Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2011 July 8

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July 8[edit]

Muammar Gaddafi[edit]

If Muammar Gaddafi were to be caught and found guilty of crimes against humanity, what would happen to him? Where would he be held/imprisoned? Dismas|(talk) 11:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The International Court of Justice International Criminal Court (my bad) hangs out at The Hague, and I'd think that would be one option. Another is the Saddam option of handing him over to the new authorities in Tripoli, assuming his regime falls. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:03, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Actually, the International Court of Justice is irrelevant here, since it only deals with lawsuits between states. In the case of Gadaffi, the International Criminal Court has issued a warrant for his arrest. If captured, he'll be shipped off to the Hague, kept in a Dutch prison while his trial is ongoing, and then if sentenced, sent to a signatory to the ICC to be incarcerated for his sentence. ╟─TreasuryTagcontemnor─╢ 12:06, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The last time such a trial happened, the leader in question died before the trial could be concluded, see Slobodan Milosevic. --Jayron32 12:05, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
He will be sentenced to never be able to wear trendy clothes again. Schyler (one language) 13:16, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Saddam Hussein was executed for crimes against humanity. I'm not an lawyer (international or otherwise), so I don't know whether Gaddafi could be subject to the same fate. Mitch Ames (talk) 13:36, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

No, Hussein was found guilty of the very specific murder of 148 at Dujail in retaliation for an uprising against him. It had nothing to do with the other million plus people whose deaths he was guilty of. μηδείς (talk) 02:35, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

That was sort of on our (USA) terms. He will most likely be subject to the whims of the NATO allies, most of whom are in favour of rotting until the day you die as opposed to a quick drop and a short stop. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 13:47, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Alive people don't rot. In any case, I see no need for the presumably disparaging comments about countries that have abolited the death penalty. Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 15:58, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
There is Gangrene, but that is not really all that likely in a NATO prison since they give decent healthcare. Googlemeister (talk) 16:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Interesting. I didn't presume any disparagement. Dismas|(talk) 18:37, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

It all depends on who takes him into custody. If it is a European nation he will be housed in a fancy suite and released after less than two years because of his imminent death due to prostate cancer, to live out his final decades in some country with lots of sand and sun. If, however, he is captured by a advanced country, he'll be hanged or buried at sea. μηδείς (talk) 18:01, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Am I alone in thinking that Mr Salmond thought that the gentleman in question was called "Ally McGrath" and released him because he was Scottish? Tevildo (talk) 18:27, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you are alone in thinking that, Tevildo, if only because McGrath (my mother's maiden mame) is Irish, not Scottish. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:19, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I can't imagine that anyone other than the Libyan rebels would get their paws on him when Tripoli finally falls, and I do not imagine they'd be too thrilled to hand him over to the European authorities. Vranak (talk) 22:45, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The ICC is not a "European authority". It is a global authority, although a number of countries (including the US) are not members of it. Ghmyrtle (talk) 08:37, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Chum and Tipi - convergent evolution or common ancestry?[edit]

Khanty in front of Chum near Lake Numto.jpg

I recently came across this image of a Siberian Chum, and was struck by how similar it was to the more famous Plains Indian Tipis. Since the Americas were (most likely) populated from Siberia, a historical connection is not obviously implausible. On the other hand, the populations are separated by many millenia, and very different climates. Is there any history of these dwellings that sheds light on their development? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:27, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

At the rate that humans reproduce and can walk in a day (and how quick a family member can get mad at another and pick up and move off), I am seriously doubtful of the tens of thousands of years it took to populate the world.
In any case, the triangular base and shape (form?) of the two mentioned dwelling are very practical and intuitive. All you need is a rope, sticks, and an animal hide. From experience, I have been able to develop at least 5 types of dwelling using a rope, two trees, and a sheet of tarpaulin. Schyler (one language) 13:14, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
See also "Goahti" and "Lavvu". Gabbe (talk) 13:20, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
As much as your off-the-cuff estimates are valued, Schyler, there is considerable evidence on the approximate times of early human migrations. There are, to be sure, large error bars, but there are a lot of reasons to suspect it did take tens of thousands of years from humans to spread from Africa to the Americas. There are, along the way, considerable geographical barriers, and you have to go across some rather unpromising areas to find the better stuff (from a human survival point of view). --Mr.98 (talk) 13:25, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, if you assume 300 generations since 4004 BCE, and roughly 7.5% of population growth per generation, you end up with our current ~7 billion. Of course that also implies that the Great Pyramid was build by a world population of ~340 people, probably on a pick-nick break during their epic march from Harrappa to Rødøy. Or you start with Noah's 3 sons (and their wifes) in 2348 BCE, so you get a 10%/generation growth rate. As a plus, you can have the pyramids build by the untold millions drowned by a benevolent creator. I wonder how those 6 (or 8) managed to keep a war in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley civilization going at the same time - someone must have had a killer commute! ;-) --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:07, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The form of shelter involved is far more related to situational geometry than ancestry. (talk) 22:31, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

