A Shot Across the Bow

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Wednesday 30 September 2015

Where Are the Smart Voters?

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Monday 28 September 2015

7 Things You Must Agree On In Order To "Believe In The Bible"

A lot of people say they believe in the Bible, but not very many people actually do. Are you a true Bible believer, or do you just say you are?

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Here's a simple test, "7 Things You Must Agree On In Order To 'Believe In The Bible.'" No ifs, ands, or buts - you either simply believe these 7 things, or you don't. You don't have to do any work to take this test, all you have to do is answer truthfully what you honestly believe right now.

Either way, it's okay! The truth can't hurt you, but not knowing the truth about yourself probably can. Do you really believe in the Bible, or do you just say you do? You might find out the truth about yourself today. Are you ready to face it?

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But please proceed with caution. If you're not really ready to learn the truth about yourself, or anything else, please don't continue. You can always come back and take this test another time, there's no time limit.

Remember, if you disagree with ANY of these things, you do NOT believe in the Bible, and you should not be saying that you do. You might just believe in only certain parts of the Bible, or something else entirely, and that's okay! Practically everyone on Earth believes in certain parts of the Bible.

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Remember, the truth can't hurt you, but not knowing the truth about yourself probably can. Are you ready to learn the truth about yourself?

Then let's begin...

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1. You must agree that you were born a sinner. Sin is bad, and you were born with that bad sin already inside you because Eve ate an apple from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Now, every human that's born has inherited Adam and Eve's original sin and guilt, which can only be removed from inside you by believing that Jesus is God, and that God loved the world so much that he sent his only son here to die so that those sins could be removed.

2. In order to honestly say you believe in the Bible, you must understand that the Earth is about 6,000 years old. Adam and Eve were the first humans, and you can trace their lineage, umbilical cord to umbilical cord, all the way to Jesus, who was born about 2,050 years ago.

3. In order to be a true Bible believer, you must honestly believe that Noah built an Ark, and it took him 120 years to do it. He was 480 years old when God told him to build it, and 600 years old when the flood came. Two of every animal on the planet went aboard the Ark for a year, and that includes 1,000,000 species of insects. No one really knows how Noah did this, but in order to say you believe in the Bible, you must believe that these events really occurred.

Again, if you don't really believe that you were born a sinner, or that the Earth is 6,000 years old, or that Noah really built the Ark, it's okay! Knowing yourself, and knowing the truth about yourself, the truth about how you really, honestly feel about things, is a good thing! It's okay to only believe in certain parts of the Bible, that's how most people on Earth feel. But you really can't say you "Believe in the Bible" if you don't really believe in ALL of the Bible. If that's the case, you only believe in certain parts of the Bible, and that's just fine!

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Let's continue...

4. In order to honestly say you believe in the Bible, you must think that a virgin once gave birth. A woman, who had never had sex, had a son, and this proves that the child was God.

5. In order to be a true Bible believer, you must accept the fact that Jesus died for your sins, You, personally, YOUR sins, and then he came back to life. Jesus was mercilessly crucified because you were born a sinner, and that was the only way that you could be forgiven for your sins, and be able to go to Heaven when you die. Then Jesus came back to life and ascended to Heaven.

6. In order to honestly say "I believe in the Bible" you have to know who created the universe. God created the universe in six days, about 6,000 years ago.

And finally...

7. If you really believe in the Bible, then you know how the world will end. Jesus will return, and a fierce battle will ensue between Good and Evil. Jesus and the forces of Good will win, and a new, glorious Heaven will replace the old Earth. There will be no more suffering or death. God will come to dwell with humanity in the New Jerusalem, and the curse of sin will end.

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There! That was easy, wasn't it? It's easy to be honest with yourself and express how you truly feel inside. How'd you do? Did you agree with everything or just some of the things? If you agreed with everything, then you can proudly call yourself a Bible Believer, and be truthful about it.

