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Youngin

The bible is a work of fiction

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Metatron, I don't see how you can keep digging yourself a deeper hole, but you are pulling it off. I provided numerous links in my very first post in this thread that point out the MANY instances in the bible where it is completely wrong: an overwhelming majority of it, in fact. I've already given my points that you could argue against, like you claim you will do if I want. Well, I want you too, thats why I posted them. I'll help you out, go to post #30 and click the links. Go ahead, be my guest, argue against each of those inaccuracies I've already made reference too. You can continue to make up your facts and claim i'm making up mine by ignoring them. Or you can actually look at the facts I've presented and critique them on their merit. In either case, your response will be evident for everyone to see. You may be able to lie to yourself, but others just wont buy it.

So you would say there is 100% chance there is a god. Cool, that means you have proof and I can change my mind and believe in god too, when presented with this proof. Would you please show it to me? Thank you. Oh, and by the way, I've read the bible from cover to cover twice; and certain passages countless times. As I said before, that is the main reason I came to the conclusion it was full of hot air and am no longer a believer in pretty much anything it has to say. What I do find ironic, however, is most of the christian people that take the greatest offense to any threat on their religion, have actually never read the bible themselves. Isn't that odd? Especially when it's considered a sin to not know the bible backwards and forwards. You know, like it says in the bible, if people actually ever read that part, which they apparently a large portion of christians dont.

--"99% of religeous scientists don't agree with evolution did you type that backwards b/c about 90% of teachers in america are christian and do agree that it is a strongly supported theory. you however use that as an aggument since you beleive it is fact!"

Lets see, can I present you with facts, yet again, to dispute this wrong argument from you? Almost too easily, with a quick google trip to Wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_of_support_for_evolution

" Scientific support

The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others.[16][17][18][19][20] One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science".[21] An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution"[/u].[22] A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists.[23][24]

Additionally, the scientific community considers intelligent design, a neo-creationist offshoot, to be unscientific,[25] pseudoscience,[26][27] or junk science.[28][29] The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has stated that intelligent design "and other claims of supernatural intervention in the origin of life" are not science because they cannot be tested by experiment, do not generate any predictions, and propose no new hypotheses of their own.[30] In September 2005, 38 Nobel laureates issued a statement saying "Intelligent design is fundamentally unscientific; it cannot be tested as scientific theory because its central conclusion is based on belief in the intervention of a supernatural agent."[31] In October 2005, a coalition representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and science teachers issued a statement saying "intelligent design is not science" and calling on "all schools not to teach Intelligent Design (ID) as science, because it fails to qualify on every count as a scientific theory".[32]"

One last thing, once again you have shown that you haven't actually read at least one part of what I've been saying. You try to throw out that evolution is "just a theory" when I've already devoted a good portion of time in trying to educate people just like you regarding exatcly what "just a theory" really means. Once again, outside of mathematics, where the only field that absolute proof exists, a well established theory, like evolution for example, is the absolute highest form of rock-solid proof available. I already clearly explained this in greater detail. Yet it appears you either have your bible blinders on when you read it...or you just didn't read it and came in here acting like you know what you are talking about - when it's clear that you don't.

ok, now random fan i read your post and would like to start with the mistatements you've made in the past few before i get to the rest. Yes, creationists a high pecentage if not all do not beleive in evolution, but this is not what you said. you said and i quote" 99% of christian scientists don't beleive in evolution". so infact your sstatement is wrong. many scientists, people that consider themselves christian included do beleive in evolution i went to catholic schools where we learned evolution and most people there accepted it as a probable theory, most. some people are creationists but that was not really taught or beleived. only a small fraction of christians dispute this fact. no where in the bible does it say animals do not evolve. now i will get on to another point. but please don't twist your words it may confuse people. a creationist does not mean the same thing as a christian scientist ,some ceationists indeed are other religions. so lets talk about something i assume you debunked.

noah and the great flood, which by the way is'nt just in the jewish and christian religion but many others. there are several theories to how this could have played. first this story was handed down for thousands of years before there was written language so there are definately inconsistencies from the original story. no story passed down this long will be accurate but we can use our mind to assume what was probable. first there was a man he was told by a higher power, maybe a dream or some kind of ESP that a flood was comming, or maybe he already owned a boat. we don't know. but by the story there was a flood and he knew it would be bad. so when the water started rising he put all his family and many animals in a boat untill the water dryed and the flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights until they landed on a mountain or high ground and repopulated what they knew as the world.

is that hard to beleive? did it happen who can say when we look at ancient geography most places have fossils of water animals so who could say for sure except in many place's that are now land water once was. am i saying the entire world flooded no we are talking early man or homo erectus possibly7-10,000 years ago maybe earlier. a man told that story. it was recorded and passed down by mouth. simple. now we can delve further. say it was 100 million years ago or longer could'nt have been b/c man did'nt exist and if they did they probably didn't have boats but say they did. he got many animals in a big boat and evolution turned them into all the animals we have today. not likely but if evolution is true could be. the world was destroyed by a flood and sea animals lived the they evolved into all animals we have. likely but there had to be someone to tell what happened so im skeptical. ill go with the first story. a small area was flooded this was the mans "known world" it was destroyed or maybe he traveled very far to a new undiscovered place. he had domesticated live stock and his sons and there wives and settled a new place. again this is a "story" in the bible. now for more insight and theory,The Mechanics of the Flood

"Okay," say the skeptics. "Where did the water come from-and where did it go afterward?"

Well, there are many ideas floated about this, too.

If it was really just a local flood that was misunderstood to be worldwide in scope, perhaps we're reading about the formation of the Mediterranean Sea. Or maybe the Bible is telling us about flooding around the area of the Black Sea. Still others read into this story proof of the flood that destroyed Atlantis.

Others go a little further out on a limb. The Bible says this is a worldwide flood. That means we need to find a bigger source for all the water.

Perhaps Genesis 1 gives us a hint. The waters of creation were separated into the waters "above the firmament" and the waters "below the firmament." Maybe a water canopy, possible in the form of ice, surrounded the planet. Maybe Earth once had rings like Saturn. And for a trigger point, perhaps the whole planet was once perpendicular on its axis, creating a "greenhouse effect" with moderate, constant seasons from pole to pole. That would explain the climate of the Garden of Eden and perhaps even account for the longer life spans of the early heroes of Genesis. All God had to do to set the flood in motion was to tilt the Earth to its present twenty-three and a half degrees. Then the whole canopy would collapse in the form of rain for forty days. It's the tilt of the Earth that gives us seasons, after all, and that would explain why the author tells us that after the flood, Earth would forever after have "seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter … as long as the earth endures." It could also explain what happened to the dinosaurs, why there are marine fossils high in the Rocky Mountains, and where oil deposits came from.

But that's still a lot of water. Where did it all go? Perhaps it just settled back into its present location. Maybe Earth was originally mostly land. And it took a while for all that water to drain down to its proper depth. And, by the way, isn't coastal flooding what all the global warming people are warning us about? Maybe the waters of Noah's flood are locked up in the polar ice caps.

As with all Bible stories, it comes down to interpretation. Those who read the Bible as they would a history text insist the flood was a real, worldwide catastrophe that happened just as Genesis says it did.

Others tend to think it may be a written rendition of oral history-memories of a long-forgotten local flood that was big enough to have seemed to be universal in scope to those who experienced it. A lot of flood stories exist, after all. Most religions around the world have similar myths. True, this may be proof of a universal flood. But it may also point to one big event that happened somewhere around the area of the Middle East, the memory of which diffused with migrating people wherever they went. Still others believe the flood is a mythological rendering of the human psyche, perhaps arising out of our birth experience.

to learn where noah's sons may have settled wiki the decendants of noah. but this story is much to old to prove annything probably like most you claim to debunk so lets do another, more realistc one that you may have a point to.

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Wow! i just read what you claim debunks the entire bible in about 10 minutes. and you claim 90% is wrong ther was'nt 1% of the bible in that pile of nothingness. i saw absolutely no proof. every verse was written seperately by itself without pretext and that is proof! like i said we can start at paige 1 and 90% of the entire bible one of the greatest historical books, no the greatest, considered by almost all historians christian or not. is debunked by 1 paige of seperate sentence's. i thought you would have meat to your argument. YOU did'nt bring up 1 thing some morgan guy did, who is clearly biased and has no idea what he's talking about. mostly all in genesis which by most christians is'nt even taken as literall. i thought you would get deeper into than that. now prove something to me. is or is'nt the bible considered one of the best historical books all time. the anwer will debeunk every argument you put up except does god exist! at that point i have already stated the answer. there is an energy that started the big bang and created everything. was there an energy in the big bang? yes, so you prove that there was'nt, or where else the energy came from. you know there was energy that started this right? did it just come from no where? no most people beleive it came from the creator who we like to call god. and that is accepted by all scientist all the way up to steven hawking.

i suggest you watch down the rabbit hole what the bleep do we know.

now before you reply about annything more, answer the first question about historical accuracy of the bible first. you won't b/c that would debunk everything you typed on this thread. especially the part about 90% of it being wrong. if you want wiki it. not hard to find this one out! but you won't reply im not being mean i understand you don't want to put your foot in your mouth.

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Wow, Metatron, just wow. I have to go to work now, so you have a chance to go back and re-read what you posted, and what I've posted, before I have my chance to respond. For your sake, I'd advise that you do. However, I sincerely hope you leave in the part about "What the Bleep Do We Know?" Because I actually have seen it. And if this is where your perspective comes from, then that explains a lot of your problem. I'm looking forward to debunking this one =)

MattyIce07 likes this

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yea random figures you wanna talk about something else other than the bibles historical accuracy. i asked you to reply to that specifacally. you on the other habd chose to try to debunk a fictional movie. It just shows that the basis of your argument is weak and not deep enough for nyone to try and argur with it you sit and tell others they are wrong yet when aske 1 simple question you refuse or try to avoid answering the question.

your first statement and what you have said repeadetly was the bible is 90% wrong.my argument was just to show the exact opposite. it is well known bt most historians that the bible is 90% right and more is uncovered every day by arkeologists and people who look up ancient birth records to find when and where people lived and worked.

i don't have to read what i typed b/c i typed it. you on the other hand need to go read your so called evidence or mr.morgans so called evidence and actually read the pretext to these things. you will find many of what is there flat out wrong and taken out of context. that is why he used severall versions of the bible to quote instead of just 1. unless you have about 5 diferent bibles those quotes will be not in the one you are reading.its common since to know alot of the bible is lost in translation b/c some of the text are over 2000 years old and some of the language dos'nt interpret to english well. many words in fact have multible meanings which is why pretext is needed to make accurate translation. so your 1 sentence debunkers are mostly flawed i saw 1 or 2 you could legitamtly argue over. do you know which ones those are? see i actually read this stuff so i know just about every story these sentence's came from which is why i know they are weak argueing points. i assumed you wanted to argue over bible "story's" so i was going to entertain that b/c i consider it fun. but instead when i actually looked at your so called evidence i found you where not doing that at all you just wanted to use that pile of nothingness you claim is evidence. when clearly it is a biased opinion from a person who has basic knowledge of the bible maybe not even that, scanning through to get people like you to think this makes since.i just can't beleive anyone who has read any ancient text or retranslated text would fall into something like this. its meant to throw gullible people who hav'ent read the bible for themselves off of reading historical documents that A( have been passed down by word of mouth, over 5000 years old in many case's.

B(acient language's that don't translate into pefect english. to debunk an entire collection of ancient scrolls historicaly inaccurate b/c they don't like religion or god. which the argument i am giving has nothing to do with proving god exists or does'nt. my argument is to say 90% of the bible is true if not more. which is why you avoided answering the 1 question i asked in front of anyone who has read this post.

Is the bible considered one of the greatest historical books in the world? b/c when you answer you must admit you lost or lied. b/c that would mean 90% is is true, not fiction as you claimed.

answer that then we can move on to the creator argument which is'nt discussed in the above movie. only by leading quantum theory scientist's that have evidence that there is a creator that created everything. and i will lay that argument down with mathamatic facts to prove yes there is a god and the leading scientists of our time beleive they are close to proving it mathamaticaly.

but i will not waiste my time if you cannot answer the above question about the bibles historical accuracy, which yes is not 100% but almost entirely accurate about 90%. DO THIS ONE FIRST

not to throw you off but since you claim to have read the bible cover to cover here is a trick question that will be not easily found on the net. but as someone who has more than basic knowledge such as one who has read cover 2 cover twice should know.BONUS IF YOU CAN'T ANSWER DOES'NT MEAN MUCH, ANSWER ABOVE FIRST! what camandment has been changed into 2 candments so that 1 commanment could be removed from the bible. and what are each of these commandment 2 total? ANSWER THE FIRST QUESTION SO WE CAN MOVE ON PLEASE!

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Just for fun here are a few facts uncovered recently i will post more upon request but there are literally thousands. So here are a few.

For centuries the Bible was accepted as true and accurate. Then, in recent centuries, it came under blistering attack. How has the Bible fared when archaeologists have compared their findings with the record of Scripture?

Archaeology is the recovery and study of the material remains of past people's lives and activities. It involves the excavation and systematic study of their tools, weapons, cookware, inscriptions and other objects and remains. Biblical archaeology is a smaller subset of the broader field of archaeology, limited to the study of ancient civilizations in the ancient Middle East, the geographical setting of the events recorded in the Bible.

Modern biblical archaeology is a fascinating and sometimes controversial subject. Its aim, in general, is to compare the findings of archaeology to the writings of the Bible. Biblical archaeologists seek to establish the historicity, or the lack thereof, of the people, places and events of the Bible.

For many centuries the events of the Bible were accepted as a true history. The great sagas of the Bible were approved as accurate down to the smallest details. However, with the arrival of the "Enlightenment" of the 17th and 18th centuries, this outlook began to change. Scholars began to exalt human reason and scientific exploration above the Bible, mounting a frontal attack on Scripture.

Biblical heroes and other towering personalities, as well as their experiences as recorded in Scripture, came to be considered by many scholars as mere myths. The existence of mighty empires, some of which were recorded in the Bible as having ruled for centuries, was doubted or even denied. Skepticism became the rule of the day among "critical" scholars.

Where previous generations had taken the Bible at face value, now a supposedly enlightened generation viewed it with doubt. The net effect was to deal a staggering blow to the credibility of the Bible in the minds of many people.

Earlier, when the Bible was translated into several languages in the post-Reformation era after the comparative illiteracy of the Middle Ages, the Bible had become for many people their one and only textbook of ancient history. They regarded it as the unerring Word of God.

But, after the tinkering of critical scholars, the Bible began to be viewed as suspect by many historians. Englishman Arnold Toynbee summed up their view when he referred to the Old Testament as merely "human compositions of varying degrees of religious and historical merit." He further stated that those who accepted it as factual "set a religious premium on an obstinate stupidity" (A Study of History, Vol. 10, 1957, p. 260).

Given this mind-set, archaeologists who sought to excavate and evaluate the ruins of past ages and to report the credibility of the Bible in an honest manner faced an uphill struggle. The field of science in general had grown biased against the Bible, with some archaeologists themselves among the leading critics.

The testimony of history

Sir William Ramsay, an English historian and prolific writer, was a product of a mid-19th-century education and of this pervasive antibiblical bias. He believed the historical accounts in the book of Acts had been written not in the time of the apostolic Church, but considerably later—in the mid-second century. If this were true, the biblical book of Acts could not have been written by Luke, the traveling companion of the apostle Paul, and could only be a fabricated history.

Luke claimed to have been with Paul as the two men trudged over the cobblestoned roads of the Roman Empire. He wrote as one who watched as Paul was used by God to bring a young convert back to life after a fatal fall (Acts 20:8-12). Ramsay was skeptical of the historicity of Luke and the historical record of Acts and set out to disprove it.

After many years of detailed study of the archaeological evidence, Ramsay came to a disconcerting conclusion: The historical and archaeological evidence came down solidly in favor of Luke's having written the book of Acts in the first century, during the time of the apostles. Rather than Luke being a historical fraud, Ramsay concluded that there are "reasons for placing the author of Acts among the historians of the first rank" (St. Paul the Traveller and the Roman Citizen, 1925, p. 4).

