Interconnectedness Of The Ancients

This is the start of a series of articles intended to debunk Genesis 1-11 and Romans 5. They will be an overview that come from notes from several courses I have taken over the past months. I intend to provide links to starting points to enable those interested to pursue what I call a "Serious Bible Study". It will show the means, motive and opportunity for the development of Judaism and Christianity in the Ancient World.

I recommend scrolling to the bottom of the article and opening the image in a separate window so you can look at it as you read.

Migration of humans out of Africa starting after the last ice age from 130,000 to 90,000 BCE(1) ensured robust populations in the Near East and South Asia. The natural cognitive algorithms enabling self-preservation, pleasure and novelty seeking account for the survival of the individual. The natural algorithms that develop from self-preservation and fostering offspring provide a means for early humans to prefer to stay in groups. Over the course of thousands of years development of new albeit primitive technologies and the naturally occurring algorithm of mutual self-interest(2) fostered trade between these populations and primitive "economies" to develop. Of course there were battles over various things but people seek comfort more than uncertainty which ensured the mutual survival of groups.

Generally people traveled over land at the end of the last ice age, the sea levels were about 130 meters (400 feet)(3) lower that what they are now. This caused the distance between coasts to be significantly less and caused land bridges to appear. The gap in the Red Sea between present day Djibouti and Yemen was smaller as was the distance from the coast of present day Oman to Pakistan and more importantly, the Indus Valley. Along the coast from Djibouti and Somalia are the regularly occurring Monsoon winds which change direction twice a year(4). Not only could people travel from Ethiopia and Somalia across lower half of the Saudi Arabian Peninsula through present day Yemen and Oman, to get to the Indus Valley, once the sailboat was developed in the fourth millennium BCE (4000-3000 BCE)(5), they could travel by sailboat from port to port along the coast of present day Yemen and Oman to the Indus Valley, and down the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. It also facilitated easier travel along the Nile in Egypt and the Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia. While it is not clear where the technology for the sail originated, it is clear that its use was common in the third Millennium BCE (3000 - 2000 BCE) in Mesopotamia, Egypt and in Asia Minor and facilitated a "World Economy"(6) between the regions. The self-esteem, greed and competition between kings ensured that technology changed hands and improved. Once the Ancients began traversing the oceans, they must have been shocked by the size, grace and water spouts of the Whales which are indigenous in those areas(7)(8)(9). The fear of the sea and the stories of those whales naturally led to the inclusion of them in their Creation Stories(10).

Just as technology is traded, so are ideas. Ideas lead to beliefs and beliefs lead to religion. The blending of ideas is common, it leads to similar characteristics between cultures and when the blending of ideas involves beliefs and faiths, it is called "Syncretism"(11). Evidence of the battles of the early Jews to resist syncretism appears in old testament scripture, and other forms of historical evidence are abundant. It is a fact of life that people trade everything, including ideas, and it is a means to more successful outcomes.

The civilizations affected by this technology and "world economy" are Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley the east coast of the Mediterranean, Asia Minor (Turkey) and Greece. It makes a triangle of interconnectedness along the waterways and land. Some of the founding Gods of those civilizations were, in Egypt Ptah and Atum, in the Indus Valley Hiranyagarbha or Prajapati, Brahma, Indra, Varuna and Vishnu, Purusha Sukta, In Mesopotamia Marduk, Asia Minor had El and Greece had Zeus(12). As one goes through reading the names of the Gods and stories, one notices striking similarities in the names that appear in the myths.

Canaan, Palestine, Israel and Judah were enclosed in this triangle of interconnectedness, and that brings us to Genesis 1.
To be continued.....



For the references, Wikipedia is used liberally because while academics don't consider wikipedia difinitive or acceptable as a source they do consider it generally good enough for quick reference.

