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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 6:36 am 
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SPG wrote:
Where I think you and I get caught up is applying the word. Fake science is just lying, right? I mean, if I claim something to be true, but have not shown evidence of study, or cannot apply it in away way, than I'm just lying. However, sometimes my daughter has bellyaches, (she is 9 and has paresis paralysis). She comes to me sometimes to help the pain go away when all the other meds aren't doing the job. I do a Mr. Miyage (Karate Kid) technique of rubbing my hands together and making them hot, than apply them to her belly. After about 3 minutes, she says thanks and goes away. The other day she asked, "Dad, how does this work?" I said, "Fairy Magic." She smiled, nodded and left it at that.

Now, your average scientific dude would call BS. No way does putting your hands on someone make their pain go away. But. . . . if anyone wants to take the time and actually observe, they will see that it does. Many nursing homes are actually hiring "Healing Touch" specialist to work with their aging residents because. . . . . it actually makes them feel better. If it works, than it works. If we don't understand why, then why should we claim too? Just because we don't understand why touch can help others doesn't mean that it doesn't. Now, these Healing Touch Specialists do not replace doctors, or medication, but they do have an observable benefit, which if you observe, is the application of science.

Why does my technique work on my daughter? There are doctors of psychology who might try to explain it, and they might be right, and they might be wrong. But, it works. Maybe it is purely psychologically, maybe it is fairy magic. Do I really care? Not really. If her believing gives me the ability to heal her, how is that different from when Jesus told people, "because of your faith you are healed?" See where I am going here? I don't accept that Modern American Medicine fully understands the abilities of the human body. Miracles do happen, but what we don't know is why.

I am just blessed to no end that my daughter can come to me with some confidence that I can make her pain go away. I have the best doctors insurance can buy, but sometimes it isn't enough. I'm not neglectful by thinking I can heal her of her disease, but I am also not above allowing her to believe that I can help her. Until the day my magic fails, it works. I would not go to the neighbors and ask for money so I can help their kid. It probably wouldn't work anyway, though I have used the trick on others with some reward.

My point in all of this, pseudo-science isn't completely worthless. Faith is far more powerful than most drugs we can make. By that, I mean, our brain has the most sophisticated pharmacy man can imagine, it can produce almost any conceived combination of chemicals that the body can use. What makes it work the way it does, we really don't understand. But if I touch my child and say "be healed," and the brain takes that as a signal to release all the right chemicals, who am I to deny its possible?

Having read your contributions to this thread, here are few responses.

Although I have not worked in the field professionally for many years, my Ph.D. is in neuroendocrinology (not chemistry). Roughly stated, this is the study of the interactions between the nervous system and endocrine system, as well as the chemical messengers and electrochemical signals responsible for linking the two - in both directions.

I'm sorry to hear that your daughter suffers from what sounds like gastroparesis, and have no doubt that rubbing your hands together and putting them on the affected area can help to ease her occasional pain.

No one with my background would reasonably consider what you are reporting here to be woo-woo or pseudoscience, let alone BS. Warming one's hands before they come in contact with the bare skin of another individual is common courtesy. No one appreciates having someone else's cold hands, or indeed cold feet, pressed against their bare skin. It engenders a natural avoidance response - not a good way to start a procedure.

The rest of the interaction you describe with your daughter, including close physical proximity, perceived mutual love and trust, and especially welcome physical touch with a warm hand, would normally result in the release of oxytocin from the anterior pituitary gland (in both participants).

Oxytocin (popularly known as the "love hormone") acts to elevate the pain threshold and reduce anxiety. It also serves as a physiological de-stressor by reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels. I have no doubt at all that your method works, I've used it myself.

So, no need to tell your daughter that you are practicing fairy magic. At the age of nine, she would be better off if you suggested that she go look up oxytocin (and while she is at it -
dopamine, serotonin and endorphins) and gain an little better understanding of how her body makes and uses these chemicals to help maintain physiological and psychological homeostasis.
_______________

On the other hand, you also expressed a believe somewhere upthread to the effect that the brain can produce any chemical that is needed to heal the body. This is simply not true. In fact, as stated, it is an example of how your metaphysical musings on this thread can jump the rails into pure nonsense.

