# Creationist math and accounting

It took me a moment to figure out what the heck Answers in Genesis was banging on about. In this bizarre article, AiG says the Galileo wondered why pumps could only move water upwards about 32 feet in 1630, meanders through random technological innovations, and ends up with Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone, and then they do some higher math and figure out that 1875 – 1630 = 245 years.

Are you as baffled as I am yet?

Then they say that in their imaginary Biblical chronology, there was 1600 years between Adam and Eve and the Flood. 1600 > 245, therefore the Ark is plausible.

Riiiiiight.

Well, gosh, I think 1600 is a lot bigger than 245. If 245 years was enough to inevitably lead from mining pumps to electromagnetism and world-wide communications, then I think 1600 years was enough to go from fruit-picking to starships, therefore we ought to look for the wreckage of Noah’s Ark on the largest mountain of any habitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centauri. That makes about as much sense to me.

Hey, also, if I found a quarter on the sidewalk this afternoon, two years is more than enough time for a dynamic, brilliant organization like AiG to raise \$25 million to build their fake boat. So how come their fundraising is stalled out at \$5 million, and they’ve had to delay and delay and delay their groundbreaking?

(Also on Sb)

1. evilDoug says

If you take the 5 from the 245, double it, and add it to 32, you get 42.
If you take the 24, left over from removing the five, and reverse the two digits, you get … 42
And as we all know, 42 is the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.

2. evilDoug says

Oh, oh, oh! If you take the 25 (from \$25 million), reverse the digits, and subtract two times 5 (from the \$5 million) you get 42.

3. christophergwyn says

“If 245 years was enough to inevitably lead from mining pumps to electromagnetism and world-wide communications, then I think 1600 years was enough to go from fruit-picking to starships, therefore we ought to look for the wreckage of Noah’s Ark on the largest mountain of any habitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centauri. That makes about as much sense to me.”

I would not be the least bit surprised to hear a Creationist seriously propose this.

4. says

Amazing. Using one impossible, un-evidenced part of the story (people lived for centuries and had perfect brains and health) to try to make another part (eight people threw together a giant wooden boat that fit two of every animal, with food, etc. and was seaworthy in a raging, worldwide flood) seem plausible.
Turtles all the way down.
They never believe the science when it disproves crap like flood geology, yet somehow the rapid advance of science makes the ark plausible–it’s mind boggling. They’re trying to use the fact that science works to prove that science doesn’t work.
Sirens should be going off in their heads. And not the good kind.
Killed By Fish

5. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

“Taking Three as the subject to reason about–
A convenient number to state–
We add Seven, and Ten, and then multiply out
By One Thousand diminished by Eight.

“The result we proceed to divide, as you see,
By Nine Hundred and Ninety and Two:
Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be
Exactly and perfectly true.

-Lewis Carroll The Hunting of the Snark, Fit the Fifth

6. says

And did you know that Tubal Cain invented ironmaking? Just this one guy, shortly after the expulsion from Eden. So why couldn’t someone else at that time have invented, say, the electric dishwasher?

But then I’d also like to know, from where did the pitch come for the ark? Supposedly, fossil fuels were deposited in the flood, so how’d Noah get his bitumen?

Quite the weird little timeline, by the way. A barometer leads to electricity, which gives us the telephone. No mention of Newton, because what does any good believer need of physics, or any science for that matter? Oh, it might be nice, if it isn’t taboo, but they don’t need it–engineering is always enough for most of them.

Glen Davidson

7. says

Kind of related; i never understood why an ark was necesary in this story. The god flooding everything can create animals and has already demonstrated this ability at this point in the narrative. Why not just make some more after genociding the whole of humanity?
Actually, even if an ark is necesary for some reason, an explanation of technological development isnt. Writing a god into the story makes any human involvement a bit redundant.

8. Randomfactor says

therefore we ought to look for the wreckage of Noah’s Ark on the largest mountain of any habitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centauri.

You guyz are looking at it backwards again. The Flood was on a habitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centauri. Noah flew the spaceship HERE. That PROVES the Bible is true, and also explains why you can’t find evidence of the flood, but instead find all those buried fossils. We weren’t meant to stay in the Garden–which is now multiple lightyears away to keep it safe.

Sheesh, do I have to spell EVERYTHING out?

9. says

Right.

Take the 245.

2 + 4 = 6

4 + 5 = 9

Put them together and what number am I thinking of?

THEREFORE: BILL AND TED BUILT NOAH’S ARK

Nonsense? AIG started it…

10. Francisco Bacopa says

But then I’d also like to know, from where did the pitch come for the ark? Supposedly, fossil fuels were deposited in the flood, so how’d Noah get his bitumen?

