Creationist Wisdom #530: More Proof of God

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Democrat News of Fredericktown, Missouri. It’s titled Biblical reference to stars. The newspaper has a comments feature.

Because today’s writer isn’t a politician, preacher, or other public figure, we won’t embarrass or promote her by using her full name. In fact, her full name isn’t given. At the end of the letter, the newspaper says: “Jennie is a long-time resident of Fredericktown, an eclectic gatherer of stories, information, and experiences to share with whoever would like to read them.” So we’ll call her Jennie. Excerpts from her letter will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

There’s an overwhelming amount of amazing information in the book of Job. The reason I am zoning in on this particular area is because I just learned the meaning of another jewel that proves God is from the beginning, Creation of everything and prove [sic] to be true by modern studies of Celestial Science.

Jennie’s letter is short, but we’re including it in our collection because her argument is very original. She says:

As time passes “new” information is revealed. Not because it is really new, but because we become able to comprehend more, due to scientific study, and new technology, etc. The verse I am referring to occurs in Job 38:31, part of Gods [sic] answer to Job concerning the vast realm that exists between Himself and mankind.

Then she quotes Job 38:31:

Canst thou bind The cluster of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

We checked. It’s different in the King James version, which says:

Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?

We don’t know what bible translation, if any, uses the expression “cluster of Pleiades.” Let’s get on with Jennie’s letter:

I never knew what God was talking about in this verse of scripture, or the enormity of His revelation. Just think on this; who, but God, from the beginning could have known, that this particular cluster of stars, the Pleiades, are gravitationally bound together? Could anybody except God make such a thing happen?

The bible says the Pleiades are “gravitationally bound together”? Well, okay. Let’s read on:

The constellation of Orion, the hunter, wears a band (belt). That’s cool, but what I found out just blew me out of the water.

Ooooooooh! What did Jennie find out? She tells us:

The stars that make up Orion’s band are very far away from each other and all of them various sizes.

So what? Jennie explains:

We see them in order around his waist, fitting perfectly into the constellation the same as they did the day they were made.

Ooooooooh! That’s amazing! Here’s the end of her letter:

We see them with our eyes, because that is what God intended. This is just another affirmation for us from our God and creator. Amen.

Well, it was original.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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28 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #530: More Proof of God

  1. It’s fun to imagine that before her amazing revelation, Jennie thought the stars in constellations were all the same size and only a few miles apart.

    Wait until she learns that the giant fireball at the center of the solar system is a star, too! That letter is going to be awesome.

  2. Ah, Jennie, it appears you don’t realize that if your viewpoint were anywhere else in the universe you wouldn’t see any of the star patterns we’ve named as constallations. And you probably don’t realize that different groups of humans pick out different star patterns to name. Constallations are, after all, products of human imagination, not nature. In that respect, they are rather like gods.

  3. Biblegateway.com has a concordance for over 100 versions in 50 languages. Useful. (For example for finding whether there is any reference to “volcano”.)
    I searched for Job 38:31 in English versions: http://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Job%2038:31 and found “cluster” in ASV=American Standard Version and WEB=World English Bible

  4. Charles Deetz ;)

    Job always bugged me because the beginning is the record of a divine discussion between god and satan, and I wondered what human was witnessing this and writing it down. Looking it up just now, there is a whole greek god thing going on: “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them.”

  5. Re “Just think on this; who, but God, from the beginning could have known, that this particular cluster of stars, the Pleiades, are gravitationally bound together?” What? Surely they couldn’t have been referring to the fact that the stars making up that constellation don’t seem to change position and are therefore “bound together”? According to this idiot’s Bible the stars are cemented into a hemisphere, and all of which are equidistant from the Earth. The fact that the Pleiades are scattered over many light-years of space (in depth from the Earth) doesn’t come up in the Bible and, gosh, aren’t all celestial bodies bound together by gravity? All of them?

    Oh, that a man’s grasp should exceed his reach, or what are straws for?

  6. My Seventh Day Adventist mother didn’t handle the revelation that the sun is a star very well. Scaled up her sense of reality a bit too much at once, I suppose. I guess it’s much better for her, and other creationists like her, to stick with the idea of the stars created as a kind of afterthought on day four.

  7. Reading through all the various interpretations of Job at http://biblehub.com/job/38-31.htm, I find nothing that even remotely hints that the Pleiades are “gravitationally bound”, and the versions that refer to the Pleiades as a “cluster” appear to be modern — in other words, written after it was known that the Pleiades are an open cluster (loosely bound gravitationally).

    Now, I would be impressed if the KJV had a verse stating that the fuzzy patch just visible to the unaided eye that we now refer to as M-31, the Andromeda Galaxy, was made up of “untold legions” of stars — a fact unknown before the 20th century.

  8. Stephen Kennedy

    Actually, by Astronomical standards, the three belt stars of Orion are at about the same distance from us and have similar very high luminosities as all three are O or B supergiants.

    The area of the sky that makes up Orion is a region of active star formation characterized by numerous nebula such as the spectacular M42. There are also a large number of supergiant stars in Orion such as the belt stars and even closer ones such as Rigel and Betalgeuese. These stars are only seen in the vicinity of the region they formed in since on a cosmic timescale their lifetimes are short, just a few million years.