Ramsay became convinced of Luke's reliability because Luke wrote about the work of the early Church as it was intertwined with secular events and personalities of the day. In Luke's Gospel account we are introduced to Pontius Pilate, Herod the Great, Augustus and other political players. In Acts we meet an even larger assemblage, including Sergius Paulus, Gallio, Felix, Festus and Herod Agrippa I and II.

Luke not only writes about these people, but he mentions details, sometimes relatively minute facts, about them. "One of the most remarkable tokens of [Luke's] accuracy is his sure familiarity with the proper titles of all the notable persons who are mentioned ... Cyprus, for example, which was an imperial province until 22 BC, became a senatorial province in that year, and was therefore governed no longer by an imperial legate but by a proconsul. And so, when Paul and Barnabas arrived in Cyprus about AD 47, it was the proconsul Sergius Paulus whom they met " (F.F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? 1981, pp. 82-83).

Luke mentions other particulars about the offices and titles of officials of the Roman Empire. In every case he gets it right, as confirmed by archaeological discoveries many centuries later. As Ramsay discovered, to show such accuracy required that the author be well versed at the time in the intricacies of politics of the day over a wide region—with no readily accessible reference works to check. Few of us could do as well if quizzed about the exact official titles of national and international political figures today.

Accuracy: a test of credibility

Such fine details of the historical setting make the Bible interesting, but they also put an author, such as Luke, to the test—and the Bible along with him. If he makes a mistake in his reporting, then his work loses credibility. How does Luke survive the test?

F.F. Bruce, professor of biblical studies, says of Luke's work: "A writer who thus relates his story to the wider context of world history is courting trouble if he is not careful; he affords his critical readers so many opportunities for testing his accuracy. Luke takes this risk, and stands the test admirably" (p. 82).

Some scholars maintain that Luke was wrong in his report of a Roman census around the time of the birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 2:1-3). They argued that Quirinius was not governor at this time because he was given this position several years later. Critics also argued that there was no census then and that Joseph and Mary were therefore not required to return to their native Bethlehem at the time.

Later archaeological evidence, however, showed that Quirinius served two terms as an important Roman administrator in the region and that the events described by Luke were indeed possible (Bruce,

pp. 86-87). Indeed, Luke tells us that Jesus was born at the time of the "first census" under Quirinius (verse 2, NIV), strongly indicating that Quirinius conducted a census in both his first and second administrations in the area. It turned out that those who had challenged the biblical account had done so without all the facts.

Professor Bruce goes on to observe that, when we see Luke's habitual accuracy demonstrated in details that have been historically verified, there is ample reason to accept his credibility in general. And indeed, archaeological discoveries have repeatedly supported Luke's accuracy and attention to detail.

Much yet to be discovered

A relatively small part of the remains of the biblical world has been excavated. Of some 5,000 known sites of archaeological significance in the Holy Land, only about 350 have been excavated, and of these only about 2 to 3 percent have been extensively excavated—and excavation of as little as 4 percent of a site is considered extensive. Of those that have been excavated, it is a fact that the entire Bible holds a remarkable track record of accuracy when compared with the finds unearthed through archaeology.

As professor Walter Kaiser Jr. wrote, "Biblical archaeology has greatly enhanced the study of the biblical texts and their history" (The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? 2001, p. 97). He also stated: "The facts, from whatever source, when fully known have consistently provided uncanny confirmation for the details of Old Testament persons, peoples and places by means of the artifactual, stratigraphical and epigraphic remains [and] evidence uncovered" (ibid., p. 108).

Much of the Old Testament came under heavy assault from the guns of the anti-inspiration scholars when the winds of doubt swept through the 19th century. Speaking of this time and its effects, archaeologist Kenneth Kitchen wrote: "Time and again in Old Testament studies, we are told that 'history knows of no such person' as, say, Abraham or Moses, or ... the battles of Genesis 14, for example. However such phrases are totally misleading. They simply cover the ignorance not of 'history' personified but of the person making this claim" (The Bible in Its World: The Bible and Archaeology Today, 1978, p. 48).

Dr. Kitchen's statement shows that the historicity of Old Testament personalities and their worlds cannot be buried. It is important to note that scholars at one time doubted the existence of empires, of entire populations and of many of the Bible's central characters. In the face of a growing mountain of evidence, skeptics have many times been forced to recant their earlier claims.

Evidence supports biblical accounts of the patriarchs

For example, some critical scholars have questioned the existence of the patriarchs—Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They rejected the biblical view because no clear archaeological evidence was known to exist.

Yet the biblical documents describe Abraham and his world in considerable detail. The specific customs of this society as described in Genesis 15-16 are, in fact, attested to in tablets found at Nuzi, near the city of Asshur in Assyria. The documents "pertain to matters such as inheritance and property rights, slavery, adoption, and the like" (Eugene Merrill, Kingdom of Priests, 1996, pp. 38-39).

Some scholars once claimed that the unusual events described in these two chapters of Genesis, such as the episode of Abraham fathering a child for his wife Sarah by her handmaiden, Hagar, were fabricated. The same scholars had to back down when the Nuzi tablets demonstrated that such surrogate practices were commonplace in the culture of that time when a woman was infertile.

Similarly, Genesis 37:28 tells us that Joseph's brothers sold him as a slave for 20 shekels of silver. Clay tablets discovered in the region dating to the 18th and 19th centuries B.C., the time in which Joseph lived, show that the going price for slaves at the time was indeed 20 shekels.

By later centuries, however, the price of slaves had increased greatly. In the eighth century B.C., it had risen to 50 to 60 shekels. By the fifth to fourth centuries B.C., the price was 90 to 120 shekels (Kenneth Kitchen, "The Patriarchal Age: Myth or History?" Biblical Archaeology Review, March-April 1995, p. 52).

Had a Jewish scribe dreamed up the story of Joseph in the sixth century B.C., as many biblical critics argue, why wasn't Joseph's price given as 90 to 120 shekels? If the story was fabricated more than a thousand years after it supposedly happened, how did the author know the selling price of a slave a thousand years earlier? The obvious answer is that the Genesis story is an accurate account of contemporary events.

What about the Exodus?

Many skeptical scholars and archaeologists have disputed the biblical record of the Israelites' Exodus from Egypt because no confirmed physical evidence outside of the Bible has been found to bear witness to these events. They believe that these stories were invented many centuries later.

The truthfulness of the Exodus is important to the authenticity of the Bible because it is obvious that the event was considered to be of monumental importance in the establishment of Israel as a nation. The Israelites looked back on this event as the foundation of their faith. Many biblical passages testify as to how important they considered it to be. Either a people known as Israel existed, dwelt in Egypt and left there or we simply cannot trust the Bible.

Professor Kitchen offers a sound explanation as to why there is little physical evidence of Israel's dwelling in Egypt. "The [Nile] Delta [where Israel dwelt] is an alluvial fan of mud deposited through many millennia by the annual flooding of the Nile; it has no source of stone within it ... The mud hovels of brickfield slaves and humble cultivators have long since gone back to their mud origins, never to be seen again.

"Even stone structures (such as temples) hardly survive, in striking contrast to sites in the cliff-enclosed valley of Upper Egypt to the south ... Scarce wonder that practically no written records of any extent have been retrieved from Delta sites reduced to brick mounds ... with even great temples reduced to heaps of tumbled stones" (On the Reliability of the Old Testament, 2003, p. 246).

Dr. Kitchen also explains why no records regarding the Exodus are to be found among Egyptian historical inscriptions and records: "As pharaohs never monumentalize defeats on temple walls, no record of the successful exit of a large bunch of foreign slaves (with loss of a full chariot squadron) would ever have been memorialized by any king, in temples in the Delta or anywhere else" (ibid.).

In other words, the proud Egyptians, who were the greatest military power of the world in that day, would not have left a record of a complete and total humbling of their pretentious leader and the destruction of his army. In fact, the Bible stands alone among ancient writings of the region in recording the military defeats of its own nation. The vain leaders of that era boasted about their triumphs and victories, but never chose to record their humbling defeats.

Events and people verified by archaeology

Some make the claim that Israel was not a significant power during the days of the Egyptian dynasties. They believe Israel was no more than a loose amalgamation of impotent tribes.

The objective evidence, however, points to a different conclusion. An ancient object that intertwines biblical and Egyptian history was discovered by the archaeologist Sir Flinders Petrie in 1896. It is known as the Israel Stele because "it contains the earliest known mention of Israel " (ibid., p. 26). This black granite stele contains boastful inscriptions commissioned by Pharaoh Merenptah about his victories in battles and refers to Israel being "laid waste." The stele dates from 1207 B.C. (Biblical Archaeology Review, September-October 1990, p. 27).

Israel's journey from Egypt to Canaan after the Exodus is recorded in Scripture as well. The Bible provides place names that figure prominently in the journey, with Numbers 33 supplying a detailed listing of sites on the route. Detractors have disputed the historical record, denying that these settlements existed at this early period in history because archaeological remains have not been found for the time in question.

One of these is the settlement of Dibon, in what is now southern Jordan (Numbers 33:45). No archaeological remains have been found at that site that date earlier than the ninth century B.C. Does this mean there was no city there when the people of Israel traversed the area?

Recently some scholars have seen the need to recant their claim that Dibon could not have existed at the time of the Exodus. Egyptian records verify the existence of Dibon during this time. Lists of ancient Egyptian routes mention Dibon as a stop along one of the routes through that area.

Not only did Dibon exist in that day, but it was significant enough to occupy the attention of Ramses II, who "sacked the city in the course of a military campaign in Moab" soon afterward (Charles Krahmalkov, "Exodus Itinerary Confirmed by Egyptian Evidence," Biblical Archaeology Review, September-October 1994, p. 58).

The city of Hebron also figured in the Israelite conquest of Canaan. "So Joshua went ..., and all Israel with him, to Hebron; and they fought against it" (Joshua 10:36). Although some critics have asserted that no city existed at Hebron during this time, the Egyptian map lists tell otherwise. A list of cities that Ramses II ordered to be carved on a temple wall in Amon lists Hebron (Biblical Archaeology Review, September-October 1994, p. 60). Archaeology at the site itself also confirms that it was a fortified, thriving city since the time of Abraham (September-October 2005, pp. 24-33, 70).

André Lemaire, an expert in ancient inscriptions, notes that some scholars have gone so far as to maintain that "nothing in the Bible before the Babylonian exile can lay claim to any historical accuracy" ("'House of David' Restored in Moabite Inscription," Biblical Archaeology Review, May-June 1994, pp. 31-32). Yet time after time scholars have had to backtrack from earlier statements as additional archaeological evidence has come to light.

An example of this was the Hittites, for a long time known only from the biblical record. "Until the discovery of the Hittite empire at the beginning of the last century, the 'Hittites' mentioned in Genesis 10:15 as descendants of Canaan were unknown ... But in 1906 Hugo Winckler began excavating a site known as ancient Hattusha ... in what we today call Turkey. As a result a people whose existence was seriously doubted previously is well documented with literally tens of thousands of clay tablets" (Walter Kaiser, The Old Testament Documents: Are They Reliable and Relevant? 2001, p. 102).

Another group whose existence was not known outside of the Bible until recently is a people called the Horites. Genesis 36:20-21 states that they were the sons of Seir the Horite. The biblical record was vindicated when "late in 1995 came word that the capital city of the Horites, Urkesh, had been discovered buried beneath the modern Syrian town of Tell Mozan, some 400 miles northeast of Damascus, on the border with Turkey ...

"The three hundred acre site has already yielded over six hundred items with some form of writing, often on drawn figures on clay seals ... This most dramatic find again demonstrates that the text of the Old Testament is extremely reliable" (Kaiser, pp. 103-104).

Does archaeology prove the Bible?

What should we say about the biblical record thus far? The skeptic can always point to elements that have yet to be specifically verified. But we should never forget that specific parts of the Bible assuredly have been upheld by archaeological discoveries. The burden of proof is on the skeptics. In the wake of such evidence as that shown in this chapter and available in many other sources, it is up to them to prove their case.

Frank Gaebelein, an eminently qualified author and general editor of The Expositor's Bible Commentary, has remarked that "the attitude of suspended judgment toward Bible difficulties ... is constantly being vindicated, as archaeology has solved one Biblical problem after another, and as painstaking re-examination of discrepancies has finally led to answers" (The Expositor's Bible Commentary, 1979, Vol. 1, p. 31).

Dr. Steven Ortiz, codirector of excavations at the site of biblical Gezer, commented in a 2007 Internet interview that "serious scholars, even if they're not believers, even if they don't think this [the Bible] is a sacred text, still consider it to be history because things match up so well." Dr. Aren Maeir, excavation director at the ancient Philistine city of Gath, in another 2007 Internet interview said simply, "You can't do archaeology in the land of Israel without the Bible."

In view of the real evidence, the doubter might do well to reconsider his position and commit his life to serving God. If he waits until every tiny issue is resolved in his own mind, he might ignore or reject a call from God Himself. He could be depriving himself of the blessings available to those who have committed themselves to learning and following God's way of life.

The objective use of archaeology has demonstrated the truthfulness and technical accuracy of the Bible. This chapter has demonstrated some of the factual evidence that verifies the biblical record. More will continue to be discovered.

As archaeologist Nelson Glueck concluded: "It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible. And, by the same token, proper valuation of Biblical descriptions has often led to amazing discoveries" (Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev, 1959, p. 31).

These are facts not sentence's without pretext or a video about religion. This is proof. Thats why i scoffed at your ealier "evidence" that you seemingly considered fact.

Obviously the bibles historical accuracy is mostly accurate or not proved to be inaccurate yet. so lets move on to the creator next. After you abmit that your previous statement that the bible is 90% innacurate or mostly fictious was wrong.

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Again, I have to go to work so I don't have time for my full rebuttal yet, don't worry Metatron, you'll get shut down soon enough. But for now, here's some fat for you to chew on. (BTW- since you continually misquote me, let me correct you one more time - I said over 80% of the bible is inaccurate, not 90%. And I also said that 99% of ALL scientists [religious or not] accept evolution, not the other way around like your trying to misquote me as saying. Also, high school science teachers are NOT scientists...)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bible_and_history

Part of a series on The Bible

The Bible and history addresses the value of the Bible as a source for history-writing.

Manuscripts and canons: What is the Bible?

The Bible exists in multiple manuscripts, none of them original, and multiple canons, none of which completely agree on which books have authority.

To determine the textual accuracy of a copied manuscript, textual critics scrutinize the way the transcripts have passed through history to their later forms. To date, there are no original documents. The higher the volume of the earliest texts (and their parallels to each other), the greater the textual reliability and the less chance that the transcript's content has been changed over the years. Still there are families of texts, see New Testament text types. There are more than minor (copyist errors, spelling, etc.) differences. These problems also arise in the earliest surviving texts of the Old Testament books, as shown by the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (the two are almost, but not exactly, the same canon of books) was written largely in Hebrew with a few exceptions in Aramaic. Today it exists in several traditions, including the Masoretic Text, the Septuagint (a Greek translation widely used in the period from the 3rd century BC to roughly the 5th century AD, and still regarded as authoritative by the Orthodox Christian churches), the Samaritan Torah, and others. Variations between these traditions are useful for reconstructing the most likely original text, and for tracing the intellectual histories of various Jewish and Christian communities. The "original" text itself is not available to us except through these reconstructions - the very oldest fragment resembling part of the text of the Hebrew Bible so far discovered is a small silver amulet, dating from approximately 600 BCE, and containing a version of the Priestly Blessing ("May God make his face to shine upon you...").

