In order to illustrate some points related to information literacy in my class on the Bible, I asked students to find the wackiest claims made about the Bible online. The two top contenders were (1) that the oil in the Middle East is essentially the luscious Garden of Eden, turned into oil by Noah’s flood, and (2) that Noah’s flood happened on Mars.
I suggested that combining the two – that oil in the Middle East is the remnants of the Garden of Eden, which was on Mars and destroyed by Noah’s flood – might be weirder still.
But of existing oddities to be found online, what is the absolute strangest, most bizarre, and most ridiculous you’ve come across?
And most importantly – because this was the question that we turned to next in class – how do you know that that viewpoint is off the deep end? It is easy to dismiss the outlandish-sounding. But sometimes things that sound outlandish to us turn out to be true.
Other than gut instinct reaction, how do you know – and how would you show – that the crazy thing about the Bible that comes to mind is in fact crazy?
Of related interest, Ian Paul blogged about end-times craziness, with focus on David Jeremiah, who is the one connected with the claim about the Garden of Eden and oil above.