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Thread: Noah's flood was probably not a global flood...

  1. #1 Noah's flood was probably not a global flood... 
    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Hi everyone,
    Here is a calculation I've been wanting to do for some time now. The question I want to ask is, taking all the water vapor in the atmosphere and the water in the polar caps, would this be enough to cover the earth?

    Here it goes;

    The mass of water vapor in the atmosphere is
    m<sub>atmos</sub> = 1.27 x 10<sup>16</sup> kg (from Wiki).

    The northern polar cap has a surface area of ~ 9 - 12 million km<sup>2</sup> while the southern cap is ~ 14 million km<sup>2</sup>. So, using the southern cap figures and multiplying by 2 should be a good (over-) estimate of the water contained in the caps. The southern cap has roughly 3.0 x 10<sup>16</sup> m<sup>3</sup> of ice. This corresponds to about m<sub>caps</sub> = 5.5 x 10<sup>19</sup> kg using the density of ice as 0.917 kg/m<sup>3</sup> and mass = density*Volume. (Again, from Wiki.)

    To find out the depth that the water would be if spread out over the earth, we use the formula (I encourage the reader to derive this for themselves...)

    depth = [(3*m/4*pi*rho) + (R<sub>E</sub>)<sup>3</sup>]<sup>1/3</sup> - R<sub>E</sub>

    where
    R<sub>E</sub> = Earth's radius = 6.378 x 10<sup>6</sup> m,
    rho = density of water = 1.00 x 10<sup>3</sup> kg/m<sup>3</sup>,
    m = mass = 1.27 x 10<sup>16</sup> kg for atmospheric water and
    m = 5.5 x 10<sup>19</sup> kg for polar cap water.

    For the atmospheric water alone we get
    depth = 0.0248 m = 2.48 cm.
    This assumes that all the water vapor is taken out of the atmosphere and spread out over the entire earth. (One may wonder about rainfall that is greater than 3 cm and is not that uncommon. But keep in mind that those cases are local events and not global.)

    For the polar caps alone, we get
    depth = 107.6 m.

    As you can see, the atmospheric water is negligable compared to the polar caps, but adding them together we get
    depth = 107.625 m ~ 108 m.

    I should say, that I have no idea if the water vapor in the atmosphere has changed over time, but it would have to be considerably higher to affect the result - so high in fact, that any human alive at that time would probably drown just by breathing the air....

    So... if we could extract all the water from the atmosphere and entirely melt the polar ice caps, the depth of the flood waters would be roughly 108 meters. I should add that the ice cap figure assumes that none of the ice is submerged. (We know that much of it is submerged, which, when the submerged ice melts, it would tend to lower the sea level since ice is less dense (higher volume) than water.)

    So the depth = 108 meters is actually an upper limit.

    Anyway, the upshot, is that any land higher than 108 m above sea level should remain dry. I'm not sure about the percentage of the earth that is above 108 m but I would suspect that it is substantial compared with the percentage of dry land above current sea level (I welcome anyone to find this percentage. I would like to know the figure myself...).

    So... unless I overlooked something, or just plain goofed up, well... there you have it.

    Cheers,
    william

    P.S. This is in no way meant to denegrate religions that teach about the flood. I only claim that it was not global based on the above calculation. Perhaps I'm wrong....


    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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    Cooking Something Good MacGyver1968's Avatar
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    I think I read somewhere that the average elevation of the whole planet is around 30m above sea level. I tried to confirm this, but couldn't find any info.

    Very interesting post. I guess that means there isn't enough available water in the world to flood the earth to the level that the classic Noah story inplies. I would show this post to my father, but I'm sure he would just say God created, then destroyed the extra water.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver1968
    I think I read somewhere that the average elevation of the whole planet is around 30m above sea level. I tried to confirm this, but couldn't find any info.

    Very interesting post. I guess that means there isn't enough available water in the world to flood the earth to the level that the classic Noah story inplies. I would show this post to my father, but I'm sure he would just say God created, then destroyed the extra water.

    Looks like William is buying hs first property way up in them thar hills, and is looking to make sure when he retires the water is gently lapping the back porch....
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    Might I add that temperature will play a highly influential role. Sea water expansion due to global warming contributes to about half of the present day global sea level rise, the other half is due to meltwater run-off from glaciers and ice sheets. (If you're interested, the present rate of global sea level rise is about 1-2 cm/decade.)

    But then higher temps will also give you more water in the atmosphere, whilst if you took all the water vapour out of the atmosphere it would likely get very cold and the surface would be covered with ice.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I disagree with the sense of the thread title. I think Noah's flood was a global flood. My reasoning?

    The story of Noah's flood and many other similar stories that are found around the world, reflect a related series of flood events. These all stemmed from the global rise in sea level that occured at the end of the last ice age. Flooding of the Black Sea, the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea, and many littoral locations around the world as a result of this sea level rise gave rise to many of the flood myths. Finis.
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    Actually, oph, those flood myths are mostly from areas that are prone to flooding. Such as egypt. Rather than global, it was more local in those areas. As chances of a flood happening in each of those areas are very high.

    While I can't disagree with your ice-age theory, I think most of them were more recent than the last ice-age.
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    Since some stories were, have been and in some cases still are passed down by word of mouth, (A good example being a little group of people who hand down the stories of Alexander the great which upon close scutiny bear a remarkable closeness to contemporary written accounts).
    I have seen a tv Documenatary that suggests that the great flood may be linked to the flooding of the Meditteranean sea. Perhaps we'll find cave paintings oneday to support this.

    I don't think Ophiote means a global flood, but a set of local floods described in various cultures around the world, that, I would agree with.
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    Yes, I agree with him on that. But I'm saying that the ice age wasn't the only cause of mass-floodings in later areas.

    And I saw that same documentary once. I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Yes, I agree with him on that. But I'm saying that the ice age wasn't the only cause of mass-floodings in later areas.

