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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Children’s Illustrated Bible Faith

childrensbible

In the comments under this post, I had an atheist explain to me with no uncertain terms just how out of touch with reality I truly am.

This happens to me every once in a while. I have an atheist favor me with a nice little pat on the head, a smile, and tell me that one of these days I’ll become a big boy, lay aside my children’s illustrated story Bible and see the real world for what it is.

Allow me to note some highlights for apologetic learning purposes.

Here's the bottom line. I grew up a Baptist church believing that Noah's Flood really happened. I believed all of it, and when I was young, I had no reason to doubt any of it. I would have been a much happier person if I could have continued to believe as I was taught, because certainty feels better than doubt.
But at a certain point, I just couldn't ignore the evidence provided by the physical world around me. At a certain point, it all just didn't make any sense any more. Not the flood, not eternal damnation, not the Trinity, none of it. I wish it did. I don't like doubt. My life would be easier without doubt. But life is what it is.

This admission says it all; it frames the rest of our discussion.

Here we have a guy growing up in a typical, red state, fundamentalist Baptist church. If it was the kind of Baptist church I attended, I have a lot in common with what he says here.

I could, without fail, tell you every week what the basic structure of the sermon would be. A three point message, lots of amusing, anecdotal Southern humor sprinkled throughout, and an emotional illustration, all wrapped up with a long invitation at the end.

Sunday school was based upon the denominational quarterlies that are designed to rush the class through the entire Bible in three years. Sunday school teachers were nice folks. Heck, my aunt taught my Jr. church and I had a cousin teach our teen class. But honestly, in spite of their sweet Christian piety, they lacked any serious sophistication to answer any hard questions I would put to them regarding any of the things I heard at school that challenged my faith.

So I could say my background is the same as the atheist's here.

However, he seriously thinks I still remain in a carpeted game room and derive my theology from flannel boards. All through high school and college, I was exposed to the same evidence provided by the same physical world taught to me by stern, dogmatic professors who told me my Bible was a fairytale.

Why then doesn't any of that so-called evidence shatter my faith? Am I not reading the right peer-reviewed journals? Not reading the right books? To borrow an illustration from another atheist, I live on the same pale, blue dot. How come I don’t see stuff like he does?

Atheists carry on as if I would read just the same stuff they did, I wouldn't be a Christian any longer. But I have read their stuff, and here I still sit, believing in historicity of Noah's ark, the flood, and Jesus. I don't doubt any of it and it all makes sense to me.

Has it occurred to my atheist commenter that evidence really has nothing to do with my beliefs? Evidence has to be interpreted, any ways, and the starting point on which one evaluates and filters the evidence will obviously impact what one concludes about that evidence.

I begin with the fear of the Lord. I grant that my "fear" is supernatural and undebatable in peer-review journals. In other words, my faith is a work of divine grace that gives me ears to hear and eyes to see. I would venture a guess that his doubts have nothing really to do with overwhelming evidence and everything to do with disappointments with God, the lack of respect he has toward his religious family growing up, and deep respect he has now for his new found atheist community.

So, now you have to turn to an argument that leads to the conclusion that we can’t draw conclusions about anything. You have a bias, I have a bias, so all we have in the end are our opinions. I reject your conclusion because you’re biased. You reject my opinions because I’m biased. What’s the point? This is not very helpful, and I don’t understand why YEC folks always go for the “no one is unbiased” argument.

Here again is an example of how atheists, particularly young 20 somethings that are fresh from their former life as a Fundamentalist, often do not self-reflect upon their presuppositions.

They naively flit through the world thinking all the evidence it has to offer is self-authenticating and that he now knows the truth because he had the smarts to remove his "God delusion" blinders to see things as they truly are. Rarely do they recognize that a person filters his "opinions" through a set of personal presuppositions.

Let me point out some selected comments to illustrate what I mean.

I think that I’ve done far more reading than you realize.

Oh. I'm sure he has. Of course, if you’re only reading atheist propaganda, I'm not sure how that helps your case.

I don’t think that I’m that far off base when I say that it is the consensus of practicing ANE archeologists that much of the early history of the OT is contradicted by the archeological evidence. Is there any reason to think that this is not an accurate summary of the current state of ANE archeology?
But hey, give me some sources, and I’ll look into it. I've changed my mind about things many times in life. Have you? By the way, do you have anything that is published in peer-reviewed, mainstream journal?

I often wonder if all the young, internet atheists these days utilize the same play book when they engage their religious opponents. Apparently, this play book is encyclopedic, because it covers a wide range of subjects like ancient Near Eastern studies, geology, biology, and biblical lexicography, all in scrutinizing detail. And on top of that, it makes the atheist an instance expert.

Either that, or all atheists are idiot savant "Rainman" types incapable of forgetting anything.

But to the point at hand. Here's a good example of where those presuppositions come into play. I can give a rather extensive list of scholars and authors who would disagree with the assessment that ANE studies devastates the OT. For example, Noel Weeks, Michael Grisanti, Eugene Merrill, Andrew Steinman, K.A. Kitchen, Leon Wood, E.J. Young, Mark Rooker, Daniel Block, Bryant Wood, Charles Ailing, Doug Petrovich, James Hoffmeier, John Currid, to name a few.

All of them are published in peer-reviewed, mainstream journals, if the mainstream, theological and archaeological journals count for the atheist. Of course, that is the rub. He has his list of so-called peer-reviewed journals he accepts as authoritative. If the ones in which these men publish don't fit his criteria, they'll be dismissed out of hand without any consideration.

Additionally, he believes his peer-reviewed journals are unbiased, have no particular interest in religion one way or another, and thus no agenda to promote. They see the evidence for what it is and conclude the Bible isn't truthful in these regards. But this just reveals more self-delusion.

No, it doesn’t “just happen”. If it happens, it’s because of the way the natural world happens to work. “Self-organizing biochemical reactions” happen all of the time. What makes the scientific study of abiogenesis different is that it’s testable. As you would say, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Atheists, like my commenter, are so desperate to ignore any "evidence" of purposeful design, or dare I say “creation,” that they are willing to embrace the absurd and ridiculous "science of the gaps" type arguments.

