Continuing on a series of identifying absolutely ridiculous crap in the bible, let’s also talk stars.
Our sun is a small star, and its 109 times the diameter of our planet. It is just under 8 1/2 light minutes away. If our sun were to suddenly move in to only 4 light-minutes away, it would take up a significant part of the sky and would scorch the earth of all life. At 2 light-minutes our rocks start to melt. No controversy here. Ken Ham would be just fine with describing the sun in this way.
Other than the earth, the next closest star is the Alpha Centauri pair, about as big as the sun each and about 4.2 light years away. After that, Barnards star is almost 6 light years away. The north star is 433 light years away. The three stars of Orion’s belt are not in a straight line, they are 817, 1340, and 916 light years away respectively left to right.
Nothing controversial at all. Sarah Palin would certainly nod in agreement with these facts.
So, what does Jesus say about stars?
Matthew 24: 29 “Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
Mark 13: 24 “But in those days, following that distress, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.
Finally! We have some consistency in the bible! Only on both accounts, Jesus CLEARLY doesn’t know what the hell stars are. Stars can’t just fall.
Stars are not itty-bitty LED lights. If the stars were to “fall” toward the earth, “falling” at the speed of light, it would take 4.2 years for Alpha Centauri to get here. In the last month, those with a telescope may notice it getting progressively brighter. Then quite rapidly, in a matter of a few hours, this star pair would appear to grow from a bright star into a second and third son. About 10 minutes before impact, the additional heat would begin baking the surface of the earth. A mere 3-4 minutes later and the surface temperature of the earth would reach boiling, and nearly all life would be completely wiped out. A couple of minutes before impact, if you were still around to see it, and all the water vapor would be completely depleted, the air would catch fire, and rocks would begin to melt. Then in a completely blinding flash, the world would be gone, destroyed by a destructive force equivalent to 100 billion megaton nuclear explosion.
The next closest star wouldn’t even get here for over a year and a half later.
Jesus is clearly ignorant on what stars are, so much so that he states that after the “stars fall”, he expects people to still be around and witnesses to the son of man coming in a cloud, and the chosen people get picked to go to heaven. But after Alpha Centauri crashes into the earth, there will be no clouds, atmosphere, humans, or PLANET left. This is absolutely non-controversial science, and yet Jesus himself (with a bluetooth to God) messes this up so extraordinarily as to incite mirthful laughter. So why is this?
The confusion comes in because back when the bible was written (old and new testament) the standard model for earth in that region looked something like this:
Yes, in the standard model of the world back then, the earth was flat. It was surrounded by ocean. There was a large dome, called the firmament, that held back the waters from above the earth (heaven), and when it rained, it was gates opening in the firmament. Stars were affixed to the firmament.
I don’t care what your pastor has told you, or the charlatan apologist (redundant, I know) this is the model. Bible earth is not a globe or sphere, it’s flat. I don’t care if you want to pretend that the word “circle” means “sphere” in translation, because this excuse belies every description of the earth and how humans interact with the earth in the entire bible. Go back and re-read the bible (or more likely, read it for the first time). Read the genesis account of creation. Read any part of the bible that talks about stars. Read anywhere they are discussing the earth. This flat earth model is what they are describing. A quick selection:
Genesis 1: 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
Genesis 1: 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth
Job 22:12 “Is not God in the heights of heaven? And see how lofty are the highest stars!
Psalm 104: 5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Isaiah 14:13 You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God;
Matthew 4: 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
Acts 10: 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners.
Revelation 6:13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.
Revelation 12: 4 Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.
These passages barely make sense if we pretend they are just really, really fuzzy analogies for use in poetry. If we remember the flat earth, however, they all make perfect sense.
Now again, we are not talking about a far-out hypothesis. We know what stars are. We are talking Ray Comfort acceptable science. William Lane Craig would happily confirm physical characteristics of stars. Kirk Cameron is not going on talk shows with stupid caricatures of how ridiculous the idea that stars are very big and very far away. These wingnuts do not deny the science here.
Yet this is very clearly how the bible describes stars. And because it does, we know the bible is wrong. Completely uncontroversial science, completely at odds with the bible. The bible is not inerrant, it is a minefield of error.
The Spartan Atheist