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Mercy, Indeed! PDF Print E-mail
Swift
Written by James Randi   

Reader Frank Trumpy sends us this hilarious ad, a quite serious one, from a circular in his vast collection:

Fathers of Mercy

Dedicated To

THE IMMACULATE VIRGIN MARY AND THE MAGISTERIUM

need men to bring the Mercy of God to all.

 

Write: Vocation Director

Fathers of Mercy

South Union, KY 42283

 

Galileo: Nincompoop

Every schoolchild is taught, ad nauseam, about how "brave Galileo defied the authority of the Church and proved that the earth revolved around the sun." Evidence indicates that the earth, in fact does go around the sun.

It is hard to imagine that the Church could have been wrong. The medieval Church excelled in astronomy.

Catholic astronomers discovered and corrected the inaccuracies in the Julian Calender [sic]. Numbered among Catholic priest-astronomers were experts who could calculate both lunar and solar eclipses with great precision. The planting cycles of people coming to Catholicism around the world depended on astronomical accuracy at every latitude and longitude.

It's impossible that medieval Catholic astronomers of such skill wouldn't know something as simple and basic as that the earth went around the sun. There is only one explanation:

Until some period before Galileo, the sun did go around the earth. Then, for reasons of his own, God decided to quietly switch things around. Galileo noticed this and made a big thing out of it.

If you wish to think more like an aggressive Catholic who believes in a powerful God, read CRATS! It's the underground classic that offers Adams' Fractal Theory of Creation to the descendents of the Twelve Tribes. (That's us.)

To order: Call 1-800-OLD DRUM (653-3786). VISA/MC accepted.

Or send a check for $9.95; two copies $18.OO (Includes S&H) to:

Old Drum Publishing, Box 401, Portersville, PA 16051

Looking through Google's eyes, I found that an excerpt from this stupendous book is offered:

Baptists, Fundamentalists, Orthodox Jew are right: The Bible is Literal Truth. The World was created, fossils and all, in 7 days.

Howdy Doit? He made it out of Fractals! 3-D Fractals. In the Beginning was the Word. Fractals are the echoes! Fractals, building blocks of building blocks.

Whydy Doit? Catholics are right: Creation had to be made in such a way that we could never prove or disprove that HE made it. How else could HE give us Free Will?

Crats! - Magic all around. Water and wine do turn into Body & Blood. Real camels zip right through the eyes of real needles! Faith is more than intellect, freedom better than slavery, Big Church infinitely greater than the State. Zion triumphant in this world and the next! For us, there is no death. Only taxes.

This review of CRATS! appeared on Amazon:

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll pull the shades and bar the door - you might even question your unbelief. CRATS! is unique; there is no sense comparing it to other books. The author himself could not write another like it. CRATS! combines the rollicking fun of Chesterton's Napoleon of Notting Hill, the moral seriousness of Percy's The Thanatos Syndrome, the comedic spirituality of Mr. Blue, the bitter satire of Waugh, all with the shocking shockingness of Flannery O'Connor (and the contemporariness of Bud McFarlane, Jr.). The story concerns a small group of heroes who band together to fight the powers of darkness, along the way scuba diving, selling bird gods, and learning how the Grand Canyon was made and how a camel can pass through the eye of a needle. Good guys sometimes die, good guys sometimes kill - pacifists beware! If you don't like to think, if you like bland books that will lull you to sleep, for heaven's sake, don't buy CRATS!

Okay, you win. For heaven's sake, I'll pass up this book. It won't be easy, but somehow...

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written by hughie522, December 04, 2008
I agreed completely right up until "There is only one explanation:" part.

