Fish in a barrel

Mark is a delightful Christian commenter.  I give him points for frequently commenting to an unfriendly crowd.  I immediately withdraw those points for making transparently bad arguments.

He left a comment on my post from this morning where dad talked about why he makes posts about atheism.

“In short, if you know me and like me, then let me inform you I am an atheist, and I am still that very same person whom you knew and liked.”

God does not judge based on how many likes you get. The point should not be to get you to act a certain way, but to point out that no one (including you) can measure up to God’s standard.

“I am disgusted with people who don’t know jack shit about science demanding to determine what is taught as science.”

Why? Why should scientists have any more say in how a public institution is run than anyone else unless they are elected as a representative? We are NOT a technocracy but a democratic republic.

Father has more patience than I.

“God does not judge based on how many likes you get.”
There is no god except for Pikkiwokki, the Padua New Guinean Mud God who promises his followers a pig and all of the coconuts they can carry. How many likes I get is very important to him.

“Why? Why should scientists have any more say in how a public institution is run than anyone else unless they are elected as a representative?”
Do you also ask why aeronautical engineers should be the ones to design aircraft? You go ahead and try to fly in aircraft designed by elected representatives. I’ll pass, thank you. Should medical doctors decide how medicine is to be practiced in public hospitals, or elected representatives? You get your heart surgery from an elected representative, I’ll take mine from a knowledgeable surgeon, thank you very much.

Seriously, who do you suggest be charged with deciding what is proper English, to be taught in English classes? Would it be an elected someone who doesn’t know anything about it but may be very well versed in Farsi? Would you have an illiterate decide what is to be taught in Literature classes because he was elected?

Science is neither a democracy nor a popularity contest. I’m surprised to find someone who didn’t know that.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Having read the rest of Mark’s comments, he seems convinced that experts are the wrong people to decide school curricula. Elected officials without any expertise in science are the ones who should determine what’s taught in science classes.

    • Lori

      And that highlights the problem with elected school boards — they’re popular, not educators or even decent decision makers. Curricula should be left to the education experts. School boards should stick to providing the resources and policies necessary to give the experts what they need to do their best job.

  • Pierce R. Butler

    … Pikkiwokki, the Padua New Guinean Mud God …

    It’s a long way from northern Italy to New Guinea: does Pikkiwokki’s domain include the (great circle, presumably) territory between those two points, does it go straight through the core of the Earth, or is it noncontiguous?

    And do you have to carry the pig and the coconuts at the same time?

    • Makoto

      Perhaps you can have the pig eat the coconuts for you first, make things a bit easier.

    • LeftSidePositive

      You have two swallows carry the coconuts for you, using a strand of creeper, held under the dorsal guiding feathers.

      • JohnM

        Then you put the lime in the coconut and drink them both up. Side effects may include stomach pains. Call your physician if your discomfort lasts for an extended period of time.

  • eric

    Why? Why should scientists have any more say in how a public institution is run than anyone else unless they are elected as a representative? We are NOT a technocracy but a democratic republic.

    This is an old creationist trope. The public DOES get to say how a public institution is run. Heck, districts can even have bible-as-lit classes and comparative religion classes in schools. Nobody is stopping anyone from doing that.

    What is being prevented is creationism being taught as science, because it isn’t science. We don’t teach how to brush your teeth in math class. We don’t teach analysis of Shakespearian sonnets in history class. Likewise, we don’t teach religion in biology class.

  • Mark

    Thanks for posting the link so people can read my counter-points. ;)

    • Turumbar

      You didn’t have any “counterpoints” unless you count wishful thinking as such…

    • sqlrob

      After reading that, the only point you have is the one on top of your head.

      You are willfully ignorant, refuse to recognize it, and don’t understand when people should defer to experts.

    • unbound

      Er…you didn’t provide any points or counter-points; especially in response to the above.

      I would strongly recommend that you take a Logic 101 class from your local college before continuing to post pontifications while thinking they are points or counter-points.

      • MarkNS

        Only if Mark can find a logic class taught by an elected representative…

        • steve oberski

          I think that is the problem, he did.

          • John Phillips, FCD


    • NotAProphet

      Mark, can you please answer the question: Do you think a botanist should be able to determine what is taught as math, purely because they are elected? I’d like to credit you with some intelligence and believe that you are being wilfully obtuse, rather than too dim to get the point here, please show me that my faith in you is not misplaced.

  • Katie Tims
  • Drakk

    Mind if I come into your church sometime and start educating people about physics and biology? Since, y’know, that pastor guy shouldn’t have any more say than anyone else about what’s taught in his church?

  • umlud

    Having read Mark’s “commentary” in the other thread, I’ve come to the conclusion that he has a rather country bumpkin view of the world (in that he doesn’t at all consider it). For example, he is completely oblivious of the various other religions that exist in the world, the “lord” and “god” to which he could well be referring to “Shiva” or “Vishnu” or “Buddha” or “Allah” or “the Flying Spaghetti Monster”. As another example, he presumes that electing school boards is the only method to introduce curriculum, instead of having national curricula, like in much of the rest of the world. He also presumes that airlines aren’t owned by the government, forgetting all the nationally owned (or partially owned) airlines that exist around the world.

    … and all of his arguments seem to tie in with his god. Somehow. I’m sure that it’s clear in his mind, but I’m having trouble determining how it is connected. Now, if Mark can explain his position to me by showing me how it fits in terms of the Bhagavad Gita, the Analects, the Kojiki, or even (I’ll throw him a bone here) Bulfinch’s Mythology, then I might be able to triangulate to where he’s coming from. Otherwise, I’ll admit to being lost trying to follow his wild wanderings.

  • aspidoscelis

    It’s Papua New Guinea. Just sayin’…

  • Amphiox

    It’s Papua New Guinea. Just sayin’…

    Well, there is such a place on this earth.

    But, Pikkiwokki is not from there. Pikkiwokki is from Padua….

    • Drakk

      Not what I’m seeing. Padua is a city in Italy.

      • steve oberski

        Well that’s the problem that Mark is trying to point out.

        Look what happens when you let cartographers decide where cities are located.

    • Rrr

      Now, now, children. Let’s not have another religious dispute! Anyone is entitled to believe that Pikkiwokki is from wherever they prefer, and IT’S NONE OF GOVERNMENT’S BLOODY BUSINESS!!