There is certainly no other book in existence that creates as controversy as the Bible. It typically pits those who believe its works against those we don’t and also pits biblical scholars against one another. This leads to the biggest controversy of all – and that is whether or not the Bible can be considered as an authentic historical document. Sadly, in some cases, it is not so much that people are claiming to debate God’s words on principle; they are actually fighting out of self-interest, their careers, and money.
According to specific archaeological findings and a few references contained in the Hebrew Bible, there are some biblical scholars that God actually had a wife named Asherah. They believe that the ancient Israelites paid worship to both of them. A historian named Raphael Patai was the first to propose this God wife theory in 1967.
Then in 2012, a researcher named Francesca Stavrakopoulou reintroduced this theory, claiming there is evidence from several ancient texts. Stavrakopoulou says that Asherah’s statue had been worshiped within Yahweh’s temple located in Jerusalem. The Book of Kings even discusses women at this temples making ritual garments in the name of Asherah.
Others aren’t quite as convinced. Andy Rau from the BibleGateway Blog states that there is no biblical evidence at all that God had this wife. To say otherwise, he feels, is to start a conspiracy theory.
The Location Of The Trial Of Jesus
Even though it is one of the most vital scenes that is depicted in the Bible, archaeologists simply cannot agree on the location of Jesus’s trial. When the Tower of David Museum was undergoing expansion in Jerusalem at the turn of the last century, several archaeologists thought that they discovered the foundation walls and sewage system from the palace of Herod the Great. Thus, there are many who believe that the trial of Jesus had been held there prior to his crucifixion. During those times, Herod was serving as the King of Judea and was appointed by Rome. The apparent remains of his ancient palace were discovered underneath an abandoned prison adjacent to this modern museum.
Although this debate is far from settled, the prison is still open to the public. “There is, of course, no inscription stating [the trial] happened [at the prison site where Herod’s palace was unearthed], but everything—archaeological, historical and gospel accounts—all falls into place and makes sense,” an archaeology professor named Shimon Gibson has stated on record.
New Testament Forgeries And Lies
A book entitled, Forged, was written by a biblical scholar named Bart Ehrman, and was published in the year 2011 to waves of controversy. Ehrman claimed that around 50% of the New Testament had been forged by those having a religious agenda and couldn’t make a mark for themselves under their own names. “There was competition among different groups of Christians about what to believe and each of these groups wanted to have authority to back up their views,” he claimed during an interview on CNN. “If you were a nobody, you wouldn’t sign your own name to your treatise. You would sign Peter or John.”
Needless to say, opponents to Ehrman’s book were not shy in attacking his conclusions. One of those opponents named Ben Witherington, has referred to Ehrman’s writings as “Gullible Travels,” pointing out that people tend to believe almost anything, regardless of how ridiculous.
Witherington points out that, besides 2 Peter, every single book within the New Testament had been written members of an exclusive group of educated Christians, all of whom were great writers and a few of whom saw the events contained in the New Testament. They had very close connections to both Jesus and Paul.
The Bible’s View Of Homosexuality
In the year 2012, a group that remained anonymous published a Queen James Bible (QJB), where they edited 8 verses from the current King James Version (KJV) in a feeble attempt to make it virtually impossible to view and interpret the Holy Bible in a homophobic manner. Steve Golden, who represents Answers in Genesis feels that these cowardly unknown editors of this QJB “have only made a mockery of a beloved Bible translation.”
Generally speaking, Golden debates that pro-gay movements are misinterpreting the Hebrew word for “ritually unclean” as it pertains to pagan idolatry only in cases where it’s used to condemn “something that is morally (ethically) repugnant in God’s sight, such as homosexuality ([as in] Proverbs 6:16).”
In the ongoing religious debate regarding abortion, the arguments often refer to the intended meaning of Exodus 21:22–25. The Douay-Rheims version of the Bible states: “If men quarrel, and one strike a woman with child, and she miscarry indeed, but live herself: he shall be answerable for so much damage as the woman’s husband shall require, and as arbiters shall award. But if her death ensue thereupon, he shall render life for life. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”
Pro-choice advocates claim that “miscarry” means that this unborn child does not enjoy the same status as this adult woman. Should the baby die from a miscarriage, then the responsible man is fined, as in a misdemeanor. But should the woman die from being struck, the man committed a capital offense that is only punishable by his death.
Pro-life advocates disagree with the meaning of the word “miscarry” in this biblical version. Even so, they claim that the death of the baby was accidental, unlike abortion where a life is taken intentionally. They also point out that an accidental death in this instance is still bad, otherwise the man would not receive a fine. Additionally, the death penalty is not applied for accidental deaths in the Bible as depicted in Exodus 21:13–14 and 20–21, Numbers 35:10–34, and Deuteronomy 19:1–13.
