Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Divine Misconceptions bounty list


I, Aaron Solomon Adelman, in the search for better information, hereby declare the following bounties.  The first person to provide any of the requested data to my satisfaction will receive one (1) book from my PaperBackSwap bookshelf or the equivalent monetary value thereof ($3.95).  (I do not currently have huge resources.  The prize is about honor, not money.)
  1. Any solid evidence for the Documentary Hypothesis.  I am not looking for literary criticism, but rather positive evidence that separate J, E, P, or D ever existed.  If the Documentary Hypothesis is true, there should have been groups which did not accept the redacted Torah but clung to J, E, P, or D, as almost inevitably there would be some who did not accept the innovation.   Is there any record of any such group ever existing?  Has anyone ever heard of a group which held by a longer Torah or a shorter Torah?
  2. Empirical testing of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  The claimant must perform a clinical trial of the methodology in The Secret according to the standards necessary for publication in a respectable, peer-reviewed scientific journal.  This includes defining outcomes in advance, a comparable control group, randomization, and a sufficient sample size.
  3. Any solid evidence of the existence of demons.  An actual demon, dead or alive, or some portion thereof, of a quality sufficient to describe in a respected, peer-reviewed scientific journal, must be provided.  This bounty carries the additional prize that the qualifying claimant also gets naming rights.  Also note that demons or other sentient nonhumans may be and are encouraged to be claimants.
  4. Theism is in principle demonstrable, since empirically demonstrable prophecy is conceivable.  However, what can an atheist do to demonstrate that no god exists?   Even if one is convinced based on the structure and workings of the Universe that no material deity exists, (so far as we can tell), we are not empowered to observe anything outside our own physically reality.  Therefore, how can one distinguish experimentally or observationally between atheism, deism, covert panenthesim (immanent theism), and covert transcendent theism?
To file a claim or ask questions, please write to Aaron.

Note:  Serious claims only, please.  Anyone sending anything that smells of a joke or a hoax risks having his/her claim dissected as part of theDivine Misconceptions series.