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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)

One may suspect that a naive cosmology is behind the astronomical miracles of the Bible (eg. Joshua's "long day", Hezekiah's sundial, etc).

  1. If, as Genesis states, the Sun is simply thought of as "a great light to lighten the day", it may seem appropriate to imagine it "staying up late" in order to provide extra daylight when required (as in the incident in Joshua 10).
  2. The problem with physical explanations of these supposed phenomena (eg. the temporary cessation or reversal of the Earth's daily rotation caused, for example, by the magnetic interaction of the Earth with another planet) is that they leave unexplained the lack of other concomitant phenomena (hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes etc) that would have been expected. Hence, we have to rule out a physical explanation (it is no use explaining a big miracle while being left with a number of little ones), and are reduced to brute miracle as the "explanation", which is intrinsically less probable than invention or poetic license.
  3. It may, of course, be the case that elements of genuine folk memories of global-catastrophic events have been woven into historical contexts, but this is of no help in accepting the truth of the narratives in their current form.

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12/08/2007 10:17:46 473 (Problems - Cosmology - Miracles) Problems - Bible Cosmology

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