Saturday, July 16, 2016

Noah, Mt Ararat and the Hippo


73 comments:

Anonymous said...

I gotta bus idiot,mind you it was a "Big One."

Stephen said...

Time to give the hornet's nest another whack, huh Gary? I'm down. LOL

Anonymous said...

How did the tropical animals from the Amizon in South America get all the way to the ark? This among many other questions will be ignored because Noah's flood is pre-supposed to be true. After all the bible is divinely inspired and everything contained in its pages is absolutely true and did happen therefore all facts that contradict that assumption have to be ignored.

Ralph said...

From Topic header:-
"How did this walk down rocky Mt.Ararat and walk all the way to the sub-Sahara -- on those stubby little legs???"

Well, who said it did? LOL.

The picture illustrated appears to have been copied from the Wikipedia web site, what I consider to be a valuable source of information.
Wikipedia, under the sub heading 'Evolution' states "Until 1909, naturalists grouped hippos with pigs, based on molar patterns. Several lines of evidence, first from blood proteins, then from molecular systematics[15] and DNA [16][17] and the fossil record, show that their closest living relatives are cetaceans – whales, dolphins and porpoises." - sea going, air breathing mammals.

I don't suppose any Bible student would suggest that whales, dolphins and porpoises would have been found on the Ark, I don't.
My Merriam-Webster defines hippopotamus as:-
" : a very large herbivorous 4-toed chiefly aquatic artiodactyl mammal (Hippopotamus amphibius) of sub-Saharan Africa with an extremely large head and mouth, bare and very thick grayish skin, and short legs; also : a smaller closely related mammal (Choeropsis liberiensis) of western Africa."

One could start an extensive debate on the matter and I really don't want to do that. However from the above info. one could easily believe that the hippo, like whales, dolphins and porpoises, was not to be found on Noah's Ark.

cheers
ralph.f

Connie Schmidt said...

Come now, with God all things are possible. The flood itself was a miracle, so Angels could have been involved in the process of the "round up".

Perhaps the hippo was temporarily empowered to flap those tiny legs so fast and hard that it was able to fly! ;-)

Anonymous said...

North Africa was the bread basket of the Roman empire. Wrong farming practises ruined the land, and changed the weather patterns. For instance, the Great Sphinx of Giza has strong rain erosion patterns, which is not possible with modern rain fall levels. The Middle East is physically different to what it was in Noahs day.
Did you know that the animal that kills the most people in Africa is the hippo. It comes out at night to feed, and steps on sleeping people.

DennisCDiehl said...

And try not to say:

God got them there he can get them home (Also true of Polar Bears, Penguins, Platypus, Kangaroo all South American Monkeys and The Columbian Mastadons of America)

They had longer feet in those days

They could swim so were not on the Ark

God said it, I believe it, that does it for me

Ararat was much lower then

Wrong landing spot.

They slid down a glacier

The wisdom of man is foolishness with God

The ways of man are not the ways of God

Ararat in Hebrew means "Hills with gentle slopes"

They just did

You weren't there. God could do anything He wants

They were deflatable and went down the mountain on the backs of Yaks

If God can make an axe head float, he can float a hippo

Modern Hippos are much bigger today. Those on the Ark were dog size and more agile

You don't know all the skills of the Hippo.

Sure they rolled and tumbled, but their fat cushioned them and they bounce well

If Noah could get rid of all the excrement of every animal every day with 8 cooperating family members, he can get a hippo off a 16,854 foot high mountain.

The Ark didn't land on the TOP of the mountain. It says "Mountains of Ararat" It landed on the lower slopes probably in the valley with easy access out. I am sure of this.

It's not that long a walk.

The Oceans dividing the continents were much lower then with less water..no wait...

The Continents were all one big one back then with no Oceans between them.



----------------------IF YOU CAN'T SHOW IT...YOU DON'T KNOW IT---------------------







DennisCDiehl said...

Ralph, you fell right into "hippos can swim and weren't on the Ark" lol. Why would you believe such a thing about them swimming through a worldwide flood. You're apologetics are amazing and you can't prove one bit of it except to yourself to keep the literal story alive when it never happened and any critically thinking person could see that.

The story of Noah's Ark is a myth, taken from a myth, taken from a myth and given a Hebrew spin. While it may have had some distant echoes of origin in an actual flood event, it grew with the telling. It simply never happened as presented just as the real origins of earth and life is not to be found in Genesis 1, which had meaning but not the one assigned by Creationists. The meaning was, "You nations around Israel worship, water, wind , fire, animal, vegetables and minerals. Our God made your God. Chapters 2-3 aren't about real human or female origins. It is a statement about there being no goddess or fertility worship in Israel. There will be no Matriarchy and women are the fault of sin and man's downfall. From now on there will be Patriarchy, Male Priests, Meat sacrifices , Temples with women having babies painfully and saying "Yes Lord" to their husbands.

"God" rejected Cain's veggie offering in favor of Able's meat offering because the message was Israel will not honor fertility symbols like seeds, soil and rain (Baal was the rain god) Meat!!! God loves the smell of MEAT! not Beans!

