Saturday, June 30, 2007

This is how religions get started

How can we modern skeptics account for the wonders and miracles documented in the Bible if we weren't there to not witness them? It's simple. We can just witness the propensity for modern day people to ascribe the miraculous workings of God to ordinary events which have adequate material explanations, and just extrapolate that propensity backwards to our scientifically illiterate ancestors. A case in point is the recent "miraculous" survival of Formula 1 race car driver Robert Kubica from a crash at this month's Canadian Grand Prix. Why miraculous? Because Kubica, a Polish native, has driven for many years with the name of Pope John Paul II on his helmet:
Poland's local PAP news agency reported that Kubica's survival after slamming into a wall during this month's Canadian Grand Prix could serve as evidence of a miracle in the Catholic Church's beatification process of John Paul.

The report was based on a Church source.
The documentation needed to make the late Pope a saint is prepared by the dioceses of Krakow and Rome and reviewed by the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

The evidence already gathered includes testimony from some 130 people as well as scrutiny of John Paul's life, spoken words and writing.

Shouldn't they be nominating the guy who designed the helmet? And what of all the other race car drivers who have survived crashes? Shouldn't we consider the sponsor logos on their cars to be magical religious talismans?

Is anyone working on the beatification of Jack Daniels?


Blogger Harry Eagar said...

During a misspent youth, I covered a lot of auto races and saw some spectacular crashes.

Never saw anyone killed. The worst injury I ever saw was a broken leg -- from a guy who huli'd (Hawaiian for roll) his Formula V the entire length of the home straight at Charlotte Motor Speedway, decelerating from a speed of about 160 mph.

I have some advice for Roman Catholics: Stop messing around with anything to do with physics. You always make yourselves look foolish.

June 30, 2007 11:15 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

IIRC, the last F1 racer to be killed during a race was the great Ayrton Senna, some 12 years ago. He hit the wall at 170ish.

Looked like a very survivable mishap. Unfortunately, part of the right front wishbone went through his helmet.

Also, IIRC, he was an observant Catholic.

July 02, 2007 9:10 AM  
Blogger Harry Eagar said...

F1 racing was very dangerous in the '60s, but FISA finally caught up with NASCAR and death-proofed the cars.

I used to follow F1 racing as a youth, until after four years I realized that almost all the top drivers I had come to recognize were dead -- Clark, McLaren, Bandini etc.

So I quit. Too ghoulish.

But, as Oro sez about oil, things change.

July 02, 2007 3:20 PM  

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