Pharyngula

The dumbest poll yet

Look at this NASA photo of Pulsar B1509. Yes, it looks like a hand.

i-f6ad501027bdb70c6d90c2bec4384e81-pulsar_b1509.jpeg

It’s beautiful and fascinating.

Now look at the incredibly stupid poll the NY Daily News attached to it.

What do you think is captured on the recently released NASA photograph?

The hand of God 40%
A natural stellar formation 60%

My respect for humanity can only be restored if that 40% is reduced.

Comments

  1. #1 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    NASA has their explanation….Christians know Who that hand belongs to.

    Englebert Humperdink?

  2. #2 Deiloh
    April 14, 2009

    …is god trying to slit his/her wrist?

  3. #3 Cotton Nero
    April 14, 2009

    Maradona?

  4. #4 JustaTech
    April 14, 2009

    Ach, it’s still 35%, 65%! Must click more! (And why doesn’t anyone ask these inane questions about the Horsehead nebula?)

  5. #5 nigelTheBold
    April 14, 2009

    God has one serious-assed tumor on his forearm. He’d better have that looked at.

  6. #6 Brian
    April 14, 2009

    Hand of God? Please. The photo is upside-down. Turn it upright, and it’s clearly Cthulhu.

  7. #7 Ritchie Annand
    April 14, 2009

    Besides, there’s already a phenomenon called Fingers of God, so the digits are already spoken for.

    Maybe there’s just some interstellar mafioso thing going on where all these celestial beings are having bits cut off of them.

    I wonder who did what to deserve the severed Horsehead Nebula on their starry bedspread.

  8. #8 Pete
    April 14, 2009

    27%/73% – still a way to go.

  9. #9 Jonathan Lubin
    April 14, 2009

    Funny, looks like a squid to me.

  10. #10 Lynna Howard
    April 14, 2009

    Oh, for heaven’s sake! God lives on Kolob. That can’t be his hand. Voted, now at 70% for “natural stellar formation.”

  11. #11 Victor
    April 14, 2009

    Stupid? It’s actually the most intelligent poll ever on religion. See, this object, unlike many other object of religious veneration, actually exists. So, they’re stepping up their game. Good show! Plus, it really defines this God character. Apparently he’s a hand without a body. Who knew?

  12. #12 The Atheist Missionary
    April 14, 2009

    Currently at 26%!

  13. #13 Chuck Lunney
    April 14, 2009

    God has one serious-assed tumor on his forearm.

    Wouldn’t that be a case of corporeal tunnel syndrome?

    (inflammation, pain and suffering due to extended use of divine powers into the natural world)

  14. #14 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 14, 2009

    Now up to 80% natural. And we are only just started.

  15. #15 fenderplayer96
    April 14, 2009

    I just voted, and it’s now

    Bronze-age superstition 25%

    Space-age knowledge 75%

    Getting there…

  16. #16 The Atheist Missionary
    April 14, 2009

    Now at 18%. We’ll pound it into the dust.

  17. #17 Jonathan Lubin
    April 14, 2009

    Funny, looks like a squid to me.

  18. #18 Didac Lopez-Martinez
    April 14, 2009

    Some calculation. If the so-called spans 150 ly and is 17,000 ly far away, it is like having a 10 cm-hand at 11.33 m of distance. When I have a hand at such distance, I cannot fear being slapped. Moreover, the hand is only 1,700 years old. Even YECs accept Christ being born 2,000 years ago!

  19. #19 Evie
    April 14, 2009

    ummm…I count 1 “thumb” and 3 “fingers” on that “hand”

    so…..if we’re supposed to be created “in God’s image” he seriously needs to learn how to count….he gave us too many fingers!!!

  20. #20 Rodger T NZ
    April 14, 2009

    Can`t help but think ,photoshop.

    But really,wow.

  21. #21 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    ummm…I count 1 “thumb” and 3 “fingers” on that “hand”

    so…..if we’re supposed to be created “in God’s image” he seriously needs to learn how to count….he gave us too many fingers!!!

    No it means that we have unequivocal proof that Homer Simpson is god.

  22. #22 Victor
    April 14, 2009

    #7 “I wonder who did what to deserve the severed Horsehead Nebula on their starry bedspread.”

    Horsehead Nebula = God’s Polyp

  23. #23 cicely
    April 14, 2009

    The Hand of Snail, possibly. Seriously, when I look at the picture, my first impression is of a snail head, next the glowy red bug, and only then, fingers.

  24. #24 Drew
    April 14, 2009
  25. #25 Tark
    April 14, 2009

    Where did this hand crap come from? It’s obviously a leg, and foot with weird, red, misshapen toes. Bunions of the Lord be praised! Quite a nasty bone spur there below the ankle bone too.

    Methinks attending to this stupidity at all brings down our collectives IQ anyway … so lets get back to the bacon and lesbians, shall we?

    Tax Religion. Next up, poloroids of Gods spring break in Cancun…
    Tark

  26. #26 Victor
    April 14, 2009

    OMG, is the hand of God fingering the _ of the Goddess?

    I think we caught them in a private moment.

  27. #27 smellyoldgit
    April 14, 2009

    Down to 16%
    The hand of god has shot it’s load.

  28. #28 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009

    No it means that we have unequivocal proof that Homer Simpson is god.

    D’oh! We’re all d’oomed!

  29. #29 jasper
    April 14, 2009

    Interesting….god appears to have only three fingers? Matt Groening is god?

  30. #30 Tyche
    April 14, 2009

    Gosh, you’re good. It’s 15%/85% now.

  31. #31 Dr.Woody
    April 14, 2009

    I hate to help restore any faith you might have had in humanity, but when I voted about a minute ago, it was HOG = 14%; Nat = 86%

    By the way, I thought it was an angel, but what do I know…

  32. #32 raven
    April 14, 2009

    If that is the hand of god, he is either sleeping or dead.

    It’s been there for 1700 years, and will be there for thousands or tens of thousands of years more, very slowly…evolving. It is also thousands of light years away from us.

    I guess eveyone can sleep in on sundays and enjoy their life now.

  33. #33 blf
    April 14, 2009

    Whilst it’s certainly not dog’s paw, it also not a natural stellar formation. It’s really a new New Galactic Builders housing development for up-and-starfaring families. The “fingers” are various stages of development ranging from the completed Phase I to the not-yet-started Phase VI. The “wrist” is the communal area, with numerous leisure, dining, and shopping facilities, and an underplanet starshippark.

  34. #34 Kendo
    April 14, 2009

    It is a hand. The hand has only three fingers. Homer Simpson is God. QED

  35. #35 jasper
    April 14, 2009

    Per #19 & #21

    DOH! you beat me to it. :)

  36. #36 Ray S.
    April 14, 2009

    It just looks like a hand, and a malformed one at that.

