The Jewish voice of reason

| 21 Comments

Jewish voices of reason have joined in criticizing Intelligent Design. In Jews eye ‘intelligent design’ hearings

“It doesn’t seem to me that intelligent design theory really lives up to scientific standards. Having said that, I don’t think science is the ultimate explanation of our world. Science is an elaborate conceptual game, but it’s not the only game.” “I believe in intelligent design,” said Rabbi Mark Levin of the Reform Congregation Beth Torah. “But it isn’t science; it’s theology.” The rabbi said he believes in a divine intelligence behind the creation of the world and its natural laws. And yet he sees the attempt to introduce the notion of “intelligent design” into schools as one that breaches the constitutional principle of separation of church and state. “It is clearly objectionable to teach theology as though it is science,” said Rabbi Levin, “because … it misinforms children and introduces religious faith into the public school system under the guise of science.”

The local Jewish perspective on this topic extends nationally as well.

Judy Hellman, special projects coordinator of the Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee, said the local agency follows the AJCommittee’s national position on the issue.

Although some Jews are still confused by the concept of evolutionary science and claim that it issimilar to teaching atheism. Nadler, unfamiliar perhaps with the scientific evidence states

Advancements in the field of genetics, he said, are leading to the conclusion that man “did not descend from the Neanderthal or the great ape.”

Nadler also argues:

Nadler waved away any concern by Jewish parents that their children might be taught a Christian-inflected view of creation in future Kansas science classrooms. “I’m a private-school advocate,” he said. “If you are concerned that Jewish kids are going to be educated in non-Jewish ways, send them to a Jewish school.”

Hear hear. If you want your children to be taught intelligent design, send them to an appropriate religiously oriented private school.

21 Comments

Didn’t anyone pay attention to Mustafa Akyol? Evolution is apparently a Jewish conspiracy.

That article was not a major endorsement of science by the Rabbinate. We too often overlook that there are radical conservative Jews just as creationist as the radical conservative Christians, and radical conservative Muslims. Since they all want to kill each other, it is a shame we could not oblige them.

Wait! Isn’t all science a Jewish conspiracy!?

That article was not a major endorsement of science by the Rabbinate. We too often overlook that there are radical conservative Jews just as creationist as the radical conservative Christians, and radical conservative Muslims. Since they all want to kill each other, it is a shame we could not oblige them.

There is, after all, Lee Spetner – the guy who made the original argument that Archaeopteryx was a fake, and now wastes his time peddling ID drivel.

Gary Hurd Wrote:

That article was not a major endorsement of science by the Rabbinate. We too often overlook that there are radical conservative Jews just as creationist as the radical conservative Christians, and radical conservative Muslims. Since they all want to kill each other, it is a shame we could not oblige them.

Oh, don’t I wish. When that “happy day” comes, I speak for all level-headed and rational Christians when I say good riddance to the whole bloody lot of them.

I’m glad that my [former] co-religionists are being painted in a good light here but to be honest, neither of the quotes from the rabbis are at all surprising.

Levin is a Reform rabbi - Reform is the most progressive of the Jewish movements in the US and would be very unlikely to have a problem with evolution. Various Reform rabbis have signed NCSE pledges supporting evolution teaching.

The other rabbi, Margolies, represents a Conservative synagogue - this is the Anglican church of the Jewish world, quite happy to co-exist with modernity.

I notice there’s no quote from an Orthodox rabbi. He might have a different view.

Why do you presume that Jews are more reasonable than others? If I were less ashamed, I would tell you about what my daughters are learning in school. My hope is that they are intelligent enough to pass their exams and forget it all.

I am not presuming anything other than pointing out that manyt religious people recognize that ID is a religious argument. I recently talked to a Christian friend of mine, a professor in Biology at a Christian University who remarked that he thought ID was deceptive since it was pretending to be a science when it so obviously was not.

I realize it does not take a Jew, Christian or any other reasonable person to recognize this, even ID proponents are less inhibited in their arguments when facing a religious audience, but I find it refreshening when such admissions are publically disseminated.

I notice there’s no quote from an Orthodox rabbi. He might have a different view.

