The Flood

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Mon Oct 2 20:34:00 EDT 2000

At 23.54 02/10/00 +0500, Peter Kirk wrote:
>OK, you responded to the first part of Rolf's paragraph with a typical
>quibble about terminology. 

It would seem Peter that the notion of absolute chronology has little no
tangible importance to you. If it is quibbling to show what absolute
chronology indicates in the field  of chronological research -- and
Brinkman is one of the most important scholars in that field -- then I
would rather quibble in order to go ahead.

>But first you wrote: "I don't think it is
>relevant to attempt to tie the notion of absolute chronology to astronomical
>(or other observable) phenomena." And then you wrote nothing more about
>astronomical chronology in your posting. I took this to mean that you were
>declining to respond to Rolf's main point in this paragraph: "If you are
>aware of older astronomical data that can be used for an absolute
>chronology, I will like to know it."

I have little faith in vain attempts to create astronomically significant
data (prime example being Rohl's arbitrary translation of the Ugaritic
eclipse tablet), for in the end the work necessary to establish an absolute
chronology will still rest on the epigraphy and one will never be sure that
the non-scientific nature of ancient descriptions of what moderns perceive
to have been astronomical events mean what we want them to.

Clarifying the terminological problem I would have hoped was sufficient to
go forward in the debate.


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