Anti-ScienceScience

Do Boobs Cause Earthquakes?

Do boobs cause earthquakes? And should we test it to find out?

Transcript after the jump!

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, but things have been pretty hectic here. I was supposed to be in the US this week but a volcano got in the way. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Giant cloud of ash over the UK and much of Europe? Yeah.

But that’s not the only geological news. Just the other day, an Iranian cleric declared that boobs cause earthquakes. Well, his actual words were

“Many women who do not dress modestly … lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes,”

You see, Iran is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world, mostly because it’s riddled with fault lines that cover 90% of the country. At least, that’s that scientists want you to believe; it’s what they’ve come up with using their “scientific method” of inquiry and understanding of plate tectonics. But of course, this cleric says otherwise.

He says, “What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?”

Well there are actually a few of answers to that.

1. You could move away from the fault lines

2. You could use earthquake-proof building techniques

3. You could hide under a table when the earthquake starts.

But according to the cleric, the fourth option is to wear a jacket to hide your terrible terrible boobs.

Jen, a blogger at blaghag.com, made the suggestion that we attempt to prove the cleric wrong by creating what she calls a boobquake. This Monday, she wants a bunch of women to dress immodestly in order to prove the cleric wrong.

There are three reasons why I don’t think this is a good idea.

Number 1: Many of us have been dressing like sluts for years with nary an earthquake. What I think the cleric is actually referring to is women in Iran causing the earthquakes in Iran, so what you’d really need to do is convince the most conservative Iranian women to take it all off.

Number 2 is that Iran has so many earthquakes anyway that it’s likely that they’re going to have one soon. So, there’s a very good chance that you’ll show your tits and then an earthquake will happen and then, the cleric’s right.

Number three though is I think the most crucial, which is that we can’t dismiss the theory that this cleric is really just a giant pervert. It’s brilliant actually, all he does is say that boobs cause earthquakes and he sits back and waits for feminists and activists to step up and strip down for science. You know he’s just waiting by his computer refreshing Google Reader waiting for the ladies to present him with some easy, free amateur porn.

What I think we should do is offer an equally likely theory to oppose the cleric’s theory. I think for instance that it’s actually male nudity that causes seismic activity. Consider for instance the recent volcano in Iceland.

I think Western Europe has fared pretty poorly from this ash cloud and everything, so I took a look at exactly what might have happened culturally to provoke God’s wrath and blanket Western Europe in an ash cloud. And the answer was immediately obvious. Just a few short weeks ago, Doctor Who premiered here in the UK. In that premiere episode, Matt Smith got naked on camera.

BOOM, Volcano-time.

It’s very easy to prove me wrong here. Get Matt Smith naked on television for the next several weeks, and if flights are still not taking off in London then I’m correct. If the ash disperses and flights return to normal, my theory doesn’t hold up and I accept that. Either way, we all win.

Rebecca Watson

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+.

Previous post

Last chance for lunch!

Next post

Skepchick Quickies 4.20

38 Comments

  1. April 20, 2010 at 9:20 am —

    The scientific method, imperfect as it is, is the best means manki.., er, humankind has invented to discover truth about the natural world. In the name of science this experiment should proceed as planned, all summer long if necessary.

  2. April 20, 2010 at 9:33 am —

    Okay everyone, please note that @PretzelsAndBeer has made the obvious joke so the rest of you can feel free to branch out!

  3. April 20, 2010 at 10:18 am —

    Score two for the perverts: you see if we do set up a double blind test:

    1. The testers being blind need to feel the boobs.

    2. The volunteers showing their boobs for science, won’t be able to ID them.

  4. April 20, 2010 at 10:37 am —

    To shoot the theory down I present to you the country of Norway. As non-earthquakey as they come, and with quite the immodest female population. Not only can we point to no increase in earthquake activity through the 20th century and into the 21st, as standards of modesty have plummeted, we can also point to no difference between winter and summer. (I hope.) In winter the climate automatically enforces modesty, so if boobs equaled earthquakes one would expect some seasonal variation.

  5. April 20, 2010 at 10:50 am —

    But Bjornar, don’t Nordic women spend a good portion of the winter frolicking in saunas between dipping themselves in icey water? Is there sufficient boobage there to even out the seasonal variation?

  6. April 20, 2010 at 10:51 am —

    I can only conclude that boobs do in fact cause earthquakes. As you see, I have no boobs and I have yet to cause an earthquake. Since no boobs equals no earthquakes, it is only logical that boobs must then equal earthquakes.

    Of course looking around the global does put the whole notion of boobs = earthquakes to rest. Iran: boobs are for the most part covered, and they have a fair number of earthquakes. Brazil: boobs have a higher chance of being less than covered and there are far fewer earthquakes.

