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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Behemoths and Leviathans and Dragons, oh my!

Time to approach another subject in the discussion of creationism versus macroevolution. (Note, by request I will no longer refer to believers in macroevoluton as "Darwinists" although I may use the term "Darwinism from time to time.)

Big Lizards, baby! Dinosaurs...

Now, anyone who has ever seen the Flintstones or perhaps as a child read the comic strip "Alley Oop" are aware that man and dinosaur did at one time coexist. In fact, it is my belief that among the "kinds" of animals preserved by Noah on the Ark were numbered some dinosaurs.

Much like flood stories, most ancient cultures have monsters or dragon stories. It is my opinion that the reason there are so many flood stories is because there was a world-wide flood. I now propose that the reason there are so many dinosaur/dragon tales are because they are true or based in truth. In fact, historians will admit that within the normal historical documentation of many peoples are stories of encounters with dinosaurs or creatures that certainly sound like dinosaurs. Oddly these stories are taken out of the category of history and called "myth" simply because modern man does not want to admit that dinosaurs may have been living amongst us 1,000 years ago.

Bible evidence

Being a Christian, the evidence in the Bible is significant to me. As it happens, dinosaurs are described in the Bible in more than one place. The most obvious reference is in one of the oldest of books, the Book of Job.

Job 40:15-24 -

"15 “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you;
He eats grass like an ox.

16 See now, his strength is in his hips,
And his power is in his stomach muscles.

17 He moves his tail like a cedar;
The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit.

18 His bones are like beams of bronze,
His ribs like bars of iron.

19 He is the first of the ways of God;
Only He who made him can bring near His sword.

20 Surely the mountains yield food for him,
And all the beasts of the field play there.

21 He lies under the lotus trees,
In a covert of reeds and marsh.

22 The lotus trees cover him with their shade;
The willows by the brook surround him.

23 Indeed the river may rage,
Yet he is not disturbed;
He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth,

24 Though he takes it in his eyes,
Or one pierces his nose with a snare."


The above creature is obviously far more fearful than an elephant or even a hippopotamus (plus, the "tail like a cedar" is a clue...). The description is one of great size and power. Much like a Brachiosaurus or a Sauroposeidon, it was a plant eater that is not described as being aggresive, just too big to mess with.

Now Job may have been written 3,500 years ago, long before Christ walked the earth and by my estimation less than 1,000 years after the Flood. Job also describes another creature that certainly sounds like a dinosaur. The entirety of Job 41 is devoted to describing another dinosaur.

Leviathan

(Job 41)


1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?

2 Can you put a reed through his nose,
Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

3 Will he make many supplications to you?
Will he speak softly to you?

4 Will he make a covenant with you?
Will you take him as a servant forever?

5 Will you play with him as with a bird,
Or will you leash him for your maidens?

6 Will your companions make a banquet of him?
Will they apportion him among the merchants?

7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons,
Or his head with fishing spears?

8 Lay your hand on him;
Remember the battle—
Never do it again!

9 Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false;
Shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him?

10 No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up.
Who then is able to stand against Me?

11 Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him?
Everything under heaven is Mine.

12 “I will not conceal his limbs,
His mighty power, or his graceful proportions.

13 Who can remove his outer coat?
Who can approach him with a double bridle?

14 Who can open the doors of his face,
With his terrible teeth all around?

15 His rows of scales are his pride,
Shut up tightly as with a seal;

16 One is so near another
That no air can come between them;

17 They are joined one to another,
They stick together and cannot be parted.

18 His sneezings flash forth light,
And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

19 Out of his mouth go burning lights;
Sparks of fire shoot out.

20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils,
As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.

21 His breath kindles coals,
And a flame goes out of his mouth.

22 Strength dwells in his neck,
And sorrow dances before him.

23 The folds of his flesh are joined together;
They are firm on him and cannot be moved.

24 His heart is as hard as stone,
Even as hard as the lower millstone.

25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.

26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail;
Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.

27 He regards iron as straw,
And bronze as rotten wood.

28 The arrow cannot make him flee;
Slingstones become like stubble to him.

29 Darts are regarded as straw;
He laughs at the threat of javelins.

30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds;
He spreads pointed marks in the mire.

31 He makes the deep boil like a pot;
He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.

32 He leaves a shining wake behind him;
One would think the deep had white hair.

33 On earth there is nothing like him,
Which is made without fear.

34 He beholds every high thing;
He is king over all the children of pride.”


Leviathan is mentioned by name four other places in the Bible, in Job 3:8, in Psalms 74:14, in Psalms 104.26 and in Isaiah 27:1, which is listed below:

"In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong,Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea."

Hmmm. The reptile that is in the sea. In the King James version, that word "reptile" is translated as "dragon." Dragon appears numerous times in scripture, allegorically in prophecy in the Book of Revelation, but twenty-two other times in the Old Testament and at least twenty of those times it refers to some kind of creature. Here is the King James version of Psalms 74:13-14.

"12 For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.

13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.

14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness."


The Book of Malachi was written somewhere in the vicinity of 600-500 BC, the Psalms around 1,000 BC or so and Isaiah probably around 700 BC. All of these books mention a leviathan or a dragon. Not as an allegorical symbol, but as a creature mentioned along with creatures such as the owl or the lion.

