Settled Science Alert! Woman Gave Birth to Rabbits

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.

About leeduigon

I have lived in Metuchen, NJ, all my life. I have been married to my wife Patricia since 1977. I am a former newspaper editor and reporter. I was also the owner-operator of my own small business for several years. I wrote various novels and short stories published during 1980s and 1990s. I am a long-time student of judo and Japanese swordsmanship (kenjutsu). I also play chess, basketball, and military and sports simulations. View all posts by leeduigon

3 responses to “Settled Science Alert! Woman Gave Birth to Rabbits

  • Erlene

    Reality! It seems that most people do not give a fig about reality. After all, they see reality as what they say it is. The madness grows by the hour, and I shake my head in disbelief. One good thing is, that it drives me back to my Bibles more and more. See, I don’t really care about any mere human’s version of reality when it disagrees with Scripture.

    Like

  • Marge Hofknecht

    Well said, Erlene. The further along I walk with Jesus and see what’s happening in the world, the more I see how rock solid and sensible is the Bible.

    Like

  • UnKnowable

    The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.

    To echo Erlene’s sentiments, I find that I really don’t want anything to do with the immoral and Godless system that surrounds us. I still have to work and do my part, and I intend to continue to do so, but I am not even slightly interested in the social mores, the Godless entertainment and the thinking so prevalent today. It insults the sensibilities and is designed to break down our morale.

    The pure and good things that happen in my life tend to be the things closest to God. Animals are pure and good and friends that fear God are always a blessing. I care about those things. Frankly, most of the sports stars and entertainers of this world could not interest me less.

    Like

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