    This can only lead to the conclusion that boobs do not cause earthquakes, but in fact are responsible for global warming. Just look at the facts: Miami, Hawaii, Brazil, Greece, tropical Africa, South America and Cancun in all of these places boobs have a greater than average chance of being less than completely covered. And what do all of these places have in common? They’re all hot. While in places like Alaska, northern Canada, the Tibetan plateau, and Antarctica, boobs are usually covered, by not one but several layers of fabric. And all of these places are cold.

    If you want further proof, just look at a calendar. December and January, most women outside are covered up, and what’s the temperature like? Cold. In July and August, women are not as covered up and what’s the temperature like? Hot. I rest my case.

    Sasquatch Jesus

  7. April 20, 2010 at 10:56 am —

    If boobs cause earthquakes then the Cote d’Azur must be due for the ‘big one’ any day now.

  8. April 20, 2010 at 10:57 am —

    Seriously, WTF? Everybody knows earthquakes are caused by CRAB PEOPLE.

  9. April 20, 2010 at 11:05 am —

    Hmmmm, very good points, but I’ve considered some of them already:

    1. We have definitely embraced our cleavage before, but if we coordinate our immodesty all in one day, that shall surely piss God off even more, right?

    2. I plan on comparing the number and severity of earthquakes on the 26th with earthquakes in the past to see if there was any statistical difference. Hey, I just turned in my honors thesis, I have nothing better to do.

    3. Hmm, yeah, I got nothin’ for this one. At least everyone else gets to benefit too? I’m not one to turn down a pair of skeptical boobs.

    That being said, I completely support your alternative hypothesis. Unfortunately I do not have the assets to assist in that study =P

  10. April 20, 2010 at 11:16 am —

    I think you all are missing a key component. Earthquakes are shakey. Just revealing bossoms will not cause an earthquake. Shaking them around will connect the life energy of the breasts with that of Gaia and THAT is what causes the earthquakes.

  11. April 20, 2010 at 11:20 am —

    I think the cleric might be on to something. He’s not blaming the boobies per se, he’s blaming all the consequent adulterous boinking that goes on. Obviously, he thinks all those vibrations are triggering earthquakes in fault-ridden Iran.

    We need huge numbers of volunteers for a massive longitudinal study to test the hypothesis.
    Whenever test subjects have sex, they are to record dates, times, distance to the nearest fault, mass of each participant, whether the sex is intramarital, extramarital or other, location (ie, bed, floor, car – to test for damping effects), position (or length of time in each position if more than one is employed), and whether or not she (if there is a she) has an orgasm that ‘makes the earth move’.

    We also need groups of volunteers to boink in unison like synchonized skaters to test for resonance effects.

    Once we correlate the data with seismic readings from all over the world, we will have a much better idea if the cleric is on the right track.

  12. April 20, 2010 at 11:24 am —

    @Jennifurret: Very interesting! I’ve updated the video description to link to your counterpoints here.

  13. April 20, 2010 at 12:00 pm —

    Boobs can, definitely, cause movement.

    Not sure if that qualifies as an earthquake.

    Someone should get a comment from Tim Minchin on this weighty issue.

  14. April 20, 2010 at 12:23 pm —

    As anyone can see, they have this backwards, it is covering up women that causes quakes or maybe not covering up men. Having a too tight head scarf isn’t the problem, it is any head scarf could lead to quake-acide. What’s with that crazy ‘fault lines’ theory of yours, Rebecca? You know god doesn’t work that way.

  15. April 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm —

    @Skepotter: If the Earth is a Rockin’, Don’t come aknockin’.

  16. April 20, 2010 at 12:45 pm —

    Rebecca Watson,

    The Cleric of course ignores the fact that many countries where women dress much more immodestly than in Iran have far fewer earth quakes. Also this guy may well believe that the only modest women out there are in burkas, meaning that he would regard even Amish women as immodest.

  17. April 20, 2010 at 2:28 pm —

    Matt Smith naked? Planes taking off? Somebody’s joining the mile-high club! ;-)

    “BOOM, Volcano Time!” I think that’s the name of ICP’s next CD.

    Fuckin’ Ash.

  18. April 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm —

    @Damien: Dude. Have you seen the movie “Witness”? Tell me Kelly McGillis is not immodest in that bonnet.

  19. April 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm —

    Have you ever considered that god hates you??, between your boobs causing earthquakes and your vag (or some other lady parts) causing volcanos to erupt, maybe you have angered the earthquake/ash cloud gods

  20. April 20, 2010 at 4:07 pm —

    what an ass- yes of course it’s the woman’s fault for the Earthquakes since everything is the woman’s fault. duh.
    Reminds me of a jesus freak co-worker who recently was telling me that god is mad at the US and he’s making us have problems because he’s mad that people are dressing slutty and being immoral-not because people made poor choices like bad financial decisions among other things…of course not. GRR it pisses me off. People suck.

