Thoughts on Judaism

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Science Test

Science / Torah midterm. Go for it.

1) Science is to Torah as Red Sox are to:

a) Patriots
b) Yankees
c) Red Sox general manager
d) Torah

2) Dinosaurs

a) never existed
b) all died in the Mabul
c) were called "Taninim gedolim" in Beraishis
d) were killed by a comet
e) were killed by eating a lot of food with high fat and cholesterol
f) were turned purple, giddy and touchy feely by a comet

3) Fossils are

a) faked by scientists
b) faked by dinosaurs
c) not mentioned in the Gemora
d) not evidence of anything
e) apikorsus

4) Torah is to Slifkin as Gemora is to

a) Gedolim
b) Elisha ben Avuya
c) Martin Buber
d) Pope Benedict
e) the Satan
f) Hitler, Saddam, Osama bin Laden, the Grand Wizard
g) Slifkin

5) Geological strata

a) show that the Earth is about 6000 years old
b) show evidence of a universal flood
c) seem to imply that the Earth is much older than 6000 years
d) are lying
e) geo … WHAT?!

6) Evolution

a) is a theory not a fact
b) is faked by scientists
c) is faked by dinosaurs
d) takes millions of years
e) is the realm of the Satan

7) Medicine works by:

a) advanced knowledge of infections
b) advanced knowledge of genetics
c) magic
d) scientific method
e) advanced knowledge of traditional methods
f) the hand of G-d
g) sucking the poison out through the navel, via a live pigeon
h) condensing “nothing” into pill form
i) sticking a needle somewhere I’d rather not discuss

8) Astrology

a) only worked in the old days
b) still works for kabalists
c) still works for Jeanne Dixon
d) has magical predictive powers
e) is scientific

9) The best evidence for a scientific fact is:

a) Three people say it’s true
b) Everyone in my shul says its true
c) Falsifiable, reproducible, predictive evidence
d) If it says it in the Gemorah or not
e) If a circuitous apologetic can link it to something in Torah
f) Anecdotes and stories of tzadikim
g) All scientific facts are false, because they are from evil science
h) The devil finds work for idle hands, the devil finds work for idle hands, the devil finds …

10) Claims that science is efficacious are evidence of:

a) misguidedness
b) brain damage
c) extreme brain damage
d) psychosis
e) extreme psychosis
f) effi… Wha?

11) Chicken soup cures:

a) migraines
b) colds and flu
c) shingles
d) insomnia
e) all of the above

12) How many diseases have been eradicated using traditional, nonscientific medical techniques?

Express your answer to the nearest factor of zero. ________________

13) Astrology is to astronomy as:

a) Chasidus is to kabala
b) Engineering is to science research
c) Theodicy is to theology
d) superstition is to science research
e) prophecy is to modern Judaism
f) Red Sox are to Yankees
g) Geology is to geometry
h) Biorhythms are to biology

14) Estimate the number of Jews driven away from Judaism by each of the following:
Express your answer to the nearest 10,000.

a) Fundamentalism and Charedism
b) Silly kiruv apologetics
c) The Slifkin ban
d) Internal politics
e) Closedmindedness
f) Regular kiruv apologetics
g) Ba’al Tshuvas being a bunch of whackos
h) Nepotism, yichus worship, and injustices
i) Wealth worship and favoritism
j) Impotence of batei din


  • Ouch! Funny.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:15 PM  

  • in numbero 14 u forgot to mention philosophers

    i dont get 12

    why isnt the zohar mentioned as evidence?

    the pigeon thing actually worked for my aunt

    and science is to torah what the red sox are to the fact that money doesnt buy championships. think about it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:19 AM  

  • In question 9, you mean "theory" not "fact". That the sky is blue on a sunny day is a fact, and you don't need evidence for it. That it is blue due to Thompson scattering off of air molecules is a theory. That it is blue due to daily painting by angels is another theory. One has very strong evidence to support it, the other doesn't.

