Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kurukshetra War and Joshua's Long Day

First of all I have to distance myself from the kind of Catholic - if so you will call them such! - which considers that Holy Writ is not factual. Then I would distance myself from the kind of Evangelical or Protestant or Puritan who considers Holy Writ and all its wonders is factual and are factual, but nothing outside Holy Writ of wonderful is factual. Third and most important, from the kind of ecumenist who would consider not only Trojan and Kurukshetra Wars as factual as the battle of Gilgal, but also the Pagan accounts as holy as the Hebrew one and the theology as true in all three, theologically contradicting each other and yet all three equally true. No.

That said, Trojan and Kurukshetra Wars being factual, but Apollo and Krishna not holy, Gilgal Battle being factual and God who heard Joshua being truly holy, we get into some more humdrum problems, like corroborative evidence, dating, etc. And on an intermediate level, which I take first, cosmology.

On a page on Joshua's long day, I see a Galileo quote, which attacks the cosmology of the scholastics. Here:

Introductory quote:
Witness Galileo Galilei, an early and vocal proponent of heliocentrism and regarded by many as the first true physicist. In 1613 he wrote in a letter to Castelli why Joshua’s long day should not be believed:

Galileo quoted within quote:
And first I ask the adversary if he knows by what motions the sun is moved? If he does know, he must reply that it is moved with two motions, that is, an annual motion from west to east and an opposite diurnal motion from east to west. Hence, in the second place, I ask if these two movements, so diverse and almost contrary to one another, both belong to the sun and are equally its own? They are forced to answer no; that one alone is its own and particular motion, which is the annual, while the other is not the sun’s at all, but that of the highest sky, called the Prime Mobile, which sweeps along with itself the sun and the other planets and also the starry sphere, constraining them to make one revolution around the earth in 24 hours, with a motion (as I said) almost contrary to their natural and proper motions.

So I come to the third question, and ask them by which of these two motions the sun produces day and night, that is, by its own or from the Prime Mobile? It is necessary to respond that day and night are the effects of motion of the Prime Mobile, while from the proper motion of the sun not day and night, but the different seasons, and the year itself are produced.

Now if the day depends not on the sun’s motion, but on that of the Prime Mobile, who can fail to see that in order to prolong the day it is necessary to stop the Prime Mobile, and not the sun? ... It being therefore absolutely impossible, in the arrangement of Ptolemy and Aristotle, to stop the motion of the sun and to lengthen the day, as the Scripture affirms to have happened.

Follow up remarks after ending Galileo quote:
In his challenge, Galileo sets up a straw man and thus exemplifies the ignorance of the Bible which is so characteristic of humanity. True, if one ascribes the annual motion to the sun and the diurnal (daily) motion to the stars, then Galileo’s argument is correct; but the Bible does not fall into such simple traps. The Bible clearly indicates that the sun is to rule the day. This means that the daily motion is unique to the sun and has nothing to do with the annual motion. The sun’s period is exactly 24 hours. The stars’ daily motion nearly matches the sun’s period, being about 3 minutes 56 seconds less than the sun’s period. Over the course of one year this amounts to one extra revolution about the earth, namely, the annual effect. (The north-south annual motion of the sun can be shown to be due to the difference between the sun’s period of revolution and the rotation rate of the rest of the universe.) When viewed from that perspective, Galileo’s argument falls flat on its face. Both motions are from east to west, but the sun’s motion is roughly 1/365th slower than that of the cosmos. Thus the motions are not “almost contrary” but are almost identical. Yet no theologian has ever come up with a better argument against Joshua’s long day than has Galileo at this one point.

Geocentricity : JOSHUA’S LONG DAY

First of all, I am not at all sure Galileo was in the letter arguing that "Joshua's long day should not be believed" at all. I rather think he was arguing "Joshua's long day should not be explained as the scholastic Geocentrics do." Arguing non-factuality of Biblical history was as yet far from even wayward Catholic minds, unless he was especially perverted by Averroës - a Muslim who had argued a thing could be true "in theology" (Ibn Rushd meant Muslim Quran and Sunna exegesis etc, but Christian Averroists pushed this to apply to Christian real theology) while being false in philosophy and inversely. And even if he were, he would hardly have had the courage to write like that to a Catholic. The words that go ...

