Pharyngula

We needed his deep insight to understand the plane crash on the Hudson river, and the media response to it.

Comments

  1. #1 Reginald Selkirk
    January 19, 2009

    Edward Current is the Poe master.

  2. #2 Capital Dan
    January 19, 2009

    Edward Current is a genuine gift from God.

  3. #3 anointynoit386sx
    January 19, 2009

    The problem with Mr. Current’s “theory” is that we can be 100% sure that Satan had nothing to do with the Hudson river landing (though Satan may have had something to do with tthe flying geese), but we can’t be 100% sure that Satan had nothing to do with the more tragic events mentioned by Mr. Current. Checkmate. Nice try though from Mr. Current! God bless him for tryin!

  4. #4 Matt Heath
    January 19, 2009

    I hope the pilot appears on TV saying “screw God; it was me who landed the plane”.It’s the same with medical doctors. They have every right to be pissed off when they fix someone and the first thing people say is “thank God”.

    “gravityism”=win

  5. #5 michel
    January 19, 2009

    “… the laws of gravityism…”

    love that one

  6. #6 Andyo
    January 19, 2009

    Waaaaait a minute! Is he saying that it wasn’t a miracle?

  7. #7 Zeno
    January 19, 2009

    Even the good old left-wing editorial cartoonist for the McClatchy newspapers fell into line with the God-praise. The plane was saved by “God’s hands”.

    [Link]

  8. #8 KC
    January 19, 2009

    Sadly, this kind of logic really does seem sound to a great number of people.

  9. #9 June
    January 19, 2009

    the geese had free will
    but the pilot was divinely inspired
    priceless!

  10. #10 TechSkeptic
    January 19, 2009

    Matt #4,

    I totally agree!

    thank us.

  11. #11 DuckPhup
    January 19, 2009

    For all those who may not get it… Edward Current is an atheist… and a brilliant satirist. Check out his u-tube channel. For the unpleasant revelation that christianity does not have a monopoly on morons… that there are plenty of atheist morons, too… check out the comments to Current’s videos.

  12. #12 Andyo
    January 19, 2009

    Posted by: Matt Heath | January 19, 2009 10:19 AM

    I hope the pilot appears on TV saying “screw God; it was me who landed the plane”.It’s the same with medical doctors. They have every right to be pissed off when they fix someone and the first thing people say is “thank God”.

    That’s why at least one in two doctors should have House’s attitude towards patients. “‘Thank god’? “God’s the one that gave it to her!”

  13. #13 Sili
    January 19, 2009

    What happened to “Not a sparrow falls …”?

    Well … I guess a goose is not a sparrow.

  14. #14 Tony
    January 19, 2009

    This is obviously satire, folks. You’re missing the point. I laughed my ass off. My favorite: Tragicle.

  15. #15 Richard Harris
    January 19, 2009

    I heard a survivor saying that there were angels on that plane, & she was an eye witness, obviously, so it must’ve been.

    And it wasn’t Yahweh who saved those folk, (unless he ordered the angels to help out, but if that’s the case, why didn’t he clear the geese to save the trouble before it happened? Maybe because he wanted to put the fear of himself up somebody, or bugger-up the airline schedules for the day, or screw someone’s connecting flight. Well, the fecker does move in mysterious ways).

    But seriously, it’d save a whole load of trouble if more people realized that chance events are simply that – chance.

  16. #16 AJS
    January 19, 2009

    Would that be the same God they’re thanking, who put the birds in the path of the aeroplane in the first place? Anyway, everything about the incident is perfectly explainable by the laws of nature.

    It was a European-designed Airbus plane, which are designed to be able to float if landed in water. And the pilot was an experienced glider pilot.

    Aeroplanes do not “defy the laws of gravity” — rather, they play off two forces against one another. Anyone who understands that pressure * volume = a constant ought to grasp the principle; the air above the wing has further to travel than the air underneath, it expands and so exerts less pressure. Hence there’s a force pushing upwards.

    An aeroplane without functioning engines is to all intents and purposes a glider. Landing a glider isn’t an easy job compared to landing an aeroplane, precisely because you have no way to correct if you slow down too much.

    To suggest even for one moment that a magical sky fairy was somehow responsible for the safe landing of the aeroplane is not only to belittle the hard work of everyone at Airbus and the flight crew, but also to insult the memory of those whose deaths inspired aircraft designers to incorporate modern safety features.

  17. #17 Andyo
    January 19, 2009

    I think Tony’s a Poe.

  18. #18 Porco Dio
    January 19, 2009

    how do you spell credulous?

  19. #19 TheOracle
    January 19, 2009

    @3 Ha… It was all Satan. Several of the individuals saved in this satanic miracle were on their way to commit heinous crimes in Charlotte, and God put that flock of birds in the way to stop them. Alas, due to Satan’s intervention they survived to carry out their nefarious deeds.

  20. #20 Matt Heath
    January 19, 2009

    Andyo: It would be nice if I could think of a character on TV (in any country) who told the same truths as House without being a dick.

  21. #21 Chris
    January 19, 2009

    It’s so easy, don’t you see? If there are survivors it’s because of their god’s love. If none survive they will tell you their “God’s Ways Are Inscrutable”… Either way, they win.

  22. #22 Matt7895
    January 19, 2009

    I really like this guy.

  23. #23 Jay
    January 19, 2009

    Poe. My meter first tripped at the bit about the three dictionaries… look at it again. And real wackos don’t do snark that well.

  24. #24 Andyo
    January 19, 2009

    Matt,

    The main character on The Mentalist. Though funny enough, not nearly as hilarious as good Greg. By the way, the other 1 out of 2 should be Wilson.

