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Were Sodom and Gomorrah Demolished by a Meteor?
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It’s kind of weird how some old cultures liked to keep detailed historical chronicles (the imperial Chinese, some medieval European kings and monks) while other (Hindus) did not.

For example, we know a lot of history from the Old Testament, such as:

Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

From Nature on September 20, 2021:

A Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea

Ted E. Bunch, Malcolm A. LeCompte, A. Victor Adedeji, James H. Wittke, T. David Burleigh, Robert E. Hermes, Charles Mooney, Dale Batchelor, Wendy S. Wolbach, Joel Kathan, Gunther Kletetschka, Mark C. L. Patterson, Edward C. Swindel, Timothy Witwer, George A. Howard, Siddhartha Mitra, Christopher R. Moore, Kurt Langworthy, James P. Kennett, Allen West & Phillip J. Silvia

Abstract
We present evidence that in ~ 1650 BCE (~ 3600 years ago), a cosmic airburst destroyed Tall el-Hammam, a Middle-Bronze-Age city in the southern Jordan Valley northeast of the Dead Sea. The proposed airburst was larger than the 1908 explosion over Tunguska, Russia, where a ~ 50-m-wide bolide detonated with ~ 1000× more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

A 150-foot wide stony meteor (apparently) exploded over a remote part of Siberia in 1908 and knocked down 80 million trees over an 830 square mile area.

A city-wide ~ 1.5-m-thick carbon-and-ash-rich destruction layer contains peak concentrations of shocked quartz (~ 5–10 GPa); melted pottery and mudbricks; diamond-like carbon; soot; Fe- and Si-rich spherules; CaCO3 spherules from melted plaster; and melted platinum, iridium, nickel, gold, silver, zircon, chromite, and quartz. Heating experiments indicate temperatures exceeded 2000 °C. Amid city-side devastation, the airburst demolished 12+ m of the 4-to-5-story palace complex and the massive 4-m-thick mudbrick rampart, while causing extreme disarticulation and skeletal fragmentation in nearby humans. An airburst-related influx of salt (~ 4 wt.%) produced hypersalinity, inhibited agriculture, and caused a ~ 300–600-year-long abandonment of ~ 120 regional settlements within a > 25-km radius. Tall el-Hammam may be the second oldest city/town destroyed by a cosmic airburst/impact, after Abu Hureyra, Syria, and possibly the earliest site with an oral tradition that was written down (Genesis).

A related team argued last year in Nature that this very early city near the Euphrates had been depopulated by a cosmic event around 12,800 years ago.

Anthropologist Doug Jones of U. of Utah says that the eruption of Oregon’s Mt. Mazama (now Crater Lake National Park) 7,700 years ago, which blew the top mile of elevation off the volcano, is accurately recorded in Klamath Indian oral lore. That appears to be the oldest remembered event.

Tunguska-scale airbursts can devastate entire cities/regions and thus, pose a severe modern-day hazard.

Keep in mind that this theory about Sodom could be all wrong.

On the other hand, we know remarkably little about Jews in the first millennium A.D. For example, we have virtually no clue from texts about when the Ashkenazi of northern Europe emerged. Razib Khan writes on Substack:

Their ultimate origins were a mystery to the gentiles around them, and indeed became forgotten even to themselves. Were they the descendants of the ancient Hebrews, converts to the religion, or a mix of both? These possibilities were hidden from the Jews of Eastern Europe as their memory of their past faded and their written culture focused purely on matters of religion. …

It is only with genetics in the 21st century that this theory has been able to be tested, and ultimately found wanting. The Ashkenazim are the synthesis of ancient Levantine Jews and various Mediterranean European populations with whom the former mixed. Their origins date back to the fall of Rome, not the fall of Khazaria. …

If you are Ashkenazi Jewish and look for relatives in 23andMe, the evidence of relatedness is clear. Whether your ancestors are German, Hungarian or Russian, you find distant “relatives” galore, with only minimal correlation with geography. The reason for this is that just as the histories and culture would suggest, genetics reflects the reality that the Ashkenazim all derive from a small number of common ancestors. …

But what about the maternal lineage, by which traditional Judaism defines one’s Jewishness? A 2013 study analyzed the mtDNA lineages of Ashkenazi Jews and concluded that 2,000 years ago, the foremothers of this population were Europeans and likely gentiles. More specifically, the maternal lineages of Ashkenazi Jews are broadly common across the Western Mediterranean. The implication is that Jewish men from the Eastern Mediterranean took local wives during classical antiquity, and the resultant mixed community gave rise to today’s Ashkenazim.

So, the assumption arose that because Ashkenazi were ancient Hebrews in the male line and, more or less, Italians on the female line that the Ashkenazi arose in the city of Rome around the time of Augustus and Christ. After all, the apostle Paul preached to a lot of Jews in Rome a couple of generations later.

But that rather neat assumption ran into the problem raised by recent ancient DNA findings from grinding up Roman skeletons. The population of Rome in Republican times was basically indigenous central Italians, but by Imperial times was dominated by imports (immigrants and slaves) from the eastern Mediterranean. But during the Dark Ages when the population of Rome cratered, that cosmopolitan urban population vanished — either died off or left.

In Isaac Asimov’s Foundation (which is inspired by Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), the capitol planet Trantor is completely covered in buildings because spaceships from the Empire bring food as tribute. But when Imperial power collapses and the tribute ships stop coming, the luckier residents of the capitol planet flee and others starve. But, in a moving scene, a few plucky people start tearing up the buildings and planting seeds from museums.

But, on Earth, mostly, urbanites don’t switch to farming. Instead, outlying farmers move in after the big die-off.

Eventually, Renaissance Rome was repopulated by Italian peasants from the surrounding countryside, basically the same stock who had built Republican Rome in the first place.

So how did the ancestors of the Ashkenazim survive in Rome through the Dark Ages? The latest guess is that they mostly didn’t. Instead, a second wave of Middle Eastern Jews arrived in southern Europe during the Dark Ages

A 2017 paper … First, all the models agree that half the ancestry of Ashkenazim is best assigned as coming from Levantine populations: Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Since Roman Jews were Levantine, and modern Jews have Middle-Eastern paternal lineages on the Y chromosome, this seems almost certainly correct.

What about the other half? It is clearly European. Earlier, more provisional work had indicated it was solely Southern European. This would place the admixture event before 1000 AD, when we know that Jews already began to appear in German-speaking lands. But zeroing in on long segments of relatedness, which indicate more recent admixture between populations, the authors found that these tended to be more closely related to Eastern-European gentile samples: Russians, Poles and Lithuanians. This is a much smaller component, but it is definitely detectable within the Ashkenazi genomes. Looking only at a finite number of mtDNA lineages this subtlety escaped detection because there are so few lineages distinct to particular regions of Europe.

Surveying patterns of genetic homogeneity within the Ashkenazi genome, the authors were also able to calculate when the group went through its sharp bottleneck. In other words, they shared a small number of common ancestors. Though some uncertainty remains about the date, sometime around 1250 AD is the best estimate for the bottleneck. The mixture of Southern European ancestry into the Ashkenazim predates this significantly. The mixture of Eastern European ancestry though postdates it. This comports well with the historical evidence, especially for the latter event, as the settlement of Eastern Europe beyond the core region of Germany seems to date to the second half of the Middle Ages (1250-1500 AD).

But the date for the admixture of Southern Europeans and Middle Easterners, the latter being presumably Jewish males, is a bit surprising: it would be not much earlier than 750 AD, over 250 years after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. …

It seems then that the origin of the Ashkenazim owes to a later migration of Middle Eastern Jews who were under Muslim rule, and mixed with native Italian and Iberian Christians during the Dark Ages.

For example, Charlemagne employed as a diplomat and trader Isaac Judaeus, who was born on the Mediterranean coast of France. In 797, Charlemagne sent Isaac as an ambassador to Harun al-Rashid, the famous caliph in Baghdad featured in the Arabian Nights.

The caliph gave Isaac an elephant to take to the emperor, which, according to European chronicles, he presented to Charlemagne in Aachen, Germany on July 20, 802. The chronicles record that Abul-Abbas the elephant died in 810.

 
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  1. There’s some indication that oral traditions in the Gunditjmara group of Australian Aborigines refer to eruptions of the Budj Bim and Tower Hill Volcanos in Victoria no earlier than 34 k years BP.

    https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/geology/article-abstract/48/4/390/581018/Early-human-occupation-of-southeastern-Australia?redirectedFrom=fulltext

  2. Roughly speaking, the percentages are roughly 40% Levantine, 40% Southern Euro (mainly Italian), and 20% Eastern European.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if modern Palestinians and Lebanese are more closely related to 0 AD Jews. Also, Judaism is supposedly inherited via the mother, and the matrilineal side of Ashkenazi is not Levantine. This raises questions about the legitamacy of Israeli statehood.

    Sephardic Jews, who presumably have more Levantine blood, have slightly lower IQ that white gentiles. Which makes me wonder if the higher Ashkenazi IQ has come from skimming the better women from the Italians and Eastern Europeans. Women are keen on guys with money after all.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    , @Anon
    , @mc23
  3. Dan Hayes says:

    And there also seems to be evidence to substantiate that the Old Testament Flood was an historical event!

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @dearieme
    , @nebulafox
    , @Lin
  4. If Sodom was actually struck from heaven well I’ll be damned. Tartei Mashma.

  5. How much were the ancestors of the Ashkenazim simply the lucky family of survivors of Black Plague Era pogroms vs a separate community of Jews from the others who lived in the area?

    IOW, are they the descendants of the Tosafists?

  6. dearieme says:
    @Dan Hayes

    There have been lots of floods. Jews were bound to hear about them during their Babylonian exile.

    I assume that there aren’t lots of meteor airbursts.

    we know a lot of history from the Old Testament: says iSteve. I doubt that there’s much or any history in the OT until the Assyrians pitch up. Juggling and combining foundation myths and fantasies isn’t history.

    (Neo-Assyrians, strictly, I suppose.)

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  7. J.Ross says:

    Has there ever been any substantiation of the alleged character of Sodom and Gomorrah, eg, temple friezes depicting obscenities?

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  8. Most of Jewish history is fiction (not that there’s anything wrong with that..).

    Because of their influence in the US, and the US influence in the world, there is much investigation about their historical population ancestry. Were they not so visible & influential in the US, most researchers would not care.

    The second reason is their continual war with all Arabs, and Palestinian Arabs in particular, which is reduced to a silly question: who was there first? Actually, it doesn’t matter.

