The Fallacy of Biblical Stories, Part 6: The Day the Sun Stood Still

  
By:  Gordy327  •  3 weeks ago  •  53 comments


The Fallacy of Biblical Stories, Part 6: The Day the Sun Stood Still
Whenever people have used religious documents to make accurate predictions about the physical world they have been famously wrong. --- Neil deGrasse Tyson

Leave a comment to auto-join group Religious and not News Chat

Religious and not News Chat


Welcome to Part 6 of the fallacy of biblical stories series. This one will focus on a supposed celestial event described in the bible. Namely, the time God caused the sun to stop moving for almost a whole day, and all because one guy asked him too. I will admit, that seems like quite the favor to grant a mere mortal. But how plausible is it? Well, just like the other parts of the biblical fallacy series, I will look at the science behind the phenomenon and determine the veracity of the story or if there are other possible explanations. 

According to the story, Joshua was leading the Israelites into battle against the 5 Emorite kings at Gibeon because they were laying siege against the Gibeonites, whom Joshua promised to protect. Realizing that a prolonged battle would go into the night, thereby allowing the 5 kings to retreat under the cover of darkness, Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still: On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon .” (Joshua 10:12, the Bible, NIV)

Talk about pulling out the big guns to win a battle. It seems it would have been easier for God to simply smite the 5 kings and their armies. After all, God always did seem to love a good smiting. But I digress. At any rate, the sun supposedly stopped, and Joshua was able to win the battle. Oh yeah, God also hurled “giant stones” (or hail) at the Emorites, killing many. Which probably helped too. See, I told you God loves a good smiting. So let’s bring out the BS meter and see how this story holds up against scrutiny.

1. Maybe it was midday : If you ever look up into the sky at noon, the sun is directly overhead. From that perspective, it may appear to be still and unmoving. However, that "illusion" is short lived, as it will become noticeable that the sun is continuing to move across the sky (not to mention vision damage from staring at the sun). So unless Joshua only needed about an extra hour or so to win his battle (before he noticed the sun is actually moving), the sun won't be still for him.

2. The Earth and moon stopped moving. Not the sun : So, as everyone (hopefully) knows, the sun is not moving relative to the earth. It is the Earth that revolves around the sun, and the moon revolves around the Earth. But the appearance of the sun "moving" in the sky is due to earth's rotation. That is why we have the day/night cycle. For the sun to appear to stand still, the Earth itself must stop rotating. The same is true of the moon’s revolution around the Earth if the moon was supposed to be still too. Surely an omnipotent deity could pull off such a feat. Maybe God is spinning the Earth on his finger like a planet sized basketball and he suddenly grabs the ball, bringing it to an immediate stop for Joshua. There's just one small problem with that scenario; the Earth rotates 1,037 mph at the equator. Then it comes to a sudden stop. The problem is not the stop itself, it's everything on the earth (including people) still travels 1,037 mph relative to the earth. Do I even need to explain what kind of calamity that would cause? So the premise of the Earth stopping, while it would explain the long day, is not possible as such an occurrence would probably render us extinct.

3. Perhaps it was during the Solstice: If the sun "stopped moving," then the daylight hours would naturally be longer, right? Well, there is a natural phenomenon that causes that exact event to occur every year (longer daylight hours, not immobilizing the sun): the summer & winter Solstices. During the solstice, the Earth's pole has its maximum tilt toward the sun (depending on the hemisphere). This causes the greatest amount of daylight to occur (the "longest" day of the year), even though the day is still 24 hours. However, extra daylight hours is what Jacob wanted and maybe he happened to pick the right day for a battle for extra light hours to occur. However, the bible says the sun did not set for almost a full day and the solstice doesn't add that many hours of daylight. But sunlight can occur for 24 hours (never completely dropping below the horizon) in the arctic/antarctic regions of the earth due to earth's axial tilt. However, the Middle East region is closer to the equator than it is to the poles. So that idea is out!

