Royal Burial in Ancient Canaan May Shed Light on Biblical City

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘REAL CLEAR LIFE’ AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

 

View of the excavations of the ancient city of Megiddo (Unesco World Heritage List, 2005), Israel. (DeAgostini/Getty Images)

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Royal Burial in Ancient Canaan May Shed Light on Biblical City

An undisturbed elite tomb discovered in ancient Armageddon has the promise of unlocking secrets.

An untouched 3,600-year-old burial chamber in the ancient Canaanite city-state of Megiddo has stunned archaeologists. Not only is there an array of wealth in the tomb, but there is also a huge potential that the finding may provide insight into the royal dynasty that ruled this powerful center before its conquest by Egypt in the early 15th century B.C. The ancient city of Megiddo — located 19 miles south of Haifa in what is today northern Israel — dominated a strategic pass on major international military and trade routes for nearly five millennia. It has been the site of scientific investigation for 115 years. The most recent international expedition, under the direction of Israel Finkelstein and Mario Martin of Tel Aviv University and Matthew Adams of the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeology, has been conducting archaeological excavations there since 1994. The most recent finding started as a mystery when archaeologists began to notice cracks in the surface of an excavation area. They ended up finding a burial chamber with the undisturbed remains of three individuals, all wearing jewelry. The rich adornment of the tomb’s inhabitants appears to indicate a complex and highly stratified society, in which wealthy and powerful people were elevated above most of Megiddo’s society. Archaeologists realized that in addition to the three individual burials, other human remains had been interred at an earlier point. Currently, a broad DNA test is being carried out on the individuals unearthed at Megiddo. The results could reveal for the first time whether the “common” inhabitants of the Canaanite city-state were of the same background as the elite.

Read the full story at National Geographic

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‘National Geographic’ Reckons With Its Past: ‘Our Coverage Was Racist’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR)

((Commentary from: Oldpoet56) During my lifetime I probably read articles within National Geographic Magazines about a dozen times. Because I only read spot articles here and there I never realized that they had been this racist. Their history on race is disgusting, and this does disappoint me greatly. I do commend them though on finally recognizing this glaring fault and for having the guts to ‘call themselves out’ on this issue. Hopefully in their future they will eliminate this fault. I know that any of their magazines that I come across in the future I will be looking to see if their racism has stopped.)  

‘National Geographic’ Reckons With Its Past: ‘For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist’

In a full-issue article on Australia that ran in National Geographic in 1916, aboriginal Australians were called “savages” who “rank lowest in intelligence of all human beings.” The magazine examines its history of racist coverage in its April issue.

C.P. Scott (L) and H.E. Gregory (R)/National Geographic

If National Geographic‘s April issue was going to be entirely devoted to the subject of race, the magazine decided it had better take a good hard look at its own history.

Editor in Chief Susan Goldberg asked John Edwin Mason, a professor of African history and the history of photography at the University of Virginia, to dive into the magazine’s nearly 130-year archive and report back.

What Mason found was a long tradition of racism in the magazine’s coverage: in its text, its choice of subjects, and in its famed photography.

Enlarge this image

The April issue of National Geographic is all about race.

National Geographic

“[U]ntil the 1970s National Geographic all but ignored people of color who lived in the United States, rarely acknowledging them beyond laborers or domestic workers,” writes Goldberg in the issue’s editor letter, where she discusses Mason’s findings. “Meanwhile it pictured ‘natives’ elsewhere as exotics, famously and frequently unclothed, happy hunters, noble savages—every type of cliché.”

Unlike magazines such as Life, National Geographic did little to push its readers beyond the stereotypes ingrained in white American culture,” Goldberg says, noting that she is the first woman and first Jewish person to helm the magazine – “two groups that also once faced discrimination here.”

To assess the magazine’s coverage historically, Mason delved into old issues and read a couple of key critical studies. He also pored over photographers’ contact sheets, giving him a view of not just the photos that made it into print, but also the decisions that photographers and editors made.

He saw a number of problematic themes emerge.

