Another Biblical 'Miss'

So the bible says that God gave us dominion over everything.  Furthermore, the bible never mentions...not even hints at...the existence of  microorganisms!  

Check out this interesting video:


In it, Martin Blaser (chairman of the department of medicine at NYU School of Medicine) relates a stunning statistic: 60% of the biosphere, by weight, is bacteria!!  For a book that is purported to have all the answers, this seem like something that might have been mentioned.  Moreover; most any way you look at it, it is microorganisms that have dominion over US!

UPDATE: I just came across this amusing video that touches on this very topic...


I am looking forward to viewing other videos from NonStampCollector

21 comments:

NotMyGod said...

Xians (and Muslims) usually say, once science points something out, "oh, yes, the bible/koran references that, right here..."
No doubt, the same once science finds the cure for cancer. "That was in the bible all along." You couldn't have pointed it out before? Coulda been helpful...
I don't mind if the bacteria live on me, as long as they don't make trouble!

FVThinker said...

According to the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, we each harbor 2 to 5 pounds on bacteria in our bodies. click hereOur digestive system requires them. I think some of the greatest medical advances will come, not from studying humans per se, but by studying this bacteria and how it interacts with its host organism...which is us.

Anonymous said...

have you read the bible? because if you haven't, i think you should wait till you are familiar with the opposition.

if you know it, either your arguments will get THAT much stronger, or you might find something interesting.

i highly suggest you read this book you like to argue with. you have some great points, and you can make them stronger.

FVThinker said...

I have not read it cover to cover, but I refer to it often. Being raised Catholic, we were not really encouraged to read the bible (I can see why). I guess they felt that it be left to the professionals. BTW: I embedded another video in the original post that amusingly touches on this very topic.

Ryan Jennings said...

"60% of the biosphere, by weight, is bacteria!!"

Sounds like some awesome design to me. Someone beat us to nanotechnology...how could that happen?

btw...television, ice cream, and water-skiing squirrels aren't mentioned in the Bible either...how did such awesome sights not make the cut?

Thanks for the blog...I appreciate your perspective.

FVThinker said...

Neither television, ice cream nor water-skiing squirrels existed in the year 1, nor are any of them important to the working of our universe.

Microorganisms, on the other hand, are critical for our very existence and play significantly in our individual demise. Instead the bible does not mention them (where there two of each on the ark?) and instead attributes disease to demons...how very very enlightening!!

Ryan Jennings said...

How about: Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen.

or, countless other essential ingredients for life that aren't mentioned in the Bible.

The Bible is primarily a history text...when we read it for scientific data we are often terribly dissapointed...though, if God would give us a scientific text I'm sure it would blow our minds...similar to the new info. you are reporting here in your blog...microbiology is an incredible field...awesome, mind-boggling stuff.

How come the more complex things become the evolutionists double their efforts to squash the creationists perspective? It seems more logical for the wheel or the mouse trap to have evolved than the transistor radio or the PC? Why does growing complexity cause more doubt? doesn't make sense to me except for what the Bible calls the "spirit of the anti-Christ" (oops, there goes that crazy Christian talking about demons and stuff again) Modern science daily discovers more and more complex design and all the while we sit and squabble over semantics.

Still enjoying the journey...peace today!

FVThinker said...

" Why does growing complexity cause more doubt?"I don't think growing complexity causes doubt (if you are speaking of doubting the existence of God). Increased knowledge about how world leads us to inventions such as the integrated circuit. Education about our world and our cosmos gives us the insights to invent such seemingly magical devices. ...and, yes, education in the sciences does demonstrably diminish theistic belief. I don't think anyone would speak out against higher education though.

One point well and humorously pointed out in the second video is that the Bible (if authored directly or indirectly by God) could have then made one mere mention of any number of things and demonstrated that the God described therein was really the big kahuna.

As far as "evolutionists" "squashing" the creationist perspective...
This is only [arguably] true in regards to creationism pressing to be regarded as science. Creationism brings nothing to the table with regards to advancing knowledge. Indeed, creationism stunts knowledge and is a conversation/research stopper.

If the bible/creationism brought some real understanding of our world and universe, then someone should be making a ton of money finding resources based on "flood geology" or some such thing. Your assessment is dead on...looking to the bible for actual understanding of our world, our species, or our universe is INVARIABLY disappointing.

