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January 28th, 2014
10:37 AM ET

Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions

Opinion by Joel Baden, Special to CNN

(CNN) - That faint humming sound you’ve heard recently is the scholarly world of the Bible and archaeology abuzz over the discovery of the oldest known Mesopotamian version of the famous Flood story.

A British scholar has found that a 4,000-year-old cuneiform tablet from what is now Iraq contains a story similar to the biblical account of Noah’s Ark.

The newly decoded cuneiform tells of a divinely sent flood and a sole survivor on an ark, who takes all the animals on board to preserve them. It even includes the famous phrase “two by two,” describing how the animals came onto the ark.

But there is one apparently major difference: The ark in this version is round.

We have known for well over a century that there are flood stories from the ancient Near East that long predate the biblical account (even the most conservative biblical scholars wouldn’t date any earlier than the ninth century B.C).

What’s really intriguing scholars is the description of the ark itself.

The Bible presents a standard boat shape - long and narrow. The length being six times the measure of the width, with three decks and an entrance on the side.

The newly discovered Mesopotamian text describes a large round vessel, made of woven rope, and coated (like the biblical ark) in pitch to keep it waterproof.

Archaeologists are planning to design a prototype of the ark, built to the specifications of this text, to see if it would actually float. Good luck to them in trying to estimate the weight of its cargo.

So, why does this new discovery matter? It matters because it serves as a reminder that the story of the Flood wasn’t set in stone from its earliest version all the way through to its latest incarnation.

The people who wrote down the Flood narrative, in any of its manifestations, weren’t reporting on a historical event for which they had to get their facts straight (like what shape the ark was).

Everyone reshapes the Flood story, and the ark itself, according to the norms of their own time and place.

In ancient Mesopotamia, a round vessel would have been perfectly reasonable - in fact, we know that this type of boat was in use, though perhaps not to such a gigantic scale, on the Mesopotamian rivers.

The ancient Israelites, on the other hand, would naturally have pictured a boat like those they were familiar with: which is to say, the boats that navigated not the rivers of Mesopotamia but the Mediterranean Sea.

This detail of engineering can and should stand for a larger array of themes and features in the flood stories. The Mesopotamian versions feature many gods; the biblical account, of course, only one.

The Mesopotamian versions tell us that the Flood came because humans were too noisy for the gods; the biblical account says it was because violence had spread over the Earth.

Neither version is right or wrong; they are, rather, both appropriate to the culture that produced them. Neither is history; both are theology.

What, then, of the most striking parallel between this newly discovered text and Genesis: the phrase “two by two”? Here, it would seem, we have an identical conception of the animals entering the ark. But not so fast.

Although most people, steeped in Sunday school tradition, will tell you without even thinking about it that “the animals, they came on, they came on by twosies twosies,” that’s not exactly what the Bible says.

More accurately, it’s one thing that the Bible says - but a few verses later, Noah is instructed to bring not one pair of each species, but seven pairs of all the “clean” animals and the birds, and one pair of the “unclean” animals.

(This is important because at the end of the story, Noah offers sacrifices - which, if he only brought one pair of each animal, would mean that, after saving them all from the Flood, he then proceeded to relegate some of those species to extinction immediately thereafter.)

This isn’t news - already in the 17th century scholars recognized that there must be two versions of the Flood intertwined in the canonical Bible.

There are plenty of significant differences between the two Flood stories in the Bible, which are easily spotted if you try to read the narrative as it stands.

One version says the Flood lasted 40 days; the other says 150. One says the waters came from rain. Another says it came from the opening of primordial floodgates both above and below the Earth. One version says Noah sent out a dove, three times. The other says he sent out a raven, once.

And yes: In one of those stories, the animals come on “two by two.”

Does this mean that the author of that version was following the ancient Mesopotamian account that was just discovered? Certainly not.

If the goal of the ark is the preservation of the animals, then having a male and female of each is just common sense. And, of course, it’s a quite reasonable space-saving measure.

Likewise, the relative age of the Mesopotamian and biblical accounts tells us nothing about their relative authority.

Even if we acknowledge, as we probably should, that the biblical authors learned the Flood story from their neighbors - after all, flooding isn’t, and never was, really a pressing concern in Israel - this doesn’t make the Bible any less authoritative.

The Bible gets its authority from us, who treat it as such, not from it being either the first or the most reliable witness to history.

There is no doubt that the discovery of this new ancient Mesopotamian text is important. But from a biblical perspective, its importance resides mostly in the way it serves to remind us that the Flood story is a malleable one.

There are multiple different Mesopotamian versions, and there are multiple different biblical versions. They share a basic outline, and some central themes. But they each relate the story in their own way.

The power of the Flood story, for us the canonical biblical version, is in what it tells us about humanity’s relationship with God. But, as always, the devil is in the details.

Joel S. Baden is the author of "The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero" and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden. 

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Belief • Bible • Christianity • Judaism • Opinion

soundoff (5,820 Responses)
  1. bostontola

    Archaeologists have found religious sites going back 12,000 years. While some criticize Christianity as being an old obsolete belief system, it is actually a Johnny Come Lately religion. Humans invented thousands of Gods/religions around the world. Christianity is popular, but why should it have Truth just because Constantine decided to take Christianity?

    There isn't anything I know of that would validate Christianity over the thousands of other religions/Gods (not to mention which Christianity has Truth since there are 40,000 denominations of Christianity). Christianity clearly has a moral code and creates successful societies, so it is pragmatically superior to many religions, but nothing to validates it's Truth.

    January 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm |
    • Kendra

      The Bible says it's true, therefore it's true. End of story.

      Facepalm.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • Ed

        They(archeologists, scientists etc) have proven some part of the bible true but some parts cannot be proven by human science since some include acts done God himself.

        January 28, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • Kendra

          Sure. Of course. Standard answer.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm |
        • Alias

          Some parts of the Koran have been proven to be true too.
          So why not accept that Allah is the right god?

          January 28, 2014 at 1:01 pm |
        • doobzz

          Of course there is proof some parts of the bible are true.

          Egypt exists. The Sea of Galilee exists. Bethlehem exists. There was once a Prefect of the Roman province of Judea named Pontius Pilate.

          This doesn't prove that Moses existed, that Jesus walked on water, that a messiah was born in a stable, or that a god/man was used as a human sacrifice to save the "souls" of mankind.

          My usual analogy is that just because there was a Civil War doesn't prove that Scarlett O'Hara is a real person, even though a book was written about her.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:39 pm |
        • Troof

          Some parts of Lord of the Rings have been proven true as well.

          January 29, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Kendra : The Bible says it's true, therefore it's true. End of story. Facepalm.

        Kendra says: The Bible is false, therefore it's false. End of story.

        Facepalm.

           <><

        January 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • G to the T

          I've never once heard someone use that argument against the bible, but I've heard many MANY people on here essentially saying that the bible is true because it says it is. So who's being disingenous here?

          January 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @G to the T : I've never once heard someone use that argument against the bible

          Then you must not read the atheist posts.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 1:26 pm |
        • Kendra

          Please post where I've said that.

          Why do you feel you have to lie to make a point? Such an intellectually lazy way to debate.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:30 pm |
      • 4morehorsemen

        Why worry about something you don't believe in? Or, is that what's bothering you? I'll keep you in my prayers.

        February 12, 2014 at 2:40 pm |
  2. Live4Him

    @Charm Quark : how old Noah rounded up kangaroos in Australia and armadillos in the Americas and how they got back home after the flood? Be creative.

    As Topher stated : "Who says Australia and the Americas existed before the flood?"

    Evolutionary scientists recognize a single continent called Pangea. This single continent existed prior to the flood. However, after the flood, the stresses induced by the flood caused the continent to separate (i.e. Gen 10:25).

      One was named Peleg, because in his time the earth was divided;

    So, kangaroos migrated to the part of Pangea which subsequently separated into Australia and similarly for the armadillos. Since each specie was few in number at the time of the separation, many were unique to each continent.

       <><

    January 28, 2014 at 12:01 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Anything to make the story true but keep trying, it's humorous. Why is it so hard to accept the fact that SCIENCE has already stated a flood of that magnitude is impossible to have happened? Not to mention that given the dimensions of the ark; the lack of equipment required to build a vessel that big and the simple overall carrying capacity, the thing would not have floated.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:07 pm |
    • Kendra

      How is it you would use evolutionary scientists to back up a claim when you don't believe in evolution?
      Why are there two conducting stories in Genesis about the flood?

      January 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Kendra : How is it you would use evolutionary scientists to back up a claim when you don't believe in evolution?

        Evolutionary scientists came to this conclusion based upon the evidence, so why not use that which your side agrees with to support my posit?