My favorite Jewish joke goes like this:

“A radio talk show on religious topics once had three rabbies a reform, a conservative, and an orthodox. The question for the day was “What is a Jew.”

The orthodox rabbi went first, “I am a Jew. I am not sure of these other two.”

The various ideological stances one finds inside Christianity can be found inside Islam or Christianity—heck, in Sri Lanka, there are even fundmentalist Buddhists and the genial Tibetans come across like tolerant, amused Anglicans. The real-world tendencies of the various denominations reflect contemporary cultural and political issues rather than eternal debates. Which is why an American TV preacher, a Shinto nationalist, and Islamic traditionalist have more in common with one another than with progressive or moderate members of their own faiths. What the historican Jeffery Herf called “Reactionary Modernism” in a book of the same name, is truly ecumenical.

Actually there is a quote from an Orthodox rabbi:

Rabbi David Fine of the Orthodox Congregation Beth Israel Abraham and Voliner said his thoughts on the debate are best summed up quoting Alan Mittleman, director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary:

“It doesn’t seem to me that intelligent design theory really lives up to scientific standards. Having said that, I don’t think science is the ultimate explanation of our world. Science is an elaborate conceptual game, but it’s not the only game.”

So, while this particular Orthodox rabbi wanted to remind us that science doesn’t deal with the subjects of religion, he doesn’t want IDC taught as science. This is no surprise - the struggle isn’t between belief and nonbelief, it’s between the fundies (of whatever denomination) and the real world.

“We too often overlook that there are radical conservative Jews just as creationist as the radical conservative Christians, and radical conservative Muslims.  Since they all want to kill each other, it is a shame we could not oblige them.”

“Oh, don’t I wish. When that “happy day” comes, I speak for all level-headed and rational Christians when I say good riddance to the whole bloody lot of them.”

“the struggle isn’t between belief and nonbelief, it’s between the fundies (of whatever denomination) and the real world.”

__________________________

No, it’s between the fundies of proselytizing religions like Christianity and Islam and the real world. Jews, in general, could care less about forcefully imposing their own beliefs on other people.

And please note that in Israel, despite the growing divide between orthodox and secular populations, science education and evolution curriculum is not a national issue.

So I think if we just let the fundamental Christians and Muslims kill each other, as one poster suggested above, but let the orthodox Jews stick around, the world would actually be just fine. (That is, until some other large proseltyzing force, secular or religous, decided that the Jews should be exterminated.)

Invigilator Wrote:

Wait! Isn’t all science a Jewish conspiracy!?

We can thank [insert your God here] that Hitler thought so.…at least with respect to nuclear physics.…otherwise the Nazis might have built the atomic bomb before the Americans.

“So I think if we just let the fundamental Christians and Muslims kill each other, as one poster suggested above, but let the orthodox Jews stick around, the world would actually be just fine. (That is, until some other large proseltyzing force, secular or religous, decided that the Jews should be exterminated.)”

uh, that would be the winner of the crusades.

“uh, that would be the winner of the crusades.”

And when can we expect a winner?

Hey, I’m Czech - if I remember my history lessons correctly, we had a crusade waged against us in 15th century and we won.

“And when can we expect a winner?”

I have no idea; ask GW, he might know.

“I have no idea; ask GW, he might know.”

Bush isn’t the one ridding the land of Jews and trying to re-estabish a medeival, fundamentalist caliphate in the Middle East. That would be the other guys…

I didn’t say he was, only that he might know.

“..re-estabish a medeival, fundamentalist caliphate in the Middle East”

no, he’s trying to do that here instead. that’s why i thought he might know.

btw, before this gets too far, you do of course realize i’m just being silly, right?

I’m devoutly Jewish, and I see absolutely no conflict between my faith and science. Neither do most Jews I know. The rabbi at my (Conservative) synagogue frequently says that the Torah is not a science textbook, and this is the official position of the Conservative Movement. Except for the ultra-Orthodox, Biblical literalism, especially in matters of science and nature, is extremely rare among Jews.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by PvM published on May 8, 2005 3:15 PM.

Kansas Citizens for Science was the previous entry in this blog.

Vacuity of ID: Dembski: Vast Ignorance and Trifling Understanding is the next entry in this blog.

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