The Sciences

Holey bark

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitJun 7, 2008 6:26 PM


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An Islamic scholar in Skokie, Illinois recently found a sign from God, some are claiming. Now, if you're a rational person, you may see nothing here but some squiggles caused by borers or some other insect. But if you have a mind to, well, you see the Arabic word for "Mohammed".

See it? No? Try squinting. Kinda maybe sorta? Still no? Well, others saw it:

"It's crystal clear, it says Muhammad," said Andala Mbengue, a cabdriver from Senegal who saw the wood after Friday prayers at the American Islamic College on Irving Park Road in Chicago. "Allah is always putting himself out there. Sometimes people ignore it, but he's always showing us signs."

Why would you doubt it? That guy says it's crystal clear. Maybe my crystals are really cloudy, because it's not clear to me. And c'mon... bark? I guess something concrete -- like rearranging the stars in the sky -- would be too showy. Better to go with the inside of some arthropod-ingested periderm from Skokie, that's what I always say. I find it very interesting that a cartoon with a drawing of Mohammed can spark riots and incite people to murder innocents, but an imagined display of the writing of his name makes believers more pious. In a related story, a woman sees Jesus on the cross due to... two french fries stuck together. Seriously. However, I must admit that if Catholics started offering french fries at communion, they'd probably see an uptick in attendance. Tip o' the vascular cambium to BABloggee Steve Steppe.

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