Vaguely Illiterate Trolls – The State of a Christian Education.

Yesterday, the comment section of my post God makes Pharaoh Stubborn! or a Rationale for an Ass-Kicking had a bit of a gift left in it.  You know the kind of gift I mean, just like the ones dogs leave in your yard.  Now you could just follow the link and read it for yourselves but to make it easier and, of course, give me an additional opportunity for commentary, I’ll just quote the best parts.  Oddly, that particular post has attracted trolls before and now it nabbed another one.  I’m not sure why the rabid theists stumble across that one out of all the others.  Whether it’s prominent on one of the Google searches or not, I’m not sure we’ll ever find out.  At any rate  a certain Ms. Navarro left the following. As you will see, punctuation is not her strongest suit.

Hello I myself am a christians and ive been reading a few things that have been in this web site and it truly surprises how ignorant and immature we can be when it comes to religion. You guys mainly dont believe in God cuz u cant see him but now i ask you how can u believe in air if you cant see it?? maybe its cuz we can feel it the same way we can feel jesus in our own life. If you notice most of the stories that have happened in the bible are happening now in days in our time capsule. you questioned how can pharaoh have changed his mind so many times if jesus had done alot of miracles we have to remember he as well was a human and stubborn and as us make mistakes just like those people who kill and steal they know that what they are doing is worng but they still do it anyways until the consequence from God falls down on them like it did to pharaoh and his people. I dont understand why you guys love to pick and try to find in the bible things that dont make sense and yet let the stupid idea of evolution slide by of how we were created by monkeys. If that was true what happened with the rest of the monkeys in the world they wanted to stay as monkeys???? yeah i doubt it people now in days woory about the things that they shouldnt. Us christians dont live in a fantasy world we live in a world were there is truth and love. And if you guys dont believe in miracles then you guys dont believe in yourself because wen we open our eyes everymorning thats just a miracle itself cuz if God wanted to he could of killed us right then and there but because he has mercy upon our lives he didnt. I think you guys are just a group of bored people that have nothing better to do then just try to find faults in the bible in what ur really doing is confusing urself may God Bless you guys and may he may have alot of mercy upon u!!

I added the italics.  The rest of this veritable bastion of rational thought was all hers.  Um, We have a time capsule?  A random sentence generator could have come up with more legible prose.  Luckily, responses were quick in arriving from myself and others.  Faithful Daz struck first with that wicked keyboard of his with this.

Cant see air? Go outside on a windy day?

The ‘created by monkeys’ thing:

We are a type of chimp (an ape, not a monkey), alongside the bonobo and the common chimpanzee. We share a common ancestor with both. That ancestor was not a chimpanzee or a bonobo, it was the ‘grandfather-species’ and we three are the next-generation ‘cousins.’ To ask why there are still monkeys, or apes, around today is as ridiculous as asking why your cousin exists.

For a depiction of your supposed god’s mercy, please see ‘The Flood’ and the tenth plague of Egypt.

To see how ‘ignorant and immature’ scepticism makes us, please consult any modern book of science, or the US constitution.

I, myself, started off not as understanding as I should have been.  Normally, I don’t jump out with the big guns right away.  Usually, I fire a warning shot over their bow allowing them a chance to see reason, but something about this woman got on my nerves immediately.  She reminded me too much of conversations with my mother.  And of course, the two beers I had at The Walrus, a local pub right down the street, probably lessened my inhibitions somewhat, so  I wrote this.

Wow! With this level of coherency in her thoughts I can see why she believes in such irrationalities. It’d be like trying to achieve the proper answer on a calculus exam with an electric storm raging through your cerebellum. Just reading it gives me shooting pains in the skull.

You right Ms. Navarro, the world would be a better place if we all simply sacrificed a goat to the bloody hand of the lord of peace and rang our prayer bells to scare away demons. How ignorant of me to not see these obvious solutions. Darwin curse my foolishness!

Daz, Darwin bless his his hard little atheistic heart, then replied.

The lack of grammar, spelling ability, and thought put into comments like this does point to the level of education needed to blindly believe such things, doesn’t it. I mean, okay we all make typos but not four-hundred word long ones!

Well, at this time I thought Ms. Navarro had left the building of reason for good, not defeated but on to harass other logical and rational sites with her emotionally unpunctuated verbosity. Alas, no.  Another visit from our unlettered  troll was in our future.  It was destiny.  Two rapid messages were machine gunned towards us.  The first was as follows

hahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha ( Apparently, she found something amusing) omg seriously to consider yourself an animal is PATHETIC!!!!! If you want to consider yourself an ape monkey bear lion snake dog!!!! then be my guess!!! But thats not what I am i know that im a creation of God not no dang monkey! and the typos that i made in my other writing has nothing to do with this! The sacrifce of animals at that time was a symbolisim of asking for forgiveness but that stopped after jesus christ came down to die on the cross for me and for you even if u dnt want to believe it and u tell me to read the scientific books how about u read them first because i guess u skipped the pages where it said that DARWIN HIMSELF BEFORE HE DIED REALIZED THAT HE WAS WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I know. Wow!  Never before has so little been said with so many misspelled words and uncapitalized letters.  The ignorance had formed an event horizon.  True thought simply was never going to escape this intellectual black hole.  But, I again responded, as anyone who knows me was sure I would. I can’t just give in to the chaos of belief.