Before stating such a comprehensive hypothesis, why not test it against what you do know? It only takes a few seconds. I have no doubt that if you took the time to think about it, you would not make such a statement.

There clearly are examples of endogenous hormones, neurotransmitters, or other biochemicals, that can prevent the onset, or affect the course or outcome, of a disease state. Proper diet and exercise can substantially enhance immune function, for example, which becomes protective against a wide range of disorders.

Nonetheless, for a female unfortunate enough to have inherited mutations in the brca1 / brca2 genes, for example, there is no endogenous chemical that will reduce her excess lifetime risk of breast or ovarian cancer in any meaningful way.

A female with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should be tested - and if carrying the mutations - she should forget about a rabbit's foot or fairy magic (or prayer for that matter).

Contrary to what you apparently believe, none of these have been shown effective in managing disease. Her best bet is to rely on modern mainstream medicine to help monitor and manage her health going forward.

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DrW: "Mistakes in science are learning opportunities and are eventually corrected."


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:01 am 
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DrW wrote:
So, no need to tell your daughter that you are practicing fairy magic. At the age of nine, she would be better off if you suggested that she go look up oxytocin (and while she is at it - dopamine, serotonin and endorphins) and gain an little better understanding of how her body makes and uses these chemicals to help maintain physiological and psychological homeostasis.


Umm, well, I think the fairy magic story will stick for now. I've study these and they are really pretty complicated, and get more complicated everyday. I could try to explain how playing video games creates a false sense of winning that rewards the body with dopamine, or I could encourage her to build a fairy garden. Or I could try to explain how serotonin is helps balance her moods, or suggest that she go chase butterflies on sunny days. She is afraid a lot, so I do actually explain how exposure to bumps and bruises help the body to become stronger and that healing minor hurts can actually make the body feel good.

But I miss how the world used to feel magic to me. Understanding how things work isn't a fun as its cracked up to be. I would live with it, except that I actually think we don't understand it as well as we think we do.

I often wonder how Newton felt about the world. Did he think he understood it, or was he surrounded by mystery and wonder? I have read that scientific institutions have thought on a couple of different occasions that they had pretty much figured it all out. They were considering closing the patient office back in 1900, thinking that everything had more or less been invented.

I grew up with pseudo-science and saw that it does have benefit. I have been brought back from the brink of death (childhood pneumonia) with blessings from the Elders, (and other old world cures.) I also know that people have died from such activities, but people die in the hospitals too. In fact, statistically, if you are going to die of unnatural causes the hospital is the best place to be. Hospital accidents kill (tis believed) about 440,000 people a year, where there is about 40,000 because of guns, (half being suicide.)

Anyway, I have come to appreciate that I don't know it all. I wonder about consciousness how far it might go. What makes life? Is consciousness only in the manifested lifeforms, or does it exist in the rules that create life?

I decided I really don't know, but I believe that consciousness goes much deeper than my simple mind. As pictured in the ice burg metaphor, there is so much more below the surface. There could be other entities living in my head, ones that come standard with every human born. Like some of the wild scifi movies, where aliens use human minds to build their new home. The idea that this is all illusion is very real to me. The reality that seems to be could change with a drop in a hormone level. Government released a report (last year I think) that the universe is some sort of 2D hologram. I don't know, and I don't believe it, but it sends me the message that we really don't understand this world as well as we think we do.


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:23 am 
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“The most beautiful thing we can experience,’ he said, ‘is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
― Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

“The adult world may seem a cold and empty place, with no fairies and no Father Christmas, no Toyland or Narnia, no Happy Hunting Ground where mourned pets go, and no angels - guardian or garden variety. But there are also no devils, no hellfire, no wicked witches, no ghosts, no haunted houses, no daemonic possession, no bogeymen or ogres. Yes, Teddy and Dolly turn out not to be really alive. But there are warm, live, speaking, thinking, adult bedfellows to hold, and many of us find it a more rewarding kind of love than the childish affection for stuffed toys, however soft and cuddly they may be.”
― Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?”
― Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:54 am 
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SPG wrote:
But I miss how the world used to feel magic to me. Understanding how things work isn't a[s] fun as its cracked up to be.

That's because you're doing it wrong. :rolleyes:

And please, look up "pseudo-science." Is that really the term you want to be using? Or is this another of your made up definitions?

