Oh, for gods’ sake!

There is no evidence whatsoever from evolution that it is responsbile for morality…but of course you will continue to believe it…you have to..

Pastor David Robertson.  Evolutionary biologist, anthropologist, neuroscientist. psychologist,  intermediary for Yahweh, Honorary Australian, debater par excellence  and all round genius of everything.

Or … maybe not?

Jesus says: ”Oh, for my sake.  Another פאקינגאידיוט”

 

Ark.

 

90 thoughts on “Oh, for gods’ sake!

  1. One of my favorite aphorisms is “Never argue with a pig. Onlookers will not understand and it only irritates the pig.” This gentlemen seems to be a scab you must pick at until what is underneath gets infected. You need to not debate whether this gentleman is more on the right or more on on the left … he is just a moron.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Agreed, But it gives you all a bit of a laugh and highlights, once again what young children may be exposed to.

      Also, if other Christians read what Dickheads like Robertson write, maybe a few will have pause for thought …. one can hope they do, anyway

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Unfortunately, there’s nothing amusing about a grownup who spouts nonsense about an imaginary friend. And even less amusing when that imaginary friend is a psychopath.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sure, no evidence apart from studies of animals to find that they also have codes of behavior that allow them to live in cooperative groups. Or studies that show that animals have a sense of fairness, and the ability to set aside their own interests to help another member of the group.

    But what’s all that research up against divine commands to wear shawls with tassels, not eat shrimp, and cut bits off of baby boys?

    Liked by 4 people

  3. That statement reveals just how truly horrible Robertson is. If I remember correctly, I flooded him once with scores of behavioural studies (the likes of Ken Binmore, Marc Bekoff, and Sarah Brosnan) that reveal morality and a sense of fair play in animals from chimps to dogs…. Including this video.

    He has clearly “chosen* to be ignorant.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I posted a link from a kiddies science site!
      I doubt it will see the light of day now this post is up.
      The opening paragraph is in a big green block that states in bold that our morality is derived from evolution.
      Right there in bold ”in your face”
      He can say he does not believe morality derives from evolution but to say there is no evidence!
      The man is not normal.

      Liked by 3 people

          1. Maybe. I know there’s a preferred skills list which opens doors.

            Here, I posted this to Robertson, but of course he won’t allow it:

            There is no evidence whatsoever from evolution that it is responsbile for morality

            What absolute nonsense, you ignorant pompous womp. There are dozens upon dozens upon dozens of studies that have produced unambiguous evidence in the last thirty or so years.

            The two pillars of morality (reciprocity and empathy) are present in highly complex forms in non-human animals. Repeated experiments demonstrate that it arises from evolution; that it is a product of biological/neural complexity sharpened inside social species.

            The key words here: social species.

            There is nothing controversial about this, and thus your statement simply reveals your depth of intellectual perversion.

            Liked by 3 people

          2. I know there’s a preferred skills list which opens doors.

            My brother got in on his wife’s ticket but what on earth ‘preferred skill’ does Robertson have?

            Liked by 1 person

          3. I had thought of writing to the appropriate body warning them of the dangers of letting him in – then I thought of Scotland’s potential gain.

            Liked by 3 people

          1. Partly, but he has mouths to feed and face to save so the easiest way is to keep on being a nasty piece of work. There’s a project still extant called The Clergy Project I think I should make him aware of.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh, I’ve posted this link for him on numerous occasions.
            He probably considers none of these were real Christians in the first place.

            Like

  4. Robertson plays the word game to avoid having to comport reality with his faith-based beliefs. In this case, he intentionally uses the term ‘evolution’ rather than what is demonstrably true in ‘biology’ (as JZ has so eloquently shown us). He does this all the time versus legitimate criticism and it is done to provide him with cover so that he never EVER has to face facts that are contrary to or in conflict with his opinions and beliefs. That’s why the man is a black hole for any kind of honest and respectful dialogue that challenges or confronts his version of ‘The Good News.’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You took him to the cleaners and eventually he came up with his asinine ultimatum:
      This is you last chance.
      I mean seriously?
      The bloke is not well.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Is he denying evolution? Assuming he accepts it for a moment.

      If we grant him the belief that Yahweh is responsible for evolution , and morality ( as he (appears to be) is insisting, then why on earth is he denying that morality derives from evolution?

