Monday, August 31, 2009

Bible as a book of knowledge

Have you seen that video on YouTube with the lady declaring, "The Bible is the most scientifically accurate book ever written", or seen people claim that, "All of the answers are in the bible"?

I think it's really funny to suggest that the Bible was given to us to communicate knowledge. What other books are meant to do that? Science books would be a good example. When I open a science book, I see straight-forward, yet often complex, diagrams and text. They tell me, in very clear terms, exactly how a process works, what evidence there is, and what problems remain unanswered.

The Bible, along with other old holy books, uses this vague, poetic language which requires interpretation in order to make any sense at all, and that interpretation is highly subjective to the reader.

For example, here is the introductory text from the Wikipedia article on jet streams:

"Jet streams, or just jets in context, are fast flowing, narrow air currents found in the atmosphere of planets at the tropopause, the transition between the troposphere (where temperature decreases with height) and the stratosphere (where temperature increases with height). They are thought to be caused by a combination of atmospheric heating (by solar radiation and/or internal heat) and a planet's rotation on its own axis. On Earth, the strongest jet streams are the polar jets (7-12 km or 23,000-39,000 ft above sea level) and the higher and somewhat weaker subtropical jets (10-16 km or 33,000-52,000 ft). The northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere each have both a polar jet and a subtropical jet."

Do you think it's possible to misinterpret that to mean anything other than what it's supposed to mean? It's pretty clear, as long as you know what all of the words mean.

Now here is a passage from the Bible, which creationist idiots claim is meant to reveal to us information about the jet streams:

"The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits."

Even if you ignore the fact that the jet streams go from west to east, not north-south, you can still see that this is total garbage. If the Bible was meant to communicate knowledge to us, why didn't it use a straight-forward style? It's for this reason that the Bible, even if it did contain knowledge, would be almost completely useless to us as a tool in discovering new things. However, the real handicap is the fact that it doesn't actually contain any knowledge at all.


Jim said...

I like to think the best bit of knowledge from the Bible is that when God was punishing everyone in Eden, he made it so the snake would crawl on his stomach the rest of its days.

As apposed to the flying and running snakes that are everywhere.

Hell of a punishment there.

And then he made it so man would have to toil in the fields for the rest of his existence. I don't know about anyone else here, but I have never toiled in a field, and I never plan to. But somehow I get along just fine. Seems like a crappy punishment, seeing as commercial farming allows 99% of men to go unpunished.

Thanks science!

Admin said...

I HAVE toiled in a field. It sucked! Hardest job I've ever done, and I only lasted 9 days before I figured there were easier ways to make money, and looked elsewhere for work. I have a lot of respect for the people who do that job long-term.

Jim said...

Reminds me of a quote.

"I was a hot tar roofer. Yeah, I rmember"