Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lessons from the Garden of Eden

Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful garden, a paradise. They were given one instruction: not to eat from the tree of knowledge. They were curious and as they were never told why they shouldn't eat from the tree, they did so and thus they were banished to a life of suffering. This story is one of the central myths of judeo-christian religions

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Noah's Ark


God / Allah gets mad at the people he created, denouncing them as wicked, and decides to kill them all by drowning them in a flood. Noah and his family are exempted of course, Noah being the ideal person and all. He asks Noah to build an Ark and gather 2 of every species of animal on earth. One male and one female. This was entirely possible because asexual animals, like the Bdelloid Rotifer obviously do not exist. Noah does what the voice in his head tells him to do. God floods the world for for a year, covering the highest peaks. Everyone dies a horrible death except for Noah and his family. Obviously no one else had boats back then. God then makes a pact with Noah, vowing never to flood the earth again, because, you know, slaughtering practically every living thing on earth once is fine but doing it twice is just being an ass.

Amazingly, there are billions of people on earth who believe that this actually happened.

If you are among them, consider these points:

Noah's Ark could not possibly have fit all those animals. There are 5,676 known species of mammals, 10,000 species of birds (yes, they all have to be on the ark too, they can't fly for a year without pause) 8,000 species of reptiles, 6,500 species of amphibians, 6-10 Million species insects and 32,000 species of fish. Yes, fish. The flood would have changed the temperature and water pressure in coral reefs where most fish live, driving practically all species to extinction. Massive artificial reefs would have to be to be constructed in Noah's Ark to save them.

Not only would it have been impossible for Noah to fit the animals in his Ark, It would have been impossible for him to gather them in the first place. Noah would have to trek to the ends of the earth (figure of speech, you flat earthists!), exploring thousands of caves, climbing thousands of mountains, swimming to the bottoms of lakes and walking through vast deserts to gather all the animals. Take note that the bible says that God told Noah to gather the animals, and he did. It does not say that God gathered them for him, helped him gather them or that they came to him. Accepting any of those scenarios as truth would be altering the biblical account of things.
Next comes the problem of keeping all the animals alive for the whole year. Many animals can only survive in specific climates or only eat specific types of food. Noah would have to have rooms with climate control to suit different animals. He would need millions of tons of food to feed all of them for a year and thousands of varieties at that to suit the dietary rewuirements of each species. Other animals only live for a few months or even days so they would have to reproduce successfuly on the Ark to survive, many animals however, do not reproduce well in captivity.

An Omnibenevolent God would never have drowned practically the entire population of the earth. Sure there were wicked people, but even if you accept punishment by murder as just, what about the children? What about the innocent animals who did nothing wrong? Why would an all-good, perfect being make them suffer for the sins of others? Surely an all-knowing God would be able to think of another way to remedy the situation other than wholesale slaughter?

So now that the utter stupidity of the Noah's Ark story has been revealed by science (or just plain common sense) many have adopted a 'symbolic' interpretation of it. The question remains, why would an all-loving, all-compasionate God choose a story about him slaughtering practically every life form on earth to convey whatever message he sought to convey? What should we learn from this story? That it is ok to punish people as a group even if there are innocents (including children) among them? That blind, unquestioning obedience to someone who expresses his intent to commit mass murderer is a good thing?

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