US adds Pakistan to ‘special watch list’ for religious freedom violations

Jan 5, 2018

By Julia Manchester

The State Department on Thursday announced Pakistan had been added to a “special watch list” due to its treatment of religious minorities within the country’s borders.

Pakistan was added to the list under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 last month, with the announcement citing the country’s “severe violations of religious freedom.”

The department also announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson moved to redesignate Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as countries of “particular concern.”

The law was passed during the Clinton administration as part of an effort to make religious freedom a key objective of U.S. foreign policy.

Pakistan, which is an Islamic republic, has been under scrutiny for its treatment of religious minorities in the country.

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23 comments on “US adds Pakistan to ‘special watch list’ for religious freedom violations

  • @OP – Pakistan was added to the list under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 last month, with the announcement citing the country’s “severe violations of religious freedom.”

    The department also announced that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson moved to redesignate Myanmar, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as countries of “particular concern.”

    He seems to have missed Egypt, Israel, Indonesia, and some US states, off the list!



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  • Regarding those oppose or refute the theory of evolution:

    “. . . whoever says they want to refute the theory of evolution should not distort or twist it. They must refute the theory as it is presented in well-established universities around the world today, not as they imagine it to be, or as the opponents of the theory have incorrectly presented it.”

    The Atheism Delusion
    Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن



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  • How Do We See God Within His Creation?

    Another way that we can see the lawmaker, once we have found the law, is as follows:
    Certainly, our use of the law as evidence for the existence of the lawmaker is not invalidated by the fact that we do not see the lawmaker. This is because the existence of law and organization in itself indicates the existence of the lawmaker and organizer, even if we have not seen Him ourselves. Rather, it is enough that we witness and observe the organization and law indicating Him. For example, let us suppose that a very intelligent life form on another planet wanted to rule the earth by using their own computers and robots, and to have these computers and robots manufactured on the earth. To accomplish this, they sent an electronic message, which was essentially a plan for the manufacture of sophisticated computers and robots with advanced technology that are unfamiliar to us. It is as if they were intelligent to some degree. After receiving the electronic message, it traveled via the Internet to factories that produce electronic circuits, computers, and robots, and the message was electronically implemented. However, since there are things that interfere with the assembly and production process, such as human error, we would expect that some of the products resulting from implementation of the electronic message would be inferior computers, defective computers, as well as ordinary computers. All of these would be produced alongside the superior computers and robots intended to be produced through the electronic message. If intelligent, superior computers and robots were produced—and as we know, intelligence is a product of chemical substances—and then they completely ruled the earth and the production and construction process, and we saw this outcome without knowing where the plans originated from, then many of us might trace the errors that occurred in the original computers back to the plan. The errors could have also occurred through the internet, or viruses that infected the factory systems, and so on. This conclusion might be justified based on the fact that inferior and ordinary computers and robots were also produced.
    In fact, theorizing atheists like Dawkins and his supporters have used Darwin’s theory to do this very thing. But when a reasonable person sees the final result of implementation of the genetic plan, they will analyze and investigate it logically. Through the indications and signs, they will recognize that there is an organizer and lawmaker behind the plan who wrote its law and sent it to be implemented on the earth using the available resources. Thus, intelligence is a purpose, and one way to achieve it is with the known chemicals that are abundantly available on the earth and of which the nervous system is composed.

    The Atheism Delusion, Chapter 4
    Ahmed Alhasan



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  • Research on Noah’s Flood

    The Flood of Noah is mentioned in religion. However, because of its distorted presentation by some religious clerics—or its distorted form in some distorted divine books—divine religion has come under attack, the basis being that religion is just a collection of myths. This is because a flood of the magnitude and date described in the distorted, religiously accepted form could not have occurred from a scientific standpoint. There is no trace of the occurrence of this flood and in fact, the opposite is true. It could not have occurred without leaving numerous traces after water recedes from land. Present day science has shown no sign that such traces exist.

