About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Rooster puzzles

1) In the book of Job there is a delightful little verse 38:36 with this many widely and wildly diverse translations (and probably some more which I did not find):
- Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?
- Who has put wisdom in the clouds, or given understanding to the mists?
- And who has given to women skill in weaving, or knowledge of embroidery?
- Who put wisdom in remote places, or who gave understanding to a rooster?
- Who has given the ibis wisdom or the rooster understanding?

Can you imagine more diverse translations? One Hebrew word (טחות) is rendered as: the inward parts, the clouds, skill of weaving, remote places or the ibis! While another Hebrew word (שּׂכוי) is translated as either the heart, the mist, embroidery, or a rooster. So what is the right translation? No one knows! And enough said about the biblical inerrancy of the fundamentalists!

2) Why should the bible declare that chickens are endowed with special understanding or knowledge? Ask any farmer around the world - chickens are proverbially stupid. There are stories about chickens running around the yard and even surviving for weeks after their heads had been chopped out. Clearly, chickens’ need for a brain is not particularly great! Chickens are perceived as uniquely unintelligent birds, unless you consider their ability to welcome dawn and announce rain. But that is another puzzle.

3) Roosters are known to predict dawn with annoying accuracy. But how do they do it? Some biologists think that it is because of their inner circadian clock. I have a different theory. I developed it when I started to take long exposure night pictures. I realized that dawn arrives hours before actual sunrise. Long before my eyes can notice absolutely anything my cameras start picking up the first photons scattered in the atmosphere above the eastern horizon. Then, when it is still almost invisible, roosters begin crowing. Similarly, rain must also be preceded with some subtle changes in luminosity. Roosters, after all, might have this special skill of very sensitive eyes.

This Sunday we will engage further ornithological mysteries, metaphors and legends while we fold origami cranes and send them to deliver our prayers for nuclear disarmament, peace and understanding among nations and peoples.

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