“Not only has Dawkins ruined science. He’s ruined atheism too.”

Last week I skewered Richard Dawkins for saying life was a “happy chemical accident” on National Public Radio.

Richard Dawkins

A reader of my blog (a smart, well educated guy) rushed to Dawkins’ defense.

I demanded he explain how

“happy chemical accident” qualifies as science.

My reader retorts:

“Oh, I forgot NPR interviews are venues for rigid, technical discourse! How silly of me!”

I reply: “When the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science from Oxford University appears on National Public Radio, don’t you think we should expect answers that do in fact further the public understanding of science?

“Or… should we settle for glib dismissive attempts to dodge the question?

“YOU seem to be a reasonably intelligent and educated guy. So why are you of all people attempting to defend him or deflect blame when Dawkins puts his foot in his mouth?

“Surely you’re more than a mere minion of Richard Dawkins. Why not just be honest and hold the guy responsible for saying something so dodgy and unscientific?”

The fact that people like you rush to Dawkins’ defense – when you should be calling him out on his dishonesty – is a smoking gun.

Why can’t atheists hold Dawkins’ feet to the fire for being the anti-scientific crank that he is?

Not only has Dawkins ruined science, he’s ruined atheism too.

20 years ago, an atheist was an intellectual with whom one could have a reasonable dialogue.

Today, most people experience atheists as bellicose angry males who commonly suffer from depression, who post anonymous tirades all over the internet so they can share their misery with everyone else.

We have the New Atheists to thank for this. And their four horsemen. Dawkins – Dennett – Harris – Hitchens.

Wanna have an intelligent discussion about atheism? Read Voltaire, Nietzche or Bertrand Russell.

Agree or disagree, they will force you to think.

Wanna have a pointless shouting match with a bunch of mannerless name-callers who make up just-so stories about warm ponds and lucky lightning strikes and think they’re doing science? Sit down with guys who read Krauss, Dennett, Hitchens and Harris. Walk into a roomful of Dawkins fans. 

They will force you to emote.

So, dear atheist, why are you sitting here defending any of these proselytizers?

Why do you allow Dawkins to abuse his position and not even do his job as a scientist?

Atheists, I respect your right and desire to be atheists.

But I do not respect you when you defend anti-intellectual, anti-scientific dogmas that have no explanatory power, no service to humanity.

And I do not respect you when you defend a bully who relegates incredibly valuable scientific questions to mere accident.

639 Responses

  1. Bryan says:

    Neo-Atheism is like neoconservativism, neoleftism, and a whole host of other sentiment-based non-philosophies. At some point, it became acceptable to teach that merely feeling something strongly was valid evidence to support a position. Thus, all rational argument could be dismissed as “that’s just your opinion, man” or “ethnocentric”, etc. While it would have been nice if this childishness had turned out to be a little blip, it’s now the dominant cultural trend. Radical subjectivism, where every individual is God, or a functional equivalent, is now the norm. All you have to do to bolster an argument in our current culture is scream loudly enough, and those who agree with you will applaud. It’s Dawkins, it’s ISIS, it’s Donald Trump. They and many others are peas in a pod. It’s a debasement of discourse, dumbing it all down to rerererererereposted memetic picture alterations and cut-and-paste “quotes” that may not actually quote anyone. So long as you can make sufficiently nasty comments (or lob big enough bombs) to impress your homies, you have “made your point”. The screaming matches on Jerry Springer and the Real Housewives franchise are not the low point of modern discourse, they are the accepted paradigm of modern discourse. Thus, Dawkins and his ilk (said ilk including Mr. Trump, the Westboro Baptists, and a whole host of others, regardless of their inclinations) will be given a voice they do not deserve.

  2. John Turmel says:

    And I do not respect you when you defend a bully who relegates incredibly valuable scientific questions to mere accident.
    Jct: A 3-billion character DNA code arose by accident? Har har har. No intelligent programmer? So did Windows! Har har har.

    • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

      How about 3 billion years? Anyway, this whole argument is turning stupid. Believers love to believe, scientists want to know; the two races of human kind. Since I am not racist, I’m OK with the believers, but I do not want them to debate, as it is not their field. Debate belongs to science.

  3. Marilyn says:

    Actually both believers & non-believers are in the same boat because neither knows the presence of God.

  4. Laszlo G Meszaros says:

    Reply to Perry: 1. life does not defy entropy, what you really mean is that “creation” of life decreases entropy and ending life increases it.
    2. “Willful and purposefully adapt”, as you word these, has not much to do with science. It clearly shows the difference in approach of a believer and a scientist. In other words, if you are a scientist, then you would want to now where these (will and purpose) come from. Purpose as a scientific term just cannot play.
    3. Randomness do not destroy genomes, it changes them. Then selection gets in the game.

    • 1. Life does defy entropy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negentropy

      2. Willful purposeful adaptation:

      3. Yes randomness destroys information. Zero exceptions. This is mathematically as reliable as 1+1=2. You need to apprise yourself of Claude Shannon’s information theory. Natural Selection cannot reverse information entropy.

      Laszlo, please answer my previous question – explain step by step and in detail why and how NS increases information.

      • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

        I am quite familiar with Shannon’s work, but you do not pay attention to what I am saying and are mixing things: 1. Randomness have the highest level of information. (Just take a look at Shannon’s equation; information of certainty is zero.) 2. Darwinian evolution: (a) random mutation + selection = organism that is able adapt, thus survive. (Details later)
        Second issue: epigenetics have nothing to do with purpose; epigenetics is information “backwards”.

        • I’m sorry but you have Shannon backwards and are misrepresenting his work. What you are saying is essentially “If I tune my radio to hiss between stations, that signal has more information than the silent part on a real radio station.” Well yes that’s true but the information has no useful content. Warren Weaver, Shannon’s co-author, calls people who make this mistake “Jokers” in the U. of Illinois publication of Shannon’s work.

          Neo-Darwinism is effectively saying that if we add some noise to the FM signal, occasionally it’s better and natural selection chooses it.

          False. Never works that way in the real world.

          • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

            Dear Perry, I do not know your background, but please take a look at “information theory”, including Shannon’s work. Or simply answer this: when do you gain more information: if you hear something that you already know, or when you are surprised?

            • I have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialty in communication systems and control systems.