It being therefore absolutely impossible, in the arrangement of Ptolemy and Aristotle, to stop the motion of the sun and to lengthen the day, as the Scripture affirms to have happened

... must in all probability be introducing a passage in which Galileo argued for a phenomenological approach to a historically accurate account, as Heliocentrics YECs do now. Probably, the quote was taken out of context by someone else than Geocentricity, by some Secularist who is touting Galileo as a hero.

Second, I disagree with the assessment that the passage cannot be taken quite literally within the scholastic approach which Galileo very correctly attributed to his opponents. So, I disagree strongly with Galileo's rejection of Geocentrism and mildly with the Geocentricity's rejection of scholasticism.

Of course, one can take in a somewhat obvious sense the principle "if Prime Mobile is moving west, Sun is moving along with it" to imply "if Sun is not moving west, Prime Mobile is standing still".

But actually Prime Mobile is moving - as said - 3 minutes (?) 56 seconds faster than Sun, so Sun is anyway not tied to Prime Mobile. The proper movement of the Sun is making the day usually 3 minutes 56 seconds longer than the rotation of the Prime Mobile. This time it made the day over Holy Land 24 hours, 3 minutes and 56 seconds longer (instead of just 3 minutes 56 seconds longer) than the rotation of the Prime Mobile. So, the change in movement was really in the Sun. It changed its absolute movement between Earth and High Heaven (above Prime Mobile) to a stillstand. It changed its relative movement in relation to rotation of Prime Mobile and of aether moving with it to equal speed opposite direction, if the scholastic explanation is true. So did the Moon, except its opposite movement is greater than that of the Sun, as far as the angle is concerned - a Lunar day is one hour longer than a stellar day.

Update : if you have ideas how and even if this squares with Habacuc 3:11, feel free to tell me!

Geocentricity has a Hebraising attitude which translates in a clear preference over an empty space with sun, moon, stars all going of their own movement westward and sun lagging only behind without positively going eastward at all even in relation to a rotating aether, over God turning a rotating aether around us and Sun, Moon and other planets lagging behind by a positive opposite movement effected by angels. St Augustine in a passage misconstrued by CMI Heliocentrics as implying indifference if earth moving around its axis instead of Universe/Heaven around earth, was really stating indifference between the view here ascribed to scholastics (Heavens move, aether is a substance, Sun, Moon, Stars daily move along with its rotation) and the one here defended by Geocentricity (Heavens are an empty unmoving spave, Sun, Moon, Stars move each at their pace through it every day).

My preference of scholastic view has two theology related roots. One is that God moving Heaven around us and angels moving Sun and Moon and planets but not stars opposite direction (and some angels moving stars back and forth as seen in so called "parallax") shows God as a superior over angels and them as depending totally on Him. Hebrew version only shows them as obeying Him, but as being themselves the sources of movement. The other is this that the Sun on the long day allegorically symbolises Christ as we rout our sins under His justice. So, empty-space version with Sun's own movement westward gives the Sun an unusually easy day. Rotating space version with Sun's own movement eastward gives the Sun an unusually hard day - as Christ's day on the Cross.

Anyway, whether Joshua so to say ordered Sun to "stop a chariot" as having it stand still or to "arrange a boat for a standstill" as driving hard against the current (and succeeding MUCH better than a boat in a river!), Joshua's words are very appropriately adressed to the Sun. Nowhere does the passage imply that stars and heavens also ceased rotating.

Sun governing day in Biblical language is also no problem for the scholastic view, since days are not counted in the periods of Prime Mobile rotations, but in the 3 minutes 56 seconds longer periods of Sun's moved placing mostly along with it and slightly moving against it so as to get slower. Because Sun governing day means days is period of sunlight.

Now, what does all this have to do with Trojan and Kurukshetra wars?

For one thing, as I said, because I will not consider mankind as so unequal between elected and temporarily bypassed peoples (for the duration of Old Testament after Tower of Babel, and speaking largely, not as if every individual was bypassed) that all marvels recorded by Greeks and Hindoos must be considered as inventions of poets.

And of course I have already argued that Trojan War happened after Joshua's long day, that Agamemnon had heard of it, perhaps through Philistine's knowing what had happened in the Holy Land and very certainly from the Long Day being objectively observable all over the world, as a very long day, or a very long night, or a very long sunrise or sunset. This was - I have also argued - why Agamemnon hoped to get a similar miracle by praying to Helios and failed. The Sun angel worships God and does not answer Sun worshippers.