The New Testament was originally written in Greek, of which 5,650 handwritten copies have survived in Greek, over 10,000 in Latin.[1] When other languages are included, the total of ancient copies approaches 25,000. The next "ancient" text to come close to rivaling that number is Homer's Iliad which is thought to have survived in 643 ancient copies.[2] Recognizing this, F. E. Peters remarked that "on the basis of manuscript tradition alone, the works that make up the Christians' New Testament texts were the most frequently copied and widely circulated [surviving] books of antiquity". (This may be due to their preservation, popularity, and distribution brought about by the ease of seaborne travel and the many roads constructed during the time of the Roman Empire). When a comparison is made between the seven major critical editions of the Greek NT verse-by-verse namely Tischendorf, Westcott-Hort, von Soden, Vogels, Merk, Bover, and Nestle-Aland, only 62.9% come up variant free[3]. Still at the time of Constantine the Great, only perhaps 10% of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire were Christian. By the authority of a list written by Irenaeus in the first part of the second century, the Church, under the Eastern Roman Empire, selected four gospels deemed to have preserved the authentic tradition. Irenaeus invoked a curious logic: there are four corners to the earth, there are four winds, there are four beasts of the apocalypse.[4]. The many other gospels that then existed were deemed non-canonical (seeBiblical canon) and suppressed (see Gospel of Thomas). The collection of books, known as the Biblical canon, was promulgated in 382 at the Council of Rome, and in 1543-1565 at the Council of Trent. The gospels and many of the New Testament epistles are now widely regarded by modern scholars as anonymous or pseudonymous[citation needed] (see Higher criticism).

The archaeologist William Dever, discussing the role of his discipline in interpreting the biblical record, has pointed out that there are in fact multiple histories within the Bible, including the history of theology (the relationship between God and believers), political history (usually the account of "Great Men"), narrative history (the chronology of events), intellectual history (ideas and their development, context and evolution), socio-cultural history (institutions, including their social underpinnings in family, clan, tribe and social class and the state), cultural history (overall cultural evolution, demography, socio-economic and political structure and ethnicity), technological history (the techniques by which humans adapt to, exploit and make use of the resources of their environment), natural history (how humans discover and adapt to the ecological facts of their natural environment), and material history (artefacts as correlates of changes in human behaviour). Dever notes that the role of archaeology increases as one goes down this list, and that archaeologist's interpretations of the written record can differ markedly from the record itself.

Most importantly for the historian, the authors were not engaged in writing what we would now recognise as an objective and balanced history, but rather they were engaged in writing subjective accounts in awe of a personal experience, though often of the view held by a literate group of followers of Judaism. Within these documents, the history of humankind is seen as an ongoing relationship of humans in the Middle East to the God of the Hebrew tradition, known as Yahweh.

Many—though not all—of the events, names of monarchs, and identification of places can be found confirmed by non biblical Iron Age sources, texts found through archaeological excavations in neighbouring states, and by archaeological surveys and excavations within the area of historic Judah and Israel, though materials dating to the previous Bronze Age are very few. But there have been, even within this material, major discussions, debates and arguments. Conservative religious historians, as seen below, are accused by liberal religious historians, of pressing the interpretation of historical facts to fit specific biblical interpretation, while liberal historians are criticised by conservative historians for not placing greater trust in the biblical record as a reliable source for history.

[edit] Overview of academic views

Within the academic community the two poles of the discussion over the correct approach to the Bible as history are represented by "maximalism" and "minimalism" - the two terms represent points on a continuum rather than coherent parties, and the middle ground holds much in common. Biblical maximalism assumes that the biblical story is more or less correct, unless archaeologists prove that it is not; biblical minimalism believes that the biblical story must be read as theologically motivated fiction, and that history should be based on archaeology. "Minimalism" and "maximalism" are, therefore, methods, approaches, or theoretical concepts.[5]

One of the reasons for the conflict between the maximalist and minimalist schools of thought is the amount of archaeological data found and the estimates of the potential amount of archaeological material found and worked on. Conservatives estimate that only about 2% of the potential archeological material has been found and worked on.[6][7] The biblical conservative historian, Edwin M. Yamauchi in his work The Stones and the Scriptures summed up the conservative point of view when he wrote, "Historians of antiquity in using the archeological evidence have very often failed to realize how slight is the evidence at our disposal. It would not be exaggerating to point out that what we have is but one fraction of a second fraction of a third fraction of a fourth fraction of a fifth fraction of the possible evidence". Yamauchi estimated in The Stones and the Scriptures that a generous estimate would be that 1/1000 of the archaeological material that once existed has actually been published. Minimalists, on the other hand, argue that what has been found so far is an unselected and fairly typical representative sample of what remains to be discovered, and argue a higher amount of archaeological material would more likely contradict the literal inerrant interpretation of the biblical evidence, than would confirm it. They argue that biblical conservatives argue from the point of view of the absence of evidence. Conservatives argue that this does not mean evidence of absence. (Egyptologists excavating the Port city of Mendes, the village of Deir al-Medinah and the Valley of Kings estimate around 10% of sites have been excavated. In Israel, sites excavated greatly outnumber those in any other region of the ancient Near East). Such low figures indicate minimalist and maximalists basing their arguments on the "final evidence," rather than on the "focus", of archaeology are both arriving at very hasty conclusions. Minimalist and maximalist both agree, however, that although the number of parties interested in biblical archaeology has increased, the political instability and commercial development of the biblical lands is hampering the collection of relevant archaeological material.

As for any other written source, an educated weighting of the biblical text requires knowledge of when it was written, by whom, and for what purpose. For example, most academics of both persuasions would agree that the Pentateuch was in existence some time shortly after the 6th century BCE, but they disagree about when it was written. Proposed dates vary from the 15th century to the 6th century BCE. One popular hypothesis points to the reign of Josiah (7th century BCE). In this hypothesis, the events of, for example, Exodus would have happened centuries before they were finally edited. This topic is expanded upon in dating the Bible.

Finally, an important point to keep in mind is the documentary hypothesis, which using the biblical evidence itself, claims to demonstrate that our current version was based on older written sources that were lost. (See documentary hypothesis for details.) Although it has been modified heavily over the years, most scholars accept some form of this hypothesis (the Vatican estimates 90% of scholars). There have also been and are a number of scholars who reject it, for example Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen and the late Umberto Cassuto and Gleason Archer.

[edit] Hebrew bible

The Hebrew bible is not a single book but rather a collection of texts, most of them anonymous, and most of them the product of more or less extensive editing prior to reaching their modern form. These texts are in many different genres, but three distinct blocks approximating modern narrative history can be made out, namely the Deuteronomic history,[8] the Chronicler's History, comprising Chronicles-Ezra-Nehemiah,[9] and the Pentateuch (or Torah, to give its Hebrew title), made up of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

[edit] Summary

The following is a summary of the history narrative of the Hebrew Bible: it is not meant to imply acceptance or rejection of the historical accuracy of that narrative)

Torah: Genesis to Deuteronomy

God creates the world; the world God creates is good, but it becomes corrupted with violence. God destroys it in a deluge, but accepts thereafter that mankind is inherently inclined to wickedness. God selects Abraham to inherit the land of Canaan (i.e., Palestine). The children of Israel, Abraham's grandson, go into Egypt, where their descendants are enslaved. The Israelites are led out of Egypt by Moses and receive the laws of God, who renews the promise of the land of Canaan.

Deuteronomic history: Joshua to 2 Kings

The Israelites conquer the land of Canaan under Joshua, successor to Moses. Under the Judges they live in a state of constant conflict and insecurity, until the prophet Samuel anoints Saul as king over them. Saul proves unworthy, and God selects David as his successor. Under David the Israelites are united and conquer their enemies, and under Solomon his son they live in peace and prosperity. But the kingdom is divided under Solomon's successors, Israel in the north and Judah in the south, and the kings of Israel fall away from God and eventually the people of the north are taken into captivity by outsiders. Judah, unlike Israel, has some kings who follow God, but others do not, and eventually it too is taken into captivity, and the Temple of God built by Solomon is destroyed.

Chonicler's history: Chonicles and Ezra/Nehemiah

(Chronicles begins by reprising the history of the Torah and the Deuteronomistic history, with some differences over details. It introduces new material following its account of the fall of Jerusalem, the event which concludes the Deuteronomic history). The Babylonians, who had destroyed the Temple and taken the people into captivity, are themselves defeated by the Persians under their king Cyrus. Cyrus permits the exiles to return to Jerusalem. The Temple is rebuilt, and the Laws of Moses are read to the people.

Other

(Several other books of the Hebrew bible are set in a historical context or otherwise give information which can be regarded as historical, although these books do not present themselves as histories).

The prophets Amos and Hosea write of events during the 8th century kingdom of Israel; the prophet Jeremiah writes of events preceding and following the fall of Judah; Ezekiel writes of events during and preceding the exile in Babylon; and other prophets similarly touch on various periods, usually those in which they write.

Several books are included in some canons but not in others. Among these, Maccabees is a purely historical work that treats of the events of the 2nd century BC. Others are not historical in orientation but are set in historical contexts or reprise earlier histories, such as Enoch, an apocalyptic work of the 2nd century BC.

[edit] Historical accuracy

Until the 18th century, the general belief in Christendom was that the earth was created some 4,000 years before the birth of Christ, and that the Garden of Eden, the Flood and the Tower of Babel, Abraham and the Exodus, and all subsequent narrative, were real history. Then the growth of the sciences in the 18th and 19th centuries — notably geology and the Theory of Evolution — threw the first few chapters of Genesis into doubt, and by the end of the 19th century the view that the first eleven chapters of Genesis represented actual historical events was being widely questioned.[citation needed] The general opinion among non-creationist bible scholars today is that Genesis 1–11, taking in the cycle of stories from the Creation to the "generations of Terah", is a highly schematic literary work representing theology rather than history.[10]

At the same time traditional ideas about the composition of the books were being undermined. At the end of the 17th century few Bible scholars would have questioned that the Pentateuch was the work of Moses, Joshua was by Joshua, and so on. But in the late 18th century scholars began to question these traditional authorships, and by the end of the 19th century the consensus view among biblical scholars was that the Pentateuch as a whole was the work of many more authors over many centuries from 1000 BCE (the time of David) to 500 BCE (the time of Ezra), and that the history it contained was often more polemical rather than strictly factual. By the first half of the 20th century Hermann Gunkel had drawn attention to the mythic aspects of the Pentateuch, and Albrecht Alt, Martin Noth and the tradition history school argued that although its core traditions had genuinely ancient roots, the narratives were fictional framing devices and were not intended as history in the modern sense. In America the biblical archaeology movement, under the influence of William F. Albright, argued that the broad outline within the framing narratives was also true, so that while scholars could not realistically expect to prove or disprove individual episodes from the life of Abraham, Abraham himself was a real individual who could be placed in a context proven from the archaeological record.

In the second half of the century there came a growing recognition that archaeology did not in fact support the claims made by Albright and his followers, and that the critical methodologies of source criticism and form criticism are highly subjective. Today, while a minority of ultra-conservative scholars continue to work within the old framework, the mainstream sees Albright's views as problematic[11][12] and the Pentateuch as a product of the latter half of the 1st millennium BCE.[13][14]

The scholarly history of the Deuteronomic history parallels that of the Pentateuch: the European tradition history school argued that the narrative was untrustworthy and could not be used to construct a narrative history, while the American biblical archaeology school argued that it could when tested against the archaeological record. The test case was the book of Joshua and its account of a rapid, destructive conquest of the Canaanite cities: but by the 1960s it had become clear that the archaeological record did not, in fact, support the account of the conquest given in Joshua: the cities which the bible records as having been destroyed by the Israelites were either uninhabited at the time, or, if destroyed, were destroyed at widely different times, not in one brief period.

Thomas L. Thompson, a leading minimalist scholar for example has written

"There is no evidence of a United Monarchy, no evidence of a capital in Jerusalem or of any coherent, unified political force that dominated western Palestine, let alone an empire of the size the legends describe. We do not have evidence for the existence of kings named Saul, David or Solomon; nor do we have evidence for any temple at Jerusalem in this early period. What we do know of Israel and Judah of the tenth century does not allow us to interpret this lack of evidence as a gap in our knowledge and information about the past, a result merely of the accidental nature of archeology. There is neither room nor context, no artifact or archive that points to such historical realities in Palestine's tenth century. One cannot speak historically of a state without a population. Nor can one speak of a capital without a town. Stories are not enough."

Proponents of this theory also point to the fact that the division of the land into two entities, centered at Jerusalem and Shechem, goes back to the Egyptian rule of Israel in the New Kingdom. Solomon's empire is said to have stretched from the Euphrates in the north to the Red Sea in the south; it would have required a large commitment of men and arms and a high level of organization to conquer, subdue, and govern this area. But there is little archaeological evidence of Jerusalem being a sufficiently large city in the 10th century BCE, and Judah seems to be sparsely settled in that time period. Since Jerusalem has been destroyed and then subsequently rebuilt approximately 15 to 20 times since the time of David and Solomon, some argue much of the evidence could easily have been eliminated.

The conquests of David and Solomon are also not mentioned in contemporary histories. Culturally, the Bronze Age collapse is otherwise a period of general cultural impoverishment of the whole Levantine region, making it difficult to consider the existence of any large territorial unit such as the Davidic kingdom, whose cultural features rather seem to resemble the later kingdom of Hezekiah or Josiah than the political and economic conditions of the 11th century. Moreover the biblical account makes no claim that they directly governed the areas included in their empires which are portrayed instead as tributaries[citation needed]. However, since the discovery of a 9th century BCE inscription at Tel Dan at the north of Israel, referring to the "house of David" as a monarchic dynasty, it is more common to assume David was a real historical figure, whose reign stretched further northern than thought before. This is still hotly disputed, as well as a heated debate extends as to whether the united monarchy, the vast empire of King Solomon, and the rebellion of Jeroboam ever existed, or whether they are a late fabrication.

Once again there is a problem here with the sources for this period of history. There are no contemporary independent documents other than the claimed accounts of the Books of Samuel, which clearly shows too many anachronisms to have been a contemporary account. For example there is mention of coined money (1 Samuel 13:21), late armor (1 Samuel 17:4–7, 38–39; 25:13), use of camels (1 Samuel 30:17) and cavalry (as distinct from chariotry) (1 Samuel 13:5, 2 Samuel 1:6), iron picks and axes (as though they were common, 2 Samuel 12:31), sophisticated siege techniques (2 Samuel 20:15), there is a gargantuan troop (2 Samuel 17:1), a battle with 20,000 casualties (2 Samuel 18:7), and refer to Kushite paramilitary and servants, clearly giving evidence of a date in which Kushites were common, after the 26th Dynasty of Egypt, the period of the last quarter of the 8th century BCE.[15]

[edit] New Testament

[edit] Summary

Gospels/Acts

Jesus is born to Joseph and Mary; he is baptised by John the Baptist and begins a preaching and healing mission in Galilee; he comes up to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, is arrested, tried, condemned, and crucified. He is raised from the dead by God, appears before his followers, issuing the Great Commission, and ascends to Heaven, with a promise to return. The followers of Jesus, who had been fearful following the Crucifixion, are encouraged by Jesus' resurrection and continue to practice and to preach his teachings. The Apostle Paul preaches throughout the eastern Mediterranean, is arrested, and appeals. He is sent to Rome for trial, and the narrative breaks off.

Epistles/Revelation

The epistles (literally "letters") are largely concerned with theology, but the theological arguments they present form a "history of theology". Revelation deals with the last judgement and the end of the world.

[edit] Historical Accuracy

The historicity, teachings, and nature of Jesus are currently debated among biblical scholars. The "quest for the historical Jesus" began as early as the 18th century, and has continued to this day. The most notable recent scholarship came in the 1980s and '90s with the work of J.D. Crossan[16], James D.G. Dunn[17], John P. Meier[18], E.P. Sanders[19] and N.T. Wright [20] being the most widely read and discussed. The earliest New Testament texts which refer to Jesus, Paul's letters, are usually dated in the 50s CE. Since Paul records very little of Jesus' life and activities, these are of little help in determining facts about the life of Jesus, although they may contain references to information given to Paul from the eyewitnesses of Jesus.[21]

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls has had a major effect undermining some of the uniqueness of the early message of the Jesus movement, through showing that 1st century Judaism was in fact far more diverse than a reading of Josephus suggests. For example the expectation of the coming messiah, the beatitudes of the Sermon on the Mount and much else of the early Christian movement are found to have existed within apocalyptic Judaism of the period. This has had the effect of centering early Christianity much more within its Jewish roots than was previously the case. It is now recognised that Rabbinical Judaism and Christianity are only two of the many strands which survived the Jewish revolt of 66 to 70 CE[22][23], see also List of events in early Christianity.

