Scientists Visit The Creation Museum

While in the area for a conference anyway, a group of scientists decide to drop by the Creation Museum for a tour. The same folk that run the “Answers In Genesis” web site have the same answer to every question: God did it.

When you can make up answers then it’s pretty easy, right? If I substituted “The Flying Spaghetti Monster” for “God” the creation museum folk would be offended, but they could not offer a plausible explanation as to why I can’t use that term instead of theirs. It’s all “faith” after all… also known as superstition.
Paleontologists brought to tears, laughter by Creation Museum

While visiting this post, I wanted to address a sincere but ignorant commenter:

“I have personally witnessed irrefutable miracle healings (i.e. stunted limb growing out to full length spontaneously in a matter of seconds,) in respone to prayer in the name of Jesus. I would guess there were close to 40 witnesses to this miracle healing, many of whom, including myself, were standing only 2 or 3 feet away from the man who was healed; some of whom I still know by first and/or last name.”

The short-leg illusion is one of the oldest tricks of faith healers. I’m surprised people still fall for it today since it is so well known but I will briefly address it here.

FAITH HEALING: LEG LENGTHENING ‘MIRACLES”

The set-up for the trick: The subject/victim/mark is told to sit in a chair and then lift their legs straight toward the “healer” … lo and behold, one leg is shorter! That must be the source of all of their problems! The “healer” then does his/her incantation, grabs the legs and tugs.. and miraculously, the “short” leg “grows out” to match the “normal” one! Proof of God! Give money!

More experienced “healers” may simply command the leg to grow, usually followed by some other exclamation, like “LOOK, IT’S GROWING!” And suddenly a “miracle” happens…

Here is the simple basis for why this short-leg growth trick always works as it does; people don’t sit perfectly straight when they sit down. They usually lean slightly toward one ass cheek or another and in fact it is hard to sit perfectly straight and balanced even when ordered to do so. Uneven weight distribution causes ones pelvis to tilt slightly, which of course also affects how long your legs APPEAR to be relative to each other. If you don’t understand this, you should probably read a first year anatomy book before proceeding.

So when the mark/victim/subject holds his/her legs out straight, the pelvis angle will make it appear that one leg is shorter than another. When the “healer” tugs on the legs it causes the victim to shift his/her weight and sit straighter, changing the angle of the pelvis, so the short leg “grows.”

In the command (no touch) method of this trick, there is some loud declaration of a miracle happening right now! This is screeched so that the victim/subject/mark will lean forward to see if his her leg is actually growing – it is the leaning forward that causes the victim/mark’s weight to shift so the miraculous “growth” can occur.

In the unlikely event that the victim/mark accidentally manages to sit completely flat in the beginning so that both legs are viewed as the same length, the Christian miracle worker always has a backup plan: The faith healer simply pulls slightly on one shoe as he/she lifts the legs up, pulling one heel out and making one leg appear longer temporarily than the other. The Man/Woman of God then slides the shoe back into place again as he/she prays, making the legs suddenly appear the same length. This takes a little practice at sleight of hand work so that nobody sees what you are doing, but it’s still pretty easy.

A certain amount of showmanship is required to make this trick work well: You have to get everyone watching to believe that one leg is shorter FIRST, then you have to make enough noise and motion with your hands as the “miracle” happens so that nobody sees what you are really doing.

This is an observational trick easily confirmed by YOU: The reader can get together with his/her friends and try it. But please don’t be unethical – don’t be a liar – like these Christian “healers” and claim it is a miracle of God. It’s just a trick and a pretty cheesy one at that.

As a former ardent religious zealot, I was present and personally witnessed this trick being performed on a number of occasions. Some of these events were performed by famous evangelists including the healing duo popular in the 80’s, “The Hunters” – Charles and Frances.

This particular piece of cheesy stage magic is covered in the book “The Faith Healers” by James Randi (pages 128-130, complete with pictures). As bad as it is, however, it appears that tens of thousands of people are still fooled.

The faith healers, of course, have to learn how to do the trick before they can perform it. Not that this is hard – I mean, I just taught you how to do it in three paragraphs! But that also means that they KNOW it is a trick and they KNOW they are fooling the believers into thinking they have power from God.

I realize that some people would say f’ em for being that gullible, but I don’t think that you should take advantage of people just because they really want to believe in something.

You should ask yourself – If these faith healers have real power, why can’t they make an amputated leg grow back, hmm? Why is it that a “true miracle” can only be performed by stage magic methods? Believers dare not ask themselves this question, I guess.

Unfortunately, this reliance on stage magic strongly suggests that Christianity itself is false, because the proponents must resort to to the use of tricks to prove the validity of their faith. If what they claim to believe had any truth to it whatsoever, stage magic would not be required.

As a side note; although most people’s legs aren’t exactly the same length, pelvic tilt compensates for any differences in 99 percent of the cases. For people who have a difference that is really a medical problem, faith healers can’t do a thing.

How can we be sure? All you have to do is see the daily “Jesus on toast” stories that inundate the TV and print news to realize that if there were even one genuine miracle – EVER – it would get 24 hour news coverage. The fact that Christians have to lean on the “I saw someone tug on a leg once and it got longer” stories strongly suggests that they have nothing real to offer.

