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AndrewM

Broadening the Definition of "Urban Legends"

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AndrewM

I'm hoping we can get to discussing some common urban legends that many Adventists share.<P>I think a true urban legend includes stories like disappearing hitchhikers, "haunted" dormitories and some of the stuff about we heard in Academy from nervy blond men giving worship talks.<P>Here's one example: In the 1970's I attended a day Academy in Toronto. A story was going around (promoted by the Bible teacher) that HMS Richards Sr. was visited by an angel who told him that the Second Coming would occur while he was still alive. I believe that Pastor Richards was in his 70's or 80's at the time. It made many of us 13 and 14-years-olds really take account of our lives.<P>------------------<BR>Be glad in all that God has planned for you, be patient in trouble and always be prayerful. Rom. 12:12 <I>NLT</I>

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Nan

In the spirit of this thread, can anyone throw light on the following? It is not strictly SDA, but of relevance. I have heard this before, but received it again today from a friend. I do not know its origin.<P>NASA and the Bible<P> For all the scientists out there and for all the students who have a hard time convincing these people regarding the truth of the Bible...here's something that shows God's awesome creation and shows that He is still in control.<BR> Did you know that the space program is busy proving that what has been called "myth" in the Bible is true?<P> Mr. Harold Hill, President of the Curtis Engine Company in Baltimore Maryland and a consultant in the space Program relates the following development. "I think one of the most amazing things that God has for us today happened recently to our astronauts and<BR> space scientists at Greenbelt, Maryland. They were checking the position of the sun, moon, and planets out in space where they would be 100 years and 1000 years from now. We have to know this so we won't send a satellite, up and have it bump into something later on in its orbits. We have to lay out the orbits in terms of the life of the satellite, and where the planets will be so the whole thing will not bog down.<P> They ran the computer measurement back and forth over the centuries and it came to a halt. The computer stopped and put up a red signal, which meant that there was something wrong either with the information fed into it or with the results as compared to the standards.<BR> They called in the service department to check it out and they said, "What's wrong?"<BR> Well, they found there is a day missing in space in elapsed time. They scratched their heads and tore their hair. There was no answer. Finally, a Christian man on the team said, "You know, one time I was in Sunday School and they talked about the sun standing<BR> still." While they didn't believe him, they didn't have an answer either, so they said, "Show us." He got a Bible and went back to the book of Joshua where they found a pretty ridiculous statement for any one with "common sense." There they found the Lord saying<BR> to Joshua, "Fear them not, I have delivered them into thy hand; there shall not a man of them stand before Thee." Joshua was<BR> concerned because he was surrounded by the enemy and if darkness fell they would overpower them. So Joshua asked the Lord to make the sun stand still! That's right-"The sun stood still and the moon stayed-and hasted not to go down about a whole day!" (Joshua 10:12-13)<P> The astronauts and scientists said, "There is the missing day!" They checked the computers going back into the time it was written and found it was close but not close enough. The elapsed time that was missing back in Joshua's day was 23 hours and 20 minutes-not a whole day.<BR> They read the Bible and there it was "about (approximately) a day." These little words in the Bible are important, but they were<BR> still in trouble because if you cannot account for 40 minutes you'll still be in trouble 1,000 years from now. Forty minutes had to be found because it can be multiplied many times over in orbits.<P> As the Christian employee thought about it, he remembered somewhere in the Bible where it said the sun went BACKWARDS. The<BR> scientists told him he was out of his mind, but they got out the Book and read these words in 2 Kings that told of the following<BR> story: Hezekiah, on his deathbed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah who told him that he was not going to die. Hezekiah asked for a sign as proof. Isaiah said "Do you want the sun to go ahead 10 degrees?" Hezekiah said "It is nothing for the sun to go ahead 10 degrees, but let the shadow return backward 10 degrees." Isaiah spoke to the Lord and the Lord brought the shadow ten degrees BACKWARD!<P> Ten degrees is exactly 40 minutes! Twenty-three hours and 20 minutes in Joshua, plus 40 minutes in Second Kings make the<BR> missing day in the universe!" Isn't it amazing? (References: Joshua 10:8 and 12, 13 and 2 Kings 20:9-11)<BR>

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AndrewM

It would be quite interesting if it were true. I'd like to hear about either confirmation of this story or some work that has been done to trace the origins of the "legend."<P>I'm not going to use it until I'm convinced there's more info--but I'm sure people are out there repeating it to a wide-eyed audiences.<P>Truely it ranks up there with the great urban legends.<P>------------------<BR>Be glad in all that God has planned for you, be patient in trouble and always be prayerful. Rom. 12:12 <I>NLT</I><p>[:"#800080"][This message has been edited by AndrewM (edited April 26, 2001).]</font>

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NormF

This old thread needs closure.

While this story has been mostly circulated by chain mail, unhappily, it found its way to lots of various websites, too, including here at CA and others of various sorts. And the things well-meaning believers say then relative to stuff like this sure doesn't help faith in the larger context.

First, a brief look at other typical, well-meant but misguided repetitions of this legend, such as at this website, 2 Jesus the Living Word, which says this about this story:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />

2Jesus claimed:

This is a true story. It was just e-mailed to us. I personally don't need scientific "proof" to know God's Word is absolutely true ... [and after reciting the story, it then concludes:] ... we live the word of God and we know, his words do not lie.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

...without providing the slightest verification of its "facts" when publishing it. And yet he "knows" that this is a true story. Apparently, the mere fact that it was emailed to him is proof enough for him. This is but one of many. How sad.

