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Old 04-04-2006, 08:39 AM   #1 (permalink)
Location: Arnold, MD
Jesus Walked on Ice, not water, Study Says

I'm not religious in the least, but I think this is pretty funny. The I can just hear the protests about this now. Even better, I got to Florida State University and the author of this is Libbry Fairhurst a professor here at FSU, so I'll get to see the reaction first hand. I heard there was a ton of people on campus preaching yesterday, I guess this explains it.

The New Testament story describes Jesus walking on water in the Sea of Galilee but according to a study led by Florida State University Professor of Oceanography Doron Nof, it's more likely that he walked on an isolated patch of floating ice.

The study points to a rare combination of optimal water and atmospheric conditions for development of a unique, localized freezing phenomenon that Nof and his co-authors call "springs ice."

In what is now northern Israel, such ice could have formed on the cold freshwater surface of the Sea of Galilee -- known as Lake Kinneret by modern-day Israelis -- when already chilly temperatures briefly plummeted during one of the two protracted cold periods between 2,500 and 1,500 years ago.

A frozen patch floating on the surface of the small lake would have been difficult to distinguish from the unfrozen water surrounding it. The unfrozen water was comprised of the plumes resulting from salty springs situated along the lake's western shore in Tabgha -- an area where many archeological findings related to Jesus have been documented.

"As natural scientists, we simply explain that unique freezing processes probably happened in that region only a handful of times during the last 12,000 years," Nof said. "We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."

It isn't the first time the FSU researcher has offered scientific explanations of watery miracles. As a recognized expert in the field of oceanography and limnology -- the study of freshwater, saline and brackish environments -- Nof made waves worldwide in 1992 with his oceanographic perspective on the parting of the Red Sea.

His latest research appears in the April 2006 Journal of Paleolimnology, a scientific publication that addresses the reconstruction of lake history.

Using paleoceanographic records of the Mediterranean Sea's surface temperatures along with analytical ice and statistical models, Nof and his colleagues focused on the dynamics of a small section of Lake Kinneret comprising about 10,000 square feet near the salty springs that empty into it. Their analysis supports the likelihood that a brief blast of frigid air descended over the lake and dropped to 25 F (-4 C) for at least two days, coinciding with the chill that had already settled in for a century or more and quite possibly encompassed the decades in which Jesus lived.

If these atmospheric conditions existed simultaneously over a lake such as Kinneret, a floating ice patch could develop above the plumes generated by the salty springs.

Such a perfect combination of conditions on the low-latitude Kinneret might well seem miraculous. In the last 120 centuries, Nof calculates the odds as roughly once in 1,000 years. However, during the life of Jesus the prevailing climate may have favored the more frequent formation of springs ice -- about once in 30 to 160 years.

Floating springs ice partially or entirely surrounded by unfrozen water could be virtually impossible for distant observers to discern, particularly if subsequent rains had smoothed its surface; and 2,000 years ago, even those with a better view might not have recognized a natural phenomenon so rare in their corner of the world.

"In today's climate, the chance of springs ice forming in northern Israel is effectively zero, or about on
ce in more than 10,000 years," Nof added.

Among numerous honors throughout his career, Nof won the prestigious Nansen Medal from the European Geosciences Union in 2005. He is FSU's Distinguished Fridtjof Nansen Professor of Physical Oceanography and a member of its Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Institute.

In addition to Nof, the co-authors of "Is There A Paleolimnological Explanation for 'Walking on Water' in the Sea of Galilee?" are Professor Ian McKeague (Columbia University biostatistics department and formerly of FSU's department of statistics) and Professor Nathan Paldor (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, department of atmospheric science).

Source: Florida State University, By Libby Fairhurst
Source: http://www.physorg.com/news63367761.html
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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go 'noles!
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Old 04-04-2006, 08:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
Location: Arnold, MD
hehe, I found this on Digg an hour ago and within an hour it was pulled off of digg's front page. Digg buried the story already, though they didn't put up any information on why it was pulled off.

Here is the link to the buried story:
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:25 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago
I guess I don't see the point of this research other than to be controversial. As Fark.com would say, still no cure for cancer.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Arnold, MD
I agree with you Jazz. I couldn't care less about the findings, but I did find it funny.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Location: The Cosmos
I don't see how this would change anything for believers. If JC/God whatever still caused the freezing, it's still a miracle, doesn't matter that you now know how it might have happened.
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Uhm, so everything that occurs natually is an act of God and therefore is a miracle? Holy crap, it's raining! It's a miracle! (Well, in Phoenix, it almost is, actually)

At any rate, I just don't get it... *sigh* If it was ice, and he walked on it, how is that to say he CAUSED it. If I need to cross a lake, and I wait 6 months until it's winter and the lake is frozen over, and then I cross it... have I performed a miracle?
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Angloland
Good thing global warming is around to stop this kind of crap happening again. Ya here that ya bunch of messiah wanna be's!
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
... a sort of licensed troubleshooter.
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A new study says that FSU studiers have too much time on their hands.
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Belgium
*bows to willravel*

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Old 04-05-2006, 11:54 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Clarkson U.
I found it interesting. As a non-believer in most anything religion related, I find it more probable that someone actually walking on water.

I also get slight satisfaction out of putting a kink in any uber-religious peoples shorts.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Location: London
walking on ice is impressive when it's considered he probably wasn't wearing any shoes.
"The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
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Old 04-19-2006, 03:40 AM   #13 (permalink)
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Highly amusing. Thanks. A good tidbit to bring up at parties if anybody tries to sell me anything.
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:12 PM   #14 (permalink)
More likely, some early Christian just made the whole thing up in order to liven up the same old myth people had heard before.
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Old 04-19-2006, 12:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This study proves nothing. It means nothing. All they did was show that a unique icing process may have happened in the past. Wowzers. They have no idea if it happened on that particular day or if it even happened in Jesus' lifetime.

Hell, even if it did happen on that same day, who's to say that Jesus walked on the ice and not the water? He could have walked on water five feet from a chunk of ice. If you thinks this disproves the miracle of Jesus walking on water, you're very easily convinced. It is far from proof.

Then again, if you believe a man walked on water just because you read it in a book, you're also very easily convinced. Or faithful; whatever you want to call it.
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ice, jesus, study, walked, water

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