Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 2

As we reported in our last post on this topic — see Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 1 — the Discovery Institute is trying to be your go-to website for eclipse information. In particular, they promised to cover the intelligent design aspects of solar eclipses.

Today they’re making good on that promise. The latest post at their creationist blog is Great American Eclipse: A Teachable Moment. As before, it has no author’s by-line. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

The total solar eclipse coming to America on August 21 — the first one to cross the continental U.S. in 99 years — will be the most watched, most studied eclipse in history. But do your friends, family and acquaintances appreciate the significance of these rare astronomical events? We want to help you with resources and information to make the Great American Eclipse a teachable moment about design in nature.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] We’re going to learn about design in nature! They say:

Scientific materialists view the alignment of the earth, sun, and moon, with the near-perfect match of apparent diameters of the sun and the moon (despite their vast differences in size) as just a coincidence — as indeed, they must.

That’s because scientific materialists are fools! But the Discoveroids know better. They tell us:

It may actually be a coincidence. Design advocates, though, have the freedom to consider the evidence without being restricted to chance and natural law alone. Consider the following.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Discoveroids — being unhinged to reality — have the freedom to consider supernatural causes that materialists are too blind to think about.

What follows is an incredible list of ten — yes, ten! — factors that you, dear reader, have never allowed yourself to think about. We know you’re going to click over there to see them all, so we’ll give you only a few of them: Here we go:

1. By universal acclaim, total solar eclipses are fearsome and awesome phenomena, the most wondrous astronomical events that can be witnessed from the surface of the earth.

2. The match is often so perfect, it permits views of the very thin chromosphere of the sun. The corona, otherwise swamped by sunlight, also gleams with brilliant light. These would not be possible if the moon were slightly larger.

3. Many bodies in the solar system cast shadows on planets, but the earth is the only place in the solar system where a perfect match can (and does) occur.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Earth is unique! The fascinating list continues:

4. Earth is also the only location that has sentient observers who can appreciate eclipses.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] The intelligent designer — blessed be he! — doesn’t waste total solar eclipses on lesser worlds where they can’t be appreciated! The Discoveroids’ list goes on:

7. The predictability of eclipses both in time and location speaks to the precision of the “clockwork of the heavens,” informing philosophers of science about the nature of “laws of nature.” The onset and duration of an eclipse can be predicted down to the second for any point on the earth.

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] We don’t know what that item has to do with intelligent design, but we’re in a mood to swoon anyway. Here are the last two items:

9. The factors that produce perfect eclipses are also closely related to the requirements for earth’s habitability. This makes it less likely the alignment is mere coincidence.

10. Total eclipses are temporary, because the moon is receding from the earth. Why should the alignment be perfect right when humans are present to enjoy them?

[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] Verily, the only explanation is that it’s the work of the intelligent designer.

The rest of their post is routine information you can get at NASA’s eclipse page, where they have dozens of links to information. The Discoveroids finish their post with a promise of more to come:

And this is just for starters. Watch for more about the eclipse here at Evolution News [the Discoveroids’ creationist blog].

We’ll be watching. And we know that you’ll be watching too, dear reader.

Copyright © 2017. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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19 responses to “Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 2

  1. I struggle to believe that the Discoveroids themselves can actually believe their own schtick here.

    Or maybe I just fail to comprehend their point. Are they saying that total eclipses of our moon are evidence that an Intelligent Designer created Earth as a ‘privileged planet’? Srsly?

    What does that say about the other planets and their satellites, leave alone exoplanets (and, according to some increasing data, the possible existence of exomoons? What’s the point of them? Are they junk planets? But the DI maintain the Intelligent Designer (Blessed be Him &c &c) doesn’t do ‘junk’…

    Dumb as I am, I’m not dumb enough to understand the DiscoTooters…

  2. And, from the DI’s own Top 10 List of ‘points’ to be made in the ‘teachable moment’ of a total eclipse:

    4. Earth is also the only location that has sentient observers who can appreciate eclipses.

    Objections, M’Lud: Facts not in evidence.

  3. “By universal acclaim”
    Oh gingy, Miss Klingy, have aliens elsewhere in our Universe told you that they think it as fearsome and awesome as you do? But still – I don’t find it fearsome at all and only moderately awesome. I guess I don’t belong to your universe then.

