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Athens is the only capital city in Europe where the air is more polluted outside than inside.

In AD 380, the Catholic Church issued a law specifically forbidding anyone to read the Bible whilst naked.

There is a plant called Hooker’s Lips (Psychotria Elata).

In 2006, later Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.”

Since 1963, the reverse of the United States ten-dollar-bill has stated “In God we trust”. Between 2000 and 2017, the reverse of the Bank of England ten-pound-note has portrayed Charles Darwin.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Conversations: Intelligent Design?


Helena
Here is what we know. We know that the universe is far older than the Bible suggests. We know that all complex organisms on earth, including ourselves, evolved from earlier organisms over the course of billions of years. The evidence for this is utterly overwhelming.

Sappho
For example, there is no question that the diverse life we see around us is the expression of a genetic code written in the molecule DNA, that DNA undergoes chance mutations, and that some mutations increase an organism’s odds of surviving and reproducing in a given environment. This process of mutation and natural selection has allowed isolated populations of individuals to interbreed and, over vast stretches of time, form new species. Continue reading

On Metaphysics


“Metaphysics is a restaurant where they give you a thirty-thousand-page menu, and no food.”

– Robert M. Pirsig

On Absurdities and Atrocities


“As long as people believe in absurdities, they will continue to commit atrocities.”

– Voltaire

Conversations: Prophecies


Zoe
There are people who think that their sacred texts predict the future by means of prophecies. Is this so unreasonable?

Sappho
It is. Consider the Bible, Christians regularly assert that the Bible predicts future historical events. For instance, Deuteronomy 28:64 says, “And the LORD will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other.”

Helena
Furthermore, Jesus says, in Luke 19:43-44, “For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Now, we are meant to believe that these utterances predict the subsequent history of the Jews with such uncanny specificity so as to admit of only a supernatural explanation.

Sappho
But just imagine how breathtakingly specific a work of prophecy would be, if it were actually the product of omniscience. Continue reading

Conversations: Scriptural Accuracy


Lysandra
It is often said that it is reasonable for people to believe that the Bible is the word of God because many of the events recounted in the New Testament confirm Old Testament prophecy.

Helena
A pathetic argument. Consider the following, how difficult would it have been for the Gospel writers to tell the story of Jesus’ life so as to make it conform to Old Testament prophecy? Wouldn’t it have been within the power of any mortal to write a book that confirms the predictions of a previous book? In fact, we know on the basis of textual evidence that this is what the Gospel writers did.

Sappho
The writers of Luke and Matthew, for instance, declare that Mary conceived as a virgin, relying upon the Greek rendering of Isaiah 7:14. The Hebrew text of Isaiah uses the word ‘alma’, however, which simply means “young woman,” without any implication of virginity. Continue reading

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A best-selling 15th century work of fiction was The Tale of the Two Lovers, an erotic novel by the man who later became Pope Pius II.

In 1967, Picoaz, Ecuador, elected a brand of foot deodorant as the town’s mayor.

The word ‘fun’ does not appear in the King James Bible.

At least 109 journeys between adjacent London Underground stations are quicker to walk.

Apostasy, the abandonment of religion, is a capital offence in Afghanistan, Iran, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

Conversations: Faith and Facts


Helena
People who believe there is such a thing as a loving caring omnipotent being have always had a tough time, for examples of God’s failure to protect humanity are everywhere to be seen. The city of New Orleans, for instance, was destroyed by a hurricane not too long ago. More than a thousand people died; tens of thousands lost all their earthly possessions; and nearly a million were displaced. It is safe to say that almost every person living in New Orleans at the moment Hurricane Katrina struck shared the Abrahamic belief in an omnipotent, omniscient, and compassionate God.

Zoe
Following that line of reasoning, what was God doing while Katrina laid waste to their city? Surely He heard the prayers of those elderly men and women who fled the rising waters for the safety of their attics, only to be slowly drowned there. These were people of faith. These were, undoubtedly, on the whole, good men and women who had prayed throughout their lives. Do we have the courage to admit the obvious? – These poor people died talking to an imaginary friend. Continue reading