Science & Judaism

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I’m pleased to announce MJL’s newest section: Science & Judaism.

We’ll be rolling out some more content (including a sub-section on Judaism and the Social Sciences) within the next couple of months, but yesterday we published a slew of new articles on the history of Judaism and science and the creationism/evolution debate.

Highlights include two original articles: Matt Plen’s analysis of Orthodox thinkers like Gerald Schroeder and Nathan Aviezer who attempt to read science into the Genesis creation story; and Emma Kippley-Ogman’s article on Judaism and intelligent design.

As always, we included articles by top academics, as well, including David Ruderman on Maimonides and Jeffrey Tigay on the allegorical approach to the creation story.

If you don’t know where to begin, start with our two introductory articles:

Judaism & Science in History

Creationism & Evolution

Posted on February 5, 2007

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7 thoughts on “Science & Judaism

  1. AlexUtiug

    It;s a very good blog. I disagree with the Matt Plen’s comments on Schroeder, having read his books and considering myself a student of Torah and Kabalah. Judaism teaches that the physical universe is part of G-d, and not the other way around. Nowhere in his books does Schroeder pose a question about the validity of this claim. As a physicist who was one of the few outstanding scientists who got to work on the Manhattan Project, Schroeder knows what he is talking about when he is explaining the intricacies of the General relativity theory, and as a Jewish scholar, he is correct in his assessment that literal reading of Torah is wrong.

    However, it is difficult to characterize this approach as scientific when it ignores academic bible critics’ linguistic and archaeological contributions. In other words, Schroeder’s commitment to scientific methodology has a clear limit: he does not apply it to the study of Torah.

    Schroeder does not shy away from the discussion of the related issues archaeology, paleonotology, biology present, and he consistently proves that the Bible and science are talking about the same things in different languages.

    And by the way, radioactive dating only works in archaeology on objects younger than 10,000 – 40,000 years: the radioactive spectrum of the earth’s crust was very different prior to that period, and it is impossible to accurately determine the age of the paleontological finds. As a result, it cannot work in geology and paleontology.

    And by the way, how could a protozoan evolve an eye over 2 bilion years?

  2. AlexUtiug

    And by the way, nowhere does Torah imply that the earth did not create life out of itself. It does say that it produced life at G-d’s command, but G-d Himself/Herself/Itself created the earth and the skies, and commanded into existence the light, the stars, etc. Life was created by earth.

  3. AlexUtiug

    Lorne – Yes. The scientific method consists of following the logic of the hypothesis being tested until it is proven wrong either by not being able to explain data, or by reaching ad absurdum, while subjecting it to all kinds of “skeptical scrutiny.

    Neither one of the two theories (Creation and Big Bang) related to science vs. religion discussion have been proven wrong so far. Proponents on either side have proven themselves wrong, illogical, stubborn, etc. But they are both valid.

  4. Matzah2

    [AlexUtiug]
    Neither one of the two theories (Creation and Big Bang) related to science vs. religion discussion have been proven wrong so far. Proponents on either side have proven themselves wrong, illogical, stubborn, etc. But they are both valid.

    Actually, not only have neither been proved wrong, but the two views are consistent!

    There is no contradiction between ’science’ and Torah.

    If anyone wants to debate, I will take points one at a time only.

  5. mbczion

    בס’’ד

    One of my favorite quotes is from Maimonides in “The Guide For The Perplexed”: “Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d’s management of it.”

    מנחם בן צבי הכהן

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