The First Question to Ask of an Ancient, Holy Book: Is It Ancient?

Many of the world’s best-known religious texts are silent when it comes to claims about history. Many Eastern religious scriptures, for example, describe spiritual principles devoid of historical location or setting. Texts such as these are proverbial in nature, proclaiming ancient wisdom without any connection to historical context. The Abrahamic religions are very different, however. Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Mormonism make claims about ancient history. For this reason, these religious worldviews are both verifiable and falsifiable. We ought to be able to corroborate the historical claims of ancient religious texts just as we could other historical documents. Such verification would certify their antiquity, if nothing else. On the other hand, if the claims of an ancient holy book are consistently incorrect related to the ancient world it allegedly describes, we ought to consider the text with suspicion.

Ancient Holy Book

It’s also important to remember that not every ancient text makes a claim about “divinity”; there are many texts from antiquity that are ancient, but not “holy”. If a text claims to be both ancient and holy, it needs to pass the first test related to antiquity before it can hope to qualify in the second category as holy. After all, a book cannot be holy or divine if it is lying about ancient history.

The test of antiquity was incredibly important to me as a skeptic examining the claims of scripture for the first time. As I became interested in Christianity, my Mormon family encouraged me to examine Mormonism as well. I read the entire Book of Mormon before I completed the Old and New Testament. I wanted to determine the “antiquity” of the Gospels and the Book of Mormon before I could examine the question of “divinity”. I needed to know if the New Testament gospels were written early enough to have been written by eyewitnesses who were actually present to observe what was recorded in these accounts. Similarly, I needed to know if the Book of Mormon was an accurate account of the history of the American continent from 600BC to 400AD (as it claims). My first investigation was centered on the foundational question: Are these ancient holy books truly ancient?

What kinds of questions can an investigator ask when trying to answer this important question related to antiquity? I considered the following:

Are historical events cited in (or omitted from) the text in a manner that is reliably and accurately ancient?

Are the references to language, proper names and titles reliably and accurately ancient?

Are the references to culture, government or civilizations reliably and accurately ancient?

Are the references to geography, native animals and plants reliably and accurately ancient?

Are the other corroborative documents that are reliably and accurately ancient?

Are there additional, successive historical references that are reliably and accurately ancient?

I asked these questions of the gospel accounts and the Book of Mormon and came away with two very different sets of answers. There are many good reasons to accept the early dating of the gospels and their reliability as eyewitness accounts. In each of the above listed criteria, the gospels pass the test. I’ve written an entire chapter in my book examining the evidence for early dating and the historical reliability of the gospel eyewitness accounts. After examining the accounts using the tools that are employed by historians and detectives, I concluded that the gospels are reliable. Unfortunately, the Book of Mormon doesn’t withstand evidential scrutiny nearly as well. Written in the first half of the 19th century, it fails to record anything about the ancient past that can be verified in any of the ways I’ve described. In fact, in each of the categories of inquiry I’ve offered to answer the issue of antiquity, the book of Mormon fails miserably.

I once asked a Mormon Scholar to tell me how she knew the book of Mormon was a true, reliable account of the ancient past. She told me that she had asked God about it and she believed that God had given her a “spiritual confirmation”. It struck me that this method for determining antiquity was misguided. While prayer might be one way to determine if and ancient holy book is holy, there are other, better established investigative approaches that ought to be employed to determine if an ancient holy book is ancient. We shouldn’t attempt to answer questions about divinity before we answer questions about antiquity. If a text is lying to us about events in the ancient past, it cannot be from God. For this reason, the first question we ought to ask any text that claims to be an ancient, holy book is simply this: Is the text truly a work from the ancient past?

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity, Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, and God’s Crime Scene.

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80 replies
  1. Ed Vaessen says:

    “The Abrahamic religions are very different, however. Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Mormonism make claims about ancient history. ”

    Claims that are falsified.

    Reply
  2. Ed Vaessen says:

    Judaism, christianity and islam claim there was a global flood. That claim is falsified.
    The claim of mormonism about the history of America too is falsified.

    Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        Your question doesn’t even make sense. What eyewitness said ‘there was no flood’?

        It’s falsified because a global flood a few thousand years ago would leave a huge amount of evidence that simply doesn’t exist.

        Reply
          • toby says:

            Evidence of local event is evidence for the whole world! In your face, Andy! #godtsunami #confirmationbias

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Dinosaurs died out millions of years before humans appeared. So a mass dinosaur graveyard won’t have anything to do with a global flood that involved humans. So yep, my point stands, no evidence.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Beck says: “

            http://www.livescience.com/8340-world-largest-dinosaur-graveyard-linked-mass-death.html

            Yep, no evidence at all.
            My question was trying to point out how the means used to falsify one claim wasnt the same used to falsify the mormons claims.”

