Talk:Biblical scientific foresight/Archive 3

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Anti-BSF position and attribution

A Christian website which got 90,000 visitors a month and nearly a million hits a month in 2004 is putting the CreationWiki BSF article at at 4 locations on their website and probably doing it today.

I am working on getting the BSF material article in Answers in Genesis and True

Perhaps, in the future there will be more attributions for the anti-BSF position regardless of their validity. Perhaps, MickWest merely needs to be patient.

ken 19:40, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo super! Maybe they can link to Wikipedia as well. Anyway, what about the Egyptian material - where shall we put it? MickWest 19:44, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
Each day has enough trouble of its own. Perhaps instead of chomping at the bit to get the article open you should reflect upon the attribution policy.
ken 19:49, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
I will reflect on it (you will note the Egyptian material is attributed). Perhaps you might reflect on why all the best articles in Wikipedia lack attribution? MickWest 19:56, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
I am not interested in viewing your "best Wikipedia articles" where unscholarly irrational exhuberance runs amok with non-attribution gay abandon. If I want to read such material, I can go to the super market and read the National Enquirer.
ken 20:09, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
I certainly try to avoid making this article something where unscholarly irrational exhuberance runs amok with non-attribution gay abandon. So, would you agree that the way you write your article is at odds with the best articles on Wikipedia? MickWest 20:14, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
I once again stand by a previous post.
I wrote:

to: MickWest

I have Lancet, Dr. Macht, Biblical Archaeological Review, medical historians, other medical journals, science studies, etc. etc. to support BSF.

You, on the other hand, to support the anti-BSF position primarily have Mr. Till, a ex Church of God fundamentalist preacher with a Masters in English; IBSS who only provides a bibliography for one of their articles; Skeptics Annotated Bible which if I am not mistaken is not too often, if ever, cited by academia; Mary Douglass; and Dennis McKinsey, a man I could find not easily find a bio on.
I know you are struggling to support the anti-BSF position and want to do original research in hopes of finding something, but you can't.
ken 20:41, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
What I'm interested to know is why the burden of proof is on the anti position. Why does any source in favour of what most mainstream theologians would consider nonsense acceptable, yet any source contrary to it must be questioned and properly cited? Why Ken, are you not trying to achieve consensus and dialogue on this instead of posting these monotonous Usenet-style monologues asserting your position? Dunc| 20:53, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
Aren't you the guy who you sent rude mails to my userpage? In short, I find your encouragement to dialogue a hollow post.
Here is an excerpt from your last message to my userpage:

"Look mate, I can respect you for not losing your rag. Now, I'm fairly clueless about this whole matter, but having dealt with a lot of creationist nonsense, I think the nonsense threshold of fundies is low."

I do thank you for not writing any more mail to my userpage as I found them rather boorish and inane. Perhaps, the warning involving getting other admins involved was the reason why your mails ended? Good guess? I think it is.
ken 21:15, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
to: mickwest
Thanks for the "Bruno" info.
Here is followup link:
Perhaps the Egyptians learned cicumcision from the Jews! More research might be helpful.
ken 21:36, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Anyone can make the mistake of violating Wikipedia:No personal attacks in the heat of the debate - indeed, I believe you yourself, Ken, were warned by an admin to stop being rude. Yet we don't hold it against you, and we would still like to engage you in a dialog towards a common framework for getting the protection removed. MickWest 21:38, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
to: mickwest
I am sure dunc is happy you are speaking for him as he is rather speechless at this time. 21:52, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

Ken -- I think that a key problem may stem from a misunderstanding on your part as to how Wikipedia functions.
First, you do a great deal of research, and that's good. But not everything in an article needs to be "sourced", particularly if it's a commonly accepted "mainstream" idea (i.e., the Law of wouldn't need to reference Newton when mentioning this Law). I think your demands are a bit high, running counter to Wikipedia practice.
Second, Mick (et al) have as much right as you to edit this (or any article) as he or they see fit. If he doesn't source everything, that's not necessarily wrong or bad. Every time you remove his edits for being unsourced, you violate the "spirit" of Wikipedia, which is cooperation above almost everything else. Remember, the bottom of every edit page contains the following: If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, do not submit it. When you create or edit a page, others will make edits you don't like. Wikipedians believe that this cooperative spirit will result in generally excellent articles. Duncharris was correct in asking you to achieve and abide by consensus. You have chosen to write about a topic that has very little support in both science and need to expect the changes. Remember that what you call the "anti-BSF position" could also be called "mainstream science" or "most Christians" or "the bulk of the Christian theological consensus". That will affect editing (as it should).
Finally, please examine some of the articles Mick listed earlier. They are fine articles. They are sourced, but not overly so. They also attempt to be concise, and not exhaust the subject. In particular, Presuppositional apologetics was written largely by a colleague (Flex) with whom I have had disagreements (he is a Calvinist; I believe in Jesus Christ am an Arminian), and, while I don't agree with much of the topic, it's a well written piece. Likewise Revised Standard Version (which I also commend to you as one of the best 2 or 3 English translations of the Bible...but that's another story).
I say all this to you because I believe that if an arbiter is called in, you may be the one who "gets in trouble" and is found in violation. Please prayerfully review these suggestions. Peace...KHM03 21:55, 16 September 2005 (UTC)
to: KMH03
You wrote:

"You have chosen to write about a topic that has very little support in both science and need to expect the changes."

