50. Did Joshua really get the sun and moon to stand still?

image21In the book of Joshua, God was really intent on helping Josh (as I like to imagine his friends called him) defeat the five kings of the Amorites (who were probably a bunch of gay liberals). So rather than just offer his usual brand of silent esoteric support for wars waged in his name, God actually helped out, pelting the enemy with large hailstones (Joshua 10:11), and stopping the rotation of the earth at Josh’s request, just so he could finish the battle.

On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”

So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar.

The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.
~Joshua 10:12-13

Proof of a miracle?

Back in the 1980s, I’d heard an evangelist tell an audience that NASA had actually discovered Josh’s missing day. According to the story, NASA had been performing some calculations for satellites and inadvertently discovered a day missing from earth’s history. If this is true, it could be evidence of a spectacular miracle, and the existence of God. 

Is it possible to detect a missing day?

Long story short, no.

The only way that the computer would know that a day was missing would be if it had the actual astronomical data from millennia past to compare to. Obviously we have no such data. So even if we it were true that there is a missing day in history as the Bible claims, there would be no way to verify this using computer simulations. We don’t, and will never, have the data needed to confirm that specific claim.

So where did the NASA story come from?

Turns out, the origin of this urban legend is now well documented.

Harry Rimmer

Harry Rimmer, Creationist, Liar

The original version of the story goes back to the late 1800s, and it was popularized in Harry Rimmer’s book The Harmony of Science and Scripture in 1936, in which he claimed that British astronomer Sir Edwin Ball had somehow calculated a missing day in earth’s history.

This story reemerged in the 1960s when Harold Hill, who worked as a plant engineer at NASA, began claiming the story as his own, but revised it so that it was NASA that’d made the discovery. Harold Hill’s version was then passed around and preached from the pulpits for another 30 years, until it began showing up in email inboxes.

In 1997, NASA finally squelched this urban legend, denying that such an event ever took place, and denying that Hill would’ve had access to any of their computers. They also explained that such a calculation would be impossible. 

To their credit, many popular Christian websites now try to dispel this hundred-year-old legend, though most agree that the Biblical legend itself is still true. 

If it can’t be proven, is it theoretically possible?

According to NASA, it’s physically impossible. There’s just no way for the entire planet to come to a complete stop, and then start up again. But if you believe in a God of miracles… well… anything goes, so let’s move on.

Corroborating eyewitness accounts?

If this miracle left no physical evidence, is their any other evidence? Many Christians say yes, in the form of ancient eyewitnesses.

… there appears to be solid evidence from the Bible and from folklore around the world that there was one day which, depending upon geographical location, presented the inhabitants of the earth with an unusually long span of daylight or night … Agnostic or atheistic scholars choose not to deal with the ancient witnesses.

If it’s true that agnostics and atheists choose not to deal with these ancient witnesses, it is probably because so many things can potentially go wrong when trying to prove an extraordinary claim by way of myths, legends, and folklore.

First, teasing out the fact from the fiction can be a subjective process.

Second, there were not a lot of credible eyewitnesses writing things down 3,500 years ago. 

Osiris sun worshipThird, as one might suspect, the sun is an extremely popular topic in myths, legends, and lore, and so it’s not uncommon to find parallels. For example, both the ancient Lithuanians1 and Aztecs2 have legends about a time when the sun did not emerge for many months/years. And there are Polynesian1 and New Zealand3 legends that say the sun used to move much faster across the sky than it does today. There are also many stories about catching the sun1 and tethering it to the ground (possibly inspired by the sun’s rays). But just because these parallels exist, it doesn’t prove these stories are all true. 

Fourth, the large number of sun myths makes it possible to “pick the winners” that corroborate the Biblical account. 

Fifth, dating these stories can be difficult. 

Sixth, it’s possible to reinterpret these legends so they match up with the Biblical details. For example, it doesn’t seem to matter if the sun stops for ten days or ten years; as long as it stops, it’s often said to corroborate the Biblical event.

And finally, these legends are sometimes difficult to track down to their original source. We don’t know when the original story was told, by whom, or in what context.

Confirming the legends

Skeptical as I was, I did investigate a few of these alleged Biblical parallels that were being touted as evidence. 

I found numerous Christian books and websites citing the same collection of legends, which I then traced back to a familiar name: Harry Rimmer (the same man who started the rumor of the missing day). Harry writes:

In the ancient Chinese writings there is a legend of a long day. The Incas of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico have a like record, and there is a Babylonian and a Persian legend of a day that was miraculously extended. Another section of China contributes an account of the day that was miraculously prolonged, in the reign of Emperor Yeo. Herodotus recounts that the priests of Egypt showed him their temple records, and that there he read a strange account of a day that was twice the natural length.
~ The Harmony of Science and Scripture, pp. 269-270.

Harry Rimmer’s work has since been discredited and criticized by both scientists and believers. As early as 1955, Christians like Bernard Ramm were already finding problems with some of these legends. Ramm writes in A Christian View of Science and The Scripture that he was unable to “track down nor confirm” the validity of “Egyptian, Chinese, and Hindu reports of a long day.”

We’ve already learned about the Aztec legend of the long night (that actually lasted for several years), so let’s look at a couple of the others.

Rimmer cites the story of Emperor Yao. Yao’s story first appeared in 1733 in a book by J. Hübner (Kurtze Fragen aus der Politischen Historia) and has been cited by Christians ever since. 

Chinese history speaks of Yao, their king, declaring that in his reign the sun stood so long above the horizon that it was feared the world would have been set on fire.
Nelson, David, 1793-1844The Cause and Cure of Infidelity, pp. 26

But there are several problems with this account. First, the sun is said to have been on the horizon for ten days, not two. Second, Emperor Yao lived approximately 800 years before Joshua. And third, this legend is mysteriously absent from all the other manuscripts we have today.

Sunrise_at_CreationRimmer also mentions Herodotus, a Greek historian in the fifth century B.C. who wrote about a trip to Egypt. In Herodotus’s account, I was unable to locate any mention of a day that lasted twice as long. The closest thing I found was a claim by the Egyptian priests that the sun would occasionally change where it rose or set, but this does not represent a long day:

In this time [the past three hundred generations of men] they [the priests] said that the sun had moved four times from his accustomed place of rising, and where he now sets he had thence twice had his rising, and in the place from whence he now rises he had twice had his setting…

Assuming this was what Rimmer was referring to, it’s been deceptively reinterpreted.

Moving on, I found other Christians citing the fact that five North American Indian tribes all have tales of a long night. Though I don’t see this as five independent accounts, but rather five variations of the same story.

IMG_0244According to these legends, someone catches the sun (often a young boy) and tethers it to the ground, causing the sky to remain dark. A small rodent (either a mouse, a beaver, a mole, or a rabbit) manages to free it by chewing or cutting through the tether, getting burned in the process. These stories all emphasize the importance of these animals, and how they got their physical traits. 

I don’t know about you, but I’d feel pretty uncomfortable building my faith upon a story that also features a heroic beaver. I mean, if this is what qualifies as good evidence, then I’m also obligated to accept all the other anecdotal evidence offered for things like aliens, Bigfoot, and chemtrails. 

I could continue, but I don’t think this kind of sketchy evidence is going to convince anyone who’s not already a believer.

Did the sun stop… or the earth?

There is also a lot of debate over why the Bible says that the “sun stood still” instead of “the earth stopped turning.” Didn’t God know better?

But here, I’m willing to grant that God could’ve been speaking to us in terms we’d understand (in fact, we still call it a sunrise or sunset, even though we now know better).

