Respectful disagreements: 10-28-09
The beauty and limits of words: 10-30-09

When is it a miracle? 10-29-09


I want to use the publication of an excellent new book to talk today a little about religious language -- its uses and misuses.

The book is Miracle on the Hudson: The Survivors of Flight 1549 Tell Their Extraordinary Stories of Courage, Faith, and Determination, by William Prochnau and Laura Parker. Please note that this is not the book that my friend Jeffrey Zaslow helped Capt. Chesley Sullenberger write, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. I intend to read Jeff's book but haven't yet had a chance.

But back to the Prochnau-Parker book. Just what is a miracle?

I think we'd all do well to limit our use of that term to something that cannot be explained without appeal to divine intervention. We hear about "miraculous" basketball shots or we hear someone say it was "just a miracle" that she ran into an old childhood friend in a distant airport. Similarly, we hear the word "demonic" used to describe evil situations that are clearly the result of human agency.

My plea is that we be more careful about the use of language because using such terms for everyday occurrences devalues the words.

Did an honest-to-God miracle happen when US Airways flight 1549 landed safely -- with no deaths -- in the Hudson River this past January just a few minutes after taking off from from a New York airport and striking a flock of geese? Or was it just a combination of excellent pilot work, fortuitous timing and location and quick thinking by passengers and other crew members?

The authors of this new book do not answer that question directly. Good for them. And they are careful to attribute the original use of the label of "miracle on the Hudson" to New York Gov. David Paterson.

But fairly early in the narrative, they do say that "if a 'miracle on the Hudson' was about to occur, it would require a sequence of 'miracles' to enable it. One Safety Board official close to the investigation counted as many as eight 'miracle requirements' starting with the cockpit crew's experience and innate ability to make almost instant decisions. . ." The other seven "miracles" were: "weather, a calm river clear of traffic, trained rescuers ready at the snap of one's fingers, the structural strength of the airplane, senior flight attendants and, not least, passengers who, despite natural and dreadful fears that would not end when the plane hit the water, did indeed scramble, and occasionally lose it, but got it back fast and did not panic."

The book pays a fair amount of attention to the religious beliefs and practices of the passengers on the plane -- and in some ways these passengers represent the religiously pluralistic America we are becoming:

"Many were praying -- all those faiths, all those visions of God and the route to His Place:

"Balaji Ganesan, a Hindu, looking at the river from seat 20E, sat next to Amber Wells, a Methodist deep in her prayer.

"Heyam Kawas, a Muslim, was hunched over in prayer. . .

"A silent Russian prayer next to a silent Jewish prayer, the believers holding hands.

"There were Roman Catholics, Armenian Orthodox, and all the various Christian faiths that had set their own paths. Christmas and Easter churchgoers. Agnostics and nonbelievers. Men and women who had no idea they were religious until this moment, converts in a kind of flying foxhole."

But it's not surprising that some of the 1549 survivors believe that what happened to them was truly a miracle. As passenger Molly Schugel put it near the end of the book: "There was this miracle so the world could continue to have hope."

I don't discount the possibility that what happened that cold January day to 1549 was a legitimate miracle with some kind of divine purpose. But I think it's too easy to label it that. I know it sounds nit-picky, but just as we shouldn't say "I'm freezing" when we're just a little chilly in a house with a thermostat set at 67, so we shouldn't be calling events miracles when there are rational natural explanations. Exaggeration sucks the power out of words eventually.

I hope all this won't spoil a good read for you. The authors have told a compelling story in the right way -- by excellent reporting. And -- given all the trash "journalism" one finds these days, especially on the Internet -- that may be a small miracle in itself.

* * *


A man in Kentucky, arrested for car theft, said God wanted him to steal a Dodge Charger. Well, maybe. But if God were going to ask someone to steal a car, wouldn't it be a Christler?


Just Thinking

One of the interesting Scientific discoveries in the 1970's was that the equations which govern fluid behavior do not uniquely determine what will happen.

It turns out that one can produce solutions of the fluids equations which are rather unconventional, ones where waters spontaneously part, in the same way that the waters of the Red Sea were once reported to have parted.

So why doesn't this happen on a regular basis. The answer was found in understanding entropy. The water-parting solutions happen with local decrease in entropy. Local applications of order accompany such solutions. This would be more than rare, but it could happen. That would not necessarily constitute a miracle. But when it also happens at *just* the right time, then that would constitute a miracle. And I'm sure that those who would experience waters parting at just the right time and in just the right place would view it as a miracle. So would I.

