Backyard Skeptics’ Newest Billboards Honor Hitchens and Mock Noah’s Flood

The Backyard Skeptics are sponsoring two billboards in California and I’m just waiting for the complaints to pour in from deeply religious types:

The first one was put up in conjunction with American Atheists and pays homage to the late Christopher Hitchens:

You can check it out in the American Legion parking lot in Midway City.

The second one, promoting the upcoming Freethought Alliance Conference at UC Irvine, pokes fun at the idea of Noah’s Flood:

Apparently, it’s in the same location… or maybe the two billboards are swapping out. I can’t figure it out. Maybe someone can tell us what’s going on…

(via OC Weekly)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Severalspeciesof

    About te Noah’s Flood Billboard… where are they getting that number from? If it rained for 40 days and nights, that’s 960 hours. If you multiply that by the number they give it would mean the tallest mount is 696,960 feet… or am I missing something?

    • GregFromCos

      Yah, they figured it for 40 hours, not 40 days…  Should only be 363 inches per hour. Still absurd, but right. Or they could have changed it to 8712 inchers per day.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Rhoades/100000175617377 Scott Rhoades

         How do these billboards still get up without someone fact checking them? Haven’t they learned anything from the Jefferson quote debacle?

    • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

      Wasn’t the rain supposed to cover all land before the 40-day mark?

      • http://travelingtxn.blogspot.com/ Traveling Txn

        Not according to the version I read, it rained for 40 days 40 nights but the waters didnt recede for a year or something like that.

  • Severalspeciesof

    I forgot to add that Mount Everest is just over 29,000 feet…

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      Regardless of the rate of rainfall, it would take more than three times the amount of water that the earth has. Where did all that water come from, and where did it all go?

      Maybe God called Servpro. “Like it never even happened.”

      • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

        The thing is, if you’re going to allow for one miracle, you pretty much have to allow for any number of them. Somebody who believes gods exist, and have the power to rapidly flood the Earth when they’re so inclined, are hardly going to have any problem with that god creating (and subsequently getting rid of) any amount of water necessary.

        How do you make a rational argument to an irrational person? It’s impossible- you’re speaking different languages.

        • Sindigo

          Exactly, but it’s surprising how creationists miss this sometimes. I’m arguing with a creationist at the moment and his contention is that natural disasters are necessary to “rebalance” natural processes on Earth. I pointed out that an all-powerful god could just “rebalance” anything he wanted with a mere shrug and without the unnecessary torture  and murder of his creation (or even create the planet so that these process are unnecessary) but he still prefers to try to explain why such phenomena are needed. It’s a peculiar mindset and, as you say irrational. 

          • http://dogmabytes.com/ C Peterson

            Yeah, I’ve noticed this want their cake and eat it too attitude. I think it comes from recognizing (perhaps unconsciously) the absurdity of their beliefs, and defensively attempting to use science to justify them. Of course, that doesn’t work at all. They’d be better off simply playing the miracle card, since that insulates them from the fact that their beliefs are contradicted by science and observation.

            • Sindigo

              Precisely. I liken it to George Lucas. invention of Midichlorians: WE LIKED IT JUST FINE WHEN IT WAS MAGIC!! :)

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        I think this about covers it Richard.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sK6tkcxAHIw 

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Rhoades/100000175617377 Scott Rhoades

         It came from the ice shield silly….and when it was all over God magicked it away. Don’t you know that you can explain away anything with “God did it”? When it comes to an all-powerful being, nothing is unpossible.

      • JohnnieCanuck

        Richard, the Bible tells us where the water came from. During one of the Genesis stories, it is mentioned that God created the firmament which contains the Sun, Moon, planets and stars and which separates the waters below from the waters above.

        These waters continue high above the firmament and normally only fall to the earth as rain when doors in the dome are opened. When God is only his usual annoyed self the rain is often too little or too much but relatively few die in the associated droughts and floods. Normal stuff.

        Apparently someone did something really bad that presumably no-one had ever done before and God got so angry that He opened all the doors in the firmament, but only after giving old (and I do mean old) Noah a heads-up.

        As to where the water went afterwards, my guess is that the tellers of the flood story figured that the water went away same as always happens when the doors open and the rain falls to Earth. Rivers carry it down to the oceans, yet the oceans don’t show a steady rise and at that point all you need to say to explain it is Goddidit.

        • Felix Luk

           Well, the same Genesis story has it that YHWH walked on water. So, the one gadzillion dollar question is, where did this water come from? It’s not like YHWH created it…

  • gwen

    The fish, the fish! What happened to the fish? That much fresh water rain would kill ALL the salt water fish, and that much salt water magic rain, would kill all of the fresh water fish….and the sea birds–the frigate birds and albatrosses…why were THEY all saved, why were they special!

    • Henryh

       http://www.icr.org/article/6872/

  • http://profiles.google.com/statueofmike Michael S

    Sweet. I drive past there to school every day.

  • Verimius

    Hitchens’ quote is a translation of a Latin legal maxim, and probably predates him:

    Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur

  • lynngleason

    Yes – the same location – the Hitchen’s artwork was up for 2 1/2 weeks followed by the Rain artwork which was up on 5/7/12

    Bruce Gleason, Backyard Skeptics

  • Dan

    “…what can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.” 

    That quote always cracks me up. Hitchens makes that assertion without evidence. Therefore I can dismiss it as untrue, right? It’s self-defeating.

    • mikespeir

      You certainly may.  But eventually it’ll occur to you that you, yourself are just following the maxim in doing so.  So, in reality, it’s self-verifying.


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