back to article Assyrian clay tablet points to 'Sodom and Gomorrah' asteroid

A Cuneiform clay tablet which for over 150 years defied attempts at interpretation has now been revealed to describe an asteroid impact which in 3123 BC hit Köfels, Austria, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction which may acccount for the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah. The Planisphere clay tablet. Pic: Bristol …

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First Council of Nicaea

People seem to forget that the Bible is not just a collection of writings from the apostles but was also reviewed, redrafted and censored in by the Romans 325 years after teh death of Christ in order to set a uniform Christian doctrine, with one leading body (the Church) dictating the terms of belief to believers and forcing the rest of the Empire to convert. It's easier to control an empire that way than letting everyone celebrate their own religion.

Also, let's not forget the Bible has had 2008 years of existence, coupled with Vatican dictatorship, Spanish inquisitions, persecution of scientists and doctors for centuries, forced conversion of infidels in colonised countries, and finally with the president of the most military powerful country in the world handing out god bless america left right and center.

Suffice to say, that's enough to put doubts into anyone's mind...

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Coat

what's the date..

hrmmm 1.4.08

looks like a id10t error online or was that a virus.

either way,

here's my pinch of salt..

oh yeah, mines the one with the dry crusty pockets...

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IT Angle

Om

...the Great God, is real.

I saw him in a dream once after reading Small Gods... which must mean that I am his prophet... hence, hear my Prophecy!

"Yer all gonna die."

(Snickker...giggle...)

Anyways- ascribing causes after the fact is as easy as claiming to be psychic and speaking in specialized semantics. Hmmm... making a prophecy pointing to a know and absolute fact, is stupid.

The article is lovely in the graphic details of the crash and the events following it.. but the obvious misuse of Sodom & Gor* is dishonest and should be frowned on. (Really twist those brows and make Mr Potatoheads' Angry Eyes.)

Then we can go on with the rest of this day and enjoy our coffee, electric lights, big cities and high tech gadgets while smiling upon the Wise and Mystic Ancients, who in their Glory, had absolutely nothing on us- really- we are living in the Greatest Age of Man.

But then again...

Nuts go well with beer- so we should be careful before we say they are Not Worthy of our Attention or cultivation!

Hmm... more coffee... I feel my Math Co-Processor overheating (i486)

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Coat

<YAWN>

1st April has finished already where I am

Yes, the Akubra too - thanks.

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Biblical Accuracy

The Bible has always been proven by archeology to be historically and scientifically accurate, when it touches upon those subjects.

It never starts out: "once upon a time, in a far away place"... but rather always gives specific dates, places, and names of people, etc. This is very different to mythology, which never gives specifics.

Take as an example the Babylonian King Belshazzar spoken of in Daniel Chapter 5. For the longest time, historians doubted the existence of Belshazzar, because he wasn't spoken of in secular history. Secular historians new of Nabonidus as the ruler, not a Belshazzar. Turns out, that archeologists turned up some writings dated at that time, called the "Nabonidus Chronicle" that corroborates the existence of Belshazzar... turns out Belshazzar and Nabonidus had a kind duel rulership. During the events spoken of in Daniel 5, Nabonidus was out of town, with Belshazzar left in charge. This is also why, Belshazzar could only offer the 'third position' in power, and not the second position, for deciphering the hand writing on the wall (Read Daniel chapter 5). Very interesting reading no matter what you believe.

One more example... this time on scientific accuracy. Check out Isaiah 40:22 and Job 26:7... how did the Bible writers know the shape of the Earth, etc. at that time way before the invention the telescope and before Columbus sailed the world?

Thought you all would find this interesting.

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Anonymous Coward

Blame Religion

I have deeply researched the Bible, and have found it to be true and accurate in all respects. I have come to believe that it truly is the word of God.

For those of you that believe in the Bible, but have not studied it and read it... you are blind. For those of you that do not believe in the Bible, but have also never read and studied it, you are ignorant. Too many people make flippant and uniformed comments on something they have never taken the time to study... I guess we can blame religion for that.

