Naïve Bible Skepticism
Earlier today someone came here after a Google search on "fiery furnace Daniel scientific explanation". Meanwhile James Cameron is producing a 90 minute documentary on natural causes that might explain the weird goings-on in Exodus. And a recent paper in the Journal of Paleolimnology attempts to explain Jesus's water-walking with a patch of floating ice.
These people are skeptical of supernatural claims, I'll give them that. Very good. But they're doing it all wrong. There is in fact no need to search for natural explanations for any of the supernatural events in the Bible, because they're fiction. From a historian's point of view, the Bible books are mostly just bad source material: not contemporary with the events they describe, not written by knowledgeable observers, badly biased in favour of the supernatural, strongly influenced by literary conventions. Looking for the science behind Exodus is just naïve. James Cameron might as well try to find out how Sauron's ring worked or where Hogwarts School of Magic is located.
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