Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Deja Vu

Check out this link to see a discussion about an article in the International Journal of Cardiology, concerning how verses in Scripture demonstrate a knowledge of the function of the heart and blood that would not be discovered by science until thousands of years later.

The catch is, this is not the Jewish Scriptures, but rather the Islamic Scriptures! It's all the same themes of wishful thinking that we have (unfortunately) seen in the Jewish world.

(Thanks to Mordy Ovits for sending this in)

35 comments:

  1. The muslims are the big enthusiasts of "proving" religion based on "scientific knowledge" in religious scripture. Only problem is, they distort what is actually written in order to deceive people, and they pretend that the ancient greek knowledge utilized by koran is actually modern knowledge. There are videos all over youtube debunking their lies and distortions. One of the prime offenders was "Dr. Nakir Zaik."

    Their claims are a complete joke. The scientifically ignorant, however, have not a clue of the deception involved.

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  2. Next you'll be telling us that there are miracle stories that have happened to Muslim clerics, and Christian priests, and not just rabbis!

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  3. You should send it to R' Aharon Feldman; it's nearly as impressive as his semen from the brain proof.

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  4. When you said "Deja vu," I had a flashback to this link:
    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2010/01/muslim-slifkin.html

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  5. R' Slifkin, you have again presented a good argument that there are very poor arguments in trying to reconcile modern scientific knowledge and the Bible/Talmud. However, I'm not sure you've answered the question (on your blog, at least) whether there are any good arguments in this regard. I mean, do you think that the Scriptures indeed demonstrate a piece of knowledge here or there that would not be discovered by science until thousands of years later?

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  6. The fact that a scientific journal can publish such nonsense shows how biased and sympathetic leftist academics are towards islam. You would never see an intelligent design or creationist article being published in nature!

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  7. "The fact that a scientific journal can publish such nonsense shows how biased and sympathetic leftist academics are towards islam."

    That, or they are cleverly posting this article to expose Christians to the material so that they will stop submiting bible related articles

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  8. The scientific revolution was brought about by the neighbors of the world of Torah. First by religious Christians, then by secular Jews. The rebuke is thunderous: The knowledge should have come from the world of Torah. And what is "our" response to the rebuke? Rejection of scientific knowledge. Oy. May HaShem have Mercy.

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  9. The fact that a scientific journal can publish such nonsense shows how biased and sympathetic leftist academics are towards islam.

    No, this article had nothing to do with leftist academics, and everything to do with money. It shows how far money can go in persuading scientists and academics to abandon their commitments to science. There is an abundance of Islamic oil wealth, as well as a desperation for Islam to gain academic acceptance on an international (read Western) stage. Some wealthy oil magnates paid a lot of money here in an attempt to promote Islam. Getting an article like this published in a scientific journal gives an illusion of academic and scientific legitimacy to Islam to the uneducated masses to whom it will be quoted and referred to. Those academics who signed off to approve this article for publication will loose their jobs but now have large bank accounts. Make no mistake – money is power – and Islamic oil wealth has just scored another victory.

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  10. I mean, do you think that the Scriptures indeed demonstrate a piece of knowledge here or there that would not be discovered by science until thousands of years later?

    Pliny - There is plenty of that material around, both Jewish and Christian. Although, most of it is about as "scientific" as the above referenced article.

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  11. R' Nathan, have you seen the article on geocentrism in this weeks Kulmus supplement of english version of Mishpacha magazine?

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  12. No, but thanks for the heads-up! Does it claim that relativity solves it?

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  13. Of course it concludes with the relativity claim, but it is more opened and doesn't present is as the final answer.

    Even-though Mishpacha is far from bring rationalist, the articles is Kulmus are getting more and more bearable (i.e. "it aint no yated").

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  14. Does it claim that relativity solves it?
    I've seen that claim (that the whole geocentricity argument is essentially moot) in no less than the name of Albert Einstein, but I don't understand it. IIUC, relativity only refers to inertial movement (if that is the right term), where there is no force acting on the bodies involved. The planets, however, are all acted on by the sun's gravitational force (that is why they move in an ellipse, not a straight line). Is this correct? If anybody knows the answer please let me know.

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  15. " The planets, however, are all acted on by the sun's gravitational force (that is why they move in an ellipse, not a straight line). Is this correct? If anybody knows the answer please let me know."

    Planets both move very fast and are pulled by -two- not one, centers of mass. That is why they move in an ellipse, not a circle.

    Also, without any direct reference point in space, it could be argued that everything revolves around everything else and after you take into account all revolutions, anything can be pointed at as the center. Or so the theory goes.

