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  • 2024-02-12 17:40 | News Update (Administrator)

    On occasion we receive some pretty great emails. This one from "Shawn T" does a pretty thorough job of debunking the fable of Noah's Ark using just some basic math. Enjoy!

    Can you hear me ok? Sorry, I just figured that every conversation with you must start this way.

    Anyways……I had a random ‘Atheist Experience’ episode pop up as a YouTube suggestion about 6 months ago, and as a lifelong atheist with very religious parents and sister, I’ve been listening to at least 2 or 3 hours of old clips every day since.

    I had a major stoner thought last night when in one YouTube clip, a theist said he believed in the Noah's Ark story. My mind instantly went to food, and since my sister is a panda bear fanatic, I used them as my example, and just had to share the results.

    This is going to be long, but I’ll keep it as brief as I can. All citations will be at the bottom, and I’ll be wording this as if it was a real event just for clarity purposes.

    Please bear with the pile of stats up front since it will make sense in the back half. Lastly, I will only list and use the ‘MV' (mean value) for calculations, meaning that the "real number" would likely be as much as 51% HIGHER than the numbers I listed below. Here we go........

    Map of historical panda bear habitat[1]

    The ark launched from Kufa Iraq[2]

    The ark landed at the ‘mountains of Ararat[3]

    The distance from Kufa Iraq to the closest place on the panda habitat map (Bhamo, Burma) is 3,211 miles.[4]

    The distance from the ‘mountains of Ararat’ to the closest place on the panda habitat map (Myitkyina, Burma) is 3,196 miles.[5]

    Distance a person can travel per day with horses & carriage = 10 to 30 miles, or a 'MV' of 20 miles per day.[6]

    Number of days taken to transport nothing but a mating pair of pandas the 3,211 miles to the ark before the flood is 160 ½ days.

    Now comes the fun part – Panda bears eat nothing but bamboo, and eat 26 to 84 lbs ('MV' of 55lbs) of bamboo per day, each.[7]

    Using the 'MV' of 55lbs per day each, the mating pair would require:

    17,655 lbs for the 3,211 mile trip to the Ark

    4,400 lbs for the ‘40 days & 40 nights’ of rain.[8]

    16,500 lbs for the ‘150 days of floodwaters.[9]

    Sub-total of bamboo needed so far = 38,555 lbs. Remember, this is just the mean value!

    Now one of the last two factors: Bamboo would have to have been re-planted by hand by whichever of the 'surviving 8’ (Noahs family) after the flood, and it takes 4 to 5 years before it would be a sustainable food source.[10]

    This would add the requirement of a whopping 220,750 lbs of bamboo to be stockpiles BEFORE the flood onto the Ark for the adults to survive on while they wait for the bamboo to grow back.

    Assuming for best case scenario (least amount of food needed), the baby, born after a 135 day gestation and 9 months before it starts eating bamboo at a rate of 30 ¼ lbs per day[11], and would be full grown within 4 years would need another 60,271 lbs!

    Just this bamboo needed while they’re waiting for the natural bamboo to grow back would need whichever of the 8 survivors takes them back to their habitat would be 281,021 lbs of bamboo alone, not counting the weight of the panda bears. Oh, and with all of the worlds horses, oxen, llamas, etc all being dead (thanks for nothing God), they must be moved those 3,196 miles by hand, and there’s only eight pairs of living hands in the entire world.

    Just for lolz, lets say they were able to move the 281,021 lbs by hand…..10 miles per day, which is ludicrous since the minimum that a horse and carriage can do in a day from [6] above.

    That would add ANOTHER 320 days to the trip, adding ANOTHER 35,200 lbs of bamboo, increasing their 'move by hand load' to 316,221 lbs!

    This weight moved by hand does not include their own food, or the weight of whatever sled/wagon they put the 158 TONS on to pull it by hand. Again, this is the mean value, and it would be as high as 238 tons if using the higher number of food they'd eat per day.

    So…..grand total of the amount of bamboo that they would need to leave Burma with BEFORE the flood would be: 354,776 lbs, and since only 17,655 lbs is consumed on the way TO the Ark, they have to store the other 337,121 ( 168.56 tons) of bamboo ON THE ARK. Just this stored bamboo, at an average weight of about 51.5 lbs per cubic foot[12] would take up 6,546 cubic feet of space on the ark.

    In summary: I think I found out why there was no space for the dinosaurs!!!

    I’m sure you bailed on this a long time ago, but I had to see this stoner thought to fruition.

    Love the work you folks all do on the religion thing, and thank you for putting up with my ‘War and Peace’ like ramblings.















