Trusting Science

OK, so I admit that this gif made me laugh:

But with the recent eclipse, I am reminded of something nonsensical that I heard a preacher say once, it was around the time of a total solar eclipse, and the individual said that the eclipse was a supernatural event, because if it had been natural, it would have become dark and continued that way, without ever becoming light again,

I am confidentbthat readers of this blog will recognize that assertion to be not merely unfounded but nonsensical.

Science gives us information and explanatory frameworks that we can rely on. It is foolish to pretend otherwise. Science cannot answer all questions, but applied to subjects to which it is applicable, it tends to give answers which are as reliable as possible.

 

  • arcseconds

    0_o

    This was in the last 150 years or so, right?

    Does he say the same thing about the dawn?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/ James F. McGrath

      It was within the past two decades. And alas, I suspect that he might say the same thing about the dawn…

      • arcseconds

        That the restoration of the moon after the eclipse is a supernatural act itself isn’t a crazy idea, if you happen to live in a pre-modern society with no idea about how the solar system actually works.

        The notion that someone has got to adulthood without the faintest notion about how the solar system works is flabberghasting. I’m also struggling with the idea that they could know so little and still feel able to pronounce on what science can and cannot explain.

        Especially given that this stuff is so simple! eclipses are visually impressive, and I particularly love the way they give you (or me, at least) a distinct impression of the heavenly bodies being giant billiard balls arrayed in space, rather than lights hanging in the sky, but it’s really not difficult to understand. It’s just shadows.

        I could sorta kinda understand it if someone said that God makes light tunnel through two polaroid filters placed with their polarization perpendicular to one another. Or even if they said God makes every natural phenomenon work, no matter how obvious it may be to us. But putting a giant opaque object in the way of the light causing it to be dark on the other side seems like the sort of thing that we’re all acquainted with, and doesn’t need a dramatic explanation.

  • David_Evans

    You can bet that if the eclipse lasted even an hour too long, the cry would go up “This can’t be natural!”

  • http://www.gamerstribune.com/ Josh Boeke

    Haha, pretty great GIF. I know it’s somewhat unrelated but I’m curious to know what your thoughts are on the Cosmos remake. I have been watching it each week and have really enjoyed it personally. I really like NDT as the lovable astrophysicist, though I admit I am not a science buff, more like an enthusiastic neophyte I suppose (astrophysics in particular has always fascinated me, though I’d be lying if I said I understood more than 10% of what I read).

    I have been following the reviews over at fellow Patheos blog “Daylight Atheism” (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2014/04/tv-review-cosmos-episode-5/), which has been helpful explaining some of the concepts that went a bit over my head, but I had not seen you post anything about the show and it seems kind of up your alley.

    EDIT: After posting I did a tag search and see that you have in fact posted on the show, though I’m still curious to hear what you think now that it’s 6 episodes in.


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