If you disagreed with anything, you truthfully do not believe in the Bible, and that's not a bad thing. Maybe you just believe in certain parts of the Bible, which is perfectly fine! Again, pretty much everyone on Earth only believes in certain parts of the Bible.

Whatever your results are, hopefully, you now know the truth about yourself, and, remember, the truth can't hurt you...ever, but not knowing the truth about yourself probably can.

Hopefully, this little exercise has helped you learn the truth about yourself.

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Thursday 24 September 2015

!

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Dinosaurs in the Bible

Thinking the Earth is 6,000 years old is like thinking the distance between Los Angeles and New York is 20 feet, that's how big the degree of error is.

I can't imagine what the world must look like to people who have conversations with an imaginary man in the sky, or who really believe that a guy named Noah built a big boat and put two of every animal in the world on it, or that a snake actually talked, or that a virgin gave birth, or that one day soon a bunch of people are going to just disappear when Jesus comes back.

How can you blame people who think that way for getting it wrong in so many other areas (abortion, gun control, immigration, voting rights, climate change, education, economics, REALITY)? Some kindly call them "ignorant," but that just means "lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated," and is only a comment on the amount of information contained in one's brain.

I hesitate to call them "stupid," that's a mean word, but it's defined as "lacking intelligence or common sense," which is kind of what's going on.

Probably better to just call them retarded, which is defined as "less advanced in mental, physical, or social development than is usual for one's age" (Oxford Dictionary), and is a comment on their brain development, capacity, and/or evolution.

And if you don't like using "retarded," just call them "Bible Believing Republicans," then ask yourself: "Do I want ignorant, or stupid, or even retarded people making laws for MY children," because that's exactly what's happening.

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Tuesday 1 September 2015

The Donald

I love The Donald. He's a kook, but he's damn entertaining. He's just saying what 30% of Republicans are thinking. The problem is the ignorant electorate who think he'd make a good president. This recent PPP poll shows how out of touch Republican voters are...

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In case you don't know, or don't care, Ted Cruz was born in Calgary (Alberta, Canada), and Barack Obama was born in Honolulu (Hawaii, U.S.).

The hard truth is the most ignorant Americans are the ones who agree with what Trump is saying (sorry if you're reading this and agree with Trump's immigration policy, or think Obama isn't really our president because he wasn't born in the US, or think that John McCain isn't a war hero and is a loser because he got captured...I guess I'm calling you stupid, and I don't blame you for getting mad at me and thinking I'm a pompous ass who thinks he's better than everyone else...kinda like how Trump thinks of HIMself). He's appealing to the dumbest of the dumb, the worst examples of what it is to be an American.

Trump's a fluke, there's never been anything like this before in politics (if you can call it politics), and nothing like this will ever happen again because when this is all over, he will have dragged the Republican party down by exposing just what a bunch of idiots you guys are. My DREAM is that he wins the nomination, or, better yet, forces the gutless Republican party to stand up to him, then exercises his "leverage," as he calls it, and runs as a third party candidate. "Be nice to me or I'll hand the election to Hillary." It's extraordinary how much power he has over the Republican party (at this point, anyway).

What is Trump going to say when he loses, he'll never admit to losing anything. He's a case for the psychologists, an egomaniac, a racist, a sexist... I DO, however, agree with some of his tax and trade policies (charge a tariff on foreign goods coming into the US like we did for 200 years before Reaganomics destroyed our economy, and tax businesses who ship jobs overseas, making them manufacture their products here like we did for 200 years before Reaganomics decimated our workforce).

Bottom line, Conservatives have, more or less, been on the wrong side of history since...forever...and this is just another example of how out of touch with they guys are (especially those of you who believe a guy named Noah really built a big boat and put two of every animal on the planet aboard it).

Sorry. I know I'm being a little harsh, but I'm just calling it like I see it, kinda like The Donald does. But I'm not half as harsh as a guy who tells the world that Obama's not an American, or makes sexist comments about Rosie O'Donnell on national television, or insults war heroes, or says that Mexican immigrants are rapists...the only people who can get away with that are Republicans.

