User:Davidbena

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‏משתמש זה דובר עברית כשפת אם.‏
tmr-2משתמש הדא ממלל ארמיא דתלמודא בבלאה בדרגא מציעא.‏
ar-1هذا المستخدم يتحدث اللغة العربية بمستوى مبتدئ.
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One of the most beautiful photographs of all time... our planet Earth

One of my favorite pastimes is writing. The professional skills required for good writing are in building a good vocabulary, or, as some may call it, becoming a "wordsmith." Reading many books, and becoming acquainted with the styles of other authors definitely helps. Hopefully, my modest contribution here, on Wikipedia, will be a worthwhile one and will bring some sense of satisfaction to our readers.

A scholar once wrote: "Literature... depends heavily on credibility. If a text has passed through the professional hands of the author, editor, publisher, and bookseller, the readers will assume with good reason that the editorial frame and, in particular, the alleged authorship is accurate." - D. Trobisch. This does not negate, however, how that we, as editors, ought to be truthful in our reporting. Maimonides, the famous Jewish Rabbi and philosopher, once wrote in his Epistle to Yemen (ch. xiv): “Do not consider a statement true because you find it in a book, for the prevaricator is as little restrained with his pen as with his tongue. For the untutored and uninstructed are convinced of the veracity of a statement by the mere fact that it is written; nevertheless its accuracy must be demonstrated in another manner.”

I will remind our readers here that the age of a book's publication makes little or no difference, so long as the information provided is accurate. The key here is accuracy. Albert Einstein's Theory of relativity is still applicable today. Some of Sir Isaac Newton's laws of physics are still applicable today, such as Newton's third law, "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." Many of the works on medicine, written by mediaeval authors, such as by Maimonides or by Avicenna, or by classical writers long before them, such as Galen (Aelius Galenus), or Dioscorides and Theophrastus, are still applicable unto us today. Some of their ancient remedies are still being used today in compounded medicines. So, too, many of the philosophical works, such as those written by Descartes and Cordemoy, are still applicable today. Do not be misled by a book's antiquity and think to say that its account must be outdated and obsolete, since this is not always the case. Friedrich Hayek once described what he called “the fatal conceit,” that somehow we know better than the wisdom of the ages.

In many of my articles published here on Wikipedia, I often make use of Hebrew quotes taken from reliable Hebrew sources not readily available to our English readers, but which I am careful to add thereto an English translation of the Hebrew text, as well as expanded explanatory notes in the references cited.

"No one is so poor as he who lacks knowledge!" - Babylonian Talmud, Nedarim 41a

On the logic behind "Intelligent Design"

Intelligent design (ID) is a philosophical/religious argument which seeks to establish, through empirical observation and deductive reasoning,[1] the theorem that the universe and all life forms were created by an intelligent being. Someone once wrote: "The first step in the process of scientific inquiry, and one of the most important, is often overlooked: observation and inquisitiveness."

The debate on Intelligent Design is an ancient one. Some medieval scholars have argued that the Universe gives evidence of design (e.g. Maimonides, in his Guide for the Perplexed (p. 184 in Friedländer's edition), while others follow the proposition of Aristotle, the philosopher, in his Metaphysics, where he alleges that the order of our Universe is the necessary result of certain permanent laws in nature, and that nothing is due to chance (Guide for the Perplexed, p. 188 in Friedländer's edition), and others, who follow Aristotle's disputant who said that "the Universe is the result of chance, and that it came into existence by itself, without any cause." (Guide for the Perplexed, p. 189 in Friedländer's edition).

