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Hurricane Irene Not a Sign from God

Hurricane Irene Not a Sign from God

If you read the news related to the hurricane recently you may have seen some stories about Michelle Bachman claiming Irene and the recent eastern earthquake are both signs from God.

“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, “Are you going to start listening to me here?” she remarked, as reported by various sources.  (Business Insider.com)

There are at least a couple of things going on with this type of communication. One, it suggests other politicians are ignoring God, and implies she is the attentive, faithful one. Two, it suggests she is one of the few who can understand God’s communications. Three, it repeats a pre-scientific view of the world which sees natural disasters as acts of God, and therefore ignores the true causes.

What causes a hurricane? The complexity of the conditions aligning to produce a hurricane is far greater than the simplistic act of God. One of the conditions is a mass of warm water, up to a certain temperature, and water of a certain depth such as 150 feet. Another is the Coriolis force, which generally means hurricanes start at least several degrees away from the equator.

Global warming is thought by some scientists to be a possible contributor to hurricane development. If you say it is just an act of God, you dismiss understanding what is actually happening, which is dangerous because if you can’t understand what extreme weather is, it is less likely you will be able to know how some human activities might be making it worse.  Climate change is believed by scientists to also be a possible factor in other extreme weather. Bachmann doesn’t admit climate change is a problem.

Plate tectonics theory has been the working model for explaining seismic activity for some time during the modern era. At a basic level it holds earthquakes are caused when plates on the Earth’s surface are moved due to temperature changes deep within the planet. Tectonic plates can be 100 kilometers thick. Earthquakes usually occur on fault lines, where there are gaps between the plates.  which has been backed up by the meticulous collection of research data for decades. Notice God’s wrath is mentioned nowhere in this theory, field data collection or extensive data analysis.

Politicians who don’t understand basic science are not likely to be effective policy makers, especially at a national level. This nation, and all others need leaders who understand science, at least at a basic level, and more importantly, who understand the value of scientific inquiry, observation and analysis.

Image Credit: Public Domain

 

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72 comments

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4:08PM PST on Nov 14, 2011

God is not behind the earthquakes, but the bible does give them as a sign of the times. " He God will bring to ruin those ruining the earth"

3:38AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

bachmann is crawzy

8:59AM PDT on Sep 6, 2011

I wonder what she has to say about the wildfires in Texas? Is "God" saying something about Perry?

12:45AM PDT on Sep 5, 2011

wow! lots of great comments! but I cannot believe I read this article! Oh well live and learn

9:13AM PDT on Sep 4, 2011

Wonder what crappy school she attended. She must have failed science.

3:33AM PDT on Sep 2, 2011

I think it's hilarious--and insightful--that someone actually took the time to write an article with the title, "Hurricane Irene is Not a Sign From God." Providential for me--my family lived through it, and I was very concerned for them, and very far away from them, and feeling very helpless. A sort of family friend sent me a forward just before the hurricane hit from a blog source that explained how the earthquake and the hurricane were fulfilling a lineage of prophecy. Instead of using this time as an opportunity to bond, to experience life together--natural disaster and all--this "friend" used this time as an opportunity to try to further her belief system and not offer comfort...unless I found it in God. If I can't find comfort in the people who are supposed to representing God, then I am surely not going to go looking for "God." ...besides, whatever happened to separate of church and state? ...while we're at it, whatever happened to our Constitution?... An unnatural disaster.

10:53PM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

I also believe it is Thor who is angry! Maybe it's the Goddess Kali?hmm. Maybe it will all stop if we toss a few virgins into a volcano...seemed to work before. Any volunteers?

9:53AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

I wondered who the first one would be to throw out that "God is punishing us" with hurricanes. How sad that there are actually people out there who believe this nonsense. Well, if we could channel those beliefs and convince people to clean up the environment so God wouldn't keep on punishing us with all these terrible disasters, maybe we could slow down the earth changes a little. But, no, then they would have to think, and then they might figure it out.

7:49AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

With all of the science that is available to us, I find it amazing that anyone still needs gods to explain natural phenomena.


1:11AM PDT on Sep 1, 2011

Being that I have read your bronze age document and I know science, there is NOTHING in that book that would make me believe in your bronze age myth. Also if a god were to want to punish a little p*** ant then it is smaller than we are as it requires things that are beyond all comprehension. Also with all the suffering in this world, I see no reason to believe that way anymore, as most things are explained by science, and what isn't explained by science will eventually be discovered by science. Also have you ever seen any believer do the impossible like your jesus said in the buy bull? Go ahead and tell a mountain to jump into the sea and see if it happens, if ANYONE can demonstrate this please publish it far and wide, but of course NOTHING will ever happen on anyone's word. Also NOTHING fails like prayer or have you not heard about the experiment that showed prayer only made things worse for believers? Oh well some people will always believe any fairy tale coming down the pike like Humpty Dumpty. Oh by the way there is no humpty dumpty, and there is no god, none not one never was except of course what G. C. says in his famous monologue, Joe Pesci. BTW if there were a god my wife wouldn't be an invalid as well, so for those of you who want to still believe in this bs, please don't force your beliefs on the rest of us that live in the real world!!!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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