Here we go again! First off, as always, I want to say thanks to everyone for your FB LIKE's, your +1's on Google+, your thumbs up on StumbleUpon, and your tweets on Twitter. So glad you all find Sunday School valuable enough that you would want to share it with others. It makes the time spent on putting each edition together absolutely worth it! Thank you! Last week's edition was viewed almost 900 times thanks to all your help. Let's see if we can reach a thousand! Spread the word. The information is out there. Let's get it into people's hands, and into their minds.
Later tonight we'll be airing our interview with former preacher turned atheist and now co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Dan Barker, author of Losing Faith in Faith and Godless. Mr. Barker joined us to talk about his journey, about issues facing atheists, and about church/state separation.
Always remember that you can listen to any of our previously aired shows from the archive. Do follow the show on the main page or on iTunes. Follow me on Twitter (especially if you've entered a contest or are interested in future contests) or G+ for the latest updates on contests, scheduling, and guests! (if you enjoy the show please consider leaving a review on iTunes and telling others about the show! Take a look at the list of guests we've had join us. Listen to the show. Tell me that you don't think that others should be listening to us too!) And, remember, if you enjoy the show and you can spare a few bucks, you can really helps us out by donating to make sure we stay on the air! Alternatively, you can shop our book store where you'll get the same low prices you would in shopping Amazon direct, but in shopping with us Amazon gives a tiny slice of their profit from the sale allowing us to get some support from a book you were going to buy anyway! The titles in the store are those written by our guests plus some suggestions that Greg and I have put together for you. Thank you so much for the support of those that donate and shop the store. That you would give your hard earned money to support our project means more to us than we'll ever be able to properly tell you.
Alright, enough of all that!
Is it a "fact of history" that Jesus existed, or is it only "public knowledge"?
Eyes (and minds) deceive: witness unreliability casts doubt on death penalty rulings
Turns out plant RNA makes its way into the cells of plant eating animals and can switch genes on and off.
The big news this week- and if it's true, it's massive- comes from CERN where scientists announced that an experiment seemed to find evidence that neutrinos can exceed the.... While the media goes bonkers, cooler heads are urging a let's-wait-and-see approach. Don't be taken in by the hype just yet. Let science do what science does! (While you make some cash...)
Of course, when talk turns to faster than light speeds, time travel isn't far behind. Sean Carroll pointed out that even if the science here ends up being confirmed, it doesn't mean that time travel is possible.
Steven Pinker on why violence is vanishing, on the subject of his new book.
Commit a crime and you get to decide; jail or church? In one town in Alabama, this is the reality.
A follow up on "David Mabus"/Dennis Markuze: he's been diagnosed and is now in treatment.
What's the harm in believing in nonsense? Measles cases in California are at a 10 year high and it's down to the idiots refusing to vaccinate their kids.
Last week I linked to Duke University philosopher Alex Rosenberg's article explaining why he's a naturalist. This week there was some commentary on Rosenberg's piece from Jerry Coyne and from John Wilkins. There's different perspectives here so check them both out if you're interested in philosophical naturalism and the defense of same.
Thanks to Maggie Koerth-Baker for pointing to another great resource. There's been a lot of talk recently about the fuzzy boundary between Neanderthals and modern humans and it can be confusing. This should clear things right up.
Creationist: "You never seen new species being created!"
The rest of the world: "Um. Yeah, that's not true."
John Hagee says hate is the only way to save America. (Edit2: Apparently the site is back up! Edit: Apparently the site at this link has been hacked and is offline. Hopefully they get back online soon so that the page is viewable.)
The New York Times profiled Richard Dawkins this week concentrating on his science rather than his atheism.
This is fascinating: So, perhaps the strongest theory aiming to explain the origin of religious thought is that it has to do with "theory of mind". But if it does, and since autistic people lack a fully fledged "theory of mind", do autistic people believe in god at the same rate as neurotypical ... Turns out, no, not at all. The relationship between the origin of religious thought and "theory of mind" would seem to be strengthened on this.
Against mind/brain dualism. The mind is what the brain does. There's no such thing as a mind distinct from the brain.