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  16. To dlz: The Sun, the Earth, the planets, the Moon, etc, are all freely falling. Their being subject to gravitational forces does not count as long as they are freely falling. All freely falling bodies have the same formal status. Every freely falling object defines a reference frame, equivalent to all others, in which this body itself does not move. And so, the Sun rotates around the Earth just as much as the Earth rotates around the Sun. This holds true for the yearly motion of the Earth around the Sun. Now, the "Torah" claim is not that the Earth moves around the Sun every year, or that the Sun rotates around the Earth every year. The claim is that Sun rotates around the Earth every day. Now, this is not a matter that can be made moot via relativity. The spinning of the Earth around its axis is absolute. Therefore, relativity does not allow you to say that the Earth stands still and that the Sun and the stars encircle it every day.

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  17. "Pliny - There is plenty of that material around, both Jewish and Christian. Although, most of it is about as "scientific" as the above referenced article."

    Michapeset, thanks for offering an response even though it was intended for R' Slifkin. I hate to say it, but you really didn't answer the question at all. Maybe if you had written "all of it" instead of "most of it," then I would treat your response as a real answer. To be honest, I haven't even decided whether I'd agree with that answer or not.

    If you or R' Slifkin can identify one or two examples from Scripture that demonstrate a piece of knowledge here or there that would not be discovered by science until thousands of years later, then I'd surely appreciate it. (Or, if you think the answer is "none," then that's fine, too.)

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  18. 1) I have often heard the theory of relativity bandied about on this topic. But as far as I know Einstein's theory of relativity (at least the version they try teaching to amateurs like me) has nothing to do this topic.

    2) While Lubavitchers are dogmatic about an earth-centered universe, many, many American chareidim are not (in my experience).

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  19. Pliny,
    concerning the following passage from I Kings 1:1
    When King David was very old, he could not keep warm even when they put covers over him. 2 So his attendants said to him, “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm.”

    The hypothesis: David's old wives and porcupines could not keep him as warm as a mature teenage girl.

    It appears that science has confirmed this ancient Jewish knowledge. See:
    http://www.jpma.org.pk/full_article_text.php?article_id=1521

    where they find that "older is colder".


    KT,
    Gary Goldwater

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  20. Amateur is mistaken in his belief that the planets are drawn to 2 centers. He confuses what it takes to draw an ellipse with the physical forces dictating an elliptical orbit. Newton showed over 3 centuries ago that objects moving stably in a central-force field will execute elliptical orbits. They are drawn to a central great mass, the sun. If Amateur were correct, what is the 2nd center drawing Mercury and Venus which have no moons, Mars which has 2 tiny ones, and Jupiter which has a number of large moons?

    Einstein's conception of universal gravitation was quite different than Newton's. He insisted on not basing his equations on preferred reference frames. Hence, a sun centered frame or an earth centered one will do equally in describing the relative positions of the earth-sun pair over the course of a year. The daily rotation of the earth is trickier. While Einstein allows for the conception of a stationary earth and space that rotates, it is certainly not intuitive.

    In any case, there is no inherent conflict between the classical Newtonian solar system and verses in Tanach. The latter was written from the natural perspective of people living in those times. Newton, by the way, spent more time in his biblical studies (he learnt hebrew and Aramaic so that he could investigate both torah and talmudic sources) than on math (he invented the calculus) and physics. He also rejected the Christian trinity, and was considered a Maimonidean adherent by J.M. Keynes, a noted scholar who bought much of Newton's unpublished collection of papers.

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  21. >>> The daily rotation of the earth is trickier.

    I am always amused at the length some go to explain the erroneous views of our sages.

    Let’s see. You have somebody in a car who circles an apartment block for 100 times. Certainly, as far as relativity goes you can say that the building circled the car 100 times, but at the end of the day, who needs to fill up its tank of gas, the car or the building.

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  22. "While Einstein allows for the conception of a stationary earth and space that rotates, it is certainly not intuitive."

    You mean the concept of space being dragged around the Earth by the stars? Or do you refer to a Machian type of equivalence of all motion? The latter was rejected by Einstein and is not a tenet of General Relativity. The former is nonsense, not just "not intuitive".

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  23. Pliny – Sorry, but I don't know of any sources off hand. But Google is your friend – use it to do the research – I’m sure you can find some.

    Gary - I don't think King David had any porcupines lying beside him. Porcupines are terribly uncomfortable for humans to have lying beside them. But it could be that what they were suggesting for King David was a young concubine. A concubine would cause far less discomfort to King David than a porcupine (be it old or young).

