Biblical Flood Probably Really Happened, Expert Says

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[ Science]

A flood of biblical proportions more than likely really did occur around the time Noah built his ark, says one historian, and he has proof.

Robert Ballard, who famously found the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985 and was more recently involved in the search for Amelia Earhart’s plane, says there is a very real possibility that during Noah’s time period–about 12,000 years ago–massively iced-over lands collided with the sudden rising of the Mediterranean Sea, creating a wall of water which would have wiped out everything in its path with a force 200 times greater than that of Niagara Falls.

“Where I live in Connecticut there was ice a mile above my house, all the way back to the North Pole, about 15 million kilometers; that’s a big ice cube,” he said. “But then it started to melt. We’re talking about the floods of our living history.”

Ballard has been working on an underwater expedition to prove such a cataclysmic event occurred, and says he found an ancient shoreline 400 feet below the surface of the Black Sea. Carbon dating on shells discovered there prove there was an event powerful enough to bury the shoreline around 5,000 B.C., which is the time some say Noah lived.

“It probably was a bad day,” Ballard said. “At some magic moment, it broke through and flooded this place violently, and a lot of real estate, 150,000 square kilometers of land, went under.”

Ballard doesn’t hold out hope of actually finding an ark, but he does believe there are many treasures beneath the sea around Turkey and is making plans for more expeditions there. So far he’s found pottery and an ancient shipwreck which still held the bones of its occupants.

Biblical Flood Probably Really Happened, Expert Says
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  • stu johnson

    Actually the earth was surrounded by a thick heavy layer of water vapor. The one true god(Name withheld) caused that layer of water to come down and it took 40 days for all that water to come down as rain, a deluge(really really HEAVY rain), and it changed the earth a lot. It had a lot of weight and force and of course made the oceans much larger. Before the flood it didn’t rain(mist) and the sun didn’t shine as much on the surface then as now, and that’s why after the flood there was a rainbow where there were none before.
    Have a nice day.

    • Lederbaer

      Actually – it DID rain before the flood..! Living, thriving agricultural communities were quite common at that time – cities, even..(Ur, Babylon, Alexandria, Rome – just to name a few well known ones.. & if not those specific cities – then the precursor communities of those cities..!). How did crops grow without rain? Or the trees, grass, etc.? There is no evidence that the earth was arid & desolate before the Great Flood.. Yes, the earth did change after the flood – what flooded place doesn’t? But the rainbow – the “bow of promise on the cloud” was God’s promise to NEVER flood the ENTIRE earth again!
      KJV – Gen.9:11-17 : “And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.” “And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.” “I do set my bow in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.”

  • Dennis

    To all those who do not believe that Jesus IS the Son of God

    Consider this and try as best as possible to be objective…

    If Christ was NOT the Son of God, then He never rose from the dead. That would be a statement every human can agree on.

    Now where is the proof one way or another?

    Here is my answer…HIS DECIPLES. What did they all have in common? They all spoke with and touched Jesus and ALL of them were martyered for their belief that Christ was the Son of God (ie, that He rose from the dead).

    So why would 11 men be willing to commit suicide in defense of a postion that they know couldn’t possibly be correct, namely that Jesus rose from the dead, if it never happened?

    What I mean is what advantage in this world or in the next world would these 11 men have by lying and holding on to their testimony. Not only would they be certain that Jesus died like any other human but more importantly, why would they need to continue the lie? For what purpose/ It doesn’t make sense to believe that all 11 of them were willing to die for what they said wasn’t true. I can understand one or two being delusional, but all 11? I don’t think so. What are the odds that all 11 men would be willing to die for a lie you told? Exactly, you couldn’t even find one let alone 11. Think about it. People are willing to die for a cause, but no one is going to die for something they witnessed wasn’t true.

    Wake up sleeper ..behold now is the day of your salvation.

    • Dave Heston

      Ever heard of Heaven’s Gate or Jonestown? They would have neither been the first or the last to commit suicide in the name of someone they viewed as a savior – for whatever reason. Eleven is a small number in comparison to many others.

      • http://yahoo Peggy

        The BIBLE says there will be many false prophets.

      • Jim

        Dave, with all due respect even Heaven’s Gate nor Jonestown had/has the number of Christians world wide whose beliefs are based on eye-witness accounts. Faith in a REAL LIVING Savior can be felt in your heart just like you can feel the wind on your skin. The difference is you won’t make it to Heaven believing the wind just because you feel it. Both of your examples were relatively short lived cults, Christianity is NOT a cult.

      • random person

        Very true, just people are to blind to see the truth cause they need it to be proven.. they just gotta know when they die where are they going?

    • Ash

      History repeats itself. Salem Witch Trials…. 17 people died because of what 6 girls believed they saw. Not to mention the church was on these girls side.

      One other thing… I believe I can find 11 other people that would die for me. It’s called family.

    • Advocate1

      Dennis they find it easier to believe that it’s okay to drink ca cup of kool laid and die as a martry than to believe what you are saying. They find it easier to believ that the lottery will solve all of their problems, they find it easier to believ that wer are here to just live and then die. They actually believe that even though there is proof that we have a soul (your body weighs less when you die), that Noahs ark is real, and that it’s okay to say and do wahtever you want because there is no God.

  • Dave Heston

    I hate to disappoint the man but there WAS no Noah. The story in the Bible was very closely based on a far earlier story from Sumaria (a wild series of stories found in tablets), the Epic of Gilgamesh. There was also a Sumarian story that closely resembled the creation of man and the garden of Eden, including the eating of food offered by the female and the presence of a snake. It is quite apparent that many of the stories in the Bible came from earlier and more mundane writings and fables, then applying literary alterations to turn them into good Bible stories.

    • Advocate1

      Dave, Gilgamesh and Sumaria are both in the bible. No matter what you may believ came before the Bible there is only one true living word and that is the Bible. The bible is a living breathing document. Evrything you say and the rest of the people that have chosen not to beleive is in doumented in thebible. it’s documented that you will act this way and say the things you say. I inly hope and pray that you and all of the rest of the people who have exercised their free will to stray away from God will come to terms with that decision and repent before your life ends.

  • Rudy

    It seems people here are misunderstanding Christianity for what it is. It I not merely believing there is a God and the the God of the bible is the only God. Gods word says this James 2:19
    19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

    Simply Believing there is one God Is not Christianity. Even demons believe and they even tremble before him! They still choose to rebel.
    Christianity is not simply believing in jesus Christ for the sake of believing he is real. It is also believing that Jesus Christ was sent by God to forgive every human being of their sins! The sons that separate us from a holy perfect God. Jesus say that we MUST turn away from our sins. Confess with your heart that you are a sinner and plea for forgivness.We all rebel against God And without Jesus Christ there is a very heavy price to pay when each person stands in front of God to give an account of all the sins in their life. Yes, tremble before this almighty God. Praise be to God for Jesus Christ! He has provided a way out of this terrible judgement that we deserve for OUR wrong doings. You choose to accept his wonderful gift or you don’t. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe it is true because judgement day will come weather you want it to or not. Time is short don’t turn away from forgivness. It is for whoever truly wants it. This is the Gospel!

    • Edie

      I couldn’t have said it better !!! Thanks, Edie

  • I Am

    I call heaven and earth as witness this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live:

    • Rudy


  • Michael

    “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

    Brad I will pray very hard for you in the next couple of days! Not because I wanna argue with you, but because I would love to see you come to the saving faith in Jesus! Because believe it or not, even when you say I careless! He still loves you very much and died for you brother! There was many many warnings about a eternal place called “hell” and Jesus preached alot about it! Why you ask? Because he loves us!!!

