My first time posting on Think Atheist, so I thought some of you might find this to be interesting. 

Ran across this today ( blog by the name of "Worldview Warriors" arguing for a biblical flood using this argument: 

"The first obvious sign that a worldwide flood occurred is that there would be thousands upon thousands, millions upon millions of dead creatures buried underneath the surface of the earth. When we look at Geology, guess what? This is exactly what we find: thousands upon thousands and millions upon millions of creatures buried beneath the earth. Unfortunately, before secular humanists got their hands on the fossil record, creationists were poorly interpreting the fossils that were buried underground, which paved the way for secular scientists popularizing more scientific interpretations of the fossils. Today, creationists fight to set the record straight despite the fact that their interpretations are more reasonable and more logical than that of secularists."

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Gah! Had an error with copy paste, got the volume of water wrong.

It is closer to 3

Revised program -

If you want to increase the volume you could always take isostatic loading/rebound into account, it would bring it up to approximately 11 km of water to cover the highest mountain. 8.8km of water would cause differential loading of the crust, and the mantle would flow to compensate, lifting the areas which haven't been loaded as much (the mountains).

My crude excel calculation puts that at around 4.5 times the water on earth.

Humm, hadn't thought of that. Didn't know about that!

Excellent - peer reviewed Science at work.

    In 1994, Peter A. Clayton wrote a book with a rather lengthy title: Chronicle of the Pharaohs, The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt (London. Thames & Hudson. 1994).
    In his book, Clayton demonstrated that the Egyptian Pharaonic Civilization predated the biblical flood. Clayton gave the following dates for Egyptian Dynasties and their Pharaohs.

    •    Dynasty 0  
    3150-3050 B.C.E.
    •   Dynasty 1
    3050-2890 B.C.E.
    •   Dynasty 2
    2890-2686 B.C.E.
    •   Dynasty 3
    2686-2613 B.C.E.
    •   Dynasty 4
    2613-2498 B.C.E.
    •   Dynasty 5
    2498-2345 B.C.E.
    •   Dynasty 6
    2345-2181 B.C.E.

    Now Noah's flood occurred in either 2958 BCE, as calculated by the Roman Catholic scholar, Euseibus, or 2348 BCE, as calculated by Archbishop Ussher and Sir John Lightfoot. We must bear in mind that the comedy team of Ussher and Lightfoot had access to the Gregorian calendar we use today, while Euseibus, who lived in the third century BCE, had only the less accurate Julian calendar with which to work, which inclines one to lean more toward acceptance of Ussher's and Lightfoot's date, than Euseibus'.
    Unless, of course, one sees the irony of attempting to establish an exact date for the occurrence of a fictitious event, as being much like trying to deduce the age of Superman by accurately determining in exactly what year he was born - and failing to see the irrelevance.
    Clayton informs us that archaeologists have unearthed the tombs of the above Pharaohs for the associated six Dynasties (3150-2181 BCE) and excavations showed no flood layer of silt above their tombs, deposited by Noah's alleged Universal Flood, or Utanapishtim's, or Zuisudra's, or Atrakhasis' or the primeval octopus', nor any other.
    Nor do the records or annals of Egypt, and those guys were anal about annals - meticulous record-keepers - make any mention of a universal, world-encompassing flood.
    Clayton's conclusion was that if there had been a universal, globe-encompassing flood in the third millennium BCE, there is no evidence of it in Egypt, just a drone's flight away from the Mesopotamian region where Noah's flood reputedly began - as the crow flies, or as the water flows, Baghdad and Cairo are roughly 800 miles apart.
    In Clayton's own words:
"The absence of the mention of such a flood in Egyptian records and annals, from the same general Middle-Eastern area where can be found 'the mountains of Ararat,' combined with the archaeological evidence from the Pharaohs' tombs, created before the 2958/2348 BCE flood occurred, reveal that the tale of Noah's flood is a myth."

The difference between the Gregorian and Julian calendars is a mere three days in four hundred years.  It took well over a thousand years for the two to "slip" 10-11 days relative to each other (they were in agreement in the 200s AD if I do my figuring right, or rather they would have been if the Gregorian calendar had existed back then--because of that they talk about the "proleptic" Gregorian calendar).  When the RC church switched in the late 1500s they only had to drop ten days out of the calendar, to have the calendar agree with the seasons the way it did in the 200s. I don't imagine the two were off from each other by more than a month in the 2900s BCE.

Therefore this difference alone cannot possibly account for a 610 year difference in the date of the flood, so I see no reason to argue that Eusebius's opinion sucks just because he was on the Julian calendar.  (Eusebius's opinion more likely sucks because he was a lying sack of shit who probably forged certain parts of Josephus.  OK, never mind that's ad hom but I couldn't resist it.)

More likely it's difficulties in interpreting a highly ambiguous document.  Because of this you can pretty much pick whichever of the two dates you like for the flood--or find out what the Jewish estimate is and use that.

Either date, of course works with your argument anyway.

...or as relevant as who would win in fight: Spiderman or Mighty Mouse.

I'm not seeing that as a contest - Mighty Mouse sings, "Here I come to save the day --" What's Spiderman''s talent? Put 'em both on X Factor and see what Simon Cowl says.

I said that Eusebius' calendar was less accurate than Usher's - was that incorrect?

