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Blasphemy is the Coolest Thing

I’m often asked why, if I’m such an atheist and anarchist, I don’t take all the professors of religion to task in the Paleosphere, The LowCarbSpere.

My answer is always the same: I Love Blasphemy.

Everytime they put the “God” of logical, natural selection evolution over their professed belief in a cute fairy tale, I already know I’ve won. We’ve won. Public recognition—devoid of embarrassment—may take 100 years, but Creationism is dead, and ID was its last breath. Ideas come to pass. I think you’re better off just recognizing it, not making too big-a-deal. Let nature take its course, already very speedy given social network dynamics.

People will pick at paleo forever—and it deserves it—and I actually enjoyed reading a few recent critiques yesterday (the more critiques, the better)—but it will NOT be picked at materially in its embrace of ‘logical, natural selection evolution’.

Imagine that. Imagine it as a profound moral teaching of religious people.

Hey, critique the livin’ FUCK out of paleo. Please. Hurry now.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

41 Comments

  1. steve W on October 3, 2013 at 22:25

    Another good overview here

    Paul Davies takes on all comers: Jerry Coyne, Nathan Myhrvold, Lawrence Krauss, Scott Atran, Sean Carroll, Jeremy Bernstein, PZ Myers, Lee Smolin, John Horgan and Alan Sokal.

    Sorry about my italics above.

  2. Scott Miller on October 3, 2013 at 15:52

    I know of at least one very prominent women in the paleosphere, a FB friend of mine, who recently (year ago) came around on acknowledging the truth of evolution because her belief in paleo required her to drop creationism. (In some part, because I personally pressed the issue with her, in a very nice way.)

    Belief in paleo requires belief in evolution, and forces people who have otherwise swallowed the creation myth to either accept evolution, or else paleo has no basis.

    BTW, I just read Going Clear, the story of L Ron Hubbard and his ingenious creation of the cult of Scientology. Extremely well researched and riveting. Highly recommended. It really shows how religions and cults can be created from the ground up, and how best to game things to reel in followers and hook them hard.

  3. CrispyBacon on October 3, 2013 at 17:08

    Creationism is dead but the Bibles account of creation is not.
    Believing in a “paleo” style diet as being preferred does not require believing in cavemen
    “Yes men” are lame.
    I enjoy the site and ideas, does not mean I agree or want to fight about it.

  4. TravellingBeard on October 3, 2013 at 20:42

    “Never let your morals get in the way of doing what is right.” -Isaac Asimov

    I have a few pearls of wisdom in life I follow, to help me keep things simple, but I keep finding myself coming back to this one, over and over again. It cuts through the bs better than any apologetics for any belief system could ever hope to defend.

  5. steve W on October 3, 2013 at 22:03

    Richard, the church-folk you grew up with must have been, simply put, hicks. I know a great many well-educated Christians here in the Bay Area (and via business, many other cities) that have no problem reconciling their religious beliefs with evolution via natural selection.

    Same thing with the science vs. religion canard/category error you just can’t get enough of. There are many scientists both past and present which have had no problem advancing science while simultaneously holding well considered theistic beliefs.

    You materialist/science-fetishists like to pick fights with hicks. Not so much the the Francis Collins/Alvin Plantingas of the world.

    Hell, William Lane Craig made Sam Harris look the fool. John Lennox (mathematician and philosopher of science at Oxford- what a dunce, huh?) bloodied Dawkins in debate. Christopher Hitchens (whom I loved) was just embarrassing in a debate with a no-name Christian named Douglas Wilson.

    Nagel’s latest is interesting, no? Mind and Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False

    The origins of life and consciousness may not be accessible to the scientific method. Alva Noë is a clear writer on this subject.

    Even lowly writers in blog form beat you science-fetish types all day, every day. I’m sure you’ve heard of Theodore Beale, Edward Feser, John C. Wright. Hey Richard (tough guy), head on over to one of these blogs and give it your best shot.

    Or just keep spreading the herring and stabbing the straw…

  6. JP on October 4, 2013 at 05:56

    SteveW is correct. Any theist with a strong historical/philosophical background will tell you that the Dawkins/Harris/Hitchens of this generation are lightweights. Someone like Nietzsche would have been a much tougher debating foe.

  7. Kenny on October 4, 2013 at 05:58

    Yeah, had to drop by and say belief in evolution is not mutually exclusive with belief in God. Glad to see others beat me to it.

  8. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 07:02

    JP

    Thanks for the “no true Scottsman” fallacy.

