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Author Topic: Study claims ice, not water, kept Jesus afloat  (Read 1729 times) Average Rating: 0
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TomS
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« on: April 04, 2006, 10:34:21 PM »

Study claims ice, not water, kept Jesus afloat
University professor attempts to explain miracles with science

MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) -- The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation -- he walked on a floating piece of ice.

Professor Doron Nof also theorized in the early 1990s that Moses's parting of the Red Sea had solid science behind it.

Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, said on Tuesday that his study found an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formation on the Sea of Galilee.

Nof used records of the Mediterranean Sea's surface temperatures and statistical models to examine the dynamics of the Sea of Galilee, which Israelis know now as Lake Kinneret.

The study found that a period of cooler temperatures in the area between 1,500 and 2,600 years ago could have included the decades in which Jesus lived.

A drop in temperature below freezing could have caused ice -- thick enough to support a human -- to form on the surface of the freshwater lake near the western shore, Nof said. It might have been nearly impossible for distant observers to see a piece of floating ice surrounded by water.

Nof said he offered his study -- published in the April edition of the Journal of Paleolimnology -- as a "possible explanation" for Jesus' walk on water.

"If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it."

"We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."

When he offered his theory 14 years ago that wind and sea conditions could explain the parting of the Red Sea, Nof said he received some hate mail, even though he noted that the idea could support the biblical description of the event.

And as his theory of Jesus' walk on ice began to circulate, he had more hate mail in his e-mail inbox.

"They asked me if I'm going to try next to explain the resurrection," he said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

 
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006, 10:59:20 PM »

Interesting. There's one thing about this type of explanation though... if you accept it, it pretty much makes Jesus into a huckster. I mean, claiming that the stories were later exaggerations, or that people just misunderstood what was going on (e.g., "casting out demons") is one thing, but if cases like this if Jesus really let people believe that he walked on water when he didn't, then he'd be completely unworthy of worship.
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2006, 04:07:46 AM »

This is one of the dumbest things i've ever heard in my life. This so-called professor (so-called because I believe that one's stupidity qualifies as valid grounds upon which one loses their right to being addressed with any form of due honour), is simply pointing out the obvious i.e. Jesus could have been walking on ice. WOW! Do you know what else qualifies as a logically possible explanation? Check it out: Jesus is the God-man who actually walked on water.

If this guy is really smart, and if he wants to rightfully earn his "professor" title back, then let him try and objectively prove that this (i.e. the ice theory) is the possibility which should prevail on the balance of probabilities. In order to do that, he will have to (as Asteriktos implied) prove that Jesus is a liar, that the Apostles who experienced (i.e. Peter) and witnessed this miracle were liars (unless they were so blind so as to confuse ice with water) etc. The onus hanging off this guy's butt would be pretty damn big; so big that i'd hate to be him trying to get my butt out of bed in the morning.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2006, 04:09:55 AM by EkhristosAnesti » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2006, 05:03:09 AM »

I agree with EkhristosAnesti. One can speculate that Jesus had large webbed-feet that gave him special bouyancy. Such speculations are completely poinltess. Such 'professors' simply want to come up with ways of advertising how stupid they think the public are.
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2006, 05:03:34 AM »

How do you use the quick-reply function?
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2006, 08:16:02 AM »

Boy, the problems that immediately crop up with this theory are numerous. If the ice was thick enough for a man to walk on then it is going to be really tough for a boat to sail through it. If it is just one large piece of ice, did it have an outboard motor attached to propel Christ across the sea? How come Peter was not able to keep his footing on the ice when he stepped out of the boat?
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« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2006, 08:29:56 AM »

I was wondering the same...how did he get to said isolated piece of ice.  Roll Eyes

Someone just wanted to get published, his grants are running out, and he needed something to boost his fundability.  Just a thought. Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2006, 08:53:55 AM »

Interesting. There's one thing about this type of explanation though... if you accept it, it pretty much makes Jesus into a huckster.

If you accept it, it shows that your powers of skepticism are shockingly low. It takes a LOT of ice to hold someone up, on the order of inches. And it has to be a solid sheet, not a lot of pieces. ANd then there's the boat.


