By Phil Plait | March 19, 2008 8:00 pm

Well, this certainly explains a lot.

“After impact with the satellite, these diverted prayers typically plummet back into the atmosphere, where they either burn up or eventually land, unanswered, in a body of water,” the report read in part.

Tip o’ the mitre to BABloggee Mike Murray.


Comments (29)

  1. revmonkeyboy

    And all this time I thought it was just wishful thinking. Those evil satanic satellites are to blame. Ya have to love the Onion!

  2. Alex

    That’s quality stuff right there.

  3. Rowsdower

    And to think, I’ve been advocating the space program for years!

  4. Michael Lonergan

    ROFLMAO!!! I love The Onion! That was absolutely priceless.

    I wrote this on my blog awhile back, in a similar vein.:

  5. Am I the only one who read the title as ge-nude-flection instead of genu-deflection?

  6. The Barber of Civility

    Damn! I bet that was my request for “snow flakes”, not Bowflex”! It must have been lensed on its way to God and gotten garbled.

    Rat farts!

  7. Actually, Paul, I pondered if that’s how people would read it, but it’s not what I meant at all. I was going for the straight pun, which I actually think is pretty funny. :-)

  8. For some reason I read it as Xenudeflection and thought, yoicks it’s coming back.

  9. MandyDax

    A lot of people start praying with “Heavenly Father, hear my prayers.” Does that itself count as one? If that is the 1 in 170 billion that gets through, and of course, God doesn’t receive the following prayers, does that cause a paradox? Will it cause complete reality failure? Oh, wait… “complete reality failure”… I think I have a new phrase to use on the theists.


  10. themadlolscientist

    “43% eaten by birds” – priceless. Reminded me of the parables referring to birds and the “faith the size of a mustard seed.” :-)

  11. Thomas Siefert

    That’s all nonsense, a prayer would never make it past the Van Allen Radiation Belt.

  12. Wildride

    Not to mention the Debbie Allen Radiation Belt — It’s a really hot look.

  13. Tim G

    I like your puns.

    I didn’t get this one at first and thought that it was perhaps based on some highly intellectual concept.

    Anyway, I had no idea that the stratosphere ended beyond some satellites ūüėČ

    To help, I suppose someone could invent a prayer amplifier. It could be integrated into head gear that the faithful could wear all day.

  14. bad Jim

    Actually, I have it on good authority* that God answers all prayers, but that the answer is usually “No.”

    *Woodie Allen, I believe

  15. Michael Lonergan

    Wait! Instead of a Bow-flex, all I got was a cheesy Chuck Norris doll… well I guess he is close to Jesus and all… after all he did back the Huckmeister….

  16. Michelle

    Makes sense to me! A great report.

  17. KC

    Not addressed are prayers that fail because they’re made by non-prophet organizations . . .

  18. Angel

    The genius IT Nazis at my employer, the Federal Aviation Administration, have determined that the Onion is not an appropriate website for me to view. They also blocked Hulu, the day after I first saw it on your site.

    I need to retire so I can surf anywhere I want. This work stuff is getting old.

  19. DennyMo

    “Am I the only one who read the title as ge-nude-flection instead of genu-deflection?”

    Nope, I puzzled over that for a few minutes, too…

    It’s amazing how many people read The Onion and either don’t get it or think it’s serious journalism.

  20. Kirk

    And here I thought it was lack of adequate concentration and a dogged wordliness. All this contributed to my poor self image. Now I can blame the lack of results on a scientifically documented fact. Thank you BA for helping me through this bad patch.

  21. Sergeant Zim

    “It√Ę??s amazing how many people read The Onion and either don√Ę??t get it or think it√Ę??s serious journalism.”

    Well, when you read what passes for “serious journalism” in the ‘regular’ news organizations (CNN, ABC, NBC, etc.(NOT Faux news)) it’s pretty easy to become confused.

    BBC World Service is, IMHO, far above most American news orgs., as is *usually* NPR.

  22. Christine P.


  23. Michael Lonergan

    Another good site for religious parody is The Wittenburg Door. That is run by Christians but is totally lambasting the freak jobs of religion. They contributed the This Week In God segments on the Daily Show several years ago.

    Oh, and I think I found your “Prayer Amplifier”:

  24. Michael Lonergan

    Woah! Don’t know what happened with that last post… sorry!

  25. Michael Lonergan

    I tried to post a link to a pic of a “Prayer Amplifier” (tin foil hat) but it went weird. Anyway, another good religious parody site is the Witenburg Door. It’s actually a Christian site that lambastes the whackos out there. They contributed to the “This Week in God” segments of the Daily Show a few years ago.

  26. That’s why when I pray, I also send a cc. That way the odds are that at least one copy will get through. I used to send a bcc, but then I got worried God might not know who it was from.
    @ Angel: Here’s a wacky idea: Reserve your computer at work for, like, doing actual work, and visit The Onion when you get home.
    I guess now we know why the FAA neglected to inspect all those Southwest planes.

  27. Michael Lonergan

    @ Angel, or you could go to a site that allows anonymous searching. Oh, they’re probably blocked too… LOL

  28. Parodies are fun, but they can also be straw man arguments. This one certainly is. Do you guys really think that Christians believe Heaven is locally “up?”

    I believe God hears all prayers. And, as whoever said, sometimes the answer is “No.” A prayer isn’t a magic spell. It’s a request that can be turned down. The greatest petitioner of all, Jesus Christ, prayed to his father in the garden of Gethsemane that he might not have to be crucified, and he did not get what he wanted.

  29. Christian (as Name, not Faith)

    Just wait until the religious idiots read this stuff – they will immediately call their representative in congress to get NASAs funding withdrawn.


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