Biblical Bone Euphemism, Perhaps

Biblical study and biology combine in this treatise: “Congenital human baculum deficiency: The generative bone of Genesis,” Scott F. Gilbert [pictured here] and Ziony Zevit, American Journal of Medical Genetics, vol. 101, no. 3, 2001, pp. 284-285. The authors explain: “Whereas most mammals (including common species such as dogs and mice) and most other primates […]

Sex, Sex, Sex in the Bible, or maybe not [study]

Hunting for sex? This study finds that one purported hunting ground may be less well-stocked than its reputation suggests: “Sleeping with the Enemy: Recent Scholarship on Sexuality in the Book of Judges,” Serge Frolov [pictured below], Currents in Biblical Research, June 2013 vol. 11 no. 3, pp. 308-327. The author, at Southern Methodist University in […]

Dr. Altschuler on … famous character’s ailments

Following Improbable’s recent note about Dr. Altschuler’s Ice Cream Headache Inducement Method we turn now to his work on famous character’s ailments. Eric Altschuler, M.D., Ph.D., who is currently Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New Jersey Medical School and Associate Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School, has written extensively […]

Gutenberg’s desired output (toilet paper, of a sort)

The man who invented the printing press planned to make good, practical use of it, according to Michael Lewis (writing in Vanity Fair): The first thing Gutenberg [pictured here] sought to publish, after the Bible, was a laxative timetable he called a “Purgation-Calendar.” Here is a fragment of that Purgation-Calendar (reprinted in An introduction to […]

Good sketchy histories of the universe

Except for a very few people who know everything, nobody knows in detail how the universe started or what happened between then and now. But we’ve been given many interesting suggestions. Some, biblical in nature, tell take-it-leave-it stories. Others offer some combination of evidence and logical reasoning. John Baez‘s majestic “The Earth—for Physicists” appeared in […]