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Author Topic:   Biblical Eugenics - being wrong about how to colorize your goats
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(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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 Message 4 by jar, posted 09-12-2013 3:28 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 5 by PaulK, posted 09-12-2013 3:35 PM New Cat's Eye has seen this message but not replied
 Message 7 by NoNukes, posted 09-12-2013 10:05 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 12 by Alias, posted 09-13-2013 2:16 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 95 by marc9000, posted 09-16-2013 7:21 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by jar, posted 09-12-2013 3:28 PM jar has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by NoNukes, posted 09-12-2013 10:05 PM NoNukes has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by NoNukes, posted 09-13-2013 10:51 AM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


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.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(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.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Alias, posted 09-13-2013 2:16 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by Alias, posted 09-13-2013 7:40 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 83 of 185 (706706)
09-16-2013 5:56 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Alias
09-13-2013 7:40 PM


In a later message you wrote:

But I am interpreting it to support biblical thought that a con by god's servant didn't happen

You're talking about a guy, Jacob, who wore fur on his hands to trick his father into thinking that he was his older brother so that he could steal his birthright. Read Genesis 27.

The "con" he does to Laban is in retaliation to Laben cheating him on his wages (Laban also tricked Jacob into marrying his older daugheter when he really loved the younger one). Its not nearly as bad as lying to your dad for an inheritance, and Laban was a jerk first anyways, so there's really no need to save Jacob from this one.

I agree with you that it isn't at all clear who took what animals from which flock and which one's were who's afterwards. But that is beside the point.

Jacob performed a "breeding experiment" by having the animals look at patterned wood while they mated so that they would have patterned offspring.

I think that stems from the idea that what the animals are looking at when they breed can affect what their offspring will look like.

Do you have any argument against that?

And this has nothing to do with bashing the Bible or helping atheists. Too often we get the attitude that the Bible is erroneous. I think this is just another example of something that it got wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Alias, posted 09-13-2013 7:40 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 85 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 6:08 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 89 of 185 (706713)
09-16-2013 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 85 by Alias
09-16-2013 6:08 PM


It doesn't matter at all if Jacob was conning Laban. Please just stop talking about that altogether.

This thread is really about biblical eugenics.

Exactly. And the Bible says that if you put striped branches in front of mating goats than that will cause their offspring to be striped.

Can't be shown w/o a doubt.

Oh for fuck's sake. Does your argument really boil down to: Hurr, you can't prove that! lol

This isn't youtube, grow up already or gtfo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 85 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 6:08 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 91 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 6:28 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 92 of 185 (706717)
09-16-2013 6:38 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Alias
09-16-2013 6:28 PM


Well it does to the point of this thread.

What does? If it was a con?

No, that has nothing to do with the point that the Bible wrongly tells us that what an animal sees while it is mating can affect the color of its offspring.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 6:28 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 7:17 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 98 of 185 (706730)
09-16-2013 9:20 PM
Reply to: Message 94 by Alias
09-16-2013 7:17 PM


If we interpret the con/cheat happened then we accept biblical eugenics. If we don't then that whole idea is tossed out.

Ugh. Really? Of course if the event never happened then it didn't happen. Are you really this dense?

This is Bible study... there's a few implicit assumptions that we work on. Things like: that the events actually happened, and that the Bible describes them adequately.

Some people like to also assume that the Bible is inerrant. This is a challenge to that position because what the Bible describes is clearly inaccurate.

If you want to continue with your youtube style of responding: "Hurr, not if it never even happened! lol", then I'm just gonna stop talking to you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 7:17 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 100 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 9:59 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 99 of 185 (706731)
09-16-2013 9:35 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by marc9000
09-16-2013 7:21 PM


It's probably been discussed within the Catholic faith before. Have you ever asked a priest your question?