            Excellent example of evidence. But evidence for what? That is the next question we ask. Mass graveyards can also be expected from local disasters. So we have a piece of evidence that fits more than one model.
            What makes the model of a worldwide flood so weak are many other pieces of evidence that contradict it. That is how science works: find the model that fits all evidence best. A model that contradicts too many times is falsified.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Beck says:

            “So boring, try thinking outside your mental boxes.”

            You might also ask someone to believe that the earth is flat and to think outside his mental box that it is round.

          • Beck says:

            Perhaps you can show all this “evidence” that “contradicts” the flood model and we can discuss it.

          • Kyle says:

            If you wouldn’t mind then, expound on your claim so we have direct points to counter. Was the flood worldwide or localized? Did anyone/anything survive? How long ago did this happen? How high did the water rise?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Beck:
            “Perhaps you can show all this “evidence” that “contradicts” the flood model and we can discuss it.”

            No, I won’t do that. It would be useless in your case. You are unfit for discussion and I can make very clear why that is so.

            In answer to Andy, you dumped that link about a dinosaur graveyard, a link that in fact does not exclusively support your view point because as evidence it is can also support a local disaster. You did not even bother to consider that possibility in advance. You dumped the link and that shows that the reasoning in your mind must have been of the most simplistic kind.

            In an effort teach you something about science, I stated clearly that certain types of evidence can support more than one scientific model. Had you been honestly interested in discussion, you would have acknowledged that.
            Instead of doing so, you try to escape with a line in which you put the word “evidence” between quotation marks, mocking already in advance anything anyone here is going to write down.

            It is revealing too that you manage to put down lines like this:

            “So boring, try thinking outside your mental boxes.”

            Verdict: you are unfit for discussion.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            An interesting (though long) article named ‘History of the Collapse of Flood Geology and a Young Earth” can be found here:

            http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/p82.htm

            It tells about the development in thinking about the geological history of earth, starting in the 17th century. A recurring theme in it is the influence of the Christian tradition on the mind of the scientists. They initially considered the geology of the earth to be a result of the Noachian Flood and went to find evidence for it. Many kept to the Christian interpretation, trying to fit everything they discovered in it, only to find out that it became more and more a hopeless job. In the middle of the 19th century so much doubt was raised in the geological community that Flood Geology was abandoned.

          • Beck says:

            You didn’t teach me anything about science, you are so condescending. I was very aware there was a different interpretation(refering to global or local flood) it was from a secular site that interpreted it as a locally flood. Once again you simply attack me, insist you know my thoughts, and refuse to back up your claims with evidence.

            I didn’t mean to be mocking when I put evidence in quotation marks, I was trying to convey that I had read your post and asking you to support your own words.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Beck:
            “Once again you simply attack me, insist you know my thoughts, and refuse to back up your claims with evidence.”

            Knowing your thoughts? That is not necessary to judge how to deal with you.

          • Beck says:

            “That is not necessary to judge how to deal with you.” Yet you did it anyway “You did not even bother to consider that possibility in advance.” If you actually had facts to back up what you say I would be able to say something better than you are pathetic but sadly I’m left with being only able to say that. Maybe you can present research or evidence now and we can discuss it.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Beck:
            “No, Christianity doesn’t meet my threshold for nonsense. I don’t feel my threshold for nonsense is unreasonable, it’s not like I believe a big bang happened somewhere in the universe, inflation happened and then stopped for no reason, then stars formed (even though the best theories available require a star to already exist to form one),and eventually random chemicals come together to form a self replicating organism.”

            The text above comes from you too, from another discussion. It also clearly shows how unfit you are for discussion on scientific matters.

          • Beck says:

            Ed, you seem very condescending and very unwilling to educate…perhaps it’s because you have no education.

          • Louie says:

            Beck:
            You cannot blame Ed for his responses if his world view is correct. Since he has no free will and is only dancing to his dna. That is the allure of his world view, you can do whatever you want because you are not really in control of anything. Which is also why you should really question anything he writes, since he is not really thinking through any of this, and only typing down what his “dna codes” tell him to write down.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Beck: “you seem very condescending and very unwilling to educate”

            Ed was just pointing out that you were coming with bad faith. You were being not just sarcastic here, but almost wilfully distortive: ” it’s not like I believe a big bang happened somewhere in the universe, inflation happened and then stopped for no reason, then stars formed (even though the best theories available require a star to already exist to form one),and eventually random chemicals come together to form a self replicating organism.”

            As was Louie here: “That is the allure of his world view, you can do whatever you want”

            It would be like me replying: “Cool Louie, just like being a Christian, when you can just do what you want then say God agrees with you, or just ask him for forgiveness afterwards.”

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            C’est le ton qui fait la musique, Louie.
            By the way: I see two flaws here in your reasoning:
            1. According to you free will exists, therefor none of us is dancing to the DNA if you are right. So you cannot say that I cannot really think things through;
            2. If free will does not exist, I cannot do whatever I want.