              I wrote the book “Industrial Ethernet” for ISA, the largest trade organization for process control engineers. 3rd edition will come out later this year.

              Shannon’s work shows that the Neo-Darwinian explanation for evolution is mathematically impossible. Any communication engineer who understands the question at hand will agree with me.

              Information is gained when you hear something new, information that has MEANING, that you did not know before.

              Random mutations are noise and noise never adds meaning to a signal. Read Shannon if you doubt me.

              • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

                Perry, you really misunderstand Shannon’s work, or least, the work that came after Shannon. (Of course, he laid down the basics, but he did not really see the overall significance of his equation – see, for instance Wiki.) Please take a look at the meaning of information content. (You are an engineer, I am a scientist. I guess this makes us look differently at this whole issue.) When you talk about information in relation to mutations and selection, you – of course – acknowledge the noise character of mutation, but you must also know that mutation “creates” something else. Then you look at selection and you see that the mutated stuff fits, fits better or does not fit.
                Then you start seeing the biological “meaning” of mutation, and we are back at the infinite monkey theorem. The whole idea of darwinian evolution that you do not need a designer.

                • Do you believe the infinite monkey theorem explains evolution?

                  • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

                    It need a lot more thinking to see if it does. However, it shows you a very important property: random event can lead to patterns. And – as you know – patterns have special properties. For instance, think of a randomly generated DNA in a soup, then mix this soup with a randomly generated polypeptide chains, and see magic: specific polypeptides will be selected by certain patterns of DNA. (Actually, this method is used in the lab.) Now, you have specific DNA-protein interaction…

          • Richard Morgan says:

            Natural selection in environment- and survival-dependent. In an environment where “white noise hissing” would be a survival advantage, regardless of the amount of information it contained, natural selection would favour it. In your words, it would be “better”. A thing is only better than something else in a particular context. CDs are not better than vinyl discs for making flower pots. They are too small. About the right size for cup cakes, maybe?

  5. john scott f. says:

    Please comment on Hawkin’s “The Grand Design” book, published in 2010 and co-authored by L. Mlodinow.

    • Steamrolls over important philosophical questions, asserts philosophy is obsolete, while making basic logical mistakes and injecting their own un-provable philosophy in its place.

  6. Robert William Mosimann says:

    Instead of the innaccurate rhetoric of theists here who want to make a mountain out of a molehill here and falsely portray Dawkins; I will defend the accuracy and science of this comment :

    The origin of life is a happy, chenical, accident.

    1 it is Happy because we and all life on earth resulted from the event

    2 it is Chemical because science does not accept imaginary tooth fairies in the sky or other fictitious causes such as the theists do but only chemical and physical explanations which are quite sufficient

    3 it is an accident in the sense of being a rare event since as far as science can determine only one such event occurred on earth and in all the vastness of the universe that we have observed the conditions for our type of life are rare and as yet we have not found any scientifically convincing evidence for other life elsewhere.

    Thus a subjective happy with a scientific chemical and a scientific accidental are hardly comments which should arose the malicious comments within this thread.

    The fact that they do only shows the militant and intellectually bankrupt quality of theism exhibited here.

    • Could you explain, how does #3 qualify as science? Science being defined as

      noun: science

      the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

      • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

        I hope Robert will also give a reply to you, but let me add: all the above points I have raised give you an answer. Perry, please try to summarize. (And you keep forgetting about math; it is also a tool of science, beyond being science as is.)

      • Martin Gately says:

        If you can’t offer an answer or rebuttal to Robert William Mosimann’s #2 then you really have lost the argument. Do you think science allows for imaginary invisible beings? Dictionary definitions cannot assist you at this point in the discussion. Prediction: the designer you see at work as a result of your scientific study is not Zeus or Odin nor an unnamed unfathomable designer. The creator is the God of your own culture not anyone else’s, yes? And that, in a nutshell, is why theism is intellectually bankrupt.

        • Martin,

          Mosimann said:

          “it is Chemical because science does not accept imaginary tooth fairies in the sky or other fictitious causes such as the theists do but only chemical and physical explanations which are quite sufficient”

          Are you suggesting that science doesn’t accept the existence of metaphysical entities? Or objects or phenomena that cannot be directly measured and experienced?

          What about numbers? Are numbers real?

          Is math real?

          It’s certainly not chemical.

          How about imaginary numbers?

          Are the laws of logic real?

          Is “Dark matter” real?

          Is information real?

          Do we have reason to believe there are other universes?

          Please answer and tell me why you believe any of these things have a basis in reality.

          • Marilyn says:

            Everything is made up of energy. And that energy is one. It’s the essence of all forms. There are no numbers , they are just man -made , mind-made-measurements…Concepts. There are no facts because the only constant is change.

          • Martin Gately says:

            Am I suggesting that science doesn’t accept ‘metaphysical entities’? Yes, of course. Where did anyone say (or either Mosimann or myself specifically) that something has to be chemical to exist? Science does not allow for imaginary beings. Your question to me is nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Let’s assume I’m wrong. What great scientific theories, discoveries or developments rely on the existence of ‘metaphysical entities’ (can we call them God(s) for short like we normally do?)? This is your show, but why haven’t you addressed the accusation that theism is intellectually bankrupt? Surely that warrants a rebuttal too. Have you analysed the creation myths of all races and cultures to determine which one fits most closely with our current understanding of the Universe, or have you just assumed that the God of your own culture is the real God? Have you, for instance, checked other scientific theories e.g. Newton and Gravity to see if what we observe is better explained by the involvement of a supernatural being e.g. God might be pushing down on things to make them fall. And so the obvious final question has to be…how, from scientific observation of phenomenon or scientific research can you entertain even a fleeting belief (let alone prove) which of the numerous potential creator Gods that mankind has worshiped at one time or another is the creator of life, the universe and everything? In essence, where is the proof that the ancient Syrian god Elagabalus isn’t the creator? Will you be judging that on his current number of worshipers or some other basis?

            • Martin:

              Do numbers exist?

