The never-ceasing-to-surprise-me Answers in Genesis website has posted a new entry, titled “Unicorns in the Bible?” by a certain Dr. Elizabeth Mitchell. It makes for an interesting read…for a 5 year old maybe. The whole point of the entry is to say that “unicorns must have existed, because God wouldn’t make stuff up”. Here’s a short review of the really childish arguments Dr. Mitchell presents.
First she starts of with this:
However, the biblical unicorn was a real animal, not an imaginary creature. The Bible refers to the unicorn in the context of familiar animals, such as peacocks, lambs, lions, bullocks, goats, donkeys, horses, dogs, eagles, and calves (Job 39:9–12 KJV.1)
In fact if you follow the same link to Job 39:9-12 this is what it actually says:
9 Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
I fail to make the link between what is said above and all the animals she lists. The funny thing is that she has a specific set of animals in mind, just the ones she listed not more not less. How do I know? Because she ends her list with “eagles, and calves”. The “and” indicates that calves is the last of the list. Now, it may be just me, but that sounds like completely made up bullshit to me. Nowhere in Job 39:9-12, do they mention lions or eagles or calves (not in the online quote they link to anyway, I did not pull out my Bible to double check). So where the hell is this lady getting her list from? And how does that imply that the unicorn was a real animal? Simply because God talks about it as if it was an animal? How else would he talk about an animal? What kind of an argument is that?
Job had to be familiar with the animals on God’s list for the illustration to be effective. God points out in Job 39:9–12 that the unicorn, “whose strength is great,” is useless for agricultural work, refusing to serve man or “harrow (plow) the valley.” This visual aid gave Job a glimpse of God’s greatness. An imaginary fantasy animal would have defeated the purpose of God’s illustration.
Oh man that settles the argument. Why would an imaginary fantasy God talk about an imaginary fantasy animal? Because it’s all made up mythology, that’s why! Why would God talk about an imaginary flood? Why would God talk about an imaginary guy being swallowed by a whale and coming back out unscathed? I don’t know. Could it be that the half stoned, medieval writers who MADE UP the Bible just thought it’d be fun to talk about such stuff! Surely, they never expected anyone to buy this shit!
The absence of a unicorn in the modern world should not cause us to doubt its past existence. (Think of the dodo bird. It does not exist today, but we do not doubt that it existed in the past.). Eighteenth century reports from southern Africa described rock drawings and eyewitness accounts of fierce, single-horned, equine-like animals. One such report describes “a single horn, directly in front, about as long as one’s arm, and at the base about as thick . . . . [It] had a sharp point; it was not attached to the bone of the forehead, but fixed only in the skin.”3
She continues to betray her ignorance of the scientific method. Of course we do not doubt unicorns simply because they don’t exist today. That’s stupid to even imply. How many extinct species, some ranging back millions of years do we accept as having existed? The difference is that we have evidence of such animals existing, BONES BONES BONES and FOSSILS FOSSILS FOSSILS. Does the good “doctor” have any tanginble evidence beyond hear-say from somewhere in south Africa. And since when are paintings, which in lots of cases are artistic expressions which need not be bound by the laws of reality, accepted as proof of anything? And how the hell is a horn as thick and long as a human arm, stay in place if it is not attached to the forehead bone? It would rip the skin right of the poor animal’s head!
However, the linguistics of the text cannot conclusively prove how many horns the biblical unicorn had. While modern translations typically translate re’em as “wild ox,” the King James Version (1611), Luther’s German Bible (1534), the Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate translated this Hebrew word with words meaning “one-horned animal.”13
Now what part of the world is this lady from? Anywhere I’ve been, everything I’ve read, any mentioning of unicorns ever, always refers to them as a horse with a single horn, smack in the middle of their forehead. And these Christians need to get their act together. The first step would be to properly translate the Bible so we’re all working with the same copy. What good is this whole conversation if we were talking about wild ox?
And, of course, here’s the climatic ending to this embarrasing rant:
The importance of the biblical unicorn is not so much its specific identity—much as we would like to know—but its reality. The Bible is clearly describing a real animal. The unicorn mentioned in the Bible was a powerful animal possessing one or two strong horns—not the fantasy animal that has been popularized in movies and books. Whatever it was, it is now likely extinct like many other animals. To think of the biblical unicorn as a fantasy animal is to demean God’s Word, which is true in every detail.