I am totally bringing this up next I talk to a YEC.

11. highdudgeonaz says

“We ought to look for the wreckage of Noah’s Ark on the largest mountain of any habitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centauri. That makes about as much sense to me.”

Well, habitable to the best of our ability to determine. We’d have to send Ken Ham and his Krazy Krew of Kreayshunists to verify all this, of course. After all, “How do you know? Were you THERE?”

12. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

@christophergwyn #3: Heck, NASA already found the Shroud of Turin on Mars, so why not the Ark orbiting Alpha Centauri?

13. says

therefore we ought to look for the wreckage of Noah’s Ark on the largest mountain of any habitable planet in orbit around Alpha Centauri.

I just found some golden plates that say the Garden of Eden is in that system. And the green bug-eyed aliens there are the lost tribe of Israel.
We’ll have the scientists get to work on some spaceships.

14. Naked Bunny with a Whip says

@Randomfactor #8: So I’m guessing Cylons caused the flood.

15. grytpype says

To be fair, they didn’t claim that 245 years ==> therefore flood, they claimed that in 245 years we did a lot of stuff, therefore pre-flood people must have been very advanced since they lived 1,000 years and therefore could have invented all manner of things.

It’s still retarded, but one must mock the right moronic statements.

16. baruchtzairy says

In case anyone from the AiG is reading this – you have got to get better at making up nonsense, even bullshit has standards and this is definitely sub par, you’re not even trying now.

Bater

17. says

Aww fuck. My comment is waiting for approval. What do you think my chances are? I questioned their idea that humans lived to be 70 between the years 1630 to 1875. Even a school child knows that’s not right.

18. Serendipitydawg (Physicists are such a pain sometimes) says

I’m still waiting for one of them to build a big boat that is really a boat rather than a wooden theme park mounted on barges or permanently moored on terra firma.

Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath.

19. shouldbeworking says

I questioned them about the misleading banner image. Only 8 people were on the ark, but the image has many more than that building the thing. I guess the slaves were SOL, as usual.

20. says

It took about 3 million years to go from the invention of stone tools to laser cutting. Does that prove the resurrection or something?

21. says

So a mere 245 years gave us all the modern technology we have today. How come in 1600 years the best Noah could come up with was a ship of gopher wood with no engine to drive it? Surely he could have built it out of steel and powered it with an advanced diesel engine. Then again the iron ore deposits and the coal needed to refine them hadn’t been laid down yet. It took the flood to do that.

Scratch that I think I just gave the creationist weasel the way out. Old Noah the stone age farmer and marine engineer and zoo operator was clearly smart enough to build a steel vessel but had to go with the materials God provided. No wonder there is no Gopher wood around today. Not even on Mt. Ararat.

22. Azkyroth says

Knowledge equals power. Power equals camel. Camel equals five celery sticks. Five. Quid pro quo.

23. Azkyroth says

I questioned their idea that humans lived to be 70 between the years 1630 to 1875. Even a school child knows that’s not right.

The ones who didn’t die as children or in childbirth had a pretty decent shot at it.

24. sqlrob says

I questioned their idea that humans lived to be 70 between the years 1630 to 1875. Even a school child knows that’s not right.

You might want a better school. It may not be right (double checking myself), but I don’t think it’s horribly off.

Life expectancy certainly wasn’t 70 years, but if you made it out of the woods, you’d still have a decently long life. All the early deaths brought the average down.

25. says

I’m still waiting for one of them to build a big boat that is really a boat rather than a wooden theme park mounted on barges or permanently moored on terra firma.

Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath.

If they build such a boat and you get on it, you’d better start.

26. bananaslug says

10. Francisco Bacopa says:
But then I’d also like to know, from where did the pitch come for the ark? Supposedly, fossil fuels were deposited in the flood, so how’d Noah get his bitumen?
I am totally bringing this up next I talk to a YEC.

From what I’ve heard it rationalized as, it was not a petroleum based pitch, but a plant based one, like a tree sap.

27. raven says

I questioned their idea that humans lived to be 70 between the years 1630 to 1875. Even a school child knows that’s not right.

No it isn’t even close.

The average life span in the USA a century ago, was 47.

Thanks to modern medicine, we’ve gained an extra 30 years on average.

28. raven says

Around 1900, a baby born in the United States could expect to live barely 47 years — baby boys to age 46 and baby girls to age 48.

By 1960, boy and girl babies could expect to live at least 20 additional years — males to age 67, females to age 73. By 1998, a newborn boy could expect to live to age 74, a newborn girl to age 79 (see Table 1).

