Author Topic: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?  (Read 2780 times)

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Offline monkeymind

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Defnitions:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cud
Cud is a portion of food that returns from a ruminant's stomach in the mouth to be chewed for the second time. More accurately, it is a bolus of semi-degraded food regurgitated from the reticulorumen of a ruminant. Cud is produced during the physical digestive process of rumination, or "chewing the cud". The idiomatic expression chewing one's cud means meditating or pondering

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cud
Cud : food brought up into the mouth by a ruminating animal from its first stomach to be chewed again.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cud
cud: 1. the portion of food that a ruminant returns from the first stomach to the mouth to chew a second time.
3. chew one's / the cud, Informal . to meditate or ponder; ruminate.

Chewing the cud
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/To+chew+the+cud
to chew the food over again, as a cow; to ruminate; hence, to meditate.
to ruminate; to meditate; used with of; as, to chew the cud of bitter memories.

Where do people get the mistaken idea that rabbits chew the cud?


From Answering Genesis:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/e-mail/archive/AnswersWeekly/2005/0312.asp
For many years, scientists used the rabbit or “hare” to prove the Bible supposedly wrong because in Lev. 11:6 we read, “And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.” They claimed that the rabbit didn’t chew its cud or have the same stomach system as other cud chewers like cows, and therefore the Bible was wrong.
Then about 20 years ago, it was discovered that rabbits do indeed—in a sense—chew their cud.

From No Answering Genesis
http://www.noanswersingenesis.org.au/aig_rabbits_cud.htm
Three to eight hours after eating, and thus mainly at night, soft, mucus-covered caecal pellets are expelled and eaten directly from the anus (a process known as caecotrophy, coprophagy, refection, or  pseudorumination). Arrival of the caecotrophs at the anus triggers a reflex licking of the anus and ingestion of the caecotrophs, which are swallowed whole and not chewed.

Summary:


Rabbits are not ruminating animals.

The bible clearly states 'chew' the cud.  Rabbits do not chew the green "half turd."  They swallow it whole. So, no  need to argue the Hebrew tranlation issue of 'bring forth' or 'bring up'.

Ruminate on this Creationist or biblical inerrantist.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 07:55:08 PM by monkeymind »
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Offline HAL

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 08:01:46 PM »
Go man go!  :D

Offline William

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 08:48:05 PM »
Creationist love to swallow their own crap - I don't understand how they fail to recognise this one for what it really is.

Excellent work Monkeymind  :D
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 08:54:28 PM »
Well I suspect that often it is because they do not study both sides of any issue that conflicts with their religious beliefs.

 
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
Mailbag:On a side note, back in college before my conversion, I actually saw a demon sitting next to me in critical thinking class.

Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 10:41:21 PM »
I never thought I would live to see the day when the fate of Christianity hinged on... bunny poop. :o
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Offline none

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 11:07:15 PM »
there has got to be a youtube on this....

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 11:20:21 PM »
I had a dog that ate poop to. Should I have not eaten him?
Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Jim

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 12:43:37 AM »
I never thought I would live to see the day when the fate of Christianity hinged on... bunny poop. :o

Actually, it hinges on whether or not eating shit is kosher and makes the bible kosher.

And, when friend Monkeymind says
Quote
Ruminate on this Creationist or biblical inerrantist.
I'd guess that "ruminating" is not what he'd like them to do.
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Offline OnePerson

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 04:47:59 PM »
I had a dog that ate poop to. Should I have not eaten him?

You ate your dog?

Offline monkeymind

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 05:02:16 PM »
Who ate the poop?  :D
Truthfinder:the birds adapt and change through million of years in order to survive ,is that science, then cats should evolve also wings to better catch the birds
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Offline jmatos316

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2014, 08:06:09 PM »
Hello .. came across this thread and I'm glad. Its one of the few places I"ve seen to address the issue from the "science" side ...

I do have a question: If the "Bible" claimed that God said, "and the hare, because he licks his anus until a ball comes out and then swallows it, he is unclean"  would you then believe that the Bible was actually divinely inspired? 

If you were God, and you were making a general rule for a bunch of ex-slaves to follow on how to decide what animals were safe to eat and which weren't ... how would you describe what the rabbit does? ... why does "he" even mention it? 

I guess I'm just saying that a little bit of latitude has to be allowed for the use of the phrase "chew the cud" as a translation of a sentence that is about 5000 years old (give or take) and was directed to mostly uneducated recently freed slaves and herders ... 


