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And people wonder why I love Dawkins!
Via good old Pharyngula...

Laugh out loud funny. The last line is the killer...

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(Deleted comment)
Indeed. Dawkins is often guilty of over-simplifying his arguments for effect.

He needs to put the spoof scientific papers alongside a 'scientific' version of the Bible (or Koran, or other religious text of your choice). Which is an interesting thought, and if I had the time...

Why bother? The creationists already cite the bible as "science".

I've seen those particular maps often in the past - in fact, I think I saw versions of them when I was a child in Grammar school, and that is nearly 50 years ago.

I seriously doubt the 'maps' were made by scientists. Probably by sociologists, or theologians, neither of which are scientists, much as they would like to believe themselves to be. I agree that there is a lot of wishful thinking about the maps, but they do have a truth - that that is what of the majority in nearly all those areas profess to believe. It is certainly what the religions involved believe...

Edited at 2010-05-10 09:17 am (UTC)

And by the way, quite of lot of people's beliefs do, indeed, depend on an accident of geography - or how do you explain why there isn't an even mix of religions throughout the world. Why the American Midwest, settled from Northern Europe, is still overwhelmingly Protestant? Why South America, settled - and forcibly converted - from Spain and Portugal, is still overwhelmingly Catholic. Why the Middle East, where the religion originated, is overwhelmingly Muslim?

No-one, and certainly not Dawkins (though possibly some religious members so, like those who insist the US is a Christian nation), is suggesting that the boundaries on the map show areas where everyonebelieves in a particular religion (though some come close.) However, most of those countries impose laws and rituals based on those beliefs on all of their citizens.

Mildly amusing but also childish and not in my opinion helpful.

In what way is it not helpful?

It sure made *me* laugh.

The issue of whether 100% of people in a given colored area believe a given thing or whether it's only 85% or 70% is irrelevant. What the picture illustrates is that what people believe about things like the Easter Bunny and fairies depends heavily on their culture. What they believe about gravity and chemistry does not, which is why it sounds so funny when you try to imagine the picture referring to theories about why the dinosaurs died out.

People can believe anything they like about things for which there is no evidence, but when they need to accommodate the evidence in your beliefs, that constrains things a lot, which I think accounts both for the convergence of opinions on most stuff that is real, and for the lack of geographic correlation of divergent opinions on real stuff.

It might, as smallship1 points out, be perfectly true that someone takes great personal comfort in believing that an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. I don't understand why that is relevant. Personal comfort doesn't make it one whit more likely that an asteroid *really* killed the dinosaurs. And science is about finding out what really happened / happens, to the very best of our ability.

"Fortunately, science doesn't work like religion. That's not how God wants it."

I'm sorry--I didn't quite catch the name. That's not how Vishnu wants it? Not how Quetzalcoatl wants it? Not how Jesus wants it? Not how Allah wants it? Not how Amaterasu wants it? Not how Kwan Yin wants it? Not how Heimdal wants it? Not how Athena wants it? Not how Nut wants it? Not how Ishtar wants it?

It's interesting that in the argument zanda_myrande and I are having on his own LJ, he puts forward what is basically an accommodationist argument, but talks about Christians and atheists/agnostics, not any other religion.

He also suggests that Christianity will get together and clean up its act - yeah, just like the current Pope, or the ex- and - current Archbishops of Canterbury, or the Fundies out in the Midwest and the TV Evangelists or the Mormons, oh yes. Believe it when I see it.

Or when the Imans in Iran and Saudi do the same thing.

Ah, that was great. Thanks for sharing.

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