Monthly Archives: January 2013

Ancient Evidence for Catastrophes: Part One


Though we almost never hear about them, ancient writers testify that men witnessed some of these catastrophes. Of course we are all familiar with the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in Italy during the first century AD, but catastrophes powerful enough to raise mountain ranges and even continents from the depths of the sea make the destruction of Pompeii seem miniscule.

Ussher, in his Annals of the World, documents two deluges after the flood of Noah, one around the time Esau reached the age of forty, and one recorded by Cecrops, an Egyptian contemporary of Moses. Ussher provides many sources outside the Scriptures to attest to the historical accuracy of these flood records.

1796 BC At this time the Ogygian Deluge occurred in the country of Attica 1020 years before the first olympiad. This is reported by Hellanicus, Castor, Thalus, Diodorus Siculus and Alexander Polyhistor in his third book of his Chronography, by Julius Africanus, as we find it in Eusebius’ book, de Prap. Evang. Varro says this flood happened 300 years earlier.

1556 BC Cecrops, an Egyptian, transported a colony of the Saits into Attica (Diod. Sic. 1. 1.) and set up there the kingdom of the Athenians. This was 780 years before the 1st Olympiad, according to Eusebius in Chron. reports from Castor. From the time of Cecrops, the Chronology of the He of Paras, published by that most learned J. Selden, among his Marmora rundelliana, deduces history or antiquities of Greece. After him memorable things happened in Greece as follows: a) Deucalion’s flood b) Phaeton’s fire

This implies that the supposed Greek myth of Deucalion’s flood, often thought to be a variation of Noah’s Flood, occurred at a different time. It also mentions “Phaeton’s fire”, another account believed to be a myth centering on the son of the god Apollo (Phaëthon, the son of Helios) driving his father’s chariot of the sun wildly and scorching the Earth. Note the reference to “Phaeton’s fire” by the Egyptian in the following account of Plato concerning of the words of Solon.

Writing around 375 BC, Plato states that men witnessed a series of catastrophes powerful enough to create mountains. In his dialogue Timaeus, Plato has Critias first affirm that what he is about to say is true:

Then listen, Socrates, to a strange tale, which is, however, certainly true, as Solon, who was the wisest of the seven sages, declared. He was a relative and great friend of my great-grandfather, Dropidas.

Solon was a great leader of Athens. The Athenians honored him for his honesty.

One of the [Egyptian] priests, who was of very great age; said, ‘O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes are but children, and there is never an old man who is an Hellene.’

Solon, bearing this, said, ‘What do you mean?’

‘I mean to say,’ he replied, ‘that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age. And I will tell you the reason of this: there have been, and there will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes.

‘There is a story which even you have preserved, that once upon a time Phaëthon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father’s chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt.

‘Now, this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving around the earth and in the heavens, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth recurring at long intervals of time: when this happens, those who live upon the mountains and in dry and lofty places are more liable to destruction than those who dwell by rivers or on the sea-shore; and from this calamity the Nile, who is our never-failing savior, saves and delivers us.

‘When, on the other hand, the gods purge the earth with a deluge of water, among you herdsmen and shepherds on the mountains are the survivors, whereas those of you who live in cities are carried by the rivers into the sea; but in this country neither at that time nor at any other does the water come from above on the fields, having always a tendency to come up from below, for which reason the things preserved here are said to be the oldest.

‘The fact is, that wherever the extremity of winter frost or of summer sun does not prevent, the human race is always increasing at times, and at other times diminishing in numbers. And whatever happened either in your country or in ours, or in any other region of which we are informed–if any action which is noble or great, or in any other way remarkable has taken place, all that has been written down of old, and is preserved in our temples; whereas you and other nations are just being provided with letters and the other things which States require; and then, at the usual period, the stream from heaven descends like a pestilence, and leaves only those of you who are destitute of letters and education; and thus you have to begin all over again as children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us or among yourselves.

‘As for those genealogies of yours which you have recounted to us, Solon, they are no better than the tales of children; for, in the first place, you remember one deluge only, whereas there were many of them; and, in the next place, you do not know that there dwelt in your land the fairest and noblest race of men which ever lived, of whom you and your whole city are but a seed or remnant. And this was unknown to you, because for many generations the survivors of that destruction died and made no sign.

