The Jewish View Of Creationism
Bear in mind that true intellectualism requires us to remain open to new ideas that don’t fit neatly into our current worldview. Most people are so wholly invested in their way of thinking that no amount of evidence would suffice to disavow them of it.
-Rabbi Adam Jacobs
I hope Rabbi Jacobs will bear his own dictum in mind. According to current statistics the average I.Q. of ‘White’ people is a puny 100 while that of Jews is a massive 113. So it is with some trepidation that I pit my puny average intellect against the massive average 113 I.Q. of Rabbi Jacobs. Assuming that we both represent the average of course. However bearing in mind what tiny David with G-d on his side did to the giant Goliath I step bravely and hopefully forth.
Rabbi Jacobs in what is apparently an assault on scientific thinking claims that most people have a faulty understanding of religious fundamentalism. He says that some ‘ancient tome’ says the world was created 6000 terrestrial years ago. This is true. The ‘tome’ he refers to is the sacred text created by Jews, the Bible, and subscribed to by most of the last two thousand years by Europeans also. Indeed, according to the Jewish calendar the year is 5771 meaning to be precise the age of the universe, earth and mankind. The actual facts do not support such a theory which Rabbi Jacobs acknowledges.
Now, according to tradition among Jews, Christians and Moslems representing together some two and a half billion of those living the Bible is the actual word of G-d. Therefore the Bible cannot be wrong and if it is by a tittle the whole edifice falls to the ground and Judaism is exposed as a pious fraud. Sort of joke, one might say.
Not to worry. According to Rabbi Jacobs it’s all a matter of interpretation. One can square the circle. According to Rabbi Jacobs, some 4900 terrestrial years after the Biblical creation a
Rabbi Isaac of Akko, a disciple of the great Moses Ben Nachman (Nachmanides) and one of the foremost Kabbalists of his generation, wrote some surprising commentary regarding the age of the universe. In his work “the Trove of Life,” he explains that the earth was actually 42,000 years old when Adam was created and that those are “divine” years and should not be thought of as 365 regular days. Rather, a divine year is 1000 times longer or 365,250 years. He based this on a verse in Psalm 90 that says “1000 years in your eyes is like a day gone by.” Do the math. According to Rabbi Isaac, the universe is 42,000 x 365,250 or 15,340,500,000 years old.
In the first place the Kabbala is more nonsensical than the Old Testament and not so holy. Secondly, to my shame I was brought up a Christian although to my credit I abandoned that shameful faith based on the Jewish religion. I am still subject to a ‘White’ I.Q. and I apologetically note that the Christians, who are nowhere near as bright as the Jews, interpreted that passage to mean 6 x 1000 or six thousand years which nearly squares with the Jewish calendar.
I can’t comment on Rabbi Isaac’s text since I’ve never even heard of it before and don’t know anyone who has but I do note that according to Rabbi Jacobs Rabbi Isaac postulates that as Adam was created in this case on the first day rather than the sixth that Homo Sapiens must also be 15 billion + terrestial years old. So while Rabbi Isaac was slightly prescient, if he was, about the possible age of the universe he wasn’t too hip about the order in which ‘creation’ took place. Besides which the 15 billion figure in science is only the latest in a long line of estimates and may very well prove to be incorrect. Rabbi Isaac looks a little foolish in positing that mankind is 15 billion + years old. Latest thinking is that mankind is 150-200 thousand terrestrial years in age. So there is a problem there which I am sure the open minded Rabbi Jacobs will acknowledge and may possibly be able to explain in some way.
As regards Rabbi Jacob’s example of the giant planet let me posit that if a planet were the size of a baseball traveling three times the speed of light the universe would be only 5 billion years old. How about that Rabbi? Put that in your pipe and smoke it? Eh, Rabbi fumiste?
The fact is that fundamentalism is exactly what we secularists think it is. Mankind evolved, it was not created by any imagined god. I sure hope Ariana isn’t paying too much for your exellent ruminations Rabbi.