Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Science Behind Santa's Mystical Journey


Essentially, it's a brain-melting journey into Santapologetics - how Santa (who really exists) uses sufficiently advanced technology to really deliver the Christmas presents on time. The stupid just oozes from this one.

Here's how some kids think he does it:
"He has a gadget on his sleigh that makes it go turbo. He can go down the chimney in one second!" he said.

Over in Hillsdale, N.J., however, five-year-old Amelia offered a simpler solution: "Maybe he has a secret shortcut."

Next, there's a literal rocket scientist's take on the whole thing:

He believes that Santa -- whom experts say moved to his underground complex at the North Pole more than 500 years ago -- has spent the last five centuries researching better ways to deliver presents at light-speed to kids everywhere.

In doing so, he and the elves have made scientific breakthroughs that the rest of humanity can only dream of, Silverberg said.

To understand kids' wishes, he simply constructed a ginormous underground antenna, to "collect incoming electromagnetic waves and filter them, finding out which thought-waves are coming from which kids." Then, Santa filters the the "though-waves" by naughty/nice somehow, and when it's deliver time, he wraps his sleigh and eight reindeer in a "relativity cloud", which apparently uses Einsteinian relativity to create a time-dilation bubble, which can then physically shrink Santa and Co. so they can fit through keyholes and dog doors instead of chimneys, since few homes have chimneys nowadays.

Apparently, all this was figured out by a whole team at NCSU running detailed calculations (wow, what an incredible waste of time).

Oh yeah, and Santa uses super-high-tech GPS/navigational devices that put Fed Ex to shame and he genetically engineered his reindeer to fly.

One quick question: why can't we just say that Timmy's parents love him and bought him presents? Seriously.


Tufty said...

Have you seen the entry on Santa Theories on the BBC's h2g2? The best explanation is the 'No Good Children Theory' - Santa in fact has very little work to do as very few children actually deserve a visit.

(see my blog against atheophobia)

Hydra said...

Heh, it's certainly better than the stretchy, Mister Fantastic-ish Santa hypothesis (blood circulation problems to say the least!)

The no good children theory is a good idea, but it's a sort of Epicurean piety that subverts the very idea that it tries to save - without Santa out there doling out the punishments/rewards, there's really no point in believing in a Santa at all. :P

Btw, I got the idea to write about this because the local paper had an utterly obnoxious piece on Norad tracking Santa with a ridiculous "Take that skeptics!" slant, as if Santa was truly a rational, defensible idea. It had me looking around for more delicious Santa-nonsense.

Thanks for the blog link. As you might be aware, fighting atheist-demonizing (literally, with horns) is something near and dear to my heart, but your eponymous blog is more my speed, with thoughtful and witty posts about atheism-related news stories.