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Monday, November 24, 2008

No more moral high ground

A new study shows that religious beliefs are actually BAD for society. Heres a little teaser in case you don't want to read the article:

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

“The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”

Cool, but this is the best part;):

"The non-religious, proevolution democracies contradict the dictum that a society cannot enjoy good conditions unless most citizens ardently believe in a moral creator.

“The widely held fear that a Godless citizenry must experience societal disaster is therefore refuted.”

So I guess we don't need morals from on high to succeed.

Anyways here's a shot I did of Duecalion for Dean Koontz's website. I'm told it's going to be animated:)

The first 5 issue will be available in hardback on February 3rd.




Anonymous said...

Yeah that is pretty sad. I think by now everyone has seen how this study from Gregory Paul has been revealed to be less than acceptable by the scientific community. Staticians have pretty much eviscerated every conclusion Paul makes.

What is really sad is I like Paul. I love his dinosaur work and I think he is the most influential Paleo artist alive.

It is really disappointing to see him flounder about in a field he has no expertise in like the social sciences.

His hatred of Christianity has seemed to have blinded him and distracted him from doing more serious dinosaur work.

I think when Paul's study came out in 2005 Brett and I discussed it a bit. It seems that it is getting quoted again by a newspaper in Britian which didn't do their research on th fraudulent claims the study tries to support.

Some people hate God and those who believe in Him. They will accept almost any piece of tripe that gets published as long as it is casts Christians in a bad light. This hatred of God is consistant with what the Bible says about human nature, so it is not surprising; but it is still disappointing when it negatively affects someone whose work I admire.


Brett said...

LOL! Steve you need to STOP just reading the Christian sites! I can't take them seriously when it comes to anything scientific. They've shown their ignorance WAY to much when it come to science. I post half this stuff just to see you tow the line for your religious leaders, you just can't say no to it;)

You have to remember that statistics can be skewed or reinterpreted in different ways. I can't remember the Joke but it's something like 75%of statistics can be made to say what you want 90% of the time. And from what I've read some might have some problems with the study but it's more like the usual scientific bickering than anything else. But once again the Christians make personal attacks on him because he doesn't have a fancy Doctorate. I find it funny since most of the ID people don't have degrees in Biology or even in a related field, Paul studied with Dr. Bakker, he predicted the feathered dinosaurs based on the evidence, he published several book on population and social sciences. He's a smart guy, I don't see any problem if the science turns out to be true.

But I do agree with the findings, even if the science MIGHT be a bit flawed. But of course you pull out the old persecution complex. It's not persecution if your religion is the one in charge! It's persecution if your a minority... so basically YOU are persecuting US.

You honestly think the US is the pinnacle of the Democratic world? I will say we have the best Free speech laws, but all the crap about murder, rape and abortions is true. The US is a mostly religious nation and we who are not religious see the way that's holding us back from actual becoming better. The religious refuse to see this as they refuse to see anything that disagrees with their faith. We don't hate their god, he doesn't exist, so why waste our time on something that's made up? We dislike their ignorance and willingness to waste not only their life on this stuff but try to force others to waste their lives as well.

You will of course see it differently.



Anonymous said...

Gregory S. Paul's article has been refuted by professional statiticians, but because they are Christians they are automatically suspect?

The Journal of Religion and Society which originally posted Greg's article also posted a counter article totally refuting Greg's methodology. (

I would hope you might consider their rebuttal.

Truth is truth, the source does not make something any more or less true.


Brett said...

I'm happy they posted another statisical annysis. And if they are devote Chrisistians it does make a difference, their religion taints their findings all the time. IF they are more moderate it might not be so bad.

But as I said, to me it does bare out. We are the more religious country but behind parts of Europe in equal rights, homicide rates and many other rates. The fact that a lot of these things are things the religious vote against tells me that yes the religious are bring the country down to a certain extent. Just like the extreme liberals are also trying to do (I;m talking to you AR people, who esentually see animal rights as a religion.)

And yes the truth is truth, but statistics can be manipulated, thus my joke, I think the facts speak fro themselves EXCLUDING this study.

We don't really care what you want to waste your life on just stop forcing your views on others and bringing the country down with you.


Anonymous said...

Well Brett I'm glad for you it does bare out. The problem is the facts don't support the conclusion.

