-leprechaunism religion. This definition is not coherent.
Most would define religion to require a shared belief, and beyond that, a supernatural one.
There’s a saying we have, “atheism is a religion like not collecting stamps is a hobby.”
• It Takes a Greater Leap of Faith to Believe in Evolution
… or the big bang, etc., etc. Really? It takes faith to accept scientific facts? I don’t see how.
These are the same people who admit to having faith as the core of their very being. Now they want to assert that they, the faith-heads, can’t match the faith of science. Does this strike anyone else as a bit crooked?
Science is a tool—the best and only tool we have for gaining knowledge about the world around us. When the evidence leads to a logical conclusion, it does not take faith to accept it. If new evidence shows the previous conclusion to be false, science compels us dismiss it. This is what science is.
Faith would require us to persist in our erroneous beliefs, even in the face of such evidence. This is not science.
Show us a better theory supported by evidence to explain the complexity of life on this planet, and we will abandon evolution. Show us the evidence that leads to a better explanation of the universe’s beginning moments and away goes the big bang theory.
Science is built upon doubt and skepticism and argument. There are many things in science that are debated every day, fueling scientists to find the evidence that provides the best explanation. Even the demise of our friendly bird-like dinosaurs is still debated in scientific circles; the fact that dinosaurs kicked the collective bucket long before the first humans primates started walking around is not. When enough evidence is gathered to be utterly overwhelming, and enough peer-review is completed, we accept these things. Like relativity and plate tectonics and evolution.
As Christopher Hitchens so eloquently wrote in God is not Great (admittedly he is not a scientist, but I think his words apply):

Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely solely upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. We do not hold our convictions dogmatically: the disagreement between Professor Stephen Jay Gould and Professor Richard Dawkins, concerning “punctuated evolution” and the unfilled gaps in post-Darwinian theory, is quite wide as well as quite deep, but we shall resolve it by evidence and reasoning and not by mutual excommunication. 


Forgive me if I’ve strayed from my original point, which is that if theists feel they have a stronger position, they should be contrasting rather than comparing themselves with atheists. Of course, I suppose it is possible that those who do this actually realize their position is weaker; bringing us to their level might be an attempt make us look as silly as they know they already do.

Letter from a Christian Nation

Dear School Board of America,

I’m writing this here letter to tell you that you should teach Integillent Design in our school science classes.
Integillent Design is a scientific fact because it says so in the Bible and we know the Bible is fact because there are still monkeys. Unlike evolution, which is just a THEORY.
Now I know some of those damned atheists out there are trying to redefine what a scientific theory is, saying things like, “scientific theories don’t graduate into scientific laws” and “scientific theories are made up of laws, hypotheses and accepted knowledge, and are testable explanations of facts.” What does this jibber-jabber even mean? Now, we all know theories are just guesses, like it says in the Constitution, which was written by the Bible.
These are the same faggot atheists, you see, that are trying to change what atheist means. They want us to believe that “atheism is simply a lack of belief in a god or gods and doesn’t necessitate a belief in Darwinism or anything else, nor does it claim to know for certain that gods or unicorns or leprechauns don’t exist.” Now that’s just horseshit! Jesus said to his pet dinosaur that atheists are queers who worship the devil and pretend not to believe in God because they want to have butt sex and murder babies.
Is this crap what our kids should be learning in science class? No. They should be learning the word of God, which is in the Bible, which we know is true because God said so in the Bible.
Jesusly yours,
John Q. Christiansen

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