Friday, October 29, 2010

Strange parallelism

In a recent post entitled: Forcing the Opposition, NS criticized his opponents with the following paragraph:
The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing Rishonim and Acharonim - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Gedolim say. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.
I tried to substitute a few words and found a telling parallelism:
The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.
I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species.

162 comments:

  1. i'm not sure if i should write a assay showing his poor gemarah /rishonim skills in his latest joke book, "chaim lamitom" were he shows that he never was properly trained how to learn

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  2. Here's another one, which applies very well to your efforts:

    The traditional way of arguing one's case in the scientific world - publishing papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, which cite research and experiments performed by the authors - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was that there should be public debates. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.

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  3. Mr. Orthodox Jew - of course you should write an essay explaining why you are clear that RNS was never properly trained. Please don't restrain yourself!

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  4. Dr. Betech - please do proceed to argue your case by citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments . Or perhaps there is no need as this would be redundant to Dr. Ostroff's papers?

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  5. B"H
    Dear Yissacher
    I have scholarly sources and scientific experiments which refute the evolution of the species.
    Have you found the same in Natan Slifkin´s arguments, the author of 2 books on this subject?
    Please provide page number of CoC.

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  6. B"H
    Dear Yitz
    I have scholarly sources and scientific experiments which refute the evolution of the species.
    Have you asked the same from Natan Slifkin, the author of 2 books on this subject?

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  7. I never owned RNS's books. They were banned by the Gedolim. Those who had possession of them were instructed to dispose of them. Should I go out and buy them?

    Please proceed and post the references to your sources.

    Thanks

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  8. B"H
    Dear Yitz
    I did not ask you if you have those books.
    I will copy my question again:
    Have you asked Natan Slifkin, the author of 2 books on this subject, if he has scholarly sources and scientific experiments which support the evolution of the species?

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  9. Dr Betech,

    Do you deny that there are scholarly sources and scientific experiments that at least make the claim of proving the evolution of the species?

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  10. Dr Betech,

    You seem to making the claim in your post that you know of "scholarly sources and scientific experiments" that conclusively disprove the evolution of the species.

    Would you be so kind as to post which scholarly sources and experiments you are referring to?

    (Please note that I have no interest in what Rabbi Slifkin says or doesn't say. My question is not about Rabbi Slifkin.)

    Also SC if you read this why were my responses to you on your Q.A. post not let up?

    Thank You.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. Dr. Betech - The answer is no, I did not ask RNS about this subject or anything else. I did ask you, although I admit my foolishness. You have a clear record here of eschewing any substantive discussion.

    May you be healthy.

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  14. B”H
    Dear Ari:
    Of course they may claim whatever they want, but any intelligent, educated person, who reads and studies the experiment and the results published, has the right to evaluate their conclusions.

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  15. B”H:
    Dear Ari:
    I understand you that you do not have “interest in what Rabbi Slifkin says or doesn't say”, but anyway, meanwhile there are two options:
    a) NS or his representative will debate.
    b) What I answered a few days ago to Yitz (and he did not answer yet), and I copy it again for your benefit:
    My busy multifaceted schedule includes among others, activities for kiruv rechokim and also for kiruv kerobim.
    I am ready to invest time in a public debate with NS (for kiruv kerobim). If he still refuses, as per your request, I am proposing an alternative.
    Please organize a weekend seminar or at least a Yom iyun (one-day seminar) for around 100 intelligent, intellectual people, and B”H all these subjects will be presented in multimedia (sources on screen), respectful, interactive lectures.
    P.S. Please pay attention that some of my comments may be posted chronologically discordant because today there was a change in Mexican clock. Sorry.

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  16. Dr Betech,

    I am simply asking you if you would be so kind as to tell us which "scholarly sources and scientific experiments" that disprove evolution you are reffering to in your post. It won't take alot of time just cite which journal I can find the experiments you mentioned in and the name of your scholarly sources.

    I am not sure what your debating Rabbi Slifkin has to do with this.

    Thank you

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  17. B”H
    Dear Ari
    I understand you, but anyway I have been debating B”H for 25 years and I know that when a serious person begins a debate it is because he is ready to go all the way.

