Sunday, October 12, 2014

Problem with the Theory of Evolution or "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" (Wizard of Oz)

My recent posting about Evolution elicited many heated comments. To set the record straight - I am not a champion of a particular biological explanation. I simply wanted to note that the **IDEA** of creation through evolution and change - is not inherently heresy. (There is a parallel issue - which also elicits heated comments - of whether Torah was given in its entirety at Sinai or whether the Five Books of Moshe were given together with the 13 Midos at Sinai - and the halacha was generated over time - but that is for a different post). What is heresy is to deny that G-d is the ultimate source of everything.

 On the other hand, Evolution is clearly more than simply a scientific theory. As Prof Abraham Luchins once pointed out to me - The Theory of Evolution elicits incredible emotional defensive and offensive responses from scientists when it is challenged on rational grounds. When I was studying biology at R.P.I., my professor introduced Evolution by saying first there was matter, this sloshed around for millions of years until organic molecules developed. Several million years later single cells were developed and then evenutally multi- celled creatures. I raised my hand and politely asked him how he got from step 1 to step 2 to step 3 to step 4. What was the mechanism? He looked at me in astonishment. "But if you don't believe this is what happened -  that means you are a fundamentalist!" Obviously the most obscene and degenerate state possible. The following Ted presentation illustrates my point.



The following is a recent book which attempts to explain how random selection produce complex traits. At least it acknowledges that there are fundamental problems with the Theory of Evolution. Again the fact that Evolution has problems doesn't mean that the world was literally created in 6 24hour days.

Scientific American Book Review: Arrival of the Fittest


Charles Darwin's theory of evolution transformed our understanding of life's diversity, but it could not fully answer a basic question that still vexes scientists: How does nature introduce complex traits? As evolutionary biologist Wagner puts it, natural selection “does not innovate, but merely selects what is already there.” The latest evolutionary science, however, is beginning to reveal how new traits arise in the first place. “What we have found so far,” Wagner writes, “already tells us that there is much more to evolution than meets the eye.” Drawing on his own and other researchers' work, he explains how large numbers of random mutations within species can combine to form the intricate and innovative traits seen in our planet's vast diversity.

137 comments :

  1. "whether the Five Books of Moshe were given together with the 13 Midos at Sinai"
    There is weighty opinion, e.g. the Ramban, that not all of the Humash was given on Sinai.

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  2. There are essentially 2 groups of people who believe in evolution. The first group is people such as David and Tzadok (and who are not scientists themselves in any sense of the word. However, they have such a great reverence for science and scientists that when the scientists say things like "Evolution is a fact, not a theory," they say, "well if the scientists said that it is so, then it must be so!" However, they do not really understand what actually must have gone into life for it to have evolved. They do not really understand that, for even a protein to have been formed by chance is a practical statistical impossibility. Meaning that if the chance of something occurring is remote beyond a certain threshold, then the chance of it happening is considered to be zero. They do not understand that for the protein to have any existence in a cell, DNA and the cell membrane must have evolved concurrently with the protein. Because they have never studied Biochemistry or Microbiology, they do not understand the unbelievable complexity of a cell, and basically think, like Darwin did, that the cell is just a blob of jelly that could have possibly evolved out of the primordial ooze, given billions of years. But if the scientists said that it is so, then it must be so. The first group of people are essentially sheep following the scientists.

    The second group of people who believe in evolution are the scientists themselves. The scientists actually do understand the complexity of life and of living cells. However, when confronted with this issue, they say things like, "We understand that evolution is something that is logically and statistically impossible to have occurred. However, because evolution must have occurred, because there is no other scientific explanation for the origin of life, the fact that evolution through genetic mutation is so ridiculous just goes to show what a miracle it actually is." Francis Crick, who discovered DNA, admitted that there was no valid scientific explanation for the origin of life and believed that we had no choice but to assume that the seeds of evolution had been planted on Earth by extraterrestrial beings. Many of them make outright statements to the effect of, "All this seems to point to the hand of G-d, but we refuse to bring G-d into the picture." I could go on and on with a list of prominent scientists, but I do not have the time. But this is the truth. There is no scientist on Earth who will be able to give a complete explanation for the origin of life down to the evolution of the species without relying on some sort of leap of faith, in which he admits that we have no idea how things evolved, but because it must be so, then we must have faith in evolution.

    Now, it is understandable that the members of the second group will be forced to believe in evolution, because, according to their understanding, G-d and science do not go together, and it is completely unscientific to rely on an explanation that involves a Creator. The problem is with the the members of the first group who actually claim to believe in G-d. Because if you are able to accept the existence of G-d, there is no logical reason whatsoever to accept the scientists' explanation for the origin of life. Many of the proofs of the evolutionists seem to point to a gradual evolution of the species, but none of these is logically conclusive, and, what's more, the level of impossibly complex design in the world is the greatest proof to the contrary. The behavior of these people in blindly following the scientists is the only thing that remains inexplicable.

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  3. He's a fascinating speaker but his story is a gross and distorted and impossible fairy tale of world class proportions.

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  4. Darwinist theory postulates unguided, undirected, natural processes, while openly denying the existence of any Designer, so how can Darwinism not be considered a type of atheist belief system?

    In contrast to the Darwinist believers, more intellectually honest scientists (such as Dr. Stephen Myer) recognize that the best explanation for the origin of life is an Intelligent Agent.

    "Intelligent Design is the idea that there are certain features of biological systems that are best explained by an Intelligent Cause rather than an undirected process such as natural selection...for all Darwinians living systems appear designed but they are not designed because there is an unguided mechanism...another neo-Darwinist says we have design without a Designer...(but in ID) the appearance of design is real...ID is based on science, but it has larger implications...its not based on theological propositions" (Dr. Stephen Myer, video at http://www.darwinsdoubt.com/ )

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  5. Alternatively, there exists this phenomena of an 'expert', someone who studies a certain subject for many long decades. And of a 'consensus' where all the experts agree on something. And of the 'non expert' who is prepared to admit that maybe the experts might know more than him and is prepared to listen to what they say.

    Then you have those who continuously bring long pointless arguments trying to convince non experts that the experts have it all wrong. Do you see where there is a logical problem with that?
    You cannot in any way bring a rational argument against something that is a scientific consensus because that means you think that you a non expert have out thought thousands of experts. This is not a matter of being sheep but a matter of rationality. You believe what is most likely to be correct and in this case it is the experts and science.

    The only reason you could have for being so irrational as to think you know better than the experts is if something else you believe in even more tells you that they are wrong. The only thing over science should be the Torah. Yet, as has been confirmed*, the Torah has no technical issue with the idea of evolution. So, we are forced to conclude that irrelevant of Torah, you think you are clever than all the expert scientists in the world. Do you see why you should probably step back and stop embarrassing yourself?

    *confirmed by gedolim in the past and even those around today as quoted by this blog.

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  6. We don't need intelligent design because we have hashgacha protis, divine providence. What is the difference in believing (as we do according to the rambam, ramban, ramchal...) that the world generally follows the laws of nature yet still God controls the outcome via hashgacha protis and that evolution is part of this natural process and God controls the outcome via hashgacha protis.

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  7. I personally do not "believe" in evolution, and I did study chemistry (but not biochemistry). I have a friend who is a 2nd generation professor of Biochemistry, and he is more "pro" evolution.
    There is a distinguished Professor of Chemistry, and also an expert in Astrobiology. His name is Steve Benner. I had objections to the idea behind molecular evolution.because the thermodynamics behind chemical reactions does not favour the random formation of such complex molecules.
    Benner also says the same thing, and hence the atro-biology. He thinks there may have been these weird molecules in space somewhere, that could not form on earth. They came to earth on a meteorite, and from there started forming DNA or whatever the primal soup consisted of.
    So nothing is proven, but there is quite a big scientific consensus which supports evolution. There is also a debate against the Intelligent Design.
    I think the fact that one of the Gedolei hador in Chemistry has refuted the likelihood of the current theories of evolution - or actually, abiogenesis, says quite a lot.

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  8. Every science has a rational and logical basis and its rules and principles can be examined by logic and scientific rules. Some are so arcane that a high level of education is required to understand the basics before any discussion can ensue such as higher math or advanced Physics.

    The main principles and foundations of evolution are clearly expounded and are subject to critical analysis by those equipped with enough intelligence and especially if schooled in a scientific background. It is evident that evolution as currently expounded violates basic mathematical probability, the law of entropy and simple reason in that it offers no explanation for 2nd order and higher order dependencies. , Having so called experts who ignore these problems spout wild theories which have no valid scientific basis is purely meaningless.

    For example, from Sebag's review of Evolutionary probabilities

    "Francis Crick, the scientist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for
    discovering DNA, commented on the chances of making a small, specific
    protein by chance. He placed the odds at one followed by 260 zeros!
    That's about 1 followed by 180 zeros times greater than the estimated
    number of atoms in the universe, and this is just for one small protein.
    The simplest bacteria cell would need hundreds, if not thousands, of
    different proteins working actively and interdependently to perform the
    critical tasks of growth and reproduction"

    The fact that we can breath is because we live in an ocean of air which is simply gaseous molecules constantly moving. There is a finite probability that all the molecules should move in one direction and crowd into the corner of a room and leave everyone to die of asphyxiation. However, we don't worry about it because the probability of this happening is so small, that it it can be discounted. The laws of thermodynamics depend probabilities like these. The probability against the random development of a DNA molecule is many times higher than that of all atl the air moving to one place or of the top of a glass spontaneously freezing on the bottom and boiling on the top.

    Evolution is not a true science in that it predicts nothing, has scant evidence and can't explain volumes of common phenomena.

    If you can't respond to these issues or even deal with them, your mistaken respect for the pseudo scientists of evolution is worthless. The fact that scientist have achievements in Physics, Chemistry, descriptive Biology can't be transferred across the gap to evolution. Show me any other science with problems that are a minute fraction of the contradictions to the basics of evolution.

    Bring my issues to any evolutionary scientist and see if you can come back with a coherent response.

    There is no mitzva of emuna in evolution.

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  9. David, you have yet to reply to all of the questions that I sent you in the previous post. Be a big boy and answer the questions. Until then I refuse to answer your nonsense.

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  10. Another expert who is cleverer than the world's leading particle physicists. So have you been staring through many telescopes recently? How many mathematical models have you devised to explain the observable phenomena?
    Do you also believe that lightning is magic and thunder is an elephant lost on the moon?
    I don't know which of the theories are 100% accurate but to call them fairy tales based on what, your gut feeling? Feel free to ignore the philosophical ramblings of people like Hawkings but when they speak science, unless you are on their level please step back and give them some respect.
    Out of interest, what is your expert opinion on how the elements were created according to the ramban? He says there was only one initial act of creation by God and everything came from there. Perhaps you prefer to believe that sky pixies did it? I hear they like gold, maybe after God created matter they created the elements. A very holy thought. Or could God have let them come about through a natural process? Which do you think?

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  11. "We don't need intelligent design because we have hashgacha protis" - These kinds of contradictory statements demonstrate your confusion. Postulating that the complex physical and biological features of the Universe are best explained by invoking an Intelligent Designer is perfectly compatible with hashgacha protis. In contrast to this, the Darwinist Evolution theory you are attempting to validate operates by completely undirected processes, and denies the need for any Designer.

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  12. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 13, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    "We don't need intelligent design because we have hashgacha protis" - These kinds of contradictory statements demonstrate your confusion.
    Actually those are not contradictory statements. "Intelligent Design" is termed coined by, and a theory put forth by William Paley in his book "Natural Theology". William Paley was a staunch Xtian Deist, and "intelligent Design" by original definition means that an Intelligent Creator, set the whole process in motion, and has been hands off pretty much ever since.
    This theory was revitalized in the 1920s by the Xtian Fundamentalist movements, and was made one of the key Fundamentals of what would be Fundamentalist Xtianity.
    The idea of intelligent design, in its formulation, is that G-d created the world, and has only intervened in the affairs of the physical world at very limited and specified times, and has not done so since the Xtian cannon was completed and will not do so again until the climatic end of the world(variations of the clock maker theory).
    As such "Intelligent Design" is an inherently non-Jewish philosophy. Judaism has never conceived of a world in which HKB"H is or was absent from the affairs of this world. Whether you deal with a limited view of Hashgacha Pratit, or have a view of absolute Hashgacha Pratit, as long as one holds any form of the Jewish idea of Hashgacha Pratit, one cannot believe in the classically formulated theory of "Intelligent Design."

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  13. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 13, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    The first group is people such as David and Tzadok (and who are not scientists themselves in any sense of the word.


    You make two primary assumptions in this statement.
    1) That I "believe in evolution". I have never stated that. I have simply stated that I do not believe the theory of evolution to be inherently in contradiction to Torah.

    2) That I do not have a degree in one of the hard sciences. I have never stated precisely what my secular education is in.


    In short you are wrong on both of your assumptions.

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  14. "that means you are a fundamentalist!" Obviously the most obscene and degenerate state possible."
    Well, not the most obscene and degenerate state possible, but it means that you don't have your place in this university. However, in your discipline (psychology), the problem with you being a fundamentalist does not lie so much with you believing or not believing in evolution, but with the fact that you think that homosexuals can and should be converted into heterosexuals and with the fact that you believe it is right that men unilaterally withhold divorces or extort large sums of money in exchange for a divorce.

    These are things your university should have found out and for which they should have withheld a degree in psychology from you.

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  15. I answered them. But I don't really want to answer you anymore. It is clear that you think you know more than those who actually live and breathe the subject which is illogical yet you are trying to prove them wrong using logic. It just doesn't work. If you were a child I would try to explain this to you but as you are not (unfortunately) I will just have to conclude you are not very bright though you are very full of yourself.
    A little advice in life. Have a little respect for those in the know and don't try to beat a scientist at his own game.

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  16. There is a difference. Intelligent design implies that evolution cannot work by itself. That is not how the rishonim describe nature. According to the rambam the laws were set during creation and are immutable (all miracles are built in) and according to the ramban it works by cause and effect and when God desires He can change things. But otherwise it is self sufficient. Intelligent design implies that it is a flawed system that 'requires' God to intercede and can't work as a system by itself.

    The whole point is that there is no 'apparent' need for a designer. God created a perfect system that from an external view must be able to run by itself.

    Please source the rishonim who argue with both the rambam and ramban that nature doesn't follow a set of rules.

