imageStephen Jones has posted Off-topic: Archaeologists Carbon-Date Camel Bones, Discover Major Discrepancy In Bible Story? in his blog. He begins nicely and I agree with the way he begins (his text is in bold).

Researchers Lidar Sapir-Hen and Erez Ben-Yosef from Tel Aviv University have discovered what may be a discrepancy in the history laid out in the Bible. Using carbon-dating to determine the age of the oldest-known camel bones, the researchers determined that camels were first introduced to Israel around the 9th century BCE. This is fallacious. Just because the oldest camel bones that archaeologists have yet found in what today we call Israel (assuming the carbon-dating is correct) are 9th century BC, does not mean that camels were not in Israel before then. . . . That is a version of the fallacy of the Argument from Ignorance: "We haven’t found it, therefore it did not exist"!

But soon it becomes apparent that this is not a posting about carbon dating or camels or logical fallacies. It quickly evolves into a defense of biblical literalism up against “naturalism” that “so dominates the academic world that group-think . . . prevents the Christian, Biblical position from being heard in the secular schools and universities” (AND the Shroud of Turin, according to Stephen is an example). And what specific Christian, biblical position is under attack? That Abraham had camels.

Stephen tells us:

Dr. Robert Harris, an Associate Professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, says this [the carbon dating of the camels] shouldn’t come as a shock to the theological community. “While these findings may have been published recently, those of us on the inside have known the essential facts for a generation now," Harris conveyed to HuffPost Religion through associates at JTS. "This is just one of many anachronisms in the Bible, but these do not detract from its sanctity, because it is a spiritual source, not a historical one.”This might be the modern Jewish position but it is not a consistent Christian position. The Christian New Testament states the entire Bible, Old and New Testament, was "breathed out by God":

Wait a minute! I’m a Christian. While I fully respect Stephen’s beliefs in biblical literalism, I don’t agree with his assertion that what Harris says is inconsistent with Christianity. I don’t mind if Genesis is wrong about Abraham having camels. In fact, I rather imagine that Abraham was a composite figure developed as part of the early Jewish history legend about 1500 years after he was supposed to have lived. Stephen should believe what he wants but he should not imply that his specific beliefs define Christianity. (I wouldn’t even get into this discussion but for the fact that he is, for some reason, writing about the Shroud of Turin).’’

He quotes scripture:

2Tim 3:16: "All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,"

It depends. I’m a Christian. I use the Bible. To my way of thinking, using literal words from the Bible to argue that the Bible is literally true is about as big a fallacy as you can have.

Stephen continues:

The real problem is that Naturalism, the philosophy that "nature is all there is-there is no supernatural", so dominates the academic world that group-think . . . prevents the Christian, Biblical position from being heard in the secular schools and universities.

A prime example is the Shroud of Turin. . . .

The Shroud of Turin?  How did we get here?

Stephen continues:

. . . The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is the very burial sheet of Jesus, bearing the image of his crowned with thorns, crucified, speared in the side, dead, buried and resurrected, body! But the secular world, dominated by Naturalism, rejects it out of hand.

I agree with Stephen’s statement up to the word ‘dead’. It may be an image of Christ’s resurrected body but I don’t think there is any evidence of that. (I believe in the resurrection but am not convinced that the shroud shows that).

Then again, if Stephen and I were to lay out what each of us thinks is the evidence pertaining to the authenticity of the shroud we would differ greatly. He thinks there are images of coins over the eyes. I’m quite certain there are not, and so forth. Can we even agree that the shroud is real if our reasons are different?

If you continue reading Stephen’s posting, he comes to the conclusion that the rejection of biblical literalism and rejection of the shroud’s authenticity tells us that the end is near. I think there is a fallacy in this thinking.