    Their population history is no more “mysterious” than, say, of the English, Moroccans, various French, Poles, …

    • Replies: @HA
  9. Daniel H says:

    The implication is that Jewish men from the Eastern Mediterranean took local wives during classical antiquity,

    Likely, slave->concubine->wife.

    This is a pattern that has been repeated over and over and over in the development of all human civilization.

    • Replies: @barnabus
  10. “Ashkenazi were ancient Hebrews in the male line and, more or less, Italians on the female line”

    Some Jewish women could easily pass for Italian – long dark hair, big dark eyes, figure to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window – but that’s not the norm, alas.

    “the origin of the Ashkenazim owes to a later migration of Middle Eastern Jews who were under Muslim rule, and mixed with native Italian and Iberian Christians during the Dark Ages”

    Could the women have been Christian slaves?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @mc23
  11. But, on Earth, mostly, urbanites don’t switch to farming. Instead, outlying farmers move in after the big die-off.

    In many cases, farmers and shepherds carted off the stones of ancient structures to build the homes and outbuildings on their farms. How nice of the Romans to leave large stores of such well crafted building materials for future generations.

  12. BCB232 says:

    What’s interesting is that a lot of Jews I have met don’t have the stereotypical darker complexion. Mixed in the with normal Jewish “type” are a lot of people with fair skin, and reddish or even blondish hair (not usually Nordic blond). My friend, the late Larry Auster had blond hair as a child. Does this reflect ancient Mediterranean and/or Levantine populations being fairer complected than those of today?

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Bill P
    , @Jack D
    , @Unz User
  13. Wilkey says:

    Anthropologist Doug Jones of U. of Utah says that the eruption of Oregon’s Mt. Mazama (now Crater Lake National Park) 7,700 years ago, which blew the top mile of elevation off the volcano, is accurately recorded in Klamath Indian oral lore. That appears to be the oldest remembered event.

    There’s not much to do at Crater Lake National Park except stare at the lake, but it’s worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. It’s an impressive reminder of how powerful the forces of geology can be. Of course the mountains themselves are a reminder of that, too, but those of us who live near them quickly forget that.

    The drive to and from the lake is stunningly beautiful in the best Oregon kind of way, and there are a few nearby waterfalls – Toketee Falls is particularly gorgeous – that are also worth a visit. It was a rare drive where even the kids put down their iPads to look at the scenery.

    In Isaac Asimov’s Foundation (which is inspired by Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), the capitol planet Trantor is completely covered in buildings because spaceships from the Empire bring food as tribute.

    Apparently you are as excited about Friday as I am.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  14. JMcG says:

    I was on Mt Rainier about five years after Mt. St. Helen’s exploded. It was a very sobering sight. Given the sparseness of human settlement during the time that Sodom and Gomorrah were stricken, the more credulous among us might see that as evidence of actual Divine displeasure. Of course, where has He been lately?
    I’m afraid of the answer to that question.

    • Replies: @epebble
  15. Anon[314] • Disclaimer says:

    Looking only at a finite number of mtDNA lineages this subtlety escaped detection because there are so few lineages distinct to particular regions of Europe.

    What does that mean? What are the implications?

    It seems then that the origin of the Ashkenazim owes to a later migration of Middle Eastern Jews who were under Muslim rule, and mixed with native Italian and Iberian Christians during the Dark Ages.

    These were probably women whom the Jews had taken as slaves.

  16. @Wilkey

    There’s not much to do at Crater Lake National Park except stare at the lake…

    I did go hiking down toward the lake on a trail of my making. I got about 2/3 the way down and hit a hairy spot, but I knew I had to get going anyway, to hit the road to the west (to Medford).

  17. G. Poulin says:

    I can think of a few cities I’d like to see demolished by a meteor.

  18. Rich says:

    That’s a long dig to try to tie Ashkenazi to the Middle East back around 750AD. Due to political pressures to pretend that European Jews are related to Middle Eastern Jews and therefore tied to the land, geneticists bend over backwards and twist themselves into pretzels in order to find some wandering Jew who married a nice Italian girl. The Khazar theory makes more sense and so far, none of the studies I’ve seen are convincing that Ashkenazi are descended from Jews from Palestine during, or after, the Roman era.

    • Replies: @gcochran
  19. nebulafox says:
    @Dan Hayes

    Before the Ice Age ended, the area that is now the Persian Gulf used to be land. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the memory preserved by Middle Eastern civilizations.

  20. songbird says:

    One reason that the Dark Ages is so reviled is because it basically boils down to “Europe before the Jews.” So, of course, Europe has to ideologically become a “backwater”, instead of of place where radical new and transformative technologies like the horse plow were developed.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @anonymous
  21. nebulafox says:

    So, tangential hobby horse, but I couldn’t resist…

    Pre-modern history didn’t work like modern history does, on a number of levels. For one thing, authors were expected to be openly biased. The point for pre-moderns of the work wasn’t the dispassionate recording of what happened, but moral lessons. For another thing, it was quite acceptable for pre-modern historians to invent speeches and create anecdotes based on what they imagined would have happened rather than recording what actually happened, or to use symbolism and allusions to illustrate the point they are making. Again, if the point is moral lessons rather than record keeping, this is understandable.

    I’ll give a more concrete non-Biblical example: Plutarch graphically describes worms corrupting Sulla’s body as he died. It’s possible that this wasn’t meant to be taken literally: IIRC, though it has been a while, I can’t recall another source attesting to this. Rather, it is meant, and would have been understood by educated Greco-Romans, as an allegorical description about Sulla’s true character. The deeply conservative Plutarch disliked Sulla (for several reasons), and genuinely believed he was a repellent, noxious character-and it was *expected* that he would illustrate that in his biography of him. No Greco-Roman would have missed the symbolism of the worms eating away at Sulla’s heart. Whether that was true or not (maybe-Sulla’s alcoholism is well attested to-but maybe not) was not really the point.

    So, back to the Bible: think of the story of the Hebrews wandering the desert for 40 years. How long does it take for a generation or two to die out and be replaced by another? Around 40 years. The Israelites are depicted as being punished for being disobedient to the deity that liberated them… and underneath that symbolism might lie a more prosaic truth: the Hebrews liberated from Egypt *still had* the mentality of slaves. They complained to Moses that Pharaoh would have fed them, clothed them. They could not escape this mentality: which is not surprising if you consider what happens when your fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers before you were all slaves, if that’s all you knew. This generation was not suitable to settle down in Canaan as their own independent people. That would have to be the job of a generation that knew freedom, how to take care of themselves, and to be their own people worshiping their one true God. Several centuries later in Babylon, this was the moral point that the Hebrew priests and poets wanted to make as they drudged up memories of the distant, shady past, passed down over the centuries about the period after the Egyptian occupation of the Levant. The moral lesson, again, would not have been lost on Jewish readers at the time, anymore than an educated Greek or Roman would have missed the points in Thucydides or Livy.

    I’ll leave someone to dissect the Sodom story, but something to chew on.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  22. But during the Dark Ages when the population of Rome cratered, that cosmopolitan urban population vanished — either died off or left.

    So there’s hope after all!

    ——

    BTW, all these meteors hitting everything (Tunguska 113 years ago, Tall el-Hammam 3600 years ago, the Euphrates 12,800 years ago) seems to conflict with Anatoly telling us recently that asteroid impacts are overrated and Megatsunamis are the new hotness.

    If we are finding evidence of cosmic impacts from every couple-three thousand years, that implies that there have been at least twice again as many that impacted over the oceans that we never noticed, and indeed others over land that we just haven’t put the evidence together for yet. So these impacts may be more like a once every few centuries event.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @res
  23. Supersaturated vapor from the sea could have rained down and precipitated columns of gypsum and salt near overhangs etc. I wonder if that is where the legend about Lot’s wife came from.

  24. epebble says:

    The 1650 B.C . bolide is also interesting from the perspective of the Old Testament concept of Apocalypse. A God so angry that he decides to destroy civilization.

    The older impact is reported here: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-60867-w
    That happened in prehistory and might have led to the original concept of God as Sun/Fire raining down from the heavens. If we see the early religions, they all had some form of sun or fire worship. Egyptian Ra, Zoroastrian and Vedic Mithra, Old Testament Burning Bush God, pre-Islamic and then Islamic meteorite (Black Stone) of Kaaba.

  25. @Almost Missouri

    “If we are finding evidence of cosmic impacts from every couple-three thousand years, that implies that there have been at least twice again as many that impacted over the oceans that we never noticed, and indeed others over land that we just haven’t put the evidence together for yet.”

    https://www.pibburns.com/catastro/clubenap.htm

    https://archive.org/details/cosmicserpent00vict

    “In 1982, two British astronomers, S. V. M (Victor) Clube and William Napier, published a book entitled The Cosmic Serpent. Clube and Napier suggested that the outer planets occasionally divert giant comets (more than 50 kilometers in diameter) into the inner solar system into short-period orbits. Debris from the resultant disintegration of these giant comets can adversely affect the environment of the Earth. Dusting can block sunlight, resulting in globally cooler conditions. Impact events in the super-Tunguska class may result in not only heavy localized destruction but also the occasional “impact winter” or dust veil with global climatological effects.

    Clube and Napier identified the progenitor of the Taurid complex as such a giant comet whose injection into a short-period (about 3.3 year) orbit occurred sometime in the last twenty to thirty thousand years. The Taurid complex currently includes the Taurid meteor atream, Comet Encke (the only known currently active comet in the Taurid complex), “asteroids” such as 2101 Adonis and 2201 Oljato, and copious amounts of dust. All ten of the numbered asteroids in the Taurid complex appear to have associated meteor showers and therefore are likely to be extinct comets masquerading as asteroids.

    The effects of the disintegration of the Taurid progenitor object in an Earth-crossing orbit should appear in the geological and climatological record. Clube and Napier marshalled evidence for such effects in “The Cosmic Serpent” as well as their later book Cosmic Winter published in 1990. Clube and Napier, following in the footsteps of earlier catastrophists, also sought evidence of catastrophic events in ancient mythology and history. These authors have also written papers in standard peer-reviewed journals about the role giant comets play in constructing a tenable physical theory of coherent catastrophism.

