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Rabbits do "chew the cud".

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by OldWiseGuy, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Bungle_Bear

    Bungle_Bear Whoot!

    I know why I use it. I'd like @juvenissun to explain why he thinks I do. Does he believe I can fly? Is he implying that I'm a porcine?

    Given his lack of explanation I can only assume it's another of his meaningless attempts to take the attention away from his inadequacies.
  2. Bungle_Bear

    Bungle_Bear Whoot!

    I have no problem with Genesis having been written by humans. It is the more fundamental YECs, who are remarkably quiet, who would disagree.
  3. Kylie

    Kylie Defeater of Illogic

    It's okay, I'm an only child and so is my daughter. And she won't be getting any siblings.
  4. tas8831

    tas8831 Well-Known Member

    United States
    Not sure what you mean - I had quoted the link OWG presented in a failed attempt to prop up his claim.
  5. Tab Malfa

    Tab Malfa New Member

    United States
    On September 21, 2017, I made a post demonstrating that there is no modern science in the Bible. To a sensible person, the contents were irrefutable. Fundamentalists have responded in their usual irrational and incoherent manner, because they are suffering from cognitive dissonance, which results in their fallacious arguments of special pleading.

    In my original post, I discussed the fact that the Biblical authors believed that rabbits chewed cud in the same manner as cows, sheep, goats and camels. I also discussed the false theory of geocentricity and the three-tiered universe; however, no one has responded to the last two items, so I will not elaborate.

    In this post, I will respond to Leviticus 11:6, which explicitly states that rabbits (as well as the shaphan = hyrax) chew cud. I could render many more words about geocentricity and the three-tiered universe, but time and space will not permit it. For the same reason I will not offer other errors in the Bible that do not relate to science, but are clearly errors just the same (cf. Mark 2:26 // 1 Samuel 21:1-7; 1 Samuel 22:20 // 2 Samuel 8:17 and 1 Chronicles 24:6).

    Fundamentalists encounter difficulties because their reasoning is based on the false dichotomy of the faulty dilemma. They only see in terms of black and white. They do not understand that the cosmos is much more complex than that, but for extremists, it is a simple way to understand the world no matter how wrong it is. When I was in school and wrote papers, the teachers understood the content of what I wrote and often commented on how well it was communicated. The teachers would also correct the errors, but the fact that there were errors did not preclude my teachers from understanding what I wrote. Just because there are errors in the Bible does not mean its history and message are false. It means that it was written by fallible human beings. Fundamentalists have not caught on to this irrefutable fact. Instead, they commit bibolatry: worshiping the Word of God instead of the God of the Word. As I stated in my 2017 post:

    “We call the Bible the Word of God because we believe it is inspired by God, but inspiration is not dictation. Inspiration does not constitute authorship. In fact, most of the books of the Bible identify a human author. It is never stated to be written or dictated by God.

    God impressed abstract theological concepts on the minds of the Biblical authors, and they conveyed them in the only way they knew how: in their own language, their own culture, their own cognitive environment and worldview within the historical era in which they lived, but they were very limited by their primitive understanding. What the Bible says, it says from an ancient, prescientific perspective. It is a primitive view that was common among the ancient people but ignorant of the scientific discoveries of the modern twenty-first century. God’s purposes were theological, not historical or scientific. In fact, if God tried to communicate to them in modern scientific terms, they would only be confused. It would not have made sense to teach them science and history because the theological priorities would never have been reached. God gave us scientists and historians to teach us about science and history. God gave us two revelations of himself: nature and the Bible (General Revelation & Special Revelation). He gave us Bible scholars to teach us the Bible and scientists to teach us about nature. For a person to read the Bible and think that consequently he or she will possess sufficient knowledge of science and history is preposterous.”

    Leviticus 11:6 states:

    “The rabbit, though it chews its cud, does not have a split hoof;” (Leviticus 11:6, NIV, cf. Deuteronomy 14:7).

    The Biblical text above explicitly states that the rabbit chews cud. In the modern scientific twenty-first century, we know that rabbits do not chew cud; therefore, we do not accept the Bible’s statement that rabbits chew cud as a valid fact. We know in our modern scientific age that a rabbit’s digestive system does not have the ability to facilitate rumination. In this case, science sheds light on the Biblical text and helps us to understand it. Science is a valid field and we should seriously consider what our scientific community is telling us.

