Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Freethinker's Pantheon

My husband and I were BSing in the car when I mentioned in passing that I'd be praying if I was on the back of a sports motorcycle that was going about 60mph, like the girl we'd just passed. My husband, also an atheist, grinned and asked who I'd be praying to.

Without missing a beat, I said "I'd be praying to our great Lord and Savior, Sagan. All hail his name."

Within seconds we'd put together an atheist pantheon, and I was so amused by the idea that I thought I'd share.

All hail the great and mighty Sagan.

All hail and worship the Son of Sagan, Neil Degrasse Tyson.

The saints of this pantheon would be Saint Dawkins, Saint Dennet, Saint Myers and Saint Harris for the multiple miracles performed in the name of skepticism and science. 

The two apologists for this particular religion (if you can call it such!) would be Hitch and Ophelia Benson.

We giggled all the way home on this. Pure gold.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Brain Diabetes: Why The Dr. Oz Show Makes Me Wish I Had Alzheimer's

Thanks to some truly excellent work by Orac, I am now highly skeptical of just about anything that comes out of the Dr. Oz show. I made the mistake of expressing my distaste to my parents, who are Dr. Oz devotees. Now, every new show is a chance for them to challenge my knowledge of physiology.

A true scientist, when faced with something that is beyond their knowledge and experience, will humbly state that fact. This is respectable, and opens the lines of scientific inquiry. Curiosity is a lovely thing, and a good scientist will combine it with an interest in investigation. 

If one does not know the answer, however, one should not make shit up. And frankly, that was the take home message from Dr. Oz's latest guest, Dr. Suzanne DeLaMonte. I was alarmed to discover that this woman is a neuropathologist. And she is making some rather insipid and outrageous claims about the way insulin interacts with the brain.

I was informed of this episode by my mother. I grew increasingly suspicious the more she explained about the show, and I resolved to do some research. First, let's take a look at what Dr. DeLaMonte claims is happening in Altzheimer's patients, and then let's take a trip through neurophysiology. Neurophysiology is my passion; I was frankly excited to be able to use my knowledge to see what this woman was talking about.

"Although we’ve always known that Alzheimer’s disease is typically associated with numerous tangles and plaque in the brain, the exact cause of these abnormalities has been hard to pin down. Now, we may be closer to an answer.

In many respects, Alzheimer’s is a brain form of diabetes. Even in the earliest stages of disease, the brain’s ability to metabolize sugar is reduced. Normally, insulin plays a big role in helping the brain take up sugar from the blood. But, in Alzheimer’s, insulin is not very effective in the brain. Consequently, the brain cells practically starve to death."

Alarm bells immediately rang in my mind. I'm not an MD (yet) but I do know neurophysiology, and my degrees cover two different types of physiology. This just made no sense to me whatsoever. 

Insulin is a protein hormone synthesized in the beta cells of the pancreas, in a structure called the Islet of Langerhans. Like most proteins, it is a polar molecule and has an overall charge.  Most importantly, it is not lipid soluble because of this polarity. 

When a meal is consumed, the food is broken down into much smaller molecules that circulate in the blood; mainly glucose but some fructose as well. When the concentration of glucose reaches a certain threshold, insulin that is already circulating in the blood both signals insulin receptors in cells to upregulate glucose transporters to get the glucose into the cell, and signal pancreatic beta cells to make and release more hormone. 

Thus you have glucose circulating through the blood until they find more transporters and insulin circulating until the molecules find receptors or transporters to bind with and activate. All of this cellular activity occurs on the surface of cellular membranes, which are rather like a slippery film of oil that prevents substances that are not similar to it (also oily or fatty) to pass through unless it has its own special 'door', called channels or transporters.

Only very small or lipid soluble molecules pass through the blood brain barrier, a series of tight junctions that prevents unwanted substances from passing through. Insulin, as is, cannot pass. Oxygen and carbon dioxide can, because they are small gasses. Glucose, surprisingly, cannot either, without help. This is important: the only water soluble molecules that can cross the blood brain barrier MUST have transporters in order to do so. For a great refresher on the blood brain barrier (hereafter abbreviated BBB) see here. 

It is true that glucose metabolism is impaired in Alzheimer’s patients, which can lead to a sad downward spiral of dementia, but not for the reasons that the good doctor says. Insulin is not necessary, and indeed is not used, for glucose uptake and cellular metabolism in the brain. Thus, insulin’s decreased efficacy is irrelevant in the brain. Once one understands this, the entire argument falls apart. 

