If you poke around most atheist communities on the Internet or take a look at the attendees at atheism conventions, you’ll probably notice that the crowd is overwhelmingly male. Is this because, as some of the biggest names in the movement have suggested, women don’t have the intellectual curiosity or logical capability to arrive at the conclusion that there is no God? (Spoiler alert: NO.) Or is…
Here’s an easy indicator. If it’s a paper that presumes to tell you the evolutionary basis of differences between the sexes or races, it’s bullshit. That means the author is going to trot out some prejudice about how sexes or races differ before building some feeble case from a collection of poorly designed surveys or sloppily analyzed statistics to make up a story. Unsurprisingly, those differences always fit some bigoted preconception, and always have, from Galton’s determination of the ‘objective’ degrees of feminine beauty between races to Kanazawa’s, ummm, determination of the ‘objective’ degrees of feminine beauty between races. There really hasn’t been a lot of creativity in this subfield.
As the darkness descends, there will be no gods or angels rising to judge you. You’ll be alone, no matter how crowded the room, and the only judge you’ll face is yourself. There will be no authority looking over your shoulder and telling you whether your life was worthy or wasted, and if there were, its opinion would be irrelevant — all that will matter is that you can look back and find happiness and accomplishment. We live our lives for our life’s sake, rather than for illusions about rewards and satisfaction after we’re dead.
What are we doing complaining about Richard Dawkins being a liability to atheism when we have someone like PZ Myers likening the suicide of a depressed man to nothing but a mere distraction from other issues?
FAITH. No one word personifies the absolute worst and most wicked properties of religion better than that. Faith is mind-rot. It’s the poison that destroys critical thinking, undermines evidence, and leads people into lives dedicated to absurdity. It’s a parasite regarded as a virtue. I speak as a representative of the scientific faction of atheism: it’s one thing we simply cannot compromise on. Faith is wrong.
The very early, gastrula-phase of a brachiopod - which turns out to behave like a tiny, ultra-simple eye.
The figure above is of a very early stage in development, when the organism is little more than a couple of sheets of cells with no organs at all, only tisses in the process of forming up into rough structures. It definitely has no brain, no nervous tissue at all, and no eyes…and there it is, that dark blue smear is a region selectively expressing ciliary opsin as if it were a retina. Furthermore, when tested behaviorally (mind blown again…behavior, in a gastrula), populations in a light box show a statistical tendency to drift into the light. Presumably, light stimulation of the opsin is coupled to the activity of cilia used for motility in the outer epithelium of the embryo.
Amazing. It suggests how eyes evolved in multicellular organisms, as well — initially, it was just localized general expression of light-sensitive molecules coupled directly to motors in the skin, no brain required.
The first hour and twelve minutes of this video cover PZ Myers’s talk at the World Humanist Congress in Oslo.
In it, PZ talks about a wide variety of evolutionary concepts. He explains why altruism works, how to live in harmony with the environment without falling victim to the Naturalistic Fallacy, and how the evolution of worms altered our planet forever.
“Many of the religious apologists out there are not stupid people, they are often brilliant. People working in the field of theology and philosophy smart people everywhere. What they are those religious apologists are smart poeple who can build these amazingly intricate rationalizations for whatever weird practice they favor. Whether it’s ritual cannibalism, or praying to spirits, or treating women as chattel. And they always building this on terrible shaky foundation of false premises.” ―PZ Myers
On his popular science blog, Pharyngula, PZ Myers has entertained millions of readers with his infectious love of evolutionary science and his equally infectious disdain for creationism, biblical literalism, intelligent design theory, and other products of godly illogic. This funny and fearless book collects and expands on some of his most popular writings, giving the religious fanaticism of our times the gleeful disrespect it deserves by skewering the apocalyptic fantasies, magical thinking, hypocrisies, and pseudoscientific theories advanced by religious fundamentalists of all stripes. Forceful and articulate, scathing and funny, The Happy Atheist is a reaffirmation of the revelatory power of humor and the truth-revealing powers of science and reason. Read an excerpt here: http://ow.ly/z1Avd
I’m not misogynist, maybe a bit of a misanthrope, but I’m sure that for supporting Dawkins’s comment on the Rebecca Watson issue some people would like to convince me that I’m a sexist. Well have a go at it, I agree with Dawkins.
More than that, actually. I disagree with PZ Myers, and the blog army that has made such an issue of a non-issue… apparently:
“a situation like this can lead to sexual assault”
Let me put this clear for everyone who’s been jumping in the bandwagon of labelling unintentional comments and behaviour as sexist, offensive, or harassment: it is not. If you accept that it is, you might as well accept the following scenarios:
An arabic man walks into a airplane from Boston to NY. The passengers ask for him to step out because they’re feeling offended by this. Certainly, they argue, this situation could lead to another 9/11.
If you find that absurd, congratulations, now go on and apply the same logic to your case. Rape happens, yes, we hate it. A situation like that could lead to sexual assault… maybe, and maybe not. As RD pointed out, he didn’t block her way out, he didn’t touch her, insult her, use nasty words, or something that could be considered real sexual assault, or harassment. His comment on the “Muslima” simply used irony to say hey, real rape happens, real assault happens, real repression happens, and Rebecca, friend, you weren’t a victim of it. And I agree. Even at 4AM in an elevator alone.
Stereotyping is stereotyping. I can agree with Rebecca saying she felt uncomfortable in that situation, I can agree with people saying that the man should have been thoughtful of this and not made such a proposal or approach, even if it wasn’t sexual. But from there to calling all men “potential” rapist… en fin.
1. The process. I am accustomed to the idea that truth claims ought to be justified with some reasonable evidence: if one is going to claim that, for instance, a Jewish carpenter was the son of a god, or that there is a place called heaven where some ineffable magical part of you goes when you die, then there ought to be some credible reason to believe that. And that reason ought to be more substantial than that it says so in a big book…after all, there are seven books claiming that Harry Potter is a wizard, and there aren’t very many people who see that as anything but fiction. Religious claims all seem to short-circuit the rational process of evidence-gathering and testing, and the sad thing is that many people don’t see a problem with that, and even consider it a virtue. It’s why I don’t just reject religion, but actively oppose it in all of its forms — because it is fundamentally a poison for the mind that undermines our critical faculties.
2. The absurdity. Religious beliefs are lazy jokes with bad punchlines. Why do you have to chop off the skin at the end of your penis? Because god says so. Why should you abstain from pork, or shrimp, or mixing meat and dairy, or your science classes? Because they might taint your relationship with your god. Why do you have to revere a bit of dry biscuit? Because it magically turns into a god when a priest mutters over it. Why do I have to be good? Because if you aren’t, a god will set you on fire for all eternity. These are ridiculous propositions. The whole business of religious is clownshoes freakin’ moonshine, hallowed by nothing but unthinking tradition, fear and superstitious behavior, and an establishment of con artists who have dedicated their lives to propping up a sense of self-importance by claiming to talk to an invisible big kahuna. It’s not just fact-free, it’s all nonsense.
PZ Myers, on why he does not believe in any gods.
PZ Myers is a pretty sad case. If you ever look him up on youtube you’d find videos of him giving lectures on science/evolution/atheism/etc vs religion/creationism/etc or hanging out with people like Dawkins. All those videos are usually tagged as 4 years old or more.
These days he couldn’t be invited to anything his friends have ties into and other atheists freely bash the guy. The guy deserves it indeed for all the incredibly stupid things he’s said while also advocating for censorship and demonizing people who disagree with his politics but it’s still sad to know he’s actually gotten so far up only to fall so far down.
One story about him is that he and Dawkins went to see that shitty Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed documentary. The one that promoted “intelligent design” and insisted it’s totes not creationism while making all the same creationist arguments and so on. While in line, apparently he was told that he wasn’t allowed in the theater and was escorted away. Myers wasn’t allowed in yet somehow Dawkins slipped past everyone’s notice.
Now I don’t think it’s possible for something like that to happen. Dawkins probably wouldn’t want to see him being so far on opposite ends on issues like safe spaces and trigger warnings and even Myers’ unwilling to speak to people who aren’t on total opposite ends of issues but disagree on key points or whatnot. I don’t think anyone would recognize him these days or care that much if he’s here or there. He no longer has any sway over atheists or skeptics (which he publicly divorced himself from the skeptical community for being…skeptical)
And the saddest part is that he gave it all up himself. He wasn’t tossed away by atheists, he burned the bridges himself by supporting an intentionally exclusive sect of atheism that sought to dehumanize anyone who wasn’t a part of it and then continue to post outright lies, refuse any sort of debate on the matter, and dig deeper and deeper into the whole of censorship we now call social justice.
It seems a lot of atheists are now going opposite of where PZ wanted everyone to go. Mentioned before were the likes of Dawkins but other people who have spoken out against SJWism include Sam Harris, Thunderf00t, etc and those are people more known for being atheists than anti SJWs. The vice versa would extend the list to people like Sargon of Akkad (Youtube), MundaneMatt, Sh0eonhead, Justicar etc.
Those are people whose videos reach out to thousands and sometimes millions of others. They certainly have more sway than Myers. A livestream between Thunderfoot, Justicar, and the Internet Aristocrat on atheism plus had more people tuning in than the Atheism+ forums during any time of its inception.
More and more people are coming about against the very things Myers has burned every bridge to become apart of. There are exceptions. Some atheists are SJWs and I won’t for a second claim that atheism is inherently against SJWs as what Myers and Steve Shives doesn’t understand: atheism doesn’t have any stance of any issue unrelated to “Do you believe in God/s?”
However, just as there’s atheist SJWs there’s also Jewish ones and Christian ones and there’s probably even Muslim ones. The whole goal of atheism plus trying to make atheism as interlinked with SJWism, something that any theist can easily subscribe to is absurd. It’s like trying to make evolution an inherent aspect of Christianity or atomic theory an official stance of Libertarianism.
I guess he doesn’t have to worry too much about that. Whenever the name PZ Myers comes up, very few are worried that they might be exposed to atheism but instead brace for more SJWism.
I certainly hope defending the likes of Rebecca Watson while demonizing the likes of Elon Musk or Richard Dawkins was worth it because there’s no way from there but down.
Anyways, just some ramblings that crossed my mind while watching videos of people reacting to the guy