Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [biology]

Questions regarding Judaism's views of biology, or the study of life and living organisms, including their design, growth, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy, whether at the macroscopic or microscopic levels.

4
votes
1answer
84 views

What was Chazal's understanding of the cause and purpose of menstruation?

Is there a Jewish midrash, kabala, chasiddut or commentary addressing Chazal's understanding of the cause and purpose of menstruation? Not just that is it a curse, that blood comes out, but with more ...
3
votes
1answer
286 views

What is the smallest living creature mentioned by the Sages?

What is the smallest living creature mentioned by the Sages in the Talmud / Midrashim, maybe bugs/mites/bacteria? Are there any invisible to the naked eye?
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Yaakov and Esav identical twins?

Were Yaakov and Esav monozygotic ("identical") twins, or dizygotic ("fraternal") twins? (Inspired by Sabbahillel's answer to Why is the birth of twins a Chidush for Rivka?)
2
votes
2answers
244 views

How many species of fish don't have simonim when caught?

The Torah in two places (Sefer Vayikra Perek 11 & Sefer Devorim Perek 14) lists the two signs necessary for a sea creature to be eaten: It must have fins to swim with and scales on its body like ...
1
vote
0answers
205 views

How literally are we supposed to read the book of Bereshit/Genesis?

Especially with regard to the family of Abraham. Is there any extra-Biblical historical evidence of a paternal link between the Ishmaelite, Edomite and Keturan tribes and the 12 tribes of Israel? Is ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

What are the alternate signs for a kosher fish?

In addition to the signs for a kosher fish mentioned in the Torah, The Tur (Y.D. 83) brings alternate kosher signs for fish that are not accepted by all Poskim. Namely, the head of a kosher fish is ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

What was the “tzir'a”? [duplicate]

Exodus 23:28: וְשָׁלַחְתִּ֥י אֶת־הַצִּרְעָ֖ה לְפָנֶ֑יךָ וְגֵרְשָׁ֗ה אֶת־הַחִוִּ֧י אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֛י וְאֶת־הַחִתִּ֖י מִלְּפָנֶֽיךָ׃ And I will send the hornet before thee, which shall drive ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Role of the soul in living things

Are the bodies of living things (bacteria, plant, animals, humans) running like a purely physical machine or are they coupled with some kind of spiritual soul to breathe life into this machine. Our ...
-3
votes
2answers
160 views

Did God create life forms containing infinite wisdom

In Tehilim King David said (92:5): "How great are Your works, Lord, how deep your thoughts!" According to Chazal (Torah sources, ideally Talmud, Midrash but can be Rishonim also) does this mean God ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

Are GMOs Kosher?

Currently taking a biology class in which genetically modified foods were discussed. Some of the plants had DNA from non kosher animals added into the plant genes. How does this impact the kashrus of ...
9
votes
1answer
211 views

Dilemma for Jewish Scientists

A member of my shul, scientist who was on the short-list to win a Nobel a couple of years ago, made an interesting point about his own ethical issue. As a scientist involved in biology, professionally,...
44
votes
5answers
3k views

Are sea sponges kosher?

The sea sponge is scientifically classified as an animal, therefore maybe it would be considered unkosher, as seafood. On the other hand, it seems much more similar to a vegetable of some kind, so ...