A UK academic has some very bad news for those who believe they'll one day be fluttering through the pearly gates, because unless they're carrying some form of heavenly jet pack, their appointment with Saint Peter is definitely cancelled. The reason? Angels can't actually fly, according to University College London's Roger …
Muppets can't flt either
I do hope this idiot is not publicly funded....
A) these are mythical beings &
B) wasn't it scientists that told us Bumble Bees shouldn't be able to fly, despite the empirical evidence to the contrary
That's a pity
Has anyone told them yet?
Yes that is assuming
that angels are made of meat. And, as we all know: Meat flys like a banana.
Meat flys like a banana.
Grief, get a job/girlfriend/ID card or something ;-)
"Time flies like an arrow, FRUIT FLIES like a banana."
You should get out more. 'Meat fly' is what your possible future girlfriend will be trying to unzip on a Friday night, if you're lucky.
best laugh I have had in a while.
Wings != flight
Who ever said that they fly by flapping (or otherwise using) their wings?... I always thought that the wings were meant to be symbolic and that they actually flew by levitation.
Not that I believe in them at all anyway, I just like to discredit published 'research'.
Probably not the place for theology, but the Seraph in Isaiah 6 has six wings, and only uses two of 'em for flight.
The Cherubim in Genesis sport flaming swords.
And, seeing as it's Christmas, we should remember that the first thing an angel ever says is "do not be afraid".
I'm not sure the "fat babies" image holds much water..
Someone help him
This guy needs a girlfriend/hobby/pet......something....anything to keep him occupied..............either that or he needs sectioning for thinking that this is a useful piece of research.
He has missed the first rule of science and made a silly assumption to base all his work on.
He has failed to define an "Angel", failed to address the fact that like the god they are associated with it could be said they are non-existent, non-human, non-terrestrial and certainly not subject to the laws of physics.
This guy just wanted to score some idiot points for claiming something silly at Christmas.
They'll be telling me next that ...
... there isn't a tooth fairy or santa
Professor Wotton's other current research includes "the transport and fate of faecal matter in streams and rivers", according to his UCL biog.
He's taken poo sticks a bit too literally hasn't he?
This is rubbish. I don't believe in angels, and as a result, I know that imaginary beings can do what ever you want them to do. Why do scientists always assume that the physical world is the only world? As Mary Poppins once said, if you want something to happen, you just have to close your eyes and imagine it.
You mistakenly assume that the agents of God are limited by physics. This clearly isn't the case, them being imbued with the omnipotent power of the Lord and all, and therefore they can fly if they feel like it - unlike the flawed, limited beings down here who aren't granted an exemption from such trifling matters. Did you really think that God was bound by mere physical laws, which He Himself created out of nothingness?
Wasn't sure whether to go with "Joke Alert" or "Fail".
but for the true believers
anything is possible, when it just exists in the flutterings of the neurons between their ears.
They do love a bit of self delusion.
as for me, I'll go with the Prof :)
Missing the Point
Surely if you believe in angels of that sort then you'd know that they don't need to obey Earthly laws of physics.
However, for those of us who categorise them with the fat bloke in the red suit, it comes as no surprise. After all, his reindeer don't even have wings. Marketing departments were obviously more creative and artistic back when angels were first envisaged.
"However, for those of us who categorise them with the fat bloke in the red suit, it comes as no surprise."
What? You don't belive in Mario?
Everyone knows that angels are made from a mixture of titanium and carbon fibre and that their wings are powered by internal fusion reactors.
Putti aren't cherubim
Nice to see the Prof got it right in his title.
Here's a link to the article.... http://www.ucl.ac.uk/opticon1826/currentissue/Articles/Article_LS_Wotton_Angels.pdf
As somebody with no axe to grind (or cross to wave, as it were) there is an obvious flaw in the man's argument. He's approaching a scientific subject from a non-scientific direction. From a scientific point of view I'm sure there a re all sorts of reasons why angels - people with wings - can't fly. Muscles (lack of), weight, ability to not drink and fly...
