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Friday, March 24, 2006

Back to the subject: The Noahic Flood and Time

Commenters such as Creeper, IAMB, Mrs. A and Dan S (among others) have provided counterpoints to many points I have made concerning Darwinism (macroevolution) versus creationism. There have been some points I feel they have failed to address with any degree of success (such as statistical laws that show macroevolution to be a mathematical impossibility) and some areas where they have brought up some excellent questions. Today's subject is one such area - Just when did this Noahic Flood take place, especially in the light of evidence for a very ancient Egyptian culture. Could a flood have wiped out everyone else and left Egypt high and dry? Are the Genesis geneologies inaccurate? Is it necessary, as some have said, to add in years to that chronology? I have acknowledged that some believed it would be necessary and there was strong evidence that some Middle Eastern peoples "skipped" people in their geneologies. (Even though it has been more common for geneologies to add people and years that did not exist).

I have addressed some of this, as have commenters such as Highboy, but I realized this was an area in which I had done little research and would require a bit of poking about. Thus, the following:

Manetho and Egyptian History: The original works are lost.

Manetho is the prime source used by those who study ancient Egypt geneologies.

"Despite Manetho's importance for the study of the history of Ancient Egypt, nothing much is really known about the man himself. Even the exact meaning of his name has been a point of discussion among Egyptologists and although it is now generally agreed upon that the name "Manetho" comes from the Ancient Egyptian mniw-htr, which means "keeper of the horses", the existence of such a name is not attested by Ancient Egyptian sources.

Manetho lived in Sebennytos, the capital of Egypt during the 30th Dynasty, and was a priest during the reigns of Ptolemy I and Ptolemy II. He is said to have been involved in the creation of the cult of Serapis - a god added to the Egyptian pantheon with both Hellenistic and Egyptian traits during the reign of Ptolemy I -, but this can not be confirmed.

Manetho owes his importance to the fact that he wrote the Aegyptiaca, a collection of three books about the history of Ancient Egypt, commissioned by Ptolemy II in his effort to bring together the Egyptian and Hellenistic cultures."
Ancient-Egypt.org

The same source reveals that - "Soon after the original composition, the Aegyptiaca was epitomised, probably by extracting a framework of kings to which clung the occasional historical statement. At the same time, however, the original work was being abused, commented and falsified for political and religious motives. It is not unlikely that at this time, new works about the history of Egypt were being written under Manetho's name. Such works were often full of tendentious commentaries and anachronisms.

The classical authors who copied, commented or made references to the Aegyptiaca were thus confronted with different sources, all claiming to have been based on the original work. Josephus knew both the original Aegyptiaca or its epitome, and the fake Manethoan literature, but he was often unable to distinguish between them. Africanus knew and used the epitomised Aegyptiaca, while Eusebius quoted from Africanus and from a version of the Epitome altered by the Hellenistic Jews for religious purposes."


So, whereas the Genesis material has been carefully copied and documented for over three thousand years, the original work of Manetho is not available and there is no certainty of the accuracy of the currently available references to his work. This doesn't discount the available information but makes the researcher aware that total accuracy will not be found. Even before we delve too deeply into Manetho we know that it will be a source for approximate dates rather than a resource for certainty.

Manetho recorded The Tower of Babel and birth of Peleg as historical events!

"An interesting piece of information comes from Manetho, who recorded the history of Egypt in the third century BC. He wrote that the Tower of Babel occurred five years after the birth of Peleg. If this was so, then this would confirm that the migrations recorded in Genesis 10 occurred over a period of time, for the apparent leaders of many of these national groups would have been very young children when the confusion of languages occurred." Larry Pierce.

Pierce makes a strong case for using the Bible with other ancient resources to better establish the beginning of Egypt:

" Four generations after Noah, Genesis 10:25 records the birth of Peleg (meaning division) ‘for in his days was the earth divided’. Some suggest the continents of the earth were divided at this time. However, this seems unlikely, as such a process would have had to occur within a very confined time period. The resultant geological violence would be overwhelmingly catastrophic—like another Noahic Flood all over again. Any continental separation thus likely occurred during the Flood.

The traditional interpretation, which seems more reasonable, relates this verse to the division of people/nations at the Tower of Babel event in Genesis 11. (Just like the English ‘earth’ can have a variety of meanings, the Hebrew erets can also mean nation(s)—thus erets Yisrael, the land (nation, people) of Israel.) According to the biblical chronology as deduced by Archbishop Ussher, the Flood occurred in 2349–2348 BC, and Peleg was born in 2247 BC about a hundred years later. Do ancient writers shed any light on when this happened? The answer is a resounding yes.


