Did Moses stutter? A scientific investigation

This is absolutely unbelievable.  There’s a new paper in Neurological Science, by three neurological scientists, analyzing the age-old question of whether Moses stuttered!  The abstract says it all:

Abstract Stuttering is a disturbance of normal fluency of speech whose pathophysiology is still not well understood. We investigated one of the most ancient speech disorders in the biblical person Moses who lived in approximately 1300 BC. To get the most complete medical and nonmedical information on Moses, we did systematic searches in the Holy Bible using the Bible-Discovery v2.3 software (http://www.bible-discovery.com) looking for verses containing the terms “Moses”, “Stuttering” and “Stutter”; and in PubMed/Medline database for manuscripts having the terms “Moses”, “Bible” and “Stuttering”. From the Bible search, 742 verses were found, of which 23 were relevant; three additional verses were found by hand search. Six papers discussing Moses’s pathology were found in the PubMed search. The analysis of ancient descriptions in the light of current research suggests that stuttering is the most likely pathology Moses had, with clear evidence for both genetic origin and environmental triggers. Further, it was found that Moses practiced some “sensory tricks” that could be used to relieve his speech disorder which are, to our knowledge, the first “tricks” that successfully modulated a movement disorder described in the medical literature.

The case of Moses is presented as if he’s a medical patient.  Are the authors aware of the humor in this?

Patient and methods
The patient was Moses ( מרשת o´ משת ), which means “saved from the waters”. According to Exodus 6:20, Amram married his aunt Jochebed, who gave birth to Moses. When he was born, Pharaoh ordered to kill every boy who had a Jewish mother (Exodus 1:15–22).

Here’s some of the evidence that Moses stuttered:

The biblical descriptions commenting on the speech disorder of Moses suggested that it started at an early age. In fact, when Moses refused to speak out in Exodus 4:10 he said “neither before, nor since you have spoken to your servant”. This statement supports the view that Moses had developmental stuttering, the onset of which is between 3 and 8 years [44]. Interestingly, 26% of children with such disorder recover before puberty, while it persists more in boys [34, 45]. Several associated signs and symptoms present in clinically established stuttering are found in Moses’s descriptions including fear declared in Exodus 6:30 when he talked to the Pharaoh, the presence of a spokesman described in Exodus 4:13–16, and negation, hesitation and avoidance secondary to God’s orders described in Exodus 4:10 and 6:12.

A genetic abnormality, as the one attributed to Moses, associated with environmental stressors including new home, social pressure and/or negative experiences at early ages would favor the persistence of the speech disorder in his adult age [46].

And what “tricks” did the patriarch use?  It really pains me to have to reproduce this for you:

At this point, it must be remarked that Moses used at least two “sensory trick” strategies that would help to modulate his speech motor program abnormalities. The first “trick” was the “rod of God” prescribed by God himself and emphasized in several passages of the Bible including Exodus 4:17 and Numbers 20:9. The second “trick” used by Moses was singing, a method used for enhancing speech fluency in stutterers [36, 60]. It should be remarked that the first time that the verb “sing” is conjugated in the Bible is in Exodus 15:1 when Moses sang. After this, Deuteronomy 31:30 and 32:44 stated that Moses sang a song in front of the crowd, without any language abnormality. Moreover, Psalm 91, one of the most famous songs of the Bible, was authored by Moses.

From all of the above, it is rational to propose that both the use of the rod and singing were not only instruments for performing divine signals and guide Jewish people, but also were actual “therapies” that helped in modulating the desynchronized sensory and motor programming of Moses, improving his speech fluency. Accordingly, such “sensory tricks” would be the first neurorehabilitation measures described to date in medical literature [61, 62], employed to modulate a movement disorder.

Okay, this is shameful and embarrassing, both for the three authors and the scientific community at large. It is not, I emphasize, an April Fool’s joke. It is three scientists investigating a dubious disorder in a fictional person.  Regardless of the arguments about the historical Jesus, there’s not a scintilla of evidence that Moses existed, much less that the events of the Exodus occurred (they didn’t—the evidence is against them).  So why is this in a scientific journal? Should we expect the Journal of Herpetology to speculate about what kind of reptile talked to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?  Can we expect a paper in the Journal of Gerontology about the remarkable longevity of Methuselah? What herbs did he eat that allowed him to attain the age of 969? What these three deeply misguided authors have done is, in fact, produce a form of literary criticism masquerading as science.

