Friday, July 27, 2007

Science vs Torah

Collected on the Internet:

...the scientific method will never discover or prove anything that contradicts the Torah, because the Torah is true and the scientific method is a way of finding out facts. FACTS cannot contradict truth, by definition.

Well duh. Facts can't contradict Truth. Obviously. The trouble, though, is that humans can't know Truth, at least not absolutely. At best, we acquire some approximation of Truth, that is refracted and fractured, formed and reformed over and over again as it's imperfectly passed from one fallible mind to another.

So, for the sake of argument, let's agree that the Torah is "True." Does it follow that every last word anyone has ever said about the Torah is also true? Does it follow that every bit of exegesis and every bit of commentary and every interpretation is true? No, and no again.

So, yes, "facts" can't contradict the "True" torah, but they can contradict human, fallible perceptions of the torah, and that, rather than the Torah itself, is what (often) needs to be reworked in light of newly discovered facts. That's the key error in yesterday's post about Charedi Science. It is not the Torah that is contradicted when science says that Mount Everest is the highest place on earth, or when we discover that the Pacific Ocean is, in fact, the largest body of water. Those new facts don't undermine the Truth. They undermine a human's interpretation of it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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