Abiogenesis is a good example. I wonder if my commenter even knows what I mean here, because abiogenesis is life from non-life. "Self-organizing biochemical reactions" may happen "all the time;" hydrogen, for example, bonds with oxygen to make water. But none of these “chemical bonds” can produce the diverse, genetic driven, intelligent life that we see fill our world today. Chemical bonds don’t produce information: lots of complex information that causes the organisms to thrive, live, and adapt.

Of course, many folks have written on this subject. Stephen Myer, for instance, has a massive, 500 plus page book called “The Signature in the Cell.” Does it count? Probably not if the atheist can find a consensus of ID haters to say it doesn’t. It’s situations like these that free-thinkers appeal to consensus to determine truth rather than evidence.

But what about atheists who have problems with Darwinianism’s explanation of life? Do they count? Are they just going rogue for the sake of going rogue? Do they “know what they are talking about?”

What puzzles me is why folks tend to bristle a bit when someone says that the Noah story isn’t feasible. Why should young earthers or literalist care if it’s feasible? What’s the point of even trying to demonstrate that any aspect of the story is feasible? I don’t get it. Why is there a need for a long drawn out response when Mr. Atheist says you must believe the following amazing things? Just embrace the fantastic!

arkI can appreciate that comment. There is a kernel of truth in it. Is the biblical record authenticated by peer-reviewed engineering journals on the feasibility of the ark? No. I would say the same about the Resurrection. Do we need to have a testable situation in which we can scientifically determine through peer-reviewed journals if a corpse can come to life and thus prove the veracity of the Gospel narratives? Of course not.

However, the ark, as it is revealed in Scripture, is feasible. A number of ancient wooden ships match it closely in size, so there is no particular structural problem, and those ships were designed to be sailed repeatedly rather than utilized once. Moreover, the Bible doesn’t record specific designs for the ark. It just records the dimensions and how many decks it is to have. Nothing about how the structural integrity would be achieved. It’s just assumed by my atheist commenter that Noah was a primitive, stupid man limited by the pre-bronze age world or whatever. Thus, unless he had modern day technology, he couldn’t achieve what God asked him to do.

I am of the mind that if God asked him to do something, he had the ability to achieve what God asked. We may not know exactly how that was done, but of course, my atheist commenter has the same problem with the origins of life.

Look, I understand that you believe what you believe, and there is nothing that I can say to change it. But the vast, vast majority of Christian geologists think that the geological evidence contradicts the global flood hypothesis. Perhaps you should ask the question…why do they think this? Why have the vast, vast majority of CHRISTIAN geologists come to the conclusion that geology is devastating to a literal OT and the flood myth?

Wow. Not just one “vast,” but two. All of those Christian geologists? Can he name some? I happen to know a few. One in particular who has written for Biologos and is an evangelist AGAINST biblical creationism. He has written to me on numerous occasions. Has begged my boss to let him come to my church and straighten out us poor, misguided Christians who have been lied to by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis (his words, not mine).

I only assume if my geological anti-creationist claims to be a Christian that he believes some particular things about Scripture. He has told me he does, for instance, believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, something my atheist commenter denies. Yet when I press my geological antagonist on the particulars of his doctrine, he falls back upon “I don’t know” and points me to the websites of apostates and other similar miscreants who basically argue like the atheist commenter.

I would venture a guess and say the main reason “Christian” geologists say the OT flood narrative is “devastated” by the so-called evidence has more to do with how they have been taught to do geology, rather than just raw evidence. Geology is a fairly young discipline and it was initially based upon a set of uniformitarian principles the geologist was expected to utilize when doing research. Those principles can be challenged, as is demonstrated in this article and this article. (Which happens to be in a peer-reviewed journal).

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45 Comments:

Blogger Dave said...

Well, the explanation is quite easy. the 'geological anti-creationist' is a lyar.
One either belives or disbelieves the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture; and, if they belive the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, then, they will believe the literal six day creation, the flood, etc... It is that simple. Also, it brings into question their being a Christian at all, for they are disputing Jesus' Own Words concerning the flood.

8:25 AM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Robert said...

I would say that both the atheist and the "theistic evolutionsists" (talk about an oxymoron - at least as far as the true God of the Bible is concerned) both think of God as a tool to explain what they see. The only difference is that athiests think we are fools for believing in God. In setting things up in this manner, they make the material world they observe the standard and they make God to fit it.

On the other hand, Biblical Christians look at the world around us as a tool to explain the existence of our Creator, God. And we look to the Bible to know Him better because that is where He speaks to us. Again, this is foolishness to those who hold science to a highger standard.

Of course, this is not a new type of problem. "For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Cor. 1:22-25)

10:26 AM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Edward said...

Brother Fred, Before I comment I would like to say I often thank God in my prayers for you, GTY, Teampyro and Michael Durham at Real Truth Matters (I spell it out for those who do not know what RTM stands for. Everybody knows what GTY stands for.) The Lord has lead me to all of you who are true to His infallable word and I can't express how thankful I really am.

I agree with all you have said. It is impossible to convince someone of the truth of the Gospel with evidence. You can't just reason with someone and make them believe. I truly feel sorry for this atheist commenter. He has had the Gospel preached to him but has not had the Holy Spirit open his eyes and understand and believe. Just the opposite has happened. He has been blinded by Satan.

It is hard for me to understand how a person can get a PHD from a liberal collage be trained in something like geology, write a book or two on evolution and be considered smart a atheist. Then after time studying the earth be enlightened by God and see how the flood caused the geological columns and come to be regenerated to new life in Christ Jesus and all of a sudden he is an uneducated creationist. I think that is sorta like it happened to Steve Austin at ICR.

I have to agree with the poster Dave when he said "One either believes or disbelieves the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture; and, if they believe the infallibility and inerrancy of Scripture, then, they will believe the literal six day creation, the flood, etc... It is that simple. Also, it brings into question their being a Christian at all, for they are disputing Jesus' Own Words concerning the flood."