      Surely, then, this would mean he is denying Yahweh?

      What am I missing here?

      Like

      1. I keep asking him to tell us about this mysterious source from which he INSISTS we ‘receive’ morality (part of the Good News that allows ‘us’ to recognize immorality) to please, please, please show us evidence for this claim. I also ask him to explain HOW he thinks this transfer occurs, from source to recipient. Of course, he says I must assume – get this – a secular faith-based belief to even ask the question, which makes me delusional! And besides, Dawkins believes he has a green mustaches in an alternate universe! Now that’s crazy!

        You can’t make this shit up. But, if you’re like I am, you have to marvel at the show, Ever-increasing tortured and convoluted thinking becomes necessary to defend such faith-based beliefs – they seem so innocuous at first… right up until you examine them impartially – when you drill down into what they actually mean, what they are actually claiming to be the case, and so it’s fascinating – in a splattered bug kind of way – to see how the revealed innards of these delusional beliefs makes it necessary to keep those beliefs protected from reality’s arbitration of them. It reminds me of a drowning person flailing away to try to keep the waters of reality from sinking these faith-based beliefs entirely.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. His arguments are always/have always been incoherent.
          And you are spot on telling him that he keeps changing channels.
          He is forever looking for the angle so he can drop into his preferred mode of condescension.
          As an apologist he is bloody useless. At least Craig knows his stuff.

          Do you think he accepts evolution?

          Like

          1. Maybe… in a generalized sort of way. It’s always the specifics that cause problems between reality and faith-based beliefs and such believers almost always retreat into their circular garrisons of apologetics and reject reality. Evolution is reality and so if it fails to comport with some element of religious belief – a belief in a Creator, for example, that Poofs! this or that into being at some historical moment in some actual location – then evolution is rejected over here but not over there.

            If there is one thing I’ve learned about faith-based belief is that it causes 1) muddled thinking, and 2) the need to defend a position with ever-increasing desperation rather than use it as a springboard to learning something new. It’s such a pernicious method in whatever subject it is used.

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          2. Craig is just as bad. When presenting the cosmological argument (his favourite) he continues to this day to make claims that the likes of Sean Carroll (in debate) have shown to be absolutely false.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I would counter his statement thus: There is no evidence whatsoever of a supernatural entity that is said to dwell in some sort of ethereal location …but of course you will continue to believe it…you have to.

    Liked by 4 people

          1. I just posted it but didn’t ask for follow-up comments (I don’t follow him) so you’ll have to let me know if he responds … IF he lets if out of moderation.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Thanks. I added another comment that essentially turns the tables back on him. However, there’s little doubt it will go over his head … just like my original comment did. Let me know if he allows it.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. It appears he never responded to my second comment … as below:

            It’s interesting, yet not unexpected, that you were unable to see the parallels between your original remark and mine. Further, I’m puzzled as to why you felt you needed to make assumptions about me since I made no claim related to my personal beliefs. All I did was change a few words in your comment to offer a different perspective.

            IMO, essentially all he wants to do is spout his personal garbage opinion and if you call him on it, Whoops!

            Anyway …have fun. Not my cup of tea.

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps you should pose the same question (“Well, Dave, what kind of evidence would convince you?”) that apologists put out to non-believers.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. He is beyond …. well, pretty much everything.

          What is terribly sad is he was allowed the opportunity to breed.

          As he believes his god is responsible for morality what does he believe about evolution?
          Is he denying it?
          Surely if he accepts evolution – then he must believe his god is responsible for it. The same must hold true for morality?
          Ergo, our morality derives from evolution.
          If this is not the case then I cannot understand what he is arguing.
          Help me out. Do you know what he’s on about?

          Like

  7. For anyone interested, David said he would present his evidence (as repeatedly requested by Tildeb) if I did first.

    I did, over three comments, links to studies, names, even the video I posted above.

