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3
votes
1answer
72 views

Who suggests that Creation Ex nihilo was only a small point and light?

If this is a simple minded question, please forgive me, but I'm not Jewish and so most of my information is via naive study and second hand. I've been told by a Jewish friend in my physics class ...
4
votes
3answers
103 views

Why did God say יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם, it should happen by itself naturally

In Bereishis 1:9 it says וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים יִקָּווּ הַמַּיִם מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם אֶל מָקוֹם אֶחָד וְתֵרָאֶה הַיַּבָּשָׁה , And God said, "Let the water that is beneath the heavens gather into one ...
-3
votes
2answers
130 views

Would whole brain emulation be compatible with Judaism?

Many people theorize that in principle, the brain could be uploaded to a computer which would then contain the person's consciousness. Would a successful demonstration of this be compatible with ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Is the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly mentioned anywhere in Rabbinic literature?

My late great grandfather was a torah scholar, but with all his learning, he never knew that a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. He was amazed when someone told him about the common ...
4
votes
1answer
360 views

Zohar's knowledge about Earth's shape

I recently heard from a rabbi that people (in the Zohar's view) were standing on the Earth's sphere both above and below, and while it was day for some, it was night for others and vice versa. If its ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

Does a finding of Jewish blood in a DNA test make one Jewish?

I had a DNA test done and the results say that my DNA is group with Sephardic Jews. My last name is Steen and I have always heard that we were of Dutch ancestry and I do genealogy and have not found ...
9
votes
5answers
594 views

Can halacha change based on scientific research?

Shabbat 39a says: "With regard to heating food in the sun itself, everyone agreed that one is permitted to place food in the sun to heat it, as it is certainly neither fire nor a typical form of ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

How to reconcile Biblical Flood story vs science and history?

Genesis spends a good deal of time -- Chapters 6 through 11 -- discussing the "mabul mayim", a flood that killed all humanity outside the ark. Here is what the Torah's text says about the universality ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

How do we define the word 'עולם'?

In the standard beracha 'formula' we use the phrase 'מלך העולם'. But what does the word עולם refer to in this context: Earth/world or universe? It may seem obvious that מלך העולם is referring to ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

What type of mitzvah, if any, is a donation to medical research?

If I give money to a charity that finances medical research, I think I'm doing a mitzvah, but of what sort? Is this tzedakah when I'm not clothing or feeding the poor? Is it saving a life when there ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Can you experiment on animals?

May a person perform or otherwise participate in experiments on live animals which will cause the animals pain? I would assume this is forbidden under tzaar baalei chayim. But perhaps there is a heter ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

In light of modern science, why is bee honey still kosher?

My understanding of why bee honey is kosher is because the talmud says that the honey is not a by-product of the bees. They simply store the nectar in their body to transfer it and then expel it, ...
9
votes
3answers
250 views

Shofar from an extinct animal

After paying a trip to the Natural History Museum in London I found myself wondering... would it be allowed (to any extent) to use a shofar of an animal that has kosher simanim but is extinct? There ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Is a Jewish med student allowed to use body parts donated to science?

Would you be required to refuse to work on bodies donated to science for educational purposes?
7
votes
1answer
310 views

Mission to Mars: halachic challenges

There is talk in the scientific community of a manned Mars mission: sending an elderly couple to slingshot past Mars and return to Earth as a trial mission, toward eventual other missions that will ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

Cultured Beef and the 7 Laws of Noah

I know there have been questions on whether lab meat would be Kosher or not, halavi or besari... I see another potential debate. According to http://culturedbeef.net/what-is-it/, "Cultured Beef is ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

What is the kashrut status of synthetic/in vitro meat? [duplicate]

It was reported in the news today (at least in the UK) that another step forward has been made towards the creation of "synthetic meat". From BBC News: The world's first lab-grown burger was ...
-2
votes
1answer
130 views

Historical ID lost can it be reclaimed

Could it be possible that many Hispanics who moved from Spain and having their family line coming from Jewish blood (Sephardi Jews), be actually Jews and not know it? There is a test now to check ...
7
votes
2answers
254 views

What does Judaism have to say about the origin of elements?

What does Judaism have to say about the origin of the elements? I mean chemical elements like hydrogen, oxygen, gold, sulfur, etc. Is this discussed at all?
9
votes
2answers
468 views

Is it heresy to read the Bible literally?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in this debate with Richard Dawkins says: Rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: If a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific ...
4
votes
2answers
251 views

Stars are living creatures?

the Rambam in yesodei torah says that stars are creatures with intellect. how do we reconcile this with modern science which says that they are merely inanimate balls of hydrogen and helium gas.
7
votes
3answers
185 views

Animals sixth sense

It seems that there is evidence that animals possess a sixth sense, such as in their fleeing from the area struck by the huge tsunami of 2005 well before the earthquake which triggered it occurred. Is ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Halacha and danger to life

Suppose there is an halachically prescribed, commonly-practiced action, which has been demonstrated scientifically to lead to death of the action's object and/or subject with a certain low probability ...
5
votes
1answer
371 views

What is meant by the 974 “worlds” that were “created and destroyed”?