One of the other peculiar properties of water, any fluid, is that small disturbances propogate at higher velocities. So the small disturbances catch up to the bigger ones, and combine to create a more slowly traveling, larger disturbance. It's a strange phenomena that is entirely common--it's what produces the large breaking waves. Small disturbances, small noise, and minor perturbations can cause enormous effects. This is called the butterfly effect. That's why small changes and disturbances can *never* be discounted as causing only small effects.

Wild fluctations called by very small effects are not miraculous. They actually rather common. A fraction of a inch can mean the difference between a near miss and a catastrophic collision, too.

The right *thought* about atomic phenomena can mean the difference between a Nazi world government, and an atomic weapon to change the balance of power.

Dolores Lear

J.T.: (last night)
"Kind of like the earth was flat and god stumped his feet and caused earthquakes? - is he still doing this?"

Science does propose Earth did not have all the mountains it does today. Earth was mostly Green covering the Planet. There may have been only 1 mountain in the beginning.

God did not stump his feet. The Foundations of the Deep breaking open, did cause Earthquakes that formed mountains.

Genesis explains The Flood changed the New Top Strata of today during the The Flood. The One land mass broke into Continents, and mountains formed.

The Noah Flood Record, combined with Atlantis Myth, will Prove the High Tech Society had a Population and High Tech Explosion, like we have had for the past 100 years. It is and was possible.

High Tech Pollution caused the Noah Flood and the Sinking of Atlantis, that broke down the middle and Sank. On a flat map our Earth is split down the Middle through the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean and was under water.

Few Humans were Saved. And the High Tech Cycle, and a Population Explosion, has again happened the past 100 years.

The Protective Canopies, Ice and Ozone, set up at Colonization will be destroyed, and Life on Earth cannot continue like it did after the Flood. Earth will be like Mars with no Atmosphere.


Dolores Lear


I hope some Scientist proves the water in Genesis that went above the firmament/atmosphere, at Colonization, did make an Ice Canopy that fell during the Flood.

This Ice broke the land mass apart and the earthquakes/fountains of the deep, began during the Flood.

The only Humans that Survived were in boats. The dimensions of Noah's Ark was the size of the Titanic. So others that were saved in other Flood stories, had to have boats big enough to last for over 1 year of the Flood.

This sounds impossible but the Noah/Atlantis Society was as advanced as our Society today. I do not Know how many Humans will survive the Planetary Fire.

Religion teaches that God/Us will return to save a few. Revelation states it will be 144,000 Virgin Males. Out of 7 Billion Humans at this time.

High Tech will explain how Earth was Colonized with Celibate Asexual Adam, a group of Virgin Males. The Females were made from the Male Rib, recorded in Genesis.

No High Tech Human Colonizing Society, would put one couple on a Planet to be the Caretakers of all the Species that were added.

The Record Saved in Religious Scripture and Myth, about Supernatural Events, when Translated, will explain the High Tech that was on Earth 'in the beginning', during the Noah/Atlantis Time.

The End Times Prophesied Planetary Fire is Literal Truth.

Earth is not the First Planet that did not keep their High Tech Science, 'in the beginning'.

The God/Us Knowledge of High Tech Humans interacting with Human down through Time, does explain the 'Supernatural' Happenings down through the 6000 years of Fallen Life on Earth.

Did god, in his divine plan for all of us, send that flock of geese in the pathway of flight 1549?

Meanwhile: a woman is raped and mutilated while god watches and does nothing, but watch. He does know all and sees all. Children in third world countries lay on the side of the road hoping for food and instead their bellies explode!

Now, back to reality. Why would a loving god act like this? Because he is not there. We all live in the natural world and because we do we need to act as if we live in the real world.

These brave people who saved these PEOPLE on flight 1549 should be recognized for what they did. Everyone can say what it was, god or not, it still remains in the natural world. There is no supernatural world or prayers would work.

I experiment all the time. I control my life. I know what is right and what is wrong because I have a brain.

Is this wonderful world, universe, we live in so bad we have to make up a deity to control our life?

