Sunday, May 13, 2018

Especially American leeches

Can we help you?

French naturalist and zoologist Georges Cuvier (full name Baron Georges Léopold Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert Cuvier) died on this day in 1832.  His last words, to a nurse who was bleeding him on his deathbed (he died of cholera):

"Nurse, it was I who discovered leeches have red blood."

A Mother's Day aside:

The mother cult is something that will set future generations roaring with laughter.” – Gustave Flaubert.

   Those generations haven’t arrived yet, obviously, and the cult of the mother, which holds its signal celebration on this day, still flourishes.
   Mother-worship is as old as mankind itself. The Earth Mother was probably civilized man’s first deity – the goddess of crops. The Virgin Mary was a much later version. The most famous mother in Western history has her hordes of ardent devotees even down to this day. 
   What would Jesus have made of the idea of people venerating His mother? For that matter, what would He have thought of Jesus-worship? The New Testament provides no clear-cut evidence that He regarded Himself as divine. As for his mom’s awareness of it, consider the episode in Matthew in which she urges her son to go with her to John the Baptist and be baptized, in order to wash away His sins.
   Indeed, it appears, at least to this skeptic from his reading of the Gospels, that Jesus had no inkling of His divine duty until He met John the Baptist and was inspired to start preaching himself. Even then, he delayed matters for 40 days and nights, pondering the on it. If He’d been convinced of his supposed mission, would he have waited?
   As for the Virgin Birth, did Jesus ever hear of it? It’s never mentioned in Mark (the oldest Gospel) or John, and the details of it differ in Matthew and Luke. Again, the notion of virgin birth was an age-old one and very common in Jesus’s part of the world in those days, particularly in Egypt.
   Just sayin’. Happy Mother’s Day.