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Hereditary Deafness on Martha’s Vineyard

What constitutes a disability? Most of us would say it’s the lack of one or more physical powers. But perhaps “disability” is a subjective term. Perhaps it is more dependent on society than on the individual. For more than two hundred and fifty years, the population of Martha’s Vineyard experienced a phenomenal incidence of congenital deafness. In the nineteenth century, and probably before then, the incidence was more than thirty-five times the national average. How did they cope with such an onslaught of disabled persons? Did they build separate schools and separate institutions...

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The Jesus Family Tomb 3FU9ZFU3KUK4

In 2002, the existence of a first century ossuary was made public. Inscribed with the words, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus, the news generated great excitement, along with a fair bit of scepticism. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) stepped in, subjected the ossuary to a number of tests and declared the inscription to be a forgery. The sceptics were proven right ... or were they? Normally, this would have been the end of the story. However, in 1980 a tomb had been discovered in the Jerusalem suburb of Talpiot, appropriately named the Talpiot Tomb. Ten ossuaries were found inside...

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