Anti-Science

Leaky theories.

Water is leaking from a tree. Naturally, this has caused a great amount of media coverage throughout the country as people flock to San Antonio, Texas, to witness such an unbelievable miracle. Never before has water been found in such close proximity to a tree. Science tells us that trees are to water as oil is to . . . uh, water. Studies have shown that if God were to deliver a sign unto his people, there is a 74% possibility He would do so by making water come out of a tree.

Says the owner of the miracle tree, Lucille Pope:

‘I just want to know if it is a healing tree or blessed water,” she said. ”That’s God’s water. Nobody knows but God.”

Oh, if only God would help us understand whether this is a healing tree or just ordinary blessed water. Because if He could let Ms. Pope know, that would really help determine the reserve price she should set on eBay, since marketing researchers have verified that healing tree water brings in approximately 30% more click-throughs resulting in 15% higher profits over regular blessed water.
Luckily, current trends are pointing toward this being a healing tree, since

Lucille Pope’s insurance agent dabbed drops of the water on a spider bite and the welt went away, she said.

It doesn’t get much more obvious than that. We’ve eliminated all other possibilities — it can’t be an underground spring, since it’s been a bit dry in San Antonio of late. And it can’t be a burst pipe, since according to someone from the Forest Service that would mean Ms. Pope’s water bill would be noticably high. I was under the impression that most water meters track the amount of water entering a building as opposed to the amount of water circulating around the perimeter of the property, but hey, I’m no expert from the Texas Forest Service. Where they know a lot about . . . water meters. And billing.

Anyway, it’s obviously God, once again working in mysterious ways. Stupidly mysterious ways.

I wasn’t going to mention this story here in the blog because generally I have better things to do, but this morning my interest was renewed as blood began pouring through cracks in my coworker Motoko’s window.

She began screaming around 9am, so everyone ran to see what was up. She was frantically collecting bobbleheads and assorted cool cubicle junk as a rust-colored liquid oozed out of the window and onto the sill (see pic). As the token office skeptic, I suppose you’re thinking that I immediately offered a rational explanation for this disturbing phenomenon. However, I’m not just a skeptic — I’m also an opportunist.

“Praise Jesus” I screamed. “A miracle!”

Motoko had a differing viewpoint: “I was thinking ‘red rum’ for some reason,” she said.

I considered this. Which would bring in the money faster — a healing window, or a haunted window? Looking at the picture Motoko snapped with her cell phone, we could easily go with the ghost angle, especially considering the smudgy ghost shapes in the window reflection, surrounded by light orbs.

So, I’m open to your feedback. First, which angle do you think would be better, financially? Second, do you have a better, possibly more rational (!) explanation for this happening? It is possible I did not provide you with all the information you might need, so feel free to ask questions which I will answer to the best of my abilities.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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21 Comments

  1. They both have benefits, but I'd go with haunted. First of all, people believing in or at least people willing to pay to experience haunted places outnumber those willing to pay to visit a healing place. Second, people are more likely to want at least one or two tales of healings taking place as evidence, and evil skeptics are more likely to investigate the truth of those tales, while people are perfectly willing to feel a chill up their spine at any old place, especially if you make up horrendous tales. And as long as you're only fleecing people and not making them think they'll be healed, skeptics (evil of course) aren't much interested in debunking your tale of gristly deaths.

  2. Haunted. And here’s the story

    It happened back in 1998 on a cold January morning. It was “bring your daughter to work” day and little 9 year old Amy Prescott was sitting watching her mommy work. Suddenly, she was dead. A gunshot had come through the window, fired from a drug deal gone bad, striking little Amy in the head. She died instantly. When her mother turned and saw Amy lying in a pool of blood, she had a massive heart attack and died reaching for her little girl. The person who fired the shot was never caught. To this day Amy will send some of her blood from the afterlife to the still to remind people that drugs are bad. It has also been reported that if you stand in front of the window on the anniversary of Amy’s death you will feel her ghostly chill.

  3. What is now known as "Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" (Yay for political correctness!) is in April, but I actually like the story better with that wrong. It adds that extra smidgeon of fun to pointing and laughing at the people who buy it.