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  17. You make me laugh. Now you are an expert in probability. Bringing fallacious arguments might fool the gullible but if you would actually bring them to an evolutionary scientist he would answer you. It is astounding that you think so many scientists, probably the group containing the cleverest humans on the planet, are all idiots. And you, YOU have discovered the flaw in evolution that they all missed. What hubris.

    http://www.dhbailey.com/papers/dhb-probability.pdf

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  18. One-liners and one-worders don't count unless you are Rav Chaim Kanievsky. And for anyone who took the time to read anything you wrote, you have done nothing on this blog except to hide behind a bunch of scientists, without ever having presented one single cogent statement of your own that demonstrates that you actually have some understanding of this subject. I actually do have a right to challenge all of these scientists because (aside from the fact that I have a degree in the field) I do understand the science myself, and can present my own cogent ideas without just relying on what someone else said or being a mindless parrot. Halevai you would have a fraction of the faith in the sages of your own religion as you do for these evolutionary scientists.

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  19. Well, you can't really blame Darwin because he presented his theory before the field of thermodynamics even existed! And you are correct both bichlall and befrat, as the formation of complex molecules runs completely contrary to the idea of entropy, and because all proteins are extremely thermodynamically specific and will denature under any other conditions.
    Regarding abiogenesis, there is NO current viable theory, whatsoever, unless you count the extraterrestrial possibility. But of course that's not against the Torah, because Rav Aryeh Kaplan once wrote an essay in which he entertained the possibility of extraterrestrial life. . .

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  20. 1) Maybe you could just enlighten me a little bit. According to those who believe in your form of evolution that does not contradict the Torah, was Adam Harishon actually created by Hashem, or did he evolve from a simpler life form such as a primate? Because the theory of evolution does state that humans evolved from a simpler life form, and the Torah states that he was created by Hashem. Or do you believe that perek in the Torah to be kaballistically allegorical? And what about the creation of life itself? Because all of the evolutionists believe that life "evolved" from inanimate material, and the Torah states that Hashem created living beings. And what about the Earth and the planets? Because the evolutionists believe that they formed by themselves and the Torah states that they were created by Hashem.
    2) Please state the degree (Name of university is not necessary) and I will retract my assumption.

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  21. Tzadok, 5 hrs. ago:
    "That I "believe in evolution". I have never stated that."

    Tzadok, 11 days ago:
    "The theory of evolution, by whatever model that actually occurred, seems to have happened, and our sages seem to concur."


    Is Tzadok being honest in this Evolution discussion?

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  22. The consensus of thousands of respectable scientists is that religion is irrational and therefore do not believe in G-d. So why are you religious (assuming that you are)? Why don't you follow the thousands of scientists who believe otherwise? Why do you continue to follow some bastardization of science and religion in which the scientists themselves do not believe?

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  23. "The idea of intelligent design, in its formulation, is that G-d created
    the world, and has only intervened in the affairs of the physical world
    at very limited and specified times"

    ID scholars are scientists and to my knowledge never made any such theological statements. You are simply inventing claims out of thin air.

    "an Intelligent Creator, set the whole process in motion, and has been hands off pretty much ever since" - Since ID proponents hold that Darwinism cannot explain the abrupt appearance of life forms of increasing complexity over long periods of time, including the appearance of man, and Darwinism cannot explain the lack of transitional fossils, while ID does explain these events, your claim is utterly false.

    To repeat once again the basic definition of ID - "Intelligent Design is the idea that there are certain features of
    biological systems that are best explained by an Intelligent Cause
    rather than an undirected process such as natural selection...".

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  24. RDE, I was wondering if you, David, or Tzadok were aware of the Rashi that I have been hinting to, which David has yet to locate. The Rashi is located in Chagiga Daf 12a D"H Midas Yom Umidas Lailah. The Gemara states that ten things were created on the first of Creation, two of them being Midas Yom and Midas Lailah. Rashi clearly states "24 hours between the two of them." I think that it is pretty clear that Rashi held that the world was created in Six Twenty-four Hour Days. Literally. I hope that you are not going to argue around this somehow.

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  25. Crick was not content to sit back on
    his laurels after winning one of the top prizes in science, however. He
    continued to study the mysteries of life, such as the nature of consciousness,
    or the possibility that RNA preceded the development of DNA. In 1973, he and
    the chemist Leslie Orgel published a paper in the journal Icarus suggesting
    that life may have arrived on Earth through a process called ‘Directed Panspermia.’

    The Panspermia hypothesis
    suggests that the seeds of life are common in the universe and can be spread
    between worlds. This idea originated with the Greek philosopher Anaxagoras, and
    was later promoted by the Swedish physicist Svante Arrhenius and the British
    astronomer Fred Hoyle. Versions of this hypothesis have survived to the present
    day, with the discovery of proposed ‘fossil structures’ in the martian
    meteorite ALH84001.






    ‘Directed Panspermia’ suggests that
    life may be distributed by an advanced extraterrestrial civilization. Crick and
    Orgel argued that DNA encapsulated within small grains could be fired in all
    directions by such a civilization in order to spread life within the universe.
    Their abstract in the 1973 Icarus paper reads:

    "It now seems unlikely that
    extraterrestrial living organisms could have reached the earth either as spores
    driven by the radiation pressure from another star or as living organisms
    imbedded in a meteorite. As an alternative to these nineteenth-century
    mechanisms, we have considered Directed Panspermia, the theory that organisms were
    deliberately transmitted to the earth by intelligent beings on another planet.
    We conclude that it is possible that life reached the earth in this way, but
    that the scientific evidence is inadequate at the present time to say anything
    about the probability. We draw attention to the kinds of evidence that might
    throw additional light on the topic."

    Crick and Orgel further expanded on
    this idea in their 1981 book, ‘Life Itself.’. They believed there was little
    chance that microorganisms could be transported between planets and across
    interstellar distances by random accident. But a technological civilization
    could direct panspermia by stocking a spacecraft with a genetic starter kit.
    They suggested that a large sample of different microorganisms with minimal
    nutritional needs could survive the long journey between worlds.

    Many scientists are critical of the
    Panspermia hypothesis, because it does not try to answer the question of how
    life first originated. Instead, it passes the responsibility on to another
    place and another time, offering at best a partial solution to the question.

    Crick and Orgel suggested that
    Directed Panspermia might help resolve some mysteries about life’s
    biochemistry. For instance, it could be the reason why the biological systems
    of Earth are dependent on molybdenum, when the chemically similar metals
    chromium and nickel are far more abundant. They suggested that the seeds for
    life on Earth could have originated from a location far richer in molybdenum.

    Other scientists have noted,
    however, that in seawater molybdenum is more abundant than either chromium or
    nickel.

    Coming full circle to his
    groundbreaking discovery of DNA’s structure, Crick wondered, if life began in
    the great "primeval soup" suggested by the Miller/Urey experiment, why there wouldn’t be a
    multitude of genetic materials among the different life forms. Instead, all
    life on Earth shares the same basic DNA structure.

    Crick and Orgel wrote in their book
    ‘Life Itself,’ "an honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to
    us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the
    moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had
    to have been satisfied to get it going."

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  26. It somehow got cut off, but the post regarding Crick was straight out of the website astrobio.net. David, I thought that you at least knew how to use Google. Sorry for overestimating you.

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  27. Please stop displaying your total lack of scientific background and basic misunderstanding of scientific principles and your childlike trust in the Wizards of Oz of evolution. Your magical belief in the wondrous pseudo scientists of evolution is more akin to fairy tales than my direct indication of the gross violations of basic scientific theories which even this speaker pointed out in his comments about entropy.

    Who is the particle physicist that you are talking about?

    I prefer to believe that Hashem yisborach directly created this wonderful and awesomely complex world which defies any random creation of extremely sophisticated systems which abound in nature.



    You have done nothing but avow your allegiance to the wizards of evolution and don't deserve any further response.

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  28. One need only know the basics of mathematical probability and its use in physics to see that the principles of evolution directly contradict them and where in thermodynamics such probabilities are used to indicate the impossibility of certain events the same probabilities and worse are used to postulate events in an ongoing basis in evolution.

    You take Crick's statements as gospel and pledge allegiance to them. I take the scientific statements that he makes and prove evolution dead wrong. He deserves no worship and only credit for what he actually discovered.

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  29. @Nat are you seriously claiming that there is no other legitimate understanding?

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  30. Dr. Gereold Schroeder writes for Aish HaTorah

    http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48951136.html

    Another example is Genesis 1:5, which says, "There is evening and morning, Day One." That is the first time that a day is quantified: evening and morning. Nachmanides discusses the meaning of evening and morning. Does it mean sunset and sunrise? It would certainly seem to.

    But Nachmanides points out a problem with that. The text says "there was evening and morning Day One... evening and morning a second day... evening and morning a third day." Then on the fourth day, the sun is mentioned. Nachmanides says that any intelligent reader can see an obvious problem. How do we have a concept of evening and morning for the first three days if the sun is only mentioned on Day Four? There is a purpose for the sun appearing only on Day Four, so that as time goes by and people understand more about the universe, you can dig deeper into the text.

    Nachmanides says the text uses the words "Vayehi Erev" ― but it doesn't mean "there was evening." He explains that the Hebrew letters Ayin, Resh, Bet ― the root of "erev" ― is chaos. Mixture, disorder. That's why evening is called "erev", because when the sun goes down, vision becomes blurry. The literal meaning is "there was disorder." The Torah's word for "morning" ― "boker" ― is the absolute opposite. When the sun rises, the world becomes "bikoret", orderly, able to be discerned. That's why the sun needn't be mentioned until Day Four. Because from erev to boker is a flow from disorder to order, from chaos to cosmos. That's something any scientist will testify never happens in an unguided system. Order never arises from disorder spontaneously and remains orderly. Order always degrades to chaos unless the environment recognizes the order and locks it in to preserve it. There must be a guide to the system. That's an unequivocal statement.

    The Torah wants us to be amazed by this flow, starting from a chaotic plasma and ending up with a symphony of life. Day-by-day the world progresses to higher and higher levels. Order out of disorder. It's pure thermodynamics. And it's stated in terminology of 3000 years ago.

    The Creation of Time

    Each day of creation is numbered. Yet there is discontinuity in the way the days are numbered. The verse says: "There is evening and morning, Day One." But the second day doesn't say "evening and morning, Day Two." Rather, it says "evening and morning, a second day." And the Torah continues with this pattern: "Evening and morning, a third day... a fourth day... a fifth day... the sixth day." Only on the first day does the text use a different form: not "first day," but "Day One" ("Yom Echad"). Many English translations make the mistake of writing "a first day." That's because editors want things to be nice and consistent. But they throw out the cosmic message in the text! Because there is a qualitative difference, as Nachmanides says, between "one" and "first." One is absolute; first is comparative.

    Nachmanides explains that on Day One, time was created. That's a phenomenal insight. Time was created. You can't grab time. You don't even see it. You can see space, you can see matter, you can feel energy, you can see light energy. I understand a creation there. But the creation of time? Eight hundred years ago, Nachmanides attained this insight from the Torah's use of the phrase, "Day One." And that's exactly what Einstein taught us in the Laws of Relativity: that there was a creation, not just of space and matter, but of time itself.

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  31. I go back to quoting Prof Benner, who writes that until there is proof of abiogenesis, all that exists is faith that these RNA molecules came into being by themselves! As far as I know, he is not a religious man, but a brilliant chemist!

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  32. I asked you what you do with the Rashi. Everyone conveniently seems to dismiss Rashi here. Usually, most people at least recon with what would seem to be the prevailing opinion. But you do not. You just bow down to scientists and throw Rashi under the bus. And I do not think that the other Rishonim, or at least the great majority of them, state explicitly that the Creation must definitely have taken longer than six days. Just that they leave the possibility open. And, anyways, there is a huge leap from whatever you claim the Rishonim may say about the length of Creation to the theory of evolution, which none of them entertain.

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  33. Dr. Gerald Schroeder? Thanks, but I'll stick with Rashi and the overwhelming majority of gedolim and talmidei chachamim. I want to once again refer you to a quote that R' Chaim Kreiswirth, Zt"l was oft to say: A person can be a kofer in the entire Torah and yet have a source from a Rishon to back up every one of his heretical beliefs. You, RDE, think that you do the world a favor by spending your time in the middle of the road. I forgot which Gadol pointed this out, but the middle of the road is for horses. Please answer this question, which I have asked you before: If the overwhelming majority of these scientists do not believe in G-d, then I hope that we can assume that they are mistaken about this, being that we know that there is a G-d. At least most of what they believe about the origin of the world and life is therefore also mistaken. So why do you feel obligated to believe that they are correct with regard to the origin of the species, when you hopefully do not even agree with their account of the origin of the human race, and when there is so much overwhelming evidence to the contrary? I promise that they thank you in no way for partially accepting their theory of evolution anyways.

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  34. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 13, 2014 at 7:39 PM

    Because the theory of evolution does state that humans evolved from a simpler life form, and the Torah states that he was created by Hashem.

    You once again confuse model with theory. There are scientific models for that claim such, that doesn't mean that I have to abide by them, nor that they are correct. As I stated before, the various models for the theory of gravity that were believed to be near proven just decades ago, have been inherently disproven. Locking oneself down to a single model when we know so little about the world around is sheer foolishness.

    2) Please state the degree (Name of university is not necessary) and I will retract my assumption.

    BS Biology Princeton U(actually double majored in Bio and Psy... with a minor in music).

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  35. Chovos HaLevavos, Shaar HaYichud, Chapter Six:

    "It is evident to us that for things which come about without the intent of an intender (i.e. an intelligence who designed it with a purpose) - none of them will display any trace of wisdom or ability. Behold and see, that if a man suddenly pours ink on clean paper, it would be impossible for there to be drawn on it orderly writing and legible lines like it would be with a quill, and if a man brought before us orderly writing from what cannot be written without use of a quill, and he would say that ink was spilled on paper, and the form of the writing happened on its own, we would be quick to call him a liar to his face and tell him that it must have been written without an intelligent person's intent. And since, in our eyes, this is something impossible for mere symbols (the alphabet) that we have agreed on - how could we entertain the notion for something whose engineering is far more fine, and whose assembly is infinitely more deep and beyond our comprehension, to say that it is without intent of an Intender, and without the wisdom of a wise and powerful Being."

