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Old 04 April 2007, 02:36 AM
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Icon215 Did the Red Sea part? No evidence, archaeologists say

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The story of the Exodus is celebrated as the pivotal moment in the creation of the Jewish people. As the Bible tells it, Moses was born the son of a Jewish slave, who cast him into the Nile in a basket so the baby could escape being killed by the pharaoh. He was saved by the pharaoh's daughter, raised in the royal court, discovered his Jewish roots and, with divine help, led the Jewish people to freedom. Moses is said to have ascended Mt. Sinai, where God appeared in a burning bush and Moses received the Ten Commandments.

In Egypt today, visitors to Mount Sinai are sometimes shown a bush by tour guides and told it is the actual bush that burned before Moses.

But archaeologists who have worked here have never turned up evidence to support the account in the Bible, and there is only one archaeological find that even suggests the Jews were ever in Egypt.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/04/...-0403moses.php
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Old 04 April 2007, 02:40 AM
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Uh-oh. Looks like we're in for another temper tantrum from Dennis Prager: "You can't trust archaeologists, because scientists and academics are all biased against religion."

- snopes
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  #3  
Old 04 April 2007, 02:56 AM
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Anyhoo, I thought it was pretty well established that the Israelites passed through the Sea of Reeds, not the Red Sea.
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Old 04 April 2007, 03:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia View Post
Anyhoo, I thought it was pretty well established that the Israelites passed through the Sea of Reeds, not the Red Sea.
No, it was a vast army of Chinese Communists; a sea of Reds.

("Sea of Red, sky so blank,
in our yellow Hovertank...")

Silas
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Old 04 April 2007, 01:03 PM
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I can hear every die hard supporter of the exodus story use to the old fallacy of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" and still will believe that it happened as stated.

*Sigh* Of there were a mass exodus that took 40 years where we know where they stopped, we would find some kind of evidence. We haven't found anything.
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Old 04 April 2007, 04:23 PM
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I can hear every die hard supporter of the exodus story use to the old fallacy of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" and still will believe that it happened as stated.
due respect, it's absolutely not a fallacy. It does not work in a closed environment, and it can often and easily be pressed too far to become an argument from ignorance, but it specific situations - namely, those of an open ended database - it is a valid and vital principle and absolutely not a fallacy.
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Old 04 April 2007, 04:28 PM
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What next, zoologists in "snakes can't talk" shock?
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Old 04 April 2007, 04:36 PM
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due respect, it's absolutely not a fallacy. It does not work in a closed environment, and it can often and easily be pressed too far to become an argument from ignorance, but it specific situations - namely, those of an open ended database - it is a valid and vital principle and absolutely not a fallacy.
Actually From what I got on Wikipedia:
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The argumentum ad ignorantiam [fallacy] is committed whenever it is argued that a proposition is true simply on the basis that it has not been proved false, or that it is false because it has not been proved true
Its a fallacy of sorts because their is no qualifications. And most importantly, not scientific.

My point is that despite the fact that we have no evidence, people will still believe the spectacular.
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Old 04 April 2007, 04:44 PM
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Again, that simply has to do with whether it is being used properly. It really only works with open-ended database. In a closed situation it does not. Also, it really works better in negating a proposal, not so much in supporting a constructive argument. But these are simply issues of proper usage and have nothing to do with the validity of the principle itself. When used properly it is, again, absolutely not a fallacy of any sort and can be a valid and certainly scientific method.
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Old 04 April 2007, 05:34 PM
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Again, that simply has to do with whether it is being used properly. It really only works with open-ended database. In a closed situation it does not. . . .
True, although I might point out that, for any given purpose, there is a finite number that is indistinguishable from an infinite number.

e.g., here is a database with 10^375 string elements: find every occurrence of the word "insuperable."

In practical terms, the Sinai is finite...but is it large enough so that we cannot completely search it for archaeological traces of Mosaic antiquity?

Silas
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Old 04 April 2007, 05:43 PM
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But these are simply issues of proper usage and have nothing to do with the validity of the principle itself. When used properly it is, again, absolutely not a fallacy of any sort and can be a valid and certainly scientific method.

I agree 100%. And I would argue that the simple phrase "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" that allot of people use to discredit evidence that debunks their world view would not be considered proper usage.
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Old 04 April 2007, 05:54 PM
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...the old fallacy of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"
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Its a fallacy of sorts because their is no qualifications. And most importantly, not scientific.
Actually, in the field of paleontology, this isn't a fallacy. If you don't find fossils of a particular species, it doesn't necessarily mean the species didn't live there. Fossilization is actually a very rare occurrance. So other factors are taken into consideration: if fossils of that species were found in nearby sites that were known to be similar in habitat and from the same time period, it's quite likely that the species did live there but none of the bones happened to fossilize at that site. So absence of evidence (bones) isn't necessarily evidence of absence.
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Old 04 April 2007, 06:16 PM
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Actually, in the field of paleontology, this isn't a fallacy. If you don't find fossils of a particular species, it doesn't necessarily mean the species didn't live there. Fossilization is actually a very rare occurrance. So other factors are taken into consideration: if fossils of that species were found in nearby sites that were known to be similar in habitat and from the same time period, it's quite likely that the species did live there but none of the bones happened to fossilize at that site. So absence of evidence (bones) isn't necessarily evidence of absence.
But Cervus, your statement "Fossilization is actually a very rare occurrence. So other factors are taken into consideration" would be a perfect example of a qualification. The fact that fossilization is rare is a rational qualification to the blank statement of AOEINEON.
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Old 04 April 2007, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Silas Sparkhammer View Post
True, although I might point out that, for any given purpose, there is a finite number that is indistinguishable from an infinite number.

e.g., here is a database with 10^375 string elements: find every occurrence of the word "insuperable."

