Ideas ahead of time

THOMAS Edison was a great inventor, but he could not predict airline travel.

“It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere,’’ he said in 1895.

In the same year, Lord Kelvin, president of Britain’s Royal Society, declared: “Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible’’.

How could they get it so wrong?

“Space travel is bunk,’’ said Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of Britain, in 1957, two weeks before the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik started the Space Age.

The Spanish Commission, rejecting Christopher Columbus’ proposal to sail west, argued: “So many centuries after the Creation, it is unlikely that anyone could find hitherto unknown lands of any value.’’

It’s amazing how often theories that seem solid are later found to be in error. And the opposite is sometimes true.

The Bible writers somehow portrayed astonishing scientific truths far ahead of their time.

At a time when it was commonly thought the Earth was perched on giant spokes, the Old Testament spoke of the planet free floating in space. There was no scientific proof of that until the 17th Century.

The Book of Isaiah, written about 28 centuries ago, spoke of the Earth being spherical about three centuries before Aristotle suggested the same thing and 2000 years before Columbus proved it.

In another astonishing piece of foreknowledge, the Bible talked of cycles of air currents around the Earth a couple of millennia before scientists discovered them.

The Bible says the universe began in an instant. Science once theorised the universe and all life forms evolved over time.


29 thoughts on “Ideas ahead of time

    • Indeed!
      Not only “so there”, but also ‘So here’ —>

      I just pressed the delete button, and lost a u-bewt post to cyberspace!
      ….and the inspiration’s gone.
      Salient points:-
      1….. The universe was NOT created instantaneously. Isaiah described the earth as a disc; NOT A SPHERE, and even reckoned it had corners.

      2…….”the Old Testament spoke of the planet free floating in space.” No it didn’t:- wilful misrepresentation via extrapolation run amok.

      “He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” – King James Bible “Authorized Version”,

      Job did NOT claim the earth was “floating in space” , one reason being the ancients didn’t know space existed:- he had it quote/unquote “HANGING ON Nothing” ~ and even that’s been (deliberately) misinterpreted.

      Moreover , there IS no ‘North’ in space, so plainly he was talking about earthly phenomena: The vast (and visible) northern sky stretching to meet the (“empty place”) ~ desert ~ horizon in the distance. Back then the world ended at the horizon…..(And men had no concept of ‘perspective’.)
      ,,,,,, and if you’re looking across a vast, HOT desert, (or a freeway on a hot day) it can SEEM to ‘hang on nothing’ ~ not miraculously,…. MIRAGE-inly.

      And the footnote brought up the issue of how ignorant primitives like those two would describe creatures in the Southern Hemisphere walking around upside down, if they were actually on the bottom of a sphere.
      ….and how wombats got to Oz ~ and nowhere else: eg. Did Noah chuck ’em overboard and make them swim around in circles until the Flood subsided?
      ….if so, how did he get the Ark back up Mt Ararat?
      ….and where did he come by wombats to load ’em onboard in the first place?

      Science answers all those questions.
      ….and, by-and-large, can prove it.

      ….so there’s the precis of what was a well-reasoned post.
      ps. the old biblical codgers didn’t know about cyberspace, either ~ but I’ll bet some godbotherers could dig up ample biblical citations referring to it anyway.

      ,,,,as has been said:- If you believe, no proof is required.


      • I repeat:- a circle is NOT a sphere.
        That’s why they have different names.
        And, realistically speaking it’d be easy to suggest the “circle” , to someone who thought the earth was flat, was that area you could see: ie, 360 degrees of horizon.
        That may be even more in tune with the knowledge of the times than assuming ‘the circle’ was a disc ~ with depth. (given that Genesis describes the parting of the waters above and below, etc ~ which would provide the concept of the earth ~ out to all horizons ~ was a sort of raft of unknown ‘thickness’.
        More in line with much of the biblical imagery, I’d think.
        (even later: ‘all roads lead to Rome’ )


      • And I repeat….When Isaiah wrote this verse he used a
        Hebrew word to describe the shape of the
        earth. Although this word is commonly translated
        into the English word circle, the literal meaning of
        this word is sphere.But it is also translated by some as roundness. Hence the difference of opinion on this matter. The point is though that
        Isaiah certainly didnt believe the earth was flat.


