Just Sayin’ January 15, 2010

Just Sayin’

The sky is blue.

"Moderators, please do something about the anti-gay slurs bandied about here today."

Pope Francis Now Supports Civil Unions ..."
"Everyone who decides to respond to you. Is this really that hard a concept to ..."

Glenn Beck: “I’m Always Wrong with ..."
"This is an unconditional capitulation to religious fanatics who have shed any kind of civic ..."

Preacher Sean Feucht Will Hold a COVID-Spreading ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • WishinItWas

    Blue? I think its more of a refraction, gas molecule, light wavelength color…

  • Andrew Morgan

    The reason the sky is blue is one of, I think, the most interesting and easily-understood facts of science, and yet I come across so many people who never had the joy of an explanation.

    Understanding the natural world truly does increase its beauty.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    Actually it is black. It only appears blue on the daylight side of the Earth due to the Rayleigh scattering of sunlight.

  • Rob

    I thought it was blue because Pat Robertson asked that it be that way….. sheesh…. I need to start learning more. 🙂

  • Andrew Morgan

    I think the sky would also would appear blue on the nighttime side of the Earth (provided there was moonlight) if we could see it, but the rod cells which give us nighttime vision are not receptive to color.

  • JimboB

    Noooooooo, it all lies! The sky is greoranurple and you all know it.
    La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la, I can’t hear you evil athiestzs!1!!!11!

  • ray

    According to Stephen Fry, the ancient Greeks had no word for blue and considered the sky to be bronze.

    You wouldn’t be arguing with Stephen Fry and the ancient Greeks, now would you?

  • It is Obama’s fault.

  • Eric

    No! It’s green dammit!

  • Ian

    Interesting. My google reader ad for this post is for dianetics.org!

    Its the volcanoes, I tell you!

  • Kurt

    Gee, until I read the previous comments, I was ready to nominate this one for “Least Controversial Blog Entry Ever”. Why do you unbelievers always insist on making things so difficult? 😉

  • Kris

    The reason the sky is blue is one of, I think, the most interesting and easily-understood facts of science, and yet I come across so many people who never had the joy of an explanation.

    Eh, not so much. A superficial understanding is easy, but the actual answer involves quantum mechanics and is anything but easy to understand (and it happens to run fairly well counter to the popular explanation).

  • Trace

    I just dislike proselytism, whether religious or secular.

  • The sky is blue due to Rayleigh scattering. This form of elastic scattering favours scattering from small objects (molecules in the air), shorter wavelengths (blue light has a shorter wavelength than red), and is forward/backward directed.

    When the sun is overhead, we see the sky as blue. As the sun sets “off in the distance”, the light must penetrate more atmosphere, and the blue light is scattered away, allowing the longer wavelengths to continue to our eyes. This is why the sunset’s red.

    Yay science!

  • CarolAnn :)

    Actually, today in Dallas it’s a kind of icky gray.

  • Angie

    I think the neon-green sky color theory should be taught in classrooms alongside the blue sky theory. Teach the controversy!

  • Alan E.

    An interesting note about this blog compared to a religious blog. Here we are delving into a science debate, where on a religious blog it would be all AMEN! and God gave us this gift!

  • Sandra S

    It is only in your limited Western scientific sense of ‘blue’ that the sky is blue.

  • Richard Wade

    Like everything else, it all depends on which way you’re looking.

  • noah

    the sky is a concept, not a tangible thing. it is no more blue than, for example, “the economy.”

    we do see blue light above us, though.

  • Deiloh

    Today, nope it is white. And last night, definitely remember it being black.

  • NewEnglandBob

    Some days it is all white.

  • And all the leaves are green
    The air’s as warm as a baked potato
    I think I know precisely what I mean
    When I say it’s a shpadoinkle day

  • Richard P

    not in my world… it is a beautiful purple hue.
    Sheep, your all sheep!!!

  • Casimir

    Typical dogmatic atheist. So you know, 100%, absolutely positive it’s blue? But noooo, you don’t even consider other colors due to your close-mindedness. Quote scientists unquote say the sky is blue, but scientists thought the Earth was flat once.

    And really to be perfectly correct, you should say “I lack belief the sky is a color other than blue”.

    P.S. Hitler thought the sky was blue.

  • It’s Blood Red Dammit!!!!! Oh, wait. . . thats the bleeding gums on my patients.

  • JB Tait

    Not in Pittsburgh . . . at least most of the time.

  • Am I just to believe the sky came from nothing?

  • It’s more of an ashen gray here. Damn, I hate winter so much.

  • Christine

    You know, I keep hearing rumors of this “blue sky” phenomenon, but here in Chicago, the sky appears to be a uniform, bleak grey that crushes one’s spirit into the similarly-colored sidewalk concrete.