“The photography, like the articles, didn’t simply emphasize difference, but made difference … very exotic, very strange, and put difference into a hierarchy,” Mason tells NPR. “And that hierarchy was very clear: that the West, and especially the English-speaking world, was at the top of the hierarchy. And black and brown people were somewhere underneath.”

For much of its history, the pages of National Geographic depicted the Western world as dynamic, forward-moving and very rational. Meanwhile, Mason says, “the black and brown world was primitive and backwards and generally unchanging.”

One trope that he noticed time and again were photographs showing native people apparently fascinated by Westerners’ technology.

“It’s not simply that cameras and jeeps and airplanes are present,” he says. “It’s the people of color looking at this technology in amusement or bewilderment.” The implication was that Western readers would find humor in such fascination with their everyday goods.

Then there’s how the magazine chose its subject matter. Mason explains that National Geographic had an explicit editorial policy of “nothing unpleasant,” so readers rarely saw war, famine or civic conflict.

He points to an article on South Africa from the early 1960s that barely mentions the Sharpeville Massacre, in which 69 black South Africans were killed by police.

South African gold miners were “entranced by thundering drums” during “vigorous tribal dances,” a 1962 issue reported.

Kip Ross/National Geographic Creative

“There are no voices of black South Africans,” Mason told Goldberg. “That absence is as important as what is in there. The only black people are doing exotic dances … servants or workers. It’s bizarre, actually, to consider what the editors, writers, and photographers had to consciously not see.”

Then there’s the way women of color were often depicted in the magazine: topless.

“Teenage boys could always rely, in the ’50s and ’60s, on National Geographic to show them bare-breasted women as long as the women had brown or black skin,” Mason says. “I think the editors understood this was frankly a selling point to its male readers. Some of the bare-breasted young women are shot in a way that almost resembles glamour shots.”

Mason says the magazine has been dealing with its history implicitly for the last two or three decades, but what made this project different is that Goldberg wanted to make reckoning explicit — “That National Geographic should not do an issue on race without understanding its own complicity in shaping understandings of race and racial hierarchy.”

Although slave labor was used to build homes featured in a 1956 article, the writer contended that they “stand for a chapter of this country’s history every American is proud to remember.”

Robert F. Sisson and Donald McBain/National Geographic

For those of us who have spent long afternoons thumbing old issues of the magazine and dreaming of far-off lands, Mason wants to make clear that looking at foreign people and places isn’t a bad thing.

“We’re all curious and we all want to see. I’m not criticizing the idea of being curious about the world. It’s just the other messages that are sent—that it’s not just difference, but inferiority and superiority.”

So where does the storied publication go from here?

One good step would be to invite the diverse contributors to the April issue to become part of the magazine’s regular pool of writers and photographers, Mason suggests.

“Still it’s too often a Westerner who is telling us about Africa or Asia or Latin America,” he says. “There are astonishing photographers from all over the world who have unique visions – not just of their own country, but who could bring a unique vision to photographing Cincinnati, Ohio, if it came to that.”

He notes that the magazine’s images have so often captivated, even when they were stereotypical or skewed. Mason says a number of African photographers have told him that it was magazines like National Geographic and Life that turned them onto photography in the first place.

“They knew that there were problems with the way that they and their people were being represented,” he says. “And yet the photography was often spectacularly good, it was really inviting, and it carried this power. And as young people, these men and women said, I want to do that. I want to make pictures like that.”

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Bill Nye Is Only Half Insane

Bill Nye Is Only Half Insane

 

This title is obviously just my opinion of Mr Nye, I do not know the man and I have never met him. My opinion is simply formed by articles I have read on the net where his opinions were down in print. Do I believe that I am smarter than Mr Nye, no I don’t. But in some areas of science and faith (which he seems to have none at all) I know for a fact that I am wiser than he is. I do not blame him or anyone else really for their distorted views on the earths and our creation. The reason for that is simple, I do not personally know of any Christian or Jewish faith that seems to understand the beginning of the first book of the Bible (Genesis). I believe that it was the Apostle Paul who wrote that all people should study (the Scriptures) daily so that we can be a workman that need not be ashamed for our lack of knowledge. As it is also written that when a person is preaching/teaching you that the Scriptures say we should all read/check to see if the things we are being taught it correct or not. Do we ever question our Church leaders about what we hear from the pulpit? How many Christians never or almost never go to Church services or if we do, how many follow the Preachers message in the Bible as he/she is talking? How many people who say we are Christians do not even own one single Bible? If we do own one at home do we even know where we stored it? How many folks could gag from the dust accumulated on its cover?

