Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Rav Soloveitchik on Evolution II

I'm afraid that the excerpt in this post about R. Joseph B. Soloveitchik's attitude towards evolution is somewhat misleading. In the excerpt, R. Soloveitchik posits that the real problem of evolution is philosophical, in that it places man as part of nature rather than above nature. R. Soloveitchik here is pointing out that the classical Greek and Judeo-Christian view is that man is above nature and the scientific view is that man is part of nature. This, presumably, would make evolution problematic.

However, the excerpt is misleading because R. Soloveitchik proceeds to argue that Judaism accepts what he had called the "scientific" view -- that man is part of nature -- and not the Greek/Christian view that man is above nature. Thus, there is not even a philosophical problem with evolution.

I apologize for the imprecision. Please read the entire first chapter of The Emergence of Ethical Man to see the full picture.

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