Why the sky is blue and other illuminating information..

Iain Dale shakes his head, quite rightly, at the supernaturalist Church of England Bishop of Carlisle who is claiming that the recent floods in England are a supernatural judgement of sorts – “We are reaping the consequences of our moral degradation, as well as the environmental damage that we have caused.” – as, no doubt, the recent flooding in Belfast was.. The Bishop has in mind the Equality Act – which other supernaturalists also complained about. No better timing, then, for this Observer article, “The new age of ignorance” and, a particular highlight, the panel of three writers, three scientists and two television presenters who were asked some scientific questions.. including, “Why is the sky blue?”, a question which left Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark somewhat confused..On a related note, the Bishop of Carlisle isn’t the only supernaturalist trying to entwine his beliefs with science.

And, on an even more closely related note, you might like to listen to the public lecture by Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, linked here, on astronomy and poetry.

Oh.. and why the sky is blue.

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  • curious

    “The Bishop said pro-gay laws were to blame for the floods”

    [b]Floods are judgment on society, say bishops[/b]
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/07/01/nflood201.xml

    I wonder why it bucketed out of the heravens over the Gay pride parade in London yesterday

    If the Bishop is correct there must be more gay Prods living in East Belfast than gay Catholics living in West Belfast.

    I wonder what Ian paisley (Jun) MLA has to say?

  • snakebrain

    “the problem with environmental judgement is that it is indiscriminate” – that’s a laugh…

    From a secular point of view, there may be an analogous point in that our treatment of the planet and lack of responsibility for our actions may be responsible for global warning and its environmental consequences.

    I don’t think that’s what this chap’s getting at though.

    That said, I’m not 100% convinced on the totality of man’s creation of climate change, and I don’t mean by that that it was god.

    The psychic echoes of the biblical flood story may be resonating here. Those who are interested and open-minded may like to read the Epic of Gilgamesh, which predates the bible by about a thousand years, and contains a detailed account of a flood and a man who is warned by one of the God’s to build a boat and save the animals. Mesopotamian mythology also contains analogues for most of the Genesis stories, usually with the same plot and different names for the characters, again significantly predating the biblical versions.

    Not that I’m suggesting the early parts of the bible are simply a collection of rehashed folk tales. Not I sir.

  • abucs

    It’s interesting how many of the ancient cultures have an epic flood story, including the Chinese and Australians.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluge_(mythology)

    One theory based on a mass dispersal of people from Europe is as follows.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/jepd_gen.htm

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/jepd_gen.htm

  • snakebrain

    I wonder if the prevalence of flood tales is an echo of ancient memories of post-glacial periods, when ice-sheets melted causing rising sea-levels and inundation of areas that had previously been dry land, preserved in oral traditions before being recorded in tales like these…

    A tentative and probably unfalsifiable hypothesis, but it’s perfectly possible that events like that would be remembered over the five or so thousand years between the beginning of the Holocene and the development of writing sytems.

  • Dawkins

    I believe it was CG Jung who ventured the notion that flood mythology was the primitive peep’s attempt to explain our liquid origins in the womb.

  • abucs

    Sorry, i doubled up on one of the links.

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_noah.htm

    For those of us Christians that accept there was a God that communicated with the Jews, possibly starting with Abraham :

    http://www.jewfaq.org/origins.htm

    http://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/101391.html

    http://www.aish.com/literacy/jewishhistory/Crash_Course_in_Jewish_History_Part_4_Abrahams_Journey.asp

    we have to remember that these people were like many others and had probably had their own cultural myths which they borrowed and wrote, and added to, which made it into their cultural/historical JEWISH book.

    It makes sense to think that these common myths over thousands of years were intermingled with those episodes where there was a connection with the divine, or dare i say it, the supernatural. :o)

    A critical study of the JEWISH book, or the old testament bible, should be able to decipher one from the another.

    Of course if you believe or disbelieve it all before you start, then you probably won’t feel the need to try to decipher one from the other because you feel it is all true/crap anyway.

  • The thread got onto cultural mythos when it was started about a saddo who reckons that natural phenomena are the result of a supernatural being getting hacked off….ok, I confess ’twas me listening to heavy metal that hacked off the Big Yin. I’m sorry, ok! Tho I take no responsibilioty for Tsunami or Hurricanes…I wasn’t there at the time…seems to me that this theist places undue influence on minorities and has faulty logic…in his interpretations….and damn those mesoptamians and their recent copyright assertions for x million back sales of the Torah and Bible!

  • Sam Hanna

    The Bible is the No 1 Best Seller in all major countries since the 15th Century – not bad for a book that has no message for today.

    Mock now fools – you will see the answer soon!

  • snakebrain

    “if you believe or disbelieve it all before you start”

    Precisely….