Monday, 9 September 2013

The Anne Jones's World post

This is my "Anne Jones's World" post, as it originally appeared on Pharyngula:

I’ve long believed that there are numerous liberal policies that have contributed to the moral decline, and collapse of marriage and family, in the US and UK especially. Here are some changes that I’d like to see. Feel free to tear into it if you think you have better ideas.

I think other people should make similar lists, they might spice the forums up a bit. It would be interesting to see what your world would look like, and might spark some debates.

1. Abortion - Life begins at conception. Abortions may only be performed in approved medical facilities by licensed doctors, in the case of rape, incest, child molestation, or legitimate concerns for the life of the mother and her future reproductive ability. If such abortions involve a minor, her parents/legal guardian must be notified prior to procedure and consent given. No one, in any position, other than a parent may suggest, or make recommendations to a minor about abortion. Anyone performing an unapproved abortion, or wilfully contributing to the death of an unborn child will be charged with murder.

Abortions will be outside the scope of practice for all agencies such as Planned Parenthood, whether public or private. Women seeking counseling or services relating to abortion will be referred to the appropriate medical professionals.

2. Divorce - Changes will take effect 6 months from today. No-Fault Divorce is gone. In order to obtain a divorce, the plaintiff must show abuse or neglect of spouse or children, or adultery. During the 6 month grace period, currently married couples may still file for divorce under the no-fault law. The new law will not effect any divorce currently in progress.

3. Marriage and Parenting - Marriage is defined as one man and one woman. Current relationships not meeting that definition, yet recognized as a marriage, are immediately dissolved.

All marriage licenses will go back to showing one husband and one wife, only. All birth certificates will list only the biological mother and biological father.

A parent is defined as a biological mother or father, adoptive mother or father, step-mother or step-father, foster mother or foster father. A homosexual may be recognized as a parent only if they are the biological mother or father. Procreation by those living openly in a homosexual relationship is discouraged, and repeated offenses by homosexuals will subject them to criminal penalties. Any person, homosexual or otherwise, who knowingly assists a homosexual in becoming pregnant, or with the procurement of a child, with the intent of that child being raised as part of a homosexual “family”, will be guilty of a felony, if convicted.

4. Adoption - Adoption exists as a means of providing a loving home and family for children whose biological parents are unable to care for them. Children will only be adopted by married heterosexual couples that have been licensed by the state’s child welfare system. These laws are also applicable to all private agencies, surrogates, and private citizens willfully terminating their parental rights in favor of adoption, as well as adoption from foreign countries. These laws will not affect any current placements, or adoption proceedings currently in progress involving married heterosexual couples.

*Exception- If deemed beneficial to the child by mental health professionals, children who have suffered trauma from sexual abuse, rape, etc., may be adopted by single males or females. These single parents will be licensed as other adoptive parents are, in addition they will have specialized training provided by the state for dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse in children.

5. Assisted Reproductive Technologies(ART)/ Surrogacy - The use of ART or surrogacy will be confined to married heterosexual couples, who have been married for at least one year. It is illegal to obtain or provide ART or surrogacy services by or to any non-married individuals or couples, or same-sex individuals or couples. Sperm banks are also forbidden from providing donor sperm to non-approved couples or individuals.

Anyone acting as a surrogate will register with, and be licensed by their state’s department of health. They will undergo medical and psychological evaluations by state approved professionals, as well as criminal background checks. Surrogates will obtain insurance, and be held financially responsible for reimbursement of expenses in the case that she is not able to deliver a child to the prospective parents. The surrogate will bear the full expense of all insurance and licensing requirements, and the state may impose a licensing fee to help cover administrative costs.

Any private citizen who fails to fulfil licensing requirements, or knowingly assists a non-approved couple or individual in obtaining a child, or pregnancy, shall be guilty of a felony upon conviction.

6. Sex-Reassignment - Sex change operations and hormone replacement therapy are banned. If a person wishes to go to another country to obtain such services, they will surrender their US citizenship. This does not apply to people who are born with gender irregularity or ambiguous genitalia. Those situations will be dealt with by parents and medical professionals. Whatever procedures and therapies are necessary will remain available for those affected individuals.