Offline Betelnut

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2014, 08:44:22 PM »
Welcome to WWGHA Jmatos316.

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2014, 09:32:43 PM »
I guess I'm just saying that a little bit of latitude has to be allowed for the use of the phrase "chew the cud" as a translation of a sentence that is about 5000 years old (give or take) and was directed to mostly uneducated recently freed slaves and herders ...

Welcome jmatos316

My question would be: What good does it do to further misinform uneducated folks? I would expect divinely inspired stuff to be more accurate, while made up human stuff doesn't surprise me when it is wrong.

When science and the bible don't match, and science is provable, what are we supposed to think about the bible, accuracy-wise. If it can't get the stuff we can confirm right, why should we accept the rest of the book as correct?

Not everyone is entitled to their opinion. They're all entitled to mine though.

Offline Nam

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2014, 10:20:33 PM »
Topic is four years old? Start a new one. Sheesh.

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Offline jdawg70

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 09:49:10 AM »
Topic is four years old? Start a new one. Sheesh.

-Nam

Isn't there a minimum number of posts required before someone can start a new thread?
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2014, 12:54:43 PM »
Hello .. came across this thread and I'm glad. Its one of the few places I"ve seen to address the issue from the "science" side ...

I do have a question: If the "Bible" claimed that God said, "and the hare, because he licks his anus until a ball comes out and then swallows it, he is unclean"  would you then believe that the Bible was actually divinely inspired?
I hope that is a rhetorical question.

One fact about one animal in a very long book does not mean that it is "divinely inspired."

However, as Yaheweh was apparently clever enough to invent every cell and the function of every cell of every living creature, and as He apparently designed a universe so perfectly (from the smallest quark to the largest black hole and all that is in it) that it is here 6,000 years later, one assume that Brilliant Scientist Yahweh would know if a rabbit chewed the cud, wouldn't you? So that basic error sets Genesis and Leviticus aside as a myth: someone is telling lies.

Quote
If you were God, and you were making a general rule for a bunch of ex-slaves to follow on how to decide what animals were safe to eat and which weren't ... how would you describe what the rabbit does? ... why does "he" even mention it?
I would say, "Don't eat rabbits. Y'all know what rabbits are, right? Don't eat 'em. Any questions? Particularly questions about eating rabbits?"

Quote
I guess I'm just saying that a little bit of latitude has to be allowed for the use of the phrase "chew the cud" as a translation of a sentence that is about 5000 years old (give or take) and was directed to mostly uneducated recently freed slaves and herders ...
The Bible isn't about "latitude." It is about unthinking obedience.

And if you are speaking to congenital idiots, you make everything very, very simple and clear - why was it necessary to mention "chewing the cud" at all?
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2014, 04:02:16 PM »
Why make long, unwieldly lists and descriptions of all the animals anyway? Why not just say: cook all animal meat well done, boil the water before you drink it and wash your hands after touching dead stuff or sh!t.

Those three instructions would pretty much cover everything people in ancient times needed to know, ex-slaves or not. In a format that would be easy to understand, with no need for interpretation.

Add in a few general paragraphs about disease germs and how to avoid them plus some stuff about how all humans should be treated with equal respect. And presto! You've brought them into the 20th century, god.

So, no, the bible is not from a divine being at all. Sorry.  :(
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Mooby

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2014, 05:30:53 PM »
However, as Yaheweh was apparently clever enough to invent every cell and the function of every cell of every living creature, and as He apparently designed a universe so perfectly (from the smallest quark to the largest black hole and all that is in it) that it is here 6,000 years later, one assume that Brilliant Scientist Yahweh would know if a rabbit chewed the cud, wouldn't you?
Or the phrase in the original language at that time period was simply used more generally than the modern phrase it was translated to.  Much like how older textbooks were not "wrong" when they labeled Pluto a planet, but rather the term "planet" has a narrower definition now than it did when those textbooks were written.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2014, 09:54:25 PM »
Topic is four years old? Start a new one. Sheesh.

-Nam

Isn't there a minimum number of posts required before someone can start a new thread?

So make three posts and then start a topic. Not that difficult.

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2014, 07:13:57 PM »
However, as Yaheweh was apparently clever enough to invent every cell and the function of every cell of every living creature, and as He apparently designed a universe so perfectly (from the smallest quark to the largest black hole and all that is in it) that it is here 6,000 years later, one assume that Brilliant Scientist Yahweh would know if a rabbit chewed the cud, wouldn't you?
Or the phrase in the original language at that time period was simply used more generally than the modern phrase it was translated to.  Much like how older textbooks were not "wrong" when they labeled Pluto a planet, but rather the term "planet" has a narrower definition now than it did when those textbooks were written.
It works out a little differently, although a little longer: in fact, the animal described is not a rabbit/coney: it is a hyrax.

