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Reasons to Disbelieve

8 minute read

Young earth creationism:

  1. Humans are genetically similar to every other extant species. God must have been pretty fucking lazy if the best he could do was 10% genetic difference between humans and cats. That’s sort of like copy-pasting the same page 300 times, inserting a few random typos, and calling it a book.
  2. Intraspecies genetic diversity is CRAZY high assuming every animal of a given species descended from just one mating pair on the ark 6,000 years ago.
  3. It’s true we haven’t discovered a single missing link. We’ve found hundreds, spanning from early hominins to australopithecines to homo erectus.
  4. Radiocarbon dating is, in fact, reliable and reproducible for artifacts up to 60,000 years old and is corroborated by other forms of dating. So clearly god must be sitting on scientists’ shoulders fingering their findings with his noodly appendage lest they reveal the great secret that earth is only 6,000 years old.
  5. If your explanation for accelerated carbon aging of pre-diluvian rock is “mumble, mumble, the flood,” why didn’t that much radioactive decay in that short a period turn the earth into a fucking nuclear rotisserie?
  6. Only an evil BASTARD of a god would synthetically make a fossil record/genetic lineage/background radiation that consistently pointed to a big bang and evolution to test our faith. If you believe this, you just unlocked a new fucking level of defensive attribution.
  7. Anti-evolutionist arguments explaining why fossils are stratified in a very evolution-y way are generally ass.
  8. We’ve found high-quality handmade artifacts dating back as far as 1.7 million years.
  9. Human chromosome 2 looks like a perfect fusion of ape chromosomes 2a and 2b. And in every other way, we’re almost genetically indistinguishable from all other apes.
  10. There is hardly any paleontological evidence of a global flood.
  11. Suppose you accept the very fucked argument that the flood forced pangea apart. Surely if you believe in pangea you also also accept similar evidence for dozens of previous continental movements?
  12. What?
  13. How in fuck’s green name could the number of distinct species in the fossil record have existed and gone extinct in the past 6,000 years?
  14. Also, consider the number of species alive today. How about the 1.25 million kinds of arthropods? Or the 100,000 mollusks? Did Noah carry them all on the ark? Including food and very unique habitats? Because if not how the hell did that many species evolve from the few he could fit in the past 6,000 years? Why is there no evidence of this hyperspeciation? And what happened to the plants?
  15. If god’s willing to spend all this wonder tissue on making animals, say, hyperevolve in a few thousand years from some fundamental “kinds”, why not just, like, smite all humans out of existence and keep things like they were? Or make a bigass boat fall from the sky, many thousands of times bigger than the little skiff Noah used? Or to levitate just all the animals and Noah over the surface of the water for the duration of the flood? Having Noah build a big boat is the kind of naive gimmick you see in all mythology.
  16. Humans are fucked up in such complex and fundamental ways - say, cancer, aging, and even just physical injuries - that god almighty must have been totally suspending the laws of physics to keep Adam and Eve alive.
  17. Also, the devs supposedly implemented death as a mercy feature after we accidentally ate our way into damnation. So WHY is it often so painful? If that fucker’s willing to edit the rules of the game so we can avoid consequences as big as eternity in hell (a supposedly infinite kindness) then why couldn’t he make the patch a bit stronger and just let us disappear without pain? And why is suicide bad? Because he wants to stay around and suffer for a bit longer?
  18. And what kind of preschool-ass bullshit allows a fruit to make you immune to every kind of death? Like, supposedly immortality and lack of sin were independent, since god had to force Adam and Eve to not eat from the tree of life anymore. So it’s not just as simple as “death happens because of sin”.

General:

  1. The creator hypothesis is appealing because it gives you a probability 1 of existing conditional on the (however unlikely) existence of a god. The random happenstance argument gives you probability 1 of existing conditional on random initial conditions possibly evolving to your level of complexity. Mathematically this latter probability is greater than zero. So the creator hypothesis has no explanatory advantage over random happenstance. In either case, you only observe the worlds where your hypothesis is true, so the problem reduces to “is it more likely that the right kind of god exists or that the right initial conditions exist.”
  2. “An omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god who works in mysterious ways, has always existed, and will make his bestie downstairs burn you with magic lava forever if you wear clothes made of a mix of cotton and wool” has a much higher Kolmogorov complexity than complete laws of physics, plus specification of earth’s state prior to evolution of complex life, plus basic information-theoretic arguments that evolution works a small percentage of the time, plus the anthropic argument. At least evolution gives us a bootloader for getting from low complexity to high complexity. God, meanwhile, is complex by default.
  3. There are over 4,000 religions in the world. And you think that yours is the correct one? And you’re morally obligated to hate/convert anyone who, by a roll of the dice, ended up in a different one? Weird.
  4. There’s this big phenomenon where evangelicals conemnn thinking too hard for fear that you’ll acccidentally un-jesus yourself. They’re complicit in their own ignorance.
  5. Science works by making and falsifying predictions. Religion works by propping up broken predictions with untestable truisms.
  6. If god has arbitrary causal influence on the world, there are no laws of physics. If there are universal laws of physics, god cannot causally influence the world. It’s one or the other, and the other is annihilating the one so far.
  7. Praying is statistically no more effective than not. If it worked, every fucking doctor would have a religious degree and pray over every patient.
  8. In fact, people who know they’re being prayed for are more likely to die during heart surgery 💀
  9. God evolves from older manuscripts to newer ones. He goes from the brutal semite lightning god “YAHWEH” who rips open pregnant stomachs to “Elohim”, the loving, compassionate sky granddaddy we know and love. Incidentally, both his name and his nature look like “El” of Caanan - and the change happens at the exact time the Israelites started mingling with the Caananites.
  10. Religion has historically occupied the gaps. Science is edging in on those gaps fast.
  11. Your god does not work for your “best good.” Watch:

Suppose god is omnipotent and wants everyone to believe. Suppose he sometimes influences the physical world - for example, by “answering your prayers”, having a loved one call you during a tough time, or preventing a fatal car accident.
He’s clearly willing to fuck with the world a little bit to make sure you remain faithful - I think most christians would agree with that.
But if that’s true, free will does not exist. The world isn’t just a set of discrete macroscopic objects, and you aren’t the only player. Any influence he has on the world, however small, will directly or indirectly propagate back to your mind. So even if he doesn’t actively affect your mind, any action he takes in the world with the intent to make people believe - even down to the level of modifying an atom’s spin - ripples out through the butterfly effect and impinges on your free will. Since he’s all knowing, he knows perfectly well what he’s doing and so any action he takes on the world can be considered him manipulating your mind. Then why the arbitrary line in the sand between “have your favorite bible verse pop into your mind when you’re sad” and “descend from the heavens in a goddamn chariot and announce everyone who converts to christianity gets free tacos”? Or literally just make random cosmic radiation change the states of everyone’s neurons so they believe? One’s just an exaggerated form of the other. Is god batman? Why isn’t everyone in the world a believer if he’s all-powerful, all-knowing, all-good, and willing to do providence sometimes? Clearly he either DOESN’T want you to be saved, isn’t smart enough to figure out a way to indirectly influence the world and bring you to faith, or doesn’t exist.

Published Oct 30, 2023

"But what kind of freedom does one have if one can use it only as someone else prescribes?"