Saturday, October 08, 2005

One more on evolution

Here's one more post on evolution - an editorial from The Detroit News that struck me as extremely sensible:
I am an Orthodox Jew, but I wasn't always religious. I grew up secular, though Jewish, where no theory was absolute and no one cared much for questions of creation. As I grew older, I wasn't satisfied with that perspective -- I wanted to live a more meaningful life. There had to be right and wrong, I reasoned, and so I stumbled into synagogue. What has bothered me most since coming to this side is the way that my "open-minded" liberal peers write off anything that religion has to say. To be open-minded in America means open in one direction. ... The point of public school, in fact, is learning to see different perspectives. We ended racial segregation in this country decades ago, but it looks like we are holding fast to intellectual segregation under the guise of "open-mindedness." Would it be so bad if kids learned that evolution wasn't the only possibility for how this wonderful, complex world was created? Religious parents who send their kids to public schools already tolerate the teaching of evolution. Can't secular parents tolerate the reverse? As a religious Jew, I believe that there is a God. Indeed, the Laws He proscribed in the Torah, or Five Books of Moses, guide my daily life, and it is from the Torah that I learned that He created the world. Everything in this world -- including science -- comes from God. The greatest rabbis in history were skilled mathematicians, doctors, scientists and they did not view their secular studies to be incompatible with the Torah. Rather, they saw everything in existence as having its roots in religious text. Intelligent design and evolution may not be incompatible, or they may be. But teaching both perspectives doesn't shake my world foundation, nor do I believe it would shake the foundation of high school biology students who learn that maybe, just maybe, there is more than one way to look at things.

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