The extent of my dedication to obeying the particular dietary rules of Passover is limited to two meals: The first seder, and a breakfast of matzah brei the next morning. I don't bother scouring the house for chametz (any bits of leavened bread, forbidden during Passover), because during the rest of the year I'm a big fan of leavened bread (it's delicious! Mmm, leavened bread) and I assume there's chametz all over my kitchen. But I wasn't aware that eradicating chametz could involve giant, high-powered blowtorches wielded by a rabbi described as being "built like a football player." Maybe I'll show more interest in the tradition next year.
Jews traditionally do not eat leavened bread, essentially anything made with a grain-based dough that has been allowed to rise, during Passover. But even further, religious Jews have to rid their homes of chametz. Moderately religious Jews will often throw out any bread they find, but for Orthodox and other extremely religious Jews, the elimination of chametz is more of a kitchen cleansing. That might involve all sorts of bleaches and cleaning chemicals, days of scrubbing and boiling equipment. Sometimes, a rabbi will be asked to come in and inspect, to make sure the kitchen is up to anti-bread code. But the Wall Street Journal found one rabbi, a certain Rabbi Naftali Marrus, whose inspection technique is less a period of intense cleaning than a fire-laden war on chametz.
Rabbi Marrus, a supervising rabbi for OK, a Brooklyn service that certifies food as kosher (they're responsible for the K-within-a-circle logo--get it?), uses a three-and-a-half-foot blowtorch he's dubbed "The Inferno" as one of the tools in his arsenal. The giant propane blowtorch is fanned over appliances, cooking vessels, utensils, and serving trays, erasing even the memory of any breadcrumb dumb enough to get in its path. Cheers to Rabbi Marrus for combining the world of industrial flamethrowers with religious observance--we do love ourselves some blowtorches, although one of our previous creations, the bacon blowtorch, might not be quite right for this application.
So...why is Popular Science covering bronze age fairy tale/traditions?
um.... what does this have to do with science? does a rabbi with a blowtourch have something to do with science thats over my head or something? I hate religion and dont care to read about it so I guess its my fault for clicking on the story but, in my defense, I gave popsci the benefit of the doubt and read it anyways.
PURGE THE BREAD!
BURN THE DOUGH!
KILL THE CRUMBS!
FOR THE EMPRA!
the trolls just keep on trollin. you guys crack me up. Keep it up guys. I need a few laughs through the day.
Wow. Religious superstition really is silly. If 'god' cares about the type of bread you eat then we're all screwed. Oooo...and don't wear blended fabrics...or eat shellfish...or.... Why is this on a science website anyway?
For someone in their teens or twenties traditions seem old and stupid. When you arrive to find yourselves older and not ready to die as you thought you rather would have. You will find the traditions of your life are the most meaningful things you posses. And the next time you eat out and you are on your seeming death bed with food poisoning, you will wish every food inspector was the demigod this man is. To have no religion is your own deception of your own life...you have religion its just not seen by you as such.
now I see alot of hate being spewed in some of the comments here, and well i fail to see where hate, bigotry, and intolerance fit in to science. Call me simple but in my life I have seen far more done when pepole stop spewing hate simply because they do not agree with somones veiw point. Had hate towards science won out in eariler times then where would we all be now, just some things to consider before going straight to hate.
I think this should be your next cover story.
"We are burning bread with propane!
...oh, and successful quantum teleportation of light..."
I prayed and asked Yahew to give me no sign if he wanted me to keep eating leavened bread year round.
And guess what! Just as I asked, God gave me no sign, thus indicating it's totally fine to eat any bread you want any time of the year you want.
*bites into a baguette* Thy will be done, Lord!
Good to know some popsci writers are religious and believe in God.
90% of the population of earth believe in a higher power, even scientists....so it's good to give an "alternative" perspective on a science blog.
Although the story would have been more interesting if it was a water powered blow torch.
LoL @ 'alternative'
Next popsci will feature articles on alchemy... the 'alternative' to chemistry!
Is it science? Who cares!!!
I personally cannot wait to perform transmutation on this hunk of lead into gold. I read it can be done in a very old bronzed aged book, so it must be true!
No way, "90% of the population of earth" (no, I don't have to cite my source... God told me that fact) don't believe in alchemy, so, obviously mob-rule declares it to be false.
Same as mob-rule declares religion to be true.
