Metal Working Before God Created The Earth??

If you believe in a evangelical fundamentalist God

What in modern times is the country Armenia, was in ancient times a very valuable resource for mankind…it is thought that much of mans knowledge of metallurgy was gained here around the ancient city of Metsamor.  It was occupied from around 7,000 BC to perhaps 1700 AD and was an astronomical site as well as metallurgical.

Excavation of the ruins has discovered a very large metal industry including a foundry with 2 kinds of blast furnaces.  The foundry is known to have extracted and processed gold, copper, and several types of manganese, zinc, strychnine, mercury, and iron.  Metal from the foundries of Metsamor found their way to Egypt, Central Asia and China.

Several Huge underground caves have been uncovered that are believed to have been storehouses for base metal, as well as a grain storage for winter months.  The first iron in the ancient world may have been forged here.

It is believed that metal working got its start there about 5,000 BC…one more blow to the Young Earth Creationists who STILL believe the earth was formed by a Mesopotamian god around 4000 + BC, and Tubal-Cain invented metal working well after the creation, but before the “Flood” on or about 2400 BC

There are many very ancient human sites around the Armenia/Turkey area going back at least 9,000 to 11,000 years or more.  The whole Babylonian/Turkey/Armenia/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Egypt area is the largest cradle of human civilization…although humans were not originally from there, when we migrated out of Africa to the areas they were found to be very conducive to human life.

Pretty cool chart about the petroglyphs and early writing in the area
http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/Images/countries/Turkish%20pics/alphabetbig.jpg
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God and the Sumerians

There is no foundation for making the moral and supernatural claims that the Christian religion makes.  That is not to say that the evidence is inadequate…it is to say that there is NO evidence for almost all of their claims.  All religions have human fingerprints all over them and the Christian religion has never even come close to proving that there is anything true about their claims that a god created the world about 6,000 years ago in a fit of creation that lasted 6 literal days.

If that were true the Sumerians and other people living in the Fertile Crescent at the time would have sure been surprised…they had already built a large city or two and were in the middle of perfecting agriculture and culture building. They and their brethren in Jericho had been advancing civilization for a few thousand years already.

It must have pretty disconcerting for the Chinese, Indus Valley, East Indian, European, Asian, Australian, North and South American peoples that had thriving cities, culture, and advanced civilizations already going by 6,000 years ago.  In the Fertile Crescent I wonder what the existing people did when Adam and Eve were plopped down in their midst?  I mean they were intellectual infants…didn’t know how to farm, hitch up a water buffalo to a plow, make cheese or beer or anything useful, and they kept running around naked for god’s sake.  And where were their bellybuttons??

God must have phoned in the creation of Adam and Eve, because he created them with absolutely no skills or inbreed knowledge of the world and its ways.  The Sumerians however already knew mathematics and about the seasons and animal husbandry, maybe some astronomy, and a myriad of other things necessary to survive in a cold and cruel world.  They had known these things for thousands of years before God “Created the Earth” in 6,000 BC.

If the Bible is mistaken in telling us where we came from, how can we trust it to tell us where we’re going?” -Justin Brown

Sargon the Great and Moses

Sargon of Akkad / Mesopotamia (c.2300BC to 2215BC)
His birth story from Wikipedia Here
“My mother was a high priestess, my father I knew not. The brothers of my father loved the hills. My city is Azupiranu, which is situated on the banks of the Euphrates. My high priestess mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes; with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me. Akki, the drawer of water, appointed me as his gardener. While I was a gardener, Ishtar granted me her love, and for four and […] years I exercised kingship.”   
The river would have been the Euphrates.

Moses of the Hebrews / Egypt / Promised Land / Israel (c. 1396 BC+- to Feb-Mar 1271 BC+-
His birth story From the Jewish Encyclopedia Here
In the Exodus account, the birth of Moses occurred at a time when an unnamed Egyptian Pharaoh had commanded that all male Hebrew children born be killed by drowning in the river Nile. Jochebed, the wife of the Levite Amram, bore a son and kept him concealed for three months. When she could keep him hidden no longer, rather than deliver him to be killed, she set him adrift on the Nile River in a small craft of bulrushes coated in pitch. Moses’ sister Miriam observed the progress of the tiny boat until it reached a place where Pharaoh’s daughter (Bithiah, Thermuthis) was bathing with her handmaidens. It is said that she spotted the baby in the basket and had her handmaiden fetch it for her.
Hmmm…Sargon the Great, who we know was real, was born in secrecy and his mother built a small craft and set it / him free on the river. Story from somewhere around 2300-2200 BC in the Babylon / Mesopotamian area.  Sargon is the first individual in recorded history to create a multi-ethnic, centrally ruled empire, and his dynasty controlled Mesopotamia for around a century and a half.

Moses whom many Biblical scholars now think may be a mythical character who lived around a thousand later than Sargon…if he (Moses) were real, has the same birth myth as a great historical character who lived a lot earlier. Also to be considered in this story is that those same Biblical scholars think that the story of Moses and his writings was a pious fraud, written by Hebrews who were exiled in Babylon (Mesopotamia) in around 587 BC to help bring the Hebrews tribes together in faith.