    And I saw that same documentary once. I think.
    We just don't know for how many years the original stories were handed down, it really could have been back to the last mini/iceage, If somebody could find cave painting depictions, it might be possible to carbon date any remains in the cave or possibly even material from the paintings (such as powdered bone). Such a picture might just show animals and people running in the same direction, and have been mis-interpreted as a hunting scene, I have seen one where it clearly shows adults and children runnning after animals, I will try and locate where. It could be that the 'background waves' have been thought of as hills.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Megabrain, the Mediterranean flooded back in the Miocene. Not even I think Australopithecine oral tradition would have survived from then.
    The documentary you are probably recalling was about the flooding of the Black Sea, which had been a small fresh water lake. Rising sea levels, associated with the melting of ice, broke through from the Mediterranean.

    At the same time we have the entire Gulf, from the Straits of Hormuz flooding at around the same time.

    And the Indian myths also speak of flooding, while there are potentially significant ruins offshore on the now flooded Indian continental shelf.
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    Forum Professor captaincaveman's Avatar
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    wouldn't alot of the stories of floods be based around bad localised flooding as opposed to global, as the news of global catastrophes wouldn't be within the reach of people at those times?
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    OK OK I might have been drunk (in front of the telly) and failed to notice that, thanks for the correction...
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    What geological, eustatic evidence is there for a global flood 4,400 years ago?

    None that I'm aware of.

    Incidentally, to my knowledge, when you go back in time, the nearer you get to the Wurm III glaciation, the lower the sea level would have to had to have been.
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    Forum Freshman Kosta's Avatar
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    Although I dont believe there to have been a global flood as described in the bible... I think its awesome that William went through the calculations- kudos 8)
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    wasn't the whole bible flood a reaction to explain why fossils of sea creatures were found up mountains?
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    Forum Ph.D. william's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    I disagree with the sense of the thread title. I think Noah's flood was a global flood. My reasoning?

    The story of Noah's flood and many other similar stories that are found around the world, reflect a related series of flood events. These all stemmed from the global rise in sea level that occured at the end of the last ice age. Flooding of the Black Sea, the Persian Gulf, the South China Sea, and many littoral locations around the world as a result of this sea level rise gave rise to many of the flood myths. Finis.
    Hi Oph,
    Okay, I should restate what I concluded;
    There perhaps was flooding throughout the entire earth, but I don't think the flooding could have covered the entire earth. The highest land altitude (Mt. Everest - 8,848 m) would surely have remained dry. And from what I calculated, land above 108 m should have remained dry also.

    But I agree that if flooding occured throughout the earth, that could have given rise to the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kosta
    Although I dont believe there to have been a global flood as described in the bible... I think its awesome that William went through the calculations- kudos
    Thank you.

    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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    Kosta,

    It's not like WIlliam did a miracle or something, he just did the maths in his head and got the right answer, for the rest of us mortals it would have taken months.
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  19. #18  
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    There is a very simple point to discussions like this (and there have been many): You cannot take everything that's written in the bible literally, even if (or especially if) it's quantified in some way. The amount of water, the local or global extent of the flood, the time at which it occurred, and the duration over which the rain occurred will all be inaccurate. It's up to you if you believe that an event like that actually happened, but don't make the mistake of Christian fundamentalists to submit strictly to every detail of the scripture. The main point of the stories (historical or parable) in the bible is the lessons you are supposed to learn from them, not the accuracy of the historical account.

    The flood cannot have been appeared exactly as described, for various reasons. One of them may be the amount of water, supposedly covering the highest mountains on Earth! Another one is the relatively short period of time over which all this water is supposed to have rained down. I don't remember the numerical details, but I have read a plausible quantified argument that the rain must have been so heavy, it would sink any modern ship, not to mention a primitive vessel loaded with thousands of animals!
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    There is a very simple point to discussions like this (and there have been many): You cannot take everything that's written in the bible literally, even if (or especially if) it's quantified in some way. The amount of water, the local or global extent of the flood, the time at which it occurred, and the duration over which the rain occurred will all be inaccurate. It's up to you if you believe that an event like that actually happened, but don't make the mistake of Christian fundamentalists to submit strictly to every detail of the scripture. The main point of the stories (historical or parable) in the bible is the lessons you are supposed to learn from them, not the accuracy of the historical account.

    The flood cannot have been appeared exactly as described, for various reasons. One of them may be the amount of water, supposedly covering the highest mountains on Earth! Another one is the relatively short period of time over which all this water is supposed to have rained down. I don't remember the numerical details, but I have read a plausible quantified argument that the rain must have been so heavy, it would sink any modern ship, not to mention a primitive vessel loaded with thousands of animals!
    It is thought that the old testament writings may have referred to spoken stories told through the ages, The black sea was flooded - fact, it was once almost empty - fact. We know stories can be passed down because to the Alexander the great 'local' legend vs written contemporary record.
    There is certainly a series of indisputable facts, the question is simply whether they are related, I personally think it has a medium probability.

    Remember also the use of the word world, it did not (and to some extent still does not) neccessarily refer to the whole globe, for example Christian World, etc. If my world was flooded it would mean an area of about 50 miles radius of my home.

    Remember too that the ancients would have known that even if it did not rain where they were, they would (from experience) have thought that any 'river' rushing in would probably mean heavy rain soemwhere, THe black sea would not have filled in a day, hence a possible answer for raining 40 days and nights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    There is a very simple point to discussions like this (and there have been many): You cannot take everything that's written in the bible literally, even if (or especially if) it's quantified in some way.
    Did you know that, prior to science attacking numerous biblical points, most of the bible was taken literally?
    It's like religion keeps retreating and retreating until pretty soon the whole bible is figurative. In fact the same goes for "contradicting" scriptures. "Oh no, that's figurative. Not literal." is the common reply when a scripture obviously contradicts another.

    Now why is it religion just keeps on with the "figurative" excuse every time a new area of the bible is attacked?
    Here is an example of a contradictive scripture, and this one can't exactly be taken figuratively.