    Before we discuss and analyze the flood story, we will consider some scientific arguments against the religious story of the flood. Some of the arguments are exploited by atheists to refute the divine religion, saying it is just an inflated rumination of ancient myths, such as the Sumerian flood story. We will discover the solution to these arguments when we present the Quranic flood story with the correct understanding, demonstrating that it does not conflict with scientific, historical, archaeological, or geological facts.

    Scientific Arguments Against the Traditional Religious Story of the Flood

    Some of the arguments are as follows:

    All of the water present within and on the earth is not enough to completely cover land up to the peak of the highest mountain. In other words, it is not enough to reach a height of several kilometers. In fact, it is not enough to cover land, even at a much lower level.
    How did the animals of isolated islands and continents reach Noah? And how did they return to their isolated islands again, without leaving any trace on their way back? The simplest examples are the marsupials of Australia, and the fossas of Madagascar. They are endemic to their region, and no trace of their existence has been recorded anywhere else.
    There are no traces of a flood that covered the entire earth within the time frame given in the traditional story of the flood.

    The Atheism Delusion, Chapter 5
    Ahmed Alhasan



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  • Research on the Flood of Noah [Part 2, see Part 1 below], Chapter 5

    Scientific Arguments Against the Traditional Religious Story of the Flood

    Some of the arguments are as follows:
    1. All of the water present within and on the earth is not enough to completely cover land up to the peak of the highest mountain. In other words, it is not enough to reach a height of several kilometers. In fact, it is not enough to cover land, even at a much lower level.
    2. How did the animals of isolated islands and continents reach Noah? And how did they return to their isolated islands again, without leaving any trace on their way back? The simplest examples are the marsupials of Australia, and the fossas of Madagascar. They are endemic to their region, and no trace of their existence has been recorded anywhere else.
    3. There are no traces of a flood that covered the entire earth within the time frame given in the traditional story of the flood.

    Summary of Atheist Arguments Against the Traditional Religious Story of Noah’s Flood

    This is a summary of some of the objections made by the well-know author, Christopher Hitchens, to the story of the flood as it appears in the Torah, or the Old Testament:

    Noah was asked to take into the ark a pair from every species (sura 11.36-41). Some zoologists estimate that there are perhaps ten million living species of insects; would they all fit into the ark? It is true they do not take up much room, so let us concentrate on the larger animals: reptiles, 5,000 species; birds, 9,000 species; and 4,500 species of class Mammalia (p. 239). In all, in the phylum Chordata, there are 45,000 species (p. 236). What sized ark would hold nearly 45,000 species of animals? A pair from each species makes nearly 90,000 individual animals, from snakes to elephants, from birds to horses, from hippopotamuses to rhinoceroses. How did Noah get them all together so quickly? How long did he wait for the sloth to make his slothful way from the Amazon? How did the kangaroo get out of Australia, which is an island? How did the polar bear know where to find Noah? . . . Either we conclude that this fantastic tale is not to be taken literally, or we have recourse to some rather feeble answer, such as, for God all is possible. Why, in that case, did God go through all this rather complicated, time-consuming (at least for Noah) procedure? Why not save Noah and other righteous people with a rapid miracle rather than a protracted one? (Hitchens 2007, 415).

    The following is a summary of objections made by the biologist Dr. Dawkins to the traditional story of Noah’s flood and Noah’s ark:

    “Think what the geographical distribution of animals should look like if they’d all dispersed from Noah’s Ark,” he said. “Shouldn’t there be some sort of law of decreasing species diversity as we move away from an epicentre—perhaps Mount Ararat? I don’t need to tell you that this is not what we see.”

    Take Australia’s marsupials, for example.

    “Why would all those marsupials, but no placentals at all, have migrated en masse from Mount Ararat to Australia? Which route did they take? And why did not a single member of their straggling caravan pause on the way and settle—in India perhaps or China or some haven along the Great Silk Road?” (The Sydney Morning Herald 2010).

