November 16, 2011

The ultimate anti-creationist argument

Or rather why would you bother debating creationism, evolution, tectonics, the Big Bang... when you can directly discuss God and demonstrate its falsehood in such a simple, elegant and bullet-proof way as Carl Sagan did

Just replace the word God by dragon.

Jesus taught (?) with parables, Sagan did the same. The improbable (lit. not provable) dragon of which no evidence exists and which nobody (but apparently the mischievous side of Carl Sagan) believes in (logically) is exactly like God. Why would anyone believe in something of which no evidence whatsoever exists? Dragon or God is the same.

Ok, where's the dragon... or where is God?

23 comments:

  1. Carl was cute in a sophomoric stoner way , but neither side of the argument has any depth.

    Neither God nor Dragon are well defined terms.

    Original Chinese dragons, unlike modern European dragons (and some modern permutations of Chinese dragons), did not speak, hoard gold, breathe fire, or have wings. They were simply large carnivorous quadruped reptiles. Yes they were revered, but so is the tiger. Most likely the cultural tradition started in the neolithic with saltwater crocodiles (formerly ranging in China) and was perpetuated by the later discovery of dinosaur fossils in China. Dinosaurs did exist, and the saltwater croc is still around outside China. So those dragons are (or were) real.

    The European dragons such as we know them from the common era, were derived from the Chinese tradition via the Silk Road, displacing the less interesting Egyptian crocodiles and various Near Eastern and Mediterranean legends of snakes and giant fish. It is not the fault of the dragon that the European cultural borrowers embellished his legend greatly. However, any 17th century Dutch sailor unlucky enough to have been bitten on Komodo would certainly have identified his attacker as a dragon.

    As far as large flying reptiles go, well pterosaurs did exist and some had wingspans over 10 meters, that is dragon enough for me.

    As for God, a less well defined concept could scarcely be imagined.

    The only ideas more poorly constrained than God are all in physics: the Standard Model, String Theory, Inflation, Supersymmetry, Branes, and Multiverses. Why anyone should pay any attention to a discipline which can only (poorly) characterize the baryonic 4.6% of the mass/energy of our universe (and has no clue about the rest) is beyond me. I only follow it for comic relief.

    Not only has the LHC excluded the Higgs boson with 95% confidence from most of its supposed energy range, another (unpredicted by the Standard Model) instance of CP violation has appeared in D meson decay. No sign of extra dimensions, dark matter, or superpartners either. Oops.

    "Why would anyone believe in something of which no evidence whatsoever exists?" Maybe the Higgs boson is "The God Particle" after all! LOL! If Carl Sagan were alive today would he merrily heap ridicule upon the unscientific and superstitious believers in the Standard Model? Or would he just smoke some more cannabis with Ann Druyan?

    BTW, Carl believed that the existence of ETs was a near certainly based on arguments little different than those used by theologians, in that neither can muster any objective proof, and neither can ever be refuted. After over 50 years of non-success, can SETI now be described as a religious cult?

    Carl's SETI followers tired battle cry "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" would fit right in to any religion one might care to name.

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  2. Sagan is not talking about "revered dragons", he could well have said leprechauns for what I know. He was talking about fantasy beings: imagined but unreal. God (as in personal, dragons, leprechauns, lamiak... all fall in that category.

    "As for God, a less well defined concept could scarcely be imagined".

    He's also not discussing Pantheism or something as slippery as that but your typical Judeo-Christian-Muslim personal God which has a distinct will, consciousness, personality... and does things (according to the Bible) at caprice (wild often psychopathic caprice). No personal God, no fire-breathing dragons... not that we can see.

    That's the point.

    "Why anyone should pay any attention to a discipline which can only (poorly) characterize the baryonic 4.6% of the mass/energy of our universe (and has no clue about the rest) is beyond me. I only follow it for comic relief".

    Science has merit, regardless of results: objective unbiased ascertainment of reality (science) is the only tool we have to know.

    As for the rest, I am highly skeptical of both dark matter and dark energy (which I suspect are the wrong "explanations" to real phenomena).

