left biblioblography: Is There A Gullibility Gene That Gets Activated By Religion?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is There A Gullibility Gene That Gets Activated By Religion?

Recently I got on Facebook. And of course, one of the ‘friends’ I seem to have is religious, and she’s posting her Christian nonsense under ‘causes’. So I answered this poll, and said that “There is no god, JC never existed, and the bible is a load of crap.” The results were predictable. I was threatened with gawd’s wrath, damnation, asked if I’d read the bible, accused of being a psychopath (and everything else up to being a pedophile), and told that if America is 90% Christian, I should pack my shit up and move to Iran or Iraq. Oh, and some guy offered the crazy lady (same one who told me I should pack up and leave, who also accused me of being a perv) my home address.

Religion. Ain’t it wonderful? How it brings out the best in people.

The video above showed up. I threw this in the ring (so to speak, I provided the link to it, not a full quote):

Summary of Rumor
A notorious atheist professor at the University of Southern California is known for challenging students about their faith.  He dramatically drops a piece of chalk to the floor saying that if God existed, he could prevent the chalk from breaking.  This happens year after year until a particular Christian student becomes a part of the class.  This time, when the professor drops the chalk, it bounces off his clothing and ends up harmlessly on the floor.  The stunned professor runs from the room in shame and the student preaches the Gospel to the remaining class members.

The Truth
This has been one of the most commonly circulated inspirational stories on the Internet and one of the most commonly asked-about at TruthOrFiction.com.
We've never found any evidence that an incident of this nature has taken place involving a piece of chalk, but there is a first-hand source of a similar, older story, which the chalk tale may be based upon.
First, the University of Southern California has officially denied that this ever happened there.  Dr. Dallas Willard, a philosophy professor at USC, has told TruthOrFiction.com that he's never heard of it happening in his more than 30 years at the school.
There is a related story, however, told by author Richard H. Harvey in his book 70 YEARS OF MIRACLES.  It's a first-hand account of his experience in a Chemistry class at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania in the 1920's.  Harvey says the professor, a Dr. Lee, was a deist who annually lectured against prayer.   In one of the class sessions, Dr. Lee said he was going to drop a glass flask on the floor and asked if anyone would like to pray first that the flask would not break, therefore demonstrating the reality of prayer.  Richard Harvey volunteered and prayed.  The professor dropped the flask and it rolled off his shoe to the floor without damage.  The class cheered and the professor stopped his annual lectures against prayer.  TruthOrFiction.com has confirmed with Allegheny college that Richard Harvey was a student there and that Dr. Lee was a professor.  Richard Harvey's son, Rev. John Harvey, a minister in Toccoa, Georgia, says this all happened before he was born, but confirms that the story was told by his father.

USC confirms it.

I’m thinking there has to be a gullibility gene. Maybe it helps the species propagate. How many women have gotten pregnant by believing some crazy story a guy told, anyway?

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2 comments:

Josh said...

thanks i needed to know that this video was just a rumor.

jk said...

Its a shame that people just forward what they receive without checking it if its true. And Im sorry about the replies you got, as a christian myself I wished they would have replied differently.