"If we were to look at a beautiful painting and exclaim over how such a masterpiece just formed on its own, we would be called fools. Yet many would say that the eye, which sees it and possesses 130 million light-sensitive rods and cones that convert light into chemical impulses that travel at a rate of a billion per second to the brain, was just an accidental formation. Ps. 14:1 "The fool has said, "There is no God."
This is a post that my uncle put on facebook.
He is a critical, judgmental, hypocrite of a christian, who loves to point out other people's faults while acting like he is perfect. He also prides himself in being intelligent and witty, and looks down on people who don't fit into his view of how a person should act according to the bible. I want to post something back, but I don't really know what to put. Any suggestions???
False equivalency. Paintings are not eyeballs. We know for a fact that paintings are the result of "intelligent design." Humans make them. If paintings evolved by natural selection we could expect to see millions of discarded paintings for each one that ended up on the wall. They would have been randomly created and look like nothing. (This is not a perfect analogy since paintings don't reproduce.)
The eyeball is not the result of an accident. This is a deliberate misrepresentation of the scientific position. Evolution is not intelligent or purposeful, but it is not accidental either. The tiny changes that happen by mutation are random, but natural selection is entirely deterministic. Things that give a survival advantage do well. Those that do not are killed by the environment. We do not see the mountains of failures for every success because the natural processes of the earth erase most of it over time. If we could see them, it would no longer seem so miraculous.
Eyes are a bad example for the creationists to use. The fact is that the evolution of the eye is very well understood. Begining with the first photosensitive spot to the first indented spot, to the pinhole cameras to lenses, there are examples well known to science of each stage. We also know that for such an "intelligently designed" organ, there sure are a lot of engineering screw ups, like the need for the brain to fill in the blank spots caused by the fact that blood vessels and nerves are run over the retina and not behind it like in squid.
Side note. Try not to use the Bible as a counter-argument. Doing so concedes the validity of claims of Biblical authority. If there is no god, then there is no word of god. In point of fact, relying on the vague, contradictory and bizarre pronouncements of the Bible is self-serving. Ones own book written with ones own ideas in mind and not based on any objective evidence proves nothing.
Until someone can demonstrate that 1. god is real and 2. the Bible is his word, then it should not be relied upon as evidence. Further, religious efforts to use it as such should not go unchallenged.
Quoting contradictory or horrific sections of the bible is most useful when trying to demonstrate that the bible is, in fact, not an inerrant, unchanging, perfect source of anything, much less knowledge.
I don't know why so many people are so caught up in what a few goat herders born 2,000 years ago think about their actions today.
Holy fuck, people. These are the same guys that believed in a talking snake, every land animal in the world fitting on a handmade boat, cutting your foreskins off with sharp rocks and burning bushes that talk!
Let's move on to ways of thinking that we KNOW will benefit the world.. like feeding our hungry and providing health care, eh?
I guess it is useful to rely on the Bible to show how it does mean what people think it means to to impeach its authority by pointing out contradictions or implausibility. Those tend to be arguments about the Bible itself.
In terms of specific "factual" assertions by believers, I still think one is better off not getting dragged into their turf. While the average Christian probably does not know much about the Bible except for the stories everyone knows, a dedicated fundy will go toe to toe with you and will eventually paint you into a rhetorical corner.
Your uncle is an idiot. I thought the claim that "chemical impulses that travel at a rate of a billion per second to the brain" looked fishy, so I looked up the frequency of optical nerve synapses. As it turns out, my doubts were well-founded.
According to the article:
"With about 1,000,000 ganglion cells, the human retina would transmit data at roughly the rate of an Ethernet connection, or 10 million bits per second."
10 mbps. My network card is faster than that. If you want to put it in terms he'll understand (albeit a flawed analogy), tell him it's the equivalent of a 10Mhz processor. An old, single-core Pentium 4 processor makes calculations at 320 times that.
But then, even an ethernet connection isn't a good example, because we're not even talking about single impulses. To reach the 10 MHz mentioned in the article, you need a bandwidth of 1,000,000 ganglia to hit the targeted freqency. I guess man is just a better engineer than god.
At any rate, tell him to stop copying and pasting from his idiotic religious hate sites if he's not willing to check their claims.
Thank you for that very enlightening info! I will definately have to pass that on to him. Yeah, I know he's an idiot. Funny thing is, he acts like he's more intelligent than most people. Very arrogant. Ho hum. But, whatever, he's blinded by faith.