DennisCDiehl said...

And PS Ralph... I suppose Polar Bears and Penguins didn't make it on the Ark because they also can swim or in the case of the flood, tread water for a year and not float away?

DennisCDiehl said...

If all goes well, Aron Ra, who took Dave Pack's 12 part series on Creationism apart sentence by sentence and idea by idea is interviewing me in about an hour from Texas over the Internet. Should be fun if I can make the techno part work!

Anonymous said...

The shape of continents implies that they were once connected, but broke off with shifting geological plates. But working backwards, a project given to angels to place the animals and associated vegetation in their new homes, sounds reasonable.
God would have treasured and looked after all his animals.

Byker Bob said...

From an ecology standpoint, the paltry numbers of each type of animal on the ark would have reduced them in today's terms to "endangered species" status. The earth is an ecology system with a delicate balance amongst herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores. The predatory animals which feed upon one another would have had an especially difficult time recovering from endangered or at risk status following a global flood. In modern times, humans with much knowledge and dedication, have been able to revive endangered species, but imagine what would have taken place following a global flood if every single animal was endangered. Some of the animals were the Noah family's food, and some of the animals were each others' food. Also, imagine what might have happened if harmful microbes, normally restricted to certain geographic areas, suddenly became water-borne, and were spread about! There would have been massive disease epidemics following the flood!

The number of surviving sea creatures would have created a severe imbalance. Fresh water animals in rivers and lakes would have had their delicately balanced environments severely altered, and would have died en mass. And, then there is the insect world. Even a localized Mesopotamian flood event would have constituted a huge environmental disaster, altering ecological balance for hundreds or even thousands of years.

BB

Anonymous said...

It wont matter, Dennis, because Ralph saw the guy had a goatee, which freaks him out because devils and demons are sometime shown in medieval works with goatees.
Yet then Ralph turns around and says that the long-haired Jesus in the same medieval arts is an error. Its true for the beard but not for the hair, apparently. Maybe Ralph would like to rewrite Revelation to have "that old serpent" have a goatee on each of his seven heads.

Ed said...

Since all the facts have been refuted by the "God and his angels can do anything" argument, let me address the reason for the flood argument. Why would a merciful God drown everyone in a flood? Can't God change the hearts of men and lead them to repentance? He has done that many places in the bible. Isn't drowning one of the worst ways to die? Where is the mercy in that? We fought to defeat Adolf Hitler in WWII because of his evil attempts at genocide to wipe-out the Jews. Wouldn't the flood have been much more evil then that considering that God committed the genocide of "all" races.

short legged girl said...

Why would they land up in a mountain? It says mountains of Ararat which implies a large area.
Animals migrate thousands of miles all the time.

Never mock short legs!!! (grrrrr)

Since time immemorial the Turks have called the area of the valleys below the place of landing.
For a good time read David Fasolds book on the area and the ark. A former ships captain he lends a very unique look at the entire thing. Well worth the time to read.

Anonymous said...

You do err not knowing the power of God

Stephen said...

"You do err not knowing the power of God"

Oh, well, in that case...

ALL HAIL, ZEUS!!!

Wouldn't want to err not knowing the power of Zeus...

Stephen said...

"God would have treasured and looked after all his animals."

...which explains why 99% of all organisms we find in the fossil record are extinct. Great job, god, looking after all your animals...

Srsly, the level of ignorance that comes out of the woodwork to defend the flood myth beats everything. What a hoot!

Stephen said...

"...chiefly aquatic..."

"...from the above info. one could easily believe that..."

Obviously, Ralph is not well enough educated to know the difference between "aquatic" (fresh water) and "marine" (salt water). Yes, Ralph, because hippos like to spend a lot of their time in fresh water ponds and lakes, that means they can survive a year in the open salt-water ocean, without land.

People can swim in the ocean. I'm living proof of that. I've done it many times. Therefore people will be fine treading water for a year in the open ocean too. Yep.

Take an aquatic (fresh water) fish, or amphibian, or anything that isn't capable of getting rid of the 4% salt that's in every drop of water, put it in the ocean, and see how many hours it lives before the salt kills it.

For that matter, take most animals out of their niche habitat and force it to live somewhere else, away from it's usual food supply, even caged up in a tiny little pen in a wooden boat, and see how many days it lasts before it dies.

Look at me! I proved Noah's flood really happened using only the dictionary!

LOL.

Srsly, Ralph, you don't need any info at all to easily believe. Your beliefs have nothing to do with info, but with the lack thereof. And if anyone spoonfeeds you any, you say it's too much for you to handle, so, just forget it. B'leeving is easier. Thanks, but no thanks, guys.

The buy-bull says it, I b'leeve it, that settles it!

Anonymous said...

Oh, the desperation of apologists who don't want to go the effort of really thinking, even a normally brilliant guy like Ralph. Oh well, I used to employ the same mental gymnastics before I grew up and tossed religion and religious books aside. They all belong in the garbage bin.

Schultz said...