        @Kendra : Why are there two conducting stories in Genesis about the flood?

        Care to elucidate you question?

           <><

        January 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm |
        • Kendra

          Oops, s/b "conflicting". Auto correct has struck again.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:40 pm |
      • Colin

        Kendra, the actual answer to your question is that there are two flood stories (and two creation stories and two different sets of Ten Commandments) because the Pentateuch that came down to us is an amalgamation of the works of four different key authors, the Elohist, Yahwist, Deuteronomist and Priestly sources. After a few centuries of being copied and recopied, the Pentateuch amalgamated different versions of the same myth. This amalgamated stories made their way into the Greek Septuigent and, ultimately the Latin Vulgate and King James Versions of the Bible.

        January 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm |
        • Kendra

          Thank you for the answer, and for being able to see past my obvious faux pas with auto correct.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Colin : the Pentateuch that came down to us is an amalgamation of the works of four different key authors, the Elohist, Yahwist, Deuteronomist and Priestly sources.

          Ahhhh, yes, the widely discredited JDEP theory is still being touted by liberals. Why is is widely discredited? It is because every source is mixed in with the other sources – which leads to the obvious conclusion of a single author.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm |
        • ?

          Liberals?? lmfao. Yet the Bible is full of different authors. OMG you are hypocritically intellectually dishonest!!

          January 28, 2014 at 1:06 pm |
        • BRC

          Live4Him,
          Ethanol is not a fossil fuel, it's a very energy dense alcohol. Comapring the distillation of what is basically strong moonshine to the process by with carbon remains are converted into crude oil is comically innaccurate.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm |
    • Madtown

      Genesis 10:25 as a scientific reference. LOL, any sitcom writers in the house? As someone said earlier, there is so much material on this blog.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      L4H
      Well that certainly was creative, utterly ridiculous but creative. Try this one Topher seems to be struggling wit it. Do you use gas or heating oil? Why do you suppose they call them fossil fuel and how long does it take fossil fuels to form?

      January 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Charm Quark : Why do you suppose they call them fossil fuel and how long does it take fossil fuels to form?

        Fossils are the preserved remains of animal or plant, sometimes inside a rock or other geologic deposit. Fuels are hydrocarbons from these remains. The length of time it takes for them to form will vary according to the conditions to which they are subjected. For example, ethanol fuel comes from plant remains that is converted into this fuel in 3-5 days.

           <><

        January 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
        • BRC

          This replied to the wrong line above.

          Live4Him,
          Ethanol is not a fossil fuel, it's a very energy dense alcohol. Comapring the distillation of what is basically strong moonshine to the process by with carbon remains are converted into crude oil is comically innaccurate.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @BRC : Ethanol is not a fossil fuel

          Is it from the remains of plants or animals? Yes
          Is it a fuel? Yes

          So, what is your basis for claiming that it is not a fossil fuel?

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 1:14 pm |
        • ?

          So they're not fossil are they? Stupid analogy. Answer the question.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
        • BRC

          Live4Him,
          Your definition of fossil needs work.
          Taken from wikipedia for ease, but feel free to go find your source of choice- Fossils (from Clasical Latin fossilis, literally "obtained by digging[1]") are the preserved remains or traces of animals (also known as zoolites), plants, and other organisms from the remote past. a preserved specimen is called a "fossil" if it is older than some minimum age, most often the arbitrary date of 10,000 years.

          Ethanol is made from freshly or at least recently harvested corn. If drop dead tomorrow I'm not a fossil when my body hits the ground. My remains must go through the generally lengthy process of fossilization. So, no, ethanol is not a fosil fuel because it comes from plants.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Troof

          The best way to "Live4Him" is to use that hunk of meat inside your skull once in a while.

          You can continue to cherry pick, tell half-truths, and use big words in an attempt to sound more credible, but in the end you're just deluding yourself.

          January 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm |
    • Colin

      I am framing these responses. These people are classics. you couldn't script this stuff. Pangaea 4,000 years ago. Wow, just wow.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
      • eprobono

        Colin,

        "If religious people could be reasoned with there would be no religious people."

        I don't know the origin of this quote, but it's appropriate for the exchange you've had with several of the "believers" on here.

        Nonetheless, thanks for fighting the good fight.

        February 8, 2014 at 8:10 am |
    • ME II

      @Live4Him,
      "Evolutionary scientists recognize a single continent called Pangea. This single continent existed prior to the flood. However, after the flood, the stresses induced by the flood caused the continent to separate (i.e. Gen 10:25)."

      Why cite scientists about the single continent, but not about evidence for a global flood? Perhaps, because there isn't any?

      "So, kangaroos migrated to the part of Pangea which subsequently separated into Australia and similarly for the armadillos. Since each specie was few in number at the time of the separation, many were unique to each continent."

      But that doesn't agree with old world and new world monkeys, does it?
      Or, cats?
      Or, deer?
      Or....

      January 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • Kendra

        Live was too focused on my obvious auto correct error to answer your question, which is what I wanted to know, but you framed much better...

        January 28, 2014 at 12:53 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @ME II : Why cite scientists about the single continent, but not about evidence for a global flood?

        You must have missed my post about the hundreds (or thousands) of dino fossils in sedimentary layers – laid down by a flood (big enough for 40+ foot dinos 🙂 ).

        @ME II : But that doesn't agree with old world and new world monkeys, does it?

        Glad you brought this topic up! 🙂 If my memory serves me well, evolution holds that split between old-new world monkeys was about 35 million years ago. However, the continent of the old world monkeys (i.e. Africa) split apart from the new world monkeys (i.e. South America) 100 million years ago.

        So, following the evolution logic, these two "species" cannot have split apart 35 million years ago since they couldn't 'swim' across the oceans.

        However, following the Biblical timeline, each group would have migrated to their respective territory that eventually split into separate continents about 4300 years ago.

           <><

        January 28, 2014 at 1:04 pm |
        • Science Works

          Another time line L4H

          Large landmasses existed 2.7 billion years ago
          Date:
          January 15, 2014
          Source:
          University of Cologne – Universität zu Köln
          Summary:
          Some 71 percent of Earth's surface is covered by oceans and 29 percent by land. The question of when large landmasses emerged from the oceans has always been hotly debated. New investigations by geoscientists have shown that large land masses did indeed exist on Earth 2.7 billion years ago.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        • Science Works

          OH poo now what L4Hm ?

          January 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "You must have missed my post about the hundreds (or thousands) of dino fossils in sedimentary layers – laid down by a flood (big enough for 40+ foot dinos 🙂 )."

          How could I miss those 'hundreds (or thousands)' of dino posts. 🙂
          Each of which has been refuted. A single global flood could not have laid down the strata that is found in the geologic record.

          "So, following the evolution logic, these two "species" cannot have split apart 35 million years ago since they couldn't 'swim' across the oceans."

          Plate tectonic and ice ages change the connections between continents, for example a land bridge between Asia and America and a land mass called Gondwana 160mya (http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evosite/lines/IIIBgeography.shtml)

          "However, following the Biblical timeline, each group would have migrated to their respective territory that eventually split into separate continents about 4300 years ago."

          And how did the single group of marsupials migrate to both Australia and the Americas, but not to Asia or Africa? 🙂

          January 28, 2014 at 1:43 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Live4Him
      The sticky part is that Pangea would have existed 300 million years ago, not 4,000.
      Plate tectonics is not a means of rapid transportation.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • Live4Him

        @Doc Vestibule : The sticky part is that Pangea would have existed 300 million years ago, not 4,000.

        How do you justify this claim? Oh, so you BELIEVE this to be true.

           <><

        January 28, 2014 at 1:05 pm |
        • igaftr

          L4H
          The movement of the te4chtonic plates has been verified and the rates of speed of movement have also been calculated. Also, at the edges of the plates, the geologic record can be used to verify timelines.

          You may completely disregard this information and think that it is faith in science..which is what I'm certain you will do, but when you have info, and can have that info verified as literally rock solid evidence, you dismissing it as if it requires faith is just willful ignorance. It requires no faith when you can verify the findings yourself. God magic is NOT an explaination...it is a cop out.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Plate tectonics doesn't move land masses quickly.
          Current movement rates are about 4cm per annum. Some researches have hypothesized that back in the Cambrian age (millions of years ago) it may have been as rapid as 16cm per year.
          For the YEC timeline to be correct, the movement rate would have to be more than 2 meters per SECOND.
          What kind of magic land mass brakes could have been applied in the last couple of thousand years that would slow the inertia of the continents so drastically?

          January 28, 2014 at 1:19 pm |
        • G to the T

          On this one a little bit of knowledge about the earth and some common sense are plenty to see how that COULDN'T happen. You know they don't "float" free right? You do know we can see how fast everything is advancing (about as fast as fingernails grow, in general)? You know the plates are inconnected and go over/under each other?