And the fact that you write as as you do and consider yourself above the animal kingdom. You react with pure emotion and little rational thought bragging about how superior you are to the animals. If it weren’t for people who thought outside the box and threw superstition to the side, you’d still be at their level. Science has brought you up, yet you’d tear it down for a fairy tale about an evil sorcerer and his boy.

The Darwin story was made up by one of the liars for Jesus of the time. It was widely refuted by everyone who was actually there. The story isn’t in the science books because like the Tooth Fairy and the Holy Spirit, it is fictional.

Why does god need a symbolic sacrifice to forgive us for being how he created us? In you story God created us screwed up and then enjoys whipping us when we exhibit the same trait he instilled. Nice.

Bad God! Bad!

I know it’s not literature, but I was in a bit of a hurry.  Then Baconsbud jumped in.

I love how ignorance is so high with the religious. Now this Darwin story you have been told is false and if you go to AIG, answersingenesis, website you will find the truth actually. I know all the other readers here will be shocked but they do say that this is a false claim. You are probably thinking that the site I am telling you about is an atheist site but I am sad to report it is a pathetic creationist site many like you use to push your false beliefs.

Why are you afraid of the truth? We are animals. Look at how those that believe we aren’t animals treat those that disagree with them. They support torture but are afraid to allow themselves be tortured. Do they have something they are hiding from us?

Then Daz.

“‘And all those exclamation marks, you notice? Five? A sure sign of someone who wears his underpants on his head.”—Terry Pratchett. Do you have a rational argument or maybe you just like to shout?

Sorry, I gave you a considered answer before and all you do is call me pathetic.

Go Away.
Grow Up.
Read some real books.
Learn to debate.
Then come back.

Her third comment was marginally more intelligent, rising nearly to a fourth grade educational level. I suspect she had help.

God does have mercy if you really read the stories of the plague and the flood God gave them alooooooooot of chances to repent but since they were hard headed and they wanted to keep sinning and God was fed up he had to send them a consequence for example i dnt know if u have kids but if u do its like wen u tell them not to do something and they keep doing it and doing it over and over obviously as a parent ur going to have to give them a punishment unless ur the type that lets their kid do whatever they want!

Now Grant you the entire post she is commenting on is about how God made the Pharaoh stubborn and refused to allow him to let the Hebrews go.  So I had to remind her of that.

Did you actually read this story. Sure he gave them chances and the Pharaoh repented, but then God made the Pharaoh stubborn or obstinate or obdurate and he changed his mind. Nine different times God interfered with his repentance and made him refuse to let the Hebrews go. The God killed all the first born as a punishment for the Pharaoh not doing what God wouldn’t let him do.

Explain that please.

The parent example is great. I have a group of kids and when they aren’t doing what I want them to do even when I don’t allow them to do what I am demanding, I just kill them. Your God seems to be a bit of a bastard, don’t you think. Dead people don’t learn lessons. Unless you’re the kind who just kills kids when they don’t do what you want. Hmmm.

I suggest that you actually read Exodus and not just the Picture book version. It’s all there. God made Pharaoh stubborn. God wanted him to fail. He wanted to kill those kids.

Then Baconsbud.

I completely agree with your reply to her. I doubt she will accept that she is wrong but at least she will know the truth.

Then me.

She will hear the truth but she won’t know it. The Force of Ignorance is strong in this one. I’m actually sure she hasn’t read a single paragraph here.

I’m sure she considers herself a master of persuasion, a communicator of the truth, a pillar of clarity.   But really? WTF?    Is it any wonder with minds like this that theists believe what they do? With thoughts as confused as this clashing within their brains, I am truly surprised they don’t collapse into seizures.  Is this the true state of belief?  A confused and blurred sense of self struggling to keep their heads as far up their ass as possible?  Doesn’t it smell in there? Is this what a degree in theology gets you?

I guess my problem with this is the fact that not only do we let these people drive cars, we let them vote.  They actually help decide the course this country will take.  Wow!  Our doom is nigh, and its name is ignorance. Or Jesus!

I almost hope that their rapture is real and soon.  With that filtering out of the dross of humanity, we may actually stand a chance.

  1. I have a wicked keyboard AND a hard little atheistic heart? Do I get bonus points for that? Air miles maybe? I’ll settle for a matched set of Douglas Adams logo’d beach-towels and handkerchiefs even.

    • Wayne Robinson
    • July 30th, 2010

    I was lucky enough not to have read her postings when it was originally published (or I managed to repress the memory of it).

    Perhaps she is one of William Dembski’s students at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and is just fulfilling one of the requirements of her course in posting on a science or atheist blog?

    The level of intelligence seems just about right.

    I always wonder why the Christians think that disproving evolution proves the existence of their god?

    I’m currently reading Scott D Sampson’s “Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life”, and very good is it (except for the embarrassing sentence when it is stated that different isotopes of the same element have different numbers of ELECTRONS. Richard Dawkins made a similar mistake in “the Greatest Show on Earth” when he wrote that carbon13 is highly unstable-it isn’t).

    One thing he wrote had me thinking; 50% of the dinosaur species (not including the avian dinosaurs which are still around us) come from the last 20 million years of the Cretaceous (12% of the time non-avian dinosaurs were around) shortly before the meteorite hit and caused the K-T extinction 65 million years ago.

