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Author Topic:   Biblical Eugenics - being wrong about how to colorize your goats
New Cat's Eye
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Posts: 11665
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 1 of 185 (706473)
09-12-2013 10:39 AM


In Genesis 30, starting at verse 25, the NIV describes this section as "Jacob’s Flocks Increase".

Jacob has been working for Laben and as payment he wanted some goats. Laben goes through the flock and removes all the different color patterns from them (speckeled, spotted, and streaked) and leaves the rest of the dark-colored ones for Jacob.

Jacob then does some eugenics to make some new speckeled, spotted, and streaked goats so they'll be distinct form Labens flock. Here's how he does it:

quote:
Gen 30 (NIV)

37 Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches.

38 Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink,

39 they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted.

40 Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban’s animals.


This stems from the idea that the coloration of the offspring is influenced by what the mother is looking at during conception.

I've been trying to find some more information about that, but I keep getting results for modern pregnancy and birth websites. I did find one site on Traditional Hispanic beliefs and myths about pregnancy that lists: "If you see something ugly when you're pregnant, your baby will be ugly, too". If anyone has any links they could provide about this, that that'd be great.

Anyways, we now know about genetics and how the coloration of animals is really determined.

I think this passage provides another example of how the Bible gets things wrong and I don't think its been discussed here before.

I'd like to hear from the Biblical literalists and inerrantists, and/or those who think the Bible doesn't get anything wrong, about how they can maitain that in light of this obvious and gross error in eugenics.


Replies to this message:
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AdminNosy
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Posts: 4753
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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Message 2 of 185 (706475)
09-12-2013 10:44 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Biblical Eugenics - being wrong about how to colorize your goats thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5277
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002


(1)
Message 3 of 185 (706497)
09-12-2013 3:12 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
09-12-2013 10:39 AM


CS, my wife was pregnant with our oldest when she was working in a hospital in Ohio. A patient had received a flower arrangement with a toy chimpanzee holding some of the bouquet. My wife was headed into the room to see it - a nurse had said it was really, really cute - but another aide physically blocked her, because "IT"LL MARK THE BABY!!!!"

I think you are pretty close on your mythology explanation...


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jar
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Posts: 29183
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 4 of 185 (706498)
09-12-2013 3:28 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
09-12-2013 10:39 AM


a test for honesty.
Well, here is another relatively simple test the "Creation Scientists" could perform. All that is need are three herds of goats and a few tree branches.

You got the order somewhat wrong though in your explanation. The speckled, striped and spotted goats and the dark colored lambs were to become Jacobs.

But it is an interesting passage since it shows Jacob conning Laban and becoming rich through the con job.

The prior passage is also interesting. Real wives of Paddan Aram or what can you buy with a mandrake.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
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PaulK
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Posts: 12969
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.2


(1)
Message 5 of 185 (706499)
09-12-2013 3:35 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
09-12-2013 10:39 AM


I've mentioned it a couple of times. Because it's a place where the Bible is clearly and unambiguously wrong about science.
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11665
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 6 of 185 (706500)
09-12-2013 3:41 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by jar
09-12-2013 3:28 PM


Re: a test for honesty.
You got the order somewhat wrong though in your explanation. The speckled, striped and spotted goats and the dark colored lambs were to become Jacobs.

Ah, yeah... I just re-read it.

quote:
31 “What shall I give you?” he (Laben) asked.
“Don’t give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them:
32 Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages.
33 And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.”

So yeah, Jacob gets the "colored" ones.

I think I was confused by this part:

quote:
34 “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.”
35 That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons.
36 Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.

.

But it is an interesting passage since it shows Jacob conning Laban and becoming rich through the con job.

Yup, he's all: "Just give me the 'colored' ones and then if you see that I have some that aren't 'colored' then you'll know that they were stolen. Then he goes on to make a bunch of more 'colored' ones through his little Biblical Eugenics project.

Obviously, it doesn't work like that. You'd think an inerrant Bible wouldn't make a mistake like that.


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 7 of 185 (706508)
09-12-2013 10:05 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
09-12-2013 10:39 AM


Eugenics has a connotation that you did not intend for this thread. It generally is not applied to non-humans.

Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-12-2013 10:39 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11665
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 8 of 185 (706509)
09-12-2013 11:48 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by NoNukes
09-12-2013 10:05 PM


Eugenics has a connotation that you did not intend for this thread. It generally is not applied to non-humans.

I knew, but what's the right word?*

According to wiki:

quote:
Eugenics (\yü-ˈje-niks\) is the bio-social movement which advocates practices to improve the genetic composition of a population, usually a human population.

Usually. I don't think my usage was totally unfounded. And I even mentioned goats in the title.

*perhaps "husbandry" would have been better?