    The giant comets normally reside far beyond the planets, in a spherical cloud surrounding the Sun, called the Oort cloud. There is also evidence for a flattened disk of comets closer to the inner solar system, called the Edgeworth/Kuiper belt. What prompts members of either of these comet repositories to enter the realm of the planets? Clube and Napier suggest a galactic influence. The solar system periodically passes through the plane of the galaxy as the Sun (and the solar system with it) orbits the galactic center. Each passage may dislodge giant comets and divert them closer to the Sun. The outer planets, particularly Jupiter, may then perturb some of these giant comets into orbits which enter the inner solar system. These comets, stressed both by gravity and by heat from the sun, may fragment into a cloud of smaller objects with dynamically similar orbits.”

    • Thanks: Almost Missouri
  26. res says:
    @nebulafox

    I wonder how much human history is underwater now and waiting to be found.

    Remnants of human migration paths exist underwater at ‘choke points’
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/05/200512133537.htm

    A Submerged 7,000-Year-Old Discovery Shows the Great Potential of Underwater Archaeology
    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/archaeology-underwater-australia-180975235/

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  27. anon[171] • Disclaimer says:

    By 870 Europe saw a group of Jewish traders emerge (seemingly out of nowhere) known as the Radhanites. There is a famous quote about them written by the Muslim historian ibn Khordadbeh around 870 reproduced below. Their international activities were extensive and would be considered complex today. Somehow by 870 European Jews (a very small group) were already extensively involved (and talented) in international commerce.

    These merchants speak Arabic, Persian, Roman, the Frank, Spanish, and Slav languages. They journey from West to East, from East to West, partly on land, partly by sea. They transport from the West eunuchs, female slaves, boys, brocade, castor, marten and other furs, and swords. They take ship from France on the Western Sea, and make for Pelusium. There they load their goods on camel-back and go by land to al-Kolzum (Suez), …… They embark in the East Sea and sail from al-Kolzum to al-Jar and al-Jeddah, then they go to Sind, India, and China. On their return from China they carry back musk, aloes, camphor, cinnamon, and other products of the Eastern countries to al-Kolzum and bring them back to Farama, where they again embark on the Western Sea. Some make sail for Constantinople to sell their goods to the Romans; others go to the palace of the King of the Franks to place their goods. Sometimes these Jewish merchants, when embarking from the land of the Franks, …make for Antioch (at the head of the Orontes River); thence by land to al-Jabia (al-Hanaya on the bank of the Euphrates), where they arrive after three days’ march. There they embark on the Euphrates and reach Baghdad, whence they sail down the Tigris, to al-Obolla. From al-Obolla they sail for Oman, Sindh, Hind, and China. … The merchants that start from Spain or France go to Sus al-Aksa (in Morocco) and then to Tangier, whence they walk to Kairouan and the capital of Egypt. Thence they go to ar-Ramla, visit Damascus, al-Kufa, Baghdad, and al-Basra, cross Ahvaz, Fars, Kerman, Sind, Hind, and arrive in China. Sometimes, also, they take the route behind Rome and, passing through the country of the Slavs, arrive at Khamlidj, the capital of the Khazars. They embark on the Jorjan Sea, arrive at Balkh, betake themselves from there across the Oxus, and continue their journey toward Yurt, Toghuzghuz, and from there to China.

    • Replies: @mc23
  28. res says:
    @Almost Missouri

    If we are finding evidence of cosmic impacts from every couple-three thousand years, that implies that there have been at least twice again as many that impacted over the oceans that we never noticed, and indeed others over land that we just haven’t put the evidence together for yet. So these impacts may be more like a once every few centuries event.

    Size matters.

    Impacts from space appear to follow something like a power law. The figure in this document gives a good overview, but I can’t find the original source.
    https://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/earth/10Page71.pdf

    Here is a 2018 paper looking at Tunguska-sized events.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329769195_Effects_of_Asteroid_Property_Distributions_on_Expected_Impact_Rates

    The current study focuses on mid-sized objects with diameters of 20–300 m, which could cause substantial local ground damage but are unlikely to produce larger-scale regional or global effects. Particular emphasis is placed on sizes similar to the 1908 Tunguska event, which provides a unique source of evidence for such impacts and is often used as a reference point for damage potential and impact rates in the literature.

    Here is a very detailed simulation of asteroid impacts.
    https://towardsdatascience.com/predicting-the-frequency-of-asteroid-impacts-with-a-poisson-processes-98d483efa61d

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  29. Anonymous[173] • Disclaimer says:

    To all those interested in this topic, I thoroughly recommend the genetic anthropology website ‘Anthrogenica’ where there is an exceedingly lengthy thread, written by some very knowledgeable people, on this very topic, which has rattled on for years.

  30. anon[171] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    This is not correct. Medieval Technology and Social Change is an extremely well known and very influential book by the UCLA professor, White. It covers the European use of the stirrup, the European agricultural revolution, three field rotation and resulting improved nutrition, and the early European exploration of mechanical power. It hardly represents medieval Europe as any kind of backwater at all but instead as a place where critical technical innovations were being made. Whether or not these inventions led to the enormous social changes the author postulates is still being debated. But no one debates the inventions were made. And the book has nothing and says nothing about Jews.

  31. epebble says:
    @JMcG

    German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt who has done extensive research on Göbekli Tepe believes that it is the First Temple:

    Göbekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple?

    http://hiskingdom.us/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/G%C3%B6bekli-Tepe-The-Worlds-First-Temple.pdf

    These artifacts seem to have been built after Abu Hureyra impact. It is possible the impact gave rise to the notion of an Angry God that has to be pleased.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  32. nebulafox says:

    There’s always been reliable records of Jewish communities existing in Byzantium, and I’m hard pressed to imagine immigration to an impoverished backwater after the 7th Century. They were probably the descendants of Jewish communities that had lived in Anatolia for centuries: St. Paul himself hailed from Cilicia, which would eventually be reincorporated into the empire.

    I vaguely recall a Jewish community surviving in Anatolia, including in Constantinople, well through the Ottoman period.

    >Eventually, Renaissance Rome was repopulated by Italian peasants from the surrounding countryside, basically the same stock who had built Republican Rome in the first place.

    Something similar happened in Dark Ages Constantinople after the last wave of bubonic plague went through in the 8th Century. The city was so depopulated that it would have ceased to function without an influx of people immediately. Constantine V rounded up tens of thousands of settlers from the Aegean and resettled them in the city.

    It’s a shame we don’t have better records from the time period. This would have been a truly impressive administrative project, especially when one considers the diminished resources Constantine had at his command relative to, say, Justinian or even Heraclius. Between this and his repair of the aqueduct of Valens, cut during the Slav/Avar/Persian siege of 626, Constantine’s reign lay the kernel for eventual regrowth to “megacity of the time period” status a couple centuries later.

  33. I been waiting for San Francisco or D.C. or New York to get theirs.

    But so far … nothing. I’m losing faith.

  34. @TelfoedJohn

    Sephardic Jews, who presumably have more Levantine blood, have slightly lower IQ that white gentiles. Which makes me wonder if the higher Ashkenazi IQ has come from skimming the better women from the Italians and Eastern Europeans. Women are keen on guys with money after all.

    It comes from selection.

    The Ashkenazi were middle manning on top of a reasonably smart–compared to other humans–European host population that was progressively getting smarter and more conscientious. To successfully middle man you need to be–on average–smarter than the hosts. So they are.

    Understanding that selection not only didn’t stop 50,000 years ago–but was super-charged by the neolithic revolution and the following changes in production and the rise of civilization– is the salient difference between scientific people who understand human biodiversity is “per spec” … and the religious believers in global “equality of man”.

    Selection didn’t stop … because selection never stops.

  35. Nimrod says:

    Anthropologist Doug Jones of U. of Utah says that the eruption of Oregon’s Mt. Mazama (now Crater Lake National Park) 7,700 years ago, which blew the top mile of elevation off the volcano, is accurately recorded in Klamath Indian oral lore. That appears to be the oldest remembered event.

    A number of interesting books have been written to try to answer this question. This particular story gets a lot of exposure because it’s in the United States and because it got discovered by anthropologists over a century ago. But certain other scientists think the oldest remembered human events occurred thousands of years earlier. Patrick Nunn, an Australian folklorist and anthropologist, argues in The Edge of Memory that human memory may well extend to events that occurred more than 10,000 years ago. (https://patricknunn.org/writing/books/the-edge-of-memory-ancient-stories-oral-tradition-and-the-post-glacial-world/)

    Nunn thinks that Australian aboriginal myths preserve memories of the rise of the oceans after the cold snap in the Younger Dryas period ended c. 9,000 BC, when the oceans rose around 300 feet over the course of a few generations. Based on the astonishingly detailed descriptions some of these stories contain about drowned landscapes just below current sea levels, I think Nunn’s theories are probably correct.

    The aboriginal stories seem to be distant cousins of Celtic legends about Ys and the lost lands of Lyonesse. Huge chunks of Doggerland, the country-sized territory that has long since been drowned beneath the North Sea, the Irish Sea, and the Channel, were still above land as recently as 4,000 years ago. Petrified forests are visible during exceptionally low tides in parts of Wales, the Isles of Scilly, and southeastern England. This Smithsonian Magazine article discusses the issue in some depth: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-section-petrified-forest-uncovered-wales-beach-after-storm-180975803/.

    https://i1.wp.com/www.businesstelegraph.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Mythical-039Sunken-Kingdom039-of-Wales-rises-again.jpg?fit=962%2C642&ssl=1

    The aboriginal stories also work in cosmic themes about divine judgment similar to those of Noah’s Flood, the grandaddy of all the Flood stories. Nunn doesn’t propose any theories about the Noahic Flood, probably because it would expose him to an avalanche of attention from Bible-thumpers, but there is a theory that the Mediterranean Sea broke through an old sea wall in the Hellespont during the same post-Younger Dryas rise in the ocean levels. The Black Sea Deluge hypothesis (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sea_deluge_hypothesis), while not universally accepted, is a promising source for the legends describing a global Flood which seem to have percolated out of the Near East into Indo-European and the Uralic language families. The location at least is correct–the Bible itself describes Noah’s Ark coming to rest ‘in the mountains of Ararat’ (Genesis VIII:4), or somewhere in Turkey–not the actual Mount Ararat, the frequent site of quixotic Christian attempts to prove the literal truth of the biblical story by finding the Ark.