Here's a Hyrax:


The HyraxWiki article accurately mentions that the hyrax does not chew the cud but does make "cud-chewing" movements with its jaw. There is a video of the hyrax doing this.

The following abstract shows that the hyrax does not chew the cud:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8529006 - the digestive system of the rock hyrax:
Quote
The stomach of the rock hyrax (Procavia habessinica) is divided into a non glandular part with very slow movements, and a glandular part which rapidly mix the digesta. The large intestine has two fermentation chambers, the caecum, which rapidly mixes the digesta, and the colonic sac, which efficiently, but slowly, mixes digesta. Between these chambers runs the connecting colon. No retrograde transport is observed in any part of the large intestine.
The natural concern is that this "cud-chewing" error points to the fact that the writer, far from being inspired by a creator god, who would have known, was recording his own observations.

The Hebrew noun is gerah (cud H1625) which is derived from garar (pron. gaw-rar' H1641) that itself comes from a primitive root; to drag off roughly; by implication to bring up the cud (that is, ruminate); [...]"(Strong 's Hebrew Dictionary.)

There is no doubt that your apologist idea of the writer being "a bit vague" does not run as the society revolved around herding animals, and, there is not much doubt that they had a word for ruminate as it is used more than once in an effort to be accurate and precise.

If it helps you, I am sure that this point is not critical to Salvation as very few of us nowadays actually eat hyraxes; it is simply another pointer on the way to a conclusion.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2014, 07:39:31 PM by Graybeard »
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Mooby

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2014, 08:04:49 PM »
It works out a little differently, although a little longer: in fact, the animal described is not a rabbit/coney: it is a hyrax.
Actually, it's both.  Hyrax is Leviticus 11:5 and rabbit is Leviticus 11:6.

Quote
There is no doubt that your apologist idea of the writer being "a bit vague" does not run as the society revolved around herding animals, and, there is not much doubt that they had a word for ruminate as it is used more than once in an effort to be accurate and precise.
Or the phrase simply described the motion in general rather than the actual act of rumination.  Again, "chew the cud" is our English approximation of what they actually meant.

2000 years from now future peoples will be calling us idiots after translating our language into their foreign tongue because we talk about how a woman's water broke just after sunrise.  Thankfully, they will be quick to point out in their infinite wisdom that amniotic fluid is not water and the sun does not move!
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2014, 08:19:02 PM »
Or the phrase simply described the motion in general rather than the actual act of rumination.  Again, "chew the cud" is our English approximation of what they actually meant.
I have no idea why you are acting as an apologist. There is no doubt that the animal herders were fluent with their animal herding terms: look at the number of allusions to animals in the OT.

Quote
2000 years from now future peoples will be calling us idiots after translating our language into their foreign tongue because we talk about how a woman's water broke just after sunrise.  Thankfully, they will be quick to point out in their infinite wisdom that amniotic fluid is not water and the sun does not move!
I did not mention your earlier example as I thought that you were joking. The book you are comparing with a casual non-technical description of the forerunner to a birth is supposed to be inspired by the words of a deity. - I suspect it is blasphemous to suggest Yahweh is "vague".

This idea of being the apologist is simply saying, "I have a magic decoder ring." and I honestly thought that you were beyond that. For some reason better known to himself, the writer of that part of Leviticus, decided that hyraxes and hares/rabbits were off the menu. In an attempt to bring some authoritative logic/a system, he sees that lagomorphs and hyraxes appear to move their jaws in a way similar to ruminants. He therefore sticks in that bit as well thinking that they are, so all the others can say - "It's not kosher even though it does chew the cud."

In a traditional manner, he makes it up as he has no idea how he would find out... and why should he even bother to find out? He "knows". He therefore invents the backing of Yahweh.

The writer at this point is the Priestly source and he is not going to be vague. He is one of the few educated men in the tribe. He can write.

No. You're wrong on this one. Even the Jesuits are not going to support you.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Mooby

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #22 on: March 29, 2014, 03:47:43 PM »
I have no idea why you are acting as an apologist. There is no doubt that the animal herders were fluent with their animal herding terms: look at the number of allusions to animals in the OT.
They were fluent in the modern English animal herding terms, or the terms of their own language at their own time? 