Maybe someday these dudes will learn that you have to look for evidence beyond the Bible if you’re trying to justify something in the Bible as a historical fact.  They could start with trying to figure out whether Moses really existed. They didn’t; they just just assume he did.

What a bunch of morons.  And this, by the way, isn’t the only paper on Moses’s stuttering in the scientific literature.  There are at least five others.

___________

Leon-Sarmiento, F. E., E. Paez, and M. Hallett. 2012. Nature and nurture in stuttering: a systematic review of the case of Moses. Neurological Science DOI 10.1007/s10072-012-0984-2

91 Comments

  1. Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Next up: Did the chicken really cross the road to get to the other side? A scientific investigation.

    • Tim
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Predation by elderly military officers in the chicken’s Kentucky habitat suggests that the chicken’s motives for crossing the road did not originate in his curiosity about what lie on “the other side”.

    • Carter
      Posted September 17, 2013 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Still trying to stop laughing! BBBut GGGod wwon’t let mmmee!

  2. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I’m waiting for the definitive study of the etiology of eczema in orcs.

  3. caitlinburke
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    This is the subject of a classic joke, too.

    God: “So, Moses, what land shall I give you for my chosen people?”
    Moses wanted California, but because of his stutter, he said, “Ca-ca-ca—…”
    God: “Canaan?? That godforsaken wasteland?? Well, OK!”

    (Also told with “Canada”)

  4. Malgorzata
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    It should not matter if Moses existed or not. Neither should it matter if he stuttered or not. What really matters is that he was a Muslim. A uniwersity lecturer from Palestinian Authority says so: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqjwLKdg9ro&feature=g-u-u&context=G267a900FUAAAAAAAEAA

    • the Siliconopolitan
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure that if you check the records, you’ll find that he’s been offered the possibility of becoming a Mormon.

  5. Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    I see it is published in partnership with “Sin”. Seriously, it is down there with that “paper” on whether Jesus cured someone of the flu.
    I think a letter to the editor may be in order. Is this the future if we tolerate accomodationism?

    • Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      To be fair, “SIN” is just the Italian acronym for the Italian Neurological Society (Società Italiana di Neurologia), but, yes, I noticed a certain irony there too.

  6. Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Wow. Just wow. Can human stupidity reach any greater heights? Can any scientist possibly be so blind as to not notice such a thing as ‘literary device’? Another argument to oppose accommodationism.

  7. Dan Dollison
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Crazy people will hold forth crazy ideas. The real problem is with the a-holes who published tripe like this in their journal. Hope there’s a corresponding drop in readership!

  8. Steve Smith
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    They could start with trying to figure out whether Moses really existed.

    The archaeological evidence is conclusive: The Jews were never in Egypt, there was never an Exodus, and and no Jewish conquest of the land of Israel. In fact, the Jews were still polytheists when the first Passover was supposed to have happened.

    All major Old Testament stories are discredited by archaeological findings. This is widely acknowledged by professional archaeologists. See, for example, Ze’ev Herzog, Israel Finkelstein, William Dever, or many others.

    This paper is a waste of paper, shelf space, time, electrons, and bits.

    • Steve Smith
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Sadly, the facts also discredit the Bible’s claim that Moses had a hot Ethiopian wife whom Moses refused to renounce.

      • Tim
        Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        But your assertions are contradicted by the very same photographic evidence you provided!

    • Erp
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      All Old Testament stories are not disproved by archaeology. We have good evidence that Jerusalem was besieged when Hezekiah was king but not taken and we have good evidence that Jerusalem later fell and many of the people were exiled. I point you to the same sources you cite.

      It is the stories set in older times that lack evidence and seem highly improbable (Genesis, Exodus, Joshua). We have some evidence that David existed though it is highly improbable that he ruled very much (certainly not an empire stretching to Mesopotamia).

      • Steve Smith
        Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        The major foundational stories of Judaism have all been discredited by the archaeological record, so I think we’re saying the same thing.

        P.S. Happy Passover, JC. Not sure if you’re firstborn, but I’m sure we’re all glad that God didn’t murder you with some awful plague.

        Atheist Passover challenge: Can anyone identify an uglier celebration?

        • Steve
          Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          I can’t.

        • Torbjörn Larsson
          Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          Ah, so that si what the name comes from! I haven’t checked on that before.

          You are right, it looks positively ugly. Genocide celebrated!?

          • Steve Smith
            Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

            You’ve never watched DeMille’s Ten Comandments?!

            I discover that this a great way to introduce children to religion. I’ve been on a blu-ray kick, as the recent releases are amazing quality and like seeing the film for the first time even if you’ve watched it many times before.

            When I played the Ten Comandments recently, my five-year old wanted to watch it with me. I reluctantly agreed, if only because I know that she doesn’t scare easily.

            During the scenes with the first Passover and night terror, she asks, “Daddy, who is ‘God'”? On cue to her question, DeMille’s deadly green fog comes rolling down the street, killing as it goes. “There,” I said, “That’s God. Killing all those people.” She got it, enjoyed the rest of the film, and received her first lesson about the God of Abraham from no less than DeMille.

            By the way, the recent transfer of this film with Katherine Orrison’s commentary is highly recommended. You’ll never guess who DeMille originally wanted cast as Nefritiri and what made him change his mind.

            • morkindie
              Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

              That is wonderful. What more does one need to know about the God of Abraham?

        • BilBy
          Posted April 7, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Good Friday ain’t that good. Crucifiction n’all

          • Posted April 8, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

            Remember, it’s not called crucifact, for a reason…

            • HaggisForBrains
              Posted April 8, 2012 at 3:32 am | Permalink

              +1

    • Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      While I do not deny that the Exodus and Conquest accounts are the product of 8th-5th century BC authors, there is nothing in the realm of archaeology which disproves the broad idea of an Exodus of several thousand Semites from Egypt (though there is nothing which suggests it).

      • Torbjörn Larsson
        Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        I thought it was broadly recognized that the details of such an Exodus and the lack of remains from such a large group travelers had excluded an Exodus type of scenario fully.

        Also, if you start to accommodate different cherry-pickings or rewrites of religious texts, are they still of that religion? No one here would entertain such a conclusion, nor do the genuine fundamentalists.

        • Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          What kind of remains would be expected from a large group of pastoralists? Graves, perhaps, but what if these supposed Sinaitic Israelites did not bury grave goods with their dead? Pottery and structures, the type of human remains most archaeologists are used to, would be totally absent if a large Semitic Exodus from Egypt did occur-tents and skins would have substituted.

          • Torbjörn Larsson
            Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            most archaeologists have abandoned the archaeological investigation of Moses and the Exodus as “a fruitless pursuit”.[19] A number of theories have been put forward to account for the origins of the Israelites, and despite differing details they agree on Israel’s Canaanite origins.

            So they never traveled anywhere. I don’t think anyone has found remains along the proposed routes either. That they were pastoralists despite purportedly being former slaves in another culture is an assumption, and it is an unlikely one.

            • Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

              Agreed. The lateness of the account makes it unlikely it could record any possible LBA Exodus route. Thus, I have my doubts the idea of an LBA exodus is falsifiable, though it does have some evidence against it (eg. the absence of archaeological evidence, the lateness of the source texts) and some evidence for it (eg. the very existence of the exodus tradition, the Egyptian elements cited by James Hoffmeier).

          • Torbjörn Larsson
            Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            Oops. I am also still waiting to hear how a reduced “Exodus” fit into the religious mythos.

            • Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

              It doesn’t. I do not wish to support a religious mythos.

      • Steve Smith
        Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        No, you just can’t have a migration like Exodus and fail to leave a shred of evidence; therefore, Exodus is fiction.

        Herzog: “This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, Jehovah, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai.”

        Dever: “Originally I wrote to frustrate the Biblical minimalists; then I became one of them, more or less. The call of Abraham, the Promise of the Land, the migration to Canaan, the descent into Egypt, the Exodus, Moses and monotheism, the Law at Sinai, divine kingship—archaeology throws all of these into great doubt.”

        And so on.

        • Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          I find quote-mining, especially where quotes do not base their claims on cited evidence, extremely unconvincing. While I agree with the spirit of these quotes, to say that the evidence of absence/absence of evidence for the biblical Exodus is sufficient to say with certainty that no LBA Israelite Exodus occurred is, in my opinion, going too far beyond our present evidence/lack of evidence.

          • Steve Smith
            Posted April 7, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

            I find quote-mining

            That’s quite a charge—that you do not and cannot back up as these quotes by noted archaeologists working in this field for decades are complete, cited, and precise.

            Back up your quote-mining charge or apologize.

            to say that the evidence of absence/absence of evidence for the biblical Exodus is sufficient to say with certainty that no LBA Israelite Exodus occurred is, in my opinion, going too far beyond our present evidence/lack of evidence.

