Demigods, Violence and Flood in Plato and Genesis — [Biblical Creation Accounts/Plato’s Timaeus-Critias – 7c]

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by Neil Godfrey

Is it possible to set forth a plausible case that the Genesis author of Noah’s Flood was inspired in any way by his reading of Plato’s myth of Atlantis? There can be no doubt that the author was influenced by an ancient Mesopotamian story so let’s establish that undeniable source for Genesis with Russell Gmirkin’s own acknowledgement:

The traditional view of scholars is that the Genesis flood derived from sources extant no later than the time of the seventh to sixth-century Babylonian captivity. Gmirkin expands the field for literary comparison to include third-century BCE Hellenistic-era works and identifies Berossus as the Genesis’ author’s source for the Mesopotamian myth. In the words of another author, Philippe Wajdenbaum,

Even if the most ancient version of the deluge comes from the Sumerian tradition, and even if the biblical writer knew of this tradition, he inserted it into a platonic framework. . . . The first eleven chapters of Genesis are indeed inspired by Mesopotamian myths, but there is a more recent Greek layer that is just as obvious. The evolution of humankind in the Bible—from the ideal life in Eden to the degeneration that led up to the deluge, and from the discussion of patriarchal life to the gift of laws— is all found in Plato’s dialogues. (Wajdenbaum, 107)

In the Primordial History, the Mesopotamian flood story, with its survival of Utnapishtim and his family and servants in a boat, had undeniable literary parallels to both the J and P versions of the Noachian flood. (Gmirkin, 10 — J and P are scholarly abbreviations pointing to different sources thought to lie behind the biblical literature: for a critical discussion on J and P in the Genesis Flood see Rendsburg on Genesis and Gilgamesh: Misunderstanding and Misrepresenting the Documentary Hypothesis (Part 2))

What, then, is Gmirkin’s view of that “more recent Greek layer” that Wajdenbaum (see the side box) speaks about?

Here are the common elements between Plato’s story of Atlantis and the Genesis Flood:

    • Both stories are preceded by a “golden age” of innocence and abundance when the deity (Poseidon, Yahweh) ruled directly with his people;
    • Both stories depict a descent into corruption after sons of gods marry mortal women: in the myth of Atlantis immorality increases over generations as the divine element in the demigods becomes diluted through ongoing marriages with mortals; in Genesis the corruption is said to happen following the sons of the gods taking women and producing “nephilim”. (An important note needs to be injected here for those of us conditioned to think that Genesis 6 is referring to demons (“sons of god/s”) descending to earth to take human women. That interpretation arose later in Jewish tradition with works like Enoch and Jubilees. There is no suggestion in Genesis 6 that these “sons of god/s” were demonic or evil. They are introduced, rather, as producing “men of renown”, though they later descended into violence.)

      This image from https://www.greece-is.com/the-search-for-atlantis/ is a brilliant reminder that Atlantis was created entirely from Plato’s imagination.

.Plato’s Critias 121

[After earlier describing the god Poseidon taking the human girl Cleito and with her producing generations of highly renowned kings, the first named Atlas … ] But when the divine portion within them began to fade, as a result of constantly being diluted by large measures of mortality, and their mortal nature began to predominate, they became incapable of bearing their prosperity and grew corrupt. Anyone with the eyes to see could mark the vileness of their behaviour as they destroyed the best of their valuable possessions; but those who were blind to the life that truly leads to happiness regarded them as having finally attained the most desirable and enviable life possible, now that they were infected with immoral greed [or “lawless ambition”] and power.

Zeus looks down, sees the degeneration, and decides to pass judgment:

Zeus, god of gods, who reigns by law, did have the eyes to see such things. He recognized the degenerate state of their fair line and wished to punish them, as a way of introducing more harmony into their lives. He summoned all the gods to a meeting in the most awesome of his dwellings, which is located in the centre of the entire universe and so sees all of creation. And when the gods had assembled, he said . . . 

Genesis 6:1-12

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose. . . . There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.

Yahweh, like Zeus, sees the corruption and announced judgement:

Then [Yahweh] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And [Yahweh] was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. . . . 