But some Christians are less forgiving, and follow their literal interpretations to some jaw-dropping conclusions:

God wrote in verse 13 that the “sun stood still and the moon stayed.”  God either meant what he wrote, or he did not. There is no excuse for God because he is the God of truth; therefore all things he says and does must reflect that fact. So God cannot utter an untruth and we must conclude that the Bible teaches, in Joshua 10:13 and else where, that the universe rotates around the earth once per day, carrying the sun, moon and stars with it, regardless of what introductory astronomy texts may say.

Seriously? The earth is stationary? And the entire universe revolves around us? Whoa.

Other Christians prefer to just dismiss the story as poetry, but this also means dismissing the miracle.


When I originally began researching this question, it was in hopes of finding some legitimate evidence that could confirm a miracle. But the quality of this evidence quickly crumbled.

While we can’t prove nor disprove this event, we can show that inventing sun myths was once a popular pastime. The only thing that sets the Biblical myth apart from the others is that it appears in the Bible, but is that enough? Unless God is willing to perform an encore, we have no reason to believe this extraordinary event is anything more than legend.


1. Olcott, W. T., 1914.  Sun Lore of all Ages: A Collection of Myths and Legends Concerning the Sun and its Worship, (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons), p. 205-220.
2. Caso, A. 1937.  The Religion of the Aztecs, (Mexico City: Popular Library of Mexican Culture, Central News Co.), pp. 15-16.
3. Pappas, Stephanie, 2012, Live Science website, Fiery Folklore: Dazzling Sun Myths 
Charles A.L. Totten (1890), Joshua’s Long Day and the Dial of Ahaz
Rimmer, Harry (1936), The Harmony of Science and Scripture, (Berne Witness Co.).
Ramm, Bernard (1954), The Christian View of Science and Scripture (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans).
Snopes.com (2009) , The Lost Day
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42 Responses to 50. Did Joshua really get the sun and moon to stand still?

  1. Well, I think I just found a new blog to follow! Great work. Looking forward to the next 450.

  2. Highlander says:

    “Chinese history speaks of Yao, their king, declaring that in his reign the sun stood so long above the horizon that it was feared the world would have been set on fire.”

    Is it at all possible that Yao had conversed with visitors from the distant north, where at times the sun rarely rises far above the horizon? Just thinking out loud.

  3. ibanezerscrooge says:

    Great post! One small criticism…. In the “Collaborating eyewitness accounts?” I think you should be using the word “corroborating” instead of “collaborating.”

  4. Garbonzo says:

    “I’d also have to accept all the anecdotal evidence for things like ancient aliens, Bigfoot, and chemtrails.”

    It’s funny that you bring this up, because I am a believer in ancient aliens (or advanced humans beyond recorded history). The circumstantial and anecdotal evidence that had to be coincidence is just too much for me. There’s not just one myth from one ancient cultural, but many myths that all say the same thing all of the world.

    Then there are the pyramids:

    From across the globe, how could they all get the idea to build pyramids? Those 3 places of course are not the only places. There are some in China and Australia just to say the least.

    Then there are the constellation alignments some of these pyramids are trying to point out. Some have the same alignments across the globe.

    After that you have the amazing craftsmanship of Puma Punku. Something which I am convinced was impossible to make with ancient tools. With evidence of sewage system at that. Not only this, but the Sumerian text that was found near Puma Punku. How could Sumerians get clear across the globe?

    All of these things and way more combined has convinced me. There is too much evidence and not enough debunking.

    • Ya, I figured I might step on some toes with that one. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible, in fact, it’s probably more probable than the earth standing still, but I’m still HIGHLY skeptical about these claims. There’s a pretty good YouTube video that debunks quite a bit of it… if you have a few hours.

      • Garbonzo says:

        Yes, this is debunking the show, which I am not a huge fan of either, by a Christian fundamentalist, Chris White. The show sensationalizes, speculates a lot, and even makes up things, but in the same way there is evidence brought up to support evolution or other mainstream theory that is later debunked by scientists, that doesn’t mean evolution itself is debunked, only that piece of evidence. Also, just because evolution itself has been “debunked” by creationists, that doesn’t mean it is without analyzing the arguments. Of course evolution is a much more solid theory than ancient aliens, but the point is the video doesn’t touch on every piece of evidence the theory promotes, and focuses on an easy target and the weakest link of the theory itself, which is the sensationalized TV show.

        • rautakyy says:

          Hi Garbonzo, I really like many of the comments you have made in this blog and I am curious as to what convinced you, that there must have been ancient aliens? I hope this is not too off topic. I once read one of the books by Erich von Däniken a leading proponent of this idea and a fiction writer to add. It convinced me, that the entire idea was just sciency sounding fiction (a bit like creationism and ID) and that the author was so very desperate to make his point as to accept just about any nonsense as evidence, most of which he made up himself. Perhaps there are better proponents of this subject? I admit it, am too lazy to go trhough all of them, when their claims are so wild and the most famous author of this idea seemed to be so far of the mark. You see, I have studied archaeology, and all the picked and chosen examples of “evidence” as presented by von Däniken do not seem nearly as convincing when one has studied the cultural context.

          What do you mean by pyramids in Australia? The fact that ancient buildings across the globe are directed at some constellations tells us exactly as much. They have seen the same constellations and the starlit sky is magnificent to behold. I have not heard of any Sumerian text at Puma Punku. Where was that published? If that was actually found, it would be an international sensation in archaeology and I am pretty sure I would have heard of it. Or is there some conspiracy to hide it? Thor Heyerdahl actually proved, that the people of ancient Mesopotamia could have crossed the Atlantic whith their level of technology, should they have chosen to do so, but there is not enough evidence even to back up that they ever did.

          The pictures of pyramids you linked was interresting, but it tells us only that early farming cultures had a tendency to turn into dynastically ruled dictatorships in which much of the extra labour produced by the extra food from farming was used to build monuments and that these monuments around the globe resemble each other, because that is the most simple way of building very big and impressive ritualistic buildings. Actually it is pretty far the only method of building big whith the primitive level of technology, that allows buildings, that do not collapse sooner, or later. These may serve as temples, graves, or what ever public buildings to suport the authority of the ruling class.

          We actually even know the name of the architecht of the Egyptian pyramid in the picture you presented. He was called Imhotep and what he did was simply to advance from previous idea of monuments called the mastabas, by building additional smaller mastaba on top of the one big one and a nother mastaba on that one and so forth… The picture of the three way gate connected to the Egyptian pyramid is not even from that pyramid, since it actually only has one singular entrance tunnel.

          About the debinking video, I have to say that I liked it, but it got a bit funny towards the end when the presenter started to make special pleading for his own preferred ghost story – the Bible. Like for example his argument for the Sumerian text to be less believable than the Bible version of the so called Noahs ark. If some dude whith an actual marine vessel building expertise has really said that the Biblical version of Noahs ark is somehow significantly more seaworhty, than the cubic raft described in the Gilgamesh epic, that fellow is just not competent for his alledged expertise. Both are immense structures supposedly composed of wood whith no propulsion and therefore no means to steer and therfore totally on the mercy of weather, or perhaps gods anyway. Which raises a nother interresting question: Why did Noah have to build an ark in the first place? Could not an entity capable of creating galaxies on a whim (or even aliens able to jump between solar systems) have had a better and less primitive method of saving Noahs family and what ever animal kingdom he could muster into his craft?

          • Garbonzo says:

            Well, my belief comes from many many things which taken all together have convinced me. Everything would be too much to type out. I see you still haven’t addressed Puma Punku (I haven’t seen anyone address it reasonably), which I consider the star of the theory. Regarding the Sumerian text, I am talking about The Fuente Magna, which the text seems to be called “Proto-Sumerian”.

            This website seems to cover it nicely: http://www.atlantisbolivia.org/boliviaandthesumerianconnection.htm

            Your addresses to the pyramids are an honest one, and you could easily point to Occam’s razor in this regard, but I’m going to chalk it up to another piece of the iceberg. If you found a piece of ice, you’d hardly call it an iceberg, but this is like finding a piece of ice that came from a larger iceberg. You just haven’t seen as much evidence as me to see the iceberg, so it’s understandable.

            Erich von Däniken is not the best proponent of the theory, although probably the most popular one. I’ve read Graham Hancock more, but the point is that the evidence doesn’t rest on simply one author, but more spread out across multiple. Each have good and bad points. If you want to fill a whole book, you sometimes have to fill it with more speculation than evidence, just like a TV show with filler episodes, sprinkled across the juicier bits.

            Try reading “Fingerprints of the Gods” which covers Puma Punku also.

            Next there is my good friend Llyod Pye, which may be my primary motivation into being inclined to believe these things. His holds in possession that Starchild Skull, which I believe to be a real non-human, but humanoid skull, maybe extraterrestrial. You can find more about it here: http://www.starchildproject.com/#

            Next, I haven’t finished reading about it, but if you want to be the first to debunk this, I wouldn’t mind it. There’s this site: http://www.ancientcanalbuilders.com/index.html

            And a brief summary about it (I haven’t made up my mind on it yet):

            I’ve championed John’s work for nearly four years because I consider it some of the most important in the world today. His extensive and, to me, thoroughly compelling analysis of data suggests the ACB’s demise occurred around 7,000 years ago.

            Because I could not help him create his eBook, he has now made a freeware web book available at http://www.ancientcanalbuilders.com. It covers the mind-boggling amount of research he’s done, graphically displayed in Google Earth images, so a Google Earth plugin is needed to review the site to best advantage.

            If you have any interest in Ancient Civilizations, and would like to examine some of the most convincing and cutting-edge research I’m aware of anywhere in the world, then please review John’s web book and let others know of its availability.

            John convincingly argues that 7,000 years ago a monumental flood wiped out most traces of a highly advanced civilization spread all over the Earth, a civilization very likely as clever and sophisticated as our own. He bases his 7,000 year date using “Ocean Rise” during the last Meltwater Pulse, and he keeps his focus on an advanced culture existing along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. from Long Island Sound, around the Florida Keys, across the Mississippi Delta, and as far as 400 miles into Mexico.

            The first illustration below is a Holocene Sea Level chart plotting sea level over the past 9,000 years. Note the Jamaica or “Caribbean Plain” sea level plot in light turquoise. Those plot readings are the closest to the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts. The Jamaica plots show an average sea level increase of about 5’ 5” between 7,000 and 5,000 years before present (ybp). From that point forward, sea levels have been relatively stable, with less than 1’ increase in the past 5,000 years. (References on the site)

            Sea levels are a valid dating mechanism when a non-natural harbor, canal, channel, feature, contour, or artifact can be found situated on a tidal shelf that establishes its date of construction to be when the area was above sea level. John has found dozens of each category, with the harbor seen above in the second photo (one of 33 located so far!) in Florida territorial waters about 2.2 miles out in open ocean. This submerged harbor, designated “H-1”, is perhaps the most important discovery of the entire Ancient Canal Builder site.

            This harbor rests on a high tidal shoulder beside an egress channel. Ocean depth is estimated to be between 6’ to 15’ deep. Length of the harbor’s main body is about 10,000 feet. Based on harbors of similar size today, we can estimate the depth of the original cut harbor to be 35’ to 45’ deep.

            John argues that the civilization responsible for this harbor, and most everything else you will see in his web book, was destroyed by a super-mega-tsunami cataclysm that would have left residue artifacts in stone, pottery, and possibly other unknown materials, preserved in the mud and silt at the bottom of all the harbors he chronicles. These can be recovered by a diving expedition going there to dig them up.

            The super-mega-tsunami was caused by a little known but well-established event that did in fact occur 7,000 years ago: the Storegga underwater landslide that stretched for 600 miles along the coast of western Norway. This catastrophe sank or inundated the Dogger Banks, breached the Bosphorus Strait, birthed both Minnesota and Niagara Falls, created the Windover Bog mummies, and took out the Michigan Copper Miners and the builders of the Bimini Harbor Wall, among many others. Tsunami debris as high as 26’ is found on both the Atlantic and Pacific Rims dating to 7,000 ybp. This monumental catastrophe should be much better known than it is, and if you peruse John’s incredible work you will find out why.

            • rautakyy says:

              Wow, Garbonzo, that is a lot of material, but because this is not the topic subject, I will not address it all here. Thank you for the links and the suggested reading, I will look into that when I have the time to spare. Is the “Fingerprints of the Gods” by Graham Hancock”?

              Previously I addressed the Puma Punku as much as saying, that I doubt there is actually any proto-Sumerian writing found from near anywhere there and that even, if there were and it could actually be established, that the find was legitimate, as Thor Heyerdahl proved whith his Ra project, the Atlantic ocean could have been crossed whith very primitive technology. But I do not see enough evidence to jump into that conclusion either. I agree whith the debunking video, that the Puma Punku stones are not something ancient cultures could not have achieved. Did you not watch the debunking video? I thought after that it did not need much commenting. Or is there something you would object to in the debunking video about what is said about the site? Marvelluous though the stones at Puma Punku are, they are not that marvellous as to require any high-tech alien culture to explain their existance. Yes, it is the Occam’s razor again.

              To me atleast, it seems the reason why the Puma Punku site has exited many of the ancient aliens proponents, is the geometrical form and appearance of the stones there, because such geometrical design is actually reminiscent of our own modern culture and as we connect our cultural expression to the level of technology we have. So they just look to us as if they were produced by technologically similar culture to our own. But there is no particular reason why we should assume that high tech culture fancies geometrical design, just because our own does so. Is there?

              The link you provided shows the so called Fuente Magna plate alledgedly from the Andies which seems to have some Sumeric looking markings on the side, but as the site itself does not look too reliable and does not even have a transcription of what it says on the bowl, I am not going to buy into this quite yet. A lot of artefacts supporting a variety of “theories” have been presented from around the globe, but as anecdotes, they are just wild claims untill their age, origin and context has been established in peer rewied papers.

              I see no reason why any legitimate archaeologist would not have made a brilliant career out of such a sensation as to being able to produce reliable evidence for trans-Atlantic contact in pre-historic times. Do you? Untill such an event, I think I remain very agnostic about this issue and whithhold my belief in any ancient aliens, or even a less wondrous contact between these cultures. As far as we know the Fuente Magna bowl could be a hoax, since it is a single piece alledgedly just found by some farm worker. Logically speaking, as it is a single piece not confirmed by any other material, that would connect it even to the alledged location of discovery, it is most likely a hoax and that is assuming the markings inside it are infact some form of Sumerian. Do you see the multiple problems of the evidence value of this item?

              What made people jump into the conclusion, that the so called “starchild skull” is actually anything else than a deformed human skull? It sounds a bit silly. There are a lot weirder deformations of human skulls. It looks like Human skull, so it most propably is a human skull. I must say, that I find it proposterous to say the least, that humans should assume aliens from a nother planet would whith any likelyhood look anything like ourselves. That they too would be built like apes. It is all fine in space opera, but it shows similar andropocentricism as making the claim, that a god made “men” in “his” own image.

              I will comment later on the ancient canals and plumed hats and winged outfits on representatives of the many different cultures as I have had time to look at the claims first. That is if our gracious host does not feel this is too much off topic, in which case we can continue this conversation elswere, like for example in my own blog site, to which I could write a piece about this subject.

