Monthly Archives: October 2013

Scientific Standup Comedy for Beginners

Mehran Banaei

One strategy employed by militant materialist scientists to debunk the notion of the First Cause is to establish flaws in the creation and operation of the universe. The perceived flaws from “natural catastrophes” to “imperfection”, “oddities” and “redundant complexity” in various organisms are loudly broadcasted supposedly to make a point, namely that an Intelligent Designer cannot come up with suboptimal design. Stephen Jay Gould was the one who, for instance, argued that the human chin serves no purpose at all; it is a superfluous byproduct of the evolutionary process. He further argued that a panda’s tiny thumb is totally redundant having no purpose at all.

Richard Dawkins and his team butchered a poor giraffe in front of the camera to demonstrate a similar point, the point being that the pathway of laryngeal nerve of giraffe is “completely illogical”:

It is of course illogical from an atheist subjective point of view, not from a general overall point of view of objective science. Dawkins does not seem to have learned a lesson from the “junk DNA” experience. Some evolutionary geneticists made similar accusation against certain human DNA, calling them “junk DNA” and thinking that they serve no purpose. Yet, further research confirmed in no time that far from being useless about 98 per cent of human DNA that does not encode instructions for making proteins plays a significant role in controlling cell development. A fallible being should never assume that he knows the totality of reality or that his opinion is absolute.

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson confuses a science lecture with standup comedy, when he gives examples of “Stupid Design” in the universe. This learned man argues that the idea of eating, drinking, talking and breathing through one outlet is an example of “Stupid Design”. He further belittles human anatomy by questioning how our sexual organ could be concurrently used as the means to discharge bodily waste. To him “what’s between our legs is an entertainment complex built in the middle of a sewage system”, a premise provided to demonstrate that a Divine Planner cannot be responsible for such a stupidity.

According to Tyson,  it seems that iPhone and Swiss Army knife are examples of “Stupid Design” for being multifunctional. This smart scientist fails to notice the obvious, that multitasking is a paragon of intelligent design. Can you imagine a face or a body with numerous holes for each separate function? Mr. Neil deGrasse Tyson may prefer to have his genitals uniquely located on his forehead, but on what ground does he think that this is a better design than the existing one? What is the criterion? For many critics talking is cheap; Mr. DeGrasse Tyson should perhaps put his money where his mouth is. Being the smart scientist he is, he should go to the drawing board and give us a better design of how human anatomy ought to function. He further has to prove that his construct is far better than nature’s design.

These audacious materialists lack basic training in logic. They are so eager to discredit God that they fail to reflect for a minute on what they are actually saying. The atheists attempt to convince us that everything in the universe including ourselves is terribly designed. If that is so, then how can we trust judgment made by this defective product. That is to say, if Man is badly designed, could this inadequacy not include his brain? Therefore, his cognitive functioning, i.e. perception of intelligent or stupid design is likely to be faulty.

Furthermore, even a well-established “sub-optimal” design does not refute or diminish the design argument. A bad design, relatively speaking, may be a poor functioning and inefficient apparatus, but nonetheless it is still designed. Consider the following example: The vehicle below is certainly a substandard means of transportation in automobile industry, perhaps the worst possible design that one can think of for a car. It may not at all be a marketable idea. Nevertheless, it is certainly designed by a designer who in fact appears in the picture. The vehicle is not a product of mindless random mutation.

new car

In essence one can argue that the designer of this vehicle is a genius using the best of what is available to him to create a fuel efficient and environmentally friendly vehicle which elegantly serves his purpose. His design was not intended to put Mercedes out of business or to qualify for Formula One races.

The arguments present by materialists are not based on science, but on opinion. I have been under the impression that the job of a scientist is to avoid giving subjective opinion, but present facts. Further, the opinion given in cited cases is a very bad one. For example, chin is the external part of the human lower jaw. No scientist would argue that jaws serve no purpose. Even as an external part, jaws serve an important function. It is a facial feature and plays an important role in distinction of one individual apart from others.

Materialist scientists arrogantly think that they know the totality of reality and thus pass judgement on what is stupid or intelligent design. Regardless of what or who really created this universe, whether it was Juju at the bottom of the sea, Zeus, Krishna, Ganesh, Natural Selection or the God of Abraham, one thing that we can tell for sure is that this Entity has infinite wisdom and knows His job. There must be a reason for the way things are. Have we not seen enough cases? For example, Gould’s myopic view on panda’s thumbs was later on totally dismissed by other scientists who carefully studied panda’s behaviour in the wild. They discovered that panda’s thumb gives a great dexterity to panda to handle bamboo branches (Hideki Endo, et al., “Role of the giant panda’s pseudo-thumb,” Nature, Vol: 347: pp. 309-310, January 28, 1999).

As it happens millions of dollars are spent on research in biomimicry to discover and implement nature’s genius in order to advance human efficiency, something that the likes of Dawkins and deGrasse Tyson are either blind to see or dishonest to acknowledge.