Babylon begins

The year was 331 BC. After Alexander the Great had defeated Darius at Gaugmela near Arbela, he journeyed to Babylon. Here he received 1903 years of astronomical observations from the Chaldeans, which they claimed dated back to the founding of Babylon. If this was so, then that would place the founding of Babylon in 2234 BC, or about thirteen years after the birth of Peleg. This was recorded in the sixth book of De Caelo (‘About the heavens’) by Simplicius, a Latin writer in the 6th century AD. Porphyry (an anti-Christian Greek philosopher, c. 234–305 AD) also deduced the same number.

Egypt emerges

The Byzantine chronicler Constantinus Manasses (d. 1187) wrote that the Egyptian state lasted 1663 years. If correct, then counting backward from the time that Cambyses, king of Persia, conquered Egypt in 526 BC, gives us the year of 2188 BC for the founding of Egypt, about 60 years after the birth of Peleg. About this time Mizraim, the son of Ham, led his colony into Egypt. Hence the Hebrew word for Egypt is Mizraim4 (or sometimes ‘the land of Ham’ e.g. Psalm 105:23,27)."

Dr. Clifford Wilson suggests that there is evidence that Moses got his geneologies not from word-of-mouth and inspiration of God but from written records: New Conditions After The Flood

"After the Flood, atmospheric and climatic conditions apparently changed, and the potential life-span of all created beings was dramatically reduced. Archaeologists such as Professor Samuel N. Kramer have pointed to the record outside the Bible of the dispersion that took place at the time of the building of the Tower of Babel. Eminent Professor William Foxwell Albright wrote about the astonishing accuracy of the ‘Table of Nations’ in Genesis chapter 10. The fragmentary ‘Epic of Atrahasis’—including both creation and the Flood—has caused some scholars to acknowledge that Genesis chapters 1 to 11 were written as literal history. That history starts at Genesis chapter 1—and the term ‘mythical'; (even used in a philosophical sense) should not be applied to the Bible record.

Records Written Before Moses

Another interesting point is that those early Genesis records were in written form even before the time of Moses (he collated them). Way back in 1948 P.J. Wiseman had his book published, New Discoveries in Babylonia About Genesis. His son, Professor Donald J. Wiseman, retired Professor of Assyriology a London University, recently updated his father’s work in Clues to Creation in Genesis, supporting the basic theories of his late father.

The early records were written on clay tablets, divided by the literary device of a colophon at the end of each tablet—indicated by the words, ‘These are the generations of...’."


It is Egyptian Chronologies which require adjustment.

"By the traditional chronology of Egyptian history the 18th dynasty ruled from about 1550 to 1320 BC. According to Bible chronology the Exodus occurred about 1446 BC. But there is no evidence from 18th dynasty Egyptian records of a major disaster such as would have resulted from the 10 devastating plagues that fell on Egypt, or of the destruction of the Egyptian army during this period. Nor is there archaeological evidence for an invasion of Palestine under Joshua during this period.

The solution to this problem is a recognition that the chronology of Egypt needs to be reduced by centuries, bringing the 12th dynasty down to the time of Moses and the Exodus. When this is done there is found abundant evidence for the presence of large numbers of Semitic slaves at the time of Moses, the devastation of Egypt and the sudden departure of these slaves.

A reduction of the chronology of Egypt would also be reflected in the interpretation of the archaeological ages in Israel. There is little evidence for an invasion of Palestine at the end of the Late Bronze Period. But at the end of the Early Bronze Period there is evidence of Jericho’s fallen walls and the arrival of a new people with a new culture who should be identified as the invading Israelites under Joshua."
- Archaeologist David Down.

What follows is an excerpt from Down's article in Journal of Creation (TJ) Archive > Volume 15 Issue 1

A proposed revision of Egyptian chronology

"It is true that there is no evidence for Moses, the ten plagues that fell upon Egypt or the exodus ‘at that time’. But there are a number of scholars who claim that a gross error in chronology has been made in calculating the dates of Egyptian history and that they should be reduced by centuries. Such a re-dating could bring the 12th dynasty down to the time of Moses, and there is plenty of circumstantial evidence in that dynasty to support the Biblical records.

One of the last kings of the 12th dynasty was Sesostris III. His statues depict him as a cruel tyrant quite capable of inflicting harsh slavery on his subjects. His son was Amenemhet III, who seems to have been an equally disagreeable character. He probably ruled for 46 years, and Moses would have been born near the beginning of his reign.

Amenemhet III may have had one son, known as Amenemhet IV, who was an enigmatic character who may have followed his father or may have been a co-regent with him. If the latter, Amenemhet IV could well have been Moses. Amenemhet IV mysteriously disappeared off the scene before the death of Amenemhet III.

Amenemhet III had a daughter whose name was Sobekneferu. It is known that she had no children. If she was the daughter of Pharaoh who came down to the river to bathe, it is easy to understand why she was there. It was not because she had no bathroom in her palace. She would have been down there taking a ceremonial ablution and praying to the river god Hapi, who was also the god of fertility. Having no children she would have needed such a god, and when she found the beautiful baby Moses there she would have considered it an answer to her prayers (Exodus 2:5—6).

