One of the things I agree with Flannery on
Is the idea that we don't know enough to determine that divine beings don't exist. It is not like we have been outside our dimension, universe or the solar system minus a space probe being almost outside the solar system. The only real things known is the Big Bang, existence of stars and planets outside the solar system, the formation of solar systems and to some sort of degree is knowing the basics of how life came to be. How do we not know divine beings might not exist outside our universe or dimension?--Rationalzombie94 (talk) 03:15, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
- This is a de facto straw man, though perhaps unintended by Flannery:
- Atheism doesn't necessarily entail the claim, clearly implied by Flannery, of absolute knowledge of the absence of a god/gods (though this is a classic apologist canard).
- Conflating atheism with an absolute knowledge of the absolute knowledge of the absence of a god or gods effectively reverse the burden of proof which is clearly bonkers. If Flannery thinks there is some kind of god or Gaia thingy, then he is the one who needs to put his evidence for this claim on the table.
- The kind of god(s) believed in by various communities over time have conspicuously failed to stand up to empirical scrutiny, hence making the inference that gods are unlikely to exist is neither an unfounded nor an unreasonable and certainly not an "arrogant" conclusion to draw from our existing knowledge of the world.
- So no, I definitely don't think Flannery has anything to contribute here. He also only mention "the world", not other planets or galaxies and for the above mentioned reasons I think our current knowledge of the world, while far from perfect, should lead us to be highly sceptical of claims of divinity. If he wants to make unfalsifiable claims of possible deities in the Andromeda Galaxy then those are rather irrelevant musings, considering that we cannot verify such a claim either way and that this is not the kind of deity that is actually being believed in here on Earth. ScepticWombat (talk) 09:56, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
- While the atheism / religion / Gaia hypothesis business bay be a bit strange, that really does not seem sufficient to put him in the "Woo-meister" or "Pseudoscience promoter" categories, so I'm removing him from them. He seems very scientific and sensible overall. Perhaps he deserves a mention on the "Inverse stopped clock" page? --Yisfidri (talk) 02:37, 26 August 2017 (UTC)