And the Lord said: "Go forth and model Moses"

I guess with Climate change enlightenment was fun while it lasted. But now it’s dead (George Monbiot) there’s not much for those modelers and supercomputers at NCAR to do. So why not model parting the Red Sea? Beats making golden calves I suppose.

Charleton Heston in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, MPA, 1956

From the National Center for Atmospheric Research:

Parting the waters: Computer modeling applies physics to Red Sea escape route

September 21, 2010

BOULDER—The biblical account of the parting of the Red Sea has inspired and mystified people for millennia. A new computer modeling study by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU) shows how the movement of wind as described in the book of Exodus could have parted the waters.

The computer simulations show that a strong east wind, blowing overnight, could have pushed water back at a bend where an ancient river is believed to have merged with a coastal lagoon along the Mediterranean Sea. With the water pushed back into both waterways, a land bridge would have opened at the bend, enabling people to walk across exposed mud flats to safety. As soon as the wind died down, the waters would have rushed back in.

red sea

The physics of a land bridge. This illustration shows how a strong wind from the east could push back waters from two ancient basins–a lagoon (left) and a river (right)–to create a temporary land bridge. New research that such a physical process could have led to a parting of waters similar to the description in the biblical account of the Red Sea. (Illustration by Nicolle Rager Fuller.)

The study is intended to present a possible scenario of events that are said to have taken place more than 3,000 years ago, although experts are uncertain whether they actually occurred. The research was based on a reconstruction of the likely locations and depths of Nile delta waterways, which have shifted considerably over time.

“The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus,” says Carl Drews of NCAR, the lead author. “The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that’s in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in.”

The study is part of a larger research project by Drews into the impacts of winds on water depths, including the extent to which Pacific Ocean typhoons can drive storm surges. By pinpointing a possible site south of the Mediterranean Sea for the crossing, the study also could be of benefit to experts seeking to research whether such an event ever took place. Archeologists and Egyptologists have found little direct evidence to substantiate many of the events described in Exodus.

The work, published in the online journal, PLoS ONE, arose out of Drews’ master’s thesis in atmospheric and oceanic sciences at CU.  The computing time and other resources were supported by the National Science Foundation.

Wind on the water

The Exodus account describes Moses and the fleeing Israelites trapped between the Pharaoh’s advancing chariots and a body of water that has been variously translated as the Red Sea or the Sea of Reeds. In a divine miracle, the account continues, a mighty east wind blows all night, splitting the waters and leaving a passage of dry land with walls of water on both sides. The Israelites are able to flee to the other shore. But when the Pharaoh’s army attempts to pursue them in the morning, the waters rush back and drown the soldiers.

Wind setdown in the Nile Delta. Sustained winds can cause an event known as a wind setdown in which water levels are temporarily lowered. This animation shows how a strong east wind over the Nile Delta could have pushed water back into ancient waterways after blowing for about nine hours, exposing mud flats and possibly allowing people to walk across. (Animation by Tim Scheitlin and Ryan McVeigh, NCAR. News media terms of use*)

Scientists from time to time have tried to study whether the parting of the waters, one of the famous miracles in the Bible, can also be understood through natural processes. Some have speculated about a tsunami, which would have caused waters to retreat and advance rapidly. But such an event would not have caused the gradual overnight divide of the waters as described in the Bible, nor would it necessarily have been associated with winds.

Other researchers have focused on a phenomenon known as “wind setdown,” in which a particularly strong and persistent wind can lower water levels in one area while piling up water downwind. Wind setdowns, which are the opposite of storm surges, have been widely documented, including an event in the Nile delta in the 19th century when a powerful wind pushed away about five feet of water and exposed dry land.

A previous computer modeling study into the Red Sea crossing by a pair of Russian researchers, Naum Voltzinger and Alexei Androsov, found that winds blowing from the northwest at minimal hurricane force (74 miles per hour) could, in theory, have exposed an underwater reef near the modern-day Suez Canal. This would have enabled people to walk across. The Russian study built on earlier work by oceanographers Doron Nof of Florida State University and Nathan Paldor of Hebrew University of Jerusalem that looked at the possible role of wind setdown.

The new study, by Drews and CU oceanographer Weiqing Han, found that a reef would have had to be entirely flat for the water to drain off in 12 hours. A more realistic reef with lower and deeper sections would have retained channels that would have been difficult to wade through. In addition, Drews and Han were skeptical that refugees could have crossed during nearly hurricane-force winds.

Reconstructing ancient topography

Studying maps of the ancient topography of the Nile delta, the researchers found an alternative site for the crossing about 75 miles north of the Suez reef and just south of the Mediterranean Sea. Although there are uncertainties about the waterways of the time, some oceanographers believe that an ancient branch of the Nile River flowed into a coastal lagoon then known as the Lake of Tanis. The two waterways would have come together to form a U-shaped curve.

An extensive analysis of archeological records, satellite measurements, and current-day maps enabled the research team to estimate the water flow and depth that may have existed 3,000 years ago. Drews and Han then used a specialized ocean computer model to simulate the impact of an overnight wind at that site.

They found that a wind of 63 miles an hour, lasting for 12 hours, would have pushed back waters estimated to be six feet deep. This would have exposed mud flats for four hours, creating a dry passage about 2 to 2.5 miles long and 3 miles wide. The water would be pushed back into both the lake and the channel of the river, creating barriers of water on both sides of newly exposed mud flats.

As soon as the winds stopped, the waters would come rushing back, much like a tidal bore. Anyone still on the mud flats would be at risk of drowning.

The set of 14 computer model simulations also showed that dry land could have been exposed in two nearby sites during a windstorm from the east. However, those sites contained only a single body of water and the wind would have pushed the water to one side rather than creating a dry passage through two areas of water.

“People have always been fascinated by this Exodus story, wondering if it comes from historical facts,” Drews says. “What this study shows is that the description of the waters parting indeed has a basis in physical laws.”

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Now, if we can just get them to turn their attention to the more recent portion of the Holocene, say 1000 years ago to present, we might be able to get another good movie line out of it:

Let the name of Mann be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of AGW. Let the name of Mann be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.

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170 thoughts on “And the Lord said: "Go forth and model Moses"

  1. Would this have dried the sea bed enough to walk on?
    I guess they have a lot of time on their hands at NCAR.

  2. Let the name of Mann be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of AGW. Let the name of Mann be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.

    I’d settle for the next fifty years.
    Could we also get a rain of toads on the campus of Penn State?

  3. Yeah, okay, and ya betcha!
    Seems it was not a few decades ago when it was either —or both— Science News/Scientific American (now both discredited journals) published a possible scenario whereby it was volcanic action which LIFTED the lands associated with the event related to Moses, and which allowed his minions to escape across the Red Sea.
    Where’s Moses, when you need him … ?

  4. What about the Venturi effect. Wouldn’t sustained high winds exert a lower than usual pressure (compared to regions experiencing lower winds) encouraging the water level to rise!

  5. I first heard about this theory back in 1970. “Rd” supposedly did not mean “Red Sea, but, rather, Sea of Reeds, an outlying flange if the Red Sea. An unburdened slave might well make it across when winds and tides were just so. An equipped soldier, not so much.

  6. As mentioned above by evanmjones, I thought the Sea of Reeds was the site of this event. It appears a more reasonable setting as the water was already shallow and quite often fairly low at low tide. Add a bit of offshore wind and it looks good for an escape by foot, but not for chariots with narrow wheels and a load of angry men and equipment.

  7. Isn’t there a prize for the dumbest, most unecessary scientific research? People actually get paid for this?

  8. Let the name of Mann be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of AGW. Let the name of Mann be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.
    So let it be written, so let it be done!

  9. Two practical issues:
    1) a *very* strong wind is needed to part and then hold the water. Can people actually walk against such a wind ?
    2) especially if the mud flats are wet – all those very young and elderly people, with mud stuck 20cm thick to the soles of their feet and struggling valiantly against a hurricane force wind
    Think I prefer the God notion ! (not really) … but at least we can see the insanity instantly

  10. Steve Woodman says:
    September 21, 2010 at 9:21 pm
    Isn’t there a prize for the dumbest, most unecessary scientific research? People actually get paid for this?

    Yup, its called the IG-nobel prize.
    “If you didn’t win a prize — and especially if you did — better luck next year!”
    The Ig Nobel Prizes are an American parody of the Nobel Prizes and are given each year in early October for ten achievements that “first make people laugh, and then make them think”. Organized by the scientific humor magazine Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), they are presented by a group that includes genuine Nobel Laureates at a ceremony at Harvard University’s Sanders Theater.
    But this research does’nt make me laugh and then think.

  11. Anthony, thanx for this. What a wonderful story! Nice to see that research can still be about other things then death and destruction.
    🙂

  12. The IPCC models are computational science fiction. The stories in the bible are just plain old fashioned fiction. Exodus never happened. Read the geological record for the real history of the period. Similarly, look at the ocean surface temperatures to explain the real climate record. Environmental science has been corrupted into environmental religion and climate science has degenerated into climate astrology. Send a Federal Grand Jury to Boulder to investigate fraud at NCAR. Thou shalt not steal Federal Funds.

  13. It can all be interesting though.
    Da Mihi Animas: The 13th Day: The Movie of Fatima is here!
    http://salesianity.blogspot.com/2009/10/13th-day-movie-of-fatima-is-here.html
    Further research…
    The Miracle of the Sun –
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle_of_the_sun
    The Miracle of the Sun (Portuguese: O Milagre do Sol) is an alleged miraculous event witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on 13 October 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal. Those in attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three shepherd children that a miracle was going to occur at high-noon in the Cova da Iria on 13 October 1917.[1]
    According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky.[2] It was said to be significantly less bright than normal, and cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds.[2] The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern,[2] frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world.[3] Some witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry.”[4]
    Estimates of the number of witnesses range from 30,000-40,000 by Avelino de Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século,[5] to 100,000, estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra,[6] both of whom were present that day.[7]
    The event was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fátima, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as having been predicted by the three children on 13 July,[8] 19 August,[9] and 13 September[10] 1917. The children reported that the Lady had promised them that she would on 13 October reveal her identity to them[11] and provide a miracle “so that all may believe.”[12]
    According to these reports, the event lasted approximately ten minutes.[13] The three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.[14]
    More at…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Fatima
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marian_apparition
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Zeitoun
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Me%C4%91ugorje
    http://wesley.nnu.edu/biblical_studies/wycliffe/
    http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/previous_seasons/case_bible/index.html
    John Wycliffe, born around 1320, was a prominent theologian at Oxford University and a leading ecclesiastical politician in the dark period of English history following the decimation of Europe’s population by the Black Plague. He became convinced through his own scholarship that Scripture itself, rather than the Mass, should be seen as the source of Christian authority.
    Wycliffe’s notion that the Bible should be translated into the common tongue for the edification of all believers was a radical innovation, and one that spawned a movement. Working outside of the Church, translators eventually produced perhaps hundreds of so-called “Wycliffe Bibles,” translated and hand-copied from the Latin. It is not clear that Wycliffe himself produced any translations into English, so they are more properly known as “Wycliffite” Bibles.
    With or without Wycliffe’s active involvement, the English Bible became part of an underground movement that became known as Lollardy and continued to spread after Wycliffe’s death in 1384. It worried Church authorities enough that by 1407 the English translation was denounced as unauthorized, and translating or using translated Bibles was defined as heresy — a crime for which the punishment was death by burning. In 1415 Wycliffe himself was denounced, posthumously, as a heretic. His body was exhumed and burned in 1428. Wycliffite Bibles, even after the ban, were produced in great numbers, and the 250 or so that now remain are the largest surviving body of medieval English texts. But the time was not yet right for the Bible to exist publicly in the common tongue…
    There are some little known facts about John Wycliffe that most people don’t know and most of those who do, refrain from talking about, because they don’t understand life. Some things are like voodoo to talk about, but several times during John Wycliffe’s life, he was seen by others during his most special times with his Lord. It has been said that a very bright light could be seen at times in John’s prayer room. Once a monk who was a close friend of John’s, who told him of what was going on, on the other side, came to his room and seeing the bright light, opened the door. He later described that his friend John was above the floor and surrounded by a bright light.
    John Wycliffe was a superman in spirit for the Lord he loved so much.