Saturday 18 July 2015

An Open Letter to All Bible Believers in America

Dear Bible Believers,

The Republican party has been using you.

Karl Rove used Bible believers to get George W. Bush elected president in 2004 by putting anti-gay marriage initiatives on the ballot in 11 states, including 4 battleground states, and look what happened, two needless wars (started with deceit about WMDs) and a tanked economy. Trillions of dollars spent that should've gone to Americans, our schools, our families, our infrastructure, our children...

Some Republican policies reflect Christian values (pro-life, anti-marriage equality, anti-immigration), but fighting for those values hasn't gotten you anywhere. Roe v. Wade will never be overturned. Marriage equality is now the law of the land. Relaxed anti-immigration laws are coming soon. What else is there to fight for? I bet you're gonna see them come out now and say "They're trying to destroy religion!! They want to end Christianity!!"...

Republicans led our country to the brink of collapse, and then shut down our government! What have the Democrats done? Made sure your grandmother always had her social security check (that Republicans are trying to take away). Made sure your neighbor, who lost his job, received his unemployment insurance benefits (that Republicans are trying to take away). Made sure you, your wife, and your children all have access to affordable health care (that Republicans are trying to take away).

You can call yourself a Conservative, a Liberal, or a Moderate, but when it comes time to vote, you have to pick a side. I just pray you pick the side that's going to get you into Heaven.

Friday 17 July 2015

C'mon, Man

When I told a friend of mine, who's Christian, that Jesus would've been a Democrat, he said: "Jesus wouldn't be Democrat or Republican...or Libertarian. He has been and always will be an Independent." There was a smile emoticon after that statement. I told him...

Everyone knows Independents caucus with the Democrats. And you know as well as I do that Jesus is a Liberal Democrat (Remember what Lawrence O'Donnell pointed out: Liberals got women the right to vote, and African-Americans the right to vote, created Social Security, ended segregation, passed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, created Medicare, passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, legalized marriage equality. What did Conservatives do? They opposed every one of those things).

How can anyone who earns less than $100,000,000/yr be on the side of the Conservatives? They bust unions, raise taxes on the poor, lower taxes for the wealthy, ship jobs overseas, keep people from getting free healthcare... I hesitate to throw the word "evil" around, but just look at their policies. I don't know what else to call it, other than "bad for America." Just look what 30 years of Reaganomics did to our economy...tanked it. Look what Citizens United has done to our political system...turned it into an oligarchy. Look what plunging us into two needless wars has done...caused hundreds of thousands of deaths and nearly bankrupted our country. And Republicans want to go back to doing more of that now!!

Seriously. What's the attraction? Is it all about trying to overturn Roe v. Wade? Is the result you're getting really worth trying to please your imaginary deity? C'mon, man. We can do better than this.

TERRIBLE Decision-Making

This is just my opinion, but I believe that people who believe in the Bible are delusional, if not flat out insane, especially the ones who talk to imaginary beings that give them instructions, or believe in talking snakes, or virgin births, or boats with two of every animal on Earth aboard, or that the son of God is going to come back one day soon and all his believers will just disappear. That's nothing short of sheer lunacy! Mental illness? I'm not sure. Yeah, it's probably some sort of mental illness. At the very least it's terrible decision-making. And to indoctrinate a child into a cult of human sacrifice...that's child abuse, plain and simple. No doubt about that at all.

How Could Anyone be Both Christian & Republican?

How could anyone be both Christian and Republican? Jesus sure as Hell wouldn't have been a Republican, because he said feed the poor, heal the sick, and love your neighbor, remember? In case you're not paying attention, Republican policies fight viciously against feeding the poor ("those lazy bastards"), healing the sick ("screw Medicaid"), and loving our neighbors ("send all those disease-ridden criminals back").

If you haven't figured it out by now, Jesus was obviously a Socialist. And whether you're evolved enough to admit it or not, so are you (if you've ever used roads, or schools, or are okay with someone you love getting a Social Security check).

