Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part I

I have wanted to write in depth about Richard Dawkins for quite a while, so I’m going to try in small chunks as work is busy at the moment.

His website contains the strap line, “a clear-thinking oasis,” which cannot be allowed to go uncontested.

Professor Dawkins is someone I follow on Twitter and I just received notification of this video on how cults rewire the brain.

People like Dawkins love crazy cults and try to score points by creating a muddle in the minds of their adherents when they lump all religions together and say, look at these crazy people believing in the ‘flying spaghetti monster’ and blowing people up.

If Dawkins ever did manage to create a clear-thinking oasis, I’m sure he would be seen by most people to be the muddle-headed gentleman he is.

In the video, Diane Benscoter mentions Moonies straight off, which is received with a fair amount of laughter.

Twenty years after she left the cult she asked herself: “how did this happen to me and in fact what did happen to my brain?”

This is a sentiment I fully appreciate because I was in a cult for about thirty months: the Mormons.

Benscoter talks about the Jonestown massacre in Guyana in 1978 where a cult led by a clearly insane ‘preacher’ Jim Jones lost hundreds of people in an apparent mass suicide. There are conspiracy theories suggestive of a CIA mind-control experiment, but let’s stick to the facts.

The video switches from the pictures of dead bodies at Jonestown to pictures suggesting that a mass Moonie wedding is equivalent to a meeting of Hitler youth.

We then see the severed leg of a suicide bomber.

She is presenting mixed images of what she wants her audience to think ‘religion’ means: cruelty, death and Nazi-style organisation.

She is using techniques she accuses her adversaries of employing in the mind control of their ‘believers’. Well she should know the tricks as she was a) in the Moonies and b) a deprogrammer.

She thinks she has found the answer in a “viral memetic infection”. You’ve never heard of it? Hardly surprising as a Google search for the exact phrase produces only fourteen results.

Like so many that fall into the clutches of anti-Christian cults, I was recovering from a long painful period when the missionaries called and I was smitten with their message of the ‘true’ church. There was probably an element of chemical imbalance in my brain because I wonder now: how could I possibly have been fooled, but the Lord’s ways are sometimes mysterious and wonderful and maybe I was introduced to Mormonism for a short time in order to expose the cult as being based on the imaginations of conmen and Freemasons.

I think this lady may be part of a very influencial, multi-faceted ‘cult’ in todays world. She is convinced that a brainscan of somebody with her “viral memetic infection” would look ‘very, very different’ from someone with a normal brain, whatever that might be.

Humanist/atheist/evolutionists accuse us Creationists of not being scientific (which is false) and here we have a wild and unfounded scientific speculation based on a made-up mental condition.

It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

Then we get a big sign flashed up: “WE HAVE A PROBLEM” but it’s in our brain, ‘there’s no evil force out there to get us’ and it can be solved through research and education.

In other words, she wants her invented viral infection to be taught is the cause of religious belief and that there is no good or evil, no Heaven or Hell. In other words, her deprogramming was unsuccessful as she has become part a humanist cult where she feels the need to ‘educate’ the masses that there is something wrong with us.

She finishes by reassuring us that there is ‘no us and them’ except that the humanists who wish to ban anything religious are the new ‘them’.

So what attracted Professor Dawkins to this video in which, in a very dishonest fashion, an ex-Moonie tries to convince us, with absolutely no scientific evidence, that the brain of a ‘believer’ is very different to that of someone normal?

Why does he imagine that he offers a ‘clear-thinking oasis’ when promoting someone who confuses the issues with mixed messages and uses mind-control techniques of her own?

I will be delighted to expose Mr Dawkins some more soon.

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70 Responses to Richard Dawkins Exposed: Part I

  1. Jim Baxter says:

    You’re all determined to keep me busy, aren’t you?

    ‘mutations being neutral’

    They may not be neutral once the environment changes.

    There are plenty of ‘living fossils’ which seem to chart the development of eyes, for example, to varying degrees of complexity. And. as I keep seeing Stewart, the human brain is a very slapdash, jury-rigged affair. Just what you would expect from a succession of make-do add-ons.

  2. English Viking says:

    Jim @ 1:37 PM

    Last post for a while, I have to do some work as I have not yet perfected the evolution of my money glands.

    Concerning the ‘slap-dash’ arrangement of the brain. It would be an equally plausible theory to suggest that the brain was once far, far superior to the pale shadow we are left with now. It is entirely possible that parts of the brain have become dormant or ceased to function correctly as a result of a deterioration of man and his organs, rather than to say it is evidence of ‘add-ons’ or ‘upgrades’ over millennia.

  3. Stewart Cowan says:

    EV, Google: “genetic entropy”.

    After work!

  4. Jim Baxter says:

    English,

    ‘It would be an equally plausible theory to suggest that the brain was once far, far superior to the pale shadow we are left with now.’