          January 28, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
        • Charm Quark

          L4H
          Because plate tectonics is still ongoing and continental drift is measurable with even greater accuracy with satellite technology. You have heard of satellites and GPS haven't you or are they to scientific for your mind to grasp?

          January 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Doc Vestibule : Plate tectonics doesn't move land masses quickly. Current movement rates are about 4cm per annum.

          First, you state that they don't move quickly. Next, you claim that they currently move at about 4 cm/year. However, what were the historic movement rates? We don't know. Thus, your posit is a non-sequitur and one is left with blind faith to accept the current rate is similar to historic rates.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Live4Him
          You ignored the rest of the posting.
          For the YEC timeline to be correct, the continents would have to move at 2 METERS PER SECOND.
          Land masses cannot move that quickly. The planet itself would likely be torn apart, and at the very least it would be uninhabitable on both land and in the sea.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:34 pm |
        • ME II

          @
          "However, what were the historic movement rates? We don't know"

          Besides radiometric dating of the various areas, the paleomagnetic banding on the ocean floor eliminates such massive shifts in a 4000 year time frame.

          January 28, 2014 at 1:51 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Doc Vestibule : You ignored the rest of the posting. For the YEC timeline to be correct, the continents would have to move at 2 METERS PER SECOND.

          I ignored it because it was ridiculous. However, since you've pushed the issue, I'll prove my point by doing the math. It has been 4300 years since the flood (approximate), which is 1.5 million days, or 135 billion seconds. Resulting in 813,628,800,000 feet traveled (according to 6m/s), which is 154 million miles (i.e. apart). However, the two continents are only 1,700 miles apart. Using the actual value would result in less than 6 feet of travel per day – vastly different from your claim of 6 feet per second.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 1:57 pm |
        • Live4Him

          correction: according to 6ft/s

          January 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          6 ft per day is still unfeasibly rapid.
          What kind of magic was unleashed to slow the inertia of such movement in a short amount of time?

          January 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • G to the T

          Not to mention the devastating earthquakes that would have killed anything that survived the flood.

          Induction/subduction cannot proceed at the scale you give without literally destroying the earth and everything on it.

          January 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm |
        • Live4Him

          @Doc Vestibule : 6 ft per day is still unfeasibly rapid.

          So, now that your '6m/s' ship has sunk, you want to move to this one? Sure, why not? If one were to accelerate a car to 60m/hr and then let it coast, friction (i.e. air friction) will slow it down. Likewise, if one were to 'shove' the continents apart, they would start rapidly and subsequently slow down by friction. After a catastrophic event (i.e. worldwide flood) one would likewise expect catastrophic changes more than 6 ft / day. If the 'big one' were to happen to California, would we expect the coast to move at a rate of 4cm/year? No, we would expect it to move rapidly and then slow down. The same is true of plate tectonics.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So the continents were, for a brief period time, moving super quickly and then Noah's flood was a like a counter-force that slowed them down to their current rate of movement?
          Let's keep up with your car analogy. The car's initial rate of speed is 60mph, then suddently accelaration stops and the car starts coasting, gradually slowing down. However, midway through the slowdown, it hits a drastic force (like a roiling wall of water) pushing in the opposite direction.
          What do you suppose would happen to the car?
          (hint: it would be seriously damaged)

          January 28, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "It has been 4300 years since the flood (approximate), which is 1.5 million days, or 135 billion seconds."
          "Resulting in 813,628,800,000 feet traveled (according to 6m/s), which is 154 million miles (i.e. apart). However, the two continents are only 1,700 miles apart."

          I don't know about the calculation of 2 m/s but your assumptions seem wrong.
          1) The continents would have had to have been in their current arrangement, or close to it, for the last ~3000 years at a minimum, or ancient records would indicate otherwise.
          2) While the continent may be 1700 miles apart now, they did not move there directly, e.g. Gondwana.

          January 28, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
        • Shadowflash1522

          Real, actual, falsifiable evidence shows that (barring extreme geological events such as volcanic eruptions or earthquakes), tectonic plates move approximately 100 mm per year. The common analogy is that they move about as fast as your fingernails grow. Given that the rate of motion is essentially constant, and the current distance between landmasses, we can calculate how long it took for the continents to reach their current positions. Even if the scientific estimates are off, they're nowhere close to 4,000 years.

          If Pangaea broke up over 4,000 years (give or take a few centuries), that rate would have to speed up by a factor of more than 10,000! To use the fingernail analogy, you would have to clip your nails every 2 minutes or so if they grew at that speed. Furthermore, they aren't continuously moving–motion in one direction results in the submersion of the edges of the preceding plate into the mantle, which is an understandably slow process. If the plates got up to such speeds, buckling and cracking would be so dramatic that the landmasses would constantly be subjected to massive typhoons, earthquakes, eruptions, and literally mountainous upheavals. Life could not be sustained.

          TL;DR: Your number doesn't have enough zeros to be geologically feasible.

          January 28, 2014 at 3:31 pm |
        • jnilvr

          Do you ever wonder why atheists are so bound and determined to argue about things they dont believe in? Why do they insist on trying to convince believers that they are wrong Why do they even care? Personally, I find it comical how they use pretexts and "old saws" to convince others of their great knowledge of scripture.

          March 16, 2014 at 6:45 pm |
    • G to the T

      "So, kangaroos migrated to the part of Pangea which subsequently separated into Australia and similarly for the armadillos"
      So you don't believe that animals evolve but you do believe that the continents can go from one to what we have now in less than 6k years?

      I totally don't have enough faith obviously...

      January 28, 2014 at 1:18 pm |
    • enderspeakerforthedead

      @Liver4Him
      The pangeatic continent broke apart around 300 million years ago, long before humans as we know them ever walked the Earth. That explanation is as absurd as the notion of a greater being itself.

      February 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
  3. bostontola

    "Who says Australia and the Americas existed before the flood?"

    That is the most amazing comment I've seen yet on this blog.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • Madtown

      Topher is missing his calling as a standup comedian.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:49 am |
      • bostontola

        This brings "Blind" Faith to a level I've never seen. He's never been to Australia, maybe it doesn't really exist right now.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • Colin

      He really takes stupidity to a new level, doesn't he. I think he home schools, too – including science!!!

      That's like John Wayne Gacy home schooling children on how to play with clowns.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:51 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Jesus should have taken a photo of the continents when he visited the moon.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:54 am |
    • Science Works

      The script for some of the best religious comedy can be found on the CNN BB.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:58 am |
      • eprobono

        Maybe this is where NonStampCollector (on YouTube) gets some of his material for his hilarious send-ups of the Bible.

        February 8, 2014 at 8:14 am |
  4. Russ

    Finkel wrote an article in the Telegraph (thanks to Saraswati for putting me on this).
    Things worth noting:

    1) he admits that the *most difficult* place in the text is where he claims it says "two by two." that's one of his biggest claims at a clear precedent for the biblical account.

    2) this book doesn't sound at all like a scholarly revelation of the *content* of the text as much as flamboyant claims. in *his own* article, Finkel says of George Smith (who discovered the Epic of Gilgamesh in 1872) "For George Smith himself the discovery was, quite plainly, staggering, and it propelled him from back-room boffin to worldwide fame." there's a not so subtle hint of what Finkel is hoping will happen again.

    3) it sounds like Finkel hangs his hat on the Doc.umentary Hypothesis. Wellhausen's scheme has come under substantial ridicule in recent years.
    a) that affects his dating of Genesis (pushing for a late date so it supports his claims of Babylonian influence) – which is actually a point of scholarly debate
    b) but it also raises the inverse question – with so many ancient accounts of a massive flood, why is this regarded as evidence against instead of evidence *for* such an event? (note: in anticipation of responses here, the Hebrew word for "land" does not necessarily entail "worldwide" flooding)

    SUM: let's wait for some peer review here, people. this book promotion feels much more "Dan Brown" than genuine scholarship

    January 28, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • igaftr

      Russ
      There are many accounts worldwide of various flood...it is a common theme since things that scare us are common themes.

      There are NO accounts indicating flooding of the scale of the bible, nor of these events lining up at the same time.
      Also, there can be no doubt that 15 cubits over the highest mountain, would indicate a world wide event...which never happened. ( for one thing, it would take more than 5 times the water that exists on the planet...just ONE of the many things that make the story a story...nothing more)

      January 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
    • ME II

      @Russ,
      Interesting points.