Observation and inquisitiveness are the first steps in recognizing design in our Universe. If there was merely an "accidental" existence, as some theorists claim, where we and the creatures on this earth evolved over a long period of time from a living germ, and had there been as these theorists claim, we would have to address the likelihood of any planet in our universe sustaining life, where there are extreme temperatures of cold and heat, and why it is that our planet just so happens to be perfectly situated between those two extremes to sustain life, and doesn't deviate from its course. Robert Lanza, in his book Biocentrism (p. 7), worded it beautifully:

If the universe was not created, then it only "randomly" came into existence and all life forms having merely "evolved." While science has, indeed, shown that "mutations" do occur in human genes, according to Karl Popper, "the claim that it completely explains evolution is of course a bold claim, and very far from being established. All scientific theories are conjectures, even those that have successfully passed many severe and varied tests" (Karl Popper, Natural Selection and its Scientific Status, Popper Selections, ed. David Miller, pp. 241–43. Princeton University Press, 1985). Since science has been defined as "the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment," the question of whether or not our universe came about in one way or the other is within the parameters of scientific investigation. Those who think that life upon this planet evolved from a living germ, let them ask their "teachers" who it was that gave the intelligence to the evolving body (i.e. amoeba) and told it that it just might need a pair of eyes to get along in this world, so that it naturally sent out the signals to the body to develop eye-sight??! An amazing feat of evolution, wouldn't you say, that gave to itself the knack and know-how to develop such a sense of sight to keep the body from falling off cliffs, and stumbling in the dark, etc.??? And who gave intelligence to the human body to develop bones (a rib cage) around the vital organs in order to protect those same organs from injury, or who gave to it the understanding so that it would make for itself an enclosing membrane around the brain in order to hold the brain in tact and to keep it from becoming a jumbled mass of blood and matter when the head is violently shaken?? And who gave to that amoeba the intelligence to know that a man's fingers should not be made with smooth skin, but rather with skin that has ridges and grooves etched deep within the skin of those same fingers to facilitate the grasping and holding of objects without them slipping??!! Everything here points to Intelligent Design. One of the rationales for having two eyes - besides giving us a better perception of depth, dimension and balance - is so that if one eye becomes impaired man would still be able to make use of his other eye - since eyesight is vital sometimes for his survival. The same logic can be said to be true about the necessity of having two nostrils, which are not merely needed for their olfactory function, but also for the intake of oxygen. If one becomes clogged, the other can be used; and if both are clogged, the mouth can be used as a last resort. So, too, the body's need for having two reproductive glands (the testes in the male, and the ovaries in the female), if one is impaired, the other can still be used for procreation. The rationale for having two ears and two kidneys falls along these same lines, viz., if one is impaired &c. Hearing is sometimes vital to man's safety, and warns him of incoming danger.

Now, if our bodies had merely evolved from a germ, the above rational scenarios would not have played any role whatsoever in man's development. Rather, there must have been something else at the very beginning which gave to the body this "life-saving" ability because of perceived dangers to the body, or to ensure its procreation. What limbs were meant to have a "back-up" could have only come from our Maker Himself, who is a rational Being.

Moreover, if I were to prompt you to think about the unfathomable wisdom of our Creator, I'd say consider for a moment how a female dog (bitch), when she is in heat, emits an odor that attracts male dogs, but NOT female dogs, which same scent arouses them sexually for the preservation of their species. Consider this wonder. Had all species evolved from a mere germ, how can you explain this phenomenon in the dog family that causes them to mate with each other (male and female) for the preservation of their species?

I prefer, rather, to think not of the abnormal occurrence of a dog trying to mount your leg (perhaps because of the scent of a female canine that brushed beside you and left her scent on your leg), but of the regular and fixed occurrence in nature (i.e. the sex pheromone in the dog), whereby, if this were merely an accident in nature, it would beg the question "Why?" No, it is no freak accident of nature, but rather ALL THINGS (including dogs) bear testimony that they were created by Intelligent Design.

If you, my friend, cannot discern between rational design which makes only males attracted to the scent of females to procreate, on the one hand, and irrational randomness of existence, on the other hand, which, surprisingly (oops!) made everything fall into place, so that there would be the continued existence of canine animal species on this planet earth by emitting a special scent, then, my friend, I cannot help you.