    Interestingly, the timing of the Black Sea Deluge with the Younger Dryas period and its association with the Taurus Mountains connects back to one of the major themes of the Noahic story–the founding of agriculture. Contemporary scientific research locates the origins of agriculture around the upper reaches of the Euphrates in the Taurus Mountains region. Mithen’s After the Ice gives an excellent account of how the process occurred.

    https://imgcdn.saxo.com/_9780674019997

    Based on analysis of archaeological sites and the genealogy of emmer wheat, agriculture appears to date back to the Younger Dryas period, when exceptionally cold weather conditions forced human populations to modify their hunter-gathering lifestyles and intensively cultivate wheat grains to survive. A garbled memory of this process is recalled in Yazidi folklore and the Garden of Eden story, both of which associate the Fall of Man from a paradaisical state to the tilling of the ground. This recollects Henry Harpending’s provocative observations about the leisurely life of the Khoisan people with whom he spent his adult life. The coincidence of agriculture, the Eden myth, and the Younger Dryas is recounted in this provocative Palladium article by Samo Burja, one of the most provocative futurists and thinkers in the present era: (https://palladiummag.com/2021/05/17/why-civilization-is-older-than-we-thought/).

    Like the Eden stories, the purpose of the Noah myth is to recount a cosmogony with its central motif the establishment of human life around agriculture. God’s promise to Noah in the establishment of the rainbow contains a line that has been much-overlooked (Genesis VII):

    21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.

    22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

    The bulk of God’s covenant with Noah consists of agricultural references. Life and death, sacrifice and redemption, judgment and salvation, creation and destruction, human and divine, history and the sacred, are unified into a coherent whole in the Noah story–and that is the purpose of myth.

    Here’s where this story gets really interesting and runs off the rails into provocative speculation. It’s fashionable to deride the Bible, especially the older, obviously-mythic pieces of it, as a bunch of old wives’ tales with zero relation to scientific accuracy. But the coincidence of myth and truth might be far deeper than most of us imagine. The ninth chapter of Genesis describes the re-peopling of the earth after the Flood incident. Contrary to the literal interpretation of the text, it implies the existence of other human populations outside Noah’s immediate family elsewhere on earth. The re-peopling of the earth makes sense in the context of agricultural spread, which appears to have diffused outwards from a Near Eastern source to the rest of the world–China included. David Reich’s research into archaic population movements has pretty much established the connection between agricultural dispersion and population movements. Central America supposedly invented farming on its own, and while that’s totally possible, recent discoveries about contacts between Polynesians and Native Americans c. 1200 (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/08/indigenous-americans-polynesians-dna-800-years-ago), and an even older settlement pulse of Austronesian-related people in South America discussed in Reich’s Who We Are and How We Got Here, may require us to rethink what we know of agriculture in the Americas.

    It may also require us to rethink one of the most derided academic theories out there: the Nostratic language theory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostratic_languages), which was advanced by Aharon Dolgopolsky, Alan Bomhard, and Vladislav Illich-Svitych, and which is associated with the theories of Joseph Greenberg, whose ideas about genetic relationships between several different macrofamilies were vindicated by David Reich’s reserach. Nostratic theorists don’t agree on the details and have many competing models of familiar relations across language families, but they do suggest that almost all language families on earth north of the Sahara, to include North American language families, descend from a common source from 8 to 15,000 years ago…which maps remarkably well onto these strange, disjointed facts about the Younger Dryas, the rise of the oceans, the Noah story, and the foundation of agriculture. I don’t know if any of the linguists who subscribe to Nostratic have seriously attempted to make a connection between agricultural spread and the dispersion of Nostratic, but their theories about it do line up remarkably well with the founding of agriculture.

    Meanwhile, Giorgio de Santillana, a now-forgotten but once-distinguished philosopher and historian of religion, did explicitly make the connection between agricultural dispersion and the dispersion of languages–that is, Flood myths. De Santillana subscribed to a maximally insane-sounding theory that all Flood myths–and all myths in general–descend from an original source somewhere in the Near East, dating back to the founding of agriculture. Unfortunately, he died before he could condense his ideas into coherent form, and his assistant Hertha von Deschend made a morass out of his work, but Hamlet’s Mill combs through a herculean trove of data across the world mythical complex and makes a number of provocative thematic connections between numerous different myths about Floods across the world. De Santillana was probably the original Flood truther.

    A recurring theme of De Santillana’s book is the existence of a vast mill in heaven grinding the meal of time into history. The mill is periodically thrown out of kilter or must be reestablished by an energetic hero who becomes the supreme god. The Hamlet story, of which Shakespeare’s play depicts only a small part, is part of a vast mythic complex relating the actions of Hamlet/Amleth/Samson (!) to the precession of the equinoxes. The biblical Samson story is apparently an extended reference to a shift in the equinoxes. The Zodiac isn’t primarily an astrological motif: it’s actually a mnemonic device encoding extremely precise measurements of star motions and the relations between the stars and the solstices. It’s a vast timekeeping device that…enabled the ancients to know precisely when to plant their crops. Barber and Barber’s far less speculative book When They Served Earth and Sky describes the connection in much greater scientific detail.

    Apparently a huge chunk of the ancient mythic complex relates the actions of the gods to the motions of the stars. The effect of the existence of these stories is to push back definite knowledge about the heavens up to 20,000 years in the past if the cyclical valences of the old myths are taken seriously. Ancient people seem to have known about the Milankovich cycles tens of thousands of years before Milutin Milankovich proposed his theories.

    Astonishingly enough, the star-myth-complex touches on the most bizarre theophany story of all time–the Birth of Christ in a stable in Bethlehem c. 6 BC. Christ’s birth coincided with another equinoctial shift whereby the constellation Virgo rose over the sun in the spring equinox and the constellation Pisces rose over the sun in the fall equinox. ‘I will make you fishers of men’ (Matthew IV:19) may actually have been some sort of astrological pronouncement. Likewise, Christ’s curse against false teachers (‘Better for him that a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were throne into the sea’, Luke XVII:2) sounds different under these terms. Most crazily at all, the famous Virgin birth prophecy (‘A Virgin will conceive’) is also echoed in the dedicatory verses of Virgil’s Aeneid and the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah VII:14). The Magi showing up at Christ’s birth wasn’t an accident. It was an essential part of the metastory. There really are bizarre currents running through the Bible. I’m much, much less sure I know everything about the world than I did when I was a smug agnostic in college.

    The coincidence of prophecy, myth, history, linguistics, and archaeology here is dizzying. A lot of this stuff is half-baked theorizing. But it’s enough to give any conventional historian an aneurism. Anyway, I hope this interested anyone who made it through this gargantuan comment.

    • Thanks: Rob, JMcG, Almost Missouri
  36. JMcG says:
    @AnotherDad

    Every State of the Union from now on, I’m going to mix myself a drink, sit on my deck, and cast a hopeful eye to the southwestern horizon.

    • LOL: AnotherDad
  37. D. K. says:

    “The caliph gave Isaac an elephant to take to the emperor, which, according to European chronicles, he presented to Charlemagne in Aachen, Germany on July 20, 802.”

    That, too, was a Wednesday– the same day as July 24, 802, on the proleptic Gregorian calendar.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proleptic_Gregorian_calendar

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @Stan Adams
  38. tyrone says:
    @AnotherDad

    2 Peter 3:4 …….buck up.

  39. gcochran says:
    @Rich

    The y-chromosomes are mostly Middle Eastern.

    • Disagree: Rich
  40. anon[307] • Disclaimer says:

    what if whatever sanguinal advantage the ashkenazim have is from italian women?

    iirc, the richard lynn crowd claim italy is average or above in europe.

    this means northern italians are the world’s smartest people.

    that would explain the roman empire thing and its continued existence, now much more than 2,000 years. it didn’t die in 1453. today its emperor is named “francis”.

    sad.

  41. Polymath says:

    If you read the scientific paper carefully and not just the summaries you eventually get to the part about salt-encrusted skeletons unearthed where the road outside the city was.

    That’s what happens when you have a hypersonic wave of vaporized superheated Dead Sea sediment hitting you before you caught up to your companions who made it to the other side of the hill….

    I always figured the Lot’s wife pillar of salt story was too bizarre and weird to have been made up and had to have some kind of basis in fact: confirmed!

  42. @nebulafox

    Before the Ice Age ended, the area that is now the Persian Gulf used to be land. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the memory preserved by Middle Eastern civilizations.

    Could be. I’ve heard more about the Black Sea flooding event 8000 years ago, which would have been in people’s oral tradition. There’s been some underwater archeology of settlements now quite a bit underwater.

    But the Persian Gulf is water flow negative even now. Essentially an endorheic basin where sea water flows in to flow in to make up for evaporation. And not very deep–sort of the Middle East’s Lake Erie. Stands to reason there were folks living there along the river valleys and shores of the endorheic salty sea before the sea level rose after LGM.

  43. Anon[169] • Disclaimer says:

    The country with the highest percentage of Ashkenazi Jewish genes outside Israel is Hungray. Hungary is in Southeastern Europe, and from its location would logically speaking be one of the first countries to receive an influx of Jewish population heading north out of the Middle East. I suspect Hungary is where the maternal DNA of many Ashkenazis originated. Hungary is famous for producing great mathematicians. So it appears these Jewish men went gaga over the first set of European blondes they came across.

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-08/14/c_138306969.htm#:~:text=The%20company%20said%20in%20a,1.8%20million%20MyHeritage%20customers%20worldwide.

  44. @res

    Thanks. One chart that caught my eye was that Density chart in Figure 1 of the

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/329769195_Effects_of_Asteroid_Property_Distributions_on_Expected_Impact_Rates

    paper. If one assumes that asteroids are a reasonable proxy for random stuff in and around the solar system, it is striking how far out in the right-hand tail the Earth is at 5.5 density.

    I mean, I know that a lot of the solar system is fairly insubstantial: gas, ice, crappy rocks, etc., but seeing that chart drives home just how galactically unusual the Earth is.

    We really are living on Heavy Metal.

  45. anonymous[253] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    You’re a proper idiot.

  46. This Meteor didn’t survive the impact.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @J1234
  47. @D. K.

    Damn, I need to up my calendar-memorization game. I do know that 1802 had the same calendar as 2021. July 20 was a Tuesday this year.

    • Replies: @D. K.
  48. Anon[178] • Disclaimer says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    Which makes me wonder if the higher Ashkenazi IQ has come from skimming the better women from the Italians and Eastern Europeans. Women are keen on guys with money after all.

    We are witnessing this today, in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Europe.

    • Replies: @barnabus
  49. Anonymous[400] • Disclaimer says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    figure to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained glass window

    What does this even mean?

  50. @D. K.

