It can be said that evolutionary theory is the centerpiece of modern Western thought, in fact of Western secular society, from economics, consumerism, the military, agriculture to parenting and politics. The appeal of linear progression, the basis for invidious comparison and the reinforcement of the pyramidal values that define our daily lives. At the extreme, evolution says that if you leave mud alone for long enough, eventually the mud pie will become a human being that can file your income taxes for you. Is this incorrect by modern scientific standards as to how evolution works? With the soul a genetic mutation not really different from apes, it does pose a question as to how the soul can carve out a niche for itself as in effect the soul remains just as much a mystery as ever. I remember once my brother asking my grandfather about the theory of evolution and Darwin. Grandfather, said ” leave this Darwin alone,if he wants to believe he is descended from a monkey that’s his business.”
His point was that Science can not answer why we have human beings, nor can it predict what sort of organisms can arise from a pile of mud and energy. The other point he was trying to make is that beliefs have consequences and effects; if we consider ourselves as advanced, sophisticated versions of animals, there will be a tendency to act that way, and likewise we will treat others, as the Nazi experience with euthanasia, the ideas of Fabians H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw included, the elder particularly as obsolete versions of humanity to be discarded like used product. They began with slaughter houses for stray dogs with the idea of moving up the food chain. Whether Darwin’s theory is “more reasonable” to many, in the natural selective use of it by the likes of Heidegger and other racists, it served as the basis and reinforced imperialism down the slippery slope to social Darwinism and to Naziism.
( see link at end) …Alfred Wallace, for example, who independently developed the theory of natural selection, always stopped short of applying
his theories to humankind. Needless to say, Darwin did not agree with Wallace and claimed that not only is there evolutionary continuity in physical attributes of man, but also in human emotions. 19th century British resistance to evolution was largely due to the perception of man and the origin of mankind. Noble and dignified man, the English gentleman, was so different and so far superior to the beast, that the thought of any type of ancestral connection was nothing short of incredible.
Darwin’s voyages had brought him into contact with the other end of the spectrum, the most primitive of tribes — the Fuegians. He wrote, “How entire the difference between savage & civilized man. – It is greater than between a wild & [a] domesticated animal … I believe if the world was searched, no lower grade of man could be found.” Darwin was in the singular position to comprehend the fine line between man and brute, and where evolution details and accents the similarities, kinship, and connection between the two, Judaism stresses the opposite. How can one reconcile the central principle of religion, namely man’s unique relationship with God, with the assertions of evolution that blur the distinction
between man and animal? Read More:http://www.baruchsterman.com/Essays/Evolution.pdfa
In essence, according to the Torah, Man that cannot understand the notion of one God is not a responsible being. Even the moral code of the nations, the Noahide laws, includes a commandment to believe in one God. The Bible speaks only to responsible, accountable Man, and the evolutionary distinction of a species as a reproductive community is irrelevant to the Bible. According to Judaism, Homo Sapiens capable of understanding monotheism is as different from previous Homo Sapiens as he is from a squirrel. Kohelet writes, “In the end, after everything has been heard, fear God and guard his commandments, for that is the sum of Man.” Indeed, the Bible’s definition of the human species (Homo monothiestis?) rests solely on the criterion of being able to follow God’s word. Read More:http://www.baruchsterman.com/Essays/Evolution.pdf
“If you are still troubled by the theory of evolution, I can tell you without fear of contradiction that it has not a shred of evidence to support it.” However, there is a unique element introduced in the Rebbe’s treatment. Noting that evidence for evolution is based on extrapolation (not interpolation) from a brief (on an evolutionary time-scale) period of observation and ignores potential external influences, the Rebbe argues that, on scientific grounds, there are fundamental problems with the theory. The Rebbe also offers two explanations for the existence of fossils: either they were formed recently in unknown extreme circumstances, or “G-d created ready fossils […] without any evolutionary process.” Anticipating the question of why God would bother creating fossils, the Rebbe counters that “The question, Why create a fossil? is no more valid than the question, Why create an atom?”
Certainly, the Rebbe is unwilling to accept the consensus of the scientific community. Significantly, however, he does not malign scientists or accuse them of immoral motivations. In fact, he indicates respect for the scientific method and acknowledges that “[s]cience cannot operate except by accepting certain working theories or hypotheses, even if they cannot be verified.” Even his objections work within the framework of science. Hence, the Rebbe’s approach is best described as an attempt to accept the literal understanding of the Torah and, while accepting the scientific evidence as valid, revise its interpretation to match the Torah view. Read More:http://www.kolhamevaser.com/2010/10/creation-and-evolution-toward-a-methodology-of-addressing-challenges-to-faith/