As a believing Christian, I take the Bible seriously as an historical narrative and I believe it to be accurate. If God didn't know the difference between a dinosaur and an elephant, or a dinosaur and a whale then I certainly cannot trust Him with weightier matters such as the disposition of my soul! Therefore I believe at the time of writing of such books, leviathans/dragons and behemoths did walk the earth and inhabit the seas.

For further reference, here is (From StudyLight.org) the Old Testament word and meanings for these animals from the Hebrew:

Leviathan

Original Word Word Origin
atywl from (03867)
Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling
Livyathan liv-yaw-thawn'
Parts of Speech TWOT
Noun Masculine 1089b
Definition


1. leviathan, sea monster, dragon
1. large aquatic animal
2. perhaps the extinct dinosaur, plesiosaurus, exact meaning unknown ++++ Some think this to be a crocodile but from the description in Job 41 this is patently absurd. It appears to ba a large fire breathing animal of some sort. Just as the bomardier beetle has an explosion producing mechanism, so the great sea dragon may have an explosive producing mechanism to enable it to be a real fire breathing dragon.


Behemoth

Original Word Word Origin
twmhb in form a plural or (0929), but really a singular of Egyptian derivation
Transliterated Word Phonetic Spelling
B@hemowth be-hay-mohth'
Parts of Speech TWOT
Noun Masculine 208b
Definition


1. perhaps an extinct dinosaur
1. a Diplodocus or Brachiosaurus, exact meaning unknown ++++ Some translate as elephant or hippopotamus but from the description in Job 40:15-24, this is patently absurd.


Next, a look at historical documentation of encounters between men and apparent dinosaurs in the distant and not-so-distant past. Should be fun!

Have a Blessed Easter and/or Passover!

49 comments:

Middle_America said...

Blessed Easter and/or Passover to you as well.

creeper said...

Happy Easter, Radar, and thank you so much for this little nugget:

"Now, anyone who has ever seen the Flintstones or perhaps as a child read the comic strip "Alley Oop" are aware that man and dinosaur did at one time coexist."

Words fail me. Radar, that has got to be the funniest thing I've ever seen on your blog - even better than Highboy's "why are there still monkeys"... and it's original, no less! Truly impressive.

creeper said...

"(Note, by request I will no longer refer to believers in macroevoluton as "Darwinists" although I may use the term "Darwinism from time to time.)"

That's very kind of you. Could you explain what "Darwinism" means?

Anonymous said...

""Now, anyone who has ever seen the Flintstones"

I had to smile at that too . . . hey, when I was a kid, our car was in such bad shape that there were literally rusted-out holes where you could put your feet through and pretend to run, a la the Flintstones-mobile. No Dino, though : (

This gets a bit long and rambly, so let me jump back up here and ask one question, for those just tuning in: If people and dinosaurs coexisted, if dinosaurs were wandering around 1,000 years ago, how come paleontologists have never found dinosaur remains in pre-Triassic or post-Cretaceous deposits? That would be an astonishing find (especially post-), ensuring fame and magazine covers for the lucky researcher. Why do all rocks with dinosaur fossils give appropriate dates with radiometric dating? Why are dinosaur and human remains never found in relation to one another - not nearby, no evidence that one was eating the other, nothing? Why, indeed, are dino remains never found with any non-Mesozoic plant or animal? (Forget T. rex vs. King Kong - why haven't we found any signs of epic conflict between meat-eating dinos and, say, mammoths? That would rock!)

"Much like flood stories, most ancient cultures have monsters or dragon stories"

Well, that's a wide range - monster or dragon stories? Come on, now! Anyway, I know of European dragons and Asian dragon; there is also a giant snake in Native North American legend, sometimes bearing wings and antlers, plus the Mesoamerican Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent. What the winged dragons tend to have in common is a union of earth and air, both symbolically potent and characteristically mythical in their patchwork, chimeric nature. The ones who don't, well, they're big snakes and are perhaps best explained psychologically, one way or the other.

There have been various suggestions that dragons spring from some buried corner of our brain - an inherited fear of giant reptiles left over from our ancient little shrewlike ancestors who lived in the shadow of the dinosaurs, a general fear of venomous snakes, perhaps even, as I just read on wikipedia (sure, it's not perfect, but it's convenient and fun!) even an instinctual fear of big flying things from the days when our hominid ancestors were preyed upon by large eagles (that one seems a bit unlikely).

Wikipedia also reminded me of another interesting possibility - that some legends of dragons and other big mythical beasts were encouraged, or even formed, by encounters not with living dinosaurs, but with their fossil remains, and those of extinct mammals. There were some very interesting hypotheses along these lines - were griffins inspired by protoceratops? The cyclops by extinct elephant skulls (which do kinda look like giant skulls with one big eye)? I'll find a link in a bit for anyone who might be interested.

"Oddly these stories are taken out of the category of history and called "myth"

Rather like unicorns, and vampires, and trolls, and other such creatures.

" simply because modern man does not want to admit that dinosaurs may have been living amongst us 1,000 years ago."

I think dragons have been considered mythical for quite a while now.

"As it happens, dinosaurs are described in the Bible in more than one place."