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  24. "Certainly, as far as relativity goes you can say that the building circled the car 100 times"

    Actually, no, but your intuition is correct when you mention the gas.

    Not everything has become relative since Einstein. Relativity is not an empty statement. Einstein's work establishes the consequences of a mathematical symmetry of the laws of Nature called "Lorentz Invariance." The invariance concerns coordinate transformations between specific coordinate systems - those associated to freely falling objects. Cars encircling a building are not freely falling objects. That is why you have to pay for the gas.

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  25. Porcupines are terribly uncomfortable for humans to have lying beside them.

    :-) Thank you for a great laugh! (Gary, it was an honest mistake, just a funny one.)

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  26. Before anybody takes too much time critiquing it,my previous comment was meant to be humorous.
    Enjoy,
    Gary Goldwater

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  27. Moshe and Elemir, I am under the impression that Einstein worked within the framework of the Machian principle. However, I am certainly willing to be corrected if a reliable source is cited. As it is, the idea that the universe is rotating around a stationary earth is, indeed, strange - even if it was the dominant model in classical and preclassical times. One objection is the fact that the rotation has been slowing slightly - a fact necessitating adjustments of atomic clocks to keep pace with the apparent movement of the heavenly bodies. That slowing is readily explained in terms of the tidal interaction of the earth with the moon that decreases the earth's angular momentum (related to spin rate) while increasing that of the moon (it is observed to be receding slightly from the earth based on the return trip times of laser beams reflecting off a mirror that was placed on the moon).

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  28. |I am under the impression that Einstein worked within the framework of the Machian principle. However, I am certainly willing to be corrected if a reliable source is cited."

    Any text book about General Relativity will do, if you are up to the math. See also the biography "Subtle is the Lord" by Abraham Pais. Einstein was originally attracted by Mach's ideas, but Nature did not want to cooperate.

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  29. my previous comment was meant to be humorous.

    That possibility occurred to me in hindsight. Ah, the price you pay for subtlety... (Sorry, Gary!)

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  30. "If Amateur were correct, what is the 2nd center drawing Mercury and Venus which have no moons, Mars which has 2 tiny ones, and Jupiter which has a number of large moons?"

    What do moons have to do with it? its a second focus of mass taking into account rotation, velocity, and many other forces at play. the first focus is the larger mass, and the second focus is an empty space between the two which happens to change over time.

    If Im not mistaken, the discovery of pluto was based on neptunes second focus point.

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  31. Gary - It was humorous in more ways than you intended! :)

    And I certainly did enjoy. Thanks!

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  32. Planets both move very fast and are pulled by -two- not one, centers of mass. That is why they move in an ellipse, not a circle. - Ameteur

    I responded by stating that the planetary orbits are determined essentially by the gravitational pull of the sun - not also by some other center of mass. As evidence of this well-known assertion, I pointed to the fact that other planets have no massive moons or a number of them, so that there is no significant, unique 2nd mass that pulls them.
    You then responded:

    What do moons have to do with it? its a second focus of mass taking into account rotation, velocity, and many other forces at play. the first focus is the larger mass, and the second focus is an empty space between the two which happens to change over time. - Ameteur

    You insist on making stuff up. The 2nd focus of the elliptical orbits is close to the first, the sun, since the orbits are nearly circular. In fact, the less eccentric orbits of some planets can be approximated as circles with the sun somewhat offset from their centers. The existence of a 2nd focus is not considered to have physical significance. Newton's laws for 2 attracting bodies can result in stable orbits which have the form of an ellipse. When one of those bodies is far more massive than the other, as is the case with the sun-earth system, then the center of mass is within the massive body. I should also note that the equation for the ellipse is given by the major and minor axes without explicit reference to the focal points.

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  33. "You insist on making stuff up."

    Y. Aharon, I have not made up anything.

    Feel free to research the discovery of Neptune and Pluto, and the affects that non-moon objects have on the orbits of objects in space.

    Moons are too close to a planet to have any real affect on its orbit unless it's mass is of a significant value.

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  34. Ameteur, your problem may, indeed, not be 'making stuff up', but relying on poor sources or misunderstanding what you read. If you wish me to take seriously anything of a scientific nature that you state, then you need to cite a reliable source and the wording. A Wikipedia article will do. While I certainly won't claim expertise in all areas of science, I, at least, have some credentials stemming from a Ph.D. in chemical physics from an Ivy League university, and decades of research on a broad range of topics in physical chemistry. I have also worked to keep current in various areas of science. What credentials have you to make bold statements about scientific matters and to insist that you are correct?

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