              For now, I will leave you whith this:

              It seems to me, that the idea of wings as an adornment on the back of a man is not such an original idea at all. Infact there are eagle peaked helmets and featherd plumed hats fascinatingly similar to the ones used in various early cultures from around the 16th century Europe like the Hussar armour abowe and yet we do not expet there to be any significant connection between those and the ancient cultures. Do we? Humans just tend to have these not-so-original ideas about what is seen cool and similarities are just bound to occur given enough timespan and enough people unaware of each other. The point being, they do not even know to have had a similar idea as some other dudes elswhere.

              We who live in the information society, easily develope this notion, that all similarities human cultures share are a result of contact between them, because contact is the most likeliest reason between similarities of our different cultures, but that is not at all the case for most of human history and pre-history. The main reason for similarities is the similarity of humans as representatives of our species and as a result also the similarity human minds.

              I do agree whith you that there is not enough debunking going around. It is mostly because the scientists are busy at actual research, and simply have not got the time, energy, nor resources to debunk all the wild claims made by phoney artists and amateurs whith their own favourite pet “theories” and ideas. The point being, that one has to set standards for believing anything before it is actually shown to be true by some legitimate research first. A wild claim may be later have enough evidence, but if one believed in it before that situation, even though one was then windicated, the belief was not warranted.

              • rautakyy says:

                Hello again, Garbonzo. I have now looked at the claims about the ancient canal builders you linked to. Very interresting, but there are a number of problems here. I take it that these two examples on the site you posted are the best ones.

                First the dating method. The warm water does not give any timing for the canals. If any of these structures are indeed man made and not natural, as they just as well might, they could just as well be modern structures even if no apparent use for them exists today. People could dig seabottom allready in the 19th century.

                Then if it could be established that under no possible scenario are they built by the modern or early modern culture of America, even then the dating method sucks, because if they are built by a culture that could build such enormous canals for water, then the point of wether at what hight the sealevel has been is uninportant. Whith high- and even less impressive level of technology it is possible to build canals for deep draught ships.

                If we insist that the method of dating is valid, then we end up in a situation where the builders have had a very low level of technology, since only then the sealevel suddenly becomes significant feature and only then may we assume that the edges of these canals were dryland. And in that case the ancient aliens are totally uncalled for.

                Now it is an interresting hypothesis, that there could have been a highly sophisticated low-tech culture building canals on the Americal oceanboard 7000 years ago, when most of the world still was in the stone age, but would that culture not have left anything else of itself than these obscure canals? Some items made from material that lasts over even such a long timespan. We know a number of so old cultures in the world, and some rather highly sophisticated cultures have fallen into barbarianism, but of all the cultures that we know of we also have an abundance of cultural remains as objects, monuments and even some sort of literature remains from beyond thousands of years. Why everything else these canal builders may have achieved has totally disappeared?

                There is this island called Kakskerta near where I live, which has a lake inside it. The island is less than 10 km long and 3 km wide and quite regtangular, the lake inside it is about eight kilometres long and less than 200 m wide straight. In an arial photo it looks like it should connect to the long straight line between the mainland and a nearby island. It could very well be used to demonstrate ancient canal builders as there is no apparent modern use to this “canal” streching all along the island. However what we know about it, is that it is a perfectly natural piece of scenery. Land raises here very rapidly (approximately half a meter in a century, so this “canal” was deep underwater 7000 years ago. And we actually know what kind of human culture lived in these parts in those days. A primitive neolithic stone-age culture that could hardly build canals for their leather or birch bark canoes, but managed to leave behind enough items of stone craft, pottery and remains of hut like dwellings, so that we actually know how they lived.

                Now, once again the time to accept the ancient canal builders as true is not before a a peer rewied paper has been published.

                • Garbonzo says:

                  Hi. I messaged him with your critique and this was his response:

                  Hiding behind anonymity while critiquing material that he/she may/may not be qualified to express a knowledgeable opinion on isn’t worthy of a reasonable argument. Or rebuttal. But because I am sensitive to the 4 years of full time effort I have invested in the material, as Jewels would say, “well..let me retort”.

                  I have posted my arguments FOR the age dating of the harbors. I have 24 more harbors and long canals on my website that are about (more or less) the same depth of about 6′ to 10′ below the current water table, with no connection whatsoever to any shore based use. Dispute with the material by any ‘expert’ aught to argue the facts of the evidence, not whip up the old saw of “where is the rest of the evidence?” It is the most ridiculous response to claim ‘Lack of Evidence’ is proof of anything. The evidence-artifact of the offshore harbor does NOT require supporting evidence of a culture’s existence. They are what they are, on their own merit. Core drills on their harbor floor will settle definitively their age by 14C testing methods. If the core drills and dating prove me wrong, then I will pack my tent and move on. If they don’t, then history is nothing like we have been taught. I believe the later is closer to the truth than the former, and the beauty is, we have the technology available to determine who is right and who is wrong. Until then, all so called ‘experts’ should advocate as loudly as I do for harbor bottom core drill dating. Because the result will prove one side or the other. No ambiguity. But it is a giddy game of poker, because no matter how sure one side or the other may be, the truth is in the testing and either could be wrong. Like any good poker player holding what appears to be the best hand, I advocate loudly FOR “doing the tests.”

                  There are multiple (thousands) of artifacts world wide that suggest a culture or civilization of enormous size in one or more remote periods in our past. In fact I am currently writing a book on that subject. But it has nothing to do with the harbor and canal artifacts themselves. They actually exist. They were logically built when the Ocean Level was lower than it is today, BECAUSE the harbors are 2.2 miles out in the OPEN Ocean. All the slippery sleight of hand in trying to make the hard evidence go away does nothing but smoke screen the obvious. Some group, at some time (more than likely in the remote past) spent the equivalent of about $50 million in today’s dollars to build just one of those harbors. If you can point to one organization, business, government, system, group or any other entity that could and would spend that kind of money on excavation that went nowhere and had no discernible purpose, then I might entertain an argument about that – for a minute. Then I would laugh myself to sleep over the silliness of the response.

                  The fact is, these harbors are a big deal, but I promise you, that just like the Windover Bog people being DNA Haplogroup typed to Europeans circa 7,200 years ago, and then those facts running into a deafening wall of silence, just means I will fare no better.

                  My material is in fact published for peer review. No one is going to ‘like’ the facts, because those facts blow the conventional history of the Holocene into hapless Jello. It doesn’t require re-writing history books. There are NO accurate history books of what has happened over our recent past through the Holocene Start. We don’t have a clue. We are told some mindless junk that is not supported by the facts, particularly those facts discernible in the geologic column. 

                  These are the facts that are literally undeniable: 

                  7,100 years ago, (+ or – 100) Niagara and Minnesota Falls were created in some cataclysmic event. (And probably, the Laurentide ice melt lake washed down the Mississippi valley, though likely, that event is less provable.)

                  7,100 years ago, (+ or – 100) the Storegga Underwater Landslide and Methane Gas eruption occurred off Norway’s West Coast. It is the largest underwater landslide known to exist. Many experts argue over the dates, but most of the Tsunami debris 14c dates actually and factually center around 7,100 ybp, while many Oceanographers tend to add another 1,000 years for their own reasons.

                  7,100 years ago  (+ or – 100) the Bosporus Straight breached.

                  7,100 years ago  (+ or – 100) the Dogger Banks flooded.

                  7,100 years ago  (+ or – 100) Michigan Copper Miners at Isle Royale were excavating some of the purest copper deposits in the world.

                  7,100 years ago  (+ or – 100) the Windover Bog culture (white Europeans)  were burying their dead in “machine woven” cloth burial shrouds. (Whether anyone likes it or not, ‘Machine Weaving” IS by definition ‘technology’)

                  7,200 years ago  (+ or – 100) some possible harbor builders built the Bimini Wall.