Well, it describes something like a giant grass-eating ox with a tail that moves like a tree, and then talks about a fire-breathing sea serpent. (I can't imagine why a sea serpent would finding it useful to breathe fire, frankly - unless we're talking about some sort of prey-attracting or mate-signalling bioluminescence . . .)

" . . the doors of his face,"
- also the name of a fairly good Zelazny short story - "The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth" - and short story collection, including one rather amusing little piece about the exiled leader of a failed rebellion . . .

"And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning."
great poetry. Truly inspired - though we might disagree about what kind of inspiration . . .

"As a believing Christian, I take the Bible seriously as an historical narrative and I believe it to be accurate. If God didn't know the difference between a dinosaur and an elephant, or a dinosaur and a whale then I certainly cannot trust Him with weightier matters such as the disposition of my soul!"

But is that the only option? Isn't this somewhat of a false choice?


"Note, by request I will no longer refer to believers in macroevoluton as "Darwinists" although I may use the term "Darwinism from time to time.)"

Thank you very much! - although it's not a matter of, say, politeness so much as of simple correctness. We don't talk about believers in gravity as Newtonists, or belivers in relativity as Einsteinists, or plate tectonics as Wegenerists; no one talks about Pasteurist or Kochist or Salkist treaments for disease, or Watsonist-Crickist DNA models. However, we do find this sort of nomenclature other places, generally in labeling various kinds of ideology, something taken to an extreme within Communism, where both state dogma and especially any opposing ideas were designated with what is translated as -ist and ism.

Intentionally or not, both "Darwinism" and "Darwinist" serve a rhetorical purpose - implying that it lies not in the realm of science but of ideology. It also seems to imply that it is not a matter of essentially blanket scientific consensus - the basis of research by countless scientists- and a theoretical construct that has seen major & continuing adjustments, alterations, additions (and confirmations) since the mid-19th Century, but merely a cultish and dogmatic fixation upon the musings of a long-dead reclusive English country gentleman. It's not quite at the same level as calling Christians cannibals, but it's not good.

There's an additional wrinkle too. I'm fascinated by the living world, and try to follow scientific research regarding it - but no one would call me a biologist. We don't talk about Hawking fans as physicists. I may have a shelf of "Roadside Guide to the Geology of [fill in state]" books (they're great, if somewhat of a driving hazard), and other geology books, and even some college coursework - but you wouldn't call me a geologist! The minimum for this sort of thing is some sort of academic qualification - usually a degree, except for very young fields - and actual work. Yet I very well could be labeled a Darwinist! Besides amplifying the ideology connection (you don't need a degree to be a Communist, or a Christian), it deemphasizes the academic aspect again. It might be better to refer, when appropriate, to scientists in general - of specifically, such as evolutionary biologists, geneticists, paleontologists, etc., or science - evolutionary biology, genetics, developmental biology, etc., and have another term for non-specialists interested in learning about and/or defending evolution. I'd say 'evolutionist', but that's been used as a synonym for evolutionary biologist, so I dunno.

Anyway, thanks again. I promise never to call you a theophagite.

-Dan S. wondering if God would be kosher . . .

Anonymous said...

Oh, and: Happy Easter, Happy Passover!

I'm still annoyed that Mole Day celebrates some silly chemistry number thing : ) and not actual moles. Moles need a holiday too! (It's not around now or anything - just remembered it for some reason)

-Dan S.

Jeffahn said...

Does this mean that the 'The Jetsons' represent how we'll be living in the future?

radar said...

Creeper, it is good to see that both you and I retain a sense of humor...

Oh, and I forgot to mention the song...by the Hollywood Argyles...Alley Oop.

"Hey hey hey

Da da da

That's what I say

Da da da



There's a man in the funny papers we all know

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

He lived way back a long time ago

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Well he don't eat nothin' but bearcat stew

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Oh well this cat's name is a-Alley Oop

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop



He's the toughest man there is alive

Alley Oop

Wears clothes from a wildcat's hide

Alley Oop

He's the king of the jungle jive

Look at that caveman go!



He's got a chauffeur that's a genuine dinosaur

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

And he can knuckle your head before you count to four

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

He's got a big ugly club and a headful of hair

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

He's oohhhh eatin' grizzly bear

(*Laughter*)

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Forgot the words!



He's the toughest man there is alive

Alley Oop

Wears clothes from a wildcat's hide

Alley Oop

He's the king of the jungle jive

Look at that caveman go!

(*Scream*)



He rides through the jungle tearin' limbs offa trees

(*Scream*)

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

And knocking great big monsters dead on their knees

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Other cats don't bug him 'cos they know better

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

'Cos he's a mean motor scooter and a bad go-getter

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop



Well, uh, he's the toughest man there is alive

Alley Oop

Wears clothes from a wildcat's hide

Alley Oop

He's a hully gully king of jive

(*Laugh*)

Well look at that caveman go!

(*Scream*)



There he goes

(There he goes.)

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Look at that caveman go

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Ride, daddy, ride

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Heigh-ho, dinosaur

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Oh my goodness, what a big brute he is! Hm!

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Oh, how would you like a dinosaur like that, for your own? Mm!

(*Laughter*)

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop

Alley Oop Oop, Oop Oop Oop"

(Thanks to the College of DuPage website)

creeper said...

