The Heresy of Nosson Slifkin

That's the title of <a href=>the cover story</a> of the October 2005 issue of the Jewish magazine <a href=>Moment</a>. Nosson Slifkin is an orthodox rabbi living in Israel. His heresy - surprise! - was defending the theory of evolution.

Here's a brief excerpt:

[The voice on the phone] informed Slifkin that four prestigious rabbis had opened his “Torah Universe” series and found three of its four books to contain heresy. Two of the volumes centered on animal-related issues: The Camel, the Hare and the Hyrax discussed the kosher traits of animals that do not appear in the Torah, while Mysterious Creatures debunked the existence of mythical beasts---including mermaids, phoenixes and unicorns---that are discussed in the Talmud. The rabbis were especially troubled by The Science of Torah, a book that focused on Darwinism and the age of the universe. The man on the phone informed Slifkin that he had until the end of the day to retract his books. If he didn't, the charge would be made public and other prominent rabbis would join the campaign against him.

Slifkin subsequently found himself losing speaking engagements. Jewish libraries were pulling his books off the shelves, and his publisher halted publication of his books.

I may be an atheist, but I am also Jewish. As such, I am deeply ashamed that some of my fellow Jews are capable of such insanity. I have provided further excerpts and commentary <a href=>in this post</a> at EvolutionBlog.