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Blessed Are The Cheesemakers




Stupid faitheists act all stupid, again

So it’s getting close to the end of 2011 and like every other group of dipshits in the known universe, science-religion accommodationists are releasing lists of people and things which have warmed their hearts over the past 12 months. Like this one in Religion Dispatches, for instance.

It’s by some guy I’ve never heard of called Paul Wallace who appropriately enough writes at the nauseatingly terrible Huffington Post. Someone who shares a masthead with Jenny McCarthy and Deepak Chopra is trying to tell us the roles of science and religion. That’s cool…

Like most accommodationist propaganda, Wallace’s screed is a mishmash of misrepresentations, unsupported assertions, fuzzy thinking, and uncontrolled rage towards outspoken atheists, all wrapped up in a haughty air of totally unwarranted smugness. I’m going to limit myself to going after the most egregious parts of Wallace’s little list here since more thorough takedowns are already available at Pharyngula by friend of The BEAST PZ Myers and Butterflies & Wheels by the amazing Ophelia Benson.

This year has marked, I believe, the beginning of the end of the war between science and religion. Creationism cannot last. The New Atheists are now getting old. And between these camps the middle ground continues to expand.

Creationism “cannot last,” huh? It’s managed to last just fine for the past several thousand years, but Wallace has enough hubris to claim that it can’t last. Not that it shouldn’t last, or even that it probably won’t last. It just can’t – the physical laws of the universe somehow require that.

Also, the New Atheists are getting old. I’m 30. Gonna be 31 in a week and a half. Is that old? I guess we’re all aging, right? Aren’t even the accommodationists getting older, too? Isn’t that how time works? Maybe if I accommodated more ancient superstition into my worldview I’d have a better grasp of such things.

To recap so far: Christopher Hitchens died and creationism will somehow go with him in the near future, so therefore ANY DAY NOW people will start buying and reading awful fence-straddling books about how Jesus was really an ancient neurosurgeon, but with magic! Are you listening, publishers? Good, let’s continue with some of his “peacemakers:”

 8. Jon Stewartpolitical satirist, for shining light on American Atheists’ frivolous lawsuit against the inclusion of the Ground Zero cross in the 9/11 memorial museum

Wallace’s desperation is really showing here. Sure, I agree with what Stewart (and Murphy, here at this site) said about the AA lawsuit. But The Daily Show does something like 200 22-minute shows a year, and one three minute segment gets Stewart a position on this list? Wallace really wants Jon Stewart to be on his side here. It’s a classic example of confirmation bias. If you’re an accommodationist, you remember the one time Stewart rightfully took American Atheists to task and forget the hundreds of other segments where he’s attacked religion because you’re more interested in coming to the conclusion that Jon Stewart thinks like you than in reality.

Oh, and by the way, what exactly does the case in question here have to do with science? Oh, that’s right, not a fucking thing.

6. Jack Templetonsurgeon, president and chairman of the John Templeton Foundation, for bringing science into the church

In reality, if you look at the list of Templeton Prize Winners (which gets them £1,000,000 each), it’s almost entirely scientists who are then saying nice things about religion, not the other way around. And the exceptions aren’t ministers or imams or rabbis; they’re philosophers and mathematicians. Templeton doesn’t bring science into the church – otherwise creationism might really be as doomed as Wallace seems to believe. It bribes scientists to bring religion into their laboratories.

5. Chris Stedmaninterfaith activist and super-swell atheist guy, for decoupling atheism from science, and for being the face of a kinder, gentler atheism

That description sounds like a parody I’d write making fun of people like Wallace, but the thing is that he really means it. He really thinks Stedman is a “super-swell” guy. I’ve already disposed of Stedman here, but this is a good opportunity for an update. Stedman said he would revisit this, but like the coward he is he’s failed to do so yet. All I’ve heard from some anonymous source is that he felt “blindsided” by my article, even though it basically just told the story of how he was lying and wrong on Twitter. So there’s not much to update. He still cites studies which don’t support his claims and then retreats into rhetorical hysterics when called out on it. As long as you’re only doing that to people like Dave Silverman and PZ Myers, it’s fine to still be labeled kind and gentle.

