no, no the dead sea scrolls do not ‘confirm’ the discoveries of the hubble telescope

Contrary to the claims of the above author, the Dead Sea Scrolls have nothing to do with the Hubble Telescope.

Dilly Award Nominee!

In what is nothing more than cheap, sensationalistic, and deliberately misleading press designed to promote a ridiculous, pseudoscientific, Intelligent Design theory about the relationship between the Hubble Telescope and the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Christian Newswire (“the nation’s leading distributor of religious press releases”) released this tripe.

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 14, 2012 – An amazing passage concerning the universe recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls has been confirmed by the Hubble Telescope, according to a new book being released at New York City’s BookExpo America this summer.

My head is about to explode.

First, amateur wannabe stargazer theologian archaeologist “entrepreneur” J. Paul Hutchins has written a book in which he claims, “Hubble Reveals Creation by an Awe-Inspiring Power.” No, no it doesn’t. The Hubble telescope reveals to us how incredibly old the universe actually is. But that doesn’t stop Hutchins from asking deep, probing questions like, “How did Isaiah know about this unimaginable power without the aid of a space telescope thousands of years before Hubble revealed it?”

You see how this works? Hubble must confirm Isaiah because Hutchins asked the question! Case closed.

Of course, this kind of ‘discovery’ cannot remain unannounced to the world, for there is money to be made. Thus, Hutchins makes statements like:

After researching the images and data from the Hubble and Spritzer space telescopes, collected since their launch, Hutchins was compelled to write about the universe as a product of intelligent design, fueled by superior imagination.

And what are his theological, archaeological, palaeographical, or astronomy credentials you might ask?

A patented inventor and amateur astronomer, he began to notice the role imagination played in every major discovery in man’s history…Hutchins has been a businessman and entrepreneur for more than three decades, and has owned five companies. He is a recipient of the Lee County Community Development Award and has been a disaster relief volunteer. The parents of three adult daughters, Hutchins and his wife currently reside in Orlando, FL.

Then, to compound the stupidity and add to the ‘scientific credibility’ of his ‘discovery,’ Hutchins invokes the Dead Sea Scrolls. How does he do this you ask? Here‘s how:

An amazing passage concerning the universe recorded in the Dead Sea Scrolls has been confirmed by the Hubble Telescope.

And the verse is question?

“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. “Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army, one after another, calling each by its name. Because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing.” – Isaiah 40:25, 26

That’s right. Why simply claim that the Hubble telescope ‘confirms’ a biblical verse of prophecy in Isaiah when you can invoke that same text of Isaiah 40:25-26 found in 1QIsaa and 4Q56 f26:4 (4QIsab) among the Dead Sea Scrolls? See, now it’s not the Bible that ‘confirms’ Hutchins’ theory, it’s the Scrolls.

This is how to abuse science for the sake of selling a pseudoscientific book. (And it reminds me of someone. I can’t quite place it, but it reminds me of someone…)

This is nothing more than yet another example of a guy with a stupid idea, who writes it on paper in an attempt to sell it to someone, and surrounds it with talk about unrelated scientific discoveries (the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Hubble Telescope) in the desperate hope that people will not realize the non sequitur and think that his idea has been ‘confirmed’ by science.

I shake my head…

33 Responses

  1. Prof Cargill Presuming that you believe in God – how could a universe
    be UNintelligently designed ?????

  2. Dr. Cargill,

    Now you have me curious.

    What do you think of this blog column?

    “The Sign of the Son of Man”

    I’d like to think that my toes are still on the right side of the lines of logic. ;)

  3. hi lee :)

    do you have an appendix? does your laryngeal nerve wrap around your heart? do men have nipples?

    we impose the concept of ‘design’ upon the universe. the universe happened and unfolded according to the physical laws of the universe. it was not ‘designed,’ especially by an ‘intelligent’ designer. otherwise, we wouldn’t have blind spots in our eyes. if it is ‘designed,’ then it wasn’t done intelligently.

    i’m much more comfortable with a god who set it all in motion – a god who allowed the universe to unfold according to its inherent physical laws and constraints, and who allowed for mistakes and corrections over time. for if a god is responsible for this ‘design,’ we have a problem.

    please visit the exploring our matrix blog, specifically this link, for updates and critiques of id.