Quote
I did not mention your earlier example as I thought that you were joking. The book you are comparing with a casual non-technical description of the forerunner to a birth is supposed to be inspired by the words of a deity. - I suspect it is blasphemous to suggest Yahweh is "vague".
You've quoted me twice as saying that God was being "vague."  I take that to mean I've actually said it somewhere, because you are intellectually honest, correct?

Or are you creating a straw man?

Quote
For some reason better known to himself, the writer of that part of Leviticus, decided that hyraxes and hares/rabbits were off the menu. In an attempt to bring some authoritative logic/a system, he sees that lagomorphs and hyraxes appear to move their jaws in a way similar to ruminants. He therefore sticks in that bit as well thinking that they are, so all the others can say - "It's not kosher even though it does chew the cud."
Do you have any evidence that the writer of Leviticus actually thought hares and hyraxes were ruminants?

Quote
The writer at this point is the Priestly source and he is not going to be vague.
More hay for your straw man, I suppose.  When are you planning to address what I've actually said?

Quote
No. You're wrong on this one.
Yeah, still waiting on your proof of that.  All you've said so far is:
- My position is about vagueness (it's not; you completely made up two of your quotes of me.)
- The author of Leviticus thought hyraxes and hares/rabbits were ruminants (you've provided no evidence of this, and it is not self-evident in the passage)
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #23 on: March 29, 2014, 06:40:55 PM »
I have no idea why you are acting as an apologist. There is no doubt that the animal herders were fluent with their animal herding terms: look at the number of allusions to animals in the OT.
They were fluent in the modern English animal herding terms, or the terms of their own language at their own time?
You think, for one moment that a nation dedicated to herding domestic animals did not have a verb for "to chew the cud"? If so, I can't help you.

Quote
You've quoted me twice as saying that God was being "vague."  I take that to mean I've actually said it somewhere, because you are intellectually honest, correct?

Or are you creating a straw man?
I can hardly believe that it so important to you that you demonstrate that the decoding ring means that the Bible was not wrong on the matter of a couple of small furry animals "chewing cud".

It is clear that it is, you can shout and protest but it is there.

I am disappointed that your concentration was entirely spent on this matter that you found fit to accuse me of various things. Let me remind you of what you said:
Or the phrase in the original language at that time period was simply used more generally than the modern phrase it was translated to. 
Or the phrase simply described the motion in general rather than the actual act of rumination. Again, "chew the cud" is our English approximation of what they actually meant.
I think “vague” is justified, don’t you?

Quote
Do you have any evidence that the writer of Leviticus actually thought hares and hyraxes were ruminants?
Yes. Does he not say they "chew the cud"? Is that specific to ruminants?

Quote
Quote
The writer at this point is the Priestly source and he is not going to be vague.
More hay for your straw man, I suppose.  When are you planning to address what I've actually said?
I suppose the answer to that is "When you say something that has some likelihood of being true."

Quote
Quote
No. You're wrong on this one.
Yeah, still waiting on your proof of that.
You can't be. You have read my posts.
Quote
All you've said so far is:
- My position is about vagueness (it's not; you completely made up two of your quotes of me.)
Yes. Your explanation seems not to be reasonable nor likely: you are saying "It might have been that <insert tortured apology>."

Quote
- The author of Leviticus thought hyraxes and hares/rabbits were ruminants (you've provided no evidence of this, and it is not self-evident in the passage)
You mean "Other than that he distinctly says they "chew the cud"..."?

I had you down as being reasonable. I honestly cannot understand why you make a pointless insistence. Your average Priestly Source author would have only the vaguest idea about hyraxes/hares/rabbits and their digestive systems. He sees their jaws going like those of a ruminant and what happened? He writes down that memorable phrase "chews the cud". which they don't and God knows they don't.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2014, 06:53:22 PM by Graybeard »
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Mooby

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #24 on: March 29, 2014, 07:23:39 PM »
You think, for one moment that a nation dedicated to herding domestic animals did not have a verb for "to chew the cud"?
Um... no?  I think that they might have just defined it slightly differently.

Quote
Quote
You've quoted me twice as saying that God was being "vague."  I take that to mean I've actually said it somewhere, because you are intellectually honest, correct?

Or are you creating a straw man?
I can hardly believe that it so important to you that you demonstrate that the decoding ring means that the Bible was not wrong on the matter of a couple of small furry animals "chewing cud".
Lol nice dodge.

Obviously it's important enough for you to bring up.