              • Martin Gately says:

                Hi Perry,
                you’re pressing me on this…so I hope you’re about to make a killer point. Now, I’m no mathematician but numbers are a useful albeit abstract way of discussing amounts of things, for example ‘zero’ – zero is an indicator of a nil value such as the number of my points that you have addressed or successfully rebutted. With all due respect, your discourse and arguing could really use some kind of Rocky-style training montage to beef them up. In these comments I’d like to see you doing the mental equivalent of jogging from Philadelphia’s Italian Market and up the steps of the Museum of Art, because we are not seeing that at the moment and you are doing yourself and your arguments a disservice. It’s easy to pick and choose which points to answer…take ’em all on instead I’m actually rooting for you. And why? Who knows where your career path may eventually take you? Maybe you’ll be on a TV show with Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris. You should be practicing for that moment here…not evading issues. I’m not a scientist or an engineer or even a theologian. You should be blowing me out of the water. Instead you are asking me if numbers exist. Fine. Let’s move on and assume that you are completely right. DNA has an intelligent designer. That designer has been working on life on earth for millions of years. Periodically, the earth has been subject to mass extinction events which hugely reduce the amount of life. Is the DNA designer in charge of those extinction events? Why is he destroying his own work? Had the trilobites sinned?

                • Martin,

                  Numbers are abstract. You can’t weigh them or measure them. Yet you can still count them.

                  I say numbers DO exist. If you try to say they don’t, you’re not going to have an easy time defending yourself.

                  Maybe DNA has an intelligent designer. To an electrical engineer and author of an Ethernet book, it’s got all the earmarks of a programmed system. If it doesn’t have a designer, then there are necessarily principles of physics and self-organization that nobody knows about – because codes have never been observed happen by accident. All of the codes we know the origin of are designed.

                  You’re making some assumptions here. Let’s slow down a bit here. “That designer has been working on life on earth for millions of years. Periodically, the earth has been subject to mass extinction events which hugely reduce the amount of life. Is the DNA designer in charge of those extinction events? Why is he destroying his own work? Had the trilobites sinned?”

                  Maybe all it took was an exquisitely fine-tuned big bang and everything else flowed naturally from that.

                  If that’s the case, then there’s no sinning trilobytes, there’s just a process of competition and development. A very impressive process at that.

                  Is this somehow a reason to not believe in God? As though we expect God to micromanage things every step of the way, or else He cannot exist?

                  Isaac Newton couldn’t get his equations to work 100% and assumed God must bump the planets back in place every now and then Laplace improved the math and got his equations to work. God not necessary to keep orbits stable.

                  But does that get rid of the need for a transcendent initial cause?

                  And if you think it does, then… what was the initial cause and where did it come from?

                  Can you logically eliminate the need for an uncaused cause? I invite you to try.

                  I submit to you, Martin, that the case for God is a good deal more robust than you may presently believe – and it’s not all that different from the case for numbers. In fact it’s pure logic – necessary cause and effect.

                  • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

                    I thought that the “designer” had only 6000 years to work with. (I’m joking…) Perry, you just have one job to do: to tell us what God is. Please, try. (If you try hard enough, you might end up with a definition, which is nothing else, but a Law of Nature we do not know quite well yet.

                  • Martin Gately says:

                    Is theism intellectually bankrupt?

                    Only, what, a few hundred years ago the ontological argument was sufficient proof of God’s existence for everyone. This virtually boils down to: God is perfect, therefore he must exist, because he is perfect. Existence predicated on perfection. Does anyone still believe that? Do you? Is it possible that believing in God makes it actually more difficult to think logically? If not, why wasn’t the ontological argument refuted about ten seconds after it was made?

                    If I said to you that an uncaused cause was just ‘special pleading’ you would find that difficult to accept…the question is why? Why is it more difficult for you to accept it than for me? The ‘normal’ logic of cause and effect has been thrown out of the window by one of us.

                    Does God micromanage everything? Of course, ask your neighbors about the abundant small blessings they have received from him and report back – God is responsible for the swift arrival of their heating repair engineer, the sudden recovery of their dog. How can all that beneficence not be micromanaged? To claim that is not the case, and I dare you to publish a post entitled ‘God is not responsible for the good things in your life’ you would fly in the face of the majority of Christians in America.

                    And seriously, the numbers debate is a red herring, but at least by answering I got some sort of a response from you I suppose. So here you go then, amounts of things exist (obviously) the descriptors of those amounts of things exist as useful notation (numbers). Our notation of numbers works so well that you may feel that numbers have some abstract existence of their own away from the notation. You might (I’ve really no idea) be able to cure yourself of this by using Roman numerals for a while. Do some big unwieldy calculations I dunno, long division/multiplication using Roman numerals. Next month, every time you write down a phone number use Roman numerals. Every time you go shopping or pay for gas use Roman numerals. Maybe by the the third week you’ll be begging to agree with me that numbers don’t exist.

                    The evidence for God might be more robust than I think. As you would say: Prove it.

              • Martin Gately says:


                • Then how is it rational to talk about them? Are you suggesting that mathematics is the study of something that does not exist?

                  • Martin Gately says:

                    Hi Perry, it’s been a while. Well maybe one long meandering post (yours of 20th May) deserves another (mine of 30th May). But at least I answered your points as best I could. To be honest, I think I’ve been crystal clear on my views regarding the red herring of math that you have attempted to raise. Your book isn’t about whether numbers are real, is it now? Let me explain my point briefly, believing in God is an intellectual encumbrance. I therefore salute and give double credit to anyone, e.g. Sir Isaac Newton who can produce excellent theoretical work while believing in God. So far so, good, you’ve heard of the ontological argument, right? If not it probably has a wikipedia page that I haven’t read…you can look it up. It is a weak and flawed argument for the existence of God that nobody believes any more. Now are you paying attention? Here is my point: if you are in a modern day lecture hall with religious studies/theology students they get the weakness of the argument in about ten minutes. So why did anybody ever believe it? Could it have been that an overly strong belief in religion was hamstringing critical thought? Yes, it could. That’s right, I’m telling you (not suggesting) that theology is the study of something that does not exist…

                    • You have said nothing of substance here. You’re just emoting.

                    • Paul Cotton says:

                      Well said Martin. I bet that your argument will me met by silence, or the simple statement that you cannot prove a negative. Of course we cannot prove that a God does not exist but no-one can prove that one does either.