At the same time life is a struggle. We have to wake everyday and work so we can live, well, most of us. There are many things that can kill us tomorrow and there is nothing we can do about it. If Kansas erupts tomorrow there’s nothing we can do. Did the natural world do this or did a god? Which one would you want to be true? A loving god or nature? With nature we have to adapt. With god we draw an end. We don’t have to learn more, just trust in his divine plan.

No thanks. I will make my own choices. Why are people so superstitious?



Why do people want god to spank them when they are bad and smile when they are good. What is right? What is good? What is fair?

Is our present form of medical care fair? Some say America is blessed by god. Does god want our present health care services?

I believe we should be more aware about our health. Health being physical as well as mental.

My observance shows me a lot of people are needy. They want some kind of support. I mentioned this yesterday. I SEE some people searching for a purpose, disappointed in life. Some people not wanting to live to be old. Depressed. Do people want to believe in the rabbit’s foot, the horseshoe, the broken mirror, the black cat, walking under a ladder, a force, a spirit, a god?

Do people believe in luck? Are we superstitious by nature? Are we taught to believe in these things? Different countries, different beliefs, different superstitions?

Here in America we leave out the 13th floor on elevators and buildings. In parts of some Asian countries the number 4 is excluded the same way. BUT… they can WRITE the number four and is not dangerous. Anyone catching on? Most of the world does not believe in jesus. Check the numbers. But of course the bible says differently. Words from the bronze-age. Miracles….? Miracles with flight 1549?





superstition noun
/ˌsuː.pəˈstɪʃ.ən//-pɚ-/ [C or U]
belief which is not based on human reason or scientific knowledge, but is connected with old ideas about magic, etc.
According to superstition, if you walk under a ladder it brings you bad luck.
I don't believe in the old superstition that the number 13 is unlucky.

(Definition of superstition noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

Superstition: Encyclopedia - Superstition

A superstition is an irrational or invalid belief about the relation between certain actions (often behaviors) and other actions that is not true, such as fear of the number 13. The essence of superstition is not defined by the "truth" of the result, however, but recognized by the methods through which truth is searched for. The superstitious individual erroneously believes that the future, or the outcome of certain events can be caused or influenced by certain specified behaviors, despite the lack of a causal relationship in r ...

Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality, usually including false ideas about what is taking place or who one is (delusions) and seeing or hearing things that aren't there (hallucinations).



read the the SYMPTOMS:
Psychosis is a severe mental condition in which there is a loss of contact with reality. There are many possible causes:
0. Alcohol and certain drugs
0. Brain tumors
0. Dementia (including Alzheimer's disease)
0. Epilepsy
0. Manic depression (bipolar disorder)
0. Psychotic depression
0. Schizophrenia
0. Stroke
0. Abnormal displays of emotion
0. Confusion
0. Depression and sometimes suicidal thoughts
0. Disorganized thought and speech
0. Extreme excitement (mania)
0. False beliefs (delusions)
0. Loss of touch with reality
0. Mistaken perceptions (illusions)
0. Seeing, hearing, feeling, or perceiving things that are not there (hallucinations)
0. Unfounded fear/suspicion


“These aren’t cruel words, but medical terms. These are to help, not to harm or to be offensive. They are not my words, but words of research.”

How far from shore was flight 1549? MIRACLE?

Peace For the Sake of Goodness Cole


A miracle is when you want it to be a miracle :o)
Biddy wrote>>>>>>Wow ! Bill - 31 pages on mutual forbearance ! Why do the churches make the matter of acceptance of people who are "different" so complicated ?

You have to "find justification" for "changing your mind" and in the religous world it cannot be just "we change our mind" like with you and me. It is a beaurocracy, organziation, so it has to have a papertrail showing the "progression" of thinking, "evolution" of the Biblical understanding.

Regardless, it is always "the human's fault" that they did not understand the word of god properly. God never writes (dah!) or "inspires" people in the wrong direction. It's always "people" who screw up.

What are 31 pages in the big scheme of things that the Lutherans wrote up to accept openly and practicing gays as their clergy? It was a long time coming.

The problem remains that "other true Christian" denominations condemn this, heck, even folks within the liberal Lutheran denomination dissented on this and there has been talk about churches succeding.

Again, a great cop out - we are all god's children, but through some "supernatural" magic dust we get "different" revelations. And your magic dust of the Holy Ghost is not the one that I got, so this means that "you are wrong" and "going to hell" or "not following the true word".