But when Moses came of age he identified himself with the people of Israel and was obliged to flee from Egypt. This left a vacuum on the throne, and when Amenemhet III died there was no male successor. Sobekneferu ascended the throne and ruled for 8 years as a Pharaoh, but when she died the dynasty died and was succeeded by the 13th dynasty.

The Israelite slaves

For the past 15 years I have been promoting a revised chronology for Egypt. This results in identifying the Semitic slaves, who were employed in building the pyramids of the 12th dynasty at Kahun in the Faiyyum, as the Israelite slaves referred to in the book of Exodus. Fifteen years ago I was regarded as being out of touch with archaeological reality, but time has changed all that.

Of course, Dr Immanuel Velikovsky proposed the same revision before I did, and so did Dr Donoville Courville, but they were written off as irrelevant because they were not archaeologists. Since then, recognized archaeological scholars have joined the chorus of revision.

In 1991, Peter James published his book Centuries of Darkness, claiming that the chronology of Egypt should be reduced by 250 years. James was a reputable scholar, and his book carried a preface by Professor Colin Renfrew of Cambridge University recognizing that ‘a chronological revolution is on its way’ (p. XVI), claiming that ‘history will have to be rewritten’ (p. XIV). In 1995, David Rohl published A Test of Time, in which he claimed that the chronology of Egypt should be reduced by 350 years. All this meant that the end of the 12th dynasty of Egypt would be dated to the 15th century BC, which would be about the time of the Biblical Exodus, and the slaves known to have lived at Kahun and laboured on the building of the 12th dynasty pyramids were the Israelite slaves.

Professor Bryant Wood, from the Associates for Biblical Research, has also concluded that the Semitic slaves who lived at Kahun were indeed the Israelites. He reaches his conclusion from a different perspective but the end result is the same. He concludes that the period of 430 years mentioned in Exodus 12:40 was not the total period of time from Abraham to the Exodus, as seemingly implied in Galatians 3:17, but was the actual period of the Israelite presence in Egypt. This assumption would likewise place the Israelite slaves in the 12th dynasty

The evidence very well fits the Biblical record which says,

‘There arose a new king over Egypt who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, "Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply and it happen in the event of war, that they join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land." Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens’ (Exodus 1:8—11).

Sir Flinders Petrie excavated the city of Kahun in the Faiyyum and Dr Rosalie David wrote a book about his excavations in which she said,

‘It is apparent that the Asiatics were present in the town in some numbers, and this may have reflected the situation elsewhere in Egypt … . Their exact homeland in Syria or Palestine cannot be determined … . The reason for their presence in Egypt remains unclear.’

Neither Rosalie David nor Flinders Petrie could identify these Semitic slaves with the Israelites because they held to the traditional chronology which placed the Biblical event centuries later than the 12th dynasty.

There was another interesting discovery Petrie made. ‘Larger wooden boxes, probably used originally to store clothing and other possessions, were discovered underneath the floors of many houses at Kahun. They contained babies, sometimes buried two or three to a box, and aged only a few months at death.’

There is a Biblical explanation for this. Pharaoh had ordered the Hebrew midwives, ‘When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him’ (Exodus1:16). The midwives ignored this command so ‘Pharaoh commanded all his people saying, "Every son who is born you shall cast into the river … " ’ (verse 22). Many grieving mothers must have had their babies snatched from their arms and killed. They apparently buried them in boxes beneath the floors of their houses.

Another striking feature of Petrie’s discoveries was the fact that these slaves suddenly disappeared off the scene. Rosalie David wrote:

‘It is apparent that the completion of the king’s pyramid was not the reason why Kahun’s inhabitants eventually deserted the town, abandoning their tools and other possessions in the shops and houses.’

‘There are different opinions of how this first period of occupation at Kahun drew to a close ... . The quantity, range and type of articles of everyday use which were left behind in the houses may indeed suggest that the departure was sudden and unpremeditated.’

The departure was sudden and unpremeditated! Nothing could better fit the Biblical record. ‘And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years–on that very same day–it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt’ (Exodus 12:41).

The ten plagues on Egypt

Pharaoh had yielded to Moses’ demands to allow his slaves to leave because of the ten devastating plagues that fell on Egypt (Exodus 7—12). The waters of the sacred River Nile were turned to blood, herds and flocks were smitten with pestilence, lightning set combustible material on fire, hail flattened the crops and struck the fruit trees, and locusts blanketed the country and consumed what might have been left of plant life. The economy of Egypt would have been so shattered that there should be some record of such a national catastrophe–and there is.

