Class Warfare Blog

September 4, 2017

Cherry Picking for Jesus

Filed under: Religion — Steve Ruis @ 9:56 am
Tags: , ,

The recent eclipse of the sun, visible from the U.S., was accompanied by the usual creationist/apologist babble about how God made the Sun and Moon the same apparent size, and thus creating an amazing thing (an eclipse!) that couldn’t happen by coincidence! There are referring to the fact that if the Moon were farther away or closer to the Earth, such occurrences would appear quite different. Also, if the Moon were larger or smaller, same thing. What they don’t say is that, if it were different, they would be pointing to the different version of an eclipse and pointing at it while saying “See what God did, see what God did?!”

This type of cherry picking is common among Christian apologists and creationists. They claim, for example, that the laws of physics are perfectly tuned for the creation of life, when the laws of physics are perfectly tuned for this universe. (How could they not be?) And this universe was apparently perfectly tuned to create vacuum, of which there is more than anything else and more is being made every minute in a fashion that appears to be accelerating. Did I mention that vacuums are inimical to life?

On any planet on which sentient beasts existed, there would be guaranteed to be things that were unique, that would be easily noticed. That those unique things were special, though, requires magical thinking. That the Moon and Sun have the same apparent size is not quite true, but close enough for casual observers, but the Moon comes between the Earth and Sun once a month. Why were we seeing a solar eclipse for the first time since 1979, then? Well, there are a lot of facts the creationists/apologists leave out, for which they have no explanations. For example:

  • The Moon was much closer to the Earth in our past and will be farther away in the future. Why did God do that, that way? This means we will only have this kind of eclipse for a geologically short period of time. I am sure that the apologists will come up with something, but …
  • The Moon’s orbit is at about a five degree angle to the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. This is why we don’t have a solar eclipse every month. I am sure the apologists will come up with something along the lines that too many eclipses benefit human beings somehow.
  • A solar eclipse has no, I repeat, no actual effect on the planet, other than imagined ones in the minds of just one species living here … us. Solar eclipses aren’t “special” they are just rare.

So, instead of pointing to obvious coincidences and claiming “God!” how about all of the other observations they could make? How about, have you noticed how all mountains have different heights? That trees all have different shapes? That you can recognize your dog, even if it is in the company of another of its species, because no two are alike? That all things fall down, but the direct “down” is different depending where on the planet you are! (How do those things know which way to fall … puzzling?) Why are the rare things always signs of their god and not the mundane things. Why did their god make pebbles all different shapes, it makes them really hard to stack!

Hey, I have an idea, why don’t Christian apologists do something useful, like explain that if a Christian gets sick, a doctor is much better than prayers, which is why God made doctors or, I don’t know, how about it isn’t a good thing to rape altar boys, or condemn other human beings for things not completely under their control, or it would be a good thing to condemn non-defensive wars (such as every one we are currently engaged in). There is so much to do that might be useful, why wander into science when you don’t have any idea what you are talking about.



  1. “This is rather as if you 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, 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.”

    ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt


    Comment by john zande — September 4, 2017 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

    • It is a shame that even the eloquence of Douglas Adams is lost on the evangelicals and creationist who score points for believing crazy shit (like Christian persecution, or this is a Christian nation, etc.). The more they are ridiculed, the higher their standing in their community for defending the faith.

      I will be posting shortly on some ideas, but basically I am in favor of ramping up the pressure. The “persecution” of Christians has come to the fore as a part of the “party platform” because of outspoken atheists. They just can’t understand why we can’t just shut up like we did back when we were good atheists. Now we are “militant” or “new” atheists, but the fact that they are changing tactics because of us means *we are having an effect*. The more they circle the wagons, the more effect we are having. (e.g. the recent poll results in the UK)

      On Mon, Sep 4, 2017 at 3:24 PM, Class Warfare Blog wrote:



      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 5, 2017 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  2. I second Mr. and above. Also, thank him for quoting one of my favorite authors.
    As to doing something useful, well, the creationists Do just that every day. They point out how they will go to heaven and we, unbelievers, will go to the fiery lake. Well, sign me up for a nice lakefront place.
    The religious folks remind me of the very rich in some ways. It is my opinion that IF the very rich ever owned everything, as they seem to wish they did/could, they will still want more. These religious fundies, want to preach at us who do not buy their version of religion, or any religion at all. If they ever got all of us to buy into their preaching, they’d still be unhappy and looking for heretics. Well, I should be relatively easy to find, I stand 6′ 3″ tall and weight about 160 pounds (use measures). I have mostly gray hair and my beard is about 90% gray as well. (should I have said grey, rather than gray?) I get those two confused. Hey I was just a machinist, not a biologist. Just joking, but I honestly do not know if grey or gray should have been used in my description. Anybody know which is correct, and why?


    Comment by davidambrose66 — September 4, 2017 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

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