Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TU, UK. 5School of Psychology,
University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA
1. S. Lewando wsky, U. Ecker, N. Sch wartz, J. Cook, Psychol.
Sci. Public Interest 13, 106 (2012).
2. L. Fazio, N. Brashier, B. Payne, E. Marsh, J.Exp.Psychol.
Gen. 144, 993 (2014).
3. M. Tambuscio, G. Ruffo, A. Flammini, F. Menczer, “
Fact-checking effect on viral hoaxes: A model of misinformation
spread in social net works,” Proceedings of the 24th
International Conference on World Wide Web (2015),
4. S. van der Linden, A. Leiserowitz, S. Rosenthal, E. Maibach,
Glob. Chall. 1, 1600008 (2017).
5. J.Cook,S.Lewandowsky, U.Ecker, PLOS ONE 12,
6. J. Niederdeppe, K. Heley, C. Barry, J. Commun.65, 838
7. T.Bolsen,J.Druckman, J.Commun.65,745(2015).
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Museum of the Bible:
In her News Feature “Original sin” (20
October, p. 295), L. Wade describes the
problematic provenance of many of the
artifacts in the Museum of the Bible
and observes that the exhibits “tiptoe
around subjects that challenge them.” Yet
she stops short of recognizing that the
museum’s premise—that the Bible can be
supported by scientific evidence—is an
extended tiptoeing exercise. Attempting to
show historical validity in the Bible nearly
70 years ago, Werner Keller (1) and Hugh
Schonfield (2) presented impressionistic
associations between events, artifacts, and
alleged prophecies fulfilled. Both bypassed
rigorous scholarship and have been appropriately forgotten. Possible evidence to
support Biblical events was thoroughly
sifted by Hebrew University archaeologist Amihai Mazar (3) in a meticulously
documented study from more than 150
excavations since World War II. The evidence is tissue thin.
There is no evidence for major Biblical
events. No artifacts have shown that a
slave community of Hebrews resided in
Egypt for 400 years. The 600,000 males,
plus families, said to have fled under
Moses, supposedly wandered in Sinai for
40 years, but they left no traces—no campsites, fire pits, shelter remnants, middens,
or graves. The enormous dimensions of
Solomon’s temple describe a structure
twice the size of any temple excavated
in Israel; his palace, reputedly of similar
dimensions to accommodate 300 wives
and 700 concubines, has left no traces.
Some evidence invalidates Biblical
claims. Monotheistic worship of Yahweh
is attributed to Abraham, circa 1800 BCE,
but inscriptional evidence of polytheism
during the monarchy of Israel and Judah,
1000 to 586 BCE, indicates projection of
later monotheism to the earlier patriar-
chal period. Altar inscriptions include the
storm-god Baal, and Asherah symbolism
from the Canaanite goddess of fertility
(4); polytheistic leanings evidently per-
sisted throughout the kingship.
The Church of the Nativity allegedly
marks the birthplace of Jesus, but its
Bethlehem location for its fourth century
construction was taken from Matthew
and Luke, both written by non-witnesses
at least eight decades after the birth. The
tomb of Jesus, found with the “True Cross”
according to legend by Constantine’s
mother Helena in the fourth century (5),
provides a questionable foundation for the
later Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The archaeological Museum of the
Bible, like the Creation Museum in
Kentucky, is a Medieval throwback featuring spurious evidence in support of an
invented narrative misread as historical
fact. Pieces of Dead Sea Scrolls, whether
forged or authentic, provide no more than
fragments from earlier copies of Biblical
texts; they authenticate nothing. The
engagement of archaeological scholars
and provenance experts to authenticate
artifacts means little if the premise that
archaeology can verify Biblical narrative
is mistaken—“extremely problematic” in
Jodi Magness’s restrained judgment. The
Bible narrative was assembled from several sources, fragmented by ancient legal
codes, and expanded by progressively
longer gospels of Jesus. Its compositional
assembly is still misunderstood despite
more than a century of analysis of both
the Old and New Testaments (6, 7). The
Museum of the Bible is arranged around
various misreadings, thus assuring its
status as spurious religion and questionable science.
University of Houston, Houston, TX 77073, USA.
1. W. Keller, The Bible as History (Hodder and Stoughton,
New York, 1956).
2. H. Schonfield, The Bible Was Right (New American Library,
New York, 1959).
3. A. Mazar, Archaeology of the Land of the Bible, 10,000–
586 B.C.E. (Doubleday, New York, 1990).
4. M. S. Smith, The Early History of God (Harper & Row, New
York, 1987), pp. 41–114.
5. C. B. Coleman, in Constantine the Great and Christianity
(Columbia University, 1914), pp. 116–120.
6. R. E. Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (Harper & Row, New
7. R. M. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels? (Millennium Press,
New York, 1997).
TECHNICAL COMMENT ABSTRACTS
Comment on “Water harvesting from air
with metal-organic frameworks powered by
Duc Thuan Bui, Kian Jon Chua,
Jeffrey M. Gordon
Kim et al. (Reports, 28 April 2017, p. 430)
presented results for the solar-driven harvesting of water from air via metal-organic
frameworks as a prodigious potential advance
toward remedying global water shortages.
Basic thermodynamics and a survey of multiple off-the-shelf technologies show that their
approach is vastly inferior in efficiency (and
thereby in feasibility) to available alternatives.
Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aao0791
Response to comment on “Water harvesting from air with metal-organic frameworks
powered by natural sunlight”
Hyunho Kim, Sameer R. Rao, Shankar
Narayanan, Eugene A. Kapustin, Sungwoo
Yang, Hiroyasu Furukawa, Ari S. Umans,
Omar M. Yaghi, Evelyn N. Wang
In their comment, Bui et al. argue that the
approach we described in our Report is
vastly inferior in efficiency to alternative
off-the-shelf technologies. Their conclusion
is invalid, as they compare efficiencies in
completely different operating conditions.
Here, using heat transfer and thermodynamics principles, we show how Bui et al.’s
conclusions about the efficiencies of off-the-shelf technologies are fundamentally flawed
and inaccurate for the operating conditions
described in our study.
Full text: dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aao3139
Erratum for the Report “Experimental measurement of binding energy, selectivity, and
allostery using fluctuation theorems” by J.
Camunas-Soler et al., Science 358, eaar4581
(2017). Published online 17 November 2017;
Erratum for the Perspective “Finding the
first Americans” by T. J. Braje et al., Science
358, eaar3828 (2017). Published online 3
November 2017; 10.1126/science.aar3828
Erratum for the Report “Global climatic drivers of leaf size” by I. J. Wright et al., Science
358, eaaq0577 (2017). Published online 6
October 2017; 10.1126/science.aaq0577
Erratum for the Report “Two histone
marks establish the inner centromere and
chromosome bi-orientation” by Y. Yamagishi
et al., Science 358, eaaq0573 (2017).
Published online 6 October 2017; 10.1126/
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INSIGHTS | LETTERS