            Interesting stuff, this reasoning. Don’t you think so Louie?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Andy Ryan about Beck:
            “You were being not just sarcastic here, but almost wilfully distortive.”

            Sarcasm is a personal style. I can appreciate it, though I regards irony a better weapon. Willfully distorting things a tactic that is the hallmark of ‘scientific’ creationism. It is used by almost every creationist.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            I was too hasty. Here again:

            Andy Ryan about Beck:
            “You were being not just sarcastic here, but almost wilfully distortive.”

            Sarcasm is a personal style. I can appreciate it, though I regard irony as a better weapon. Willfully distorting things is a tactic that is the hallmark of ‘scientific’ creationism. It is used by almost every creationist.

          • Louie says:

            Andy: You are semi-correct in saying that Christians can do whatever they want, God gives them and you that freedom. But to say you can do it and say God agrees with you, No, not unless it is backed up by scripture. Can Christians ask forgiveness? Sure, but know that God reads your heart, so if you are just saying it without actually feeling regret, it will not work out for you in the end.

          • Louie says:

            Ed: I don’t think either of your points conflict with my logic. I DO think you have free will, and therefore I do believe you can actually do logic and make decisions for yourself. What I was pointing out, is that you do not believe it, but yet use it to defend your view. Neither of us can prove our world view with 100% certainty. But if you could, yours collapses upon itself because it would be based on no logic or ability to think and reason.
            Yes, this stuff is interesting.

          • toby says:

            I DO think you have free will, and therefore I do believe you can actually do logic…
            Are you saying logic requires free will? I don’t see how X being equal to X would require free will. A naturally evolved creature could evolve with the ability to see that something is what it is and not something else.

            What I was pointing out, is that you do not believe it, but yet use it to defend your view.
            Not necessarily. If libertarian free will is false, then he is not.

            …yours collapses upon itself because it would be based on no logic or ability to think and reason.
            Again I don’t see how logic is tied to free will. By logic I’m talking about the three classical notions of identity, non-contradiction, and excluded middle. Why do you think you need free will for X to be X?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie:
            “But if you could, yours collapses upon itself because it would be based on no logic or ability to think and reason.”

            You understand as few from logic as you do from science.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie:
            “That is the allure of his world view, you can do whatever you want because you are not really in control of anything.”

            You are projecting your fantasies on other people, as if you know them and their moral ideas. You know nothing about science, logic or other people. Yet, you act as if you know everything.

          • Louie says:

            Ed: Sorry you disagree, I stand by the statement. If we have no free will, then we are just moist robots and react to our environment. If that is true, then we are not free creatures with the ability to think, only react. If that is true, then I should not believe anything you or I write or say. And I also should not give praise or criticism for anything we do since it was not really a choice but a reaction. That was my point. Perhaps it did not come out that way.

          • Louie says:

            toby – my view on the logic and free will is this. If you do not have free will, you cannot make logical decisions, since you are not free to process the information and make the decision, but preprogrammed. That is just reactionary / robotic, not thinking and free.

      • Kyle says:

        The claim that the entire planet was flooded is absolutely falsified. If you’d like you could expound on the claim as to approximate time frame for the flood as well as extent. We could then provide better proof as to why the claim is laughable.

        Reply
        • Louie says:

          I provided just as much backing for my comment as Ed did for his comment. He is he one making the claim, he should back it up.

          Reply
          • Ed Vaessen says:

            I am certainly willing to do that. But not without making clear what scientific evidence exactly is and knowing that it is accepted by you.
            Just an example to illustrate this.
            Some time ago, on a dutch site, a dutch creationist posted a message about the scientific hypothesis of the Oort Cloud (which he did not like for purely religion reasons). “A cloud no one ever saw!”, he scoffed.
            Of course he was right. Indeed no one ever has seen the Oort Cloud. No one could of course, realizing what this hypothesis tells us about it.
            My question: is that also the level of your scientific understanding? Will you also yell “No one ever saw it!”?
            Or do you understand how things actually work in science and how a hypothesis is formed and checked, accepted or rejected and why a certain level of probability is attached to it?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Another example. You want to discuss on the level of mr. Beck, whose scientific knowledge is so brilliantly reflected in these words below and who never fails to make a deep and lasting impression on the whole of the scientific community?

            “No, Christianity doesn’t meet my threshold for nonsense. I don’t feel my threshold for nonsense is unreasonable, it’s not like I believe a big bang happened somewhere in the universe, inflation happened and then stopped for no reason, then stars formed (even though the best theories available require a star to already exist to form one),and eventually random chemicals come together to form a self replicating organism.”