But why get into Kurukshetra War in the context? I have previously considered it happened around the time when Hindoos date their Kali Yuga era, that is with Krishna dying a little before the Flood (I checked Kali Yuga and Roman Martyrology for 25 December which gives year after Creation, Flood, Vocation of Abraham, Exodus etc in which Christ was born - Kali Yuga starts 155 years before the Flood), and since this was way before Joshua's long day, one would expect Mahabharata would be of no help at all.

But I have also considered that Mahabharata as we have it is a kind of rehashing with many differences of detail from what happened in any War - in my view a Civil War of Nodian civilisation - so that we do not really know if "Krishna" was or wasn't guilty of telling "Arjuna" so bad theology as Bhagavadgita, or was perhaps used as a mouthpiece by a post-Babel poet (descending from Regma/Raamah the son of Kush or perhaps from Havilah son of Ioctan or from both) like the way in which Scipio and Laelius were used by Cicero in "Dream of Scipio" (where the eschatological theology is nearly acceptable except for temporality of paradise and reincarnation and consequent lack of resurrection of the bodies) or in "Laelius on Friendship".

Now, I have just gotten challenged on when Kurukshetra War happened. I had for months and up to a year or more (no use being dogmatic, Mahabharata is not Gospel truth) considered it was pre-Flood.

I learned from one person that he considered it was about the time of the Trojan War.

Now, a lesson from this is not to trust Hindoos too much. If Krishna died when the start of Kali Yuga implies, he died pre-Flood and pretty certainly spoke Hebrew rather than Sanskrit or any kind of Indo-European. So he would have (with same meaning of nickname) have been called Kush. And he would have lived so far behind any possible date post-Babel of poet that we could not know how much inaccuracies and misunderstandings had heaped on each other and perhaps this man was guilty of a very much lesser sin than of posing as a god, but was divinised by ancestor worship and given posthumous "theophanies" like after speaking Mahabharata. Bhagavadgita.

If on the other hand Krishna lived around the war of Troy, he can really have used hypnosis or worse, real magic by demons, to impose himself as a god on Arjuna as Odin did later in Uppsala. But in that case, dating him to have died 155 years before the Flood would mean that Hindoos really outdid each other in exaggerating the ancientness of the matter. "He died five years ago." - "Five years? Are you joking! It's a god, it must have been fifty years ago!" - No, five hundred!" and you have an auction going on how long ago it was, highest bidder wins, for same reasons that pushed Egyptian Pagans to say world was 40,000 years old when it was really only some 5,500 when a Church Father (or more than one) commented on this mania for high ages - one which of course Evolution believers have trumped by some billions of years, making Kali Yuga look like small beer by comparison.

However, I set out to look up if there was some kind of support for the later date for the Kurukshetra War. And I came across this page:


And one quote set me looking for a kind of correlation with Joshua's long day, hence the earlier part of this essay.

Here it is:

The other dignitaries present on the dais were Dr. M.K.L.N. Sastry - Hon. Secretary, Mythic Society, Prof. P.V. Krishna Bhat - Hon. Coordinator, IGNCA-SRC and Shri K. Narahari - Managing Trustee, Apte Trust. The opening session set the tone for the mind stirring sessions with various interpolations found in the Mahabharata. Several scholars put forth their perception and calculated derivations. Dr. S. Balakrishna (NASA, USA) proved the occurrence of 'two eclipses in (a span of) 13 days prior to Mahabharata'. Analysing the astronomical possibility of Vyasa's statement in Bhishma Parva "Amavasya occured on the 13th day. Two eclipses in a month, on the thirteenth day." he presented the data of eclipses during the period 3300 BCJ (Before the Calendar of Julian Ceaser) to 700 BCJ visible at Kuruxethra, using Lodestar Pro software. He stated the possibility of 672 eclipse pairs, ten 'thirteen day lunar first' eclipse pairs and concluded that 2559 BC eclipse pair was nearest to the text of Mahabharata.

So a Westerner at NASA can laugh at Joshua's long Day,* while a Hindoo at NASA can try to date Mahabharata from eclipse pairs? Apparently yes!