Same as the earth WAS flat 500 years ago (per mob-rule facts).
@thisnametaken...you'll need the philosophers stone before you can turn lead into gold...read the alchemist. Here's a source for you..but you can find this info anywhere.
@B.V...only sheep peasants beleived the earth was flat 500 years ago. History shows that the Sumarians, the Egyptians, and even the greeks beleived the world was a sphere. I'm sure the Vatican knew the world was a sphere...but to keep the masses in ignorance it was proclaimed that the earth was flat. And the sheep beleived it.
Come on, guys. This article has less to do with religion than it does with someone using a flamethrower to clean a kitchen...can we put our differences aside long enough to realize that that's just awesome?
@Aldrons Last Hope,
If by "Sumarians, Egyptians, and Greeks" you mean the <1% of society who was wealthy enough and owned enough slaves to sit around and do calculations and philosophize about the world... then sure, they thought the world might be spherical.
They also went to great lengths to keep their knowledge from the sheep peasants... who did make up 90%+ of the population ;)
If I said, "History shows that Americans and Russians were living in space by the end of the 20th century" would you assume that meant most people lived in space, or that most people lived on Earth?
Although, sure, SOME minuscule percentage of Americans and Russians DO live in space for a brief period of time, most do not.
Just as MOST did not know the first thing about math or reading or earth's shape 500 years ago...
Oh also, in addition to the philosophers stone, you'll need the phallus of a puma to stir your alchemy mixtures... or else it won't work.
Anyone interested in becoming wealthy through alchemy should contact me to attend my 4 hour alchemy course where I will teach you the secrets of 2000 years of wealth and immortality for just 5 easy payments of $299*.
*Offer void where prohibited, intelligence restrictions may apply.
@B.V Statues of Atlas can be found dated 2nd century. On display for all the peasants to see that the world is a globe. Sumerians had there scrolls on display in their temples..scrolls which depict a spherical earth and where it sits in our solar system.
I'm sure some people 500 years ago looked at the sun and the moon and naturally surmised the earth was round.
To assume everyone thought the earth was flat because that's what it says in grade 3 history books is folly.
90% of earth's inhabitants believe in god...you can find that stat anywhere. What makes the atheists so sure of their position? Is it intuition?
@Aldrons Last Hope,
Care to provide any sources for the B.S. you spew?
Here's mine: http://www.rayfowler.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/map_world_religions.gif
Please note how 12.5% of the world is Agnostic, 2.4% is Atheist, 13% is "Other beliefs", 5.9% is Buddhist...
Which, after some simple math, seems to suggest that about 1/3 of the people in the world don't believe in "God".
Add to that the 13.3% of Hindu's, and you've got almost half of the people on earth who don't believe in "a God" (Hindu's believe in many "gods").
So much for "consensus reality" as "proof" of God. :P
Also... I can't speak for all Atheists, I don't even consider myself an Atheist. I just don't believe mythology unless I have some very good empirical evidence for it.
Could there be a God/Gods that we can't prove with our level of technology yet? Sure, I guess anything is possible.
Does that mean there IS one? No.
That's why I'm Agnostic--religion/faith is by definition outside the scope of science/proof.
As far as statue of Atlas goes... Atlas was sentenced by Zeus to hold up a ball of the heavens and earth--he's not holding a spherical earth, he's holding a spherical sky.
Additionally, I haven't seen anything that would suggest such a statue was displayed in public for the peasants to view and use as a sky-map...
So... again, what you say == B.S.
@B.V saying that I am spewing B.S is not a good way to have a discussion and you have the nerve to accuse the religious as being closed minded?
Also you might want to learn to read as well. I did provide a source for my points. If you knew how to read properly you would have known that. LOL
Also that link you provided shows that at least 85% of the world believes in God. How you were able to misinterpret it and coming to a conclusion that 1/3 of the world does not believe in God is beyond me..LOL. You have to learn to think logically , you are already good at arguing semantics though :-p
Hindu's believe in a supreme being as do Buddhists...so please don't count them in with your atheists and agnostics. By your own numbers you provided, atheists + agnostics = 15% of the world's population...leaving 85% of the world believing in God...where did you come up with your 1/3 number?? How can you count atheists and Hindus in the same boat...please learn some logical thinking before spewing your 3rd grade nonsense.
God is real 90% of the world is not wrong.