    Moray Nevuchim, III:13:

    "I say that any work done with intent must have a purpose for which it was done... and likewise it is clear that the thing which was made with intent is mechudash (created) after there was not... And Aristotle already clarified that the plants were created for the creatures, and likewise for other things, each one for the other, and all the more so for the limbs of the creatures. Know that this existence of plan and purpose in natural matters brought the philosophers to believe in a beginning beyond nature...Know that the greatest proof to the chidush of the world, for one who admits the truth, is from the natural world around us, since all of them have a purpose and that each one is for the other - this is a proof on intent from an Intender, and intent which is carried out..."

    "...intelligent design does not address metaphysical and religious questions such as the nature or identity of the designer..."
    "Intelligent design is modest in what it attributes to the designing intelligence responsible for the specified complexity in nature. For instance, design theorists recognize that the nature, moral character and purposes of this intelligence lie beyond the competence of science and must be left to religion and philosophy." (William Dembski, The Design Revolution, pg. 42)"
    http://www.discovery.org/f/985

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  36. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 13, 2014 at 8:48 PM

    Look up William Paley's "Natural Theology" and then we will talk. You claim I'm inventing things out of thin air, but I am quoting sources at you. I can't help it if you have never heard of, nor read the founders of the ideology that you attempt to propagate.

    To repeat once again the basic definition of ID - "Intelligent Design is the idea that there are certain features of biological systems that are best explained by an Intelligent Cause
    rather than an undirected process such as natural selection...".


    That is not the basic definition of Intelligent Design, that is one of its ideologies that it attempts to pass off as science. I'm glad that you can read the first paragraph of the wiki article.

    However, you do not seem to understand the conversation. First we are talking about science, not about a theology imposed upon science.
    Whether we deal with a Deistic or Theistic approach to creationism, we must state, if we are honest that, as Jews at least, we are dealing wholy with theology teleology, and not with science. As science deals only with that which is quantifiable, repeatable, and falsifiable.

    To the Jew, G-d cannot be quantified, cannot be measured, ect... The miraculous likewise is solely the province of the Divine, and so while miracles may be witnessed, they cannot be measured or quantified.
    Likewise you cannot make a falsifiable prediction, based on miracles. You cannot state that a miracle will happen here... That is the nature of the Jewish faith.
    Science on the other hand deals only in that which is quantifiable.
    Now what our friend David was saying is that we don't need Intelligent Design(a Xtian Fundamentalist philosophy) as we have hashgacha pratit, fully and totally stands.

    1) As Jews, especially those of us who hold to absolute hashgacha pratit, know that there are no random occurences, not in the weather, not in nature none... Simple as that. Therefore what science sees as random, the appearence of a species, a beneficial mutation, the development of a hurricane, ect we as Jews know that these things are controlled behind the scenes by G-d. No need for Fundamentalist Xtian doctrines.

    2)Since we as Jews have an invisible and unmeasurable G-d, we are not bothered by the lack of physical evidence that science can produce. I would be highly alarmed and much more distrusting of the theory of evolution if it began to claim that it could prove G-d, or somehow quantify or observe the G-d aspect. That would be true kefira.

    3)You seem to be a bit confused as to what a scientific theory is, so grabbing from you beloved wikipedia, "A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that is acquired through the scientific method and repeatedly tested and confirmed through observation andexperimentation."

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  37. Very interesting. Thank You.
    Since 2005 they have published details of the evolutionary changes:
    http://myxo.css.msu.edu/index.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._coli_long-term_evolution_experiment

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  38. 1) The real question is why do you assume the creation of adam was instantaneous? If Hashem created the first cell and the laws of nature(evolution), do you not say that God also created any result? Or was there a time stamp on the act of creation? 24 hours was it?

    the soforno
    נעשה אדם בצלמנו : אדם - מין ממיני נפש חיה שיצרתי ששמו אדם

    And what do you mean by 'kaballistically allegorical? Do you believe that kabbala have inside information as to what really happened? In that case why would you fight for the literal understanding when you know that it is not the actual truth?

    Why just kabalistically allegorical. The rambam was certainly not a kabbalist yet he also says it was allegorical.

    The ramban and the rambam both explicitly stated that there was only one act of creation and everything later came from that. I posted the complete quotes above. The onus is on you to find a rishon who states that Hashem literally created the earth and planets separately. And even if there is, you are in no position to say you are any more correct.

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  39. if you are indeed a scientist in this field publish something that is accepted by the scientific world that disproves evolution. Don't prove it to me, prove it to them. I expect to see it in the news: "nat shocks science with a good argument against evolution".

    I do have faith in my sages. Unfortunately you are just ignorant as to what they say. I don't know how many times it can be repeated here that many or most do not understand creation literally. Such as the rambam and ramban. Do you even care that gedolim say there is no problem with evolution or are you so full of yourself you prefer to remain ignorant on jewish matters.

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  40. Wow. you really do not understand the theory of panspermia (life throughout the universe). For a start, he still fully believed in evolution from basic living cells on earth. So this new hero of yours believed and promoted natural selection. He was just theorising about where life first originated. He didn't think it could have happened on earth but he still assumed it happened naturally on some other planet or in space somewhere. Please stop misquoting ideas that you obviously do not understand.

    Just accept that crick was a believer in evolution on earth from basic cells and the evolution of the basic cells elsewhere (perhaps directed by aliens who themselves evolved from basic cells).

    None of this helps your argument.

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  41. @Nat I have answered your question a number of times but you do not seem to understand it.

    I am not spending my time in the middle of the road but showing the range of legitimate Torah views. Again something which you have difficulty in understanding.

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  42. Ok. I do understand what you are trying to do. However, you do also give off the impression that you also subscribe to these beliefs. I have no problem with being melamed zechus on the people who are within the acceptable range of beliefs; it is not my place to condemn people to Gehinnom. I do believe, however, that you, as the blog owner, should clearly state where you stand personally.
    I also think that it needs to be made clear that there is a great difference between believing in an old Universe and in believing in the theory of evolution. If there are Rishonim who allow for the belief of an old Universe, and people wish to conform this view to science, that is their prerogative. However, I feel very strongly that most of the points of the evolutionists do fall within the realm of kefira, such as their views regarding the origin of the Universe, the origin of life, and the belief that man developed from the animals, and therefore to believe in evolution is not the same as to believe in an old Universe. There are no sources from the Rishonim for evolution and only apologetics from some of the later rabbis.
    A third point that I would like to clarify is the quote that I brought from Rashi. No, Rashi may not be the only opinion, and one is permitted to follow other opinions. What I feel is wrong is to say that since most of the scientists say one way, therefore Rashi is incorrect and we follow the Ramban, etc. If Rashi is completely clear that the world was created in six days, which he is, then we are not permitted to disregard his opinion in the face of science, and must rather maintain his words in the context of science, which Rav Aryeh Kaplan does do.

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  43. Because it was. Please stop twisting pesukim. And there is no need to find a rishon for something that any five-year-old can read directly from the pesukim. Not to mention that it is clear in the Gemara and Midrash. I think that you will benefit from this following quote from Rav Chaim Kreiswirth, Zt"l, which I have mentioned before to RDE.
    "A person can be a complete kofer, and have a source from a rishon to back up every one of his heretical ideas."

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  44. "Do you even care that gedolim say there is no problem with evolution or
    are you so full of yourself you prefer to remain ignorant on jewish
    matters."

    GEDOLIM SAY THAT THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH EVOLUTION??!!

    David, I am finally willing to concede one thing to you: That it is clear that you have somehow evolved from a lower life form. Not the rest of us--just you.

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  45. Ok, retracted. However, as I have said many times, there are many positions of the evolutionists which most certainly do run contrary to the Torah, such as their belief that life and the Universe itself originated by itself without the hand of G-d and that man is nothing more than an advanced animal. These are their positions and you can't get around them. These positions are as accepted by the world as fundamentals just as is the theory regarding the origin of the species.

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  46. Tzadok, you're continuing to use false statements and straw men without regard for facts.

    William Paley is your current straw man, but I never cited Paley as a current or past authority in intelligent design. I only cited contemporary sources like Dr. Meyer and the Discovery Institute (discovery.org). DI is not a Christian organization, and it includes Orthodox Jewish scientists in its membership, such as David Klinghoffer.

    Paley was a Christian, so what? Charles Darwin was a Christian, but that doesn't bother you.

    Tzadok: "Intelligent Design" is termed coined by, and a theory put forth by William Paley in his book "Natural Theology".

    Wrong again, Tzadok. I can't find that term on this page with Paley's writings:

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?itemID=A142&viewtype=text&pageseq=1

    "The term "intelligent design" appears to have been coined in its contemporary scientific usage by the atheist cosmologist Dr. Fred Hoyle, who in 1982 argued that "if one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design.""
    ( http://www.discovery.org/a/8931 )

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  47. David Klinghoffer is not a scientist.

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  48. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 14, 2014 at 2:21 PM

    William Paley is your latest straw man. Paley may have advanced religious arguments, but I never cited Paley as a current or past authority in intelligent design.

    By your own track record, no one can speak of evolution without being a Darwinist of some sort, even though Evolution as a theory was first espoused Anaximander more than 2500yrs ago.

    The difference is that I am talking about the people who have explicity started the theory that you are putting forth.

    Discovery Institute (discovery.org). DI is not a Christian organization,

    Wrong again.

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v23/n21/thomas-jones/short-cuts
    https://www.au.org/church-state/february-2005-church-state/featured/intelligent-design-creationism%E2%80%99s-trojan-horse-a

    Discovery Institute is clearly a Fundamentalist Xtian organization with a Fundamentalist Xtian agenda.

    Likewise Dr. Meyer is a Fundamentalist Xtian. He graduated from a Fundamenalist Xtian University and then taught at two different Fundamentalist Xtian Universities. Further the back cover of his book "Signature in the Cell" writes Meyers is a Christian.


    I'm not surprised you have on several occaisions tried to foist Xtian Fundamentalist arguments upon us, and quoted those associated with missionary organizations, that masquerade as other things, like WND, and now Discovery Institute.

    Tzadok: "Intelligent Design" is termed coined by, and a theory put forth by William Paley in his book "Natural Theology".

    Wrong again, Tzadok. I can't find that term on this page with Paley's writings:


    You say I'm wrong, but then the website you link says:

    Judge Jones traced the origins of ID back to the natural theology of William Paley

    They then seem to be as confused about what it means to coin a term as they are about what constitutes science as coining a term means to be the first to use it:
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Coin+the+term



    You can't claim that someone was the first to use a term in the 1890s and then claim it was coined in 1982, only to then say that someone used it in 1972.

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  49. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 14, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    such as their belief that life and the Universe itself originated by itself without the hand of G-d

    Actually that is not in the realm of normal evolutionists. The Theory of Evolution does not bother itself with origin of life, or the Universe. While they often get inaccurately folded into the theory of evolution by folks like Dawkins and Hawking that hope you will be too impressed with their degrees and stature in the scientific community, they do not belong there. I cannot help it if all scientists are not entirely scientific when they write popular level works. However, strictly speaking those two things are Hypotheses that have as yet no firm backing.

    Regarding as being without the Hand of G-d, of course science will not mention a divinity. Again if they did, and claimed they could scientifically prove G-d, I would have to call that some form of Avodah Zerah, because that would mean that they could, measure, observe and quantify whatever Divinity. Science has nothing to say on the Divine. It is truly that simple. They eyes of faith will always have to fill in the gaps.

    that man is nothing more than an advanced animal.

    Well Rabbi Chaim Vital says that in Shaarei Kedusha Shaar 3 Perek 2. It is only the Jew that has a Divine soul. But let us back up to the Divine soul in general, or anything of ruchniut that would separate man from animals. Are these things measurable, observable, or quantifiable? If not, then as per the scientific method they are outside the realm of science. Scientifically speaking man is nothing more than an animal, because only the physical qualities of man fall into scientific categories.


    What separates man from being an animal is Avodat HaShem... I heard from Rav Yaakov Hillel, and from Rav Shmuel Lew at different times this same story of a certain Chassidishe Admur. His student comes to him and says, he is jealous of the animals, he too wants to be able to sleep as much as he wants when he wants. He too wants to be able to eat whatever he wants whenever he wants. Ect. The Admur responds, "You are nothing but an animal." Both with the final meaning that it is only our Avodat HaShem that lifts us above the animals...

    Now none of these scientific concepts by nature contradicts Torah. As I have repeatedly said, the eyes of faith will see HaShem at every spot, and fill in the gaps of that which is not observable, and not within the realm of science.

    In fact you have yet to present an argument that would demonstrate that evolution is any more dangerous than meteorology. Clearly this idea that rain falls and droughts occur because of random events completely absent the hand of G-d runs contrary to Torah just as keenly.

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  50. This is definitely true. However, you have consistently refused to answer most of my points.

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  51. Why are you so thick? I was not bringing Crick because he refutes evolution. I was making a point that even the evolutionists are stuck on the issue of abiogenesis, which basically puts a hole through their entire system of creation without G-d. Now you believe in aliens also? How did those aliens evolve? Please learn how to read.

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  52. I would just like to make a general protest that I do not think that you should keep allowing the posts entitled "Sheker Jew" unless he changes the name. It is name calling and definitely not nice, and not the same as attacking someone for his ideas.

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  53. "there is a great difference between believing in an old Universe and in believing in the theory of evolution" - This is very true. Unfortunately some Jews, especially certain Chareidim, believe there's no distinction between them.

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  54. Sorry, I wrote that last comment too quickly. I'm not sure if he is a scientist or not.

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  55. Tzadok: "I'm not surprised you have on several occaisions tried to foist Xtian Fundamentalist arguments upon us" - You're showing your true colors here by spewing outrageous, vicious lies. I never foisted any Xtian arguments anywhere, except in your twisted imagination. Your intellectual dishonesty and falsehoods here are truly pathetic, and are visible for all to see.

    (I'm assuming the blog admin will allow my response here, since the blog admin claimed that "self defense" is allowed.)

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  56. I won’t engage you in scientific topics because you’ll just quote your mantra of adoration for the evolutionary horde. However, your quotes of Torah need to be addressed as you seem to think that they point in the direction of natural evolution.

    The Rambam in Moreh indicates that everything was created at the first moment.However, he still indicates Hashem’s direct hand in the days of creation as indicated by the following passage.

