Monday, December 05, 2005

Why did NCSY publish a science tract on evolution if that topic has nothing to do with Jewish faith?

In last week's Jewish Press the following letter appeared
Theory, Not Fact

Reader Zev Stern`s assertion that "...the theory of evolution is no more incompatible with our faith than are the theories of chemistry or physics..." is a disingenuous distortion of the issue (Letters, Nov. 25).

Evolution`s problem doesn`t necessarily lie in the verse "In the beginning God created heaven and earth." It lies more with the notion that in the beginning (of the theory of evolution) Darwin knew nothing about genetics.

Modern science has shown that random genetic mutation (which can be caused by carcinogenic chemicals, radioactivity, and sunlight, for example) is a highly destructive process. It can result in diseases such as cancer, hemophilia, Down`s syndrome, cystic fibrosis, color-blindness, and muscular dystrophy, not to mention severe deformities in offspring.

Darwinian evolution does not even begin to address the issue of how organisms transformed from one species into another on the genetic level. For each accidental genetic improvement — if it truly was random — there should have been myriads of accidents which did not work out. Many of these "failures" would have resulted in diseased and deformed life forms, regardless of how long they lived or whether they lived at all. Thus, for every successful species — and there have been literally billions of them — there should have been many unsuccessful ones littering our planet. The fossil records show no such scenario.

Fossil records show, by and large, healthy life forms. The absence of a prolific number of deformed and diseased life forms actually supports the notion that a random evolutionary process — the one taught in school text books — never took place.

I have yet to hear a biologist, geneticist or biophysicist explain how evolution transformed one species into another on the genetic level.

The problem with Darwinian evolution is not that it`s incompatible with our faith. The problem is that it`s incompatible with science. And we`re not yet even talking about complexities and design. We`re talking about how random genetic changes could have produced a vast majority of healthy life forms with such a relatively negligible number of deformed ones (even if we agree for the sake of argument it is possible to produce complex healthy ones at all).

Ironically, the only way you can even entertain the notion that evolution was even possible is if you bring God into the equation. God certainly could have laid down a blueprint in the genetic code (not unlike that of a fetus, which "evolves" from one cell) that gives single-celled organisms the ability to evolve into various species. And this would explain why the fossil records show relatively few diseased and deformed life forms.

Now, I realize you can`t bring God into a science classroom; you can`t scientifically explain God. But shouldn`t you be able to scientifically explain evolution? And if after over one hundred years you still can`t, isn`t it time to reconsider? Simply because it’s accepted for a long period of time doesn`t turn a theory into a fact. In a science classroom they should teach science, not one person`s religion or another person`s cult.

Josh Greenberger
Brooklyn, NY

Editor`s Note: Mr. Greenberger is the author of “Human Intelligence Gone Ape” (NCSY), which argues against the theory of evolution. It’s available at no charge at

My question is only why did Mr. Greenberger have a book arguing against the theory of evolution on purely scientific grounds published by NCSY, a theory which he claims isn't incompatible with faith? Does NCSY normally publish scientific treatises or books which debunk junk science that has nothing to do with religion?

I'd like to think that letter isn't disingenuous, but I'm not sure.

Speaking of evolution, its interesting how little this comes up in the J-blogsophere. You'd think its at least as relevent to the Torah-science discussions as the age of the universe is.

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