  4. Nonsense, Dr. Cargill. In my opinion, this not only proves a connection between the Dead Sea Scrolls and ancient astronomy, but also that the Phaistos Disc is really a message left behind by extraterrestrial Gallo-Persian Jerts from Atlantis telling us precisely how to decipher Linear A. There is undoubtedly flower pollen somewhere on the disc that will prove this hypothesis.

  5. and let’s PLEASE not miss the point of my post: whatever one’s thoughts on the existence of god and the extent of his responsibility for the existence of the universe, THIS claim – that the Hubble Telescope confirms claims of the DSS – contributes nothing to it!

  6. It was a joke…. (Though I’ve heard crazier stories)

  7. Prof Cargill – surely the laws of the universe need a lawmaker ??

  8. Even if he is just out to make money, and even if he could have cited Isaiah instead of the DSS, it seems like he could still say that Hubble has confirmed that only a god of great power could have, as you put it, “set it all in motion.” From the portions that you quote, it seems like his primary argument is that Hubble reveals an “Awe-Inspiring Power,” which seems pretty reasonable, even from a Deist’s perspective.

  9. […] marriage equality February 14, 2012 Ann Fontainesomething's amiss here February 14, 2012 Rafaelno, no the dead sea scrolls do not ‘confirm’ the discoveries of the hubble telescope February 14, 2012 bobcargillChurch of the Holy Sepuchre in 3D February 11, 2012 Jeffrey GarcíaThe […]

  10. Justin Martyr trusted the oral accounts more than the written word. Has Fox News broadcast a video clip yet?

  11. Henry’s joke was along the lines of “fighting absurdity with absurdity”, ala the style of Rush Limbaugh.

    Here is another example of fighting absurdity with absurdity. It appears to be from the early 1970s. Enjoy!

    (Warning: Move all loose objects out of reach before watching!)

  12. @lee, which is the cosmological argument of a prime mover, but NOT of an intelligent designer.
    and it is this cosmological argument that keeps many agnostic deists from being atheists…

  13. Moses asked God to reveal His name — which, by its nature, describes Him. As you know, the answer was “I AM”.

    A reading of the Book of Job reveals the work of an intelligent designer, and not merely a “prime mover”. A prime mover would not have asked Job if he had considered the horse, “the magnificent animal”, and then listed all of the horse’s appealing attributes. (“His neck is clothed with thunder.” “He snorts, and runs into the battle” etc.)

    A prime mover would’ve, instead, merely asked Job, “Hey, isn’t it pretty nifty that I created an amoeba and it somehow became a horse?”

    If we were smart enough to totally figure out God, then we would “become like the Most High God” (from the rant of Satan, in the 14th chapter of Isaiah). I’ve accomplished a lot of things, but am still quite willing to bow and admit that “His ways are above our ways; His thoughts higher than our thoughts.” For all we know, those blind spots might be there for a reason that won’t be understood until we receive glorified bodies after the Rapture.

    The beautiful and awesome things that the Hubble telescope reveals could only have been made by an elegant and awesome God.


    On a side note, I used to be a security guard at the plant where the mirrors for the Hubble were made. Without those custom-made mirrors (each almost the size of a car hood, and as thick as “the old family Bible”), then the Hubble would’ve been much less capable.

  14. Religion is the worst thing that’s ever happened to the world.

  15. Even a “prime” moving universe creator who is Unintelligent must be a contradiction in terms. Since the human race cannot create one
    atom the “prime mover” must be incrediibily more intelligent than all the human race. Since the one true God will not accept people who dont believe –
    “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Therefore being an agnostic deist does not
    hold hope.

