• Original Sin – answering Thomas L. McDonald

    I was recently sent a link to Thomas L. McDonald’s piece “The Origin of Man, Original Sin, and Why It’s All Your Fault” on his Patheos blog. There is much to talk about in this attempt to reconcile Catholic doctrine with science. My opinion is that he fails in multiple ways to do justice to any such reconciliation. That said, there are some interesting and ‘original’ attempts.

    I will look to expose some of the issues found in the essay in this post.

    On Twitter, Kyle Cupp asked the following question:

    I replied with a quip I use with my students: “The sin of Adam was inevitable, even if ‘Adam’ wasn’t the one who committed it. If Adam hadn’t eaten the apple, I would have.”

    He was, however, looking for something more specific:

    I have to say at the outset that I reject the premise, so I doubt I’ll be able to provide a satisfactory reply to his completely reasonable question. Science–particularly genome sequencing–is a moving target, and the theologian who chases it winds up like a kitty following a laser pointer as it flits around the floor. It’s foolish to change ancient and settled points of theology derived from scripture and tradition in the light of trending information. Science can never achieve the level of certainty about human origins to force definitive changes to our theological understanding of original sin.

    The idea is that historical claims, which can be derived form scientific analysis, potentially invalidate the claims of Genesis. If these historical claims are undermined, on what basis is the concept of Original Sin founded? Such a crucial doctrine to theology and the existence of Jesus needs to be epistemologically sound, surely.

    Whilst it is a changeable discipline with new discoveries aplenty, the whole foundation, empirically evidenced, upon which it is built is sound. And it is predicated upon an evolutionary paradigm which simply refutes the idea that Homo Sapiens even exists, per se, or that there were a distinct and objective ‘first two’.

    A problem for McDonald here is that he imagines we have distinct species. But in philosophical terms, this is not true. We have the problem of the Sorites Paradox. As I explained to a theist once:

    “The Theist

    OK, so you have some half-baked idea that Hovind has a clue what he is talking about. Hint, he doesn’t. What was one of his classic lines? “I’ve never seen a dog give birth to a non-dog?” What a dick who doesn’t have the first clue. He could do with investigating the “problem of species” which even Darwin was cognisant of. In reality, there is no such thing as a species, since all animals exist on a continuum of development over time. Check my post here: http://atipplingphilosopher.yo…. Species are a useful labelling tool to enable humans to understand a taxonomy of life; however, they do not have real ontology outside of the human conceptual mind. It is the same mechanism we use in laws. We allow people to vote when they are 18, to have consensual sex when they are 16, to drive… The reality is, there is no discernible difference between the girl who is 17 and 364 days, 23 hrs and 59 minutes 59 seconds, and that same girl a second later. However, one second she can’t vote, the next she can. We draw arbitrary lines in time continuums for pragmatic reasons. This is what the idea of species does. However, if you found a fossil of an early Homo, you could rightly argue that it is actually a late Austrolapithecus (and this is what has happened with the famous fossil, Twiggy). Fossils which sit closer to that arbitrary line are harder to argue. That is because that line is arbitrary. It is not as if an Austrolapithecus gave birth to a homo. This gradual move took thousands and thousands of years. We, now, look back and whack a line somewhere to differentiate the two. However, at that line, there would be no discernible difference. So the questions “Why don’t dogs give birth to non-dogs?” could only ever be asked by a complete wanker.

    This is often called microevolution vs macroevolution. The Creationist says “Well, we accept since we can see small changes, but big ones, from a fish to a bird are just silly”. The point can be eliminated. There is no difference, only time. Macroevolution is what happens when you either have shed loads of times (millions of years) or quick evolution (we know that evolution CAN happen quickly sometimes – see observations and experiments with guppies, and also the Italian Wall Lizard). In other words, EVERY species . organism is, by definition, transitional, just ever so slightly.”

    Many apologists attack evolution, and attack the notion that species can evolve into new species, and that there is no transitional fossil evidence for X,Y and Z. However, what they do not realise is that there is no such thing as a species (in a manner of speaking). Objectively, such an idea does not exist. ‘Species’ is a label that we humans have attached to groups of organisms that we see common characteristics between. We also tend to attach arbitrary rules to them too, such as they cannot interbreed with another species, otherwise they are effectively the same species etc. What this labelling does is give a false impression that a) species are static; and b) that these labels define these organisms whether humans exist or not. These labels are human constructs – that is all. Every organism is constantly shifting its genetic blueprint. We are constantly evolving. Humans now are different genetically from humans 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 100,000 years ago. Yet we still define ourselves as the same species. Species is a temporal notion. It is like taking a picture of all organisms at a given time and sorting them according to effectively arbitrary characteristics. There is nothing to say you can’t sort species by the number of legs. On the temporal front, every organism (and I mean that in its entirety – every organism on earth at a given time) is shifting in evolutionary terms. There is a dynamism to evolution, though some organisms do it on a much faster basis than others. It renders the notion of when a reptile became a bird, or similar claims, utter nonsense. The slow and gradual process of changing one’s genome piece by piece to morph into something ever so different at each mutation is a paradigm shift away from a simple view of biological taxonomy. Every organism sits on a continuum of evolution from the very first organism to what will be the last in the heat death of the universe. You can pick any organism alive today and follow its path back to the first in a linear fashion. By declaring that species exist (in a sort of objective, definite manner), all you are doing is chopping up that line arbitrarily. We shall return to this problem later.Thus, species don’t exist other than in the human mind. A perfect example, if you will, of philosophical conceptualism.

    I spent enough time studying anthropology to realize that what we know about human origins is a very very tiny sliver of the whole picture, and that picture is always changing. For example, when, in 1987, an 18-year-old me asked my anthropology professor if Neanderthals and homo sapiens had interbred, he laughed at the idea. Now, it seems likely that such interbreeding of anatomically modern humans and “lower” orders of hominid took place.

    But both theories are still dependent upon science which refutes an actual Adam and Eve, so this is really a false analogy.

    So, no: I’m not going to bite at that apple, except to make one or two points. Mitochondrial Eve could have lived anywhere between 50,000 and 200,000 years ago. (Or more. Or less. This is far from settled.) Some even suggest that humanity may have a most recent common ancestor as recently as 5,000 years ago.  The idea that hominids developed along different tracks is uncontroversial. Certainly one need only look at the diversity of the human population to understand that our genetic makeup isn’t a nice neat line from Eden to us. It’s more like a stew.

    Rather a few assumptions and presuppositions here – Eden, humanity and such. What are these?

    The problem is viewing human lines of descent as a series of replacements, rather than a lot of strange dead ends and offshoots, possibly with interbreeding among various members of Genus Homo (and perhaps even between Genera Homo and Australopithecus), and significant periods of overlap, perhaps including trade, warfare, and cultural influence. The idea of a nice neat “ascent of man” from lower to higher orders is a post-Enlightenment prejudice. The fossil hominid record is quite small, and often it’s asked to carry the weight of far more speculation about human origins than it can possibly bear. Genome sequencing may help clear up some of the mystery, but without a more robust fossil record, it’s little more than educated guesses.

    Here is a list of human fossils. Here is a list of fossil hominids and evidence for human evolution. Well worth checking over.

    So where does this leave us with Adam and Eve and original sin? If they didn’t exist, can the doctrine of original sin still hold? If we are not all descended from a single person, what happens to the notion of inherited sin?

    I know moderns are uneasy with the idea of Adam and Eve, and certainly elements of Genesis are meant to be read as a figurative theological account of how a universe, created by a perfect God, came to be so completely screwed up. Does this mean Adam and Eve “weren’t real”? Can the notion of a single set of first parents survive in the light of developing knowledge about human origins?

    No.

    Of course it can, because there is nothing at all that science can do to disprove this statement: humankind as we know it was uniquely and specially created with a rational soul by a loving God, and placed in a ideal world with the power of free will.

    Er. WTF? You might be interested in seeing a few recent posts on the soul. Science has a lot to say about it. It would be nice if Christians could actually define what the hell a soul is, for a start… Check here and here. How can a soul be rational if it supervenes on the rational elements of the brain. Without such areas, which, when affected, affect rationality, how can the soul have independent rationality? The same applies to sight, feelings and emotion, all physiologically grounded. And free will. Wow. He asserts that science cannot disprove it! Er, yes it can, and so can philosophy. Since no libertarian has ever been able to establish how, empirically or logically, contra-causal free will can work, I would like to see McDonald actually defend his wild assertion. Basically, that paragraph couldn’t be more wrong.

    In scripture, there is a tantalizing answer the question of genetic diversity in humans. It’s right there, in Genesis 4, and it’s a subject of some controversy:

    13 Cain said to the LORD, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me this day away from the ground; and from thy face I shall be hidden; and I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will slay me.” 15 Then the LORD said to him, “Not so! If any one slays Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD put a mark on Cain, lest any who came upon him should kill him.16 Then Cain went away from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch.

    Questions: If there are only three people on earth (Adam, Eve, Cain), how can Cain be a “fugitive”? Who exactly will “find” and “slay” him? Who are these people who might come upon and kill him? Most mysteriously, who is this “wife” who gives him a child, Enoch? And how does he populate an entire city, also called Enoch?

    The answer we often get is: incest with his mother. That’s not even good nonsense, since Eve is clearly depicted as remaining with Adam and giving birth to Seth and others.

    So the question remains: who are all these people who threaten Cain, fill cities, and provide wives for him and his decedents?

    Perhaps the answer is right there in the fossil record.

    God created man after his image. We understand this to mean that God created a man and a woman with rational souls. We can call them anatomically modern humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens. Who is to say there weren’t other hominids at large in the world at the time, with the first parents inserted into the timeline, bringing with them something new: a rational, immortal soul? And when we were cast from Eden, perhaps Cain and the descendants of Adam and Eve took spouses from among these people. There’s nothing at all in the scripture to suggest this is not possible, and some evidence (such as the sudden appearance of wives and foes and cities full of people) to suggest it is.

    Um. No. “Who is to say there weren’t other hominids at large in the world at the time”… OK, let’s start with this. This is the identical problem to that above. Zebras don’t give birth to non-zebras.

    In humans, we have about 3 billion base pairs in our genome with the number of mutations estimated at about ~3× or ~2.7×10−5 per base per 20 year generation.

    Let’s say, for sake of argument, that dogs have about 60 mutations per generation and a 2 year generation, then over, say, 100,000 years there would be 50,000 generations making about 300,000 mutations. Then of course, there is breeding between subspecies which would cause much larger changes in the genome than mutation. There are also other types of evolutionary mechanisms.

    Let’s imagine an early dog. Lets call it Dog + 0. So if we take Dog + 0 and compare it ‘genomically’ to Dog + 50,000 you can see there would be a observable difference. It could be that Dog + 0 is actually a grey wolf and that dog + 50,000 is a Chihuahua, for example.

    Now, the wolf would never give birth to a Chihuahua and a genetic biologist would be the first to say this. What Hovind, for example, does is build a straw man. These subspecies are clearly distinct, though with a little help could probably still mate. However, further evolution would leave such a subspecies (say Dog + 100,000) unable to mate with the grey wolf.(Dog + 0), in all probability. Either way, a dog does give birth to a dog (if we accept and arbitrary human constructed labelling system). But eventually, such a subspecies will become distinct from the original subspecies so one is left wondering whether it is, indeed, a dog in comparison to the ‘original’ (which is itself arbitrarily selected by a human out of a continuum). This will be more obvious if there remained a geographically, and thus genetically, isolated original dog (such as the wolf). But if all subspecies mutated and interbred etc, there would be nothing extant with which to compare such a newly evolved organism to. If I have made any error with my claims here, please let me know. I am no evolutionary biologist myself, though I am at least willing to investigate what it all means and how it works.

    The point being that other hominids wouldn’t suddenly give birth to Homo Sapiens. Evolution doesn’t work like that. There would be no discernible difference between Adam and Eve’s parents and them.

    Perhaps McDonald is not saying this at all. Perhaps he is saying the God plonked these Homo Sapiens down on earth to intermingle with   other co-existing hominids. Well, if you are going to posit supernatural stuff which magically appears, then there is no point us appealing to naturalistic science. God can do what the hell he wants, and he can insert stuff in, brainwash people, fudge evidence and whatever. But if McDonald is claiming that science can defend the thesis of an Adam and Eve evolving, then he has serious problems.

    For instance, we can use evidence such as Endogenous Retroviruses to establish common ancestry. Which means that Adam and Eve, as Homo Sapiens, had fossilised virus insertions in their genomes which is shared in location and type with chimpanzees, showing that both species had a common ancestor. This invalidates the claim that Adam and Eve could suddenly have been a different species popping into being naturalistically – a dog giving birth to a non-dog or simply a species plonked on earth by God equipped with ERVs to fool later scientists.

    Some people claim that this Edenic existence precluded death. That death did not exist until the Fall of Adam and Eve. Well, given a theory that other hominids existed (through evolution) in order for Homo Sapiens to interbreed with them, we can assume that there was death and that this thesis does not hold.

    The offspring of these people are still traceable to our first parents. It doesn’t need to be a closed loop of Adam + Eve = Cain, Cain + Eve = Enoch in order to for original sin to be passed along. Adam was given the gift of the spirit. He was given a soul and a desire for God. This soul was wounded in act of free will. This gift (and this wound) was passed along, introducing something new into the human family.

    And here we can see that McDonald is willing to posit mere assertions. What is interesting is that he claims that we do pass evolved characteristics down through genetic evolution, and in the same breath asserts that “sin” can be passed in the same sort of way. What does this look like? How can sin be passed from one to another? What is the ontology of sin? Because it sounds like McDonald would at least need to be a Platonic Realist of sorts, with abstract ideas existing in some kind of extra realm. Not only does sin need to be a coherent concept, but it must have an abstract reality, and must be able to interact causally with physical entities. And it must be able to be attached to humans and then passed through birth in some way to others. Simply saying “it was passed along” is, to me, nonsense, asserted soundbite. What does it mean, and what does it look like?

    If free will led inevitably to the Fall, then this is an odd and rather loaded gift indeed.

    We have no reason to fear any new understanding of human diversity and development. As people of faith, we have only to remember this: someone had to be first. God created a world, and God created a person to carry his gift into that world. Whether you prefer the old model of a single pair populating a planet, or an image of a first pair of ensouled humans uplifting a diverse population of hominids, both models follow the same arc: creation, fall, redemption.

    What he really means is that science cannot defy this claim, since it is a claim of a miracle with no lasting evidence.

    However, given that the genome of Homo Sapiens can be mapped out through evolution in the context of other species, then I think there is a problem for the idea that God simply plonked a couple of compatible hominids down amongst a bunch of other Hominids, which were not, somehow, rational and who did not own souls. I am not sure this theory can really be taken seriously.

    If the name “Adam” bothers you and smacks of too many Sunday school lessons for comfort, make up your own name. You could come up with a word in an ancient language that describes the ruddy appearance of this first human. Handily, we have a word in Hebrew that does the job: âdâm ( אָדָם), which means (literally) “ruddy”, and also “mankind.” Oddly enough adâmâh (אֲדָמָה), means “earth,” as in soil. So you have a ruddy man made from the earth.

    Language is how we communicate ideas. We can communicate those ideas this way:

    That’s a language. The language of DNA.

    Or we communicate them this way:

    The genome tells us a great deal about the composition of human life, but nothing about its meaning or purpose. For as much as DNA helps us to live our lives and understand our world, they might as well be sequencing moss.

    On the other hand, three little letters–alephdaleth, and mem–pack a vast amount of meaning into an incredibly small package. It takes massive computing power for even a specialist to make sense of the DNA of a single human, and you won’t know a bloody thing about why that particular âdâm loves, makes bad choices, sacrifices himself, or creates great works of art. A little time spent with Genesis, and you understand man’s greatness and foolishness, his pride and his curiosity, his reason and freedom, and his willingness to abuse them all in an act of defiance. His sin is this simple: it’s a turning away from God to the desires of the self. Here, in the primordial history, our first parents experience in action what will be expressed as words in Deuteronomy: “I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life.”

    Sounds very nice, but is essentially a set of meaningless soundbites.

    And we choose death. Because we always do. I know what’s right, what’s healthy, what’s good, what I’m supposed to do. Yet time again, I make the wrong choice. That’s the tendency of original sin tugging at me, but even before that original sin, there was the great gift and the great danger of free-will. That’s what I mean when I say that if Adam hadn’t taken the apple, I would have. It was inevitable.

    The problem is, there is no evidence for this. No evidence, other than a couple of chapters of writing of unknown provenance in a parochial holy book that makes lots of claims which have been false – they are verifiably wrong. So why believe this claim? What epistemic justification is there to do so? That last paragraph is full of curcular reasoning and assumptions which fail under scrutiny.

    People like to blame Eve. As if you would have done anything differently. Pandora opens the box because she’s told not to. Eve takes the apple because she’s told not to. And you (and I) would have done the exact same thing. God well knew that we would fall, and he also knew that, in the fullness of time, he’d turn the wood of the forbidden tree into the wood of the cross.

    Unfortunately, Christians don’t like to blame the entity which is morally responsible. God. God designed and created, through actualisation of this world, the framework and variables as well as every organism, whilst knowing every counterfactual and eventuality, which has come into being. This means that if humans are evil, God is responsible. If I created a fully sentient race of entities in the lab from scratch, and I knew EXACTLY what they would do, that they would go on the rampage and kill everyone in town, but I created them anyway, who would be responsible? Irrespective of whether they had free will or not, I would be ultimately responsible. So as far as I am concerned, Original Sin doesn’t even get off the ground. This whole conversation is, in effect, pointless.

    Furthermore, of God selected Adam as representative of humanity, and he failed and Fell, God designed humanity badly. If Adam was not representative of us, what right did God have to choose him, and thus cause all of humanity to suffer s a result of his failed test? The two horns to this dilemma are insurmountable.

    The human genome is not a map of life. We make a grave error when we mistake it for one. It may provide answers to certain questions about our bodies and provide some hints about origins, but it’s not the vaunted Encyclopedia of Man some may think it is. At some point, we pass beyond the purview of the scientist and into the realm of the metaphysician, the artist, the philosopher, the theologian. We were uniquely created by the hand of a loving God, and given a gift–freedom–which we have abused ever since. Science can’t unravel that one.

    And the Bible is? So he would take a book of unknown provenance, with unknown sources, which is untestable and is unverified by archaeology and contemporary history, which has evidence of plagiarism off nearby cultures (Moses as Sargon II, commandments as the Code of Hammurabi, the flood as the flood from Tablet XI of the Epic of Gilgamesh etc)… and so on…

    … he would take that over science? Over repeatable, falsifiable, evidence-based claims which are defended by multitudinous disciplines across the realm of scientific pursuit? A two thousand year old book over the scientific method?

    “Science can;t unravel that one” is perhaps true. Maybe he is right. Science cannot unravel fairytales and conjectural mythological concepts of the human imagination.

    Or perhaps it can and it does. Choosing to ignore the evidence is nothing short of the confirmation bias in action.

    Category: EvolutionMoralityScience and religion

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    Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce

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    • JohnM

      The doctrine of original sin, is not rooted in the book of genesis. It’s a pagan idea, that was introduced into Catholicism, by Augustine of Hippo. And we can trace it back to Egyptian and Babylonian mystery religion.

      Post said : Questions: If there are only three people on earth (Adam, Eve, Cain), how can Cain be a “fugitive”? Who exactly will “find” and “slay” him? Who are these people who might come upon and kill him? Most mysteriously,

      who is this “wife” who gives him a child, Enoch? And how does he populate an entire city, also called Enoch?

      I think someone needs to read his bible a little closer..

      Genesis 5:4
      After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters.

      And according to Josephus, the Jewish historian who also recorded their traditions, Adam’s children numbered a total of thirty-three sons and twenty-three daughters.

      If you have pay attention to the text, you will have noticed, that everyone who lived before the flood, lived a very long time, and therefore had plenty of time to reproduce and spread out over the land. According to Genesis 5, Adam

      lived to be 930. Seth, his son, lived to be 912.

      And anyone who knows a bit of math will know, that if people live to be 900 years old, and have about 60 children, then it doesn’t take long to populate the earth. But of course, such things are never taken account of, when doing

      calculations. Rather it is assumed, that Adam and Eve weren’t much different from us today.

      Post said : The answer we often get is: incest with his mother.

      No. That’s only for people with a sick mind, who don’t bother to read what the bible actually says.

      Post said : What is the ontology of sin?

      Sin is lack of perfection. A flaw in ones character.

      Truth is perfection. Lies are lack of truth. Lies are lack of perfection. Telling lies is sin, a moral flaw in ones character.

      Post said : And it must be able to be attached to humans and then passed through birth in some way to others.

      Well, what can I say… The doctrine of original is nothing short of gibberish.

      Romans 5:12
      Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

      Sin, entered the world THOUGH man. Sin is naturally in this world. Not naturally in people. We are not born sinners.

      And death enters though sin, when we commit our first sin.

      And in this way, sin and death came to all men, not because we were born, but BECAUSE we all sinned… because of the environment that we have inherited.

      Everyone has fallen short of the glory of God. Not though the actions of Adam, but though our own actions. Which was made possible, by sin entering the world, in the first place, though the actions of Adam ( and Eve. Adam refers to

      both, as they are man and wife, one flesh ).

      Nobody can look at Adam and point fingers. Every man must look at himself, and point fingers at his own choices. We are all responsible for our own actions. And only we are to blame, if we perish because of unwillingness to repent and

      follow Christ.

      Post said : If free will led inevitably to the Fall..

      It wasn’t inevitably. It was a choice… that they made… which ended up affecting all their descendants. Yet, there is still hope, despite the mess that we have made

      Post said : Whether you prefer the old model of a single pair populating a planet, or an image of a first pair of ensouled humans uplifting a diverse population of hominids, both models follow the same arc: creation, fall,

      redemption.

      Jesus was the second Adam. If there were no first, what’s the point of a second?