Joshua’s Conquest Of Jericho
There is an oasis located in the desert near the West Bank, Jericho is thought to be the very earliest city that was inhabited continuously. At different times, there has been at least 23 different civilizations who claimed Jericho as their home. As stated within the Book of Joshua within the Bible, Joshua took the ancient Israelites to Jericho, which was considered to be the heart of the Promised Land. But when they arrived there, Joshua was forced to conquer the Canaanites in a very bloody battle.
Thus far, archaeological finding are not supporting this biblical story of Joshua conquering Jericho. It appears as though no one lived in Jericho during the time of Joshua, and that no walls even existed at the time.
It does seem that the Israelites most likely moved into these sparsely populated hills gradually as told within the Book of Judges. For many believers, this is actually a relief, because they have difficulty with the notion that a merciful God condoned such a bloody slaughter of lives.
People would think that those countries that are most aware of gender inequalities, would actually do the most in addressing the need for more women to graduate with a science, a technology, an engineering, or a math (STEM) degree. However, recent studies are discovering quite the opposite. Scientists at the University of Missouri, and also those from Leeds Beckett University that is located in the UK, discovered that ladies in developing worlds, where it is believed that there is more gender inequality, are actually more interested in entering STEM fields than women from developed nations. These findings were posted in the publication Psychological Science.
Why the Absence of Women?
Even though there are girls who perform as good as if not better than boys in the field of math and science within several countries, the greater gender equality a country has, the smaller the quantities of female STEM graduates. This was not the case for organic sciences though, only the inorganic sciences. This negative correlation is now called the “gender-equality paradox.” A professor of psychological sciences named David Geary, from the University of Missouri’s College of Arts and Sciences, was a researcher for this study.
Here is what he stated in a recent press release:
“We analyzed data on 475,000 adolescents across 67 countries or regions and found that while boys’ and girls’ achievements in STEM subjects were broadly similar in all countries, science was more likely to be boys’ best subject. Girls, even when their abilities in science equaled or excelled that of boys, often were likely to be better overall in reading comprehension, which relates to higher ability in non-STEM subjects. As a result, these girls tended to seek out other professions unrelated to STEM fields.”
This was not the case where girls performed poorly in science or math. Actually, their individual strengths are in the field of language and reading instead of science and math. People are apt to select professions which need skills that they are excel at. As a result, girls are picking fields that require reading comprehension, even if they possess the skills that are necessary for excelling in STEM.
This might very well explain why these STEM fields have had the very same quantity of workers from both genders for several decades and why today’s strategies to attract more women to STEM field have failed. The trend is more pronounced in nation like Finland, Norway, and Sweden.
Geary commented on these results:
“In countries with greater gender equality, women are actively encouraged to participate in STEM; yet, they lose more girls because of personal academic strengths. In more liberal and wealthy countries, personal preferences are more strongly expressed. One consequence is that sex differences in academic strengths and interests become larger and have a stronger influence on college and career choices than in more conservative and less wealthy countries, creating the gender-equality paradox.”
Nations that are wealthier usually have more economic options, which allow women to choose a field based on things other than economics. In countries that are poorer and have less gender equality, women are finding that opportunities for employment are not that easy to find, and thus security and great salaries can come from seeking a STEM career. Scientists feel that these findings could actually help develop more strategies to reach women in developed nations, and urge them to pursue a career in STEM.
Could this be true? Will we start seeing teacherbots who are applying artificial intelligence to do the jobs of teachers one day? Would they do a better job than humans? It might be a good idea to pay attention to some of the thoughts circulating about education’s future.
Occupations are Being Upgraded
The world of employment work is rapidly changing because of new and emerging technologies. And there are lots of examples to prove this point. A lawyer in Chatbot saved some 160,000 parking fines in New York and London. A hotel in China that has 30 stories was constructed in only 360 hours because of all the advances in technological prefabrication. Nike can construct and fine-tune prototypes for shoes in just in hours because of 3D printing. McDonald’s uses cognitive technology to collect drive-through orders and convert them to text that is directly fed directly into a point-of-sale process.
Is Your Teaching Job in Trouble?
However, these efficiencies bring up the natural question as to what will eventually happen to the jobs of working people? What about those folks who are taking order and making shoes?
The Futurist Thomas Frey claims that the teaching profession is most likely under those threats. Frey is predicting that about two billion jobs are going to disappear by the year 2030. And among those vanishing occupations are those of teachers, and also people who worked in the transportation and power industries.
