Sunday School

Sunday School 14th February 2021

This topic contains 16 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Reg the Fronkey Farmer 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    Already sitting on billions in funds, the Catholic Church became the largest recipient of the paycheck program, getting at least $3 billion. Parents are becoming more reticent to send their children to Catholic schools. I wonder why that is?

    If Trump started the Patriot Party, which religious groups would abandon the GOP?

    Some Christians are upset that their Church preaches what it believes. Others just want to get on with hosting more super-spreader events.

    Google and Apple seem happy to assist in the persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslims.

    Ravi Zacharias, who was at best just a mediocre Christian apologist, spent thousands of humanitarian dollars on the sexual abuse and exploitation of women around the world.

    This week’s Woo: The most excellent adventures of Operation Lemon Meringue continue.

    Environment: Geothermal energy, the energy problem solved? Just not in Texas though.

    Creationism, like the Book of Genesis, is just another conspiracy theory. Yeah, tell that to the crows.

    How bias towards atheists was orchestrated.

    An interesting perspective about belief here.

    Newly discovered galaxy ‘defies understanding’, say astronomers.

    ‘Designer molecules’ could create tailor-made quantum devices.

    Long Reads:  China continues to re-educate the Uighurs by destroying them. Can we have an open debate about IQ, genes, and group differences? Beyond the !Kung. Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are Goals.

    This week I will read this book: Religion and the Rise of Capitalism.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Coffee Break Video:  Women leaving Islam. Michael Shermer in discussion with Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Munk Debate on Capitalism.


    Have a great week everyone!




    As always, there’s so much to absorb and think about in this Sunday School.  I’ll just start with Google and Apple and Big Tech vs. Pakistan.

    For an outfit that once touted the motto: “Don’t Be Evil,” Google sure manages to go along with a lot of it.  Same likewise with Apple, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, and so many others.

    I’ve always wondered why in the Hell don’t more multi-Billion Dollar IT companies stand up to the tyrants in China, North Korea, Cuba, the Islamic world, and the rest of the world and say: Look, you can add your own content if you want, but either take the content that flows through our devices and services as is, or not at all!

    Yes, saying this might mean less market share initially, but it means the IT companies retain the quality that makes their devices and services so valuable.  That quality is information that is free-flowing and secure as needed by the individuals seeking it and holding it.

    As dissenters in repressive societies find ways to use these devices and services under their government’s noses, such as through encryption, steganography, and Virtual Private Networks, IT companies standing firm on their information policies could help act as a fulcrum to crow-bar those closed, repressive societies open.  Then the Internet can fulfill the vision so many had when it first became the tool of everyperson.

    As it stands now, too much of the world of Cyberspace has gone from this…

    …to this…

    No surprise, for the past 5 years, I have been using for my searches, as well as different choices for other services found on AlternativesTo

    If Big Government tyrannies and Big Tech cronies keep up what they are doing, maybe Cybernauts of the world will make a stampede for other services and virtual pastures greener.



    Regarding the “If Trump Started the Patriot Party” article…

    There are actually Buddhist Republicans?

    Who knew?



    Regarding the IQ article:

    IQ, like the n-word, is a third rail if applied to differences between ethnic groups. TO BE CLEAR, any differences are slight at best and no ethnic difference keeps any individual from being the smartest damned individual in the whole world without respect to their ethnicity.

    The reason it’s a third rail is obvious: Hateful racists arguing for superiority of their group will use it as proof.

    And yet, it’s hard not to note that children from the Indian subcontinent win spelling bees with almost nauseating (LOL) regularity. Who hasn’t noticed the dominance of black athletes, not only in sports like football and basketball, but even more so in the running sports? (There’s a little bit extra prejudice in sports summarized as, “If you’re a jock, you’re probably dumb.”)

    Anyone can see that science can’t operate where certain areas of study are forbidden. Who knows what great and helpful discoveries might come out of such research?

    A good place to start is to admit the FACT that IQ tests are irrelevant and often harmful due to cultural biases. Does this mean that research into human intelligence should be forbidden? No, but to me it means setting the IQ standard aside.

    Your thoughts?

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Unseen.


    Regarding the “If Trump Started the Patriot Party” article… There are actually Buddhist Republicans? Who knew?

    Splinter the GOP? OK How will that play out?