    Uninformed and untrained in biblical studies, some Fundamentalists have tried to reinterpret the ancient Hebrew language and give it a definition that the Hebrew words never had. Gleason L. Archer, an evangelical, Old Testament scholar commenting on whether or not the hyrax or the rabbit actually chews cud admits:

    “The answer to both statements must be in the negative so far as the actual digestive process is concerned. True ruminants normally have four stomachs, and that which has been worked over in these stomachs is regurgitated into the mouth when it is ready to be chewed again. In this technical sense neither the hyrax nor the hare can be called ruminants, but they do give the appearance of chewing their cud in the same way ruminants do. So convincing is this appearance that even Linnaeus at first classed them as ruminants, even though the four stomach apparatus was lacking” (Archer, Gleason L. Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties. Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan: 1982, p.126).

    Archer indirectly admits that the Bible is wrong on this biological fact that was not discovered to be wrong until 1939, although Ch. Morot suggested that rabbits were not ruminants in 1882. Morot’s doubts were not confirmed until H. Madsen and E.L. Taylor in the twentieth century (Nature143, 981 (1939). As stated above, even Carolus Linnaeus (1707 to 1778) classified rabbits as ruminants.

    Archer continues:

    “He [the ancient Israelite] might well conclude from the sideways movement of the jaws that these animals ruminated like the larger cattle; and since they fed on the same kind of grass and herbs, they might well be eligible for human consumption” (Archer, ibid.).

    Gleason L. Archer reinforces the fact that I emphasized in my 2017 post: The ancient Israelites understood their world by empirical observation through the senses, because that is all they had in the ancient world. They misunderstood the nature of the rabbit’s digestive system because they did not have access to modern twenty-first century, scientific knowledge.

    Highly esteemed Bible scholars have written:

    “We believe the rule in Leviticus should be understood not according to later scientific refinements of classification; instead it was based on simple observation. The fact that the camel, the coney and the rabbit go through motions similar to those of cows, sheep and goats must take precedence over the fact that we later limited the cud-chewing category to just animals that have four stomachs” (Walter C. Kaiser Jr., Peter H. Davids, F. F. Bruce, Manfred T. Brauch. Hard Sayings of the Bible. Intervarsity Press, Danvers Groves IL: 1996, p. 158).

    Again, it must be emphasized that empirical observation was the only medium the ancient people had to analyze and understand the world in which they lived. They had not developed modern technology such as microscopes, telescopes, infrared or developed advanced scientific and technological theories.

    The ancient Hebrew word hr'GE is translated in English as cud. Every time this word is used in the Old Testament, it is translated as cud, and it means just that. Every classical Hebrew lexicon renders the word hr'GE as cud. A Hebrew Lexicon of the Old Testament by William Gesenius translates this word as the English cud. It indicates that the word is an example of onomatopoeia, meaning that the word is a creation of an imitation of a sound. Gesenius states that it is so called from the sound of rumination. In other words, it sounds like the sound that cows make when they are chewing cud. There is no mistake what the word means. It should be noted that there is another entirely different word with the same spelling that refers to a grain measure, but it is not the same word as the one used to mean cud.

    Smith’s Bible Dictionary, the ATS Bible Dictionary and Easton’s Bible Dictionary all agree with the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia:

    “har ('arnebheth (Leviticus 11:6 Deuteronomy 14:7); compare Arabic 'arnab, "hare"): This animal is mentioned only in the lists of unclean animals in Leviticus and Deuteronomy, Where it occurs along with the camel, the coney and the swine. The camel, the hare and the coney are unclean, `because they chew the cud but part not the hoof,' the swine, "because he parteth the hoof. but cheweth not the cud." The hare and the coney are not ruminants, but might be supposed to be from their habit of almost continually moving their jaws. Both are freely eaten by the Arabs. Although 'arnebheth occurs only in the two places cited, there is no doubt that it is the hare. Septuagint has dasupous, "rough-footed," which, while not the commonest Greek word (lagos), refers to the remarkable fact that in hares and rabbits the soles of the feet are densely covered with hair. 'Arnab, which is the common Arabic word for "hare," is from the same root as the Hebrew 'arnebheth.”

    Eason’s Bible Dictionary states:

    “(Hebrews `arnebeth) was prohibited as food according to the Mosaic law (Leviticus 11:6; Deuteronomy 14:7), "because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof." The habit of this animal is to grind its teeth and move its jaw as if it actually chewed the cud. But, like the cony (q.v.), it is not a ruminant with four stomachs, but a rodent like the squirrel, rat, etc. Moses speaks of it according to appearance. It is interdicted because, though apparently chewing the cud, it did not divide the hoof.”

    Fundamentalists try to play games with the etymology in order to manipulate the meaning to better suit their agenda, but as every linguist knows, word meaning is derived from word usage not etymology. Take the word: understand. If we interpret it etymologically, it would mean to stand under something. Is that the way we should understand it? How about the word chairman? Does it refer to someone who makes chairs, sells chairs or sits in chairs? Does the word skullduggery refer to the act of digging up skulls? These few examples demonstrate the futility of the Fundamentalists’ argument.

