Judaism and evolution

less than 1 minute read

The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating article by Evan Goldstein about ways that evolutionary theory have been embraced by some Jewish traditions:

"It is the power of the Torah that all theories can be included," wrote one Montreal-based Orthodox rabbi in the summer of 1925, at the time of the Scopes trial. A few years earlier, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, chief rabbi of pre-state Palestine, assured his followers that evolution, "more so than all other philosophical theories, conforms to the kabbalistic secrets of the world."

...and denounced by others:

Rabbi Slifkin's work has been publicly denounced by 23 prominent ultra-Orthodox rabbis who attacked his beliefs as "nonsense" and ordered that Rabbi Slifkin himself "burn all his writings." The basis for the rabbinical protest differs from that of most Christian fundamentalists who oppose Darwin. Whereas Christian creationism is based on a literal reading of the Bible, most Orthodox Jews who reject evolution tend to do so because they find it incompatible not only with the Torah, but with other Jewish texts and centuries of rabbinic commentary.

Well worth a read for an alternative perspective on religious attitudes toward evolutionary science.