      • So…. “Although this word is commonly translated
        into the English word circle, the literal meaning of
        this word is sphere.”
        ….what you’re saying is that the ‘commom translations’ into English are not to be taken at face value?

        Does that Include, say, “I am the lord they god “, or:
        ‘For god so loved the world that he have his only begotten son”, etc.
        And even “In the beginning” ~
        and so on and on……. ??
        If not why not??

        ….and then we can get started on the russian,german,japanese and chinese and nigerian, etc. etc. ‘translations’. (oh, and let’s not forget the greek ~ both original and more modern translations.).
        ……even perhaps YOUR translation of the translation of the original hebrew translation.
        …and/or dialect/colloquialism.

        Sorry chum; the Word of God is a take-it-or-leave-it proposition.
        As is where is.
        Cherry-picking is what got Eve into trouble in the first place.
        ( For example, the translation of ‘Fruit’. the issue wasn’t actually Adam’s sexual inclination, was it?) 😉


      • quote:-

        There is not one passage in the Bible indicating that the earth is a sphere. Isaiah 40:22 refers to it as a circle. The Hebrew word translated as “circle” there is chuwg, which means “circle” not “sphere.” There are many passages in the Bible that indicate the earth is flat. Dan 4:10-11 is clear about it, and Dan 2:28 is clear that the visions of Nebuchadnezzar are from God. If God says it, it must be so.

        The physical aspect of a circle is a disk, so the biblical earth is disk-shaped. Since the biblical earth is flat, it has an underside and under the earth is the abyss. That is what is being referred to in Job 26:7 when it says that the earth hangeth over nothing.

        The Bible also says that the earth is set upon pillars and is immovable, so it can hardly be orbiting the sun.

        The original Flat Earth Society was Bible based.…

        Those who refer to Job 26:7 ignore the fact that it describes the earth as “hanging” or “suspended” over nothing, which implies that it is motionless. However, contrary to that description, it is actually orbiting the sun at 66,700 mph.

        Job 26:7 also implies that the earth has an upper side and an underside, which the actual earth does not have. Therefore the “nothing” in the passage refers to what is under the earth, not what the earth is within. The passage can only be referring to the abyss under the biblical flat earth and not to the actual spherical earth orbiting the sun that we know of.


      • The description of a circle upon the face of the waters, To where light ends in darkness.” is vague and can be interpreted many different ways.

        In one reference The Hebrew word chuwg is a primitive root to describe a circle: to encircle, to encompass, to describe a circle, to draw round, to make a circle; to encircle, to encompass.

        Yet another describes the Hebrew word translated “circle” in Isaiah 40:22 is hhug. It means circle in 2 dimensions and sphere in 3 dimensions. I asked a Jewish friend and he said there is no separate word in Hebrew for sphere as you imply. So there is debate about these things.


      • Yeah; I think that’s the point —>
        “is vague and can be interpreted many different ways.”
        But where there is no precise definition, then intelligence decrees that the most feasible (or at least A feasible) interpretation be adopted.

        The christians often rely on the benchmark of ‘context’ ~ most valid if it’s objective. And obviously objectivity depends on not having a particular axe to grind.
        There was another stray quote, which appears to have gone astray, which says there IS a word for ‘sphere’.
        But that most likely depends on context as well. Will see if I can find it again.


      • Here ’tis. …..
        Isaiah 40:21 & 22 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.”

        1…..You cannot sit ‘above’ a sphere.

        2….. If the heavens are ‘stretched’ and SPREAD “like a tent” he’s OBVIOUSLY not talking about a sphere, in which case the heavens would need to be ‘wrapped’.

        Again:- Proverbs 8:27 “When He established the heavens, I was there, When He inscribed a circle on the face of the deep,”
        How does one inscribe a ‘sphere’ on the face of the deep?

