A rare disease that strikes three out of every million persons annually, may explain how David beat Goliath, says Ben-Gurion University neurologist, Professor Vladimir Berginer.
by Daniella Ashkenazy
The young David's victory over Goliath - felled with a stone to the forehead, then slain with his own sword and decapitated - has become not only a symbol of the triumph of the small over the mighty, but the subject of endless works of art. But the secret behind Goliath's downfall may be slightly more down-to-earth: severely impaired peripheral vision.
In Samuel I, Chapter 17 it is written: "And there went out a champion from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span." This is approximately three meters or 9'10" in today's measurements. "Such extreme height stems from only one malady - acromegaly," says Professor Vladimir Berginer of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
Acromegaly is a disorder that results in the production of excess growth hormone. The name "acromegaly" comes from the Greek words for "extremities" and "enlargement", and the disorder is often manifested in the abnormal growth of the hands and feet. Those afflicted with the disease before the normal growth spurts of childhood and adolescence, if not treated by medication, surgery or radiation, can grow unusually tall - a condition known as "gigantism". Adults who develop acromegaly can suffer from internal and external growth if left untreated.
But it was one of acromegaly's "side effects" that was the subject of lively media attention of late, including a four-page spread in the weekend magazine of the Hebrew daily Ha'aretz, after Professor Berginer suggested that Goliath suffered from the disease.
Professor Berginer, who has treated a number of patients with acromegaly, explains that it is a neuro-endecrinological ailment tied to the pituitary gland, which produces several important hormones controlling body functions such as reproduction and metabolism, as well as growth and development. Large benign tumors cause the gland to release large amounts of growth hormone, causing abnormal growth of the skeleton and other tissues. The malady can also trigger a host of other serious pathological symptoms - from hypertension to diabetes, enlarged organs, and even death - but impaired peripheral vision, better known as "tunnel vision", is one of acromegaly's outstanding traits.
If Goliath did indeed have acromegaly and suffered from tunnel vision, and young David approached the Philistine from the side - "in his blind spot" - he would not have been observed, Berginer theorizes. In short, David may have slung his shot at the giant Philistine before Goliath saw what hit him.
Professor Berginer's theory received substantiation from another source, of which the neurologist was unaware. Last year, The Times of London published a piece on advances in the treatment of acromegaly. The article also hypothesized that Goliath suffered from the disease, but added that beside "tunnel vision making it difficult for Goliath to see the stone coming from David's slingshot... in common with other sufferers of the condition, [Goliath] was probably abnormally weak and more likely to be felled by a single stone. As he was probably sweating and feeling nauseous - other symptoms of acromegaly - he would anyway have been in poor shape for a hand-to-hand combat," wrote The Times.
Professor Berginer emphasizes that his research does not diminish the heroic feat of David, who probably was not cognizant of Goliath's illness when he went forth to "face the Philistine". However, it does explain the outcome of the battle in the light of contemporary medical hindsight.
London is still trying to re-educate the world as if the brit had a brain in anceint times? the brit was not even spit on the wall during the times of chirist yet wish to convince the world they are a Holy Nation? of holy information---
i discount any and information coming euro sources that fail to identify Jesus as a dark skinned man...
if they cannot correct identify the skil color of jesus ---how do the expect us to believe in DNA