I don't really believe you read the articles enough to comment on it. You restored my material so it appeared two times in the essay and you said it was from authoritative sources so it would help make the article more NPOV. Well those were BSF sources and it supported the BSF position. Obviously, I didn't want to delete them.
Secondly, I do understand Wikipedia. The rules are posted to show how articles should be done.
Thirdly, Wikipedia says minority view articles give the right of the minority view to go into great detail and there is no limit to Wikipedia.
Fourthly, I have no problem with cooperation within the rules. 23:23, 16 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Ken, how can we believe you will abide by Wikipedia policy when you compare the very best wikipedia articles to the National Enquirer, calling them articles "where unscholarly irrational exhuberance runs amok with non-attribution gay abandon". Clearly you have no regard for Wikipedia, and so your insistance on your own interpretation of a rule cannot be given any weight.
I would like to assume good faith on your part, but to do this I must see some evidence of compromise. Some constructive suggestion somewhere, not a meaningless appeal to authority, but something regarding some specific material. Perhaps you could start by proposing a paragraph on early evidence of BSF beliefs to replace the section you deleted? William Harvey is a good starting place. MickWest 01:13, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

to: mickwest
I found your last post rather inaccurate.
Here is what I exactly said:

"I am not interested in viewing your "best Wikipedia articles" where unscholarly irrational exhuberance runs amok with non-attribution gay abandon. If I want to read such material, I can go to the super market and read the National Enquirer."

In short, your best Wikipedia articles are not necessarily the true best Wikipedia articles.
And again, sticking to Wikipedia rules will produce an exemplary Wikipedia BSF article. So far nobody has stated why this is not so and I believe they never will. I think Wikipedia knows how good Wikipedia articles are written!
ken 01:52, 17 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Well, I'd say my best article is David Macht - what wrong with that?
MickWest 03:43, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

attribution policy and how to proceed

Regarding NPOV: Our WP:NPOV policy doesn't mean, that the article should look like a battle between different POVs. The primary ideal of NPOV, is that the article distances itself from the subject and describes it in a neutral way. Put it under the microscope so to say. This won't work unfortunately for very disputed areas, but should still be our guideline. The worst options is always to have two entirely unrelated parts in the article, each exposing one POV.

Regarding attribution: Mostly all is said above. Please don't try to use attribution policy to effectively claim ownership of an article.

Regarding level of detail: It is in fact contrary to the principle of an encyclopedia to add more and more areas and expose all arguments pro and contra regarding them. Besides one or two of claims, obviously those which got the most attention, the other claims should be just a list without going into details.

Pjacobi 09:10, 17 September 2005 (UTC)

Toward unprotection

talk_page state prior to the removal of the material.

Talk page

  1. the section headed #Kdbufallo RFC removed, with the exception of this subsection, on the grounds that it is off-topic material. This section will remain for historical purpose only, with a link to the talk page history for reference.
  2. Talk page guidelines adhered to, with discussion threaded under appropriate headers. Because of the esoteric and controversial nature of this article, and the amount of off-topic and duplicated discussion that has gone on, this will be a firm rule for my purposes. The existing talk was reformatted to conform more nearly to this guideline. Compare the diff.
  3. Any further sections will not have usernames in the header. The discussion will be threaded for ease of comprehension, and not for airing complaints against users. Thread the discussions according to topic, and avoid breaking the thread except for the sake of "ease of comprehension". Use the TOC as a guide for what constitutes "ease of comprehension".
  4. WP:NPA will be enforced (and I also am subject to the same rule.)


  1. The Five Pillars are not negotiable. It is a firm rule that, Besides those five foundational standards, there are no firm rules. Accordingly, I would place particular emphasis on the following points:
    1. All editors must strive for accuracy.
    2. Cite verifiable, authoritative sources whenever possible, especially on controversial topics.
    3. Be open, welcoming, and inclusive. Encourage one another toward boldness in editing. 3RR will be enforced.
    4. Users are reminded to make it a matter of principle to revise material, rather than to delete it.

This is not "my" page, and I am not acting in the capacity of a Mediator. Any user, other admin or the ArbComm may interfere at any time, to any effect they have the power to accomplish, adding to my conditions or ignoring them, including unprotecting or re-protecting the page, blocking users, requesting deletion of the article, or whatever they may see fit to do, without any consultation with me. However, these are my terms for unprotecting the page. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 06:33, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

What remains to be done, in order to unprotect this page? May I proceed? — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 18:52, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I have unprotected the article. Thank you for the efforts made. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 17:46, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Conservative Christianity vs. Christian right

Ken, you have point here. In as much as "Conservative Christianity" is a theological/dogmatical label, and Christian right is a political label, I'd agree that this article should better reference Conservative Christianity. Even better it should reference more specific groups, if this can be achieved. I've next to no knowledge about the religious landscape in the US, so I can't judge whether the distinction between "conservative Christianity" and "Christian right" is such a clear-cut case, or to which extent the naming is controversials, or both labels are applied to same groups, only from different observers. Anyway, yes have a pint here (I didn't check by whom, where, when and why the change was done - the current version only links to Conservative Christianity). BTW, in Germany those group would likely to be classified as Christian Fundamentalist - being a fundamentalist is nothing wrong in itself. --Pjacobi 16:17, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Minority views

Now you say BSF is minority. Does the Bible say the universe had a beginning? Do scientist increasing speak about this matter in regards to certain pieces of evidence? Did I cite major medical historians stating the Bible was ahead of its time? I did. Now I cannot help people's ignorance regarding some of these matters but I am not going to let it decide for me my position.

Secondly, you keep saying over and over about BSF being the minority view in Christendom. I say, "So what?" Am I supposed to follow "the herd". If I were to follow the herd mentality to its logical conclusion I would be headed for hell right now. Jesus said, "Many are called but few are chosen."

Is this a minority view article protected under the Wikpedia minority view article rule? Yes.

