Miracles Conference, Coming Soon

Miracles Conference, Coming Soon January 28, 2019

For anyone in the greater Seattle area, the NW Miracles Conference will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2019 in Sequim, WA (a couple of hours northwest of Seattle and Tacoma). The speakers include:

  • Michael Shermer. Dr. Shermer is the founder and editor-in-chief of Skeptic magazine and author of Scientific American’s Skeptic column. He will debate local Christian Luuk van de Weghe on the topic, “Are the Miracles of Jesus Unbelievable?” (I debated his father Rob a couple of years ago on “Is it Reasonable to Believe in God?” Discussion and video of that debate here.)
  • Justin Brierley. Justin is the host of the UK-based Unbelievable? radio show and podcast and the Unbelievable? conference. Justin does what apparently is impossible in the U.S. by putting Christians and non-Christians together weekly and having a civil and informative conversation. I highly recommend the podcast. Justin also organized the 2012 Atheist Prayer Experiment, in which I participated. (My posts on that experiment: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.) Justin will be the conference moderator.
  • Sean George and Bradley Bowen. Dr. Sean George is an Australian doctor whose heart stopped for an hour but was eventually revived with no brain damage, and Seattle-area atheist Bradley Bowen is a frequent blogger on the Secular Outpost blog at Patheos. Bradley will put on his philosopher’s hat and debate another philosopher, Hans Vodder, about Dr. George’s miracle claim.

Find the entire schedule here.

I’ll be there. Look for me if you attend!

What I found [in reading the Bible]
was that most of the Bible was neither horrible nor inspiring.
It was simply dull and irrelevant:
long genealogies written by men obsessed with racial purity;
archaic stories about ancient squabbles over real estate and women;
arcane rituals aimed at pleasing a volatile deity;
folk medicine practices involving mandrakes and dove’s blood;
superstition that equated cleanliness with spiritual purity
and misfortune with divine disfavor;
and outdated insider politics.
Valerie Tarico


Image from Eric Welch, CC license


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  • ThaneOfDrones

    The only way that conference might be worth it is if The Miracles put in an appearance.


    • carbonUnit

      Which would be truly miraculous if Ronnie White, Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore or Carl Cotton showed up!

  • skl

    Christianity is founded entirely on belief in miracles.
    So, just make sure that the hosts make clear that miracles
    are ‘things which violate everything science knows about the natural world.’
    That way, any Christians who might be in attendance will go home as

  • Michael Murray

    I don’t remember that Dr Sean George story but I guess it was 10 years ago and these kinds of stories don’t create much excitement in Australia.


    It’s hard to tell from his description but the “dead for an hour and a half” seems to be a period of time when he was just about continuously receiving oxygen and CPR. I can’t find any comment on this beyond his own website so there is only on his own opinion on how remarkable this is.

    If I was a Christian believer the thing that would puzzle me with these kinds of stories is why this guy? God sure does move in mysterious ways.

    • Right–his heart stopped while he was in a clinic/hospital, so he had immediate CPR by trained people. (in fact, I believe it was 2 people, so they could’ve traded off to make sure their technique didn’t drop off.

      Obviously, at room temperature with no heartbeat and no CPR, you’re dead well before an hour, but I don’t know how impressive the hour-long claim is. It’d be easy to find the record-setting cases; I just haven’t looked.

      Nevertheless, it’d take a very open-minded Christian to go from believing this as a miracle to believing this was 100% science and medicine.

      • Sample1

        The explanation is classic easy-to-vary. Discuss the medical interventions and the believer can just vary the explanation by claiming their god placed such personnel near him in the first place. Ostensibly, their god placed just the right people to develop drugs when they did. And on and on. I suppose when the first punishment from God in their biblical origin myth was for seeking knowledge, well, this is what ensues. /s


        • Michael Neville

          Plus God allowed him to go to the hospital. He could have been stuck for hours just yards from the hospital by herds of migrating wildebeest but God kept the wildebeest in Africa.

        • Sample1

          Right? The infinite regress of circumstances required for an omnipotent being, who controls every atom, is far more ridiculous than just time + motion.


        • Michael Murray

          Praise the Lord brother !