It is one thing to disagree on science. It is another to mock people for their beliefs scientific or religious.
Some of these comments are ugly and show a bias toward people who have a religious belief.
I wonder if some who have mocked religious belief would mock Islam in the same manner?

Schultz said...

Oh, the desperation of apologists for the unproven theory of evolution who cannot produce one real shred of proof for their beliefs but insist on mocking the beliefs of others.

Your religious enthusiasm for your pseudo scientific belief may also belong in the bin.
Evolution is a religion with zealots.
Creation says you started out good, you are back sliding.
Evolution says you started as nothing and you're getting better all the time.
Not much proof of that.
Not any proof that animals have evolved either but zealots endorse it proven or not.
Evolution is still a theory and not a proven fact.
So while you condemn those who believe in a creation remember you are also a member of a religion and a true zealot for it.

Anonymous said...

Our scanty local COG library in the 1980s had a copy of "In Search Of Noahs Ark". Which, in retrospect, had about as much usefulness and factuality as Berlitz's "The Bermuda Triangle", but it made for a good read when I was young and knew little.

Anonymous said...

Islam? Well, aside from the familiar veneration of a foreskin-hating god (even though he made the things in the first place), plenty to make fun of there too.

DennisCDiehl said...

I am not so much interested in WHAT people believe as that is endless, but I am fascinated with WHY they belief it. How they think it through and why they come to the conclusions they do even when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary

DennisCDiehl said...

Someone said:

Your religious enthusiasm for your pseudo scientific belief may also belong in the bin.

IT IS SCIENTIFIC ENTHUSIASM BASED ON PROVABLE PREMISES

Evolution is a religion with zealots.

EVOLUTION IS NOT A RELIGION. RELIGION IS A RELIGION AND SCIENCE IS SCIENCE. OFTEN ATHEISTS ARE TOLD IT TAKES "FAITH" TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION JUST AS IT DOES IN RELIGION. SCIENCE DOES NOT ACCUSE CREATIONISTS OF USING REASON LIKE THEY DO. PUTTING SCIENCE AS 'YOUR RELIGION' AND 'YOUR FAITH IS PROJECTION

Creation says you started out good, you are back sliding.
Evolution says you started as nothing and you're getting better all the time.
Not much proof of that.

PLENTY OF PROOF FOR THE SCIENCE WELL DO CONCERNING THE EVOLUTION OF ALL LIFE.

Not any proof that animals have evolved either but zealots endorse it proven or not.
Evolution is still a theory and not a proven fact.

OUTSTANDING PROOF IS AVAILABLE TO THE CRITICAL THINKING AND OPEN MINDED NOT TIED DOWN IN PLACE BY RELIGIOUS DOGMA. PLENTY!!!

So while you condemn those who believe in a creation remember you are also a member of a religion and a true zealot for it."

THIS IS SIMPLY CREATIONIST RHETORIC TO SEEMINGLY LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD OF DISCUSSION AND IS A TOTALLY INACCURATE DEFINITION OF WHAT SCIENCE DOES AND CAN DO WHEN LEFT TO JUST CONSIDERING THE FACTS AS DONE BY HARD WORK AND ACTUALLY LOOKING FOR ANSWERS INSTEAD OF ASSUMING THEM FROM A BRONZE AGE BOOK WRITTEN BY PRIESTS OVER A CULTIC RELIGION THAT BORROWED EVERY CONCEPT THEY HAVE FROM SOMEONE BEFORE THEM

ONE CAN BE A STUDENT IN SCIENCE. ZEALOTRY IS FOR RELIGIOUS APOLOGISTS AND FUNDAMENTALISTS WHO SIMPLY CANNOT BRING THEMSELVES TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX

(Sorry for the caps. It separates the comments from my response easier)

DennisCDiehl said...

And it is important to repeat. I don't care what others believe. I want to hear WHY they believe it and why they won't consider alternative and much more up to date and provable realities. Dave Pack claims he "proved evolution was false 50 years ago with intensive 2.5 year study. (I assume he is copying , as usual, HWA's claim he spent 6 months in the Portland Library studying when he came to his conclusions. I know the class Dave is referring to. Second Year Bible and based on ONE BOGUS BOOK, The Genesis Flood, by Whitcomb and Morris. The 2.5 years refer to his being a Sophomore at the time and had 2.5 years of school left. Dave NEVER studied evolution as a real student of it would. He recalls "A Whale of a Tale" "A theory for the Birds " and other church articles that are simply wrong and embarrassing as if we have learned nothing in the past 50 years. We have learned more about evolution in the past 20 years, including human, than in the previous 10,000.

Ralph said...

on July 16, 2016 at 12:52 PM
Stephen wrote:-

""You do err not knowing the power of God"

Oh, well, in that case...

ALL HAIL, ZEUS!!!"

Illustrating another example as to why it is wise to use the scriptural name "JEHOVAH" instead of a title or description.

cheers
ralph.f

k-baradanikto said...

Dennis: Never argue with an idiot. He'll drag you down to his level and beat you on points.

