Questions tagged [science]

questions about science in relation to Judaism

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4
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2answers
296 views

The Netziv on Evolution

The Wikipedia page titled Jewish views on evolution states the following about the Netziv. When scientists first developed the theory of evolution, this idea was seized upon by rabbis such as ...
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Vegan tekheileth

Does the oral tradition that identifies the hilazon as the source of tekheles necessarily indicate that one could not create the indigo-colored wool by other means? The gemara certainly indicates that ...
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6answers
482 views

How does salt “add heat” (mishna in Shabbos 4(1))

The mishna in Shabbos 4(1) tells us which materials may not be used to insulate foods for Shabbos because they "add heat". One of these materials is salt. Can anyone explain how salt can add heat ...
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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 ...
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What defines a human in Judaism?

As a follow up to "creation-of-super-humans", The Gene-modification technologies promise interesting developments in human evolution/changes, both physical and intellectual. On the physical side - ...
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3answers
172 views

How does creation of a new species of super humans align with Judaism?

One of the most promising scientific fields of the nearest future is bio-technologies especially genetic modifications, starting with gene-therapy, genetic enhancements, and, as the process is ...
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1answer
250 views

Gender and “Seeding” - Just Torah-Derived or Common Belief?

Niddah 31a writes (Davidson Edition translation): אמר רבי יצחק אמר רבי אמי אשה מזרעת תחילה יולדת זכר איש מזריע תחילה יולדת נקבה שנאמר (ויקרא יב, ב) אשה כי תזריע וילדה זכר Rabbi Yitzḥak says ...
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7answers
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When is it a mitzvah to study science?

I remember hearing from Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi that HaShem created two Torahs, one the Oral and Written and the other the natural world. My question is, when is it a positive mitzvah to study science ...
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284 views

Sources for the Earth revolving round the sun

Are there any Jewish writings that suggest the Earth revolves around the sun and is not the center of the universe?
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1answer
104 views

Reconciling the Rashbam's understanding for leaning left with the anatomy of the throat

The Gemara (Pesachim 108a) rules: פרקדן לא שמיה הסיבה הסיבת ימין לא שמה הסיבה ולא עוד אלא שמא יקדים קנה לוושט ויבא לידי סכנה Lying prone is not called leaning. Leaning right is not called ...
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What is the status of a fetus before it emerges?

Sanhedrin 72B says a fetus becomes a person when its head emerges. But I have heard that abortion is justified based on the permission to kill a rodef (deadly pursuer). But it seems to me that, ...
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Why is the big bang considered a proof for Jewish tradition

From the little I understand of the Big Bang (and that is VERY LITTLE), It states that the universe was in a very high density state and then expanded. This is commonly used as a proof that the world ...
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Do traditional sources address how time “works”?

I’m sorry for such a convoluted question, but this has been bothering me for some time now. While the title isn’t quite accurate, I couldn’t think of a better way to phrase it - feel free to edit if ...
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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 (...
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4answers
264 views

Age of Universe and Shabbat

If one believes that our world is billions of years old, i.e. accepting the idea of each day in Sheshis Imei Berieshit (the Six Days of Creation) as eras and not literal days, then how does one ...
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2answers
290 views

How is the male skeleton different from female?

This question is a follow-up to "Different-counts-of-the-248-organs-". As we see from the Mishnah in Ohalot 1,8, only the bones are counted as organs, namely a bone that has a sinew and some flesh. ...
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What blessing would one have said on seeing Einstein for example?

The Oruch Hashulchan O Ch 224, 6 says הרואה חכם מחכמי ישראל שגדול בתורה מברך: "ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם שחלק מחכמתו ליריאיו, Someone who sees a Jewish Torah sage makes the blessing “ ...
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Has nature changed since Talmudic times

Looking at the Gemoro, people used to believe that babies born at 7 months were more likely to survive at 7 months than 8 months. A male is born face down whereas a female is born face up. Another ...
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3answers
359 views

Biblical description of the firmament vs. round earth in the Zohar

Zohar Vaikra 10a [quotes the Book or Rabbi Hamnunab Sabah]: וּבְסִפְרָא דְּרַב הַמְנוּנָא סָבָא, פָּרִישׁ יַתִּיר, דְּהָא כָּל יִשׁוּבָא מִתְגַּלְגְּלָא בְּעִגוּלָא כַּכַּדּוּר, אִלֵּין לְתַתָּא, ...
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Retention of urine causing infertility?

In several places in the Gemara (Yevamos 64b, Bechoros 44b) it is stated that holding back urine for an extended period can cause a man to become infertile. In the latter place the Gemara gives a ...
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7answers
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Websites or books about the Torah and history of the world

I am looking for recommendations of good websites and books that talk about various ways of understanding the 'conflicts' between the Torah and a modern understanding of the age of the universe, the ...
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What specifically was the ancient Jewish practice of rubbing an infant's throat?

The Jewish Encyclopedia article on "Consecration" says that the later "rubbing on" of oil aka "anointing" has roots in the practice of rubbing an infant's throat in preparation for receiving a mother'...
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271 views

11 pairs of ribs - practice or tradition?

