Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Columbus' Prophecy?

In the new issue of Discovery (July/August 2009) there is an article called 20 Things You Didn't Know About Eclipses by LeeAundra Temescu.

18.While stranded in Jamaica, Christopher Columbus was famously saved by the lunar eclipse of February 29, 1504, which he had read about in his almanac. After a fracas with the locals, Columbus warned that the moon would disappear if they did not start supplying his men with food.

19.When the moon vanished, the locals promptly complied, and Columbus breathed a huge sigh of relief: His almanac was calibrated for Germany, and he was not sure that he had adjusted correctly for local time (page 96).

This story illustrates why I find the view that miracles are natural events significant only because of their timing to be less than compelling.

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