    The phrases hr'GE tl;[]m; , hr'GEh; yle[]M;mi or hr'gE hle[]m; are all Hebrew idioms and literally mean: the bringing up of cud or the causing of cud to ascend. They refer to animals that are ruminants when they chew cud, hence the English translation: the chewing of cud. It literally refers to the cud ascending from the animal’s abdomen into its mouth: regurgitation. Leviticus 11:7 uses the verb rr;;G"" in the Niphal stem which when used in that particular stem always means to chew cud or to ruminate. The Fundamentalists receive no help from the original language of the Bible, and they demonstrate that their understanding of ancient Hebrew is fatally flawed.

    The Fundamentalists also receive no help from the Greek translation of the Old Testament, which is called the Septuagint (abbreviated LXX and translated circa 300 BCE). In Leviticus 11:1-7, the LXX translates the Hebrew word for cud with the Greek mhrucismo>v, which means cud and is translated cud whenever it is used. It is related to the verb mhruca>omai which means to chew cud or ruminate. The Greek phrase that is used in the LXX: avna,gei mhrukismo.n is identical in meaning to the Hebrew phrase, “bringing up the cud.” The Fundamentalists receive no help from the Greek Septuagint as well.

    Fundamentalists are also quick to point out that rabbits eat their own feces, a behavior known as coprophagy or refection. They try to persuade the uninformed that this practice is the same as a cow eating its cud. But it should be obvious to any intelligent person that eating one’s fecal matter is not chewing cud. The cow, sheep, goat, and camel regurgitate the pre-digested food up from their first stomach (the abdomen) into their mouth and chew it. It is not the same thing as eating your feces after you defecate. Furthermore, the rabbit does not actually chew the fecal pellets. It swallows them. It ingests the feces externally just as it would consume carrots, grass, hay etc. So the Fundamentalists might as well say that when the rabbit eats its regular food, it is actually chewing cud. Everyone chews cud if that is the case.

    Naturalist R. M. Lockley writes:

    ...each soft pellet is separate and by the time it reaches the rectum is enveloped in a strong membrane ...these soft pellets pass down to the rectum in glossy clusters. They are swallowed whole by the rabbit, that is, without breaking the enveloping membranes. ...although the rabbit sometimes appears to chew this faecal "cud" after collecting it from the anus, with movements of the jaws, ... Griffiths and Davies assert that the soft pellets are found whole in the stomach and therefore, must be swallowed whole (Lockley, R. M. The Private Life of the Rabbit. page 105). The rabbit “swallows” its feces. It does not chew them, so no one views the rabbits “chewing” its feces the same way cows, goats, sheep, etc. chew their cud.

    I am not splitting hares here. When a rabbit or hare eats its own feces, it is not chewing cud. It is swallowing feces, just like when it eats carrots. When it eats carrots, it is not chewing cud. It is chewing carrots. The process of refection does not give the appearance of chewing cud. This process was not discovered until 1939, so the ancient authors had no way of knowing about refection; therefore, they must have assumed that rabbits were chewing cud like cows when they observed the frequent movement of the rabbits jaws—a practice known as bruxing. Rabbits and hares exhibit this behavior known as "bruxing." They grind their teeth and move their jaws, which gives the appearance of chewing cud, but they are not chewing anything. The ancient Hebrews mistook this practice for chewing cud. Biologists also mistook this behavior for chewing cud as well until 1939.

    Cud (hrGe) is not feces (vr#P#). vr#P# always refers to excrement in the Old Testament. It never refers to anything else. hr'Ge always refers to cud and is always translated cud. Cud is not feces. Cud travels from the mouth, down the esophagus, into the first stomach (the abdomen), back up the esophagus and into the mouth. It then goes back down the esophagus into the second stomach (the rumen), then into reticulum and finally into the actual stomach. From there it goes into the intestines after it is fully digested. Cud is never actually digested. Feces have gone through the entire digestive process.

    The Fundamentalists would have you believe that the ancient Israelites possessed modern, scientific knowledge, but they did not talk about it; they did not write it down and they did not pass it on to succeeding generations. Even more ironic, they did not develop an advanced technological society like we have today, which they could have done if they possessed twenty-first century, scientific knowledge. We had to wait for Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to correct the false theory of geocentricity. We had to wait for the early medieval period to correct the false theory of the three-tiered universe and 1939 to find out that rabbits did not really chew cud. To the intelligent mind, the irrationalism, contradictions, incoherence, cognitive dissonance and special pleading of Fundamentalists is all too obvious.

    Tab Malfa October 28, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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