7. Alternate Lifestyles in the Public Arena - Alternate lifestyles such as homosexuality or transgenderism in one’s private life will not be made illegal, but expression of those lifestyles shall remain private. Further, propaganda portraying alternate lifestyles in a positive light will be banned. Fines and penalties for disseminating propaganda, written or verbal, or public displays to or around children below 18 will be doubled.

8. Sex Education - Schools will offer sex education courses as an elective, requiring informed written consent to the curriculum, by the parents/guardians. These courses will be segregated by gender and will focus on personal responsibility for any and all sexual behaviour. They will encourage children to wait until married before engaging in sexual activity, and will stress that sex between a man and a wife is the only acceptable form of sexual expression. Students will be taught the available methods of birth control and disease prevention, but school personnel will not assist students with obtaining such. These issues will be referred to the parent/guardian.

9. Other School Issues:

a) Corporal punishment will be re-instituted in public schools and will be enforced by the Principal, at his/her discretion, but will be used only after 2 other attempts to change the offensive behavior have failed, including parental notification.

b) Schools will include a strong campaign against bullying. This campaign will be all-inclusive, not favoring or focusing on any group in particular. It will stress the importance of treating all people with respect, and bullying against any person for any reason, on school grounds, will be dealt with by appropriate disciplinary measures. This campaign will also strive to teach children the difference between protected rights to free speech, and bullying. It will encourage students to respect free speech rights even when they don’t like what is being said.

School officials will not take action against a student, or be held responsible for any behaviour not occurring on school grounds. This includes all electronic devices, unless the offense is committed on a school computer. If school officials become aware of such behaviour that is occurring away from school, they are required to report the behaviour to administrators who will contact the parents.

c) Schools will have at least one teacher or administrator per wing, trained, licensed, and in possession of a concealed weapon. In lieu of school personnel, licensed guards may be hired.

d) Prayer is a reasonable form of religious expression and will be allowed in public schools. No one shall be required to take part in prayer, and shall not be discriminated against for not doing so. If religious beliefs require a child to pray at different times throughout the day, he will be allowed to go out in the hallway and do so. No other special accommodations shall be required of public or private schools, voluntary measures are at the school’s discretion.

e) Religious studies will be made available at each grade level, as an option. Curricula will be designed to distinguish between empirically supported scientific facts, and theoretical science. That which is theoretical shall be presented as such, with other theories also presented, with no preference given to any particular theory. Micro-evolution may be taught as a legitimate scientific theory that is supported by evidence. If macro-evolution, Universal Common Ancestry, is taught, it must be taught as a belief akin to Creation Theory, until such a time as it is proven to be the origin of biological life on earth. The same applies to any theoretical claims for the origin of the universe.

10. Hate Crimes - All hate crimes legislation shall be abolished. All violent crimes are hate crimes, and more severe penalties will be handed down for violent crimes.

11. Protected Classes and Discrimination - Reasonable attempts will be made to guard against discrimination of people based on race, nationality, gender, age, or physical handicap.

Discrimination should be discouraged, however property rights and ownership must be respected. A business owner, landlord, etc., shall not be required to employ or rent to, anyone that he doesn’t see as a good fit.

No organization that owns property shall be required to rent that property, or allow its use by any group, or for any purpose, that it deems counter to its mission.

12. Religion - Public displays such as the Ten Commandments and nativity scenes will be allowed on public property as no one is harmed by their presence. Anyone filing suit on religious grounds must show actual physical or mental damages caused by the alleged action. Plaintiff will be held responsible financially for all court costs and attorney fees if his complaint is not upheld.

13. Recreational Drugs - All recreational drugs are illegal. No such drugs shall be sold, or possessed, by any entity for any purpose. Drugs used for medicinal purposes shall be approved by the FDA.

14. Firearms- Citizens must be 18 years of age to own a firearm, and must pass a gun safety course, which will certify the owner as a safe operator, and a qualified shooter. Hunting rifles and shotguns are excepted, with parents/guardians held responsible for youth ownership and use. Criminal background checks and psychological clearance shall be required to purchase any firearm. Concealed carry permits also require a background check and yearly psychological clearance, and require registration of carrier as well as his/her weapon/s, with local law enforcement. Anyone convicted of a violent crime or felony will not be allowed to purchase or possess any firearm. No further restrictions on ownership will be allowed.