  25. #25 Dave Hughes
    January 19, 2009

    I wonder what the godbots have to say about the evangelical church in Brazil that collapsed the other day in the middle of a service, leaving 7 dead and over 50 injured? Evidence for God’s wacky sense of humour perhaps? Or is the Almighty really on the side of the Catholics and just taking the opportunity to smite some heretics?

  26. #26 Naughtius Maximus
    January 19, 2009

    It must have been a stromg tornado that blew through the junk yard that created that airplane!

  27. #27 Capital Dan
    January 19, 2009

    Chris | January 19, 2009 10:39 AM

    It’s so easy, don’t you see? If there are survivors it’s because of their god’s love. If none survive they will tell you their “God’s Ways Are Inscrutable”… Either way, they win.

    Well, they have had a few thousand years to iron out those sorts of details on that con job.

  28. #28 Daft Greg
    January 19, 2009

    why didn’t he clear the geese to save the trouble before it happened?

    It’s simple, really. God put those geese there to disable the plane so he could test the passengers. The passengers prayed hard enough, so they passed the test and were saved. If it had been a plane full of atheists, they would have screwed.

  29. #29 Richard Harris
    January 19, 2009

    Naughtius Maximus It must have been a stromg tornado that blew through the junk yard that created that airplane!

    Well, that’s a very stupid idea. Aircraft are designed by engineers, but I thought that everyone knew that.

  30. #30 SteveN
    January 19, 2009

    Phew! It is a Poe after all. I was getting more and more outraged at the blatant fundie stupidity until the ‘God doesn’t control birds’ statement at about 1:35. This set my Poe Alarm ringing and I had to stop and check the comments. Now I can go back and enjoy listening to the rest. I do wonder, however, how many fundies will take this at face value.

    SteveN

  31. #31 Richard Harris
    January 19, 2009

    Daft Greg, …they would have screwed.

    Shit themselves, more like.

  32. #32 Bob
    January 19, 2009

    Yeah, this is the PrayerMax 5000 guy

  33. #33 Frederik Rosenkjๆr
    January 19, 2009

    While I sympathize with him completely, I’ve always found him to be not quite funny enough.

    This video was quite good though, and the word “Tragicle” is my new favorite word! Brilliant! Finally we have a word that can remind the nutjobs that they can’t have their cake and eat it too – if God gets the credit for the good, then….

  34. #34 strangest brew
    January 19, 2009

    Thank god for this… and that!

    It was adequately summed up a year or so ago after a twister that struck a township somewhere in the bible belt…(where in America is it not bible belt?) and it caught a young mother and her son…deposited them a few hundred feet further on and Mum was killed outright but her son survived…
    On the News channel the uncle was ‘prasin de lawd’ fit ta burst because his nephew was divinely delivered for the claws of death…

    ‘It is a miracle and god was responsible…praise god…!’ he beamed happily…not a word about his poor sister or the fact that his god blessed 5 year old nephew is now motherless…’praise de lawd!’

    How many godbots would not bat an eye at master Ed Currant’s piece of information?…and that is a real tragical!

  35. #35 Tulse
    January 19, 2009

    The term “tragicle” is indeed incredibly useful, and indispensable for theodicy. (For that matter, most of the divine intervention in the Old Testament can be described as tragicles, given how smite-y they tend to be.)

    Hallelujah, it’s a tragicle!

  36. #36 Holbach
    January 19, 2009

    So if the plane went down and all were killed, the morons will probably say that their god was testing them. How the hell would they know they were being tested if they are freaking dead? My comments lie with Matt Heath @ #4, and if I was ever in a similiar situation where I survived and other did not, I would scowl, “what god and where was that dead person’s god when it needed it”? How about those dead Brazilians whose own god’s house roof caved in on them and left many more injured? “Okay, I’ll take you and you, and leave you next thirty, now you with the baby, you’re next”. Utter insanity that Silver Fox is only capable of explaining.

  37. #37 CaptainKendrick
    January 19, 2009

    This guy kicks ASS!!!!!!!

    Not as subtle:
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVUfLJVSdjg&feature=channel_page

  38. #38 Don Smith, FCD
    January 19, 2009

    “I don’t give a hoot what Webster says”

    LOL

  39. #39 Andyo
    January 19, 2009

    Posted by: SteveN | January 19, 2009 10:53 AM

    Phew! It is a Poe after all. I was getting more and more outraged at the blatant fundie stupidity until the ‘God doesn’t control birds’ statement at about 1:35.

    Webster didn’t do it? Time to change that Poe alarm’s battery.

  40. #40 Jake H.
    January 19, 2009

    I felt they did a good job of giving the pilot credit for his skills.

  41. #41 scooter
    January 19, 2009

    That was tra-gic-u-lous. I cried a little. Have to go fix a grilled Jesus sammich now.

  42. #42 strangest brew
    January 19, 2009

    Methinks anyone on the plane that insists ’twasgodwotdidit’ should be automatically required to land the next aviation emergency single handedly with god for their co-pilot! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  43. #43 Caligula
    January 19, 2009

    Parody, folks. My favorites:

    “it’s a miracle that planes can defy the supposed laws of gravityism” and “tragical”.

  44. #44 astrobiologiste
    January 19, 2009

    For reasons that will remain undisclosed, I’ve seen other videos by this guy, and they all strike me as a parody. I don’t believe he is being serious, but hey, I refuse to believe that people can as stupid as to believe in ID, and I’m often proven wrong…

  45. #45 Turing E.
    January 19, 2009

    Did anyone really have any doubt that this wasn’t blatant satire? If you did, all I have to say is “wow”.

