The "atheists discredited" deadline hath come!

Yikes, I hadn't even realized that atheism's most momentous date was upon us!

No, not Darwin Day. That's all very fine and well (happy birthday Chuck; love your Origin book); what I'm talking about is Discreditation Day. You know, February 9th, 2009, the day by which, according to "Professor" John A. Davison,

...Pharyngula, Panda’s Thumb, EvC, RichardDawkins.net and Uncommon Descent will all have so completely degenerated as to become nothing but embarrassing footnotes in the history of internet communication. I also predict that P.Z. Myers and Richard Dawkins will have so embarrassed their home institutions that overt attempts will have been initiated to have their tenures revoked on the grounds of moral turpitude and seeking to overthrow the government... Fortunately for them, by that date, February 9, 2009, the physical destruction of our civilization will have proceeded to such a degree that thinking people will no longer be concerned about intellectual trash like Richard Dawkins and P.Z. Myers.

Finally, the long-awaited Judgement Day has arrived! And by the look of things... uh, nothing's happened. Well, that's not quite true. Atheism is stronger than ever. Richard Dawkins remains in huge demand as a speaker, as he sells his zillionth copy of The God Delusion and other books. PZ Myers continues to rule the blogosphere.

Atheists grow louder and more visible by the day, initiating public campaigns to proclaim their non-faith on billboards and buses. Even the American populace had the smarts to reject Bible Party candidates and, if not yet place a professed atheist in the White House, elect a president who was raised in an atheist household and openly acknowledges the rights of non-believers. (On the other side of the fence, the big, noisy anti-Darwin film Expelled flopped as it brought even more attention to the atheists it misquoted.)

So. The day has come, and it appears that John A. Davison's prognostication had all the accuracy of Biblical prediction. Prominent atheists, far from fading away by this date, grow in fame.

Incidentally, who is this John A. Davison, the man who predicted prominent atheists sinking to the level of unknown nobodies? As of February 9, 2009, I have no idea. 

Comments

Isn't failed predictions one of the acid tests for religion? We call those methodologies that successfully predict outcomes based on past observations 'science'.

Well, kind of, Brownian. Science isn't always successful, but at least when it is wrong, the observer thinks it's important and refines the test, or something like that.

for the record, John Davison WAS a professor of biology at, IIRC, the University of Vermont (Maryland).

Somewhere in the mid-late 80's, a mental breakdown of sorts ensued (evidence suggests the loss of a close family member was the triger), and UVM gradually distanced themselves from him, eventually removing him from teaching duties.

Since then, he has run for mayor (no shit!), been booted from just about every public blog in existence, and continued to paint himself into an ever smaller corner.

His biggest claim to fame was his "prescribed evolutionary hypothesis" as written in his "Evolutionary Manifesto".

http://www.uvm.edu/~jdavison/davison-manifesto.html

which at first attracted the attention of ID "luminaries" like Dembski over at Uncommonly Dense, and IIRC, they even helped him publish some version of it in "Rivista di Biologia", but was soon abandoned by those loons as too loony, even for them.

In fact, the only place it gets high marks is on crank.net:

http://www.crank.net/evolution.html

where is garners the highest honor of "crankiest" in category.

John IS insane, and as such deserves a bit of pity. That said, for your own sanity, you're far better off not even attempting to engage him directly.

thought you might want to know, from someone who engaged him years ago when he first appeared on Panda's Thumb.

defaithed's picture

Thank you much for the added information. I gathered from the site containing his original quote, as well as use of phrases like "moral turpitude" and "intellectual trash", that Prof Davison may indeed not be... working with a full rack of test tubes, let's say. Particularly with your note on a mental breakdown in mind, I don't want to pile on the poor fellow, who I believe is in no position to be causing real harm.

So I'll just offer the post as a notice to anybody about the unreasonableness of making predictions based on wishes, whether trying to summon the "fall of atheists" or the coming of Armageddon or whatever it may be.