In short, please stop stating its a minority view. I know this. I see it as irrelevant as I can cite over and over again where the minority view was right. I regret having to tell you this but there are a huge amount of majority views were once minority views. Its irrelevant. BSF is a multidisciplinary issue and it is not surprising to me that it is minority. I think this should be a evidential issue and not a polling booth.

So let me make this point clear. I know its minority. I am not concerned in respects to its legitimacy or illegitimacy.

ken 17:58, 19 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

There is no "Wikpedia minority view article rule". This seems to be a central misunderstanding under your side. There is a rule, how to handle minority views and KMH03 tried to clarify this in his posting above. --Pjacobi 18:11, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
to: pjacobi

"None of this, however, is to say that minority views cannot receive as much attention as we can possibly give them on pages specifically devoted to those views. There is no size limit to Wikipedia. But even on such pages, though a view is spelled out possibly in great detail, we still make sure that the view is not represented as the truth." [1]

The preceding unsigned comment was added by kdbuffalo (talk • contribs) .
Yes, this says, we can add an article which has to follow the usual policy of Wikipedia. There is no separate class of "minority view articles" which follow another policy, like "sympathetic point of view", as in WikInfo. --Pjacobi 07:44, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I think to arrive at a point of accuracy to satisfy the admin's requirement for unprotection, Ken needs to acknowledge that he fully understands the clause he keeps cutting and pasting:
But even on such pages, though a view is spelled out possibly in great detail, we still make sure that the view is not represented as the truth." [2]
The section I bolded is "we still make sure that the view is not represented as the truth." I'm not certain that Ken acknowledges this part. It means that we don't re-enact this debate, at least not in the main article space. We just describe it. It is enough to say, for example, that some people believe that sanitation laws in the Torah are evidence that the bible anticipated germ theory. We don't need to give all the evidence that this truly represents foresight or does not represent foresight, we just need to say that some people believe that it does represent foresight. And we need to honestly report how widely believed this opinion is. Take a look at the creationism article, I think they've done a pretty good job with that contentious topic. We can do as well here, if everyone acknowledges policy.The Hokkaido Crow 18:55, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Creationists may find that page frustrating; but the point is that they continue to edit the article, and to provide insight into the position with which they sympathize. Creationism has long stood as a classic example of Wikipedia values at work, and in fact has provided the testing ground for developing and continuing to improve the standards and guidelines of the project, to make sure that such controversial topics are handled in a neutral and informative way.
As such, Creationism is a touchstone, for understanding how the community interprets the "minority view" guideline (among other guides). — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 19:06, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Collaboration on Facts

I think since MickWest and I have largely researched and presented the issue. I think the following conversation (which I don't think MickWest would mind me sharing) would be helpful:

1. You wrote:

"So, I'd like to cut back on the "evidence" war, and try to collaborate with you on describing the known facts."

I don't see it as a war. I think the evidence/non-evidence is the central issue though. In short, I think a prophecy article should focus on prophecy and a BSF article should mainly focus on the issue of BSF. I do think both parties cannot editorialize here but "just the facts" Ma'am and cite supporters/expert opinion/detractors which encyclopedias do.

2. You next wrote:

What is BSF?

I think we agree on this largely and it should take one sentence.

3. You next wrote:

What types of claims does BSF make?

I think this will take care of itself. Just bring them up.

4. You next wrote:

What are the earliest examples of BSF?

I know this is important to you. If you want to include it, it doesn't matter to me. A lot of people are interested in history.


Who promotes BSF now?

I think 99.9% people already know this and we don't have to belabor the point but I have no problem with it being mentioned. We needn't say Buddhist don't generally promote it etc. etc. I think Wikipedia generally belabors this point whereas other encyclopedias do not.

I think the following people mainly promote it: People who believe the Bible is inspired and scientifically accurate. I suppose there may be other factors but we have no real solid data here and it would be guessing. I guess if you wanted to belabor the point you could say a good God who wanted to offer preventative medicine or evidence of his existence but this could go on and on.

6. You then wrote:

Who has opposed BSF and why?

I think most people know the scoop here as well as far as main opposers. People who don't think the Bible is inspired and people who think it is scientifically inaccurate. I don't think we need to belabor the point here as well. Otherwise, we start getting into radiometric dating versus young earth dating etc etc etc etc. I will add though that you are not "parallel". You wrote: "Who promotes BSF now?" You then wrote: "Who has opposed BSF and why?" As far as the "why" I don't think we should get into the "dogmatic right wing fundamentalist in a pickup truck" versus the "militant atheist, etc etc etc drama. It is just unnecessary. Logicians call this a genetic fallacy. There is no reason to start WWIII here.

7. You then wrote:

Where can I find out more?

I think we do the job for the most part here via our links.

8. You then wrote:

I'd like to do this without arguing for or against the validity of the claims of BSF, but in a way that simply describes the topics in a way that is not contended. And where there is contention, we describe the nature of the contention rather than arguing for one side or another.

I don't think we need to argue. Just present the info and let people decide for themselves. I desire no arm twisting or carnival barking.