  46. #46 varlo
    January 19, 2009

    “Edwin Current is a genuine gift from god”

    One hopes that God has a generous return policy.

  47. #47 Lucky, Montana
    January 19, 2009

    “Bird Free Will” I love it!
    That’s what this site is all about, the wonders of nature.

  48. #48 scooter
    January 19, 2009

    When Hurricane Ike came through Houston, most substantial structures were left standing, unless they had a steeple.

    I did not see a steeple left standing anywhere, and when Gawd takes his steeples back a good portion of the roofs goes to heaven as well.

    It was the Ike Carrumba magical tragicle steeple people sweepul

  49. #49 Richard W (Sussex, England)
    January 19, 2009

    The Hudson Miracle

    Chorus:

    All things bright and beautiful,
    All creatures great and small,
    All things wise and wonderful,
    The Lord God made them all.

    Each little flower that opens,
    Each little bird that sings,
    God made them hit an Airbus,
    And broke its shiny wings…
    (chorus etc.)

  50. #50 JRQ
    January 19, 2009

    I loves me some Edward Current! Those of you calling Poe are correct, but don’t be too embarrassed if you didn’t pick up on the satire at first — he is very, very good at this. I’ve been enjoying his videos for a while now…the evolution ones especially are hilarious.

  51. #51 PGPWNIT
    January 19, 2009

    Tragicles are God’s way of saying he hates us.

  52. #52 firemancarl
    January 19, 2009

    He is very goddamn funny! Tragicle! The doesn’t give a hoot about Webster is not only when I caught on, but almost pissed my pants laughing!

  53. #53 Tony Whitson
    January 19, 2009

    Rachel Maddow has an excellent 4-minute segment on the “Hudson Miracle.” It’s at
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#28683042
    the second segment, “How did everyone survive?”

  54. #54 BobC
    January 19, 2009

    I feel sorry for those geese. They were minding their own business and some jet flies right into them.

    The brain-dead Christians who called the successful crash landing a miracle are insulting the pilot. It was his fast thinking under pressure and his skills that saved everyone’s life. The Christian god fairy didn’t have anything to do with it.

    I’ve been a big fan of Edward Current for a long time. I like the way he ridicules religious insanity.

  55. #55 Liam
    January 19, 2009

    Very funny, but mostly people read ‘Hudson Miracle’ as a figure of speech meaning ‘very unlikely good outcome on Hudson’. Nothing to do with the supernatural.

  56. #56 Randy
    January 19, 2009

    I am ashamed to admit that I missed that it was satire. I was working up an indignant froth at the sheer stupidity and then I started reading the posts. Ah well, thankfully if I am in the mood for fundamentalist stupidity, you can still find collected here quicker than a goose can get sucked into an engine. Thanks fellow readers for setting me strait on this one.

  57. #57 Silver Fox
    January 19, 2009

    Dave @ 25
    “I wonder what the godbots have to say about the evangelical church in Brazil that collapsed the other day in the middle of a service, leaving 7 dead and over 50 injured?”

    I guess I would be considered a godbot. I think some one built a bad roof. God’s not a roofer; he’s not going to prop up every flimsy roof on earth. If you have bad wiring, the building is likely to catch fire. God’s not an electrician. Could God intercede to see that those things don’t happen – yes; is he going to – probably not.

  58. #58 Joe Shelby
    January 19, 2009

    It sounds much more interesting when mixed with Takemitsu’s serialist soundtrack to the film Black Rain playing at the same time.

  59. #59 Lord Zero
    January 19, 2009

    I love Edward videos. They mock
    religious wackos in miraclous ways.
    I wonder if i can made it into Fox News…
    Im sure they would call him a terrorist.

  60. #60 Don Smith, FCD
    January 19, 2009

    Um, for those who are sure of the status of this guy, check out his user profile:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/EdwardCurrent

    “I am not a christian.”

  61. #61 Peter McKellar
    January 19, 2009

    Excellent poe. he had me going until he said “gravityism”, still wasn’t sure (I took the oxford dictionary ref and webster in stride – didn’t see webster himself till the second viewing) then the “birds have free will”.

    I agree. Tragicle is great. I have heard that dictionary compilers collect their new words if they see them used some threshold number of times in the mainstream press in the previous year (I think they target a select number of these publications). Maybe we should be writing more letters to these media outlets to force words like tragicle into dictionaries. I would also like to nominate fucktard (not sure that will make most dictionaries).

  62. #62 Wiley Post
    January 19, 2009

    @54…

    Great, now PETA will be calling for the end of air travel, due to the chance it might harm birds…

  63. #63 Don Smith, FCD
    January 19, 2009

    I would also like to nominate fucktard (not sure that will make most dictionaries).

    With a picture of Kent Hovind next to the entry!

  64. #64 Don Smith, FCD
    January 19, 2009

    Oops, forgot the linky. NB: NSFW!

  65. #65 Tulse
    January 19, 2009

    God’s not a roofer; he’s not going to prop up every flimsy roof on earth. If you have bad wiring, the building is likely to catch fire. God’s not an electrician. Could God intercede to see that those things don’t happen – yes; is he going to – probably not.

    If you saw your beloved child’s house had a flimsy roof and bad wiring, knew that such would eventually kill them, and it was in your power to prevent it, would you? Wouldn’t we think that any parent who didn’t do so didn’t really love their children?

