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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Who Has a Problem with Human Evolution?

primates

I never understood why there should be a conflict between Torah and the Theory of Evolution. I never demanded that God be working in a static, unwavering manner, when everything, but everything in the cosmos in moving and jumping and mutating and splitting and slipping and slithering and gushing.

Anyone who sees a problem in the fact that modern science isn’t conforming with the first two chapters in Genesis should first explain the vast conflicts between the first two chapters in Genesis themselves.

Besides the fact that Science is about the What and Torah is about the Why, I also believe that the two, Science and Torah—that is honest, open minded Science and Torah—shouldn’t be anything but a complement to each other.

Personally, I don’t like the idea of the Divine Designer, because it’s an attempt to dwarf God to the level of my human understanding. All I know is that there’s God, about whom I know absolutely nothing; and that God gave me mitzvot through which I may communicate with His Will. Why should that be threatened in any conceivable way by the fact that, without a shred of a doubt, the ape in the zoo and I share most of our chromosomes?

Just thought I should say this before you watch Dr. Ken Miller talking about the relationship between Homo sapiens and the other primates. He discusses a recent finding of the Human Genome Project which identifies the exact point of fusion of two primate chromosomes that resulted in human chromosome #2.


About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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22 Responses to “Who Has a Problem with Human Evolution?”

  1. Nancy Gaines says:

    The story of Creation can co-exist with evolution. All you have to do is understand that time worked differently before humans came into existence. Six days to G-d was eons to us mortals.

  2. I also can believe two seemingly incompatible premises. The world is not black and white.

  3. Pete Dinglas says:

    Evolution is hallucination.

  4. Salome the world isn’t.. ‘The bible’ IS.. In the beginning GOD..& go from there!

  5. It doesn’t bother me. Both areas deal with people trying to work out things in front of them and things they cannot ever fully know.

  6. Shemaya, I sent you a FB friend request.

  7. I find it so funny when you look at Tanakh, from the perspectives of totally unrelated religions with different purposes and understanding but imagine them joined at the hip. Then when you try to see a relationship between Science and Judaism based scripture, they just cannot deal with it. I do understand why they are so dependent upon a literal “mythological” approach. I’ve read a little, but so far I haven’t seen Jews building ‘Creation Museums’ or promulgated the thought of cave men riding dinosaurs. With that walking on water, etc., would easier to take seriously.

  8. Ita Benjamin says:

    Yori doesn’t understand anything about this issue at all. This whole conflict is the result of Darwin vowing to kill G-d because his daughter died from illness after he prayed to G-d to save her. In fact, when Darwin first published, the Church was fascinated by his theory and seriously considered it in their theology; it was the paleontologists, ie actual scientists, who screamed false! There’s no evidence for it in the fossil record, not then or now either. Look it up. Those who understand the truth of creation don’t need macro-evolution to be false. But those who deny creation, need it to be true. Frankly, I don’t think Yori understands creation either, but is stuck in grade school. Maybe you should read Genesis and the Big Bang, for a start, to bring your understanding forward.

  9. Bob Riley says:

    Do the math. The time of creation to now shows the correct population… And look at the evidence of so-called per human bones, they are all fake or misread for they get for lying .

  10. Kenneth Mathews says:

    Who Has a Problem with Human Evolution?

    Anyone who believes the Torah and understands why Jews keep the sabbath.

    Shemot 20:

    8: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

    9: Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work;

    10: but the seventh day is a sabbath unto HaShem thy G-d, in it thou shalt not do any manner of work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates;

    11: in six days HaShem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore HaShem blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

  11. the Midrash says apes came from humans who were punished by the Tower of Babel – we do share a common ancestor, but the common ancestor is Adam and later Noah

  12. Kenneth Mathews says:

    Author, "Personally, I don’t like the idea of the Divine Designer, because it’s an attempt to dwarf God to the level of my human understanding."

    Does accepting HaShem as the Divine Creator and Designer "dwarf" G-d or exalt Him? Read and Consider all of Psalms 104. A few extracts below:

    Psalms 104

    24 How manifold are Thy works, O HaShem! In wisdom hast Thou made them all; the earth is full of Thy creatures.

    31 May the glory of HaShem endure for ever; let HaShem rejoice in His works!

    33 I will sing unto HaShem as long as I live; I will sing praise to my G-d while I have any being.

    34 Let my musing be sweet unto Him; as for me, I will rejoice in HaShem.

    35 Let sinners cease out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless HaShem, O my soul. Hallelujah.

  13. Ze'ev Gotkin says:

    That sounds crazy! Judaism doesn't only have one point of view on these matters and I believe none of us will know exactly how to resolve the seeming contradictions between science and Torah until Moshiach comes so it doesn't bother me. Midrash is not usually meant to be understood literally.

  14. A day in our perspective is 24 hours long, which is the time it takes for the Earth to rotate as it orbits the Sun. Our very definition of a day is based on the rotation of Earth and the Sun's light falling on the Earth as it rotates. Considering that the Creator didn't make the Sun until the fourth day and He certainly has a perspective far greater than any of us trapped on Earth with our very limited perspectives, it's arrogant to think a day to the Creator is the same as a day to us. There are things that are just beyond our perception and logic though, so I can't say either way. For all we know, man being made from the dust of the earth is a roundabout way of saying that man evolved through the guidance of the Creator and/or the laws He gave the universe, which govern life. I really don't see why this is an issue that some feel will make or break their faith. In fact, admitting that we don't know everything is probably more important to your faith than how old we think the earth is.

  15. I have problem with evolution as it is written and the Lord G-d spoke these Words. "Let us make man into our image" And G-d gave dominion over the animals, asking adam to call each by name. Also an ape cannot reason the Lord has given us the ability to reason and to harken unto His Word, which since Adam and eve's fall from grace, many of us do not harken unto His Word, but having itching ears listen to scientists and their teaching, whom themselves do not know the Lord or His ways.

  16. @nancy Gaines. A day is like a thousand years in the eyes of the Lord and a thousand years as one day" so what difference would that make as the Lord G-d created everything "Good" but since the fall of Adam and eve the ground was cursed and sin and death came into the world.

  17. Israel Quinones says:

    The author is an atheist in denial. If you believe in G-d, you believe his word. If you believe man ( Darwin ) you are a fool. The fear of YHWH is the beginning of wisdom.

  18. Terry Beals says:

    Anyone who believes the Bible and as such that God created man in His image, not in the image of a primate or worse.

  19. It is proven that the theory of evolution is false, because Genetics proves that the descendants always are of the same species of their ascendants, so that it is totally impossible a species to be descendant of other species.
    All the known examples of natural selection happened inside of the same species, inside of the range of alleles that exist in the same species, and in none observed case there was transformation of a species into another species. In all cases there was just appearance of a different race of the same species.
    The evolutionists say that a species transforms into another species through mutations, but in the case of the living beings that reproduce sexually, this is totally impossible to happen, because if through mutations an individual of a species transform into an individual of a new species, it cannot reproduce, because there will not be an individual of the opposite sex of the new species to mate with it, and the mating between individuals of different species is infertile (or produces infertile offspring, as in the case of the mating between the donkey and the horse, that produces the mule, that is infertile).

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