    Unseen – there are problems with “cultural specificity” in many IQ tests. But they can be helpful too. See this article.  Personally, I know many adults with IQ’s over 150 on the Mensa scale. While about 75% are white, this would probably reflect the % they are in the society in England and Ireland. I have personal knowledge of some children that sat IQ tests to discover if they were “gifted”. They were. 2 of the 7 were black and the children of first-generation immigrants and 2 were of Indian descent. That was 12 years ago. All are now in college. They are all from different socioeconomic backgrounds but the IQ test was a good “leveler” of opportunity.

    I think as long as society values intelligence then attempts to measure and quantify it will continue. I see nothing wrong with that in the same way I see nothing wrong with competitions like “Young Musician of the Year”, Young Artist of the Year” or Spelling Bee’s. They measure other forms of intelligence.  A standardized IQ test, that strives to remove biases and finds someone with an IQ or 170 in math and spatial reasoning, does not find someone “better” that the winner of the music composition. The smart thing to do is to celebrate our differences. That makes a society greater than the sum of its people.

    I am not fully convinced about the Askenazi Jews. I first read about this in the book, “The 10000-year explosion”. See wiki here. I recall reading about the veracity of the study and I think I even posted it on the old site. But I can’t seem to locate it at the moment. However, I will dig more into it later.


    I wonder if the Buddhists in the GOP will tell the party that “Change must come from within” !!


    Are you questioning the conclusion that Ashkenazi have higher IQ or one of the explanations?

    I do think that Ashkenazi Jews have IQ’s that are consistently higher than other groups. I was questioning some of the explanations for how their above average intelligence was selected for. I had wondered if their genetic isolation as a group might have been a problem. I had also heard of a “Bottleneck Hypothesis” and various arguments for and against it. This article seems to have cleared that up.



    Intelligence is complicated. I worked with some really smart design engineers over the years but many were extraordinary in only one or two specific areas. Take them out of their comfort zone and they had a rough time.  I specialized in digital signal processing and logic design. Don’t ask me to design a power supply.

    Every once in a while you would run across that rare someone who could do it all. This one guy was amazingly brilliant. He could not communicate…at all. No regard for the comprehensive abilities of his audience. I would literally have to step in and translate for him. We were working on a difficult issue one day. He stopped by and scribbled some figures and equations on a whiteboard. We had no idea what he was talking about. Three days later while driving home from work I finally understood what the hell he was saying.


    Simon Paynton

    I know that specific abilities or talents run in families.  Raw intelligence is one of those.

    If people have less to eat, less good housing, less good health care etc., it wouldn’t be surprising if they turned out less intelligent on average.



    Thanks Reg!  Spent all day yesterday at the emergency vet as the damn puppy found and ate most of a battery. Vet saved the day, if not the bank account. Got some time today to enjoy 🙂


    You are very welcome Strega.

    Eating a battery? Never heard that before but glad Sparky is recharging well . Must have been quite the shock to discover that.  The poor doggie could have diode. Sorry, that’s a bit negative of me so on a more positive note I guess the dog probably thinks it’s in charge now. I hope that does not lead to a power struggle over territory. Anyway, I ampere if you need anything but I am sure you conduit without me. I hope the vet didn’t charge too much if Sparky needed any edison for the pain. But really there should have been no bill to pay as the vet made Sparky free of charge in the end.


    Hope you are all wrapped up warm and not too adversely impacted by the cold weather. It went from 29f to 56f in 24 hours here.



    Jesus Reg…that was good…provided it was not off putting to Strega..we love our pets.

    I know what you mean Jake. My adopted cat died recently. Or maybe I should say, the cat that adopted me. I named it “You’re one of Them” but it just ignored me. It did confuse my neighbors though when they heard me call it in late at night :-). The local butcher must think I have become vegetarian!

    Another cat is on a recon of my house and back garden at the moment. I expect to pass its “vetting” (they don’t use that word) and might select me to look after it. “You’re one of them” must have left a good report about me.



    Limbaugh kicked the bucket today. I am not one to wish cancer on people nor wish for their deaths, and yet that doesn’t mean I don’t believe the world isn’t better off without some people making so much harmful noise. Given his prognosis, it seemed unlikely he was ever going to make a comeback, but oh what a nightmare he might have become had he been one of those bizarre spontaneous remission/ regression cases.

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