Life is fun!

Dolores Lear

Bill: Your V8 comment was Neato. :)

"..ones where waters spontaneously part, in the same way that the waters of the Red Sea were once reported to have parted."

The Red Sea parting was with High Tech Science.

Genesis14:19- . KJV. "And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD cuased the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all Pharaoh's horses, his chariots, and his horsement."

The Lord did other things to the Egyptians, and then had moses stretch out the rod and the sea returned and drowned the Egyptians.

I have not read if our Science has such an instrument. It sounds like a laser. Moses used it again later.

Do you know if we have a laser rod J.T.?

adam harrison

So, Bill, is that your idea of civil discourse in the 8:33 am post?

More name calling under the guise of "definitions".

Its apparent nothing has changed, and you apparently you derive some benefit from all this.

Bill, I would seriously like to know what that is, but I don't expect you will respond.

Just Thinking

It's interesting how someone can argue that *everything* that will happen in this world is determined in some configuration of their atoms and molecules, and then turn around and declare, "No thanks. I will make my own choices." Those are contradictory positions to hold.

Fatalistic theories are simply not consistent with free will. Nor are they supported by Science! You can't try to argue that the cause of *everything* is natural with no other intervening forces at work, and then turn around and proudly declare that you have choices.

Logic Lesson: If *everything* is determined by laws of Physics, then you have NO ability to make CHOICES. Those choices were made for you by laws of Physics!

When inconsistencies creep into a person's thinking, then everything can be argued to be both true and false, and any 'conclusion' is up to the emotional whim of that person. They're not 'thinking' with logic at that point, but rather making emotional choices to suit their current desires. In their system, a statement and its opposite are both true. So they pick which one appeals to them.

Today we have arguments given that everything is caused by laws of Physics, with no wiggle room, and with no other possible intervention. And then they assert that people can choose to think differently. One of those can't happen. They're emotionally choosing which truth suits them today. And today they chose both.

Those who have systems of thought corrupted by inconsistencies often have snap answers for *everything*, because they're actually choosing 'truth' based on emotional desire. They'll be able to offer snap assessments of anything and everything, and often become agitated when you can't see how deep their system of thinking really is.

adam harrison

Cole Morgan ridicules the Christian message in his 8:31 am post, as of course he has a right to do, but he seems to feel he can only make a point by misrepresenting the message as well.

If you are going to attack the message, Cole, you have to deal with the entire message. You point out the evil in the world, which Christians acknowledge far more than atheists, but then ignore the Christian message that God is going to bring justice and redeem creation.

You can say you don't believe that, but then again your attack on the message is a Straw Man in that case.

You say God does nothing as things happen, but you don't know this...for all you know the human race would have exterminated itself by now without the presence of God in history. In fact, the possibilities of that are with us even as we post...all provided by SECULAR SCIENCE.

And what are you doing to stop children suffering? A million and a half are murdered before they even get a chance. What are you doing about it? Heck, some of you like Dolores even seem to think that is good for population control.

Other that placing your values like "CHOICE" over the value of "LIFE"?

I don't know if Bill will allow this response, if it is "civil" enough, but you certainly seem to have a free run here.

And yet, illogically, you then say this is wonderful world.

Atheism has nothing to do with that. No officially atheistic government has produced social justice, or offers anything but your NIHILISM presented as "SCIENCE".


Re: "Miracel on the Hudson"...

"Experience" of pilots is a "miracle?" - Great! Magic dust by the Holy Spirit is the answer? How can this be demonstrated? PEOPLE LEARN AND GET EXPERIENCE BY NATURAL PROCESSES IN THEIR BRAINS.

"Weather" as a miracle? - you must be kidding me? - And god used to get angry and throw thunder and lightening in the past. He doesn't seem to do it now - WE HAVE A NATURAL EXPLANATION OF THIS.

"Calm river clear of traffic"? - wow! so what do you call a busy river when there is a lof of traffic on it? - "demonic posession of river?" - MARKET IN SOCIAL TERMS DETERMINES WHEN BOATS ARE GOING TO BE ON THE RIVER AS WELL AS NATURALISTIC WEATHER, PLUS RANDOM CHANCE, DID THE PILOT OF THE BOAT GOT SOME SEX LAST NIGHT AND HAPPY THIS MORNING OR NOT?