4. There was an eclipse : This might be the most logically plausible explanation. This is also where context becomes crucial. What is actually being described? According to some English translations, this might be taken to mean the sun and moon actually stopped their motion. Indeed, one would probably assume that is what is meant when it is said the sun and moon stopped moving. But if one goes by the Hebrew translation, it can be taken to mean they stopped shining. According to Professor Sir Colin Humphreys of the University of Cambridge (2017, para 4), “ In this context, the Hebrew words could be referring to a solar eclipse, when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, and the sun appears to stop shining. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the Hebrew word translated ‘stand still’ has the same root as a Babylonian word used in ancient astronomical texts to describe eclipses .” In addition, the oldest recorded eclipse occurred in 1207 BC, which was around the time of Joshua. So the story in the Bible was probably describing an eclipse. An eclipse would give veracity to the biblical interpretation of the sun and moon not shining. But it does not support the interpretation that the sun and moon stopped their motion, much less resulted in more daylight hours or a longer day. Based on that, the story of Joshua and the sun stopping falls apart.

What this all seems to boil down to is an ancient guy making an observation of a natural event without understanding how the event occurs. Naturally, the bible picks this up as a “miracle” and essentially that “God did it.” As fellow NTer TiG pointed out in another discussion [emphasis mine], “ the Bible expresses the perspectives of ancient men trying to interpret their environment.   If it were divine, we would not see 'sun stood still' but rather an enlightened description of an eclipse .” Fortunately, science can explain an eclipse. So divinity or magic is not required to explain the occurrence. As we can see with this particular story, as well as the other biblical stories presented in the biblical fallacy series, there are alternative and scientific explanations (or refutations) for the events presented. But continuing to stick to the belief that it was a divine event or a “miracle” (based on the bible) is just a confirmation bias as well as intellectually lazy!   Confirmation bias = seeing only what one wishes to see and, in so doing, missing the truth (courtesy of TiG).

So what do you think? How does this story hold up? Comments, thoughts, and analyses are welcome. And remember, follow the evidence to where it leads, not to where you want it to go.


Tags

jrGroupDiscuss - desc
smarty_function_ntUser_is_admin: user_id parameter required
[]
 
Gordy327
1  author  Gordy327    3 weeks ago

What do you guys think? Any suggestions for future biblical stories to analyze?

 
 
 
charger 383
1.1  charger 383  replied to  Gordy327 @1    3 weeks ago

Virgin Birth or Manta from Heaven would be interesting

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @1.1    3 weeks ago

The Virgin birth might be possible to cover. But aside from the fact that humans are incapable of asexual reproduction, the circumstances of how Mary became pregnant and gave birth is subject to speculation and no other supporting evidence. It's one of those stories where theists will simply declare "god did it." I'll have to look further into it. Thanks for the suggestions. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.1    3 weeks ago
It's one of those stories where theists will simply declare "god did it."

Do you find that unusual?   The debate 'logic' typically (based on my observations at least) used is to always hold 'God did it' and then try to figure out ways to prop up that conclusion.   Of course, that is also rare;  the most common rebuttal is none at all.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.3  author  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @1.1.2    3 weeks ago
Do you find that unusual? 

Not even a little. 

The debate 'logic' typically (based on my observations at least) used is to always hold 'God did it' and then try to figure out ways to prop up that conclusion.  

Start with a conclusion and put in the "evidence" to fit it. It's like reverse logic.

Of course, that is also rare;  the most common rebuttal is none at all.

True.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.4  author  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @1.1    3 weeks ago
Virgin Birth

After pondering it for a while, I think I will focus on the Virgin birth for the next article. Although, there may not be much to explain, as a virgin birth doesn't have much going for it on the surface. But I'll do a little research and post an article about it. Stay tuned.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
1.1.5  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

Was God the original Weinstein?  Mary didn't consent but he tapped her anyway.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.6  author  Gordy327  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.1.5    2 weeks ago
Was God the original Weinstein?  Mary didn't consent but he tapped her anyway.