 

In a recent National Geographic News article Mr Nye was quoted as saying that “evolution is undeniable and creationism is insane”. I respect the man’s position because it is given through a total lack of knowledge of what the Scriptures say. I had this same conversation with Carl Sagen back in 1991 in person when we met in Madison Wisconsin after a speech he gave there. In the discussion he asked me how someone who is as studied (in Scripture) as I am could possibly believe that there is a God that created all things. I asked him how someone who is so knowledgeable and so intelligent could possibly not believe in a Supreme Being (God). If we could only get the churches and the synagogues to open their eyes to the words they read so blindly then maybe, maybe there would be a “coming to Jesus (God) moment” when our eyes begin to see and understand what is there and what isn’t said. There is so much information in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, it covers several billion human years, NOT just seven human days. The seven human day theory is as Mr Nye says “insane”. Another term would also be “just plain ignorant”. Now saying that someone is ignorant of something by no means is a slap at the person, ignorant just simply means lacking knowledge of a certain event.

 

By faith I am a devout fundamentalist Christian yet I totally believe that our universe and this planet began with the big bang that science believes that it did. I also do believe in evolution, to a certain point. What I do mean by evolution is in the evolving of the human race. Evolving such as the phasing out of one group of humans as they assimilate into another culture such as in how the Neanderthals bred into a slightly more evolved group of humans thus phasing out their race. Breeding a race out of existence is nothing new to humans it has been going on for a long long time. An example would be like the American government back in the late 1800’s when political and military opinion was to wipe out the Native Indian people’s. You kill all the males and then bred with the females. In just a very few generations of mixing blood the American Indian people would have only been in a few history books. Some evolution cycles throughout history have been forced but most were of nature weeding out the sick and the stupid.

 

One of the first things that people need to do when we seek knowledge that is given through the Scriptures is to pray first before we study and that (studying) needs to be a daily part of our lives just like setting aside a few moments a day for prayer should be an automatic for us. When we read Scripture we need to do it with an open mind, not a mindset of trying to prove a “Church doctrine” to be the Truth. If people pay attention to the words written down in the first two chapters of the Bible you should notice very plainly that there are two “human” creations. This understanding of this fact is very helpful in understanding that the seven human days of creation are not at all correct. God most of the time speaks what He wishes done, then puts the building blocks into place to then form His wishes into existence.

 

Time is the issue here in the argument that Mr Nye puts forth in his argument about creationism and he is correct on that issue. People need to understand time differences, they exist all around us but we humans choose to not understand. Look at the other planets that revolve around our Sun, check out each planets length of a day, they all differ from each other. Look at different living creatures on our own planet, dogs, cats, starfish, seahorses, the list is very long, look how long their life cycles are. To these other creatures of God’s hands, do you think a dog realizes that his ratio is different from ours? Why can’t we humans realize that our time is different from Gods time even when the Scriptures tell us pointedly of this fact? Until people who believe that the Bible is the Word of God and starts reading/studying it with an open mind, not one that is predetermined by a Church Doctrine our eyes will never be opened to the understanding of what God is telling all of us. Until we do this as a Nation and as a World People then there will always be this ignorant discussion like the one Mr Nye uses when he shows us all his lack of knowledge concerning God, God’s Word, and Time it’s self. But to his defense he is in an argument with people who are lacking the understanding of the very issue they are using to make their argument with in the first place!

