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Nov 05 2013

Farah on the Mythical Days of Noah

Joseph Farah is warning his fellow Christians to “be prepared.” For what? For the coming tribulations, which he thinks they should prepare themselves for rather than sitting around waiting to be raptured. And he’s pointing to the Biblical example of Noah to teach the lesson:

With all that is happening in the world today, I grieve for Christians who are not making any provision for hard times – not preparing themselves spiritually or materially. The most relatively affluent believers in the world are neither spiritually nor physically prepared for what their Savior promised in Matthew 24 would be like “the days of Noah.”

Let me remind you first about what Noah did to prepare – in direct obedience to God.

In Genesis 6, God told him to prepare for the greatest natural disaster in the history of the world by storing food for his family and the animals before entering the ark. God provided all the food and the material to build the ark, but He told Noah to gather the food and actually build the ark.

In Hebrews 11, read: “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.”

Noah was warned by God of things to come, and Yeshua (Jesus) warned us times like that are coming again. He provided something of a detailed forecast in Matthew 24. Among the things he says is to “be ready.” Being ready means being prepared both spiritually and physically for the hardships believers will have to endure – otherwise we would not be warned.

Being prepared is rarely a bad thing, of course, though this is mostly delusion — starting with the absurd idea that there was a Noah who built a big ark and took two of each animal (or seven, depending on how “clean” they were) on it to withstand a global flood and repopulate the earth. The story is so utterly ridiculous and contradicted by the evidence that it is intellectually perverse to believe it.

One look at the Grand Canyon should put all this nonsense to rest. The creationists claim that the GC was formed during or immediately after this global flood, when massive amounts of water burst through a natural dam and carve the canyon out of the soft sediments laid down by that flood. But anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of geology could only find that claim laughable. There is simply no way for all those sediments, comprised of strata that require completely different environments to be deposited, were formed during a flood. Some of those strata are of desert sandstones, which couldn’t possibly exist in the middle of a flood.

When someone makes such a claim, they have, in my mind, killed their credibility entirely.

17 comments

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  1. 1
    Crimson Clupeidae

    Tribulations…again? Haven’t we been through this….oh, I don’t know, about a thousand times in the last few years.

  2. 2
    Modusoperandi

    But anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of geology could only find that claim laughable.”

    Well, there’s your problem right there. You’ve got a rudimentary understanding of geology. Forget what little you know, and start over again with things that are wrong.
    For instance, did you know that “rudimentary” is a kind of rock? It’s true. There are three kinds of rocks: sedentary, deciduous and rudimentary.

  3. 3
    alanb

    In standard Farah style, this article has almost nothing to do with Noah and everything to do with the ad at the end of the article:

    Are you prepared for societal upheaval many believe is inevitable? Take the first step with Gen. Honoré’s book, “Survival: How a Culture of Preparedness Can Save You and Your Family from Disasters”

  4. 4
    lldayo

    Shouldn’t prayer be enough?

  5. 5
    John Pieret

    or seven, depending on how “clean” they were

    That’s seven pairs or 14. And, of course, Dog didn’t get around to telling humans which animals were clean or not until Leviticus, several centuries later. Details, details!

    Believing in Noah, the Flood, YEC in general is sort of like the peacock’s tail, which is a signal to the peahen that, despite the fact that the tail actually is harmful to the peacock’s ability to fly and escape predators, it is so fit as to survive even hobbled in that way. Crazy YEC beliefs are a signal to the rest of your community that you are willing to do things that are useless and even harmful to yourself in order to be part of that community.

  6. 6
    raven

    The xians have been saying the End Times are coming any day now since the religion started 2,000 years ago. Jesus said he was coming back right after he died, according to the (mostly fictional) Gospels.

    It was a very popular idea in the middle ages. Back then, huge disasters happened that people didn’t understand and could do little about. At least, you had evidence in front of you that looked a lot like the End Times.

    The Black Death, Plague, Yersinia pestis, killed maybe half of Europe. In some places the mortality rate was 90-100%. Without the Germ theory of disease, they had no way of understanding it and without modern medicine, no treatment.

    Horrible as that was, jesus never showed up, god did what he always does, nothing, and civilization recovered and moved on. Today we can and do successfully fight epidemics that in previous times might have looked a lot like the Black Death. Some people claim that was the beginning of the end for the power of the xian church. It took a few centuries, but the idea of a powerful benign god that looks out for us turned out to be false.

    The xians have been wrong for 2,000 years. At some point, it stops being funny to watch the Rapturists and assorted End Timers and becomes just…boring.

  7. 7
    Bronze Dog

    I remember some video that showed one other way the whole “flood created the grand canyon” hypothesis is ridiculous: Apparently it requires the rushing water make some hairpin turns.