    How is it that whenever one of these godbots sees an image they think looks like Jesus or Mary or whatever, they know what the original person looked like? I’m not aware of any images of any of the foundational characters of the Christian bible that date from the time of their purported existence.

  37. #37 jagannath
    April 14, 2009

    Cool, space porn.

  38. #38 kennedy
    April 14, 2009

    This is not the hand of god, its the hand of a Greek God. It’s Apollo, this can be confirmed by viewing the TOS Star Trek doucumentary of the future episode Who Mourns for Adonis. Kirk and crew run in to this hand on Stardate 3468.1

  39. #39 skyotter
    April 14, 2009

    i remember that episode of Star Trek. “Who Mourns for Adonis?”, i believe. thus, it’s obviously Apollo

  40. #40 Naked Bunny with a Whip
    April 14, 2009

    It’s God’s hand? Why does God have four fingers, and — more to the point — who lopped that sucker off? Xians should be worshipping that badass.

  41. #41 Inky
    April 14, 2009

    Methinks it looks like a supplicating hand reaching towards a giant cosmic bowl of spaghetti. All hail the FSM.

  42. #42 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009

    Wait a second. If Homer is god, would that make Bart our savior? And where does Ned Flanders fit in? And what special powers does Marge possess, being the spouse of a deity?

    Do we pray facing in the direction of Springfield?

  43. #43 Mike V
    April 14, 2009

    Clearly, that is the hand of the Guardians of the Universe.

    (maybe I’ve been reading too many comic books…)

  44. #44 skyotter
    April 14, 2009

    heh, i type too slow =)

  45. #45 Gregory Kusnick
    April 14, 2009

    ummm…I count 1 “thumb” and 3 “fingers” on that “hand”

    I see two thumbs and three fingers, with the thumb on the left pointing straight out of the frame at us.

  46. #46 Indus The Science Kitten
    April 14, 2009

    The hand is in the eye of the beholder.

  47. #47 Glen Davidson
    April 14, 2009

    That’s stupid, it’s the hand of Zeus, not Yahweh.

    We know that, because we saw it on Star Trek. OK, the finger count isn’t the same, but it’s a reduction, not an increase–we know God doesn’t cure amputees–so clearly he stuck his finger somewhere he shouldn’t. Maybe Zeus is teaching shop, now that he’s no longer believed.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  48. #48 Epikt
    April 14, 2009

    It’s the downward-looking head of a dingo, wearing a lovely spring flower-bonnet.

    Which is on fire.

  49. #49 Glen Davidson
    April 14, 2009

    This is not the hand of god, its the hand of a Greek God. It’s Apollo,

    Oops, you beat me (damn Typekey), and yes, I’m sure you’re right that it’s Apollo. I don’t have a great knowledge of Star Trek.

    So ok, Apollo lost a finger since Kirk encountered him.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/6mb592

  50. #50 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Wait a second. If Homer is god, would that make Bart our savior? And where does Ned Flanders fit in? And what special powers does Marge possess, being the spouse of a deity?

    Do we pray facing in the direction of Springfield?

    Bart is our Saviour, Ned is the devil and Marge can turn water in to bacon with her hair.

    And yes you must pray in the direction of Springfield, if you can figure out what state it is in.

  51. #51 Kendo
    April 14, 2009
  52. #52 Amesthe149
    April 14, 2009

    This natural stellar formation looks like a female hand slipping into some fiery brass knuckles.

  53. #53 Citizen of the Cosmos
    April 14, 2009

    Wow that was fast. I’m always late to these polls, natural stellar phenomenon was at 90% when I voted just now.

    Hand of god? Really? I suspect most people who voted like that simply don’t think it really is the hand of god, instead they probably mean it shows the beauty of god’s creation or something equally silly. But still. We don’t know, it’s entirely possible that most of them really do think it’s the actual hand of an actual god. But that would just be dumb.

  54. #54 Clare
    April 14, 2009

    Sez god… “Where’s the rest of me??????!!”

  55. #55 Holbach
    April 14, 2009

    Good grief, step out for a while, and stellar formations take on all sort of delusions, the biggest being the moron who posed the question just to incite the retards among the afflicted. What responses would emit if that same image had been in a large pizza just fresh from the oven? Or perhaps a large cow turd that has cooled and formed?

  56. #56 Watchman
    April 14, 2009

    Actually, it looks a bit like the hand of Dr. Manhattan.

  57. #57 SEF
    April 14, 2009

    That poll should have included the hand of Star Trek (there was actually more than one episode like that!) and the hand of Harry Potter / Voldemort / ??? (for the youngsters).

  58. #58 The pelagic argosy sights land
    April 14, 2009

    Now you’re talking!

    http://www.narrabri.atnf.csiro.au/public/images/e0102-723/e0102-723.jpg

    Yikes, what is that? God’s plughole? It even has bits of spinach stuck in it. You’d think he’d have a waste disposal fitted.

  59. #59 Richard Harris
    April 14, 2009

    Astronomers believe B1509 is roughly 1,700 years old and is located 17,000 light years from Earth.

    So if it’s the hand of god, & it’s over 18 000 years old by the time the light reaches here, what the heck was this god screwing around at for 12 000 years before creating the Earth? Maybe a Young Earth Creationist could explain?

  60. #60 Josh
    April 14, 2009

    When I first look at this, it was before I saw PZ’s annotation; it looked like a cephalopod to me. Now I see it as a hand and I can’t get the damn cephalopod to come back!

  61. #61 TimB
    April 14, 2009

    Sorry, but I have to go with hand of god on this one. That is definitely the hand of Dr. Manhattan. It’s big, it’s blue, what more proof do you need?

  62. #62 speedwell
    April 14, 2009

    Could someone smarter than me please explain how it happens that we can see something 1,700 years old that is more than 1,700 light years away?

  63. #63 sublunary
    April 14, 2009

    I saw this the other day on BA. I like his explanation – it’s clearly the hand of Dr. Manhattan.

    I’m also glad to see the poll’s now over 90% for common sense. Seriously, even if “hand of god” were a reasonable alternative, why the hell is it moving so slowly? Is that why he can’t heal the amputees? Too busy chasing gas clouds thousands of light years away from Earth?

  64. #64 CJO
    April 14, 2009

    It was 1700 years old 17,000 years ago.

  65. #65 Starbix
    April 14, 2009

    It’s The Presence!!!

    Starbix
    “DON’T PANIC.” -Douglas Adams

  66. #66 bunnycatch3r
    April 14, 2009

    So, what are we really looking at? A nursery of five baby stars?

  67. #67 cervantes
    April 14, 2009

    Man, that may just take stupid to a whole new level. Didn’t think it was even possible . . .

  68. #68 «bønez_brigade»
    April 14, 2009

    The anthropomorphized stupidity, it burns!