29. mikeym says

But then I’d also like to know, from where did the pitch come for the ark?

Silly. There were too busy caring for the animals to have time to play cricket.

30. says

<shooting fish in a barrel>
It’s one of those arguments that’s wrong on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin.

The argument is about as sound as saying that imagine how complex and ordered a universe a powerful designer such as God could make, and since the universe is complex and ordered then that points to God as a designer. Just imagine, after all, what such a powerful deity could do that God making the universe is a real possibility. After all, look what mere mortals have done in the last 100 years. Built a telecommunications superhighway, put a man on the moon, split the atom, increased crop production. And that’s mere mortals, so just imagine what an infinite deity could do!

Then there’s the cultural aspect, that Bell could have invented the phone is nothing to do with the progression of time but the progression of ideas. There’s no way that 100,000 years ago they could have gone from the technology they had to anything in particular even if every one of our ancestors had the brains of Einstein. There were plenty of smart people around in the dark ages, but the fall of the Roman civilisation combined with the lack of copying down ideas meant a decline in the scientific knowledge of the age. Lots of smart people were left in a position of being limited by the culture around them – not propped up on the shoulders of giants that Bell and Galileo were.

And how is it they know anything about how intelligent or what problems Noah and the civilisation around them was? Have they found any historical artefacts? Have they found one of the drowned villages and seen the collective writings that shows everyone back then were bronze-aged Einsteins? That central aspect to their argument doesn’t have a single point of reference, not even the bible.

Then again, how do they know that Noah existed? The question of “were you there?” might be appropriate to ask here. The one authoritative doctrine here, the bible, doesn’t give the epistemological foundation by Ken Ham’s own standard of argumentation. Who was there when it was claimed God wrote the bible? Was anyone who works at Answers In Genesis there to attest to the divine origins of the bible? If not, they either have to discard Ken Ham’s apologetic blather or admit there are other ways of knowing.
</shooting fish in a barrel>

31. VegeBrain says

Weren’t there a lot of religious people around before the flood? If so then we have the perfect explanation as to why the building the ark is impossible: all the religious people were so regressive that no technological advances could be made. 20 billion years isn’t enough to make an ark if religious windbags are running things.

32. Azkyroth says

Around 1900, a baby born in the United States could expect to live barely 47 years — baby boys to age 46 and baby girls to age 48.

By 1960, boy and girl babies could expect to live at least 20 additional years — males to age 67, females to age 73. By 1998, a newborn boy could expect to live to age 74, a newborn girl to age 79 (see Table 1).

But those are babies. Once someone already hit 15 or so, how long could they expect to live?

33. says

The average lifespan for a scientist or inventor, however, probably *was* about 70.

Two reasons:
1. You didn’t get to be a scientist or inventor if you’d died in childhood.
2. You 99.9% certainly didn’t get to be a scientist or inventor if you were the kind of person who was likely to die in childbirth.

Lifespan distribution: not a bell curve.

34. says

VegeBrain @ 31:

Weren’t there a lot of religious people around before the flood?

A YEC would probably say no. They see things more in terms of submission-to/rejection-of God than in terms of religious/not-religous. And the whole reason for the Flood was that everyone except a single family was so darn sinful.

Which raises another question… did Noah really develop an ark design based on the pre-existing ideas of a bunch of utterly-depraved folks? Was the rise of iniquity coupled with a rise of ingenuity? And hey, wasn’t it supposed to be Christianity that inspired science? How does that work in a pre-Jesus world?

35. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

If you made it past five, then the Biblical “three score and ten” wasn’t uncommon. As has been noted above, death in early childhood brought down the mortality averages.

36. says

grytpype @ 15

To be fair, they didn’t claim that 245 years ==> therefore flood

And nor does the OP suggest that they did:

1600 > 245, therefore the Ark is plausible

That symbol you represent as an arrow is a ‘greater-than’ sign.
——————————————

I wonder how James Burke would feel if he knew they were citing his work to justify this tosh.

37. sc_cf67521d06de66549b93107fecc68ecb says

My god, the Ark Encounter facebook page is a treasure trove of ridiculosity. I couldn’t stop myself from commenting in a few places.

38. saintexuperantius says

This is how creationist math works:

Every letter in the English alphabet is assigned a number: A=6, B=12, C=18, etc. If we take the letters in PHARYNGULA and add up their assigned numbers, we have the sum 738. If we subtract 666 from 738 (thus taking the SATAN out of this blog), we have 72.