But the thing that set me looking was this: of the two eclipses, one could have been a supernatural event recorded in the Bible. Mahabharata was certainly written too early for The Sun Gone Dark over Calvary to be it. Otherwise I would have tried to ask myself if there could have been a real lunar eclipse visible in India thirteen days before or after Crucifixion which gave something falsely considered as an eclipse while not being such. Indeed, "Vedic astronomy" (whenever it was written down, unless it was very much too early which is difficult to check) may have gotten the idea of eclipses caused by Rahu rather by the solar eclipse that was clearly not moon caused than by failing to explain lunar eclipses from a flat earth, as is also possible.

However, if Crucifixion is too late for the two eclipses 13 days apart according to Mahabharata, what about Joshua's Long Day? Which is why I did the search which led me to - Geocentricity's page.

But back to their page about dating Mahabharata. They cannot agree (though all are sure Kurukshetra War happened).

But the dates for say eclipses 13 days apart, lunar first, if they would point to a definite time around 1500 B.C., would that really have dated Kurukshetra War?

You see, I am somewhat of a novelist myself. I have a half written novel about Susan Pevensie (after the train crash that killed off her family and friends - should perhaps give her friends she doesn't lose in it) and I wanted a chapter about her visiting Narni in Italy, a place which Antiquity called Narnia and which C. S. Lewis very consciously chose to give a name to Narnia in that other world. So, the chapter takes place in very late 1949, I wanted to know what the weather was like there then and of course I can't. So, I used a weather report for same day I was writing it, and since that was also same few days, it was assumable that the weather just possibly COULD have been like that when Susan of my novel visited Narni in my novel on St John's Day 1949.

Vyasa could very easily have taken weather and astronomic observations from when he was writing and transposed it back to when he was writing about, not as if it were sure to be the same, but because it was realistic. Tolkien did a similar stunt when giving realism to LotR, the phases of the Moon when Gollum leads Frodo and Sam mimic those of the month when he was writing the chapters.

Dating the astronomy of Mahabharata may very well be a better help to dating the composition than to dating the war.

And no, the Gospels are not related to the life of Christ with as much room as between Trojan War and Homer or Third Punic War and Cicero or Kurukshetra War (if pre-Flood) and the real poet of Mahabharata (who was certainly post-Flood). They are in two cases written by eyewitnesses (Sts Matthew and John) and in two cases by people having spoken to such (St Mark to St Peter - though the exact account of how it happened differs somewhat between the Stromatist and St Augustine - and St Luke to the Blessed Virgin Mary and quite a few more).

How do I decide which is which? Well, I rely on tradition. When diverse traditions are in conflict, I rely on the best one. And that has helped to decide my Christian Catholic faith (I was my first years a little God fearing but even more Evolution believing and Comic book believing Pagan) as much as the faith has helped me subsequently to distinguish between a better or a worse tradition.

On Krishna tradition has it:

He died 3102 BC - he was in the Pandava-Kaurava war - which took place in Kurukshetra - he was a deity - and Hindoo dynasties descend from him or Arjuna directly, with no intervening Flood.

As a Christian I cannot find the first and last of these in agreement but must choose. Whichever choice I make, Hindoo tradition bungled some facts.

As to his being a deity, the options for a Christian are false theophany or bungled memory.

As to criticising my own Christian tradition the same way, well, I can in a way be said to evaluate it rationally on similar criteria when engaging in Apologetics and putting myself in the position, as far as I can, of my non-Christian opponent, if he would only be sufficiently rational to adopt those criteria. But unlike Hindoo tradition not being integrally acceptable, because Christian tradition primes over it, I have no criterium on which to rule out integrality of Christianity being true. Equal value of all traditions is a supposition, I value Greek and Roman over Mahabharata tradition and perhaps Mahabharata tradition a bit over the Nordic one in moral theology, but under it in factuality of heroic legend. Or even in metaphysics. Science based criticism of the Christian faith breaks down over how much of it is sham science either originally made or ulteriorly exploited as Christianity attacks. Supposed contradictions in the Bible break down over how ill the critics finding them know the Bible, know what tradition it belongs to (some take Rabbinic tradition over Catholic when it comes to moral meaning of passages in Moses, poor guys!) or know even the common place effort of friendly logic to try as many explanations as possible for a claim being possibly true before concluding it was not just a lie but a very clumsy and incomprehensible one at that.