There are many many (2 many) people claiming to be Christian who have not truly been regenerated and trying to live the Christian life apart from the in dwelling of the Hole Spirit.

10:47 AM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Thanks for making this a post Fred instead of just responding to this “specific” atheist with a comment. Your summary correctly applies not only to “him” but to atheists in general and makes a terrific argument against “evidential” apologetics. Not that they should never be used but that in the end it will always come down to presuppositions.

If there was an area that I would like to see further discussion (like you’ve got nothing better to do ;-)) it would be how presuppositioal apologetics relates to predestination. I mean, in the end, doesn’t it make perfect sense that certain unbelievers don’t (can’t) see the Truth? IOW, there is a reason they don’t fear the Lord and therefore don’t receive the knowledge. Is this what Jesus was referring to when he said, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and revealed them to infants” in Matthew 11:25?

BTW, I have only been to Biologos a few times, (I simply can’t stand it there) so I’m not sure if Hugh Ross even belongs, but his is the first name that popped into my head when you mentioned someone wanting to straighten out us poor, misguided Christians who have been lied to by Ken Ham and Answers in Genesis. It sure sounds like him.

11:20 AM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

Well, I seem to have stirred up the nest.

I can keep this really short.

"I begin with the fear of the Lord. I grant that my "fear" is supernatural and undebatable in peer-review journals. In other words, my faith is a work of divine grace that gives me ears to hear and eyes to see."

Right, then. I guess that settles it. This is the key to whole problem.

You cannot possibly be wrong. Any presentation of evidence, data, observations and reason is utterly futile. Any attempt to discussion engineering or archeology or geology is a total waste of time. Further discussion is pointless. You have Truth. Good for you.


"I would venture a guess that his doubts have nothing really to do with overwhelming evidence and everything to do with disappointments with God, the lack of respect he has toward his religious family growing up, and deep respect he has now for his new found atheist community."

Well, I do admit that I find humans to be very disappointing creatures. I'm sorry, but you simply do not know what you're talking about here. You don't know me. You have the arrogance of the religious fanatic, but you don't know jack.

11:29 AM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Steve Drake said...

The older I get, the more I realize that the Christian apologist must start slowly and methodically, and challenge presuppositions, as you mention Fred.

It's almost as if we need to back the de-tractor up (is there a pun in there?), and begin premise by premise. It's painstaking work, takes time, and not easily done over the internet. However, we are called to 'demolish speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God...' (2 Cor. 10:5). Evolution is a speculation, a non-historical Adam is a speculation, an old (4.5 billion year) earth is a speculation, a non-global and non-universal Flood is a speculation. All are lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God and must be destroyed and taken into obedience to Christ and His Word. Keep up the good work Fred!

11:40 AM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger DJP said...

Here it is: "Evidence has to be interpreted."

On that, humanity broadly divides into two types:

1. Those who admit it.
2. Those who don't.

Atheists tend to fall into the second camp.

WV: holess

11:48 AM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

A footnote, just to show that I'm not ignoring your "sources"...

You said...

“I often wonder if all the young, internet atheists these days utilize the same play book when they engage their religious opponents. Apparently, this play book is encyclopedic, because it covers a wide range of subjects like ancient Near Eastern studies, geology, biology, and biblical lexicography, all in scrutinizing detail. And on top of that, it makes the atheist an instance expert. Either that, or all atheists are idiot savant "Rainman" types incapable of forgetting anything.”

“I can give a rather extensive list of scholars and authors who would disagree with the assessment that ANE studies devastates the OT. For example, Noel Weeks, Michael Grisanti, Eugene Merrill, Andrew Steinman, K.A. Kitchen, Leon Wood, E.J. Young, Mark Rooker, Daniel Block, Bryant Wood, Charles Ailing, Doug Petrovich, James Hoffmeier, John Currid, to name a few.”

An impressive list. Just one problem. I looked them up.

As far as I can tell, only a couple of these guys appear to be archeologists, and a some cases, that’s being generous with the term. Kitchen seemed to be a little old to be a “practicing archeologist”. Bryant Wood, appears to be promoting a dating of Jericho that is rejected by mainstream archeologists. Steinman might be worth further reading, but that’s about it. The rest of the list is padded with folks who are clearly not anything close to practicing ANE archeologists. This is the best you can do?

My original statement stands as accurate. It is the consensus of practicing ANE archeologists that much of the early history of the OT is contradicted by the archeological evidence. Please note that I didn't say ANE STUDIES. I said ANE ARCHEOLOGY. Like Ron, you often make comments that suggests that you don't read my words very carefully. You may disagree with their conclusions, but my statement about current ANE archeology is accurate.

So, save the insults.

12:09 PM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Sloan said...

With regard to abiogenesis, Fred: You do understand, do you not, that it is not necessary to solve the problem of the chemical origins of life in order to answer the broader question of whether or not organisms share common ancestry? You do understand that these are two different questions, correct?

12:55 PM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"I think that is sorta like it happened to Steve Austin at ICR."

I may be wrong about this, and I don't know for certain, but I don't think that Austin ever wrote a book about evolution or was ever an old earth geologist. I believe that he was a young earther when he started grad school in geology.


"Here it is: "Evidence has to be interpreted."

No kidding.

So, given that, if it happens that your interpretation is wrong, how can you know that you're wrong? If evidence has to be interpreted, and if everyone simply interprets according to his or her worldview, then how can we determine if any particular interpretation is inaccurate?

For example, there is evidence that the sun goes around the earth. One can certainly interpret the evidence as supporting geocentricism. How can you tell if geocentricism is an accurate description of how the world works?

2:48 PM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Sloan writes,
You do understand that these are two different questions, correct?

But they are irrelevant questions if you don't have the information to drive the chemical reactions. You do understand THAT distinction, correct?

It may behoove you to read this:
http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/getting-over-the-code-delusion

Read, don't skim.

2:57 PM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

BTW, what do my two atheist do with the atheists mentioned in this article:
http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2011/11/intelligent-design-atheists-to-the-rescue

3:00 PM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

BTW, what do my two atheist do with the atheists mentioned in this article:

What would I do them? Um, nothing? What am I supposed to do with them?