    When men of religion, whether Jewish, Christian or Muslim, relate the story of Noah in the traditional form, which implies that marsupials along with the other animals came down from Noah’s ark after the flood in some place in or near Iraq, this makes biologists and even reasonably educated people believe that it is a totally fabricated myth, and consider whoever believes it to be extremely intellectually backward. Marsupials have been endemic to Australia for millions of years, but not to the rest of the world continents. This is because they evolved independently on this isolated island.

    The Atheism Delusion
    Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن



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  • Is there a lawmaker behind the physical laws that govern our universe?
    “Is it reasonable to conclude, when we see simple traffic lights, that city or traffic officials set them up to organize intersection traffic, and a government is behind the officers and organizes their work, yet we do not conclude that a knowledgeable and wise force set down the discovered and scientifically proven universal laws—laws we find organizing and governing the movement of the entire universe?!”

    The Atheism Delusion
    Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن



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  • “When we see a complex and sophisticated instrument such as a telescope or microscope, we conclude that there is a designer who made it, and a law that governed the manufacture of this sophisticated instrument. Therefore, it is unreasonable for us not to make the same conclusion when we see another complex and sophisticated instrument that resembles it to a certain degree, namely, the eye. I will leave it up to the atheist biologist Richard Dawkins to describe the eye to us as he, a specialist, sees it:
    ‘This level of magnification shows the eye as an optical instrument. The resemblance to a camera is obvious. The iris diaphragm is responsible for constantly varying the aperture, the f stop. The lens, which is really only part of a compound lens system, is responsible for the variable part of the focusing. Focus is changed by squeezing the lens with muscles (or in chameleons by moving the lens forwards or backwards, as in a man-made camera). The image falls on the retina at the back, where it excites photocells. The light-sensitive cells (‘photocells’) are not the first thing the light hits, but they are buried inside and facing away from the light. . .
    The first thing the light hits is, in fact, the layer of ganglion cells which constitute the ‘electronic interface’ between the photocells and the brain. Actually the ganglion cells are responsible for preprocessing the information in sophisticated ways before relaying it to the brain, and in some ways the word ‘interface’ doesn’t do justice to this. ‘Satellite computer’ might be a fairer name. Wires from the ganglion cells run along the surface of the retina to the ‘blind spot’, where they dive through the retina to form the main trunk cable to the brain, the optic nerve. There are about three million ganglion cells in the ‘electronic interface’, gathering data from about 125 million photocells . . As you look at the fine architecture of this cell, keep in mind the fact that all that complexity is repeated 125 million times in each retina. And comparable complexity is repeated trillions of times elsewhere in the body as a whole. The figure of 125 million photocells is about 5,000 times the number of separately resolvable points in a good quality magazine photograph. The folded membranes . . . are the actual light-gathering structures. Their layered form increases the photocell’s efficiency in capturing photons, the fundamental particles of which light is made. If a photon is not caught by the first membrane, it may be caught by the second, and so on. As a result of this, some eyes are capable of detecting a single photon. The fastest and most sensitive film emulsions available to photographers need about 25 times as many photons in order to detect a point of light. The lozenge-shaped objects in the middle section of the cell are mostly mitochondria . . . Each one can be thought of as a chemical factory which, in the course of delivering its primary product of usable energy, processes more than 700 different chemical substances, in long, interweaving assembly-lines strung out along the surface of its intricately folded internal membranes . . . Each nucleus, as we shall see in Chapter 5, contains a digitally coded database larger, in information content, than all 30 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica put together. And this figure is for each cell, not all the cells of the body put together . . . When you eat a steak, you are shredding the equivalent of more than 100 billion copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica’ (Dawkins 1996, 17-18).
    This complexity, sophistication, and intricate organization compelled Dawkins, despite being an atheist, to admit that there is order and no randomness or coincidence in all of this beautiful and splendid complexity and sophistication. However, because he is an atheist, he divided the mechanisms of evolution with the goal of weakening its indication that evolution is law-abiding and purposeful as a whole, and he denied the purpose.
    So he was able to say that there is a watchmaker who makes sophisticated and complex watches according to a precise law, yet, because Dawkins does not wish to see the purpose, he says that this watchmaker is not conscious, but rather blind, and this watchmaker is merely nature itself. The truth of the matter is, by acknowledging the law, Dawkins put himself in a position where he has no choice but to acknowledge the lawmaker, and the lawmaker is definitely conscious. Therefore, it has been proven that there is a conscious watchmaker, or a god. We have previously explained the purpose that Dawkins was blind to, and we will do so further and in more detail, God willing.”
    The Atheism Delusion
    Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن



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  • You might expect science in a book called “Faith vs Fact” when it is written by an evolutionary scientist who is also a proclaimed atheist. What I found instead, unfortunately, was a gross misunderstanding of Islam, and the following “colorful” story in the first pages of the book “Faith vs Fact”.

    The author, Jerry Coyne, describes his “de-conversion” (in reality, a conversion, a religion in and of itself, but it’s not called that):

    From the Chicago Tribune, “The New Theology”, 2008:
    “One of the more colorful scientific de-conversion stories comes from Jerry Coyne, a professor of genetics and evolutionary biology at the University of Chicago. It happened in 1967 when Coyne, then 17, was listening for the first time to the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album while lying on his parents’ couch in Alexandria, Va.”

    Note: he was 17 years old listening to music when he had his revelation, so to speak.

    “Suddenly Coyne began to shake and sweat. For reasons he still doesn’t understand, it dawned on him at that moment that there was no God, and he wasn’t going anywhere when he died. His casual Judaism seemed to wash away as the album played on. The crisis lasted about 30 minutes, he says, and when it was over, he had left religion behind for good.”

    From his book, “Faith vs Fact”:
    “But my vague beliefs in God were abandoned almost instantly, when, at seventeen, I was listening to the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album and suddenly realized . . . From the beginning then, my unbelief rested on an absence of evidence for anything divine” (Jerry Coyne, Faith vs Fact, xiii).

    So our leading evolutionary scientists are: Jerry Coyne, atheist at 17 as above, and Dr. Richard Dawkins, atheist at 15.

    And here is what Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن says in the book, “The Atheism Delusion”:
    “Had they not set out from belief in atheism and disbelief in the existence of a god, but instead set out from doubt in the existence of a god, and had they looked at evolution as a single entity, they would have seen that it proceeds based on an elaborate, productive system. This is analogous to the best foundry one could imagine. In a foundry, pieces of metal do not normally come out polished from the casting site. Rather, they undergo several processes, including refining, and perhaps cutting, until they come out in the final, desired shape. The same holds true for evolution. Moreover, had they considered evolution as a single entity, they would have found it to be purposeful since it is productive. Indeed, evolution produced intelligence, and consequently wisdom, altruism, and morals. A person cannot give something they do not have, so if it was not purposeful, and did not have a lawmaker behind it, it would not have given rise to such valuable products.
    Unfortunately, by dividing evolution and looking at its parts, they cannot see the product as belonging to evolution. What they are doing is no different than a person who divides a large industry into separate production lines so as to shift the examiner’s attention to the purposes of each short-term production line and away from the ultimate purpose of the industry.
    One can view things from different perspectives, and sometimes it completely changes what one sees. A viewing filter placed in front of your eyes can also completely change what you see. You can only view three-dimensional images through a special viewing filter, or let us say, from a particular viewing perspective. If you refuse to view the images from this perspective, even for the sake of experiment, you certainly will not see the image as three-dimensional, even though it is, and numerous other people see it as such.”
    -The Atheism Delusion, Chapter 4, by Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن



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  • “[S]ome people who challenge the theory of evolution assume that evolutionary biology states that compound and complex organs such as the eye came into existence through a single mutation. Not even Darwin says that, let alone modern scientists. They should be refuting what is taught in well-established universities around the world. These universities do not teach that compound and complex organs such as the eye came into existence through a single mutation, or even tens or hundreds of mutations.