Frey claims there are almost 25% of all kids today who are not even attending school at all and he believes we are short about 18 million teachers worldwide.
“There simply aren’t enough teachers at the right time and place to satisfy our growing thirst for knowledge.
“Over the coming decades, if we continue to insert a teacher between us and everything we need to learn, we cannot possibly learn fast enough to meet the demands of the future.”
Frey points out that we are already moving away from teacher-centric brand of schooling to a model that is more learning based, where ‘location’ is not as important.
He affirms that teaching needs experts in the field. And the new teacherless education model will use these experts to develop and create the materials, but will not require that expert to be present every time it is presented.
Frey feels like we are standing on the edge of a new artificial intelligence (AI) revolution.
He envisions a world where we will see teacherbots who are using AI that will be able to learn and understand every single student’s interests, their preferred tools and their unique methods of learning. This AI will alert the bot whenever a skill has become deficient, and what exactly is required to address the deficiency and when it has been addressed.
Brad McBean has argued on Aurecon’s Just Imagine blog that there may be jobs at risk of becoming automated, humans will still be that critical ingredient in all future workplaces. The function of human innovation and ingenuity will always be in demand.
“McKinsey’s latest report on automation displacement reminds us that, although almost every occupation has partial automation potential, humans will remain an essential ingredient in the future workplace equation. Even those jobs that can be easily automated, such as nursing or teaching, rely heavily on interactions between people and expertise that stretches beyond the knowledge of facts.”
Even though teaching was on Frey’s list of disappearing future jobs, coaching was on his list of occupations that would be in demand for the future. This seems to indicates a shifting role, instead of a replacement.
For those of us who live in the United States – and perhaps those who don’t – you have no doubt heard about many historical figures and heroes. Sadly, the same cannot be said about Native American historical figures and heroes. There are many Americans who don’t know very much at all about Native American history.
With that, let us briefly examine some of Native American chiefs and leaders.
6 Native American Chiefs
Geronimo – Perhaps among one of the most popular Native American chiefs ever, Geronimo was actually a medicine man who came from the Bedonkohe band of the Chiricahua tribe. He was born in the year 1829 and became acclimated very rapidly to the Apache ways of life. As a boy, Geronimo swallowed the entire heart of the kill he made while hunting, and by age 18 led as many as four separate raids. Just like his people, he greatly suffered at the hands of “civilized” folks who invaded their lands. The Mexicans, who at the time controlled the lands around them, murdered his wife and his three young children. Even though he hated Americans with a passion, he carried a deep-seated hatred for the Mexicans as long as he lived.
During the year 1848, Mexico gave up control of large areas of land, which included the Apache territories, during the Treaty Agreement of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This brought on constant conflicts among the tribes that lived on the land and new Americans who were trying to settle there. As with many tribes, Geronimo and his tribe were eventually moved off the lands of their ancestors. They were then put in a reservation of barren land located in Arizona. This was something that this great leader resented deeply. Over the next decade, he led numerous successful breakouts was chased constantly by the US Army. Needless to say, he was seen as a celebrity for all of his daring escapes, much to the delight of those who loved the Wild West.
He finally surrendered on September 4, 1886, following several different imprisonments. Right before he died, Geronimo pled his tribe’s case before President Theodore Roosevelt, but failed to persuade the American leader to let his people return to their home. He died in 1909 after an accident on his horse.
Crazy Horse – A great warrior from the Oglala Sioux, Crazy Horse was believed to born in the year 1840 in South Dakota. Legend has it that his name was given him by his father to reflect as fighting skills. Tensions among the Sioux and the Americans had only increased since his birth, but tensions boiled over after he became a young teenager. In August of 1854, the Sioux chief who was named Conquering Bear was murdered by a white soldier. In an act of revenge, the Sioux tribesmen killed the commanding officer and 30 of his soldiers in hat is now called the Grattan Massacre.
Using his skills and knowledge as an accomplished guerilla fighter, Crazy Horse became a thorn in the butt of the US Army, who stopped at nothing in trying to force the Sioux onto a reservation. By far the most popular battle in that Crazy Horse took part in was the legendary Battle of the Little Bighorn, where General Custer and his soldiers were soundly defeated. However, during the following year, Crazy Horse surrendered. The scorched-earth approached of the US Army proved to be way too much for his tribe to withstand. During captivity, Crazy Horse was allegedly stabbed to death while planning to escape.