      Anyone who claims that there were no first Adam, is essentially calling Jesus a liar.

      Post said : If I created a fully sentient race of entities in the lab from scratch, and I knew EXACTLY what they would do, that they would go on the rampage and kill everyone in town, but I created them anyway, who would be

      responsible?

      Only those who make the free choices, can be held responsible for the consequences of those choices.

      And on the free will scenario, the future is not set in stone. The free choices of individuals, actually affect the possible future. And on such a scenario, there are many ways to know the future. Knowing all possible futures, is one of

      them.

      But why should we even expect to understand, how God can know the future? That would be like an infant expecting to be able to understand, the abstract thoughts of Albert Einstein.

      Post said : Furthermore, if God selected Adam as representative of humanity, and he failed and Fell, God designed humanity badly.

      No no. That’s flawed logic.

      If a robot is pre-programmed to do something and fails, we blame the designer.

      If I’m controlling the robot, and fails, we blame me.

      Post said : If Adam was not representative of us, what right did God have to choose him..

      Adam is not a representative. He is your fore-father.

      Your fathers actions and choices in life, has affected your life. And the same is true of your forefathers.

      What right did God have to give us fathers that affect our life? Well… He’s the creator, and you’re his creation. He has every right to create his creation, as he sees fit.

      • GearHedEd

        “Post said : The answer we often get is: incest with his mother.”

        No. That’s only for people with a sick mind, who don’t bother to read what the bible actually says

        No sicker than having to do it with his sister… it’s still incest.

        • JohnM

          Today, we consider “Inbreeding” a bad thing, because the human genome have been degenerated over time, to a point where it causes unhealthy children to marry within the close family. And that’s why we are generally looking down upon people who do so. But they wouldn’t have had the same problem, as we do today, for obvious reason.

          Also, are you aware that Charles Darwin married his First cousin?

          • GearHedEd

            Incest is incest. Are you going to tell us that the human genome WASN’T susceptible to bad things happening because of reinforced recessives in the time of “Genesis” before the Fall? Your reasoning, beyond depending upon undependable human-generated texts, is ridiculous.

            • JohnM

              No matter what theory that you hold to, when it comes to the spread of the human race, it got going by near relatives reproducing with each other. So please spare me your childish comments.

            • GearHedEd

              In any case, your theory fails for the simple fact (according to your fractured fairy tale) that all those patriarchs and all their offspring died in the flood, bringing the human population back down to three breeding pairs roughly 3,800 years ago, according to Archbishop Ussher’s calculations. And those three breeding pairs (of identical genetic heritage on the paternal side) are all there is to account for the three main racial divisions we find on planet Earth today.

              It’s CHILDISH to believe in fractured fairy tales, goddiot.

            • These are very good points. It is physically impossible to account for humanity given the global flood thesis. Impossible.

            • GearHedEd

              But of course, that’s precisely WHY Noah had three sons… so the authors of Genesis could write an account of why there ARE three races. It’s all very inventive.

            • JohnM
            • On what part of that graph are mutation rates shown?

            • JohnM

              Mutations is something that is used within an evolutionary framework, to try and explain what we see. Why would I used that explanatory framework?

            • Ha ha ha. So how do you explain black, asian, inuit etc populations! Oh my god, that is the worst post you have done to date! How do you explain Himalayan genetic propensity for capillaries which allow better oxygenation of blood at altitude?

            • JohnM

              All you need to do is to make the people aboard the ark, carries of the genetic information required for diversity. You do know that Genes can be turned off and on, right?

            • But they CANNOT explain that diversity – don’t you get it? You CANNOT explain the diversity on earth in that few generations from THAT small a bottleneck! The present out of Africa bottleneck is orders of magnitude above 8.

              “Most genes in the genome are inherited from either father or mother, and thus can be traced back in time via either matrilineal or patrilineal ancestry.[5] Research on many genes finds different coalescence points from 2 million years ago to 60,000 years ago when different genes are considered, thus disproving the existence of more recent extreme bottlenecks (i.e., a single breeding pair)”

            • JohnM

              Not within the evolutionary framework, where such diversity, take many many years to take form. But then again, I’m not using that explanatory framework.

            • GearHedEd

              That’s because science is NOT compatible with scripture. Science DISPROVES scripture.

            • JohnM

              Theories disproves nothing, for that you need hard evidence.

            • GearHedEd

              Then you obviously don’t know that THEORY, as used with the “theory of evolution” does not use the definition “some wild-assed guess that some think might be the right explanation”. It means “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment.”

              Scientific Theory

              In other words, there is a HUGE body of evidence, across many scientific disciplines that confirms evolution.

              And if we must, there’s NO evidence of many of the stories from the Old Testament, in particular, the legends in Genesis and Exodus.

            • We give you HARD evidence and all you do is ignore it, or claim you are not using that framework. This is the fallacy of special pleading and cherry picking of science.

              In other words, you don’t have an epistemic right to hold your opinions.

            • JohnM

              You can give a pig lipstick, but it’s still just a pig.

              And your personal subjection conclusions, are not, and never will be, hard evidence.

            • ERVs are not subjective conclusions. They are hard evidence. Deal with them. Or perhaps you can debunk how radiometric dating works. Because it works on all dates before 6000 years, but you seem to want to claim that it can’t on dates prior to that!

              You would also need to debunk the use of ALL of these forms of dating:

              Uranium-lead dating method
              Samarium-neodymium dating method
              Potassium-argon dating method
              Rubidium-strontium dating method
              Uranium-thorium dating method
              Radiocarbon dating method
              Fission track dating method
              Chlorine-36 dating method
              Luminescence dating methods
              argon-argon (Ar-Ar)
              iodine-xenon (I-Xe)
              lanthanum-barium (La-Ba)
              lead-lead (Pb-Pb)
              lutetium-hafnium (Lu-Hf)
              neon-neon (Ne-Ne)
              rhenium-osmium (Re-Os)
              uranium-lead-helium (U-Pb-He)
              uranium-uranium (U-U)

            • JohnM

              Funny little question: Do you know how one determined the half-life of Uranium?

            • Your definition of evidence is anything which does not disprove your thesis. You deny any evidence which contradicts your thesis.

              Please define hard evidence.

            • JohnM

              Hard evidence, is something that speaks for itself, and does not require a certain framework of interpretation, to give it meaning. Say, if we found a living dinosaur in a cave or lake tomorrow. That is something that would speak for itself.

            • GearHedEd

              Hard evidence, is something that speaks for itself, and does not require a certain framework of interpretation, to give it meaning.

              Unlike the Bible, which DOES require a certain framework of interpretation to give it meaning…

            • JohnM

              Some parts of the bible, one really needs insight and wisdom to understand what’s going on. That is a form of interpretation, yes.

              Other parts of the bible, one only need to read what it says, with the historic context and the Jewish culture in mind.

              If you read the bible as we read modern books, you will go horrible wrong yes. But that is not a matter of interpretation. It’s a matter of having the required historical insight to read ancient texts.

            • GearHedEd

              My point was that by your definition of hard evidence, the Bible doesn’t qualify. So stop treating it as if it were Troo™.

            • JohnM

              That’s right. The bible is not evidence of itself. Why would it be?

            • GearHedEd

              Finally! Something I agree with.

            • JohnM

              Seriously, what kind of gibberish were you trying to pull? I don’t know anyone who would point to the bible, to prove the bible.

              The average apologist would probably point to the Pontius Pilate stone, and the “hostile” Greek / Roman /Jewish historians, who confirm the existence of Jesus, as a historical person.

              Or one could point out that the bible told us about the Hittites, before archaeology discovered their existence. And all the other things that the bible told us about history, before we re-discovered it to be the case.

              You would have to be extremely biased or pretty sick in the head, to deny, that the bible is a reliable historical source.

            • GearHedEd

              That there may have been one or more “real-life” Jesuses isn’t the problem. I’m perfectly OK with a flesh and blood human Jesus. What is ridiculous (“worthy of ridicule”) is the notion that the superhero comic books known as “the Gospels” accurately depict him. If one could bring back Jesus (because he ain’t coming back on his own…) he wouldn’t recognize himself in those stories, and would probably be horrified by what’s been done in his name and ashamed of blockheads like you.

            • JohnM

              But that’s just another round of empty claims, that you can’t bare the burden of proof of.

              But please… Let’s go there.. So tell me:

              How do you know, that Jesus would not recognize himself in the gospels?

              How do you know, that the gospels does not accurately depict him?

              Put your money where your mouth it, and answer the questions. Don’t just run off scared, like the big mouth that you are, who hasn’t got anything to back it up, when challenged.

            • GearHedEd

              I’m not the one who’s been avoiding the hard questions.

            • JohnM

              Lol! What are you talking about. You just avoided one of my questions.

              I asked you two questions, and you only attempted to answer one of them.

            • GearHedEd

              And you’ve danced away from too many to count.

            • GearHedEd

              If we must…

              How do you know, that the gospels does not accurately depict him?

              Because no one can raise people from the dead, or change water into wine, etc… The fact that there are several ‘third-person omniscient’ passages (among several other things) in the Gospels attests to their inventive fictional nature.

            • JohnM

              That no one can raise people from the dead or make water into wine, is nothing more than your materialistic world-view speaking. You don’t know, if that’s actually the case. It’s just something that you assume.

              And as for “third-person omniscient’ passages”, I haven’t got the slightest clue what you’re now rambling on about.

            • GearHedEd

              Exactly, you are clueless.

              Third-Person Omniscient” is a writing form in which the author knows everything that’s going on in the story as if he were present. For example, which of the apostles were present to record the exchange between the High Priests and Pilate recorded in Matt 27: 62-66? This is pure storytelling, since there were NO WITNESSES to this.

            • GearHedEd

              How do you know, that Jesus would not recognize himself in the gospels?

              Because the people who wrote the Gospels did not know nor ever meet a live Jesus in the flesh. The stories were written to evangelize, not written as history.

            • JohnM

              How do you know, that the scribes of the apostles, never meet Jesus themselves?

              You don’t. You’re just once again writing gibberish.

            • GearHedEd

              SO you admit that the men whose names appear as the titles of the Gospels DIDN’T write them. That wasn’t a question. You KNOW that there are serious problems with the story, but you ignore it in favor of believing in comforting falsehoods.

            • JohnM

              LoL. Well technically, you didn’t write your post either, your computer did.

              Seriously, what is the matter with you? What’s next? We can’t trust the Roman and greek writers either, because they used scribes too? Get a grip.

            • GearHedEd

              The Gospels were written in an effort to gain converts. Roman and Greek HISTORIANS tried to be objective, at least. I’m not the one promoting the Gospels (or the Bible in general) as some sparkly, magical God writing.

              Question: IF Jesus was GOD in the flesh, why in the wide world of sports did he not write a single word of his own? If he really was God, he could have conversed in any and all languages. He could have written something in modern English that no one would have understood for hundreds of years BUT HE DIDN’T. That’s a problem for anyone who wants to claim Jesus was God in the flesh.

            • JohnM

              I’m sorry, but I really don’t see, that it’s a problem, that Jesus didn’t write anything in modern English. Jesus did a lot of other things, such as predicting things of the future. The destruction of the temple in 70 AD for example. How would he have know that, had he not been God?

              All you got, is irrational and blind unbelief. It’s not that the evidence isn’t there. You’re just a stubborn donkey, who don’t want to accept it as true, because you don’t like to think about the consequences of the gospel being the truth.

            • GearHedEd

              Jesus didn’t predict anything. The gospels were written at or about the time the temple was destroyed. You already know this. Stop being dense.

            • GearHedEd

              I’m sorry, but I really don’t see, that it’s a problem, that Jesus didn’t write anything in modern English.

              Christ on a crutch, you’re dense!

              I wasn’t saying AT ALL that I don’t believe in Jeezus because he didn’t write anything in modern English! I said that it would be convincing evidence that the story of Jesus is true IF HE HAD. But if Jesus/God thought that having everyone come home to Heaven was a good thing, JESUS could have written at least something himself to promote belief. If he was truly God in the flesh, there is no reason he couldn’t have done that, and many reasons that he SHOULD HAVE unless it was part of the agenda to leave everything up to the interpretations of men such as Augustine, who added their own spin according to YOUR original argument. On such a view, Calvinism (the most reprehensible form of Christianity) is closest to what Jesus preached.

            • Luke ADMITS he wasn’t an eyewitness!

            • JohnM

              What bible verse are you aiming at there?

            • GearHedEd

              Luke 1: 1-4. It’s right there. He says (paraphrased) “I’m reporting what others have said.”

            • JohnM

              He’s just telling us, what we already knew.. That Luke wasn’t present during all of the things recorded in his gospel. How would Luke have been an eye-witness to the birth of Jesus? He first ran into him, later in life.. So these things he would of course have had passed on from his parents.

            • GearHedEd

              How do you know, that the scribes of the apostles, never meet Jesus themselves?

              How do you know that the apostles even HAD scribes? Answer: You DON’T.

            • JohnM

              I know that it was written, and that people in the ancient world used scribes.

            • GearHedEd

              But you haven’t connected the scribes who wrote down the Gospels to the Apostles, nor can you. THAT’S the point.

            • JohnM

              But you’re wrong. If you read the last chapter of the Gospel of John, then you’ll find what is oblivious a scribe comment, containing the information, that this is indeed the gospel of the disciple.

            • GearHedEd

              Totally unconvincing.

              First, John is the latest of the gospels, written sometime around the end of the first century CE at the earliest, some estimates (from Bible scholars!) put the date as late as ~140 CE.

              Second, So what? What is the scribe going to say? That it WASN’T the TROO™ Gospel of John? If the scribe was absolutely sure that it was false, but intended to evangelize and gain converts, he would state exactly what you say is in the gospel, and therefore his statement is of no use in determining whether there’s any truth there.

            • Buy my book on the Nativity, that should open your eyes some.

            • GearHedEd

              Christianity is and has always been an abomination upon humanity.

            • John

              What the fuck do genes and DNA DOOOO in your body, then? You are ignoring stuff we can and do test in the lab every day! Your epistemology is not only wrong, it’s so desperate!

            • JohnM

              My genes do, what they are supposed to do. What did you expect them to do? Mutate me into a Chinese person from time to time, or?

            • But that means you would have to accept what geneticists tell you. Because what they do include an awful lot of things that disprove your thesis. ERVs for example are viral fossils in our genome which indicate common ancestry. How does your thesis explain them?

              Oh, and in YOUR TERMINOLOGY, hard evidence please.

            • JohnM

              I don’t have to accept anything, that anyone wants to make me accept. I am free to think for myself and draw my own conclusions.

              And I don’t have to buy anything of what you think that your evolutionary framework tells us about viruses. Keep in mind, that you’re talking to a guy who believes, that death only becomes part of a human beings existence, once he/she commits sin.

            • GearHedEd

              Believe in Jeezus all you want, you’re still going to die, and once dead, you’ll cease to exist, completely.

            • JohnM

              And you know that, how?

            • GearHedEd

              What makes you think you won’t?

            • JohnM

              You’re the one making claims about it. Don’t try and shift the burden of proof. Be a man, and deal with the burden of proof for your own claims.

            • GearHedEd

              Proof: Every cemetery on Earth is full of dead people who never came back, and never will. You think that squinting real hard, kneeling and mumbling incantations will cause you to survive death, but it won’t. No one here gets out alive. And don’t quote a load of NDE “evidence” at us… none of those people DIED, else they wouldn’t still be ALIVE to talk about it.

            • JohnM

              But that’s flawed logic. That they didn’t come back ( as far as you can tell ) doesn’t mean that they ceased to exist. At least be a bit coherent….

            • GearHedEd

              Demonstrate for us that they did NOT cease to exist. Hard evidence. The burden of proof is on you.

              And I’m the only one of the two of us here who HAS been coherent and consistent, while you keep tap-dancing around the mountains of evidence painting you inexorably into the tiny little corner where “Goddidit” can still be considered a live possibility.

            • JohnM

              LoL. Now you’re trying to shift the burden of proof again.. You are made of epic fail.

              Listen: You’re the one claiming, that we cease to exist upon death. Therefore it is your burden of proof.

            • GearHedEd

              Wrong. Everyone experiences their loved ones and acquaintances dying, and every one of those people (if they don’t have diagnosable mental illnesses) don’t ever interact with those dead people ever again. Yes, we have memories, but that’s not proof of life after death, which is YOUR CLAIM. You have no evidence for your claim; my claim requires no evidence beyond what everyone experiences re: their dead. That you saw your beloved Meemaw in a dream after she died is not proof. But yours is the extraordinary claim. My claim lines up exactly with the sum total of human experience. You need to back up YOUR claim that we DON’T really die when we die.

            • JohnM

              I’ve not put forward such claims. You’re the one making claims about us ceasing to exist upon death. And all I’ve done, is to ask you, how you knew that?

              And once again your trapped in flawed logic. That your loved ones who have died, don’t ever interact with you, doesn’t mean that they have ceased to exist.

            • GearHedEd

              No, i guess it means that they refuse to talk to me because I’m a poopy-head atheist.

              I’ve not put forward such claims (that people continue to exist after death).

              I can reasonably assume that you’re a Christian from all the stupid talking points you’ve spewed in here. If John 3:16 and John 14:6 aren’t what you believe, then what’s the point of being Christian? In other words, without the prize of everlasting life, there’s no reason to buy into the myth. No, you might not have said it out loud, but the message is loud and clear:

              You fear annihilation upon death.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Not within the evolutionary framework, where such diversity, take many many years to take form.

              Let me fix that for you, you don´t mean “not within the evolutionary framework”, you mean “not without someone magically introducing millions of mutations in millions of species to make it look as if they evolved by the same processes that are demonstrably real in the world we live in over millions of years (and hiding millions of fossils in strata were they could not possibly appear if the flood myth is actually true)”. There, fixed it for you.

            • GearHedEd

              That’s a totally ad hoc, bullshit explanation.

            • Andy_Schueler

              All you need to do is to make the people aboard the ark, carries of the genetic information required for diversity. You do know that Genes can be turned off and on, right?

              Awesome! If we compile a list of your top ten most outrageously stupid quotes, this one will almost certainly be included.

            • GearHedEd

              Read: “I reserve the right to cherry-pick which scientific facts I choose to accept (“Science and scripture are compatible (except when they’re not…”), since I cherry-pick my scripture, too.”

            • Andy_Schueler

              Mutations is something that is used within an evolutionary framework, to try and explain what we see. Why would I used that explanatory framework?

              Gravity is something that is used in a physics framework, why would I use that when I could just deny demonstrably real processes and invoke magic instead ??

            • On what part of that graph are endogenous retroviruses explained? How does the global flood explain this? And how does it explain geographical distribution of species? How come all marsupials are in Australia and all lemurs in Madagascar? This is PREDICTED from natural geographical barriers and evolution through natural selection. It CANNOT be explained by the global flood species which would predict pockets of animal species radiating out in predictable statistical fallout from the epicentre of the ark. You are so losing this.

            • GearHedEd

              On what part of that graph does it deal with infant mortality rates? And it still doesn’t account for there being three distinct racial phenotypes present on earth.

            • GearHedEd

              Just a quick FYI… that graph goes back to 10,000 BC, 6,000 years before the world was created by GAWD. Your source material is from the DEBBIL!

            • JohnM

              FYI, if you’re looking at the graph in the 10,000 BC to 6,000 BC area, then you’re doing it wrong.

            • GearHedEd

              Look at it again you moron. If there were NO people before 4000 BC, then what’s the frikken point of extending the graph back to 10,000 BC?

            • JohnM

              Because it had to start somewhere.

              Where would you start it? 100.000 BC? Or 65Million years ago?

            • GearHedEd

              Wrong answer. It disproves your point, if it assumes that there were humans prior to 4004 BC.

            • JohnM

              Get a grip. Where you start the graph, does not in any way prove, that there were humans prior to anything.

              And what’s really interesting is, that most evolutionist believe, that the human race came into existance around 100.000 to 200.000 years ago.. Yet you doesn’t find it strange, that it hovered around 0 for.. Well up until 2.000 B.C? Nice critical thinking bro.. And that’s despite the human population tends to double ever .. how many years?

              There is only one way for the human population to be around 0 on the 2000 BC mark in the graph, and that is bottlenecks, mkay?

              Now, do you actually know, how many ancient cultures have a flood “myth”?

            • Andy_Schueler

              And what’s really interesting is, that most evolutionist believe, that the human race came into existance around 100.000 to 200.000 years ago.. Yet you doesn’t find it strange, that it hovered around 0 for.. Well up until 2.000 B.C? Nice critical thinking bro..And that’s despite the human population tends to double ever .. how many years?

              Hmm… creationist moron wonders why only the human population size drastically increased since the neolithic revolution while this is not true for any other animal. Now how could that be ?
              Advances in technology (neolithic revolution => nutrition stops being a limiting factor) followed by other technological advances (housing, hygiene, medicine etc.) maybe ? Nah, that´s impossible – the only explanation is obviously that a collection of embarrassingly stupid bronze age fairy tales is true, that must be it.

            • JohnM

              Well in that case, we would expect to see a bottle-neck in Human DNA, wouldn’t we?

            • GearHedEd

              Which we do not see, unless you are getting ready to link us to a Discovery Institute page claiming otherwise.

            • JohnM

              Let me get this right.. Are you saying, that we don’t see bottlenecks ?

          • GearHedEd

            Also, are you aware that Charles Darwin married his First cousin?

            Are you aware that Darwin was on track to become an Anglican priest before embarking on his voyages on the Beagle?

            • JohnM

              I think that you’re confusing with Luciferian Freemasonry with Anglican Priesthood.

              And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, just look up Erasmus Darwin and Sir Francis Darwin.

            • GearHedEd

              Charles Darwin did enter studies for the Anglican priesthood at Christ’s College, Cambridge, but mainly because his father sent him there when he neglected his studies in medicine. I wasn’t confused at all, but nice try.

