Did God Help the Hebrews?

“I’ve often thought that the Bible should have a disclaimer in front saying this is fiction” Ian McKellen

The Jewish people claim that Yahweh, Elohim, or God, pick whichever name you like, was the creator of the world …and humanity…and made himself known to Abraham as a God and protector of the Hebrew race. Not the human race, which was flourishing at the time, but the Jewish race.

Taking the numbers from the Bible, describing Huge battles involving thousands or hundreds of thousands of warriors, the population of earth had to be tremendous…in the millions and millions. ‘God’ picks Hebrews as ‘His’ people???

Now if you know anything about the history of the Middle East, Hebrews, Jews, Persia, Syria, Egypt, Israel, Judea, or any of the various tribal groups roaming around the Holy Land area, you know that the Hebrew tribes never were very successful as a country, or military power, or race for that matter.

They had three kings, all of three of which were hugely flawed. They were constantly revising their theology and beliefs. Many of them converted to other religions when they were dispersed at different times during their history. Now if you KNEW that your God was the only true one…how could you change your religion?

Time after time they go into battle and lose. They are conquered time and again, they are dispersed and exiled many times and finally the Romans conquer and destroy Jerusalem and what’s left of the Jews spread all over the world.

There is no real evidence of a ‘God’ helping them or being advantageous to their existence.

Do any of you ‘out there’ see some evidence of an omnipotent, omniscient being helping the Jews? I sure don’t.

Why would anybody want to carry on the worship of a God that so obviouly had no power over our world? Who would want to be associated with a ‘God’ that never helped it’s subjects? Why would you want to buy into that whole guilt and sin fantasy?

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Old Religious Flood Stories

So I’m talking with this guy about Noah’s ark and the Great flood. He tells me that most cultures, religions, and races have a flood myth.

I say to him “yeah, that’s because most old societies back then gathered and created towns and villages near a water source, and those sources would occasionally flood.”

“No,” he says, “I’m talking about the stories they tell about their god’s flooding the whole world and choosing some ‘good’ people to survive on a boat or raft. You know like Noah.”

I ask for examples, but he really doesn’t know any, he just knows that other religions and races have flood stories. We talk of other things for awhile and finally we go our separate ways.

Once at home I decide to research the flood stories on the Internet. I’ve heard this before, and never really researched it much. I found that many of the flood myths contain similar qualities

  • Humans are guilty of sin or transgression against the gods
  • A god or gods sends a flood as punishment.
  • Instructions are sent to an individual to build a boat or craft of some kind.
  • The instructions include ensuring the survival of all species…or at least some of them
  • The flood destroys the old race of sinners
  • After the flood, a new, less sinful race emerges to regenerate the species.

The Hebrew (Noah’s) flood is one of the few that can…kind of…be dated. Most of the Christian religious sects agree on a window of from 2700 to 2200 BC, with around 2300 to 2500 BC being the average. Of course, as I have wrote here before, there is absolutely no evidence for a world-wide flood anywhere near those dates. In fact there is no evidence for world-wide flooding at any past age.

The oldest story I have found is the Epic of Gilgamesh, tentatively dated at about 1000 or more years before the OT Hebrew legend. Since the Hebrew story has so many similarities to Gilgamesh, and the Gilgamesh story is out of Babylon, where the Jews just happened to spend a lot of time (think of the ‘Exile), and is where many scholars think the majority a lot of the OT was put to papyrus. By the way, you can see this late composition of the scriptures by noting that there are some glaring anachronisms in Genesis.

There are a number of flood stories that some scholars think have been polluted by early Christian proselytizers. These are primarily American Indian and South American Indian. (Minus the really old South American tribes) As you read some of the old stories you can see the Biblical influence.

So, yes there are many flood stories from around the world, but most of them disagree on the details, but some of them kind of agree. Why do you think this would be? Is there some kind of ‘group’ human memory going on here?

Believe me, if the people that research these kinds of things (geologists, archaeologists, etc.) ever found some kind of proof for a historical world-wide flood, and they have been looking down through the years, you would hear about it. A find of that magnitude would make him/her rich and famous.

There is a man, George Valas, of the National Technical Information Centre and Library, in Hungary who has an interesting theory. The full paper can be read: Here:

He writes:

“It is an old enigma whether the myths of Flood obtained in different mythologies created independently of each other in different parts of the world are based on real events or not. The paleoclimatologic research obtained in the late eighties that the melting was extremely violent in some periods of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, creating “ideal” conditions for cataclysmic floods, more violent than we can imagine now. The period about 8250 B.C., the years after so called Younger Dryas episode of severe refreezing rises above the others of such periods with the second most violent melting of the whole Pleistocene-Holocene transition, with strongly increased seasonality concentrating the melting to a short period within the year, and a monsoon activity in the presently arid Middle East 30% stronger than it is observed in the contemporary monsoon zone. It is very likely that this coincidence of circumstances might cause such cataclysmic floods that may cause to born the myths of Flood.