    Sure: it's a lot easier to prove the personal God of JCMs false than to understand the Universe. But the merits of science as method can't be questioned unless you totally renounce to know, what is inhuman.

    "BTW, Carl believed that the existence of ETs was a near certainly based on arguments little different than those used by theologians"...

    The arguments are extremely different: the Universe is huge and holds billions of stars with planets, the chances of life out there (and even in the Solar system) are practically 100%. Intelligent life or whether we can communicate with them is another matter but chances are also that it does exist (has existed, will exist) rather often.

    The chances that we find them however, specially with our current technology are almost nil.

    SETI is indeed a rather silly approach to the matter: a waste of money. However we can well argue that all the space race is (excepted near Earth operations) because no results other than scientific knowledge have come from it and because, no matter how hard we try, we are trapped on this blue marble (for at least a good while).

    Whatever the case I still haven't seen any evidence of your dragon (or God) in your garage. Care to provide it?

    Sagan died while waiting. I may be the next one.

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  3. Two other clasic stand ins for similar arguments are the IPU (invisible pink unicorn whose pinkness despite her invisiblity is a divine mystery), and the FSM (the flying spagetti monster).

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  4. Yeah, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is cool, but I like the dragon better.

    The mysterious "invisible pinkness" certainly stinks to Council of Nicaea a lot. Quite convincing. I guess I'll convert (some day) because there's nothing like a Byzantine argumentation to persuade you: either you yield or your brain risks explosion.

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  5. Joy wrote: Most likely the cultural tradition started in the neolithic with saltwater crocodiles...

    An interesting conjecture but I see multiple problems, beginning with it seems extremely unlikely that there were saltwater crocodiles within a thousand miles of the Yellow River and that is where we find the first depiction of a dragon, dated to the fifth millennium BCE.

    There are other objections, such as, why would crocodiles be associated with the spring rains, as Chinese dragons most assuredly were?

    How did marine crocodiles become associated with freshwater pools deep in the mountains?

    Why did the Chinese imagine these saltwater crocodiles as flying creatures?

    Also, while Chinese dragons don't horde gold, they do horde pearls.

    As for Carl Sagan, I agree and find his argument unpersuasive but love the guy, anyway.

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  6. My last word on dragons. I grew up in Florida surrounded by ancient reptiles up to 4 meters in length who sometimes ate people, in addition to pets and livestock. Most call them alligators, but dragons is as good a label as any. Slaying them without firearms (bang sticks are preferred) would be extremely dangerous.

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  7. Whatever, they are not in my garage, they do not spit fire and they are not invisible... XD

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  8. Regarding the scientific method. Long ago, I was a working scientist, an honors graduate of Caltech and published author. The scientific method is a useful tool for testing hypotheses only. Without the far more mysterious quality of inspiration, there is no discovery.

    Despite the expenditure of countless billions of fiat currency units on massive devices like the LHC and their worldwide human infrastructure, physics has not advanced at all for the last two generations. Instead unimaginative technicians with PhDs grind away trying to refine failed dead end theories. Why the failure? Because corporate science has excluded the inspired dreamers, like the Swiss patent office clerk who developed GR with paper and pencil and a few collaborators.

    “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”
    Albert Einstein

    Also, "The chemist Kekulé was the first to deduce the ring structure of benzene; after years of studying carbon bonding, benzene and related molecules, the solution to the benzene structure came to him in a dream of a snake eating its own tail. Upon waking was inspired to deduce the ring structure of benzene." This insight was later confirmed with the scientific method, but the knowledge came from another source.

    The old white male with the beard on the Sistine Chapel ceiling is a straw man. He does not exist except in fresco. And yet...

    The invisible pink unicorns can and do occasionally whisper in the ear of those few who will listen, yet we have no expectation that deaf people will ever accept this.

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  9. I'm not attacking fantasy or dreams, I just say that Yaveh is like an invisible dragon. And there's no way anyone can trust what his or her senses can't perceive.

    I also enjoy dreaming and daydreaming and I even suspect extra dimensions to our universe and maybe even Astrology works and what not. But all them can be studied scientifically - yes, Astrology too can be studied scientifically.