    Here, while I’m in a spergy mood:

    [MORE]

    1600 = 2000 (Jan – Dec)
    1700 = 2004 (Mar – Dec)
    1800 = 2008 (Mar – Dec)
    1900 = 2012 (Mar – Dec)

    2000 = 2028 = 2056 = 2084

    1684 = 2084

    1684 = 1780 = 1876 = 1972

    1972 = 2000

    • Replies: @D. K.
  51. Anon[381] • Disclaimer says:
    @Nimrod

    It interested me greatly. What a mind you must possess.

  52. Bill P says:
    @BCB232

    I would think not, because almost all of these fair Jews are from NE Europe, and not found among other Jewish populations.

    • Replies: @Anon
  53. @nebulafox

    But certainly the rise in sea levels was too slow to contribute to a myth like “lots of rain, earth covered, then water receded”.

    What would happen if a Tunguska-style event occurred over coastal waters? Would it create a tsunami?

    Were weather patterns different in the past such that there were seasonal monsoons in the Middle East similar to SE Asia today?

    • Replies: @epebble
    , @jsm
  54. mc23 says:
    @TelfoedJohn

    Ironic that the Palestinians probably have more original Jewish decent on their matrilineal side then most current day Israelis. There were a great number of Christianized Jews still living in Palestine up until the time the Byzantines lost control.

    • Replies: @barnabus
  55. HA says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    “Most of Jewish history is fiction (not that there’s anything wrong with that..).”

    You seem to rely a lot on some really outdated history. It’s kind of ironic, given what you just said.

    Several theses were advanced to explain the [Abraham] narratives—e.g., that the patriarchs were mythical beings or the personifications of tribes or folkloric or etiological (explanatory) figures created to account for various social, juridical, or cultic patterns. However, after World War I, archaeological research made enormous strides with the discovery of monuments and documents, many of which date back to the period assigned to the patriarchs in the traditional account. The excavation of a royal palace at Mari, an ancient city on the Euphrates, for example, brought to light thousands of cuneiform tablets (official archives and correspondence and religious and juridical texts) and thereby offered exegesis a new basis, which specialists utilized to show that, in the biblical book of Genesis, narratives fit perfectly with what, from other sources, is known today of the early 2nd millennium BCE but imperfectly with a later period.

    [MORE]

    Few academics will care if you don’t want to buy into talking snakes and golden “apples” or whatever. But given that even something as crazy as Wagner’s ring cycle deals with actual historical events involving Romans and Burgundians (despite a suspicious lack of any substantiation regarding dragons, dwarves and Ragnarok), it’s time to put to rest all these smug supercilious generalizations about how this or that is mostly fiction, whatever one feels about who has some “right” to inhabit a certain parcel of land. For all its emphasis on parable and moral retconning, as opposed to history in the way that we or even Josephus would know it, many ancient texts made a surprisingly dedicated effort to not simply make things up and given how wrong historians in the 19th century and later on were about that, it behooves us to be more circumspect than they were.

    I’m not saying it’s not “mostly fiction” but without knowing which parts are and aren’t fiction — and we in the modern world are clearly not as smart about that as we once thought we were — it’s a meaningless statement. You might even say it’s “mostly fiction”.

  56. @Reg Cæsar

    You know, Reg, I have been considering challenging you to a duel of irrelevancy.

    [MORE]

    The Soviet national anthem in Lithuanian:

    An escalator at the Atlanta airport:

    “Colors of the Wind” in Finnish:

    May the best man win!

    • Replies: @J1234
  57. mc23 says:
    @anon

    I believe it was H.G. Wells who posited that the Phoenicians converted to Judaism on a large scale after the fall of Carthage. I always wondered how he came by this position and used to think it was odd but now with more information think it’s quite plausible. The initial range of the Phoenicians overlapped with the northern tribes of Israel.

    Coincidently, the Phoenicians were renowned for their skill as traders and merchants and for their sharp dealings both later Jewish stereotypes.

  58. Jews are not white. That is the entirety of the Unz Review comment section. The rest is commentary. Go now and learn it.

  59. mc23 says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I grew up in a very Jewish and Italian neighborhood, a lot of first and second generation types. I always thought there was a lot of similarity on the women’s side.

    When I saw the articles about the Ashkenazi female descent coming from Italy I was surprised but it just fit.

  60. @res

    I wonder how much human history is underwater now and waiting to be found.

    As have others, from Plato to Ignatius Donnelly to Donovan.

    Donnelly lived into the 20th century. My great-great-grandmother, who died only hours earlier, did not.

    • Replies: @Gary in Gramercy
  61. epebble says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    K-Pg event, which was much bigger than Tunguska, created 330 ft. tall megatsunami. If it had fallen in midocean instead (of coastal Yucatan), the megatsunami would have been 2.9 mile tall. K-Pg killed off dinosaurs and allowed mammals to thrive. If it had occurred midocean, most multicellular life might have been extinct.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cretaceous%E2%80%93Paleogene_extinction_event

  62. anonymous[151] • Disclaimer says:
    @Polymath

    Holy shit

  63. J1234 says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Reg, where did you find that pic? Was it a salvage yard or parts car? If so, I’d appreciate a link. I have the same year of Mercury and might be interested in that bumper if it’s as clean as it looks in the photo. I’ve been looking for one for years (at a non-outrageous price.)

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  64. D. K. says:
    @Stan Adams

    Yes, those are among the heuristics that we ersatz calendrical savants use to calculate the day of the week for any given date on the Gregorian calendar. (I also can do it for Julian dates– back to about A.D. 4, when the Julian calendar finally was regularized– but that takes me much, much longer!) Here is another piece of calendrical trivia for you:

    In each Gregorian cycle of 400 years (e.g., 10/15/1582 through 10/14/1982), there are 97 Leap Days– and, in each of those Gregorian cycles, those 97 Leap Days are distributed as follows:

    Sunday – 13
    Monday – 15
    Tuesday – 13
    Wednesday – 15
    Thursday – 13
    Friday – 14
    Saturday – 14

    Under the Julian calendar, each 28-year cycle includes one Leap Day for each day of the week.

    On the first night of the second Gregorian cycle, I had a date with one of my fellow 1Ls, in Seattle.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Stan Adams
  65. Lin says:
    @Dan Hayes

    The Chinese great flood:
    https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/china-yellow-river-great-flood-xia-dynasty-yu
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/08/04/legends-say-china-began-in-a-great-flood-scientists-just-found-evidence-that-the-flood-was-real/
    The difference: Noah built an ark to get the fuck out while Yu the patriarch organized his people to dig channels to drain the water.
    Similiarity: Both marked the beginning of a civilisation

    • Thanks: Dan Hayes
  66. @J1234

    Search engine– “mercury meteor wreck”. It’s somewhere in Arkansas.

    Does that mean it has hot springs? Looks like a smackover as if it’d been flippin.

    Is there any hope for it? Or should we crossett off?

    • Replies: @J1234
  67. @D. K.

    In each Gregorian cycle of 400 years (e.g., 10/15/1582 through 10/14/1982), there are 97 Leap Days

    Rossini was twelve on his second birthday.

    • Replies: @D. K.
  68. @D. K.

    Now all we need to do is memorize everything that happened on all of those dates.

    On October 14, 1982 … a clown cried.

    On October 15, 1982 … a woman started to do her laundry, then realized that she was out of Tide. She cursed herself for not having taken advantage of the coupon in her daily newspaper. For a moment she was beside herself with grief and anguish. But then she washed away her pain with a soothing cup of rich, delicious Folgers crystals.

    On October 16, 1982 … a man asked his neighbor if she had plans for the evening. She replied, “As far as you’re concerned, I have plans for every evening for the rest of my life.” As he walked away, he muttered to himself, “Don’t flatter yourself, butterface.”

    And so on.

    • Replies: @D. K.
  69. Anon[198] • Disclaimer says:
    @Bill P

    Disagree. Ashkenazi Levites in the middle east are very fair, and ancient Hebrews in the bible (like King David) are described as ruddy and/or red haired.

  70. @HA

    Nothing proves that all stories recounted in the Torah plus much of the Chronicles (David etc) have any truth in them.

    This is a joke compared with Chinese chronologies and histories.

    • Replies: @HA
  71. @nebulafox

    Around 40 years. The Israelites are depicted as being punished for being disobedient to the deity that liberated them… and underneath that symbolism might lie a more prosaic truth: the Hebrews liberated from Egypt *still had* the mentality of slaves. They complained to Moses that Pharaoh would have fed them, clothed them. They could not escape this mentality: which is not surprising if you consider what happens when your fathers, grandfathers, great-grandfathers before you were all slaves, if that’s all you knew.

    So really the Jews were a kind of Eastern Mediterranean version of the Haitians.

    Came up out of slavery, created their own kingdom after killing off the former residents, were despised by all their neighbors, and eventually showed up knocking on the gates of the main cities of the adjoining continent where the Jewish lives matter movement became all lives matter when the Christian splinter group of Paulites schismed off from the mainstream chosen people racket and eventually became the official religion of the empire that lasted for a thousand years.

    Meanwhile, back in the Jordan valley, the old-time religion became fossilized for the next two thousand years, but revived after a renewal of interest in a Jewish homeland following the atrocities of World War II and the founding of Goldman Sachs.

  72. 2BR says:
    @HA

    The Bible is not history, but Biblical Minimalists lose more ground every year. Every year they dig and find something showing some part of the Bible was true or had a basis in truth, and then the backpedalling begins. Before there were no “cities of the plain”at all. Now they are there and destroyed to boot. Before there was no King David. Now he is there. Oh a Chieftain. Until they found some monumental construction. Maybe a small King. But no Edomites, and no mining – until they found the mines and Oh the Bible could not have been written – no one was literate. Until they found evidence of literacy 2500 years ago, even 3000 years ago. And people will argue and backpedal until they find a bit more. They lose ground by the year. And I do not consider the Bible the infallible word of anything. But the people who wrote it were clearly quite intelligent, diligent, and working off older source material. The more they dig, the more they find true.

    • Agree: HA
    • Replies: @HA
  73. Some parts of the Old Testament sound like myths, such as Moses’ origin story as the Orphan of Destiny, which would work well in a comic book.

    But other parts sound like weird stuff that happened, so people kept talking about it and it eventually got written down.

    • Agree: 2BR
    • Replies: @HA
    , @Charlotte
  74. @J.Ross

    No, because it was decreed that that which happened in Sodom stayed in Sodom and never made Gomorrah’s news.

