Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in Chicago Tribune. It’s titled Everything, including evolution, flows from God. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary, and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city.
This seems to be some kind of “Dear Abby” feature that we’ve never seen before, conducted by something called “The God Squad.” Today the Rabbi answers two questions, but we’re concerned only with the first. Okay, here we go:
[Question:] In our newspaper’s “letters to the editor” section, we often read letters from people who believe literally what the Bible has to say (Creationists, those who embrace Intelligent Design, and readers who reject the theory of evolution). They seem so “hidebound” in their beliefs that they refuse to even consider the other side of the argument. The truth of evolution is obvious, but it does seem to me there must be a guiding force behind it all. Doesn’t it seem obvious that both sides should be considered?
Ah yes, shouldn’t both sides be considered? What follows is the Rabbi’s answer:
In the case of creationism vs. evolution, I’ve never understood the nature of the conflict. I believe God could have used, and probably did use, evolution as the mechanism for adapting life to the world God created. I also believe that the brilliant design of life in all its forms is the most eloquent possible evidence of Intelligent Design.
The Rabbi is not only a theistic evolutionist, but he also endorses ID. Well, at least he’s not coy about the identity of the designer. Let’s read on:
On both sides of the debate, I try to ask sympathetic but probing questions. When talking with evolutionary fundamentalists, I urge them to reflect on the impossibly long odds of mere random selection producing, let us say, Shakespeare.
Nice going, Rabbi — “evolutionary fundamentalists.” That phrase didn’t score too many points with those on the science side of things. As for his rather primitive argument about the “long odds,” we’ve discussed that many times before — see, for example: Creationism’s Fallacy of Retrospective Astonishment. It’s also mentioned in Common Creationist Claims Confuted. The Rabbi continues:
In the case of biblical fundamentalists, I try to remind them that a 7-day creation week could not have been comprised of seven 24-hour days because a day is defined by the sun, and the sun, according to Genesis 1:14-19, was not created until the fourth day.
That’s his best argument against the scientific accuracy of Genesis? Here’s the rest of his answer:
Taken together, these two observations have helped me to believe, with Einstein, that our job in both science and religion is to “trace the lines that flow from God.”
Einstein said that? It doesn’t sound like him. We Googled around and found several references to it, but we can’t find the source. The Rabbi quoted the same thing last year in a column in the same newspaper, here: The real question is, who created The God Particle?
So there you are, dear reader. Ponder the implications carefully.
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