I plan to address that. Including alternative (and more plausible) scenarios.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.1.7  Drakkonis  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.1.5    2 weeks ago
Was God the original Weinstein?  Mary didn't consent but he tapped her anyway.

Mary did consent. 

Luke 1:38 "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May your word to me be fulfilled." Then the angel left her.
 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.8  author  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.1.7    2 weeks ago
Mary did consent. 

More like subservient.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.9  sandy-2021492  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.8    2 weeks ago

Yeah.  I mean, it's not like she had much choice.  It was a rare, lucky woman who had a choice, under Mosaic Law.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.1.10  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.8    2 weeks ago
More like subservient.

Yes, that would also be accurate. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.11  author  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.1.10    2 weeks ago
Yes, that would also be accurate. 

So that would imply consent was not really a factor or consideration.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.12  author  Gordy327  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.9    2 weeks ago
Yeah.  I mean, it's not like she had much choice.  It was a rare, lucky woman who had a choice, under Mosaic Law.

There's more to it than that. The words used and their meanings makes a big difference as to how the story proceeds or is interpreted. A cursory glance shows it may not be as "divine" a moment as some are led to believe. But I'll get into it more when I write the article.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.1.13  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.11    2 weeks ago

You should look up the definition of the word subservient. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.14  author  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.1.13    2 weeks ago
You should look up the definition of the word subservient. 

I'm familiar with the definition and my statement stands.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
1.1.15  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.6    2 weeks ago

Also, so many religious people are against surrogate pregnancies, but wasn't Mary the first recorded surrogate? 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.16  author  Gordy327  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.1.15    2 weeks ago

Technically yes. Although I don't know why religious people would be against surrogates. 

Never mind the apparent absurdity of a omnipotent deity that can supposedly create the universe from nothing, but for some reason needs a vessel to create a sacrificial heir. But then, I doubt many religious individuals actually question religious stories & claims, much less their own beliefs.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.1.17  Drakkonis  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @1.1.15    2 weeks ago
Also, so many religious people are against surrogate pregnancies, but wasn't Mary the first recorded surrogate?  Technically yes.

Factually, no. It was neither an instance of surrogacy nor, even if it had been, the first one. In the first case it doesn't meet the definition of surrogacy and in the second, Abraham's wife Sarah used her servant Hagar to try to start a family for herself and Abraham in an attempt to make God's prophesy come true on her own (which, btw, meets the definition of surrogacy.)

 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.18  author  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.1.17    2 weeks ago
In the first case it doesn't meet the definition of surrogacy and in the second, Abraham's wife Sarah used her servant Hagar to try to start a family for herself and Abraham in an attempt to make God's prophesy come true on her own

In Mary's case, she was with Joseph and helped God start his own family too.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
1.1.19  Drakkonis  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.18    2 weeks ago

Um, yeah. You go with that, Gordy.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
1.1.20  sandy-2021492  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.18    2 weeks ago
she was with Joseph

Maybe.  Or maybe it was someone else, and she needed a cover story.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.21  author  Gordy327  replied to  Drakkonis @1.1.19    2 weeks ago

Is that statement inaccurate? 

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.22  author  Gordy327  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1.1.20    2 weeks ago

Possible. Either way, it is quite a story.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.1.23  devangelical  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.1    2 weeks ago

... turkey baster.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.24  author  Gordy327  replied to  devangelical @1.1.23    2 weeks ago

Not sure those were available back then. But I do have a much more plausible scenario, which I'll provide in the article.

 
 
 
devangelical
1.1.25  devangelical  replied to  Gordy327 @1.1.24    one week ago

toilet seat?

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.26  author  Gordy327  replied to  devangelical @1.1.25    one week ago

I don't think that's very plausible.