  • lol

    We can’t even agree to respect other people’s opinions. Can’t get a deal done to fix a national catastrophe in the form of debt. Can’t keep from getting at the throats of random strangers on the internet. As a scientist I believe in data, testable circumstances and experiments to add credence to an idea. It’s difficult to have data on something that happened so long ago without having primary sources to point us in the direction. Does that mean it didn’t happen? NO. It just means that as good human beings we should respect and understand that just as strongly as you may believe something, someone else out there believes the exact opposite with the same degree of commitment. I think though that if anyone is going to blast the data of anything, they should find out for themselves through testing so that when they declare themselves more intelligent than the people who devote their lives to it, they have some weight on their argument.

    • Rudy

      Sometimes our trying to reach out to people out of love is misunderstood as attacking or pushing a belief on

    • Rudy

      Sometimes our trying to reach out to people out of love is misunderstood as attacking or pushing a belief on people. If you saw a blind person on a path that you knew ended with them walking into a pit of fire would you not try to warn them? What if they were convinced that they were not on a path that led to thier destruction and if you tried to tell them otherwise they would be offended or angry at you. Wouldn’t your love for that person cause you to warn them of reality regardless? That is heart of a true Christian.

      • Justin

        Or maybe the Athiests are warning you, you could be spending your Sundays watching football instead of filling the pockets of a pastor and praying for an imaginary ghost to save you.

        • Colto

          Justin, show respect. If you do not believe in A god, Ok, that is your choice. But lets respect other people here, I know respect on the internet can at time be hard to find, but don’t be part of the problem. If you have something to say, say it with some manner of intellect, not the obligatory “You believe in an imaginary ghost and unicorns.” If you have a point to say, say it intelligently.
          Good Day

        • Rudy

          I guess you have to ask yourself who risks more. The man who is striving to live his life for God accepting his mercy and grace, And if wrong all he lost was temporary pleasures. Or the man who chooses to live for himself ignoring God and his mercy and grace, and is judged for it and spends ETERNITY in it? Choose wisely

          • Colto

            I am Christian, but I do like open discussion on things. As long as it is civil and intelligent I love discussion. I know that we are all loved by the lord and so I try to have that attitude in discussion. The subject is sensitive, as long as it is treated with the due respect and intellect it deserves, I am ok.

          • Rudy

            Colto I very much agree with you friend =] my reply was directed toward Justin I might have replied under your comment? Anywho, Godbless =]]

      • sysncm

        Yeah, that’s what the Christians tried to do during the crusades. If they wouldn’t go on the right path they killed them.

        • Rudy

          Please understand that just because someone titles themselves a christian doesn’t make them one.

          • dhaverman

            I’m sure the people who carried out mass killings of people in the name of a deity had the same conviction in their god as you. There is one thing in common with all religions, the ability for their followers to dehumanize the followers of other religions. Much like Hitler achieved in Germany which enabled many christians to do unspeakable things.

  • jackie

    The Bible does not need to prove itself. As for atheists, they don’t know where they came from, why they are on this planet and where they are going. According to them, this universe with it’s systematic organisation, every living creature with their different functioning systems, etc is all purposeless, meaningless.No God, no accountability. Eat, drink and be merry is the Godless culture. Keep it up guys.

    • Justin

      There used to be a bunch of folks who believed in gods on Mt Olympus too. How did that turn out? Just because you were born in a country that’s primary religion is Christianity doesn’t make you any more right than the Indians who worship cows.
      Have another cheeseburger and keep on believing in unicorns and devils.

  • nita

    NEVER HAPPEN!!! Yhea the NIle River Flooded!!! As a matter of fact none of the stories in the BIBLE r ture. They stole everything from the Egyptians (Kemet). Tell me y u can’t find a hair follicle, tooth, or bone from @ least 1 person who was supposelly lived in those times in the BIBLE? Do u know how many ppl will go see Jesus (his name after the 1611 kjv bible) is he was in the measume like King TUT!!!

    • jack black

      you just sound dumb

    • whoditbe

      Nita. Many of the stories in the Bible have been proven scientifically, such as Sodom and Gomorrah; but you are certainly entitled to your opinions here. Yes, there are true stories in the Bible. Please buy a copy of the Book Evidence that Demands a Verdict. It would be enlightening to you.

    • Ronald McDonald

      Nita dear, may I first suggest you enroll in English classes to grasp a working knowledge of grammar and spelling. Secondly, study and learn of that which you feebly attempt to criticize, namely the Holy Bible. Then, tell your Mullah or Islamic tutor that they are full of mistruth and/or down right lies. By the way, I’m sorry to burst your 3rd world view bubble but the stories in the Holy Bible are true. There is hope for you and your kind my dear, so put down that Quran and pick up a King James Bible. Then I would ask you to read, ponder and pray about it. If you do, you will find the truth before it’s too late. God loves all his children.

  • The Virgin Murray

    Let me get this straight. The Old Testament God was pissed off at us so he sent his only son down here to save us…and we tortured him to death. And that’s a good thing? That’s what makes you feel good about what’s going to happen when you meet the Big Fella?

    You better hope God has a short memory.

  • sysncm

    Ok so the bible is supposed to be a historical record of the world? Then why isn’t there any mention of a dinosaur in it? Just once you would expect to see something like ‘John and Mark were walking down the road when they were startled by a T-Rex’, John sayeth to Mark ‘Dang, that’s a big freakin lizzard’.

    • lk

      I wonder too why there isn’t too much about the dinosaurs but maybe that’s not something God decided to include in the Bible. There’s a lot of other more important things talked about, like how to treat eachother and how to get forgiveness of sins and enjoy eternity in heaven. Maybe we’re not supposed to have all the questions answered. Maybe we’re supposed to have faith.

    • Steve

      They are mentioned – Job 40:15-24 and Job 41:1-34

      • K

        Leviathan and Behemoth are mentioned in the book of Job which is the oldest written book of the Bible. They fit the description of dinosaurs. Behemoth “moveth his tail as a cedar”. A tail the size of a cedar tree sounds pretty darn big to me :) Leviathan actually sounds kinda like an amphibious dragon.

    • Liam

      the word dinosaur was invented in 1841 BEFORE that word was invented people called dinos “Dragons” and there are many mentions of the beasts within the Bible.
      The word dragon appears 21 times in the old testament you can even find a unicorn in it, as well as sea monsters. (the unicorn that pops in to your head when you hear it is not what the Bible describes as a unicorn, think more like Rino or perhaps Triceratops)
      Are they talking about the “dragons and unicorns” we find in fairy tales today No, just because we invent a new word for something does not mean that it didn’t already have a name.
      We can change word meanings (and over time we have in abundance) and and even create new words to replace others but when you don’t include the details about a word (and its true meaning) you bred a level of ignorance that becomes widely accepted. the knowledge is there but only for those who wish to have it.

      and although the Bible never mentions Noah (or John or Mark but seeing as how they were after the flood the dinos were lessened at that time it would have to be Noah) saying that is a “big lizard” but i am sure if one of his sons brought home a stray they had a REALLY big shovel to clean up after it. –be thankful that we have reltively small dogs and not T-rex dung in our back yard

  • KIKI

    Dinosaurs are mentioned several different times in the Bible. They just weren’t called “dinosaurs” at that time.

    • sysncm

      Humor, another thing Christians just don’t get.

      • Bree

        sysncm, oh trust me, we Christians do have a sense of humor in laughing at pathetic losers, like you!!

  • sysncm

    Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. What if someone says, ‘Well, that’s not how I chose to think about water.’? All we can do is appeal to scientific values. And if he doesn’t share those values, the conversation is over. If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove that they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic? – Sam Harris

    • Brian

      Your an expert in no fields, so listening to you is a bigger waste of time.