    So really you could talk of a Mesozoic slow burn for 88% of the time dinosaurs were around culminating in the late Cretaceous explosion (like the Cambrian explosion).

    Undoubtedly some of this is artifactual (sampling error, poor preservation), but a lot would also be real (Pangea had completely broken up, so the continents had reached almost their modern deposition, the climate had changed with more variation and more different types of climates with more niches to be filled, flowering plants were coming into their stride providing more and richer diets for herbivores).

    I wonder if the same happened with the Cambrian?

    Rodinia (the supercontinent equivalent of Pangea had began breaking up in the precambrian, the global ice age of the “Snowball Earth” had come to an end, as Rodinia fell apart there would be more coastline created for diversification of life in shallow seas etc).

    The Dishonesty (or rather Discovery) Institute put out a very bad DVD “Darwin’s Dilemma” partly about the Cambrian explosion, basically saying, look it’s an explosion, therefore God did it … without bothering to describe the world in which it happened.

    • Ms. Navarro is truly something. In her own mind the erratic swirls and vortexes seem normal. If you were raised in the heart of a maelstrom, that would seem a normal condition of life. It is the same with the random neuronal firings of this woman. In no way do I believe that all believers are this disordered, but these people do cluster around the banner of belief in larger that average numbers. Something in the chaos of Biblical morality marches in lockstep with their internal storm. Of course, God would kill the first born after forcing the pharaoh to screw up. That seems logical.

      More than anything else is the fact that it hurts a great deal when you realize your beliefs are nonsense, and then, of course, you have to find something else to believe in and that takes work. Many people will work amazingly hard not to give up their old beliefs no matter how senseless. It’s the default program from their youth and by far the easiest solution and regardless what they say about the persecution of Christian, there is plenty of support out there in a world where 90% of humanity is in your camp.

      “Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life” sounds great. Mysteries abound in our world without the need to bring the tooth fairy forward as an explanation. I just started “The Disappearing Spoon”, a look at the history of the element and the periodic table. Fun.

  2. I love this bit:
    “… for example i dnt know if u have kids but if u do its like wen u tell them not to do something and they keep doing it and doing it over and over obviously as a parent ur going to have to give them a punishment unless ur the type that lets their kid do whatever they want!…”

    Ah, right. Of course. Now I understand. It’s like when your kids keep on being disobedient so you drown the little buggers and start again.

      • kibbls
      • July 30th, 2010

      No, no – you’ve got it all wrong.
      If a child is being disobedient over and over again, you don’t drown THEM and start over! You pick a random selection of other kids who are in some way associated with them – maybe in their class at school – wwho didn’t have anything to do wih the disobedience, and then you drown them all. That’ll teach the naughty kid, right?

      If God had punished Pharaoh himself, that would at least have made some sense.

    • CJ
    • July 30th, 2010

    I have to say my favorite bit was about “why did all the other monkeys stay as monkeys?” Did her anti evolution lessons tell her how some people believe that one day a group of monkeys sat down and one said

    “Hey guys, I’m thinking about walking on two legs for bit and seeing how that goes. Then I’m considering shedding all my hair and cutting my tail off. Fancy joining me?”

    and the rest said no?

    I think anything approaching science would probably be a bit too complicated given basic english seems to have stumped her.

    • Hmmm, creation according to King Louie… I like it! At least it would have catchy songs and a happy ending.

      Man! What a beat!

    • Alice
    • August 1st, 2010

    This is why I don’t debate fundies. Their very definitions of truth and reality are different than mine. It doesn’t matter how hard the evidence is, if it can’t somehow be twisted around to fit with the bible, then it must be a lie.

    I simply can’t cope with that kind of “reasoning”.

    • Nancy
    • August 1st, 2010

    Scary isn’t it? I’ve met people like that. The mental sommersaults they do to continue believing the obviously absurd must give them migraines from hell. There’s no communicating with them; it’s like you can’t get there from here.

  3. Wow. I have to admit first that I haven’t read the blog that sparked this response, but it sure seems like a lot of ad hominem arguments against Ms. Navarro. Of course, she started with one on her end, so I suppose that’s what would be considered fair philosophically.

    I wonder how this concept of evolution got into a blog that is listed as “Bible study,” because as someone above said, “Disproving evolution doesn’t prove the existence of God.” I would argue that the counter-argument (proving evolution doesn’t disprove the existence of God) is also appropriate. So to bring evolution into the mix really doesn’t seem to be the right way to go. I know Ms. Navarro did so, and I know many of you were licking your chops to respond, but ultimately evolution is as important to whether Christianity is true as the inerrancy of the Bible is. See my point on the book review of “Disproving Christianity…”

    Now as to the story of Pharoah, I think we ought to look at what the text actually says. For starters, the text says only “Pharoah’s heart was hardened” until the plague of the locusts. Note that when he actually stated that he had sinned, God gave the Egyptians a chance, but it was Pharoah who once again hardened his own heart. Free will, anyone?

    Notice also that as a result of hardening his own heart he was unwilling to call the Lord “God”. He only referred to Him as “the Lord YOUR God”. Pharoah had already made his choice and placed his bets with the gods he worshipped.

    Now let’s look for some additional context in the Old Testament to this point. What happened to Nebuchadnezzar when he tried to defy God? God humbled him by basically making him an animal. When Nebuchadnezzar returned to himself, what did he do? He acknowledged God as Lord and he was allowed to live out his life. God didn’t wipe out the Babylonians; why? It’s because a true heart that knows the Lord is one of REPENTANCE. Where do you see repentance through seven miracles from Pharoah? And where do you see it when he says “Lord God” that he repents? He does not; he hardens his heart.

