Thursday, 14 May 2015

Stupid atheist beliefs meme.

You know the one. I'm sure of it. But, in case you don't...




I see it quite often and I'm sure you do too. Most recently in this tweet directed to me: 

As you well know, this meme is wrong on every level. I'm going to write a deconstruction to send to anyone who sends me this in the future. 

"Atheism: The belief..."
Wrong. Although there's always discussion around this, atheism is not the belief of anything. It's just not believing there's a god. 

"that there was nothing..."
I don't know what was there before the big bang happened. Neither do you. Nor does anyone else. Was it nothing? Was it a 'singularity'? Was it a 'kind' of nothing that physicists see differently to how others see nothing? Speculation abounds. But I don't know anyone who says it was 'nothing'. How can 'nothing' exist? 

"and nothing happened to the nothing"
One of the more ludicrous lines in the meme. I'm not sure what happened, but clearly 'something' happened. 

"and then nothing magically exploded for no reason,"
I didn't 'magically' explode. It didn't even explode, it expanded. And it wasn't, of course, for no reason. The Lawrence Krauss hypothesis 'A Universe From Nothing' explains a possibility to do with events at the quantum level. I don't understand it fully. I suspect no one does, maybe even Krauss himself. But what we can understand for sure, it wasn't magic. That's the theistic position. 

"creating everything"
No, not 'everything'. Initially it was mainly helium and deuterium. It's not like we think iPods came out of the big bang. Unless this means 'everything that was in existence at this time'. This this may be the only correct part of the meme. 

"and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever"
Actually it didn't 'rearrange' itself. Gravity took effect. Over a very long period of time, stars formed, then went supernova. Elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen, things essential for life, and evolution, were created in stars, not the big bang. The explosions of stars sent these heavier elements into the universe, for gravity to again have an impact on. The process repeated for billions of years. Eventually galaxies and solar systems, with planets like our own, formed. Some planets are no more than rocks, some have atmospheres and environments, some a gaseous giants. This is explainable naturally, and very well understood. No magic required. Also, whatsoever is one word.

"into self-replicating bits"
'Self-replicating bits' did come into existence, but it was in specific environments for reasons which are explained and understood by chemistry, not a mysterious rearrangement of cosmic dust. Combinations of heat and electricity and other environmental factors caused amino acids and proteins to form in oceans that were not like today's oceans that existed in environments not like today's environment. These cells are the building blocks of life from which tiny, single-celled, replicating organisms formed. It didn't happen magically, again, that is the theistic position. 

"which then turned into dinosaurs."
No. Just plain wrong. Life first appeared on Earth about 3.5 billion years ago. When the Earth was about 1 billion years old. Dinosaurs first appeared in the Triassic period, which was about 231 million years ago. So the 'self-replicating bits' didn't 'turn into dinosaurs'. It was a process of evolution which took about 3.2 *billion* years to happen. 3.2 billion years worth of slight changes from generation to generation to get from self-replicating cells to what we know as dinosaurs. This meme idiotically makes it seem like we think it happened in one step.

"Makes perfect sense"
When you remove the stupidity of the original meme and replace it with facts and reality, yes, it does make perfect sense. 


It's a funny kind of feeling to be told what you think is stupid, but an adult, who in 2015, thinks we're all doomed because a woman who was made from a rib, was talked into eating a magic piece of fruit. 

By a snake. 

Feel free to send this through to anyone who sends you that meme :) 


12 comments:

  1. Good job Donovan - I am going to keep the URL handy on this one.
    I am depressingly certain I will need it.

    Mark

    @mricho61

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    1. Thanks mate. Yep, I'm sure I'll be sending it out a lot too.

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  2. I'm so pleased to see this meme deconstructed. It's always annoyed me intensely with its stupidity - I would have written about it myself but my physics knowledge is such I would probably have stuffed it up! :-)

    Anyway, I'll be keeping the URL too.

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  3. YOU BELIEVE no God or gods exist.

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    1. Even if that is true - and it is for some atheists, but not all, the meme doesn't mention that, so I'm really not sure why you'd mention it here.

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    2. Before belief there is nothing, a lack of belief if you will.For a belief to occur something has to be " put" there ( I really wish I was more eloquent here ). Its not that anythng was put there. Its what religion TRIED to put there, didnt take. There's still nothing as far as belief goes. So NO, I dont believe there is no god. I DONT believe there IS one. Again.. It's not a belief there is no god. Its a lack of belief there IS a god. Its a small but very important distinction.

