The Historicity Of Jesus


No matter what creed you follow or do not, you cannot deny the fact Jesus existed. The modern concept that Jesus did not exist can be applied to many historical figures from the period, who sometimes have only one source. The article 5 reasons to suspect that Jesus never existed is very misleading. The contemporary historian Josephus mentions Jesus. And this article itself is full of errors, such as Paul’s attitude to Peter and James.

Here is a refutation of the 5 reasons given in the article (a copy is posted below):
1. The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus twice mentions Jesus in his Antiquities of the Jews, written in the first century. Also the prominent Roman historian Tacitus (a pagan), writing at the beginning of the second century, mentions Jesus, though incorrectly as “Christus”.

The lack of birth or death records, or even trial transcripts is simple – these methods of documenting everyday life did not exist until modern times! And any Roman bureaucratic records from the time would have been scant (without cheap paper and the printing press, writing was expensive) and unlikely to survive – there are many lost or incomplete books from Greek and Roman times. In most cases a manuscript only survived nearly 2,000 years through constant reproduction by scribes.

2. Paul’s “silence” on certain details is obvious – his writings in the New Testament are letters addressed to churches. In these letters he usually discussed topical issues and disputes. Why would he rehash details of Jesus’ life, or discuss other basic shared beliefs with the faithful?

The accusation that Paul thought little of Peter and James is totally unfounded. He respected them, and sought their approval of his plan to preach to the Gentiles. There is no way that Paul would have spoken against two of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles.

3. It is a big mistake believing that just because the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written about 100 years after Christianity began, that they must simply be a product of that time. When actually they were oral traditions, past down among the followers, which were then documented and compiled by four separate individuals. This explains why there are slight differences when describing the details of certain events. The very first Christians (at that time just a new sect of Judaism) included people who knew or witnessed Jesus, and those who were familiar with the contemporary stories. Their shared accounts were their own Gospel, with the written gospels being produced afterwards from these sources.

4. Any differences in the four gospels are obviously the product of a hundred years of mistakes and corruption made through passing the stories down by word of mouth before they were committed to writing. The Christians who assembled the Bible noticed these minor discrepancies, and to their credit they didn’t rewrite or omit anything, but kept it all, knowing what the reasons must have been, and that it didn’t really matter.

5. This is just pure conspiracy theory stuff right here. So, Peter and some friends sat down one day and said, “You know how everyone is waiting for the Messiah? How about we pretend he came, was just friends with us, was killed, and then brought back to life, and then ascended to Heaven? We’ll be horribly persecuted and face much hardship, but won’t it be fun!” Then after persecuting the Christians, Paul one day thought, “Hey, I should get in on this scam, not try to stamp it out. I’ll pretend I had a vision of Jesus, then spend years of travel, hardship, and danger pushing this silly lie for absolutely no profit whatsoever!”

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Cape Verde - (Mars) © Erik Wernquist

Cape Verde – (Mars) © Erik Wernquist

Sheer magic – and narrated as only Carl Sagan can – exquisitely.

“Check out this stunning short Sci-Fi film by Swedish digital artist and animator Erik Wernquist, in which he shares with us how he envisages humanity’s future when we leave Earth. Here’s a description of his work that can be found on his website:

The film is a vision of our humanity’s future expansion into the Solar System. Although admittedly speculative, the visuals in the film are all based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might be like, if it ever happens. All the locations depicted in the film are recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where possible.

Stunning Short Film “Wanderers” Brings Carl Sagan’s Words Back To Life

Wanderers – A Short Film By Erik Wernquist

Friday The 13th – A Nightmare On Arab Street


Recent events in Iraq look like the beginning of a long feared nightmare scenario for the Middle East – that the Syrian Civil War would become a wider Sunni versus Shia regional war, involving Syria, Iraq, Iran, and maybe even Lebanon. Iran is already involved in helping Assad’s Shia regime in Syria, so now, with their intervention in Iraq to fight a Sunni terrorist faction (ISIL, also known as ISIS) already involved in the Syrian war, it’s now time to think of a new name for this larger war.

