Jul 27, 2019
“Silliest internet atheist argument” is a hotly contested title, but I have a special place in my heart for the people who occasionally try to prove Biblical fallibility by pointing out whales are not a type of fish.
(this is going to end up being a metaphor for something, so bear with me)
The argument goes like this. Jonah got swallowed by a whale. But the Bible says Jonah got swallowed by a big fish. So the Bible seems to think whales are just big fish. Therefore the Bible is fallible. Therefore, the Bible was not written by God.
The first problem here is that “whale” is just our own modern interpretation of the Bible. For all we know, Jonah was swallowed by a really really really big herring.
The second problem is that if the ancient Hebrews want to call whales a kind of fish, let them call whales a kind of fish.
I’m not making the weak and boring claim that since they’d never discovered genetics they don’t know better. I am making the much stronger claim that, even if the ancient Hebrews had taken enough of a break from murdering Philistines and building tabernacles to sequence the genomes of all known species of aquatic animals, there’s nothing whatsoever wrong, false, or incorrect with them calling a whale a fish.