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Critique of Intelligent Design

Evolution vs. Creationism

The Art of ID Stuntmen

Faith vs Reason

Anthropic Principle

Autopsy of the Bible code

Science and Religion

Historical Notes


Serious Notions with a Smile


Letter Serial Correlation

Mark Perakh's Web Site


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Title Author Date
Your website -- Part 3 kendemyer@hotmail.com Nov 16, 2003
Next, an important point I want to make is that the hebrew word gerah (Strong's concordance states regarding gerah: " from 'gerar' [1641] the cud (as scraping the throat) -cud) is linguistically associated with the word garon which can be (though not always) translated neck or throat according to Hebrew scholars. A prominent Hebrew Scholar that pointed this out is Ibn Ezra. This is why so many scholars have never accepted the information that was on your site. Also, most Bible translators simply translate the hebrew words mentioned on your site to the following words: "chew the cud".

I will briefly mention that some scholars say the animal shaphan is uncertain as far as what animal it actually is but if you do an investigation of the matter I think you will find the uncertainty was partly or largely caused by some scholars not wanting to associate the shaphan with the hyrax because they mistakenly thought the hyrax does not chew its cud when actually we both know the hyrax does in fact chew its cud.

As you can tell I spent quite a bit of time regarding this issue. Please send me some feedback using the email address that I sent this email to as you are now on my email friends list and will not be screened out via my email filter. I am interested in whether or not you are going to incorporate this information into your website and make the suggested corrections.

Lastly, I wanted to mention to you that I do not know what edition of the Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia contains the hare information as it was a paperback version and the front pages have been torn off. I know for sure that it was a Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia that was purchased some time between the years of 1981 and 1995.


Ken DeMyer
Related Articles: A List of Some Problematic Issues

Title Author Date
Your website Naftali Zeligman Nov 17, 2003
The suggestion that the hyrax (Heb. shafan, “rock badger” if you wish) chews the cud was raised in the 1960s by Dr. Hubert Hendrichs and made some headlines. Yet, most zoologists today doubt the accuracy of Hendrichs’ observations. Hyraxes do sometimes make chewing-like movements with their jaws without having eaten anything immediately prior to that moment; this was interpreted by Hendrichs as a sign of rumination, but on closer observation no indication of real chewing was found. These chewing-like movements in hyraxes are likely to perform some communication function. At most, it may be that occasionally hyraxes do vomit some swallowed food back to the oral cavity, chew it a bit more and then swallow it again – but that is not a part of hyraxes’ normal behavior, nor has it indeed been observed with any reasonable degree of confidence. At present, this remains a mere conjecture.
Regarding hares, you are right that hares and rabbits are “somewhat similar”: they both belong to the family Leporidae, and their physiology and behavior is much similar. (On Leporidae, see the webpage of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.
The idea that hares/rabbits “rechew their cud,” as you have put it, is, however, entirely mistaken. I have not seen the article in the Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia in full, but the quotation you brought judiciously refrains from using the word “cud”; instead, it says that the hare “chews food previously swallowed” (emphasis mine). I think that it is a reference to coprophagy – eating one’s excrement in order to extract the nutritional value it might contain. Hares and rabbits do practice coprophagy; but even in the “weblog” you referred to (actually, message 19508 in Yahoo DebunkCreation discussion group) this phenomenon is described as different from cud-chewing. As another message (19509) in the same discussion group has put it, “Rabbits do not eat cud or regurgitated material. Ruminants do that, and rabbits are not ruminants. Rabbits eat their shit, which still contains a lot of organic material that gets extratced as it passes through the gut a second time. Shit is not cud. Big difference.” (See also messages 19510-19512 and 19517-19518 in that discussion group.)
Cud is food regurgitated from the stomach to the oral cavity via the throat (the foodpipe). The Hebrew for “cud,” gerah, is evidently derived from the same etymon as the Hebrew for “throat,” garon. In fact, in the early post-Biblical period the term gerah itself was used to designate the throat (Mishnah Tractate Yoma 2:3, 7; Tractate Tamid 3:1, 4:3). Thus, coprophagy cannot qualify for “chewing the cud” (literally, “bringing up the cud,” Heb. ma’aleh gerah, which is ascribed by the Pentateuch to the hare and the hyrax).

Related Articles: A List of Some Problematic Issues