            • JohnM

              Well..Keep believing exactly what the worshippers of Lucifer wants you to believe.. No reason to investigate the matter further.. No freemasons in that family, at all.. Move along folks…

            • GearHedEd

              You’re an idiot. Go read your Bible.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Well..Keep believing exactly what the worshippers of Lucifer wants you to believe.. No reason to investigate the matter further.. No freemasons in that family, at all.. Move along folks…

              It´s almost as if one could watch you getting stupider by the second…

      • GearHedEd

        Sin, entered the world THOUGH man. Sin is naturally in this world. Not naturally in people. We are not born sinners.

        Gee, doesn’t that prove without a doubt that God created sin?

        • JohnM

          Truth is perfection. How does on tell untruth / lies? One leaves out truth.

          How does something become flawed and ruined? You take something that is perfect, and destroys it.

          Sin is not something that one creates. Sin is the absence of good/perfection. A flaw in ones moral character, that wasn’t there to begin with.

          • GearHedEd

            The above reply, sir was incoherent.

          • Clare45

            How do you define perfection in a human being? Is being just a wee bit imperfect equivalent to “ruined”? I wouldn’t think so. The Latin for sin is Peccatus which is the same as burden (as the load on the back of a donkey in Biblical times) so that would make us burdened rather than sinners.

            • JohnM

              I don’t use a human being to define perfection. I hold humans to be fallen beings, due to the fall.

              My definition of perfection, is the goodness of God. And so if I were to point at a perfect human being, it would be Jesus Christ, the second Adam.

              Furthermore, one shouldn’t look up the word sin in Latin, but rather in Greek or Hebrew. There you will find different words, such as: evil, wickedness, offence, iniquity and transgression.

            • GearHedEd

              Explain why the First Adam wasn’t good enough… God failed his own creation there.

            • JohnM

              What do you mean by “wasn’t good enough” ?

              Did the creation not do what God created it to do, right up to the point where it rebelled against his authority?

            • GearHedEd

              First: It’s a fairy tale. Genesis never happened as written.
              Second: God doesn’t exist. and neither does Lucifer.
              Third: You continue to be an idiot.

            • JohnM

              Relax kid.. Excessive abuse of the world “idiot”, is a sign of weakness and insecurity.

            • GearHedEd

              Not if it’s accurate, and I’m 51 years old.

            • TristanVick

              @GearHedEd

              I hear what you’re saying.

              I’m only 33 but I have a 155 I.Q. and I sometimes find it discourteous when elders call me “son” or “kid.” Not because I’m young, but because it denotes I am inexperienced or less intelligent because they’ve been around the block a few times. Both are baseless assumptions.

              And although I wouldn’t hold my intellect over them, they reveal their own level of intelligence and learning when they speak like that, and I’m sorry to say, but it sort of makes me wondering why I’m showing them all the respect.

            • which he knew about. So he created something which he knew would rebel and created it anyway. Thus there was permissive will. Therefore, God designed it thus.

            • JohnM

              The future is not set in stone on the free will scenario. It didn’t have to turn out as it did. They could have chosen differently.

              That God knew the future, didn’t mean, that they would have chosen to rebel, because he created them. There a many ways of knowing the future, on of them is to know all possible futures.

            • GearHedEd

              If one “knows all possible futures”, then there is no “knowledge” at all. An infinite pile of “what if”s and “could be”s doesn’t rise to the level of knowledge.

            • JohnM

              Well, the next time I face a wall, I’m not sure if I’ll walk left or right. In that sense, I don’t know the future. But I do know that I’ll die some day, no matter if I choose left or right. And in that sense I do know the future.

              As for God..why would we even expect to be able to grasp, how God can know the future?

              Most people imagine, that the future has to be fixed, and our choices mere illusions, for God to know the future. But I think its more a limitation of the human mind.

            • Pity you can;t prove that logically or philosophically, let alone empirically. In other words, you ain’t got shit there. As far as inference to the best possible explanation, free will fails dismally (the contra-causal variety). You need to read some more on this. Take it from me, I’ve written about it and give several talks a month on the philosophy of it.

            • GearHedEd

              Congratulations, you’ve avoided the issue at hand yet again. The choice between “left or right” is NOT an infinite pile.

      • GearHedEd

        According to Genesis 5, Adam lived to be 930…

        You should quit while you’re behind. Since when is traditional mythology authoritative?

        • JohnM

          Well either one accepts what we read in the bible to be the truth, or one does not.

          And Genesis 5, says what it says.

          • GearHedEd

            Well either one accepts what we read in the bible to be the truth, or one does not.

            I do not. Genesis is a creation myth written by the Israelites to justify their claim to Canaan. The God parts were obligatory embellishments. None of that stuff actually happened.

            • JohnM

              Well thanks for sharing your thoughts. Good thing that ridiculous claims, such as the ones that you’ve just made, doesn’t come with a burden of proof, because clearly you wouldn’t be able to deal with it…

            • Can you explain how parts of Genesis retelling the flood myth repeat verbatim portions of Tablet XI from the Epic of Gilgamesh written some 1000 years earlier?

            • GearHedEd

              JohnM is threatened by our unbelief. Apparently God isn’t powerful enough to defend himself…

            • JohnM

              Can you explain how parts of Genesis retelling the flood myth repeat verbatim portions of Tablet XI …

              Because they both record the same historic event?

              …from the Epic of Gilgamesh written some 1000 years earlier?

              LoL ok.. Let me get this right.. So you’re saying that Genesis was written in 300 AD?

              You do know that Gilgamesh tablet XI is dated 7th century BC, don’t you?

      • FYI, it seems like you conflate my points in the post with McDonald’s, a Catholic blogger. Remember, I am critiquing the theistic viewpoint. I know you are too, but sometimes it looks like you confuse the two voices.

        • JohnM

          Yeah, I had a hard time telling the two voices apart. That’s why I just attempted to reply to what was written, by adding “Post said”, so that I don’t quote you for something that he has said.

    • GearHedEd

      Until someone proves that there IS such a thing as “sin”, I deny that I have any.

    • GearHedEd

      @ John M: We get it that you hold the Bible as God’s Word and authoritative. But there is just so much wrong in the Bible: scientifically, ethically, morally… No one in his right mind can hold onto the idea that it is a “Good Book” any more. That you don’t see yourself bending yourself into a pretzel to defend that shit is telling… very telling.

    • pboyfloyd

      JohnM, McDonald is trying to tell us that science and Scripture are compatible. Johno is saying that there is no way that’s true since McDonald’s science is bogus and you’re saying that McDonald is wrong since his Scripture is off.
      Now yours would be a fine comment on some Christian blog, I’m sure, I just don’t see the relevance of it here at all. I don’t see how it is worth the time and effort you put into it, telling us that McDonald’s Scripture is not right, since we don’t believe a word of it anyways, right?

      • JohnM

        Science and scripture are compatible.

        The bible and the theory of evolution are not.

        • That’s a contradiction.

        • You are special pleading and cherry picking to assert otherwise.

        • GearHedEd

          evolution IS science, Einstein.

          • JohnM

            Lies. Science is much much bigger, than the theory of evolution.

            • GearHedEd

              You are a complete idiot. I said “evolution is science”, NOT “Science is evolution”.

            • JohnM

              If you expand science to mean more than the theory of evolution, then you have no base on which to ague, that science itself, is incompatible with scripture. At least think your post though, before you press the button.

            • You are so very wrong! Incoherent.

        • pboyfloyd

          This isn’t a refutation of what I said. I said that Johno is telling us that McDonald’s science is wrong while you are saying that McDonald’s Scripture is off.

          Honestly I couldn’t care less what you think of evolution or the Bible, you’re still arguing against McDonald’s misinterpretation of the Bible on an atheist blog.

          • JohnM

            Well, if you prefer to wage war against the watered down version, then that’s your choice.

        • TristanVick

          “For a scientist, material mechanistic elements underlie the description of reality. The associated physical correlates are essential to any phenomenon in the world. Even if not sufficient to explain everything, they are required.”

          “The materialist viewpoint works well for science. But it inevitably leads to logical conflicts when religion invokes a God or some other external entity to explain how people or the world behave. The problem is that in order to subscribe both to science and to a God–or any external spirit–who controls the universe or human activity, one has to address the question of at what point does the deity intervene and how does he do it.”

          “Clearly people who want to believe that God can intervene to help them or alter the world at some point have to invoke nonscientific thinking. Even if science doesn’t necessarily tell us why things happen, we do know how things move and interact. If God has no physical influence, things won’t move. Even our thoughts, which ultimately rely on electrical signals moving in our brains, won’t be affected….”

          “If such external influences are intrinsic to religion, then logic and scientific thought dictate that there must be a mechanism by which this influence is transmitted. A religious or spiritual belief that involves an invisible undetectable force that nonetheless influences human actions and behavior or that of the world itself produces a situation in which a believer has no choice but to have faith and abandon logic–or simply not care.”

          “This incompatibility strikes me as a critical logical impasse in methods and understanding. Stephen Jay Gould’s purportedly “nonoverlapping magisteria”–those of science, covering the empirical universe, and religion, extending into moral inquiry–do overlap and face this intractable paradox too.”

          “Empirically based logic-derived science and the revelatory nature of faith are entirely different methods for trying to arrive at truth. You can derive a contradiction only if your rules are logic. Logic tries to resolve paradoxes, whereas much of religious thought thrives on them. If you believe in revelatory truth, you’ve gone outside the rules of science so there is no contradiction to be had.” –Lisa Randall

          Food for thought.

    • JohnM

      GearHedEd Said : No, I guess it means that they refuse to talk to me because I’m a poopy-head atheist.

      That’s assuming that they have the ability to contact you. But what if it was the case, that they continue to exist, in a place or in a dimension, where they are unable to contact you, even if they wanted to do so?

      The lack of contact, only tells you, that if they do continue to exist, then they are either unable or unwilling to contact you.

      GearHedEd Said : I can reasonably assume that you’re a Christian from all the stupid talking points you’ve spewed in here. If John 3:16 and John 14:6 aren’t what you believe, then what’s the point of being Christian?

      Well, what I believe, and what I’ve put forward of claims in this thread is two completely different things.

      GearHedEd Said : No, you might not have said it out loud …

      So now I have a burden of proof, for the things that I don’t say?

      GearHedEd Said : In other words, without the prize of everlasting life, there’s no reason to buy into the myth.

      What are you talking about?!

      If it’s a myth, then there is no prize of everlasting life.

      GearHedEd Said : You fear annihilation upon death.

      Ceasing to exist, is like a get out of jail free card, in my view. You’re dead and gone, and nobody is every going to held you responsible for your own actions. There are much worse things to be feared, that ceasing to exist.. Such as the wrath and justice of an almighty God upon the wicked.

      • GearHedEd

        Gotta love a load of Christian spin…

      • GearHedEd

        Everything in your response:

        “assuming…”

        “what if…”

        “If…”

        Sounds like you aren’t so sure of the myth, either…

      • GearHedEd

        So now I have a burden of proof, for the things that I don’t say?

        This is how it breaks down: I argued for death being final. You argued against that. What other option, pray tell is there besides your Christian (based on your shrill “the resurrection is reeeeal!” tone) version of everlasting life? You didn’t say it out loud because you KNOW you can’t back it up, and want to weasel your way out of having to provide any evidence for your claim because you know THERE IS NONE.

        • JohnM

          GearHedEd Said : I argued for death being final. You argued against that.

          No, I’m not arguing against your claim. We haven’t even gotten to that point yet.. I’m still asking you why think that, and shooting down the flawed responses that you come up with.

          • GearHedEd

            Dream on. You haven’t refuted a single thing yet. All you’ve offered are assertions, with emphasis on the “ass”.

            • JohnM

              You would have made a fine Iraqi minister of mis-information ;)

            • GearHedEd

              Read: “I know I failed in my attempt at refutation, so I’ll make this lame joke and punctuate it with a smiley…”

      • GearHedEd

        Ceasing to exist, is like a get out of jail free card, in my view.

        And now we come full circle to Original Sin! You argued against it in your first post here, and now you want to condemn me for not believing.

        Fucking hypocrite.

        • JohnM

          Original sin?!? What are you talking about?

          And according to the bible, people are not judged according to their beliefs, but according to their own actions.

          • GearHedEd

            It’s all part of your Christian mythology. For whatever reason we are to be “judged”, first, it’s only a credible threat if we survive death. Second, if I don’t believe, I’m still to be judged by your non-existent God in any case because he exists whether I believe or don’t, according to you. Third, I am to be condemned for refusing to accept Jesus’ grace, which is a pardon for…

            wait for it…

            Original Sin.

            I don’t care in the slightest that you haven’t explicitly said those things; you’ve defended the Bible and Christianity, so it doesn’t matter if you don’t hold those particular dogmas. Most Christians DO, and if you don’t, it just shows that you’re a cherry-picking, cafeteria Christian. If you’re going to endorse such a hate-filled world-view, at least have the balls to align yourself with the version that’s actually IN the Bible.

      • GearHedEd

        Well, what I believe, and what I’ve put forward of claims in this thread is two completely different things.

        Then lay out your stupid beliefs for us to see. Stop thinking you’re scoring points with your disingenuous bullshit.

      • GearHedEd

        If it’s a myth, then there is no prize of everlasting life.

        DUHHHH!

        I say it’s a myth, you think it’s not, because you’re campaigning to get the prize. What’s so hard about this? Your reading comprehension sucks, and I bet that extends to your comprehension of the Bible as well. Which version is authoritative? The KJV? You do know that King James was a famous poofter, no?

    • JohnM

      It’s getting harder to tell what is what in this discussion. Allow me just to recap some important ones, so that we don’t miss out on the wonderful replies that you guys are about to give me…

      Jonathan Said : You would also need to debunk the use of ALL of these forms of dating:

      Uranium-lead dating method
      Samarium-neodymium dating method
      Potassium-argon dating method
      Rubidium-strontium dating method
      Uranium-thorium dating method
      Radiocarbon dating method
      Fission track dating method
      Chlorine-36 dating method
      Luminescence dating methods
      argon-argon (Ar-Ar)
      iodine-xenon (I-Xe)
      lanthanum-barium (La-Ba)
      lead-lead (Pb-Pb)
      lutetium-hafnium (Lu-Hf)
      neon-neon (Ne-Ne)
      rhenium-osmium (Re-Os)
      uranium-lead-helium (U-Pb-He)
      uranium-uranium (U-U)

      Funny little question: Do you know how one determined the half-life of Uranium?

      Jonathan Said : Can you explain how parts of Genesis retelling the flood myth repeat verbatim portions of Tablet XI …

      Because they both record the same historic event?

      Jonathan Said : …from the Epic of Gilgamesh written some 1000 years earlier?

      LoL ok.. Let me get this right.. So you’re saying that Genesis was written in 300 AD?
      You do know that Gilgamesh tablet XI is dated 7th century BC, don’t you?

      GearHedEd Said : If there were NO people before 4000 BC, then what’s the frikken point of extending the graph back to 10,000 BC?

      Because it had to start somewhere.

      Where would you start it? 100.000 BC? Or 65Million years ago?

      GearHedEd Said : Wrong answer. It disproves your point, if it assumes that there were humans prior to 4004 BC.

      Get a grip. Where you start the graph, does not in any way prove, that there were humans prior to anything.

      And what’s really interesting is, that most evolutionist believe, that the human race came into existance around 100.000 to 200.000 years ago.. Yet you doesn’t find it strange, that it hovered around 0 for.. Well up until 2.000 B.C? Nice critical thinking bro.. And that’s despite the human population tends to double ever .. how many years? There is only one way for the human population to be around 0 on the 2000 BC mark in the graph, and that is bottlenecks, mkay?

      Now, do you actually know, how many ancient cultures have a flood “myth”?

      • So they are both retelling the event, except the earlier one has a pantheon of Gods and different characters, the later one, the Bible, nicks this and replaces the pantheon with Yahweh, and the other people with biblical characters.

        Man, you are properly rubbish at doing historical analysis.

      • GearHedEd

        Again…

        The point is that the people who made the graph don’t believe the same things that you do. if this graph were compiled by someone in your camp, it would have started at the year “0 mundi”, or approximately 4004 BC, the usual date given for the Garden of Eden stories. From this perspective there’s no reason to include previous time on the graph, as in your view (“I believe everything in the Bible”), there was no previous time, nor any previous population to include in the graph. So, what you have here is real data from folks who don’t believe that the Universe came into being as per Genesis, and That little tidbit is another data point that gives the lie to your claims.

        Genesis is false. Science has disproved it in numerous ways. A friend of mine once did the calculation to show that the amount of water required by The Flood to satisfy descriptions in Genesis, hitting the earth in the time period according to the description in Genesis would have released more than enough energy by itself to melt the entire surface of planet earth. Again, this is just one example among dozens that disprove Genesis.

      • GearHedEd

        And what’s really interesting is, that most evolutionist believe, that the human race came into existance around 100.000 to 200.000 years ago.. Yet you doesn’t find it strange, that it hovered around 0 for.. Well up until 2.000 B.C? Nice critical thinking bro.. And that’s despite the human population tends to double ever .. how many years? There is only one way for the human population to be around 0 on the 2000 BC mark in the graph, and that is bottlenecks, mkay?

        There’s so much wrong with this mess of misinformation that one hasn’t a clue where to begin.

        Fact: Infant mortality rates, disease, poor nutrition, etc. kept human populations at a stable level.throughout most of history. Attrition accounts for the stability, NOT a genetic bottleneck. And if you noticed, the graph only jumps up around 1700 CE. This is because of the Enlightenment, when people started using science to discover the causes and reliable methods of prevention of diseases such as sanitation, the germ theory of disease (speaking of GERM THEORY, are you going to tell us that Theory in this case means “wild-assed guess”, the way you insist on doing with evolution?), better nutrition, etc. Religion in general and CHristianity in particular SUPPRESSED these advances in human understanding,

        • Not only that, but human population started increasing at a little higher rate at about the time of the discovery of agricultural techniques.

          You are right, John hasn’t got a clue here and is just embarrassing himself.

          John is empirically wrong, too. Rather than spouting shit, he should go to the academic texts which deal with this. The advent of agriculture, which preceded the flood, moved the population of the world from about 15 million onwards. Which is to say that 6000BCE is a good estimate for this time (different animals were domesticated at different times. We know the dog was about 10,000BCE, the horse 4000BCE).

          See, eg Urban World History, L-N Tellier

          http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=cXuCjDbxC1YC&printsec=frontcover&dq=urban+world+history&hl=en&sa=X&ei=48RZUaHkEIeo0QX95IGgAw&ved=0CDMQ6wEwAA#v=onepage&q=urban%20world%20history&f=false

          page 26 onwards.

          • JohnM

            LOL!!!! THE ENLIGHTMENT?!?!?!?!

            The people behind the population explosion has felt very limited effects of “the enlightenment” that mainly took place in the developed world. These people are still living like they have been doing for the last several thousand years, in Africa, India and South America. And the developed countries who have felt the effects of “the enlightenment” are actually seeing population decline.

            http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/90/Population_growth_rate_world_2011.svg

            • GearHedEd

              Again, that was incoherent.

            • JohnM

              No, your reply was incoherent.

              The people who are behind this population explosion, are the ones who remain unaffected by “the enlightenment” on large. They live their lives, like they have been, for the last several thousand years.

            • GearHedEd

              You’re so far off base (and too dumb to know it) you’re not even in the stadium’s parking lot.

              Get an education in something other than confirmation bias and then get back to us.

            • JohnM

              Just click the link that I provided and see for yourself, kid.

            • GearHedEd

              I already know that there’s millions of starving Africans. This doesn’t make the point you think it makes.

              And I’m probably older than you by a couple of decades. Or three.

              Your grasp of science and mathematics is arguably at the high school (and probably home-schooled at that) level, based on your ignorant arguments on several topics.

            • GearHedEd

              And the developed countries who have felt the effects of “the enlightenment” are actually seeing population decline.

              Population decline is a good thing. There are too many people on Planet Earth. And if the people in undeveloped countries would stop reproducing willy-nilly even though there’s no FOOD there, we wouldn’t need to be talking about them either.

      • GearHedEd

        Funny little question: Do you know how one determined the half-life of Uranium?

        The same way that the half-lives of all radioactive isotopes was determined: through repeated observation of decay, generating a statistical basis for analysis. The point isn’t how it was determined; the point is that radiometric dating techniques WORK. They give reliable results that can be cross-checked against other dating methods that give (within statistical certainty) equal results.

        • JohnM

          GearHedEd said : The same way that the half-lives of all radioactive isotopes were determined: through repeated observation of decay, generating a statistical basis for analysis.

          Lol, that’s rich. Do you actually know what the half-life of Uranium is?

          • GearHedEd

            4.6 billion years, more or less. I was once a physics major at a large university.

            Your point?

            • JohnM

              So how long would you have to run an experiment, to have reliable statistical data?

            • GearHedEd

              A reliable statistical sample could be gathered in as little as a couple of weeks. If you say any different, you’re talking out your ass. I have college credit in statistics and understand the process completely.

            • JohnM

              Radioactive decay is completely random process, and it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay. The only way to generate anything like an average decay, is to invoke the law of massive numbers. And for that, you need massive statistical data. But even if you had been running 100.000 observations, for the last 100 years, you wouldn’t even be close to the kind of statistical data needed, to invoke law of massive numbers, in the case of Uranium. So no, you’re never going to get there, with “repeated observation of decay”. That’s just being a bit too naive.

            • GearHedEd

              This is exactly the answer I expected you to give, and it’s still wrong. Take a lump of Uranium that weighs 238 grams. There are +/-6.022×10^23 atoms of uranium in that sample (law of massive numbers much?). We only need to count a relatively few (and we don’t need to know which particular ones, we only need to count the ones that actually decay) atoms of this sample to calculate a half life statistically. Your assertion that to get a big enough statistical sample we’d need experiments in the range of thousands of years is not only ignorant, it’s blind and stupid too.