  9. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 07:04

    “belief in evolution is not mutually exclusive with belief in God.”

    Of course not. Cognitive dissonance is a very real thing.

  10. John on October 4, 2013 at 07:24

    I remember the first time I ran into the creation defense to paleo; it never occurred to me that someone could raise that until it was raised to me. I was so into the “humans didn’t evolve eating x, 10,000 years of grains, etc” quotes that when this guy goes “yeah, that doesn’t make sense, though, I don’t believe in evolution” I was caught completely offguard.

  11. Woodchuck Pirate on October 4, 2013 at 08:42

    1) It is irrational to seek the conversion of others.
    2) Unc0nscious behavior will never be stopped by attacking it.
    3) Unconscious behavior has serious consequences in the real world.
    4) Ego is always dysfunctional.
    5) Egos collect; collective ego manifests collective force against individuals.
    6) Ego (story) is not real, therefore ego can not coexist with truth.
    7) Truth is infinite.
    8) Truth is existence.
    9) True self arises as ego dies.

    Amebix – No Gods, No Masters (from Who’s the Enemy 7″)

    Your god is your chains
    Reject your god reject your system
    Do you really want your freedom

    Amebix – Knights Of The Black Sun

    Desperation took us down
    Uneasy lies, the head
    That wears the crown
    You can’t see it

    I saw the mourners passing by
    These wicked men
    Beneath the sulfurous skies
    Oh what can it mean?

    Every bell is silent here
    The hands of clocks are bound
    And time itself has stopped
    Can you feel it?

    The birds are frozen in their flight
    Trapped within the thunder light

    A storm is rising
    A voice within the winter halls
    Some great secret from these careless lips will fall

    A star on our horizon
    See you gods forgotten son
    Lies broken and alone
    Searching for a father,he has never known….

    From Dresden’s blazing skies
    To the bloody wash of dawn
    I saw the beast arise
    And climb upon the throne

    And fallen angels weep
    And long for peace, for home
    Whilst far beneath the ice they sleep
    These dark knights of the black sun

    And on the stormlashed mountain high
    I found the hidden book
    On the altar of the wretched prince of lies

    And I broke apart the graven seal
    And these seven words I read
    Rejoice, the great god Fear is dead

    So from the rooftops call it out
    You were always free
    Yes from the rooftops call it out
    And ever may you be

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA
    The answer is found only at the individual level. May we live in interesting times.

  12. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 09:23

    I disagree that ego is always dysfunctional. Such an idea is merely a rehashed version of just about everything that seeks to make humans all equal, like ants & bees.

    To say ego is always dysfunctional is like saying conscience itself is always dysfunctional which steals the concept because it requires conscience to make an argument in they hypothetical.

    The point is, ego, just like actual behavior, can always be negotiated with fellow humans. That’s no guarantee of a good outcome, a “win-win” but I’ll take my chances.

    Learn to be a competent value negotiator and stop always trying to bargain collectively.

  13. ChocoTaco369 on October 4, 2013 at 09:25

    It seems to me that if God exists, he would be smart enough to create a mechanism in which life could progress on its own. There is no rule that says each individual species has to be created individually. That is an asinine conclusion, actually. An efficient God would only create once and allow nature to have a sort of “avalanche” effect.

    Creationism, evolution and paleo can easily coexist.

  14. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 09:33

    In that context it’s hypothetically possible, but mere wild ass speculation fed by creation myths that have zero rational or scientific basis. It’s not a testable hypothesis and therefore, not science. Science is limited to the natural realm or, as I like to call it, the only realm. Postulating hypothetical other realms is just masturbation, easy to do.

    So bravo. A way towards “reconciliation.” Creationism, evolution and Paleo can co-exists. Wonderful.

    So do African cats and ruminants.

  15. Joshua on October 4, 2013 at 10:43

    Monotheists baffle me. Their god is either incompetent, powerless, malicious, or some combination thereof. If it does exist, that entity can not be anything like what their holy book describes.

  16. BigRob on October 4, 2013 at 11:04

    Science is limited by the “natural world”, and hence can only measure the measurable. That certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t anything outside of the “natural world”.

    The problem is we keep discovering more and more of the “natural world.”

    Was it just postulating when philosophers came up with hypothesis that turned out to be correct? Electrons, protons, atoms, molecules were all hypothetical postulating at one point or another.

  17. ChocoTaco369 on October 4, 2013 at 11:07

    Most “science” isn’t science. I invite you to check out most health-related “studies” on PubMed with confounding factors thrown in to create a specific outcome. “Science” is dead and has been for decades.