Additional discussions of the Scientists at the Creation Museum story: Paleontology and Creationism Meet but Don’t Mesh – NYTimes.com and Daily Kos: Scientists Visit the Creation Museum


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Press Report Exposes The Horrors of Scientology

The demons of the murderous multilevel marketing scheme known as the cult of Scientology gets exposed by the mainstream press for a change. Scientology: The truth rundown | Tampabay.com St. Petersburg Times – better read it before the ultra-wealthy cult has its army of lawyers force a take-down.


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More On Why God Can’t Be Bothred Helping You

Once again, we have the evidence of God’s mysterious ways. You know, miraculous appearances in stains and grilled cheese but no saving the 25,000 children who starve to death every day: Grounds for hope in a stained coffee mug

“God reveals himself in some very mysterious ways,” we’re told. Indeed, God must be revealing his priorities to us – and his priorities are sick and disgusting.


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Killing For Christ, Part #@^#

Now, WHAT was the difference between the Taliban and American Christianity again? The violence in the name of Jesus continues….

Approving of war and torture (see previous post) isn’t that far a step from murder: Doctor murdered in Church and right-wing fundamentalist Christians are celebrating. … And lest you think that this is an isolated nut I remind you that there is a murder-target Christian hit list on the web, and Randall Terry who runs this says his only regret was that the doctor didn’t have time to convert to Christ first and that the President might use this to crack-down on ‘Pro-Life’ terrorists.. You know, the murder victim was a Lutheran, not a real Christian as defined by the dominant forces of Christian America.

As I’ve said before, I don’t really know what horrible evil cancer ate up American Christianity and I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know if it CAN be fixed or if it will remain a menacing and violent force in our country forever.

I DO know that once again we have proof that the so-called “Pro-Life” movement is anything BUT …the same people who overwhelmingly approve of torture and war are celebrating murder. No surprise. We need to start calling them what they really are; the “FORCED PREGNANCY MOVEMENT” – that’s what they want. The ‘pro-life’ name is just a bullshit cover story. That, or Christian Terrorists – also apt.


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More Religion Comedy

Jesus on toast, Mary on a driveway stain, does it never end? No it does not, those religionist comedians just keep coming up with new stuff for the most gullible to ogle: Dallas Couple Sees Jesus Inside Cheese Snack.
And I remind everyone yet AGAIN that these “cheesy” miracles may be the best explanation of why the various gods don’t do anything about 25,000 children starving to death every day. They are just too damn busy appearing in Cheetos.

Truly pathetic.


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The Standards of Miracles Keeps Getting Lower

Having failed to justify their beliefs any OTHER way, true believers point to miracles as proof of the myths they worship. It’s funny that we can’t seem to come up with ONE….not a single ONE of someone coming back from the dead, or some poor guy who got his legs blown off by a landmine having new legs miraculously materialize. Those would look like real miracles to just about everyone.

Nope, instead we get something to the effect of “oh he was really bad off, but not as sick as the doctors thought he MIGHT be..so there you go, it’s a miracle from God. Catholics investigating possible miracle in New Jersey.

Carmelite Sisters superior general Mother Mark Louis Randall says the possible miracle involves a family who prayed to McCrory after their unborn child was diagnosed with a genetic abnormality. Randall says the defect was not present in the degree it had been expected when the child was born.

I must ask believers… have you no shame? Believe what you want because it makes you feel good about yourself. Fine. But please stop the idiocy. You are an embarrassment to the human race.


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Church Abuse Doesn’t ALWAYS Remain Secret

Irish Catholic church child abuse: ‘A cruel and wicked system’
The government new for DECADES about systematic, institutional physical and sexual abuse of children and did nothing… cuz, you know, it’s the church! We don’t mess with the church.

And the church’s defense? They didn’t know priests’ abuse was crime.
They might be right. Those poor persecuted Christians are feeling so sorry for themselves that the government will let them get away with torture and rape so as not to hurt their little Christian feelings.


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God’s Miracles Continued…

It’s been too long since we had any of these delightful stories, so here we go! … Woman: ‘GOD’ Spelled Out In Salami. Yes… or ..um…”GOO” ..take your pick. Clearly this is a great and mighty miracle (or the closest thing YOU’LL ever see!)

But wait, there’s more… Diners report seeing Virgin Mary in food griddle …aka South Of The Border pareidolia — Because there is no barrier to ignorance and/or wide-eyed superstition.

As we have said before, these stories offer the BEST POSSIBLE EXPLANATION as to why a supposedly loving God never bothers to do anything about the 25,000 children who starve to death every single day: He’s just too damn busy! Jesus H.W. Christ, do you expect him to be everywhere or something? Appearing in salami is clearly the most important miracle the Big Guy can pull off.


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Convert or Die, God’s Army Commands

The question I would ask Christians is this, is a conversion at the point of a gun a legitimate conversion? Has Jesus told you to go out and slaughter people you have decided are unbelievers, sparing their lives only if they convert to Christianity? Is that REALLY what your God is all about? As the pastor prays, “I pray that you would give them the ability to exterminate the enemy and to accomplish the task that they’re been sent forth by God and country to do. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen,” remember he is doing this in YOUR name and God’s name. If you have a conscience, you should be horrified: Military Deeply Involved in Christian Reality Television Show

But it’s the military chaplains who have been criticized for allegedly force-feeding soldiers a form of fundamentalist Christianity originating from highly controversial, apocalyptic “End Times” evangelists and their mega-churches.


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Sexual Sin Map

The University of Kansas decided to map sexual depravity by measuring STDs per capita. No surprise, the Bible belt is the filth and perversion capitol of America. We already knew it, but here is your map: The Daily Dish


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