Originally posted by RJHinds
These distorted stories seems to me like more proof it did happen, regardless of the supposed dates of the stories.
That is because you have no concept of what the words 'evidence' or 'proof' actually mean.
First due to the problem of hard solipsism (the how can you tell if you're in the matrix problem)
there is no such thing as absolute 100% proof of anything outside of logic and mathematics.
If you are discussing anything about the world/reality we live in you must accept that there is
at least a possibility that it's an illusion and that it might not be anything like we observe it to be.
Proof is thus extremely strong evidence that pushes the likelihood of being wrong below the threshold
of reasonable doubt.
For physics we have put a number on it (the 5 sigma certainty level needed for a discovery).
However the level of certainty required for a claim will be dependent on the claim being made.
So proof is very strong evidence.... So what is evidence?
Evidence is a fact/observation that alters the likelihood of an explanation/hypothesis one way or
something thus increases the likelihood of an explanation relative to alternative explanations
something thus reduces the likelihood of an explanation relative to alternative explanations
The "relative to alternative explanations"
part is important.
In this instance we have (basically) two competing hypotheses...
Hypothesis 1, [H1]
is that there was a massive worldwide flood in recorded history (the last 4~5k years)
Hypothesis 2, [H2]
is that there have been many smaller localized floods but no massive global drowning.
The posited 'evidence' is that there are 'flood myths' in many different cultures and civilizations throughout the world.
You seem to think that this constitutes evidence/proof that the flood did happen.
This is because you think that if there was a global flood and that everyone alive today is descended from the few who survived it
that there would be many flood myths in civilizations around the world.
And you might be right in that expectation (although I would expect them to be more similar and less 'distorted' under your hypothesis [H1]).
But what you are missing in claiming this as evidence for your hypothesis [H1] is that you would also expect to see flood myths in
civilizations around the world under the alternative hypothesis [H2] as well.
Hypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2 predict that there would be civilizations around the world with flood myths.
Thus the fact that there are flood myths around the world is not evidence of or proof of either hypothesis as both predict the same thing.
To tell them apart you need something that the two hypothesis disagree on.
You need to find an observation that would be different under one hypothesis than it would be under the other.
THEN you have something that differentiates the two hypothesis.
As both hypotheses predict that there would be flood myths around the world, the fact that such flood myths exist is not evidence
for or against either hypothesis.
Now I personally would refine that to say that your hypothesis [H1] would predict a greater similarity between myths than is observed
which is evidence FOR [H2] as the observation matches the predictions of [H2] better than [H1].
So.... Do you now understand that evidence or proof of a hypothesis must be and observation/fact only or best explained/predicted by
that hypothesis and not it's competitors?
And that any observation/fact that is explained/predicted equally by the competing hypothesis does nothing to distinguish between them
and is thus not evidence or proof of either/any of them?