Quick References

1. Early Modern Homo sapiens
2. Prisoners Dilemma
3. Sea Level
4. Monsoon Winds
5. Ancient Sea Exploration
6. Second Millenium shipwreck
7. Whales Arabian Gulf
8. Whales Turkey and Greece
9. Whales Coast of Oman
10. Leviathan
11. Syncretism
12. Creation Myths

Sources
1. Human Prehistory and First Civilizations, The Teaching Company
2. Great Religions: Hinduism (1st Edition), The Teaching Company
3. Great Religions: Hinduism (2nd Edition), The Teaching Company
4. Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World, The Teaching Company
5. Ancient Near Eastern Mythology, The Teaching Company
6. Biology and Human Behavior: The Neurological Origins of Individuality, 2nd Edition, The Teaching Company


Related Information


Ancient Ships
* Maritime history - Wikipedia, the free encyclop...
* ancient ships
* Archaeology team helps find oldest deep-sea shipwrecks HarvardScience
* Ancient Egypt: Ships and Boats
* Ancient Phoenician Ships, Boats and Sea Trade
* early ways of navigating sea

Whale information
* Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus) - Office of Protected Resources - NOAA Fisheries

Monsoons
* Monsoon African Connections: An ... - Google Bo...
* 538bc monsoon

Ancient History
* Ancient history
* First dynasty of Egypt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ancient Prehistory
* archaeolink.com archaeology, anthropology, social studies, general knowledge
* Evolution of Modern Humans: Early Modern Homo sapiens
* Hominid Species

Behavior
* Novelty Seeking Study
* NOVELTY SEEKING e-Review of Tourism Research

24 comments:

Jason said...

Lee,

Your argument begins with this statement:

Migration of humans out of Africa starting after the last ice age from 130,000 to 90,000 BCE(1) ensured robust populations in the Near East and South Asia.

You've obviously spent quite a bit of time researching your topic but right off the bat, your opening statement can't be proven. I did spend some time going through the links you provided and couldn't help but notice that the following phrases are commonplace: "the data suggests", "the model proposes", "it is argued", "it is likely", "contradictory models", "hypothesis", "theorizing", "apparently", "may have", etc.

You're basing your argument on suggestions and propositions. You'd hang a Christian out to dry if they tried the same thing, would you not? I can't help but imagine what the reaction would be if a Christian wrote a piece on the validity and truthfulness of prophecy and used these kinds of phrases...

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
as usual you are using a flawed analogy.
those links aren't crap compared to a college education and all the time spent accumulating data in the type of back breaking drudgery of archeology. Not only archeologists but the rest of disciplines involved break their backs on the ground and bust their as* on the books.

You want to refute the theories regarding homo sapiens, be my guest but you better be prepared to put up or shut up.

You show me the christian scientists that are out there and the undergrads that are busting their bal*s gathering the data and devoting their careers to studying and their own and other disciplines to make sense of the data.

They don't just throw up their hands and say "I don't understand this! It is a mystery, and therefore defaults to God. God did it."

When you have investigated all your possibilities and have not found your solution, then you investigate your impossibilities. We are not done with the possibilities yet.

So I'll stipulate that homo sapiens sapiens were specially created any time you want. 200,000 bce or 4000 bce, name your date, now explain where the all bones come from that are distributed from around the world, and don't forget to explain the occurrence of neanderthal and homo sapiens sapiens in the same time period, and then show me how you account for the overhead in time and manpower to build the pyramids, zuggarit and accumulate all the trash that is disposed of by those ancient civilizations. It takes time on the front to build a pyramid, palace, deplete the soil till its salt, build a boat and fill it with processed metals, and figure out how to pack that stuff in there to maximize the amount you can carry from place to place.

Get your nose out of the bible and get engaged in reality jason.

To dismiss my article because its not using the type of phrases you are accustomed to displays your inability to refute the data. Reasoning in most cases is defeasible, there are few absolutes and few dichotomies, the type of language you are used to from church infers a certainty that you can't back up, and even you don't know for sure whether the trinity is a fact or not.

So put up or shut up.

to the rest of the believers out there, don't bother presenting anything that has not been published in a peer reviewed journal, I'm not qualified to interpret it and neither are you. That is for the experts to hash out, and the rest of us to determine if it fits in reality, if it fits with our observations of the world.

