The last defenders of Masada

Discussion in 'Pseudoscience Archive' started by S.A.M., Jun 10, 2010.

  1. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Mod note: This is a split thread from New genetic study sheds light on Jewish diaspora

    Lets hear the science. How did they determine genetic closeness? What was the sample? How was the sampling done? What statistical analysis was used? How did they reach their conclusions? Could you point to the original paper and data?

    I've read similar studies before and they always fail on one or the other. Besides, its from Israel - they do nothing else more consistently than lie even if its by omission.

    He never said they were Jewish, just the last defenders of Masada, the porcine ones, one imagines. :rolleyes:

    Hmm...what novel techniques?

    Is there any non-Israeli non-Jewish study with similar conclusions? Or do we have to wait for 50 years for some unpublished stuff to come to light?

    Mod note: This is a split thread from New genetic study sheds light on Jewish diaspora

    I’m acting on complaints I received regarding the above thread. Here are my findings and actions:

    If only you had done so, S.A.M. Your supposed refutation seems to be nothing but your own subjective interpretations and the wholly unscientific premise that the findings can’t be correct simply because the authors are Jewish.

    There have been two recent publications on the genetic relatedness of the Jewish diaspora.

    The genome-wide structure of the Jewish people
    Behar et al.
    Nature advance online publication 9 June 2010 | doi:10.1038/nature09103; Received 9 December 2009; Accepted 21 April 2010; Published online 9 June 2010

    Abraham's Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Middle Eastern Ancestry
    Atzmon et al.
    Am. J. Hum. Genet. doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2010.04.015 (2010).​

    S.A.M., if you wish to participate in the original thread you are required to address the specific data contained within either, or both, of these papers with referenced counter arguments.

    I have moved the entire former content of that hijacked thread to this new thread. I've also moved it to Pseudoscience as I don’t believe the content constitutes a scientific discussion, and outrageous unsupportable nonsense like this...

    ...doesn’t deserve to reside in any of the science sub-forums.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 16, 2010
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  3. spidergoat monosyllabic dictionary Valued Senior Member

    Abraham's Children in the Genome Era: Major Jewish Diaspora Populations Comprise Distinct Genetic Clusters with Shared Middle Eastern Ancestry


    For more than a century, Jews and non-Jews alike have tried to define the relatedness of contemporary Jewish people. Previous genetic studies of blood group and serum markers suggested that Jewish groups had Middle Eastern origin with greater genetic similarity between paired Jewish populations. However, these and successor studies of monoallelic Y chromosomal and mitochondrial genetic markers did not resolve the issues of within and between-group Jewish genetic identity. Here, genome-wide analysis of seven Jewish groups (Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian, Italian, Turkish, Greek, and Ashkenazi) and comparison with non-Jewish groups demonstrated distinctive Jewish population clusters, each with shared Middle Eastern ancestry, proximity to contemporary Middle Eastern populations, and variable degrees of European and North African admixture. Two major groups were identified by principal component, phylogenetic, and identity by descent (IBD) analysis: Middle Eastern Jews and European/Syrian Jews. The IBD segment sharing and the proximity of European Jews to each other and to southern European populations suggested similar origins for European Jewry and refuted large-scale genetic contributions of Central and Eastern European and Slavic populations to the formation of Ashkenazi Jewry. Rapid decay of IBD in Ashkenazi Jewish genomes was consistent with a severe bottleneck followed by large expansion, such as occurred with the so-called demographic miracle of population expansion from 50,000 people at the beginning of the 15th century to 5,000,000 people at the beginning of the 19th century. Thus, this study demonstrates that European/Syrian and Middle Eastern Jews represent a series of geographical isolates or clusters woven together by shared IBD genetic threads.​

    Note: Your archeologist is irrelevant to this issue.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
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  5. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    It's a little late for you to suddenly start worrying about scientific details, Sam. You didn't have much interest in them when this very subject came up before. If I were cynical, I would say that you're grasping for straws since the results seem to contradict your opinions about this area of human genetics. Of course, I am not so cynical as to actually say that.

