Mars is hell!

By Phil Plait | December 20, 2006 10:31 pm

I hate to get all PZ on a website, but I can’t resist this.

What do you get when you cross (haha! you’ll get this in a sec) observations of Mars with a profoundly twisted Christian fundamentalist view of life?

This website.

Reading it may cause your brain to explode. For those who fear to tread, it’s a bizarre rant which equates features of Mars with biblical allegory (you should at least try to wrap your brain around what he says about the martian moons being symbols of the two thieves crucified along with Jesus). Really, it’s just another case of biblical numerology (like the Bible Code, but with fewer numbers) and fitting the facts to match preconceptions. But it’s truly and awesomely weird.

And a little scary. I sometimes wonder if the repression of what many religious people would categorize as "sinful" feelings seriously damages the brain, and causes the person to fixate on the very sins they protest.

For an example, check out this passage:

The tornado angels on the Red Planet regularly create dust vortexes, which are called by scientists, dust devils. Since they are created by the Elect Angels, they should not be called devils. Meteorologists don’t classify them as tornadoes since they don’t occur in clouds. They are fair-weather tornadoes that are only visible because they pick up dust. The dust vortexes pick up the fine layer of dust from the ground and leave streaks, which represent the whip marks of the cat of nine tails with which the Lord Jesus Christ was scourged (John 19:1). In scourging, after the whip lashes pealed [sic] the skin off the back, salt was rubbed into the raw, quivering flesh.

Read that last clause again. "raw, quivering flesh"? Yikes. There might be some issues the author should talk out with a professional.

It bugs me when the real world is distorted so, no matter what the source. It doesn’t matter too much if it’s straight pseudoscience, or cloaked in religious trappings– except that in many cases, saying it’s religion gives the author a free pass that, say, an everyday crank might not get. I know this guy is way out of the mainstream of even religion… but then again I wonder sometimes when I read the paper. Or happen to catch some of The 700 Club.

Anyway, dust devils on Mars are seriously cool and worthy of not just study but also simple appreciation. There’s so much to learn, so much to know… If only people don’t shut off their minds to the Universe.

Tip o’ the space helmet to Wouter J. K. De Weerdt for trying to destroy my brain by telling me about this site.

Comments (75)

  1. That site makes me think that there’s some kind of interdimensional vortex that sucks out common sense.

  2. It’s impossible to tell how much of this type of stuff comes from extreme religious views and how much is due to mental illness or just general ignorance.

  3. Wow, I imagine no one every tried to explain the concept of conservation of angular momentum to them. It’s essentially the same concept on Mars as it is on Earth, except on Mars they’re a lot bigger.

    Wikipedia notes that an encounter the Spirit rover had with a dust devil last year actually cleaned off the solar panels and increased its power levels. Pretty cool.

  4. Corey

    Odd factoid about this quote from that site:

    “By His stripes (scourging) we are drawn together with Him. (Isaiah 53:5)”

    This is the same bible quote that the infamous serial killer Albert Fish used to justify his torturing and killing of children.

    Also it’s nice that they conveniently include Fahrenheit conversions for their readers:

    “The Red Planet is more of a testimony to angels than to man. It is very inhospitable. It resembles a barren desert without a shred of life. The soil is salty. The temperature is between -87 to -5 °C (-125 to 23 °F).”

    Isn’t the metric system itself demonic and ungodly? I mean, c’mon, all those blasphemous scientists use it ….

  5. Gilles

    I don’t understand why exactly you give a link to this page… The crazy ones already know about it (or sites comparable to it) and probably don’t read Bad Astronomy. And sane people won’t loose any time reading it.
    Â
    By the way… Merry Christmas !
     

  6. Corey

    Also, on their homepage (http://biblenews1.com/) … why is there a giant cobra named Dan over my home state?

  7. Melusine

    The name, Mars, is blasphemy. The Romans, who were hoodwinked by the devil, named the planet; and scientists, who are no smarter, have continued the deception.

    I find it amusing that scientists are no smarter and are hoodwinked by the Devil like the Romans were, then at the bottom he references the NASA/JPL/CalTech images. Hmm, who brought him these images where he could find his “Red Planet Symbolism”? The scientists are just furthering the lie of Satan. Oh well. And Mars has two sides – a front and back?

    His page on the STS-116 launch is painful, too:

    STS-116 was launched at 8:47/35 PM EST (0147/35 GMT), where the numbers mean: 47, peace; 35, rest from enemies. The number, 116, stands for the witness of sanctification. Launch was on December 9, for the Plagues of Egypt, and Day 343, for fulfillment.

    Mr. Wood doesn’t appear to be rational. :-/

  8. Gilles

    Mélusine, why exactly do you go and read this nonsense ?
     

