Easter Weekend 2019 — Free Fire Zone

This is a holiday weekend, and news of The Controversy between evolution and creationism is virtually non-existent — at least so far.

Well, you may find this interesting. It’s at the website of the Gallup Organization: U.S. Church Membership Down Sharply in Past Two Decades. It’s consistent with what we talked about last week in Creative Challenge #58: What’s Going On?, but it’s a different study with different data. One excerpt should be sufficient:

As Christian and Jewish Americans prepare to celebrate Easter and Passover, respectively, Gallup finds the percentage of Americans who report belonging to a church, synagogue or mosque at an all-time low, averaging 50% in 2018.

U.S. church membership was 70% or higher from 1937 through 1976, falling modestly to an average of 68% in the 1970s through the 1990s. The past 20 years have seen an acceleration in the drop-off, with a 20-percentage-point decline since 1999 and more than half of that change occurring since the start of the current decade.

We’ll keep looking for news, but that’s all we could find so far, which means we’ll have to entertain ourselves. Therefore, we hereby declare another Intellectual Free-Fire Zone. We’re open for the discussion of pretty much anything — science, politics, economics, or even astrology, theology, mythology, and sociology — as long as it’s tasteful and interesting. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But avoid flame-wars and beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it.

Copyright © 2019. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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20 responses to “Easter Weekend 2019 — Free Fire Zone

  1. Regarding evolution vs. creationism, there’s this: http://rosarubicondior.blogspot.com/2019/04/evolution-news-matter-of-joined-up.html

    As for the Gallup poll, meh. With the huge number of televangelists as well as even small churches livestreaming services, it’s hardly surprising that many people opt for not “belonging to a church”. Consider, for example, the story told by a few millennials, as reported here: https://www.flatlandkc.org/people-places/the-christianity-spectrum-local-millennials-share-how-they-do-church/

  2. Headlines seen in The Guardian online”

    ‘Church’ to offer ‘miracle cure’ despite FDA warnings against drinking bleach

    Group to hold ‘effective alternative healing’ event in Washington state in which they peddle a ‘sacrament’ known to be industrial cleaner

    <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/19/church-group-to-hold-washington-event-despite-fda-warnings-against-miracle-cure&quot;.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/apr/19/church-group-to-hold-washington-event-despite-fda-warnings-against-miracle-cure

    I couldn’t believe this, so I checked with a couple of independent sources.
    The bleach isn’t precisely what comes out of a bottle that you buy at the supermarket, but it’s awful enogh. There are people even giving it to babies as a panacea.
    There is no limit.

  3. Ah, BruceL, but that doesn’t prove evilution – at least not to the satisfaction of creacrappers.

    Dutch Logos.nl considers T-Rex:


    T-Rex doesn’t prove evilution either, but demonstrates how great and creative the Creator is, even in a fallen world. Because soft tissue.

    This one is slightlly more interesting. It asks a question that has bugges everybody for a long time.


    Do bacteria and viruses belong to God’s good creation?
    The author (a Dutch engineer!) needs lots and lots of words to arrive at the answer, that already was suggested in the second alinea:

    “Het lijkt logisch om te veronderstellen dat – o.a. door stress – allerlei goed ontworpen mechanismen in de cel haperingen begonnen te vertonen.”
    “It seems logical to suppose that – ao due to stress – all kinds of well designed mechanisms in the cell began to show lapses.”
    The last alinea of the conclusion tells us unsurprisingly that

    “Stress vanwege de zondeval en uitwisseling van eigenschappen tussen verschillende organismen hebben waarschijnlijk ook bijgedragen aan het ontstaan van ziektes.”
    “Stress due to the Fall and different organisms exchanging features probably also contributed to the origin of diseases.”

    An important creationist law is confirmed again:
    1. Something good, praise the Lord!
    2. Something bad, blame Homo Sapiens (via the Fall)!

  4. IFFZ stuff — I watched the press conference that AG William Barr held on Thursday morning just prior to the release of the redacted Mueller report. Seems like Barr is serving a dual role as Trump’s 2020 campaign manager. Even Fox News’s (!) Chris Wallace said Barr sounded more like Trump’s personal defense attorney than the nation’s Attorney General. One wonders if Chris Wallace will be able to keep his job.

    At any rate, he probably won’t be asked to replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders after she’s struck by lightning for bearing false witness while slandering Comey. Lots of interesting stuff in the unredacted parts of those 442 448 pages.

  5. In the spirit of peace and goodwill to all Christians, I’d like to wish them Happy Crucial Fiction Day.

    To the Jews: mazel tov on making it this far.

    IS supporters: if you really want to stir up some trouble, cut the head off a chocolate bunny.

    Atheists: see you at the Lake of Fire! Last one in’s a flayed sinner!

  6. Michael Fugate

    Evangelicals could try converting Fahrenheit into Centigrade.

  7. Michael Fugate: Or vice versa; but you’d have to make it both interesting and easy for them, e.g.:

    If the temperature of Hell is 5 degrees Celsius (a.k.a. Centigrade)*, what is it in Fahrenheit?
    A) -40
    B) 42
    C) 212
    D) 451
    E) 666

    * Actual as of 2019-04-21T08:55-04:00 per https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-83.98500680923462&lat=42.43494973946656

  8. I just heard that a certain political person complained recently about some questioning of a witness as being “close to torturing”. He then backtracked a little on the word “torture”, but that does not concern me right now. What interested me is the idea that something “close to torture” is apt to produce an unreliable result. It immediately thought of waterboarding as something which everyone would agree is “close to torturing”, if not torture.
    I tend to agree with that politician that “close to torturing” is apt to produce unreliable results.

  9. How and why did religion evolve?
    The first essay on the web pages of the BBC

  10. Correction — 448 pages.

    [*Voice from above*] It’s been fixed.

  11. Very interesting op-ed in today’s New York Times.

  12. Another off-topic.
    A certain country X has introduced severe punishment for certain acts. This has resulted in condemnation from several other countires. The news today tells us that country X has responded defending the laws. One of the defenses is that it will require “extremely high evidentiary threshold, requiring no less than two or four men of high moral standing and piety as witnesses, to the exclusion of every form of circumstantial evidence.”
    I bring this up because of its similarity to the argument by YECs:
    Two or four men of high moral standing and piety cannot be mistaken, and certainly do not lie, and provide higher evidentiary threshhold than science.
    So remember, if in response to the question, “how do you know, were you there”, you answer, “yes, I was there”, that does not work, unless you are of high moral standing and piety.

  13. ie does not work at all, because YECers cannot be of high moral standing because
    1) they have to lie about evolution theory;
    2) see themselves as incurable sinners.

  14. @FrankB
    Agreed. The untenable nature of YEC and the brute reality of evolution must compel them to dissemble. That makes them craven frauds, by our reckoning. The sin part is false abasement — they claim we’re all sinners in their god’s eyes — but, as believers, they’re entitled to a form of absolution which is not available to anyone who rejects their god. Merde! (‘scuse the Anglo).

    Somehow, they rationalize this to mean they’re morally superior to non-theists. As more learned types than me have pointed out: they diagnose a non-existent problem — “sin” — then turn around and offer the cure. It’s enough to make you spit.

  15. @Bruce Lilly — thanks for the link. Begs the question – is a Christian defined by his or her beliefs, or by his or her actions? And in the grand scheme of things, which is more important?

  16. Michael Fugate

    “High moral standing”? It was obviously mistranslated; it originally said “high moron standing”.

  17. I sometimes address those protestors outside abortion clinics with their placards, with a cheery: “Hi, moron standing!”