Oh YOU have seen no evidence of statues of atlas on display for the masses since 1st century A.D and beyond?
At the end of your post you even say "God may be real, anything is possible" So you have an open mind about God being real, but ridicule those you believe and follow a faith? Man your confused..Someone needs Jesus
As far as you being an agnostic...I applaud anyone that's willing to define their faith (or lack of one)...just know there are many agnostics that believe in Aliens, and that Aliens created humans, or are devil worshipers....so come one now. Who is more kooky?
Geeze, I expected at least one comment to go by without someone acting like an ass about this. Why don't you guys go back to reddit?
@Aldrons Last Hope,
Are you capable of doing math? Or reading words?
Agnostic = do not believe in a God (not to be confused with believing there is no God(s)).
Atheist = believe there are no God(s).
Buddhists = believe in reincarnation and Nirvana... no God http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism
Hindus = Have a complex system of beliefs that generally views every single thing that exists as the divine, and identifies various forces as demigods... you are God, I am God, Jesus was God, Satan is God, Hitler is God, Gravity is God, the Sun is God, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinduism#Concept_of_God
Other religions = Indigenous beliefs like spirit animals, pantheist (i.e. Zeus/Athena/etc.), shamans, new age crystals, etc. also... no "one true God".
Now lets do some math: 12.5% of the world is Agnostic, 2.4% is Atheist, 13% is "Other beliefs", 5.9% is Buddhist...
12.5 + 2.4 + 13 + 5.9 = 33.8% of the World. or a bit over 1/3.
If you dismiss Hinduism on the grounds that since everything is God, then obviously there is no "supreme being" outside of all that exists, and therefore no "God" then you arrive at the conclusion that ~47% of the world does NOT subscribe to the notion of "God" put forth by Abraham from which Judaism, Christianity, and Islam arose.
So, yes, claiming that 90% of the world believes in your version of God (even when 15% are Agnostic/Atheist) and counting Buddhist and Hindus, and "other" religions as believers in your concept of supreme being/God IS ABSOLUTE B.S.
I'm simply calling you on it.
Finally, your "atlas" straw-man argument is complete nonsense. As I've already pointed out, Atlas was holding the SKY (celestial sphere)... not the earth.
If you look at this picture of a vase from Greece where Atlas is depicted, he is shown holding a FLAT plate of sky-world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NAMA_H%C3%A9racl%C3%A8s_%26_Atlas.jpg
Claiming most Greeks thought the world was a sphere because of one sculpture where Atlas is holding a sphere (which is a map of the stars--not even the earth) is like claiming all Americans think the world is flat because of one paper map of North America.
Finally, you write:
"At the end of your post you even say 'God may be real, anything is possible' So you have an open mind about God being real, but ridicule those you believe and follow a faith?"
YES. That's the f--ing point, man! "Faith" is intellectual bankruptcy.
Both the Christian and Atheist zealots have "faith" that their ideas about the world are true--neither one can prove what they say or disprove the other. Personally, I think the Atheist assumption of "things are false until proven true" is more logical than the theist position of "things are true until proven false," but in either case they are both faith-based conclusions.
I don't need "faith" because I don't need to qualify myself as being "right" about how the world works. An answer of "I don't know" is perfectly legitimate to me.
I'm not so conceited and stupid as to assume something is FALSE simply because there is no evidence to support it being true.
But I'm also not stupid enough to believe something IS true with blind "faith" despite obvious evidence to the contrary.
That's why I'm agnostic--because I try not to be stupid; because I refuse willful ignorance; because I assess the world around me as it is and make my own conclusions based on empirical evidence instead of succumbing to fear and brainwashing or societal pressures.
I only care about the truth. When I don't/can't know the truth--the truth is "I don't know".
and again with the hate fulled rhetoric, B.V. since you probably haven't ever taken a comparative religions class so really cant support your beliefs about other religions your beliefs taken on the belief that what you have heard in passing is true (in what you have heard with out any supporting evidence is kinda the defeniton of faith), and no i dont want to hear what you googled and got off of some site that has not been supplied by an anthropologist (the scientists who also study belief structures to learn about cultures). Here is a book to read that may enlighten you as to what the people who you are speaking for believe, I am sure they would appreciate it. "A History of the Worlds Religions, 12 edition : Davis S. Noss"
I'd be willing to bet any person who has ever been persecuted by the "loving and understanding Christians/Muslims/Jews" has all of the supporting evidence they need to form their own beliefs about subscribers to those religions. ;)
I've read plenty of history books about Abrahamic religions, as well as alternative ones such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Paganism, and various accounts of encounters with shamans.
