Monday, January 09, 2006

Evolution and Orthodoxy

In the current Ha'aretz Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, head of the OU, expresses an idea that most of the RW UO world would call kefirah:
Let me explain my position. I am convinced that there is a strong scientific case to be made for Darwin's theory of evolution as it is currently understood... I have studied and I find convincing the view of contemporary brain science that much of our mental and emotional function is the product of an evolutionary process. The theory of evolution, for me, is not inconsistent with the traditional Jewish view of the origin of the Universe or of the development of humanity.
Rabbi Weinreb concludes saying that he is on "solid ground." And he's right. Examples:

* Talmud Chaggiga 13b states that there were 974 generations before God created Adam.
* Midrash Bereshit Rabba 14 states that humans were created with tails.
* Midrash Tanchuma Genesis 6 states that people born before the time of Noah had webbed fingers.
* Midrash Bereshit Rabbah 23 states that in the days of Enosh the faces of men became ape like.
And more

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