Friday, 20 May 2011

Blogging Through the Rapture

I would like to announce that there will be no break in blogging here during the events of Judgement Day predicted for tomorrow. This blogger will not be taking part in the Rapture, not tomorrow, not any day. Who would look after my cats and bonsai? Also no collectors' and dealers' blogs will be affected since they are all at best cultural property sinners, they'll not be going anywhere either.

There is one guy behind the media storm, Californian civil engineer, amateur Bible historian and numerologist, Harold Camping. I think there is something very disturbing about the way people have been getting so agitated about this man's (in my view wholly) mistaken interpretation of Scripture. How many of the people preparing for 21st May - some of them taking life-changing decisions - have actually checked out what this guy is telling them?

We have this discipline called "archaeology" and one of the things this archaeology does is find out about the past. Most people know that, don't they? So if Camping says there was this huge flood in 499o BC, and on this basis (adding seven thousand years to that) most of the earth's population is going to die in 2011, I would have thought most normal people would just check out what evidence there is for the date of that Flood.

A little bit of googling tells anyone who cares to look that there are not huge deposits of flood debris found on all Early Neolithic sites (so under Linearbandkeramik and over sites of Sesklo, Dimini, Vinca and all the rest) or in the USA's 'Archaic' period of lithics collectors. I imagine that most people would accept that if this was a worldwide phenomenon (and having seen on the news recently just what sort of debris severe local flooding leaves behind), there would be some mention of traces of it in even the most popularist accounts of the "Stone Age". There is not.

I suppose Mr Camping's followers could argue that the archaeologists "got the chronology wrong", but that really is special pleading, isn't it when its based on radiocarbon and other absolute dating methods. Or are they tools of Satan? But then there is no reasoning with the unreasoning.

Deeper Googling might pick up that there is the "Black Sea flood" event initially dated to seven hundred years earlier than Camping's date for Noah's one - but then if we equate the two (as some do), according to Camping's "calculations"the rapture has already happened seven hundred years ago (about AD 1311 in the times of Edward II). [Anyone who has ever tried to fathom out Biblical chronology with the Creationists will know just how many assumptions and choices have to be made to get to that 4990 BC date anyway]

Photo: Top: the photographic evidence for the Rapture occurring is fake. Below: Harold Camping who seeks to outsmart God (Matthew 24:36).

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