              The proof is already in the books. You cannot argue against this, unless you want to go against everything known about radioactive decay, which is a considerable body of work.

            • JohnM

              That’s like asking 1 and a half person, to forecast election results. What is the matter with you? Every half-educated person knows, that you need massive numbers to do statistics. And as you said yourself, we are talking about something that we assume to be in the area of 4.6 billion years.

              Radioactive decay is a completely random process, and it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay. That means that you can have a lot of decay during the limited experiment, and almost none after you finish the experiment. Or the other way around.

              Thinking that “We only need to count a relatively few” is unbelievable ignorant. You would need to have massive statistical material, to have any clue about the average decay rate.

            • GearHedEd

              Every half-educated person knows, that you need massive numbers to do statistics

              People with more than half an education know you’re full of shit.

            • GearHedEd

              This is your lucky day. I’m going to walk you through the calculations to show how we find out the half life of uranium.

              Half-life is the time required for half of the radioactive material (half of the atoms) to undergo nuclear decay. If we take as a given the known value of U238’s half-life of 4.6×10^9 years (1.45×10^17 seconds), this means it takes that long for 3.011×10^23 molecules in a 238 gram sample of U238 to decay.

              If the decay rate is constant (and this is the only assumption made when doing the calculations to find the half-life), we should expect to count roughly 2 MILLION atoms decaying every second. My estimate is actually short, according to wikipedia, because I gave the half-life as 4.6 billion years where the article says 4.468 billion years:

              “The mean lifetime of 238U is 1.41×10^17 seconds divided by 0.693 (or multiplied by 1.443), i.e. ca. 2×10^17 seconds, so 1 mole of 238U (6.022×10^23 atoms) emits 3×10^6 alpha particles per second, producing the same number of thorium-234 (Th-234) atoms.” (That’s 3,000,000 alpha particles PER SECOND.)

              Uranium 238

              Big enough numbers for you?

              (P.S. 3,000,000 per second out of 6.022×10^23 is a “relative few”. If we take readings for a few WEEKS, like I suggested earlier,there will be vastly more useable data than needed to determine the half-life of U238…)

            • GearHedEd

              Radioactive decay is a completely random process, and it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay. That means that you can have a lot of decay during the limited experiment, and almost none after you finish the experiment. Or the other way around.

              Except after having worked with these materials for more than a century now, what you’re suggesting has never been observed. And if it had been, then what we know about nuclear energy of ALL SORTS would have to be scrapped. That we can design nuclear -powered aircraft carriers, submarines, electridity-generating plants, etc. is proof that what you’re suggesting is total bunk.

            • JohnM

              GearHedEd said : Except…

              There is no except. Radioactive decay is a completely random process. Go look it up.

            • Since radioactive decay is exponential with a constant probability, each process could as easily be described with a different constant time period that (for example) gave its “(1/3)-life” (how long until only 1/3 is left) or “(1/10)-life” (a time period until only 10% is left), and so on. Thus, the choice of τ and t1/2 for marker-times, are only for convenience, and from convention. They reflect a fundamental principle only in so much as they show that the same proportion of a given radioactive substance will decay, during any time-period that one chooses.

            • Or put another way,

              Radioactive decay is a stochastic (i.e., random) process at the level of single atoms, in that, according to quantum theory, it is impossible to predict when a particular atom will decay.[1] However, the chance that a given atom will decay is constant over time. For a large number of atoms, the decay rate for the collection is computable from the measured decay constants of the nuclides (or equivalently from the half-lifes).

            • JohnM

              That’s what I’ve been saying all along.. It’s random, therefore the decay numbers will fluctuate. But over time, the average becomes a “constant” by invoking the law of massive ( or large ) numbers.

              Only, it isn’t a constant, as we now know, because of larger statistical data-pools.

            • What makes them constant? If they were truly and utterly random as you suggest, what would make them reliably constant? Do you understand stochastic probabilities? Did you actually read what I said above? About QM etc?

            • JohnM

              Constant decay, would be the same
              amount, with the amount of same time in-between.

              What makes it a constant? Nothing. It’s
              constant on average.

              1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 1 2 3 = 24

              2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 = 24

            • Of course, if Quantum Mechanics IS deterministic, as a growing number of physicists now think (MWI), then there would be a sensible explanation for such appearances of random.

            • GearHedEd

              I wrote all that for you, and all you got out of it was “Except”?
              You need to shut the fuck up, and read some more (and not the Bible! That mess of mythology and contradiction has all but melted your brain into sludge!)

            • JohnM

              GearHedEd said : If the decay rate is constant…

              It’s not. Radioactive decay is a completely random process, impossible to predict. Only by invoking the law of massive ( or large ) numbers, can we hope to get somewhat of an estimated average decay rate, if we have enough statistical data.

              GearHedEd said : Big enough numbers for you?

              Not even close. You’re assuming that this decay rate is constant, from this point in time, and 4.6 billion years into the future. And you’re doing that based on 3 weeks of data?

            • No offence John, but you are pwned and not a little wrong. I would suggest reading up on these things before making massive and erroneous claims.

            • JohnM
            • GearHedEd

              I read the article, and it said that the team that observed the variations said that the fluctuations, while they exist, are minuscule. And not only that, but it seems they are likely predictable. This is no “Smoking Gun that Disproves All Science”, the way you want it to be. Atomic clocks would require only the tiniest adjustments to accomodate this new information.

            • JohnM

              And calibration is nothing new in dating-methods, so there will be plenty of opportunities to make sure that it’s calibrated as we want it to be.

          • GearHedEd

            Lol, that’s rich.

            This kind of comment shows how ignorant you are about the subject at hand.

      • “ow, do you actually know, how many ancient cultures have a flood “myth”?”

        Do you know how many cultures have dragon myths? Wyverns? Other mythical creatures?

        They have flood myths because almost everywhere has local flooding. How do we know? Because humans ALWAYS live next to fresh water sources (particularly in olden times).

        There is NO evidence for a global flood.

        There are lots and lots of evidences for localised ones.

        http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2012/11/09/why-do-normal-people-believe-ridiculous-things/

        • JohnM

          Claiming that all these flood myths, can be explained by local floods, is just not a serious attempt at dealing with the issue.

          If you read the different versions, they clearly describe a global flood. They tell of this one family, who had pre-warning and began to build a giant ship ahead of time, which were to be loaded up with animals. And they tell, that the flood came, because God or the gods, had decided to destroy mankind. This is the common theme, in all of them.

          http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/flood-myths.html

          • GearHedEd

            Question:

            If Genesis 6-8 is true, who wrote all those OTHER flood myths down, and why isn’t the main protagonist’s name always Noah?

            • JohnM

              Who wrote all the other flood “myths” down? All the other descendent of Noah.

              Why isn’t he always called Noah? For the same reason that we call Jesus, Jesus despite his name being Yeshua. And there are many more cases of that. Jacob became James in the English translation. Miriam became Mary in the English translation. These are examples of Jewish names who became romanized. So considering that, I think it’s pretty amazing that he’s still called Noah, or something very similar, in some of the other flood “myths”.

            • Eh?

            • GearHedEd

              I guess “Utnapishtim” sounds like “Noah”, if you sqint really hard…

        • JohnM

          Also, Dragons is just another word for dinosaur. And we find dinosaurs, aka Terrible Lizards, all over the ancient art.

          http://www.cryptomundo.com/wp-content/trackscambodiastegasarus.jpg

          http://www.genesispark.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Mesopotamian-Cylinder-Seal.jpg

          http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a254/bigradish/world/ancient8.jpg

          How were they able to carve and draw these things?

          • GearHedEd

            Proof that humans and dinosaurs shared Planet Earth in ancient times:

            http://creationrevolution.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/alleyoop.jpg

            How did the U.S. Post Office know about this? EHRMEHGERD!

            • JohnM
            • GearHedEd

              As soon as someone comes up with fossil evidence of a dinosaur with chicken feet on its hindquarters, lion paws on its front quarters and a snake’s head (a mythological creature that never existed, even when dinosaurs roamed the earth…) then you can make some claims. Until then, it’s mythology and imagination.

            • JohnM

              That’s always the funny part… You guys just assume that these creatures, depicted in great detail, among other common animals, are mythological, because… ?

            • GearHedEd

              Because until we find actual evidence of the composite creatures that we find in mythological accounts, we can dismiss them as mythological.

              Same with God-men like Jesus.

            • JohnM

              Those pictures are hard evidence. They speak for themselves.

              All you have against that, is irrational unbelief.

            • GearHedEd

              Those pictures are hard evidence.

              The only thing those pictures are evidence of is your own confirmation bias. This is as bad as the guy who tried to claim that a photo of a few pottery shards on some sand (no mention of where the picture was taken, whether the pottery shards had been dated, etc…) was hard evidence of the Exodus!

              You cannot seriously expect anyone but a starry-eyed Jesus fan to accept what you’ve presented here as “hard evidence”.

            • JohnM

              So you’re saying that the ancient Babylonian artists who decorated the Ishtar gate, were part of the modern “Dinosaur with man” conspiracy?

            • GearHedEd

              No, that’s your schtick. I claim that those are mythological beasts from the imaginations of the ancient Babylonians,.Evidence of their imaginations and their ability to carve stone, nothing more.

            • JohnM

              Think about it.. Why did they put those animals on the Ishtar gate in the first place? Because they wanted to communicate something to the ones who saw the gate. Bulls symbolize something. Lions symbolize something. Why would they include madeup animals that people had no knowledge off and had no associations with? That would be like me buying TV air-time for a commercial, and then airing it with everything written in Chinese. Complete waste of money, that only generated confusion among my audience. You just don’t do that.

            • GearHedEd

              Why would they include made up animals that people had no knowledge of and had no associations with?

              For the exact same reason that Christian Churches include carvings and pictures of Cherubim and Seraphim: Because they are recognized symbols ot the dominant religion, not because they actually exist.

              And yes, they did that. The Ishtar gate exists.

            • JohnM

              Angels exist, just like demons. They are not made up. They are real.

              But if you prefer to be living in the matrix under the effect of the blue pill, then that’s your choice.

            • GearHedEd

              No angels, no devils, no “soul”. No God, no Satan. Those are figments of the fevered imaginations of people who did not understand the world, had virtually no tools with which to investigate the world, and made up stories to try to explain what they thought they were seeing.

              Nothing more.

            • JohnM

              As someone who have experienced the supernatural myself, I can tell you, that Angels and Demons are very real indeed.

              And I speak from a position of knowledge, based on experience. That’s how I know.

              You speak from a position of disbelief. You know because.. Well you don’t. You’re just telling yourself what you want to hear. You’re taking the blue pill and choosing to live in the matrix, where there’s no evil robots to be seen.

            • Are they the same angels and demons from all the other religions that other religious people have also experienced?

            • JohnM

              Well yeah you can say that, since every other religion ultimately points to the same origin, babylon. Baal, Zeus, Jupiter, just different names for the all seeing eye. Sauron as he is known in tolkien books. Or Satan, as he is know in the bible. Or Lucifer, the angel of light, as he is known to Freemasons and illuminists. There are only two forces in this universe. The forces of Light. And the forces of Darkness. There is no ground in-between.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhd-DsfVqfI

            • Andy_Schueler

              Well yeah you can say that, since every other religion ultimately points to the same origin, babylon.

              Right, the ancient babylonians used their time machines to create all the hundreds of religions that emerged thousands of years before or after them, but made absolutely sure that all those religions have as little in common with their own as possible – to make sure that only geniuses like shitbag retard troll JohnM are able to find that out.

              Baal, Zeus, Jupiter, just different names for the all seeing eye. Sauron as he is known in tolkien books. Or Satan, as he is know in the bible. Or Lucifer, the angel of light, as he is known to Freemasons and illuminists. There are only two forces in this universe. The forces of Light. And the forces of Darkness. There is no ground in-between.

              You should be institutionalized.

            • What , that evil doer that god allows to survive. Therefore, that must do good in some ultimate way.

              Have you thought through any of your theology?

            • JohnM

              It is appointed unto men to die once, and THEN face judgmentHebrews 9:27

            • Clare45

              Have you seen your Psychiatrist recently about your hallucinations?

            • JohnM

              My mental health is fine. Thanks for asking.

            • That is her job, btw.

            • JohnM

              Hehe, oki. Well, what is the common tell-tale signs of having had hallucinations?

            • Clare45

              A hallucination is a sign or symptom. Another tell-tale sign would be a complete lack of insight into any psychiatric condition (or sometimes physical as in epilepsy, brain tumour, other brain injury or high fever).

            • JohnM

              Did you know that Alien abduction hallucinations tends to stop, when one calls upon the name of Jesus Christ?

            • Andy_Schueler

              As someone who have experienced the supernatural myself, I can tell you, that Angels and Demons are very real indeed.

              Obviously! I mean, mental institutions are full of people who regularly talk to angels and demons that just happen to be invisible and inaudible to everyone else, if that is not hard evidence, than what is ?!

              You speak from a position of disbelief.

              Yes, we don´t believe your hallucinations anymore than we would believe any other random lunatic and why should we ? How about you give us a demarcation criterion, this guy claims that God told him to kill his daughter, and he provides just as much evidence as you do (none). Should we believe you, but not him ?Or should we believe both of you ? And most importantly – why should we believe that either one of you is not insane ?

              You’re just telling yourself what you want to hear. You’re taking the blue pill and choosing to live in the matrix, where there’s no evil robots to be seen.

              Sorry to disappoint you, but lunacy is not a choice. Sane people could try to “see” your “angels” and “demons” by taking LSD or something like that – but that´s about it.

            • @disqus_VpcCfzNZjQ:disqus – your ‘evidence’ revolves around nothing more than special pleading.

            • JohnM

              I think the technical term is observational evidence.

            • Clare45

              When did you last see an angel or a demon?

            • JohnM

              I don’t share my supernatural experiences with unbelievers. It’s like casting pearls at pigs. No offence intended. It’s just a way of saying, that it’s pointless to try and do so, as you have already decided that such things cannot occur.

              Besides, such experiences are worth everything to me, and nothing to you. I wouldn’t expect you to give any credit to it. You would have to have seen it with your own eyes, for it to have any value.

            • Andy_Schueler

              I don’t share my supernatural experiences with unbelievers. It’s like casting pearls at pigs. No offence intended.

              Go fuck yourself, no offence intended.

              It’s just a way of saying, that it’s pointless to try and do so, as you have already decided that such things cannot occur.

              Translation: I have no evidence whatsoever – nothing, zilch, nada. But even if I would have, you wouldn´t believe me anyway.
              Here´s a hint for you – atheists like reality just the way it is, that´s why we are atheists. If your imaginary Jeebus + Angels friends and Satan + Demon foes were demonstrably real, we would believe in them.
              Another hint: this is not a choice you moron, I believe that birds exist, and I couldn´t choose to believe that they don´t exist because they are demonstrably real – if angels were demonstrably real like birds, stones, rainbows etc. are, I could not choose to not believe in them. .

            • GearHedEd

              I don’t share my supernatural experiences with unbelievers.

              Of course you don’t. Because you know that if you did, you’d be committed to an insane asylum and medicated into a stupor.

              You also know that those experiences are utterly subjective, and proof of nothing beyond the inner surface of your own wee skull.

            • JohnM

              I’m well aware, that my experiences prove nothing to you.

            • GearHedEd

              They prove nothing to ANYBODY, including the vast majority of your fellow Chistards.

            • GearHedEd

              Oops.

            • Clare45

              Why did sculptors carve those fantasy gargoyles on Notre Dame or Chartres Cathedral? Why would they include made-up animals?

            • JohnM

              Gargoyles have an occult origin. And in a lot of the “churches” who have Gargoyles on their roofs, you will also find All-seeing eyes. That’s the cult way of doing things. Hidden in plain sight. The true meaning unknown by the ignorant masses.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Right! Just like this vase is “hard evidenve” that centaurs exist:
              http://www.theoi.com/image/O12.3Kentauroi.jpg
              I mean, who gives a fuck about the fact that such a horse-man hybrid contradicts everything we know about genetics and evolution – humans and horses can´t interbreed (and even if they could, they still could not produce a six(!)-limbed offspring), about anatomy (a centaur couldn´t jump or gallop without breaking it´s spine) and about physiology (human bowels connected to an equine esophagus – makes total sense!

              But we do have the vase (i.e. “hard evidence”), so it´s obvious that all we think we know about Biology is completely and utterly wrong because it simply could not be that some ancient greek dude simply made this shit up! I repeat, this simply cannot be made up! I mean, when did human EVER make up fantasy creatures ?! We all know that this NEVER happens, and CANNOT happen!

              And for the same reason, we know that fire-breating dragons existed, they might be impossible considering everything we know about evolution, anatomy and physiology (and even if they were not, fire-breathing as a predation method would be completely idiotic because it wastes much more energy than could be consumed by digesting the prey).

              And let´s not forget that none of the pictures that JohnM aka scumbag retard troll posted look anything like a dinosaur to someone who actually knows something about dinosaurs, take this one for example:
              http://www.genesispark.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Mesopotamian-Cylinder-Seal.jpg
              => a sauropod neck is 6-15 meters long depending on species, but has only 17 bones, it would be completely impossible for them to twist their necks like that without breaking them – whoever made this creature up imagined that their necks would be flexible like a snake, but sauropod necks were nothing like that. Also, the head looks nothing like a sauropod head, look at the fucking jaw (and it has horns like a bull for fucks sake).

              That´s what happens when creationist idiots try to do science.

            • Nice.

              @disqus_VpcCfzNZjQ:disqus – please answer all of these points. Your theory is embarrassing and involves “if the picture was on a vase, it existed”.

              Wow. And not in a good way.

            • JohnM

              Well The book of Enoch describes bizarre genetic experiments where men are crossed with animals to produce strange creatures, not unlike centaurs, Horus, Set, Thoth and Anubis. So if we were to find centaur bones, I wouldn’t have a hard time explaining them.

            • Clare45

              Maybe they have found a fossilized Easter bunny?

            • JohnM

              What will you do, when atheism dies and the new age takes hold?

              You do know that Atheism is just an anti-thesis bough about to try and morph Christianity into the new age movement, don’t you?

              Look around.. There’s new age healers and all sort of weird religion everywhere. Psychic adds everywhere on this blog.

              Have you heard about Alice Bailey, the Lucis Trust and the Temple of Understanding?´Well you better check it out, because that’s the kind of garbage that your kids will be indoctrinated in, pretty soon.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You do know that Atheism is just an anti-thesis bough about to try and morph Christianity into the new age movement, don’t you?

              You do know that you are a fucktard, don´t you ?

            • JohnM

              Look around, Andy. Are people Christians today? Not really. The average person has very little insight into the bible. So are people atheist today? Not really. Atheism is much too cold for the average person. They all want the hope of an afterlife and seeing their loved ones again. The average person, is a religious person, who like infant baptism, yoga and empty religious rituals. They are all on their path towards the new age religion.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Are people Christians today? Not really. The average person has very little insight into the bible.

              That was at no point in time any different, especially considering that there was no Bible until the 4th century and that the majority of christians living until the 19th century were illiterate. And that christians still don´t read the Bible even with widespread literacy doesn´t surprise me at all because it is incredibly boring and repetitive.

              So are people atheist today? Not really. Atheism is much too cold for the average person.

              Which is why the countires with the statistically highes levels of happiness and optimism for the future happen to be those with the highest proportion of Atheists and Agnostics. Makes sense.

              They all want the hope of an afterlife and seeing their loved ones again.

              Most atheists I´ve met consider an eternal afterlife to be the worst torture imaginable.

              The average person, is a religious person, who like infant baptism

              Dude, a huge proportion of people on this planet have no idea what infant baptism even is.

              .. and empty religious rituals

              The practicioners of those “empty religions rituals” happen to think the exact same about your religious rituals, whatever they may be (I assume you pray regularly). Guess what atheists think about all of those rituals ?

              They are all on their path towards the new age religion.

              There is not one new age religion, new age is a diverse hodgepodge of Bullshit. Talk to ten different new agers and you´ll hear ten completely different bullshit stories (even worse than talking to ten random christians).

              Considering how much the esoteric market flourishes, this doesn´t seem to be nearly as widespread as you think (although I´d agree that every single penny and every single second spent on this BS is wasted).

            • JohnM
            • Andy_Schueler

              HAHAHAHA :-D
              Oh boy, you really don´t have to prove that you are the epitome of gullibility, irrationality and plain stupidity in every single comment.

              “The Ica stones are a collection of andesite stones that bear a variety of diagrams, including depictions of dinosaurs and what is alleged to be advanced technology. They are not considered to be genuine archeological artifacts but instead were recently created by Peruvian locals as curiosities or hoaxes.
              ….
              In 1973 during an interview with Erich von Däniken, Uschuya stated he had faked the stones.[2] In 1975 Uschuya and another farmer named Irma Gutierrez de Aparcana confirmed that they had forged the stones they gave to Cabrera by copying the images from comic books, text books and magazines.[1] Later Uschuya recanted the forging story during an interview with a German journalist, saying that he had claimed they were a hoax to avoid imprisonment for sellingarchaeological artifacts. In 1977, during the BBC documentary Pathway to the Gods, Uschuya produced an Ica stone with a dentist’s drill and claimed to have produced the patina by baking the stone in cow dung.[2] That same year, another BBC documentary was released with a skeptical analysis of Cabrera’s stones, and the newfound attention to the phenomenon prompted Peruvian authorities to arrest Uschuya, as Peruvian law prohibits the sale of archaeological discoveries. Uschuya recanted his claim that he had found them and instead admitted they were hoaxes, saying “Making these stones is easier than farming the land.” He engraved the stones using images in books and magazines as examples and knives, chisels and a dental drill.”
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ica_stones

              Priceless. Absolutely priceless!

            • JohnM

              Are you aware that the stones were first found in 1562, by Spanish explorers?

              Andy said: This is supposed to be a Sauropod ?!

              No, that’s a 3000 years old Chinese music instrument. What makes you think it’s a Sauropod?