Any building, public or private, may require registration of concealed weapons upon entry, but may not ban, or otherwise interfere with, a legal carrier of a registered weapon without cause.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Response to Pharyngula on Anne Jones's World issue that got me banned

So, in lieu of not being allowed back in Pharyngula, and also largely recognising that it would be completely pointless to try getting back in with a sockpuppet account, I'm replying here from now on. So without further adieu, here's the most important points (in between the abuse and accusations that were levelled my way) that I feel compelled to address. This relates to Anne Jones's World post I made in the Thunderdome of which Part 1 is here, and Part 2 follows on shortly after words. So here we go, and I'm going to try and tone down on anything that might be labelled as overly derogatory:

9b) sounds great, but the trouble with it is that teachers have no idea what's going on in a classroom while they aren't looking. Most bullying is never brought to the attention of any authority figure; and when it is, they almost inevitably know so little about it that they often take useless or even counterproductive measures, indeed, they routinely misunderstand the situation and blame the victim. Plus, from the kids perspective, the teachers are the enemy; telling on a bully is therefore considered treason. Guess what happens next. To simply claim that "bullying [...] will be dealt with" (my emphasis) is breathtakingly naïve. It's not how the world works.

I agree that those things are factors that affect the overall effectiveness of a program designed to curb bullying, but the only hope for changing those issues lies with changing the minds of those who witness or become aware of the behavior. Officials can't act if they don't know that it's happening and that's an inherent weakness of all anti-bullying campaigns. The goal is to convince kids that helping to rid the school of bullying makes it safer and more enjoyable for everyone, including themselves. If they become a victim of a bully, they would want others to do the right thing and report it to officials. We need to convince kids that bullying others is wrong, while at the same time show them that they, as a whole, benefit greatly from the concept of self-policing their own school.

As for not focusing on protecting particular groups there is good reason for not doing so. An anti-gay-bullying campaign, for instance, singles those people out and reinforces the notion that that group of people is somehow different than others, and I believe that message is counter-productive. I think it's best to teach that in the school setting, there is no room for treating ANYONE as being different, and not deserving of the same respect that you would like to receive. aren't aware, or don't care, that empirical evidence shows that corporal punishment is psychologically harmful to children: ... It's also wrong in principle.
I haven't done a great deal of research on this but thus far I have seen no empirical evidence that doesn't suffer from methodological issues that make it irrelevant to a discussion on corporal punishment in school. The link you posted, for instance, uses children who were subjected to other punishments that go beyond merely getting a swat by the principal. The author defines these actions as "harsh", and I would agree...

"The present research investigated the possible link between harsh physical punishment (i.e., pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, and hitting)..."
Secondly, the study environment was the home, and parents were the ones performing the behaviors. There is no doubt that the environment will be a more emotional one, and other factors may also be present that aren't being reported by the parents. Factors such as name calling, insults, even more harsh actions than those being reported, etc., are all much more likely to take place in an emotionally charged situation in the home...

"Harsh physical punishment, even in the absence of child maltreatment,..."
The researcher tries to isolate the action from any other factors involved in the situation but I find it hard to believe that someone who otherwise seems to be a decent parent, would just resort to "pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping, and hitting" their child without other factors playing into the emotion of the situation. None of that would be at play in the school setting.

Those things combine to make most studies irrelevant to the discussion. If research exists I'm willing to look at it, but I'm aware of nothing that establishes a causal link between corporal punishment in the school, and any known negative outcomes. Like I said, it would be used only after other methods have failed, and in conjunction with parental knowledge that it was going to happen, if the behaviour continues. Further, it is not mandatory, and school administrators are free to use their own discretion in cases where it may not be appropriate, or may choose not to use it at all. It is merely a tool in their belt that acts as a deterrent by simply being there.

Deliberately inflicting pain on children in humiliating and degrading ways teaches them that their bodies are not their own and that people with power have the right to hurt them, and teaches them that violence is the right way to solve problems and enforce social control. These are not good lessons.

I disagree, I didn't learn any of those lessons nor did millions of others who were raised the same way, and went to the same kinds of schools that I did. What I learned was that if I want people to respect me, then I have to show that same respect for others. I learned that adults make rules for a reason, not just because they need something to do, and that as a child I was going to be expected to follow those rules or there were going to be consequences. As I gained maturity I learned that those rules were for my own good, and that I should show respect for those who know things that I don't, and are looking out for my well-being.