"Trained rescuers"? - see "experience" above - ONE LESS MIRACLE. Look at it as bird's eye view.

"Structural strength of the plane?" - you surely jest, Bill? This is a "miracle?" This is KNOWLEDGE, HARD CORE SCIENCE THROUGH OUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURALISTIC WORLD AND NOT MIRACLES, MANY CRASHES AND PEOPLE KILLED THAT CULMINATED IN THE INTEGRITY OF THE PLANE. If you look at it the other way, all the thousands of people who died in plane crashes before were apparently "sacrificed" to the god Yawheh (Jesus's father) so this particular plane became a miracle?

"Senior Flight attendants?" - see "expereince" above - ONE LESS MIRACLE. People just doing their job as they should.

"Passengers" as a miracle as they did not lose their cool? Apparently, the impact was not so severe, so people did not lose their minds. Should the angle of the entry been differnt or there was a wave in the river (caused by the almighty god) the plane would have had a totally different landing - BY THE WAY EXPLAINED NATURALLY AND NOT THROUGH ANY MIRACLES.


If a Safety Board official close to the investigation counted as many as 8 miracles, the official needs to have his head checked, and has his "miracle talk" checked out at the doors of his church, and "concentrate" on "facts" and not "channeling" and "interpreting semantics of words" - its' the job of the authors of the book. I hope the world "miracles" did not enter any "official" paperwork?

In which way do you talk about a "miracle" on the Hudson? - seems like #2 below? - a "colloquial" sense or as I'd say "cherry picking?"

1 : an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs
2 : an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment
3 Christian Science : a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law

It appears to me that "miracles" in minds of religious people are a "combination" of all the three definitions and since "everything" is of god and by god, he just cannot ever be AWOL - even when a woman is being raped right now, god is watching this her?

I wonder if god derives a masochistic pleasure from all these games? Kind of reminds me of the girl who was kidnapped 18 years ago and raised and had two kids by her kidnapper. She had every opportunity to escape but did not.

On the same subject - caught this program on NPR today driving will listen to it later - some fascinating psychological research into "group think" - In Richmond, Calif. a 15-year-old girl was gang raped in a schoolyard during a homecoming dance. As many as 20 people witnessed the assault. Guests talk about what happened in the case, and examine what causes bystander behavior when they witness acts of violence.-

Dolores Lear

" Just what is a miracle?" - My plea is that we be more careful about the use of language because using such terms for everyday occurrences devalues the words."

Supernatural used to be a Plus Magic for Religion. But High Tech Science explains Religious Supernatural Acts.

For Me, the Biggest Miracle is the Return to High Tech Science. My Biggest Regret is that Humans Misused it for all types of Killing, Pollution, and Nuclear Bombs.

But Humans are so used to High Tech correcting many problems of our bodies, that they are considered Normal, not miracles. I have had 3 operations, false upper teeth, and other medical problems that medication has worked to keep me alive. All miracles 100 years ago.

I have lived through being thrilled with Refrigerators, Telephones, Radios, TV, neat cars, modern homes, and now making Human Life in the lab.

These Things, do not devalue Religious Miracles for me. Now I understand the Religious Miracles that can be explained by High Tech.

Such as Supernaturally Colonizing a Planet, Reproducing the Female from the Male Rib, and Traveling in Space. All God Traits that High Tech Humans can do.

What devalues Human Life is all the Minuses of High Tech Munitions, Military Bases in many Countries, and Nuclear Bomb Miracles that should not have been made.

And there are many more Religious and Myth Miracles, that can be translated 'literally' with High Tech Science.

Devaluing Human Life with Killing, Starvation and Homelessness, needs to be a Human Lifestyle of the Past.

Equality and Equal Resources for All Humans and All Life on Earth, that Religion teaches as a Human Lifestyle, should becomes a Literal Happening, not a Miracle.

adam harrison

Now its "majic dust" and other insults.

Good job, Bill. Real "civil dialog" here.

the son in law

I don't believe the landing was a miracle. It was a success due to the well trained and competent pilots. They worked as a team in a situation where decisions had to be made in a short time and performed their duties without hesitation. God had nothing to do with it.

Dolores Lear

"And what are you doing to stop children suffering? A million and a half are murdered before they even get a chance. What are you doing about it? Heck, some of you like Dolores even seem to think that is good for population control."