And if any of you believers have not been to the near east or europe to see first hand and put your hand on these excavations, don't bother writing anything. I have been to the first olympic stadium in greece and sprinted from one side to the other, I have seen the ruins and walked around in them, I have been to the coloseum in rome, and been in the circus maximus, I have been in pompeii, I have seen the relics in the museums in these countries, I have experienced history, have seen it and touched in and let its dirt fall through my fingers.

when you have done that you are qualified to talk.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
I want to emphasise a point.
You show me the christian scientists that are out there and the undergrads that are busting their bal*s gathering the data and devoting their careers to studying and their own and other disciplines to make sense of the data.

They won't be creationists. Science doesn't make one an atheist, inference about the data does. I am sure there are thousands of christian archeologists and paleontologists and anthropologists and biologists, but I am just as sure they aren't creationists.

openlyatheist said...

"I have been to the first olympic stadium in greece and sprinted from one side to the other, I have seen the ruins and walked around in them, I have been to the coloseum in rome, and been in the circus maximus, I have been in pompeii, I have seen the relics in the museums in these countries, I have experienced history, have seen it and touched in and let its dirt fall through my fingers."

I'm going to put that on my to-do-before-I-die list. :)

richdurrant said...

I was planning on having a meaningful discussion, but And if any of you believers have not been to the near east or europe to see first hand and put your hand on these excavations, don't bother writing anything.

Psst Lee, I wasn't offended at all, just being my usual sarcastic self. If CAPS is yelling for online purposes, how do you whisper?

While I haven't been to Europe, or any archaeological digs I would still like to at least talk about what is presented here and I think that from my history with Lee that won't be a problem.;)

I have been reading the links and I was really in to the Maritime history link. Very interesting indeed. Two stories from the Book of Mormon are about ancient travelers that crossed the sea, allegedly to the Americas. At first these were thought of as bunk because data at the time suggested that no one crossed the sea that early, at least that is my best understanding. Anyway, that Wikipage, at the very least, shows that such stories are indeed plausible. Whether true or not is another question, but the plausibility is there.

Sorry if words like plausible, and phrases like data at the time, and such. But I just can't help myself, that's how I think. Even though I am a believer, I have left an open mind to scientific discoveries because of their nature, as in the collection of data and what story that tells us.
As far as creation issues, At some point we had a human ancestor, a first parent, call Him/Her what you will, They are still there.

This should turn in to an interesting discussion, I hope. I had more but work calls for now but I shall return later

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
heck yea, I'll talk to you. My homunculus came back unexpectedly since we last talked.

Do think I went over the top with the "....don't bother" thing?

probably. But I just wanted to discourage those YOUNG EARTH CONSPIRACY THEORISTS from wasting a bunch of space. Basically it was meant as "if you don't have any data, don't come to the table"
kind of like, don't sit down to play poker if you don't have any money.

show me the data!

L'Anse aux Meadows
the only genuine pre-columbian contact between the "old" and "new" worlds that I know of. Vikings 500 years before Columbus.

LIke I said before, most reasoning is defeasible, conclusions should be reassessed dependent on new information, language expressing likelihood is expected.

In this article I would like to stick to the subject of things like timelines of ancient civilizations, religious texts, similarities between cultures, earliest this and that, you know, things mentioned in the article. Your travelers sound riveting, tell me more.

If you want to break ground on the follow on article, it is going to cover Gen 1:1-10 in detail, and breeze over Gen1:11-25. It will discuss similarities between these verses and concepts in Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Hindu creation stories and cultures. I've got the draft and notes in my googledocs.

Oh and if anyone reading this wants to fight about my use of the term "YOUNG EARTH CONSPIRACY THEORISTS" I'll do an article on it later. We can hash it out then.

wikipedia: A conspiracy theory usually attributes the ultimate cause of an event or chain of events (usually political, social or historical events), or the concealment of such causes from public knowledge, to a secret, and often deceptive plot by a group of powerful or influential people or organizations. Many conspiracy theories imply that major events in history have been dominated by conspirators who manipulate political happenings from behind the scenes.

