CURRENT EVENTS: FFRF condemns death of 22-year-old Iranian for not wearing hijab

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is speaking out against Iran for the killing of a young woman for not wearing the hijab. From the article:

  • The notion of religion tied to the Iranian state in this theocracy — a reminder to Americans of what “One Nation Under God” really looks like — depends on female subjugation. Women are property. Women are sin-inciting and do not own their own bodies. They must be controlled by male religions and legislatures. Sounds familiar.
  • What’s happening in Iran is a lesson for us in America, where women are also now legally second-class citizens after our Supreme Court, dominated by Catholic patriarchs (and one handmaiden) ruled that deciding whether to not to be pregnant or become a parent is no longer a constitutional right.

Check out the full article here

How things have changed in Iran in 50 years, via Anand Ranganathan

New Kids BOOK: “Darwin & Hooker: A story of friendship, curiosity and discovery that changed the world”

The description of the book is as follows:

On 24th November 1859, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was first published, selling out almost immediately. Describing the now well known theory that humans evolved through a process called natural selection, it became an instant classic and cemented Darwin as one of the greatest biologists of all time. However, he couldn’t have done it without the support, encouragement and advice from those who believed in him. None more so than Joseph Hooker, his friend, confidant and fellow collector, who supported and helped Darwin when he didn’t dare ask anyone else. Hooker, too, had his own adventures and made his own discoveries – many of which not only aided Darwin, but went on to change what the world knew about plants. Becoming head of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, he came to be one the world’s most influential botanists. Across many years, countless adventures and numerous letters, this captivating and wonderfully illustrated book tells the story of one of greatest friendships to happen to science. Publishing in partnership with Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, this book will show children how teamwork, curiosity, openness and trust can be the greatest tools a scientist will ever need. They might even help you change the world.

see https://thedispersalofdarwin.wordpress.com/2022/09/14/8119/

Christianity and Poverty

Jesus is famously recorded as saying that rich people should sell their possessions and give them to the poor, and that it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich person to enter the kingdom of God. But, this hasn’t stopped many Pentecostal Christian pastors from becoming wealthy. Here are the richest in 2022:

Top 10 Richest Pastors in The World 2022

The table below contains the names, net worth, ministry, age, and nationality of the top 10 richest pastors in the world in 2022.

 RankPastorNetworthMinistryAgeNationality
1Kenneth Copeland $760 millionKenneth Copeland Ministries62America
2David Oyedepo $150 millionLiving Faith Church (Winners Chapel)48Nigeria
3Pat Robertson$ 100 millionChristian Broadcasting Network91America
4Benny Hinn$70 millionWorld Healing Center Church69Israel
5Chris Oyakhilome$60 millionChrist Embassy58Nigeria
6 Joel Osteen $50 millionLakewood Church58America
7Creflo Dollar$30 millionWorld Changers Church International60America
8Rick Warren$25 millionSaddleback Church68America
9Jesse Duplantis$20 millionJesse Duplantis Ministries72America
10Bishop TD Jakes$20 millionThe Potter’s House64America
via https://rnn.ng/richest-pastors-in-the-world/

Shared by Darwin via twitter

Question: Is it right for pastors to get rich while their followers are poor?

The Little Mermaid

It’s amazing that Disney putting out a black princess Ariel, the little mermaid, would cause controversy and backlash, but some people are upset.

The new princess Ariel, Halle Bailey

For people who “can’t see” a black person in the role of princess Ariel, do you think this would extend to other possibilities?

Shared by Hend Amry via twitter

Who is better?

Questions:

  1. Is someone a better person if they do the right thing because they think they’ll get a reward, or if they just do it because they want to do the right thing?
  2. Is someone a better person who doesn’t do bad stuff because they think they’re going to get in trouble, or because they really don’t want to do bad stuff?
Shared on twitter by Paul Kinsella

New Paths In The Origin Of Life Debate Part 2: FOR KIDS, The Miller-Urey experiment.

Religions often teach a god or gods created life, because living things can’t come from unliving things. But this isn’t true. Consider the Miller-Urey experiment:

This animation was sponsored by the Center for Chemical Evolution, NSF, and NASA

The Miller-Urey experiment was the first attempt to scientifically explore ideas about the origin of life. Stanley Miller simulated conditions thought be common on the ancient Earth. The purpose was to test the idea that the complex molecules of life (in this case, amino acids) could have arisen on our young planet through simple, natural chemical reactions.

The experiment was a success in that amino acids, the building blocks of life, were produced during the simulation. The finding was so significant that it kick-started an entirely new field of study: Prebiotic Chemistry.

Scientists now have reason to believe that the gases used in the Miller-Urey simulation were not actually the same as those of the ancient atmosphere. Because of this, many experiments have since been done, testing a wide variety of atmospheres and different environmental conditions. The results are overwhelming: the molecules of life can form under a wide variety of ancient Earth-like conditions.

Many questions about the origin of life remain to be answered but these findings give strong support to the idea that the first living cells on Earth may have emerged from natural chemical reactions.

(From Stated Clearly: Science For Everyone )

If Secular Web Kids Promotes Critical Thinking, What Is The Alternative?

As an educator, my goal is to promote critical thinking, which I think naturally leads to secularism. However, if a child’s exploration of thinking leads to religiousness, then that’s fine too. The point is to level the playing field to let the truth speak to kids as honestly as it can. What’s the alternative?

Dr. Frank Turek is now promoting curriculum to prove Christianity to kids, and claiming the alternative is the work of the devil. Here is his advertisement:

The devil ain’t playing tiddlywinks with your children, ladies, and gentlemen! These new curricula available for 2-5th graders and 6-8th graders will guide you step-by-step through the process of teaching them why Christianity is objectively true!

Activity: put on a short skit showing the difference between education and indoctrination