In the past we've had some things to say about how dumb it is for people to attempt to interject religion into science. In the interests of fairness, I will now comment on an equally stupid attempt to interject science into religion.
Here's a news story, courtesy of LiveScience. "Jesus Could Have Walked on Ice, Scientist Says."
It's an attempt to explain the miracle described in the Gospels, when Christ appeared to his Apostles as they were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Christ was walking upon the water. Here's Matthew's version.
Florida State University oceanographer Doron Nof speculates that freak climate and salinity conditions might have led to the formation of hard-to-see ice on the surface of the water, providing a surface for someone to walk on.
Okay. There's just one problem with this: the miracle is described as taking place during a storm, and many of the Apostles were professional fishermen before Christ recruited them. So Nof's model requires ice to remain stable enough to walk on in the middle of a storm (and in weather suitable for large outdoor gatherings, since this takes place shortly after the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes). Moreover, it requires a group of men who spent a considerable part of their lives sailing those very waters to be fooled. As at attempt at "debunking" it is almost as implausible as a man walking on water by Divine suspension of the laws of physics.
Why am I so worked up about this? Because it makes scientists look like a bunch of patronizing idiots. Just like a Creationist trying to show how dinosaur fossils are the result of Noah's Flood, a scientist trying to "explain" Biblical miracle stories is not just getting it wrong, he's missing the point. He's pointlessly baiting those who sincerely believe. And he only gives ammunition to those who do want to let religious or political agendas shape scientific results.
It's also not very good science. Nof is speculating without good data. Unless he's tested ice formed under conditions similar to the Sea of Galilee during a storm to see if a person could walk on it and convincingly appear to be standing on the water, this is nothing but empty speculation.
This is especially weird because Dr. Nof is obviously a respected and established scientist. He's not some marginal figure trying to jump-start a reputation with some controversy. Last year he was awarded the Fridtjof Nansen medal by the European Geosciences Union. Small game companies can get away with being tactless; leading scientists should know better.