  75. @HA

    Some parts of the Old Testament sound like myths, such as Moses’ origin story as the Orphan of Destiny, which would work well in a comic book.

    But other parts sound like weird stuff that happened, so people kept talking about it and it eventually got written down.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  76. @Steve Sailer

    The most advanced German scholars of the mid-19th Century were convinced that the city of Troy hadn’t existed, but was just a metaphor for trade tensions or something. But amateur Homer enthusiast Heinrich Schliemann made a careful reading of the Iliad and decided that Troy had to be in a particular place just inland from the coast of northwestern Anatolia. When he arrived, the locals told him, “Troy? Sure, that hill over there is Troy. Everybody knows that.”

  77. Jack D says:
    @BCB232

    The latest thinking is that in addition to the early admixture between Middle Eastern Jews and Mediterranean people (Romans and Greeks) the latest thinking is that there was later admixture with Eastern Europeans as well.

  78. @Nimrod

    Thanks.

    The Black Sea Deluge hypothesis and Noah’s flood … Has anybody considered it’s possible relation to stories of Atlantis?

  79. @dearieme

    Some of the story of Moses is properly dramatic, but Abraham is not a terribly exciting guy. I could see making up Moses, but if I were assigned to make up Abraham, I’d make up some more interesting stuff about him than just making him a goatherder with a sharp eye for real estate deals and some family infertility problems.

  80. @Anonymous

    It’s a Raymond Chandler metaphor.

    • Replies: @hooodathunkit
  81. D. K. says:
    @Stan Adams

    As ersatz calendrical savants go, I have two decided advantages: (a) my birthday is an anchor day (i.e., falls on the same day of the week, each year, as the last day of February), and (b) I can instantly recall the day of the week for virtually any of my birthdays. So, as soon as someone names a year, I instantly know the anchor day, and, almost as quickly, I can figure the day of the week for any date for that particular calendar year. I use the heuristics to match years from my lifetime to any year on the Gregorian calendar, whether in the distant past or future. I usually can do it within the time it takes for me to repeat the date to whomever chose it.

  82. J1234 says:
    @Stan Adams

    But his post isn’t irrelevant. I may get some parts off that car.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  83. D. K. says:
    @Stan Adams

    Marilu Henner can do that for her own life!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilu_Henner#Personal_life

    Bob Costas tested her, one night in 1989, when she was his guest:

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3390336/?ref_=nm_flmg_slf_136

    He asked her what she was doing on July 20, 1969. She started laughing– because, while the rest of us were watching the first moonwalks, she was loosing her virginity!

    • Replies: @D. K.
    , @Stan Adams
  84. D. K. says:
    @D. K.

    My memory of that night, almost half of my life ago, was off just a bit, but the effect was just the same as I had remembered:

    • Replies: @Wokechoke
  85. @Anonymous

    “It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”

    ― Raymond Chandler, Farewell, My Lovely

    BTW this paper

    https://brill.com/view/journals/jesh/63/5-6/article-p682_2.xml

    discusses Egyptian slave markets 9-10c AD, mostly from primary sources (papyri).

    Boasting about the cosmopolitan character of Egypt’s markets, the fourth/tenth-century Ibn al-Kindī claimed that merchants from the Near East, Byzantium, Europe, North Africa and the main Mediterranean islands found in Egypt a ready market for their slaves (“both females and males”).

    Were dhimmi (Jewish or Christian) allowed to keep slaves in Abbasid days?

  86. barnabus says:
    @Daniel H

    If you have money and brains you are better served with the daughter of your local big-cheese than with some slave woman.

  87. barnabus says:
    @mc23

    Jewish descent goes by religion. Matrilinial descent is only a proxy for 2-3 generations. That’s why no-one cares about Samaritans – even though they seem to be linked to Hebrews genetically and stayed in large numbers in the Holy Land as a unified settlement till the 6th century CE.

    • Replies: @mc23
  88. barnabus says:
    @Anon

    If you don’t come as a rapine Viking, you’ve got to offer goodies and then some for the higher Socio-Economic Dames – they don’t come cheap, and there is lots of competition.

  89. From Sodom and Gomorrah to al-Hammam to the genetic assessment of Ashkenazim to Charlemagne’s gifted-elephant and the date of its death – pretty stream-of-consciousness there Mr. Sailer

  90. @Steve Sailer

    I can see that the story about Moses’s birth is pretty fishy. If you recall, he was found in a basket in the bulrushes in the River Nile by a princess who had come down to do her laundry, so she took him back to the palace and adopted him as her own son, not knowing that he was really a Hebrew slave baby.

    Another interpretation could be that Moses was really a dissident Princeling, a kind of ancient Prince Harry, who wanted to set up his own Court in a far away land, so he claimed to be a cuckoo in the nest and became a shop steward in the pyramid construction industry and led a mass walkout of slaves, and started his own media organization.

    The story about holding back the Red Sea has always seemed a trifle suspicious to me to also. And the story about going up the mountain and coming back down with the ten commandments carved in stone sounds suspiciously as if it was ripped off from the history of Mormonism-or vice versa.

    In the ancient world it was very common for charismatic leaders to have a mysterious birth story, because people could not believe that these outstanding individuals came from the dull families that produced them.

    “That Jesus evangelist/messiah/standup comedian/ talkshow host is the son of Old Joe the chippy in Nazareth? No way.”

    People who knew the writer Aldous Huxley, who was once a schoolmaster to George Orwell, said that he seemed almost like an angel, not quite human, so if modern humans could feel that way about outstanding individuals, how much more that would have been the case in the ancient world.

    Incidentally the reverse theory also applies, for example Prince Harry being such a dunce that people cannot believe that he is of royal blood.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  91. 2BR says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Except for Moses, as you pointed out, the legendary ancestors of the ancient Jews are not painted in a good light at all. There is the infertility problem, Jacob tricks for his birthright, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery, some of them are described extremely violent. This is a very strange way to write your own history.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  92. jsm says:
    @Chrisnonymous

    If a really big comet really did hit the North American ice cap 12,900 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, causing the Younger Dryas cold snap, imagine the devastation of instantly vaporizing tens of thousands of square miles of 2-mile-thick ice. You can imagine the rain-out would last… uh…. 40 days and 40 nights?

    https://scitechdaily.com/a-comet-strike-13000-years-ago-may-have-sparked-key-shift-in-human-civilization/

  93. @D. K.

    she was loosing her virginity!

    If I were a grammar pedant, I might have something to say at this point.

    [MORE]

    There are, of course, vast categories of useless knowledge that we spergs spend our lives collecting. Can we ever integrate these reams of disparate factoids into some kind of cohesive whole? Should we even bother trying?

    Yesterday I went to a supermarket that opened its doors on Thursday, November 11, 1999 (Veterans’ Day). The supermarket is near a major regional shopping center that opened on Monday, October 1, 1962 as an open-air plaza and was converted to an indoor mall in early 1970. It’s one of the few remaining viable indoor malls in the United States. The ever-popular Apple Store just relocated to snazzy new quarters at the main entrance of the mall.

    Both the supermarket and the mall are next to an expressway that opened to traffic on Friday, June 16, 1961. That expressway merges into a highway that was dedicated on Thursday, August 17, 1933. That highway runs parallel to a former railway (now a dedicated bus lane) that began regular passenger service on Thursday, December 15, 1904. The railway once ran through the wilderness of a vast pine forest, over 98 percent of which is now gone. The rails were torn up in 1987 and a dedicated busway opened on Monday, February 3, 1997.

    For the first few years, the busway terminated at a shopping center that celebrated its grand opening as a glorified strip mall on Wednesday, February 3, 1960. (At least some of the stores opened in late 1959.) An indoor mall opened adjacent to the strip mall on Thursday, July 20, 1978. It was expanded throughout the late ’70s and early ’80s. The indoor mall was largely destroyed by a hurricane in the early-morning hours of Monday, August 24, 1992. It was rebuilt and reopened on Friday, March 25, 1994. The mall is still open, but clearly in decline.

    At one time there was a B. Dalton Booksellers store near the food court. I bought the last issue of Byte magazine there in 1998. I also bought a book called Air Disasters there. The cover photograph depicted a Boeing 747 that had crashed into the Hong Kong harbor.

    My favorite books about airplane crashes were written by an Australian named MacArthur Job. He wrote four of them. I have all four, but I don’t know where they are at the moment. I’m something of a hoarder.

    After the hurricane, the original ’60s-era strip mall was demolished and replaced by a large Kmart that opened on Thursday, November 17, 1994. The Kmart closed in late 2017 or early 2018.

    There is still one Kmart store open a few miles from my home. It opened on Thursday, November 3, 1977. It’s situated on a major roadway that opened to traffic in 1964. The store is a ’70s time capsule. Quite a bit of the merchandise has not been touched in years.

    Next to my bed I have a bunch of old guidebooks about Disney World, which first opened on Friday, October 1, 1971. (Disneyland opened on Sunday, July 17, 1955.) EPCOT opened on Friday, October 1, 1982; Disney/MGM Studios opened on Monday, May 1, 1989. Universal Studios Florida opened on Thursday, June 7, 1990. Universal announced its intention to open a new Florida theme park before Disney announced its plans, but Disney scrambled and was able to open a full year ahead of its competitor. Much of the theme park was still under construction at the time of the grand opening.

    I took my first trip to Disney World on Sunday, August 4, 1991. I have not been back since the late ’90s. I’ve never been to Animal Kingdom, which opened on Wednesday, April 22, 1998.

    • Replies: @D. K.
    , @Reg Cæsar
  94. @Nimrod

    Wonderful comment, thank you very much.

  95. HA says:
    @Steve Sailer

    “Some parts of the Old Testament sound like myths, such as Moses’ origin story”

    Even books that were recognized at the time as fiction made it in — in that sense, the Bible is more like a library than a single book. Then as now, people far removed from Sophocles and Euripides understood that parables and other works of fiction can also be inspirational, even when they are recognized as such by all — the Book of Tobit, for example. As for Jonah and Job, they’re given a genealogy, and I suppose there are some literalists who have long insisted that they’re 100% real, but even if their stories are based on actual people (maybe there was a Paul Bunyan, too, for all we know) the value of their books has little to do with history.

    It’s also a matter of tone and style. The Gospel of John is structured more like an opera than any of the so-called synoptic gospels.

  96. HA says:
    @2BR

    “And I do not consider the Bible the infallible word of anything.”