Now, we also have 1875-1630=245. 245-72=173. 173 is of course, the biblical number that represents God.

You may be asking how we know 173 is the number for God. Simple! 1+7+3=11.

Nigel Tufnel is God!

39. waydude says

I left a comment on the site, but its a moderator must approve my comment before it will be published.

Here’s hoping!

40. says

I have this hypothesis that Neanderthals were just as smart as Homo sapiens but died out because there weren’t enough of them coming up with good ideas. I’m pretty sure that makes at least as much sense as anything Ken Ham’s ever farted out.

41. Pierce R. Butler says

… if I found a quarter on the sidewalk this afternoon, two years is more than enough time for a dynamic, brilliant organization like AiG to raise \$25 million …

So it all depends on the initial premise.

If our esteemed host did not “find” (chisel or blowtorch from the Minnesota ice) a quarter on the sidewalk in the last ~8.5 hours, then two years is not enough time for a dynamic, brilliant organization like AiG to lift \$25M.

42. says

When coming at a pure creationist argument, it’s best to do it by disarming their side. In this case, it’s important to remember what about the opposing argument is wrong. Was there an ancient flood that impacted human civilization, on a global scale? Hell yes there was. The fossil record and the average masters student of geology will confirm it. We’ll ignore the fact that it was around ~10,000 B.C. for the moment though.

Did some guy named Noah load his family and a large number of livestock onto a boat? Probably. The fact that this particular flood myth (I’ll come back to that) is pervasive across the middle east does help to support the story itself, though it also helps to prove the ACTUAL age of the story… which is quite a bit older than suggested by some fuzzy math and bible thumping. The Earth itself being carbon dated as being several orders of magnitude older STILL… well… baby steps folks. Baby steps.

43. says

Was there an ancient flood that impacted human civilization, on a global scale? Hell yes there was.

What?

Firstly, how was it on a “global scale”? Did the flood affect civilisation in the Americas? If not, it’s misleading to talk in such terms; giving false credence to an otherwise incorrect element of the account.

Secondly, is that flood the flood the Genesis account is based on? If not, it’s like arguing that there’s truth to the Robin Hood story because there was a band of thieves in England at some point in time. Creationists would have every reason to dismiss such an account as misrepresenting their holy book.

44. says

In the case of both questions, yes.

At the end of the last ice age, the polar ice caps melted and the global sea level rose something like 3 feet (not a cited fact, I’m posting in kind of a hurry). The impact to the Americas was … slightly different. A number of glacial lakes burst their ice dams and caused the equivalent of torrential, inland, tsunami’s. One of the most well documented cases is Glacial Lake Missoula, which caused wide spread flooding through most of North Idaho, Eastern/Central Washington (via the Snake and Columbia River basins) and parts of Northern Oregon.

Global sea level changes of the magnitude caused by the melting ice caps, at the end of our last ice age, would cause wide spread flooding that might easily have been mistaken (10,000+ years ago) for a world wide flood. Especially if the account referenced for the Genesis verses occurred at approximately the same time as a hurricane strength storm.

According to anthropologists, the flood myth in Genesis was … er… plagiarized from a Babylonian flood myth, whose writing coincides with the flood in question.

45. otrame says

But then I’d also like to know, from where did the pitch come for the ark? Supposedly, fossil fuels were deposited in the flood, so how’d Noah get his bitumen?

Oh, snap! Ha, ha. I never thought about that one.

46. says

It’s pretty fair to say that there was a flood. The problem is that we know almost nothing about the circumstances, although some people suspect the Black Sea was somehow involved.

47. says

The problem with looking back on those old accounts is that any attempt to retrofit patterns into the physical evidence is going to mean finding false patterns. Even given the premise that myths are a means of propagating real events, and that there was a flood at the genesis of the Genesis account, which flood that was and which accounts of the story that start with the original myth are going to be modified, and even sometimes lost, as the story is transmitted from generation to generation. Especially given the flood is an event whose physical evidence would have been lost as the generations passed the story on. We’re left, not with some account to try to match to whatever evidence best fits the account as we have it now, not as it was originally meant.

48. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

Kreepy,
OK, First, sea levels rose VERY gradually. Second, the timing is wrong–sea level rise started about 18000 years ago and peaked about 3000 years ago. Third, there was no civilization to speak of 10000 years ago in Babylonia–and certainly no writing.

What kind of drugs does it take to get your mind to play so fast and loose with chronologies?

49. says

According to anthropologists, the flood myth in Genesis was … er… plagiarized from a Babylonian flood myth, whose writing coincides with the flood in question.

And how would, and this is the \$64,000 question, how did the authors know this had a global effect?

