Richard Carnes: Coming clean on miracles, from Vail Valley |

Richard Carnes: Coming clean on miracles, from Vail Valley

“It’ll be a miracle if the Cardinals win,” said my inebriated friend minutes before the Super Bowl started.

“Yeah, just like that plane on the Hudson River,” I replied. “Some supernatural sky fairy decided to let those people live and now will allow the Cardinals to win because, well, because we’re Americans, dammit, and we deserve it!”

He didn’t get it, but I’m pretty sure you do.

The fact that 155 people did not die in that crash is no more a miracle than you pushing a button on the little box in your hand and a talking picture appearing on the big box in front of you.

To call the US Airways’ remarkable water landing a supernatural event is an insult to the competence and rationality of everyone involved. Credit should be given where it is deserved, not to where the deluded wish it to be.

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The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Here is why no one died: The Airbus A320 was designed to be landed on water, if needed, and then safely evacuated. Capt. Sullenberger and his crew were prepared for such an emergency and knew exactly what to do, and they apparently did it flawlessly. The passengers remained calm and rational while collectively securing their own and each other’s lives.

All of the above is exactly what is supposed to happen in these types of situations, and not a single fatality had to be endured because everyone did their jobs.

Sadly, in the real world, this does not always occur.

But what irritates me, obviously, is the magical being sects would find a way to make the same superfluous claim no matter the outcome, whether one person had tragically died or if 154 perished and only one survived.

They would also ignore that on the very same day there was another plane crash, right here in Colorado in fact, where both occupants died. Or back on Dec. 21, when the Continental plane skidded off the runway at DIA and they called it a miracle as well, that another plane crashed in Colorado that same day too, killing all occupants.

Unfortunately, certain segments of our population will always find ways to twist events to give one magical being or another the credit, yet never the blame.

And to those I ask is this: Describe, in detail, one single nanosecond, from the moment the plane left the ground to the point where all 155 were safe on shore, that could not have happened exactly the way it did without a supernatural act defying all known laws of physics having occurred.

Just one single moment that could not, under any circumstance whatsoever, have occurred naturally.

Until anyone can prove, scientifically, for that nanosecond to have happened, I suggest the “miracle” nonsense be kept back in the magic closet of make believe, where it belongs.

Having said that, however, we all know it was the Steelers who received a miracle Sunday night.

There’s just no other possible explanation.

Richard Carnes can be reached at

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