Now onto the abortion section:
Life began billions of years ago.

I was referring to the life of any particular individual.

Why are parents being given control over whether or not to risk their child"s life? Isn"t that a violation of the child's rights?
A child is still a minor child and is the responsibility of the parents until age 18, or the child is emancipated.

You want untrained people making medical recommendations as opposed to trained ones?

No, medical decisions will be made by the individual in consultation with medical professionals.

[Anne Jones's proposal to charge people with murder] is actually in direct contradiction to the Bible, where the punishment for murder is separate for the punishment to killing a foetus.

I'm not sure I agree with that statement but without knowing what you're referring to I can't comment. Here is a good, short article on the Biblical stance on abortion...

Planned parenthood actually has many trained professionals on hand for this sort of thing; the only reason you're cutting them out, I assume, is your weird assumption that PP is some sort of abortion mill.

Yes, I do view any and all abortion clinics as mills thus they will be closed, but maybe PP can get into the spay and neuter business for animals.

Once someone is pregnant, the decision on reproduction and planning has already been made. From that point it is no longer an issue of deciding whether to become a parent, with the exceptions that I mentioned, and no longer requires those trained in counselling women on whether to get pregnant or not, and methods of birth control. From that point on it is a medical issue to be dealt with by medical professionals.

Also, the idea that a foetus is a person does not change the fact that denying control of ones body is a violation of human rights, which is exactly what your proposal would do to thousands of women who do not want to be pregnant and who do not want to be treated as mere incubators.

All I can say is that I'm sorry that those women take such an immature irresponsible view of the situation that their own actions, have caused. That's not to imply that the male isn't equally as irresponsible, or equally as deserving of being held responsible for his actions.

Women who argue for abortion need to back up a step and realize that babies don't just randomly pop into their bodies. They are the result of irresponsibility on that woman's part. Sexual promiscuity produces pregnancy, and they know this yet they do it anyway. If they don't want their bodies to be used as incubators, then they need to act in a way that prevents the incubator from being loaded. That solves the problem, without resorting to killing babies as a means of birth control.

[Anne Jones also said that "intentionally ending a human life is murder"]. Maybe, but choosing not to let someone else use your organs is a normal choice for humans. If you're not cavilling that people should be forced to give up their organs in any other sense, uteri should be no different. Also, I'm a human life. I'm about 2000% sure that if my life required a kidney transplant, you would be against the state mandating that kidney transplant from you (assuming you were a match).

If I were personally responsible for you having the condition that requires the transplant, then I would have no problem with the state mandating that. Bottom line is that the two people having sex are responsible for putting themselves in that position, and their predicament was totally avoidable. They chose to take the risk and now they will be held responsible for their actions.

What is the point of your divorce proposals, other than punishing people who made a mistake? The beauty of "no fault" divorce is that you don't need to prove abuse or neglect, since such things are notoriously difficult to prove. Also, you said: "no one is required to marry someone that they don't love", But, by your reasoning, one is required to stay in a marriage to someone they do not love. You seem to think that relationship are static rather than dynamic. You also make it significantly harder for one in an abusive relationship to leave their abuser; you've ignored that particular criticism.

Most areas have domestic abuse laws that didn't exist decades ago, and those laws require the abuser to be arrested. Even if he flees the scene, he risks being found if he comes back. In the meantime, the wife can get a restraining order (police should be able to issue these on-site). Standards of proof for divorce cases will be less strict than criminal cases because we are not dealing with confining someone to jail.

Also, commitment's already in marriage. Do you think divorce is easy? No-fault restricts the punitive aspects, yes, but that doesn't mean it's some cakewalk, either legally or emotionally. And uh, actually people are not much less forced to marry now as they have been historically (Social pressure can be a terrible thing). People have always been in unhappy marriages; that's why divorce, solely amongst Europeans, has existed for more than a millennia (Let alone anyone else). We just restricted it nonsensically.

I'm not as hard-line and totally unopposed to negotiation on this issue as I am on say, abortion. I'm open to suggestions that help accomplish the goals of discouraging people from rushing into marriage, or running out of it once they run into some trouble. The relationship between two people is one thing, but once they bring kids into the mix, the landscape changes and the kids become priority one, for me, not the adults.

