So imagine my surprise when I found such characteristic hysterics and idiocy in an almost perfect form: an incredibly disingenuous Atheist Challenge over at *snickers* Atheism is Dead. I half-expected it to be self-deleted in embarrassment, but apparently the author is quite serious. My condolences.
So here's the setup:
Atheists, since we have "possession of the truth" (apparently, my certificate of omniscience got lost in the mail) are supposed to prove, using "only empirical experimental data, replicated by separate disinterested scientific teams, unfalsified yet falsifiable, peer reviewed and published in a major scientific journal" the following claims:
(btw, I have a drinking game for this: take a shot if it's not a claim that atheists actually make. Take two shots if it's a claim that no reasonable person actually makes. If you make it to the comments section without passing out, take a shot for every time they redefine disbelief in gods or declare victory in exposing atheist irrationality)
1. Prove there is no God.Okay, #1, ye olde shifting burden of proof, the infamous "Oh yeah? Prove there isn't a God!" with delusions of pwnage. It's absurd enough on its own, but combined with the aforementioned peer-reviewed and published in a major scientific journal demands, the retort reaches new heights of fail. The author seems to be seriously asking for an issue of Nature in which God is pronounced dead, and try as I might, I can't find the November 1859 issue.
2. Prove Materialism is true.
3. Prove Monism is true.
4. Prove abiogenesis actually happened.
5. Prove macroevolution actually happened.
6. Prove Parsimony is a Law of Nature.
7. Prove Universal Uniformitarianism exists in all cases.
8. Prove wisdom does not exist.
9. Prove humans are perfectible.
10.Prove universal happiness is a moral imperative.
11.Prove information is identical to the media scaffold upon which it resides.
12.Prove the Multiverse exists.
Presumably, the author doesn't believe in djinn in the same way I don't believe in gods. Well, crank up Scirus and get me a scientific disproof of djinn, then.
#4&5 give it a nice creationist flair, a great move that hearkens back to the legendary master of rationality, Kent Hovind. Confusing atheism and evolution (and apparently understanding neither on even a basic level), the perfect way to be taken seriously.
#8&9 give it that touch of WTF that's absolutely essential to spectacular fail. Perfectible? Who the heck said atheism relied on human beings being perfect?
And the rest are either red herrings or things that I doubt any human being would seriously deny (like the wisdom one). So, either I missed Dawkins's lecture where he railed against the existence of wisdom or the author's post is deeply misguided.
And you know what the best thing is about this pseudointellectual wasteland? All the "questions" were answered pretty well in the comments section by Vigilante, a self-described Christian. D'oh!
Also, another atheist already sunk his teeth into this one and did an excellent job answering the challenge before I could get a hold of it. But I can't help myself in joining in, seeing as there was already plenty of blood in the water.