Lee Randolph said...

oh yea, Rich,
we all came from "a first parent" singular? Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but a viable breeding population needs about 50 right?

Not likely we came from one couple.

John W. Loftus said...

Regarding Lee's post, Mark Twain said "we are all children of our times," so if the Israelites were a part of those times then they had to be affected by the surrounding nations views of the cosmos, gods and goddesses, child sacrifice, and so forth. Excellent job Lee. The burden of proof is now on Christians who must maintain that the Israelites were not children of their times, a burden I don't think they can shoulder.

richdurrant said...

Hi Lee,

My homunculus came back unexpectedly since we last talked.

Sucks to be you! By the way, isn't that roughly translated as mini me in English?

Do think I went over the top with the "....don't bother" thing?

H E double toothpicks no! although I doubt the effectiveness will hold out. Maybe good for initial shock value, but most likely you'll end up knee deep in conspiracy.

the only genuine pre-columbian contact between the "old" and "new" worlds that I know of. Vikings 500 years before Columbus.

That's all I could find too. I remember reading something about ancient travelers but I haven't found it again yet. If I remember though it was more like the conclusion I came to that there simply is plausibility because of more recent data. I'll have to keep looking though. I have read, again somewhere I can't find yet, about a fossil that was found off the coast of Oregon that predated American Indians and is believed to be Caucasian. I should have better luck finding that when I can get around to it. It showed that the land bridge between modern day USSR and Alaska wasn't the only method of travel. Actually there is the Kennewick Man i would love to here more about. But I also seem to remember another that was on an Island off the coast.

In this article I would like to stick to the subject of things like timelines of ancient civilizations, religious texts, similarities between cultures, earliest this and that, you know, things mentioned in the article.

Fair enough, I was disappointed that you last post headed off into left field.

Your travelers sound riveting, tell me more.

Both stories are about travelers who left Jerusalem behind and headed across the sea. One is said to have left around 2000 BC in ships that were totally enclosed. But the other is a family that left around 600 BC in what I believe is more like a sailing vessel. When the second group arrived somewhere on the American continent, most LDS(Mormon) scholars believe it fits Mesoamerica. Just that we can find evidence to support the idea that these stories are left plausible leads to to think that as more data comes in, we may find even more and better evidence. It also could go the other way, or that the more evidence points away from these stories being plausible. I was going to add some links, but I don't think they will fit the criteria for this post so I might just email them to you so you can read through if you wish.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but a viable breeding population needs about 50 right?

Sounds good to me! Oh you don't mean we get 50 breeding partners? Crap, you almost had me converted! If it wasn't for the virgin thing, 70 sounds appealing to, but rather 70 women who know what they're doin'! ;)

Lee Randolph said...

Hi rich,
about kennewick man
check this out, its from sciencedaily.com from Apr. 26, 2006
and you can also find info from wikipedia.
If I read it right, it says that its ancestors were likely ainu japanese.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
remember thor heyerdahl?
he rode a neolithic spec. raft across the pacific.

wikipedia: "After a 101 day, 4,300 mile (7,000 km) journey across the Pacific Ocean, Kon-Tiki smashed into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands on August 7, 1947."

check that out in google earth. Before I remembered about Thor, I was going to tell you "not likely". Damn! Incredible (used to be)!

its 4,526 statute miles (7,284 km) across the atlantic. Now if conditions were the same in both oceans i guess they could have made it.

pre-columbian times goes from 14000bp-1492ad. but heck, doing it on a raft means it could be done from the point the raft technology was implemented. Neolithic is about the time that the mesopotamia was figuring out agriculture 8500bce.

gotta go. later.

wikipedia: "First Transatlantic Flight
May 8 - May 31, 1919. U.S. Navy Curtiss flying boat NC-4 under command of Albert Read makes first transatlantic flight, 4,526 statute miles (7,284 km), from Rockaway, New York, to Plymouth, England, via Trepassey, Newfoundland, Azores, Lisbon, Portugal, and other intermediate stops, in 53 hours, 58 minutes. "

richdurrant said...

