Thanks to the commentors for all the great info- especially for filling in the details I spaced on in the podcast about Abraham’s sons – Isaac and Ishmael.
Now here’s an interesting one, if a bit of a long shot. The first line of Moby Dick is the famous “Call me Ishmael.” The first mate on Ahab’s ship, the Pequod, is Starbuck, a very spiritual (or superstitious, says the book) man who objects to Ahab’s quest for revenge on the whale.
We know that Starbuck, like many other shipmates on BSG, is relatively religious;we see herkeeping statues of the lords of Kobol in her locker and praying a number of times. She has more than once objected to or diverged from Adama’s orders – like the Starbuck in Moby Dick, our Starbuck often stands tall and alone in her beliefs. Galactica itself is likewise a ship on a quest, perhaps not of vengeance, but definitely persuing a great enemy. If indeed there’s any connection in the show to Starbuck and Ishmael, perhaps the writers had in mind the humans’ polytheistic religion as one that was separated at some point in time from the Cylons’ monotheism, but from the same original source, just as Isaac and Ishmael did.