Most modern scholars hold that the canonical Gospel accounts were written between 70 and 110 CE, four to six decades after the crucifixion, although based on earlier traditions and texts, such as "Q," sayings gospels, the passion account or other earlier literature (See List of Gospels). Christian apologists argue that these accounts were compiled by witnesses[24] although this view is disputed by critical scholars.[25] There are also secular references to the life of Jesus, although they are few and quite late. Almost all historical critics agree, however, that a historical figure named Jesus taught throughout the Galilean countryside c. 30 CE, was believed by his followers to have performed supernatural acts, and was sentenced to death by the Romans possibly for insurrection.[26]

The absence of evidence of Jesus' life before his meeting with John the Baptist has led to many speculations. It would seem that part of the explanation may lie in the early conflict between Paul and the Desposyni Ebionim, led by James the Just, supposedly the brother of Jesus, that led to Gospel passages critical of Jesus' family[27]

[edit] Schools of archaeological and historical thought

There are two loosely defined historical schools of thought with regard to the historical accuracy of the Bible, biblical minimalism and biblical maximalism, as well as a non-historical method of reading the Bible, the traditional religious reading of the Bible.

Note that historical opinions fall on a spectrum, rather than in two tightly defined camps. Since there is a wide range of opinions regarding the historical accuracy of the Bible, it should not be surprising that any given scholar may have views that fall anywhere between these two loosely defined camps.

[edit] Maximalist - Minimalist Dichotomy

The major split of biblical Scholarship into two opposing schools is strongly disapproved by non-fundamentalist biblical scholars, as being an attempt by so-called "conservative" Christians to portray the field as a bipolar argument, of which only one side is correct[28]. Examination of the so-called "liberal/secular" views in detail shows many differences of opinion, clearly demonstrating that to portray biblical scholarship in such "us" against "them" terms reflects a particular sectarian point of view, not supported by the evidence.

Recently the difference between the Maximalist and Minimalist has reduced, however a new school started with a work, "The Quest for the Historical Israel: Debating Archaeology and the History of Early Israel" by Israel Finkelstein, Amihai Mazar, and Brian B. Schmidt[29]. This schools argues that Post-processual archaeology enables us to recognise the existence of a middle ground between Minimalism and Maximalism, and that both these extremes need to be rejected. Archaeology offers both confirmation of parts of the biblical record and also poses challenges to the naive interpretations made by some. The careful examination of the evidence demonstrates that the historical accuracy of the first part of the Old Testament is greatest during the reign of Josiah. Some feel that the accuracy diminishes, the further backwards one proceeds from this date. This they claim would confirm that a major redaction of the texts seems to have occurred at about that date. This middle school has little support.

[edit] Biblical minimalism

Main article: Biblical minimalism

Biblical minimalists generally hold that the Bible is principally a theological and apologetic work, and all stories within it are of an aetiological character. The early stories are held to have a historical basis that was reconstructed centuries later, and the stories possess at most only a few tiny fragments of genuine historical memory—which by their definition are only those points which are supported by archaeological discoveries. In this view, all of the stories about the biblical patriarchs are fictional, and the patriarchs mere legendary eponyms to describe later historical realities. Further, biblical minimalists hold that the twelve tribes of Israel were a later construction, the stories of King David and King Saul were modeled upon later Irano-Hellenistic examples, and that there is no archaeological evidence that the united kingdom of Israel, which the Bible says that David and Solomon ruled over an empire from the Euphrates to Eilath, ever existed.

"It is hard to pinpoint when the movement started but 1968 seems to be a reasonable date. During this year, two prize winning essays were written in Copenhagen; one by Niels Peter Lemche, the other by Heike Friis, which advocated a complete rethinking of the way we approach the Bible and attempt to draw historical conclusions from it"[30]

In published books, one of the early advocates of the current school of thought known as biblical minimalism is Giovanni Garbini, Storia e ideologia nell'Israele antico (1986), translated into English as History and Ideology in Ancient Israel (1988). In his footsteps followed Thomas L. Thompson with his lengthy Early History of the Israelite People: From the Written & Archaeological Sources (1992) and, building explicitly on Thompson's book, P. R. Davies' shorter work, In Search of 'Ancient Israel' (1992). In the latter, Davies finds historical Israel only in archaeological remains, biblical Israel only in Scripture, and recent reconstructions of "ancient Israel" are an unacceptable amalgam of the two. Thompson and Davies see the entire Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) as the imaginative creation of a small community of Jews at Jerusalem during the period which the Bible assigns to after the return from the Babylonian exile, from 539 BCE onward. Niels Peter Lemche, Thompson's fellow faculty member at the University of Copenhagen, also followed with several titles that show Thompson's influence, including The Israelites in history and tradition (1998). The presence of both Thompson and Lemche at the same institution has led to the use of the term "Copenhagen school".

[edit] Biblical maximalism

This section does not cite any references or sources.

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Main article: Biblical maximalism

The term "maximalism" is something of a misnomer, and many people incorrectly relate this to biblical inerrancy. Most maximalists, however, are not biblical inerrantists.

Most biblical maximalists accept many findings of modern historical studies and archaeology and agree that one needs to be cautious in teasing out the true from the false in the Bible. However, maximalists hold that the core stories of the Bible indeed tell us about actual historical events, and that the later books of the Bible are more historically based than the earlier books.

Archaeology tells us about historical eras and kingdoms, ways of life and commerce, beliefs and societal structures; however only in extremely rare cases does archaeological research provide information on individual families. Thus, archaeology was not expected to, and indeed has not, provided any evidence to confirm or deny the existence of the biblical patriarchs. As such, biblical maximalists are divided on this issue. Some hold that many or all of these patriarchs were real historical figures, but that we should not take the Bible's stories about them as historically accurate, even in broad strokes. Others hold that it is likely that some or all of these patriarchs are better classified as fictional creations, with only the slightest relation to any real historical persons in the distant past.

Biblical maximalists agree that the twelve tribes of Israel did indeed exist, even though they do not necessarily believe the biblical description of their origin. Biblical maximalists are in agreement that important biblical figures, such as King David and King Saul did exist, that the biblical kingdoms of Israel also existed, and that Jesus was a historical figure.

Note, however, there is a wide array of positions that one can hold within this school, and some in this school overlap with biblical minimalists. As noted above, historical opinions fall on a spectrum, rather than in two tightly defined camps.

[edit] Decreasing conflict between the maximalist and minimalist schools

In 2001, Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman published the book The Bible Unearthed. Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts which advocated a view midway toward biblical minimalism and caused an uproar among many conservatives. The 25th anniversary issue of Biblical Archeological Review (March/April 2001 edition), editor Hershel Shanks quoted several biblical scholars who insisted that minimalism was dying, [4] although leading minimalists deny this and a claim has been made "We are all minimalists now"[31]. In 2003, Kenneth Kitchen, a scholar who adopts a more maximalist point of view, authored the book On the Reliability of the Old Testament. Kitchen advocated the reliability of many (though not all) parts of the Torah and in no uncertain terms criticizes the work of Finkelstein and Silberman, to which Finkelstein has since responded.

Jennifer Wallace describes archaeologist Israel Finkelstein's view in her article Shifting Ground in the Holy Land, appearing in Smithsonian Magazine, May 2006:

He [Finkelstein] cites the fact – now accepted by most archaeologists – that many of the cities Joshua is supposed to have sacked in the late 13th century B.C. had ceased to exist by that time. Hazor was destroyed in the middle of that century, Ai was abandoned before 2000 B.C. Even Jericho, where Joshua is said to have brought the walls tumbling down by circling the city seven times with blaring trumpets, was destroyed in 1500 B.C. Now controlled by the Palestinian Authority, the Jericho site consists of crumbling pits and trenches that testify to a century of fruitless digging.

However, despite problems with the archaeological record, some maximalists place Joshua in the mid second millennium, at about the time the Egyptian Empire came to rule over Canaan, and not the 13th century as Finkelstein or Kitchen claim, and view the destruction layers of the period as corroboration of the biblical account. The destruction of Hazor in the mid 13th century is seen as corroboration of the biblical account of the later destruction carried out by Deborah and Barak as recorded in the Book of Judges. The location that Finkelstein refers to as "Ai" is generally dismissed as the biblical Ai as it was destroyed and buried in the 3rd millennium. The prominent site has been known by that name since at least Hellenistic times, if not before. Minimalists all hold that dating these events as contemporary are etiological explanations written centuries after the events they claim to report.

For the united monarchy both Finkelstein and Silberman do accept that David and Solomon were real kings of Judah about the 10th century BC[32] others such as David Ussishkin argue that those who follow the biblical depiction of a united monarchy do so on the basis of limited evidence while hoping to uncover real archaeological proof in the future[33]. Gunnar Lehmann suggests that there is still a possibility that David and Solomon were able to become local chieftains of some importance and claims that Jerusalem at the time was at best a small town in a sparsely populated area in which alliances of tribal kinship groups formed the basis of society. He goes on further to claim that it was at best a small regional centre, one of three to four in the territory of Judah and neither David nor Solomon had the manpower or the requisite social/political/administrative structure to rule the kind of empire described in the Bible[34].

These views are strongly criticized by William G. Dever,[35] Helga Weippert, Amihai Mazar and Amnon Ben-Tor.

André Lemaire states in Ancient Israel: From Abraham to the Roman Destruction of the Temple[36] that the principal points of the biblical tradition with Solomon as generally trustworthy, as does Kenneth Kitchen, who argue that Solomon ruled over a comparatively wealthy "mini-empire", rather than a small city-state.

Recently Finkelstein has joined with the more conservative Ahimai Mazar, to explore the areas of agreement and disagreement and there are signs the intensity of the debate between the so-called minimalist and maximalist scholars is diminishing[37]. This view is also taken by Richard S. Hess,[38] which shows there is in fact a plurality of views between maximalists and minimalists. Jack Cargil[39] has recently shown that popular textbooks not only fail to give readers the up to date archaeological evidence, but that they also fail to correctly represent the diversity of views present on the subject.

-- Notice how I provide a link to my source? You should try it.

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every one knows wiki is widely innacurate and to really debate you need to go more case to case with information that can be cross checked like the above info i supplied. i read something earlier today that i will post about jericho . much of the things brought up in your copy and paste are innacurate and already debunked i will go through each and cross ceck the accuracy tonight. wiki should not be your main source of info b/c anyone can add info whether true or not. i am going to speak in things only that have been researched documented or excavated and have been proved wrong or right. you unfortunatly are generalizing and not giving specific accounts and are also not providing addequate info for cross checking to debunk something that could be wrong.

now im gonna tell you a story. yesterday i went to buckhead we went in a bar called johnny's hide away, i had a beer drove my caddilac home to spivey then played golf in the morning.

now my point is the burden of proof now lies on you if you want to debunk it. the same is for the bible. if the bible say's abraham or moses or jesus did something 2000 or more years ago. the proof to debunk that lies on the person saying it did'nt happen. mostly you will find the few (not many sights have been excavated) have been proven to be true or mostly accurate. few things have been proven wrong thus historical accuracy is high. when you cross check things through census records archeology and common customs of the time. this is how many things are proved or disproved. much of the old testimant is considered accurate. the new testament is more the focus of debate b/c more can be acheived without excavation but still much that was thought debunked, recently through more discovered evidence such as census records have been proved probable.

i'm gonna go play cards you did'nt give me much or annything to debunk clearly i wonder if you even read this stuff since it mostly proved my point but did'nt really focus on any individual account. it mostly just said historians use the bible as a marker for discovery in the middle east and surrounding areas. mostly b/c the text are some of the only around to describe historical accounts and these are much more numerous than the few others.thus considred one of the "greatest historical books of all time". just admit it so we can move on. 80% of the bible is not wrong or fiction. there is no rebuttle for that fact. there are a few discrepancies but still cannot be proved deffinately wrong.

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first ill reply to you. youngin, all monotheistic religions beleive there is 1 god and for the most part my christian god is the same as all the others a supreme being capable of creating something out of nothing. in polytheistic religions there are many gods that all do the same thing as our, my one god. so in essence all religion beleive the same thing except for 1 that what our friend here random fan beleive's. by no way am i promoting christianity as the 1 right religion. i am just saying, historically speaking 85-90% of the bible is accepted as historical fact. when people say god most people understan that as a supreme being in monotheistic religions they mean 1 "being" that possesed the power to create the universe. now how many universe's are there as far as we know 1 could there be others definately yes and so in my beleif they where all created by one being. some energy that we call "god".

Really? So you think Allah, Yahweh (the vengeful, jealous, bigoted god of the Old Testament), and the more benevolent, loving god of the New Testament (supposedly the same, but clearly not in actions)are "pretty much all the same god?" I'd like to see you try and tell a militant Islamist that. Or one of Ted Haggard's brainwashed flock. I understand where you are coming from because I know you think your god exists in some sort of hazy psuedo-science version of quantum mechanics, which has been laughed out of the scientific community. (BTW - It's called Quantum Theory,I don't suppose you have too much of a problem with THIS theory, unlike that old silly and unproven [according to you] Theory of Evolution, eh?

and just to let you know that random does'nt know annything about what he has claimed to read he say's that not knowing the bible front to back is a sin. yet the bible did'nt exist until man, the cotholic church, put it together and we all should know if you read the bible back to back that there are only 10 commandments So which of the TWO versions of the 10 commandments are you referring too? http://www.bible-researcher.com/decalogue.html and one of them is not know the bible cover to cover. in fact christians beleive if you just follow 10 simple rules you will go to "heaven". a higher place . obviosly a guy who does'nt understand and has never understood christianity. he should read the bible (I've read it twice, already told you that twice. Not that you would comprehend that however)

and not lie to make his argument. i mean everyone in the world except a small minority knows there is a god some where that created everything.

Ok, lets do some math, shall we. 6.6 billion world population estimated in 2009. Subtract the 1.6 billion Christians, subtract the 1.66 billion Muslims, subtract the 13.2 million Jews, and what are we left with? Roughly 3.4 billion of the worlds 6.6 billion inhabitants claim to believe in a personal god of the three large monotheistic religions. Which leaves 3.2 billion of the worlds population that DON'T. Of course, you could throw in the Hindus who believe in many gods, which you are, I assume, atheistic towards their position. It's also a very weak logical fallacy to claim that because a high number of people believe in X, then X must be true (as you seem to assume). There was once a high number of people that believed that Zeus was the god of lightning and that Apollo was the sun god. We can look back now and see how silly that belief is, because science realistically explained what those two gods were invented by human imagination to explain.

Lets also not forget the world is full of uneducated people that are subjected to indoctrination of a faith system that renders their critical thinking skills nearly useless when considering the origins of mankind or the universe. I'ts pretty sad that the critical thinking skills most of us employ in nearly every area of our life on a daily basis are rendered helpless due to religious indoctrination, dogma, and blind faith, when considering the origins of the cosmos - we're coming full circle back to my original reasons for trying to interject some logic into this thread.

If you want to pull out some population numbers to try and prove an argument, then I have some numbers for you to ponder as well. "Edward Larson and Larry Witham in 1998 published the results of a survey of the members of the US National Academy of Science showing that 93% of the respondents did not believe in a personal God." In case you don't know, the US National Academy of Science consists of the cream of the crop, the best and brightest, of the US scientific community. It seems the best and brightest our country has to offer don't agree with your assessment that "everyone knows there is a god." Exactly the opposite. There have been 214 research studies since 1927 that 211 of show an inverse correlation between level of education and IQ, and a belief in a personal god. If you aren't sure what this means, it concludes with FACTUAL DATA from proper expirements that the higher your education level and IQ, the less likely you are to believe in god. Consequently, the lower your education level and IQ, the more likely it is you will believe in god.

scientists know the when the universe was "created" about 15 billion years ago. and they all use the word "created" so that means there is what? a creator

Actually, scientists don't use the word "created" for just this reason: people like you would misconstrue it to imply they mean goddidit. Like you are trying to do now, when they don't even use the word. The age of the universe is more accurately 13.72 billion years old. Scientists have gotten as far back as the Big Bang from what is known as the 'singularity' where all of space-time and everything that we now know exixts in the universe was compressed into an incredibly small - singularity. The Big Bang wasn't a "creation," it was an expansion of the singularity and a division of the 4 known forces that shape our universe (Electromagnetic, gravity, strong nuclear, and weak nuclear). Scientists are now working on a better understanding of what initiated the expansion from the singularity, and there is progress. If you knew anything about the real Theory of Quantum mechanics, instead of the 'What the Bleep to We Know' pseudo-science hogwash version, you would know that at the plank scale levels of quantum fluctuations it actually IS possible to get energy from nothing. Yes, you read that right, you CAN get something from nothing.