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com James Smith

    As so often happens, being expert in one field leads a person to think he must be expert in all fields. Basically, Ballard is full of it.

    It never happened and there is not a single bit of archeological or geological evidence to support either the impossible biblical flood or Ballard’s version, either.

    • http://yahoo wade

      And yet you probably believe in evolution and the big bang theory which have no evidance at all and in fact have been disproven by many non religious scientest lately.

      • nathan

        wow… you are spectacularly ignorant. there is tremendous evidence for evolution by natural selection and what is now called the hot big bang theory. have you bothered to inform yourself by looking at the evidence for either??? the information is out there and there is no reputable scientist that disputes the validity of either of those two theories.. you can’t be this ill informed.. please, i implore you, go read a modern biology textbook.. learn about the human species’ relationship to its closest cousin the chimpanzee.read about how all reproductive life is related
        . learn about the cumulative power natural selection has to build complex features like an eyeball or a wing.. it is unbelievably interesting. it is pitiful to read semi coherent nonsense like what you just typed without any regard for how dumb you come off.

        • locohoya

          Give it up Nate … you’ll never convince the 47% who believe God created the world in seven days …

          • john

            6 days

        • rollie

          It’s amazing what you just said. To give the credit for an eyeball to mere chance is totally ignorant. If someone told you that they discovered a chair and that it existed because of explosion at a lumber yard, I guess you’d believe them too. Life and all that make it possible is far too complex to have just happened without someone directing it. Even scientists say the probability of amino acids coming together in the correct amounts is astronomically high! I’ll stick with logic which says only life can make life. It doesn’t and can and will never be proven to spring from nonliving matter.

          • Uhno

            Bull. Everything you said was nonsense that would be embarassing to you if you had enough education to understand what you were talking about.

          • dhaverman

            1st you clearly don’t understand evolution please take a little bit of time reading about it https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution. 2nd yes the odds of amino acids combining in the correct amounts is very very small but when the process is over hundreds of millions of years it is much more likely to happen. 3rd if by your logic complex organisms can only be made by more complex “beings” that asks the question how did such a complex thing come into existence in the first place? if it came out of chance then it would be even more unlikely than if humans came out of chance(which they didn’t).

  • Jeff

    Ron Wyatt found Noah’s Ark in the late 1970’s maybe 1980 on a hill top in Turkey. He also found where the Israelites crossed the Red Sea while getting away from the pharaoh.

    I should also mention he found the rock Moses struck to get water in the desert for the Isrealites and finally he found the Arc of the covenant with the 10 commandments inside and Jesus blood on the Mercy seat which he took to a laboratory that confirmed it was Jesus blood. How did they do that? Well, after adding saline solution to the dried blood and mixing it at body temperature for 48 hours, they looked at it through their microscope. Dead Blood will not give a chromosome count. DNA yes – Chromosomes No.

    We have 46 chromosomes 23 from Mom – 23 from Dad. Jesus blood had 24. 23 from Mary and 1 from his father – I guess that musta been a big one to carry everything Jesus needed in one chromosome to make him Jesus? Think about that.

    This was in 1983. The reason it hasn’t been revealed is because it will set all the other religions on their ear and cause a lot of unrest and tension between religions.

    It was found in Jerusalem and the Jews don’t believe Jesus was the son of God. it even screws up their whole belief system! There is no denying it’s Jesus blood. The people holding all the proof just don’t know how to present it so the other religions don’t go off. It will mean their entire faith has been on the wrong person. That’s not something they will want to hear.

    • kevin

      Thank you for the valuable info and I am looking forward to the physical proof and all evidence of Jesus being God. Though some will still not believe. All of creation speaks evidence there is a God but many choose not to see Him

    • Uhno

      So what you are claiming is that because Christians can prove that their religion is true the other religions will be afraid and so Christians will hold back from converting everyone on the planet because it would hurt people’s feelings?

      What nonsense. Please, stop listening to those lying priests. It makes people dumb.

    • Andrew

      That would be amazing if a single thing you had just said was true.

  • Tamika LaShonda Hilson

    The bible says that the flood occured than it did. When you take the contents of the bible than you are being guarded by faith. We know that Adam and Eve were in paradise garden but was cast out by God after they did what they wanted. God placed two angels to guard “the Paradise” so that humans can never be in that place again until God comes back and claims earth. So is this archeologist going to find the garden of eden also? Are the same to angels still guarding that spot? The point is that time passes and the world changes. Things get covered up, earth collapses within itself. Thousands of natural desasters have occured and yet we are still searching for answeres. The bible is the only answer. God had the bible to answer questions.

    • Charles

      LaFonda, you need to take some English and Spelling lesson’s. desasters? to angels? than it did? come on this not Ebonics. Good luck with your GED test.

      • Lawrence

        Chuckie. You should take a course in common decency and respect. Obviously, your parents did not teach you anything with respect to valuing the opinions of others. That being the case, your arsenal is to belittle people by refusing to recognize their legal name and/or inability to spell correctly. This forum is not a “Spelling Bee” contest. Nor is it one for bigots like you. Chuckie!

      • http://yahoo wade

        Why the anger? Are you trying to show that you are superior? Just remember that sometimes you make mistakes and there is probably someone correcting you but hopefully that person will be more compassionate. I pray God helps you see how much He loves you.

      • Bree

        Charles, first of all, before you go correcting other people’s spelling, why don’t you check your own, dumb ass? Since when is it spelled “lesson’s”? I believe it is “lessons”. You didn’t even spell her name right, idiot! Go back to school, stupid!

    • William

      My only question is whether you believe in free will or not? For if you believe in free will and believe in the Bible, then you are a fool. Mankind was not granted true free will, if he is to punished for exercising it. Adam and Eve, if the story is true, were cast from Eden for seeking knowledge which was forbade to them by God. God also destroyed the Tower of Babel and scrambled the language of man so that no two groups could communicate, for he feared that nothing was beyond mankind if they worked together, and I quote Genisis 11:6-9 “6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

      7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.

      8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

      9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”
      You hold faith in a God that has punished mankind from the beginning, a God that would keep mankind ignorant and waring, and you call him benevolent and kind.

      • Adam

        @ William God gave man free will, He gave them a choice because we would be mindless drones without it and Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the tree because He wanted them to have a choice to put their trust in Him or gratify their own desires. Thier was free will in what they did, they chose to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 3:2-3 ” the woman siad to the serphant, we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, you must not eat fruit from the tree taht is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.” Eve had a choice and to eat of the tree and willingly chose to eat of the tree even though she knoew God did not want her too. Secondly in the tower of Babel man tried to become in the likeness of God by building something so great. However, God could not let them compare themselves with Him because they willingly chose to disobey Him and that is why they were scattered across the earth.Thirdly we deserve punishment because God gave us everything we needed and even more like dominion over the earth and yet we wanted more we wanted to be like God and know what He knew. He did not keep us ignorant, He kept us perfect and gave us the choice to defy Him and we did. Then because man could never become righteous He sent His Son a perfect God and to take the form of a man to pay the price of sin which is death to satisfy God’s justice in order that man could have a second chance and even though you will probably never read this William He gave his life for you because he loves you so much that he would take my place and your place on the cross and pay the price of sin so that we might have true life again.

      • http://yahoo wade

        You make mistakes in your reasoning. 1. Free will does not mean there is no consequence. A child can choose ( free will) to disobey mom but will get spanked. Just the fact that there was punishment and they still choose to disobey proves free will, the ability to choose.
        2nd, the garden of eden and tower of bable had nothing to do with gaining knowledge and everything to do with pride and become god themself. Look at what Satan tempted them in the garden. Satan says if you eat that fruit you will become as God. The tower of bable they said letter us build a tower to reach God. Which when looked close at was a very pridfull act. God has really only 2 laws that we need to keep. Love God more than anything and love everyone else more than self. And both of these examplws failed these. I pray God reveals His love for you.

