Anything about JUDAISM
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senior09 Posted - 08 March 2006 18:49
Moderator...I need some help. We're learning about the theory of evolution in science, and I'm really having trouble accepting it. There seem to be two theories--either the world was created by the Big Bang and has evolved by natural selection, or G-d created it and the species are constant. Obviously the former view is false, but my question is: isn't G-d constantly recreating the world? Can't it be that yes, there has been some form of evolution (which means change in a species over time, not necessarily apes--> humans), but it is entirely controlled by G-d? Or is the entire idea that species have changed over time false? Didn't the Rambam believe that species have changed, but this was controlled by G-d?

Thank you for your post on vestigial structures. That also came up in class, and I was thinking to myself the rudimentary aspects of your post, but it was very clarifying to see it like that.

Obviously, they're not asking us to believe these theories, just presenting them to us, but I still don't understand.

MODERATOR Posted - 08 March 2006 21:32
Don't accept it. It's nonsense.

I'm not sure I understand your question. Evolution, by definition, means "slow progress", the opposite of revolution, which means sudden progress. When did this "evolution" supposedly occur?

Besides, there is no viable evidence for evolution. The evidence is evidence only assuming there is no Creator. All the similarities between us nad monkeys are, to us, meaningless, because theres no reason to assume that one Creator did not create many of His creations with similar physicality. But if you assume there is no creator, then the quesiton arises: how do you explain the similarities between us and lower species? And besides -- how in the world did such complex "animals" such as humans get here anyway? There are two options" fast or slow. Fast makes no sense if there is no creator.

And the whoel vestigial thing makes no sense also, as you noticed.

Please tell your teacher that the Torah says the world was created in 6 days. And that Rashi says explicitly that when the Torah says Vayehi Erev Vayehi Voker Yom Echad it means 24 hours.

And if your teacher tells you a day isnt really a day, please thank her for agreeing with you that evolution never happened. because when she says she believes evolution did happen, tell her that according to your interpretation of her words, when she says "evolution" she doesnt really mean "evolution", and maybe even when she says "did" it doesnt really mean "did". And when she says youre wrong, tell her that "wrong" doesnt really means wrong.

MODERATOR Posted - 08 March 2006 21:42
Or maybe it's just an example of Rav Chaim Brisker's rule (which kind of comes from the SMA) that Daas Baalei Batim is the opposite of Daas Torah. Because in Torah literature it sys that people became monkeys, as in the Dor Haflagah ...
mariak111 Posted - 12 March 2006 20:04
<<<< And if your teacher tells you a day isnt really a day, please thank her for agreeing with you that evolution never happened. because when she says she believes evolution did happen, tell her that according to your interpretation of her words, when she says "evolution" she doesnt really mean "evolution", and maybe even when she says "did" it doesnt really mean "did". And when she says youre wrong, tell her that "wrong" doesnt really means wrong. >>>>

I do this a lot thanks to your advice and it works quite well. Whenever some am haaretz tells me a day doesnt mean a day even though thats what it says, i tell them that they dont really mean that even though thats what they said. They get so frustrated, but they always get the point.

TheLoneCabbage Posted - 12 March 2006 20:04
I never could quite understand the viceral reaction so many people take about evolution. Either it's adherents or detractors take to the matter as if they are somehow deffending the core nature of their faith.

To begin, evolution is just a theory... actually a large group of them. It's a practical way to look at biology, because saying that two viruses exhibit similar traits but that one is resistant to the cure for the other, gives us clues for how to find the next cure. Saying G_d made both viruses, and they may or may not be similar, does not help us make people well.

Often defenders of evolution do so because it is currently the only viable way to explain the world without G_d (and even then it's sketchy). Often detractors of evolution attack it, because it might describe a world without G_d (it doesn't).

Acupuncture is a techniche for pain relief based on "Chi", which is a chinise notion of energy flows in the body. "Chi" is utter nonsense, but for one reason or another acupuncture still works. "Chi" is a theory, like evolution. It has practical benefits, because it gives us a way to predict patterns and behaviours, regardless of the TRUE means of operation.

