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Thought for the Day: Evolution Vs Torah Creation Boils Down to: Does the Creator Care About His Creation?

Newton's Laws of Motion begin with:  Unless acted upon by an outside force, an object in motion at rest will remain at rest and an object in motion will remain in motion.  Newton's second law states that the change in motion of an object is directly proportional to the net applied force.  Please note that the first law seems to be nothing more than the special case where there is no externally applied force.  We are not the first to notice that (sorry to burst your bubble); Newton knew that very well when he codified his laws of motion.  So why did he include a special case of the 2nd law as the 1st law?  He was making a point.  He was asserting a major break with the then reigning Aristotelian view of the world, which stated: an object at rest will remain at rest, while an object in motion will tend to come to rest.  The Aristotelian world view was that everything in the universe has a preferred place; motion is the response or an object to being displaced from its preferred place.  The Newtonian world view is that there is no preferred location or state of motion (setting the stage for relativity, btw).

Newton had an important point to make; he made it and moved on. Unfortunately, the creation vs evolution debacle has turned everyone into contagonists; the salient points on both sides are all but swallowed by statements to make a point rather then express a point.  I find that the only way to make progress on such topics is start with points of agreement to then focus down onto the real differences.

So where do Torah creation and evolution agree?  They agree that:
  • Our universe had a beginning (evolution is a late comer, but pointing that out is more making a point and not expressing a point); ie, it was created; hence, there is a Creator.
  • Everything was created with the first b'reishis/bang; all subsequent stages were merely an expression of the development of that initial creation.
  • There was a development from the beginning till now: amorphous energy/matter to clumps of matter in systems to plant life to animal life to human life; that is, from simple to complex.
  • The development was in definite, punctuated stages; not a uniform development.  (Again, evolution is a late comer... ok, ok,.. I'll stop now.  No I won't, of course.)
  • The distant points of light are stars like our sun and are hot; the moon generates no light of its own, rather it reflects the light of the sun.
  • Man, and only man, has free will and the intelligence to to make reasoned choices.
  • ...
Interesting side observation: Torah creation knows the above as received wisdom directly from the Creator; evolution knows from observation and inference.  Fascinating that the observation and inference confirms the received wisdom.  Hard to imagine how that could have happened by accident.
The only real difference, at the end of the day, is the nature of the Creator and His relationship to this universe.  Evolution says that creation just happened.  The nature of the Creator (aka laws of physics) is to create.  In that view, the Creator is indifferent to this world and whether or not the Creator is sentient is totally irrelevant.  Moreover, there is no intrinsic meaning nor purpose.  By contrast, Torah creation is an express of the Will of the Creator, who cares deeply about His creation.  Moreover, the creation was purpose designed to facilitate the mission for which we were created: to allow us humans to choose to build a relationship with our Creator.

The truth is, the Aristotelian, Newtonian, and Einsteinian world views are, in fact, more than worlds apart and completely irreconcilable.  On the other hand, to design an experiment that can discern which is more accurate is quite a challenge.  To design an experiment to distinguish between Torah creation and evolution is even more of a challenge.  Given the consequences, I (as I have stated before) believe the only rational choice is to live a Torah life.


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