  9. Melusine

    Gilles, it took me two minutes to scan the pages. I guess it’s just curiousity since Phil posted it. There are a lot of cranks out there on the Internet, and sites devoted to them; sometimes it’s both enlightening and disturbing to know what some of my fellow humans are thinking. Worse, is when others follow nutty ideas, such as with cults, and that sometimes leads to serious consequences. Other times it’s just amusing…not something I spend much time reading. The human mind is an interesting thing, though, and if this man really believes what he writes, then I feel sorry for him. I could just laugh, but it’s actually sadly pathetic.

  10. Gilles

    Mélusine said : « […] sometimes it’s both enlightening and disturbing to know what some of my fellow humans are thinking. »
    Â
    That’s right, elaborate delusions like these used to disturb me quite a lot, especially when you encounter them in your own family. Well… Then I thought the world is such a complex and scary place for some people, they need to explain it any way they can. You’re right, it’s sad.
    Â
    Merry Christmas !

  11. Melusine

    Merry Christmas, Gilles. :-)

    See, who’s nutty now – I even decorated my Sun avatar for the holiday.

  12. Wayne

    Read that last clause again. “raw, quivering flesh”? Yikes. There might be some issues the author should talk out with a professional.

    The guy is obviously nutso, but was this comment really necessary? If that’s the best example of “repressed feelings” that you can find, I don’t think such slander is warranted. It should be enough to let such web sites speak for themselves, without stooping to name calling of the author.

  13. jrkeller

    What’s really spooky is that the guy used to work for NASA.

    http://biblenews1.com/aboutus.htm#About Us

  14. snarkophilus

    My favourite part was near the start: “The Red Planet has two sides, front and back. The two sides represent the front and back of Jesus Christ on the Cross.”

    My cookie has two sides, front and back. The two sides represent the front and back of a Mobius strip.

  15. T C

    Go to: http://biblenews1.com/planets/planets.html
    He’s done the same for the entire solar system.
    I’m quite happy to leave these nutters to get on with their version of the truth in their own time, but when they start littering up the web with rubbish like that I can’t help but wonder whether he’s quite quite mad.

  16. So… the DOOM games was right after all!

  17. Chip

    Reminds me of a broadcast I came across about 20 years ago in which a fundamentalist radio preacher was referring to the weather condition known as El Niño as if it were an evil spirit. He actually called El Niño “the son of Satan” and while personifying El Niño as an evil being, he added “scientists are not sure what El Niño will plan to do next!” (Sounds like a lot of hot air to me – Nyuk Nyuk Nyuk! Woo Woo Woo!)

  18. When I read things like that it makes me wonder about this old posit:

    1. If you do not believe in God and God exists, then you are damned.
    2. If you do believe in God and God does not exist, you have lost nothing.

    Web sites like that show the unspoken truth in that little two-pronged justification for believing in the IPU… that if you believe in God and God does not exist, you have, in fact, lost something: You have lost reason and lived a delusion. You have traded your life for an imaginary reward that you cannot realise. You’ve spent your life on something with less chance of winning than a lottery ticket.

  19. Axenos

    I now have a new name for the web.

    I’m just going to call it “The Internut” from now on. The clearing house of gibberish, where every delusion has a platform for the world to see, etc., ad nauseum.

    Nothing like a fruitcake for Christmas.

    Happy Holidays!

  20. MKR

    Wayne: Libel is written, intentional misinformation. Slander is spoken libel.

    The guy really is a nut, so I don’t think it qualifies as libel. :|

  21. seaducer

    BA Says_

    “It bugs me when the real world is distorted so, no matter what the source. It doesn’t matter too much if it’s straight pseudoscience, or cloaked in religious trappings”

    In this case BA, I wouldn’t get too upset AT this guy, more upset FOR this guy. His friend and family are failing him. He needs to be commited.

  22. PAS

    As an engineer, I’m accustomed to approximating everything as a sphere. Now that sphere has to have two sides. Did it just get better or worse?

  23. david

    there should be warning not to view this site well drinking any beverage, also i hope nobody uses this site for their homework.

  24. Berlzebub

    Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the name “dust devil” originate here on Earth? I recall reading about them when I was in elementary school. Then, I saw a whirlwind create one on our ballfield one dry spring day. I thought it was the coolest thing, and still do.

    -Berlzebub

  25. MKR

    Dust devils are fun to watch – it’s like a tornado, but not strong enough to be too worrisome, so you can just sit back and watch it whirl.

  26. Mark UK

    Totally off-topic, but this is very funny from The Onion. NASA will send a probe to Pluto to inform it of its demotion…

    “The Consoler probe is scheduled to reach Pluto in 2016. Upon landing on the planetoid’s surface, the probe will relay to Pluto the news of its demotion, then orbit the tiny celestial body and radio messages of gratitude for its eons of planetary service to convince Pluto that it is still a highly valued part of the solar system’s configuration.”