Assuming a creator is an unneccessary step. If the origins of the world can be explained without a need for a creator, it is highly more likely that there wasn't one. Because science hasn't proven our origins YET, does not give any credibility towards a conclusion that a supreme creator, that would need even more explaining than our universe does, was the cause. Every time in history that we thought we had reached the edge of science and assumed that we could go no further and had to invoke god as the reason for something, eventually science has broken through that barrier and explained things through natural processess without a need for invoking god. You would be wise to remember that.

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ok, now random fan i read your post and would like to start with the mistatements you've made in the past few before i get to the rest. Yes, creationists a high pecentage if not all do not beleive in evolution, but this is not what you said. you said and i quote" 99% of christian scientists don't beleive in evolution". LIE! Here is my actual quote from Post # 54 in this thread: "Although 99% of scientists in all fields accept evolution as the fact that it is." And then again after you had completely misunderstood a pretty easy sentence to comprehend, I repeated in Post #59 in this thread, "The vast majority of the scientific community and academia supports evolutionary theory as the only explanation that can fully account for observations in the fields of biology, paleontology, anthropology, and others. One 1987 estimate found that "700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science". An expert in the evolution-creationism controversy, professor and author Brian Alters states that "99.9 percent of scientists accept evolution". A 1991 Gallup poll of Americans found that about 5% of scientists (including those with training outside biology) identified themselves as creationists

so infact your sstatement is wrong. many scientists, people that consider themselves christian included do beleive in evolution i went to catholic schools where we learned evolution and most people there accepted it as a probable theory, most. some people are creationists but that was not really taught or beleived. only a small fraction of christians dispute this fact. no where in the bible does it say animals do not evolve. now i will get on to another point. but please don't twist your words it may confuse people. a creationist does not mean the same thing as a christian scientist ,some ceationists indeed are other religions.

This is such a blatantly ridiculous assertion I can't believe I'm having to take the time to respond to this. My position is that there is NO debate within the scientific community over the validity of the Theory of Evolution, from religious scientists AND non-religious scientists alike. They BOTH make up the 'scientific community' in question here, and I've made that perfectly clear to anyone that can comprehend even basic sentence structure. Why on earth would I try and hurt my own case and claim that ANY scientists don't accept evolution in order to support my arguments? I wouldn't, I didn't, and you, sir, are just a flat out liar...

Let me restate my position again so maybe you will be crystal clear this time. There are religious scientists, there are non-religious scientists. Both of those groups make up the scientific community; and when I say scientists, I mean the scientists that actually do REAL research work of some kind, publish papers in peer reviewed journals, and are NOT just your local high school science teacher. My position is that 99% of ALL these real scientists accept evolution as fact: religious and non-religious included. I hope this is clear enough for you because wasting time clearing up your comprehension mistakes is subtracting from the time available to debate the more important issues here.

so lets talk about something i assume you debunked. noah and the great flood, Because you assume I debunked it, then I will assume that you didn't actually view the two 10 minute video's I posted on the subject. As usual, you don't view the actual evidence or arguments and debate those, you just provide your opinion with no facts to substantiate them, all the while ignoring the points of debate that disprove your claims.which by the way is'nt just in the jewish and christian religion but many others. there are several theories to how this could have played. first this story was handed down for thousands of years before there was written language so there are definately inconsistencies from the original story. no story passed down this long will be accurate but we can use our mind to assume what was probable. first there was a man he was told by a higher power, maybe a dream or some kind of ESP that a flood was comming, or maybe he already owned a boat. we don't know. but by the story there was a flood and he knew it would be bad. so when the water started rising he put all his family and many animals in a boat untill the water dryed and the flood lasted 40 days and 40 nights until they landed on a mountain or high ground and repopulated what they knew as the world.

is that hard to beleive? did it happen who can say when we look at ancient geography most places have fossils of water animals so who could say for sure except in many place's that are now land water once was. Scientists say for sure, thats who. Geologists more specifically. They have looked extensively, there is NO evidence of a global flood at any time in history: EVER. am i saying the entire world flooded no we are talking early man or homo erectus possibly7-10,000 years ago maybe earlier. a man told that story. it was recorded and passed down by mouth. simple. now we can delve further. say it was 100 million years ago or longer could'nt have been b/c man did'nt exist and if they did they probably didn't have boats but say they did. he got many animals in a big boat and evolution turned them into all the animals we have today. not likely but if evolution is true could be. the world was destroyed by a flood and sea animals lived the they evolved into all animals we have. likely but there had to be someone to tell what happened so im skeptical. ill go with the first story. a small area was flooded this was the mans "known world" it was destroyed or maybe he traveled very far to a new undiscovered place. he had domesticated live stock and his sons and there wives and settled a new place. again this is a "story" in the bible. now for more insight and theory,The Mechanics of the Flood

"Okay," say the skeptics. "Where did the water come from-and where did it go afterward?"

Well, there are many ideas floated about this, too.

If it was really just a local flood that was misunderstood to be worldwide in scope, perhaps we're reading about the formation of the Mediterranean Sea. Or maybe the Bible is telling us about flooding around the area of the Black Sea. Still others read into this story proof of the flood that destroyed Atlantis.

Others go a little further out on a limb. The Bible says this is a worldwide flood. That means we need to find a bigger source for all the water.

Perhaps Genesis 1 gives us a hint. The waters of creation were separated into the waters "above the firmament" and the waters "below the firmament." Maybe a water canopy, possible in the form of ice, surrounded the planet. I see someone has been watching the Kent Hovind creationist videos since this is his dimwitted hypothesis. For those unfamiliar with this hypothesis, Hovind claimed an ice meteor struck the earth depositing millions of tons of ice at the polar caps, which then melted and flooded the earth. His alternate hypothesis was that a sheet of ice covered the entire earth several miles above ground and led to rainfall for 40 days and 40 nights. Both of these ridiculous and physically impossible theories have been easily debunked by that bastion of creation debunking, Thunderfoot, in this video

and this video
. Maybe Earth once had rings like Saturn. And for a trigger point, perhaps the whole planet was once perpendicular on its axis, creating a "greenhouse effect" with moderate, constant seasons from pole to pole. The earth once DID have a ring like saturn. It was from the debris left over after a huge meteor struck our still molten young earth. That meteors metal core enveloped our earth's metal core and gave us what we now know as our inner and outer cores. This is also what is responsible for what gave us plate techtonics, which is responsible for the mountain ranges, canyons, and ocean floors we have today. Over the next year the debris from that collision that was flung back into space formed a saturn like ring around earth, and slowly coallesced into what is today our Moon. Due to the moons gravitational pull the earth has ever since been stabilized in a 23.5 degree axis, which has allowed for the stability of our planet to support the abundant forms of multi-cellular life witnessed today. The earth has never been at any axis other than 23.5 degrees since long befor the earth cooled enough for water to accumulate on its surface.That would explain the climate of the Garden of Eden and perhaps even account for the longer life spans of the early heroes of Genesis. All God had to do to set the flood in motion was to tilt the Earth to its present twenty-three and a half degrees. Then the whole canopy would collapse in the form of rain for forty days. It's the tilt of the Earth that gives us seasons, after all, and that would explain why the author tells us that after the flood, Earth would forever after have "seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter … as long as the earth endures." It could also explain what happened to the dinosaurs, We know what happened to the dinosaurs. They were driven to extinction by a large meteor collision on earth.why there are marine fossils high in the Rocky Mountains,We know why there are fossils high in the Rocky Mountains. Because the sedimentary rock originaly laid down in an ocean floor has been driven upward by plate techtonics. BTW - it's called the Theory of Plate Techtonics, so I guess that means it's not accepted in the scientific community to you. and where oil deposits came from. Again, we know, from science, not guessing - "Fossil fuels are formed by the anaerobic decomposition of remains of organisms including phytoplankton and zooplankton that settled to the sea (or lake) bottom in large quantities under anoxic conditions, millions of years ago. Over geological time, this organic matter, mixed with mud, got buried under heavy layers of sediment. The resulting high levels of heat and pressure caused the organic matter to chemically alter, first into a waxy material known as kerogen which is found in oil shales, and then with more heat into liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons in a process known as catagenesis."

But that's still a lot of water. Where did it all go? Perhaps it just settled back into its present location. Maybe Earth was originally mostly land. And it took a while for all that water to drain down to its proper depth. And, by the way, isn't coastal flooding what all the global warming people are warning us about? Maybe the waters of Noah's flood are locked up in the polar ice caps. There isn't enough water locked up in the polar ice caps to flood even the smallest of the earths mountain ranges and higher elevation land areas. There is not enough water on earth to account for a global flood. Noah's Ark is a myth, an impossible myth, and it's been shown by science to be not only a physical impossibility, but no evidence in the geological record exists where there should be if the myth were true.

As with all Bible stories, it comes down to interpretation. Those who read the Bible as they would a history text insist the flood was a real, worldwide catastrophe that happened just as Genesis says it did.

Others tend to think it may be a written rendition of oral history-memories of a long-forgotten local flood that was big enough to have seemed to be universal in scope to those who experienced it. A lot of flood stories exist, after all. Most religions around the world have similar myths. True, this may be proof of a universal flood. But it may also point to one big event that happened somewhere around the area of the Middle East, the memory of which diffused with migrating people wherever they went. Still others believe the flood is a mythological rendering of the human psyche, perhaps arising out of our birth experience.

to learn where noah's sons may have settled wiki the decendants of noah. but this story is much to old to prove annything probably like most you claim to debunk so lets do another, more realistc one that you may have a point to.

So basically what you are saying, even after claiming the bible is a historicly accurate account of the past, is that you are grasping for straws at ways the flood fable "could" have happened or been interpreted, even when you admit with all the straw grasping that it might not have neccissarily happened like it said it did in the book you claim is historicly accurate.

Also, Wiki is a suprisingly highly accurate means of invistigating information. Obviously not as good as direct research papers. But the good thing about Wiki is that all sources of information are source referenced, so you can link directly to the source to verify the accuracy of the data.

I also see the "fun facts you uncovered" all come from a religious website dedicated to supporting their foregone conclusion that the bible is a historicaly accurate description of events, and the word of god. Unlike a rational person that can look at things objectively and judge the evidence on it's truth value, the religious perspective is to assume it's conclusion first and then bend over backwards to try and make the evidence fit it's already assumed conclusion. You can't seem to recognize this as a problem.

Yes, Donald Morgan is presenting his case that the bible is full of inconsistencies and errors. But I highly doubt he assumed, the first time he ever picked up the book, that he was going to be reading something that was chock full of nonsense. What likely happened is he read the thing expecting it was true, it turned out to not make any sense, and he then wanted to detail where the contradictions were for his own benefit. He then decided to share that with the rest of the world. Looking at evidence and then reaching a conclusion based on that evidence is quite different than looking for evidence to fit your already assumed conclusion.

And I fail to see how you claim using someone else's evidence is something that diminishes the truth value of that evidence? Not sure if you're aware of this, but evidence is evidence. Doesn't matter who did the research or who published it. It's still true if it's true, and false if it's false.

I'm going to get to your false claim that you read in 10 minutes all the links I posted providing evidence of the biblical inconsistencies and inaccuracies. But first, lets get back to that whole "What the Bleep Do We Know" comment from you that I see you are already trying to distance yourself from. Continued in the next post...

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Metatron has posted so much garbage in his last few posts that needs to be taken out, but I'll get to all the rest of that in a post after this one. This post is addressing the "What the Bleep Do We Know?" absurdity. First, lets set the stage - some friends I work with asked me to come by and watch this movie with them. They had totaly bought into the whole phenomenon and they, knowing I am an anti-theist activist and skeptic wanted to try and "convert" me because they know I'm pretty familiar with quantum theory, which this movie claims to be based on. Unbeknownst to my co-workers, the quantum theory pseudo-science presented in this movie is just a bunch of new age fluff that eventually traces it's roots back to a cult started by JZ Knight.

She is a woman who claims in 1977 to have been chosen as a channeler by a 35,000 year old spirit warrior from Atlantis named Ramtha. Yes, this is not a joke. Nearly every person involved in this movie is a member, or former member of her new age cult. Excluding one real physicist that was duped into attending this event, David Albert of Columbia University. This is what the only real scientist at this 'convention' had to say afterwards on his website: "I was edited in such a way as to completely suppress my actual views about the matters the movie discusses. I am, indeed, profoundly unsympathetic to attempts at linking quantum mechanics with consciousness. Moreover, I explained all that, at great length, on camera, to the producers of the film ... Had I known that I would have been so radically misrepresented in the movie, I would certainly not have agreed to be filmed."

The premise of the film is that quantum mechanics proves a conscious observer is necessary to create reality. The conclusion is we literally create reality with our thoughts. And something along the lines of the universe being conscience, on a quantum scale, basically claiming that "god" is alive in every particle in the universe this way. Upon viewing this movie, of course the skeptic in me had many questions. I also knew it was a gross misrepresentation of what Quantum Theory really is. So like a good skeptic I went searching for evidence and opinions from scientific reviews of the claims of this...film.

Since Masura Emoto did an actual research project (taping words to water bottles to see how aeshthetically good and bad words changed the beauty of water crystals) that was included in the movie, he was the easiest choice to verify based on evidence. And, in viewing his research paper, of course, it turns out his expiriments were done poorly, leading to erroneous and unsubstantiated conclusions. It was not a double blind experiment, which is required in real research. It wasn't even a 'blind' experiment since Emoto knew the words taped on the bottles. His experiment has not been reproducable or independantly replicated. Therefore, this is bad science. His paper has gained zero credibility in the established scientific community. This is an example of the brutal peer review process all scientific papers are put thru. (And this is the type of scrutiny that the Theory of Evolution has faced and thrived under for over 150 years.)

I could go on and on, but yet again other sources have already done a much better job than I can of summarizing the evidence regarding this matter. So again, I'll provide outside links to a more thorough trashing of this movie:

http://skeptico.blogs.com/skeptico/2005/04/what_the_bleep_.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Z._Knight

http://www.yelp.com/topic/san-francisco-thorough-debunking-of-that-shlock-what-the-bleep-do-we-know

The fact that Metatron is recommending this as something worth watching is a prime example of his position NOT being based on evidence or logic, but instead on wishful thinking. You watched this entire movie and apparently took it at face value since it had a nice glossy production. Did you not notice anything wrong with this movie that would make you sit up and say hmmm? Something that would make you want to do a little more digging before accepting it as true? Something like, oh say, a woman claiming to channel a 35,000 year old spirit warrior from a city that at best guess is just a myth? Or verifying for yourself if what they claimed is Quantum Mechanics is what the rest of the scientific community considers Quantum Mechanics?

Your evidence filter needs a little tweaking. And if you wonder what I mean by "evidence filter," here is, once again with the videos, a nice short one regarding open-mindedness - and how open is TOO open.

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Ok Metatron, so much b.s. to sift through, where do I start? Since you can't seem to move off the 80% inaccuracy of the bible argument, lets start here (80% like I've said numerous times, not 90% like you keep claiming - not that the number really means that much to me, the bible is a work of mostly fiction either way. But it's an indicator that you either see what you want to see, or you just make it up as you go along since you keep misquoting me numerous times). Here is your argument:

Wow! i just read what you claim debunks the entire bible in about 10 minutes. and you claim 90% is wrong ther was'nt 1% of the bible in that pile of nothingness. i saw absolutely no proof. every verse was written seperately by itself without pretext and that is proof! like i said we can start at paige 1 and 90% of the entire bible one of the greatest historical books, no the greatest, considered by almost all historians christian or not. is debunked by 1 paige of seperate sentence's. i thought you would have meat to your argument. YOU did'nt bring up 1 thing some morgan guy did, who is clearly biased and has no idea what he's talking about.

