Camel Carcasses and Scientific Stupidity
Last Sunday at my small group a friend asked me about this latest thing about the camels in the Bible being mistaken. I had no idea what he was talking about, so he asked me to research it.
I didn't have to. Another friend sent me a link the following day to an NPR segment devoted to it. I was busy so didn't bother right away, but I finally saw a Christianity Today article on this supposed bombshell that should leave all believers in the Old Testament quaking in their boots.
So here's the deal: some archaeologists dug up some domesticated camel bones in a 10th century B.C. copper mine. This is the earliest physical evidence of domesticated camels in the region.
Camels weren't domesticated prior to the ones whose bones they just found. Therefore, stories about camels in Abraham's time (1,000 years earlier) are just made-up stories written much later.
Now, if you think this all counts as sound scientific reasoning, just keep on studying: you may have a future in academia. Just keep repeating to yourself, "If I haven't found it, it doesn't exist!" I wish these folks would be consistent and say that about the missing link between humans and their ape-like cousins.
Anyway, never mind that we have an ancient list of domesticated animals from Ur (the land Abraham came from) written in Ugaritic (a super-cool cuneiform language, if you've ever seen it) that includes camels. Pay no attention to that! That cuneiform tablet from 2,000 B.C. dug up in Ur of Chaldea must've also been written during the Israelite exile in 500 B.C.! It's a fake! That's where the logic must lead.
Hearing this nonsense reminded me of how 19th century critics used the non-existence of the Hittite people to say the Old Testament is fanciful and lacking historical authenticity. They maintained that for years. Until they actually dug a little (literally) and discovered that the Hittites weren't just a "people." They were an Empire.
But, really, my responding to this attention-seeking bunch of lousy archaeologists isn't necessary. Because The Onion beat me to it long ago: