Ah, the fun never stops over at Pharyngula. As a notable, popular blog written by well-known biology professor and atheist P.Z. Myers, you might guess that the comment section is regularly invaded by godbots, woo-meisters, and the genuinely stupid who want to argue the reality of their faith with a commentariat that, unfortunately for the idiots, features numerous scientists, teachers, grad students, and others who know their shit.
It's as much fun as it sounds.
If they're not too obnoxious, we try to give them three strikes--allow three stupid comments to go by before we start heaping on the abuse. (This rule is waived if they lead off with misogyny, racism, or various other sorts of bigoted crap, including threats of hellfire or copy & paste Bible verses as if they carried any real weight.) Sometimes, we even try to help them out with explanations of scientific theories and concepts, and even link them to documented, peer-reviewed studies in the appropriate field.
Sometimes, they give us links of their own, to web articles which in their minds constitute "evidence" or "proof."
So we had a discussion there the other day regarding Noah's Ark and the Great Flood, and whether geology and archaeology support or falsify the notion of a global flooding event. And one visitor to the blog helpfully supplied a link that he felt strengthened his case, and which he evidently thought to be the equivalent of the work of actual scientists in these fields.
I bravely clicked on the link, and found these 12 "logical," er, "reasons" to believe in a global flood. My comments are below each point; as always, the red letters are where Jesus talks.
FROM LOGIC………[12 reasons]
(1) For rain to fall for forty uninterrupted days on one localized area is currently close to impossible.
But of course it is possible for rain to fall for forty uninterrupted days over the entire world, and to fall hard enough for sea level to rise at least 750 feet per day over that time. Right? Not a stretch, really. Could happen.
And for some reason, the words monsoon season keep coming to mind. It's almost like the Bible authors were primitive desert-dwellers who lacked the means to travel to other parts of the world with different weather patterns.
Okay, it's exactly like that.
And you will notice with this one, as with all of the "logic" presented, it is just naturally assumed the story in the bible is a true and accurate report of a real event, rather than fabricated or exaggerated like the flood myths told in every other culture that ever existed presumably were. No, this one really happened!
(2) A rainbow appeared for the first time after the flood, indicating a radical change in atmospheric conditions as a consequence of a cataclysmic event.
Ah, the first rainbow. Ever. Must have freaked the shit out of everybody.
I suppose it's possible that refraction didn't exist for the first few hundred years after God said "let there be light." Maybe, just maybe, light was younger then and stiffer, and didn't bend very much.
And I certainly don't see any logical difficulties with the idea that the same people and animals who lived before this "radical change in atmospheric conditions" would continue to thrive after the change. Change is good, right? It's all cool.
(3) The waters remained for over a year. This would not occur in a local flood.
The problem of where the water went after that year will be left as an exercise for the student.
(4) To be higher than the highest mountains, the flood could not have been local.
It would also have to raise sea level by roughly 30,000 feet in order to cover Mt. Everest. Of course, the rather provincial goatherders who wrote the Bible had no idea Mt. Everest even existed, what with being rather provincial goatherders.
And let's remember: they also thought that one could see "all the kingdoms of earth" from the highest mountain. So...yeah. They had some funny ideas about mountains in those days.
(5) To cover the mountains continually for 9 months, the flood could not have been local.
Gosh, this seems rather similar to point #3 above. And it's every bit as convincing, really.
(6) The purpose of the flood was to destroy all human beings. This could only refer to a worldwide flood.
So I guess all the plants and animals that died were just collateral damage. Groovy. I suppose "sorry" covers that. Reparations to follow. Whatever.
And you know who else wanted to destroy all of humanity? That's right...that's right...oh, wait. Shit, not even Hitler wanted to kill everybody. Still, I guess this would be God's idea of a Final Solution. And maybe, just maybe, water is a more humane means of causing mass death than Zyklon B. I suppose God would know; he certainly tried enough ways of killing people. Obviously a few bears wouldn't do the trick on this scale.
(7) If the flood was local, people living elsewhere in the world would have escaped.
Like the Egyptians, who somehow not only failed to die, but failed to even notice.
No wonder their great civilization didn't last and come to rule the world; they just didn't pay attention to shit. You'd think they'd get a clue and properly die, or at least suspect a problem once the water was lapping halfway up the pyramids. And maybe record the event, as they were wont to do. But no, not even a hieroglyph. Nothing.
(8) The enormous size of the ark (equivalent to the capacity of 500 railroad freight carriages) would hold much more than local species of animals.
And the wooden construction, with no metal bracing, would cause the ark to break in half like a fucking breadstick with the first serious wave that passed. Really, there's a reason why no ship that size has ever been, nor will ever be, constructed solely out of wood. Lacking tensile strength, or somesuch. It soaks up water, and it rots. Some of you with bathrooms in your home may be familiar with these phenomena. If you ever stick your foot through a rotten floorboard, just say to yourself: I should have used gopherwood. Ask for it at Home Depot.
There is also a reason why those wonderful theme-park ark replicas are sitting on dry land, and why the proposed "Ark Park," if in fact it gets built, will be situated in the landlocked state of Kentucky. You don't want the fucker getting anywhere near the water. Because wooden boats built with the materials and techniques available 3500 years ago have an annoying tendency to spring leaks. And with only eight people available to bail, you might find yourself in some trouble pretty quickly.
And with no fucking land anywhere, it could get ugly.
(Of course if anyone really wants to create a realistic "Great Flood" scenario, they would only allow eight people at a time to enter the Ark replica. Everyone else would have to wait in the parking lot, where they would be entertainingly drowned for a few minutes. In some parts of the world, this is known as "waterboarding." Always good business.)
(9) The purpose of the ark to “keep seed [species - NKJ] alive upon the face of the earth” is only rational if the flood was global.
Right, because when you want to kill everything on Earth except eight people and two of every animal, it's important that you remain rational about the whole thing.
(10) Noah and his family could have migrated to a locality away from the local area to be flooded. There would have been no need to spend 120 years building an ark.
Right. Noah could have spent those 120 years doing something more practical, like, say, planning for retirement. Or, I don't know, giving himself 43,800 pedicures.
(11) Many of the animals in the flooding area could have easily migrated to escape the deluge if the flood was local. There would have been no need to build an ark to provide them with a safe haven.
Since all but two of every animal on earth died anyway, this must be some new definition of "safe haven" that I wasn't previously aware of. Not to mention that all the herbivores would have disembarked to face a world without plant life. Thanks a lot, God.
And I suspect it would have taken some time for new plant life to appear, especially since all the formerly fertile soil would be somewhat ruined by the salty water covering everything, a covering that remained for nine months. One suspects that food would have run out pretty quickly, and Noah and his sons would have two choices: either eat some of those animals that God commanded them to save, or start looking at each other and hallucinating giant hot dogs and hamburgers like those starving people you used to see in cartoons. And that way lies madness.
(12) If God made a promise based on a lie (ie. that the flood being local rather than global), then he can’t be trusted to save us from our sins.
Well, if God hadn't put that dangerous damn tree with the forbidden fruit right smack in the middle of the Garden of Eden, sin might not have been such an issue. And since God told Adam and Eve that they would surely die if they ate the fruit, rather than receiving knowledge of good and evil, it appears that God was pretty much lying right out of the box.
Who told Adam and Eve the truth about the tree? Could it be...could it be...SATAN?
Before I sign off, I want to thank whichever stupid jerk linked me to that pile of writhing rat diarrhea. I can never repay such kindness, but, with your forbearance, I would at least like to come to your house and throw stuff at you. I owe you that much, at least.