Creationists on the Square in Madison, Wisconsin

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Every Saturday on the square in downtown Madison you can find a big box covered with tired, ridiculous claims of Young Earth Creationism. Standing nearby Larry and Kevin preach the Gospel of Jesus-On-A-Triceratops to the curious and appalled alike. Together they make sort of a “good cop, bad cop” of creationism: Kevin, sort of a naive and basically likeable innocent guy, and Larry, a blustering, know-it-all whose abysmal knowledge of science is only inversely matched by his inflated sense of how much he thinks he knows. With creationists like these, who needs evolutionists.

Read a description of my encounters with them over a few weekends this summer on another server, and post your comments here at Panda’s Thumb.

319 Comments

Here in Norn, Iron Skip, we have our very own version of this:

http://creationoutreachministries.com/

“I’m used to them exclusively using second hand sources and knowing less than a zit on a rat’s ass about the topics they expound upon.”

I’m stealing this line …

“Man killed off most Dinosaurs…

1. For Meat

Hmmm…given a 40 ton chicken (like T-rex) one must wonder why so many people were starving back in our bygone days…

2. Because they were a menace

Oh I’m sure…rabbits and deer are bad enough these days. Imagine what a herd of apatosaurs would have done to a garden…

3. To be a hero (save the village)

Must have been a LOT of heroes then. Odd that not one account is recorded anywhere…

4. To prove his superiority

Well…can’t argue with this one…

5. Competition for the land

Isn’t this covered under 2. above?

Medicinal purposes

Seriously? Given the morality rate of our ancestors, just what exactly was triceratops horn, stegosaurus plate, or t-rex gallbladder used for?

Wow oh wow…just some zany stuff! Thanks for the chuckles, Skip!

So, if you don’t believe that knights of the round table killed off the dinosaurs so that they could be heroes by saving their village, feed the starving peasants and heal the sick with Tyrannosaurus testicles, YOU’RE GOING TO HELL!!

Well, I can’t fault their logic… *rolls eyes*

The question I want to ask Kevin this Saturday is if all these knights were killing off dinosaurs, and we have literally tons of artifacts from that era, why don’t we have a single bone from one of their kill as trophies? I know hunters that would mount a friggin’ squirrel!

Skip said:

The question I want to ask Kevin this Saturday is if all these knights were killing off dinosaurs, and we have literally tons of artifacts from that era, why don’t we have a single bone from one of their kill as trophies? I know hunters that would mount a friggin’ squirrel!

Either the hunters were too stupid, too humble to take trophies, or God magically poofed away the remains in order to deliberately screw with the heads of evil evolutionists.

Probably both.

I thought I was familiar with the bible, but I don’t recall any references to dinosaurs. Are there any? If not, why not?

Skip said:

The question I want to ask Kevin this Saturday is if all these knights were killing off dinosaurs, and we have literally tons of artifacts from that era, why don’t we have a single bone from one of their kill as trophies? I know hunters that would mount a friggin’ squirrel!

Hey man, that squirrel was like THIS BIG! It’ll perfectly next to the mounted field mouse and housefly I got earlier.

I hope someday, mythbusters does a Knight vs. T. Rex involving things like, how much armor would be needed to stop the T. Rex’s bite and how high up could a knight reach to get a vital organ.…

This would be fun.

Good write-up, Skip.

I thought I was familiar with the bible, but I don’t recall any references to dinosaurs.

Day 6, creation of land animals. Dinos included.

Robin said:

“Man killed off most Dinosaurs…

1. For Meat

Hmmm…given a 40 ton chicken (like T-rex) one must wonder why so many people were starving back in our bygone days…

2. Because they were a menace

Oh I’m sure…rabbits and deer are bad enough these days. Imagine what a herd of apatosaurs would have done to a garden…

3. To be a hero (save the village)

Must have been a LOT of heroes then. Odd that not one account is recorded anywhere…

4. To prove his superiority

Well…can’t argue with this one…

5. Competition for the land

Isn’t this covered under 2. above?

Medicinal purposes

Seriously? Given the morality rate of our ancestors, just what exactly was triceratops horn, stegosaurus plate, or t-rex gallbladder used for?

Wow oh wow…just some zany stuff! Thanks for the chuckles, Skip!

AFAIK, a full grown TRex tipped the scales at 7 tons. The 40 tonners+ were all plant eaters.

I thought I was familiar with the bible, but I don’t recall any references to dinosaurs. Are there any? If not, why not?