50. says

Ennnnh… There’s credence in the truism that in every myth lies a grain of truth.

We KNOW there was global flooding on a massive scale at the end of the last ice age. We KNOW that the Babylonian myth was first recorded in written form approximately 2 generations following that flooding. We also know that most Native American tribes had a flood myth of some kind, as did most cultures that existed at the time.

I’ll grant you that correlation does not equate to causation, but I’d also submit that there’s no such thing as coincidence, and when combating a closed mind, some times instead of trying to force open the front door… you have to crack a window. The trick is, looking at the facts in record, and drawing a logical conclusion. Is it plausible that these myths all refer to the same event? Entirely. Can we prove it? … of course not. That doesn’t change the facts, or the potential conclusions to be drawn from them. It just limits the amount/types of evidence we’re able to reference to support those conclusions.

51. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

Kreepy,
There is zero evidence that any of the flooding took place at the same time at points far-removed from eachother–e.g. Babylon and N. America. I’ll agree that there may have been a big flood–in Babylon, and that it SEEMED to the mythmakers that it must be affecting the whole world. In truth, it did not.

Or shall we take evidence of flooding in the Midwest in March-April + flooding in Pakistan and Thailand in November as evidence ofa new global flood and start building an ark?

52. says

a_ray_in_dilbert_space

Are you really trying to argue that the end of the last ice age didn’t cause global sea-level change?

53. says

There’s credence in the truism that in every myth lies a grain of truth.

I don’t think there’s anyone disputing that. What they are disputing, instead, is how much truth one can get from a myth. The book I linked to in #52 shows remarkable information pulled from many ancient myths, especially myths that fit with volcanoes, earthquakes, and the shifting of constellations. It can be done, though it is limited, and there are many biases to control for. For example, there’s something called the silence principle – where details that are common knowledge are excluded from the myth as that would be information that’s already known; it would be like having to preface every comment about Barack Obama with “he’s the president of the United States”, because that’s common knowledge we don’t need to explain it.

I don’t think that anyone thinks that the Genesis account is an invention in the way that Harry Potter is, but that taking the Genesis account and trying to get history out of it is going to be a difficult and limited exercise.

54. says

Are you really trying to argue that the end of the last ice age didn’t cause global sea-level change?

I think he’s arguing more that global sea change doesn’t count as a flood.

55. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

Kreepy, Oh yes, sea level rose…at a few mm per year. Do you really contend that is going to give rise to a global flood myth on the timescale of a human lifetime?

56. says

Considering that most of the region in question (Babylon/the Fertile Crescent) is fairly low-lying, and considering how relatively shallow (compared to, say, the Atlantic) the region’s seas are it’s not only provable, but proven, that huge numbers of human settlements existed in places that are now covered by water. I’d call that a flood. Also consider that a mere twelve inches in global sea level, today, would swallow the island of Manhattan and most of Florida as well as large portions of coastal California.

57. says

Also consider that a mere twelve inches in global sea level, today, would swallow the island of Manhattan and most of Florida as well as large portions of coastal California.

Manhattan is only a foot high?

58. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

Kreepy,
Twelve inches of sea level rise back then would have taken 50-100 years. I think the people and animals could have walked out of the way. I don’t think they would have needed an Ark.

59. says

I’d call that a flood.

So back to my initial question, how did the Biblical authors know this?

60. says

And by no means am I suggesting that the Ark myth be taken literally. I’m simply suggesting that a flood happened, and that said flood happened at such a time that it correlates to a number of other flood myths from a staggering number of unrelated cultures. Is it probable that a glacial lake burst and impacted the middle east? Yes it is. Can it be proven? Yes it can. The tragedy is that it hasn’t been, yet, because that would provide an approximate time line for the event that inspired the myth and this would become a non-issue.

61. says

@Kreepy

You know what’s a better theory?

FUCKING FLOODS HAPPEN EVERYWHERE

62. says

The biblical authors likely didn’t. As I said, the story itself was stolen from an older Babylonian myth.

63. says

The biblical authors likely didn’t. As I said, the story itself was stolen from an older Babylonian myth.

So the global element of it would have been coincidence?

64. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

Kreepy: “I’m simply suggesting that a flood happened, and that said flood happened at such a time that it correlates to a number of other flood myths from a staggering number of unrelated cultures.”

So it was an El Nino year?

Glacial lake? Uh, dude, where were there glaciers in the middle east?

65. says

Would have been unrelated entirely. Keep in mind, we’re talking about disparate groups. Literal pockets of humanity, at the time. Different cultures would have had, near as makes no difference, no contact with each other.

