August 07, 2006
The Exodus Code
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Is James Cameron another closet Christian? He's coming out with a documentary called "The Exodus Decoded" (gee whiz, any exploitation of The Da Vinci Code ya think?) which purports to explain the miracles in Exodus 'scientifically' using "archeological" evidence, up to and including the parting of the Red Sea.
The name Immanuel Velikovsky comes to mind... in addition to this film, which I saw when I was a kid.
I suppose one question will be, will this be presented as a way to explain the exact events of the exodus as written in scripture, or will it treat it as a general historical event from which the legends and stories arose? The difference being, of course, that the former would be simply an attempt to shape conjecture and pretend it is 'science' to legitimize a religious belief, while the latter would not be trying so hard to "prove" the Bible to be literal. Orson Scott Card's fictional telling of the Noah legend in Pastwatch would be a good example of the latter. But Cameron's work seems to be more of the former type:
The documentary’s website argues that a series of earthquakes may have “destabilised the entire Nile Delta system and resulted in part of the delta sliding off the African continental shelf”. This would have raised the level of land around the Sea of Reeds, believed to have been saltwater swamps around El Balah, the now extinct lake.
“In other words, the sea parted,” the website says. “Water would have cascaded from higher ground to lower ground . . . creating dry land on which the Israelites could cross. This event would also have caused an enormous ‘backsplash’ of water, a veritable tsunami. If the waves went a mere seven miles inland they would have engulfed the Egyptian army.”
One has to be instantly skeptical of these claims that have extraordinarily rare, extreme catastrophic geological events timed perfectly to recreate biblical passages; the people making the claims tend to be rather credulous when it comes to accepting whatever information comes down the stream and interpreting it generously to fit their preconceptions.
Strangely, Cameron is not mentioned on the official web site...
Posted by Luis at August 7, 2006 05:15 PM
Still there was no explaination how Moses knew no only what the plagues were but when all the plagues would hit Egypt before hand. Me, I'll stick with the Bible it is 100% accurate in prophecy.
Posted by: Karen Thomas at August 21, 2006 03:23 PM
...the Bible it is 100% accurate in prophecy.
Really? I'm interested. Please refer to any prophecy in the bible that is known to have come true after its writing, and is not couched in metaphor so deeply that it could have been applied to a wide range of possible events (a la Nostradamus). Best of all, a prophecy that people identified beforehand and not after the fact, able to foresee specific events at specific times.
Posted by: Luis at August 22, 2006 05:51 PM
I find it curious that not enough evidence or a supposed contradiction of evidence in a certain area is seen as evidence of the fallacy of the Bible, yet evidence as clearly given as in the Discovery Channel series seemingly being discused here "Breaking the Exodus Code" which explains or supports the Bible is seen as convinient.
Could it be, and I am just conjecturing here, that those who think this way are they themselves guilty of preconception?
Posted by: simeon at October 11, 2006 08:57 PM
"There is no bias in moderation" yeah right. Thats a completely delusional statement. What are you the only person on the planet without bias???
I wont even bother, as you probably won't post anything that makes you look bad or gives you a legitimate challenge in debate.
Posted by: iochjspaiuoc at October 11, 2006 09:18 PM
I find it curious that not enough evidence or a supposed contradiction of evidence in a certain area is seen as evidence of the fallacy of the Bible, yet evidence as clearly given as in the Discovery Channel series seemingly being discused here "Breaking the Exodus Code" which explains or supports the Bible is seen as convinient.What? Sorry, your question makes no sense. You seem to be suggesting that the two pieces of evidence you state are of equal value; that if a contradiction or lack of evidence in the Bible is evidence of fallacy of the Bible, then the evidence of the type mentioned in the Discovery show is or should be of equal value. However, what you claim could run in any direction. Since you do not cite which "lack of evidence" or which contradiction, it is hard to see exactly what you are thinking of.
A "lack of evidence" to support the Bible is not evidence of fallacy of the Bible, unless it can be proven that said evidence should exist--for example, if the Bible said there is a giant smiley face on the back of the moon, and we find no face there, that would be evidence of fallacy. I have not heard of any such claims, despite having read quite a few critiques of the Bible. Unless you can show me such a claim, I have to count this as a straw man, intended or not. If someone did make this claim and did not have any evidence to back them up, I would dismiss them just as much as I dismiss the catastrophists.
Contradictions do exist, however. Two contradicting stories of Genesis, two different fathers for Joseph, God never being seen but is also seen many times either in part or even "face to face," God is "good to all" but he also "creates evil." The list goes on.
How these should be judged depends on how you claim to read the Bible. If you are a literalist, then they are pretty damning evidence; if you accept the Bible as allegory, even in part, then they do not "disprove" a thing. As I said, depending on the details, your claim could be 100% or 0% true. What would remain to be proven, of course, would be evidence that your claim applies to anyone or anything real, or simply to your perceptions alone.
As for the catastrophism, I believe I made clear their fallacies in the post."There is no bias in moderation" yeah right. Thats a completely delusional statement. What are you the only person on the planet without bias???Um, you seem to have a bit of a chip on your shoulder, don't you? Perhaps you misunderstood what I wrote. In saying that I have no bias in moderation, I mean that all comments that follow the rules get posted. If you like, I can direct you to several posts in which there is spirited debate; the Hattori post is just one example, there are many others. At least one extremely right-wing individual posts comments here on a regular basis (he just dropped a comment as I write this, in fact). However, as you can see by this very example, posts which challenge my ideas are of course allowed through. And when I am proven wrong, I admit such, as with my June 5 comment from last year in this post.
To come in with the charge that others have preconceptions and then to drop one like this yourself... is quite, um, interesting.
Posted by: Luis at October 11, 2006 10:00 PM