Pharyngula

I get email

Greg Abell wrote to me, requesting answers to his questions, which he doesn’t ask, and since he caught me in a cranky moment, I felt like answering.

Hello,

I wanted to ask a professional scientist how something can come from nothing?

No, you didn’t. You wrote as an excuse to preach at me, and are not asking any sincere questions. You’re a phony.

If there is no God, you have to prove how this is possible.

Matter had to come from somewhere. Space had to have a beginning. Time also has to originate right?

Ask a physicist. I’m a biologist. It says so right over there under my picture to the left, where you got my email address. So why are you pestering me with questions way outside my expertise? I wish these loonies would write to me asking about biological events within the last half-billion years, where I might be able to give a pretty good answer. Big Bang stuff, ask an astronomer/physicist; origin of life stuff, ask a biochemist; rock stuff, ask a geologist.

Why aren’t you harrassing Vic Stenger or Neil deGrasse Tyson or Lawrence Krauss or Sean Carroll about these subjects, instead of me? You’ve already pissed me off with your inappropriate, clueless questions — and I can already tell you’re an insincere, pretentious twit who won’t pay any attention to any answers I might give, anyway.

You got your assertions wrong. Matter had to come from nowhere: we aren’t talking about Private God digging a hole in one place for dirt to fill a hole in another. We are talking about the creation of matter, space, and time out of nothing. Inventing a god who did it doesn’t solve the problem: it just postulates that there was no nothing, but instead an anthropomorphic superman with magic powers, which is the kind of hypothesis a five year old might make. And not a smart five year old, either.

If you landed on an alien planet and discovered something that looked like plastic, had buttons and a screen. You would say it looked like a computer. You would also have to deduce that some kind of intelligence made this.

Yes, by analogy with similar devices on Earth, I’d make a reasonable hypothesis about how it was manufactured.

If I saw a herd of small purple alien creature with tentacles and three eyes scuttling about organically and gnawing on the fragrant hoobatchie trees, though, I’d suggest that they got there by procreation and that there were mommy and daddy hoobatchie nibblers around, and that they come from a long line of autonomous biological replicators. No intelligence on the part of the organisms is required. You, on the other hand, would postulate that a robed and bearded humanoid strolled across the planet, snapping his fingers and conjuring the plants and animals into existence…because that scenario requires very little intelligence and zero evidence on your part.

YOU don’t give your self enough credit. Your Brain is 100 times better than a computer!!!!!!!Plus you have hands and fingers and senses and you are telling me that this just happened as if I could destroy a watch with a hammer, throw the pieces in a bag and if I were able to shake the bag long enough, eventually I would get a watch??????

I wouldn’t tell you that, because only an idiot would think smashing a watch is a relevant experiment.

PLEASE SMELL WHAT YOU ARE SHOVELING!!!

I thought you were asking questions? You’ve already decided that any answer I might give is ordure.

I hate to be rude but you really need to get over yourself and grab ahold of the only possible way of escaping a place that has no love because God is Love, This Universe is Filled with His Love. If you choose to reject God in this life by not accepting the fact that He sent His Son to be The sacrifice for our unrighteousness, then God will give you what you want and He will remove Himself from you which is what Hell is.

We enjoy love in our lives, We understand the concept. God is Love, Remove God, Remove Love and Compassion and etc…..multiply that by eternity and that’s what Hell will be like and it is a real place.

This universe is filled with vacuum, gas, dust, radiation, and uninhabitable chunks of rock and ice. Imagining a magic man in the sky doesn’t change reality and fill it with candy floss and puppy dogs.

Your Jesus was just another in a long line of holy con artists. Why should I believe him over Mohammed, or Thor, or Krishna, or Buddha? That he did a tawdrier class of magic tricks during his brief life does not impress me, nor does the logic of blood sacrifice by another to atone for the imaginary sins of my many-times-great grandmother. He’s already absent from my life (and from yours too, I will note: that you pretend to have an invisible friend doesn’t make him real), and I’m feeling pretty good: a wonderful wife, three great kids, and a job I enjoy doing. If this is Hell, bring on more.

Your idea of science is fundamentally flawed. Your science starts off by limiting the possible answers. From the word Go, your science does not allow for the Super Natural!

My science begins with doubt and disbelief, which turns out to be a powerful foundation. It means I don’t accept crazy claims from random rubes on the internet, but instead expect verifiable evidence for those claims. It certainly does allow for the supernatural…as long as the supernatural phenomena affect the natural world in some measurable way.

You can go to the Big Bang which I kinda believe in because God “Spoke” the Universe into existence!

The word “Universe” simply means ONE VERSE/ ONE PHRASE

That phrase was “Let there Be”

No, it doesn’t. From the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Etymology: Middle English, from Latin universum, from neuter of universus entire, whole, from uni- + versus turned toward, from past participle of vertere to turn

You’re making stuff up.

A RELATIONSHIP with Jesus is the only way you will be able to be free and escape the never ending agony of being in a place where God’s presence is not there.

I will be praying that the Holy Spirit Convicts you and that Almighty God would allow your heart to accept The Truth!!!

You don’t get it. I’m not in agony. I’m feeling damn good. Your god is a god of misery and promises of relief from horrible, awful pain; your god is a delusion for broken people. If ever I am in a situation where I am suffering (an inevitable state, since I’m not pretending that I’m immortal), I should hope I wouldn’t be so brain-damaged that I believe a retreat into fantasy is the solution. I believe in reality, and hard work, and the redeeming power of knowledge; I don’t believe in magic.

May God Bless you and your family Mr. Meyers

I would really appreciate any feedback you might have and thank you for your time.

OK.

You started by claiming you wanted to ask a scientist a question, and then instead of asking anything, you made a series of ignorant assertions, ranted about your goofy Jesus idol, and closed by misspelling my name. And now you want feedback?

You’re an arrogant ass, Mr Abell. Your faith makes a lot of noise about humility, but I’ve found almost all of its followers to be poisonously full of themselves, and you are no exception. I get letters like yours on a daily basis, and I assure you — all they do is repeatedly emphasize to me that religion breeds stupidity and lazy thinking and unconscionable pomposity. You are an anti-proselytizer. You are a walking, talking, preaching object lesson on why I despise religion. If you want to convert people, a better strategy for you would be to shut up and go hide in a cave where no one might listen to you and be frightened away from your daft pratings, because all you do is affirm my conviction that faith is for fools.