"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Biblical and Talmudic Perspective - III

My first two entries were in two separate categories. The first referred to miraculous and revelatory matters in Biblical and Talmudic sources that can be tracked into our present reality. The second focused on the rich source material for getting a better glimpse into the day-to-day lives of our ancestors two to three thousand years ago.

Here is another example of the former.

Scientists consider the fact that there is very loud noise emanating from the corona of the sun, but getting lost in space, to be a recent discovery, developed over the last forty to seventy years. This segment gives a good synopsis of what is known.

Here is the Talmud weighing in on this subject 1500 years ago. And I quote (Yoma 20b): "Our Rabbis taught, there are three sounds that travel from one end of the world to the other, the sound of the corona of the sun, the sound of large urban populations and the sound of the soul as it leaves the body; some say also the sound of childbirth; and some say also the sound of Radia (or Radio)."

There was a clear awareness that the corona of the sun produced sound, but that it somehow did not reach us in an audible form.

Tangentially, Radia is explained to be an angel who somehow is tasked with connecting the heavens and the earth. (Maimonides famously explains that all angeels are scientific forces. But, he complains, the masses are not subtle enough to understand this, and they think him a heretic for not taking the prophetic images of creatures with wings literally.)

Incidentally, as a kid I found that Ripley, in one of his Believe It or Not books, was amazed that a sound said to traverse the globe (or the universe) was called Radia or Radio. If indeed the title came from the Latin word for ray, it shows that they believed sound to be a form of ray, which touches on the recent approaches of merging wave and ray theories in modern acoustics.

1 comment:

bpabbott said...

Jay, sound is a motion that propagates in a solid or fluid mass. Water is a fluid. Air is a fluid.

The sun is, of course, also a fluid mass.

To say there is a loud noise emanating from the sun misrepresents. There is no audible noise, as there is no atmosphere.

The implication that Biblical sources could have been used to reveal what science has explained is also a misrepresentation.

Science does not offer revelations, but explanations of natural phenomena based upon observable evidence. That evidence includes the cause and the effect.

Science is about explanation, not revelation. In that sense, science provides understanding and answers ... not just the answers.