I don't get it. Your point would be?

4:10 PM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Sloan said...

Just to clarify: I'm not an atheist. I'm not sure what I am right now, but I am not, nor have I ever been, an atheist.

10:27 PM, December 01, 2011  
Blogger Robert said...

I feel like I'm a kid again playing with my jack in the box and hearing the tune of "Pop! Goes the weasel" Especially the round and round part. Just a clear manifestation of this:

"And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." (2 Corinthians 4:4)

I wonder if the atheist/agnostic ever considers that they are fulfilling what Scripture says.

6:35 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

An impressive list. Just one problem. I looked them up.

As far as I can tell, only a couple of these guys appear to be archeologists, and a some cases, that’s being generous with the term. Kitchen seemed to be a little old to be a “practicing archeologist”. Bryant Wood, appears to be promoting a dating of Jericho that is rejected by mainstream archeologists. Steinman might be worth further reading, but that’s about it. The rest of the list is padded with folks who are clearly not anything close to practicing ANE archeologists. This is the best you can do?


Wow. You looked them up? It looks like you can use Google. Good for you. Now, did you actually go back and read their published works before you made such a asinine, uniformed statement? I thought not.

6:36 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

BTW, what do my two atheist do with the atheists mentioned in this article:

What would I do them? Um, nothing? What am I supposed to do with them?

I don't get it. Your point would be?


They are two atheists, offering pointed criticism against the worldview you claim holds all the undeniable evidence, using the criteria you insist determines the viability of that evidence in support of that worldview. Two atheists, mind you. Not two creationists. Atheists.

6:42 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"Now, did you actually go back and read their published works before you made such a asinine, uniformed statement? I thought not."

Was I wrong in my assessment of who was an archeologist and who wasn't? How does your list of names contradict the statement that it is the consensus of practicing ANE archeologists that much of the early history of the OT is contradicted by the archeological evidence? I may be uninformed, but am I also incorrect?

Look, I understand that there are those who study the OT and who are totally committed to the proposition that it provides a literal historical account from Day One with Day One occurring only thousands of years ago. I understand that they will disagree with the consensus of currently practicing ANE archeologists. I understand that no evidence will change their minds.

But are these folks practicing archeologists themselves? Did they go into the field to test hypotheses based on OT? Did they begin with the position that they might be wrong and that the evidence might contradict they're theories? If they are wrong, how could they tell if they were wrong?

These are the sorts of things that I'm talking about when I refer to archeology.


"They are two atheists, offering pointed criticism against the worldview you claim holds all the undeniable evidence, using the criteria you insist determines the viability of that evidence in support of that worldview."

Er, ok, but I'm still not sure what I'm supposed to do with them. I'm not even sure what you're saying here. I guess I'm slow, but I don't really get it.

Do these two fellows think that Noah built an Ark? Do they think that God created all life forms in one week about 5000 years ago? How are they helping your case?

I just don't understand what your point is. Have I used the phrase "undeniable evidence"? Have I said that I know with absolute certainty that there is nothing miraculous or supernatural in the entire universe? Hey, if they have some testable ideas about the biological world, then terrific. Let’s try ‘em out, and we’ll see how far we get with them. Otherwise, what's the point?

7:48 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Question: “what do my two atheist do with the atheists mentioned in this article:

Bernd: “I don't get it. Your point would be?

Sloan: “Just to clarify: I'm not an atheist

Answer: Exactly what one would expect them to do.

Next.

8:33 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

My own question:

If an Ark is built in the middle of a bunch of atheists, is it really there?

8:36 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Was I wrong in my assessment of who was an archeologist and who wasn't?

That's irrelevant. Archeologists dig up "evidence." "Evidence" has to be evaluated and interpreted. Archeologists put forth "theories" as to what it means.

Look, I understand that there are those who study the OT and who are totally committed to the proposition that it provides a literal historical account from Day One with Day One occurring only thousands of years ago. I understand that they will disagree with the consensus of currently practicing ANE archeologists. I understand that no evidence will change their minds.

Just like I understand there are those who "study" the OT and are totally committed to the proposition that it is merely another religious text that contains myth and so forth. Keep in mind, consensus does not determine truth. The "consensus" believed in man-made global warming to the point that many of them manufactured "evidence" to prove their "consensus."

But are these folks practicing archeologists themselves?

As a matter of fact, a number are if you would actually take the time to read through their material instead of doing superficial google searches.

Did they go into the field to test hypotheses based on OT?

Yes, You would find this out if you would take the time to read their published works instead of doing superficial google searches.

Did they begin with the position that they might be wrong and that the evidence might contradict they're theories?

Probably not, just like the typical secular archeologist doesn't begin with a position that he is wrong and evidence might be contradicted by other theories. You seriously need to understand how academic level research (funded by universities looking for results) works. It's not at all like you are imagining with unbiased men looking for truth.

If they are wrong, how could they tell if they were wrong?

Would it be in the same way that secular archeologists could tell they were wrong?

Do these two fellows think that Noah built an Ark? Do they think that God created all life forms in one week about 5000 years ago? How are they helping your case?

Probably not. But again, they are using your criteria you have set forth here and coming to opposite conclusions you are about the so-called evidence. You may not use the phrase "undeniable evidence" but you certainly imply it.

8:43 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Robert said...

Probably not, just like the typical secular archeologist doesn't begin with a position that he is wrong and evidence might be contradicted by other theories. You seriously need to understand how academic level research (funded by universities looking for results) works. It's not at all like you are imagining with unbiased men looking for truth.

I totally agree with this statement and I challenge Bernd and other atheists/agnostics to go find out what happens to all of the professors and research scientists who change from evolutionist beliefs to creation. See if they are still able to work at universities and get funding through grants because the evidence pointed them to belief in God as Creator...or even just to belief in intelligent design without any mention of God. What you find will be quite telling.

9:01 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“If an Ark is built in the middle of a bunch of atheists, is it really there?”