Incidentally, my link to the original quote source was broken. I've fixed it as follows:

http://john.a.davison.free.fr/?p=17#comment-260

Thanks again!

...to add a bit more tragedy to the situation, JAD was once a published scientist, with a list of decent publications totaling over a dozen or so, including some in notable journals.

It was quite a fall from productive, active biologist to where he is now; far, far worse than Michael Behe, who one can still hold a coherent conversation with, at least.

*shakes head sadly*

Just adds credence to the position that religiousness is a mental aberration caused by chemical imbalance manifesting as cognitive dissonance and divorcement from reality !

The dead line fiasco is just extremely desperate wishful thinking ...obviously the desperation is more intense in JAD's state of mind signaling that the desperation has reached optimum pitch...the date was given as a desired wish...why that date?...probably a juxtaposition theme from his sub-conscious...a birthday of someone he has a relationship with or anniversary...or a date from his previous life when something happened he can never forget or maybe even remember...whatever it became a focus for his most desired event...and why must it be?...could be just an ego thing ...trying to validate his increasingly isolated claims of jeebus or whatever...shows that in desperation clinging to irrationality is a form of escape from the ultimate truth.

When your own allies in delusion start to distance themselves...you just know that he is to far gone...even their brand of biased 'rationality' cannot embrace the ravings of a severely depressed and deluded clone to mythology!

His endorphin level has attached itself production wise to thoughts of jeebus...until beta blockers...and probably alpha ones as well....calm the flashing neurons he is a lost and sad example of what intense emotional depression can do...
He just wants to be heard...he wants his pain to be recognized...he wants peace from sadness...and he just up's the anti...

Classic insanity....and deserves a modicum of compassion!

defaithed's picture

Actually, I don't think there's a mystery behind the deadline given; it was simply a prediction for "one year from now", made on that date in 2008. So, the oracle gave us that date plus some integer number of years, because, well, we humans seem to place significance on integer years for such purposes. (We're all a little nutty that way. : )

I dunno, though, it certainly would have been safer to go with, say, 5 years or so. If I were in the prediction biz, I wouldn't give myself impossible one-year deadlines! Too easy for listeners to remember those.

In his next "comment,"* JAD made a prediction of his own behavior: that if Obama won the election, he'd move to Australia. Has he followed through on this threat/promise? Or was he just unable to predict his own behavior? (Sad, really.)

*JAD has/had a pattern of starting up a blog with a single post, commenting on it himself, and then abandoning it when it became "full," never realizing that multiple posts were possible. Then he'd start up a new blog somewhere else. I have lost what little interest I had in him and do not know whether this behavior continues.

defaithed's picture

In his next "comment,"* JAD made a prediction of his own behavior: that if Obama won the election, he'd move to Australia. Has he followed through on this threat/promise? Or was he just unable to predict his own behavior? (Sad, really.)

Hmm, well, if he did deport himself, he might pass in the airport some of the Hollywood stars returning to the US after their self-imposed exile following the Bush re-election...

Oh, wait, they never left like they said they would? Ah. Sorry, a tangent anyway; I was merely reminded of it. (Note to self: Don't make predictions, and don't make "I swear, I'm gonna..." promises that I don't want to keep. : )

As for the odd JAD blog pattern you mention, check out the current blog whose URL Drew gives above. It looks like an attempt to press the blog format into use as a forum... Well, I won't poke fun at it; a blogger can use his site as he likes, and it's even creative in its own odd way! (But I like your description anyway of similar past abuses: "Whoops, blog's full, gotta start a new one..." : )

The link above is for a blog that is no longer maintained. Its contents were moved to http://jadavison.wordpress.com/2008/01/06/predictions/

This one has been continually updated.

defaithed's picture

Thanks! You're right, the writings sort of live on...

