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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
Religious urban legends that refuse to die
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 21, 2009
Even though the famous atheist’s body [Madalyn Murray O’Hair] was discovered in 1998 and positively identified in Texas -- and even though she apparently has been dead since she disappeared in 1995 -- patently false rumors about her alleged anti-Christian campaigns continue to spread. Credulous Christians who once forwarded these kinds of rumors in mimeographed chain letters or spread them on talk radio now can broadcast them around the world with the mere click of a mouse. Link: apbnews.com (Thanks, Big Gary!)
Categories: Religion, Urban Legends Comments (7)
Did Da Vinci create the shroud of turin?
Posted by The Curator on Mon Jul 06, 2009
A new theory about the Shroud of Turin: Lillian Schwartz, a graphic consultant at the School of Visual Arts in New York, thinks Leonardo da Vinci created it. Her reasoning is that "the face on the Turin Shroud and a self portrait of Leonardo da Vinci share the same dimensions." The self-portrait of da Vinci and the face on the shroud do look similar, but I thought it was pretty well established that the shroud dates back to at least 1355, which would make it too old for da Vinci to have created, since he was born in 1452. [Daily Mail]
Categories: History, Religion Comments (11)
Knights Templar Turin Shroud
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 06, 2009
Shroud of Turin News: A Vatican historian says she's uncovered documents indicating that between 1204 and 1353 the Shroud of Turin was kept hidden by the Knights Templar, who worshipped it as a holy relic. Apparently they required their members to "venerate the image by kissing its feet three times." (Some of their other rituals may have involved spitting on the cross, stripping naked and kissing their superior on the buttocks, navel, and lips, and submitting to sodomy.) The Vatican is still remaining mum about whether they think it's the genuine shroud in which Christ was buried, or a forgery. [Times Online]
Categories: History, Religion Comments (5)
Missing Women
Posted by The Curator on Mon Apr 06, 2009
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rest of his new government posed for an official photo in Jerusalem on April 1. But when the photo appeared in the ultra-orthodox newspaper Yated Neeman, all the women had been digitally removed from the photo. Apparently ultra-orthodox Jews don't like the idea of women in politics and seem to believe that if they can't see them, then they don't exist. [Suomen Kuvalehti]
April 1st as an Atheist Holy Day
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 20, 2009
An urban legend has been circulating for a number of years that mockingly describes April Fool's Day as a holy day for atheists: FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY In Florida, an atheist created a case against the Easter & Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews & observances of their holy days. The argument was, it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized day(s). The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer,the judge banged his gavel declaring, 'Case dismissed.'…
Categories: April Fools Day, Religion Comments (12)
The stegosaurus on the temple
Posted by The Curator on Fri Mar 13, 2009
A carving on the ancient Ta Prohm temple in Cambodia has become a favorite of creationists, because it looks kinda like a stegosaurus. And, of course, if there's a carving of a stegosaurus on an ancient temple, that supports their belief that dinosaurs and humans once lived together. However, as Brian Switek points out on the Smithsonian blog, two other explanations are more likely: a) The carving is something other than a stegosaurus: If viewed directly, the carving hardly looks Stegosaurus-like at all. The head is large and…
Categories: History, Religion Comments (19)
Pareidolia Roundup: December 2008
Posted by The Curator on Wed Dec 03, 2008
It's been a while since I've done a pareidolia roundup, so a few of these are a couple months old. Virgin Mary in Salsa Stain "Elvia Alvarez was recently using her blender to make salsa in her kitchen. Some of the salsa splattered onto the wall, creating what Alvarez says is the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Since this happened. Alvaraz says it's a sign that people need to be nicer to each other." Funny. I thought it was a sign she needs to be more careful when making salsa. Jesus in Guitar
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (12)
Pareidolia Roundup: September 2008
Posted by The Curator on Wed Oct 01, 2008
Coffee Stain Christ Four years ago Sam Marinos had a cup of coffee with his wife. When he was done he turned the cup upside down to allow the grounds to run down the side of the cup -- which is some kind of tradition in his family. He was then "stunned" to see that the grounds had formed what looked to him like the face of Jesus. He's now considering selling the Jesus cup on eBay. Drywall Jesus Omar Craddock was doing some work in a client's kitchen when he spotted the image of a…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (29)
Is Roger Ebert a Creationist?
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 23, 2008
Yesterday the film critic Roger Ebert posted an article to his website that reads very much like an endorsement of creationism. It starts: Questions and answers on Creationism, which should be discussed in schools as an alternative to the theory of evolution: Q. When was the earth created? A. Archbishop James Usher, working out a chronology from the Bible, calculated in 1654 that the earth was created on the night of October 23, 4004 B.C. Other timetables reach back as far as 10,000 years. The article contains nothing that would indicate satire, so it…
Categories: Religion Comments (14)
Poe’s Law and TrueChristians.com
Posted by The Curator on Wed Sep 17, 2008
Poe's Law, coined by Nathan Poe on the Christian Forums site, states: in general, it is hard to tell fake fundamentalism from the real thing, since they both sound equally ridiculous. The law also works in reverse: real fundamentalism can also be indistinguishable from parody fundamentalism. Cranky Media Guy recently submitted an example: truechristian.com. It contains passages such as: So God put Adam to sleep and ripped out one of his ribs and…
Categories: Religion, Websites Comments (5)
Pareidolia Roundup: August 2008
Posted by The Curator on Thu Aug 28, 2008
It's time for the monthly pareidolia roundup: Toronto Virgin Mary Christopher Moreau was having a beer in his garden, when he realized that scarring on a tree limb in his yard looked kind of like the Virgin Mary. His neighbor is a bit skeptical, but doesn't really care as long as the religious sightseers stay out of her yard. JC in Cell Phone Pensacola resident Linda Square thinks an image stored on her cell phone shows her in silhouette with Jesus Christ beside her. She swears that no one sent her the…
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (13)
Cursed By Allah
Posted by The Curator on Wed Aug 27, 2008
There was an interesting post on alt.folklore.urban discussing several examples of Muslim hoaxes alleging there have been people who were recently cursed by Allah, for one reason or another, and transformed into bizarre animals. For instance, Arabic newspapers ran one story about a girl who threw the Quran at her mother and was transformed into a large, rat-like creature. (The story became a popular video as well.) An image (below) accompanied the story, showing what the girl had become. In reality, the image of the rat-like creature was lifted from an art exhibit titled "Leather Landscape" by Patricia Piccinini. Piccinini posted…
Categories: Religion Comments (41)
Shroud of Turin Update
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 18, 2008
The 1988 radiocarbon results that dated the Shroud of Turin to the Middle Ages have long been a thorn in the side to the True Believers. But they may get the chance to have new tests conducted, thanks to the efforts of John and Rebecca Jackson of Colorado. From the LA Times: Jackson, 62, is getting his chance to challenge the radiocarbon dating. Oxford University, which participated in the original radiocarbon testing, has agreed to work with him in reconsidering the age of the shroud. If the…
Categories: Religion Comments (20)
Pareidolia Roundup
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 31, 2008
Once again, it's time to play spot the blurry face resembling the iconic image of Jesus (or the Virgin Mary, or whatever). Cat Fur Jesus The Johnson family of Indiana recently adopted a kitten. To their surprise, they discovered that the fur on its side contains a pattern that looks like the face of Jesus. They admit that people who don't see it "might think we are weird crazy or something," but they're fine with that. I'd say they haven't quite reached the weird crazy stage yet. Maybe just a bit weird cuckoo. Cheesus
Categories: Pareidolia, Religion Comments (12)
The Fishing Lures of Faith
Posted by The Curator on Thu Jul 24, 2008
Not to be outdone by Christian fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists have come out with their own anti-evolution treatises. Among the most prominent of these is the Atlas of Creation by Harun Yahya. It's a long work (and more is on the way) consisting primarily of page after page of examples showing that modern-day species can be found in the fossil record. This is supposed to demonstrate that evolution hasn't occurred. Volume 1 contains the example of the Caddis Fly. The illustration in the book shows the modern-day fly in the foreground. Circled in red in the background is the fossil analogue, preserved in amber. (No, they don't look similar to me either).
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