Ryan Van Wart said...

OK, guys, we all know what DNA is right? Based on archaeological records the scientists (zoologists, etc.) who studied the tiger population say at one point, it reached a bottleneck. The estimate is as many as 30 sibling animals but as few as 7. The genetic variation for tigers around the world SHOWS THIS. They're practically clones and they suffer horrible genetic maladies. Curious how close they were, skin grafts were taken from 17 different tigers all over the world and swapped between them. 16 samples from each tiger shipped to each other tiger and there wasn't a single rejection... Now to the point.

If all animals had been reduced to the same population bottleneck on Noah's ark, you would see the same problems in each species. If all humans had been reduced to 8 people, we would all have the SAME genetic markers, and we don't.

Continuing on the topic of genetics, this is what we use to prove paternity when there's a question. So why is it when we share 98.5% of our DNA with another species we ignore that?

Anonymous said...

Dennis, always trying to push your own personal beliefs as if they are right and everybody else is wrong. I admit you have some good points and thoughts to consider but somewhere along the line your own personal beliefs are just that, your own, and although you have a lot of truth in what you say, you also have a lot of error, but then again, like you, that's only my opinion.

DennisCDiehl said...

Aren't all opinions personal? Isn't all human reasoning human?

Ralph said...

on July 16, 2016 at 7:02 PM
Dennis wrote:-

"We have learned more about evolution in the past 20 years,...."

That would be better read as "We have imagined more about evolution in the past 20 years,...."

cheers
ralph.f

Ralph said...

on July 16, 2016 at 1:29 PM
Stephen wrote:-

'Obviously, Ralph is not well enough educated to know the difference between "aquatic" (fresh water) and "marine" (salt water)."

Yes, I admit my error in overlooking the difference between 'aquatic' and 'marine'. After all, the hippo has been referred to as the "river horse", not the sea horse.LOL

However, I recall the words of Solomon ie."Ecc_9:11 .... but time and chance happeneth to them all". This whole topic is debatable, none of us today were there at the time to witness the whole event. Who can tell if the hippo of that time could not survive in a salt water environment? No doubt the evolutionist could dream up some kind of story to either support or deny such an idea.
Also, there is no scriptural record of any "water" dwelling, air breathing mammal being found on the Ark. As I said, none of us were witness to the event.
We all believe what we WANT to believe. Perhaps I could rephrase that and say;-
We all believe what we ARE LED to believe.
Yes, I like that better.

cheers
ralph.f

Stephen said...

Dear Anon1:46AM,

Dennis isn't "pushing" anything as if he's right and everybody else is wrong.

I understand why you might think that, however, consider that once a person leaves dogma behind, he also leaves behind dogmatic certainty, and one's certainty becomes merely provisional, subject to new observations and facts.

What Dennis IS doing is giving voice to that which is probable. And like it or not, that's a little more objective than you seem to assert by calling it mere "opinion," because probability is based on agreed upon facts and observations, and is something that can be calculated. You are entitled to your opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts, and you're not entitled to your own facts.

What you are doing is making it seem like the improbable is on a par with the probable, and that, I'm afraid, is simply not the case. Moreover, it's a crafty bit of deception. I'm not saying you're doing it on purpose, but I am pointing it out so that you can at least have a moment of recognition of the mistake you've just made.

Connie Schmidt said...

Dennis, you keep "retiring" from this site, say things like "Im done living in the past" or the like, and throw in the towel saying you are through with it and won't be posting here anymore. I believe you have done this a couple of times.

Yet, here you are back again. I wonder if there is something wrong. Some sort of loose end, or unresolved angst. You spent a long time being a WCG minister, aka, "the expert" , "leader" or "guide".

Ok, so you renounced your credentials in all things "God". Fair enough. However, (and I don't intend this as an attack), but you reemerge as still being the "Expert, leader and guide" for the atheistic team. Seems that you like to be an esteemed expert on topic, regardless of which side of the argument. A fair question for someone to ask is , "well if you were so deceived before , and vulnerable to undue influence and agenda, then how would we know that you are not the same way this time with atheism?"

You stayed with WCG until the money ran out for you. You would have much more credibility (IMHO) had you left many years earlier, while still employed. You are an interesting character, that there is no debate, but I believe that you are still conflicted, and still trying to find your alter ego.

DennisCDiehl said...

I changed my mind and enjoy the exchanges. I notice you keep coming back too. On the rest of your evaluations of what i am or my own experience both ex and internally, i'll take it under advisement.

Stephen said...

"...none of us today were there at the time to witness the whole event."
—Ralph

"Were you there?"
—Ken Ham

No, Ralph, this really isn't debatable.

If you don't think that the voice of the geological record, the biological record, the genetic record, etc. can't be trusted to speak the truth to us, then you shouldn't think that blood spatter, fingerprints, DNA evidence, bullet trajectories, or any other forensic data should necessarily speak any truth to a criminal forensics expert either. Was he there?