            So you have an opinion—can you back this one up with facts or evidence?

            • Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

              I apologize for my, as I now see it, unsubstantiated charge of quote mining. My opinion can be backed up with such evidence (or lack of it) as the lack of archaeological evidence for campsites (and graves??) between the Ancient Egyptian mining sites of Serabit el-Khadim, Timna, and Wadi Maghara and Ancient Egypt.

          • Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

            Pithom, I see your point. This is kind of like the Historical Jesus argument. How can anyone rule out the possibility of a few thousand (or a few hundred) Semite pastoralists leaving Egypt around that time? It seems absurd on the face of it that the archaeological record for herdsmen living in tents thousands of years ago is complete enough to rule out such an event. On the other hand, we CAN rule out the sort of Exodus described in the Bible (3 million people, etc). People here seem to be attacking you from the latter viewpoint even though you are espousing the former—just like what happened with the discussion of Bart Ehrman’s claims about the historical Jesus.

  9. Erp
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The most they should have claimed would be an ancient description of a stuttering individual (if the character Moses was meant to be a stutterer, the ancient writer(s) would depict him in certain ways which might or might not be medically accurate). This could give insight into how people of that time and place (which would have been in the 700-400 BCE period and not 1300 BCE) perceived stutterers. However the authors of the article seem to have ignored Biblical scholarship (e.g., were any of them scholars of ancient Hebrew including how it changed over the centuries; no where did they show any recognition that the various parts of the Bible they are using were written in different eras and all well after the supposed life of the patient [it would be a bit like analyzing King Author health from the various legends about him and mixing Geoffrey of Monmouth with Tennyson)).

    • Brett
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Hilarious! Moses is clearly a fictional character. Although, it is a valid question to ask whether or not the biblical author(s) intended to portray Moses as having a stuttering problem. But this is clearly not the point of the stories and the original text does not support any such reading; the point is that Moses is not an eloquent speaker or powerful leader. And this is necessary so that the author(s) can demonstrate that the deity is capable of manifesting his power through even the most inadequate of human agents. Pure fiction.

      • Brett
        Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Erp: my comment was not meant to be in response to yours. I am in full agreement with your statements.

  10. Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    “What a bunch of morons.”

    Direct, incisive, true.

    +1
    :D

  11. Jim Jones
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    “Theology: a way to spend your life studying things that didn’t happen to people who never existed”.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      “And that will never affect people for realz, even the few colleges that actually care about your pet wet dream.”

    • still learning
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      It has always been amazing and amusing to me that people make a career of and get paid for theology. Also, that other people hold them in high esteem for that.

    • Stan
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      Shakespeare came up with the best definition of theology, though that’s not what he had in mind when he penned “Much Ado About Nothing”!

  12. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    On the other hand the story of Noah and the global flood shows that agent-induced climate change can happen…

    Snigger.

    • still learning
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Excellent point!

  13. daveau
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    You had me at “Bible-Discovery v2.3 software”. LOL.

  14. Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Is space not at a premium in that journal? Giving them the benefit of the doubt I assume it’s a joke they think is cute. Even if it were cute, it’s still doing harm if it’s pushing out real papers.

    • Achrachno
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I’m not familiar with this journal, but wonder if maybe it pushed out an even worse paper.

  15. Michael Fisher
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Bible-Discovery – Bible concordance software (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux) DOWNLOAD

    Bible-Discovery was developed for people to be able to lose themselves in the mystery of the Bible and not speaking Ancient Hebrew or Ancient Greek, the original languages of the Bible. The purpose of the application is to be able to study the Book at very deep level without the knowledge of the mentioned languages.

    The web site and the program are developed by Miklos Zsido (who is a born again Christian filled with Holy Spirit since 1996)”

    I note that he also supplies the Android Bible which kind of tickles me.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      100 % proof Holy Spirit, if you ask me.

  16. gravelinspector
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    In other news … where’s that paper from a decade or so back about the psychopathology of Gollum? (searching for reference ; back in a minute … or 5)
    “A precious case from Middle Earth” Bashir, Ahmed, et al, BMJ v329 pp 1435 – 1436 doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7480.1435
    First paragraph : ‘Sméagol (Gollum) is a single, 587 year old, hobbit-like male of no fixed abode. He has presented with anti-social behaviour, increasing aggression, and preoccupation with the “one ring.”’
    Another classic case-parody-study. Freud would probably be proud. Or maybe Jung, I’m not too up to speed on the “religious wars” of head-ology.