  • 2024-02-10 13:07 | News Update (Administrator)

    As the ACA is now running a 24x7 live stream on youtube, it is chock full of early episodes of The Atheist Experience and in some of them they list URLs as resources. In a recently aired episode, Jeff Dee referred to "The Euthyphro Project: Arguments" web put together by Jeff and Russell Glasser. Though the URL is long gone, the page WAS still in the archives

    As this page has some really good summaries of the topic, it is reproduced here:

    The Euthyphro Project

    by Jeff Dee and Russell Glasser
    November 15, 2004
    featured by The Non-Prophets

    Let's grant for the moment that the election, and the decision to ban gay marriage in several states, really was based on "morals" and "values". What does that mean to us atheists?

    It means that a large segment of America has swallowed the lie that "morals" and "values" only mean something when talked about in the context of the Christian God, and the arbitrary things that make Him happy or piss Him off. Did Bush get re-elected because people LIKE what's happening in Iraq? Nope; people who claimed to base their vote on the Iraq war overwhelmingly voted for Kerry. Did they think it was because we've vastly improved our quality of life under four years of Bush? Or that Bush helped the poor, as Jesus was always yammering about? No again; people who claimed to base their vote on the economy overwhelmingly voted for Kerry.

    Wait a minute. Are these issues really separate? Do "moral values" really apply only to who marries whom, but not to who gets bombed or how many people go hungry?

    Hell no. To theists, "values" is code for "what the Bible says God would want". It's not that I, an atheist, do not have values; it's just that my values are based on what is good for humans -- maximizing happiness, productivity, and personal empowerment, while minimizing pain and suffering.

    Rational, humanistic atheists are really touchy on the subject of values, because they don't exist in the physical world. Rationalists can confidently list a thousand and one reasons why six-day creationism is bogus, or talk at length on how cretinous it is to think that an all-powerful God would personally intervene in fixing football games but couldn't be bothered to save a few million homes from a hurricane. Yet those same rationalists will stammer and ramble or trail into embarrassed silence when people ask how you can have a real code of ethics without God. Because we know while the real world objectively exists, morals belong to a fuzzy, squishy world that depends on what fickle people want and how they can get along with each other.

    Deep down, everyone feels that same sense of moral uncertainty at times. The theists have been taking advantage of that uncertainty for YEARS. They've been telling their base that religion has the only correct answers, that morality is no more and no less than what God wants you to do, and atheists are bad people because they deny and undermine His desires.

    For those who might be under the illusion that this way of thinking hasn't been or can't be addressed by rationalists, I have one word for you:


    (This is important to get right. Click here to hear the proper pronunciation.)

    24 centuries ago, Plato wrote a dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro. In this dialogue, Euthyphro presents almost exactly the same argument in a Greek context:

    "Piety is that which is dear to the gods, and impiety is that which is not dear to them."

    Socrates quickly fires back the counter-argument, which all rationalists should take to heart.

    "The point which I should first wish to understand is whether the pious or holy is beloved by the gods because it is holy, or holy because it is beloved of the gods."

    Basically this is the same as the standard answer for the "first cause" argument. When somebody argues that God must exist because everything needs a creator, you say "Who created God?" and you're left with an obvious logical inconsistency.

    Likewise, when somebody tells you that morality comes from God, you can ask "Who made God moral?" and you get the same problem. There are two answers, and they both don't work. For the exhaustive discussion, read Euthyphro.

    The first answer is: Whatever God wants to be good, is good. This is a lousy answer, because it means that God's will is arbitrary and has no standards. Today God might decide that killing and stealing is wrong; tomorrow he might decree new edicts indicating that he loves killing and stealing. Then they will be good. Some might say "But God doesn't change." To which I'd answer: "God is supposed to be all powerful. He can do what he wants."

    The alternative answer is: God cannot order killing and stealing, because those things are inherently bad and God is inherently good. To which I reply: "Oh ho! So now those things are 'inherently' bad eh? Then I guess God didn't MAKE them bad, which means there is an authority outside of God which determines what's good and bad. So it sounds like God is really an irrelevant part of the equation, and we should strive to see what the objective standards are instead of wasting time trying to fathom the will of God."

    The Euthyphro dilemma is over two millennia old, and it has never been satisfactorily answered by theists. Sure, they've tried. Just do a Google search for "euthyphro dilemma" and see all the stuff you come up with. None of them get around the problem. Some of them talk about God's "nature" and think they have solved it, but they're really substituting "nature" for "higher standard" and again admitting that the immorality of murder wasn't invented by God.

    Because atheist thinkers recognize that morality is more complicated than "because I said so", they are often cautious about meeting this issue head-on. This allows theocrats to run roughshod over them by claiming that they alone are the keepers of "true" morality because they know what God wants. But they don't have a leg to stand on. Even most Christians recognize that non-Christians can act in ways that they consider "moral" and it seems to have more to do with respecting other people than worrying about what "God" wants. So why aren't atheists hammering that more?