At which point any hope I had for the Christian population of the world vanished evaporated in a flash smilies/cheesy.gif.
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written by Kuroyume, December 04, 2008
I'm not quite sure how '3-D Fractals' show that fossils were placed in the creationist timeline so that we had free will. What does deception have to do with free will? Doesn't deception actually 'rob' one of free will?
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written by Marcus, December 04, 2008
I live in hope that this is the world's first commercial application of Poe's Law.
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It also completely FAILED
written by Aepervius, December 04, 2008
"I'm not quite sure how '3-D Fractals' show that fossils were placed in the creationist timeline so that we had free will. What does deception have to do with free will? Doesn't deception actually 'rob' one of free will?"

Even worst, consider that if God intention was to give us free will by hiding his presence, and consider how utterly (that so called perfect being) he failed to do it , as our brave CRATS reader now knows it is in reality God's will. /Yeah I know the easiest objection to that is "it is god's plan" but i still find it funny people come up with such contra logic stuff)
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written by BillyJoe, December 04, 2008
I live in hope that this is the world's first commercial application of Poe's Law.



How could you tell? smilies/grin.gif
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written by BillyJoe, December 04, 2008
On the other hand, I live in hope that this might be the first commercial victim of Poe's Paradox.


(For the un-initiated:

Poe's Law states that it is impossible to parody Fundamentalism in such a way that someone won't mistake it for the genuine article.

Poe's Paradox occurs where the genuine article is rejected by Fundamentalists as being a parody)

BJ
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written by BillyJoe, December 04, 2008
Kuroyune,

Doesn't deception actually 'rob' one of free will?

Are you kidding?
You would have to have free will to start off with before you could be robbed of it. smilies/wink.gif

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written by advancedGIR, December 05, 2008
While it's true that astronomers were capable of bringing accurate results from an unnecessarily complex set of empirical abacus, it illustrates the difference between talent (being able to make the best out of a tool) and genius (understanding the flaw of the tool and creating a far superior one).

However, it is well known that Copernicus fate had far more to do with political struggles and his own lack of people skills than with scientific debate.
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written by Diverted Chrome, December 05, 2008
The Earth suddenly began experiencing precipitation, day & night, seasons, annual meteor showers an Galileo was the only one that noticed? What the heck was everyone else doing? Staying inside for the A/C?
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written by nelson650, December 05, 2008
I lean towards the Norse mythology myself. I kinda like the idea of honoring our Gods with month long festivals complete with riotous drinking and excessive feasting---kinda like the christian way but without the hypocracy.
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written by cwniles, December 05, 2008
"Then, for reasons of his own, God decided to quietly switch things around."


yeah. that God guy is apt to do that....wild and crazy such as he is.
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Evidence
written by danieljref, December 05, 2008
This is a bit off topic, but since it is about Galileo... I hear a lot about Galileo defending the Copernican theory, but what evidence did Galileo used to prove his theory?
I heard (or read) somewhere that his evidence were the tides. He said the tides only occurs because the Earth moves around the Sun or else there would be no explanation for the tides. Is this true?
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written by Alan3354, December 05, 2008
The only god that makes any sense is the sun god. All we have on earth came/comes from the sun.

And, when the sun goes down, you can do whatever you like.
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written by Alan3354, December 05, 2008
"Then, for reasons of his own, God decided to quietly switch things around."

Upgrade from MicroSoft? The Universe Rev 2.1?
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written by MJG, December 05, 2008
Of all the ridiculous, pathetic blather in this advertisement and book, perhaps the saddest is this statement "Faith is more than intellect." Kind of says it all right there, doesn't it?
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written by DrMatt, December 05, 2008
When I was a kid, some claimed that quarks would reconcile spiritualism with science, as in "your mind isn't in your brain, it's in the quarks", and "discrepencies between the bible and geology are explained by the quarks". For a while, then, it was quantum mechanics. Now it's fractals. We seem to have missed the phase in which water was changed into wine by a black hole (I think, or has that idea been floated, too?). Difficult new areas of science routinely get popularized and then bowdlerized into crap and then mischaracterized in woowoo tracts. Descartes is reputed to have done this with algebra, perhaps in jest--it's nothing new, though new manifestations of it keep coming up.
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Galileo's Evidence
written by inquisitiveraven, December 05, 2008
danieljref: It wouldn't have been the tides; the sun's effect is mostly swamped by the moon, and the moon does revolve around the earth. Besides the tides cycle daily as the earth rotates, and one can track that tidal heights follow the phases of the moon. That is the effect of the sun, but it's not necessarily obvious without gravitational theory.