    By Blogger The Observer, at 11:12 AM  

  • Anon
    Given that you think pigeons cured your aunt, I have no doubt that you do not understand #12. Zohar? The pigeon thing is goyishe magic, first written 1803 (though probably much older). Can you actually source it in the zohar, more than just that someone told you?

    Why not include the philosophers? I did not include any cause of less than 1%.

    I see what you mean. I meant "fact" more in the "theory sustaining fact" sense. I stand corrected.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 8:55 PM  

  • Observer
    On second thought, I have a quibble. "The sky is blue" is not a known quantity of fact. "The sky appears blue during the daylight hours, to the sighted observer able to discern the color blue, and can be filtered with a blue filter, etc. etc." is more what you mean by fact. But the fact of blue may be appearance only. That is what differentiates modern science from medieval, true?

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 8:28 AM  

  • I, too, know someone who was told by our city's shochet to do the pigeon thing, with immediate results. The person is a chiropractor in our community.

    I will בעז"ה verify the Jewish source.

    By Blogger Nathan, at 7:10 PM  

  • Rebel, did you know that Heshy is back? In the first post, by someone else, he is regarded as "Reb Heshy."

    By Blogger Joclyn, at 6:56 PM  

  • Rebeljew

    You got it wrong again. Blue is a name that refers to a specific measurable property, a quantity and a fact. Your judgement is not required.

    Re observer's comment, the scattering theory for blue sky is more than just supported by data, it offers predictions that can be tested. This is what makes it science.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:42 AM  

  • Blue is a fact, the measurability of which depends on a specific type of observation. It can be tested, but is subject to corruption by the measuring device that defines it. Blue exists only to the eye. Otherwise, without sight, there is no way to determine "true blue" from "false blue". "Blue" is defined by the measuring device, "sight". If someone invents a way to measure blue independent of sight, I will retract my quibble.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 2:16 PM  

  • You measure "blue" by taking a spectrum. It is done with optics and electronics.

    If you want blue as defined for a technical person, you have it from the spectrum. The measurement device does not change this and the errors are tiny.

    The observational experience of "blue" is predicted by means of the known response of the eyes, nerves, and brain to light.

    After-images are also well understood.

    So there you have it, with technology over 100 hundred years old, you can measure blue, and with the knowledge of visual processing in the brain some of which is very old and some of which is only 50 to 20 years old, you can know when a person will see blue.

    In fact, all of this is so well known and so elementary that it is taught in high school and intro level undergraduate courses.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:09 AM  

  • Not a bad thought; it dodges the objection. Stated this way, I can withdraw the quibble.
    The light of the unobstructed sky reaches the ground in the "blue" range of frequency. This has nothing to do with the sky "being" blue. The sky appears blue. It "is" full of light in a particular frequency.

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 4:53 PM  

  • What objection do you think is being dodged?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:32 PM  

  • Let's see...

    You said "science fact". Observer wrote that you should say "theory". Observer seems to be pointing out that your language shows that this is not really your subject.

    You respond with something about "theory sustaining fact" and then come back with a "quibble" and some stuff about "quantity of fact", "appearance", "corruption", "measuring device", etc., concluding with one more face saving burst of stuff about "be"-ing, "appear"-ing, and "is"-ing.

    Observer "is" right, you "appear" to "be" someone who reads science stuff in the popular press, you would not do very well in a first year college physics course.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:42 PM  

  • note the tone of the post please

    Observer is an academic. Birds of a feather .... sigh

    By Blogger Rebeljew, at 10:25 AM  

  • So, your defense is that we actually know something about the subject.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:02 AM  

  • yeah yeah ... this (satire) test is disturbing because it seems that some people are having troubles dealing with science or technology and it seems that is an issue that should be so EASY to handle. I think issues like Medinat Yisrael, or Zionism, or the military... now *those* are really difficult issues. But to think that science education or dealing with dinosaur bones should be troublesome..that certainly makes me nervous. There is a place for science education within Torah education and it is sad to see anyone having trouble with that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:54 AM  

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