    ומה שצריך שתדעהו שהחכמים כבר
    בארו שהעשבים והאילנות אשר הצמיחם השם מן הארץ
    אמנם הצמיחם
    אחר שהמטיר עליהם

    It says that Elokim caused them to grow from the ground and not that they sprang up naturally from the original creation. Secondly, the Rambam agrees that there were only 7 days of creation and does not indicate anylonger period. According to you, creation never stopped and is ongoing now.Additionally, why do we celebrate Shabbos because of Hashem’s rest? Evolution never stopped.

    וממה שצריך שתתבוננהו מאד זכרו בריאת אדם בששת ימי בראשית אמר זכר ונקבה
    ברא אותם וחתם הבריאה כלה ואמר ויכלו השמים והארץ וכל צבאם ופתח פתח לבריאת חוה מאדם וזכר
    עץ החיים ועץ הדעת ודבר הנחש והעניין ההוא חכר שזה כולו היה אחר שהושם אדם בגן עדן
    וכל חכמים מסכימים שזה העניין כלו היה יום ששי ושלא עניין בשום מנים אחר ששת ימי ולזה
    לא ירוחק דבר מן העניינים ההם כמו שאמרנו שעד הנה לא היה טבע נח

    Here he says there were only 6 days of creation and it never changes after the 6 days.

    As far as the Ramban is concerned, your only point that is valid is that he says the something from nothing came as 2 infinitesimal points, one for Heaven and one for Earth (which is different than the speaker
    in the video said that it was one point.) Everyone agrees that something came from nothing except for one of the leaders of the space program that said in a
    special course in space physics that I took that a Hydrogen nucleus is spontaneously created every x milliseconds. The nature of the big bang varies widely according to different theories.

    In any case, the Ramban only says that the creation of these 2 points was the only creation ex nihilo or something from nothing. He says the rest of creation was something from something but directly from Hashem and not spontaneous.

    Additionally , the Ramban holds that the 6 days of creation were 6 literal days and creation stopped after that. So there is no evidence of evolution in the Ramban’s statements at all.

    Here he says that the form that was taken in creation will never change.

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  57. Abarbanel wrote:

    NINETH QUESTION
    Was everything created according to the order of the days or not?

    The 9th question concerns that which is mentioned in the Moreh Nevuchim. Rambam notes that time can not exist without the movement of the celestial spherers and the sun and moon. However this raises the question as how there could be time before the fourth day when the celestial spheres and sun were created?
    The Rambam answered this question by asserting that in fact the spheres and the sun were created on the first day. Thus time existed for the first 3 days in the same manner as it existed on the subsequent days. He explained that in fact everything - both the Heavens and the Earth - were created on the first day. The Rambam cited Chazal that the word ES indicated that the creation on the first day included everything associated with the Heavens as well as everything associated with the Earth. He also cited the gemora(Chulin 60a) that everthing that was created was created in its final form. He also cited another statement of Chazal that the Heavens and Earth were created simultaneously. Thus the Rambam believed that the work of Creation happened all on one day and was not divided amongst six days. He claimed that in a single moment of creation everything came into existence. He explained that the reason for the Torah stating that there were six days of Creation was to indicate the different levels of created beings according to their natural hierarchy.
    Thus the Rambam does not understand the word day to be a temporal day and he doesn't read Bereishis to be describing the chronological sequence of creation.
    .... This is the view of the Rambam which he considered as one of the major secrets of the Creation. In fact he tried hard to conceal this view as can be seen in his words in Moreh Nevuchim (2:30). In spite of his efforts the Ralbag, Navorni and the other commetators to Moreh Nevuchim uncovered his secret and made it known to the whole world.... However, despite the Rambam's greatness in Torah and the apparent support from Chazal, this view of the Rambam is demonstratably false....

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  58. Rav Shimon Schwab z"l said that the 7 days of bereishis were established by the ohr shel shivas hayamim and during that the time the earth could have revolved around the sun billions of times accounting for billions of years.

    However, the end remains that creation stopped during the period of creation and there is such an entity as Shabbos which is the end of creative melacha. This would mean that all creative development basically ended with Shabbos. Since then, there has been no more creation of any form. What does the Rambam understand shovas vayinofash to mean?

    There exists within creatures a certain adaptability and capability for change but there does not seem to be any opening for new creatures to form.

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  59. Nat, that quote you brought in no way says that Rashi holds that the creation 'days' were 24 hours. It says that on the first 'day', the length of the standard day and night was set at 24 hours. As there was no 'day and night' - specifically mentioned - till the 4th day (due to lack of any sun) it is simply disingenuous to apply it.

    Said Rav Yehudah in the name of Rav: Ten things were created on the first day: Heaven and Earth, tohu va-vohu , Light and Darkness, Ruach and Mayyim, middass yom and middas layla . rahsi: middass yom and middas layla -24 hours combined

    You didn't reply to my question about what God taking any amount of time to create something even means.

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  60. Everyone ignores that rashi because it is illogical to say that he is referring to the days of creation. Look at the wording of the gemarah! "The characteristics of day and night" are 24 hours! There was no day and night till day 4!

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  61. Excuse me but what you are saying simply shows how ignorant you are. Different expression of creation are used such as 'boreh' and 'na'ase'. There are also two different stories of creation in beraishis. It is not one rishon who comments on these things but all of them. You may read chumash like a 5 year old but we prefer to look to the sages to understand the pesukim properly.

    Luckily for you not knowing what the rishonim say does not make you a kofer, though it does make you ignorant.

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  62. And you finally confirm what your argument is based on. Not wanting to be an evolved 'lower' life form. Just so puerile. Grow up.

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  63. Yes! did you even bother reading the original blog post?

    Can you not understand that any rabbi pre darwin couldn't have had an opinion as evolution wasn't around BUT the way they describe creation allows for it?

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  64. It is obvious that you have no idea what evolution is. It includes many aspects only one of which covers the origin of life; something there is no consensus on. Having a problem with abiogenesis does not mean evolution didn't happen. You are against evolution even though you have no idea what it means. What a waste of time this has been. You argue against evolution and you don't know what it is. You claim to follow the rishonim but you have obviously never learnt when any of them say. Go back to school.

    And by the way, irrelevant as to what i believe concerning aliens, there is also no religious problem with aliens as they are specifically mentioned in sefer habris. Another thing you are obviously ignorant about.

    I wouldn't call someone an idiot for not knowing something but I would when they argue so forcibly about things they know nothing about.

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  65. So you admit that at least from the fourth day on, the days and nights were 24 hours, so unless you believe that Adam evolved in 24 hours, you have just refuted the entire theory of evolution by yourself! Good job, David!

    And you didn't address the question to me, so I didn't reply to it. But I will have to admit that I was not around then, so I don't exactly know what G-d's schedule was during each 24 hour period. Sorry.

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  66. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 15, 2014 at 3:29 AM

    Can you not understand that any rabbi pre darwin couldn't have had an opinion as evolution wasn't around BUT the way they describe creation allows for it?
    Not true, Evolution was first proposed by a Greek named Anaximander in the 5th century BCE.

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  67. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 15, 2014 at 3:39 AM

    ID is a Fundamentalist Xtian argument. You brought Meyers who is a fundamentalist Xtian.

    Further during the debate surround homosexuality you quoted and author and various pieces from WND. WND is a missionary organization. One which published a book claiming that one of the Gedolei HaDor was a Xtian in a blatant and admitted attempt to convert Jews.


    I do not think that you are fundamentalist Xtian. In fact, my own hypotheses is that you, until now, were not even aware that ID was a fundamentalist Xtian philosophy or that your heroes in it were fundamentalist Xtians hoping to win people to their viewpoint. I personally think that you simply latched on to it because it fit your preconceived notions of how the world should work, and you never actually checked to see what the source was or whether it aligns with Torah principles.

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  68. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 15, 2014 at 4:00 AM

    Wonderful. So you hold of Darwin and Lamarck but not Hawking and Dawkins. And you hold of Crick but not where he believes in space aliens.

    I'm sorry but your supposedly clear thinking is absolutely failing to understand what I am saying.

    The Rambam writes in Yesodei HaTorah Halakha 7:

    This God is one. He is not two or more, but one, unified in a manner which [surpasses] any unity that is found in the world; i.e., He is not one in the manner of a general category which includes many individual entities, nor one in the way that the body is divided into different portions and dimensions. Rather, He is unified, and there exists no unity similar to His in this world.

    If there were many gods, they would have body and form, because like entities are separated from each other only through the circumstances associated with body and form.

    Were the Creator to have body and form, He would have limitation and definition, because it is impossible for a body not to be limited. And any entity which itself is limited and defined [possesses] only limited and defined power. Since our God, blessed be His name, possesses unlimited power, as evidenced by the continuous revolution of the sphere, we see that His power is not the power of a body. Since He is not a body, the circumstances associated with bodies that produce division and separation are not relevant to Him. Therefore, it is impossible for Him to be anything other than one.

    The knowledge of this concept fulfills a positive commandment, as [implied byDeuteronomy 6:4]: "[Hear, Israel,] God is our Lord, God is one."


    And we can go on with other references. However the basis is that G-d is indefinable. HKB"H is not observable, measurable, or quantifiable.

    However, to this point the core of your argument and that TruthJew has been to lambast science for not detecting G-d. However science ONLY deals with that which is observable, measurable, and quantifiable. To quote Newton:
    To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning.

    However by the vary Ikarim of the Jewish faith G-d is neither empirical or measurable. So the basis for your entire argument to date is purely illogical.

    BTW the last I checked Rav Chaim Vital is an acharon, and his Shaarey Kedusha is a widely read sefer in most Chareidi Yeshivot.

    Now when you can tell me how precisely the soul can be found to be either empirical or measurable, then we can talk about science being able to classify humans as something other than animals.

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  69. David-"There was no day and night till day 4!"

    I don't know about you, but in my chumash it says Vayehi Erev Vayehi Boker yom echad. This means, and it was evening and it was morning, one day.
    Evening and Morning = day and night.
    This was on the first day.
    What is your problem? Is there any pasuk that you do not twist into a pretzel?

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  70. I don't know what evolution is. I know what the theory of evolution is, and I never confused it with abiogenesis. Please get someone to explain my comments to you.
    There is no religious problem with aliens. There is a mental problem with saying that the seeds of evolution were planted by unknown aliens, who, if they existed, must have themselves had the seeds for their evolution planted by someone else anyways. Why do I have to spell everything out for you?

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  71. In the previous post on this subject, I wrote a lengthy post stating exactly what you said regarding the rationale for the scientists not having coming up with G-d. However, I made three other points: 1) It really does happen to be true, and has been stated outright by a number of proponents of the theory of evolution, that the real driving force behind the theory is to "get out from under G-d by giving an explanation for the Universe that does not include Him." 2) When you start coming up with theories such as the seeds of evolution having been seeded by aliens, without explaining how those aliens, if they really exist, got the seeds for their own evolution, there is something slightly haywire there. To put it in another way, if G-d would somehow reveal himself to the scientists they would have no choice but to include account for G-d in their theories. Meaning that there is a limit to the concept of "not dealing with G-d because scientists only deal with the quantifiable." Also, the Rambam states that the foundation of all wisdoms is to know that there was a "matzuy rishon." Science is included in these wisdoms. 3) As believing Jews who have already accepted G-d., it is completely ridiculous to believe that impossibly complex systems such as the cell, which need a cell membrane, DNA, and proteins to survive and carry on, and each of these on their own is in and of itself impossibly complex, have somehow evolved through a series of genetic mutations, when there is a much, much simpler explanation for their existence which is that they have been created by G-d as is.

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  72. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 15, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Nat thank you for your thoughtful response.


    In regards to your first point.
    1) I have said in the past and do not deny that their are some scientists that impose their ideology upon the science. Without a proper study into the issue, it is impossible to say how many. However, it has clearly been done. That alone is not reason to throw out the science.

    Point 2
    2) Well again that would be a hypotheses, in my opinion an absurd one, which runs more along the lines of the Scientology religion(actually that is pure Scientology). If any serious scientist put that forward, his University should look into rescinding his credentials.


    Point 3
    3)ֶHere I would say two things. First that again biogenesis or abiogenesis is being confused with evolution. I understand that, there are a few scientists that woudl like the conflate the two, especially on the popular level. However, they are two distinct fields of biological research. Abiogenesis is as of yet nothing but a series of hypotheses dealing with the simple fact that at one point there was no life on earth and then there was. However, it has not reached the status of a scientific theory. Evolution on the other hand is the field of biological research that deal with how life, or more specifically life forms, mutated and adapted physiologically once present. In that respect the hypothesis(or fact for those of us who believe Torah) that G-d created all life, is no more or less scientific than any other hypothesis currently available. In short science has no clue who life got here. However they do have a clue as to how it changed and adapted once it was here.
    As far as how life changes and adapts, and has done so, for however long the earth and creation have been in existence, that is something that is more or less observable and quantifiable. Thus, in part, within the realm of science. Science will state, naturally that to science these changes happen randomly.
    We can speak theologically and teleologicaly and say, that those random bits are miracles... But we cannot blame science for not exceeding its purview. Oh that more scientists were honest and simply said that Science is ill equipped to speak either theologically or teleologically, we would all be happier and with far less to argue about.

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  73. It is evident that the concept of "intelligent design" is not only compatible with Torah concepts, but is in fact a concept mandated by some Torah sources.

    Tzadok has claimed that intelligent design is an Xtian concept, but he has yet to cite even one aspect of intelligent design that represents a specifically Xtian religious concept. Tzadok is simply appealing to emotions without providing the slightest proofs of his claims, and is also slandering some of our greatest rabbis by associating them with Xtian beliefs.

    Its also possible that certain so-called kabbalists vehemently oppose the concept of intelligent design because it would appear to contradict the ARI's kabbalistic concept of "shevirah". The ARI's concept of "shevirah", ie a Universe of "broken pieces", may imply that the Universe lacks scientific intelligibility. The Vilna Gaon shiurim on hashkafacircle.com seem to suggest that the Vilna Gaon interpreted the "shevirah" rather differently than the ARI, so as to allow scientific intelligibility to the Universe.

    "One is obligated to reflect on the created things, and deduce from them proofs of the Creator's wisdom, by the dictates of reason, Scripture, and rabbinic tradition." (Chovos HaLevavos, Shaar HaBechina, Chpt. 2)

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  74. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 16, 2014 at 7:12 PM

    Actually I quoted you several notable sources. You just don't like them.