              Triceratops actually didn´t have those armor plates on the back.

              That’s not armour plates. That’s an artistic rendering of skin. Kinda weird that these farmers knew that, don’t you think? When did we actually first find preserved dinosaur skin tissue? hmmmm

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPO6h8M6DI4

            • Andy_Schueler

              No, this stone:
              http://www.bible.ca/tracks/peru-tomb-rock-art-man-riding-triceratops.jpg
              was not found by spanish explorers, this stone is a forgery created by a peruvian farmer in the sixties who was inspired by comic books (and who had no idea how large a Triceratops is, how the head looks like exactly, and he mistakenly added armor plates on the back which Triceratops didn´t have (most likely because he saw comic books with various dinosaurs and got a little confused)).

              Creationist claim that there are spanish sources from the colonial period that refer to similarly carved stones (i.e. same art style, but no one knows what was allegedly depicted on them). Yet those stones are nowhere to be found in any museum or with any private collector.

              Seriously, are you physically incapable of fact-checking your claims ? The mere fact that you honestly believe that Dinosaurs and men co-existed means that even a flat-earther could look down on your intellect, but the fact that you consistently fall for the stupidest hoaxes* available, means that you are a moron even when one applies YEC standards.

              * The Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology refers to the Ica stones as: “The Ica Stones are not the most sophisticated of the archaeological hoaxes discussed in this book, but they certainly rank up there as the most preposterous.”

            • JohnM

              If you are looking for the truth, and not just the average copy paste forgery claims, read the following: http://livingdinos.com/2011/07/are-the-ica-stones-fake-skeptics-under-fire/

            • Andy_Schueler

              If you are looking for the truth

              :-D – says the most notorious liar I´ve ever seen.

              and not just the average copy paste forgery claims

              Unlike you, who does nothing but copy-pasting and posting random links from the most ridiculous sources available (UfoTV for fucks sake!), I actually invest the time to debunk your material properly instead of just pasting random links like you. Fucktard.

              read the following: http://livingdinos.com/2011/07

              Ah, Bigfoot hunters, why am I not surprised ?! (again, there seems to be no source for you to not believe it IMMEDIATLY as long as it happens to agree with your ridiculously stupid beliefs)

              Let´s see:
              “The stones depict dinosaurs in such vivid detail that paleontologists pale at the disturbing representations of dinosaurs.”
              => :-D Riiiight, a triceratops with a shoulder height of roughly 1.50m (assuming that the rider is of average height) and armor plates on the back and legs of equal height instead of the hind legs being much bigger and two of the horns being far too short is certainly “vivid detail”

              “The Fortean Times published an article on the Ica Stones by Filip Coppens entitled, “Jurassic Library.” Filip dismisses the Ica Stones as clever hoaxes perpetuated by Javier Cabrera and carved by Basilio Uschuya for the tourist industry.”
              => One could of course mention the fact that the guy admits to have forged the stone in question but what the hell.

              “The first mention of the stones is from a Spanish priest journeying to the region of Ica in 1535.2Father Simon, a Jesuit missionary, accompanied Pizarro along the Peruvian coast and recorded his amazement upon viewing the stones. In 1562, Spanish explorers sent some of the stones back to Spain.”
              => Yet those alleged stones found in the colonial time are nowhere to be found and no source even indicates what the alleged stones allegedly depicted.

              “Colonel Omar Chioino Carraza, who was the Director of the Peruvian Aeronautical Museum, has no doubt about the stones authenticity. After official government tests, Carraza declared in 1974”
              => Notice that they don´t even mention what the alleged stones allegedly depict for fucks sake!

              “Herman Buse revealed that in 1961, there was a flooding of the Ica River, and that a large number of engraved stones had been uncovered. Huaqueros (looters of the tombs) have sold many of them to museums and to the Soldi brothers.”
              => WHERE. ARE. THE. FUCKING. STONES ?? If they were sold to museums, where the fuck are they on display ? What do they depict ? What THE FUCK are they talking about ?

              “Erich Von Daniken never believed the Ica Stones were fakes. Erich Von Daniken had a stone from Basilio and a stone from Cabrera. In the words of Von Daniken,”

              => HAHAHAHA, von Däniken…. Un-fucking-believable.

              Alrigh that does it. I should know better than wasting time on your BS.
              Fucktard.

            • JohnM

              One could of course mention the fact that the guy admits to have forged the stone in question but what the hell.

              Thereby saving himself from a long prison sentence for violation of the antiquities laws of Peru.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Riiight, lying about forging them would make much more sense then simply claiming that he found them lying in the wild somewhere (implausible but he does not have the burden of proof on trial) instead of telling the truth that he was grave-looting!

              Not to mention that the forgery explains exactly why there is not a single post K-T Triceratops fossil to be found in South America although this species survived for more than sixty million years there and why the depiction happens to be anatomically incorrect on at least four levels.

              Also, this alleged antiquities law implying a “long prison sentence” doesn´t exist, moron:
              “In 1989, the case Government of Peru v. Johnson further highlighted the importance of clarity in national property laws and of proving provenience for the McClain precedent. Peru enacted a law in 1929 covering monuments and a separate law in 1958 covering export, but no single clear law covering antiquities.”
              http://archive.archaeology.org/online/features/schultz/criminal.html

              See, that´s what happens when you rely on Ufo Nuts, Bigfoot hunters, and Creationist fucktards – you will look like a spectacular idiot again and again and again.
              Are you not tired of being wrong about everything ?

            • JohnM

              Andy said : Also, this alleged antiquities law implying a “long prison sentence” doesn´t exist

              Let me get this right.. Are you suggesting that robbing old tombs, is legal in Peru?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Oh, and btw – let´s not ignore the fact that we already demonstrated that your entire premise is Bullshit. A depiction of a creature does not mean that the artist actually saw said creature because humans make up fantasy creatures all the time. And, even more importantly, some ancient cultures actually did stumble on fossils of long extinct creatures which inspired artists ( http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Fossil-Hunters-Paleontology/dp/0691058636 ).

              Which means, that you use idiotic arguments based on an idiotic premise. Congratulations.

            • John, please admit that you have lost this argument. You sound so desperate. Look, accusing Andy of copy pasting when all you do is post the most horrendous You Tube videos known to man, and other terribly shit stuff is a real intellectual no-no.

              You have been found so very wanting.

            • JohnM

              I knew exactly what Andy was going to say, before I even posted that picture. I even know where he copy pasted the reply from. But that just doesn’t chance the fact, that these stones goes way back before these so-called forgeries are claimed to have occurred. And anyone who investigate the issue with an open mind, will discover that for themselves, soon enough. The good old forgery story, is just an old dead horse, always dragged out, by people who prefer to stay ignorant. And lets not forget, that these stones actually contain symbols from the Nazca Lines.

            • Andy_Schueler

              I knew exactly what Andy was going to say, before I even posted that picture. I even know where he copy pasted the reply from.

              Oh really ? Let me prove that you are a lying scumbag for the umpteenth time:
              Post the specific comment and the source from which I allegedly copy-pasted a reply to you without indicating that I am copy-pasting by putting it in quotes and providing a link.
              But we both know that you can´t do that, don´t we ? ;-)
              Seriously, if I were a christian, I would be ashamed that such a pathetic lying scumbag like you would share my beliefs.

              But that just doesn’t chance the fact, that these stones goes way back before these so-called forgeries are claimed to have occurred

              Let me fix that for you – that doesn´t change the fact that there are alleged stones from before the sixties which allegedly were carved in a similar style and allegedly were bought by museums and private collectors. But unfortunately, those alleged earlier stones happen to be nowhere on display (I guess all those museums and private collectors want to keep them secret, right ??), there are zero photographs of them, and not even a detailed explanation of what they allegedly depict.
              And, for a lying scumbag fucktard troll, this obviously amounts to a “fact”.

              But don´t worry! You still have the forged stones from the sixties which are anatomically completely incorrect and which wouldn´t prove shit even if they were real because your premises are idiotic:
              http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2013/03/31/original-sin-answering-thomas-l-mcdonald/#comment-851193393

              And anyone who investigate the issue with an open mind, will discover that for themselves, soon enough. The good old forgery story, is just an old dead horse, always dragged out, by people who prefer to stay ignorant.

              Right, forgeries simply do not exist – people would never lie or make shit up! Well except for those evil “scholars” of course, they lie all the time.
              Here are some nice books for you I´m sure you will like:
              http://www.amazon.com/9-11-The-Ultimate-Truth/dp/1897244223/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1365066813&sr=8-3&keywords=9+11+truth
              http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Collision-Immanuel-Velikovsky/dp/1906833117/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365066638&sr=8-1&keywords=worlds+in+collision
              http://www.amazon.com/Chariots-Gods-Unsolved-Mysteries-Past/dp/0425166805/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365066656&sr=8-
              http://www.amazon.com/Illuminati-Cult-that-Hijacked-World/dp/1439211485/ref=cm_lmf_tit_11&keywords=von+d%C3%A4niken
              http://www.amazon.com/The-Hollow-Earth-Raymond-Bernard/dp/0787300977/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1365066774&sr=8-2&keywords=The+Hollow+Earth

              You better believe everything these books say without doing any research, or don´t you have an “open mind” ?! Do you prefer to stay ignorant ?! Wake up sheeple!!
              Until you´ve finished those books, please kindly fuck off.

            • please don;t say John is pulling up stuff from Von Daniken.

              Oh, no. John’s minutiae of virtually non-existent credibility has evaporated and turned negative.

            • TristanVick

              The pictures are hard evidence that people believed in hybrid creatures.

              Do not confuse art for documentary.

              Dinosaurs existing at the same time humans did isn’t likely. It’s not impossible, but considering 75% of all specious went extinct 65 to 66 million years ago, it’s highly unlikely very many survived.

              Most species radiated and adapted to their new environments.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous%E2%80%93Paleogene_extinction_event

            • Andy_Schueler

              Dinosaurs existing at the same time humans did isn’t likely. It’s not impossible, but considering 75% of all specious went extinct 65 to 66 million years ago, it’s highly unlikely very many survived.

              It´s not strictly impossible, but as close to impossible as could possibly be demonstrated.
              The minimum viable population size (which guarantees >95% survival for the next 1000 years) for species of terrestrial vertebrates is usually ~1000 individuals (for long-term survival, much higher than that), it is inconceivable that populations of this size surviving for more than 60 million years, did not leave a single non-avian dinosaur fossil behind which would have been uncovered in any of the thousands of excavations all across the globe. It might be possible that some species of non-avian dinosaurs survived for a long time on a secluded island or some place like that where we never did an excavation, but non-avian dinosaurs surviving in places where humans could have met them is practically impossible.

            • JohnM

              Would they still look like dinosaurs, after 65 million years of evolution?

            • Andy_Schueler

              They would be more similar to cretaceous Dinosaurs than any other extant species. And one could objectively connect them to cretaceous Dinosaurs by the fossils they would have left befind if they indeed did survive.

            • JohnM

              I’m not sure I follow. Are you saying that evolution would have stood still for 65 million years, while everyone around them were evolving into their current states? Surely a dinosaur would look nothing like one, as they would also have evolved.

            • Andy_Schueler

              I’m not sure I follow. Are you saying that evolution would have stood still for 65 million years

              No, this Bullshit has nothing to do with my comment. I said that they would be more similar to Dinosaurs than any other extant (that means “still in existence”) species.
              And there´s a simple reason for that, since children inherit their genetic material from their parents, they are more similar to their parents than to randomly selected other individuals and much more similar to their parents than randomly selected individuals from other species – and this does not change if you extrapolate into the future to grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on and so forth. All extant mammals look different from Megazostrodon (mammal that went extinct in the Jurassic period), but more similar to Megazostrodon than any non-mammalian species. The exact same would apply to any hypothetical extant non-avian dinosaurs and their ancestors from the cretaceous.

              Surely a dinosaur would look nothing like one, as they would also have evolved.

              Dude, simply take everything you think you know about evolution, assume that it is spectacularly wrong (it is) and start from scratch. I´ve seen enough of your comments to know that everything you think you know about evolution is wrong.

            • JohnM

              Ok, so Cows have become Whales, in the meantime.. But dinosaurs would still be.. Dinosaurs. Got it..

              Then what if we found something alive, that looked exactly like the old dinosaurs.. Such as Mokele-Mbembe.. Wouldn’t that prove, that evolution never happened?

              http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/wild/beast-hunter/videos/mokele-mbembe-encounter/

            • Andy_Schueler

              Ok, so Cows have become Whales.. But dinosaurs would still be.. Dinosaurs. Got it..

              Wow…. WOW…..WOW

              Only you could infuse so much pure undiluted idiocy in 14(!!) words…

              1. Cows are domestic animals, they didn´t exist before humans breeded them from those critters:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurochs (which are extinct since the 17th century)
              2. The most closely related extant species to whales would be the Hippopotamus.
              3. Whales are not fish, cows and whales and the Hippopotamus are all MAMMALS you fucking idiot.
              4. “Dinosaur” happens to be a clade, not a species (like “cow”), so your statement would have to be rephrased as: “Ok, so Mammals have become Mammals.. But Dinosaurs would still be.. Dinosaurs. Got it..”
              5. The point is that Cows and Whales and the Hippopotamus are all more similar to each other and to the most recent common ancestor of all mammals than any non-mammalian species just like all hypothetical surviving non-avian Dinosaurs would be more closely related to each other and to their cretaceous ancestors than any other extant species.

              Your stupidity truly knows no limits.

            • JohnM

              I use the word cow in this connection, as I use the word monkey-boys. A sort of Cow-boys.

              And yeah, a Hippopotamus looks a lot like a whale. I often have a hard time telling them apart, actually.

            • John, you really don’t have the first clue about evolution, which is odd, since you are so adamant it is false. Sometimes I feel deeply embarrassed for you.

            • Andy_Schueler

              I use the word cow in this connection, as I use the word monkey-boys. A sort of Cow-boys

              Moron.

              And yeah, a Hippopotamus looks a lot like a whale. I often have a hard time telling them apart, actually.

              Right, why study Biology when we could simply ask shitbag fucktard troll JohnM ?!

            • Andy_Schueler

              Ok, so Cows have become Whales, in the meantime.. But dinosaurs would still be.. Dinosaurs. Got it..

              Wow, WOW, WOW

              Only you, the single dumbest person I´ve ever seen, could infuse 14(!!!!) words with so much pure, undiluted idiocy.

              1. Cows are domestic animals you fucktard, they didn´t exist before humans bred them from those critters:
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aurochs (which are extinct since the 17th century).
              2. The closest extant terrestrial relative of whales is hippopotamus.
              3. Whales are not fish, whales, cows and the hippopotamus are all MAMMALS you fucking idiot. And whales don´t “look nothing like a mammal”, they are more similar to mammals than to fish morphologically, anatomically, developmentally and genetically. Moron.
              4. A “cow” is a species, but “Dinosaurs” is a clade, which means that your idiotic statement would have to be rephrased as “Ok, so Mammals have become Mammals, in the meantime.. But Dinosaurs would still be.. Dinosaurs. Got it..”
              5. The point is that Cows, Whales, the Hippopotamus etc. are more similar to each other and to the most recent common ancestor of all mammals than any non-mammalian species, just like hypothetical extant non-avian Dinosaur species would be more similar to each other and to their cretaceous ancestors than any other extant species.

              Then what if we found something alive, that looked exactly like the old dinosaurs.. Such as Mokele-Mbembe.. Wouldn’t that prove, that evolution never happened?

              You are way, way, way too ignorant to understand the answer to that question. You might want to start with this first:
              http://www.amazon.com/Biology-Dummies-Math-Science/dp/0470598751 (although the Dummies books still assume curiosity and at least average intelligence, so maybe you are just better off with you fairy tales, they are simple and don´t require any of that hard thinky stuff).

              http://channel.nationalgeograp

              Oh, now it´s the congolese Nessie ? How fascinating

            • Clare45

              99 percent of all original animal species are now extinct. The dinosaurs were only some of them.

            • JohnM

              I completely agree, that Art is far from a documentary. As a former 3d-artist who have worked in the game industry, I have modelled many mythological creatures, produced by the imagination of my concept-art colleges.

              But sometimes, art takes on a form of documentary, especially when it comes to ancient cave-paintings. Can you for example tell what these Aboriginals are hunting?

              http://www.plesiosauria.com/monsters/aboriginal.jpg

              And if one looks really closely, its actually possible to see one of them, in the stomach. So it’s telling a story as well :)

            • Andy_Schueler

              As a former 3d-artist who have worked in the game industry

              So you were demoted from working with “Artificial intelligence aka free will computers” (your words).

              But sometimes, art takes on a form of documentary, especially when it comes to ancient cave-paintings. Can you for example tell what these Aboriginals are hunting?

              1. Not a cave painting.
              2. The website were you got this picture has this to say:
              “An illustration claimed to be recent aboriginal art depicts a plesiosaur, but it cannot be demonstrated as authentic (Fig 5). The typical medium of aboriginal art is rock but the plesiosaur art is not. The artwork also bears striking similarity with existing modern artwork and shares the same anatomical errors – the necks of plesiosaurs are now known to have been held-straight and rigid, they were not extremely flexible as depicted. Even if the artwork was genuine, it is perfectly possible that the illustration is based on fossil evidence as plesiosaur fossil remains are known from Australia.”
              Moron.

              And let´s not foget to point out again that your premise is idiotic:
              http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2013/03/31/original-sin-answering-thomas-l-mcdonald/#comment-851193393

            • Clare45

              Hard evidence? Hardly! (sorry couldn’t help myself)

            • JohnM

              Hehe. That’s cool. Hard question that don’t get answers, have a tendency to hang around.

            • Where is your evidence that they were real? Is every thing ever depicted in art real? You are mad, John, and getting madder. You are suffering all sorts of cognitive biases. You are not listening to anything being said.

            • JohnM

              I’m sure an old lady on the streets of the matrix, would have told Neo the same, if he had started telling her about the machines.

              1 Corinthians 2:14
              The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

            • Clare45

              Written by a man called Paul who probably suffered from temporal lobe epilepsy and had visual (bright lights) and auditory hallucinations (voice of God)

            • JohnM

              Clare, what’s the probability of mass-hallucinations occurring? I mean.. 20 people in the same room, suddenly having hallucinations?

              Can hallucinations be connected somehow, or is 3 people in the same room, seeing the same thing at the same time, proof that it’s not a product of a person having hallucinations?

              As far as I understand, hallucinations are a product of the brain, and so for two people to have the same hallucinations at the same time together, they would have to have the same brain, or?

            • Clare45

              Mass hysteria. Example would be the Salem alleged witches.A charismatic preacher can also use hypnosis techniques to induce temporary psychotic behaviour. I have seen this in action. There are also hallucinogenic drugs. In Biblical times the magic mushroom may have been used.

            • JohnM

              I get the hysteria part. But I fail to see how that would make people have hallucinations.

              If people didn’t get together to eat mushrooms, multiple people having the same hallucinations are pretty much impossible, yes?

              And even if people had eaten a bunch of mushrooms, why would they have the same hallucinations? They still have different brains, don’t they?

              And do you actually believe in Hypnosis as a real phenomenon?

            • Clare45

              Mushroom eaters would probably not have exactly the same hallucination but would be in a similar suggestible state, so vulnerable to the mass hysteria phenomenon. And yes, I can hypnotize people. It is real, but not everyone is hypnotizable.

            • JohnM

              How do you control people, then? Or do they control themselves, by wilfully doing your commands? Or have they lost control of themselves?

            • Clare45

              Sorry that would take to long to reply to here and derail the conversation. Just Google hypnosis techniques. I am sure you can find it somewhere. Or you can take a course at the hypnotherapy institute in New York.

            • JohnM

              So what’s the difference between people who are under your “spell”, and someone who’s a medium, and allow demonic forces to speak though him/her?

              And is the reason why it “doesn’t work on everyone” that not everyone is willing to give themselves over to such powers?

            • Clare45

              Quite different. A medium is a performer who is getting money out of gullible people, like fortune tellers and faith healers. And do you really believe in demons? If you do, then I have nothing more to say to you except get back on you medications.

            • JohnM

              Sure.. Let’s get high, on drugs.. Let’s pop ourselves full of pills and try to block out the “unreal”. That’s the way forward, right? Oh you’re sad? Take a pill for that.. Look, now you’re tripping happy on prozac. That’s real joy, right? What’s that? You can’t sleep now? Here’s a pill for that. Oh, now you can’t wake up? Here’s some for that.. What, now you got a headace? Here’s some for that. What, now you can’t focus? Here’s some for that. Feel like killing yourself? Take some for that as well.. I promess you, that you won’t feel a thing after this one. Oh, so now you’re hearing voices telling you, that you’re not worth anything, and that you’re better of killing yourself? Those are not real. Just take this pill. And you know.. Just to cancel out all the adverse effects, you will have to take these as well.. There.. Now you’re completely FUBAR on drugs. Welcome back to “reality”.

              Do you know how many headache pills that I’ved used in my life? Less than the total number of fingers on my hands.

              So don’t give me that gibberish about medication. You’re the one on pill-medication, just to be able to go on living your own life.

            • GearHedEd

              Quoting the Bible doesn’t prove that the Bible is true. And Paul is no authority.

            • Clare45

              Looks a bit like an ancient llama. They existed as long as 4000 years ago.

            • JohnM

              Except that it’s more reptile, with snake scale and predator bird claws than … fur-ball grass-eater, correct?

          • GearHedEd

            Y’know, all that stuff proves is either that the ancients had pretty good imaginations, or that they found dinosaur skeletons, too. We did. Why couldn’t they?

          • Clare45

            Dinosaurs were hot blooded and often related to ancient birds. Lizards or as you claim, biblical dragons are cold blooded reptiles.

          • TristanVick

            Dragon is a poetic license that the translators of the Authorized version inserted into the Bible for purposes of prosody.