SPG wrote:
DrW wrote:
So, no need to tell your daughter that you are practicing fairy magic. At the age of nine, she would be better off if you suggested that she go look up oxytocin (and while she is at it - dopamine, serotonin and endorphins) and gain an little better understanding of how her body makes and uses these chemicals to help maintain physiological and psychological homeostasis.

Umm, well, I think the fairy magic story will stick for now. I've study these and they are really pretty complicated, and get more complicated everyday. I could try to explain how playing video games creates a false sense of winning that rewards the body with dopamine, or I could encourage her to build a fairy garden. Or I could try to explain how serotonin is helps balance her moods, or suggest that she go chase butterflies on sunny days....
Too bad. When I was young my father took a similar path, only replacing religion for realism. I was very frustrated by that as I got older, thinking how much I had trusted him to teach me, only to find out his "knowledge" was not accurate or complete. I felt a great sense of betrayal and I regretted the wasted opportunities.


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:27 pm 
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Maksutov wrote:
“The most beautiful thing we can experience,’ he said, ‘is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.”
― Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

“The adult world may seem a cold and empty place, with no fairies and no Father Christmas, no Toyland or Narnia, no Happy Hunting Ground where mourned pets go, and no angels - guardian or garden variety. But there are also no devils, no hellfire, no wicked witches, no ghosts, no haunted houses, no daemonic possession, no bogeymen or ogres. Yes, Teddy and Dolly turn out not to be really alive. But there are warm, live, speaking, thinking, adult bedfellows to hold, and many of us find it a more rewarding kind of love than the childish affection for stuffed toys, however soft and cuddly they may be.”
― Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder

“We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
After sleeping through a hundred million centuries we have finally opened our eyes on a sumptuous planet, sparkling with colour, bountiful with life. Within decades we must close our eyes again. Isn't it a noble, an enlightened way of spending our brief time in the sun, to work at understanding the universe and how we have come to wake up in it? This is how I answer when I am asked -- as I am surprisingly often -- why I bother to get up in the mornings. To put it the other way round, isn't it sad to go to your grave without ever wondering why you were born? Who, with such a thought, would not spring from bed, eager to resume discovering the world and rejoicing to be a part of it?”
― Richard Dawkins, Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder


I've heard of Richard Dawkins, but haven't read him. Seems like a bright person.

Two nights ago, at a party, a friend informed me that there were 58 genders, (or 63 depending on what you read.) Reading these genders reinforced the idea that in spite of the fact that humans are very much the same, that we do come with in different varieties. Like, there are degrees of Asperger's where some people see the world literally as it seems to be. And there are types that can read you so deeply just by looking at you that you wonder if they read your diary.

I live both. . . . a little bit. The world is as it seems to be, but there is also a hidden side to it, a deeper more mysterious side.

I've tried to point this out before, but I don't get good feedback. But I believe in Ghosts and Devils. Why? Because they scare us, (some of us.)
I think consciousness is very consistent in many ways, perhaps is like a base substance of reality. For example, consciousness will ALWAYS do the right thing, within the context of its perspective and needs. So when a drug user perhaps kills another human for drugs related issues, within the context of need and perspective, its the right thing to do. However, pain has now been created and consciousness doesn't forget. When that (now) killer decided to their life together, the deed of killing another person is now wrong, because us high functioning folks said so. Because consciousness is empathetic at higher levels, there is a "demon" waiting to be dealt with. That person must face (if they want to reside in high levels of awareness) that they wrongly killed another person. They can block it from their mind, but that remorse will reside there until they either face it or die.

Consciousness will hold us to a standard that we claim to operate on. Ghosts are real too, but they reside in memory. If you think of your dead grandfather (if his dead) pushing you to do this or that, that is in essence a ghost. It is the memory of a life force that still haunts you. We have tried to make these things more clinical by calling them hallucinations or flashbacks, but they are ghosts. They are parts of your mind, soul, or subconsciousness that have unresolved issues.

Are they actually independent living entities? I don't know. Several of my siblings all told stories where our dead father appeared in dreams to ask for forgiveness, (he needed too.) I had my own experience, but it wasn't a dream. Did we all need to have this dream, or was some force actually initiating it? I don't know. I know that clinic language would try to neutralize the dream as some sort of automatic reflex of the mind to comfort those of that had issues with him. And it is possible. But what is wrong with calling it a ghost. It wasn't fully him, but it was his image, or representation.