Of course it’s specific identity matters, how can we be sure of it’s reality if we can’t even establish it’s identity? Whatever, I’ll let it go. What? A UNIcorn has two horns? Where the fuck did this come from? I thought she was making the case that we don’t know if the unicorn had one horn. But where did the number two come from? Why not three, four, fifteen? I guess God’s word wasn’t precise enough to even shed some light on how many horns the damn thing had. I also guess God’s word is true in every detail, except the one regarding the number of horns on a unicorn. I hope this does not demean his word….much! This lady is a lunatic, deluded soul! We really need to pray that she comes over to the side of sanity before it’s too late. If only prayer worked!
The United Nations has consciously and of its own choice turned itself into Islam’s whore, when they choose to decide that criticizing Islam, and religion in general, is unacceptable, unless you’re a religious scholar.
Muslim countries have won a battle to prevent Islam from being criticized during debates by the UN Human Rights Council. Religions deserve special protection because any debate about faith is bound to be “very complex, very sensitive and very intense”, council President Doru-Romulus Costea said Wednesday.
While Costea’s ban applies to all religions, it was prompted by Muslim countries complaining about references to Islam.
They’ve shown just what cowards we are relying upon to deal with the most pressing problems humanity faces. The Human Rights Council has nullified and completely ignored the most basic of human rights, freedom of speech. Say what you want about the US but at least here we have freedom of speech to a degree unparalleled in most countries in the world. Apparently a homeless person in the streets of New York has more freedom to express his opinion than members of, arguably, the hightest council concerned with Human Rights in the whole world.
So what if such debate will be “very complex, very sensitive and very intense”? Isn’t that why these guys are there, to tacke complex and sensitive an intense issues? They’re not in charge of trivial things for Allah’s sake, at the contrary they are in charge of what is probably the most important of all of human endeavors, the protection of the rights we have by virtue of being human. What will the decide not to talk about next? Genital mutilation is bound to be very controversial and create great discomfort to the delegates from the countries that practice it. So let’s scratch it, the UN Council of Human Rights won’t touch it, because these cowards are afraid of intense debate. Maybe genocide, forced child labor, slavery, racism, sexism, all sort of culturally “justified” discriminations will be off limits as well. No sir, we woldn’t wont to talk about things that will offend people, especially religous people.
Political correctness is cowardice! The UN Human Rights Council members do not deserve to be endowed with such a great responsibility, and all the recognition and benefits that flow from such membership, if they are willing to take such absurd abuse of the mast basic human rights without raising a voice of disent. They should be ashamed of themselves if they take this standing down.
The moral repercussions of curbing freedom of speech in order to protect people’s lunacy are unimaginable. It takes a lunatic to even think that this is the right, moral thing to do. It appears Mr. Doru-Romulus Costea is a lunatic.
George Carlin has died at the age of 71. I did not know much about the guy until I saw some videos in YouTube. I am sorry I did not learn about him sooner. I had previously posted a couple of favorites on my Video Skepdude blog here and here.
George, thanks for the laughs. Too bad you can’t properly receive these thanks now, as you yourself knew. And even though this sort of talk makes no sense, somehow it seems the right thing to say: Rest in Peace!
In Britain at least, and the results are a little speculative, so come to think about it, my title is quite a bit exagerated! The Telegraph reports that:
More than half of Britons think Christianity is likely to have disappeared from the country within a century, according to a survey.
Research by the Orthodox Jewish organisation Aish found that just over a third of people thought religions like Christianity and Judaism would still be practiced in Britain in 100 years’ time.
Research published earlier this year suggested that church attendance is declining so fast that the number of regular churchgoers will be fewer than those attending mosques within a generation.
If there ever was a time for the non-religious to pray, I think that time has come! Let us bow our heads in hopeful prayer (I had to make some small changes to the original prayer which you’ll see in bold):
Our Father, who art not in heaven
forgotten be thy Name,
thy kingdom won’t come,
thy will won’t be done,
neither on earth nor in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bullshit
And forgive us our credulous stupidity,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.
And lead us not into the Church,
but deliver us from its evil.
For thine is the fake kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
for ever and ever.
- One dead donkey, 15 child brides-In Pakistan a dead donkey has sparked a feud between clans, which has resulted in 13 deaths over 8 years. It was finally settled …by 15 child brides between the ages of 3 and 10 ! – 15 human beings to settle an argument over a dead ass! Unbelievable!