See? You're a Socialist, too. Just like Jesus. So don't feel so bad. It's actually a good thing. Maybe you'll realize it one day. I don't know, maybe you won't.

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Tuesday 14 July 2015

From Sam Harris, in the debate vs. William Lane Craig "Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or Supernatural?"

‎Ask yourselves, what is wrong with spending eternity in Hell? I’m told it’s rather hot there, for one. You are not offering an alternative view of morality. The whole point of Christianity, or so it is imagined, is to safeguard the eternal well-being of human souls. Now, happily, there’s absolutely no evidence that the Christian Hell exists. I think we should look at the consequences of believing in this framework, this theistic framework, in this world, and what these moral underpinnings actually would be.

Nine-million children die every year before they reach the age of five. Picture an Asian tsunami of the sort we saw in 2004, that killed a quarter of a million people. One of those, every ten days, killing children only under five. That's 24,000 children a day, a thousand an hour, 17 or so a minute. That means before I can get to the end of this sentence, some few children, very likely, will have died in terror and agony. Think of the parents of these children. Think of the fact that most of these men and women believe in God, and are praying at this moment for their children to be spared. And their prayers will not be answered. But according to you, this is all part of God’s plan. Any God who would allow children by the millions to suffer and die in this way, and their parents to grieve in this way, either can do nothing to help them, or doesn’t care to. He is therefore either impotent or evil.

And worse than that, in your view, many of these people will be going to Hell because they’re praying to the wrong God. Just think about that. Through no fault of their own, they were born into the wrong culture, where they got the wrong theology, and they missed the revelation. There are 1.2-billion people in India at this moment. Most of them are Hindus, most of them therefore are polytheists. In your universe, no matter how good these people are, they are doomed. If you are praying to the Monkey God Hanuman, you are doomed. You’ll be tortured in Hell for eternity. Now, is there the slightest evidence for this? No. It just says so in Mark 9, and Matthew 13, and Revelation 14. Perhaps you’ll remember from The Lord of the Rings, it says when the elves die, they go to Valanor, but they can be reborn in Middle Earth. I say that just as a point of comparison.

So God created the cultural isolation of the Hindus. He engineered the circumstances of their deaths in ignorance of revelation, and then he created the penalty for this ignorance, which is an eternity of conscious torment in fire. On the other hand, on your account, your run-of-the-mill serial killer in America, who spent his life raping and torturing children, need only come to God, come to Jesus, on Death Row, and after a final meal, he’s going to spend an eternity in Heaven after death. One thing should be crystal clear to you: This vision of life has absolutely nothing to do with moral accountability.

And please notice the double-standard that people like you use to exonerate God from all this evil. We’re told that God is loving, and kind, and just, and intrinsically good; but when someone like myself points out the rather obvious and compelling evidence that God is cruel and unjust, because he visits suffering on innocent people, of a scope and scale that would embarrass the most ambitious psychopath, we’re told that God is mysterious. “Who can understand God’s will?” This “merely human” understanding of God’s will, is precisely what believers use to establish his goodness in the first place. Something good happens to a Christian, he feels some bliss while praying, or he sees some positive change in his life, and we’re told that God is good. But when children by the tens of thousands are torn from their parents’ arms and drowned, we’re told that God is mysterious. This is how you play tennis without the net.

And I want to suggest to you, that it is not only tiresome when otherwise-intelligent people speak this way, it is morally reprehensible. This kind of faith is really the perfection of narcissism. “God loves me, dontcha know. He cured me of my eczema. He makes me feel so good while singing in church, and just when we had given up hope, we found a banker who was willing to reduce my mother’s mortgage.”