    These people are actually ignorant of the basics of the theory of evolution, so they present a distorted version of the theory, and respond to it based on their erroneous understanding. This is nauseating to anyone who reads their books. The reader concludes that they are completely defeated in the face of evolution, as well as the atheist movement that they are trying to confront with their argument of single-burst creationism that excludes evolution. Their argument contradicts not only biology, historical geology, and archeology, but also the literal meaning of religious scriptures. This will be clarified when we discuss religious scriptures (such as the Quran) that clearly indicate that creation occurred in many stages and through evolution.”

    -The Atheism Delusion, Chapter 1
    Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن



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  • “Unfortunately, Ibn Baz and many other Wahhabi sheikhs are still slow in terms of their capacity to comprehend. He is trying to respond to a scientific issue proven with scientific evidence by using ambiguous religious scripture that could be understood to be in agreement with science. And this is just a repetition of the drawn out statements Ibn Baz made about the earth’s spin. What should we call this?!
    Although Ibn Baz rejected the theory of evolution, he unwittingly admitted to it when he said the following concerning the human being:

    ‘He is created from this soil [dust]. Allah [God] created him with his image—his height was sixty cubits (90 feet)—60 cubits tall. Then the creation began to decrease (in height) until now.’

    Aside from the fact that this statement is filled with ignorance and is false, what is of interest to me here is that Ibn Baz says that the height of man has definitely changed from sixty cubits to the current height. By saying this, he admitted to the theory of evolution, especially since this change in body size is a direct result of the laws of evolution. I repeat: the claim that the height of man was sixty cubits is invalid and false. Furthermore, his statement that the body of Adam was created in the image of God is an anthropomorphization that is untrue, and the faith of whoever believes in this anthropomorphization is deviated.

    I do not see the need to convey the rest of the statements of the Wahhabis like Ibn Uthaymeen because they insist that the theory of evolution is false, and they declare that whoever believes in it is a disbeliever even though they do not offer any scientific evidence to disprove the theory. This is not unusual coming from them, as it is the savage and barbaric way of the Wahhabi sheikhs to proclaim others to be disbelievers, and to give the murderers and killers from among their followers permission to slay them. This method of theirs is the greatest evidence of their ideological, intellectual, and scientific defeat. They lack the ability to understand what the rest of humanity has presented, let alone the ability to respond in a scientific manner.”

    The Atheism Delusion, Chapter 1
    Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن



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  • What Altruism Are We Talking About?!
    “We are talking about altruistic behavior that does not benefit the genes and that cannot be accounted for by the selfishness of genes, or considered to be merely a superficial, non-genuine altruism, as it is not based on a selfish biological origin. We are talking about altruism in which the altruist does not expect any future benefit, praise, or even a word of gratitude from others in return.
    This poses pressing questions: what drives us toward this genuine altruism? What caused it to originate in us specifically?”

    vs.

    -The selfish gene
    -Genetically based altruism, even with parents toward their children
    -Non-genuine altruism (altruism for the sake of repute, reciprocal altruism)

    True altruism, as well as the above mentioned type of non-genuine altruism are discussed in Chapter 5 of “The Atheism Delusion” by Ahmed Alhasan احمد الحسن.



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  • @readonlineDivine (Ahmed Alhasan ? )

    If you are trying to plug some superficial ‘god of the gaps’ argument, (in an islamic guise, just for a bit of variety), you will find you are flogging a dead horse here.



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  • readonlineDivine #10
    Jan 8, 2018 at 3:55 am

    “[S]ome people who challenge the theory of evolution assume that evolutionary biology states that compound and complex organs such as the eye came into existence through a single mutation. Not even Darwin says that, let alone modern scientists. They should be refuting what is taught in well-established universities around the world.

    Not only are they defeated by thousands of studies in biology and genetics, but they are also defeated by modern astronomers, physicists and cosmologists.

    These universities do not teach that compound and complex organs such as the eye came into existence through a single mutation, or even tens or hundreds of mutations.

    That is because these people do not study what is written in universities. They study what is written and published by particular groups of creationists who share their confused preconceptions!

    These people are actually ignorant of the basics of the theory of evolution, so they present a distorted version of the theory, and respond to it based on their erroneous understanding.

