Atheism

Latest News....Lame brains in Kentucky have built a museum which claims that dinosaurs lived in harmony with mankind -are they real? Have they checked carbon dating? Or the fossil record?...NewScientist.com - NEWSFLASH ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in class Pennsylvania science teachers will not be forced to advocate "intelligent design" after a judge ruled that the theory is really religion in disguise.In his decision, Judge John Jones systematically dismantled the arguments of the proponents of intelligent design. Click on the link below for the full story on NewScientist.com/news: http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8493 Science and technology news and features updated daily at http://www.newscientist.com ------------------------------------------------------------------------- BBC wastes money on re-enacting the crucifixion of Christ - in Manchester - using pop songs....

Horizon - God on the Brain (TLE)

Theists are like HORTON in the above movie - they claim something exists,and are thought mad - Horton delivers evidence - where is the evidence of God?


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Letters to the metro_files

I don't believe it: Emma Steer's definition of atheism is flawed,since it is clearly predicated on her own belief that God does not exist. A better definition might be: A belief that God does not exist. This,arguably,is just as much a matter of faith as is her own belief and might make for an interesting classroom discussion. 
Dave Korman, Surrey.

Religion - nothing but trouble

Religions must update beliefs :The views of JP demonstrate that most disturbing aspect of organised religion - the unshakeable belief that whatever acts are done in line with your interpretation of the teachings of your god must be morally right. This way of thinking has justified countless atrocities, massacres and holy wars throughout history, and continues to destroy the lives of people around the globe today. I am not anti-religion by any means, but anyone who believes they have all the answers is a dangerous person. Whether you want to call them religious fanatics, fundamentalists or extremists, their unquestioning belief that their hatred and prejudice is sanctioned by their god allows them to commit acts of barbarism against other human beings. JP argues that 'religion has nothing to do with being relevant to modern society' but, if religions don't update their attitudes, we will never be able to move past the mentality that led to crusades and jihads. Surely, people can see that using your religion to justify persecuting a man [Dr Jeffrey John] on the basis of his sexuality is the thin end of the same wedge that justifies Islamic extremists' attacks on the 'corrupt West'? But then again, that's the problem with people with blind faith in organised religion - they can never accept that they could be wrong. Michael Axe, Surrey (METRO July 9,2003)

Dave is citing a problem which I covered at AOL's Atheism forum - a snippet of which appears on my AOL webpage:
From the Atheist forum:- To qualify, you might say I have no beliefs in the religious sense of "belief" as opposed to "religious beliefs",but I doubt that even acceptance of reality as such can even qualify as a belief.Prove it.In order to prove it,you need to accept that there is a reality,if you don't you can't prove it, therefore it's just your belief that reality isn't reality,I say reality is defined by my senses,and therefore "reality" exists by default.In some sense I don't have to prove this,since it is its own definition, whereas you need this definition in order to say that your view (that it is a belief) is actually more than just a belief itself. In other words your assertion that I have faith,is your belief.Prove it.You make the claim.

Subj: Re: Article Ref Creationist Nonsense
Date: 23/07/02 4:03:06 GMT Daylight Time
From: Tobypaws2002
To: Templarseries

Thank you for your speedy response, much appreciated. It is a comfort to know you have tried to undermine faiths, not out of spite, but out of a desire for truth. If there's anything I have written that you come across and want to use, if it would help, please do! One frustrating thing that seems to keep coming up is that when trying to put over a perfectly simple point, 'god-believers' seem to miss the point, they seem to only half-hear! It's like talking to cotton wool. One writer said that compared to the size of the universe (which we can measure, and see to be extreeeeeemely huge!), the bible and dogma seem infinitessimally small and insignificant, (or words to similar effect). That's how I see it too: all the god-stuff is in my view only a product of an immature species, seeking comfort in the face of uncertainty. I just don't know how we can cut through all the treacle of the god-stuff! But we must try....... My Mum always used to shout at me: "You've always got an answer for everything!" Well, I still say, "That's because there IS an answer for everything", and the vast majority can be easily described in terms of human wishful thinking and general psychology. Hope to hear from you again if you have time.
Yours Sincerely, 'Toby'.


Susan Syke's comment about 'Bush standing up for Christian Values' (METRO ,Mon) is strange. I didn't know that killing thousands of innocent civilians was considered a Christian value.
Rhonda Mangat,London W4

[METRO  9/10/04]

IN THE NAME OF RELIGION

Rhonda Mangat notes she was unaware 'killing of innocent civilians was a Christian value' (METRO ,Tue).She seems to have forgotten the Crusades,the Spanish Inquisition and the millions of other innocent civilians killed throughout the centuries in the name of the Christian God.For Christianity - an exclusive religion which allows for no other form of belief and suggests all those who have an alternative view are damned for eternity - murder has always been a way of life.
Petra Topping,Newcastle upon Tyne

[METRO Nov11 2004]


DEFENDING CHRISTIANS

'For Christianity... murder has always been a way of life,' writes Petra Topping (METRO , Thu). Funny how the 20th century, dominated by secular beliefs such as Nazism and communism, saw more people killed violently than the rest of human history put together. Yep, it's a good thing there aren't so many Christians around - people like Florence Nightingale, Lord Shaftesbury, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa.
Stuart Lucas, London

I'm Christian, as are most of my family and some friends. As far as I know, none of us has killed anybody recently, so I was quite surprised to find that apparently murder is a way of life for us all. if someone is a murderous nutter, they'll use whatever excuse is at hand.There are bad Christians, and Muslims, and atheists, just like any religious or ethnic group - or any bunch of people.
Gabrielle Grant, Surrey

Since Jesus explicitly prevented his followers from fighting for him (John 15:1~13) and himself refused to take up arms against the occupying foreign power, it is hard to see how anyone who murders or goes to war can be following His way of life.
People will always use their belief system to justify their actions. Russia and China used communism to justify violent action. George Bush today has to claim that his wars are for the cause of democracy, since democracy is what America claims to believe in.
Chris F Carroll, Bucks

The last time I checked the Amnesty website, the number of officially non-Christian countries that are some of the world's most notorious violators of human rights (in terms of executions) were 21 out of 28. Accusations like those made by Petra Topping are typically narrow minded.
Andrew Swampillai, Middlesex

[METRO Nov12 2004]

Major religions do not condone murders

In regard to Petra Topping's comments (METRO , Thu), I would like to suggest that the majority of atrocities that have been carried out through the centuries in the name of religion are, in fact, politically or personally motivated. Religion is used to give horrible acts a guise of respectability. All the major religions decry killing. Followers of Christ do not condone the Crusades or the Holocaust. Followers of Islam do not condone the actions of Al-Qaeda. Because angry and violent individuals use religion to validate unspeakable acts, all people of faith suffer the stigma of these actions. Let us be wary of anyone using religion to justify violence.

Tara Thornock, London NW6

As far as I'm aware there is no religion that doesn't have a commandment equivalent of 'thou shalt not kill'. Petra Topping's assumption that 'for Christianity murder has always been a way of life' is intolerant. These ideas lead to racism, misunderstandings, wars and murder.

Narelle Cunnett, London SW6

[ METRO  Nov15 2004]


Religion is alive and kicking in our schools

I don't know how Matt Crocker (METRO , Fri) got the impression that British schools are secular; religion is alive and kicking in our education system. State funding for church-run schools is actually on the increase, to the detriment of local authority-run schools in the majority of cases.
Atheism and agnosticism are positively discouraged in the children, presumably in a desperate attempt by the Church of England to boost ever-decreasing attendance figures at services.
It's a shame our education system can't follow the lead of France and Turkey; both have made their schools entirely secular (to the predictable howls of indignation from the Vatican). Mr Crocker is right in that schools are there to teach facts and skills, not beliefs. Religion should be a choice, not an imposition.
Richard West, Avon

In reply to Mr Crocker's comments about the new Islam packs in non-religion schools, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism and Christianity is taught. Surely teaching about other religions educates our children not only in religion but, in our world, its people and its cultures? Isn't the lack of understanding a problem in our world?
Samantha Mason (teacher), Surrey
[METRO Oct18,2004]


Vote for your beliefs and values

Jim Heaversedge (METRO , Tue) is of the opinion that religion in its various guises should have no part in politics and I would agree with him. However, there has to be a division between right and wrong in our law. I see a slow slip down a muddy path into a world where anything goes and discipline is a swear word. To me, this is important.
Without morality, the whole fabric of society falls apart - and I for one would welcome an election candidate who has the guts to stand up and be counted on these issues.
Charlie Milburn, London WCI

It is not only religious people who have strong opinions about abortion. It is a moral judgment -not specifically religious - and thus, people will have an opInion that may or may not align with certain political parties. Religious people, like most other people, vote in elections for the parties they believe hold the same views on how to go about improving their society for the better. As a consequence, domestic policies are important in elections and not, as Jim Heaversedge implies, about the 'more important things happening in the world'.
William Orr, London SW8

Whether or not you are religious, political voting is just that - fighting for personal beliefs. I agree there are important things going on in the world but any issue that comes up in our elections will influence our society, so people need to think carefully before they vote.
R Pepler Manchester

Recovering: Troy DriscollTWO teenagers whose fishing boat drifted into open sea six days ago have been found alive.
Josh Long, 17, and his best friend 15-year-old Troy Driscoll had no water or food with them but survived by eating jellyfish, talking about their families and praying. The boys were spotted by a fishing boat on Saturday more than 160km (100 miles) from where they had started their journey off Sullivans Island in South Carolina. They were sunburned, dehydrated and exhausted but are recovering in hospital. 'We just prayed every day. We prayed for our families, prayed for our lives, prayed to get home. God answered us,' Josh said yesterday.
The pair quenched their thirst by gargling with sea water and slipped into the ocean to cool off, but sharks chased them back on to the boat. The boys set out shark fishing on a 4m (14ft) sailboat during a blustery day on April 24.
The National Weather Service had warned small boats to stay off the water and the pair realised they were in trouble almost immediate1y
'After 20 minutes we knew we were in for a long trip,' said Troy.
[METRO May3,2003]

One wonders why Troy and pals were not naturally deselected - thinking that prayers saved them and not knowing it was stupid in the first place - God does not answer prayers - it makes a mockery of those that do not survive when people say this - survivors of air disasters have been known to say this even when other families have lost members - how they cannot see that it is an offensive remark is beyond me


metro_files Jun16,2005

Proof that cleanliness is next to Godliness

A MAN is using eBay to sell what   looks like an image of Christ on his bathroom wall. He wants bids to start at £1,000 for the holy water stain. The man, who wants to remain anonymous, said: 'I got out of the shower and yelled "Jesus Christ!
'My girlfriend asked, "Oh my God what is it?" I pointed to the wall and said, "Jesus Christ".'