    Current poll percentages:
    gud’z fiddlin’ mano 8%
    natural nebulosity 92%

  69. #69 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Could someone smarter than me please explain how it happens that we can see something 1,700 years old that is more than 1,700 light years away?

    At the time the light we are seeing now left the Pulsar, the formation was 1700 years old. But it was 17,000 light years away. SO the light we are seeing was of the 1,700 year old formation but it took 17,000 light years to get to us.

    Assuming someone didn’t make a mistake in recounting the facts.

  70. #70 greg laden
    April 14, 2009

    They never give you the right choice.

    c. The beheading of a rooster. In outer space.

    Speedwell: That is easy. With the expansion of the universe, the light had less distance to travel earlier on in its journey. In a sense, the light cheated because as it ran its course, the ‘track’ got longer. So it starts running a 50 yard dash but at the end it is a 100 yard long track, but it was only that long during the last several yards.

  71. #71 Varlo
    April 14, 2009

    Sanity is now prevailing at a 92 to 8 clip.

  72. #72 bastion of sass
    April 14, 2009

    God apparently thinks he’s going to impress us with his [ahem} awesome plate spinning skills.

    But…really…only one plate, and a relatively small one at that?

    And he needs to use all three of his fingers for his act…?

    Methinks God needs more practice.

  73. #73 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    So by now the formation is 18,700 years old but we won’t see what that looks like for 17,000 years.

  74. #74 greg laden
    April 14, 2009

    No, wait. My explanation, while correct for certain things, does not apply here. I think the real answer is that the comma moved.

  75. #75 blueelm
    April 14, 2009

    Cosmic DJ has awesome scratch skillz.

  76. #76 blf
    April 14, 2009

    I can’t get the damn cephalopod to come back!

    Is a fecking BIG cephalopod. You don’t want it come back!

  77. #77 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    I think the real answer is that the comma moved.

    Or that someone writing that article had no clue about what they were talking about.

    Trying to find more reputable sources for those numbers.

  78. #78 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009
  79. #79 Allytude
    April 14, 2009

    92% on the interstellar choice

  80. #80 Andrés Diplotti
    April 14, 2009

    They forgot to say “mere”. As in, “is it the Hand of God or a mere natural stellar formation?” Geez, don’t they know how to use loaded language?

  81. #81 deep
    April 14, 2009

    Where is this in relation to the giant horse head of god?

  82. #82 cthulhu waters
    April 14, 2009

    Now that the pesky hand of god option is down to 8%, but there’s 92% of voters failed to have the intelligence and strength of character required to write in and tell them to add a “face of Cthulhu” option.

  83. #83 Jason R
    April 14, 2009

    hmm…

    What’s he doing with his other hand? He’s a shifty little devil isn’t he.

  84. #84 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Phil confirms the 17,000 light year distance and I’m pretty sure he verifies the 1700ish age. Though I’m not sure if I am interpreting him correctly.

  85. #85 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009

    They all went to heaven in a little row boat.

    Clap hands.

  86. #86 SASnSA
    April 14, 2009

    I hate to tell them, but their god has a case of crabs

  87. #87 FiveAcres
    April 14, 2009

    93% when I just voted 4/14 13:45 MDT

  88. #88 vitamine73
    April 14, 2009

    7% is still too much!!! agh!

  89. #89 anthonzi
    April 14, 2009

    The hand of God 7%
    A natural stellar formation 93%

  90. #90 Qwerty
    April 14, 2009

    If only one finger was pointing out, would anyone think it was the hand of you-know-who?

  91. #91 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    If only one finger was pointing out, would anyone think it was the hand of you-know-who?

    Johnny Cash?

  92. #92 Jim
    April 14, 2009

    I want to smack the creator of that poll with my hand of god.

  93. #93 Pete
    April 14, 2009

    #80 – of course, to be more correct it should be something like, “is it an awesome natural phenomenon, or merely the hand of god?”

  94. #94 Otto
    April 14, 2009

    Evie@19: “ummm…I count 1 “thumb” and 3 “fingers” on that “hand” ”

    Could catch: DOG is Goofy and has been created by Walt Disney!

  95. #95 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009
  96. #96 Josh
    April 14, 2009

    Is a fecking BIG cephalopod. You don’t want it come back!

    Oh dear, I hadn’t thought of that*. That’s a good point.

    *nod to Douglas Adams.

  97. #97 CCW
    April 14, 2009

    Over at Phill Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog, he has a great explanation of how this structure most probably formed. He does also keep the option open that it is Dr Manhattan’s hand though.

  98. #98 Gregory Kusnick
    April 14, 2009

    #53:

    We don’t know, it’s entirely possible that most of them really do think it’s the actual hand of an actual god. But that would just be dumb.

    Yes, it would. But bear in mind that many Christians think of Heaven and Hell as actual physical places at opposite ends of the cosmic elevator shaft, with Outer Space (if they think of it at all) as a sort of junk-filled attic tucked in somewhere between Stratosphere and Purgatory. So an actual god poking his actual hand in there to rummage around (and getting caught in the act by NASA) may not seem all that far-fetched to them.

  99. #99 bungoton
    April 14, 2009

    Anyone notice that the ‘hand’ has only 3 fingers? I guess it must be the hand of Mickey Mouse or some other cartoon character.
    Gotta go, time to pray to Mickey and ask for everlasting life or maybe to win a lottery.

  100. #100 Mariana Lynch
    April 14, 2009

    Sorry to interrupt the flow here, but I found a suitable YouTube video for PZ.

    I’m a major otaku (anime nerd) and I’m terribly obsessed with the whole Vocaloid deal. They’re speech synthesizers designed for making JPop– you type in lyrics and melody and they sing. Each voice is given an anime-style mascot.

    Anyhow, this is the original vegetable juice dance (Po Pi Po) by Hatsune Miku:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0-2lzA7_Cg

    Weird, yeah, I know– but it’s sooooo addictive. Anyway, here is the same song as sung by another Vocaloid, Megurine Luka. Only she’s a cephalopod (in the video, not all the time). Yes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Ve-_4Xz5M

    And there’s my “contribution” for today. Hehehe.

  101. #101 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009
  102. #102 Heaventree
    April 14, 2009

    I’ve done my duty. It’s obviously the Time Cube getting the shit squeezed out of it by God’s three-fingered hand. What could be clearer?

  103. #103 Alexis
    April 14, 2009

    Bloody fingers, must wash again, of what foul crime dost this blood bespeak? Out, out damn spot!

  104. #104 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009

    Should Ash have sang this song to the hand? Groovy!

  105. #106 Archaeopteryx
    April 14, 2009

    Clearly, the Good Lord has fallen off his Cosmic Bicycle and dislocated His mighty Wrist. Ouch!

