Cellar Door Skeptics 166: Black History Month & More with The Triple C’s

This show’s guest for the night is Christopher Banks, whom is currently running for the State House in Michigan in 2020. He joins us tonight to discuss Black History Month, share his stories, and help give credit to the minorities who have helped shape this country. Without Minorities, we would not be the nation we are today. We discuss the origins of Black History Month, experiences with helping others learn about black culture and contributions, all while enjoying each other’s company. The show is almost like the trifecta of Christopher’s as there are three on this episode. The team even gets Mr. Banks to throw out a Quick Save as they look at what they learned for the week.

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Local Charity of the Week: The Book Industry Charitable Foundation
Segment: Black History Month with Christopher Banks
Hanna: Chris Hanna is a half red
Tanner: The only border wall i support.
Banks: Pyramids of Power

Fundamentally Fundamental about the Fundamentals of Fundies: Facepalms of Biblical Proportions

Despite loose usage of the term and the tossing about of its diminutive form, “fundamentalist” is not a pejorative: the word was invented by conservative Christians for purposes of self-identification and bears an exact meaning that has only secondarily to do with attitude. I’m well acquainted with the history of this word because it is my interesting fortune to have been raised in one of the small, fractious, separatist, backwater Christian sects that coined it around the turn of the 20th century.


By the time I was born at mid-century, Missionary Baptist churches all over the U.S. South proudly touted their fundamentalist bona fides on the signs that identified them: “Independent – Bible-believing – Fundamental.” While dismissing the historic creeds as the inventions of fallen man, such churches showed not the least hesitation in publishing “statements of faith” (as though “creed” meant something different) sometimes disguised as “church covenants,” and those published statements always included an article such as “We believe the Bible to be the divinely-inspired and wholly inerrant Word of God.” Fundamentalists of the other monotheistic religions hold a similar attitude regarding their various “holy books.” Belief in the divine origin of a “sacred scripture” is essential to fundamentalists of all sects, because it’s the primary premise – often unspoken – in all of their arguments.


What I wish I could say to fundamentalists of all stripes (and wish they could hear me when I say it) is that their foundational premise is false. The Bible is most certainly not the Word of God: it has no more to do with the (alleged) creator of the universe than the Qur’an, the Book of Mormon or the Left Behind series.
Continue reading “Fundamentally Fundamental about the Fundamentals of Fundies: Facepalms of Biblical Proportions”

Noah’s Ark: Building a Cult Mentality for the Christian Faith

My journey from theist to Atheist was a long and hard one. I did not lose my faith. Rather, it was a conscious choice to remove it from my life. There were many little “ah-ha” type moments along that journey and one of the biggest ones was when my view of Noah’s ark changed. I admit, I used to love this story, my god loved me so much that he saved us from the massive worldwide flood. The part I loved the most was that he saved all the animals (well, maybe not all, but two of each kind was enough to satisfy my young and vulnerable mind). I always had a soft spot in my heart for animals growing up and that was the main reason why this fairy tale appealed to me . As a young lad I even had to leave the room when the ant died in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.

Continue reading “Noah’s Ark: Building a Cult Mentality for the Christian Faith”

In Vitro Fertilization: A Genocide of Our Time

A slight twinge of confusion, a raised eyebrow, and even an open mouth; this is the face I imagine you are making after making it though that title. You wish to know how someone can establish a connection between the procedure that has been responsible for the birth of approximately five million children in the last thirty five years and the term genocide. Let us begin, shall we?

The process.

Few people besides those who have encountered a need for this procedure know the process specifics aside from the basics. Embryos are taken from the female patient and are either frozen or kept “fresh”, for lack of a better word. The reason being that of probabilities, as the frozen embryos have a higher rate of failure through a variety of natural pregnancy termination occurrences as well as intentional termination when the fetus is known to be ostensibly malformed.

Another reason for freezing the embryos is to attempt multiple zygote implantation, fertilized embryos cultured to a cluster of a few hundred or more cells, to increase the chances of one or more taking hold. This is responsible for the stories we hear of rare cases where extremely numerous births occur to be immediately followed by reality television contracts on “educational” channels.

The risk.

The estimate is, these are very rough approximations as the entire world is included, that there is a 50 to 85 percent failure rate with potentially even worse values in some countries, such as China, with the capabilities but do not report their records. Certain locations have absolutely abysmal success records making it necessary to thoroughly research any fertility clinics before trust can be established and measures confirmed to avoid contamination or misstep. There are very specific factors such Pelvic Inflammatory Disease which causes infertility and which now counts for one in five of all gynecological admissions that reduce the success rates of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) even further.

Basic scientific findings and relevant risk understanding aside HOW IS THIS GENOCIDE?

Continue reading “In Vitro Fertilization: A Genocide of Our Time”