14) Science


Knowledge is like a tool. Just as a hammer can help you fixing a nail in the wall (right), it can also help you knock down somebody by hitting on his head (wrong). Knowledge can also be used for right or for wrong. And if knowledge is used according to the manual (ethics inspired by the bible) men could live together without accidents.

But science can only be acquired by one method in order to be accepted by everybody. This method which is teached all over the world is the scientific method.

Scientific method doesn’t mean complicated technology. Not at all, scientific method means the research of absolute truth. In order to reach this goal our instruments are : observation, experiment and reproductibility of the experiment. The interpretation of the results remain always subject to criticism since every observation contains a margin of error. That’s it. Science, to say it simply in words just as Lapalisse would say, is what we know, but what we know with a certain amount of certainty. And to be accepted by the scientific community, an observation has to be reproductible.

This mere principle is actually a principle of the bible : in order to accept a testimony, this testimony must be coorroborated by at least two witnesses. The witness has to be reproductible !

Interesting in the bible is the mere fact that biblical stories are redundent with other stories of antiquity like for example the story of the great flood. This story is even in concordance with archeological findings in mesopotamia.

Contrary to the material stories, everything related to god has no witness. There is never a redundency of evidence between manifestations of god and men. The word of god, or better, the message of god is never witnessed by a bystander. This message goes straight to one person : ” …vayomer Y.H.V.H. leMoche lemor… ” which can be translated by “… and god said to Moses to say… “. So a critical observer has to doubt the reality of a divine word. Unless god is a polite formulation of humility to avoid being criticised as being arrogant and exposing personal opinions. The opinions one has are always inspired by something (readings ?, observations ?, transmission of knowledge ?, alltogether an authority, god ?)

” Miracles ” were probably witnessed by several people, but don’t include a divine word. The only exception of the bible where a divine word was witnessed by several people according to the bible was the mount Sinai. Unfortunatly we don’t have any redunduncy of this event in other sources. This event was very agitated and preceded by the story of the golden calf, and the disappearance of Moses during 40 days. Moses had to use all his science to convince his people.

So an enlighted way of interpreting this reading of the bible would be instead of ” ..and god said to Moses to say… “, ” …and what has always be, and always will be (the acquisitions of science) inspiring Moses to say to his people… “

 

 

 

 

And it was only after 7 years of exile with his stepfather Jethro that Moses was able to beat the Egyptian priests.

The strongest argument put forward by the bible to convince the Jews of the divine strength is the crossing of the Red Sea or Sea of Suf as written in the bible (Sea of weeds). Is this the red sea ? A sea of weeds is usually not that steep. This episode looks more like a strategic list of Napoleon than a miracle.

To cross a path like the one of the Mont St Michel in Normandy and watch an entire army catched by the tide is not very convincing today. What is convincing is the arrogance of the Egyptian army and the underestimation of Moses’ knowledge.

The message of the bible as we can understand it today is : know the forces that always ruled the world and you must fear nobody, and you will even be able to cross the ” red sea ” with dry feet.

This way of comparing God to the principles of nature gave a lot of trouble to Spinoza, a Dutch optician, and thus physicist the way he observed the principles of nature, with the Jewish community of Amsterdam.

And way before him another Sefarad scolar Juda ben Nissim Ibn Malka living in Fes in the 14th century went far beyond Spinoza. For him according to the scriptures of Simon Bar Yochai (the Zohar or kabbalah), it was evident that the one who said he knew what was God or what God wanted was an apostat, because doing that he elevated himself above God and used God for his own purpose.

He also defended the idea of agnosticism and put forward that everything followed natural laws (according to the science of those days) resulting from the movement of the stars. (Star in persian is called ” mazzal ” hence the Jewish wish ” mazzal tov “, ” good star ” or good luck)

About miracles it is known by the work of Piaget who observed the development of children that every human being goes through a period of his life where miracles are the normal way of thinking. For a child under the age of 7 years, somebody stepping out of the room disappears. And when he comes back he reappears. Miracles are the normal way of thinking in small children. And this way of thinking can even persist all life in some people.

A great philosophic question we have to ask is : does there exists a providence determinating the direction of evolution or is everything predetermined almost mechanically such as the champions of logic in the 19th century liked to demonstrate. It’s the merit of Pyrogine to have shown that physical phenomena are irreversible hence the importance of making choices.

Just as in every problem of this kind it is evident that one part of our destiny is beyond control and that another part depends of our deeds and decisions.

In Greek tragedy the efforts of men are vain because the future is predestinated. In Jewish tradition efforts of men are not vain. Every act of men has consequences. But as it was shown before, the consequences of human acts are not abolished by prayers as stressed by rabbinical traditions, but by charity and personal sacrifices.