    Richard, I don’t think you see the hypocrisy in your own statements. You “Evolution” and “creationism” have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Blind faith in anything is stupid – there are truths and lies in religion, there are truths and lies in science. If you want to find out the mystery of life by reading a textbook, you’ll be no closer than if you read the Bible. It may be even further from the truth. If you want to see a wild work of fiction, read about The Big Bang Theory.

    Read Joshua’s statement above me. I can only assume I am being labeled a “monotheist.” Neither of you have any idea what I believe, but I can promise you it’s equally as fictional as what the both of you believe. People at heart want reassurance, and you seem just as insecure as everyone else. Everyone has their heads up their own ass. It’s the human condition.

  18. Woodchuck Pirate on October 4, 2013 at 11:42

    Faith in science is not science. Conscience is not consciousness. Ego is the diametric opposition of consciousness. In the realm of infinite truth, ego is always dysfunctional. Otherwise perfection would be the defining characteristic of mankind.

    Ego is a biological mechanism inherent to the human life-form (emphasis on “form”). Ego-misidentification is the root of dysfunctional behavior whereby an individual maintains a personal relationship with a story they’ve built in their head about who they are. In contrast, consciousness always begets recognition of interconnectedness, whereby a conscious individual can not initiate force against individuals, as to do so would clearly be an attack upon themself. Altruism requires ego-misidentification. What religion is not based upon altruism? Ego is always dysfunctional because ego is “story” and is not real. The human life”form” is never devoid of ego per it’s biological origin. It is likely that every individual can remember when someone pulled them aside as a child, and explained to them that it is no longer acceptable to simply “be”, but rather now they must be some”thing”. The dysfunction of ego (story) they chose, and/or were taught, builds barricade upon barricade, to manifest an illusion of separateness.

    Even the word “I” is an artform and not a direct substitute for truth. The two words aligned “I am”, may be the nearest-perfect artform mankind can create. Surely any words following “I am” deviates further from infinite truth. But then art has a way of identifying common ground no matter the perforations by ego.

    Amebix – “The One”

    Before the Earth was born we travelled from the stars
    We fell like comets from the universal mind
    We fused the elements within the rising sun

    We are the north, the south, the east, the west, the one!

    All sense of separation, this is your illusion
    All sense of segregation, just leading to confusion

    We watched the mighty fall and Empires turned to dust
    The cities crumbling into the raging Sea
    We entered into life that took the human form

    We are the air, the water, the earth, the fire!

    All sense of separation, this is your illusion
    All sense of segregation, just leading to confusion
    All sense of separation, this is your illusion

    All sense of separation, this is your illusion
    All sense of segregation, just leading to confusion
    All sense of separation, this is your illusion

    We are the one

    Spoken: Oh man look upon your Works and despair
    The fundamental essence ever was the same
    Born of our mother moon, our father sun above us all days
    These principles ever were the same, we are in everything and all is part of you
    As it is above, so it is below
    Open up your eyes, stand at the center of the earth and look around you
    The north, the east, the south, the west
    The water, the air, the earth, the fire!

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA
    http://www.woodchuckpirate.com

  19. tatertot on October 4, 2013 at 12:05

    I gotta jump in…I fell for the whole ‘Creationism’ thing for a few months a few years back. The trouble is, it’s so full of holes that it can’t be true.

    What lead me there were the holes in evolution and and theories on geological formations. I just can’t believe we are who we are and the world is as it is because of how ‘they’ say it is. When I see certain geological features that supposedly took billions of years to form, but they obviously look like they were formed in a very short time, it leads me to question the real age of things, however 4,000 years old isn’t the right answer, either.

    My mind has reconciled all this by choosing choice C. Something Else. I spend very little time wondering about it, zero time debating it, and nearly every waking moment marveling at it.

  20. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 12:40

    “Monotheists baffle me.”

    Ha, that’s pithy and profound. It’s really the rub, when you think of it. It’s monotheism. Get rid of that, and you’re left with the Greeks’ really cool conception: “internally consistent gods—omnitheism—a “god” that covers everything—in constant struggle with one-another over human values.

    Fucking brilliant, and it was way more than enough. It’s been all downhill ever since.

  21. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 12:46

    “Science is limited by the “natural world”, and hence can only measure the measurable. That certainly doesn’t mean there isn’t anything outside of the “natural world”.”

    Nice misquote, BigRob. I actually wrote “natural realm.”

    Now, I’ll leave it to readers to sort out the possible difference, and how that might have weighed in on BR’s decision to do that.