  14. My grandfather knew Moses very well from the Tel Aviv snooker club. He told me that Moses couldn’t hold his drink and he enjoyed a spliff or two. His father in law was a stone mason.

  15. I will vote for the “Sea of Reeds” story board as others previously mentioned, but . . .
    Either one has to believe that God did all the odd things reported, or that there is some phenomenon (burning bush, manna from heaven, water from a rock, a woman turned to salt, walk on water, loaves and fishes, and so on) that was witnessed by someone, and not having a physical explanation reported to others over a camp fire – where they agreed that a spirit had been involved. Later a good story teller put things together to help support and promote religious beliefs. The original phenomenon may or may not have been actual. Fermented grapes might be involved.

  16. An earlier version of this article that I read yesterday used Lake Erie as a supporting argument, something about near Toledo (I think) there being documented cases of wind causing a de facto low tide of some 5 feet below normal levels – or something to that effect.
    Now this article has no mention of that, but does talk about a 19th century Nile Delta event to buttess the argument. I call shenanigans! Pics, or GTFO!

  17. Fermented grapes might be involved.

    Hmmm … now that sounds like something that needs serious investigation. Sign me up for that research!

  18. Science only explores natural phenomena by definition (oh, and testable and verifiable). Parting of the Red Sea would likely be a supernatural phenomenon, correct?

  19. The miracle is in the timing of such “events” and not always with what happens. How often have these strong winds been noted in the area in modern times. Joshua had the waters of the Jordan part so the people of Israel could enter the land. Also Elijah crossed the Jordan straight away having rolled his cloak and struck the water in 2 Kings 2v8 and Elisha used the same method to get home a bit later in 2 Kings 2v14.
    They may not have had any computer models to tell them how it was done but they knew it was done.
    James.

  20. Apparently, next they’re going to take a look at whether a cow really could jump over the moon, if given the right atmospheric conditions, and a cat and a fiddle.

  21. My theory (as in I made it up) is that the Red Sea is tidal but the Mediterranean is not. The Jews crossed at low tide but the Egyptians followed as the tide came in. Neither the Jews nor the Egyptian soldiers knew about tides since both lived on the Mediterranean coast so they explained the outgoing and incoming tides as an act of God.
    Alternatively the story is fiction. Either explanation is fine by me. Neither need modelling

  22. I found myself checking the date just in case I’d fallen through a time warp and ended up in April 1st, 2011.
    It seems these people never cease to find ways to waste taxpayers money.

  23. But when the Pharaoh’s army attempts to pursue them in the morning, the waters rush back and drown the soldiers
    The wind suddenly stopped? So why didn’t they cross at the same time as the Jews did?
    powerful wind pushed away about five feet of water
    The entire Egyptian army drown in 5 feet of water?

  24. Scientists from time to time have tried to study whether the parting of the waters, one of the famous miracles in the Bible, can also be understood through natural processes.
    So I guess it must be completely impossible that big ice shelfs would ever break off naturally? Or that CO2 is not needed for current warming?

  25. They found that a wind of 63 miles an hour, lasting for 12 hours, would have pushed back waters estimated to be six feet deep.
    Just at 63 mph, and just for 12 hours. I wonder what the Israelites looked like after being in winds like that for 12 hours? 😉
    creating a dry passage about 2 to 2.5 miles long and 3 miles wide
    You know, it seems to believe it was a miracle is easier than to believe it was this scenario. 🙂

  26. It is written in the Bible, that “Lord let blown the strong wind all the night”, but the puzzling thing is “and the water stood as a wall on their right and left”, when they were passing the corridor.

  27. “The study is intended to present a possible scenario of events that are said to have taken place more than 3,000 years ago, although experts are uncertain whether they actually occurred. The research was based on a reconstruction of the likely locations and depths of Nile delta waterways, which have shifted considerably over time.”
    The parallels between this study and AGW, er ah that should be ACD, are absolutely amazing. Not only are experts unsure that the parting of the Red Sea actually ever took place, just like ACD, but they have models to prove how it is possible, just like ACD.

  28. Here is an example of a more recent “miracle”…
    http://www.canada.com/Sockeye+return+perfect+miracle/3467901/story.html
    Many local commentators, including The Vancouver Sun, has said that Climate Change can now be ruled out as the reason for low numbers in the past (as recently as last year). Just a couple of months ago scientists wanted to spend a million dollars per stream to build something that would help the fish deal with the hot water induced by heat trapping CO2. Such a scheme can now be abandoned, and the money spent on Bio Diversity instead…
    http://www.protectbiodiversity.ca/downloads/reports/
    the latest fallback campaign if “global climate disruption” doesn’t take off.
    This significant fish return event garnered no notice by WUWT however (except in an occasional comment by a reader) ?

  29. There is no surprise in this report. It’s just more of the same: research resources being squandered in support of a religious belief.
    Given this new direction I suppose that they will even be slipping in a new acronym. Network for Christian Anecdotal Research fits pretty well. Will they figure out that water-to-wine trick for us, too?! Maybe they can model all those cool storm clouds that always come rolling in just after the crucifixion scenes.

  30. Oh god not this old chestnut. The Red sea is an area of tectonic plate movement. There are several inland lakes along the line of the Suez canal and given current rates of land rise, the inlet to these lakes from the Red sea would have been at or around sea level at the supposed time of the exodus.
    This creates an extremely dangerous area of shallow water. When the wind and tide is right, the water would be relatively shallow and easy to cross. However if there is a shift in the wind and/or change of tides, then there are two large bodies of water (the Red Sea and inland lakes) and a narrow strait between.
    The apparent “parting of the Red Sea” was simply the way the sea became quiet at a change in tide/wind whereupon those with local knowledge could walk through the Sea along shallows from one side of the strait to the other.
    Understanding the story of Exodus isn’t rocket science. It is very likely a real occurrence as described above which was written down and interpreted as best they could from known events from accounts of those who were there … and it is worth remembering that the Israelites were from the Mediterranean which has next to no tide and so they would be unfamiliar which many normal tidal events which other people from areas away from the med wouldn’t have found at all exceptional.

  31. My concern with this story is not the actual content (and the modellers state that they don’t know if the event actually happenned) but that state or government funding can be used to examine a myth, legend, or other type of fiction the underpins a set of untestable beliefs, no matter how strongly held by the believers. If these so-called scientists (perhaps ‘believeists’ would be a more suitable title) spent their own money on this investigation, that ‘s fine, but I would bet a dollar to knob of clay that they didn’t! ROTFLMAO!

  32. And … there is clear evidence that the inland lakes on the Suez Canal were part of the Red Sea in Egyptian times, because they built a canal from the Nile to this part of the “Red Sea” which they would only do if it had been open to the Sea. However it is also clear that it stopped being part of the Red Sea during Egyptian times as the “sea” terminus of the Canal is littered with Egyptian artefacts which appeared just to have been left as they were and are now many many miles away from the Sea.

  33. I watched an interesting item on the local evening news on Monday evening. The weather presenter was examining the forces of wind produced in cities, where buildings funnel winds into higher forces which can damage property. She used the wind Tunnel at BAE Wharton to test how well people stand up to such winds. This wind tunnel is used for designing military jets so is cutting edge and very accurate.
    She was having difficulty standing up unaided in a constant wind of 45 MPH. They used a system of ropes to hold her in place so that they could increase the wind. She had to be tied to the spot to be able to withstand winds of 65 MPH. However she was having a great deal of trouble breathing.
    So to pick the enormous holes in this “theory”, There is simply no way that there would have been constant winds in excess of 63MPH all coming from the same direction for such a long duration. In the incredibly unlikely event that there had been, then there is no way that the Hebrews could have walked across a muddy plain into such winds.
    There is one important connection between this bible story and CAGW though.
    That is in both cases they are using powerful computer modelling to support a theological theory in support of a religion.

  34. This was a waste of time as it has been widely recognised by archaeologists, Assyriologists and Egyptologists that the whole story is not an historical event. Only religious literalists hold on to this. It’s a mythological origin story very much like late stories of King Arthur. The life of Moses and the story of the Exodus does not fit in with any known history or chronology of Egypt or the Near East. Even at Tel Aviv University students are taught not to see it as historical. See Ze’ev Herzog or Thomas L. Thompson for more.

  35. so, if the wind is strong enough to move the water, how then was it possible for people to walk in this strong wind??

  36. “… although experts are uncertain whether they actually occurred…”: there’s such a plethora of experts nowadays.

  37. .
    Wrong sea.
    This was the Reed Sea on the coast of the Mediterranean … And the waters receded because of a great tsunami, caused by the eruption of Thera (Santorini).
    How do we know this? Because the accounts tell us so.
    God says to Moses:
    Take handfulls of ash from the hearth and throw them into the air, where they will fall as a light dust all across the lands of Egypt.
    There could be no better description of the long-range effects of a large volcano. An eye-witness account, no less.
    .

  38. Great that such research goes on! Learning through play. What’s good for kids is good for adults too. Yay! I don’t know who said it and my rendering may be inexact but there’s a lovely quote to the effect that ‘anyone who thinks play and education should be separated doesn’t know the first thing about either.’
    It doesn’t really matter whether the bible myth is true or not. It’s hardly provable one way or the other with such a time lag. But the research into the effects of strong winds on bodies of water is interesting in its own right and if people want to speculate about the source of ancient myths, let them. No harm done and we might find out something interesting.
    Thanks for the story.

  39. I suppose the probability of another strong wind in the last 3000 years would be an interesting and rare event and thus the models confirm what we already don’t know.