    2 Thessalonians 2:11 (New King James Version)
    For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
    To

    Hebrews 6:18 (NKJV)
    in which it is impossible for God to lie
    Taken out of context there because the context doesn't seem to hint at that statement being an exception to deception. You may check the context and correct me if I am wrong.
    But saying that the bible is figurative in any scripture would mean god lies. Since those events didn't happen, the bible says they did, and you think they didn't.
    However does it not say in the bible that satan is the deceiver? So does this mean god is one with satan? Lets check the bible for that.

    So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
    —Revelation 12:9
    As revelation states, satan is the deceiver of the whole world.

    But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
    —2 Corinthians 11:3
    And again, only satan deceives there. So why is it god deceives the people as well by sending a powerful delusion? Reasons may be different, but I sense a contradiction here.
    This is an example of possible contradictions, although this time I'm not sure how you can say these scriptures are figurative.

    But in saying god doesn't lie (focusing only on that), saying the scriptures are figurative means god lies (since the bible says nothing of the sort). You must take the whole bible, or none of it in this case.
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  22. #21  
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    I am certainly no expert on the bible as it is not a scripture I adhere to, and I have to admit having read only parts of it (like most of us, I presume). Nevertheless, there are some points I take away from many discussions (like this one). When Christians come to me to propagate their beliefs I do not turn them away, as I realize there is a value in open discussion and learning about other people's opinions, regardless if I agree or not. So don't take my word as that of a representative of any church. I am not.

    My personal impression of the major Christian sects (catholics and protestants in particular) is that they have long been far too strict with the scripture. In my opinion, the only positive aspect of religion is to give ethical guidance to people. (I am not saying that's what religion is successfully doing, but that's what I think it is supposed to do). Many of the stories (most of them parables) are meant to provide the believer with moral guidance, and that's all that matters. Unfortunately, for historical reasons, a lot of pseudo-science and pseudo-history is mixed into those stories and it is often not easy to sort out the wrong facts from the actual point the writer is trying to make. I am sure that many of these pseudo-facts were intentionally woven into the stories to make them seem more credible, and that was a mistake. It may have been effective in the old days, when we didn't know any better, but now it is just hurting the message. And, by the way, I don't think that any bible written today, with the most up-to-date facts would be any better, when viewed 2000 years from now. Facts do not remain facts as science evolves. Not all that's wrong in the bible is intentional deceipt. It's simply contemporary ignorance. I do not believe, however, that the presence of wrong historical facts (intentional or just reflection of the ignorance of old times) destroys the message if you're able to look through it. I do not agree with you that the fabrication of God's word (stating wrong facts) in the bible can be interpreted as "God's lies". God did not write the bible. People did. And people sometimes lie and sometimes just don't know any better. To extract the message out of a messy text, it just means that you have to extract the message from between the "facts". I imagine that's what people try to do in those bible study classes (or that's what they should do). I say that, as my own personal opinion, not the church's.

    I think a good example that most people know about is the foolish insistence of the church on the Earth being the center of the universe, when Kepler and Galilei were fighting Ptolemaeus (spelling?) for an alternative point of view. It was foolish then to fight science and insist to be right about something that has nothing to do with religion, and they still are foolish now. It doesn't matter if Sun revolves around Earth or vice versa. It doesn't diminish the value of life on Earth or the value of being good neighbors in any way. If churches could just focus on their moral message instead of being foolish to insist on being the owners of scientific facts, they'd be much more credible.

    Science is neutral to ethics, so we do need something to complement it. That, and nothing more, should be the purpose of religion (or your favorite alternative source of ethics). That's my personal opinion.

    Now you made me forget what this thread was about. :wink:
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    Even in Ptolomy's day some knew the earth was not at the centre, of the solar system. Eratosthenes had worked out the diameter of the earth to within about 2 %, there was some guy who's name always escapes me who knew the solar system was heliocentric, but cos ol' Ptolomy was in charge his view reigned supreme (for about 1500 yrs in total). Ptolomy said if the earth was rotating, or flying around the sun then all the birds would just fly off into space, this seems to have convinced the people that his motionless earth was at the centre.
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  24. #23  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    I do not agree with you that the fabrication of God's word (stating wrong facts) in the bible can be interpreted as "God's lies". God did not write the bible. People did.
    I wrote that for people that say god wrote the bible through people. Or believe in god in general and base that belief on the bible. I already know people wrote it, but theists refuse to believe it.

    It doesn't diminish the value of life on Earth or the value of being good neighbors in any way. If churches could just focus on their moral message instead of being foolish to insist on being the owners of scientific facts, they'd be much more credible.
    Did you know that the morality of the bible has been debated for as long as it has existed? The "morals" most of the bible puts forth are subjective. Similar to the morals of any other religios tome, or civilization, the bible suffers from strict subjectivity. Although morals in general do as well, some are more subjective in a destructive manner than should be.

    However since biblical scriptures on morality sort of encompass the entire bible, I'll simple put foreward a few statements on morality.

    Morality suffers directly from subjectivity. People that claim to be of "good morals" clearly do not know this. Your morals basically dicern what type of person you are. If you're kind, hateful, merciful, sociopathic, etc.
    This is because morals have always been subjective, and I highly doubt there is any possible way to make them objective in the least.
    The bible has many contradictive morals (you can easily find the ones listed if you google bible morality), similar to other statements, where it may leave the reader confused if she/he could actually REMEMBER the entire bible word for word.

    Because of this subjectivity, and the vast amount of subjective morals (all of which differ from writer to writer within the bible. Although some less than others), it's easy to even find a moral that warrants killing an innocent person. Biblical-theists often make numerous statements on this, and many claim their interpretations are far more logical and ethical than others. However can that be the case when morality is purely subjective?