  • Victoria

    Probably? Of course it happened! If it didn’t it wouldn’t be in the bible. Duhhh

  • William

    Yes a localized mass flooding event probably did occur, but nothing that endangered the entire earth. And to all you that say “of course it happened, or it wouldn’t be in the bible”, stories of such a flood existed before belief in your god. The Sumerians, Assyrians, and others that lived in the area that is now Iraq, Iran, and the Sinai Peninsula all had stories of a great flood, as well as stories of Gilgamesh and others that appear in the Bible. There are no new stories, just different story tellers.

    • http://yahoo wade

      First of all, you staiger, such stories existed before belief. In your God. There was noone before Adam who believed in God. You stilll have no logical explanation of creation. We know that God created aol,God created the flood,Jesus is real, and someday you will know for sure but will it be too late?

      • James

        God created aol? Wow, did they use his voice for “You’ve got mail”?

        • http://none normalpersonwithcommonsense

          you are such a genius what about the people who lived before christ….. who created them???? ahhhhh yeah i thought so. none of you preachers know exactly how, when, or where life was created and started so shut up

          • bflorida

            Such anger toward Christians. Where is this coming from? We love you, our fellow man. Don’t waste your emotions with anger toward us, but rather spend that energy more productively. Best wishes.

      • brandon woodring

        Man seriously “belief in your god” i hurt for you

      • Uhno

        Actually you really ought to read your bible. The oldest story of Adam is the one in Exodus, and in that story there is no Eve, there is no snake. Adam is a king, and you can’t be a king without followers. The version of the Adam story that you are familiar with is clearly a modified and expanded story based on the earlier Adam story. How do you feel now? In that earlier story, there was no claim that Adam was the first man. That got added later on. Here you are, believing a lie, because you haven’t educated yourself on what your bible actually says.

        Go read up on your so-called holy book.

  • Dumbfounded

    UN…..FREAKING……BELIEVABLE!!!! The things people will argue over having ABSOLUTELY NO TRUE KNOWLEDGE OR EVIDENCE!!!!! “FAITH”?!?!?! TRY AND ARGUE WITH THAT PEOPLE!!!! YOU CAN’T!!!! YOU LOSE!!!! ALL SOMEONE HAS TO SAY IS “this is what I BELIEVE” and that’s it…….arguement OVER!!! NO ONE……is EVER going to be able to make someone “BELIEVE” in something other than what has already been DRILLED into their heads by “the Church” for their entire lives!!! SO WHY TRY?!?!?! STOP WASTING YOUR BREATH!!!!!

    • Randy

      Hey dumbfounded, There is one person who will one day make a believer out of you, When you stand before him !! The CREATOR !! GOD !!

      • nathan

        i hate you.

      • Uhno

        Odin might beg to differ. When you meet the elder gods in the afterlife and sit at their table drinking mead you will learn just how wrong you were, heathen.

  • Dumbfounded

    Oh…….and THANK YOU “Lawrence” for calling “religion” and “faith” what they TRUELY ARE!!!!…….. OPINION!!!!!!

    • http://none normalpersonwithcommonsense

      i know its so funny how christians take their religion as fact. There are a million religions try reading up on some scriptures or other viewpoints before you just take anything in one book as a fact. Its your opinion!!! I bet most of these preachers havent even read their own bible from start to finish! you go to church every sunday for 15 minutes and you think you know something as fact. you just make yourself sound like a complete fool!

      • http://none normalpersonwithcommonsense

        read the scriptures and you might begin to understand where the bible originated from. God I cant stand idiots!!! hahah

        • Bree

          normalpersonwithOUTcommonsense .. So I take it that you can’t stand yourself, then.

  • michael

    Proverbs 15:21 Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

    • http://none normalpersonwithcommonsense

      I wish I was in church with you when you quote these verses, I would embaress you! Go and read the scriptures you know it all

    • http://none normalpersonwithcommonsense

      instead of educating yourself more, you stop. And then quote verses and pass judgement on others. I have been learning about religion every saturday for 10 years 8-10 hours a day. You wannabe preachers and know it all are worse than the people you call sinners.

      • http://gdupclothing.com ProductOfThe90s

        Shut the fuck up u crybaby lil bitch

    • http://none normalpersonwithcommonsense

      LUKE “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven

    • http://none normalpersonwithcommonsense

      Corinthians Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

    • RrK

      If any of this were empirically testable, there would be one solid explanation, above reproach and absolutely proven. Since it is not, we must admit that it is simply outside the jurisdiction of science. We cannot observe or test now what happened (or didn’t happen) so long ago. Let’s all just admit that we don’t really know, and that whatever position you take (regardless of the scienTISTIC rhetoric or terminology thrown in), it is ultimately taken on faith.

      • Uhno

        Uh… because that isn’t true. We have gotten as far as we have because we didn’t wuss out and stop asking questions the moment some religion got all huffy about it. Rather than admit that you have to pretend that science, base on experiment, is actually based on faith. That nonsensical claim has been debunked so many times that if you just google it you will be able to get yourself an education. Please do. Honestly, you could use an education.

  • James Earl

    Ballard’s understanding of geologic time is disturbingly juvenile. There were fishing villages on the coast of Texas 15,000 years ago. There was not a 1 mile high ice cube over Connecticut. The vast ice sheets that formed the great lakes have come and gone many times in 20,000 year polar orbit cycles.

  • bethany

    oh my word you people are ridiculous, arguing about this. by the looks of it we need another biblical flood to “cleanse” the human species.

  • Eric

    This is some really Crum-my writing. Not to mention piss poor ‘rithmatic. 5000 BCE and 2000 years AD do not add up to 12000 years you twit.

  • T

    So…there are accounts throughout the world (secular and sacred) to support a massive flooding that would have had a great impact on the world right around Noah’s lifetime. Also, there have been other events in the Bible that have been proven by the scientific community.

    A little off topic, there was a previous mentioning of judgement from Christians… I would love to just put this out there – God clearly states in the Bible that HE is the only judge. I don’t presume to judge others however on occassion I may do so. That does not make it right and I will be judged by God someday myself. You may come across Christians that have lost their way and do judge very severely. I’m sorry that you have to encounter that negative image and that you are presuming to “judge” ALL Christians by the poor representation of a few. I am human and sinful and while God knows that I am sinful by nature and he understands I will falter, He also requires that when I recognize my sins that I confess them. God loves each person but we all know that sometimes love isn’t enough. God sent his Son Jesus to die for our sins to show us how much he loves us. When we make the decision to recipricate, we are truly blessed beyond measure.

    Considering this is not a discussion on faith/religion… I find it absolutely fascinating that this gentleman has found an ancient shore so far below the current shore and that there are interesting artifacts to study!

    • RrK

      Love the point you brought up! Regardless of whether or not one believes the biblical flood account, there are hundreds of world religions that tell of a global (or at least near-global) flood from history. I know how much the naturalists love to treat bible-believers with that “smarter than thou” condescending attitude, but to discredit the flood is to discredit historical accounts that span the globe. Just because they are intertwined with spiritual principles does not make it stupid to give them some credit, or at least the benefit of the doubt. It’s funny; most of the comments yesterday about the fella who built the ark replica (impressive) were know-it-alls proclaiming that science disproved the flood. Ho bloody ha! Now they have to discredit science as well.

    • Kaplutus

      Funny how christians believe in science when it works to thier advantage.

