Est. May 2008

16 September, 2014

More On Noah’s Ark


In a previous post I wrote about the alleged small-scale reproduction of Noah’s Ark, built in India and supervised by Dr. Irving Finkel, who based his blueprints on a 4000-year-old cuneiform inscription on an clay cylinder.  A quick refresher: Dr. Finkel’s‘ark’ is round, has two floors, and is made of bitumen-coated reeds, much different than the vessel described in Genesis.

There’s another problem, though; let’s call it a discrepancy, shall we?

The cylinder with the inscription has been dated to roughly four thousand years ago, which means it would have been inscribed around 2000 BC.  Dr. Finkel maintains this story is ‘the first record of the famous Babylonian flood story, which was later recorded in the book of Genesis’ (emphasis mine). 

Later:
Dr Finkel said that the story of Noah’s Ark was an oral narrative for a long time, based on a destructive flood in around 1750BC (emphasis mine again).
So, which is it?  Is the Genesis story based on the Babylonian flood story of around 2000 BC, or is it based on a flood that occurred 250 years later in 1750 BC?  Picking one would probably be the best scientific way to go.

Whether or not the author of Genesis used the 2000 BC story or the 1750 BC story – or even a combination of both – doesn’t answer the most fundamental question regarding the ark.

Why would Genesis’ author, familiar with the Babylonian story and the 1750 BC story, and familiar with the ubiquitous coracle, and trying to write a plausible story, choose to so radically change the design of the vessel as to open himself up to questions and/or ridicule from his peers?

I’ll look into that in a later post.

15 September, 2014

Soft Love Or Hard Love


That’s the question preoccupying my mind when I read of Pastor Tom Mannin’s blog response to the news that the Oklahoma City Council approved the use of one of the rooms in its Civic Center – where his church, the Oklahoma City Community Church, holds Sunday services – to the New York City satanist group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu for them to hold a ‘black mass’ on Sunday, 21 September.

A couple qualifications before I go on.  One, I fully understand that the Civic Center is a public building and as such the city council can rent to whomever they wish.  I also understand that had they refused the satanists, they would have been hard-pressed to explain why it was okay for one religious group to use it and not another.  I also understand that, from what I read, the satanists and the church will not be using the same room within the facility.

Having said that, however (you knew this was coming) …

Inconsistency


“We value inclusivity and diversity on our campus, and all our events and activities are going to adhere to our mission,” she said.
’She’ is Trudy Tuttle Ariaga, superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District, who agreed with Ventura High School’s principal Val Wyatt’s  banning ‘the booster club for the school from selling Chick-fil-A sandwiches for its football fundraiser due to the company’s stance on the institution of marriage’.

How, exactly, do you show how you ‘value inclusivity and diversity’ by excluding the ‘diverse’ groups which may very well hold a different opinion than yours?

The principal also said she ‘wanted to refrain from using outside vendors’, which is fine – after all, if you don’t want outside vendors, that’s your choice.  However, what is not fine is banning a specific vendor because of, in this case, that vendor’s ‘opposition to same-sex “marriage.”’ 

Either you ban them all, or you ban none.  Otherwise, you risk coming across as being exclusive, intolerant, and bigoted.

Some will say (in fact, some already are) that this is just another example of bigotry against Christians.  And perhaps there’s truth there – after all, the Cathy family’s view of traditional marriage is informed by their faith.  But look at the excuse the principal and superintendant give for the ban: : ‘the company’s stance on the institution of marriage’.  There’s the focus of the bigotry, folks – this business has the temerity to have a stance on marriage that is not in line with the inclusive, tolerant, and diversity-loving school district. 

Therefore, in order to uphold inclusivity, diversity, and tolerance, the district will be intolerant and exclusive of a diversity of opinion which they do not agree with.

Seriously, if you’re going to preach inclusivity and tolerance and diversity, you really ought to, you know, be consistent and actually practice what you preach?

Food for thought.

14 September, 2014

Yep, That’s A Perfect Match

(picture credit below)
According to the UK Daily Mail, somebody decided to build a small-scale replica of a Mesopotamian coracle from plans out of a four-thousand-year-old cuneiform cylinder.

Okay, what’s the big deal?

Well, the guy in charge, Dr. Irving Finkel (who happens to be the assistant keeper of the Middle East department at the British Museum, by the way), is telling everybody who’ll listen that it’s also a small-scale replica of Noah’s ark:
A scale model of Noah’s Ark has been built based on a blueprint drawn up in ancient Babylon 4,000 years ago.

The expert behind the Biblical undertaking rocked the world last year with his controversial theory that the fabled ark was round and made of reeds.

Now such a coracle-like vessel has been constructed according to exact instructions marked on clay tablets from ancient Mesopotamia, now modern-day Iraq.
Pay attention here – there will be a quiz.

Let’s take a look at the biblical description of the ark God told Noah to make and compare it to Dr. Finkel’s ‘ark’:
Make yourself an ark of gopher wood. Make rooms in the ark, and cover it inside and out with pitch. This is how you are to make it: the length of the ark 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. Make a roof for the ark, and finish it to a cubit above, and set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks. (Genesis 6:14-16)
Dr. Finkel’s ark is kinda missing some stuff, like, oh, say, a third floor, no door in its side, being round instead of rectangular, and being made out of reeds instead of wood (even if we don’t know exactly what ‘gopher wood’ is,  it’s still wood).

Yep, other than those four things, it’s a perfect, small-scale replica of Noah’s ark.

Feel free to bang your head on your desk in frustration.

And the funniest thing about this is, you don’t have to be Jewish, Christian, or, for that matter, religious at all to be able to compare the Genesis account with Dr. Finkel’s ‘work’ and see they don’t match.  What Dr. Finkel and the folks who’ve made this have done is they’ve built a small-scale reproduction of a boat described on a four-thousand-year-old cuneiform scroll – not the boat found in Genesis 6.

And they ought not to keep saying they have.

(picture credit: Right Wing News)

10 September, 2014

Actors Say The Darndest Things


Adding additional evidence to my hypothesis that some actors and actresses are nincompoops if they aren’t reading off a script:
The “Christian Right” is not only “homophobic” but also actively experiments on gays with science, according to “Sherlock” actor Benedict Cumberbach.
Apparently, playing the ‘world’s greatest detective’ hasn’t improved Mr. Cumberbach’s investigative skills; if it had, he would have collected his ‘data, data, data’ and made his bricks out of clay, rather than spit, pinfeathers, and hysteria.  He would have discovered, perhaps much to his chagrin, that the only ‘violence’ (and I use the term very loosely) the so-called ‘Christian Right’ has done to homosexuals is taking a small hammer to their crystalline egos.

If Mr. Cumberbach would really like to see violent homophobia, all he need do is to look at what’s happening in the Middle East, where those fun-loving ‘extremist’ Islamists are stringing homosexuals up by their necks on cranes.

But, of course, reality is something Mr. Cumberbach – and, sadly, plenty of others in Hollywood – are almost entirely unfamiliar with.

Perhaps it’s because they make their livings memorizing and regurgitating other peoples’ words.


Food for thought.