      On 3b, why reference "land", doesn't the Bible state:
      "19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.[a][b]" (Gen 7)

      January 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      If the Flood was an actual event, and as described in the Bible, I would think there would be many accounts by the survivors and their descendants. Was there a proscription against any true account other than the one in the Bible? It seems like the only other accounts that crop up are troublesome to Bible-believers.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
      • doobzz

        Maybe they had a disclosure contract with god. You know, like Tom Cruise makes his employees sign so they won't tattle about what a weirdo he is.

        January 28, 2014 at 1:54 pm |
    • Russ

      @ ME II & igaftr:

      1) the Hebrew words for 'entire earth' ("kol" & "erets") are not used here. they are used elsewhere in Genesis.

      2) the translation of the Hebrew in Gen.7:19-20 is the debate here.

      for example, Genesis 7:20 is usually translated into English something like: "The water prevailed fifteen cubits higher, and the mountains were covered." But the Hebrew word "ma‛al" (translated "higher") means "upward." also, the Hebrew "har" can mean "high hill." So the text could be saying that the flood was 15 cubits (20 feet) deep across the land (region), not 15 cubits above the mountains, but possibly the 'high hills'.

      here's a potentially helpful article:
      http://biologos.org/questions/genesis-flood

      January 28, 2014 at 2:11 pm |
      • ME II

        (Reposted)
        @Russ,
        Interesting points.

        On 3b, why reference "land", doesn't the Bible state:
        "19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.[a][b]" (Gen 7)

        January 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply

        January 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm |
      • Russ

        @ ME II: consider the same type of usage (clearly not implying the full extent that you are applying here):
        the Bible often speaks of the ‘known world’ as the ‘whole world’ — compare Gen. 41:56,57; Acts 2:5,9-11; Col.1:23.

        January 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russ,
          So, it's metaphorical or allegorical, right? I have no problem with that, but don't then attempt to reference the Bible as a scientifically or historically accurate docu.ment, when it is not.

          January 29, 2014 at 10:37 am |
        • Russ

          @ ME II: you are oversimplifying. there are *many* different genres (much more when addresses individual figures of speech) at use in the Bible. you are painting with too broad of a brush. it would fail with virtually *any* literary work – much less the most read book in history full of claims you & I are debating.

          as I wrote TTTOO yesterday:

          ***********

          genre matters. i've argued that repeatedly on this blog.

          whether we're talking about the apocalyptic sections of Scripture or songs or clear metaphors or narrative historical sections, reading for the author's intent is paramount. otherwise, you miss the entire point. obviously, when Jesus tells a parable, he's not telling an historical event. at the same time, if the Gospel accounts (which all present themselves as clearly historical accounts & repeatedly stress that) are read as 'myth' when the blatantly claim otherwise (& do not match the genre, etc.), the same mistake can be made from the opposite extreme.

          so yes, genre matters. and there are multiple genres present on the pages of Scripture.

          January 29, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russ,
          And what genre do you consider Genesis?

          January 29, 2014 at 2:12 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ME II: again, i think that's too broad of a brush.

          scroll down to "genre & authorial intent" here...
          http://biologos.org/uploads/projects/Keller_white_paper.pdf

          January 29, 2014 at 2:29 pm |
        • ME II

          @Russ,
          I'm not a fan of Keller. I read one of his books and was not impressed. However, the section you indicated, while extremely va.gue, did seem to come down on the 'not literal' side of reading Genesis, at least Gen 1 or 2, anyway.

          "So what does this mean? It means Genesis 1 does not teach that God made the world in six twenty-four hour days."

          I'm fine with that. All I'm saying is that a metaphorical/poetic/whatever reading of Gen 1 is necessary for the Bible to hold any credibility at all.
          If someone wants to claim the Bible is inerrant and Gen 1 is literally true, then they are wrong.
          There are other sections that also fall in this category as well, but we don't need to go into that.

          January 29, 2014 at 2:49 pm |
        • Russ

          @ ME II:
          yes, he is arguing for what is often called the "framework" position – which contends that Gen.1 is a song/poetry while Gen.2 is the narrative description. If you read the whole paper (about 12 pages), he talks about how Gen.1-2 share many similarities with Ex.19-20 & Jdgs.4-5 (songs beside narrative descriptions of events). The songs speak of events poetically (without regard to chronology), while the narrative sections are the clearer description of events.

          but as i've been saying: genre is the key. if Gen.1 is poetry (or at the least, elevated prose), the author's intent/goals are very different for ch.1 than the narrative description of events in Gen.2.

          January 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
  5. Reality # 2

    When is this myth finally going to be put to rest? Maybe the Myth Busters should take up the task.

    And for some experts' views on the OT/Torah:

    origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.

    New Torah For Modern Minds

    “Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. (prob•a•bly
    Adverb: Almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell).

    The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.

    Such startling propositions - the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years - have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity - until now.

    The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

    These essays, perused during uninspired sermons or Torah readings at Sabbath services, will no doubt surprise many congregants. For instance, an essay on Ancient Near Eastern Mythology," by Robert Wexler, president of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, states that on the basis of modern scholarship, it seems unlikely that the story of Genesis originated in Palestine. More likely, Mr. Wexler says, it arose in Mesopotamia, the influence of which is most apparent in the story of the Flood, which probably grew out of the periodic overflowing of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The story of Noah, Mr. Wexler adds, was probably borrowed from the Mesopotamian epic Gilgamesh.

    Equally striking for many readers will be the essay "Biblical Archaeology," by Lee I. Levine, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. "There is no reference in Egyptian sources to Israel's sojourn in that country," he writes, "and the evidence that does exist is negligible and indirect." The few indirect pieces of evidence, like the use of Egyptian names, he adds, "are far from adequate to corroborate the historicity of the biblical account."

    Similarly ambiguous, Mr. Levine writes, is the evidence of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, the ancient name for the area including Israel. Excavations showing that Jericho was unwalled and uninhabited, he says, "clearly seem to contradict the violent and complete conquest portrayed in the Book of Joshua." What's more, he says, there is an "almost total absence of archaeological evidence" backing up the Bible's grand descriptions of the Jerusalem of David and Solomon."

    January 28, 2014 at 11:48 am |
    • huhhmm

      The bible could be easily debunked. All you have to do is create life, or a living cell for that matter. The bible says that God is the source of life and he created us. Seems pretty simple to me since evolution says life came about by chance in some primordial soup.

      February 19, 2014 at 11:55 am |
      • dandintac

        Scientists created an artificial living yeast cell in 2010.

        http://inhabitat.com/artificial-life-scientists-create-first-synthetic-living-cell/

        Your Bible has now been debunked.

        February 19, 2014 at 11:29 pm |
  6. Colin

    Topher, L4H and company:

    I have said it before and I'll say it again. Evolution is taught in every major university and college biology program in the World. Not 99% of them, but EVERY one. Universities with extensive evolutionary biology departments include Oxford University, Cambridge University and the Imperial College in England, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Germany, the École Normale Supérieure and École Polythecnique in France and Leiden University in the Netherlands and the Swiss Federal Insti.tute of Technology in Switzerland. This is just a sample. ALL university and colleges in Europe teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

    The number of universities and colleges in Europe with a creation science department: ZERO. The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

    In the United States, the following Universities have extensive evolutionary biology departments staffed by thousands of the most gifted biologists in the World; Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Colombia, Duke, the Massachusetts Insti.tute of Technology, Brown, Stanford, Berkley, and the University of Chicago. These are just some of the more prestigious examples. Again, ALL university and colleges in the USA with tertiary level biology classes teach evolution as a fundamental component of biology.

    The number of universities and colleges in the United States with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

    In Australia and Asia, the following universities and colleges have extensive evolutionary biology departments manned by more of the most gifted biological scientists in the World; Monash University in Melbourne, The University of New South Wales, Kyoto University in Ja.pan, Peking University in China, Seoul University in Korea, the University of Singapore, National Taiwan University, The Australian National University, The University of Melbourne, and the University of Sydney.

    The number of universities and colleges in Australia and Asia with a creation science department: ZERO The number of tenured or even paid professors who teach creation science at any of these universities or colleges: ZERO

    The most prestigious scientific publications in the Western World generally accessible to the public include: The Journal of the American Medical Association, the New England Journal of Medicine, Scientific American, Science, New Scientist, Cosmos and Live Science.

    Every month, one or more of them publishes a peer reviewed article highlighting the latest developments in evolution. The amount of any creationist science articles published in ANY of these prestigious publications; ZERO.

    I could repeat the above exercise for the following disciplines, all of which would have to be turned on their heads to accommodate creation science – paleontology, archeology, geology, botany, marine biology, astronomy, medicine, cosmology and historical linguistics.

    Nearly every scientific society, representing hundreds of thousands of scientists, have issued statements rejecting intelligent design and a peti.tion supporting the teaching of evolutionary biology was endorsed by 72 US Nobel Prize winners.