Evolution is not idolworship, it's just theory. To *believe* in any scientific theory is to not understand scientific theory at all. When a theory is proven wrong, or inacurate you just take up the next one. To cling to a theory is akind to religion, and has no place in proper science. People who cling to evolution are doing it for reasons other than science, likely a fear of a world that has a moral Creator.

SohCahToa Posted - 14 March 2006 18:19
<< "Chi" is utter nonsense >>
Who told you that? The Chinese knew (and know, likely as not) a lot of things Western world has never gotten straight, ad hayom. There are many large holes in our knowledge of anatomy today.
ani latzmi Posted - 17 March 2006 13:52
If evolution is so ridiculous (and I agree that it is) how come all the so-called educated scientists dont see that? I know some do, and I heard that they are afraid to come forward for fear of being laughed at and called "religious" (as if that's an insult) but why is it such a mafia out there in their world that people with legitimate ideas cant come forward? We learned in school how in the olden days scientists believed in all sorts of crazy dumb things that today know are insane. Why do they think that today they are any better then their ancestors?
MODERATOR Posted - 06 April 2006 13:44

The issue with Evolution is because this particular scientific theory is the only existing apologetic for atheism. Without it, atheists have to admit that they have no explanation for how we got here. Therefore, it is very useful to disclose the fact that making up a bogus idea like evolution does not help them explain it.

jewishmom Posted - 19 May 2006 14:07
I'm not comfortable with this: i think you're coming down waaaay too dogmatically on evolution. IT'S A THEORY - NO ONE treats it as a considered fact except it's detractors! aside from which, there is no reason HaShem in His infinite abilities could not have "used" evolution as a process in creating the myriad species, similar or otherwise that surround us. We like to leave room for doubt of our Creator, otherwise, we have no b'chira not to believe in Him and then what's the point in everything/anything we toil in in Olam HaZeh?
MODERATOR Posted - 19 May 2006 17:26
As a theory it's lousy, and youre right that nobody would care, except for the fact that this particular lousy theory also has grave theological implications. Namely, it is the only existing excuse for atheism. Therefore, wheras normally we would not care about lousy sceintific theories, it is a mitzvah to expose the truth of the matter, that the theory is a sham. And because it is the only currently available excuse for atheism, there is vested interest in maintaining it despite its deficiencies.

More: Theory though it may be, the robustness of this theory rests on the assumption that G-d did not create the world, because "evidence" such as vestigial organs, or similarities between humans and minkeys only make sense if we assume that humans and monkeys do not have a common designer, and that the world is not the result of an infinite intelligence who imparted infinite wisdom into creation (see Rambam Yesodei Hatorah 2:2), such that finite beings can never discern it all.

And also, that no, Hashem could NOT have used "evolution" to create species, since evolution (I explained this several times) by definition means slow progression, and since the world was created in 6 days, and humans and animals on the very same day, evolution by definition could not have ever happened.

Your next statement is so wrong on so many levels, it is difficult to know where to begin:

We like to leave room for doubt of our Creator, otherwise, we have no b'chira not to believe in Him and then what's the point in everything/anything we toil in in Olam HaZeh?

1) The Mitzvah to bleieve in Hashem means not to doubntHis existence. As the Rambam says, not only are you an APikores if you deny any of the 13 Ikarim, but even if you have any doubts about them, you are an Apikores. The first of the 13 is that G-d exists. Not only is there no c"v "benefit" to leaving "room for doubt", but if someone does have any dount as to G-=d's ecistence, he is a full fledged Apikores.

2) Even if the Mitzvah of Emunah would be just to "believe" in Hashem, a dountful belief is not believing; but the Rishonim and Poskim emphasize that the Mitzvah is not only l'haamin, but l'haamin v'leida ---- to believe and to know that G-d exists.

3) As far as your question about not having Bechirah, that is a total error. The fact that G-d exists is, to paraphrase Rishonim an Achronim both, obvisou to anyone who is not an imbicile. The question is in fatc asked that because G-d's existence is so obvious, what kind of Mitzvah - what kind of sechar Mitzvah - do we get for recognizing it?

There are many answers in our seforim, but none contest the unassailable fact that the existence of a creator is obvious.

