The other possibility is the one given by Jar regarding other Biblical stories. There are plenty of these kinds of inconsistencies in the Bible. Those mixups might well result from the stories being told over and over again by different people.
Sure. I think we should expect some mix-ups and convolutions and things like that, although, on the other hand, if we're talking about the direct word of God then you'd think that stuff wouldn't be there.
The truth of the matter is that it really does not matter much how the sheep gained their color.
Yeah, not so much for the bigger picture, but I think the author did think that you really could affect the offspring with the environment.
What matters is that the result was supernatural.
Here's where I disagree. The story, itself, describes it as a natural process using pieces of wood.
And that's why I brought it up for the literalists, because the natural process it describes is now known to be wrong.
Quite frankly, marc9000's belief that the breeding was natural and not supernatural makes Jacob even more of a trickster.
I don't think making Jacob a trickster is a problem for him.
I'm not sure why he prefers it.
He's trying to maintain a literally inerrant Bible.