PDA

View Full Version : an experiment with a Torah and a time machine: what 'good' could you do?



plant
2014-Sep-02, 01:20 PM
imagine the following:

1. you are living in the future and have access to a time machine.
2. you decide to go back in time and somehow get yourself elected to the position of chief priest in 650BC in the court of King Josiah- just as the final redaction/compilation of the hebrew bible is being completed.
3. you slip in one succinct scientific paragraph that will make the world a better place, accelerate science by 2000 years, and bring on a new era of Torah-Punk technology: think " lasers + sandals."

what would it be??

my vote:"Disease is caused by tiny animals, too small to see. Wash your hands."

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-02, 01:36 PM
That's a good one, yep.

Or possibly. "One word: sewers."

Swift
2014-Sep-02, 01:39 PM
"Here be dragons"

No, that was not my suggestion for biblical additions, that's my thoughts about this thread; or maybe it should be "Here be minefield". I'll allow it for the moment, but all our rules about civility and religion apply to this thread, including being respectful of other people's beliefs. OTB does not give carte blanche to ignore these rules.

iquestor
2014-Sep-02, 03:47 PM
actually I like the OP's question and if we can discuss it without causing problems, Im all for it.

I think there would need to be careful thought to put into the paragraph to make sure it is well reasoned within the prevailing ideas and understanding of the time. This is because if the idea was too alien, ie 'tiny animals cause disease' would seem to be without root or reason in that time and would likely be ignored or highly questioned, even divisive. Science can't necessarily come into play in the description because there was no science at the time, and all wisdom came from religion or inner reflection, with religion being the priority. It might have even be considered sacrilegious to try to define truth from nature or experiments if it contradicted with the Church's stance.

many of the religious rituals and rules of ancient world came as teachings from the Church and were beneficial, for instance not eating pork probably saved a lot of lives through prevention of various diseases;

so perhaps "holy is he who washes his hands before meals and after relief of bodily needs" is added with appropriate religious reasoning or symbolism so that it would fit within the teachings of the day, and stand a better chance of acceptance.

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-02, 05:03 PM
I think there would need to be careful thought to put into the paragraph to make sure it is well reasoned within the prevailing ideas and understanding of the time. This is because if the idea was too alien, ie 'tiny animals cause disease' would seem to be without root or reason in that time and would likely be ignored or highly questioned, even divisive.

I get the feeling that the point of the OP is that, since it's written in the Torah, it will be obeyed no matter how odd. I also get the feeling that the point of the OP is about the concept, not so much the wording. (and he did specify scientific paragraph, even if it was to head off any 'love they neighbour' posts.)

iquestor
2014-Sep-02, 06:16 PM
I get the feeling that the point of the OP is that, since it's written in the Torah, it will be obeyed no matter how odd. I also get the feeling that the point of the OP is about the concept, not so much the wording. (and he did specify scientific paragraph, even if it was to head off any 'love they neighbour' posts.)

I am not learned enough in ancient history, or religion to know if everything was blindly accepted, even if were really odd; so I could be wrong.

however if the goal is to cause an advance of technology and improve the past 2000 years by advancing a concept (handwashing) then whether the explanation was scientifically based or religious based might not matter.

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-02, 06:52 PM
I am not learned enough in ancient history, or religion to know if everything was blindly accepted, even if were really odd; so I could be wrong.
What I'm saying is: I think it's the OP's intention (whether true or not) that we assume people will follow it, even if they don't understand it. That's why he's phrased it as a 'it's in the bible' question in the first place - as opposed to just a 'if you could tell a bunch of important people' question.


...whether the explanation was scientifically based or religious based might not matter.
Yes. I just meant no need to get caught up on how it's phrased - the important thing is the effect it has on the population.

The OP's suggestion - by providing a bit of root cause - means that people would be able to extrapolate from 'disease is due to tiny animals' to many other areas of their lives - for example, not just handwashing, but also why meat rots and wounds fester.

There are just my opinions. I am not challenging your take on the subject.

