interpretation of Biblical "scientific" statements from RE: Peer review and ID

From: Dr. David Campbell <>
Date: Mon Oct 24 2005 - 11:56:24 EDT

Another aspect of some problematic "scientific" statments in the Bible
is the role of phenomenological language. The sky is not a solid dome,
but it does look like one, so the Biblical imagery is an accurate
description of what things look like rather than accurate scientific
assertion. Similarly, rabbits and hyraxes do sit around chewing stuff,
even though it's not really chewing the cud.

Classifications (such as lumping bats with birds) reflect the purpose
in classifying, which is not necessarily the same as modern biologicla
considerations. A recent post on another email list claimed "According
to Richard Mabey (The Oxford book of nature writing) , a 10th century
Chinese classification of the animal world contained: "(1) Those
belonging to the emperor; (2) embalmed; (3) tame; (4) suckling pigs; (5)
sirens; (6) fabulous; (7) stray dogs; (8) included in the present
classification; (9) frenzied; (10) innumerable; (11) drawn with a very
fine camelhair brush; (12) et cetera; (13) having just broken the water
pitcher; and [finally] (14) that from a long way off look like
flies."" Much more practical for its author than the Linnaean system,
but much less useful for biology.

Dr. David Campbell
425 Scientific Collections Building
Department of Biological Sciences
Biodiversity and Systematics
University of Alabama, Box 870345
Tuscaloosa AL 35487-0345  USA
Received on Mon Oct 24 11:58:33 2005

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