I ask these questions because I have seen non-profession healers (quacks) have some amazing results with people where professions (college grads) really couldn't touch the issue. Getting people to look at their past as a living, breathing reality instead of just hormone levels to be balanced can have great benefits. That is why things like forgiveness can be so powerful. My dad is dead, technically, forgiving him is a waste of time. But, the benefit it can have on me is great. So, I believe in ghosts and their powers. Identity is king of reality, and how we relate to people, even dead people, is a big part of that. As for demons. If some guilt is eating at you, while you can take meds to minimize the damage or effects, you cannot erase it with chemistry. It must be dealt within the consciousness.


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:42 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
That's because you're doing it wrong. :rolleyes:

And please, look up "pseudo-science." Is that really the term you want to be using? Or is this another of your made up definitions?


pseu·do·sci·ence
ˌso͞odōˈsīəns/Submit
noun
noun: pseudo-science
a collection of beliefs or practices mistakenly regarded as being based on scientific method.

I don't really like this definition. I always thought of it as "sort of science." Or perhaps as "science up to a point but will use faith for the rest."
Like, I can provide a lot of scientific evidence of that there benefits of religion, but at some point the science fails. I can show you how religion is a key factor in people's morals and daily lives, but I cannot actually prove that it saves someone's soul, or that we even have a soul. To me, that is what I meant by pseudo-science. Like, healing touch works, because I can provide evidence of people that feel better when its done. But I cannot provide science about why is works. I think of pseudo-science as incomplete science, not as faked science. I can see where it might be considered fake when someone makes claims they cannot prove.

Like studies have been done on healing touch. It's better than a lot of pills and it is better than placebo. But why do it work? I don't know.

I'm sorry you feel betrayed by your father. My world and religious views are about 180 degrees from my father, but I remain grateful for what I do have, which is a love and passion to find God. That quest took me out of religion and I have no greater passion, and I consider it my greatest gift.


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 12:57 pm 
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Lemmie wrote:
Too bad. When I was young my father took a similar path, only replacing religion for realism. I was very frustrated by that as I got older, thinking how much I had trusted him to teach me, only to find out his "knowledge" was not accurate or complete. I felt a great sense of betrayal and I regretted the wasted opportunities.

Lemmie,

Seems as though you were able to more than adequately compensate for your parents' choice of cultural resources in the home. Here's betting that the teenage son you mentioned did not have the same experience growing up as you did in this regard. The point you bring up is an important one, though. Parents are primarily responsible for the early education of their children. The time window is short and there is much to learn.

When our kids were still at home, our dinner table conversation very often centered on what they had learned that day, or what they might be curious about, or to see who could answer dad's questions.

It became well known (for good or evil) among their friends at church and school that if you happened to end up at our house for a meal, you might be invited to describe what you were studying in school, or to ask questions of the other kids about things you learned at school to see if you could stump them.

The kids no doubt saw this kind of activity as one of their parents' eccentricities. The youngest two eventually decided that, in order to be better prepared, they would read through our set of encyclopedias together. Not sure how far they got, but they did a lot of reading. In fact, they lugged the entire set, bookcase and all, into their room in order to corner the market, as it were.

Decades later, when this aspect of family history comes up, our grown children often express appreciation for this little family quirk. They can still remember their most difficult questions, and many of the things we all learned from one another. Each one has a different favorite story.

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DrW: "Mistakes in science are learning opportunities and are eventually corrected."


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:42 am 
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DrW wrote:
Seems as though you were able to more than adequately compensate for your parents' choice of cultural resources in the home.

See, this sort of thing rubs me the wrong way. Compensate?

A general expectation has arisen that we "owe" our children some sort of debt. So many people don't want to have children now because they don't want to pay the debt. They don't want to be responsible for bring children into a world they cannot control. This expectation makes null and void the love parents might actually have for their children. Like, regardless of how much a parent might love and try to give their children everything they can, there is a group of people ready to judge them as inadequate.

Taking religion out it, leaving only science and facts, truth happens. Every human beings does the best they can, because the science demands it. If a person is aggressive, there is a trail of observable and predictable science that explains why. If a parent is a bad parent, there is a scientific reason why, whether it is based on hormones, bad sun light, poverty, radical extremist teachings, or whatever, it couldn't have been any other way. Everything that happened followed the laws of the universe.