                    • When Mr. Gately brings forward a coherent argument with a clear thesis, instead of meandering comments, I will be happy to engage. I posted a link for him to my page on Godel’s incompleteness theorem as a legitimate answer to his question. If he wants to dialogue about that then he can post a comment on that page.

                    • Martin Gately says:

                      No, Perry. It’s just that you are unable or unwilling to engage with my point(s) on any meaningful level. If I were a student and you my lecturer/professor I’d have put in a complaint to the faculty head regarding your last two answers. They just aren’t good enough. And as for Godel’s information theorem…if that’s your evidence a) obviously you don’t have any evidence b) I’m not sure you understand what evidence is c) you can’t see the massive logical gap in the reasoning you are attempting to employ

                    • Martin Gately says:

                      Hi Perry, well, this whole ‘meandering’ point is somewhat bogus. I’m sure other people following this thread can see that. But I’ll play your game…let’s see if you want to play it too. Or will there be further obfuscation.

                      a) Religious beliefs are culturally determined by, for example, the society and time in which you live. They seem to be apparently true when enough people in society believe and agree on them.
                      b) Logic and mathematics are always true. Irrespective of your place in time and the culture you live in.
                      c) Thought experiment regarding the above propositions: Perry and Martin live in Athens in the First Century BC but are aware of Godel’s theorem. Perry uses the theorem to prove that the Gods of Olympus definitely exist. Thus upholding the commonly held beliefs of the day.
                      d) Conclusion: Culturally biased logical deductions about religion are suspect/dubious.

                    • Godel’s incompleteness theorem says that if the universe is logical, then an indivisible boundless infinite entity (which you have to assume but cannot prove) is responsible for it.

                      If the universe is illogical, then this conclusion is not necessary.

                      Otherwise, something resembling a deistic or theistic God necessarily exists.

                      Godel’s incompleteness theorem rules out any form of God resembling the Greek deities, since they are not infinite or boundless.

                      Logical vs. illogical universe is itself an undecidable proposition. If you want to choose illogical, and get rid of God, and therefore kick the stool out from under all scientific thinking, be my guest.

                    • Martin Gately says:

                      I can’t quite believe that you are serious. And I think you are now making yourself look heroically ridiculous, admittedly at the cost of attempting to answer my point. The point is Godel’s incompleteness theorem as applied here is mere sophistry. But on another note, at least if you lived in Athens in the First Century BC you’d be an atheist. Oops. See what you did there?

    • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

      Well said. I would add one thing: what really excites scientists now is whether the word “accident” should be replace by the word “necessity”.

      • Marilyn says:

        Thinking . Yes that’s the point. Nobody knows because the thinking mind can go no further than belief! Even with so called evidence, to the mind it’s just perception- a concept, which varies , depending on the knowledge one has, information added to one’s thought processess that was conditioned anyway.

  7. Laszlo G Meszaros says:

    Jesus, Perry, please study some math, or just do a simple experiment and flip coins. The result: HTHTTHHHTTHTTTHTHTT, and so on. Then, look for – let’s say – the pattern “HTH”. And the beauty of this is that more you flip more “HTH” you will find.

    • Of course there are patterns to be found within a string of random letters. Sure, if the sample size is small enough.

      But you completely miss the point of randomness.

      The chances of


      arising from choosing from 26 letters 3 different times at random = 1 in 26x26x26.

      The chances of any full paragraph of Shaekspeare being generated the same way in the history of the universe = as close to zero as you can get.

      • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

        I guess you are the who is missing the point. Why? because the point is that the chance is NOT zero. (It does not matter how small it is.) Just think about this knowing: 1. we are talking about “infinite” universe and 2. billions of years.)

        • Laszlo,

          I’ve got a “monkeys with typewriters” experiment for you to perform, to enable you to demonstrate that you are right.

          1) For now I’ll grant you one universe. I’ll only grant you an infinite number of other universes if you can provide tangible empirical proof of them.

          2) I’ll grant you 1000 characters which is about 200 words. I’ll also grant you 26 choices for letters. Plus a space, for a total alphabet of 27. You don’t even have to produce Shakespeare. I’ll give you a far broader, easier fitness criteria (“fitness function”) than Shakespeare.

          Please calculate how much time you would need just to satisfy the following requirements: (a) 13% of the letters must be “e” (which is consistently true in English) and 6% of the words must be the word “the” (which is also consistently true in English, see http://www.wordfrequency.info/free.asp?s=y).

          Those are the only parameters, so again that’s a lot easier than Shakespeare. It doesn’t even have to be coherent real English words. You get 1,000 random mutations per second.

          You must show all your calculations.


          Come back with your calculations and we can talk.

          • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

            Dear Perry,
            at this point any attempt to try any calculation of such is futile. The point is that the probability is not zero. Origin of Life research is in “kindergarden”. Yet…

            • One chance in 10^1000 or 10^100,000 is not zero.

              But it is still not realistically possible by any reasonable application of statistics.

              I respect origin of life researchers for what they are attempting to do; but at this point in time, most OOL theories barely qualify as science, by any fair definition of science. If it is inappropriate to discuss religious theories of OOL in the science classroom, then by the same standard it should also be inappropriate to seriously consider the popular materialistic OOL scenarios because there is no real evidence for them and no working models.

              The only honest answer is 1) we don’t know, and 2) everything we know about the universe – fine tuning, OOL etc – infers that there is a plan.

              Until you can back up an assertion with math, the assertion is not science. With all due respect, Laszlo, such assertions are mysticism and you are too smart and well educated to believe in things that have such poor statistical probabilities.

              What has ALWAYS been true as long as this discussion has been around is:

              Do you believe in God with a capital G – or Chance with a capital C?

              It always comes down to that.

              And I find in my conversations with people – especially face to face – this is not a “reason and logic” decision. If it were a reason and logic decision, everyone would believe in God. (80%+ of people do.) I find especially with atheists it is a very emotional decision and it has a lot to do with pain, suffering, disappointment, disillusionment and all the rest. It is not a rational decision.

              At the same time I grant you that many creationists and religious people believe silly things. That doesn’t mean it’s silly to believe that the universe flows from something or someone very very great and powerful and orderly. Science is the search for that order. Abdicating to chance or infinite numbers of universes is not science.

              I invite you to engage with me in a deeper dialogue based on mathematics, probability, reason and logic. It will lead you to God.

              • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

                The job of a scientist is NOT to believe, but to KNOW. A good scientist always knows what science does not know YET. (Actually, this the real human endeavor, isn’t it?)

                • It seems you’ve just contradicted yourself. On one hand, a scientist’s job is to know, yet on the other hand, science cannot absolutely determine any knowledge.

                  • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

                    There is no contradiction here. A scientist’s obligation is to learn, then know. On the other hand, his or her obligation is also recognize what (Current) Science Does Not now Yet.

              • Jeff a says:

                “find especially with atheists it is a very emotional decision and it has a lot to do with pain, suffering, disappointment, disillusionment and all the rest. It is not a rational decision.”

                I find that your statement would be better applied to people who have sought strength and comfort from religion in their times of uncertainty and pain. I don’t believe that many people turn to atheism in the last few hours or days of their lives, as happens a lot with religions. Many people that I have known have turned to religion to find peace and serenity in the hands of God. I am sure not many turn to him based on logical thought as perhaps you have. But in my opinion many atheists turn away from religion because it just doesn’t add up for them. Sure, there are those who turn away from religion based on anger, disapointment, pain, and dissolution. But I would say the vast majority of that 80% of the world that have come to religion, come there for just those reasons, and another big one, fear of the unknown. Religion offers people relief for their pain,emptiness, and answers for their fear. Atheism does not. Your statement in my opinion is completely backwards. It is far more likely that the decision to not believe in a God is a rationally thought out decision, considering that you are defying the common opinion of your stated 80% of the population. I know this is off topic and for that iapologize.

                • No, this is not off topic at all. And you don’t owe any apology. Glad you are saying this.

                  I might be tempted to agree with you if it weren’t for the thousands of emails and blog conversations I’ve exchanged with atheists. When I first started this website – and the sister website http://www.coffeehousetheology.com – I was understandably getting disagreements from every kind of person you can imagine, from every religious point of view. I’m not sure there’s a significant religious view in the world that I haven’t run into in these exchanges.

                  And sure enough, I probably offended just about everybody on some topic or another.

                  And NOBODY was or is as virulent, angry, insulting, belligerent, dogmatic or fundamentalist as the atheists. Nobody. And it’s not just me or my site. Go to any newspaper or blog where religion is being openly discussed and the atheists are out in droves insulting people, calling people names and acting like they’re 13 years old.

                  In contrast, I generally found that Hindus, Muslims, Catholics and just about everybody else tended to be civil and reasonable.

                  In my experience the “objective, calm, rational atheist” who arrives at conclusions based on pure “reason and logic” is far less common than atheist would have you believe. Books by Dawkins, Coyne and Hitchens are mostly rants – usually loaded with leaps o’ logic as well. Pick an atheist argument, let’s dissect it and I’ll prove to you it’s true.

                  By the way please use your full first and last name when posting.

  8. Floyd Cooper says:

    I am a Christian. I have been known to rail against Christians for dogmatic statements about positions for which they neither not studied nor thought through to their logical conclusions. There are some atheists here willing to do so, which is refreshing. We need more from both sides with the intellectual honesty to engage without prejudice. We all might learn something.

  9. Jim Serafin says:

    I have been debating atheists for over 11 years and most after a few logical posts will resort to personal attacks. There are a few that will engage in respectful debate (mostly on moderated sites). Their god is BUC (blind unguided chance). They have so much faith in BUC and science they cannot “let the divine foot in the door” (Lewontin). When I ask for empirical proof (observable, repeatable and predictable) they get shrill.

  10. David Black says:

    Modern a-theists have more to be involved with that endless chatter about Voltaire and Nietsche… not everyone who wants to get on with moving beyond religion has the time or inclination to be an armchair intellectual finding fault with other intellectuals.. and by the way, he has retired from his Chair at Oxford, so perhaps he’s speaking an a mere mortal…

  11. Brewster says:

    On the contrary, atheists have long enjoyed the perception of being curmudgeonly or bellicose. Though later in his life Einstein rejected or dismissed all the tenets of belief or faith, he would always stop short of admitting he was atheist. But when denying he was atheist, he never used the term in a generic sense. He always made a point of qualifying a particular sort of atheist; the curmudgeonly outspoken atheist. So in Einstein’s mind, at least, he seemed to substantially equate atheism with ‘angry’ or ‘outspoken’. Einstein was hardly alone. Non-belief once was largely impossible for the common person; only the privileged and educated could weather the adverse social and economic consequences or backlash – let alone thrive – in a society of believing orthodoxy. The ‘democratization’ of non-belief as it becomes more accessible has a downside (much as all sorts of democratization does) in that it has been taken-up by many who really don’t have any uncommon knowledge, aren’t too well-read, make poor arguments, are not articulating things based on understanding but rather parroting arguments they have gleaned from others (and doing it poorly). It used to be that an atheist was very likely (almost had to be) someone of high aptitude, very well-read who came to atheism after years of inquiry and scrutiny. Today, one can become an “easy” atheist (for a variety of reasons or motives) without putting in the hard work. If I have to suffer 10 times every day of my life the bad arguments or reasoning for belief that haven’t had merit for 500+ years, or watch lay believers try to “debunk” science and evolution by using talking points rather than actual understanding, I don’t see why believers are so special that they shouldn’t have to suffer and lament the counter-equivalent.

  12. Bror Erickson says:

    Indeed, as angry as Dawkins comes off one is tempted to ask if he really believes it was a “happy” accident at all.

  13. Russell Houghton says:

    This type of article would be more credible if writers like you could refute their points rather than abusing them as people. Instead, you jump the man for a whimsical moment, as if his long history of scientific endeavors and impressive list of accomplishments and awards are meaningless. Krauss and Dennett also have impressive records. Never mind that, jump Dawkins for an insignificant remark, then you can mock people who point out that you’re wrong.
    (Ahem) You’re wrong. Careful, Christians, your hate is showing.

    As for angry atheists…maybe the Christian habit of ad hominem attacks, straw men arguments, misrepresentation of our viewpoint and our characters (and more!) are a valid reason why some of us are angry. I know, in your view only the religious should get to proselytize. Well, buckle up, Buttercup, the times, they are a-changing.