    As far as Kabbalah, the ARI and the GRA agree COMPLETELY. Anyone who tells you differently is simply wrong. I have quoted you numerous pieces from major Kabbalists, INCLUDING the GRA's own introduction to the Zohar to point this out to you. Unfortunately, your inability to read the primary languages leaves your falling back on secondary sourcing.

    The ARI's concept of "shevirah", ie a Universe of "broken pieces", may imply that the Universe lacks scientific intelligibility.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, anyone who would say this about the ARI's writings(never mind that he is simply compiling teachings from earlier) has no business studying Kabbalah. Period end of story. If you don't like that statement, I have several Gedolim I will gladly put you in touch with buth Ashkenazi and Sephardi that will reaffirm that.

    The Vilna Gaon shiurim on hashkafacircle.com seem to suggest that the Vilna Gaon interpreted the "shevirah" rather differently than the ARI, so as to allow scientific intelligibility to the Universe.
    Yes and unfortunately they are based, as he says himself, upon a letter from the GRA regarding the Torah of the Chabad/Lubavitch. A letter, which as Rav Yaakov Ades writes in his Kabbalat HaGRA that Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ZTzUK"L placed a cherem upon being published, because he claimed it was a forgery, and he delcared a cherem upon anyone teaching it. Now maybe Ashkenazim do things a bit differently, but for us Sephardim, when the Gadol HaDor and Posek HaDor makes such a declaration we take it seriously.

    The key problem with ID is that it claims to be scientific and that its theories are scientifically provable. Thus stating that G-d(chas v'shalom) is somehow quantifiable.

    You claim that I am slander that I am "also slandering some of our greatest rabbis by associating them with Xtian beliefs." Please name one Gadol who has expressly endorsed Intelligent Design.

    Your lack of intellectual, or really any, honesty whatsoever leaves me once again saying, I'm done with you troll."

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  75. I am going to assume that you are a troll as no one is this stupid. The gemara has nothing to do with the term 'yom' used during creation.
    I am asking how you can say that He even had a schedule; it makes no sense. Besides as you know time is relative, the faster you move the slower time goes. The 24 hours were relative to what exactly? The stars, the non existent earth.... It doesn't even make sense.

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  76. What has that to do with day and night?
    You are not seriously going to equate erev and boker with yom and layla just to make some ridiculous assertion that that's what the gemarah meant.

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  77. Dont be ridiculous, the rambam says the 6 days of creation were figurative. the creation happened at the beginning and the rest was a natural process of cause and effect based on the laws of nature that God created. According to him everything in natural, derech teva, including miracles. Ones like bilams donkey had to be programmed into nature during bein hasmashos.

    The ramban writes that those 24 hours contained 'kol yemot halom'. There is kabalistic relevance to 24 hours using relativity but it is clearnit does not mean a regular day.

    I never said anything new has been created. The rambam and ramban made it perfectly clear that there was only one initial creation. Evolution is not actual creation.

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  78. Excuse me. You were the one quoting crick! And trying to show he doesn't believe in evolution. Yes, not believing in abiogenisis does not mean you dont believe in evolution. Try and be graceful when shown to be talking nonsense.

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  79. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 17, 2014 at 5:36 AM

    The ARI's concept of "shevirah", ie a Universe of "broken pieces", may imply that the Universe lacks scientific intelligibility.


    Please clarify. It appears that you are stating that the shevirah, a completely spiritual thing, somehow corresponds directly to the phyiscal, quantifiable Universe.



    Surely you cannot be saying that because, as the ARI himself writes on Daf 14c of the Eitz Chaim, such a thing is pure kefira.


    Further you seem to confusedly think that their still exists this state of Shevirah. However clearly as it is written in Shaar HaTikun(immediately following Shaar HaShevira) in the Eitz Chaim, it says in the very first line of the very first chapter that HKB"H repaired in the shevira before the creation of the physical world, or the creation of man.


    Now I have from my Rebbe, HaRav Yitzhak Kaduri ZTzUK"L that one should not delve into pipulim with someone who is not completely baki in the Eitz Chaim. Clearly you are not, so this conversation regarding Kabbalah is in my opinion at an end.

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  80. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 18, 2014 at 7:43 PM

    Forgot that our last go around concerning your supposed arguments between the GR"A and the AR"I were about the Tzimtzum not the shevirah, so sources:
    1) Rabbi Yaakov Ades explaining the Biur HaGra of the Sifra D'tzinuta:

    כתב הגר׳׳א וז׳׳ל אתבטלת היא לא מלכה כלל דלית לה מגרמה כלום אלא מה שמקבלת מבעלה לפיכך כאן שמלכים דו׳׳ק מתו היא לא באה לכלל הויה ולפיכך לא נזכרה מלוכה והויה בתורה עליה כלל וכמ׳׳ש למטה והארץ תניינא לאו בחושבן כו׳ עכ׳׳ל וכן מבואר עוד בהגר׳׳א לקמן בדף ח׳ טור ד׳ וכן מבואר עוד בהגר׳׳א לקמן בדף י טור א׳

    והנה דעת העץ חיים לא כן שהעץ חיים מפרש שהמלך השביעי מהשבעה מלכים הוא המלכות ואכמ׳׳ל בזה

    אמנם צריך לידע דאין מחלוקתם בכללות כל ענין המלכות בשעת יציאה ראשונה דהמלכים שגם הגר׳׳א שכתב שאינה מהמלכים כתב כאן בדף ג׳ טור א׳ בהמשך דבריו וז׳׳ל והיא יצאה רק נקודה אחת וט׳ נקודות נשארו למעלה וכו׳ עכ׳׳ל והיינו דמודה דעכ׳׳פ נקודה אחת יצאה ממנה והנה גם לדעת העץ חיים שכן יצאה הרי מודה שיצאה רק נקודה אחת

    So what he is saying is that, if there is any machloket between them it is only over whether or not Nuk' is considered one of the Melachim mentioned in the Torah, not what happened with it.

    Rav Kaduri brings this piece from the GR"A in his sepher Kedushat Yitzchak vol 2 page 218, and says that many beginners stumble over it, but that they would find answers in the Leshem.

    The Leshem Helek Deah deals with this at length. Starting in Helek 1 Drush 1 Siman 1 Seif 4 he brings the language of the GR"A, and then please note that in that very seif, he says that the AR"I himself says the exact same thing in his own commentary on the Sifra D'tzinuta, it is only in other places that the AR"I says things that are different. The Leshem then goes on clarify what seem to be Stirot in the writings of the AR"I through the rest of this drush and the next four drushim. This particular seif should be enough to clarify that there is no machloket. If the AR"I speaking on the very same piece of the Zohar as the GR"A says the very same thing as the GR"A there is no machloket. There is only a stirah in the words of the AR"I which is a Tzorik Iyun as all of his Torah was recieved m'pi Eliyahu HaNavi and as the Leshem himself will go on to say are Divrei Elokim Chaim and Emet Gamur.



    Finally I would like to add that the GR"A's own chief student the Volozhiner Rav in his own sefer Nefesh HaChaim says repeatedly that there is not machloket between the GR"A and the AR"I.


    Now seeing as Rav Chaim Volozhin, The Leshem, Rav Kaduri and Rav Yaakov Ades all state clearly that there is no machloket... There is no machloket. Three of those mentioned above were the greatest Mekubalim of their generation, and Rav Yaakov Ades, while perhaps not the greatest living mekubal(I have from my own Rosh Yeshiva and from Rav Attia that that distinction fall to a certain Rav living in Monsey who's shiurim in Eitz Chaim are found online) is to Kabbalah what Rav Ovadia was to halakha... There simply is no machloket.

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  81. As usual your comments are basically a simple minded repeat of what you have said in the past with no relation to my reply which has conclusively uprooted your reference to Evolution in the Rambam and Ramban.

    Try replying to hard and fast contradictions of your points instead of trumpeting your ignorance.

    It says al taan ksil ceivalto so I won't.

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  82. Tzadok made a claim that ID is allegedly an Xtian concept. When I objected that Tzadok provided no proofs of his claim, Tzadok responded with "The key problem with ID is that it claims to be scientific and that its theories are scientifically provable", thus completely ignoring my request for proof, and switching to another subject. This is par for the course Tzadok.

    "unfortunately they are based, as he says himself, upon a letter from the GRA regarding the Torah of the Chabad/Lubavitch" - Another false and misleading statement by Tzadok. The Vilna Gaon shiurim on hashkafacircle.com I referred to learn from a variety of seforim and sources, including the GRA's Asara Klalilim, the GRA's perushim on the Zohar, Moreh Nevuchim, the ARI's Eitz Chaim, Tanya, etc.

    Tzadok, I don't have time to review and comment on your Kabbala arguments, but your track record for honesty and accuracy on this blog and on other blogs is very poor, and I have no confidence in your alleged Kabbalistic knowledge:

    Rabbi Michael Tzadok January 9, 2013 5:32 PM

    "Before that you only have the Rambam and his Son that reject all of Kabbalah out of hand"

    Rabbi Michael Tzadok January 9, 2013 4:02 AM

    "Rambam- Nothing that the Ari says disagrees with the Rambam"

    Mesora replying to Mekubal (apparently Tzadok?):

    "you are not interested in honest debate regarding the most fundamentals of Yahadus...you want to leave the readers of your blog with the disinformation and dishonest comments...Since you chose to be dishonest and closed the posting on the Blog...

    http://www.mesora.org/mekubal.html

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  83. "The gemara has nothing to do with the term 'yom' used during creation."
    Oh really. Please read the Ramban on Pasuk Heh of Perek Aleph.

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  84. Well, I think that the Ramban that I had referenced to you earlier has already done that. I'm sorry to say that your problem is that not only are you an ignoramus in both Torah and science, but you do not even understand Hebrew, and, what's worse, you are unable of following a simple logical conversation. I no longer have time to waste with you . . .you can follow my conversations with Tzadok if you wish.

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  85. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 19, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    Sheker Jew at it again I see.

    Tzadok made a claim that ID is allegedly an Xtian concept. When I objected that Tzadok provided no proofs of his claim, Tzadok responded with "The key problem with ID is that it claims to be scientific and that its theories are scientifically provable", thus completely ignoring my request for proof, and switching to another subject. This is par for the course Tzadok.

    Not true. I showed definitively that the founders of the idea were fundamentalist Xtians with sources.
    I showed that the person you were quoting was a fundamentalist Xtian, working for a fundamentalist Xtian organization. You don't get to come along now and claim that didn't happen.

    The Vilna Gaon shiurim onhashkafacircle.com I referred to learn from a variety of seforim and sources, including the GRA's Asara Klalilim, the GRA's perushim on the Zohar, Moreh Nevuchim, the ARI's Eitz Chaim, Tanya, etc.

    Rav Treibitz has also said that he does not teach Kabbalah via the internet.
    That aside, I provided you with actual Hebrew sources(sadly you are unable to read them or deal with them again) of Rabbanim who have a true Mesorah in Kabbalah, that state the opposite of what you claim that Rav Treibitz is saying.

    If you don't want to debate me in Kabbalah, fine, simply don't bring it up. You clearly aren't qualifed in the first place.

    Then you quote from Mesora.org. Funny when the owner of Mesora.org was provided a chance to defend his views on this blog, he declined because he claimed, the blog owner was too dishonest to hold an honest debate. They have the same MO as you, to simply slander those who they cannot logically debate.

    Funny that when hit by a claim of Kefira, you resort to those that Rav Kanievsky has written in a Teshuva(previously posted on this blog) are Kofrim for your support in your typical ad hom attacks.

    Please either deal with the sources and the arguments, or admit that you were wrong.

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  86. * Incapable, not unable.

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  87. For the third time you missed my point. I will not explain in again, because I am sure that everyone but you got it. Maybe find someone to explain it to you.

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  88. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 19, 2014 at 2:18 PM

    Let's recap.

    You quoted ID, specifically Meyers and the Discovery Institute.

    I brought sources, namely Paley who was the first to use the term ID, to show that it was founded in fundamentaly Xtianity.

    You then attempted some illogical argument that he wasn't the one who coined the term though the was the first to use it, which is by definition coining the term.

    In the same post I made several arguments regarding how ID is against basic Torah principles focusing on two arguments:
    1) That one verson of ID is Deist and this is in violation of basic Torah principles of HKB"H's continued involvment with the world.

    2) That it claims that HKB"H is scientifically provable, and thus qunatifiable(by claiming it is science) and second that HKB"H worked with and through nature to develop life. These violate the basic ikkarim.

    You ignored this, and decided to focus on the Fundamentalist Xtian side point, ignoring the heart of my argument and going on to lie and say that I never made said argument.

    So I quoted you sources, including education history, news reports ect. that they were fundamentalist Xtian. Including now that they are funded by the John Templeton Foundation, which funds fundamentalist Xtian organizations, and has a C.S. Lewis program which is named after key fundamentalist Xtian theologian and Apologist of the last century.

    You ignored that, can once again lied and said I never presented any of that information, and then decided to attack me based on a supposed contradiction between the GR"A and the AR"I, while simultaneously making some Kefiradik statements.

    You first said:
    ARI's kabbalistic concept of "shevirah". The ARI's concept of "shevirah", ie a Universe of "broken pieces", may imply that the Universe lacks scientific intelligibility.

    I challenge you to go to any Gadol, Rav Shteinman, Rav Kanievsky, Rav Shternbuch and make that statement. You will find yourself in cherem faster than you can blink.

    So I quoted Rav Kaduri ZTzUK"L and Rav Ades. As well I linked you directly to the Leshem ZTzUK"L, who says explicitly that there is no contradiction.

    Firstly let me state unequivocally that if you think that the folks at Hashkafacircle are on a level to argue with those Gedolim you are deluding yourself.

    However instead of dealing with those sources you resorted once again to Ad Hom attacks. You claimed I cannot be trusted. But I was not asking you to take my word for it. I was asking you to read the Leshem and see what the Leshem says very clearly.

    You then linked some nonsense from the Kofrim at Mesorah.org. Who have attacked both me and the blog owner for on their website and forums for moderating comments, while they do the same, and disallow those they do not agree with from taking part in their discussions.

    So I am left to wonder why you refuse to deal with logic, and you refuse to deal with sources, and simply make personal attacks and obfuscations.

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  89. "the Kofrim at Mesorah.org" - Tzadok, I'm astonished at your enormous Kabbalistic gadlus that allows you to accuse the producers of the ArtScroll publications of being kofrim.