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  4. Just look up the YouTube video with Dawkins and Krauss claiming, that everything spontaneously and mindless arose from literally NOTHING. Also, not believing God exists is still a belief... and it's the same thing as saying, you believe God does not exist. And, how do YOU know, that life began on Earth 3.5 BILLION years ago, and how was it began? Were you there? No. Were the people there, 3.5 BILLION years ago, that told you this? No. Your faith is great, but I don't have enough faith to be an atheist. When was the last time you saw something come from nothing? To believe in an eternal, omniscient Creator/God requires a whole lot less faith to believe.

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    1. Krauss and Dawkins don't speak for me, nor other atheists. Krauss and Dawkins speak for Krauss and Dawkins. Unlike religion, atheists aren't obliged to believe what other atheists say, even if those other atheists are 'perceived' as leaders.

      No, you are 100% incorrect. Not believing in something does *not* necessarily mean that you believe the opposite to be true. I explain that here: http://mrozatheist.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/not-believing-in-something-does-not.html

      That life appeared on Earth 3.5 Billion years ago is a *scientific* position, not an *atheistic* position. I highlighted this point not to say 'this is what atheists believe' but to show that 'suddenly turning into dinosaurs' is not what evolution says. This meme attempts to mock by saying 'replicating bits suddenly turned into dinosaurs' but NO ONE thinks that happened.

      You say "Your faith is great" and that you don't have enough faith to be an atheist. But atheism requires exactly ZERO faith. I take apart the 'It takes more faith to be an atheist' nonsense here: http://mrozatheist.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/more-faith-to-be-atheist.html.

      When was the last time I saw something coming from nothing? About the same time you last saw this 'god' character.

      You imply something can't come from nothing, but tell me, when did you test 'nothing' to confirm this hypothesis. Also, how does 'nothing' exist? When was there ever nothing?

      Thank you for replying to my blog. It was a pleasure explaining how every single one of your criticisms was wrong :)

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  5. Two points on this:

    (1) Religious people, particularly those from the three Abrahamic religions, have a habit of looking at things in a very binary way: It's their God our our Atheism; they completely ignore the existence of every other religion and belief system. When they are challenged on this, you'll usually get the "My religion is the only true religion" argument, or: "My God's bigger than your God".

    (2) Just a thought from a person with not a lot of knowledge of the physics of the universe, but given that we know stars that go supernova spew elements out into space which eventually coalesce under gravitational forces and make new stars, planets et cetera; is it not feasible to suppose that something similar might happen with the universe or universes? The "nothing" that we cannot presently identify from which the universe may or may not have come could, perhaps, be the remains of another universe. Just a thought...

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  6. > "Atheism: The belief..."
    > Wrong. Although there's always discussion around this, atheism is not the belief of anything. It's just not believing there's a god.

    It's sad how you failed so utterly on STEP ONE.

    Atheism IS a belief, NOT the lack of one. Agnosticism is taking no position. Atheism is taking the NEGATIVE position. This is not up for "discussion"; it's built into the DEFINITION of the word.

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    1. Agnosticism is having no *knowledge*. Theism/Atheism goes to belief. Gnosticism/Agnosticism goes to knowledge. Theism is belief in god. 'A'-Theism is no belief. (Atheism = not theism). Atheism is not the position of believing there are no gods or goddesses in existence. It's the position of not believing there are. Claiming to *know* there are no gods or goddesses in existence is gnostic atheism. Saying I don't believe there are gods or goddesses in existence but I don't know, is agnostic atheism. Agnosticism is not halfway between theism and atheism. Gnosticism/Agnosticism addresses a different question.

      I hope this help you understand where you've gone wrong.

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  7. It's a meme, not a scientific paper. Of course, it's a little tongue-in-cheek.

    You have had to resort to quibbling semantics to defend your position. It is, of course it, referring to materialism - and you can probably find about as many athiests who aren't materialists as there are Christians who aren't in the Westborough Baptist Church.

    You have to take one of three positions:

    1. That a God exists outside of space and time and created space and time and everything in it
    2. That everything came out of nothing by materialistic means
    3. That matter and energy have always existed

    Two of these options are ridiculous. No one believes in number three anymore and the meme is making fun out of the second one because it's so anti-intellectual. An irony that escape smug athiests the world over.

    You can claim there's a fourth option "we don't know yet" if you want but that's called Materialism of the Gaps.

    As Sherlock Holmes would've said, that the first, in spite of being improbable, must be the truth.

    Also, I wouldn't quote Krauss when trying to explain the titular question of his book. He may understand the "nothing" that he has had to redfine several times to write his book but everyone knows what is really meant by nothing: no time or space - and no quantum foam, etc.

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