    Pink invisible unicorns or fire spitting dragons or the Yaveh of the Bible can't because they manifest in no way at all, only in legend.

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  10. For the record, I find Sarah Allan's arguments persuasive and it is in fact most likely that the Chinese dragon was not a representation of any beast, whether real or mythical. Rather, it was always symbolic and conceptually may be seen as an aquatic counterpart of the sun bird. This dichotomy continues in the fully developed symbolism of the late historical period, where symbolically dragon and phoenix stand in harmonious opposition to one another.

    The long cannot be properly understood outside of the cultural context in which it arises, namely, on ritual vessels associated with ancestor worship found on the banks of the Yellow River. In its earliest depictions, the Chinese dragon had fins on its head and only two legs on an obviously serpentine body. One cannot merely set these facts aside in favor of some pet theory and still lay claim to a scientific point of view.

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  11. Maju, the problem with championing Sagan is that his ideas are used as a cudgel to beat up anyone suggesting any sort of spiritual reality. Self-styled skeptics and evangelizing atheists don't limit themselves to born-again, Bible-bashing Christians and the like but eagerly go after Wiccans, astrologers, card readers, even yoga practitioners if they dare speak of siddhis. What should be a liberating doctrine, 'science' instead becomes an authoritarian structure of acceptable beliefs.

    And from a practical standpoint, such arguments never convince anyone in real need of convincing. Those most in need of scientific enlightenment are least likely to appreciate a rational argument. Such exercises are masturbatory, at best.

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  12. "Self-styled skeptics and evangelizing atheists don't limit themselves to born-again, Bible-bashing Christians and the like but eagerly go after Wiccans, astrologers, card readers, even yoga practitioners if they dare speak of siddhis".

    I know, that's when you invite them to a beer and explain them atheist and pantheism are the same thing, blah-blah and that the Sagan rant on Astrology and gravity is a nonsense because the real reason for Astrology to work is in fact electromagnetism.

    It's better than scaring Yehovah Witnesses, specially if you and your interlocutor can jointly enjoy Sagan's favorite drug... emphasis in joint. |D

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  13. "Such exercises are masturbatory, at best".

    Honestly it's easier to scientifically prove false Yaveh and the Bible than to go through all the evidence gathering and evidence blanks of Darwin's thought and such (which is fascinating in any case but will bore the hell out of all those low IQ Christians and such). Proving that "the invisible friend" is not real is generally easier.

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  14. Maju, I would like to see you prove the God of the Bible as a falsehood...I await the scientific peer-reviewed paper on this...:)

    Strange...I believe in the Bible and I love science...something must be wrong with my wiring because I don't see much of a conflict.

    http://articles.latimes.com/2009/nov/24/opinion/la-oe-masci24-2009nov24

    From the above link: "According to a survey of members of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science, conducted by the Pew Research Center in May and June this year, a majority of scientists (51%) say they believe in God or a higher power, while 41% say they do not."

    That is actually up from 13 years ago when the percentage was under 40% that believed in God or higher power.

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  15. When I was a kid I met the man (a man?) who proved mathematically the impossibility of God. He lost his job (in a Catholic university) for that and became a vagabond.

    In fact Spinoza demonstrated it centuries ago (in a logical manner).

    "That is actually up from 13 years ago when the percentage was under 40% that believed in God or higher power".

    That means that ideological blackmail by employers in the academic community has increased because in the same time the commonality of US citizens has grown more and more atheistic. It's odd that scientists of all people are the only community growing more stupid (and yes there is a negative correlation between faith and IQ).

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  16. Well, that is actually a falsehood...having faith in a higher power does not make one stupid...

    Keeping yourself in the dark because you feel that science somehow threatens your faith is the culprit. I don't feel like it threatens my faith...so, again, I love science. Many very positive scientific studies concerning mental health and faith have been published recently...to the dismay of many atheists. Those studies state a very positive relationship between mental stability and sensible faith (that means the non-extremist kind, which most people adhere to). Again, I am religious and I have an above average IQ...so that statistic is falsifiable. There are very many others like me who make that statistic falsifiable.

