The Scientific Case Against Powered Flight

Icarus and Daedalus

ONCE again, dear reader, we beg you to indulge your Curmudgeon as we engage in a bit of parody. Having observed the chicanery of creationists, we have learned that their style of argument can be applied to virtually anything. Behold, our refutation of the theory of powered flight — Flightism:

1. For thousands of years, powered flight has been known to be impossible.

2. Powered flight is not mentioned in the Bible. If man were meant to fly, we’d have been created with wings.

3. Powered flight is only a theory. There is no evidence of powered flight.

4. The Second Law of Thermodynamics rules out heavier-than-air flight.

5. Those who claim to have flown are delusional, or else they’re liars, engaged in some kind of fraudulent scheme.

6. Insects and birds can fly, but that’s micro flight. Large animals don’t fly. Macro flight is obviously impossible. Have you ever seen a cow fly?

7. Things seen in the sky other than insects and birds are, in truth, evidence of supernatural beings.

8. Belief in powered flight upsets the natural order and leads to sexual promiscuity. This is destructive of family values. The myth of flight is a product of materialism and a Godless, naturalistic worldview.

9. Aristotle didn’t believe in Flightism. Nor did Galileo or Isaac Newton. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin rejected Flightism. Lord Kelvin (1824-1907), a highly regarded scientist and president of the Royal Society of London, stated flatly in 1885, “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.” [Source: Kelvin, Lord William Thomson.] Are you smarter than they are?

10. It takes more faith to believe in Flightism than to believe in the tooth fairy.

Flightism is a theory in crisis! Teach the controversy!

[See also: The Scientific Case Against Craterism and see The Scientific Case Against Atom Bombism.]

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

37 responses to “The Scientific Case Against Powered Flight

  1. Bravo! At last, the Godless Jet-Setters have been unmasked as the source of all moral cancer! And — as Londoners who lived through the Blitz can well attest — Flightism is directly responsible for Hitler’s Luftwaffe!

    And while we’re full of high moral dudgeon, let’s not forget: If God had wanted people to run around naked, we would have been born that way.

  2. Great Claw says: “… let’s not forget: If God had wanted people to run around naked …”

    You’ve been — ahem — hanging out with a bad crowd.

  3. Slow day?

  4. Crudely Wrott

    For even more supporting evidence, see the web site of The Man Will Never Fly Memorial Society at

    Their motto: “Birds Fly, Men Drink.”

  5. The Gadfly says: “Slow day?”

    I’m just getting started. Now that global warming is dead, and Darwinism, it’s time to take down the Wright Brothers.

  6. wonderful. you have made snark an art form : )

  7. The Curmudgeon sounds the clarion call:

    it’s time to take down the Wright Brothers

    Agreed, but with a caveat. I have it — and on the unimpeachable authority of Lady Hope herself — that Orville fully recanted of his Flightist heresy on his deathbed. Requiescat in pace.

    Wilbur, I am sorry to report, persisted in his sacrilege to the bitter end, and is now doubtless paying the price in the Flame Pits of Hades.

    But the fact is incontrovertible: no Wright Brothers, no 9/11.

    And no ghastly delays getting out of Atlanta…

  8. The Curmudgeon tweaked:

    You’ve been — ahem — hanging out with a bad crowd.

    That’s an outrageous thing to say about my Olivia…

  9. And don’t forget that you are free to engage in the benefits of said godless science while wholly against said science in the first place.

  10. Great Claw says: “But the fact is incontrovertible: no Wright Brothers, no 9/11.”

    Excellent point!

  11. If man can fly, why are there still birds?


  12. Longie asks: “If man can fly, why are there still birds?”

    And why are there no flying monkeys?

  13. Benjamin Franklin

    In fact, Benjamin Franklin never rejected flightism.

    The Montgolfier brothers’ successful manned ascent at Versailles in 1783, was witnessed by Benjamin Franklin.

    Franklin realized that the dream was still only partially realized since, as he presciently remarked, these great bags of gas and their airship successors “must always be subject to be driven by the Winds . . . .”

  14. Benjamin Franklin

    Sorry, the rest of the quote is:

    “These Machines must always be subject to be driven by the Winds. Perhaps Mechanic Art may find easy means to give them progressive Motion.”