  4. I gotta appeal to tradition here. A statue (particularly of a religious icon) bleeding is a miracle. A window/wall/any part of a building, really bleeding is a haunting. Thus, you'll convince more people this way. More people convinced -> more people willing to pay to see it -> more profit.

  5. SteveT: I don't think Hoffa was ever near my building, but that doesn't mean we can't make something up.

    laffingpc: I love it. If we go with that, you'll get .3% of all profits. I especially like how the mother died, too, just for the hell of it.

    I never considered it before, but Infophile has a good poing. Blood from a statue = God. Blood from a house = Satan.

  6. I'm going with Infophile on this. Plus, you've got the ghostly images in the picture, which obviously weight things that way.

    However, I do have a correction to make. Those "light orbs" are not actually light orbs at all. I mean, don't be silly. They're clearly halos floating above the heads of the ghostly images. So the haunting is probably some dead angels.

    Holy crap! I've got it! This is the location where Lucifer fell to Earth from Heaven! He fell so hard he died (Heaven's pretty high up there.), and then went to Hell to become all Satany and stuff. This explains the haunting, and works in the religious angle.

  7. Careful. This is all fun and games until Fox News AND Jerry Falwell start camping in the reception area…

    Seriously (or as seriously as this deserves to be taken), I have to go with the haunting option as well. Pretty soon co-workers / visitors / suckers will have collaborative anecdotes squirting out their ears like ectoplasm…

  8. Rebeca

    Any chance of getting a snapshot of what's on the floor above

    Motoko' window?

    Or even asking the upstairs tenants what transpired up there????

    This is of course assuming there is an upstairs which you didn't mention.

  9. Gee rebecca, I hope you don't work for a contstruction company, because if visitors see that kind of shoddy plumbing or leaky windows, they're likely to be awed by the ghosts, but pass on the services of your company …

    Apart from that, I'd attack that stain with a hairdryer, so it looks like dried blood by the time the visitors show up. Otherwise those watery edges may give away part of the puzzle.

  10. I'm disappointed that aliens, UFOs, and "grays" haven't been worked into this. When it comes to leaking fluids, those guys are hardly ever mentioned, unless it's when something goes horribly wrong with the anal-probe.

  11. As we all know from reading the Bad Astronomer's blog, early memories of doctors or your mother are often secretly your minds way of protecting you from the fact that the Greys monitor your thoughts through implants in your nose. To determine if in fact aliens are responsible for the mysterious liquid I suggest getting either a medium or some fillings in your teeth. Then stand close to the liquid and if you hear mysterious voices saying "Clean that mess up, and then go tidy your room!" then you will have proof of UFO involvement.

    It may help to be receiving an anal probing while you are in proximity with the red ooze,

  12. To answer some questions…

    thincritter: immediately above Motoko's cube is more office space. The wall where the window is faces a courtyard area.

    exarch: concerning going at the stain with a hairdryer, funny you should mention it. By the time someone came to clean it up, it had dried into a sticky mess and they had to dump water on it in order to get it all up.

  13. Personnally, I would prefer the healing side of the story. The reason is simple, people are willing to pay a lot more if they think that they will be healed from something. If you charge too much for a haunting place, people will go elsewhere. But if you charge a big price for a red healing goo that you can rub on places you want to heal, you need a lot less visitors for the same profit!

    I would call it something like "The Quantum Spice of life" because, quantum is a nice word that most people don't understand and, well, it sounds cool! Other choices would be: Q-Life, Electronic red goo, Neutronic red water, Red antimatter, etc. You could charge 5$ for a few drops… Just don't forget to find the cause of it and, have it continue to flow so that, your income will continue to do so too…

  14. For anyone else your concerns would be valid Joshua, however Rebecca is of course an Indigo Child, and a Youngest in the Family Indigo Child at that. It's well known that Indigo children *do not need* fillings because their health is related to the amount of quantum-clorions in their irises. In fact Indigo children can use their Spiritually Induced Medical Lip Gloss and still suffer no effects except slightly moist lips.

    I for one believe that in the interests of science, freedom and communication with Aliens, Rebecca must implant either fillings or a tongue stud, or wear a hat with an antenna on top. That way she can also alert us for when the next tsunami hits the East Coast of the U.S. like the on that did on May 25th 2006.

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