Yes, we’re all getting tired of whacky eclipse stories, but the Discovery Institute is still in the grip of their uncontrollable frenzy, so we couldn’t resist this one. It’ll probably be our last.
Their new post is I Witnessed the Perfect Solar Eclipse in Missouri. Amazing!, written by Discoveroid “fellow” Jonathan Witt. The last time we wrote about him was Discoveroids Present Their Scientific Evidence. Here are some excerpts from his latest, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
I wanted to freeze time. We had travelled to Meramec State Park in Missouri and waited nervously through the weekend as the weather forecast for Monday alternately called for partly cloudy — no, overcast — no, partly cloudy — no, overcast. Monday dawned clearer than predicted.
Nobody cares about that trivial stuff, so we’ll skip a large portion of Jonathan’s post until he says:
For those for short moments of totality [Huh?], sun and moon fit hand and glove. Like a key and its lock. So here is the take-home question: What is the best explanation for perfect solar eclipses?
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] What is the best explanation?
Jonathan tells us about a conversation he had with a family of other eclipse watchers, and one of them responded that: “the sun and moon fit perfectly because the moon was much closer than the sun, so that made up for the sun being so much bigger.”
Jonathan wasn’t impressed. He tells us:
Yes, of course. The sun was 400 times bigger, but the moon was 400 times closer than the sun. But I had hoped they would wrestle with the question of final causes. What was the deeper explanation for why we had been allowed, on rare occasions, to enjoy something that has dazzled humans for ages and, in recent generations, helped scientists to discover and test some truly amazing things about our universe?
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] What a profound question! Why are we allowed to witness such things? He continues:
We need to step back and ask this bigger question? What is the ultimate explanation for why we can enjoy perfect solar eclipses? What is the ultimate explanation for why mathematics proves curiously effective at describing so much about our physical universe? Why so many elegant and discoverable mathematical laws? And why are the laws and constants of physics and chemistry fine-tuned so that we can both exist and discover those finely tuned laws?
[*Gasp*] The mind boggles! Let’s read on:
Is the explanation chance? That we just happen to live in a universe fine-tuned for observers like ourselves, and fine-tuned — extravagantly so!– to give us things like perfect eclipses that weren’t strictly necessary for our existence? Is the ultimate explanation chance? Or is it design? What is the best explanation?
[*Begin Drool Mode*] Ooooooooooooh! [*End Drool Mode*] What is the ultimate explanation?
Jonathan gives us the answer at the very end of his post:
I am convinced that the best explanation for that feeling of reverence is that there is a maker worthy of reference at work here. And I’m convinced that this explanation — design and not chance — is both the most imaginative, the most reasonable explanation. Today I was not alone in giving praise to the maker of sun and moon for a perfect solar eclipse. Hallelujah!
So there you have it, dear reader. One of the finest minds of our time — a Discoveroid fellow! — has given you the answer. Only a hell-bound fool could deny it.
Addendum: See also Eclipse Mania — The Discoveroids, Part 7
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