Chuck
2014-Sep-02, 06:59 PM
Maybe an early introduction to the modern scientific method would be better than any specific advanced knowledge.

Swift
2014-Sep-02, 07:06 PM
Maybe an early introduction to the modern scientific method would be better than any specific advanced knowledge.
Though shall not make decisions based upon faith, but upon experimental evidence

But wait a minute... if I shouldn't base decisions just on faith, such as what is in a religious book, then I shouldn't follow that piece of advice because it is written in such a book. But if I don't follow that advice, then I only have faith to go on... and my faith says I should base it on experimental evidence. :confused:

;)

wd40
2014-Sep-02, 07:09 PM
what would it be??

my vote:"Disease is caused by tiny animals, too small to see. Wash your hands."


To wash the hands was already in the Torah:

"Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet from it; when they enter the tent of meeting, they shall wash with water, so that they will not die" (Exodus 30:19)

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-02, 07:27 PM
Though shall not make decisions based upon faith, but upon experimental evidence
:rofl:

Or, more simply: "Thou shalt not employ a Bible."

Strange
2014-Sep-02, 07:28 PM
my vote:"Disease is caused by tiny animals, too small to see. Wash your hands."

How about, some foods have more dangerous versions of those tiny animals than others so be careful about eating them.
...
Hey! Not that careful! Too late. Oh well, never mind.

DonM435
2014-Sep-02, 07:33 PM
How about, some foods have more dangerous versions of those tiny animals than others so be careful about eating them.
...
Hey! Not that careful! Too late. Oh well, never mind.

But don't steer 'em away from moldy cheese, or the discovery of penicillin is delayed.

Swift
2014-Sep-02, 07:34 PM
How about, some foods have more dangerous versions of those tiny animals than others so be careful about eating them.
...
Hey! Not that careful! Too late. Oh well, never mind.
You may have had this in mind (I'm not sure) but I've heard the idea that this is why various Middle East religions have prohibitions against eating pork and shellfish.

Strange
2014-Sep-02, 07:40 PM
You may have had this in mind (I'm not sure) but I've heard the idea that this is why various Middle East religions have prohibitions against eating pork and shellfish.

That is exactly what I was thinking of. Someone in the future will come across this thread on the Wayback Machine and have an idea for their next time trip...

redshifter
2014-Sep-02, 07:47 PM
I could see this exercise as doing more harm than good.

Solfe
2014-Sep-02, 09:31 PM
"Try the veal and don't forget to tip your waitress."

KaiYeves
2014-Sep-02, 09:51 PM
You may have had this in mind (I'm not sure) but I've heard the idea that this is why various Middle East religions have prohibitions against eating pork and shellfish.

In my Food Anthropology class last semester, we read a paper suggesting that the taboo had another motivation-- the fact that pigs are difficult and costly to raise in the region's ecology and produce no product except meat (no wool, eggs, milk, etc.)

Here it was: http://etnologija.etnoinfolab.org/dokumenti/82/2/2009/harris_1521.pdf

swampyankee
2014-Sep-02, 10:17 PM
Yayweh's message is deeper than the words.

plant
2014-Sep-03, 02:42 AM
yes.. it's hard to think of a modern scientific idea they could understand back then but maybe evolution is pretty simple:

plants and animals that survive can reproduce.
offspring are similar but not identical to each other.
by chance some offspring are more adapted to the environment and are more likely to survive to reproduce.

korjik
2014-Sep-03, 03:41 AM
Though shall not make decisions based upon faith, but upon experimental evidence

But wait a minute... if I shouldn't base decisions just on faith, such as what is in a religious book, then I shouldn't follow that piece of advice because it is written in such a book. But if I don't follow that advice, then I only have faith to go on... and my faith says I should base it on experimental evidence. :confused:

;)

How about "Have faith in only God. Everything else requires proof"

For my own: "Have not the unlearned man tell the farmer how to keep the cow. Have the unlearned man learn from the farmer, for to add to the knowledge of cows, one must have knowledge of cows"

korjik
2014-Sep-03, 03:42 AM
Well, crud. ATM is still there. All I did was prove that I dont invent a time machine.