If you are not familiar with this short dialogue of Plato, it would be worthwhile to read Timaeus and the companion dialogue which follows, Critias. The important paragraphs of Timaeus are in the middle of the dialogue. The bulk of Critias is a longer, more detailed description of Atlantis, which most people find more interesting, though the specifics are entirely hearsay or fantasy. The important testimony here is that various sudden catastrophes destroyed entire civilizations leaving only “those of you who are destitute of letters and education; thus you have to begin all over again as children, and know nothing of what happened in ancient times, either among us [the Egyptians] or among yourselves [Athenians].” The myths, according to Plato, are actual events repeated in ways those “destitute of letters and education” could understand. However, some of Plato’s testimony is firsthand. He clearly states that the Atlantic Ocean in his day (4th/5th centuries B.C.) was not navigable, though it was navigable in the days of Atlantis.

This power came forth out of the Atlantic Ocean, for in those days the Atlantic was navigable; and there was an island situated in front of the straits which you call the Columns of Heracles: the island was larger than Libya [Africa] and Asia put together, and was the way to other islands, and from the islands you might pass through the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean; for this sea which is within the Straits of Heracles is only a harbor, having a narrow entrance, but that other is a real sea, and the surrounding and may be most truly called a continent.

A straightforward reading of this paragraph first says that the Mediterranean Sea was “only a harbor.” Before we reject this out of hand, we should remember that much of Alexandria, Egypt, which was built by Alexander of Macedonia 50-100 years after Plato wrote this dialogue is today under the Mediterranean Sea. The Roman writer, Virgil, wrote in the first century BC in his Aeneid, the story of the founding of Rome which contains the record of the Trojan horse, that Sicily and Italy were connected by a land bridge. That land bridge, according to Virgil, was destroyed by a catastrophe. Even today the Mediterranean has a higher salt content than the Atlantic.

Second, Plato says that there was “an island situated in front of the straits which you call the Columns of Heracles.” Today we call these straits the straits of Gibralter. Again, a straightforward reading of the text has Plato placing the island of Atlantis just west of Portugal and Morocco.

The third point seems impossible to modern readers. “The island was larger than Libya and Asia put together.” Remember that Plato wrote this from the perspective of an Athenian relating a story told to him by an Egyptian priest and probably does not mean the continents of Africa and Asia as we know them today. So even though the exact size of Atlantis is in doubt, a straightforward reading of Plato’s dialogue makes it too large to fit in the Mediterranean Sea.

The fourth point seems to validate Plato’s record. Atlantis “was the way to other islands, and from the islands you might pass through the whole of the opposite continent which surrounded the true ocean.” The “other islands” are in what we call the Caribbean Sea. Some of these islands we call Jamaica, Cuba and Haiti. Then Plato writes “from the islands you might pass through the whole of the opposite continent.” This “opposite continent” we call the Americas or the New World. Plato places a “true ocean” on the other side of this continent. We call this “true ocean” the Pacific Ocean. Since the Atlantic Ocean was not navigable in his day, how did Plato learn about these things?

This is especially interesting since after listing these geographic features, Plato mentions a war between Atlantis and Athens which ended with a catastrophe.

“But afterward there occurred violent earthquakes and floods, and in a single day and night of rain all your warlike men in a body sunk into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared, and was sunk beneath the sea. And that is the reason why the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is such a quantity of shallow mud in the way; and this was caused by the subsidence of the island.”

In the time of Atlantis, according to Plato, the “Atlantic Ocean was navigable.” We may dismiss all of Plato’s testimony up to this point as hearsay. However, according to Plato the Atlantic Ocean in his day was “impassable and impenetrable, because there is such a quantity of shallow mud in the way.” The Atlantic Ocean of the modern world from Europe and Africa to the Americas not only has no shallow mud to make the ocean “impassable and impenetrable,” there is no hard evidence that there ever was an island of that size at that place. Plato not only records past catastrophes, but he testifies that the world he lived in was vastly different from the world we know. Both Plato’s world and the world before his were vastly different from the age before.