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/56641?utm_source=onion_rss_daily

  27. Michelle

    …Yowza. Is that guy serious? He can’t be serious.

    You can associate everything in real life with some line in some book or some article. It’s called a coincidence. Or, in this case, thinking too much.

  28. Matt

    Yaaaaaaaaaagh. That’s a painful page to read; delving into the news section is a descent into intense strangeness. But I suspect that the author needs medical attention, so I’m not inclined to be too hard on him.

    But he could use some classes on geometry vis-a-vis his assertion that “The Red Planet has two sides, front and back.”

  29. Whipping and raw quivering flesh? Well. Now I have “Joanna” from _Sweeney Todd_ running through my brain.

  30. B. Dewhirst

    As Sam Harris aptly pointed out (through the example of a seared tuna recipe), you can interpret pretty much anything as a metaphor for something else.

    This, however, does not mean that the diced and seared tuna’s need for three diced tomatoes has something to do with our lives, any more than vague correspondences between the Bible and apparent topographical features of Mars mean anything.

    One could argue that Kansas was hell, through appropriate selection of geographic features… and be no more (or less) correct.

  31. spacewriter

    Wow. This guy’s rantings remind me of a loon who used to write to the lab I worked in during graduate school. He would send us these packets stuffed full of many pages of lined paper on which he had written many equations of his own invention and derivation, all in very tiny handwriting. He’d take all the greek letters we were used to using for things like opacity, etc. and re-define them to be these other-worldly constants that would define things like the cosmological gravitational porosity constant (nothing like stringing together three big words to make a new constant) and then use them to prove that the universe was bounded by energy beings or that we hadn’t proved the existence of matter to pi steradian decimal places (seriously).

    We’d tack his letters up on the wall for others to “enjoy.”

    I used to wonder what it would be like to be inside their heads; no more.

  32. NTB Heliochromologist George

    Ug, I think they are confussing the mud in ice with the blood of Christ. Sad to see such wild, fanciful, and twisted claims.

  33. ljk

    From the Creation Research Society Quarterly Journal:

    http://www.creationresearch.org/crsq/articles/21/21_3/21_3.html

    Abstract:

    “God could have started magnetic fields in the solar system in a
    very simple way: by creating the original atoms of the planets
    with many of their nuclear spins pointing in the same direction.
    The small magnetic fields of so many atomic nuclei add up to
    fields large enough to account for the magnetism of the planets.
    Within seconds after creation, ordinary physical events would
    convert the alignment of nuclei into a large electric current
    circulating within each planet, maintaining the magnetic field.
    The currents and fields would decay steadily over thousands
    of years, as Barnes has pointed out.

    The present magnetic field strengths of the Earth, Sun, Moon,
    and planets agree very well with the values produced by this
    theory and a 6000-year age for the solar system.

    This theory is consistent with all the known data and explains
    many facts which have puzzled evolutionists.”

    The author:

    “D. Russell Humphreys has a Ph.D. in physics and is a physicist at
    Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185.”

    In case anyone would like to know more about Dr. Humphreys
    and his ideas:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_Humphreys

    Check out his other views on astronomy and see why
    Creationism isn’t just a threat to biology.

  34. Astrogirl

    Wow, what a nut! It was too painful to keep reading that garbage after the first couple paragraphs or so. To say this guy has “issues” is the understatement of the year.

    I think Galileo said it best when dealing with religious fundamentalism. It went something like this: “The Bible is a book that tell you how to get to heaven, not how heaven (stars, planets, etc.) goes.”

  35. Gary Ansorge

    Evolving Squid: If you don’t believe in god, it doesn’t matter, for a compassionate god must believe in you. If it isn’t compassionate, it’s not worth believing in, in the first dang place.

    Humans seek consensous to bolster their internal comfort level. Disbelief by another is a direct challenge to their world view and makes them wonder if they’ve screwed up. Most people don’t deal well with such ambiguity.

    I really feel sorry for those so commited to such a world view. They have to really contort their minds to accept a devastating storm, that kills good people and lets bad ones survive. As in, ” It’s the “unexplainable” will if god.”
    I wonder if such intellectual contortions may cause actuall brain damage?

    We exist in a chaotic universe, in which anything not forbidden(by natural law) WILL eventually happen. The only comfort we can hope for when things turn bad, is the comfort of friends and our beloved. If god exists, I think it will understand that and grieve with us.
    If it doesn’t exist, it’s no loss, for we still have each other.

    May your holidays be fun and filled with Love,

    Peace,

    GAry 7

  36. DGKnipfer

    I need aspirin. Badly. B.A., please don’t do that to my head again. I’m just an amateur scientist. I lack the extensive cognitive skills required to process that level of religious pseudoscience.

