From Summa Bergania
Chronological snobbery is the presumption that the thinking, art, or science of an earlier time is inherently inferior when compared to that of the present. Most people make the connection unconsciously that since civilization has advanced in certain (usually scientific) areas, people of earlier time periods were on the whole less intelligent in all areas. "If they used to think the sun revolved around the Earth, why should we even listen to what they have to say about the problem of evil?"
God, lightning bolts, and similar applications
A further step is to assume that ancient people made up fanciful theories in lieu of scientific explanations, such as, "Men used to think that God (or Thor) threw lightning bolts when He was angry, but now we know that lightning is just a massive build-up of static electricity." The actual evidence of ancient people having this belief is no different from a count of present day people with the same belief. Confucius, Socrates, Buddha, Cicero, Archimedes and other sages, old as they are, left no suggestion of this.
To the contrary, there are many examples of similarity between ancient cultures and our own. Students of Plato's Academy argued against the soothsayers who were telling people that they could predict the future by reading goat entrails, much as Carl Sagan spoke his contempt for modern horoscopes. To compare a modern Sagan against an ancient soothsayer is as false as to compare an ancient Aristotle with a modern astrologer.
According to passages from the Bible, it is particularly clear that Jewish people did not believe that God was in natural disasters. In 1 Kings 19:11-12 we find a story of Elijah that says, "Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence." In the silence, the story goes, Elijah met God. One chapter earlier (1 Kings 18:38) the author does attribute that God sent lightning from sky, but it came on a presumably cloudless day at the instant it was commanded from Elijah for the purposes of revealing God's glory by lighting an altar (doused in water) on fire. Furthermore, the Book of Job (quite possibly the oldest book we have) is written precisely to explain that bad things (like natural disasters and plagues) happen to righteous people. People of those days recognized that nature and its fury is undirected.