Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Questions on Evolution

So 3-year-old Sari came up with the same question that many scientists puzzle over. It all came about when she was "breast-feeding" her baby doll. She asked me why her buttons (that's a term she came up with on her own when I used to feed Ada. If Ada started crying, she would run to me and tell me to feed her buttons) are small. I told her that when she's old enough to be a Mommy and feed real babies, they would grow. She turned to Dovid and asked why his buttons were small. He explained that only mommies make milk to feed their babies. And then came the question: "So why do daddies have buttons?" (skip halfway down)


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Perhaps to more easily allow for miracles.

The Gemara in Shabbat (53b) describes a man whose wife died, leaving him no way to provide nurishment to his infant child. (He was too poor to pay someone to nurse the infant).

A miracle happened to him; he grew breasts and he was able to nurse his child.

Anonymous said...

There is a book titled "Why Do Men Have Nipples? Hundreds of Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini" by Mark Leyner (you can buy it from amazon). He actually says that in utero both the male and femaile start out developing the same and then when the sexual organs start forming the breast in the male stops its development - or something like that - I'm not really a science buff. And the reason I found this out was also in response to my kids questions. They think up the most interesting things, thing that make you stop and go, "you know I never thought of that?" Aren't kids refreshing?


Ari said...

anonymous is basically right and it has nothing to do with evolution. nobody can say this proves that males came from females because they also have to say birds, both male and female, came before mammals and birds don't have nipples!
embryos have structures for both male and female. if it's going to be a boy then the boy parts take over and hormones prevent the girl parts from taking over. it's probably more efficient this way, to have one system that can turn into 2 similar structures instead of 2 completely different systems. I'll give you an example. let's say you wanted to draw a face. you could do it the hard way and first draw a curvy line that copies the face exactly. Or you can draw a circle and tinker with that shape. that's easier and you need fewer instructions.
also note that Adam was originally created both male and female and Hashem removed the female part to form chava. (See Bereishis Midrash Says page 38) so we see the embryo is like that too.