Most answer that because there is a tremendous vested interest a person has to not believe in G-d, the Mitzvah here is not to believe what you want to be true but rather what you know objectively is true. This is indeed a great Nisayon. We are all "jurors" who have much to gain on many levels if we find in favor of the State. Our entire lives are free from so many restrictions, there is no accountability and no mandatory rules, your entire life is yours to mold. So many people - educated people, intelligent people, most people - believe that the defendent is innocent. They say they can prove it; they write scientific books proving it; they consider "unsophisitcated" those who do think the defendent is - haha! - guilty.

A juror with such a personal interest in the outcome of the trial would never ever be chosen to serve on that jury. His entire lifestyle depends on the verdict. But you're on the jury anyway.

That's the Nisayon of Emunah. And it's a big one. We are on that jury. We have 2 choices: Defeat our own vested interests, remain objective, find the truth and stick to it, or let yourself be influenced by your desires, by society, by all the vested interests you have to just say "Yes, I agree with the sophisitcaed, educated, multitudinous aththeists. Now please pass me the pork sandwich." (And I am using pork as a metaphor for the real nisyonos).

The Torah says that bribery blinds the eyes of the wise. We may or may not all be wise, but we are all bribed. The Nisayon of Emunah is to declare the truth espite the fact that we are bribed.

The Mitzvah of Emunah is to follow objective truth rather than subjective and faulty reasoning. The Mitzvah of Emunah is for every intelligent teenager over Bar/Bas Mitzvah to resist the tmeptation to believe what they may want to believe, but ratehr believe what the objective truth is. The Mitzvah is to follow your mind and not your feelings. Thats a big Nisayon.

And so, Reb Elchonon ZTL says, the prohibition to believe heresy (i.e. anything that is against the Torah) is worded as "lo sasuru acharei levavchem" - "thou shalt not follow thy heart". Because since objectively the Torah is true, believing Apikorsus is due to following your feelings, not your mind. It is your feelings that are influencing your mind. If someone would follow their unadulterated objectivereasoning they would see the truth.

Thats what Emunah requires.

Please note that your version of Emunah, not only is totally incorrect Halachicly, but it also makes no sense. If belieif in the Torah would be c"v unattianable, meaning, always subject to a possibility of it not being true, the Torah could never obligate us to bleieve it, because why should a person believe that the Torah ever commanded him to have Emunah? When he goes to his din v'cheshbon after 120 years, he will say to Hashem, "Why should I have believed in you?"

What will Hashem say --- "Because I commanded you to do so"?

"Well, how was I suppsoed to know that you commanded me to do so?!" will be his retort.

And he will be right.

Clearly, a person must be given the ability to know that he was actually commanded to have Emunah prior to deciding whether to fulfill the command. because the existence of a Commander is obvisou, that requirement is fulfilled.

jewishmom Posted - 12 June 2006 17:21
You're right that evolution is a lousy theory. it has mathematical holes all over the place. BUT that doesn't mean that creatures could not have been created by a slow method. Sheshes yemei beraishis was not necessarily six 24 hour periods, right? in those six periods, things may have moved like molasses.
Further, as you yourself said what kind of s'char can there be for a mitzva that is impossible not to perform? If it wasn't Darwin and Huxley, people would find plenty of other scientific "proofs" that there is no Hashem, just to free themselves from living according to His will. And they can only do that because the state of Hester Panim is built into our world. So, Hashem *does* leave room for persons to doubt. That doesn't mean we should doubt, but that if the existence and desires of Hahsem could be proved to the atheist by choice so that he would be compelled to become observant of G-d's law, we would have a problem. We know that the renewal of acceptance of the torah at purim was a greater acceptance than the original because at sinai hashem was kafa aleihem har k'gigis. a forced belief (here forced by sterling proofs) is not going to be worth so much, right?
MODERATOR Posted - 12 June 2006 17:54
The 6 days of creation were in fact 24 hours. How could they not be? Arent days 24 hours now? So when did this change? Where does it indicate in the slightest that the first Sunday after creation (or the first Shabbos???) was suddenly shorter than previous days??