Lastly, I do see over and over the dung issue being raised by BSF people. Dung is buried. Dung is not promoted in medicine etc etc Dung is "hot" to BSF people. LOL I do think though that you added something with your early sewers info which you will sadly not hear most BSF people mention probably cause they do not know. They just assume people dump their dung out the window or in some kind of outhouse. I think they assume the worst in most cases and picture third world conditions.

ken 00:35, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo


A portion of this discussion was removed. The state of the page prior to removal can be found in the history] — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 19:25, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Opponents of BSF

MickWest has suggested that we talk about who has opposed BSF. I think this will be easy. Farrell Till, MickWest, and the anonymous writer at a website MickWest has in his links. LOL Seriously, there are not many known opposers of BSF. I think why Farrell Till is the only one is because so few skeptics really have a focus on the position of Bible inerrancy/errancy. Most skeptics do Bible inerrancy/errancy as a sideline and BSF would be a sideline of a sideline. 02:18, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

We can also add Answers in Genesis :) At least regarding one old canard [3] - but that does give us one new name: Bernard Ramm, professor at Biola, on whom Bert Thompson, writer of "Christian Evidences", writes: On the other hand, there are those who contend that there are virtually no examples of real scientific foreknowledge in the sacred writings (Ramm, 1954; England, 1983, pp. 144-145). Bernard Ramm even has gone so far as to state that “the Spirit of God did not convey the inner constitution of things to the authors of the Bible, but...the infallibly inspired theological truth is conveyed in the cultural terms of the cultural period of the writer” (p. 86).
Ramm's book is "The Christian View of Science and Scripture", 1954
MickWest 02:51, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Bernard Ramm

I read a essay on Bible inerrancy in regards to Bernard Ramm. I think he mainly argues that sometimes the Bible merely records people's superstitions and errant notions but does not endorse them. For example, mandrakes were aphrodisiacs to ancient Semetics but it is not really an aphrodisiac.
I do think we are straying from BSF here and getting into inerrancy.
ken 03:03, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I read your comment on Ramm more closely last night and I think he could be listed as somewhat of an opponent of BSF.
Here is why: Bert Thompson, writer of "Christian Evidences", writes: On the other hand, there are those who contend that there are virtually no examples of real scientific foreknowledge in the sacred writings (Ramm, 1954; England, 1983, pp. 144-145). Bernard Ramm even has gone so far as to state that “the Spirit of God did not convey the inner constitution of things to the authors of the Bible, but...the infallibly inspired theological truth is conveyed in the cultural terms of the cultural period of the writer” (p. 86). Ramm's book is "The Christian View of Science and Scripture", 1954
Thompson used the word "virtually".

Proponents of BSF

MickWest has suggest we talk about who has promoted BSF.

Here is what I said additionally:

I am speculating that Grant Jeffrey made the dung/medicine issue more popular since "Signature of God" was a best seller. But I could be wrong. The Pastor and the other guy made no allusions to Jeffrey.

My guess is that in the 20th Century: Morris, Grant Jeffrey, and Alan Hayward (but probably not Hayward) made it more prominent. It seems a new push may be on (look at CreationWiki the 101 BSF advertisement for the pamphlet). If memory serves they printed up something like 100,000 of them or some big number I cannot recall.

I think BSF is really hard to track down as far as origins.

Jeffrey made some gross errors regarding Egyptian medicine. On page 167 he says "A majority of the medicine described in documents from ancient Egypt included dung". The Egyptian used a huge variety of ingredients, dung was certainly not in the majority. Of the 700 remedies in the Ebers papyrus, less than 7% included any form of dung. Hardly a "majority".
Harry Rimmer is a BSF precursour to Morris, publishing "The Harmony of Science and Scripture" in 1936.
I'm sure we can't get a definitive answer to "how did BSF start?" But we can still note the earliest examples of certain stories, like the "life is in the blood" BSF claim, which dates back to William Harvey in 1628. Also, Jonah and the Whale is sometimes quoted as BSF (although I don't really feel it qualifies). The "modern Jonah" has been extensivly researched [4].
I'd also suspect that other scientists besides Harvey would have tried to reconcile their discoveries with the Bible. I think particularly of Newton, being so devout, but probably others too.
MickWest 03:09, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Are the Jeffrey books significant? Do we have sales numbers? The Amazon sales rank doesn't look impressive. Anyway, I'd more interested to unearth earlier stuff.
A contributor of de.wikipedia volunteered the view, that BSF was a theme of Charles Taze Russell since about 1881, and in a more elaborate form in the "Das Goldene Zeitalter" (I'm not clear about the original English title) during the Joseph Franklin Rutherford. Perhaps we can attract a JW editor to give exact citations for this.
08:06, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Sources and propagation of BSF

The problem I have with the current "Sources and propogation of Biblical scientific foreknowledge".

I think generally speaking the good sources are mentioned first and then the screw ups are mentioned last in most reference works. Hence, if it is kept it should be Dr. Macht first and then Morris second. I don't think there is any disagreement that Macht is a key player as he has a whole section to himself pretty much. But it could be argued is not the best evidence provider but the best promoter. Macht outshines Morris in BSF evidentials but Morris out promotes him.

Now I do think it is fair is we mention the good/screwups of BSF proponents it is only fair to talk about the good/screwups of non-BSF people.

I see the screwups being on both sides because this is a multidisciplinary field. Did Farrell Till know about Dr. Macht? Probably not. It could be said that Farrell Till was unprepared. Was Henry Morris prepared in regards to the stars and did he know ANE and ancient Akkadian culture? Probably not.

