This is the post I've been wanting to write for a while, and I was finally spurred into action by GH's post on why OJ isn't true. He says there is no evidence to suggest God is there, or that OJ or TMS is true.
But what if some evidence is there?
I don't consider direct evidence as possible to achieve, as direct evidence to me, would be nothing less than seeing God or something similarly divine, like an angel.
But what about indirect evidence? I'm not talking about the sort of arguments which say "oh, look at nature! look how amazing it is! Obviously it didn't happen by chance..." because there are sound alternative explanations for that which don't involve the divine. Let's take some biblical claims one by one and survey the evidence for them, if any. I'm going to attempt to stay away from absolutist statements, as there's probably lots I don't know about this subect. Comments, insights and facts welcome.
The Sea Crossing
There is evidence to suggest that this actually happened. First, a possible route has been mapped out here, and goes through the Red Sea. At the suggested crossing, sonar shows there is quite a large ridge (pictured), which probably would have been able to take the Children of Israel across to the other side of the sea...Egypt is on the left side of the border, Saudi Arabia on the other side. The ridge is somewhat elevated above the rest of the sea floor and this is the only elevation of the sort in the red sea. The sea floor isn't actually flat as portrayed here, but goes down to incredible distances.
Further, stone tools found in southern Arabia have been found to match those in africa (here) suggesting there was certainly migration across the sea at some point, so we know it's possible. Exprets believe that the first crossing took place before boat technology when those crossing either had nothing to cross with, or rafts at best. Further, through using data on sea flows and ebbs, experts suggest that the Red Sea was always covered with water for the past 2 million years, though of course at different amounts at different times. I don't know enough about sonar and underwater geography to know what this article means (it was drudged up in a google search at some point) but from what I can make of it, it doesnt seem to present any contradictions to this. It looks interesting though.
However. I think I've established (a little disjointedly, yes, but still) beyond reasonable doubt that such a crossing is possible, I present material which suggests the Children of Israel actually did it.
Under-water archaeological discoveries made seem to indicate that Egyptian chariots did venture out into the sea at some point. Below, a chariot wheel found in the Red Sea alongside what I assume (and seems reasonable to do so) is an ancient egyptian drawing of a chariot.
Further, this underwater wheel matches Egyptian chariot wheels found in Egyptian tombs. This wheel was found at the crossing site with many more wheels and human remains, which have since mineralised from resting at the bottom of the sea for so long. This seems to indicate Exodus 14 was correct when it documented the chariot wheels fell off and the Egyptians were drowned.
For those interested in the methodologies used to locate the presumed crossing path, it is available online over here.
Though this is not direct evidence of the divine, it does seem to indicate the bible has some historical truth in it. To what extent this was Divine is something an individual would have to decide for themselves, but I think it is safe to assume that the Children of Israel crossed the sea without this necessarily pointing towards the Divine.
Sinai Mountain and Revelation
The first image is found here, together with a nice little excerpt of the bible.
Based on the crossing route established above, the Children of Israel (CoI) would have emerged on the banks of Saudi Arabia - there are actually pillars dating back to the time of King Solomon on either side of the crossing, one in Egypt and one in Saudi Arabia. I have been led to understand that the pillar in Egypt was partially submerged in water, thus much of the inscriptions were eroded (though the part not submerged did survive) and the pillar on the Saudi side - which remained completely intact - was removed by the Saudi authorities and replaced with a flag pole indicating an archaeological discovery.
This article describes and shows in pictures the "real" mount sinai
Is there anything to it?
Of course, the stories of the bible could have been based around these phenomena...or it could confirm some bible stories, without necessarily implicating the divine...or it could be a truthful exposition which has verified various bible claims and is circumstantial evidence of the divine.
Could it be my predisposition to not believe would make excuses and justifications to that disbelief, even when evidence - possible evidence? - is present?
Further, compounding what science doesn't know - yes, a God of the gaps - creates a real worry for me. I was one of those people who believed evolution, the big bang etc. could have been how God created the earth, as it's an established precept of Orthodoxy that God acts within nature, and there's no reason to assume he wouldn't do so in a natural universe before humans were around. And I similarly opined that the first atom which gave rise to the big bang was created ex-nihilo by God and that life on earth was kicked off by God. Two "gaps" in science - more massive ravines than gaps - in which a presupposed belief of God would fit in very nicely.