  66. #66 Tom Woolf
    January 19, 2009

    OK – this guy had me going for a while. He was going to get my standard “Whatafuckingnutjob” title. Then, I read DuckPhup (#11) and his comment on Edward Current being a comic, and this stuff being sarcastic.

    Edward Current has a new fan. Check out some of his YouTube videos.

    And in the bizarre case that he is really serious, but Suchafuckingnutjob that his spewage becomes funny when viewed as being sarcasm? Well, that’s scary (but still funny).

  67. #67 Your Name's Not Bruce?
    January 19, 2009

    Theists really debase the whole idea of “miracle” by slapping it on incidents like this. If the flight crew had been absent, incapacitated or dead (I suppose that would be EXTREMELY incapacitated…)with the plane still ditching safely, then I might think it was miraculous (assuming there was no automatic or remote landing capability (like in the one-off flight of the Soviet shuttle Buran). Otherwise, no miracle here. If the plane had not landed quite so gently and broken up, resulting in fatalities, as long as there were survivors, there would still be claims of “miracle”. Hell, even if it had plunged into the river there would have been those who would have said “thank God it didn’t crash in the city”. Miracles all around. Pretty elastic standards for miraculous if you ask me.

  68. #68 MS
    January 19, 2009

    Posted by: Matt Heath | January 19, 2009 10:19 AM
    I hope the pilot appears on TV saying “screw God; it was me who landed the plane”.It’s the same with medical doctors. They have every right to be pissed off when they fix someone and the first thing people say is “thank God”.

    Amen. I’ve said for a long time that if I were a cop, firefighter, lifeguard, or some such, and I had just used my underpaid skills (the “underpaid” part might not apply to veteran pilots), risking life and limb in the process, to save someone for a horrible death, and then they turned around and gave the credit to an invisible guy in the sky, I’d throw them back in whatever I’d just pulled them out of.

  69. #69 BobC
    January 19, 2009

    Edward Current said “gravityism”. He’s probably ridiculing Christians who call evolution “evolutionism”.

  70. #70 Clevis Linchpin
    January 19, 2009

    Ismism is the rhetorical habit of appending
    ‘ism’ to things that don’t normally have such a
    suffix. Ismismism is the school of thought
    which encourages ismism.

  71. #71 BobC
    January 19, 2009

    I should read the comments first. I was the 5th person to write about the gravityism.

  72. #72 Bezoar
    January 19, 2009

    #20 Matt Heath. I work in an ER. My wife has called me a mix between House and Becker. I crack the heads of those that thank god after I have rendered all to human and secular relief. I even had a patient tell me that I reminded her of House. Then she went on to say she was “in love with House”. God does work in Mysteriacle ways.

  73. #73 skepsci
    January 19, 2009

    Simply because an event is referred to as a “miracle” doesn’t mean that people are attributing it to god. It’s not uncommon for the term to be used to describe a fortunate or lucky occurrence, such as a pilot being able to successfully crash-land a plane with no serious injury to any of the 155 people on board. When the press is specifically mentioning god, I think you have a right to be annoyed, but not when they simply use the term “miracle.”

  74. #74 PGPWNIT
    January 19, 2009

    Posted by: BobC | January 19, 2009 12:22 PM

    Edward Current said “gravityism”. He’s probably ridiculing Christians who call evolution “evolutionism”.

    In another video, he called us all gravityists.

  75. #75 Daft Greg
    January 19, 2009

    Richard Harris:

    Daft Greg, …they would have screwed.
    Shit themselves, more like.

    Oops, that should have read: they would have been screwed.

  76. #76 Richard Harris
    January 19, 2009

    Silver Fox @ # 57 Could God intercede to see that those things don’t happen – yes; is he going to – probably not.

    Well, I guess that beats bumming around smiting people for no good reason. (It’s all in the Old Testament.) But I still think he’s a nasty fecker. Heck, isn’t it a criminal act to just stand by & let something bad happen to someone who you could have helped?

  77. #77 dj357
    January 19, 2009

    I’m sorry, but “gravity-ism”?!?!?!?! straight away that tells me this guy’s opinion, facts and point-of-view can be thrown right out the window. screw you Eddie-boy.

  78. #78 Kip
    January 19, 2009

    @dj357

    So are yew one o’ them agravityists?

  79. #79 Pablo
    January 19, 2009

    If you saw your beloved child’s house had a flimsy roof and bad wiring, knew that such would eventually kill them, and it was in your power to prevent it, would you? Wouldn’t we think that any parent who didn’t do so didn’t really love their children?

    Yeah, but what is God supposed to do about it? It’s not like he is omnipotent or anything, is he? Oh, wait…

    Theists like to use a bike-riding analogy to excuse God’s behavior. It goes something like, “When you teach your child to ride a bike, you sometimes let them crash.”

    Yes, that’s true, but that’s because WE AREN’T OMNIPOTENT!!!!! You think that if I could effectively teach my son to ride a bike without letting him crash and get hurt, I wouldn’t do it in a heartbeat? (training wheels aren’t a great way to teach one how to ride a bike) Only a sadist would let them crash when they had the ability to achieve the goal without them having to get hurt.

    But that’s God for you.

    Actually, the problem is that those making this argument never really think it through. It’s the old “Argument from a non-omnipotent (potent?) God.”

  80. #80 Baudi
    January 19, 2009

    Edward Current is a parody. How can anyone possibly think he’s serious?

    BTW I’m adding the word “Tragicle” to my vocabulary. That was brilliant.

  81. #81 Emmet, OM
    January 19, 2009

    Yup, ?tragicle? is definitely a keeper.