  21. April 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm —

    Look, it’s probably just an error in translation: what the cleric meant to say is that “women make the earth move”. Can’t fault him there.

    But I would support the Matt Smith experiment, but propose alternating with Karen Gillan as a control.

  22. April 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm —

    When I see boobs I have a tendency to become unsteady on my feet. I had never understood why until now, thank you crazy Iranian misogynist.

  23. April 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm —

    Rebecca, your proposed Dr Who experiment seems flawed to me. I suggest that Matt Smith give us a full episode of nudity, followed by an episode in which Karen Gillan spends an hour in her birthday suit, and the following week everybody must be completely clothed. We measure the ash levels each week. That way, we can compare the effects of male and female nudity on ash concentration, and compare both of those to a control.

  24. April 21, 2010 at 2:30 am —

    @Madouc: Sadly, that’s only the Finns.

  25. April 21, 2010 at 4:13 am —

    @jbrownell85: But watch out! If the subjects go in the water and then shake them, the water will remember the boobies after the subjects have left. Given the vastness of the oceans, the essence of the boobies will be so diluted that the resulting solution will be far too powerful, and the end of the world will come before its due date of 12/21/12.

  26. April 21, 2010 at 8:00 am —

    In the interest of being thorough, would it not be prudent to get David Tennant naked as well, just in case the earthquakes haven’t realised that he’s no longer The Doctor? *hopeful*

    Also, would the show the boobies thing work better if there were some diagrams and writing on them explaining plate tectonics?

  27. April 21, 2010 at 8:42 am —

    Apparently, Iranian clerics are not alone. The city of Summer, Washington has passed a law that might (inadvertently) ban most bikinis. The law’s language looks like stuff I’ve seen elsewhere, so it may not express exactly what the lawmakers mean but is instead plagiarism of bad code.

  28. April 21, 2010 at 10:34 am —

    I think the major flaw in Jen’s proposed experiment is the fact that women in Western countries dressing slutty will probably have no immediate effect on the chastity and fidelity of young Iranian men. In fact, by the cleric’s own words, it’s clear that earthquakes in Iran are actually caused by Iranian men who can’t keep it in their pants.

    Although there’s an experiment I’d like to see the results of: Does the way women in the west dress affect the level of chastity and (in)fidelity among young Iranian men?

  29. April 21, 2010 at 11:48 am —

    I am a perfectly willing to help out with any study on the possible link between male immodesty, and volcanoes. Unfortunately, those pesky modesty laws always get in the way.

  30. April 21, 2010 at 5:56 pm —

    Hey, didn’t I hear what really caused the earthquakes? Deepak Chopra apparently claimed that he caused the seismic disturbance inadvertently by meditating too much on Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. At least he isn’t silly enough to believe a bunch of boob nonsense from Iranian clerics. ;)

  31. April 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm —

    @Pete Schult:

    But watch out! If the subjects go in the water and then shake them, the water will remember the boobies after the subjects have left. Given the vastness of the oceans, the essence of the boobies will be so diluted that the resulting solution will be far too powerful, and the end of the world will come before its due date of 12/21/12.

    If it is not too late, I would like to nominate this for COTW.

  32. April 22, 2010 at 1:26 am —

    I would like to point out that when Matt Smith appeared in Secret Diary of a Call Girl wearing only a towel, there were no reports of even a tremor in the UK.

    Admittedly, this is not a statistically significant sample.

  33. April 22, 2010 at 4:38 am —

    This is absolutely brilliant! Thanks for making my day just that little bit more awesome ;) xx

  34. April 22, 2010 at 7:12 am —

    So – Boobs cause earthquakes(?) – but what if they actively prevent volcanoes?

    **Shameless Self Promotion Ahead**

    Boobquake or Boobcano?

  35. April 23, 2010 at 2:06 am —

    New Summer hit for 2010 – “My boobquakes bring all the boys to the yard”

  36. April 23, 2010 at 10:03 am —

    Regardless, the Boobquake is on. The Facebook event page has 84,000+ confirmed participants (it just increased by 2,000 in the last 2 hours) and another 23,000 maybes, for a total of over 107,000 participants, and another 330,000 people who haven’t replied to their invitations yet. This thing could hit a quarter million people (that’s half a million boobs, for those keeping track) by Monday.

    The event page: http://bit.ly/cW5ahH

  37. April 23, 2010 at 10:19 am —

    @nedb: Maybe his thought’s accidentally slipped to Kali, Shiva’s consort, and her bare boobies. I mean, isn’t that the only logical explaination?

  38. April 23, 2010 at 10:21 am —

    @Pete Schult: I agree: COTW!

Leave a reply