          • Beck says:

            Ed, with every post you show your pathetic, petty, and condescending nature. Easily the worst person currently commenting on the posts on this site. I’ve commented a long time on this site and disagree with alot of people, but I at least respect them (especially Andy). I hold no such respect for you.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            An interesting article to read is in this link:

            http://www.csun.edu/~vcgeo005/Flood%20geology.pdf

            In short, it tells us that none of the geological era’s from the Cambrian until now fits as a layer that could be deposited by the Flood. All of them contain one or more of the elements (like animal tracks, continental basalt, multiple marine in-situ generations) that could not have been laid down during that cataclysmic event. It puts the only possible occurrence in the Precambrian. This leaves a lot to explain of course, as it means that all animals and plants appeared after Noah left his ark and not one fossil we find today was killed during the Flood.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Dendrochronology falsifies the Flood too.
            An unbroken sequence of tree rings, from both oak and pine trees in central Europe along the Rhine, Main and Danube river, has been established by correlating the data of thousands of (mostly fossil) trees. It extends back to nearly 12000 years before present. What it thus shows is that trees have been growing in these river regions for that very long period.
            This cannot be reconciled with a global flood that, according to the Bible, happened about 6400 years ago and should have destroyed all trees.

            https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/viewFile/4172/3597

            Dendrochronology provides a calibration for the 14C dating method. It was found that the errors in de 14C-method for the 12,000 year period was small: only in the order of 10s of years.

            https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/3781/3206

            It has been brought forward by those who support the Flood model that dendrochronology is unreliable because tree rings may be double of missing. However, scientists know that and also know how to spot these missing or extra rings. Anyway, had it been of influence, then the differences between the 14C method and dendrochronological ages would have been far larger.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            The story of the global Flood as told by the Bible raises questions. Why would an omnipotent God use such an awkward method for getting rid of all the bad people? Drowning is also a very horrible death for every creature, including the innocent part of humanity that lived then, certainly the babies and toddlers. Also, Noah was put to a gigantic task to keep the human line intact as well as that of all other living things.
            It makes few sense.

            It makes much more sense if you realize where the story might have come from. Versions of it were known in the middle-east in a time when people believed that there were more gods active and all far from omnipotent. One of these stories tells us that the gods were very annoyed by the people they had created because they overpopulated the world and/or were making a lot of noise. So the gods used the limited means they had and called for a big storm and a flood. When it came, it was so terrible that the gods, like Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice movie, became very afraid of the power they had unleashed.
            Now the human hero of the story was warned in time by one of the gods (who silently disagreed with his also not so very omniscient colleagues) about what was coming. The man managed to survive by building a boat in time and board it with family and cattle. He floated for some time around until he found land again and lived happily ever after.

          • Louie says:

            Ed:
            I have been out of commission for quite some time, and see a pile of messages now. As far as science goes, I am all about the truth. I understand theories need to be put out there, then discussed, then tested. If it can be tested and proven over and over, then I am all for it being labeled as fact or truth. If it cannot be, then it is simply a theory and should be left as that.

          • Louie says:

            The tree rings do not prove the age of the earth. I’ve read up on this in years prior, but as you stated Ed, trees put on multiple rings in a year, then possibly no rings at all in other years. Its all about climate shifts, not years. Unfortunately, it is a guessing game.

            Looking at the physical earth an claiming that the earth could not possibly be flooded does not work either. Since the earth is now setting in a state of complete destruction from the flood, you’d have no idea what it looked like before the flood.

            The layers pose no problem for the flood of Noah. All those layers represent is sediment deposits and the land being saturated from the flood itself. That is why you see tree trunks extending through multiple layers of rock that are supposedly many years apart in age. It was not rock when the tree trunk we placed there. That is also why you see layers that have wild curves to them, but not cracked up. They were soft at the time they were formed.

          • Kyle says:

            Here is the explanation for those trees.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polystrate_fossil

            It does not mention global flood. However, it is common enough and there can be many causes for different areas. You also failed to address my comment on the breathtaking lack of water to cover the entire earth. You have not offered a time frame, so within the biblical account of about 4000 years ago we have vast swaths of historical evidence denying this. There have been civilizations with histories going back further than that, the earliest being around 10,000 BCE.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_world

            Ed also specifically addressed the missing and multiple rings and that these were easily accounted for. So just dismissing tree rings as if they were magic or not valid doesn’t work. Did you even look at the source he provided?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie says:
            “The tree rings do not prove the age of the earth. I’ve read up on this in years prior, but as you stated Ed, trees put on multiple rings in a year, then possibly no rings at all in other years. Its all about climate shifts, not years. Unfortunately, it is a guessing game.”

            Clearly you did not read very much. The sunspot cycle can be traced in tree rings because on a maximum, the amount of excess 14C in rings is lowest. Other solar cycles too leave their clear mark in tree rings, so it is easy to find out if tree rings are missing or multiple and where that occurs.

            I stop answering here as far as the technicalities are concerned. Period.

            The reason is that I know that you did not read about this. I know also that it is because you never get further than creationist sites where all such 14C excess and much, much other information is carefully left out.
            Among the many tactics of such sites is a very simple one: take one kind of evidence and start to emphasize on its limits and weaknesses, suggesting that mainstream science is not aware of these limits and weaknesses.
            What they will not tell you is that mainstream science is VERY WELL aware of them and also very well knows how to check them by using independent evidence. Science works with independent, converging lines of evidence.

