Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Eucharist Experiment

Eucharist is the ceremony that some christians use to commemorate the last supper. Depending on the specific denomination, they believe the ceremony of drinking wine and eating bread is the actual consumption of the blood and flesh of Jesus. This is called transubstantiation.

Let's forget for the moment the odd cannibalistic hedonism and concentrate on the miracle. Somehow the wine and bread are transformed into flesh and blood (sorry, not knocking it if it is your religion, but it is a very yucky idea)).

Again, let's get this straight, not knocking religion. I say take advantage of these miracles! Here is a list of common ailments of our modern society that can be helped by a Christian miracle or two.

Gluten Intolerance: Turn that bread into something that has no gluten! Love it!\

Alcoholism: It may be yucky, but transformation to blood should fill you with the spirit rather than spirits.

Diabetes: Bread has long been an issue for diabetics, especially type II. The calories in the starch flood the bloodstream and spike glucose. Human flesh is more protean, so good all way round for nutrition and glucose control.

Dieting: This would also beat eating pork rinds as part of the Atkins diet.

Cannibalism reform: Think about the therapeutic applications for folks like Cannibalism Anonymous.

Look at the number of applications! Wow, such a miracle is going to really help the world.

There are some problems however. The simple issue is belief. Miracles come in two forms. The first is your general 'everyone' can bennefit from. Like a hurricane mising your city and destroying the heathens in the next town down. If transubstansation works like that miracle, all we need is a production line to bless this stuff for cinsumption and off we go to cure the world of its ills.

The second way that miracles can work is that you need to really believe before you can take advantage of miracles. This puts a bucket of cold water on a lot of my ideas for taking advantage of miracles. Simply you have to be a super duper believer and not just a Sunday Christian.

So, now a call to my pseudoscientists. We need some folks for experiments. Depending on your dedication, you can experiment on yourself, but say more the merrier and it means more data points.

There are a couple of things you can do:

1) Eucharist Production: I don't think you are going get a holly man to be your supplier. Why not bless the bread and wine yourself? If this works out, you might even start a new business supplying food and wine to the ill or obese for their diets.

2) The Gluten Test: Here you need a volunteer. See if this really works. Caution, gluten intolerance isn't pretty. Only perform this experiment in a well ventilated area. A Mass in an open field with a port-o-potty is advisable.

Both experiments should be some with believers and non-believers. You might want to add additional experiments to test for true believers.

What are your experiments? How would you take advantage of the miracle? That's what the comment section is for!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

No More Dinosaurs in the Bible

One of the best places for family fun and pseudoscience has been closed. Dinosaur Adventure Land in Florida has not only closed its doors, but its creator is doing prison time.

What 'was' Dinosaur Adventure Land? Simply a creationist wonderland. It mixes dinosaurs with the very best in pseudoscience to get little kids to believe that man lived hand in hand with T-Rex and other cool dinosaurs. Basically any ten year old worth his snuff is going to say 'cool beans' to the cool dinos and then suck in the wonderful hokum that is creationism and intelligent design.

In my mind, I felt a pain in the passing of this park. Imagine the loss to university students studying cognitive dissonance, persuasion, or even fraud. It was perfect proof that you can make defenseless children and many adults believe anything if you cover it in enough sugar.

But there are a few lessons to learn in the park's passing. Apparently believing Intelligent Design does not make you smart enough to understand tax law (he has a whole list of crimes before going down for tax evasion). Thinking that dinosaurs are mentioned in the Bible also does not make you a moral and upstanding citizen. In fact, perpetrating fraud on little children seems to just increase your criminal tendencies. It is a slippery slope from religious zealot to ten years in a maximum security prison.

I have no problem with you if you can't understand evolution. It took us thousands of years to believe the Earth revolves around the Sun and not the other way round. It is just plain hard to give up something your religion says you must believe or go to Hell and burn for eternity.

The sugar of a park probably seemed kinder and gentler than scare tactics of Hell and damnation. But their religion gives them wonderful excuses to take any measure as they must 'save' these little children from the sins of science. We are wired to believe in some very weird ideas and often the can get out of control.

People are not stupid, just easily persuaded to believe in stupid things. No less surprising, once you have a belief, it takes a lot to undo. With creationism, it isn't easy to believe that dinosaurs ruled the Earth far before man. It is so so easy to come up with what sounds like reasonable explanations.

If you learn it at an amusement park, it must be true! It is just a shame we can't teach pseudoscience in the best laboratory in Florida.