    I loathe winter.

  • All this business about whether the sky appears to be blue as opposed to whether it actually is is nonsense. “Blue” is a word we assigned to out brain’s interpretation of certain wavelengths of light. The “sky” is another arbitrarily assigned word invented to describe what we see when we look at our atmosphere from Earth. Therefore, but their own definitions, the sky is blue.

    Why is a different story.

  • Nathan (not the Christian Nathan)

    10 internet points for referencing “Cannibal: The Musical.”

    Because I can.

  • Todd

    Actually, the sky is purple: here

  • Edmond

    I live in Seattle so I wouldn’t know.

  • Revyloution

    AH! Color, and science! That makes sense.

    Here I thought Hemant was trying to tell us that his sky felt sad.

  • Barry

    re Nathan (not the Christian Nathan):

    i.e., “One Nathan [… gratuitous McCarthy-era insertion deleted…] indivisble”

  • Spurs Fan

    Not every Sky-Watcher thinks the Sky is blue. Just because some person with a television show says that the Sky is blue in our nation because we have turned our back on the Sky, doesn’t mean that person is a “real” Sky-Watcher.

    Please stop labeling us-when you do, you “non Sky-Watchers” become just as dogmatic as the Sky Watchers who always say the sky is blue.

  • The Other Tom

    Rob, if Pat Robertson said the sky was or was going to be blue, I strongly suspect it would immediately turn from orange to pink.

  • Jim

    Actually, the sky on Bajor is green while the sky on the Trill home world is purple. I have never been to Vulcan but I am told the sky there is reddish-orange. Don’t know anything about the Rigel colonies.

  • Becky

    Hemant’s gone crazy!

  • Joffan

    This is outrageous. Who are you to tell the sky what colour it is? Repressive autocrat!!

    “Just sayin'” ?? You think you can pass off your colourist comments with that offhand shrug of a phrase?

    Disgusting. I may never visit this blog again, for at least five minutes or so.

  • Claudia

    No, the sky is pink with yellow polka dots! I have seen the pink yellow-polka dotted sky and it is absolutely real. Prove that it isn’t. You can’t so nyaaaaah!!

  • Eimi

    But first one would have to define both sky and blue

  • Polly

    Was this some kind of sociological experiment? There are no trivially obvious statements of fact for atheists?

    OK, I’ll play my part.

    To you, the sky will be whatever you wish it to be. It can no more resist your perceptions of it than it is affected by them.

  • anothermike

    According to BB King, it is all because of string theory.

  • Eliza

    “The sky” seems to be fickle.

    Consider these:

    The sky is blue.
    The sky is the limit.
    The sky is falling.

    Which one IS it, fer cryin’ out loud??

  • The sky is whatever colour my sunglasses tell me it is.

  • Anticontrame

    There is no sky.

  • Quester

    I lack belief in the sky. I ride in an airplane, supposedly into the sky, look down upon the clouds, and see no blue between myself and the ground nor myself and the clouds. Where is this blue sky? Still above me? I stand in my back yard and look up on a cloudless night like tonight and I see nothing between me and infinity. There is no further above than that. No. There may be a sky, but I see no compelling evidence for concluding so.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    I agree with Kris, I don’t know of an easy way to give a lay explanation of why the sky is blue. (If someone has one, I’d love to hear it.) DianaG’s explanation is good as far as it goes, but the problem is that if someone doesn’t know the math behind Rayleigh scattering calculations, it essentially boils down to saying “The sky is blue because the the wavelength of light it sends to your eye is blue.” Which is not really an explanation, so much as a tautology.

    To be clear, I know how to do the Rayleigh scattering calculation, just not how to explain it without writing down equations, and assuming knowledge of electromagnetism.

  • Benjamin V. (Hazor)

    I’ve always been partial to gray skies. Rainy days make me a happy atheist – and the forecast shows a high chance of rain for Sunday. …too bad I’ll be indoors working the whole time.

    You people and your blue skies with your sun and your optimism. Hrm. 😛

  • Stephen P

    Yes, the sky is blue, and so are the grass and trees.

    (I’m busy scanning in some Agfachrome slides which are approximately as old as Hemant and are rather the worse for wear. (Not that I’m saying that Hemant is the worse for wear, you understand.))

  • Aaron

    Write it out in E-Prime.
    The sky appears blue.

  • Myles

    It’s blue because of the ice shield. Kent Hovind says so. That’s where all the water went after the Flood. Duh.

  • You guys are funny. Thanks for making me smile.

  • Alexis

    The sky is gray here. But last night it was dark. Not quite black. Too many city lights. As Carlin’s hippy dippy weatherman put it “Tonight’s weather will be dark. Continued mostly dark with widely scattered light toward morning.”