Re: Living and dying with Inaccurate History

Glenn Morton (
Sat, 01 Mar 1997 22:18:22 -0600

At 09:07 PM 3/1/97, Rodney Dunning wrote:

>Thank you for the examples of creation stories that don't answer the
>"journalistic questions." However, I fail to see how this establishes the
>material under question (Gn 4-11 or so) as journalistic in nature. Surely
>what is missing from one piece of literature does not speak to the
>nature of some other piece. And there are still many, many stories that
>answer the journalistic questions that are seemingly not history. I'm
>still left with my question, which you snipped away:

Sorry about that.

>Is answering the
>journalistic questions necessary and sufficient, or necessary but not
>sufficient for establishing a story as "history"?

I would say that it is necessary but not sufficient. In order to gain
sufficiency, one must test the apparently journalistic statements made
against reality and see if they stand up. If I say that Darth Vader cut off
the arm of Luke Skywalker on the Cloud City, that is a statement of a
journalistic nature. Now, to determine whether it is true one compares it to
actual cities. Do we know of a city which floats in the air? No. Do we
have bionic men like Darth, who can think someone into a chokehold on their
throat? No. Are there any such situations in a galaxy far, far away?
Unlikely. Thus all I can say is that as far as I can tell, that story is
not journalistic in spite of its appearance. It is entertainment.

But if I would have been able to verify the existence of the city etc, then
that would tend to support the journalistic nature of the account.

Take the documentary movie Slackers. (It is a cult classic and I would
recommend this if you have ever been to Austin, Texas near the University).
It is entertainment but did the events depicted therein happen? I coubt it
but some of the things in there absolutely cound have happened and so I
could not rule that out as a journalistic account.

My son rented Slackers and I decided to see what he was watching. It was
bizarre but hilarious.


Foundation, Fall and Flood