Sunday School

Sunday School November 5th 2023.

This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Simon Paynton 3 weeks ago.

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    A recent poll on U.S. public opinion about human evolution.

    America’s largest Christian university just got fined $38 million for lying about tuition costs.

    The new House speaker is a fan of Ken Ham and his Ark in the park so he won’t want to know that modern humans co-existed with at least seven extinct hominid ancestors. But he will want to listen to David Barton as he too wants an to end separation of church and state.

    World of Woo:  Psychics and Mediums are not the “New Therapists”.

    Environment: In early 2029, Earth will likely lock into breaching a key warming threshold.

    Even healthy people can be tricked into hearing voices that are not there.

    Why 40% of people willfully choose to be ignorant.

    Hey, Devout Christians: How did you get your Bible?

    Inside the Church of the Straw Graspers.

    Long Reads:  Church and state: Where’s the wall?  The making of a crass Religious Freedom celebrity.  Philosophers have always been concerned with the question of how best to philosophize. It’s possible that frozen worlds with subterranean oceans are incubators of organic life.  The people who ruined the Internet.  The BBC is becoming part of a cynical anti-science collaboration. I remember the silence between the falling shells.

    Sunday Book Club:  The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human.

    Some photographs taken last week.

    While you are waiting for the kettle to boil……

    Futureproof Podcast: The problem with ‘Forever Chemicals’.

    Coffee Break video:  Scripture in the House.  A series of short videos captures a rare view into the lives of wild chimps.


    A bit shorter this week as I was busy at work. Have a great week!



    Our seven extinct hominid ancestors each thought that they were made in the “image of god too”, lol.



    Thanks, Reg!


    From part of a discussion between myself and 2 theists that stopped me on the street to tell me about some “very good news”.

    I knew from the outset that they were Creationists without them expressly telling me so.  (You can tell when you see their knuckles hit the sidewalk). They were ‘teaching’ me about the wisdom of Solomon and how clever it was of him to be inspired by God to decide which of two women was the mother of a baby.

    Solomon said, “Bring me a sword,” and ordered the child cut in two, with each woman receiving half of the body. Shocked, one of the mothers said, “Please, my lord, give her the living boy!” (I Kings 3:26). Solomon knew that the true mother had spoken, for no woman could see her own child killed.

    They looked at me as if some profound understanding of reality had suddenly dawned on them.

    “I think that was very vulgar and cruel of him”, I suggested. “I guess it was the best he could do as there was no scientific way of deciding it back then. There is no need for such cruelty today as we can get a quick DNA test done to determine with 100% accuracy who the mother of the child is.  It is a much more civilized and fairer way to do it, don’t you think”?

    “Of course, we do! But Solomon was very busy and this was the best and quickest way to solve the problem at the time. So, he was wise and correct to come up with the solution back then. And yes, of course DNA testing would be the best way to judge such things today. It can tell us so much about ourselves”.

    I told them I agreed with them both. They seemed very happy to hear this and asked if I had any more questions.

    If you agree that DNA can tell us so much about our human ancestry, then why you do not accept that it can tell us, with the same level of accuracy, of our kinship with other species. It has been shown that we share 98.7% of our DNA with bonobos. Please explain to me where the Science is wrong.

    What’s a bonobo…..??




    This gives rise to questions you could have asked the Creationists: “Was God too busy to send King Solomon and the two alleged Baby-Mamas DNA testing kits to solve the problem, complete with Q-Tip™ Cotton Swabs to collect the saliva samples? And couldn’t God have sent Mary a Supernatural sperm sample and a Clearblue Easy™ pregnancy test and saved himself and an angel a trip to Earth?”. 😁


    @Enco – I save up all my sarcasm and ‘tough’ questions for Catholics. Most of them can’t even explain their theology to me. They know even less about the Bible and many of them don’t even possess one!

    I asked one of them recently why Jesus would not help Sisyphus take a break from pushing the rock up the hill when he begged him to. You know, the parable from the written word of St Papyrus?

    He replied, Yes, but it should always be read in the context of the whole text and Jesus would have his reasons for not forgiving him that may not have been revealed to us.





    Now that was hilarious to mix mythologies like that! And since the early Church did get Paul’s writings in Greek, and did borrow a lot of iconography from the Greeks via the Romans, and for the longest time didn’t even believe in the common riff-raff using Bibles, they are especially none the wiser! 😁😁😁



    He replied, Yes, but it should always be read in the context of the whole text and Jesus would have his reasons for not forgiving him that may not have been revealed to us.

    Of course! Everything happens for a reason, even if those initially unfathomable, unpredictable reasons are married into and can’t be divorced from determinism.

    Does that make universal sense? Maybe it’s a believable, secular analog to God made it happen, fatefully, in His infinitely mysterious ways. While Jesus runs the PR department.

    YMMV, and YMMV.



    A recent poll on U.S. public opinion about human evolution.

    29% of respondents preferred “Humans evolved into their present form without divine intervention,” 24% preferred “Humans evolved into their present form, but God directed the process,” and 37% preferred “Humans did not evolve….”

    In giving this response, that 37% is serving up some strong evidence to support their case.




    Inside the Church of the Straw Graspers.

    While consenting adults certainly have the right to do with their minds and bodies as they wish and have the responsibility to pay the freight and certainly shouldn’t be oppressed or subsidized by the State, psychedelic religion is certainly nothing new.

    A lot of forensic and medical experts analyzing stories of talking snakes, talking asses, burning bushes, wheels in the sky, skeletons walking around and growing flesh, multi-headed creatures in Daniel, Amos, and Ezekiel, plus The Beast with Seven Heads and Ten Horns, and The New Jerusalem Borg Cube in St. John’s Revelation, would have to say that these were the products of psilocybin mushroom highs, as well as extremes of heat, thirst, and hunger that ancient people took as common.

    “Vision Quests” of the Native Americans were brought about by similar factors and conditions too.

    And some shared their embibings with others, to hilarious effect. 😁😃😄😆😂🤣



    Reg and Fellow Unbelievers,

    I should add the obligatory disclaimer that what is funny in the movies would not be funny in real life. Don’t use firearms in altered states of consciousness and above all never fire firearms in the air! 32 feet per second is 32 feet per second and whatever is going at that speed plus the speed of a bullet can come down anywhere!


    Simon Paynton

    Philosophers have always been concerned with the question of how best to philosophize.

    Is philosophy really too specialised?  I see mathematics, science and philosophy as three parts of the same thing – the systematic search for knowledge.  We would’t say that mathematics and science are too academic and specialised – because they need to be so.

    I think that philosophy is the systematic search for knowledge about life.  So, the ancient Greeks asked questions like, “what makes a good life?”  “How do we know we are doing the right thing?”  The point is, anyone can ask themselves these questions.  They might not agree with the answers the ancient Greeks came up with.  The other point is, questions not answers.  The moral philosophy I am coming up with, doesn’t give clear cut moral answers.  At best, it says that X is right according to value A and wrong according to value B.  But it gives very precise reasons why this is so.  Those precise reasons are based on a lot of scientific and philosophical specialisation.  You can take away from any of these things, both broad and specific knowledge.

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