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Old 04-14-2001, 08:28 AM   #41
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by marduck:
The Sumerians were aroud in 3000 BC, they wrote the original Epic of Gilgamesh, which was no doubt based on the flooding of the Black Sea Valley some 7000 or more years ago, at the end of the ice age the Mediteranian Sea overflowed into the Black Sea Valley, which once was a fresh water lake. </font>
Yes, but "wrote" is probably the wrong word, since it seems clear that the Epic of Gilgamesh propagated as an oral tradition for a long time (maybe 2,000 years or more) before being committed to writing by the Sumerians. For more on Sumerian mythology, read the Sumerian Mythology FAQ.

And, while reading said FAQ, keep in mind that the legendary patriarch, Abraham, was supposed to originally be a citizen of the Sumerian city of Ur (now a holy site in the nation of Iraq; remember, the Muslims trace themselves back to Abraham as well).

The flooding of the Black Sea and its impact on the local populations of humans was explored in the book Noah's Flood by Walter C. Pitman and William Ryan. They are eminent marine geologists, and their case for dating the flooding of the Black Sea at around 7600 BCE is good science and not to be easily refuted. The latter parts of their book, however, represent their own collection of expert opinions on just how that flood related to population migrations in the region (what they present seems solid to me) and the development of myths, particularly the Gilgamesh myth that seems to predate the Biblical account of the flood (here, they are far afield from marine geology, and thus their presentation of the evidence is pretty weak).

But for the past two centuries, no respected geologist has taken the story of a "worldwide flood" in the Bible seriously. The beginnings of scholarship that trace the legend to the rather local flooding of the Black Sea should comprise the final nail in the coffin of Bible literalism, except that one of the tenants of Bible literalism is that you can never accept the word of any scientist who does not confirm the Biblical account. I guess there will always be Bible literalists just like there will always be flat-Earth believers.

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Old 04-14-2001, 08:46 AM   #42
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by turtonm:
Second, civilizations did arise in several areas at once. Archaeologists argue, but there were two independent ones in China alone, not to mention the Middle East, SE Asia, Central America, etc. Are you claiming that all civilizations diffused from one source? Nobody takes that idea seriously. </font>
I would be extremely careful about generalizations of this sort.

For instance, there is at least one reasonable theory that the first civilization in America, in roughly 3100 BCE, was the Olmec people, who (it is theorized) came from Egypt. If that theory can be take seriously (and at least, we do know that the Olmec people appear to comprise the most ancient civilization in America), then it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Indian and Chinese civilization could also have been "seeded" in some way through emigration from some central repository in the Middle East (be it Sumer, Egypt, or a now unknown common ancestor of them both).

So, Michael, I would not be so quick to dismiss the idea of a single source for what we now call "civilization." It is really difficult to distinguish between accidental parallel developments and the fact of some unknown mechanism that provides a common ancestor.

Yes, Michael, it is an unproven and controversial hypothesis, but it has enough support to at least take seriously for what it is: a theory to be tested and either proven or disproven by facts.

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Old 04-14-2001, 09:17 AM   #43
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TrueThinker:
There was a time when civilization was confined to one region. Modern humans didn't pop up on all corners of the Earth at the same time. </font>
Genetic research tends to show that all so-called "modern" humans have a common ancestor from around 250,000 to 500,000 years ago. (These figures were arrived at by studies of mitochondrial DNA for women and men, respectively.) It seems that it was the height of the last glacial advance 20,000 years ago, and that everything we know which merits the word "civilization" has occurred in less than half that amount of time. Nonetheless, there are at least some interesting hints (see my prior post) that the memes which comprise "civilization" could have been transmitted from a common source within the past 7,000 years or so.

The disparity between the dates for a common genetic ancestry and the appearance of some sort of common memetic ancestry (the spread of "civilization") cannot easily be reconciled, however. And it is inconvenient disparities within these facts which give skeptics grounds for disbelief in one or both theoretical assertions.