Regarding not mentioning fundamental elements...fair enough...there might not have been occasion to lay out the periodic table in the bible (though if it did, I would probably still be a Christian). The bible, though, DOES speak on matters of life and death and we could not live without microorganisms and we often suffer and die because of their presence. The bible DOES speak on the source of illness...and they got it unarguably wrong.

Ryan Jennings said...

So then I'm assuming the miracles described therin won't convince you...and I'm guessing hundreds of fulfilled prophecies won't convince you...and I'm guessing Nebuchadnezzar's dream with Daniel's spot on interpretation of the earthly kingdoms to come won't convince you...and the empty tomb won't convince you...and the earthly brother of Jesus calling himself a bond-servant of the Lord Jesus won't convince you...and the historically significant explosion of the church at Pentecost (50 days after Passover & crucifixion day as the Bible prophesied) won't convince you...and martyrdom of 11 of the 12 apostles who died for a faith that kept the pennyless and frequently stoned...and...and...and...

but, if the periodic table were listed in the Bible you would be thoroughly convinced. OK, I guess we should blame God for not giving Adam and Eve a good chemistry lesson on Day 1. HIS bad.

Its so grievous to me that it almost comes full circle into the realm of funny that so many non-believers say, "if only it said this or that in the Bible I would believe." I guess there will always be another this or that.

I guess the fact that the Bible says the earth is round before anyone ever circled the globe means nothing. I guess the fact that the dietary laws established early in Jewish history actually have a scientific/health benefit to adherants means nothing. I guess the fact that every continent shows plentiful evidence of a catostrophic flood and every ancienct culture has a "flood story" means nothing (though a more localized flood could be the proper interp. here as well). I guess all the archeological evidence from Palestine confirming many biblical accounts means nothing. I guess the discovery of the dead sea scrolls means nothing. I guess...

Sorry to ramble on before making my point here, but I felt you criticism of the demise of Creationism above was quite the meandering argument as well. My point is, would you really believe if one day you opened up to the book of Isaiah and lo and behold there was a periodic table that had been there for centuries...well before it's modern publication?

I don't think so...I don't think so because it is God's Spirit and His grace that leads men to repentance...that's not only biblical, but it is empirical as well in that I've seen it hundreds of times. I'm not a Christian because I have "all" the answers, though I am convinced of some. There are and always will be mystery to our universe. Science cannot answer many of the questions that it seeks. For that reason and many others you and I are forced to be men of faith. Non-believers often hate the word faith (I hope you don't) but there is no better word to use for believing in something that is yet to be physically proven...and evolutionary theory and big bang theory is still in the category of faith.

Here lies the difference for me...I tend to believe the guy who died and then came back to live again as He said...take away all the other miracles and historically significant episodes in the Bible...that one is enough to convince me (rationally speaking) of whom I should listen too. Yes, Darwin has some yummy sounding theories...but the end game here is he's still in the grave and his theories are yet to be proven.

It takes a lot of faith to believe in evolutionary theory...for that humanists should get much kuddos...granted, it takes faith for me to believe Jesus was and is who He said He was...I just happen to believe there is ample evidence to draw such a conclusion.

Lastly, you went on again about the Bible being wrong about the source of illness...are you referring to some obscure passage of Scripture and extrapolating from it that the whole of the Bible teaches illness is demonic? I've never heard this before...I'm a bit interested to know where you heard it.

Thanks for the continued dialogue...I appreciate your patience...many folks are too militant (arrogant) to allow for such an ongoing dialogue...May God shine the light on the truth that both of our eyes may see more clearly.

FVThinker said...

I will endeavor to be brief on this...

Where were myriad gods and messiahs throughout history. The biblical narrative is not unique in nearly any sense. We have miracles and virgin births and crucifictions and miracles and resurrections and stars in the sky and and and...and these aspects appear time and time again in mythology.

Jesus' time was replete with messiahs and miracles. No one has demonstrated that his was true to the exclusion of all the others.

Ryan Jennings said...

I thought you said you read C. S. Lewis...he covers this part of your argument quite well.

"Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see." C.S. Lewis

"We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive." C.S. Lewis

And one which relates well to your previous comment...