    That is because they debate these issues among themselves and on forums which censor genuine scientific input and criticism!

    This is nauseating to anyone who reads their books. The reader concludes that they are completely defeated in the face of evolution, as well as the atheist movement that they are trying to confront with their argument of single-burst creationism that excludes evolution.

    They are defeated by their own ignorance and mistaken preconceptions derived from bronze-age writings, and the asserted nonsense they have uncritically accepted from scientifically uneducated preachers.

    Their argument contradicts not only biology, historical geology, and archeology,

    Indeed so, and science often shows their “historical sources” to be decades or centuries out of position in placing events allegedly witnessed, and shows artefacts and documents quoted are later scientifically exposed as fakes.

    but also the literal meaning of religious scriptures.

    There are almost as many conflicting religious “scriptures” and interpretations of scriptures as there are religions, sects and believers. That is the nature of beliefs based on unquestioning “faith”, as an alternative to using verified historical artefacts, records, and scientific investigations.

    “The Atheism Delusion” by Ahmed Alhasan

    This is just another pseudo-science “flea book”, which disputes neuroscience, in a similar way to those creationists it criticises for incompetently disputing, evolutionary biology, genetics, astrophysics, and historical research!

    It is quite usual for creationists to re-affirm their dogmatic beliefs by reading creationist books which are pseudo (usually fallacious) “refutations” of Richard Dawkins books or other scientific authors, rather than educating themselves by reading the original works.
    Frequently, due to “religious schooling”, they are often too ignorant of school-level science, to even understand the basis of what is being said!

    While I would commend your move towards more scientific thinking, it is important to read actual science papers, articles, and reference books, rather than the religious “interpretations” of them which try to make them compatible with some particular preconceived religious dogma!

    It is in the nature of the flawed faith-thinking processes based in cultural indoctrination by parents and preachers, that religious dogmas conflict with other religious dogmas, just as often as they conflict with scientific and historical evidence.

    It is also characteristic of the thinking in theocratic states where particular religions dominate, and state machinery is used to suppress other religious viewpoints, or criticisms of the local religious establishment.

    It is somewhat ironical that American fundamentalist Christian creationists are obsessed with Islamic theocratic cultures, but seem to be blinded to the parallels with their own political positions and in-tribe thinking!



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  • readonlineDivine #12
    Jan 8, 2018 at 4:11 am

    What Altruism Are We Talking About?!

    “We are talking about altruistic behavior that does not benefit the genes and that cannot be accounted for by the selfishness of genes, or considered to be merely a superficial, non-genuine [?] altruism, as it is not based on a selfish biological origin.

    This is simply a backwards assertion based on a misunderstanding of biology.

    The “Selfish Gene” explains VERY clearly the evolved altruism within family and related groups, aiding the survival of particular GENES rather than the survival of particular individuals.

    We are talking about altruism in which the altruist does not expect any future benefit, praise, or even a word of gratitude from others in return.

    Indeed so !
    In evolved altruism, the benefit is to the relatives and the gene-pool community, resulting from the sacrifice made by an individual.

    This poses pressing questions: what drives us toward this genuine altruism?

    This is explained VERY clearly in “The Selfish Gene”!

    What caused it to originate in us specifically?”

    It arose over millennia, in evolutionary survival of ancestral animal communities, where shared copies of the same genes, originated not in “us” but in whole groups of social animals throughout the history of life on Earth.

    vs.

    This VS is in the wrong place!

    The selfish gene
    -Genetically based altruism, even with parents toward their children

    This IS evolved altruism along with reciprocal altruism. (You help me – I help you – and we live harmoniously together)

    -Non-genuine [?] altruism (altruism for the sake of repute, reciprocal altruism)

    There is the fictive kin which works on genuine reciprocal altruism, but is based on individual misunderstandings of kinship. (It can also be parasitically exploited in both human and animal social communities.)