"it is good to see that both you and I retain a sense of humor"

I kind of figured you would try to pretend it was meant as a joke, but why on Earth would you use a joke whose sarcasm undermines instead of supports the point you're trying to make?

Uaeleq.

cranky old fart said...

BTW, is anyone keeping up with all the unanswered direct questions on here?

As we move from one long evasive/subject changing post to another, there seem to be any number of direct questions that keep getting bumped to the rear, or off, the main page.

Just curious.

radar said...

Creeper - "I kind of figured you would try to pretend it was meant as a joke, but why on Earth would you use a joke whose sarcasm undermines instead of supports the point you're trying to make?"

Hmm, let's see...because I have a sense of humor? I thought it was funny?

Cranky, I give you credit for persistence but sometimes you just won't take no for an answer. I made my math point and am not going to put the equations on my blog. Anyone who really wants to look them up will do so.

Jeffahn, not sure about the Jetsons but I gotta say two things...

One, the women in that strip were pretty hot in those outfits...I am happily married so I am not looking but if a girl showed up on a date in my single days in a getup like that I would pay attention.

Two, the corporate world is exactly the same. I guess we will always need sprockets and cogs, even if someday they are nano sprockets and cogs...

xiangtao said...

Thank you for the concession about "Darwinists". One additional point to make on that: you believe that the first parts of the Bible are literally true written by Moses a few thousand years back, but we don't refer to you as a Mosesist, nor to your beliefs as Mosesism.

Anonymous said...

"One, the women in that strip were pretty hot in those outfits"

Stone Age chic! Talk about retro styling . . .

"we don't refer to you as a Mosesist, nor to your beliefs as Mosesism."

Yeah, it's too hard to say!

"Next, a look at historical documentation of encounters between men and apparent dinosaurs in the distant and not-so-distant past."

Here's one valuable source. . . After all, how can scientists deny evidence like this>?!

-Dan S.

cranky old fart said...

Radar,

So, just to make sure we understand each other, you have admitted that a supernatural explanation has not led to any scientific breakthrough, or any invention. Correct?

Next, you have no link or ability to post the equation and assumptions behind the odds of horse evolution that you've cited several times. Correct?

creeper said...

Radar,

"Cranky, I give you credit for persistence but sometimes you just won't take no for an answer. I made my math point and am not going to put the equations on my blog. Anyone who really wants to look them up will do so."

Why are we supposed to take no for an answer when a concession on your part would be far more appropriate?

You've accused us of changing the equation and assumption of a specific claim you posted re. the odds of horse evolution. I pointed out that you never even posted either the equation or the assumption, and asked you to back up the claim you supposedly stand behind with the underlying reasoning, the assumptions it is based on, so that we can see that it is not subject to a number of fallacies that were pointed out to you.

You've tried to fob us off with some strawman about abiogenesis, and you posted other, similar snippets that go on and on about how gobsmackingly huge some number is, without explaining where it comes from. Not only that, but you boasted about having posted a "thorough look" at the statistics when all you had posted was one number with no explanation where it came from, and then bragged about how you had "challenged one and all to take on the statistical argument in a straightforward manner" and that we supposedly could not do it. Meanwhile you continue to refuse to come clean about the equations and the underlying assumptions of your claim, which is what would be necessary for us to take on the statistical argument in a straightforward manner.

It's a bit like that scene from Fargo where the William H. Macy character is questioned quite calmly by the Frances McDormand character, and he breaks into a sweat - all while insisting that "I'm co-operating here! Ma'am, I answered your question." - and makes a quick escape. Needless to say, he didn't have the answers she was looking for.

xiangtao: "we don't refer to you as a Mosesist, nor to your beliefs as Mosesism."

Dan: "Yeah, it's too hard to say!"


How about Mosist? The host with the Mosist?

creeper said...

I've been thinking about what Radar said about dinosaurs existing up to maybe 1000 years ago, and there's something we really should take into account when considering this that I have to admit I too overlooked:

Since I saw Predator and Predator II, I'm aware that a highly advanced alien race occasionally visits Earth to go big-game hunting. From existing evidence (both movies), the predators like to hunt dangerous game, in the existing documented cases modern man, first out in the jungle (Predator) and then in a big city (Predator II).

It is reasonable to suppose that such predators would have existed 1000 years ago, and if they had come to Earth at that point they would have focused on the most dangerous game at that point, which would have been, of course, not medieval man but dinosaurs.

I therefore posit that, since we know from the Flintstones that man and dinosaur did at one time coexist, we can also conclude from the Predator movies that they could well have been hunted to extinction by predators from outer space.

The proof is out there. Go check it out on DVD.

creeper said...

Dan,

"Here's one valuable source. . . After all, how can scientists deny evidence like this>?!"

re. your links to evidence of man and dinosaur coexisting (albeit not harmoniously) in the year One Million B.C.:

Nice try, but this so-called "evidence" won't wash. It's clearly a forgery: there is no such thing as One Million B.C.! Another clear example of so-called "scientific" techniques of dating being utter hogwash.

IAMB said...

On the topic of the post...

... Erm, I don't think that the passage about behemoth means what you think it means...

It's been toned down a bit in the NIV to get rid of the overt sex organ references from the KJV... at least in my opinion.

radar said...

