Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Thousand People Saw Me Eat 100 Hot Dogs

A recent study by people with nothing better to do has postulated that Jesus could have walked on the Sea of Galilee not because he had superpowers, as is commonly believed, but because a rare combination of atmospheric factors led to the surface of the Sea being temporarily frozen.

Another possibility is that somebody just made it up.

That was the punchline, but here's some bonus material: This reminds me of a conversation I had with my grandfather, a consummate example of someone who believed what he was told by authority figures--Jesus performed miracles, Martin Luther King Jr. was a communist, "if your country calls, you go"--if ever there was one.

I was about 8 years old, and was talking out of my ass as usual (thank God I grew out of that habit), and said something like, "and another thing--how do they know Jesus did miracles? Couldn't they just say he did them? What's the proof?"

And my grandfather decided to address the question, probably against his better judgment, which I give him some credit for. "There were thousands of witnesses. Like when he changed the loaves to fishes, thousands of people were there to see it. There's your proof."

"But," I said, realizing I was treading on dangerous ground, "the Bible just says there were thousands of people. We don't really know there were. I could write in a book that a thousand people saw me eat 100 hot dogs, but that doesn't make it true, right?"


He was a great man, but didn't have much of an appreciation for skepticism.