Sunday, May 08, 2005

Rabbis don't think ID is science

According to the Kansas City Jewish Chronicle:
Rabbi David Fine of the Orthodox Congregation Beth Israel Abraham and Voliner said his thoughts on the debate are best summed up quoting Alan Mittleman, director of the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Religious and Social Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary:

"It doesn't seem to me that intelligent design theory really lives up to scientific standards. Having said that, I don't think science is the ultimate explanation of our world. Science is an elaborate conceptual game, but it's not the only game."

"I believe in intelligent design," said Rabbi Mark Levin of the Reform Congregation Beth Torah. "But it isn't science; it's theology." The rabbi said he believes in a divine intelligence behind the creation of the world and its natural laws.

And yet he sees the attempt to introduce the notion of "intelligent design" into schools as one that breaches the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.

"It is clearly objectionable to teach theology as though it is science," said Rabbi Levin, "because ... it misinforms children and introduces religious faith into the public school system under the guise of science."

Being a minority religious view tends to clarify the importance of separation of church and state. More Christians would oppose this if it were clear that it was a part of the agenda of just one Church or one quirky movement.

The brilliance of the evangelical movement has been its ecumenicism. There are people who see themselves as evangelical in just about every Christian sect. While the Wikipedia cites definitions of evangelicism which cite a belief in salvation by faith alone, which leaves out Catholics, but none of the outward signs of evangelicism would exclude Catholics. The ascendance of politically conservative evangelicism in the media has made many people see it as the major Christian faith, not as a movement which will undermine the other religious groups and movements.

This is, of course, the counter-argument to Warren Nord's claim that religion is disenfranchised.