Given all that this God of yours does not accomplish in the lives of others, given the misery that’s being imposed on some helpless child at this instant, this kind of faith is obscene. To think in this way is to fail to reason honestly, or to care sufficiently about the suffering of other human beings. And if God is good and loving and just and kind, and he wanted to guide us morally with a book, why give us a book that supports slavery? Why give us a book that admonishes us to kill people for imaginary crimes, like witchcraft. Now, of course, there is a way of not taking these questions to heart. According to your Divine Command theory, God is not bound by moral duties; God doesn’t have to be good. Whatever he commands is good, so when he commands the Israelites to slaughter the Amalekites, that behavior becomes intrinsically good because he commanded it.

This moral attitude is completely delusional. There’s no reason to believe that we live in a universe ruled by an invisible monster Yahweh. And this is a total detachment from the well-being of human beings. This so easily rationalizes the slaughter of children. Just think about the Muslims at this moment who are blowing themselves up, convinced that they are agents of God’s will. There is absolutely nothing that you can say against their behavior in moral terms, apart from your own faith-based claim that they’re praying to the wrong God. If they had the right God, what they were doing would be good, on Divine Command theory.

This to me is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own. If you wake up tomorrow morning thinking that saying a few Latin words over your pancakes is gonna turn them into the body of Elvis Presley, you have lost your mind. But if you think more or less the same thing about a cracker and the body of Jesus, you’re just a Catholic.

And I’m not the first person to notice that it’s a very strange sort of loving God who would make salvation depend on believing in him on bad evidence. If you lived 2,000 years ago, there was evidence galore, he was just performing miracles. And so now, we all inherit this very heavy burden of the doctrine’s implausibility. And the effort to square it with what we now know about the cosmos and what we know about the all-too-human origins of Scripture becomes more and more difficult. And it’s not just the generic God that you're recommending; it is God the Father, and Jesus the Son.

Well, I hate to break it to you, but Christianity is a cult of human sacrifice. Christianity is not a religion that repudiates human sacrifice. It is a religion that celebrates a single human sacrifice as though it were effective. “God so loved the world that he gave his only son.” John 3:16. The idea is that Jesus suffered the crucifixion so that none need suffer Hell...except those billions in India, and billions like them throughout history. This doctrine is astride a contemptible history of scientific ignorance and religious barbarism. We come from people who used to bury children under the foundations of new buildings as offerings to their imaginary gods. There, in vast numbers of societies, people would bury children in postholes, people like ourselves, thinking that this would prevent an invisible being from knocking down their buildings. These are the sorts of people who wrote the Bible. If there is a less moral framework than the one you are proposing, I haven’t heard of it.

- Sam Harris, in the debate vs. William Lane Craig "Is the Foundation of Morality Natural or Supernatural?"

No Hate Here

It's not hate coming out of me. It might feel that way to you, or it might feel like you're under attack, but it's not hate coming out of me. It's truth. I'm sorry if the truth smacks of hate to you. No hate. Not hateful at all. Just truthful. I'm sure you can't understand. You're brain won't allow you to. It's all very fascinating to me. To say you're delusional is not hate-speak. It's the truth. God watches over you, right? Do you have a guardian angel? Does God talk to you? Do you hear him in your mind? Do you talk to him? I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you, but that's the definition of delusion. No hate here. Just facts, honesty, reality, and truth. If it hurts you it isn't because I'm hating and putting my hate into you, if it feels like hate and is painful to you it's because...the...truth...hurts.

Thanks for your understanding and your love. But will you really feel sorry for me when I'm burning in agony for all eternity, crying in pain and torture as I bake in Hell? Because, in your mind, unless I have a pretty dramatic turnaround, that's where I'm going. Right? ALL non-believers will go to Hell, right, even the billion Hindus who never got the chance to be saved. And you call THAT "love?"

You're stubborn, and ignorant, and crazy. I can say that because it's true. You could say that about me, that I'm stubborn and ignorant and crazy, but I'd just disagree with you, and ask to see your proof. I've got my proof. It's every time you pray for something you want. It's every conversation you have with an imaginary being who gives you instructions. It's your belief in things like virgin births, or boats with two of every animal in the world aboard, or resurrections, or miracles, or angels, or raptures when the son of God comes back to Earth and all his believers just disappear...

