Rev. David Rives: Earth’s Perfect Location

The Drool-o-tron™ has been quiet lately, but it’s still on the job. Its blaring sirens and flashing lights drew our attention to the blinking letters of its wall display, which said WorldNetDaily (WND). Our computer was locked onto WND’s presentation of the latest video by the brilliant and articulate leader of David Rives Ministries.

WND’s headline is Earth perfectly positioned for life. Think about that for a moment, dear reader. Doesn’t it make you feel special? Yes, it’s true, our world is indeed perfectly positioned. And it’s no accident!

When you click over to WND you’ll see that the actual title of the video is Our Special Earth: Our “Galactic Address”. The video is 90 seconds long — before the commercials at the end. You don’t want to miss this one!

The rev explains that we’re so lucky to be located where we are. Why? It’s because the center of the Milky Way has a black hole — you wouldn’t want to be there, would you? No problem — it’s been arranged that you’re not there. Aren’t you glad?

And you wouldn’t want to be in the outer fringes of the galaxy, because the elements necessary for life are rare out there. Well, guess what? You’re not there either. That means we’re in the best possible position! Isn’t that amazing? The rev says that if you read the bible, this isn’t surprising.

We’ve seen all this Privileged Planet stuff before, from the Discoveroids, but the rev does it better. He’s got style. And he’s so cute! Go ahead — watch the video. You can spare 90 seconds.

As we always do with the rev’s videos, we dedicate the comments section for your use as an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. You know the rules, but please remember — bathroom jokes must be in good taste. Okay, the comments are open. Go to it!

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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23 responses to “Rev. David Rives: Earth’s Perfect Location

  1. Richard Bond

    I cannot give any credibility to these clowns who make assertions without backing them with proper mathematical models. On Rives’s own claim, there is actually a large volume of the galaxy in which we could exist, so where is the problem?

    Also, I distrust anybody who spouts split infinitives.

  2. Biologist

    If earth is so uniquely positioned for life, then it seems that the almighty isn’t so omnipotent after all. Couldn’t he/she create life that would avoid black holes or have a different elemental composition? Oh, wait, the elemental proportion in earth’s living things isn’t the same as that of the planet. I guess evidence doesn’t matter to the rev.

  3. It’s divine providence that the rev’s video ended up on the web. If it had been posted in his local paper, nobody would have been able to watch it.

    Truly the internets proclaim the glory of something or other!

  4. Scoff if ye wish, O Ye Darwinist Haters of Baby Jesus, but I find great comfort in Rev. Rives wonderful words here.

    The evidence that ours is indeed a privileged planet as a result of some exquisitely fine-tuning by the Grand Ole Celestial Tuner Him/Her/It/Them Sel/f/ves is irrefutable. And it is a great relief to me to know that, as a result, Earth will never be struck by an asteroid, because what kind of fine-tuning would that be to have left us in the path of such?

  5. Why does a fine tuned universe even have such things as ionizing radiation, black holes, global seasons? A power that could ignore physical laws would have simply created a flat infinite plane that always had the same finely tuned conditions. Ahhh but it all comes down to an infinitely powerful and perfect deity having no choice but to have secrets, to have transcendent ability but still be forced to hide, deceive and threaten. Sounds more like a priest or politician’s modus operandi.

  6. Retired Prof

    Richard Bond, I don’t share your suspicion because I have never noticed a correlation between split infinitives and untrustworthiness. Can you give some examples?

    Also, if the two are related, how? Do sleazy people habitually fail to observe syntactic niceties, or does the act of splitting infinitives lead to depravity? Or is there some underlying cause of both failings?

    I do distrust a different class of people: those who drink light beer–more intensely if they prefer their beer lite. Nearly all the trash scattered around my favorite fishing holes and boat landings comprises empty light/lite beer cans and cartons. I should talk to some of those people and notice whether they split their infinitives or not.

    Unfortunately, I have not been able to determine whether irresponsible people just naturally prefer weak, tasteless beer, or whether that kind of beer destroys one’s sense of responsibility.

  7. The English infinitive consists of two words: i) a complementiser*, ‘to’, and ii) the base form of the verb. After certain verbs, e.g., modals, the ‘to’ is dropped. Words are by definition moveable, so there is no reason why speakers of English should not split an infinitive. The people I don’t trust are those who cannot spot a shibboleth, and worse, take milk and sugar in their tea.

    *British spelling, before anyone calls me out on it.

  8. Kiwi Dave

    Retired Prof
    To needlessly and deliberately with malice afore thought split infinitives is to egregiously offend against the gods of grammar, or not, as the case may be.

    As to the OP, the evidence for fine-tuning is indisputable: if my nose were not between and slightly below my eyes, how could I support my glasses, without which my defective eyes would render me unable to drive, watch TV etc?