    Some of the most intelligent people I have ever met have an abiding faith in God or higher power. They say science is the means of somewhat knowing the Creator by exploring the things created.

    I must also add...that Evolution has been mathematically shown as improbable as many evolutionists think it happened. Many have yet to explain the Cambrian explosion and don't even try...hahaha. I am serious about that...they don't, they really don't. I actually heard one professor at Georgetown, where my brother attends, say it didn't need an explanation. I am, again, being serious.

    As for the dumbing down of Academia in the US by religion...I doubt it...Academia in the US is firmly in the hands of what we call Liberals...you call them Leftists and they are not the religious types, at all. They firmly control Academia from grade school through college. If the scientists are becoming stupid...it is not from a religious influence. I must also add...Christianity, especially, is mostly not welcome in many settings...anything else is very much welcome. Well, also, Judaism is tolerated for fear of being branded Nazi's...

    So I don't buy the whole religion is making Academia stupid argument...the evidence would clearly show the opposite. Christianity, especially, is virtually persona non grata...

    The US population is actually more religious than ever according to newer statistics. Yes, there was a SLIGHT increase in the number of people who label themselves as agnostic and atheistic.

    Also many "reasonable" atheists have turned against the militant atheists like Dawkins. They join in with the religious crowd in denouncing his militancy many times. The more many people see of atheists like Dawkins...the more they don't like Atheism...Dawkins actually is a good thing for religion in that way...hahaha

    The only people that Dawkins and the like appeal to are those of like minded militancy. Non-militant atheists tend not to like his approach.

    In that regard...Dawkins is sort of the Jerry Falwell of Atheism...hahaha

    By the way, I am a Jew as you are well aware of...;) We are both well aware of the Jews and their high IQ's.

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  17. If one is not too bright he/she is more likely to believe in unreal things just because other people (like parents, teachers, friends) tell them to. You call that having faith and I call that in desperate need of a reality check.

    Of course it's just a tendency: there's no absolute rule but there is a clear tendency for religious people to be less bright than atheists and agnostics.

    "I am religious and I have an above average IQ..."

    For what I have discussed with you, you don't seem "above average" really. But assuming that'd be the case, it'd be anecdote not statistical fact.

    "I must also add...that Evolution has been mathematically shown as improbable as many evolutionists think it happened. Many have yet to explain the Cambrian explosion and don't even try...hahaha".

    How funny [sarcasm intended].

    So if you think that some ethereal invisible unsmellable untouchable cold-fire-spitting dragon (oops, I mean god, that Yaveh god guy of the Charlton Heston movies must be, pretty famous, right?) triggered the Cambrian explosion, right?

    If so, why is not that clearly detailed in the Bible? Why that uber-super-non-dragon would lie to us (and yet you adore it as the epitome of Truth)?

    "I don't buy the whole religion is making Academia stupid argument".

    I did not say that: I suggested that maybe academia is becoming scholastic and hence intellectually mediocre and hence religious. But it's just a suggestion. I don't know the data to issue a more qualified assessment (I just know that there is a lot of mediocrity in the universities worldwide including USA - there are also the exceptions who save the day, of course).

    "The US population is actually more religious than ever according to newer statistics".

    That contradicts what I read every other day at Razib's blog. And also what Wikipedia says (citation provided):

    "Figures are up from 14.3 million in 1990 to 34.2 million in 2008, representing a proportionate increase from 8% of the total in 1990 to 15% in 2008.[4] Another nation-wide study puts the figure of unaffiliated persons at 16.1%.[24]"

    It's still too much like Saudi Arabia in my opinion but I knew the country in 1986 and I was sometimes pushed around for reason of being openly atheist (when that was the norm where I live). Doubling the figures of atheists in 20 years is slow pace (they go faster in Iran, believe me) but it's better than nothing.

    ...

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  18. ...

    "Also many "reasonable" atheists have turned against the militant atheists like Dawkins".

    I also think that Dawkins is too plain and materialist. It's better to do like Spinoza and get God, the true absolute God or Pan-Theos, totally indiscernible from the Multiverse, in your side. Your petty tribal personal god is nothing in comparison... and so is the plain materialist and too nervous approach of Dawkins.