The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.  So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 

Continue reading “Demigods, Violence and Flood in Plato and Genesis — [Biblical Creation Accounts/Plato’s Timaeus-Critias – 7c]”


The Garden of Eden — [Biblical Creation Accounts/Plato’s Timaeus-Critias – 7a]

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by Neil Godfrey

With thanks to Taylor & Francis (Routledge) for the review copy

This post continues the series discussing Russell Gmirkin’s Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts.

After the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden we enter a new series of adventures that find their counterpart in the next book by Plato, Critias. Here we are led to understand that the land of Eden was only one part of the created world and that Cain, on being exiled from Eden itself, enters another land presumably inhabited by other peoples removed from the presence of the god Yahweh Elohim. We read names renowned for inventing the various crafts and arts of civilization and the building of the first cities. We read of “sons of gods” marrying mortal women and producing heroic warriors. We read of violence spiralling out of control and of Yahweh deciding to end it all by wiping out all humanity and every living thing in a cataclysmic flood. He is persuaded, however, to spare one family to start anew. Finally, new ethnic groups are once again scattered across the world from the tower of Babel.

We know the story but as long as we are sure that it was composed long before the classical era of Greece (from the fourth century BCE) and look only to possible antecedents in the Mesopotamian region then we will miss the remarkably distinct parallels with Greek myth. Yes, there is no doubt that the Flood story in Genesis is derived from an early Babylonian story, and the tower of Babel is obviously focused on Babylon, — no question there. But keep in mind that “Hellenistic” culture was initially about blending, uniting, the cultures of the east and west, of the lands once ruled by Persia with the values and ideas of their Greek conquerors.

This is Russell Gmirkin’s contribution to the way we view the Bible — to test the possibility that Genesis and its companion literature were written as late as the Hellenistic era:

The current chapter shifts the focus to Critias, Plato’s sequel to Timaeus. The use of Critias as a model for the antediluvian world in Genesis has not previously been proposed by biblical critics. While Timaeus was concerned with the origins of the kosmos, of life and death, and of human moral sensibilities and failings, Critias presented a tale set in earliest mythical times that laid out the devolution of ideal political institutions, established by the gods, into a spiral of ambition and violence divinely punished by cataclysmic earthquake and flood that ended the Age of Heroes and overflowed the mythical continent of Atlantis. (p. 199 — my highlighting in all quotations)

Genesis is an odd mix. It begins with a stately account of creation in six days — all in coherence with the scientific thought of the Hellenistic era — but then shifts to mythical tales of talking snakes and “sons of gods” marrying mortal women. In Gmirkin’s view, it is as if we are reading a work that “consciously mimic[s] Plato’s Timaeus (the scientific and theological narrative) and Critias (mythical narrative).”

Jan Brueghel – Wikimedia

I had initially expected to post a discussion of the entire seventh chapter but instead have resolved to post a series of smaller units, each one covering one aspect of the primeval history from Cain to Babel. Instead of quoting Gmirkin and others he references, I have decided to cut to the chase and allow you to see for yourselves how episodes from Genesis compare with Greek literature. My quotations are selective. I have omitted details that do not find correspondence. For example, Plato’s account of Atlantis speaks of building a palace for Poseidon. Gmirkin remarks that in Genesis, since Yahweh Elohim converses with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, it can be assumed that he has a temple or mansion of some kind there, too. But of course if that is what the Genesis author and his audience took for granted it is not mentioned. So I have omitted from my selections Plato’s description of the god’s palace.

Russell Gmirkin additionally discusses other options that have been proposed as models of the Garden of Eden: the royal parks of the kings of Assyria, temple gardens of Mesopotamia, and other Mesopotamian mythical stories such as Gllgamesh. He finds little strong comparison in any of those alternatives. (See the post following this one for some instances of what have ben considered “Garden of Eden” parallels in ancient Sumerian literature.) Why would a supply source for pagan temples be an inspiration for the Genesis author? Or why the hunting grounds of an Assyrian king?

Genesis 2-3


Homer, Hesiod, Pindar

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground (Gen 2:7) [Athens] was founded first, when the goddess received your rootstock from Earth and Hephaestus (Timaeus 23e)

There lived on this hill a man who was one of the original earth-born men of the land. (Critias 113c)

we’ve also heard from many about the kingship exercized by Kronos, And . . . that earlier men were born from the earth (Statesman, 269a-b)

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.