Poor old git seems to have been recently baptized in the Roman Catholic church . . . "I love it so" he gushes on his "about me" page on his newer wordpress site http://jadavison.wordpress.com/

I just can't bring myself to pick on a 81 year-old, at least he can use the internets.

defaithed's picture

I just can't bring myself to pick on a 81 year-old, at least he can use the internets.

Indeed. He seems wacky but harmless. Gotta call him out on the prediction biz and the uncalled-for words like "intellectual trash", but beyond that, there's not much to say to the fellow.

Atheists aren’t All Atheists, that’s important to start with. A lot of atheists are pretty civil and level headed people, some of them want to have nothing to do with the new atheists and the lesser lights among those self-defined “brights”. I’m not talking about grown ups who are also atheists or agnostics. This is about a subset of atheists who are bigoted, obnoxious, jerks. A lot of those bigots have PhDs and hold university positions, you can read about them in the post below this one. VIGOUR

defaithed's picture

Hello. A correction is in order: Atheists are all atheists. Except the ones that aren't... but wait, those aren't atheists.

I think there's nothing tricky going on here. Moving on:

A bigoted, obnoxious jerk subset of atheists? I don't know what post you reference, so I don't know who these might be. Anyone in particular?

I was just noticed that the blog contains a good point to argue in favour or in against atheism but I think atheists are louder day by day just because of too much modernization that how people denies the existence of god.

defaithed's picture

Looks like a spammy external link somehow slipped its way into your kind message. I removed it. You can thank me now or thank me later!

Atheists are really brain wormed  people and their thinking must be like bad smelled rotten eggs yaw! And Atheism word spells like something don't feel pityness and throw our angerness on us .Really these peoples and thier followers are cancers for the present civilization.

defaithed's picture

Aw, come on. That would have looked like a cutely spunky, if mostly incomprehensible, comment – if it hadn't been for the now-redacted spammy link at the end. All an act, Mr Viagra Now (or whatever it was)? For shame.

Ah, for some solid, real trolls.

I feel sad for those who don't believe in God. They miss knowing how greatful it is to become one with the Almighty. You're in good hands if you have Him in your life. The atheists are entitled to believe what they want to believe. But I pray that they will return to the loving arms of Jesus. He will come back like a thief. It's never too late to ask for forgiveness and repentance. It's better to be ready.

defaithed's picture

He will come back like a thief.

My good silverware is missing. Therefore, Jesus.

Your discussions are pretty interesting. Things about Christian life versus non-Christians always seem to spark conversations and it gets even hotter every time. I hope you guys learn a lot and will continue to do so.  http://www.bibleknowledgebookstore.com/jewelry.html  P.S: I don't know much about Davison and after reading the post, I got a bit interested about him and will do a little research about his life. Thanks for posting this one!

Judgement day?we don't know about the judgement day, cause it is stated on the bible...we don't need to worry because of God, is there he is always there to guide us...and protect us..We must not be afraid of that day.and we have still! time to change!!!change youself!!But we need to , respect everyone!!Nice post

defaithed's picture

How exactly does this work? This ever-increasing deluge across the Web of replies that have some relevance to the article in question, rising just a step above randomly-worded spam, yet which remain very transparent ploys at posting minimal wordage to slip in a link without being filtered out. All in writing that suggests low-rent comment-spamming farms that employ non-native English speakers (though given the Internet writings of many native speakers, it's hard to tell the difference : /   ).

Did I peg it? Anyone know?

For me, I don't see any goodness in being an atheist because without Jesus, there is no way, truth and life. However, I respect them for what they believe in. They are entitled to their own opinion. It's just sad to know that there are people who'll miss the rapture when He comes back.

defaithed's picture

For me, I don't see any goodness in being a non-Buddhist because without Gautama Buddha, there is no way, truth and life. However, I respect them for what they believe in. They are entitled to their own opinion. It's just sad to know that there are people who'll miss the final rebirth of Maitreya. 

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