Completion: Finishing the questions I can’t finish.

At the start of all this I admitted to losing my cool a little. And this is the post it all happened in. And it’s quite a fitting climax, because I think that was the goal. It’s a complete spread (informally known as a Gish Gallop); it’s too many questions, too loosely related and requires me to take too much time to answer it. It’s also a little repetitive, as the answers to other questions address these. But the first reason I lost my cool was the reference to rape. Here’s the end of my little project on addressing the nonsense. If you think you have better questions for atheists, share them in the comments.

37. Why should be it wrong to rape if God is not real?
Ponder, honestly, the horror of this question. Consider the implication that the questioner only abstain from rape because they believe it is God’s command. This is very unlike me: I don’t rape because rape is f*cked up. It induces fear, horror, shame, guilt and can destroy people’s lives. If right and wrong mean anything, they relate exactly to consciousness and wellbeing, and that is why rape is wrong: it lowers wellbeing.

38. Why is The Passion of The Christ very high on the Box Office?
The Matrix. Avatar. Star Wars.

39. How can America not be a Christian nation if there are way more churches than mosques?
This depends on what you mean by “Christian nation”. If you define a nation by the religion that has the highest number of adherents, then fine: America is a Christian country. But that is not how we define it. America is built by people who wanted to flee religious persecution and all the paperwork that underlies how it functions is expressly secular.

40. How is the bible not real if it’s the most popular book read by man?
Ah, “The Bible”. Not only do I doubt that it is the most read book, I doubt it is even a book. The Bible has been printed by a variety of publishers over centuries in a variety of languages. The content is demonstrably different in one print to another.The number of copies of the Bible that have been printed is reported to be in the region of 5 billion, but I don’t necessarily think that means 5 billion people have read it. I think Bibles and Korans sit in people’s homes as a sign of faith, often not being read. (I base this on a comparatively small sample of people I’ve spoken to.)
However, let’s take the assumption and run with it. The assumption is that the higher a book’s readership the more closely it reflects reality. Let us look at the tops selling books of all time to see if there is a clear pattern of decreasing reflection of reality the fewer books sold.
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Fifty Shades of Grey, EL James
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, JK Rowling
And then there were None, Agatha Christie
Dream of the Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin
She: A History of Adventure, H Rider Haggard
I don’t know what my readers make of this, but I can’t figure out any relationship between the truth of a book and the number of copies sold.

41. How did the moon form?
Magic? I mean that as a serious question. If we completely disregard the current hypothesis that the moon was caused by Earth being hit by a very large body while it was still liquid, meaning the escaping mass was also still liquid, so what? Assume the hypothesis I just described had never been put forward and no other hypothesis had been put forward. Now what?
Even completely ignoring the fact we actually have an answer to this question, I don’t understand what it’s doing in this list.

42. Did you know that famous scientists like Newton, Sir Richard Owen, Einstein, Galileo, and Copernicus were creationists?
I can’t be bothered to Google each of those scientists in turn to see whether they were creationists or not. Newton and Copernicus probably were, Einstein almost certainly was not. But, again, so what? I have to guess what the assumptions being made are, so here’s a look at my reasoning: these questions are promoted as being aimed at atheists, therefore the questions are likely pro-religious; Creationism is being equated to religion; the non-specialist beliefs of certain scientists (even those from antiquity) are seen as evidence of Creation. Therefore, it is my best guess that this question could be reworded as follows: Newton was a creationist! Checkmate, atheists.
The bottom line is this is a nonsense argument. All the named scientists were born before Darwin’s theory was developed, and all bar one of them were physicists. More importantly, science doesn’t work by naming prophets out of people and demanding we accept their positions. Science works by sharing the evidence regardless of personal position and preferences.

43. Why do we not see black people come from white people?
Because, biology.

44. Why are fruitflies still fruitflies in the lab experiments if they are claimed to prove evolution?
This is actually one of the more interesting questions. One of the poorly understood elements of evolution is that the result of evolution is increased diversity within a phylogenetic branch. Take, for example, dogs. Dogs belong to the family Canidae. No matter how much variation takes place, even if we create a breed of dog that doesn’t breed with other dogs, we still expect it to belong to the family Canidae. It will be another phylogenetic branch and will have a different species name (something other than familiaris). It will likely still be in the genus Canis and almost certainly still in the Canidae family. And, as such, we would probably will call is a dog. “Dog” is a vague term.
The same is true of fruitflies. All were are looking for is the variation, change and extra branch on the phylogenetic tree. But the variation happens at levels very low down the phylogenetic hierarchy.

45. Did you know that the Piltdown Man was a hoax used for Darwinist propaganda?
Well, kind of. Charles Dawson did, it seems fair to say, intentionally create a hoax. But he did so for personal recognition; it was not martyrdom for the cause of Darwinian theory. He presented an orangutan’s jawbone and human skull as belonging to the same structure. And it was not well received: the scientific community treated it as controversial from the outset.
More importantly, the Piltdown Man was exposed as a hoax. A scientific community that believed in Creation would be entirely unequipped to identify the Piltdown Man as a hoax: it would have been willing to accept that God created anything and the Piltdown Man would fit those parameters quite readily. It is only equipped with understanding of diversity and how it forms that anyone could identify a hoax. It is only with evolutionary science we can actually see what is and is not a plausible candidate for our ancestry.
If you think that the Piltdown Man being a hoax discredits evolution, then that discredits the very science that discredits the Piltdown Man. Surely you see that this is an issue.

46. Why do we not see frogs turn into birds?
Because, science.

47. Why is Fox News dishonest if it is a network run by truthful Christians?
What?

48. Why did Hitler fail to make a superior race if evolution is true?
Huh?

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3 thoughts on “Completion: Finishing the questions I can’t finish.”

  1. These questions are what are created when a mouth is engaged before the mind behind it.

    Faith is not based upon reason, so why do these people insist upon using reason? Part of the answer to this is that a cadre of “speakers” (funded by rich religious zealots–see Dr. Dino for an example) goes from church to church spouting put downs of the Theory of Evolution–not data, not evidence, not argumentation, just put downs: one liners, zingers, anything that connects with people’s current prejudices. Many of these questions were offered, I am sure, as “evidence” of Creationism. The line “if man is descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?” is promoted as an unanswerable question and an “argument” against Darwin.

    These are not legitimate questions, questions arrived at through deliberation. These are “revealed questions” that were never intended to be addressed, just used as rocks in a debate-like scenario.

    You can be sure that your responses will be ignored because of the motivated reasoning behind them. They were not asked to elicit answers, they were asked to stump you. So, if you gave a coherent answer, the response would be “well that one didn’t work, let me try this one.”

    1. That is often the case, I know. But we live in a world with a lot of basically scientifically illiterate people who aren’t decided about questions like Creation and evolution. I think it is important to not just say “that’s a silly question” or “that’s a disingenuous/insincere question” and ignore it, allowing the scientifically illiterate the opportunity to believe one side is actually presenting evidence when all they are really presenting in disingenuous strawman questions.

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