Hey Joel.….didn’t you know Bohemoth moveth his tail like a cedar so it mut’ve been a dino and don’t forget leviathan. It surely can’t have been anything other than a plesiosaur.

and you’re not reading your bible correctly. Aren’t dinos land animals and weren’t all land animals created on the sixth day ?

Oh, never mind. I’ve been arguing with too many YECs on Premier Christian Radio’s discussion forum. It’s beginning to get to me:

http://www.premiercommunity.org.uk/[…]ionist-fails

Day 6, creation of land animals. Dinos included.

There you are now Joel, FL will put you right.

The thing is though, FL’s serious. I’m only joking !

Skip said:

The question I want to ask Kevin this Saturday is if all these knights were killing off dinosaurs, and we have literally tons of artifacts from that era, why don’t we have a single bone from one of their kill as trophies? I know hunters that would mount a friggin’ squirrel!

That’s because I’ve made a very important discovery: Dinosaurs are the direct ancestors of RPG game monsters. When killed, they poof into sparklies instead of leaving a corpse. Pre-flood, there were a few mutants who didn’t have this gene enabled, and that’s where we get fossils from. But Noah only took purebred dinosaurs on the ark, so any further ones just sparkled into nonexistence on death. The few remaining dinosaurs in the world today are secretly held in captivity at the Square-Enix world headquarters.

But where are the unicorn fossils? The bible mentions unicorns a few times. There must be fossils of them, right? FL? Or at least someone must’ve made a trophy of a horn that would survive through the ages? Like those ram horns? Shofar, sho good.

SLC said:

AFAIK, a full grown TRex tipped the scales at 7 tons. The 40 tonners+ were all plant eaters.

Good point. Should have looked that up, but when I read Skip’s bit, I felt the need to just rattle off my comments.

Mike in Ontario, NY said:

But where are the unicorn fossils? The bible mentions unicorns a few times. There must be fossils of them, right? FL? Or at least someone must’ve made a trophy of a horn that would survive through the ages? Like those ram horns? Shofar, sho good.

No, it does not mention unicorns.

heddle said:

No, it does not mention unicorns.

I normally do not get into discussions of scripture because I know nothing about the matter, but that made me curious. According to AIG, the matter is somewhat ambiguous – it indeed does mention unicorns, but I would suspect that may have been an artifact of translation:

Some people claim the Bible is a book of fairy tales because it mentions unicorns. 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 39:9–12.1) In Job 38–41, God reminded Job of the characteristics of a variety of impressive animals He had created, showing Job that God was far above man in power and strength.2

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.

Modern readers have trouble with the Bible’s unicorns because we forget that a single-horned feature is not uncommon on God’s menu for animal design. (Consider the rhinoceros and narwhal.) The Bible describes unicorns skipping like calves (Psalm 29:6), traveling like bullocks, and bleeding when they die (Isaiah 34:7). The presence of a very strong horn on this powerful, independent-minded creature is intended to make readers think of strength.

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

The elasmotherium, an extinct giant rhinoceros, provides another possibility for the unicorn’s identity. The elasmotherium’s 33-inch-long skull has a huge bony protuberance on the frontal bone consistent with the support structure for a massive horn.4 In fact, archaeologist Austen Henry Layard, in his 1849 book Nineveh and Its Remains, sketched a single-horned creature from an obelisk in company with two-horned bovine animals; he identified the single-horned animal as an Indian rhinoceros.5 The biblical unicorn could have been the elasmotherium.6

Assyrian archaeology provides one other possible solution to the unicorn identity crisis. The biblical unicorn could have been an aurochs (a kind of wild ox known to the Assyrians as rimu).7 The aurochs’s horns were very symmetrical and often appeared as one in profile, as can be seen on Ashurnasirpal II’s palace relief and Esarhaddon’s stone prism.8 Fighting rimu was a popular sport for Assyrian kings. On a broken obelisk, for instance, Tiglath-Pileser I boasted of slaying them in the Lebanon mountains.9

Extinct since about 1627, aurochs, Bos primigenius, were huge bovine creatures.10 Julius Caesar described them in his Gallic Wars as:

“a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance, color, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied . … Not even when taken very young can they be rendered familiar to men and tamed. The size, shape, and appearance of their horns differ much from the horns of our oxen. These they anxiously seek after, and bind at the tips with silver, and use as cups at their most sumptuous entertainments.”11 The aurochs’ highly prized horns would have been a symbol of great strength to the ancient Bible reader.

