World Net Daily Is a Fan of Pareidolia

Posted: November 7, 2013 in religion
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Joe Kovacs wrote on October 29, 2013, “Google Photo: Jesus Just Spotted in Sky?” He posts a photo that went viral (in some circles) at the end of October about a Google Street View photo:

Jesus and Mary in the Sky from Google Street View

Jesus and Mary in the Sky from Google Street View

Sigh.

I’ve done a lot of image processing in my day, including mosaics (stitching multiple images together into one, larger image), and to me this looks like a simple image artifact from automated mosaicking that someone didn’t bother to check. the gradient below the object of brown to the sky grey is what does it for me because I see this all the time when things are stitched incorrectly and the software does its darndest to blend the mismatched images together.

The article proceeds to post numerous other examples of people seeing Jesus, including in bird droppings, a grease stain on a newspaper, a Kit Kat bar (yes, seriously), and dew on a car window. Pareidolia. Pareidolia is where people’s brains will reconstruct randomness into something the brain will recognize, most commonly faces. And, pareidolia is heavily culturally biased since the brain is trying to reconstruct something that is familiar.

So, yeah. Automatic mosaicking (probably) with pareidolia and you get Jesus and Mary in the sky (with diamonds?). I’m perhaps making a bit more of this than necessary because of some recent statements by Michael Bara against me (or at least towards me) in his latest book, his blog, and on the radio, emphatically stating that pareidolia does not exist, that it’s a made-up term. Might be a made-up term (from the mid-1860s at the latest), but, the phenomenon still exists.

To True Believers, however, that doesn’t matter. While the ratings only number 193 and average a relatively low 3.94/5 stars, the comments number 673 and all the top-rated ones are about Jesus returning and the Glory of God.

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