            But the translation is not exact.

            http://www.accuracyingenesis.com/dragon.html

            But this seems to be different than the mention of ‘terrible lizard’ elsewhere. I do not think the terms are synonymous.

    • JohnM

      GearHedEd said : It’s all part of your Christian mythology.

      Fact: The Christian faith is documented by historical sources and archaeologically. Time and time again, Christ Myth lunatics have been put to shame..

      V1: “ Hahaha. Pontius pilate never existed. They invented him. The bible is a myth”.

      “Uppsss.. It looks like, we have just found the Pontius pilate stone, documenting his existence. The bible was right after all”

      V2: “ Hahaha. Nazareth and Bethlehem were holes in the ground at the time of Christ.. The bible is a myth”.

      “Uppsss.. It looks like, we have just found ruins in those cities, dating to the time of Christ. The bible was right after all”

      V3: “ Hahaha. The Hittites never existed.. The bible is a myth”.

      “Uppsss.. It looks like, we have just found such an ancient civilization. The bible was right after all”

      V4: “ Hahaha. The city of Jericho, had no walls when it was conquered by the Israelites.. The bible is a myth”.

      “Uppsss.. It looks like, we have just found new evidence, documenting that the dating was off. And that it indeed was destroyed EXCATLY as described in the bible. And that the walls came down, EXCATLY as we read in the bible. The bible was right after all”

      V5: “ Hahaha. The bible was written by a munk in middle-ages. The bible is a myth”.

      *Sigh*

      • “Fact: The Christian faith is documented by historical sources and archaeologically. Time and time again, Christ Myth lunatics have been put to shame..”

        Ha ha ha!

        That is no more a fact than I am the King of Sweden. In fact, decent archaeology (not the stuff from the Christian motivated Albright period where biblical maximalism circularly assumed the truth of the Bible to date archaeology to thus prove the Bible!) has shown almost NO evidence for every single biblical claim.

        If you knew your biblical archaeology, you would know this.

        As for the rest of your dross, you are straw-manning. Go read Finkelstein or Davies.

        • JohnM

          I’m not straw-manning. The examples that I put forward, are very common. Here’s a link to a guy who has had the same experiences as me:

          http://atheistwatch.blogspot.dk/2010/12/was-nazareth-inhabited-in-time-of.html

          • GearHedEd

            Even if Nazareth was inhabited in the time of Jesus, that only rellieves that one tiny little problem. There are still dozens of problems that the existence of Nazareth doesn’t come close to touching.

            • JohnM

              Even if… WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU?!?

              We have hard evidence that Nazareth was inhabited at the time of Jesus.

            • GearHedEd

              As I said,

              SO WHAT?

              Bring us evidence that Jesus and his family LIVED THERE.

              P.S. You’ve conceded that the Bible is not evidence.

            • JohnM

              GearHedEd : P.S. You’ve conceded that the Bible is not evidence.

              Lies. I said that the bible is not evidence of itself, which is something completely different.

            • GearHedEd

              The only place we find a claim that Jesus lived in Nazareth is …

              wait for it…

              in the Bible.

              You lose.

            • JohnM

              We know from other historical sources, that in the first century, Christians were often refereed to as “Nazarenes”, as they were following in the footsteps of this guy called Jesus from Nazareth. And in modern Hebrew, “notzrim” is still used as a name for Christians. So no, you don’t have a point. We know that the historical Jesus was from Nazareth.

            • GearHedEd

              Nice try at sidestepping the fact that the only place Jesus is said to have lived in Nazareth is in the Bible. Not to mention that there is almost no mention whatsoever of Jesus outside religious literature. He could be completely made up, for the lack of evidence that he actually existed. There’s a “Pilate Stone”. So what? Does the Pilate stone say, “I, Pontius Pilate, crucified the man called Jesus of Nazareth”?

              No. There is no evidence whatsoever that even comes close to that level.

              And even if there were, that says nothing about whether he came back from the dead.

            • JohnM

              GearHedEd said : Not to mention that there is almost no mention whatsoever of Jesus outside religious literature.

              You haven’t got the slightest clue what you’re talking about. At least google a bit, before you spew such nonsense.

              http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100325144940AA00DI6

            • Clare45

              The Josephus quote is now known to be a later forgery, and other Roman manuscripts refer to a general “Chrestos” or Christ but they do not call the person Jesus.

            • JohnM

              Nobody believes it to be a forgery. Some people, including me, hold it to be partly modified by later scholars. Josephus was hostile to the Christians. He would not have talked about Jesus being the Christ. He would have said “the so-called Christ” or something demeaning. But there’s no doubt that he mentioned Jesus. He does so several places. And he also mentions John the baptist.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

            • That is what forgery means. It was forged, either partly or entirely, to be written as if by Josephus.

              Arguments that the Testimonium is Spurious

              There are several arguments of various quality that aim to show that the Testimonium Flavianum is entirely spurious.

              It is sometimes argued that the phrase “to this day” at the end of the passage indicates the perspective of a writer who was writing long after the events in question and that Josephus was too close in time to make it believable that he would have used the expression. On the contrary, a span of 60 years time after the death of Jesus is sufficient to cause some surprise at the survival of the cult. According to the speech of Gamiliel in Acts 5:35-39, most movements disbanded shortly after the death of the leader.

              It is often argued that the description of Jesus is unusually short for Josephus. For example, Josephus devotes over twice as much space to the description of John the Baptist. Although suggestive, this argument is not conclusive. Professor Sanders considers this passage to be “the best objective evidence of the importance of Jesus during his own lifetime. The gospels create the impression that the entire populace was vitally interested in Jesus and what happened to him. Certainly he did attract attention. But if we measure the general impact of prophetic figures by the degree of disturbance they caused, we shall conclude that Jesus was less important in the eyes of most of his contemporaries than were John the Baptist and the Egyptian…” (pp. 50-51)

              Earl Doherty argues: “In the section on Pilate in the earlier Jewish War, written in the 70s, Josephus outlines the same two incidents with which he began chapter 3 of Book 18 in theAntiquities of the Jews, incidents which caused tumult in Judea during the governorship of Pilate. In the Antiquities, these descriptions are immediately followed by the Testimoniumabout Jesus. In Jewish War (2.9/169-177) no mention of Jesus is included.” (p. 222) This is also suggestive but inconclusive. Robert Grant notes that “none of them [John the Baptist, James, or Jesus] is to be found in the parallel passages in his earlier War; presumably Christians had become more important in the interval.” (p. 291)

              It is sometimes claimed that manuscripts before Eusebius do not have the passage in question. This is simply not true; there are no extant manuscripts before Eusebius. It is also sometimes pointed out that the Josippon, a medieval Hebrew version of Josephus, lacks the passage in question. However, Josippon is dependent on the text of the Antiquitiespreserved by Christians, so it is clear that the author of Josippon does not represent an independent manuscript tradition but rather purposely omits the passage.

              R. Joseph Hoffmann notes: “Further, the language used to describe John is very close to the language used to describe Jesus, leading some to theorize that the original version of theAntiquities carried no reference to Jesus at all.” (p. 54)

              In Ecclesiastical History 1.11, Eusebius writes: “After relating these things concerning John, he makes mention of our Saviour in the same work, in the following words…” This suggests the possibility that the Testimonium was inserted in some manuscripts after the passage concerning John.

              Louis H. Feldman writes (Josephus, Judaism and Christianity, p. 57): “The fact that an ancient table of contents, already referred to in the Latin version of the fifth or sixth century, omits mention of the Testimionium (though, admittedly, it is selective, one must find it hard to believe that such a remarkable passage would be omitted by anyone, let alone by a Christian, summarizing the work) is further indication that there was no such notice…” I regard this as an important and powerful piece of evidence, although one that doesn’t get much attention.

              It is argued that the reference to “the tribe of Christians so named from him” requires the earlier phrase “He was the Christ.”

              Meier writes: “But as Andre Pelletier points out, a study of the style of Josephus and other writers of his time shows that the presence of ‘Christ’ is not demanded by the final statement about Christians being ‘named after him.’ At times both Josephus and other Greco-Roman writers (e.g., Dio Cassius) consider it pedantry to mention explicitly the person after whom some other person or place is named; it would be considered an insult to the knowledge and culture of the reader to spell out a connection that is taken for granted.” (p. 61)

              This reply is seen to be insufficient. Pelletier points out the example of Antiquities 17.5.1, where Josephus explains the name of the port Sebastos by saying: “Herod, having constructed it at great expense, named it Sebastos in honor of Caesar.” Josephus leaves out the technical explanation that Caesar’s honorific name in Latin is Augustus, which was translated into the Greek language as Sebastos. It may be assumed that the reader would be aware of Caesar’s title. However, it cannot be assumed that the reader would be aware that Jesus was known as the Christ.

              Some would avoid this problem by substituting “He was believed to be the Christ” or “He was the so-called Christ” in place of the phrase, “He was the Christ.” This is possible, though not without its problems. Meier argues that the statement “seems out of place in its present position and disturbs the flow of thought. If it were present at all, one would expect it to occur immediately after either ‘Jesus’ or ‘wise man,’ where the further identification would make sense. Hence, contrary to Dubarle, I consider all attempts to save the statement by expanding it to something like ‘he was thought to be the Messiah’ to be ill advised. Such expansions, though witnessed in some of the Church fathers (notable Jerome), are simply later developments in the tradition.” (p. 60) It is also problematic that Josephus would have introduced the term Christ here without any explanation of its meaning. This problem will be considered in more detail in relation to the 20.9.1 passage.

              Steve Mason states: “the passage does not fit well with its context in Antiquities 18. . . Josephus is speaking of upheavals, but there is no upheaval here. He is pointing out the folly of Jewish rebels, governors, and troublemakers in general, but this passage is completely supportive of both Jesus and his followers. Logically, what should appear in this context ought to imply some criticism of the Jewish leaders and/or Pilate, but Josephus does not make any such criticism explicit. He says only that those who denounced Jesus were ‘the leading men among us.’ So, unlike the other episodes, this one has no moral, no lesson. Although Josephus begins the next paragraph by speaking of ‘another outrage’ that caused an uproar among the Jews at the same time (18.65), there is nothing in this paragraph that depicts any sort of outrage.” (p. 165)

              Earl Doherty argues: “G. A. Wells and others have argued that the continuity of the flanking passages works best when no passage about Jesus intervenes. The final thought of the previous paragraph flows naturally into the words of the one following, whereas the opening of the latter paragraph does not fit as a follow-up to the closing sentence of theTestimonium. This argument is somewhat tempered by the fact that since the ancients had no concept of footnotes, digressional material had to be inserted into the main text, as there was nowhere else to put it. However, one might ask whether the Testimonium should be considered digressional material, since it continues with the theme of Pilate’s activities and about various woes which befall the Jews. One might also suggest that, digression or no, once Josephus had written it, his opening words in the subsequent paragraph ought to have reflected, rather than ignored, the paragraph on Jesus.” (p. 207)

              The fact that Josephus was prone to digressions does allow that Josephus could have inserted this passage here simply because it relates to Pilate. Meier suggests the following explanation: “In the present case, one wonders whether any greater link need exist for Josephus than the fact that the account of Jesus (who is crucified by Pilate) is preceded by a story about Pilate in which many Jews are killed (Ant. 18.3.2, 60-62) and is followed by a story in which the tricksters are punished by crucifixion.” (p. 86)

              However, the real difficulty is not that the content of the Testimonium is only tangentially related to the surrounding content; the real difficulty is the way that Josephus begins the subsequent paragraph with a reference to “another outrage,” a reference that skips over the Testimonium entirely and points to the previous section.

              No form of the Testimonium Flavianum is cited in the extant works of Justin Martyr, Theophilus Antiochenus, Melito of Sardis, Minucius Felix, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Julius Africanus, Pseudo-Justin, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Origen, Methodius, or Lactantius. According to Michael Hardwick in Josephus as an Historical Source in Patristic Literature through Eusebius, each of these authors shows familiarity with the works of Josephus.

              Jeffery Jay Lowder writes: “Assuming that contemporary reconstructions of the passage are accurate, it is difficult to imagine why the early church fathers would have cited such a passage. The original text probably did nothing more than establish the historical Jesus. Since we have no evidence that the historicity of Jesus was questioned in the first centuries, we should not be surprised that the passage was never quoted until the fourth century.”

              John P. Meier argues: “One possible explanation of this silence would jibe well with my reconstruction of the Testimonium and my isolation of the Christian interpolations. If until shortly before the time of Eusebius the Testimonium lacked the three Christian interpolations I have bracketed, the Church Fathers would not have been overly eager to cite it; for it hardly supports the mainline Christian belief in Jesus as the Son of God who rose from the dead. This would explain why Origen in the 3d century affirmed that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Messiah (Commentary on Matthew 10.17; Contra Celsum 1.47). Origen’s text of the Testimonium simply testified, in Christian eyes, to Josephus’ unbelief — not exactly a useful apologetical tool in addressing pagans or a useful polemical tool in christological controversies among Christians.” (p. 79)

              Earl Doherty counters: “Meier’s argument is that the Christian Fathers would have recognized that Josephus did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, or believe that he had risen from the dead. The Testimonium witnessed to Josephus’ unbelief and was therefore avoided. But should the apologists have found this disconcerting in a non-Christian? They dealt with unbelief every day, faced it head on, tried to counter and even win over the opponent. Justin’s major work, Dialogue with the Jew Trypho, did just that. Origen, in his own confrontation with Celsus, did not shy away from criticizing Josephus for attributing the fall of Jerusalem to God’s punishment on the Jews for the death of James, rather than for the death of Jesus (see below). In fact, Origen refers to the very point which Meier suggests Christian commentators shied away from, that Josephus did not believe in Jesus as the Messiah. It hardly seems that the silence on Antiquities 18.3.3 by all the apologists prior to Eusebius can be explained in this way.” (pp. 209-210)

              So there was some cause for the early Church Fathers to have quoted from a reconstructed Testimonium. Consider Origen, who quoted from the Antiquities of the Jews in order to establish the historical existence of John the Baptist even though there is no evidence that the historicity of John the Baptist was questioned. If Origen found it useful to quote Josephus in order to establish the historicity of John, how much more so would Origen be eager to quote Josephus in order to establish the historicity of Jesus? Indeed, Origen cites Josephus to establish the existence of the Baptist even though Celsus represented the Jew in his discourse as accepting the historicity of John (Contra Celsus 1.47). Celsus grants that Jesus performed “miracles” for the sake of argument but attributes them to sorcery. Interestingly, Eusebius’ motive for quoting Josephus in the Evangelical Demonstration is precisely to establish that Jesus performed true miracles, not merely to establish the historicity of Jesus. Thus, there was a motive for the early Church Fathers to have quoted a reconstructedTestimonium.

              Steve Mason indicates several ways in which the Testimonium deviates from Josephan style.

              First, Mason writes:

              It uses words in ways that are not characteristic of Josephus. For example, the word translated “worker” in the phrase “worker of incredible deeds” is poietes in Greek, from which we get “poet.” Etymologically, it means “one who does” and so it can refer to any sort of “doer.” But in Josephus’ day it had already come to have special reference to literary poets, and that is how he consistently uses it elsewhere (nine times) – to speak of Greek poets like Homer. (p. 169)

              Second, Mason observes:

              Notice further that the phrase “they did not cease” has to be completed by the translator, for it is left incomplete in the text; the action which his followers ceased must be understood from the preceding phrase. This is as peculiar in Greek as it is in English, and such a construction is not found elsewhere in Josephus’ writing. (p. 169)

              Third, Mason argues:

              Again, the phrase “the tribe of the Christians” is peculiar. Josephus uses the word “tribe” (phyle) eleven other times. Once it denotes “gender,” and once a “swarm” of locusts, but usually signfies distinct people, races, or nationalities: the Jews are a “tribe” (War 3.354; 7.327) as are the Taurians (War 2.366) and Parthians (War 2.379). It is very strange that Josephus should speak of the Christians as a distinct racial group, since he has just said that Jesus was a Jew condemned by Jewish leaders. (Notice, however, that some Christian authors of a later period came to speak of Christianity as a “third race.”) (pp. 169-170)

              Finally, there is a peculiarity with the reference to the “principal men among us.” Josephus elsewhere refers to the “principal men,” but Josephus consistently refers to the principal men “of Jerusalem” or “of the city,” using these phrases instead of the first person plural. In his autobiography, Josephus refers to the “principal men of the city” (2), “the principal men of Jerusalem” (7), the “principal men of the city” (12), the “principal men belonging to the city” (12), the “principal men of the city” (12), and the “principal men of Jerusalem” (44). In each case Josephus identifies the leading men as belonging to Jerusalem.

              Ken Olson indicates several ways in which the Testimonium aligns with the style and argument of Eusebius of Caesarea.

              Olson writes:

              In Adversus Hieroclem Eusebius argued that if he had to accept the supernatural feats attributed to Apollonius, he must regard him as a GOHS [wizard] rather than a wise man (A.H. 5); here he has Josephus call Jesus a ‘wise man’ and thus, implicitly, not a GOHS.

              Olson states:

              The term PARADOXWN ERGWN POIHTHS is markedly Eusebian. POIHTHS never occurs in Josephus in the sense of “maker” rather than “poet,” and the only time Josephus combines forms of PARADOXOS and POIHW it is in the sense of “acting contrary to custom” (A.J. 12.87) rather than “making miracles.” Combining forms of PARADOXOS and POIHW in the sense of “miracle-making” is exceedingly common in Eusebius, but he seems to reserve the three words PARADOXOS, POIHW, and ERGON, used together, to describe Jesus (D.E. 114-115, 123, 125, H.E. 1.2.23)

              Olson argues:

              Eusebius’ opponents were not denying that Jesus was crucified by the Roman and Jewish authorities; this was probably a main part of their argument that Jesus was a GOHS. Eusebius, however, cleverly inverts this argument. If Jesus had been a deceiver, and his followers had been deceivers, would not self-interest have compelled them to abandon his teachings after they had witnessed the manner of his death at the hands of the authorities? The fact that they did not abandon Jesus after witnessing the punishments he had brought upon himself can only mean that the disciples had recognized some greater than normal virtue in their teacher. This argument is developed at great length in D.E. 3.5, but I shall quote only a part of it here, “Perhaps you will say that the rest were wizards no less than their guide. Yes – but surely they had all seen the end of their teacher, and the death to which He came. Why then after seeing his miserable end did they stand their ground?” (D.E. 111).

              Olson concludes: “the Testimonium follows Eusebius’ line of argument in the Demonstratio so closely that it is not only very unlikely that it could have been written by Josephus, but it is unlikely it could have been written by any other Christian, or even by Eusebius for another work. There is nothing in the language or content of the Testimonium, as it appears in theDemonstratio Evangelica, that suggests it is anything other than a completely Eusebian composition.”

              Earl Doherty states: “the entire tenor of such an ‘original’ does not ring true for Josephus. In the case of every other would-be messiah or popular leader opposed to or executed by the Romans, he has nothing but evil to say. Indeed, he condemns the whole movement of popular agitators and rebels as the bane of the century. It lead to the destruction of the Temple, of the city itself, of the Jewish state. And yet the ‘authentic’ Testimonium would require us to believe that he made some kind of exception for Jesus.” (pp. 210-211)

              Doherty argues: “To judge by the Christians’ own record in the Gospels and even some of the epistles, ‘the tribe of Christians’ toward the end of the first century was still a strongly apocalyptic one. It expected the overthrow of the empire and established authority, along with the transformation of the world into God’s kingdom. What would have led Josephus to divorce this prevailing Christian outlook – for which he would have felt nothing but revulsion – from his judgment of the movement’s founder?” (p. 212)

              Crossan emphasizes that the description of Jesus by Josephus is “carefully and deliberately neutral,” indicating “prudent impartiality” on his part (Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, pp. 162-163). However, there was no reason for Josephus to be neutral concerning Jesus. Doherty argues:

              His readers were primarily Roman, some Jewish. What reason would he have had for being, in Meier’s phrase, “purposely ambiguous”? He had nothing to fear from Christians, and no reason to consider their sensibilities. Regardless of what he may have thought about the character of Pilate, if Pilate had executed Jesus, then there had to have been – in official Roman and Flavian eyes – a justification for doing so. Crucifixion was a punishment for rebels, and Jesus’ crucifixion would have been seen as part of Rome’s ongoing campaign to deal with the problems of a troubled time in a troubled province. (p. 213)

              Thus, the fact that the reconstructed Testimonium has nothing but nice things to say about Jesus tends to work in favor of its inauthenticity. Consider the reference to Jesus as a “wise man” (sophos aner). Josephus reserves this phrase elsewhere for such worthies as King Solomon (Ant. 8.53) and the prophet Elisha (Ant. 9.182). Mason notes, “If Josephus said it, it was a term of high praise.” (p. 171) But it is inconceivable that Josephus should have such high praise for one who is only given so little space and who is attributed with such negative characteristics (to Josephus) as apocalyptic prophecy and the cleansing of the Temple.

            • JohnM

              Modern scholarship has almost universally acknowledged the authenticity of the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities to “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James” and considers it as having the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity.

              Almost all modern scholars consider the reference in Book 18, Chapter 5, 2 of the Antiquities to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist to also be authentic. Scholars have differing opinions on the total or partial authenticity of the reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate, a passage usually called the Testimonium Flavianum. The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to Christian interpolation.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus

            • My last post remains entirely apt.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Modern scholarship has almost universally acknowledged…

              YEC points to a scholarly consensus to prove his point…. you just can´t make this shit up.

            • Such a good point. Every one of his point is non-consensus. But when he needs it, he’ll appeal to consensus.

            • Andy_Schueler

              And remember how he tried to argue that all appeals to authority are necessarily fallacious ? After it was pointed out to him that this means that pointing to the consensus of medical doctors for a medical opinion would be just as “fallacious” as pointing to the opinion of one plumber who contradicts this consensus – he dropped this point (without acknowledging that he was wrong of course).
              The voice of reason…

            • JohnM

              All appeals to authority are fallacious, if used in the following way:

              It’s true, because X said so. Or because Y thinks so. Or because Z,Y and Z happens to have a consensus about it.