One scholarly urge to identify the biblical unicorn with the Assyrian aurochs springs from a similarity between the Assyrian word rimu and the Hebrew word re’em. We must be very careful when dealing with anglicized transliterated words from languages that do not share the English alphabet and phonetic structure.12 However, similar words in Ugaritic and Akkadian (other languages of the ancient Middle East) as well as Aramaic mean “wild bull” or “buffalo,” and an Arabic cognate means “white antelope.”

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

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.

heddle said:

Mike in Ontario, NY said:

But where are the unicorn fossils? The bible mentions unicorns a few times. There must be fossils of them, right? FL? Or at least someone must’ve made a trophy of a horn that would survive through the ages? Like those ram horns? Shofar, sho good.

No, it does not mention unicorns.

Oh no? I cut and pasted this from the web, from WikiAnswers (but there were plenty of other places I could have cited for this):

“The English word unicorn occurs nine times in the KJB, and is found in Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deut. 33:17; Job 39:9,10; Psalms 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; and Isaiah 34:7.”

You’re not going to tell me it’s from the wrong translation, are you Heddle?

I would guess that the translators came upon a word they didn’t understand well or that had been garbled in its meaning over time, and just plugged in “unicorn” for want of anything better.

However, it is nonetheless true: Scripture does reference unicorns.

AIG cannot be trusted to report honestly. That piece is just a chunk of apologetics. Funny how SOME odd biblical concepts can be seen as translation errors, while other things are, if you’ll pardon me here, taken as gospel.

Mike in Ontario, NY said:

Funny how SOME odd biblical concepts can be seen as translation errors, while other things are, if you’ll pardon me here, taken as gospel.

I was thinking something along such lines.

Joel said:

I thought I was familiar with the bible, but I don’t recall any references to dinosaurs.

It’s in Genesis. Adam had to go out into the desert and call a diplodocus. He then had to use his Maker Hooks to mount it and ride it back to the garden to show Eve that he had become a man.

Mike in Ontario, NY

Oh no? I cut and pasted this from the web, from WikiAnswers

We then it must be right!

You’re not going to tell me it’s from the wrong translation, are you Heddle?

Actually, yes. First of all you have to ask what did the King James translators think a unicorn was? Did they think it was a horse-like creature with a single spiral horn? Or might they have used unicorn for an ox or rhino with a single horn? Buy even beyond that, you must go back to the Hebrew. Does the Hebrew word translated by the KJ writers as unicorn ever mean a horse-like creature (or for that matter any mythical creature) with one horn?

The answer is definitely no. Case closed. Game Over. Of course feel free to argue “the KJV says it, and they must have translated the Hebrew without error, and they must have meant by unicorn exactly what we mean by unicorn 400 years later, and any argument to the contrary is just cafeteria Christianity.”

Funny how SOME odd biblical concepts can be seen as translation errors, while other things are, if you’ll pardon me here, taken as gospel.

It is funny. It is a variant of The Ruby Tuesday Law.

heddle said:

Buy even beyond that, you must go back to the Hebrew. Does the Hebrew word translated by the KJ writers as unicorn ever mean a horse-like creature (or for that matter any mythical creature) with one horn?

OK, what’s the Hebrew term and what does it mean?

I was thinking in an analogy that if the translators had, actually, been working in Japanese instead of Hebrew and had run across the term “Kirin” – a deerlike mythological animal common to Asian cultures and somewhat well-known as label of a beer – they might have just shrugged in desperation and called it a “Unicorn”.

But the fact remains that scripture does indeed refer to unicorns. There is also the fact that people often take scripture with an extreme literalness.

But you need not argue the matter with me, because I don’t care one way or another, and if you try to argue it with me, I will tell you that again.

MrG,

OK, what’s the Hebrew term and what does it mean?

It is not always the same word that is translated as unicorn. Typically it means something like “wild bull” or “the horns of the wild ox.”

But the fact remains that scripture does indeed refer to unicorns.

No it doesn’t. A translation of scripture is not scripture. It is a translation. It is as prone to human error as any other translation of any other book. The quality depends entirely on the scholarship and the effort. Hebrew scholarship has improved dramatically over the last 400 years. The most scholarly English translations today are the NASB and the ESV. Neither of which contains “unicorn.” The KJV is probably the worst and most error prone of the mainstream English translations. Even the New King James, which is not very good, does not use unicorn..

