Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

Incl. intelligent design, belief in divine creation

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Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#1  Postby AlanF » Dec 13, 2018 12:22 am

Hi,

I'm in the process of writing a long essay debunking the creationist/fundamentalist views of the Jehovah's Witnesses and critiquing their scholastic dishonesty. It covers a lot of ground, but I have limited knowledge of some topics. I'd like to enlist help from knowledgeable people on this board to find debunking resources that could be used as links to further resources in my essay. Presumably, the "Creationism" forum is one place to do this.

I'm currently researching the history of human habitation of North Africa and the Near East, with the ultimate goal of showing how ridiculous the Fundamentalist claim of Noah's Flood is, in view of the physical evidence that humans have been in Egypt almost continuously for hundreds of thousands of years. Fundies claim that Egyptian history can go back no more than to the time they usually assign to Noah's Flood, 2350 BCE, yet various histories of Egypt give about 3150 BCE for the earliest written documents from Egypt. Does anyone know of resources that detail how the 3150 date has been determined? I have The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt but it doesn't get into the details of how dates have been determined.

Alan
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#2  Postby theropod » Dec 13, 2018 1:55 am

Incised meanders.

Forget all that societal history crap and focus on the physical evidence. There would be massive physical evidence of such a flood, but there isn’t any. Not one shred.

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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#3  Postby Hermit » Dec 13, 2018 2:29 am

theropod wrote:Incised meanders.

Forget all that societal history crap and focus on the physical evidence. There would be massive physical evidence of such a flood, but there isn’t any. Not one shred.

Also, where would all that water have come from? If all ice on earth melted sea levels would rise by 80 metres at most. Mount Ararat's peak is 5137 metres above the current sea level. To make the Biblical flood theory work tectonic plate movement would have to be accelerated enormously. Mount Ararat needs to have risen by an average of 1.15 metres a year between the imagined flood and today.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#4  Postby Alan B » Dec 13, 2018 1:02 pm

History of writing - Wiki
I have NO BELIEF in the existence of a God or gods. I do not have to offer evidence nor do I have to determine absence of evidence because I do not ASSERT that a God does or does not or gods do or do not exist.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#5  Postby Calilasseia » Dec 13, 2018 8:18 pm

An important point to make here, is that if creationist assertions were something other than wishful fantasy, then vast mountains of scientific data pointing to an ancient origin for the universe and its contents, and the genealogical unity of the entire biosphere, SIMPLY WOULD NOT EXIST. If creationist assertions were correct, NO strata would date to more than 6,000 years old, and NO evidence of common descent in living organisms would exist. The mere fact that said data exists, pointing to the Earth being 4.5 billion years old, the universe being 13.6 billion years old, and the biosphere being unified by inheritance, on its own destroys creationist pretensions.

As for the apologetic dishonesty on the part of those creationists who assert, when faced with this, that their magic man simply made everything appear ancient and unified, in order to differentiate between those who pay attention to reality, and those who pay attention to mythological fabrication, presumably so that the former can be sent to the eternal spit roast, this leads inexorably to the awkward question "So you worship a god that engages in massive amounts of deception ... how do you know, in that case, that your book of myths isn't a part of that deception?"
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#6  Postby laklak » Dec 14, 2018 1:28 am

Why bother? If they are too blinkered and brainwashed to see what is obviously, blindingly evident to anyone with more than two functioning brain cells, then exposing them to yet another factual source isn't going to change their minds. If the sum of knowledge from every single scientific discipline doesn't convince them then nothing will. They already deny geology, astrophysics, cosmology, physics, chemistry, biology, and a literal host of other fields, you stand NO chance of changing what passes for their mind.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#7  Postby theropod » Dec 14, 2018 2:36 am

Once upon a time there was a debate, and associated discussion thread, about the great Flud. If only there was an archive of that all the data ever needed would be a click, or 300, away. Thanks Richard.

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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#8  Postby Rumraket » Dec 14, 2018 2:38 am

Nah, atheists have to come from somewhere. Some people do change their mind when evidence is presented to them. It can at least provide that spark that leads to further doubts.

What certainly won't happen is that you change someone's mind while their peers are standing right next to them. That's why they send them out in pairs. The social pressure is impossible to overcome.