The bearded Shower Jesus has turned up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The seller said: "The winning bidder will be responsible for arranging its removal and replacing the wall section.'
Visitors to the site have already asked if they can come round to pray  in his bath - and one wants to buy the showerhead in case the image can help turn water to wine.

Six months ago a Florida woman sold her toasted cheese sandwich with what looked like an image of the Virgin Mary for £15,000.
[Some people are just too stupid for words to parody them - LB]

Or is it Father Christmas?

Crucifixion priest faces 20 years

An Orthodox priest and four nuns face up to 20 years in jail if they are found guilty of killing a schizophrenic nun by crucifixion in an exorcism ritual.
Daniel Corogeanu recited prayers to drive out evil spirits before Maricica Cornici,23,died last week.
She spent three days tied to a cross without food or water in the cellar of a church in Vaslui,Romania.
[METRO  Jun 21,2005]

My Comment: More evidence ,if any were needed of how ignorant belief systems that should have died in the middle ages cause barbarism and suffering,instead if being informed by knowledge - there are no such things as "evil spirits" - this is ignorant metaphor for emergent systems pheonomena in the brain.Isn't about time that they checked cause and effect,and found that they inflict more suffering trying to rid someone OF demons than the person suffers by HAVING demons? Or is it too much to ask for such people to actually THINK?

A CHRISTIAN politician wants to introduce a law which will force NHL ice hockey franchise, the New Jersey Devils, to change their name. Democrat Craig Stanley, a deacon Rt a baptist church in Newark, rears it sends out the wrong message to fans.
He represents the area of the city where the Devils will move to a new £l60million, 18,000-seat arena in September 2007, and he's not happy. 'I've always cringed when people say they're going to see the Devils,' he said.
'The merchandise is based on the actual demonic devil. personally, it causes a little bit of an issue with me.'
Surprisingly for a politician, he's got it wrong. The Devils' logo isn't based on Satan but a creature from 18th-century New Jersey folklore which could have come out of a Stephen King novel. New Jersey chief executive Lou Lamoriello insists the team won't change the name they've had since 1982. He said: 'There are more important things to be thinking about.'

Hospitals say they may ban the Bible

BY SARAH GETTY

At Risk:Gideons Bible logo

HOSPITALS are considering removing Bibles from patients' bedsides over concerns they may offend non-Christians and spread the superbug MRSA, it emerged yesterday.
Health bosses will meet today to discuss whether the tradition of placing copies of the Gideons testaments in bedside lockers should continue at Leicester's three main hospitals.
Gideons International, which distributes the Bibles widely in hospitals, hotels, cruise liners and Prisons, said their removal would be 'outrageous'. Its executive director Iain Mair, added: 'They are saying there's a potential MRSA risk, and we say that is nonsense. They also say its discriminating against people of other faiths. It's outrageous - political correctness gone mad.
'We will put notes in the lockers which will say that, if a patient wants a bookof another faith, these are the people they should contact.'
In a statement, the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust said:
'We are committed to religious diversity and equality.
'Regardless of the outcome of the discussions, patients can be reassured religious texts will continue to be available through the Chaplaincy.'
[METRO,Jun 3 2005]


Plans to ban Bibles from hospitals (METRO, Fri) come as no surprise to me. A health warning should now appear in our hospitals :'Beware -Bibles are offensive and could carry the MRSA bug.' It is mind-boggling that seemingly intelligent people in the health service could even contemplate issuing such a statement. Our political correctness is now becoming a soource of great embarrassment ,as a Christian, I feel that we are fast becoming the most Godless nation in the Christian world. - It is of  no surprise that we are producing a culture that does not know, or care to know, what responsibility is. Our children are running wild and are allegedly perfecting the art of strangling at the tender age of 12. This is the generation that will eventually unleash World War III in time to come.
Don Thornicroft, London N18

While I understand concerns that the Good Book may present a risk of infection, I would consider the earphones that patients share to be of a much greater risk. On a recent visit to hospital I was appalled by the state of the foam pads that covered the headsets. They were filthy with some rather dubious looking stains on them. I doubt very much that these are changed on a regular basis. Would germs not find an easier route into the body via the ear rather than through the skin?
Bob Barker, London WJ2
[METRO,Jun 6 2005]

Are Bibles holy inappropriate?

In response to banning the Bible in hospitals (METRO, Mon), why have we never had copies of the Koran, the Tanakh or the Guru Granth Sahib at our bedsides? I like a good book as much as the next man - so, if someone is going to put a holy book by my bed, it could at least be one I have not read yet. The idea that we are still a Christian country seems a little narrow-minded in this day and age.
Jon Roberts, Manchester

I read with interest the letters ahout the removal of Christian Control Manuals from hospitals and just thought how ironic it would be if the spread of MRSA through reading these manuals could bring about the end of the human race, when said manuals are toited as the saviours of humanity.
Phil Rhodes, Lancs

What is so offensive about the Bible? It is as if Leicester NHS are implying it is Mein Kampf. As for the idea that Bibles spread pestilence and death, or MRSA, what a load of baloney. We are in a Christian country and nobody is forcing patients to read it. If I was in a hospital in a Muslim or.Jewish country, I would not be insulted if a copy of the Koran or the Tanakh was at my bedside.
Lyndon Day, West Yorkshire
[METRO,7 Jun 2005]

I agree with the removal of the bibles - it's typical of Christian arrogance to presume they have an automatic entitlement to push their faith into people's lives - it's just like secondary smoke from cigarettes - what a brilliant decision.The Newark deacon is the one for whom something has gone mad -perhaps not his political correctness,again he seeks to inflict HIS ideas on other people,and tell them how to live.Bibles are offensive and should be removed from public places - including churches if possible - FAITH is a personal choice,we should opt IN to it - not be forced to opt OUT of it.I agree with Mr Thornicroft though that youth lacks morality - I just don't see the bible as a solution - more a case of it adding to the problem - especially considering his arrogance and conceit An indication of which is in his statement "We are becoming the most godless nation in the Christian world.First  of all the fact that he thinks it is "The Christian world" is why he thinks it is the height of PC gone mad to rid us of bibles - Christians do not own the world Mr Thornicroft - they just think they do - if we become a godless nation - so much the better - good riddance to bad rubbish.Mr Thornicroft is typical of those Christians who think when people are morally derapraved in THEIR value system - then they should inflict their values upon us -saving us from ourselves.
To Mr Day I say this - The bible is offensive because it DOES spread pestilence and death - by way of superstitious ignorance and lies - and what is offensive is the fact that such people as himself think this is a CHRISTIAN country when in fact it should not be any faith whatever - and moreover people's personal doctrines should not be touted in public places anymore than I would inflict my morality on him in a public place - what I think is right and wrong is up to me - I do not need to push it into other people's faces - I am not that insecure - if they wish to read my webpage - it's up to them.Either have everyone's faith on display - or none .Preferably none - then no one can argue.The mere fact of the bible's presence has provoked an argument Mr Day - that's why it spreads disease.People get infected with ignorance and controversy - instead of living in peace- ironically - it is the bible which says to do so - so why don't Christians put up and shut up and let us do so?

Christians shouldn't get favours

Like Daniel Hull (METRO, Fri), I am a Christian. I do agree with him that Christianity is often seen as an easy target, yet I disagree that the state owes Christianity any special favours. The Bible tells followers of Christ to 'bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse'.
As far as I see it, Christians have no right to a life free of offence, ridicule or even violence. Although, as Christians, we should not do anything to provoke antagonism, we should not look to the state to save us a life that Jesus himself did not offer us.
James Bailey, York

Discrimination on the grounds of something predetermined such as race is wrong, but religion is (or at least should be) a matter of choice. If I truly believed that the moon was a giant panda, people should have the right to make fun of that belief. Just because an opinion is held by more people, it doesn't mean it should be more protected.
Callum Yeo, Bristol

·Daniel Hull (
METRO , Fri), if you take offence at comedians telling jokes that ridicule the church then, in the words of the late comedian Bill Hicks, forgive them. Isn't that what your religion tells you to do?
If I were to express my lack of faith, would that be construed as offensive? If I were to then attempt to explain my lack of faith, would that also he offensive? How about if I did so through humour? I wonder where Daniel Hull draws the line with regards to free speech?
C Johnson, Nottingham
[
METRO Jun27,2005]

My comment: The contributors are correct - Religion is not a special sanctuary that should be given special considerations,except perhaps that there maybe a statistical correlation between those who have such beliefs and mental incapacity - they dserve no more rights than anyone else - they are not "special people" and moreover - as C Johnson says - If you believe stupid things - then expect people to take the mick out of your incapacity to think your way out of a paper bag - some of us have gone to greater lengths in considering the universe than just to conclude "God did it" - that is a lame and ultimately poor excuse for not doing more deep thinking. If you can'tbe bothered - then those of us that can will laugh at your pathetic lacking explanations for what you have the audacity to call "The truth".As was said above - it is also very scary what religious people will do to free speech in the name of protecting their capacity to believe any old cock and bull story - some of us live in a society where what is acceptable is "what is proven true beyond a reasonable doubt" and require evidence - not just personal whimsy.