"Now as myth transcends thought, Incarnation transcends myth. The heart of Christianity is a myth which is also a fact. The old myth of the Dying God, without ceasing to be myth comes down from the heaven of legend and imagination to the earth of history. It happens--at a particular date, in a particular place, followed by definable historical consequences. We pass from a Balder or an Osiris, dying nobody knows when or where, to a historical Person crucified (it is all in order) under Pontius Pilate. By becoming fact it does not cease to be myth: that is the miracle."
~C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, "Myth Became Fact" (1944)

Also, Lewis' perspective was that the reason their are so many fairy tales, myths, religions in the world is simple--they are all emanations, ripples if you will, of the one true story at the center.

And to your point about "no one has demonstrated"...I do disagree...there was ONE who demonstrated clearly, to the exclusion of all others, HE was the Messiah.

FVThinker said...

I didn't read ALL of Lewis. I read Mere Christianity quite some time ago. I did not read Miracles.

Notwithstanding his genuinely excellent writing; I am little concerned with affirming rhetoric but rather with what is demonstrably true.

In one regard, Lewis was actually the greater disappointment of all the apologists. As I muscled my way through writers such as Strobel, I was always told that Lewis was the touchstone for religious arguments. Lewis would be Steely Dan to Strobel's three-chord garage metal band. Lewis would be the Los Angeles Philharmonic to other's jug band. Lewis was to be my epiphany and turned out to be the same presuppositions and logical failures as the rest...just written way better.

Ryan Jennings said...

Yes...I see your point. Christian writers don't dare dis Lewis like that but I tend to agree with you. His writing has a beauty to it but I prefer a Ravi Zacharias or a Greg Boyd for substance...though they don't write any fiction like Lewis was willing to do.

Great analogies for Lewis there...LOL

FVThinker said...

I'm a huge Steely Dan fan :-)

FVThinker said...

In haste, I didn’t address several of the points that you brought up earlier…

Re: prophesies and miracles……It is a long discussion and I spoke to them broadly elsewhere, but I see that you cited ” martyrdom of 11 of the 12 apostles who died for a faith that kept the pennyless and frequently stoned”. This is cited more often than I would expect as being some sort of supporting proof of the truth of Jesus being the son of God. Nobody disputes that these individuals might have believed so wholly and completely in their Messiah that they would forgo wealth, comfort, status and, in the end, make the ultimate sacrifice. Such devotion is not really rare. Just look at religious cults like Heaven’s Gate who’s male members had themselves castrated…CASTRATED…VOLUNTARILLY!!! They too, in the end, made the ultimate sacrifice as did the religious cult of Jim Jones in Jonestown (just for some recent examples). Clearly you wouldn’t argue that their belief in any way proves any truth regarding their leaders or narrative. Belief in something often has little to do with the factual truth of something. I am a lay-follower of brain science and neurology and I recently read a book that specifically speaks to what we know about the relationship with belief/knowing and factual truth. Read my review of “On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You Are Not” at http://fvthinker.blogspot.com/2008/03/book-review-on-being-certain-believing.html .

Re: God not providing a chemistry set to Adam and Eve (or mentioning the periodic table)……I acknowledge that there might not have been need to relate such information. I merely assert that, in a book that purportedly speaks so broadly on so many matters, it would seem that, just by CHANCE, some unambiguous verifiable scientific truth might have slipped in. I am not saying it SHOULD have had such content; merely that had some teeny ancillary nuggets been slipped in (i.e. the energy/matter duality, an accurate description of our universe), Christianity might be a lot closer to an incontrovertible truth.

Re: ” archeological evidence from Palestine confirming many biblical accounts means nothing?……..Let’s be clear; I have no need to dispute that any of the characters and sites of the bible existed. I am perfectly willing to concede that a rabble-rousing preacher from Nazareth purporting to be the son of God, amassing followers, performing [what are purported to be] miracles, annoying some people and getting killed for it…but then that is not a unique story. I just find no compelling evidence to lead me to believe that the protagonist of the New Testament was the real deal to the exclusion of all the others doing the same thing.