Foolishness is indeed laughable particularly when it is displayed by the members of “intellectual elite”.

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Has Science Buried the Camel and its Droppings?

 

Mehran Banaei

An illiterate desert Bedouin of early history walking on a path with his companion inferred that this path must be a frequent passage for camels. The companion curiously asked him how he could be so certain given that there are no camels in sight. The Bedouin wisely replied: look at the trail, all you see here is camel droppings and camel footprints.

Camel droppings

The Bedouin did not have any formal education, but he certainly used solid scientific methodology to arrive objectively at his conclusion, which is the usage of observation, information gathering, analysis of empirical evidence, inductive reasoning and so on. At his disposal he had all the essential tools that freethinkers require to make a valid inference. What other possible conclusion can any skeptic make from the available data under identical circumstances? I believe there is absolutely none. Nevertheless, so many would not give up trying and be cynical at the conclusion made by the Bedouin. For example, there are those who could vigorously argue:

1) The droppings are not really camel droppings, they have the appearance and odour of camel droppings. However, the real thinking individual would not be fooled by the appearance, only those who have a lazy mind would think that the aforementioned signs would mean that a camel must have passed by. (Richard Dawkins, Peter Atkins)

2) There are so many different animal droppings and footprints in the world. How do we know that these are camel droppings, but not of a polar bear or fish? (Michael Shermer, Dan Barker)

3) No camel ever passed over the trail; the camel droppings have created themselves out of nothing. (Daniel Dennett, Lawrence Krauss)

4) No camel ever passed over the trail; the camel droppings have always been there from eternity to eternity with no primary cause. (Fred Hoyle, Thomas Gold, Hermann Bondi)

5) If camels do indeed regularly pass through this passage, how come there is so much pain and suffering in the world? (Epicurus, Sam Harris, Dan Barker)

6) Camel and camel droppings do not exist. They are illusions, the idea is totally unfounded, an ancient fairytale. It is wishful thinking, a manifestation of humankind’s oldest inner desire to achieve emotional comfort. (David Hume, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Ludwig Feuerbach, Friedrich Nietzsche)

7) People who use teleological argument in favour of camel droppings and camel droppings-maker are people of faith; religious zealots with a certain fundamentalist agenda disguised as freethinkers. (The Skeptics Society, Atheist Alliance of America, American Atheists Association)

8) Camel droppings on the path evolved and branched out independently from droppings of other species by blind processes of natural selection. Thanks to science, camel is no longer needed to produce camel droppings. Natural selection should suffice as an explanation for the existence of camel droppings without recourse to an actual camel. (Richard Dawkins speaking for Charles Darwin)

9) The only reason that one believes that a camel has passed by is all because one is raised in a culture where everyone believes that a camel has actually passed by. If one were raised in a culture where everyone believed that the great Juju at the bottom of the Sea left those droppings behind, one would then adhere to that tribal belief. (Richard Dawkins)

10) Camel is not great; the belief in existence of camel having passed the path is a man-made idea to control the masses. I do not want to live in a universe that one is obligated to acknowledge the existence of a ruthless camel that drops waste. (Christopher Hitchens)

11) Even if one observes on a daily basis that numerous camel caravans routinely pass by here, the existing droppings and footprints on the trail do not entail that they belong to a camel, which has passed by. One cannot generalize from specific and move from “is” to “ought”. (David Hume)

12) There were no camel droppings until we observed them. The camel dropping particles exist due to the wave function collapse brought about by our observation. (Neils Bohr et al)

13) The belief that camel droppings and footprints are indicative of a camel in the vicinity is based on blind faith. The Bedouin’s assertion is founded on religious dogma. His conclusion does not constitute an inference from scientific data. Faith is a vice pretending to be a virtue. I cannot believe people in the 21st century still believe that camel drops waste on its path. You Intelligent Design people must be ashamed of yourself thinking order, complexity and fine-tuning mean anything. Aren’t you embarrassed to believe in pseudoscience? (PZ Myers)

14) Today the real scientists no longer believe that we need a camel to end up having camel droppings; biologists can easily create camel droppings in the lab without a supernatural cause. One may not be able to prove that a camel actually did not pass through the trail, but science makes the necessity of camel passing through unnecessary. The laws of physics can explain in details what the droppings are made of without the need for a camel. Thus, science has buried the camel and its droppings. (Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking)

At times, it may seem that modern scientists are inadvertently not employing the principle of Occam’s razor, that is, not complicating explanation beyond necessity. However, a careful examination reveals that avoiding the simplest explanation is their career goal as many of them are heavily into atheism who are more concerned about defending a particular ideology than scientific discoveries. Nevertheless, when science deviates from common sense, it is no longer science; it is no longer pursuit of truth. It is then no wonder why the most inevitable conclusion on the most fundamental question in life is so often missed by scientists.

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