 
 
 
Gordy327
1.1.27  author  Gordy327  replied to  devangelical @1.1.25    one week ago

Part 7 of the series is now up. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2  author  Gordy327    3 weeks ago

If you haven't done so yet, don't forget to check out the first 5 parts of the Fallacy of Biblical Stories series:

Part 1: The Great Flood & Noah's Ark

Part 2: Adam & Eve

Part 3: The 10 Plagues of Egypt

Part 4: Jonah & the Whale

Part 5: The Tower of Babel

Out of curiosity, which part in the series so far is your favorite?

 
 
 
Freefaller
2.1  Freefaller  replied to  Gordy327 @2    3 weeks ago

Personally I found Part 1 the most entertaining

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.1.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Freefaller @2.1    3 weeks ago

Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I always found the Flood story to be really high up on the BS story list.

 
 
 
charger 383
2.2  charger 383  replied to  Gordy327 @2    2 weeks ago

all are interesting, Adam and Eve was my favorite 

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.2.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  charger 383 @2.2    2 weeks ago

Thank you. I'm glad you liked them.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
2.3  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Gordy327 @2    2 weeks ago

I liked 4 & 5 the best so far.

 
 
 
Gordy327
2.3.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @2.3    2 weeks ago

Thanks. Hopefully you'll enjoy the upcoming parts as well.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
2.3.2  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Gordy327 @2.3.1    2 weeks ago

I am sure I will.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3  TᵢG    3 weeks ago
Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still

Which, right off the bat, makes zero sense.   God, per the Bible, is omniscient and thus knows what will happen before it happens.   Before the request was made, God already would have decided to make 'the sun stand still' (so to speak).   One of the logical problems with having an omniscient God is that this God, by definition, cannot ever learn anything new and thus will never change its mind (or respond to a prayer).

Ultimately I see this story to be easily explained (and this is true for all of the Bible's content).   We all know that the Bible was written by men.   Nobody denies this.   The closest to denial is that many claim these men were 'inspired by' God and at times what they wrote was exactly what God wanted them to write.

Well, okay.   But by default it was ancient men with pens working over thousands of years and often by committee and certainly in support of the dominant political powers and culture of the time.   That process (and everyone should realize this) is going to produce less than perfect results.  

So this story, as I see things, is a result of ancient men weaving their own experiences (as they perceive them) into a grand tale to continue the positive marketing campaign for their 'God'.

If one makes no assumptions of divinity and simply views the Bible as the imaginative work of ancient men, all the inconsistencies and errors are explained.   Including, as Gordy observes, not understanding that even though the sun looks like it is moving, it is actually the rotation of the Earth that causes that illusion.  God certainly would know that, but ancient men operating on their own weaving grand tales would not.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @3    3 weeks ago
Which, right off the bat, makes zero sense. 

That can apparently be said of a lot of the stories in the bible, as the fallacy series has thus far demonstrated.

this God, by definition, cannot ever learn anything new and thus will never change its mind (or respond to a prayer).

Which makes prayer a futile exercise, as God already knows in advance whether any need will be be fulfilled or not.

  We all know that the Bible was written by men.   Nobody denies this.  

Don't forget, some claim the bible is the "word of God," as if God himself wrote (or at least dictated) the bible. Some will claim biblical authors were "divinely inspired," as if that means anything special, never mind how one can possibly know that.

The closest to denial is that many claim these men were 'inspired by' God and at times what they wrote was exactly what God wanted them to write.

Seems like a lot of margin for error there.

But by default it was ancient men with pens working over thousands of years and often by committee and certainly in support of the dominant political powers and culture of the time.   That process (and everyone should realize this) is going to produce less than perfect results.  

Nuh uh, because God! jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

So this story, as I see things, is a result of ancient men weaving their own experiences (as they perceive them) into a grand tale to continue the positive marketing campaign for their 'God'.

That's probably the most likely explanation.

If one makes no assumptions of divinity

If one does make an assumption of divinity, then right away there is confirmation biased introduced. And as anyone even remotely familiar with the research process, confirmation bias can seriously undermine a study, its results, and credibility.