I've also read a few journals by evolutionary psychologists and studies aimed at adding science to the mystery of spirituality.
From what I understand, the brain activity of people experiencing spiritual/religious events (and perhaps alien abductions) is very similar.
The brain of a praying Catholic nun is very similar to the brain of a meditating Buddhist monk which is very similar to the brain of a Wiccan casting a spell... it's very likely they are all experiencing the same thing, but calling it different words.
The latest conclusion (that I'm aware of) is that religions/superstitions are an artifact of a brain evolved specifically for the purpose of detecting patterns in nature and forming cause/effect relationships.
When an obvious cause/effect relationship is not apparent, the brain is unhappy. One can easily see how it would be evolutionarily disadvantageous to have a brain constantly distracted by existential questions while attempting to forage for food and avoid predators.
Thus, it makes sense that those genetically predisposed to imagine a cause for observed effects (such as 'God(s) did it') would have a greater chance to focus on surviving and mating (instead of figuring out what life is all about).
So what you end up with is a brain predisposed by evolution to be receptive to religion... thus you get a "History of Religions".
But, as with all populations, there will be some who have genetic mutations such that their brain is NOT rendered less effective due to unanswered existential questions.
These people, are the ones who are okay with an answer of "I don't know" when asked "why do you exist? what is the meaning of life? what type of life should one lead?" etc.
I'm one such person. I can't tell you what kind of life you should lead, what it all means, or why you're here in the first place.
I'm not going to ask you to donate 10% of your income to an invisible "omnipotent" super-being so that I (as his representative) can wear silk/gold robes, drive a mercedes, or broadcast the super-beings message on a plasma tv in a mega-church.
I'm not going to burn you at the stake when your neighbor hallucinates after eating some tainted wheat products and says he saw you fornicating with the Devil.
I'm not going to get a gang of 6 people to beat you to death because you prefer having sex with consenting adults of the same gender.
I'm not going to marry you off to a 30yr old man as one of his wives when you are 13 in exchange for 10 goats, and I'm not going to bury you up to your neck in the dirt and stone you to death when 5 years later you decide you've been raped by your "husband" enough to run away.
But, no, you're right... I'm the "hate fulled" one, and the people burning each other's holy books and waging holy wars for thousands of years are clearly doing the work of a loving divine power... *rollseyes*
judging from your rants its not to hard to tell that hate and intolerance is rife with in you, and again your "facts" have no support, the simple fact that your view and understanding of all beliefs is colored by your knowledge of so very few people of those faiths makes any logical conclusion impossible for you. And your claims of mutations well with no peer reviewed studies to support the claims they again are taken by you on faith of what the people that presented you with there opinions must be true, possibly because they happen to be what you would like to hear. The fact is that no one has been able to prove why belief structures exist and why they crop up in so many different ways, the complexity of them is one of the large arguments psychologists and anthropologists have with the folks who claim that all in the brain is explained by evolution, by the way that group is a highly small faction of the scientific community. Your statement that some studies have shown that there may be a common effect on brain activity and chemistry of people practicing there faith is surprising to me considering that you were previously trying to group as many of those faiths in with the disbelief in a "god", it would seem to be an argument against your statement. Your attempt to correlate hate acts and religion also shows your desire to ignore all other contrary evidence, such as the Rwandan genocide which was done purely based on arbitrary groupings done by the British empire when it was in charge and had no basis on religions. Or KKK in America and its brutal acts which were done as a result of race not religion, tho it was an often used cover to explain their gatherings. Or the acts of terrorism done in the name of the environmentalist movement, the spiking of trees to kill loggers or the use of strips to cause tire blow outs on logging roads. All of these were very secular acts. Hate such as the kind you display against religions simply because you do not agree would appear to be a far more of a useless artifact of evolution then any that you could apply to faith.
Oh ye of little faith. It's pretty disturbing how so many people these days are against God. No wonder this world will be erased. How can you say there is no proof when the proof lies in a book called "The Holy Bible." For a very in-depth view of its accuracy, with supporting verifiable historical support, visit a nice little website called www.revelationbibleprophecy.org. God does not lie and sees all. Hopefully it will open some eyes.
