July 3, 2012 1:56 PM Subscribe
Looking for sources for the idea that turtles affect the formation of their offspring inside the egg by means of contemplation.
posted by Paquda to religion & philosophy (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm reading a treatise in Hebrew called 'Pirkei Moshe' by Moses Narboni
, who lived in France in the 1300s. In a discussion of how a prophet's contemplation can effect a change in reality, he cites as a parallel phenomenon the fact that turtles contemplate their eggs and thereby draw the embryos developing inside towards their final form.
Has anyone ever encountered an idea like this in medieval science, mythology, folk beliefs, or any other field?
Note: It's possible I'm mis-reading aspects of the passage. The word I'm assuming means turtle is טרטרוגא. I am using a text edited by Colette Sirat and available here: pdf
. Sirat's footnote (#22) on the passage says she could not find a medieval source for the idea.