Christian fails in gender law fight

A DEVOUT Christian lost his High Court challenge against laws that allow people who have a sex change to alter their gender on birth certificates. John Ailman said the Gender Recognition Act threatened people for whom it would be a sin to wed and make love to someone of the same birth sex. Mr Ailman, of Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, claimed the law, introduced in April, violated his human rights. But Mr Justice Sullivan rejected the challenge.
[Metro 28 Jun,2005]

Big Bang Theory of mankind is just hot air

So,'the original Big Bang occurred about 14 billion years ago when a small hot patch of space time blew up very rapidly to form everything we see today,scientists believe' (METRO ,Thu). Really? All scientists? To accept everything around us constituting life and nature occurred simply as a result of chance requires far more faith than to believe the Bible's opening statement:'In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth.' To accept the biblical view is not to  jettison reason; on the contrary,it is acknowledging mankind's intellect,creativity and emotion suggest a designer behind it all.Several of the great scientists of the past believed that  - even Charles Darwin.The probability of a combination of several chance occurrences must be so infinitesimally small as to be untenable.
Grenville Fletcher,Cheshire

I've always maintained a firm belief in physics and thought that religious versions of the beginning of the world seemed fairytale-like.But ,after reading the description of the beginning of the universe as 'scientists believe',they don't seem all that unbelievable after all.
Brett Westcott,Luton

[METRO Aug23 2004]

Regarding the Big Bang issue (metro_files,Mon) - I did it. I was bored one day and I made everything.You can't prove that I didn't and I can't be bothered to show you how I did it.That may stop your quibbling but I doubt it,so let's say I never said it - in fact - I didn't say it.Now you can all argue about whether I actually did or not.
Edward Black,London W1

[METRO Aug24,2004]

To Mr Fletcher I say this: Scientists do not BELIEVE things they PROVE things - there is no proof of ANYthing the bible says,it does not require faith to use your brain and to reason and understand - if one takes scientfic ideas at face value and does not attempt to understand there source or why scientists say such things then they may sound incredible - science is not a matter of credibility but a matter of understanding.Much more work has been done to make the claim that Mr Fletcher dismisses than has been done to show anything in the bible has any credibility. His views fail first questions - such as - "Who is God? What made God?" If we assume that God is not in need of a first impulse - a prime mover - then the universe need not have one either - God maybe just a euphemism for the creative process - this is explained in "Science Without Bounds" - what we see there is that God as a person is merely an iconic reflection of people's ignorance of physics - it is the biblical view which jettison's reason as I attempt to show on this page and the associated links. God is a non-explanation - it is merely saying "I cannot fathom how the universe came to be - God must have done it" - that is not reasoning - that is an act of faith - scientific theories are based on much more than faith - because they are asked to PROVE what they say.
The Big Bang theory has EVIDENCE in it's favour - such as background radiation and the observed expansion of the universe - this means that if we reverse time into the past the universe MUST necessarily have been hotter - because matter was closer together - unless the rotation of that matter was such that it never clumped together it would in the past have been a dense clump of superhot matter -not being recognised as any matter we know because none of the atoms could have existed at those energies - the very fact that stars exist in hotter states than planets because the matter is in a denser form than we are used to and under tremendous pressure shows that the big bang theory has credibility-one can readily measure the rate of expansion of the universe and see that matter is flying apart and thus becoming less dense and so cooler - anyone who thinks there was not a big bang given the background radiation measurements and what I have just said is a damn fool - and anyone who thinks "God did it" is an unreasoning ignoramus of the highest order.
Mankind's "intellect,creativity and emotion" Mr Fletcher are emergent phenomena of the brain's processing - an organ which has evolved complexity over time - there was no Adam and Eve - because we evolved from single celled creatures (latest evidence calls them LUCA,one hopes they were not too filthy)  ,and carbon dating and our mitochondria show that this planet and it's life forms are much older than the bible says. Mr Fletcher as with others seems wholly ignorant of how one explains emotions and creativity without the need for a manlike creator - it is our supreme arrogance that supposes the beginning of life was with something that created MAN when there are so many other creatures - some of which outperform us - like Parrots - which can speak English and understand grammar - can you speak Parrot Mr Fletcher? Maybe God was a giant spirit-bird who created parrots in his own image - don't be absurd.
If we were also to use Mr Fletcher's obvious ability at maths and probability upon biblical creationism we would find that it was just if not more untenable - what are the chances of a spirit thing existing at all when no evidence supports it? What is the probability that a manlike being can create a universe and make life? What is the probability that anything is omniscient and omnipotent? So what is the probability that we evolved from simpler creatures when ALL the evidence suggests that we did?
Probability arguments are misunderstood by those who are not familiar with mathematics - the idea that life as made by science is as absurd as a wind blowing together a jumbo jet out of parts in a scrapyard only serves to show the ignorance of the person hazarding that argument - life was not created by chance alone.Such people often use notions of "blind chance" or "randomness" without actually understanding how complex such arguments are.
Mr Westcott makes the same mistake as Mr Fletcher - science is not a matter of belief by credibility - but by understanding why something MUST be so beyond a reasonable doubt - admittedly religious stories are fanciful - but comparing science to them is laughable - the two things do not proceed by the same process. There is no testing of religious ideas against nature - if one does this - one finds them wanting - all of science that is currently accepted is based on an interconnected web of proven ideas. If we look to the sky we do not see god - we see radiation - and matter - and Einstein showed that space bends light - this has been proven by experiment - where are the experiments to prove biblical hearsay? There are none.
Mr Black falls foul of Occam's razor - the burden of proof is on the claimant - if one claims to know what the explanation is - the burden is on that person to prove that to be the case - we need not have to prove the negative case - that is - that Mr Black DID NOT do it - he must prove that he DID do it.Mr Black is in the same position as creationists who fail to prove that God made the universe - scientists can show how it was done -creationists cannot - they merely say what Mr Black says "You cannot prove God didn't do it" -that maybe so - but what can be proven is that he NEED NOT have done it- and that the supplied explanation is more consistent with observed evidence - this IS the case and this is WHY the Big Bang theory is more viable than creationism.Mr Black seems to wish everyone to "shut up and stop arguing" - he is like one of the 3 monkeys - the one with his hands over his ears. If creationists actually bothered to understand the science they took issue with they'd realise there was no contest and no argument - they are plain wrong,then maybe Mr Black could get some peace and quiet - as might we all.

Curses

If it's any comfort to Ed Bowden (metro_files Mon),I and most other Christians I know find it far more offensive when people say "Oh God" or "Jesus Christ" than when they use unprintable four-letter words. Happily,I've found a solution; saying 'poot' or 'wgstrfgl' attracts no censure but rather amusement.
Stuart Lucas,London NW6
[metro_files 31Jan,2006]

God must decide son's fate, father tells judge

THE father of an 18-month-old boy at the centre of a right-to-life case said yesterday it was up to God to decide when his son should die. The parents of the child, referred to only as MB, are fighting the hospital trust which wants to withdraw life-saving treatment for the youngster, who has been in a high-dependency unit since he was seven weeks old. Questioned by a judge at the High Court in London, the father said: 'I think MB is all there, with most of his feeling, enjoying the company, so I don't think it's right for anyone to decide he should die or not. 'As a Muslim, I believe that no one knows exactly when people will die. It was God who gave us life and God will take it, whatever the situation.' When Huw Lloyd, representing the hospital trust, said to the father: 'Were it not for modern technology and ventilatory support, your son would not be alive today,' he replied: 'I accept that - but we do our best. When his time is coming it will come. We do our best and let God decide.' The boy has spinal muscular arrophy, an incurable and progressively worsening condition which leads to complete paralysis. He cannot breathe for himself, chew or swallow and is fed through a tube. While not thought to be mentally impaired, he can move only his eyebrows, feet and his fingers a little. Mr Justice Holman has heard evidence from a doctor that MB has an 'intolerable life'. But MB's parents believe the boy can recognise and respond to them. They want doctors to give him a tracheotomy to make his long-term breathing easier so they could take him home. The hearing continues.