All religion that breeds hate, harbors terrorists, defends pedophiles, milks money from their parishioners to fund an extravagant lifestyle, gets involved in political affairs, and controls it's people through ignorance, superstition, & fear is from the Devil, not God. (Matthew 7:13-29 & 2 Corinthians 11: 13-15 & 1 Timothy 4: 1-3)

Yes, what the Bible really teaches, and what todays brands of religion teach are completely different things.

Today's churches act as political pulpits and provide refuge to the worst offenders in our society. They extort money from the masses for greedy selfish gain and do not even come close to providing spiritual enlightenment as taught from Scripture. Therefore, they should be taxed just like every other business, they should be held accountable for their actions, they should show proof of their teachings.

I agree with Ben Franklin & James Garfield:

"The divorce between Church and State ought to be absolute. It ought to be so absolute that no Church property anywhere, in any state or in the nation, should be exempt for equal taxation; for if you exempt the property of any church organization to that extent you impose a tax upon the whole community."

— James A Garfield, 20th U.S. President (1881)

"When a religion is good, I conceive it will support itself; and when it does not support itself, and God does not take care to support it so that its professors are obligated to call for help of the civil power, it's a sign, I apprehend, of its being a bad one." -- Benjamin Franklin

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Happy

All wrong.

The ancient disk actually says:

Redeem this tablet for one [1] free* camel wash at Honest Abdul's, the only 24 hour camel stop this side of Sodom and Gomorrah.

* Conditions apply.

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Biblical Accuracy? dream on

Ok, since this discussion has evolved into a discussion of biblical accuracy, I must add my $0.02 worth.

Just as evolutionary theory, geology and astronomy have destroyed the scientific claims of the Pentateuch, so modern archaeology has methodically exposed the origins of these writings as Iron Age spin and propaganda, collected around the 7th century BCE to bolster the territorial ambitions of Jerusalem-based kings. No Exodus, no Golden Age of David and Solomon. Excavation has, for example shown that the towns identified in the Exodus story were not inhabited during the period when the events must have taken place- but they were inhabited later, during the 8th-7th centuries BC, when the stories were being crafted. In any case, identifying a 'biblical' site is one thing, but it doesn't prove the claimed events actually occurred or that historical personages did what was claimed, any more than future archaeologists discovering the site of Edwardian-era London would prove the existence of Mary Poppins.

This is why the straw man approach of Aaron is misleading. The Old Testament is not pure myth, but a mix of facts (for credibility), fancy and spin, setting out for its 7th century BC audience a 'Golden Age' that can be returned to by adopting a particular brand of faith (and also, naturally, the Jerusalem-based kings that champion it). This doesn't mean that the OT is always wrong, it just means that until its contents can be corroborated with other texts or excavation results, it's best treated as a massively-massaged folk story.

And yes, I've read the Bible, but i've read other books as well.

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Pride not Sodomy

my fire and brimstone evangelical preacher from ones youth, insisted that that the issue was not with the debauchery of Sodom and Gommorah (much as it was) but the real and greater sin was that of the "pride of man" in so much he though he new best and ignored the will of God. There by God really and truelly shafted the said dwellers of the sea side towns.

oh, for a similar fate to Skegness and Rhyll

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the sacred mushroom and the cross

I read the bible. But i also read this book: The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. In 1970, the famed Dead Sea Scrolls scholar John Marco Allegro published a series of articles which which maintains that Christianity has its origins and nature in fertility cults of the Ancient near east centred on a sacred Mushroom. Allegro was a expert in Semitic languages and also studied Hebrew dialects. Extremely interesting reading, revealing hidden messages and codes within the Bible.

The gist of the theory is that pre-Jesus, religions were closed and secretive and difficult to join, namely because of intiation rituals and so forth. Then Jesus came along and told people that anyone could be part of his religion, that the only condition to entry was to repent and believe. It became a hugely popular religion, and all the other smaller religions struggled to survive. So they became Christians, and for fear of losing their own religious beliefs, hid the secrets of their practices within the Bible itself. One of these practives is the preparation of mushrooms for consumption and communion with God. Very interesting reading for those who have the interest.

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Joke

@ Mike Richards

Your decree that ancient literature must be backed up by archaeological evidence makes it clear that you are a Bone Head on so many levels.