    Nonetheless, I will have a look at the original article and evaluate it as best I can.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    You seem to be as ignorant of the events of the Siege of Masada as you are of most Jewish history, culture and religion.

    Pigs are scavengers, and like dogs and goats they were attracted to human settlements by our middens--piles of what seemed to them perfectly good food. Like dogs and goats they were tolerated or even welcomed for their recycling service--and eventually served other purposes, although pigs and goats didn't fare as well as dogs on that score. Pork is not kosher but it's not a violation of Jewish law to simply have pigs around. The Romans put immense effort into capturing Masada, as a message to all the tribes in the area that the Romans would always win. The people there would have eaten anything, even the pigs.

    Unlike many religious rules, most of the Jewish Code of Law specifically gives survival precedence over piety. "If you're starving, eat the damn pig, you idiot!" The ultra-Orthodox in Israel who throw rocks at ambulances for operating on the Sabbath do not represent the rabbinical consensus.
    Sam, you're the last person on earth, much less on SciForums, whose biased, inflammatory and poorly informed diatribes about Judaica are likely to get any respect. Please keep a lower profile on the subject and stop embarrassing yourself. We would very much like people who wander in here from a Google hit to discover an oasis of science, not a soapbox for single-issue extremists who make an artform of disingenuity.
    Have you never heard of Tin Pan Alley? A significant portion of American standards were written by Jewish composers. Irving Berlin, ironically, wrote "White Christmas." George Gershwin, Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Frederick Loewe (of Lerner & Loewe), Leonard Bernstein, the list is endless--just in the USA.
  8. Bells Staff Member

    You are making a bold assumption, with no proof.

    Even the person who made the original discovery had a different opinion. He admitted he could not verify if they were Jewish bones or not, because of those pig bones.

    But tell me, why do you assume that religious zealots, and it is widely reported that the Jews who held Masada, were zealots, would eat pigs?

    So Fraggle. Since you are so adept at the history of Masada, can you please tell me how you know the zealots ate pork, when even Jews who have studied the history are claiming that the original bones could very well not be Jewish bones but Roman or Christian bones?:)
  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    @ Fraggle:

    If anyone is willing to debate the biology of the study, I am willing to take a look at the data and statistics. I have learned my skepticism of Israeli research by experience. I am not interested in personalities when it comes to science. Only data and analysis of all data, including sample, method of study including design and the statistical analysis used. Also I believe in logic. It is beyond rationality to think that Jews are so racist that for 5000 years they have maintained consanguinity and genetic isolation resisting conversion by other peoples and of other peoples, all while living in modern regions at all times in history. A brief look at any peoples in the world will show how ridiculous such a notion is, unless the common Jewish gene also confers fixed racism which also I cannot believe

    Another thing which makes these studies dubious to me, is the assumption, a priori, that we accept biblical/mythical events as certain in the face of dubious or nonexistent corroborating evidence. In the case of Masada, for instance, we find fabric and pigs dating back to the "revolt" but no sign of the hundreds of martyrs. Not even a bowl of pottery or a religious ornament which indicates they were ever existent. Same for the dubious distinctions of "Israelite" or "Cohen" which are used to divide samples. Having an a priori conclusion which one attempts to prove is the wrong way of doing science and most prone to manipulation of data to fit the conclusions. This is why the Aaron gene was shown to be present in all Cohens and made the papers before it was realised that the sample consisted only of Jews [and how were they selected? What is the definition of Jew?] Meanwhile a wider sampling showed how ludicrous the hypothesis was, with the Cohen gene being widespread from South Africa to Hungary, showing that the "priestly class" assuming it ever existed, was part of the then "diaspora" of non-Jews.

