06 June 2006

Krakatoa



After many weeks of reading nothing but religious/skeptic topics, I turned my attention to some light read.



Krakatoa - the day the world exploded by Simon Winchester.

The title may be a bit of an exaggeration, but this was a real great read. I expected a book about the catastrophe, much like you'd expect to read about the recent Tsunami. In this respect, it did not fail. It provided fascinating eye-witness accounts to a major event such as not witnessed before in modern civilization.

But this ended up being a romp through many areas of interest including Sociology, History, religion & science.


A fascianting tidbit was a discussion of the so called Wallace line http://kjett.bol.ucla.edu/wallace4.htm

Wallace observed an imaginary dividing line in the region that separated two distinct sets of plant and animal life that logically could not be in such close proximity to each other. With great foresight and without an understanding of Tectonic plate theory, he partially explained how Geologic forces played an important role in the evolution of life.

So while I tried to get away from skepticism, it just seems to follow me around. The real amazing thing is that so many of the natuarl sciences fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

This does not negate God, but it sure sounds like an ancient earth to me.

The book also touches on the role the eruption came to play in Islamic fundamentalism which led to one of the first outbreaks of Islamic violence in modern times. This too is fascinating. In the Jewish world, there are often rumors of impending disasters, comets, etc. If a Kabbalist's prognostication would happen to coincide with a calamity in the Jewish world, that Kabbalist will achieve instant fame and status despite all failed predictions of the past.

And finally, my completion of the book just a few days before Shavuous, could not help but make me wonder if Kabbollas Hatora at Har Sinai was indeed related to some volcano activity in the past.

The book could have been a little shorter, but it's worth getting past the boring beginning.

  • ===> Use Haloscan: |
  • Do NOT enter new comments here 12 comments Do NOT use. links to this post

    12 Comments:

    At June 06, 2006 1:04 PM, Blogger Moshe Kappoya said...

    This does not negate God, but it sure sounds like an ancient earth to me.
    I've heard a theory that postulates the following. Being that the sun and the moon were created on day 4 of the six days of creation, "days" 1 thru 3 may have lasted thousands of years since there was no concept of 24 hour days.
    I prefer to believe something I heard from R' Avigdor Miller z"l. Just as Hashem created "finished" trees, animals, and people, that did not require their normal time to mature, so too he created million year old rocks.
    make me wonder if Kabbollas Hatora at Har Sinai was indeed related to some volcano activity in the past
    If I were your typical "fabrenter" blogger, I would start on a rant about apikorsis, kefera, and burning in hell. However, since I have also wondered about these things, let just say that while everything in the Torah can be "explained away" chv"s, it is part of our avodah to believe in "Hashem uv'moshe avdoh".

     
    At June 06, 2006 2:39 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    Mosihe the K,
    All of these theories somehow fall short and they've been blogged to death elsewhere.

    MOst bloggere seem to be concerned with truth and are not into ranting about Kefira, except perhaps Jewishphilosofer.

    I can't buy into the requirement of belief. Either you believe or not. You don't choose to believe. With all due respect to Ani Maamin, saying so does not make one beleieve. Christians also have a belief system, where simply believing is being saved.

     
    At June 06, 2006 5:09 PM, Blogger Moshe Kappoya said...

    I'm sure I understand your point.
    One can believe that Har Sinai was a volcano, or a spaceship (my personal fav), or Hashem. Your choice.
    Am I missing something?

     
    At June 06, 2006 5:10 PM, Blogger Moshe Kappoya said...

    I'm not sure I understand your point.
    One can believe that Har Sinai was a volcano, or a spaceship (my personal fav), or Hashem. Your choice.
    Am I missing something?

     
    At June 06, 2006 6:20 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    MK, I'm not sure which point of mine you don't understand.

    My comment was in response to your "it is part of our avodah to believe in "Hashem uv'moshe avdoh".


    I like the one about a spaceship. There was a book like that called "God is an astronaut".

    I took it out of the library when I was around 12 years old, not really understanding what it was about until I read it.

    That had me confused for a spell.

    But the volcano is a more scholarly and valid approach to the whole Yetsias Mitsrayim issue.

     
    At June 07, 2006 10:31 AM, Blogger lakewoodyid said...

    YOUR OWN BLOG!!!!

    Hatzlacha! (or is it Good Luck?)

     
    At June 07, 2006 1:38 PM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    LY, thanks.
    Why would "Hatzlacha" be less appropriate than "good luck"?

     
    At June 07, 2006 9:05 PM, Blogger lakewoodyid said...

    >Why would "Hatzlacha" be less appropriate than "good luck"?

    Just some bad humour. Ignore it.

    Looking forward to a good post!

     
    At June 08, 2006 9:47 AM, Blogger Moshe Kappoya said...

    See, here's where I'm confused. People would rather believe that Har Sinai was a volcano (there is absolutely no evidence of any seismic activity in that region EVER), or a flying saucer (yea, right), then to believe in something that our fathers and grandfathers have attested to.
    So, who's looking for the truth?

     
    At June 08, 2006 11:08 AM, Blogger Baal Habos said...

    MK, I hear what you're saying. See http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/frequent_questions/grp3/question2384.html which confirms what you're saying.

    But, nevertheless, that's assuming the whole Bibilical history is accurate. Some people claim it's not and therefore its mixed in with ancient legends, possibly even from other locales, such as Greece.

    I'd rather not go there. (Not on this blog anyway).

     
    At June 08, 2006 1:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    BHB, lets talk sometime. You can use my e mail address Zerabbi@aol.com

     
    At December 24, 2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yes, Comrade Major-Commissar?
    buy hydrocodone

     

    Post a Comment

    Links to this post:

    Create a Link

    << Home