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."

Tags: bible, creationism, flood

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Wow! SOMEbody certainly hasn't had his second cup of coffee this morning!

RE: "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)."

I'll be the first to admit I've made a mistake - when I have. You made a statement about the difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars, that I don't know is true. Also, considering the wide discrepancy between Ussher's and Euseibus timetables, I need to account for those - was it just speculation on one of their parts? (Granted, as it never happened, it was speculation on BOTH their parts, but they believed it did, and consequently must have had SOME kind of criteria for choosing the dates they chose.)

So I need to check the accuracy of your statement, as to the difference between the two calendars, and then research still more, assuming I find your statement to be accurate, to see if I can locate an alternative reason for the discrepancy.

At this particular point in time, I have no time to do either of those things, so I was trying to end the discussion until I had time to look into it. Perhaps you're accustomed to having your word accepted as infallible, but I accept no one's word without researching for myself. So when the time arises, I will do that research and if corrections are necessary, I will make them. But if you think I'm going to set aside everything else in my life, to do the necessarily research immediately so that your ego can be stroked with an admission that I've made a mistake, it is you, who are sadly mistaken.

It's not that I expected you to take me on faith, it's that I figured most people who do this sort of thing would actually know the difference; i.e., I expected you knew the difference already and just hadn't been thinking clearly.  For what it's worth, I recognize now that I should have included a link with my original post.

If your purpose was in fact to postpone until you had time to do a fact check, a simple "I'm really busy right now, but I'll look into that" would have covered it, instead of what looked for all the world like evasive and/or dismissive behavior (and I hate to say it, but you have a reputation for dismissive behavior in these sorts of circumstances). Readers could have decided whether to check it or not at that point; at least they know to proceed with caution.

If you really do want to look into this at some future date, I can give you some information that will help you get started; you can verify this info quickly, the reasoning process is slightly harder to come to on one's own but can certainly be validated once you've verified my facts.:

The two calendars look very similar but differ in two respects:

1)  The Julian calendar defines every fourth year to be a leap year; furthermore, in the CE, it's years divisible by four (4, 8, 12, 16.... 2008, 2012, etc.  (And BCE, 1BCE (which is the year before 1CE) is a leap year, as is 5, 9, 13... etc. BCE.)   The Gregorian calendar has almost the same rule.  But the Gregorian does not consider century years that are not divisible by 400 to be leap years, so, for instance, 1600 (century year divisible by 400) is a leap year on both calendars, but 1700, 1800, and 1900 are leap years only on the Julian calendar.

Thus the Julian calendar year averages 365.25 days, while the Gregorian calendar year averages 365.2425 days.  And since we know the difference is three leap days in the space of 400 years (e.g., 1600-2000; three Julian leap days are "skipped" by the Gregorian calendar), we can figure that, if in hypothetical year X, January 1 falls on the same day, then in year X+400, the Julian calendar will show January 1 the same day the Gregorian Calendar shows January 4.  (As soon as an extra leap day shows up in the Julian calendar, it falls a day behind, because it has a February 29 while the other calendar has moved on to March 1.  This process repeats two more times during the 400 years.)

2) Now for the other difference.  Right now, today, the two calendars are not in sync.  It happens that the Julian Calendar day is 13 days behind the Gregorian one; today is October 3 on the Gregorian, and September 20 on the Julian.  It has been like this since March of 1900.  The exact value of that difference is the second parameter of the math I am about to do.  Here is a table of the difference by centuries, from 1 CE to 1582, when the Gregorian calendar was actually introduced.  You can extend the process into BCE territory and conclude the difference was 20 days (or so) in the 2300s BCE..

It's entirely possible I slipped somewhere and I am off a couple of days, or I may even have got a sign backwards.  Regardless, worst case, it's less than a month's difference.  And if you go back to Eusebius-the-lying-bastard's 2900s BCE date, it won't add much.  I will leave it as an exercise for the reader.

For what it's worth, if I had to guess--and I will state up front that it is a guess--as to why they could be off by 600 years, I know many parts of the chronology given by the Bible are open to interpretation, and this is not an issue of honesty; it truly is difficult to untangle ancient peoples' timekeeping conventions--our serially numbered years as opposed to regnal years are a relatively recent invention.  The example I remember hearing (and my memory could certainly be wrong) is that many people assume that no two judges (from Judges) served simultaneously, while others assume there were different judges in different parts of the "promised land" at the same time.  The latter group is going to consider the book of Judges to have spanned less time, than the former will.

I believe modern scholars come down on the side of concurrent judges... but Eusebius was neither modern nor an honest scholar, I'd almost bet he thought the judges terms were consecutive not concurrent.  What Ussher did I do not know.  In any case it's one possible source of the discrepancy, or a portion thereof.  I suppose one could compare the two chronologies side by side and see where they start to diverge as you go further back into the past, to zero in on the cause of the disagreement.

What does "worldwide" flood mean? That there came a day when there was no land above water? Where did all the additional water come from?

Oh...I forgot: God,

The biblical cosmology is that the sky is a solid dome ("firmament") above which is water; apparently the entire universe except the hemisphere of the sky over the flat circle of the earth was supposed to be water.

Oh, nevermind looks like Archae in the comment below this beat me to it.

See, Steve, this is the part, that were our roles reversed, I would have deleted my comment, but that's just me --

Hah!  Well maybe I was just trying to pay you an ironic compliment.

Sounds like a good name for a new superhero - Ironic Man! He and Iron Man square off and Ironic Man kibitzes Iron Man to death --

What do you think? Will it sell?

The man of Irony should sell almost as well as the man of Steel.

He needs a weakness, any ideas?

The Bible tells us that a worldwide flood covered the tops of all of the mountains and 15 cubits above that (22.5 feet).

The number of gallons of water required to cover the Earth from its surface to the top of Mount Everest is 1+ sextillion gallons of water. And for Ararat, a mere 697+ quintillion gallons of water.

From the National Geological Survey, we know that there are 326 quintillion gallons of water in, on, under, and above, our planet. Of the 326 quintillion gallons - which is half as much as is needed to reach the top of Mt. Ararat, 98% is locked into the oceans, already below sea level, and unavailable for flooding purposes.

Clearly, the Bible is wrong, written in a time when men believed that the sky was blue because space, as we now know it, was filled with water, that the earth was protected from this water by a "firmament" that held the water back, and to flood the earth, all their god had to do was open the gates to the firmament and let the water pour down, which, as all can see today is simply not true.

Take this information back to your "Worldview Warrior" and see what he says. If you find you need more information, I have lots, but these two Items I've written should be enough to prove your case.

Never mind, Tom - I went there myself and did it for you! Why should I let YOU have all the fun?!!

It's evening here, and my work is done - I'm going to stop being sober now.

Archy, apart from the mind blogging numbers you have mentioned here, would anything have survived in the sub zero-temperatures at the top of the mountains and did they have the required time to acclimatize to the thin air?



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