    Notice also that his heart is not hardened toward God; it is toward letting the people go. If it was hardened against God, then when it says, “The Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart,” it would implicitly be saying “The Lord hardened Pharoah’s heart against Himself.” God was acting against Himself, then, and contradictory to His nature, because God can’t refute Himself. So once again, it’s looking to what the text actually says instead of inferring what we want it to mean.

    Finally, where does the Bible say that God must extend mercy to everyone? Isn’t that implying that God owes us something? Where does it say that we deserve mercy? I think by saying that God killed the Egyptians one is saying that the Egyptians didn’t deserve to die. Read the Book; the Egyptians (by way of Pharoah) brought it on themselves.

    Now what implication does that have on us? Does that mean if we harden our hearts ten times God is going to kill our family? If you were to look at this and apply it literally, then absolutely this would be the case. But what most people fail to see time and time again is that this behavior was under the Old Covenant, which is great for establishing context but is not the covenant God has bound Himself to for our purposes today. Read the book of Hebrews for better understanding of this.

    Where you get into dangerous grounds is cherrypicking the data for inconsistencies without applying any sort of objective hermeneutics. This needs to be done with any text, because otherwise we get into the sort of concepts that aren’t supported by what the rest of the text says. For example, if I were cherrypicking The Origin of Species, I could say that Darwin vomited around birds, because he said, “The sight of the eye in the feather of a peacock, whenever I see it, makes me sick.” But if we apply objective hermeneutics, we see this is clearly not the case.

    So let’s call a spade a spade, as I have mentioned to Daz previously. Don’t apply rules to one text that you won’t apply to another text and call one absurd and one not. Be honest with yourselves, and you’ll see what many theists do: internal consistency.

    • Mr. Hubbo:
      Sorry but I didn’t realize this argument was raging across several posts. To rebut.
      My text says in Exodus 4/ 21:
      The LORD said to him, “On your return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have put in your power. I will make him obstinate, however, so that he will not let the people go. So you shall say to Pharaoh: Thus says the LORD: Israel is my son, my first-born. Hence I tell you: Let my son go, that he may serve me. If you refuse to let him go, I warn you, I will kill your son, your first-born.”
      This is before Moses even confronts the Pharaoh. It is very clear here and it is similar across several translations. God made him obstinate knowing that he would kill his son. How else can you read this?

      You also say that after the Plague of locusts, Pharaoh hardened his own heart. I disagree. My translation says:

      Hastily Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “I have sinned against the LORD, your God, and against you. But now, do forgive me my sin once more, and pray the LORD, your God, to take at least this deadly pest from me.” When Moses left the presence of Pharaoh, he prayed to the LORD, and the LORD changed the wind to a very strong west wind, which took up the locusts and hurled them into the Red Sea. But though not a single locust remained within the confines of Egypt, the LORD made Pharaoh obstinate, and he would not let the Israelites go.

      The Pharaoh did not harden his own heart, God did it for him. Where is the free will here? Interference in people’s decision making capabilities negates free will.

      BTW, what translation are you using? The words are very similar over the NAB, the NSAB and the ASV. God hardened the Pharaoh’s heart. I am not misrepresenting what I have read. I am reading it the way it is. do not understand how you can see it another way. I would argue that it is you who are reading with a bias.

      You imply that had Pharaoh just accepted God everything would have been great. I disagree so strongly with the idea that any god has the right to demand subservience from anyone on pain of death. This is a horrid idea. “Love me or I’ll kill you” is not a moral or just demand. It is Might make Right again. Even worse is the demand “Love me or I will kill your children.” Because someone is an all powerful creator does not mean that he can do anything he desires and call it justice. Even if you proved to me that such a creature exists, I could not worship it. It is undeserving of my love. Love and respect can not be demanded, only fear.

      Why didn’t God just kill the Pharaoh. As I said in the post, if the Pharaoh and his successors simply exploded one after the other until the Hebrews were freed, at least the somewhat guilty would be punished. As it is the innocent are slaughtered to punish the guilty. If God is the repository of ultimate morality does that mean we should start shooting Iraqi children to make the adults behave? This has been done in the past. If there is an absolute morality based in God, wouldn’t this be an acceptable human tactic?

      No it wouldn’t. It remains monstrous no matter who does it.

      BTW, personally, I think our interest in the age of the Earth is valid.
      Sorry about any errors. I’m on my ipod.

      • Hi KK,

        Head on over to the other post to see my response to most of what you wrote, including the absolute morality argument.

        As to the interest in the age of the Earth being valid, I did apologize to Paul in saying that I opened the door, and I’ll respond to Daz now on that front.

    • Paul York
    • August 6th, 2010

    One question Mr Hubbo… How old do you think the Earth is?

    • Paul York
    • August 6th, 2010

    Well for evolution time is pretty critical, and depending on your feelings about the timelines in the bible I would argue that the evidence of evolution could be a pretty hard pill to swallow.

    I admit it wouldn’t disprove God, however for new earth creationists evolution must be a difficult concept to sweep under the carpet.

    Apologies if you thought the question wasn’t relevant.