    • Sample1

      The two ecg reports from his site do not demonstrate v-fib. That much I could interpret. So he’s already not providing the evidence for his claim of refractory v fib. I ran this by a friend who gives this interpretation:

      Exactly! You are on it! It’s an inferior STEMI (elevations II, III, aVF) w reciprocal changes lateral (aVL, I) but also ST depressions to precordium and septum (V2, V1) so he is knocking out his conduction system and will go into heartblock at some point and wide complex
      2 nd EKG is wide complex but too slow for Vtach. But ominous for cardiogenic shock
      Fun! Thanks for sharing

      Who knows what else he is leaving out of the picture. He didn’t experience biological death, nobody on record revives from that. But clinical death can be managed. He says he received inotropes in the field which improves cardiac output. Good drug. He was hanging on by a thread, and it’s amazing he survived, but it’s not miraculous.

      You would like ecgs, Michael. A story told by variations in sine waves.

      Edit done

      • Pofarmer

        The problem is, most peoples eyes would roll back in their heads at your friends response.

        • Sample1

          And I have very few people left, by choice, that share existence with me who would roll their eyes. 😉


    • Sample1

      His retelling of the medical work up (as a few snippets on his site) provides some important information but there are gaps. Not enough is given of his situation. He received an epinephrine shot after being asystole as the last intervention. But no cardiac strips, ultrasound, etc are shared. No vitals are given. He then says he had a weak pulse when his wife arrived soon thereafter. Weak pulse = blood was likely moving. He was not dead.

      It’s a selective telling of a serious issue. For Jesus.


      • Michael Murray

        Thanks for that info Mike. It is interesting that the conference has two philosophers debating this claim of a miracle when it needs a cardiologist !

        • Len

          Yes but with a cardiologist, the debate would be over in 2 minutes: “Good afternoon. The data shows you weren’t dead at all. Good afternoon”

    • It’s hard to tell from his description but the “dead for an hour and a half” seems to be a period of time when he was just about continuously receiving oxygen and CPR.


      Dr. Sean George only claims to have been CLINICALLY DEAD for over an hour, not BRAIN DEAD for over an hour. That is a big difference.

      Contrary to what Dr. Sean George claims, prolonged CPR often has a good outcome. A review of 82 documented cases of prolonged CPR “83% were alive at 1 year, with full neurological recovery reported in 63 patients.” In about 77% of these cases (63 out of 82) there was full neurological recovery. Survival for one year after prolonged CPR is very common, and full neurological recovery is also fairly common.

      Crit Care Res Pract. 2016; 2016: 7384649.
      Published online 2016 Jan 14. doi: 10.1155/2016/7384649
      PMCID: PMC4738728
      PMID: 26885387
      Review and Outcome of Prolonged Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
      The maximal duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is unknown. We report a case of prolonged CPR. We have then reviewed all published cases with CPR duration equal to or more than 20 minutes. The objective was to determine the survival rate, the neurological outcome, and the characteristics of the survivors. Measurements and Main Results. The CPR data for 82 patients was reviewed. The median duration of CPR was 75 minutes. Patients mean age was 43 ± 21 years with no significant comorbidities. The main causes of the cardiac arrests were myocardial infarction (29%), hypothermia (21%), and pulmonary emboli (12%). 74% of the arrests were witnessed, with a mean latency to CPR of 2 ± 6 minutes and good quality chest compression provided in 96% of the cases. Adjunct therapy included extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (18%), thrombolysis (15.8%), and rewarming for hypothermia (19.5%). 83% were alive at 1 year, with full neurological recovery reported in 63 patients. Conclusion. Patients undergoing prolonged CPR can survive with good outcome. Young age, myocardial infarction, and potentially reversible causes of cardiac arrest such as hypothermia and pulmonary emboli predict a favorable result, especially when the arrest is witnessed and followed by prompt and good resuscitative efforts.


      • The median duration of CPR was 75 minutes.