Including, as Gordy observes, not understanding that even though the sun looks like it is moving, it is actually the rotation of the Earth that causes that illusion.  God certainly would know that, but ancient men operating on their own weaving grand tales would not.

Ancient societies believed the sun revolved around the Earth. That does explain the sun's movement across the sky too. But is it correct? Of course not. So if ancient men were wrong about  that, what else were they wrong about? If they wrote down their stories or perceptions in books like the bible, doesn't it stand to reason that said stories should be taken with a grain of salt and may not be literal or an accurate explanation on the surface and possibly be prone to error? Especially if it requires interpretation, translation, and/or duplication by others?

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Gordy327 @3.1    3 weeks ago
So if ancient men were wrong about  that, what else were they wrong about?

The Bible offers nothing that goes outside of the cultural and knowledge bounds of ancient men.   Its contents are expressed the way ancient me would perceive reality with not a hint of a divine presence.   That is, nowhere does the Bible provide insight that the ancient men simply could not have (such as the basic understanding of our solar system within a galaxy) or the realization that their entire economic system based on slavery was immoral.

Since the Bible was written by ancient men and reads per the intuition of ancient men, the evidence strongly suggests that it is entirely from the minds of ancient men sans any divine influence.   Thus the Bible is almost certainly not divine and any proclamations based on divinity are simply ancient men pretending to be 'God'.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.1.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.1    3 weeks ago
The Bible offers nothing that goes outside of the cultural and knowledge bounds of ancient men.   Its contents are expressed the way ancient me would perceive reality with not a hint of a divine presence.  

Indeed. Many other societies and their stories and folktales are the same in that regard, as long as they're taken that way. But when attempting to glean actual fact from them, then the stories fall apart spectacularly.

Since the Bible was written by ancient men and reads per the intuition of ancient men, the evidence strongly suggests that it is entirely from the minds of ancient men sans any divine influence.   Thus the Bible is almost certainly not divine and any proclamations based on divinity are simply ancient men pretending to be 'God'.

Agreed. It's surprising so many do not see it that way. Especially in this day and age.

 
 
 
Dismayed Patriot
3.2  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  TᵢG @3    3 weeks ago
Joshua asked God to make the sun stand still

The first problem I had with this scripture growing up was that even though the people of the time might have thought the sun revolved around the earth, their God should have known that for the effect they desired they would have to make the earth stand still, not the sun and moon. If all scripture is inspired of God, why would he allow such a monumental flaw to be left in one of his supposed almighty miracles? And wouldn't leaving such a lie in his supposed holy scripture expose the rest of it as likely flawed or at best allegorical?

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.2    3 weeks ago
And wouldn't leaving such a lie in his supposed holy scripture expose the rest of it as likely flawed or at best allegorical?

If bible stories were taken as allegorical or even as the words of ancient men with pens writing down their own perspectives, there wouldn't be much issue. Biblical stories would be taken as just that, stories. The problem arises when said stories are taken literally. Not only do they then fail logically and lack supporting evidence, but they are passed of as truth and spreads misinformation and/or ignorance.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.2.2  TᵢG  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @3.2    3 weeks ago
If all scripture is inspired of God, why would he allow such a monumental flaw to be left in one of his supposed almighty miracles?

I fully agree:

TiG @3Including, as Gordy observes, not understanding that even though the sun looks like it is moving, it is actually the rotation of the Earth that causes that illusion.  God certainly would know that, but ancient men operating on their own weaving grand tales would not.

This is one of the dimensions of biblical analysis that seems obvious to me but seems to escape the consideration of theists (even when brought to their attention).   So many examples exist where the God character acts as if it were limited by the culture and knowledge of ancient men.    We see this in God's failure to ever condemn it immoral to own another person as property to fundamental failures such as deeming the moon as a light source and the example here of the sun standing still.

In contrast, nowhere does the Bible provide information beyond the capabilities of ancient men.   There is not a single example that we can verify even thousands of years later that suggests a higher intelligence (much less an omniscient sentient entity) whispering in the ears of the ancient scribes.