  40. .
    And if the parting of the waters was the tsunami (which then rushed back in to consume the Egyptians), then the biblical exodus must be one and the same as the Hyksos exodus.
    Here are some facts about the Historical Hyksos exodus from Egypt…
    The people were circumcised
    They wore long curly side-locks of hair
    There was three days of storms and darkness
    There was a civil war with the southern Egyptians
    500,000 people were ejected from Egypt on an exodus
    They started from Pi Ramesse
    They went to Jerusalem
    Sound familiar? But this is real history, taken from the archaeology, the accounts of Manetho, and the Tempest Stele of Pharaoh Amose I.
    .

  41. So the wind dried the mud at the bottom into dry land too? …….um…ok…..

    Triple point behavior. The wind initiated a Bernoulli effect which lowered the air pressure.

  42. Weird to find such research State-financed. Usually it’s lone individuals.
    Interesting to see miracles mentioned here. My experience, as a scientist, is that miracles do happen, and many records of such can be found, if you look in appropriate places.
    But the Red Sea, or rather (correctly) the Sea of Reeds… that’s another story. By far the best account of that which I’ve come across is that it was a —-Tsunami—- from the eruption of Thera / Santorini. It’s within the range of possibility for the time frame. First the sea recedes, then it encroaches, as we know.

  43. Like a previous poster, I think we can again call b[snip] on climate modelling by reference to historical materials.
    I believe it is widely agreed in academic historians’ circles (one might even say a “concsensus”) that the Sea of Reeds was a tidal swamp that Moses knew well. Twice every day there was an opportunity for a light body of people to move across it if guided properly.
    Meanwhile a heavy force, includng chariots etc. bungling unguided into a rising tide would have been bogged and then swamped by the rising tide.
    Yet another example of how detached for reality and wider evidence climate science is, to the point the make some stupid claims. They are in their own little bubble of ignorance.

  44. Just as a follow up. Historical materials also indicate that Moses planned this escape and hence it is would have had to have been a regular phenomenon, rather than an extraordinary event.
    For those interested, Moses led the Israelite tribes into a virtual trap, hemmed in by the Sea of Reeds to the East and Egypt and its army to the West. He then created a a misdirection and a diversion under the cover of darkness which alllowed the escape over the Sea of Reeds.
    He didn’t go to all that trouble and risk on the remote chance that a volcanic eruption or unusal storm system might make the Sea passable.

  45. Old news is often the best news isn’t it.
    For those of you who’d like some light relief from faith-bashing, IPCC hooting, agency mocking and general cynicism, here’s a book from the late 90’s which was fascinating in it’s day and might provide a few more subjects for redundant climate scientists to follow up on.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/product-reviews/0380726335/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1
    For all the sneers today, there may also be some gasps in the pipeline in our future.

    [REPLY: The intent of the topic was about the science and not so much religious aspects. Lets keep it that way… bl57~mod]

  46. @ Lucy Skywalker [September 22, 2010 at 2:18 am]:
    Weird to find such research State-financed. Usually it’s lone individuals.
    According to Immanuel Velikovsky [WORLDS IN COLLISION – Doubleday, 1950]:
    “The Israelites were on the shore of the Sea of Passage at the climax of the cataclysm. The name ‘Jam Suf’ is generally rendered as ‘Red Sea’; the Passage is supposed to have taken place either at the Gulf of Suez or at Akaba Gulf of the Red Sea, but sometimes the site of the Passage is identified as one of the inner lakes on the route from Suez to the Mediterranean. It is argued that ‘suf’ means ‘reed’ (papyrus reed), and since papyrus reed does not grow in salt water, Jam Suf must have been a lagoon of fresh water…But the name of the Sea of the Passage – Jam Suf – is derived not from ‘reed’ but from ‘hurricane,’ ‘suf’, ‘sufa’, in Hebrew. I(n Egyptian the Red Sea is called ‘shari’, which signifies the ‘sea of percussion’ (‘mare percussionis’) or the ‘sea of the stroke’ or ‘of the disaster’…”
    In this, Velikovsky seems to be in the right – though he put the actual parting of the waters down to a hurricane caused by the Great Global Climate Disruptor of an errant comet, thus being the result of Astronomic (rather than Anthropogenic – or Theogenic, come to that) Climate Disruption.

  47. Another miracle from NSIDC:-
    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/
    The image clearly shows the Northwest Passage open for shipping. Yesterday evening the luxury cruise ship Titanica 2 sailed the passage unaided and anchored for two hours for the 1000 passengers on board to take photographs of the Polar Bear and Artic Penguins.
    Five battleships and four cruisers from the Russin federation are presently sailing in an easterly direction and have been for two hours. Commander Gregor Ivanitch said this is great for the boys on board as we will soon reach the Motherland two weeks earlier than normal.

  48. Believe it or not i saw a talk in an applied math. department in 1999 on this. The speaker, whose name now eludes me (Matkowski?), cited a wind driven parting of the read sea as the first recorded instance of the observation of a soliton, a type of non-linear wave which would have resulted when the waters rushed back in.

  49. What is this proclivity of some ‘scientists’ who attempt to explain religious phenomena? Why? They are getting waaayyy too much of our tax money! Concentrate on the issues at hand…’for the love of God!’ 🙂
    IMO either you believe or you don’t (sound familiar?). There is no need for science to explain miracles due to the fact that only non-believers will accept the explanation and believers will scoff, so what changes with the “scientific” proof: nothing. Be scientists; not some “smart-guy” that seems to want to prove God doesn’t exist or isn’t necessary. It just serves to make 97% of the global population not want to believe anything you say.
    There is sooooo much anecdotal evidence over the past centuries for super/supra-natural phenomena it seems counterproductive for science (at this time at least), IMHO, to even consider treading that slippery slope. What if God is a manifestation of our collective conciousness utilizing zero-point energy to apprehend our manifest destiny? So? Why don’t they attempt to model what we don’t know about the world…it’s about just as relevant.
    Or maybe, and this is a real stretch, figure out where the sunspots went to (Nawww).
    Heck, we can’t predict weather out more than 72 hours and these guys want to explain the parting of the Red Sea? Get real. This excersize in futility only serves to further reduce the credibility in an already faltering (floundering?), fledgeling science. Why even go there? It bares their ignorance and arrogance simultaneously.
    Look, Moses stretched forth his staff and God parted the Red Sea (not the Sea of Reeds: that’s a “theory” which can never be proven), then when the Jews were safely across he stretched out his hand again and the seas returned drowning the majority of the Egyptian army. Simple, direct, and effective for the escaping Jews. Believe it…or not. Got a problem with it? Don’t read the book. Want to argue with a believer about it? Good luck with that!
    Science does not have to explain God any more than the Bible (or any other religion / religious text) has to explain particle physics (or any other natural process).
    As a taxpayer my response to these guys is…get back to WORK!

  50. I would have arrived at most of the truly amazing rationalizations bearing out the biblical stories if I had +3000 years and as many faithful believers at my disposal to ponder upon them. But then again, maybe I would have had them study how many angels could dance on the . . .
    John
    John

  51. Wow… and all this time scholars have been wrong, it wasn’t a mistranslation of the word reeds. Good thing we have taxes to finance this.

  52. Amino Acids in Meteorites says: September 21, 2010 at 11:23 pm
    So the wind dried the mud at the bottom into dry land too? …….um…ok…..
    At King Sound Western Australia there are 12 metre tides you can walk up to 2 miles out to sea at low tide on hard sand, mind you, you need to have a fast jog trot when the tide turns.

  53. I think the Climate Lobby in Britain may be hoping for a similar miracle to prevent the Evil Forces of Denialism (in which I am proud to declare myself a common soldier) from scrapping the Department of Climate Change! Perhaps the Conservative Treasury and hard-hearted, wicked Pharaoh Osborne will be engulfed by a sudden Thames tidal surge.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/sep/21/chris-huhne-fights-treasury-attacks
    ‘The news came today as Huhne gave his speech to the Liberal Democrat conference. His pitch was that the government wanted to foster a “third industrial revolution” in low-carbon technology. But the techno-optimism of the speech sat awkwardly with the news that he has been forced to contemplate breaking up his department. ….. The Green party leader, Caroline Lucas, said that climate change should take priority over cuts. “Nobody who understands the urgency and the seriousness of the climate crisis could even contemplate decimating the department that leads the effort to deal with it,” she said.’
    The Cheshire Cat has nothing on the persistent grin I’m sporting …..

  54. Brian D Finch says:
    September 22, 2010 at 4:06 am
    @ Twiggy
    The scholars are usually (sorry, often) wrong.
    If you don’t believe me, believe Galileo
    _____________________
    I think the point ‘Twiggy’ is making is similiar to mine: our tax dollars paid for this “science”?!
    Never was the accusation that these modellers sit around and play ‘video games’ more substantiated.

  55. Well, despite the subject matter being something I would be interested in (who wouldn’t be interested in biblical history? It’s fascinating watching how the languages moved around back then) I can understand the objections people have to this.
    However, two things to consider: unlike AGW (ACD? ACDC?) modelling there aren’t any predictions being mae from this, and equally unlike it there aren’t any attempts to declare it as truth after all the “mights” and “could haves”. I think that’s important to bear in mind.
    Chances are what’s happened here is a combination of a department attempting to justify its funding and a postgrad with an interesting idea to play with. If a department can demonstrate that it’s used up all its funds it can justify receiving a similar amount next year so they will tend to burn up any surplus on projects that don’t have any immediate relevance. And, despite the biblical theme, the physical modelling of unusual known phenomena an interesting topic of study for a postgrad or postdoc.

  56. “Geckko says:
    September 22, 2010 at 2:51 am
    Just as a follow up. Historical materials also indicate that Moses planned this escape and hence it is would have had to have been a regular phenomenon, rather than an extraordinary event.”
    There are no historical materials or contemporary accounts in existence for Moses or the Exodus. It’s an affront to science and historical study to suggest there is. WUWT has been about exposing junk science so posting junk science here stands out like a sore thumb.
    Instead of an Israelite exodus, wandering the deserts for 40 years, waging war on the Canaanites (none of this appears in any historical accounts), a true study of ancient Israelite history reveals that they were simply always a part of Canaanite culture and began to emerge as influential independent states between the downfall of the Egyptian empire and the rise of the Assyrians.
    And at least until the 6th century BCE, the Israelites also venerated a pantheon of deities including El, Baal, Yahu (famously written ‘yhwh’ and now mispronounced by most), Asherah and Adon. There’s no evidence for an ancient monotheistic culture founded by a man called Moses. This origin story was created in the 5th century BCE and history was rewritten under orders from the Persians who were expunging the Near East of many deities at the time. They felt their empire would be more stable with less religious differences, hence less deities.

  57. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram says:
    September 22, 2010 at 4:21 am

    This origin story was created in the 5th century BCE and history was rewritten under orders from the Persians who were expunging the Near East of many deities at the time. They felt their empire would be more stable with less religious differences, hence less deities.