"So, just to make sure we understand each other, you have admitted that a supernatural explanation has not led to any scientific breakthrough, or any invention. Correct?"

Correct. I believe that the belief in the supernatural advanced science in previous ages, gave men the belief that the world was logical and comprehensible. I also believe such knowledge today is helpful in understanding evidence that is uncovered. But otherwise we have no supernatural power and cannot use it to invent or uncover anything.

"Next, you have no link or ability to post the equation and assumptions behind the odds of horse evolution that you've cited several times. Correct?"

Incorrect. I am being stubborn here, but I submitted sources and those who are not too lazy to pursue them will do so. Those who are willing to accept or deny my conclusions based on what I did already post will do so. If you are not satisfied, you either didn't follow up on previous sources or you just don't like the conclusion. I suspect you just don't like the conclusion.

Anonymous said...

"Erm, I don't think that the passage about behemoth means what you think it means..."

Oh, what a big, er . . . tail you have, behemoth! (And that bit about the sinew of his stones in the KJV. . .)

More Index to Creationist Claims cut and paste fun!

Claim CH711:
Behemoth, from Job 40:15-24, was a dinosaur. Job 40:17 says, "His tail sways like a cedar." Such tails only existed on dinosaurs.
. . .
Response:
There is no evidence to support such a claim. Fantastic creatures appear in folklore from all times and places. There is no reason to believe that the ancient Hebrews would be different.

The "tail like a cedar," which creationists think indicates a large dinosaur, is not even a real tail. "Tail" was used as a euphemism in the King James version. A more likely translation for the phrase is, "His penis stiffens like a cedar" (Mitchell 1987). The behemoth was probably a bull, and the cedar comparison referred to its virility.

Claim CH711.1:
Leviathan, described in Job 41 and mentioned in Psalms 104:26, describes a dinosaur like Parasaurolophus or Corythosaurus, or a plesiosaur such as Koronosaurus.
. . . .
Response:
Leviathan appears also in Ugaritic texts, where it is described as a twisting serpent (echoing language from Isa. 27:1) with seven heads. It personifies the waters of the primeval chaos. The rousing of Leviathan in Job 3:8 implies an undoing of the process of creation (Day 1992).

It has also been suggested that Leviathan was a crocodile or whale, but its multiple heads (referred to also in Ps. 74:14) make it clear that it is a fantastic creature, such as appear in folklore from all times and places.

Leviathan is clearly described as a sea creature in the Bible. Parasaurolophus and Corythosaurus were terrestrial.

[snip] . . .

Claim CH712:
Legends about dragons are really actual accounts of man meeting up with dinosaurs.
. . .
Response:
Folklore does not require a physical basis. Leprechauns, the Loch Ness Monster, djinni, the tooth fairy, and other creatures have long survived in folklore without any bodies to examine.

Men never met up with living dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs need not be living to inspire myth and legend. In China, fossil bones (of all kinds of creatures, not just dinosaurs) have long been called dragon bones. Fossils of Protoceratops inspired legends of griffins (Mayor 2000). In Lakota myth, dinosaur fossils in the Badlands of South Dakota are attributed to river monsters (Erdoes and Ortiz 1984, 220-222). The Pawnee attribute fossils to a former race of giants (Grinnell 1961, 355-356).


"It's clearly a forgery: there is no such thing as One Million B.C.!"

Oh man, you foiled my clever plan!! I was going to try to sell it to AIG for a substantial sum. Ach, I'm just a poor man and all my money-making ventures have gone awry. I tried to find that gold at the end of the rainbow, but no matter how fast I ran, it kept getting further away, and now I'm all out of breath! I better go knock out a few teeth and hide them under my pillow - when the tooth fairy comes for them I'm gonna grab her and snatch her change purse - or maybe hold her for ransom . . .

-Dan S., ffizxk-y

IAMB said...

And then we have Job 40:16 (KJV):

Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

I did a quick search for references to "loins" in the KJV, just to make sure I wasn't taking that passage to mean something it doesn't.

Sure enough, all the references I found were referring to manly equipment.

I'm sorry, but if someone says "his strength is in his loins", I'm pretty sure we're talking about breeding stock. The whole "tail and stones" thing just makes more sense from that perspective...

Oh, what a big, er . . . tail you have, behemoth!

Took the words right out of my mouth, erm, keyboard.

cranky old fart said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cranky old fart said...

Radar,

ID is a supernatural explanation of life on earth. Correct?

radar said...

"Radar,

ID is a supernatural explanation of life on earth. Correct?"

I disagree. To say that life was designed does not specify the nature of the designer. That is another step down the logic road. But to agree that life is designed is not yet to the point of identifying a designer.

radar said...

Sorry guys....

The word for "tail" in that passage of Job is zanab, which is translated as tail, tails or tail stub (once). There is no sexual connotation in the use of the word. You guys are barking up the wrong cedar, ha ha

radar said...

Mothen is the word used in Job that you refer to, which is descriptive of the pelvic area. It is not used in a sexual manner.

Chalats is another word translated as "loins" that does mean as you suggested. Charats might suggest this as well. But neither word is used here.

Therefore, the writer was indicating that the animal had b-i-i-i-i-i-g hips and or thighs and was not commenting on his sexual equipment or virility.

creeper said...