        “@The ancient Hebrew language did not have a word for “sphere.”
        Actually if you look in the same book (Isaiah), the Hebrew word “dur” is used for “ball” in another verse. If the writer wanted to say the earth is a sphere, he would have used the Hebrew word “dur” in the verse we’re talking about. Rather, he used “chug,” which only means CIRCLE. “


  1. And your point is…?? —>
    “THOMAS Edison was a great inventor, but he could not predict airline travel.”
    Nor, within rifle-shot, can the traveling public: y’seen an airline schedule recently?
    …. and nor, for that matter, can the airlines; does MH370 ring any bells? 🙂

    But since this is a religious sort of blog, as Dom reminds us, let’s ponder if such stuff was all deliberately set in motion by an omniscient god?……and why’s he not miraculously resurrecting the plane/passengers, or even have a Monty-Pythonesque finger in a cloud pointing to where it is?
    But it WAS a Malaysian flight; perhaps allah is on his RDO?

    God may have created the “two great lights”, but it’s the light-GLOBE that keeps us from the dark.
    ….courtesy of Mr T. Edison, esq.


  2. He did and they did….
    ……..and GOD said: ” with faith as small as a mustard seed you shall move mountains thence and {what’s more} nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

    How, indeed, could they get it so wrong?
    The difference is that men kept trying ~ and can actually move mountains with a little faith in gelignite and bulldozers ; god took his bat and ball and went home in a huff.

    And STILL can’t get a flight-schedule right, judging from the hopelessly tangled predictions about The End of the World and the Second Coming.

    Can’t help thinking one would do better to rely on even Mr Allah’s airline schedules.
    …at least they DO get off the ground. 😉


  3. ???.. and so??:- “Science once theorised the universe and all life forms evolved over time.”
    (Leaving aside the reality that “science” has no tongue with which to theorise about anything,)
    ….It’s clearly evident that the universe and all life forms (as we know them) DID in fact “evolve over time”,
    and is continuing to do so.
    (and I won’t even mention the fact “evolve over time” is a daft tautology.
    For one thing, ‘Time’ is a human construct, and doesn’t exist as an entity in itself. relatively speaking.
    For another, ‘evolution’ doesn’t occur without a frame of reference; not even god can ‘create history.’

    And I’m almost ashamed to point out that 200 MILLION plus years BEFORE either the bible or scientists —.( “In another astonishing piece of foreknowledge, the Bible talked of cycles of air currents around the Earth a couple of millennia before scientists discovered them.”

    ….the dinosaurs called them: ‘Winds’.
    But they knew what caused them, and didn’t feel it necessary to write tomes of theological clap-trap about them.

    Dead set!


  4. Edinson might not have predicted air travel but Jules Verne did and went a step further by imagining space travel (Journey to the Moon). Not only that but Jules Verne predicted that it would occur in America and either Florida or Texas. It’s funny how Cape Kennedy and Cape Canaveral are in Texas and Florida.


  5. Even worse for the skeptics is the fact that Matthew Fontaine Mauri predicted underwater ocean currents based on believing obscure references in the Bible to paths of the sea. And the Bible passage that talks about paths of the seas, was written in an age when sailing confined itself to hugging coastlines.

    When we look at the Biblical Flood story we find that it talks about fountains of the deep (to indicate fountains of water coming from the bottom of the sea). It was only in 1971 that science proved that there are springs of water at the bottom of the sea. How did Moses know about fountains of the deep some 4000 years before scuba diving and submarines appeared on the scene?


  6. When you have faith in God, not only do you see love more clearly, you see all aspects of life more clearly. The past, present and future are all one.


    • Hey! That’s —> “The past, present and future are all one.”
      MY line!
      ie:- ‘Infinity’ is the only absolute.

      Unfortunately, of course, that concept precludes god ~ the self-confessed “alpha and omega” (beginning and end/past and future).
      Perhaps he was mistranslated in the original hebrew?
      (Hasn’t filed a lawsuit for slander though, I note.) 😆


      • I doubt God saying that there was something before him 🙂

        He is just (I’m presuming) explaining that He is everything, the beginning, the end, etc. He is, has always been and will always be.


