Over at the bizarre Christian blog Triablogue, I got into a discussion with "Steve" about the consensus in archeology that much of the Old Testament is mythological. Here is my last post, which he deleted from the thread, coz he got pwned...
"You’ve circularly defined “consensus” to mean center-left “consensus” to the exclusion of center-right scholarship."
No. Consensus mean the elements agreed by majority of scholars working in the field. Of course there are disagreements. But let's just look at your logic:
There is no consensus that Jesus existed, because some people say he didn't. There is no consensus that an walked on the moon because some people say we didn't. There is no consensus that the world is round because some people say it is flat. There is no consensus about quantum physics because some people reject it.
Jumpin' jehosephat. Even Conservatives say there is a consensus:
"...in academia it's an established fact that this whole time period is legendary... there’s a strong anti-Bible bias in the academic journals that publish archaeological findings...
A Good News Interview with Bryant Wood, Ph.D., The Bible vs. Modern Scholarship, John Elliott, UCG Canada 2002
How there can be an "anti-Bible bias", of course, when jew and christians are part of that consensus is another matter. (Yeah, I know, they aren't "true scotsmen").
And you know what? The consensus can be wrong. Just look at Triceratops. It now looks like it may not have been a separate dinosaur species after all... But that change in knowledge does not throw out everything we understood before. It modifies it.
Sure, more knowledge may came to suggest more of the OT is historical. Or it could be the other way. For now, amongst those scholars who do not assume the "truth" of the Bible no matter what, the consensus is that the early parts of the OT are mythological. (You do know what that word means, right?)
You can't accept there is a consensus of opinion, because that consensus is (you say) "centre left" and says things you don't like.
You say there is a conservative consensus that "The Exodus" did happen - but your conservatives can't agree on the date or on what scale! All they agree on is that if the Bible says it happened, it must have happened, and any evidence to the contrary must be ignored...
'You mean, like rusting RVs from the 2nd millennium BC? Maybe some Bronze Age beer cans?""
What do you think I mean? Do you not think 2 million people traipsing thru the Sinai for forty years would leave some sort of trace? Anyway, archeologists say we do have a heap of evidence - that the Hebrews came out of the existing Canaanite population.
For that matter, Christian and Jewish academics don’t rubberstamp your irreligious beliefs."Of course not - but unlike you I don't pretend their beliefs don't exist just because I don't like them.
"Feel free to quote a representative sampling of “Fundamentalists” who say that. Titles. Pagination."Voila.
"That’s what the archives are for."Let the records show Steve doesn't have the courtesy, decency or courage to provide a link or even a one line summary.
Ya know, Steve, I was gonna say that I'd ready your blogger profile and it looked like you were an interesting guy. I love "The Third Man". I think Graham Grene was an amazing guy. You certainly seem to know a lot some interesting stuff.
But here you go, all thru this thread, being an absolute asshole right up to the end.