In the Leiden Museum in Holland is a papyrus written in a later period, but most scholars recognize it as being a copy of a papyrus from an earlier dynasty. It could have been from the 13th dynasty describing the conditions that prevailed after the plagues had struck. It reads,

‘Nay, but the heart is violent. Plague stalks through the land and blood is everywhere … . Nay, but the river is blood. Does a man drink from it? As a human he rejects it. He thirsts for water … . Nay, but gates, columns and walls are consumed with fire … . Nay but men are few. He that lays his brother in the ground is everywhere … . Nay but the son of the high-born man is no longer to be recognized … . The stranger people from outside are come into Egypt … . Nay, but corn has perished everywhere. People are stripped of clothing, perfume and oil. Everyone says "there is no more". The storehouse is bare … . It has come to this. The king has been taken away by poor men.’"


There is excellent evidence to suggest that the Biblical geneologies are accurate and it is the Egyptian dates that are incorrect. In addition, the Egyptian records indicate a flood, the Tower of Babel and a start for the empire after the birth of Peleg (one of the Bible Patriarchs). All of this is consistent with the creation scenario.

It is well known that writing began with the children of Israel. What is not often publicized is the occasional find of writings in the fossil record. One could suggest that it is probable men were writing long before the flood but such records were almost entirely wiped out along with other traces of culture by the incredibly dynamic and violent Flood. The Bible account is the only one we have concerning life before the Flood and the growth of civilization thereafter. It appears that Manetho does not present evidence to the contrary.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

[Dan S. sighs]

::sigh::

[and says]

Alright:

What archaeologists should find, given a global flood that wiped out all but a single family.


The question of preservation
radar writes: "One could suggest that . . . such records were almost entirely wiped out along with other traces of culture by the incredibly dynamic and violent Flood."

It's an interesting issue. However, this suggestion contradicts the YEC explantion of fossil sorting, which allows frequent and excellent in situ preservation of remains. Additionally, it seems reasonable to conclude that the constant rain would have produced a number of settlement-entombing mudslides, a situation that can lead to superb preservation (for example, the Northwest Coast Ozette site).

General expectations
Simultaneous destruction/abandonment/cessation of settlements worldwide, across a range of cultural traditions. Possibly presence of human remains, with no evidence of burial practices (although possible evidence of scavenging by marine predators?). Possibly evidence of 'refugee camp' sites in higher strata: no sign of permanent settlement, abundance of small, easily transported necessities/high-value artifacts).

Archaelogical sites should be distributed throughout the geological/fossil record. Participation by paleontologists to identify remains of extinct organisms present at sites; possible evidence of human use: consumption, incipent domestication, etc.

Finds buried under a heavy layer of settlement. Following sediment layer, resumption of small-scale settlement. Major discontinuities: artifacts, settlement pattern, everything will in almost all cases indicate a different cultural tradition, possibly traceable to a specific pre-catastrophe region.

Do archaologists find this?

No.


My qualifications here are pretty minimal (B.A., anthropology, limited archaeological fieldwork (Paleoindian, ~Woodland/Historic, Mississippian, Historic period sites) (Note that there is no evidence of this in North American archaeology). While it would be interesting to discuss this here, let me add an additional option:

University Anthropology Departments - U.S. (archaeology is usually part of the antho department, cause of Boas and all.*)
University Anthropology Departments - Canada
University Anthropology/Archaeology Departments - UK (arch is separate from anth here)

Feel free to contact appropriate faculty members at any of the departments listed in the links above to discuss this matter.

Another resource: the ARCH-L list. Join here. Lively and intelligent discussion, old school style.

"What is not often publicized is the occasional find of writings in the fossil record."
I guess not, since I've never heard of them! Would you care to give references? This is an additional topic for discussion via any of the human resources linked above - or would you want paleontologists for that?


* Not snakes! Boas! Franz Boas!. The father of American anthropology!

-Dan S. - can you dig it?

Anonymous said...

There have been some points I feel they have failed to address with any degree of success (such as statistical laws that show macroevolution to be a mathematical impossibility)

radar, we can't address things that don't exist. We've done our best to address your misunderstandings on this specific subject (statistics & evolution). At this point the only thing I can imagine for you to do is to, as above, contact relevent experts (here is a list of gradute programs in statistics), and address your misunderstandings to them. You could even post updates on your quest!


Manetho recorded The Tower of Babel and birth of Peleg as historical events!
I have been unable to find any clear references to this online (ie, reproducing the quoted text, in a mainstream work of reasonable authenticity, etc.). It appears to be from the Book of Sothis?, which in one place is described as a astrological work simply ascribed to Manetho? Whatever.


-Dan S.

creeper said...

Radar,

Okay, what is the statistical law that says macroevolution is a mathematical impossibility? The only arguments related to statistics that you've brought to the table rested on fallacies that were demonstrated to you at great length in the comments on your blog. To now proclaim victory regarding this point without having bothered to address or rebut those posts seems, well, inappropriate.

"Manetho is the prime source used by those who study ancient Egypt geneologies."

Prime, but not the only one – there are others, including the Turin Royal Canon.