This must be seen as a great opportunity by Iran, as they can now establish a land bridge to Syria, enabling them to bring their full military might to bear on all the Syrian rebel factions. Before, Iran’s support for Assad’s regime primarily consisted of volunteers, and small arms and ammunition flown in piecemeal. But now, full divisions of tens of thousands of well-equipped professional soldiers with tanks, armoured cars, mass artillery, and a capable air force could sweep its way through Iraq and into Syria, changing the whole balance of forces there.

Maliki in his panic and desperation has made a tragic mistake by inviting in Iranian forces. With Iranian troops in Iraq, it is unlikely they will leave. They will probably seek to dominate Iraq’s politics, and transform it into a client state. This will also badly damage efforts at reconciliation between the Shiite dominated Iraqi government and the Sunnis, who have always been suspicious of Iranian influence. Maliki was already doing a poor job at dealing with the distrustful Sunni minority by mistreating the Sahwa militia, persecuting many Sunnis, and keeping Sunni political figures out of the government. Now Sunnis, who might still have believed in national unity in the face of the threat from the old ‘al Qaida in Iraq’ (now rebranded as ISIL), will have little enthusiasm for an Iranian led Shia alliance. Already, many Sunni civilians have shown support for ISIL terrorists advancing through Iraq.

A possible sequel to this nightmare though, is even more disturbing; that if Iran either achieves a total Shia victory, or at least reduces Sunni resistance to a manageable low level guerilla conflict – Iran could achieve domination over the Middle East. The conflict could leave Iraq and Syria dependent on Iranian power, and transform them and the Hezbollah controlled territory in southern Lebanon into client states of an Iranian Shia empire. But this would just be the start of clerical Iran’s supreme wish – a border with Israel. Iran would be able to build up its considerable forces along the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon for an ultimate doomsday showdown with Israel. Iran might even have a nuclear bomb by then. A nuclear holocaust and Iranian domination of the Middle East could be the greatest disaster of the 21st century.

The first part of the nightmare will be bad enough though. The mass suffering and death in Syria, which many in the West find excuses to not care about, will become much, much worse. Don’t think the intense hatred and trauma-induced bloodthirstiness that this conflict will create won’t find its way to the West. Expect the age of Islamist terrorism to get worse.

As jihadists take aim at Baghdad, Iran steps in to help historical foe

Japanese Whaling Ban

The sun has finally set on Japanese whaling in the Antarctic. This ruling will not stop Japan from hunting whales in the northern Pacific, but it is a significant victory for the anti-whaling cause.

“A UN court ruling that the Japanese government must halt its whaling programme in the Antarctic has been welcomed in Australia and New Zealand.

The International Court of Justice ruled that the programme was not for scientific research as Japan claimed.

Supporters of the ban say they are “delighted”. Japan said it would comply with the judgement, but was “deeply disappointed”.

Australia brought the case to the court in 2010. Wellington supported its case.

Announcing the judgement on Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said that Japan had killed around 3,600 minke whales since 2005 under its Antarctic whaling programme, known as JARPA II.

While JARPA II could broadly be characterised as “scientific research”, the scientific output from the programme was limited, and Japan had not sufficiently justified the whaling quotas it had set, the ICJ said.”

Japan whaling ban welcomed in Australia and New Zealand

Humans have been eating kangaroos for over 40,000 years, and kangaroos are prone to over-population. Many species of whales, however, are endangered, and Japanese whaling ‘culture’ was limited to their own coastline from its beginning in the 12th century. The hunting of other species of whales in the Antarctic Ocean only began in the 20th century. Japan’s current lethal ‘research’ is absurd and their exploitation of legal loopholes is contemptible. Commercial whaling is not economically viable, and is nothing more than misplaced nationalism.

“He [Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada] just clearly enunciated the fundamental, unaltered Japanese position: whale meat is part of Japan’s cultural heritage; international law allows Japan to whale in open waters; Japan isn’t hunting threatened species; and if Australians have a cultural objection to hunting whales, most Japanese find their eating kangaroos disgusting — without encouraging vigilantes to disrupt the Skippy-killing.”