The good doctor continues. 

"These days, most people with diabetes have Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Basically, cells throughout the body become resistant to insulin signals. In an effort to encourage cells to take up more sugar from the blood, the pancreas increases the output of insulin. Imagine having to knock louder on a door to make the person inside open up and answer. The high levels of insulin could damage small blood vessels in the brain, and eventually lead to poor brain circulation. This problem could partly explain why Type 2 diabetes harms the brain. In Alzheimer’s, the brain, especially parts that deal with memory and personality, become resistant to insulin."

Since insulin doesn’t circulate through the brain, and is kept in very tight quantities in a very small portion of the brain, the idea that insulin could damage small blood vessels in the brain is questionable at best.

However, since the brain literally consumes a massive portion of the glucose that we eat, up to 70%, any disruption in the body’s ability to control and monitor glucose intake can have a devastating effect on the brain. A disruption in overall body metabolism can definitely affect the brain because the brain uses so much of the body’s energy. There is evidence that brain function is impaired in diabetes and other metabolic disorders. But Alzheimer's? There just isn't any evidence for this.

 "Why does the brain need insulin?
As in most organs, insulin stimulates brain cells to take up glucose or sugar, and metabolize it to make energy. Insulin also is very important for making chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which are needed for neurons to communicate with each other. Insulin also stimulates many functions that are needed to form new memories and conquer tasks that require learning and memory.

 The alarms became sirens, drowning out everything around me. I was reminded of the line from Tim Minchin's amazing poem 'Storm': "I'm like a rabbit suddenly trapped in the blinding headlights of vacuous crap."

Insulin, again, is not required for brain cells up uptake glucose. There are specialized transporters in the blood brain barrier that undergo facilitated diffusion with a chemical gradient that allows glucose to pass on through. Once there, cells with their own transporters bring glucose inside for metabolism. No insulin necessary; the transporters do not need signaling or upregulation. 

I hunted through the literature looking for a link between insulin and neurotransmitters, to no avail. I have to conclude that insulin, seeing as how it doesn’t circulate and doesn’t cross the BBB freely, is not involved in neurotransmitter synthesis whatsoever. 

Again, no circulating insulin = not necessary for any of the stuff that the doctor says it is essential for. 

Where does the insulin come from in the brain?
Very sensitive tests showed that insulin is made in the brain. It’s made in neurons, and the hormone made in the brain is the same as that produced in the pancreas. This point may seem surprising, but if you consider the fact that every other gut hormone is also made in the brain, it only makes sense that insulin would be among them. Insulin that’s made by the pancreas and present in blood does gets into the brain as well."

 Claxons were going off in my head if I didn't stop this nonsense.  I stopped right about here, because frankly, I felt like my brain cells were going to undergo apoptosis just to spare themselves the misery of having to read on. 

Insulin is not made in the brain. It isn’t necessary, so why would it be synthesized? 

The only function I found for insulin in the brain was as a signal to the hypothalamus for satiety and the feelings of fullness from the gut. It’s sort of as if the hypothalamus ‘sips’ the insulin, tests it and measures it, and tells the body how full the gut is. But insulin gets to the hypothalamus via a transporter, much like the one at the BBB. So again, it isn’t free circulating. 

In fact, the more I dug, the more I found that insulin really doesn’t do anything in humans. The role of insulin in the hypothalamus in humans remains unclear. Glucokinase, a protein on pancreatic beta cells that sense the presence of glucose, is on the hypothalamic membrane, and so can tell when there is sufficient glucose in the brain or not. 

Every other gut hormone is made in the brain? Really? Incretin, ghrelin, fibroblast growth factor19, cholecystokinin, secretin, gastrin, leptin, and others are all made in the brain? My, I never knew that the brain was a digestive organ as well as a control and computational organ. Did you? 

And now we return to the point of her insipid little diatribe: the effect of insulin resistance on Alzheimer’s patients. We now know that insulin really has nothing to do with it. So what does?

Well, it’s tough. There is an awful lot we don’t know about Alzheimer’s. Each group researching the disease has their own pet theory and project that they hope will explain everything. Many of them have found just enough correlation that makes them think they are on the right track. One group that my neurobiology professor is acquainted with is studying possible viral causes of the disease. The big idea when I was an undergrad was that pesticides might be a cause since there seemed to be a larger than average rural population with the disease. 

This is a very excellent review article on Alzheimer’s disease, which sums up much of the current thinking on how it works. 