    Take for example, someone that says "I'm going to kill you". Beware, as I am a VERY poor story writer.
    (here is a possible discussion):
    "I'm going to kill you"
    "B-but you can't!"
    "Why not?"
    "Because it's not right"
    "Who says it isn't right?"
    "The government and the bible"
    "And why should I be subject to their morality rather than my own?"
    "Theirs is better than your own, for they are based on good for all"
    "If it is good for all, why does it not allow me to do what I perceive as good?"
    "What you think is good is really evil!"
    "How can you say that, when good and evil are subjective?"
    "They aren't!"
    "Prove it."
    "The bible says so!"
    "I'm tired of this. *BLAM*"

    Honestly, aside from the bible, can anybody explain how good and evil aren't subjective? In fact, looking at it objectively, the bible doesn't really claim good and evil aren't subjective. In fact they are to an extreme; since god and satan are both subjective beings.

    Morals tend to be based off a good/evil scenario, and many in the bible are directly based off of it. Good being what "God" wants and evil doing what "Satan" wants. God and satan are basically representations of good/evil at the time the bible was written. Not to mention the surrounding culture in which it was written.

    However let us attempt to define good and evil.

    Good would be an action that causes only positive results for everybody.
    Evil would be an action that causes negative results for everybody.

    It's obvious how neither exist. Since all actions cause some amount of negative and positive result. So there really is no good/evil, only an action that leans more towards one than the other.

    Take for example, the treatment of women (which persists today in many muslim tribes, and other religions as well). In the bible women are rarely mentioned, and if they are they're more objects than people. Men tend to hold the front-role while women take a back seat.
    Many use this as an excuse for "Gods chosen headship" or arrangement for a family. However can most of you really agree to the "morals" used to carry out such vicious acts?

    I'll list some links of rather unjust treatments of women and other people. Not to mention incorrect biblical views of women (although a woman with PMS may match them...o.o)

    http://www.skepticsannotatedbible.com/women/long.html
    http://www.atheistfoundation.org.au/womenbible.htm
    http://www.religioustolerance.org/fem_bibl.htm

    There are many others, but you can google them.
    Now to get back to "morals" in the bible: take for example, jobe. Jobe in definitely a person (ficticious or literal) I would admire and respect. But poor jobe was treated very harshly (not to mention his entire family!) just so god could prove a point to satan.

    So tell me, was it just for god to "allow" satan to kill off jobes wives, children, etc, and make him suffer like that? I can say that, if someone killed my loved one or LET someone kill said person, they would be an accessory to murder. How is it that bible "morals" are just?
    In fact, many bible morals aren't even applied today, and are viewed as barbaric. The treatment of women is an example. However these are all SUBJECTIVE.

    So whether it's morals, historical truth, or whatever else you may claim the bible has a lot of, upon deeper examination it is usually clear the bible was written for the times and culture. Not 2,000 years later where most of said culture is gone.
    Take heed next time you are asked about "good morals", and know that there is no such thing. There is only subjectivity, and morals that reflect you're thinking.
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    Did you know that the morality of the bible has been debated for as long as it has existed?
    Yes, but in my mind there is nothing wrong with that. Debate is good, and as long as it's about morality, that's exactly religion's turf. What I was implying is that the bible should not be involved in a discussion of scientific facts.

    The "morals" most of the bible puts forth are subjective. Similar to the morals of any other religios tome, or civilization, the bible suffers from strict subjectivity. Although morals in general do as well, some are more subjective in a destructive manner than should be.
    "strict subjectivity" has an oxomoronic smell to it. :wink:

    I can see how you see "bad" in this, but it also has a good side. Subjectivity leaves room for interpretation, room for dissent, and the ability to evolve. Slavery may be viewed as immoral now, but it wasn't so over much of human history. The bible's stance on slavery isn't entirely clear and objective, and, believe me, that's a good thing! We might, arguably, have never abandoned slavery if subjective human sense of morality hadn't been in conflict about it. It is subjectivity that allows for such conflict and for evolution of moral values (for the better or worse). I have more trouble with people who don't see it that way, who proclaim that every word in the bible is absolutely true and has to be strictly followed in a literal sense. Those people don't see the contradictions, because they typically focus on their favorite parts of the scripture. Some call themselves Christians, yet prefer the old testament's "eye for an eye" over Christ's forgiveness.

    Subjectivity alone doesn't serve for the good, I give you that. There has to be something channeling morality into a common good: For the benefit of society and humanity as a whole. In that sense, morality is still arguable, but not arbitrary. There can be no doubt that the moral ideal to outlaw murder serves for the better of human relations in any society. I'd be hardpressed to call some of these basic issues "subjective". They are to some extent, but their benefit is objectively acknowledged by a majority of members of any society throughout human history. Most people (maybe including the two persons in your little play) don't necessarily think of society in all of their actions. The point is that moral values and laws have evolved from a vast experience of history of many human societies. Although their values may be regarded as subjective, the most basic laws are not exactly arbitrary. They are those laws that have provided past societies with a very basic and necessary quality: The ability to survive and prosper!

    People have a very limited life span, and obviously a limited memory of history, and often limited sight. It may seem that the societies we have right now are kind of arbitrary, and there may as well be equally successful societies built on the basis of murder and rape. Not so! What you're seeing, and what you're benefitting from, is just the current snapshot of another kind of evolution: That of human society and morality. Although not frozen and definit, don't make the mistake to regard it as arbitrary randomness. The objectivity in morality is manifested in an account of human history. (on a very basic level, above which there is room for interpretation, subjectivity, and contradiction)
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  26. #25  
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    Returning to the topic: the global flood.
    Quote Originally Posted by ”CaptainCaveman”
    wouldn't alot of the stories of floods be based around bad localised flooding as opposed to global, as the news of global catastrophes wouldn't be within the reach of people at those times?
    This could certainly be the case. However, I am promoting the following logical argument.
    There was extensive global flooding at the end of the last ice age.
    This flooding must have had a profound effect on many human settlements.
    There are many global legends of a great flood.
    The two things may well be connected and not coincidental. If they are coincidental, then we have to ask why are there no legends about the floods that occurred at the end of the ice age. Odd if there were none.

