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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Judaism and Creationism?: Disputes among the Orthodox

An interesting article in Moment Magazine details the tribulations of a Darwinist Orthodox rabbi in a world dominated by creationists. Author Jennie Rothenberg also writes a sidebar on mathematician David Berlinski, a Darwin skeptic:

Unlike the majority of Jewish scientists, David Berlinski, a self-described non-observant Jew, refuses to accept the theory of evolution. Berlinski is a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, a Seattle-based think tank that funds research, sponsors conferences and briefs members of Congress, all in the name of intelligent design, a counter-Darwinian theory positing that living species were intentionally and individually formed.

Two major misstatements here:

1) Berlinski is skeptical of Darwin's theory of evolution, as is Stuart Pivar. This does not commit either of them to rejecting any theory of evolution at all. Indeed, Pivar is an advocate of structuralism and I suspect that Berlinski has structuralist leanings too.

2) Discovery Institute does not claim that all living species were "individually formed." Rothenberg writes as if she cannot imagine that anyone could truly doubt Darwin's specific account of the history of life on any grounds, evidence notwithstanding.
If you like this blog, check out my award-winning book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

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