    As much as anything, Bush won because he fed people's false sense of moral certainty. And the worst part is that the Democrats are now increasingly pandering to the same guys, thinking they can't win without appeasing the "Humans are totally depraved without God" demographic. They can't attack that moral certainty without fear of alienating lots of potential voters.

    But we can. As rational secular thinkers, we have an obligation to take up the slack.

    For the next four years, this is the argument that we need to be driving home. EUTHYPHRO is the meme that we need to be spreading every single time social right wingers talk about moral clarity. It needs to be said repeatedly that you CAN be moral without special pleading to supernatural powers. And not only that, supernatural powers have nothing to contribute to the morality discussion.

    Part of the Republican strategy is to demoralize the opposition, make them uncomfortable with defending their own beliefs and values. I say turnabout is fair play. Your mission is to hit them back with that same sort of demoralization, get them to own up to the fact that appealing to a higher power isn't even useful when trying to recognize right and wrong.

    The hardcore fundamentalists, the guys who make up the red state base, aren't going to be convinced. But as we constantly hear theist moderates tell us, those guys aren't the majority. Most theists live in the real world most of the time, relying on this "personal relationship with God" for strength and comfort and spiritual guidance, but doing their best to base their daily decisions on real life practical considerations. It's not impossible that we could knock a lot of people off their high horse of moral certainty and get them to recognize that being moral means being good to other people.

    Now go do the right thing.

  • 2023-09-08 20:05 | News Update (Administrator)

    Atheist Community of Austin Building Fund

    Buy a Brick, Build a Legacy!


    We're excited to invite you to become a part of the Atheist Community of Austin's history in a truly unique way! As we continue our journey to establish a dedicated space for reason, critical thinking, and community in Austin, Texas, we're offering you the opportunity to leave a lasting mark through our custom engraved brick fundraiser.

    For 3 years during the pandemic, we shut down our building and invested heavily in A/V equipment so we could stay on the air and continue to produce content. Now that we’ve opened our doors again to our community, our building is in desperate need of maintenance and repair.

    The new walkway being installed at the ACA’s Freethought Library offers an opportunity for you to be a permanent part of the future of the Atheist Community of Austin!

    Purchasing a customized engraved brick is a wonderful way to pay tribute to the ACA, to or memorialize a friend or loved one, share a message, or give as a gift. The brick will be visible to all as they enter our historic building and will help ensure the building will sustain our organization for years to come as it has all these past years.

    As we embrace reason and rationality, we couldn't help but be reminded of Moses and his stone tablets. Well, forget the commandments; we're introducing our own modern version! Contribute to our cause and become a part of our brick fundraiser, where your engraved messages will reign supreme, sans commandments!

    There are 3 sizes of bricks available, but there is a limited supply so buy your brick soon! Use code NOGODS to get 10% off your entire order if you purchase by October 1, 2023!

    Here are some suggestions or come up with your own unique ideas:

    • A dedication to your favorite host/volunteer/crew member
    • Your family's name
    • An inspirational message
    • Honoring someone who was helped by the ACA
    • A message in memory of a loved one

    For more details, hit this link:

  • 2023-07-12 11:39 | News Update (Administrator)

    In the bustling city of Austin, Texas,
    a unique gathering has been taking place at the Freethought Library located at 1507 W Koenig Lane. For secular and atheist individuals seeking a sense of community, our book club and games nights have become the perfect haven. These events provide an opportunity for like-minded people to connect, engage in thoughtful discussions, and enjoy friendly competition. 

    Building Connections Through Literature
    At our book club, we dive into a diverse range of books that explore various subjects, from philosophy and science to literature and personal development. Through the power of literature, we delve into thought-provoking ideas, challenge our perspectives, and engage in lively discussions. Whether you're an avid reader or someone looking to explore new topics, our book club offers a welcoming environment for sharing ideas and expanding horizons.

    Igniting Laughter and Competition

    Beyond the pages, our games nights are a testament to the joy of friendly competition. From classic board games to strategic card battles, there's something for everyone to enjoy. These game-filled evenings create an atmosphere of laughter, camaraderie, and a healthy dose of challenge. Whether you're a seasoned player or a beginner, our games nights are a fantastic way to unwind, have fun, and connect with fellow secular and atheist individuals.

    A Welcoming Space for All

    ne of the defining aspects of our book club and games nights is the warm and inclusive environment we foster. We believe in creating a space where everyone feels valued, respected, and free to express their thoughts. Regardless of your background or beliefs, we celebrate diversity and promote open-mindedness. By embracing our shared values and exploring different perspectives, we build lasting connections and friendships.