                  7,100 years ago  (+ or – 100) tsunami deposits over 25′ deep were deposited around the Atlantic Rim, including Galveston Bay, Mobile Bay and extending to the West Coast of South America, in Chile.

                  7,100 years ago  (+ or – 100) the Ancient Canal Builders constructed some hundreds of miles of wide channels with connecting harbors, including much of the original ‘Inland Waterway’, and some harbors on the continental shelf out in the open ocean.

                  7,100 years ago  (+ or – 100) the Third Meltwater Pulse ceased almost overnight. Up to that time, Ocean Levels had risen about 5′ every hundred years. Following that date, the ocean level has only increased slightly over 5′ in the succeeding 7,000 years. A change so dramatic in geological terms, that it requires an agent of change that at the very least was a major or super cataclysm.

                  There are dozens more references I will make in my upcoming book (The Last Great Cataclysm – 7,000 Years Ago.)  to a Mega-Super cataclysm at that date that probably destroyed most of the effected culture’s habitation, whatever kind it was. It is a recognized fact by civil engineers, that left unattended, even our cities and vast technology would disappear completely in just a few thousand years without infrastructure support. And who can say that a previous civilization or culture mirrored ours in any kind of technological way? They could have a totally and completely different cultural hierarchy, and unknowable forms of technology. So the fact that very little is left is nearly meaningless. 

                  Whatever may have happened, it gets to be a lot more than just coincidence to have so many verifiable dates at one point in time.

                  In conclusion, I am neither an advocate for or against either Creationism, Religion, Science or Interventionism, the Biblical Flood, Atlantis, UFO’s or ET’s. They ALL have it wrong, and they fight each other tooth and nail. My data is what it is. It doesn’t support any particular theory. It is just facts as I understand them to be. Anyone can and will argue various facts, but they have a tougher time arguing against the totality of the evidence. And even harder, arguing against 14c harbor bottom core drill tests.

                  My discoveries can’t be marginalized by someone that generalizes about one piece of specific data.

            • I liked this hoping that I can come back to this topic. I’m very interested!! I’ve been/was a Christian my whole life, but always had a hard time thinking we were the only life in the universe. I don’t believe in the alien abduction stories (I think those are the same as people’s demon stories) but I could believe we have been visited in the past and received information from them.

  5. rautakyy says:

    Fun post. I like it how you call out the liars on this one. It is interresting though, how much lies are spread to justify and “apologize” for what these alledged gods have got wrong in their holy words of scripture. What is the intent of those people who deliberately twist the truth to make it look like their god did not get all this stuff wrong, or who invent “evidence” to back up wild claims about their gods? Do they believe their own lies and does this help them to cope whith their preconceptions of the divine, or what? These people often may even set their own career, fame and future to jeopardy when making up this stuff, in case they are revealed. Yet, they also often claim that the apostoles had to be telling the truth about Jesus resurrecting, because the apostoles had put everything in jeopardy, by telling this story. Funny.

    In the end this all contributes to the fact, that as science advances, the miracles and divine interventions, one by one revert back to their rightfull place as “metaphors” otherwise also known as folklore.

    • Alpha says:

      Now that you mention inventing evidence, I remember reading about some schools in America teaching that the Loch Ness monster is real – it’s a living dinosaur, apparently – to debunk Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.


      Here’s a link if you wanted a bit more detail. Tell me what you think about it.

      • As a Christian I watched a number of videos of Kent Hovind doing debates at colleges and universities. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard him use the Loch Ness monster as evidence for the recent extinction of dinosaurs. It was at that point I seriously started to question his standards for evidence.

    • It is interesting how these legends get started.

      In the case of Harold Hill, he used to go around giving talks to small groups about his work. Apparently, when he told the story about the missing day, it got him a bit of attention and it started getting passed around, so he kept retelling it and it ended up making him quasi-famous. I think these things have a way of growing out of control.

      Later in life he was confronted about it, and he still insisted it was true, but he couldn’t remember any names, or produce any evidence. But at that point, you just can’t admit “My entire life was built on a lie,” you just keep rolling with it. :-/

  6. rautakyy says:

    Garbonzo, I thank your friend for a fast reply. I am willing ot await for the peer reviews of his study and for the actual carbon dating he invokes as his wittness even though he does not have it yet.

    What do you think about my other arguments about the evidence pointing into ancient aliens so far?

    I do not claim to be an expert here, but I do have studied archeology in the universty of Helsinki. As for remaining anonymous, it is because of my atheism – a fact about me, that I do not whish to share whith any potential employers at the moment. Perhaps you can understand that? These are facts as I tell you and you may, or may not accept them. Regardless of who I am, or what is the level of my “expertise” my arguments are still valid. To assert that my claims are less valuable because I am anonymous is an obvious ad hominem attack, is it not? Your friend did not actually respond to any of them. I can see how he can make a living by writing when I can not, as he has given a long and reasonable sounding answer whithout any actual substanse to his “rebuttals”. He only makes additional claims, some of which might be true, some are true but do not support his idea and some, that are just as unverified, as any of his claims and even some that are false. Did you notice that?

    Why does he argue these are built and not mainly natural formations? Has their geometrical form impressed him, or the fact that they distantly resemble modern day harbours? Nature makes a lot of geometrical forms, as in my example. Especially long narrow cracks that resemble built canals, or should we even say that man made canals have habit of resembling natural cracks, since they were there first?

    The absense of evidence does not mean the evidence of absense, but a sensible person whitholds belief untill any actual evidence is brought forth. Otherwise we might just as well start inserting other unsubstantiated claims like that pixies built these “canals” and the canals on Mars, because they obviously resemble each other and it would have to be pixies, whith their magical abilities, to travel between the worlds to build canals. My question about the lack of any other remains of this canal builder culture remains valid untill he can actually produce evidence that there are other remains of them. If the pyramids were just standing in the middle of Sahara and there were no other cultural remains, they sure would be a lot more complicated mystery, than they are, as they are found along whith the remains of the culture that clearly built them.

    Your friend, does not reply to my argument about the dating method. He makes a long winded rant about how it is valid because the “canals” are of certain approximate depth. Yes, that is interresting, but that tells us nothing wether by whom, how or when were they made, or if they were made at all. He seems certain that there is a connection between these “canals” and the meltwater pulse 7100 years ago, but totally fails to provide any, exept speculation.

    When your friend makes estimations about the cost of the digging of these harbours, he is really not even speculating any more, he is making wild guesses. If he does not know how the ancient people achieved to build these “canals”, then he is in no position to make any judgement on what the cost effects were, let alone give sums of modern money. Is he just trying to impress us by big numbers? If he is guessing these “canals” of his were built by the native American cultures, that we do know lived near some of the the areas he mentions, like some of the mound builder cultures, then to such culture of hunter gatherers (whose known artifacts mainly consist of stone arrowheads) it would have been truly costly, though possibly not impossible to build such canals. But for what ever purpose? And if they did, he shall still have to first provide evidence, that they are built at all and not just natural formations.

    The Windover pond burials definately had no “machine woven” garments. And they certainly have not been shown to be “white Europeans”. (Are there any other sort of Euripids?) The burial custom by which they were laid is typical of the time period and region of Native-Americans. The radio carbon dates for that site are conviniently, but not close enough 7210-7320 bpd. There is an actual scientific hypothesis about a connection across the Atlantic some ten thousand years before the mentioned date, but that has a lot of problems, as I explain here:


    Did something cataclystic happen about 7000 years ago. Yes, there is evidence about the climate changing rapidly and several waterways opening up, like the Ancyluslake bursting from the Baltic into the North sea, and forming the Litorina sea at about 8500 years ago. Did these cataclysmic events have an effect on human culture? You bet they did. It is no wonder there are so many myth about floods around the globe when we do know that many such have actually happened. But myths are myths and not accurate descriptions of any actual events. However, dispite the fact that we can tell the shoreline has risen rapidly, or even cataclysmically, the cataclysm itself does not yeild any evidence, that there was any particular culture for it to destroy. The existance of such cultures has to be established through nother means.

