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Pests, Plagues & Politics Lecture 9 From Pharaohs to Salt Lake City Insects in Religion.

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Presentation on theme: "Pests, Plagues & Politics Lecture 9 From Pharaohs to Salt Lake City Insects in Religion."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pests, Plagues & Politics Lecture 9 From Pharaohs to Salt Lake City Insects in Religion

2 Key Points Insects as Gods –The sacred scarab –Beelzebub The sacred honey bee –What makes a social insect Insects in the Bible and the Koran Insects and Witchcraft

3 TIME - the 3 rd Millennium When did it begin?When did it begin? –>1999?? –>2000?? An argument created byAn argument created by –DIONYSIUS EXIGUSS –6 th century monk who proposed calculating a calendar based on the birth of Christ. –Not widely adopted until the 9 th century FYI: in Buddhist countries it is now the year 2553FYI: in Buddhist countries it is now the year 2553

4 Insects as Gods Insects as gods in METAPHOR –a figure of speech in which one thing is compared to another. The Sacred Scarab Beetle of the Pharaohs –vin 4,500 BP What s a scarab??

5 What s a Scarab?? ColeopteraColeoptera –family Scarabaeidae a large group of beetles, with >1,280 species in North America alone.a large group of beetles, with >1,280 species in North America alone. [ When the British biologist Haldane was asked what he had learned about God from studying evolution, his reply was :][ When the British biologist Haldane was asked what he had learned about God from studying evolution, his reply was :]

6 God must have an inordinate fondness for beetles.God must have an inordinate fondness for beetles.

7 Scarabs Numerous species of scarabs make a living out of dung & therefore have been given the common name dung beetles

8 Dung Beetle Life History Female collects dungFemale collects dung Molds it into a ballMolds it into a ball Rolls it over the ground to a burrowRolls it over the ground to a burrow –male may help Oviposits into dungOviposits into dung Stays with brood in underground chamber until her deathStays with brood in underground chamber until her death With the next rainy season, the new generation emergesWith the next rainy season, the new generation emerges

9 Dung Beetles To ancient (Pharaonic) Egyptians these beetles were considered sacred.To ancient (Pharaonic) Egyptians these beetles were considered sacred. A mummy-shaped pupa which emerges from a sphere: many metaphors!!A mummy-shaped pupa which emerges from a sphere: many metaphors!! Scarabs are holometabolous, ergo:Scarabs are holometabolous, ergo: –mummy-like pupae = the dead –dungball = the present life –emergence of new beetle from pupae = entrance to the afterlife (resurrection)

10 Sacred Scarabs I am the master of Eternity, ordering how I am fated, the Great Beetle I am the master of Eternity, ordering how I am fated, the Great Beetle –Book of the Dead The god RE, a.k.a. Kheper or Khepri, was represented with the body of a human and the head of a scarab.

11 Egyptian Beetle Hieroglyphs

12 Osirian Judgement Osirus : God of the Underworld & Judge of the Dead. Heart of the dead was removed and weighed to judge a good life or a bad life. Often the heart was removed and replaced with a scarab.

13 Beelzebub a.k.a. The Lord of the Flies A god of the Philistine city of Ekron in ancient Palestine. Representative of the 5 th deadly sin: GLUTTONY

14 Beelzebub s Mythological Form

15 Insects as sacred objects William Morton WheelerWilliam Morton Wheeler –20th century entomologist - discussing honey bees … a divine being, a prime favorite of the gods, that had somehow survived the golden age or had voluntarily escaped from the Garden of Eden with poor fallen man for the purpose of sweetening his bitter lot.

16 Insects as sacred objects George SantayanaGeorge Santayana –American philosopher (LIFE OF REASON) The human race, in its intellectual life, is organized like the bees: the masculine soul is a worker, sexually atrophied, & essentially dedicated to impersonal and universal arts; the female (soul) is a queen, infinitely fertile, omnipresent in its brooding industry, but passive & abounding in intuitions without method and passions, without justice.

