Friday, November 26, 2010

A Prayer Experiment for Atheists and Christians

I am posting this experiment with the permission of the original writer on the website He is a "Canadian skeptic/humanist interested in furthering a critical analysis of religious belief systems." He expressed amazement about how many people on the Internet (Twitter) ask others to pray for them or offer prayers for others. This post was originally presented by him on July 22, 2009 but I just ran across it last week and was intrigued by his proposal. His proposal is listed below:

"1.Decide on what you would like to pray for - we will call that result A

2.We agree that you will pray to God (or whatever supernatural being you choose)
for result A to happen.

3.I will pray to the ghost of Michael Jackson to ensure that result A happens.

4.If result A happens, you will explain to me why it is more likely that God made
it happen than the ghost of Michael Jackson or you will fairly concede that it is
just as likely that Jacko did it.

5.If result A does not happen, we will agree that neither God or Jacko answers
prayers. You will then explain to me why the entity you chose to pray to
selectively answers more prayers than Jacko."

My question to you, my gentle readers, is "How do you answer him?" I want both Christians and Atheists to feel free to respond - I will not tolerate any name calling or belligerence of any kind. I am simply interested in how both sides respond to this experiment.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wild Women of the World - Cross Dressing in Ancient Greece

(taken from "Uppity Women of Ancient Times" by Vicki Leon)

Sickly as a child, Telesilla was told by an oracle to learn music. This she did and also became a poet. She became famous for her poetry in her hometown of Argos, near Sparta in southern Greece. In the fifth century BC, the army from her town was destroyed by the Spartans. Since the Spartans knew that the town of Argos was now defenseless, they then headed to Argos with pillage on their minds. Telesilla gathered the slaves and old people to guard the city walls, while she and the women put on battle gear and drove away the Spartans. Thereafter, the citizens in gratitude celebrated Telesilla and their triumph annually by donning men's garb.

My question for you today is - how come the Spartans who had such a reputation for fighting could be defeated by a bunch of women?

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Slice and Dice Teenager

(taken from "Uppity Women of Medieval Times" by Vicki Leon)

In Florence Italy at the Florence hospital church of Santa Maria del Mereto, there is a plaque honoring a teenage girl who lived 700 years ago. What did she do that was so remarkable?
Her name was Alessandra Gilliani and she was a young girl from Bologna. A teenage prodigy, she got to study dissection at the side of the most famous doctor in Italy at the time, Mondino de Luzzi. At that time, around 1318, people were not sure of the difference between arteries and veins. Allesandra invented a technique to trace the different blood vessels in the body. Using a cadaver, she would draw blood from the veins and arteries and refill them with different colored dyes that solidified, allowing doctors to study and learn more about how the blood system works. The world lost a brilliant mind in such a young girl,when, unfortunately she died at the age of nineteen, never reaching her full potential.

My question for you today is - What is more remarkable - the fact that a teenage year old girl could come up with this technique or that a teenage girl would be allowed to not only be working along side of a doctor but to actually be advising a doctor in the 1300's?