The Onion does it again

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Not quite as good as some of their classics, but their article on intelligent falling provides a few chuckles.

“Anti-falling physicists have been theorizing for decades about the ‘electromagnetic force,’ the ‘weak nuclear force,’ the ‘strong nuclear force,’ and so-called ‘force of gravity,’” Burdett said. “And they tilt their findings toward trying to unite them into one force. But readers of the Bible have already known for millennia what this one, unified force is: His name is Jesus.”

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Laughing with the Onion via Panda's Thumb, crying with Jon Stewart's post-9/11 monologue. Read More

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The story itself is a hoot, but what really got me laughing was the accompanying graphic, especially the barely visible equation, dx/dt=1Cor.1:10. At least I THINK it’s 1 Cor. 1:10–hard to tell on my screen. If it is it would be an appropriate choice, because 1 Cor. 1:10 has Paul exhorting the early Christians to engage in a kind of groupthink not unknown among his followers today: “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

In Utah the theory will be known as Divine Falling.

That picture is also of John Sulston, winner of a 2002 Nobel for his work on C. elegans genetics and development.

I had no idea that the little stock photos in the Onion could carry so many in-jokes.

I had no idea that the little stock photos in the Onion could carry so many in-jokes.

One of my favorites is from ‘98 Homosexual-Recruitment Drive Nearing Goal.

There is a similar very clever parody on the Theory of Gravity over at http://www.re-discovery.org/

Schempp has credentials in separation of church/state and also as a physicist.

There is a similar very clever parody on the Theory of Gravity over at http://www.re-discovery.org/

Schempp has credentials in separation of church/state and also as a physicist.

Actually, I seem to recall that, while Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity maps the physical force pretty well, no one really knows what causes gravity. Aren’t there lots of highly sensitive gravity wave detectors buried kilometres-deep in the Earth? I’m not saying for one second that some magical entity pushes things down; what I’m saying is that if religious fundamentalists want to stage a fight to take over science, wouldn’t they have a better chance (science-wise) with gravity than with evolution? That random mutations drive evolution seems eminently sensible, but gravitational waves have never been detected. Surely extremist Christians would have better traction in physics than biology.

Can anybody fill in the blanks on this? I don’t have enough physics to really support my point. If I’m right, it would be a lurking uber-irony.

there seems to be no end of theories issuing forth from what are usually not considered peer reviewed scientific journals. This is from the 8/22/05/ New Yorker (pg 21-22) a journal most famed for displaying cartoons that make you feel vaguely stupid and uncool for not getting the jokes. “the mud theory is still dominant in the United States in the form of the Book of Genesis, whose version of the origin of our species, according to a recent Gallup poll, is deemed true by 45% of the American public. Chapter 2 verses 6 and 7 puts it this way: “But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Mud is not mentioned by name, but you’d have to be a pretty strict Biblical literalist not to infer that mud is what you get when you add water to dust”. The article goes on to compare mud theory to evolution and common ancestors and blah blah blah which runs about a 33%(I didnt think it was that high!) acceptance rate which is described as “too large a market share to ignore altogether.” Further along it goes into Reagan (teach creationism) and mentions Mooney’s book. Eventually describing “from the beginning the Bush White House has treated science as a nuisance and scientists as an interst group-one that, because it lies outside the governing conservative coalition, need not be indulged. It’s short and worth perusing even for a buncha candy-assed elite eastern liberals.

Instead of 1 Cor.1:10 on the slide they should have had Colossians 1:17 which reads (in the NIV) “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” I’ve actually heard a preacher once basically saying that this was the cause of gravity. Seriously.

Aren’t there lots of highly sensitive gravity wave detectors buried kilometres-deep in the Earth?

You are thinking of neutrino detectors such as Super Kamiokande, The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, and the Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array. Detecting gravitational waves is much harder. the big serious detector for that is LIGO, a joint project of CalTech and MIT. It began taking data in 2002, and the sensitivity is being increased at scheduled intervals. I do not think there has yet been a confirmed gravitational wave detected, so you are right, for the time being, here is yet another gap the creationists can claim god resides in.

I believe the most recent version of the Jack Chick tract known as “Big Daddy” claims that Christ is the strong nuclear force.

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This page contains a single entry by Tara Smith published on August 17, 2005 11:17 AM.

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