  106. #107 Geral
    April 14, 2009
  107. #108 PaulBurnett
    April 14, 2009

    If that’s the hand of God, God is made of 99.999999+% hard vacuum.

  108. #110 Janine Of The Fixed Identity
    April 14, 2009

    Chimpy, that is Madness!

  109. #111 The pelagic argosy sights land
    April 14, 2009

    Wait a minute… it just dawned on me it’s blue. Surely, it’s the Hand of Papa Smurf, trying to catch hold of his red hat before it’s sucked into a black hole. Yep, that’s what it is, the number of fingers is about right, too.

  110. #112 Silver Fox
    April 14, 2009

    Let’s transpose this into a counterfactual and say: If it is the hand of God, then what does that mean? Could we say that it is a mirror representation of Him having the “whole world in his hand? But all of that is speculative philosophy. How do any of us know what went on 10,000 years ago?

  111. #113 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Silver Fox did you finish your homework assignment?

  112. #114 drworm01
    April 14, 2009

    Following #26 and 37, I’m glad I’m not the only one who immediately saw a hand doing a little fingering.

    On the point of three fingers though, two possibilities. From my initial thought, all four fingers are there, but look at the spacing. God’s giving the shocker.

    Alternately, ring finger’s missing. It’s Jerry Garcia. The situation’s worse than we thought–the xtians aren’t right, the Deadheads are. We’re all facing an eternity in a crappy bar high on low-grade weed sitting next to someone relentlessly repeating, “but have you heard ‘New Minglewood Blues?’ I mean the lyrics, it’s so brilliant. Let me go through them with you again.”

  113. #115 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 14, 2009

    Silver Fox, more inanities from you. PZ has plonked Pete Rooke and Facilis for stupidity, and I see you in his cybergunsights. Do yourself a favor and buzz off for a week or two, or you will likely meet the same fate. Now, it is up to you to show how intelligent you really are.

  114. #116 Dr.Woody
    April 14, 2009

    Posted by: Naked Bunny with a Whip Author Profile Page | April 14, 2009 2:30 PM

    It’s God’s hand? Why does God have four fingers, and — more to the point — who lopped that sucker off? Xians should be worshipping that badass.

    There’s only one possible explanation.

    God’s a Yakuza…

  115. #117 Desert Son
    April 14, 2009

    I was never able to see “The Man in the Moon.” I’m also lousy at those things where you have to squint and “see past” the image surface to figure out the sail boat in the otherwise dot matrix print. I like anthropomorphisation as much as the next person, but to make the leap to hand of god is pretty funny.

    1700 light years away at a different angle, and what would this thing look like? Probably not a hand. Probably not a Roman helmet, as I first thought.

    “I’m a centurion, toothbrush on the head.” -Eddie Izzard

    No kings,

    Robert

  116. #118 Dr.Woody
    April 14, 2009

    The current count is 19-1 in favor of “natural cosmic thingee”

  117. #119 daveau
    April 14, 2009

    “It looks like a hand of God reaching out into the cosmos, but scientists say it’s something just as incredible: electromagnetic energy pumped out by a neutron star.”

    I don’t think those 2 things are equally (in)credible.

  118. #120 Doo Shabag
    April 14, 2009

    My first thought was “cool, it looks like a jellyfish!”

    A hand that looks like that probably requires some surgery.

  119. #121 «bønez_brigade»
    April 14, 2009

    @gwyllion [#109],
    tinyurl is your friend. Embrace it!

  120. #122 Electric Monk's Horse
    April 14, 2009

    The poll was incomplete. The correct choice was: Answer 5.

  121. #123 Daniel de Rauglaudre
    April 14, 2009

    The hand of God 5%
    A natural stellar formation 95%

  122. #124 Pierce R. Butler
    April 14, 2009

    Oh no – He’s throwing a grenade at us! RUN!

    In the meanwhile, consider the intricate lines within this cosmic Hand. Since it’s generally agreed to be poor science to speculate outside of one’s specialty, shouldn’t NASA (or the Daily News, or Pharyngula) call in a Doctor of Palmistry?

    My respect for humanity can only be restored if that 40% is reduced.

    I hope never again to see on this blog criticisms of True Believers? for contriving evidence to support their illusions.

    *scurries off to nearest foxhole*

  123. #125 Raiko
    April 14, 2009

    Oh no, sinfest.net is real!

  124. #126 Menyambal
    April 14, 2009

    It’s the hand of a giant four-dimensional being, projecting into our three-dimensional space. It is ripping a hole in the very fabric of our space-time. Run awayyy!

    Astronomers believe B1509 is roughly 1,700 years old and is located 17,000 light years from Earth.

    I object to the word “believe” in there. Also, the “17″s get confusing. The distance of 17,000 light years is easy enough to understand. The 1,700 years old bit refers to the fact that anybody looking at it in 300AD would have seen it forming as a dot or spot or something.

    We can’t add the two, and say that it is “really” 18,700 years old, or anything like that. Albert Einstein could explain it better, but I understood him to say that distance equals time. There is no shortcut, there is no absolute “now”. That object is 17,000 light years away, AND it is only 1,700 years old. The “now” of it travels at the speed of light.

    Confused? Go ask Phil Plait.

  125. #127 jagannath
    April 14, 2009

    Dang, buddhists got it right, that is the sound of one hand clapping.

  126. #128 Ahcuah
    April 14, 2009

    I don’t like the choices in the poll. That’s not the hand of God. That’s the hand of my uncle Ernie–I recognized it immediately. Ever since he died he’s been pulling all these sorts of tricks, appearing on pieces of toast and turds in toilets.

  127. #129 fatherdaddy
    April 14, 2009

    One comment said it looked like god going for a hot dog. I can’t get my mind off the porn idea, though. It looks like god is grabbing his divine member to me. Even god has to get in a little release every now and then. Does he even have a girlfriend since Mary?

  128. #130 NewEnglandBob
    April 14, 2009

    The NY Daily News is not even good for using as toilet paper.

  129. #131 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Even god has to get in a little release every now and then. Does he even have a girlfriend since Mary?

    If he did we’d see a New New Testament as the existing new Testament was a direct result of him getting laid.

  130. #132 Eileen
    April 14, 2009

    You can always tell when Pharyngualites strike a poll site. People probably create stupid poles just so we can crash them.

  131. #133 cogno
    April 14, 2009
  132. #134 ScienceBear
    April 14, 2009

    Successfully reduced brain mush answer = 5%; actual use of neurons = 95%

    @ #132
    Couldn’t agree more :-)

  133. #135 Corgihound
    April 14, 2009

    Pulsar B1509??? 1509? 1509, as in the Year of the Great Istanbul EARTHQUAKE, referred to by contemporaries as “The Lesser Judgment Day?” Coincidence? I think NOT!