    That’s the first I’ve heard of that. That Israeli monotheism was heavily influenced by zoroastorianism is without dispute (the most obvious influence is the book of Job), but the idea that the persian empire would forcibly re-write the religions of its subjects for “stability” seems to contradict its behaviour in other spheres.
    [REPLY: Lets get back to the discussion of the science topic please. …bl57~mod]

  58. Strange, I would have thought the atheists and otherwise non-believers would be happy that yet-another “miracle” has a plausible scientific explanation. Must they insist that practically everything in the Bible has to be complete myth, when they can explain it away with science instead? Sometimes I’m surprised they allow that the Jews existed at all.
    (My all time favorite “possible explanation” was that Mary was a tetragametic chimera with ovotestes, thus the “virgin birth” was scientifically possible. Oh man, the caterwauling that generated…)
    😉
    [REPLY: Lets get back to the discussion of the science topic at hand please. …bl57~mod]

  59. @Al Gore’s Holy Hologram It appears that the present Pentateuch was redaction of an earlier work done in about 700 BCE. Baal was indeed a big runner with some of the locals, but it is not clear that this was endorsed in the Jewish religion. Do not expect the Egyptians to provide any writings about how they lost anything. That does not happen. They keep fighting and winning as they return (aka retreat) to their own country on any of their expeditions.

  60. I can see it, Moses sitting alone next to the deep waters, deeply thinking how to get out of this mess, he looks up and says:

  61. Well, I guess if they can model that a trace gas can cause 1 to 6°C global warming, they can model anything.
    Now let’s see them model a quick US economic recovery!

  62. Ken Hall says: September 22, 2010 at 1:33 am
    In the incredibly unlikely event that there had been, then there is no way that the Hebrews could have walked across a muddy plain into such winds.

    That was my take as well. One simply cannot walk nor breath in near hurricane force winds. As many have experienced in Colorado’s front range, the Chinook winds often exceed hurricane force. Trying to do anything outdoors in those winds is not only ridiculously difficult, it is deadly.

  63. From: Stacey on September 22, 2010 at 3:41 am (emphasis added)

    Yesterday evening the luxury cruise ship Titanica 2 sailed the passage unaided and anchored for two hours for the 1000 passengers on board to take photographs of the Polar Bear and Artic Penguins.

    The what? Seeing polar bears and the Chicken of the Polar Sea mingling, now that would be a miracle!

  64. I can’t help but think of this when this when talking about Moses.

    Back on the topic at hand, interestingly enough, the Bible does tells us that God caused a wind to blow all night long. It took all night for the waters to part.

  65. Man-made global Warming belief bears the hallmarks of what traditionally would be recognised as a religion.
    Ark of the Covenant – (climate computer models)
    Commandments – (drive a Prius, use CFL bulbs, do not eat meat etc.)
    Heaven – (off-grid, wattle & daub housing)
    Hell – (runaway greenhouse warming)
    Indulgences – (carbon offsets)
    Infidels – (warming skeptics)
    Priests – (climate scientists)
    Prophets – (Al Gore, R. Pachauri, James Hansen)
    Prophecy – (floods, hurricanes, pestilence)
    Salvation – (the halting of carbon emitting industrial progress)
    Self-flagellation – (walk to work)
    Sin – (Co2 emissions)
    Scriptures – (IPCC reports)
    THE END (is Nigh) – (Deja Vu)

  66. This is actually VERY old news. The fluctuation of sea/river level was noted by Josephus Flavius (circa 30-100 CE) in his history of the Jews and the account of their passing. Unlike the bible, Josephus talks about the great winds that acompanied their crossing. In addition, the translator, Whitson (circa mid 1800’s) notes that it is said that Alexander the Great passed into Egypt in much the same manner, except that the river wasn’t dry but only came up to his midrift at the low levels.

  67. I would like to suggest that we take another look at this research.
    It may be costly and may not achieve anything practical.
    But it would be very good value and welll worth while,
    if it kept the AGW crowd amused and stopped them planning to impose needless, destructive taxes on CO@ emissions.

  68. My grandmother, Edith Haun (I don’t know what her stage name was), was an extra in the 1923 version, which was d’Mille’s first attempt at this saga. I think she is in the youtube clip but it runs too fast. I will have to watch my copy (which is old itself) of this film and try to find her again. If this is the one with the two stories shown in tandem, she appears as the leper at the end. It might be the King of Kings one. She was in both. She traveled to Chicago as a young woman to become a trained dancer. She appeared in stage productions, and early versions of the New York City Rockets (before they were named that) as well as in silent movies.

  69. Like the mods, I tend to feel that we’re rather losing the plot here and ending up having a religious history wrangle. Take a look at Monbiot’s Guardian page guys and gals – he’s back on the attack and hammering us sceptics for our credulity:
    ‘A rich collection of unfounded beliefs is a common characteristic of those who deny – despite the overwhelming scientific evidence – that man-made global warming is taking place. I’ve listed a few examples before, but I’ll jog your memories.’
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/sep/21/climate-sceptics-evidence-gullible
    Here’s the real evidence issue and, despite his apparent retreat, the Moonbat is fully back in action.

  70. I bet it was the NCAR computers that modeled the oil spill swooping around the Florida Keys, side-swiping the east coast, and finally covering the western Irish beaches in oil.
    Pretty animations do not always mean accurate animations!

  71. Have you ever tried walking upon recently de-watered mud flats, like at a midwestern reservoir when it is drained for renovation? I have.
    YOU CANNOT WALK UPON THE MUDFLATS BECAUSE YOU WILL SINK IN UP TO YOUR HIPS!
    The water-engorged silty sediments are simply too wet and too soft to walk on. Even after two weeks of exposure to the sun it is impossible.
    In my local area two geniuses in a 4 wheel drive tried to do a little running around on the mudflats of a reservoir 3 weeks after it had been drained. They made it about 200 feet from shore before they buried the truck in the muck up above the bottoms of the doors. The doors wouldn’t open, so they crawled out the windows and waded through the muck back to shore. Then it rained. Put an inch of water in the cab of the truck. It was another three weeks before they got that truck out of there.
    The wind may have parted the waters, but there wouldn’t have been any walking on what was exposed.

  72. I would rather pay for these people to use their models for such tangential activities than what they are usually trying to stuff down our throats and remove from our pockets, and on precious little real evidence.

  73. Gary Mount says:
    That ‘Miracle’ you were talKing about- back in the 90’s I had the privilege of knowing one of the oldest commercial fishermen in on the Pacific coast, Jack Guerin he’d been fishing since he was a kid he was 83 at the time. Jack told me “This handwringing
    about the Salmon is just a way of controlling the Fishing industry and Logging.”
    “It’s all cycles,nothing more nothing less.””The Salmon will come back-listen to what
    the local tribes said, it’s simple-cycles-the ocean gets warm then cold,the sun warm then cold,I don’t need to be as smart as Al Gore to figgure that one out!”

  74. Anthony, does September 21 have the same significance in Colorado as April 1 has in Europe and New Zealand?
    REPLY: well I’m not from any of those place so not sure exactly what you are referring to. But if it is the Autumnal equinox, yes. – Anthony

  75. There is a simpler explanation: it was a typo. It should read “partying at the red sea” — the Egyptians got completely sloshed.

  76. did they also model the aerodynamics of the pharaohs chariots, and the jews donkey carts in a sustained 63 mile an hour wind and exactly what would it gust up to?

  77. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram says:
    September 22, 2010 at 1:35 am
    This was a waste of time as it has been widely recognised by archaeologists, Assyriologists and Egyptologists that the whole story is not an historical event. Only religious literalists hold on to this. It’s a mythological origin story very much like late stories of King Arthur. The life of Moses and the story of the Exodus does not fit in with any known history or chronology of Egypt or the Near East.

    Since Immanuel Velikovsky has been mentioned a couple of times in the preceding discussion, it’s worth noting that he held that the consensus chronology was wrong.
    The key to all of Velikovsky’s work was an Egyptian document called the Papyrus Ipuwer, which he claimed was actually an account of the biblical plagues, “written by an eyewitness to the plagues and the Exodus.” From this Velikovsky concluded that the established chronology of Egypt and the rest of the region was inflated by some six centuries, “written in duplicate form,” a “confusion of centuries” that “makes the life of many personages double; descendants are transformed into ancestors, and entire peoples and empires are invented.”*
    Velikovsky spent many years and three volumes attempting a reconstruction of Middle Eastern chronology, based on what he saw as a correspondence between biblical and Egyptian history. He also held that the events described in the Papyrus Ipuwer were “the forerunners and aftermaths of a great cataclysm . . . Earthquakes, eruptions of volcanoes, changes of the sea profile, were some of the results of that catastrophe.” It was the latter that made the escape from Egypt possible.
    The “great cataclysm” of course Velikovsky describes at length in his fascinating, but controversial (if not entirely fanciful) Worlds in Collision.
    * From a rare document, Theses for the Reconstruction of Ancient History, Scripta Academica Hierosolymitana, 1945.
    /Mr Lynn

  78. As Carl Sagan took some delight in pointing out [in BROCA’S BRAIN – Random House,1979], Velikovsky was correct when he predicted that the surface of Venus would be hot (but for the wrong reasons), whereas all the proper astronomical models, including those of Sagan himself, were wrong – but for the right reasons.
    Perhaps there is a moral to be drawn here…???

  79. Lot of moaners on this thread. And yet it does state clearly that this is only a ‘spin-off’, a plus, a bonus, of a larger study.
    “The study is part of a larger research project by Drews into the impacts of winds on water depths, including the extent to which Pacific Ocean typhoons can drive storm surges.”
    I’m amazed so many people don’t seem to understand how pure maths and science work. Also amazed so many people are so lacking in a sense of humour.

  80. I believe it is good research justified for use of tax dollars. There must be a few things that scientists don’t know about wind, water and land. And it is part of a wider study. And it is important to know about ancient topography if you are going to consider what is going on today on the earth.
    As Scott said it would likely be a supernatural phenomenon. That is another reason to do research because all is not known.
    Scientists are still trying to figure out the image on the Shroud of Turin. Trying to dig up a missing link to prove we came, billions of years ago, from an unknown creature and the History Channel has pictures.

  81. Fun stuff. However, I would urge you to think about the personal slurs on Michael Mann. This kind of personal mocking is going to turn away some curious visitors.

  82. Doesn’t this violate the Establishment of Religion clause? If schools can’t allow their classrooms to be used for Biblical discussion, why can NCAR allow its computers to be used for Biblical research?

  83. My take-away from this is that computer models can create entire alternate realities. Reminds me of “The Music Man”. We got trouble, my friend…

  84. ….it was caused from the flatulence of all the cattle, oxen, camels and asses of Moses and his tribe! Didn’t these researchers see the movie??

  85. For those who take issue about the crossing in mud, not all bodies of water have mud as a floor under the entire body of water. It could be that on the floor they crossed, it was rock, or as pointed out earlier, very hard sand.

