Monday, March 3, 2014

Another Archaeological Find In Israel, Another Round Of Mind-Numbingly Stupid Comments

The dig is at Abel Beth Maacah. The stupidity, as usual when anything old is found in or near Israel, comes not just from fundamentalists shouting Hallelujah! this proves the Bible is accurate, but also from a lot of atheists, and that's what annoys me, because you'd hope the atheists would know better. Well, that is, maybe you'd have some hope if you weren't very familiar with them thar New Atheists, and their propensity to think that a sharp comment about archaeology is something like

"I hope to find that building that spiderman climbed in issue 127."

Oh. Ha. Haha. Yeah, that really added to the discussion. Sadly, I quoted that Spiderman comment, I didn't make it up, didn't have to.

What is rare and precious in discussions of old things found in or near Israel, and of old religious manuscripts, are comments which are actually about the archaeological discoveries, comments which evince an actual interest in the objects themselves and the light they shed upon history. As opposed to what? As opposed to saying, for the 45,763rd time, something which amounts to: "Fundamentalists are stupid." Which is all that the comment quoted above is saying. Now, I don't disagree with them about fundamentalists, but the thing is, I heard them the first 45,762 times, and I had figured that out about fundamentalists before I ever met them, all on my own, and there's an interesting discovery here, giving the opportunity for an interesting discussion, and it looks like it might be drowned out, as have so many other potentially interesting discussions, by this neverending Itchy & Scratchy show put on by the fundies and them. If only they could actually either learn something about this actual discovery, and talk about that, or shut the fuck up for once, and give those of us who want to discuss archaeology a fucking chance to do so for once in their fucking life.

I don't expect they will.

These discussions aren't really about archaeology, they're about Christian fundamentalists and New Atheists calling each other names. Just lately, geomorphologists have been comparing what Livy and Polybius wrote about the 2nd Punic War with what they've found on the ground in Spain, France and Italy, and they may have actually discovered some ancient battlefields with the help of those ancient authors. Always keep in mind, I'm only a layman, but if I understand what's going on here, then, it seems to me, the possible implications of these finds for archaeology, ancient history, ancient literature and other academic fields are whatcha call huge, potentially big, big stuff for people who are actually interested in archaeology. But it doesn't have anything to do with the Bible, and so most of the idiots yapping back and forth about that find in Abel Beth Maacah, and about the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi library and the Gospel of Jesus' Wife and the Tel Dan Stele and so forth -- or, I should actually say, ostensibly yapping about such things, while actually knowing practically nothing about them -- these people probably will never hear anything about it. Which, from my point of view, in some ways, is actually a good thing.

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