I think the problem with the whole screwup issue is that it is largely deathly dull and does not advance/detract from the BSF/non-BSF issue. People don't focus on screwups but on the Babe Ruths in general. If some believer/skeptic "hit a homer" on BSF/non-BSF issue they would be the one who is remembered in most cases but it is hard to say. Promoters play a big part also. There is no sense having a BSF/non BSF warehouse with no salesmen to move the product so to speak.

ken 02:57, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I agree we should go with the primary sources of the claims as much as possible. There is room to talk about the mistakes and the promoters as well, as it is part of the phenomena - the repetition and amplification of mistakes, see the AiG link I posted.
MickWest 03:20, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Mickwest, did you read my screwup (people who make mistakes) commentary previously? The preceding unsigned comment was added by kdbuffalo (talk • contribs) .
Yes, the other reply ended up in the wrong section. I moved it, hopefully without messing things up again!!
MickWest 03:17, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I think the best thing to do with the screwups on the BSF and non-BSF aisles is to say BSF is multidisciplinary? Farrell Till needs to know Dr. Macht's work and Henry Morris needs to know ancient ANE culture. It is ignorance which causes BSF/Non BSF screwups. One needs to have some caution before automatically proclaiming or discounting a BSF issue. For example, the Adventist scientist didn't know squat what is kosher and non-kosher according to ANE and Jewish culture when it came to fish whereas Dr. Macht being a Jew and having a Doctorate in Hebrew Literature was much more prepared. On the other hand, Jeffrey was not aware or did not mention the antiobiotic part of dung but just stressed the tetanus. I think ignorance is the greatest enemy of BSF/non BSF particular claims. But I do think it is fair when BSF advocates mention no bad medicine.
ken 03:28, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
I don't even think the antibiotic properties of dung are particularly notable here. My favorite writer on Egyptian medicine, John F. Nunn, says of the use of excrement: "It is difficult to discern any pharmacological basis for this practice" (Nunn, Egyptian Medicine, p149). However, out of 18 pages in that book describing the MANY ingredients used, the use of excrement only takes up six lines of one page. The most commonly used ingredient was honey (very healthy, with strong anti-biotic qualities). Natron (a mixture of evaporates, basically sodium compounds), was very commonly used as an antiseptic. I could list hundreds of useful ingredients - but I'll save that for another article. Anyway - the problem with Jeffrey is not that he ignores the antibiotic qualities, but that he characterized the "majority" of Egyptian medicine as using dung. The dung is probably sometimes harmful, but is really an infrequently used, and issentially inert (often burnt or boiled) sympathetic ingredient, included more for magical placebo effects.
MickWest 04:50, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I think this is better context: John Nunn (1996) noted in his book on ancient Egyptian medicine, that formsof reptilian fluids, such as blood, excrement, and fat, were used rather

extensively in ancient Egyptian medicine. However, he wryly noted in discussing the various eye treatments which used crocodile excrement/effluences, "It is difficult to discern any pharmacological basis for this practice." (Nunn 1996: 149) taken from: ken 17:41, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I do actually think the "sources and propogation" section needs work. Morris was a bit more sophisticated in his claims than is implied here. I'll try to fix it up when things are unprotected. MickWest 17:45, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

See #Toward unprotection. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 06:33, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Claims of BSF

I've added this section for discussion, how to present the specific claims of BSF (and which).

To be most clear, this article has neither the mission nor the possibility to decide, whether the claims are right or wrong. I therefore wouldn't do the pro and con arguments in an extensive way. A reference to the earliest (or an early) proponent of this view and popular contempary treatment would be fine.

On the other side, it is mostly pointless to "refute" each single argument. Only if there is known refutation (attempt) of high notability, it should be mentioned. The scientific consensus view of the matter is typically (or at least hopefully) seen in the main article on the subject matter, which will be wikilinked.

Summary: Don't present it as prooven. Don't bring your own arguments pro and con. Have a look at the wikilinked subject matter article, whether they give a useful presentation of the scientific consensus view.

Pjacobi 08:20, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree. I think I've felt compelled to added "refuting" evidence, since there is so much "pro" evidence, and I've been unsucessfull in pruning it. Really the bulk of the "evidence" currently in the article is essentially POV OR, mine included. We need to limit information (and references) to that which is directly related to BSF.
MickWest 09:04, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
I think citing expert testimony/studies is the way to avoid this problem. For example, I cited two studies regarding dung/tetanus. One does not have to say the study was wrong or right but factual comments on the study are appropriate. ken 17:09, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
But the problem here is that those studies are nothing to do with BSF! Their relevence is in part based on a mischaracterizaton of the prevelence of dung use in Egyptian medicine. Nobody doubts that applying dung to an open wound is not a good idea. But that's not an issue, nobody is even arguing that dung is anything other than useless as a medicine, the studies simply clutter up the article, obscuring the real points.
MickWest 17:41, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
BSF is pretty sparse in regards to literature and web material. But I found many internet sources on dung/medicine. Also, in the latter 20th century there seems to be only 2 books which mention BSF fairly prominently: Alan Hayword's God's Truth and Jeffrey Grant's Signature of God. And Jeffrey is not shy about "dung talk". Personally, my only previous exposure to BSF before Hayword as a evangelical Christian was in commentaries and religious tracts.ken 18:04, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

St peter and nuclear fission

Mickwest wrote:

II Peter 2:10-14 ("But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.") describes nuclear fission - the world ending in the conflagration of nuclear war.

It seems the current debate is between preterist (small eschatology "sect") and people who take the BSF view. ken 17:42, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Also, people do not think it is necessarily a nuclear war but that God could "let go" (God sustaining universe as per Colosian or Hebrews if memory serves) or cause atoms to separate. Actually, there are a host of ideas from scorched earth policy to complete unraveling of current universe if memory serves. ken 17:50, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
This is precisely what I'm talking about. How do you know this passage refers to nuclear fission when the bible doesn't even refer to atoms? Again, things like this were well-known at the time. People knew what fire did to pottery and metal. Volcanic activity was known. Can we be sure the bible wasn't referring to these things? The passage is so vague that it's easy for you to switch from theory to theory. You say it's nuclear war, but if a nuclear war doesn't happen then it's "god letting go", and if not that, maybe volcanoes. It's so vague that it can mean anything you want it to mean. The Hokkaido Crow 18:29, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

