Jesus Needs New PR

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Related to the idiocy of yesterday's post is yet another example of why, if the ultimate heavenly goal is to assure there are more Christians in the world, God and Jesus really need better PR people; from a viral Facebook post of late (the screen capture has also gone viral, given the response, which is typical Facebook 1) total bullshit; 2) big pile of reasonable facts that show what bullshit your idiot claim is; 3) you insulted me, how dare you!):

FACT - if the earth were 10 ft closer to the sun we'd all burn up and if it were 10 ft further, we'd all freeze...God is great!

The answer is of course in the screen capture linked above, but just in case you're lazy (and the screen cap is slightly off):

1) If God put the planet here, and did it do perfectly, why would He allow for any variance? Wouldn't he make it exactly perfect with no allowance for variance? But let's escape the nonsensical argument of trying to guess God's motives, and instead just go with what we know.

2) The earth's orbit is, as people who wear big pants know, elliptical; decidedly not circular. Thus, at certain points in the year, the earth is 3,000,000 miles closer to the sun (or, conversely, at opposite times of the year, 3,000,000 miles further). This is, at last glance, significantly more than 10 feet. By a mere 15,839,999,990 feet.

3) Let's look at habitable zones. Habitable zones are self-serving to begin with, because they relay on the existence of liquid water, which sustains life as we know it. But our sun's habitable zone is between .95 AU (an AU, atronomical unit, is the mean distance of the earth from the sun, or about 93 million miles) to 1.35 AU. This is, roughly speaking, Venus to Mars. The earth, then, could be 88,350,000 miles from the sun or 125,550,000 miles from the sun and still sustain life (granted, life that would like a bit different than it does now, but who's to say it wouldn't be us, just dressed perpetually in parkas or bermuda shorts). That's a 37,200,000 mile variation (196.4 billion feet), or, from our current mean distance, a variation of 4,650,000 miles (24.5 billion feet) closer or 32,550,000 miles (171.8 billion feet) further...and life, as we know it, is sustainable.

But none of that matters, all those fancy facts, because these damn nerdy science atheists are fat.

Note: I started to read the article about atheist obesity in Conservapedia...but the sheer immensity of the stupid therein prevented a full reading. Perhaps someone with more intestinal fortitude than me should finish reading it).


Bob 11:02 AM  

"But none of that matters, all those fancy facts, because these damn nerdy science atheists are fat.

It's all that beer the heathens drink that makes them fat. Does the Women's Christian Temperance Union still exist?

Bob 11:03 AM  

...and to the post:

Jesue does not need better PR people, becuase few of us fact checkers actually call these fools on their BS.

Jay 11:36 AM  

I have never encountered a better response to any of this sort of "thinking" than Douglas Adams':

"...imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for."

Sam,  12:24 PM  

Speaking for myself, I am wondering why us nonbelievers are expected to be polite to people who have the sort of thinking shown on that Facebook page. I run into people all the time who refute evolution, refuse to believe that dinosaurs walked the earth or think they can speak in tongues.

These aren’t belief systems, they are denials of fact. Why do we have to be polite to lunatics?

steves 3:16 PM  

I am wondering why people expect reason, reasonableness, and otherwise intelligence from Facebook posts. It's like expecting a fine mean from Burger King.

Smitty 3:22 PM  

It's like expecting a fine meal from Burger King.

Best comment of the day, Steve. Bravo.

Jay 4:28 PM  

I kind of disagree with Steve's point here (flippant though it may have been). The point of the discussion is not that FB is littered with idiocy. Most internet discussions (and for that matter real world discussions) are littered with idiocy.

The point is that even when some people are willing to acknowledge that the facts suggest there is a difference between their fantasy and reality, they will still refuse to acknowledge the validity of challenging their fantasy (note: not the validity of the facts, but the validity of the challenge itself). I believe there is evidence that many people (even elected or want-to-be-elected individuals) fall into this category, and that this attitude can be particularly toxic to having any sort of rational discussion with them when the facts are at odd with their fantasy.

Which is what I feel Adams was trying to say (much more eloquently than I can).

Smitty 6:57 PM  


You make a great point, and i have to say that i largely agree. The incredulity comes from, in some people, the mere fact that they were challenged. This allows them to dismiss the claims in the challenge...because in their minds the challenge itself was invalid. That way, they can diute being challenged without having to actually defend their own fantasy facts.

And that Douglas Adams quote is by far one of my favorites. I also like his quote, to paraphrase, where he says that itsnt it enough to think a garden is pretty without having to think there are faeries in the bottom of it too?

Monk-in-Training 9:17 PM  

My thoughts center on the lack of humility that the person of faith (I assume a Christian) exhibits.

A little humility and wonder about what may or may not be can carry things a long way.

Oh, and Smitty, don't get the Christianists talking about faeries that never ends well..

Jay 9:39 PM  

M-i-T captures it perfectly. Believe what you will but approach what may or may not be with wonder and humility and you won't go far wrong. In my personal world view, curiosity would also be part of that list.

steves 2:34 PM  

Jay, I guess my point was somewhat of a response to the idea that Jesus needs new PR. In some ways he does, but Facebook isn't going to be where it is found From my limited experience, you won't find great examples for any kind of religion, or other group, for that matter.

If I had to guess, I would speculate that most Christians (even fairly conservative ones) aren't as willfully and purposefully ignorant as the one on the OP. I know that there are some some Young Earthers and other idiots out there, but they are thankfully in the minority. I am not suggesting that they get some kind of pass and shouldn't be challenged on their BS, but we should be cautious before we lump everyone together.

Jay 3:08 PM  


I agree completely. I think the vast majority of Christians are not as close-minded as this individual. But I also think it is worthwhile to be on the lookout for people who view reality as some sort of magical construct that is designed to support us. I think it's possible that this sort of thinking underpins some of the anti-intellectualism that seems to surface more often in the far-right than it does anywhere else.

Smitty 3:12 PM  

I kind of intend for "Jesus Needs New PR" to mean any time I run across some wingnut post purporting to speak for God. Granted, they may be the minority of believers, but they are vocal, they get the press, and I think it's pretty fucking funny.

steves 3:56 PM  

Smitty, it is pretty funny. ; )

Jay, not working in the sciences, I am not as exposed as you are to these jokers. In my field, the stupid folks come from all political persuasions.

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