What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Can it be December 21, 2012 already?

So I'm sitting here watching the history channel. They're running another ZOMG Apocalypse programs (you know, one of the "Biblical" ones). And some conservatives will begin to make the argument for reduced NPR/PBS funding with the argument that "educational" programming can be handled by the likes of Discovery and History channels. Yeah (and before you all say, no they won't, understand that the last two times they've cut funding they've used that argument, so I don't expect them to change their tune this time).

This one is running through the "7 Signs/Seals of the Apocalypse." Oh my. One one end they have "biblical experts" talking about what God will do, some of these same "experts" (I'm looking at you Jenkins) extol us to read the Bible literally, but now their willing to talk about how John of Padmose Patmos was really describing (insert modern version of plague, war machine, whatever). Yeah, I know, expecting them to have their logic remain internally consistent is like asking penguins to soar like albatrosses. They might be able to fake it for a while, but then there's a splash at the end (puffins, which are related to penguins, flap all to often).

The you add in the scientists who appear to be talking about things in a very abstract sense (ie. not referring to biblical prophecy). And then you mix it all together... and it basically says nothing, but if you're willing to believe in end time prophecy, could be very scary and shows that science proves the Bible. Including the inference that science is studying some natural phenomena because it may be connected to biblical prophecy.

And then you have Jenkins who just made the comment about having never seen science disprove anything the Bible says. Well, that's easy to postulate when you refuse to acknowledge what science is actually saying (ie. saying that Darwin is wrong, when, in fact, all biology pretty well confirms his main thesis). And there's one guy (missed his name, sorry) who says that "once these things come to pass, students of the Bible will recognize them as the end days coming upon us." Really? Shall I recount the many, many, many times students of the Bible have said, "Look, there's the signs..." only to be proven wrong?

Plus, as a "student of the Bible" we are already in the End Days. Revelations was about the fall of Rome, specifically the Emperor Nero. Nero, the original anti-Christ, is long dead. The "End Times" are behind us. This New Jerusalem is certainly a lot grungier than John said it would be.


Anonymous said...

John of Patmos. Just sayin'.

Anonymous Cassie

Eric said...

And then you have Jenkins who just made the comment about having never seen science disprove anything the Bible says. Well, that's easy to postulate when you refuse to acknowledge what science is actually saying (ie. saying that Darwin is wrong, when, in fact, all biology pretty well confirms his main thesis).

Or when you refuse to acknowledge what the Bible actually says, f'r'instance:

6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.

7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.

...which you can only reconcile by way of a torturous redefinition of the ancient Hebraic word for a piece of beaten metal to mean the more nebulous "expanse" instead of what it plainly seems to mean. (Let me add the caveat that I don't speak ancient Hebrew; but it also seems pretty obvious from the history of translations of the above passages in Genesis and explanations of the meaning of raqia that nobody even tried to say the word meant "expanse" or whatever until it became obvious that the sky was neither a roof nor a series of crystalline embedded spheres as envisioned by Greek philosophers and their intellectual successors well into the 16th or 17th Century, quite a long time not to notice the word was being "mistranslated," seems to me).

For that matter, even if you retranslate "firmament" as expanse, it's still clear the ancient Hebrews thought there were waters stored somewhere behind windows up there, a notion that can only be taken as poetic (in which case you can't very well say it's "literally true") or wrong (if you're going to claim it's literal for whatever numbskull reason).

And Jenkins and his ilk also don't want to accept that science is an interlocking puzzle. The first piece of Darwin's initial hypothesis wasn't the Galapagos finches or any other living creature: it was Lyell's Principles Of Geology, which offered the possibility of ancient (correct), static (incorrect) world; the point being that the world is much older than the few thousand years you can get out of a literalist Biblical interpretation, and that age is verified by measurements of radioactive decay--so now you have geology and physics implicated, not just biology. And you can, of course, keep going outward from there to astronomy (if the laws of physics are misunderstood, quite a lot of astronomy goes out the window) and chemistry (ditto), etc., etc., etc.

But whatever. You can completely submerge a horse in water, but you can't make him drink.

Steve Buchheit said...

Cassie, thanks, about to fix. That's what I get for typing while dead tired.

Steve Buchheit said...

Hey Eric, so true. Lately on religious radio (yeah, sometimes I listen when I'm commuting very late, it keeps me awake) I've been hearing the talkers go through the whole, "Well, but really, this word in ancient Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic, etc is this and that can mean this other thing." Unfortunately, I still think they don't get the whole Bible story, IMHO.

And I still say the fascination with Darwin isn't so much the religious conflict, but what Darwin says about us. That we aren't some special snowflake, we're just another animal. You can here this argument echoed in those who say they accept evolution, and that we're the "pinnacle" of evolution. When, if you understand evolution, you know there is no such thing.

And that's the part most people can't handle, that humans are just a well adapted species. Well adapted to current conditions, that is.