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Originally posted by lambs to lions
reply to post by blackcube
This thread is about New Atheism, which is different than the absence of belief in God.
It is aggressive, combative, and has an agenda.
Perception is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. I'm not saying that it hasn't happened, but I see the anti-religious threads time and time again. I don't see many threads spouting off about "the damn Atheists are holding us back"
Originally posted by lambs to lions
reply to post by yourmaker
Conversation and debate concerning conspiracies is completely different from pushing an anti-religious agenda. So yeah, you are completely wrong on that one.
I hope people realize that this perspective is very prevalent among what I like to call the crusading atheists. Basically, they have subconsciously held a grudge regarding their childhood, because they feel 'betrayed' that their environment brainwashed them, and as a way to make it right and to make themselves feel better, they feel it is their duty to fight with nails and teeth against those who propagate what hurt them as a child. Whether they know it or not, that's how it goes. Atheists that were raised as atheists are not as violent towards the religious, as atheists who rebelled against their childhood religions. It's always easy to look for an outside enemy instead of facing your own inner problems.
Originally posted by trysts
I can't think of a good reason to respect the views of people who believe in angels, gods and demons. As a child one is subjected to the brainwashing done by the church, parents, television, and teachers. This brainwashing is not considered a crime, but it should be, in my view. So yes, if the religious folks are not criticized for promoting their silly and dangerous views to impressionable, young minds, then we're never going to see a society striving to be morally civilized.
Religion is hindering our evolution. Its pretty important stuff, that's why we take it so seriously.
Humanity’s closest living relatives are common chimpanzees and bonobos. These primates share a common ancestor with humans who lived between four and six million years ago. It is for this reason that chimpanzees and bonobos are viewed as the best available surrogate for this common ancestor. Barbara King argues that while non-human primates are not religious, they do exhibit some traits that would have been necessary for the evolution of religion. These traits include high intelligence, a capacity for symbolic communication, a sense of social norms, realization of "self" and a concept of continuity. There is inconclusive evidence that Homo neanderthalensis may have buried their dead which is evidence of the use of ritual. The use of burial rituals is evidence of religious activity, but there is no other evidence that religion existed in human culture before humans reached behavioral modernity.
Elephants are the only other species known to have any recognizable ritual surrounding death.
Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, argues that many species grieve death and loss.
Setting the stage for human religion
Increased brain size
In this set of theories, the religious mind is one consequence of a brain that is large enough to formulate religious and philosophical ideas. During human evolution, the hominid brain tripled in size, peaking 500,000 years ago. Much of the brain's expansion took place in the neocortex. This part of the brain is involved in processing higher order cognitive functions that are connected with human religiosity. The neocortex is associated with self consciousness, language and emotion. According to Dunbar's theory, the relative neocortex size of any species correlates with the level of social complexity of the particular species. The neocortex size correlates with a number of social variables that include social group size and complexity of mating behaviors. In chimpanzees the neocortex occupies 50% of the brain, whereas in modern humans it occupies 80% of the brain.
Robin Dunbar argues that the critical event in the evolution of the neocortex took place at the speciation of archaic homo sapiens about 500,000 years ago. His study indicates that only after the speciation event is the neocortex large enough to process complex social phenomena such as language and religion. The study is based on a regression analysis of neocortex size plotted against a number of social behaviors of living and extinct hominids.
Stephen Jay Gould suggests that religion may have grown out of evolutionary changes which favored larger brains as a means of cementing group coherence among savannah hunters, after that larger brain enabled reflection on the inevitability of personal mortality.
In a two-part paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics, Stanford University researcher Gerald Crabtree suggests that evolution is, in fact, making us dumber — and that human intelligence may have actually peaked before our hunter-gatherer predecessors left Africa.
The reason? Life on the veldt was tough, and prehistoric humans’ genes were constantly subjected to selective pressure in an environment where the species’ survival depended on it. For humans, that meant getting smarter. ”The development of our intellectual abilities and the optimization of thousands of intelligence genes probably occurred in relatively non-verbal, dispersed groups of peoples before our ancestors emerged from Africa,” Crabtree said in a news release.
Read more: newsfeed.time.com...
Let us now look at the standard dogmatic atheist statements earlier presented in this essay and see how each is flawed and unscientific.
a) There is no scientific evidence for a Creator.
b) Science proves there is no Creator.
c) All things have naturalistic explanations.
THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE FOR A CREATOR is a scientifically inept statement. Science assumes all things have naturalistic explanations in accord with Occam’s Razor. Claims that science has found no evidence for a Creator implies that scientists are engaged in research to prove or disprove a Creator. Dogmatic atheists peddling this slogan open themselves up to a simple question that exposes their ignorance and presumptions: What scientific research going on now is specifically looking for evidence of a Creator? (The answer is none.)
SCIENCE PROVES THERE IS NO CREATOR is not only scientifically inept but stupid. Since science is not attempting to prove or disprove a Creator and there is no scientific research being done based on such a hypothesis, then science is proving nothing that justifies such an outlandish statement. It is no surprise that the proponents of this particular slogan become extremely defensive when asked to share this “proof” that there is no Creator. Dogmatic atheists repeatedly fall back to claiming, like the cynics they are, that they have no Burden of Proof although they claimed they have proof. The irony here is that if they had such proof, then it would be easy to prove it, so why the defensive emotional anger? The answer is self-evident, the dogmatic atheist was called on his bluff, and like a poor card player cannot maintain his cool. The intellectual hypocrisy to claim on one hand that science proves something and to become defensive and not explain how science proves it is the product of an immature and emotional mind, and such people are the ones who give science a bad name in many circles. While the dogmatic theist will hide his own ignorance and intolerance behind largely misrepresented scripture, the same holds true for the dogmatic atheist who hides behind misrepresented science. Although the dogmatic atheist will claim they have no Burden of Proof because negatives cannot be proven, the opposite is true. An affirmative statement that something can be proven not to exist is workable. The statement that science proves there is no Creator can be demonstrated if the Creator is defined in a falsifiable way and the definition shown to be fundamentally flawed. This paper will now put forward just such a definition and an examination of the definition in light of modern scientific findings. If science proves the definition flawed, then that definition is invalid.