Chief Seattle – Born in the year 1790, Chief Seattle came from the state of Washington and lived around the Puget Sound. He was actually the chief for two different tribes and at first he peacefully welcomed settlers began arriving during the 1850s. As a matter of fact, they created a colony on Elliot Bay and even named it after this great tribal leader. But several of the local tribes deeply resented this invasion by the Americans, and then violent conflicts started to occur periodically which resulted in a full blown an attack on colony of Seattle.
Chief Seattle had long felt that his people would probably get driven out by the new settlers, but he pointed out any violence would only exacerbate the process, this sentiment seemed to calm down the tribe. The great chief ultimately converted to Christianity and became a devout follower until he died. As a respectful acknowledgment of the chief’s traditional religion, the people who lived in Seattle all paid a small tax to keep using his name for the city.
Cochise – Practically nothing at all is known about the early life and childhood of perhaps the greatest Apache chiefs in Native American history. No historian even knows the exact year he was born. He was quite tall for his day, standing about 6 foot tall, which was an imposing figure. As leader of his Chiricahua tribe, Cochise led his warriors on many different raids, sometimes against the Americans and sometimes against the Mexicans. But it was the attacks on the Americans that led to his undoing.
In year 1861, a raiding party from a different Apache tribe had kidnapped a child. Cochise’s tribe got the blame for the kidnapping by an inexperienced US Army officer. Even though they were completely innocent, there was an attempt to arrest the Native Americans, who came to talk, but thing end violently, with one death. Cochise escaped the meeting tent through a hole he had cut in the side.
More violence ensured as executions and acts of torture were conducted by both sides, and this violence appeared to have no end in sight. At the time, the Civil War had started and for the time being, the Apache had been left alone in Arizona.
However, in less than a year, the Army returned with howitzers and started destroying all the tribes there were still fighting. For almost a decade, Cochise and his band of warriors hid in the mountains, raiding when they needed to and eluding capture. Finally, Cochise received an offer for a large part of Arizona in a reservation. He accepted the offer but later became very ill and passed away in 1874.
Sitting Bull – A chief and actually a holy man from the Hunkpapa Lakota, Sitting Bull was born in the year 1831, in South Dakota. He instantly became a great warrior, going out on his very first raid at the young age of 14. His initial encounter with US troops came in the year 1863. It was his bravery which earned for him the title of chief for all the Lakota during the year 1868. Over the next decade, numerous small conflicts ensued among the Lakota and US troops. However, in 1874 a full-scale war erupted between the two because gold had been discovered in the sacred Black Hills in South Dakota. In reality, these lands had previously been off-limits to white people because of an earlier treaty, but the US ignored the treaty after repeated attempts to buy this land were declined.
This escalation of violence eventually led to the previously mentioned Battle of the Little Bighorn. After this famous battle, more and more armies came to the area. Tribe after tribe was forced to surrender and Sitting Bull escaped to Canada. The starvation of people led to a hasty agreement with the US, which led them to a reservation. When fears had been raised that Sitting Bull had joined in a religious movement called the Ghost Dance, a ceremony that would supposedly rid all the lands of white people, orders were issued for his arrest. A gunfight between his supporters and law enforcement soon erupted, and sadly, Sitting Bull was killed after he was shot in the head.
Mangas Coloradas – As Cochise’s father-in-law and perhaps even the most influential chief during the 1800s, Mangas Coloradas was an Apache. Born prior to the turn eighteenth century, he was very tall and became the tribal leader in the year 1837, immediately following the death of his predecessor and many warriors within band. All of them died since Mexico offered cash for the scalps of Native Americans with no questions asked. Refusing to let those atrocities go unpunished, Mangas Coloradas and his band started wreaking havoc, and even killed every citizen in the town of Santa Rita.
After the US declared war against Mexico, Mangas Coloradas viewed them as the saviors of his people, and he signed a treaty to allow American soldiers to pass through their Apache lands. However, as was always the case in those days, whenever silver and gold were discovered on their lands, the treaty was quickly broken. By the year 1863, the US flew a truce flag in an attempt to make peace with the great chief. But they betrayed him, and they killed him under the pretense that he had tried to escape, and they even mutilated his body after his death. Asa Daklugie, who was the blood nephew of Geronimo, has said that this heinous act with the last straw as far as the Apache was concerned, and they started mutilating every white person who were unlucky enough to cross their paths.
Read more here about Native American chiefs.
How smart is your male partner? It may indicate how well your relationship may be in the long run. Research from a brand new study has indicated that if have happen to be looking for and selecting a male life partner, then you would be better served to find an intelligent one. The study shows that these types of males provide stronger odds of having long-term success for that relationship.