"So, whereas the Genesis material has been carefully copied and documented for over three thousand years,"

How do we know this? The authorship and reliability of the books of Moses is hardly a closed case, and to claim the text is infallible given this ongoing research is premature, to say the least.

"the original work of Manetho is not available and there is no certainty of the accuracy of the currently available references to his work."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I understand it the "original work" of Genesis is likewise not available.

"This doesn't discount the available information but makes the researcher aware that total accuracy will not be found."

That includes the here relevant parts of the Bible, Radar.

Larry Pierce once again makes clear that his agenda is anything but scientific, and that he has no interest in "seeing where the evidence will lead":"The lesson for us to learn is this. The Bible is accurate. Whether secular reconstructions of history agree with it or not does not change the accuracy of the Bible. We should use the biblical chronologies to determine where the secularists have gone astray and we should not amend the Bible to fit the latest secular speculations on history. This research area has largely been ignored by Christians in the last hundred years or so as they scramble to manipulate the Bible to conform to the latest secular reconstructions of man's history.

In recent years, some Christians have done an excellent job of restoring the authority of Genesis 1–4, 6–9. However, the genealogies in Genesis 5,10, and 11 (and the chronological portions in Kings and Chronicles) have been quietly surrendered to the domain of secular historians. Their destructive work on these chronologies has overthrown the faith of many. It is about time that this the biblical ground was reclaimed. If you could not trust the numbers in the chronologies of the Bible, why should you trust the words between the numbers? What limits would you place on your unbelief?"


When your faith relies on scientific findings one way or another to such an extent, it stands to reason that an open-minded assessment of the data is extremely difficult, if not impossible, and that bad science is not far behind.

The article by Larry Pierce tries to reconcile some dating issues, but unfortunately has nothing significant or useful to contribute regarding Noah’s Flood, though it mentions it in passing.

"There is excellent evidence to suggest that the Biblical geneologies are accurate and it is the Egyptian dates that are incorrect."

You’ve mentioned repeatedly that the genealogies presented in Genesis may well be inaccurate, and you were willing to entertain them being off by as much as a millennium. What “excellent evidence” can you present that now suggests that the Biblical genealogies are completely correct? What is your stand on the documentary hypothesis?

"In addition, the Egyptian records indicate a flood, the Tower of Babel and a start for the empire after the birth of Peleg (one of the Bible Patriarchs). All of this is consistent with the creation scenario."

Where do the Egyptian records indicate a global flood that wiped out all Egyptians? If there is, neither you nor the sources you presented here made a mention of it.

Radar, while some aspects of Egyptian chronology can be matched to some Biblical events by treating either or both chronologies as bungee cords (I don't know what Egyptologists make of all this squishing and stretching and whether they would consider it plausible), it still does not add up to anything approaching being supportive of the timing of Noah’s flood. Shifting the 12th dynasty to the 15th century BC is not sufficient to eliminate a conflict between the existence of ancient Egypt and the timing of Noah’s flood. As David Down concludes: ”From the ages of his predecessors back to Noah, given in Genesis 12 and 13, it can be calculated that the great universal flood occurred 427 years earlier, about 2302 BC. But according to most authorities on Egyptian chronology the pyramids were built about 1550 BC, and the first dynasty of Egypt ruled about 3100 BC.23

Thus, there is a conflict between Egyptian chronology as generally interpreted and the Biblical records. Neither the first dynasty of Egypt nor the pyramids could have existed before the flood. If the Bible is historically reliable, as I believe it is, then there must be a mistake in the usual interpretation of Egyptian chronology which needs to be reduced by centuries.

The issue is clear. An acceptance of the present chronological interpretation of Egyptian history, and a rejection of the Biblical chronology, opens the door to skepticism of the rest of the early Biblical records, including the record of the Creation of the world in six days. But if Egyptian chronology can be shown to be flawed, a major obstacle to the acceptance of the Bible records is removed, and the Genesis history stands justified.”


And that's where his article ends. Yes, there is a lot of wishful thinking here that the timing conflict re. the flood didn’t exist, but Down does not make it go away.


"It is well known that writing began with the children of Israel."

Can you point us to the evidence for this? If it is a biblical source, could you point us to independent evidence that backs it up? Archaeological finds indicate that earliest signs of writing are older, generally credited to Egyptians, Sumerians, and others.

"What is not often publicized is the occasional find of writings in the fossil record."

Please tell us more. I hadn't heard of this.

"One could suggest that it is probable men were writing long before the flood but such records were almost entirely wiped out along with other traces of culture by the incredibly dynamic and violent Flood."

No, the above link shows that some have survived - no indication of whether they went through a flood or not.

"The Bible account is the only one we have concerning life before the Flood and the growth of civilization thereafter.

Among others we also have archaeological evidence, as well as, aside from Manetho, the Turin Royal Canon.

"It appears that Manetho does not present evidence to the contrary."

Manetho, archaeology and geology all present evidence to the contrary.