        Fascinating. Dr. George’s clinical death was then impressively long but hardly record setting. Perhaps the question to the miracle believer should be, not why Dr. George’s experience was a miracle, but why the 82 prolonged-CPR examples in this study were not.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, well, ah, ya see. There was a report in Atlanta the last few weeks of a fellow who survived a vehicle crash where his pickupnwas sandwiched by two semi’s. He looked like a sardine in a can. Nevermind somewhere there are some vehicle engineers going daaaammmmnnnnn we did a good job with those crush zones. But the majority of the comments on the story were “God is so good”’ “how can you not beleive in God now” type drivel. Uhm, well, maybe because not every car crash is fatal? I dunno, but I really do think the U.S. is in trouble.

        • Evidence is clearly not their currency when they focus on the single plane crash survivor and pretend the actual plane crash didn’t happen.

          I really do think the U.S. is in trouble.

          Don’t get me started. What’s truly discouraging is that this passion for the nutty seems to be hardwired. You might hope that better education will solve the problem, but it seems that, at least for a large minority, there has to be something bizarre to fill that need–Creationism, conspiracy theories, science denial, homeopathy, etc.

        • Pofarmer

          Well I HOPE it’s some kind of cycle. My BIL posted some crazy pro-life meme by Ben Shapiro on his facebook page, and I responded to it with links to articles on how to reduce abortions. Specifically the Washington University Study and the Colorado large scale study. They love to call pro-choice people “Baby killers” but, if that’s the case, then why was one of the most effective studies in reducing abortions funded by the Buffett foundagion in conjunction with Planned Parenthood? And why do they fight so hard not to implement any of it’s lessons? There’s just no middle ground anywhere. It’s disheartening, as most of these are good, successful people, but religiously crazy as a June Bug, and it seeps over into their politics.

          Oh, and just to add, the next day after I’d replied, not in a pro choice way at all, just, “Let’s do the MOST effective thing to reduce abortions” He posts a “What to do if you’re in Mortal Sin” youtube video. Passive aggressive assholes.

        • You’ve probably seen this 2015 article from Valerie Tarico. My favorite approach is to ask that they read it. They won’t want to follow its sensible, easy steps, but that simply proves that their “abortion is a modern-day holocaust” is bullshit.


        • Sample1

          Just wow. I don’t tolerate passive aggression. Even at work. Call it out calmly and rationally if you can. That behavior deserves no place to hide or maintain power. Good luck.


        • Pofarmer

          Well, I can’t prove it was directed at me. It’s not like they tagged me in on it, or anything. Religious fundamentalists suck.

        • Sample1

          I, with many others, just lost a friend to a plane crash two days ago. She was, I dare say, more Alaskan* than I, had a promising life and was beyond the moon in her happiness about her pregnancy. It is truly heartbreaking.

          Now, she was also a believer though she moderated those beliefs in public interactions as some considerate believers do. When I observe well wishers go on and on about how her God was great, my brain somersaults. Cognitive dissonance is a term because it is evidentiary. It should be, to my reckoning, a position one should guard heavily against from succumbing to. And yet here we are.

          *an understanding known to Alaskans; no doubt similar to those who have identities based on other localities/traditions.

        • Greg G.

          I’m sorry for your loss.

        • My condolences. That’s a tough thing to go through.

          It’s amazing (almost impressive) how unfalsifiable some people have made their beliefs.

        • Sample1

          Yes! It is amazing. I’m sure one component (aside from the seriousness of politics, public policies, etc.) of it being amazing is of the same source that results in drivers rubbernecking at car crash scenes. Just what is going on over there? What is that mess?!* Religion is that mess, it’s amazing and it’s hard to look away from.

          For those who were never believers, it gets even more amazing. Our curiosity at religion, for whatever mundane or academic reason, is often rationalized away by believers as God himself trying to enter into dialogue with us. I just have to return to a Miłosz paraphrase. No matter how rational something appears to be (for him it was in the context of Soviet communism) the stomach can only take so much. The same is true for religious rationalizations in my book.

          Thanks for the condolences (and to all those offering them).

          * why has no one invented a grammatical symbol that combines the question mark and exclamation mark together? It’s overdue.

        • Sample1

          Edit: such a symbol exists (thanks Wiki). It’s called the interrobang.