My point was that there was a significant discrepancy between Eusebius' date for the "flood," and that of  Bishop Ussher - I further pointed out that attempting to determine the date of a myth was as irrelevant as attempting to determine Superman's birthdate.

The Julian calendar was indeed less accurate (if your desire is to have a calendar keep in line with the seasons) than the Gregorian, but there is not _nearly_ enough difference between them to account for the discrepancy between their flood dates.  Your post made it sound like the entire difference was due to the difference between the Gregorian and Julian calendars, and that's why I felt compelled to speak up.  I would not want that claim mistakenly used in an argument against an educated theist.

Of course the exercise of comparing the two dates and trying to figure out which one is more accurate is like odor-testing two piles of bullshit anyway.

All I said, Steve, was that one was more accurate than the other - if you inferred that that meant radically different "flood" dates, I suppose I should regret that you made that inference, so, I'm sorry you did. All better now?

No, it's not.  Your attitude here sucks.

You wrote a very misleading paragraph, no doubt unintentionally.  Go back and read it.

Now Noah's flood occurred in either 2958 BCE, as calculated by the Roman Catholic scholar, Euseibus, or 2348 BCE, as calculated by Archbishop Ussher and Sir John Lightfoot. We must bear in mind that the comedy team of Ussher and Lightfoot had access to the Gregorian calendar we use today, while Euseibus, who lived in the third century BCE, had only the less accurate Julian calendar with which to work, which inclines one to lean more toward acceptance of Ussher's and Lightfoot's date, than Euseibus'.

Your only stated reason for preferring one estimate over the other was that one estimate used one calendar and the other used the other. When I pointed out that the difference in calendars couldn't possibly account for the difference between the two, you then asked if the calendars were equally accurate, dodging my point that the difference between the two cannot explain a 600 year discrepancy--as you gave every appearance of claiming here.

When I made the same point again, you decided to apologize in a left handed way, that implies that it's my fault that I read your unclear writing and didn't understand it.  In fact I still don't know what your actual rationale was for choosing one over the other.  If it was actually an arbitrary choice (which would be perfectly fine!), then say so.  But because you brought in the calendar issue and it takes up almost half the paragraph, it was perfectly reasonable to assume you thought it was actually relevant.  Unless you are in the habit of filling your writing with irrelevancies?

I was more afraid that someone here, as ignorant of the differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendars as you *appeared* to be,  would read this paragraph, believe the calendars were in fact 600 years discrepant back in the 3rd millenium BCE, and mistakenly use that "fact" in a debate (along with all the other good stuff you provided) and get called on it; many of the more capable Xian apologists are quite smart enough to know this is bullshit.  (And I said in my first response that this was a worry of mine.)  It is never good to arm your own side with fallacious or factually incorrect arguments.

Anyhow I said your attitude sucks and now I'll explain why.

Your behavior when I tried to correct this leaves me unsure as to whether you just wrote this paragraph really badly--and are too embarrassed to admit it, or you really thought the two calendars were that discrepant--and are too embarrassed to admit it.  But I lean towards the latter because your first response to my attempt to set you straight completely missed my point--likely an attempt to change the subject, only on my second try did you try to make it look as if I am just too stupid to understand what you wrote.

Either is a really bad attitude for someone trying to claim authority on the real origins of the bible (or for that matter any subject), to take, when someone points out an error in their work.  A good scholar takes such corrections gladly.  He will either be glad that he just learned something new, or he will be happy to correct unclear writing (as he abhors such, especially his own)  Someone who is insecure and wants to appear infallible blames the messenger and ducks and dodges, anything but admit he was wrong, or phrased himself poorly.  In fact your behavior, deflecting the main point, makes me suspect you really did believe what you wrote, playing the "I am sorry you are too retarded to understand what I wrote" card was the _second_ weasel tactic.

If you had simply said "oops" or "I stand corrected" the first time, it would have been a lot less painless for you, I promise.  It's a good habit to get into.

You know what I do when someone appears to misunderstand something I wrote?  I go back and look at it really hard, and oftentimes will try to rephrase it--even if it seems clear to me.  Because I know not everyone thinks like I do.  If I can phrase it so it will be less ambiguous to someone of average intelligence, I'll do it.  (Of course some people really are too stupid to read a clear sentence and understand it.)  But as often as not miscommunication is the fault of the one speaking or writing and I know this.   It's truly bad form to just assume it's the reader's fault.

You have written an extensive website on the Bible, and people here regard you as an authority.  But now I don't know whether I can trust anything on it; some given statement might be written so badly it misleads me as to what you are trying to say, or it may have a simple factual error that you'd refuse to correct if someone called you on it.  (That's simple factual errors, quite aside from the fact that different scholars will have different interpretations and reach different conclusions.)  And since I _don't_ know much about the old testament, I cannot spot such an error, however it arose.  But I _do_ know if someone wrote you an email trying to correct it, you'd simply dismiss them out of hand.

I would probably have stopped beating this dead horse a while ago, but you paint yourself as an authority, and you made a mistake that I did NOT want to see someone else trustingly repeat.  And I have expectations of people who claim to be authorities on some topic when a mistake is pointed out, and you are failing to meet them, choosing instead to dodge the correction, and as a last resort when the person persists, belittle them.



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