Hey Lee,
Thanks for the links. I didn't remember about Thor, I gotta have a talk with my homunculus, that slacker.

It seems that the Kennewick man, and many others, doesn't look well for the what I think is called the Clovis-first theory. Also much is being found that suggest that America had been colonized by many different people. I don't know how reputable this site is but it looks like the Government once again stiffles science. Here's a tiny piece from that site:
The Clovis-first model gained enormous scientific prominence - in fact, to question it was to risk virtual professional suicide. Implicit in the theory is the premise that a single biological population, with a single culture and language, spawned the enormously diverse array of peoples - with their widely divergent cultures and languages - who were living in the New World at the time of European contact. Now, however, thanks to the new archeological finds and analytical advances, the Clovis-first model has been refuted.

Which also leaves plausible that a family could have left Jerusalem to colonize somewhere in America. I am not trying to say anything is proof positive, and I hope you realize that I am only trying to use current data to show that, at the very least, the story of a family coming to America some 2600 years ago is plausible. I won't make a claim of proof that the Book of Mormon is True based on such things, just simply that the core of the story could certainly be true, that some people crossed the ocean, landed somewhere on the American continent, and got busy colonizing.
That first flight was earlier than I would have guessed.

Shygetz said...

You've obviously spent quite a bit of time researching your topic but right off the bat, your opening statement can't be proven.

It can and has been "proven" within the strictures of science that humans migrated out of Africa between 50 and 150 millennia ago (although the figure I always heard for Recent African Origins was 70,000 BCE); that is, the evidence is sufficient that the vast majority of experts in the topic are convinced, and the only finagling is about the exact dates. If you don't like weasel words, stop reading science; they are full of them by design. It is uncommon to find a scientific article that comes out and says anything more strongly than "the data suggests", even when the authors themselves are more firmly convinced, because peer reviewers love to pounce upon definitive statements by coming up with outlandish but strictly possible scenarios that would invalidate the conclusion, forcing the author to backtrack or do terrible amounts of extra work to disprove truly silly possibilities. Once there is enough data, the suggestion becomes strong enough to be a scientific fact (which, like all scientific facts, are subject to revision given more data).

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Shygetz,
because peer reviewers love to pounce upon definitive statements by coming up with outlandish but strictly possible scenarios that would invalidate the conclusion, forcing the author to backtrack or do terrible amounts of extra work to disprove truly silly possibilities.

Its not only peer reviewers that do that, it is YOUNG EARTH CONSPIRACY THEORISTS. I hate those guys.
;-)
sciencedaily.com has an article about how genetic research shows that humans almost went extinct which could be the catalyst to get them to abandon africa. I'll post as a datum in one my next few articles.

richdurrant said...

Hey lee,
I have been bakin' my noodle and trying to swim upstream through all this info you're throwing around. It's been fun to say the least. I don't know if you have been aware of this article that discusses 3 ideas about before the big bang. Of particular interest to me is the first section in which Paul Steinhardt and Neil Turok have a radical idea of multiple big bangs. Or that we had our own big bang. This is a repetitive process that could go on forever. A statement made by another Mormon leader, Brigham Young, said “There never has been a time when there have not been worlds like this, and … there never will be a time when there will not be worlds organized and prepared for intelligent beings to dwell upon” (in Journal of Discourses, 8:81). “

I was reading this, which reminded me of the article I was reading in discover, previous link, and with your recent posts about Genesis got my brain in gear. Lots of interesting things to mull over, and over, and over. I didn't think this really fit into the new post so I added it here because I thought it was kind of related.
I think that if that theory pans out it would significantly change the way we think about our origins and creation in general. I didn't re-read that discover article so I am going from memory, which sometimes is not real good. :)

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
I'll check that stuff out. Thanks for contributing.

