Creative Destruction

April 4, 2006

Can someone please explain this?

Filed under: Science — bazzer @ 2:05 pm

I probably shouldn't even blog about this but I just can't help it. Some scientists, evidently, have concocted an elaborate theory about how fluke ice floes in the Sea of Galilee could allowed Jesus to appear to walk on the surface of the water, thus explaining the accounts in the New Testament.

All right, where to begin? Why in the hell would any scientist actually research this? Why would any peer-reviewed journal publish it? It seems to me that you either accept the miraculous or you don't. If you're of a scientific bent, and reject miracles, then why bother to postulate some one-in-a-millennium climatalogical fluke that just happened to coincide with the New Testament accounts of Jesus walking on the water?

If you're a scientist and you're trying to explain how that account can be squared with the rational, scientific world, how about using Occam's Razor? How about speculating, "Hey, maybe that just made that up."? I mean, what am I missing here? Since when do scientists feel the need to explain the bible? And does this mean that they're also working on explanations for the burning bush, Lot's wife turning into a giant salt lick, and talking donkeys? Or do they allow some miracles and not others? Or do they admit that some parts of the bible are mythological, but still feel compelled to concoct extremely improbably hypothetical situations to justify others?

I just. Don't. Get it.


  1. Well, it couldn’t have really been germs. You see, germs are what we doctors like to call, “very small”. What you probably had here was what we doctors like to call “a tiger”.

    A tiger? In Africa?! Preposterous!

    Comment by Adam Gurri — April 4, 2006 @ 8:47 pm | Reply

  2. In the Middle Ages, science and the Church were synonymous. Now that science has gained some ascendancy over the Church, some scientific zealots seek to explain away miracles and myth. The motivation is unclear, but the precendent is payback for what the Church did to squelch science all those years ago. (Some might contend the Church would prefer we return to the Dark Ages.)

    Comment by Brutus — April 4, 2006 @ 8:54 pm | Reply

  3. I’d contend that science in fact, emerged from the church, and that a society is healthy when neither the religious nor the secular extremes are given any credence. In my limited experience, neither tends to be all that scientific anyway.

    Comment by Adam Gurri — April 4, 2006 @ 9:05 pm | Reply

  4. The motivation is unclear, but the precendent is payback for what the Church did to squelch science all those years ago.

    Supporting it lavishly and providing the philosophical foundation stone on which science erects its labyrinth?

    Those BASTARDS.

    Comment by bobhayes — April 4, 2006 @ 9:11 pm | Reply

  5. C’mon Bob, while I’m not arguing with what you said in particular, you know he’s referring to one Mr. Galilei :p Don’t be so coy

    Comment by Adam Gurri — April 4, 2006 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  6. Galileo’s conflict with the church was largely a conflict with particular powerful bishops – who were also significant temporal lords, and whose temporal power was threatened by his work. He was persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition, a national instrument not under Church control, and supported by the papacy and many other members of the Roman hierarchy. The work for which he was condemned was explicitly authorized by the pope.

    The cardboard story, in other words, is of very limited evidentiary value.

    Comment by bobhayes — April 4, 2006 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  7. Sure you can argue things with your facts and your evidence, bob. But where’s the science in that?

    Comment by Adam Gurri — April 5, 2006 @ 12:02 am | Reply

  8. Still, while calling those temporal lords “the Church” as if it were one monolithic thing is not exactly accurate, it is true that scientists have been persecuted through their history by powerful men acting in the name of the Church.


    Comment by Adam Gurri — April 5, 2006 @ 12:05 am | Reply

  9. Sometimes, sure.

    However, I would submit that the oppression and persecuted levied against scientists by their fellows has almost always been the driving force in the repression department. Galileo’s most bitter opponents were heliocentric scientists using the political system to shut down a rival who threatened their sinecures. It’s the tenured guy who came up with the previous orthodoxy who’s most threatened by the new truth – and science is based on the constant replacement of old truths by new.

    Eppur si muovo!

    Comment by bobhayes — April 5, 2006 @ 12:38 am | Reply

  10. Sorry, that should be “Copernican scientists”. Galileo was the heliocentrist. (Way to blow all that I-know-more-than-you cred!)

    Quickly shifting ground and going on the attack, Adam, it would be really nice if us peasants could edit comments.

    Comment by bobhayes — April 5, 2006 @ 12:40 am | Reply

  11. I’m looking into it.

    (And I think you meant “Ptolemaic” or “Geocentric” scientists)

    Comment by Adam Gurri — April 5, 2006 @ 7:29 am | Reply

  12. Hey bob, do you see a tiny “e” at the end of the link rigt under “bobhayes Says:”?

    If you see that little e, it’s the thing that allows you to edit

    Comment by Adam Gurri — April 5, 2006 @ 8:00 am | Reply

  13. Yeah, I see it. I click it, I log in, and it tells me that I’m not allowed to edit comments on this post.

    Comment by bobhayes — April 5, 2006 @ 12:43 pm | Reply

  14. What Would Brian Boitano Do?

    Comment by belledame222 — April 8, 2006 @ 4:28 pm | Reply

  15. He would skate and skate, and skate until he couldn’t skate any more! He would never give up!

    But that wouldn’t make WordPress suck any less.

    Comment by Robert — April 8, 2006 @ 4:44 pm | Reply

  16. David Blaine, a professional illusionist just tried to tell the world he would beat the underwater breath holding record while tied to 150 lbs of chains. This corresponds to another illusionist saying he will beat the 100m dash while dressed in a clown costume. Yet, people truly think today Blaine went 7 minutes without air underwater.

    Essentially you are right intelligence is like beauty, it is not granted freely, it was sprinkled on our race. A miracle we made it up to the 21st century if you ask me.

    Comment by Vilon — May 11, 2006 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  17. Yeah, I see it. I click it, I log in, and it tells me that I’m not allowed to edit comments on this post.

    I just tried out a little experiment, and it seems like we can only edit the comments left on our own posts, but we can do so regardless of who made them. (I used one of Robert’s comments over on My Sentiments Exactly for a test bed. Don’t worry, Robert. I put things back exactly the way they were after I was done.)

    So if you screw up a comment left on someone else’s post here, you have to re-comment and explain your edits just like everyone else.

    I repeat my call for an etitus for the rest of us. If not, we could have a simple preview-comment option, but I’m not sure WordPress supports that.

    Comment by Off Colfax — July 13, 2006 @ 4:04 am | Reply

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