  82. #82 EWJ
    January 19, 2009

    I was in the gym yesterday and ended up on a machine next to the Fox “New” cable channel. They had a faithhead who claimed that this was an intervention by God. He also pointed out that bad things happen to people to get them refocused on God.

    Looks like the Invisible Sky Pixy can cover all the bases.

  83. #83 strangest brew
    January 19, 2009

    ‘Pretty elastic standards for miraculous if you ask me’

    It would seem that the afflicted have to be elastic in their conference of ‘miracles’… otherwise they are on a hiding to nothing…the idea is to claim stuff as miraculous that had a good to middling chance of panning out as it was…great flying by a pilot…but he had gliders license at the least…heard he was an instructor…. and the experience to handle the situation…obviously…
    But tis easy to claim divine intervention…simply cos it seems an impossible feat…

    Funny that other stuff is relegated to natural phenomena…now’t to do with a deity and not gods concern…

    Mass murder…Tsunami’s…Terrorism…Traffic accidents…Church roofs collapsing on the faithful…etc etc.

    And other stuff like life saving surgery …goes AC/DC…if the patient lives it is god’s miracle…if the patient dies they were very ill anyway!…and sometimes the claim is raised that god took them because he is a loving god!

    Tis any which way that happens to suit….but in order to accomplish the sleight of arrogance ‘Miracles ‘are deemed to be anything they think they can get away with!

  84. #84 LisaJ
    January 19, 2009

    That was awesome, love this guy… still not as good as the Prayer Max 5000 though. I am so working ‘tragicle’ into my vocabulary today – and I’m doing a big, important, expensive experiment that is just begging to be screwed up, so it may not be too difficult.

  85. #85 NewEnglandBob
    January 19, 2009

    I find Current’s videos to be mostly tedious.

    The only part I enjoyed on this one is where he said “that’s all for now” just before the end.

  86. #86 Johnny Vector
    January 19, 2009

    None of this is a miracle. You know what’s a miracle? A miracle is a plane piloted by a large fuzzy blue animated monster voiced by John Goodman. That’s a real miracle.

    You go, Sully!

  87. #87 Quiet Desperation
    January 19, 2009

    Trained? He got hit by a train? When?

  88. #88 Jadehawk
    January 19, 2009

    *snort* that was awesome. My Poe alarm was ringing all the way from the “gravityism”, but the “tragicle” made it obvious

  89. #89 Sharl
    January 19, 2009

    Thanks to all upthread for pointing out this was satire. I wondered about that, but after seeing a number of Pastor Swank links at Sadly,No! and similar over the past several years, it’s easy for me to assume that even the most batsh*t insane pronouncements from the loony religious community are sincere expressions of belief. [Or, insane pronouncements meant to be taken seriously in an effort to con the gullible.]

    By the way, another clue is in his e-mail address shown at the end – ejc@pisspoor.com. If you go to http://pisspoor.com, you will find links to Eddie Current’s MySpace page and YouTube channel. (Pretty funny photo on that page too, if you look closely.)

  90. #90 Quiet Desperation
    January 19, 2009

    I am so working ‘tragicle’ into my vocabulary today

    Someone pissed me off this morning, so I kicked him in the tragicles.

  91. #91 jamie d
    January 19, 2009

    I shouldn’t read this site first thing in the morning. When I heard the word “tragicle” coffee nearly came out of my nose.

  92. #92 Pablo
    January 19, 2009

    I shouldn’t read this site first thing in the morning. When I heard the word “tragicle” coffee nearly came out of my nose.

    Bah, I got to that point when he asked why anyone cared what Webster (Emmanuel Lewis) had to say.

    That was funny.

  93. #93 Craig
    January 19, 2009

    I think PZ’s title for the post threw off some of his more worshipful minions. I’m doing a mental double-take thinking about how secularists were fooled by a satirical secularist doing a parody of religion. WTF?

  94. #94 NMcC
    January 19, 2009

    PZ’s solemn and grave sounding title certainly threw me. I was going to make the first post and give old Edward what for.

    Thank Christ I didn’t – not only would that have been embarrassing, it would have been quite tragicle!

  95. #95 Jay
    January 19, 2009

    Oh God and his tragicles! He sure does love Him some tragicles!

  96. #96 anon
    January 19, 2009

    Curiously, it was an early ‘father’ of the Catholic Church, (St.) Augustine (354-430 CE, Bishop of Hippo), who wrote against such intellectually lax attribution: “We must be on our guard against giving interpretations which are hazardous or opposed to science, and so exposing the work of God to the ridicule of unbelievers.” And, also: “Miracles happen, not in opposition to Nature, but in opposition to what we know of Nature.” Of course, that was back when the Church was at least trying to maintain an air of propriety, and long before the concept/dogma of ‘infallibility’; things have gone seriously downhill since then.

  97. #97 JoeKSparta
    January 19, 2009

    Wow. I’m pretty amazed at the number of people who thought this guy was for real. Blatantly obvious satire right from the start. He had me cracking up the whole way through. Makes me feel sorry for those secularists/atheists who didn’t evolve with a sense of humor. They’re missing out.

  98. #98 Gilian
    January 19, 2009

    As I moved my mouse over to the video, I wondered why PZ would sponsor the amount of clicks his site generates to a religious nutter.
    But then I watched the video and had a good laugh ๐Ÿ™‚

    *What Webster would say…*

  99. #99 Joe
    January 19, 2009

    After this, I tend to be a little credulous.

