The chances of Jonah surviving the whale … slim to zilch

One of the hardest things to palate if you grew up in the church is that miracles, especially Old Testament ones, are so completely foreign to anything plausible, unless they come out of Hollywood on a piece of film or a digital recording.

When I asked about OT miracles as a kid, the answers were absurd. The most common responses were that miracles still happen and encouraged not to doubt god’s greatness.

One of my other favorite responses: “You’ll have to ask God when you get to heaven.”

Oh, the sound of deflated balloons

There’s an article in Salon called, “Swallowed by a Whale – a true tale?” by Ben Shattuck that sheds some light on the possibility that the Jonah myth was real or not.

As if we needed an article in Salon to settle it once and for all.

Here’s the opening paragraph:

An idea’s been floating around for some time that whales more than chewed people — that they swallowed them, and people might have survived in the stomach. Jonah’s story came first, and then there were rumors from the 19th century Yankee Whale Fishery — whaling ships leaving New York and New England ports for years on the open ocean. I’d like to believe in swallowings, but it’s tough. There is no air in the stomach, for one. There are acids. And if we are talking about sperm whales, which we are most of the time, there is the deadly passage through the 30-foot jaws lined with 8-inch teeth.

And later, this:

More terrifying, with sharks in the diet, Americans who might have been swallowed by sperm whales would have had another thing to worry about: sharing the stomach of your predator with yet another predator. To be eaten after being eaten. To be the –en of the turducken.

Read the rest of this article. 

Via Kottke