Basically, similar to prion diseases, normal proteins in our brain mutate at a certain point and contribute to the breakdown of our cognitive function. There are a couple of competing hypotheses, two of the strongest  involve the buildup of amyloid beta plaques or tangles in the axons of neurons made of a protein called tau. There is some evidence to suggest that it may even be a combination of the two. 

In any case, the degeneration of the brain is quite clear, with advanced cases involving dementia, severe memory loss, and the inability to form new memories. This is an excellent illustration of the types of differences that are apparent in Alzheimer's patients compared to a normal brain.

We do know that genes seem to have a big role to play. But we are not sure how big of a role, and what other factors may be at work. Heritable cases tend to have an earlier onset and be mostly genetic in nature, while 'sporadic' or those that don't have a clear heritable lineage are perhaps 25% genetic. And the number one risk factor seems to be age.

Can Alzheimer's be prevented? Well, seeing as how metabolic diseases can affect onset and severity of Alzheimer's, balancing your diet, exercise, and controlling your diabetes is definitely a good idea. The phrase 'use it or lose it' definitely seems to apply here, as keeping an active mind during your later years seems to reduce the severity or even the occurrence of the disease. 
However, the good doctor goes a bit further than I would. 

Could diabetes and Alzheimer’s be caused by some types of exposures?
We have reasonable evidence that human exposure to nitrosamines is at the root cause of not only Alzheimer’s, but several other insulin-resistance diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, also known as NASH, and visceral obesity. 

Again, since Alzheimer's is unrelated to insulin, this is quite a claim. She is basically saying that the nitrates in our food, used as preservatives, are causative factors in the disease. After a search in PubMed for 'nitrosamines+Alzheimer's' came up with only her own work, I am suspicious of this link, to say the least.

She goes on to discuss diet and exercise as preventative measures, something which is definitely supported as being useful to making sure the brain gets the nutrition it needs to keep going in a healthy fashion. However, she goes off the cliff of woo when she talks about antioxidants, Omega-3s, and other substances that are purported to keep Alzheimer's at bay. No one is arguing that fresh fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet. The role of Omega-3s and other fats are less well indicated.  But if you think that supplementation with these is either going to prevent Alzheimer's or extend your life, you are sadly mistaken.

It seems as if this doctor had settled on her own pet idea, but I am frankly alarmed at the gross misunderstanding of neurobiology that has led her to these conclusions. 

This all cycles back to the idea that if you are a scientist and do not know the answer to a question you should A) do some research and B) if there is no information out there you test it using, you know, science. It honestly seems as if this lady made some shit up based on some pet theory. 

Alzheimer's is an important and debilitating disease. I have seen first hand the devastation it can cause in families that lose someone a piece at a time. But we are not going to get anywhere in terms of a diagnosis and a cure if we continue to entertain these fashionable theories based on sheer nonsense. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Debating A Fundamentalist and A Creationist Part II

When we last left off the Fundie had posted some incredibly smug and patronizing drivel about how our hearts aren't able to accept his god yet. I frankly don't feel any gaps in my life, thank you very much. And now the Creationist rolls in on her steamroller of evidence denialism and patronizing faith. Enjoy.

Creationist: Well, as a geologist/geophysicist who is also a Christian, I can assure you that there is a plethora of evidence and documentation which clearly supports the idea of "Intelligent Design" and "Creationism". There are so many holes in the Theory of Evolution that it takes more "faith" to believe in it than not!

Me: I'm still curious to see your evidence about these 'holes' in the Theory of Evolution, as well as 'evidence' for Creationism and Intelligent Design. Since you are a geologist, I'm sure I don't have to explain what Theory means in a scientific context, right? Also, appealing to the bible as being infallible because it says it is isn't really evidence, is very circular reasoning, and I'm not really going to take as evidence a book that was written thousands of years ago by pre-scientific societies. Appeals to 'irreducible complexity', I'm afraid, will garner you no sympathy since every time a creationist has tried that one they refuse to accept the real scientific evidence that we have regarding how those complex structures have evolved. If there was an intelligent designer, I'm sure they wouldn't have 'designed' the recurrent laryngeal nerve or the prostate or the sperm whale. Or anything vestigial, for that matter. And appeals to the god of the gaps will truly get you nowhere, since there is a difference between saying 'we don't know, but want to find out' and 'oh look, there's god in that tiny hole in our knowledge that someone some day will figure out.' It's lazy science at very best. If your 'evidence' for intelligent design covers none of those things, or your 'hole' in the Theory of Evolution is something other than what I've listed above, by all means, fire away. But frankly, these canards are classic intelligent design/creationist tropes, have been refuted multiple times and by people much smarter than I, and the only conclusion that I can draw is that people who cling to such are being willfully ignorant. Go look at my reply above to Fundie's question about the age of the Earth, what we know about evolution, and a couple of scholars that have questioned the validity of the bible.
Tell you what, let's agree to the terms of debate outlined here.  