:)

Strange
2014-Sep-03, 08:44 AM
yes.. it's hard to think of a modern scientific idea they could understand back then but maybe evolution is pretty simple

They would have had a good idea of practical evolution anyway (selective breeding). Maybe sneak in a line about, "Hey, you know the way you breed better cows and goats? That's basically how I created everything. Cool, huh."

pzkpfw
2014-Sep-04, 12:41 AM
I won't try to make the words, but I'd be trying to get people to take a longer-term view of things. Rather than accelerate science, I'd prefer to see the results (of science) considered within the context of things such as the environment.

For example, you could inject information about steam engines to bring forward certain advances (anyone remember the original "Tomorrow People" episode where the Roman empire got steam engines and survived to the "present day"?) but caring about the long term effect on air quality of coal burning (etc) would be something more important in the long term.

TL/DR: People will eventually come up with "the science" anyway. Religious texts would be better used to modify attitudes.

wd40
2014-Sep-04, 01:00 AM
you decide to go back in time and somehow get yourself elected to the position of chief priest in 650BC in the court of King Josiah- just as the final redaction/compilation of the hebrew bible is being completed.


Would not this redaction have to have been before 650 BC? The Samaritans, who had in their hands the Pentateuch and the book of Joshua already from the time of Jeroboam and the Ten Tribes centuries earlier, and who to this day are proud that they possess no other Biblical books, later became bitter enemies of the Judeans and would never have accepted even the slightest subsequent alteration from the time of Josiah.

The term "Torah" can be taken to mean the Pentateuchal text - the Written Law, plus the large body of the Oral Law that explains it. That body contains enough intriguing scientific info, one referred to in
this thread (http://cosmoquest.org/forum/showthread.php?151385-Hebrew-Calendar-before-Meton&p=2225577&highlight=#post2225577), that there is an association of Orthodox Jewish scientists at PhD and professor level who research in to the source of its origins.

Grey
2014-Sep-04, 01:10 PM
Maybe sneak in a line about, "Hey, you know the way you breed better cows and goats? That's basically how I created everything. Cool, huh."I think the whole book would be better if it were written in this tone. ;)

plant
2014-Sep-05, 04:21 AM
what about "hang a rock from a cord of 3 cubits length. Set it swinging. This is a clock. See that it doesn't matter how heavy the rock is"... now you can measure time, speed, acceleration etc etc.

Jens
2014-Sep-05, 04:33 AM
what about "hang a rock from a cord of 3 cubits length. Set it swinging. This is a clock. See that it doesn't matter how heavy the rock is"... now you can measure time, speed, acceleration etc etc.

Try dropping a bowling ball and a baseball from the top of a high building. Which do you think will hit the ground first. Interesting, no?

Strange
2014-Sep-05, 05:59 AM
Try dropping a bowling ball and a baseball from the top of a high building. Which do you think will hit the ground first. Interesting, no?

"What is this 'base ball' of which you speak?"

And so the interpretations and schisms begin ... one group insisting it is an evil ball, the other that it is a ball at the bottom of the building.

plant
2014-Sep-05, 07:00 AM
there could be an injunction to observe the annual festival of the "rocks and feathers" whereby the priests drop a bag of rocks and a bag of feathers from the top of a cliff- in order to show that the underworld-deity wants the souls of both the good and the evil amongst mankind equally.

perhaps after a few hundered years a young priest will begin to wonder why this happens.....

plant
2014-Sep-05, 07:04 AM
also... "I am the deity who keeps the moon turning around the earth, and who also keeps things stuck to the earth.. for this is one and the same force i exert."
also, "be nice to each other"

Paul Beardsley
2014-Sep-05, 07:09 AM
anyone remember the original "Tomorrow People" episode where the Roman empire got steam engines and survived to the "present day"?

Yes.