Mary said...

sciencedaily.com has an article about how genetic research shows that humans almost went extinct which could be the catalyst to get them to abandon africa. I'll post as a datum in one my next few articles.

Oh, and this couldn't POSSIBLY be from, oh, I dunno, ONLY 8 PEOPLE SURVIVING THE FLOOD. Oh lord no! :P

Lee Randolph said...

Hi mary,
no because eight people is not enough for a founder population. they would die out from birth defects from the "founder effect" go look it up on wikipedia.

You need a minimum amount of genetic diversity to ensure a viable population which is somewhere around fifty for humans.

If you start spouting off about persistent perpetual miracles, god can do anything special pleading drivel, then you are painting yourself into a corner with the problem of evil and freewill.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Rich,
I'm familiar with the content of the Discover article but I caution you on Discovers credibility. Stick to Nature or Scientific American, or a real Science Journal.

Unfortunately, until there is some significant evidence such as predictions to back up string theory it can be considered speculation.

regarding the LDS "science" paper referencing Noahs flood, it lost me here
Yet for many, science has come to mean not a method for understanding how nature does work, but a particular philosophy about how nature has to work. This philosophy has become a sort of super-model, and any proposed model or observation which doesn’t fit the existing philosophy is automatically discarded as unworthy of further examination. Accepting this rigid philosophy, known since the late eighteenth century as “naturalism,” has led many people to reject the story of the Flood and other events recounted in Genesis.

Because this is a strawman used to strengthen the authors position. If this is true of a person, you are not describing a scientifically minded individual. Bias and science, while they can exist together, they shouldn't by definition. Where conclusion skewing bias exists, thats where you find pseudoscience.

Do you agree with the viewpoint of the author?
if you do then,
Rich, you tell me how no ancient ships survived the flood, and work out where the water went, and work out how the heck noah got enough animals in the boat to guarantee genetic diversity for them and his family once they all got off, not to mention that in the book "innumeracy", the author (who is a mathematician) figured out that the force of enough water to fill earth coming down that fast would destroy a battle ship. What did they do when they got off the boat and the world was a WASTELAND meaning, no food, no infrastructure, no buildings, no raw materials just sludge and waste. The devil is in the details.

Its a myth based on the Enuma Elish.

And if you accuse me of an unwarranted naturalism bias, you might as well accuse me of having an unwarranted bias for believing that I should step on the brakes when I see the tail lights of the car ahead of me come on, because while I have never hit anyone from behind, I use things like observation, inference, data, reasoning from sign, analogy and precedent and the opinion of experts to commit to the idea that not stepping on the brakes will result in a collision.

Believers do too, but in my view, they don't seem to want to apply that to their religion.

Mary said...

Hey Randoph the Redfaced Skeptic:
>you tell me how no ancient ships survived the flood

Well the Ark survived, although it's been inacessible as of the past century or so. Other boats wouldn't have been nearly big or sturdy enough, and please keep in mind that the earth is covered in a majority of places by water. We haven't even scratched the surface of what's buried down under the seafloor. Could there be boats from then? Possibly. It's awfully difficult to determine, however.

>and work out where the water went,

It's in the Ocean, dude. Uplift of mountains and opening of deep see trenches (such as the Mariana Trench in the depths of the Pacific) are mechanisms by which water can be shunted away. If all the land was equally FLAT, the water would cover EVERYTHING. That's not to say that the pre-flood world was all equally flat, but they did not have mountains as tall as Everest, I'm telling you that.

>and work out how the heck noah got enough animals in the boat to guarantee genetic diversity for them and his family once they all got off,

Geez, for someone who believes in EVOLUTION, you SHOULD be able to figure out how it's possible. >.>

>not to mention that in the book "innumeracy", the author (who is a mathematician) figured out that the force of enough water to fill earth coming down that fast would destroy a battle ship.

The author is using fallacious reasoning based on a FALSE assumption based on a misreading of the text. All the water did NOT come from above. The majority of it welled up from BELOW (think of massive underground aquifers being cracked open by earthquakes and stuff). All I can say to mr. mathematician is, Garbage in, garbage out.