    Quote Originally Posted by ”CaptainCaveman”
    wasn't the whole bible flood a reaction to explain why fossils of sea creatures were found up mountains?
    No. That was an interpretation by Victorian Christians to explain what had become a literal interpretation of the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by ”billiards”
    What geological, eustatic evidence is there for a global flood 4,400 years ago?
    None that I'm aware of.
    What has 4400 years got to do with anything? We don’t need to take (cannot if we are to be sane and sensible) the literal chronology of the Bible.

    Quote Originally Posted by ”Megabrain”
    THe black sea would not have filled in a day, hence a possible answer for raining 40 days and nights.
    Quote Originally Posted by ”Jeremy”
    It's like religion keeps retreating and retreating until pretty soon the whole bible is figurative.
    The Hebrews have a tradition of poetic and metaphorical language. It took the unimaginative Romans and the boring Germanics to screw things up by taking their creation myths literally. (Note that forty was a number used in Hebrew writing to indicate a ‘long time’. The equivalent of our ‘once in a blue moon’, or ‘once in month of Sundays’. )
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    Not too well up on ancient history and legend, how good a correlation is there between areas that did flood and areas where these stories/legends generally reside, obviously there is some in the mid-east but anywhere else around the globe?
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    It is my understanding that the ice age would have been associated with a very low sea level exposing the shelf to the surface in some parts of the world. Naturally when the ice caps melted the sea level would have risen and the shelfs would have been flooded. Perhaps these are the floods (or at least the flash flood episodes) to which these accounts refer, of course the sea level today is higher than it was then so it is entirely obvious that this flooding was not 'global', if a 'global flood' is taken to mean a complete submergence of land beneath water across the entire globe.
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    Clearly youve put effort into the sums of the amount of water on earth.

    However you have not accounted for all the water held on mountains as snow or ice , and beneath the earths crust in giant reserviours. There are billions of litres of water here. More than enough to have killed all humans that lived on earth at the time of the flood.

    Sorry to burst the bulloon of " the flood didnt happen " but there is plenty of water on earth to have a flood as described by the bible.
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  30. #29  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth1010
    Clearly youve put effort into the sums of the amount of water on earth.

    However you have not accounted for all the water held on mountains as snow or ice , and beneath the earths crust in giant reserviours. There are billions of litres of water here. More than enough to have killed all humans that lived on earth at the time of the flood.

    Sorry to burst the bulloon of " the flood didnt happen " but there is plenty of water on earth to have a flood as described by the bible.
    Actually, most calculations do. Sorry, but your excuse is outdated. Furthermore, geological evidence shows nothing that proves a global flood. Explain that.
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  31. #30  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth1010
    Clearly youve put effort into the sums of the amount of water on earth.

    However you have not accounted for all the water held on mountains as snow or ice , and beneath the earths crust in giant reserviours. There are billions of litres of water here. More than enough to have killed all humans that lived on earth at the time of the flood.

    Sorry to burst the bulloon of " the flood didnt happen " but there is plenty of water on earth to have a flood as described by the bible.
    Hi Truth,
    Yes... I didn't account for the snow and water on mountains. But it is quite obvious that it is not enough to cover the earth (else we'd be covered!).

    Yes... I heard of the hypothesis of the underground reservoirs. But there is no evidence for this what so ever.

    Everest is almost 9,000 meters above sea level. Do you understand how much water would be needed?!?

    I'm sorry truth, but a fllood that covered the entire earth didn't happen. It was a local flood if anything....

    cheers,
    william

    P.S. I'm flattered that you had to ask others in order to respond to this. I assume you asked others, otherwise you would have responded yesterday....
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
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  32. #31  
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    And...
    If you read the original post very carefully, you'll see that some assumptions were made along the way that made the 108 m a gross overestimate!

    cheers
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by william
    P.S. I'm flattered that you had to ask others in order to respond to this. I assume you asked others, otherwise you would have responded yesterday....
    Actually, william, I believe I read in one awake (or was it a watchtower?) where that explanation of "they didn't account for this or that" is used. So he most likely just recalled it from memory.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Quote Originally Posted by william
    P.S. I'm flattered that you had to ask others in order to respond to this. I assume you asked others, otherwise you would have responded yesterday....
    Actually, william, I believe I read in one awake (or was it a watchtower?) where that explanation of "they didn't account for this or that" is used. So he most likely just recalled it from memory.
    Fair enough.
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
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    Noah and his flood is myth. It explains nothing about the world.
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  36. #35 Noah 
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    There have been numerous theories about Noahs flood, but most indicators are the guy and the ark did actually eixist. You find mention of them in Greek mythology as well as the bible.

    One story is that he was simply one of the marsh Arabs which are still foudn today in the delta marshes of the Euraphates and Tigris rivers and that he predicted the "spurflood" and built the ark to save his farm. That matches the bible version as it mentions which "clean and unclean" animals Noah was ordered to take. Farm animals at the time were listed as clean (beef) and unclean (pigs)

    The more spectacular version cncerns th black sea. At the dawn of history this was actually a rift zone much like the modern dead Sea with the Black sea much smaller, below sea level, and the straight of the Bosphorous was solid land.

    Earthquakes or a storm collapsed the Bosphorius and the Meditterain flooded in . And Noah somehow forewawthe trouble and once again, built the ark to save his farm. This also matches a few passages from the bible where the ark is supposed to have eventually made landfall on a mountian in Armenia. Which is to the East of the modern black Sea
    Don't be afraid of asking stupid questions. They are so much easier to handle than stupid mistakes
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    Didn't the flood kill everyone and everything except the crew on the Ark? So who exactly recorded these flood stories which are supposedly evidence for the flood? I thought they were all dead.
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  38. #37 Finer calculations 
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    If the initial questioner (william?) was really planning on buying his retirement house on a hill that was exactly 108m above sea level so that the sea might lap at his front porch one day (as Megabrain suggested - I think), he might want to take the following into consideration.

