Scientist: Angels can't fly

Dec. 22, 2009 at 3:10 PM

LONDON, Dec. 22 (UPI) -- A London scientist has authored a paper arguing angels as classically depicted, mostly-human forms with wings, would be unable to fly.

Professor Roger Wotton of University College London wrote in his paper, which was published by the school's Opticon magazine, that human-appearing angels with feathered bird-like wings would not be able to use the wings for flight, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.

"Even a cursory examination of the evidence in representational arts shows that angels and cherubs cannot take off and cannot use powered flight," Wotton wrote. "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."

Wotton's paper also took aim at fantasy depictions of fairies with the wings of butterflies.

"The distortion of the thorax needed for flight in fairies with butterfly wings would be exceedingly uncomfortable," the paper read. "For sure, fairies don't fly."

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