  22. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 12:54

    “Most “science” isn’t science. I invite you to check out most health-related “studies” on PubMed with confounding factors thrown in to create a specific outcome. “Science” is dead and has been for decades.”

    Jeeze, this is the second time in one day where the No True Scotsman logical fallacy raised its very ugly head.

    Nothing is perfect. Not even science or so-called pure science. Accordingly, it’s imperfect science, just as most everything is an imperfect representation of its potentially ideal self. That’s no cause to go around trying to rename every ideal that doesn’t measure up to fallible humans.

  23. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 13:15

    “In the realm of infinite truth, ego is always dysfunctional. Otherwise perfection would be the defining characteristic of mankind.”

    Super clever evasion. Hat’s off, et cetera.

    Being honest, I prefer “imperfect” in that context to dysfunctional in regards to mankind who, incidentally, was never defined as dysfunctional (that would have really made God look fucking stupid) but was always imperfect by design in the mythology.

    But I’ve already mentioned the logical fallacy of Original Sin too many times in 10 years of blogging.

  24. Joshua on October 4, 2013 at 13:44

    Choco: “Neither of you have any idea what I believe, but I can promise you it’s equally as fictional as what the both of you believe.”

    That’s the thing Choco. I don’t believe in anything.

    BTW, I wasn’t labeling you, or responding directly to you before. Just making a general statement. I actually agree with your if/then statement.

  25. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 13:58

    “Choco: “Neither of you have any idea what I believe, but I can promise you it’s equally as fictional as what the both of you believe.”

    That’s the thing Choco. I don’t believe in anything.”

    Well, it seemed overwrought in a previous comment, but now perhaps, appropriate.

    Existence exists. Yep, a tautology. I believe in a tautology (that’s redundant, BTW) and as as soon as I recognized that in about 1992, I also realized that such was likely the most I could ever assert about existence authoritatively–a self evident tautological fact.

    And I was satisfied and at peace about it. 20+ years and counting,

  26. BigRob on October 4, 2013 at 13:59

    @Richard

    Realm vs. World.

    All depends on the context you’re speaking to. Science deals in what you can see, touch, measure, etc..

    So which is it? The Natural Realm in the sense of field, domain, sphere or province?

    Or are you talking about an abstract state, domain, collective body?

    Yawn….

    Keep keeping it interesting though.

  27. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 14:10

    “Realm vs. World.”

    Clever again, using the vs, vs., ‘and’ or, ‘or’

    Thanks. Acknowledged.

    “Abstract….”

    I deny you the premise, where only those who lose identity, ego, real sense of self and will, and good will, aren’t in touch with the abstract, while nonetheless guard spices of life.

  28. bornagain on October 4, 2013 at 14:50

    I’m with Tatertot – something else.

  29. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 15:01

    “When I see certain geological features that supposedly took billions of years to form, but they obviously look like they were formed in a very short time, it leads me to question the real age of things, however 4,000 years old isn’t the right answer, either.”

    Weird. Most exposed rock formations would be more on the order so millions of years. Continental drift is an excellent quick study that makes a lot of stuff make sense on billions of year timescale.

    Here’s my touchstone for why we’re actually here and can survive. The Earth solar system vacuumed the shit out the place for billions of years and once Earth wasn’t being pelted with debris hundreds of times daily but down to once every now & then and maybe a medium or huge biggie way infrequent like over millions of years, various like had a chance.

    I enjoy speculating that we’re just a dinosaur stage and hundreds of millions of years from now, those with a clean solar system can study us and laf.

  30. EatLessMoveMoore on October 4, 2013 at 15:04

    Jimmy Moore proves that you can be both a Paleo adherent (or at least promoter when it fits your business model) and a believer in fairy tales.

  31. bornagain on October 4, 2013 at 15:21

    I wouldn’t call Jimmy Moore paleo at all. As far as I can tell, he’s low carb and that’s about it.

  32. Richard Nikoley on October 4, 2013 at 15:32

    “Jimmy Moore proves…”

    On what scale of time?

  33. EatLessMoveMoore on October 4, 2013 at 16:13

    @ bornagain –

    He’s Paleo when marketing needs dictate.

  34. Wolfstriked on October 5, 2013 at 05:16

    I was being made fun of at work recently for being a space cadet,as they call me.See I love space and tell people about what weird things I read about online.It went on and on and the other day the ridiculing became even more heated where I was being called an idiot for believing all the stuff I read about online.Summerians,aliens lada lada.I tell them I am open minded and think that the possibility for life on other planets is dam high considering the fact that we exist.Also,scientists have found bacteria living inside of nuclear reactors where life was deemed impossible.And now there is bacteria living in outerspace where scientists deemed life impossible.