    If the whole surface of the earth was covered in 108m, it assumes a flat surface. All the land that currently is above sea level would however displace some water which will raise the water level a bit more. Another thing to consider is that the water would obviously run down from those areas that are higher than 108m and raise the water level in the lower areas even further. If you wanted to roughly calculate how much higher than 108m the resultant water level would be you would have to know what the volume of land mass above current sea level and below 108m is. This displaced volume of water will then have to be divided into the surface of the earth minus all areas that are higher than 108m currently (because they are not part of the surface accross which the water will be spread) to find how much higher than 108m the final water level will be.

    I hope you haven't bought your "beachfront retirement house on a 108m hill" yet, because you might then have to sell and move a bit higher!
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  39. #38 do people...... 
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    Do people SERIOUSLY believe in any of this biblical crap ?

    Okay. Two of each kind of animal in the ark, yes ? (for procreational purpouses I presume) - I also presume that they decided to leave 8-sexed protazoa behind. Right. In order to get 2 types of every animal on board this hand built ship, erm the biomass would have been enormous. Maybe thats why noah decided to leave the unicorns behind ?

    Come on people ? A global flood ?

    The bible is the word of MAN not of GOD.
    If you REALLY want to know the word of "GOD".....go study particle physics !

    Have you ever noticed when you go to church that you will ALWAYS find one person, at least one with a dissability of some kind ?

    Why ? Simple. Because the church accepts anybody into its ranks. And THAT is why they are there ultimately. for a sense of belonging. would you accept a "leper" into your home ? NO.

    If you saw someone in a wheel chair frothing at the mouth. (No offence please Mr Hawking!) - what would YOU do ? I tell you what YOU would do - you would try and walk past them as quickly as possible. you feel uneasy about being in their company! - WHY? I'll tell you why ! Its basic human nature. A basic neual network that we have is triggered; just "incase" what they have COULD be contagious. It is a primeval defense mechanism. however much we fight it because we are "civilised" its STILL there. And THAT is the reason why these people end up going to church's etc.....For a sense of belonging, and for the rest of us it is because we cannot bear the fact that life literally has NO meaning. There is no right or wrong there is only choices; and even all of the choices you make were pre-determined at the point of the big bang.

    You really must accept the fact that there is no God, no bible, no moses, no global flood. Life is simply the inevitable consequence of infinate possibility.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  40. #39 Re: do people...... 
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    Have you ever noticed when you go to church that you will ALWAYS find one person, at least one with a dissability of some kind ?
    Why ? Simple. Because the church accepts anybody into its ranks. And THAT is why they are there ultimately. for a sense of belonging. would you accept a "leper" into your home ? NO.
    Amazing! You really are an immensely sympathetic character, aren't you?
    Would I accept a leper into my home? Why wouldn't I? I suppose if I were an uneducated, ignorant peasant I might balk at the idea - otherwise, what's the problem.
    And what is your issue with disabilities? It is interesting that you have such a hostile attitude to those with disabilities, when you have the most significant disability of all - a total lack of empathy.

    Truly amazing, and rather sad.
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  41. #40 Empathy 
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    Empathy does not come into the equation, empathy is a social conditioning; a pattern of behaviour, if you will, that we have learned. Yes I DO have empathy, but that kicks in after THINKING! - I am talking about the INITIAL and NATURAL response. I think if you read over my post a couple of more times you will actually see the point that I was getting at.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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    Hi Leohopkins. Since you were the only to person to respond to my thread regarding distortion on maps (Cartography) earlier today and I'm still waiting anxiously for your response, I don't want to piss you off and get stuck with nobody interested in my posts again!! I will thus try to be nice for my own sake (I don't want to fight with my only friend on this forum!). On the other hand though, I'm starting to think that you really enjoy a certain level of good natured confrontation and that you won't let small differences of opinion about one topic get in the way of discussions on everything else(?), so I'll take the chance and disagree with you on this one!

    You're attack about the question on Noah's flood seems quite odd to me. I don't think the initial question or most of the replies had any religious motives. I certainly didn't see it as a serious religious discussion but rather saw it as more of an interesting calculation that one would do in your idle time to prevent yourselve from getting bored (I remember many parties at varsity where we were half drunk - OK, fully drunk - and tried to calculate the depth of crocodiles covering our country if there was a 100% survival rate of hatchlings for a year or two!! Nobody seriously thought it was possible but in the same way as this question, it is an entertaining and somewhat funny way of passing the time). The talk about William looking for a house exactly 108m above sea level is obviously meant to be funny and emphasizes the general ligtheartedness of this thread! The fact that you now went out of your way to write a harsh attack on such a frivilous discussion seems to me like some kind of compensation for repressed emotions or fears in your personality! Maybe your psychologist might be able to shed some light for us on the problems in your life?

    Even if one were to take the initial question somewhat seriously, it would also be more supportive of your views than a biblical point of view because it shows mathematically that the flood could not have been possible as described in the bible. I would thus have expected you to back the question, not attack it! What the question does seem to point at is that there is a good chance that some kind of flood took place a few thousand years ago and that it is described in the bible in a distorted form. Even if you don't believe in the bible it doesn't mean you have to see every event described in the bible as false. The fact is that LOTS of people and events that are mentioned either in passing or in detail in the bible can be verified completely independantly.

    The bottom line is that here might well have been a great flood, even though we understand today that it is impossible for it to have covered the whole earth completely.
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  43. #42 Re: Noah 
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparticuss
    The more spectacular version cncerns th black sea. At the dawn of history this was actually a rift zone much like the modern dead Sea with the Black sea much smaller, below sea level, and the straight of the Bosphorous was solid land.

    Earthquakes or a storm collapsed the Bosphorius and the Meditterain flooded in . And Noah somehow forewawthe trouble and once again, built the ark to save his farm. This also matches a few passages from the bible where the ark is supposed to have eventually made landfall on a mountian in Armenia. Which is to the East of the modern black Sea
    Evidence for this is a bit sparse actually- I'm not at all convinced. There is some fairly compelling evidence that the level of the black sea wasn't below the bospherous sill at the time of reconnection though. If I remember correctly, numerical modelling of potential flood rates (assuming they occurred) showed that the flood would have been more akin to a creeping rise than a great deluge. My notes on this are buried at home somewhere at the moment, but if you want to know more I'll dig them out.
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  44. #43 Re: Finer calculations 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burger
    If the initial questioner (william?) was really planning on buying his retirement house on a hill that was exactly 108m above sea level so that the sea might lap at his front porch one day (as Megabrain suggested - I think), he might want to take the following into consideration.