This discussion reminds me of my old high school art teacher who tried to teach us that the Romans invented the dome. I made him cross by asking about eskimos and igloos. HiLo48 (talk) 23:00, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I think we can be fairly certain that the Romans weren't influenced architecturally by the Inuit people. Alansplodge (talk) 17:45, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
The IP's assertion of mere geometrical convergence would make a lot more sense if we found cattle-skin teepees in Africa and kangaroo hide teepees in Australia. We don't. Americanoid (surprised this is a redlink) and Mongoloid traits are common to Siberia and the New World. Merritt Ruhlen and (Joseph H. Greenberg) assert that Amerind is the sister clade to Eurasiatic, and Ruhlen's suggested Dene-Yeniseian clade is now accepted as proven. See also Uralo-Siberian. μηδείς (talk) 00:29, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Don't aboriginal populations in Africa and Australia use tents which occasionally are configured as teepees? (talk) 09:18, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Availability of pole material is at least as important as availability of skin material. (talk) 22:00, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
They are both developments of a windbreak around a fire, taken to the extreme. (talk) 10:35, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
But they are not likely separate developments. The semi-subterranean winter lodges and teepee-type summer hunting/travel lodges of Siberian and North American hunter gatherers are perfect parallels. μηδείς (talk) 03:16, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that people from Siberia migrated into North America and brought Chums/Tipis with them, or are you suggesting that they migrated without the chums/tipis and that the later invention of them on one continent was communicated onto the other continent? I would guess that they could easily have been invented independantly, as a windbreak around a fire. (talk) 16:55, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
I am saying that it is likely that the tipi was possessed by the ancestors of the Amerinds and their close relatives in Siberia before the former colonized America. I don't have any direct evidence for this, but am going on evidence such as the work of Cavalli-Sforza and Michael Fortescue. I spent a few minutes searching for archeology of the tipi without much luck yesterday. I can certainly imagine the tipi could have been invented twice. (But then why is it not universal?) There is also the possibility that the tipi was introduced by the Dene-Yeniseians or some other migration later than the first colonizers, which would amount to cultural borrowing, in so far as, for example, the Siouan Indians were not Na-Dene. But given the obvious connections between America and Siberia, and the common use of teepees as summer hunting shelters by natives of both areas, it seems likely it's a common inheritance. If anybody can suggest relevant sources for archeology of this structures it would be helpful. μηδείς (talk) 19:53, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Coeliac disease[edit]

Is there a connection between lactose intolerance and coeliac disease? Kittybrewster 13:23, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

According to this source, lactose intolerance is often a side-effect of celiac disease. However, lactose intolerance is normally the result of a genetic condition. Celiac disease is also usually at least partly caused by a genetic condition, but a condition involving a different gene than lactose intolerance. So the two do not seem to share an independent cause, even though celiac disease may be a cause (secondarily) of lactose intolerance. Marco polo (talk) 15:54, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
"Share an independent cause" ? I can't quite wrap my brain around that one. StuRat (talk) 05:10, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
They're both pathologies that are food based and the basic foods are both post-agriculture food products. It's not surprising there's a genetic component to both diseases, and that component is closely related to native populations that had, or didn't have, those foods. For instance, lactose tolerance is highest among populations that raised cattle, unsurprisingly. But as to whether or not they're related in a medical or biological sense (beyond basic evolution) I don't know. Shadowjams (talk) 08:50, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Kosher Hunting?[edit]

My limited gentile understanding has lead me to believe that meat can only be kosher if the animal is slaughtered in a very specific way -- wouldn't this rule out pretty much all hunting for food? This might be that big an issue for most Jews today, but wouldn't that have been pretty tough before urbanization? Is there some sort of exception for hunted game?