        • al kimeea

          I once got to drive slowly past a sub-compact in a similar crash with two military transports, each carrying an armoured car. The compact was folded over on itself when one transport ran up the back of the other. The rear wheels of the small car were now the front. No God that day. The driver must have been a member of the Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912…

        • Pofarmer


        • Ignorant Amos


      • Pofarmer

        Damned science.

  • RichardSRussell

    Why do Christians need miracles? Is their faith that weak? They should be able to believe all that crap “just because”. I know that’s what leaves me convinced that the Packers will win the Super Bowl this Sunday.

    • I Came To Bring The Paine

      I know that’s what leaves me convinced that the Packers will win the Super Bowl this Sunday.

      Are you convinced enough to bet money on it? 😉

    • Michael Neville

      Are the Packers playing the Cardinals in The Big Game®?

  • Jamie Newman

    I’d attend, but there’s a conference on unicorns, gremlins, gnomes, elves, and leprechauns the very same day!

    • Michael Murray

      I guess you can’t be in two places at once. That would be a miracle.

      • Pofarmer

        Sathya Sai Baba did it.

  • Greg G.
    • I Came To Bring The Paine

      And many theists pick Aristotle and stick to him.

      • Michael Neville

        That’s because Tommy Aquinas loved Ol’ Ari and made him the cornerstone of Catholic scientific belief. Officially Galileo was brought before the Inquisition because his heliocentrism contradicted Aristotle’s geocentrism. Why a pagan should have the final word on Christian science is something only a theologian would know

        • Pofarmer

          It’s really sad how religions tend to ossify thought patterns.

  • Snagglefritz Sagenschnitter

    Here’s a Christian who does proper miracles:


    • Greg G.

      What’s all this about cleansing leopards? I tried to give a house cat a bath once when I was young. I am still healing from those claws.

      • RichardSRussell

        “A person that started in to carry a cat home by the tail was getting knowledge that was always going to be useful to him, and warn’t ever going to grow dim or doubtful.” —Mark Twain (1835-1910), nom de plume of Samuel L. Clemens, American writer and humorist, Tom Sawyer Abroad

  • Snagglefritz Sagenschnitter

    Funny thing about healing miracles. They only work when you can’t see what’s happening.

    If the patient has liver cancer, the Christian puts one hand on each shoulder of the patient and says, “Cancer begone,” and the cancer goes! And we know it’s gone because the Christian says it’s gone.

    But if the patient has a splinter in his finger then the laying on of hands simply does not work. Christian faith healers can miraculously cure cancer with a touch and a prayer, but when it comes to splinters they always need a pair of tweezers.

    Funny how that works, isn’t it?

    • I Came To Bring The Paine

      They get rid of the splinter by laying hands on the tweezers, and with it grab the splinter and shout, “Begone, ye splinter of Satan!!!!” and pull. Hallelujah!

  • “The speakers include:

    Michael Shermer.”

    Lock up your daughters.

  • Lex Lata

    It appears that non-Christian miracles will not be covered at any length. Which makes sense. Unlike Christian miracle claims, all non-Christian claims are of course simply examples of our species’ capacity for delusion, wishful thinking, honest misapprehension, exaggeration, creativity, or fraud, and can be summarily disregarded. /s

    • Kevin K

      I, for one, would not consider the conference valid unless it thoroughly discusses how Lord Krishna held a mountain aloft with his pinkie finger for days … attested to by 10,000 witnesses who walked under the mountain.

      • Lex Lata

        Fair enough. Plus the survival of Hinduism for over 2,000 years proves, of course, the authenticity and veracity of its miracle narratives.

        • Kevin K

          In fact, I think we’d be justified in demanding that all of the miracles reported in all of the religions prior to the inception of Christianity be explored in detail. Otherwise, the organizers could rightly be accused of merely providing a wank-fest for Christians who want to congratulate themselves on being born into the correct religion.

        • al kimeea

          Wonderful examples all, both you & Lex. Of the POWER OF SATAN!

  • Cynthia

    How are miracles being defined? How were they understood in the Old Testament or New Testament?

    Some miracles will simply be somewhat unusual or outlier experiences. If a condition has a low survival rate, someone who does actually survive will feel that they experienced a “miracle”. For example, I know of a case where a man who had ceased breathing continued to have a heartbeat for over an hour. [Heard the details from the man’s son and from the ICU doctor who treated him.] The ICU doctor who had come to pronounce him dead was stunned. It was definitely a rare/outlier situation, but it might have been related to the fact that the man had been through extreme physical circumstances (he was a Holocaust survivor) as a young man.

    In some other cases, “miracle” will simply refer to a fortunate turn of events that seemed highly unlikely. For example, we know that the Assyrians attempted to conquer Judea and laid siege to Jerusalem, but didn’t actually conquer the city. Most people would have assumed that the Assyrians would have succeeded, but it is possible that the Judeans were saved due to a foreign policy twist (maybe they were preoccupied with the upstart Babylonians?) or rodents carrying hantavirus (theory of Josephus based on similar tale from Herodatus IIRC).

    • Jim Jones

      > a man who had ceased breathing

      Shallow breathing from the diaphragm?

      • Cynthia

        All I know is that it was reported to me that the ICU doctor observed that breathing had stopped, but she could not pronounce him dead because there was still a heartbeat, which continued for at least an hour. A few months later, I met the ICU doctor and she confirmed that she found this to be shockingly unusual. I suppose it is possible that there was breathing that was so shallow that it wasn’t detected, but if so, the hospital personnel all missed it.

        I’ve seen some literature that suggests that Holocaust survivors actually have higher longevity than average. It’s possible that if someone survived such extreme conditions, they either had unusually strong genetic capacity in some areas, or that their body adapted to extreme deprivation in some way.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Fasting is proving to be beneficial health wise. I’ve just started Dr Michael Moseley’s 5:2 diet and I thought I’d but the book and read up on the research. Some startling things are being claimed. Apparently there is a lot of cell regeneration when we fast…it appears to be an evolutionary benefit. We are not meant to be gorgers. I’m a week in, I’ll see how it goes.

        • Cynthia

          I know I need to lose some weight, but can’t imagine sticking voluntarily to twice a week fasting. Whenever I am in a rush and don’t get around to eating until around 2 or 3 p.m., I’m so hungry that I can’t think about anything but eating and will eat a crazy amount of junk. Is that sort of thing sustainable?

          I did read about one religious leader who was known to follow a 5:2 regime personally (he didn’t suggest it to his followers), and he was fairly strong until around 90, so maybe there is something to it – but it seems most people would find it hard to follow without stopping and then bingeing.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I know I need to lose some weight, but can’t imagine sticking voluntarily to twice a week fasting.

          The fasting day is not completely void of food. Women can eat 500 calories and men 600 calories. Because I’m doing it with my partner, I’m sticking to 500 calories for convenience. There are some very tasty recipes for daily intake…breakfast and evening meal, but some folk just go with all 500 calories in a oner.

          Whenever I am in a rush and don’t get around to eating until around 2 or 3 p.m., I’m so hungry that I can’t think about anything but eating and will eat a crazy amount of junk. Is that sort of thing sustainable?

          A problem that it seems many struggle with and with which the book addresses.

          The book says ya might struggle on the first day…I didn’t…it’s really not that hard. Especially when keeping the thought that tomorrow ya can eat as normal…and guess what? You’d think that being able to hammer it when ya can, ya would, not the case at all. And research has borne out that fact.

          My problem is that I enjoy drinking alcohol, but even that hasn’t been a problem and taking a day off a couple of times a week won’t do me any harm.

          Anyway, it’s early days…but the testimonials I’ve read claim the diet is well sustainable…something that other diets fail at and I know that from experience.

          – but it seems most people would find it hard to follow without stopping and then bingeing.

          The beauty of it is, you can do that five days of the week.

          On fasting days a breakfast of around 175 calories (I don’t take breakfast, just a cup of coffee 20 calories) and a main meal of around 325 calories, isn’t that hard…knowing it is just for today.

          But anyway, the research cited says differently about going overboard on non-fasting days. The testimonials by those on the diet long term cited say different. And a week into it, I can tell you, the two days fasting weren’t a big deal, and I’ve no desire to go buck mad on my days off.

