Monday, December 11, 2006
Slifkin Affair I: The Theological Neccesity to Accept the Claims of Science.
As with any self respecting Jewish blogger I do have an opinion about the Slifkin affair and the relationship between religion and science. So here is a start. I am first and foremost a rationalist, someone with a deep rooted faith in the power of the human mind to understand the physical world and even to possibly go beyond it. If I did not believe this then I could not believe in the possibility of human beings knowing of God. If I reject the conclusions that my mind has reached as to the nature of the physical world, why should I be any less sceptical about the conclusions that my mind has reached about any supreme, omnipotent, metaphysical beings. As such from a strictly theological perspective I have no choice but to treat the products of human reason, such as science, with reverence. If the gift which God has given us leads us to certain conclusions then we must take those conclusions seriously even if those conclusions are problematic from the perspective of traditional thought. Those who dismiss science and argue that human reason is limited and must therefore submit to a divine tradition miss the point. If human reason has no validity then the structure on which we base this divine tradition goes with it. Because of this in the case of evolution, I feel theologically bound to accept its claims. To use religion to reject evolution would not just be bad science it would be heresy as well.