Essay: A reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers

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When faced with body weight challenges, real men set weight loss goals, publicly declare their weight loss goals, and of course, use the Total Gym. The svelte Bible believer Chuck Norris endorses the Total Gym and does not endorse liposuction.[1]

See also: Atheism and obesity and Professor PZ Myers fails his applied biology course

A reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers:

Leading sports psychologist and author of Mind Gym Gary Mack said, '[ Goals ] clarify expectations and help increase self-confidence... goals also increase the motivation to succeed.'

The Biggest Loser Club dietitian Dr Clare Collins agreed, saying 'Goal setting shows a real commitment to achieving your outcomes and that you will stick with it, no matter what.'...

Nutritionist Trent Watson recommended to publicly declare your goals. 'If we tell others that we’re going to do something, we endeavor to do it to save face, which is very motivating and provides a great personal challenge.'[2]

SMART weight loss goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measureable:
  • Attainable
  • Realistic


Since medical science and exercise science have developed many effective ways to lose weight, you should be able to set a time-based and attainable weight loss goal!

One of the definitions of machismo is an "exhilarating sense of power or strength".[5] Does PZ Myers have machismo? An upcoming essay? By the way, I saw your recent "11th day of beer" post at your blog[6] and I am looking forward to your upcoming Slimfast and low calorie beer posts.

Contents

Christian apologist Vox Day commentary on a picture of PZ Myers with his fans

In 2011, Christian apologist Vox Day had an individual complain about the notion that the atheist community has a problem with obesity. As a result, on May 19, 2011, Vox Day released a blog post entitled Mailvox: now, who said atheists are fat? where 80% of the people taking a picture with PZ Myers were overweight and PZ Myers was overweight in the picture as well as can be seen HERE. The picture was originally posted on PZ Myer's blog Pharyngula by Myers on May 16, 2011 and an online argument quickly ensued concerning the appearance of the photograph's participants.[7]

Professor PZ Myers fails his applied biology course

Please see: Professor PZ Myers fails his applied biology course

Additional material requested by skeptic Rebecca Watson

See also: A second reply to atheist and evolutionist PZ Myers

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 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.[8]
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.[9] In a letter to Asa Gray, Darwin confided: "...I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science."[10]

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.[11] I do believe that Gallup's finding that the very religious people are the most likely to practice sound health practices is significant.[12] 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.[13]

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".[14]

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.[15] In 2010, PZ Myers had health problems related to his heart.[16] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[17][18] 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.[19]

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, "By the way, I saw your recent "11th day of beer" post at your blog[20] 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.[21] 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. [22] 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.[23] 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 would 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.[24]

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.

A reply to PZ Myers citation of a NorthWestern University study

A Conservapedia editor by the name of Eric mentioned that PZ Myers cited a NorthWestern University study as a response to Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article and Mr. Myers article can be found HERE.

The study is mentioned on a university website HERE and I will let readers judge if study compares to the Gallup study I cited in terms of its demographic diversity and it terms of its sample size. I would also point out that I cited other data besides the Gallup study as well in Conservapedia's atheism and obesity article.

Here was my response:

Eric, what is truly childish is you trying to compare the enormous Gallup study in terms of sample size and geographic diversity in the United States (a study which used Generalized linear model analysis with very relevant variables) and other data Conservapedia has brought forth and you trying to show equivalency with your much smaller NorthWestern University study. Also, Eric were the participants of the NorthWestern taken from all across the United States or does the study merely reflect the behavior in a much smaller locale? Also, please compare the sample sizes of the respective studies and report them here. Next, did the NorthWestern study report on the "very religious" like the Gallup study did? In the book of Revelation, Jesus did say not to be lukewarm and he would spit lukewarm people out of his mouth. As far as I am aware, there are no reports of Jesus or the apostles being overweight like some of the modern apostles of atheism such as PZ Myers. And if you want to play the geography game like some atheist "blag hag", I would remind you that most Christians are non-western today and most non-westerners are quite thin plus the Gallup study used generalized linear model analysis (using very relevant variables) in relation to religiosity and health practices. :) Also, if the NorthWestern University study participants were exclusively from Illinois, they very well could have used plenty of abortion loving "faux Christians". Bottom line Eric, I could see you trying to use the NorthWestern study and not discussing the much larger Gallup study and other data Conservapedia brought forth if you were an overweight atheist blogger at scienceblogs.com who had his brain impaired due to being overweight, but please do not do it here.