I'm a little puzzled as to what the point of this whole post was, since it didn't really address the topic of Noah's Flood much, and I'm not sure how it's supposed to dispell the timing conflict re. the flood and ancient Egypt.

And that is only one of many unanswered questions that the notion of Noah's flood (and a young earth scenario) raises...

radar said...

Dan, Your comment seems to be aimed at a future post not yet here? But I will address some of your statements as we go forward. Your suppositions about what creationists might expect to find are not correct, not for this particular creationist anyway.

However, finding artifacts in rock layers and coal that were obviously man-made, that has been going on for years. Evolutionists tap-dance to avoid that information usually rather than bring it up. Metal containers, tools, jewelry, slates with writing on them, etc.

Anyway, right now I am addressing geneological records from the flood forward.

That statistical argument was simply one that has never been answered by evolutionists. How could an organism beat the odds against evolving from a simple one-celled creature to the level of, say, a horse. Not one particular horse, any horse. They never give a straight answer and there is good reason. I stand with Dembski and say that the "answers" that are given are slippery attempts to evade the obvious. I can see that we will never agree on that point, but that is okay.

There has been no document as scrutinized and I do mean over the centuries as the Bible. This is an area where I know my stuff. Conservative Bible scholars are not in doubt about the Bible. The Wikipedia is handy but not a reliable source on this issue.

My post included references from several older sources that agree on an Egypt that begins after 2350 BC. I intend to present more evidence from other sources but trying to be systematic this time. Manetho mentions Babel and Peleg, just as Genesis does. The idea that Egypt began in 3100 BC is being challenged on several fronts right now, as my posting suggested.

Bungee-cording. I will have more on this, but I have come to realize that those who suggested that the Biblical geneologies needed to have added years were doing so in response to outside information and not because they had good evidence for this. I have been relatively silent for about a week, being sick of course, and doing some research. I see now that there is no reason to add to the length of the geneologies and I suppose I should have known better.

It is the Egyptian timeline that is way, way off. I think my post expresses that rather well. That the evidence has been found for the children of Israel in Egypt is not a shock. That it agrees with the Bible dating rather than that of many Egyptologists is not a shock. That most scientists, being anti-creation, will look for older dates and longer geneologies and tend to settle on them is also not a shock.

The writings of Manetho are basically lost, there is not anything resembling a full copy. Only a couple of the main sources he used in his writings are available in anything resembling original form.

The Bible has been systematically copied and checked then rechecked using standards that even industry did not apply to manufacturing until after WWII. There is no other document so preserved. That Moses was using documents passed down from antediluvian days is a point made by many on my side of the fence. That he was not the author is not an issue with good, conservative Bible scholars.

You will find "Bible Scholars" who are willing to boost various apocrypha, the kind of stuff that has made Dan Brown rich. More power to him. Not to be taken seriously.


Anyway, Pierce is a true believer and I betcha most of you are true believers going the other way. That doesn't mean what you say will automatically be right or wrong. The evidence Pierce presents is compelling and his sources look pretty good to me.

creeper said...

"Evolutionists tap-dance to avoid that information usually rather than bring it up. Metal containers, tools, jewelry, slates with writing on them, etc."

By all means provide a link.

creeper said...

"How could an organism beat the odds against evolving from a simple one-celled creature to the level of, say, a horse. Not one particular horse, any horse."

You appear to have misunderstood the analogy - the specific individual being born was analogous to the specific species of horse evolving, not to a specific horse being born. The odds of something evolving and someone being born are far from insurmountable; the odds of a specific species evolving and a specific person being born are so remote as to be almost impossible - and yet you were born, and the horse evolved.

radar said...

It will be worth an entire posting. I have three post plans right now. Artifacts will be addressed in 1 and 3. Not sure what order I will actually post, though, and probably will begin on Sunday or late tonight. Gonna go hang out with wife now...

1- More on geneological records. Records from around the world provide evidence for the veracity of the Bible geneology by name and approximate dates.

2- The creationist versus evolutionist philosophical background.

3- Conditions for the earth right after the flood, with some mention of the flood itself.

creeper said...

"My post included references from several older sources that agree on an Egypt that begins after 2350 BC."

There was one mention of Constantinus Manasses saying that the Egyptian state lasted 1663 years, though what this number is based on is left unclear, and whether this would allow the number to be plugged into any scenario willy nilly. Nor is it clear how this would account for the Palermo stone.

"I intend to present more evidence from other sources but trying to be systematic this time. Manetho mentions Babel and Peleg, just as Genesis does. The idea that Egypt began in 3100 BC is being challenged on several fronts right now, as my posting suggested."

Despite the proclaimed wishful thinking on the parts of Larry Pierce and David Down, none came close to successfully reconciling ancient Egypt with Noah's flood. Actually, the whole post seemed to skirt around that issue quite a bit - but I look forward to you addressing this in future posts.

creeper said...