    Coincidences happen and it is typical for the human psyche to search for patterns in our environment as it is an ample survival mechanism, but we tend to see patterns where they do not exist, and we tend to take coincedences as patterns when what they are, is infact coincidences. Do you see what I mean?

    It is good there are people who speculate and form hypothesis about such possible cultures, because otherwise they would never be found. The moment to take their word for such culture to having existed is when they can provide evidence of said cultures. Not when they present their as of yet unsubstantiated ideas. And the moment to become wery suspicious about their claims is when they give something in support, that is either known to be false, or does not at all support their claims. Correct?

    • Garbonzo says:

      All that really matters is the dating though, right? Who knows what kind of peer review he will get but if it is at all favorable, maybe you’ll reconsider your views. Coincidence can be strong enough evidence sometimes when the chances of these coincidences happening are very low. By the way, he isn’t my friend, Lloyd Pye is. I find Llyod Pye to be more friendly, or tactful maybe. His evidence right now is much stronger I find too. But what can you expect when the man is ill and someone is attacking his pet theory?

      His answer:

      This is the kind of argument I tend to bypass.

      I don’t make false statements. The Windover Bog people WERE buried in woven material, some of which experts agree is hand woven, and other material that is ‘textile’ or machine woven.. At least so say the experts. The DNA taken from extant surviving brain tissue WAS in fact, Hyplogroup typed to Welsh-Gaelic Europeans. I didn’t think those up in thin air. Here is the YouTube video with the DNA studies.

      It gets very difficult to respond to a statement as incorrect as “..the cataclysm itself does not yield any evidence, that there was any particular culture for it to destroy..”  It can be stated so blithely it seems to be rational, when nothing is further from reality.

      About destroying a culture, 7,000 years ago. Along with the Ancient Canal Builders, there are in fact the Windover Bog people, the builders of the Bimini Wall, the Michigan Copper Miners, and many remnants world wide of the existence of civilized culture prior to 7K ybp. 

      Greece, Turkey, the island of Crete. The lost city of Bashan, the remnants of megalithic cultures from Baalbek to Jerusalem to France, South America and the South Pacific. Nan Modal. Hidden cities of Cappadochia. The earliest known evidence of sophisticated technology in stone carving at Puma Punku and Tiawanaco, the Giza Plateau and the Gigal tunnel system. Gold chains found in chunks of coal, and other non natural artifacts buried in stone and coal. ALL evidence of one of more major cataclysms.

      So I won’t respond further, because your so-called expert has made the two major flaws of this type of debate, claiming absence of evidence IS evidence of absence, and now asserting their is no evidence of an earlier culture caused by a cataclysm. When the world is full of artifacts and objects that are clearly pre-cataclysmic.

      I don’t need supporting evidence to make the case that the Ancient Canal Builders did in fact build large, long channels and large harbors about 7,000 years ago. That fact demonstrates a quite large population, culture, civilization. There are 72 miles of 300′ wide channels in Long Island Sound, 12 harbors with exit canals to the large channels, which all reside on a secondary tidal shoulder, apart and separate from current land use. There is an additional 75 mile system in Central Mexico. There are additional known sunken harbors, and probably as many or more unknown. There are 4 major city plans underwater at about 120′ depth. One in the Bay of Chambay, (India) one in Bahamas off the Cuba Trench, one on the Florida continental shelf about 15 miles wide, about 120′ ocean depth nearly 75 miles W-NW of Key West, and one in Yonaguni at about 120′ depth. And a recently discovered one off the Azores at about the same depth.

      I am done considering anything this person has to say.

      • rautakyy says:

        @Garbonzo, yes of course I will reconsider my views, if his research will get some scientific credibility from peer review. It is not like I have anything at all emotionally invested in this subject. Infact, I would find it extremely intriguing and fascinating, but at this moment and in the lack of corroborating evidence (or more like any evidence at all) it does not seem likely. Does it?

        For any coincidence to work as evidence we would have to be able to calculate, or even estimate, what is the likelyhood of any particular event to be declared a coincidence in the first place. And coincidences do happen by accident, yes? That is why they are called coincidences and are not referred to as predestined events.

        I am sorry for his illness, but I do not see his previous arguments being supported by his further arguments. Do you Garbonzo?

        The experts on the video say, that the textile was hand woven. Yes that is extraordinary. However, that is completely different from saying it was machine woven. Such an early find of hand woven material and in the Americas was a sensation, but I have heard no expert ever claiming it was machine woven. There is a big difference. A very big difference indeed. Hand weaving has nothing to do whith canal building. Nor does machine weaving, for that matter, but there is either a massive misunderstanding of the meaning of these concepts, or a silly attempt to embellish a point by claiming a hand weaved fabric was machine weaved. Do you Garbonzo, think that making such wild claims is actually making his other claims more, or rather less plausible?

        The expert on the video says, that the DNA-haplogroup resembled, that of Euripids, but he also said, that: “If our analysis shows, that these individuals really do belong to a new and previously unidentified lineage -founding lineage- in the New World, it would be very big news.” You do understand what that means? It means they have not yet established, that the haplogroup shows these people to have had Euripid ancestry. They could have that, but so what? Is he assuming that Euripids are somehow more capable to establish civilization than the native Americans? Sounds like racism to me? I hope I am wrong about his intent. Now, it is possible that some of the ancestors of Native Americans crossed the Atlantic somewhat the same way as the Inuit people have done into the opposite direction at least once in the 17 century. But what does that have to do whith the so called “canals”?

        The video supports what I said previously and not the opposite view. Do you see that?

        The only coincidence here is that as the Windover bog burials may have resulted from an economic crisis of these people, due to a climate change during an era when water levels rose, but that tells us absolutely nothing about the alledged canals. Does it?

        There may have been something we could call a civilization long before any civilizations we actually know of, but there is no conspiracy of scientists and archaeologists to suppress information of any such. Hence, if the evidence to prove any such exists is presented, it will ultimately be accepted and added to our scientific base knowledge. That is when you and I – the common men have a reasonable reason to believe such canals were actually built by an ancient culture, but even that tells us nothing about any contact to extra terrestials, does it?

        Science does not take any claims as true, before it has had sufficient evidence to provide. And same goes for UFOs ancient, or modern. Same also applies to any claims made by a book, that says the sun and the moon were stopped in their tracks. IF people take any such unverified claims at face value, they are not thinking critically. Critical thinking and science are not only the best methods we have to find out what is really true, rather they are the only reliable methods that we have. Faith, wether it is to your pet theory, or into a tradition, that claims the creator entity, that made all the galaxies, communicates whith humanity through an old book, is only wishfull thinking and nothing more.

    • Garbonzo says:

      Also he said the evidence that it was artificially made is that there is berm edge residue. Whatever that means.

      • rautakyy says:

        Garbonzo, what do you think it means and does it in your opinion support his other claims? Honestly, to me it sounds just gibberish.

    • rautakyy says:

      So, essentially what the Biologos blog is saying, is that nothing supernatural at all happened, the sun did not stop its movement in comparrison to the rest of the Milky Way and that the entire story is about how Joshua, or who ever wrote down the story, was reflecting on the pre- Neo-Assyrian cultural of fear of omens in the storytelling. That makes sense.