    The thing is, we have brain parts that other species have – including parts that fish have – but we also have brain parts that other species don’t have. That tends to favour the add-on explanation, in my view.

    Good luck with your money glands. Speaking for myself, I wonder if I could do with some monkey gland treatment.

  5. InvalidUsername says:

    InvalidUsername,

    You’re so late, you should have brought a note from a parent!

    Indeed, where the wind blows, I browse.

    Evolution is a fact; the *theory* that natural selection can provide massively complex organs is, to my mind, naivety. It is like saying that because snow can fall and be formed into drifts by natural processes (wind) that if you see a snowman, it must have been made by natural processes too.

    Besides that being what I would consider a pretty awful analogy, I don’t think I quite understand what you mean. Can you (succinctly if possible :D ) explain what you think evolution/natural selection is and how it actually fits in with your world view? I’ve read your whole thread, and I can’t see how you marry your belief in the Genesis story and the factual accuracy of evolution, despite the logical conflict.

    It seems, with what we know now about most mutations being neutral or downhill, that the ‘Theory’ really is very unrealistic.

    Can you explain what you mean here also, how you define neutral or downhill and what basis of comparison you use to classify the mutations as above?
    I appreciate your responses and am genuinely interested in your point of view.

  6. Stewart Cowan says:

    InvalidUsername,

    I thought my analogy was fairly decent!

    Any “logical conflict” would be due to a misunderstanding of the Theory of Evolution. I guess. And what Creationists believe – well me, at least.

    Creationist view: natural selection was a necessary part of Creation so that animal life, when it was dispersed over the earth, could adapt to new habitats.

    Noah only had to have one or two species of bear (for example) on the Ark and then when the waters receded, they went forth and multiplied and the fairly quick process of speciation occurred.

    Now, the genetic mutations which enable natural selection, are often downhill. They don’t add information to the genome. They remove it, so more complex creatures cannot be made this way.

    On my to do list is to learn more about genetic entropy.

  7. InvalidUsername says:

    I see where you’re coming from re: Evolution Vs Genesis.

    Now, the genetic mutations which enable natural selection, are often downhill. They don’t add information to the genome. They remove it, so more complex creatures cannot be made this way.

    Yes, I had a feeling that that’s what you would say. That is what’s known in internet parlance as logic fail.
    The assumption you’re making (and I think discussed prior to this post) is that without additional information being added to the genome, every mutation is a backward step. The intricate nature of the interactions between genes can lead to regression of a particular trait, but that shouldn’t be considered downhill just because it fits your understanding of natural complexity, ie wings being the apex of a beetle’s evolution and the loss of them (due to necessary environmental constraints) a backward step. It betrays a heavy misunderstanding on your part of natural selection, unless you are looking to change the definition of natural selection.
    You even say above that the mutations are often downhill, accepting the case that they are not. Also, it seems as if you take the ‘toxic avenger’ understanding of the term mutation. A mutation should be characterised as a structural alteration rather than a genetic deformity, as I think you suggest it is.
    Could you correct me if I misunderstand your points?

  8. Stewart Cowan says:

    What structural alterations do you attribute to positive mutations?

    By mutations, I was referring to genetic ones.

    Dawkins was asked, “Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome.”

    He couldn’t!

  9. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘He couldn’t!’

    Love the exclamation mark. I had that Bertie Russell in the back of the cab once. So I says to im, ‘So, Bert, wossit all abaht then?’. And, do you know, he couldn’t tell me!

    Patience, is wot iss all abaht. Folks who need all the answers now are going to be disappointed by science.

  10. InvalidUsername says:

    Sorry for the late reply (again!)

    What structural alterations do you attribute to positive mutations?

    I, and other posters have given you the evidence already, but I guess you don’t want to answer, or more likely, can’t with your current understanding.

    By mutations, I was referring to genetic ones.

    So was I, however, I dispute your claim to understand the principles, and you’ve proven that clearly to me which is a shame, because I was interested in a different but perhaps equally valid interpretation.

    Dawkins was asked, “Can you give an example of a genetic mutation or an evolutionary process which can be seen to increase the information in the genome.”

    He couldn’t!

    I see there’s no point trying to discuss this seriously with you. It’s the wrong question for this reason: An increase of information is not necessary for complex changes, beneficial or otherwise.
    You really need to take this in. The question is fallacious and it is disingenuous of you to use his not answering it as a proof of your own assertions. I’ve also had a read through some of your other topics and found them to be counter to my positions on many things, and you don’t seem the type easily swayed by reasoned argument or logic. I don’t say this to offend or troll, but to offer you a perspective.
    I wish you all the best, but don’t feel continuing the discussion will be effective in enlightening either of us.

    Hugh.

  11. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘I wish you all the best, but don’t feel continuing the discussion will be effective in enlightening either of us.’

    It might enlighten some of Stewart’s readers though. You never know.