    If the whole surface of the earth was covered in 108m, it assumes a flat surface. All the land that currently is above sea level would however displace some water which will raise the water level a bit more. Another thing to consider is that the water would obviously run down from those areas that are higher than 108m and raise the water level in the lower areas even further. If you wanted to roughly calculate how much higher than 108m the resultant water level would be you would have to know what the volume of land mass above current sea level and below 108m is. This displaced volume of water will then have to be divided into the surface of the earth minus all areas that are higher than 108m currently (because they are not part of the surface accross which the water will be spread) to find how much higher than 108m the final water level will be.

    I hope you haven't bought your "beachfront retirement house on a 108m hill" yet, because you might then have to sell and move a bit higher!

    Hi Burger,
    I suppose in order to do this calculation properly, one would need an accurate 3-dimensional map of the earth, accurate numbers for the water and water vapor, and plug everything into a computer.

    Usually when I do some quick and dirty math, I liken it to a recipe - add a pinch here, take away a smidgen there. The smidgen I took away was the accurate details of the earth's contours. The pinch I added was to overestimate the ice in the Northern polar cap, and also to neglect that much of the ice is already below sea level - which, when melted, the ice below sea level would tend to lower the sea level. In short, with the pinches I added I thought 108m was a pretty good overestimate of what the change in sea level would be. And if an overestimate is not sufficient, then surely a more accurate calculation would be insufficient.

    I won't buy my 109m property until I think that global warming is beyond control. Or... maybe I'll invest in some good scuba equipment.

    Cheers,
    william
    "... the polhode rolls without slipping on the herpolhode lying in the invariable plane."
    ~Footnote in Goldstein's Mechanics, 3rd ed. p. 202
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  45. #44  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burger
    Hi Leohopkins. Since you were the only to person to respond to my thread regarding distortion on maps (Cartography) earlier today and I'm still waiting anxiously for your response, I don't want to piss you off and get stuck with nobody interested in my posts again!! I will thus try to be nice for my own sake (I don't want to fight with my only friend on this forum!). On the other hand though, I'm starting to think that you really enjoy a certain level of good natured confrontation and that you won't let small differences of opinion about one topic get in the way of discussions on everything else(?), so I'll take the chance and disagree with you on this one!

    You're attack about the question on Noah's flood seems quite odd to me. I don't think the initial question or most of the replies had any religious motives. I certainly didn't see it as a serious religious discussion but rather saw it as more of an interesting calculation that one would do in your idle time to prevent yourselve from getting bored (I remember many parties at varsity where we were half drunk - OK, fully drunk - and tried to calculate the depth of crocodiles covering our country if there was a 100% survival rate of hatchlings for a year or two!! Nobody seriously thought it was possible but in the same way as this question, it is an entertaining and somewhat funny way of passing the time). The talk about William looking for a house exactly 108m above sea level is obviously meant to be funny and emphasizes the general ligtheartedness of this thread! The fact that you now went out of your way to write a harsh attack on such a frivilous discussion seems to me like some kind of compensation for repressed emotions or fears in your personality! Maybe your psychologist might be able to shed some light for us on the problems in your life?

    Even if one were to take the initial question somewhat seriously, it would also be more supportive of your views than a biblical point of view because it shows mathematically that the flood could not have been possible as described in the bible. I would thus have expected you to back the question, not attack it! What the question does seem to point at is that there is a good chance that some kind of flood took place a few thousand years ago and that it is described in the bible in a distorted form. Even if you don't believe in the bible it doesn't mean you have to see every event described in the bible as false. The fact is that LOTS of people and events that are mentioned either in passing or in detail in the bible can be verified completely independantly.

    The bottom line is that here might well have been a great flood, even though we understand today that it is impossible for it to have covered the whole earth completely.
    Hmmm.....

    One thing I have to say is that, whilst completely understanding the thread, I was actually attacking the mind of possibly a christian maybe reading the post. I hate religion, not only christianity, I hate ALL religions. When you've been stuck for 3 months in a complete hell-hole, completely out of ammunition thanks to the incompentancy of the british army, using your bayonet and stones to keep away islamic religious fanatics from your obervation post; then you'd have an idea where i'm coming from and why i despise all religion. It is blind, lame and backward thinking and turns men into evil, corrupt slaughtering machines.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  46. #45  
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    Noah's flood was probably not a global flood...
    I agree.

    I also think that superman can probably not lift a whole building by grabing and raising a corner of the structure (insert civil engineering calculations here) and that the cow that jumped over the moon(nursery ryme) could probably not jump all the way to over, around and back from the moon for several scientific reasons (insert physics equations for the jump, space survival, atmospheric reentry).
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    Your implication that Noah's flood is just as fictitious as some nursery rhymes is evidence that you have a very subjective view on this question. You yourselve is thus at least as bad as the "religious fundamentals" you are siding against, because you can't manage to look at scientific enquiry without letting your emotions and preconceived ideas influence your thinking!

    There is plenty of independant evidence that many things that are mentioned in the bible, including the flood, did actually happen. By believing this evidence or at least reserving your decision untill some circumstantial evidence becomes stronger, you would be acting objectively. Your immediate negative reaction certainly isn't objective and speaks of somebody who dismisses a scientific inquiry based solely on the fact that there is some biblical link to it.

    I hope you'll be able to shake your emotionally clouded outlook on science one day and join us in looking at science objectively!
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  48. #47  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burger
    There is plenty of independant evidence that many things that are mentioned in the bible, including the flood, did actually happen.
    Like what?
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    Burger, science is very conclusive that a global flood as described in the Bible never happened. Yes, floods have happened but not a worldwide/biblical one. What exactly are you talking about?
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    Not to mention the FACT that all the animals on the planet could not fit into the ark. Unless they were the size of ants (since it was 2 of every animal). It's a mathematical impossibility. In fact the ark would *sink* due to all the food required to be brought along.
    The only people who take the flood story literally are undereducated theists now days.