    Another point which makes me suspicious is that while Israeli studies focus on Jews of Germanic and Spanish origin [not surprising as they are more than 80% of all Jews], there is a distinct lack of interest in the genetics of Mizrahi or Arab Jews. Knowing Israeli tendencies to control information outflow [see the reaction to the paper by Antonio Arnaiz-Villena] and also their national tendency to invent narrative [see The Invention of the Jewish People — by Shlomo Sand] it would not surprise me in the least to know that their science is tainted by myth and tribal identity. In fact, I await eagerly, some nonpartisan group conducting similar studies to either validate or deny these conclusions. Either way, having Jews doing studies in the Jewish state confirming Jews are a "tribe" is a bit too much of conflict of interest where I am concerned.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  10. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    Why don't you show the same skepticism towards studies purporting that Palestinians go back 5000 years in the region?
  11. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    I do. Its the Israelis who found that Palestinians [ie the indigenous peoples] go back to neolithic times according to their genetic markers. Since the study was intended to find out how the Y chromosome pool of Jews [again, what is a Jew?] fits into the middle eastern landscape, one may consider this a serendipitous finding from random anonymous samples of Palestinians and Bedouins [the best kind of sampling one can have for such cases]

    This is actually logical, considering that barring complete genocide most places on earth contain people indigenous to the region going back to first immigrants. For Palestinians and Negev Beduins [who btw do have records of settlements which are thousands of years old] to ave descended from indigenous ancestors [mixed with later immigrants] is more logical than for blond blue eyed German/Polish/Russian Jews to have maintained isolated racist communities in cosmopolitan states for thousands of years
  12. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    Which Israelis? Which study? Is it a conclusion they reach, or just a conclusion you've reached after looking at their data?

    Yes, I've read that the Bedouins have had settlements in the Negev going thousands of years into the past, but it didn't say these were large or long-lasting settlements. They came and went from the region multiple times throughout history as they migrated from one place to another. The indications I've read also suggest the Bedouins and Palestinians are very distinct and separate peoples (obviously there would be some measure of interbreeding over time).

    The question is to what extent are the Palestinians indigenous to the region. Throughout history there have been an enormous number of immigrants to the region who came in on the backs of the various conquests, so I'd expect the Palestinians to have a great deal of DNA from Saudi Arabia, Persia and Egypt, among other places. On the other hand, for the Jews who migrated to Germany, Poland etc., a lack of interbreeding with the local populations could be a product both of their own racism and of the racism of those populations themselves. Pointing to the study you're citing here would be nice.
  13. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    And? There has been an historical Jewish presence in Israel for thousands of years: using your criteria above, are you willing to accept their claim to the same? You use the concepts of migration and residency quite freely to support your pre-conclusions.

    I have to stop you here. How is it known that the settlements are Bedouin/Palestinian? (Meaning in this sense, since I conclude that your argument is that Jewish people aren't indigenous, non-Jewish settlements.) Could you cite the remainder of the article that leads you to this conclusion? I can't access Geographical Review from my institution.

    Excuse me - again you have called all Jews racists. I don't believe this sub-forum is about that issue. And why "cosmopolitan"? What does "cosmopolitan" have to do with "Ancient Jewish"? Are the purported ancient Bedouin settlements also "cosmopolitan"?
  14. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Incidentally: how so? Starving people don't eat? That strikes me as a much greater assumption. The message you seem to be purveying here is that Jews of the ancient era were robots, unable to transgress any religious boundary even at the cost of their lives. :rolleyes:

    It really isn't a difficult question, Bells: people eat. They even eat things they're not 'supposed' to, socially. Barring that: you haven't considered for a second that the pig bones could have been used to 'descrate' the site. Romans were not known for their liberal-mindedness on military or social issues.

    Let's try to give the selective outrage a rest, okay? This isn't the subforum for this discussion.
  15. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Has there? Or is this another a priori "fact"?

    Whats the extra biblical evidence? And don't point me to Judeans and Israelites. Lets hear about the Jewish presence. How far back does the scientific evidence support it? While you're at it, lets hear your definition of Jew the criteria you use for determining how you know they have "a presence" of thousands of years in Palestine [there was no Israel before 1948]. In fact, whats the criteria used for sampling Jews for any of these studies?

    Israel Finklestein has written a book on characteristics of Bedouin settlements prior to sedenterisation. If you are interested, look it up. There was a BBC series or program on it. Billy T is the resident expert on the Negev Bedouins. From what I recall it was carbon dating of Bedouin graves. Maybe he knows more.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  16. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I notice, too, that the bodies at Masada were "mixed with" the bones of pigs:

    Ergo: undoubted desecration of their graves.

