Weird Facts

Have you ever wondered about weird facts, like what the longest word is? People disagree, but many say the longest word starts and ends “Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylalanyl…isoleucine.” It has 189,819 letters. It is the chemical composition of titin, the largest known protein. The full word takes about 2 to 3 1/2 hours to say.

Here are two weird facts about religion:

Etymology is the study of word origins, and how words started out may be very different from how they are now. For instance, have you ever wondered why there is an “e” on the end of “goodbye?” It’s because good bye was originally “God be with ye.” Similarly, the French word for good bye, “adieu,” literally means “to God.”

Check out this web page with some pretty cool weird facts and share one with a friend:

*** Can you think up an interesting fact about yourself that your friends don’t know?

What If Prayers Don’t Work?

Most people, even if they are secular, have at least tried prayer, even though they didn’t think it would work. But what if prayers don’t work? What are they like? Write a social media post showing what prayer is like if it doesn’t work. Here is a funny example:

– image shared by The Thinking Atheist

Talking to Kids About Morality Without God

One thing you sometimes hear is that without God there could be no objective morality (the oughts), because if moral rules/principles don’t get their authority from God, where could their authority come from?

Of course, this way of thinking is wrong. Children from a very young age understand what being a “friend” means without God having anything to do with the knowledge. So, kids can extrapolate from this understanding of friendship principles like “you’re being a better friend if you play the game your friend wants to play than if you selfishly demand to play your favorite game” or “you are being a bad friend if you steal your friend’s toy car.”

Another important point here is that the key elements of morality such as altruism are present widely in the animal kingdom, and so aren’t simply implanted in humans as the unique and special pinnacle of God’s creation. One article on this topic makes such points as:

  • Since altruism, empathy, and gratitude all underpin moral behavior, finding them in our fellow mammals suggests that they run deep in our brain biology and did not come about because of moral reasoning or religion. In fact, probably the opposite is true—religion developed because of our innate capacities for caring.

  • [I]n our attempts to study our animal brethren and avoid anthropomorphizing them we sometimes miss their very real similarities to us. According to the scientists Morell interviews, birds are capable of complex communication, elephants have long memories and strong social networks, and dolphins will act altruistically. These scientists are convinced that many higher order cognitive abilities are not limited to humans, and that we only need look a bit further to discover them in animals.


ARTICLE: Finding Morality in Animals
Two new books explore research on animals to better understand the roots of human morality and challenge human specialness.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

One of the traditional “proofs” of the existence of God is the beauty of the world. The claim is: surely as the beauty of a painting suggests an artist, so too does the beauty of a sunset suggest a divine artist.

One problem with this way of thinking is that beauty is a highly personal thing, not a feature of the world. Just as someone may not like the colors red and orange, and so not care for sunsets, someone who does not like the taste of wine may not care for a $1000.00 bottle of “fine wine.”

Singling out humans is an issue here too. Does a spider experience the beauty of the “fine painting?”

Secular Meme

A popular secular meme on the web is

Unknown origin, shared by Atheist Girl

In your own words, explain what you think this meme is arguing about religion (s) …