    When you are one with the True Only God (or Multiverse) any such tribal myths about "God" are at best extremely crude approximations and at worst outright blasphemy.

    But well, blasphemy is also an aspect of the True God; being infinite nothing falls outside It.

    "Dawkins is sort of the Jerry Falwell of Atheism...hahaha".

    That's not true: Falwell is a dangerous fascist. You might want to compare Falwell with Enver Hoxa, who effectively made Albania atheist, but comparing with Dawkins is a total insult.

    Atheists should be more militant, at least in what regards to 100% strict secularism in all aspects of life and everywhere, also in Rome, Mecca, etc. No exceptions: go to perform your pitiful superstitious rituals and fearful prayers worth only contempt to your hidden catacomb - we do not need anything of that.

    "We are both well aware of the Jews and their high IQ's".

    I am not. I think that is a myth: falsified data, biased tests, etc. I don't think that there are any intrinsic ethnic differences re intelligence: it's 70% at least nutrition, education, etc. and the part that is genetic is non-ethnic (very little genetics are actually ethnic and even racial: most is individual or pan-human).

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  19. Well, Maju

    I am also a fan of Spinoza...we agree and disagree on things...but I respect his conclusions.

    Also, I respect that you are an atheist or whatever you classify yourself as these days.

    As regards the negative correlation of intellect with faith, as I said...that is because of the culture in the US of religion and science are enemies...but it is becoming less and less. Science retreated to it's end of the spectrum and the religious retreated to their end of the spectrum...both believing that one had nothing to do with the other. That is the way several generations of Americans were educated...obviously, that will have an impact on attitudes. As was said before...that is changing. People are starting to realize the stupidity of science and God being separate and never to touch. If God created the universe how could He be ignorant of how it works??? If I don't know what a dog is...how can I create one? Also, many Americans, not just religious ones, have an annoying tendency to not like reading. I have encountered that with many atheists also...they tend to regurgitate lines they heard elsewhere rather than answering with any thoughts of their own. I remember reading a newspaper article about a reporter's encounter with an atheist...it was rather hilarious only for the nescient bigotry of the atheist. Truthfully, some atheists I have openly laughed in their faces and then walked away laughing...which really "gets their, collective, goats". You should have heard the tirades those encounters inspired. I would not dare mention the florid, and I must say somewhat limited, vocabulary I heard (especially from such people of superior intellect supposedly). It clearly showed some type inferiority complex...people who are secure in themselves and their convictions have no need for such displays.

    Honestly, I don’t desire to fight with you....about Israel, Jews, or Atheism. I enjoy your blog because there are informative things that you offer on your blog. I do enjoy the reasonable conversation when possible.

    I notice you left out the fact that many recent studies that show mental stability and religious faith have a POSITIVE correlation. Not surprised really, it flies in the face of what many atheists have tried to say about people of faith. That they are crazy or brain-damaged. It is clearly not the case. As it turns out...faith has a stabilizing effect on people even those who are considered Schizophrenic.

    As far as the Bible is concerned, the Cambrian Explosion would have been part of the Creation story...therefore, not relevant to the plans God had made for mankind later after the fall of man.

    What you discussed with me was Israel...not anything other than that really. You have a bias and I have a bias...that is where it ends. Your bias doesn't make you more intelligent and my bias only makes me right...:))

    As far as genetics and ethnicity goes...there are racial and ethnic components to humanity...many admixture studies have shown that evidence very clearly.

    As far as statistics are concerned...as I was told when I was a student at VA Tech (VT)...Statistics is a way of using math to lie...there are many factors that can skew statistics...including where you sample, who you sample.

    Also, I think if atheists were more militant...that would turn more people away from it. Maybe you should be more militant.

    Hmmm, the multi-verse, a string theory believer I see. There are many things in science that rely on faith that is one of them. There are many things in science that are not provable, but are still propounded in science.

    As for the US being like Saudi Arabia...utter sewer filth, will not dignify it.

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  20. "... the negative correlation of intellect with faith"...