Now onto my sex education proposal:

Do the parents also get to decide that their child does not get to learn math?

I'm not sure that any parents have a problem with their child being taught the 3 R's.

What is the point [of segregating on gender]?

I think it would be a more comfortable environment where kids will be more apt to ask questions because all the other kids in the class will be facing the exact same issues. It also allows the teacher to focus on issues that are unique to that gender.

Given that you allow gay lifestyles above (in private at least), the word "only" is wrong [in the sentence "only acceptable form"].

No, the "only acceptable form" is exactly the idea that I mean to portray. That we allow sexual behaviour between consenting adults in the privacy of the home doesn't mean that we are condoning it as acceptable. It simply means that what you do in your home sexually is your choice.

[Since you're not allowing schools to assist kids with getting access to condoms and birth control,] will you also be teaching kids how to use a seat belt, and then cutting them out of cars they drive?

I'm missing the connection here.

Defining marriage according to the biological productivity of a relationship inhibits arbitrarily, while a definition that allows for any two consenting adults to marry does not. It's the state saying "No, you can't enjoy the benefits of married life ever, and you can"' list yourselves as married without suffering retribution", the latter especially in your model. Whereas in mine, nothing stops you from campaigning against gay people except your concern for other people's opinions of you. Claiming that your proposal "allows for what you approve of while still prohibiting others" is too ambiguous to parse well.

It doesn't inhibit arbitrarily, nature decides. The natural biological productivity of the male/female relationship, along with the complementarity of the two genders, are what made people realize the significance of that relationship, in the first place. It is not something that we have decided arbitrarily over the years, it is simply something that is natural, and its significance recognized as something that is fundamental to the existence of our species. When a man and woman enter into such a relationship, it is called marriage.

And marriage has never been natural. [There is no such thing as "marriages" in the rest of the animal kingdom].

I have to concede that I'd be quite surprised to learn that gorillas can get a break by filing a joint tax return, but I think you'd be hard pressed to prove that animals don't recognize another as its mate, or recognize the importance of family, which is about as close as we can expect to see in creatures that are so fundamentally different than us. See video.

Now for sex reassignment:

does the revoking of US Citizenship apply to all crimes, or just sex reassignment?

I'm not revoking anything, it is being voluntarily surrendered. The choice rests entirely with them.

Also, does body dysphonia count as "gender irregularity"?

No, it is a mental disorder and has nothing to do with whether you're biologically male or female.

Now for the prayer issue:

[it was a school board who the atheist group from Wisconsin tried to stop.] School boards are not students, and your proposed change doesn't address this.

Yes, I realize it was a school board but the student's action was in protest against the school board being bullied by the atheist group. By labelling prayer a legitimate form of religious expression, that means that no group has the authority to stop people who want to pray, from doing so. Likewise, an atheist can't be forced to participate in prayer.

I'm curious as to what damages the group from Wisconsin might have suffered as a result of the school board in South Carolina praying before their meeting.

Also, the valedictorian represents the student body, not his or herself. If you want to express prayer at your graduation, do it on behalf of yourself, not the entire student body

He did so on his own behalf. The valedictorian earned the honour of speaking at graduation through his own hard work, he is not there as an elected representative of the student body.

And now, lastly, for the "perversions" issue.

freedom of speech explicitly means being able to promote "perversion" in public, especially without the threat of state power hanging over our heads. The entire concept revolves around the right to make political statements (Like "Gay people are normal people", because the world is messed up enough to question it in the real world, let alone your vision) without the state threatening to punish you based on the contents of your beliefs, or your willingness to share them. I differ from most socialists in that I don't agree with the absolutist form that they tend to demand, but I don't hail myself as a defender of Free Speech as you do.

I would not give free speech rights to paedophiles, animal lovers, or those involved in incest, that allows them to promote their sexual behaviour as normal. Just like homosexuality, they are aberrant sexual behaviours which are, by definition, abnormal.

That should suffice. I hope to get a good array of responses.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Post FTB Fallout

Alright, since I'm now banned from FTB (and no, I'm not going to start claiming that my freedom of speech has been violated since I can in fact post here and elsewhere to express my views), I should tackle some of the inane drivel that led to me being cast out on the basis of so-called "bigotry". I'm currently working on tackling a lot of the stuff, but I'll very quickly say that it fascinates me that people have become so morally bankrupt to believe that publicly engaging in and promoting such perverse behavior was actually something that the founding fathers meant to include protections for, contrary to all those whining about how my "Anne's World" vision was supposedly violating the First Amendment.