One could reasonably conclude that parts of the birth myth of Moses was “borrowed” from Mesopotamian writings they came into contact with in Babylon.

Also one could look at the mythical Gilgamesh flood story (circa 2700 BC), the greatest surviving work of early Mesopotamian literature, and see some mighty close similarities with the story of Noah and his Ark…which was part of the Pentateuch that Moses was supposed to have written around 1270 BC, but was probably written by Hebrew scribes in the 6th century BC.

I think this part of Biblical myth can also be reasonably thought of as another Hebrew “borrowing” of storyline from the Mesopotamians.  Boy those Hebrew’s are sharp…

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What I Learned in Bible School

In very late 2006 or very early 2007 some friends of mine convinced me that I should take a Bible study.  As my wife had within the previous few years took on the mantle of a professing Christian, the friends intimated that my following in her steps would be good for me and for my wife.  Having long been at least agnostic, and leaning very heavily towards atheism, I told them several times that they would probably be wasting theirs and my time.  Well they didn’t listen and they finally wore down my resistance.

I would meet with them once a week for what was supposed to be a 1 hour study. Inevitably that 1 hour stretched into 2 or 3 hours.  There was not one page of their study material that I did not question or have some legitimate objection too.  I was not trying to be difficult or mean to them—they were friends after all—but what they were saying and the stuff from the Bible just made no sense to me.  I was excited because I was finally laying out and writing down what was heretofore just a vague feeling or sense.  I was getting organized and I researched and researched everything, I was learning about the Christian history and its dogma…and it did not bode well for the Christians.  I started this blog in November of 2007 to try to keep some track of what I was learning.

I learned that the earth, sky, waters, animals, plants, and the human race are not roughly 6,000 years old. There is just too much conclusive evidence that this is not true

I learned that there was no Adam and Eve (4000+- BC) as portrayed in the Bible. There are thousands of anatomically modern skeletons and hundreds of thousands of human bones that go back hundreds of thousands of years.  There is no doubt, at all, that modern humanity did NOT begin 6000 years ago.  Then there are the tens of thousands of bones of human type species (Homo-erectus, Homo-habilis, Homo-neanderthal, etc.)  that did not make it through to our times, and they made and used tools and fire and there is some evidence of art.  They walked upright and didn’t live in trees and surely they were our long lost cousins.  I also learned that All of humanity alive today has their ultimate roots in Africa.  The fact that there was no Adam and Eve has tremendous consequences down the road.

I learned that there was never a whole earth covering flood (2350+- BC) that destroyed all of mankind except for a mythical man, his wife and three sons and their wives.  The evidence against the flood has been known since the 1700’s and keeps getting stronger as the years go by.  I learned that people keep searching this one mountain in modern day Turkey for remains of Noah’s Ark in vain and that at least 5 people have perpetrated a hoax on the public by announcing they have found the Ark. One person even doctored some wood planks at home to try to make them look old enough to have come from such a vessel.

I learned that there was never a Tower of Babel scenario (2000+- BC) such as told in Genesis.  We now know beyond a doubt that there were already millions of humans spread ALL over the earth at that time.  The Biblical story is nothing more than a fairy-tale, a crude attempt to try to explain the different languages that were spoken at the time the story was written.

I learned that Moses was probably a fictional character, as we know that the work attributed to him (The first five books of the Bible…the Pentateuch) was written by more than one person (3-4) and was probably written around 600-550 BC as a fictive work passed off as holy to bring the Hebrews tribes together again after the exile in Babylon.

I learned that the Exodus as described in the Bible is just a fairy tale. Archaeologists have been scouring the Sinai for over a hundred years looking for signs of at least a million people passing through and living on the land for 40 years…they have found Nothing!  They did find evidence of much earlier humans visiting and living there, but no Israelite signs from the era supported by the Bible story.  This also means that there was no exodus of Hebrews trodding across the Red/Reed Sea, no burning bush, no water spouting rock, no Ten Commandments carried down Mount Sinai, no golden calf, and no manna from heaven.

I learned that Joshua did NOT fight the battle of Jericho. Extensive archaeological work has determined that most all of the towns he was supposed to have squashed were already empty and in ruins at the time indicated in the Bible—both the 1400’s BC and the 1200’s BC theory. But then he was a fictional character anyway so it doesn’t matter.

I learned that Moses couldn’t have written at least some parts of Genesis because he wrote (probably in the 1400’s BC) that Abraham came from “Ur of the Chaldee’s” but we know from history that the Chaldeans did not control the city until around 600-500 BC.

Also Moses wrote that Abraham rescued Lot from the city of Dan which did not exist under that name at the time of Moses.  300 years later the town of Laish was captured by the tribe of Dan and renamed Dan.

I learned that God cannot defeat Iron Chariots used by us war-like humans.

I learned that God does not answer prayers…at least not of those with limb amputations.  Not once in all of recorded history has God ever restored some poor person’s amputated arms or legs and there have been many, many millions of people who have suffered this. You may even know someone from the armed forces who lost a limb or two in Iraq or Afghanistan…or Viet-Nam. The Bible tells us that Jesus raised the dead and threw out spirits or demons and healed some really bad diseases, and he himself was supposed to have risen from the dead, but no mention of limb re-growth anywhere.