‘Leaders place plain speaking on the agenda’

11 January, 2010

Japanese Whaling ‘Culture’

Lessons Not Learnt


Click image for link

Putin holds all the cards now. However, this situation was only allowed to occur because of the political and moral vacuum that developed in the West since the end of the Cold War.

Michael Totten: “What he [Putin] most fears is that Ukraine might join NATO, removing yet another buffer state between himself and the West and kiboshing his plans for the Eurasian Union, a euphemism for a 21st century Russian empire. (Does anyone seriously believe Kazakhstan will be an equal partner with Moscow?)

Keeping his former Ukrainian vassal out of NATO will be easy now even if a militant anti-Russian firebrand comes to power in Kiev. The Crimean referendum—whether it was free and fair or rigged is no matter—creates a disputed territory conflict that will never be resolved in Ukraine’s favor. It will freeze and fester indefinitely. There isn’t a chance that NATO would accept a member that has a disputed territory conflict with Russia. No chance at all. Ukraine is as isolated as it could possibly be from the West without getting re-absorbed into Russia entirely.

Putin did the same thing to Georgia in 2008 when he lopped off the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and he did it for the same reason.”

What Vladimir Putin is Up To

“Ronald Asmus: This war [The Russia–Georgia war of 2008] is all about the rules of the game in European security. And I think most Americans, perhaps even including people like me, thought five years ago that we had successfully all but completed a post-Cold War European security architecture that had rendered war in Europe impossible and had allowed the United States to shift its strategic focus away from Europe to new hotspots in the wider Middle East.

And the key moment in that was the [2002 NATO] Prague Summit where we completed the so-called “big bang” enlargement of NATO [to] Central and East Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

I think what this war showed was that Russia no longer believes in those rules of the game, because those rules of the game were based, among other things, on the rights of countries to choose their own path and their own alliances.

And as I argued in the book, the fundamental cause of the war was not ethnicity, was not Abkhazia or South Ossetia. This was a war that was fought over Georgia’s desire to go West and Russia’s determination to stop it from going West.”

Interview: Georgia’s ‘Little War’ Raises Big Questions

Every Tyranny Is Paranoid

What Really Cooled Mars

Mars atmosphere

BBC: A meteorite reveals clues to how Mars lost its thick, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere and became a cold, rocky desert, researchers say.

The loss of its carbon dioxide cloak is likely to have caused Mars to cool. So understanding how the CO2 was removed “could provide vital clues to how we can limit the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and so reduce climate change” said Dr Tomkinson.

This article is extremely misleading. They are trying to suggest that Mars lost its carbon dioxide atmosphere, which by implication was what was keeping Mars relatively warm.

But Mars never lost its carbon dioxide “cloak”; it just got thinner. Mars’ atmosphere still is about 95% carbon dioxide. Despite this domination of CO2, there is no greenhouse effect on Mars.

It was the thinning of the atmosphere that cooled Mars. This was most likely caused by the cooling of Mars’ core and subsequent loss of its magnetic field resulting in the solar wind eroding away most of the atmosphere.

Sure, Mars lost an amount of carbon dioxide, but its ratio in the atmosphere remained essentially the same.

Chemical processes eating up a lot of carbon dioxide means little when Mars’ atmosphere, whether thick or thin, is so abundant in CO2. The thickness of its atmosphere is more significant on its surface temperature than any amount of CO2.

The point is that many people would have walked away from the BBC’s article believing that Mars was warm because of CO2, and it then became cold because the “warm” CO2 was then removed from the atmosphere. This is of course misleading and wrong.

Meteorite may explain ‘how Mars turned to stone’

The “Great Game”


A peaceful diplomatic solution to Assad’s possession of chemical weapons would be welcome, but this is not Putin’s true position. Putin wants Assad to continue waging the war unhindered. He has been feeding the Syrian Civil War by supplying Assad with weapons, munitions, and diplomatic support. Putin is now congratulating himself that he has skilfully saved Assad from any serious consequences for the very real and confirmed gassing of innocent people.

What everyone needs to do is look at the track records. Assad, Putin, and Obama. What have they done; what are their motives; who do you trust?