    Number of creation science Nobel Prize winners: ZERO

    The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society with more than 130,000 members and over 262 affiliated societies and academies of science including over 10 million individuals, has made several statements and issued several press releases in support of evolution.

    Number made n support of creation science: ZERO

    According to The International Federation of Biologists, there are more than 3 million biological scientists globally who rely on the 5 laws of Darwinian evolution for their jobs every single day.

    There appears to be three possible explanations for all this:

    (i) there is a worldwide conspiracy of universities, colleges and academic publications, including all their tens of thousands of professors, editors, reviewers, and support staff, to deny creation science;

    (ii) you have a startling new piece of evidence that was right before our eyes that will turn accepted biological science and about 10 other sciences on their heads if ONLY people would listen to you, no doubt earning you a Nobel Prize and a place in history beside the likes of Darwin, Newton and Einstein; or

    (iii) you are a complete blowhard who has never studied one subject of university level biology, never been on an archaeological dig, never studied a thing about paleontology, geology, astronomy, linguistics or archaeology, but feel perfectly sure that you know more than the best biologists, archaeologists, paleontologists, doctors, astronomers botanists and linguists in the World because your mommy and daddy taught you some comforting stories from Bronze Age Palestine as a child.

    I know which alternative my money is on. -:)

    January 28, 2014 at 11:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Colin, I think you yourself pointed out that this lot is not really capable of accepting any notion that goes beyond what they think their God wants them to believe. The amazing thing about it is the powerful self-reinforcing nature of the things they have running in their minds that keep them believing.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:47 am |
      • Colin

        I agree. Their ability to ignore facts two inches from their nose is jawdropping!!

        January 28, 2014 at 11:52 am |
    • devin

      And it is these same "major universities" that for years have taught NOTHING escapes from a black hole, not even light, due to its gravitational pull. Oops. I know this to be FACT because I was taught it as FACT when sitting in a classroom at one of these "major universities."

      I say this not to discount macroevolution. For the most part, I believe it to be true. It's this infallibility and worshiping at the altar of the scientific method that I find annoying.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm |
      • Cpt. Obvious

        Perhaps your angst is misplaced seeing that it is science and the scientific method that corrected the matter concerning Hawking radiation and seeing that it is science and the scientific method that correct prior errors in the theory of evolution. Science CHANGES its perspective when new, contradictory data comes in. That's why it's science and not religion. That's why there's no dogma or worship.

        January 28, 2014 at 12:25 pm |
        • devin

          I am in complete agreement with your statement, until the last sentence. In theory, many may contend that " there's no dogma or worship" but in practice it's quite the opposite.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Nope. Only idiots who don't understand science would "worship" it, so it's stupid of you to pretend it's some fault of science. You can't account for what stupid people do with something. It's not the fault of the hammer manufacturer when someone wh@cks his thumb.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
        • devin

          Actually, what is "stupid" is your lack of reading comprehension. I have said nothing of science or the scientific method being faulty. It is the individuals, of which there ARE many no matter how vehemently you deny it, who lose perspective of what Theory entails.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:46 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          You sure fvcked up the opinions in your opening post, then, and it reads pretty stupid in light of your last response to me.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
      • Shadowflash1522

        For all intents and purposes, nothing does escape black holes. The small amounts of Hawking (thermal) radiation emitted by small black holes as they evaporate into light (which, by the way, sounds like the coolest thing in the universe) are orders of magnitude less than the cosmic background radiation. In fact, space is generally warmer than a black hole so energy actually flows *into* black holes. They technically emit heat in the same way that ice emits heat–but, like ice, the net movement of energy is in the direction of absorption not emission.

        I also don't see how this has anything to do with the price of peas in Persepolis.

        January 28, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
  7. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    Creation myths and similar stories were old long before the Jews patched together theirs. Get used to it.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:39 am |
  8. Doc Vestibule

    One interesting difference:
    The Mesopotamian tablet describes the boat as being waterproofed with bitumen – a petroleum-like product that comes from the fossilized remains of microscopic creatures.
    Genesis described the Ark as being covered in pitch (or tar), which could be bitumen, or it could be extruded from trees (though that is a far less likely building material for ships of the time).

    So if the Ark was covered in such a thing to waterproof it, that means that the bitumen would have taken millions of years to form (like all fossil fuels). Ergo, the Young Earth argument gets another blow....

    And given that the Babylonian tablet pre-dates the Biblical account significantly, was it Noah who received the instructions from Abraham's God to build the Ark, or was it Atra-hasis who got his schematics from the god Enki?
    This new tablet indicates that Enki gave rather more detailed and specific instructions than did Noah's God....

    January 28, 2014 at 11:38 am |
    • Charm Quark

      Doc
      Relevant point. Lets ask Topher if he uses fossil fuels and why they were named fossil fuels, a question he will probably duck. BTW have you ever seen wallabies or polar bears in the cute little depictions of the line of animals waiting to board the cruise on Noah's ark?

      January 28, 2014 at 11:48 am |
  9. devin

    Got a hand it to Mr. Baden, he tries his darned hardest to obfuscate the biblical narrative of the Genesis flood. This obfuscation reaches comical proportions with the line. " The details of engineering can and should stand for a larger array of themes and features in the flood story." And all this time I thought it was the mere listing of dimensional mathematics.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:32 am |
    • ME II

      @devin,
      Not sure if this changes things, but it's not "The details..." it's "This detail..." The author is referencing a specific change in the two versions.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:44 am |
      • ME II

        ... that he just mentioned in the previous paragraph.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:45 am |
      • devin

        Thanks. You are correct in that it both is singular and does not change things.

        January 28, 2014 at 12:02 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      Oh, bvllsh!t. The author is doing no such thing. Just because you want an author of a particular viewpoint to have a bias against something doesn't mean that he does.

      January 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
      • devin

        He is and he did, the fact that you are unable to decipher it changes nothing.

        January 28, 2014 at 12:42 pm |
        • Cpt. Obvious

          Getting rid of your bias about what people do and don't want when they present facts that they have worked hard to discover may help you write less stupid opinions in the future.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm |
  10. Topher

    No "questions" needed. The Bible tells us how long, tall and wide the ark was. It wasn't round. This version is bunk. But you could argue that yet another piece of evidence the flood did happen since there's so many tales of it across the globe.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:28 am |
    • Madtown

      Of course it's bunk, it doesn't jive with the volume of words that God produced. *Facepalm*...

      January 28, 2014 at 11:31 am |
      • Topher

        Exactly right. God's words are more trustworthy than man's.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:33 am |
        • Madtown

          Extremely high-irony alert.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • G to the T

          "God's words are more trustworthy than man's"

          Soon as you find some let me know...

          January 28, 2014 at 11:38 am |
        • "Sleepy" Slade Baroni

          Topher

          Exactly right. God's words are more trustworthy than man's.
          -----------

          I might believe you if we had a book written by a god.

          January 29, 2014 at 1:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      I feel bad for you, Topher. Sympathy almost to the point of embarrassment. You can see something, understand it, but never accept it if it contradicts your notion of what your God wants you to believe.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:36 am |
      • Topher

        But in the same way I feel sorry for you ... that you are willing to let fallible man tell you how things are ...

        January 28, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Madtown

          willing to let fallible man tell you how things are ...
          ---
          Says the person who relies on the writings of fallible man.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:04 pm |
    • Charm Quark

      Topher
      Even when I was ten years old I realized the story did not make sense. But Topher get together with fred, LofA, L4H, RB, and the others and tell us how old Noah rounded up kangaroos in Australia and armadillos in the Americas and how they got back home after the flood? Be creative.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:37 am |
      • Topher

        Who says Australia and the Americas existed before the flood?

        January 28, 2014 at 11:40 am |
        • tony

          Oh Wow!. You are saying they evolved since ???

          January 28, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Madtown

          How 'bout penguins?

          January 28, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • Topher

          tony

          So now dirt evolves? And I'm the one with faith. 😉

          January 28, 2014 at 11:44 am |
        • tony

          "dirt evolved". Are you totally nuts and don't read ypour own posts? You think that god created Kanaroos separately and they swam around in the Pacific Ocean for thousands of years until god created Australia later???

          January 28, 2014 at 11:50 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          Wow, really wow. Are you implying that continental drift and the movement of the tectonic plates created the present position of the oceans and land masses has occurred in 6000 years?

          January 28, 2014 at 11:53 am |
        • Topher

          tony and Charm

          Nope. You guys really should read the text before you mock it. It only makes you look foolish when you don't know what you are talking about.