  86. “Mr Lynn says:
    Since Immanuel Velikovsky has been mentioned a couple of times in the preceding discussion, it’s worth noting that he held that the consensus chronology was wrong.
    …From this Velikovsky concluded that the established chronology of Egypt and the rest of the region was inflated by some six centuries”
    The Egyptians weren’t an isolated group. Their kings had written correspondance with royals through the Near East and they had trade links as far as South-east Asia. Egyptian chronology is not just dated from reading lists of pharaohs but also from the links with foreign leaders and cultures. People like Velikovsky and David Rohl are in the business of peddling pseudo-science and leave out all mention of foreign correspondence and trade links. The Amarna Letters not only solidify Egyptian chronology but also paint a picture of Canaan which does not exist in the Bible. Hell, the Egyptian and Greek empires don’t even exist in the Bible because the Persians who lorded over the Jews and forced the Rabbis to write the region’s history would not have liked any of that.

  87. Lol… The thought of a 3000yo fable being confirmed by an equally ludicrous 21st century computer model made me laugh! I suspect it would have been easier for Moses et al to swim across rather than struggle through rocks and mud in a hurricane strength wind.
    The world is becoming a surreal place to live, as fantasy usurps facts at every turn. What ever has happened to the philosophy of real Popperian science?

  88. evanmjones says:
    September 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm
    I first heard about this theory back in 1970. “Rd” supposedly did not mean “Red Sea, but, rather, Sea of Reeds, an outlying flange if the Red Sea. An unburdened slave might well make it across when winds and tides were just so. An equipped soldier, not so much.

    Fairy tales are funny that way. They don’t require physics.

  89. Ah, seeing is believing, is it not? If only they had YouTube in Biblical times.

    (Yes, I do know what they are.)

  90. jeez says:
    September 22, 2010 at 2:14 am
    So the wind dried the mud at the bottom into dry land too? …….um…ok…..
    Triple point behavior. The wind initiated a Bernoulli effect which lowered the air pressure.

    I was thinking of the time frame, 12 hours, to drive the water back and then dry the mud, which was probably deeper than just at the surface of the dirt.
    I think the triple point was a misdirected at me, and belonged to another person.

  91. Aaargh! I wasn’t quoting Josephus or Whitson as science, just as a historical reference outside the bible. In line with the topic of this discussion, I thought it would be interesting because the bible doesn’t reference the storms and wind in Exodus. Personally, I think that if it happened Moses went through the Reed Sea marshes, not the Red Sea itself.

  92. Well, they’ve been doing Revelations for years. I hope Exodus is just a rehearsal for their one-week model of Genesis. I bet it was the solar wind.

  93. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram says:
    September 22, 2010 at 7:32 am
    The Egyptians weren’t an isolated group. Their kings had written correspondance with royals through the Near East and they had trade links as far as South-east Asia. Egyptian chronology is not just dated from reading lists of pharaohs but also from the links with foreign leaders and cultures. People like Velikovsky and David Rohl are in the business of peddling pseudo-science and leave out all mention of foreign correspondence and trade links. The Amarna Letters not only solidify Egyptian chronology but also paint a picture of Canaan which does not exist in the Bible. . .

    Not to go any further afield here (not to mention beyond my ken), but a quick Web search tells us that Velikovsky was well aware of the Amarna Letters and used them in his reconstructions; see, e.g., here: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/elamarna_period.html
    I have no idea whether he was correct, nor even whether there has been any attempt in mainstream academic circles to re-examine his historical theories (I presume not).

    Brego says:
    September 22, 2010 at 5:49 am
    Have you ever tried walking upon recently de-watered mud flats, like at a midwestern reservoir when it is drained for renovation? I have.
    YOU CANNOT WALK UPON THE MUDFLATS BECAUSE YOU WILL SINK IN UP TO YOUR HIPS!
    The water-engorged silty sediments are simply too wet and too soft to walk on. Even after two weeks of exposure to the sun it is impossible. . .

    Well, it wasn’t necessarily ‘mud’. There are plenty of tidal flats and lake bottoms that are perfectly walkable when the water’s out.
    /Mr Lynn

  94. Well this entire Red Sea crossing scenario was very feasible, but probably not where these researchers projected it. The most likely place where it happened is made clear in an above linked powerpoint. (1,7 MB) Truth is actually stranger than fiction!

  95. Oh Lord, another proxy for bad weather. I suppose CAGW will now predict an easterly wind at 63+mph – for the first time in over 4000 yrs. When I was a boy hunting ducks and geese in the marshes of the Red River (of the north – delta into Lake Winnipeg) when the winds swung around to strong from the north you got your butt out across the main distributary channels in a hurry – this hundred or so sq. km marsh could rise 3-5 feet in places (my estimate) in a few hours. We can marvel at the wonder of the Egyptians for another reason now – lack of familiarity with the behaviour patterns of their own waters – unlike Manitobans. If NCAR is happy with this study, we now have a measure of what’s “good-enough-for-gov’t-work”. They don’t even know the location of the crossing with any likelihood at all.

  96. I was in Venice several years ago in midsummer when an extreme stationary high had been sitting over the southeastern Alps for several days. All of the smaller canals were empty of water at low tide. I have no idea what their normal depth is at low tide, but for sure they were “dry”. Nobody thought it was a miracle.

  97. This just proves their models are garbage. A 63 mph wind parting the water? Holding back tons of water? Nonsense. Can it cause a tidal surge? Yes. Will it part the water? No.
    If this were true we’d see it happening quite often with hurricanes where we have recorded winds that are much higher. It doesn’t happen because it is nonsense. More sci-fi from the dopes in Boulder.

  98. simpleseekeraftertruth says: September 22, 2010 at 5:26 am
    So its only been windy once in more than 2000 years?

    Al Gore has been known to part the waters of the Great White Throne just recently.

  99. OK. Now, how about the pillar of smoke by day and fire by night? Anybody for Thera (Santorini) and maybe a Tsunami?

  100. Al Gore’s Holy Hologram says: September 22, 2010 at 4:21 am
    ” There’s no evidence for an ancient monotheistic culture founded by a man called Moses. This origin story was created in the 5th century BCE and history was rewritten under orders from the Persians who were expunging the Near East of many deities at the time.”
    If the story was written in the 5th century BCE, then please explain the Mycenae Artifact (1600 – 1100 B.C.) hanging in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, which shows the story in multiple panels. http://www.greeklandscapes.com/images/ancient_mycenae/DSC00756.jpg

  101. I laughed out loud when I read this. Too funny. One can see the direct influence the NRA has on the NCAR (using climate logic) because Charlton Heston, former President of the NRA, played Moses in a movie. Now, to honor his memory, the NRA is trying to prove that Mr. Heston actually did these things! Next up, using physics to explain how a meteor landing with the proper angle and velocity can propel live frogs.

  102. “DD More says:
    September 22, 2010 at 10:02 am
    If the story was written in the 5th century BCE, then please explain the Mycenae Artifact (1600 – 1100 B.C.) hanging in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, which shows the story in multiple panels. http://www.greeklandscapes.com/images/ancient_mycenae/DSC00756.jpg
    These pre-Hellenist artifact does not depict or tell the story of an Israelite or other exodus from Egypt. But, let’s just say for a moment that it does, the Israelites would be leaving Egypt, crossing the Jordan and ended up in Canaan which was ruled by the Egyptians during the centuries you mention above. It was all Egyptian empire until the Euphrates River. The Bible writers have scrubbed the Egyptian empire from the Old Testament just as they have ignored Alexander. It would have offended their Persian lords.

  103. Murray Duffin has it right. Thera did it but was Moses and the Habiru there? Unfortunately not – see the works of David Rohl. What happens is the accreation of myth and legend when events are attached (both past and future) and congreate around a great historical/mythical/legendary figure. The parting of the Red Sea is tied up with the famous ten plagues that struck Egypt and the best explanation (for now) is the explosion of Thera. This led to the weakening of the Egyptian Empire which combined with the current heresy enfeebled Egypt for decades. This permitted the expansion of Israel under the robber king – David. When the texts that came to be known as the bible were written, these events were reflected back to an earlier period when the Habiru migrated from Egypt and began the ethnic cleansing of Caanan.

  104. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (Arthur C. Clarke). Isaac Asimov speculated whether magic is necessarily indistinguishable from sufficiently advanced technology.
    I would like to point out that we knew (as in we absolutely, no chance of being wrong, KNEW) for about two decades that lack of fiber in the diet caused certain cancers. It was known so well, that a novice medical research team decided to get a freeby article out of it by doing a study to “prove” it. To their surprise, they disproved it.
    Now, are the stories in the Bible just fantasy? Many people say they are. Are the stories told about Troy just fantasy? Many people used to say they were, until someone actually did some research on old texts, did a lot of research on old maps, looked at a bunch of ruins and sea coasts, and then discovered the ancient city of Troy. The gap between fantasy and fact, between “magic” and science, is sometimes a very small gap.
    Just because research may be based on a question raised from a Bible story, does that make it frivolous? Might we not learn something, somewhere along the way to thinking about the problem, setting up experiments and computer models, looking for similar stories? Because, if we must avoid all possible connections between Bible stories and science, must we avoid studying chariots, just because those are mentioned in a Bible story?
    As Tolkien wrote:
    ‘Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?’
    ‘A man may do both,’ said Aragorn. ‘For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth, say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!’

  105. >>grumpy old man.
    >>were the Haibru there?
    The answer is that there were two exoduses, as Manetho clearly states.
    The first exodus was the great exodus caused by the eruption of Thera … Including the water-parting tsunami, the fall of ash, the darkness and the plagues. This was the Hyksos exodus.
    The second exodus was the much smaller exodus of ‘maimed priests and lepers’. Possibly something to do with Pharaoh Akhenaton. As Manetho says, (paraphrased) “their leader was a priest called Osarseph (Son of Osiris) who led them to Jerusalem and changed his name to Moses”.
    The name Moses simply means ‘Son of …’, like the names Ramesses and Tuthmoses. Unfortunately, we are not given the god-name, for the biblical Moses (Yahmoses is a possibility, and this is the same name as the pharaoh Ahmoses.)

  106. Excuse me but am I the only one to notice that this “study” is in violation of the USA Constitution! NCAR (The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation) group is in violation of the Separation of Crutch and State since NCAR used government funds for it on government paid for equipment!!!
    Or am I just steaming up my igloo in the great white north a bit too much? Why would it not be a violation?

  107. “The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is a federally funded research and development center devoted to service, research and education in the atmospheric and related sciences. NCAR’s mission is to understand the behavior of the atmosphere and related physical, biological and social systems; to support, enhance and extend the capabilities of the university community and the broader scientific community – nationally and internationally; and to foster transfer of knowledge and technology for the betterment of life on Earth. The National Science Foundation is NCAR’s primary sponsor, with significant additional support provided by other U.S. government agencies, other national governments and the private sector.”
    http://ncar.ucar.edu/about-ncar
    Why is NCAR using federal funds to conduct religious research?

  108. I’ve never understood the desire to explain “miracles” as having natural explanations. Surely, if you’re religious then you just believe that “God did it” – no natural explanation is required. And if you’re non-religious, then surely all these stories have no more validity to you than Grimms Fairy Tales.

