RE: sciDocument.rtf

From: Shuan Rose (
Date: Mon Jul 01 2002 - 18:11:14 EDT

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    I I think its a mistake to assume the ancients knew or cared about what
    21st century biologistss meant by taxonomy. the key category for the writer
    of Leviticus was clean and unclean. For him, a bat was an unnatural type of
    bird and therefore unclean.A rabbit was an abnormal type of cud chewing
    animal, and therefore also unclean. Had he known that a rabbit did not chew
    his cud, he may reassigned the rabbit to the clean category.In any case, it
    is crystal clear that the writer was mistaken about the characteristics of
    these animals.

    -----Original Message-----
    From: gordon brown [mailto:gbrown@euclid.Colorado.EDU]
    Sent: Monday, July 01, 2002 3:36 PM
    To: Shuan Rose
    Cc: Asa
    Subject: RE: sciDocument.rtf


    I think that it is a mistake to assume that the ancients used the same
    taxonomy as 21st century biologists. Thus we can't expect to
    find exact equivalents for translations of general categories. It appears
    to me that the first division the Old Testament makes is to distinguish
    land animals, marine animals, and animals that fly in the air. See Genesis
    1 and Leviticus 11.

    Gordon Brown
    Department of Mathematics
    University of Colorado
    Boulder, CO 80309-0395

    On Mon, 1 Jul 2002, Shuan Rose wrote:

    > I would say that the author in this case was not a biologist and was
    > unconcerned about such things as how many legs an insect had, or whether a
    > bat was a bird or flying mammal. His concern was telling the ordinary
    > of his time which animals were clean, and which unclean. Even today, many
    > laymen in modern society would not know if a bat was a bird, or the true
    > number of legs on insects. You don't need to be stupid not to know things
    > outside your experience, or area of expertise.

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