          When you have a global flood, image how catastrophic it would be. Mountains and valleys formed as a result. Land masses would be completely different due to the soil deposits. Even canyons would form during the run-off. We would also likely have way more surface water today as a result. The pre-flood world would be completely different than the post-flood world.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:58 am |
        • Charm Quark

          Topher
          Do you own a vehicle or use transit? If you do you consume fossil fuel, any idea why it is called fossil fuel and how long it takes to form?

          January 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        • Madtown

          makes you look foolish when you don't know what you are talking about.
          ----–
          The Purveyor of Fine Irony gives us another gem.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:11 pm |
        • Topher

          Charm Quark

          "If you do you consume fossil fuel, any idea why it is called fossil fuel and how long it takes to form?"

          No, I don't, and neither do scientists.

          "The dominant view of the origin of oil amongst western oil companies until 1969 was that it was due to the decay of living matter. Now other views are making themselves heard. To try and resolve the issue whether oil is biogenic (derived from living matter) or abiogenic (built up from primordial matter and therefore not from living matter) a Hedberg Conference recently took place. The issue was not resolved."

          Your use of the term "fossil fuels" shows your presupposition to which of these views you hold to. But as you can see, even in the secular worldview not everyone agrees. We do know, however that the term "petroleum" comes from the word petros, meaning rocks.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:16 pm |
        • tony

          Ok, So now the great flood caused the creation of a whole ecology of new species on the reshaped lands???

          I thought only god could create?

          January 28, 2014 at 12:18 pm |
        • Topher

          tony

          "Ok, So now the great flood caused the creation of a whole ecology of new species on the reshaped lands???"

          Never said that. You either have selective reading or you're a liar and purposefully trying to misrepresent what I said.

          "I thought only god could create?"

          Very true. Now you're getting it.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
        • G to the T

          So all these animals (somehow) got to NA and Australia... and found a world devoid of ALL plant life, covered in rotting plants and carcases.

          January 28, 2014 at 3:00 pm |
        • Fan2C

          There's a book by a creationist named Woodmorappe in which he tries to explain those things (it sounds like Topher has looked at it)... and more (math, physics, humidity, where the water came from and went afterward).

          Just a few of his fantastical ideas:

          - The Earth had only one continent at the time
          - "God" instilled a homing instinct so the animals all went to Noah's area
          - Noah trained all of the animals beforehand to eat sparingly, obey commands and poop in buckets (and installed poop chutes on the ark)
          - "God" altered the animals food preferences, so after they landed they all ate the bloated bodies of the victims until the predator/prey numbers and the vegetation got reestablished

          More on it here:
          http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/woodmorappe-review.html

          January 28, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • ME II

      Interesting that this "bunk" version apparently came out before your "God's words" version.

      Also, floods are common in many areas of the world and it's not surprise that there are many stories about floods.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:39 am |
    • tony

      The bible is the biggest and most malleable piece of bunk of all time.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  11. bostontola

    I wonder if the Theist/Atheist, God/Godless split is really about God as much as it is about us.

    Humans are amazing creatures. Self awareness is remarkable, our abilities to socially gel and accomplish great things together is remarkable. It's no wonder that we regarded ourselves as separate from the rest of nature and our place in the universe as special. Geo-centric universe, but really Human-centric. As abstract thinkers, humans took the next leap and imagined higher beings separate from nature and us. We invented thousands of them.

    Through centuries of scientific investigation, humans discovered we are not as separate from nature, nor are we in a special place in the universe. Other primates are self aware and intelligent, our DNA is astonishingly close to other primates, our planet isn't the center of our solar system, much less the universe.

    Do we need God and the bible to help us cling to the notion that we are special? I don't. I often comment that I don't care what almost any person believes. I only get defensive when a group (usually small) wants to impose their beliefs on others. But in the Abrahamic religions there is another issue. This belief that we are special, separate from nature, where nature is a gift to us to use as we please, has proven to be malignant in some cases. It allows us to put our heads in the sand when we over exploit putting our future generations at risk. This selfish streak in the Abrahamic religions is also something to change.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:28 am |
  12. Madtown

    Neither version is right or wrong; they are, rather, both appropriate to the culture that produced them
    -----
    The bottom line for this story, and religion(s) as a whole.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:26 am |
  13. Lawrence of Arabia

    "The people who wrote down the Flood narrative, in any of its manifestations, weren’t reporting on a historical event for which they had to get their facts straight (like what shape the ark was)."
    -------–
    Keeping your own biased opinions out of a story is just good journalism.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:20 am |
    • Juan

      Belief Blog typically carries a disclaimer at the end of the article to the effect that the 'opinions expressed in this article are solely those of..." that seems to be missing on this one?!?

      January 28, 2014 at 11:25 am |
      • fyi

        Juan,

        "The views expressed in this column belong to Baden. "

        (maybe this was added after you posted – but it's there)

        January 28, 2014 at 12:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Facts just shake your world view, don't they. Well, just keep digging. There's still sand to bury your head in.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:33 am |
    • ME II

      @Lawrence of Arabia,
      The author isn't a journalist, but a professor.

      Joel S. Baden is the author of "The Historical David: The Real Life of an Invented Hero" and an associate professor of Old Testament at Yale Divinity School. The views expressed in this column belong to Baden.

      January 28, 2014 at 11:58 am |
  14. ME II

    Interesting article!

    While the author may be correct that it is we who give the Bible its authority, I'd say that plagiarism is one reason why we should give it less authority.

    January 28, 2014 at 11:01 am |
    • Live4Him

      @ME II : I'd say that plagiarism is one reason why we should give it less authority.

      The Biblical flood occurred around 4400 years ago. This text is from 4000 years ago. Therefore, it would seem likely that the authors of this text were the plagiarists.

         <><

      January 28, 2014 at 11:05 am |
      • ME II

        @Live4Him, (repost from below)
        We have known for well over a century that there are flood stories from the ancient Near East that long predate the biblical account (even the most conservative biblical scholars wouldn’t date any earlier than the ninth century B.C).

        – the article

        January 28, 2014 at 11:07 am |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : (even the most conservative biblical scholars wouldn’t date any earlier than the ninth century B.C).

          This is patently false. There is a difference between when the account was written and when the earliest extant manuscript is. Even the most conservative biblical scholars won't claim the earliest extant manuscript to be prior to around 200 BC. Yet, this manuscript came from some prior record.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 11:20 am |
        • ?

          You're calling the author of this article a liar, L4H? Wow.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:32 am |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "Even the most conservative biblical scholars won't claim the earliest extant manuscript to be prior to around 200 BC. Yet, this manuscript came from some prior record."

          Possibly...
          ...perhaps oral tradition, some are so found of.
          ...or perhaps this very cuneiform tablet, ergo plagiarism.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:36 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Oral traditions aren't exactly known for accuracy in transmission.
          Ever play the game "telephone" in elementary school?

          January 28, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : Possibly perhaps oral tradition, some are so found of ... or perhaps this very cuneiform tablet, ergo plagiarism.

          Or probably a cuneiform tablet written by those who experienced the events in Genesis.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 11:43 am |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,
          "Or probably a cuneiform tablet written by those who experienced the events in Genesis."

          Probably? you have no reason to suspect another tablet, nor any actual event.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:47 am |
        • Petra

          Wouldn't it be written in ancient Hebew then, L4H? Wasn't everyone descended from Noah?

          January 28, 2014 at 11:49 am |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Live4Him
          Let's posit that thsi Babylonian tablet is actually a rendition of Noah's flood.
          The details of the Babylonian ship's construction and dimensions are far more specific than those in the Bible – and yet also vastly different.
          Given that this tablet was written before the Old Testament was put to papyrus, doesn't it cast some doubt as to the perfect inerrancy of the Bible?
          If the OT authors got the shape and size of the Ark wrong, what else could they have missed?
          As the old saying goes "the devil is in the details"....

          (Note Topher's knee-jerk rejection of the cuneiform tablet becuase it differs from the accepted Biblical version)

          January 28, 2014 at 11:51 am |
      • Petra

        Why are there two versions of the same story in the Bible?

        January 28, 2014 at 11:15 am |
      • Live4Him

        note: Text means the discorvery, not the article.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • Saraswati

        Lol..you can't compare the supposed event date from one story to the text date of the other. Too funny.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:20 am |
      • Colin

        The article notes "We have known for well over a century that there are flood stories from the ancient Near East that long predate the biblical account (even the most conservative biblical scholars wouldn’t date any earlier than the ninth century B.C)."

        How do answer that L4H. you know more than all the biblical scholars, too? Just like you know more than the most gifted biologists, astronomers, geologists, paleontologists and archaeologists in the World.

        Do you ever stop and think about the claims you make.....

        January 28, 2014 at 11:32 am |
    • Science Works

      And Noah sons came forth and Ham was the father of humanity ?