              Andy said : After it was pointed out to him that this means that pointing to the consensus of medical doctors for a medical opinion would be just as “fallacious” as pointing to…

              That is indeed fallacious reasoning. A doctor is not right, because he/she is a doctor.

              Doctors have an educated opinion. But their opinions aren’t necessarily the truth.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Creationist logic 101 continued:
              Consensus of medicals doctors = the opinion of one doctor.
              – Studying and practicing medicine has no influence whatsoever on the likelihood of having accurate information on a particular medical question.
              – A source is either 100% reliable and always yields a true answer or 0% reliable and always yields a false answer with no options in between.

            • JohnM

              Be it, the opinion of one doctor or the opinion of a choir of doctors. It’s still just an opinion, not to be confused with the truth.

              Andy said : the likelihood of having accurate information

              I buy a lot of lottery tickers. I have highly increased likelihood of winning. But does that mean, that I will win?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Rerun of creationist logic 101:
              – A source is either 100% reliable and always yields a true answer or 0% reliable and always yields a false answer with no options in between.

            • JohnM

              We have before us, 6 possibilities, represented by 6 different opinions.

              1: The Informed Opinion
              2: The Uninformed Opinion
              3: The Expert Opinion
              4: The Amateur Opinion
              5: The Consensus Opinion
              6: The Doctors Opinion

              What’s the likelihood of The Informed Opinion ? 1/6

              What’s the likelihood of The Uninformed Opinion ? 1/6

              What’s the likelihood of The Expert Opinion ? 1/6

              What’s the likelihood of The Amateur Opinion? 1/6

              What’s the likelihood of The Consensus Opinion ? 1/6

              What’s the likelihood of The Doctors Opinion? 1/6

            • Andy_Schueler

              Creationist logic 101 continued:
              – Getting the correct answer for the question “How is the first book of the christian Bible called ?” from
              a) a christian pastor with forty years experience.
              b) a randomly chosen christian.
              c) a randomly chosen non-christian.
              d) a randomly chosen illiterate non-christian.
              e) a randomly chosen illiterate non-christian who grew up in Somalia.
              f) a randomly selected five year old from Somalia.
              all have the same likelihood of being correct: 1/6.
              – Studying hard for an exam, studying a little for an exam or not studying at all for an exam has zero influence on the likelihood of passing the exam.
              – Learning a foreign language and not learning a foreign language has no influence whatsoever on the likelihood of being able to give the correct translation for a word into this foreign language.

              I´ll stop calling you a moron from now on, I´ll simply link to this comment of yours.

            • Clare45

              Oh, I just love this logic!

            • Clare45

              I don’t think John is following you. You might have to put it in larger print and maybe add a few colours! Got to give him credit though for coming to this atheist site and showing himself up. He is undoubtedly helping us out as any Creationist Christians are following these arguments, they might well convert to atheism.

            • JohnM

              My actions makes it neither more nor less likely. Why would any rational person allow their decision to be influenced by my actions?

            • Clare45

              So I am lying when I am asked to be an expert medical witness in court?

            • JohnM

              No, that would be the other side of the coin, of flawed logic. You being an expert medical witness, tells us nothing as to whether or not you’re speaking the truth. It’s perfectly possible for ignorant people to speak the truth, and for insightful people to get it wrong.

            • JohnM

              Hehe. Well it’s true that I don’t place much faith in consensus, when it comes to making my own decisions. But keep the context in mind…

              I’m merely trying to expose the silly claim, that there’s no mention whatsoever of Jesus outside of the bible. And I do think that quoting a scholarly consensus, is a very effective way of doing that.

              Sure, believe whatever you like. But don’t make false claims like that.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Well it’s true that I don’t place much faith in consensus

              I’m merely trying to expose the silly claim, that there’s no mention whatsoever of Jesus outside of the bible. And I do think that quoting a scholarly consensus, is a very effective way of doing that.

              The voice of reason.

            • JohnM

              Consensuses are good for showing, that you’re not the lone lunatic who happens to think this.

              Consensuses are worthless, when attempting to show, that something is the truth.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Creationist logic 101:
              The opinion of all medical doctors on this planet on a medical issue has the same likelihood of being accurate as the opinion of one randomly selected plumber.

              http://500motivators.com/plog-content/thumbs/motivate/me/large/376-motivator-creationists-more-retarded-than-peter-griffin.jpg

            • JohnM

              Does having a higher likelihood of being accurate mean that you are right?

            • Andy_Schueler

              rerun of creationist logic 101:
              – A source is either 100% reliable and always yields a true answer or 0% reliable and always yields a false answer with no options in between.

            • Clare45

              Did you really say that? :)

            • JohnM

              Can smart people be wrong? Can stupid people be right?

              Is it flawed logic to say: I’m smart, therefore I’m right?

            • TristanVick

              It actually does seem to go beyond a mere redaction, or rephrasing, I would caution.

              The exact reference doesn’t show up in Josephus’ writing until the 3rd century.

              Earlier editions do not have the Christos (Christus) reference.

              This is highly suggestive of forgery.

            • GearHedEd

              Christ on a crutch! EVERYONE already KNOWS it’s a forgery, except for you and a few scattered (but very shrill) fanatics.

            • TristanVick

              A few brief observations:

              Pliny the Younger was born in 61 CE in Como.
              Lucian of Samosa was born in 125 CE.born in Syria.
              Sextus Julius Africanus was born in 160 CE.

              While these men each do make reference to Christ, it is usually in the context of Christians who followed Christ.

              In other words, all they are reporting is that there were such things as Christians who believe that there was a Christ. This is not at all a controversial claim.

              But it doesn’t act as supporting evidence for the existence of the historical Jesus any more than believers in Mithras act as a testament to the existence of Mithras. All it is evidence for is that such a *belief existed.

              ***

              As for the Babylonian Talmud (Balvi), yes, it does make mention of the trial and death of a Jewish apostate named Yeshua, but it was a 3rd Century composition let us not forget. This does matter.

              More importantly, it doesn’t necessarily need to represent the same Yeshua as the Gospel messiah. Yeshua, after all, a common first century name. The first century historian Josephus lists approximately twenty different men named Jesus, at least ten of whom lived in the same time as the famous Jesus [cf. John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew, p. 206 n. 6].

              Moreover, it is no coincidence that both Yohanan b. Zakkai and Akiba each had exactly five students, the same number as listed in the Sanhedrin 43a verses. None of the (Balvi) desciples listed in verse 43a are recognizable followers of the Gospel Jesus except for possibly Mattai, which could be Matthias, e.g. Matthew. But seeing as Matthew was also a very common name, it doesn’t necessarily make it a reference for the Gospel Jesus. Also, the etymology of Mattia for the Gospel Matthew is problematic. Reference to the Gospel Matthew is actually recorded elsewhere in the Talmud as Matthias.

              For example, an anecdote regarding a suit which Rabban Gamaliel II was prosecuting before a Christian judge made an appeal to the Gospel and to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:17, with one possible reading of the story indicating that it was Gamaliel making this reference. In this part the alternative spelling indicates that Mattia in the Sanhedrin 43a is not a reference to the Matthew of the gospels.

              As such, to claim Sanhedrin 43a is actually about the Gospel Jesus is speculative at best. But as evidence, it’s not admissible.

              So although there are references to Jesus, it is mainly references to *belief in Jesus, after the fact.

              Historians have been hard pressed to make any solid links between any of the later writings and an actual historical Jesus, as there was literally nothing written about him by anyone in the first century, apart from the oft disputed reference in Josephus Antiquities. Which, again, seems to be a later addition.

              A brief comment on why historians discount the reference to Jesus Christ in Josephus. Two things actually:

              1) Josephus was a Jewish historian writing in the first century (circa 37-70 C.E.), and so he would have never referred to an Ascetic Jewish Prophet who had died leaving prophecy unfulfilled as the Messiah, let alone a *divine prophet, and so he could not have referred to Jesus as the Christ. No orthodox Jew of antiquity believed Jesus was the chosen messiah, nor would any Jew have considered Christ to be divine—in any sense of the word—since the Jews continued to hold the covenant with Yahweh believing him to be the one true God. Any other divinity would have been seen as blasphemous to the first century Jew—but not to later Christians. It’s clearly a later Christian theological consideration, utilizing Christian vocabulary “Christos” (again Greek and not Hebrew) from a much later date, and so marks it as a later addition.

              But the biggest give away is the second fact:

              2) The earliest Christian writers, such as Origen and Justin the Martyr, frequently quote Josephus but often quote from that very section without the additional verses about Jesus being the Christ. And since their account of Josephus is from an earlier source than the one modern Christian apologists love to quote mine from, we can reasonably be sure that the later addition of Jesus being referred to as the Christ is a Christian forgery from no earlier than the third century.

              So although it seems there were Christians with an active belief in a First Century Messiah, that is the extent of it. Historians can go no further than this in establishing a historical Jesus. All we can say is that he likely existed, given other factors. But none of the evidence is compelling beyond a reason of a doubt. In other words, we still have room to remain skeptical as we reconstruct the most accurate models of history we can.

              I for one believe there was a historical Jesus, but I do not think he is at all related to the gospel version. My personal view is that the Gospel Jesus Christ is loosely based on a legendized figure from the early first century. And his legend bloomed into active worship (deification) in the same way that myths arose based on Pythagoras, Cesar, and Alexander the Great all arose within their living lifetimes.

            • Clare45

              Nazarenes were not people who lived in Nazareth, just because the name is similar.

            • JohnM

              You show very little insight into their culture. Jesus was called Jesus of Natzer-eth ( branch town ) because he was from there. And that’s a common way of addressing people. Had you been born in Natzer-eth, the jews would have dressed you as Clare of Natzer’eth or Clare the natzer-ene. In my country we also refer to people as “Århusian-ere” if they are born in Århus, or København-ere, if they are born in Copenhagen. And the same is echo’ed, if people choose to refer to a person as “The American” or “The dutch guy”.

            • Clare45

              I stand corrected.I meant to say Nazarites not Nazarenes. See http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/11395-nazarite

            • TristanVick

              Clare45

              Or Nazorean, plural. Literally meant “men from Nazareth.”

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazorean

              But for all we know they could have simply been Jewish goat herders who decided to follow Paul.

              What I find telling is that first century Christians never referred to themselves as Nazarenes. Only Turtullus states, as second hand information, that Jews called them such. But this is nowhere confirmed outside of the NT.

              But it doesn’t really make any historical difference, as the information is largely irrelevant. All it shows is that there was a term for people from that particular region.

              As a historian, that’s pretty mundane and uninteresting. People from Asia are are traditionally called Asians! Wow! Let’s write that down so we don’t forget! Well, I stand corrected. Nothing is mundane if you’re a historian. Everything is of interest!

              But I suppose Christians do like to latch onto the particular verse where it is used (namely Acts 24:5) as it seems to suggest a link between Christians and the region known as Nazareth.

              Then Christians usually like to say this bolsters the idea that Jesus was really from Nazareth.

              However, in reality, the two claims are actually unrelated. The two assumptions being, 1) there were Jewish proto-Christians from Nazareth, and 2) the historical Jesus may have been from Nazareth.

              Interestingly, both claims originate *only in the NT and there are no extemporaneous / extra-biblical sources other than these to validate these claims.

              My opinion is that yes, the term was probably used something like a pejorative, to label those radical Jewish-Christians who broke from orthodoxy.

              Something like separating the Judea’s People Front from the People’s Front of Judea.

              But beyond that, the information has no baring on whether Nazareth actually existed as a village or city or whether Jesus was from there.

            • GearHedEd

              What’s the matter with YOU??

              Every time you see the tiniest thing that seems to confirm what you WANT TO BELIEVE, you’re like

              “SEE??!! Jesus is historical, and real, and Troo™!” Checkmate atheists!”

              So childish, and indulging in confirmation bias.

            • Clare45

              Maybe by a grave digger.

            • We have poor evidence (personally I am agnostic). What we do have is the best evidence supposedly ever found (by the Catholic church), being covered over and built on without EVER publishing the results of their findings! Wow. Read my part on it in my nativity book. The church admitted this:

              ·
              “Up till then [that is, the recent ‘house’ discovery], there was no scientific evidence affirming the existence of a village of Nazareth of the epoch of Christ.”

              This is an explicit admission that there is, apart from this so-called discovery, no evidence to support Nazareth being inhabited at the time of Jesus.

              You can assert all you like, sunshine, but you never seem to produce solid evidence. And your psuedo shite from AiG or similar has been so roundly debunked as to be an insult to us when you post it here.

      • GearHedEd

        Here’s another tip:

        When I say “Christian Mythology”, I’m emphatically NOT saying that the entire story was made up from whole cloth; that’s YOUR self-serving misinterpretation. Pilate existed. Jesus (probably) existed. The “myth” part is the stories attached to these people that claim that Jesus was a God-man who came back from the dead, that this ‘Sacrifice’ has any causal efficacy to remove a conceptual defect from humans, i.e., “blood atonement” has no causal mechanism and cannot be justified, etc. With every comment, you expose yourself as the fool you are.

        But I get it, really I do.

        No one likes to have their nose rubbed in the fact that what they’ve been led to believe for their whole life, things that their respected elders taught them when their wee skulls still had soft spots through which such garbage could be pushed, is NOT TRUE.

        That’s why you keep arguing, JohnM. You refuse to see the falsity of your own belief system.

        • JohnM

          GearHedEd said : No one likes to have his nose rubbed in the fact that what he’s been led to believe for his whole life, things that his respected elders taught him when his wee skull still had soft spots through which such garbage could be pushed, is NOT TRUE.

          If that was, what was going on here.. Then wouldn’t I be running away crying? Yet, I’m still here.. So you see. What you’re saying, just doesn’t add with reality. At least think your propaganda though, before you post it. It’s kinda embarrassing to read your fallacious gibberish sometimes.

          • GearHedEd

            emerging? You can’t even communicate coherently.

            And no, you wouldn’t run away crying. You’d continue arguing your already-proved-false-positions, exactly as you are doing.

            P.S. Show where anything I’ve said is fallacious.

            P.P.S. You’ve already conceded that the Bible cannot be treated as “evidence”…

            • JohnM

              GearHedEd : P.P.S. You’ve already conceded that the Bible cannot be treated as “evidence”…

              I said that the bible cannot be considered evidence of itself. Saying that the bible could not be considered evidence of other things, is something completely different. The bible is for example very good evidence that the Hittites exist.

            • GearHedEd

              The bible is for example very good evidence that the Hittites exist.

              BZZZZZT! Wrong again. The Hittites existED (they don’t exist any more…) whether they are mentioned in the Bible or not. You’ve got it exactly backwards.
              But by your exact same argument, the discovery of the ancient city of Troy in modern Turkey PROVES that everything in Homer’s Odyssey is true. And the fact that real places are included in “The DaVinci Code” proves that it’s not fiction, either.

              You can’t seriously be this stupid…

      • Clare45

        Correction: Nazareth was a graveyard and there may have been some ruins of one small building. It was never a town.

        • JohnM

          Clare45 said : Correction: Nazareth was a graveyard and there may have been some ruins of one small building. It was never a town.

          Clare, you really need to think a bit more critically about these things. Do you really think that they built a graveyard in the middle of nowhere?

          It’s a general rule of thumb, that if you find an ancient graveyard, then you’ve found a town, as graveyards weren’t build in the middle of nowhere, but always just outside the town-wall, so that people could go and pay respect to their dead. And looking at the size of the graveyard, is a common way for archaeologist to determine the size of the town.

          • Clare45

            Then why is there no archeological evidence of a town?

            • JohnM

              I don’t understand your question. A graveyard is archaeological evidence of a town.

            • Clare45

              A graveyard is archeological evidence of a graveyard. You speculated that there must be a town nearby. Therefore I was asking where is the archeological evidence of the town/city of Nazareth. Meaning stone foundations,walls,pots,artifacts etc.

            • JohnM

              Why do you keep pressing this? It’s a lost battle.

              The graveyard is proof that people had settled near by.

            • TristanVick

              Yes, in nearby Sephoris, not Nazareth as Claire rightly observed.

              Why didn’t Jesus teach in the Jewel of all Galilee I wonder?

            • JohnM

              Why would Sepphoris have placed their graveyard several miles away from their settlement, when everyone else at the time, were placing it just outside the city walls?

              And in case you didn’t know, they already had a graveyard, on the west side of the city.

              Ups..

            • TristanVick

              Never said it didn’t.

            • JohnM

              TristanVick said : There is no evidence for a Nazareth during the time of Jesus.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fizF6rJxOgo
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzpPOXnA5SE

            • Clare45

              I did say there were the ruins/foundation of one small house.

            • JohnM

              How many would it take to convince you?

    • JohnM

      GearHedEd said : For whatever reason we are to be “judged”

      That’s right. For there to be justice, everyone has to be judged, according to their own actions.

      If wicked people who had done evil things, were allowed to just cease to exist, without being repaid according to their actions, then there would be no justice.

      And if good people, who had suffered under the evil people, were just allowed to cease to exist, without being repaid according to their actions, then there would be no justice.

      GearHedEd said : if I don’t believe, I’m still to be judged by your non-existent God

      If God non-exist, then you won’t be judged, for obvious reasons. Every good person who suffered in life, will go to their death, and never have justice. And every bad person will go to their death, and get away with it.

      But if God exist, then you will be judged, according to your own actions, no matter how much you cover your eyes, plug your ears, and tell yourself, that this isn’t happening to you.

      GearHedEd said : in any case because he exists whether I believe or don’t

      Well, Yeah. In relation to getting judged, it’s irrelevant if you believe in God or not. What matters, is whether or not God is actual.

      GearHedEd said : I am to be condemned for refusing to accept Jesus’ grace

      No. You are not judged for refusing to accept Gods rescue mission. That is your choice.

      You are judged, according to your own actions, for there to be justice.

      Matthew 16:27
      For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.

      Romans 2:6
      God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”

      Jeremiah 17:10
      “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”

      Revelation 20:12
      The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

      Notice that it says, according to their own actions / what they have done. Not according to what Adam has done.

      GearHedEd said : which is a pardon for… wait for it… Original Sin.

      Original sin, is the doctrine of each human begin guilty of sin, because of what Adam did.

      It is not a Christian doctrine, and it is not rooted in the book of genesis. It’s a pagan idea, that was introduced into Catholicism, by Augustine of Hippo. And we can trace it back to Egyptian and Babylonian mystery religion. Furthermore, the bible itself contradicts the doctrine of Original sin. Both in the verses above, and in the following verse:

      In Romans 5:12 we read:
      Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned

      Sin and death, came to all men, because all sinned. Not because they were born. We are not sinners because of what Adam did. We are sinners, because of our own actions. And therefore we only have ourselves to blame.

      GearHedEd said : ..it doesn’t matter if you don’t hold those particular dogmas. Most Christians DO, and if you don’t, it just shows that you’re a cherry-picking, cafeteria Christian.

      I believe the bible, and everything in it. I’m not cherry-picking anything. I’m throwing away the man-made religion, that have no connection to, and actually contradicts, what we read in the bible.

      • You do realise the mechanisms of judgement (heaven and hell) were stolen off the Greeks in the inter-testamental period when Jews realised that bad things happened to good people in the Selucid Empire.

        In other words, we can pinpoint when the Jews (Christians) INVENTED ideas to suit their needs. If this was so important, I am very surprised that God would have forgotten to tell anyone during the whole period of the Old Testament…

        • JohnM

          I’m sorry, but you’re just plain and simple misinformed. Several Psalms mention heaven / hell, and they are dated about 1000 years before, what is know as the “inter-testamental period”.

          Furthermore, the Greek concept of Heaven and Hell are nothing like the Jewish/Christian ones. If you look at Babylonian religion or egyptian religon, specifically the book of the dead, one will find a mirror image of the Jewish heaven and hell.

          For example, a well-known part of the book of the dead describes how one are to face different judges in a hall, and lie ones way into the afterlife.. Basically one opens one door, and deny one sin, and then one moves on to the next, and because of “egyptian witch-craft” one makes it though them all.. And basically its the 10 commandments that one is lying ones way out of.

          And in the last part of the book, we read about how one are to have ones heart weighted on a scale of truth. And the only way to beat that, is to have a magic scrap inscribed with spells above ones heart, so that the heart does not betray, that one has been telling these lies to get so far.

          • GearHedEd

            If you look at Babylonian religion or egyptian religon, specifically the book of the dead, one will find a mirror image of the Jewish heaven and hell.

            Are you listening to yourself? This just proves that the Jews were stealing other cultures’ myths and dressing them up as their own. And the ancient Jewish religion is the origin of your Christian religion. If the foundation was made-up, invented, stolen from others, Jesus as “Teh Christ” cannot be rehabilitated into Trooth™

            • JohnM

              GearHedEd Said : This just proves that the Jews were stealing other cultures’ myths and dressing them up as their own.

              No, that’s a common fallacy among atheist.. You guys tend to think, that one somehow made it up, and then others steals it That’s not what the bible describes. The bible describes a little group of people, who all had the truth, and as they multiply and spread over the earth, the truth morphs into different things, in different cultures. There’s no stealing involved. It’s a mater of degeneration of information among cultures who left Gods ways.

            • GearHedEd

              Please.

              Life didn’t start with all the correct answers, and somehow degenerate from there. That’s the stupidest thing you’ve said yet.

            • JohnM

              GearHedEd said : Life didn’t start with all the correct answers, and somehow degenerate from there.

              Then you haven’t paid attention. Genesis starts with humans walking with God. And then they loose that. And from there, they decent into ignorance.. They make up their own gods, and starts to worship these false man-made gods. So what I’m saying now, is what I’ve been saying all along.