I can only conclude from this that of the SEVEN webpage links I provided and TWO ten minute videos, you must have only clicked on ONE link. So to start off with, you neglected to look at 6 of the 7 links, and also both videos. Next, the one link you actually did click on, you didn't even debate the arguments on hand. Your response was simply to try and dismiss them because the guy was, in your words, "clearly biased and has no idea what he's talking about." You've really got me on the ropes with that well articulated and thoughtful rebuttal...

First of all, I already cited that I was using an outside source for evidence. You have an issue with this for what reason exactly? Second, simply stating "na-na-na-na-boo-boo, your dumb" doesn't quite respond to an argument presented to you in any fashion that would encourage other people to take your position seriously. Third, after you have totaly avoided most of my arguments towards biblical inaccuracy, and your childish dismisal of the one page you did look at, you then claim some type of victory, in your mind, and act is if I need to recant my conclusion? Sorry guy, it doesn't work that way. I've held off on posting this rebuttal because I've been deciding if I'm going to subject everyone else viewing this thread with the wall of text that will come from posting all 7 of the webpages I cited as evidence right here in this thread. In order to keep you from lying again, and because this thread doesn't appear to be heavily viewed anymore right now, I've decided to go ahead and do just that. I apologize to anyone reading this thread that you will have to scroll through seven webpages of information instead of just clicking on the links. But the dishonestly that Metatron is trying to use to subvert the truth will not be tolerated.

Next, I have some serious questions how you can say some of the things you say about the bible, and then turn around and try to say that 80%-90%, or most of it (whatever), is historically accurate. Such as:

-- genesis which by most christians is'nt even taken as literall.

-- that is why he used severall versions of the bible to quote instead of just 1. unless you have about 5 diferent bibles those quotes will be not in the one you are reading.its common since to know alot of the bible is lost in translation b/c some of the text are over 2000 years old and some of the language dos'nt interpret to english well. many words in fact have multible meanings which is why pretext is needed to make accurate translation.

-- A( have been passed down by word of mouth, over 5000 years old in many case's. B(acient language's that don't translate into pefect english. to debunk an entire collection of ancient scrolls historicaly inaccurate b/c they don't like religion or god.

So you say Genesis isn't taken as literal. You say you know there are several different bibles to quote from, up to 5 by your own admission; it's common sense to know a lot of the bible is lost in translation; you know how stories can change being passed around by word of mouth, which you admit the bible stories were; you know many of the words in the bible have multiple meanings when translated to other languages.

My question is this then, which of the 5 bibles your talking about are the historically accurate ones, since they are apparently different?

How can you say something is accurate after just sitting there and saying that there are at least 5 versions of the same 'bible;" that the stories can and undoubtedly have changed from word of mouth tradition; that a lot of the bible was lost in translation; that many of the stories have multiple meanings? How can you justify your claims of biblical accuracy while at the same time admitting all these contributing factors to biblical inaccuracy? I agree with everything you said that I just quoted, suprisingly. My issue is that your statements that I quoted are reasons I have for disputing the validity of the bible.

there is an energy that started the big bang and created everything. was there an energy in the big bang? yes, so you prove that there was'nt, or where else the energy came from. you know there was energy that started this right? did it just come from no where? no most people beleive it came from the creator who we like to call god. and that is accepted by all scientist all the way up to steven hawking.

Ok, first of all, trying to claim Stephen Hawking as a believer in a personal god that created the universe is just another bold-faced lie. You probably saw on some creationist website where they quote-mined Hawking and tried to claim him as their own to support their case: as creationists are known to do.

Hawking takes an agnostic position on matters of religion. He has repeatedly used the word 'God' (in metaphorical meanings) to illustrate points made in his books and public speeches. His ex-wife Jane however said he was an atheist during their divorce proceedings.

Hawking himself: Throughout the 1970s I had been mainly studying black holes, but in 1981 my interest in questions about the origin and fate of the universe was reawakened when I attended a conference on cosmology organized by the Jesuits in the Vatican. The Catholic Church had made a bad mistake with Galileo when it tried to lay down the law on a question of science, declaring that the sun went round the earth. Now, centuries later, it had decided to invite a number of experts to advise it on cosmology. At the end of the conference the participants were granted an audience with the pope. He told us that it was all right to study the evolution of the universe after the big bang, but we should not inquire into the big bang itself because that was the moment of Creation and therefore the work of God. I was glad then that he didn't know the subject of the talk I had just given at the conference -- the possibility that space-time was finite but had no boundary, which means that it had no beginning, no moment of Creation. I had no desire to share the fate of Galileo, with whom I feel a strong sense of identity, partly because of the coincidence of having been born exactly 300 years after his death! [stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), pp. 115-16.]

You claim that "most people beleive it came from the creator who we like to call god. and that is accepted by all scientist all the way up to steven hawking." Umm, no, they don't. As the Hawking quote just proved you wrong, he clearly doesn't think that. Neither do any of the other leading cosmologists today. Cosmologists and biologists are the two branches of science with the most amount of athiests, and least amount of god believers: coincidence? When talking about scientists investigating the origins of the Big Bang, you're talking about cosmologists. And when you're talking about cosmologists, you're talking about a group that is comprised of roughly 85-93% atheists, depending on how the polling question is asked. So you are clearly mistaken here, as usual. Here is another one of those pesky links you have to click on for a more detailed description of my claim - Why (Almost All) Cosmologists are Atheists (2003)

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only by leading quantum theory scientist's that have evidence that there is a creator that created everything. and i will lay that argument down with mathamatic facts to prove yes there is a god and the leading scientists of our time beleive they are close to proving it mathamaticaly.

I sincerely hope this mathematical proof of yours isn't coming from the same crack-pot "scientists" responsible for the 'What the Bleep Do We Know?' fiasco. But go right ahead, lay it on me! I want to be one of the first people on earth to witness this magnificent event. Forget the fact that the REAL leading quantum mechanics physicists are working on real issues like the Unified Theory that will one day resolve the conflict between quantum mechanics and einstien's Relativity Theory. One of the leading contenders in this race is String Theory or M-Theory, which say nothing about proving mathematially the existence of god.

If any scientist had this proof that you claim, they would be considered the rock star of the scientific community. They would win the Randi Foundations $1 million dollar challenge and would be breaking their neck to get this evidence published asap. This proof is all a pipe-dream and you know it. If it weren't, you would have had no need in typing the rest of the drivel you have up to this point: all you would have had to do is trot this research paper out and you would have instantly convinced its truth to anyone that knows how to evaluate evidence. But you didn't.

now im gonna tell you a story. yesterday i went to buckhead we went in a bar called johnny's hide away, i had a beer drove my caddilac home to spivey then played golf in the morning.

now my point is the burden of proof now lies on you if you want to debunk it. the same is for the bible. if the bible say's abraham or moses or jesus did something 2000 or more years ago. the proof to debunk that lies on the person saying it did'nt happen.

The lack of logic in this statement is mind-boggling. Lets have a little lesson regarding the burden of proof. The burden of proof (Latin: onus probandi) is the obligation to shift the assumed conclusion away from an oppositional opinion to one's own position. The burden of proof may only be fulfilled by evidence. The burden of proof is often associated with the Latin maxim semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit, the best translation of which seems to be: "the necessity of proof always lies with the person who lays charges." The burden of proof is an especially important issue in law and science.

The fallacy of demanding negative proof

Outside a legal context, "burden of proof" means that someone suggesting a new theory or stating a claim must provide evidence to support it: it is not sufficient to say "you can't disprove this." Specifically, when anyone is making a bold claim, and especially a positive claim, it is not someone else's responsibility to disprove the claim, but is rather the responsibility of the person who is making the bold claim to prove it. In short, X is not proven simply because "not X" cannot be proven (see argument from ignorance).

In cases where the referent of a positive claim is of an uncommon or immaterial nature, or is unaccompanied by an explanation of causal mechanisms, a default to belief in the claim is not warranted. The proper default is skepticism. Here the burden of proof lies with the person making the positive claim, not with the skeptic. If one man claims Thor is real, and another claims Thor is not real, they do not share equal burden of proof. The burden of proof falls upon the person making the positive claim to the degree that the claim falls outside the corpus of scientific knowledge.

If a claim contains an absurd or illogical concept such as the claim of a square circle, the entire claim can be dismissed on the grounds of incoherence without invoking burden of proof.

not to throw you off but since you claim to have read the bible cover to cover here is a trick question that will be not easily found on the net. but as someone who has more than basic knowledge such as one who has read cover 2 cover twice should know.BONUS IF YOU CAN'T ANSWER DOES'NT MEAN MUCH, ANSWER ABOVE FIRST! what camandment has been changed into 2 candments so that 1 commanment could be removed from the bible. and what are each of these commandment 2 total?

I assume you are referring to the Augustinian division. Where the original 1st commandment of "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery" was removed, and then made the 9th commandment against coveting your neighbors wife, and the 10th commandment against coveting your neighbors house and other property.

I think thats got most of your junk covered. Now for the wall of text from seven web pages since Metatron can't seem to click on links. For the rest of you that have to scroll through these next seven posts instead of simply clicking the links I originally intended, I sincerely apologize.

Before I forget, let me post another website full of evidence of inaccuracies in the bible - http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/

Metatron, at the end of these seven posts, It would be somewhat amusing if you try and claim again how you read it all in around 10 minutes. :rolleyes:

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Introduction to the Bible and Biblical Problems

by Donald Morgan

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/donald_morgan/intro.html

I've removed all the walls of text in these next 7 posts. I had always intended to do so, but I wanted Metatron to see what he was trying to claim he read in 10 minutes and dismissed so easily. I'll leave the links to the full article in each post since the post can't be fully deleted.

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And because the person described in this post, Jody, reminds me so much of you Metatron, I'll tack this on for good measure.

http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/archives/popups/popup_284.html

Bible: "What, Me Wrong?"

2006.02.09 (Thu) 23:20

Stop us if you've heard this one before (we bet you have). A while back, we posted about those wacky nutjobs over at the WorldNetDaily. We know, that's like shooting fish in a barrel, but sometimes we can't help it. Believe it or not, they had published a highly dubious piece about a book they were hawking claiming that miracles save 3,000 lives every 25 seconds, and yet they failed to provide even the tiniest shred of evidence to back up this claim (other than the "it really happened!" defense). As an aside, we also mentioned a DVD (which the WorldNetDaily is also hawking) that claimed the following:

"Not only has Mel Gibson's film "The Passion of the Christ" powerfully affected the faith of millions of viewers, but according to a new documentary by an Emmy-award-winning news veteran, it has also been instrumental in bringing about real miracles."

That's right, Mel Gibson's movie apparently brought about real miracles. We can't make this stuff up, folks. The person who created the DVD can, but we can't. To say the least, what we read about the DVD seemed to indicate that it was just exactly as emphatic in its wild claims as it was completely silent in the supporting evidence department. In short, it was the typical wingnut Christian ********.

Enter Jody. A few months after we published our piece, someone claiming to be the producer of the DVD we mentioned graced us with her presence. She took exception with our analysis of her work, and proceeded to whip out every single credulous argument in the book in support of her fantastic assertions while still managing to avoid providing any actual evidence to backup her claims.

In brief, she built a small army of straw men based on wildly inaccurate assumptions about atheists and critical thinkers, she showered us with arguments from authority (including beginning her diatribe by proclaiming that she was "a for-real journalist"), she emphatically repeated the oh-so-convincing "it really happened" argument more times than we can count, and she dazzled us with anecdotes of atheists who witnessed miracles and fell to their knees in recognition of the awesome power of god. Not content to stop there, Jody spent some time trying to shift the burden of proof to us; compared us to flat-earth proponents; threatened to produce a veritable mountain of evidence supporting her claims (but — imagine that! — she never did); explained that our apparent anger and our use of profanity rendered our arguments somehow moot; accused us of being unscientific because we didn't give her anecdotal arguments from authority their proper weight; explained that the scientists who proved that the earth was round believed in god, and therefore by the transitive property of science and religion, showed how Christianity is plainly the key to the scientific process; accused us of really believing in god and just hating him (you know, the ever-popular "admit it" argument), told us that we were somehow wasting her time despite the fact that she was proactively coming to our site to argue with us, and assumed (quite incorrectly — you'd likely be amazed how incorrectly) that we had never read the Bible. She then started in on evolution, explaining how there are no transitional fossils, and she tossed in the old "Darwin recanted on his deathbed" canard for good measure. The only thing missing was the "why're there still monkeys?" crap. But we're bracing ourselves for that one if she returns.

And after all this, she chastised us for not welcoming open debate and discussion. Go figure.

Anyway, that's not why we decided to post this Rant. Instead, we'd like to specifically call out the following statement made by Jody:

And nowhere in the Bible does it suggest the earth is flat, nor is there anything in the Bible that conflicts with a single scientific principle or fact. I'd like to see your evidence to the contrary. (PLEASE bring up the theory of evolution...)

Hey, we had ten minutes to kill as well as a link to the Skeptics' Annotated Bible in our bookmarks, so we figured what the heck. Here's our reply to that portion of Jody's comment. Feel free to reference it if a similar moron pesters you with a similar "challenge":

— • —

Oh, you silly, stupid, simple creature. You can't possibly be serious. Now, it's important to note that if you read the Bible as what it is — a book of fictional stories — then it no more conflicts with science than does, say, a Flash Gordon comic book. Both are wildly inaccurate when it comes to hard science; but then, both are fanciful stories about people and events that aren't real, though they may be inspired by history or by speculation about the future. It's only when delusional people start thumping on the Bible as "the Word o' God" that the problems begin. However, in order to meet your scary, frightening "Oh-you-got-us-now!" challenge to prove your statement wrong, we'll need to go with that literal truth approach to the "Good Book," so bear with us.

Sure, we could point to the entire creation myth and how it flies in the face of science on every count (not to mention contradicting itself far more than a few times), but what fun would that be? Even you must know that evolution denial and Biblical creationism is an indefensible position from a scientific perspective. And if you don't know that, please don't bother us with your unforgivable ignorance — go to TalkOrigins.org or the Panda's Thumb to educate yourself first.

We could even be despicably picky and point out that the value of π is not three, despite the Bible's opinion on the matter. But you'll start whining about how approximations are "good enough" for a primitive civilization, and we — in a theatrical show of gallantry — won't point out that a "scientifically accurate" Bible written or inspired by an omniscient deity should try a little harder than whole number "guesstimates," particularly on such an easily calculable math problem. So we'll just lowball you, here, and point out the really obvious ones.

Now, if stories like Noah's ark, the Virgin Birthcomplete with migratory star, and Jonah and the Whale (or big fish, as God thinks of whales, apparently) aren't enough to convince you that the Bible directly contradicts science, we can also provide numerous other examples. Sure, some of these examples are interpretations — like the incredible number of references to a flat earth with four corners resting upon pillars rendering it motionless in the heavens, and the firmament that holds the stars in the sky — but concepts like the flat earth, geocentrism, and other silly and blatantly false concepts were believed and violently argued by Christians throughout history based on these same verses. It's funny how Christians used to lean on the Bible as proof of these things, but now that there is no rational way to believe these fantasies, these phrases magically no longer mean what they used to mean. Odd, that. It gives one hope that someday, and very soon on the geologic scale, creationism will go down the same tube, Jody. And hey, if you want to argue that all of these examples are merely metaphors and creative imagery and not the literal word of god, just remember: that's exactly our point!