I haven't asked a priest about it, I'd bet that the answers would vary between them. And in my 12 years of Catholic education, I don't recall ever hearing about this. Here's what I found in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

quote:
Jacob's relations with Laban's household form an interesting episode, the details of which are perfectly true to Eastern life and need not be set forth here. Besides blessing him with eleven children, God granted to Jacob a great material prosperity, so that Laban was naturally desirous of detaining him. But Jacob, long wearied with Laban's frequent trickery, and also bidden by God to return, departed secretly, and, although overtaken and threatened by his angry father-in-law, he managed to appease him and to pursue his own way towards Chanaan source

and

quote:
Having received the wife whom he sought, Jacob resolved to return to his own home, but Laban, wishing to retain the profitable services of his nephew, once more prevailed upon Jacob to remain with him (xxx, 25-28). The terms stipulated by Jacob this time appeared most advantageous to Laban, but he and his sons soon discovered that Jacob had outwitted them in this last agreement, which procured for Jacob a large increase of flocks (xxx, 29-43). Laban and his sons then began to despise Jacob, who, noticing their change of attitude towards him, and dissatisfied with the treatment accorded him by his uncle, who had changed his wages ten times, secretly departed together with his wives and possessions (xxxi, 1-20). source

As is typical with my experience, the dirty details are glossed over in favor of the bigger picture.

But they do seem to confirm my suspicion: that Laban was being unfair so Jacob outwitted (i.e. conned) him back.

They just don't touch on the "eugenic" part of the story. I suppose they'd lean towards it being God's will and the carved wood not having anything to do with it, but we've never been that big on taking things super-literally.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by marc9000, posted 09-16-2013 7:21 PM marc9000 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 101 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 10:17 PM New Cat's Eye has replied
 Message 155 by marc9000, posted 09-20-2013 9:23 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 102 of 185 (706735)
09-16-2013 10:19 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by Alias
09-16-2013 9:59 PM


I was merely pointing out that it is like dominos.

I have no idea what you mean that it is like dominoes.

If the con occurred then laban took his flock (cheating jacob) and jacob (in myth) created spotted from none spotted using magic (in the story or you could just say god helped him out depending on how you look at things).

You're missing the point. The Bible doesn't say it was magic. It provides the explanation that the spotted animals were born because Jacob had them look at spotted wood while they were mating.

Here's the jist of it: Laban tells Jacob that he can have the spotted animals from his flock as payment. Then, Laban removes all of the spotted animals and gives them to his sons. So then that means that Jacob wouldn't really get anything as payment at all (Laban had been cheating him repeatedly already).

So, then Jacob outsmarts Laban and produces spotted animals from the white ones by having them look at spotted wood planks while they were mating.

Ultimately I am just not agreeing at this point on the scenario you are arguing.

Why not? Is is still because you can't accept that god's servant tricked somebody? Or have you changed your mind on that?

If you can explain 30:40 and why it is contradictory to your argument, feel free.

First off: Laban removed the spotted animals from his flock and gave them to his sons so that Jacob would get no animals from Laban's flock because there weren't any spotted ones left in it. Jacob takes some of the white animals from Laban's flock and has them breed spotted animals with his breeding trick with the spotted wood.

In verse 40: He then has the white ones face the rest of Laban's flock so that they remain a part Laban's flock, but keeps the newly spotted ones separate as his own animals. Therefore, they were then technically spotted animals that came from Laban's flock that rightfully belonged to Jacob as a part of his wage, but they were separated from Laban's flock so as to form the new flock of Jacob.

I'm open to new thoughts.

We'll see.

Ultimately it does not matter,

No shit! That's what I just said earlier and you replied that it did. Regardless, this is about the eugenics process.

I just disagree that eugenics was occurring via magic (or rather that that is what the story is telling).

The Bible doesn't say it occurred via magic either. It is based on the idea that whatever the animal is looking at while it is mating can affect what the offspring will look like.

That is the point that I can't get through to you. That is the point you have yet to address.