      I bet that most Biblical stories really come down to this. Like for example Jesus being a flesh and blood son of a god story is all about how the polytheistic Mediterranean culture whithin the Roman empire interpreted and reflected the Jewish notion of a religious devotee to be called “a son of god” in a literal way, because the idea of sons of gods (such as Hercules and Alexander the Great) was so common in that cultural climate. Especially since the story also has the rather commonly known idea that these sons of gods (like the pharaos) could resurrect, when – if the story is anything more than a fabrication – what most likely happened was, that the man on whom the Jesus character is built upon simply did not die on the cross, but of an infection on a later date. Which must have seemed pretty amazing to the superstitious contemporaries, but should not really impress anyone in modern times.

    • Alpha says:

      interesting interpretation, brings it all down to earth, and makes sense.

  7. BHS says:

    Take it as you will. Everyone makes their own mind about the Bible and Jesus themselves. We will know for sure after death. For me it is good enough to live a good life in faith to God. If Jesus was a mere man to you so be it. He was here to announce the Good News about God being good. So I believe God is good to us and we are here to live a transitional phase with a purpose to do good deeds to fellow man.

    A good article on how everyone first makes their own mind and then makes their intellect work hard to give a good as possible arguments for that view. Applies to both sides of the God argument equally.

    View at Medium.com

    And then some stuff on modern biblical inerrancy and belief:


    Sorry for the links but just no way I could have enough time to write them out.

  8. BHS says:

    O, and I’d say this is a matter of wrong interpretation from envangelical community. I still believe in miracles. Old fashioned as I am 😉

    • rautakyy says:

      @BHS, what are you saying? That you linked an article in the Patheos blog, that you do not agree whith? Why? That article seemed like a confession of a kid that allready knows his dad has been dressing up as the Santa, but still WANTS to believe there is a real Santa out there. Does it not? That kid may well believe in a “real” Santa as long as no one comes to prove to him there is no Santa. And maybe there is, but adults should believe in stuff they have evidence of, not in stuff that just might be out there because nobody has completely disproved it. Correct?

      The other link about why people do not believe in science was very interresting. Thank you very much for posting it. But it was not really about all opinions being equal because of personal bias, was it? More like the opposite. Hence, it does not apply to “both”, or any of the sides of the argumentation about the supernatural and gods. Does it? One either has logical evidence about the existance of a mythical entity, or does not. The time to believe in such an entity is when the evidence is presented, not to take it on faith that there are U.F.Os, Santa, Allah, or an afterlife.

      There is no real, or logical reason to think we will know anything after we are dead. Being dead means our capability to exist as personas has siezed. This we know today, though in ancient times, when people had no idea about neural synapses it was easy for them to think there is some immaterial thing making us alive, that simply leaves our bodies when we die. But even though it made sense to them, it was never true.

      There are dozens of different and most often mutually exclusive claims about the supernatural, none of which have ever been in any way substantiated, or verified. That for reasons of varying cultural heritage only seem intuitively correct, even though there is no rational reason for people to believe in them. That is why these require faith. If any of them had been established whith any actual level of evidence, there would remain no need for faith. But faith is the death of intellectual criticism. To embrace faith is to abandon reason. Sometimes completely reasonable people make that mistake, but their reasons to do so are rarely, if ever reasonable.

      Do you think that the Sun and the Moon stood still for Joshua, or is it more likely, that it is merely a poetic expression for him to whish for his enemies to recieve bad omens?

  9. BHS says:

    The link is because a whole generations (me included) of evangelicals have been taught to read Bible the wrong way. It is a very cultural product produced by people living in those times. To rip Bible out of that context is violence. And I doubt God will approve. The hardest scorn from Jesus was always directed against religious leaders.

    This is also the case with Joshua. It is plain and clear that the intention of the story was not the sun standing still. We must read Bible as it is. Not through the eyes of tradition.

    Is it a easy book? No. Does it matter? No. Still it seems to have the power to draw people to God. But you see. That’s just why its called faith.

    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Heb 11:1)

    See the strange dynamic here? Yep. That’s how it works. Science will not prove or disapprove God. He is beyond human means of study. God is to be received in faith.

    Life of faith is not illogical at all. I look at the wold trough my glasses and you yours. You once told here that your father was an atheist. Suppose that upbringing did not give you any preconceived notions trough which to look at this world?

    • @ BHS & rautakyy

      “Is it a easy book? No. Does it matter? No. Still it seems to have the power to draw people to God. But you see. That’s just why its called faith.”

      J. K. Rowling also seems to have the power to draw people to Harry Potter, and Joseph Smith has the power to draw people to the Book of Mormon, but I wouldn’t put much faith in either one, because they appear to be made up stories.

      I haven’t written on the topic of faith just yet, but it’s obviously central to most religions — imperative, even — as it allows us to legitimize the lending of more credence to an idea than the evidence supports. As rautakyy points out, these religious ideas are often mutually exclusive; faith, therefore, is illogical, because someone MUST be wrong. For those that ARE wrong, their faith only serves to reinforce and justify a false belief, which may carry negative consequences. In a perfect world, we would believe only as much as the evidence supported our conclusion.

      That said, I do understand that God/Zeus/Brahma/whomever may require faith for a purpose, but what makes me skeptical is that faith also seems to be an all-too convenient excuse for why gods can’t actually DO anything. And often times, we’re asked to continue in faith even when the evidence suggests these gods were wrong. (And we cover for them, calling their revelations too difficult to understand… “But if you understood it correctly, you’d understand it was actually correct!”)

      “If faith is a valid tool of knowledge, then anything can be true ‘by faith,’ and therefore nothing is true. If the only reason you can accept a claim is by faith, then you are admitting that the claim does not stand on its own merits.”
      — Dan Barker

      • rautakyy says:

        @BHS, yes I am an atheist in the third generation. Of course it affects my views. I recognize I have biases. First step of critical thinking is to recognize and question our own biases. But my atheist parents also taught me to be a critical thinker. I do not embrace my atheism by faith and THAT is the the difference. I am not a clever or very intelligent person atheist, or religious. However, religious people do not only admit their beliefs are based on faith, but they act as if faith was a virtue, when it is merely illogical. No, I do not think your life is illogical, nor do I think faith makes you any worse person. 🙂 At least, I hope so.

        I think you are absolutely right, that the Bible should be read as what it is – a compillation of old stories based on some even older stories. Coloured by the superstitious interpretation of the world by people who had no idea about germ theory, evolution, or most of the stuff we today call scientific fact. It is strange how often, even modern people who claim their values are based on the book, expect the stories to describe some sort of miraculous magic, when they clearly describe something much more mundane. The story about Joshua asking for the sun and the moon to stand still is a perfect example, or the stories where the god of the ancient Hebrews alledgedly told them to do something, when it is easy to recognize, that they were only interpreting signs, or deciding the will of their god through casting dice, which is such a common way of finding out the will of gods throughout almost all ancient religions.

        If your god is beyond scientific study, then that god does not really matter much. We could just as well say that Santa, Allah, Krishna and all the lephrecaurns are beyond scientific study. But that does not make any of them any more plausible, nor even true. If that god has any effect in the real and observable world, then that effect should be possible to study scientifically, but no scientific study yet has found any of the guesses about any gods (or other spirits and demons) to be true. On the contrary, all the things thought to be the manifestations of gods in the real world ever studied have been proven to be perfectly natural phenomenons. You can not possibly even posit that this god of yours is a “He” if it is beyond study. What can be known about an entity, that is beyond study? Faith, that your particular god is true, is a mere guess, by some ignorant iron age people, that has since evolved as a cultural meme. They may have guessed right and correctly, but then just as well have the ancient Indians or Chinese. The moment to take any such guesses at face value, is when they have sufficient evidence to back them up. But none of them have. That is why these guesses require faith. Yes?

