Paths To Knowledge (dot Science)

What is actually real in Objective Reality? How do you know? Now, prove it's real!

Richard Dawkins your Response To Callers Question yesterday Was Too Weak

Posted by pwl on March 5, 2009

At about 31 minutes 20 seconds into the interview Richard Dawkins answers a question about history and the validity of the “virgin birth”. Dawkins, in my view didn’t answer that very well.

Yes, one time events in history can’t be repeated by using the scientific method, so how do you test the claims of the “resurrection” of “jesus”?

Well, that’s easy with biology. When a human being dies their body decays. Upon heart dead, brain death and cell death, living bodies decay. Micro organisms immediately start eating your body from the insides out and outside in. Bugs and insects of all kinds begin their feasting on a pretty much set schedule. The body decays. If you’re unlucky enough to die away from a modern hospital emergency room there is no hope, and if you were lucky to be in an ER there is a very small chance they can being you back from some causes of death, like a heart attack, but the percentage is very low.

Laws of science not just rule in possibilities but they rule out possibilities. So nope, no possibility of any resurrection for anyone named jesus in the first century! This is proven by the laws of biology that we know of today. Therefore the resurrection of jesus is simply a bad bed time story written by superstitious folks or by con men attempting to con the masses back in the day. Looks like many are still taken in by this obvious attempt to undermine people’s ability to reason critically with objective reality in mind.

Posted by pwl | March 4, 2009 6:45 PM

A debate with another blog commenter ensued which you can read at that site. It’s also been archived in case anything happens to it (as has happened in the past by zealous censors). Well, well, well, my concerns were unfortunately realized by the censors over at Minnesota Public Radio. It looks like I’ll have to repost the original uncensored conversation. I tried to post the following this morning but they had “ended the debate” by cutting off new comments, I guess it was too intense for them. Sigh.

Yikes, it’s a good thing I saved the uncensored version considering the “[personal attack removed]” edits done by Minnesota Public Radio site’s censor this morning. It’s prudent to save one’s debates for this very reason.

A note to the editor of Minnesota Public Radio, I didn’t consider any of what the other author wrote to me to be a personal attack worthy of being censored. It was simply the normal types of polite pokes that I usually get (and dish back when I get them).

Actually they were quite polite compared to other attacks I’ve received in the past elsewhere. I realize you might have a different policy oh censor of Minnesota Public Radio, but I just wanted to let you know that I had no problem with anything that was said to me.

In fact it would be better to have the uncensored version published.

Now I have to compare the two and see if anything of substance was deleted! Sigh… more work…

I think it’s also instructive for people to see the whole debate since it shows that not all “atheists” think alike and that some do disagree with Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and the other gaggle of published luminaries.

You at Minnesota Public Radio should hear what people say to me in person when debating the same issues! That is when the censors need to come out for atheists and theists mouths alike!

Un-thanks for editing my comments Minnesota Public Radio. Thanks for your kind reflection Minnesota Public Radio. Thanks for hosting the debate and having Richard Dawkins on board for the Interview Minnesota Public Radio.

11 Responses to “Richard Dawkins your Response To Callers Question yesterday Was Too Weak”

  1. pwl said

    Tyler Suter said
    March 5, 2009 at 10:06 am

    I am trying to reach the individual who was posting comments on the News Cut blog yesterday. My name is Tyler Suter, and you had posed a question to me. Seeing as though that particular subject is not closed for comment, I thought I would send you my response this way:


    For the sake of those that would like to consider my response, I will again cite the original statement:

    //science is a map and not the territory

    The analogy is striking in that, from what I gather and what is inferred, in my estimation, a territory exists regardless of its map. Before elaborating, it might be useful to note that I am not a scientist by trade; I am inspired by many scientific pursuits, but I do not claim to have a methodological understanding that would allow me to approach the aforementioned analogy in purely scientific terms. Never the less, I am a curious soul – no pun intended – and I find such analogies to be inspiring as thinking points.

    I’ll begin with the less controversial of thoughts that were provoked by the statement.

    A map is a tool that one uses to navigate or study the terrain, but inevitably variables exist in any given terrain that can not be accounted for by a map; whether it is due to the nature of a map, which lacks the sophistication to express said variables, or it is due to a cartographer’s inability (either unaware of an existing variable or unable to express some sort of anomaly), is beside the point.

    I also gather that the analogy recognizes the existence and consequence of certain rules, or laws, that subsist as a function of nature (the ruling body within a given terrain), and therefore a map and its cartographer, a scientist in this case, is constrained by the law of nature; so, this prerequisite must be recognized when identifying and explaining the existence of an object or theory. Therefore, a credible theory can only exist by following every rule under the jurisdiction of nature. Moreover, if one is angry about what is identified by science, anger should be directed at the terrain and not at the cartographer (i.e. the scientist).

