Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Heaven for the climate?

I'm sure we've all heard the phrase "Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company." Well, I've recently run across an infographic that very much throws the favorability of Heaven's supposed climate into doubt. In fact, it concludes that Heaven is hotter than Hell! Let's take a look and examine the claims...

To make the case on how hot Heaven is, the verse Isaiah 30:26 from the Bible is referenced:
Moreover, the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold as the light of seven days.
This means that the light in Heaven will not only be much brighter than on Earth, but 50 times greater! The graphic then goes on to say that if you use the Stefan-Boltzmann fourth power law for radiation (H/E)4 = 50 where E is the absolute temperature of the earth, 300°K (273+27). This gives H the absolute temperature of heaven as 977°F.
Does this look like Heaven to you? Well, Mercury has one
thing going for it... It's a bit cooler.

A quick look at the math shows that the calculations are accurate. So given no atmosphere, that would mean that the minimum temperature of Heaven would be 977°F. Throw an atmosphere into the equation, and the temperature just goes up depending on the composition and density.

To put that into perspective, Mercury has a very very thin atmosphere and reaches 800°F during the day. Meanwhile, Venus is 863°F. While Venus is further from the Sun, it's thick atmosphere makes it warmer than Mercury. We have sent landers to these tortured worlds, and they certainly don't look like Heaven. We have mapped them as well, and no pearly gates to be found.

So what did it have to say about Hell? Once again, it turns to the Bible (Revelation 21:8):
But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars--they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur.
 A lake of sulfur is pretty easy to check out. On Earth, sulfur is liquid from 239°F to 833°F. So that puts the minimum temperature of Heaven as 977°F and the maximum temperature of Hell is 833°F. So Hell is a minimum of 144°F cooler than Heaven. Or is it?

The truth is that the numbers for Heaven are solid, but Hell... There's some gray area there. Remember, the numbers for Hell are based on the melting point of sulfur of Earth. If the pressure were lower (like in the atmosphere free example for Heaven) the melting point of sulfur would drop. So, an apples-to-apples comparison would mean that Hell would be even cooler. Conversely, if the pressure were to be ramped up, the melting point of sulfur (and temperature of Hell) would rise above 833°F.

And at least one apologist realized this pressure variable and claims to have proven that Hell is hotter than Heaven after-all. They cite the estimated number of damned, claimed size of Hell, and the pressure of the average body once reduced to vapor. But there are a few problem assumptions here.

For starters, why would the composite vapor created by a human body matter? After all, it's not the body that supposedly goes to Hell (and Heaven), but the somehow immaterial 'soul'. If it's immaterial, it's not going to be raising the pressure any. This alone destroys the claimed refutation. But there's more to consider. Suppose we grant the premise that souls = pressure. That means that the souls that go to Heaven also make Heaven hotter.

But there is one final thing to mention... Suppose that pressure actually made Hell hotter than Heaven... Would it even really matter? Heaven is still a minimum temperature of 977°F according to the Bible. Does that sort of temperature sound like an eternal dream vacation to you?

-Brain Hulk

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