Sunday School

Sunday School 11th October 2020

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    Were you one of the people to have a big German word in your head last week? While it does seem that he is making a rapid recovfefe, don’t listen to the medical advice of a man on steroids. It might be better advice to fear his evangelical advisers even more. Is cognitive dissonance too big a term for Faux News viewers?

    FFRF releases major secular voter poll: ‘We are the real values voters’.

    Why are there no Evangelicals on the Supreme Court? The religious hijacking of SCOTUS doesn’t even require Amy Handmaid Barrett. Here is a good article from Rolling Stone on the subject.

    DeVos continues to praise state efforts to allow more families to illegally use taxpayer funds to attend private schools.

    Mike Pence, who seems to be doing a great job heading up the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, will be remembered as the great enabler.

    According to Eric Trump, his daddy has done more for Christianity than Jesus.

    When will there be another atheist in the White House? One that will not allow atheists to be seen as second class citizens?

    This weeks’ Woo: Osteopathic Medicine – What Is It?

    Climate Crisis: How the United States could be transformed.

    From Young Earth Creationist to Atheist.

    Some thoughts on a Theory of Everything.

    Evolution is doing away with our wisdom teeth but that does not mean animals will fear us eating them any less.

    There is no evidence of a “Universe before the Big Bang”.

    Our brains predict the outcomes of our actions, shaping reality into what we expect.

    Nobel Chemistry Prize awarded for CRISPR-CAS9 ‘Genetic Scissors’.

    Long Reads:  An island that humans cannot conquer. There is no scientific divide over herd immunity. Face masks: how much evidence is enough? The Vampire Ship – the story of Europe’s largest heroin shipment. How do pandemics end?

    This week I am ordering this book: Inside Story.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video:  Here comes President Gus. Mrs Betty Bowers and Unpatriotic History. Science can answer moral questions.


    Have a great week everyone!


    Simon Paynton

    Science can answer moral questions.

    I like Sam Harris but I find him somewhat infuriating on a number of points, and simplistic.  He seems to want to insist on moral objectivity, all the way: to say that 1) it is self-evident that cooperative human flourishing is objectively good; 2) that some things are “factually” morally right or wrong.

    I disagree with him.  I think it is self-evident that cooperative human flourishing is objectively seen as good.  I also think that some things are seen as right by some people, and seen as wrong by others.  That’s as far as we can go.  To take his position is simplistic and leads us to bark up the wrong tree (that science can determine the veracity of moral facts, that it can tell us what is “factually” right or wrong).  In other words, his underlying philosophical position is faulty.

    I also think, as @davis once pointed out, there’s more to morality than human flourishing.  For example, there are sexual norms to do with patriarchy, and other foundations like purity/disgust, personal autonomy, and respect for authority.  But “cooperative human flourishing” does cover most of it.  If we look at the pressure to thrive, survive and reproduce, that provides the ethical pressure for all of morality.

    I agree with Harris that science can describe the moral landscape, and within that moral landscape lies ethics or what is seen as good.



    Thanks, Reg!



    According to Eric Trump, his daddy has done more for Christianity than Jesus.

    He’s just repeating what his daddy told him.



    This weeks’ Woo: Osteopathic Medicine – What Is It?

    The article depicts MD’s and OD’s as roughly equivalent in training and reliability. The only woo was the brief attention given to chiropractic. Or did I miss something? I was expecting to read that OD’s are witch doctors or charlatans. LOL



    Let me add a Sunday School item. Here is Richard Feynman discussing why mirrors reverse left and right but not up and down. The answer is really kind of obvious if you put your mind to it, so my real reason for putting this video up is his digression at around 3:12 in to discussing trains. What keeps a train on the track (besides gravity, of course)? And why is it that automobiles need a split axle with differential gears in the middle to go around turns while train cars have solid axles? I’ll bet you don’t know the answer.

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