    So I countered their ridiculing by bringing up their god.I said….you make fun of me yet you believe in the bible to which they all looked at me with total certainty and said “fuck yeah”.I then said….so you believe all that about a snake,an apple, a tree and they looked at each other and then said “fuck yeah” and I simply said……well then this conversation is over and walked out of the room to silence.

  35. Wolfstriked on October 5, 2013 at 05:18

    And in my eyes Jimmy Moore is not paleo,hes more like the grand wizard of LC.;)

  36. EatLessMoveMoore on October 5, 2013 at 12:10

    Grand Wizard indeed…

  37. Weekly Roundup - Scrotum Sock Edition on October 7, 2013 at 12:40

    […] Nikoley on why paleo advocates who believe in god don’t bother […]

  38. Richard Nikoley on October 9, 2013 at 09:42

    @Scott

    Sorry, just now getting to somoe comments I’d saved to answer. I just put out that book on social networks:

    “Next up read. ‘Born Agains:’ this will assist in your self delusions as well. Because I went through that shitbag of shit, I already know how this book turns and flipped a middle finger 2 decades ago…so it should be very entertaining and head nodding.”

    Thanks, it’s in the iPad. I’m expecting fun.

    Incidentally, here was a book I read in like 1991, after I’d already flipped the middle finger, but it was sweet reading it, ust to know what a shitbag one of my teenage “gods” really was.

  39. Paul Riemann on October 21, 2013 at 19:00

    Creationism may be dead, but naturalistic evolution will never escape the tissue of logical fallacies inherent in it’s empirical epistemology. Science is always false.

    British philosopher Karl Popper wrote:

    “We know that our scientific theories always remain hypotheses. In science there is no knowledge, in the sense in which Plato and Aristotle understood the word, in the sense which implies finality; in science we never have sufficient reason for the belief that we have attained the truth….It can even be shown that all [scientific] theories, including the best, have the same probability, namely zero.”

    Got knowledge?

  40. Woodchuck Pirate on October 21, 2013 at 22:26

    No valid philosophy can’t be practiced to the nth degree. A is A; Reality is not vulnerable to interpretation.

    Did Karl Popper betray Auguste Comte’s definition of the word Altruism? Or was Karl simply another dysfunctional mouthpiece for collective ego?

    “Comte says, in his Catéchisme Positiviste [1], that: [The] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_(ethics)

    Altruism Ethics from Wiki:
    Altruism (also called the ethic of altruism, moralistic altruism, and ethical altruism) is an ethical doctrine that holds that individuals have a moral obligation to help, serve, or benefit others, if necessary at the sacrifice of self interest. Auguste Comte’s version of altruism calls for living for the sake of others. One who holds to either of these ethics is known as an “altruist.”
    The word “altruism” (French, altruisme, from autrui: “other people”, derived from Latin alter: “other”) was coined by Auguste Comte, the French founder of positivism, in order to describe the ethical doctrine he supported. He believed that individuals had a moral obligation to renounce self-interest and live for others. Comte says, in his Catéchisme Positiviste [1], that:
    [The] social point of view cannot tolerate the notion of rights, for such notion rests on individualism. We are born under a load of obligations of every kind, to our predecessors, to our successors, to our contemporaries. After our birth these obligations increase or accumulate, for it is some time before we can return any service…. This [“to live for others”], the definitive formula of human morality, gives a direct sanction exclusively to our instincts of benevolence, the common source of happiness and duty. [Man must serve] Humanity, whose we are entirely.”

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA
    http://www.woodchuckpirate.com

  41. CLC on October 25, 2013 at 22:46

    I have rarely been to church in this life and though I may now be considered a hick I was actually raised in a well-off community during the heyday of the Oil Boom.

    http://www.ascension-research.org/creation_of_the_world.html
    http://www.ascension-research.org/Cosmic_Evolution.html

    Why not believe in creationism? Why believe I used to be an animal when this can’t possibly be true. If I wear a body now that is the result of bodies formed from animal DNA, I’m fine with that.

    The I AM Presence is the Truth on this and all worlds, forever. No matter where you go or what you do, it will always be the Truth. It’s not a God up in the sky looking down on everyone, but the God of your own being.

    They had grains on Atlantis 50-100,000 years ago. Why we can’t process them now? Actually, I really don’t care about that.

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