  134. #136 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Confused? Go ask Phil Plait.

    Just sent phil an email to explain in hhis best astronomer-fu.

  135. #137 «bønez_brigade»
    April 14, 2009

    @SASnSA [#86],
    That does look like a god-crab. So, maybe it actually is god’s amputated, yet broken, arm reaching to scratch at his fiery loin-lice with his hexadactylous hand.

  136. #138 Olorin
    April 14, 2009

    Look, the hand of God has pnly three fingers, juast like Homer Simpson.

  137. #139 'Tis Himself
    April 14, 2009

    Pretty picture.

  138. #140 Lofcutus
    April 14, 2009

    Doesn’t anyone read intelligent literature? …that is obviously the hand of Alexander Luthor smashing realities together in order to create a perfect universe…How ever will Superman save us from this?

  139. #141 'Tis Himself
    April 14, 2009

    Looking more carefully, I see that’s the hand of god letting go of the burrito that’s been microwaved so hot that god can’t eat it.

  140. #142 Michael Hawkins
    April 14, 2009

    That 40% is now 4%, but I still don’t respect humanity.

  141. #143 Pascalle
    April 14, 2009

    I always found it interesting how they got such pretty pictures of outer space stuff.
    My simple mind thought they were real pictures taken through a telescope.

    Last week i saw a documentary about it, and about the Hubble telescope and how it works. That sure was an eye opener :)

    Turns out the thing doesn’t see color at all. What happends is that it sees different materials it’s made off and temperatures.
    Than an artist gets a color pallet, and colors all the different stuff like metals, carbon, different gasses.

    And _than_ you get those pretty pictures :)

    So hand of god.. my ass!

  142. #144 Russell
    April 14, 2009

    If this is the Hand Of God, I wouldn’t want to run into the guy He was arm wrestling.

  143. #145 Jason
    April 14, 2009

    If that is the hand of god creating a new universe does that mean he has given up on this one? END OF DAYS IS COMING! He will send his second son to save that galaxy as this one is swallowed up by evil!

    I’m glad I’m an atheist, I can’t wait for the rapture and all the loonies to be taken away.

  144. #146 JD
    April 14, 2009

    Looks like he’s making some cranberry scones.

  145. #147 JD
    April 14, 2009

    Oh, wait, it’s Tengri! Eternal Blue Heaven. Ghengis Khan was right!

  146. #148 fatherdaddy
    April 14, 2009

    Rev. @ 131,

    Would that be the Book of Moron, I mean Mormon?

  147. #149 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Humm… good point. It could very well be. maybe he did get laid recently.

  148. #150 Menyambal
    April 14, 2009

    Just sent Phil an email to explain in his best astronomer-fu.

    Thanks, Rev. I have a severe cold right now, and probably shouldn’t be posting anything.

  149. #151 fatherdaddy
    April 14, 2009

    Of course, that meant he got laid by Joseph Smith. I saw a t-shirt design that says “Every time you see a rainbow, God is having gay sex”. Is that why we’ve been seeing more rainbows around here?

  150. #152 ExitB
    April 14, 2009

    I voted per your command, PZ, but I would have been happy to help vote it the other way just for fun.

  151. #153 Wallace Turner
    April 14, 2009

    Assuming* it is indeed the hand of God, then God must be left handed because without any shadow of a doubt this is a left hand (try making a claw and getting your fingers coordinated the same way).

    Though naturally left handed myself, I am now ambidextrous. More than that, these days, I hold a pen exclusively in my right hand. This is because the nuns at the school I attended as a very young child pretty much brainwashed me into this; in their eyes left-handedness was seen as a sign of the devil. I was forced to write the right way.

    I think the nuns were wrong.

    It’s just a cool picure.

    * and also assuming this picture has neither been doctored or rotated 180 degrees.

  152. #154 Kitty'sBitch
    April 14, 2009

    The birth of Christianity (God is a bragging frat boy)

    GOD: Y’know, what I did last night?
    ANGEL: I don’t know, created another beetle or something?
    GOD: I got laid.
    ANGEL: Oh, fuck right off…
    GOD: No, I’m serious.
    ANGEL: No fooling?
    GOD: No fooling. I just strolled down to Earth and picked up this chick.
    ANGEL: What was she like?
    God: Loud. She kept shouting my name at the top of her lungs. Oh God, yes God,set your feet and put some ass into it God. Smack it, God damn it, I said smack it.
    ANGEL: Sounds like she was pretty hot. Are you going to see her again?
    GOD: Naw, she’s married.
    ANGEL: Ah, that sucks… So uh…how…I mean, do you think you did well? I mean, do you feel like you performed well for a first timer?
    GOD: Are you kidding? I was so good that I redeemed humanity.
    ANGEL: Jesus Christ!
    GOD: Exactly.

  153. #155 fatherdaddy
    April 14, 2009

    Revelation! It’s Satan’s unholy member that God is about to stroke.

  154. #156 frog
    April 14, 2009

    Which god?

  155. #157 Wallace Turner
    April 14, 2009

    Of course, if it is the hand of God, then then it’s the definition of handball …

  156. #158 Sauceress
    April 14, 2009

    #112 Silver Fox
    Let’s transpose THIS… “into a counterfactual and say: If it is the hand of God, then what does that mean?”

    Life’s Ingredients Detected In Far Off Galaxy
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080114110715.htm

    Please note the obvious Noodley Appendages/ Meatballs formation and read the accompanying information on ARP 220′s prodigious star birth activity, as well as the production of life forming chemicals!

    Could we say ARP 220 is evidence that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is responsible for creating Life, The Universe and Everything?
    RAmen

  157. #159 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Very nice Kitty’s bitch, very nice.

  158. #160 Tony Sidaway
    April 14, 2009

    Reminds me of the loony who used to show up on Usenet and insist that a certain Hubble photo showed some biblical scene.

    I really find it difficult to believe that there are so many very, very stupid people around. Perhaps most people saying “The hand of God” have their tongue in their cheek.

  159. #161 Alex
    April 14, 2009

    “Astronomers believe B1509 is roughly 1,700 years old and is located 17,000 light years from Earth.”

    If it’s 17,000 light years away and 1,700 years old, how are we seeing it? Shouldn’t it take 17,000 years for the light from B1509 to reach us?

  160. #162 Gregory Kusnick
    April 14, 2009

    #153:

    …without any shadow of a doubt this is a left hand…

    Only if you see the hand reaching away from you. If you Necker-cube invert it so it’s reaching toward you, then it’s a right hand (or as I said earlier, a symmetrical mutant hand with thumbs on both sides).

  161. #163 frog
    April 14, 2009

    Does he even have a girlfriend since Mary?