  14. Paul Cotton says:

    I find this site hugely entertaining. Perry – you constantly ask for empirical evidence to support theories and yet I am sure that you cannot provide a shred of that for the existence of your entity. You also seem to have a passionate hatred for poor Richard Dawkins. I have met him, he seems a very pleasant human being whose only crime seems to be an intolerance of the dogma to which you subscribe. Every argument has flaws but some have a lot more evidence to support them than others.

  15. Paul Cotton says:

    Is it not true, that for hundreds of years, Christianity had everything it’s own way. Blasphemy was a capital offence and the churches more or less ran the whole show. It has been a means of control and dissidence seen as a threat to that control. Nothing like a few burnings or torturings to bring the peasants into line. Now we are free to exercise our own minds and of course the likes of Richard Dawkins, having a public profile is seen as a threat to the straws that you cling to. Attack him by all means – I am sure that he doesn’t mind, though you will have to provide facts to back up your attacks.

  16. Don says:

    Richard Dawkins has said that “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” The Blind Watchmaker (1986), pg. 6
    Dawkins showed his own lack of intellect by that very statement.
    • It is impossible to prove the absolute non-existence of something, unless the inquirer is observing everything everywhere all the time, and not just in the physical realm, but in all spiritual realms (omnipresent), and has the capacity to comprehend all that exists (omniscient), and yet did not find God
    • An atheist, by definition, claims that God does not exist

    Dawkins’ atheist is intellectually, logically, and philosophically bankrupt for either of two reasons
    • Either he himself is omniscient and omnipresent, taking to himself two attributes of God, which would be an internal, logical conflict with his avowed atheism (and the worst of megalomaniacs)
    • Or he is not aware of having committed fatal errors in logic and epistemology

    He can be fulfilled, but he isn’t an intellectual.

    • Very little that he says is strictly logical.

      • Paul Cotton says:

        So why do you need to attack him? If his arguments are sos spurious then you have nothing to fear. I have not read your book and In all probability I won’t. I have seen enough on this site. What it all boils down to is that you believe in a god for which there is no evidence whatsoever and some of us cannot do that. Your argument that there is no randomness in the universe is rather scary, it would mean that everything was predestined and therefore none of us has any choice. The evils perpetuated in the name of your god are therefore of his own will and that makes him a rather nasty piece of work.

      • Paul Cotton says:

        Your hatred of Richard Dawkins verges on the fanatical. So far you are basing your entire argument on his use of the phrase “Happy Accident”; perhaps he should have used the word serendipity, but his job is to communicate scientific ideas to the population in general. It seems to me that much of this fundamentalism originates in a country where the gun is almost worshipped and where a significant proportion of the population think that Donald Trump is a good thing all of which suggests that your education policies are not working well.

  17. Raman Sehgal says:

    Dawkins and Co. are playing an important role in dismantling evil cults of Islam and Christianity. They deserve respect for this endeavor. I agree that Dawkins may not be 100% right in his talks – but we must support his larger goal.

    • So if you’re against Christianity and Islam it’s OK if your science is wrong?

      Do you think atheists should get “As” for delivering “C” work?

      Isn’t that the very definition of prejudice – lowering your standards for one set of people because they’re in the “right” group or because they’re against the “wrong” group?

      • Paul Cotton says:

        Perry, you should know that scientific ideas are frequently tested and examined critically as new evidence is brought to light. The same cannot be said for religions, whose ideas are based around writings that were recorded a very long time ago, and the veracity of which is really questionable. I have yet to find one argument for the existence of a creator, that is not based on a lack of understanding of the universe; thus providing the tedious notion that because we don’t know there must have been a creator.

        • I suggest you start with http://www.perrymarshall.com/godel.

          • Martin Gately says:

            Do your claims for Godel’s theorem match those of Godel himself? Or are they in some way different from what he said about his own theorem?

            • I’ve never heard of any specific reason to believe Godel would disagree with anything I’ve said here.

              Godel produced an ontological proof for the existence of God.

              Go through it with a fine toothed comb and think through all the points yourself. There are plenty of comments in the thread that you may find helpful as well.

              • Martin Gately says:

                Perry, the fact that the proof is an ontological proof is the problem – i.e. God has certain characteristics therefore he must exist, and yes, Godel has cleverly fixed the classical ontological argument…the universe has certain characteristics so God must exist. All this is still equally susceptible to the same criticism as St. Anselm’s original ontological argument. Critics of the argument repeat it like a mantra: Existence is not a predicate. Question: is there a book, an interview, a letter (anything) where Godel himself expands and explains what you may well regard as the greatest scientific theorem in human history?

                • I’m not defending his ontological argument. I’m personally not persuaded by it.

                  Hwever I’m quite happy with the argument I make on incompleteness. It doesn’t prove God, but it does prove something resembling God is necessary for the universe to be consistent.

                  • Martin Gately says:

                    Thanks for clarifying that, Perry. But, if it doesn’t persuade you (and as I’ve said before, there was a time when the classical ontological argument was good enough for pretty much everyone) then that means that it you were living in Canterbury, England in the 11th Century you’d be an atheist unconvinced by St. Anselm’s arguments. Admittedly, the arguments for the existence of God (or Gods) are getting harder to refute. But this is only because people are getting more sophisticated. At the time of Diagoras in 5th Century BC Greece, the arguments were weak indeed (hence Diagoras being sentenced to death for not believing in the Greek Gods – yes, you’d be an atheist in 5th Century Greece too). Unfortunately, better arguments can’t call a God into existence…the more convincing the argument, the more you should be on the look out for sophistry.

                    • I don’t think any of this stuff ever comes down to just one thing.

                      I’m not a Christian simply because of Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

                      I’m a Christian for lots of reasons – a decent short tour of those reasons is at http://www.perrymarshall.com/spirituality.

                    • Martin Gately says:

                      Thanks Perry. I will review your reasons for being a Christian with interest when I chance. But isn’t it just a ‘happy accident’ that you are a Christian in the here and now of 21st Century America? As I’ve demonstrated there are plenty of times and places when you’d most likely have been an atheist. The prevalence and acceptability of Christianity in the US means that you are high likely to decide to be a Christian (or carry on being a Christian in the tradition of your family). Your religion is heavily determined by your cultural exposure to it within the society in which you live. Religions that you have a lower order of cultural exposure to e.g. Jainism, Hinduism, Islam you are unlikely to have wrestled with a potential conversion to. BUT…if you had grown up in a society where they were the norm it highly likely that you would have gone along with the tenets of a non-Christian religion. We need to be extremely cautious of arguments that prove the God of our culture to be the ‘correct and only God.’ Watch out for cultural bias in what seems to be logical axioms and propositions. With all of the religions in the world, what are the odds of being born into the correct one?

