XXX Chats

So you try again and say that a whale is a behemah, not a dag. You explain that you’re not an idiot, that in fact all kinds of animals have things called genes, and the genes of a whale are much closer to those of the other behemah than those of the dag.

But now you’re making a status argument, not a factual argument.

Your argument is “conform to the way all the cool people use the word ‘fish'”, not “a whale is really and truly not a fish”.

Who died and made you an expert on Biblical Hebrew?

You try to explain that whales actually have tiny little hairs, too small to even see, just as cows and sheep and pigs have hair.

If God wants to call a whale a big fish, stop telling God what to do. When terms are not defined directly by God, we need our own methods of dividing them into categories.

xkcd dating range-5

The essay “How An Algorithm Feels From The Inside” is a gift that keeps on giving.Solomon says oh God, you are so annoying, who the hell cares whether whales have tiny little hairs or not.In fact, the only thing Solomon cares about is whether responsibilities for his kingdom’s production of blubber and whale oil should go under his Ministry of Dag or Ministry of Behemah.You can get a reputation as a daring and original thinker just by copy-pasting it at different arguments with a couple of appropriate words substituted for one another, mad-libs like.It is the solution to something like 25% of extant philosophical problems.It says so right here in this biology textbook.” “Well,” Crazy Beard Guy tells you, “Ah reckon that might be what a fish is, but a feesh is some’in that swims in the orshun.” With a sinking feeling in your stomach, you spend ten years turning Crazy Beard Guy into a world expert on phylogenetics and evolutionary theory.Although the Duck Dynasty show becomes much more interesting, you fail to budge him a bit on the meaning of “feesh”.So please (he continues) keep going about how whales have little tiny hairs.It’s easy to see that Solomon has a point, and that if he wants to define behemah as four-legged-land-dwellers that’s his right, and no better or worse than your definition of “creatures in a certain part of the phylogenetic tree”.I’m not making the weak and boring claim that since they’d never discovered genetics they don’t know better.I am making the much stronger claim that, even if the ancient Hebrews had taken enough of a break from murdering Philistines and building tabernacles to sequence the genomes of all known species of aquatic animals, there’s nothing whatsoever wrong, false, or incorrect with them calling a whale a fish.

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