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Fire and brimstone

2003-09-22 - 12:15 p.m.

I recently watched a documentary on destruction the ancient and biblical villages of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Let me give you some background in case you're not familiar with the story.

It was written in the Bible that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah were wicked as they committed acts of homosexuality and incest. This pissed off God and he decided to destroy the village - fire and brimstone and all that stuff.

"Then the LORD rained down burning sulfur on Sodom and Gomorrah --from the LORD out of the heavens. Thus he overthrew those cities and the entire plain, including all those living in the cities --and also the vegetation in the land." Genesis 19:24, 25 NIV)

Anyway, with a lot of scientific research, it was found that the villages did experience an earthquake at that time that actually created spontaneous fires caused by the release of gasses from underground. The water table rose and broke through the surface of the earth causing flash flooding and instantly turning layers of earth beneath the surface to quicksand. The villages basically slid several kilometres in 15-20 minutes and into the Dead Sea.

Pretty phenomenal stuff.

Naturally, this amazing occurance was documented as God's wrath for the evil deeds committed by the inhabitants of the villages.

Now this got me thinking back to the days when I studied psychology, particularly the stages of cognition in children.

When children are at the age of around 3 years, they are have an egotistical process of cognition. Say, if you asked a child of that age why the sun rose every morning, they might reply, "so I can get up and play". The child explains the occurances that happen around him/her with direct relation to him/herself.

It seems to me that this type of cognition is very similar to they way humans thought in biblical times. They explained all natural events as being of direct consequence to their actions.

I think this is a very interesting train of thought and I might pursue it further, maybe I'll write that thesis now...

Any thoughts?


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