  37. Gary Ansorge – you took the words out of my mouth. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I read Evolving Squid’s comment.

    That being said – Thanks BA for making my brain crash this morning. :-P

  38. Mike O'Connell

    I can’t believe that this isn’t satire… I mean… for real, how can someone write this stuff and seriously believe it. I have Creationist friends who would read this and comment on the rediculous nature of it… ahh. I think I am losing faith in our species…

    -Mike

  39. Michael

    Hi Bad Astromomer aka Phil!

    First, your site is awesome and Still retains its professionalism mixed with that great humour of yours which cracks me up! Keep up the great work (is it really work for you Phil? the sense I get is you enjoy this like crazy! altho the crazies who you zero in on would drive me around the bend altogether). I am appreciative of the work you do here, I assure you, because – I think I speak for many who also read your blog – when I hear of some of these wierd crazies and their wrongness trying to either make a buck off someone’s gullibility, scam and hoodwink others, or just make themselves into their own version of God by putting their own spin on Scripture, well, I smell this, and yet I’m just not articulate enough or have sufficient training to explain the scientific rights of things properly to – even myself – my friends or those aquaintances who tend to believe everything they read. Besides, I defer to the proven depth of knowledge and experience you have as a professional astronomer and teacher and you are able to just knit it all together in such sensible explanations. (sorry, I will now replace the world’s smallest violin into my pocket!)

    ANNNNYway, I just read the latest nutso Mars stuff and want to say that it made my skin crawl. Phil, I am a Christian and believe in and love God but… that stuff I just read is sad, sick. I just get sad when I think of those who might believe that crap when the reality is so much more beautiful, awesome, amazing, stupendous, evolving and any other superlative you can throw in there! For me, new discoveries of science simply enhance and strengthen my belief and wonder in a God who I believe had to have created this mind-boggling universe (hey maybe there’re more too!) we live in. I’m not out to prove anything, just be thankful for the amazing way it all just works together, is all interconnected, interdependant, mind-boggling, and the way we, as humans, are blessed for it.

    So, I encourage you to keep up the good work, I’m a supporter, I’ve seen and read your writing for a number of years now and consider myself – and all of us who read you – blessed by your work! I am sad that I get tarred and put in the same category as these misguided people, that’s all. The truth is always more fantastic and wonderful than anything these folks could make up.

    I’m ducking here now…

    Warmest regards

    Michael

  40. Who says science and religion can’t work together in blissful harmony?

  41. Michael

    “Launch was on December 9, for the Plagues of Egypt”

    Last I checked, there were 10 plagues of egypt. 1) Water to blood, 2) frogs, 3) lice, 4) flies, 5) animal disease, 6) boils, 7) hail, 8) locusts, 9) darkness, 10) all firstborn children dead.

    He then goes on the claim that the woman in the Iraq Study Group represents a prostitute. “The one woman in a committee of men symbolizes a prostitute” What’s wrong with being the much-needed advocate for women’s right in Iraq? Why’s she gotta be a prostitute?

    Then he claims Baal is an Islamic god. Last I checked, Baal was expressly listed in the Quran (sp?) as a false god who is not to be worshipped or idolized. (Common example given is: “Will ye call upon Baal and forsake the Best of Creators, Allah, your Lord and Cherisher and the Lord and Cherisher of your fathers of old?” as-Saffat 37: 125-126)

    You’d think he’d at least get the religious factoids right before trying to claim that all these people are obviously pawns of Satan. . .

  42. Thanks for the link Phil- I always get a kick out of reading that kinda stuff on the “internut” (Axenos).

    Some poking around on this guys website finds him making some very strange links between the STS-116 mission patch, the Iraq study group report, and the gas explosion that occurred at the Falk Corporation in Milwaukee.

    One thing I did agree with him on is his assertion that “Wisconsin is in the region of Naphtali, the doe”; spend any amount of time driving around in Wisconsin and you’re sure to see the truth in that statement!

  43. The thing that gets me, is that this guy isn’t saying the things in the bible symbolize mars..

    but that Mars symbolizes the bible.
    That somehow real PHYSICAL objects, are SYMBOLISM for the EVENTS IN A BOOK.

  44. MarshallDog

    Any Polish astronomers out there? If so, you might want to read this…

    http://www.boston.com/news/odd/articles/2006/12/20/poland_proposal_would_name_jesus_king/

    It’s one thing when a guy espouses crazy sh** on a website. It’s another when people try to force it upon their government. This proposal is so insane, even the Catholics in Poland are saying, “Are you serious?”