Let me put it this way: Are you really going to believe that a professor in

Florida

has a clue about ice?

This is SO lame.  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2006, 10:11:34 AM »

Yah, and don't you think the Bible would have put somewhere in there that the weather was "colder than usual" or something like that?  I mean, they WERE fishermen...not that they would know anything about boating or water... Wink Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2006, 10:14:10 AM »

And hey while he's at it, maybe this quack can go to Greece and try to scientifically explain that monk they unearthed recently... Shocked
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« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2006, 01:22:43 PM »

And how does this ice theory fit the Gospel account that has Jesus and St. Peter--let's not forget his role in this narrative--walking on STORMY water?  I would think the surface of the water would have to be calm and unmoving for ice to form on top.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2006, 05:43:48 PM »

Keble

Very true Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2006, 10:16:52 PM »

I can't really blame him - he is trying to find an explanation to a reported phenomenon within the confines of his logical universe....
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« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2006, 04:14:22 AM »

I can't really blame him - he is trying to find an explanation to a reported phenomenon within the confines of his logical universe....

...and if such an attempt gives rise to the implicit consequence of challenging historical testimony without any historical basis, then he is liable to blame and mockery. It is a basic principle of historiography that one is to prima facie give external ancient testimony of an ancient event the benefit of the doubt with respect to its being reliable and true, until sufficient proof is found to compel any reasonable person to view such testimony with suspicion.

Positing a naturalistic explanation of an historical event, per se, is all well and good, yet positing a supernaturalistic explanation of that same historical event, per se, is just as good, as long as both are logically conceivable (i.e. there is no inherent contradiction elicited by the propositions in question). Since we are ultimately dealing with an historical event, however, history must disrupt the prima facie equal validity of these propositions, by vindicating one over the other on account of its being most consistent with objective history. If one limits historical possibility to that which is logically possible within the confines of their own logical universe, then they are obviously not dealing with objective history.

Interestingly, the primary presupposition employed by those who doubt the Bible's historical credibility, is an anti-supernaturalistic one. Note the circular reasoning implied in the typical skeptics argument: There is no such thing as miracles, therefore Jesus could not have walked on water, therefore if we were to assume the reliability of the central core of the passage in question, we would have to conclude that Jesus walked on ice, therefore Jesus, Peter, and the Evangelists, were liars, therefore the Bible is historically unreliable.
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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2006, 06:49:54 AM »

Oh, absolutely true.  Attempting to persuade people that Jesus walked on ice is on the absurd side of history, for a claim like that can only in truth be supported scientifically (which is the angle he is taking - that he can prove Jesus wasn't a miracle worker through the severe reason of science) through first-hand analysis of the water, the relevant climate conditions, etc.  Giving guys like him a free pass to speculate on what the weather was like on a particular day (a thing which has near-infinite possibilities, if one is familiar with chaos theory) is a bit ridiculous.  All I was thinking was that I don't have that much of a problem with a small-minded skeptic like this dude using the limitations of his own logical universe to explain away a phenomenon that can't be explained.

THe one thing that does irk me is that this guy is claiming that he is a scientist, but nothing that he is doing is really scientific for one of the foundational points of scientific methodology is the idea of falsification: in order for a theory to be scientific (as this guy wants), one must be able to set up an experiment that could prove the falseness of the theory if it is indeed false.  Since this theory has no plausible way of being proven false, it would not be considered scientific by most scientists, thus giving this guy no credibility even within his own community.  (What's really sad is, although his theory isn't scientific and therefore would be scoffed at by scientists, the mere fact that he's had the article published means he'll gain credibility amongst the people, because as we know everything put into print must be true....)
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« Reply #15 on: April 06, 2006, 11:07:30 PM »

THe one thing that does irk me is that this guy is claiming that he is a scientist, ...


I think I heard something like this before when Dan Brown claimed that his book, The DaVinci Code is historically accurate in its assertions.  What a bunch of male bovine excrement!  Shocked
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