    While I agree with much of the rest of what you said, I’d just point out that in many cases, infallible just means the last word on the subject, in the sense that alternate stories have even less credibility and historical backing. To the extent that the Old Testament accounts are likely the ONLY word that remains on many topics pertaining to that particular time and place, I’d say that regardless of what people believe, one can make an objective case that there’s actually plenty in there that’s about as infallible as it gets.

    • Replies: @2BR
  97. HA says:
    @Bardon Kaldian

    “This is a joke compared with Chinese chronologies and histories.”

    Sure it is. You keep on digging:

    Youchao (Chinese: 有巢; pinyin: Yǒucháo) [the first ruler, whose reign is traditionally dated to 3162–2962 BC] is the inventor of houses and buildings, according to China’s ancient mythology… Tradition holds that he ruled over China for 200 years… There is the legend of the Four shi (四氏), who took part in creating the world. The four members are Youchao, [and] Suiren, [“who is credited as a culture hero who introduced humans to the production of fire and its use for cooking”]

    Obviously way more legit than anything the Old Testament says about Abraham and David.

  98. @AnotherDad

    I been waiting for San Francisco or D.C. or New York to get theirs.

    But so far … nothing. I’m losing faith.

    Do not despair, my friend!

    Yog-Shothoth watches. And waits.

  99. 2BR says:
    @HA

    That is a fair point. There was no record of a people called the Hittites, except the Bible, until the Hittites were found in the ground and in Egyptian record. Until then scholars thought the Bible had invented the Hittites. I only meant, my mind is open – I do not accept something merely because it is in the Bible. However just in my lifetime, I have seen enormous retreats by the Biblical Minimalists. They tend to no longer be so sure of themselves.

    • Replies: @HA
  100. Fun Thought…………Ashkenazim are descendants of Gypsies who swiped some religious items and decided to have a laugh. Then it took on a life of its own.

  101. @Jonathan Mason

    Thinking a bit more about old Moses, not having read the Bible for about 50 years, I seem to recall that the reason that Moses was supposed to have been set adrift as a baby in a basket in a river which was probably the crocodile-infested Nile, was that the Pharoah of Egypt had put out an order that all the male children of Hebrews should be killed at birth.

    This was the same trick pulled by King Herod of Judah a few thousand years later, necessitating that the family of Jesus took refuge in Egypt, so obviously baby slaughter was an established policy in the mideastern politics of the time.

    A bit like Biden ordering all pregnancies at addresses registered as Republican voters were to be terminated in case one of them grew up to be a Republican president.

    This Pharaonic policy was ineffective, and the midwives of the Egyptian national health service reported that the Hebrew women were popping out babies really quickly before the midwives could arrive on the scene, and then hiding the babies, so the Hebrews were continuing to multiply until the Pharoah then announced that every Hebrew boy was to be thrown into the Nile, but the chicks could live.

    And then along came Moses who grew up to be an industrial relations activist who killed an Egyptian slave overseer and then went on the run.

    The more you look at it, the more similarities you see between the Haitians and the Hebrews. Deja vu all over again.

  102. Charlotte says:
    @Steve Sailer

    such as Moses’ origin story as the Orphan of Destiny

    It’s actually very similar to the Egyptian myth of the goddess Isis hiding her infant son Horus in a reed basket in the marshes to save him from her murderous brother, Set. Either the Moses origin story was borrowed wholesale from Egyptian myth, or possibly, it inspired a desperate mother.

    I kind of lean towards the latter explanation, because it suggests an answer to a question that always bugged me: why would pharaoh’s daughter want to raise a foundling herself? Wouldn’t it be far more likely that she’d just order a flunky to find a home for the baby and get on with her day? But if she saw finding a child in a reed basket as a sign from the gods, with herself cast in the role of Isis, raising him as a sort of prince starts to make sense.

    Here’s an article that discusses the similarities https://forward.com/articles/9812/the-subversion-of-myth/

    • Replies: @epebble
  103. D. K. says:
    @Stan Adams

    My eldest brother-in-law finished his second Julian cycle on March 25, 1994, and that sister of mine finished her twelfth quadrennium on April 22, 1998. I met my law-school girlfriend on October 1, 1982, one week after I first saw her at an off-campus party, but she was a 2L, not the aforementioned 1L whom I dated a fortnight later. That Devil’s Night, I took the same 1L to see “Monsignor” at the Aurora Cinema I & II, and my future girlfriend and my law-school best friend were waiting together outside to see the next showing, when I and my date exited. (It was not until I was about to graduate, over two and a half years later, that I learned that the star of “Monsignor” was the older half-brother of a classmate and casual friend of mine, who had lived off campus with a few of our other classmates, including the one whom I had taken to see that film.) The next time that I can remember going to the Aurora Cinema I & II was on Friday night, July 19, 1985, on what I consider to have been my last date with my former law-school girlfriend, who was then in her first year as an associate at a downtown law firm. We saw “Back to the Future” and then had a bite to eat, at a nearby restaurant. Unbeknownst to me, she was expecting company from abroad, the following Friday night. Also unbeknownst to me, her meeting him, on her overseas trip before starting to practice law, was the reason that she and I had broken up, just a few days before she started practicing law. “C’est la vie!”

    As for Disney World, I went on Friday, March 27 and Saturday, March 28, 1987, during Spring Break of my first year of business school (and of practicing law, part-time), while visiting two former law-school classmates, down in Jacksonville. I bought a five-day pass– but still have the other three days coming to me! Sigh…. Your other dates, above, have no personal meaning to me, and, unlike Marilu Henner, I cannot specifically recall what I was doing on those dates that came after the Wednesday that Jackie Robinson played his final major-league game with the (defeated) Brooklyn Dodgers.

    [Please excuse any additional typos! I had to drop Typing and take an additional Humanities class, as a senior, in order to be allowed to graduate from high school.]

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
  104. @D. K.

    Not bad.

    [MORE]

    (It was not until I was about to graduate, over two and a half years later, that I learned that the star of “Monsignor” was the older half-brother of a classmate and casual friend of mine, who had lived off campus with a few of our other classmates, including the one whom I had taken to see that film.)

    Christopher Reeve, you mean? Genevieve Bujold played his love interest. She had a nude scene.

    Monsignor was produced by the same guy (Frank … Yablans, I think) who churned out Mommie Dearest. It was something of a flop. The best line in the movie was, “You’re a very ambitious man, and that’s a very ambitious plan.”

    Reeve was so disillusioned by his experience on the film that he took a pay cut to star in The Bostonians so he could work with Merchant Ivory.

    John Williams wrote the score. It won a Razzie. (Undeservedly, even though it was not one of his better efforts. The late ’70s and the early ’80s were the peak of his career.)

    I was still in the womb in July 1985. My due date was Wednesday, August 28, but I was born a couple of weeks early. My mother had a C-section. My father was already pretty much out of the picture by that point, although he was an intermittent presence during the first few years of my life. At one point he tried to choke me to death. (He’s a schizophrenic, you see.)

    My parents had conceived a child in 1981, and that baby’s due date was Friday, August 28. But my mother suffered a miscarriage.

    Incidentally, the CBS police procedural Unforgettable, starring Carrie Wells as a detective with hyperthymesia, premiered ten years ago this week, on Tuesday, September 20, 2011. Marilu Henner served as a consultant on the show.

    Steve reviewed Drive on that date:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/drive/

    I always confuse Ryan Gosling with Ryan Reynolds. Gosling is the blond one, isn’t he? Wasn’t he in the Blade Runner sequel? Reynolds did some weird movie where he was hallucinating that his cat was a psychopath. Didn’t he also do a flick where he was buried alive in a coffin?

    • Replies: @D. K.
  105. @Stan Adams

    I took my first trip to Disney World on Sunday, August 4, 1991.

    Did you take your buddy Barack along? That was the day he turned 30.

    It was also Coast Guard Day. My only visit to WDW was with my CG shipmates. The year before, I’d spent the entire summer at the Navy School in Orlando and never went. Never regretted it. But I did regret not going to Rosie O’Grady’s the night I’d planned. Bob Hope showed up for a drink.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @Stan Adams
  106. mc23 says:
    @barnabus

    I understand that but sometimes the Zionists use the argument that this was our land first and in comparison to the Palestinians it’s not even close. In the end the justification for Zionism is either theocratic or right of conquest. If theocratic that argument indisputable.

    • Replies: @barnabus
  107. HA says:
    @2BR

    “They tend to no longer be so sure of themselves.”

    What also gets me is that many of these proud “debunkers” — especially those hailing from Central Europe, are unabashed Asian fetishists, credulously eager to gobble up any so-called timeless Oriental wisdom that is supposedly so superior to anything in the decadent (or whatever other pejorative) West.

    Abraham-begat-Isaac-begat-dot-dot-dot is clearly fiction, whereas the genealogy of the Chinese — now THERE’s real history. Yeah, right. Or Schopenhauer poring over the Vedas as being the real deal when it comes to compassion, or Mach telling us that only Buddhism could possibly make the grade as far as positivism goes. Or Nietzsche using Zoroaster as his ventriloquist dummy, or the Beatles and the other hippies heading off to some guru, for that matter. And then they all come back with their yoga mats and Aikido gear and Zen tea and that supercilious Blavatsky schtick about how “you Westerners” don’t get it. If this is the alternative to the smug ugly-American assurance that everyone else in the world who isn’t throwing acid in women’s faces or building IED’s longs for our democracy and our rainbow flags, I’m not sure it’s an improvement.

    Though to be fair, I’ve seen the same thing from some converts to Orthodoxy and Byzantine this or that, strutting around like some cosplaying LARPers, so you don’t need to be a Bible debunker to fall for that.

    • Agree: 2BR
  108. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @Polymath

    That makes sense. I imagine that for years afterwards there was a thick later of salt covering the whole area. The water would have vaporized but the salt would have solidified and been blasted outwards in all directions.

  109. @Steve Sailer

    Neither Chandler nor the OP ever spent time around Italian womenfolks; very shapely when very young, they mature into dumplings even in their twenties. (generally, as all broad brushes are). Not that there’s anything wrong with nice dumplings, but probably not kick-motivation.

  110. D. K. says:
    @Stan Adams

    Yes, Christopher Reeve’s younger half-brother, who came to us from Harvard, where he had been on the squash team, was a well-liked member of my law-school class, along with ‘Mayor Jenny’ and the longtime King County Prosecuting Attorney (and his wife, an in-house Microsoft attorney). The half-brother lived with his future wife (who also had dated my aforementioned best friend), the Microsoft attorney, and one or two other classmates, in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood, near the Woodland Park Zoo. I have no idea what happened to Superman’s half-brother and his wife, after they graduated and moved south, to her hometown of Portland.