  4. Is the Earth is a Privileged Planet because of Total Solar Eclipse? Then the privilege has nothing to do with biology, and noting to do with with our being creatures of God.
    The creationists tell us that there is noting special about Earth that makes it privileged for life. Indeed, the creationist version of the “Second Law of Thermodynamics”, and the “Conservation of Complex Specified Information”, mean that there is no privilege for life on Earth. And macro-evolution or any other natural process is not permitted to produce humans, then there is no privileged status for humans on Earth.
    So we are told that God designed the universe with special attention to natural production of total solar eclipses on Earth. That privilege does not mean so much of a big deal for us.

  5. There was much more astronomical evidence of design back in the days when it was thought that Earth was the center of the universe. Now that those infernal scientists took that way, this eclipse is the only thing left that creationists have to talk about.

  6. The angular size of the sun’s corona can be rather large– 5° vs. 0.5° for the sun’s disk. So even if the moon was 9 times bigger (or closer) the corona could still be seen. It should be noted there is never a “perfect” match during an eclipse. In fact because the orbits of the Moon and Earth are ellipses sometimes an annular eclipse occurs where a ring of sunlight (annulus) appears around the sun. If the moon and sun were exactly the same size totality would be instantaneous rather than the 2 or 3 minutes during the 2017 eclipse.
    The “precision of the heavens” is a very poor argument. For example to computing the Moon’s position requires a rather long list of fudge factors that took ancient astronomers a long time to figure out. There is nothing simple about it. In fact the 5° tip of the Moon’s orbit, that makes eclipses rare, makes this argument fall on its face. There is nothing simple about computing the positions of astronomical bodies.

  7. @Troy
    The complexity of the computation of the motions of the heavenly bodies was designed to motivate humans to develop mathematics.
    Yes, I’m joking, but I think that the attempt to understand the heavens was important in developing science and mathematics.

  8. Michael Fugate

    But according to the DI everything is designed – so a solar system without “total” eclipses is also evidence of design.

  9. What factors needed for a “perfect” eclipse are related to Earth’s habitability?

  10. “Habitability” is defined by natural factors.If one believes that the existence of life is dependent upon some non-natural agency, then habitability is of no importance as far as the existence of life.
    Similarly for “perfect” solar eclipses.
    And similarly for the “Privilege” status of any planet, and the “fine tuning” of the parameters of the natural world.

  11. Michael Fugate

    Yep. Not much of a god if it can’t design life to survive where ever it wants life to survive.

  12. I believe the moon is slowly sliding away from earth, so the “perfect match” that lets us see the corona is just a passing phenomenon in the long history of the earth-moon system. We may of course be delighted that this phase coincided with our current civilization. Yet the time must come when the moon, as seen from earth, has slid so far away from us that it can no longer cover the sun completely. Then the era of classical solar eclipses will be over, forever.

  13. Mark Germano

    “[T]he earth is the only place in the solar system where a perfect match can (and does) occur.”

    If a total solar eclipse elsewhere in our solar system were possible, would that be evidence against design? How about our galaxy? Or another galaxy?

    Presumably, there is a planet orbiting some distant star with a satellite of just the right size and distance from that planet so that when the three infrequently align, the satelite blocks the light from the star and darkens the skies over a small portion of that planet for a brief period of time. If no one is there to observe it, is that, too, evidence of design?

  14. Holding The Line In Florida

    I can think of only two words can describe this tripe. The initials are BS. But I am a simpleton. Perhaps other more erudite individuals can come up with a better description.

  15. 7. The predictability of eclipses both in time and location speaks to the precision of the “clockwork of the heavens,” informing philosophers of science about the nature of “laws of nature.” The onset and duration of an eclipse can be predicted down to the second for any point on the earth.

    But according to creationists, there are no laws of nature–just divine decrees that look that way until You-Know-Who decides to set them aside to display His magnificence. (This is starting to sound creepily familiar. . . .)

  16. “I think that the attempt to understand the heavens was important in developing science and mathematics.”
    This is exactly why the Babylonians for several centuries made their astronomical observations.

  17. Charles Deetz ;)

    I know I’ve shared this nugget here before, but the ID Facebook group I lurk discourages astronomical ID postings … because they are so easily mocked, refuted, and poorly backed. This tripe would be torn to shreds on Facebook, even the ID group.

  18. Eric Lipps: But according to creationists, there are no laws of nature–just divine decrees that look that way until You-Know-Who decides to set them aside to display His magnificence.

    You mean Voldemort?

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