So you try again and say that a whale is a behemah, not a dag. You explain that you’re not an idiot, that in fact all kinds of animals have things called genes, and the genes of a whale are much closer to those of the other behemah than those of the dag.Solomon says he’s never heard of these gene things before, and that maybe genetics is involved in your weird foreign words “fish” and “mammal”, but dag are just finned creatures that swim in the sea, and behemah are just legged creatures that walk on the Earth. “Silliest internet atheist argument” is a hotly contested title, but I have a special place in my heart for the people who occasionally try to prove Biblical fallibility by pointing out whales are not a type of fish.(this is going to end up being a metaphor for something, so bear with me) The argument goes like this. But the Bible says Jonah got swallowed by a big fish. The first problem here is that “whale” is just our own modern interpretation of the Bible.You can get a reputation as a daring and original thinker just by copy-pasting it at different arguments with a couple of appropriate words substituted for one another, mad-libs like.It is the solution to something like 25% of extant philosophical problems.
Solomon says you didn’t even know the word dag ten minutes ago, and now suddenly you think you know what it means better than he does, who has been using it his entire life?So please (he continues) keep going about how whales have little tiny hairs.It’s easy to see that Solomon has a point, and that if he wants to define behemah as four-legged-land-dwellers that’s his right, and no better or worse than your definition of “creatures in a certain part of the phylogenetic tree”.So the Bible seems to think whales are just big fish. For all we know, Jonah was swallowed by a really really really big herring.The second problem is that if the ancient Hebrews want to call whales a kind of fish, let them call whales a kind of fish.