Do you have evidence, tbright?
Here's a start.
Much of the archeaological evidence on this site relates to the Ebla Tablets (among other things), and it is a testament to the usual brand of Theistic scholarship that these tablets have been, over the last two decades, almost throughly debunked as having any relationship to biblical historicity. A good summary is on wikipedia:
"The application of the Ebla texts to specific places or people in the Bible occasioned controversy, focused on whether the tablets made references to, and thus confirmed, the existence of Abraham, David and Sodom and Gomorrah among other Biblical references. The sensationalist claims were coupled with delays in the publication of the complete texts, and it soon became an unprecedented academic crisis. The political context of the modern Arab–Israeli conflict also added fire to the debate, turning it into a debate about the "proof" for Zionist claims to Palestine. Among the most notable claims were that the attested presence of "y?" in Eblaite names was a supposed form of Yahweh; the election of local kings, claimed to be uniquely reminiscent of practices in early Israel; – and a mythological introduction to a hymn to the creator deity at Ebla, said to be akin to the account of creation in Genesis. However, much of the initial media excitement about supposed Eblaite connections with the Bible, based on preliminary guesses and speculations by Pettinato and others, is now widely deplored as generated by "exceptional and unsubstantiated claims" and "great amounts of disinformation that leaked to the public". The present consensus is that Ebla's role in biblical archaeology, strictly speaking, is minimal."
Unfortunately, Theists almost never reevaluate evidence. While the archaeological community has debunked biblical historicity, and moved on to the real relevance of the find, theists like yourself point to articles from '95 and say they're valid.
I didn't bother going much deeper after seeing this particular bit of nonsense. If this bit of bad scholarship is being waved as 'good', why should I trust the rest of the data?
This is the same tired series of creationist weaslings that have been thoroughly smashed a dozen times. Nonsense like this:
"There is much evidence against biological macroevolution. Some of Darwin’s evidence used to support evolution is now refuted because of more modern scientific evidence. One fact is that body parts or entities could not have evolved gradually. Michael Behe discovered that cells were irreducibly complex. They needed every single chemical and part to function. Consequently, they could not have gradually evolved. Another evidence was the complete lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. "
is not convincing. Behe has been thoroughly abused by the rest of the scientific community, and Irreducible Complexity has yet to show a single thing that is truly irreducibly complex.. or even a single piece of compelling research that would offer any sort of useful invalidation of evolution. On the other hand, evolutionary biology has given you (among thousands of other things, and just to name one real bit of tangible utility).. oh, a dozen new antibiotics in the last twenty years.
Why should I listen to your bankrupt, thoroughly discredited science over that which is producing usable research? Where is your comparable set of data, utility, or even decent theory?
.... a PC hardware forum? Seriously? This is what you call 'evidence'? Did you Poe out on us, Tbright, and I just didn't notice?
Az did a good job on this one, but let's emphasize just the first point: if five different cultures each have a flood story, each with different data, and each with continuations of their own culture following the story, wouldn't this imply that not a single one of them experienced an event where they had a single pair of human beings left alive? After all - why weren't they all named Noah? Why did the Greeks persist in polytheism?
Could it be, that, perhaps, it's a shared regional mythology - sort of like Johnny Appleseed or Babe the Blue Ox here in the US?
... and not a single piece of extrabiblical evidence is presented. So I should also believe that Gandalf returned from the dead, became Gandalf the White, and was instrumental in saving all of mankind from Sauron?
There is precisely the same evidence for both!
Do you actually read these articles? From this one:
"But Mike Pitt, a British archaeologist, said the evangelical explorers had yet to produce compelling evidence.
He added: 'If there had been a flood capable of lifting a huge ship 4km up the side of a mountain 4,800 years ago, I think there would be substantial geological evidence for this flood around the world. And there isn't.'
Nicholas Purcell, a lecturer in ancient history at Oxford University, said the claims were the 'usual nonsense'. He added: 'If floodwaters covered Eurasia 12,000ft deep in 2,800BC, how did the complex societies of Egypt and Mesopotamia, already many centuries old, keep right on regardless?'"
Every single one of these notions that you see has been thoroughly addressed in another medium. I encourage you to read something other than apologetic literature - I certainly cannot debunk several thousand words of so-called proof that you've offered in this link alone by a forum post. I can, however, say that John Loftus's book Debunking Christianity
might be a good start for you.
The problem with this and other statements of proof like it can be summed up with this idea:
One of my favorite authors is Jim Butcher, who writes a supernatural detective series known as "The Dresden Files". He writes detailed descriptions of places, distances, and locations around the city of Chicago - they're all consistent, even down to the name of the T.Rex at the natural history museum ("Sue"). Should I then assume Harry Dresden is a real person doing real magic?
You do realize that you were the reason that I joined this forum in the first place, right? When I was still questioning whether I'd become an atheist, when I was hanging on to the last tatters of my commitment (though my faith had been damaged long ago), I saw your debate here and thought I'd jump in, and try to ask you some of the hard questions that had been plaguing me. You see, I figured that since you were fairly literate, fairly accomodating (or so it seemed to me at the time) and basically holding your own in the debate, you'd be able to help answer those.. well.. questions.
Instead, you ran off. Now that you've returned, I've honestly hoped for a reengagement. I've hoped that perhaps you've come up with answers - I know I've learned a great deal, and read a lot more. I've even been to a local bible study where the participants know I'm an atheist, and we all get along well (and the debates are lively!). Since I last conversed with you here, I've read perhaps.. oh. Let's see... twenty or so books on the subject, and countless webpages - from BOTH sides of the apologetic fence, not to mention discussions here.
Are the links above really the best you've got? Is this the apologetic I've been waiting for for over a year? Is this the wisdom you had to offer when you were here the first time?