    According to Family Guy he hooked up with “Janet” after Jesus was born, and often goes to bars to hook up with chicks. It appears that Janet requires him to use a condom — even on his birthday.

  162. #164 amphiox
    April 14, 2009

    Alex #161:
    The structure as we see it is 1,700 years old. Since it is 17,000 light years away, that means were are seeing it as it was 17,000 years ago. Which simply means that the structure as we see it formed 18,700 years ago.

  163. #165 Bobwama
    April 14, 2009

    Lookin good- 4% to 96%

  164. #166 «bønez_brigade»
    April 14, 2009

    @Olorin [#138],
    I counted six fingers on it. One of the thumbs could be a broken bone, though. The ring finger (or middle finger, depending on thumbage) is obscure, but a case could be made that it was possibly chopped off Sauron-style.

  165. #167 DrClown
    April 14, 2009

    You know, to me… it actually looks like goatse from an odd angle. You can even sort of see the other ghostly hand on the opposite side.

  166. #168 KemaTheAtheist
    April 14, 2009

    If that’s god’s hand, then he must be from the Simpson’s universe… it only has three fingers!

  167. #169 Aquaria
    April 14, 2009

    Silver Fox, if you value your posting privileges here, shut the fuck up. I would have tossed your ass before Pete Rooke, who was at least so creepy with his crazy that he was amusing. You, on the other hand are just a bore. A great big, oozing pus sac of a bore.

  168. #170 scrabcake
    April 14, 2009

    It’s totally the hand of God. I mean seriously, how could that be a coincidence? You bunch are the types who deny the miracle of Grilled Cheese Virgin Mary.
    He’s even zapping some stuff into existence.
    It looks like a foetal hand, too with the skeleton thin fingers which are too short for the hand.
    I think that by allowing NASA to take this picture, God is telling us to protect the unborn from all those women who are queuing up to kill their babies so they can go sin.

  169. #171 senecasam
    April 14, 2009

    Ray Comfort is asking, “Where’s the banana?”

  170. #172 Tully
    April 14, 2009

    4% to 96%.

    The poll has been pharyngulated, oh master. What else would you have us do?

  171. #173 Holbach
    April 14, 2009

    Despite the stupid crap associated with the photo of Pulsar B1509, it does not detract from the incredible feast for the eyes, and more mesmerising, the physics of which we will probably never discern. As I have said, Astronomy is a frustrating science. And one that harbors no celestial nonsense.

  172. #174 ckitching
    April 14, 2009

    You mean, “Yes, it looks like a hand from this angle.”

  173. #175 Somerville
    April 14, 2009

    I have obviously been reading Pharyngula too long – my first thought – it looked like a Portuguese Man o’War (Physalia physalis)

  174. #176 «bønez_brigade»
    April 14, 2009

    Re: the 1700 y.o. vs 17,000 y.d. thing

    http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2009/b1509/how_old.html

    I think that explains it better than BA did the last time he discussed time/distance stuff.
    (sorry, Phil; Chandra’s explanation is easier to understand)

  175. #177 Kimbo Jones
    April 14, 2009

    How come there’s no 3rd option for pareidolia? That’s what it looks like to me.

  176. #178 Abdul Alhazred
    April 14, 2009

    God is now down to 4%.

    For face-like apparitions identification is easy:

    Beard — Jesus

    No beard — His mom.

  177. #179 gwyllion
    April 14, 2009

    i still say it’s apollo

  178. #180 jsoutofbiblepgs
    April 14, 2009

    My prediction when I first saw this picture was that a bunch of douchebag IDiots are going to exploit it for selfish religious purposes. Oh hey I was right (would anyone have doubted it?)

    If this is proof of God then God is a like a cartoon character – he lacks a finger. I guess God is so powerful he doesn’t need all the fingers.

    But isn’t it gorgeous and amazing? I set it as my desktop at work.

  179. #181 AgnosticNews
    April 14, 2009

    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no great blue hand in the sky…

    Unrelated: Nice to meet you all.

  180. #182 Darren Garrison
    April 14, 2009

    #167: “You know, to me… it actually looks like goatse from an odd angle.”

    That’s what I thought of, too– before making this:

    http://s313.photobucket.com/albums/ll394/darrengarrison/various/?action=view&current=space_goatse.jpg

  181. #183 johnhill
    April 14, 2009

    PZ has become so feared by dispatching us, his evil minions, to freep these polls that half the time they’ve been shut down before I get there. Curses! (though this one was still up.)

    Command me, Master.

  182. #184 DrClown
    April 14, 2009

    haha well done #182

  183. #185 Steven Dunlap
    April 14, 2009

    Well, I have a poster in my apartment called “The butterfly alphabet.” There exists so many species of butterfly that someone was able to find specimens that had in their coloration the shapes of the letters of the roman alphabet. In terms of probability, given millions of species, it happened. Now had it been the Chinese alphabet, that would have been a little more miraculous.

    In an infinite (or at least very very huge) universe, you’re going to see some shapes that coincidentally look like others. It’s a bit like the infinite improbability drive. It works on the basis that certain events are not impossible, per se, just highly improbable. But this was replace by a better inter-stellar drive running on “Bistro-math” a form of mathematics based on the existence of numbers on a waiter’s pad that exist no where else in the universe, for some reason this proves especially true when 5 diners attempt to sort out the check. Or is it 6? I can’t remember the details. Whatever.

    Also, don’t forget, you can understand the meaning of life, the universe and everything by studying the number 42.

    And BTW, as of 6:30 p.m. PDT the poll is running 94% sane to 6% people who believe nearly anything.

  184. #186 «bønez_brigade»
    April 14, 2009

    @Darren Garrison [#182],
    Good stuff!

  185. #187 tmaxPA
    April 14, 2009

    Still only 4% – it appears to be at equilibrium.

  186. #188 Fiziker
    April 14, 2009

    Of course this is the hand of God! Yes, it’s the hand of God masturbating his large red nebula (if you know what I mean), but even He has His needs. The hand of God is the hand of God, regardless of the activity It’s doing.

  187. #189 Scooter
    April 14, 2009

    Some atheists feel awe for the sublime beauty and wonder of nature. In comparison, they feel tiny and inconsequential.

    Some theists feel awe for the sublime beauty and wonder of God. In comparison, they feel tiny and inconsequential.

    Discuss.

  188. #190 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 14, 2009

    Discuss.

    Bacon.

  189. #191 Nerd of Redhead, OM
    April 14, 2009

    Discuss.

    Beer and bourbon. Hic.

  190. #192 Kel
    April 14, 2009

    So God is not immaterial, rather God is a cloud of stellar gas… or at least his hand is.

  191. #193 Hank Roberts
    April 14, 2009

    ” … and God said ‘Ouch! Dammit, that’s HOT’ and created Hell”

    The hand of God 4%
    A natural stellar formation 96%

  192. #194 articulett
    April 15, 2009

    When oh when is NASA going to photograph the “penis of god”?

