Sunday School

Sunday School July 8th 2018

This topic contains 38 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Davis 7 months ago.

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    The Wall of Separation is under attack by the White House. It will stand fast as long as laws speak louder than prayers. Just ask Sally Hunt what she thinks.

    Right Wing liars for Jesus are happy to indoctrinate their followers with a fake version of history. We should help to correct this by explaining some factual Christian history to them. Jesus must be turning in his grave over how Evangelicals have weaponized the Bible. What is really happening is that white evangelicals have traded their values and integrity for fleeting political power in an attempt to resurrect some imagined glorious past.

    Can God heal amputees? Bananaman say “Yes”.

    Who could be behind attempts to block a report into Catholic clerical sex abuse?

    Ken Ham has sold the Ark back to himself again for $10. He probably paid it with two $5 bills.

    This weeks’ Woo: GMO is a misleading term. There is no going back to simpler times.

    Climate Change: Localized tipping points around the Earth will give rise to dramatic long-term changes to global eco-systems and weather patterns. Thanks to “God’s Providence” Scott Pruitt has left the EPA.

    Religion is uniquely human but computer simulations may help us understand religious behavior.

    The ten commandments of logic.

    The DNA of ancient dogs helps us to understand early human migration. Chimpanzees can’t tell us much about being Human and you can’t blame Evolution for that but you can for CRISPR and the selfish gene drive.

    Should we bypass Europa and head for Enceladus instead in our quest for life beyond Earth? We might need the extra space soon! It is a long journey but we can have a picnic when we land there.

    Where is my mind? As your brain is made of particles you don’t have free-will in any meaningful way.

    Is it moral to respect the wishes of the dead, above the living?

    The Kepler Space Telescope is about to be powered off but it has a worthy successor in TESS.

    This week I am reading this book: How we believe.

    How to remember what you read.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil…..

    Coffee Break Video: An Egyptian atheist speaks about being imprisoned by the Religion of Peace. Crash Course Philosophy – the Argument for God. Perception – illusion or reality?


    Have a great week everyone!!

    Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.

    David Hume.



    My husband just had his defibrillator/pacemaker implant replaced. There was no praying involved with the first one 8 years ago, & none this time around either. He survives just fine without the time wasting. The medical people accomplish all of it.


    Glad it all went well for you both. I once heard a Jehovah Witless claim that if it was not for her God science would never make advances.  “Did you know the Bible is full of examples of historical science”? “No, it is not and I am not discussing this again”.



    Simon Paynton

    Chimpanzees can’t tell us much about being Human

    – “It is therefore wrong to compare Trump to a chimpanzee. Stating that Trump is like an aggressive alpha male chimp implies that the deep explanation for his behavior stems from evolutionary roots and behavioral patterns he shares with chimpanzees.

    I disagree that it’s wrong to compare Trump to a chimpanzee.  Trump is a narcissist, and I believe that narcissists are born lacking in the genes for cooperation.  Chimpanzees and other primates are also lacking in the genes for cooperation, and it’s only (non-narcissistic) humans that really have those.

    So, he’s selfish and self-absorbed like a chimpanzee.  Social but not very cooperative.


    My favorite description of Trump is still “Man-Baby“.

    At a recent meeting a troupe of Chimpanzees are reported to be very unhappy with the comparison and are scratching each others heads trying to come up with a plan to rebrand it on the Baboons as they meet in a Congress.  No fooling the Gorillas though.



    @ Robert – Just realized I took your advise from just over 2 years ago in TA and I mentioned both Ham and Bananas!!



    Ham and Banana sandwich, anyone?

    Not sure how we could ever repay Oceana for sending us these learned men. Each of them will receive a Nobel Prize for their amazing contributions to science and engineering, no doubt.

    Each day the church busses pull up and the innocent, child-like Christians shuffle out and behold the great steel and concrete block building with an Ark-like façade. The second-rate animatronics reaffirm their belief in their hobbled together scriptures. Little do they know that Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) flew to heaven with a winged horse, Poor bastards.