One more thing: Ailments in the human body are not flaws. Therefore, to think that a Creator who cognitively designs an ear with grooves and curvatures to channel sound into the ear, and who makes it produce a waxy substance to retard the intrusion of unwanted insects cannot also bring upon man illnesses in the human body to punish and/or correct man's behavior is, in itself, flawed thinking. Anyone who thinks this way has willfully chosen to limit God's ability to control acts of nature, and has chosen to reject logic.

Speaking of teeth, have you considered how man's teeth have been specially designed by God to suit the kind of foods that he will consume for his body's nourishment (the incisors that cut the food, the canines that tear the food and the molars and premolars that crush the food), but that tigers, lions, leopards, pumas and cats - being carnivores - have all saber-shaped canine teeth to facilitate their capture of prey in the chase, and, subsequently, for their own food intake? How ineffective it would be if these carnivores had teeth like our own! Have you contemplated on this wonder/phenomenon? An evolving creature cannot send signals to itself to grow saber-like canine teeth. Try pretending to be a lion and killing prey by biting them for 50 years and more and you still will not grow saber-like canine teeth. Not you, neither your children, nor your children's children. Only God can specifically create animals to meet their specific needs. Design is without question a fact, but evolution is not. Mutation is also a fact, but it is a far-cry from evolution. Birds that eat seeds have beaks to retrieve their food, and since they have no teeth, a crop helps them to break-down their food. Fish, who basically swallow whole their food, have but rough edges on the corners of their mouths. Each species is uniquely made to meet his own qualifications and specific needs, a thing quite amazing to the observant and which, too, points to Intelligent Design.

Some suggest that the "environment will favor some changes over others," and that "with each remove slight changes accumulate to produce bigger changes over many generations." To that, I say: The environment is not a cognitive element that decides that if a lion must survive by killing its prey such as when it pounces upon it and sinks its teeth and claws into the fawn's neck, it will exert the necessary changes and influences in nature (e.g. heat, cold, etc.) to produce in that animal the precise physical changes needed for its better hunting ability and survival, given the unique circumstances at play. Likewise, the environment did not just happen to "think" that if a chameleon lizard has camouflaged skin that blends-in with its environment to better conceal itself from its natural prey that it should be so kind as to affect skin-changes in the chameleon lizard for its better survival. The environment is NOT a cognitive element to make such calculations, but God is. Nor can the environment, in the years upon years of constant motion and changes in mean temperatures, produce hereditary changes in fish to the extent that fish will emerge from the waters and breathe in air as mammals do, or grow extended legs to walk upright upon the earth, as humans do. While some climes are known to affect the color of one's skin, or the texture of one's hair, these are but minor changes and are directly related to the effects of the sun's rays, which can bring-about mutations. This, however, is different from Darwin's perceived notion of evolution. Moreover, often man and the animal creatures have lived in the same environment for thousands upon thousands of years, but each creature grows per its own specifications. While mutations do exist in nature, still, if you take a man of the Negroid race and put him in Siberia for 5,000 years, his skin will not turn white; nor will an aboriginal human species in the jungles of the Amazon develop teeth like a panther that stalks the forests. The "evolutionary" process that many refer to is not, in fact, a drawn-out process of accumulating changes over billions of years in time, but rather an eco-system specifically designed by the Creator with humans and animals and plants - all needed to complement each other, and to provide a symbiotic relationship, and to assist each other, in one way or another.