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      My own precious thread win!

  17. Pray Hard
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Does the Easter Bunny really lay eggs? Better question would be … “Did Moses exist as an actual, historical person?” Oh, yeah, prove it.

    It always astounds me that most people have so little grasp of mythological characterizations.

  18. keithapm
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m working on a paper now about the exact nature of Harry Potter’s eyesight and the kind of corrective measures that had to be taken. The paper also incorporates speculations as to why there seems to be no magical remedy for this malady.

    Before anyone dares suggest that Potter was fictional I’d like to point out the fact that there is a London and a Kingscross Station which confirm the accounts found in the documents in question…

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Also, the existence of a decimal system and all its numbers combined with the existence of platforms means that there absolutely exist a platform 9 3/4 somewhere. Probably right at Kingscross.

      • Tony Jackson
        Posted April 8, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink

        But… but… platform 9 ¾ does exist! I’ve seen it with my own eyes!

        http://kingscrossstation.com/?page_id=10

        By the way, there is a great T-shirt you can buy there. It says: “I broke my face on platform 9 ¾”

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget that there are Snowy Owls too. Though they are diurnal

    • Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Does this mean my paper to the Journal of Herpetology on “Voldemort’s Lisp: physiological affliction or psychological affectation?” is going to be accepted?

  19. Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    What’s even more unsettling is that the paper must have been peer-reviewed. That being said, I would love to read the reviewers’ comments!

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      “Hogwash!” or “Hogwarts!”, huh?

  20. Voltaire2
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Moses and Exodus are true! I used to see them every Easter on ABC!

  21. Runst
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    This is nothing new. Every Christmas the newspapers dig up some moron of an astronomer who has an exciting new explanation for the star of Bethlehem. The possibility that the star – and the nativity story as a whole – is invented is usually not mentioned.

    • RFW
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Among thinking people — you *are* a thinking people, no? — it’s generally recognized that the bibble is a ragbag collection of bits and pieces from many different sources, redacted by many different hands over a long time.

      Yet like much other fiction, many details (possibly at great remove) are likely based on real people, real events. Just as a novelist may base a principal character on someone he knows or knew or knew of. How much fiction has been written based on Ed Gein, for example?

      There is a theory among folklorists that the gods and other great personages of myth (any mythology you care to name) are often dim, confused recollections of great chieftains and other notables far in the past. An example is that of Mopsus; archaeological evidence strongly suggests a historical personage behind the mythical one.

    • HaggisForBrains
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 3:51 am | Permalink

      Arthur C Clarke had a nice take on the star of Bethlehem in his short story “The Star”.

  22. Naked Bunny with a Whip
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m still waiting for a scholarly treatise on what Adam’s testicles were for before Yahweh decided to create Eve.

    • Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Just to give Adam something to scratch?

    • still learning
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Well, he was made in Yahweh’s image, therefore testicles. As for use, Yahweh is omniscient so he knew he’d be making Eve soon.

      Ouch! This makes my head hurt.

  23. Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Jerry, does this count as a science post?

  24. MadScientist
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Where can I submit a “Was Jesus a Hermaphrodite?” paper?

  25. RFW
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I think the authors are being treated unfairly. The question they are really trying to answer is “what is the oldest documented case of ?” They say “Moses” but I’ll bet you a box of TimBits that they mean “the person on whose behavior the bibblical description of Moses is based.”

    Then again, maybe not.

    • Filipe
      Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

      Definitely not, the first author is well known in «alternative medicine» circles.

  26. Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    What about looking at hypertrophy in Hercules? Were Hercules abilities the result of myostatin deficiency? Excessive testosterone? Was Aeolus’ a bio-chemist far ahead of his time?

  27. Achrachno
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Well, I guess this just goes to show science is unreliable. Notify the Discovery Institute!

  28. corio37
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    “But if Moses supposes his toeses are roses,
    Then Moses supposes erroneously.”

    From the Elocution Lesson in Singin’ in the Rain.

  29. Filipe
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Treated unfairly? Fidias is a well known crackpot, proponent of aids without HIV. If someone deserves to be ridiculed it is this guy.

    Recently the same guy got a grant from the USA department of defense (!) to combine Ayurvedic genomics with constitutional psychology and endocrinology.