Midrash Tehillim 90:13 says that God created and destroyed 974 worlds before this one. What exactly does that mean? I've heard it used in defense of a modern understanding of evolution and cosmology ...
4
votes
2answers
261 views

Halachic Relevancy of 'Proving God'

The first halacha in the Mishnah Torah states that you must know for certain that God exists (Yesodei Hatorah 1:1). Does this mean that according to Rambam, God can be proven to exist through ...
0
votes
1answer
165 views

why was technology withheld for so long from man

Why did God withhold the discovery of modern technology from man until recently? what is the reason for this and why does this reason not apply in our era? (according to the shaar bitachon ch.3 God ...
13
votes
3answers
463 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

Effect of knockout on my soul

I have experienced a knockout two times in the boxing ring during my active fighting career. At the time I was KO, I was conscious of nothing and then I woke up. I am interested in knowing what was ...
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Updating of holy books

I am curious if such thing is possible, e.g. if some new evidence is found (archeological or other scientific or other). So the next generation will have more accurate interpretation, because we all ...
24
votes
3answers
1k views

Premature birth contradicting science

I am a teacher at a private all-girls Jewish high school. There are two science teachers in the school, and both of us are Christian. I was talking with my fellow science teacher recently, and she ...
2
votes
7answers
1k views

How do we reconcile the order of creating animals betweeen Genesis and science?

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/6932/does-the-torah-encoded-age-of-the-universe-match-science#comment53788_6932 The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that ...
5
votes
3answers
282 views

Would time travel be assur/mutar?

Inspired by this question which the author states is not a question of issur/heter. Assuming time travel is possible (to the future or past) is there any reason it should be assur?
6
votes
3answers
359 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
7
votes
1answer
359 views

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood?

What are some understandings as to how animals populated different continents after the flood? Did some species of animals survive the flood? Or are we to understand that the flood only affected the ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

אלקים בגימטריא הטבע and not טבע?

There's a oft quoted saying that "אלקים בגימטריא הטבע." Why is it הטבע and not טבע? Isn't it "cheating" to add the extra "ה"?
6
votes
1answer
204 views

What is “blood that moved from one place to another”?

I'm learning laws of salting in the Shulchan Aruch. One concept I'm battling to understand is "דם שפירש ממקום למקום" - blood that moved from one place to another. Here's a good example of my ...
32
votes
26answers
2k views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X ...
1
vote
3answers
692 views

the four foundations - fire, wind, water, earth

How do we reconcile the torah view of four foundations fire, wind, water, and earth with modern science which demonstrates wind, water, and earth are really not much different. for example, water can ...
5
votes
1answer
252 views

Do those who practice family purity get cervical cancer less?

Is there a good study which shows that those who practice family purity get cervical cancer far less? Not just comparing Orthodox women to other groups, but amongst Jews? And is conclusive.
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?

What is the Torah view on the dinosaurs? There's no mention of them in the Torah, only that the world was created in 6 days. If they existed, Adam and his descendants should have seen them. Yet ...
1
vote
1answer
371 views

How do Jews reconcile 6 days creation with light from stars 1 billion years ago? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe? I was surprised my self when I learned that light comes from stars that are millions or billions of ...
1
vote
2answers
159 views

Kohanim and paternal lines

Do you know the explanation why in modern Kohanim there is a paternal line encompassing about 50% of the Kohanim and then many lines encompassing the other 50% 1. Is it possible for a Kohen to be ...
8
votes
1answer
283 views

What does Maimonides say about geocentrism?

I have read that Maimonides described the universe in a geocentric fashion, but I have not been able to find the specific passages to which they refer. What does Maimonides say about geocentrism?
11
votes
3answers
491 views

Time dilation and waiting between meat and milk

Suppose Ploni eats some meat. He then gets in a spaceship and accelerates to some significant percentage of the speed of light for a short trip into outer space, and then returns home. At the time ...
2
votes
2answers
301 views

Synthetic unkosher meat?

Suppose tissue identical to that of a pig could be created synthetically (with kosher ingredients) in a science lab. The meat would be completely indistinguishable from pig meat, but it would never ...
4
votes
3answers
345 views

How was kashrut affected by Science?

I have been reading a lot of questions concerning kosher foods, to get a better understanding of what it means for something to be kosher. To an atheist, this site is very helpful. But as a chemistry ...
11
votes
2answers
368 views

Cryonics in Judaism

I was recently reading an article about cryogenics, there are around 200 bodies frozen in cryogenics labs around the world, and in the article they said that in the near future they may be able to ...
2
votes
2answers
260 views

Why not determine how long to wait between meat and milk using science?

If the time required to wait between eating meat and milk is based on the scientific definition of digestion, why don't we ask today's experts and set a defined time for everyone instead of different ...
16
votes
2answers
803 views

Can an Alien convert to Judaism?

Suppose we one day find an extraterrestrial walking on our planet that originated from another planet. The alien quickly learns all about religion and now wants to become a Jew. Do we let him? ...
15
votes
2answers
365 views

Who knows science?

On whom does one recite the blessing "ברכת שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)? Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name? Did he have ...