A couple in Mongolia recently ate raw marmot meat, which is apparently a thing in Mongolia. It is believed to be a health boost by the locals. (A marmot is a rodent, sort of like a woodchuck or large squirrel. I prefer them braised or fricasseed, but that’s just me.) The couple contracted bubonic plague and died — which I think we can all agree is pretty much the opposite of “a health boost.”
The resulting quarantine held up the lives of 118 locals and tourists for six days. The danger appears to be over now, so our family vacation to Mongolia is back on. Get back to packing, girls.
It is common knowledge (in most of the world, anyway — perhaps not in Mongolia) that flea-infested rodents carry the plague. No need for you to fear; it’s rare, particularly in the United States, and contact has to be relatively close. There’s no need to go to the ER if you spot mouse droppings in the garage, and your child’s pet rat from Petco is perfectly safe. So it seems odd that people would reject overwhelming scientific proof in favor of a local superstition.
As I typed this, searching for a hook, it occurred to me: this must be how my atheistic friends see me. Science has “proved” the Bible wrong, and yet I persist in believing it. I am a yokel to them. A rube. A deliberately ignorant fool.
What’s the difference? Mainly, that the Mongolians in question accepted the traditions of their neighbors and ancestors, and turned a blind eye to measurable and quantifiable scientific facts when the facts disproved their traditions. We are accepting the traditions of God, as revealed through the Bible. And God has been proven true time and time again — often in refutation of what the “educated” minds of our day called “facts.”
Anthropologists ridiculed the Bible for years for its repeated references to “Hittites.” Such a people never existed, according to the “experts.” Except, of course, they were wrong. Plenty of reference to Hittites have emerged over the last few decades, proving the Bible’s accuracy. Linguists mocked Luke for his odd terminology for high-ranking officials in the First Century. “Plutarch,” “leading man,” etc. — such were titles that had never been known outside the Bible. The problem was, of course, that Luke actually lived during the First Century; he knew first-hand whereof he spoke. It took the “experts” decades to catch up to him. Historians insisted that writing came into common usage long after Moses’ day, making it impossible for him to have written anything, much less five books of the Bible. Then they found the Rosetta Stone, and they realized how sophisticated the art of writing was in Egypt, long before Moses’ birth. And many other examples could be provided along the same lines. The Bible is assumed “wrong” when it contradicts the general philosophy of the atheistic community, even when the skeptics have no actual facts to back them up. They set themselves up for embarrassment time and time again, and God happily obliges them.
Granted, some Bible concepts have been misunderstood over the years, and science has helped us understand what the Bible was teaching (or, more accurately, what it was not teaching and had never taught). True students should always be open to understanding their chosen subject more perfectly, even when it calls for them to challenge long-held preconceptions. But if we were to somehow determine that William Shakespeare did not, in fact, write all those plays (as his detractors have long claimed), that does not mean we close the English department. We adapt and move on. That is why faith survived the discoveries of Galileo and Copernicus, as well as the widespread acceptance of the theories of Charles Darwin. True facts can never be in conflict with the Creator of truth. And of marmots.