  45. “raw, quivering flesh…” are you sure this isn’t a site related to Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”? sounds like this guy has the same fixation. he (the Mars guy, not Mel) reminds me a guy i went to high school with, his strange, semi-literate religious ramblings and high flown imagery were housed in a very good looking, extremely physically fit body which had definite urges he refused to give in to (oh, how i tried!). i often think if DG hasn’t killed himself by now, perhaps this is how he’s trying to spread his message. i hope not, on both counts. seriously, though, there’s no way to counter this kind of ranting. you can only shake your head and hope that having the website to air their views keeps them from climbing up a tower, naked with a high powered rifle and shooting at innocent citizenry.

  46. jbrader

    I live in Eastern Washington and in the summer if you drive through the farmland out here you’ll see hundreds of dust devils. Very cool but rather difficult to photograph.

  47. Michael

    Hey! This is my second posting this afternoon (by way of clarification). I am Michael K from Labrador (in Canada – where there are awesome and I mean AWESOME! Northern Lights) and I did Not post the script that refers to “Launch …” etc. “plagues”, blah blah which was posted soon after my lengthy tome. The gentleman with the same first name seems to be referring to the ill-fated website. I don’t quote Scripture, at least not like that! I guess I’d better identify myself better the next time. Anyway, everyone, have a great Christmas season, well, a great all-of-the-time! Wow, the number of posts shows this is a topic of interest to many :-) Michael K, Labrador, Canada

  48. jackd

    IIRC, the kind of obsessive connecting-the-dots that we saw on that website is a symptom of mental illness. The way Mr. Wood writes, it appears that he views the world as a constant swirling mass of symbolism, where anything of significance is linked to something “spiritual”, usually a Bible reference. I actually browsed through his site looking for the oldest material to see if there were fewer claims of symbolism, but he’s revised it so often that most everything has been changed since 2002.

    That Mr. Wood’s mania is religious seems kinda beside the point here – the website is the product of a mind that’s gone down the rabbit hole. Sad.

  49. Astrogirl

    jackd writes, “IIRC, the kind of obsessive connecting-the-dots that we saw on that website is a symptom of mental illness. The way Mr. Wood writes, it appears that he views the world as a constant swirling mass of symbolism, where anything of significance is linked to something “spiritual”, usually a Bible reference.” How true and how sad. Often, people afflicted with mental illness get obsessed over religion and sex. Don’t remember where I first heard it, but have sadly seen it play out with several mentally ill people.

    I believe in God, but not the kind that would create a distubing “reality” like the one on the webpage. Thank you Phil for bringing a sense of clarity to what is often a clouded, muddled world of psuedoscience and anti-science.

  50. Quiet_Desperation

    Maybe my agnostic brain has caught Christmas spirit, but picking on this guy’s web site seems a little like kicking a puppy.

    I guess I need an antidote. Where’s my iPod? Here we go. Hmmmm. Scroll. Scroll. Metallica. Reload. Devil’s Dance.

    Ahhhh… :)

    >> Corey said: “why is there a giant cobra named Dan over my home state?”

    Shhh! Hush, or everyone will want one.

  51. Is it just me or did anyone else notice that he missed mentioning the Cydonia Face? Of course that idea might be a bit far fetched for someone with such a great grasp of reality.

  52. Chip Says: “Reminds me of a broadcast in which a fundamentalist radio preacher was referring to the weather condition known as El Niño as if it were an evil spirit. He actually called El Niño “the son of Satan” and while personifying El Niño as an evil being, he added “scientists are not sure what El Niño will plan to do next!” ”

    Wow! Is it really possible that the radio preacher didn’t know that “El Niño” is named after the Christ child because the phenomenon manifests during December?

    – Jack

  53. Grand Lunar

    Ah, what they won’t think of next.

    You’d think at least by looking at the facts that either Venus or Io would be compared to hell. Or better yet, the Sun! It’s hot enough, after all.

    Mars = cool
    Fundamentalists that claim make goofy claims = not-cool-but-funny-to-read

  54. And Pluto = Yuggoth! How could he miss that?

  55. I’m with Michael the First (this is why I post my last name ;). I’m happy to say that I’m a Christian and that, as with many things, the vocal minority tends to reflect the extremes. I don’t find the need to see the universe through a narrow lens defined by a strict (literal) understanding of the Bible. I think that God is the Creator of the universe, and that science is a way of understanding it.

    I don’t think that one should sacrifice science just because it doesn’t jive; it’s more exciting and awesome to see the expansive universe evolving over billions of years and to be able to look into (e.g.) globular clusters that are so incredibly old than to think that God just poofed them into existence and made them “look old”. (Come on, why would He do that?!)