Plato’s catastrophe references are easily understood and clearly spelled out, but other ancient writers throughout the world are not. Their references to worldwide catastrophes make it difficult for us to determine the scope of the catastrophe. Examples of this kind are the plagues which befell Aeneas and his followers soon after they left Troy and settled on Crete. Though this seems at first reading to be something regional, Virgil claims that this plague came from Sirius, the Dog Star.


When rising vapors choke the wholesome air,
And blasts of noisome winds corrupt the year;
The trees devouring caterpillars burn;
Parch’d was the grass, and blighted was the corn:
Nor ‘scape the beasts; for Sirius, from on high,
With pestilential heat infects the sky:
My men- some fall, the rest in fevers fry.
Again my father bids me seek the shore
Of sacred Delos, and the god implore,
To learn what end of woes we might expect,
And to what clime our weary course direct.

If we do not dismiss this reference to Sirius as mere superstition, but something based on an actual event, it seems impossible for a plague from the heavens to be a regional plague.

Another reference to a great catastrophe is in the Book of Enoch. 1 Enoch 16 says “For the sun changes oft for a blessing or a curse.” 1 Enoch 41 says “Also another phenomenon I saw in regard to the lightnings: how some of the stars arise and become lightnings and cannot part with their new form.” 1 Enoch 60:18, which claims to be a fragment of the Book of Noah, says “The spirit of the sea is masculine and strong, and according to the might of his strength he draws it back with a rein, and in like manner it is driven forward and disperses amid all the mountains of the earth.” This was after the great deluge.

The Bible references numerous local catastrophes after the flood which could easily have been widespread or even global. God promised not to completely destroy the earth again with a flood, but this does not mean there could not have been extensive flooding that wiped out most low-lying areas of one or more civilizations or even continents.

First are the repeated droughts which resulted in famines. There were famines during the time of Abraham, Issac and a severe seven-year famine which drove Israel’s family to Egypt. There was a three-year drought and resulting famine during the reign of Ahab which Elijah prayed for, ending with a torrential downpour which Elijah also prayed for.

Second were the signs of heaven which must have been global such as the sun standing still for Joshua and moving backwards for Hezekiah. Third were the plagues on Egypt during the time of Moses. Though the Bible does not record any of these plagues occurring anywhere outside of Egypt, it would not be surprising to discover that at least some were regional, if not global. Fourth is the massive earthquake in Uzziah’s day (Amos 1:1) which caused damage which we see today throughout the ancient world.


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Three More Christian Book Reviews

“When Life Isn’t Fair, There Is Still the Fairest Lord Jesus.”

 Is Jesus Enough?

Is Jesus Enough?

David Herndon

This is an amazing, realistic look at selfless service for Christ. I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, and Christian self-help is usually something I avoid because it isn’t very Christian. But this book focuses on exactly what’s wrong with our attitudes and our expectations. “All things work together for good”, doesn’t mean we have a guarantee of comfort and happiness in Christian service. The author had to learn these lessons through personal suffering and hardship, just when he thought he was doing his best to serve God. He teaches us that we might have our heels dug in, demanding a reward for what we’ve done. The truth is that we need to dig deeper to learn what our reward really is, what being identified with Christ really means.

“Faith and Victory Require Searching with Heart and Sword”

                The Weapons of Warfare (The Center Circle Chronicles)

The Weapons of Warfare (The Center Circle Chronicles)

Steve Biddison

What does Landru need to free his world from his conquering foe? Where can he look for allies when those he depended on shake his trust to its core? Will a journey to the Great Pyramid and Stonehenge give him the teacher he needs to understand his faith? Who will fight with him when the only army he has left is trapped on another world, in another time?

The Center Circle continues to promote division rather than unity in the second installment, but Landru and Brenna grow in understanding and maturity. The Weapons of Warfare are only part of what Landru has to search for, and Biddison’s success in this book is more in teaching readers how to deal with limitations than in tidily resolving all the problems. Not everything that was lost is found. Not everything that was broken is fixed. But the hope he gives as things begin to come together keeps the reader going.