  109. For heaven’s sake, mods, lighten up. The article looks to be tongue-in cheek, and that invites all sorts of responses. Personally, I found some of them fascinating.

  110. “The parting of the waters described in the book of Exodus that enabled Moses and the Israelites to escape the pharaoh’s army is possible, computer simulations run by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado at Boulder show.
    To test the theory that the biblical account may have depicted actual events, the researchers studied maps of the region, archaeological records and satellite measurements to find a topographical feature where such an event might have been possible. They settled on an area south of the Mediterranean Sea where some oceanographers say a branch of the Nile River drained into what was called the Lake of Tanis, a coastal lagoon 3,000 years ago.
    The computer model shows a 63 mph east wind blowing across the area and its 6-feet-deep waters for 12 hours. In the scenario, the wind pushed back the waters into both the lake and the channel of the river, exposing a mud flat 2 to 2.5 miles long and 3 miles wide for four hours. As the winds died down, the waters quickly flowed back in and in theory would have drowned anyone on the mud flat.
    “The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus,” said Carl Drews of NCAR, the lead author of the study published in the online journal PLoS ONE. (Read the full study)
    “The parting of the waters can be understood through fluid dynamics. The wind moves the water in a way that’s in accordance with physical laws, creating a safe passage with water on two sides and then abruptly allowing the water to rush back in.””
    http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/21/where-did-waters-part-for-moses-not-where-you-think/
    It sure looks like a federally funded organization, NCAR, has spend federal funds on a religious study in violation of the Separation of Crutch and State.

  111. “Funding: The authors are grateful to the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR/NCAR) for tuition and computational support for the lead author, Carl Drews, and for support by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) N00014-07-1-0413. Weiqing Han is also supported by NASA Ocean Vector Wind Science Team 1283568 and NSF CAREER OCE 0847605. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.”
    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0012481

  112. OK, stop the presses:
    “Competing interests: The lead author has a web site, theistic-evolution.com, that addresses Christian faith and biological evolution. The Red Sea crossing is mentioned there briefly. The present study treats the Exodus 14 narrative as an interesting and ancient story of uncertain origin.”
    Ok, so clearly I am correct. This is a potentially serious violation of the US Constitutional Principle of The Separation of Church and State.

  113. Man, if the Models can even explain the Red Sea parting naturally, what could possibly be wrong with the null hypotheses in explaining all the events otherwise allegedly linked to CO2AGW, which itself now seems even less likely given further proof of the true omnipotence of the Models in generating so many equally “true” scenarios?

  114. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
    Ease up people, unless you are just deliberately being silly. In what way does studying wind effects cause Congress to pass a law about establishing a religion? Or am I missing something here? If I study chariot construction, and chariots are mentioned in the bible, am I trying to influence Congress to pass laws about establishing a religion? Think about what you are making a correlation between.
    It is almost like you are making a correlation between carbon dioxide and the earth warming to unbearable temperatures. Now, THAT would just be silly.

  115. This research does what good research should do, it boldly asks “Is it possible?”
    Thankfully research such as this is not constrained as to the source the question arises from. Imagine how many medical treatments and drugs we would have missed out on solely because they came from shamanism (the practices of healers of a tribal religion).
    “Wow, this looks promising. Now all we need is federal research funding…”
    “Nope, not going to happen.”
    “What? But this could be a treatment for cancer, and these other diseases as well.”
    “Sorry, can’t risk confirming any part of any religion as being true. We have separation of church and state. Trust me, science is better off for not knowing about this.”
    Yup, what a sad world that would be…

  116. A few years ago there was a sustained offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico, off Louisiana, which resulted in the sea level being depressed by 5 feet. A large tanker in the centre of a buoyed channel, pilot on board, when proceeding at 12 touched bottom. The tanker broke it’s back. The US Army Core of Engineers confirmed the water level reduction in their papers handed to the court over following a disclosure request. There were no attendant wall-like cliffs of water on either side of the channel. It would appear that sea water level depression consequential upon offshore winds occurs from time to time.
    The Crossing of the Red Sea, which was also preceded by offshore winds, in this case Easterly, was unique in being accompanied by wall-like cliffs of water on either side.
    The fact that it cannot be explained doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened.
    The Big Bang cannot be explained, yet it did happen.
    Didn’t it?

  117. Well wasn’t it Aaron who let the natives go wild and model golden calves.
    So if the water was only six feet deep; why did they need to part the sea at all; and how come all of those following Arabs drowned; they must have been pretty good swimmers; you would have to be to survive swimming in the nile with all of those nile Crocodiles.
    Do they have a video of this model in operation; because I would just love to see somebody produce a nice laminar flow effect like that. Have you ever tried sweeping a puddle of water off a flat roof (oxymoron) ? No way can you keep up with the front braking up and sneaking back no matter how big a broom you’ve got.
    I’d rather believe that a surprise near miss passing asterplanetoid happened to get in phase with the moon and created an extra six feet of tidal range to give them a one shot deal for a few hours.
    But a wind of that capability would have kicked up the mother of all sandstorms; and they never would have been able to get out in such a blow.
    So how much of my tax dollars did this nonsense study waste.

  118. Great movie – but best get the great man’s name right in the photo caption! It is Charlton, with no “e”.

  119. Wow, so these “scientists” are suggesting that this wind event, which has never actually been observed to have happened in the real world, yet still isn’t an impossibility, just “happened” to have occurred at the precise time it was needed to in order to save the fleeing Israelites. That would be a miracle indeed.
    Yep, looks like pwl is onto something, regarding a possible violation of the separation of Church and State.

  120. “”” pwl says:
    September 22, 2010 at 11:29 am
    OK, stop the presses:
    “Competing interests: The lead author has a web site, theistic-evolution.com, that addresses Christian faith and biological evolution. The Red Sea crossing is mentioned there briefly. The present study treats the Exodus 14 narrative as an interesting and ancient story of uncertain origin.”
    Ok, so clearly I am correct. This is a potentially serious violation of the US Constitutional Principle of The Separation of Church and State. “””
    Well this is a potentially serious violation of reality; nowhere in the US Constitution is there any mention of any separation of Church and State. It simply says that ” Congress shall make NO LAWS respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; …. or words to that effect. My apologies if I have cited this incorrectly.
    So if these public employee modellers happen to be wasting time on modelling some hypothesis that happens to have some connection with some ancient writings of uncertain origin; who has the authority to prohibit them from doing that (on religious grounds) ; although they could have their pay docked for fooling around on the taxpayer’s nickel. The Constitution places no priority on the making of NO LAWS versus; the prevention of free exercise; and if these clowns did their study for religious reasons that is a protected activity; but the taxpayer’s shouldn’t be hit with the tab.
    And before you go storming off on some unfounded assumption; be advised that I consider religion to be the single greatest scourge that ever inflicted the human race; as evidenced by that lunatic piece of garbage by the name of Amandajihad that is flapping off his mouth at the United Nations; while enjoying the very protection of that Constitutional prohibition against restriction of free exercise.
    My opinions do not conflict with my belief in the preservation of that right of free exercise.

  121. Eerh…, they are not exactly “scientists”. From the paper in PLoS:
    “Competing interests: The lead author has a web site, theistic-evolution.com, that addresses Christian faith and biological evolution. The Red Sea crossing is mentioned there briefly. The present study treats the Exodus 14 narrative as an interesting and ancient story of uncertain origin.”
    When we go to that website, we realize what kind of “scientists” they are:
    http://www.theistic-evolution.com/
    Very bad for PLoS ONE…
    Source:
    Drews C, Han W (2010) Dynamics of Wind Setdown at Suez and the Eastern Nile Delta. PLoS ONE 5(8): e12481. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012481

  122. Competing interests: The lead author has a web site, theistic-evolution.com, that addresses Christian faith and biological evolution. The Red Sea crossing is mentioned there briefly. The present study treats the Exodus 14 narrative as an interesting and ancient story of uncertain origin.

    At http://www.theistic-evolution.com/ we find…
    Young Earth Creationism debunked, Intelligent Design objected to, and the scientific theory of evolution defended and affirmed. I approve.
    That such can be done without adding in that God does not exist, as if evolution is a scientific disproving of the possible existence, seems to irritate certain people for some reason.

  123. George E. Smith says:
    September 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    nowhere in the US Constitution is there any mention of any separation of Church and State.
    True, however;
    “Jeffries and Ryan (2001) argue that the modern concept of separation of church and state dates from the mid-twentieth century rulings of the Supreme Court. The central point, they argue, was a constitutional ban against aid to religious schools, followed by a later ban on religious observance in public education. Jeffries and Ryan argue that these two propositions – that public aid should not go to religious schools and that public schools should not be religious – make up the separationist position of the modern Establishment Clause.”
    While there is certainly room for disagreement about what the founding fathers intended, we do have precedent. There could be a legal case here, but I doubt anyone would bother pursuing it.

  124. Peter Melia says:
    September 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm
    A few years ago there was a sustained offshore wind in the Gulf of Mexico, off Louisiana, which resulted in the sea level being depressed by 5 feet.
    The Crossing of the Red Sea, which was also preceded by offshore winds, in this case Easterly, was unique in being accompanied by wall-like cliffs of water on either side. The fact that it cannot be explained doesn’t mean it couldn’t have happened.”

    Lets get the facts straight. Nowhere does it say: “a 5 foot wall of water”. All it says is that there was A wall of water to left and right as they crossed, and that “the waters returned, and covered (8762) the chariots,”
    All we need for these conditions to be met is that the water level is rising (due to change in wind, tide, land level, tsunami, etc.) at a rate which causes a tidal surge. For an extreme example see the seven bore here:-http://mhweather.co.uk/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1174487676
    Or read about The spectacle of the tide
    The speed of the currents often exceeds one metre per second.
    When the sea comes in, a 25 km wide wave rushes in between the headlands of Cancale and Granville. The bore, about 50 cm high, roars in, but does not move forward at the same speed everywhere. There is therefore a great danger of being encircled if you should adventure out into the Bay alone.”
    (http://www.baie-mont-saint-michel.fr/en/the_phenomenon_of_the_tides.php?lang=en)

