Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More of my Mabul-related jingoism

R. Dovid Gottlieb gave this swell set of questions over in his defense of his "argument from Sinai" (my quoting of him is not an endorsement of everything he has ever said in his lifetime, nor is the fact that I am quoting him an indication of his support for my entire blog; I just really like this framework);

(B) We can question how complete are the records that we possess from the period in which the miracle occurred. I have sent the following questions to professional historians:

I am searching for information concerning the historical records we possess for the period 1300 BCE to 1100 BCE, particularly in Babylonia and China. My questions are these:

1. How complete are the records – what kinds of events do they record? What kinds of events do they omit?

2. Are there substantial periods of time – say, 50 years or more – during that period for which there are no records at all?

3. If the answer to 2 is yes, is the reason that those who wrote the records skipped periods, or is the reason that we are missing records?

4. How reasonable would it be to suppose that an event occurred during that period even if the records we possess do not mention it? Suppose the event in question is a major war, a natural disaster like a massive earthquake or volcanic eruption or tsunami, an astronomical prodigy like an eclipse, a major technological advance like the invention of gunpowder, a major social transformation like changing the form of government or religion – in cases like these, would the absence of the event from the historical records we possess be conclusive proof that the event did not occur?

Of course, this is regarding "the day the sun stood still", not the Mabul. But I think many of the ideas are shared.


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