Why didn't you approve my question?
Beware Of Gerald Schroeder
Posted 03 August 2014 - 09:39 PM
I found what I was looking for. Rambam in Moreh nevuchim 2:25 says that if it was actually proven that the world was eternal (steady state theory), he would have no problem explaining Bereishis according to this.
Yet, even a few chapters later, he states that it is apikorsus to believe this.
Now, it's possbile i misunderstood, but i dont think so. I think the situations are paraellel.
Both primordial earth and evolution were meant to try and explain away the world without resorting to Hashem, as Rav Shapiro has said. I have personally seen this being the motivation for many people. And so the whole thing is rooted in apikorsus. That's why we see, people who subscribe to it are usually willing to go much further, interpreting this as allegory and that as a mistake, whatever it takes to not feel embarassed or like "those radicals".
SO I think it's that even if some ideas might be explainable, the construct they are part of is bad.
Posted 20 August 2014 - 09:31 PM
But while many evolutionary biologists might be atheists, there are plenty who believe in God. Evolution doesn't really have much to do with theology. It's just a way of understanding how lifeforms came to exist. It doesn't deal with why they exist. That's theology. So the religious convictions of any particular biologist are irrelevant to the legitimacy of evolution.
As for the proofs of evolution, there are really a ton of reasons why it is true. I don't really want to list each one, because I don't think that it will accomplish much. I'm not really looking for a response to the evidence for evolution, but rather why it is an unacceptable belief. I was recently learning Ralbag on the Torah and it is amazing the way he reads the pesukim. He really tries to avoid any unnatural explanation of biblical events. I don't understand why we can't accept evolution, considering that great Rabbis such as Rav Hirsch did not write it off as heresy.
Posted 11 September 2014 - 08:47 PM
From what i've seen (written by both/various sides), the evidence isnt as clear as it seems, and i'm sure we could go through them and find sources and objections and counterclaims etc, but that's not the point. People very rarely take up or change major beliefs based on proof and logic. That's not how people work. TI've met many Jews, religious and not, who belive in evolution completely, and every one had the same basic mentality. That to go aginst the grain pf secular society would be "fanatical" "weird" "stupid" etcetra. I'm sure there are exceptions, but all those i've gotten to know are focused on how they appear to the outside world. And any view the secular world has, they try to jump on. To varying extents, not just MO. It feels more like a desire to seem intelligent and be respected, seperate from the "ignorant religious" protrayed in media. The pattern can be seen in most of what they agree and disagree with. Again, there are exceptions. But that mindset is one major problem with evolution. It leads to the mentality or us vs. them, and the us doesn't include Rav Chaim shlita and the like.
A secondary problem is, those who accept evolution don't stop there. It's not explaining how evolution works in light of the Torah but, reinterpet the Torah in light of curent evolutionary theory, with whatever adjustments come along. And then more adjustment and allegorizing for other theories. and for other morals. If you've looked at old apologetics on this and similar topics, you'll notice this theme. Their entirely objective interpretations change based on current beliefs. Once science/archaology/psychologists find like what we orignally said, they change back. (though I've seen some refuse to do so, and only then claim science or whatever is wrong and were right originally, out of embarassment)
But the main problem, as stated, is that the whole purpose behind the evolutionary theory is to deny a Creator. Later on they convince themselves, but the real motivation is clear if you read the wording carefully. This alone makes it far wose than a mere problematic theory.
So let's say you find a Torah source that, completely objectively, indicates animals evolved or whatever. Maybe you can follow it, maybe not, i dont know. But not to consider it evolution. An explanation of their evidence, maybe, but not support.
Posted 12 September 2014 - 02:03 PM
1 ) Some people might believe in evolution because it goes with the mainstream opinion. But this has nothing to do with its legitimacy as a scientific theory. I don't care if most believe it to fit in. If the theory is correct, it is correct, regardless of why people believe it.
2) Great Rabbis have reinterpreted the Torah to fit with different ideas. The Ralbag very often reinterprets pesukim to fit his rational. Shemesh B'givon and crossing the Yarden are two examples that come to mind. The Ibn Ezra have interprets some pesukim in some shocking ways, like in Bereishis 12:6 "V'hacanani az ba'aretz".
3) Again, there are countless God fearing scientists who believe in evolution. Why are you so sure that acceptance of evolution goes with Atheism? I believe in both God and evolution. It's possible.
Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:17 PM
1) Whether the ideas contained in it would be valid on their own isn't what we're discussing. To look at it the other way around, lhavidil, it would be like, after discovering the universe is expanding, scientist jumped onto Bereishis, and just took out Hashem. Even if, for arguments sake, the ideas within are valid, the theory as a whole runs counter to Judaism, and is meant to do so.
2) Their interpretations were based on solid sources and reasoning. The things people say today shove absolutely anything they feel the need to into pesukim, never saying anything is irreconcilable.
3 Because that was the entire reason behind it, and is still the driving force. Theistic evoltuionisnts are routinely criticized and derided, and often have difficulty getting decent positions or getting their papers published due to this.
Posted 22 March 2015 - 06:16 PM
It has been a while since my last post, but i have some thoughts and questions I'd like to address.
Rav Hirsch was presented with a fact that the current theory of biology is that humans descended from earlier life forms. As evidenced by his writings, he had not problem with that. Illustrious scientists such as Kenneth R. Miller, John Haught, George Coyne, Denis Alexander, Simon Conway Morris, Francisco J. Ayala, and Francis Collins all are God fearing scientists who accept Evolution. There is not contradiction between believing in God and accepting evolution. They are not "routinely criticized and derided, and often have difficulty getting decent positions or getting their papers published due to this" Look up any of them. They are all published and esteemed scientists who both believe that God created the world and that evolution took place.
To address you point that Rav Hirsch and others "were based on solid sources and reasoning", what reasoning did they use? It seems to me that they were aware of developments in modern biology, and reinterpreted Pesukim to fit what they believed.
I hope to hear back soon,