    There are many places where it is well known that the tide comes in “at the speed of a galloping horse” and this commonly causes fatalities such as at Morecombe bay (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Morecambe_Bay_cockling_disaster).
    I really don’t know where people are getting this idea that the land was “dry”. The Exodus story uses a single word meaning: “dry land” as opposed to sea – it means terra firma – land you can stand on without being washed away by water!
    When people imagine that the ancients were talking about a totally dry path, it is the urban car-driving never been where there isn’t a bridge, never taken their socks off to to get to the other side of a river let alone waded across … types who think that “dry land” means bone-dry (like inside your car) and not “dry land”/terra firma as in having feet on something solid and not having to swim.
    Finally, let’s not forget that the difference between crossing safely and getting killed can be a matter of a few inches of water. The following picture neatly shows the way just a couple of inches of water almost totally obscure the road across to Holy Island off the coast of Britain. http://www.freefoto.com/preview/9908-06-3?ffid=9908-06-3
    If you look closely you can just about see the white lines marking the centre of the road, in fact the car in the picture is perfectly safe … they are only going through a couple of inches of water … but if the poles at the side were not there and they veered just a few feet to either side … they would be in the drink, and once you have lost your way on the path and with a rising tide it is only a matter of minutes before the strength of the tide will be enough to knock any pedestrian off their feet and then they will be hundreds of meters from the shore and being driven out to sea very very quickly.
    And the most likely place for this Exodus story is on a narrow straight of land between two large bodies of water. We are told one is the Red Sea (as explained above it is the Red Sea), the other is the Great and Small bitter lakes on the Suez canal which even at todays elevated land levels together have an area of 250km2.
    We also know that the Egyptians built a canal linking the bitter lakes to the Nile so that … “The reliefs of the Punt expedition under Hatshepsut 1470 BC depict seagoing vessels carrying the expeditionary force returning from Punt. This has given rise to the suggestion that, at the time, a navigable link existed between the Red Sea and the Nile.[19][20] Evidence seems to indicate its existence by the 13th century BC during the time of Ramesses II.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Canal#2nd_millennium_BC)
    However by the time of the Greek writers in the 4th century BC this link was no longer feasible. So, some time between 1200BC and 400BC the Bitter lakes became separated from the Red Sea. This means the exodus appears in the same time frame as the separation of the Bitter Lakes from the Red Sea … or to put it another way, during the period when the straits of Suez would have seen some enormous tidal surges.
    Tidal range in North of Red sea = 0.6m
    Current size of bitter lakes = 250km2
    Total volume of water = 150million cubic meters
    If all this water flowed through a 1km wide straight 0.6m deep in 12hours it would need to travel at 20km/hr (13mph).
    What the accounts tell us is that:
    And the waters returned , and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.
    But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

    Note: the egyptians were engulfed at the same time as the Israelites were walking with a “wall of sea” to left and right.
    What this seems to suggest is that the crossing was by a reef of higher ground surrounded by large tidal flats. The Israelites crossed the central stream at low tide (with favourable winds), but were then aware of the racing tidal surges on either side (this appears as a wall of white waves streaming across the flats).
    The unlucky Egyptians tried to cross the deepest part of the straight after the point when the tide was beginning to race, the path that was obvious just a few minutes before was quickly obscured by a confusing swirl of water, they would have lost their way ventured into deeper water – perhaps being bogged down in soft sand dare I say it “quick sand”, there would have been strong flowing water, so that those that could not turn back were quickly swept from the reef that allowed safe passage across the straight into deeper water where the waters quickly engulfed them.
    Even for those who were familiar with the tidal race at the mouth of the bitter lakes, the phenomena would have been quite terrifying. For Egyptians and Israelites who knew nothing other than the none-tides of the Mediterranean, which I’m sure are no where near strong enough for the tidal races that produce “walls of water” (aka a line of breaking waves at the front of the incoming tide) … it must have looked like an act of god.

  125. Janice on September 22, 2010 at 10:52 am
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic (Arthur C. Clarke). Isaac Asimov speculated whether magic is necessarily indistinguishable from sufficiently advanced technology.

    ——–
    Janice,
    Indeed, and to a non-scientific & uncritical civilization all of nature will appear as magic. In our current civilization you get a lot of that.
    Homo sapiens clearly loves fictional stories! Religion has that aspect of good entertainment valued fictional stories, independent of the epistemological question of all the faith/supra-naturalism/superstition.
    Victor Hugo said something to the effect that non-fiction has the capacity to tell us what is but fiction can tell us what ought to be. Wasn’t it he who also said if he couldn’t write fiction then he would throw away his pen?
    John

  126. As others have pointed out, accusing these folks of violating the modern doctrine of “separation of church and state” (nowhere in the Constitution) is a ridiculous red herring.
    While the charge that they are wasting taxpayers’ money on idle pursuits has more credibility, in point of fact these scientists are officially tasked with studying the physics of wind and waves, which is certainly a legitimate scientific pursuit. It is not unreasonable to allow scientists in a particular field the scope to devise tests of data collection, models, hypotheses, etc., and if these actually contribute to an interesting historical question, so much the merrier. I can’t fault them for that.
    What we ought to consider is whether and to what extent the Federal government ought to be funding scientific research at all, and if so, what kinds and under what circumstances. Congressmen and the press have a lot of fun with research grants for outlandish-sounding topics, like “frog digestion” or “fruitfly coloration”, but I would assume most readers here know that basic research in any number of fields often looks completely irrelevant and impractical—if not inscrutable—to the lay public.
    Nevertheless, it was not very long ago that research of almost all kinds (except perhaps for public health and warfare) was undertaken by private entities, whether industry, foundations, universities, or tinkerers in their garages, and not by government. Arguably that is impossible today. But it is not altogether impossible, and it may be that it is time to draw some lines, if for no other reason than (as we have seen with ‘climate science’) government sponsorship can, and often does, introduce an unwelcome ‘results bias’.
    /Mr Lynn

  127. Well if you want to get nitpicky; there’s nowhere in the Constitution where the federal Government or the Congress have any authority with regard to any schools public or private.
    Schools after all, were one of the three or so things that early settlers needed to provide on a community basis whenever they set up small communities; and what they taught in those schools (farmer Joe’s Daughter as school marm) was whatever that group of settlers thought it was appropriate for their kids to learn. The other two issues were of course organizing a bucket brigade for whenever someone’s barn caught fire; and the other was to empower a local sheriff to keep order.
    Nowadays of course, Police and fire protection and local schooling are the last things that governments fund. Only after they satisfy the needs of the special interests of the folks that put them in power do they even think about the original reasons for having local governments in the first place.
    The Federal Government is supposed to first of all take care of defense (of the United States); and the Congress is authorised to lay and collect taxes for that purpose; and also to pay the debts of the United States; well they also are to provide for the general welfare of the United States; which is that Political entity that is head quartered in Washington DC. Nowhere does it empower them to take care of the welfare of every Tom Dick and Harry; just that Federal Government which was one of the three parties to that original Constitution. (the others being “we” the people, and the several sovereign States of the Union.)
    Congress doesn’t have any taxing authority for anything else. Well they do an end run around the Constitution by funding everything that comes to their idle minds with deficit spending;l which then makes those costs a part of the Debts of the United States; which the Congress is then authorised to lay and collect taxes for.
    I’m not sure; but I believe you will find enabling wording to that effect somewhere in Article I Section 8; it should be in the first clause there somewhere.
    The socialists of course like to cite the preamble to the Constitution where the words “of the United States” are omitted; so they claim that is their authority to give handouts to anybody who will vote to keep them in power.
    So I will leave it up to you Constitutional lawyers to cite the most recent case; or any case for that matter, where the Supreme Court cited the Preamble to the Constitution as the enabling authority for any decision they handed down. So far as I know it has never happened. The first words in the Constitution of the United States are :- “Article I , section 1 …. ” NOT “We the People”; that’s just what is written on the library card that tells you what the Constitution is for (to define the federal Government structure, and cede certain powers to it; “in order to form a more perfect union…”)
    But then all you citizens know that already, much better than I do.

  128. This was on ABC World News tonight, they were talking with Drews. It was said there would be ankle deep mud.
    Four hours to cross just over two miles, but with near hurricane force winds and ankle deep mud… And large quantities of heavily armed soldiers who would kill you if you didn’t escape. Yup, sounds possible. Well, the survivors reported it was possible…

  129. Did I forget to mention that my Grandma was wearing very little in the way of costuming? Back in the 20’s, movies were made without the censor police. The hot California Sun burned her in places that had never seen the light of day. And she was a red headed, fair skinned Irish woman, 5 ft 2, with flashing blue eyes and a temper to match. Add a sunburn in sensitive areas and you have ignition!

  130. There’s no violation of separation of church and state here. I saw not one sentence promoting any given religion. The bible is an historical documented. Fragmented, interpreted and reinterpreted, out of order, possibly a blend of mythos and legend from multiple sources, some exagerated and some very possibly just a story for the purpose of illustrasting a point, but still a collection of events which by and large have some foundation for having occurred. Examining, as a minor part of a larger study, if a scientific explanation for the events of the bible is possible, is interesting and has merit.
    Consider that the Hebrews supposedly left Egypt and settled in the “land of milk and honey”. Sounds like a verdant paradise. But Israel today would be mostly desert if not for massive irrigation projects. So is it not worth asking the question, is there historical evidence that can correlate the roots of the story with an accurate timeline? If so, what caused the area to become desert instead of the “land of milk and honey”? The point here is that you can’t blame CO2 emissions for the change. Was the planet cooler or warmer then than now? If cooler, it warmed up considerably over a few thousand years without serious CO2 emissions to drive it. If warmer, it sort of pokes a hole in the notion that a warmer earth will be less productive and have less precipitation (at least in that area).
    I think the scientific investigation contributes to knowledge, and the discussion here was very interesting, and I’m glad to see the topic didn’t descend into religious debate. That said, I am reminded of a profound comment on religion I saw 30 years ago scrawled on the wall of a public washroom. With the moderators indulgence:
    Jesus Saves
    Moses Invests

  131. Wow, I was mistaken, computer models are REAL science. Lord Rees Astronomer Royal and President of the Royal Society on HARDtalk said/agreed we are close to understand everything in science,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00tvssj/HARDtalk_Lord_Rees_Astronomer_Royal_and_President_of_the_Royal_Society/
    Modern theory’s are right (for the most part) and future scientists will be needed to hone down the loose ends of those sciences by properly trained university teachers ( no improper teachers, no)making science more interesting for the next generations, instead of wasting time on boring stuff like data gathering we already know! The future of science will be full of exciting new modern computer technologies to adjust and proxie for modeling software with real BIG computers and then …….even BIGGER computers one can only hope!:)
    Computer modeling science proves and explains everything when you look at it,
    With a adjustment here,
    and a doubling there.
    Here a hockey,
    there a proxie,
    Everywhere a grant, grant.
    Oh my puter shows alarm, UN, EU owe!
    Or modelings many uses for studying true proven sciences like,
    Over population of 4th dimensional universe.
    Quantum mechanics the science of nothing.
    The Big bang theory
    Black holes, worm holes and star trek.
    The multiple big bang theory!
    Climate warming/change/disruption/…..agrovation?
    Plate tectonics, tree rings and crop circles.
    Astronomic studies of 1% stars, 99% dark matter( must be capable of Ocular night observation and in need of a grant)
    Planetary CO2 sequestering and Solar system environmentalism
    Future Paleontology
    And a new modern science study,
    Biblical modeling, flat earth geology and climate science. ( We’re not really concerned about an applicants knowledge on these sciences, but they must have grade 8, a few hours experience in computer modeling or a back ground in video gamestery) 🙂
    Now if they could only model insanity, I’m sure they would find it’s even worse then we predicted.

