Conversations: Civilization of Ignorance


Sappho
All complex life on earth has developed from simpler life forms over billions of years. This is a fact that no longer admits of intelligent dispute. If you doubt that human beings evolved from prior species, you may as well doubt that the sun is a star.

Galene
Well, not to be facetious, but the sun doesn’t look like any other star.

Sappho
Granted, the sun doesn’t seem like an ordinary star, but we know that it is a star that just happens to be relatively close to the earth.

Helena
The point is this: imagine your potential for embarrassment if your religious faith rested on the presumption that the sun was not a star at all. Imagine millions of Christians in the United States spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year to battle the godless astronomers and astrophysicists on this point. Imagine them working passionately to get their unfounded notions about the sun taught in our nation’s schools. This is exactly the situation Christians are now in with respect to evolution. Continue reading

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On Transparent Walls


“Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.”

– Michael Pollan

The Great Dying


Permian extinction
252 million years ago

Just as the reptiles were flourishing, life on Earth faced perhaps its greatest challenge. The Permian extinction was the worst mass extinction in the planet’s history, obliterating up to 96% of marine species and similar numbers of land animals. We don’t know for sure what caused it, but massive volcanic eruptions – creating what is now the Siberian Traps – may have been to blame. In the aftermath, the first dinosaurs evolved.

See other: History of Life

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Almost any domestic cat can run faster than Usain Bolt.

According to a 2015 poll conducted by Public Policy Polling, 30% of Republicans polled in favour of bombing the fictional city of Agrabah, featured in Disney’s Aladdin (1992).

Kali is the Hindu goddess of death, violence, sexuality and, motherly love.

In 2015, there were more days with a mass shooting than days without a mass shooting in the United States.

The Moon has earthquakes that last for up to 10 minutes. Because the Moon is so dry and dense, they earthquakes it vibrate like a tuning fork.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Wife Carrying


Wife Carrying as a sporting activity was first played in Finland where it is known as Eukonkanto. Its history is probably based on the 19th century legend of Herkko Rosvo-Ronkainen, or ‘Ronkainen the Robber’, whose band of thieves were known for stealing food and women from small Finnish villages. Somehow, the practice of picking up a woman (with her consent) and running off evolved to a sport.

The first modern day wife carrying event was held in Finland in 1992 and foreign contestants were admitted in 1995. This event is now held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland as the World Championship. A North American Championship was started in 1999.

The International Wife Carrying Competition Rules Committee has set a number of official rules, among others:

  • The length of the official track is 253,5 meters and surface of the track is sand.
  • The winner is the couple who completes the course in the shortest time.
  • The track has two dry obstacles and one water obstacle, about a meter deep.
  • The wife to be carried may be your own, the neighbour’s or you may have found her farther ahead; she must, however, be over 17 years of age.
  • The minimum weight of the wife to be carried is 49 kilos. If she weighs less, she will be burdened with such a heavy rucksack to reach the desired minimum weight.
  • If a contestant drops the wife, he has to lift her on to his back or in his arms and continue carrying.

The Weight of Hatred


‘Well, my conclusion is hate is baggage.’

– Morrissey. J. (Producer), Kaye. T. (Director). (1998). American History X [Motion Picture]. United States: New Line Cinema

Conversations: Limbo and Poseidon


Sappho
Consider the recent deliberations of the Roman Catholic Church on the doctrine of limbo. Thirty top theologians from around the world recently met at the Vatican to discuss the question of what happens to babies who die without having undergone the sacred rite of baptism.

Galene
What is the doctrine of limbo exactly?

Helena
Since the Middle Ages, Catholics have believed that such babies go to a state of limbo, where they enjoy what St. Thomas Aquinas termed “natural happiness” forever. This was in contrast to the opinion of St. Augustine, who believed that these unlucky infant souls would spend eternity in hell. Continue reading