    -Non-genuine altruism (altruism for the sake of repute, reciprocal altruism)

    Then there is the con-artist’s fake altruism, which parasitically taps into an individual or community’s energies, to have them put into tribal support for promoting particular gods, sectarian priesthoods, rogue political establishments, and commercial cheats, on the basis of fake-kinship, false claims, and indoctrinated fantasies of after-life promises of benefits and penalties, which will never be delivered, – in exchange for a whole lifetime of exploitation and servitude.

    This also takes the form of pseudo “selfless altruism” from religious groups, in offering help to those in disaster situations, for the purpose of religious recruitment and enhancing the image of their religion.
    Such groups frequently try to take undeserved credit for things like modern transport systems, modern communications, and modern medicine, which are derived from the sciences they despise and dispute!
    They often favour their own members as we would expect from evolutionary traits, and actively discriminate against, and attack, non-members of their indoctrinated “fictive-kin” groups!



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  • @10 – The truth of the matter is, by acknowledging the law, Dawkins put himself in a position where he has no choice but to acknowledge the lawmaker, and the lawmaker is definitely conscious.
    Therefore, it has been proven that there is a conscious watchmaker, or a god.

    Err no! that is a childish anthropomorphic view demonstarting a profound ignorance of evolution!
    The flaw is in the concept of a single design from scratch!
    Indeed a fundamental flaw in many religious arguments, is the concept of a universe existing for the purpose of creating and supporting worshipping humans!

    Evolution works on making random changes with many many failures, until it improvises something which works, and carries on reproducing in a slightly more competitive and better adapted way!
    Evolution NEVER produces a complex mechanism from scratch!

    You seem to be quoting creationist pseudo-science, despite pointing out its flaws @#3 and #10.



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    ReadonlineDivine,

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  • readonlineDivine #6
    Jan 8, 2018 at 3:41 am

    Research on the Flood of Noah [Part 2, see Part 1 below], Chapter 5

    Scientific Arguments Against the Traditional Religious Story of the Flood

    Scientific Arguments Against the Traditional Religious Story of the [global] Flood, are conclusive.
    Geologists have mapped local floods and changes in sea-levels for thousands of years.

    There were no global floods in biblical times.
    There were local floods in the Black Sea basin, river floods in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys, floods in the Nile delta, and tsunami floods in the Mediterranean from the Thera Volcanic explosion! There were also global sea-level rises of about 290 feet since the end of the last ice age.

    The genetics of geographically separated species also makes the Noah story a farce!
    The myth was probably copied from some revamped story from The Neo-Assyrian Gilgamesh Tablet, where some farmer saved a few animals from a large local flood.

    No amount of hand-waving or ignorant fanciful thinking, is going to refute the thousands of scientific measurements which are a matter of record!

    Perhaps “read science online” would be a better and more reliably informative option!



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  • readonlineDivine #4
    Jan 8, 2018 at 3:39 am

    How Do We See God Within His Creation?

    We see “his” creation within the brains of followers, as constructed by indoctrination, in conjunction with basic functions of the earlier evolved mammalian features of human brains, which predominate during early childhood, before the development of formal [rational] operational stages of thinking.
    It is no surprise that particular versions of gods are in cultures, which are co-incident with the geographical and historical distributions, of the populations in whose brains they reside!

    Believers are manipulated by the culturally indoctrinated preconceptions of their god-delusions, to construct a fantasy world image, around those homo-centric anthropomorphised features of imagined “divine purposes”!

    While few modern people believe that the Earth is the centre of the Solar-System, or the centre of The Universe, many religious believers still think that the Earth, humans and their particular version of gods, are the central feature of the Solar-System, the Galaxy, and the Universe, despite their miniscule size and short period of existence, relative to the time-scales and volume of the whole!



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  • I too hope readonline stays to discuss the large quantity of material posted. Welcome!

    If you will return I would very much like to discuss the extraordinary wealth of material we now have for the fully natural development of mutuality, innately co-operative behaviours and altruism. It is indeed the secret of this species wild success, coupled with or huge and natural diversity.

