Oh yes, because them making great contributions to knowledge is definitely due to them being Jewish, and certainly not because they lived in an era of reason and the scientific method. And of course, these discoveries are definitely evidence to support their deity being real, because there's absolutely no other way they could have developed these things without the guidance of the Torah.
See how your argument is flawed there?
In that case, the millions of contributions made by thousands of scientists that are Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Daoists and Hindus must be evidence of all of their holy texts being divine in origin. And let's not even go near what the atheist scientists' contributions would mean, although it boils down to the following.
The people you listed did not gain their knowledge from the Torah or from their religion. They gained it from a system of reason and the use of objective evidence from the real world, exactly like every other person who made a major scientific discovery made during these times. Had they not made those discoveries, it is far more likely than not that some other person would have eventually done the same, and quite probable that it would not have been much later than the existing date of discovery. The Jews are no more special than any other group of humans on Earth. They have not gained special knowledge simply through being Jews, and nor have they gained (useful scientific) knowledge about the real world from reading their holy texts.
The point doctorbill made was that Genesis, amongst most religious stories, is not intended to impart knowledge about the real world; it is intended to supply spiritual advice and to explain events in a supernatural, often metaphorical manner. Attempting to use it for the former purpose is pointless, because it doesn't contain anything remotely suitable. Your counterargument was wrong -- "since Jews made useful discoveries, their holy writings must be useful for finding advanced knowledge" -- a post hoc fallacy because it is simply not the case that one followed from the other.
I've avoided this thread for some reason, most likely because it got too long and involved on a subject I care little about, at a point when I had less time to. So, one quick response to settle the matter:
First, to answer your That "freeing" of the Bible was part of the wider shift in society; advent of the printing press and all that, plus a few clever people realising that if you make stuff available to everybody then everybody can buy it; untapped markets waiting to happen. It makes no sense to argue that the enlightenment was caused by the Bible being more open and available either. The Bible being open and available as a result of the enlightenment, or as a result of the same causes, is much more reasonable and much more likely.
For this section, it might make more sense to read my penultimate paragraph first. ICANT responded to doctorbill by arguing that the Jewish scripture must be divinely inspired to some degree and indirectly because Jews have presented the world with advanced discoveries. My counterargument was that those particular Jews made the discoveries as a result of wider culture and the knowledge built from the world, not because they were Jews -- the two facts are coincidence. The other point was that if a religious person making a great discovery validated their beliefs, the same must apply for every religious group simultaneously. Including atheists. Which would mean both that all gods exist (and ensuing theological problems where gods say they are the only god, enough to throw doubt on its own) and yet also that none of them do.
So obviously saying that any holy text must be divinely inspired on that basis is nonsensical; it creates a huge contradiction.
Trying to validate belief in the Bible -- or any text, but since this is the concrete example we must work with -- by doing so is a claim devoid of merit and intelligence. Arguing that Genesis is intended to supply such knowledge about the real world under the previous idea, coupled with the obvious contradictions between reality and its claims, is also an inherently unintelligent activity. And thus, my issue with ICANT: that he tries to do so despite the evident absurdity involved.
Finally, as to doctorbill's comments, I disagree with them as stated. Clearly Jews have provided great insights to the world, just as people of every other cultural and religious group before, during and since then. Disagreeing with one person does not mean I agree with their other detractors; "the enemy of my enemy could still be my enemy too".
But doctorbill's point may have been something different, only not suitably expressed: that Judaism itself has not presented those insights. Judaism has not increased human lifespan, nor discovered better and safer ways of doing something, nor done much particular good for humanity that couldn't have been achieved in multiple other ways. It is thereby not anything especially useful or special, and one can only wonder why something as objectively unimportant could be considered divine in origin.
You recognised the original as idiocy, I recognised it as idiocy, I'm sure everybody else has at least subconciously registered the fact. Must I denounce every prejudiced comment as it occurs, or be considered complicit? But on the flipside, must one immediately assume another was being an asshole while also assuming their language was perfect instead of wondering about what their actual intent may have been? "Leaping to conclusions is a great way to smack your head on the roof".
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