  16. Mr. Cargill,
    I’m sorry that my article on Hubble’s Discoveries and the Divine truth that Isaiah wrote provoked such hatred for the Creator of the universe in you. While you may be able to sling mud at me to draw attention to yourself, you can’t deny the profound truth behind Isaiah’s words.
    You also can’t deny the fact that Hubble has revealed energy that is exhibited in the universe in proportions beyond human comprehension, confirming what Isaiah wrote. If you deny that then I would call into question your intelligence.

  17. @lee, i disagree. hope in what? you argue that one must believe in god to please him. and that god will reward one who seeks his existence? how?
    we were having a discussion about the possibility of an otherworldly being responsible for the origin of the universe, but now you seem to be talking about pleasing him and having to believe in him for him to be happy.
    how did you get there from a cosmic prime mover?

  18. Paul,

    Thank you for your comments. You make a false assumption in your comments: that I hate the Creator. Nonsense. You have no evidence for this, just like you have no evidence for your claim regarding the DSS. Just because I question your use of science does not mean that I hate anyone.

    Isaiah 40:25-26 says: “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” These are the words of someone staring at the amazement of the stars of the sky. People have been doing this for thousands of years and have never needed a telescope to do it.

    My question to you is: what did Hubble ‘confirm’? That the universe is amazing? Is it not amazing laying on a dark night staring at the stars? Sure, it’s more amazing to see more stars, but how does that ‘confirm’ the poetic verses of Isaiah?

    What’s more, what do the DSS have to do with anything? Seriously. You seem to be invoking them just to invoke them. You are not quoting a sectarian manuscript that says something we didn’t know or couldn’t understand, you just appealed to an old copy of a biblical manuscript. Hubble confirmed nothing more than the fact that the universe is amazing. We don’t need the DSS to tell us that.

    You seem to be implying that anything we can’t comprehend must be ‘of God.’ But then, when Hubble took pictures of it, we realized that the universe kept going, and we could document it, thereby taking another step toward comprehending it. And we could begin to map the universe and understand it even better. So what is you point? What have you ‘confirmed’ other than that the universe is big and limitless (qualities that actually defy many of the texts of the Bible).

    You are going to ‘call into question my intelligence’ for asking you what Hubble ‘confirmed?” You say, “You also can’t deny the fact that Hubble has revealed energy that is exhibited in the universe in proportions beyond human comprehension,” and then claim somehow that that ‘confirms’ what Isaiah wrote. But where in Isaiah 40:26 does Isaiah speak of a power ‘beyond human comprehension?’ And, Isaiah claims that ‘not one of them is missing,’ but we now know that stars are continually created and collapsing (disappearing) all the time. And Hubble confirms this in direct contradiction of Isaiah’s claim that ‘not one of them is missing.’

    I’ll say it again: your so-called ‘claim’ is vague, and if Hubble has done anything, it has contradicted Isaiah’s words. All that we know is that the universe is awesome, but we didn’t need Hubble to tell us that, just a warm night with no moon. :)

    And none of that has anything whatsoever to do with the Dead Sea Scrolls. Nothing.

    So question all the intelligence of others you want. But if you’re going to invoke the fulfillment of biblical prophecy and the Dead Sea Scrolls, it’s probably best to check with someone who studies them first.


  19. Bob,
    For you to verbally attack me and post my photo on your blog when you don’t know me, I figured you must be expressing anger toward someone.

    I don’t get why you find what I said so difficult to understand. Isaiah wrote about the Creator of the Universe saying that there is no one who can be compared in power to the one who created all the stars. He said that his power was incomparable, and there was no equal to him. What does incomparable mean to you?

    Isaiah had no science or telescopes to tell him how much energy was exhibited in the night sky beyond the few thousand stars he could see, yet he spoke of the one responsible for them as incomparable in power. My statement “Hubble Telescope Confirms Dead Sea Scrolls” is a statement of the facts. Hubble’s discoveries do in fact confirm what Isaiah wrote, and confirms that the power behind the universe is not only incomparable, but incomprehensible.