In fact, by claiming that such things are debatable, you're essentially claiming that you think you live in a world in which there are no reliable physical laws, that everything just happens randomly. One day I might leave behind fingerprints that match the patterns on my fingers, the next day, I might leave behind fingerprints that match someone else's fingers. If you weren't there to see the fingerprints being made, then you shouldn't trust the fingerprints to tell you the truth. You weren't there.

In fact, by saying it's debatable, you're saying that it's impossible to make any claims to knowledge at all, of any kind. OH! Except, of course, if it's written in the qur'an. Or was that the bhagavad gita? No, wait, I think it's the book of mormon. Well, I'm pretty sure it's one of those...

"We all believe what we WANT to believe."

You keep repeating this Ralph. And, just like the mistake that Anon1:46AM makes, you keep suggesting that "knowledge" supported by agreed upon facts and evidence has the same probability of being true as wholly unsupported "beliefs." Nobody "believes" in the sun and the moon. Again, I'd like to point out that this is a crafty bit of deception, and by insinuating that we all ought to think that the probabilities for both of these things are on a par, you're making a mistake.

DennisCDiehl said...

PS Connie
Transitions mentally, physically, emotionslly and literally are messy and confusing. You were in your position and I in mine. You'd not say " oh thank you for explainng that. I understand" anyhow. No one ever does.

Schultz said...

Evolution is not good science.
Good science does not start with a theory and then pound square pegs into holes to make it fit. Good science observes what is. Theories are tossed aside (as they are meant to be temporary starting points) if nothing is shown to bolster them. Such is not the case with evolution which continues to have nothing solid behind it but 'it seems that, it looks like, it could be, we think that" all of which is presented as fact.
Evolution has theories behind it but no hard facts or solid proof. It is a belief system based on the philosophy that every day in every way you are getting better and better.
It is the antithesis of what is found in Genesis which is , again, that you began very good and that without guidance from God are not doing all that well over time.
Evolution begins with primordial soup that gets better and better over time eventually producing man, plants and animals which all are ever changing, ever evolving into better and better form.
This is a religion in itself. And this religion does indeed have zealots who are gung ho and get very upset and angry at others who do not share their view point. The reverse is also often true!

It is interesting that a theory alone has taken on such dramatic authority in the world.

Ralph said...

on July 17, 2016 at 8:20 AM
Stephen wrote:-

"No, Ralph, this really isn't debatable."

LOL x 4

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Dennis, you ask why people wont accept your "much more up to date and provable realities."
The reason is we do not believe your "provable realities" are true, but rather just a nice label you put on your point of view. Just like the 'Plain truth label. Evolution cannot identify the source of supposedly increasing animal design. I have done much design work myself, and it doesn't just happen on its own. It cannot explain super sophisticated animal, plant design. Or where the laws of physics and chemistry came from, and why they are just right.
But even more fundamentally, God answers peoples prayers. He performs miracles for members when need be. And I'm talking about a body of evidence, so none of this 'it's a coincidence' comeback satisfies. So no amount of your intellectualizing can explain answered prayer. I agree with Connie about the 'leader,' 'guide' role you have here. Which is why I called you the Big Cheese. I suppose it's the occupational hazard of being a teacher for decades. Once a teacher, always a teacher, even in retirement.

Stephen said...

Schultz said:

"It is interesting that a theory alone has taken on such dramatic authority in the world."

Please note that heliocentrism is also "just a theory."

By the same logic, because heliocentrism is "just a theory," it is therefore:

1) Not good science
2) Without any hard facts or solid proof behind it, just "it seems that, it looks like, it could be, we think that" all of which is presented as "fact"
3) A belief system based on merely the philosophy that every day in every way we are orbiting the sun
4) Meant to be tossed aside, since nothing has been shown to bolster it
5) Heliocentrism begins with a primordial soup of chaotic dust and gas that gets better and better over time eventually producing the order we see of a star, planets, asteroid belts, comets, which all are ever changing, ever evolving
6) A religion, with zealots who are gung ho and get very upset and angry at others who do not share their view point
7) Somehow managed to take on dramatic authority in the world

Byker Bob said...

I happen to also believe that God answers prayers. But, I do not believe that He answers them in such a way as to be validating or reaffirming the tenets of Armstrongism to people, or He certainly would not be answering mine, or those of countless other non-Armstrongite Christians on a regular basis.

Secondly, spiritual experiences, when shared, are not generally effective in "converting" others. They remain personal, and only have value to, or effect on, the person who has experienced them. Because these experiences are subjective, and objective processes or quantities such as logic and known facts often kick in in the minds of second or third parties, as well as resistance to manipulation. Such experiences can be encouraging, or inspiring to fellow believers, but are very easy to reject for most people. Scripture refers to "being called". If such a process exists, a personal spiritual experience, or series of experiences, would probably be one of the vehicles by which this is accomplished. Even in cases where people have had such experiences, they tend to lose impact over time. What once seemed to be a miracle now just becomes a lucky chance defiance of probability.