          Yesterday was my fasting day, I had a cup of coffee at breakfast time (20 calories), a tortilla pizza comprising of a tortilla base, passata, mozzarella, mushrooms, red onion, peppers, courgette (zucchini), and fresh basil for my evening meal. The whole thing came in at 256 calories. I had an apple around 10 o’clock last night. The hard part yesterday was in going out to the pub to watch the football (soccer) and drinking only water, so I took the car which meant I couldn’t drink beer even if the temptation had arose. All I’ve had this morning is my cup of coffee, it’s 11:30 a.m….and I’m not a bit hungry.

          If you are interested and want to have a wee perusal for yourself…



        • Cynthia

          Food for thought, so to speak.

          Makes me slightly less worried about Girl 1. She was misdiagnosed with anorexia last year, and then we discovered she had IBS with gluten intolerance (no, she is NOT following a fad diet, she is trying to avoid stuff that triggers 24 hours of painful diarrhea). The stuff that she does eat is all super-healthy but as a mom I’d feel better if she had a higher BMI.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Ya seem to have a lot on yer plate to deal with.

        • Sample1

          I seem to remember @disqus_xYWVllyPLU:disqus once getting in deep with Catholics and gluten communion bread. Maybe she can remember some funny if not problematic details. Good thing your kid isn’t Catholic, she’d have no recourse but her own Magisterial-disobeying-conscience to avoid Jeebus from literally being a pain the in ass. You know, the same disobeying that has resulted in small Catholic families generally.

          It’s the little things like that and others, waved off by supposed learned men and women from within a supposed heaven on earth forshadowing, that makes me do a double take on just who was that person who once fell for snake oil?

          It was me. Was being the operative word.


        • Sample1

          The hard part yesterday was in going out to the pub to watch the football (soccer) and drinking only water, so I took the car which meant I couldn’t drink beer even if the temptation had arose.

          That is what will create success imo. For 99%* of my life I’ve been 80kg. I’m tall so that’s fine. But a few years ago I think I went up to almost 100kg. At first a few extra kilos was fine as I was working out, bulking. But then it went too far. It was difficult to lose the extra and took about a year as I was kind of casual about it. But what helped me was recognizing, one day, that after work on the way home I had a habit of getting something light to eat.

          I began to take a different route home. Habits are, by definition, difficult to avoid!

          Taking your car to the pub is exactly the right way to create new habits. Habits are not evil, it just depends on what they are. Pretty soon your habit will feel natural (maybe?) and going by car will be second nature producing results you want.

          Keep up the good work.

          *adulthood obviously. Ha.

        • Ignorant Amos

          I stepped on the scale on Monday and weighed in at 200lb exactly. I had got myself down to 12st by calorie counting, but it isn’t sustainable. I’m 5′ 6″ so not a tall person at all. I’ve been impressed in what I’ve read about this 5:2 fasting diet…there seems to be scientific research to support the health benefits on top of weight loss, the loss being my primary goal. The sustainability once the weight loss has been gained is also a big plus…yo-yo-ing is a pain in the backside. It’s early days.

          Fortunately the car will only be going to the pub with me on fasting days…unfortunately Wednesday is the most popular day for weekday matches and that’s one of my two fast days…still…it’s all about the willpower and as I’ve said, a bit less alcohol intake will do me no harm.

          Getting up off my arse and doing a bit more exercise maself wouldn’t go a miss either.

        • Sample1

          So many societal developments work against maintaining fitness. Our jobs, our food options, our states of mind.

          When I try to explain to someone in their forties that having never ice skated in their youth means they will almost surely never be as good a skater as they might have been, it’s hard for some to accept. Skating very well is like breathing. Pro hockey players or any decent skater is never thinking about skating, just like they aren’t thinking about breathing. Goes with most sports.

          But general fitness is attainable in any age. I don’t know if it ever becomes a state of ease like breathing but doing physical activities that can become as easy as breathing will have the byproduct of general fitness. It’s a loophole to exploit.

          I like to fast from time to time but it seems like it just happens naturally. I’ll just notice, if asked what I had to eat, that I might not have eaten anything all day. My weight is always the same.