  193. #195 MadScientist
    April 15, 2009

    What a stupid poll – they left out the One True Choice – His Noodliness, the Flying Spaghetti Monstern at work.

    It’s certainly not a hand unless you consider ‘The Simpsons’ (and many other cartoons with human-like charcters) to be fact rather than fiction.

  194. #196 Lynn David
    April 15, 2009

    My first impression was that it was a medusa.

  195. #197 Mary
    April 15, 2009

    Just voted and had to repost this comment from the comments thread under the article:

    “That’s the hand of the SPACE OBGYN checking space herself during her time of the month…”

    I don’t know if any of you wrote that, but it made me laugh so hard that the mouthful of tea I had is now splattered all over my computer screen.

  196. #198 Aquaria
    April 15, 2009

    Discuss.

    Matsumoto Jun and a Margarita from La Fogata.

    And bacon, of course. But not Kevin Bacon. Ew.

  197. #199 Mary
    April 15, 2009

    Just voted and had to repost this comment from the comments thread under the article:

    “That’s the hand of the SPACE OBGYN checking space herself during her time of the month…”

    I don’t know if any of you wrote that, but it made me laugh so hard that the mouthful of tea I had is now splattered all over my computer screen.

  198. #200 vinraith
    April 15, 2009

    Speaking as someone who studies photoionized gas, if this is the hand of god I have some other parts of god I can show you. Disturbing parts…

  199. #201 Headbhang
    April 15, 2009

    If that’s the Hand of God, what is it s/he is trying to reach for anyway? A fiery sky sausage? A smoldering cosmic turd? Or is that her Heavenly Vulva with her burning hot Divine Clit shining through?

  200. #202 Jeff S
    April 15, 2009

    If god really existed I don’t think people would need to pretend that objects that vaguely resemble parts of the human anatomy (and not even accurately) were a part of their god.

  201. #203 shamar
    April 15, 2009

    LoL, it’s no different than seeing jebus in a piece of toast, ha ha ha.

    You know, when I was a little kid, I saw something in the dark once in a while….I grew out of that though…….

  202. #204 Jake
    April 15, 2009

    Forgive my stupid, I’m no scientician but how can

    Astronomers believe B1509 is roughly 1,700 years old and is located 17,000 light years from Earth.

    be accurate? Now… I have a fever and I’m pretty high on pain killers right now, but that still doesn’t make much logical sense. If it’s 1,700 years old, wouldn’t we be needing to wait a further 15,300 years to be able to see it? My only other theory is that it formed 1,700 years ago, and it moved away really fast, which is complete rubbish.

    Help me out oh ye learned individuals, I’m totally confused.

  203. #205 John Morales
    April 15, 2009

    Jake, that question is answered more than once upthread, first by RevBDC @70:

    At the time the light we are seeing now left the Pulsar, the formation was 1700 years old. But it was 17,000 light years away. SO the light we are seeing was of the 1,700 year old formation but it took 17,000 light years to get to us.

  204. #206 Jake
    April 15, 2009

    Sorry John, thanks, I did a quick skim and should have refined my search before posting, thanks!

  205. #207 astrounit
    April 15, 2009

    Methinks it looks like a weasel.

  206. #208 MadScientist
    April 15, 2009

    @Mary: Space obgyn? Now why didn’t I see that in the introduction to Monty Python’s Meaning of Life?

  207. #209 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 15, 2009

    Jake, that question is answered more than once upthread, first by RevBDC @70:

    At the time the light we are seeing now left the Pulsar, the formation was 1700 years old. But it was 17,000 light years away. SO the light we are seeing was of the 1,700 year old formation but it took 17,000 light years to get to us.

    Phil Plait emailed me back and told me that that is not necessarily correct but that explaining it would take way more time than an email would allow (or more likely he had to spare). The whole spacetime thing “distorts” our perceptions.

    Here is his brief answer to me.

    Now, you can argue that the star exploded 17,000 + 1700 years ago, but that’s a whole nuther can of relativistic worms that I’ll write about some day. I think it means the star blew up 1700 years ago, not 18700. But it’s too complicated to explain here.

  208. #210 Dancaban
    April 15, 2009

    God is playing coits!

  209. #211 RobertDW
    April 15, 2009

    Now, you can argue that the star exploded 17,000 + 1700 years ago, but that’s a whole nuther can of relativistic worms that I’ll write about some day. I think it means the star blew up 1700 years ago, not 18700. But it’s too complicated to explain here.

    Mmm… I think I see what he’s getting at. As a layman, this is the image I’m getting:

    One of the consequences of relativity is that there is no absolute time reference. The “speed” of time depends on the velocity of the object; as you approach the speed of light, time “slows” down. At the speed of light, time “stops”. So, this image of an event that took place 1700 years before (from it’s point of view) did take 17000 years (from our point of view) to get to us – but it’s still an image of event 1700 years ago.

    What I get as a mental picture is bubbles of time expanding. An event occurs – the “now” represented by that event in spacetime expands outwards, but at this “event horizon” (so to speak), it’s always “now”. I have this vision kind of like a pool of water in the rain – bubbles are constantly being created and intersecting with each other; each bubble is a new event in spacetime, and as it merges with other bubbles, the consensus “now” builds up, in an analogous way to how “solid” matter builds up out of the quantum foam of particles…

    (This is imagery, not physics, of course… and I’m probably way of base. But it’s still an interesting thought)

  210. #212 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 15, 2009

    The “speed” of time depends on the velocity of the object; as you approach the speed of light, time “slows” down. At the speed of light, time “stops”. So, this image of an event that took place 1700 years before (from it’s point of view) did take 17000 years (from our point of view) to get to us – but it’s still an image of event 1700 years ago.

    Yeah I think that’s pretty much what he is getting at. Plus there are all other kinds of things to take into account such as the speed of “us” and the speed of B1509. Now I’m not sure what that does to the calculation but I have to think it does something.

  211. #213 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 15, 2009

    Physics is not something I’ve spent too much time on but somethign I’ve been interested in learning more about (along with about a billion other topics). It’s pretty fascinating stuff obviously. Here is a link that looks to address the issue. I’m only a few paragraphs in but I think it will help answer a few questions on this.

  212. #214 Cosmic Teapot
    April 15, 2009

    Beer and bourbon. Hic.

    A bourbon depth charge! Nice.

    For you ‘Murkin readers, you’ll know this as a boiler maker.

  213. #215 Steve_C
    April 15, 2009

    I call it a waste of good bourbon.

  214. #216 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 15, 2009

    I call it a waste of good bourbon.

    Seconded

  215. #217 Heaventree
    April 15, 2009

    Poor bourbon!

