Archive for July 12th, 2019

Saints and Sinners: An Arbitrary Distinction


(Patheos::Godless in Dixie) – Neil Carter:

Last week in a Chicago suburb, a Baptist pastor’s wife was charged with sexual assault of a minor as well as solicitation of child pornography. Students recall that Shannon Griffin, who taught kindergarten at the unaccredited school associated with her husband’s church, would often reprimand young women for their lack of modesty in dress, making it all the more ironic that investigators found evidence she shared nude videos of herself with students from the school.

Subsequent discussion of this discovery followed predictable lines, as one actual Beverly illustrates. She says, in essence, that this woman cannot be a Christian because a Christian wouldn’t do something like this. She was just a fake, playing along all these years.

And just like that, she doesn’t count anymore. She’s not a Christian, she’s a pedophile! See how easy that was? Selection bias works like a magic eraser, doesn’t it?

Watch what happens whenever it becomes obvious that faith in Jesus isn’t actually bringing about said characteristics: People like Beverly here simply conclude those people’s faith cannot have been real (since it didn’t work), so those people don’t count. They weren’t True Christians. This is simply the religious form of the No True Scotsman fallacy. Now the original claims are completely immune to falsification. All contrary evidence is expunged from the mental record and once again the groundbreaking “product” is deemed 100% effective. …

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Robert M. Sapolsky: Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

Related: “How Faith Breaks Your Thinker

A Weird Skull


(Atlantic Science) – Ed Yong:

The find is the oldest Homo sapiens fossil outside Africa. …

theatlantic apidima

Skulls Apidima 1 and 2