Stupid Atheist Meme of the Day

And here’s another stupid atheist meme that I’m seeing circulate all over the place. It’s one of dozens and dozens of false quotes from Ted Cruz being passed around like a holiday fruit cake, usually accompanied by statements like “OMG, he’s so stupid!”

atheistmeme2

Except he never said this. You can figure that out with about 10 seconds on Google. But almost no one bothers to check because they want it to be true and it conforms to what they think is true, so therefore it must be true and no effort need be made to confirm it. It slips easily into our brains and short circuits our rationality. It makes us intellectually dishonest and inconsistent.

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  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    No, it IS true. I got that quote right out of David Barton’s book!

  • MikeMa

    Cruz has said so many stupid things, you shouldn’t need to make shit up.

  • dingojack

    Ed – perhaps you should number these moronic memes —

    just so one can differentiate one piece of egregious stoopid from another….

    Dingo

  • grumpyoldfart

    I’ve also heard that there are currently 42,000 different Christian sects around the world and the number is rising by 1,000 per year. I traced the sources back as far as I could, but all I found was references to “unpublished” surveys and “unpublished” interviews with unnamed persons.

    I’ve challenged people to show me the list of 42,000 sects, or even one thousand of them, or just a couple of hundred, but so far no takers.

    I understand there are heaps of different sects, but I am extremely doubtful about the 42,000 number. Anyone here got the list?

  • caseloweraz

    I’ve never heard a number quoted and for sure I don’t know of a list. But I agree that the number 42,000 looks bogus. There are only 6,000 to 7,000 languages in the world today.

  • dingojack

    And how many different brands of Christian churches exist in the (nominally) English-speaking America alone?

    Dingo

  • steffp

    Wikipedia has an explicit list of a few hundred Christian denominations (more than 30 of them Catholic), but mentions 33,000 protestant churches at the same time.

    Wikipedia list

    More on protestant denominational families ( Adventism, Anglicanism, Baptist churches, Reformed churches, Lutheranism, Methodism, and Pentecostalism)

    here

  • dingojack

    [BTW – it’s estimated that there are some thousand languages on the island of New Guinea alone. This has been fun-fact #13,237,283,109 — collect them all!]

    😀 Dingo

  • colnago80

    Re grumpyoldfart @ #4

    The number 42,000 is quoted in a number of blogs and websites but none of the cites I found seem to have a source. I agree, the number sounds high, although with 2 billion Christians in the world, that would average out to some 42,000+ individuals/sect, which doesn’t sound low. There are any number of Christian sects which consist of no more then a few hundred followers.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    That’s not a stupid atheist meme, that’s a stupid leftist meme.

  • busterggi

    I dunno, it seems like every block in every major city has at least one converted storefront church that proclaims itself the one true church – if they mean it, and they act like they do, then the 42,000 is a generously low estimate.

  • abb3w

    @4, grumpyoldfart:

    I’ve also heard that there are currently 42,000 different Christian sects around the world and the number is rising by 1,000 per year. I traced the sources back as far as I could, but all I found was references to “unpublished” surveys and “unpublished” interviews with unnamed persons.

    A quick poke at Google turns up attribution to some report from the “Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary”; while I can’t find the circa 2012 one with “42000” poking around the website, there’s several PDFs around 2013-2015 which give circa 45000. These look to be excerpted from a non-downloadable full report, the Yearbook of International Religious Demography. WorldCat indicates there’s no library with a copy within 75 miles, so I’m not up for a road trip just to check footnotes. Presumably, if you’re looking for an actual list, you can possibly drop $100 on the book yourself, or contact the Center for more details about their methodology.

    1000 per year may be high, or harshly rounded; the numbers in their “Christianity 2015: Religious Diversity and Personal Contact” PDF work out nearer 830 per year.

    I also note the Center runs the “World Christian Database”, which claims a mere 9000 denominations. Access to the database requires a fee; however, the researchers might be able to explain the apparent discrepancy there.

  • lofgren

    So far of the two memes covered I would say factual inaccuracy is only the third or fourth item on the list of things that are stupid about them.

  • dugglebogey

    Confirmation bias is a bitch, isn’t it?

  • Abby Normal

    42,000 Christian sects, that’s absurd! There’s only one Christian sect, The Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879. All others are heretics and should be shoved off bridges.

  • tfkreference

    A few weeks back, heddle contested the 5-figure value (I recall it being 33K, but I also remember being on the helicopter with Brian Williams). Dr. heddle’s figure was 8-9K (same disclaimer), still a staggering number, given one Truth.

  • grumpyoldfart

    So far we haven’t found the original source for the figure of 42,000 different Christian sects and the best I have found is a reference to unpublished surveys and unpublished interviews so I’m going to assume the figure is based on pure guesswork.

    Thanks for your help everybody.

  • dingojack

    grumpyoldfart – nice try. See abb3w (#12).

    Dingo

  • abb3w

    @17ish, grumpyoldfart:

    the best I have found is a reference to unpublished surveys and unpublished interviews

    @18ish, dingojack:

    nice try. See abb3w (#12)

    As dingojack seems to have noticed, the survey I’ve found is merely not available on-line in its entirety, rather than unpublished. It’s still possible that its methodology is so severely flawed that it’s not worth the more fetid of dingojack‘s kidneys, but that’s not something I’d prejudge strongly without checking the published work and its endnotes/footnotes. I certainly wouldn’t dismiss it summarily merely for the full text not being available in my web browser.