Thursday, 24 July 2008

Is the Bible true? Scientists say ‘amen’

Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have released the findings of an extraordinary study into literary truthfulness. Using a groundbreaking piece of textual-diagnostic software, Dr. Sara Hauffman and Dr. Hisham Klein have assessed the factual content of more than 1000 documents, including religious texts, poetry and technical writing. Their results show that the content of the Bible is 91% accurate, with the individual Testaments scoring 80% (OT) and 94% (NT) respectively. The equivalent holy books of the other Abrahamic religions also fared well, with the Tanakh scoring 74% and the Qur’an 68%.

At a heavily attended press conference yesterday, Dr. Klein spoke modestly about the team’s achievements, attempting to downplay the significance of the study. “Our findings are certainly interesting,” he said, “and I hope that they constitute a legitimate contribution to mankind. However, I urge people not to read too much into this study. We must all try to interpret its meaning for ourselves.”

Subsequent statements from other parties have been more dramatic, with Christian leaders taking the opportunity to attack the secular values of the Western world. Pope Benedict XVI described the revelation as “a divine mandate for Christians to redouble their efforts in realising the world that God demands.” He called for an immediate reappraisal of political and social structures, with the aim of “ending the division of Church and State that has blighted our culture for so long.”

Other organisations have been even more forthright. “What we are seeing now,” said Bob Haldinger of the United Church of Christians for the Holy Light of Christ the Saviour, “is the groundwork for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He will soon return to banish the spectres of Islam, Europeanism and all the other faces of the Devil’s blight, delivering the True Believers into a new Eden. God has taken the tool of the Devil, so-called scientific inquiry, and transformed it into a holy hammer of truth.”

Throughout this vibrant flurry of rhetoric there has been little mention of the book that topped the chart: Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson, celebrated coach of the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team, is apparently 96% true, meaning that it contains more truth per page than any holy book or philosophical treatise. So far, Jackson has declined to comment about this honour, but a close associate has indicated that the basketball legend feels “totally pumped about the news – he’s put a plaque in his trophy cabinet, just under his eleven NBA championship rings.”


Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson 96%
The Bible (Today’s New International Version) 91%
The Tanakh 74%
The Qur’an 68%
The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine 36%
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss 29%
On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin 18%
DCR-DVD-106E Manual (Sony camcorder documentation) 2%

No comments: