Essay: A second reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers

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PZ Myers

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See also: A reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers and Atheism and obesity

I emailed skeptic Rebecca Watson at Youtube to inform her I posted a reply to PZ Myers on the main page to Conservapedia and she essentially commented that she wished my reply (see: A reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers) had taken more time to address PZ Myers' post at Pharyngula concerning Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article. Since I am always quite happy to oblige the reasonable requests of my readers, I decided to make an adddendum to my initial reply to PZ Myers.

Let me preface my addendum with a short explanation. King Solomon, who was endowed with wisdom from on high, wrote: "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him." (Proverbs 26:4 NASB). King David wrote: "The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they have committed abominable deeds; There is no one who does good." (Psalm 14:1). Since there are many atheists who misunderstand these verses due to their poor Bible exegesis skills, I will provide some further elaboration. The Bible is not saying that the atheists in question were not intelligent atheists, but is merely saying that atheists in question were fools. Certainly there are intelligent people who behave foolishly. There is quite a difference between intelligence and wisdom, however.

Now the above being said, given the folly of PZ Myers' post which really did not address what I wrote in the Conservapedia atheism and obesity article, I really did not feel as though his post merited a more in depth response than I offered. But given Rebecca Watson's most courteous commentary on my article and her courteous reply to my recent correspondence to her, I thought I would provide some additional commentary which I will do directly below.

PZ Myers wrote:

A few people have noted in the comments that Conservapædia's hot new front page topic is "Atheism and Obesity" — we're all supposed to be humongous wobbling lardasses, as if that is some kind of rational argument against an intellectual position ("you're fat!" kind of shot its bolt in grade school, and really doesn't weigh heavily in a debate beyond that). The poster boy for stupid atheist fatsos, unfortunately, is me.[1]
evolution darwin theory
Late in Charles Darwin's life, Darwin told the Duke of Argyll that he frequently had overwhelming thoughts that the natural world was the result of design.[2] In a letter to Asa Gray, Darwin confided: "...I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science."[3]

Ms. Watson, where did I write that all atheists are humongous wobbling lardasses? I most certainly did not write this. I did cite the Gallup Organization study which used a sufficiently large sample size to compare the very religious, moderately religious and non-religious.[4] I do believe that Gallup's finding that the very religious people are the most likely to practice sound health practices is significant.[5] I also wrote that while all atheists are non-religious not all non-religious people are atheists and provided some examples of some prominent atheists who were overweight. Also, I wrote that Christianity has grown in the last 50 years in terms of its expansion in the Eastern world and now Christians in the Eastern world outnumber Christians in the Western World. And you may recall, I cited data indicating that people in the Eastern world often have better health practices in terms of diet/exercise than their Western counterparts. In terms of me citing prominent atheists, along with others I cited the board of directors of the American Atheists which certainly has some overweight people on their board as can be seen HERE.

Secondly, did I write there are fat atheists, therefore atheism is not valid? Again, I most certainly did not. I would also add the Conservapedia atheism and evolution articles and creation itself certainly testifies to the matter that atheism is really not a serious and thoughtful intellectual position. I will also add that if memory serves PZ Myers indicated something along the lines that he may provide a refutation of Conservapedia's homosexuality article. Given that Conservapedia's homosexuality article cites so many medical journals and relevant sources, I never took PZ Myers comment seriously about offering a refutation to Conservapedia's homosexuality article because PZ Myers is well aware that he cannot. The best PZ Myers could do is to employ the fallacy of exclusion and offer some half-baked attempt at refutation of Conservapedia's homosexuality article.

The Gallup Organization wrote:

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-July 28, 2010, with a random sample of 554,066 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling. Of this sample, very religious respondents comprised the plurality (43.2%), with slightly more than one-quarter each for moderately religious and nonreligious respondents...

Generalized linear model analysis was used to estimate marginal scores all five reported metrics after controlling for age (in years), gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education (number of years), log of income, and region of the country...

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, cell phone-only status, cell phone-mostly status, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.[6]

I do think the Gallup Organization's approach is useful as it creates a more ceteris paribus analysis of the religious variable in relation to health habits. For those who are not familiar with the term ceteris paribus, Investopedia offers a definition of the term ceteris paribus: "Latin phrase that translates approximately to "holding other things constant" and is usually rendered in English as "all other things being equal".[7]

I will further add, I wrote in the atheism and obesity article:

A 2010 picture taken in Australia shows PZ Myers drinking ale/beer and he had excess weight in his abdominal area.[8] In 2010, PZ Myers had health problems related to his heart.[9] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[10][11] Given PZ Myers' biological training and the wide dissemination of the health effects of being overweight in terms of cardiovascular health and brain function, it is unfortunate that preventative medicine was not used in greater measure in terms of his health.[12]

Now am I supposed to believe that PZ Myers is very serious about losing weight? Am I supposed to believe that PZ Myers is acting in accordance with medical science in terms of his dietary health practices? I wrote above (see:A reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers), "By the way, I saw your recent "11th day of beer" post at your blog[13] and I am looking forward to your upcoming Slimfast and low calorie beer posts." Of course, I could add that I have my doubts that a recent post of his at his "science" blog entitled The 5th day of beer features a low calorie beer/ale.[14] Now could PZ Myers evolve a backbone and become more serious about losing weight? That is certainly possible.

In April of 2007, the American Journal of Public Health analyzed data from 2002 National Survey of Family Growth and the data suggested that American lesbian women were 2.69 times more likely to be overweight and 2.47 times more likely to be obese than all other female sexual orientation groups. [15] For more information please see: Lesbianism and obesity

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)

Next, I did write in the atheism and obesity article: "The Bible declares lesbianism to be a sin (Romans 1:27) and lesbians have significantly higher rates of obesity.[16] Since the Bible declares gluttony and lesbianism to be sins, no doubt there are obese people and/or lesbians who reject Christianity and decide to become atheists rather than repent and become Christians." I will briefly say that nobody is seriously taking issue with my claim that lesbians have significantly higher rates of obesity nor are they taking issue with my claim that lesbianism is not in accordance with biblical Christianity (given the first chapter of the Book of Romans that would be impossible to do. For example, see Romans 1:26 ). I will further add that included some data on Atheism and marriageability and indicated obese people appear to face some hurdles in terms of dating, etc. Again, nobody is seriously taking issue with my atheism and marriageability material. In the Conservapedia atheism and obesity article, I also added some material on people who reject Christianity in the Western World and self-esteem and atheism and suicide and pointed out that obese people likely suffer from depression and self-esteem issues. Ms. Watson, I do wish you have covered the atheism/marriageability/self-esteem/suicide material, but since it was not very flattering towards atheism, I was not surprised you failed to cover this material.

In addition, I realize your "PZ Myers is a Christian" YouTube video had an element of tongue in cheek in it. But I will add a few things. First, the Apostle Paul wrote: "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God." (Ephesians 2:18). Secondly, James wrote: "Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. (James 2:17 NASB). Jesus said, "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth." (Revelation 3:16). So I will add that certainly one does not become a Christian though weight loss, but even if that were the case, PZ Myers certainly does not appear to be a red hot example of someone ardently looking to lose weight. Ms. Watson, I would encourage you to ask PZ Myers to evolve a backbone and make a public proclamation of his weight loss goals if he possesses weight loss goals.

Now is Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article the final analysis concerning atheism and obesity? It is not and I would certainly encourage academia and others to employ a similar model that the Gallup Organization used in order to better determine how atheistic ideology affects people's behavior in terms of their health practices relative to other worldviews such as biblical Christianity.

As I wrote above: The Gallup Organization wrote:

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-July 28, 2010, with a random sample of 554,066 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling. Of this sample, very religious respondents comprised the plurality (43.2%), with slightly more than one-quarter each for moderately religious and nonreligious respondents...

Generalized linear model analysis was used to estimate marginal scores all five reported metrics after controlling for age (in years), gender, race/ethnicity, marital status, education (number of years), log of income, and region of the country...

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, cell phone-only status, cell phone-mostly status, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.[17]

I would suspect that educated atheists/atheists who live in more healthy geographic areas in terms of food consumption/etc. would have better health practice than uneducated atheists/atheists who live in unhealthy areas in terms of food consumption/etc.

Lastly, Ms. Watson, if you could ask PZ Myers to attempt to offer a real attempt at refutation instead of largely hiding behind your skirt, I would be most indebted to you.

Contents

Professor PZ Myers fails applied biology

Please see: Professor PZ Myers fails applied biology

Physical and mental health related problems associated with being overweight and/or obese

Medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[18][19][20][21][22]

See also: Atheism and Mental and Physical Health and Atheism and obesity

Some of the medical conditions associated with obesity include: type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, coronary artery disease (CAD), stroke, arthritis, cancer, sleep apnea, reproductive problems in women and varicose veins.[23][24][25][26] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[27][28][29][30][31]

According to the Mayo Clinic some of the symptoms associated with obesity can include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Pain in your back or joints
  • Excessive sweating
  • Always feeling hot
  • Rashes or infection in folds of your skin
  • Feeling out of breath with minor exertion
  • Daytime sleepiness or fatigue

See also

Notes

  1. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/cookies_booze_lesbians.php
  2. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/teleological-arguments/notes.html
  3. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-2109
  4. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  5. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  6. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  7. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/ceterisparibus.asp
  8. http://www.flickr.com/photos/reuvenim/4426093513/
  9. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/08/thats_not_a_heart_its_a_flaili.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+scienceblogs%2Fpharyngula+%28Pharyngula%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
  10. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  11. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  12. http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_obesity
  13. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/12/the_11th_day_of_beer.php
  14. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/the_5th_day_of_beer.php
  15. Overweight and Obesity in Sexual-Minority Women: Evidence From Population-Based Data, Ulrike Boehmer, Deborah J. Bowen, Greta R. Bauer, American Journal of Public Health, 2007 Jun;97(6):1134-40. E pub 2007 Apr 26.
  16. http://bible.org/article/homosexuality-christian-perspective
  17. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  18. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  19. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167850
  21. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100714112832.htm
  22. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/instance/2568718/
  23. http://www.webmd.com/diet/tc/obesity-health-risks-of-obesity
  24. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_consequences.htm
  25. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/obesity
  26. http://stanfordhospital.org/clinicsmedServices/COE/surgicalServices/vascularSurgery/patientEducation/varicose.html
  27. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  28. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167850
  30. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100714112832.htm
  31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/instance/2568718/
  32. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=symptoms
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