  9. Richard Simons

    I always thought split infinitives were banned because you can’t do it in Latin and, as everyone knows, Latin is the Perfect Language.

  10. The Good Reverend always makes me glad. Of course I’m happy where I am! Imagine that my house would be located on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. How would I avoid wet feets? Or my house might be in the middle of the Sahara. My white skin might get burned. Or my house might be on Antarctica. Then I would get a cold nose.
    It follows that my house is in the best possible position. Ergo the Grand Old Designer (blessed be Him/Her/It) must have placed it there.

  11. Megalonyx: “And it is a great relief … to know that…Earth will never be struck by an asteroid, because what kind of fine-tuning would that be to have left us in the path of such?”

    Certainly, evidence of a lack of foresight. However, it could be God’s equivalent of shaking the Etch-a-Scetch. Maybe from time to time He just gets bored with the way things are and wants to start anew. Kind of a divine cosmic reset button, you know.

    Maybe He said to himself, “Dinosaurs!? I didn’t want no stinkin’ dinosaurs! Why is it so hard to draw with this stupid thing? I was trying for someone who looked just like Me! Maybe if I try again, I’ll have better luck… Let’s see what this six-mile-diameter chunk of rock will do…”

  12. Pope Retiredsciguy suggests that global catastrophes may simply be

    God’s equivalent of shaking the Etch-a-Scetch.

    This seems supremely plausible to me, and is certainly a better fit for the evidence than Rives’ notion of Perfect Creation.

    It also puts me in mind of the tale (doubtless apocryphal) of the American tourist who visited Stonehenge and was told by the local guide that it had been built between 3100BC and 1600BC. He excitedly turned to his wife and snorted with disgust, “Ya see that, Martha? The Brits spend 1500 years building this thing, and they still didn’t finish it!”

  13. Richard Bond

    Retired Prof:

    To occasionally split an infinitive is tolerable where it improves the flow of language, but to split an occasional infinitive is smoother. I confess that I wrote my comment in a state of considerable annoyance because Rives’s effort was so gross. Distrust was the wrong term: despise would have been better.

  14. Make that “Etch A Sketch”. I was asleep when I misspelled it (that’s my excuse, anyway).

  15. Retired Prof

    Richard Bond, I see we agree about the split infinitive. And Richard Simons is spot on for its origin.

    The advice on the matter I gave to my students was twofold: avoid the ostentatiously unsplit infinitive, and double-check for ambiguity if you unsplit one by putting the modifier after the phrase.

    Take your first main clause above, for example. If you had written the ostentatiously unsplit, “Occasionally to split an infinitive is tolerable,” you would have sounded like a prig.

    If you had written “To split an infinitive occasionally is tolerable,” the reader wouldn’t be able to tell whether “occasionally” meant “do it from time to time” or “tolerable on certain occasions.”

    So your clause perfectly exemplifies the principle. Excellent.

    Purists who refuse to split infinitives on any occasion whatsoever would no doubt accept the revision “To split an occasional infinitive is tolerable” on stylistic grounds even if they disagree with the sentiment.

  16. To sometimes split an infinitive, or never to split one, that is the question.

  17. How about, “Occasionally, it’s tolerable to split an infinitive,” or perhaps, “There are occasions when it is tolerable to split an infinitive.”

    In any case, it is never tolerable to spit an inflinitive.

  18. retiredsciguy sputters at us: “In any case, it is never tolerable to spit an inflinitive.”

    Oh yeah? Well Captain Kirk was unafraid to boldly go where no man has gone before.

  19. Retired Prof

    It’s bad enough for someone to split (and spit) infinitives. But what about people who let their participles dangle?

  20. Then there’s the rule about ending sentences with a preposition. Churchill is said to have declared: “”This is the kind of tedious nonsense up with which I will not put.”

  21. Retired Prof

    Thanks, SC. That Churchill quotation was one of my mother’s two favorites from a class she took. The other went the opposite direction.

    A little girl being tucked into bed didn’t like the storybook her father was getting ready to read to her. She insisted he should go back downstairs and look for another one. So he rummaged around and picked one he thought she’d like. She didn’t like it. She wailed, “Awww! What did you bring that book I didn’t want to be read to out of up for?”

  22. @Retired Prof: Very good!

    Totally unrelated to split infinitives, spit inflinitives, prepositions at the end of a sentence, or being sentenced for propositions, but your story reminds me of the punchline of a shaggy dog story from the old National Observer, to wit:

    “He was arrested for transporting gulls across staid lions for immortal porpoises.”

    I’m not going to tell the whole, long story, for fear of being banned from this blog for life.

  23. Wikipedia: List of linguistic example sentences: Word order

    And when the said rejected book was from Australia:

    “Why did you bring that book that i didn’t want to be read to out of from down under up for?”