Addendum

I subsequently was informed that the NorthWestern University study chose people from: Chicago, Minneapolis, Birmingham, Ala., and Oakland, Calif.[1] In short, the Gallup study had far more diversity in terms of its demographics plus it was a far more larger study. Again, you can read about the study on a university website HERE Of course, one can certainly ask how many city "potlucks" events were used in the study compared to participants of prayer group services.

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

Medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[25][26][27][28][29]

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.[30][31][32][33] In addition, medical science research indicates that excess weight impairs brain function.[34][35][36][37][38]

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

Addendum

Perhaps if the atheist PZ Myers drank more Slimfast and less beer, he would have had a trimmer figure in this picture.

PZ Myers appears to have a problem with intellectual slothfulness[40] and perhaps his slothfulness applies to his "exercise habits" as well. As of December 26, 2010, Conservapedia is not aware of PZ Myers endorsing any exercise equipment.

(photo obtained from Flickr, see license agreement)
machismo
If atheist Richard Dawkins finally agreed to debate Dr. William Lane Craig and a scientist at Creation Ministries International instead of making pitiful excuses, would Hispanic ladies finally believe Señor Dawkins has machismo? [41][42][43][44] Olé! Olé! Olé!

Please see: Does Richard Dawkins have machismo?

(photo obtained from Flickr, see: license agreement)

Web resources for overweight atheists and agnostics

External links

Notes

  1. http://www.totalgymdirect.com/
  2. http://biggestloserclub.asia/food-fitness/competitive-streak.html
  3. http://www.topachievement.com/smart.html
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21200337
  5. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/machismo
  6. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/12/the_11th_day_of_beer.php
  7. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/05/at_least_you_can_see_a_hint_of.php
  8. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/cookies_booze_lesbians.php
  9. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/teleological-arguments/notes.html
  10. http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-2109
  11. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  12. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  13. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  14. http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/ceterisparibus.asp
  15. http://www.flickr.com/photos/reuvenim/4426093513/
  16. 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
  17. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  18. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  19. http://www.conservapedia.com/Atheism_and_obesity
  20. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/12/the_11th_day_of_beer.php
  21. http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/01/the_5th_day_of_beer.php
  22. 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.
  23. http://bible.org/article/homosexuality-christian-perspective
  24. http://www.gallup.com/poll/145379/Religious-Americans-Lead-Healthier-Lives.aspx
  25. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  26. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167850
  28. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100714112832.htm
  29. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/instance/2568718/
  30. http://www.webmd.com/diet/tc/obesity-health-risks-of-obesity
  31. http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity/calltoaction/fact_consequences.htm
  32. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/obesity
  33. http://stanfordhospital.org/clinicsmedServices/COE/surgicalServices/vascularSurgery/patientEducation/varicose.html
  34. http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/content/41/18/25.1.full
  35. http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2009/08/25/as-waistlines-widen-brains-shrink.html
  36. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21167850
  37. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100714112832.htm
  38. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/instance/2568718/
  39. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/obesity/DS00314/DSECTION=symptoms
  40. http://www.conservapedia.com/PZ_Myers#Militant_atheism_and_intellectual_slothfulness_of_PZ_Myers
  41. http://www.quantcast.com/richarddawkins.net#demographics
  42. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlnVe934u38&feature=related
  43. http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2007/01/dawkins-ducks-craig.html
  44. http://www.truefreethinker.com/articles/richard-dawkins-cowardly-clown
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