The coolest BSF claim! Jesus and oceanography

Here is something I read by a fairly prolific BSF person:


ken 17:46, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

Sorry to spoil your fun, but I'd consider this to be an example of insufficent notability of the claim. Anonymous wrote in Investigator 68 "Three of the theories — outgassing, cometary delivery and snowballs from space — have lost out as major sources of ocean water. These are the theories that seemed contrary to the Bible." just isn't relevant enough for inclusion.
And a small plea: Please try to keep your posting more compact by using less empty lines (and using :, *, # for indentations and lists.
And thank you for effectively pointing out that there is an article missing here: fr:Origine de l'eau sur la Terre and de:Herkunft des irdischen Wassers don't habe an English counterpart.
Pjacobi 18:10, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
There are two problems with this. First, and this is going to be a problem with most so-called BSF claims, that this prophecy doesn't deal with foresight. We can safely assume that storms existed in Biblical times and that their nature was knowable by any observer with a good memory or habit of making records. Thus, no foresight. And the Bible has absolutely nothing to say about what causes such storms... this information has been deduced only by technical measurements and scientific study. Thus, no science. The arguments around ancient hygeine, diet, and sanitation suffer from similar error. Second, and this is the problem with prophecy in general, that the wording is so vague that it can mean whatever one would like it to mean. This depends on interpretation, which makes it subjective, which is therefore unscientific. Nostradamus also "predicted" a lot of stuff, and the accuracy of his predictions is due partly to coincidence, partly to vagueness, and partly to things that were already known or believed at the time they were written. We forget his inaccuracies because we are amazed by the few things that have actually turned out to be correct. This error seems common to believers of religious prophecies. The Hokkaido Crow 18:15, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Sorry to spoil your fun but a person was recently looking at my CreationWiki article with the Jesus and Oceanography material link in it!. It is only a matter of time! Plus I know a person with 3 PHDs who writes for and and he can just do a rewrite! We just wrote a article together and it is being published in a journal possibly. LOL ken 18:15, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
I revised my last post. ken 18:19, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Obviously I cannot speak for CreationWiki, but we at Wikipedia try to report notability, not create it. So a specific claim should better be notable before writing it into an article. --Pjacobi 18:31, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
To avoid misunderstanding, what Pjacobi is speaking of concerns standards of "article quality" and "higher standards", not the exclusion of non-mainstream views. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 18:37, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

what exactly were the ancient egyptian/jewish cleanliness practices and when?

MickWest wrote:

"However supporters of Biblical scientific foreknowledge contend that the Biblical cleanliness laws and rituals are more detailed and efficacious than those of the Egyptians, and so are evidence of divine foreknowledge."

I think it is best to get feedback so unintentional strawmen are not created.

I think these issues are relevant:

  1. Doing all that bathing the Egyptians did requires a lot of water. In the Biblical account the ews were in the wilderness for forty years.
  2. When did the Egyptians start bathing a lot in respect to the Torah being written?
  3. The Torah is more specific. It treats a specific problem.
  4. Did the ancient Jews bathe a lot?

ken 17:04, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I just thought of something. Perhaps, ex-Egyptian slaves didn't bathe a lot! LOL ken 17:24, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I can't remember if I mentioned this before, but in History of Medicine, Lois Magner, 1992, Magner says "Cleanliness of body was even more valued by the Egyptian than by the Greeks. Rules for the disinfection of dwellings and proper burial of the dead sprang from a combination of hygienic and religious motives. Fear of exacerbating intestinal putrefaction by the ingestion of impure foods and drink encouraged protective food inspection and dietary restrictions" (I've bolded the sections that have Levitical counterparts). Unfortunately he does not give sources here - and might just be refering the the account of Herodotus from c. 450BC.
MickWest 19:38, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

Primary Source - Wilbur M. Smith

One BSF claim is that II Peter 2:10-14 ("But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with fervent heat the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.") describes nuclear fission - the world ending in the conflagration of nuclear war.

I tracked this down to a book "This atomic age and the word of God'" (Wilbur Morehead Smith, 1946), which in turn was based on a sermon Smith gave in 1945 or 1946. (Atomic bombs were only revealed to the world in August 1945 with Hiroshima). The claims in this book were addressed by Dr Alfred C. Eckert in 1951 [5].

This raises some interesting problems in how to talk about the BSF "debate". Many of the claims are rather old, some dating back to the 1940's, some much older, even back to the 1600s. The refutation of the ideas is often also rather old (like the above idea, published 1946, refuted 1951). So both the original argument and the original refutation are buried in obscure locations in the archives of various publications.

Then it seems the old arguments are often resurrected in modern times and published (by Morris, et al) without reference to the original - these ressurrected ideas are then repeated in various media as if they are new ideas. Since the original version of the idea and its refutation are forgotten, then people assume the idea is novel and uncontended. It also makes it appear like there are few "Anti-BSF" people out there, when in reality the "Anti-BSF" people did their work decades ago, and are nearly forgotten (like Eckert in this case, and the Biology department heads in the Macht case).

This is why I feel it is important to examine the history of each claim before presenting the claim as an example in the article. In many cases the history of a claim is more interesting than the claim itself. In addition this will allow us to present a general history of BSF in general.

MickWest 17:34, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

If an asteroid hits the earth or ocean waves attack cities I predict there will be a resurrection of many BSF ideas! (see Links at BSF article) LOL ken 18:11, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Disasters are often accompanied by a rise in superstition, cult activity, and religious affiliation as well as social upheaval and even war. That doesn't make any of them correct, they are just examples of human fallability in extreme circumstances.The Hokkaido Crow 18:18, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
That is true. Usually, people are more likely adhere to philosophies when they are not in foxholes. ken 18:21, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
A portion of this discussion was removed assuming mutual consent, on the grounds that it is irrelevant. The removed portion can be found in the history, hereMark (Mkmcconn) ** 01:02, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

History of BSF

I thought about this topic last night. I think rather than get bogged down too much in the history of each idea (multiple resurrections, etc) the obvious origin of BSF is the birth of science (Francis Bacon) etc. etc. combined with Christianity and sometimes Judaism. The more scientific and religious (generally Christian) a culture is the more likely BSF ideas will emerge.

