Sunday, September 2, 2012

Bible And Medical Science

I have been debating a Christian about the brilliance of medical science found in the Bible. They really only have some priestly-oriented text found in the Torah (Leviticus; Deuteronomy).

One important text to him was Deu 23:10-13, which he states that the "Israelites are told to stay outside their camp if they have an infectious discharge, and to dig and bury their feces outside of camp."

He must have quoted it from some webpage because the text isn't aligned by subject and it has absolutely nothing to do with infections unless he considered semen, poop and/or urine an infection. But I let that go and look at the text itself.

Deu 23:9-11
When you are encamped against your enemies, keep away from everything impure. If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there. But as evening approaches he is to wash himself, and at sunset he may return to the camp.

If a guy has a wet dream he is unclean and needs to go outside the camp and stay there, wash himself and return at sunset. What medical procedure is this addressing? Are we supposed to do this today avoid human contact if we have spilled our seed?
Deu 23:12-14
Designate a place outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. As part of your equipment have something to dig with, and when you relieve yourself, dig a hole and cover up your excrement. For the Lord your God moves about in your camp to protect you and to deliver your enemies to you. Your camp must be holy, so that he will not see among you anything indecent and turn away from you.

Go outside the camp to go to the bathroom and bury it. Note this it is not about infections but decency. Text is clear on that. This has nothing to do with infectious disease, but body fluids that God is embarrassed by. Nudity is a big deal to Him. The body is dirty, especially what comes out of it. The text says he just didn't want to see it. What culture that didn't believe in putting human waste elsewhere?

The great cultures back as far as 7000 years ago practiced this and more. They also understood things such as avoiding contaminated water. The Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were definitely more advanced medically than the Hebrews.
Vaccine History
There is even evidence of Neanderthals (50k years ago) using plants/herbs for remedial purposes.
Antibiotic History

The Hebrews believed in a God who caused/allowed diseases and what was important was to placate him in order to live the good life. Healing was magical and supernatural. That is the clear message of the bible. It is not a science book which Fundamentalist for some reason need to believe. This only distracts the intent of Bible. Most Christians have moved on and don't look at the Bible as a science book.

With this guy I brought up on the text he apparently meant. Wonder why atheist know the bible better. Hmmm....
Anyway it is Leviticus 14.

This chapter isn't about curing anyone. It is about quarantining people and hoping on their own they get better. This is not a huge leap in medical science. It would become obvious to any group of humans that some people get sick being around other sick people. If the bible had an actual cure for a sick person that would be something to boast about. But the "medical" procedure was to isolate and wait and see. How exactly does that prove Jehovah shared some great insight with the Jews?

Then even more bizarre the bible happily rewards the now "cured" person with positive application of animal blood. That is an unhealthy practice. Can you imagine someone today who believed in the Bible thought they should sprinkle animal blood around an operating room to aid in the cure of the patient? All hell would break loose, lawsuits and everything.

Leviticus 14 goes on about how to address bad mold. If a priest, the Hebrew voodoo doctors, identifies a house with bad mold, they lock it up for a week. After a week they check it out. If the mold is gone, then kill an animal and sprinkle blood. YUCK. If the mold is not gone, the tear out the stones and throw them outside the town.

Summary of Biblical medical procedures
1) Remove yourself from camp for one day if you have a nocturnal emission and wash up.
2) Poop and Pee outside the camp, bury it
3) If a priest says you have an infectious disease remove yourself from the camp for a week or so. The priest looks at you after that and if you got better all by yourself, he kills an animal and sprinkles blood on you.
4) If a priest sees a house has bad mold, lock it up for a week. If after the week the mold gets better all by itself, kill an animal and sprinkle blood about. Or if there is still mildew tear out the stones and throw them outside of town.

Why hasn't this been written up in some medical journal?

Seriously, how does anyone try to defend the bible as some enlightened medical book?

PostScript
Even Christian website knows it is not about health care, but is spiritual only

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