Gary Goodman (sap@TANK.RGS.UKY.EDU)
Tue, 14 May 1996 12:45:38 EDT

Daniel (A. Foss), you wrote (April 29):

U1> When you glance at the prospects for objective truth over the course
U1>of recorded (including fabricated) history, there prevailed, for the very
U1>longest time, a seemingly permanent condition of long odds against it.
U1>Start with history itself. Herodotos bought tickets on tourist buses all
U1>over the Near East, wrote down tour guides' tall tales, and returned with
U1>the resulting glop to become the Father Of History. It was so easy to
U1>improve on Herodotus that to this day, Serious ancient historians strongly
U1>incline to credit anything Thucydides said; with what risks as to distortion
U1>and propaganda I am of course unqualified to tell you.

I knew you could do it -- write in standard and clear English text --
so why the other weirdness? Just pulling our chains? Late night blues?
Too much caffine?

I have made so many of those same points so futilely over the years it
was a real uplift to see you do the same. I got pissed enough once to
point out to a preacher that in all probability the Hebrews got chased
out (being the Semitic version of the detested stereotypical Gyspy
Tribes) when the Hyskos/Shepherd Kings got their asses run out in the
founding of the New Kingdom. That therebefore they were -- if enslaved
at all in Egypt -- were so under fellow Semites! But since the truth
was too painful they started telling themselves all those ever
inproving tall tales that became "history." Then Scripture.

Boy did his face get red! Not a proper thing to do I know but he was
really asking for it.

Or ask one of the Literal Interpreters where exactly High Priest
Hilkiah found that "missing" Book of the Law (Deuteuronomy) in the
Temple during the fixup that it had been unnoticed since "Moses" gave
his last speech, and that so conveniently sounded so much just like
what his sponsor Josiah was trying to get the rest of the Hebrews to
believe (and disbelieve)...

And people fuss about the magical appearance of the memo in Hillary's

Personally I think also that the Med. area Flood Myths are just perhaps
distant echoes of when the Gilbratar dam broke and flooded what would
have fit very well the description of Paradise, allow for thousands of
years of oral distortion.

Has anyone done an anthropological study of "Creation Scientists" by
the way? I'd say they are now a genuine subculture with the Temple in
El Cajon and High Priest Dr. Moore, ICR meetings all around the
country, and growing(!) use by formerly mainline ministers trained to
start "Back to Genesis" seminars to rope in more pastors. If not, there
is a nice dissentation for someone with a strong stomach and a poker

I like to tweak certain professors of ancient history by asserting that
the Romans were far more civilized than the Greeks, who invented most
of the basic technology we use to make everything else, and then
piddled it away in silly scabbles. Or that the latter "Dark Ages" were
the most inventive period since the "Golden Age" on Greece. And
librarians that selling or dumping their only copies of any book marks
them as barbarians... (fill up the offices -- put the librarians out
doing real work -- not pushing papers).

As for "objectivity," since my short-lived newspaper days I have had
little faith that such really exists. Best you can do is KNOW your
biases and try to figure those in -- which is a lot harder than it

[Feeling feisty since I got my cable back!]

-- Gary Goodman