  216. #218 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 15, 2009

    Pour Bourbon!

  217. #219 Steve_C
    April 15, 2009

    Yes please.

  218. #220 Marcm2k
    April 15, 2009

    It’s obvious that God is indeed right handed.

  219. #221 cicely
    April 15, 2009

    Some theists feel awe for the sublime beauty and wonder of God. In comparison, they feel tiny and inconsequential.

    Discuss.

    Bacon. Wrapped around pork loin and grilled.

    But seriously..okay, I’m serious about the pork loin, but seriously about the topic you intend to be under discussion, IMO, they (specifically Christians, and probably the Abrahamic religions in general, here) are feeling awe and inconsequentiallity for the exact same things that athiests are, since their God may be everywhere and anywhere, but isn’t incarnate in a physical form; therefore they must be in awe etc. of the symptoms and side-effects of Godness/Creation, i.e., the world of matter and energy we all live in. “Wow, look at all this really awesome stuff! How much more awesome must the Manufacturer be!”.

  220. #222 Scooter
    April 15, 2009

    therefore they must be in awe etc. of the symptoms and side-effects of Godness/Creation

    I just think both expressions of awe come from the same impulse; namely, the desire to feel something bigger than yourself.

    Of course, atheists are simply confronted with a natural world that dwarfs them. Theists have to create something that make them feel small.

  221. #223 ???
    April 15, 2009

    Besides, there’s already a phenomenon called Fingers of God, so the digits are already spoken for.

    What? God gave people the finger? Who knew?

  222. #224 Bryn
    April 15, 2009

    There it is, you bunch o’ heretics–proof positive! J.D. Frazer is God! All of his “User Friendly” characters only have three fingers, this “celestial hand” has only three fingers. Q.E.D.

  223. #225 NeilD
    April 15, 2009

    If you turn you head 33 deg to the left …. it looks like a cheese sandwitch…..

  224. #226 Pieter B
    April 15, 2009

    Looks like the hand of Gawd coming to slap the shit out of people who do wack things in Her name.

  225. #227 Rachel Wells
    April 15, 2009

    This silly story is also being reported in australia.

    Some douche wrote:

    ‘How very arrogant of man kind to think that God has a form similar to his own. Mans simple mind cannot fathom the essence of God. Surely God’s form is greater than some petty biped humanoid. Attributing these images is doing a grave injustice to The Almighty.”

    I replied:

    ”Attributing these images to god is doing a grave injustice to the Pulsar B1509″

  226. #228 Peter B.
    April 15, 2009

    I’m starting to think Prof. Myers might Himself be the earthly manifestation of God, or at least a minor deity. Have ye noticed how if He commandeth the results of a pollus stupidus to change, then yea verily, it will justly obey Him?

  227. #229 Kel
    April 15, 2009

    ‘How very arrogant of man kind to think that God has a form similar to his own. Mans simple mind cannot fathom the essence of God. Surely God’s form is greater than some petty biped humanoid. Attributing these images is doing a grave injustice to The Almighty.”

    Nice to see what he thinks of Jesus… from this I’m assuming that he’s a fan of the Christ-Raptor.

  228. #230 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 15, 2009

    How very arrogant of man kind to think that God has a form similar to his own. Mans simple mind cannot fathom the essence of God. Surely God’s form is greater than some petty biped humanoid. Attributing these images is doing a grave injustice to The Almighty

    Gen. 1:27.

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

  229. #231 'Tis Himself
    April 15, 2009

    A bourbon depth charge! Nice.
    For you ‘Murkin readers, you’ll know this as a boiler maker.

    A boilermaker and a depth charge are not the same drink. A boilermaker is a shot usually of whiskey but sometimes vodka or tequila and a glass of beer. If you’re weird so inclined, you can pour the shot into the beer, but normal most people don’t. In New England a boilermaker is often called a shot and a beer.

    To make a depth charge, fill a collins glass about two-thirds full of beer, then carefully drop a shooter glass full of whiskey or vodka into the glass. This video shows how it’s done.

  230. #232 «bønez_brigade»
    April 16, 2009

    Hey, check this. MSNBC mentioned the Pharyngulation of this poll!

    http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/04/15/1894075.aspx

    “At one point, 40 percent of the votes in the New York Daily News’ poll supported the idea the picture captured the hand of God, with 60 percent going with the view that it was a natural stellar formation. We all know that these polls are pretty unscientific to begin with, but over on the Pharyngula blog, “godless” evolutionary biologist P.Z. Myers crowned the Daily News’ effort as ‘the dumbest poll yet.’

    “‘My respect for humanity can only be restored if that 40 percent is reduced,’ Myers wrote.

    “Sure enough, the tally has now shifted to 96 percent for the natural stellar formation, and just 4 percent for the literal hand of God.”

  231. #233 UrsusSapien
    April 16, 2009

    Now that we know how large God’s hand is and assuming he created man in his image, we can get a pretty good idea of his size. Assuming that God created Adam 6′ tall (God hates short people) just how tall is God? What size sling shot would we need to take Him out?

  232. #234 RobertDW
    April 16, 2009

    I just stumbled across this youtube clip, and just had to share: Cutting steel with bacon! Is there nothing that bacon can not do?

  233. #235 cicely
    April 16, 2009

    Scooter @ 222:

    I just think both expressions of awe come from the same impulse; namely, the desire to feel something bigger than yourself.

    Of course, atheists are simply confronted with a natural world that dwarfs them. Theists have to create something that make them feel small.

    I think that any human being who is not totally self-absorbed is, sooner or later, going to become aware of the overwhelming “bigness” of the world, whether they want to or not. The difference is that, while we are all looking out at the world, theists want to convince themselves that it is also looking back at them, that they matter, that the awesome totality of reality is aware of them. Anthropomorphize it, label it, attach attributes to it, and start hanging your personal desires and cultural baggage on in, and off we go.

  234. #236 cicely
    April 16, 2009

    And, one of the more persuasive features of Christianity is that, not only is The Bigness aware of you, and watching you, it is watching over you, watching out for you. The Bigness is, in fact on your side. Therefore, how can you possibly lose!

  235. #237 tolkien/
    April 16, 2009

    dovestar:

    God has revealed Himself in the Scriptures and through His Son, Jesus Christ, Who gave His life to save us from certain judgement. Despite this unmeasurable love shown to us, this nation is hell-bent on erasing His Name and Presence from the public square. I seriously doubt that God, after having been treated this way despite His known revelation, would pose for your cameras.

    Riiiiiiiiiiiight.

    TRiG.

  236. #238 Peter B.
    April 17, 2009

    Celestial Messages:
    What the gods really think of us!

  237. #239 Ethan Siegel
    April 20, 2009

    I, for one, am glad to see that God is a righty! (j/k)