Award-winning BreakTheChain.org, a site who's mission is to stop junk e-mail and misinformation by providing the truth about chain letters, provides this short rebuttal to it:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />

BreakTheChain stated:

Harold Hill is real and did relate a tale similar to that above in his 1974 book "How to Live Like a King's Kid." However, [h]e was not involved in any way with the space program, has no other connection to NASA and was not a direct observer of the events he relates. Hill has never produced any reliable documentation of this assertion.

.

NASA denies that any such discovery ever took place and explains that a comparison of the type described is impossible. To do so, scientists would have to compare modern astronomical records with those of Joshua's day - which were rarely kept and, even when they were, lacked the degree of precision necessary for a reliable comparison. Break this chain.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

(In truth, Hill did have a tenuous shirttail connection with NASA, but definitely not as a consultant to the Space Program within it, just to keep this post of mine tightly within the straight and narrow.)

The authoritative Snopes.com provides a lengthy response: Snopes' Rebuttal. As it turns out, the origins of this myth go way back. Snopes says, it harvested this version from the Internet in 1999, but that Hill's version is itself a retreading of a story that got into popular culture back in 1936 from a book by Harry Rimmer, titled The Harmony of Science and Scripture, which in turn cited an 1890 book as the proof of the calculations. And so it goes ....

At times, fiction has an incredible lifespan. For people who are not interested in truth and reality, facts do nothing to deter them, which keeps legends like this going on and on.

Finally, here's the bottom line, the reply from the horse's mouth: NASA's Response. I won't quote the whole thing, but in a nutshell, this brief quote of theirs summarizes what they say about the assertions in this legend and others like it:</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />

Two spokespersons for NASA replied:

According to the laws of physics, there are only two possible explanations for having the Sun stand still in the sky for a day: (1) the Earth would essentially have to stop spinning on its axis...for which there is no evidence. -or- (2) the Sun would have to start moving about in the solar system in a very specific way so that it appeared to us on our spinning Earth to be standing still. There is no evidence of this occurring either.

.

[Responding to Hill's assertion of the calculations, the spokespersons add:]

[The way NASA does the calculations of such things] ... would not cover any time before the present [as opposed to time in the future], so some missing day many centuries ago, if it had occurred, could not be uncovered with this method.

.

[and NASA concludes:]

In general, trying to prove events that are said to have occurred in the Bible, using scientific principles, doesn't work.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

Andrew, the one thing this story has going for it is that it's truly legendary. And Nan, please don't feel I'm attacking you. I'm not. Here at CA, you simply passed along something you thought looked good.

It's a dead horse though; let's let it lie.

Regards,

Norm

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Jeannieb43

Now, Norm...

Since anything written by you always tends to catch my attention, I logged on here after finding this post in "Active Topics."

But when you ask us to "let it lie" -- aren't you teasing everybody, just a tiny little bit?? --Because this thread has been lying dormant! For more than four years!

<img src="/ubbtreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Regards,

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NormF

For these four years, Andrew's big "IF" was left unanswered:

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />

It would be quite interesting if it were true. I'd like to hear about either confirmation of this story or some work that has been done to trace the origins of the "legend" - emphasis supplied.

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

That much of the thread happened well before my time, as a member of CA anyway. (Perhaps I'm a bit of kid yet, folks, but I'm not that wet behind the ears! There was life before CA. After it, remains to be seen.)

It's true that it's been lying dormant through neglect these several years, but that's is not the same as closure, at least not in my mind.

And it's not been exactly dormant either. Recently, I've been watching to see what threads continue to draw attention among us. I've noticed this one coming up more than once. So I went to read it.

To summarize my reply, it seemed to me, after I'd read through it, that this needed a full response. The conclusion that I see is that clearly this line of argument (the fanciful story of NASA's involvement) is a poor one to hang one's faith hat on. And so with that fully established, the item needed a proper burial. I tried to do both with one post--answer Andrew and bed this down.

But then, what about this "let it lie" vs. me teasing a bit?

Well, I think maybe there's two parts to that. Mr. Hill and NASA, that's a dead horse, a fanciful chimera that never was--that mythical horse deserves a quiet burial and to be left alone.

But intrinsic within the debate Hill and NASA were involved in is the more general question, how does one's faith relate to the factual evidence we find in the world around us? ... or larger still, in the universe? That horse is pretty lively still, last I checked.

[trumpet fanfare, please]

Shameless plug: I'd be delighted to see some takers on the several sides of this issue come discuss, debate, and comment on it in our new Club Adventist forum, Origins. I think this could be a fruitful area of exchange among us.

<img src="/ubbtreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> So, Jeannie, yes, there was a tease in what I said. You set me up quite nicely for it! Thank you!

Regards,

Norm

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Nan

Norm I am not offended by your post and since I first made the post, I have read the rebuttals. I think my aim was to do what you verbalised, to illustrate that we can accept a lot of nonsense as scientific fact if it suits our individual biases.

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Jeannieb43

</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr />

NormF said:

[trumpet fanfare, please]

<img src="/ubbtreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> So, Jeannie, yes, there was a tease in what I said. You set me up quite nicely for it! Thank you!

Regards,

Norm

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post">

You're welcome -- any time.

Glad to be of help.

<img src="/ubbtreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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