The other night I was privileged enough to be able to watch a total lunar eclipse. It really is an awe-inspiring sight, watching the Moon gradually turn an ever-darker hue of red. Admittedly, it’s got a long way to go to compete with a solar eclipse, but it’s still nice to know that Mother Nature can put on a show for us ambulatory lumps of sentient carbon. Not to mention it makes a nice change from Her trying to laminate us to the firmament via earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanoes, and the couple of hundred other creative ways Mother N has of making sure we shuffle off this mortal coil… normally whilst screaming our lungs out.
Of course, if you’re as batshit insane as Conservapedia founder and racist bigot Andrew Schlafly, then the only beauty you can see, is the fact that you can use it to score cheap – albeit imaginary – points against your perceived enemies. You have to remember this is the man who waits, drooling, for the next mass shooting, so he can blame it on atheists or public schools and then dribble on about how if everybody had a gun, the “best of the public” would have prevented the shooting.
So what does Schlafly have to say about the splendour of a lunar eclipse?
The Moon turns a spectacular blood red during its lunar eclipse today. But atheism denies this is art, pathetically pretending instead that this is somehow pure chance.
Seriously, this isn’t even wrong. I can only assume that this is another throwback to his earlier “pretty autumn leaves disprove evolution” drivel – the logic there being that God must have made the leaves turn pretty colours to entertain humans, and thus couldn’t have evolved, because they were doing it before humans were walking around. Yes, I know – hitting your head repeatedly against your desk does hurt, doesn’t it?
But seriously, “atheism” doesn’t deny anything – except the existence of whatever gods may be out there. However, it’s actually just Schlafly’s way of showing just how anti-science he is. He actually equates science with atheism… unless its hacks like Ken Ham trying to prove that the universe was created last Thursday, and we all have implanted memories. Or something. But this isn’t the first time he’s done this.Not so long ago, he posted the following to Conservapedia’s “news” section on their main page:
A faint but irritating noise is disrupting a small town, as it did in the 1970s elsewhere: “Tiny village is latest victim of the “The hum”. Add this to the enormous list of things atheism cannot explain.
Once again – WHAT?! Why should “atheism” have to explain it? Unless of course, you substitute “science” for “atheism”, then Schlafly’s post makes sense. Of course, Schlafly doesn’t go as far as to offer a Christian solution for the Hum, but one can only assume that God has taken some time out from keeping all the atoms of the universe together, to irritate some villagers for some perceived crime. Maybe they’ve been using Israelites to build a new church hall, and the Hum is just the beginning… *cue ominous music*… However, it’s worth noting, that at least science does offer some explanations for the Hum, unlike Andy, who is quite happy to think “Goddidit” – because then he doesn’t have to think at all – his natural state of being.
But back to my original point. Schlafly is implying that the red hue is created especially for us and is thus art. Which is patently stupid. That doesn’t mean it’s not pretty, or awe-inspiring – it most certainly is. And it’s also not due to pure chance. Once again Schlafly – who is a qualified (if non practising) engineer – shows his total ignorance of science. The simple fact – regardless of your opinon of the creation of the Earth and Moon, is that the sun’s rays pass through our atmosphere. This both bends the rays into Earth’s shadow, as well as strips out blue light – which is why our skies seem blue. The resultant red light falls on the Moon and – voilà! – you have a red moon.
Here, I’ll even give you a picture, because I know that’s all Schalfly and his hand-picked goons can understand.
Chance has nothing to do with it, and nobody claims that it does. However, it is a little bit more complex than “My imaginary friend made a big pretty for me” – which is why Schlafly’s diminutive intellect can’t grasp it.