    He has deleted every comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David thinks his religious convictions justify him to sit in judgement over all factual information and reject anything he decides doesn’t make the cut. He provides no evidence for but rejects ALL evidence against his faith-based claim that there is some other source than biology for morality. That’s all of reality! He then picks up the mantle of pseudo righteousness, casts himself in the role of being a defender of the faith against heathen invaders of low character, claims to be virtuous by fiat, and then acts contrary to that by questioning and insulting those who dare to point out what he’s doing, who try to hold him accountable for his claims, or disagree with his tactics. He’s not the problem: everyone else who doesn’t believe as he does is. He is a deplorable and duplicitous piece of work who can safely be categorized as just another Liar for Jesus.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Baffles me how someone like him sleeps at night, let alone looks at himself in the mirror. He KNOWS he’s a fake, a fraud, a cretin, and we know this because he deletes the comments that reveal it. But rather than slink away, embarrassed and ashamed (like a person who actually has a moral core and self respect), he motors on to the next post, the next lie, and repeats the process over and over again.

        I don’t like diagnosing people (I’m by no means an expert), but that level of manufactured and serviced self delusion must be the outer crust of some deep psychological/personality disorder.

        Like

        1. It’s a very brittle framework that does not allow – and I think cannot to survive – for incorporating knowledge and new information. So it’s a sign of desperation of an untenable position that cannot defend itself on merit that he must constantly act to censor and divert and attack and use all these standard tools of denialism to ‘protect’ what he believes. That’s why it’s a false certainty. It’s a sign of dysfunction that it’s okay in his mind to uphold and justify practices that cause real harm to real people in real life who deserve it and assume their characters are less than his own if anyone objects. It’s a sign of delusion that reality does not earn his respect and sign of pathology that he thinks he is both capable and warranted to judge reality as insufficient to cause doubt to his belief framework. He has fooled himself utterly. Such is the cost of empowering religious belief – or any faith-based framework – and those who maintain it as if it were something worthy of respect. It’s not. Creating, using, and imposing faith-based ideology is a broken method that reliably and consistently produces a broken framework of the world that end up creating more broken people. David is a broken person.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Well, that’s a feather in my cap!

            So many terms we commonly use are treated as if they were nouns – real ‘things’ independent of us. But this kind of assumption carries consequences that can directly interfere with our understanding various aspects of reality. With your indulgence, I’ll try to explain why.

            These terms – like quantity or morality – are really umbrella terms we use to describe some metric, some system, that points out comparative differences. We use this trick all the time and to great effect. Think ‘high- low’, ‘love-hate’, big-small’, to mention just three. By themselves, each of these terms – like ‘high-‘, like ‘love-‘, like ‘big-‘ have no independent meaning because they require the opposite – the ‘-low’, the ‘-hate’, the ‘-small’ to gain this necessary comparative difference for meaning. For this comparative recognition to work, we have to keep the units of what we’re comparing the same, as in this kind of unit here is different in quantity from that same kind of unit there. (And even here we often have to use terms that are clearly biological in meaning, such as ‘burning’ hatred or ‘sour’ mood or ‘sweet’ success or ‘rough’ character, ‘smooth’ talker, and so on. The little math ditty from some children’s TV show about quantity is, “We can measure at our leisure if the units stay the same.” It’s the units that allow us to note, to fairly ‘measure’, differences in some common system.

            So, in math, we talk about using various algorithms – locally favoured subsystems – for things like addition and subtraction. There are many, many algorithms that accomplish this task with equivalent accuracy so one system – whether favoured by language, culture, economy, and so on – is not singularly and inherently ‘true’ to describing reality. They ALL ‘work’ to accurately describe and apply this knowledge about differences in quantity. (This is why we have breakthroughs in math, like the term ‘zero’ to represent nothing! Revolutionary, I know! Where would be today without it? Seriously! But who ever thinks about this stuff? We just take it for granted.)

            Describing the differences between what we’re noting as different means we have to use representative language, say symbols, for what ‘it’ is – the comparative differences – we’re talking about. That’s why when we compare differences of quantity, we use numbers – themselves representative. The numbers themselves aren’t real things. They represent a complex idea of differences in quantity. By itself, say the number 7 or VII or shichi, means nothing. They ONLY gain meaning as a representational ‘thing’ within a mutually understood system of representing quantity.

            Why am I rambling on about all this?

