God Looks Like a Cross Between Chris Pratt And Elon Musk, According to Some Christians

Praise be
IMAGE PLOS/Joshua Conrad Jackson, Kurt Gray, Neil Hester

God looks a lot like a man who sarcastically sells flamethrowers and fired a car into space, according to American Christians.

A study published on PLOS One surveyed 511 Christians to find out what they imagined God's face to look like. It found that the idea of an old man with a big white beard - your classic God - is out, and that a slightly frightening amalgam of Elon Musk, Chris Pratt and a well-meaning Greenpeace activist smiling through the glass in your nan's front door, is in.

That's God on the left there. By contrast, you'll note that the face on the right is a) miserable, b) utterly chinless and c) also lurking in your nan's porch. That's the face which the respondents said looked least like God.

So how did the researchers come up with those faces? They used a new technique called 'reverse correlation'. Basically, a face which has been made up to represent the collective demographics of age, race and gender of the United States is randomly overlaid with 'visual noise'. Respondents are presented with two faces and are asked to choose which face looks more like what they imagine a certain person to look like: a firefighter, or a Trump supporter, or the divine creator of the universe, for instance.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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