Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Parting of the Red Sea: Science vs. God
Yesterday's TorontoStar had an article on the parting of the Red Sea. Apparently, strong winds could account for making a pathway that the chosen people used to cross the sea ahead of the pursuing Egyptians. God wasn't necessary.
My colleagues and I had a good chuckle. What's the point of a "scientific" explanation for an event that never happened? What's next—a "scientific" explanation of how Little Red Riding Hood can survive being eaten by a wolf?
Little did I realize that the newspaper article was based on a paper that got published in a (formerly) reputable journal. One of the authors is a devout Christian who is determined to reconcile science and the Bible.
Read all about it on Jerry Coyne's blog [Parting the Red Sea] or on PZ Myer's blog [Inventing excuses for a Bible story, and getting them published in a science journal?]. This is a pretty clear case of science in the service of religion. It's bad science. It's probably bad religion as well but I'm not an expert on proper superstitious beliefs.