My point here is that we are still very much in a state of ignorance about the true facts of how humans spread to populate the entire Earth and, apparently quite a bit later, how "civilization" also spread to encompass the entire Earth. However, one thing can be said for certain: there is no substantial scientific support for the theory of a worldwide flood having occurred within the timeframe (the past few million years) during which homo sapiens evolved from earlier animals. The only conceivable timeframe for a worldwide flood would have been several billion years ago, during the early stages of the development of the Earth's ecosphere. Our knowledge of what went on back then is so limited by a lack of remaining evidence that just about any reasonable theory could be advanced without fear of contradiction.

However, it is clear that a worldwide flood billions of years ago cannot be reconciled with the evolution of humanity within the past few million years, nor with the story of said flood in the Bible, which at least implies that the flood occurred within the past few thousand years. No such flood appears in the geological record, and I believe that if such a flood did occur, it would have left substantial evidence of its occurrence.

The bottom line on all of this is that the Bible is a collection of mythical and factual elements interwoven with each other, and at this late date, it is difficult to sort many of the facts from the myths which have surrounded them. But nonetheless, the story of a worldwide flood is clearly mythical. The best view of the evidence is that provided by Ryan and Pittman's book, which is that of a local flood around the Black Sea about 7,600 years ago (about 5,600 BCE). At least, their theory does tend to explain the available evidence of many cultures in disparate locations who appear to have some common cultural elements between them (i.e., flood myths).

But science is the art of never believing that you have a "final answer," and all true scientific thinkers are ready to examine any new evidence which comes along and which appears to comprise a "better" explanation. However, a literal reading of the Bible cannot now ever be taken as providing such a "better" explanation since a literal reading of the Bible has been so thoroughly refuted as to make the assertion of its truth the rough equivalent of asserting the truth of a flat Earth.

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Old 04-14-2001, 02:05 PM   #44
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bill:
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Originally posted by turtonm:
Second, civilizations did arise in several areas at once. Archaeologists argue, but there were two independent ones in China alone, not to mention the Middle East, SE Asia, Central America, etc. Are you claiming that all civilizations diffused from one source? Nobody takes that idea seriously. </font>
I would be extremely careful about generalizations of this sort.

For instance, there is at least one reasonable theory that the first civilization in America, in roughly 3100 BCE, was the Olmec people, who (it is theorized) came from Egypt. If that theory can be take seriously (and at least, we do know that the Olmec people appear to comprise the most ancient civilization in America), then it is not beyond the realm of possibility that Indian and Chinese civilization could also have been "seeded" in some way through emigration from some central repository in the Middle East (be it Sumer, Egypt, or a now unknown common ancestor of them both).

So, Michael, I would not be so quick to dismiss the idea of a single source for what we now call "civilization." It is really difficult to distinguish between accidental parallel developments and the fact of some unknown mechanism that provides a common ancestor.

Yes, Michael, it is an unproven and controversial hypothesis, but it has enough support to at least take seriously for what it is: a theory to be tested and either proven or disproven by facts.

== Bill
Bill, Sitchin is a wacko from way back, of the Von Daniken tribe of nutcases.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homep...rg/mainpyr.htm

is a great site refuting all of Sitchin's erroneous claims.

The Olmecs, Chinese civilizations and others arose independently; which is not to say that there was no communication, one way, and from time to time. Archaeological data has confirmed the independent origin of the two major Chinese civilizations (one in the north and south). They grew up independently of any of the Middle Eastern ones, although they had intercourse and exchange with them. Whether the Chinese had (one-way) contacts with central america is essentially meaningless; they certainly did not "seed" it or start it, though they may have influenced some mesoamerican groups.

Sitchin's ideas are racist bullshit; rising anew each generation to seduce the unwary.

Michael
 
Old 04-14-2001, 08:26 PM   #45
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TrueThinker:
The Bible doesn't mention dinosaurs either. </font>
The Bible DOES talk about dinosaurs... it just doesn't use the WORD "dinosaur":

Job 40:15-18
15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

[This message has been edited by katlynnhow (edited April 14, 2001).]
 