66. says

Seriously, the idea that local floods happen and early civilizations tend to build around bodies of water is so outrageous?

67. says

Would have been unrelated entirely. Keep in mind, we’re talking about disparate groups. Literal pockets of humanity, at the time. Different cultures would have had, near as makes no difference, no contact with each other.

And that’s the point. When you say “Was there an ancient flood that impacted human civilization, on a global scale? Hell yes there was.” It’s misleading to the point of being wrong. The global aspect of the flood was an invention of the people, even if that was the flood they were talking about (given you date it some 9000 years before the Genesis myth was written down, I’d be surprised if there was no more recent flood at the base of the account. Just looking on Wikipedia, for example, they mention several possible floods more close in history to the recording of the myth.) We’re left trying to piece together how a myth relates to history with far too little information to give us something definitive.

68. says

Seriously, the idea that local floods happen and early civilizations tend to build around bodies of water is so outrageous?

Who is suggesting that?

69. chigau (私も) says

kreepykritter

We also know that most Native American tribes had a flood myth of some kind, as did most cultures that existed at the time.

citation needed
At least 50 citations.

70. sabazinus says

So AIG is promoting the “New New New New New Math?” 245 for instance…2+4+5=11 therefore Satan(x-5)=1850 + [the Ten Commandments] divided by The United States Was Founded as a Christian Nation=goddidit.

“Math: It’s Only a Theory.”

71. says

One of the principles outlined in the book linked above was the compression principle. Think about how a preliterate society is going to be able to preserve events in time as they get further and further away from the event. Older accounts would be conflated, chronologies confused and put together. Another principle, the restructuring principle, means that the key points will get reinterpreted as the story shifts from culture to culture. Just how much of the Noah’s ark flood is grounded in history is going to be very much speculative. Comparing to other cultures, comparing to historical events, we can do it but there’s no guarantee that we can pull out an accurate picture.

I know this is nitpicking, because for the most part I agree with kreepykritter that there is bound to be some historicity to the account. The question is, though, how much of us trying to read history into those myths is us finding patterns that are meant to be found or patterns that are impositions of pattern recognition? If we’re arguing with people who think the option is either 100% history or Hogwarts, then it might work as kreepykritter says as a disarming tactic. Though, perhaps here it’s just me finding a discrepancy in what we can reliably talk about historically to fuss over.

72. chigau (私も) says

kreepykritter
cute
I managed a similar search by walking over to my bookshelf.
I’m not seeing evidence for either of the “most” claims.

73. says

I think the other thing to remember, too, is that floods are quite common. Last year alone, I can think of two major flooding events off the top of my head: Queensland, Australia and Pakistan. In the few short decades I’ve been alive, they aren’t the only large flooding accounts I’ve heard either. That there are flood myths around the globe isn’t surprising, even if actual floods were the only thing we were looking for historically. If our experience is anything to go by, it would be surprising if there were none – especially given the devastation that floods can cause and that human populations really do need to live near sources of water. But there’s always the urge, especially with people who are quick to look for anything that can confirm their convictions, to see it all as one pattern.

Are we doing justice to the myths around the world to compress them all as being part of the ice age melt and changing flood to mean a gradual rise of sea levels? It would seem that’s trying to put an overarching pattern over stuff that might not necessarily fit, let alone be an accurate account. It’s nitpicking, yes, but I feel it’s nitpicking that’s important – especially when it’s a topic people all too easily find the most tenuous evidences as being proof of their convictions.

74. waydude says

flood mythology comes from cultures that developed in/ near river systems with annual flooding.

Flood mythology is also allegory, symbol of rebirth.

Done.

75. says

Done.

Don’t forget that some myths fit well with astronomical explanations.

76. Caesar Penguinus says

Apparently, in addition to intelligent design, creationism has now brought us intelligent math

77. cybercmdr says

One thing that the Creationists are ignoring is that development is not linear, but more like an exponential growth rate. As science progresses we have better tools, with better tools we can do things faster…. and the loop keeps increasing in speed.

78. jmk2 says

The type of Christian that goes in for creationism, Noah’s ark etc also seems to like to dabble in arithmetic relating to claimed numeric prophecies in the bible. To me, it all just seems like “take away the number you first thought of, divide by 3 …”!

