REVISING THE BRITANNICA
TO AGREE WITH THE BIBLE
(Investigator 38, 1994 September)
1994 April 18
310 South Michigan Ave
An Adelaide magazine called INVESTIGATOR (January 1992 No. 22; March
1992 No. 23) had articles about an alleged Britannica discrepancy.
The Micropedia entry "Cobra" in the 1988 edition says that cobras
respond to the movement of the snake charmer and that the charmer's
pipe plays at too high a frequency for snakes to hear. (3:415)
The Micropaedia article "SENSORY RECEPTION" (27 159) says that snakes
detect airborne sounds in the range 100-700 hertz.
INVESTIGATOR reproduced a letter from the High Commission of India
explaining that the instrument played by snake charmers is called a
"been" in Hindi and that its playing range is 250-500 hertz.
Subject to the loudness being adequate the cobra should therefore hear
the tune and (I expect) at least part of its response would be to the
According to INVESTIGATOR these matters were reported to the
Britannica editorial division. Yet upon examining the latest edition
I found the discrepancy still there.
May 25, 1994
Please excuse our delay in responding to your letter of 18 April
regarding an error in the Micropaedia entry "cobra".
Some time ago, the editors were informed of the need to revise the
entry, but it had not been possible to do so before now. The editor
responsible for the Micropaedia has scheduled the entry "cobra" for
revision next year. We appreciate your taking the time to contact us.
Stephen P Davis
"Anonymous" regularly supports the Bible with science in INVESTIGATOR
In No. 22 & No. 23 Anonymous used Psalm 58 in the Bible to argue
that snakes have internal ears and can hear.
This contradicted the centuries-long belief, supported in many
encyclopedias that the cobra is deaf and does not hear the snake