        @500Questions, I am sorry if the question about the necessity of faith came a bit too soon, but the conversation just led us there. I must confess, that I do eagerly await what will be your take on it.

  10. BHS says:

    A fact is something that has been proven. It is NOT a fact that God doesn’t exist. On the other hand it is also NOT a fact that God does exist. So believing in any of those combinations is just fine by me. What I find puzzling is why some people make so much noise about someone else beliefs? If someone chooses to believe something which no evidence exists, pro or con, it is fine by me. Even atheist must come in the terms with the fact that they might be wrong.

    Scientific study is just such a limited tool that it is, in my humble opinion, a bit arrogant to claim that trough it we can study just about everything. You can not put God in to CERN nor fit Him inside a test tube:


    “Clearly, the scientific method is a powerful tool, but it does have its limitations. These limitations are based on the fact that a hypothesis must be testable and falsifiable and that experiments and observations be repeatable. This places certain topics beyond the reach of the scientific method. Science cannot prove or refute the existence of God or any other supernatural entity.”

    That’s why I like the Bible. It is such a human book about a great God beyond our limited comprehension. Bible is about the human struggle to know this God that we KNOW exists. A good example is lament:


    Certainly not something that is popular in modern day western evangelical christianity. An art we have lost.

    And yes somebody must be wrong here. Romans 1:20

    “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

    So we are sometimes to relay on second hand information. And It’s okay if someone is wrong. That is a normal fact of life that someone always is. So if someone lives against their moral compass I’m sure they will get what’s due.

    There are after all many reasons why a God would prefer to fly under the radar of human detection. I do believe that He gave us this amazing brain t o use all by ourselves to use for the good of others. Then He comes and helps us all along the way.

    So these are the rules of the game. Enjoy.

    • rautakyy says:

      BHS, so, you are making up the rules of the “game” now, are you? 😉 What rules are you actually referring to?

      Even when dealing whith facts, we are not dealing whith many absolutes. A fact is just a claim whith a very high propability of being true, because of surmounting evidence. The opposite of a fact would be a claim whithout any supporting evidence, like for example the many personal gods as presented in religious human folklore and equally less religious fantasy literature.

      It is interresting though, how often people who come from evangelical religions (even if they are not from a sect, or branch that calls itself straigth forwardly evangelical, or even if they do not engage in conversations about their religious beliefs) are disturbed, that the subject of the truth value of their particular religion (what ever it may be) is ever questioned. Why? If people have good reasons to believe what they do, why do they get upset when these reasons are discussed? Is it not the purpose of evangelism, to make as many people to take these fantasy stories at face value as possible? Are they then not open for discussion?

      Religions form some sort of value base to such a great deal of people, that they (unlike gods who never interfere in anything) do matter. But for us to reach better set of values in the future we should be able to evaluate the values offered to us by different ideologies and religions. Correct? I would choose a world where as many choises as reasonably possible would be made based on the highest probable set of truths, rather than a world where people make serious decisions based on their unsubstantiated chosen beliefs and questionable cultural traditions. Would you not?

      To me it seems obvious, that religions, as a general rule, derail people from their natural moral compass by appealing to the extreme authority of imaginary, or at very least, unverified entities. That sounds like a very poor way to make decisions. Does it not?

      Did you not read my last reply? Never did I (nor our host) claim that a god could be studied whith the scientific method. Altough, there actually is one way of doing that, and that is the cultural studies of folklore and the studies of human psyche, because those are the places where all gods reside. However, if a god, or some other supernatural entity, really exists outside the collective human mind and interferes in the material observable universe in any meaningfull way, then that interference could be studied by the means of history and natural sciences. One would expect that such studies would have allready provided us whith at least some verified data of such phenomenons, but they have not. And before they do, it is not reasonable to assume they ever will, since what we have yet discovered points to a natural universe existing regardless of any supernatural entities. If this god of yours, or someone elses god (since they are all equally unverifiable) does not interfere in the material universe, then why should we care about it? Why should we pay any attention to an entity that is either deliberately hiding from us, or incapable to manifest in reality?

      The division in afterlife to reward of punishment is just a fear fallacy, and looks like a clever human mind trick to force people not to leave a controlling cult. Are you the victim of one? The concept of afterlife is just as unverified as any gods, and seems impossible for us to ever substantiate, but does it not sound also very much like a load of whishfull thinking? If that is not whishfull thinking, then what ever is?

      However, if there actually is such a division, then how could it ever be fair? If a person lives against their natural moral compass because it would have been against what the religion of that person taught, then why did a god who preferred them to live according to the natural moral compass allow such a religion to distort the morals of this person (and possibly billions of others like him)? That is if such a god exists. On the other hand, if a god exists, who would prefer people to live their lives according to some particular religion and is going to punish people for being born into a different culture, where such religion is widely considered herecy, be called benevolent? Either way, it is just a terrible waste of effort and lives. The only way this makes sense is, if the concept of gods are human made to explain the unexplainable and exploited to controll masses and property.

      You may “know” that a god exists, but I do not. How do you know? How could you even know? The Bible may say as much, that people are whithout excuse, but that does not make it so. First the Bible should establish some form of reliability, but stories like Joshua asking for the sun and the moon to stop, is actually not providing any. On the contrary, they make the book appear as what it obviously is “a human effort” to know a god. A very primitive effort at that. But no matter how much the book makes efforts, there appears no actual evidence for any gods in it. It is just religiously inspired folklore, no different from other such attempts to know these gods, like the Vedas, the Mahabharata, the Edda, the Quran, the Book of the Mormon and many, many others. On their pages, these gods manifest in very andropomorphic guises, but still no matter how interresting they are as cultural period pieces, that is as high they get in “knowing” any gods.

      I sure do not know what is popular among western evangelical Christianity right now, but what it seems like to me as an outsider, is certainly not healthy. That is one of the reasons why I care about the beliefs of other people. I care. The thing about your god being “unfaithfull” was actually not adressed at all in the article you posted. It was brushed aside whithout any evaluation wether this was the case, or not. Did you notice? Does that not make you a little bit suspicious?

      Yes, as an atheist I might be wrong. Even if there is no evidence of something, that does not absolutely rule out it is true. In my reality adults should establish their beliefs based on actual evidence. Any of the unverified concepts of gods, angels, demons, fairies, unicorns, sprites and dragons might be true. And there could even be an afterlife, but if there are any of those, and I will somehow experience it, at least I can say I lived my life according to my conscience and did not worship any of the suspicious moral monsters called gods.

  11. Sheryll Johnson says:

    I believe it … that God was so powerful and made the sun stand still so that Joshua could have his victory over the Amorites.. And as for your skeptical theories… i would like to get back on it on “JUDGEMENT DAY” (Apocalypse)…. Until then.. May God have mercy on you, because i sure won’t…

    • Hi Sheryll,

      2,000 years of no-apocalypse is no reason to give up hope! I’m certain it’ll be any day now.

      What did you mean “Because I sure won’t?” Remember that the Bible teaches that if you don’t forgive others, God can’t forgive you, and that if you are angry with your brother, you too will be subject to judgment.

      Anyway, I wish you all the best,

  12. Anonymous says:

    Maybe Joshua’s battle actually happened in Alaska…. LOL

  13. Me says:

    I think you ignored the most obvious point that would discredit this. Holding the sun in place does nothing in terms of lengthening the day considering that it’s the Earth that rotates and orbits the sun. Doesn’t this show the ignorance of believing the Earth is the center in the solar system hence the Sun would have to be held in place?

    • Me says:

      Ah, I see you made a brief point at the end. Noted. Still, I think you’re being much too forgiving conceding this point.

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