  4. In my own defence, I explained evolution in very simple terms because the ranting-woman asked about it. Or at least stuck several question-marks after the bit where she showed either a total lack of any form of education or an extremely simplistic straw-man argument. I never said it proved or disproved God’s existence.

    As Paul says, though, to YEC’s it does make a big difference. And such people are who the arguments on KK’s blog are mostly aimed at.

    I would be interested in your answer to the point I made to Tim yesterday. How do you explain the lack of any Egyptian records of this cataclysmic series of events? And please, a couple of wagon-wheels on the floor of the Red Sea doth not an army make.

    As to the consistency question. You seem to be perfectly happy with 1000 year old men, which is inconsistent with any medical knowledge to date, and world-wide floods which fly in the face of archaeological evidence. I’d also venture to say that you believe in Jesus’ “supernatural” miracles, of which there are only second or third hand accounts from people trying to sell an agenda. If we’re being overcritical, surely you’re being under-critical.

    • Apologies, Paul. After re-reading my post I realized I opened the door to the evolution argument, so your question was a valid one. So I’ll try to answer you both here, since in a sense you’re really asking the same question.

      I would say at this time that yes, I would consider myself a YEC. Of course this flies directly in the face of evolution. I have to say I’m a YEC because I haven’t seen any really good evidence for evolution, and if you asked why I’m sure I would give many answers you’ve already heard, so I’ll save you the time. I know you would say, “Look at the science!” but I would tell you to do the same when considering cosmology and teleology, because I feel that theists have made an extremely compelling case scientifically in both arenas, to which there hasn’t been a great response by naturalists.

      How do I explain the lack of Egyptian records of this cataclysmic series of events? How do you explain the lack of records supporting the destruction of Jericho (which has been archaeologically verified)? Just because it happened and supernatural events may have been at play doesn’t mean that (a) it was written down by scribes who more than likely would’ve been involved in Pharoah’s pursuit of the Israelites to record the destruction of Israel, and (b) would have to be found by 2010 CE (for example, the Dead Sea Scrolls; not everything written down has been discovered, but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence). One more note: suppose your country (and pardon me, but I don’t know where you live) was involved in one of the biggest annihilations in the history of mankind, and you never saw your attacker. Would you be scrambling to write down the account of your defeat and shame? Yet the Egyptians MUST have done so. Please, let’s be reasonable here.

      What’s interesting is that instead of taking this as the best account of the events of the time (like we do with so many conjectures, including many of the historic postulations about evolution), you would rather do everything in your power to explain it away because to take it at face value means admitting the existence of God. If you’re going to reject some history of the Bible, reject all of it. And if you’re going to reject based on these assumptions, then reject similar evolutionary arguments. Don’t pick and choose.

      As to your consistency question response, I would ask what archaeological evidence supports an Ice Age but not a worldwide Flood. As to the “medical knowledge” of 1,000-year-old men, I would suggest you call up Lawrence Krauss and ask him if rare events (whoa, miracles) happen in our universe. Are you ready to make the affirmative statement that miracles are impossible? If so, I would suggest going back and reading some David Hume as well.

      I would point both of you to YouTube to watch first Krauss’ video called “A Universe Out of Nothing.” Keep in mind, this is coming from the atheistic perspective, not a theistic one. Then ask yourself what his ultimate conclusion is. Then ask yourself how that differs from what the Bible says. Then come to me for my list of objections. I’ve already sent these to the gentleman who sent me the video, and they are extensive, friends, let me tell you.

      The second video I would point you to is a series of videos comprising the debate between Christopher Hitchens (again, one of your main trumpeters) and Dr. William Lane Craig called “Does God Exist?” Dr. Craig gives an excellent argument for Jesus’ greatest miracle, being His resurrection from the dead. Again, what you’re asking for is for external corroboration, but rejecting the firsthand accounts of Matthew and John and saying only secondhand accounts exist. I wouldn’t call you overcritical; I would call you prematurely critical. Before we can even venture into external corroboration, we have to look at internal consistency, and no one has provided a reasonable contradiction yet that is based on objective hermeneutics.

      • Thanks you for such a touching and inrnisipg story, Sarah. I don’t know if you are a sister or a wife in the family but it is a very beautiful story of faithful work for God. When my brother died of cancer, he wanted to die consciously to help show others death is the last great adventure and can be met with gratitude and grace. He did die consciously, even with brain cancer, his last words were Tell everyone, love, love, love, . We made a film of his passing showing the loving community around him and his loving appreciation of life. We cared for him and had a vigil at home which the film shows. The Most Excellent Dying of Theodore Jack Heckelman’ This film has helped so many people prepare for their death in natural ways. His death was in season. The sudden ones are harder to adjust to. But our loved ones do not leave us, indeed they inspire and love us from the spiritual world, as I am sure Dan has been with all your family.

  5. You’re saying that the Egyptians didn’t make records because of ‘embarrassment’? Why would they be embarrassed into silence when beaten by a powerful god? I’ve seen the argument before, and it rings less true than the whole thing being myth. There are Signs of Egyptian settlement before the purported flood, too, and no indication of the culture being drowned and the area being re-occupied by Noah’s descendants.

    Glaciers transport larger rocks over larger distances than any reasonable amount of water — the effects can still be observed in existing glaciers. I’m sure there are many other differences that a geologist could tell you about. On the subject of water, though. If we postulate an ‘unreasonable’ amount of water (enough to cover the globe to a depth of nearly 9km), where did it all come from, and where did it go?