    Anyhow, I need to get back to work. I’d love to dabble in this all day, pwl, but my boss is giving me that oh so familiar suspicious eye – scares me every time.

  2. pwl said

    I like how you put it Tyler and I really do appreciate your searching me out to reply. Your comments about the map are insightful.

    Of course one can take it too far as the map of the map isn’t the map either! ;–)

    Much of my training in NLP involved building maps with the recognition that they need to be “calibrated” for each person (in a therapy or coaching context).

    Science is a map, Nature is the Territory, not the word “nature” but Nature itself. The benefit of having an accurate map can mean the difference between life and death.

    I like how you put it, we exist under the Jurisdiction of Nature. Very nice. I’ve said “Nature is the final judge in terms of what is real” and your comments echo that notion.

    “Two important characteristics of maps should be noticed. A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” – Alfred Korzybski

    I don’t know if Korzybski was the first to say that, likely not, but he does say it well.

    It’s interesting in that everyone has a map of their own, an important question is how accurately does it reflect objective reality? It’s also interesting that some very successful people have very messed up maps yet are successful in spite of their maps. Hmmm…

    When modeling experts I want to know about the key aspects of their maps to how they represent the world and make successful decisions. I don’t necessarily want to clone all aspects of their map since some might be incompatible with my own, for example I don’t need any god concepts thanks, but I’ll take the expert skills that their map contributes to their success. Expert Performance Modeling is fascinating. Of course all maps have beliefs, values and other drivers in them.

  3. RIchard McCargar said

    The original site will not allow new posts.


    One last time. The rest of the world does not believe that god has been disproved.

    As a man of science, I suggest you submit your evidence that you have proven god does not exist to a proper scientific peer reviewed journal, and await the results, as will I.

    Debating me or other non-experts, or suggesting Stenger, whose efforts were in a book, not a peer reviewed journal, and subsequently, rejected by many mainstream scientists (I haven’t read one review by a reputable scientist who thinks Stenger disproved god), does not conform to the scientific method and review by peers. Isn’t it telling that Stenger didn’t submit his theory as evidence for review, and instead sold it in book form?!?

    Submit your evidence, and let other experts judge your work. If you don’t, it will tell us much about you.

    Good luck.

  4. RIchard McCargar said

    pwl. I inadvertently left off the “57” after rhmc in my email address.

  5. RIchard McCargar said

    Pwl: Under your link “Proof God Can NOT Exist”, it seems you say nothing more than the universe is too large for a god to communicate or cross without violating the speed of light.

    That is not an original concept. It has been part of many pot-head discussions (in my youth) over the years as well as general discussions in forums and chat-rooms across the internet. It is not a new nor novel concept. And why would it be. It is a very obvious problem for the religious to overcome. You cannot tell me that you’ve never had discussion with people who have asked “how can god be everywhere at the same time, or if not everywhere, how can it cross the universe without surpassing the speed of light”. That is just too obvious for you to be claiming it as an original idea.

    Your “proof” also ignores deists who think god only created the universe and has not since effected it in any way.

    If one is a deist who also believes in the big bang, god need only be capable of causing the big bang, not covering vast periods of time and space answering prayers or causing miracles. Perhaps god created the universe and became one with it because of its proximity to the big bang. Or perhaps as many religious people say, god exists outside of time and space. We do not know what if anything existed prior to the initiation of this iteration of the universe. Many scientists will say that it is not even proper to ask about what existed prior to the universe because “time” didn’t start until the big bang.

    Perhaps I missed your evidence proving that a deist god would be impossible. If so, please enlighten me.

    As you are aware, I don’t believe in any god, but I also don’t think you have proven the lack of existence of a god, and challenge you to submit your theory and evidence to a respected peer reviewed scientific journal.

    The world does not consider this myth solved. If you think you have solved it, man-up, present your evidence for peer review in a respected scientific journal.

    As I’ve said, I will await the publication and evaluation of your efforts by experts.

    I also challenge you to leave my comments on your blog unedited.