Heddle, unless you’re a biblical scholar versed in Hebrew, you’re talking out your hat on this one. And if you ARE versed in the original texts in their native languages, I apologize, but will also request that you provide further explanation about what “unicorn” meant to the ancient Jewish peoples. For my money, ALL christianity is cafeteria christianity. No sane person could possibly believe every single word is true, and no one could possibly follow all the rules. It’s all a giant mish-mash, and that is part of the whole problem. Like that poor deluded nice-guy Kevin from the article.

I’ll ignore the smugness implied by your “case closed, game over” attitude. It reeks of the same litany I hear from the literalists: “the bible says it, I believe, and that ends it”. You do not get the last word by bully and bluster. Or smugness. More tomorrow…

Don’t argue with him Pharyngulite MrG. Heddle knows his scripture and has earned his battle stars, having done a good job in confronting Dishonesty Institute mendacious intellectual pornographer Bill Dembski in the past (A feat which not even your hero, the great cephalopod lover, has accomplished.):

MrG said:

heddle said:

Buy even beyond that, you must go back to the Hebrew. Does the Hebrew word translated by the KJ writers as unicorn ever mean a horse-like creature (or for that matter any mythical creature) with one horn?

OK, what’s the Hebrew term and what does it mean?

I was thinking in an analogy that if the translators had, actually, been working in Japanese instead of Hebrew and had run across the term “Kirin” – a deerlike mythological animal common to Asian cultures and somewhat well-known as label of a beer – they might have just shrugged in desperation and called it a “Unicorn”.

But the fact remains that scripture does indeed refer to unicorns. There is also the fact that people often take scripture with an extreme literalness.

But you need not argue the matter with me, because I don’t care one way or another, and if you try to argue it with me, I will tell you that again.

I usually tell people that I accept Kahless the Unforgettable as my Savior, except when I run into a bunch of obnoxious Xians on some New York City subway corner or in a subway station, peddling their wares. Then I tell them that I accept Lucifer as my personal Savior:

Oclarki said:

Hygaboo Andersen said:

Both PZ and John were seduced by Satan into joining his religion of evolutionism.

Wow. I need some help here…is this a serious claim or is it some too-extreme parody of how creationists express themselves?

I really hope that it is the latter.

If it is the former, though, I really do wonder why folks so readily make such unfounded and unsupported accusations, especially when their own declared spiritual gguide specifically warns that making such judgements may not be the best thing to do. Indeed, I seem to remember at least one Bibical statement about judging others.

Thanks for the reminder. I could have sworn you were a character in fellow Brunonian Rick Moody’s “The Four Fingers of Death”. Probably one of the doomed astronauts on Mars:

Wowbagger said:

Damn, and I thought I’d been doing a good job (elsewhere) of trying to make John Kwok’s head explode - but I got nothin’ on Hygaboo Andersen.

I mean, sure, I got him fired up enough to make death threats and rant about unpublished manuscripts on top of the same standard name-dropping and hackneyed-expression repeating that he does on a daily basis, but to have worked him into such a frenzy he’s posting the lyrics of whole Elton John songs and shouting in all-caps makes that seem insignificant.

Keep up the good work!

[cue new rant from John; probably no song lyrics, though]

I meant street corner, not subway corner. Sorry about that:

John Kwok said:

I usually tell people that I accept Kahless the Unforgettable as my Savior, except when I run into a bunch of obnoxious Xians on some New York City subway corner or in a subway station, peddling their wares. Then I tell them that I accept Lucifer as my personal Savior:

Oclarki said:

Hygaboo Andersen said:

Both PZ and John were seduced by Satan into joining his religion of evolutionism.

Wow. I need some help here…is this a serious claim or is it some too-extreme parody of how creationists express themselves?

I really hope that it is the latter.

If it is the former, though, I really do wonder why folks so readily make such unfounded and unsupported accusations, especially when their own declared spiritual gguide specifically warns that making such judgements may not be the best thing to do. Indeed, I seem to remember at least one Bibical statement about judging others.

Oclarki said:

Wow. I need some help here…is this a serious claim or is it some too-extreme parody of how creationists express themselves?

It’s a parody. I’ve called him on it several times – I can almost hear the snickering. I bet HA has several different “personas” that he uses on different forums: play liberal to annoy conservatives, play conservative to annoy liberals, play Nazi to annoy the Jewish, play Jewish to annoy Nazis …

He/She/It sounds quite credible as a delusional creo at other PT blog entries (And no, no more Elton John/Bernie Taupin song lyrics. That can get passe rather quickly. But if you misbehave, I think I have one especially for you.):

MrG said:

Oclarki said:

Wow. I need some help here…is this a serious claim or is it some too-extreme parody of how creationists express themselves?