BY JAYNE ATHERTON metro_files Thursday, March 9, 2006

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15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense
7 Arguments against Theism
The Idler Forum - Getting rid of JW's

Desmond Morris
The publication of The Naked Ape in 1967 - it has since sold l2million copies - brought zoologist Desmond Morris international fame. Studying humans from the viewpoint of animal behaviour was controversial and marked the start of our fascination with body language. For Morris, it led to TV programmes and more books. His latest - The Naked Woman - needs little explanation.
· Researching The Naked Woman
- the worst job you've ever had?
I love women so, for me, it was a delight because I have been able to research all over the world and study what culture is all about.
I wanted to be sure I was talking about women everywhere, not just women in my own culture. Women's bodies are beautiful but they won't leave them alone; they keep doing weird things like piercing tongues and belly buttons or tattooing.
· What was the strangest cultural thing you saw?
In a restaurant in Asia, I saw a man with two wives. He was sitting there wearing Western clothes but the wives were completely covered from head to foot in veils. To get food they had to lift the veil and push the fork underneath it, then put the veil back again while they masticated their food before the next bite. The man just sat there arrogantly in his Western clothes. That was ridiculous.
· Are religions a way for men to control women?
There's nothing in the Koran that says women have to be covered in a veil. In the early days, women were important. It's the male clerics who cause all the trouble and treat women as second-class citizens. That makes me very cross. Quite a few religions do this - treat women as unequals.
· So what went wrong?
Everything went wrong when God changed sex. God was a woman in the early times - Mother Earth who was nurturing, protecting and caring for your crops, animals and you. Then we became city dwellers which favoured men and God changed sex - Mother God became God the Father and men came to dominate religion and then, of course, women. In the Western world, women are trying to reclaim their rights because they are equal, but different, to men.
· You studied the female body, what about the female mind? Women are more sensible and more cautious, men are more risk-taking. Men can make silly mistakes or they can make great inventions. Women are probably more intelligent, verbally fluent, communicative, caring and nurturing than men. But what the men have up their sleeves is risk-taking. One brain isn't better than the other - they are just different. There is not a clear distinction between men and women, there is only a bias.
· How about women's irrational tear of spiders?
That is very strange. I was studying this in children and women are more afraid of spiders. If you ask them why, they say it's a nasty, hairy thing. And hairy is the word they use. In fact, it's the spider's legs they are referring to and it coincides with puberty. It's because young girls are disturbed by the growing hair on their body, whereas young boys expect to have hair because men have beards and moustaches and hair on their body. When boys develop hair, they feel they are becoming manly, while girls find it disturbing. I have no proof, I'm just looking for an explanation of why they have double the fear of spiders.
· You've also identified three new spots in addition to the G-spot. A bit disturbing for those of us still looking for the first one.
People say the G-spot is the equivalent of the penis but it is not.
It's equivalent to the tip of the penis. The tissue is inside and runs along the upper part of the vagina and there are several zones - not spots - that become increasingly sensitive and respond to sexual stimulation. This is something I wish I had known at 18 - it's not much use to me now.
· If  I'm very attracted to a woman, what should I do?
Men are not always very good at expressing their attraction. In a male courtship, he'll talk about anything apart from his feelings for this woman. Men like to play it too cool and all the woman sees is someone who is cool. Let the woman know that you like her. That sounds obvious but it isn't always done. Talk about them, not about you. Ask them questions about themselves. And, when it comes to sexuality, you don't take, you give. if you give a woman sexual pleasure, she'll give you sexual pleasure.

· To read about Desmond's love of surreal painting, visit www metro_files. co.uk. The Naked Woman: A Study Of The Female Body, is published by Jonathan Cape

Interview: KIERAN MEEKE

Points made by Christians and other believers dealt with point by point.These points are an addendum to the  15 Scientific American  and 7 Isaac Asimov points above. It might be a good idea to read "Darkstar" before encountering any of these points. I also suggest for those with a predilection to believe things without proof,to read "Digital Electronic Logic","Philosophy of Science","Language and Logic" and "Philosophy of Mind" before dealing with the following points,as it is my contention that anyone who cannot follow any of that is ill-placed to judge what is true.
Recently I have come to think that many people's presumption that there is a deity is due to several factors - one is the history of natural philosophy - reading the TAO of Physics - one sees that what many people see in the universe is something active that creates life and animation and that there is a force that moves things into being from materials - this "immaterial creative" force seems to be what people think of as God - and there are various views,but those that believe this do not seem to know about emergent complexity or Frontier sciences,where in a sense there IS an immaterial creative force,but it is not personified. Some of the Eastern views mentioned in TAO seem to have  ideas that suggest this "spirit" is actioning what makes the difference between us an a rock - and yet there is a completely pertinent description in science that needs no spirits or ghosts in the machine to explain our aliveness, awareness, consciousness and how it is that we are not like rocks. Most of what I have found amongst those who believe in some sort of spiritual force or deity are also ignorant of scientific ideas or actively against them,or confused by what they know - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing - for sometimes it is integrated into a belief system - so that people say they do not defy what science says whilst still saying that God exists - the two things are mutually exclusive - unless one integrates spirituality and physicality in a union that does not defy reason - a synthesis of this kind would be along the lines of TAO of Physics - whereas the author only seeks to indicate parallels - the parallels show that the ideas are similar - only the language  is different - sometimes the concepts are along similar lines - it is my contention that what people call "God" is actually something other than what they believe it to be.
I also think there is a relationship between how people understand fate and freewill and their propensity to gamble - both gamblers and believers have misconceptions about how the world works and this leads them to make fallacious decisions about chance and determinism - both require an "emotional crutch" which acts rather like that which keeps an alcoholic drinking.

0.Assuming God to exist.
You cannot assume God exists and then just procede to shoehorn everything else into that assumption - there is no basis for the assumption. This breaks Occam's Razor simplest assumption - which is "God does not exist". In order to start with this premise,you need evidence that it is in fact the case. The fact that humans have assigned God's to other natural phenomena such as Thunder and Water and Volcanos,means assigning one to creation is more than likely sticking a man's face upon your own ignorance of how the universe began. It is just as naive as asserting the Earth is flat,because it looks like it is,or that the sun goes round the Earth because that's what seems to the case.What you personally believe to be the case has nothing whatever to do with what is true.

1. Belief in no God is just as much as faith as belief in God(s).
Upon the comment made by Dave Korman above,it is a mistake in thinking to say that saying God does not exist is as much an act of faith to say that he does.This is a question of argumentum ad ignorantiam - Believers assume that those who argue FOR something by reason,are in the same position as themselves and that the beliefs are as personal and as arbitrary as each other.They are falling foul of a logical error in thought,whereby they invert logic - to say that they need proof that God does not exist;this process defeats Ockham's razor.(see point 7). See Also Figments of Reality.

2. The universe could not have come about by itself. This would breach common-sense "cause and effect".

Cause and effect breaks down in Quantum Theory - the arguments used by believers often are not apprised of modern physics and how their own literal "experience" of "linear time" is insufficient to support their contention.Moreover,they confuse theological notions of "the eternal present" with what is provably the case,such as theories about the free universe and the future being undefined.Ironically,they also argue for Freewill and yet contend we are in a Laplacian/Newtonian clockwork universe. Those who do not, still do not see why modern physics undermines the notion of God.

3. The Bible is a source document of the word of God.
The bible it is maintained is the bequeathment of God's word to mankind,it is amazing then that it contains errors,is overly complex,shows the ignorance of men during the period it was "written" and can be "interpreted" by whosoever reads it.

4. Evolution is a myth.The evidence shows mankind was designed by God.Life did not arise by chance.
Believers often do not understand chance and mutation as they apply to genes and the way in which "lower" organisms have give rise to more complex forms,in some cases,believing that those animals which can regenerate are superior to us (which makes a mockery of their own creation notions),they hold on by faith to creation,when the evidence shows that evolution is what happened. String theory suggests we live in 11 dimensions,if we had been created then God would have apprised our brains of this fact- if we evolved then we would only be aware of the 3 spatial dimensions that we are.
For those who question evolution - please see the work being done on simulating life in a computer - which is showing that far from being difficult to arise by chance - evolution is almost a done deal - and will by necessity bring about evolving life forms - computer simulations can reproduce the effects of genetics - and it only a matter of time before mankind understands his own genetics -any idea that God created life is just due to massive ignorance of what is ACTUALLY taking place.

5. The Universal Constants show that there must be a God,for they are too narrowly defined.

There is a contention that the universal constants are so narrowly constrained that this could not have happened by chance- and would therefore have had to have been defined by someone/thing and therefore it was God -this argument is absurd in itself that it should necessarily be God that supplies the constrainment. The fact is such narrowly defined terms CAN arise without any help. String Theory which posits up to 11 dimensions of spacetime allows for a kind of "resonance" that would necessitate the narrow confining of such terms.

6. Belief in a system of religious faith is just as reasonable as anything else.
Belief in God is an act of faith and as such cannot be argued reasonably,therefore it is an act of unreason. Anyone who reasons is led inevitably to atheism,because there is no evidence that we need anything but the physical facts of modern science to explain the world around us.

7. God does not defeat Ockhams Razor.

God is an example of an unnecessary multiplication -something that is NOT requisite to explain what happens in the universe - he is therefore academic to the cosmos. Moreover,to maintain that he either exists or is needed is an act of unreason and an attempt to hold onto notions that are built upon ignorance and inverted logic - if someone says "Prove to me that God does not exist" they are missing the point and not thinking reasonably. Carl Sagan's story "Contact" exemplifies the argument excellently.

8. Mathematical Complexity  in the Universe presumes a creative intelligence.(The Argument from Design)
The nature of the universe has complexity and sufficiently thinking human beings are led to ask "How did it get like this?" Unable to facilitate an answer without alluding to their own intelligence they presume something like it must have brought it all about - this shows their lack of appreciation for the laws of science,man's intellect,and bizarrely,seems unable to see that the fact of their own brain's existence- a product OF scientific law - is what makes them think something like them is needed to explain scientific law. (For explanations of complexity and why a designer is not needed,see "Frontiers of Complexity" by Peter Coveney and Roger Highfield.)