I would suggest people hang a rope outside their window to serve as their weather informer: if it moves about a lot, it's windy, and if it's wet, it's raining.

plant
2014-Sep-05, 07:19 AM
i wonder why steam-punk seems popular nowdays but torah-punk or roman-punk isn't??
it's fascinating to think about the technology of the antikythera device.... surely it couldn't all have been the work of a single brilliant scientist....
what cultural factors stopped this idea of mechanization from taking hold 150BC.... ?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antikythera_mechanism
come to think of it.... what was it about ancient Athens that made it such a remarkable place for philosophy/ early science .... really just a small town of 300,000 people (and half-slaves at that).... There must be literally thousands of towns bigger throughout history... where have all the brilliant people gone? (i suspect they are devoting their energies to making money).

galacsi
2014-Sep-05, 09:38 AM
That's a good one, yep.

Or possibly. "One word: sewers."

Sewers are good for the city health yes , but bad for the environment and also the agriculture. What comes from the fields does not return to the fields.

My take on the Op ? The gun powder ! Because with guns , organized ,civilized countries and even the little guy don't fear Connan the barbarian !

Strange
2014-Sep-05, 09:55 AM
Sewers are good for the city health yes , but bad for the environment and also the agriculture. What comes from the fields does not return to the fields.

Not sure why you think sewers are bad for the environment. And you really don't want to put raw human waste on your fields. But your sewage system could compost the waste to make fertilizer.


My take on the Op ? The gun powder ! Because with guns , organized ,civilized countries and even the little guy don't fear Connan the barbarian !

Until the barbarians also have gunpowder. Maybe a message such as "love your neighbour" could work...

NEOWatcher
2014-Sep-05, 11:55 AM
I leave unto thee, to discover the wonders of the consistency of the patterns and rules that I have built this existence on.

Swift
2014-Sep-05, 01:43 PM
My take on the Op ? The gun powder ! Because with guns , organized ,civilized countries and even the little guy don't fear Connan the barbarian !
"And Saint Atila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying,
'Oh, Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow
thy enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin, and
people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies,
and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large --"

galacsi
2014-Sep-07, 09:10 PM
"And Saint Atila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying,
'Oh, Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow
thy enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin, and
people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies,
and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large --"


I am back to my home and found your piece of humor. It merits an answer because it is so wrong.

The gun is an equaliser , even a very small man can defend himself again a bif bully , if he has a gun. And big guns were the end of castles in Europe. In Japan the gun was the nemesis of the Samourai class.

And I don't Think Attila or any other nomad could be in a position to buy more guns than a sedentary civilization can get built. Maybe it is not politically correct but black powder is a great advance in civilization. And yes I like fireworks too.

swampyankee
2014-Sep-07, 10:45 PM
David used a sling, which will defend against a big bully quite effectively. Being hit by a 200 gram rock (or, better, lead) ball does tend to stop one's day, as a skilled slinger could probably kill an armored person at 50 paces. The sling was a more effective missile weapon than the short bows used that that time.

Back on topic: just add a line (and hope it doesn't get edited out or forgotten) "My Word is always true, but My Word is hidden behind allegory, simile, parable, and fable, as I am your G-d and you must find My Truth by observation, experiment, and logic, not by just being lazy and reading a book."

DonM435
2014-Sep-07, 11:48 PM
Maybe Satchel Paige's guide to living: ;)

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/legendary/lipaig.shtml

Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood.

If you stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts.

Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.

Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society. The social ramble ain't restful.

Avoid running at all times.

Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you.

Swift
2014-Sep-07, 11:49 PM
I am back to my home and found your piece of humor. It merits an answer because it is so wrong.

The gun is an equaliser , even a very small man can defend himself again a bif bully , if he has a gun. And big guns were the end of castles in Europe. In Japan the gun was the nemesis of the Samourai class.

And I don't Think Attila or any other nomad could be in a position to buy more guns than a sedentary civilization can get built. Maybe it is not politically correct but black powder is a great advance in civilization. And yes I like fireworks too.
It is from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and was 100% intended not to be taken seriously, either when the movie came out, or when I posted it.