    Building a Supportive Community

    Beyond the intellectual stimulation and entertainment, our gatherings offer a support system for secular and atheist individuals in the Austin area. In a society where religious beliefs often dominate public discourse, it's essential to have a space where non-believers can come together, find solace, and share experiences. Our book club and games nights provide that space, offering a supportive community where members can discuss their journeys, seek advice, and find understanding.

    Join Us Today 
    Click here to find the next event!
    Are you ready to join a community that celebrates secularism and atheism? We invite you to come and be a part of our vibrant book club and games nights. Whether you're searching for intellectual stimulation, meaningful conversations, or simply a night of laughter and fun, we have something for you.

  • 2023-06-21 10:18 | News Update (Administrator)

    Join the Atheist Community of Austin for a fun summer evening on the water, conversing with like-minded free thinkers. Meet Forest Valkai and other hosts of the The Atheist ExperienceTalk Heathen, and The Non-Prophets! They'll  be onboard to mingle and chat throughout the two-hour cruise around Lady Bird Lake. The cruise will pause at the Congress Avenue Bridge at sundown for the emergence of the world's largest urban bat colony

    Tickets are going fast! Don't delay! Get yours TODAY!

    Not a member? Join or renew now

  • 2023-06-17 13:21 | News Update (Administrator)

    An interesting story from UNIVERSITY of NEBRASKA–LINCOLN:

    Study shows many American atheists
    hide their non-belief

    Chuck Green | CYFS

    Research by Dena Abbott, assistant professor of counseling psychology, reveals that because American atheists continue to experience a variety of social challenges, many are uncomfortable about disclosing their non-belief. (Kyleigh Skaggs, CYFS)

    The religiously unaffiliated, including atheists, are the fastest-growing (non)religious population in the United States. But the social stigma associated with atheism leaves this population vulnerable to isolation and poor mental health outcomes.

    So, are you hiding your atheism..?    

  • 2023-06-13 15:22 | News Update (Administrator)

    Building Improvements & Upgrades!

    In our ongoing effort to improve our "home", we recently added some lights to the sign in front of our building to make it easier to find in the evening and to help to let folks know we are here.



    We've also added some "digital signage" in the front window which consists of a 65" video monitor in "portrait" mode that displays some of our "shorts" content as well as logos and building events:

    We plan to change out the window with a single pane of glass and put in some trim around the monitor to make it more seamlessly sit in that window area.

    A total of two of these digital sign monitors were donated and a second is planned to be installed in the window to the left of the door to help draw even more attention and to advertise the shows and events we are having!

    We also added some new flags that we put out on show days along with a roadside sign to help guide folks to the building and parking areas.


    When you visit, be sure to check out the back theater area under the dappled shade of the trees!


    If you haven't had a chance to visit the Freethought Library, you should really plan to. It is so much fun!  

  • 2023-06-06 17:39 | News Update (Administrator)

    Oklahoma is facing backlash from atheists and other groups that are vowing to sue the state for approving the nation's first religiously affiliated public charter school.

    The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board approved the application of St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School on Monday, marking the first time a state had approved a religiously affiliated charter school. The effort was championed by Gov. Kevin Stitt (R-OK), who praised the approval of the new charter school as a "win for religious liberty."

    More details about this troubling development can be found in this story from the FFRF:

  • 2023-05-19 12:43 | News Update (Administrator)

    An encouraging story from NPR includes the following:

    "Boomers are about 20% 'nones' and Gen Z is about 45% 'nones,' so you're just seeing this kind of slow wave sweep across America," says Burge, who is himself a pastor with the American Baptist Church. He believes about a third of the country's 350,000 Christian congregations are "on the brink of extinction."

    "Every year the pews are getting emptier and the collection plates getting lighter," he says. "We're going to see thousands of churches closing in America over the next 20 or 30 years in every part of the country, in every region and every state, urban, suburban, rural."

    I am reminded of a quote from Madalyn Murray O'Hair:

    “An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that deed must be done instead of prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanished, war eliminated.” 

    Might be a good idea to convert those empty churches into regional medical clinics or section 8 housing, eh?

    And here's the entire NPR story:

  • 2023-04-26 17:44 | News Update (Administrator)

    So here's another example of religious privilege pushing its way into secular spaces. Here's a link to the article:

    And here's an excerpt:

    Texas is first step in a national plan to install ‘chaplains’ in public schools instead of professional counselors


    A Texas proposal to allow unlicensed “chaplains” to take the place of public school counselors undermines religious liberty, according to Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and others.

    The Texas Legislature is considering House Bill 3614 and Senate Bill 763, which would allow Texas schools to hire chaplains to perform the work of school counselors but without any required certification, training or experience.

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