SV: [ANE-2] Of Moses, Ice, & Opera (was Santorini)
- I believe that Mr Grena's mail explains better than many words why we are not discussing biblical historicity based on the Bible only.
Too many postulates, too many: maybe's, too little we know, even evangelical language like "At the very least, I'd expect a prestigious university professor such as NPL to have the courtesy of distinguishing between his personal beliefs & scientific facts." What does the writer intend by this? Also the sentence: "to keep an open mind" is stock trade of evangelicalism that claims to possess an open mind contrary to professionals whose minds are closed -- because they evidently adhere to the rules of an academic discourse.
And what about this: "I understand that scholarship requires facts, but it's good to keep an open mind in anticipation of new evidence. This is such a perfect illustration."? Are we back at Kenneth Kitchen's nonsense: Absence of evidence is not evidence of lack. I use to quote the late Robert Carroll, who countered this nonsense with: What about the sex life of Jesus in the NT: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Then the discussion immediately stops. We have to discuss on the basis of available evidence, not on the basis of what we may find some day in the future. That is the core of the matter. And that is the reason that the moderators agree on stopping discussions dealing with claims for biblical historicity that are not supported by external evidence.
Speculating like Mr Grena will only put another card on the house of cards of biblical scholarship -- its historical part.
And finally, theologians are just as obliged to follow logic rules for academic discussions as everybody else.
Niels Peter Lemche
Fra: ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:ANEemail@example.com] På vegne af funhistory
Sendt: 6. maj 2006 06:13
Emne: [ANE-2] Of Moses, Ice, & Opera (was Santorini)
So difficult to respond to these in a timely manner when Yahoo keeps
saying "ANE-2 is temporarily unavailable".
> mythical figure like Moses. His historicity is not an ANE-2 themeI understand that scholarship requires facts, but it's good to keep
> the evidence from the Ice cap is indisputable.
> Niels Peter Lemche
> all sides of the Thera debate now agree that the Greenland core
> date of 1645 BC corresponds to a different volanic eruption and
> not Thera.
> rings fuse together and cannot be detected ... geographical
> variability in the distribution of fallout is another problem
> Graham Hagens
an open mind in anticipation of new evidence. This is such a perfect
Young-Earth creationists have cited the 1990 discovery of a 263-foot
ice layer covering a 1942 squadron in Greenland. AiG gives a fair
rebuttal here pointing out how easily these layers can be adjusted to
suit any theory--such as correlation to deep-sea cores:
Many YECs misuse the squadron data because it happened in the
southeastern region of Greenland, which is subject to frequent
climate changes throughout the year, in contrast to the northcentral
GISP2 core, which has had a more stable climate over the past couple
of centuries (Krakatoa's layer is not disputed, but Vesuvius' is;
forget about Thera as catalhoyukbalter & Hagens pointed out). But
the point is that it's impossible to prove that each
translucent/opaque layer equals a year in any ice core--it simply
reflects a change in climate that could very well be one year, but it
could also be one week or month or season, etc.
The problem is this: How confident can scientists be in the
consistency of any region's climate beyond its recorded history?
(Look how young the Sahara Desert is. And who would have believed
Sirius--whitish today--would have been described consistently as
reddish as recently as Roman times?) In other words, where exactly
is the border in Greenland where you can say one region has always
had a stable/predictable climate & another region has always been
unstable? How could anyone possibly know?
How this relates to Moses (I hear Trudy Kawami's voice in my head) is
that NPL did not live in the Late Bronze Age & has no way of knowing
if Moses & the Exodus are mythical or historical. Moses' history
should be a valid ANE-2 theme with the general understanding that
beliefs do not equal facts.
Fact: We have a large body of ancient literature that contains both
historically accurate & inaccurate information (e.g., Manetho's 2
exodi of Hyksos & lepers).
Fact: It's easily disputed (e.g., Who were their leaders? Did
Manetho actually write it?).
Fact: Its discussion should be encouraged, not ipso facto
declared "not an ANE-2 theme" because of one viewpoint that
interprets it as myth.
Fact: The Hebrew OT is an Ancient Near Eastern text. All of its
content should be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a
reasonable doubt. Wouldn't that have been the smart thing to do with
Isaiah's mention of Sargon before any of Sargon's artifacts were
found? Many famous, reasonable people have believed God created the
Earth & sky per Genesis 1, but has any reasonable person in the
Common Era believed Marduk fashioned the Earth & sky after slaying a
dragon named Tiamat?
Why would Hellenistic Jews from Babylon invent an Egyptian Moses?
Why not invent a Moses who conquers & rules in Egypt instead of
fleeing it in an Exodus (especially if the phonetically similar -
meses -mosis names of real pharaohs were bandied about).
What was this group of people named Israel doing between the time
they became a group of people & the time when Merneptah declared them
to be (finally--after how many years) extinct? Did Merneptah brag
about conquering a mythical people? Was Merneptah's stela carved or
even tampered with by Hellenists?
At the very least, I'd expect a prestigious university professor such
as NPL to have the courtesy of distinguishing between his personal
beliefs & scientific facts.
George Michael Grena, II
Redondo Beach, CA
P.S. If "listening in the opera to the Walküre" is a legitimate
excuse for making a "blunder", then if anything I wrote above is
bogus, I'm going to blame it on Fergie & the Black Eyed Peas.
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