Those who espouse to the theory of Intelligent Design can see the real benefits it has to them in their knowledge and understanding of our natural world, since the natural world is not without its Designer and that there is "someone" (or "something") whom we can, both, turn to and look-up to. This can also be tested, insofar that many who have gone before us (e.g. Abraham the Hebrew Patriarch) had encountered certain revelations from the Creator of the Universe. Of course, other methods of testing the fallacy of evolution cannot be tested, since it would require many, many long years of analysis just to prove one little point (such as, if man can, by conditioning, develop saber-like canine teeth). This, then, would put that specific area of research in the realm of "scientific theory" that has yet to be proven. Still, we can examine the human body and reach solid conclusions that are compatible with science. If you'd excuse my rudeness or bluntness for this once, I'll give you just one or two good examples. Let us consider the human genitalia. Wouldn't it have been a striking coincidence had nature just so-happened to provide the male body with the softest of his skin in his genitalia (more specifically, the virile membrum) which, by design and with all due respect, is meant to be inserted within the female genitalia (more specifically, the womb), without the act causing damage or unnecessary pain? By the way, Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous” (In “The World as I See it”). Or, let us take two fetuses as another example, one male and one female, both who are twins carried in their mother's womb. Doesn't it strike you as odd that "evolution" would have, by chance, provided the female fetus with a wider pelvis bone to facilitate the carrying of children in her womb when she grows older, but the male fetus who is not supposed to carry children has a narrower pelvis bone? Consider that for this "evolutionary feature" to have happened in this way, it would have necessitated the mother who carried the child to send-off, as it were, two independent signals, or for the egg and sperm to send-off two different signals - one for the male, the other for the female, instructing her female offspring to naturally grow a wider pelvis in order to facilitate room enough in her womb for carrying children at some future time. "Evolution," if it exists, cannot see futurities. Only God can see such things and manipulate the human body to act accordingly. To say that this was purely accidental is also a "stretch of the imagination." Or, as someone else pointed out: Let us take, "for example, the honeycomb's hexagonal structure [which] is the most efficient geometric volume. Bees however have no intelligence. Therefore, it would seem reasonable that such animals and natural processes had some intelligence behind the so-called 'design'." To say that, this too, was purely accidental is a "stretch of the imagination." One needs not be a physicist or nuclear scientist to see that an Intelligent force or Being was behind all forms of things now in existence.

I have found that scientists and academics can be the most skeptical people in the world. Even when the conclusion to which the large body of evidence irresistibly leads cannot be supplanted by a mere theory, they tend to still be great skeptics. A case in point: the creation of all life forms on our planet earth, rather than their merely evolving, or springing-up from some random existence. Have you considered that among our feathered friends, the birds, their downy plumes keep their bodies warm in the cold winter days and nights. If, let's say, their bodies sent out signals to produce such plumage in order to survive in such harsh winter conditions, why then has man not developed the same downy plumage on his body when he and his children, and his children's children for many generations, have lived in the cold regions of the Siberian tundra in the far northern hemisphere? It is because it was not necessary for man to be fashioned in this manner, seeing that man has been created with a highly-developed mind, capable of making clothes for himself, and of constructing a shelter for himself, to keep him and his family warm.

To conclude, just as the primitive Pygmy who builds a fire by rubbing two sticks together does not, in doing so, take away from the profound veracity of modern science which invented the use of electricity and many modern-day conveniences, so too primitive pseudo-science that denies God’s involvement in the creation of the universe does not take away from the profound veracity of Intelligent Design that can be seen in nearly all life forms around us. As for how God created everything, to us humans it is still a deep mystery. Notwithstanding, sometimes science, that is, the critical methods used by science and how they try to understand our physical world, while ignoring the admixture of a spiritual component which exists side-by-side with the physical component in our world, does more harm than good, and can distance people from their faith in God. Taking the current scientific approach will never lead to a full understanding of how God created our universe and all life forms. As of yet, they haven't even begun to investigate the spiritual world and how that if a man calls out to his Maker, that man is often answered by his Maker.

The Land of Israel (click to enlarge)
Jewish daughter (click to enlarge)
Jerusalem Western Wall stones
Yemenite Torah scrolls

To my fellow editors, as we work together on the basis of cordial collaborative editing, I say: HAPPY EDITING!

Lovely valley, the Elah Valley

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Large stone trough at Adullam An Israeli village

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  1. ^ Frank S. Ravitch, Marketing Intelligent Design: Law and the Creationist Agenda, Cambridge University Press:New York 2011, p. 148 ISBN 978-0-521-19153-1
  2. ^ Lanza, Robert. Biocentrism. USA 2009, p. 7.