"those who suggested that the Biblical geneologies needed to have added years were doing so in response to outside information and not because they had good evidence for this."

Are 'outside information' and 'good evidence' mutually exclusive in "creation science"?

Anonymous said...

It is well known that writing began with the children of Israel

This does not appear to be correct, in part because of issues of definition. Writing began in several places, by different people. The idea appears to have been indepedently invented in at least three regions - Mesoamerica, Mesopotamia, and China - and possibly more (ie, Egypt, Indus Valley). Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian heiroglyphs both go back roughly 5,000 years.

The invention of the alphabet (for English, it should really be the aybee) appears to have occured - recent discovery - when hieroglyphs were cannibalized for or by a group of Semitic people in Egypt (The timing is considered too early for this group to be some historical version of the proto-Israelites). This alphabet, Proto-Sinaitic, developed into the very similar Phoenician, which was adapted by Hebrew speaking people into Old Hebrew, which was then essentially replaced by a version of Aramaic(also descended from Phoenician), which became the classic Hebrew aleph-bet. As has happened a number of times, the borrowed alphabet didn't entirely match the language it was being used to record, so a few letters were doubled (by adding a little dot inside them) to represent the new sounds - hence bet and vet, pe and fe, etc.

Or so I'm given to understand. Perhaps there have been some exciting new discoveries or reevaluations recently . . .

Like, for example (albeit in quite a different field) the perhaps 250,00 to 500,000 year old hominid cranium found last month - news just released - in Ethiopia, apparently representing an intermediate between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens.

-Dan S.

creeper said...

"The evidence Pierce presents is compelling and his sources look pretty good to me."

Though in the article you posted he didn't have much of substance to say about the flood, unfortunately.

I see that in your post plan you intend to skirt most of the serious problems facing both a young earth scenario and Noah's flood.

creeper said...

"Like, for example (albeit in quite a different field) the perhaps 250,00 to 500,000 year old hominid cranium found last month - news just released - in Ethiopia, apparently representing an intermediate between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens."

Those nutty anti-creationists, they keep on finding old stuff. Why can't they just love God?

creeper said...

"It is the Egyptian timeline that is way, way off. I think my post expresses that rather well."

What it expressed rather well - from three separate young earth creationists (Pierce, Down, and yourself) - was the intense desire that all other data must be subordinate to a literal reading of Genesis as an infallible history text.

The actual possibility and plausibility of this is yet to be determined. Yes, if we shift Egyptian and Biblical chronology a few hundred years, certain aspects reasonably line up - and to a certain extent this is a defensible approach. Whether this shifting is plausible from an Egyptologist's point of view is something I would rather hear from an Egyptologist.

The whole thing is somewhat beside the point. Nobody is saying, after all, that the Bible has no value as a historical source - up to a point. The further back one goes, the more iffy it gets, and nothing in this post came close to falsifying ancient Egypt being a big problem for the global flood scenario.

Incidentally, I wonder if creationists are aware how difficult they make it for any open-minded person to take them seriously when they announce (I've seen this in three of the AIG articles now) that the Bible, interpreted literally, is always right, and all interpretations of data that contradict this must be proven wrong at all costs.

IAMB said...

The creationist versus evolutionist philosophical background.

????

Do fill me in. I wasn't aware that there was a philosophical perspective for evolutionists...
[/snark]

Anonymous said...

Dan S. mumbles . . .

radar: Dan, Your comment seems to be aimed at a future post not yet here
Oh, crud! I'm remembering the future again - hate it when that happens, so confusing . . . : )

Your suppositions about what creationists might expect to find are not correct, not for this particular creationist anyway.
Ok. What would you expect to find? I can think of three criticisms (working with Biblical claims)
1) Small, sparse population, leaving little trace in the archaeological record.
This doesn't seem to match the Biblical account, which has at least one city, metal-working, etc. The Adam to Noah timeframe is given in various places as 600 years (radar? yesno?), which, given the kind of population growth supposed post-flood, would presumably lead to quite a crowd.

2) Uniform material culture.
While the existence of a common language might well influence this, 600 years is a good long time, quite enough for distant settlements to at least develop different pottery decorations, etc!

3) Flood would have destroyed nearly all trace of previous settlements.
As you said. But in this the YEC account would be internally contradictory, since all sorts of fragile animal remains are supposed to be getting fossilized at this point, many where they fell trying to escape the Flood.

However, finding artifacts in rock layers and coal that were obviously man-made

This is great! I've been so busy with ID creationism, I've almost forgotten about the more crackpotty arguments! It's like a blast from the past . . .

Evolutionists tap-dance to avoid that information usually rather than bring it up.
Do they get top hats and canes?

Metal containers, tools, jewelry, slates with writing on them, etc.
You better come get this stuff, radar! It's taking up too much space where we hid it down at Area 51 - there's no room to reverse-engineer the salvaged alien technology!