Also, sometimes BSF ideas happen only much later because the scientific idea is not recognized until later (germs, mold).

I think Christianity is more rife with BSF than Orthodox Judaism is because Christianity is more evangelical and into apologetics. For example, Judaism has no hell. Generally, Orthodox Jews are not that evangelical and you are born into it. Perhaps, Dr. Macht made no attempt to publish his toxicity/kosher study except in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine.

Lastly, I think we should avoid a history of science discussion as it could get contentious. For example, Science and Christianity. I also think this is a BSF article and not a history of science article. I think if we start comparing Christianity and atheism/rationalism there will be flareups of contentiousness.

ken 18:47, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

Science and Religion are closely related, and their slow schism prompted the gradual need for scientific Biblical apologetics. I think we can describe this as a framework for the origins of BSF. It's not a "science versus religion", more a "science and religion". See Science and religion.
(BTW, Macht actually published simultaneously in the Seventh Day Adventist "Ministry Magazine" [6]).
MickWest 18:59, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
To mickwest: The problem with this view is you have to get inside people's heads. It is sociology. Did Christian's turn to BSF because Darwin made them insecure? I think that is where you are going. I have no idea the inner workings of evangelicals/fundamentalist or creationist as a whole. Some might be intimidated by Darwin but others might think he deserves little more than a horselaugh. I think this whole line of thought is speculative. I do think people who are involved in creationism and read creationist material are more interested in science than most and these people would be more apt to like BSF. After all, it is hard to have BSF without science. ken 19:25, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
It's just some historical context. Science and religion were diverging. BSF reconciles some aspects of Science and the Bible. We don't have to claim cause and effect, it's just context.\
MickWest 19:46, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
How would you like this paragraph for historical context:
The birth of science occured in the Christianized West. Many of the founders of modern science were also very interested in theology such as Mendel, Blaise Pascal, and Newton. Boyle set up Christian apologetics lectures. Babbage and Prout contributed to an apologetics series called the Bridgewater Treatises. Aggasiz, Cuvier, Fleming, Kelvin, and Linnaeus were creationists. Furthermore, many of these founders of science lived when others publicly expressed views which were at variance to Christianity - Hobbes, Hume, Darwin, etc. Boyle argued against Hobbe's materialism and Lord Kelvin argued against Charles Darwin's ideas [7]. Bible scientific foreknowledge is an augmentation of apologetics used to defend the doctrine of Biblical inspiration and Biblical inerrancy.
ken 21:01, 20 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
I like the last sentence, but the rest I have a few problems with. Firstly saying "The birth of science occured in the Christianized West" is a bit contentious. The Scientific revolution occured in mainly Europe, which was mainly christian, but science itself had been around worldwide for a while. Secondly the wealth of names mentioned assumes a lot of the reader. You should be able to make the point without naming names, then use names as examples. Thirdly, you can't really say "views which were at variance to Christianity", since that implies some objective standard of christianity. Hobbes, Hume and Darwin were all christians, of a sort, and were able to reconcile their ideas with the Bible, much as many modern Christians reconcile those same ideas with the Bible, and are still Christians.
MickWest 21:31, 20 September 2005 (UTC)
Bible prophecy has no historical context chapter before the "main event". I don't see the need to talk about the work of Copernicus and Darwin and Lyell, etc in regards to a ancient near eastern religious work having scientific foreknowledge. I see it as "jockeying for position" and trying to prejudice readers before the "main event" and we need to get away from this. This type of content is why the page was locked in the first place. ken 00:06, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Postscript. Darwin left Christianity. Check wikipedia. I don't believe Hume was a Christian. He didn't believe in miracles. I don't know anything about Hobbes. ken 00:26, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Perhaps Mickwest understands what is meant by "Bible prophecy has no historical context chapter", but I don't. Are you just saying that it is of questionable relevance to the article to talk about whether the development of Western science owes something to the Bible? — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 00:30, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
My point is we don't need to talk about David Hume, Darwin, and Nietzsche as a preface to the "main event" of talking about Bible prophecy. For example, what does Darwin have to do with mold/Leviticus/indoor air quality coming to the public's attention in the 1970's? What does Lyell have to do with toxicities of kosher and non-kosher meat and what Dr. Macht found? It is an ancient near east text. If God wanted to help the Jews though preventative advanced medicine that is the issue and not Charles Darwin or radiometric dating methods versus young earth dating methods.ken 00:53, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
What Hume, Darwin, Lyell and radiometric dating methods have to do with these things is that they contributed to an increasingly scientific and materialistic world view that may have prompted people to look for scientific explanations (rather than spiritual explanations) of Bible verse. It's not the narrow points you list, but rather a general point about the increasing discord between scientific and Biblical world-views. A broader overview is more suited to the article, since it is about BSF, and not an argument for BSF. MickWest 01:01, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
You wrote: What Hume, Darwin, Lyell and radiometric dating methods have to do with these things is that they contributed to an increasingly scientific and materialistic world view that may have prompted people to look for scientific explanations (rather than spiritual explanations) of Bible verse."
Materialism and science are separate issues . I think you need to show internal discord prompting BSF proponents to look for or fallaciously create BSF arguments. This is the work of sociologists. If "Darwinism" would have never arrived does this mean that science would have stopped dead in its tracks and Dr. Macht and others would have not came up with BSF material? If people want Western Civ history of science info it is available. We don't have to make sure people know about Darwin before they see if a ancient near east religious text has scientific foreknowledge. ken 01:13, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo
Alright, this is indented enough. Let's leave this argument for now and not add any historical context. We can add the history of some individal claims at some point. But right now I'd like to focus on shrinking the article. Can you look at "can we make this smaller?", below.
MickWest 01:27, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

You don't need to indent forever, if it starts not to make sense.