    It is very simple: the smarter you are, the more questions you make and the less you accept things as given or just because others say so. While my little sister and my own mother would have wanted to believe in the Spanish equivalent of Santa Claus (the Three Magi) for all their lives, I was questioning their existance maybe as young as five (and for sure at seven).

    I did not want to believe in legends and tales, at least I wanted to know what was real and what farce.

    The same applies to the person-God, which is not essentially different from Santa or the dragon.

    ... "you left out the fact that many recent studies that show mental stability and religious faith have a POSITIVE correlation"...

    Junkies are also extremely unlikely to become mad. Opiates keep you lucid but effectively hypnotized. Religion is the opium of the people, I think this claim is attributed to Marx but doesn't really matter because it is true: it keeps people wanting for a dream and disdaining reality.

    You can call that lucidity... but it's a very hypnotic form of lucidity, just absence of getting into trouble is not more lucid than consciously accepting trouble.

    Our psychiatry does not deal with naivety and self-deception but just with trouble-making attitudes in most cases. So the "mental stability" you claim may be just an statistical illusion caused by mere docility.

    ...

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  21. ...

    "the Cambrian Explosion would have been part of the Creation story"...

    The Cambrian explosion is definitely not in the Bible. Actually even taking the creation story (a borrowing from Egyptian myths in fact) very laxly, it is still full of inconsistencies making no sense whatsoever.

    What about the cosmic microwave background?, redshifted galaxies?, the abundance of primordial elements?, radiometric datings of 4.5 billion years?, slow formation of stellar bodies?, geological epochs?, fossils dated to millions of years?, tree rings? ice layers?

    Nah, the genesis is a silly tale for children: in the beginning God allegedly made the heavens (which do not exist as such, we known now) and the earth... and only then... light? Where the stars (of the heavens = outer space) cold and black before that Yaveh guy said so?

    Or as Qwazar says: what about the Planck Epoch?

    And then your Yaveh myth "separated light and darkness" and "created day and night". What the fuck?! That's ok for a 3 year old but not for any grown up. Does this paragraph imply that before light there was not even darkness, which is by definition the absence of light? That would require a more elaborate explanation about that third state where there is no light nor darkness either... nowhere to be found.

    And day and night? Ok that ancient Hebrews did not know about rotation of Earth but an allmighty God should have known it (and forced a revision of the original text as soon as the Greeks (?) noticed the phenomenon.

    I mean what's a God with a failed propaganda pamphlet that does not even make justice to the real facts of his alleged creation?

    Never mind days happening before the creation of the Sun. What the heck?!

    Then there's no mention of microbial live at all (not even large ones other than some evolved plants and animals). That's how reality can appear to a kid or an ignorant shepherd but can't be that way to a god, even a third rank one.

    And the Sun is finally created, not just after Earth (when it is in fact older) but in the third "day". What the heck?!

    And I could continue line by line because there is not two contiguous sentences of truth in the whole book.

    It's a lot easier to debunk Yaveh than to bother explaining all the science behind evolution. How would an allmighty and all-smart god confuse so many facts in just the few first lines of his "word", the Bible.

    Pathetic god. I'd rather believe in Santa Claus, honestly, at least he laughs and is friendly.

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  22. Hahaha, The whole opiate for the masses notion works both ways...whatever soothes your mind. That can also be the notion that there is no God as many perceive Him.

    Don't think I never questioned anything...I have also. That caused a rift between my dad and I for a bit. Much better now, but for a time it was bad.

    As for the Cambrian explosion not being in the Bible...it is in the Bible. It is just apart of the overall creation scenario...not all the details of creation are described.

    As for for the questions you ask...why would God not be able to create thing with the appearance of age??? He does exist outside of the continuum.

    Also...not Egyptian, but more Sumerian.

    Maju, it is clear that there was more than one writer of Genesis..the stories were meshed.

    As for the, creation of the Sun...that is easily explained.