Creationist: Gosh, so much to say and so little space! Here are two reputable sites for scientific study and debate in support of Creation and/or the existence of God in Science. THe first is the Institute For Creation Research.  Have a peek at some of the findings under the "resources for scientists" section. The other is 4th Day Alliance. Again,check out some of the articles...not to mention the beautiful images. Reading Frame....where do I begin? Clearly, you have a way with words in that you have great command of the English language, however, I find your reasoning lacks substance. For starters you mentioned in an earlier post that the Bible was written in a "pre-science" time. Simply google the history of mathematics or science and you would find that great thinkers in both fields made huge discoveries as far back as 1900 B.C. Math as a study began in the 6th century BC...don't see anyone doubting that. The Greek philosphers Plato, Soccrates, Aristotle all made significant contributions to their fields years before Christ was born and the New Testament penned. Archimedes, Eratoshtenes, Hippocrates, Galen, Euclid all brilliant scientists and all lived B.C!!! Do you question their validity? Pliny the Elder produced and encyclopedia of the Natural World in 77 AD (around the same time that many of the New Testament books were penned). I never hear of anyone second guessing the intellect of Pliny. The idea that the authors of the Bible were nothing but "goatherders" is weak at best. As far as the holes in the Theory of Evolution goes...I need more space! Would you like me to e-mail you privately??

(Side note: Feel free to google the Institute For Creation Research and the 4th Day Alliance. All they are are faith based propaganda pieces that add nothing to the scientific  discussion except badly worded and completely false refutations of evolution. The content on those sites consists of nothing but "Evolution didn't happened the way scientists think it did, therefore Jeebus!" Pathetic really. Game on)

Me: Philosophy is not a hard science. All of the scientists you mentioned maintain various things about human physiology that were plain wrong. We didn't know we had a circulatory system until the Renaissance. Calculus, which is what we use to motion, physics, and so forth, was not developed until the 18th century. They did not know that the Earth went around the sun, a very basic tenet of science. They knew nothing of geology, antibiotics, vaccines, etc. While there were questioning minds among the lot, they got and maintained much that was inaccurate. I'm not second guessing their intellect, only their data. It is quite obvious reading the writings of Galen, for example, that he was clearly winging it. A questioning mind does not a scientist make. Hard data and understanding of the world around us did not come until long after the bible was written. As for your links..... I'm terribly sorry if I was at all unclear. I did ask for credible sources. Christian creationist websites are hardly unbiased sites, nor are they credible scientifically. Again, I urge you to go look at the Talkorigins website on creationist and intelligent design refutations.

Creationist: Reading Frame, before I decided to enter into this conversation I knew that I would be lead into a "p---ing contest" (pardon the expression) with someone who is under the impression that their opinion is superior, or their brand of science is superior. Your link "talk origins" has no more credibility and is "equally biased" as than the ones that I supplied. Your assessment (ie. opinion) of the history of math and science are, again, weak! For you to say that their discoveries were inconsequential is clearly ignorant. Of course science is more sophisticated today, but I'll tell you this, we wouldn't be were we are today if it weren't for their earlier findings. The development of Calculus required a knowledge of Algebra and Geometry, which were discovered much earlier.Anyways, the point I want to make is this: I am not interested in trying to convince anyone of anything.You are entitled to believe what you want and I am entitled to my beliefs as well. I am very interested in truth and good science and let me tell you as someone who has worked in the Earth Science field and academia for many years....there is a whole lot of bad science mixed with politics out there. I don't accept any of it. So Reading Frame, you are welcome to your very strong opinions, but they are just that, opinions. If you would like to supply me with hard evidence (Scientific fact) as to when or how the Bible has ever been refuted or substantiate why Christian scientists are less credible than atheist scientists then I will surely hear you out. Otherwise I'm just not into meaningless cerebral bantering.