Convention sometimes endorses a "back and forth" ...

... like this, if it better serves the discussion. — Mark (Mkmcconn) ** 17:50, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

Can we make this smaller?

Look at the section Biblical_scientific_foreknowledge#Objections_to_the_common_knowledge_argument. This is a long rambling section (with 12 references) which basically says:

  1. The Egyptians used dung in some of their medicine for no apparent reason
  2. Dung is bad for you and can cause tetanus if it contacts a open wound
  3. The Bible did not use dung, focussing on preventative medicine.
  4. Some people consider this a great advance over the Egyptian medicine.
  5. There is debate about the dating of Egyptian and Biblical timelines.

So, my question here to Ken is: why can't we just say this? Formatted nicely into one paragraph, with no references? Nobody is disputing any of the above. The above list is basically commonly accepted facts. Nobody is arguing about these things.

I think the ability to reach some kind of compromise here regarding this kind of compression of the article is the real issue here. I would edit things down as I suggest - but Ken has stated he does not want any of this material removed. So what is to be done? Is a compromise possible? Ken would you like to make suggestions on how were might re-format the material in a neater manner?

MickWest 01:18, 21 September 2005 (UTC)

I think the main points of medicine are: 1. Do no harm 2.Be effective. I take a paragraph to talk about this in relation to Egyptian/Hebrew medicine with footnotes. I don't see you asking to remove your ziggarat and other info. You constantly want to remove the fact that the Torah has no harmful medicine despite the fact that many BSF sources stress this. I could see condensing the Egptian timelines/Mosaic authorship with a footnote to CreationWiki so people could know more. But the point is you constantly want to chop my material but somehow the ziggarats never get mentioned. ken 01:29, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I made a mistake. I saw there was more info.

Here are three paragraphs on dung/tetanus:

"In 1978, a comparative study of urban and rural tetanus in adults was done to study such parctices as applying cow dung to wounds, ear piercing and tatooing, and chronic ear infections and according to the study these were important factors in developing tetanus. (Mamtani R, Malhotra P, Gupta PS, Jain BK., A comparative study of urban and rural tetanus in adults. Int J Epidemiol. 1978 Jun;7(2):185-8).

According to a study on Pakastani caregivers who use topical antibiotics for their babies circumcision wounds instead of using dung, ghee, urine etc, they prevent that babies from getting neo natal tetanus.[6] Frank J. Snoek, PHD. in the publication Diabetes Spectrum wrote that he believed that Egyptian medicine which used fly specks, fly dung, lizard blood, swine teeth, and other such remedies could be harmful.[7] Also, the Ebers papyrus has incantations meant to turn away disease-causing demons and other superstition, but there is also evidence of empirical practice and observation.

Critics of Bible scientific foreknowledge point to the Edwin Smith papyrus and the Ebers papyrus which contain a certain degree of accurate medical knowledge. For example, the Ebers Papyrus gives a accurate description of the circulatory system and refers to such things as diabetes mellitus. [42] Earlier it was pointed out that Homer's Odyssey states that "the Egyptians were skilled in medicine more than any other art". Also Egyptian pharmocology practiced sewer pharmacology and other practices which the previously mentioned medical experts said could be harmful or were ineffective."

Here is my suggestion on condensing these three paragraphs:

Ancient Egyptian medicine did use such items as fly specks, various types of dung, lizard blood, swine teeth, and other such remedies which some studies/medical sources claim may be harmful.(Footnotes).

ken 01:50, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

That sounds like an excellent start. Hopefully we can do some similar summations with other parts of the article that got a little out of hand with our back and forth quibbling. I think that by presenting the information in this more accessible way (without removing information, just condensing it) it will open the subject to a wider readership.
MickWest 02:29, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
I condensed the afore mentioned three paragraphs but I saw there was no need to condense the Egyptian chronology/documentary hypothesis/mosaic authorship material as it is only one sentence. ken 18:34, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I made title and article more NPOV

I do think it is a good idea to resume things in a NPOV manner and so I did some efforts today in that direction. It would be nice to see this continue. I made some earlier comments regarding this matter. Please implement the strawman earlier comments. ken 18:24, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo

I don't think this name change is a good idea. Firstly there is no need for the "Claimed", as that makes the title MORE pov, not less. Secondly: "foreknowledge" seems a much more appropiate word than "foresight". Foreknowledge implies some specific knowledge, whereas to me, foresight just implies some general awareness of, and preperation for, future events. I have the foreknowledge that a new season of ER is starting, I have the foresight to buy more coffee before I run out.
Plus, it's confusing to readers and editors to change the title of an article, and might be considered rude to have done so without getting feedback first. I'd like to go back to the old title, or at least loose the "Claimed".
MickWest 18:51, 21 September 2005 (UTC)
Once again, kdbuffalo wil show his penchant for compromise and his generous nature. :) So let it be written, so let it be done. The compromise will be implemented. "Biblical scientific foresight" and the claimed will be dropped. I think that is a better title as it emcompasses a whole body of knowledge. Anyways, I will implement the compromise. ken 19:29, 21 September 2005 (UTC)kdbuffalo