I don’t know the details other than having looked up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_prophecy and related pages. They do seem to like the biblical book of Daniel, presumably because so many different interpretations are possible – see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prophecy_of_Seventy_Weeks . An acquaintance who was once an only moderately insane Anglican is now a fully-straitjacketable prophecy nut and watcher of (apparently) ‘Revelation TV’ who claims that the Bible numerically foretold the date of the restoration of the state of Israel (1948), the Yom Kippur war (1973), the wars in Iraq and even a date range for the future war in Israel(!) Does anyone have a detailed skeptical resource or resources for this? The interpretation he favours is more detailed than any in Wikipedia. Of course, whoever is making the claim at the time always has the true interpretation! He claims that his interpretation is the only correct one and that as I claim he should actually study science before he rebuts that, my detailed rebuttal of his claims is necessary before I can rebut him. He’s immune to my general dismissals, and though I don’t want to waste my time, I’d like to give him something to chew on.

79. Blattafrax says

Raven, Azkyroth etc at ~#20

It doesn’t matter what the lifespan is or how you get the number. AIG’s calculation is 245/lifespan = #generations. Somehow ignoring the fact that people reproduce _before_ they die, not _when_ they die.

It’s nonsense built on a foundation of nonsense.

[Wikipedia-summary for those unwilling to look it up themselves. For most of human history, generation time was ~16 years. In modern times ~25 in the US and up to 30 in civilised countries like Germany.]

Pitch before anyone makes a fool of themselves arguing about pitch in front of creationists…
Pitch can be made by melting/boiling down the resin that oozes or created lumps around damage in pine trees.

You can even create a kind of turpentine by burning pine against a stone wall or cliff face so the smoke condenses and collects in cut aways – so you could even have stone age oil paints. Not very effective though.

81. unclefrogy says

I seems obvious to me that no matter what historical event may have some connection with a story “based on true events” stories grow in the telling it seems to be the nature of stories and people telling them.

“””well it started to rain and it rained and rained and rain

How long did it rain?
It must have been a week or two”””
————–

“”well it started to rain and it rained more than it ever rained before””

told over and over by new story tellers until it reaches some harmonious shape like it rained forty days and forty nights

troy was such a great war that even the Gods took part
and the journey of Odysseus becomes a fantastic tale because the point of the story was that Odysseus was a great and fantastic guy.
and Noah was a great guy his deeds were as wondrous as his faith and his god is the most powerful of all the gods.

all those numbers are a big so what that mean nothing other than they can spin bull shit with numbers just as good as the bull shit they spread with words alone.

uncle frogy

It’s just so derivative of the PYGMIES + DWARVES argument.

83. reynoldhall says

Well, I posted the following comment on that ark article of theirs. We’ll see if it makes it or not:

Sorry, but I can’t really buy this…for one thing, the cartilage in people’s joints would have worn away from the simple wear and tear of joints rubbing against each other long before they hit their 900th birthday!

And cartilage does not regenerate on it’s own. Even if everything was as you people say it was, that problem shoots down their being able to live for that long since they’d be crippled in their joints centuries before reaching 900 years.

Any takers?

84. davem says

Noah lived to 900 years, so he could have invented lots of stuff. Like a steel boat, for starters. And a nice marine diesel to power it. And surely, radar nav aids to point it in the right direction. Collecting the species? No problem; just send a few newly invented helicopters to pick them up.

What’s that you say, gopher wood? Pitch? No engine? Right… backs away slowly…

85. Nancy New, Queen of your Regulatory Nightmare says

The Revealed Word (trademark) of GHOD as revealed personally to me is THE definative answer to all the secrets of the universe AND the depths of the human heart.

Eleventy-nine, because that’s how many mules it takes to kick the seeds out of a pickle.

See? Those of us who are truely GHOD’s children SHARE their wisdom–well, GHOD’s wisdon, really–with all!

86. says

I don’t think that anyone thinks that the Genesis account is an invention in the way that Harry Potter is

Why not?
I’m not about to argue that it must be an invention, but why is that not a viable option?

And Harry Potter wasn’t pure invention either. The specific story details are new, but many elements were borrowed from existing mythology, and the broader geographical setting (London) is a real place. In the distant future, should archaeological evidence for the existence of London lend credence to the legend of Hogwarts?

It’s not enough to say “big floods happen, and sometimes people used boats to save livestock” as support for claiming the Genesis flood is “based on true events”; you’d need to tie it to a specific event. If one isn’t known, why is a wholly fictional event less plausible?

87. anubisprime says

The inanity grows…that is what desperation does to a dull and truncated minds.
Religio-nuts pull this stuff out of their arse every-time they feel pouty and sad, means they are not having a very good time for their fairy story, possibly cos no one wants to give ’em cash for playing arks in the bath let alone arks in the park.
They are circle jerking is all.. a concocted nonsense to quell the night sweats.

