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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Froborr
    November 3, 2015 @ 12:36 pm

    This is a good piece, but one niggle: the question of whether religious food prohibitions have their origin in public health concerns is controversial at best. There isn’t really any evidence that (for example) the pig-eating neighbors of ancient Jews had lower life expectancies or worse health, and AFAIK pigs aren’t any more or less likely to carry parasites in the Middle East than in Europe, or Polynesia for that matter.

    Most likely, religious food prohibitions have always served the same purpose as they do now, as a ritual means of defining and enforcing an in-group.


    • Elizabeth Sandifer
      November 3, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

      I don’t think the public health concerns need to be framed in terms of evidence-based medicine. The objection in Islamic and Jewish law was the same as the practical prohibition in India: these were unclean and unsafe animals. That’s clearly a public health function, however accurate the science behind it.


    • David Brain
      November 4, 2015 @ 6:07 am

      I think I’m with Phil on this one. For instance, the classic one that is trotted out about the Israelites and Leviticus is the “ban” on seafood, especially shellfish.
      Well, to be honest, if I was a member of a nomadic race that was travelling through a desert with no access to modern refrigeration techniques, I’d stay away from shellfish too.

      Whilst there are certainly injunctions that exist to enforce the tribalism, the food ones (and, to be fair, a lot of the sex ones too) don’t appear to be such; they really do appear to be early attempts at public health education.


  2. plutoniumboss
    November 3, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

    The Islam bashing is getting old, for sure. It’s ever “Mosaic religion”, or “monotheism.” Just Islam. And no examination of the history behind the Mediterranean decline, nope.

    I anxiously await Ann Coulter’s suggestion to just kill ’em all and convert them to atheism, for Confucianism.

    We’re gearing up for a war, and this is the de-humanization process. And its not just us plebes. There are five or six leading leftist intellectuals I could name, who should know better, but are bored, for lack of a better term, and think war is fun


  3. Jake Wilson
    November 4, 2015 @ 3:38 am

    “…it kills us with a perverse parody of the basic logic of capitalism.”

    This is, of course, the equation at the heart of Breaking Bad, where the reference to “veggie bacon” in the pilot now looks weirdly prescient. Terrific piece.


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