It's actually very disappointing to me that people still believe in that ridiculous stuff.

"Delusion" and "Insane"

"Christianity: The belief that a cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree." - Richard Carrier from "Are Christians Delusional?"

"Isn't it better to embrace reality, bleak as it sometimes may be, than to avoid it and live a lie?" - Richard Dawkins from "The Genius of Charles Darwin"

Virgin births, miracles, death and resurrection, all happened centuries before Jesus. Read up on Horus (2,500 BC), Buddha (6th century BC), Krishna (4th century BC), Mithra (1st century BC), all virgin births. Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, miracles, miracles, miracles, miracles. Study Ancient Egyptian and Greek religion. Osiris (25th Century BC) was killed by his brother and resurrected by Isis. "Asclepius (8th century BC) was killed by Zeus only to be resurrected and transformed into a major deity. Achilles, after being killed, was snatched from his funeral pyre by his divine mother Thetis and resurrected, brought to an immortal existence."-Wikipedia

delusion |diˈloō zh ən| noun an idiosyncratic belief or impression that is firmly maintained despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality or rational argument, typically a symptom of mental disorder : the delusion of being watched.

insane |inˈsān| adjective in a state of mind that prevents normal perception, behavior, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill • (of an action or quality) characterized or caused by madness: • in a state of extreme annoyance or distraction: • (of an action or policy) extremely foolish; irrational or illogical: ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from Latin insanus, from in- ‘not’ + sanus ‘healthy.’

Trump, Racism, Ignorance, Child Abuse, and the Culture War

You can't blame Donald Trump for saying things that 30% of Republicans agree with. He's not the problem, he's just voicing what's already out there. The problem is the parents of those 30% of Republicans who didn't teach their children anything. They're just ignorant and didn't know any better. Still, flooding a child's mind with racism and ignorance is child abuse, whether the parent is aware of it or not.

The problem is the ignorant culture that encourages Trump (probably not the brightest students in their class, probably living in the southern half of the USA, probably Bible believers). You can't have a yin without a yang. You can't have a good without a bad. And you can't have someone trying to make things better without someone trying to fuck everything up. That's the Culture War in a nutshell. On the one side you have Bernie Sanders, and on the other side you have Donald Trump. Every war has to have a winner and a loser, right? Who's gonna to win this war?

Thursday 9 July 2015

Probably Not

I think we should let people who believe in Noah's Ark and talking snakes make our laws for us. It doesn't really matter anyway, because Jesus is coming back soon and the world is going to end, so...you better start going to church...or you're gonna miss out on the Rapture...and end up burning in agony with all the Hindus in Hell...so...you better start believing in the Lord...or you're gonna be suffering forever...in Hell...in fire...without any ointment to make your burns feel better...or any water to drink. I wonder if there are bathrooms in Hell. Probably not.

Monday 11 May 2015

Fox News Proves Evolution

The human body doesn't need to evolve any further in order to increase the probability of survival. We've overcome our physical limitations through science and medicine, and are now keeping people alive who wouldn't have survived 1,000 years ago, or 100 years ago, or even 10 years ago.

The evolution of the human brain is an entirely different phenomenon. That evolution, mental rather than physical, is obviously still going on, and our brains will continue to evolve, forever, long after, just like the Neanderthals, all the Fox News viewers, whatever species they are, have all died out. Human_Neanderthal_Skull_Chart_for_blog.jpg

Wednesday 8 April 2015

One Rung Down

Christianity is a cult of human sacrifice.

Good luck trying to reason with people who believe in talking snakes, virgin births, and boats carrying two of every animal on the planet. I've given up on attempting to enlighten people who can't wait for the world to end, and who get their morals from either the promise of reward after death, or the fear of being punished forever, rather than understanding what is simply the right thing to do.