A good bunch of the straw-men within the responses claim that I wish to take some kind of authoritarian control over the "morals" of several generations. I'm sure they'd be curious to know what happens to liberal parents who want to instil such morals into their children in Anne's world.

They can raise their kids with whatever morals they wish, so long as they realize that the PC world that you currently enjoy, doesn't exist anymore. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and calling wrong right is BS. If they advocate for BS, they're going to get called on it.

Here in Anne's World we don't kill babies and justify sexual irresponsibility by refusing to call the result a baby. We don't teach children that girls have penises and boys have vaginas, and that girls with penises can use the normal girl's bathroom, locker room, etc. We don't teach kids that dorking your BFF in the anus is just as respectable an endeavor as marrying a woman and raising children in a home with their mother and father, etc., etc.

Anyhow, working on addressing the remaining stuff, and have to go to work now. Toodles!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

This blog has been created as part of a debate I have began at FreeThoughtBlogs, regarding my Creationist/ID views. I have had feedback to my initial posting of my views over at, but I'm reposting this here because I'd also like feedback from someone who featured quite prominently in my initial post, namely one Greta Christina - author of "Why Are You Atheists So Angry? 99 Things That Piss Off The Godless" for whom I paraphrased certain comments she made within the context of one of her chapters. I have reposted this post at her blog, , only to be essentially told that the only way any such discussion was going to happen was if I hosted it on a blog of my own, so here I am.

So here in full, then, is the post I made. Her response, in addition to the feedback I've gotten from those at Pharyngula, will prove enormously helpful in formulating a rebuttal, if indeed I do so:

Hello, I’m a Christian ID and Creationism advocate, and I’d like to take issue with the scientific method and the derision of Christian beliefs and creationism/ID as established fact.

It is a myth that science and Christianity are at war, one owes its existence to the other. There is a great deal of accord between Christianity and science, and science is one of the greatest sources of evidence for the Christian worldview, in fact.

People tell me that science is great because it “eliminates biases” and when applied “properly”, it’s becomes true even if the testers are biased. I’d word this differently (because the scientific method absolutely does NOT always prove the theory)…instead, I would say that it provides reliable results that either confirm or disconfirm the hypothesis (the theory only comes into existence after a hypothesis is tested and confirmed).

Most early day scientists were Christian, and many of them still do believe in God/the soul/the metaphysical/basic creationist theories. In fact, many are brought to this belief by the things they find in science. Why do you think this is, everyone?

I then get people responding by saying “Oh, but those early day Christian scientists actually tried scientific experiments in order to prove that those things were existent and what their true natures were so that all the arguments about them could be settled once and for all!” But I would like someone to list those experiments that secular “science-minded” atheists claim did this. The fact is that this isn’t what happened at all. What happened is that natural philosophers explored nature as a way to learn more about God. They believed that nature was rational and discoverable because God made it and He made us with the ability to discover it. I don’t doubt there were a few people here or there who tried to prove a point. But early science was an exploration of nature, and it was motivated by a belief that nature was discoverable because God made it.

An atheist friend pointed me to a book by Greta Christina just released. I actually found it quite entertaining, and had empathy for a lot of her complaints. That said, her Chapter 8 (“Evidence against God” or something like that) was utter garbage, especially when she mentioned this (and I’m going by memory here, because I don’t own the book, I only borrowed it, but I took a note of this phrase because of how memorable it was):
contrary to the rigorously-gathered, carefully-tested, thoroughly cross-checked, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, replicated, peer-reviewed research that has obeyed the Gold Standard of scientific evidence wherein methods have been used to filter out biases and cognitive errors as much as humanly possible” evidence that is gathered for evolution, creationism/ID/God claims only stands after careless, casual examination based on wishful thinking and confirmation bias

This is interesting. Because it’s exactly these forms of studies that have pointed to the incredible fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe. And it’s not merely Christians who are claiming this. Most cosmologists, Christian or otherwise, scratch their heads over this extraordinary finding in nature. The same can be said for the evidence pointing to the beginning of the universe out of non-being and other areas.