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The Köfels (Pseudo)impact is Too Old and Not an Impact Site

There is a significant problem with this specific theory as the Kofels landslide / (Pseudo)impact is too old to the alleged impact that is allegedly described in the tablet. First, about the Kofels landslide, Hermanns et al. (2006) stated:

“Pieces of wood recovered from a reconnaissance gallery in the Tauferberg gave a conventional 14C age of 8710+/-150 years BP (Heuberger, 1966), and an AMS 14C age of 8705+/-55 years BP (Ivy-Ochs et al., 1998),”

If a person presume that the 700 BC date is calender years, the transformation of years C14 to calender years gives a calibrated date of 9683 ± 90 BP (about 9700 BP) for the Köfels landslide. Thus, in calender years, the landslide happene about 7,000 years before the cuneiform clay tablet was made and about 4,600 years before 3123 BC (5123 BP) when it is argued that the impact occurred. The Köfels landslide occurred thousand of years before either the tablet was argued to have been made, or the when the alleged impact was suppose to have occurred. The Köfels landslide is much too old to have any connection with any of them.

References Cited:

Hermanns, R., L. Blikra, M. Naumann, B. Nilsen, K. Panthi, D. Stromeyer, and O. Longva, 2006, Examples of multiple rock-slope collapses from Köfels (Ötz valley, Austria) and western Norway. Engineering Geology. vol. 83, no. 1-3, pp. 94-108.

Heuberger, H., 1966, Gletschergeschichtliche Untersuchungen in den Zentralalpen zwischen Sellrain-und Otztal. Wissenschaftliche Alpenvereinshefte. no. 20.

Ivy-Ochs, S., H. Heuberger, P. W. Kubik, H. Kerschner, G. Bonani, M. Frank, and C. Schluchter, 1998, The age of the Köfels event. Relative, 14C and cosmogenic isotope dating of an early Holocene landslide in the central Alps (Tyrol, Austria). Zeitschrift fur Gletscherkunde und Glazialgeologie. vol. 34, pp. 57–70.

Also, there is a discussion of the evidence for the Köfels landslide being an meteorite / comet impact in:

Deutsch, A., C. Koeberl, J.D. Blum, B.M. French, B.P. Glass, R. Grieve, P. Horn, E.K. Jessberger, G. Kurat, W.U. Reimold, J. Smit, D. stoffler, and S.R. Taylor, 1994, The impact-flood connection: Does it exist? Terra Nova. vol. 6, pp. 644-650.

They found a complete lack of any credible evidence for an impact having created the Köfels landslide. The alleged "shock quartz" found by earlier investigators was discredited as neither being "shock quartz" nor formed by an impact. The melted rock associated with this landslide was identified as "frictionite" created by frictional heat generated by the landslide, the largest in Europe as discussed by:

Erismann, T. H., 1977, Der bimsstein von Köfels impaktit oder friktionit?. Material und Technik. vol. 5, pp. 190–196. Erismann, T. H., H. Heuberger, and E. Preuss, 1977, Der Bimsstein von Köfels (Tirol), ein Bergsturz-“Friktionit. Mineralogy and Petrology. vol. 24, no. 1-2, pp. 67-119.

and

Masch, L., H. R. Wenk, and E. Preuss, 1985. Electron microscopy study of hyalomylonites-evidence for frictional melting in landslides. Tectonophysics. vol. 115, pp. 131–160.

These above studies clearly demonstrate that the estimated kinetic energy of the rock mass displaced by the landslide would have generated the heat necessary to melt the rock and form the “pumice”, which they called “frictionite”.

Sorenson et al. (2003) concluded:

“Analysis of the Köfels sturzstrom seems to indicate that most aspects can be explained without recourse to exotic emplacement scenarios. The bulk of the material resembles the debris from an energetic but conventional landslide.”

Reference Cited

Sorensen, S.-A., and Berthold Bauer, 2003, On the dynamics of the Köfels sturzstrom. Geomorphology, vol. 54, no. 1-2, pp. 11-19.

Go look at "Cause effect models of large mass movements" at

http://info.tuwien.ac.at/geophysik/research/landslides/1997_pr01/structure/koefels.htm

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Bare hands

British Museum has lost its gloves?

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