I saw a program about how scientists may have found an explanation for the Red Sea crossing(ironically on Fox News). Scientists think the crossing may have actually happened at a narrow, shallow place further south from the Red Sea where the tide exposed some land. Theists will use this as an excuse to say that this is proof the things in the Bible were real, but what they don't realize is that this is proof that mythical, magical events just DON'T happen. But we can't have logical explanations for the Bible fairy tales. That would make them mundane. We need to keep them nonsensical.
The discussions are indeed valuable. For one, other people sometimes come up with clever ways to expose the nonsense in some claims--ways that I'd never thought of but will enjoy using when the right moment arises.
What's funny is that doesn't change anything other than maybe weakening a faith-based position. If it could be explained naturally then why call it god? And if it required miraculous intervention to make the wind blow doesn't that seam a lot less impressive?
Stick with miraculous. If you're gonna believe in magic as a worldview, at least make the magic cool.
The historicity of the Parting of the Red Sea aside, this does raise an interesting question: Even if every miraculous event had a reasonable scientific explanation, would a statistically improbable cluster of rare but explainable events require further explanation? This might be especially true if all of those events proved particularly advantageous to one group of people, like the Hebrews vs. the Egyptians. Think of it as a miracle of timing as opposed to a miracle of nature.
Of course, the favoring of one group over another could just be the result of evolutionary processes. In other words, the lowly status of the Hebrew slaves might have been a boon if the situation changed – especially if Moses or a figure like him turned the events to their advantage. After all, history is written by the victor. It is probably no more accurate to say that the Jews are a chosen people because of the Exodus than it is to say that chickens are a chosen species because their ancestors survived the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event.
And while I doubt the biblical account of the 10 Plagues or the Hebrews emancipation from Egyptian bondage, the recently proposed correlation between those events and the confluence of regional climate change with the Minoan Eruption represents a reasonable (and falsifiable) scientific hypothesis.
Maybe the modeling elements that they should add into this equation is having people walking in sustained winds of 63 mph. First off, winds don't just sit at 63 miles per hour. They vary, If you are seeing sustained winds of 63, you are certainly seeing gusts over 90. Second, put people walking across soft wet ground in those winds and let me know when they get across.
Sorry, the scientists forgot a few elements. Let's add them in and... "Aw look! We baked a Bullshit pie!"
In The Exodus Decoded, they attribute all ten plagues to the eruption of a volcano, everything from the water turning red (oxidized iron from the soil in the water being stirred up; happened somewhere in the Americas too), which caused frogs to jump out of the water and fish to die (no oxygen), all the way to the first born son dying (they examine Jewish and Egyptian sleeping customs and the effect of after-effect earthquakes stirring noxious gas from the water). They stopped to examine the parting of the sea as well (the shaking causing a tidal wave in that part of the world, they examined the possibility that the waters would recede in response for a while; it would be less of a 'parting' as popularly illustrated and more of a sudden disappearance of the water altogether). It's a very worthwhile documentary with a popular biblical historian.
I would suggest trying to catch it on the History Channel. I think they still play it sometimes. It explains everything I mentioned, plus hot ice falling from the sky (volcanic material being blown so far up into the sky that it actually freezes before falling), locusts, and boils. It would completely blow your mind. It blew mine. They even dated Moses' life as being concurrent to the eruption of the volcano near Santorini based on who was ruling during his lifetime, so you'll have to watch it and decide for yourself if it's an adequate enough explanation. :)