Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Nishtaneh ha-trousers

Believing wholeheartdely that the old scholars are infallible, Ludwig Duret (16th century) tried to solve in a peculiar way a contradiction between Hippocrates and Galen. According to the former each lung consists of three lobes; the latter, however, maintained that it consists of two lobes. Duret explained that in the time of Hippocrates all human beings were stronger, no doubt because their organs were better developed.

Similarly, when Vesalius (1514-64) proved that Galen's description of hip-bones were wrong, the excuse offered for Galen's error was that man's shape had changed through wearing tight trousers.

Zimmels H.J., The Signifigance of the Statement "We are not acquainted any more" as Echoed in Rabbinic Literature (New York: Shulsinger Brothers, 1962), pp.229 in Leo Jung Jubilee Volume

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