5th January 2009

“The fundamentalists, by 'knowing' the answers before they start, and then forcing nature into the straitjacket of their discredited preconceptions, lie outside the domain of science – or any honest intellectual inquiry.”

Stephen Jay Gould1941 – 2002

7 Responses to “5th January 2009”

  1. Chris Says:

    A great man of science sorely missed. I agree with his quote – I don’t think anyone with any appreciation of the scientific method could argue. You can’t possibly learn anything new if you begin the process with an immovable conclusion. What is the rational and educated person to make of a fundamentalist world view where earth was created in six days and god kills everyone on earth except a drunk that curses his own son for covering up his naked body (Noah).

    I’m not sure where I stand on his idea of “non-overlapping magisteria”. I wish I understood his motivation in proposing that science and religion can coexist simply by not playing in each other’s yard. Is there really ANY area of human experience that is off-limits to scientific inquiry? Dan Dennett must disagree.

  2. The Atheist Advocate Says:

    I read the Noah story and thought it was more than nakedness. Noah passed out drunk in the tent. Ham, the youngest son went into the tent. When he came out he told his two brothers that dad is laying in there naked, so Shem and Japheth went in backwards with a fleece and covered his naked ass. THEN…

    Genesis 9:22-27 “When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him…” (Pay particular attention to the words DONE TO HIM!)

    Most scholars believe the youngest son sodomized his father!

    Because he cursed his youngest son Ham to be a slave, but praised his other two sons. There are other instances in the bible where people are seen naked, but are not cursed. How would you know if someone was naked, unless you looked at them, then it would be too late. There would be a lot of cursed people in the world!

    My two cents… 🙂

  3. Chris Says:

    As a bible literalist I think that all Ham did was tell his brothers that “dad is in his cups again”. Let’s not blame the victim here. Dad was a vindictive bastard. I god wanted to tell us that Ham was guilty of raping his dad he would not have minced words.

    So… Ham was innocent and ham is tasty.

  4. Nefari Says:

    Nice bible study, AA! I’ve read that passage many times and never gave it a thought. Wikipedia has a bit on the ‘controversy’ as well:


  5. antitheist Says:

    Well, just my two cents, but there is a LOT of word mincing in the bible.
    We can’t argue the point either way, as it really isn’t very clear. I think there is an argument for either.

    The point I think needs to be brought to a brighter light, is the fact that these drunks and nudists were deemed righteous enough, out of everyone in the world, to become the new beginning for mankind. If there were a god, he would have been better off starting with different dirt and creating a whole new batch.

    Think I’ll go kill my son now, in a very torturous way, in hopes it will save people from thier sins! Another absurd idea!!! (that didn’t work!)

  6. The Atheist Advocate Says:


    From the Hebrew bible or Torah. This references other scripture to show the context of the curse. The loss of a fourth son to Noah, caused him to curse Ham’s son Canaan. Easier than me typing out the scenario here in the AQOTD.

  7. Chris Says:

    If I had a nickel for every time I found myself drunk and naked…