Damn, this is like pulling teeth.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 9:59 PM Alias has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 103 of 185 (706736)
09-16-2013 10:29 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by Alias
09-16-2013 10:17 PM


(god being the reason in the story vs magic/eugenics)

God being the reason in the story would be the magic explanation.

The patterns on the wood causing the animals to have patterned offspring is the naturalistic explanation.

A literal reading of it offers the naturalistic, and non-magical, explanation.

That's why this is a question to literalists and inerrantists. Because we now know that the colored wood would have no affect on the offspring.

According to the story, the explanation for the colored offspring is just plain wrong.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 10:17 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by Alias, posted 09-16-2013 11:45 PM New Cat's Eye has not replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 121 of 185 (706858)
09-18-2013 5:26 PM
Reply to: Message 114 by Alias
09-17-2013 9:46 PM


Re: The contradiction
Streaked and dark-colored animals were present during jacob's breeding event as per v 40. IF laban removed 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" in v 35 how is this possible LATER IN TIME for there to be streaked and dark-colored animals present during jacob's breeding event in 37-42?

There could be streaked and dark-colored animals that were not goats, like sheep. He only removed the colored goats, and the black lambs.

Verse 40 speaks of colored animals. You're assuming they're goats.

So there, contradiction solved.

When I debate I through pawns out there in order to attack the issue (I thought maybe this will float but I was not extremely confident). Those were just pawns as I noted to CS that it was all side noise. In cases where I did not say your point was moot/or another persons point was moot I accepted their argument. If I responded to a person and didn't answer all points that is because I took the points I didn't answer or respond to as my point being refuted.

You're doing it wrong. Our standards are higher than that. Please do catch up.

Don't just respond quickly off the cuff on your phone. Read, study, understand, think, read some more, think some more, then post.

Don't take the shotgun approach of just throwing all kinds of shit out there and seeing what sticks, and even worse, then ignoring the rebuttals to what doesn't. Ya know, like "Laban had no sons".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 114 by Alias, posted 09-17-2013 9:46 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 122 by Alias, posted 09-18-2013 5:59 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 123 of 185 (706863)
09-18-2013 6:08 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by Alias
09-18-2013 5:59 PM


Re: The contradiction
there is no reason to think a con happened because in 37-43 it does not mention what animals jacob breed.

It doesn't have to; Laban only allowed him to have colored sheep and goats and black lambs.

Laban removed all the colored goats and the black lambs, and there's no mention of him removing the colored sheep.

Then Jacob made more colored animals with the colored wood, and had them face the colored animals that were still Labans, which would be the sheep.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by Alias, posted 09-18-2013 5:59 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by Alias, posted 09-18-2013 6:24 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 126 of 185 (706868)
09-18-2013 10:17 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by Alias
09-18-2013 6:24 PM


Re: The contradiction
Well we don't know that the rods were used by jacob to breed a new kind.

But its a very straight-forward conclusion and you haven't provided an argument otherwise.

In Bible-speak, when it says: "X, and (then) Y" we conclude that Y was because of X. For example:

quote:
Gen. 1

3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.


God said “Let there be light” and that caused the light to be.

Would you really argue that the light came to be, independently, and solely by coincidence after God said to let it be?

Now:

quote:
Gen. 30

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


The mated in front of the branches and that caused them to bear young that were like the branches.

Why would you argue that they bore young like the branches, independently, and solely by coincidence after mating in front of them?


Also, another thing we like to do here is notate what additions we've made to our posts. Often people will use "ABE", which means "added by edit". The post I'm seeing now is nothing like the post that got emailed to me (which was what you originally inputted). And we all can see that you've edited it many time.

ABE:

This line, which is all I've added, is an example of explaining what your edit is.

Edited by Catholic Scientist, : See ABE for an example.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by Alias, posted 09-18-2013 6:24 PM Alias has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by Alias, posted 09-18-2013 10:48 PM New Cat's Eye has replied

  
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