Blood in the Water - The Actual Meaning of the Bible
There's a prevailing opinion amongst scientists that science and religion should not mix. While I agree in principle, it's unrealistic in practice. As Ernst Haeckel once wrote, "Politics is Applied Biology." The problem is when it's misapplied and people in politics are rarely educated Biologists; after all, this was also Hitler's favourite quote. And even if you have zero political interests, at the end of the day, politics will still be interested in you.
Believe it or not, I have zero problems with people being religious. I just don't think religion should have any place in determining social policy, unless of course said religion proves compatible with the ongoing quest for knowledge and truth. Unfortunately, in our current sociopolitical climate, you can't really be an "official" religion unless you have a really old book to hold you back from such "sciency" pursuits. Consequently, we have this ongoing flame war between dogmatic atheists and theists alike (fortunately conducted in the Twittersphere for the most part where little blood is actually drawn). But here's where all sides intersect:
Religious fanatics, particularly Christians, love to apply scientific tests to old pieces of paper, wood, and garments to scientifically prove that by extension the entirety of the Bible is true. Umm no. It only proves that those material items are sort of old. Atheists meanwhile love to fixate on all the flawed logic in the thinking patterns of such people using clever memes and vicious barbs, which accomplishes nothing more than shaming the other into a more entrenched position.
I'm a man cut from a different kind of cloth. I'm Old School. I think the quality of the information should prevail without the need to go "viral." Perhaps that's why my attempts to market my book fizzled. It honeslty just felt futile as an army of one. See, I've never been dogmatic about anything, except perhaps my ex-fiance and look how that turned out. But I'm naturally curious and that's what drives me. I like turning things upside down just to see what happens. So why not apply science concepts to religion?
My professor was a parasitologist and he once explained to us how the Biblical plague where the "waters turned red" was likely caused by an outbreak of schistosomiasis, a medical condition where parasitic flatworms damage the bladder and kidneys causing blood in the urine. Locusts going plague crazy and stuff like this has always fascinated the hell out of me. It gives people the type of verifiable stories to help them make up their own minds about the veracity of a particular worldview, hopefully one they have the courage to craft out of their own melange of experiences and logic.
In my quest to make sense of my own religious upbringing and the conflicting things I was being told as a child, I sat down and read the Bible from front to back, like a real book; I did this a couple of times. What did I learn? Ecclesiastes was philosophically interesting; there are a few good proverbs in Proverbs (duh); and the story of Job proved that if there was a God, I would never worship him because he's a giant dick. I will never understand how people like Richard Dawkins made careers out of being Atheists. It's not an accomplishment. His entire platform is based on the same conclusions that a thirteen year old can make. Bravo *slow clap
But in the interests of the book, I went back and read the Bible again. I don't know why but I was compelled for some reason, and it wasn't the voice of God (or maybe it was? If you keep reading, the answer is probably no). Maybe I remembered something from my early read-throughs? Regardless, what I discovered was one of those "Oh shit!" moments:
The Bible is really just a story about an inbred royal line of kings who call themselves the Sons of God. If you don't skip over the boring ass genealogies, you'll see that there's this constant push to maintain an "inbreeding pact," as a group of people struggles to establish a foothold over contested grounds. Every time one of the future "Israelites" mixes with the locals, he (because it's a patriarchy) is kicked out of the "Covenant." After amassing enough people, they eventually genocide the locals and only then do breeding restrictions lessen but NOT amongst the upper class.
Just like the blood in the water, there's a scientific explanation for why the royal women in the Bible have such difficulty conceiving. It's called Inbreeding Depression; hence why all the "miracle" births. By Jesus' time, we're now looking at a people whose numbers have exploded and the former dominance of the Canaanites is long forgotten, which is not too dissimilar from our own relationships with indigenous people in North America. Consequently, when Jesus' followers claim he is the "Son of God," there is a huge uproar and laughter. A complete stranger, a lowly carpenter no less, has come out of the woodwork claiming to be the rightful King but without any modern genetic tests to prove so (I'm positive the Biblical genealogy listed for Jesus was popular folk knowledge at the time). All the other royal houses from the time of Abraham naturally do a massive facepalm, and in those days this meant feeling particularly stabby. Jesus is of course killed but his story somehow goes "viral" in the Roman world. This story of course will go on to cause many waters of the world to run red, taking us full circle.
Given the sheer popularity of the Bible, I can't believe this isn't "common knowledge." I'm not even sure if I'm the first person to point this out but I'll take credit for it; it's better than anything Richard Dawkins has ever done. But do I care? Not really. I only included it in the book because it was a great example of human speciation and I knew that controversy sells, just apparently not when the science outweighs the sideshow. Do I hate Christians? Nope. Will they hate me for applying science to religion? Probably. But I've always been more like Jesus than any of the people who worship him. I was just raised that way :)