Want some novelty science with that whoopee cushion?

September 23, 2010

Okay, enough is enough.

I appreciate science as much as the next person. I understand there are at least 5,000 feet in a mile. I totally get it that Fahrenheit and Celsius are different scales, and that for instance minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit is, um, let’s see, minus 40 degrees Celsius.

moses model 490

But here is a new scientific study saying Moses may not have parted the Red Sea. Scientists say a strong wind that blew through the night could have pushed the waters back in the way described in biblical writings and the Koran.

This isn’t going down well in certain circles. As one reader e-mailed us, “It is obvious that your agenda is to destroy faith in God…”

LEISUREA researcher says the event can be understood through “fluid dynamics.”

Let me get this straight. You guys found a newspaper dated 1200 BC with “tonight’s weather” predicting very strong winds over the Red Sea?

And then what happened? The Israelites stood there watching their umbrellas turn inside-out and said, “This is some weather we’re having! Let’s all say Moses did it!”

Please understand, I’m not opposed to genuine scientific proof. But novelty shop speculation about what “could” have happened is another thing.

What next? Explaining the story of the loaves and fishes by suggesting there “could” have been an Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips franchise nearby with some leftovers to get rid of?

I think the irate reader I quoted above got it wrong. Stuff like this won’t destroy anybody’s faith in God. But it sure won’t help boost their faith in science…

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Top: An illustration showing how a strong wind could push back waters from two ancient basins – a lagoon (left) and a river (right) – to create a temporary land bridge. REUTERS/Illustration by Nicolle Rager Fuller/University Corporation for Atmospheric Research

Right: Actor Val Kilmer portrays Moses in the stage musical “The Ten Commandments” in a 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Jim Ruymen

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23 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Val Kilmer as Moses..????
Strong winds, recorded in 1200 BC??

The Apocalypse is upon us! Quick, hide!!!!! Save yourselves!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Val Kilmer makes a good Saint:) In the movie, anyway.

Winds strong enough to part a river long enough for the people to cross the land bridge…
…yet none of the people got blown away? Riiiiiight. Maybe the Israelites used hang gliders to cross the Red Sea?

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

That’s a good point, Onedoor. It’s also possible that an earlier version of my plane – maybe the Basler BT-1 – played a part in getting them across….

http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 10/05/11/flying-high-with-my-secret-care er/

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Science may explain how it COULD have happened, but what are the odds that it happened just at the moment that they needed it, dried the sea bed enough for them to cross, then came roaring back just in time to catch the Egyptians that were pursuing them. I believe in science, but it takes a higher power to make it all work.

Sorry Shra, if this is too much like education. Per a popular expression, Don’t Tase Me Bro

@Ifly – saw your earlier post. I’m off exit 44. down to the South Shore.

Posted by inebgreen | Report as abusive

Hey BG, you sure are plugging the BT aircraft line mighty hard, what gives? Trying to drop your margins more?

I won’t even get into the issues with this “study”.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

In that photo, looks like Val is making a strong wind of his own.
Maybe that’s how Moses really did it.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Yeah Dave, we’re trying to get the Defense Department to replace every fighter and bomber with something from the Basler line.

After that, the next step is for us to make a model with some of those whirly thing on top, and take over the helicopter market.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

The Basler BT-1; a young innovative entrepreneur tied some cardboard wings to his arms, shouted “I am an airplane!” and jumped off the roof of his house. The resulting head injury gave him the vision for the fleet of fine Basler aircraft we know today. It also qualified him to blog for Oddly Enough.

In the wake of his horrendous performance of Batman in “Batman Forever” Val Kilmer turned to a life of religion praying people will forgive and forget that terrible sin. We won’t.

@inebgreen, small world! :)

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

Keep mentioning the Basler BT-67, ifly. I’d like to remind readers they make GREAT Christmas gifts!

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Where is Unca? Is he meditating?? He could well be talking with Moses through his heightened conscious…
What do you think the real Moses would have to say about this?

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I suppose that a very strong wind blew across the Red Sea, parting it ahead of the Israelites (without blowing them all over the place)…kept the waters at bay as the Israelites crossed…and then the wind suddenly died down as the Pharoah’s men tried to catch up? Wow. That’s almost as good as the program I was watching on television the other night that said that all land creatures evolved from ONE fish who suddenly decided to use his fins as legs and walk up out of the water onto land (and they had a computer animation to illustrate, which makes it waaaay more believable)!

Ah…I remember when I was a scientist in my backyard at the age of 9. I once spent the entire day slicing sections of a ginormous mushroom and studying them, speculating that it was actually an alien brain that I was dissecting. That was back in the days when imagination and science were indistinguishable…oh wait…

Posted by justK | Report as abusive

Shra, you misspelled medicating. be more careful.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I meant what I said, Mr.B…

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Unca claimed he would be back the 29th. I am sure on the 30th you will see a report stating the crime rate for the previous week had dropped significantly.

Mr. B. I am trying to come up with an infomercial for the BT-67 to boost Christmas sales! Will let ya know what I come up with.

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

[...] the original post: Want some novelty science with that whoopee cushion? – Reuters Blogs (blog) Tagged as: aol, art, cnn, explain-parting, fahrenheit, figured-out-how, israelites, [...]

Let’s not go nuts, Spin. Instead of “No reptiles on any BT-67s” I can probably live with wording like, “Not as many as you might espect”

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

The BT-67. Now reptile-free, apart from the Vindshield Vipers.

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Very good, Nosmo.
The BT-67. The OTHER Python’s Flying Circus!

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Mr.B, you misspelled expect. be more careful.

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Mr. Moses looks like a pole-dancing jazz singer.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Lol!!!! Good one Doc… :P

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Spin, I didn’t say Moses looked like he was good at it. :)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Spin, maybe he’s like I am. I used to tell my university students that I was like an exotic dancer. (I take a long time to peel.)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Adam Petrovsky, Elif, Shaun J, Shaun J, robert basler and others. robert basler said: Welcome to novelty science http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 10/09/23/want-some-novelty-science-with- that-whoopee-cushion/ #God #Bible [...]

Lol!!! Doc, that comment got me ROTFL!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive