Discussion Concerning Circumcision


The Rabbinical Court in Jerusalem rejected an appeal Monday by a Netanya woman fined NIS 500 ($140) per day for refusing to circumcise her son, as is required by Jewish law (halacha).


Trevor  Rabbinical court? Yikes.
Mike  “Removal of the foreskin prepares the soul [of the baby] to accept the yoke of Heaven and study God’s Torah and commandments.”

Oh, OK, then that seems like some sound medical practicing to me.

JT  To be absolutely clear, anyone who does *not* do this to his/her baby has displeased יהוה enormously: “In the most controversial part of this version of the Jewish ritual, known as metzitzah b’peh, the practitioner, or mohel, places his mouth around the baby’s penis to suck the blood to ‘cleanse’ the wound.”*
Continue reading Discussion Concerning Circumcision

Paul Broca on Adam and Apes

From, “Paul Broca and the French School of Anthropology” by Dr. Robert Fletcher:

The crowning public honor of Broca’s life remains to be told. In 1879, the Senate nominated him as permanent Senator representing Science. He was proposed of course by the left. The right, or monarchical, side made fierce opposition. He was an unyielding Republican, the founder of the Anthropological Institute which, meant free-thinking and atheism. They searched his writings for doctrines to convict him and, with great joy, published this quotation, “I would rather be an ape brought to perfection than a degenerate Adam.” But this proved to have been a saying of Claparède’s and not of Broca’s. A sentence was taken from his Programme of Anthropology, “There is no faith, however respectable, no interest, however legitimate, which must not accommodate itself to the progress of human knowledge and bend before truth, if the truth be demonstrated. Even this scarcely orthodox doctrine, it seemed, was qualified by the preceding sentence which said that “science must keep aloof from anything not within its province.”

From “Discours sur l’homme et les animaux”:

C’est alors que, transportant l’homme, non pas dans une autre planète, mais dans un autre règne, Isid. Geoffroy-St- Hilaire s’est laborieusement efforcé d’élever un rempart infranchissable entre l’homme et les animaux. Il.ne pouv ait consentir à être le cousin d’un singe, et beaucoup de savants ont partagé cette répugnance. Quant à moi, s’il pouvait me convenir de faire intervenir le sentiment dans une question scientifique, je serais loin d’être humilié d’une semblable généalogie. Je serais fier au contraire de penser que ma postérité pourrait me dépasser autant que je dépasse le singe, et je ne puis m’empêcher de rappeler à ce propos le mot de M. Claparède « qu’après tout, il vaut mieux être un singe perfectionné qu’un Adam dégénéré. » Mais, entre les deux catégories extrêmes de penseurs dont les uns rejettent absolument et les autres admettent plus ou moins cette parenté, il existe aujourd’hui une classe considérable de savants qui proclament leur ignorance sur ce point, et j’oserai même dire qu’en ce qui me concerne, la question me paraît insoluble.

Lecture delivered in the National Museum, Washington, D.C., April 15, 1882, appearing in The Saturday Lectures, Delivered in the Lecture-room of the U. S. National Museum
As it appears in Bulletins de la Société d’anthropologie de Paris, II° Série, tome 1, 1866. pp. 53-79.