Questions tagged [science]

questions about science in relation to Judaism

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29
votes
9answers
2k views

Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe?

5770 and 13,000,000,000 is a big difference! I am looking for a good explanation for the different views of the age of the universe, [the Tanakh's view and astronomy's view.] Please help me out!
36
votes
13answers
3k views

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
26
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5answers
1k views

Does artificial meat grown in a petri dish have the halachic status of meat?

Scientists are developing means of growing artificial meat in a petri dish. Does such 'meat' have the halachic status of meat? Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/11/us-science-meat-f-...
46
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27answers
3k 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 (...
27
votes
11answers
5k views

How are pre-creation >4000 BCE human civilization and pre-flood >2300 BCE civilizations that continued reconciled with Judaism?

How does human history fit in with the Torah's timeline? (This is not about why the universe and Earth look so old.) There is extensive evidence of a human population and human civilizations from ...
23
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8answers
2k views

Time Travel and Judaism

Has time travel ever been discussed before in terms of Judaism? According to Judaism would (should) it be possible to travel through time?
21
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3answers
1k 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? ...
6
votes
3answers
505 views

Theology on evolution from khan academy

In this video on khan academy, Khan makes a few theological points regarding evolution. His main point is that evolution can be reconciled with intelligent design by saying that God could have created ...
11
votes
4answers
974 views

Would synthesized meat be Kosher?

Scientists are preparing synthesized meat for human consumption. See here for a excerpt, and two articles here and here. My question is: Would this meat be considered Kosher? Might it depend on the ...
18
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
47
votes
5answers
3k views

Are sea sponges kosher?

The sea sponge is scientifically classified as an animal (kingdom Animalia), therefore maybe it would be considered unkosher, as seafood. On the other hand, its phylum Porifera is distinct and ...
12
votes
4answers
1k 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 fact,...
23
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5answers
2k views

Why do Jews physically resemble members of their “host” nationalities? [closed]

Why do Jews often so closely resemble the members of the nationalities amongst whom they have been living for only a few hundred years? How do features spread through such an exclusive population so ...
12
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
461 views

Kosherizing Water using Distillation

Suppose I have water that was cooked with non-kosher food. I then take the water and distill it. Would this water be considered permissible to drink?
10
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7answers
1k views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
490 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why are Oats Chametz if oats cannot rise

Oats do not have gluten so they cannot rise - like rice and other such grains. I could understand why they would be kitniot but why are they chametz? I know in arvei psachim there is an opinion that ...
27
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
664 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 ...
6
votes
10answers
626 views

The Plague of Darkness

This is a two fold question 1)The plaque of darkness has considerable commentary, however I have yet to find a rabbi who speaks about what created the darkness. Therefore, What created the darkness ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
259 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Different counts of the 248 organs - bones or soft tissues?

First read the related questions here (mitzvot-and-their-body-parts and here (613-organs). The Mishnah in Ohalot (1:8) states that there are 248 organs and lists all of them: "מָאתַיִם ...
14
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11answers
898 views

Reconciling the evidence for the Uncertainty Principle with belief in an omniscient G-d

One of the foundations of modern quantum mechanics is the Uncertainty Principle. This principle is not an assumption, but rather is derived from assumptions made with regard to the structure of nature....
6
votes
3answers
209 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
342 views

Does the Torah 'know' about 'quantum mechanics' and 'DNA synthesis'?

There are many articles and books available on the interplay between science and Judaism. Very often they come in the form of a halachic discussion of applying science to be able to resolve a halachic ...
9
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1answer
858 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
480 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
134 views

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 ...
7
votes
4answers
668 views

Lubavitch and Geocentricism

I read here in an article by Rabbi Gil Student that the late Lubavitcher Rebbe zy"a believed in the geocentric model despite the modern scientific evidence to the contrary. What is the source for this ...
2
votes
8answers
3k views

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

https://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 ...
9
votes
1answer
433 views

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 ...
7
votes
2answers
304 views

Schrödinger's cat and yibbum

Over Shabbos, the Shalosh Seudos discussion turned to the Monty Hall problem, which confused a lot of people [and which (#Humblebrag) I was able to clear up for them in under 30 seconds ;)]. Then, ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Is chimutz a wholly physical phenomenon?

The gemara seems to imply that chametz is not a concern with flour mixed with fruit juice. Indeed, amongst other effects, sugars (which are present in fruit juice) slow gluten development. However, ...
4
votes
1answer
447 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
599 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
612 views

Is there any reason to deny aliens according to Judaism?

Is there any reason that we couldn't believe in life on another planet somewhere? Is there any source that indicates to the contrary?
5
votes
2answers
379 views

How to determine what a “normal wind” would do to a sukka

What a "normal wind" ("ruach metzuya") would do affects various laws of sukka construction. For example, in this guide from the Star-K to using sechach mats, they require that sechach-eligible ...
4
votes
2answers
347 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.
3
votes
0answers
89 views

אלקים בגימטריא הטבע and not טבע? [closed]

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"?
2
votes
2answers
398 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Why there are no anti-altering failsafe measures in the Written Torah?

(The original question asked if there are any, but there aren't, hence the update). The famous ו דגחון Sugiah in Kiddushin 30a: "א"ל: ניתי ס"ת ואימנינהו, מי לא אמר רבה בר בר חנה לא זזו משם עד ...
2
votes
0answers
82 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
159 views

In vitro meat — further questions

Related to this question: Does artificial meat grown in a petri dish have the halachic status of meat? Assuming that in vitro meat becomes widespread and assuming that it would be hechshered per the ...
0
votes
0answers
80 views

Women - less Mitzvot more body parts?

According to the Gemmorah sources: Women have much less positive Mitzvot than men, as they are freed from most of the time-related Mitzvot (Mishna Kiddushin 1:7). Women have more body parts than men, ...
16
votes
2answers
473 views

Who is worthy of reciting the blessing “שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם” on?

On whom does one recite the blessing "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 to ...
14
votes
5answers
3k 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, ...
0
votes
4answers
3k 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. You'd think the existence of a former world of huge alien creatures would ...