Ah, more brilliant comments from Ron.


“That's irrelevant. “

Well, you can call it irrelevant if you’d like, but despite being uniformed and asinine, my comments and assessment about the consensus of ANE archeologist were still accurate.


“Just like I understand there are those who "study" the OT and are totally committed to the proposition that it is merely another religious text that contains myth and so forth. “

Actually, I can point to archeologists who began with the expectation that the OT history would be confirmed, and it was the evidence that led them to change their minds.


“The "consensus" believed in man-made global warming to the point that many of them manufactured "evidence" to prove their "consensus."

Of course. You’re a global warming denier. Classic. You know, every day, more and more scientists who were skeptical of global warming claims are acknowledging the reality of man-made climate change. Maybe you should talk to them.


“As a matter of fact, a number are if you would actually take the time to read through their material instead of doing superficial google searches. “

Ok, list them. List their field archeology pubs. As I said, I found three names that seem to have some connection to field archeology, although one of the three is almost certainly not practicing today. Who did I miss?


“You would find this out if you would take the time to read their published works instead of doing superficial google searches.”

Ok, give me references. I’ll look them up.


“Probably not, just like the typical secular archeologist doesn't begin with a position that he is wrong and evidence might be contradicted by other theories. You seriously need to understand how academic level research (funded by universities looking for results) works. It's not at all like you are imagining with unbiased men looking for truth. “

So you acknowledge that your scholars won’t change their minds. Good. That makes my point.

But then you come close to accusing those practicing archeologists who disagree with your scholars of being dishonest so that they can get funding when you have ZERO evidence to back up your accusations. This doesn't even make sense. Why would a university deny funding if an archeologist’s finding supported some bit of OT history?

Yes, we’ll all have our biases, but a scientist is obligated to start with the assumption that he or she might be wrong. It’s a rule of the game.


“Would it be in the same way that secular archeologists could tell they were wrong?”

Doesn’t answer my question. I don’t understand your response.


“Probably not (they don’t think Noah built an Ark). “

Well, there you go. Then this isn’t really going to help you, is it?


“You may not use the phrase "undeniable evidence" but you certainly imply it.”

Or maybe you jumped to conclusions.

9:26 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Sloan said...

I'm thinking maybe full disclosure might be helpful here, so that y'all don't second-guess me any more.

I have always believed in God, even before my conversion. I committed my life to Christ when I was 18 (I'm now 49). I got baptized, joined the Southern Baptist church where my older brother attended, and it completely changed my outlook; I suddenly found a new meaning and purpose and joy in my existence. I had a fervent devotional life, studying the Bible and praying and committing every facet of my life to God. So great was my devotion to Christ that for a while I thought perhaps I might be under some call to the ministry. I went on mission trips, taught Sunday School, participated in discipleship groups and the Christian fellowship at my college, led the Baptist Student Union for a while, married a very sweet Christian girl from a good family (we're still married, 25 years later), and raised our two children in the faith. By that time we had gone back over to the Orthodox Presbyterians (the church in which my wife grew up), but all my experience has been in mainline denominations...nothing flaky, so I can't be accused of having been brainwashed. I served on the diaconate for many years, I taught the teen Sunday School class, I taught courses on apologetics where I defended Young Earth Creationism. I read C.S. Lewis (still my favorite Christian writer), Francis Schaeffer, R.C. Sproul, Charles Spurgeon, and several others from the Reformed side of the theological spectrum. I'm familiar with terms like partial preterism and soteriology. In some ways, I think the Puritans have gotten a bum rap.

I'm a chemist working in public health in Atlanta. I have a double major in biology and chemistry from Berry College. I was in graduate school for a few years at Georgia State and took a number of graduate-level courses in biochemistry, molecular biology, immunology, and other subjects, but -- to my everlasting shame -- I did not obtain an advanced degree. In my spare time, I teach a biology course for home school students, something I've been doing for about six years now and I enjoy it thoroughly. I have a good wife and a good family. I read a lot, mostly in science-related topics, particularly paleontology and evolution. I love movies, computer games, and stories about people who overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. Fred, you and I actually have very similar tastes in music, books, and films; we would probably enjoy each other's company.

I am not some wild-eyed ex-Christian; I've had some interaction with those people, and frankly, they bore me and I have nothing in common with them. My experiences in the church have been almost entirely positive, so I can't blame them for what's been going on with me. It's only in the last seven or eight years that I've entertained any serious doubts about my faith. I struggle with depression, and I suppose you could target that as the cause of my problems, but actually I do have it under control, and some aspects of my struggle in faith predate the onset of my depression. It's a condition that runs in my family.

I haven't left the faith yet, but I sometimes think that I have both legs over the rail and I'm looking down at the ground on the other side, wondering if I should jump. I am looking for reasons not to. I am looking for reasons to stay.

10:15 AM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

Ok Sloan, I’ll bite.

I haven't left the faith yet, but… I am looking for reasons not to. I am looking for reasons to stay.

Really!?

You wrote this earlier on the thread about Noah’s Ark:

In order to conduct a thorough test of -- well, let's just call it the Ark Hypothesis -- modern efforts at building an Ark need to be conducted using Bronze Age materials and methods, and then the boat needs to be floated on the open ocean. None of the examples cited meet these conditions, so let's please just admit that the hypothesis remains untested. Ken Ham is not building a floatable Ark, and neither is the Dutch guy.

Does that sound like someone… looking for reasons to stay?

I mean let’s be honest. If someone did exactly what you have described, would you be satisfied, or would you, like I’m sure Bernd would, just say something like, “well, it doesn’t just need to float on the ocean, but it needs to stay afloat for a year”? And then if that was done wouldn’t you need identical weather conditions and then wouldn’t you need it loaded with just the right animals? Etc., etc.

Are you catching my drift here Sloan? Bernd obviously doesn’t want to believe and therefore the senseless (asinine?) things he says actually make sense… for him. However, you’re claiming to be a person who wants to believe, in fact, keep believing.

If that is indeed the case, does it really make sense that you are purposely looking for proof that cannot be found?