Gratitude is the only righteous perspective. Not to say we don't have other perspective, but nobody owes us anything.


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 5:27 pm 
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Moksha said it best.

............

For Mormons, compartmentalizing science and the LDS religion helps them embrace both without any inevitable matter-antimatter reaction. One encompasses the world in which they live and the other an ideal they would like to exist.

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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:43 am 
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Maksutov wrote:
Moksha said it best.

............

For Mormons, compartmentalizing science and the LDS religion helps them embrace both without any inevitable matter-antimatter reaction. One encompasses the world in which they live and the other an ideal they would like to exist.


I don't see anything wrong with this. I have been trying to say, this is a valid method of dealing with life.

In science, you really cannot do anything in the past or the future, (so far.) We can plan and we can learn, but there is only now.

But, the mind can do also sorts of crazy things that physical bodies obeying the laws of physics can't.

Imagine, 50,000 years ago you sitting around a fire, everyone is still hungry. There is never enough food. You wonder what it would be like to have more food. . . . and you smile. Your friend, huff-fuff-grunt, asks you what you are thinking about. You say, "more food" and he smiles as the thought fills his head. And you make a scientific observation, that if everyone thinks of having more food in their belly, they are more happy. You make a plan. The next morning, before everyone leaves to go hunting, you talk about having full bellies and everyone is happy, full of hope, and enthusiasm. The hunting parties come home with more food that day. It seems that if people are happier, have more hope, and have enthusiasm, they tend to catch more food.

Here is a perfectly scientific reason for religion. After this experience, every night, the hunters gathers around the fire and talk of their adventures. Not because talking about something gives you actual improved statistically odds of getting food, but because it makes people feel better and that has a observable effect on the success of the tribe.

It's not that stories themselves have scientific advantages, because one story or another might have the same effect and they might be lies. You might say that tribal story telling isn't religion, but I say it is. It's the spread of spirit or communal attitude. Warriors that were strong, probably told strong stories. Granted, modern warriors are sworn to silence, but many of them probably take medication for the depression.

If it has influence, it is real. Ultimately, the greatest signal of existence is if something is influenced by said-object/abstract thing. Just because you choose not to be influenced by unicorns, doesn't mean that other people are not influenced by them. If someone shoots you because stepped on her imaginary unicorn . . . . you still shot. It happened.

I understand that some think I'm crazy, but if you play the odds, I have the same chance of being right as you do.


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 Post subject: Re: A Hatred of Science is Killing the Church
PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:21 pm 
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DrW wrote:
Lemmie wrote:
Too bad. When I was young my father took a similar path, only replacing religion for realism. I was very frustrated by that as I got older, thinking how much I had trusted him to teach me, only to find out his "knowledge" was not accurate or complete. I felt a great sense of betrayal and I regretted the wasted opportunities.

Lemmie,

Seems as though you were able to more than adequately compensate for your parents' choice of cultural resources in the home. Here's betting that the teenage son you mentioned did not have the same experience growing up as you did in this regard. The point you bring up is an important one, though. Parents are primarily responsible for the early education of their children. The time window is short and there is much to learn.

When our kids were still at home, our dinner table conversation very often centered on what they had learned that day, or what they might be curious about, or to see who could answer dad's questions.

It became well known (for good or evil) among their friends at church and school that if you happened to end up at our house for a meal, you might be invited to describe what you were studying in school, or to ask questions of the other kids about things you learned at school to see if you could stump them.

The kids no doubt saw this kind of activity as one of their parents' eccentricities. The youngest two eventually decided that, in order to be better prepared, they would read through our set of encyclopedias together. Not sure how far they got, but they did a lot of reading. In fact, they lugged the entire set, bookcase and all, into their room in order to corner the market, as it were.

Decades later, when this aspect of family history comes up, our grown children often express appreciation for this little family quirk. They can still remember their most difficult questions, and many of the things we all learned from one another. Each one has a different favorite story.

I missed this earlier! Thank you, DrW, I'm doing my best. I really do like the Dinner Table activities you have instilled in your kids. It says a lot that they still bring this up. Lucky kids. :biggrin:


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