 
 
 
Gordy327
3.2.3  author  Gordy327  replied to  TᵢG @3.2.2    3 weeks ago
We see this in God's failure to ever condemn it immoral to own another person as property

And yet, some theists claim God is the arbiter or source of all morality. Go figure.

fundamental failures such as deeming the moon as a light source and the example here of the sun standing still.

This demonstrates that biblical stories or claims is based on the perspectives of those who wrote or starred in them, and not on the actual science behind them.

There is not a single example that we can verify even thousands of years later that suggests a higher intelligence (much less an omniscient sentient entity) whispering in the ears of the ancient scribes.

There's no evidence of  higher intelligence whispering in the ears of modern people either.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4  Buzz of the Orient    3 weeks ago

Seems to me that an eclipse would have been the opposite of what Joshua asked for, but anyway....

The earth being made to stand still (or stop rotating - although I supposed that could mean the planet stopping its self-rotation or the rotation in the orbit), as a subject has been fodder for science fiction authors and film scriptwriters - perhaps the most well-known being "The Day The Earth Stood Still" a 1951 movie that starred Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal.

Such an earth-shaking event in fiction or the movies has caused the whole world to come together in cooperation to solve such a world wide problem, but which appears to have an opposite effect on the world, especially with America's leadership, when it comes to a world wide pandemic. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    3 weeks ago
Seems to me that an eclipse would have been the opposite of what Joshua asked for, but anyway....

That contradicts the story and thus diminishes its veracity.

but which appears to have an opposite effect on the world, especially with America's leadership, when it comes to a world wide pandemic. 

Let's not make this political Buzz.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
4.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gordy327 @4.1    3 weeks ago

I plead guilty.  Sorry.

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.1.2  author  Gordy327  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4.1.1    3 weeks ago

No worries.

 
 
 
bccrane
4.2  bccrane  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @4    3 weeks ago
Seems to me that an eclipse would have been the opposite of what Joshua asked for, but anyway....

Actually Joshua wanted the sun to shine again to finish off the victory over the enemy.

Ok, you're Joshua and you're in a battle which you are winning and it won't take much longer, then it starts to get dark in mid-morning, the Emorites start  cheering and celebrating that their god is giving them a chance to escape with their lives (as was already known the Israelis were not much in allowing survivors).  Joshua also sees this as an opportunity to reset his troops under cover of darkness and proclaims that God will allow the day to continue (remember battles of the time were in close quarters and you could hear each other), Joshua with his troops repositioned continues the attack with increasing light and now the Emorites are being stoned by troops in the higher grounds around them.  Being that eclipses don't last very long the Emorites had no real chance of safely retreating. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
4.2.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  bccrane @4.2    3 weeks ago

That scenario makes much more sense than the more fanciful biblical version.

 
 
 
AndrewK
5  AndrewK    3 weeks ago

What would happen if the Earth stopped spinning?

To stop the earth and moon's motion would require arresting the momentum without imparting any force on anything on those two objects. It would require arresting tidal forces that result from that. Would require somehow speeding things back up through the same magic so that both bodies - lacking any angular momentum -  don't immediately drop into the suns gravity well in new hyperbolic orbital path leading to a fiery demise - and don't immediately collide with each other. 

It would also somehow have to simultaneously a celestial and a local phenomenon - since none of the other civilizations at the time - many of whom had far more accomplished astronomers - seem to have noticed anything. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
5.1  author  Gordy327  replied to  AndrewK @5    3 weeks ago

A sudden halt to the Earth's rotation would be cataclysmic. Stopping rotation would result in being tidally locked to the sun. A gradual decrease in rotation would surely be noticed by ancient people. But let's say the sun did stop due to the earth being magically halted with no ill effect. Half the planet would be stuck in nighttime for an extra day. Surely that would be noticed and documented by ancient people somewhere. But there is nothing to collaborate such an occurrence. 

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online

Release The Kraken
Vic Eldred


46 visitors