            Seriously: do you really think that a whole discipline of dendrochronology would exist if there was no way to solve the problem of extra or missing rings?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie:
            “The layers pose no problem for the flood of Noah. All those layers represent is sediment deposits and the land being saturated from the flood itself. ”

            You really haven’t read very much about what scientists find in so many of these layers. Not about burrowing, hatched eggs, aeolian deposits, mud cracks, rain drops, animal tracks, river delta’s, in situ forests (complete with paleosoils) one above the other.

          • Louie says:

            Kyle:
            There are many points flying around here, so maybe I hit your points and maybe I did not. The lack of water is BS, since the earth we live in is a result of the flood. So the earths landscape was flatter back then, and could have been covered in water. It was not until later that earth shifted and its plates crashed into each other, creating the high mountain ranges we have today.
            We can circle back later and catch other points you may have…

          • Louie says:

            Ed:
            Again, none of what you are saying surprises me. I would expect to find tracks and critter remains and artifacts all throughout different layers in some areas and none in others. I would expect to find geologic events like you describe as well. The flood lasted a long time, and I am sure some areas were exposed for a time then covered again as the ground heaved and so on. Much of the layering & deposits are dependent on what was picked up and the rate at which it was laid down. That is why we find human artifacts in coal seams too. The earth was completely devastated.

          • Louie says:

            Kyle:
            I did look at the two links you had, and I’ve seen this all before… The link about vertical trees – did you read it? They are trying so hard to tell you how they formed without saying it is typically due to flooding, not all, but typically. The trunk floats around, becomes water logged, one side sinks down and it floats vertically for a time and settles to the bottom and becomes encased in sediment and becomes part of the seams. It just occurred in the 1980’s around Mt. St. Helens. Pretty cool & have no issues with it.

            The link about the history of man, I don’t buy the dating. You can send me all the papers you want about how man is 100k years old, and I can send you all the papers I want about how man in less than 10k years old. In the end, it comes down to what your view of the world is because neither view can be proven with 100% certainty. We are forced to choose, and I will choose scripture, until it is proven to be false.

          • Kyle says:

            The problem wasn’t flooding, it was a global flood. That is what there is zero evidence for. As for the history of humans, if you won’t accept the scientific consensus, then there’s not much more that can be offered. How have you proven (or had it proven to you) that the bible was scientifically accurate? How have the sources that either Ed or myself provided been falsified? What evidence would you accept? Belief is fine, it just has no place within science unless it can be supported.

          • toby says:

            I can send you all the papers I want about how man in less than 10k years old.
            Please do so. Post some links.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie (to Kyle):
            “I did look at the two links you had, and I’ve seen this all before… The link about vertical trees – did you read it? They are trying so hard to tell you how they formed without saying it is typically due to flooding, not all, but typically. The trunk floats around, becomes water logged, one side sinks down and it floats vertically for a time and settles to the bottom and becomes encased in sediment and becomes part of the seams. It just occurred in the 1980’s around Mt. St. Helens. Pretty cool & have no issues with it.”

            That is why I won’t go into technicalities with you. It is useless. I write about in-situ forests, one above the other, with paleosoils. You start about floating trunks, getting water logged, one side sinking down. You obviously have no idea what an in-situ forest is and what paleosoils are and how a scientist spots the difference with sunken trees in an instant.
            I am not surprised, knowing where you get your information from. It was the same with these multiple and missing tree rings, as I wrote before.

            One more we see that one of the tricks of these so called ‘scientific’ creationist websites is suggesting to its reader that mainstream science doesn’t know even the simplest things.
            I wonder what impression the reader must get from mainstream science if he can only judge by what is written on these sites. He must have visions of thousands of universities and laboratories, manned by hundreds of thousands of scientists, using up billions of tax money to write publications and form theories, only to fall back in awe when some some smart creationist comes by and says incredible smart things like: “Hey guys, did you think about multiple or missing tree rings?”

          • Louie says:

            Ed: Calm down. Like I said before, nothing they find in these layers is an issue for me. I only gave one situation that we’ve seen repeated in recent history. It was not meant to be the answer for all situations.

          • Louie says:

            Kyle: There is no problem with the earth being flooded entirely. If the earth was flat, and all the water was laid down on it, it would be 1000’s of feet deep. Again, we do not know the topography of the earth at the time it flooded. I agree, with its current topography, all the water would not cover every peak.
            I think it more believable that God created everything, than for everything to come into existence on its own. I just don’t see it, you have to “believe” it happened one way or the other, since neither side can prove it. If the first verse of the bible is true, every thing else is peanuts for that God.