17 Why use bees as a metaphor? HUMANS are SOCIALHUMANS are SOCIAL HONEY BEES are SOCIALHONEY BEES are SOCIAL Honey bees:Honey bees: –familial organizations with MOTHER widowedwidowed –Kings (males) –Daughters (usually sexually repressed)(usually sexually repressed) –Sons (slovenly & sexual automatons)(slovenly & sexual automatons)

18 What are the requisites for sociality in the INSECT world? 1) REPRODUCTIVE DIVISION OF LABOR 2) COOPERATIVE BROOD CARE BY SIBLINGS 3) OVERLAP OF GENERATIONS It is an error to use insect sociality as a metaphor!!!

19 Who are the social insects?? Found in two ordersFound in two orders HYMENOPTERAHYMENOPTERA all ant speciesall ant species –( one ant ain t ) ca. 10% of bee speciesca. 10% of bee species ca. 10% of wasp speciesca. 10% of wasp species ISOPTERAISOPTERA –all termites species {also naked mole rats & a species of coral shrimp}

20 Honey Bees & bee products as icons. Icon : an image, a figure, a likeness, often as a sacred image. Pharanoic Egypt –bees & honey arise from the tears of RA Ancient Greece & Rome –a bee landing on the mouth of a new borne foretells a great philosopher or poet Plato - Sophocles - Xenophon - Virgil - St. Ambrose - St. Basis - the Bishop of Caesarea

21 Honey Bees & bee products as icons Milk & HONEY a constituent part of communion. –No longer so for the RCC, but still in effect in the Coptic & Ethiopian CC St. Gregory (Pope from AD) – When the grace of the Holy Spirit bathes us, it fills us with honey & butter equally. Honey falls from above **, butter is drawn from the milk of animals, so honey is from the air, butter from the flesh.

22 Honey: perhaps the 1 st & last food of Christ. Isaiah 7: – Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son & shall call his name Emanuel. Butter & honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse evil, & choose the good. Luke 24: 42 – Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of boiled fish & of a honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. [dont do what Isaiah recommended]

23 Saint Ambrose Bishop of Milan AD AD - one of the four - one of the four Latin Fathers Latin Fathers - Patron Saint of - Patron Saint of Beekeeping Beekeeping

24 Let then your work be as it were a honeycomb, for virginity is fit to be compared to bees, so laborious it is, so modest, so continent. The bee feeds on dew, it knows no marriage couch, it makes honey. The virgin s dew is the divine word, for the words of God descend like the dew. The virgin s modesty is unstained nature. The virgin s produce is the fruit of the lips, without bitterness, abounding in sweetness. They work in common their fruit is in common. [ can you see the hand of Aristotle in all of this?]

25 Beeswax as sacred Catholic Encyclopedia – …beeswax is to be regarded as typifying in the most appropriate way the flesh of Christ born of a virgin mother. The wick of a beeswax candle symbolizes Jesus soul, and the flame the divinity which absorbs & dominates both. y. –this idea of virginity of beeswax was first promulgated in the 11 th century.

26 Martin Luther The Great Reformer UBI MEL, IBI FEL Where the is honey, there is bile.

27 De Roomsche Byen-korf by Philips of Marnix

28 Pope blesses evolution – The theory of evolution (is) more than a hypothesis. – The theory of evolution (is) more than a hypothesis –Humani Genesis granted the notion that evolution is a serious hypothesis.granted the notion that evolution is a serious hypothesis. Science (1996) 1 Nov. vol. 274, p. 717.Science (1996) 1 Nov. vol. 274, p. 717.

29 Insects in the Bible Old & New Testaments possess 120 insect references.Old & New Testaments possess 120 insect references. –Orthoptera34 ref. –Worms & Caterpillars34 ref. –Moths11 ref. –Flies 9 ref. –Bees & Hornets 8 ref. –{scorpions}10 ref.

30 Biblical Plagues Exodus 8: 24Exodus 8: 24 – The Lord sent great swarms of flies into the king s palace & the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was brought to ruin by the flies. – The Lord sent great swarms of flies into the king s palace & the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was brought to ruin by the flies.