And criticising tradition for being tradition rather than documentary archaeological fact misunderstands the role of tradition in general theory of knowledge very totally. It is, as I recently had the help of fellow Catholics on FB to point out, by oral tradition that we know that the form A belongs with the name "ay" and the sounds of "s-A-me, f-A-ther, f-A-t, f-A-ll" and the digraph EA ("ee and ay" or "ee-ay") having sounds of "r-EA-ding, [have] r-EA-d, gr-EA-t" ... of course though originally known by tradition it is tested by meaningfulness in context after context - but that is also true of almost any tradition, and it is mostly on ultimate questions where testing is difficult that they go wrong, not on humanly observable factual ones.

Hans Georg Lundahl
Bpi, Georges Pompidou Library
St Andrew Apostle and
First Sunday of Advent

PS: Why would I have considered it at all likely that Joshua's long day would have been considered as an eclipse in India? Because I was mistaken on two items. One, what time of the day the Sun stopped. I thought it was in the evening, like in the Iliad, but the Sun actually stopped over Gilgal at zenith. Which makes the day version rather than the night version of the event visible further East back then. By c. 90° even. The next problem is I was mistaken on how far East India is of Holy Land in terms of angle of the globe. I thought it might be about 90°. So, I test my theory today (1-XII, day of St Eligius).

I look up Gilgal. Are there coordinates there? No. But a reference to a site of Modern Israel that is close by. I look up that site. Argaman Coordinates: 32°10′20.99″N 35°31′18.84″E.

If I add 90° to 35° I get 125° East. Am I in India? No. I do a google and get a glimpse of a search 50° N 125° E. How far N actually matters less. But that locality must have been seeing the Sun due West if Gilgal saw it 32° S of mid high point of the sky, declining neither East nor West. So I redo the google, and I get here:

confluence project : 50 ° N 125° E

And I am - mentally - with the writer Rainer Mautz who was there - physically on a bike - in 27.7 km (17.2 miles) W of Sizhan (Hēilóngjiāng), Nèi Měnggǔ, China. Accuracy is supposed to be 66 m (216 ft). That is far East of India and as far East as one has to get in order to have seen the Long Day as a Long Sunset. India saw it as a long day, as was mapped on Geocentricity page, a story of a long day in India.

* I was trying to find the relevant post on Bad Astronomy with my defense of Geocentrism and Joshua's Long Day in the comment section, but I found sth else by NASA Astronomer Phil Plait:

Bad Astronomy : Moon hoax: why not use telescopes to look at the landers?
By Phil Plait | August 12, 2008 10:00 am

if the landings were real, why not point Hubble or some other telescope at the landing sites and take pictures of the landers? ... The answer is pretty surprising to most people, but the science doesn’t lie.

The basic idea is that when the astronauts left the Moon, they left behind several artifacts, including the base of the lunar module (called the descent stage) and the rovers (for Apollo 15, 16, and 17). The descent stages were a little over 4 meters wide (the landing legs spread out were 9 meters across, but are narrow, so the bulk of the stage would be easier to see). The rovers were about 3 meters long and 2 wide.

Those numbers sound like you should be able to spot them with, say, Hubble. But can you?

The question here is one of resolution: how big does an object have to be before a telescope can resolve it, that is, see it as more than just a dot?

Wonderful news for the guys who seem to think telescopes can accurately directly measure parallax angles of 0.76 arc seconds or less. Some guys have the idea we get to measure stellar distances of 13.5 billion light years simply by parallax angle and trigonometry. But 0.76 arc seconds is just 4 light years. Look at Phil Plait's words again, and see if it seems he considers that an angle that can be measured directly even by Hubble!

Update: Ha! I found the post I was looking for:

BadAstronomy : That NASA look
By Phil Plait | July 26, 2010 12:00 pm

Though the post is by Phil Plait, the guy I most argue against on the thread is Neil Haggath. So much indeed that when I link to the post from my own, I even attribute the post to Neil Haggath. Here is my own btw, tried to link to it in a short link on the thread, but the url-burner has ceased functioning, so for "" (as per on thread) I now give you:

deretour : Moontruth? Why?

Where I had argued that theories of Apollo landing hoax, interesting as they are, are not necessary at all for Geocentrism per se.

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