If anyone knows, I'd also be curious about halal rules, since my understanding was that they were fairly similar to kosher rules but on the other hand I can't see how a set of dietary laws that prescribed hunting for food would be a good fit for nomadic Arabs in the 7th century (assuming halal rules were promulgated at the same time as the Koran). (talk) 16:57, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

There were no Jews before urbanization. μηδείς (talk) 18:08, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Yep, we didn't become proper Jews (religiously-speaking) until 538 BC (well between 586 and 538, but you get the idea). I would also say that the Sumerians would be a more accurate wikilink for urbanization btw. Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie | Say Shalom! 18:13, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I find here that: "Hunting for sport is strictly prohibited, and hunting and trapping for legitimate needs is permissible only when it is done in the least painful way possible." That might partially answer the question. Bus stop (talk) 18:17, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
I only used Jericho cause it was closer and has a longer record, even if it started as a hunter-gatherer settlement. There are also some Turkish settlements of similar age. See Göbekli Tepe. And consider the implications of the Black Sea flood. μηδείς (talk) 19:37, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
The story of Jacob and Esau has some interesting allegorical background on the Jewish attitude towards hunting vs. herding as a source of food. Many of the early stories in Genesis deal with the conflicts between pastoralism and other forms of lifestyle (agriculture, hunting, urbanism, etc.) The early Hebrew people were essentially pastoral shepherding people, and many of the early bible stories deal, in an allegorical way, with these conflicts. One can read the Cain and Abel story as the conflict between the world of the farmer and the shepherd, for example. Unsurprisingly, the herder (Abel and Jacob) comes out looking "better" in God's eyes. David was a shepherd as well. --Jayron32 20:23, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Jews do not have a tradition of hunting. The Israelites were traditionally a pastoral people who raised livestock and did not hunt game. As others have said, the Israelites did not become truly Jewish until after the Babylonian captivity. By this time, they had mainly an urban and agricultural culture, though some livestock herding continued. As best I can tell, it would be very difficult, though perhaps not impossible, to square hunting with kosher laws surrounding slaughter. (An exception might be if the hunt involved cornering an animal meeting the restrictions of kashrut and if a shochet were part of the hunting party and actually slaughtered the cornered animal.)

However, there are special provisions, according to this source and other sources, by which a hunted animal may be considered halal. So Islam is able to accommodate cultures of people who supplement their diet by hunting. Marco polo (talk) 20:31, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

The cornering you describe is called "trapping" I believe, and yes, it would be permitted, and is sometimes used for animals like deer. Eliyohub (talk) 15:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
I once saw a quote from a famous Jewish person -- it may have been Elie Wiesel -- along the lines of Jews don't hunt because they kind of identify with the deer. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:26, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
What do Jews make of Nimrod, who was a "mighty hunter before the Lord"? (Gen 10:9) --TammyMoet (talk) 07:56, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
There were no "true" Jews at that time (besides perhaps Abraham), and in any case, Nimrod certainly wasn't one of them! Eliyohub (talk) 15:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

I just have to comment that Kosher#Permitted and forbidden animals is the funniest thing I have yet read in a Wikipedia article. Looie496 (talk) 00:45, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

The general pattern as regards birds, beasts and fish, is that "scavengers" or "bottom feeders" are considered "unclean"; and in biblical times, that approach might have made some practical sense. It's funny that the giraffe is considered kosher. The neck alone would be a major feast. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 18:39, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

There's pretty much no way one could "hunt for food" under Jewish law, unless one can trap the bird or animal uninjured. With fish, however, there are no such requirements, as long as the fish is a kosher species. Just take it out of the water, kill it, and wash out any blood. Hunting for pleasure alone would generally be frowned upon, although one may kill pest animals and those which threaten humans. Eliyohub (talk) 15:17, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Actually, fish blood is kosher. Unlike land animals and bird, fish need not undergo shechitah according to halakha. Leviticus 7:26 refers to the blood of animals and birds exclusively. Rashi's commentary on this passage states that the blood of fish and locusts/grasshoppers are excluded from the prohibition. (Orthodox rules on maris ayin, however, require it not to be consumed if people may believe that a person is eating prohibited blood, see p245; "Unlike the blood from animals and fowl, the blood of kosher fish is not prohibited; however, fish blood that has accumulated in a bowl should not be used because people may think that the blood is from animals or fowl. However, one may use the blood if it contains some scales, since this shows that it comes from fish" (p338). Neutralitytalk 05:19, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm aware of that, and should have elaborated. There is no biblical prohibition of drinking fish blood. However, I believe in addition to maris ayin, there is a prohibition of baal te'shaktzu. One should not do things which cause repulsion to others. ("Holding in" when one needs the bathroom is another common example mentioned in the sources). Eliyohub (talk) 10:30, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Rabbi Yechezkel Landau had a dim view of hunting as a fit activity for Jews. In Yoreh De'ah 2:10, he gives a responsa to the following question:

"A person whom God blesses with an expansive estate, and he has villages and forests, and in the forests live all kinds of forest animals - is it permissible for him personally to go about and shoot with a gun, to hunt, or is it forbidden for a Jew to do this?"

The Noda Bi-Yehuda discusses hunting in the context of tza'ar ba'alei chayim (the prohibition on cruelty to animals) and bal tashkhit (the prohibition on needless destruction). The rabbi concluded that hunting was not categorically banned as an occupation, but is forbidden as a recreational pursuit. The rabbi writes:

However, I am most surprised at the very question. For the only hunters we find in the Torah are Nimrod and Esav; this is not the way of the children of Avraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov. But if someone has a need for this and makes his living from it, then there is no issue of cruelty involved: after all, animals and birds are slaughtered, and fish caught, for man's benefit, and what is the difference between his slaughter of kosher animals for their flesh to be eaten, and killing of non-kosher animals to make a living? But if his main intention is not to make a living, then it is cruelty. Neutralitytalk 02:51, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
But the steaks and burgers resulting from an animal slaughtered by for instance arrows and bullets would not be kosher. Only the activity (using the term "kosher" in an analogous but imprecise sense) of earning one's livelihood obtaining and selling these products might be considered "kosher". I think that trapping and then slaughtering by Kosher slaughter results in a literally kosher animal (but I will stand corrected if someone with more expertise knows otherwise) assuming it is a species with a historical tradition of being kosher—cows, sheep, goats, chicken, turkeys. Nowadays these are domesticated animals, and therefore unlikely to be pursued by the methods of hunting. Bus stop (talk) 03:27, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
That seems correct. For observant Jews, the activity of hunting may not be categorically prohibited as an professional occupation (although it is as a hobby), but the meat from hunted animals is still not kosher. Neutralitytalk 05:11, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

  • One other important note is the doctrine of pikuach nefesh, that saving a life is an overriding concern in Jewish law, taking precedence over virtually every other law. So consumption of non-kosher food would be permitted in the event of some exceptional, exigent situation, or serious illness (see Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Yoma 82a; see also p144 here; p27 here). So, for instance, if a kashrut-observing individual got separated from his unit on a military mission, for example, and was unable to return, than hunting animals and consuming them would be acceptable to avoid starvation and preserve one's life. Neutralitytalk 05:34, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

road deaths[edit]

What was the first year that motor vehicle deaths (you know cars, busses etc...) surpassed death in non-moter vehicles like riding horses or stage-coaches. What about if you compare cars to trains? Googlemeister (talk) 18:53, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Deaths due to road accidents surpassed deaths due to "all other accidents" in 1980 (figure 7). That's not very helpful for you, but the same chart that between 1905 and 1931, road deaths rocketed (which is hardly a surprise). So that's probably going to be an initial starting range. A very wide one, but a start. - Jarry1250 [Weasel? Discuss.] 19:51, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Are you guys talking as if the USA is the entire world? It may sometimes seem that way but ... -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:13, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
isn't it the only part that counts? --Jayron32 20:17, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
No. We've had abacuses here for weeks. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:20, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but aren't you still trying to mate shrimp with girl's fashion dolls? Seems to me you can't trust a society that would try to do something like that. --Jayron32 20:26, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
No, we try to mate prawns with Barbie, but we have to translate it for you because you good folks don't seem to speak English. Anyway, you guys invented the disgusting habit of eating your own pets. At least our prawns aren't personally known to us by name. They're just anonymous crustacean rapists, but they at least deserve to be cooked and eaten. What did the poor dogs ever do? You also created the habit of eating any large Scottish people you bump into. They're horrible, ghastly creatures, I grant you, but they don't deserve to actually be cannibalised. Rendition would be a far better fate. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:43, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
We tried sending them to Australia, to be fair. (On a different note, Jarry is from the United Kingdom, so a US bias would have only been as a response to the OP.) Grandiose (me, talk, contribs) 20:49, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
We're all citizens of the world here. Jarry provided American statistics in response to question from an American, but the question did not specify any particular country. It has since been specified (below). -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 20:57, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I was thinking along the lines of US, UK or any other industrialized country during the relevant timeframe (early to mid 20th C). Googlemeister (talk) 20:40, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