    Unless the opponents of the conventional Masada theory opine that the people there were eating pigs, and also humans, since their bones were mixed together? (OT: I'm certain Sam could find a reference for racist allegations of cannibalism against Jewish people if she tries hard enough.)

    I'd say this aspect of the debate is pretty much done. Again: barring the above, or explaining precisely why starving people wouldn't eat a pig, religious convictions to the contrary.
  17. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Whose graves? Were they graves? There were less than 25 skeletons. Did the Romans desecrate graves or is this another a priori fact for the hasbara industry? Is the presence of pig bones anywhere in Palestine a sign of grave desecration? Did the hundreds of martyrs shrink by a decimal point? And since Israel gave a state funeral to the pigs as Jewish martyrs are the descendents of those pigs included as sample Jews in these tribal studies?
  18. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    That's odd. I would have thought a person's place of rest "grave enough", really. I suppose that doesn't resonate with some people. Anyway: kind of a side-point, don't you think?

    I'm not sure what you mean: as a rule, or in specific cases? Seems quite likely to me, in a case of such enormous resistance. It fits well with the narrative.

    What is the "hasbara industry"? Is is relevant to this thread?

    I don't know. Seems unlikely, if they weren't fighting about it.

    Different topic. Do you suppose an army would leave hundreds of bodies to simply rot in piles on a mountaintop? Not the keenest military sense, you see.

    Not sure what kind of fallacy this would be, so I'll call it "general trolling".
  19. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Not really. I don't consider a pile of bones, human and porcine found in a cave, mixed together, as a burial site or grave.

    What narrative? There is no evidence and everyone agrees [at least everyone who reads logically and rationally] that there was no suicide at Masada and Josephus, the sole source of this fictional myth made up a lot of the "facts". Note that this stupendous event has no Roman narrative. They must have blinked and missed it.

    What do armies do with mass suicides and mass deaths during a mopping up operation? Throw them in caves with pigs?

    Why aren't the bones available for analysis? Why haven't they been carbon dated?

    And if they were reburied with pigs under the aegis of the chief rabbi, is the grave still desecrated? Or are these now Jewish pigs? :huh:

    I'm trying to identify sampling protocol for Jews. What is it?

    Although the idea of the Chief Rabbi of Israel reading funeral prayers in a full military funeral to pigs does have its funny side.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2010
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    No actually the question is why is it relevant? You live in Canada, how indigenous are you to the region? Where are you indigenous to?

    And how far does this determine your right to live there? The Palestinians already live there except for the 50% who are refugees denied the right of return after being forcibly evicted. They don't have to "prove" any archaic tribal right to live in their own land, in their own homes. The fact that they exhibit markers of neolithic ancestors originating in the Levant is simply a :blbl: to those who live by lebensraum.
  21. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Then you are taking an exceedingly foolish position.

    Argument to popularity. Who are these "everyone"?

    You seem now to pretend not to understand the term "descration".

    Who knows? Maybe you should write them? Which bones do you even mean?

    This is a fascinating study in intolerance and bigotry.

    Same comment as above, actually.
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    So Geoff the academic now adds desecration to the myth of Masada and finds it "intolerant" that I giggle at the State of Israel burying pigs as Jewish martyrs with prayers conducted by the Chief Rabbi. Note the utter silence on the subject which actually involves the science ie the age of the bones and the unscientific nature of witholding them from independent evaluation. I wonder how many of the skeletons are actually human.

    Let me know when you decide to share the scientific basis of your claims for the thousands of years of Jewish presence in Palestine and your sampling methods for selecting Jews.

    All I can say is hehe:D
  23. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    Yes: just a tiny bit bigoted, you see.

    Which you had until now to address.

    Same comment. Shall we now take this tack, since the other has proved unprofitable?

    I'll let you go ahead and find some kind of corroborating evidence. Things to do today.

    Edit: here. Try my study. I'm sure you'll find it tasty.

    Bonne chance, la-bas.

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