Re: nothing new under the sun
- From: *Hemidactylus* <ecphoric@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 16 Dec 2008 23:26:42 -0500
Bob Casanova wrote:
On Mon, 15 Dec 2008 16:37:13 -0800 (PST), the following>
appeared in talk.origins, posted by "'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank"
On Dec 15, 7:22 pm, "Steven L." <sdlit...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:unrestrained_h...@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:On Dec 14, 11:12 pm, "\(M\)-adman" <g...@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:Some of the Hebrew dietary laws may have originated in empiricalOrigins of science ---the bible.Remind me again of the scientific achievements resulting from
Earth is a sphere (Is. 40:22).
Number of stars exceeds a billion (Jer. 33:22).
Every star is different (1 Cor 15:41).
Light is in motion (Job 38:19-20).
Blood is a source of life and healing (Lev. 17:11).
conservation of mass and energy (Eccl. 1:9; Eccl. 3:14-15).
water cycle (Eccl. 1:7; Is. 55:10).
gravity (Job 26:7; Job 38:31-33).
There is nothing new under the sun.
It is all about the truth with:
observations that those who ate shellfish were more prone to food
poisoning; those who slaughtered unconscious animals and ate their meat
got sick themselves; and so forth.
The Jewish ritual custom of washing one's hands before dinner may also
have had an origin in hygienic guidelines.
And in an age before proper sanitation, asepsis and antibiotics,
circumcision probably helped to reduce infection.
We can never be entirely sure how these rules originated, and many
rabbis maintain that these things were purely religious or mystical rituals.
Only since the Enlightenment has there come to be a "separation of
church and science." In more ancient times, there wasn't such a clear
distinction between science and mysticism. Rabbis, witches, shamans,
and medicine men would freely combine empirical rules of thumb (gleaned
over many years) with prayer, magic, ritual, incantation, etc.
I have heard it suggested that eating pigs was banned for a quite
legitimate ecological reason -- in an environment where food resources
for herds were pretty scarce, it makes sense to keep animals that are
multi-use, to get the maximum benefit from them. Horses, of course,
can perform work and can also be ridden. Cows provide meat, milk,
hides, cheese, and other useful things. Goats also provide meat, milk,
cheese, and hides, and they're pretty good at living on next to
nothing. Sheep provide wool.
Pigs, on the other hand, have limited use. You can't ride them, they
can't pull a plow, their milk is crap, and they eat like . . .
well . . like a pig.
So it makes sense to not keep them.
And pretty much the only way to enforce that, in those times, was
through a religious law.
An added point is that (IIRC) pigs share more diseases with
humans than do any other domesticated animals, and
poorly-cooked pork would allow those diseases to be passed
on. This could have been observed with the same results.
This fact didn't seem to dissuade Europeans from eating pork. Ham is sacred food to the Norse. I'm not sure the Israelites writing the Torah connected dngers of undercooked pork consumption to dietary restriction. Flank's ecological argument may be relevant and the us/them dichotomy Silberstein mentioned.