48 Sure-Fire “gotcha” questions for Atheists! (part 3) June 18, 2015Posted by Ubi Dubium in Questions, Responses.
Tags: atheism, christianity, dinosaurs, evolution, Holidays, Questions, religion, Santorum
Still more of the stupid questions…
17. How did the planets form when the Big Bang explosion all of a sudden happen? After all, you don’t see round objects form when something blows up.
Again, ungrammatical, and showing a lack of understanding of the science. The “Big Bang” wasn’t an explosion, it was a sudden expansion of the universe itself 13.7 billion years ago from being very small to being much larger very quickly. That expansion is continuing. There would not have been stars and planets, not at first. Those formed later (around 500 million years later), when things had cooled down enough. Gravity working on dust and gas clouds pulled them into stars. (If there’s enough mass, gravity will pull anything into a spherical shape. If you look at our solar system the only things that aren’t spheres are small rocks. Everything else winds up round.) At this point there weren’t any heavy elements, just hydrogen and helium, so there would have been no rocky planets, not for a long time. Heavy elements are made inside of stars, and the really heavy elements are only made in the explosive deaths of large stars. Our solar system formed about 4.5 billion years ago, out of dust clouds that included those heavy elements from those ancient stellar explosions, and so could also form rocky planets that can support life. So never mind about ancient Palestinians, stars died for you!
18. If evolution is real, how can it explain gravity, angular momentum, human emotions, and why we worship God?
This question conflates “evolution” with “science”, a common tactic. Evolution only explains how life forms change over time, and is part of the field of Biology. Gravity and angular momentum are part of Physics, and not related to whether evolution is real in any way. Humans evolved, so the brains that let us experience emotion are a product of evolution. We aren’t the only creatures with emotion, if you are paying attention that’s obvious. Chimps laugh, elephants mourn their dead, your dog is happy to see you. Emotions help us survive in our complicated socially interactive world.
As for why people worship gods, that’s a more interesting question. Probably it’s a side effect of other evolved brain functions that we need for survival (patternicity, theory of mind, agenticity, credulous childhoods) combined with our built-in mental failings and limitations (confirmation bias), like a sort of mental malware that crops up.
19. How did pond scum make living things appear out of nowhere?
The snarky answer is that it didn’t make living things appear out of nowhere, it made them appear out of pond scum!
We don’t have the full answer on how life began yet, but it’s a question scientists are working on. We can learn a lot about what was on the early earth by looking at our geology, and also by studying other planets and moons in the solar system. We know there was a lot of water with a lot of chemicals dissolved in it. We know there was an atmosphere, but not any free oxygen. We know there were sunshine, tides, freezing and thawing, volcanic vents, and lighting, all affecting this ocean full of chemicals. We know that there were different surfaces that the chemicals could interact with, such as rock, sand, clay, and ice. Put all this together, and you get a lot of interesting chemistry happening. Give that chemistry a long enough time, and you may get a molecule that can make copies of itself. Once that starts, the “nothing succeeds like success” rule takes effect, and those molecules that were better at making copies left more copies. That, plus four billion years, is all you need!
20. How can evolution be true if we don’t see pocket watches or airplanes form by themselves?
Pocket watches and airplanes don’t breed and produce offspring. If they did, we’d see them evolving too.
21. Did you know that dinosaurs and man lived together?
The Flintstones is not a documentary! However some dinosaurs did live with man, and still do. I have three small ones at home right now, a yellow one, a green one, and a blue one, and my cat is very frustrated that he can’t get in their cage to eat them. I also ate a dinosaur sandwich for lunch today. But you probably weren’t referring to birds, were you?
The non-bird dinosaurs all died 65 million years ago, probably as a result of a meteoroid impact. (There’s a layer we can find in the rocks all over the world that has a high level of iridium (rare on earth, more common in meteors) that was our first big clue. Below that layer (older) – big dinosaurs. Above that layer (newer) – no big dinosaurs.) Humans didn’t diverge from their common ancestor with chimps until about 6 million years ago, and our modern form is only about 100,000 years old. Sorry, no overlap there. You know what humans did live with? Mammoths! We have direct evidence of this – we find mammoth bones with butcher marks from stone tools on them, we have found bones with spear points still stuck in them, we’ve found human houses that used mammoth bones in their foundations. If humans lived with dinosaurs, we should find evidence like that – but we don’t.
22. If evolution is real, then why do caring people like Rick Santorum argue that it must be challenged in the classroom?
The only thing Santorum cares about is shoving his religion into everybody else’s business. I’ve never seen that he cares about actual people in any way. But I do appreciate the opportunity to do my part here to add to Santorum’s little Google Problem.
And even if he were a caring person, (which he’s not) being a caring person does not prevent somebody from being completely wrong about something. You can’t make something false into something true just by caring harder.
23. Why are youtube atheists like AronRa and Thunderf00t afraid to debate Ray Comfort?
They each already have debated Ray Comfort. You can look this stuff up on the internet you know. Next question.
24. Why do we celebrate Christmas if Christianity is not real?
The original celebration had nothing to do with christianity. People have been celebrating the Winter Solstice for as long as they have been keeping track of the seasons. The christians just usurped the celebration and now pretend like it was theirs all along. But most of the associated traditions (evergreens, decorated trees, mistletoe, yule logs, gifts, images of a mother and baby, parties) come from the older pagan traditions.
Also, why does something need to be real to have a celebration? I celebrate Star Wars day and Captain Picard day. People can celebrate anything they want to, that doesn’t make it real.
More stupid questions to come…