  56. Corey

    (Still worried about Dan the giant Cobra hovering near Minnesota … )

    I think this website is a great skeptical stepping-stone. Here we have a bunch of wacky ideas which all of us, from atheist to agnostic to believer to true beliver, can all agree is completely nutso. Let’s all learn from this. What makes you reject the author’s ideas? Obviously his or her ideas conflict with your own belief system. Why is his or her belief system less valid than yours?

    The Atheist replies: “There is no evidence for the existence of gods. The arguments on the website are irrational and unscientific, and should be rejected, as should all arguments for which no evidence exists. There is, however, good evidence that the author is suffering from several debilitating psychological disorders. This provides an excellent case study in abnormal psychology…”

    The Agnostic replies: “It is remotely possible that this website is completely correct about the universe. But there are a lot of other websites, and they could all be wrong. Or they could all be correct. Or anything else. But this one is wackier than most and, well, whatever (shrug).”

    The Believer: “The website does not reflect the true meaning of my religion/political beliefs/biases/upbringing. Therefore, don’t pay attention to it, it’s just another misguided believer on the wrong path. His evidence is no better than the mine, but my religion has cookies.”

    The True Believer: “The website is blasphemy. So is Bad Astronomy. So are all of the websites out there except mine. Because of this, the internet must be destroyed. Except for http://www.theonetruefaith.com/.

  57. Corey

    I had no idea there really was a “theonetruefaith.com”.

    I was kinda hoping for a 404.

  58. I’d say (and hope) that is satire, smth a la Monty Python.
    I can’t believe (sic) that there are actually free people (free as in non-institutionalised in a mental health clinic) capable of putting together smth like this…

  59. Fundimentalists in any flavor, be them Muslims, Christians, Moonies etc…, are quite dangerous.

    But like the post before me, I prefer my religious interpretations thru “The Life of Brian” and “The Holy Grail”.

    The holy hand grenade needs to be used.

    Chicago Astronomer Joe
    Administrator
    http://www.chicagoastronomer.com

  60. I’d love to just send the creator of that website an email and point out to him that Mars is more than 2000 years old, so all of the things on it that supposedly represent stuff that happened 2000 years ago are crap.

    Never attribute to mysticism that which can be explained by nature.

  61. Astrogirl

    The reason that this website is so disturbing is not because it is religious in nature. It is because as Chicago Astronomer Joe said, “Fundimentalists in any flavor, be them Muslims, Christians, Moonies etc…, are quite dangerous.” Having a religious faith, being agnostic, or atheist are all fine and dandy. What is dangerous and disturbing is when you have a fundamentalist in ANY religion that tries too hard to tell others what they must believe, or tries to use religion to explain things in the realm of science.

  62. Vega E. Altair

    Well, I managed to get about a third of the way through it before my mind rebelled at this… well, for lack of a better word… garbage. I can only hope (probably a lost cause) that this is actually an early April Fool’s joke.

  63. >>jackd: “the kind of obsessive connecting-the-dots […] it appears that he views the world as a constant swirling mass of symbolism, where anything of significance is linked to something “spiritual”, usually a Bible reference”

  64. Apparently it misposted:

    –jackd: “the kind of obsessive connecting-the-dots […] it appears that he views the world as a constant swirling mass of symbolism, where anything of significance is linked to something “spiritual”, usually a Bible reference”–

    Well said; I must remember your “obsessive connecting-the-dots” phrasing. It boggles me how the human brain abuses its talent for pattern recognition. I can only imagine the research involved (BITTER SARCASM MODE ON):

    “Say, there are rocks on Mars… and hey, my book says Jesus was called the Rock! And it also mentions how unbelievers will be scattered like dust, and… OMG! Mars has DUST on it! And it’s red! What else is red… red… BLOOD!… and there are two moons… two… *flip flip flip flip* two animals of each kind for Noah’s Ark, no, that doesn’t fit… *flip flip* ah! Two thieves crucified with our Lord, THAT fits my theory! I cannot believe how amazingly EXACT this information is!! *weeps with joy*”

    I have another suggestion for the good pastor of this site, that he possibly might have already covered: consider Mars’ apparent retrograde orbit. It seems to go backward, then forward! That represents our choice to turn back from the road of sin on which we are traveling!

    Faith does not bother me. Misinformation veiled in a purpose of faith bothers me. As Shakespeare (or was it Ambrose Bierce?) said: “The Devil can cite Scripture to suit his purpose.”

  65. “…his face was unrecognizable…” according to that bonkers site. So who was up there on the cross? It seems by their admission they can’t be sure. Anyway, Mars is the God of War.

  66. metempsychosis

    “Who says science and religion can’t work together in blissful harmony?”

    Scientists and religious fundamentalists, mostly.

  67. Buzz Parsec

    Jack Hagerty asked:

    Wow! Is it really possible that the radio preacher didn’t know that “El Niño” is named after the Christ child because the phenomenon manifests during December?