    My primary recollection of “Monsignor” was that I did not like it. Before that millennium had ended, I quit going to the movies, altogether. The last one that I saw in a theater was already forty years old– the so-called “director’s cut” of “Touch of Evil” (1958), which I saw with a friend, in an art theater in Beverly Hills. On Thursday evening, August 15, 1985, when you were apparently newly born, I saw “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” on “The Ave,” in the University District, with an attorney-friend from work. I described it, as we walked down the sidewalk, afterwards, as “a lot like life: interesting but pointless!” A fortnight later, in Washington County, Ohio, I got my first (and, to date, only) speeding ticket, while driving from my sister’s house, in West Virginia, to a friend’s apartment, in Youngstown, Ohio. Three years earlier, I was between finishing my first master’s degree, at Purdue, and heading west to start law school, at the UW (which was on academic quarters, and thus started markedly later than most colleges and universities– as late as Tuesday, October 2, during my final year of law school).

  111. epebble says:
    @Charlotte

    That Baby-in-a-basket is not unique to Egyptians either. There is the Karna’s story from Mahabharata:

    Karna , is one of the major characters of the Hindu epic Mahābhārata. He is the son of the sun god- Surya and princess Kunti (mother of the Pandavas), and thus a demigod of royal birth. Kunti was granted the boon to bear a child with desired divine qualities from the gods and without much knowledge, Kunti invoked the sun god to confirm it if it was true indeed. Karna was secretly born to an unmarried Kunti in her teenage, fearing outrage and backlash from society over her premarital pregnancy, Kunti had no choice but to abandon the newly born Karna adrift in a basket on the Ganges, in the hope that he finds foster parents. The basket discovered and Karna is adopted and raised by foster Suta parents named Radha and Adhiratha Nandana of the charioteer and poet profession working for king Dhritarashtra.

    Karna grows up to be an accomplished warrior of extraordinary abilities, a gifted speaker and becomes a loyal friend of Duryodhana. He was appointed the king of Anga (Bihar-Bengal) by Duryodhana. Karna joined the Duryodhana’s side in the Kurukshetra war. He was a key warrior who aimed to kill 3rd Pandava Arjuna but dies in a battle with him during the war.

    He is a tragic hero in the Mahabharata, in a manner similar to Aristotle’s literary category of “flawed good man”. He meets his biological mother late in the epic, and then discovers that he is the older half-brother of those he is fighting against. Karna is a symbol of someone who is rejected by those who should love him but do not given the circumstances, yet becomes a man of exceptional abilities willing to give his love and life as a loyal friend. His character is developed in the epic to raise and discuss major emotional and dharma (duty, ethics, moral) dilemmas. His story has inspired many secondary works, poetry and dramatic plays in the Hindu arts tradition, both in India and in southeast Asia.

  112. @Reg Cæsar

    Did you take your buddy Barack along? That was the day he turned 30.

    Honestly, I can’t remember. The guy wearing the straw hat and the sunglasses looks like a fed, so it’s possible:

    [MORE]

    I do remember that day at SeaWorld with Barry, Michelle, and Henry Kissinger. (This was before her transition, mind you. She was still Mike then. Frankly, I think Barry preferred her that way.)

    It was also Coast Guard Day. My only visit to WDW was with my CG shipmates. The year before, I’d spent the entire summer at the Navy School in Orlando and never went. Never regretted it. But I did regret not going to Rosie O’Grady’s the night I’d planned. Bob Hope showed up for a drink.

    My grandfather did his tour in the Navy and came home with two souvenirs – my grandmother and my mother.

    I’m not much of a seaman myself, but I do enjoy watching the boats sail down the river. I shot this video last weekend:

  113. epebble says:

    There was a major impact event on Jupiter on September 13th. If this had happened on earth, it likely would have been an extinction event.

    • Replies: @Chester
  114. barnabus says:
    @mc23

    There two arguments and one counterargument. Both Jews and Moslems posit a scriptural argument: according to the Jewish scripture, the land is G*d’s and he dedicated it to Jacob and those of his faith. His brother Esav and his uncle Ishmael left the faith, so no contest. The argument is even re-affirmed in the Koran. On the Muslim side – every land some time conquered by Muslims belongs to the Umma. Even if it was later lost. In essence, that’s Muslim reception of same verse in the Hebrew scripture. That’s why Muslims have a valid religious claim to Al-Andalus too (Spain, in common parlance).

    And of course, there is right of conquest of top – which favors the most recent conquest.

    • Replies: @mc23
  115. nebulafox says:
    @2BR

    I’m just going to say that Bronze Age ethics worked differently even from classical age ethics, for lack of a better word. Heroes from that age regularly had things on their CV that would make them outcasts in the era when people were reading tales about them. That’s part of why they were heroes.

    This wasn’t unique to the Jews. Odysseus, who was no less slimy than Laban or Jacob, got offended when he was asked if he was a merchant, but not when he was asked if he was a murdering, sex slaving pirate. Romulus was left in a river to die as a babe, just like Moses, and was then brought up by a prostitute and killed his own twin brother as an adult.

    • Replies: @2BR
  116. 2BR says:
    @nebulafox

    Some have said the Romulus and Cain stories were human sacrifice stories disguised as something else. There was a vague recollection of a time when cities were founded that way.

  117. BB753 says:

    According to Orthodox bible commentary, one of the three messengers from God that Lot lodged was Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all Ages. The very same the throng wanted to rape. So, Jesus Christ himself destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

    • Thanks: JMcG
  118. Wokechoke says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Abraham smashed his dad’s sculptures. Monotheism was born from taking a ceramic metal or stone sculpture and taking it to bits. After 2020 what could be more exciting?

  119. the eruption of Oregon’s Mt. Mazama (now Crater Lake National Park) 7,700 years ago

    How the heck do they know what that mountain was called?

  120. mc23 says:
    @barnabus

    800 years ago the Christian Crusaders sang a song asserting their rights to the holy land:

    “Christians, Jews, and heathens
    all say that this is their patrimony.
    God must decide this justly,
    by his three names.
    All the world is warring here;
    we are pursuing a just claim,
    so it is just that He grant it.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pal%C3%A4stinalied

    I think I’ll just stay out of it.

  121. Chester says:
    @epebble

    Jupiter acts like a gravitational vacuum that sucks up objects headed toward the inner solar system. Jupiter has saved earth from countless extinction level impacts. The more we learn about exo-planets, the more we realize how incredibly unique our solar system seems to be.

    • Replies: @epebble
  122. @Reg Cæsar

    By the way…

    [MORE]

    …was your Barack comment an insinuation that I’m a leftist troll trying to undermine iSteve by spamming the site with bizarrely irrelevant off-topic posts? I assure you that I really am just a crazy sperg with too much time on his hands. (Of course, the two are not mutually exclusive.)

    Now that I have embraced the power of the MORE tag, I can dump all kinds of crazy crap into these comments and not feel too terribly guilty about undermining the discussion. But I do worry about coming across as the token dunce on a site full of geniuses. I have no special expertise in any of the subjects that Steve addresses. I know nothing about archeology or paleontology or anthropology or botany or architecture. As for my mathematical ability, I am reasonably certain that 2+2 and 2*2 both equal 4, but I wouldn’t bet the trailer money on it.

    Sometimes I wonder why I’m not a leftist. I have a certain sympathy for the view that I should get everything I want in life for free without having to give anything to anyone in return. Certainly I’m dysfunctional and abnormal enough to qualify for some type of position in the coalition of the fringes. But I can’t even watch 30 seconds’ worth of a TV newscast without gagging on the bullshit. It offends me at an instinctive, visceral level.

  123. epebble says:
    @Chester

    Jupiter has saved earth

    I have read that. Though not sure how valid it is.

    1. Asteroid belt is inside of Jupiter. So, asteroids coming towards earth are not sucked up by Jupiter.

    2. For objects coming from outside of Jupiter’s orbit, the cross section (3 dimensions in general, but even in 2 dimensions) presented by Jupiter and its gravitational field appears small (compared to circumference of Jupiter’s orbit)

    3. Looking at the moon, I think we get hit a lot too; just that our atmosphere is doing a good job preventing frequent apocalypses.

  124. Unz User says:
    @BCB232

    What’s interesting is that a lot of Jews I have met don’t have the stereotypical darker complexion. Mixed in the with normal Jewish “type” are a lot of people with fair skin, and reddish or even blondish hair (not usually Nordic blond). My friend, the late Larry Auster had blond hair as a child. Does this reflect ancient Mediterranean and/or Levantine populations being fairer complected than those of today?

    It’s pretty normal for non-Jewish kids of Mediterranean/Southern European stock to have blond hair when young.

    My ancestry is half Portuguese and I was blond as a young kid. My hair started turning brown about age 5. All my siblings were the same way.

    I’ve lived in places with lots of people of Italian and Iberian ancestry. Blond kids were totally normal–not every kid was blond, but it was not out of the ordinary at all. Same with blue eyes (my grandfather, of basically 100% Portuguese ancestry was blue-eyed, as am I).

    The Bible says King David (presumably of 100% ancient Levantine stock) was a redhead.

  125. @AnotherDad

    Oh, come on.
    Not everything is about Darwin.
    Some things, like your comment, are about the low level of Judenkunde today.

    But since you like so much selection, maybe you could explain why disgenic practice of cousisn mariages is so popular in greater parts of MENA?

    The practice is so important that it is dishonestly rationalized with few early characters in the Bible (e.g. Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebecca) despite the strange fact that cousins unions in the Bible are infertile, and God must always intervene to provide them with progeny. Yet God did not accept prayers of The Great Lubavitcher Rebbbe (who married his cousin too), and he left no vice-Messiah.
    The reason why Sephardim are less inteligent than Askhenazim is their liberal stance on cousin marriages in the wake of rulings of their main sage, Maimonides (incidentally and not surprisingly, Chabad follows him too).

  126. @Unz User

    Yes, and the Song of Songs is obsessed with redheads, a mark of the seed of serpent.
    Now, why do you think that Messiah must be from the Davidic line of the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe which is not among the saved in Revelation of St John….?

    The Davidic Messiah is not a legitimate one.
    The Bible included books written from two viewpoints, of the seed of woman, and of the seed of serpent. What is praised by the latter (Davidic line) is delegitimized by the former (tribe of Ephraim, i.e. Davidic Line, not saved).

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