Friday, December 30, 2005

Somebody should write this book

For Christmas (or for no reason) I got myself a copy of Prophets Idols and Diggers by John Elder (out of print, Bobbs-Merrill, 1960). What a find! I'll bet you didn't know (I sure didn't) that in the late 1700s "among educated people... scepticism and [a]theism were so widely prevalent as to be nearly universal. During a period of four years... Dartmouth College graduated only one man who believed in God." (p.17)

That was back in the days before archaeologists found a bunch of biblical sites that we now know to be historical. "It is not too much to say that it was the rise of the science of archaeology that broke the deadlock between historians and the orthodox Christian. ... one city after another..., whose memories were enshrined only in the Bible, were restored to their proper places in ancient history by the studies of archaeologists." (p.18)

Somebody should write a novel, set in maybe the 19th century, when some of these discoveries were being made. One character should say to another, "Surely you know, my dear, that those pseudo-scientists pooh-poohing the Bible have been thoroughly debunked by the recent finds in Persia." Or whatever.

It should be called "The Leonardo Cipher" or something like this, and should feature a dashing fifty-something engineer who reads archaeology journals.

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