Old 04-14-2001, 09:13 PM   #46
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by katlynnhow:
The Bible DOES talk about dinosaurs... it just doesn't use the WORD "dinosaur":

Job 40:15-18
15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. 16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. 17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. 18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

[This message has been edited by katlynnhow (edited April 14, 2001).]
</font>
The animal being described is not a dinosaur. It is a mythical, primeval hippopotamus-like creature. It serves as the land counterpart to the sea-monster, Leviathan. The mythical nature of the creatures is clearly indicated when the writer says Leviathan blows smoke out his nostrils and fire out his mouth.

rodahi

 
Old 04-14-2001, 09:42 PM   #47
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:
The animal being described is not a dinosaur. It is a mythical, primeval hippopotamus-like creature. It serves as the land counterpart to the sea-monster, Leviathan. The mythical nature of the creatures is clearly indicated when the writer says Leviathan blows smoke out his nostrils and fire out his mouth.

rodahi

</font>
I don't buy into it, rodahi, but most Christians will use this verse when the talk turns to dinosaurs. I can see how it lends itself to that idea. I was just surprised that TrueThinker wasn't aware of it.
 
Old 04-15-2001, 06:27 AM   #48
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by rodahi:
The animal being described is not a dinosaur. It is a mythical, primeval hippopotamus-like creature. It serves as the land counterpart to the sea-monster, Leviathan. The mythical nature of the creatures is clearly indicated when the writer says Leviathan blows smoke out his nostrils and fire out his mouth.
rodahi

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

K: I don't buy into it, rodahi, but most Christians will use this verse when the talk turns to dinosaurs. I can see how it lends itself to that idea. I was just surprised that TrueThinker wasn't aware of it.

Fair enough. I wasn't sure if you were being serious or not, but merely wished to clarify the matter for anyone interested. Anyway, thanks for posting in this forum. You are always welcome.

rodahi
 
Old 04-15-2001, 10:46 AM   #49
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TrueThinker:
Let's examine if the Bible speaks of a global or local flood.</font>
Yes. Let's.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">It sounds like it speaks of a global flood because of phrases like "all the surface of the earth" and the like....</font>
Agreed.

&lt;several verses clearly referencing "the whole world" clipped&gt;

In the imagination of the primitive people who penned this story, the flood was clearly a global one. At least, to the extent they were capable of understanding a "global" concept.

Gen 7:19, 20: "And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the WHOLE heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered."

Are you suggesting that the water somehow "piled up" in the Middle East so that the "mountains were covered" but didn't extend to Europe, Asia or the Americas?

Wonders never cease.

I also wonder which cubit the writer used here, since 15 18-in segments won't cover mountains. Quite possibly, they were ignorant of just how high mountains were (they don't look so high from a distance).

No, TT, the seventh chapter of Genesis makes it abundantly clear that the ancient writers believed the flood covered the entire earth, by the same token that ancient conquerors thought themselves to have conquered the world. All were simply ignorant that they were on only one of many landmasses. They had very limited world-views, and the verses you produced in your own defense demonstrate this quite well, which is quite the opposite of what you intended, I think.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Colossians 1
6 that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth.

Now is Paul speaking of the entire planet or the Roman Empire?</font>
Both. In his primitive ignorance, they were the same thing.

I base my arguments on the generally accepted "fact" in those days that the earth was flat and that "all the earth" consisted of the lands those people were familiar with. If you have no idea the world is huge and round (which they clearly didn't), the Roman Empire and "all the earth" are simultaneous to you. To disprove me and vindicate yourself, please produce some evidence to support your theory that the Hebrews were aware that there was far more to "all the earth" than what they saw.

diana
 
Old 04-15-2001, 04:23 PM   #50
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I'll be back, don't have much time getting ready for summer session (school is on a different schedule here in Thailand. To respond to Cute Little Baby, absolutelty no offense coming. I knew before had that it was not that great, but I want to learn, and so I posted here.
 
 

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