    How do you wrap your head around the energy emitted by 70 sextillion stars? Where do you think the energy that powers all those stars comes from? If you can’t see through common sense, the truth in Isaiah’s words, words that are in fact confirmed by Hubble, then I don’t think you will ever come to grips with this fact; for there to be universal laws, and laws of thermal dynamics, there must be a law maker.

    Without law chaos rules, and that’s not what we see in the universe. The sun comes up every day, don’t you think someone put that law into place for our benefit, it wasn’t just an accident.

    I’m not here to tell you what to believe, my book is based on four years of diligent research into Hubble’s findings according NASA’s scientists, and what I found is what I expressed in my press release because that’s the way I see it.

    Isaiah wrote a profound statement, given that he did not have access to the scientific knowledge we have today, and what I’m saying is that Hubble has confirmed the existence of the incomparable power he wrote about, and that is a fact that can’t be denied.

  20. Isaiah is not the only scripture that reveals knowledge of the universe
    there are the psalms and Job and many more.

    Your prime mover – is he a concious being – does he make mistakes -does he know that Bob exists – was the world an accident ? Does he know how to create matter out of nothing ? Surely if he does then he is unfathomably intelligent and powerful.

    All the stars have to be there due to the constants necessary to balance the universe.

  21. Reblogged this on Zwinglius Redivivus and commented:
    Yup, A real Dilly indeed!

  22. Funny how a Being that supposedly created the entire universe can be so easily defined by men like J Paul Hutchins. Does Hutchins not realize the more he writes his assumptions about the unknown the more he sounds like a loon?

    God cannot be defined. God did not write the Bible. Get over it.

  23. Dr Coghill I greatly admire your belief in logic to combat religiously inspired illogic, but, in the face of so many of the responses here that say, in effect, “So, what’s your point?” I think your energy, your optimism, and your persistent belief in the intelligence and sincerity of your fellow man are even more admirable. Bless you.

    I only recently found your blog when I wrote you about the dates for your Dead Sea lectures at a local (Iowa City) synagogue. I called the synagogue and found that I had missed the first, have a conflict for the second (this Friday) and may have to miss the third as well. Is there any chance that your lectures can be obtained for reading? Have you written a book that covers the breadth of the subject of your lectures?

  24. God says he did write the Bible and Jesus is the word (bible) made flesh. God is your “prime mover” in the writing of the bible. He knows the end before the beginning even your website and innermost thoughts and motives.

  25. Oscar,

    I’ll be teaching a course on the Dead Sea Scrolls in the Fall 2012 semester at the U of Iowa. You are welcome to audit the course.


    Bob Cargill

  26. Bob what’s the point of all this knowledge on the scrolls if you don’t believe it. “All is vanity”.

  27. Dear Profesor Cargill:

    Thank you. I’ll be there.


  28. The notion Hubble confirms the DSS is an Argument From Stuff:

    Look out the window, see all that neat stuff ? Pretty kewl, huh ?…Therefore God.

    ID is fine as a matter of faith; as a matter of science, it’s bunk.


  29. amen and amen

  30. what? that’s like asking what’s the point of all studying shakespeare if you don’t believe it. or watching star wars if you don’t believe it’s true.
    this guy is stating the dead sea scrolls (not isaiah, mind you, but the dss) say there are lots of stars and that it’s really cool. hubble telescope proves there are lots of stars, therefore the dss are ‘true’.
    it’s silly.
    and it’s part of a liberal arts education to study things outside of what ‘you believe’. if you only studied things ‘you believed’, your knowledge would be very limited and you couldn’t prove any of it. the result would be a fool spouting off unverifiable claims, confusing obvious observations with ‘proof’, and denying anything he didn’t ‘believe’.
    which actually tells us a lot about the present scenario…

  31. The point I was making is that many people (including me) regard the dead sea scrolls as proof that Isaiah’s prophecies on the Christ were written long before the appearing of the Messiah Jesus. If you come to the conclusion that the scriptures are just mythical tales why would you
    have an interest in this any more than say tales about king arthur etc.
    – assuming you are a Christian of course.

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