          • toby says:

            Again, we do not know the topography of the earth at the time it flooded. I agree, with its current topography, all the water would not cover every peak.
            So you think there was a flood and the ground rose up out of it. I don’t see how you can possibly explain tectonics. So a flood happened . . . what, 4000 years ago? Then the land rose up and . . . it’s just a cute coincidence that when you look at a globe you can see how South America and Africa nested together? Or did the land raise up and then ZOOOOOOOOOM apart in a few years to where it is now and for some reason stopped zooming around. Did the mountains form raising out of the water or was it tectonics as we know?

          • Kyle says:

            This is where we get to say your claim demonstrably fails. The same evidence to support trees upright or “growing” through multiple layers of sediment is the same evidence that tells us some of our biggest mountain ranges are 10s of millions to 100s of millions of years old. So 4000 years ago (since you have still not adequately defined your claim and we are going with biblical), the earth was not anything to be considered flat.

            “If the first verse of the bible is true, every thing else is peanuts for that God.”

            That is a huge conditional. “If” it is true. You still need to prove that. Have you thought of the question, “If the first verse of the bible is false, what does that mean for the rest of the bible and the entire (and thousands of) religion(s) based on it?”

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie says:
            “Ed: Calm down. Like I said before, nothing they find in these layers is an issue for me. I only gave one situation that we’ve seen repeated in recent history. It was not meant to be the answer for all situations.”

            I only made clear that you do not know anything about science and never get further than the pseudoscientific information you get from creationist websites.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            You know nothing about tree rings, Louie, nor about in-situ forests and paleo-soils. You rant about ‘us’ glueing bones together to fill in the gaps.
            Is there a reason why one should listen to you?

          • Louie says:

            Ed:
            Science = knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.
            Science Fiction = fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes

            Careful what type of science you are talking about, Ed. Where I come from, science is fact based and does not take sides. Now scientists… that is a different story.

          • Louie says:

            Toby:
            I certainly was not there, but scripture states the water from the flood came from both rain and from when the fountains of the deep broke open. That is where the plates come in, as the plates result from the breaking open of the crust. The mountains would then come from these plates colliding as the water left from under the plates. Again, I was not there, and am not arrogant enough to state the order of things as though I was there. Yes, it is a coincidence that South America and Africa look like they fit. Just like its a coincidence that Australia is the shape it is, and all other plates too.

          • Louie says:

            Kyle:
            Sorry, you’ve not proven the mountains are as old as you say they are. I’ll stick with the flood, it more simply explains these silly things, like the vertical trees through layers and why there are huge sea shells found at mountain elevations. Closed sea shells, mind you, so they were alive when placed there.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie says:
            “Ed:
            Science = knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.
            Science Fiction = fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes

            Careful what type of science you are talking about, Ed. Where I come from, science is fact based and does not take sides. Now scientists… that is a different story.”

            Louie, you know nothing about science. You rant about ‘us’ glueing bones together to fill in the gaps. You dream that at night?

          • Kyle says:

            Quick explanation for the sea shells.

            http://www.willus.com/mingw/colinp/shells.html

            Questions Louie has yet to answer:

            How long ago did the flood happen?
            Where did all the water for the flood come from?
            Where did all the water from the flood go?
            How have you proven (or had it proven to you) that the bible was scientifically accurate?
            How have the sources that either Ed or myself provided been falsified?
            What evidence would you accept?

            Claims Louie has yet to backup with anything resembling a source (credible or otherwise):

            The earth was flatter before the flood.
            Looking at the physical earth an claiming that the earth could not possibly be flooded does not work either.
            The tree rings do not prove the age of the earth. (Ed provided a source)
            I can send you all the papers I want about how man in less than 10k years old.
            The flood lasted a long time. (40 days long time or longer?)
            …but scripture states the water from the flood came from both rain and from when the fountains of the deep broke open.
            Yes, it is a coincidence that South America and Africa look like they fit. Just like its a coincidence that Australia is the shape it is, and all other plates too. (http://www.encyclopedia.com/earth-and-environment/geology-and-oceanography/geology-and-oceanography/continental-drift) Source on why you are wrong.

            Where Louie seems to be confused:
            He doesn’t know what the earth looked like before the flood…
            “I was not there, and am not arrogant enough to state the order of things as though I was there”
            “Again, we do not know the topography of the earth at the time it flooded.”

            And yet we know it was flat…
            “So the earths landscape was flatter back then, and could have been covered in water.”
            “If the earth was flat, and all the water was laid down on it, it would be 1000’s of feet deep.”

            I typed this in a hurry. Hopefully the format is readable.

          • Louie says:

            Kyle:
            I read the article in the link about the sea shells. Again, I do not believe the water went that high. The mountain was lower, perhaps sea level, and its raising placed the shells there. The article just debunks the water placing them there, and I agree that was most likely not the case. But even so, the guy to not prove it, he just offered his opinion. The shells just being there is enough to make you wonder what they heck happened.