Now I know why Bible believers reject Darwinism so adamantly, because he was suggesting that human brains have evolved beyond the need for religion, and they're one rung down on a ladder that will continue upward no matter what. They've missed the boat, but will always insist they're better off on an island that is slowly sinking, and will surely, one day, completely disappear off the map.

Monday 23 March 2015

Noah's Ark - Truth or Fact?

There are a lot of people who still don't believe that the "Noah's Ark" story from The Bible is an historic event that actually really happened.  Even though I'm in the minority, I prefer saying "an" historic event as opposed to "a" historic event. The below chart demonstrates how usage of those two phrases has changed over the last 200 years, or so...

In case you're just now hearing about Noah's Ark for the first time, it was a big boat that protected a 600 year old guy named Noah, and his family, and two of every animal on the planet, from a "great" flood sent by God that covered the Earth about 4,000 years ago.

My dad first told me the story of Noah and the Ark when I was about...three, I think...I can't really remember that far back.  I know I was really young because I didn't really question anything back then, my brain was so small and just starting to think about things.  My dad said that God was mad at man because they weren't living the way God wanted them to, so he decided to kill everyone and start over.  But God liked Noah, so he didn't want to kill him, so God taught Noah how to build an Ark, which is basically just a big boat, so that Noah and the animals could float around and not drown until the water either...drained off somewhere, I guess...or evaporated.  

It all kinda made some sort of perverse sense to me, but years later I started thinking a little more about it, and a bunch of questions started coming into my mind.  When I was seven or eight, I asked my dad where he thought all that water went, and he said he didn't know.  I said: "I know you don't know, but where do you THINK it went?"  He said: "I don't."

The Ark boarding, circa 2,385 BC

According to the facts, the Ark was big enough so that two of every animal in the world could make the trip.  That didn't really mean much to me at three, but as I got older it became harder and harder for me to wrap my head around.  I can remember when I was about nine I thought: "Wait a minute.  There are nearly 1,000,000 species of insects on Earth.  It would take FOREVER to have someone go out and try to gather up all those insects."  And I wasn't even taking into account all the other animals!  I have trouble gathering up one frantic chicken.  Two would be a nightmare.  What about elephants?  How are you going to convince two of them to follow you back to the boat?  It defies all reason, but, somehow, Noah did it.

Although my folks kept telling me not to think about it too much, I couldn't help but be curious.  I wondered, for example, who Noah sent to Brazil to get the two yellow-banded poison dart frogs that must've made the trip, and what precautions they took against the frogs's defenses, because those frogs must've been pretty spooked when some guy wearing a robe and sandals snuck up and tried to grab them. 

Dendrobates leucomelas

I wondered how many helpers Noah had, because no way he could've done this all by himself.  And how long did it take?  I remember thinking: "Damn, it must've taken centuries to capture, transport, feed, and clean up after all those friggin' animals."  And what about the animals that ate insects...or other animals!?  I guess they had to get more than two of every species...and somehow separate the ones that were meant to be eaten from the ones that were supposed to have babies.   

But the older I got, the more questions I had, and still have, even up until now. There's still a lot that I'm trying to understand.  For example...

God wanted two of every animal so they could reproduce, right?  That meant one male and one female, right?  Well, what if they didn't like each other?  How were you going to get them to have babies if they didn't even like each other?  What was Noah going to do to get them in the mood?  Would he just...put them in a room alone together, and then just walk out and close the door and hope they'd do it?  Maybe dim the lights a little so it would be more romantic in there?  Maybe Noah would put a...spoon...in front of...like, maybe he'd block the candle flame with a spoon to make it a little darker in there.  Or maybe Noah would somehow encourage cuddling, hoping that one thing would lead to another.  He might have told a...penguin...that she maybe wouldn't be so cold if she snuggled up against that other penguin in the room.  Nah, she probably heard that one before.

Or maybe there were some musical instruments on board, and Noah and some of his family members would play...romantic music, or something, to try to get the animals in the mood.  It kind of makes me uncomfortable to even think about that.  I could see Noah playing a...recorder or a...panpipe...playing slow music, kinda looking around uncomfortably at his...daughter, or cousin...who's playing like a...harp or a...zither, or something...and they're playing this slow romantic mood music looking around uncomfortably at each other while two ostriches are getting it on in the room.  

