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Thor

September 21, 2010

Why Are Religious Claims a Target for the Extraordinary Claims Campaign?
Some comments on Supernatural Claims, Evidence, and the Burden of Proof

The Claims:

Thor is the Norse god of thunder, endowed with superhuman strength, speed, and endurance. Mjollnir, Thor’s magical hammer, is responsible for lightning storms, while his chariot, pulled by two goats, is the cause of thunder.

Thor is famous for slaughtering his foes. His greatest enemy is a world-encircling serpent, Jormungand. Norse prophecies state that come Ragnorak, the epic conflict of gods, Thor will slay Jormungand but will succumb to the serpent’s poison.

The Evidence:

Thor is the most popular of the Norse gods. Thursday is named after Thor, and popular culture has retold the tale in many forms, including epic poems, comic books, and movies.

However, many aspects of Thor’s saga are known to be false. Thunder is caused by lightning, not Thor’s chariot. Lightning is not the result of Mjollnir, but of a build up of large electrical charges within clouds during storms. Satellite photographs of the earth prove that the planet does not have an enormous serpent surrounding it, thereby disproving a key element of the Thor prophecy.

Conclusion:

Though a popular and entertaining tale, told in many forms, Thor is a myth alongside his compatriots in Norse, Greek, Roman, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Hindu, and many other mythologies.

Links:

The Norse Gods: Thor

Ragnarok on Encyclopedia Mythica

The Poetic Edda

“What causes thunder?” Brill, Richard.

“What causes lightning?” on WeatherQuestions.com

Thor the Comic Book Hero

Thor the Movie

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sky permalink
    July 1, 2011 3:52 PM

    Many times you read about other religions stating that all “evil” would be eliminated in our world, I still see evil.

    But Thor said he would kill the frost giants.
    I don’t see any frost giants.

  2. Son of Odin permalink
    December 16, 2010 4:30 PM

    In scandinavia we gave up a guy with a hammer and all we got in return was a guy nailed to a plank of wood – How did they convince us that that was a cool thing to do?

  3. December 3, 2010 7:49 PM

    One interesting thing makes the Norse religion unique.

    Ragnarok – the coming of a new god and death to the Norse gods.

    when the first xtian missionaries went to Iceland, many thought that this was the begining of Ragnarok – and for several centuries, houses had THor’s hammer at one end of the room and a cross in the other.

    The Norse were also more willing to make up embarrassing stories

    like when Loki gave the Hammer to a warrior-king who wouldn’t return it unless Fredya, the goddess of the hearth married him.

    She said no, so Thor dressed up like her and married the man so get his hammer back.

    Of course he outate and outdrank everyone at the wedding reception and killed everyone as soon as he got his hammer.

    but how many other religion’s god had to dress up in drag and marry some guy?

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