Have a talk with one of them alone, or leave them with some material and tell them to go home and think about it when they have some time for themselves. When their potential deconversion or doubts is not put into an immediate context of social in-group betrayal, is when you have an opportunity to change minds.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#9  Postby Rumraket » Dec 14, 2018 2:40 am

theropod wrote:Once upon a time there was a debate, and associated discussion thread, about the great Flud. If only there was an archive of that all the data ever needed would be a click, or 300, away. Thanks Richard.

Rs

Argh I have forgotten so much about what this community was like when I first became part of it back in 2008. I think I was lurking as far back as end of 2007. Curious times.

That forum was a fucking candle in the dark. To think of how much useful info could have amassed to this day if it hadn't ... :waah:

Fuck Richard, fuck that Josh fellow too.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#10  Postby laklak » Dec 14, 2018 2:57 am

Suppurating rat rectums, the both of them.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#11  Postby Hermit » Dec 14, 2018 4:21 am

laklak wrote:...you stand NO chance of changing what passes for their mind.

Correct 95, perhaps 99% of the time. You obviously don't think the balance is worth making an effort for. Nobody will force you to make one, but please don't discourage those who think it's worth a try, if for no other reason than such discouragement does not put you in a particularly good light.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#12  Postby laklak » Dec 14, 2018 4:38 am

I've never managed to turn one, though I have tried. Maybe it's the Southern Baptist hardshellness of them, they are immunized against anything even approaching logic or rationality. Y'all don't get how pervasive it is down here, there's a fucking church on almost every street corner and people say "God Bless" with that vacant, Christian grin if you hold the door for them. You can't get away from it, it's everywhere. Particularly this time of year. Just down the street is a storage rental place with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!" in 3 foot letters. Sweet Baby Jesuses to the left, Sweet Baby Jesuses to the right, let's put the Christ back in Christmas. You see people praying at fucking McDonalds before they tuck into their Big Mac 'n fries. S'truth.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#13  Postby theropod » Dec 14, 2018 4:55 am

I get that. Even though ALL my friends know I am an atheist several commented on my FB page that they were offering up prayers for me after my cardio issues. Yes, they all meant well, but it also was very offensive to me. They didn’t care about my feelings and just had to plug their favorite delusion(s). How much compassion is involved when you can’t respect someone’s position even when they are facing something as serious as heart troubles? If they honestly think this health issue is going to “turn” me they have never known me. The last thing I need right now is the stress of trying to protect their precious fee fees. If I die tonight so be it.

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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#14  Postby Hermit » Dec 14, 2018 6:33 am

laklak wrote:I've never managed to turn one, though I have tried. Maybe it's the Southern Baptist hardshellness of them, they are immunized against anything even approaching logic or rationality. Y'all don't get how pervasive it is down here, there's a fucking church on almost every street corner and people say "God Bless" with that vacant, Christian grin if you hold the door for them. You can't get away from it, it's everywhere. Particularly this time of year. Just down the street is a storage rental place with "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!" in 3 foot letters. Sweet Baby Jesuses to the left, Sweet Baby Jesuses to the right, let's put the Christ back in Christmas. You see people praying at fucking McDonalds before they tuck into their Big Mac 'n fries. S'truth.

Reminder: There is a world outside Florida. There may be more to the planet than the US, even.

In the 1966 Australian census 88.2% of the population declared itself as a Christian of some sort or another and 0.8% as belonging to no religion. Three years later I turned up, a bright eyed bushy tailed 15 year old, erm, Catholic. After discussions with a few people I became a deist and shortly thereafter an (agnostic) atheist, and I got talking to Christians. Result? The 2016 census revealed the percentage of all Christians to have dropped to 52.1 and the percentage of all people belonging to no religion to have risen to 30.1. It was hard work and took a lot of persistence and patience, I admit, but if I can do it, so can you.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#15  Postby LucidFlight » Dec 14, 2018 7:12 am

Amazing work. Thank you, Hermit.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#16  Postby Hermit » Dec 14, 2018 8:08 am

LucidFlight wrote:Amazing work. Thank you, Hermit.

Admittedly, I could not have done it completely on my own. Using advocates of the existence of a supernatural realm as a foil was of tremendous value. The more idiotic their arguments, the better. That is why I value the presence of the likes of JayJay and James during discussions I had with thoughtful believers so much. Without realising it they are my best collaborators.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#17  Postby Cito di Pense » Dec 14, 2018 9:33 am

theropod wrote:Yes, they all meant well, but it also was very offensive to me. They didn’t care about my feelings and just had to plug their favorite delusion(s).


