There Are No Scientists At Time Magazine

People enjoy the view at the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon. I came. I saw. I photographed. I’m still an atheist. (Click to enlarge – it’s worth it.)

Image credit: Cujo359

Apparently, the only thing Time magazine can think to write about science these days is tripe like this from one Jeffrey Kluger:

[A]s generations of campers, sailors, hikers and explorers could attest, there’s nothing quite like nature — with its ability to elicit feelings of jaw-dropping awe — to make you contemplate the idea of a higher power. Now, a study published in Psychological Science applies the decidedly nonspiritual scientific method to that phenomenon and confirms that the awe-equals-religion equation is a very real and powerful experience — even among people who fancy themselves immune to such things.

Why There Are No Atheists at the Grand Canyon

He goes on to cite a bunch of nonsense about studies that are supposed to show that you can’t possibly gaze on a site like the Grand Canyon without feeling a little religious.

Well, Jeffrey, I have some news for you. You’re wrong. You couldn’t be more wrong if you were the most recent winner of the International “I Can’t Possibly Reach A Clear And Correct Conclusion On Any Subject More Complicated Than My Navel” Contest. In fact, you’re an idiot, and here’s some scientific proof:

Exhibit A
Exhibit B

All I felt was a bit of vertigo, plus some serious amazement that water could do that much damage. You see, all that about how people can’t see things like the Grand Canyon without being moved to spiritualism is supposition based on your own prejudices, without trying to find any evidence to the contrary. Kinda like how I’m assuming that Time doesn’t want to do anything more useful with its science section than let fools flog their religions there.

Now, go away and get an education. I’ve had enough conversations with half-wits already today.


A Pale Blue Dot

At NASA’s Astronomy Picture Of The Day site today is this montage of two views of our planet:

NASA APOD for July 23, 2013

Earth as seen from Saturn and Mercury, 2013. Image credit: NASA, et. al.

The site’s caption reads, in part:

In a cross-Solar System interplanetary first, our Earth was photographed during the same day from both Mercury and Saturn. Pictured on the left, Earth is the pale blue dot just below the rings of Saturn, as captured by the robotic Cassini spacecraft now orbiting the gas giant. Pictured on the right, the Earth-Moon system is seen against a dark background, as captured by the robotic MESSENGER spacecraft now orbiting Mercury.

Check out the image credit link for a full size photo and the complete caption.

Even from the comparatively nearby locations of our own solar system, the Earth looks like such a small place. As I’ve mentioned before, there’s no need to posit gods to acquire a sense of humility. All you have to do is have some understanding of how vast the universe really is.