Questions tagged [science]

questions about science in relation to Judaism

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8
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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
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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 ...
2
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2answers
288 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?
5
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1answer
185 views

Becoming Chametz at 18 mins

According to the Talmud Pesachim 46a, a non-leavened dough should show signs of Chimutz within a shiur of walking a Mil (or 4 Mil according to the Yerushalmi), which is 18 to 24 minutes. Similarly if ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Names of mazalot in Judaism

Yesterday we discussed that during Zayin Adar we eat fish due to the constellation of Adar. Rambam lists these mazalot, and uses them extensively when discussing calendar calculations. They are also ...
1
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1answer
91 views

May one perform an autopsy on his father?

I understand that an autopsy may sometimes be performed if doing so is useful to gain knowledge that may be used to prevent deadly diseases or sicknesses in other people. Refer to this M.Y. answer. ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Rambam on the Gemara's Scientific and Historical authenticity

Where does the Rambam state that the non-Halachic parts of the Gemara - for instance, Agadata, Science etc - aren't to be taken literally or simply aren't factually correct?
8
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3answers
203 views

Is there any evidence that Chazal knew what caused eclipses?

Many ancient cultures believed that eclipses are caused by things other than syzygy. The Egyptians had Apophis. The Hindus had Rahu. (The interested reader can see more here.) In light (ha) of the ...
6
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1answer
157 views

What kind of blood did the Nile turn into?

One of the ten plagues that Moses unleashes on Egypt in the Book of Exodus is to make the Nile river run red with blood (Exodus 7:20). My question is, is there any information, either in the Torah ...
5
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1answer
164 views

Source for the Earth being 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 ...
2
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0answers
66 views

I have a question about learning evolution [closed]

All my life I have attended Bais Yaakov. I am frum but for mental health issues I decided to take a break from Bais Yaakov, and am taking online courses. In my biology course evolution is taught as a ...
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2answers
104 views

“Sound can be heard better at night then by day”- Rashi

Rashi writes in Masheches Beitzah 7b on the gemara about different cases of when we consider an egg found in a nest a fertilized or unfertilized egg. The gemara talks about a case when a hen can hear ...
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0answers
81 views

Maseches Beitzah 7a and science

In Maseches Beitzah 7a the gemara says that any animal that mates by day will give birth at day-this is talking about a chicken ,and any animal that mates by night gives birth at night, this is ...
4
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1answer
204 views

Responsa regarding gender selection for non-medical purposes

This October 2002 article in Haaretz refers to an Israeli Health Ministry decision to allow a family of Kohanim to select the gender of their children for non-medical reasons. For the first time in ...
3
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4answers
1k views

How did they breathe during the plague of darkness?

Despite some great answers to The Plague of Darkness and Plague of darkness: if he was standing, he was unable to sit? I still have a question. If the darkness was so thick that they couldn't move, ...
6
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1answer
254 views

Has CRISPR (editing the genome) for humans been discussed in halachic literature?

Has the use of CRISPR in editing the human genome been discussed in halachic literature? I know that PGD and its ability to allow parents to choose the gender of their child have been under discussion ...
-1
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2answers
143 views

Did Rashi know about radio waves?

My father told me that he was taught a Rashi in school that suggests that Rashi knew about radio waves. What Rashi might hint to this conclusion?
2
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3answers
289 views

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, ...
5
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1answer
278 views

Reconciling Young Earth Creationism With Racial Diversity

I'm wondering whether the Young Earth Creationism can be reconciled with the racial diversity found on the globe. How, can a young Earth accomedate, in a manner consistent with science, Noah's ...
1
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3answers
113 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 ...
3
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2answers
296 views

Why is nature not studied in the way the Rambam recommends?

Considering the Rambam recommends observing nature to see the divine wisdom therein and develop a love of God, if so, why is this not encouraged in the yeshivas with this outlook? The few yeshivos ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

What type of doctor is referred to in Breishit 50:2?

Breishit (Gen.) 50:2 uses the term רופאים, which I translate as "doctors". However, within this context, these doctors are embalming Jacob's body. They are not performing the task of healing someone ...
0
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1answer
285 views

Is Science/Scientism a form of Idolatry?

In the scientific community (and much of the secular world) there are many who adopt an outlook whereby one need not believe anything which cannot be demonstrated using the scientific method. i.e. it ...
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3answers
134 views

why evidence for common ancestry evolution? [closed]

In genesis it implies that creatures were created independently from the ground according to their kind *ex. "Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kind, cattle and creeping ...
0
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2answers
153 views

Hint for Big Bang in Genesis

Has anyone found a hint for the Big Bang event postulated by modern cosmology, i.e. that the Universe expanded from a "point," in the Genesis account? Some kind of torah code or other sort of hint. I ...
0
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1answer
129 views

How was the world created through the even shesiya?

