Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 3

There is no creationist outfit more agitated about next week’s solar eclipse than the Discovery Institute. Our last post about them in this series was Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 2.

For their latest revelation, the Discoveroids have turned to an expert — Jay W. Richards, a Discoveroid senior fellow and co-author with Guillermo Gonzalez, or “Gonzo” as we call him, of the classic creationist book, The Privileged Planet, a “fine tuning” argument applied to Earth. Richards was a former faculty member at Biola University, a bible college, where he taught apologetics.

Richards’ new post is titled Don’t Miss the Solar Eclipse! (Unless You Are Ill, or Trapped in a Dungeon). Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:

Do you plan to see the total solar eclipse on August 21? No? What? Are you ill, or trapped in a dungeon? C’mon. This is the first time in almost a century that a total eclipse will traverse the fruited plains from coast to coast. You’ve got to see it if you can! Thousands of people from around the globe will come to the U.S. to catch the eclipse. If you live in one of the lower 48 states of the U.S., though, you can catch an eclipse without showing anyone your passport.

Then he goes on for several paragraphs explaining to the Discoveroids’ drooling readers what an eclipse is. You already know that at stuff, so we’ll skip it. For additional information about the solar eclipse that will cross the US on 21 August. — one week from today! — here’s NASA’s eclipse page, where they have dozens of links to information.

After an ark-load of blather, Richards finally gets around to bringing creationism into it. He says:

Have you noticed the odd coincidence? The Moon and the Sun aren’t much alike. Yes, they’re spherical. But one is a giant ball of gas and plasma. The other is a much smaller rock.

Yes, but what’s the “odd coincidence”? He tells us:

And yet, during a total eclipse, they mark off the same space in our sky. They match.

Gasp — your Curmudgeon is stunned! Richards explains:

That’s because the Sun is about four hundred times larger than our Moon, but also about four hundred times farther away.

Ah, so that explains it! And now we come to the end, which is a teaser:

Eerie, huh? Is that nice fit just a coincidence? Or is there something more to it? I’ll answer that in another post.

Your Curmudgeon is overwhelmed by this cosmic coincidence! What does it mean? We can’t wait for Richards’ next post.

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

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11 responses to “Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 3

  1. I guess it is too much to ask their next post won’t come until the next eclipse in 2024.

  2. Michael Fugate

    And eclipses are entirely predictable and have been for a long time. Did the designer know that Trump would be elected when it created the universe way back when and his election would necessitate a sign warning us of our ominous future? As if we couldn’t have known this before he was elected? Why wasn’t the eclipse last summer? Did the designer get its dates wrong?

  3. But the Discoveroids are trapped in a dungeon, of their own devise.

  4. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    It’s a pleasure to watch the Dishonesty Institute’s continuing backslide into that ‘ol timey creation “science.” They’re not even trying anymore.

  5. “And eclipses are entirely predictable and have been for a long time.”
    Yeah, there is that story about the Greek Thales of Milete some 2500 years ago.

    Thales’ prediction of a solar eclipse

    I guess the American-christian god favoured Greek philosophers back then.

  6. Hm, for some reason the link doesn’t work. In case the Great Hand from Above is taking a well-deserved rest:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eclipse_of_Thales

    Reference 7.

  7. Hold a pea at arm’s length and it will appear to exactly match the size of a creationist’s brain.

  8. The reference,in case anyone missed it, is to Gonzalez’ stunning demonstration that the Solar System is intelligently designed to be the best possible place to learn astronomy. Thales may have worked out how the Moon manages to cover the face of the Sun, but no one worked out, until Gonzalez came along, just why it’s exactly the right size to do this. Yet, shockingly, this paradigm-shifting discovery failed to earn him tenure. More evidence of the evolutionist conspiracy!

  9. Funny thing is, the moon is exactly the right size to cover the sun some of the time. The rest of the time, we get so-called “annular” eclipses, in which a ring of light can be seen around the moon. How does Richards (I’m not sure whether he calls himself “Doctor Richards” or not) accounts for that imperfection, which is one of many in the solar system. (For another example, the length of Earth’s year varies slightly from one year to the next due to gravitational interactions with other celestial bodies.)

  10. It’s to make it even more interesting and instructive, you ingrate!

  11. Let us assume that it is highly improbable that eclipses happen by chance.
    Does anyone therefore reject any natural explanation for the phenomenon?
    If one says that the eclipse is a result of the shadow of Moon, are they being an atheist? Should we ask that the schools offer equal time for the non-natural explanation? Are scientists being irrational in not considering explanations which involve non-material things?
    What if someone points out that there is no explanation of the eclipse which does not involve a body obscuring the light of the Sun, casting a shadow? (Even an explanation which says that a dragon is eating the Sun says that the body of the dragon obscures the light of the Sun. If one says that God is miraculously designing the Moon and its orbit, God is making use of nature.)

    Etc., comparing the arguments about the evolutionary explanations for life with the shadow explanations for eclipses.