THis is a follow-up question to 248-organs. The Mishnah in Ohalot (1:8) states that there are 248 organs and lists all of them: "מָאתַיִם וְאַרְבָּעִים וּשְׁמֹנָה אֵבָרִים בָּאָדָם, שְׁלשִׁים ...
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Empirical evidence of Sages' intellectual superiority

Throughout ages, our Sages engaged in Halachic, scientific and philosophical arguments between themselves and with other nations' philosophers. We hold that the truthfulness of Talmudic discussions ...
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Sources that G-d miraculously and deceptively conceal His deeds

In the debate on veracity and historicity of the Biblical stories and claims many assert that after an event in discussion G-d miraculously wiped all evidence or replaced it to look natural. For ...
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9answers
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Rationalist Position on Bible Ancients' Long Lives

How would a rationalist interpret the long lives of the ancient people enumerated in the Bible, from Methuselah on down? Virtually no person lives more than 120 years today, even with the assistance ...
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4answers
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How did Gdoley Israel react to the landing on the Moon?

IMHO, landing on the Moon did/could seriously undermine the bases of the Jewish religious view about the nature of the celestial bodies. How did Gdoley Israel react/deal with the landing on Moon (and ...
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Acquiring Torah without Subvocalization

The Mishnah in Avos (6.6) tells of difference ways to acquire Torah. Here is Rashi’s commentary on one of the items, translated by Sefaria.org. בַּעֲרִיכַת שְׂפָתַיִם. שֶׁאֵינוֹ מְגַמְגֵּם ...
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4answers
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Rabbinical sources that support the Flat Earth view

While many people are busy looking for the slightest hints of the vast scientific knowledge possessed by our Sages, I've bumped into Rasa"G's interpretation of Sefer Hayetzirah 4,2 (c.900) (is there ...
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1answer
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How can constant creation of new stars explained theologically?

"... we get on average about one new star per year, and one star dying each year as a planetary nebula in the Milky Way.... therefore there are about 275 million [born] per day, in the whole ...
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4answers
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Do the Torah codes offer scientific proof that the Torah is supernatural?

There was an experiment published in a journal called Statistical Science in 1994 that found that certain medieval Rabbis and their birth & yahrtzeit are referenced to in sefer Bereshit by running ...
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Is there a concept of “peer review” in Rabbinical Judaism?

"Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a ...
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0answers
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Would teleportation be allowed? [closed]

Suppose 'teleportation' like the transporter in star trek - where you are disassembled atom by atom, and reassembled in another location - becomes a reality. It will then likely become the most ...
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3answers
449 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.
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Did God really backup the Sun dial for Hezekiah?

According to 2 Kings 20:9-11., Hezekiah while on his deathbed, was visited by the prophet Isaiah. The King was about to die so he asked for a sign as proof that G-d would grant him a longer life. ...
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1answer
175 views

Arguments against evolution

In trying to find the best, most factually based argument against evolution, I found this which said that it just doesn't make sense because why would a creator take so long. Are there any other ...
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1answer
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Source for Seforno that the Earth was tilted at the time of the Flood

In Oorah's 2009 Shmorg video, one of the tracks is about Birchat Hachama, and at around the 10 minute mark, the narrator states the following (I'm paraphrasing): The Sforno writes that before the ...
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2answers
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What is the Sod HaIbbur and what is so secret about it?

What is the Sod HaIbbur (secret of impregnation)? I have seen it discussed in many places including the Pirkeu D'Rebbi Eliezer (8th chapter?) in reference to the intercalation for the lunar months of ...
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Why did G-d create the Earth spherical?

I hope nobody questions the fact of the spherical Earth. Just as spherical as all other celestial bodies. Many argued whether we knew this fact or not, but I don't recall that those who claim we ...
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Why the fact that the Earth is spherical is a deep secret according to Zohar?

Following "zohars-knowledge-about-earths-shape" and related to my other question "why-did-G-d-create-the-earth-spherical": Zohar (Vayikra 10a) states the following, seemingly pointing to the fact ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Source that אמונת חכמים applies to the Sages' knowledge besides Halachah

Tons of Jewish responsa (incl. this site) is based on a common belief/premise that the Talmudic Sages knew what they say and that everything they said is true - אמונת חכמים (see this question on this ...
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1answer
126 views

Why did G-d create everything important off-center?

I hope not to argue that the Heliocentric view is true as is our current understanding of [our position in] the Universe, the Earth is rotating around the Sun, that is rotating around the center of ...
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1answer
125 views

The science behind making liver kosher

It seems that salting and soaking liver is insufficient to release the blood sufficiently to make it kosher. It needs to be broiled (or is there some other method that also works?) What's the science ...
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3answers
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The four elements - fire, wind, water and 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 ...
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0answers
31 views

Does Earth geography resemble anything metaphorical?

All I know about the traditional geographical metaphorism is that Jerusalem is the center of the world and the whole inhabitable space is divided between the 70 nations (besides the plain facts, like ...
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2answers
298 views

Is Studying String Theory Permitted According To The Rambam?

Would the Rambam be fine with String Theory, being that String Theory involves what happened before the world was created (the big bang) and beyond our universe?
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What did G-d do before Creation?

Is it possible to know what G-d was doing before this creation? While, as Maimonides states, that we cannot know anything about G-d except for what G-d is not (G-d has no body and is one), ...
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2answers
124 views

“As many as the stars in the sky”- literally or allegorically?

In Bereishis 15:5 HaShem promises Avraham that his descendants will be as many as the stars in the sky: וַיּוֹצֵ֨א אֹת֜וֹ הַח֗וּצָה וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ הַבֶּט־נָ֣א הַשָּׁמַ֗יְמָה וּסְפֹר֙ הַכּ֣וֹכָבִ֔ים ...
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135 views

Books on science and Torah in Hebrew

Can anyone recommend books in Hebrew that address the topic of science and Torah? The types of books that I'm looking for are ones that address the interplay between science and Torah including topics ...

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