What I want to emphasise is that Putin cannot be trusted. His article is not genuine. He is trying to protect Assad through any manipulative and dirty means necessary. Don’t take him at face value. Putin talks quietly and “reasonably” so as to look well intentioned. Remember how he treats his own people. What he does to those who stand up to him. The people he oppresses. He’s not preaching to you from a high pulpit, but from a dark dungeon. To understand him and to filter his words, you must know the “Great Game” of manipulative diplomacy that the Russians have always played. Right now, the free world is losing this game. Remember; Beowulf: “An astute man must take a measure of two things – words and deeds, and keep the two clear in his mind”.

Right now Putin is playing many naive people in the West by pretending he wants what they want – peace. But he is actually manipulating them for his own ends. Sound familiar? Hitler 1938.

With his article, Putin is trying to stir an isolationist sentiment. One in which he and his fellow dictators will be left alone by the US while they imprison, torture, and kill. This is the “peace” that we see in the world today. A phoney peace. That’s why there are so many political refugees today. When one dictator pushes it even further by waging war on his own people and crossing “red lines” by gassing innocent people, including children, Putin is counting on a disinterested world. A world intimidated into non-action by fear of war.

By not taking the right measure of the man behind the words, understanding his motives, they’re backing – indirectly – an immoral position.

“In an unprecedented move, President Vladimir Putin has written an article for the New York Times, declaring he wants to “speak directly to the American people”. Putin´s reminder of the UN´s purpose and why its power should not be undermined is both logical and diplomatic. Here is his plea for American restraint in full, please tell us what you think in the comments section.”

Putin speaks directly to the American people: and what he says makes perfect sense

They’ve been played:

Putin — Saruman Come Alive

Every Tyranny Is Paranoid

Mars One


Click image for Mars One link

This project just doesn’t look serious – especially with its ‘reality TV’ component. Their mission is overly optimistic to the point of being delusional. The technologies do not exist yet, particularly to shield against radiation. Ten years to establish a settlement (with a 2022 launch) is simply not possible. Even a massive increase in NASA’s budget, for example, could not do it within that timeframe. Whole industries need to be started up to support the project, and be maintained, to ensure its success. And addressing all the safety issues will cost a lot more than $6 billion. Frankly, any space exploration or colonisation on the cheap is criminal. Full trials of crafts, test flights, and testing of concepts/theories and materials on Mars would be essential. If you want a realistic vision of how we can colonise Mars read Buzz Aldrin’s Mission to Mars.

“More than 2500 Australians have applied for the one-way trip to Mars, which will double as a reality TV show.

The Mars One project, which aims to create the first human settlement on the Solar System’s second-smallest planet, has received 165,000 applications from astronaut hopefuls from 140 different countries.

“We now have a large group of applicants from where we can start our search,” Mars One chief medical officer Dr Norbert Kraft said.

“Finding the best crews of qualified and compatible individuals is crucial to the success of our mission.”

Successful applicants will have to say goodbye to Earth forever, with the first crew of four people expected to launch into space for their seven months journey to Mars in 2022.”

Australians apply to be part of the Mars One project

“The Martian surface is therefore extremely hostile to life, says Dr Veronica Bray, from the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, who is sceptical about the project.

There’s no liquid water, the atmospheric pressure is “practically a vacuum”, radiation levels are higher and temperatures vary wildly, she says.

“Radiation exposure is a concern, especially during the trip. This can lead to increased cancer risk, a lowered immune system and possibly infertility.”

To minimise radiation, the project team will cover the domes with several metres of soil, which the colonists will have to dig up.

“I have no doubt that we could physically place a human being on Mars. Whether they’d be able to survive for an extended period of time is much more doubtful,” adds Dr Bray.”

Applicants wanted for a one-way ticket to Mars

Is Cloning A Mammoth Worthwhile?

A researcher working near a carcass of a female mammoth found on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

A researcher working near a carcass of a female mammoth found on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

We cannot expect a cloned mammoth (even one that isn’t a hybrid with an elephant, but is 100% mammoth DNA) to be exactly like a genuine wild mammoth from prehistoric times. That animal is extinct and gone forever, along with its Ice Age environment. But that doesn’t mean the experiment is not worthwhile. We could still gain useful knowledge of mammoth physiology, as well as some instinctive behaviour.