Me: This conversation is not based on opinion. I could in theory go through the entire website that you gave me and deconstruct each of the statements that the website gave me. But I thought I would provide you with a website that actually did instead of taking all of that time myself. That website is based on scientific fact. As a scientist yourself, you should appreciate that biases and opinions do not last long in science, and whatever is left are facts. There is a formidable amount of information that explains evolution. As for the history of science and math, I never said their discoveries were inconsequential. They clearly got some things wrong and clearly made stuff up. The point I was trying to make is that the knowledge we have today, or even in the last 400 years, far outstrips that available to people in the bronze age. This particular argument is irrelevant to the topic at hand in any case.

If you want to see some of the evidence I gave Fundie above on how the validity of the bible has been questioned, I invite you to look at everything, watch all of the videos in detail, and then come back. As I told him, I present facts so that you can see them all in context. I will not paraphrase anything. I will answer questions, but I urge you to look at all of the evidence. I never said that christian scientists are less credible than atheist scientists. I do think that creationist scientists are questionable scientists depending on their field of expertise. I still don't know what these 'holes' in evolution are that you claim are enormous; we've spent far too long bandying over an irrelevant phrase in a previous post. But I will say that all those sites you sent me say, over and over and over again, that science is questionable and biased at best, goddidit, and that's that. There is no new data, no theories to look at, no hard science to evaluate. There are bold assertions, misrepresentations of the actual evidence, and serious problems with their conclusions. There aren't even any authors or papers to read or evaluate. If there were true refutations of evolution, then scientists would be all over it, sifting through the evidence and judging it based on its merits. That's how science works. As a scientist, you should know that. But all there is on these sites are blanket statements that just say "That's not how it works!"  

Creationist: sigh....well, after having a night to sleep on this I have come to the realization that we will probably never agree....and that is ok. Everything that you feel is lacking in my scientific assertions, I feel is lacking in yours. We need not... belabor that any longer. If I provided you with a dissertation of what I (yes, as a competent scientist) believe to be holes in the Theory of Evolution, you would merely refute it. Therefore any effort on my part would be shear vanity. I do want you to know just a couple of things about me, as a person who prayed about this conversation. I am a Christian woman first and a Geophysicist second. 18 years ago I was a diehard evolutionist and human secularist teaching my stuff in a well known university in Mass. At a particular point in my life God made himself known to me and changed my heart of stone into one of flesh (spiritually speaking of course). That is a supernatural transaction which requires faith in order to receive it or understand it. I also came to realize that secular humanism is a philosophy (a religion) of sorts that also requires some semblance of faith in order to receive it and accept it. Regardless, I do know this: The God of the Universe created you in His image and you are priceless in His sight! You have great value! Therefore you do in my sight as well. Conflict does not sit well with my nature and it bothered me all night. I have not changed my views of science, however, I have adjusted my views of you....Be Blessed and may God touch your heart someday, just as He did mine. 

Me: Why is it when I present you with facts and evidence,you come back with how I'm a child of your god and your fervent wishes that I convert some day? How, precisely, is this meant to make your case or accomplish anything besides your sounding patronizing? It is obvious that we disagree on the whole religion thing, and frankly you wouldn't have taken kindly to me proselytizing to you. Why then do you think it is appropriate to do the same to me? My world view requires no faith,(defined as belief without evidence) only evidence. I'm sorry that our conversation bothered you, and I'm afraid that I still don't understand how someone with your scientific credentials could be a creationist. I hope you have a very nice day, and take care.

And that's it. Instead of providing concrete examples, she bases her entire argument on faith and nonsense, and drives off the deep end with non-sequiturs. And then she concludes the debate with a smug and patronizing wish that I become as religiously blind to reality as she is. 

I do not think it is possible for a scientist and rational thinker to completely subsume their intellect into the kind of faith that this woman has. I think that she was already religious and then dove into it head first. If she is a geophysicist as she claims (I actually have doubts) then she has got some powerful cognitive disconnect going on there.  

If I had put something on there about how I hope she finds the light of reason and realizes that we are alone without a magic sky daddy to watch our every move, she'd have become religiously offended. But since she was proselytizing to me, it is perfectly acceptable. 

Let me tell you something about how to evaluate facts. If the website you are looking at is faith based and has an agenda to perpetuate that faith, and has no references whatsoever, it probably isn't worth accepting those facts. If the website you are looking at has scientific credentials, with lists of papers to read and lists of scientists that have contributed, it probably more reliable. Forgive the argumentum ad popularum here, but if the National Academy of Sciences says that evolution is a fact, then it probably is. And I would trust their facts much more than some random religious dude that wants to block scientific fact in order to maintain control over his flock. 