    This evening, rather than looking at Orion’s belt, I was observing the western sky with my small telescope and was able to catch a glimpse of Uranus.

  9. I feel saved… no, wait a minute, I’ve had four beers, I feel drunk.

  10. Our dear Jennie is an excellent pupil of our dear Good Reverend David Rives.

  11. Stephen Kennedy says: “I was observing the western sky with my small telescope and was able to catch a glimpse of Uranus.”

    Did you observe this: Giant methane storms on Uranus?

  12. waldteufel

    Pure, unadulterated, god-soaked weapons-grade drool. What a bizarre and disjointed world must greet poor Jennie each morning when she awakens from her nightly romp with baby Jesus.

  13. Dave Luckett

    So… Some stars are tightly grouped enough for their gravity to noticeably influence one another (let us leave aside the reflection that every star in the Universe gravitationally influences every other roughly according to G=m1.m2/d^2), and this is proof of God.

    Other stars, apparently close, are actually very far apart. They do not noticeably influence one another, and this is also proof of God.

    The dear lady thinks everything is proof of God. Isn’t it strange that astronomers who spend their entire lives seeking knowledge of the stars do not think so?

  14. waldteufel

    Dave, I think you mean F=G*m1*m2/d^2, where G is the universal gravitational constant.

  15. @retiredsciguy that’s an excellent point (“…a fact unknown before the 20th century).It would certainly be a lot more convincing if a book alleged to have been written by (or dictated by) some god guy had something in it that was unknown to bronze age sheep herders.

  16. Possibly the most amusing aspect of the letter is that the Pleiades are not gravitationally bound (that is to say they are an open cluster). The Pleiades appear as a distinct entity only because they formed from the same nebula and very recently (in astronomical terms). The component stars will eventually disipate just like Jennie’s “proof”.

  17. @abeastwood
    The Bible is written with the appearance of having been composed in the Ancient Near East. Whoever is responsible for it, if it is not the product of an ANE culture, took considerable care to make it look that way. (It reminds one of the Omphalos Hypothesis, that the world was made with all the appearances of being billions of years old.) A book does not come to look that way without a reason. It is difficult to write a book without leaving clues for its real origin.

  18. Dave Luckett

    God, no wonder I failed physics in the tenth grade.

  19. This is an amazing indictment of the American education system.

  20. Don’t worry, Dave – some use G for gravitational force and gamma for the universal gravitational constant. But you had forgotten the latter indeed.

  21. I know there’s no accounting for taste, and that I should rejoice that others find joy and solace in literature I detest. That’s my rational take. However, they say confession is good for the soul, and even though I’m not sure I have one, here’s mine, just in case.

    My emotional impulse is to spew vitriol on any reader that can tolerate either *Great Expectations* or the Book of Job.

  22. Dave Luckett

    On Great Expectations, I agree. I read it. I had to. I think it’s awful. Not as awful as The Mayor of Casterbridge or (shudder) Ulysses, but pretty bad. Job, on the other hand, I rather like, notwithstanding its crazy premise.

    De gustibus non est disputandem, indeed.

    And indeed, I am the product of a failed education in science, because I can only think in words. Numbers, or worse, letters used instead of numbers, utterly defeat me. But the education was in Australia, and surely that inability was not a failure of the education system, but my own. It would be a systemic failure only if they had passed me.

  23. Well, Dave, I will cultivate my rational side and squelch my impulse to spew vitriol on you for liking Job. No doubt we could have an exhilarating argument about it over a beer or two.

  24. Dave, I too am a product of a failed education in science here in Australia, notwithstanding my insatiable appetite for all things scientific (I might add I may not understand everything I read but I enjoy it all the same). Mathematics was a form of unending torture for me and still is but words .. ah words. I always loved words.

    We can take great comfort in the knowledge that our own dear Ol’ Hambo was also educated in our great country. He also seems to have suffered from a failed education in science. I wonder if Jennie studied in Australia.. hmmm.

  25. Retired Prof: “No doubt we could have an exhilarating argument about it over a beer or two.”

    Hey! Jump forward two posts to “Hot News About Urine Power”. Don’t let the product of those two beers go to waste!

  26. The reference to “sons of God” isn’t unique: look up Genesis 6:1-4, for instance. It does pose a problem for all three Abrahamic religions, though: Christians are adamant that there was only one Son of God, while Jews and Muslims hold that there were none. That’s why Christian fundamentalists tap-dance around such references, hemming and hawing about “angelic beings” and the like.

    Likely such references, like those which hint at multiple gods (“Let us make man in our own image,” etc.) are survivors from the Chaldean religion from which the ancient Hebrews broke away. The Old Testament is littered with such relics.

  27. Erik D. Edlund

    Stephen Kennedy, thank you for your descriptive information of Orion. I see him pass in the southern sky from Everett, WA each night. Fascinating, to contemplate the extent of the universe, and our scientific understanding of it… poor Jennie.
    And, thank you, SC, and all your esteemed regulars; I rely on, and value your knowledge and insights.
    Erik