Male Partner Research
The research team’s leader was Jaako Aspara, who comes from the Hanken School of Economics that is located in Finland. They examined the question of choosing partners through the lens of an evolutionary perspective. The researchers found that the intelligence levels team had a direct impact on the “fitness” of their relationships in order to “survive and support the offspring.”
A totally different aspect which directly affects the bond strength of relationships: intelligent men typically have much larger incomes. Right off the bat, this fact makes them a more stable choice.
This research depended on the data from the military conscription of around almost 200,000 men from Finland who are ranged in ages from 18 to 45. Their intelligence levels were assessed through a 120-item exam which the men had taken prior joining the Finnish Defense Forces.
Statistics of Men were Evaluated
When these were originally examined, about two-thirds of them were single and unattached. And as Susan Krauss Whitbourne who comes from Psychology Today has explained, these stats were compared by their ages and regions with those of married men. Both of these groups of men were monitored across a 5 year period. And during this time, researchers observed their marital status, the cars they owned, their income, and several other factors. And then the men were required to take yet an additional intelligence test that calculated verbal, numerical, and also nonverbal abilities.
The scientists observed a link between marital history and intelligence. The number of guys that got married tended to stay married with every increase in total intelligence among the 5 age groups that were examined. And it was also noted that the younger groups indicated the strongest trends by this effect.
In other notable conclusions, the researchers discovered that verbal intelligence had a stronger effect and related much more to the likelihood of getting married. This is understandable because stronger communication skills allowed them to find mates more easily. It was also noted that overall intelligence had a trend among the divorce rate as well. Smarter men had stronger capacities for avoiding breakups and divorces by discussing and expressing feelings more openly, the research team found. And also the study discovered that intelligent women have longer and more long-lasting marriages as well.
“In parallel to the effect of a peacock’s mysterious tail on its mating success…human intelligence has a direct positive impact on human mating prospects in terms of marriage,” said the research team.
And some good news for those men who had bigger and newer cars: this appeared to give them an advantage when it comes to getting married, according to this study.
Read more here – http://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/why-smart-men-make-better-partners
For as long as most of us can even remember, the black plague has been blamed on rats. It was believed that they had spread the nasty parasites that carried the plague all through Asia and medieval Europe, and killed millions upon millions of unsuspecting people. Very recently there is a new perspective that has been brought on by an interesting new study. This study has approached the event by through modeling of historical outbreaks and indicates that these little rodents may not have been the cause at all.
New Studies are Saying Otherwise
The study was recently posted in the publication PNAS, is now pointing their bony fingers at the parasites carried by humans. Specifically, they are blaming parasites like body lice and fleas as the main carriers of the deadly plague bacteria throughout the Second Pandemic, which was a series of horrific outbreaks that occurred starting in the 1300s all the way to the early 1800s.
These particular outbreaks included that very well-known Black Death, which killed about a third of Europe’s entire population during the mid-1300s. It wound up with an incredible body count that was in the tens of millions.
“The plague really transformed human history, so it’s really important to understand how it was spreading and why it was spreading so fast,” stated lead author of the study named Katharine Dean. She is also a doctoral research fellow from the University of Oslo’s Centre for Ecological & Evolutionary Synthesis.
One Deadly Bite
Any time these nasty fleas that have been infected with the bacterium Yersinia pestis ever sink their teeth into human beings, the bacteria will often leap right into the bloodstream and collect in their lymph nodes, which are located all over the human body. The infection is known to make lymph nodes swell into terrible “buboes,” which has been the namesakes for the bubonic plague.
However, during the plagues occurring in the late 1800s—which includes the very recent outbreak that occurred in Madagascar during 2017—rats and other nasty old rodents assisted in spreads the disease. If Y. pestis ever infects a rat, the bacterium will easily get picked up by fleas who drink the blood of the rodents. Then after the plague-stricken rat kills over, the parasites that had been living off his body will abandon the rat’s corpse and find some poor human to bite.
Due to the role that rats have played in more modern plagues, and also due to genetic evidence that plague victims from medieval times died from Y. pestis, scientists believe that rats most likely did help spread the plague throughout the Second Pandemic.
There are some diehard historians out there who argue that this Black Death could have spread very differently. For starters, this Black Death ripped across Europe much faster than any of these modern plagues have. And also, rat deaths usually occur prior to modern outbreaks, but during the medieval plague, none of the records ever talk about rats dying off en masse.
“Geneticists and modern historians were putting the rat into the position [of spreading the plague] and were straining bits of evidence,” admits Samuel Cohn, a medieval historian from the University of Glasgow who fiercely criticizing the overall rat-flea theory.
Read more here – https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/01/rats-plague-black-death-humans-lice-health-science/