It might be windy outside, so the Ark's rocking back and forth a lot...and it makes the spoon...fall off of the candleholder and it gets really bright in there all of the sudden because the spoon's not blocking the candlelight anymore, so the ostriches stop what they're doing and look over at Noah, and they're really confused to see him playing music, and Noah stops playing and looks up surprised to see two confused ostriches staring at him, so he gets all embarrassed, because now the moods all screwed up so he just throws his panpipe on the floor and stomps out of there.

And how did they know for sure that they had one male and one female?  It's hard enough to tell whether or not any random cat is male or female, you have to look between their back legs to be sure.  But what if an animal didn't have back legs?  Like a snake.  I have no idea how to tell a male snake from a female snake, but Noah's animal gatherers apparently knew exactly what to look for.  I wonder if Noah's helpers had to go through some sort of training before being allowed to go out and start gathering animals?  Were they awarded some sort of certificate upon completion of a class of some kind?  This was a pretty important thing they were doing, assuring the survival of all the varieties of animals on Earth.  Like turtles.  That's a serious responsibility.  What if somebody messed up and got two males or two females of the same kind?  A species could've became extinct as a result of some lame animal gatherer's incompetence.  I hope that didn't happen. 

FUN FACT: Did you know that Noah had a son named Shem?  Probably a name he picked up when he was in Tennessee collecting two white-tailed deer (whose descendants can now be found anywhere from Canada to as far south as Peru, or even Bolivia, which makes them one of the most widely distributed wild ungulates).

Odocoileus virginianus

I wonder about the quality of the veterinary care available at the time.  What would've happened if an animal got sick or injured during the walk back to the Ark?  Would everyone have to wait around until that animal was treated and deemed healthy enough to travel?  What if an animal died along the way?  I guess somebody would've had to go back and get a replacement animal.  How did they determine who would go back to get the replacement, and would the others continue on or wait for the search party to get back to make sure that nobody got lost?  How were those search parties formed?  Did they draw straws to see who'd have to go back to get the replacement animal, or did some people just volunteer to go?  Maybe Noah made those decisions.  Maybe word got back to Noah somehow, like by a carrier pigeon or...smoke signals, or something, that an animal had passed away in Zimbabwe and someone needed to go back and get another one.  I don't know how that worked.

To tell you the truth, there wasn't much about the story of Noah and the Ark that made any sense to me.  Not much at all.  Actually, none of it made any sense.  It just seemed like too much of a logistical nightmare.  

And then it hit me!  I realized that God could've probably just snapped his fingers and - "POOF" - all the animals would've appeared on the Ark.  

But that same part of my brain that wasn't sure about how you'd get at least 2,000,000 insects on a boat didn't quite understand about the finger snapping thing either, but I just let it go.  I figured this was one of those times when, as my mom would say, I was "thinking too much."

I finally came to the conclusion that God shouldn't have even bothered with the Ark in the first place.  If he created everything, why couldn't he just get rid of the stuff he already made and make something new?  Maybe he was second-guessing himself because he had already created something so unacceptable that he wanted to drown everyone, so maybe he didn't trust himself to try it again.  Too bad there weren't any technical advancements around back then, like cameras, or... computers, because then we'd have God on video, or in an email, explaining his thought processes in a little more detail.  I don't know.  I gave up trying to figure out God years ago. 

What I DO know is, in spite of all the questions my brain keeps coming up with, I know that Noah got all those animals on the Ark somehow, and that's why we have animals with us here on Earth today.

The Ark unboarding, circa 2,384 BC

I know I didn't mention anything about dinosaurs, but neither did The Bible, so they must not have ever existed.  People talk about fossils, and how they're proof that the dinosaurs did exist, but I think fossils are overrated.

I have to go.

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