If they created a whole herd and placed them in a similar environment –which has been suggested as a possibility– we could get certain clues as to their original behaviour during the Pleistocene.

A researcher holding a test tube with what the scientists called a sample of well-preserved blood they found in a carcass of a female mammoth discovered on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

A researcher holding a test tube with what the scientists called a sample of well-preserved blood they found in a carcass of a female mammoth discovered on a remote island in the Arctic Ocean. (AFP / NORTHEASTERN FEDERAL UNIVERSITY)

Obviously, it can’t be exactly the way a mammoth would have lived. There would have been certain learned behaviour within the herd and in response to the Ice Age ecology that we will probably never know.

It won’t be a wild mammoth, so we won’t get an understanding of how a prehistoric mammoth would have behaved. However, just like an elephant born in captivity is still an elephant, this would still be technically a mammoth.

Woolly mammoth DNA may lead to a resurrection of the ancient beast

Return of the mammoth? Dolly scientist says beast should be cloned

The Correct True Origins Of Easter


Ishtar’s name and mythology has absolutely nothing to do with Easter. Ishtar (pronounced ‘ˈi sh ˌtär’) is a Babylonian goddess who ceased to be worshiped over a thousand years before Christ. The long dead Babylonian religion had zero influence on early Christianity.

Everyone knows that the Christian festival of Easter is the celebration of Christ’s death and resurrection. There have been many modern myths circulating around about Easter’s real origin, but these are a muddied mixture of half-truths and outright fiction.

The true origin of the Christian festival of Easter lies in the pre-existing Jewish festival of Passover, which celebrates the Jewish people’s escape from Egypt into the Promised Land. Christ’s last supper was a Passover meal, and his death and resurrection occurred during the Passover week. So naturally, the early Christians celebrated these events in line with the Jewish Passover.

It was when the Roman empire became Christianized that the Roman authorities sought to formalize it as a common religious festival. In AD 325 the Roman church stopped using the Jewish calendar, and calculated their own date for Easter as the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon. This year’s Passover occurs from the 25th of March to the 2nd of April, whilst Easter is the 31st of March. The eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Easter on the 5th of May, due to their use of the Julian calendar rather than our Gregorian calendar.

So why the claim that Easter has pagan origins? This is mainly the result of an Anglo-centric view of Easter. The English word for Easter is taken from the pagan spring festival of Eostre, which occurred around the same time, following the northern spring equinox. This is a phenomenon limited to the English speaking world, since non-English names for Easter are more representative of its origins. The name for Easter among the early Christians was Pascha, which is derived from the Hebrew Pesach, meaning Passover. Most languages derive their names for Easter from this, such as the Spanish Pascua, the Italian Pasqua, the French Paques, the Dutch Pasen, the Scandinavian Paske, the Russian Pascha, and the Middle Eastern Pesah. The original English names were Pash or Pace, but the name of the defunct pagan festival proved more popular. Most Slavic names mean “great night”, but the Croatian Uskrs and the Romanian Inviere mean resurrection.

Another reason for the pagan origin belief is that northern European nations have preserved some of the old spring festival traditions and fertility symbolism, such as eggs and rabbits. Other Christians do not have these pagan-origin elements in their celebration of Easter. It is a coincidence that the traditional pagan European spring festival takes place at the same time as the Jewish Passover and consequently Easter.

“God of the week

Once again, christianity shows why it is the “Borg” of religions. COMPLETELY incapable of coming up with original content, (this page comes up with a new God each and every week, how hard can it be?) christianity assimilates other religions holidays and then claims it as their own.

The funny and sad part is, the christards eat this plagiarism up and then go batshit crazy if you dare to point these FACTS out to them.

Thank you WEEKling Hanchen for this.

(PS, I apologize for the multiple posts this morning, but Facebook is glitchy again, and scheduled posts are not working right now.)

~PSIV — with Chuck King.”

God of the week – Timeline Photos


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