This would have had to have been the early 1930s or late '20s in the U.S., but a global measure would be much later. (talk) 22:32, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
It is a difficult comparison. I remember reading about the very first British train trip between London and another major city, that when the passengers were let out for a stretch a train came along the reverse direction train on the adjoining track, so a gentleman panicked and ran out in front of the approaching locomotive and was killed. In the same flavor of Darwinian idiocy, when a certain US city gained its first two automobiles, they had a collision. Through 1921, automobile deaths in the US increased in almost direct proportion to the number of automobiles. In 1905, per the previous citation, there were 5 automobile related deaths in Chicago, compared to 70 railroad deaths. In 1918, for Cook County Illinois (containing Chicago), there were 374 auto deaths, and only 318 railroad deaths. . The source gives numbers for succeeding deaths up to 1921. From 1905 to 1921, railroad deaths decreased from 350 to 209, while automobile deaths increased from 5 to 420. That article says that in 1918 auto deaths totalled 7,525 for the US,or 9.2 per 100,000, and rising rapidly, while railroad deaths were 8,610, and streetcar deaths were 2,366. Auto deaths equalled one-half the total of all industrial deaths in 1918. In 1913, there were still more deaths from horses in the US than from cars. Here is a detailed breakdown of the causes of the 34,400 auto deaths in the US in 1934. Many cars only had brakes on 2 wheels, requiring a block to come to a halt from 55 miles per hour, compared to half a block for 4 wheel brakes. Another source claims 36,000 motor vehicle deaths in the US in 1934, (including 16,200 pedestrians hit by cars) compared to 34,500 accidental deaths in the home, mostly due to falls (mostly in the bedroom) and burns (mostly in the kitchen), 17,500 deaths from "sports'" and 16,000 workplace deaths. (The sports deaths are mind-boggling. Did they stage gladiatorial combats during the Great Depression?) In 1967 there were 103 million drivers in the US and 13.5 million were in car accidents. Three out of four cars owned had an accident, and one of three cars caused an injury or death (presumably during its useful life, and not in the one year). Deaths per 100 million miles driven decreased from 5.5 in 1966 to 1.8 in 1992. The peak year for automobile deaths in the US was 1972, when 54,589 died. Drunk driving is an important factor in the US, with close to half of the drivers drunk in fatal accidents from 1980-1984. Seat belts and airbags have likely decreased fatalities since. By 1999, the US had about 40,000 auto deaths, compared to 1,867 from "other land transportation," 1,502 "pedestrian," 1,402 "other transport," and 185 "pedal cyclist, other." In 2000, most motor vehicle deaths in the US still were due to intoxicated driving and speeding. I'm aware of severe penalties in the UK for drunk driving, compared to a slap on the wrist in the US, but Google Books did not come up with much info on UK automotive deaths. [1] shows an increase from 1949-1966 in UK traffic deaths, with a slight decrease to 1967, but also shows a vast increase in miles driven, with a resulting decrease in death rate per mile. In the US, the Interstate system has likely contributed to the drop in death rate per mile, since the 1950's. Through the 20th century, fewer passenger miles took place on trains and horses or horse drawn transport, and more in cars and buses. Edison (talk) 01:10, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Re your second sentence, you may be mis-remembering the death of William Huskisson, detailed here. Ghmyrtle (talk) 07:57, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. Liverpool, not London. Another account had him running around in confusion rather than trying to climb into a railway carriage and falling. Edison (talk) 19:50, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
This account backs that up. Apparently Huskisson had a reputation for clumsiness and was once crushed by his horse on the way to his own wedding. Alansplodge (talk) 21:04, 10 July 2011 (UTC)

Azerbaijan-Catholic Agreement[edit]

In the last week (I think signed on Friday, came into effect Wednesday, based on piecing together articles) the Catholic Church and Azerbaijan came to an agreement that apparently gave greater religious freedom, and a legally recognised status, to Catholics in Azerbaijan. Or so I gather, from piecing together articles. It doesn't seem to have been reported in secular media, as far as I can see, only (to a greater or lesser extent) in Catholic media. And nowhere goes into a lot of detail as to what the agreement actually says. Some mention that it has 'a preamble' and 'eight articles', but that just seems like pointless teasing without more detail!

Does anyone know if the actual text of this agreement is anywhere on the web? I might just not be looking in the right sort of places. (talk) 21:33, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Oh, I should probably also link our articles Religion in Azerbaijan and Catholicism in Azerbaijan, for context. (talk) 21:37, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

Beats me, but maybe [2] will help. (talk) 22:13, 8 July 2011 (UTC)