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  1. #1
    CC International Master
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    Bones of Jesus found?

    New Discovery Channel documentary by James Cameron says Jesus and family's tomb found. Would one of our resident statisticians be able to explain how they would have calculated the probability of the same names coinciding?

    http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2007/0...20070225073000

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    I am not an expert on statistics but the quote

    "The inscriptions are from the Herodian Period (which occurred from around 1 B.C. to 1 A.D.). The use of limestone ossuaries and the varied script styles are characteristic of that time."

    would tend to indicate severe inconsistencies in the story as the inscribed names would not have been known when Jesus was a baby, especially that of his (supposed) son.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Presumably they simply take the probability of each name or name combination (based on its proportion of all names from that period), then multiply these probabilities together to get the probability of any specific group of remains having that combination of names. Then they can find the probability of that set of names showing up at least once out of all remains thus far unearthed.

    I am sceptical of all this, however. The actual family structure of Jesus is a matter of much speculation, and therefore there are a very large range of name combinations that could have been taken as confirming the hypothesis that Jesus had been found.

    I have long been curious about what would happen if remains indisputably those of Jesus were unearthed. The political impacts upon an already unstable region of the world would be massive. The impacts on Christianity wordwide would also be interesting, given that Jesus is supposed to have risen and therefore left no physical remains.
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  4. #4
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeL
    I am not an expert on statistics but the quote

    "The inscriptions are from the Herodian Period (which occurred from around 1 B.C. to 1 A.D.). The use of limestone ossuaries and the varied script styles are characteristic of that time."

    would tend to indicate severe inconsistencies in the story as the inscribed names would not have been known when Jesus was a baby, especially that of his (supposed) son.
    I suspect the article itself is in error here, not necessarily the story being reported, as presumably the Herodian period is rather longer than "1 BC to 1 AD"!
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  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Garrett's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Kevin Bonham] I have long been curious about what would happen if remains indisputably those of Jesus were unearthed. [QUOTE]

    Could you hypothetically give me a scenario where it would be possible for any remains to be proven indisputeably to be those of Jesus.

    Keep in mind - to a lot of Christians there is still not sufficient eveidence to say the earth (or indeed the universe) is over 6 thousand years old.

  6. #6
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeL
    Could you hypothetically give me a scenario where it would be possible for any remains to be proven indisputeably to be those of Jesus.
    Presumably there would also need to be extensive authentic documentary evidence found nearby. (Of course some would still insist it was fake even if so, but if there was no evidence of forgery that idea would eventually be disregarded by rational people.)

    Keep in mind - to a lot of Christians there is still not sufficient eveidence to say the earth (or indeed the universe) is over 6 thousand years old.
    True, but most of those are Americans.

    (By "indisputable" I meant that there was no rational cause for doubt. I guess the word is a bit misleading since almost any claim will be disputed by someone!)
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  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Isn't all this making the enormous assumption that Jesus' bones didn't rise to heavan with him like a fart in a bath?
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  8. #8
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    True, but most of those are Americans.
    I went to a nanoscience conference with a guy who is Australian and (I think) a young earther (tho perhaps not a totally converted one). It was interesting as even though it was mainly a chemistry/physics crowd, several of the plenary talks mentioned long time-scales for one reason or another. There was even a guy talking about nanomaterials in nature and things like the evolution of the butterfly scales. Fascinating stuff.

    The other thing of note was it was clubs and socs week at uni and I noticed a book on one table called the evolution deceit or something (I assume an attempt at a rebuttal to Dawkins' latest book) and I expected it to be the Evangelical Christian Union. I was wrong. It was the Muslim Students Association.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    The other thing of note was it was clubs and socs week at uni and I noticed a book on one table called the evolution deceit or something (I assume an attempt at a rebuttal to Dawkins' latest book) and I expected it to be the Evangelical Christian Union. I was wrong. It was the Muslim Students Association.
    I think I've had some Islamic Creationist spam for that book a couple of times.
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  10. #10
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Some "levity" is needed here ...

    Doesn't finding his bones prove his Ascension?
    How else can you explain how the rest of him floated up to Heaven?


  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I wouldn't expect too much else to be intact after this much time.

    (Actually on the filmmaker's website, they point out that only on some interpretations of Christianity is there any inconsistency issue, ie whether the body was supposed to have remained behind or not is a matter on which varying views are held.)
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  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I wouldn't expect too much else to be intact after this much time.
    Depends. If the skeleton was kept in the dry desert air for all this time of 2000 approx years, then the bones can still be well preserved.

  13. #13
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    I meant, I wouldn't expect much else beside the bones.
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  14. #14
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    I meant, I wouldn't expect much else beside the bones.
    There's sure to be conspiracy theories hanging about concerning this but as to whether or not they have flesh to them you'd have to ask Axiom

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    We are lucky that ac cant post atm

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