4:04 PM, December 02, 2011  
Blogger Steve Drake said...

Sloan,
Start again with what you know to be true. Do you have a sin problem? Is your finite mind capable of determining truth for yourself? Was Jesus a real historical person? Was He God incarnate? Did He die (crucified) and was resurrected to solve this sin problem you have? On what basis do you believe that this happened?

Start again from the basic premises. There must be something there that you can hang your hat on and begin to build again.

Analyse your most basic presuppositions about existence, knowledge and morality, thinking hard about them and analyse them in light of your own experience and constitution.

Get back to us with your thoughts.

6:59 AM, December 03, 2011  
Blogger thomas4881 said...

2 Peter 3: 3 Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5 For [a]when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6 through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7 But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

10:15 PM, December 03, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Sloan,
I appreciate the story. I know similar folks who struggle with the same things regarding their faith.

As a follow-up, nothing you relate here explains to me why you have these doubts. Could you elaborate on that?

8:23 AM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Bernd writes,
Well, you can call it irrelevant if you’d like, but despite being uniformed and asinine, my comments and assessment about the consensus of ANE archeologist were still accurate.

Actually, they are not. You made those comments based upon a surface level internet search. You have done nothing to read the research of these individuals.

Actually, I can point to archeologists who began with the expectation that the OT history would be confirmed, and it was the evidence that led them to change their minds.

And I can point to similar individuals who went out looking to disprove the OT history, only to have it confirmed as accurate and change their minds. Additionally, many of the people I listed were trained in secular universities under anti-Bible principles. It's the same thing with folks who are trained as evolutionists (heck, that's all I learned in school, both high school and college) but now believe differently because of the evidence.

Of course. You’re a global warming denier. Classic. You know, every day, more and more scientists who were skeptical of global warming claims are acknowledging the reality of man-made climate change. Maybe you should talk to them.

Of course I'm a denier. It’s pure political bunko. People who do actually know what they are talking about laugh at you. You need to read here:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/

Ok, list them. List their field archeology pubs. As I said, I found three names that seem to have some connection to field archeology, although one of the three is almost certainly not practicing today. Who did I miss?

You know how to use google. Try again.

8:35 AM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“You have done nothing to read the research of these individuals.”

And you've fail to provide me with a single link to a single research pub that would suggest that my comments about the consensus of ANE archeologist are inaccurate. You keep saying that they’re inaccurate, but you’re not showing it. Again, your list of scholars contained few field archeologists, and you’ve given me no references to peer-reviewed publications.

If you actually surveyed all of the PhD-level ANE archaeologists in the U.S., Europe and Israel who were currently doing field work or who had done field work in the last 30 years or so, what would you find? As with testing the ark hypothesis, this is something that you could actually do. If you actually did this, I don't think that you'd like the results.


“And I can point to similar individuals who went out looking to disprove the OT history, only to have it confirmed as accurate and change their minds.”

Ok, then point to them. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about the parts of the OT history that cover later events, events that post date about 1000 BC, and yes I know about the Hittite thingie. I’m talking specifically about much of the earlier history described in the OT (global flood, the exodus from Egypt, conquest of Canaan). For example, can you name an archeologist who rejected the “history” of the global flood or the conquest of Canaan, and whose mind has now been changed by his or her archeological field work? Just one will do.


“Additionally, many of the people I listed were trained in secular universities under anti-Bible principles.

What exactly do you mean by "anti-bible principles"? Do you really think that university archaeology departments are "anti-bible?"

Of those on your list, who was "university trained" in geology? How many were actually "univeristy trained" in archaeology? That is, how many hold degrees that say "archaeology"? So what exactly is this "training" that you are referring to?

I’ll bet you a nickel to a doughnut that most, if not all, of these people you listed were always literalists, young earthers and global flood believers. That is, most or all of them started with a belief in things like Noah’s Ark, and they simply maintained their beliefs throughout their university days. They were committed to floods and a young earth, and they weren’t going to change. Or a few may have later changed, because they thought they had to change to be good Christians.

In other words, they did not change to a belief in arks and a young earth due to archeological or other scientific evidence. Their positions on OT history are driven by a commitment to biblical literalism. Now, that’s fine by me, people can believe as they chose. But let’s be accurate about what’s driving the belief.


“Of course I'm a denier. It’s pure political bunko. People who do actually know what they are talking about laugh at you. “

Oy, vey. Anthony Watts? Really? A broadcast weather guy without a degree in meteorology is your go-to guy?

Hey, let’s play “trade a link”.

http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/10/20/349544/berkeley-temperature-study-results-confirm-global-warming/


“You know how to use google. Try again.”

So, you're not going to give me a single additional name that I missed? How long would that take? You're not going to provide a single link to a single research pub? ‘Kay. Your choice.

10:00 AM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Bernd continues,
If you actually surveyed all of the PhD-level ANE archaeologists in the U.S., Europe and Israel who were currently doing field work or who had done field work in the last 30 years or so, what would you find? As with testing the ark hypothesis, this is something that you could actually do. If you actually did this, I don't think that you'd like the results.

Let me ask. Have you? OR are you just blowing smoke? You read German, French, Hebrew because their field work in the so-called per review articles are generally in one of those languages.


Ok, then point to them. Keep in mind that I’m not talking about the parts of the OT history that cover later events, events that post date about 1000 BC, and yes I know about the Hittite thingie. I’m talking specifically about much of the earlier history described in the OT (global flood, the exodus from Egypt, conquest of Canaan). For example, can you name an archeologist who rejected the “history” of the global flood or the conquest of Canaan, and whose mind has now been changed by his or her archeological field work? Just one will do.

The Hittite thingy, That’s a good one.

What exactly do you mean by "anti-bible principles"? Do you really think that university archaeology departments are "anti-bible?"

Primarily the notion that there is nothing particular special about the Bible. That it’s authenticity can only be determined by naturalistic processes.

Of those on your list, who was "university trained" in geology? How many were actually "univeristy trained" in archaeology? That is, how many hold degrees that say "archaeology"? So what exactly is this "training" that you are referring to?