    That’s 510,072,000 square-km (Earth’s total surface area)
    x 8.84 km (height of Everest: see Genesis 7:19–20)
    = 4,509,036,480 cubic-km of water.

    (Note, my calculation was from sea-level up. The result doesn’t include any water below current sea-level.)

    Present volume of water on the planet = 1,386,000,000 cubic-km. This includes seas, oceans, groundwater, lakes, rivers, atmospheric, and ice; 97% or-so of it below current sea level.

    And let’s not even think about the size of the ark if all the land-based animals were actually aboard. The weight in beetles alone would seem staggering.

    Whether or not you choose to believe the Big Bang or whatever is a miracle, it’s quite different from the miracles attributed to Jesus. The first can be attributed to a non-denominational ‘Prime Mover’, the second are used to support a very definite and much more narrow view of a god.

    As to evolution. It’s about as proved as a theory can be, in its main thrust. There may be lots to tidy up, and differences of opinion about the details, but no serious biologist would dispute the main facts. And by serious I DO NOT mean the Discovery Institute. They began with an agenda, to prove their specific religion true, and interpret their results via that agenda. (At this point, creationists usually point to Steven J Gould’s disagreements with Richard Dawkins. They were relatively minor quibbles over specifics, not an abandonment on Gould’s part of the general theory, or even a major rewriting of it).

    • Hi Daz,

      Let’s look at your numbers, because it appears you did your homework. Now according to the Biblical account, the first act of rainfall didn’t occur until the Flood. No wonder no one would believe Noah when he told people God was going to send water from the sky and cover the whole earth with it.

      But if there was no rainfall, what would that do to our modern cycle of water? There would be no precipitation, so all we would have would be evaporation and condensation, and would eliminate all of the water in short time (this is high school science, as we’re all aware).

      But now let’s look modern day. How much rainfall happens in the Middle East? Are they getting the precipitation, or only evaporation and condensation? I wonder why there’s no water on the ground there!

      We also know that precipitation also gets absorbed by plant life, by animals, and by humans. Seeing as 98% of the people that have ever lived on the earth have lived since the time of Christ, it’s no wonder we have much less water today than there would have been at the time of Noah. Heck, global warming tells us as much, if it actually exists. Where do you fall on that spectrum? :-)

      I guess you didn’t call up Lawrence Krauss on this one, for even if it can’t be scientifically tested, does that mean a rare event couldn’t have happened? (see Big Bang).

      By the way, on the Big Bang, what do you mean by ‘Prime Mover’? Do you mean that the Big Bang is responsible for creating everything? If so, go read the Big Bang Wikipedia article and tell me if it purports that the Big Bang was the start of everything. If you’d rather not read that, I’ll paste the quote here for your enjoyment.

      So are miracles impossible? Yes or no?

  6. Sorry, Jericho. History is written by the victors. The victors were the Israelites. You have to remember that if we could see the Jericho of that time, it would seem no larger than a modern village. There’s no reason that such a small battle would have attracted attention outside the immediate area, so although it looms large in the Jewish tribal history, it naturally doesn’t appear elsewhere. And evidence of a destroyed town wall doesn’t meant there’s evidence of Joshua’s miraculous use of sonic-warfare. Most cultures at that time used wind instruments in battle. That carried on right up until modern times.

    • See above post. Just because miracles are incredible doesn’t make them impossible. Again, ask David Hume if you can track him down. :-)

  7. You really think it didn’t rain until the flood? Where do you think rivers come from? How do you think plants get fluids?

    As to the effect of it not raining on the amount of water in the system — zilch, to the first approximation. Over 97% of the water in the world is in the seas and oceans. Much of the rest is locked in the ice-caps. The bit we see as rivers, groundwater and rain is the merest drop in the ocean, so to speak. The amount in the atmosphere at any one time is negligible even compared to that drop. As you say, this is schoolboy stuff. So was my math. So it’s odd that you don’t seem to be able to grasp the sheer impossibilities involved.

    I also suspect that the pressure of 9 tonnes per sq metre caused by all that water would have had some serious effects on some of the world’s more unstable volcanic regions, yet the Bible seems curiously quiet about the ensuing volcanic winters.

    If all that water evaporated, as you suggest, I suspect we’d all die of pulmonary edemas (water on the lung). We just couldn’t cope with the humidity.

    As far as I’m aware, bearing in mind that any popular-science book tends to be out-of date on the cutting-edge stuff before it’s left the publishers, the best current ideas about the big bag are that it involved a quantum fluctuation. Not rare at all.

    By Prime Mover I meant a Newtonian, deist kind of god. Put simply, a Creator who then sits back and lets it all unfold without interfering.

    Miracles. Impossible? How can I say? Highly improbable? Yes. Extremely. Very. Occam’s razor might be useful here: which is more likely; that some folks made up a lot of stories and/or misinterpreted something — which lets face it, is hardly a rare occurrence, or that a miracle, a supernatural event, occurred? For instance, how far would Moses have got in persuading folks to give up stuff they liked, if he’d not come down the mounting saying ‘God told me’?

    I really don’t need W/pedia to tell me about the big bang thanks. I’ve been reading science and hard SF since I was knee-high to a nibbet.

