Searching for Muses: Mermaid Skeleton Found?

In the words of Joel Watts:

Umm….nope.

I have had nearly a thousand hits today from searches like ‘Mermaid found in Bulgaria’.  Undoubtedly, people have found my blog posts on the ‘vampire’ in Bulgaria and my ousting of the Mermaid docufiction on Animal Planet.  But I was curious; what news was prompting hundreds of people to search out ‘Mermaid found in Bulgaria’.  It’s bizarre.  And here is what I found:

Image of Professor Dimitrov who is able to stand on a nearly vertical wall without falling over–quite the accomplishment!

From this link (Google Translate page of a Bulgarian news site)

Now for those of us who are not gullible, we can tell this is clearly photoshopped.  First, the ‘professor’ here is standing on the ground, but the image of the mermaid skeleton is taken from above, looking directly down at the ground.  Like this:

Worse yet, the mermaid image is one found on Worth1000 (in other words, it is a fake, like the giant skeleton image).  Here is the original:

Notice something?  Right, no professor.  It’s a fake, and a poorly done fake at that.  Let it go people.  Mermaids are mythological creatures.

Searching for Muses: VA Earthquake a Biblical Sign

Yes, someone searched for this earlier:

is virginia earthquake a biblical sign

O ye dilettantes!  No, no the VA earthquake is not a Biblical sign.  Please, for the love of Pete, stop thinking that everything that happens to the planet is a Biblical sign.  It isn’t.

Searching for Muses: Ninjas and James McGrath

Hmmm… so someone found my blog today by searching:

james mcgrath ninja girlfriend

Is there something our friend James isn’t telling us?

Searching for Muses: Alexander the Great on Jesus?

Yes, someone legitimately searched for ‘alexander the great quotes on jesus‘ and got to my blog.  First, I really hope that they were not searching for quotes from Alexander the Great on the figure of Jesus.  I really, really, really hope they weren’t.  In fact, I’m going to delude myself into thinking people aren’t that ignorant and those just happened to be the words people threw together searching for some obscure subject or another.

But just in case, there is absolutely no way this search, assuming it is for quotes from Alexander on Jesus, will yield any useful results.  And this is so for a few reasons:

  1. Alexander the Great, as far as we know, didn’t write anything.  So we have no quotes, whatsoever, from Alexander.  We have lots of information from his Generals, from contemporary evidence, but nothing from Alexander himself.
  2. Jesus, assuming he existed on this earthly realm, is traditionally said to have been born c. 7-3 BCE.  Alexander the Great died in 323 BCE.  That is a difference of 316 years.  So, yeah, the reason why this search will not be useful is because Alexander was DEAD before Jesus is traditionally supposed to have been born!  To put that into some perspective, it would be like searching for quotes from Mustafa (from the year 1695 CE!) on Snookie from the Jersey Shore.  Yeah, ain’t gonna happen.

But good luck with that…

Searching for Muses: Do Bible Verses Support Osama’s Death?

According to statistics today, a great deal of blog hits have come from people searching for Biblical support for Osama’s death.  I worry greatly about people who seek validation for modern affairs in a book, as a part of a corpus of other books, gathered hundreds of years ago, wherein the books within were written thousands of years ago, and for completely different reasons (albeit, the reasons were theological–not prophetic).

Here are some of the search queues:

  • bible verses osama
  • bible verses to support osama bin laden’s death
  • bible verse osama bin laden
  • acripture regarding bin ladens death (sic)
  • good bible verses relating to osama’s death
  • bible verses about osama bin laden death
  • christian verses on bin laden
  • bible verses on the death of osama
  • how to apply scripture to bin ladens death

I stress again what I have stressed countless times before.  It is dilettante-esque to believe one can (a) find passages to support murder in an ancient book, written for other reasons, hundreds of years ago and (b) find verses which mention or discuss current events (you have to not only be a dilettante, but you have to be completely stupid to think Osama is mentioned or discussed in the Bible–so if you were one of those people who were searching for Biblical references to Osama…don’t admit it to anyone and save yourself the embarrassment).

So what should you do if you want to find validation for the death of Osama?  Here are some thoughts:

  1. Seek council from other (currently living, that is to say, alive) human beings.  You can find them in your church, synagogue, mosque, community center, school, where ever.  But the Bible doesn’t have the answers because (*gasp*) the books of the Bible weren’t written for you.
  2. Consider why you are seeking reasons to happily justify death with more death (while I am as relieved as any other American that Osama is dead, I still recognize that killing is killing, regardless how you dress it up).
  3. If you are seeking evidence from the Bible that the death of Osama will usher in the end times, you might need serious medical or psychological evaluation.  Or you can join a cult and follow this loon.  He’s a dilettante as well, so you can have all sorts of deplorable and dilettantish conversations that distort and manipulate the Biblical texts. (But just to be sure you’re aware, since you are into these sorts of dilettante things, the world will not end this month either).

Whatever you choose to do, do something.  Because, trust me, if you got here by searching for these or similar terms, you’re doing it wrong.

Searching for Muses: Is the Hebrew Bible True?

It’s that time again… I looked over the list of people who found my blog via searching Google and this question popped up.  For those who might also be curious, I thought I might help offer some clarification for you so you can better answer the question yourselves.

First, clarify your question.  For what exactly are you looking?  What “truth” do you seek?  Theological, archaeological, historical, or textually?  Are you curious about certain figures, events, locations?    There are (depending on how you count them) twenty-four books of the Hebrew Bible and they represent a wide spectrum of genre, not many of which deal with what might be considered ‘historiography’.