      January 28, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • ME II

        I wonder if this will change Ken Ham's plans?

        January 28, 2014 at 11:11 am |
        • Science Works

          Well it sort of sinks the ark before Bill Nye gets his turn .

          January 28, 2014 at 11:27 am |
    • "Sleepy" Slade Baroni

      Live4Him

      @ME II : I'd say that plagiarism is one reason why we should give it less authority.

      The Biblical flood occurred around 4400 years ago. ..
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>
      Wow...I mean seriously WOW, ignorance is bliss

      January 29, 2014 at 1:00 pm |
  15. Saraswati

    Wonderful to see a story that is relevant and not about either the pope or abortion. The telegraph has much more detail on the discovery and construction for anyone interested.

    "Even if we acknowledge, as we probably should, that the biblical authors learned the Flood story from their neighbors – after all, flooding isn’t, and never was, really a pressing concern in Israel – this doesn’t make the Bible any less authoritative.

    The Bible gets its authority from us, who treat it as such, not from it being either the first or the most reliable witness to history."

    Hmmm...well...this isn't really what Christians (at least) generally mean by the word "authoritative". This is a nice word dance, but pretty much says "Just because the biblical story likely is just a manipulated copy of another old myth, doesn't mean it doesn't have power. As long as we let it rule us it is powerful."

    January 28, 2014 at 10:58 am |
    • Live4Him

      A little touchy about the abortion topic? It only comes up a few times a year and yet you get overly defensive concerning it. I wonder why?

      January 28, 2014 at 11:00 am |
      • Petra

        Non sequiter

        January 28, 2014 at 11:08 am |
        • Saraswati

          And bizarre, since having never had, and never going to have, and never going to have a partner or child who has an abortion, I have no stake in this game. People like L4H have so narrow a view they actually can't imagine others seeing the world differently, and tend to make up some very creative reasons why our beliefs are self-serving. My own favorite is that people choose not to be Christians so they can act with wild debauchery...utterly ignoring the very constricting rules of most secular ethical systems. Most secular utilitarians I know don't eat meat, yet I don't go around accusing people of choosing Christianity so they can be gluttons on factory farmed pork chops.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:16 am |
      • Saraswati

        There were 10 topics listed here, six about or related to the pope and three on abortion. This is a pretty obvious skewing of the potential topics and I commented on both the pope and the abortion stories, so why do you think from this that I am making a particular comment on abortion?

        By the way, you have been around here long enough that you are either aware I am a lesbian or, more likely, are so self-centered that you have missed the dozens of times the topic has come up. So what exactly is it you are implying about my interest in the abortion topic? Keep in mind that gay and lesbian couples have a long history of adopting or raising other people's kids.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:10 am |
        • Live4Him

          @Saraswati : There were 10 topics listed here, six about or related to the pope and three on abortion.

          Lets review:

          Pope :
            Angry birds! Pope's peace doves attacked
            Pope wants to visit U.S. in 2015, sources say
            Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God.' But watch out for the trolls
            Three things President Obama and the Pope will (probably) talk about
            Italian priests: Interest in exorcism increasing
            Vatican: Nearly 400 priests defrocked in two years

          Bible:
            Noah's Ark discovery raises flood of questions

          Other:
            The greatest MLK speeches you never heard

          Abortion:
            Six surprising changes to the anti-abortion March for Life
            Supreme Court skeptical of abortion clinic buffer zones

          So, I count 6 Pope and 2 Abortion. Do you get a difference result? Second, abortion comes only a few times a year. Just because this is one of those times doesn't mean the topic is overly presented (as you postulated). Thus, you appear to be hyper-sensitive to the topic. why?

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 11:26 am |
        • Petra

          She MENTIONS all the Pope stories FIRST, Live! Why are you harping on abortion?
          Omg, the things you quibble about. Disingenuous to the max.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:42 am |
        • Saraswati

          Live4Him,

          The Ark article was posted after my comment bumping the third abortion article. It was 6 pope and 3 abortion.

          January 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm |
        • Saraswati

          Petra,

          I think he or she cracked a few weeks ago around the time of the "I'm posting every comment in a new thread just to annoy people" phase. I think they just kind of ran out of answers and is looking to pick random arguments they think they can "win".

          January 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm |
      • tallulah13

        This article and this comment are not about abortion. Your reading comprehension is terrible. This is what happens when school funding gets cut.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:11 am |
  16. 2 X 2

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qmj5mhDwJQ&w=640&h=390]

    January 28, 2014 at 10:57 am |
    • Question

      Why did God choose Noah?

      January 28, 2014 at 11:03 am |
      • Jim

        Read Genesis 7:1

        January 28, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • Jim

        Genesis 6:9

        January 28, 2014 at 11:06 am |
      • Jim

        Ezekiel 14:14

        January 28, 2014 at 11:07 am |
      • Jim

        Read 2 Peter 2:5

        January 28, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • Jim

        Hebrews 11:7

        January 28, 2014 at 11:09 am |
      • tallulah13

        Because of his amazing resemblance to Russell Crowe. God thinks he's hot.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:14 am |
    • Topher

      Please don't fund this blasphemy, Christians.

      January 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm |
  17. Dyslexic doG

    God is an ever receding pocket of scientific ignorance
    – deGràsse Tyson

    January 28, 2014 at 10:52 am |
  18. Dyslexic doG

    shows that the Christian religion is a conglomeration or earlier middle eastern myths and fables and deities and characters.

    10 commandments – copied
    jesus – copied
    flood – copied

    and many many more.

    you Christians are not even original. what a joke!

    January 28, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • Live4Him

      @Dyslexic doG : flood – copied

      Come, come now, lets reason together on this. The Biblical flood occurred around 4400 years ago. This text is from 4000 years ago. Therefore, it would seem likely that the authors of this text copied it from the Biblical record, embellishing it as they saw fit.

         <><

      January 28, 2014 at 10:59 am |
      • ME II

        We have known for well over a century that there are flood stories from the ancient Near East that long predate the biblical account (even the most conservative biblical scholars wouldn’t date any earlier than the ninth century B.C).

        – the article

        January 28, 2014 at 11:04 am |
        • Live4Him

          @ME II : (even the most conservative biblical scholars wouldn’t date any earlier than the ninth century B.C)

          Circular logic. You quote a liberal source to validate a liberal stance, while claiming that it is a conservative stance. Care to go to a conservative source to buttress your posit?

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 11:29 am |
        • ME II

          @Live4Him,

          That's not actually "circular logic". I was simply pointing out what the article said.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:08 pm |
        • G to the T

          L4H "Circular logic. You quote a liberal source to validate a liberal stance, while claiming that it is a conservative stance."

          Nooooo... it's a textually critical view (based on what physical evidence we can find) vs. the religiously inspired view (based on a single, biased source). "Conservative" and "Liberal" have nothing to do with it.

          January 28, 2014 at 3:18 pm |
      • igaftr

        Correction...the biblical flood NEVER occurred...not only is there no evidence, but an event of that nature WOULD have left evidence, but where it should be, there isn't any. Also there is a huge amount of evience that it NEVER happened...confirmed by MANY branches of science.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:06 am |
        • Saraswati

          But...it makes for some really cute baby toys, and a wonderful decor theme at the vets office. This one's kind of cool as Abrahamic mythology goes.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:23 am |
        • Live4Him

          @igaftr : an event of that nature WOULD have left evidence

          Like fossils in a sedimentary geological layer? Oh, that's rrrriiiight! There are thousands of dino fossils in sedimentary layers.

             <><

          January 28, 2014 at 11:31 am |
        • igaftr

          L4h
          yes, there are many layers...but not one big one for this event, that is a continuos layer wordlwide, indicating NO world wide event of that magnitude ever took place...just one of many things that show no flood of that magnitude ever happened.

          It would require 5 times the amount of water on Earth to raise the water level to 15 cubits above the highest mountain.
          The flood waters would have to rise at a level equal to 6 inches per MINUTE over every inch of the earths surface to cover the highest mountain to 15 cubits in 40 days and nghts.
          The amount of energy getting through those waters would be insufficient to support any life, down to the smallest micro-organism...all the plankton would die, which is the base of the food chains. Those plankton would not recover and it would take millenia for the earth to be able to start producing enough life to have any ability to support larger life forms, millions of years before larger life forms to have stable food sources.
          ALL plant life would be dead...no recovering from that without MILLIONS more years.

          I can go on all day...the flood story is a story....completely made up by men who had no idea of how the earth regulates itself.

          January 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm |
      • G to the T

        What you are trying to say is that in 400 years a small group of people was able to re-populate a good chunk of the world and established the mesopotamium empire and then copied a story from their ancestory...