      • fernjoker

        That`s because science eventually always works to our advantage.

        • Optimus Prime

          I am afraid you could not be more wrong. Think of Galileo. Or Darwin. I respect your religion but science almost always disagrees with Christianity.

          • Martin

            Galileo nor Darwin argued against a creator. They both were religious men. The leaders of their society, namely the Catholic and Anglican Churches condemned them for the perceived heresy. Again a fallacy of man.

        • Uhno

          Then why is it that you always wind up altering your religious beliefs in order to match science, not the other way around?

    • caseyjones

      T, You could not have said it better. I am a Christian and I do love God so much, but I am in no position to judge. I make mistakes all the time. I am not better than anyone else. I don’t care how much I read the Bible, how many prayers I pray I will never be in a position to pass judgement on others. I think some people might think if you are a Christian you have to go to church all the time, listen to Christian music, pass judgement, shove God down a persons throat if they don’t believe. They might think of God as this person that is waiting for you to mess up and that he expects so much of you and you can’t have any fun. As I learn more and more I realize how much of a friend God really is. I can get mad at him or ask questions about things I don’t understand. He gave me these emotions and he knows I am a person that is going to make mistakes all the time. I try to do the right things, but sometimes I do the wrong things and every time I go to him just like a friend and just talk. Sorry, I didn’t really mean to go on and on and my comment on this doesn’t even compare to yours. You worded it so perfectly. I guess I had to comment because if there is someone out there that might not want to be a Christian because they think all Christians are judgmental I hope they might change their minds. Sorry, everyone that I got off on religion. I find it fascinating as well what this man has found.

  • locohoya

    I’m outta here … too many bible-thumping zealots who take the Word at face value …

    • http://yahoo troy


  • Christian

    After sin God Punished the serpent too. Genesis 3, 14
    Read it and decide for your self if this is what happened
    to the dinosaurs. does your lizard crawl on his belly?
    After the flood then Babel, does it make sense that all over creation in all languages there is knowledge of a great flood. The Bible (Gods word)I believe. Not by proof of some scientist. But through the word of God
    “the bible” I received Faith given to be by the Holy Spirit. And trough Faith I believe In Jesus Christ
    as my redeemer. Not all is revealed to you before you are ready, and you may not understand this. All you have to do is read the Bible and then see what you believe
    and what you understand.

    • Uhno

      All of the world was mud, actually. Underwater mud. Then a goddess piled lots of mud on the back of a giant turtle and it became the land. I know this because some religion believes it, and since some religion believes it it must be true.

      Go study the real bible. The one that doesn’t claim Mary was a virgin, because that virgin lie is based on a mistranslation to Greek about 1700 years ago. This is a well known mistranslation, I guarantee you your religion is aware of that lie. The problem is that if they admit that isn’t true then it casts doubt on all those other lies they made up, like the immaculate conception, which was invented to back up the lie about Mary being a virgin.

      Study the facts. Those who study the bible as a historical document have shown countless mistranslations and errors, and you really ought to know if your beliefs are based on a lie.

  • LindaKaye49

    This whole conversation between people argueing makes me sick to my stomach. Didn’t Jesus teach to love one another, not to condemn. I take the Bible word for word and that is my choice. If someone wants to believe otherwise after hearing the word, just move on…Jesus wouldn’t approve of all this argueing. Christians should use the power of prayer as all things are possible through our Lord. Pray for the non-believer, don’t argue. Remember what Jesus said, love your enemies. I have had so many personal experiences with the Lord, I just know the truth and refuse to argue about it. You either except Him or you don’t……there is freedom of will. God’s blessings to all.

    • Uhno

      If Jesus stood right next to you right now, the historical Jesus and not the modern myth, you would think he was an ignorant savage. He believed in sacrificing animals to send a pleasing smoke to his god. He was not anti slavery. He thought women belonged to their fathers until they were sold into marriage.

      You have no relationship with Jesus. You have an imaginary friend that you just think is Jesus. Jesus would reject you as a follower because you are not a Jew.

  • areyouserious

    religion…? BOTTOM LINE. i don’t know and NEITHER do you! the shear ignorance that is religion and the bible that people based their ENTIRE LIVES ON is nothing short of mind boggling. you people believe these obsurdaties blindly, and for what?! do you think you’re regarded as special because you believe in talking snakes? TALKING SNAKES!!!!! well you are, only little yellow bus special. and the ark… a man gathering two of every animal? animals that exists in completely different geographical locations on the earth??? do you know what happens when you put a lion and a giraffe in the same room????? IT’S NOT PRETTY!

    • http://yahoo troy

      wait a minute there areyouserious thought you said you did not know, but you then immediately go off into the nether world on a tangent of the depth of your wisdom off things you truthfully say you know nothing about. “It is better to be thought the fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt”.

    • John

      You may as well beat your head against a brick wall. Brain-washing is real and it starts at an early age. At some point, parents tell their kids there is no Santa Claus. If the parents went on pretending to believe in Santa, many kids would continue to believe it all their lives, because their parents did. After a while they would begin to rationalize how flying reindeer can exist and how Santa’s workshop could remain hidden at the North Pole, and if you disagreed with them, they would all call you blind and ignorant. So unless you just like to argue, you may as well stop arguing with people of “faith.” No matter what the religion, you can never win.

  • Arnastu Buttwehak

    Hm. I’m not convinced that Ballard actually said “Biblical flood probably really happened”. This is the Black Sea deluge theory – not a new one. It has been a contender for The Flood since it was first advanced, simply because it might have been a heck of a flood. Big flood, that part of the world, long ago … who knows, maybe that was the origin of the legend. Or maybe not.

    This piece gives both 12,000 years ago and 7,000 years ago as Noah’s time – which was longer even than Noah’s mythical long life – and suggests that Ballard has proof just before he goes on to claim “a very real possibility”.

    We already know that the Black Sea was once very much lower than now – Ballard’s new proof of this is not a discovery. But whether the breech of the Strait of Bosphorus was gradual or catastrophic is still up in the air, and whether the rise of the Black Sea could in any way be equated with the Flood story (caused by heavy persistent rain, not by a gradual rise of the Black Sea) is still entirely speculation.

    In short, “Biblical Flood Probably Happened, Expert Says” is actually “Marine Archeologist investigating Black Sea deluge says ‘Yep, there was some sort of flood here, a long time ago, maybe 7000 – 12,000 years ago’ “.

  • ojibway

    The vast majority of these comments clearly demonstrate why science and discovery are held in such low regard.

  • eryk gee

    thank you lord, for making me part of the human virtues, as well as the stupidity and ignorance, and all those other faults ,I have.
    let me not contradict those with superior knowledge,but let me learn from them. if there was a flood okay ,if there was not okay,
    for you place me here ,not to argue or demerit any one ,but be joyous knowing that made us better than sponges.

  • mike

    People always say such a flood could never cover the entire earth. Forget that for a minute. To the people who gave the account, the flood covered their entire universe.

    • oc

      great point, humans look at things from their perspective.

  • oc

    66 books written by different people that fit perfectly with no mistakes, you figure it out.

    • Andrew

      Okay, in Matthew 2, the Bible says Jesus was born a minimum of two years before the death of King Herod. We know this because Herod ordered the slaughter of all the male infants approximately two years of age or younger, because that was approximately how long it had been since the Magi had visited Jesus. We also know, before anyone gets around to saying “there was more than one person named Herod”, that it was Herod I because Matthew 2 says Archelaus succeeded him.

      Herod I died and Caesar Augustus appointed Archelaus Ethnarch over Judea, Samaria, and Idumea in 4 B.C.