    The Hebrew word rachaph translated as "moved" is "A primitive root; to brood;" and all who have just a little knowledge of animals knows that the brood hen does much more than just move/hover. She forms and lays the egg, protects and warms it until incubation, and then feeds and protects the chicks until they are mature enough to go it on their own. Therefore, it seems that to translate rachaph as "moved", "hovering", "fluttering" as most translators do is selling short the business of the Spirit of God over the surface.

    The narrative of Genesis 1:2 thru 1:19 concerns the phases in which the Spirit of God prepared the surface of the earth to receive the sea, air and land creatures as created on days five and six requiring dry surface land, occasional bright sunshine, and a suitable atmosphere high in water vapor and oxygen. Even the creating of plants on day three adds to this preparation as the plants generate and add oxygen to the atmosphere.

    On day four, the surface atmosphere was changed so that the sun, moon, and stars can now shine brightly on the surface of the earth. The heaven/heavens was not created empty on day one, instead they were filled with the sun, moon and stars, a new and perfect creation as indicated by the Hebrew word bara'.

    As for germs, The Israelites were instructed to wash themselves and their clothes in running water if they had a bodily discharge, if they came in contact with another person's discharge, or if they had touched a dead human or animal carcass. They were also instructed to wash any uncovered vessels that were in the vicinity of a dead body, and if a dead carcass touched a vessel it was to be destroyed. Items recovered during war were also to be purified through either fire or running water. In addition, the Israelites were instructed to bury their human waste outside of camp, and to burn the waste of their animals.

    Sanitary practices without question saved countless lives in the Israelite camps by protecting them against infection caused by unseen germs. Meanwhile, their Egyptian peers were dying by the thousands due to "remedies" that almost always consisted of some amount of human or animal dung.

    Also think about the treatment of leprosy in the Bible, Leprosy "can survive three weeks or longer outside the human body, such as in dust or on clothing". It is no wonder that God commanded the Levitical priests to burn the garments of leprosy victims...ever think about that?

    Not to mention the Biblical laws of quarantine and dietary law.

    Also, think of Hyssop...Hyssop oil was charged by God to Moses to be used as a purifying agent. Hyssop oil has been shown to contain 50% antifungal and antibacterial agents.

    There are some other evidences...

    So it seems that whatever you read...didn't inform you of those things in the Bible.|

    Seems to me a powerful God...I don't like Santa Claus (don't believe in him either, he is creepy)...I don't like anyone who unlawfully enters my house and eats my food.

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  23. "... not all the details of creation are described".

    No details at all are described: what it narrates is what some people of the Bronze or Iron Age could imagine about that. It's ok as human work of its age but as for God's work it is pathetic.

    "why would God not be able to create thing with the appearance of age?"

    Do you believe in a lier and deceiver God? Is your God the God of Truth or the God of Lies?

    Do you really want to TRUST a God that lies?

    "... not Egyptian, but more Sumerian".

    The creation myth is copied almost to the letter from a Lower Egyptian creation myth with much more style: that of Ptah. However where Ptah's creation is made with the heart (solar pharaonic attribute of power and life) and only then named (lunar or priestly artribute of narration and writing), the Jewish Bible scraps all the solar creative element and concentrates all the power in the priestly element of the word... implicitly acknowledging that they made it all up, that it's just a tale for kids.

    Hebrew mythology has in general more Sumerian than Egyptian influences (for example Noah - even Yaveh himself is probably inspired in Enki/Saturn) but this one is clearly Egyptian. Egyptian influences (in this case Osirian ones) can also be perceived in the legend of Jesus (which originally was also a Hebrew sect before it expanded among gentiles).

    "... the stories were meshed".

    For God's work that's quite pathetic, you must admit: the "perfect", "all-powerful" God that produces such a crappy work...

    My suspension of disbelief collapses at each step.

    And I don't think that the translation details make much of a difference, sincerely. The same that all the rest: it is just not what we would expect of the word of the (allegedly) All Powerful, All Knowing, All Sincere and All Loving God.

    Quite sepctacular failure indeed. If someone (Jewish priests) aimed to impersonate God (through the Bible), they should have done a much better foolproof work.

    Holy books are all so pathetic. Admittedly I've heard that the Hindu scripture is a lot better in general but I have only read fragments so I can't judge.

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