A Concordist Cartoon on Noah's Rainbow

The facebook comment where I found it was half the humor:

Now, I’m no physicist, but I’ve listened to physicists and as they obviously have no idea what they’re talking about, I’m calling this legit!


So that’s why radiometric dating doesn’t work! It’s just a side effect of God having to mess with physics in order to make rainbows!


That’s funny. I like this one better:
yep much better


Is the cartoon correct though? You don’t need quantum mechanics to explain rainbows.


Dude, what’s wrong with the cartoonist? It’s God’s creation of primordial light that’s made quantum mechanics so confusing, not rainbows. :rofl: Learn your science.

I’ll take the concordist label. :sweat_smile:

I think you do. Rayleigh scattering and for finite energy with an integrated spectra.

Well, Rayleigh scattering was first published in 1871…

As far as I can tell, rainbows only require us to know that light is a wave. We don’t need to know that light is a particle. The comic seems to presuppose that God initially created light as purely particles (photons), and he had to “add” the wave nature when making rainbows, thus resulting in quantum mechanics. But there’s no reason to think why it’s more fitting that God originally created light as a particle rather than a wave, as the wave nature of light was the dominant understanding (e.g. Huygens, Young, Maxwell) until the 20th century. So I’m not convinced the joke works, as it’s based on questionable presuppositions.


Definitely particles first. Haha. The wave nature of light only came into existence on the 4th day :wink:

I genuinely can’t tell if you are joking here! I am assuming from the wink you are?

No, I think she’s serious. The emojis are mostly reflex at this point.


I suppose the real puzzle isn’t how rainbows are made, but what a physics without rainbows would entail. That seems to be a much harder question, as the cartoon hints, it would seem to require reworking a lot of things.

On a human level, the sky wouldn’t be blue any more, nor would sunsets be red. It is possible also that all light would have to be the same frequency, not merely unseperable by a prisim…


Now if the @physicists engaged this with seriousness here, that would be a fairly entertaining and very Peaceful Science thing to do :slight_smile: .

@dga471 can correct me, but it seems to me that a question regarding the physics of light is just as much a question of “what’s the matter?”…