Bill Nye is Ken Ham’s Best Friend, and Scholarship’s Worst Enemy

Well it accomplished Ken Ham’s goal- he got a lot of public attention and he raised enough money from that attention to finish his Noah’s Ark theme park.  In sum and substance, then, Bill Nye is now Ken Ham’s chief fundraiser.  Nice work, Billy

The founder of a Bible-themed museum who recently debated evolution with TV’s “Science Guy” Bill Nye said Thursday that the widely watched event helped to boost enthusiasm among followers who invested in a project to build a 510-foot Noah’s Ark.

In a webcast from the same Creation Museum stage where the debate took place, Ken Ham announced that the municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the wooden ark, estimated to cost about $73 million. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016.

“It did help,” Ham said of the Feb. 4 debate with Nye. “We obviously had a big spurt toward the end (of the bond deadline), and I think it was people who were involved in this, who really decided they were going to do something.”

Bill Nye is Ken Ham’s best friend.  And scholarship’s worst enemy.

Answering Your Letters

Jim,

I notice that you haven’t said anything about the story of Ai and how it prooves the Bible.  Why not?  Afraid?  Here it is:  http://www.chattanoogan.com/2014/1/31/268639/Lees-Peterson-Discovers-1st-Century.aspx

Tony

Dear Tony,

There’s no need for anything to be said about it for one simple reason- it is based, as are all ‘maximalist’ arguments, on circular reasoning.  That is, these ‘scholars’ have found something they think, for them, proves the Bible.  If they knew what they were doing they would simply present their findings without reference to the Bible and then leave it to archaeologists to discuss.  But since they knew what they were looking for before they found it, they found exactly what they were looking for, proving (only to themselves) that they had what they knew they had.

Furthermore, the discovery of a scarab is a non discovery.  The things were all over the place.  Israel, you’ll recall, was controlled by Egypt for a very long time (See the Amarna Letters).

In other words, the discovery is no big deal.  It just isn’t.  That, by the way, is why you haven’t heard anything about the find among professional archaeologists.  They know it’s nothing.  The only ones fascinated by it are fundamentalists who think it bolsters their case and uninformed folk who don’t know much about the history of the Levant.

A Question for the Fundamentalists

What do you honestly think is gained by exaggerated claims and the misuse of archaeology?  How is the truth assisted by misprision?  Is your faith so fragile it must be bolstered by untruth or half truths or bogus assertions?

akin

Do you not recognize the circularity of your argument and don’t you care?  Don’t you realize the little wine jar fragment proves nothing that you’re claiming?

More Lead Codices Are Being Offered For Sale

In case you thought the former lead codices were unique and ancient, there are still more floating around out there for sale.

That ‘Jesus Ossuary’ Inscription Was Bogus Then, and It’s Bogus Now

The so called ‘James, brother of Jesus’ ossuary is in the news again- probably because it’s Christmas and probably because there’s money to be made (its owner hopes) from it.  But the inscription (at the very least in its second half) was bogus when the thing was unveiled in Toronto and it’s bogus now.

“Because of the differences in the depth and the clarity and the kerning [spacing] between the first half of the inscription that mentions James son of Joseph, and the second half, I’d be willing to wager that the second half was added in modern times,” said Prof Christopher Rollston of the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

Honestly, any sensible person can look at the inscription and tell the difference between the first and second parts.  But, when there’s money to be made…

At any rate, this is, in the words of AKMA Adam, ‘the hoax that will not die, even in its own box’.

‘Ridiculous Ignorance’ – Yup, That Sums it Up Nicely Antonio

jesus_footprintMy pal and buddy Antonio Lombatti has once again hit the nail on the head when he calls this story ‘ridiculous ignorance’ for that is what it is:

Così come è ridicola la patacca delle impronte dei piedi di Gesù, che un anonimo (e vorrei ben vedere…) giornalista ricorda essere conservate nella chiesa di Santa Maria delle Piante a Roma

Good grief.  What insanity.

Pray, Tell, What Makes it a ‘Jewish’ Altar? Or, More Archaeological Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing

Here’s the headline:

Ancient Jewish Altar Found in Shilo

img458456And the byline:

Ongoing dig in the Samaria town of Shilo turns up ancient stone altar from First Temple times or earlier.

‘Jewish’? It could hardly be a ‘Jewish’ anything from the Iron Age. Israelite, perhaps, but Jewish? Here’s just more of the same old tired journalism in the service of ideology.  So, what makes this lump of stone ‘Jewish’? Pray, tell.

An ongoing archaeological dig in the ancient Jewish village of Shilo in Samaria (Shomron) has turned up a stone altar dating back thousands of years. The altar is believed to date back to the period from roughly 1,200 BCE to 600 CE known as the Iron Age.

That’s not very precise.

More specifically, archaeologists dating it to what some Israeli researchers call the “Israelite era” – the period of time after the nation of Israel entered the land of Israel, and before the destruction of the First Temple. The altar is 60 centimeters by 60 centimeters, with a height of 40 centimeters, and was found on the southern edge of the site of ancient Shilo.

Well which is it- Israelite of ‘Jewish’?

It had been used in the construction of a Byzantine-era structure, however, markings on the stone indicated its use in religious ceremonies prior to its use as building material.

Oh Ok, the ‘markings’ on the stone must be Hebrew markings… right? Because otherwise what makes this ‘Jewish’? ‘Jews’ were the only ones who used altars? Made sacrifices?

It’s hard to believe this kind of poor reporting continues. Except it’s not. It’s par for the course. And that’s sad.

[HT Joseph Lauer]

The Ossuary And It’s Fraudulent Inscription Will Soon Be Making Oded Golan and His Supporters Money

The stone burial box bearing the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus” has been hidden from public view at the Israel Antiquities Authority since 2003.  But now it has been released to be displayed around the world, following a 10-year legal battle in which Israeli authorities failed to show that Tel Aviv collector Oded Golan faked the ancient Aramaic lettering on the box.

Ben Witherington III and Hershel Shanks can rewrite their book on it and cash in.  Hooray for them.  The inscription is still bogus, in spite of the Israeli prosecutor’s ability to convince a judge that it’s so.  Things aren’t true just because Judges say they haven’t been proven false.  (And boy if ever there were a logical fallacy that’s it).

Matthew Kalman has the story of the re-appearing fraud over at New York Daily News.  Give it a read.