But does that adequately describe what Jacob was really doing? It seems to me it was an "improvement", at least from his point of view. "Husbandry" seemed too benign. As jar pointed out, he was taking advantage of the situation, i.e. conning. So it seemed best to me.

But I'm open to suggestions.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : No reason given.


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 9 of 185 (706526)
09-13-2013 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by New Cat's Eye
09-12-2013 11:48 PM


"Husbandry" seemed too benign.

From the point of view of the sheep, what Jacob did was benign; unlike eugenics programs which involve disallowing people to have children, sterilization, killing off of undesirables, etc. Some real involuntary eugenics programs ended in the US ended as recently as 1970.

Sheep likely don't really care about about being speckled.

What was not benign was that Jacob was rustling sheep. But genetics does not have much to do with that evil. Jacob was not trying to make them better. He was trying to make them his.

I would have just used the term "Bible genetics". After all, isn't your point really that the story was written by someone with no knowledge of how traits were inherited?

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-12-2013 11:48 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-13-2013 11:18 AM NoNukes has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11665
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 10 of 185 (706530)
09-13-2013 11:18 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by NoNukes
09-13-2013 10:51 AM


I would have just used the term "Bible genetics". After all, isn't your point really that the story was written by someone with no knowledge of how traits were inherited?

The point is that the Bible outlines a way force changes onto population that is patently incorrect.

Its an example of something that the Bible got wrong.


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 11 of 185 (706546)
09-13-2013 12:58 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by New Cat's Eye
09-13-2013 11:18 AM


The point is that the Bible outlines a way force changes onto population that is patently incorrect.

Its an example of something that the Bible got wrong.

Yes. I think this point about the Bible being wrong on this topic has been brought up before.

But the Bible does not advocate doing that to humans which would be eugenics. It really does not even advocate doing it to sheep.

It would have been great if back in the day NC and other states had implemented their genetics programs using Bible "eugenics" back in the day. But instead they sterilized undesirables (minorities, people with mental deficiencies, pregnant teens or women with too many children) either by force of law or without their knowledge.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy.
Richard P. Feynman

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-13-2013 11:18 AM New Cat's Eye has acknowledged this reply

  
Alias
Inactive Member


Message 12 of 185 (706553)
09-13-2013 2:16 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by New Cat's Eye
09-12-2013 10:39 AM


Hello CS, Jacob is breeding animals and keeping the strong.

Thanks
Alias :-)

FYI:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: if we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back" - Carl Sagan -Demon Haunted World

"The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired." -Stephen Hawking

"Before God we are all equally wise and equally foolish." -Albert Einstein


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-12-2013 10:39 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11665
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 13 of 185 (706554)
09-13-2013 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Alias
09-13-2013 2:16 PM


Jacob is breeding animals and keeping the strong.

But he's also having them look at patterns on wood while their mating to cause them to have patterns in their offspring.

That's an old idea that we now know is just plain wrong.


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 Message 12 by Alias, posted 09-13-2013 2:16 PM Alias has responded

Replies to this message:
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Alias
Inactive Member


Message 14 of 185 (706555)
09-13-2013 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by New Cat's Eye
09-13-2013 2:21 PM


No Jacob is not. It's just either to help them mate or help them be born stronger. Worse case scenario we're talking about Jacob not knowing it will not help. It does not state god told him to do it. This does not hurt literalist's at all.

Thanks
Alias :-)

FYI:

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." -Albert Einstein

"One of the saddest lessons of history is this: if we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we've been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back" - Carl Sagan -Demon Haunted World

"The whole history of science has been the gradual realization that events do not happen in an arbitrary manner, but that they reflect a certain underlying order, which may or may not be divinely inspired." -Stephen Hawking

"Before God we are all equally wise and equally foolish." -Albert Einstein


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by New Cat's Eye, posted 09-13-2013 2:21 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by jar, posted 09-13-2013 8:01 PM Alias has responded
 Message 16 by NoNukes, posted 09-14-2013 8:47 AM Alias has responded
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jar
Member
Posts: 29183
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 15 of 185 (706556)
09-13-2013 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Alias
09-13-2013 7:40 PM


Making stuff up.
No Jacob is not. It's just either to help them mate or help them be born stronger. Worse case scenario we're talking about Jacob not knowing it will not help. It does not state god told him to do it. This does not hurt literalist's at all.

Sorry but that is simply lying about what the Bible says.

No where in the story does it say anything about Jacob making or wanting to make anything stronger but it does lay out in detail what the agreement was and that Jacob became rich based on the tactic.

Of course it also shows the Bible is literally false at least in that passage.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

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 Message 14 by Alias, posted 09-13-2013 7:40 PM Alias has responded

Replies to this message:
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