    “Knowledge is limited, but ignorance knows no bounds”

    Chicago Astronomer Joe observes:

    The holy hand grenade needs to be used.

    During one of the space walks trying to fold up the solar arrays last week, Mission Control said “You are go to shake the array 3 times”, and one of the astronauts replied “Okay, one, two, five.”

    A reading from the Book of Armaments:
    “The number of the counting shall be three and three shall be the number of the counting. Thou shalt not countest unto four, nor shalt thou countest unto two, unless thou thence procedeth unto three. Five is right out.”

    But the king had problems with the number 3, so he counted “one… two… five…”

  68. Devo

    Bad science, bad theology, bad thinking – what an exemplar thereof.

    Mars has two sides ..??! Has the guy a brain? Has he seen a globe?
    “Dust devils” named by scientists hoodwinked by the real Satan ..?

    Gee lets see; doesn’t ‘Dust devil’ sound like an academic / technical / scientific term for a localised atmospheric vortex of swirling particulate matter (or should that be ‘vortice’?) I suppose he “thinks” the term ‘Snow angel’ was a divinely inspired by “real” angels. ;-)

    Bad science. Bad understanding of science. Not to mention really bad misattribution of motives to scientists that verge on slander / libel. (Ie. Claiming ‘scientists are tools of the devil’ – pretty hard to prove either way in court of law but ..)

    Then we also get bad theology :

    “The death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross was not about love. God the Father rejected Jesus Christ on the Cross.”
    (cut’npasted quote from linked site)

    Que?!?

    Not what I thought Christians believed, mate. My understanding is that Jesus / God died for the love of Humanity cut off by sin via God’s intolerance for sin. If that sounds loopy and illogical enough as it is, well ..yes. Or as someone else said somewhere else on this site / forum / one of these blitzfeed comments thingies (?) :

    God loved us so much that he sent himself down as one of us to then deliberately be horribly killed by us to save us from his own divine wrath …
    (or words to that effect.)

    The methodology sounds a bit bizarre (why couldn’t a supposedly loving, supposedly merciful supposedly all-powerful God simply have said ‘okay I forgive you’ without that rigmarole, hmm?) and far from making much if any sense but the motivation is _meant_ to be Gods /Jesus’es love.

    (Now personally, I don’t think Jesus was the son of God but I do think he must have been a very charismatic leader with some compassionate and wise ideas about how to treat other people – who was probably crucifed by the authorities who saw such ideas as dangerous to their position … & whether he was really dead, really crucified or whatever else there’s insufficient hard evidence now for any sort of certainty.)

    Then we get the plain weird bad thinking like :

    “All of the daily events on the Red Planet are part of the daily history of Creation and the Appeal Trial of Satan. …The Red Planet is not a passive monument, but an active reminder, which is maintained by the Elect Angels under the Authority of the Lord of Heaven.”
    (Another quote from the questionable site in question.)

    The Appeal Trial of Satan!? That’s a new one. I guess _that’s_ why there are Jehovah’s witness’es? ;-) Yahwah’s Defense lawyers seem a bit thin on the ground – maybe all the good lawyers are in Hades. Is that Pluto’s real name? ;-)

    Active daily reminder – Well that’s been so handy for the past few thousand years and for all the people who don’t have a telescope and thus see Mars as a point of reddish coloured light sometimes visible in their skies. Real handy. (Yes thats sarcasm.)

    And looking at Mars, yes, we all instantly think “Yep, Trial of Satan, I wonder what’s his legal aides are going to use in their cross (ha ha)examination now?” don’t we ..? NOT!
    (Headshake and a 360 degree vomit spin for good measure!) ;-)

    Oh and I nearly forgot my favourite line :

    “The active volcanoes on the Red Planet represent Fire Testing. They do not represent the female on the Red Planet.” (Another quote from the weird webpage)

    Yeah, because we were all saying they were, mate .. Sigh.

    Naturally, no evidence either way is presented just the bold and unwarranted assertion of something nobody would have thought about anyway.

    What things represent is (almost by definition) up to us, what they represent to him is clearly unlikely to be shared with anyone who actually knows anything about geology. To a feminist pagan perhaps Olympus Mons represents the severed breast of the Amazon Queen, it doesn’t harm her to think so or him to think not – but it really has nothing to do with the actual planet and tells us only about the individuals mindset. His is clearly obsessive, warped and, yes, we’d have to say, plain nuts.

    Interesting what you can support if you rule out all “evidence” other than the second-third or fourth hand chinese whispers of a two thousand year dead rebellious rabbi who was talking symbolism and just being nice to your neighbours for a change. For which, as Douglas Adams (?) noted, he got nailed to a tree. Then totally misunderstood by a whole mob of subsequent fools like the creator of that webpage.