A series of the largest natural catastrophes in the history of mankind can perhaps be discovered by comparison of recent results in paleoclimatology with traditions of religions. The origin of the biblical myth of the Flood is an ancient enigma that is complicated by similar myths in other beliefs in other parts of the world. An old hypothesis suggested that in the background of these myths there were real floods of cataclysmic size. Attempts to identify these real floods or find any connection between them have as yet been unsuccessful. However, recent paleoclimatic investigations have put this enigma in a new light, as a consequence of which it seems likely that all these floods took place during the last deglaciation period, during the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene. The most likely time for the biblical Flood is about 8,250 B.C. (10,200 B.P.), the end of the Younger Dryas cold episode.

Given that the text of the Old Testament should not be taken literally, one of the first questions is: Do verses 7:10-7:12, 7:17-7:24, and 8:2-8:11 of Genesis reflect some real event? Was there any real flood of unprecedented size in the background of the biblical myth of the Flood? Even though one of accepted answers is that indeed there was (Tokarev (ed.) 1982), attempts to identify the geological layers of that flood have been unsuccessful. One possible reason for this may be the incorrect dating of the supposed event.

The situation is complicated by other similar myths in other beliefs in other parts of the world, from Sumerian Ziusudra myth through different Indian and Chinese myths to a large variety of myths of flood among different native American nations and tribes (Tokarev (ed.) 1982). It is not likely at all that these myths are spread from one centre, because

i) There are too great differences between them (Tokarev (ed.)1982);

ii) The cultures in the Middle East, in India, in China, and in
Americas developed independently of each other in the last
20,000 years (Barraclough and Stone 1990).

A real flood of global size is simply impossible, because the amount of all water on the Earth is far not enough for a “global” flood: any real floods in the background of these different myths had to be different ones (except the Biblical and the Sumerian myths that can reflect the same event observed independently of each other by two different populations at two different places). Despite it being difficult to imagine that these different myths reflect events completely independent of each other, there is no evidence of any connection between these different floods.”

There is more to this paper, and it’s an easy read, you may want to follow the link. Here

That makes two theories now, if you also consider the Black Sea Deluge , that make infinitely more sense to explain this damnable flood story that the Hebrews wrote of and the Christians gloomed onto as the workings of Yahweh, Elohim, El, Jehovah, or whatever. The other cultures also attributed ‘their’ flood to their gods, but Christianity says they are false gods so their stories are not true…well maybe Yahweh is false too. These are just old stories and myths; they can’t be proven, but most of the assertions (Noah’s two or seven of every animal, only 8 people survived, etc.) can be disproved.

The Christians just keep trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Maybe they need to regroup and rethink the reality out here.

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Humans Came Out of Africa

It is now pretty much accepted that Homo sapiens originated in Africa and spread north and east along the coasts of the Indian Ocean and then split into groups that migrated in every direction. Some went to Australia; some went north into the Asian steppes, thence into Europe, where they eventually displaced the Neanderthals. Evidence is primarily mutations in mitochondrial DNA found in the descendants not of a single woman, Eve, but rather a “core” of 2,000 to maybe 10,000 Africans who lived around 190,000 to 200,000 years ago. This puts science once again in the cross-hairs of the religious right or visa-versa. The religionists will thoroughly deny that the scientists know what they’re talking about, and continue to insist that the Biblical Adam and Eve were born 6,000+ years ago somewhere in the middle-east.

I suspect it’s really hard to be a Christian nowadays. As much as they would like to muzzle the continuing new knowledge that disproves their beliefs…they can’t. If they just ignores the news and don’t read anything but select Christian literature, they can keep their cores beliefs I suppose, but I would have to believe that it would make one rather one dimensional and boring to talk to. I mean the Bible stories have been passed around and talked about so much that you get tired of repeating the same thing over and over.

If you are one of the rare Christian birds that can somehow read and listen to the daily bombardment of advancing knowledge and somehow rationalize it as not applying to your faith, more power to you. I find it rather sad though that real knowledge is filtered out of your consciousness.

That leaves the even rarer Christian that hears and reads about the real world science going on and on and thinks he or she can somehow make their beliefs fit. Better yet, get a scientifically trained person who wimped out of real science because you actually have to prove and defend your position, and goes and gets a Doctor of Divinity degree, and writes books that sound scientifically plausible to the layman, but are thoroughly debunked by the practicing scientist. I have found so many Christian sites on the Internet that just lie to try to make their religious beliefs make sense in light of the real world knowledge out there.