  12. Stewart Cowan says:

    InvalidUsername,

    If my views on some other topics seem illogical to you then one of us has a logic fail. Or can we both be thinking logically? Logic according to my worldview could be very different to logic acc. to yours, but we could both be logical thinkers acc. to our beliefs.

    Is this logical?!

    I have discussed many issues with believers in the Theory of Evolution. I have read Dawkins and others. The more I read and the more I ponder, the more I am convinced that the TofE is absurd.

    When you really, really, really, really think about it, it’s logical to believe it is preposterous.

  13. InvalidUsername says:

    I know I said I’d go away, but…

    Logic according to my worldview could be very different to logic acc. to yours, but we could both be logical thinkers acc. to our beliefs.

    Is this logical?!

    No it isn’t.
    Once again, you seem to have your own definitions of words, as pointed out previously with your, albeit common, misunderstanding of the word ‘theory’ in a scientific or mathematical context, here we have the term ‘logic’ applied as defining personal preference.
    It does not. Seeing as you don’t seem to possess a dictionary of your own, I give you another definition.

    The science or art of exact reasoning, or of pure and formal thought, or of the laws according to which the processes of pure thinking should be conducted.

    Your replies do not follow this, (of course, I refer to the few posts that aren’t retorts to comments made before or after the questioning of your position).
    I sincerely hope that your skewed interpretation of your native tongue has no influence on anyone outside your direct social circle.
    Don’t get me wrong, you can believe whatever you like (I would never expect you to disregard your beliefs based on my opinion), but belief, by it’s very definition, is not logical.

  14. Stewart Cowan says:

    Look at it this way:

    You don’t believe in a Creator, therefore you MUST consider other options and the only feasible one is evolution. So evolution is logical to you – it has to be. Bits that aren’t logical have been changed to make them fit in with the Theory. This is what has happened. This is why it’s a lie.

    “but belief, by it’s very definition, is not logical.”

    You cannot know what experiences someone else has had. My own mean that it would be illogical if I were to deny the Creator. Therefore, because I have a spiritual dimension, I have a different worldview and understand more, therefore evolution is not the only option and I can see the logical failings in it.

    Atheists think they understand more than anyone else because they are ‘free-thinkers’, but if they deny spiritual things then they actually understand less than the rest of the world.

  15. InvalidUsername says:

    Stewart,

    Logic isn’t about experience, as noted above, it’s a way of formalising thought, ergo, belief by its definition is not logical, although I suspect you’ll ignore this. That’s not to say that faith or belief are invalid, but logical they are not.

    As for you understanding more because of your spiritual experiences, well I’m afraid I can’t agree with that, purely based on your comments on this and other of your blogposts. On the contrary, I would suggest that there are some issues to which you have seemingly little understanding of yet make quite a fuss about your quality of judgement. This comes across as somewhat hypocritical or perhaps just ignorant to a degree.
    As always, this is just how I see it, not an attack on your person; I respect when people are steadfast in their opinions, regardless of how much I disagree. I do disagree, though.

    On the off-chance that I comment on your posts in future, I don’t think I said I was an atheist (lower case ‘a’).

  16. Jim Baxter says:

    ‘Bits that aren’t logical have been changed to make them fit in with the Theory.

    What bits are those Stewart? Please remind me.

  17. Stewart Cowan says:

    InvalidUsername,

    My turn to apologise for late reply.

    “That’s not to say that faith or belief are invalid, but logical they are not.”

    I disagree as would millions of people of faith because they have sound reasons that you probably can’t imagine.

    Is the belief in the Theory of Evolution also valid, but illogical? I think I’d go along with this. It sounds reasonable until you study it and by that I mean study the methods used 200 years ago to ‘determine’ the age of things and then everything that has been built upon that, i.e. a lie built on top of a lie until we get to the stage we are at today, when we have so much more evidence of a Designer of nature, like DNA and molecular machines, that the old Theory doesn’t stand up to.

    But many still hold onto those old beliefs, despite the evidence against, because letting go would break their world apart.

  18. Stewart Cowan says:

    ‘Bits that aren’t logical have been changed to make them fit in with the Theory.

    What bits are those Stewart? Please remind me.

    Evolutionists are so desparate to find ‘missing links’ that they will use something like ‘Lucy’ (Australopithicus afarensis) – the partial skeleton of a hominid whose bones were collected over a large area. They then turn the skeleton into a picture like this to make it look like it’s on its way to becoming human, rather than being what it was: an extinct ape.

  19. Jim Baxter says:

    Fair enough Stewart. But pictures like that are not presented as support for the theory – the skeleton is, and can be argued over, but not the picture which is merely an illustration of how the findings might, might fit the theory. A nice but crucial distinction.

    Got any more?

  20. Peter V says:

    Earth created 6000 years ago,
    Milky way galaxy 100,000 light years across.

    EITHER age of universe is was older ( eg at least 100,000 years just by looking up in the sky at night at Milky way

    OR You god is lying to you.

    Which do you choose Stewart et al

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