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I think “vague” is justified, don’t you?
Obviously not, or I would have said it.

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Yes. Does he not say they "chew the cud"? Is that specific to ruminants?
As we define it in our language in 2014, yes.  In every language and every culture at every time in history?  Probably not.  Phrase connotations and scope are not immutable.

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The writer at this point is the Priestly source and he is not going to be vague.
More hay for your straw man, I suppose.  When are you planning to address what I've actually said?
I suppose the answer to that is "When you say something that has some likelihood of being true.
Zing!  Nice dodge.

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- The author of Leviticus thought hyraxes and hares/rabbits were ruminants (you've provided no evidence of this, and it is not self-evident in the passage)
You mean "Other than that he distinctly says they "chew the cud"..."?
Yes, as in an actual claim that they're ruminants.  Preferably something referencing anatomy or the actual physiological process rather than a behavior.

Like, for example, let's say I wrote in a post that you were "calculating," and someone found it 2000 years from now and translated it into their foreign, futuristic tongue (Moo Speak.)  In Moo Speak, "calculating" best translates to a phrase that is only ever used to describe computers ("moo mooey moo"), and is never used to describe a living being.  The superficial reader may read into my post and think that I was confused whether or not I was talking to a computer.  The savvy responder may point out that maybe, just maybe, "moo mooey moo" had a slightly different connotation and scope when it was "calculating" in English 2000 years prior, and that the superficial reader's quick condemnation of me as unable to tell man from machine might have been a bit premature based on incorrectly applying his understanding of "moo mooey moo" to my use of "calculating."

And then, of course, the superficial reader would quote the savvy responder as saying I was being vague, and ask why I would need to be vague.  After the savvy responder pointed out he never said I was vague, the superficial reader might go on to say that I was quite obviously confused because I clearly thought the other poster was a computer.  Of course, when the savvy responder would then ask where the evidence is that I actually thought the other person was a computer, the superficial responder might say, "Other than he distinctly says, 'moo mooey moo?'"

Well, yes.  Actual evidence that I think you are a computer would involve me mentioning something about how computers work: I might mention your programming or that you run on electricity or call you "nonhuman" or something else that supports the idea that "calculating" specifically referred to a computer, not just a description of a behavior that might include both humans and computers in today's world yet only include computers in a future world.  Likewise, actual evidence that the author of Leviticus meant that rabbits and hyraxes were ruminants would involve mentioning something about their anatomy or something similar, and not just a description of mouth movements that could easily apply to both ruminants and non-ruminants in the ancient world yet only apply to ruminants in today's world.

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I had you down as being reasonable. I honestly cannot understand why you make a pointless insistence.
Did I start this thread?  Did I even post in this thread before you did?

Obviously it's an important enough issue to you that you must insist you're right despite having no real evidence for it.  Yet you feel you have the authority to dictate what should be pointless for me?

Or are you just trying to get me to back off?
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Offline Graybeard

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2014, 11:30:07 AM »
Like, for example, let's say I wrote in a post that you were "calculating," and someone found it 2000 years from now and translated it into their foreign, futuristic tongue (Moo Speak.)  In Moo Speak, "calculating" best translates to a phrase that is only ever used to describe computers ("moo mooey moo"), and is never used to describe a living being.  The superficial reader may read into my post and think that I was confused whether or not I was talking to a computer.  The savvy responder may point out that maybe, just maybe, "moo mooey moo" had a slightly different connotation and scope when it was "calculating" in English 2000 years prior, and that the superficial reader's quick condemnation of me as unable to tell man from machine might have been a bit premature based on incorrectly applying his understanding of "moo mooey moo" to my use of "calculating."
SO what you are saying is that the whole Bible is probably no more than an approximation to what was really said and done and, as a consequence, nothing at all in it can be relied upon. I have a tendency to agree with you when we examine the Bible as a whole but without external, modern reference.

If you really want to take a linguistic approach, then it is really very hard to argue against an animal herding society not knowing exactly what "chewing the cud" means and means the same as the meaning we have today. We do not expect the Hebrew verb walk in the context I walked to the temple." to mean anything different from that which we today understand.

It will be so that we take the common meaning of the adjective plastic differently from the ancient Hebrew and here the translator must be careful, but in ancient knowledge, "chew the cud" has remained pretty constant as there is no real alternative to it.

I don't now want you to go burbling on about how the mental image of a tree differs between a Canadian and a Mexican as this is not at al the same thing.

