Friday, February 27, 2009

Recent Stellar Developments

It's been a very busy month with classes, labs, and all the things that make graduate student life so much, let's say, fun. Much time gets consumed by homework from classes like statistical mechanics, but there has still been some time at least to travel to someone special and to relax a bit a read a book or two.

More interestingly, there is a comet up in the sky right now, Lulin, but it below fifth magnitude so it's pretty much impossible for me to see in the city. However, if you can, check it out while it's around; the comet is around Saturn right now, close to the constellation Leo, so it is up almost all night.

Speaking of stars, I have perused the Internet to find a website that went after my article in S&T from 2007, along with pretty much all of biblical studies that came down against the historicity of the Star of Bethlehem. I contacted the creator of the long web article about a couple of things that I thought were erroneous, such as comets were not seen as evil omens in Babylon (the Enuma Ana Enlil and MUL.APIN say otherwise), the Greek verb proago does not mean lead or go forward (it does, and it certainly does so in the context of Matt 2:9), epano does not mean to be right over a particular place (completely false), that proago was in the imperfect aorist tense (such a tense is impossible linguistically and logically), and so on. After some exchange the main page of the article has been taken down, for revisions I suspect. Another of his pages mentions revisions, but I haven't noticed any, at least not important ones.

Since our exchange, he hasn't contact me concerning my last statements, but life is time consuming, so I don't necessarily take it to be an attempt to dodge my points. Perhaps he is researching my arguments. Perhaps he will show the errors of my way, along with most of biblical scholarship and all scholars of the world that say comets were almost universally seen as evil omens--in particular, the author does not provide a single primary or secondary source that says Babylonians or Persians saw comets as positive omens, while I have provided primary sources to the contrary.

As for articles, it appears that I will be having one of my own writings published in the Journal of Higher Criticism in the near future. Under the new publishing system, the next issue will come out when there is at least 150 pages of material. Currently, it is up to 94 pages. It makes me so impatient, but good things come to those who wait. None the less, this means that I will have something published in a biblical studies journal! That should already give me more credibility than most all researchers into the Star of Bethlehem who haven't published in peer-reviewed biblical or theological journals in about a generation, and almost never astronomers.

With all that out of the way, it's time to get to work, and travel back to Michigan. Monday night at Michigan State, biologist and well-known atheist Richard Dawkins will begin touring the US on a speaking run. I plan on going. And if someone has a lot of cash, give it to Ray Comfort so he can give it to Richard Dawkins. Well, perhaps not. Why give to Mr. Comfort and give him enough credence, believing that he can actually produce a coherent argument against, well, most anything, let along evolutionary science.

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