9. To be homosexual is to be against God.
To take one's morality from an espousing messiah who has not been proven to have the authority is an act of unreason. What is right is not subjective - and this is why Holy Wars are fought - which actually contradict the axioms of the supposed morality (ie DO NOT KILL) - morality is not for the individual or group of people to determine,and neither should it be based on an arbitrary tome,any more than I would base my morality on The Rupert Bear stories,or Dr Suess,although to be sure,both of those I would use before referring to the Koran or the Bible. Morality cannot be based on a belief by faith,this leads to bigotry and arrogance.

10. The bible contains a mysterious code,which shows there is something "odd" about it.
Some believe the Bible contains a code that reveals mysterious predictions,I will show that this is as much the case in any other book,and is a "mirage" and moreover does not make any sense if a viable rational deity were to have supplied such information.

11. The evidence of Christ as a divine son of God is incontrovertible and therefore the basis of faith.
Arguments maintain that because certain events in the bible are unexplainable or provided by unassailable "eye witnesses" we must conclude that Jesus Christ was divine,the son of God and therefore to believe the bible.I maintain that such events are explainable,require us to use Ockham's Razor,conclude that something ELSE happened other than what was stated by the "eye witnesses" because their conception of the world was erroneous,and Jesus Christ was nothing more than a people's leader,a magician and philosopher,of the likes of Ghandi coupled with Derren Brown/Paul Daniels - and the inability of the populace to see how or why they may have been duped led them to believe in something they should not have. Any supposed PROPHECY that they suppose is based on a fallacious understanding of how the human mind can be duped - I can predict a plane crash will happen next year - if it happens then I look gifted with foresight - the subject is far too complex to be rendered into the simple argument "Christ's life was the subject of prophecy - so he was the son of God" - one needs to think more deeply than that. 

12. Freewill is a real process,but it is the realm of the divine and cannot be explained by physics.
Believers like to believe their mind is free,saying this is a God-given capacity and that the machinations of the brain are not enough to explain what happens in a MIND - that a SOUL inhabits the body - and that after death the force that maintains life will continue and that it will do so maintaining the guise of the person who was alive.The notion of predestination runs into problems with freewill and seemingly believers are confused as to whether they can have freewill and live in an open universe,or whether there is some sort of fatalistic future over which they have no control and therefore their own freewill is a myth. I will attempt to dispel their confusion.

13. There is such a thing as "SOUL" and the mind/body problem has not been solved.The animation of a human being is God-given.
It seems that believers (and others) are confused as to what causes the animation in a biological being and renders us more mobile than an inanimate object like a rock.This they see as the "life force" inside the body that somehow exists after death. I will show that this is an ignorant and dated viewpoint,and if they maintain that they reason,anyone doing so should accept the evidence and update their beliefs and not stick dogmatically to what they would prefer to believe.

14. The notion of a prime moving deity is not at odds with scientific evidence.
Those who do reason among believers maintain that even with all the scientific evidence,that there is still room for God and that they can consistently both accept the scientific evidence AND believe in God- that they are NOT mutually exclusive. I will examine this argument and show that there IS an inconsistency and therefore if one is to maintain integrity as a reasoning being that one should NOT believe in God.

15. The power of love and truth is something beyond our ken and will conquer all.
It is held that such metaphysical notions as LOVE are beyond physical explanation and cannot be brought into the material realm. Love is a product of chemical processes and experiences, desires and needs - there is no need to put it outside in a spiritual dimension. Truth is a matter of reasoning and believers are not really in a position to say what is true since they defeat reason and prefer to believe what satisfies their feelings and wishes.

16. God is my heavenly father  - thy will be done.
The concept of heaven is a mythology deriving from history- God as the father is a Freudian requirement in lieu of being able to stand on one's own two feet in an evolutionary,red in tooth and claw universe.It is a notion used as an emotional crutch and a coping mechanism. If it were only used for those purposes,then fine - but it is not - people maintain that it IS the truth,without proving it,and worse still - pushing the burden of proof upon reasonable men to show them they are wrong,and then denying what is uncovered,because they cannot let go of their "father's" hand.A psychologically healthy human being has no need of a father's hand.and accepts the randomness,chaos and uncertainty in the cosmos. Often believers would prefer security,certainty and tradition - the nature of the world is dynamic and changing,an evolving being knows this and takes account of it - stand still (mentally or physically) and you perish.
 
17. Death offers the possibility of life everlasting and seeing the world as the Creator sees it.
There is no such thing as an afterlife and no possibility of knowing "The Mind of God" other than using The Theory of Everything /GUT.Afterlife is a contradiction in terms.Consciousness is due to material processes,and therefore death is the cessation of consciousness,there is no ghost in the machine.It is rather odd that Christians who seem to think we exist after death,have the most trouble dealing with death and loss,I maintain there is a psychological error in their belief system which causes this to be the case.

18. Everything we witness as Reality is only in our minds and therefore we should leave everything to God.
Reality,whether or not it happens to be in some sense "constructed" by the mind,exists,and as such it is the only indication of what is "out there" and so this does not allow relaxing of personal responsibility,nor does it mean that one can say that what is ACTUALLY out there maybe something very different that what is witnessed by a brain- ie that Gods and spirits exist.These are phenomenological arguments and are often used as a ploy to allow Gods and spirits to exist.

19. The ten plagues are evidence of God.
What utter rubbish.These are easily explained...just click the link.

20. Evolution cannot be correct,nor can the big bang because nobody was around to see it.
The same can be said of creation.There is more evidence FOR evolution and the the big bang than there is for creation.One book that does not even contain the words of Jesus Christ does not constitute evidence.For those who think it easy to dismiss scientific concepts such as this and use God as the antidote to any failures they perceive,try reading "Why Anything?" and "The Self Organising Cosmos".
The arguments rage about time periods for development of eyes - and that no one has seen evolution in action - and yet these are straw men arguments - the fact is evolution is observed and such time period arguments are falsely based.

21. Thou shalt have no other Gods beside me.
In our world there are various beliefs,sometimes presuming various Gods,as Richard Dawkins maintains,the most likely explanation is that all  are false Gods.Christians have no monopoly on the truth.To presume that ONLY their God exists is an absurd position,if they maintain all other faiths are wrong in their beliefs,then they are wrong for the same reason. Christianity holds no special place.Either all religions are false,or they are all correct. The latter cannot be the case as they are mutually exclusive,therefore they are all false.

22. Science supports the existence of God.
I shall have more to say on this - but for now let me just say that people will go to any lengths to justify their bizarre beliefs,including plagiarising,assassinating and misusing scientific concepts - such as Chaos Theory - this link -is a case in point.

23>. Jesus Christ died to save us from our sins.
What a waste of effort - we are still "sinning" - so he died in vain. God gave us freewill (so it is said)- we can choose to not obey him,it's his own fault if we choose to do as we will. My life would be qualitatively worse by acceding to a God that cannot even respond to suffering or even manage to quell sin in so called sinners - God is pointless and impotent.It's a known fact in physics that God did not even have the freewill to decide how the universe turned out - so he is hardly in a position to determine whether things have freewill or not. The recent revelations about the Da Vinci Code suggest that Christ may not even have died on the cross and his descendants may still be alive. There are ways of explaining the so called disappearance of Christ's body from the tomb.

24. Anselm and Thomas Aquinas can prove God exists.
These arguments are out of date and proven to be erroneous in the light of modern knowledge.

25. Miracles are evidence of God's existence.
Miracles do not occur.These are people's misinterpretation of rare events or spates of coincidences. The mathematical "Clustering Effect" explains what people see as miracles in the cases of rare events or conjunctions.Any other sort of miracle is a defeating of what the eye witnesses or the of what the brain comprehends.

26. Angels are proof of God and of an unearthly presence.
What a crock  - no one has ever seen such a thing - without proving they weren't batty as a fruit cake...but there are better arguments against angels. Not least is that we are presumed to have one each - and since people have evolved there could never have been a point where angels decided to take up with a "person" because the notion of a person is a recent invention - God presumably arrived a little later,when people's brain's were sophisticated enough to manufacture lies and ignorance about the universe.

27. The eye makes a mockery of evolution- it MUST have been created.
This is a hackneyed old Paley-esque argument isn't it? The eye is made of cells - there is no reason to pick on the eye any more than any other organ,even though it seems so suited to it's job - this is EXACTLY what evolution is SUPPOSED to do- tailor things to the environment- the fact is there are many sorts of eyes - the compound ones of insects - some sorts of sea creatures have "scanning eyes" - ours is only one type- evolution has made eyes to suit the purpose of the environment in the same way it made everything else.We might ask when we say "We are gathered here in the sight of the Lord"- exactly how the Lord has eyes when eyes are made of DNA and the Lord apparently is spirit - doesn't make any sense does it? The latest absurd ideas from Intelligent Design theorists is that Flagellums are inconsistent with evolution -  this is just the hackneyed eye argument all over again.

28. Some creatures can re-grow limbs and humans cannot - so evolution MUST be wrong.
I was actually given this as a serious attack on evolution by a Christian - and I have never in all my born days been faced with such unadulterated ignorance.Such creatures as Axelotyl's that do indeed have this ability -have retained in those cells the capacity to re-grow a tail - this is also used as a survival tactic by some lizards - the stem cells now being used in research to possibly repair the human body show that the way this works is for specialisation to take place in sophisticated creatures such as humans - abilities such as that of lizards to re-grow limbs points to an ancient lineage where specialisation has not occurred so much - so the person making the above argument only displays his ignorance OF evolution - he has not shown any undermining of it - the tree of life has many branches- and many lineages and lines of descent - the mistake in thinking was to to think that there is a single line from base creature such as amoeba to man via monkey - a similar mistake is to think that we "evolved from monkeys"  - and then the anti-evolutionist asks "Why do monkey's still exist on Earth then?"- again this misunderstands evolution- monkey's are our cousins not out ancestors.