    However, best part, the people who wrote it at the time had no idea there were so many animals. Given the size and amount of animals they knew of back then, it would be perfectly logical. Now days? It's obvious that it's not.
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    Perhaps you guys should realize that those stories should not be taken literally.

    For example. It was said that God created the Earth in one week. He didn't, from our perspective, but from His who is to say that he didn't. He is outside of our space/time.

    I think that all parts of the book should not be taken literally, except for the Gospel.
    I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
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  52. #51  
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    There is plenty of independant evidence that many things that are mentioned in the bible, including the flood, did actually happen.

    Here's my all time favourite video about Noa's Ark


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKqZ9AT-dlM

    (links to Part 1 of 3, though the "flood" itself is covered in part 2 or 3 I'm not sure which)


    enjoy :wink:
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  53. #52  
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    Quote Originally Posted by The One Who Knows


    Perhaps you guys should realize that those stories should not be taken literally.

    For example. It was said that God created the Earth in one week. He didn't, from our perspective, but from His who is to say that he didn't. He is outside of our space/time.

    I think that all parts of the book should not be taken literally, except for the Gospel.
    Here's another "FACT" (could be considered, and probably will be, opinionated by lazy asses that can't google for questions on jesus's existence) that no theist likes (and few even know for that matter). The Gospel has nothing other than the Gospel to prove it. The people/events/etc listed in it, sans a few historical mentions (which were easily grabbed from historical texts floating around at that time), are not provable. Jesus isn't, nor his disciples, nor any of the discourse he had with any person, in any text but the bible.

    Unless you count a few texts by historians who never published what they wrote regarding it, the fact that dozens of other historians never cited or mentioned those works or Jesus, etc. Hardly credible (in fact, those historians also contradict each other as to what was said/done!) in any sense, especially since these are the only works those three (or was there four?) historians wrote that were never published.

    However, I already mentioned that few (if any, sans undereducated people) take those parts of the bible seriously anymore. Especially because science keeps hacking away at how impossible they are, so nobody can believe it that way anymore.

    And regarding the bible's account of earths creation, you can google for numerous scriptures that apply a "gods day is 1000 years" rule, which is applicable to earths creation. Going by that, earth is 11,000 or so years old. And god's age is about the same age as what scientists calculate the earth to be (I did these calculations in another thread long ago, it uses basic mathematics to judge god's age based on the fact the earth is 11,000 years old according to the bible) .
    Even the most simplistic dating methods date farther than 11,000 years. Especially civilizations. So the bible sort of doesn't really match up there either.
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  54. #53 Evolution tour 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    About 4 years ago when visitin gPortsmouth historical dockyard with a friend, whilst doing all the stuff we needed to do, then came out and waited for train which was going to be another hour or so. We noticed a "museum of evolution" citing "free entry" just accross the road. So we went in..............

    ...........I was NOT amused. At no point before entering does it tell you that what you will be entering is a Jehovas Witness building and their attempt at luring innocent passers by to look at their plastic models, going through one way gates (so you HAVE to do the whole tour) reading their crappy artifacts on their opinions that the dinosaurs and humans co-inhabited once. At the end of this 30 minute walk of crap you end up exiting the tour into a jevoas witness bookshop. At which point I was SERIOUSLY ready to hit somebody.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  55. #54  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremyhfht
    Quote Originally Posted by The One Who Knows


    Perhaps you guys should realize that those stories should not be taken literally.

    For example. It was said that God created the Earth in one week. He didn't, from our perspective, but from His who is to say that he didn't. He is outside of our space/time.

    I think that all parts of the book should not be taken literally, except for the Gospel.
    Here's another "FACT" (could be considered, and probably will be, opinionated by lazy asses that can't google for questions on jesus's existence) that no theist likes (and few even know for that matter). The Gospel has nothing other than the Gospel to prove it. The people/events/etc listed in it, sans a few historical mentions (which were easily grabbed from historical texts floating around at that time), are not provable. Jesus isn't, nor his disciples, nor any of the discourse he had with any person, in any text but the bible.

    Unless you count a few texts by historians who never published what they wrote regarding it, the fact that dozens of other historians never cited or mentioned those works or Jesus, etc. Hardly credible (in fact, those historians also contradict each other as to what was said/done!) in any sense, especially since these are the only works those three (or was there four?) historians wrote that were never published.

    However, I already mentioned that few (if any, sans undereducated people) take those parts of the bible seriously anymore. Especially because science keeps hacking away at how impossible they are, so nobody can believe it that way anymore.

    And regarding the bible's account of earths creation, you can google for numerous scriptures that apply a "gods day is 1000 years" rule, which is applicable to earths creation. Going by that, earth is 11,000 or so years old. And god's age is about the same age as what scientists calculate the earth to be (I did these calculations in another thread long ago, it uses basic mathematics to judge god's age based on the fact the earth is 11,000 years old according to the bible) .
    Even the most simplistic dating methods date farther than 11,000 years. Especially civilizations. So the bible sort of doesn't really match up there either.
    Hmm, I think my quote still applies. The only part of the book which was directly inspired by the divine is the Gospel. If you have taken the time and sat down and read the Gospel with an open heart and mind, and it didn't make the most beautiful sense to you, I guess there is nothing else I can say than 'wow'.

    For the rest of the book, as I said, it is not to be taken literally. It is men trying to say something they really can not.
    I desire mercy, not sacrifice.
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  56. #55  
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    Someone here doesn't know that I read the bible a lot...

    Furthermore, the only way the bible makes sense is if you ignore the lack of any physical evidence it has, and read it as though it's a fantasy. Then it makes sense.
    Can it be applied to the real world? No. But that's the point of a fantasy book, they can't be.
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  57. #56  
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    My comment of the "gospels", three words actually: "Council of Nicea"
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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