Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Is Darwin Kosher?

Intelligent design cognoscenti insist no one can accept the evidence for evolution and still retain their faith. Evolution, they believe, is nothing more -- and nothing less -- than an atheist plot against God.

However, just as the evidence -- both molecular and fossil -- proves the ID gurus wrong on common descent, the millions who see absolutely no contradiction between evolution and religious belief likewise strongly suggest they're also wrong about the supposed contradiction between science and faith.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal that asks "Is Darwin Kosher?" Evan R. Goldstein writes about the ease with which Modern Orthodox Jews have embraced science. The official line of the Modern Orthodox rabbinical association, writes Goldstein, is that "evolution is entirely consistent with Judaism."

Why do these believers find it so easy to combine traditional faith and values with modern science while many Christian fundamentalists see science and secularism as an assault on their faith?

One answer, writes Goldstein, may be the "towering intellectual legacy of Moses Maimonides," whose 12th-century masterpiece, Guide to the Perplexed, "opened the door to a Judaism unfettered by a literal reading of religious texts."

The real battle over evolution is not between secularists and those who profess their faith in God, but between those who insist on a literal reading of Genesis and those who are open to the evidence of the natural world.


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