September 22, 2010

Wind could have parted Red Sea for Moses: study

by Brian Turner

A study of Nile delta waterways has suggested that it would have been quite possible for the Red Sea to part in a way similar to the manner described in Exodus.

The study is part of a larger investigation of the effect of winds on water depths, by the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

According to computer simulations, it is possible that a constant wind speed of 63mph could have been enough to push back shallower waters in the Red Sea, exposing mud flats, which could have been crossed.

The researchers show that a strong east wind, blowing overnight, could have pushed water back at a bend where an ancient river is believed to have merged with a coastal lagoon.

Once the winds died down, the waters would have come back together, drowning anyone still crossing.

The study lends some credance to the account in Exodus, when through a miracle, Moses was able to lead the Isrealites across the Red Sea, only for persuing Egyptian armies to drown when they tried to follow later.

However, convincing as the study appears to be, it does beg the question of why such an event as the Red Sea parting has apparently not been periodically reported in the thousands of years since.

Additionally, some Christians are especially lilkely to frown upon the attempt to provide rational scientific explanations of religious phenomena. citing that miracles remain the sole provenance of God, and by their nature, are abve the natural order of things.

The original study can be found here: Plos One.

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