"I believe that the belief in the supernatural advanced science in previous ages, gave men the belief that the world was logical and comprehensible."

Ironically today the roles have changed drastically, and while natural scientists proceed from a logical and comprehensible process, "creation scientists" find themselves in the role of having to posit inconsistent natural laws or illogical violations of same to hang on to their Mosist notions - such as rays of light traveling through space before their point of origin even exists etc.

"I also believe such knowledge today is helpful in understanding evidence that is uncovered."

And yet so far you have not been able to name a single instance where it would be useful, and where it would tell us anything that evolutionary biology doesn't already.

Not a single instance.

Not one example.

"But otherwise we have no supernatural power and cannot use it to invent or uncover anything."

A deliberate strawman? This isn't about us having "supernatural power", but about invoking the supernatural as an explanation.

"I am being stubborn here, but I submitted sources and those who are not too lazy to pursue them will do so."

You stated a certain result, as calculated by one person (Huxley). You then evade the question as to the equation and assumptions behind that result consistently, put up some stuff about the odds of abiogenesis etc. Finally you don't link to Huxley's calculation, or anyone else's calculation for that matter, but instead merely mention two other people (Dembski and Coppedge) who you claim will answer the question as to the equation and assumption behind the claim by the first person.

Did they all do the same calculation on the odds of the evolution of the horse? Did they all reach the same result? If so, let's compare all three - perhaps some are less fallacious than others.

But you won't back up your claim with linking to the equation or assumptions of Huxley or the others.

"Those who are willing to accept or deny my conclusions based on what I did already post will do so."

But so far all you've shown of the statistics angle was a conclusion whose origins you're incredibly reluctant to reveal. And dropped some names.

"If you are not satisfied, you either didn't follow up on previous sources or you just don't like the conclusion. I suspect you just don't like the conclusion."

It has nothing to do with not liking the conclusion; what we don't like is that it's just a conclusion, with no indication of how it was calculated. Stop tiptoing for the exit and back up your claim, Radar. Or concede the point.

Why won't you even link to the equation and assumptions behind the specific claim you posted?

Are you really that afraid that the assumptions underlying the claim will turn out to be subject to the fallacies we've already mentioned? Or that the false way in which you used the horse evolution quote to begin with will become clear? (Huxley was talking about the hypothetical odds of the horse evolving without natural selection.)

creeper said...

Dan,

"Oh man, you foiled my clever plan!! I was going to try to sell it to AIG for a substantial sum."

I don't see how me pointing out it's nonsense should turn the AIG off... between you and me, if you change 'million' to 'thousand', I think you're on to a winner. It looks like you already have some dynamite footage lined up, too!

creeper said...

"To say that life was designed does not specify the nature of the designer. To say that life was designed does not specify the nature of the designer."

If ID aims to show that intelligence can not evolve naturally, and if ID accepts that intelligence exists, then at some point a supernatural explanation will be necessary, be it via God* creating us directly, or via God creating intelligent aliens who then create us.

* God doesn't have to mean God - it can be anyone who has the skillset to create the entire universe. (Yes, I borrowed that, but it makes the point so succinctly.)

Owzeex!

radar said...

Creeper, I was asked by a commenter to not use the term, "Darwinist" and I agreed. Now you are calling me a "Mosist"?? Calling me a made-up stupid term, "Mosist" after I quit using the well-known term "Darwinist" shows you to be ill-mannered and rude.

Plus, your continual whining about statistics has gotten more than old. I submit that you are in need of a "Wa-a-a-a-a-a-ambulance" and I am now dialing 911 for you. Not only do I not concede the statistical point, I have shoved it down your throat and to save face are trying to get me to accede to your demands. Not happening. Not for you. I don't reward rude behavior. This is my blog. Go ahead and post what you like on your blog.

Anonymous said...

"The word for "tail" in that passage of Job is zanab, which is translated as tail, tails or tail stub (once)."

Ok. You're completely right here, far as I can tell.

"There is no sexual connotation in the use of the word."

There's a page over here arguing that it is a fairly clear example of euphemistic language, that 'moves his tail like a cedar' is very different from 'has as tail as big as a cedar' (what kind of tree is being referred to here, specifically?), and all sorts of other fun behemoth/dinosaur/dragon stuff. I'm in way over my head on this point, so I'm going to back away slowly, at least until I learn a bit more. It does seem that the text doesn't literally say 'wow, that behemoth has a big tonker!' The figurative meaning seems rather unclear.

"Mothen is the word used in Job that you refer to, which is descriptive of the pelvic area. It is not used in a sexual manner"

You seem to be right here as well - at least, no translations of mothen appear to have such specific conotations. There's a claim that mothen is used in the phrase ~ from the loins of Jacob (Exodus 1:5 KJV?), but this seems to be incorrect, given my creaky knowledge of the hebrew alphabet . . .

-Dan S.

radar said...

Dan,

I don't think anyone can really attack the Job descriptions according to the meaning of the Hebrew. The Hebrew words indicate that these descriptions are of actual animals. I don't put a lot of stock in outside commenters who have differing opinions but rather in the language in Job itself.

People may decide they don't want to give Job credit as an historical book and that is a different conversation. But if you do, then the descriptions of the animals must be taken at face value.