On the contrary - it's clear that on the fourth day Hashem said the sun should shine during the time-period that was called "day" and the stars/darkness should rule during the time-period called "night". Since then, that hasnt changed, and obvisouly, as we can see today, the sun and the stars have decided that the time period called day plus the time period called night, are 24 hours.

The Gemora says this expicitly. It describes 10 things that were created on the first day of creation, one of which is the "length of the day and night" - as it says, "vayehi erev vayehi voke yom echad". So the time span of the day was created on the first day of creation. And, as Rashi states, it means "[the day and night together] - i.e. 24 hours between them".

G-d does not leave "room for dounbt" in the sense that there is somethgin for an objective person to doubt, when it comes to the existence of a Creator. All it means is that we have Bechirah to deny or to dount even though our denial or doubt make no sense.

I expained this before. It's a simple as a judge presiding over an open-and-shut case where the defendent is guilty. Open and shut, nothing to discuss. But the defendent is the judge's own brother. The question is, will he say the truth or deny the truth - either to himself or to the public.

Same with our Emunah. The existnece hashem is na open-and-shut case. But all the Yezter Horahs in the world tell us to deny it, in order to throw off all our restrictions. The quesiton is, will we fool ourselves.

Youre also mistaken about kabals hatorah and purim. Kafah aleihem har kegigis dwas not c"v a forced belief. It was a forced acceptance of obligations. They believed very well, with or withou that mountain. They just were reluctant to accept the responsibility of the Mitzvos.

In fact, the Ran says that the reason the aseres hadibros starts with Anochi Hashem, as oppsoed to "Thou shalt believe in me", is because they certianly did believe before kabbalas hatorah, because anybody who is not an idiot (or willing to fool himself into being one) surely believes, since G-d's existnce is so obvious. So it was meaningless for Hashem to tell them "thou shalt bleieve". Instead, He introduced Himslef, as if to say "The G-d that you believe in -- I am He!" Anochi hashem. And the Mitzvah of Emunah is therefore to believe not that G-d exists, since that's simplicity - but to believe that the G-d that surely exists is the entity that took us our of Egypt and gave us the Torah -- to bleieve that "I". i.e. the One talking to us on Har Sinai, is in fact the G-d that we all know must exist.

And no, I dont believe that people would find plenty of "scientific proofs" that there is no Hashem. I say that because they havent done so before or after evolution, since the idea of Kadmus Haolam, which has been logically disproven long ago.

It's simple math: the world is either accident or intelligence. If you want to be an atheist, your choice is accident.

If accident. it was either at once or in stages. But that such a highly developed world can accidently all come at once , like "boom!" theres people, males, females. food, water, air, sunlight etc" all suddenly and at the same time is currently inexplicable.

That leaves graduality, which means evolution.

The exact mechanism whereby the graduality supposedly took place - survival of the fittest, sudden mutation, etc - is where the theories come in. But if youre goign to be an atheist, youre goign to have to find some way to validate evolution, because until they find somethgin else, evolution is the only way to explain a G-dless world. Thats why its worth spending our time showing what nonsense evolution is, because today, thats all the atheists have to hang their hats on. Once thats not an option, there is nothing left for them.

And if they come up with some other silly idea, that too, will be worth spending our time to expose. But right now, this is all they have. And it is nothing.

taon Posted - 04 July 2006 19:10
there are many people who don't like the idea of being watched over or having any sort of laws, claiming they are both "restrictive". some people are afraid of the idea of being watched over, thinking it means they can't do anything.
MODERATOR Posted - 04 July 2006 19:17
You can say, in short that G-d does not leave room for doubt; but He does leave room for denial.
Tortured_Soul Posted - 06 May 2007 15:43
“The worst censors are those prohibiting criticism of the theory of evolution in the classroom.”“

“A Chinese scholar observed, "In China we can criticize Darwin but not the government. In America you can criticize the government but not Darwin."”

- From ‘Time To End The Censorship’ by Phyllis Schlafly, Dec. 29, 2004

kosherpig Posted - 09 May 2007 2:04
To moderator: who says gan eden was on earth?
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