  8. 8
    Dunc

    One look at the spatial distribution of different species should put it too rest too… How did all those marsupials make it all the way to Australia without leaving any populations on the way? Heck, how did they make it all the way to Australia, period? And let’s not even start on the plants…

  9. 9
    raven

    It isn’t a bad idea to be prepared for natural and human made disasters though.

    1. The west coast is earthquake country and I’ve been through one of the large ones, Loma Prieta which shut down the bay area for days.

    2. The larger disasters have been human made. The last one was Bush’s Catastrophe, the Great Recession. And oddly enough, you could prepare for it sort of. Millions of people saw it coming and sold all their stocks and other risky financial assets sometime before the Dow crashed. The ones who didn’t see it coming were Wall Street, the banks, and the leaders in the federal government.

    3. The most recent almost disaster was the Tea Party attempt to destroy the USA. A US Treasury bond default was a few days away. It turns out the $11 Trillion US Treasuries underly most of the global banking system. It would have caused a global recession at the least and more likely, a global depression.

    I spent a few days trying to figure out how to dodge that bullet. There were things that would help. Getting out of stocks, US Treasury bonds, and the dollar would help a lot. One of my friends has already moved her self made fortune into a Canadian bank account in Canadian dollars. This might even be a time when buying gold makes sense, although this has never appealed to me before.

    You could do things like that. But you can’t do them in a hurry. It would be better to get rid of the problem, the Tea Party.

  10. 10
    Michael Heath

    I suspect the only reason Mr. Farah’s audience of conservative Christians aren’t even more delusional and idiotic then they now demonstrate is that they don’t actually read the science- and history-related tripe Farah and other Christian book publishers market. These consumers do buy and push such books on their acquaintances, but actually read and comprehend? I rarely observe that.

    It’d be interesting if somebody that was credible did some research on this topic to discover readership rates.

  11. 11
    lofgren

    Hell one look at the bible should put all this nonsense to rest. There are sections of the bible that seem intended to serve as histories and other sections that seem intended to serve as fables. Genesis for the most part falls into the latter category. It really requires willful misreading of their own text to conclude that Genesis is a literal history – and it’s a misreading that makes the story less plausible and the authors dumber than they appear.

  12. 12
    freehand

    lofgren: Hell one look at the bible should put all this nonsense to rest. There are sections of the bible that seem intended to serve as histories and other sections that seem intended to serve as fables. Genesis for the most part falls into the latter category. It really requires willful misreading of their own text to conclude that Genesis is a literal history – and it’s a misreading that makes the story less plausible and the authors dumber than they appear.

    Christian fundamentalists will insist that they aren’t “interpreting” the bible in any way, they just read it as it is written. They can’t even say the word “interpret” without a sneer on their lips. Of course, reading fables as straight-forward concrete events – and claiming that they are also true – just makes one look like an idiot.

    I don’t find these folks to be laughable, perhaps partly because of growing up in their midst, but also because I know that when things do really start to collapse, they will be a great danger to society at large and to us individually. Between their determination to serve an imaginary god of morally repugnant authoritarian violence, and their usually well-stocked personal arms, they will take lives and supplies while feeling righteous. There are no scientific explanations for what we tree hugging scientists, atheists, perverts, and foreigners call global warming. We humans are too weak to harm God’s world. Nope, it will be obvious that it is God’s punishment (with his usual bad aim, bad timing, and hopeless ambiguity in messaging) for sin, and it is up to the Righteous to further punish the Sinners.

  13. 13
    busterggi

    “With all that is happening in the world today, I grieve for Christians who are not making any provision for hard times – not preparing themselves spiritually or materially. ”

    Clearly Farah is a man of little faith in the Rature he says his Lord has planned. Those Christians aren’t supposed to be left behind (TM) according to the series of novels and so won’t have to deal with any tribulation.

  14. 14
    Pierce R. Butler

    …By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world…

    Was it the ark, or the house, or the saving (of the house), which condemned the world?

    In any case, clearly we can blame Noah for all the mess that happened next.

  15. 15
    matty1

    Christian fundamentalists will insist that they aren’t “interpreting” the bible in any way, they just read it as it is written.

    I wonder how many of them can read Hebrew or Greek? I suspect the proportion may actually be lower than the general population and almost certainly lower than non-fundamentalist Christians who do admit that they are interpreting.

  16. 16
    Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    @Modusoperandi

    The way I learned it, the 3 kinds of rock were “ignominious”, “sedentary” and “metaphoric”. Have I had it wrong all these years?

  17. 17
    Friendly

    I remember some video that showed one other way the whole “flood created the grand canyon” hypothesis is ridiculous: Apparently it requires the rushing water make some hairpin turns.

    It is also true that if the entire Grand Canyon had been deposited during the Flood of Noah, the sedimentary strata couldn’t possibly have dried out before the walls of the canyon squished outwards and collapsed in a goopy pile like an unbaked layer cake.

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