>What did they do when they got off the boat and the world was a WASTELAND meaning, no food, no infrastructure, no buildings, no raw materials just sludge and waste. The devil is in the details.

Again, misreading of the text. They were on board the Ark for over a year. They did NOT come out until the dove returned with SOME sign of significant vegetation! Hello, olive leaf in the beak...

>Its a myth based on the Enuma Elish.

Sorry, but that fails as well. Did you NOT know that the Enuma Elish "Ark" is a PERFECT CUBE?! A vessel such as that is ridiculous and totally unseaworthy, unlike the dimensions of the Biblical Ark which are actually not only plausible but proven to be extremely stable. So you tell me who is copying from whom. It makes 0 sense that some guy would take the Enuma Elish flood with its cubical ark and turn it into a SEAWORTHY ark.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Mary,
You seem to be a tough nut to crack. Since I don't see any inherent value in continuing our discussion, I will continue with you after you have made a donation and it has been verified by John.

Keep living the dream.

Rich said...

Hi Lee, thanks for responding.

A side note, I already love to read SciAm, and I this is the first try at discovery, one year subscription because I was helping out my 15 yr old for school fund raising, I doubt I will continue as I come to the apparent same conclusion about it as you. All three ideas presented in that article are wacky. I just personally thought that the least wacky was the first, but that doesn't mean I still don't consider it wacky;) In LDS belief, there is no beginning and no end of creation. That is to say that the creative process has always been occurring and will never cease. Now whether that means that there is one universe or multiple, I can't say. One idea was a local "big bang", and he may or may not be on to something, but that there are possibilities for such a thing still leaves the question of how we came to be open, in my mind. I know you are use to believers who take things like this and hang on to them as solid proof of something, but that isn't me. I classify myself as a skeptical believer.

the other link was actually an article from a church published magazine, called The Ensign, not a science paper. But the author seems to be looking at where science and religion was before and through Joseph Smiths time, early 1800s. I can't say that I agree totally with the author. Lets then take a look at some of your questions.

you tell me how no ancient ships survived the flood

I can't say that they didn't, however looking at some news footage of recent floods, it seems like, unless you were waiting in your boat/ship when a flood came, you wouldn't have had time to get in one to save you. Although, owning a boat myself, I think I would make a run/swim for my boat if it starts raining pretty hard;)

work out where the water went

Middle earth? Back to the deep where it came from? I don't know?

work out how the heck noah got enough animals in the boat to guarantee genetic diversity for them and his family once they all got off

Which animals where there at the time of Noah? If genetic diversity was already in place in the animal kingdom, do you need more that one male and one female of a species to continue the species? Is it totally impossible to take two rabbits, for example, and populate some area of the earth which now doesn't contain any rabbits? Or would they die out because you didn't bring more mating pairs? I don't really know.

What did they do when they got off the boat and the world was a WASTELAND meaning, no food, no infrastructure, no buildings, no raw materials just sludge and waste. The devil is in the details.

Or the lack of details. What did they do for food on the ark? They couldn't eat the animals. They had to feed the animals. They had to keep preditors from feeding on prey. And They did wait to get off the ark until there was sign of vegetation, so maybe the sludge wasn't completely covering the earth when they disembarked. If they had a method of feeding themselves with a garden of some kind on the ark, then why couldn't they continue this practice off the ark? Lets just agree that the story has a great many holes in it, I certainly think it does, but I don't put the lack of current evidence as the determining factor in the veracity of the story. We still may find evidence in the future that tells us more about Noah.

And if you accuse me of an unwarranted naturalism bias

No I don't and please keep hitting those brakes!
Signing off for now

Lee Randolph said...

Hi rich,
I think I'm going to leave the discussion about noah alone until I get to that part in my series on folklore in genesis if you don't mind.

as usual, you set an awesome example for christians that others would do well to emulate.

great talking to you again.

Rich said...

Thanks Lee,

No I don't mind at all. I'll just wait 'til then.