Well, take for example my friend Doug Petrovich, who is currently going through the PHD program at the University of Toronto in ANE studies.
http://exegesisinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=80 I happen to know he has done research in the field identifying Ai, and the destruction of Hazor, but of course, because you have a consensus determines truth, “pal” review mentality, it probably doesn’t mean nothing.

In other words, they did not change to a belief in arks and a young earth due to archeological or other scientific evidence. Their positions on OT history are driven by a commitment to biblical literalism. Now, that’s fine by me, people can believe as they chose. But let’s be accurate about what’s driving the belief.

All “belief” is driven by something. Evidence really has nothing to do with it. But you are yet to see that.

Oy, vey. Anthony Watts? Really? A broadcast weather guy without a degree in meteorology is your go-to guy?

Hey, let’s play “trade a link”.


You point me to Joe Romm, a guy who is into physics? Who has an entire section of his blog dedicated to LGBT issues? That’s YOUR go to guy? Really? Okay, if you don’t like Watts, Richard Lindzen? Is he worthy of attention, or is he “just one guy” who hasn’t met the rigors of the “pal” review process?

10:49 AM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Steve Drake said...

Bernd,
From reading your posts you have a much bigger problem than global warming, Noah's ark, and ANE cosmologies, to wit, you know God is there, your own constitution and what you see with your own eyes 'out there' screams His existence, yet you vociferously and adamantly deny His existence. You must address the God problem you have first. It will no good to continue to lie to yourself that He doesn't exist. You're only condemning yourself by continuing to deny His existence when in fact you know He is really there. He is close, Bernd, knocking at the door. Stop trying to kick against the rock of your mind, stubbing your toes in the process. Think, Bernd, think.

10:57 AM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

Fred,

“Primarily the notion that there is nothing particular special about the Bible. That it’s authenticity can only be determined by naturalistic processes.”

Um, well, yes, that is the way archaeology is done, and this is the way that all archaeology is done, regardless of where it’s done, but is this really anti-Bible?

If the flood or the exodus or the conquest really happened, then you could demonstrate this with “naturalistic” archaeology, no problem. The fact that you have to complain about the way in which archaeology is done is all I need to tell me that you understand that ANE archaeology is devastating to the OT with respect to the early history part of the document. Same goes for geology and countless other sciences. The evidence conflicts with your beliefs, so you have to reject the science. Well, that’s your choice.


“Well, take for example my friend Doug Petrovich, who is currently going through the PHD program at the University of Toronto in ANE studies. “

Ok, I’ll look this guy up. Can you point me to anything that he’s published in an archaeology journal?


“All “belief” is driven by something. Evidence really has nothing to do with it. But you are yet to see that. “

Right, so we’re back to the argument that it’s all a matter of opinion and bias. It’s all a matter of the beliefs that you begin with, everyone has their own beliefs and opinion and biases, so and there’s no way to know anything. Don’t know why the YEC folks always go for relativism, but there you have it.

Oh, I know that you claim that your particular beliefs are special and that you have absolute truth. But you’re just another human stumbling around in the dark, just like the rest of us. Being human, you have biases, too, and so you're conclusions are just flawed and unreliable as mine. Being human, you don't have capital-T truth anymore than I do. But you are yet to see that.


“You point me to Joe Romm…?”

Instead of complaining about LGBT issues, why don’t you read the article? This was just one of the first links I ran across when I googled BEST and Watts, but there are plenty of other sites that point out what this site points out. Namely, that the Koch-funded BEST does confirm that reality of global warming, and that Watts had famously promised “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.“

Point is, the deniers will continue to deny, even when the evidence is piled-up a mile high.


Look, in the end, I get it. I really do. You can always find someone who has rejected the science, whether it’s archaeology, geology, meteorology or whatever. And in the end, the science doesn’t matter anyway. Facts don’t matter, data don’t matter, observations, don’t matter, hypothesis testing doesn’t matter and the need to have a way to find out if you happen to wrong doesn’t matter.

You have TRUTH, that's all you need, and there’s no doubt about that. So, I’ll leave you to it.

11:26 AM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

Steve,

“You vociferously and adamantly deny His existence.”

You don’t get it. I don’t deny the existence of God. I just think that your particular version of God is almost certainly inaccurate.

I have thought. That’s the problem. I could believe until I started thinking.

11:29 AM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Steve Drake said...

Bernd,
That's a different problem all together then Bernd. You say you don't deny the existence of God, but you deny the Judeo-Christian God? What God do you want to put in His place? A god of your own making will not work.

12:51 PM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Ron (aka RealityCheck) said...

”I don’t deny the existence of God. I just think that your particular version of God is almost certainly inaccurate.

Really? And which particular version of God do YOU think is accurate ?

6:59 PM, December 05, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"What God do you want to put in His place?"

"And which particular version of God do YOU think is accurate?"

I haven't a clue. I suspect that any entity capable of creating universes is pretty much unknowable and incomprehensible. I'm certainly not going to say that such an entity can't or doesn't exist, but as to the details, to steal a line from Darwin, a dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton.

Sometimes, "I don't know" is the anwer that makes the most sense.

8:08 AM, December 06, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I suspect that any entity capable of creating universes is pretty much unknowable and incomprehensible.

True. Unless that entity chooses to reveal Himself to us.

8:19 AM, December 06, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"True. Unless that entity chooses to reveal Himself to us."

In all sincerity, I understand that it's a comfort to think that this is so.

8:23 AM, December 06, 2011  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

And likewise, I understand how it is a comfort to deny it.

8:42 AM, December 06, 2011  
Blogger Steve Drake said...

Bernd,
A lifetime commitment to 'I don't know', and 'I haven't a clue' equates to 'It doesn't matter. I'm not able to determine, therefore I'll just go along making the best of things until I die, and then that's it. Nothing more.'

However, you do realize this is a worldview? That nothing impinges upon me in this world except what I make of it, and then I die? As a worldview, Bernd, does it make sense of your experience? Can it answer the big questions of why you exist, why anything exists, what purpose is your existence, how do you know that you know, and in the end does it matter a hill of beans whether you ever existed or not?