The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. . . .

A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, 

where there is gold. (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.)

The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. . . . 

Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. 

Now the serpent . . . said to the woman, . . . The woman said to the serpent . . . 

. . . the serpent said to the woman “. . . your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom . . . *

Yahweh Elohim . . . was walking in the garden in the cool of the day . . .

(Gen 2:8-14, 25; 3:1-8)

Poseidon, as a god, easily organized the central island [of Atlantis]. Once he had fetched up two underground springs — one warm, the other flowing cold from its source — and caused all kinds of food to grow in sufficient quantities from the soil . . . . the island by itself provided them with most of the necessities of life. . . They had everything, [precious stones and metals] that could be mined from the ground, and in fact in many parts of the island there was dug up from the ground something which is now no more than a name, although in those days it was an actual fact and was second in value only to gold — orichalc [which gleamed like fire]. . . . Everything aromatic the earth produces today in the way of roots or shoots or shrubs or gums exuded by flowers or fruits was produced and supported by the island then. . . . Any water which overflowed was channelled to the grove of Poseidon, where all the various species of trees grew to be beautiful and extraordinarily tall thanks to the fertility of the soil, . . . Streams descending from the mountains drained into it, and it made a complete circuit of the plain, . . . and then the water was allowed to discharge into the sea.  (Critias 113e – 114e. 115a, 117b, 118d)

Trees and flowers and fruit, grow in proportion; and again, the mountains contain stones likewise, whose smoothness, transparency, and beauty of colour are in the same proportion; it is from these that the little stones we value, sardian stones, jaspers, emeralds, and all such, are pieces; but there, every single one is like that, or even more beautiful still. . . . But the true earth is adorned with all these things, and with gold and silver also, and with the other things of that kind as well. For they are plainly visible, being many in number, large, and everywhere upon the earth. (Phaedo 110d-111c)

. . .  the parts of the world-order having everywhere been divided up by gods ruling over them; moreover divine spirits had divided living things between them, like herdsmen, by kind and by herd, each by himself providing independently for all the needs of those he tended, so that none of them was savage, nor did they eat each other, and there was no war or internal dissent at all. . . . But to return to what has been reported about a life for human beings without toil, the origin of the report is something like this. A god tended them, taking charge of them himself,  . . . they had an abundance of fruits from trees and many other plants, not growing through cultivation but because the earth sent them up of its own accord. For the most part they would feed outdoors, naked and without bedding; for the blend of the seasons was without painful extremes, and they had soft beds from abundant grass that sprang from the earth. What I describe, then, Socrates, is the life of those who lived in the time Kronos . . . Well then, if, with so much leisure available to them, and so much possibility of their being able to get together in conversation not only with human beings but also with animals – . . . to do philosophy, talking both with animals and with each other, and inquiring from all kinds of creatures whether any one of them had some capacity of its own that enabled it to see better in some way than the rest with respect to the gathering together of wisdom, the judgement is easy, that those who lived then were far, far more fortunate than those who live now. (Statesman, 271c-272c)

. . . the Elysian plain at the world’s end, . . .  where living is made easiest for mankind, where no snow falls, no strong winds blow and there is never any rain, but day after day the West Wind’s tuneful breeze comes in from Ocean to refresh its folk. (Homer, Odyssey IV, 563-569)

The gods, who live on Mount Olympus, first Fashioned a golden race of mortal men; These lived in the reign of Kronos, king of heaven. And like the gods they lived with happy hearts untouched by work or sorrow. Vile old age never appeared, but always lively-limbed, far from all ills, they feasted happily. Death came to them as sleep, and all good things were theirs; ungrudgingly, the fertile land gave up her fruits unasked. Happy to be at peace, they lived with every want supplied, (Hesiod, Works and Days, 110-120)

But with nights equal forever, with sun equal in their days, the good men have life without labor . . . . Beside the high gods they who had joy in keeping faith lead a life without tears. . . . . But they who endure thrice over in the world beyond to keep their souls from all sin have gone God’s way to the tower of Kronos; there winds sweep from the Ocean across the Island of the Blessed. Gold flowers to flame on land in the glory of trees; it is fed in the water, whence they bind bracelets to their arms and go chapleted . . . (Pindar, Olympian Ode 2)


* I have added, rightly or wrongly, to Russell Gmirkin’s notes of comparisons Plato’s suggestion that the impulse for conversation between humans and animals was “the getting of wisdom.” For another interpretation of Plato’s influence on the Genesis temptation narrative see The Temptation in the previous post.