Actually, his evidence was telescope observations. He didn't invent the telescope, but did make some improvements on it and was the first person to use it to study the sky. The notable observations were four objects orbiting Jupiter which are known to this day as the Galilean moons, and the phases of Venus. The Jovian moons demonstrated that the earth need not be unique in having objects revolving about it. The phases of Venus, which also change size as the distances between the two bodies change, only make sense if Venus revolves around the sun.
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written by BillyJoe, December 05, 2008
inquisitiveraven,

Good reply.

Except that the tidal effect of the Moon (or Sun) on the Earth, if the Earth revolved around the Moon (or Sun) would be indistinguishable from what we see now.

So, that explanation is wrong from the get go.

BJ
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written by sailor, December 05, 2008
"This is a bit off topic, but since it is about Galileo... I hear a lot about Galileo defending the Copernican theory, but what evidence did Galileo used to prove his theory?
I heard (or read) somewhere that his evidence were the tides. He said the tides only occurs because the Earth moves around the Sun or else there would be no explanation for the tides. Is this true?"
Evidence
You are correct, and his proof was not proof, it was in fact quite wrong. He knew it was wrong too, because one of the characters in the book where it is discussed brings up the tides being under the influence of the moon, which was correct. I think there was no way to prove which model was correct given the technology and level of knowledge they had at that time. All models worked just as well mathematically.
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written by BillyJoe, December 05, 2008
sailor,

I think there was no way to prove which model was correct given the technology and level of knowledge they had at that time. All models worked just as well mathematically.

Well, perhaps you're overstating it a bit.

Ptolemy's Geocentric model required epicentres, eccentric defferents, and equant points with no explantion of why they might exist. Copernicus' Heliocentric model did not. Ockham's Razor would suggest the later is correct, especially as there was no explanation for these unnecessary entities.

BJ
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written by sailor, December 06, 2008
Billie Joe,
Ptolemy's geocentric models were not all that complicated, If you have ever seen a video representation of the model in motion, it was quite cool, and it could accurately predict eclipses. The heliocentric model had one huge drawback at the time, it meant the that the earth was whizzing along at what to anyone standing on it at the time were clearly ridiculous speeds. I think it was not before Newton and laws of gravity that it was possible to actually prove the heliocentric model was correct.
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written by Skeptic, December 07, 2008
Actually the schoolroom myth about the ignorant church condemning Galileo out of superstitious fear IS wrong.

His trial had more to do with politics (e.g., deliberately and unnecessarily making fun of the pope) and with preaching heliocentrism as a fact despite not having definite proof, breaking his previous promises (he *thought* he had proof, but it turns out it is wrong). What's more, he got off with a slap on the wrist -- merely being convicted of preaching "error", with a very light punishment, considering the fact that he could well have been burned at the stake if convicted for preaching heresy.

Galileo from all accounts was one of those know-it-alls who annoy people by picking intellectual fights and telling them what a genius he is. Of course, unlike 99.9999% of those annoying people, Galileo REALLY WAS a genius who knew a lot more than everybody else about physics and astronomy, and he REALLY DID prove everybody else's physics and astornomy wrong.

But if I know anything about human nature, with all probability this only made him more annoying to his contemporaries. You can laugh off cranks who tell they're geniuses and that you know nothing; it's a lot more annoying when a real genius shows you that you do, indeed, know nothing.
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written by BillyJoe, December 07, 2008
Sailor,

I didn't say you were wrong.
I said your overstated your case.

BJ
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written by tctheunbeliever, December 10, 2008
Thank you skeptic, for being correct, polite, and subtle.
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