  100. #100 rob
    January 19, 2009

    i don’t think this is satire.

    but to make sure i am going to order the prayermax 5000 and pray for enlightenment. and for a solid gold jet. and an island.

    can anyone loan me the 6 easy payments of $69.99? i could get a solid gold jet for you too!

  101. #101 dhonig
    January 19, 2009

    Satire? It’s getting hard to tell these days.

  102. #102 Scaryduck
    January 19, 2009

    I came *this* close to falling for that. Great find.

  103. #103 Faintpraise
    January 19, 2009

    I got that it was satire pretty quickly- his tone of voice is too snarky! But I enjoyed it.

    I didn’t get the Webster joke. Is it a particularly US-flavoured joke (I’m a brit) or is it just something I should’ve known anyway?

  104. #104 Pablo
    January 19, 2009

    There was a TV show in the 80s called “Webster,” starring Emmanuel Lewis (the little kid in the video) and former Detroit Lions player Alex Karras. It was a knock-off of “Different Strokes,” both being shows about a white guy who adopts a cute black kid and the hijinx that insue.

  105. #105 Faintpraise
    January 19, 2009

    Aha, thanks Pablo!
    Jeez, you would’ve thought one Diff’rent Strokes was enough!! Don’t think Webster was on over here.

  106. #106 Tex
    January 19, 2009

    Daft Greg:

    The passengers prayed hard enough, so they passed the test and were saved. If it had been a plane full of atheists, they would have screwed.

    Oops, that should have read: they would have been screwed.

    Nope. You got it right the first time.

  107. #107 inkadu
    January 19, 2009

    Why doesn’t God save helicopters from crashing when their engines go dead??

  108. #108 strangest brew
    January 19, 2009

    ‘Why doesn’t God save helicopters from crashing when their engines go dead?’

    Cos they is driven by Atheists methinks…or optimists seeing as they have no wings to walk on!

  109. #109 blf
    January 19, 2009

    The miracle wasn’t that the people on the plane survived, it was that Teh Big Puppy of Ye Sky steered the birdies into it. Who weren’t terrorist invaders from Canada, but pigeons. 552 of the flying rats. Teh Big Puppy of Ye Sky blogged it, so it must be teh trvth!

  110. #110 revpjack
    January 19, 2009

    I’m sorry, this may sound foolish, but can someone explain POE to me? I’m sure it’s something obvious, but I’m just not seeing it.
    Thanks

  111. #111 Keenacat
    January 19, 2009

    Someone pissed me off this morning, so I kicked him in the tragicles.

    [nitpicker]
    Actually, his testicles only became tragicles AFTER being kicked.
    [/nitpicker]

  112. #112 mr-zero
    January 19, 2009

    Really? Eddy Current? Seriously?

  113. #113 Steve
    January 19, 2009

    @57

    I guess I would be considered a godbot. I think some one built a bad roof. God’s not a roofer; he’s not going to prop up every flimsy roof on earth. If you have bad wiring, the building is likely to catch fire. God’s not an electrician. Could God intercede to see that those things don’t happen – yes; is he going to – probably not.

    A simpler explanation would be that god is not there and bad roofs result in roofs falling down and bad wiring results in houses burning.

    No need to complicate things with invisible sky fairies.

  114. #114 Midnight Rambler
    January 19, 2009

    revpjack: Poe’s Law states that it is impossible to make a parody of fundamentalism that cannot be reasonably mistaken for the real thing, basically because you can’t come up with anything crazier than what they already believe in. Sometimes applied to other groups (particularly creationists, but of course there’s a lot of overlap there).

  115. #115 RichVR
    January 19, 2009

    @18 “how do you spell credulous?”

    I don’t know. It’s not in any dictionary.

  116. #116 Steve
    January 19, 2009

    For a refreshing counter point to “thank god”, see the article by Daniel C. Dennett titled “THANK GOODNESS!”.

    http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/dennett06/dennett06_index.htm

  117. #117 Holbach
    January 19, 2009

    Thus spoke the Raven, “Nevermore”

    Sorry

  118. #118 Blind Squirrel FCD
    January 19, 2009

    AJS @ 15

    Aeroplanes do not “defy the laws of gravity” — rather, they play off two forces against one another. Anyone who understands that pressure * volume = a constant ought to grasp the principle; the air above the wing has further to travel than the air underneath, it expands and so exerts less pressure. Hence there’s a force pushing upwards

    Common misunderstanding. That is not how planes fly. Check this link. http://www.allstar.fiu.edu/aero/airflylvl3.htm

  119. #119 Sili
    January 19, 2009

    GOD HATES GEESE!

  120. #120 NMcC
    January 19, 2009

    Apparently, even if you’d not previously heard of this guy, there were some easy clues that this was parody. The ‘Webster’s’ mention, I believe, was one of them. Some of us are not from America and so we should be forgiven for being slightly gullible in this case. As a poster above mentioned, it really is getting more and more difficult to discern what’s Poe and what’s just poe-faced.

    It is, of course, somewhat obvious how this could really have been a miracle, the river could have turned into a runway – but it didn’t, because God’s just a big tease.

    On another note, ‘tragicles’ could make a good meme – if George Bush hadn’t already cornered the market.

  121. #121 LeeLeeOne
    January 19, 2009

    Fulovbulschitz!

    PZ, et al., I am not the only one who recognized that the fulminant relious references to “Thank god” were legit!

    Thank ‘god’ indeed! What a bunch of crock!

    Bottom line: Thank this piolot’s ability (akucky arse) to be talented aka lucky, ala educated/talented/lucky!

    Hindsight (for all of you religiously inclined) is better than foresight.