But God, if you take the position that He exists, simply imbues angels and cherubs with the ability to fly. Physics just wouldn't come into it. If God had to obey the laws of physics, please explain the parting of the Red Sea, Walking on Water, Water into wine...
where did he find an angel to examine?
artistes never saw them, they just made up the image and the church approved it. In fact, even the picture that they have for Jesus and Marry are both _made_ up by some artiest, then *approved* by the church to be used.
religion depends on faith, yet for some reason, the church saw fit to *make up* some *idols*, so that the believers can relate to religion through them. If angels do exist (I'll leave it to the reader to decided if they do), then you can bet that it looks nothing like the images drawn by the artistes. After all, I don't remember anywhere, where it says that humans where created to look like angels (they existed first, right?).
note, by idols, I am not referring to Jesus, Marry and the Angels, but the made up images. Trying to give a face to something that they never saw.
High winds required? - no problem
Where some of you will be sitting on those clouds, there should be plenty of that. Just mind the chill factor, or is that only for relative windspeed?
And if you dont think you can sit on a cloud, there's always Laputa as a fallback.
The one with Warren Worthington III in the label.
But does Wotton take into account...
...that perhaps angels have less or no weight because they're no longer corporeal or because of divine intervention? Or that fairies have access to magic the negates their physical weight?
They seem to manage alright...
I assumed they flew by magical rather than aerodynamical principles.
After all if they exist at all then there's a magic sky fairy who can make anything happen by wishing, so if he wishes for them to be able to fly then they can and that's an end of it.
IOW, this is rather missing the point. The fact that they can't fly is really just one minor facet of the fact that they don't actually *exist*.
Time on his hands
Looks like it's not just me who is looking for ways to fill their idle time at work in the run-up to Christmas.
That further research
Are you sure it wasn't "the transport and fate of ursine faecal matter"?
...can bumble-bees. (Yes, I know, I know, and the pineapple's for the first smart-alec that mentions "dynamic stall").
Does someone PAY this guy to waste his time (and their money?) on this 'research'?!!
Re: Did someone pay?
Sadly, it may well have been taxpayers' money.
( Best comment on the thread, btw, imho )
Yes, but wasn't it already proven donkey's ago that in order for a 6 foot man to fly with wings, he would need a chest cavity 3 times the current size of a human's. Bloody students wasting my time and most likely taxes on pointless research, telling us stuff we already know! Why don't you get a real job Mr Professor?!
To quote the late, great George Carlin..."20% of people believe in angels in the US now. What are you f**king stupid or something? Freaking angels! What it is, is all the drugs from the last 25 years, still in the bloodstreams of all the US citizens, that'll get you some freaking angels my friend!"
There's nothing like an academic trying to corner the corner for Christmas whimsy and get himself in the papers for his 15 minutes of glory. Next he'll be telling us Pegasus couldn't get airborne, Icarus would have crashed into the sea before ever nearing the Sun and Santa's reindeer don't generate enough lift, not to mention that damned snowman.
Professor investigating painting of an imaginary supernatural beings determines the person doing the painting didn't understand the laws of physics - alternatively the professor fails to understand the laws of physics don't apply to the imagination!
PH - a being probably wouldn't live up to the imagination either ;-)
Wonder if Santa will bring me a title for Christmas?
Now this is the type of research that makes Baby Jesus cry.
a title for a reply
It's easy to make Baby Jesus cry... This crap makes Baby Cthulhu cry.
"They take messages to heaven and therefore have to fly."
Rather begs the question -
Where to exactly - The edge of space?
Beyond that the wings would have absolutely no effect. If they don't need them beyond that, then they wouldn't need them before.
Sounds a bit made up to me.
Why all the effort?
I just set fire to my letters to Santa, and let the smoke go up the chimney -
# ren uncle=bob. (IT bit, natch..OK, DEC RT11, but I'm old.)
Danger is, if the smoke's white, not black, the Catholics across the street will elect a new Pope.
Good to see...
...such academic brains and resources being put to good use.
... neither can bees.
So, are bees angels? Can you distinguish between queen angels, worker angels and honey angels? Can angels sting you? And if they can, will they then die?
What a complete twat!
No, really, he is. A complete tit-head!