      Luke 2 says Mary was still pregnant with Jesus when Caesar Augustus commanded a census be taken, and Quirinius took a census of Judea.

      Caesar Augustus deposed Archelaus and appointed Quirinius governor of Syria, with orders to consolidate Judea and the surrounding regions into the province of Syria, in 6 A.D.

      By custom, the Romans did not conduct a census on client kingdoms (which Judea was under Herod and Archelaus), instead leaving the reigning monarch to collect the appropriate tribute and forward it to Rome. Jewish law forbade the taking of a census, so neither Herod nor Archelaus would have taken one, meaning the tax census conducted by Quirinius when the province of Judea was consolidated into Syria would have been the first census taken of the people in the area.

      That means the dates given by Matthew and Luke give irreconcilable dates twelve years apart for the birth of Jesus.

      Want to try that “no mistakes” bit again?

      • Andrew

        “That means the dates given by Matthew and Luke give irreconcilable dates twelve years apart for the birth of Jesus.”

        Slight correction. This should read “that means Matthew and Luke give irreconcilable dates….” Omit the first “the dates given by.”

    • Korage

      it didnt fit perfectly. LOL You do the math. You’re not even the largest religion. Take that.

  • http://yahoo troy

    hear that thumping? it is me and my Bible. I will thump it till it is real to all.

    • http://www.bonanza.com/joestreasures Joe Leach

      I feel sorry for those of you who mock and disbelief, for you will get your just reward. My prayer for you is that your eyes will be open to realize God loves you and want you to be saved through his Son Jesus Christ who died on the cross for you and me and all of humanity. The truth will set you free.

      • Korage

        I hope christians wake up and see the truth. Enough of their fairy tales. The whole world evidently was never covered in water. They lack history of science and Chinese.

        For better understanding. Look at the world today.
        Seculars/Atheist/Agnostics/FreeThinkers/Skeptics/Non-Religious continue to dominate.
        Muslims dominate the religious world.

        Those christians have no chance.. their not even the largest religion anymore. A complete failure.

        • ksbjmom

          I find it interesting that you claim that Christianity is a failure. What you say maybe true that other “thinkers” are becoming stronger. However, what you say is something that was recorded in the Bible thousands of years ago. How did they know that back then huh? There are many prophesies in the Bible that are coming into fruition, and those that say that there is no God, are called “fools”

      • Eric

        Take your prayers and stick them where the sun don’t shine idiot. There was no jesus christ. No noah. No moses. No garden of eden or exodus. You bible is a conglomeration of fairy tales meant to be used a s political tool by Constantine to help hold his empire together. It was collected by a bunch of misogynistic child molesters who traveled to Nicea with young boys as sexual companions. It was all the rage back then. So your bible is obnoxious tripe and you are a fool.

  • http://aaaeta.com Travis Morris

    This doesn’t even come close to the commonly accepted description of the “Biblical” flood. In that flood ALL the surface of the Earth was covered by water.
    There is a tribe of peoples in India that has a song passed down through generations that describe a great flood. When archeologists checked the area described in the song as being the place the flood came from, they found an abundance of evidence that an Ice Age Glacier Dam had failed there, which caused a great flood in pre-history.

  • Kebe M

    The fact that he found the Titanic, doesn’t enable him find Noah’s Ark. He is looking for something that is not there. I think you understand me .

    • Eric

      You are a tiny brained ignoramus. There is no evidenc ANYWHERE that there was a worldwide flood all at the same time. Your bible is a fairy tale for morons like you.

  • Andrew

    So, Bob Ballard has evidence A flood happened, not evidence NOAH’S flood happened.

    Seriously, first, let’s do some math. It is the year 2012 A.D. According to the article, Mr. Ballard has found evidence of a flood that occurred approximately 5,000 B.C., which the article claims is also the time some say Noah lived. Of course, as every 3rd grade child can tell you, 2000 + 5000 = 12,000… wait, what? That’s 7000, not 12,000, so which is it? Does he have evidence of a flood that occurred 12,000 years ago, or does he have evidence of one that occurred approximately 5,000 B.C.?

    Secondly, there’s this:

    “150,000 square kilometers of land, went under.”

    Am I the only person who’s read the Book of Genesis?

    Genesis 7: 18-20…

    “18 The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth, and the ark floated on the surface of the water. 19 They rose greatly on the earth, and all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered. 20 The waters rose and covered the mountains to a depth of more than fifteen cubits.”

    The surface area of the Earth is approximately 510 million square kilometers. The surface area of the land is approximately 1,000 times greater than the area Bob Ballard claims flooded, and it certainly wouldn’t have been enough to cover the mountains of Ararat to a height of fifteen cubits for nearly six months.

    Check the topography of the region. The mountains of Ararat (where the Book of Genesis says Noah’s Ark came to rest) are surrounded by some really gorgeous downward sloping land that empties straight into the Caspian Sea, Black Sea, Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

    The details in Genesis are specific enough to preclude “it was just local” as an explanation. If you haven’t found evidence of a global flood, you haven’t found evidence of Noah’s flood.

  • Mary Takaoka

    Ballard should get together with Mr. Ken Ham, who has been studying this for almost his entire life. Also check out Dr. Henry Morris at Answers in Genesis and/or Institute Creation Research.

  • Eric

    I noticed that this idiot didn’t include the date Ballard found this evidence. This story was in Discover magazine years ago and on the Discovery Network as well and this nitwit acts like its fresh stuff.
    Wow,did you hear the latest on Nancy Reagan buying new china for the Whitehouse?

  • brian

    First of all: The biblical flood is a myth. However, it may have actually been inspired by this event that had been proven to have happened by scientist/archeologist long before this guy. I took anthropology and geology and I have known about this “Black Sea” theory, if you want to call it that, for at least a decade. So, yes this is old news. If the Biblical story was inspired by this event it was passed down thousands of years before it was ever written by the Jews. The Hebrew version was copied from the Babylonian version which is much older. This event most likely took place at the end of the last ice age as the sea levels rose.

    Now second of all: Although there is actually evidence of other massive floods, they did not cover the whole earth and are just local events. One took place around the border of Washington st. and Idaho. Ever seen the cartoon Ice Age where they are trying to escape a flood that breaks through a melting glacier? That really happened in Washington and Idaho but it hardly flooded the whole world…lol.

    Now, back to the event in the Black Sea: When the levy broke and poured through the Bosporus straight, this would have been a terrible event probably for anyone living near that area as the water poured into the Black Sea basin. However, the Bosporus straight where the water poured through is very narrow (look at a map!). The Black Sea is over 700 miles wide and at least 300 miles north to south. This would be like filling up an Olympic size swimming pool with a garden hose.
    This is one of the BIG problems with trying to even use this to prove the Biblical flood as a local event. People in the eastern part of the Black sea, next to the Caucasus Mts. and northeastern Turkey, would see the water rise very slowly over days, weeks and even months. They would not need to escape in a boat, they could just simple walk (not even have to run) away. You simple cannot flood this area fast enough to have drowned people living there. So, as the Bible says, people may have really laughed at anyone trying to build a boat to get away. They had good reason to laugh as they simple walked to higher ground.

    What I just described is a scalar issue. Other scalar issues involve the simple fact that there are too many species, both living today and extinct, to fit on an ark that is described as being about the size of a football field! Oh, despite these nice pictures of the ark with several windows, the Bible says the ark only had one window that was one cubic square (a scalar issue regarding ventilation). Not going to happen! All these other arguments about dinosaurs and dragons and even the dates are really just specious logic. Even the ancient Greeks were aware of fossils of extinct animals. So, dinosaurs FOSSILS very well may have been the inspiration for “DRAGONS”. This proves nothing.