In Yoma 54, it says the world was created with the Even Shesiya (primordial rock). Is this to be taken literally and if yes, do we have details into this process?
2
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1answer
81 views

Does Graphology Have Any Basis In Judaism? [duplicate]

Graphology is the theory/science that one's middos can be deduced from one's handwriting. Is there any source for such ideas from the rishonim or earlier?
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0answers
21 views

Has cryonics been treated in Rabbinic literature? [duplicate]

Has it been treated by rabbinic literature? If yes, what does it say about cryonics?
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1answer
62 views

Seeking a particular book on Science vs. Halacha

About 15 years ago, I recall that there was a book put out by the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists. It was titled something like "Challenge - Science against Halacha" or something similar. I ...
4
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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 ...
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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
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2answers
270 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 ...
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0answers
29 views

Status of a functional Male with hidden functional Female internal organs [duplicate]

I've found out this condition where a Male has a certain genetic condition where the primitive female organs, present in every foetus, are not absorbed and develop as "usual". A documented case in the ...
5
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1answer
122 views

Searching for a story with the Rav's comment about the scientist

I am trying to find a story I read once concerning Rav Soleveitchik. Please forgive me if I am remembering it incorrectly. The basic story was a comparison between two Jewish scientists, one ...
3
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1answer
185 views

Status of person with two different DNAs

Well, simple this is not. Some people can be made of "two" different DNAs. It basically happens that two embryos fuse making one health adult with two different DNAs, also known as a chimera. If such ...
3
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3answers
226 views

Did the Rabbi just back us into a corner?

In the following quote, the Khazar king questions the Rabbi's belief in a (relatively) young world starting with Adam. The Rabbi concedes that the question posed 'would weaken my belief', but argues ...
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0answers
68 views

Large scale hydroponics and Shmita

The gemara in Nedarim 59 (among many other places) discusses the concept of shmita produce and plants grown from them retaining their status when the original "seed" isn't destroyed when planted. In ...
5
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0answers
128 views

Arvei Nahal - Acceptable Species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
4
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2answers
163 views

Why does the Talmud record the Rabbis' thoughts and theories about the science of natural phenomenon?

There are various areas in the Gemara where there is discussion about natural events, often appearing like a tangential discussion. Some examples are in Bechoros 7-8 or Pesachim 94. I understand that ...
2
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1answer
158 views

How might one reconcile a non-literal reading of the timespan of creation with literal 7th day Shabbat observance? [duplicate]

I am wondering, in the light of discussions regarding the possibility for non-literal readings of Bereishit, how we are to then understand a quite literal observation of Shabbat on the 7th day. To ...
3
votes
3answers
237 views

Absorption of Taste in Pot-Scientific explanation

Is there a scientific explanation for the concept of "blias issur" absorption of taste in pots. Like for example if since heat expands materials maybe the taste creeps in. (I'm not asking about ...
3
votes
2answers
257 views

Scientific explanation for Sotah water

Is there a scientific way to understand the effect that the Sotah water has on a Sotah? Relevant verses below (Bamidbar chapter 5): יז: וְלָקַח הַכֹּהֵן מַיִם קְדֹשִׁים, בִּכְלִי-חָרֶשׂ; וּמִן-...
0
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1answer
113 views

Scaling Time to Reconcile Genesis with Science [duplicate]

Some scientists try to reconcile the biblical account of creation with the modern scientific view. see for example Gerald Shroeder's at http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html There he claims the ...
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6answers
349 views

Did the Torah Sages discuss evolution

Are there examples in chazal of the sages discussing the phenomena of micro-evolution (or macro), i.e. adaptive changes in creatures.
2
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3answers
340 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 ...
1
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2answers
126 views

Why is the big bang considered a proof for Jewish tradition

From the little I understand of the big bang 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 had a beginning and thus ...
4
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2answers
140 views

How did the water climb so high?

The Gemara in Sota 34 says וכיון שניטבלו רגלי כהנים במים חזרו המים לאחוריהם שנאמר וכבוא נושאי הארון עד הירדן וגו' ויעמדו המים היורדים מלמעלה קמו נד אחד וכמה גובהן של מים שנים עשר מיל על שנים עשר ...
0
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1answer
82 views

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 ...
5
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1answer
170 views

Is there any support for the claim that tekhelet and argaman could be derived from the same creature?

Is there any indication in Chazal (or at least in other ancient literature) that tekhelet and argaman could be derived from the same creature (as currently proposed by the Tekhelet Institute)?
1
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1answer
213 views

The luxury of murex trunculus indigo

The Tekhelet Institute acknowledges that murex trunculus indigo is molecularly equivalent to plant-based indigo that was available in the ancient world for far cheaper (kala ilan). They reason that ...