Angels depicted heralding the birth of Jesus are anatomically flawed
- according to a scientist, who claims they would never be able to fly.
- A leading biologist has compared the physiology of flighted species,
- with the representations of spiritual and mythical creatures in art
- and found the angels and fairies that sit atop of Christmas trees
- did not get there under their own steam.
Prof. Roger Wotton, from University College London, found that flight would be impossible for angels
- portrayed with arms and bird-like feathered wings.
- “Even a cursory examination of the evidence in representational arts shows
- that angels and cherubs cannot take off and cannot use powered flight” said Prof Wotton.
- “And even if they used gliding flight, they would need to be exposed to very high wind velocities at take off
- such high winds that they would be blown away and have no need for wings.
“Interestingly, the artist Giotto showed one angel with a rigid 'mono-wing’
- which could be an adaptation for gliding flight
- But if they do just glide, how are the wings folded, unfolded and held rigid?”
Angels, cherubs and putti (babies with wings) adorn some the world’s most famous religious paintings & architecture
- hovering in the air to witness the deeds of God and men.
- Their power to capture the imagination is so strong, that a survey last year revealed:
- that most Americans believe in angels.
- The study by the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life found that 68% of the 36,000 adults polled
- thought that angels and demons were at work in the world.
According to the latest study, birds’ wings evolved from the forearms of their ancestors
- and over time their whole body shape was determined by the covering of feathers
- The reduced density of the bird skeleton provided a light, but strong frame.
- But angels have normal-sized bodies & cherubs & putti are often given additional weight
- portrayed as chubby babies with tiny wings.
- They also lack the powerful muscles which allow birds to beat their wings.
Fairies come under similar scrutiny in the paper:
- "Angels, Putti, Dragons and Fairies: Believing the Impossible"
- published in UCL’s Opticon magazine.
- They are generally shown with insect wings, often those of damselfly or butterflies
- Both insects have complex flight mechanisms with major muscles in the thorax, the chest region
- which power the flapping of wings.
- “The distortion of the thorax needed for flight in fairies with butterfly wings
- would be exceedingly uncomfortable,” said the academic.
- “For sure, fairies don’t fly”
Angels have a special significance in the Judeo-Christian tradition
- and also play a role in Islam
- Numerous passages in the King James Bible mention angels flying
- In Isaiah 6: verses 2 and 6, Seraphim are described with 6 wings each.
Prof Wotton’s paper explores why the mythology is so strong
- “Looking at these things teaches us something about what we believe and what is concrete”, said the academic
- “Angels are very powerful religious icons for people with faith
- Their similarity to humans adds to their power
- At the same time, they have wings on them because they are more than human
- They take messages to heaven and therefore have to fly.
- “Fairies of popular imagination are thought to come from a pleasant underworld and
- commute between than and our world,
- so flying is a way of decreasing travel time.”
By Graeme Paton, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/topics/christmas/6860351/Angels-cant-fly-scientist-says.html
Bonus - picktures of angels & gods: https://es.pinterest.com/pin/291959988322383226/