29. There is no evidence of evolution.
One might ask why God chose to invent the wolf twice and the lion twice - once in mammalian form and once in marsupial form- and why one died out and the other did not - or was God just allowing evolution to take place? Mitochondrial Eve also supports the evolutionary story - and since "humans" were very different in the past - we cannot have been made in the image of God. And what are dinosaur fossils if not evidence of evolution - and what is the Burgess Shale? I suppose God made THOSE creatures in his image too - get real.

30. The Galapagos finches disprove Evolution.
The finches are an exemplary example OF evolution in action! In fact they are evidence of observed evolution - along with fruit flies and bacteria - so don't let anyone say evolution has NOT been observed.

31. Evolution exists -but it is evidence of the divine hand at work.
This is a pathetic and lame argument.It is a contrived attempt to accommodate science and admit the power of reason whilst still clinging to ideas that are in gross contradiction with what was admitted. The whole process of evolution,adding in the complexity ideas of modern science and maths tells a story that is not requiring of any sort of deity.If one is going to admit evolution as a viable process to how organisms arrive then do not make a mockery of oneself by showing how ignorant an admission it is by saying "But God made evolution happen"...all it shows is the orator's inability to let go of a silly point of view,and also shows their inability to reason properly,if they cannot see the contradictions inherent in this admission then they ought to read more books.
What is happening here is that Creationists are changing their story to suit modern evidence - rather than accept what the modern evidence says of its own volition -that is - that there is no God - and no such being is required to explain anything at all. This position shows the complete lack of honesty of creationists.

32. The probability of a scientific explanation is so low that God must be the only remaining solution.
Creationists often make out that the given explantion is improbable and this in itself is reason to disbelieve a theory and favour creationism. Even if this were so (which it isn't) we need not conclude a God or the Christian God is the prime mover.

33. Science says there is an Adam and Eve,surely this proves the bible story?
I am afraid not  -what the evidence shows is that Mitochondrial Adam and Eve are the two people who may represent the chain of DNA that led to today's population - it does not mean no other people were alive at the time,only that modern people's lineage can be traced to them - it also does not negate other evidence of pre-history such as fossils.

34. Jesus walked on water so he was divine.
Be serious.He could just as well have been an alien being with powers we don't understand - if he was anything more than a man.The evidence  suggests if we are talking about anything at all more than man - it is alien intervention - NOT divinity.There are certain species of Grebe that can walk on water and so can the Water Boatman - does this prove they are divine?

35. Some scientists believe in God,so science and religion are not incompatible.
This is an absurd and illogical notion.Science has systematically undermined religions notions for hundreds of years.Individual scientists may be able to reconcile their rationality and stupidity - but for the most part the example of a scientist who believes in God is a Creation scientist who is out to undermine science because of a convicted belief in an untrue idea.

36.Without God there is no morality.
I had occasion to see a programme called "Dark Enlightenment" which says that the spiritual malaise in the past led to the rise of Hitler.Whilst I admit that we ARE in a spiritual malaise and that people's morality IS directionless,I do not think Christianity is the solution - it is part of the problem.People should deduce what is right from first principles - not be instructed by a book which is 2000 years out of date and pretty much advocates divine retribution for half it's pages.

37. "Intelligent Design" is a viable scientific alternative to Evolutionary Theory.
What utter rubbish - it only takes a moments thought to realise why -  The arguments used by Intelligent Design advocates are "Irreducible Complexity" - if something cannot evolve because it requires all it's parts - they say something like God must have made it - of course the same argument,means that God himself is subject to the same ruling - ie - someone is needed to make God - and so on ad infinitum - that is - "Intelligent Design" is a non-explanation - it is just a rouse to try and make God sound scientific because those of faith cannot understand how complex creatures can evolve and how complex systems can come about by chance - not chance ALONE mind you - this is not how it all works. The argument about the flagellum of single celled creatures is just the same hackneyed argument about the eye - which has long since been dealt with. No positive proof of God or showing that a creator is needed is ever proffered - all they do is try to undermine existing theory,because that is all they are able to do.
Another of the arguments for "Intelligent Design" is a false mathematical argument calculating odds - it is based on a fallacy - determining the odds that life arose by chance - this shows a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution.I am suprised that US PHd types seem to be so stupid when it comes to understanding this. The whole process of Intelligenrt Design is just a means to undermine science and advocate Christian religious faith in God. It's advocates have faith and think they can bring down science which has shown them the tuth - there is no such thing as God - and they are basically mistaken in their beliefs.

38. The World is only 2000-10000 years old because it was computed so from the ages of biblical characters.
This is an old gem isn't it? And where do dinosaur fossils fit into this story? Radio Carbon dating tells us how old things are and it does not give figures in this range.

39. You cannot prove a negative - That's a gem isn't it....okay...let's see...click here.

40. DNA is far too complex to just be thrown together without an intelligent hand behind it. This is just a classic faux pas. All this proves is the massive ignorance of theists and their vain attempts to undermine science.




The process of reasoned and abstract thought


In order to convince someone that something MUST be so and is not merely someone else's opinion or belief,it is necessary to argue logically and reasonably and it is necessary for them to accept things because they MAKE SENSE,not because they carry weight of personality or whether the person has gravitas or charm,in order to be convincing I will therefore lay down the rules by which one ought to go about coming to a reasonable and not irrational conclusion based on evidence.

I do not "believe" there is no God - I have arrived at this by reasoning - those who maintain that they have reasoned their way to the opposite conclusion,have either reasoned,and then taken a leap of faith (which I maintain is irrational and unnecessary by virtue of Ockham's razor),reasoned and made a mistake in that reasoning,or are merely holding onto a belief and have not reasoned.
I will designate these cases as levels of belief,that is,the first case (1) are those people who have reasoned and taken a leap of faith,the second case (2) are those who have a mistake in their reasoning,and latterly (3) those who have not reasoned at all and merely believe something against the weight of evidence.
Hopefully I will be able to force the conclusion "There is no God" as readily as most people would accept "The Earth is not flat",but given that people still believe that we never landed on the moon,and that fairies and goblins exist,some people may well be beyond being convinced by reason.

There is also the inverted logic that tends to be used by believers,they believe by faith and then ask that their belief be DISproven.This is not how to discern what is most likely to be true.
Before encountering any of my arguments - I suggest reading the theory of electronic logic and philosophical logic - and looking at some of the links found on the ABOUT ME page. See also "What's logic got to do with it?","How rational are we?" and " A partly true story" -as the whole process takes a lot of thinking about - something that those who believe things clearly have done too little of. At the very least - merely by perusing these links - maybe it will become evident that the arguments are a tad more complex and require greater reading BEFORE drawing a conclusion about what you think exists and what actually can be proven to exist.


REASONING  

When we think propositionally our sequence of thoughts is organized. Sometimes our thoughts are organized by the structure of long-term memory. A thought about calling your father; for example, leads to a memory of a recent conversation you had with him in your house, which in turn leads to a thought about fixing the house's attic. But memory associations are not the only means we have of organizing thought. The kind of organization of interest to us here manifests itself when we try to reason. In such cases, our sequence of thoughts often takes the form of an argument, in which one proposition corresponds to a claim, or conclusion, that we are trying to draw. The remaining propositions are reasons for the claim, or premises for the conclusion.

DEDUCTIVE REASONING

LOGICAL RULES
According to logicians, the strongest arguments are deductively valid, which means that it is impossible for the conclusion of the argument to be false if its premises are true (Skyrms, 1986). An example of such an argument is the following. 1. a. If it's raining, I'll take an umbrella. b. It's raining. c. Therefore, I'll take an umbrella. How does the reasoning of ordinary people line up with that of the logician? When asked to decide whether or not an argument is deductively valid, people are quite accurate in their assessments of simple arguments. How do we make such judgments? Some theories of deductive reasoning assume that we operate like intuitive logicians and use logical rules in trying to prove that the conclusion of an argument follows from the premises. To illustrate, consider the following rule: If you have a proposition of the form If p then q, and another proposition p, then you can infer the proposition q. Presumably, adults know this rule (perhaps unconsciously) and use it to decide that the previous argument is valid. Specifically, they identify the first premise ("If it's raining, I'll take an umbrella") with the If p then q part of the rule. They identify the second premise ("It's raining") with the p part of the rule, and then they infer the q part ("I'll take an umbrella"). Rule-following becomes more conscious we complicate the argument. Presumably,we apply our sample rule twice when evaluating the following argument: 2. a. If it's raining, I'll take an umbrella. b. If I take an umbrella, I'll lose it. c. It's raining. d. Therefore, I'll lose my umbrella. Applying our rule to Propositions a and c allows us to infer "I'll take an umbrella"; applying our rule again to Proposition b and the inferred proposition allows us to infer "I'll lose my umbrella," which is the conclusion. One of the best pieces of evidence that people are using rules like this is that the number of rules an argument requires is good predictor of the argument's difficulty. The more rules that are needed, the more likely it is that people will make an error, and the longer it will take them when they do make a correct decision (Rips, 1983,1994).