    Ayurvedic Gender Differences Revisited
    Alejandra Rojas, Carlos V. Rizzo-Sierra, and Fidias E. Leon-Sarmiento. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. March 2012, 18(3): 205-206. doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0860.

  30. morkindie
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Doe anyone else find it funny that God would give advice on how to deal with stuttering to his prophet?

    One might think that God gave Moses the exact amount of stuttering that he wanted him to have.

  31. emmageraln
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Moses isn’t real, next you’ll be telling me there’s no god! All this on saint Cadburys day! Shocking! :p

    • Shuggy
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 12:18 am | Permalink

      St Cadbury’s Day! I like it! Here it’s St Whittakers Day. We’ve been calling it the Chocolate Festival.

  32. emmageraln
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on emmageraln.

  33. greyhound1405
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    … the bible told me so…
    so the hymn told me…
    so the preacher told me…
    The whole thing is hearsay!

  34. Ludo
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    The Bible as a source for scientific research? Why not? But then as a source of information about the minds of Bible-believers. Suggestion: starting from the fact that gods are created in the image of their creators (or believers), and drawing on biblical texts, it would doubtless be possible to obtain a workable and detailed psychological profile of the god of the Bible. This certainly will provide some useful information on the minds of those who adhere to this type of god.

  35. Posted April 8, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I am a Christian that doesn’t have a problem with evolution. Does it have to be one or the other?

    • Gregory Kusnick
      Posted April 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      As a Christian you presumably believe in some form of guided or theistic evolution, in which you suppose that God endowed us with special properties and purposes that set us apart from other animals. This is at odds with the view of evolution put forward by Darwin, which holds that humanity is a fully natural, unplanned product of contingent evolution, of a piece with the rest of the biological world, with no preordained purpose, no magical attributes, and hence no need for any supernatural agency to call us into being. The evidence for this naturalistic view of evolution is overwhelming (as detailed in Jerry’s book), whereas the evidence for any sort of theistic or guided evolution is nonexistent. So to the extent that you reject the implications of the purely naturalistic view in order to embrace an unevidenced theistic view, you do in fact have a problem with evolution as science conceives it.

      • J
        Posted January 15, 2013 at 4:40 am | Permalink

        Thank you for answering. I now see the crux of the matter. I am a science teacher and have a degree in Biology and chemistry and have never actually read Darwin. I wonder if Darwin’s work is still important in the face of discoveries in molecular biology? Perhaps I should just read it myself.

    • theobromine
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      “Does it have to be one or the other?”

      I was once a Christian who spent much time and effort defending evolution to Christians, and defending Christianity to (mostly atheist) scientists. I considered that my worldview was based on critical thinking and scientific evidence. Toward the end, I had a liberal (and universalist) theology. My Christianity depended on a loving, personal omniscient & omnipotent deity. On the other hand, I recognized that the physical universe (including evolution) doesn’t care – both humans and cute fuzzy kittehs will suffer and die as a matter of course. The only way to reconcile a loving god with the reality of the physical universe was to postulate that the pain and suffering experienced by humans would all be put right in the end when we receive our eternal reward, and that the pain experienced by the kittehs isn’t real suffering. Once I realized that scientific evidence does not support either of these postulates, the only rational response was to drop the remaining shreds of my Christian faith.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted April 9, 2012 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Jo. I agree with both the previous comments. To accept Evolution AND be a Christian your particular brand of Christian death cult must fall within the Woolworths Pick’n’Mix part of the spectrum of Christian belief.

      As an atheist & rationalist I particularly detest those woolly Christians who must divide their Bible into the metaphorical & the real according to the needs of the day. Not at all what I would expect if the Bible is The Word & just a tad self-serving don’t you think? I find more common ground with the loonier elements among the fundamentalist Baptists ~ they at least have a consistent irrationality.