There are no tidy resolutions, but that’s what Book Three is for, I think. In the meantime, just as our faith grows and our battles go on, the Center Circle characters show us glimpses of hope that we. too, can find victory through faith.

“Overcoming Tabloid Views of Life, Faith, and Love”


Descended: Jett

Dana Pratola

This book reminded me of Tamed by Sarah Witenhafer, especially in that neither of these books is just a thin rehash of the Modern Romantic Fantasy about a reclusive rich guy with a BIG secret. Multilayered characters are a huge plus for me, since I struggle to read fiction in modern settings. Pratola gave me a boost, especially with the amazing Esposito and the astonishing twist he gives to the story.

Pratola keeps up the suspense with a clever mockery of the tabloid mentality we all fall into sometimes. Jett suffers in the press and so does artist Haven when she becomes his grandmother’s protégé. But Haven has a bit of a tabloid view as she looks at the surface of things and making judgments. She lets her emotions make decisions for her brain. She hates abuse but it colors her objectivity and keeps her from appreciating Jett’s potential almost to the end of the book.

Jett has a sort of tabloid view of God. He’s a genius who devours language-learning, technology development and every kind of knowledge but waits years before studying and trying to absorb the truth about his grandmother’s and Haven’s faith in God. He’s an excellent picture of the modern intellectual who thinks he knows it all but wants to stick to shallow thinking about his Creator.

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Guest Post: New Book by Adam Blumer — The Tenth Plague


Water turns to blood. Flies and gnats attack the innocent. Marc and Gillian Thayer’s vacation resort becomes a grisly murder scene, with a killer using the ten plagues of Egypt as his playbook for revenge.

When their friend turns up dead, Marc and Gillian put their vacation on hold, enlist the help of a retired homicide detective, and take a closer look at the bizarre plagues as they escalate in intensity. Meanwhile, a stranger is after the Thayers’ newly adopted baby. Will they uncover the truth behind the bitter agenda before the tenth plague, the death of the firstborn son?

About the Author

Adam Blumer is the author of Fatal Illusions (Kregel Publications) and The Tenth Plague (Kirkdale Press). A print journalism major in college, he works as a freelance writer and editor after serving in editorial roles for more than twenty years. He lives in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with his wife, Kim, and his daughters, Laura and Julia.


Title:                            The Tenth Plague
Publisher:                    Kirkdale Press
Release Date:             January 29, 2013
ISBN 13:                     978-1-57799-524-1
Format:                        E-book
Genre:                         Christian suspense/thriller
Author Website:
Author Facebook:

Purchase Links:           Vyrso:   
Price:                           $7.49

The book will be available for purchase at and on release day, January 29.

Nook link: 


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Reviews of Christian Books … A Little Something for Everyone!

Emaline's Gift: A Christian Fantasy Adventure (The Magi Chronicles)

I thought a lot about Harry Potter and X-Men when I was reading this, but I loved the emphasis in this book on the true source of special powers and the real heart attitude the author states is necessary to keep these powers under control and growing. People can use or misuse gifts like Emaline’s but there are clear, hard-hitting consequences. Everybody’s tempted to use the powers for personal gratification. But nobody gets away with keeping secrets or lying or doing end-runs around authority for long.
I was also an average, invisible girl in my school days. But Emaline spends very little time in self-pity. She helps her mother, takes care of her baby brother, and the difficulties of their life really don’t affect her attitude. I do wonder a little what happened to that milk she went to the store for, but what happens to Emaline totally eclipses the errand.
Micah was my favorite character, since we have a hard-of-hearing daughter who signs. I also appreciated the window into Secular Humanist philosophy, just enough so that real-life teenagers should say, “Hey, that’s what we’re learning everywhere, every day… ”
I hope there’s another book in this series already, because this one was mostly introduction and setup. Not that nothing exciting happens, because it sure does, but I need to get busy and read more.

My Emily

We have a daughter who had Meningitis at age 9 months. So it was easy to relate to this story of a sick child. Matt Patterson’s perspective as a father is both strong and tender, just as it should be. And that’s what makes it so hard, to convey how much needed this story is, when it was so hard to read, and even harder to get around to writing the review. God spared our daughter and she is a lovely Special Ed teacher, hearing-impaired but perfect in our eyes. God didn’t let Matt keep his precious daughter, but instead gave him a wealth of comfort and sweetness to share with all of us. However it falls out when a child is sick, God is good.