I have talked in person to Christians who profess to believe in the inerrant Bible and they are really ignorant. They look surprised when you bring up facts to them. Don’t misunderstand me, I still respect them as unusually nice persons, but I can’t understand their being that uninvolved in the world. Christians without a doubt accept the science that underlies modern living…they believe in that and know it works. That’s as far as it goes though. Science is under the control of Satan if any of it impinges on their ‘beliefs.’

This is all well and good as long as these Christians are established and productive citizens, but as I wrote about yesterday, what happens to their children if those children are brought up believing that modern science is wrong and unacceptable to believe in? Some secular colleges are turning down Christian school graduates for not being able to think critically and logically enough to survive college teaching.

“Information is religion’s greatest enemy, and in an age when information is just a few keyboard strokes away from anyone with a computer, this is going to pose a greater threat to Christianity than anything it has yet ‘survived.‘ “–Farrell Till


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Teach Science and Religion Together?

So, do you think it would be ‘fair’ to teach religion, along with scientific subjects in your local middle-school or high school science classes?

A lot of people, including our current president George Bush, have said that would be alright with them. Picture me standing here with my jaw dropping to the floor. Why on earth would this even enter someone’s mind as a good thing to do? What reasonable thinking person thinks the two subjects should be taught together at the same time, in the same room?

You know the answer to this of course…they should not be taught together. Religion doesn’t even come close to having an intellectually honest explanation of our earth, the human race, our pre-historic past, things like Neanderthals, stratigraphy, bones of dinosaurs, archaeological records; you know those little things that show how little the human writers of the Bible in 1500 BCE- and later, knew about their world.

Come to think about it…God didn’t know much about our world either…that is if you think the Bible was the inspired ‘word’ from God. You would think the creator of everything in the universe could /would explain to his chosen people how things really work. After all, they were as intelligent as some people of today.

But I digress. So if you think religion should be taught in your local schools, so that our children can be balanced, and pick out what YOU or THEY want to believe in. Should we also teach Astrology and Astronomy together, so they can choose which one of those ‘sciences disciplines’ they wish to follow? Perhaps they could get a job forecasting the future for presidents…why not, Reagan had one.

Should we teach Alchemy…you know, how to change lead into gold, along with modern chemistry to give them a choice of careers to follow.

Perhaps witchcraft and modern medicine should be combined…after all a lot of people believe in the old medicine man. That might take care of the doctor shortage in some remote and small towns. We could bring back the sacrificial goats and lambs and show the medical/witchcraft students how to please God with the aroma of burning goat/lamb flesh…It’s an Old Testament thing.

Just yesterday I heard that the California University system has been fending off lawsuits (The UC just won the case 8.12.08) from graduates from Christian High Schools. They (the students) have contended that the Universities where denying them admittance because of religious teaching. The California University system says that the students from the Christian schools are not learning critical thinking and logical skills necessary to graduate from college, because they are using science(?) books that explain humans and earth and evolution in a religious context only. Another sign that teaching religion in public schools is a very baaad idea.

The religious right just has to get over it, and stop their assault on the truth of science. No matter how much you deny the truth…it is still there…and the only way it can be made to go away is disprove it. And so far they have only tried lying…to make the truth go away. Is that even Christian?

See story here: http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2008/CA/782_victory_in_california_creation_8_12_2008.asp

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God, Religion, and Republicans

“I am now convinced that children should not be subjected to the frightfulness of the Christian religion…. If the concept of a father who plots to have his own son put to death is presented to children as beautiful and as worthy of society’s admiration, what types of human behavior can be presented to them as reprehensible?”Ruth Hurmence Green

I might add; a God that from time to time asks the faithful to kill their own offspring to prove their faithfulness, or allows torture of the faithful to prove a point to His evil (who’s the more evil here?) opponent. This Christian/Hebrew God is not a ‘God of Love’ as Christians like to say, he is a God of Murder, Torture, Genocide, and Jealousy. One only needs to read the Old Testament to prove that. The people running around preaching that ‘God is Love’ are brainwashed, and they are trying to do the same to you.

The people of an evangelical fundamentalist bent are raising their own children to be ignorant in a world of constantly advancing science and understanding. They are teaching their offspring to ignore the stuff that makes our world livable and possible in times of high population pressure and diminishing resources. They will have no clue when they are adults…much as some fundies are today.

Their wish from what I can understand from hundreds of websites readings and live conversations is to take over the secular governments of the world and establish religious rule…just like the Muslims essentially want to do. And they keep hoping the world will end soon, or predicting it’s imminent demise. That’s really creepy.

They will be happy to pass laws to outlaw homosexuals, heretics, blasphemers, religion that does not conform to their commandments, pre-marital sex, to allow censorship in what we read and speak about, how we dress, what, or who, we can worship, what movies can depict, who we can associate with; in short they want to legislate yours and mine morality and conduct. Kinda like Hitler.