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  90. Thank you for your responses.
    I will reply to point 2) and lead thereby into the other points:
    (If you don't mind, I would like, for the present, to keep these discussions unclouded by the "Jewish sources" and just discuss the scientific theories on their own merits.)
    As I have quoted further on in this blog, one of the great scientists responsible for the alien theory was Francis Crick, one of the discoverers of DNA. And I definitely do not recommend that his scientific credentials be taken away for this. My point is just to highlight the dualism that is manifest with a great many of those in the scientific community whose logical reasoning skills go berserk when attempting to ascertain the origins of life. I have likened this to a calculator which, must perform calculus operations using non-calculus methods, as it is unable to process the concept of infinity, because it can only process numbers and not concepts. This does not in any way disparage the utility of a calculator; it just recognized the calculator for what it is--a useful tool with limitations. In the same way, I am able, in perfectly good conscience, to discredit and ignore the theories of the scientists in this matter while retaining the remainder of the corpus of scientific theories and methodology, and while continuing to give scientists their due respect. This discussion also relates, indirectly, to their ideas regarding changing and adaptations of the species, because the point of their theory, while not directly heretical, is to replace the classic understanding of creation of every one of the species by G-d in its current basic form. While, yes, they have evidence of certain things that they refer to as proofs, there are none of these that are conclusive in any way to the classic understanding of Creation by G-d. They are mere speculation and conjecture. Speaking generally, the proof of "homologous organisms" is no more a proof of the theory of evolution than it is a proof for Creation, as it is perfectly reasonable to speculate that G-d created homologous organisms. And so on and so on. What's more, there is zero scientific recorded laboratory evidence of the evolution of one species or even one system or organ from another. And then, with their theory, you have to give a fantastic, impossible explanation for the evolutionary process of every single organism, organ, and species in existence. Each impasse at which they arrive puts another giant hole in their theory, and there are millions of them. Now obviously, they do not recognize these holes, but rather, each time they are at a loss for explanation, they say something to the effect of "This just goes to show the limitless possibilities of the evolutionary process." This comment is especially prevalent in their discussions of "bi-lateral evolution," in which two species or systems must have evolved simultaneously. I am not going to give specific quotes now, but you can look them up.
    It is therefore my belief that for a person who is knowledgeable in the sciences and who is also a believing Jew, such as yourself, there is really no reason whatsoever to disregard the classic understanding of the Creation of the Universe and of life and the species by G-d. Once you are able to "process" the concept of G-d, the classic understanding is both scientifically viable and acceptable. It really doesn't matter what the rest of the scientific community has to say about it, just as it doesn't matter what they have to say about religion in general. There is also no longer a need to read evolutionary ideas into the classical Jewish texts, which, everyone will agree, was done only following the introduction of the evolutionary theories and not prior to it.

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  91. "That it claims that HKB"H is scientifically provable ...These violate the basic ikkarim" - Wrong again, Tzadok. The first two shaarim of Chovos HaLevavos are proving the existence of G-d using philosophical and scientific arguments. In various places in Moreh Nevuchim the Rambam offers philosophical proofs for the first three ikkarim of the Rambam's 13 ikkarim.

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  92. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 20, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Tzadok, please stop your self aggrandizing obfuscation and ranting already, and prove by logical arguments how the concept of ID as expressed by the Discovery Institute is:

    Let me understand this. It is a logical argument when you accuse me of lying and obfuscation. However, when I point out, how in this very thread you have repeatedly lied, shifted subject when shown to be wrong, as you are once again doing, and obfuscated suddnly I am self aggrandizing... Yet you wonder why I call you Sheker Jew.

    1. a specifically Christian doctrine derived solely from Christian religious texts, and
    2. how it conflicts with Chovos HaLevavos.

    "Intelligent design is modest in what it attributes to the designing intelligence responsible for the specified complexity in nature. For instance, design theorists recognize that the nature, moral character and purposes of this intelligence lie beyond the competence of science and must be left to religion and philosophy."
    (William Dembski, The Design Revolution, pg. 42)


    Since we are quoting William Dembski, let us get the full picture of William Dembski's opinion from Intelligent Design: the Bridge Between Science and Theology p. 210:
    Christ is indispensable to any scientific theory, even if its practitioners don't have a clue about him. The pragmatics of a scientific theory can, to be sure, be pursued without recourse to Christ. But the conceptual soundness of the theory can in the end only be located in Christ.

    Do I really need to point out that the Chovos would be opposed to this idea from start to finish? Why is it that you have yet to quote a ID "scientist" that isn't a fundamentalist Xtian, who has specifically claimed that ID is a hidden means by which to evangelize?

    "One is obligated to reflect on the created things, and deduce from them proofs of the Creator's wisdom, by the dictates of reason, Scripture, and rabbinic tradition." (Chovos HaLevavos, Shaar HaBechina, Chpt. 2)

    So please quote me where ID duduces proofs of the HKB"H's wisdom from the dictates of either Scripture or Rabbinic Tradition.


    ID is the exact opposite of this idea. It tries to align the creator with the dictates of science. Otherwise they would simply be staunch creationists. So please show me where they quote or even struggle with Rashi, Ramban, Rambam, the various Gemarras. We have lots of quotes about how the foundational thoughts of Xtianity are indispensible, but none about how the statements of Rashi pose a major hurdle for Old Earth theory, or even how any of the aspects of our tradition are indespensible.

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  93. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 20, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Let this stand as where I stand on evolution. In short I think it, and its cousin intelligent design, are shtut. Evolution, has at its core, that which intelligent design lacks, which is an inherently neutral opinion on theology and teleology, as it is only rightly concerned with that which is measurable, quantifiable and observable. ID on and steeped in a fundamentalist Xtian ideology.

    Personally I think that evolution, is not inherently contrary to Torah, as Rav Kook and other Gedolim have said. However, I believe at best it is a crutch for those who cannot simply accept the fact that everything that is was created yesh m'ein by HKB"H.

    I believe that the creation had a specific logical order that is based upon ever higher levels of spirituality(Sepher Likutim on Bereshit). I believe that Adam HaRishon was created by HKB"H roughly 5775 years ago(Sepher Likutim on Bereshit and Shaar Pesukim on Bereshit). As far as the amount of time that occured before the creation of man, I have to use the words of the Shemen Sasson(Helek 1 Daf 1b, and Helek 5 on Shaar Pesukim) that I am unable to understand the matter. The Rashash(introduction to siddur Rosh HaShannah, and the Torat Chakham in three places, see Shemen Sasson for Mareh Mokomot) seem to have been able to understand the words of the AR"I and the various places where he discusses the issue(Eitz Chaim Shaar 1 Anaf 3, Shaar HaLikutim on Bereshit, Shaar Pesukim on Bereshit, Shaar HaLikutim on Kedoshim, Shaar Mamrei Rashbi daf 44b), and have come to th conclusion the argument between the ARI and Rav Nehuniah Ben HaKana was not about the age of the Universe, but rather where it was in the process of being spiritually rectified. Likewise Rav Chaim Vital in Sefer OrHaChama, Parashat Shemot 7b also claims an old world, however, despite these various sources the Shemen Sasson, could only say that he could not fully understand the matter.


    I normally hold by the Rashash and Torat Chakham, however, considering the weight of the opinions to the other side, I don't feel that it is at all possible to say one way or another is certainily correct, and so regarding the age of the Universe, the most intellectually honest answer is to say elu v'elu divrei Elokim chaim.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Tzadok, your quote, if it is accurate does not address my argument at all, but is just another one of your straw men. Your quote may or may not represent Demski's Christian religious beliefs, but you ignored my quote from Demski that ID is not expressing religious or philosophical concepts. You set up a straw man and did not quote from the "the concept of ID as expressed by the Discovery Institute". That is the only ID concept I'm addressing.

    Many ideas from non-Jews have been accepted by religious Jews throughout history, when those ideas are deemed valid and useful. The fact that the source of an idea was a non-Jew makes no difference. Darwin was also a Christian, and yet you have no problem accepting his atheistic evolution theory. Isaac Newton was a Christian, and yet you don't challenge Newton's laws. Thomas Edison was a Christian, but you don't reject the use of light bulbs, etc.

    "quote me where ID duduces proofs of the HKB"H's wisdom from the dictates of either Scripture or Rabbinic Tradition" - This is a nonsensical argument because ID's usefulness is as a scientific theory that does not contradict Torah theology, but ID is not derived from Torah sources.

    You've mindlessly tossed around "kefira" accusations against your opponents here, but in fact ID doesn't advance and support atheism and kefira like the Darwinist evolution you're promoting here.

    ReplyDelete
  95. Tzadok has disingenuously attempted to malign and falsify the shiurim on hashkafacircle.com that explain, (as I understand it) that the ARI's concept of "shevirah", (ie a Universe of "broken pieces"), implies that the Universe lacks scientific intelligibility. These Kabbalistic ideas were apparently rejected or else interpreted differently by the Vilna Gaon (see the Vilna Gaon shiurim on hashkafacircle.com).

    Tzadok is using the ID movement as a whipping boy, instead of admitting the real issue here, ie Tzadok's rejection of the teachings of the Rishonim on studying the wisdom in the Universe. Contrary to Tzadok's denial, the greatest Chassidic Rebbe, the Baal HaTanya, plainly stated that science fell into the "klipas nogah" due to the shevirah!

    "Not so in the case of the science of the nations; thereby one clothes and defiles his divine soul’s faculties of ChaBaD (intellect) with the impurity of the kelipat nogah contained in those sciences,
    שנפלו שמה בשבירת הכלים מבחינת אחוריים של חכמה דקדושה, כידוע ליודעי ח״ן
    whither they (the sciences) have fallen, through the “shattering of the vessels,” out of the “hinder-part” of Chochmah of holiness, as is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Wisdom."

    http://www.chabad.org/library/tanya/tanya_cdo/aid/7887/jewish/Chapter-8.htm

    ReplyDelete
  96. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 20, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    Sheker Jew,


    I presented you with actual sources regarding this. From Rav Yaakov Ades, and the Leshem, who quotes the very GR"A you claim.

    I also presented you with the words of the ARI and where to look them up.

    For some reason you refuse to deal with the sources...

    Can you not read Hebrew, or do you simply prefer to ignore the sources that you don't like?

    ReplyDelete
  97. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 20, 2014 at 10:59 PM

    scientific study contaminates ones mind. This seems to be the honest opinion of the Kabbalists!

    That is not the opinion of the ARI or the Marchu, however that is most definitely the opinion of the Rashba as found in the sefer מנחת קנאות לאבא מרי and it is the opinion of the the Rema in Y"D 246:4 and of the Shach Y"D 246:6 and of the GR"A 246:18 as well as the Noda B'Yehuda Y"D 219.


    It was my understanding that on the weight of these sources is he reason why Ashkenazi Chareidim typically abstain from advanced education in University.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Tzadok, you repeat the same nonsense over and over, misquoting sources, accusing your opponents of not being able to read Hebrew, setting up strawmen, etc.

    As I suspected, Rema in Y"D 246:4 says no such thing as you claim. Rema does not say that scientific study contaminates ones mind, rather he says that before filling their stomach with meat and wine, one may only learn the other wisdoms informally except for "sifrei minim". The long Shach there seems to make no mention that scientific study contaminates ones mind as you claim, the only question seems to be is when one may learn other wisdoms.

    Can you not read Hebrew, Tzadok?

    ReplyDelete
  99. So did the Alter Rebbe consider the Rambam, Saadia Gaon, Ralbag, Ramchal, amongst others who studies secular/goyish science and philosophy, to have defiled their intellects?
    It is ironic that the Gra did say something similar about the Rambam.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM

    As I suspected, Rema in Y"D 246:4 says no such thing as you claim. Rema does not say that scientific study contaminates ones mind, rather he says that before filling their stomach with meat and wine, one may only learn the other wisdoms informally

    Precisely. Unless one is a Talmid Chacham they may not study other wisdoms.

    The same with the Shach.

    Now, first, the Alter Rebbe doesn't speak for all Kabbalists, he speaks only for his sect of Chassidim. However, the words you are translating as scientific study are חכמת אומות which literally means wisdoms of the nations.

    Normally I don't speak on Tanya for various reasons, but since you are insisting here we go, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz says in his commentary on Tanya regarding that specific line,
    However, when a person involves himself in philosophy, science or any other secular pursuit that uses the intellectual powers

    So we are talking specifically חכמת אומות which is other wisdoms not specifically science...

    Regarding this being a result of the Shevirah he himself notes the problem with this:
    whether they have fallen through the shattering of the vessels from the hinder parts of chokmah of holiness, as is known to those familiar with the Esoteric Wisdom They are those knowledgabel in Kabbalah. The source and nature of nonholy wisdom is a complex Kabbalistic issue, which we cannot thoroughly deal with here. Generally speaking, the consensus in Kabbalah is that the "shattering of the vessels" that generated the Kelipah occurred only in teh seven lower attributes- the middot- but not in the three higher attributes, the intellectual qualities of chokhman, binah, and daat. According to this the existence of profane wisdom seems impossible.

    Clearly the piece that you want to quote as being so typical of the view of Kabbalists, is neither so clear nor so typical, and that is coming from a Lubavitcher who is forntunate to be well learned in Kabbalah.

    Further you ignored the Tanya's next statement which I will take from your original source:
    Unless he employs(these sciences) as a useful instrument- that is, as a means for a more affluent livelihood to be able to serve G-d- or he knows who to apply them in the service to G-d or His Torah. This is the reason why Maimonides and Nachmanides of blessed memory, that their adherents, engaged in them

    So you once again LIED

    You said,
    , instead of admitting the real issue here, ie Tzadok's rejection of the teachings of the Rishonim on studying the wisdom in the Universe. Contrary to Tzadok's denial, the greatest Chassidic Rebbe, the Baal HaTanya, plainly stated that science fell into the "klipas nogah" due to the shevirah, and that scientific study contaminates ones mind. This seems to be the honest opinion of the Kabbalists!



    However the Baal HaTanya specifically mentions the teachings of the Rishonim that one may learn these sciences in the service of G-d. You simply ignored part of his statement because you didn't like what it had to say, and tried to disingenuously attribute certain thoughts to the Baal HaTanya and through him to all Kabbalists.

    Your depravity knows no bounds. This is a very disgusting genivat hadaat that you have attempted to pull on the public by your partial quoting, then making false claims about what is and has been said.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Tzadok, I lied about nothing. You were the one caught lieing about the Rema's halacha in Y"D 246:4. When caught lieing, you simply responded "precisely", like you had agreed with me all along.


