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Thought for the Day: What's Really Wrong with Evolution and Why I Care

Imagine you meet a Chinese anthropology student at Starbucks who is working on his Ph.D.  He tells you that his thesis is on "Origin of USA".  Why doesn't he just look in any history book?  "Oh, sure, I know the USA traditional creation myth.  In fact, a core section of my work concerns the roots and evolution of the founding fathers myth.  I also have some fascinating hypotheses regarding the canonization of documents such as the Declaration of Independence and Constitution!"  Hang on, you sputter... we have a records from every epoch of our history, I can tell you every president from George Washington till today!  "Oh, sorry," he says looking at you more than a bit disdainfully, "I didn't realize that you were a religious USAsian.  I am a scientist and really don't want to interfere with your faith.  I am just surprised that even an educated USAsian can still be so tied to the old myths.  Wow!  I'll bet you really believe that George Washington was a real person.  Fascinating."

Am I being too subtle?  We have a Torah that was given to us by the Author/Creator/Everything Else of reality that explains everything.  The Rambam, in his introduction to the Mishna Torah, details the leaders from Moshe Rabeinu till his time. (For confirmation, just check with my chavrusa who spent a tedious hour with me going through it.)  The Torah tells us not only how species came into being, but also why.

Evolution is based on answering the question: Suppose that one started with only a great vast pool of energy and chemicals (ie, early earth, in their view).  How could we get from there to where we are now with no divine intervention?  The answer to that question might very well have bits that do not contradict the actual story, maybe even lots and lots of bits.  So what?  Just as a stopped clock is always wrong (even though the time on the face does not contradict reality twice a day), evolution is wrong.  It's not the conclusions, it's the foundation.  I have no more real interest in the theory of evolution than I do in the Aztec or Greek creation myths.  It's built on a false premise, so it's conclusions are irrelevant.

Why do I care, then?  Because a distressing number of people do believe that evolution is true.  So next time it comes up, don't let them divert the conversation to the fossils and genetic maps; keep them focussed on the foundation.

The foundation that must form the cornerstone of all our beliefs is, of course, that HaShem created the world for us and gave us the blueprint and operator's manual: TheTorah haK'dosha.

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