Is it mathematically posible for Noah and his sons to have populated the earth?

by Fisherman 51 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • TD

    Kinda my point. An intelligent person can step outside the boundaries of the natural world as we know it (i.e. by indulging in either a preternatural or a supernatural explanation) but the instant you do that, all bets are off. If the "rules" can bent or broken or even simply assumed to be different, then there's not much point in discussing mathematical possibilities.

  • Diogenesister
    Anony mous So you needed to produce a lot of babies just to replace yourself and then the women had a 15-25% chance at death every birth which would stop further reproduction.

    Was going to say, that definitely would be a massive factor. I certainly wouldn't have made it past 22, nor my first child. Unless I'd had a very skilled midwife, given I had a breach and would have hemorrhaged had someone not manually delivered my placenta. Therefore neither would the twins who came next been born☠️

  • Fisherman
    If the "rules" can bent or broken then there's not much point in discussing mathematical possibilities.

    God does not exist in the lab when taking a measurement
    therefore a doctor is not looking for a miracle to treat disease. He doesn’t factor in God. WT commentary concludes that the Bible is in phase with science so that means that the story of Noah should also be within the realms of natural rules of possibility therefore the whole story of Noah —not just in populating the earth— needs to be naturally possible and cannot conflict with science even if arguably so and not need a miracle to make some parts fit in, the animals in the ark, the lifespan of humans, the waters covering the earth, the genetics of Noahs 3 sons and their 3 wives, etc. Is the story of Noah arguably possible within the explanation of science, WT believes it is—at this time. Dinosaurs thrived in the north pole at one time.

  • TonusOH
    Fisherman: WT commentary concludes that the Bible is in phase with science

    I don't see how they can conclude that. They can claim it, and possibly even believe it if they try hard enough. But if they need "God used a miracle" to cover for any explanation that falls short, then the Bible is not in phase with science. If they need "God's ways are mysterious" to patch over any gaps, then the Bible is not in phase with science. Throwing darts at a chart might occasionally get you a useful result, but it's not a reliable way to learn or progress.

  • TD

    To be honest, Fisherman, plausibility doesn't seem to be a huge consideration for JW writers.

    I've pointed this out on a closely related subject more than once.

  • luckynedpepper
    I look at the sun but the sun in not actually there because I am looking at the sun in the past. If the sun suddenly disappeared from the sky, I would still see it and experience its physical effects from its past existence. —So it is observed vis-à-vis reality.

    Only for 8 minutes or so, then you have the empirical evidence that the sun is indeed gone.

  • peacefulpete

    I just used my mind and levitated a glass that was 3.6 meters away, 2.3 meters into the air. The glass held 350ml of water. The water turned into 3.345 ml of blood. My living room is 4 meters wide and ceiling is 2.9 meters tall. The glass is a 450ml glass. Everyone ought to believe my story because it is mathematically possible.

  • Fisherman

    Dr. TD,

    Thank you for your elegant and informative inked commentary.

    it is a complete repudiation of the argument of intelligent design

    We have scientists that understand this, and so do our commentators who interpret what the Bible means and their role is not defense lawyer, they personally have to be convinced—like me. In my previous post I highlighted (and it is axiomatic professor, that you understand this) a distinction between what the Bible says and interpretation of the evidence. Our position as JW is that we consider the Bible inspired and infallible, the word of God: 2 Peter 1:20,21. That is our premise, that is our evidence, that is our rule and method and approach when we interpret the Bible —2Timothy 3:16. ( For example, if you carefully notice the wording in the Insight Book article commenting on the story of Noah, it doesn’t try to refute the science that challenges the story, basically it says that the Bible claims to be inspired and that is what the Bible says in the story of Noah. JW are not making that claim, the Bible is and JW did not write the story of Noah, it is given to us and validated by the prophet Isaiah, Jesus and the writings of the Apostles, all having their credentials validated with empirical evidence from God recorded in the Bible. JW method uses the rule that the information in the Bible is true so it doesn’t try to contradict what the Bible says although what the Bible means might be subjective. The story of Noah is not allegorical according to the Bible, it is historical. But you remarkably showed in your well written linked article professor that the biology and physiology of the eating and digestive mechanisms of animals could only have been designed for that special purpose vis-à-vis the Word of God that says all animals ate vegetation prior to the flood. How would you interpret that with the given parameters, though?

    It is mathematically possible that Noah and his sons populated the earth. TD showed that it is not genetically possible given today’s genetics were the same at the time of the flood. But how do we know they were? I am not refuting the genetic evidence. I believe the Noah story because God’s Word says it happened. It does not say it was allegorical. However, I take note of the challenging evidence. All bets are on.

  • TD

    AFAIK, the JW's have never insisted that either the cobra or snakes in general have literal ears that can be "stopped up" despite what the Psalm says, so the JW's are clearly not adverse to more reasonable explanations.

    A JW veterinarian pointed out to them once that the restoration prophecies only state that domestic animals (e.g. sheep, cattle, goats) and people would be safe from predators and don't actually say a word about wild forms of prey. Her suggested that since "dust" as the food of snakes (Isa 65:25) can't be taken literally, then perhaps they were reading more into the verses than what was warranted. He gave many more examples of how literal interpretations contradict arguments for creation and how examples of "Jehovah's wisdom" that JW publications routinely pointed to (i.e. shark and remora, oxpecker bird and rhino, scavengers of all types, etc.) could not have been designed under that model.

    In the end however, he had to acknowledge that the one thing leaders and policy makers truly hate is a smartass.

  • Magnum

    TD: "A JW veterinarian pointed out to them..."

    Any way I can get more info about that? Is he still a JW?

    The subject of animal predation and when animals started preying on each other was an issue that almost prevented me from getting baptized as a JW 40 years ago. I just never could accept the JW teaching that animals didn't start preying on each other until after the supposed rebellion in the Garden of Eden (or after the flood). There was just too much evidence that they had been preying on each other for millions of years. There are so many examples of offensive and defensive capabilities in nature that couldn't have just developed in a few thousand years. Every animal I can think of has some kind of offensive or defensive capability or both. And, the defenses indicate predation since such wouldn't be needed if there were no predation. Predation is a fundamental part of the workings of the whole of the biosphere.

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