@B.V I have to take issue with your math. Buddhists and Hindus do believe in a supreme being...I have a Hindu and a Buddhist in my office...and asked them. So like I said previously do not include them in the Agnostic, Atheist, group...they would much rather be cast in the same boat with us God fearing people. So therefore your number for %33.8 does not stand. Sorry, back to the drawing board for you.
So you are Agnostic...so there is no point for you to be debating with religious or atheist people...because frankly you don't know. The only thing that matters to you is what can be proven. And I respect that. But you must also respect people that have blind faith..because what we believe may never be proven in this realm…but it does not make it any less true.
If someone is murdered and the murderer is not caught….does the murderer still exist?
@Aldrons Last Hope,
"But you must also respect people that have blind faith"
No... I don't.
I don't have to respect people who mug me on the street, or belch in my face, or do a plethora of other things that infringe upon my peace.
The day I can walk down the street without someone trying to scare me into giving up my free will with impossible-to-verify tales of hellfire and brimstone is the day I start respecting people with blind faith.
If the murder occurred "in this realm" there is empirical evidence to support the theory of "an existing murderer". Being agnostic, I'd have to reply "there is probably a murderer" ;)
1) Try using paragraphs to make your text legible (it's that "Enter" key on the keyboard).
2) re: peer-reviewed studies on the evolution of religion.
It's impossible to prove/disprove such theories since no human can sit around for billions of years and watch ideas of religion evolve with the brain.
Coincidentally you might also find it's impossible to prove/disprove creationism/evolution ... hence they are also a "theories".
However, I am not claiming "100% for CERTAIN this is how it HAPPENED!" like religious zealots claim when preaching their belief systems at others.
I only claim it seems to be the most probable scenario out of all the one's I've heard about.
Check this news story: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/GadgetGuide/story?id=4941496&page=1
also check this: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=nMnfISTYnC4C&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=brain+evolution+religion&ots=koCNqW-VTj&sig=JoRNT8XpXEGXiamUHmwfgJBsBbE#v=onepage&q=brain%20evolution%20religion&f=false
As far as "hate" goes; I don't care what you believe as long as you keep it to yourself.
The minute you go around starting wars because Jesus told you about their "Weapons of Mass Destruction" or you go around destroying the planet cause when you die you'll go to "heaven" so who cares about the earth, or you go around throwing people in jail for sodomy because your "God" doesn't like it, or you start crashing planes into buildings since you'll only be rewarded with virgins for it...
That's when I care.
And as far as I'm concerned, using a flamethrower to purge the "impure" bread from your kitchen is one step away from using a flamethrower to purge the "impure" heathens from your city.
ok BV the hate comes seething out again, you blame religion for every ill that you can and yet you wont even acknowledge that the acts you describe are done by extremists which are just as common in any secular group as they are in a religious one. You mind telling me what religion prompted the Nazis to kill all that they deemed to be inferior " just a hint the Nazis tried to eliminated religion and promote the idea of the state and science being the only right path" or what prompted the Soviets to conduct the Stalinist purges "another hint Stalin was a professed opponent of any group that had power that wasn't the soviet state" or perhaps the mass arrests of Tibetan monks in Tibet after China decided that it wanted Tibet " finial hint the Chinese government forced the Dalai Lama the religious leader of the Tibetan people into exile and appointed a new Panchen Lama who is the Lama responsible for the approval of the next Dalai Lama"
Your comparisons also lack facts yet again, if you would actually examine the facts of most of the atrocities that have been done in the name of religion then you would see that religion was the cover or excuse not that cause or reason. yes it is an often used reason that is unacceptable to most people but that's kinda the definition of extreme
I would love to know the truth about how often these claims of being persecuted that you profess actually take place, judging from the facts that are out there i would doubt it has happened often if at all, except in your opinion in order to further your justification for your hate speech.
Ok I am glad to see you do admit that your theories are not fact, but as far as being the most probable I am going to have to cry foul yet again, if the many scientists that actually study such topics are so divided over the issue of evolutionary psychology then I sure wont be taking the opinion of a random layman pounding away in frustration on his keyboard after watching or reading a quick blurb.
To concluded when a person must resort to criticizing the composition of an argument instead of the content it shows a lack of depth of knowledge of said person. So come with more content and less hate and frustration and you are far more likely to be taken seriously.