    • Charlotte
    • August 11th, 2010

    I’ve read through your whole blog but this is the first time I’ve made a comment, but anyway I just wanted to say something in answer to this question you raised:

    “Is this what a degree in theology gets you?”

    I actaully knew someone who was doing a theology degree at Cambridge, and although I realise that other institutions might teach utter rubbish, from what I heard about it from her it sounded more like they were rationally criticising the Bible. For instance they had to learn Hebrew in order to understand the original version of the Bible so they could see what changes had been made to it, and one of the essays she wrote was about how the later Gospels (i.e those by John or Luke) were embellished versions of the earlier ones (by Mark or Matthew).

    Personally I would have interested to see how the current version of the Bible came about, but I do wonder what the 12 or so (Theology wasn’t very popular) students in her class who were pretty into Christianity thought about it.

    • Truly Charlotte, I was being facetious about the Theology Degrees. I do understand that the study of religion can be a valid undertaking for is that not what I am doing here, not for a degree, of course, but merely for my own personal edification. But I do like to toss a few barbs around here and there to point out absurdities. Humor can be a devastating weapon.

      I also would like to know what the rest thought of her essay. The history of how the Bible came to be is moderately well researched but with lots of areas were people disagree. I, too, will have to look into this more.

      Welcome aboard Charlotte. I am happy you’re with us.

      • I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in pinneng this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own, personal blog now ;)

      • To think, I was confused a minute ago.

    • Dearest Ruthann,I like to savor your blog postings like a great cup of cefofe or an exquisite chocolate or a cupcake! I am so blessed by the care and warmth and gratitude that that you infuse in every word it comes out as a soothing balm for our sore souls I love your thankfulness journal – it is adorable and inspiring I hope it continues to help keep your heart tuned into God’s goodness. We are the secondary beneficiaries of the overflow of that goodness and gratitude through your wonderful posts – thank you for your obedience to the Lord in this and for sharing of His abundance with all of us!Can I PLEASE have a cookie!! Those are simply scrumptious looking if it’s not a big family secret, perhaps you could share the recipie sometime ?? Regardless, I am savoring the sprinkling of sweetness of this post calorie-free and loving every minute of it! Thank you!Hugs and Blessings,Becky S.

    • Dearest Ruthann,I like to savor your blog postings like a great cup of coeffe or an exquisite chocolate or a cupcake! I am so blessed by the care and warmth and gratitude that that you infuse in every word it comes out as a soothing balm for our sore souls I love your thankfulness journal – it is adorable and inspiring I hope it continues to help keep your heart tuned into God’s goodness. We are the secondary beneficiaries of the overflow of that goodness and gratitude through your wonderful posts – thank you for your obedience to the Lord in this and for sharing of His abundance with all of us!Can I PLEASE have a cookie!! Those are simply scrumptious looking if it’s not a big family secret, perhaps you could share the recipie sometime ?? Regardless, I am savoring the sprinkling of sweetness of this post calorie-free and loving every minute of it! Thank you!Hugs and Blessings,Becky S.

    • Beth Risdon
    • September 16th, 2010

    Hi guys, just letting you know this is really interesting from this humble geographer’s point of view! I did enjoy the idea that we are not animals. I wonder whether this woman has ever completed high school?(Apologies Americans, as a lowly NZer I am not sure of the schooling required for basic biology, or literacy.)The similarities between us and animals in general is more than enough to have me agreeing that humans and animals are more or less the same. I watch my dog dream – run and bark in her sleep – and I cannot help but think of how similar we are!

    As someone who sits with her ass on both sides of the fence, sometimes the spikes on the fence can really hurt your ass. However, as the fence I sit on is many faceted, it’s a lot more substantial than one of God or No god, or evolution or no evolution. Granted, the chance of life occurring with perfect conditions for it to thrive is incredibly small. Many would use this to suggest the definitive presence of a creator – be them any creator from any religion, because if you are discussing whether or not the bible is accurate, you would simultaneously discuss the accuracy of every other global religion. That’s not a bad thing, this discussion was obviously interesting enough to keep me reading and decide to discuss it with you, it just seems illogical.
    There is every possibility that we came from something we have yet to discover or even imagine. I think that although to give him characteristics of your culture and language is common throughout all religion, it is just as likely that where-ever our life came from, we have no ability to comprehend the source (be it chemical or omniscient).

    Once you realise that all of these theories (and yes, religion and evolution both have truths, but there is no definitive proof from either which can explain exactly how the universe was formed eg what was before the big bang, was there anything before it? what created time? What was before your god?) you can get a sense of a common ground between all of us. We want to know how we came to be. Science provides a lot of clues, but I don’t think any scientist would say that we have all of the answers.

    Feel free to disagree with me, I enjoy these discussions as I learn more about both religion and science every time I read your posts! If you believe you have the definitive answer for me, that would be great! But all I hear between these sides is more questions and problems with how really old things are translated, be it geological or literal.

    I feel sorry for those like Ms. Navarro, but the main reason for the pity is that her mind is so closed that it cannot accept any other options. At least Hubbo is a rational human being who doesn’t use excessive exclamation marks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

    And as for your children, I would suggest the idea that children learn from their parents example. Maybe Navarro’s kids act out as they won’t believe anything except their version of reality. God/Ganesh/Buddha/Thor/Flying Spaghetti Monster bless you Navarro!

      • Daz
      • September 18th, 2010

      Hello Beth.

