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A fairly accurate, but incomplete INDEX of Posts & good overview of this blog READ SOME REASONS TO REJECT ORTHODOX JUDAISM my April 2014 post or click link above. Highlighted words lead to other posts almost all in my blog. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family (1950's) and went to Orthodox Yeshiva from kindergarten thru High School plus some Beis Medrash.Became an agnostic in my 20's and an atheist later on. My blog will discuss the arguments for god and Orthodox Judaism and will provide counter arguments. I no longer take comments. My blog uses academic sources, the Torah, Talmud and commentators to justify my assertions. The posts get updated. INDEX OF POSTS SEE MAY 2017 or click link above.

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Science of God Schroeder - Part 2



This post will continue the discussion of Schroeder Chapter 9 The Origin of Human Kind begun here

Later the post will discuss Schroeder's use of the Babylonian Talmud Keliim (8:5) to support his hypothesis of pre Adam Soul-Less humans ( page 117 & 140 references). Keliim is predominantly discussing the biblical prohibition of sowing seeds of different types and plowing with different kinds of animals. I will also refer to Jerusalem Talmud Keliim (section 8)   with its similar passages.  It will be shown that Schroeder is shoe horning his Soul-less humans into Jewish texts that are almost certainly referring to non human creatures.


The Torah was allegedly given to the Israelites around 1200 BC. It's laws to make any sense must refer to things existing temporally fairly close to that period or thereafter. This is especially true with regard to the Talmud because it was dealing with extant practical problems as well. It would make no sense to tell people do not plow with Arsinoitherium and Toxodon (both long extinct mammals) or do not plow with two different types of long extinct dinosaurs.

If the Talmud was discussing Soul-less humans as a distinct category then the Talmud should have explained how the laws of murder, theft, sexual relations etc: involving soul-less humans are to be implemented, yet nothing of the sort is found in the Talmud. As far as the Talmud is concerned Schroeder has created a fictitious non-existent category of Soul-less humans.

Moreover there are logistical problems with Schroeder theory, that Neanderthals and Cro-Magon man (Soul-less humans) predate Adam, the souled human. Did god create one each of souled  Adam and Eve or many. How did they interact and specifically breed with the Soul-less humans ? Are there hybrid beings ? Did the Soul-less human beings become extinct ? Some scientist say Neanderthal genes are still found within some modern humans. So we have semi-souled humans. What about stone age tribes that have essentially been cut off from human development in remote parts of the world. Are they soul-less humans ? Do they have equal protection under the law ? Shroeders Soul-less humans create all types of legal problems, none discussed in the Talmud.

About 9,000 BC mankind had already began cultivation of various grains, and domestication of dogs and sheep. 20,000 BC Terra Cotta figurines. 7000 BC farming villages. These are Schroeder Soul-less humans indistinguishable from modern humans. Are they to be considered non-human and hooked up to the plow or worse ?

No god was required to infuse these humans with a soul to develop. Rather, as man developed knowledge and rudimentary science the small agricultural villages grew into towns and this led to the necessity to record (written language) and the rest is history.

We know there are stories around the world of  human like creatures. For example: { “The Yeti or Abominable Snowman (Nepali . "mountain man")  is an ape-like cryptid taller than an average human that is said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology”. - wikipedia yeti}. If  Jewish texts have such stories it would be nothing surprising and proves nothing.

Cultures from around  the world use the term human to describe the more human looking primates. The Indonesian’s  Oranghutan  means person of the forest. (“The word "gorilla" comes from the history of Hanno the Navigator, ©. 500 BC a Carthaginian explorer on an expedition on the west African coast. They encountered "a savage people”, the greater part of whom were women, whose bodies were hairy, and who our interpreters called Gorillae"  - see wikipedia on Gorilla). It would not be surprising to find  Jewish texts referring to various human looking primates as human in some ways. This would in no way imply they are Schroeder’s Pre Adam Soul-less Humans.

From the above comments alone Shroeders Soul-less humans does not appear consistent with the Talmud (or the Torah).

We now look at the Kiliim text Schroeder cites to support Soul-less Humans:
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Babylonian Talmud Kelayim 8:5
MISHNAH 5. MULES OF UNCERTAIN PARENTAGE21 ARE FORBIDDEN ONE WITH ANOTHER, BUT A RAMMAK [A MULE WHOSE DAM IS KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN A
MARE] IS PERMITTED [WITH ANOTHER RAMMAK].22 WILD MAN-LIKE CREATURES23ARE DEEMED AS BELONGING TO THE CATEGORY OF HAYYAH.24 R. JOSE SAID:
[WHEN DEAD] THEY [OR PART OF THEIR CORPSES] COMMUNICATE UNCLEANNESS
[TO MEN AND TO OBJECTS SUSCEPTIBLE THERETO WHICH ARE] UNDER THE SAME
ROOF,25 AS DOES [THE CORPSE OF] A HUMAN BEING.26 THE HEDGEHOG AND THE
MOLE27 OF THE BUSHES BELONG TO THE CATEGORY OF HAYYAH.28 AS FOR A MOLE,
R. JOSE SAID IN THE NAME OF BETH SHAMMAI: AN OLIVE'S SIZE [OF ITS CARCASE]
RENDERS A PERSON CARRYING IT UNCLEAN, AND A LENTILS SIZE THEREOF
RENDERS A PERSON TOUCHING IT UNCLEAN.29



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What is clear the Talmud Keliim itself is unclear see note (23) above. First as the commentaries explain
there is uncertainty of the word spelled Alef-Dalet-Nun-Yod. Is it spelled with Nun or a Mem ?. Or is it Dalet or a Bet ? . And these changes completely change the meaning of the word. {ETA- for more discussion on the mountain man of note (23) see below}. The commentary suggests some kind of great ape and not Schroeder Soul-less Humans. And that would be consistent with the intent of the Talmud to explain the application of mixtures or impurity.


Schroeder does not cite The Jerusalem Talmud Kilaim. The H. Guggenheimer edition 2001 provides additional commentary related to this discussion.  It gets complicated and I will not get into it except to mention:



Miamonides suggests an ape/orangutun/ perhaps some other fabled animal.

The Talmud of the Land of Israel - Kilayim (Translated by I. Mandelbaum 1990) provides an excellent
discussion of this topic.
It has :

[Note the different letter bet for dalet and this changes the meaning to stones of the field. It get complicated but boils down to the possibility of a fabled mountain man that lives from his umbilical  attached to the ground and if cut he dies, or a human dead body or human bone or a grave. Feliks provides an interpretation as chimpanzee and cites Ecclesiastes Rabbah 6:12 as an animal commonly kept as pets. I would argue Schroeder has failed to make a convincing case the Talmud is discussing Soul-less humans i.e Cro-Magnon man. The very letters of text of the Talmud itself are not known with certainty see note (23) above.]

Continued here Part 3


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