Why believe they meant well unless it suits your disposition? Whether or not they meant well is irrelevant. It's just none of their fucking business. What you realize is that, if you have a good relationship with somebody, it does no good to raise that red flag. You have a good relationship regardless of details; if you don't, it's easy enough to tell someone to fuck right off.

laklak wrote:Why bother?


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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#18  Postby AlanF » Dec 14, 2018 10:57 pm

Thanks for the suggestions and references!

Part of the reason I want to focus on Egyptian written history in this section of my essay is that 27 years ago I already did an extensive debunking of the JW view of Noah's Flood ( https://corior.blogspot.com/2006/02/par ... flood.html ), and I'm doing an abbreviated debunking in this essay that explores some of the physical implications of a recent Flood.

What I want to argue in one section is that, given the extensive amount of physical evidence that archaeologists have accumulated on Egyptian prehistory, and paleontological evidence for human habitation of North Africa for two million years, there is no way to fit all that evidence into the ~300 years between the date of Noah's Flood and the date of Abraham's birth as given in JW literature. They're claiming that a few dozen "kinds" evolved into several million species in under 300 years. In other words, they're claiming the physically impossible.

More particularly, the ~3150 BCE date for the earliest written Egyptian texts -- not written records, which are centuries older -- proves that written Egyptian history is much older than allowed by JW literature. Add to that the fact these records and tombs contain carvings and references to various animals such as cats, lions, and dogs that are far too diverse to have diversified from the few dozen "kinds" proposed for Noah's Ark in JW literature in the ~300 years they allow between Noah's Flood and the birth of Abraham.

Of course I'm well aware that real information has almost no effect on Fundies like the JWs. But sometimes it does, especially when they receive information out of the hearing of their fellows. I know this because some of my essays and debates on JW-related forums have ultimately helped several hundred JWs out of their cult. Sometimes it took years for them to wake up. In my own case, it was my attempt to argue against evolution in a college essay 40 years ago that gradually woke me up.

To address a few points posters have brought up: The JWs traditionally taught a strange combination of young-life creationism, old-earth creationism, and the crazy Flood Geology of Morris/Price. The "creative days" of Genesis were 7,000 years long, but the earth and universe might well be the billions of years old claimed by geologists. However, there were no ice ages; Noah's Flood produced all the supposed ice age landforms. But much of this was abandoned in the 1980s. Today, it's not clear, even to JWs or their leaders, what they believe about the age of life on earth. The older generation of JWs still believes in Flood geology but they don't talk about it. JWs younger than about 40-45 get that deer-in-the-headlights look when questioned about this. Part of the goal of my essay is to educate people about all this.

The JWs have published hardly anything on these topics for 30 years. The latest nonsense appeared in a 1989 book called "The Bible--God's Word Or Man's?" On the old Dawkins forum a JW apologist I called Maher used this book to defend his views on the Flood, and got creamed.

I'm hoping that this comprehensive essay gets wide publicity on ex-JW forums and websites. That's why I want to do a bang-up job on it.

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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#19  Postby laklak » Dec 15, 2018 1:54 am

My wife's stepmom comes from a Witness family. They're mental, honest to goodness True Believers. Batshittery on a Scientology level, if lacking in Intergalactic DC-8s. If you actually managed to de-convert one good on you, it's a insidious fucking cult. Like somebody said, the difference in a religion and a cult is what happens when you try to leave.
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Re: Asking for Help Finding Debunking Resources

#20  Postby AlanF » Dec 15, 2018 7:10 am

laklak wrote:My wife's stepmom comes from a Witness family. They're mental, honest to goodness True Believers. Batshittery on a Scientology level, if lacking in Intergalactic DC-8s. If you actually managed to de-convert one good on you, it's a insidious fucking cult. Like somebody said, the difference in a religion and a cult is what happens when you try to leave.


All too true. The actress Lea Remini, a former Scientologist, has been doing an expose series on the American A&E network about the abuses of Scientology. A very scary cult! Just a month ago Remini did a two-hour segment on the JWs and how they practice shunning that destroys families. The two cults have in common exactly what you said.

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