  122. #122 Fatpie42
    January 19, 2009

    Poe’s law in action. If I hadn’t watched all the way up to the ‘Tragicle’ bit I’d have had no way of knowing that this was a spoof.

  123. #123 Shira
    January 19, 2009

    I had a discussion with a fundamentalist Christian woman a few weeks ago. She started talking about how amazing it is that god created all these wonderful things for us, because he could have made existence awful, lacking in things such as: puppies, fluffy things, good food, etc. I chimed in with “tooth decay.” She informed me that “Not tooth decay. That’s our fault. God created all the good stuff, but we sinned and brought bad stuff into the world.”

    So that’s why it took me a few minutes to decide whether this video was real. He may be satirizing, but I’m certain that some of the people he’s criticizing will nod in agreement with everything he says.

  124. #124 Andrew Shepherd
    January 19, 2009

    When people start banging on about miracles I’m always reminded of this quote…

    “When someone is saved from certain death by a strange
    concatenation of circumstances, they say it’s a miracle.
    But of course if someone is killed by a freak chain of
    events – that must also be a miracle.
    Just because it isn’t nice doesn’t mean it’s not miraculous.”
    Terry Pratchett – Interesting Times

  125. #125 tripencrypt
    January 19, 2009

    What bull$%it! The credit and praise goes to the flight crew and cabin crew. These folks deserve cheers. Not some mythic entity.

  126. #126 JSug
    January 19, 2009

    “… the so-called laws of gravityism.”

    That’s awesome. I’m so using that.

  127. #127 Mirror Charge
    January 19, 2009

    tripencrypt@125

    May God’s Ray of Love shine on you and show you the Wisdom of his ways. Were it not for the God-given skills of the crew there would have been more ways.

    I am reminded of the story of a town in the midwest that got flooded. A family of the faithful were stranded on the roof of their home as the flood waters arose. Their neighbors came by in a rowboat and offered to take them to safety. They declined, saying the Lord would save them. Then along came a police boat to take them to safety. Once again they declined, putting their devout faith in the Lord, Our Father above.

    Finally, as the water lapped at their feet a Coast Guard helicopter showed up to rescue them. For a third time they refused rescue, as the Lord would surely keep them from harm.

    Finally the water rose over their heads and their spirits ascended to the Pearly Gates. There they met the Lord, and beseeched him as to why he had not answered their prayers and saved them from the flood. The Lord, The Almighty, looked down on them and said, “What do you mean? I sent two boats and a helicopter!”

  128. #128 Andyo
    January 19, 2009

    Mirror Charge,

    Funny, that’s the exact same bullshit story that the catholic brothers I used to hang out with liked so much. I hope you are not being serious!

  129. #129 Escuerd
    January 19, 2009

    So what new word could we coin for a witness’s testimony to a miracle? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  130. #130 Robert
    January 19, 2009

    To anointynoit386sx, way back @3…

    Actually, if you’re a strict Bible interpreter, then Satan had everything to do with the crash. You see, Satan was responsible for ensuring that Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of Knowledge, thus giving us the gift of reason and independent thinking.

    This gift enabled us to develop and build aeroplanes. It allowed the pilot to learn how to fly a plane in the first place, as well as give him the curiosity to seek out other skills, such as learning how to fly a glider. It gave the engineers who built the plane the ability to look ahead and determine possible failure scenarios, thus designing into the plane the ability to float on water long enough to evacuate. And so on.

    And, of course, as you point out, Satan put the birds in the way of the plane. Thus everything about the crash was an act of Satan, which is just as well, because acts of God aren’t covered by insurance.

  131. #131 RN Lee
    January 19, 2009

    Current generally has good ideas, but does not bring the funny, sadly.

  132. #132 Quiet Desperation
    January 19, 2009

    [nitpicker] Actually, his testicles only became tragicles AFTER being kicked. [/nitpicker]

    OK.

    Someone nitpicked me today, and I punted their testicles into tragicle land.

    There. Better?

  133. #133 MelM
    January 19, 2009

    I find it interesting that Sully’s wife didn’t mention “miracle” nor did she “witness” for God in the interview videos I’ve seen. Thus far, she seems a cut way above average and quite refreshing in that she talked about his passion for planes and his professionalism. I’ll probably end up being disappointed but, so far, there’s not been a pile of religious puke coming from her or Sully (the interview scheduled for today (Mon) with the wretches of the TODAY show has been postponed).

  134. #134 has
    January 19, 2009

    inkadu:

    Why doesn’t God save helicopters from crashing when their engines go dead??

    If God had meant for helicopters to fly, he would have given them wings.

  135. #135 Tulse
    January 19, 2009

    Actually, a helicopter’s main rotor will auto-rotate if its engine fails, thus slowing its descent and allowing it to come to ground much more slowly and gracefully than most planes. (Lucky God thought of that, huh?)

  136. #136 'Tis Himself
    January 19, 2009

    If God had intended Man to fly, he’d never have let us invent the railway.

    (With thanks to Michael Flanders for the quote.)

  137. #137 FastLane
    January 19, 2009

    Well, as an aircraft structures engineer whose job it is to ensure that aircraft are able to survive this sort of situation, does this mean I can just stay home and collect my paychecks?

    The big guy’s got it all covered, right?

  138. #138 T
    January 19, 2009

    No miracles – except the miracle of nature..

  139. #139 Mirror Charge
    January 19, 2009

    Andyo@128

    Everyone knows that those heathen catholics are no christians, the cult of the pope. I am certainly not one of *them*.