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-08, 12:34 AM
I am back to my home and found your piece of humor. It merits an answer because it is so wrong.
*coughBUZZKILLcough* :whistle: :D

SeanF
2014-Sep-08, 01:11 PM
David used a sling, which will defend against a big bully quite effectively. Being hit by a 200 gram rock (or, better, lead) ball does tend to stop one's day, as a skilled slinger could probably kill an armored person at 50 paces. The sling was a more effective missile weapon than the short bows used that that time.
The word "skilled" is very important in your post. For the average person, a sling is nowhere near as effective as a handgun. Not even close. And, in fact, a handgun is more effective even for a skilled person, and more people can more easily become skilled with a handgun than can with a sling.

If slings were as good as handguns, handguns wouldn't have supplanted them.

caveman1917
2014-Sep-08, 09:16 PM
I am back to my home and found your piece of humor. It merits an answer because it is so wrong.

If it can take out the bunny then it couldn't have been that wrong :)

wd40
2014-Sep-09, 12:25 PM
you slip in one succinct scientific paragraph that will make the world a better place, accelerate science by 2000 years,



Just how much useful ancient scientific knowledge is believed to have disappeared in the huge depositories of the ancient world: the great libraries of Memphis, Carthage, Alexandria, Constantinople and Yucatan, which were torched by the Romans, Vandals, Mohammedans and Spaniards? eg in 640 AD, the Caliph Omar used the millions of priceless manuscripts of the Library of Alexandria to fuel the city's baths: for six months the fires roared, fuelled by the knowledge of the ancients.

Swift
2014-Sep-09, 01:30 PM
Just how much useful ancient scientific knowledge is believed to have disappeared in the huge depositories of the ancient world: the great libraries of Memphis, Carthage, Alexandria, Constantinople and Yucatan, which were torched by the Romans, Vandals, Mohammedans and Spaniards? eg in 640 AD, the Caliph Omar used the millions of priceless manuscripts of the Library of Alexandria to fuel the city's baths: for six months the fires roared, fuelled by the knowledge of the ancients.
Useful to historians - lots
Useful to scholars of the next several centuries after their distructions - considerable
Useful to current scientists - none whatsoever

IMO

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-09, 01:48 PM
Useful to current scientists - none whatsoever
IMO
That's kind of an odd way to look at it, as if the knowledge would not have been cumulative over the intervening centuries.

If that scientific knowledge hadn't been lost, we wouldn't have had to wait 12 centuries for the steam engine. The Industrial revolution might have occurred in Da Vinci's day, and we'd have our flying cars by now.

NEOWatcher
2014-Sep-09, 01:58 PM
That's kind of an odd way to look at it, as if the knowledge would not have been cumulative over the intervening centuries.
Not odd. Just a different perspective. If that information were lost and recently discovered, then it would not be useful to scientists.
But; as you said, we would be much more advanced by now. But; again, it wouldn't be useful to today's scientists.
(In a general sense. I'm sure there may be some lost techniques or something that might be useful, plus it depends on your definition of scientist)

I'm just wondering if it would make a difference in religious practices. Most religions have developed while that information was missing. If it wasn't lost, I would think religions would be much more philosophical that practice.

If that scientific knowledge hadn't been lost, we wouldn't have had to wait 12 centuries for the steam engine. The Industrial revolution might have occurred in Da Vinci's day, and we'd have our flying cars by now.[/QUOTE]

Swift
2014-Sep-09, 02:17 PM
If that information were lost and recently discovered, then it would not be useful to scientists.
That is what I meant by my comment.

I don't know if this is what wd40 meant by his post, but you find a lot of stuff in fictional works, in pseudoscience (think The History Channel), and in various CT threads here on CQ about how the "ancients" had some special knowledge that we have now lost, and not yet discovered. I lot of the Planet X stuff, for example, claims that the ancients had such lost knowledge. My comment was particularly aimed at that.

As to the question of whether we would have been further along in our technology if these ancient libraries had not been destroyed... I don't believe it is possible to know. Maybe we would have developed various weapons that much earlier in our history, and just killed each other off that much faster. Maybe if Da Vinci had been enabled to create better weapons, the various Italian City-States would have rampaged across Europe with their weapons-of-mass-destruction, completely destroying the rebirth of science and art that was the Renaissance.