(I began with the Bible descriptions and a bit of humor to draw the humor out with commenters as well. By request, I am doing part two on Tuesday since I have been asked to post on a specific dinosaur tonight.
Anyway, Dan, glad to see you keep your sense of humor on your utility belt at all times!)

Leviathan, by the way, is described as being in water or around water but by description seemed to have quite a bit of contact with mankind. Nothing in the descriptions in the Bible indicate seven heads (????)

creeper said...

Very well, Radar, I take back 'Mosist'; it was merely meant in jest, and I really did not mean to offend you with it - please accept my humble and sincere apologies on this point.

As for the statistical point re. the evolution of the horse, no, you did not shove this down my throat, nor did you even manage to make the point you claim to have made. You quoted a result out of context and have not been able to back it up since.

The reason it is getting old is because you refuse to provide the equation and assumptions you have accused us of altering. Had you answered this perfectly reasonable request somewhat earlier (or even at all), then this would have been settled in a very short time.

Instead it is becoming increasingly likely that you can't answer the question.

Jxisi.

A Hermit said...

Why do literalists always assume that our ancestors were so lacking in imagination that they were incapable of allegory and metaphor?

Fire breathing dinosaurs?! Give me a break...

No one would ever dream of applying this kind of lazy thinking to teh physics involved in, say, engineering a bridge. Why would you want to apply it to the science of biology?

cranky old fart said...

"To say that life was designed does not specify the nature of the designer. That is another step down the logic road. But to agree that life is designed is not yet to the point of identifying a designer".

Cute.

Let's follow on down the "logic" road then, shall we?

ID claims that intelligence can not evolve naturally. Correct?

highboy said...

"It's been toned down a bit in the NIV to get rid of the overt sex organ references from the KJV... at least in my opinion."

"Loins" is not a reference to a sexual organ. It is a reference to the hip area, a popular cultural reference of ancient Hebrews. Hebrew words also have multiple meanings when one does an exegesis of any passage in the Bible.

Middle_America said...

Also note there has been found numerous cave drawings of dinosaurs, ect. Ancient drawings

I recall even seeing a picture of a wood mug depicting salem, but in the sky shows 2 pterodactyls.

I would also suggest all to read the book "Buried Alive" by Jack Cuozzo.

radar said...

Middle, nice link, that will fit in with the post I do Tuesday or Wednesday..

A Hermit said...

"Also note there has been found numerous cave drawings of dinosaurs, ect"

Like I said before, why do you think the ancients were devoid of imagination? Artists today create drawings based on fossil finds (which are usually then mocked as "made up" by creationists); doesn't mean they've seen an actual, living, breathing dinosaur, right? So why assume that stylized drawings of real animals (like the Egyptian and Babylonian drawings at your link), or works of imagination, like dragons, are evidence of human/dinosaur co-existence? Bit of a double standard here, don't you think?

radar said...

Creeper, if you follow it out then a supernatural explanation has to follow the ID hypothesis. It requires a source greater than the material universe to create it (creationist would say) and at the very least a source greater than normal living things to design living things.

Supernatural as an explanation is there. But supernatural as a proof I cannot provide. One commenter stated that only in math do we get proofs, every other discipline must use best available evidence and declare hypothesis, theory, or accepted fact.

Hermit, you omit the fact that many of these drawings are remarkably correct (anatomically) representations of animals that supposedly went extinct millions of years before the artist lived. How likely is it that they just happened to be accurate in this manner? I'll go further down that road in a coming post.

But also, since we have fire-farting beetles, I don't think that fire-breathing dinosaurs is that much of a stretch.

creeper said...

"Creeper, if you follow it out then a supernatural explanation has to follow the ID hypothesis."

That's (kind of) what I was saying above. ID necessitates a creator of a supernatural nature. What ID is officially neutral on is the actual identity of the designer/creator.

"It requires a source greater than the material universe to create it (creationist would say) and at the very least a source greater than normal living things to design living things."

By "greater" do you mean physically bigger? I would say instead either more complex or just different in a way that may not be comprehensible to us. Physical size as such doesn't seem so pertinent, but I don't think that's what you meant anyway.

"Supernatural as an explanation is there."

As a conclusion of the ID hypothesis, rather; not as an explanation, since it doesn't tell us how we were designed or created.

"But supernatural as a proof I cannot provide."

"Proof" is not really applicable. What is more to the point is a testable, falsifiable hypothesis, which ID also can not provide.

"One commenter stated that only in math do we get proofs, every other discipline must use best available evidence and declare hypothesis, theory, or accepted fact."

That's right, which is why a falsifiable hypothesis is so important, and that's where both ID and "creation science" fall short with baffling consistency.

Asezpil.

cranky old fart said...

Radar,

"Creeper, if you follow it out then a supernatural explanation has to follow the ID hypothesis"

Which brings us back to why ID/Creationism is not science, and has no place in a science class.

As you have already admitted, supernatural explanations never lead to any scientific breakthroughs.

Tell ya what. I'll admit Godidit if you'll admit that it matters not a wit, scientifically speaking.

highboy said...

"But also, since we have fire-farting beetles"

We do? Okay, you have to give me some info on that if your serious, that is too awesome.

creeper said...

Highboy,

google "bombardier beetle".