Second, such a broad question can’t possibly yield a useful answer.  Since the question is so broad, it can only warrant a ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  And what then?  Where do you go?  Formulating a strong first question will yield you stronger search results and maybe even a reliable paper or two from an academic journal or series.   The implications of these questions are really what will matter, and you cannot consider those implications unless you first acknowledge that there will be a more complex answer.  So if you were wondering if the theological message of Exodus was based upon historical events, for example, you should ask what archaeological evidence supports the Exodus narrative.  You’ll probably come across lots of articles and blog posts and apologetic materials.  A careful browse of the arguments will lead the reader to find that there is zero archaeological evidence for the Exodus.  Upon this discovery, the implications of that find should be obvious (but we’ll look over one of them anyway): The Exodus might not have happened historically.  This should lead you to do more research.

Third, starting off with a question like this reminds us–those who are learned enough to recognize the error in the question–of dilettantism.   Perhaps a better question to start your search would be “What is the Hebrew Bible?”  At least that way you can have some ground to start from.  If you don’t even recognize what it is you’re asking about, how can you expect to find an answer adequate enough?

Searching for Muses: New 10 Plagues?

Of course the dilettantes continue on with their lunacy.  Someone today found my blog today searching:

  • rain of dead birds are part of the new 10 plagues

Right…new 10 plagues… because God wants to, what, terrorize us with dead birds and fish?  The whole point of the plagues on Egypt was they they were living; they were everywhere and made life unbearably intolerable for the Pharaoh and the Egyptians so he would release the Jews (which, of course, he couldn’t do anyway because God forced his heart so, even if he would have normally released them, he wasn’t allowed–so much for free will, eh?).  What purpose would God have for pummeling one or two miles-worth of rural(!!) roads with dead things?  Hell, I pass dead animals all the time on my way to work.  Let’s wake up people, stop being dilettantes, and remember that we have brains.  Use them.

Though, if there were new plagues upon the earth, I’m going to say that the first is probably American Idol.  Ten seasons of that show makes life pretty unbearable.

Searching for Muses: More Dilettantes Looking for Birds and Fish

More people confusing the meaning of “Biblical” and “in the Bible:”

  • dead birds is this in the bible
  • does bible tell of birds falling from the sky
  • bible study dead birds
  • does the bible say about dead birds in the end times
  • scripture in bible that talks about birds falling dead from the sky
  • arkansas dead birds biblical
  • what does the bible say about birds at the end of the world

And last but not least:

  • what does the bible say about the dead birds and fish in arkansas?

Listen, people, stop searching for biblical references to falling birds and fish dying.  They aren’t in there.  And there certainly isn’t anything in the Bible about Arkansas!  Really?  You searched for “dead birds and fish in arkansas” as something that would be in the Bible?  Do you realize that the Bible is a collection of books written over a period of 800 – 1000 years and that the last book that has made it into the current canonical list was written, terminus ad quem, 150 CE?  That’s 1,861 years ago.  Arkansas was founded in 1836.  There is a difference of 1,686 years.  Trust me, Arkansas won’t be in the Bible.

Now read carefully; there are ten plagues in the Bible.  None of those plagues involved fish nor birds.  Frogs?  Yes.  Locusts?  Yes.  Birds and fish?  Absolutely not.  So stop looking for reasons to be afraid.

Though, there is that pesky verse from Zephaniah 1:3…

“I will sweep away both man and beast;
I will sweep away the birds in the sky
and the fish in the sea—
and the idols that cause the wicked to stumble.”

“When I destroy all mankind
on the face of the earth,”
declares the LORD…

But if you believe this applies to Arkansas and Louisiana…well, you’re a dilettante.  There is nothing in there about falling birds or fish washing ashore.  The Hebrew is:

אָסֵ֨ף אָדָ֜ם וּבְהֵמָ֗ה אָסֵ֤ף עֹוף־הַשָּׁמַ֙יִם֙ וּדְגֵ֣י הַיָּ֔ם וְהַמַּכְשֵׁלֹ֖ות אֶת־הָרְשָׁעִ֑ים וְהִכְרַתִּ֣י אֶת־הָאָדָ֗ם מֵעַ֛ל פְּנֵ֥י הָאֲדָמָ֖ה נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה׃

Where by the word אָסֵ֨ף (asaph) can mean ‘gather’ (for a specific purpose) or ‘remove’–it does not mean to ‘give them heart attacks in mid-air and force them to fall from the sky.’  It definitely doesn’t mean that God will wash the fish ashore.

The LXX yields the same results:

ἐκλιπέτω ἄνθρωπος καὶ κτήνη ἐκλιπέτω τὰ πετεινὰ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ οἱ ἰχθύες τῆς θαλάσσης καὶ ἐξαρῶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους ἀπὸ προσώπου τῆς γῆς λέγει κύριος

Whereby the word ἐκλιπέτω means “fail,” “forsake,” or “pass over.”  Essentially to ignore, thereby abandon, thus failing someone/thing.  If you want to search for wildlife in literature, try Ranger Rick.  That’s probably more appropriate reading for you anyway…

Searching for Muses: The Bible, Plagues, and Arkansas

So how did someone find my blog today? They searched (quote):

where in the kjv does it tell of dead birds falling from the sky and dead fish in the waters/

Well, for those wondering, the Bible doesn’t say anything about these two.  Why?  Because the books of the Bible were written a long time ago, some only as early as 1,850 years.  So no, precious dilettante, the Bible will not talk about the situation in Arkansas and, no, don’t worry, this is not a sign of plagues to come.  Lay your weary head to rest, don’t you cry no more…

Searching for Muses: Aliens Abusing God

Someone found my blog today searching for (wait for it…): “aliens sexual abuse god channel”

Wut?

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