            *How long ago did the flood happen? – count it backwards in scripture, 4800yrs roughly.
            *Where did all the water for the flood come from? – rain and ground water.
            *Where did all the water from the flood go? – in oceans
            *How have you proven (or had it proven to you) that the bible was scientifically accurate? – I don’t take issue with scripture, I have no problem with its message or historical account or science.
            *How have the sources that either Ed or myself provided been falsified? – its been a long blog, not sure. I’d have to look back at one at a time.
            *What evidence would you accept? – scientific – fact based, provable, repeatable. just like you’d require of me.
            Kyle, I know I did not get all your points here, but I need to move on with my day. It always comes back to this… You cannot prove your world view, and I cannot prove mine with 100% certainty. You need to make your choice based on what you can prove, and the world you see around you. And then live with the choice you have made. We all have the same evidence, just different views of where the evidence leads.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            The creationist must make sense of the fact that there exists a large scientific community that agrees on theories that in not a few cases contradict the dogma’s that constitute the fundament of his personal belief. He will agree that scientists in general are clever people and that science is quite right about many things. But only so far will he do that as its findings are neutral or, preferably, supportive of his religious case. When they are not, he must find the explanation how such a large body of smart people can be so wrong. And he will find it. Always. But he will not get there by reason.
            What he will certainly never do is find out how the scientific method works and why it is so successful. He might have tried if all findings of science were to his liking, but, as said, they are not. Therefor we should not be surprised to see him design or change the rules at will and present us with a mockery of science, having a host logical fallacies at his command to impress the common man. We know them all and they need not be repeated here.

            However, there is one thing that stands out clearly in the midst of it all: creationism is not just another viewpoint. Essentially, it is a war against science. It acts not as if it addresses respected, though slightly deluded opponents. It does not do that at all. No. It fights enemies of the worst kind.
            David McMillan, a former young earth creationist that was raised with that paranoid mindset, wrote it down in clear words:

            “They (creationists) understand the theory of evolution, along with mainstream geology and a variety of other disciplines, as a_philosophical construct_created for the express purpose of explaining life on Earth apart from divine intervention. Thus, they approach the concept of evolution from a defensive position; they believe it represents an attack on all religious faith.”

            Indeed. Science as an attack on faith. That is how they see it. No wonder that a movie like ‘Expelled’ could see the light. It portrays creationist scientists as martyrs, without mercy being prosecuted by the evil, evolutionist ‘establishment’. For a creationist, who also thinks that a movie like ‘Quo Vadis’ somehow holds water, that is truth enough. He will not check what actually is true in this movie, which is of course very little.

            Small wonder also that a creationist proponent like Ken Ham, when showing very young children photoshopped pictures of a human face that is adorned with clear apelike features, bluntly proclaims that ‘evolutionists’ tell everyone that they represent their grandparents. Of course, these easily impressed children laugh. What a silly bunch, these evolutionists to think that Grandpa and Grandma could ever look like that! Evolution is a lie!
            Ken Ham of course knows exactly what he is doing. But he does not mind. His crusade is lying in the name of Jesus. Like Hitler lied for his own cause.

            Who then should be surprised to read the words of Louie, claiming that ‘we’ are glueing bones together to make fossils support ‘our’ case? Louie is the child that Ken Ham talks to with success.
            He has learned that ‘we’ are glueing bones together.

          • Kyle says:

            “The shells just being there is enough to make you wonder what they heck happened.” – And as it so happens there is an easy explanation, as provided by the article. It does not require anything supernatural. It does not require anything that cannot be explained by science.

            “count it backwards in scripture, 4800yrs roughly.” – It’s amazing these trees could survive that (or were they dated wrong or put there by satan?) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oldest_trees

            “I don’t take issue with scripture, I have no problem with its message or historical account or science.” You just have an issue when science which is repeatable, verifiable, and trustworthy conflicts with your preconceived notions. You then discard that which can be proven for faith.

            “its been a long blog, not sure. I’d have to look back at one at a time.” The correct answer is never. And you will never prove us wrong or falsify any of our claims if you cannot provide any sort of evidence. We ask for it every time and you continue to fail.

            “scientific – fact based, provable, repeatable. just like you’d require of me.” We require it yet none is provided. And given your adamant rejection of anything we provide this is a bold faced lie.

            Claims still not backed up with anything resembling a source (credible or otherwise):
            The earth was flatter before the flood.
            Looking at the physical earth an claiming that the earth could not possibly be flooded does not work either.
            The tree rings do not prove the age of the earth. (Ed provided a source)
            I can send you all the papers I want about how man in less than 10k years old.
            The flood lasted a long time. (40 days long time or longer?)
            …but scripture states the water from the flood came from both rain and from when the fountains of the deep broke open.
            Yes, it is a coincidence that South America and Africa look like they fit. Just like its a coincidence that Australia is the shape it is, and all other plates too. (http://www.encyclopedia.com/earth-and-environment/geology-and-oceanography/geology-and-oceanography/continental-drift) Source on why you are wrong.