And let's not forget the references throughout the Bible to hordes of mythical creatures. Heck, at a glance we see unicorns (Numbers 24:8, 23:22, Deuteronomy 33:17, Isaiah 34:7), dragons (Deuteronomy 32:33, Psalm 74:13, Isaiah 13:22, 27:1, 34:13, 43:20, 51:9, Jeremiah 14:6, Revelation 12:4), cockatrices (Isaiah 11:8, 14:29, 59:5, Jeremiah 8:17), and satyrs (Isaiah 13:22, 34:14), just to name a few. Oddly — and we hope this doesn't come as news to you — these creatures aren't real. If even these examples aren't good enough for you, there are also some very straightforward statements made in the Bible that are 100% scientifically wrong. Here are a few examples:

Apparently, God believes that bats are birds (Leviticus 11:13-19, Deuteronomy 14:11-18), an assertion that modern science would seem to refute. You know, since bats are mammals and all.

Then there's the old standby — despite having created all creatures, God seems to be blissfully unaware of that fact that rabbits are not ruminants. Why do we say this? Because the Bible twice mentions that hares and coneys "chew the cud" (Leviticus 11:5-6, Deuteronomy 14:17). Sorry, God, you don't win the toaster oven.

Here are a few more little ones: snails don't melt, ostriches are known to be attentive parents who do not abandon their eggs or their young (which kind of screws the whole "God didn't give animals wisdom" argument in el Libro de Job, huh?), the mustard seed is not the smallest seed on the earth, and no matter how hard we pray — and believe us, we were pulling for this one — having goats copulate in front of streaked rods won't make them give birth to streaked babies. If only that worked for people....

Anyway, that's just a smattering of the scientifically inaccurate data to be found in the Bible. We didn't even get around to historical inaccuracies and self-contradictions — hey, that's a whole different response to a whole different loon, Jody. If you want to read more, the Skeptics' Annotated Bible is a great source, which links to unaltered Bible verses and provides commentary on the side. Go. Read. Learn.

And before you "explain away" all of these problems with your beloved Bible, allow us to yawn and say that we've heard all of the excuses many, many times before. We've listened to people like you go on and on about interpretations, and alternate meanings, and metaphors, and whether a passage is related as a vision, and every other excuse under the sun, ad nauseam. But at the end of the day, either the Bible is the infallible and literal word of God...or it's not. (In case you needed a clarification on that, we choose "not.").

— • —

If we may say so ourselves: pretty thorough, though by no means all-encompassing. We were also nice enough to include links to each of our examples. Note that every link is to an actual Bible passage (with the critique in the sidebar), and that none of the material came from peripheral sources that argue against the Bible. In short, we used our own research through the Skeptics' Annotated Bible to come up with this list.

And what was Jody's reply to our well-researched response?

It's clear you have read some criticism of the Bible, But it is obvious that you have not actually read it yourself. If you are going to vociferously criticize a piece of literature, wouldn't the scientifc method imply that you read and even study it?

You also need to know that much if not all of the scholarly work you present regarding the Bible has been wholly discredited on basis of historical and archeological evidence. Hard science. Those "scholars" are talking way out of turn and are doing so in the face of science which contradicts their assertions. Most of those writers are threatened by the implications of "what if I'm wrong?" These men and women cling to their own version of ontology, cosmology, epistemology-- and even history and archeology-- despite overwhelming and compelling scientific evidence to the contrary. This is well documented in academic literature from all spectrums of religion and culture. Basing your life and worldview on faulty data is dangerous.

She apparently didn't even bother to read what we wrote or to click on our links! Instead, she just figured that we read someone else's book, never picked up a Bible, and regurgitated what someone else said. Without bothering to check on any of these things, she pronounced that our sources (if you're keeping track, our only "source" here was the Bible itself) had been contradicted by science. "Hard science," even. How pathetic.

Apparently, according to Jody, science has proven that bats are birds and that if goats **** in front of a striped rod they will have striped kids. Science has also established that dragons, unicorns, satyrs, and cockatrices actually exist, and that the earth is flat, with four corners, sitting on pillars, motionless in the heavens, with the firmament hanging over our heads to hold the stars in place. Man, where were we the day science made those discoveries? We must have been off somewhere secretly hating God and not reading the Bible. Our bad.

Jody is the kind of person we're talking about when we say that it isn't just stupidity that we're dealing with here, but astonishingly arrogant stupidity. These morons aren't just blissfully uninformed, they wallow in their blissful ignorance and actually try to throw their stupidity in the faces of the critical thinkers around them, like monkeys flinging their feces at zoo visitors. (Given that behavior, why are there still monkeys? Readin' their scriptures and hurlin' their excrement...we should really do something about that.) There's no way to ever get through to people like Jody, especially since they don't even bother to listen to those who don't agree with them (Jody freely admitted that she had no intention of even reading our replies — see for yourself); and the scary thing is that they often have lots of children that they can indoctrinate at will. It's a daunting scenario.

In the long run, at least we can get a good laugh out of loons like this. We especially liked her admonition that "basing your life and worldview on faulty data is dangerous." Finally, Jody — something we agree on.

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random just give up you have your beliefs and we have ours.......we dont have a problem with you believing the way you do.....but you have a problem accepting our beliefs and moving on.....

I will never give up, sorry. Not until the antiquity of religion is where it belongs: in our past. It's funny that you should mention not having a problem with my beliefs, because throughout the history of the last 3000 years, people that rejected the gods of the day were mercilessly murdered for heresy and blasphemy; it wasnt' until science proved religion wrong SO many times that atheism could even show it's face in the light of day within the last 150-200 years and not expect to be "dealt with" by some irrational holy book thumping moron. You are right, I do have a problem with your beliefs. I have a problem with a worldview not based on reason and evidence, but instead on indoctrination and blind faith that flies in the face and contradicts the evidence. I have a problem with a worldview that makes it ok to fly planes into buildings and think it's not only acceptable, but the thing that someone's "god" wants them to do. Which is why I've devoted so much time and effort into helping even one person that sees this thread and something makes sense for them. I get that this is not you, but I don't care, it will be SOMEONE else.

you have ranted for 5 pages and what good has it done.????? you have FAILED to change our mind.....AND I EVEN WATCHED ALL YOU VIDEOS.....and went into them with an open mind........still not convinced.......heres a little advice....when attempting to change someones belief its best to enter the debate with respect for their standing beliefs........

I have ranted? Or I have refuted false claims with evidence, reason, and logic? I think it's the latter. The fact that you think it has been a 'rant' shows just how NOT open-minded you came in, eh? Respect your beliefs? I'm not trying to sweet talk you into maybe coming over here and if you wouldn't mind please take a look at this here evidence because I think it might make a little more sense if you were to oh I don't know reconsider this one little aspect of you ideas. No...I'm trying to smack you in the face with reality to show you just how fouled up your worldview really is. And I know good and well you didn't watch all the videos I posted. First of all, it would have taken you several days, if not longer, to watch them all. And second, there is no way you could have and come in here still spewing this amount of ignorance. And the third reason, I'll give in the next section.

you mention evoulotion as fact.......i respect that but i ask you one question???? how does that rule out...the possibilty of god????? I SAY ITS POSSIBLE FOR EVOULUION AND GOD TO CO-EXIST......and no scientist can tell me its not possible.....you say christians have the burden of proof....uh no we dont its up to you what you believe...your the one with the problem with relegion....so to rid the world of god and change our beliefs the burden of proof is on YOU....in wich you FAIL

This is the 2nd time I've had to copy/paste this quote of myself, which means it's the 3rd time it's been posted in this very thread: "Allow me to elaborate by quoting myself from post #42 of THIS thread: "Accepting evolution as the fact that it is, does NOT mean you are an atheist. It is still possible that a "supreme being" or "god" created the universe and set the whole evolution process in motion. While I say that is 'possible,' I'm not saying that it's probable. However, the theory of evolution has nothing at all to say about whether a god or gods exist or not."

It's clear you haven't even READ what I've typed, much less watched all the videos I linked(as you falsely claim) - somewhere around 60 of them. Also, you're allowed to believe what you want to believe, you are absolutely correct. If you want to believe you are Napolean, feel free. If you want to tell other people you are Napolean, then you have the burden of proof to prove to rational people that you actually are Napolean. You can believe in whatever religion you want to believe in, AS LONG AS YOU KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. When you start trying to force those beliefs on everyone else, like thru public policy, trying to post the 10 commandments on public buildings, invading Iraq because "god told me to," getting tax exemptions from the government because of being a church, etc...then you do, IN FACT, have to prove to the rest of the rational world your case. Therefore the burden of proof DOES rest on you to prove your outlandish claiims before the rest of the rational world will accept any of that. If you religious people would simply keep your cults of believing in magical imaginary friends to yourselves, I wouldn't have typed the first word in this thread. But the problem is - YOU DON'T. What you do instead is stand in the way of scientific progress at nearly every turn citing backwards Bronze Age mythologies as your justification. Mythologies long since given up by the educated and rational people of the world that have escaped their indoctrination.

There was a time in our history where religion had its way and ruled the world with an iron fist - it's called the Dark Ages, and for a reason.

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Proselytizing is obnoxious whether it's for or against religion.

Proselytizing is the act of attempting to convert people to another opinion and, particularly, another religion. The word proselytize is derived ultimately from the Greek language prefix 'πρός' (towards) and the verb 'έρχομαι' (I come). Historically in the New Testament, the word proselyte denoted a person who had converted to Judaism. Though the word proselytism originally referred to Christianity, it is also used to refer to other religions' attempts to convert people to their beliefs or even any attempt to convert people to another point of view, religious or not. Today, the connotations of proselytizing are often negative and the word is commonly used to describe attempts to force people to convert.

Thats your opinion. However, I find it highly more obnoxious, and irresponsible, to allow the human race to continue to wallow in ignorance. Pointing out the obvious isn't an attempt to convert someone to a different twisted way of thinking; it's an attempt to remove someones blinders and show them the obvious. Only a religious person would have a problem with this.

People debate one's political ideas freely with no problem, people debate one's favorite teams with no problem. But all of a sudden your religious views are off limits? We're supposed to not question with the same vigor your views on the cosmos? This special treatment that religion thinks it's entitled to is outlandish, and flat out wrong. Religion, or lack thereof, is subject to the same scrutiny and debate that any other area of life is subjected to. Religious views are not priviledged any more than any other views.

So you think debate of any kind is "obnoxious" according to your view? You think that if I'm standing in the line at the grocery store and I see somebody with a $5 box of soap, and I tell that person that there is a $4 dollor box of soap with the exact same contents but isn't the name brand they have, and they can go pick up the other box back on the soap aisle, since I've "tried to convert" that person to my way of thinking, that it was obnoxious? Interesting...

I'll go you one further. Suppose someone had tried to talk to the 19 hijackers that flew two planes into the World Trade Center towers and made them realize that there really weren't going to be 72 virgins waiting for them from their imaginary god? Thus saving the lives of thousands of innocent people that didn't deserve to die, for ANY reason other than someone thought their god wanted them too. Are you really trying to say that person would be "obnoxious?" What does that make the rest of the people that stood by and allowed it to happen without saying a word?

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ok i got ya so you admitt god is possibe just not probable......let me explain the problem with that statement in football terms......it was not probable for the arizona cardinals to reach the superbowl......they never had been there before whats the chances of it happening last year??

now just because it wasnt probable doesnt mean there werent arizona fans believing all season they were going to the superbowl.....this represents relegion...on the other hand you had arizona fans that seen they lost 4 of the last 5 and seen the Evidence that arizona wasnt reaching the superbowl and jumped ship on the team......this represents athiest......i'll leave on this law of the universe....every masterpiece has to have an artist....from the car you drive..,to the painting on your wall.....so if EARTH is a masterpiece how is it possible for it to exist with out an artist????? the evidence of god is there you just have to open your mind

That analogy has so many logical fallacies I dont' even know where to start. So I'll just move on to your bigger claim that is an Argument from apparent Design.

Refutation of the 'by design' argument for theism

One of the most popular, and apparently powerful, arguments for God's existence is the argument commonly referred to as "the argument by design." Believers often point to the wonders of nature, compare them to the lesser mechanical wonders of human design, and conclude that this is evidence that the universe was created by a much more powerful Designer, that is, God.

This argument may seem persuasive, but it suffers from a number of serious flaws.

The most famous version of the argument by design is no doubt the "watchmaker analogy" published by William Paley in Natural Theology (1802). Paley first argues:

"In crossing a heath, suppose I pitched my foot against a stone, and were asked how the stone came to be there; I might possibly answer, that, for anything I knew to the contrary, it had lain there forever: nor would it perhaps be very easy to show the absurdity of this answer. But suppose I had found a watch upon the ground, and it should be inquired how the watch happened to be in that place; I should hardly think of the answer I had before given, that for anything I knew, the watch might have always been there."

Paley concludes:

"Every indication of contrivance, every manifestation of design, which existed in the watch, exists in the works of nature; with the difference, on the side of nature, of being greater or more, and that in a degree which exceeds all computation."

In this form, the argument more has the form of an analogy than a real argument, which gives it great power especially to a lay audience. However, both the analogy and the underlying argument suffers from a number of serious flaws.

Paley's analogy draws a distinction between natural objects and objects that are the products of human designers. The whole argument goes that if you should find a watch on a beach, lying in between the sand, stones, grass and waves, you would immediately recognize that it stood out from its surroundings, and that it was different. So, you would conclude it was an artifact.

The problem is that Paley suddenly turns around and says that everything in nature bears evidence of a designer! The analogy is thus self-contradictory even on the most basic level. In the analogy, the differences between the natural objects and the human artifact is what makes an observer conclude that the latter is designed. How come, then, can anyone conclude that the stones, grass and indeed the whole universe is created by a Designer, too?

Why will a human being, upon seeing a watch, conclude it is an artifact?

First, it is its simplicity, especially the simplicity in form, that makes it stand out from nature. It is not, as theists confusingly seem to think, that the watch is "complex." Compared to any living thing on that beach, it is quite simple. Human artifacts (the only artifacts we know) are not characterized by complexity, but simplicity. We use simple geometrical forms -- circles, arcs, lines -- when we create our designs, and these forms are rare in nature. In fact, sometimes we may err and conclude a natural form is artificial because it is simple and, for example, rectangular.

Second, we recognize certain patterns in designed artifacts. While I think a cave dweller would recognize the watch as a probable artifact, I think it's safe to say that we would recognize it as a certain artifact because we have seen such things before. We also know a watch when we see one, and we know from experience that these carries the name of their manufacturer, and we see no reason to doubt that. This is part of the cultural knowledge we have about what kind of products humans create. We have no comparable cultural knowledge, at least none based on actual observation and evidence, that there are any gods who create universes.

Even when put into a better form than this watchmaker analogy does the argument "by design" contain a number of serious problems:

First, theists apply the argument from design selectively. Assuming that the complexity of the universe shows it has to be design, they say that this proves the existence of an even more complex entity: God. Now, if the universe has to be created because it is complex, an even more complex deity will have to be the product of an even more powerful meta-god. Theists don't like this train of thought, and produce some ad hoc arguments with little merit.

Second, as we have remarked above with the typical "watchmaker" analogy, the argument depends on a dichotomy between artifacts and natural objects. In its original form, theists say that someone walking on a beach and find a watch, will recognize it as an artifact. But, pray tell, how can the person distinguish between artifacts and natural objects? Well, the person obviously recognizes a watch as something he already knows is an artifact, and also the simplicity of form (circular, straight lines, etc). On the other hand the person recognizes stones, grass and leaves as natural objects. Ok so far. But then theists turn around and say that these natural objects are actually designed as well! Actually, theists say, there are no natural objects, only artifacts created by some designer. Thus, the whole watchmaker argument is self-defeating.

Thirdly, and typically, arguments "by design" totally ignores the whole apparatus of explanation that modern science has provided. The theory of evolution by natural selection provides a powerful explanation of the complexities in life. While some theists reject it, it is simply not honest to pretend it does not exist, as the argument does.

Known natural processes, sometimes amazingly simple, can create objects of high complexity. Snow flakes is one example.

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Do you also accept that Zeus is responsible for making all lightning? Because you are relying on about the same rationality. "Gee, it's complicated and I don't understand it. That must mean that God (Zeus) is responsible for it."

That is all that the argument from complexity is. Gee, it's complicated and I don't understand it...therefore God.

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The Argument:

1.Many things that look designed do so because they are designed.