    I hope the author’s been given some medication.

    I hope that site was an April fools joke left up or a pyschology students experiment to see people’ reactions .. or something else. I’m afraid to say its quite probably not.

    There are some mad one’s out there. Very far out there.

    Its amazing tosee justhow deludedand loopy some people can getand how much time and effort theycarefully invest such loopiness with.

  69. SCR

    Well there’s more madness – if you scan down the news list on LarryWood’s weird website you eventually get this :

    http://biblenews1.com/history4/20040102stardust.htm#NASA

    [QUOTE]

    NASA’s Stardust spacecraft was launched into a clear blue sky atop a Delta II rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Station on February 7, 1999, Day 38 at 4:04:15 PM EST (2104/15 GMT). The number, 4, stands for weakness, and corresponds to the meaning of the year, 2004. The number, 15, is for a covering. The dust from the comet will be returned to earth in a covered capsule. The comet dust was captured today four years after launch. The return capsule is scheduled to land in Utah on January 15, 2006. Utah is in the region of the outcasts.

    A comet, which is called a “wandering star,” represents a reversionistic unbeliever (Jude 13). In contrast to a fixed star that represents a believer, a comet has no light of its own and spends most of its time in the deep darkness of space. When it approaches the Sun, it glows from sublimating ice in Sunlight with a head and a tail like a snake. A snake is the symbol of Satan. Comets are evil omens. They are one of the light-bearers created on Day 4 of re-Creation as signs of evil events in history.

    Then God commanded, “Lights come into being in the firmament of the heavens to separate the day from the night. They were for signs, for seasons, for days and years (Genesis 1:14)

    Angelic Take on NASA Success

    It will come as no surprise that the angels were not impressed with NASA comet tail research. They illustrated their displeasure by bringing out an adult stink bug and trapping him inside a screen that resembled the grid of the Stardust comet dust collector (right top photo).

    This meant, “It stinks.” Stink bugs emit foul odors when disturbed. In this respect they are similar to skunks, which represent Satan as the commander of the air. In which sphere (real spiritual death), you walked according to the lifestyle of this world according to the powerful commander of the air, the spirit that is now operating in the sons of disobedience. (Ephesians 2:2) Thus, the stink bug is just another example of a reversionistic unbeliever.

    [UNQUOTE]

    Did I read that right? Angels put a stink bug in the tail of comet Wild-2 to show their disapproval of human scientists investigating a comet because its a sign of Satan?! He can’t be serious – but he seems to be. You’ve got to laugh … ;-)

    Phil there’s enough very bad astronomy, superstititious fundamentalism and plain looniness here to keep you busy til judgement day ;-)

    Nurse, bring that man a straightjacket please. Extra large.

  70. Jason P Adams

    Yep. I read the contents of the website you’re talking about. I really think the so called preacher needs a good dose of lithium. The funny part is that it sounds like that moron actually believes himself.

  71. ABR

    “It will come as no surprise that the angels were not impressed with NASA comet tail research. They illustrated their displeasure by bringing out an adult stink bug and trapping him inside a screen that resembled the grid of the Stardust comet dust collector (right top photo).”

    I think the key word here is “resembled”. I’m sure to the untrained eye, the window screen resembles a mesh that may or may not have been on the Stardust collector — all the pictures I’ve seen have been of the Aerogel with the dust tracks but I digress. Perhaps he is confusing Stardust with the probe from the Andromeda Strain.

    If the author in question had done a little more homework, I think he could have strengthened his Comets = sign of Satan theory. The stink bug in the picture is a true bug (Order Hemiptera, Suborder Heteroptera for those of you scoring at home) and is in the family Pentatomidae. Let’s ignore the fact that other hemipterous bug families have scent glands and concentrate on the pentatomids. Pentatomidae, penta, pentagram — ah, there’s our satanic link (cue Rush 2112).

    Now I happen to like stink bugs. Heck, I even like their scent — and that’s after an Insect Morphology study I did in which I had to dissect the critters under the microscope in a very claustrophobic office. It was kind of like one of those old scratch and sniff games: move the wrong way and BOOM! off goes the scent gland. Wait a sec…did I really use the phrase “Old Scratch”, yet another satanic reference?

    So have I displeased the angels because I like stink bugs (skunks, too)? Wasn’t it enough that I said “moth, not angel” recently?

    SCR, thanks for reading past the first couple of paragraphs of that guy’s website (that’s as far as I got) and bringing out this stink bugs-represent-Satan message. Your courage and fortitude are noted and appreciated. From now on, whenever a stink bug lands on my window screen or in my collecting net (hmmmm…another grid), I will know that angels are sending me a message.

  72. Jason P Adams

    That last reply makes about as much sence as the site we are talking about

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