Somebody, a long time ago, hooked up the words "Evolution", and "Godless". It is an example of either or, black and white, or binary thinking, because nowhere is it written that these must be polar opposites, or mutual exclusives. The reason why there is so much evidence in favor of evolution is that it was most likely God's chosen process for creation. Similarly, there is much evidence against a global flood, but some lasting support for the theory of a local Mesopotamian event that affected the known world at that point in history from an Israel-centric perspective. Kangaroos and hippopotami or polar bears most likely had nothing to do with such a flood. The local event model even makes better sense if it was intended to be an ethnic cleansing event, or an attempt to rid Mesopotamia of violent crime.

BB

Anonymous said...

Stephen,

You might add Newton's "Theory of Gravity" and Einstein's "Theory of Relativity". Both just theories.

Another Stephen

Stephen said...

"But even more fundamentally, God answers peoples prayers. He performs miracles for members when need be. And I'm talking about a body of evidence, so none of this 'it's a coincidence' comeback satisfies. So no amount of your intellectualizing can explain answered prayer."

—Anon9:42AM

"This is a Roman temple. You wouldn't come here for services or to be preached at. You wouldn't come here to get married or be part of a congregation. The chances are, it would be locked up most of the year anyway, guarded by some grumpy custodian. But if you did get inside, one thing you certainly would have seen is a statue of the god. That's the basic function of a Roman temple, to house the divine image. And that's what temples were often called in Latin, aedes, houses. And temples were everywhere.

Why did they need so many? This one was put up to the god Hercules in the middle of the second century B.C., almost certainly with the profits of Roman conquests in the East. And that was a common pattern. A general, in the middle of battle would vow a temple to the god if that god would grant him victory. And when the general returned to Rome successful, he uses part of the spoils to finance the building. In a way, temples are public reminders of the gods support for the Roman state, and they underline the axiom that Rome can only be successful if it keeps the gods on it's side. And gods, is of course, plural.
"

—Dr. Mary Beard

The collection of those many Roman temples is a body of evidence that the Roman gods answer prayers too, as is the success of the Roman Empire over a period of 1,000 years, until they failed to keep the gods on their side.

Anonymous said...

Connie hit the nail on the head regarding Dennis.

Stephen said...

Connie,

You said, "...you [Dennis] reemerge as still being the "Expert, leader and guide" for the atheistic team. Seems that you like to be an esteemed expert on topic, regardless of which side of the argument. A fair question for someone to ask is , "well if you were so deceived before , and vulnerable to undue influence and agenda, then how would we know that you are not the same way this time with atheism?"'"

And that is a fair question.

Except for one thing. Dennis' argument isn't an argument from authority, so questioning his expert credentials is an ad hominem in this case.

You shouldn't take Dennis' word for it or against when it comes to the extraordinary claims made by religions. You shouldn't take my word , or anyone else's word. That's entirely the point.

The problem with religion is that it requires you to take this or that person's word for a whole host of claims that are about as extraordinary as claims get, and that's always a mistake, which is why religions in general always involve making mistakes, some moreso than others.

If I told you I had scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast, that's not a very extraordinary claim. Scrambled eggs and coffee are very common things to have for breakfast. You've probably observed many people having scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast. You might have even had scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast yourself in the past. So the prior probability of such a claim is very high, and therefore, due to the prior probability alone, you are justified in thinking I probably did have scrambled eggs and coffee for breakfast.

However, if I told you that I can fly just like Superman, you'd probably respond with "I'd have to see that for myself!" And rightly so. You've never observed anyone do that before. There is no tradition of humans being able to fly. It's contrary to the known laws of physics. Due to that, it's a very extraordinary claim and the prior probability of it being true is very low, which is why you demand evidence that is commensurate with how extraordinary the claim is. You know that it would be a mistake to simply take my word for it.

By the same token, if your daughter told you she was pregnant, but that she was still a virgin, you wouldn't believe her. If a man named Bill walked up to you on the street today and told you he had just been dead for three days in the county morgue, and could you spare a quarter, you wouldn't believe him. If some people told you that later that day they saw Bill fly away up into the sky like Superman, you wouldn't believe them. The reason why is exactly the same reason you wouldn't have—shouldn't have—believed me when I told you the same thing. But change the guy's name to Jesus, and change it to having happened 2,000 years ago instead of today, and this does nothing to change the prior probability. So if you would demand evidence that is commensurate with the extraordinariness of this claim when I say it, there is no valid reason for not demanding the same when anyone else says it. That's being just plain inconsistent.

Dennis' argument does not hinge upon his authority. He is not asking you to take his, or anyone else's word for anything. He's doing exactly the opposite, because if you're a christian, you've already taken some very specific people's word for it over some very specific, very extraordinary claims. And that is a mistake, and he's advocating that it's a mistake you should stop making. The reasons are readily apparent, and have nothing to do with whether he's an expert on anything or not.

Byker Bob said...

Hey, Dennis is Dennis. He comes off as an idea man, and an individual on an odyssey, including us on the ride if we are so inclined. Along the way, he leaves us with some nuggets, and also the occasional stinker. If he makes you think, then what the hey? He's done you a solid.