Further, the mere existence of the Placebo Effect is evidence that naturalism (which you seem to profess) is wrong. The Placebo Effect could not exist in a purely naturalistic universe where all operates on cause/effect. Given that that placebo has no causative powers, there is no effect possible. And yet the one taking it believes there that powerful medicine is at work, so there is a change (and this has been seen in profound areas like Parkinsons Disease symptoms being reduced by simply believing in the sugar pill). This points to an unembodied consciousness with the ability to impact the physical body.

Add to this things like the peer-reviewed studies by Pim van Lommel (published in the medical journal Lancet) confirming the existence of Near Death Experiences (and by this, I mean extra-body experiences where people have verifiable experiences of people and places and conversations at geographic distance from where their body lies on an operating table…in some cases, these are people born blind who have never seen anything their whole life, but are able to accurately describe what they see while “dead”)…bottom line, atheists, science is on OUR side here!

Greta Christina also mentioned something about (again, just paraphrasing here) :
poor understandings/instincts of creationists/IDers/Goddists when it comes to probability, and the tendency of creationists/IDers/Goddists to see patterns and intentions where none exists, in addition to intrinsic cognitive biases and weird human brain wiring that creationists/IDers have
Here, we just have a garbled mess that’s a mixture of ad hominem (“you don’t understand probability”) and false claims (“your brains are wired wrong”). She’s likely talking about some books released about our brains being wired to believe in God, and perhaps the “God Helmet” experiments.

First, the “brain is wired” arguments have been disproven because no single area of the brain has been shown to be “the spot” for this sort of thing (I can go into more depth on this if you want to walk down that alley). And the “God Helmet” nonsense is just that…people aren’t Christians because they have an ecstatic experience. We are because we have weighed the evidence, we have reasoned logically, and we concluded that the best answer is that God exists.

It’s not shallow thinking. It’s not bad wiring. It’s rigorous deductive conclusions based on evidence of multiple sorts.

Us creationists and Christians also get accused of by many atheists (including you in your book) of:
They are completely dishonest, for one main reason: their claims have failed to stand up to serious testing
I don’t think the case is as open and shut as you guys claim. I tend not to spend a great deal of time advocating for ID, and ID is not part of why I believe in God. I’m okay with the idea that evolution may have played a significant role in our present complexity. I do not accept that it happened alone, and I draw that conclusion for two reasons:

1. Scientific studies pointing out that the age of our solar system is not old enough for unguided evolutionary processes alone to have been responsible for life’s present complexity

2. The absence of any explanation for how life sprang into being out of non-life

In summary, guys, it seems that you’re quite willing to mischaracterize Christians, post things that are unsubstantiated claims without any support or evidence, and proclaim victory. That doesn’t work here, I’m afraid. If you want to make the case that Christianity is at war with science, you’re welcome to do so. But I can show you a number of very prominent scientists who arrived at their faith based on the very science you claim is conclusively against Christianity.

In fact, I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes that may help:

Paul Davies (British astrophysicist):
“There is for me powerful evidence that there is something going on behind it all….It seems as though somebody has fine-tuned nature’s numbers to make the Universe….The impression of design is overwhelming”.
- from “The Cosmic Blueprint”

Alan Sandage (winner of the Crawford prize in astronomy):
“I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery but is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing.”
- from the article “Sizing up the Cosmos: An Astronomers Quest” in New York Times

Frank Tipler (Professor of Mathematical Physics):
“When I began my career as a cosmologist some twenty years ago, I was a convinced atheist. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that one day I would be writing a book purporting to show that the central claims of Judeo-Christian theology are in fact true, that these claims are straightforward deductions of the laws of physics as we now understand them. I have been forced into these conclusions by the inexorable logic of my own special branch of physics.”
- from his book “The Physics of Immortality”

In fact, here is a brief interview of Dr. Francis Collins, who was once an atheist, set out to prove his atheism was true, and then decided that God does exist after all: . And here is a much longer lecture he gave, in which he talks about the evidence for God and why he left his atheism for Christianity:

Collins is, as you may know, part of the human genome project and one of the most highly regarded scientists in the US today.

Bottom line, atheists, your confidence in this matter is quite overblown. You may assert all you’d like. But the facts do not support your certainty.