In practical terms, the Sinai is finite...but is it large enough so that we cannot completely search it for archaeological traces of Mosaic antiquity?

Silas
wow, silas, whenever you break out the math you lose me! I see what you mean when you get to the sinai. I'm not sure if the aoeineoa argument can be applied validly to the question of the exodus. How big is the sinah? The other concern would be "how big was the exodus?" A Lot of OT scholars I know favour the hypothesis of a massively smaller exodus from egypt of a group of hebrews that then merged with a larger group of canaanite hill people that, in accordance with custom, adopted hebrew heritage, geneaology, origin myths etc as their own. Is it reasonable to expect such a smaller event to have left evidence in the sinah sufficient to be preserved till this day, and if so, is it reasonable to conclude that our searches of the sinah thus far have been sufficient to find it if it were there? No idea.

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I agree 100%. And I would argue that the simple phrase "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" that allot of people use to discredit evidence that debunks their world view would not be considered proper usage.
I was thinking about this, and I think I stumbled upon a better way to phrase it, as I just hinted to Silas above: aoeineoa is valid unless countered by a reasonable expectation of evidence. Thus, for example, it is reasonable to expect that if an african elephant ran through my office that it would leave distinct evidence of its passage. Thus, even though I've been out of the office for the last half hour and therefore cannot say conclusivley what may or may not have happened when I wasn't looking, I can say, despite the absence of evidence, that there was a definite absence of african elephants in my office. A housefly would not generate the same expectation of evidence, however, and thus aoeineoa would rightly be applied to me if I tried to argue that "there is no evidence that a housefly passed through my office while I was gone."

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Originally Posted by Cervus View Post
Actually, in the field of paleontology, this isn't a fallacy. If you don't find fossils of a particular species, it doesn't necessarily mean the species didn't live there. Fossilization is actually a very rare occurrance. So other factors are taken into consideration: if fossils of that species were found in nearby sites that were known to be similar in habitat and from the same time period, it's quite likely that the species did live there but none of the bones happened to fossilize at that site. So absence of evidence (bones) isn't necessarily evidence of absence.
My field is very similar. In textual criticism the preservation of ancient manuscripts was random and sporadic. Thus the fact that a given variant does not occur in our current data base of extant manuscripts is not at all conclusive evidence that said variant did not occur.
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Old 04 April 2007, 07:04 PM
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I was thinking about this, and I think I stumbled upon a better way to phrase it, as I just hinted to Silas above: aoeineoa is valid unless countered by a reasonable expectation of evidence. Thus, for example, it is reasonable to expect that if an african elephant ran through my office that it would leave distinct evidence of its passage. Thus, even though I've been out of the office for the last half hour and therefore cannot say conclusivley what may or may not have happened when I wasn't looking, I can say, despite the absence of evidence, that there was a definite absence of african elephants in my office. A housefly would not generate the same expectation of evidence, however, and thus aoeineoa would rightly be applied to me if I tried to argue that "there is no evidence that a housefly passed through my office while I was gone."
I think that sounds like exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 04 April 2007, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Brad from Georgia View Post
Anyhoo, I thought it was pretty well established that the Israelites passed through the Sea of Reeds, not the Red Sea.
Actually it is pretty well established that it was the Red sea. The only question now is how far that sea extended in ancient times.

cite
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  #17  
Old 04 April 2007, 07:17 PM
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wow, silas, whenever you break out the math you lose me!
"Sir, (a + bn)/n = x, therefore God exists. Refute that!" Euler to Diderot. (Diderot, not a mathematician, couldn't.)

Silas (but the cosine of the equation proves God does not exist....)
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Old 04 April 2007, 08:27 PM
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I was thinking the same thing along the lines of 'what are the parameters of the search?' Is it like looking for a penny someone lost on a few acres of oceanfront property? Like looking for a penny someone lost on the beach somewhere between Florida & New York? I mean, the penny exists in both cases and someone lost it (and can tell stories about losing it) in both cases but the chances of finding the penny in the second scenario are pretty close to zero.
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Old 04 April 2007, 09:13 PM
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I was thinking the same thing along the lines of 'what are the parameters of the search?' Is it like looking for a penny someone lost on a few acres of oceanfront property? Like looking for a penny someone lost on the beach somewhere between Florida & New York? I mean, the penny exists in both cases and someone lost it (and can tell stories about losing it) in both cases but the chances of finding the penny in the second scenario are pretty close to zero.
Logic dictates that a massive migration of an entire group of people would leave evidence that they existed. Especially after 40 years of being in the desert. We cant accept something without some kind of evidence. We can consider ourselves lucky that we have one piece of evidence that says Jews were even in Egypt to begin with.

If one of the words most renowned egyptologists say that Exodus is a myth, I would tend to believe that.

The articles only defense of Exodus doesn't help things.

Quote:
Dr. Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, the head of the excavation, seemed to sense that such a conclusion might disappoint some. People always have doubts until something is discovered to confirm it, he noted.


Then he offered another theory, one that he said he drew from modern Egypt.


"A pharaoh drowned and a whole army was killed," he said recounting the portion of the story that holds that God parted the Red Sea to allow the Israelites to escape, then closed the waters on the pursuing army.
"This is a crisis for Egypt, and Egyptians do not document their crises.
In your example, you are arguing that the penny exists (just that finding it is tough. In the case here, we have one source that says pennies may have existed but there is no evidence that they were even lost in the first place.
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Old 04 April 2007, 09:44 PM
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I don't know a whole lot about the technical aspects of archeology - exactly what sort of evidence of an exodus like this would one be looking for?
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