Redeeming Reputation (Redemption Tales)

Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and a dozen other classic cowboys would be proud to stand toe to toe with Nathan Ryder, “the Preacher” who has learned skills for survival in a spiritual and physical sense from his wise and colorful grandfather. You might be surprised by some of his grandfather’s lessons, and for sure you’ll throw your hat in the air when you understand all that “Nugget Nate” and other wise cowboys have to teach Nathan. This is more than a western saga. It’s a Pilgrim’s Progress for the Wild West, with burdens to lay down, places to fall on your knees, and some sagebrush Beulah Land moments, too. The armor might include a Stetson and the sword might be a six-gun, but you’ll get the message of this pilgrim preacher’s journey.

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Secular Humanism: America’s Establishment of Religion Part Six: Secular Humanism Is A Religion

liberal friends reagan meme

“The United States Supreme Court has held that secular humanism is a religion. Belief in evolution is a central tenet of that religion.” Edward v. Aguillard, 1987 SCOTUS Antonin Scalia

It seems impossible to deny that Secular Humanism is a religion, yet millions do just that. Their shallow thinking is “we do not worship a deity, therefore we cannot be a religion.” They have a system of beliefs stronger than most who worship a deity and dedicate their lives to forcing others to follow their belief system. And they strongly believe in self-indulgence. Most, though not all, secularists put self-indulgence on a plane no different from any worship service. For these Secularists, they elevate themselves to the position of a deity.

They use the power of government to both take from unbelievers and to force unbelievers to follow their beliefs. At this point in time, one of the most obvious ways they practice this is mandatory financing of contraceptives. Secularists not only want to practice unrestricted sex outside of marriage, they force unbelievers to pay for the consequences.

Under secularist control, public education becomes public indoctrination. One common example that happens over and over is teachers who dare to read the Bible in private on their own time. Though these teachers often continue these private readings for years, whenever a dedicated Secularist finds out, the teacher is fired. Yet condoms are handed out free as bogus “public health.” Truancy officers, “family” courts and welfare caseworkers constantly assail parents who object and make the tremendous sacrifice of pulling their students out of the public indoctrinations. These same “officers of the court” who file charges against parents who use corporal punishment because it is taught in the Scriptures and it works never seem to have enough time to prosecute parent who kill their children because the parents are drunk or high on drugs.

A flood of regulations make driving to work increasingly expensive while wages are depressed through public spending and business regulations. Amish and other religious businesses are singled out for “resisting the state.” That is the same state controlled by the religion of secularism.

Modern government officials act more and more like the guardians of Plato’s Republic. Secularists cry that Plato was not a Secularist because he worshipped “the goddess,” a vague unnamed (in the Republic) deity that is never worshipped directly. We classify Plato as a secularist because Secular Humanism is a belief system and the Republic describes those beliefs in great detail.

Plato’s guardians were thugs whose sole job was to keep the elite in power and the lower classes in their places. How is that different from secularists today? Every day I hear or read comments like “It’s a good thing you’re not allowed to (spew, corrupt, some expletive) your beliefs anywhere except on facebook.” Yet these same censors turn right around and demand to know “What censorship?”

I am far from perfect. I have many sins which I have yet to overcome. Yet, in my personal opinion, the overriding characteristic of the religion of Secular Humanism is hypocrisy. And these are the same people who call others hypocrites.

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Secular Humanism: America’s Establishment of Religion Part Five: A List of the Beliefs of Secular Humanism

.ch 8 title

1.Secular Humanism is a religion based on feelings and emotion, not reason.

2.Secular Humanism denies anything non-material. Anything spiritual is redefined as “energy.” Various humanists use terms such as “Life Energy,” “Life-Force,” “Interdimensional Energy,” etc. The source of the energy is always material or natural, not supernatural.

3.Secular Humanism denies the existence of a supreme being including Intelligent Design.

4.While acknowledging the existence of evil it denies the concept of original sin. It believes in the perfectibility of man.