  132. “There’s no violation of separation of church and state here. I saw not one sentence promoting any given religion.”
    ““The parting of the waters described in the book of Exodus that enabled Moses and the Israelites to escape the pharaoh’s army is possible, computer simulations run by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado at Boulder show.”
    So “the book of Exodus” isn’t particular to religion? Hmmm… last I looked “the book of Exodus” was a book promoting religion.
    If you look at part two of the author’s video you’ll see the picture of Charleton Heston as Moses on the “Phd” poster about the research. I gather that “Moses” isn’t promoting religion either, he’s just a modern day secular character. But wait, there’s more, it goes on for example with this:
    “The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus,” said Carl Drews of NCAR”
    Exodus and Moses being promoted by a paid member of NCAR. A federally funded organization promoting religion in a paid for study as plain as day. Not good.
    Give us a break.

  133. I am late to this one folks!
    “The simulations match fairly closely with the account in Exodus,” says Carl Drews of NCAR, the lead author.
    Now, did they read the account in Exodus first, then do the model or the other way round?

  134. pwl;
    Exodus and Moses being promoted by a paid member of NCAR. A federally funded organization promoting religion in a paid for study as plain as day. Not good.
    Give us a break.>>
    What an astounding leap in logic. If the research is correct, and there is a physical explanation for the biblical account, then the occurence was of natural origin, not an act by a supernatural all powerful deity, and the beneficiaries of it were simply fortunate in their timing as the victims were unfortunate in theirs. How does one promote religion by attempting to falsify its main tenet, that the event was an act of god? The study seems flawed to me, but not as flawed as your accusation. If the researchers are correct in their assertion, then no god is required to explain the event, the core premise of the bible is undermined as a consequence, and religion’s detractors, not its adherents, will applaud the study.
    Give me a break.

  135. davidmhoffer says:
    September 23, 2010 at 2:59 am
    If the research is correct, and there is a physical explanation for the biblical account, then the occurence was of natural origin, not an act by a supernatural all powerful deity, and the beneficiaries of it were simply fortunate in their timing as the victims were unfortunate in theirs.
    The weasel words here are “a physical explanation”. Of course there is a physical explanation. Theirs simply strains credulity in that according to their theory, an extraordinary wind event just “happened” to have occurred at the precise time it was needed, indicating that it was indeed an act of God.

  136. Bruce Cobb;
    The weasel words here are “a physical explanation”. Of course there is a physical explanation. Theirs simply strains credulity in that according to their theory, an extraordinary wind event just “happened” to have occurred at the precise time it was needed, indicating that it was indeed an act of God.>>
    I said their study was flawed. There are far more credible explanations than theirs. As for the fortuitous timing, consider the number of freak weather events that have happened on this globe over the past few thousand years. The vast majority of them go unremarked. It is simply a matter of odds that a tiny handful of them would inadvertantly impact the course of history and be recorded by primitive societies as an act of god.

  137. The point is NOT that the study is correct or not. That is irrelevant.
    The point is that US Federal Funds were used to conduct a study with a clear Religious Goal and that is a violation of the Separation of Church and State. Next thing you know every religion will be wanting their share of research monies for their mythology research and the flood gates will really open.
    It’s very clear that the study crossed the line from science into something else, and evidently the author of that study is into that something else in spades. Which is perfectly fine as long as it’s not done with tax payers monies and there in lies the problem, US Federal Funds of Federally Funded US Agencies were used to fund that religious study.
    If this is the kind of research games that are going on at organizations like NCAR, Nasa, the NSF or ONR (which funded the study) then these research organizations are deeply in trouble and is an indication of the lack of quality of the people involved in climate research indeed. If they allow blatant violations such as this religious study then what other games are they up to with other studies and projects?

  138. Well pwl, the loudness of your protests has been noted, if not their legitimacy. After all, it’s allowable for NASA to use federal funds for Muslim outreach.
    This was just part of a larger project, just picking a historical example when running the software to see what could happen. Would it have made much difference if they had picked some random point in time and some part of a North American river or lake to examine? Would you still be making a fuss if some Native American legend had told of the possible parting being examined? Exodus is part of the history of a people, with a religion universally ascribed to all members of that people. Can you argue the distinction between a historical and a religious event when they are both drawn from the same record?
    Perhaps your complaints will have a better reception over at Farming-gila… Phony-gully… whatever-it-is. I hear they go for that sort of stuff over there.
    😉

  139. Yes, kadaka thanks for pointing out another violation!
    Researching history on the federal dollar is fine. Researching religious mythologies on the federal dollar is not.
    If you do a search on google now you’ll see all the articles about this. The religious are already milking this for all they can get from it. That would be fine had they funded it, but now they have the “legitimacy of government” associated with their claims and that is where this violation escalates beyond the trivial into a serious matter as the government is prohibited by law from supporting religion. That is there to protect all Americans from theocracy which is what Iran has, and I suppose that would be fine with many Americans but it’s not in alignment with the law or the Separation of Church and State.
    Oh, and no need for your cynical personal attack attitude in your last paragraph. Very unprofessional of you.

  140. “”” pwl says:
    September 23, 2010 at 11:15 am
    The point is NOT that the study is correct or not. That is irrelevant.
    The point is that US Federal Funds were used to conduct a study with a clear Religious Goal and that is a violation of the Separation of Church and State. “”””
    Well I don’t see where you get the “religious goal from”. Seems like the aim was not unlike the aims of the “Mythbusters” program; to simply see if an ancient written account of a supposedly historically factual event is plausible or not. Seems like they established some conditions under which the story could have been true.
    I didn’t read where their computer program assigned any divine providence to the causation of whatever wind storm was apparently capable of explaining the physical parameters of the written account.
    And get over it; there isn’t any Constitutional provision for a “Separation of church and State”. Just says Congress shall make no law. There isn’t any Constitutional provision for Life, Libertty and the pursuit of Happiness either. I think you will find the word LIFE appears nowhere in the original Constitution as written; and just three times in the amendments; once in the 5th amendment where it apparently lays the groundwork for the provision of a process of (Federal) law to deprive some person of life (maybe a Federal death penalty); and then twice in the 14th amendment; where it apparently extends the same provision (should they choose) to the several States.
    But school children and the media and a host of others are constantly talking about a Constitutional right to life. Maybe they should read the Declaration of Independence; where it says everybody already has that right; long before there even was a Constitution.
    So if there was any law prohibiting these public empolyees from using the computer for that particular simulation; on the grounds that the proposed simulation was religious in nature; then such a law would itself be un-Constitutional.
    No law means NO LAW. The very existence of such a law is in and of itself proof that that law is Unconstitutional; since its intent is the “prohibit the free exercise”.; and NO (federal) LAW with such intent is allowed.
    Why is it that so many people who want to be free from religion; don’t stop at that but want to interfere with other people’s rights to make their own decisions about that.

  141. There is plenty of laws in the USA that prevent the USA Government from funding religious projects.
    “Why is it that so many people who want to be free from religion; don’t stop at that but want to interfere with other people’s rights to make their own decisions about that.” – George E. Smith
    You’re free to do as you please with regards to your “own decisions” about that George E. Smith. I am in no way desiring to prevent you from making your own decisions about that George E. Smith and your implication that I am indicates that you fail to comprehend the issues involved.

  142. “Nothwithstanding the general progress made within the two last centuries in favour of this branch of liberty, & the full establishment of it, in some parts of our Country, there remains in others a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Gov’ & Religion neither can be duly supported: Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both the parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded agst.. And in a Gov’ of opinion, like ours, the only effectual guard must be found in the soundness and stability of the general opinion on the subject. Every new & successful example therefore of a perfect separation between ecclesiastical and civil matters, is of importance. And I have no doubt that every new example, will succeed, as every past one has done, in shewing that religion & Gov will both exist in greater purity, the less they are mixed together; [James Madison, Letter to Edward Livingston, July 10, 1822, The Writings of James Madison, Gaillard Hunt]”
    “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion & Govt in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history [attempts where religious bodies had already tried to encroach on the government]. [James Madison, Detached Memoranda, 1820]”
    “James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American politician and political philosopher who served as the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817) and is considered one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
    He was the principal author of the US Constitution, and is often called the “Father of the Constitution”. In 1788, he wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, the most influential commentary on the Constitution. The first president to have served in the United States Congress, he was a leader in the 1st United States Congress, drafting many basic laws, and was responsible for the first ten amendments to the Constitution and thus is also known as the “Father of the Bill of Rights”.[2] As a political theorist, Madison’s most distinctive belief was that the new republic needed checks and balances to protect individual rights from the tyranny of the majority.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison
    Well, there is much more… but hopefully you get the point.

  143. From: pwl on September 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Madison
    Well, there is much more… but hopefully you get the point.

    I sure do. If the point was that you can argue just about anything with selective Wiki-quoting.
    Separation of church and state in the United States
    It is clear that in the early United States, both pre-Constitution while support for ratification was gathered and subsequently after ratification, the First Amendment meant the federal government would have no official state religion, there would be no “Church of the United States” as there was a “Church of England,” nor was preference to be given to one particular religion over another thus minority religions would not be selectively persecuted by government.
    It shall be noted that several individual States did have official religions. Several were previously Church of England as colonies, considered disestablished by the Revolution. But even after ratification of the Constitution, some official State religions remained. Connecticut was Congregational Church until adopting their 1818 State Constitution. The North Carolina State Constitution is interesting. It has changed over time from allowing only Protestants to hold public office to only Christians to the current version which forbids only atheists. A 1961 US Supreme Court case found that unenforceable, but no one has required that language be stricken from the NC State Constitution.
    Everson v. Board of Education (1947) is notable as the start of the use of a broad interpretation of the Establishment Clause, giving us the current legal view you espouse of the “wall of separation between Church and State.” You apparently concur with Justice Wiley Rutledge:

    Similar First Amendment cases have flooded the courts in the decades following Everson. Having invoked Thomas Jefferson’s metaphor of the wall of separation in the Everson decision, the lawmakers and courts have struggled how to balance governments’ dual duty to satisfy both the nonestablishment clause and the free exercise clause contained in the language of the amendment. The majority and dissenting Justices in Everson split over this very question, with Rutledge in the minority insisting the Constitution forbid “every form of public aid or support for religion”.

    Rutledge was noted as strongly liberal and favored by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, BTW.
    This argument about a theoretical legal concept could go on indefinitely, but we already debate quite frequently on this site of the difference between models and reality and I see no reason to continue arguing about a model government. I will however freely quote from the back of a dollar bill, “In God We Trust.”
    ————-
    Interesting Note: There appears to be a dead link to a reference at the “Separation” article, could be a short-term glitch or a moved item:

    8. “Rights of the People: Individual freedom and the Bill of Rights”. US State Department. December 2003 . Retrieved 2007-04-06.

    This brought up an error page from my ISP, Earthlink, with a Yahoo search box and the following text:

    We are sorry, freedom cannot be found.

    I would laugh if the reality didn’t hurt so much…

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