      You raise some interesting questions, and I apologise for not actually addressing them, but here in the UK we’re getting all Popified at the moment and that’s distracting me too much for me to think of the more subtle aspects of religiosity. Just thought someone should reply, so’s you don’t think you’re being ignored, though!

    • Beth. I’m glad to see you join the discussion. Sorry for not replying sooner, but life has a way of getting on top of me for small bits of time. I have a hard time seeing how anyone can have an animal as a close pet, yet still think that the creature has no emotions and does not experience love or hate, fear or desire, jealousy or magnanimity, even reason to a very limited extent. Anyone that close to a pet should see these behaviors every day. Our kinship with these creatures is obvious even on such a subjective front. DNA, structural similaritys and so much more proves this beyond any doubt.

      My problem lies more with the argument that the chances of life evolving are “incredibly small”. I mean no offense to you at all, but it remains a common idea that the odds that life would evolve anywhere are nearly impossible. How do we know that? How do we know how often life would arise in the few areas of the universe conducive to it? Planets like earth may be very rare, but we can only loosely speculate or all out guess on the odds of life arising on them. It may happen on nearly every one. It may have never happened anywhere else. The real rarity maybe finding a planet that like Earth has remained in a stable orbit for a long enough period of time to allow evolution to take its course. Once we start a more thorough exploration of our own solar system, we may even have life of a very simple sort here on Europa or possible the remains of life on Mars. The fact remains that we simply don’t yet know much about life arising, and any guess at the odds of it happening is just that an all out guess. But if life arising is very rare why must the only explanation for that rarity be an even more unlikely creator. If the complexities of life are unlikely, and complexity must come from something even more complex, a creator, how much more unlikely is that proposition. Where did the creator come from? The jump from life arising on its own by simple chance and that it must have been Yahweh is a massive one, unbridgeable to me. There are so many other explanations that lie in between those two poles that may be more likely, and most of those involve no creator.

      As for discussing the idiosyncratic behavior of other religion simultaneously… Sigh. If I had the mental capability to do that I would and will likely move on the the Koran or the Book of Mormon after the Bible, but it grieves me to admit that creating some vast effort as you propose like some religion obsessed Will Durant is simply beyond my poor powers to accomplish. As a mere mortal and a man at that, my abilities to multitask in such an undeniably envious way are sadly lacking. Sigh. My limited brain, evolved to dash across the savannah and kill shit with rocks, will only reluctantly turn to matters of a more abstract manner. If you have any upgrades available that may alter this, I’ll be happy to look into them.

      As for matters before the big bang and other matters, the truth is we may never know the answers to these questions, but again I must object to any argument that things we cannot figure out go into the realm of a deity. We do not have all the answers. That is not the definition of science. Science is a merely an incredibly effective tool that will give us answers and truths as we look for them, slowly and painfully, at times, but she will give many of them up. One must only look at the advances of the last fifty years to see the power of science. In the Words of Dara O’briain, “Science knows it doesn’t know everything. Otherwise, it would stop! Why would it bother? Just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.” Damn. I love Dara!

        • Beth Risdon
        • September 21st, 2010

        Haha yes Dara is amazing, I believe I almost live to watch the next QI episode and he’s one of the best.

        I agree with your statements – couldn’t actually spell infantesmal or however it is spelt so went with something which didn’t really mean the same thing accidentally. If the chance of life occurring of its own accord is almost at the stage of what someone might deem impossible it definitely does not mean that it is impossible – I have never won the lottery but people do every day and although we all know the difference in ratio between the chance of life and the chance of winning the lottery is again a VERY VERY big difference, who is to say that out of all of the cosmos we had the winning numbers, and the next draw might mean a different kind of prize at a different place in the universe or any other universe?

        I guess you could say I’m just one who is hedging her bets and not excluding various possibilities. Wish I could be around to dicover the answers to the ultimate questions, but I hope that as long as I keep my future kids and grandkids interested in science and breaking new ground past the inevitable “will there be hoverboots?” idea I will have helped to facilitate those answers.

        A random question – could have sworn when I was younger someone said they found “the ark”. Apologies if this has already been discussed in other threads – did they discover how it actually got there? Logically there is not enough water to cover the earth and uplift wouldn’t occur at a rate which would mean that the boat could have survived the elements for the time period expected from a sea-level setting to extreme uplift. Anyone know? I can always wiki it but it is interesting to hear what others know :)

      • The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won’t disappoint me as much as this paalicutrr one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I really thought you would probably have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

      • That’s what we’ve all been waiting for! Great posting!

    • Beth Risdon
    • September 21st, 2010

    Also, as I forgot just before, has anyone theorised a scientific explanation to this story? I remember hearing something about a collosal wave theory but not sure about others

    • Beth Risdon
    • September 21st, 2010

    NEVERMIND LOL I found the thread. Thanks!

    • Woah! I’m really loivng the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that perfect balance between usability and visual appeal. I must say you’ve done a excellent job with this. In addition, the blog loads very quick for me on Opera. Superb Blog!

    • Amos M. Capps
    • October 15th, 2010

    I know most of you like Mr. Hubbo, and I may be beating a dead horse here besides, but I find the difference between him and Ms. Navarro mostly in his superior grasp of written English. I don’t see any qualitative difference in reasoning powers.

    But that’s just me. And I’m a grumpy sumbitch.

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