It’s a parody. I’ve called him on it several times – I can almost hear the snickering. I bet HA has several different “personas” that he uses on different forums: play liberal to annoy conservatives, play conservative to annoy liberals, play Nazi to annoy the Jewish, play Jewish to annoy Nazis …

Oh no the SONG LYRICS OF DEATH!

Back after a hiatus - man this thread took off!

Heddle said:

“…It is astonishing only in that it is true. Again: the word “unicorn” does not appear in the Hebrew. Even if we grant your contention (which I don’t, but for the sake of argument) that the translators meant the mythical creature–it only goes to my point that translations are subject to human error. You always, always have to return to the Hebrew for the OT and the Greek for the NT. And nowhere in the Hebrew OT is the word “unicorn” used, and nowhere is the beast described.…”

Even this is not true, for if it was, Christianity would come crashing down upon its splintered foundations. For IF we went back to the original, and carefully derives the roots of many things in the Modern Bible, we would find that Jesus had no brother, as the original word for ‘brother’ used by apologists for two thousand years is actually used 59 times in context as meaning a member of his congregation and not in the filial sense. We would find confounding questions about the manner and very existence of the Resurrection. To name two.

The Bible is a highly-revised ‘midrashed’ text that is interpreted as meaning what the scholars, translators and Church meant it to mean at the time. The versions of the Bible which for two thousand years used the word “unicorn” are sanctioned by the scholars and Church Elders of the time. Hence, the Bible talks about unicorns - the creatures we now accept as non historical, but at the time were considered real.

Heddle, as many modern apologists, claim this was based on a “mistranslation”. And then misplaces the burden of proof on those who merely observe what the words in officially sanctified Bibles have said. The burden of proof is rightfully on your shoulders, Heddle. Upon what basis do you claim that the Hebrew was NOT referring to a unicorn, but rather another beast, besides convenience? What other word was there in Hebrew that *should* have been used to indicate a white equine with a single horn ? Why would all official versions “mistranslate” such an error, especially as other mistranslations or transcription errors are problems which have an origin rationally evident of substitution of a single character of script. What evidence do you have that anyone objected to, or tried to correct this mistranslation? Why would they use “unicorn” and not the term for a bovine?

I think this unicorn issue presents you with a large philosophical crisis should you accept that the Bible does indeed talk about unicorns, hence your vociferous defense.

I said:

John Kwok:

“Skip,

Just to get this thread back on topic, I am reposting this:

[some shit about Klingons]”

JK - you’re the one who peevishly perverted a side discussion about Heddle’s rather astonishing claim that the Bible doesn’t talk about unicorns into an irrelevant paean about Heddle’s support of creationism, complete with references to Francis Collins. And now congratulating yourself for setting the thread back on course with a repost about Klingons.

WTF? “

My error here. The bolded word “creationism” above was brain fart and should, of course been “evolution”. Also, it was not you who perverted the thread toward creationism, as it was already underway. I did not see those posts before I made my statement. My apologies.

“Vociferous” was too strong. - “vehement” or “spirited” is what I was trying to say. :)

Apologies accepted, Gingerbaker. I had posted on “Klingon Cosmology” so Skip could use my “proofs” to throw back at Larry the creationist, as a means of underscoring that the evidence for that is as good - and I would contend based on the same faulty logic used, much better - than creationism. I’ve mentioned Klingons for years. Even Ken Miler has gotten into the act by suggesting that ID “scientist” Michael Behe ought to be writing a textbook on Klingon biochemistry.

My own attitude on this is why not have some fun with the creos while we’re condemning them, which is why I came up with “Klingon Cosmology” in the first place:

Gingerbaker said:

I said:

John Kwok:

“Skip,

Just to get this thread back on topic, I am reposting this:

[some shit about Klingons]”

JK - you’re the one who peevishly perverted a side discussion about Heddle’s rather astonishing claim that the Bible doesn’t talk about unicorns into an irrelevant paean about Heddle’s support of creationism, complete with references to Francis Collins. And now congratulating yourself for setting the thread back on course with a repost about Klingons.