      • Posted April 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        To Michael, theobromine, and Gregory– I read the works of many scientists who are probably more notable than those who comment here regarding their understanding of the mechanisms of evolution. Only one example would be Francis Collins. I understand the concept of cute kittens dying and Perhaps even suffering. Many Christians suffer and die each day. I do not see God as a buffer against bad things that happen. I see Him as the cosmic energy that is Love and Light… as you know, Einstein proved that matter is composed of condensed light, and so we are all made from that energy. In fact, it was science that led me to understand that there is so much more to life than we can see. My first experience with this was my study of the electron transport chain in mitochondria. Later on I understood the existence of God when I studied zero-point energy in atoms. I don’t believe Darwin had the luxury of understanding DNA, mitochondria, or zero-point energy. I believe it was Bertrand Russell (the atheist) who said, “When we say we are certain, we are almost certainly wrong.” I appreciate you, theobromine, because you don’t’ need to be hateful to people who don’t see things your way. I read the blog because it popped up as the “next” blog for me to randomly read, and as a scientist I am curious about people who think they speak for all scientists. I believe that the Bible is accepted as an historical document and that Moses did stutter or had some kind of speech impediment. I believe that debate does require “clash” but does not require ungentlemanliness. Thank you for enlightening me about your opinions.

        • Michael Fisher
          Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

          Jo quote re God:

          “I see Him as the cosmic energy that is Love and Light…”

          This is not the Christian God Jo. More like a Californian good-time non-vengeful, essence than a being whom the Bible commands you to to bow down & worship.

          If you believe your God to be the Creator of the universe I must point out that you’ve sidestepped most of the questions that we have raised & replied with some distracting half-baked physics. Your description of your God utterly fails to explain suffering & the problem of evil & no amount of ‘bait & switch’ tactics will hide the holes

          As to being ungentlemanly ~ I suppose (though you don’t say) that you are offended by my “death cult” reference & other signs of my lack of respect for your beliefs. Well you are quite entitled to expressing offence of course, but it amounts to nothing now that the cost of offending a Christian is no longer (usually) shunning or torture/death

          • Posted April 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

            Aaah, but it IS the Christian God, Michael. And as far from California as you can get. I don’t believe in religion, and it sounds to me as though that’s what you are confusing my ideas with. Unless it is the biblical view from James 1:27 “Religion that God finds pure and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” I do believe in that.

            Do you believe that God is vengeful, Michael? He DOES say, “Vengeance is mine…” Romans 12:19 But He didn’t mean it toward you. He means it to those who are evil.

            You took issue with me “side stepping” the issue of suffering and the problem of evil, and so I will address it. Please keep in mind that I am not a theologian, and do not aspire to be. I am an educated person with experience in following Jesus, and with the understanding that the people who live in this world, both Christians and non-Christians, are imperfect. I believe there is rampant evidence of evil in this world. And therefore, I believe in good. Perhaps you will say this is somewhat Buddhist, but the Bible also supports it. I believe that God wants a relationship with us and that He allows us free choice because otherwise it is not a true relationship. The Bible says that humans brought on their own suffering and that this is not God’s plan. But He did bring about a remedy after the decisions that the first humans made to be selfish and think of themselves over others. I accept God as a cosmic mystery, Michael. Best Wishes.

  36. mark johnson
    Posted July 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I think stuttering is caused by a genetic make-up that triggers a cascade in the brain in response to fear, fight or flight,stress, approach avoidance conflict,trauma etc.Faulty genes A1D2(fewer dopamine receptors peek at age 2.5-4 yrs), GNPTAB (LYSOSOMAL STORAGE DISORDER),LRRK2(Ca2 channel gateing problem – stays on) ,Faulty enzymes – MOB,COMT (problem catabolizing dopamine). Cytosolic concentrations of dopamine leads to toxicity from OH,O2,H2O2. Excess hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) triggers an epileptic siezure type response ( I stutter and am paralyzed 100 times a day from fear of speaking )that is similar to a deer in headlights. It may be a premative Vegas nerve response to fear, dopamine responsive dystonia or neuropeptides triggering aystrocytes to release large amounts of dopamine and gluteamate.mosses stuttered,lysosomal storage disorders are more prevalent in Ashkenazi jews.throw in left handedness and twins in the familys. most people that stutter process speech in right hemispher not the normal left.Finally , i spell worse than i talk.See the move THE KINGS SPEECH.


4 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Did Moses stutter? A scientific investigation Why Evolution Is True A genetic abnormality, as the one attributed to Moses, associated with environmental stressors including new home, social pressure and/or negative experiences at early ages would favor the persistence of the speech … http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/did-moses-stutter-a-scientific-investigation/ [...]

  2. [...] I really thought this was an April Fools joke. For the benefit of anyone who is not a regular visitor to Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True blog this is a must read: Did Moses Stutter: A Scientific Investigation. [...]

  3. [...] Did Moses stutter? A scientific investigation (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com) [...]

  4. [...] Did Moses stutter? A scientific investigation (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com) [...]

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