As Tim Minchin said, "Science adjusts its views based on what's observed; faith is denial of observation so that belief can be preserved." 

So what do you think? What did I do well? What could I have done better? 

Coming up soon: parts 2 and 3 of action potentials, as well as some articles I found about religion and medical students. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Debating a Fundamentalist and a Creationist: Part 1

So, a friend of mine posted on his Facebook an article on some plates being found in Jordan that may have some information on the validity of the bible. He wondered if this would have any affect on the gung-ho fundamentalist crowd. I said it wouldn't, because evidence of any sort has little effect on the entrenched views of fundamentalists. We've seen this over and over with evolution.

Enter the fundamentalist. Enjoy the show.

Me: I don't feel that ANYTHING at this point will make people who consider the bible the literal word of their god reconsider. The bible has been debunked a number of times, copied and recopied with an incredible number of errors, with huge swaths that were considered too difficult left out or buried. A new discovery at this point will hardly change anything.

Fundamentalist: The Bible has never been debunked credibly by anyone at anytime. Those who believe it is full of contradictions do not understand it and cannot interpret it. It is a mystery to be discovered by those who have an open to heart to receive it. I challenge anyone to come up with a valid "debunking" of it. It doesn't exist.

Friend: To Fundie:  How old would you say planet Earth is? :^)  

Fundie: I don't believe it can be determined to any reasonable degree of accuracy. The science used to make estimates is dubious at best. To me, the answer seems irrelevant to the human condition.

Friend I dunno, Fundie. 10,000 years or 4,500,000,000 seems to be enough of a disagreement to warrant a seat at the accuracy table, don't you think? :^)  

Me: *rolls up sleeves* How about this.  Or this.. Or this. Bart Ehrman is a scholar of biblical literature, has read the bible in all of the languages it was written in, and has debunked the legitimacy and the validity of it The bible is kind of the oldest game of telephone. Here's a good summary video. Or this is a good one: This gentleman has some really good things to say about debunking the validity of the bible:  This is an excellent source of information on how to evaluate these sources of information:  By the way. That science that you say is 'dubious at best'? It is the exact same science that you are using to type on your computers, that develops your medicines, that evaluates your clean water and food, that makes your car run, that keeps your air clean, that allows us to live and survive to the age we are now. Things we take for granted in the modern world are developed by using scientific methods, and so are the conclusions we have drawn about the age of the Earth and the universe. And the age of our own species. Please, read all of these sources, watch all of the videos, and look at everything I've given you carefully. I'm not paraphrasing or changing anything so that you can get a direct line on the information yourself. I'm happy to answer any questions you may have, but please, do the research. There is literally a ton of information out there on evolution and the age of this planet, and a little less but no less credible information out there on the evaluation of the bible.

I found this, as well. I think it's really well done. . Also, this is an interesting video on the weaknesses of radiocarbon dating.

Fundie: Spirituality (the existence of God) cannot be examined or evaluated by man's limited intellect. Those who try are missing it entirely.

Friend: Common, Fundie. That's the same argument used by the Emperor's tailors. You said earlier that "all credible arguments are welcome". Would you care for a rebuttal more substantial than "If you don't know, you're just stupid"? Please??

Fundie: Friend, It's Ok. You just don't have the heart to receive the things of God... yet. I'm certain that an opportunity will be presented to you at some point. No argument is required. When God wants to get in touch with you, He knows where to find you. Then, you will know. No rebuttal is needed. Just wait and see.

Friend: In the same vein, Fundie, one might opine that you might be in store for a brief moment of disappointment when your final breath passes your lips, and then,... nothing?
You're the one who volunteered in this thread to "challenge anyone here t...o come up with a valid debunking of " The Bible, and Reading Frame offered some meaty counters to your challenge. How's about some follow through, please?
As you probably guessed, this is the point where he shut up and the creationist stepped in.  Stay tuned for the next installment. It's gonna be a doozy.

A Rule on Discussions

If they follow the No, framework, you're probably debating a creationist.

Warm Up Before the Fireworks

*waves* Miss me?

I'm sorry, everyone. I've been bogged down in getting sick and school and loads of other stuff. I'll be back with lots of content on action potentials and neurotransmitters very soon. But first, I found this yesterday and I found it very interesting. It seems to follow the exact same tactics of certain religions, wouldn't you say?

Stay tuned for my debate with a creationist! (yes really! I thought they went extinct with the advent of Google!)