Bottom line is that none of us are here because we want everyone else to pattern their lives after our own. It is only a discussion, after all. We all must walk that lonesome valley for ourselves.

BB

Anonymous said...

11.22 AM yours is a straw man definition of 'body of evidence.' God also rebukes genuine Christians shortly after they commit a significant sin as well. This is also part of the body of evidence that neither Dennis and the long haired guy can explain.

Stephen said...

Anon3:05PM-

You obviously don't know the meaning of "straw man."

Sure we can explain it. And we do so in exactly the same way we explain how Rome fell.

Anonymous said...

And once again, 3:05, you show us that you don't know what "straw man" actually means.

Ralph said...

on July 17, 2016 at 2:56 PM
Byker Bob wrote:-

"Bottom line is that none of us are here because we want everyone else to pattern their lives after our own. It is only a discussion, after all. We all must walk that lonesome valley for ourselves."

About the best, if not the best, comment I've seen all week. "Hallelujah"

cheers
ralph.f

Retired Prof said...

July 17, 2016 at 3:05 PM: "God also rebukes genuine Christians shortly after they commit a significant sin as well."

I am not a Christian, and if the Christian god ever rebuked me, I failed to notice because I am blind to spiritual wavelengths and deaf to spiritual frequencies. In spite of those handicaps, I too feel rebuked when I have committed a significant sin--that is, when I have hurt someone else unnecessarily. As far as I can discern, it is my own conscience that rebukes me--that and my wife or my friends, who sometimes point out sins before I notice them. Naturally, I hope to retain their esteem. Ultimately, though, it is my desire not to think of myself as a thoughtless or cruel person that urges me to try to set things right when I have sinned.

It is clear to me that eating swine's flesh (even on the Day of Atonement) going fishing on Saturday, and other violations of COG taboos are not sins. They are, as Robert Heinlein put it, "invented nonsense." In my teens I observed those taboos to avoid hurting my mother. When she told me I had to make my own choices and that she would support them, that was the time she demonstrated she was a Christian in the sense that matters. She refused to hurt me unnecessarily by expecting me to participate in rituals I did not believe in. We lived out the rest of her many, many years in mutual respect and love.

Anonymous said...

Retired Prof,
Wow, those are some personal things you shared.
I can relate because on both my wife's side and my side we have in-laws who were all once in HWA's church.

They'll smack me now and then (figuratively) no matter how I try to avoid it.
It's somewhat inevitable given our cult background, I guess.

I suppose that getting along "kinda"
is better than not getting along at all.

They are our parents, after all. (Whether believing it's a random thing or a God-given chore.)

Ralph said...

on July 17, 2016 at 3:05 PM
Anonymous wrote, and Retired Prof reiterated:-

"God also rebukes genuine Christians shortly after they commit a significant sin as well."

Apart from a suggestion that all sin is significant I think most people forget that those who have fully accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ have been forgiven all sins, past, present and future. We are a "forgiven people". Maybe that's why so many of us are alive today.
I question the word 'rebuke' defined briefly by my Merriam-Webster as follows:-
REBUKE : to criticize sharply, to REPRIMAND
REPRIMAND : a severe or formal reproof
REPROOF ; criticism for a fault

Perhaps I have a problem in that I have never experienced any of those things. That is not to say I do not sin, that's impossible, but that when I do it's that still, small voice that says "Wrong, Ralph, and you know it. Now settle down and return to Me."
No sharp criticism, no severe reproof just a loving voice that says 'repent'.
That's the kind of God that I follow.

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

"For a good time read David Fasolds book on the area and the ark."

That sounds like something scrawled on a public bathroom wall.

The non-scientist David Fasold worked with the huckster/liar Ron Wyatt for awhile, before announcing his own dubious conclusions. Later, he even renounced his own far-fetched conclusions.

"good time"? Maybe, depending on how you get your jollies.
"waste of time"? Absolutely!

Anonymous said...

Ralph is chinesist.

Maybe'll he'll vote for The Donald who plans to build a wall between the USA and China to prevent all Fu Manchu mustaches from entering the USA and wreaking havoc here.

It's ok if all those "TRUMP" hats are made in China, though.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, the desperation of apologists who don't want to go the effort of really thinking, even a normally brilliant guy like Ralph."

HA HA HA! Ralph is a legend in his own mind.

Your comment is brilliant :)

Anonymous said...

Ralph wrote, "This whole topic is debatable, none of us today were there at the time to witness the whole event."

Ralph's response is amazingly similar to Ken Ham's response of, "Were you there?" in his juvenile effort to shut down debate on the crazy things he claims are factual.

I wonder if "Ralph's rants" are ultimately an effort to convince himself.

Anonymous said...

"But even more fundamentally, God answers peoples prayers. He performs miracles for members."

YES!!!
You will find no shortage of impassioned testimonials of "answered prayers" and "miracles", no matter what religion!
However, that group of "impassioned testimonials" is in the big cauldron of True Believers' soup of supposed "big-time-'results'"-

Every different religion, of every stripe, just all happen to have True Believers who can tell stories of how their god and beliefs are true because their particular god answered their particular prayers.