Let them continue to excrete this utter bollix.. sooner rather then later they will run out of pseudo vague unsupported and childish number games…after all they have gone through nearly every vague and spurious combination there is out in pick-a-number land.

Making complete fools of themselves in the process…atheists do not have to do a thing… they are destroying their own myth from within.

As for the majority of the brain dead let them try to delude themselves and sooth their troubled ego…and just laugh at them long & loud & proud that rationality will ignore their fear and pathetic attempts to sound relevant.
Point laugh & wave..boys ‘n’ gals, just point laugh & wave..!

The more they piss themselves with concern that they are failing… the more they damage themselves in their shallow hysterical lies and made up mumbo jumbo, they are rapidly reaching the tipping point into extreme derision.
Maybe the can give Camping a job to show them how it is done!

88. raven says

I don’t think that anyone thinks that the Genesis account is an invention in the way that Harry Potter is

They probably didn’t even invent it.

The Noah’s ark myth is almost certainly stolen from the Babylonians and related people.

There are virtually no large rivers in Israel and none that would produce major catastrophic floods. The River Jordan is about it and it is on the periphery. It’s a dry, arid country.

There are two large and important rivers nearby though. The Tigris and Euphrates, home of far older and more dominant civilizations. And in that flat plains area, flooding can be dramatic.

Besides which, the Noah’s ark myth has a whole lot of similarity to Babylonian myths, notably the Epic of Gilgamesh, which is based on even older flood stories.

The bible isn’t all that old. Much of the OT was compiled around the 7th to 5th century BCE, coinciding with returnees from the Babylonian captivity which followed the Babylonian takeover of Israel.

89. raven says

The Noah’s ark story is based on a real event isn’t too convincing. If anything, it is based on countless mundane events that happen fairly often.

We humans live along rivers. Always have, always will.

Guess what? Rivers flood. They do it almost every year most places. They did it a lot more before we built flood control dams.

IIRC, last summer was a major flood along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. A huge number of square miles were flooded even though we’ve been working on damns and dikes for a century now. Which isn’t at all unusual, they flood every year and every decade or so there is a huge flood that causes a lot of damage.

90. If our esteemed host did not “find” (chisel or blowtorch from the Minnesota ice) a quarter on the sidewalk in the last ~8.5 hours, then two years is not enough time for a dynamic, brilliant organization like AiG to lift \$25M.

But you must multiply your 8.5 hours by the number of AiG employees and perhaps supporters.

91. llewelly says

Kel says: 6 January 2012 at 9:04 pm:

According to anthropologists, the flood myth in Genesis was … er… plagiarized from a Babylonian flood myth, whose writing coincides with the flood in question.

And how would, and this is the \$64,000 question, how did the authors know this had a global effect?

Ancient Astronauts!

92. says

I’m not about to argue that it must be an invention, but why is that not a viable option?

Comparing mythic tales to fiction is missing the point of what myths are.

The Noah’s ark myth is almost certainly stolen from the Babylonians and related people.

I don’t think anyone here is disputing that. kreepykritter mentions it in #43.

Ancient Astronauts!

*tips hat*

93. inflection says

There are Stone Age people in the world now. Check the Amazon. 6000 years isn’t necessarily long enough for people to notice things like “rocks go runny when really hot.”

94. wesleymahan says

I left this comment at their website. I guarantee that it will NEVER get published:

In a nod to credibility, I challenge the owners of Ark Encounter to build this replica ark using exactly the same technology, materials, and manpower, as described in Genesis. No power tools, no Douglas Fir, Seqouia or Redwood beams, no laminated beams, etc. (Cedar of Lebanon acceptable, and some other substitutes.) No calculators, slide rules or computers. Use approximately seven people.

After the replica is successfully built using Biblical conditions and technology, then I will consider that the real Ark could have been built. But then if you can get platypus, kangaroos, penguins, polar bears, pandas, all polar creatures and all tropical creatures, to show up unbidden from various continents at the exact spot where the Ark was being built, then I will be a believer.

95. KG says

We KNOW there was global flooding on a massive scale at the end of the last ice age. We KNOW that the Babylonian myth was first recorded in written form approximately 2 generations following that flooding. – kreepykritter

FFS you ignorant lackwit, the ice age ended c. 10,000 years ago. The first known writing, by the Sumerians, dates from about 3,200 BCE. The first mention of Babylon is in the 23rd century BCE. That’s more like 200 generations after the end of the ice age than 2. Sheesh.

96. axilet says

@98: unfortunately, they’ll just take the immense impossibility of the task as proof that GODDIDIT!