[Looks like this engineer had nothing better to do with his time, so he came
up with a mathematical proof for the non-existence of Santa Claus…]
1) No known species of reindeer can fly. BUT there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not COMPLETELY rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has ever seen.
2) There are 2 billion children (persons under 18) in the world. BUT since Santa doesn’t (appear) to handle the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist children, that reduces the workload to to 15% of the total - 378 million according to Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that’s 91.8 million homes. One presumes there’s at least one good child in each.
3) Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Assuming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth (which, of course, we know to be false but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept), we are now talking about .78 miles per
household, a total trip of 75-1/2 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us must do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding etc.
This means that Santa’s sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3,000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, tops, 15 miles per hour.
4) The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming that each child gets nothing more than a medium-sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting that “flying reindeer” (see point #1) could pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increases the payload - not even counting the weight of the
sleigh - to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth.
5) 353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance - this will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. The lead pair of reindeer will absorb 14.3 QUINTILLION joules of energy. Per second. Each. In short, they will burst into flame almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and create deafening sonic booms in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized within 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subjected to
centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250-pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of his sleigh by 4,315,015 pounds of force.
In conclusion - If Santa ever DID deliver presents on Christmas Eve, he’s dead now.
Science is the record of dead religions. - Oscar Wilde
A turkey never voted for an early Christmas. - Unknown
Gravity isn't easy, but it's the law. - Unknown
Logic is neither science nor an art, but a dodge. - Benjamin Jowett
I get really grinchy right up until Christmas morning. - Dan Aykroyd
All exact science is dominated by the idea of approximation. - Bertrand Russell
Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year. - Victor Borge
What counts in science is to be not so much the first as the last. - Erwin Chargaff
To err is human; to try to prevent recurrence of error is science. - Unknown
Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy. - Benjamin Franklin
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. - Albert Einstein
Proof is an idol before whom the pure mathematician tortures himself. - Sir Arthur Eddington
Science is a differential equation. Religion is a boundary condition. - Alan Turing
The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking. - Albert Einstein
Mail your packages early, so the Post Office can lose them in time for Christmas. - Johnny Carson
If my Valentine you won't be,
I'll hang myself on your Christmas tree. - Ernest Hemingway
Aren't we forgetting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa. - Bart Simpson
The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. - Thomas H. Huxley
Men are probably nearer the central truth in their superstitions than in their science. - Henry David Thoreau
True and solemn meaning of Christmas, which is a time for peace and quiet contemptation. - Archie Bunker
Genetic Engineering: A recent attempt to formalize what farmers have been doing all along. - Unknown
There's a big overlap with the people you meet at the fantasy and science fiction cons. - Fred Saberhagen
I admit that mathematical science is a good thing. But excessive devotion to it is a bad thing. - Aldous Huxley
I still have my Christmas Tree. I looked at it today. Sure enough, I couldn't see any forests. - Steven Wright
The Christmas season has come to mean the period when the public plays Santa Claus to the merchants. - John Andrew Holmes
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a family all wrapped up in each other. - Bill Vaughan
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. - Albert Einstein
Advertising may be described as the science of arresting human intelligence long enough to get money from it. - Stephen Leacock
Truth in science can be defined as the working hypothesis best suited to open the way to the next better one. - Konrad Lorenz
Statistics: the only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions. - Evan Esar
Mathematics is the only science where one never knows what one is talking about nor whether what is said is true. - Bertrand Russell
It is mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the center of gravity of the universe. - Thomas Carlyle
Science has not yet mastered prophecy. We predict too much for the next year and yet far too little for the next ten. - Neil A Armstrong
All our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike - and yet it is the most precious thing we have. - Albert Einstein
The fundamental concept in social science is Power, in the same sense in which Energy is the fundamental concept in physics. - Bertrand Russell
Amazingly when you add life and consciousness to the equation you can actually explain some of the biggest puzzles of science. - Robert Lanza
We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology. - Carl Sagan
Science is built up with facts, as a house is with stones. But a collection of facts is not more a science than a heap of stones is a house. - Jules Poincare
When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. - Corrie Ten Boom
Science is built of facts the way a house is built of bricks; but an accumulation of facts is no more science than a pile of bricks is a house. - Henri Poincare
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