(There is one other detail that I might develop later: Gmirkin explains certain contradictions in Genesis 1-2 as the consequence of different authors being responsible for different sections, so that the scientific portion of Genesis 1 had one author while the myth of Adam and Eve another. That may be so, but I also note that Plato himself is not consistent and while at one place he speaks of an idyllic age without need for technology and other time he describes technologies in that ideal world of the past. He didn’t seem to worry if he told a different version when a different purpose for the story was called for. Plato could also write both highly technical “scientific” discourses as well as dramatic and colourful myths within the one work.)

Gmirkin, Russell E. Plato’s Timaeus and the Biblical Creation Accounts: Cosmic Monotheism and Terrestrial Polytheism in the Primordial History. Abingdon, Oxon New York, NY: Routledge, 2022.

Plato. Timaeus and Critias. Translated by Robin Waterfield. OUP Oxford, 2008.
Plato. Phaedo. Translated by David Gallop. Clarendon Press, 1977.
Plato: Statesman. Translated by C. J. Rowe. First published 1995, Reprinted with corrections 2005. Warminster, England: Liverpool University Press, 1995.

Hesiod. Theogony ; Works and Days. Translated by Dorothea Wender. Harmondsworth : Penguin, 1973.
Homer. The Odyssey. Translated by E.V Rieu. Ringwood, Vic.: Penguin Books, 1946.
Pindar. The Odes Of Pindar. Translated by Richmond Lattimore. The University of Chicago Press, 1947.



The Best Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus (as good as an argument for the lost civilization of Atlantis)

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by Neil Godfrey

A map showing the supposed extent of the Atlan...
Atlantean empire: Image via Wikipedia

As a contributor to The Resurrection of Jesus William Lane Craig attempts to tidy up some looseness in the arguments for the resurrection of Jesus made by N. T. Wright in his voluminous opus, The Resurrection of the Son of God.

I quote here Craig’s recasting of Wright’s argument in a “more perspicuous” structure. He precedes his recasting with this:

[A]ttempts to explain the empty tomb and postmortem appearances apart from the resurrection of Jesus are hopeless. That is precisely why skeptics like Crossan have to row against the current of scholarship in denying facts like the burial and empty tomb. Once these are admitted, no plausible naturalistic explanation of the facts can be given.

He then presents the freshly polished argument: Continue reading “The Best Argument for the Resurrection of Jesus (as good as an argument for the lost civilization of Atlantis)”


Gospel myth – Atlantis myth: Two “Noble Lies”

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by Neil Godfrey

Okay, I’m sure there will be a few differences if I stop to think seriously about it, but I have just read the introduction in Benjamin Jowett’s Critias by Plato in which are cited the reasons Plato’s lies have managed to convince so many people of the historical truth of the myth of Atlantis. And hoo boy, how can anyone fail to notice certain echoes of the arguments used — even by professional scholars! — to argue for the historicity, and even the contemporary sophistication, of the gospels?

He begins:

No one knew better than Plato how to invent ‘a noble lie’.

I skip here the earlier discussion found in the companion treatise, Timaeus, in which Plato’s character Socrates explains the necessity for a myth or lie such as that of Atlantis. So here are the ten reasons Jowett cites for why so many generations have fallen into the trap of thinking the tale of Atlantis was based on something historical. I add a few remarks to draw attention here and there to their similarity to arguments even biblical scholars (not only fundamentalist lay people) have advanced to justify acceptance of the Gospels themselves as reflecting some genuine historical reality. Continue reading “Gospel myth – Atlantis myth: Two “Noble Lies””


Atlantis — another 21st! century myth

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by Neil Godfrey

This is a temporary break from themes biblical….