  6. RIchard McCargar said

    pwl: here is an example of a submission to a respectable peer review journal:


    Nature 454, 861-864 (14 August 2008) | doi:10.1038/nature07121; Received 2 April 2008; Accepted 30 May 2008

    Testing the speed of ‘spooky action at a distance’

    Daniel Salart1, Augustin Baas1, Cyril Branciard1, Nicolas Gisin1 & Hugo Zbinden1

    1. Group of Applied Physics, University of Geneva, 20 Rue de l’Ecole de Médecine, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland

    Correspondence to: Daniel Salart1 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to D.S. (Email:

    Top of page

    Correlations are generally described by one of two mechanisms: either a first event influences a second one by sending information encoded in bosons or other physical carriers, or the correlated events have some common causes in their shared history. Quantum physics predicts an entirely different kind of cause for some correlations, named entanglement. This reveals itself in correlations that violate Bell inequalities (implying that they cannot be described by common causes) between space-like separated events (implying that they cannot be described by classical communication). Many Bell tests have been performed1, and loopholes related to locality2, 3, 4 and detection5, 6 have been closed in several independent experiments. It is still possible that a first event could influence a second, but the speed of this hypothetical influence (Einstein’s ‘spooky action at a distance’) would need to be defined in some universal privileged reference frame and be greater than the speed of light. Here we put stringent experimental bounds on the speed of all such hypothetical influences. We performed a Bell test over more than 24 hours between two villages separated by 18 km and approximately east–west oriented, with the source located precisely in the middle. We continuously observed two-photon interferences well above the Bell inequality threshold. Taking advantage of the Earth’s rotation, the configuration of our experiment allowed us to determine, for any hypothetically privileged frame, a lower bound for the speed of the influence. For example, if such a privileged reference frame exists and is such that the Earth’s speed in this frame is less than 10-3 times that of the speed of light, then the speed of the influence would have to exceed that of light by at least four orders of magnitude.

  7. pwl said

    Hi Richard,

    “One last time. The rest of the world does not believe that god has been disproved.” – Richard McCargar

    The proof that I gave above (and in other places) is not really all that different than any of the proofs that Victor J Stenger has made. I just use the Speed of “c” to do the job.

    As for publishing, it’s already now out in the web and if I ever write a book it’ll go in there.

    No, it won’t tell much about me if I don’t have it published in a book, or in a peer reviewed journal except that it wasn’t published in those forums.

    Are there even journals of science that consider papers about proofs of gods not being able to exist? Wouldn’t they all be theology journals and then, well, peer review is pointless.

    Still, invisible friends are limited by the laws of Nature, if not imagination. The good thing is that they die with those that have them.

    Oh, you’re a pot head, that explains everything. Good night and good luck.

    All the best to you,


  8. pwl said

    Well your theory then is that god is entangled with everything, every particle in the universe? That wouldn’t work thus entanglement and spooky action at a distance won’t work for gods either. Oh, once you “detangle” enough particles you’ve got no more connection with that person, so us atheists who’ve not prayed will have the best “magic manna” stored up so we’re really powerful!

    Just more magic nonsense for the invisible friend crowd.


  9. RIchard McCargar said

    pwl: Naturally scientific journals would review absolute proof of the lack of existence of a god. That would settle the dilemma regarding a god breaking the laws of physics and set the world on a new course. It would end the debate.

    Nice cheap shot about the pot. I haven’t smoked in over 30 years. You used that to discredit me, but it only shows that you are willing to take cheap shots. That speaks to your character.

    I noticed that you did not refute my contention that your ideas are not original. That explains the cheap shot. You have been claiming on your blog and on the MPR blog that these were original concepts.

    You can google god and the speed of light in many different forms to find thousands of discussions of your supposed original idea.

    Good night.

  10. pwl said

    Actually Richard I was just having some good natured fun with you… it’s a common expression up here in Canada, the land of the free to puff without going to jail for life… (meaning that there are plenty of pot heads to make fun of up here, just as there are many heavy drinkers in the USA)… if you feel discredited that’s your business…

    It matters not to me whether or not the ideas originated with me, thus there was no need to respond to your earlier statements in that regard. You proceed under a false premise, in other words you’re belief stricken. Step back and get over it.

    The proof stands on it’s own without the need for you to validate it.



    ps. Don’t know where you live.

  11. pwl said

    What is correct in science is not determined by consensus but by experiment and observations. Historically, the consensus is often wrong. During the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 in Philadelphia the medical consensus was that you could cure almost anything by bleeding the patient. Benjamin Rush, George Washington’s Surgeon General during the War of Independence, and a brave man, stayed in Philadelphia throughout the yellow fever epidemic. He worked tirelessly to save the stricken by bleeding them, the consensus treatment of the day. A few cautious observers noticed that you were more likely to survive the yellow fever without the services of the great man. But Dr. Rush had plenty of high level-friends and he was backed up by the self-evident consensus, so he went ahead with his ministrations. In summary, a consensus is often wrong.” – William Happer Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics Princeton University

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