Amazing Creationist News Report

We’re eagerly awaiting the official announcement confirming what we recently wrote about in Proxima Centauri has an Earth-like Planet? So far, all the news stories have been based on an early report by the German weekly, Der Spiegel. The offical report is supposed to come at the end of this month from the European Southern Observatory.

But we found an absolutely hysterical story about it at the website of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. It’s titled Have Scientists Found Another Earth? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Researchers have discovered the possibility of another earthlike planet that could sustain life. German news outlet Der Spiegel first broke the story, saying the European Southern Observatory found a previously unknown neighboring planet that could contain water.

We know that. Okay, here comes the good stuff:

Scientists reportedly spotted the Earth-sized planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun that still rests within the habitable zone.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Read that sentence a couple of times. Either it’s incredibly sloppy writing, or CBN thinks that Proxima Centauri is the closest star that “rests within the habitable zone.” We leave it to your imagination to figure out what they think the habitable zone actually is.

That was good, but it gets better. Let’s read on:

Unfortunately, Proxima Centuari and the surrounding astrological [Hee hee!] bodies are nearly impossible to see with a telescope.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! CBN thinks Proxima Centuari can’t be seen with a telescope. As for referring to it and its surrounding bodies as “astrological,” well, we don’t need to say anything.

It’s a short article. This is the rest of it:

Therefore, scientists must rely on extraordinary tools and observations on gravitational pulls between the planets and stars.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! That is not how extra-solar planets are found. As you know, we can’t actually see the planets, but if we’re visually lined up with the orbital plane of a star’s planets, specialized instruments can spot the dimming effect as they transit their stars. And no, we don’t have tools that observe “gravitational pulls.”

Anyway, that’s the news from the Christian Broadcasting Network. Those who rely on CBN probably won’t think there’s anything wrong with their reporting. We imagine that they’re grateful for the information, but perplexed about its spiritual implications.

Copyright © 2016. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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17 responses to “Amazing Creationist News Report

  1. One method of detecting an exoplanet is the dimming as the planet passes in front of the star.
    Another method is the wobbling of the star caused by the gravitational pull of the planet on the star.
    A few planets have been directly observed.
    And there are also the methods called “microlensing” and “timing”.
    And there are other possibilities.
    Se Wikipedia, “Methods of detecting exoplanets”.

  2. observations on gravitational pulls between the planets and stars

    Actually, in this they’re not entirely wrong. Another method (only works for a big planet in a biggish orbit round a smallish star) is by detecting the gravitationally induced “wobble” in the star’s position. See here for more.

    As for the rest, very chuckleworthy . . . or chuckleheaded . . . or, oh jeez, where do they dig these people up? It is difficult to comprehend how they could be so ignorant.

  3. Unfortunately, Proxima Centuari and the surrounding astrological [Hee hee!] bodies are nearly impossible to see with a telescope.

    Proxima Centauri is marked on many star atlases for amateurs to locate and observe. It’s too dim to be seen in a finder scope, so typically it’s marked with an X in a detailed inset map so that it can be located by spotting the surrounding stars and centering on it. However, it should be viewable in any telescope 4″ or larger.

    The surrounding astrological bodies are invisible however.

    I can’t figure out if the writer meant to say “without” instead of “with”, which would imply that its only nearly impossible to see with the naked eye, which is wrong, or that it’s hard to see even with a telescope, which is also wrong. There’s no way to clean up the grammar in that sentence so that it makes sense.

  4. Meant to say “only nearly impossible” to see with the naked eye.

    I need to clean up my own grammar first…

  5. realthog says: “Actually, in this they’re not entirely wrong. Another method (only works for a big planet in a biggish orbit round a smallish star) is by detecting the gravitationally induced “wobble” in the star’s position.”

    Yes, we can see gravitational effects, and calculate the cause. But we don’t literally observe the gravitational pull.

  6. So Pat’s boys beat Ol’Hambo!
    I’m not that eagerly awaiting the official announcement – much more eagerly I’m awaiting the creationist comedy gold resulting from it!
    This one is an excellent aperitif.

  7. Come on folks. Please don’t refer to planets, stars, etc. as “astrological” bodies. They are astronomical, not astrological, unless of course you’re trying to cast horoscopes, and even then they are referred to as astronomical!

  8. Scientists reportedly spotted the Earth-sized planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Sun that still rests within the habitable zone.

    It’s pretty obvious that the pinhead who wrote this has no clue that each star has a (theoretically) habitable zone, defined as a range of distance from the star within which liquid water could exist. That’s obviously a pretty broad definition, and may not even be entirely accurate, since Titan, orbiting Saturn, is suspected to have large amounts of liquid water beneath its frozen surface.

    Unfortunately, Proxima Centauri and the surrounding astrological bodies are nearly impossible to see with a telescope.

    Okay. And here I thought creationists want to arrest all astrologers and hang them up by delicate parts of their anatomy until they confess they worship Satan. (The astrologers, not the creationists, although come to think of it . . . !)

    And has been commented above , Zippy doesn’t seem to know that Proxima Centauri can easily be seen with a telescope, though any astrolo . . . astro . . . BWAHAHAHAHAAA! . . . astronomical bodies orbiting it are much harder to spot.

    The terrifying thing is that these people vote.

  9. @SC

    Yes, we observe the effects caused by gravitational pulls. “Observations on [not of] gravitational pulls” is a pretty close description — a lot closer than any of the others in the piece.

  10. Do you mean to say that gravity is not “observable science”?🙂
    (I don’t know how one creates gravity in the lab. Does that mean that it must be intelligently designed? The argument goes that because we can’t create life in the lab, it is intelligently designed.)

  11. @TomS: that’s brilliant creationist “science”! The same for electricity, magnetism, the weak and the strong interaction! The IDiots were right all the time. God eeeehhhh the Intelligent Designer is everywhere.

  12. Pat Robertson, looking more and more like the Cryptkeeper all the time. (Until last week I was saying the same thing about John McLaughlin) As crazy and humorous as Pat is, do not forget he took Hambo’s young earth creationism to task, his public refutation of Hambo could have cost him some a-hem donors, but the alternative was to be on what is obviously the wrong side.
    This story smacks of scientific ignorance by a writer who is obviously “phoning it in”. That’s right exactly the type of top notch journalism you’d expect from CBN.

  13. Eddie Janssen

    Conservative Christians dread the day when astronomers find the planet where God lives.
    He might make an ass of himself during the first interview.

  14. He might make an ass of himself during the first interview.

    “Take me to your . . . oh, wait a moment . . .”

  15. At first I thought a missing comma in the first quote and a misuse of “astrological” in the second quote (a mistake Ed the Curmudgeonite made in these very comments) was not enough to warrant a post from the Curmudgeon. However it was all worth it when TomS and realthog exposed his ignorance of star wobble as a method of detection. TSC’s backpedaling with gravitational effects vs. gravitational pull was an added bonus.

    What was that about God making an ass out of himself?

  16. God doesn’t need to, KevinC. He can rely on you making an ass out of him.

  17. @mnb0
    Father’s expect that of their children; it goes with the job.