            Parts where Louie still seems confused:
            He doesn’t know what the earth looked like before the flood…
            “I was not there, and am not arrogant enough to state the order of things as though I was there”
            “Again, we do not know the topography of the earth at the time it flooded.”

            And yet we know it was flat…
            “So the earths landscape was flatter back then, and could have been covered in water.”
            “If the earth was flat, and all the water was laid down on it, it would be 1000’s of feet deep.”

          • Louie says:

            Ed:
            Again, get a grip. You should be out on a ledge somewhere with that speech. I stand with truth. Science is not my enemy, and I welcome science when it is carried out with truth. It cannot prove your world view and it cannot prove mine.

          • Louie says:

            Kyle: As I look at these links you send me, I wonder if you read them first. Did you look at the ages of the trees in he link you sent me? Did you notice that 90% of them are less than 4800 years old? Did you notice how when they speak about the older trees, that they refer to the root system as being older? Would a flood kill a large root system? No. Does this bother me? No. Does it prove there was not a flood? No.
            The tectonic plate page you sent me was nothing I have not already heard. Yes, there are fossils on both sides that are similar. But those fossils are found in more places than that. And if there was flood, the deposit locations could me most anywhere on the planet. I could drone on and on, refuting all the claims, but I’ve got other things to do. I don’t have a problem with the world I live in. None at all, it lines up with the scriptural account just fine. No matter how much it ticks you off. God bless you, and your search for truth. Keep looking for truth, accept nothing less, and you’ll eventually find truth.

          • Kyle says:

            “Would a flood kill a large root system?”- Yes a flood would kill trees with a large root system, how would the trees get sunlight and carbon dioxide underwater? Also if you check the age of those trees dated by their roots, they would be older than your estimate of the age of earth.

            “Does this bother me?” – Being wrong hasn’t seemed to bother you one bit.

            “Does it prove there was not a flood?” – Among other things I’ve shown, yes it does.

            “I could drone on and on, refuting all the claims…” – Then please do, you still have not refuted anything. Only proven that you refuse to back up your claims.

            “None at all, it lines up with the scriptural account just fine” – When you believe in magic of course it does. The world lines up with Harry Potter just fine too.

            “Keep looking for truth, accept nothing less…” – If only you would heed your own words.

            Claims still not backed up with anything resembling a source (credible or otherwise):
            The earth was flatter before the flood.
            Looking at the physical earth an claiming that the earth could not possibly be flooded does not work either.
            The tree rings do not prove the age of the earth. (Ed provided a source)
            I can send you all the papers I want about how man in less than 10k years old.
            The flood lasted a long time. (40 days long time or longer?)
            …but scripture states the water from the flood came from both rain and from when the fountains of the deep broke open.
            Yes, it is a coincidence that South America and Africa look like they fit. Just like its a coincidence that Australia is the shape it is, and all other plates too. (http://www.encyclopedia.com/earth-and-environment/geology-and-oceanography/geology-and-oceanography/continental-drift) Source on why you are wrong.

            Parts where Louie still seems confused:
            He doesn’t know what the earth looked like before the flood…
            “I was not there, and am not arrogant enough to state the order of things as though I was there”
            “Again, we do not know the topography of the earth at the time it flooded.”

            And yet we know it was flat…
            “So the earths landscape was flatter back then, and could have been covered in water.”
            “If the earth was flat, and all the water was laid down on it, it would be 1000’s of feet deep.”

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Louie says:
            “Ed:
            Again, get a grip. You should be out on a ledge somewhere with that speech. I stand with truth. Science is not my enemy, and I welcome science when it is carried out with truth. It cannot prove your world view and it cannot prove mine.”

            You do not welcome science. Were it so, you would would have know about paleosoils and how multiple or missing tree rings are checked. But you don’t.
            Of course you realize that science does not agree with your opinion, which is no more than a personal interpretation of some part of a book of some religion. In fact science has disagreed for about two hundred years already. That is why you suppose scientists must be frauds and that is why such a sentence about ‘us’ glueing bones together could escape you.
            Who are the real frauds? Creationists like Ken Ham are, fooling children with photoshopped pictures and claiming that scientists say that these are their grand parents. Such lies are typical for such creationists.
            It is people like him that have given you the warped information that you now so firmly believe in.

    • Ed Vaessen says:

      Louie covering his eyes, stopping his ears, singing a verse from the Bible. “Blessed those who believe without seeing.”

      Reply
    • Louie says:

      Bwah ha ha ha ha. That is hilarious. So what is your goal anyway? Saving me from religion and delivering me to beauty of atheism? Misery loves company…

      Reply
      • David says:

        So Louie, If you had to accept some basic historical/scientific “FACTS” (that there is no way the earth is 6,000 years old or that there has never been 30,000 feet of water covering it) and admit that much of the bible should not/cannot be read literally that would deliver you over to atheism? I don’t follow.

        Reply

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