EFFECTS OF CONTENT
Logical rules do not capture all aspects of deductive reasoning. Such rules are triggered only by the logical form of propositions, yet our ability to evaluate a deductive argument often depends on the content of the propositions as well. We can illustrate this point by the following experimental problems. Subjects are presented four cards. In one version of the problem, each card has a letter on one side and a digit on the other (see the top half of Figure 9-3). The subject must decide which cards to turn over to determine whether the following claim is correct: "If a card has a vowel on one side, then it has an even number on the other side." While most subjects correctly choose the "B" card, fewer than 10 percent of them also choose the "7" card, which is the other correct choice. (To see that the "7" card is critical, note that if it has a vowel on its other side, the claim is disconfirmed.) Performance improves drastically, however, in another version of the above problem (see the bottom half of Figure 9-3). Now the claim that subjects must evaluate is "If a person is drinking beer, he or she must be over 19." Each card has a person's age on one side, and what he or she is drinking on the other. This version of the problem is logically equivalent to the preceding version (in particular, "Beer" corresponds to "E," and "16" corresponds to "7"); but now most subjects make the correct choices (they turn over the "Beer" and "16" cards). Thus, the content of the propositions affects our reasoning. Results such as the above imply that we do not always use logical rules when faced with deduction problems. Rather, sometimes we use rules that are less abstract and more relevant to everyday problems, what are called pragmatic rules. An example is the permission rule, which states that "If a particular action is to be taken, often a precondition must be satisfied." Most people know this rule, and activate it when presented the drinking problem in the bottom half of Figure 9-3; that is,they would think about the problem in terms of permission. Once activated, the rule would lead people to look for failures to meet the relevant precondition (being under 19), which in turn would lead them to choose the "16" card. In contrast, the permission rule would not be triggered by the letter-number problem in the top half of Figure 9-3, 50 there is no reason for people to choose the "7" card. Thus, the content of a problem affects whether or not a pragmatic rule is activated, which in turn affects the correctness of reasoning (Cheng, Holyoak, Nisbett, & Oliver, 1986). In addition to rules, subjects may sometimes solve the drinking problem by setting up a concrete representation of the situation,what is called a mental model. They may, for example, imagine two people, each with a number on his back and a drink in his hand. They may then inspect this mental model and see what happens, for example, if the drinker with "16" on his back has a beer in his hand. According to this idea, we reason in terms of mental models that are suggested by the content of the problem (Johnson-Laird, 1989). The two procedures just described-applying pragmatic rules and constructing mental models-have one thing in common. They are determined by the content of the problem. This is in contrast to the application of logical rules, which should not be affected by problem content. Hence, our sensitivity to content often prevents us from operating as intuitive logicians.

INDUCTIVE REASONING

LOGICAL RULES
Logicians have noted that an argument can be good even if it is not deductively valid. Such arguments are inductively strong, which means that it is improbable that the conclusion is false if the premises are true (Skyrms, 1986). An example of an inductively strong argument is as follows: 3. a. Mitch majored in accounting in college. b. Mitch now works for an accounting firm. c. Therefore, Mitch is an accountant. This argument is not deductively valid (Mitch may have tired of accounting courses and taken a night-watchman's job in the only place he had contacts). Inductive strength, then, is a matter of probabilities, not certainties; and (according to logicians) inductive logic should be based on the theory of probability. We make and evaluate inductive arguments all the time. In doing this, do we rely on the rules of probability theory as a logician or mathematician would?

Content Effects in Deductive Reasoning
The top row illustrates a version of the problem in which subjects had to decide which two cards should be turned over to test the hypothesis, 'If a card has a vowel on one side, it has an even number on the other side." The bottom row illustrates a version of the problem where subjects had to decide which cards to turn over to test the hypothesis, "if a person is drinking beer', he or she must be over 19." (After Griggs & Cox, 1982; Wason & Johnson-Laird, 1972)

One probability rule that is relevant is the base-rate rule, which states that the probability of something being a member of a class (such as Mitch being a member of the class of accountants) is greater the more class members there are (that is, the higher the base rate of the class). Thus, our sample argument about Mitch being an accountant can be strengthened by adding the premise that Mitch joined a club in which 90 percent of the members are accountants. Another relevant probability rule is the conjunction rule: the probability of a proposition cannot be less than the probability of that proposition combined with another proposition. For example, the probability that "Mitch is an accountant" cannot be less than the probability that "Mitch is an accountant and makes more than $40,000 a year." The base- rate and conjunction rules are rational guides to inductive reasoning- they are endorsed by logic-and most people will defer to them when the rules are made explicit. However, in the rough-and-tumble of everyday reasoning, people frequently violate these rules, as we are about to see.

HEURISTICS
In a series of ingenious experiments, Tversky and Kahneman (1983; 1973) have shown that people violate some basic rules of probability theory when making inductive judgments. Violations of the base rate rule are particularly common. In one experiment, one group of subjects was told that a panel of psychologists had interviewed 100 people-30 engineers and 70 lawyers-and had written personality descriptions of them. These subjects were then given a few descriptions and for each one were asked to indicate the probability that the person described was an engineer. Some descriptions were prototypical of an engineer (for example, "Jack shows no interest in political issues and spends his free time on home carpentry"); other descriptions were neutral (for example, "Dick is a man of high ability and promises to be quite successful"). Not surprisingly, these subjects rated the prototypical description as more likely to be an engineer than the neutral description. Another group of subjects was given the identical instructions and descriptions, except they were told that the 100 people were 70 engineers and 30 lawyers (the reverse of the first group). The base rate of engineers therefore differed greatly between the two groups. This difference had virtually no effect: Subjects the second group gave essentially the same ratings as those in the first group. For example, subjects in both groups rated the neutral description as having a 50-50 chance of being an engineer (whereas the rational move would have been to rate the neutral description as more likely to be in the profession with the higher base rate). Subjects completely ignored the information about base rates (Tversky & Kahneman, 1973). People pay no more heed to the conjunction rule. In one study, subjects were presented the following description: Linda is 31 years old, single, outspoken, and very bright .In college, she majored in philosophy... and was deeply concerned with issues of discrimination. Subjects then estimated the probabilities the following two statements: 4. Linda is a bank teller. 5. Linda is a bank teller and is active in the feminist movement. Statement No.5 is the conjunction of Statement No.4 and the proposition "Linda is active in the feminist movement." In flagrant violation of the conjunction rule, most subjects rated No.5 more probable than No.4. Note that this is a fallacy because every feminist bank teller is a bank teller, but some female bank tellers are not feminists, and Linda could be one of them (Tversky & Kahneman, 1983). [see Also Bayesian statistics -LB] Subjects in this study based their judgments on the fact that Linda seems more similar to a feminist bank teller than to a bank teller. Though they were asked to estimate probability, subjects instead estimated the similarity of Linda to the prototype of the concepts "bank teller" and "feminist bank teller." Thus, estimating similarity is used as a heuristic for estimating probability, where a heuristic is a short-cut procedure that is relatively easy to apply and can often yield the correct answer, but not inevitably so. That is, people use the similarity heuristic because similarity often relates to probability yet is easier to calculate. Use of the similarity heuristic also explains why people ignore base rates. In the engineer-lawyer study described earlier, subjects may have considered only the similarity of the description to their prototypes of "engineer" and "lawyer." Hence,given a description that matched the prototypes of "engineer" and "lawyer" equally well,subjects judged that engineer and lawyer are equally probable. Reliance on the similarity heuristic can lead to errors even by experts. Reasoning by similarity shows up in another common reasoning situation, that in which we know some members of a category have a particular property and have to decide whether other category members have the property as well. In one study, subjects had to judge which of the following two arguments seemed stronger 6 a. All robins have sesamoid bones. b. Therefore all sparrows have sesamoid bones. versus 7 a. All robins have sesamoid bones. b. Therefore all ostriches have sesamoid bones. surprisingly, subjects judged the first argument stronger, presumably because robins are more similar to sparrows than they are to ostriches. This use of similarity appears rational inasmuch as it fits with the idea that things that have many known properties in common are likely to have unknown properties in common as well. But the veneer of rationality fades when we consider subjects' judgments on another pair of arguments: 7. a. All robins have sesamoid bones. b. Therefore all ostriches have sesamoid bones (same as the preceding argument). versus 8. a. All robins have sesamoid bones. b. Therefore all birds have sesamoid bones. Subjects judged the second argument stronger, presumably because robins are more similar to the prototype of birds than they are to ostriches. But this judgment is a fallacy: Based on the same evidence (that robins have sesamoid bones), it cannot be more likely that all birds have some property than that all ostriches do, because ostriches are in fact birds. Again, our similarity-based intuitions can sometimes lead us astray (Osherson, et al., 1990). Similarity is not our only strong heuristic; another is the causality heuristic. People estimate the probability of a situation by the strength of the causal connections between the events in the situation. For example, people judge Statement No.10 to be more probable than Statement No.9: 9. Sometime during the year 2000, there will be a massive flood in California, in which more than 1,000 people will drown. 10. Sometime during the year 2000, there will be an earthquake in California, causing a massive flood, in which more than 1,000 people will drown. Judging No.10 to be more probable than No. 9 is another violation of the conjunction rule (and hence another fallacy). This time, the violation arises because in Statement No.10 the flood has a strong causal connection to another event, the earthquake; whereas in Statement No.9, the flood alone is mentioned and hence has no causal connections. So our reliance on heuristics often leads us to ignore some basic rational rules, including the base-rate and conjunction rules. But we should not be too pessimistic about our level of rationality. For one thing, the similarity and causality heuristics probably lead to correct decisions in most cases. Another point is that under the right circumstances, we can appreciate the relevance of certain logical rules to particular problems and use them appropriately (Nisbett et al., 1983). Thus, in reading and thinking about this discussion, you were probably able to see the relevance of the base-rate and conjunction rules to the problems at hand.