3. All Those People Who Are Not Backing the Ark Parkfor keeping the sure-to-be-divisive Ark Encounter from its scheduled August groundbreaking

LOL wut? Wallace explains this bizarre entry further:

 All year, I have been watching the fundraising thermometer at the Ark Park blog. It’s been moving really slowly. I wish I had recorded the data as the months rolled by, but it seems safe to say that, at current rates, it will take another five years to meet the $24.5 million goal set by the Ark Encounter masterminds (this is a small fraction of the project’s $150 million price tag). I suspect that’s not what they have in mind; they have publicized an opening date of 2014.

OK, get it? By simply not giving money to this fringe group of lunatics, you’re now a “peacemaker” in the religion-science wars. Yay! Even the New Atheists (You know, the ones whose imminent deaths Wallace is eagerly awaiting) get to join in on his list of super-swell guys and gals.

It’s a total failure that they might need to open in 2017 instead of 2014, I guess is what Wallace is trying to say here. They’ve only raised over $4 MILLION so far, so it must be a failure. I hate to think of the implications of what that means for us here at The BEAST. If only raising $4 million means failure, we’re several million layers below failure at this point. But fear not, readers! Like creationism and Celine Dion’s heart, we will go on.

 2. Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lamafor reminding us that being ethical does not depend on belief in a personal God—nor, particularly, on science

No decent person should turn to the Dalai Lama for advice on what’s ethical. He’s a pompous asshole. So it’s not surprising accommodationists love him.

If you’ve been taken in by the Dalai Lama’s tolerant pose, you should definitely watch this clip from the Australian TV show Jon Safran vs. God. In it the host offers a few quotes from “His Holiness” and asks if they’re from him or the Pope. They all think the quotes are from the Pope. In other words, the Dalai Lama is so backwards and horrible that people can’t distinguish his position from that of the head of an international child-raping criminal organization.

So that’s the distorted view of the “middle ground” this unknown clown imagines. And who is it he wants to build a middle ground between, you might ask. Well, I’ll leave you with a few examples of that, from just the past few days.

I could go on. There are LOTS more of these. Build bridges with these people? Fuck that.

  • matt

    awesome post, but I’d still like to see the return of Allen Uthman

  • Harold

    I’m confused….can we burn the churches or not?

  • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

    I just realized that for some reason each time I’ve gone after Stedman I’ve made a Celine Dion reference. Maybe my brain unconsciously associates the two? What does it mean?! AHHG

  • Bonnie

    Tibet was less free before the people’s republic took over. The wealthy monks were known for keeping young slaves; in other words the church isn’t the only one who has Child molesters. They also had a top tier of members who didn’t whipe themselves after using the bathroom.

  • Bonnie

    And I learned evolution in Catholic school. I also learned about how backwards Christians who didn’t understand how to read the bible would use the Bible to deny science. One teaxher told us to ask them “Where in the bible does it say man and god have the same concept of time? How can you use divinity to argue against science when your whole argument is based on mans design of a mathematical equation based on pagan beliefs of the sun being a deity?” I am neither religious nor an atheist but either way you can use the bible to discredit creation; just like many other issues, the bible contradicts itself.

    • http://www.buffalobeast.com/ Josh Bunting

      @Bonnie – Thanks for the tip on the monks not wiping themselves, I hadn’t heard of that one. I dunno if it’s quite right to say that Tibet was more free under Mao than as a Buddhist theocracy, but neither were pretty. Michael Parenti, who I interviewed way back in the day, tried to make that case once.

      But you can use the Bible to make a case for creationism too, and not just Genesis. On the other hand you’d be hard pressed to use it to paint a picture of it saying that the big bang, a 13.7 billion year old universe, relativity, quantum theory, or common ancestry of all living things on Earth are true.

  • http://youtu.be/IDUCU6PTAek Joe Dixon

    Thanks for linking that John Safran video. I’d never seen it before. Of course, I already knew the Dali Lama was a douche but watching John point it out to people was great fun.

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