I learned that God was really really mean. One mistake in the garden and He curses Adam and Eve and ALL the billions of their offspring to a miserable life with disease and famine and wars and all manner of horrible torture and deaths.  He orders the tribes of Israel to murder man, woman, and child of innocent villages or towns. He fire-bombs villages, He orders running thru pregnant women with swords, bashing babies skulls against the walls or rocks, beheading hundreds or thousands, tossing live people into the fires and who knows what else. And, the animal cruelty you don’t even want to know about.  All in all, the God as described in the Bible is a horrible figure…not God-like at all.  Of course we know that the entire God ordered killing was just the Hebrews way of conquering territory and booty.  There was no God to order all that murder and mayhem.

-end part 1

Warning: This video has a few cuss words…easily offended–don’t watch.

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The Neverending War

Quote of the Day:

“In so far as the structural clue to the power elite today lies in the enlarged and military state, that clue becomes evident in the military ascendancy. The warlords have gained decisive Political relevance, and the military structure of America is now in considerable part a political structure. The seemingly permanent military threat places a premium on the military and upon their control of men, materiel, money, and power; virtually all political and economic actions are now judged in terms of military definitions of reality: the higher warlords have ascended to a firm position within the power elite of the fifth epoch.”  The Power Elite C. Wright Mills, 1956

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Old Testament…A Work of Fiction

“Biblical history totally lacks an historical basis and its character as a largely fictional composition or wholly imaginative history is motivated by the theology of the time of its compilation in the Persian or Hellenistic periods, centuries after the alleged events took place.  At best, it contains only vague and quite unreliable information about early Israel.  Yet, the continuing power of the Biblical narrative is testimony to the literary skill of the authors as they produced a compelling propagandistic work to a highly receptive audience.”  Israel Finkelstein, “The quest for the Historical Israel”, Society of Biblical Literature, 2007

Israel Finkelstein is an Israeli archaeologist and academic. He is currently the Jacob M. Alkow Professor of the Archaeology of Israel in the Bronze Age and Iron Ages at Tel Aviv University and is also the co-director of excavations at Megiddo in northern Israel. Previously, he served as Director of the Sonia and Marco Nadler Institute of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University from 1996-2002. In 2005 he received the Dan David Prize.

Born in Petah Tikva, he completed his studies at Tel Aviv University, writing his Ph.D. thesis on The Izbet Sartah excavations, for which he was also the Field Director.
Bio data from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_Finkelstein
Israel Finkelstein’s CV: http://www.tau.ac.il/humanities/archaeology/directory/dir_israel_finkelstein.html

For a hundred plus years or so we have known that the Old Testament had some major problems; such as…who wrote it, when was it written, are the stories true, etc?  Professor Finkelstein went out…did the science…and found out.

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Misc. Bible Related Stuff

From Time Magazine
“…On the other hand, say many scholars, much of what is recorded in the Bible is at best distorted, and some characters and events are probably totally fictional. Most scholars suspect that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Judaism’s traditional founders, never existed; many doubt the tales of slavery in Egypt and the Exodus; and relatively few modern historians believe in Joshua’s conquest of Jericho and the rest of the Promised Land. In the most extreme view, all of the above are complete fabrications, invented centuries after the supposed fact.”

And:
“John Van Seters of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, summed up many of their commonly held positions. The oldest books of the Old Testament, he declared with Pope-like confidence, weren’t written until the Israelites were in exile in Babylon, after 587 B.C. There was no Moses, no crossing of the sea, and no revelation on Mount Sinai.”

And:
“The Bible’s accounts of these people and events are among the most familiar stories in the Old Testament. But even scholars who believe they really happened admit that there’s no proof whatsoever that the Exodus took place. No record of this monumental event appears in Egyptian chronicles of the time, and Israeli archaeologists combing the Sinai during intense searches from 1967 to 1982 — years when Israel occupied the peninsula — didn’t find a single piece of evidence backing the Israelites’ supposed 40-year sojourn in the desert.”

And:
“…considering that artifacts from as far back as the late Stone Age have turned up in the Sinai , it is perplexing that no evidence of the Israelites’ passage has been found. William Dever, a University of Arizona archaeologist, flatly calls Moses a mythical figure. Some scholars even insist the story was a political fabrication, invented to unite the disparate tribes living in Canaan through a falsified heroic past.”

Read the whole story: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,983854-1,00.html

“It would be impossible…to argue that the Bible is a unified whole, inerrant in all its parts, inspired by God in every way. It can’t be that. There are too many divergences, discrepancies, contradictions; too many alternative ways of looking at the same issue, alternatives that often are at odds with one another. The Bible is not a unity, it is a massive plurality. God did not write the Bible, people did.”   Jesus Interrupted (p. 279). Bart Ehrman, the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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A time will come when a politician who has willfully made war and promoted international dissension will be … surer of the noose than a private homicide.
~ H. G. Wells