    You skillfully and deceptively created another straw man. I never claimed that the Baal HaTanya prohibited a Jew from ever learning science. I did not quote the last part of the Baal HaTanya because it was irrelevant to my primary original point - the apparent connection between the "shevirah" and the rejection by some Kabbalists of the scientific intelligibility of the Universe. This was the issue discussed in the Vilna Gaon shiurim I mentioned on hashkafacircle.com.

    ReplyDelete
  102. I have decided to create a series of shiurim on the theory of evolution to help explain what are the weaknesses of the theory and (eventually) what are the theological problems with the theory.


    Here is the first one: http://morethinking.com/2014/10/20/the-evolution-of-form


    Be well,


    Moshe

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  103. Can you please give me an example of where evolutionary biology has developed a useful toolkit for medicine?


    Please offer me examples besides antibiotic resistance, which in general have nothing to do with the theory of evolution as most cases of antibiotic resistance result from pre-existing, built in mechanisms within the cell. See here for more: http://morethinking.com/2011/07/13/antibiotic-resistance-and-evolution-understanding-what-really-happens/

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  104. Hello Rabbi,

    I have to disagree with your statement that 'evolution...is an inherently neutral opinion on theology and teleology, as it is only rightly concerned with that which is measurable, quantifiable and observable'.



    The theory is not at all theologically neutral. One of Darwin's goals was to remove teleology from origins -- it wasn't a conclusion of his it was a goal. That is also why many in the scientific community as well as many atheists so staunchly defend the theory and/or minimize their public criticism of it -- because they understand that without a theory of evolution G-d can be brought back into the picture.


    Secondly, on of the most fundamental criticisms one can make of the theory concerns its LACK of measurable, quantifiable and observable evidence for the proposition that all of life originated from an original cell (or group of cells) and transformed vis-a-vis some sort of evolutionary process into all of the various forms of life that we have today.

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  105. When discussing the opinions of Rav Kook and Rav Hirsch about the theory of evolution, I think a few dates are worth keeping in mind:

    1) Rav Hirsch passed away in 1888

    2) Rav Kook passed away in 1935

    3) The Neo-Darwinian Theory of Evolution was developed between 1936 - 1947 (see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_evolutionary_synthesis)

    4) The structure of DNA was discovered in 1953

    5) The genetic code was cracked in 1961

    6) The proofreading, correction mechanism of the cell was first discussed in 1974

    In other words, the current theory of evolution (which is significantly different than Darwin's version) and the fundamental scientific discoveries that revolve around discussing the feasibility and theological implications of that version were all developed and/or discovered AFTER Rabbi Hirsch and Rabbi Kook passed away.

    As such, one cannot use Rav Hirsch or Rav Kook as a source to discuss whether or not the modern theory of evolution is acceptable or unacceptable from a Torah perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  106. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 21, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    ShekerJew,

    At it again. Here we go, let us once again expose your lies,

    Lie 1

    Tzadok has disingenuously attempted to malign and falsify the shiurim on hashkafacircle.com that explain, (as I understand it) that the ARI's concept of "shevirah", (ie a Universe of "broken pieces"), implies that the Universe lacks scientific intelligibility. These Kabbalistic ideas were apparently rejected or else interpreted differently by the Vilna Gaon (see the Vilna Gaon shiurim onhashkafacircle.com).

    Again I have linked the Leshem and brought the words of Rav Ades who claim that is wrong. Yet you persist. Are you claiming that Rav Treibitz is on a level to argue with the Leshem? I know Rav Treibitz would take exception to that.

    LIe 2
    Tzadok's rejection of the teachings of the Rishonim on studying the wisdom in the Universe. Contrary to Tzadok's denial, the greatest Chassidic Rebbe

    While the Baal HaTanya was definitely influential, I am pretty sure that the Besht was the greatest. While many Lubavitchers might agree with you that the Baal HaTanya was the greatest after the Besht, millions of Chassidim would take issue with that statement.

    Lie 3

    First you said
    the Baal HaTanya, plainly stated that science fell into the "klipas nogah" due to the shevirah, and that scientific study contaminates ones mind.

    Now you say
    the Baal HaTanya, plainly stated that science fell into the "klipas nogah" due to the shevirah, and that scientific study contaminates ones mind.

    Clearly, as stated above, you are wrong regardign the Shevirah, for various reasons, but you have contradicted yourself.

    If it contaminates one's mind or soul of course it would be forbidden. But that isn't what the Baal HaTanya said. He said studying the wisdoms of the nations, such as philosophy and science, can contaminate one's mind if not done in the service to HaShem.

    Clearly from that your proof has again been proven wrong on both parts. First that there is some supposed claim by Kabbalists that there is no scientific intelligibility to the Universe, and second that studying such contaminates one's mind.

    Lie 4

    As I suspected, Rema in Y"D 246:4 says no such thing as you claim. Rema does not say that scientific study contaminates ones mind,
    and
    You were the one caught lieing about the Rema's halacha in Y"D 246:4. When caught lieing, you simply responded "precisely", like you had agreed with me all along.

    Now apparently you cannot read Hebrew, the Rema specifically says studying other wisdoms, which the Shakh and the GRA point out to mean the philosophy and sciences of the nations, is what the Gemmarra called Tiyul B'Pardes, and he notes the 4 who entered Pardes.
    Now I understand that your grasp of any source not specifically and easily found in English is lacking, but, as you don't seem to know or understand of the 4 who entered Pardes three came to a bad end. One became a heretic, one went insane, and one died. How is that significantly different than what the Baal HaTanya claims?

    Lie 5
    the rejection by some Kabbalists of the scientific intelligibility of the Universe.

    No Kabbalist claims this. Most especially no Kabbalist claims this from the writings of the Ari. Once again as the Leshem states the Ari and the GRA say the EXACT SAME THINGS.
    I will issue this challenge to you again, simply because it woudl be nice to see you put in Cherem and no longer have to deal with either your kefira or your lies, please call your Gadol of choice, Rav Shteinman, Rav Kanievski, Rav Shternbuch and make that statement to them. PLEASE!!! Not only will they inform you of how great an Am HaAretz you are, they will place you in Cherem faster than you can blink.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Tzadok: "the Ari and the GRA say the EXACT SAME THINGS" - Wrong again Tzadok. In Rav Treibitz's Vilna Gaon Shiur 8, one can clearly hear Rav Treibitz explain multiple times (between 6 and 7 minutes into the shiur, around 33 minutes, etc.) "...we will look at how the GRA expounds on the concept of shevira, which we will see is quite different than that of the ARI.."

    Tzadok: "Are you claiming that Rav Treibitz is on a level to argue with the Leshem?" - I never claimed any such thing. In the shiurim I never recall hearing Rav Treibitz argue with the Leshem at all. That only occurred in Tzadok's wild imagination.


    Rather I strongly suspect Tzadok is arguing against Rav Treibitz, the Leshem, and the GRA. Can anyone guess whose opinion(s) I will go with?

    http://www.hashkafacircle.com/category/vilna-gaon-shiurim/

    ReplyDelete
  108. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 21, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    The theory is not at all theologically neutral. One of Darwin's goals was to remove teleology from origins -- it wasn't a conclusion of his it was a goal.

    But that should be the goal of any scientist. Meteorologists should also seek to remove teleology from their science, or would you prefer that your weather man try to play prophet and tell you what he believes G-d is saying with the evening weather forecast?

    without a theory of evolution G-d can be brought back into the picture.

    This presusposes that the Theory of Evolution has inherently taken G-d out of the picture. That has not been proven here. Rather and evolutionary scientist, or any scientist that is doing pure research, should not be involving himself with teleological or theological questions, and they certainly shouldn't make up part of the body of his scientific work.

    Secondly, on of the most fundamental criticisms one can make of the theory concerns its LACK of measurable, quantifiable and observable evidence for the proposition that all of life originated from an original cell (or group of cells) and transformed vis-a-vis some sort of evolutionary process into all of the various forms of life that we have today.



    I agree 100%. I just don't see evolution as being inherently counter Torah.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Moshe, I appreciate your blog posting that explains how ID (intelligent design) is an ancient concept accepted by King David, the Prophet Isaiah, Plato, etc. I would like to add that these persons lived longed before Xtianity, so I think its absurd to claim that ID is a Xtian concept.


    http://morethinking.com/2011/10/24/introduction-to-the-argument-from-design/

    ReplyDelete
  110. Of course bacterial antibiotic resistance relies on ) preformed components. Bacteria compete with each other and with fungi for nutrients and growth sites in and on larger organisms and have been doing so for at least 5700 years.*

    Part of that competition includes generating toxins to kill off competitors. Medicine capitalizes on that: the original non-heavy metal antimicrobials were almost all fungal derivatives and most of the rest are synthetic modifications of them.

    Laboratory experimentation that removes all antibiotics from the culture medium to demonstrate “fitness cost” does not faithfully reproduce the selective pressures present in a natural environment where some presence of antibiotics is extremely common.

    As to the larger question of speciation: Wagner’s book (the review linked above) is very good on the knowns and the known unknowns. The knowns seem to include: metabolic pathways preceded life, and self-assembling structures are

    And as to the utility of evolutionary biology: Charles Johnson's "The Fat Switch" (http://www.amazon.com/Fat-Switch-Richard-J-Johnson-ebook/dp/B009XVKUDE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1413922178&sr=1-1&keywords=the+fat+switch+by+dr.+richard+johnson) is very interesting. Discusses why it's so easy to get fat, and some of the clinical implications of that.

    And I’m currently finding this thread very interesting:

    http://freetheanimal.com/2014/10/taking-accounting-loosing-favor.html#comment-667311

    -----------

    * “...we report targeted metagenomic analyses of rigorously authenticated ancient DNA from 30,000-year-old Beringian permafrost sediments and the identification of a highly diverse collection of genes encoding resistance to β-lactam, tetracycline and glycopeptide antibiotics. Structure and function studies on the complete vancomycin resistance element VanA confirmed its similarity to modern variants. These results show conclusively that antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that predates the modern selective pressure of clinical antibiotic use.”

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v477/n7365/full/nature10388.html

    ReplyDelete
  111. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 22, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    TruthSeekerJew Rabbi Michael Tzadok • 10 hours ago

    Tzadok: "the Ari and the GRA say the EXACT SAME THINGS" - Wrong again Tzadok. In Rav Treibitz's Vilna Gaon Shiur 8, one can clearly hear Rav Treibitz explain multiple times (between 6 and 7 minutes into the shiur, around 33 minutes, etc.) "...we will look at how the GRA expounds on the concept of shevira, which we will see is quite different than that of the ARI.."


    This is becoming absurd. Here the Leshem writes CLEARLY that the Ari and the Gra state the EXACT SAME THING.

    You can read it for your self right here:
    http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=37425&st=&pgnum=13

    See Seif four which starts with the world עוד שלישית כי הנה רבנו הגדול הגר׳׳א
    He explains clearly that where the Gra discusses the shevirah, namely his commentary on Sifra D'Tzinuta, matches precisely what the Ari says in regards to the Sifra D'Tzinuta.

    If you could read Hebrew, you could simply read the Leshem.

    Tzadok: "Are you claiming that Rav Treibitz is on a level to argue with the Leshem?" - I never claimed any such thing. In the shiurim I never recall hearing Rav Treibitz argue with the Leshem at all. That only occurred in Tzadok's wild imagination.

    Clearly you are claiming that, as the Leshem says that the Ari and the Gra accord. So does Rav Yaakov Ades, as I have already quoted you numerous times.

    Rather I strongly suspect Tzadok is arguing against Rav Treibitz, the Leshem, and the GRA. Can anyone guess whose opinion(s) I will go with?

    Wouldn't be one of your comments without one of your absurd ad hom attacks.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 22, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    You mean in the blog post where he says William Paley developed the modern philosophy of ID?

    Saying that Isaiah HaNavi, David HaMelekh or Plato held by such a philosophy is simply anachronistic. In fact it is anachronistic in the extreme. They were staunch creationists. Actually in David HaMelekh and Isaiah HaNavi's time, there was no question that all that is was created, the only argument was by which deity.


    However, once again, as Moshe notes, the philosophy, and in fact the term Intelligent Design, comes from William Paley, a fundamentalist Xtian, who was also a deist.

    ReplyDelete
  113. You are right that when King David looked at the natural world and proclaimed that G-d's works are wondrous he was not attempting to convince people about the existence of G-d. G-d was a given for Him and he was just noting His greatness as apparent in nature.


    The same is true of the Rambam when he poskins that one comes to ahavas and yiras HaShem by noting the wisdom in the natural world. The wisdom in the briah was not a proof of G-d, but rather a means of coming closer and having the appropriate attitude towards G-d.


    With that said, both King David and the Rambam are noting that it is possible to learn something about G-d from looking at the wisdom present in nature. It seems to me, therefore, totally within the spirit of Dovid HaMelech, the Rambam and others to show someone who is looking for 'evidence' of the existence of G-d the overwhelming wisdom present in the natural world.


    What's more, Lee Spetner quotes in his book Not By Chance a Midrash in which Rabbi Akiva does just that when a non-Jew asks him for evidence of the existence of G-d. We should also note the quote of TruthSeekerJew from the Chovos Levavos.


    Finally, it's worth noting what ID is stating. Intelligent Design at its core is a response to the claim in evolutionary biology that life developed by a blind, undirected, random process. They respond that this is a scientifically untenable position based on what we observe in the cell and biological organisms.

    ReplyDelete
  114. I agree with you -- the idea of looking at the natural world and seeing aspects of the design has deep roots in Judaism. It may be that what we are looking for in the natural world changes as the times change, but the search is as old as Sefer Tehillim (see my comment to Rabbi Tzadok below).

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  115. But that should be the goal of any scientist.



    Again, I have to disagree. The goal of a scientist should be to explain the workings of the natural world. If they can do that, great. If they can't, then they should admit it. What they should not do is kick G-d out of creation because He is not a scientific explanation. What's more they should not mold their theories so as to exclude any hint of the Divine. They should mold their theories so as to explain the observable world.



    The second that their motivation becomes to remove G-d from science they have injected into science a foreign philosophy which not only doesn't belong there but which also ends up perverting the science itself.


    In terms of whether or not the neo-Darwinian theory of evolution contradicts the Torah or takes man out, it comes back to understanding the mechanism. As such, I need to ask -- how familiar are you with molecular and cellular biology? Because it is in the details of the cell that this conversation takes place.