WTF? “

My error here. The bolded word “creationism” above was brain fart and should, of course been “evolution”. Also, it was not you who perverted the thread toward creationism, as it was already underway. I did not see those posts before I made my statement. My apologies.

oops, Ken Miler is of course Kenneth R. Miller:

John Kwok said:

Apologies accepted, Gingerbaker. I had posted on “Klingon Cosmology” so Skip could use my “proofs” to throw back at Larry the creationist, as a means of underscoring that the evidence for that is as good - and I would contend based on the same faulty logic used, much better - than creationism. I’ve mentioned Klingons for years. Even Ken Miler has gotten into the act by suggesting that ID “scientist” Michael Behe ought to be writing a textbook on Klingon biochemistry.

My own attitude on this is why not have some fun with the creos while we’re condemning them, which is why I came up with “Klingon Cosmology” in the first place:

Gingerbaker said:

I said:

John Kwok:

“Skip,

Just to get this thread back on topic, I am reposting this:

[some shit about Klingons]”

JK - you’re the one who peevishly perverted a side discussion about Heddle’s rather astonishing claim that the Bible doesn’t talk about unicorns into an irrelevant paean about Heddle’s support of creationism, complete with references to Francis Collins. And now congratulating yourself for setting the thread back on course with a repost about Klingons.

WTF? “

My error here. The bolded word “creationism” above was brain fart and should, of course been “evolution”. Also, it was not you who perverted the thread toward creationism, as it was already underway. I did not see those posts before I made my statement. My apologies.

Gingerbaker said:

Heddle, as many modern apologists, claim this was based on a “mistranslation”.

Calling the “unicorn” a mistranslation may in fact be too strong, but it is certainly an evidence-free translation.

And then misplaces the burden of proof on those who merely observe what the words in officially sanctified Bibles have said. The burden of proof is rightfully on your shoulders, Heddle.

Because you said so? Sheesh.

Upon what basis do you claim that the Hebrew was NOT referring to a unicorn, but rather another beast, besides convenience?

I’ve posted on this earlier in the thread. Reem is in fact described in the traditional Hebrew sources and commentaries in various ways, but never as a one-horned anything. And the Biblical context makes it clear that what’s significant about the reem is its strength.

Moreover, the modern Arabic cognate and archaeological Akkadian cognate both refer to cattle-like creatures. Not one-horned equines.

What other word was there in Hebrew that *should* have been used to indicate a white equine with a single horn ?

Huh? What does this have to do with anything? You are apparently assuming that of course the Bible was somewhere just had to be talking about unicorns, and since we therefore know its in there, by process of elimination of the rest of the entire Bible, we end up deducing reem can only mean unicorn.

You seem to have been hit in the face with the stupid train.

I also posted earlier the fact that modern Hebrew calls them “one-horns” (using Hebrew, of course). This despite the fact that the Zionists who resuscitated Hebrew did so by taking Biblical words and repurposing them for modern concepts based on the flimsiest of similarities, whenever possible. That doing so offended religious sensibilities was ignored–after all, the religious objected strongly to bringing Hebrew back. Somehow nobody, but nobody, noticed a single word in the Hebrew Bible that gave the slightest impression of a one-horned equine.

Why would all official versions “mistranslate” such an error, especially as other mistranslations or transcription errors are problems which have an origin rationally evident of substitution of a single character of script.

Not just the stupid train, the Express Stupid Train!

Seriously, the one and only Official Version has reem, nine times. No mistranslation whatsoever.

As for the Septuagint, it has monokeros, nine times. As for the Vulgate, it has rhinoceros eight times, unicorn once. Of the various major “official” English translations, the KJV is the only one to have unicorn. The later ones pretty much all use wild ox. So your argument, such as it is, is based on factual error.

What evidence do you have that anyone objected to, or tried to correct this mistranslation?

The fact that pretty much no edition since KJV uses unicorn might tell an intelligent thinking person something. It obviously tells you nothing.

Why would they use “unicorn” and not the term for a bovine?

As I pointed out, your question is based on factual delusions.

Regarding KJV, I also pointed out one interesting detail. The translators certainly made a reasonable effort to be scholarly. Given multiple traditions for what was meant by reem, they could have ducked the issue and simply transliterated the word, like they did with Leviathan and Behemoth. They avoided rhinoceros, perhaps because that was the official Catholic choice. Yet they chose unicorn, and it’s a good question, why? As should be obvious by now, there really was no compelling scholarly reason.

It may have been simply to give Biblical praise to King James, their sponsor. The unicorn was the symbol of the Scottish throne (like the lion was the symbol of the English throne). And so King James VI of Scotland became King James I of the United Kingdom of England and Scotland (and Wales and Ireland and France and all that), and reigned in a time of peace and prosperity. And there he was, the translators’ patron.