Re: the bible stating the earth is round…….The nearest I can find to that effect is Job 26:10 which is variously translated as “He drew a circular horizon on the face of the waters, At the boundary of light and darkness.” and “He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.” These are hardly compelling words and both intimate edges and circles….not spheres. There are plenty of passages that also refer to corners and pillars and more.
Re: ”Yes, Darwin has some yummy sounding theories...but the end game here is he's still in the grave and his theories are yet to be proven. ………..btw: this leads to another point of confusion. Science doesn’t often use anything BUT theories. Gravity is theory, but we can demonstrate it precisely and repeatably. Atomic structure is a theory, but we have never seen an electron and the closest we have come to seeing and atom is a diffuse lump yet all of our chemistry and materials science uses it absolutely reliably. Theories are tested by making predictions. When those predictions are shown to be accurate, that theory gets a ‘notch in its staff’ and becomes that much better supported. Theories run the gamut from ‘so well supported that we can, in most contexts, consider them facts or laws down to theories that have no evidentiary support (more properly called a hypothesis). An examples of the latter might be ‘the matter/energy duality means the net contents of the universe is zero. Hence the universe is not something from nothing, but rather ‘nothing’ separated into its disparate states. Evolutionary theory is so well supported that it falls into the former category. Any dispute within the scientific community is on minutia on very narrow aspects of the theory.

FVThinker said...

Ryan,
I found a couple videos that pretty well detail what would be convincing evidence for your (or any) religion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rqUsC2KsiI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qmcOG-na4E

Ryan Jennings said...

I'm still here...been very busy...I'll continue the discussion within a day or two...peace

btw...thanks for the links...look forward to watching them.

FVThinker said...

I look forward to continuing our conversation.

Ryan Jennings said...

since you set aside Job 26 so easily you may find a way to spin many of the other biblical texts that speak of the earth as "circular" or "hanging in space" or "in the heavens". Nevertheless, I'll still offer a few for you.

Keep in mind, I do not treat the biblical text as a scientific work...primarily it is historical and revelatory, however, undeniably there is relevant scientific data there which was penned well before scientific research caught on.

See Isaiah 40:22, "He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth..." (During the time of the writing of Isaiah there was no word in the Hebrew language for sphere that we know of...the above word--"circle"--is the word they used for all circles, sphere's, etc..)

Job 26:7 "He spreads out the Northern [skies] over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing" (this passage does not speak to the circular nature of the earth, yet it does imply an general description of the earth in space)

The bible says the stars cannot be counted...immeasurable (Jeremiah 33:22).

peace today

FVThinker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
FVThinker said...

am not 'spinning' anything here Ryan. To be considered compelling evidence, we need to have unambiguous descriptions of things unknowable at the time.

In the case of the spherical earth; we have ambiguous phrasing that intimates edges. Maybe they didn't have a word for spherical (which I would find surprising...being the spheres are one of the the most common forms in nature) and maybe there were really describing a sphere. But it is only interpretation on your part that says "they really meant sphere". I reasonably interpret it differently so, by definition, we have ambiguity.

Moreover; the astute mortal observer did have the information available to them to determine that the earth was spherical. (The curvature of the horizon from a high vantage point. Distant objects only visible from that high vantage point. The reference example of the moon as another spherical celestial body in space. Shadows on the moon. Sunlight striking mountaintops while the lowlands were in darkness) With this information; even if the bible did well describe the earth as a sphere in space, there would be zero reason to consider it prophetic.

Re: "the uncountable stars"...
Well...duh!! I hope you have been fortunate enough to see the clear night sky in a remote rural area (and everything was remote and rural and dark in the 1st century). The stars are so numerous that you will see only a milky streak across the sky...hence the 'Milky Way'. Mortal man could recognize counting stars would be akin to counting grains of sand on a beach. No prophesies here.

My standard for evidence is what the entire scientific community uses. Since the Enlightenment (when standards for evidence were raised), biblical-type miracles basically stopped happening because they simply couldn't pass muster. It is the scientific method of empiricism, repeatability, falsifiability that have catapulted us into genuine understanding our our world and universe. While one does not need to be a scientist to appreciate the value of the scientific method; we can see that it is the best tool we have for gaining genuine understanding. That understanding does NOT preclude concepts such as morality and love. While science does not have such concepts comprehensively defined, we do have real, scientific knowledge about morality and altruism in our species and others.

I have said it before; I would much rather actually know a little bit about something than think I know all about it and be wrong.