8:45 AM, December 06, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

"And likewise, I understand how it is a comfort to deny it."

Actually, there's very little comfort involved here. I was much happier when I could believe certain things that I find very difficult to believe now.

8:47 AM, December 06, 2011  
Blogger Sloan said...

Ron said:

Does that sound like someone… looking for reasons to stay?

In a word, yes. They're my words, and I know my own thoughts and feelings, and yes, I would like to believe that the events described in Scripture are true in a clear, historical sense. But they sound to me like the words of someone who is struggling with the disconnect between a literal interpretation of Scripture and his knowledge of historical and scientific facts.

There was a time when I just accepted these things at face value and believed them on faith, with no need for any sort of validation, no need to wonder about the engineering and the mechanics involved. I guess the question I'm asking myself now is, what has changed? And why?

I think it has to do with a desire to purge my life of stuff that doesn't square with reality. It was my desire to know truth that led me in this direction, not any subconscious desire to reject it. Nevertheless, I recognize that part of faith is believing the unverified...it is, after all, "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

I still think that belief in God is consistent with reality. I'm just no longer certain that the Judeo-Christian revelation of God is the valid and correct one. Which leaves...what? I'm not sure. But I hope God will be patient with me as I work it out. Hey, maybe I'll end up coming full-circle.

2:19 PM, December 06, 2011  
Blogger Robert said...

Sloan,

What reality are you trying to square the Bible with? There is much faith placed in methods of dating that are wholly unreliable (would you trust any type of device for measurement of any dimension that had a margin of error of at least +/- 100%?).

There is also much creedence given to people with all kinds of fancy credentials who state that they will not allow for the possibility of God. And what is even worse, there are many who state that the evidence points to the Creator God, but they refuse to support that viewpoint because they don't want to have to deal with the repercussions...they don't want to have to give up the pleasures they are chasing in this life and be accountable to God and His standards.

I guess the question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to look at what you are calling reality and give it the type of thorough examination that Bernd is not willing to do with the people and ideas that he follows. He only wants to accept conclusions about evidence from people who think like he does and doesn't see how there is a problem with that.

Bernd,

Do you realize how silly it sounds to hear you say "I haven't a clue. I suspect that any entity capable of creating universes is pretty much unknowable and incomprehensible" and then say that we should be able to replicate the exact method of building Noah's ark when we are only given a few details about the ark and how it was built? We are told that it was made of gopher wood, dovered with pitch, it had rooms (don't know how many or how big), the overall dimensions (but not the shape), it had a window near the top, and that it had three decks (guessing this didn't include the top, but no way to be sure). When we read Genesis, we don't get to see how exactly it was built and what other instructions God may have given to Noah as he built it. Given the level of detail that God gave to Moses about how to build the tabernacle, I am guessing that said details just are not that important for us to know. So you can't comprehend God, but you have a problem with God revealing Himself in Scripture, but not giving every little detail about everything He has done? The proper reaction is to be grateful for every little bit that He chooses to share with sinful men with finite minds that can only grasp little bits and pieces of it all in the first place. And then to seek forgiveness for our sins and redemption from and to God.

5:44 AM, December 07, 2011  
Blogger Bernd said...

“Methods of dating that are wholly unreliable”

Dating methods aren’t perfect, but they are far from “wholly unreliable”.


“Do you realize how silly it sounds to hear you say "I haven't a clue. I suspect that any entity capable of creating universes is pretty much unknowable and incomprehensible" and then say that we should be able to replicate the exact method of building Noah's ark when we are only given a few details about the ark and how it was built? “

I’m not asking anyone to replicate the exact method of building Noah’s Ark. Just build an ark. Any ark, by any method consistent with what we know from Genesis (right length, made of wood, no steel, seal it with pitch, etc.).

I think that I have probably failed to make myself clear. When I say “I haven’t a clue”, imply or included in that statement is the position that I cannot say with absolute certainty that there are no miracles, no fantastical event, no supernatural interventions, etc. When I say I don’t know, I mean I don’t know.

However, given what I can observe and given what we understand about the world around us, I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to assume a default position of skepticism when it comes to the flood story. I take this position for a long list of reasons that go well beyond the question of the feasibility of the ark. Now, if you allow for the miraculous and fantastical, then the sky’s the limit, and sure, Noah could have built an ark. So, I’m not going to say that I’m absolutely certain that it didn’t happen. But I doubt it.


“When we read Genesis, we don't get to see how exactly it was built and what other instructions God may have given to Noah as he built it. “

You see, right there, we have the introduction of the supernatural. The ark is not “feasible” without the intervention and instruction of God. Noah couldn’t build the ark without the miraculous intervention of God. Apparently, no human can build an ark without a miracle. That’s sorta been my point all along, and I’m puzzled by the way it makes people bristle.

Yes, it’s possible that God gave Noah some super secret method that allowed him to build an ark. I certainly cannot say that this didn’t happen, but that’s not very helpful to those who would test the Ark Hypothesis. It’s possible that there’s something that we don’t know about ship building that Noah knew, but we really do have a very, very good understanding of the properties of wood, how to build ships, how to build computer models that will let us test a very wide range of designs, etc. Based on that knowledge, in the absence of further evidence, it appears that the ark is not feasible.

Yes, in the case of the flood story, one can appeal to miracles and supernatural intervention. Unfortunately, that renders the hypothesis untestable, and it leaves me wondering why I shouldn’t accept the supernatural claims of other cultures and other faiths. If God could have talked to Noah, then the Greek gods could have intervened in the Trojan War. So, which version of god or gods is accurate? Who knows? See “speculate on the mind of Newton.”


“The proper reaction is to be grateful for every little bit that He chooses to share with sinful men with finite minds that can only grasp little bits and pieces of it all in the first place.”

Yeah, I know. In other words, the proper reaction is to stop asking questions, stop thinking and stop doubting. This is one of many reasons why I drifted away from Christianity. When it stopped making sense, I was told to just believe it away.

7:20 AM, December 07, 2011  

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