    Finally, one of the most obvious scalar problems with a literal interpretation of a global flood is…..WHERE DID ALL THAT WATER GO? Even if the polar ice caps melt because of global warming, it will not flood the world as most literalist believe it did in the Bible. At best, the sea level will only rise a few more feet than current levels. Of course during the ice age the sea levels were much lower and areas like the Black sea and even the Mediterranean Sea would have had more land exposed that is now covered in water.

    • Josh

      Your logic is merely based on human understanding. Scientist will never be able to fully understand the logic of God. Without Divine logic, we perfectly understand nothing.


  • Jim Roling

    so if jesus christ was gods only son, why was jesus’ story stolen from a godson named horus who lived around 5000bc. heres a few for comparision
    Some parallels between Horus and Jesus Christ:

    1. Horus born of a virgin. Jesus born of a virgin.

    2. The foster father of Horus was Seb or Seph. Jesus was fostered by Joseph.

    3. Horus was of royal descent. Jesus was of royal descent.

    4. Horus birth accompanied by three solar deities [star gazers] who followed by the morning star of Sirius bearing gifts. Jesus birth accompanied by three wise men [Zoroastrian star gazers] who followed by a star “in the east” bearing gifts.

    5. The birth of Horus announced by angels. The birth of Jesus announced by angels.

    6. Herut tried to murder the infant Horus. Herod slaughtered every first born in an attempt to kill Jesus the forthcoming messiah.

    7. Horus is baptized at age 30 by Anup the Baptiser at a river. Jesus is baptized at age 30 by John the Baptist at a river.

    8. Horus resists temptation by the evil Sut [Sut was to be the precursor for the Hebrew Satan] on a high mountain. Jesus resists temptation by Satan on a high mountain.

    9. Horus had 12 followers. Jesus had 12 disciples.

    10. Horus performed miracles like healing the sick and walking on water. Jesus performed miracles like healing the sick and walking on water.

    11. Horus raised someone from the grave [his father Osiris] Jesus raised Lazarus [notice the name similarity] from the grave. Lazarus is short for Elasarus – the “us” on the end is romanized. Elasarus was derived from “El-Asar” which was the name given to Osiris.

    12. Horus was buried and resurrected in the city of Anu. The place Bethany mentioned in John was a derivative of the words “Bet” and “Anu” which translates “the house of Anu”. The ‘y’ on the end of bethany is interchangeable with the letter ‘u’.

    13. Horus was killed by crucifixtion. Jesus was crucified.

    14. Horus was accompanied by two thieves at the crucifixtion. Jesus was crucified with two thieves.

    15. Horus was buried in a tomb at Anu. Jesus was buried in a tomb located in Bethany [Bet-Anu].

    16. Horus was resurrected after 3 days. Jesus was “said” to resurrected after over a period of three days.

    17. The resurrection of Horus was announced by three women. The resurrection of Jesus was announced by three women.

    18. Horus was given the titel KRST which means “anointed one” Jesus was given the title Christ [Christos] meaning “anointed one”

  • dhaverman

    Have you ever wondered how we know the things that we know? How do we know, for instance, that the stars, which look like tiny pinpricks in the sky, are really huge balls of fire like the Sun and very far away? And how do we know that the Earth is a smaller ball whirling round one of those stars, the Sun?
    The answer to these questions is ‘evidence’.

    Sometimes evidence means actually seeing (or hearing, feeling, smelling….) that something is true. Astronauts have traveled far enough from the Earth to see with their own eyes that it is round. Sometimes our eyes need help. The ‘evening star’ looks like a bright twinkle in the sky but with a telescope you can see that it is a beautiful ball – the planet we call Venus. Something that you learn by direct seeing (or hearing or feeling…) is called an observation.

    Often evidence isn’t just observation on its own, but observation always lies at the back of it. If there’s been a murder, often nobody (except the murderer and the dead person!) actually observed it. But detectives can gather together lots of other observations which may all point towards a particular suspect. If a person’s fingerprints match those found on a dagger, this is evidence that he touched it. It doesn’t prove that he did the murder, but it can help when it’s joined up with lots of other evidence. Sometimes a detective can think about a whole lot of observations and suddenly realize that they all fall into place and make sense if so-and-so did the murder.

    Scientists – the specialists in discovering what is true about the world and the universe – often work like detectives. They make a guess (called a hypothesis) about what might be true. They then say to themselves: if that were really true, we ought to see so-and-so. This is called a prediction. For example, if the world is really round, we can predict that a traveler, going on and on in the same direction, should eventually find himself back where he started. When a doctor says that you have measles he doesn’t take one look at you and see measles. His first look gives him a hypothesis that you may have measles. Then he says to himself: if she really has measles, I ought to see… Then he runs through his list of predictions and tests them with his eyes (have you got spots?), his hands (is your forehead hot?), and his ears (does your chest wheeze in a measly way?). Only then does he make his decision and say, ‘I diagnose that the child has measles.’ Sometimes doctors need to do other tests like blood tests or X-rays, which help their eyes, hands and ears to make observations.

    The way scientists use evidence to learn about the world is much cleverer and more complicated than I can say in a short letter. But now I want to move on from evidence, which is a good reason for believing something, and warn you against three bad reasons for believing anything. They are called ‘tradition’, ‘authority’, and ‘revelation’.

    First, tradition. A few months ago, I went on television to have a discussion with about 50 children. These children were invited because they’d been brought up in lots of different religions. Some had been brought up as Christians, others as Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs. The man with the microphone went from child to child, asking them what they believed. What they said shows up exactly what I mean by ‘tradition’. Their beliefs turned out to have no connection with evidence. They just trotted out the beliefs of their parents and grandparents, which, in turn, were not based upon evidence either. They said things like, ‘We Hindus believe so and so.’ ‘We Muslims believe such and such.’ ‘We Christians believe something else.’ Of course, since they all believed different things, they couldn’t all be right. The man with the microphone seemed to think this quite proper, and he didn’t even try to get them to argue out their differences with each other. But that isn’t the point I want to make. I simply want to ask where their beliefs came from. They came from tradition. Tradition means beliefs handed down from grandparent to parent to child, and so on. Or from books handed down through the centuries. Traditional beliefs often start from almost nothing; perhaps somebody just makes them up originally, like the stories about Thor and Zeus. But after they’ve been handed down over some centuries, the mere fact that they are so old makes them seem special. People believe things simply because people have believed the same thing over centuries. That’s tradition.

    The trouble with tradition is that, no matter how long ago a story was made up, it is still exactly as true or untrue as the original story was. If you make up a story that isn’t true, handing it down over any number of centuries doesn’t make it any truer!

    Most people in England have been baptized into the Church of England, but this is only one of many branches of the Christian religion. There are other branches such as the Russian Orthodox, the Roman Catholic and the Methodist churches. They all believe different things. The Jewish religion and the Muslim religion are a bit more different still; and there are different kinds of Jews and of Muslims. People who believe even slightly different things from each other often go to war over their disagreements. So you might think that they must have some pretty good reasons – evidence – for believing what they believe. But actually their different beliefs are entirely due to different traditions.

    Let’s talk about one particular tradition. Roman Catholics believe that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was so special that she didn’t die but was lifted bodily into Heaven. Other Christian traditions disagree, saying that Mary did die like anybody else. These other religions don’t talk about her much and, unlike Roman Catholics, they don’t call her the ‘Queen of Heaven’. The tradition that Mary’s body was lifted into Heaven is not a very old one. The Bible says nothing about how or when she died; in fact the poor woman is scarcely mentioned in the Bible at all. The belief that her body was lifted into Heaven wasn’t invented until about six centuries after Jesus’s time. At first it was just made up, in the same way as any story like Snow White was made up. But, over the centuries, it grew into a tradition and people started to take it seriously simply because the story had been handed down over so many generations. The older the tradition became, the more people took it seriously. It finally was written down as an official Roman Catholic belief only very recently, in 1950. But the story was no more true in 1950 than it was when it was first invented 600 years after Mary’s death.