    The quote is from a letter Franklin wrote to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society of London.

  15. Benjamin Franklin says: In fact, Benjamin Franklin never rejected flightism.”

    Great, now we’re being spammed by Flightism’s quote-miners.

  16. retiredsciguy

    “Have you ever seen a cow fly?”

    No, proving that the cow jumping over the moon was a hoax. But I have seen a horse fly, thus demonstrating that macro-flight is possible.

  17. retiredsciguy says: “But I have seen a horse fly …”

    Oh yeah? Well I’ve seen a housefly, a dragonfly, and a bar-fly. Even my pants have a fly. But macro-flight is impossible!

  18. Hello? Number 8 is clearly true, as any member of the Mile High Club will attest.

  19. ChicagoPat says: “Number 8 is clearly true …”

    They’re all true!

  20. Since you admit that it’s a parody, you must be a Wrightist, and thus an atheist. Intelligent Jumping Theory is not creationism. Our objection to Wrightism is purely scientific. In order to truly fly you must have a density less than that of air. And you Wrightists are very dense. 😉

  21. Curmudgeon : Among the flawless reasoning, a typo in point 2 leaves the writer open to risibility.
    best, JM

  22. Megalonyx: “But the fact is incontrovertible: no Wright Brothers, no 9/11.”

    Yeah, that too! Like I said, IJT is strictly scientific. 😉

  23. Powered flight is biblically endorsed. See Ezekiel , and his fiery chariot. Erich von Daniken would have us believe that it could only have been a spacecraft of some kind, though some argue that it wasn’t really a spacecraft, but a steam train.

    PS do html tags work here?

  24. J Meyers says: “… a typo in point 2 …”

    Arrrrrrghhhh! All fixed now. Thanks.

  25. grasshopper asks: “do html tags work here?”

    Only a small set. Bold, italics, blockquote, and links. Maybe a few other things that I haven’t tried. Subscript and superscript don’t work.

  26. Megalonyx is quite right.

    Now, is it not also true that Stalin, Marx, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong were also flightists?

  27. Richard says: “… Stalin, Marx, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong …”

    It’s more than that. The 20th Century was the bloodiest in history. Guess how it began? The Wright Brothers claimed to have achieved powered flight in 1903. Need I say more?

  28. And, can Flightists explain the banana? The banana is a Flightists’ worst nightmare.

  29. Richard enquires:

    Now, is it not also true that Stalin, Marx, Pol Pot and Mao Zedong were also flightists?

    Indeed they were! viz:

    Stalin slaughtered millions by means of his infamous Five-Year Flight Plans.

    Marx co-authored the notorious Flug Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei (“The Communist Flight Manifest”).

    Pol Pot drenched his country in blood in his atrocious Year of Visibility Zero.

    And how many perished in Chairman Mao’s appalling Great Leap Upwards?

    I’m still working on how Flightists are responsible for the Heartbreak of Psoriasis.

  30. oops, my html tags went astray!

    No doubt, sabotaged by the International Flightist Conspiracy!

  31. I think I’ve patched things up, Great Claw. Difficult to know your original intentions with such a comment, but I tried.

  32. Benjamin Franklin

    Coincidence? I think not.

    Ray Comfort had this to say about Flightism today in his blog.

    What would you say to a man who has no understanding of the principles of flight–the invisible law of aerodynamics? He refuses to board the plane because of his fears. But his lack of knowledge doesn’t change the reality that flight exists. You have (by your own choice) no experiential knowledge of God. That’s your problem when you make the choice not to trust. You are stuck with your fear of death.

    Of course, he got more than a bit nutty at the end, but hell, give him a break. It is his 60th birthday tomorrow.

    Onset of dementia?

  33. BF: “Onset of dementia?”
    How would one tell?

  34. Benjamin Franklin says: “Coincidence? I think not.”

    I refuse to believe that Ray Comfort is getting his ideas from me.

  35. retiredsciguy

    Curmy says,
    “I refuse to believe that Ray Comfort is getting his ideas from me.”
    That would be ok — just make sure the reverse never happens.

  36. Flightism would seem to a total vindication of Stork Theory.