Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Things we Know are Wrong

The trouble with "Bible Literal" Christians (BLC), that is christians that believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, is they also often treat it as a history text.  The problem with this is that real historians spend a lot of time reading, researching working with other fields of science to determine what really happened.  If the two differ, the historian and the bible, then these people  (and I am not talking about people who use the bible as a guide book; they are for another day) is they opt for a book that we know has changed over the years.

Let's look at a couple of examples, and to be fair I'll stick to the first two books of the Bible.

Myth 1: Adam and Eve
This one is so internally inconsistent that it has given rise to the Lilith myth.  Which I have enjoyed using in my own horror writing, but it makes for shitty reality.  In one passage we see god creating man and woman at the same time, in a later passage man is first and then woman is created (which has lead to 1000 of years of second class citizenship for women).  Instead of looking at this and thinking "ah, well they both can't be true therefore it is all bullshit" BLCs look at it and think "ah they must both be true!"
Ignoring that, there is also the issue of how could everyone on the planet come from just two people?  We would be so inbred as a species that the whole Earth would like some backwoods Appalachian village straight out of Deliverance.   PLUS the Bible doesn't think that.  After Cain is cast out for killing his brother he goes over to some other village and meets his wife.  Where the fuck did these people come from???
You can read the mental gymnastics that BLCs go through to explain who this woman is over at "Answers in Genesis" but you can also go read Time Cube and it makes about the same sense.
So in the Adam and Eve story we have: 1.) Many internal contradictions, 2.) no means of genetic diversity (which we can see everywhere right now) and 3.) justifications of keeping women as second class citizens and the superiority of man.  Why is that last one important? Simple is shows us why it was written the way it was.

Myth 2: The Flood
I knew this one was bullshit as a kid.  The big problem I have with this one is it is a fantasy aimed at little kids  (for the most part) and used to scare adults.  Here is what I mean.
First we have all the animals living in Noah's Ark in peace and happiness. The lions never eat the lambs and the elephants never shit on the floor.  The monkey's don't masturbate all day and the noise is fine.  And it is all bullshit.
First off we know how big the Ark was.  I have had arguments with Christians that will say "oh we don't know how big a cubit was", ah. yes we do.  Type "cubit" into Google.   And given an Ark that size we know for a fact that all the animals in the world could not fit into it. Let alone HOW all those animals got there.  Did the polar bear and penguin travel to the Middle east? What about the Kangaroo?   And even if that did, how was there enough room for all the food and fresh water?  Where the whales also on board? All the fish, the millions of species of insects?
The BLCs then will go into mental gymnastics mode again and talk about "kinds" which is of course is bullshit still.  Well lets say that they got all those animals in and they lived for six months without disease or killing each other.  They get out of the Ark and go back to the world.  Why then don't we see animals of all kinds leaving behind remains?  We would expect to see all sorts of animals remains of ever "kind" in Turkey where mount Arat is.  Except we don't.  There are no polar bears, penguins or kangaroos in Turkey.
the BLCs pull out the "kinds" argument again, say they animals changed.  We have a word for that in the real world.  It's called "Evolution".
Then there is the issue of what is left over after a flood; mud.  Lots of it.  You would then expect to see a nice line of mud in the strata of rock all around the world.  Except we don't.  There is no evidence what so ever of a world-wide flood.
Then we run into the same issues as with Adam and Eve.  Limited genetic material.
Oh and there are other, older flood stories that the writers of the bible plagiarized.
I said Noah's Ark is a kids story and it is.  All those animals living together like stuffed animals in a toybox.  The rainbow at the end to signal that god still loves you.  Except that this is the same god that wiped out most of the population in a flood.  He killed everything and everyone just because he could.
That's not a loving god. That is an asshole.

More reading:
http://www.skepdic.com/noahsark.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noah%27s_Ark
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/07/30/dutch-millionaire-builds-a-replica-of-noahs-ark/


Myth 3: The Jews built the Pyramids
This one is so deeply rooted in our collective sub-consciousness that to counter it we have to turn to alien astronauts to wedge it out.  The only thing that these two "theories" share is that they are both bullshit.
The Egyptians were many things, but one of those things were avid record keepers. They recorded all sorts of things including all the mundane things that go into making a Kingdom run.  And in all of those records we don't find anything at all about slaves building the pyramids.  What we do find is long ledgers of craftsmen and artists paid for their work on the pyramids.  In fact it was a different sort of religious-mania that seemed to fuel this.  The Egyptians that built the pyramids did it because that was how they got to the afterlife.  They even competed with each other to get more work done.  We have found skeletons, buried in workman's graves that are identified as workers on the pyramids. Their bone structure and DNA identifies them as Egyptian.  These were not pauper's graves either.  They were the honored dead.
This means the Exodus story is in no way true. It never happened because actual historical documents don't support it.

More reading:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza#Construction_theories
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/who-built-the-pyramids.html
http://www.nationalgeographic.com/pyramids/pyramids.html


So if these three fundamental, even foundational, stories are no where near true what does that say about the rest of it?