5.Though Secular Humanism is open to things not yet discovered, at this time there is no scientific evidence for life after death.

6.Man’s existence on the Earth, like everything else in the universe, is a result of chance and not a plan. The most likely explanation for this chance is evolution, which is based on uniformitarianism.

7.Secular Humanism demands that science include only what is within the scope of “natural law” but does not allow for any explanation for the origin of natural law, and therefore the origins of matter or energy; nor is there any reliable information on a possible end to the universe.

8.Only secular humanist beliefs are reasonable; all other religions raise false hopes, restrict personal fulfillment, or both.

9.The purpose of life is to make you a better person. This is accomplished by service to others and seeking

fulfillment in this life. Though each person might have a different concept of fulfillment, no one has the right to tell another person that what he is doing is wrong, unless it harms someone else. This is especially true with sexual gratification.

10. The accumulated improvements of many individuals will drive the evolution of the human race.

11. The best way for society to survive and thrive is to allow enlightened leaders complete freedom to guide all institutions and organizations that serve all people from the beginning to the end of life.

12. Man exists only as a member of the world community. The world community is responsible to provide for the protection and guidance of the enlightened society from the earliest age. Children must not be separated from the world community. Any persons of majority age who oppose the ideals of the world community must be forced into conformity through employment sanctions or reeducation. Opposition must be suppressed by any necessary means.

13. Improvement of society is the essential duty of the enlightened guardians and includes guidance to prevent nonproductive, undesirable or inferior types.

14. Enlightened leaders guide others to fulfillment in this life. The community chooses the values of these enlightened leaders. The enlightened leaders help to guide the community in developing their values system.

15. Compulsory education indoctrinates the citizen of the world community. It is the catechism of the new society.

16. Personal property is evil. This includes any type of marriage since marriage is a property arrangement. Since Secular Humanists recognize evil, it is the responsibility of the guardians to supervise the distribution of material possessions, including social contracts. Individuals corrupt material possessions by unnecessarily hoarding them.

17. National sovereignty is the cause of war, poverty, overpopulation, and waste or destruction of resources. A unified world government is essential to stable economics and freedom in the areas of communication, travel, arts, sciences and education.

18. Unity means eradication of opposition. Secular Humanists characterize anyone who differs from them on these fundamentals as opponents. Opponents are characterized as being oppressive, divisive, fearful of change, bigoted or guilty of hatred.

While Secular Humanism or Secularism has many beliefs, these are some core beliefs. These Fundamentals are written down in their Authoritative documents such as the Humanist Manifestos I, II and III and A Secular Humanist Declaration by CODESH (Council for Democratic Secular Humanism) co-authored by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, both editors of The Humanist magazine.

Like any religion, no two secularists believe exactly the same thing. Secularism is also divided into denominations. Some are strong atheists, others are agnostic; still others resemble Confucianism or Taoism.

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Secular Humanism: America’s Establishment of Religion Part Four: More Beliefs of Secular Humanism?

thoth and amun writing

While Secular Humanism or Secularism has many beliefs, there are some core beliefs. These Fundamentals are written down in their Authoritative documents such as the Humanist Manifestos I, II and III and A Secular Humanist Declaration by CODESH (Council for Democratic Secular Humanism) co-authored by Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson, both editors of The Humanist magazine.

Secularists believe that written documents are more reliable, trustworthy and accurate than oral traditions. This secularist belief is less foundational and widespread than the belief in deep time. However, it is still a dangerous error.

There is no question that most “small talk” is just passing on errors or unimportant information. Much oral communication is actually downright dangerous. The problem is with the belief that all oral communication is so filled with errors that it should be rejected out of hand.

Here is one simple example. You buy the latest techno gadget. It comes with several lengthy manuals. The average person will know someone who already owns the gadget and gets a quick verbal course on how to use the new gadget. In this case, the oral communication is more important than the written communication.

The important point: truth and facts are the issue. It is easier to pass on written information to many people than oral communication, but we should judge the information on its own merits, not on how it was communicated.

More discussion on oral versus written tradition is in Chapter Six of Antidisestablishmentarianism, which can be read here:

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