            Well, if we were to ask the question where does the ability to count come from (similar to where does ‘morality’ come from), it’s easy to make the mistake of assuming the numbers we use to represent differences of quantity are real things in themselves, things we have to be taught, when they gain meaning ONLY within a system of counting. But the system of counting is not a real thing, either! Yes, we learn about numbers and systems but the source of this ability to recognize differences in quantity is clearly biological because we know from fMRA imaging that when we engage with counting, engage in recognizing the differences between similar things, a very particular area of the brain is activated, which is common across the species. It’s all part of the pattern recognition area we use for language! That’s why we can say this notion of quantity, of recognizing comparative differences and having some way to show this understanding, is an ’emergent’ property of particular brain activity. Damage that particular area in the brain, damage its ability to work with quantity. And that means our brains are interpreting patterns and extracting meaning that is expressed as an emergent property of the brain. That’s why we can say quantity or morality is actually an emergent property of a biological function. Without the brain biology able to first recognize and then work to create and express emergent applicable meaning from all kinds of patterns, we got nothin’.

            What we don’t know is if our extracted meaning works to help our contained brains figure out the mapping of an external reality. So we then have to test these meanings in the real world. And this is where ‘value’ comes into play. Trading my three apples for your three rocks may appear to have equivalent value in quantity alone but, of course, there are all kinds of other considerations beyond this one system of comparative value. And that’s where our brains explode in activity and begin drawing in all kinds of other areas of the brain.

            Yeah? So?

            So even something as ‘simple’ as saying 1 + 1 = 2 and thinking this is obvious and true for everyone everywhere all the time is actually a highly complex idea when we consider 1 what?

            There’s the rub. Right there is where religious thinking goes off the rails because the morality being talked about has no causal link to a commonly understood source. What is introduced at this point is some supernatural agency outside of time and space and location who tinkers and tweaks human brains into grasping a code of acceptable behaviour. That’s not an exploration or explanation about a particular system of comparative social effects from human behaviour; that’s a Just So story that has no link with reality. And this is why I argue religious people who believe their moral authority comes from some god are, in fact, immoral agents (good little stormtroopers just following what they mistakenly believe are ‘divine’ commands) who has abdicated their moral autonomy – and their moral responsibility to others – and become religious automatons, of course, I make no friends by claiming as much but hey.

            I encountered this same rub in university organic chemistry, a subject I found really difficult to understand. We had to be able to calculate the number of molecules produced in a chemical reaction in order to successfully predict results using math, using a system of quantity called ‘moles’ (a single but very large number of molecules) and I can assure everyone that 1 mole of this plus 1 mole of that almost never, EVER, equals 2 moles of anything! In other words, 1+1 did not equal 2! Just struggling to grasp this idea took me an exceptionally long time because I presumed the math algorithms I grew up using were in and of themselves ‘true’ representing reality. And so really had to struggle to grasp that my assumptions about quantity were the stumbling block and not chemistry as a subject! After all, chemistry works in the real world!

            The same is true for morality in that what we’re talking about is really quite complex on the one hand as a system of talking about comparative differences in the social effects of behaviour but relatively simple on the other hand as a biological recognition that behaviour HAS social consequences we can measure because we come equipped with the neurology to do just that!

            The bottom line is that the human brain is a meaning-making biological machine. Consciousness – and every last scrap of what means – is what the brain does. There is no need for some supernatural complication of this highly complex biological subject like morality.

            Like

          2. Baals Balls, Tildeb, you can write a publishable paper in 5 minutes. Turn that trick to fiction and you’ll make a fortune.

            That was good background, though. I’m copying it. Steve Ruis, a chemist, also brings up 1 + 1 a lot, and now I think I understand why. You’ve both stood on the same platform and seen curious things.

            Like

          3. I know how little I know, so I’m always surprised to find people who know even less but assume they know so much more! Anyway, thanks for wading through it all.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. He reacts in a similar manner when called to account by fellow Christians on each and every occasion where a comment is even mildly critical of his view.
          He adopts his usual condescension mode and then sets out to be as rude and asinine as he can.

          His behaviour to fellow believers who don’t meet his ”standard” of Christianity is simply appalling.

          Like

          1. I just read his reply to you and once again he uses disingenuous wordplay.

            ….please feel free to let us know the ‘decades of exhaustive studies’ that show that morality comes *solely from biology
            *My bold
            Not one of us has asserted that morality comes solely from biology.
            Tildeb’s explanations have been exhaustive in establishing this point.

            I have no idea how long his sojourn in Oz will last.

            Like

          2. Who cares? People are going to do what they’re going to do regardless of whether there’s a god or not or whether biology plays a part or not. Of course I do admit, it passes the time of day to dicker with ignoramuses on topics that THEY consider near and dear.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Not meant to be critical. Just sayin’ that this guy’s thinking is so severely warped, there’s little that anyone can say to change his thinking. For example, consider his response to me. Nothing I said was “personal,” but he made it so in his response back to me. Why? Because that’s all he has!

            But I do understand your point.

            Like

          4. Hey, you know me. Skin like a rhino. Be as critical as you like , even if you are not being critical.
            Robertson is just so revolting that it is appealing.
            If you read some of the comments from fellow believers, on his blog and on the videos he puts up, there is a feeling almost of incredulity that he is so obnoxious to fellow Christians.

            It’s quite fascinating.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. He was up when the first one went through. It was there, then it disappeared. Same with the others.

            But, we’ll see. I can’t stand this moderation business.

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          6. I can’t understand why he continues to ask the same question: can you show the studies that show morality is exclusively from biology…

            Nobody is claiming this, as we know there are other influences – cultural etc that we pick up along the way.
            But the source is derived from evolution.
            This is a fact.
            Is he now moving the goalposts from ‘source’ to exclusivity?
            Seriously, what the frak is he asking that hasn’t already been answered?
            .

            Like

          7. I have just posted this comment in response to his pedantic question. In fact I have posted a similar comment a couple of times already and he has not released one of them.

            DR

            I would prefer you to answer the question – can you show the studies that show morality is exclusively from biology…

            But this question has been answered by all of those you are currently discussing this topic with.
            Maybe there are crossed lines or you are simply missing the cues?

            1.Evolution is fact.
            2. Morality is part of evolution.
            3. Human beings are are part of mammalian evolution.
            4. Our morality is part of this package.
            5. Our morality is also influenced by culture.
            6. This is all supported with evidence.

            You seem to be asserting that there is another, possible, outside source that is responsible for our morality.
            One can presume you are referring to God/Yahweh.
            The question is straightforward: What evidence do you have to support this assertion?

            Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, come now, Mister Z.
      Only Jesus of Nazareth was able to perform miracles, so be fair, you can’t expect David to, even though he communes with Yahweh on a daily basis.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. And heres the thing I dont believe morality just comes from biology – not directly anyway,
    Comes also from culture and indeed from religion. What comes from religion is modified proscriptions that ultimately come from earlier ideas,all the way down to biology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is no question morality is shaped and then expressed differently by many, many influences and factors. But what was at issue with David, with this religious claim about reality, concerned the SOURCE of morality itself, our very ability to consider behavioural factors for influencing the social effects, the consequences, of social interactions and compare these effects along a metric, as somewhere on a sliding scale between ‘good’ and ‘bad’. It’s that base metric – to evaluate social behaviours for their social effects – that we inherit, a metric that does not originate from anywhere else, nor is it absent until imported from somewhere else. It is basic in our neurology. The source of this metric we call ‘morality’ is biology.

      At the heart of the term ‘morality’ lies this meaning. So where does this ability come from? People like David believe the source comes from some god, that without this creative, interactive divine agency installing this sense by followers believing in the religion’s central tenets, there is just no other possible explanation! Morality is a function of belief and not a function of biology, not something that can be inherited at all but must be earned by believing in religion! In other words, morality comes from religion. Of course, disproving this idiotic claim is easy: do babies prior to religious indoctrination exhibit this sense? Yes. Unequivocally. Babies make moral judgements. So the warped ideology that paints non believers and atheists as immoral is so wrong it’s not even wrong. Such a belief denies reality. So the idea of needing to import religious ideology in name of gaining a moral sense is unmitigated bullshit.

      Not only is there zero evidence of some ‘other’ source from which can import this sense, no evidence people are amoral until a moral sense is received by dent of accepting a belief structure, but all kinds of evidence that the sense comes from biology… in that we humans as well as many other social creatures are born with the neurology – and so the awareness – to be granted this ability on a purely biologically inherited basis. Contrary evidence is absent. It’s just not there. If it were, religions would be screaming it from the rooftops and scientists would be lining up to track this miraculous exchange process. But the fact of the matter is that it’s not. It’s absent where it should be found. The religious claim about the source of morality is factually wrong.

      Some god? There is no need for this hypothesis. Biology alone suffices. All evidence indicates this to be the case.

      Liked by 1 person

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