    Before going through the 12 physical aspects of empathy, the five modes of oxytocin in bonding, and groupism, the root of our conscience in the pre-frontal cortex, spindle cells and the anterior cingulate cortex and the platform of our culture, that makes all of this work for us, aided by childhood mirror neurons, and a premature brain that needs and enables the young to be indoctrinated by their elders, before all of that try and read

    The Age of Empathy by Frans de Waal

    to see how evolution has gifted other species with much of this groundwork to a moral mutualism.

    Evolution does way more than most religious folk even begin to imagine.



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  • I see that isolationist fundamentalist theocratic religious cultures, need to censor the very language of scientific papers and text books, in order to protect indoctrinated religious dogmas from critical examination!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-42610755

    Iran has banned teaching the English language in primary schools, calling the subject a “cultural invasion”.

    The education ministry “envisages strengthening Persian language skills and Iranian Islamic culture of pupils at the primary school stage”, its secretary told state media.

    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has previously expressed concern about the teaching of English.

    It is seen as an important skill by many Iranians and is widely studied.

    English is a foreign language option for many at secondary level, which begins at the age of 12, but its popularity has led to classes being offered by some schools much earlier.

    “Teaching of foreign languages has not been recommended by any means” at primary level, Mehdi Navid-Adham, secretary of the Supreme Education Council, told the state-run IRIB news agency.

    He also said that primary schools which teach English as an extra class outside of school hours were committing a “violation”.



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  • Alan

    The education ministry “envisages strengthening Persian language skills and Iranian Islamic culture of pupils at the primary school stage”, its secretary told state media.

    This is code word for circle the wagons and block all influence from the scary infidel world. This same program has been implemented in Algeria since the mid 80’s and did have the effect of drawing a curtain of isolation around the place. After a generation of kids came through the public school system there with no language instruction other than classical Arabic, they lost their ability to read French newspapers, novels and other books too. They can’t watch French films or even talk to the few French people they might encounter. Very few books are translated into Arabic and find their way to North Africa and Middle East. The consequences of this program are far reaching. The European languages carry with them ideas of the West including all of the principles of the Enlightenment and every moral and ethical improvement that we’ve achieved since then – it’s a lot!

    It’s easy to understand why the clerics in any religion would welcome this blinding and deafening of the masses. Block access to progressive ideas and what do you have left in a closed society? Religious dogma! This clears the way for religious themed movies, novels, plays and news information that can be completely controlled.

    The situation has started to turn itself around in the past years though due to the young people setting up satellite dishes on top of their apartment buildings and rigging up wires to all other apartments for a fee. Internet access much more common with the devices to access it privately opens a view to the freedoms and luxuries of the West. Speaking English is necessary to be part of all that. It’s irresistible to young people who live in a drab, boring hopeless place that offers them no future at all.

    Young Iranians show all signs of wanting the same things that our young people of the West want too. Access to good education. Good jobs that can deliver a comfortable life. Freedom of religion and freedom from religion. Basic rights and protections in a state where rule of law is respected. Freedom to travel and be a citizen of the world. And the great attraction for that younger set is of course, freedom to form relationships with both friends and lovers without boundaries or interference from those who would control them in this way.

    Let the mullahs fulminate all they want about their pristine Arabic and Persian languages and culture. Languages everywhere mutate and morph around the coolness cultures created by youth. There’s no hope whatsoever for the idea that we could preserve any language in “original” form for all eternity. Even the Arabic of the Koran is “degraded” with words of foreign origin. Young people everywhere aren’t having any of this language and cultural purity and their frustration is leaking out all around the edges!



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  • We must distinguish the disparate forces within the country. The great majority of the demos and the democratic institutions are driven by the need for reform and modernisation and are currently fronted by a cautiously progressive President Rouhani. The Clerics are a top layer charged with matters of faith and should leave the democratic “fine detail” alone. They are utterly opposed to liberalisation but need to interfere ostensibly only on religious grounds. The Ayotollahs and the president are playing a cat and mouse game via their various inputs to government institutions. The Ayotollahs have the biggest scariest stick, though once they use it, they might foment a full on popular uprising. Many an old man is on their (dark) side. It would be bloody.



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