The Republican Party is already controlled by these subversives, at least according to Bill Moyer on PBS
I have a quote from him on one of my other blog posts which I will duplicate here.

“True, people of faith have always tried to bring their interpretation of the Bible to bear on American laws and morals … it’s the American way, encouraged and protected by the First Amendment. But what is unique today is that the radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties. The country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is, and they are driving American politics, using God as a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on.”-Bill Moyer

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t go around breaking the 10 commandments or any civil laws…Now…but I do read books that would be considered heretical under theist rule. I also speak out about how crazy Christian theology and Bible is. That alone that would get me put in jail if the religious right (evangelical fundamentalists) gets their way. In times long past I have broken numbers 3, 4, 7, and 10 of those Christian commandments, and (well, actually I keep breaking 2 of them) although I regret them, I do not think people should go to jail for some of them…murder, theft, and false witness…yea, go to jail for them, but not for coveting your neighbor’s wife, or cussing, or not going to church. 🙂

Anyway, the Christian rights stated ambition is to take over secular rule of the world and have religion guide our future…and they have already succeeded in taking over the Republican Party.
I wonder what’s next.

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Religious Attitudes in Mexico

Antonio Lazcano is a biology professor at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico in Mexico City. He has studied evolution and the origins of life for more than 30 years and as a student at the university he majored in prebiotic evolution and the emergence of life. He has authored several books in the Spanish language, including ‘The Origins of Life’, published in 1984, that became a bestseller in Mexico. He has also been a professor-in-residence or visiting scientist in France, Spain, Cuba, Switzerland, Russia, and the United States He was reelected president of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, in 2005, the first Latin American scientist to occupy this position.

He has an article in the journal ‘Science, which is a publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, wherein he comments on the acceptance of evolutionary sciences in Mexico and it’s relationship to the dominate Roman Catholic Church.

He relates that Mexicans in general have a commitment to the idea of evolution, as the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII endorsed the evolutionary principles that Darwin had proposed, in the mid-nineteen hundreds. So, contrary to many peoples belief, the people of Mexico do not suffer under a strong anti-evolutionary theocratic peer pressure. The Church realizes that the science behind evolution is valid, and tends to not interfere with peoples secular beliefs.

He comments that opposition to his teaching of evolution is practically nonexistent, and he has only been challenged twice. “Only twice during my 30 years of teaching about evolutionary biology and research into the origins of life, have I encountered religious-based opposition to my work. In both cases, it came from evangelical zealots from the United States preaching in Mexico.” He continues. “One of the little recognized U.S. imports into Mexico is a small flow of creationists, who, through religion, are trying to impose their fundamentalist beliefs and hinder the teaching of Darwinian evolution in all levels of schooling”. My emphasis.

I would add that this is a good example of the ‘Ugly American’ in action. How much arrogance and self-conceit does it take for these fools to interfere with another countries scholastic standards? What craziness do they posses that makes them think that…they alone…have the all answers, and must climb in other peoples face to spread their insanity?

Professor Lazcano says that their history has not recorded any major controversy over the publication of Darwin’s The Origin of Species, in 1859. The fact that the Roman Catholic Church does not advocate the literal reading of the Bible as the evangelical fundamentalists do, probably contributes to this.

Places that have a predominately Catholic background such as France, Spain, Italy and most Latin American countries are secular in their outlook and politic, and are able to maintain an extended form of secularism while also being able to support religious freedom. Catholics in Mexico do not read the Old Testament as literal truth, but as a way that creation may have happened. Thus it is possible for Catholic Bible readers to believe in a supernatural origin of life and not have to reject Darwinism in order to maintain logical consistency in their theocratic scheme.

Professor Lazcano says that he and his associates are often invited to speak about life origins and evolution in public and private schools, including those run by Catholic nuns and priests. He says that students and professors see no doctrinal conflict between their own personal faith and Darwin’s scientific ideas. “They even found hilarious the idea of teaching creationism based on biblical literalism.”

He feels that most Mexicans find it hard to understand the hold that religion has in America, and many are baffled by the lax attitude of American politicians to the religious right that manage to influence and undermine the public educational system. “In contrast, Mexico still maintains some anticlerical attitudes, and public education bears the secular trademark of the Enlightenment, whose introduction into the country was facilitated by some prominent priests and Jesuits.”

His closing sentence is particularly relevant to the creationist / evolutionist argument. “Our understanding of the origin and early stages of biological evolution still has major unsolved problems, but they are recognized by the scientific community as intellectual challenges, and not as requiring metaphysical explanations, as proponents of creationism would have it.” My emphasis Amen

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