Seriously, we need to stop sharing these spurious YouTube clips presenting miraculous facts, which have absolutely no basis either in science or religion.
Take the impenetrable video currently doing the rounds which claims to prove by reference to the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio that Mecca is the physical the centre of the earth, on a flat map.
Now I know these posts are designed to test me: to help me train my soul by striving to avoid responding to each and every claim with that eternally irritating cynicism of mine. And I really did try.
But this latest miracle was placed in front of a geographer who had arguments drummed into him at university that the Mercator projection of the earth distorts the size and shape of objects approaching the poles. So what happens if we use the Gall-Peters projection, favoured by pedantic cartographers everywhere? Or, better still, the earth’s actual spheroid form? Do the claims in the video still stand?
And what about the case of prime meridian? What we know today as zero latitude was only adopted as an international standard 132 years ago. I know some people believe that the British Empire was God’s Empire, but to the rest of us Greenwich meridian is completely arbitrary. Without a fixed meridian, this Golden Ratio would apply to any location along that particular longitude on that particular map projection.
The tragedy of these modern miracles is not so much that their claims are mostly easily refutable, but that they are being turned into articles of belief. If you express even a mustard seed of doubt about the veracity of these claims, an army of internet warriors stand ready to pounce on you, to accuse you of blasphemy, Islamophobia or meagre faith.
This is the era in which a YouTube video, posted anonymously, which somebody made up, without consulting with anyone, stands as arbiter between you and your Lord.