WHAT I CAN AND CANNOT BELIEVE -
Robert Blatchford in "God and my Neighbour"

I HOPE it would not be supposed that I have any personal animus against Christians or Christian ministers, although I am hostile to the Church. Many ministers and many Christian laymen I have known are admirable men. Some I know personally are as able and as good as any men I have met; but I speak of the Churches, not of individuals. I have known Catholic priests and sisters who were worthy and charming, and there are many such; but I do not like the Catholic Church. I have known Tories and Liberals who were real good fellows, and clever fellows, and there are many such; but I do not like the Liberal and Tory parties. I have known clergymen of the Church of England who were real live men, and real English gentlemen, and there are many such; but I do not like the Church. I was not always an Agnostic, or a Rationalist, or an "Infidel," or whatever Christians may choose to call me. I was not perverted by an Infidel book. I had not read one when I wavered first in my allegiance to the orthodoxies. I was set doubting by a religious book written to prove the Verity of Christ's Resurrection from the Dead." But as a child I was thoughtful, and asked myself questions, as many children do, which the Churches would find it hard to answer to-day. I have not ceased to believe what I was taught as a child because I have grown wicked. I have ceased to believe it because, after twenty years' hard thinking, I cannot believe it. I cannot believe, then, that the Christian religion is true. I cannot believe that the Bible is the word of God. For the word of God would be above criticism and beyond disproof, and the Bible is not above criticism nor beyond disproof. I cannot believe that any religion has been revealed to Man by God. Because a revealed religion would be perfect, but no known religion is perfect; and because history and science show us that the known religions have not been revealed, but have been evolved from other religions. There is no important feature of the Christian religion which can be called original. All the rites, mysteries, and doctrines of Christianity have been borrowed from older faiths. I cannot believe that Jehovah, the God of the Bible, is the Creator of the known universe. The Bible God, Jehovah, is a man-made God, evolved from the idol of an obscure and savage tribe. The Bible shows us this quite plainly. I cannot believe that the Bible and the Testament are historically true. I regard most of the events they record as fables, and most of their characters as myths. I cannot believe in the existence of Jesus Christ, nor Buddha, nor Moses. I believe that these are ideal characters constructed from still more ancient legends and traditions. I cannot believe that the Bible version of the relations of man and God is correct. For that version, and all other religious versions known to me, represents man as sinning against or forsaking God, and God as punishing or pardoning man. But if God made man, then God is responsible for all man's acts and thoughts, and therefore man cannot sin against God. And if man could not sin against God, but could only act as God ordained that he should act, then it is against reason to suppose that God could be angry with man, or could punish man, or see any offence for which to pardon man. I cannot believe that man has ever forsaken God. Because history shows that man has from the earliest times been eagerly and pitifully seeking God, and has served and praised and sacrificed to God with a zeal akin to madness. But God has made no sign. I cannot believe that man was at the first created "perfect," and that he "fell." (How could the perfect fall?) I believe the theory of evolution, which shows not a fall but a gradual rise. I cannot believe that God is a loving "Heavenly Father," taking a tender interest in mankind. Because He has never interfered to prevent the horrible cruelties and injustices of man to man, and because he has permitted evil to rule the world. I cannot reconcile the idea of a tender Heavenly Father with the known horrors of war, slavery, pestilence, and insanity. I cannot discern the hand of a loving Father in the slums, in the earthquake, in the cyclone. I cannot understand the indifference of a loving Father to the law of prey, nor to the terrors and tortures of leprosy, cancer, cholera, and consumption. I cannot believe that God is a personal God, who intervenes in human affairs. I cannot see in science, nor in experience, nor in history any signs of such a God, nor of such intervention. I cannot believe that God hears and answers prayer, because the universe is governed by laws, and there is no reason to suppose that those laws are ever interfered with. Besides, an all-wise God knows what to do better than man can tell Him, and a just God would act justly without requiring to be reminded of His duty by one of His creatures. I cannot believe that miracles ever could or ever did happen. Because the universe is governed by laws, and there is no credible instance on record of those laws being suspended. I cannot believe that God "created" man, as man now is, by word of mouth and in a moment. I accept the theory of evolution, which teaches that man was slowly evolved by natural process from lower forms of life, and that this evolution took millions of years. I cannot believe that Jesus Christ was God, nor that He was the Son of God. There is no solid evidence for the miracle of the Incarnation, and I see no reason for the Incarnation. I cannot believe that Christ died to save man from Hell, nor that He died to save man from sin. Because I do not believe God would condemn the human race to eternal torment for being no better than He had made them, and because I do not see that the death of Christ has saved man from sin. I cannot believe that God would think it necessary to come on earth as a man, and die on the Cross. Because if that was to atone for man's sin, it was needless, as God could have forgiven man without Himself suffering. I cannot believe that God would send His son to die on the Cross. Because He could have forgiven man without subjecting His son to pain. I cannot accept any doctrine of atonement Because to forgive the guilty because the innocent had suffered would be unjust and unreasonable, and to forgive the guilty because a third person begged for his pardon would be unjust. I cannot believe that a good God would allow sin to enter the world. Because He would hate sin and would have power to destroy or to forbid it. I cannot believe that a good God would create or tolerate a Devil, nor that he would allow the Devil to tempt man. I cannot believe the story of the virgin birth of Christ. Because for a man to be born of a virgin would be a miracle, and I cannot believe in miracles. I cannot believe the story of Christ's resurrection from the dead. Because that would be a miracle, and because there is no solid evidence that it occurred. I cannot believe that faith in the Godhood of Christ is necessary to virtue or to happiness. Because I know that some holding such faith are neither happy nor virtuous, and that some are happy and virtuous who do not hold that faith. The differences between the religious and the scientific theories, or as I should put it, between superstition and rationalism, are clearly marked and irreconcilable. The supernaturalist stands by "creation": the rationalist stands by "evolution." It is impossible to reduce these opposite ideas to a common denominator. The creation theory alleges that the earth, and the sun, and the moon, and man, and the animals were "created" by God, instantaneously, by word of mouth, out of nothing. The evolution theory alleges that they were evolved, slowly, by natural processes out of previously existing matter. The supernaturalist alleges that religion was revealed to man by God, and that the form of this revelation is a sacred book. The rationalist alleges that religion was evolved by slow degrees and by human minds, and that all existing forms of religion and all existing "sacred books," instead of being "revelations," are evolutions from religious ideas and forms and legends of prehistoric times. It is impossible to reduce these opposite theories to a common denominator. The Christians, the Hindoos, the Parsees, the Buddhists, and the Mohammedans have each their "Holy Bible" or "sacred book." Each religion claims that its own Bible is the direct revelation of God, and is the only true Bible teaching the only true faith. Each religion regards all the other religions as spurious. The supernaturalists believe in miracles, and each sect claims that the miracles related in its own inspired sacred book prove the truth of that book and of the faith taught therein. No religion accepts the truth of any other religion's miracles. The Hindoo, the Buddhist, the Mohammedan, the Parsee, the Christian each believes that his miracles are the only real miracles. The Protestant denies the miracles of the Roman Catholic. The rationalist denies all miracles alike. "Miracles never happen." The Christian Bible is full of miracles. The Christian Religion is founded on miracles. No rationalist believes in miracles. Therefore no rationalist can accept the Christian Religion. If you discard "Creation" and accept evolution; if you discard "revelation" and accept evolution; if you discard miracles and accept natural law, there is nothing left of the Christian Religion but the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. And when one sees that all religions and all ethics, even the oldest known, have, like all language and all science and all philosophy and all existing species of animals and plants, been slowly evolved from lower and ruder forms; and when one learns that there have been many Christs, and that the evidence of the life of Jesus is very slight, and that all the acts and words of Jesus had been anticipated by other teachers long before the Christian era, then it is borne in upon one's mind that the historic basis of Christianity is very frail. And when one realises that the Christian theology, besides being borrowed from older religions, is manifestly opposed to reason and to facts, then one reaches a state of mind which entitles the orthodox Christian to call one an "Infidel," and to make it "unpleasant" for one to the glory of God. That is the position in which I stand at present, and it is partly to vindicate that position, and to protest against those who feel as I feel being subjected to various kinds of "unpleasantness," that I undertake this Apology.

metro_files Jun30,2005What is the neurobiological basis of suggestibility and of dissociation?

Traditional cortical inhibition theories hold that hypersuggestibility is the result of inhibition of the cerebral cortex (and thus the usual 'critical faculties') due to some sort of override by lower brain centers. This has proven to be an overly simplistic way of looking at it. A more recent version of that former Pavlovian theory is that the left cerebral hemisphere is somehow selectively inhibited during conditions of hypersuggestibility.

This is an expression of the popular culture view of 'left-brained' and 'right-brained.' As for most behavior, there will likely be evidence for a differential contribution from the asymmetric cerebral hemispheres in hypersuggestibility, but so far differential hemisphere activity itself does not seem to be the primary mechanism of enhanced suggestibility.


We have good reason at this point to think of enhanced suggestibility as a common endpoint toward which a number of methods can lead in some or all human beings. Hypnotic induction is only one of these methods. There are also very good indications that there is something special about some forms of dissociation that merits further investigation into just what cognitive functions become split, under what conditions these splits occur, and how they occur. It is also of great interest how dissociation relates to various anomalous phenomena (such as extrasensory perception, psychokinesis, and others) that have long been associated with 'dissociative states.'

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