              Furthermore, the same can actually be observed in recent history. Think about it… Jehovah witnesses.. Mormons.. Catholics.. They all have the same source.. How did they get from the gospel to Purgatory, worship of Virgin mary, baptism of dead people and all the rest of it? Degeneration of information. They stopped reading the bible. They got too far away from the source, and now they are hardly recognizable to the bible based Christianity.

            • GearHedEd

              Genesis is a MYTH. You’re the one who hasn’t been paying attention.

            • JohnM

              Oki, so let me ask you the following… Who invented cement?

            • GearHedEd

              Doesn’t matter. The question is not germane to the discussion.

            • JohnM

              Cement was actually invented and forgotten, then rediscovered in recent times. That’s a clear example of people starting with “correct answers”, and somehow degenerated from there.

            • GearHedEd

              But that doesn’t have anything at all to do with GOD and his alleged relationship with man, as depicted in Genesis.

              Like I said, it’s not germane to the discussion.

              Here’s the difference: we know cement exists.

            • JohnM

              I’m just chipping away, at your ignorance, by highlighting examples of “Life” starting with correct answers and somehow degenerate from there.

            • GearHedEd

              You haven’t chipped anything. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

            • Andy_Schueler

              You haven’t chipped anything. You’re just embarrassing yourself.

              To paraphrase Scott D. Weitzenhoffer:
              “Debating JohnM is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon; it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory.”

            • TristanVick

              @JohnM

              Correct answers? You’re alluding to absolute knowledge, are you not?

              I’ve been reading the exchange thus far and it is still unclear. Are you talking about absolute truths objectively derived, or are you speaking of God being the source of all truth and knowledge?

            • JohnM

              The method is irrelevant. Truth is truth, no matter how you arrive at it.

            • TristanVick

              I agree. But I take the Wittgensteinian view of truth as mundane, and I think intuitional logic is perhaps more effective than classical.

            • JohnM

              I hold the truth be absolute and exclusive. If the sky is blue, then it’s blue, and not red.

            • “That’s a clear example of people starting with “correct answers”, and somehow degenerated from there.”

              King of the false analogy again. They didn’t start with cement! That’s hilarious! That took multiple thousands of years of human evolution (R and D) to discover. We didn’t evolve with innate ideas of how to make cement.

              FAIL.

            • TristanVick

              Actually, a lot of scientific progress was lost to us after the fall of Rome. It was called the Dark Ages for the regression that occurred.

              This regression commonly occurs today in school classrooms when kids do not get taught proper science, and instead are told falsehoods, like evolution not being a proved theory and that science is untrustworthy, etc.. This anti-scientistic view of religionists (mostly) of course, creates morons who go out in the work force only to lose cutting edge science and technology jobs to the brilliant Asians who are trained quite well in these areas.

              Too sad, when you think about it.

            • JohnM

              Actually, there is nothing to be learned by assuming that things occur as a result of random accidents, Aka Mutations. Approaching things from an ID perspective, is the way to make progress. You do the work with an ID mindset, and then publish your findings under an evolutionary mindset. That’s how science is done today.

            • TristanVick

              Actually, it’s more an observation than assumption.

            • JohnM

              Like observing pigs grow wings or?

            • Andy_Schueler

              Like observing pigs grow wings or?

              Right, that is what evolution should be able to explain – where do all these winged pigs come from that shitbag retard troll JohnM so clearly sees ?? If evolution can´t explain the hallucinations of shitbag retard troll JohnM, it´s obviously bullshit!

            • TristanVick

              ???

              I thought you were talking about gene variation / mutations via natural selection, which has been observed. There is an entire field devoted to the study of this. It’s called genetics.

            • Andy_Schueler

              Actually, there is nothing to be learned by assuming that things occur as a result of random accidents, Aka Mutations.

              Right! Let´s listen to shitbag retard troll here – he is very knowledgeable when it comes to evolution!
              As demonstrated by his earlier quotes on this subject, like:
              “Yeah. Like monkeys typing randomly without a head monkey designer. Or someone spilling ink on a white paper, that happens to arrange itself in such a way, that it precisely match today’s newspaper.”
              or:
              “The reason why people want to be monkeyboys, is that they are trapped in dogmatic Darwinism. Pigs does not fit the theory. And therefore people wilfully ignore the evidence found by studying pigs…

              I often come across clueless atheist on the internet, boldly proclaiming that we are monkeyboys, because humans are 98 or 99% monkeys, when it comes to genetic information. What such ignorant persons completely fail to realize, is that the same could be said of other animals, such as pigs. And that it’s actually that one or two percent of DNA, making all the difference, between humans and animals.”
              => JohnM aka lying scumbag troll obviously happens to be an expert on this subject and we should take him seriously!

              You do the work with an ID mindset, and then publish your findings under an evolutionary mindset. That’s how science is done today.

              Right, let the young earth creationist / retard troll explain how science works.

            • GearHedEd

              tic…tic…tic… (as JohnM looks up the meaning of the word “germane”…)

            • TristanVick

              @GearHedEd:disqus

              Whaaaaat are you talking about? Who invented cement ALWAYS matters! How could you possibly be so naive?

              I wouldn’t know what kind of sandwich to make for my lunch if I didn’t know THAT!

              Come on man, get with the program!

            • TristanVick

              @JohnM

              Modern cement, the kind we use most commonly today, was invented by Joseph Aspdin.

            • “No, that’s a common fallacy among atheist.. You guys tend to think, that one somehow made it up, and then others steals it That’s not what the bible describes. The bible describes a little group of people, who all had the truth, and as they multiply and spread over the earth, the truth morphs into different things, in different cultures. There’s no stealing involved. It’s a mater of degeneration of information among cultures who left Gods ways.”

              Ha!

              That is, indeed, how we analyse and critique ALL other mythical religions of the world, from Mesoamerica to the fertile crescent.

              Only you special plead YOUR religion as bypassing this analysis.

              Also, you do realise the 10 commandments were stolen from the earlier Code of Hamurabi?

              It seems like you don;t have a clue what happened contemporaneously in the area. Don’t swallow the Bible so uncritically. You wouldn;t do so for ANY OTHER ANCIENT TEXT!!! Why appply different rules to the Bible? We llok at the Mesoamerican cultures, see them stealing polytheistic ideas of each other. We don’t say, “Oh, they must all be a variation of the truth, then”. No, we essentially say, “look at them steal stuff off each other!”

            • JohnM

              I would only be special pleading my faith ( not religion ), if I were using your method. But I’m not. In my view, every falsehood contains some truth, which has been degenerated. In your, these things are 0% truth, and 100% madeup. And I just don’t find it very plausible, that myths could form, with no truth on which to build and get it going in the first place.

            • TristanVick

              I would assume chronology counted for something.

              It’s not too difficult to draw out a timeline.

    • JohnM

      Jonathan said : They didn’t start with cement! That’s hilarious! That took multiple thousands of years of human evolution (R and D) to discover. We didn’t evolve with innate ideas of how to make cement.

      Everything that we know about the human history, is that we developed very rapidly from hunter farmers to an advanced state, with advanced technology. And the way to do that, is to have someone infuse the human race with knowledge.

      Look at Baalbek in Libanon. It’s commonly dated to be around 9000 years old. ( 4000 years older, than the common dating of the Great pyramid of Giza ) And it’s know for it’s monolithic construction, meaning that it has Giant stones construction ( as in, how in the world did they move these stones?!?! – construction )

      http://www.ancientdestructions.com/media/baalbek-temple-lebanon-destructions-stones-.jpg

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a2/Baalbek-stoneofpregnantwoman.jpg

      http://blog.derestricted.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/baalbek.jpg

      How did a bunch of hunter gatherers built that? No way.

      Furthermore, around the world, we find the same methods of construction in ancient buildings.. From folded corners, to multi facetted stones to metal block ties, in stones.. And you want me to believe, that these different cultures just happened to all invent these things, around the same time, separate from each other? That’s just silly

      http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/constructiontechniques.htm

      I do think ancient alien theorists are on to something. I just don’t think that the source is alien. I think that the source of this knowledge, is explain to us, in the book of Enoch.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6BlvgOgb5Y

      • Your knowledge of Baalbek is very poor. Whilst there is evidence of people living there for 9000 years, nothing supports your wild assertions, there is no need to posit crazy ideas for the stones. See Adam, Jean Pierre; Anthony Mathews (1999). Roman Building: Materials and Techniques. Routledge. p. 35.

        • JohnM

          I can’t find the book, on google books. And I don’t see the point in ordering it, just to read page 35. Is there any way that you could summarize the non-reply?

          Also, I notice that it’s a book about Roman architecture. Are you aware, that the Roman civilization, and the people who built Baalbek, are not excatly right next to each other, on the timeline?

    • JohnM

      Jonathan said : Also, you do realise the 10 commandments were stolen from the earlier Code of Hamurabi?

      Stolen from Satan? I think not. Look at this picture Jonathan.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e5/Milkau_Oberer_Teil_der_Stele_mit_dem_Text_von_Hammurapis_Gesetzescode_369-2.png

      Observe that the two men are about the same height. Then notice, that one of them is sitting down. Do you know what they are telling you? They are telling you, that these “star people”, who thought them these things, were giants.. As in Book of Enoch giants, mkay?

    • JohnM

      Clare45 said: Dinosaurs were hot blooded and often related to ancient birds. Lizards or as you claim, biblical dragons are cold blooded reptiles.

      And you can see that by looking at bones? No, not really.

      You have just attempted to prove macro evolution, by invoking the theory of macro evolution.

      That is know as a circular argument.

      GearHedEd said : Y’know, all that stuff proves is either that the ancients had pretty good imaginations, or that they found dinosaur skeletons, too. We did. Why couldn’t they?

      That’s a common fallacy among atheist. And it’s rather ignorant of history.

      When we in recent times first discovered dinosaur bones, artist got to work attempting to imagine what these creatures must have looked like, based on their bones. Yet for many many years, those drawings were completely gibberish. Do you know why?

      Because, at the time we lacked advanced understand of anatomy. It was only once we got better at understanding advanced anatomy, that we began drawing dinosaurs, as these creatures must have looked like.

      But for some reason, ancient artist didn’t have the same problem. They portrayed them anatomically correct, much like we do today. So how do you explain that? Somehow they had deeper understanding of advanced anatomy or what?

      There is only one explanation for, how they were able to draw dinosaurs better than we were, when we discovered their bones. And if you’re a rational person, then you will come to that conclusion, as that is where the evidence leads.

      • Andy_Schueler

        And you can see that by looking at bones?

        Yes, you fucking moron.
        http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2011/06/29/rspb.2011.0968

        You have just attempted to prove macro evolution, by invoking the theory of macro evolution.

        No, she didn´t you idiot.

        When we in recent times first discovered dinosaur bones, artist got to work attempting to imagine what these creatures must have looked like, based on their bones. Yet for many many years, those drawings were completely gibberish. Do you know why?

        Complete bullshit. Those drawings were never “complete gibberish” (btw, the word “gibberish” refers to speech that has no meaning, not to drawings you fucktard) – mistakes were made, like depicting Megalosaurus as a quadruped instead of depicting it as a bipedal animal, but otherwise, even the first drawings were mostly correct.

        But for some reason, ancient artist didn’t have the same problem. They portrayed them anatomically correct, much like we do today.

        There are no ancient artists that portrayed any dinosaurs you idiot.

        • JohnM

          Andy said : No, she didn´t you idiot.

          Sure she did. And you just joined the club with that article.

          Determining Blood flow from mere bones. That’s rich. I think you missed the step where one models these things, based on certain evolutionary presumptions…

          Andy said : Complete bullshit. Those drawings were never “complete gibberish”, mistakes were made, like depicting Megalosaurus as a quadruped instead of depicting it as a bipedal animal, but otherwise,

          More gibberish.. There were many epic fails. And the most famous has to be Tyrannosaurus rex.

          http://images.cornellcat.com//sites/chronicle.cornell/files/400x138xdino1.jpg.pagespeed.ic.BnHUfLukrP.jpg

          http://www.news.cornell.edu/sites/chronicle.cornell/files/dino2.jpg

          And we could keep on going…

          http://listverse.com/2011/02/22/top-10-dinosaurs-that-arent-what-they-were/

          Andy said : even the first drawings were mostly correct.

          You’re once again attempting to re-write history.

          • Andy_Schueler

            Sure she did. And you just joined the club with that article.

            No and no.

            Determining Blood flow from mere bones. That’s rich. I think you missed the step where one models these things, based on certain evolutionary presumptions…

            Now that is interesting, please tell me which specific “evolutionary presumption” they employed!
            Hint: the results of the study actually rely in no way, shape or form on evolution – this is actually all about physiology, anatomy and biomechanics (and guess what, those results would be valid even if every species was created independently).
            Hint2: there is no need for evolutionary “presumptions” because evolution happens to be demonstrably true and does not need to be “presumed”.
            Hint3: you are a lying scumbag.

            More gibberish.. There were many epic fails. And the most famous has to be Tyrannosaurus rex. http://images.cornellcat.com//

            Wow, what an epic fail, I cannot even recognize the animal! Your randomly selected fantasy creatures drawn by ancient artists are indeed are MUCH more accurate depictions of dinosaurs:
            http://www.skepticink.com/tippling/2013/03/31/original-sin-answering-thomas-l-mcdonald/#comment-850267534

            Hint: there are actually far worse examples than what you´ve found (e.g. Megalosaurus), and even those are largely correct and actually look like Dinosaurs unlike your collection of fantasy creatures.

      • You really are wrong there. Have you ever read any palaeontological books?

        • JohnM

          Does watching Jurassic Park, count?

      • Clare45

        You can tell a lot from bones-how the animal died, what kind of muscles are attached and where, whether the animal had feathers etc. You can tell if they were herbivores or carnivores from the teeth etc. Some dinosaurs laid eggs and had nests like a bird. Also, there is no such thing as maco or micro evolution. It is just evolution.
        Re your arguments about ancient drawings, when I pointed out one looked like a llama, you mentioned that it had scales and a snake tail, so you were admitting it was a fantasy composite drawing. Why would the dragon/lizard/dinosaur drawing be any different?

        • JohnM

          Since the muscles are no more, one would have to speculate about the muscles. And since the skin is gone in most cases, one tends to speculate about fur and feathers. But sure, you can tell a lot from teeth.

          And I don’t see how pointing out that the creature, looked nothing like a llama, but had snake scales and predator bird claws, amounts to admitting that it was a product of the human imagination.

          • Clare45

            No it is not mere speculation. You can tell where the muscles are attached by looking for certain indentations or nobs on the bones. That is how forensic scientists are able to recreate a head from just a skull in order to get a better picture of the person.

            • JohnM

              Clare said : You can tell where the muscles are attached by looking for certain indentations or nobs on the bones. That is how forensic scientists are able to recreate a head from just a skull in order to get a better picture of the person.

              The knowledge used to reconstruct faces from bones, does not come from studying the bones themselves. What’s not so well know about Leonardo Da Vinci, is that he is said to have dug up dead people in order to dissect them, and gain a better understanding of human anatomy. An insight which he then used to make better art.

              The reason why we are able to reconstruct faces from skulls, is that we have studied living, and dissected recently dead human beings, for several hundred years now. That’s how we know, what muscle groups the human face contain, and where they are.

              At a reconstruction, one first starts out by placing small markers ( tissue depth markers ) on the skull. These indicate the thickness of the skin and muscle mass in key places. This data comes, not from the bones themselves, but represent statistical data of average skin and muscle thickness, which we have from studying living or recently dead people.

              And had we never been able to study living and recently dead human beings, we would never have been able to do so, as we simply wouldn’t have the required knowledge and data to do so.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forensic_facial_reconstruction

    • JohnM

      Andy said : a sauropod neck is 6-15 meters long depending on species, but has only 17 bones, it would be completely impossible for them to twist their necks like that without breaking them – whoever made this creature up imagined that their necks would be flexible like a snake, but sauropod necks were nothing like that.

      Picture: http://cmods.org/images/m7apatosaurus.png

      I’m sorry, but you’re just plain and simple misinformed. A long stiff neck, is nothing like how we think of Sauropods today. The S-shape is very characteristic of how we draw Brachiosaurus.

      http://svpow.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/big-brachiosaurids-and-pathetic-mammals.jpg
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/04/africa_enl_1101130243/img/1.jpg
      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e5/Brachiosaurus_altithorax_airport3.jpg/450px-Brachiosaurus_altithorax_airport3.jpg

      Furthermore, notice that the days of lazy tail-dragging sauropods are over. They wear their tail proud, above the ground, as seen in the picture. Modern sauropod anatomy have finally caught up.

      • Andy_Schueler

        They can´t twist their necks like that you fucking moron.
        Note that this:
        http://svpow.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/big-brachiosaurids-and-pathetic-mammals.jpg

        looks NOTHING like this:
        http://cmods.org/images/m7apatosaurus.png

        => twisting their necks to such an absurd degree around another sauropod neck is an absolutely impossible posture for a sauropod because their necks have only 17 bones you fucktard,

        • JohnM

          Andy said : They can´t twist their necks like that

          I think that you’re right in pointing out, that the angle of the curves, is a bit too much, compared to what the bones allow for. But keep in mind that this was a decoration piece, and that they would have allowed themselves some artistic freedom. In comparrison, this was how the Egyptians portrayed themselves..

          http://images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/queen-kawit-at-her-toilet-egyptian-school.jpg

          Which isn’t exactly anatomically correct. So the main thing to notice is, the general shape of the creature, that it keep it’s long tail in the air and that the neck is clearly posed in an S shape, rather than having a stiff straight necked. Which means that they didn’t make our mistakes.

          http://sauropedia.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/brachiosaurus.jpg

          • Andy_Schueler

            A “bit too much” ?? It´s not even in the right ballpark. Not to mention that the head looks nothing like a sauropod head and has bull horns for fucks sake.

            And let me point out for the sixth time now that your premises are wrong and any such depiction, even if anatomically accurate, would support your idiotic beliefs in no way, shape or form.

    • JohnM

      GearHedEd said : which of the apostles were present to record the exchange between the High Priests and Pilate recorded in Matt 27: 62-66? This is pure storytelling, since there were NO WITNESSES to this.

      No witnesses?

      In that case, you don’t know who Pontius Pilate were. He would have surrounded himself with X dozen soldiers. Y political advisors. Z servants. And probably also a scribe and a musician/entertainer.

      There’s a reason why it’s called gaining an audience with the rulers, you know. And if there’s something that we know about servants, it’s that they like to gossip about what goes on in the palace.

      And as for the apostles being present.. There are several istances in the gospels, where they weren’t. Such as the birth of Jesus. But is it really that hard to think, that they would have talked to the people who were?

      • Andy_Schueler

        In the best possible case (if the author of Matthew did not simply make shit up) he was collecting gossip that was in circulation for decades, he even admits that in Matthew 28:15.

        But is it really that hard to think, that they would have talked to the people who were?

        With an average life expectancy of 25-30 years, this is indeed inconceivable (not to mention that Matthew admits in some instances of simply reporting gossip). Also, eyewitness reports, especially of dramatic events, are notoriously unreliable and become less and less reliable with each year that passed:
        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=911-memory-accuracy&page=2

        • JohnM

          Andy said : In the best possible case he was collecting gossip that was in circulation for decades, he even admits that in Matthew 28:15.

          Then you haven’t understood, what you’ve just read.

          What Matthew does in Chapter 28 verse 15, is to inform us, that the story that was agreed upon, was indeed circulated among the Jews at the time. But Matthew is not spreading that material. He is in fact saying the complete opposite… that Jesus was not stolen, but that he was resurrected.

          Matthew is attempting to debunk the myth, that had been put in circulation, by the chief priests, by informing us about it’s origin.

          Andy said : With an average life expectancy of 25-30 years, this is indeed inconceivable

          If the average life-span was that low, people above 60 would have been unheard of. Yet they constantly pop up in contemporary literature. Nice critical thinking bro.

          Andy said : Also, eyewitness reports, especially of dramatic events, are notoriously unreliable and become less and less reliable with each year that passed

          Comparing the knowledge of the ignorant masses, to eyewitness reports, is not only fallacious, it’s also pretty stupid. And you really should know better, Andy.

          Yes, if you ask some random person on the street, to tell you about 9/11, then you most likely will get a lot unreliable information. But that is nothing like asking a fireman, who went up into the towers on the day, and survived to tell you about it in details.

          The same is true of World War 2. If you ask the average person on the street, he/she will also give you a lot unreliable information. Maybe the person will even retell the 10 minutes that he/she watched, of this 1 hour discovery channel program about Hitler. But that is nothing like asking a veteran, who happened to land on Omaha beach, on D day.

          • Andy_Schueler

            Matthew is attempting to debunk the myth, that had been put in circulation, by the chief priests, by informing us about it’s origin.

            “Debunking” does not mean making shit up. He reports a private conversation between conspirators without mentioning any source beyond “this story has been widely circulated among the jews to this day.”
            Gossip is not evidence.

            If the average life-span was that low, people above 60 would have been unheard of.

            Make that above 70-80, and yes, this would have been a more than epic age at that time, even for a King or other people that could afford a healthy lifestyle.
            But if you disagree, then please enlighten us – who was the author of Matthew and who were those alleged eyewitnesses that allegedly survived for such a long time and when and where did the author of Matthew allegedly talk to them ?

            Comparing the knowledge of the ignorant masses, to eyewitness reports, is not only fallacious, it’s also pretty stupid.

            Those biases operate in every human mind, that´s why eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable and the single biggest cause for wrongful convictions.
            Vivid memories, especially of dramatic events, are often inaccurate:
            link

            And the memory of eyewitnesses can easily be distorted by being exposed to misleading information after the event:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Misinformation_effect
            And positive and negative feedback to eyewitnesses distorts their memory as well:
            http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/~glwells/Wells_articles_pdf/Good,_You_Indetified_the_Suspect.pdf

            Not that you have any eyewitness (hint alleged eyewitnesses are not the same as actual eyewitnesses) evidence that needed debunking, but even if you would have, eyewitness evidence is not sufficient to establish such extraordinary claims.

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