If angels DO exists <insert ancilliary argument here> who's to say that they actually have Human make-up? For a start they don't have genitals (go on, watch Dogma for proof) and Cherubs have blood constituted from Hydrogen, thus making them MUCH more boyant in air!*
Aside of that, they all have the fecking power of God to help them (for Christ's sake!). Angels and Cherubs could soar like eagles, even if they were TARDIS-shaped, if the Good Lord's whim demanded.
Professor?? Nob more like!
*I mean the hydrogen bit, not the genital bit. Although they could have helium ballast tanks where their winkles should be...
Do something useful
This UK professor needs to stop wasting time telling us things that anyone with common sense knew anyway. And he wrote a paper on this as if it needed to be proven?! Were all the serious research topics taken?
It seems to me that a lot of 'science' news lately has just been 'proving' what everyone knew anyway, such as - examples from today - whisky and red wine give a worse hangover than vodka, or women are worse at parking than men. What a worthwhile study that was!
Thats what they said about Bee's
For ages Bee's flight went unexplained. Im sure this case is the same. Until he has an actual specimen im going to side with fantasy!
Thats what they said about Bee's
"For ages Bee's flight went unexplained"
You mean bumblebee, rather than honey bee. Former nests underground, latter in man-made, expensive homes, which would rival an MP's duckhouse for comfort. See http://www.britishbee.org.uk/
Using Bee's rather than Bees suggests you're referring to either the extinct Norweigian airline, Busy Bee, or the Italian Air Bee. Yep, in which case, I agree. They both went unexplained. Or, took flight. If possible for a (bumble)bee.
I preferred Buzz, till Ryanair took it. Then, I didn't. Natch.
Merry Christmas, I'm outta here.
I'm sorry, but that sounds too much like
"What do you mean, an African swallow or European?"
Do coconuts feature
in the scenario?
Honest! He didn't even have wings. Or, does that mean I used my childhood pocket money on DC Comics (which my teacher used to confiscate as "American Trash") was wasted? Suppose the Prof's gonna say next that Santa can't possibly fly in a reindeer-pulled sledge, and wreck the kids' Christmas.
One thing, Prof. It was said by Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, London, no less - to which my daughter at 6 weeks old was the youngest visitor (Sir Patrick Moore adored her) - that "Heavier than air flying machines are impossible*"
You don't need wings to be an angel. Personally, I think it's a part-time job, you don't even know you've got. Right place, right time. Pity the pay's crap - can't even bonk a Virgin as a perk nowadays, since the're an endangered species.
* Eight years later, the Wright brothers disproved this Wise Learned Gentleman.
If you believe in angels and fairies...
...then they don't have to obey the laws of physics...
BECAUSE THEY DON'T EXIST!!!!
Really, some so called "scientists" seem to have plenty of time on their hands...
You believe they don't exist. Please provide proof.
Research Discovers Artists Use Symbolism In Art
So, for Angels, the good prof. examines illustrations and artwork to draw is conclusion. Which is like looking at a painting of a car made by someone who had only read about one in a book, and making conclusions over what sort of propulsion it uses.
The popular image of angels as having wings is simply a device by artists and painters throughout the ages to identify them as angels, as they supposed to be able to move from heaven to Earth and hover about in the sky scaring shepherds half to death. They could fly, therefore wings, as birds fly and have wings.
Michaelangelo could hardly have painted an arrow pointing to a character and wrote "Angel" in latin or whatever. The idea of a "Halo" over a saint or angel or divine being is simply another artistic device to differentiate the characters in a scene. The "Ring Halo" is a stylised form of the halo of light used in artworks. The devil pictured as a reptillian red monster is another example of symbolism in religious art.
And yes, there are descriptions of Cherubs or Cherubin in the Bible with wings, but these are different creatures from the "common" angel. The depiction of these as plump babies as with wings is again symbolic artistic licence.
The prof. has mistaken symbolism in art for a technical drawing. And has gone on to publish a paper stating that "Creatures that don't exist cant fly." No offence to believers in angels and / or fairies, I respect your beliefs even if they might differ from mine. Was the prof. last in the jobs line and got the one nobody else wanted?