31 Possibly misconstrued Isaiah 66: 24Isaiah 66: 24 – And they shall go forth & look upon the carcasses of men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched: they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. – And they shall go forth & look upon the carcasses of men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched: they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh. Mark 9: 44Mark 9: 44 – Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. – Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. { T. Rosebury, MICROBES & MORALS says perhaps not entomological }

32 Selected Biblical favorites ProverbsProverbs6:6 Go to the ant thou sluggard Go to the ant thou sluggard consider her ways and be wise. consider her ways and be wise. 30: 25 The ants are a people not strong, The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer. yet they prepare their meat in the summer. 30: 27 The locusts have no king, yet The locusts have no king, yet they go forth all of them by bands. they go forth all of them by bands.

33 The BUG Bible The CLOVERDALE translationThe CLOVERDALE translation –prepared in England for Henry the VIII in 1535 Psalms 91: 5Psalms 91: 5 – Thou shalt not nede to be afrayed of eny bugges by night. – Thou shalt not nede to be afrayed of eny bugges by night. But these are NOT entomological bugsBut these are NOT entomological bugs –referring to demons & devils such as Beelzebub, who is also known as the Lord of the Flies.

34 Insects of the Koran Chapter 16Chapter 16 –Titled THE BEE –Titled THE BEE –verse 68: Your Lord inspired the bee, saying Build your homes in the mountains, in the trees, and in the hives which men shall make for you. Feed on every kind of fruit & follow the trodden paths of your Lord. Your Lord inspired the bee, saying Build your homes in the mountains, in the trees, and in the hives which men shall make for you. Feed on every kind of fruit & follow the trodden paths of your Lord. –verse 69: From its belly comes forth a fluid of many hues, a medicinal drink for man. Surely in this there is a sign for those who would give thought. From its belly comes forth a fluid of many hues, a medicinal drink for man. Surely in this there is a sign for those who would give thought.

35 Insects of the Koran Mohammed the Prophet ( AD)Mohammed the Prophet ( AD) –quoted as saying: Honey is a remedy for every illness, & the Koran is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Koran and Honey. Honey is a remedy for every illness, & the Koran is a remedy for all illness of the mind, therefore I recommend to you both remedies, the Koran and Honey.

36 Insects of the Koran GnatsGnats –used as an example of a low creature that, while deserving disdain is not shunned by God. LocustsLocusts –a rehash of the old Testament BeesBees –as before mentioned AntsAnts –Chapter 17 of the Koran is titled The Ants –Chapter 17 of the Koran is titled The Ants accounts Solomon waging war against Egyptaccounts Solomon waging war against Egypt

37 Entomology & the LDS Original name proposed for Utah was DESERETOriginal name proposed for Utah was DESERET = honey bee according to the Book of Mormon

38 Honey Bees & Buddhism An elephant named PalilighaAn elephant named Paliligha

39 The Mayan Empire

40 Mayan Bee God Ahu Lib Cab

41 Stingless Bees Nang Mai Tree

42 Guazzo, an Italian priest who, in 1626, authored this rather unusual book

43 Insects & Witchcraft From COMPENDIUM MALEFICARUMFrom COMPENDIUM MALEFICARUM –That classic book of intolerance by Brother Francesco Mario Guazzo Witches (are) obligated, as instructed by the devil, to wrought fresh evil, such as, infesting trees & fruit with locusts, caterpillars, butterflies, canker-worms & such pestilent vermin, for all this we know from the confessions of witches. Witches (are) obligated, as instructed by the devil, to wrought fresh evil, such as, infesting trees & fruit with locusts, caterpillars, butterflies, canker-worms & such pestilent vermin, for all this we know from the confessions of witches.

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46 Insects & Witchcraft Numerous insects were felt to be representatives of the devil (evil)Numerous insects were felt to be representatives of the devil (evil) –Black Bees –Lice –Flies –And especially crickets maintained as bottle impsmaintained as bottle imps to be fed and released at appropriate times.to be fed and released at appropriate times.

47 Key Points Insects as Gods –The sacred scarab –Beelzebub The sacred honey bee –What makes a social insect Insects in the Bible and the Koran Insects and Witchcraft

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