=1 "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live"

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“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”*

For almost a million years this was one of the most powerful laws of genetic selection for mankind.

The witch was a human being with extrasensory perception. Primates, with the exception of man, can read thought. Even a dog, as soon as he sees you, knows about your state of health, whether or not you have eaten or are in a good humour, and whether you are taking him for a walk. Man, in order to know as much, has to ask questions, because he long ago decided to eliminate that faculty of spontaneous understanding in favour of spoken language. Telepathy was bred out: man became loquacious and a gossip. The big apes fell silent, not because they are too stupid to learn a language, but because they are too intelligent to need it. (Intellegere means ‘to read inside’.)

But in spite of witch hunts, man's position concerning extrasensory perception remained ambiguous. Either he worshipped the witch as a saint or priestess (French sage femme), or he put her to death if she failed to measure up to his expectations. In either case she was prevented from procreating.

* Exodus 22:18

See also