Monday, March 31, 2008

Science and the Bible

Now this is really cool.  Scientists have recently translated a Sumerian clay tablet that records a devastating comet—a comet they suspect took outSodom and Gomorrah.  And it is eerie how this event lines up with the biblical account.

Of course the wicked cities were destroyed when God rained down fire and brimstone out of heaven on them.  According to the scientists, this particular comet landed in the Austrian Alps, but before it did, it came in traveling relatively close to the ground losing up to two-thirds of its mass before impact.  Additionally, the comet itself was immediately followed by supersonic shock waves and searing heat.  It literally rained rocks and fire from the sky. 

Calculating the night sky at the time and comparing it to the observations of the tablet, they were able to pinpoint the celestial culprit.  This comet was seen a little before dawn on June 29th, 3123 B.C.  Interestingly enough, the Bible records the destruction occurring in roughly the same time frame.  At dawn the angels became very desperate to get Lot and the family out of the city.  When the sun had risen the fire and brimstone came.  By the time Abraham was up and about “early in the morning,” the destruction was complete and there was nothing left but smoking ashes.

This article also points out that there are a number of myths that could be attached to this or similar meteor impacts.  The example it gives in addition to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is the tale of Phaeton’s fateful crash after stealing his father’s chariot used to tow the sun across the sky.  It is interesting to note that the record from the Bible sounds much less fantastical, and much more like historical observation than does the Greek myth. 

Josh R.


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