It’s damn depressing to see in this 21st century first world country so many university educated peers actually believing in past lives, the literal text of the bible, spirits, ‘mystical healings’ too bizarre and embarrassing to describe, various mantras and ‘dream catchers’ and silly myths like Atlantis.

I once actually took the time to write a partial rebuttal of a well-known book (at least well-known among Atlantis believers) by W. Scott-Elliot, titled “The Story of Atlantis“, in a very faint hope of somehow ‘redeeming’ a work colleague of mine who could see no reason to doubt the story.

I’m half-pleased to say that I think this piece, along with similar pieces I wrote critiquing nonsense like auras and Noah’s flood, did have a positive impact — although only for a year or so. So I finally decided the truth of the proverb that says:

those convinced against their will are of the same opinion still.

Nevertheless, knowing that most sensible clear thinking people will not bother to take the time of day to write anything so futile? as a critique of the myth of Atlantis, for those who might appreciate stumbling across one piece of ammo to throw at other misguided innocents, here is what I wrote about one aspect of Scott-Elliot’s book some years ago:

Testimony of Ancient Writers

Aelian belonged to the second century CE and wrote many credulous and fabulous tales in an age of gullibility. (People believed in phoenix birds being resurrected every few hundred years; in natural springs of wine; in islands that floated like boats; in real virgin births (not just Christians); in gods walking around among them in disguise; in spirit worlds above the clouds and beyond the stars, just a few hundred metres away; in giant men and turtles carrying the earth,….) Aelian believed that beavers knew they were hunted for their testicles so they when hunted they would bite off those testicles and throw them into the path of the hunters; but if hunters despite this trick continued to chase them they would stand up on their hind legs facing the hunters to show they had no longer had their testicles so the hunters would leave them alone. He wrote gullibly to entertain the gullible and compiled tales of the fabulous to tittilate his audience.

Scott-Elliot writes: “Aelian … states that Theopompus (400 B.C.) recorded an interview between the King of Phyrgia and Silenus ….” This is contextualized by preceding the passage with words like “testimony” and “evidence”. What is not immediately clear from Scott-Elliot’s “newsbite” is that the characters are all mythological. Silenus is, in fact, the name of a satyr! Yet Scott-Elliot presents an image of a serious interview between a king and a wise man by a court recorder as matter-of-factly as if it were a piece of surviving historical “evidence”!

What Aelian narrated was that the mythical Midas had his shepherds pour wine into a river so the grand Satyr who taught the god Dionysus would fall asleep after he had drunk from it. Once asleep he was captured by Midas’ shepherds and forced to reveal divine secrets to the king. The sorts of secrets he revealed:

1. In a far away land there are 2 types of trees on either side of a river, and if a traveller eats of one of those types, he will begin to grow younger. From that day on he will age in reverse until he finally becomes a little baby and then eventually vanishes altogether.

2. Another was how he (Silenus) and his divine pupil Dionysus, the god of wine and lust who was followed everywhere by lots of lesser satyrs, had just returned from showing people far off how to cultivate grapes and make wine.

3. Another was of a vast mythical land beyond Oceanus (not “Atlantis” as Scott-Elliot writes.)

4. And yet another, of course, was how he would allow Midas to ask to be granted any wish for releasing him… which led to the famous story of all he touched turning to gold.

There is no more obvious reason to believe any of these tales than there is to believe in the existence of satyrs, or that beavers bite off their testicles and throw them at chasing hunters, or any of the other myths told about Dionysus, satyrs or mythical kings.

The second ancient writer Scott-Elliot lists is Proclus. Proclus wrote in the second century CE and was a commentator on Plato. Since Scott-Elliot later lists Plato as another source it is wrong to cite Proclus to sound like an independently supporting witness. Proclus wrote about what Plato wrote.

Diodorus Siculus’ reference can more justifiably be seen as a reference to Britain or the Canary Islands. The Coast of Africa was adjacent to Spain, both bordering the “Pillars of Hercules” (Strait of Gibraltar) and was the main territory of a Phoenician kingdom. It would be a mistake to assume that ancient sailors, even the Phoenicians, passed on an accurate size or shape or even number of land masses in those times. We need only observe some of the bizarre distortions of islands and land areas in ancient maps to appreciate the difficulties, misconceptions and ignorance that bedevilled ancient geographers. It is not hard to imagine how the idea of a large land mass “a few days” west could have emerged in the consciousness of sailors used to hugging the coasts as they sailed and who may have been swept out away from their African journey, making various sightings of what were in fact the somewhat sizeable Canary Islands before their return.

