Jewish Atheist

An agnostic atheist perspective
from a once orthodox Jew.

Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier and the “Religion of Ignorance”

So, I ran across this article in the Jewish Press titled, “The Religion of Evolution” by Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier. (x) And yes, it’s just as dumb as you imagine.

Firstly, the article (actually a torah sermon) is supposed to be about bribery and how it effects human nature, yet somehow the author spins off into a weird tirade against evolution and tries - but fails - to tie it back to his original point since evolutionists haven’t been bribed! But for him, someone (actually Science) disagreeing with him must mean that they have some sort of force pushing them to simply accept what isn’t so. “You don’t believe a magical being created you? Wow, that’s so unreasonable that it actually proves free will!” The irony here is amazing.

Secondly, the author clearly doesn’t know the slightest bit about evolution. For one, he seems to lump it with cosmology and the big bang which are completely separate subjects. He also paraphrases Hoyle’s junkyard-747 metaphor, completely missing the point that evolution - unlike creation - is a slow process guided by natural selection.He also lumps the laws of nature in with all of it, laws which he thinks somehow point decidedly toward god (though I have no idea why). He glibly writes that “Everything that you see… all just sort of happened” without recognizing the irony that science actually has explanations for how most of this happened, while judaism, in actuality, argues that “it just sorta happened”. Oh wait, I’m not being fair: I mean that some omni-creator just willed it into existence. Of course. That explains it.

"The question is, how can any thinking person possibly think that this just evolved?" Well Rabbi, that’s bc while you’ve been busy learning about ox-gorings, scientists have been amassing evidence - lots of it. That’s how thinking people come to adopt beliefs, esp extraordinary ones. The real question is, how can any thinking person be so painfully unaware of the basics of modern biology?

Lastly, he writes that people “tout evolution as a religion” but doesn’t explain how they’re similar? Do evolutionists worship (I mean that in the literal sense) the idea of evolution? No. Do they include superstitious or magical beliefs? No. Do they ask for faith? No. Do they have holy books? No. I could go on, but I think the idiocy of the comparison is clear.

Rabbi, try visiting the library instead of the beis medrash next time.

p.s. Just realized another level of irony in that the rabbi’s sermon is about a verse which begins “you shall not pervert justice” whereafter the rabbi goes on to judge unfavorably a well established basic of biology without, clearly, having heard any of the evidence.

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