Bill Nye Is Only Half Insane

Bill Nye Is Only Half Insane

 

This title is obviously just my opinion of Mr Nye, I do not know the man and I have never met him. My opinion is simply formed by articles I have read on the net where his opinions were down in print. Do I believe that I am smarter than Mr Nye, no I don’t. But in some areas of science and faith (which he seems to have none at all) I know for a fact that I am wiser than he is. I do not blame him or anyone else really for their distorted views on the earths and our creation. The reason for that is simple, I do not personally know of any Christian or Jewish faith that seems to understand the beginning of the first book of the Bible (Genesis). I believe that it was the Apostle Paul who wrote that all people should study (the Scriptures) daily so that we can be a workman that need not be ashamed for our lack of knowledge. As it is also written that when a person is preaching/teaching you that the Scriptures say we should all read/check to see if the things we are being taught it correct or not. Do we ever question our Church leaders about what we hear from the pulpit? How many Christians never or almost never go to Church services or if we do, how many follow the Preachers message in the Bible as he/she is talking? How many people who say we are Christians do not even own one single Bible? If we do own one at home do we even know where we stored it? How many folks could gag from the dust accumulated on its cover?

 

In a recent National Geographic News article Mr Nye was quoted as saying that “evolution is undeniable and creationism is insane”. I respect the man’s position because it is given through a total lack of knowledge of what the Scriptures say. I had this same conversation with Carl Sagen back in 1991 in person when we met in Madison Wisconsin after a speech he gave there. In the discussion he asked me how someone who is as studied (in Scripture) as I am could possibly believe that there is a God that created all things. I asked him how someone who is so knowledgeable and so intelligent could possibly not believe in a Supreme Being (God). If we could only get the churches and the synagogues to open their eyes to the words they read so blindly then maybe, maybe there would be a “coming to Jesus (God) moment” when our eyes begin to see and understand what is there and what isn’t said. There is so much information in the first two chapters of the book of Genesis, it covers several billion human years, NOT just seven human days. The seven human day theory is as Mr Nye says “insane”. Another term would also be “just plain ignorant”. Now saying that someone is ignorant of something by no means is a slap at the person, ignorant just simply means lacking knowledge of a certain event.

 

By faith I am a devout fundamentalist Christian yet I totally believe that our universe and this planet began with the big bang that science believes that it did. I also do believe in evolution, to a certain point. What I do mean by evolution is in the evolving of the human race. Evolving such as the phasing out of one group of humans as they assimilate into another culture such as in how the Neanderthals bred into a slightly more evolved group of humans thus phasing out their race. Breeding a race out of existence is nothing new to humans it has been going on for a long long time. An example would be like the American government back in the late 1800’s when political and military opinion was to wipe out the Native Indian people’s. You kill all the males and then bred with the females. In just a very few generations of mixing blood the American Indian people would have only been in a few history books. Some evolution cycles throughout history have been forced but most were of nature weeding out the sick and the stupid.

 

One of the first things that people need to do when we seek knowledge that is given through the Scriptures is to pray first before we study and that (studying) needs to be a daily part of our lives just like setting aside a few moments a day for prayer should be an automatic for us. When we read Scripture we need to do it with an open mind, not a mindset of trying to prove a “Church doctrine” to be the Truth. If people pay attention to the words written down in the first two chapters of the Bible you should notice very plainly that there are two “human” creations. This understanding of this fact is very helpful in understanding that the seven human days of creation are not at all correct. God most of the time speaks what He wishes done, then puts the building blocks into place to then form His wishes into existence.

 

Time is the issue here in the argument that Mr Nye puts forth in his argument about creationism and he is correct on that issue. People need to understand time differences, they exist all around us but we humans choose to not understand. Look at the other planets that revolve around our Sun, check out each planets length of a day, they all differ from each other. Look at different living creatures on our own planet, dogs, cats, starfish, seahorses, the list is very long, look how long their life cycles are. To these other creatures of God’s hands, do you think a dog realizes that his ratio is different from ours? Why can’t we humans realize that our time is different from Gods time even when the Scriptures tell us pointedly of this fact? Until people who believe that the Bible is the Word of God and starts reading/studying it with an open mind, not one that is predetermined by a Church Doctrine our eyes will never be opened to the understanding of what God is telling all of us. Until we do this as a Nation and as a World People then there will always be this ignorant discussion like the one Mr Nye uses when he shows us all his lack of knowledge concerning God, God’s Word, and Time it’s self. But to his defense he is in an argument with people who are lacking the understanding of the very issue they are using to make their argument with in the first place!