Torah Solves the Problem of Missing Links
by Sarah Yehudit Schneider
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The expanded version of this study is available for purchase in book form: Evolutionary Creationism: Kabbala Solves the Riddle of Missing Links
The Original Version
TORAH, SCIENCE, AND CREATIONISM
THREE FRAMES OF CONCEPTION AND MISCONCEPTION
The battle between Darwin and Creationism forcing classrooms and courtrooms to choose between faith and science has nothing to do with Torah. Each framework builds from non-Jewish premises.
When science discovers the mechanics of a natural process it imagines itself to have proven the nonexistence of G-d in that realm, relegating Divinity to increasingly remote corners of reality, i.e. those areas not yet illuminated by the scientific mind. Wherever a natural explanation exists G-d cannot, and so it postulates a mutually exclusive relationship between science and religion.
Jewish theology asserts the opposite and practicing Jews affirm the principle in their twice daily recitation of faith (called the Shema), “Hear Israel, HaShem our Lord, HaShem is one.” The two names of G-d here (HaShem and Lord) express two modes of Divine interaction with creation. HaShem (י/ה/ו/ה) the four-letter, unpronounceable name of G-d is the transcendent aspect of Divinity, perfect and absolute, that exists beyond time and space, and beyond name and form. Conversely, Lord (Elokim), is the name used throughout the creation chapter of Genesis. It refers to Divine expression that operates within the system of natural law that G-d devised to govern the world in accordance with His will.
Torah teaches, through the Shema as its central article of faith, that the same G-d (HaShem) which does things that nature can’t do (i.e., miracles or creation ex nihilo) is the acting force within all that it does do (i.e. Elokim.) HaShem and Elokim are one. When science discovers the secrets of photosynthesis, the way a cell extracts energy from its food, or why it rains, they are simply articulating the mechanism of Divine manifestation as it operates through the physical world.
From a Torah perspective, as science exposes the breathtaking beauty of nature with its interpenetrating systems of such complexity that all our sophistications of technology cannot reproduce even one living cell, let alone an entire organism, it is revealing the work of a creative consciousness infinitely greater than our own. Einstein is considered the most brilliant of men because he discovered that E = mc2. He did not invent it, he did not create a universe based on that principle, he simply articulated a relationship that was already there. The Nobel prize should have gone to the One whose wisdom conceived the idea in the first place and Who designed the universe based on that and other yet to be discovered truths. It is like giving credit not to the inventor but to the one who made a generic imitation when the patent expired. Einstein himself believed in G-d, as did (and do) many of the greatest minds in physics. Their faith is not contingent upon unsolved riddles in nature, rather it derives from awe and humility before creation’s superhuman brilliance of design. It is no mark of intelligence to reject the notion of G-d. Many of science’s masters report their experience of a living Consciousness that permeates and organizes the natural world, and whom they meet, face to face, mind to mind, as they unlock creation’s secrets.