The event was recorded by many civilizations, including the Genesis account. If folks today still believe that natural disasters happen because of God’s displeasure with whomever they think deserves it, then they’ll still readily believe that “God” sent the asteroid to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, rather than it being a natural event beyond the control of humans or imaginary gods.
From the article:
Mark Hempsell, one of the researchers from Bristol University who cracked the tablet’s code, said: “It’s a wonderful piece of observation, an absolutely perfect piece of science.”
He said the size and route of the asteroid meant that it was likely to have crashed into the Austrian Alps at Köfels. As it traveled close to the ground it would have left a trail of destruction from supersonic shock waves and then slammed into the Earth with a cataclysmic impact.
Debris consisting of up to two-thirds of the asteroid would have been hurled back along its route and a flash reaching temperatures of 400 Centigrade (752 Fahrenheit) would have been created, killing anyone in its path.
About one million sq kilometers (386,000 sq miles) would have been devastated and the impact would have been equivalent to more than 1,000 tons of TNT exploding.
Dr Hempsall said that at least 20 ancient myths record devastation of the type and on the scale of the asteroid’s impact, including the Old Testament tale of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the ancient Greek myth of how Phaeton, son of Helios, fell into the River Eridanus after losing control of his father’s sun chariot.
The tale of S and G is the most beloved Bible verses of anti-gay Christianist crusaders, right after Leviticus 20:13. Depending on one’s end means, the story is told in different ways. The accurate translations of the story are not about gay domestic partnerships. But the story does say that Lot, who did what any True Man of God™ would do, offered up his two virgin young daughters for a savage gang rape. Then later, after they fled, a drunken Lot, a True Man of God™, impregnates both of his daughters. Biblical morality. Here is a link with a take on Lot abusing his daughters.
For thousands of years, since ancient pagan times, religion has used natural phenomena to put fear into people. The christian church has been using it for centuries. The purpose of church bells was for “agitating the air” to scatter the demons in the clouds when storms approached, calling the fearful faithful in to bring penance and payment to the priests to keep back the “prince of the power of the air”. Thunder was believed to be the actual voice of ‘God’ (or gods, before christianity) rumbling in anger.
Benjamin Franklin shook the Church at it’s roots with his invention of the lightening rod in 1852; the “heretical rod” it was called. For two decades, churches across Europe refused to use this blasphemous attempt to control God, or the Devil, or whatever it was up there causing these things. Then they changed their mind eventually when they got tired of churches burning down from lightening strikes. One church, where tons of blast powder was stored, exploded after lightening struck it’s steeple, killing over 3,000 people. [Link to “A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”]
Yet still to this day, regardless of the mountains of knowledge in meteorology, geology, cosmology, astronomy, religious leaders still assert the threat of “imminent” smiting by God’s literal hand directing earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and Snowpocalypses upon the sinful citizenry. Preachers only have to bellow out the word “Sodomite!”, and the sheeple look skyward and tremble — they tremble so hard that their wallets and purses fall right open.
The 3123 B.C. Köfels asteroid’s trajectory was at 6° as it whizzed over the area where Sodom and Gomorrah stood, torching everyone and everything in it’s path. Just like Pat Robertson was quick to blame Haiti’s “sins” for the 2010 earthquake, the ancient proclaimers of theodicy likewise blamed this natural event on God’s judgement for people’s “sins” — or, the other perfectly plausible explanation of Phaeton’s chariot crashing from the sky — yeah, that’s how it happened.
The cuneiform clay tablet, the Planisphere, has taken 150 years to translate.