How smart are smart people?
In 1726, an English serving-maid named Mary Toft claimed to have given birth to… rabbits. (http://www.skepdic.com/toft.html ) She had the local doctor deliver the rabbits. He was so convinced by what he saw, he summoned King George’s own personal physician, who was also convinced. Just to put the capper on it, the royal astronomer–don’t ask!–was also called in; and he, too, was convinced that Mary had given birth to 17 (count ’em!) bunny rabbits.
Too bad nobody called in a farmer or a game warden. But they’re not scientists.
According to the settled science of those days, “maternal impressions”–that is, what a pregnant woman sees or hears, thinks or dreams about, during pregnancy would mightily influence the characteristics of her baby. Hear a loud noise, and the baby’s born deaf. Eat too much fatty food, and the baby grows up to be obese. Mary told the doctors she was obsessed with rabbits, thought about ’em and dreamed about ’em all the time. Good enough!
When it was finally discovered that Mary had successfully pulled a hoax, there was a spot of trouble over it and she went to jail for four months. It is not recorded that any doctors or astronomers were fired for believing her. They were men of science, after all. And science is always right about everything, until next week’s science comes along and proves it wrong.
Sometimes smart people ain’t as smart as they’re cracked up to be.
But anyone who reads the Bible knows that. And anyone who sort of pays attention to reality.