Check out his Coat of Arms. Check out the title page of a first edition 1616 KJV. You’ll see the lion in the lower left corner, and the unicorn in the lower right corner. And check out this unicorn, the gold Scottish coin.

I have no idea if all this influenced the actual choice of unicorn, but it’s enough of a possibility that it can’t be assumed away.

Hygaboo Andersen said:

Ray Martinez said:

Hygaboo Andersen said:

PZ Myers said:

Tsk, tsk. Six pages of comments…on interpretations of the Bible.

How about cutting through all the crap and realizing that you’ve been effectively distracted? The Bible is an old book written by a lot of strange people with weird ideas, almost completely ignorant of history and biology. It doesn’t matter. It could babble about unicorns, leprechauns, fairies, and chupacabra…and it wouldn’t matter, except for the fact that ignorant modern people take it seriously.

Move on. The problem isn’t the flaky translations, it’s that people actually believe the Bible matters. And it doesn’t.

PZ–

The Holy Spirit has laid upon my heart a special burden for your soul. He knows the trials and tribulations you have been going through in your relationship with John Kwok. He understands the incompatibility issues you have faced due to both of you having the same spiritual darkness. There are places where you can go to be healed from your condition and embrace Jesus with open arms!

You are wasting your time.

Myers, like all Atheist-evolutionists, interprets your message to mean that God wants him. Just the opposite is true. Atheism and evolution is embraced because God has rejected these people—that’s why they accept Atheism and evolution.

Myers is like that aged movie star, convinced of self-importance, ready for her close-up, unaware that the Studio (= God) has long forsaken her.

No, God has not forsaken anybody this side of eternity; you need to have more faith! The problem with PZ and John is that atheistic evolutionism has caused them to deny the teleological meaning of a certain part of their body until it no longer functions the way God intended.

However, when Satan brought them together in their unholy union, his own trick backfired. They were unable to perform since both of them are receivers and not givers. This is why the relationship broke up and there is so much friction between them.

The Holy Spirit has instructed me to use this opportunity to lead both of them back to God. After all, it is in times of trouble that many of us do.

God didn’t call a nobody on the Internet to save PZ Myers.

You are just a modern day Pharisee and troll getting a fix.

Myers, like any evolutionist, is rejected by God. He is just too stupid and dishonest to be a Christian and a Creationist.

I pointed out to Robin two days ago that noted classics scholar Adrienne Mayor believes re’em probably refers to a rhinoceros, not a unicorn:

william e emba said:

Gingerbaker said:

Heddle, as many modern apologists, claim this was based on a “mistranslation”.

Calling the “unicorn” a mistranslation may in fact be too strong, but it is certainly an evidence-free translation.

And then misplaces the burden of proof on those who merely observe what the words in officially sanctified Bibles have said. The burden of proof is rightfully on your shoulders, Heddle.

Because you said so? Sheesh.

Upon what basis do you claim that the Hebrew was NOT referring to a unicorn, but rather another beast, besides convenience?

I’ve posted on this earlier in the thread. Reem is in fact described in the traditional Hebrew sources and commentaries in various ways, but never as a one-horned anything. And the Biblical context makes it clear that what’s significant about the reem is its strength.

Moreover, the modern Arabic cognate and archaeological Akkadian cognate both refer to cattle-like creatures. Not one-horned equines.

What other word was there in Hebrew that *should* have been used to indicate a white equine with a single horn ?

Huh? What does this have to do with anything? You are apparently assuming that of course the Bible was somewhere just had to be talking about unicorns, and since we therefore know its in there, by process of elimination of the rest of the entire Bible, we end up deducing reem can only mean unicorn.

You seem to have been hit in the face with the stupid train.

I also posted earlier the fact that modern Hebrew calls them “one-horns” (using Hebrew, of course). This despite the fact that the Zionists who resuscitated Hebrew did so by taking Biblical words and repurposing them for modern concepts based on the flimsiest of similarities, whenever possible. That doing so offended religious sensibilities was ignored–after all, the religious objected strongly to bringing Hebrew back. Somehow nobody, but nobody, noticed a single word in the Hebrew Bible that gave the slightest impression of a one-horned equine.

Why would all official versions “mistranslate” such an error, especially as other mistranslations or transcription errors are problems which have an origin rationally evident of substitution of a single character of script.

Not just the stupid train, the Express Stupid Train!

Seriously, the one and only Official Version has reem, nine times. No mistranslation whatsoever.