                    • Martin,

                      I heard what I felt like was a tremendous compliment from a friend Brian – who had heard the following from Michael:

                      Michael said, “I visited Perry and his library was full of books from OTHER belief systems. He had books about Hinduism and Buddhism and Mormonism and Atheism. I really respected that he researches the things he disagrees with and engages.”

                      Michael had actually said nothing about this to me. I heard it 2nd hand from a mutual friend.

                      But yes I have studied a lot of other belief systems.

                      And yes even though I grew up a “pastor’s kid” you can be sure that my beliefs were sorely tested and examined.

                      I’m still a Christian as a result of deliberate and careful research.

                      I don’t think you’re in a position to know that in some other world I’d be an atheist. I don’t know how you could possibly know that.

                      A LOT of religions have come and gone and only a few have survived.

                      Atheism almost without exceptions creates a boat load of problems wherever it takes hold. The three bloodiest regimes in the history of man (Lenin, Stalin and Mao) killed more people in one century, than all religious wars in all centuries combined. Is it just a coincidence that all three were led by flaming atheists?

                      I don’t think it’s any coincidence that in 2000 years, despite tremendous opposition, Christianity has become the most prevalent religion in the world. It has much to commend it.

                    • Martin Gately says:

                      That’s a lot there to take on…and I suspect you know the answers I’d give to much of that. So let’s confine ourselves to how I would I know that in other time periods you’d be an atheist – well, that’s based on things that you yourself have said during our exchanges. But you tell me then: what would your religion be in Greece in the 5th Century BC (say if you were Greek)? What would your religion be in 11th Century England if you rejected the ontological argument of St Anselm? (Er, you’d dismiss the main argument of the time for existence of God but still be a Christian? You’d be brave to do so certainly). Question: may I ask, for all that study, for that interaction via your theology website – have your beliefs and position changed at all? Have you changed religious denominations e.g. converted to Catholicism? I’m guessing you had no need to though because (by happy accident) your studies have confirmed you were born into the correct religion all along. Unlike the 1.6 billion Muslims, 1 billion Hindus etc who presumably face eternal damnation for being born into the wrong culture…

                    • Martin,

                      I don’t think the Bible teaches anywhere that people face eternal damnation for being born into the wrong culture. See http://www.coffeehousetheology.com/top10/#8. Let’s get that out of the way. In fact I’m inclined to think that people who do not get eternal life never achieve immortality, which would be a very straightforward conclusion based on God casting Adam and Eve out of the garden, and his reasons for doing so. And I think that applies whether those two people are literary or literal.

                      The question you’re asking is essentially saying “If you had the same presuppositions you have now and you lived 2500 years ago…” but if I lived 2500 years ago I wouldn’t have the same presuppositions.

                      Making judgments about my faith, based on what you presume that I would do in a difference century (considering you don’t even know me!) strikes me as an arcane endeavor.

                      My theological views have shifted considerably. I’ve gone from an old earth creationist to endorsing evolution. I don’t believe the Bible is infallible now, I did before I started all this. I used to be a card-carrying evangelical. Now I’m something more like Celtic/charismatic. I used to think miracles ceased after the disciples. I’ve now had direct personal experience with three deaf people who got their hearing back when someone healed them.

                      Over the last 15 years I’ve answered over 15,000 emails and/or blog posts about this stuff and those conversations have shifted my views considerably. Lots of articles here and on http://www.coffeehousetheology.com.

                      Oh, and all of this has me convinced beyond any shadow of doubt, the sheer absurdity of atheism.

                    • Martin Gately says:

                      Well, Perry…if you’ve moved from creationist to believing in evolution and thinking that the bible isn’t reliable you are definitely moving in the right direction across the spectrum – I have faith you’ll be an atheist during your lifetime (though it may only be a happy accident). Maybe if I keep posting you’ll eventually get the point of hypothetical thought experiments like asking you what religion you would be in ancient Greece…
                      I like the way that you say I don’t know you – well of course I don’t know you…but your thoughts and beliefs are set out in minute detail and enormous length on this very website. I know more about your beliefs than plenty of people I know personally, especially here in the UK where people tend to keep their religious beliefs to themselves…

      • Laszlo G Meszaros says:

        Dear Perry, you do not get the main point… A believer believes in and sticks to something that was told him/her before. And the believer feels fine about it. A non-believer, on the other hand, wants to know. Knowing (approaching knowledge) takes time and effort, and the process itself might have its shortcomings. But still, the latter one is human, more human than the forrmer one.

      • Raman Sehgal says:

        1. Science and Religion deal with different unknowns. Science usually with the material whereas religion with the spiritual aspects.

        2. Religion has its utility and is there to stay.

        3. Problem comes when science and religion cross their limits and enter into others domain.

        4. The reason why science scores more than religion especially abrahmic ones is that it is open to scrutiny and change ie nothing is final in science and tomorrow if anyone comes with better theory or evidence – science will change its course. Abrahmic religions do not have this luxury – their scriptures r final – no questions asked.

        5. Dawkins maybe wrong – he never says he is prophet of science – anyone can come with better evidence and prove him wrong – I am sure Dawkins will welcome it. Try changing Koran or Bible – for Koran u will be beheaded and same was true of bible just few centuries ago.

  18. Paul Cotton says:

    You say that a lot of religions have come and gone, and yet their adherents all clung to their faith like limpets on a rock. Is it not the case that the Abrahamic religions have survived because of blasphemy laws that meted out severe punishments to dissenters? Burning witches and executing infidels is a great way to keep the club together. OK Christians have changed their ways a little but the numbers have toppled over the centuries and markedly so in the last few decades. In the Islamic world, most are Muslim by coercion and were never given a choice. To offer any sort of dissent is still met with severe punishment. You have the luxury of being able to think for yourself while so many trapped in the net of religion do not have that facility. Like governments, religions prefer their followers to remain ignorant.

