This question:

How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?

has a zillion comments, has several answers all at 0 or below, and has had two attempted bounties.

Is this a good question that has just failed to find an acceptable answer so far, but we should leave it alone and maybe someday it will? Is the question flawed in some way -- and if so, how can it be improved? Is there anything in all the comments that ought to be part of either the question or an answer instead?

In short, what if anything should we do with this question?


The comments are very interesting and the question has certainly provoked a lot of thought. I'm going to go out on a limb and doubt that there is currently an answer in existence that will satisfy the asker though. They want something sourced that explains the mabul in a way that reconciles it all. We all want that! There are 11 upvotes on the question and a bunch of 0 or downvoted answers for a reason.

I guess you need to ask whether or not this site is about Q&A only,(close it), or about brainstorming too, (keep it open). I love brainstorming about torah ideas. My judaism wouldn't be the same without it, but i don't think this site is about brainstorming, (maybe add a section? :D), and i don't think you'll get any good answers.

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    I think it is pretty much agreed that this site is Q&A, not for brainstorming. So you move for closure too? – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 19:30
  • @DoubleAA There's nothing mutually exclusive between Q&A and inspiring or allowing brainstorming for the answer. In fact I think the question fits very well with the /help/dont-ask and /help/on-topic guidelines. – A L Sep 23 '13 at 21:40
  • @AL The debatable one from those lists would seem to be the "'______ sucks, am I right?'" category, where "_______" is replaced with [existing literature resolving apparent contradictions between biblical creation and cosmology]. – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 21:43
  • @DoubleAA If that's how you want to read it. It's closer to "I'm stuck with this problem and I can't think of any good idea." But if you think the question could be asked in another way I'd welcome you or anyone to edit it. – A L Sep 23 '13 at 21:45
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    I don't think A L is being needlessly argumentative. He, or she is genuinely bothered by both the question and all of the answers they have encoutered thus far. They have yet to find an answer that appeals to their sensitivities. I personally disagree with their whole approach, but they have a right to be puzzled by this stuff. Its there to be puzzling. (I hope you don't lose to much sleep over this though A L :)). The bottom line in my mind is that they and subsequent answers have pretty much covered all the known addresses for this issue, and still left A L unsatisfied – user3114 Sep 24 '13 at 2:29
  • I dare say that as far as A L and might intellects like them are concerned, the only answer that will really suffice is one that is just beyond our scope. I would vote teiku for now, yes @doubleAA – user3114 Sep 24 '13 at 2:33
  • @Justaguy The Q&A vs. brainstorming aspect touches on much more than this specific question. As this is about religion, and not something exact like math or physics, then you're going to have allot of these types of questions where the question is perfectly valid, well written and sincere, yet may not currently have a well defined, rigorous answer, or may have multiple contradicting or mutually exclusive answers, any of which or all of which may be valid. – Robert S. Barnes Sep 24 '13 at 13:06
  • This question inparticular brings down all of the generally considered answers and rejects them. The kind of answer that is being sought, from what I can tell from the comments by the asker, is an answer that would make everything make sense and reconcile. I personally don't think theres a source for such an answer, which Is what the question asks for. I don't think there is such an answer either. Pretty much every proposition has been rejected based on phyiscal evidence's irrefutability in the asker's mind. That's fine! But the question is going in circles. – user3114 Sep 24 '13 at 15:45

Josh said it right:

Not a question but a statement.

The question's format is:

  • Here is the issue.

  • Here are all the traditional answers and why I don't like them.

  • What do I do now?

In other words, this is the kind of "question" which I would usually call a "rant". Perhaps such was not the author's intent, but the question currently reads like a statement of a position and not a good SE question. I move to close as not constructive.

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    ...er...or whatever the new way of saying that close reason is. – Double AA Sep 18 '13 at 20:36
  • I didn't equivocate in this post so people could vote and discuss on a full fledged position. – Double AA Sep 18 '13 at 20:36
  • @Shmuel May-be, but all of that doesn't belong in one question. It's not focused. – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 5:01
  • @Shmuel 1) Not every question works in the SE format. 2) He can possibly split it up: An answer to science vs creation is X as proposed by A, B, C etc. However some, such as D and E, have questioned this answer because of P or Q. What defenses have been brought on behalf of A, B, C etc.? Alternatively: What answers for science vs creation have been expressed which do (not) rely on precise assumption A? – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 18:15
  • My question is not a rant nor a statement. It is trying to resolve an important question ("Why does what we know of ancient and pre-history humanity differ from the Torah and traditional understanding?"). The bulk of it (and comments) is me being meticulous so that the answer (and there is certainly some good answer, however difficult to find) isn't something useless that falls over on inspection. If someone does their homework on this difficult question and provides an answer that can stand up, it will be enormously constructive indeed. It doesn't matter if that will take a day or a decade. – A L Sep 23 '13 at 19:19
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    @AL The fact that you just called all the traditional answers you don't like "useless" and incorrect confirms beyond a doubt that this answer of mine is accurate. Your issues may be important, but you have not chosen the proper forum and format to properly deal with them. – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 19:32
  • Go ahead and nitpick my wording. I'm not going to put so much effort into a comment to make sure it can't be misinterpreted, which you are doing, but you know what I really meant. – A L Sep 23 '13 at 21:24
  • @AL I'm not nitpicking. You are being clear as day. – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 21:25
  • @DoubleAA Open your eyes. I voted up, voted down, and didn't vote on different answers. Obviously I don't think they're all entirely useless. Don't pretend you don't get my point. – A L Sep 23 '13 at 21:27
  • @AL I don't care what you think or not. I care what the question says. I even wrote that in this post: "perhaps such was not the author's intent". – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 21:33
  • You're right, and it doesn't matter what my opinion of the answers are, it's not like I own it. It's a communal question with community input, community comments, community voting. Heck, the community can even edit my question if they don't think it's working. But if you're dead set on just closing it go ahead. – A L Sep 23 '13 at 21:35
  • @AL Closed questions for the first few days appear as "on hold" because closure is not final. If a question should be closed, we close it. If it is edited to be reopenable, we reopen it. There's nothing wrong with a pause to think of a way to better present the question. – Double AA Sep 23 '13 at 21:38

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