Apparently, there's either:
1) Lots of miracle-performing/prayer-answering gods in lots of different religions
..or..
2) Lots of people who convince themselves (for a variety of psychological reasons) that their particular god has favored them.

Ralph said...

Numerous people claim that Ron Wyatt is a liar. Can anyone direct me to evidence that such a claim is true?

cheers
ralph.f

Ralph said...

on July 19, 2016 at 8:52 AM
Anonymous wrote"-

"Maybe'll he'll vote for The Donald......."

I read:- "Donald Trump pulled off what at least 16 other Republican hopefuls failed to do–he became the official presidential nominee of his party a few hours ago. Some in Australia see this as a positive:"

So it looks as if someone has voted for him' LOL
As far as I am concerned my preferred candidate has not yet arrived on the scene.

cheers
ralph.f

Ralph said...

on July 19, 2016 at 9:18 AM
Anonymous wrote:-

"Ralph wrote, "This whole topic is debatable, none of us today were there at the time to witness the whole event."

Ralph's response is amazingly similar to Ken Ham's response of, "Were you there?" in his juvenile effort to shut down debate on the crazy things he claims are factual."

In my so called juvenile effort "to shut down debate", how is that accomplished by simply saying the subject IS debatable??

Somehow reminds me of what Stephen said on July 17, 2016 at 8:20 AM viz.
"No, Ralph, this really isn't debatable."

Then proceeded with a further 5 paragraphs of debate.(?)

cheers
ralph.f

Stephen said...

Ralph, you can spin things to make me seem like a fool, but that just makes you a liar as well. Typical christian thing to do. I don't even know why I should be surprised.

By claiming that the historicity of ark stories, which, in order to be true, would have to violate our normal expectations and physics at every turn, are debatable, you're essentially claiming that you think you live in a world in which there are no reliable physical laws, and that we are not justified in having any normal expections.

When you let go of an object, will it fall to the ground, Ralph?

It's debatable? Really? You're a fool, Ralph.

Anonymous said...

Ralph said:"Apart from a suggestion that all sin is significant I think most people forget that those who have fully accepted the sacrifice of Jesus Christ have been forgiven all sins, past, present and future."

Does that stop people from making errors? Of course not!

"We are a "forgiven people"

By God, right? Just for a moment, imagine that there is no God. Who else could step into that role?
I ask this to point out what I have learned from narcisstic christains. They seem to think that they don't need to apologize and ask for forgiveness from those that they have done wrong. They will gladly throw the sacrifice of Jesus Christ at your feet and say, "You're wrong to not accept my apology because God has already endorsed it."

How does that teach us to love one another?

DBP

Anonymous said...

It would be an answered prayer for me if the lame insults at Ralph and others were to stop.

Ralph said...

on July 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM
Stephen wrote:-

"When you let go of an object, will it fall to the ground,...."

If unsupported, yes it will.

cheers
ralph.f
ps. Unless it's already on the ground. LOL

Ralph said...

on July 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM
Stephen also wrote:-

"By claiming that the historicity of ark stories, which, in order to be true, would have to violate our normal expectations and physics at every turn,...."

How so?
As an aside, there are a number of credible(?) 'you tube' presentations depicting the Ark's discovery; eg. "this one"

I know some people claim Ron Wyatt to be a liar. Can you direct me to some evidence to prove this claim?

cheers
ralph.f
ps. Truly Stephen, I think you could use a little more self esteem.

Ralph said...

to Anonymous of July 20, 2016 at 7:08 PM

Thank you for those kind words.

cheers
ralph.f

Anonymous said...

Don't Wyatts own claims speak against him? I mean, flowing Jesus blood on the miraculously found True Cross which just happens to be above the Ark of the Covenant? Or was that some other fool?

NO2HWA said...

Wyatt is the whack-job that said when Jesus died the blood flowing from his body ran down through crack in the ricks below the cross and dripped onto the Ark of the Covenant, WHICH Wyatt claims to have seem, dried blood and all. A first class liar that the WCG even got hooked into when they had him come and speak in the Auditorium in the mid 70's. He brought what he claimed to were real pieces of the wood from Noah's ark. The literalists ate it all up as 100% fact and true.

Ralph said...

to Anonymous of July 21, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Yes, I'm aware of that account and find it somewhat incredible. However I will also say I DON"T KNOW if it is true or not, I just doubt it. I guess some day we'll all know for sure.

to NO2HWA of July 21, 2016 at 5:50 PM

I didn't know he had addressed the Auditorium in the 70's. Understanding the mind set of the "literalists" as you refer to them, I'm not surprised they ate it all up. If I had been there I probably would have done the same. Apparently the local Turkish government portrayed in the link I provided on July 20, 2016 at 8:48 PM. did much the same. I would surely agree they, the local government, would have been biased in their outlook.

I would like to make this point:- The problem with all liars is that they sometimes tell the truth. Unfortunately we just don't know when that happens.

cheers
ralph.f