    • Where in the New Testament do you find endorsement of anything resembling burning of witches?

      I admit these things are deplorable and Jesus would say so too.

      Can we use the New Testament as our standard of what is considered properly “Christian?”

      • Martin Gately says:

        Yes we can. Women should be quiet in church and mental illness is obviously caused by demonic possession. But I’m so glad we can junk the pro-sexual slavery nonsense of the Old Testament though.

        • I personally think it’s rather clear from what women actually DO in the New Testament (which includes a lot of talking, including being the first witnesses to the resurrection), that this instruction that women remain quiet in church is specific to a peculiar situation.

          But I’ll freely admit that people taught in a particular way become programmed to not notice what those women do.

          I grew up in a church just like this but eventually the problems with this became all too obvious.

          PS My pastor’s name is Heather :^)

          • Martin Gately says:

            Someone really needs to have a word with St. Paul and tell him to draft his epistles more carefully!
            My best wishes to Heather, but without Henry the VIII wanting a divorce (er, just to spell it out – the birth of Protestantism) she’d be in a different line of work…

      • Paul Cotton says:

        I wonder if the residents of Salem asked themselves that question? By discarding the old testament you are ignoring more than half of the bible. Isn’t that just cherry picking? That book has caused death and misery throughout its history and there are still plenty out there who believe every word of it. Th Q’ran is no better and is a source of xenophobia and hatred of unbelievers. Is it not the case that all of these books were derived for the same myths and legends and were probably assembled for the same reason. Control by telling people what to think.

        • The New Testament did away with the Mosaic law. This is all over Romans, Hebrews and the rest of the NT.

          If you want to argue about the Bible then you will have to take theology seriously and work with what Christianity actually says.

          • Martin Gately says:

            That’s theologically debatable, Perry. Try Matthew 5:17. Don’t assume ignorance of the Bible in Atheists – just because the subject of theology is a joke doesn’t mean to say we aren’t equipped to win the arguments. This thread kicked off with a brag about how you’d skewered Dawkins. Well, so far, I don’t think you’ve even skewered me (the humblest of his disciples). If anyone reading this thinks otherwise then please say…

            • A look at, for example, circumcision in Galatians or sacrifices in Hebrews is necessary to clarify what the NT means by abolish vs. fulfill.

              • Martin Gately says:

                Hmm. So the Son of God walks around on Earth for thirty odd years…doesn’t think it worthwhile writing firsthand account of his message…lets somebody he’s never met (a persecutor of Christians before his heatstroke related conversion) dash off a few letters which clarify the whole thing. It’s not so much a case of ‘mysterious ways’ as untidy and far-fetched.
                Can you point me to somewhere in Paul’s epistles where he clarifies that illness is not caused by unclean spirits, because that element of the gospels could stand some tidying up too…

                • Where does Paul say illness does come from unclean spirits, Martin?

                  • Martin Gately says:

                    Hi Perry,
                    I think you may be missing my point. Please read my post again. It certainly says illness is caused by unclean spirits in the gospels. In which case the gospels can hardly be documents of truth…you seem to think that Paul is there to clarify things…I was just thinking it might’ve been really useful (and who knows, moved on human understanding a couple of millennia) if Paul had explained what really causes illness – because it isn’t unclean spirits. God could easily have tipped him off and he could’ve put the record straight!

                    You’ve been waiting for some time for someone to punch a hole in Christianity. The bad news is that you’ve done a great job yourself…you’ve pointed out how Paul contradicts the gospels on the law of Moses. No 21st Century adult should be basing their life around this contradictory and convoluted nonsense. The intellectual contortions you have to go through to pretend it even half way makes sense aren’t worth anybody’s times.

                    • Martin Gately says:

                      Over a month in moderation? Previous comment too tough, Perry?

                    • During the last month I’ve had trips to Canada, UK, and Russia. Running multiple companies. Six kids, two adopted. I’m a pretty busy guy. I give people thoughtful responses. I will get to yours when I can.

                    • My friend Noemia Cessito witnessed a young girl, after having been cursed by a witch doctor in Mozambique, run out of her hut with both ears bleeding and drop to the ground dead.

                      There is an entire world of witchcraft that you are not familiar with, Martin. But it nevertheless exists.

                      There are a FEW people in the gospels whose illnesses are caused by unclean spirits. The Bible never characterizes all illness as being caused by this.

          • Paul Cotton says:

            I have no wish to argue about biblical content; that is for those who believe that it is not a work of fiction. Many Americans believe that the old testament should be taken at face value and that is scary enough. Do you deny that the bible has been the direct cause of much pain and misery for centuries and still continues to be divisive and dangerous?

      • Raman Sehgal says:

        Didn’t Jesus came to fulfill the prophesy of Old testament. He stood for all laws of OT and never spoke a word against it.

        • Paul Cotton says:

          Perry that is such a lame response; atheists have the same freedom but choose not to use it.

        • Raman,

          Ephesians 2:

          12 remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, [i]excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off [j]have been brought near [k]by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the [l]barrier of the dividing wall, 15 [m]by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might [n]make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, 16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, [o]by it having put to death the enmity.

          Galatians 5:18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.

  19. Abhishek Sinha says:

    I am not sure why people here are not talking about things like what is life . What is a soul . Does it exist . Is it divisible. What is thought . What are the theoretical designs of atheism. Why lightning strikes cannot be reproduced to create life again . Or are we not experimenting enough with lightning strikes in lab conditions .
    Like what happened before Big Bang . Did Big Bang come out of nothing . What is the concept of nothing . Is empty space nothing . Or is it something called space . How consciousness developed . And does it simply go away when the kidney stops working . Or does it go away when the brain stops working .Both Buddhism and Hinduism have closely looked at the question of soul and consciousnesses.It may not qualify as science . But asks relevant questions . People will not stop bothering about where they came from and where they will go after death .This chemical reaction thing is not going to solve people’s troubled minds and Souls unless unless there is a sound theory regarding origin of life explanation of death consciousness and finally the meaning and purpose of life .

  20. Laszlo G Meszaros says:

    Perry, you say “The Christian is free to pray and use science. The atheist only has the latter.” Well, this is where you are wrong. Science and belief do not go together. As a christian you might be an excellent researcher, an engineer, but definitely not a scientist.

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