When one talks about science one tries to answer to the question ” how ? “. Within reasonable limits the bible answers to that question and testifies how Jews reacted to certain situations of their history which allow us to understand the destiny of the Jewish people and the role it played in history.

 

 

But the bible tries also to answer to the question ” why ? “. And at that moment it isn’t science anymore, but philosophy.

One can remember that a message plays an important role in the creation of life. The bible takes a stand. According to the bible there is a sense to the creation of life.

Life was created in order to let God reveal himself (And God created man according to his image). And it’s man, final accomplishment of creation, with all his weaknesses and shortcommings, that will discover all the joys and miseries of life. It’s as if man is the instrument necessary to the realisation of creation force (or godness) by the vector of the genetic language.

And for the bible the Jewish people is the instrument necessary to the realisation of the creation force (or godness) at the level of humanity.

So the same way life grows against all gravitational and other forces ( a tree grows against gravity, energy is stockpiled in complex carbohydrates and lipids instead of being used, etc…), the Jewish people grows against all natural customs. And of course meets a lot of conflicts.

 

The bible tries to give sense to great natural catastrophies. Today all scientists agree that a very important rise in the sea level took place. Study of geologic sediments can estimate that this happened around 12.000 before our common era. Scriptures about the big flooding are found back in several cultures. Best known is the story of Gilgamesh.

But in the bible an ethical sense has been attached to the salvation of the most meritant.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorha is explained by the absence of justs. If only 10 just people were present in Sodom and Gomorha, those towns would have been spared. And Abraham by arguing with God shows that this catastrophy would killed just men too, what is unfair. So Abraham tries to convince God to save Sodom and Gomorha.

Of course a natural catastrophy is never caused by personal wrong actions. This is very nice in a Hollywood movie where the nice hero saves all his family and the bad guy perishes in the flames. But what is real are the guilt feelings even if personal action couldn’t change anything. And where personal attitudes have an impact it’s in human relations. A good deed is always rewarded. But no reward should be expected as this could lead to disappointment.

Scientific observations in the bible :

Creation of life is presented in the bible in a syncopated manner, but not really in contradiction with contemporary evidence for the evolution of species. Most remarkable is the text saying that a word, a language, is responsible for the creation of life. And what else is a chromosome than a long ribbon upon which sequences of the life of an individual are written in letters of nucleic acid, the famous ” book of life “.Locating the first intelligent human beings in a region around Mesopotamia is neither in contradiction with nowadays notions of anthropology.Concerning the big flood (remember the story of Gilgamesh) the nicest hypothesis described by Keller shows a big Tsunami starting in the Indian Ocean and following the Tigris and Euphrates to it’s source on the mount Ararat. This hypothesis is confirmed by the finding of several archeological layers in Mesopotamia interrupted by a sea sediment layer.

The Ghor valley, a long clivage line between two tectonic plates west and east of the Dead sea which can be followed until Madagascar is indeed a very agitated region where earth quakes regularly take place. The destruction of cities like Sodom and Gomorha is a possibility. The site of Petra, a huge unhabited domain with hundreds of palaces carved in the rocks, and ajacent to that valley, remains unhabited because local people think it is inhabited by Djinns (Ghosts). Was there also some vulcanic activity ?

Biblical texts say that Egyptian cities were build with bricks of clay and straw. Some emit the hypothesis that the huge rock blocks of the pyramids were shaped on the spot like the way concrete is shaped today.

Recently a very interesting story about the 10 plagues and the exodus story was written in Nature. It was brought in relation with the volcanic eruption of the island of Santorini. According to meteorologic observations the dominating wind could have brought the ashes of the vulcano in the direction of Egypt causing the 10 plagues, the way it happened for example with mount St Helens recently.

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It is interesting to note that the holy ark that was transported in the Sinai and installed in the temple of Jerusalem resembled to a huge cage of Faraday with an electric capacitance : a wooden body plated with gold on both sides surmonted by two gold plated wooden cherubins with wings pointing to each other.

The Philistines who robbed this holy ark are struck by a plague that is very similar to irradiation disease.

Did the holy ark contain uranium or radium ?

This could be a good explanation for the burning but not consuming bush, the shining of Moses’ face descending from Mount Sinai after 40 days, the column of fire and the danger for the high priest to enter the holy of holies.

One could imagine an electric capacitance charged by the irradiation of uranium or radium causing the cherubins to discharge between the wingtops when turned to each other on the day of atonement…

What kind of terror such an electric gear could cause in those times !

 

 

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Published in: on 24/10/2006 at 08:28  Leave a Comment  

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