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  116. Perhaps I missed it, but I don't really see the evolutionary medical toolkit anywhere in your examples. For instance, I can simply note that bacteria generate toxins to kill off competitors and medicine capitalizes on that. I don't need to even think about or invoke evolutionary theory to do that.


    Modern physics has enabled us to put a man on the moon, tap into the power of electricity and create weapons of frightening power. Our knowledge of DNA has led to an entire biotech industry with effects in agriculture, medicine, technology and more.


    And our knowledge of chemistry has led to a whole world of new products and materials that the alchemists couldn't even have dreamed of.


    There is nothing like this coming out of evolutionary biology. No new industries, no radical new technologies, no ability to radically alter or change the physical world. What we have is a claim of why we get fat (yet another theory on why we are obese) and the utilization of something that we can just as easily utilize without evolutionary theory.


    Not quite the toolkit I was looking for.

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  117. I appreciate that you at least took a stand on the matter, and that you stated where you stand personally. It would be nice if the blog master would do the same instead of remaining as ambiguous as the Israelis were about the nuclear reactor. By the way, I had sent you a belated response to one of your posts but it is all the way at the bottom.

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  118. Yes, you missed it. Are you a clinician?

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  119. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 22, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Finally, it's worth noting what ID is stating. Intelligent Design at its core is a response to the claim in evolutionary biology that life developed by a blind, undirected, random process. They respond that this is a scientifically untenable position based on what we observe in the cell and biological organisms.


    I'm sorry but that is simply not true. William Paley, who you freely admit is the founder of the Intelligent Design philosophy died four years before Darwin was born.

    It also dengigrates the role that Pasteur played in debating various aspects of evolution with Darwin. Most notably Pasteur's experiments to disprove the possibility of abiogenesis.

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  120. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 22, 2014 at 9:36 PM

    Ambiguity allows for discussion. Which is why I believe the blog owner takes such a neutral stance so often.

    ReplyDelete
  121. Rabbi Michael TzadokOctober 22, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    @Nat
    There is nothing here that I disagree with. Which is why I didn't respond. However, seeing your more recent comment, I see that you may have wanted a response so here it is. I agree.

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  122. Moshe, the Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim is in fact deriving proof of a supernatural Creator, based on the plan and purpose within nature. ID scientists tend to focus more on DNA and information within nature that cannot be explained by natural causes, but I don't see any reason why ID concepts can't also be applied to the plan and purpose within nature.

    "I say that any work done with intent must have a purpose for which it was done... and likewise it is clear that the thing which was made with intent is mechudash (created) after there was not... And Aristotle already clarified that the plants were created for the creatures, and likewise for other things, each one for the other, and all the more so for the limbs of the creatures. Know that this existence of plan and purpose in natural matters brought the philosophers to believe in a beginning beyond nature...Know that the greatest proof to the chidush of the world, for one who admits the truth, is from the natural world around us, since all of them have a purpose and that each one is for the other - this is a proof on intent from an Intender, and intent which is carried out..."
    (Rambam, Moreh Nevuchim, III:13)

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  123. I'm talking about the modern movement called intelligent design. Read and listen to Meyer, Behe, Dembski et al and you will see that their main issue is with the mechanism of neo-darwinian theory.


    The Argument from Design (Paley) and ID are similar, but not one and the same.

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  124. Nope, I am not a clinician.


    If I missed it and it is there then you should be able to clearly and easily restate the examples.


    One could read tomes on the technological advancements that physics, chemistry and molecular biology have directly led to (even if one is not a physicists, chemist or biologist).


    One cannot do that with evolutionary biology. Of course, you can easily prove me wrong and provide a list that any lay person could read.

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  125. True, but I feel that it's an "end justifies the means" type of thing. If a rabbi personally believes that evolution is foolishness, he should say so, because otherwise he may give off a false impression of the acceptability of the theory in mainstream Judaism. If he decides to remain ambiguous for the purpose of creating a "Big Tent Judaism," he is using an improper means to justify an end.
    It is similar in my eyes to a politician who is personally is against gay marriage, but remains ambiguous about it so that he can get elected, or even so that he can create a "Big Tent GOP," because ultimately he diminishes the natural repulsion of much of the public to this matter.

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  126. I did you the courtesy of visiting your referenced blog post, viewing the videos, and making a pertinent comment – based on evidence, which I referred to – that indicated that your point may have been less pointed than you hoped it was.


    Your response? crickets. By the way, I didn't refer you to "tomes" but to a lively blog and to a book written for an intelligent lay audience.

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  127. Moshe, the off-point theological arguments against ID being made on this blog were easily recognized by Prof. Behe as a refusal and total inability to engage Paley's main points.


    "But exactly where, we may ask, was Paley refuted?...the main argument of the discredited Paley has actually never been refuted...Neither Darwin nor Dawkins, neither science nor philosophy, has explained how an irreducibly complex system such as a watch might be produced without a designer. Paley's arguments have been sidetracked by attacks on its injudicious examples and off-point theological discussions." (Darwin's Black Box, by Prof. Michael J. Behe)

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  128. It seems to me that the quote from the Rambam is focusing more on the question of whether or not the world was created yesh mi'ayin and less on the existence of G-d.


    Nonetheless, it is a good example of a Rishon (the Rambam no less) who felt that one could reason about the nature and order of the natural to reason about the origin and causes of that nature and order. Thanks for posting it.


    In terms of ID -- I agree with you, and would add one bit. Their starting point is showing that natural caused cannot account for what we witness in the cell (or in certain aspects of what we see in physics either). Their second proposition is that they inherently in and of themselves point to the existence of an intelligent creator because.

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  129. I haven't read all the comments on this post -- there were too many for me to go through when I first noticed it. Either way, thanks again for the quote. It's a good one.


    BTW, I think the main difference between Paley and ID is that ID is coming in the context of Darwin and the claim that


    a) there are naturalistic explanations for certain phenomenon


    and


    b) those naturalistic explanations remove G-d from creation.


    ID challenges the first assertion while agreeing with the second. That is to say, they agree that the neo-Darwinian mechanism removes G-d from creation, but they challenge the notion that there exists naturalistic explanations for the origin and/or development of life.



    What this means is that one can theoretically subscribe to many of the points that ID makes without having to come on to the issue of a designer. I have heard Professor James A. Shapiro make that very point -- he accepts their challenges and questions on Darwinian evolution without accepting their arguments for a designer.


    Another distinction between Paley and ID may have to do with the nature of the arguments.


    When Behe notes that an irreducibly complex machine cannot be created in a step-by-step process he is attacking Darwin. When he claims that it implies a designer he is echoing Paley. So far, so good.


    But Meyer, Dembski and others, though, are developing other aspects of the natural world beyond interconnecting parts to show that their is a Designer. Information, codes, specified complexity, these are new arguments for design. In other words, they are showing other aspects of the natural world which also indicate design.

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  130. My point is that the lack of technological achievements as a result of evolutionary theory are yet another example that there is something fundamentally flawed with the theory (at least in terms of its grand claim of expalining the development of all of life). As far as I know, there is no real tool-kit from evolutionary theory -- certainly nothing like the revolutions in medicine that have come from physics, chemistry and other areas of biology.

    For instance, here is a rather short list of some of the technologies that have been made possible because of our knowledge of chemistry:

    * Light bulbs
    * Mobile phones
    * Food preservation
    * Water purification
    * Liquid Oxygen (used as rocket fuel)
    * Vaccinations
    * Penicillin
    * Anaesthetics
    * Aspirin

    One could easily go on. But one cannot make such a long list from evolutionary biology (if you can, then please provide the list - I'm happy to take a look at it). Why not? If this indeed is the explanation of life, then why don't we see entire new industries and technologies develop as a result of our new understanding like we do elsewhere.

    Of course, one can point out benefits in terms of antibiotic resistance, and there have been some. But even there its benefit has been limited. And that is because the explanatory power of evolutionary theory is limited, as antibiotic resistance takes place by a number of NON evolutionary mechanisms.

    For instance, bacterial cells may possess :

    * Efflux pumps which can pump out the antibiotics.
    * Enzymes which are able to destroy or inactivate the antibiotics.
    * Genes which can resist the antibiotics along with...
    * ...Cellular mechanisms to transfer resistant genes to other bacterial cells which do not possess those genes.

    Now, in none of the above examples is the twin mechanisms of random mutations plus natural selection being deployed. The efflux pumps, enzymes and genes already exist. There is no mutation going on. At best, you can say that selection is a factor, although not so much in the cases where bacteria share their resistant genes with other bacteria.

    So while there is some limited benefit to medicine from the recognition that sometime mutations confer resistance and selection pressure can be a factor at times, we have nothing even approaching the massive technological transformations we have seen from other areas of science. That, as I said above, is yet another indication that the grand, sweeping explanation of life is simply not there.

    In terms of your reference to my post on antibiotics at MoreThinking.com, I assume that you referring to this comment that you made:

    Of course bacterial antibiotic resistance relies on preformed components. Bacteria compete with each other and with fungi for nutrients and growth sites in and on larger organisms and have been doing so for at least 5700 years.*

    Let's rewrite your statement and then ask whether or not it makes any sense.

    Of course bacterial antibiotic resistance relies on enzymes, efflux pumps, resistant genes and cellular mechanisms to share those genes? Bacterial compete with each other and with fungi for nutrients and growth sites in and on larger organisms and have been doing so for at least 5700 years.*

    Let's ask a simple question, why should the fact that bacteria compete for nutrients and growth sites indicate that they have enzymes, efflux pumps, resistant genes and cellular mechanisms to share those genes. Where did the enzymes, efflux pumps, resistant genes and means of transfering those genes come from?

    In short, nothing that really needs explaining in terms of antibiotic resistance is explained by evolutionary theory. Not where the enzymes, genes, efflux pumps or mechanisms of transferring genes comes from nor how to effectively deal with these mechanisms. Evolutionary theory will not tell us how to counteract those enzymes or genes, disable those pumps or mechanisms of lateral gene transfer.



    Be well,


    Moshe

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  131. In terms of your second to last line: "I agree 100%".

    I'm glad we finally agreed on something :)



    Be well,


    Moshe

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  132. To quote Andreas Wagner:

    "By the time you read these lines, the puzzle of life’s origin may be complete. We may know whether life began in a warm pond, in a hydrothermal vent, in a freezing ocean, or in outer space. Or we may have to wait another century. But more important for understanding innovability than reconstructing the one true scenario are two general lessons that all scenarios have in common.

    The first is that life needed to innovate even before it became life —by creating the first autocatalytic metabolisms and the earliest replicators. The other is that life’s symphony of innovation has three major themes. First, innovations created new combinations of chemical reactions, such as those that form life’s building blocks and that built the first replicators. Second, innovation required molecules that could help other molecules react. Third, innovation created new regulation, the key to coordinate complex life. These three themes resounded louder and louder in the biosphere as life became more and more complex and innovability increased.

    Wagner, Andreas (2014-10-02). Arrival of the Fittest: Solving Evolution's Greatest Puzzle (Kindle Locations 1061-1065). Penguin Group US. Kindle Edition.


    It seems to me that you are understanding innovation as a phenomenon of life, or at any rate accusing biologists of doing so. That might not be so.


    But as far as the questions you asked: They are interesting but I don't think they are fundamental.


    The reason I asked if you were a clinician is that I find the evolutionary biology thinking presented in, for example the book and website I mentioned, to be of great clinical utility.


    Again, I have done you the courtesy of reading and viewing your material. You may be right that pushing the origin of antibiotic resistance many tens of thousands of years into the past is irrelevant. But the arguments you presented on your website were couched in terms of resistance having arisen due to antibiotic therapy.


    What you were doing was making an argument from authority but couching it as data driven; too bad the authority you relied on failed to mention highly pertinent facts. Not good.


    And once again you ignore my point, which is that current understanding of evolutionary biology is becoming of real utility in clinical work. Read the book, read the blog.


    But unless and until you do, I'm done here.

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  133. I find the discussions of paleolithic nutrition on the blogs I referenced, plus the evolutionary biology based discussions of the effects of fructose on insulin resistance to be of great clinical utility.

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  134. Okay, now we are getting somewhere.

    Let me zero in on one of your examples -- namely, the effects of fructose on insulin resistance.

    Can you please detail how evolutionary biology has helped our understanding and dealing with of the effects of fructose on insulin resistance.

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  135. Read The Fat Switch and get back to me.

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  136. I'm sorry, but again I have to demur. I think you should be able to summarize the main idea of how evolutionary theory has helped us deal with the effects of fructose on insulin resistance without my having to read an entire book.

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  137. Now we have something to work with.

    Fom what you wrote below we do not need evolutionary theory to deal with the issue of increased obesity. We can merely note that there are two 'mutations' which combined lead to an increase in obesity. Theorizing on when and how that happened does not change how we deal with the condition (at least you have not provided any evidence or indication that it does). We can remove the supposed explanation and treat the condition in exactly the same way that we would with the explanation. As such, the explanation is superfluous and of no medical benefit.

    In other words, I can rewrite the last paragraph as follows and the same exact medical recommendations will follow:

    "All humans are double knockouts. Humans lack the ability to synthesize vitamin C due to a mutation in L-gulono-lactone oxidase, and humans have higher serum uric acid levels due to a mutation in uricase. In this paper we review the hypothesis that these mutations have in common the induction of oxidative stress that may have prosurvival effects to enhance the effects of fructose to increase fat stores. In today's society, the intake of fructose, primarily in the form of added sugars, has skyrocketed, while the intake of natural fruits high in vitamin C has fallen. We suggest that it is the interaction of these genetic changes with diet that is responsible for the obesity epidemic today."

    I imagine that if you provide other examples the same will be the case -- an unnecessary evolutionary 'explanation' that is of no need or importance for identifying or treating the medical condition being discussed.



    One more point -- I just want to let you know that as far as I am concerned this conversation is not personal. I am merely trying to make the point that I doubt that there is a useful medical toolkit from evolutionary theory. You obviously think there is, so I am asking you to provide evidence to back up that claim.


    I feel that that is a reasonable position and that, as such, you should be the one to provide the evidence to back up your claim. I understand that you feel that I should be willing to follow your sources and see the evidence myself. We probably will end up disagreeing on that point -- I just hope that we can amicably disagree on it.


    Be well,


    Moshe

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