    That is the Glorious thing about Our Lord Above, He works through us, unseen and undetected. What appear to be the works of normal people are really His Blessings in disguise! The world is the looks the same as it would if He did not exist, but we of the True Faith know they are his Hidden Works.

  140. #140 bootsy
    January 19, 2009

    @139: You remind me of some other pilots who could thank god for successful Missions, the pilots of the Enola Gay.

    How many blessings was in the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima? One hundred mega-blessings? And do the blessings only count if the people were vaporized instantly? If it took them several days to die from radiation, was that only a half-blessing? (What were the half-lives of those blessings?)

  141. #141 Ian
    January 19, 2009

    I call Poe’s Law on Mirror Change.

  142. #142 Andyo
    January 19, 2009

    Mirror Charge #139,

    OK, gotcha *wink, wink*

    Almost threw me there with all the unnecessary capitalizing. Well done, though Poes are really getting tiring around here.

  143. #143 Mirror Charge
    January 19, 2009

    My apologies for overdoing the Poe bit, I was aiming more for mocking derision … but I guess that is covered under Poe as well..

  144. #144 bigjohn756
    January 19, 2009

    I don’t think an Airbus A320 is much of a glider. I’d guess that it glides a lot like a big stone. Oh, well, this blithering idiot isn’t capable of thinking too clearly anyway.

  145. #145 flashbazzzbo
    January 19, 2009

    Wouldnt the testicles have to survive the kicking to be considered tragicles??

  146. #146 Mirror Charge
    January 19, 2009

    bigjohn756@144

    From what I’ve been able to find, it looks like the A320 has a glide ration of about 17, which means from 3000 feet it would travel a little under 10 miles

  147. #147 Sherry
    January 19, 2009

    I love Edward Current. He’s sooooooo funny. He and Pat Condell should do a TV special!

  148. #148 Sauceress
    January 19, 2009

    #57 Silver Fox

    Could God intercede to see that those things don’t happen – yes; is he going to – probably not.

    Why not?

  149. #149 Enkidu
    January 19, 2009

    Anybody else get the Google Ad “Christian Mom makes $5000/month from free U.S. government grants”? Was she “God’s own welfare cheat”?

  150. #150 hje
    January 19, 2009

    “I heard a survivor saying that there were angels on that plane …”

    It’s one of those damn Nephilim–they’re always looking to score with human women.

  151. #151 spacemonkey
    January 19, 2009

    “Atheists are blaming God”

    Hm….. An Atheist who blames god isn’t and Atheist to begin with.

    And now planes getting off the ground is a miracle. I guess miracles occur pretty often! The principle of flight can be proven using a single piece of paper but no, “It’s a miracle”.

    I am not from the US and I know Americans are capable of amazing things but its frightening thinking that there are people so stupid with so much exposition in the world’s mightiest nation. Kudos to this site and everyone else out there fighting off the raving maniacs.

  152. #152 I Eat Gravel
    January 20, 2009

    Oh my Christ!
    You’re telling me this isn’t satire?

  153. #153 rod dalager
    January 20, 2009

    What? God miraculously made the plane crash into the river?

    Nice work buddy.

  154. #154 Wayne Robinson
    January 20, 2009

    “Miracle” is a nice short word. I would love for it to lose its religious overtones, and just come to mean a unlikely benign outcome to some event that could easily have ended in tragedy. The German equivalent is “Wunder”, as in “Das Wunder von Bern”, which dealt with the West German victory in the 1954 football World Cup, the “miracle” being the fact that it poured with rain for the final, which negated the fair superior talents of the Hungarian team. “Wunder” is similar to the English word “wonder”, so perhaps that word could be used in place of “miracle”?
    There is a German website “Die Wunder Seite” http://www.diewunderseite.de/
    Now if there is a super crackpot site, this must be it. Not only does it take the various religious delusions as true, it also accepts crop circles and UFOs.

  155. #155 spacemonkey
    January 20, 2009

    I forgot! Saying this was a miracle from God is practically a direct insult to the pilot, the cabin crew, the passangers and the rescue workers. Oh, and also to the people who taught these people how to do their job extremely well.

  156. #156 Ian
    January 20, 2009

    – Daft Greg, …they would have screwed.
    – Richard Harris …Shit themselves, more like.

    No, they would have screwed. It’s a lot more rewarding screwing than praying.

  157. #157 terrence
    January 20, 2009

    Well, I am stunned. I was about ready to view the video and yuk it up with all the commenters….when a MIRACLE occurred. When I hit the play arrow, a little popup ad appeared at the bottome of the video:

    “Christian mom makes $5,000 a month with government grants”

    As Edward would say, CHECKMATE, ATHEISTS.

  158. #158 C. L. Hanson
    January 20, 2009

    OMG, sorry to blaspheme ( ? ), but that is absolutely perfect!

  159. #159 Roger Scott
    January 20, 2009

    Edward Current is up there with Pat Condell.

  160. #160 SquidBrandon
    January 20, 2009

    I couldn’t help but think, “it looks like the miracle you needed was not falling out of the tree in the first place.” Seems appropriate here as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  161. #161 Sean Daily
    January 22, 2009

    Sorry, I couldn’t watch the whole thing. The “American Heritage” comment made me want to throw up.

  162. #162 Chris mankey
    February 18, 2009

    “I don’t think an Airbus A320 is much of a glider. I’d guess that it glides a lot like a big stone. Oh, well, this blithering idiot isn’t capable of thinking too clearly anyway.”

    Where you talking about yourself? This is satire. Does the onion confuse you? Get mad at Landover baptist and whitehouse.org?

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