- American school teaches that it is ok to kill – Text books at a private Islamic school in northern Virginia teach students that it is permissible for Muslims to kill adulterers and converts from Islam, and that Muslims are permitted to take the lives and property of those deemed “polytheists.” – They have a poll on the website asking if this school should be shut down. What do you think?
- Smart people less likely to believe in God – Professor Lynn, who has provoked controversy in the past with research linking intelligence to race and sex, said university academics were less likely to believe in God than almost anyone else. Professor Lynn said most primary school children believed in God, but as they entered adolescence – and their intelligence increased – many started to have doubts. – Ok, ok besides the fact that we’d like the results to be true, let’s be fair and point out a couple of things. First of all this was just a survey, not an actual study of any sort. Second, he did not measure IQs, he simply deduced that piece of information. So, while most atheists I’ve met tend to be smart, I do know quite a few that are dumb as bricks, so I’m not sure there is a direct correlation there.
- Unlicensed Chiropractor kills man – A 76-year-old man operating an unlicensed chiropractic clinic out of his Oak Park, Calif., garage is suspected of killing one of his patients with a neck manipulation, according to Sacramento police. – Now I don’t want to pick on chiropractors, but when I read the word “unlicensed” it made me laugh, until I read the rest of the story. But seriously, does the word “licensed” even make any sense before words such as chiropractor, homeopath, accupuncturer?
- Licensed chiropractor paralyzes woman – A woman who says she became paralyzed after having her upper spine manipulated is suing the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors and the provincial government for half a billion dollars. “[I want] chiropractors to stop neck manipulation,” she says in the video posted on YouTube by rabbletv.ca. “Look what you did to me.”- I told you the word “licensed” is meaningless when it comes to quacks!
- Gay brains similar to oposite sex brains – The scans reveal that in gay people, key structures of the brain governing emotion, mood, anxiety and aggressiveness resemble those in straight people of the opposite sex. – Oh shit, you’re telling me they’re not immoral? Now how are they supposed to burn in hell for eternity, if it’s not even their choice? It has got to be wrong!
- Norway law legalizes gay marriage – Gay couples in Norway will be granted the same rights as heterosexuals to marry, adopt and undergo artificial insemination under a new equality law passed Tuesday. – I always said that the Nordic countries are way up there when it comes to being civilized societies. They enjoy a level of open-mindedness and democracy, we can only dream off in the USA, or so I’ve been told, and this bit of news reinforces that belief.
- Careful what you wear in Iran – Police closed dozens of clothing stores and hairdressers and stopped cars and pedestrians in a crackdown on women who do not abide by Iran’s strict Islamic dress code and men wearing fashions seen as too Western, Iranian media reported Monday. – Closing down shops, even arresting people for their clothes? Hmm, and we are supposed to believe that their uranium enrichment is for generating electricity?
- Saudi woman arrested for driving to pick up her husband –She was stopped by a police patrol after driving six miles to collect her husband near their home in the town of Buraida. As her ‘legal guardian’ he had to sign a declaration that he would not let his wife drive again. – Wow, crime must really be at a low in that part of the word, since policy got nothing better to do than arresting women for driving and wearing regular clothes.
- The Pope Cologne is here – We believe that we have succeeded in capturing the same fragrance that he and those around him enjoyed so long ago. This is a truly extraordinary cologne with surprising freshness and notes of violet and citrus. – Who the hell would want to smell like anyone from 150 years ago? Well it turns out these these people would. Weird, weird shit!
- Teacher who burned cross sign on student arms fired – The school board of a small central Ohio community voted unanimously today to fire a teacher accused of preaching his Christian beliefs despite staff complaints and using a device to burn the image of a cross on students’ arms. Freshwater used a science tool known as a high-frequency generator to burn images of a cross on students’ arms in December, the report said. Freshwater told investigators he simply was trying to demonstrate the device on several students and described the images as an “X,” not a cross. But pictures show a cross, the report said. – I say they should use the same device to burn “666” right on his forehead, but I think I’m being too harsh….nah I’m not, he deserves it. There’s more to the story. Apparently that’s not it. A lawsuit has been filed. The allegations assert that during the 2007-08 school year Freshwater violated the United States Constitution as well as the policy of the Mount Vernon School district, and has not been disciplined for those violations. According to the complaint, previous to April 2008 Freshwater displayed the Ten Commandments, religious posters and Bible passages within his classroom and kept several Bibles in his classroom which were not for his personal use. The suit further states that Freshwater taught intelligent design as early as 2003 and told students that information in the textbooks is wrong or not proven according to the Bible.