2.From 1, it can reasonably be inferred that everything that looks designed does so because it is designed.

3.The universe looks designed.

4.From 2 and 3, the universe has a desinger.

This is the basic format of the argument. It can be fleshed out in various ways. Heres one I came across earlier.

Suppose you came upon a deserted island and found S.O.S. written in the sand on the beach. You would not think the wind or the waves had written it by mere chance but that someone had been there, someone intelligent enough to design and write the message. If you found a stone hut on the island with windows, doors, and a fireplace, you would not think a hurricane had piled up the stones that way by chance. You immediately infer a designer when you see design.

Theres a few things wrong with this argument.

First Refutation: Logical Fallacy

1.Some things that look designed do not have a designer.

2.From 1, it is not the case that everything that looks designed has a designer.

3.From 2, the second premise of the argument from inferred design fails.

Snowflakes look like theyre designed theyre extremely complex. But they are formed merely through the condensation of water vapor at very low temperatures. They have no designer.

Therefore, not everything that looks designed had a designer.

Second Refutation: Objective Evidence

1.Many things that look designed can be observed during the process of their creation processes.

2.Many of those creation proccesses will involve a designer.

3.Many of those creation processes will not involve a designer.

4.From 3, the second premise of the argument from inferred design fails.

We know that buildings have builders because we can go to a construction yard and see the building as it is being constructed.

We know that the letters written on the sand had a writer because we can go to the beach and see people writing in the sand with sticks.

We know that the changes a species makes over time that increases its fitness to its environment occur without a designer because we can set up a laboratory environment and observe these changes taking place without a designer. (Reference: Observed Instances of Speciation, Some More Observed Speciation Events)

Therefore, not everything that looks designed had a designer.

Third Refutation: Infinite Improbability

1.Assume the Argument from Inferred Design to be true

2.All designers look designed

3.All designers are more improbable than their designs

4.From 1 and 2, there is an infinte regress that must be terminated

5.From 3 and 4, the termination point of that regress must be infinitely improbable

6.From 5, this termination point would be impossible

7.Therefore, the Argument from Inferred Design must be false.

This one spells it out pretty nicely. Lets step through it.

My coffee mug looks designed, so it must have had a designer! That designer was a factory production line, which is more improbable than the mug.

A factory production line looks designed, so it must have had a designer! The designer was a team of human beings, which is more improbable than the production line.

Human beings look designed, so they must have had a designer! That designer was God, which is more improbable than humans.

God is the termination point of this regress, because nothing can be more improbable than God becuase God is Infinitely Improbable.

Since God is Infinitely Improbable, He is impossible and does not exist.

Therefore, the original premise of the argument is false.

Alternative Explanation for Apparent Design

1.Things that look designed are improbable

2.From 1, things that look designed must have a cause that make them more probable

3.From the Refutations of the Argument from Inferred Design, the cause of something that looks designed may or may not have been a designer

4.Designers look designed

5.Designers are more improbable than the things they design

6.From 2, 3, 4 and 5, it follows that any chain of designers that design designers must terminate in a cause that is not itself a designer

Things that look designed may or may not have a designer but designers look designed too. And designers are more improbable than the things they design.

It is possible that a designer can design something that is itself a designer but if this only increases the improbability the further back you go.

So to solve the problem of the improbability of apparent design, it must be possible for things that look designed to have a cause that is less improbable than themselves. Therefore it must be possible for things that look designed to not have a designer.

It follows that it must be possible for things which are designers not to have a cause that is not itself a designer.

It follows that the ultimate cause of apparent design and designers must itself be less improbable than apparent design and designers.

It follows that the ultimate cause of apparent design and designers cannot have been a designer itself.

If God exists, He must be a desinger.

If God exists, He must be the ultimate cause of apparent design.

From the last three statements, God cannot exist.

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The arguement from design is an extremely weak argument and already widely refuted for generations: for those that open their mind, as you put it.

http://www.mukto-mona.com/Articles/aparthib/design_argument.htm

Does God exist?

On argument from design

Aparthib Zaman

This is a follow-up on this thread to my previous message. Here I wish to dwell on the suggestion by some that there is evidence for the existence of God from scientific observations, i.e argument form design

There are many who argue that the fact that the universe looks so orderly and designed, that must be an evidence of a "creator" This is called argument from design (Rather intelligent design, "ID" in short) for the existence of God. It is proposed as a sort of scientific proof for the existence of God. If the question is "Can Science be used to find God?", the indisputable answer is NO. Although there are still some scientists who believe in some abstract creator God (but very few in the traditional God of revelations), no scientist today worth their reputation, can with a straight face claim to be able to prove the existence of God through science. What some can do and have done is to suggest "intelligent" design. But that also has now been shown to be an illusion in the way one looks and interprets scientific facts, not an assertion of an actual fact of observation. The argument for an intelligent design to prove the existence of a creator (God) is very old one. This is an intuitive argument that most humans, of any level of intellect come up with. This reflects a naive attempt to answer a very profound question that is really unanswerable. Saying that something which LOOKS designed IS designed is stating a conclusion (That "LOOKS" = "IS") without a proof. Secondly to say "is designed" implicitly assumes that there already exists a designer, because "looks designed" , or "doesn't look designed" can only make sense with respect to a pre-existing designer. But that is assuming what one intended to prove in the first place! ( i.e that there happens to be a designer). To prove that "looks designed = is designed" one must first prove that there exists a designer and next has to prove that what is being claimed to be designed has indeed been designed by that designer and by nothing else. The proof, if has to be a valid one must involve both these two independent steps.

The expression "looks designed" itself is a biased interpretation of human mind based on familiarity with previous experience. For example we know a watch is designed by a human from our previous knowledge of another watch being designed by a human, or by observing the cogs and springs in the watch which are known to be designed by humans etc. So being "designed" is a perception based on context and experience from similar instances. Hence "LOOKS = IS" is an inductive statement of generalization from familiar human experience. We encounter objects in the world, which we categorize into two classes, those that look designed due to our previous knowledge of many other similar things known to be designed by humans to serve human purpose, and things that look random (to humans) as they are known to be not designed by humans, found in nature. So according to our mental map, our world consists of a set of both orderly and random objects which enables us to inductively conclude if anything arbitrary we come across is designed or not. But such inductive generalization does not make sense when we push it to the extreme case of the entire creation and call it designed, because, we don't have such similar experiences of many other universes that were designed by known designers. The whole universe we live in is just one instance. No inductive generalization can make any logical sense when applied to universe as a whole, because there is nothing similar to generalize inductively from! So the statement LOOKS(Designed) = IS(Designed) is flawed if applied to the entire universe. Not only that, the entire universe contains both designed and undersigned objects. So we cannot strictly say that the universe is designed because it is composed of undersigned (perceived) objects too.

All the objects that we call designed, are called so because we KNOW they would not exist without a designer, a watch for example, where we KNOW there is a designer (A human). But the same cannot be said about natural objects, like a tree. Because we don't KNOW (In the same sense as watch) that a tree would not exist without a creator (in the sense of a creator of a watch). We cannot extend inductive arguments from the class of man made objects to natural objects by rules of logic.

The fact that humans and animals look like designed objects again is rooted in bias from knowledge about manufactured objects which are known to have a designer. Besides evolution can provide a much simpler explanation of emergence of complex organs of animals by selection and mutation. At the heart of all evolution is simple incremental steps dictated by laws of Physics. So Laws of Physics can be said to be the designer of all living and non-living objects, in the entire universe, and behind the evolution (But not the existence) of the entire universe. Do the Laws of Physics then need a designer? A law giver? Again we don't have any precedence at the cosmic level to inductively generalize from to arrive at this conclusion. A belief in an uncaused, eternal God as the law giver is no more logically appealing than an uncaused eternally existing Laws of Physics governing the universe. The former is explaining the known by an unknown, the latter is explaining a known by a known, obviously a simpler one. And simpler explanation is always preferred. Not that there is any absolute way to prove one or another. The fact that the former "explanation" offers more emotional appeal to some does not make it a more plausible one from a rational or scientific view.

The perception of something being designed or not designed is not a scientific decision, but inherently a subjective one, and thus not guaranteed to be accurate. For example some abstract piece of art, if we were not told that it was by a famous artist, may have been mistaken as due to accidental splash of colors. On the other hand, an artist may have spilled some color by mistake, but it may appear to be an impressive work of by him to someone unaware of that fact of spilling! In other words, there can be objects which look designed but have no designer, and there can be objects which doesn't look designed but indeed have a designer. As Noble Laureate Steven Weinberg says:

"Even a universe that is completely chaotic, without any laws or regularities at all, could be supposed to have been designed by an idiot" (p-232, "Facing UP")

So non-randomness or regularity is no guarantee of any conscious designer.

Those who cite order in the universe as the proof of the existence of a creator invariably answers the question as to who created the creator by saying that the creator of the universe is uncreated and exists necessarily. Now if one insists that there exists a creator necessarily, then it is a fallacy to argue that a creator exists because there is order in the universe. Because if the creator exists necessarily, then its existence is independent of any order and would exists even if there is no order. There is no reason to believe that a creator will always want there to be an order in the universe. A creator might very well choose to create an orderlies universe. An order or design has no significance without an accompanying "intent". We know a watch has a designer because we KNOW that there is a purpose or intention for designing it. If an object does not look designed or shows any mark of intent, we would not assume it has a designer. For example an artist may decide to design an abstract piece of art which unless one is told, may not look designed and would thus not be considered to have a designer.

SO JUST AS NON-RANDOMNESS OR REGULARITY IS NO GUARANTEE OF ANY CONSCIOUS DESIGNER, SIMILARLY RANDOMNESS OR NON-REGULARITY ALSO IS NO GUARANTEE OF THE ABSENCE OF A DESIGNER EITHER.

The whole argument of positing a creator based on the appearance of order or regularity is based on personal bias, not logic.

Finally the perception that there are indeed eternal laws governing our universe itself is debatable. Many scientists have argued that the laws of science in its most elegant form is nothing but an intelligent construct of human mind starting from some very basic and simple, almost common sensical set of "rules". For example Physicist and author Victor Stenger makes that point in his article at:

http://spot.colorado.edu/~vstenger/Nothing/WhereLaws.pdf

He also shows how the design in the universe can also be explained naturally without invoking a deity at:

http://spot.colorado.edu/~vstenger/Found/12Godless.pdf which is part of his book "Has science found God?"

The question of the objective reality of scientific laws has also been addressed in my articles at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MuktoChinta/message/3074 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mukto-mona/message/7340

The second problem is in the "logic" that "God created this universe because everything not random needs a creator, thus the universe must need a creator (God)". The logic above also contains an assertion of faith that God does not need a creator. That is a case of mixing faith and logic. The first part is applying a logic (inductive generalization). The second part (That God does not need a creator) is an article of pure faith, which is not dictated by logic. By mixing faith and logic one can make anything possible or impossible. By the same logic that one insists that universe has to have a creator because it is not random, one must also insist that God (Surely not a random entity either) also has to have a creator too. So only an additional clause of faith can resolve this fallacy. But then that clause of faith is beyond rationalism and totally arbitrary. Arbitrary and irrational articles of faith can make anything possible or impossible mixing it with logic as mentioned earlier.

Furthermore, in the very word creator, the "-or" implies a conscious being, something again derived from an inductive generalization based on human experiences, because all the objects we call designed in the world are known to be designed by human, a conscious being. But we don't call a snowflake designed although it certainly is not a random or irregular object. Although the advocates of design argument may call it an object of intelligent design of God also. So when ID advocates cannot identify a human designer of an object that looks designed (by human perception) they will postulate an invisible (conscious) humanlike designer. This is called argument from ignorance and is a fallacy. Moreover such an inductive generalization of a conscious designer is also a flawed extension of ordinary logic to uncharted territory where ordinary intuition and human logic is not guaranteed to be meaningful, let alone applicable. We already know that in the Quantum world ordinary causality does not hold. Events at the microscopic level do not have distinct cause-effect identities, they only satisfy certain fundamental laws which are completely time-symmetric. Causality is an emergent phenomena at the macroscopic level.

Now let us turn to the so called fine tuning argument which is often cited as the proof for God. So many parameters in the universe seemed to be so finely tuned just so that life can flourish and evolve, which would not have been possible had any of those parameters been slightly different, hence there must be intelligent design at work behind such fine tuning. This argument is also scientifically flawed. The fact is that such fine-tuning is viewed as having a supernatural (i.e beyond physics) implication is due to (a) improper understanding of statistics (B) relying on our intuitive notion of causality from day to day experience and extending it to the extreme. To illustrate (a) for example, if we roll ten dice the likelihood of getting the sequence 6526553214 is the same as the sequence 6666666666, both of which are equally likely and are also each very unlikely to occur in one trial (1/6x1/6x1/6x1/6x1/6x1/6x1/ 6x1/6x1/6x1/6). But the former will not catch anyone's attention, the latter will. When one is dealt a hand of thirteen cards from an ordinary deck of 52 playing cards, the probability of being dealt that particular hand is one in 600 billion (52 factorial = 52 x 51... x 2 x 1, to be exact) Yet, it would be absurd to conclude that he could not have been dealt that very hand because it is so very improbable or that there must have been a supernatural connection for him to get this rare hand!

Another important aspect of probability that is not appreciated by many that time and numbers play a very important role in statistics. A very unlikely event will eventually occur given enough time. Or equivalently if many trials are conducted for an unlikely event simultaneously, one of the trial will materialize the very unlikely. Those who have studied statistical Physics will recognize this in the ergodic hypothesis, a very important concept, which basically says that a system will traverse all possible phase trajectories given enough time. The more common example of this is illustrated by the proverbial case of million monkeys hammering at the piano when one of them will end up composing Beethoven's fifth symphony after millions of years. If someone at that moment only witnessed that particular monkey, not aware of the other millions hammering away for millions of years would find it a miracle. The same is the case of the fact of our witnessing life in the universe. We are amazed that out the billions of known stars and their planets only Sun harbors wonderful life forms and only in the planet earth. Is that a surprise. Life requires a sensitive range of conditions of temperature, gravity, density of atmosphere, right distance from star, right tilt of the axis etc for life to evolve. Only earth satisfies this condition. Its like 6X6X6X6X6X6X6X6X6X6 people rolling ten dice at once. One of them will certainly roll 6666666666. Any surprise? All the billions of planets are like ten rolled dice. Only one (earth) is 666666666 (ie. has conditions suitable for life forms). So here we are, on planet earth wondering about life. If planet "X" instead satisfied the conditions of life instead of earth then we would be on planet "X". But then we would call "X" earth. Its only a matter of label. Going a step further, it may appear that our universe with so many fine tuned parameters conspiring together to allow life to evolve in our universe must be special, an act of intelligent design. But there are two fallacies in such thinking. There is no logical or scientific evidence that the APRIORI probability for those parameters to assume any other values are the same. We cannot rule out the possibility that the ultimate laws of nature (Theory of Everything, when it is discovered) require that the parameters take on the fine tuned values, allowing no other values. Then it would not be a contingency, but a necessity of the laws of nature. Secondly we cannot rule out the new Quantum Cosmological view of infinite number of independent chaotic universes continuously being born and evolving with all different values of the Physical parameters, and where the universes which do not have the required values will not evolve to contain intelligent lives, or may not even have stars and die out soon. And there will be some which will lead to star formation and even life, which have the parameters within that narrow range, like the universe we happen to be in. It is analogous to the situation where among all the known planets and stars only Sun and Earth are suitable for life form. And as we saw above, that is a tautological fact. So the design can be ultimately traced to the laws of Physics, and it is the laws of Physics that will remain unaccounted for. But then causality is a human construct. The laws of Physics can simply "BE". It need not be subject to the same laws of causality that other emergent phenomena in nature are seen to follow. To be conservative and honest, we have to say we don't even know what to ask, believe or theorize beyond a certain limit (which is always moving further), when it comes to ultimate reality of the very existence of the universe (or universes). There is no valid scientific argument to prove the existence of a conscious creator or an intelligent designer. All such arguments at some point have to make an arbitrary assertion of faith and invoke some ill-defined non-scientific notion.

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