No, I don't particularly believe that either, but that speculation seems as likely as we would now have flying cars.

Gillianren
2014-Sep-09, 02:44 PM
And flying cars are a terrible idea anyway.

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-09, 04:22 PM
As to the question of whether we would have been further along in our technology if these ancient libraries had not been destroyed... I don't believe it is possible to know. Maybe we would have developed various weapons that much earlier in our history, and just killed each other off that much faster. Maybe if Da Vinci had been enabled to create better weapons, the various Italian City-States would have rampaged across Europe with their weapons-of-mass-destruction, completely destroying the rebirth of science and art that was the Renaissance.

No, advancing through technology sooner and faster would - by definition - put us further along. Speculating about whether it's necessarily desirable or healthy to be further along, is neither here nor there.

What you're saying is analogous to 'We don't know if putting oil in the car before our trip would have saved the engine because, even if we had, we might have lost a wheel or something and crashed anyway.'

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-09, 04:29 PM
Nothing in wd40's post suggests anything about recently refinding technology, simply about not having lost it.

The premise of this thread was what about knowledge gained early in history, not recent regained.


If that information were lost and recently discovered....
But that's a very big 'if' that was not expressed before discussing the consequences. It's a completely different ball of wax.

NEOWatcher
2014-Sep-09, 05:11 PM
It's a completely different ball of wax.
Didn't I say that?
I was commenting about it not being odd, just different. Because it's a different ball of wax, does that mean it's odd?

FarmMarsNow
2014-Sep-09, 05:14 PM
"Produce six-stringed instruments with fret boards that have 22 frets and ajustment knobs for each string. Each string should be 5 half steps in difference except for the second string which ought to be 4 steps different from string three. Devise new music scales that are pleasant. Figure it out. Do it scientifically. Also put a little bit of clash into the sounds, because sometimes I get so tired of harps and classical. Maybe speed up the tempo a little bit. That would be nice."

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-09, 06:14 PM
Didn't I say that?
I was commenting about it not being odd, just different. Because it's a different ball of wax, does that mean it's odd?
Well, going back to my car trip analogy. wd40 raised the issue of 'Wouldn't our car have been much better if we'd put oil in it?' Swift's response was akin to 'But a wheel could fall off, so what's the point?'

It's a non seqitur.

The point was 'How can we keep our car in good condition?' not 'If we drove it normally, let's speculate how that can go badly.'

Anyway, it's not that Swift's point isn't valid, it's just that it, IMO, it needed to be explicitly framed as a digression.

NEOWatcher
2014-Sep-09, 06:26 PM
Well, going back to my car trip analogy. wd40 raised the issue of 'Wouldn't our car have been much better if we'd put oil in it?' Swift's response was akin to 'But a wheel could fall off, so what's the point?'
I see nothing in Swift's post that tracks back to the analogy. I see a direct response to wd's post as quoted and as a side comment to what was said.
I see the car trip analogy as a digression to this thread.

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-09, 08:10 PM
I see a direct response to wd's post as quoted and as a side comment to what was said.
Yep. It's just ... odd.

Chuck
2014-Sep-09, 09:02 PM
How about more commandments banning slavery, rape, torture, child labor, and reality television?

Swift
2014-Sep-09, 09:12 PM
Yep. It's just ... odd.
I like the idea of being odd in a thread who's premise is one has a time machine and what one is going to do with it is change passages in the Torah. :D

Actually, maybe that explains a lot of ancient beliefs... maybe some time in the future a couple of folks got a time machine and went back in time to play some pranks.


Hey, you still got the holo-projector? OK, project an image of a giant flying chariot in the sky, and make the sun one of the wheels!

profloater
2014-Sep-09, 10:50 PM
I like the idea of being odd in a thread who's premise is one has a time machine and what one is going to do with it is change passages in the Torah. :D

Actually, maybe that explains a lot of ancient beliefs... maybe some time in the future a couple of folks got a time machine and went back in time to play some pranks.