Plato frequently created his own myths to illustrate his views of human nature and the world. Two of his most famous literary creations are his Cave and Republic. Just because Plato said his story of Atlantis was “true” does not necessarily make it so. The literary context of this claim must be assessed. We know even today of many tales that begin with an assertion of their truth yet where our cultural background makes it clear to us that such a claim is made only for dramatic effect. Similarly there are many examples of ancient writers clearly writing fiction but who employ many techniques to make their tales sound true and convincing. One of the literary techniques used was to create scenes with masses of incidental details to give an aura of eyewitness recollections and veracity. Homer’s epics are the most famous of early examples of this. If detail and colour were evidence of eyewitness testimony then we would have to believe in magical caves of nymphs, and in the truth of the minutiae of the hundreds of soldiers and ships of each of the named scores of kings who led them to Troy, in the reality of the graphically portrayed Hades complete with its list of who’s who seen among its hapless ghosts, and in the various specifically dilineated layers of astral orbits surrounding the earth.

Atlantis was a sort of Utopia myth created by Plato and its “truth” lay in the fact that he was creating it to warn his fellow Athenians of the dangers of pride and evil ways no matter how great they had been. And he created it with such elaborate detail with so many literary subtle assurances of its truth to add to its impact that it is as memorable and believable like any good story. In such a creation he was no different from those who created so many other ancient mythical tales. And no doubt many ancients did take his story as true, just as they took stories of testicle tossing beavers as true. It was a gullible age. Magicians could literally float through the air, dogs and horses could speak to humans, and living creatures could spontaneously emerge out of thin air. They knew such things were true because they had always heard them from someone who heard them from someone they could trust.

Distribution of Flora and Fauna

Similarities across continents has many explanations. Australia and South America have strange birds and animals with odd similarities. One might postulate a lost continent once joining them. Or one might accept the evidence for continental drift and fossil and genetic evidence that leads to understanding that Australia and South America were once joined to what is now the Antarctic and the flora and fauna that was known to this land mass followed variant natural adaptations after the land masses separated.

Deep-Sea Soundings

Scott-Elliot notes that the depth of the “Atlantis continent” is 100 to several 100 fathoms underwater now. That such a land mass was at any time in the history of humans above sea level is simply incredible and on a par with the Creationist belief in a literal Noachian flood. The New England Skeptical Society have written the following:

From a geophysical point of view, islands don’t just “sink” of their own accord, overnight or even over a few days, years or centuries. Being less dense than the crust and the interior of the Earth, the continental masses just float on the denser material. Rising sea levels may flood parts of continents, but the levels of continents themselves vis-a-vis the Earth’s solid crust change little or not at all. Even if the seas had risen high enough to inundate Atlantis, all of its continental landmass would still be visible underwater.

Scott-Elliot’s method

The method of Scott-Elliot is to interpret scientific debate over certain questions at the time (1896) as meaning such things were a “mystery” or “unfathonable”, and that his theory of Atlantis would give a neat answer to “the question”. Such a method of logic is invalid. Firstly, this greatly misrepresents what scientists do know about such questions and misunderstands (or is ignorant of) what the scientific debates are actually about and what they really do concede and understand. Scientific debate is what advances and refines scientific understanding. Secondly, to simply postulate an idea and say it answers pretty much everything means nothing. Ideas, theories, must be tested and therefore they must be testable. Otherwise they have no more validity than saying that God or Satan or aliens or gremlins did it or the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause are real. If they are untestable assertions they are really matters of faith, not evidence.

Scott-Elliot for most part appears to be summarizing secondary sources and is often vague on details that would enable a reader to check these and trace back to the original documents. This is odd. If one wishes to persuade and one has specific verifiable citations or evidence that clearly clinched his case (not secondary assertions or imprecise generalized statements) then one would surely present them.

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