Dolores does not think it is good for population control. Dolores thinks the Male should have Control on this Planet, so Abortion and Killing and War, would not be necessary for Controlling the Population.

How many more Humans can Earth handle? We are already have 7 Billion stacked up in High Rise Buildings, and usable land area is diminishing.

Charity does not Take Care of the Starving and Homeless.

So are the People against Abortion, helping Take Care of the Starving and Orphans, and Widows and Children of the Soldiers killed in War?

What a miserable Lifestyle for how many Humans? 1/4th of the Population at least, because of the Male Lust?

God does not Take Care of Life on Earth, it was turned over to the Celibate Males and the Female Clones, who were not reproduced by Body Birth. We Almost Know how to Reproduce in the Lab, but instead reproduced Nuclear Bombs. Why?

Why the Purebred Human Clones, started taking over Human Reproduction from God/Us, is still a Mystery after 6000 years.

Greg Swartz

The so-called “Miracle on the Hudson” was just an unfortunate event followed by a number of fortuitous events. Probably the most fortuitous event was that the people stopped praying and got up and got out. Actions speak louder than words, I am told.

The problem with words – especially English ones – is that they can have various meaning. So miracle can mean both an “act of God” as well as “an event or action that is amazing, extraordinary, or unexpected” – look it up and see what your dictionary says. As no one has proved to me that God exists, I will continue to look at the Hudson event as an amazing and extraordinary event.

Not mentioned is the larger question of where God was when the geese flew into plane. It seems to me that a loving and compassionate God (as the Christian God is defined) would have simply made the geese to fly a few feet away from the flight, thus saving the lives of several innocent geese and avoiding a whole lot of misery on the part of the people involved.

The passengers were fortunate that the water acted in accordance to known scientific principles regarding displacement and buoyancy and thus the plane was able to remain buoyant long enough for the passengers to be rescued. I have read the post by Just Thinking and am having a problem understanding its relevance to Bill’s post.

As for those that might think that the Hudson event is a God-given miracle, it seems that you would need to prove (1) that there is a God and (2) specifically how God acted.

Greg Swartz

Bill, as for your story about the guy that stole the Dodge Charger, you are leaving out a couple of tenets that the religious use: (1) We cannot know the mind of God and (2) God works in mysterious ways! In the end, however, we answer all questions based upon our own human values and your own beliefs. The comic strip Non Sequitur (in the Star today) had a great cartoon about the way people assume that their religion is the right religion. I know that you were making a joke based on your Christ centered religion, but it illustrates what the cartoon illustrates. Why wouldn’t God have told him to steal a Mazda, named after the Zoroastrian god Ahura Mazda?

I am sorry to take the fun out of the joke, but how do you know there is a God and how do you know that yours is the right one and he would have chosen a Christler? As I have said before, I believe that God (gods, etc.) exists entirely within the fertile imagination of the human brain. Prove otherwise!


First of all it was not a Miracle on the Hudson, it was the pilots sacrificing birds to god.
Second it's a miracle that your god did not take everyone on the plane.


Fnu wrote>>>>>>>>>First of all it was not a Miracle on the Hudson, it was the pilots sacrificing birds to god.
Second it's a miracle that your god did not take everyone on the plane.

How would the pilots know they are sacrificing the geese to god? They have to be aware of it, I'd assume. They were conscious of the surroundings but I bet you at 150-200 miles per hour speed they were cruising and going over the river they did not even know what hit them.

Unless of course, they are in some other "verse" watching themselves perform heroically? And knowing there is possibly an unlimited number of univereses what makes you think they actually sacrificed the birds and not actually "caused" the accident themselves to tout their own horn in this universe? After all, in the multi -verse theory, the pilots are gods (they don't have to be Mormons for that) or at least posess technolgoy which will put them on the same pedestal as god and can do anything they want?

2,000 years ago if I drove my white Honda Civic Hybrid in the streets of Jerusalem at the time of Jesus' crucifiction, I bet you the crowd would be going to see me and not yell "Kill Jesus?"

I also would be able to capture the zombies walking around the city and crawling out of the graves with my camera on my cell phone or my laoptop - this would make for a great "Blair Witch" type reality movie.

Unless, of course, god wanted some chopped geese liver with feathers and some jet fuel fragrance added to it? Don't think this is what makes the aroma for god in the Old Testament.

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