As for the Septuagint, it has monokeros, nine times. As for the Vulgate, it has rhinoceros eight times, unicorn once. Of the various major “official” English translations, the KJV is the only one to have unicorn. The later ones pretty much all use wild ox. So your argument, such as it is, is based on factual error.

What evidence do you have that anyone objected to, or tried to correct this mistranslation?

The fact that pretty much no edition since KJV uses unicorn might tell an intelligent thinking person something. It obviously tells you nothing.

Why would they use “unicorn” and not the term for a bovine?

As I pointed out, your question is based on factual delusions.

Regarding KJV, I also pointed out one interesting detail. The translators certainly made a reasonable effort to be scholarly. Given multiple traditions for what was meant by reem, they could have ducked the issue and simply transliterated the word, like they did with Leviathan and Behemoth. They avoided rhinoceros, perhaps because that was the official Catholic choice. Yet they chose unicorn, and it’s a good question, why? As should be obvious by now, there really was no compelling scholarly reason.

It may have been simply to give Biblical praise to King James, their sponsor. The unicorn was the symbol of the Scottish throne (like the lion was the symbol of the English throne). And so King James VI of Scotland became King James I of the United Kingdom of England and Scotland (and Wales and Ireland and France and all that), and reigned in a time of peace and prosperity. And there he was, the translators’ patron.

Check out his Coat of Arms. Check out the title page of a first edition 1616 KJV. You’ll see the lion in the lower left corner, and the unicorn in the lower right corner. And check out this unicorn, the gold Scottish coin.

I have no idea if all this influenced the actual choice of unicorn, but it’s enough of a possibility that it can’t be assumed away.

God never rejects anyone. Apparently your understanding of the Bible and Christian doctrine is somewhat lacking.

Ray M. said:

Hygaboo Andersen said:

Ray Martinez said:

Hygaboo Andersen said:

PZ Myers said:

Tsk, tsk. Six pages of comments…on interpretations of the Bible.

How about cutting through all the crap and realizing that you’ve been effectively distracted? The Bible is an old book written by a lot of strange people with weird ideas, almost completely ignorant of history and biology. It doesn’t matter. It could babble about unicorns, leprechauns, fairies, and chupacabra…and it wouldn’t matter, except for the fact that ignorant modern people take it seriously.

Move on. The problem isn’t the flaky translations, it’s that people actually believe the Bible matters. And it doesn’t.

PZ–

The Holy Spirit has laid upon my heart a special burden for your soul. He knows the trials and tribulations you have been going through in your relationship with John Kwok. He understands the incompatibility issues you have faced due to both of you having the same spiritual darkness. There are places where you can go to be healed from your condition and embrace Jesus with open arms!

You are wasting your time.

Myers, like all Atheist-evolutionists, interprets your message to mean that God wants him. Just the opposite is true. Atheism and evolution is embraced because God has rejected these people—that’s why they accept Atheism and evolution.

Myers is like that aged movie star, convinced of self-importance, ready for her close-up, unaware that the Studio (= God) has long forsaken her.

No, God has not forsaken anybody this side of eternity; you need to have more faith! The problem with PZ and John is that atheistic evolutionism has caused them to deny the teleological meaning of a certain part of their body until it no longer functions the way God intended.

However, when Satan brought them together in their unholy union, his own trick backfired. They were unable to perform since both of them are receivers and not givers. This is why the relationship broke up and there is so much friction between them.

The Holy Spirit has instructed me to use this opportunity to lead both of them back to God. After all, it is in times of trouble that many of us do.

God didn’t call a nobody on the Internet to save PZ Myers.

You are just a modern day Pharisee and troll getting a fix.

Myers, like any evolutionist, is rejected by God. He is just too stupid and dishonest to be a Christian and a Creationist.

Malchus said:

God never rejects anyone. Apparently your understanding of the Bible and Christian doctrine is somewhat lacking.

The Bible is full of accounts that say otherwise.

Atheism and Evolution are actually punishments from God for premeditated rejection of ID.

This explains why a worldview and a theory with no evidence in support are accepted.

John Kwok said:

I pointed out to Robin two days ago that noted classics scholar Adrienne Mayor believes re’em probably refers to a rhinoceros, not a unicorn

You also pointed out 100 other things, all irrelevant, so nobody noticed.

Like I said, after a while you get used to it, sort of.

Okay, I’m laying down the law. There is no Unicode in the Bible; it’s all ASCII. Comments are now closed.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Skip published on July 27, 2010 9:17 AM.

If and only if Cornelius Hunter made sense, then… was the previous entry in this blog.

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