Hey, you still got the holo-projector? OK, project an image of a giant flying chariot in the sky, and make the sun one of the wheels!

Too right "those guys in the future are messing us up" is a near perfect conspiracy hypothesis because you can test it! Every time something unexpected happens it's obviously a correction from the future. Forget Randomness, forget aliens too, it's time machine geeks in 2072 with their weird sense of humour.

HenrikOlsen
2014-Sep-10, 01:12 PM
The word "skilled" is very important in your post. For the average person, a sling is nowhere near as effective as a handgun. Not even close. And, in fact, a handgun is more effective even for a skilled person, and more people can more easily become skilled with a handgun than can with a sling.

If slings were as good as handguns, handguns wouldn't have supplanted them.
Trick in this case was that handguns hadn't been invented and David grew up as a shepherd boy who would have used a sling as his main ranged weapon in defending the flock against wolves and similar his entire working life.

DonM435
2014-Sep-10, 01:29 PM
As the infamous Criswell said in Plan Nine From Outer Space:

"My friends, future events like these will affect all of us in the future."

... and ...

"Can you prove it didn't happen?"

Paul Beardsley
2014-Sep-10, 07:16 PM
Trick in this case was that handguns hadn't been invented and David grew up as a shepherd boy who would have used a sling as his main ranged weapon in defending the flock against wolves and similar his entire working life.

Scene: A bank, circa 1920. An attractive female teller is counting notes for an elderly lady. The bank manager is shaking hands with a customer and seeing him out. Suddenly a man with a stocking mask comes in with a sling.

Robber: Everybody freeze!

Manager: Pah! It's just a sling.

Teller (in a whisper): There are traces of lamb's wool on his clothes. I think he's a shepherd!

Collective gasp.

Manager: Just... just take the money. We don't want any trouble.

HenrikOlsen
2014-Sep-11, 08:33 AM
It was in part a literary reference, to Joseph Heller's God Knows, which is the fictitious memoirs of David.
At one point he's remembering how astonished everyone was that he killed Goliath despite his opinion that it was something any shepherd boy could have done.

jokergirl
2014-Sep-11, 09:35 AM
:rofl:

Or, more simply: "Thou shalt not employ a Bible."

Hey, Bibles have been a documented medical tool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganglion_cyst#Treatment) for a long time. ;)

Actually, I would go with "Thou shalt not destroy knowledge", even knowledge that comes from so-called "heathen" books.

;)

swampyankee
2014-Sep-14, 01:33 AM
How about more commandments banning slavery, rape, torture, child labor, and reality television?

They'd just use the same twisted logic that allows people to break the commandments against murder, theft, perjury, adultery,..

wd40
2014-Sep-14, 02:47 AM
Despite mankind's best endeavours, few truly major scientific discoveries were made or acted upon for millenia. The Zohar was a Kabbalistic commentary on the Torah which appeared c1200AD but which is claimed to originate c200AD, stated in its commentary on the sentence in Genesis 7 "In the 600th year of Noah's life all the wellsprings of the great deep burst forth from below" that "In the 600th year of the Sixth Millennium (the year 5600) the wellsprings of secular knowledge from below will open". The year 5600 corresponds to 1840 around which time occurred the Industrial Revolution, Dalton's Atomic Theory, Ampere, Laplace, electric motor, telegraph, railway, Faraday, Joule, Doppler, radio, Boolean algebra, Pasteur, spectroscope, incandescent lamp, Mendel, periodic table, electromagnetism, Koch, telephone etc etc.

Solfe
2014-Sep-20, 03:37 PM
Hey, Bibles have been a documented medical tool (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganglion_cyst#Treatment) for a long time. ;)

Ick! Ouch!

BigDon
2014-Sep-20, 10:10 PM
So we blow off the Dark Ages in Europe and King Richard and Suliemon the Great have nukes.

That will make things better...

DaveC426913
2014-Sep-21, 03:15 AM
Diseases are spread through tainted water. Boil it.