Conversations: Unintelligent Design?


Zoe
The biologist J.B.S. Haldane is reported to have said that, if there is a God, He has “an inordinate fondness for beetles.” What do you think about that observation?

Helena
To be honest, one would have hoped that an observation this devastating would have closed the book on creationism for all time.

Sappho
The truth is that, while there are now around three hundred and fifty thousand known species of beetles, God appears to have an even greater fondness for viruses. Biologists estimate that there are at least ten strains of virus for every species of animal on earth. Many viruses are benign, of course, and some ancient virus may have played an important role in the emergence of complex organisms.

Helena
Unfortunately, viruses tend to use organisms like you and me as their borrowed genitalia. Many of them invade our cells only to destroy them, destroying us in the process—horribly, mercilessly, relentlessly. Viruses like HIV, as well as a wide range of harmful bacteria, can be seen evolving right under our noses, developing resistance to antiviral and antibiotic drugs to the detriment of everyone.

Sappho
Evolution both predicts and explains this phenomenon; the book of Genesis does not. How can you imagine that religious faith offers the best account of these realities, or that they suggest some deeper, compassionate purpose of an omniscient being? Continue reading

On Relativity


“When you sit with a nice girl for two hours, you think it’s only a minute. But when you sit on a hot stove for a minute, you think it’s two hours. That’s relativity.”

– Albert Einstein

On Seizing the Moment


“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.”

– Erma Bombeck

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.

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

2/vi mmxvi


Penistone is a town South Yorkshire, England.

The “Make America Great Again” caps designed for the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign were made in China.

Women were not allowed to serve on Royal Navy submarines until 2011.

Lizards cannot breathe and walk at the same time.

The national anthem of Bangladesh includes the lines: “The fragrance from your mango groves makes me wild with joy.”

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

26/v mmxvi


Condom is a large municipality in the Gers region of France. One of its monuments is Condom Cathedral, former seat of the Bishop of Condom.

The word ‘laughter’ is mentioned 7 times in the King James Bible the word ‘slaughter’ is mentioned 55 times.

Atheists can be legally prosecuted, sent to jail, and in some cases executed, in 55 countries.

At the time of writing, in the United Kingdom, tampons are taxed as luxury goods. Jaffa Cakes are not.

From 1953 to 2002, the Piper to the Queen Mother was responsible for playing the bagpipes at the request of Queen Elizabeth’s mother.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts

19/v mmxvi


Gagingwell is a hamlet in West Oxfordshire, England.

Until Abramic religions were introduced in Egyptian society, women had been independent, empowered and emancipated citizens.

Roman Emperor Vespasian introduced a tax on the sale of urine. Therefore, the phrase pecunia non olet, ‘money does not stink’, is ascribed to him.

Mutterkuchen, the German word for placenta literally means ‘mother cake’.

Stravinsky had an affair with Coco Chanel in the summer of 1920. He was revising the Rite of Spring at the time, and she was about to launch Chanel No.5.

See other: Quite Interesting Facts