That most scientists, being anti-creation, will look for older dates and longer geneologies and tend to settle on them is also not a shock.

radar, most scientists don't care about creationism (folks like PZ Myers or Gould are the rather rare exceptions). It doesn't matter to them. They're not "look[ing] for older dates and longer geneologies" - they're working. I mean, you're just really missing the point here.

Gotta go -

-Dan S.

Juggling Mother said...

I did have a long comment written out yesterday, then blogger ate it! grrrrrr!

Anyway, Dan S has raised some good points about the physical evidence of the flood, but I want to ask another question. One that's beenm asked before, but not answered yet. I did write it all myself, the first time, but now I've found some websites that say it so much better.....

OK, "Babel was around 2300 B.C., the lifetime of Peleg (2358 - 2119 B.C.). Now if that is right, then we have to believe that all of the cultures and nations existing at the time of Abraham had begun and become settled in about 200 years! All the way from Babel to Abram in 200 years? Genesis mentions 26 cities in Canaan alone during the time of Abraham; were they all settled in the previous 200 years? We see Abraham in contact with an overflowing population of Kenites, Kenizzites, Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites. He goes into Egypt with its long history of Pharaohs and its princes (12:15). We could note here that 2000 B.C. would be Egypt's dynasty 12. Were the previous 11 dynasties all come and gone in 200 years? One pharaoh of dynasty 6 ruled 94 years himself! But there's more. Abraham rescues Lot and other captives from the cities of the plain near Damascus, having been deported by kings of Shinar, Ellaser, Elam, and Goiim (Gen. 14). Then he is met by a priest king of Salem, Melchizedek. Later he comes into contact with Philistines, who, Jeremiah (47:4) and Amos (9:7) tell us, are from Crete, which then was settled and civilized even earlier. Moses tells us (Deut. 2:23) that before the Philistines came to Canaan from Crete, the Southwestern section of Canaan had been occupied by the Avvim. Now all of these civilizations we must believe arose in a space of about 200 years from Babel to Abram?" source

Anonymous said...

[Dan S. quotes:]

"In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to observed, as Augustine teaches (Gen. ad lit. i, 18). The first is, to hold the truth of Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation, only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it, if it be proved with certainty to be false; lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing."

-Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica.

Anonymous said...

radar, I asked a question some time ago (don't worry, this isn't about horses!); perhaps I failed to recognize your reply as an answer.

Let's say it was shown to you beyond reasonable doubt that not only was evolution correct, at least in its broad outlines (I don't imagine anyone with any degree of science literacy imagines the current account to be complete and infailable), but so, similarly, were those parts of of modern archaelogy, geology, physics, astronomy, cosmology (even mainstream biblical scholarship) that the YEC position denies or contradicts.

How would this affect your faith in God?

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that should be archaeology.

From the general to the specific:

If I had a hammer! - here's a discussion of "the London Hammer: An Alleged Out Of Place Artifact"

From the specific to the inane: a letter published in the Greenville News (SC):

"Bible tells the truth about our creation

Why is it that these evolutionists are trying so hard to deny that God created the Earth and all that is on it? Now we have an "educated" minister who claims that seminaries have proved that the beginning chapters of the Bible were not written according to the Word of God, but by unknown authors and added to the Bible by some editor. How about the words in John 1:1-4?

I don't think much of a minister who felt it was more important to preach about things he didn't believe, rather than risking his post by not pleasing his (ignorant) congregation.

The theory of evolution does not and cannot explain so much about the universe that we know. For instance, when and how did water evolve? How does it happen that gravity can hold us to the Earth, and at the same time allow us to step up without any trouble? How did it happen that the Earth is spinning at the exact rate that keeps us from feeling that movement?

I find it much easier to believe that Genesis tells us the truth of the creation when we know from God's own Word that nothing is impossible for him to do.
Carol Crooks, Greer"

The letter she's responding to is only available in full for $, but here is a slightly later article from the same paper: Threats to science education hurt religion, too: The theory of evolution doesn’t conflict with the religious views of the vast majority of people.
(The SC Board of Ed in fact rejected the anti-evolution proposal being addressed here, although apparently the state may butt in to support the anti-evolution subcommittee, despite the Board's vote)
Looking through the letters, I wonder how many of the pro-ID creationist folks have ever been exposed to any actual science, or just the distorted reflection found in creationist literature and confused popular fancies.

Oh my. Looking through the NCSE news page - radar, did you know Henry Morris died? Hard to imagine, in a way . . .

-Dan S.

creeper said...

Mrs A, you've raised an excellent point. Internal inconsistencies must be especially vexing if one has already confined oneself to a single source - how now to trust that source?

I just wanted to add that according to the YEC timeline, there would have been less than 1000 people in the whole world around Abraham's time.

(Whether (and how) they had already evolved into the different races is another question that "creation science" has yet to address.)