        Just don't have that much faith I'm afraid...

        January 28, 2014 at 11:41 am |
  19. Colin

    Come on my creationist friends, get with the 21st Century. Here are a few of the many, many reasons why we know Genesis (and indeed the rest of the bible) is sheer nonsense.

    Of first and most obvious importance is the fossil record. The fossil record is much, much more than just dinosaurs. Indeed, dinosaurs only get the press because of their size, but they make up less than 1% of the entire fossil record. Life had been evolving on Earth for over 3 thousand million years before dinosaurs evolved and has gone on evolving for 65 million years after the Chicxulub meteor likely wiped them out.

    Layered in the fossil record are the Stromatolites, colonies of prokaryotic bacteria, that range in age going back to about 3 billion years, the Ediacara fossils from South Australia, widely regarded as among the earliest multi-celled organisms, the Cambrian species of the Burgess shale in Canada (circa – 450 million years ago) the giant scorpions of the Silurian Period, the giant, wingless insects of the Devonian period, the insects, amphibians, reptiles, fishes, clams, crustaceans of the Carboniferous Period, the many precursors to the dinosaurs, the 700 odd known species of dinosaurs themselves, the subsequent dominant mammals, including the saber tooth tiger, the mammoths and hairy rhinoceros of North America and Asia, the fossils of early man in Africa and the Neanderthals of Europe.

    Indeed, the fossil record shows a consistent and worldwide evolution of life on Earth dating back to about 3,500,000,000 years ago. There are literally millions of fossils that have been recovered, of thousands of different species and they are all located where they would be in the geological record if life evolved slowly over billions of years. None of them can be explained by a 6,000 year old Earth and Noah’s flood. Were they all on the ark? What happened to them when it docked?

    Now, a Tyrannosaurus Rex ate a lot of food – meat- which means its food would itself have to have been fed, like the food of every other carnivore on the ark for the entire 360 odd days Noah supposedly spent on the ark. T-Rex was not even the largest carnivorous dinosaur we know of. Spinosaurus, Argentinosaurus and Carcharodontosaurus were all larger and ate more even meat. Even they were not large enough to bring down the largest sauropods we know of, many species of which weighed in at close to 100 tons and were about 100 feet long. A bit of “back of the envelope” math quickly shows that “Noah’s Ark” would actually have to have been an armada of ships larger than the D-Day invasion force, manned by thousands and thousands of people – and this is without including the World’s 300,000 current species of plants, none of which could walk merrily in twos onto the ark.

    Coming on top of that, of course, there are the various races of human beings. There were no Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese, Australian Aboriginals, blonde haired Scandinavians, Pygmies or Eskimos on the Ark. Where did they come from?

    Oh, second, there are those little things we call oil, natural gas and other fossil fuels. Their mere existence is another independent and fatal blow to the creationists. Speak to any geologist who works for Exxon Mobil, Shell or any of the thousands of mining, oil or natural gas related companies that make a living finding fossil fuels. They will tell you these fossil fuels take millions of years to develop from the remains of large, often Carboniferous Period forests, in the case of coal, or tiny marine creatures in the case of oil. For the fossils to develop into oil or coal takes tens or hundreds of millions of years of “slow baking” under optimum geological conditions. That’s why they are called “fossil fuels.” Have a close look at coal, you can often see the fossilized leaves in it. The geologists know exactly what rocks to look for fossil fuels in, because they know how to date the rocks to tens or hundreds of millions of years ago. Creationists have no credible explanation for this.

    Look, most of astronomy and cosmology would be wrong if the creationists were right. In short, as Einstein showed, light travels at a set speed. Space is so large that light from distant stars takes many years to reach the Earth. In some cases, this is millions or billions of years. The fact that we can see light from such far away stars means it began its journey billions of years ago. The Universe must be billions of years old. We can currently see galaxies whose light left home 13, 700,000,000 years ago. Indeed, on a clear night, one can see the collective, misty light of many stars more than 6,000 light years away with the naked eye, shining down like tiny accusatorial witnesses against the nonsense of creationism.

    In fourth, we have not just carbon dating, but also all other methods used by scientists to date wood, rocks, fossils, and other artifacts. These comprehensively disprove the Bible’s claims. They include uranium-lead dating, potassium-argon dating as well as other non-radioactive methods such as pollen dating, dendrochronology and ice core dating. In order for any particular rock, fossil or other artifact to be aged, generally two or more samples are dated independently by two or more laboratories in order to ensure an accurate result. If results were random, as creationists claim, the two independent results would rarely agree. They generally do. They regularly reveal ages much older than Genesis. Indeed, the Earth is about 750,000 times older than the Bible claims, the Universe about three times the age of the Earth.

    Next, fifth, the relatively new field of DNA mapping not only convicts criminals, it shows in undeniable, full detail how we differ from other life forms on the planet. For example, about 98.4% of human DNA is identical to that of chimpanzees, about 97% of human DNA is identical to that of gorillas, and slightly less again of human DNA is identical to the DNA of monkeys. This gradual divergence in DNA can only be rationally explained by the two species diverging from a common ancestor, and coincides perfectly with the fossil record. Indeed, scientists can use the percentage of DNA that two animal share (such as humans and bears, or domestic dogs and wolves) to get an idea of how long ago the last common ancestor of both species lived. It perfectly corroborates the fossil record and is completely independently developed.

    Sixth, the entire field of historical linguistics would have to be rewritten to accommodate the Bible. This discipline studies how languages develop and diverge over time. For example, Spanish and Italian are very similar and have a recent common “ancestor” language, Latin, as most people know. However, Russian is quite different and therefore either did not share a common root, or branched off much earlier in time. No respected linguist anywhere in the World traces languages back to the Tower of Babel, the creationists’ simplistic and patently absurd explanation for different languages. Indeed, American Indians, Australian Aboriginals, “true” Indians, Chinese, Mongols, Ja.panese, Sub-Saharan Africans and the Celts and other tribes of ancient Europe were speaking thousands of different languages thousands of years before the date creationist say the Tower of Babel occurred – and even well before the date they claim for the Garden of Eden.

    Seventh, lactose intolerance is also a clear vestige of human evolution. Most mammals only consume milk as infants. After infancy, they no longer produce the enzyme “lactase” that digests the lactose in milk and so become lactose intolerant. Humans are an exception and can drink milk as adults – but not all humans – some humans remain lactose intolerant. So which humans are no longer lactose intolerant? The answer is those who evolved over the past few thousand years raising cows. They evolved slightly to keep producing lactase as adults so as to allow the consumption of milk as adults. This includes most Europeans and some Africans, notably the Tutsi of Rwanda. On the other hand, most Chinese, native Americans and Aboriginal Australians, whose ancestors did not raise cattle, remain lactose intolerant.

    I could go on and elaborate on a number of other disciplines or facts that creationists have to pretend into oblivion to retain their faith, including the Ice Ages, cavemen and early hominids, much of microbiology, paleontology and archeology, continental drift and plate tectonics. Even large parts of medical research would be rendered unusable but for the fact that monkeys and mice share a common ancestor with us and therefore our fundamental cell biology and basic body architecture is identical to theirs.

    In short, and not surprisingly, the World’s most gifted evolutionary biologists, astronomers, cosmologists, geologists, archeologists, paleontologists, historians, modern medical researchers and linguists (and about 2,000 years of accu.mulated knowledge) are right and a handful of Iron Age Middle Eastern goat herders copying then extant mythology were wrong. Creationists aren’t just trying to swim upstream against the weight of scientific evidence; they are trying to ascend a waterfall.

    January 28, 2014 at 10:46 am |
    • Dyslexic doG

      here come the apologetics talking about dinosaur soft tissue. LOLOLOL

      as if that somehow negates the millions of other pieces of fossil record and geological record.

      pitiful.

      January 28, 2014 at 10:48 am |
      • Live4Him

        @Dyslexic doG : here come the apologetics talking about dinosaur soft tissue.

        And the atheists are like the Wizard of Oz – 'Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!'

           <><

        January 28, 2014 at 11:01 am |
        • redzoa

          Funny you would pick that analogy, i.e. humans contriving a fake deity to impose fear and control . . .

          January 28, 2014 at 11:16 am |
        • tallulah13

          There is no evidence of a man behind the curtain. There are only believers pretending that there is because they are terrified of being responsible for their own existence.

          January 28, 2014 at 11:17 am |
      • devin

        Got a hand it to Mr. Baden., he tries his darned hardest to obfuscate the biblical narrative of the Genesis flood. This obfuscation reaches comical proportions with the line " The details of engineering can and should stand for a larger array of themes and features in the flood story." And all this time I thought it was the mere listing of dimensional mathematics.

        January 28, 2014 at 11:28 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.