    Regarding the last link about perception not matching reality, of course we can’t understand everything at once! We don’t perceive a lot of things completely, e.g. a bee can see ultraviolet colors in a flower, but we can’t. Same for perception of infrared by a snake, but not by we humans. And we don’t completely understand quantum level behaviors, but I think it’s a stretch to say our perception of reality is just an illusion. Sure, illusions naturally occur to some extent, because we never have all possible senses and faculties available at once, immediatly on hand for every possible behavior, to we have to infer what’s happening underneath the veils.

    Imagine there are several layers deep of even more mystery, say, even below the quantum level that we won’t discover for a century or more. Does that mean that what we do understand today is just an illusion? No, and I think when we speak that way, it gives God-didit afficianados permission to fill in the gaps of knowledge with their scientifically useless ramblings about how He just works in mysterious ways. Or Deepak jumps in with how consciousness runs the universe.

    A desert mirage or a twinkling star are true illusions, but illusions that we can explain. And I’m tired of hearing about how solid object aren’t really “solid”, because they’re so full of space. Folks, when a ball bounces off the ground, that’s a good enough definition for me of “solid”!

    Finally, and most importantly, reality is that which exists whether someone is there to perceive it, or not. If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, yes, it still fell. No need to conjure up Twilight Zone mysterious-looking effects. The tree fell, dammit, and we can prove it by other means.


    Simon Paynton

    @popebeanie – I think it’s not so much that what we see is an illusion, but that the information we detect depends on the “equipment” or faculty we use to detect it.

    So, a bat “sees” with sound, and therefore, a sheet of clear glass is seen as opaque (and presumably, “white”) because sound bounces off it.

    It’s interesting to consider the tree in the forest.  The point is, if there is no ear to detect the air pressure waves, is there a sound?



    Thanks, Reg!


    Simon Paynton

    I think it’s fascinating to consider that the emotions are a “sense” that detect whether something is an opportunity or a threat.



    So, a bat “sees” with sound, and therefore, a sheet of clear glass is seen as opaque (and presumably, “white”) because sound bounces off it.

    Nice analogy. Although “white” technically infers noise or a mix of more than one frequency (color), your/our point still makes sense in the context of how well-enough an animal can perceive a piece of reality. And the bat’s not going to be able to follow the slightest hint of what we’re talking about scientifically… it’s only feeling a representation of a part of reality, which is close enough to be functional for its purposes. (Now I go crazier here, thinking… even if some form of free will exists wrt the bat mentally wondering about and deciding what “color” the glass is “in reality”, it would be a mental intervention and distraction to the critical task at hand, e.g. which is to just find and intercept those damned insects.)

    Back to quantum physics, are the really-deep thinkers wrt “what is reality, really” also just indulging in a recreational or purely philosophical kind of distraction? The deep thinking might prove useful someday in some further discovery, but until then, it’s just Deepaky to most mere mortals.

    It’s interesting to consider the tree in the forest. The point is, if there is no ear to detect the air pressure waves, is there a sound?

    But I’m deciding, in this case, it’s just not interesting to hearing people, as (e.g.) even a nearby deaf person (with their heightened awareness of the feeling of local vibrations… I mean, they can even dance to music, you know!?) could feel the tree fall! If we really want to investigate the finer points of “reality”, there are plenty of other aspects of it to investigate, without declaring with mystical attitude  something like “hey dude, like, you know, solid things aren’t really solid, you know, it’s all, like fake news, man”.

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: fricken revising my grip on how to describe reality, in a way that the most people might grok me, man
    • This reply was modified 7 months, 1 week ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: dippity deepity deepacky already!

    Simon Paynton

    An Egyptian atheist speaks about being imprisoned by the Religion of Peace.

    – I think Sherif Gaber is very brave, and very inspiring.  He’s right on the sharp end of the “debate” between atheism and religion.

    It’s a puzzle why Islam is so strict in its rules, in general.  I know it was influenced by Christianity, both at the beginning and in the 19th century, and that’s one source of its lack of sexual freedom.  Also, it’s very much the underdog in world politics, because it just is, and it’s probably because of this paranoid feeling of threat from the rest of the world that makes it so tight in enforcing rules.  It’s like, the whole religion is an army, and an army requires iron discipline.  But it seems so very corrupt these days.


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