I had you down as a reasonable person but I see that in this instance, you are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to try and establish that hyraxes and rabbits/hares were the subject of a unique misinterpretation. I think that says it all.
RELIGION, n. A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable. Ambrose Bierce

Offline Mooby

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2014, 12:43:21 PM »
SO what you are saying is that the whole Bible is probably no more than an approximation to what was really said and done and, as a consequence, nothing at all in it can be relied upon.
No, that is not what I am saying at all.

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If you really want to take a linguistic approach, then it is really very hard to argue against an animal herding society not knowing exactly what "chewing the cud" means and means the same as the meaning we have today.
They would not have used the words "chewing the cud."  They used different words with their own meanings that we translated into English.  Translation is not 1 to 1.

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We do not expect the Hebrew verb walk in the context I walked to the temple." to mean anything different from that which we today understand.
Correct.  However, when we start looking at a set of words (walk, jog, run, speed walk, skip, sprint, etc.), then the meanings can get blurry.  I could take a brisk walk to work and translate it into a foreign language and back and suddenly be jogging or running, because where we draw the lines between walk/jog/run is not universal to all languages at all times.

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I had you down as a reasonable person but I see that in this instance, you are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to try and establish that hyraxes and rabbits/hares were the subject of a unique misinterpretation. I think that says it all.
No, I never said there was any misinterpretation.  However, either way you are making an ad hominem against me.  Still trying to get me to back off?
"I'm doing science and I'm still alive."--J.C.

Online nogodsforme

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Re: Do Rabbits Chew the Cud or Will A Turd Decide The Errancy of The Bible?
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2014, 04:52:38 PM »
What is clear to me from this interchange between Mooby and Graybeard is something entirely different from the specific points about whether rabbits are ruminants or what "chewing the cud" actually means.

We have here the example of two very intelligent, well-read individuals with completely different takes on what a few relatively unimportant phrases mean. In a different time and place, they might have been willing to pull out swords and fight each other over it.

The larger and far more important point is this: there is no surefire way to know what the hell a lot of stuff in the bible means. Both Mooby and Graybeard have allowed that words can change their meanings over time, and that translations from one language to another are not perfect. The bible is not exempt from these language issues.

Given these facts, we are still supposed to assume that the bible--full of imperfectly translated passages and words with meanings that have changed over time--is a true reflection of something vitally important about an eternal, all-powerful, perfect god-being.[1]

If the bible is really important, maybe the most important writing ever, and is guided in some way or other by a god-being, shouldn't it be clear, accurate and not subject to more than one interpretation? I would think so. But here in this thread we have seen how a few passages spark huge disagreements--and this is between two people with basically the same language and culture!

Even the commandments supposedly straight from god are not clear to everyone.[2] There is no clear ruling from the god-being on who has the correct interpretation; no special powers or signs or healings or anything from one group versus the others.  And every group says they are correct, and the others are wrong, citing the exact same lack of concrete evidence for the other group's beliefs as atheists do for all of them. 

Therefore, the bible should be treated like any other writing created by regular, ordinary human beings who don't know everything, who do not have magical powers, who cannot see the future, who make mistakes and who don't always write things clearly. Then all the contradictions and problems make perfect sense!

Every religious text should be subject to amending and updating based on new information, like British common law-- or the US constitution. That document, like the bible, allowed for slavery. When slavery was made illegal, the document was changed--unlike the bible. People who study law admit that the constitution is imperfect and sometimes ambiguous--that is why there are debates, disagreements, and volumes of discussion about it. When there is a ruling, everyone knows that it is temporary, and could be overturned or changed in the future.

Of course, since people always interpret the bible with their own cultural meanings, they are doing the same amending thing all the time, but don't want to admit it. Not many modern Christians stone adulterers or gays to death, sacrifice sheep, treat disease with animal blood or avoid mixed fibers. They just try to ignore the stuff in the bible that doesn't apply to their own modern lives. Or they say that the ickier or sillier stuff applies only to Jews (who don't follow most of the rules either!) or only applied to the people back in bible times.

If the bible is not going to be officially updated so it makes sense, it should be treated the same way that Christians treat the Hindu Gita or the book of Mormon-- as culturally interesting, and even worth knowing about, perhaps, but no more divinely inspired or eternally important than a 1950's cookbook or last week's TV Guide.
 1. Or whatever the Christian person in question says are the qualities of the god they believe in.
 2. What does the "no idols" rule mean? No statues or depictions of any living thing at all? Just no pictures of Jehovah God? No images of Jesus? Or what?
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.