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.