Sunday School

Sunday School May 13th 2018

This topic contains 15 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  tom sarbeck 8 months, 1 week ago.

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    A new poll from ABC News shows that the number of non-religious continues to grow.

    Atheists in Turkey need to be courageous as members of the religion of peace threaten their lives.

    Some Christians get annoyed by cartoons while others just know that only Jesus can save North Korea. Maybe they should stick to reading Christian publications.

    I love it when Catholics get offended as they are fast to anger. They should follow the example of their priests and just chill.

    A look at President Trump’s new faith based initiatives.  The pastor who leads the government and the Cabinet weekly Bible studies wants members to use (abuse) their positions to spread Christianity.

    This weeks’ Woo:  A fortune teller making fortunes did not see this coming.

    Climate Change: Science alone will not fix the problem.

    The Russian museums of opium. Do you sense the author is an atheist or not?

    A Republican explains how religion destroyed the GOP.

    Women are finding their worth through atheism.

    Belief in the supernatural is linked with a poor understanding of the physical world.

    Five questions to ask proponents of Intelligent Design. Then explain to them how Darwin’s Theory of Evolution evolved. A look at Transhumanism and the elitism of self-directed human evolution.

    Researchers map the genetic steps from egg to developed animal.

    Some cerebral mystique for your brain to ponder.

    These scientists will be working at the coldest temperatures in the Universe.

    Sam Harris and Tamler Sommers discuss the culture of honor.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    This week I am reading this book: All the light we cannot see.

    We pause to remember: David Goodall

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

    Coffee Break Video:  What explains the rise of humans? Bill Maher on Married to the Mob.


    Have a great week everyone!!



    I am always curious what a woo peddler scam artist “looks like”

    Here she is: Ann Thompson, Psychic Zoe. I see she has her quartz on display.



    Thanks, Reg!


    Daniel W.

    Thank you @regthefronkeyfarmer, for a nice collection of links and readings.  I would like to say that reading them will keep me occupied enough that I keep out of trouble for the next week, but history shows that I get myself into lots of trouble anyway.

    So far I enjoyed reading about the decrease in the number of Religiously affiliated Americans, and about the reactions to a cartoon showing Evangelical Christians as hypocrites.  Does anything think it bothers them to be regarded as hypocrites, or that they regard themselves as anything other than hypocrites, or that hypocrazy is even on their radar as a concept?  I think they are happy to be opportunists for Jehovah, and that’s about it.

    To critically discuss one link, (not disagreeing about including it, but discussing my thoughts about the author’s style and content) about 5 errors of human evolution and how do Intelligent Design folks explain away those errors – I beg to differ.

    First, in calling these errors, there is a teleological argument being made, that all of our parts and pieces are put together in an efficient and logical fashion, with purpose and intent.  In the example given, about humans being unable to make vitamin C due to our inactive GULO gene, if there is abundant vitamin C in our diet, there is no reason for us to make it, and a nonfunctional gene is not an error but just something there was no reason to maintain – so not an error of evolution.  But assuming that Jehovah constructs us only with genes that work and have purpose, we are making a theological statement- that we know Jehovah only constructs humans in ways that we appreciate and approve of, and work for every individual of the species in every situation.  Stating that, makes us theologicians, not evolutionary biologists.

    I also don’t think we are bad at absorbing vitamins and minerals.  In the context of the diets we evolved eating, our absorption was fine.  Otherwise we would not have survived.  Evolutionary speaking, if something is in plentiful supply, we don’t need a mechanism to absorb it efficiently.  If scarce, then we need to be able to scarf it up.  To use extremes, in the desert, a creature needs to be efficient at absorbing and retaining water.  In the ocean, that is not the case.  Human diet changed dramatically due to agriculture and industry, and humans have not kept up, but we have changed a bit – for example, most of us can process lactose in adulthood, allowing us to eat and drink dairy products.  As for what Jehovah has in mind with our vitamin and mineral absorption – again, thinking in those terms is theological, and who says, and why, that Jehovah wants us to absorb minerals in ways that are efficient?  Who are atheists to know the mind of the all knowing creator god?

