OK. You’re on the run with a few hundred thousand of your best friends from the most powerful and dangerous army known to man. The well armed bad guys are right behind you and you come to the edge of the sea. Uh-oh.
And I really mean uh-oh because none of you ever took swimming lessons because you probably thought to yourself “What are the chances of being chased by the world’s most lethal army so that my only escape is the sea?” With logic like that you can’t really be faulted for not learning to swim.
So things aren’t looking good. Bad army. Big Sea. You don’t swim. But all of a sudden the sea parts and allows you and your buddies to run through to safety. Now about then you’re thinking, “What are the chances of something like that happening? It’s gotta’ be ten to one. At least.”
But then as you get across the parted sea the bad guys, after pausing for a moment and considering, “Hey maybe we don’t want to chase these guys that bad” they resume the chase and dash into the parted sea only to be swept away by the sea which collapses on them.
When that sea overcomes your enemies you’re not calculating the odds anymore, you’re thanking God. Now what would you say if one of your companions who just dashed across the sea turned to you and said that the thinks the sea parted because the wind and there was a perfectly logical explanation for all of it.
What would you say to that companion?
Well yesterday, some scientific study declared that Moses had nothing to do with the parting of the sea. It was actually just the wind.
Oh. Well, problem solved. So say we all. Whew. There was almost a mystery there. Thank goodness science jumped in.
But all I’ll say is that has got to be the luckiest wind…evah.
Moses might not have parted the Red Sea, but a strong east wind that blew through the night could have pushed the waters back in the way described in biblical writings and the Koran, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.
Computer simulations, part of a larger study on how winds affect water, show wind could push water back at a point where a river bent to merge with a coastal lagoon, the team at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado at Boulder said.
“The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus,” Carl Drews of NCAR, who led the study, said in a statement.
“The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that’s in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in.”
Now mind you, this of course comes on the heels of a scientific study a few years ago which stated that the parting of the Red Sea was clearly a consequence of a volcano eruption that caused a tsunami which caused the sea to part. They even made a documentary out of that one so you know it’s a big deal.
Oh, there’s also the theory that it wasn’t the Red Sea at all but a nearby kiddie pool that was mistaken for the Red Sea. Seriously.
I’m not saying that God doesn’t necessarily use the wind or a volcano but why study something like this and chat it up to the media like it’s a big deal. It’s just another attempt to crowd out God with the phony facade of science.
I think you can believe the volcano/tsunami theory or the wind one and that’s all perfectly acceptable. You can believe that these things occurred right at that exact moment when they were needed and are never seen again. It’s OK to believe in improbabilities and statistical anomalies, I guess. Just don’t call them miracles.
September 22, 2010 at 7:14 pm
Typically, those who love to hate on religion have taken over an idea that can easily exist alongside a belief in God and miracles.
This idea was put forth by a Russian researcher – a Christian who sought an explanation for how God might have used natural forces to accomplish this. Here is a link from 2004:
This whole situation reminds me of the fact that the Big Bang, which is constantly used by atheists to disprove God, was first put forth by a Catholic priest.
I have NO problem with the idea that God used natural elements to intercede on behalf of his people. The plagues after all used nature, so why wouldn't the parting of the Red Sea. God doesn't just make things vanish (at least not as recorded), but rather uses the natural world (sometimes in unlikely ways) to accomplish His will.
September 22, 2010 at 11:01 pm
I read the same story on MSNBC (of all places) and the researchers who did the fluid mechanics models for this seem to think it confirms, rather than debunks the biblical account. I don't get the sceince vs. religion angle – seems it's more science confirms religion.
September 22, 2010 at 11:05 pm
there would have been mud about neck deep
That depends completely upon the nature of the subsurface. Even in marshy waters, as any wade fisherman would know, you can slog through about 2 feet deep water and only sink about 3-4 inches into the bottom. Messy, but certainly doable.
September 23, 2010 at 12:02 am
It's been a very long time, but I think they got that from some expert on the Nile floods who knew a lot about Egyptian mud; like I said, it was a long time ago.
(Would it take that much to have some folks take an inflatable raft out where they think this happened and check to see what the mud is like? I know that even the same LAKE can have wildly different bottoms from one area to another….)
K, a couple of years ago:
it was a reef;
A 72-kilometer-per-hour wind blowing down the Gulf of Suez for a good 10 hours.
Als 92, it's in the "sea of reeds."
Way back on the far end of the 1900s, a guy named Velikovsky who looked at mythology as based on actual events thought that it might be Venus getting close enough to cause major issues, or something like that. (google books has Worlds in Collision, if you want– it's very good for steampunk research.)
September 23, 2010 at 2:14 am
I read a book (wish I could remember the title) and one line that stands out. Miracles are not impossible events breaking the laws of science, but extremely improbable events within the laws of science or manipulation of those laws to create the desired outcome.
If you told someone three thousand years ago that it would be possible to bring someone back from the dead (using a defibrillator), minutes after their heart stopped, they would think you're crazy. What if science one day learns how to bring people back 24 hours after death? What will we say about Lazarus?
September 23, 2010 at 4:16 am
I'm not too sure I understand all the jousting between scientific lunatics and the religio-fanatical-litaralists out there. They're sniping at each other over semantics. "God parted the sea!" "No, a great wind did!" Who gives, man? Look, here's the deal: The sea parted. Moses and his peeps escaped. The Pharaoh and his hoard got wiped out. Stop wondering "how" this happened and start wondering "why"?