Showing posts with label debunking myths. Show all posts
Showing posts with label debunking myths. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This Could Be Craziest Post I Have Ever Written

A while back I spoke about pareidolia, the act of seeing specific images in vague random shapes. It was easy for me to find a bunch of pictures of the virgin marry to illustrate the phenomena, So I started looking for some pictures of the big man, himself. They were also easy to find - Jesus on toast, Jesus in an x-ray, Jesus in a Kit Kat bar. But, there was one picture in particular, that I came across, that I specifically did not use. When you stare at this picture, if you squint your eyes, and you use your imagination you can clearly see the image of Jesus in…I’m sorry, I can’t say it. It is too crude for my blog. Believe it or not, I DO want to maintain a certain civility in my posts. And this image of Jesus would be crossing the line.

But I can’t stop thinking about it. Not because of where the image is, but because of what the implications of this image appearing in this particular place, are. You see, the fact that the image of Jesus can clearly be seen in… this place, could very well be absolute proof that there is no God.

According to Christian beliefs, God is responsible for all things. He designs the sunsets. He determines the number of leaves on every tree. And, he determines the growth patterns on the hair on….

If he really existed, he did this. He is responsible for this image. He is the guy who put THAT there. There is no way around it. You can’t say it was man’s fault for seeing it. God is all knowing. He knew that there would be some bozo with a cell phone camera and the rudimentary skills to upload images to the internet. If God didn’t want us to see Jesus in this place then why has he been conditioning us for all these years to spot Jesus in all those other places - in potato chips, and tree bark and oil stains? If Jesus really is appearing in all those ordinary places then you can’t blame us if we suddenly see him so clearly in…NO I WON’T SAY IT.

God does not exist. That is the only reasonable explanation. The alternative is too appalling to imagine. There can be no other explanation. If he exists, he is an insane deity, baiting us, wanting us to identify this horrible image. He is waiting, like a tiger in the tall grass, waiting to judge us unworthy, to cast us to hell - ready to pounce, wishing with all his heart that we fail. GOD IS MAD, YERNING TO ENVELOP US ALL….. Oh, ok. Here’s the picture.

Friday, August 14, 2009

FIGHTING WITH MYSELF

EVIL NICK: God! have you seen all those conservatives screaming at town hall meetings. I have news for them. Contrary to their convoluted belief, none of the healthcare bills currently in congress say anything about “death panels euthanizing your grandparents.” Nor have they ever. These republicans are panicky little crybabies. It reminds me of that study that came out a while back that proved that conservatives act the way they do because they are less brave then liberals.

GOOD NICK: I assume you are referring to the study last year published in the “Journal Science” by Kevin B Smith. It suggested a link between the positions people hold on such controversial issues as gun control, pacifism and capital punishment with their reaction to disturbing images and startling sounds.

EVIL NICK: Yah, that’s the one. They measured perspiration and eye reaction and found that conservatives are three times more afraid of stuff then progressives. Damn pantywaists. Every little thing in the world sends then running for the covers.

GOOD NICK: Now it’s not right to draw such broad conclusions from those tests. Only 46 people were studied at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the study was just preliminary. Besides, all the subjects were drawn from one small Midwest town, hardly definitive. If we were talking about a study supporting some homeopathic drug, you would be the first one to point out that the study was just “preliminary” and in science a “preliminary study” only means that more research might be warranted.

EVIL NICK: Oh come on, who are you kidding. You know conservatives are a bunch of frightened wing nuts. Look at the “birthers,” right wing flakes who think President Obama wasn’t born in the US. This, despite the fact that his certificate of birth and birth announcement from Hawaiian newspapers have been posted on line and have been examined by independent sources and the republican governor of Hawaii. The real scary thing about this is that the conspiracy wackjobs that are still talking about this are Republican Senators.

GOOD NICK: I told you not to bring up the “birther controversy.” You know that studies show that when you talk about a phony controversy, even if just to thoroughly discredit it, people walk away just remembering that there was “some controversy.” They don’t remember that it was debunked. That’s why Phil Donahue, and legitimate news organizations stopped giving airtime to Nazis and the KKK back in the seventies. It legitimizes the crackpots.

EVIL NICK: you mean like that study conducted by University of Michigan that presented people with false claims, clearly labeled as such. Three days later researchers asked those same people about the claims and found that 40 percent of them remembered the false claims as true, even though they were originally clearly identified as false.

GOOD NICK: Yes. That’s why you shouldn’t even acknowledge people when they are repeating lies, even if it is just to debunk them. Wait a second, unless you were just using the “birther controversy” as an excuse to talk about those studies, giving you yet another opportunity to write about critical thinking.

EVIL NICK: how do you know I wasn’t?

GOOD NICK: Well played.