Lightning Rods Against God's Fury

I recently picked up Discarded Science: Ideas that seemed good at the time… by John Grant, a delightful little book about ideas in science that just didn’t pan out (hmmm….how many of my papers will be relegated to that dustbin? Ack, down that pathway lies depression.) When I was but a wee lad I spent many hours reading books about the Loch Ness monster, UFOs, and Bigfoot. (Not only did I learn to debug before I learned to program, apparently I learned pseudoscience before I learned science. Hmmm.) My experience with these early pseudoscience books has led me to think an important part of understanding science is to understand what is not science. Plus I am a real sucker for the kind of half baked arguments that are a stable of those pseudoscientific books. My favorite passage from the book so far is a classic illustration

…In November 1755 the most destructive earthquake ever to strike the northeastern US hit at Cape Ann, some 50km south of Boston. The Reverend Thomas Prince, of South Church, Boston, knew at once who was to blame: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), for having invented the lightning conductor. Before Franklin’s scheme of putting pointed metal rods on tall buildings had been universally adopted, God had been able to express His wrath by blasting something with lightning. Now that the presumptuous Franklin had taken that option away from Him, He was having to use earthquakes instead.

Which leads, of course, to the question of just how many tools of God has Science destroyed?

5 Replies to “Lightning Rods Against God's Fury”

  1. Gosh fellas try a litte harder next time. What’s obvious is that we can’t spell words until we know the alpha-bet? Quantum Physics does some pretty strange things, check it out… Membranes and other dimensions? Other Universes? Urantia Book? Then, ‘real science’and the ‘Ascended Masters’ for starters… No joking, this is not science fiction, just facts…

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