Re: God and nature; miracles

From: Don Winterstein (
Date: Fri May 16 2003 - 02:22:14 EDT

  • Next message: Michael Roberts: "Re: God and nature; miracles"

    "The sun...delayed going down about a full day." What kind of timepiece did
    they use to measure this? Or did time go really slow because they weren't
    having any fun?


    > Bob wrote: >So, could God have stopped the rotation of the earth without
    tidal forces tearing it and us apart<
    > As Bob and others have noted, could and did are separate questions.
    > The number and extent of natural laws set aside is no constraint on God's
    ability, but in light of His general style, it seems as though He minimizes
    such actions. In this case there are more options besides stopping the
    earth's rotation and figurative interpretation. There is also the
    possibility that the miracle in question was achieved by some other means.
    I have seen the suggestion that changing the inclination of the earth (i.e.,
    making the Arctic Circle much closer to Palestine) would avoid the problems
    of stopping the earth. This certainly does not eliminate the question of
    conservation of momentum, though it might mitigate it somewhat (not having
    attempted the calculations).
    > I believe that exceptionally good weather is a possible interpretation of
    the description in Joshua (and later references back to it), given its
    brevity. In particular, I think I have encountered the claim that the sun
    "stopping" is more normally read as being cut off (i.e., getting shade
    during the battle) rather than ceasing motion. More in keeping with the
    popular interpretation of extraordinary duration of sunlight would be some
    more local cause, e.g. assuming simply a miraculous floodlight, possibly in
    the guise of some atmospheric phenomenon.
    > Dr. David Campbell
    > Old Seashells
    > University of Alabama
    > Biodiversity & Systematics
    > Dept. Biological Sciences
    > Box 870345
    > Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0345 USA
    > That is Uncle Joe, taken in the masonic regalia of a Grand Exalted
    Periwinkle of the Mystic Order of Whelks-P.G. Wodehouse, Romance at
    Droitgate Spa

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