    As for humans being inefficient at reproduction – really?  In a blink of geological time, we’ve reached a Malthusian, existential crisis.   If reproduction was any easier, I don’t know how life on Earth would have survived this long.  There need to be some speed-bumps, but even there, we’ve overcome most of them.  We assume that lost embryos are wasted material and effort – but other organisms spew forth massive amounts of eggs, sperms, seeds, baby plants and animals, and only a few survive to reproduce on their own.  Our reproduction isn’t easy, especially for the mother and the embryo/fetus/child and its transition from in utero life to the world at large.  The bible does give an explanation – that is punishment for Eve’s original sin.  All women are punished because Eve was disobedient to her maker.

    I have zero belief in any gods, goddesses, ghosts, goblins, woowoo or supernatural, but I don’t think the article’s author really thought these things through.  It’s too teleological, and makes too many theological assumptions.  I do appreciate the opportunity to read and think about articles such as this, however.  It stimulates my mind.


    • This reply was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  Daniel W..


    Thanks, Reg, much to choose from.


    Re the David Goodall story;

    Exit International released a statement from Goodall that said: “David has requested that his body be donated to medicine and, if not, that his ashes be sprinkled locally. He wishes to have no funeral, no remembrance service or ceremony. David has no belief in the afterlife.

    I would just change “the afterlife” to “an afterlife” as I do not assume or believe one exist. We don’t live after we die.



    Simon Paynton

    From “Your Stories Of Atheism: When Women Find Their Worth

    – “If the evangelical god is real and I am indeed going to hell, then so be it. But I refuse to serve a deity out of fear.

    – that is what you call “balls”.  I really cannot think of one crime that would merit being sent to hell.  But on the other hand, what if you do that to somebody else?  Put them in a living hell?  What if there is an afterlife, and their living hell never ends?  Even then, it’s debateable.


    – “If the evangelical god is real and I am indeed going to hell, then so be it. But I refuse to serve a deity out of fear.”

    Many theists profess a belief in “God” because they fear going to Hell. It is a Pascal’s Wager situation which basically says “If God is real then you have nothing to lose by believing in him and everything to gain when you die”. It is a stupid argument because it is not possible to believe in something you do not believe in. It also ignores other gods so how do you know you are believing in the right one. Even Homer Simpson could see through this theological masterpiece that theists keep trotting out. They also assume to know the mind of God by claiming that he is going to be merciful towards those that pretended or lied about their belief rather than those of us that used our intellect and were honest to admit we are unable to believe he is real. As I said once before…to blazes with Pascal 🙂


    tom sarbeck

    Reg, as we here know, the theological masterpiece that theists keep trotting out fools enough people and the money just keeps rolling in.


    Yes, they just keep falling for it – even when they know it is a con….:-)


    As for listening to theology!!



    A Republican explains how religion destroyed the GOP.

    I just listened to a great interview with another conservative author:

    In his new book, “Suicide of the West,” Jonah Goldberg argues that identity politics are dismantling the institutions essential to American society. Part political history, part expository essay, the work chronicles the evolution of Western civilization, from tribalism to liberal democratic capitalism. Goldberg argues that the latter has driven the immense improvement in quality of life over the past century and that current political trends threaten to undermine this progress.

    Jonah Goldberg, senior editor, National Review; columnist, L.A. Times; author, “Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy”

    (He also laments Trump’s jumping into bed with evangelicals.)



    Researchers map the genetic steps from egg to developed animal.

    I’ve been writing up a description of the science of epigenetics, and fyi, the development of egg (or plant seed, spore, etc.) into an organism is totally driven by epigenetics, i.e. how cells become tissues, organs, or (later) neuro-plasticity, cancerous growths, cell suicide (to stop viruses) when infected… just name any cellular process.  (But what the Oprahs and Chopras like to sell, not so much.)

    All from one, single copy of DNA.

    Gene Expression and Regulation


    Thanks for posting your Holiness. I think I will add it to my list. I recommended reading Enlightenment Now in a recent Sunday School which is well worth the effort as it can (and maybe should) be read a few chapters a week. Both books would sit on the same shelf.



    Some cerebral mystique for your brain to ponder.

    Last paragraph from that article:

    The brain is special because it does not distil us to an essence, it unites us to our surroundings in a way a soul never could. If we value our own experiences, we must protect and strengthen the many factors that enrich our lives from both inside and outside, so that as many people as possible can benefit from them now and in the time to come. We must realise that we are much more than our brains.

    Here’s the biggest irony of all, rarely ever mentioned: The only purpose of any brain is to drive the body (whether human or not) to live long and well enough to procreate.

    I.e., brains evolved to be the body’s slave and tool, not the other way around.

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