      • ah Kate. God loves a trier!
        But (apart from second-guessing god) don’t you see that whatever ” has always been and will always be.” simply cannot have a ” beginning and an end”
        It’s an absolute contradiction in terms ~ and concepts.


      • Dabbles, we still don’t know if the big bang was a beginning, or a repetition that is – er – repeated. Which, if so, gives a beginning and end to this universe, but not to infinite universes, an absolute. Where past, present and future are all one?


      • Anyway, I can’t think infinity, it makes me dizzy. You and Jimbo are doing my head in.


      • As far as I know that’s true:- “…. we still don’t know if the big bang was a beginning, or a repetition “.
        But everytbing we DO know points that way.. We can demonstrate that matter and energy are interchangeable, but NOT destructible.
        Connect all the dots and the obvious conclusion is that What Exists has always existed, and that, therefore ‘our’ Big Bang was merely the most recent (in our perceived reality) of an endless chain of such events. (and it’s where Time ‘began’ because we invented time to measure dynamics, and that’s the point at which we’ve chosen to start counting ‘our’ time. (Sorta like BC/AD ~ purely arbitrary.)

        And given that we’re also fairly sure that we’ve discovered some of the other constants (eg gravity and other catalysts) it can be confidently claimed that the process has been the same each time. (allowing perhaps for minor internal (evolutionary) variations).

        Even as we speak there’s a massive Black Hole in the centre of our own Milky Way hungrily gobbling up our galaxy. And there are billions (probably trillions or more) such galaxies out there, and eventually, it follows, that the super-heavy Black Holes will start absorbing each other. And with each mouthful the pressure builds (and increases in intensity ~ Black holes don’t increase in size to accommodate extra matter, they just compress it more, creating ever- greater gravitational forces. (and lotsa other things we’re still only guessing at.)

        But ~ I’m supposing ~ there’s no reason that ALL the Black Holes are needed to create one BigBang.
        A ‘common’ (!!) supernova, for example, throws out more energy (relativity- ly ~ as measured from earth) in an instant than does all the rest of the ‘known’ universe, which all has to go somewhere and behave according to the rules of Energy.
        Might not be THE Big Bang; but a lulu of a one in its own right, that performs all the star-building functions of the Real Thing.
        Needless to say such things (though mechanically inevitable) don’t happen overnight ~ or even on any time-scale we can imagine, I guess.

        And consider: Since matter can’t be created or ‘uncreated’ then it exists infinitely ~ and ‘our’ universe is only a piddling 14 or so billion (earth) years old.
        Our major problems arise from the fact that we overestimate our own importance in ~ and TO ~ the scheme of things…..
        The only reason we rate at all is that we’re a part of it ~ however tiny.

        Think ‘infinity’.
        …..and then realise that ALL of this doesn’t even amount to a toe-nail clipping of the One True God you all tout.
        You know, the one who involves himself in the important matters of what we eat ( Fruit, Eve?…Ham sandwhich, Moses?) and with which hand we wipe our tushies.

        We’d REALLY be in deep shit if he actually existed! 😉


      • Yeah Kate; ‘infinity’ does that.
        But keep working on it: there ARE glimpses (inspiration) that can be had.

        To begin with, try to imagine ‘everything’ that exists (and by definition HAS always existed) as standing still….. and yourself as the only thing moving throughout it all. Forever.

        Simplistic, but a place to start.
        ….and a supersized version of ‘stopping to smell the roses’.

        ……..and in die course you’ll go stark raving mad and suddenly ‘understand’ it all ~ even the bits you ‘know’ nothing about.
        (Paul had to fall off his horse to achieve that; madness has its rewards. 😉 )


      • Ah Strewth!
        How can women be ‘straight men’ (they who feed lines to comedians, I mean. 😉 )

        “Why bother our heads about such things? We don’t need to.”
        We don’t need to use dunnypaper either; but…..


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