But I think you see for yourself that isn't a problem; your personal feelings support a negative view of religion so you will accept anything that supports your view. That isn't scientific, but I think that is closer to how we humans tend to work. We aren't Vulcans no matter how we try to paint ourselves as following logic wherever it leads. I'm the same way, I love when the numbers support my views, but I also know scientists tend to manipulate the facts to support their preconcieved notions, so if the numbers go against my beliefs I have to take the findings with a grain of salt.

I get frustrated with science when they act like they are Vulcans and their is no other interpetation of non empirical facts or they elevate an unproven theory to the same level as a proven theory. They hide behind words and act like they are impartial.

If nothing else this study proves scientists are not impartial and they project their personal beliefs on their findings and they are not immune from maniulating data to support a preconcieved belief.

This is probably the basis of much of our disagreements over science. I tend to take a step back and look at the data and say this data does not mandate only one conclusion-that doesn't mean I allow for any and all conclusions, but I don't like stating something as an uneuquivical fact when there is some wiggle room.

Anyways Happy Thanksgiving! I'm off to the parents place for some Turkey and gluten free stuffing.


Brett said...


You seem to think I'm not able to put my personal feeling s aside and base a decision only on facts? The Scandinavian countries are WAY ahead of us on equal rights, on has had legal gay marriage since the 80's (In fact a study shows that gay marriage make regular marriage stronger.) They are also mostly non religious there. You can't honestly say the US isn't the worst of the developed nations when it comes to crime and unwanted pregnancies. Preaching abstinace has been show over and over again to not work. And who wants that taught? Oh yeah, the religious right. You think they are doing good work when science has show that not to be true. So who's really letting their biases make their decisions.

Years ago I supported the multi regional theory of human evolution. Basically homo erectus went out and all the human races evolved from them. I really liked this idea. The fossils showed it to be possible. But then the DNA evidence came in and basically said nope, humans evolved in Africa and THEN spread around the world. Even thought I was emotionally attached to the multi regional theory the DNA refuted it and so I accepted the new out of Africa theory. It happened just recently with my dog breeds, turn out that the Azawakh and Slougi that we have are not really related to the Afghans and Saluki. It was quite a shock but a great example of convergent evolution.

Scientists are only 'Vulcans' when it come to the science, you have to be to actually be unbiased. They save all the emotional stuff for home or arguing their point to other scientists. Perhaps that's the difference between the religious and non religious, one group can put aside their emotions and the other embraced them when making decisions. And please don't get into evolution, it IS a proven theory, why do you think they are so passionate in defending it?

Facts don't allow for 'wiggle' room, that's why they are facts. If it's not a fact scientists say we think, it's a guess but a highly educated one.


BorderWars said...

I always have a fun time debating this issue with people.

My favorite point is this: if you and I believe in the same moral code, and I do so without believing in God or in punishment or reward, no heaven or hell as an incentive, aren't I actually the more moral person?

And if I base my morality on imperfect humans instead of perfect gods, isn't my foundation better placed to deal with new moral questions that weren't even asked when the supposed words of the perfect god were written?

The various churches spend a lot of their political capital trying to figure out how new challenges are supposed to fit into the "rules" already set down, since the perfect god obviously wasn't perfect enough to give us a lot of advance warning on new challenges.

So we have to interpret and reinterpret the holy texts endlessly. But if we have a moral system that is developed based upon earthly and temporal facts, then of course we spend a lot of time refining, but we don't have to pretend to know the mind of god, we just have to know the minds of man.

Anyway, great post.

Brett said...

Hi Christopher,

I completely agree with you. In fact if you look at the morality meter post and see the sins/punishments mentioned, it proves that morals are human in origin and they change over time. But the religious somehow shove god in there somewhere, I believe Steve says we have to have a 'higher moral authority' than ourselves but I've never understood why that would make any difference. And as you said, who would be better at figuring out new moral problems then the ones facing them as opposed to a deity who hasn't said anything to us in 2000 years.

I really only debate this stuff with Steve now. We've been going at for 11 years. I took it as a small victory when he switched from creationism to intelligent design, but that turned into a whole new can of worms;) Other than that he's a good guy;)

BTW, excellent post of the X-mas puppies.