          Reminds me of a Bob Dylan lyric, “I eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m dry.” But that’s pretty simplistic. Obviously a lot goes into to why people are their weights and each has their own challenges. Even dogs are similar. Some can free feed, having kibble always in the bowl and they self regulate while others chow down until there is no tomorrow and need timed feedings. Wonder if something is going on there that is related to human weight regulation.

          Here’s to good habits becoming second nature to you. Good to see ya around. I’m tempted to ask he who shall not be named how he squares slavery instructions with an Omni max god. But…all evidence to date seems to indicate it won’t go well, I won’t learn anything and somehow he will achieve a bizarro-world goal of some sort.


        • Ignorant Amos

          Here’s to good habits becoming second nature to you.

          Cheers Mike.

          Good to see ya around.

          You too chum, you too.

          I’m tempted to ask he who shall not be named how he squares slavery instructions with an Omni max god. But…all evidence to date seems to indicate it won’t go well, I won’t learn anything and somehow he will achieve a bizarro-world goal of some sort.

          If that particular he who shall not be named is one Luke Breuer, he got the banhammer here quite a while ago.

        • Sample1

          That’s him. On SN he’s been back and forthing with a Catholic, engaging the Catholic tenaciously as only he can do. It’s the first time I’ve seen him go after his own tribe, well, someone from a related tribe. LB seems to be a tribe of one. At any rate, the enemy of my enemy is my friend comes to mind but enemy of my enemy is my enemy rings truer Breuer.

          He was able to move from creationism to evolution which is huge. Makes me think if he comes upon the right argument, theism to atheism is possible. I was thinking the slavery stuff might nudge him. But…you know why I hesitate.

          Edit done

        • Ignorant Amos

          Iirc…the slavery stuff was done here before the hammer fell on him. The usual apologetics were trotted out.

          I think you are right though…he did seem to have the nous to be able to shed his religious mindwankery if the right combination of buttons got pressed.

        • TheNuszAbides

          I reckon his resistance is similar to that of Wilcox: not having found a reassuring base of otherwise-like-minded non-believers.

          And there’s always the spousal influence factor to consider.

        • epeeist

          Reminds me of a Bob Dylan lyric, “I eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m dry.”

          Bob Dylan has a habit of using material from elsewhere

        • epeeist

          And of course Dylan not only uses words from elsewhere:


        • Sample1

          Damn, that is truly a gorgeous song. I know, I know, the line between inspiration and thieving in music is a fine one or a thick one if you like. I came to Dylan only in the late 90s with Time Out Of Mind. A still enjoyable album, imho.

          We play music on low at work and this guy might have to be introduced to everyone. Thanks for it.


        • epeeist

          Damn, that is truly a gorgeous song.

          Written by Dominic Behan, brother to Brendan. Didn’t know either of these two but my father knew the third brother, Brian, quite well.

          I came to Dylan only in the late 90s with Time Out Of Mind.

          I was at this concert, though I should add I was still at school at the time.

        • TheNuszAbides

          And supposedly picked his performing surname in honor of Dylan Thomas, the greatest Welsh poet I’ve ever heard of.

          But seriously, ‘How Shall My Animal’ is one of my all-time, all-poet favorites.

        • Pofarmer

          Since we’re way, way OT lol. I’ve been doing KETO snnce July 9th. Lost 40 lbs since That time. Went from 256 down to 216. I’m six foot and decent build so that isn’t so bad. I kind of went off from Thanksgiving to Christmas and started it back up. It’s becoming apparent that if I want to lose much more I’m going to really have to cut calories. Not sure if I’m willing to do it because I’m simply not sure it will be sustainable long term.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Fucking hell…that’s outstanding. Many years ago I had a crack at the Atkins Diet wherein a state of ketosis has to be attained, then maintained. Eat as much protein as ya like, sounded just the ticket for a carnivore such as I am…fuck was wrong. Started out well enough, but no way could that one be sustainable.

          Not sure if I’m willing to do it because I’m simply not sure it will be sustainable long term.

          That seems to be the beauty of the 5:2 way of doing it, maintaining the achieved diet is sustainable.