    I’ll come back to tradition at the end of my letter, and look at it in another way. But first I must deal with the two other bad reasons for believing in anything: authority and revelation.

    Authority, as a reason for believing something, means believing it because you are told to believe it by somebody important. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope is the most important person, and people believe he must be right just because he is the Pope. In one branch of the Muslim religion, the important people are old men with beards called Ayatollahs. Lots of young Muslims are prepared to commit murder, purely because the Ayatollahs in a faraway country tell them to.

    When I say that it was only in 1950 that Roman Catholics were finally told that they had to believe that Mary’s body shot off to Heaven, what I mean is that in 1950 the Pope told people that they had to believe it. That was it. The Pope said it was true, so it had to be true! Now, probably some of the things that Pope said in his life were true and some were not true. There is no good reason why, just because he was the Pope, you should believe everything he said, any more than you believe everything that lots of other people say. The present Pope has ordered his followers not to limit the number of babies they have. If people follow his authority as slavishly as he would wish, the results could be terrible famines, diseases and wars, caused by overcrowding.

    Of course, even in science, sometimes we haven’t seen the evidence ourselves and we have to take somebody else’s word for it. I haven’t with my own eyes, seen the evidence that light travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. Instead, I believe books that tell me the speed of light. This looks like ‘authority’. But actually it is much better than authority because the people who wrote the books have seen the evidence and anyone is free to look carefully at the evidence whenever they want. That is very comforting. But not even the priests claim that there is any evidence for their story about Mary’s body zooming off to Heaven.

    The third kind of bad reason for believing anything is called ‘revelation’. If you had asked the Pope in 1950 how he knew that Mary’s body disappeared into Heaven, he would probably have said that it had been ‘revealed’ to him. He shut himself in his room and prayed for guidance. He thought and thought, all by himself, and he became more and more sure inside himself. When religious people just have a feeling inside themselves that something must be true, even though there is no evidence that it is true, they call their feeling ‘revelation’. It isn’t only popes who claim to have revelations. Lots of religious people do. It is one of their main reasons for believing the things that they do believe. But is it a good reason?

    Suppose I told you that your dog was dead. You’d be very upset, and you’d probably say, ‘Are you sure? How do you know? How did it happen?’ Now suppose I answered: ‘I don’t actually know that Pepe is dead. I have no evidence. I just have this funny feeling deep inside me that he is dead.’ You’d be pretty cross with me for scaring you, because you’d know that an inside ‘feeling’ on its own is not a good reason for believing that a whippet is dead. You need evidence. We all have inside feelings from time to time, and sometimes they turn out to be right and sometimes they don’t. Anyway, different people have opposite feelings, so how are we to decide whose feeling is right? The only way to be sure that a dog is dead is to see him dead, or hear that his heart has stopped; or be told by somebody who has seen or heard some real evidence that he is dead.

    People sometimes say that you must believe in feelings deep inside, otherwise you’d never be confident of things like ‘My wife loves me’.
    But this is a bad argument. There can be plenty of evidence that somebody loves you. All through the day when you are with somebody who loves you, you see and hear lots of little tidbits of evidence, and they all add up. It isn’t purely inside feeling, like the feeling that priests call revelation. There are outside things to back up the inside feeling: looks in the eye, tender notes in the voice, little favors and kindnesses; this is all real evidence.

    Sometimes people have a strong inside feeling that somebody loves them when it is not based upon any evidence, and then they are likely to be completely wrong. There are people with a strong inside feeling that a famous film star loves them, when really the film star hasn’t even met them. People like that are ill in their minds. Inside feelings must be backed up by evidence, otherwise you just can’t trust them.

    Inside feelings are valuable in science too, but only for giving you ideas that you later test by looking for evidence. A scientist can have a ‘hunch’ about an idea that just ‘feels’ right. In itself, this is not a good reason for believing something. But it can be a good reason for spending some time doing a particular experiment, or looking in a particular way for evidence. Scientists use inside feelings all the time to get ideas. But they are not worth anything until they are supported by evidence.

    I promised that I’d come back to tradition, and look at it in another way. I want to try to explain why tradition is so important to us. All animals are built (by the process called evolution) to survive in the normal place in which their kind live. Lions are built to be good at surviving on the plains of Africa. Crayfish are built to be good at surviving in fresh water, while lobsters are built to be good at surviving in the salt sea. People are animals too, and we are built to be good at surviving in a world full of … other people. Most of us don’t hunt for our own food like lions or lobsters, we buy it from other people who have bought it from yet other people. We ‘swim’ through a ‘sea of people’. Just as a fish needs gills to survive in water, people need brains that make them able to deal with other people. Just as the sea is full of salt water, the sea of people is full of difficult things to learn. Like language.

    You speak English but your friend speaks German. You each speak the language that fits you to ‘swim about’ in your own separate ‘people sea’. Language is passed down by tradition. There is no other way. In England, Pepe is a dog. In Germany he is ein Hund. Neither of these words is more correct, or more truer than the other. Both are simply handed down. In order to be good at ‘swimming about in their people sea’, children have to learn the language of their own country, and lots of other things about their own people; and this means that they have to absorb, like blotting paper, an enormous amount of traditional information. (Remember that traditional information just means things that are handed down from grandparents to parents to children.) The child’s brain has to be a sucker for traditional information. And the child can’t be expected to sort out good and useful traditional information, like the words of a language, from bad or silly traditional information, like believing in witches and devils and ever-living virgins.

    It’s a pity, but it can’t help being the case, that because children have to be suckers for traditional information, they are likely to believe anything the grown-ups tell them, whether true or false, right or wrong. Lots of what grown-ups tell them is true and based on evidence or at least sensible. But if some of it is false, silly or even wicked, there is nothing to stop the children believing that too. Now, when the children grow up, what do they do? Well, of course, they tell it to the next generation of children. So, once something gets itself strongly believed – even if its completely untrue and there never was any reason to believe it in the first place – it can go on forever.
    Could this be what happened with religions? Belief that there is a god or gods, belief in Heaven, belief that Mary never died, belief that Jesus never had a human father, belief that prayers are answered, belief that wine turns into blood – not one of these beliefs is backed up by any good evidence. Yet millions of people believe them. Perhaps this is because they were told to believe them when they were young enough to believe anything.

    Millions of other people believe quite different things, because they were told different things when they were children. Muslim children are told different things from Christian children, and both grow up utterly convinced that they are right and the others are wrong. Even within Christians, Roman Catholics believe different things from Church of England people or Episcopalians, Shakers or Quakers, Mormons or Holy Rollers, and all are utterly convinced that they are right and the others are wrong. They believe different things for exactly the same kind of reason as you speak English and someone speaks German.

    Both languages are, in their own country, the right language to speak. But it can’t be true that different religions are right in their own countries, because different religions claim that opposite things are true. Mary can’t be alive in the Catholic Republic but dead in Protestant Northern Ireland.

    What can we do about all this? It is not easy for you to do anything, because you are only ten. But you could try this. Next time somebody tells you something that sounds important, think to yourself: ‘Is this the kind of thing that people probably know because of evidence? Or is it the kind of thing that people only believe because of tradition, authority or revelation?’ And, next time somebody tells you that something is true, why not say to them: ‘What kind of evidence is there for that?’ And if they can’t give you a good answer, I hope you’ll think very carefully before you believe a word they say.

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