OMG: Shneixl!

radar said...

http://www.faunanet.gov.au/wos/factfile.
cfm?Fact_ID=165

Bombardier Beetle. Very cool insect.

Creeper, we have semantics issues. I say the belief in God was foundational to early scientists and you say it is a worthless thought. We are both correct from a certain point of view. I will agree that whether or not God created has no practical value in terms of what science can do. In terms of predictive or explanatory value, it can still be useful.

creeper said...

"Creeper, we have semantics issues."

The question I posed was very straightforward, and the answer appears to be that invoking a supernatural explanation has never benefited science, nor led to any scientific breakthrough.

It may be that you genuinely misunderstood the point of the question and thought that deflecting this to a discussion of religious inspiration was in some way germane to the benefits to modern science, but it appears to me that the current capitalist system of government and private/corporate support for scientific research is extremely efficient, and judging from the anti-science instincts that so many fundamentalist Christians express in public, it is likely that imposing their archaic views on this system would subtract from rather than add to this.

"I say the belief in God was foundational to early scientists and you say it is a worthless thought."

No, I did not say it was a worthless thought, only that it was not terribly relevant to the benefit of this belief to science today. It may well have served as an inspiration or foundational guideline to scientists in the past; it's just that this is only of historical value, and does not affect how science is conducted today or even was actually conducted back then - scientific breakthroughs consistently came from scientists who, no matter what their religious world views happened to be, engaged in a purely naturalistic process, and came up with purely naturalistic explanations. Adding unverifiable supernatural elements to a scientific explanation never led to a breakthrough, and is of no use in science.

"We are both correct from a certain point of view."

In terms of scientists historically being inspired in one way or another by a belief in God to do their research, I agree with you that this historically has been so, though not so much in modern times, to no apparent detriment - and with the proviso that at all times the actual breakthroughs never benefited from a supernatural explanation.

In terms of your point that science today would benefit from having a choice of more possibilities by allowing supernatural explanations, no. This is something you have been consistently unable to support, and it does not appear to provide any benefit to science.

"I will agree that whether or not God created has no practical value in terms of what science can do. In terms of predictive or explanatory value, it can still be useful."

These two sentences seem contradictory to me. If the notion that God created had predictive or explanatory value (2nd sentence), then it would have practical value in terms of what science can do (1st sentence).

(Of course the 2nd sentence leads us right back to the question: "Name an example in which invoking a supernatural explanation led to a scientific insight or breakthrough. Name an invention that was made possible by invoking a supernatural explanation." Do you really want to go back to the top on this one?)

A presumption of creation and/or design has no predictive or explanatory value. No one has yet been able to present any, which was the point behind the question I had asked you.

radar said...

...and all of THAT brings us right back to the point that everything appears to be designed. DNA is evidence of design, irreducibly complex systems as well. The whole "fine-tuning" issue brings us back to design as well. The existence of life and the universe is best explained by saying "it was designed." It requires fewer assumptions and corollaries than any other hypothesis.

As I said, the scientist who acknowledges that things are designed then knows that all components of any system either have, will have or did have a purpose. This can benefit him as he studies the workings of said system or organism, whatever.

highboy said...

I want a bombardier beetle.

Anonymous said...

"I want a bombardier beetle."

So do we all.

-Dan S.

creeper said...

"...and all of THAT brings us right back to the point that everything appears to be designed."

Why don't we have distinct kinds that couldn't have a common ancestor?

"DNA is evidence of design, irreducibly complex systems as well."

How so, if you intend this as anything other than an argument from incredulity? Did you ever have a look at the relevant articles from Ken Miller that I linked to?

"The whole "fine-tuning" issue brings us back to design as well."

Depends on where you'd like to place the horse and the cart. Was the universe fine-tuned to accommodate us, or did we evolve to survive in our surroundings by a process of evolutionary fine-tuning?

"The existence of life and the universe is best explained by saying "it was designed.""

Perhaps that is a shorter description, but it doesn't explain anything as to the "how", so it really isn't the best explanation.

"It requires fewer assumptions and corollaries than any other hypothesis."

No. The theory of evolution needs to only assume the natural world and natural processes. Creationism has to proceed from an additional assumption of an undefined intervening hypothetical supernatural entity.

If you're intending to bring Occam's Razor back into this, then I'm afraid we'll have to wait until either ID or "creation science" grow up to become theories with predictive value ewual to that of the theory of evolution.

"As I said, the scientist who acknowledges that things are designed then knows that all components of any system either have, will have or did have a purpose. This can benefit him as he studies the workings of said system or organism, whatever."

1. I think it was Dan who already addressed this once. Since we know nothing about the intentions of this designer/creator and what he/she/it would consider good design or function, we gain no benefit from this whatsoever. Keep in mind the old creationist evasion regarding the question of bad design (lower back problems, knees): we don't know what the designer/creator intended.

2. Evolutionary biology already examines organisms on the assumption that most elements either have or did have a function that benefited survival and/or reproduction. A presumption of design adds nothing to this.

3. What you add here is the notion that a presumption of a designer/creator would add the conviction that something that has no function now and never had a function definitely will have a function, since it was designed with not just an outcome in mind, but with perfect foreknowledge of all future events.

Could you name an example in which such a conviction would be useful in scientific research?