          Dr Mosley has been at his target weight for quite a few years now. He is on 6:1 fasting, but whenever he has a blowout, such as Christmas holidays….Brits go at it for a week and two days at least….or on vacation…he reverts to the 5:2 until back to target.

          The 600 calories a day on fasting days isn’t difficult, as I imagined it was going to be. And even though the other days off have no restriction, I’ve found no impulse to eat anymore than normal, as a matter of fact, my appetite has lessened. We’ll just have to see how it goes moving forward.

          Anyway, well done you on your achievement so far…hope ya keep it off.

        • Greg G.

          Now, you have me considering a diet. I was 224 pounds when I met my wife to be, exactly double her weight, and that was 14 years ago. I’m about 6’1″. I went up to about 230 when I took a desk job but cutting out carbonated sugar drinks took be back down. I did put on a couple of pounds following a colonoscopy and a cholesterol blood screening on consecutive days so I fasted for three days except for one meal.

        • Ignorant Amos

          Being a short arse doesn’t help hide excess weight at all…especially when most of it is around my midriff in the form of a beer belly.

        • Greg G.

          A beer belly is a trophy.

        • TheNuszAbides

          outertubes occasionally have practical value.

        • Lisa Cybergirl

          Did he get better after that, or did he die after an hour had passed?

        • Cynthia

          Still died. The extra hour did allow some relatives to arrive, so the family was grateful.

        • Sample1

          If he was in the ICU, he should have had a pulse oximeter attached. If his O2 saturation was within normal limits (100% if on continuous O2) or 90-100 on room air that’s still commensurate with an ability to live. If it’s below 80% protractedly, problems are going to happen with death on the menu as CO2 will be rising.

          These miracle stories often leave out important details. Was he on 02? Was he on room air only? Those metrics must be involved if any claim of “not breathing” is going to be investigated. No breathing means 02 sats are going to plummet. If the sats are decreasing slowly, it’s not illogical to say breathing was occurring, just poor breathing. He wasn’t on a respirator so this is pretty easy to understand.

          Now, if his 02 saturation was 0% for that hour and he wasn’t in ice water and the machinery wasn’t malfunctioning then you’d raise my eyebrows!

          I’ve seen all sorts of patients with vitals seemingly incommensurate with life. 111F core body temperatures*, hearts in all states of death producing rhythms or no rhythms, H&Hs so low one is afraid to take another vial of blood, low electrolytes that kill others. Blood alcohol levels in the 500-700s! only to have a patient walk out of the hospital in 12hrs to drink again.

          The human body is a tough machine except when it isn’t. So called miracles seem mundane by comparison.

          *that guy died. Ate a pound of meth.

  • Are the organizers aware of the sexual harassment allegations against Michael Shermer? More here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/markoppenheimer/will-misogyny-bring-down-the-atheist-movement

    There was controversy around his speaking invitation to Santa Barbarba City College. He threatened to sue faculty and staff who brought up the allegations:

    • hrurahaalm

      The “Christian” organizers could have sought out an atheist with personal flaws they could bring up at need. Or they may just be Roger Ailes fans.

  • Pofarmer

    OT. But I know that many or most of us have been targeted with the “Atheist killed Millions” meme.

    I’m sure all of us have seen the “Atheists killed millions” memes, or have been a target of them.

    “European settlers killed 56 million indigenous people over about 100 years in South, Central and North America, causing large swaths of farmland to be abandoned and reforested, researchers at University College London, or UCL, estimate.“

    • Kevin K

      I’ve seen estimates approaching double that.

      • TheNuszAbides

        I got my worst-case-history from Ward Churchill’s A Little Matter of Genocide – the first book I ever read with exhaustive references, but I no longer have nor can find a copy (to actually check his sources, which I never did while reading that). I’d previously been reading similarly-themed material by Vine Deloria Jr., particularly God Is Red, in which he used Velikovsky to make a point or two …

  • Jim Jones

    > Dr. Sean George is an Australian doctor whose heart stopped for an hour but was eventually revived with no brain damage.

    Whereas when Trump’s heart stopped . . . .