    Providing sources is an important step in the beginning of a serious debate. Obviously opponents have the right of trying to refute them, and then…

    I proposed 2 options which I consider “tzorche rabbim”, if for some reason you are not accepting them, do you have a third one, which could be equivalent to the previous 2?

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  18. Ari -

    Also SC if you read this why were my responses to you on your Q.A. post not let up?

    So sorry about that Ari. The settings on this Blog automatically bump comments older than 14 days into the moderated section. We are working on this problem. Please check the Q & A post. It's been released and your comments are posted. So is my response!

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  19. What I answered a few days ago to Yitz (and he did not answer yet)...

    Please organize a weekend seminar or at least a Yom iyun (one-day seminar) for around 100 intelligent, intellectual people


    My response is to decline the request for reasons as follows:

    1. I have neither the experience nor the ambition to organize any kind of seminar.

    2. Moreover, I probably wouldn't even attend such a seminar. This is because I feel that I already understand the arguments presented by RSC (Rabbi Coffer) and DYSO (Dr. Orstroff) and thus do not have anything to gain. Dr. Betech has declined to share ANYTHING substantive, and thus I cannot justify investing valuable time to attend his seminar. Furthermore, I don't expect that he has anything significant to add beyond their contributions.

    Nonetheless, I would be pleased if Dr. Betech would prove me wrong on all counts and publish something both substantive and innovative.

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  20. B”H
    Dear Yitz:
    One week ago, you eloquently wrote:

    Yitz said...
    Beis Shammai says "say little and do much"
    For the record here, let us all agree that RNS is a coward and charlatan - OK?
    What a shame that we will never benefit from Dr. Betech's elucidations on this issue. I hope that Dr. Betech is clear with this. Many good Jews are walking around with false ideas fostered upon them by the secular science community. Dr. Betech has the cure for this sickness, yet refuses to dispense the medication because RNS won't allow him to do so!

    Dr. Betech - I accuse you of being an accessory to spiritual murder by allowing RNS to manipulate you into silence.

    On behalf of the myriads of distressed yidden in the world, we anxiously await your substantive reply.
    October 24, 2010 4:21 AM

    I answered:
    …as per your request, I am proposing an alternative…

    And finally you said: My response is to decline the request for reasons as follows:…

    IB:
    Please see Yechezkel 33:9

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  21. Dr. Betech does likes to debate, and I am no match for him.

    Dr. Betech is hereby acquitted of any accusations of posturing and/or refusing to discuss substantive issues. It's my fault for declining to organize a seminar for him and also RNS's for declining his invitation to debate on his terms. If Dr. Betech is comfortable with this, than so am I.

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  22. Yechezkel 33:9. But you-if you warned a wicked man from his way, to repent thereof, and he did not repent of his way-he will die for his iniquity, and you have saved your soul.

    Fine, you have warned us.

    You have saved your soul.

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  23. In case you don't like the translation...

    יחזקאל פרק לג
    ט וְאַתָּה כִּי-הִזְהַרְתָּ רָשָׁע מִדַּרְכּוֹ, לָשׁוּב מִמֶּנָּה, וְלֹא-שָׁב, מִדַּרְכּוֹ--הוּא בַּעֲו‍ֹנוֹ יָמוּת, וְאַתָּה נַפְשְׁךָ הִצַּלְתָּ.

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  24. I would love to see teh scholarly articles and evidence that disprove evolution. Are you going to post them or link to them or just state a journal that we can see?

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  25. B”H:
    Dear E-Man:
    As stated above, meanwhile there are two options:
    a) NS or his representative will debate.
    b) What I answered a few days ago to Yitz and I copy it again for your benefit:
    My busy multifaceted schedule includes among others, activities for kiruv rechokim and also for kiruv kerobim.
    I am ready to invest time in a public debate with NS (for kiruv kerobim). If he still refuses, as per your request, I am proposing an alternative.
    Please organize a weekend seminar or at least a Yom iyun (one-day seminar) for around 100 intelligent, intellectual people, and B”H all these subjects will be presented in multimedia (sources on screen), respectful, interactive lectures.

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  26. I am unsure why, if these scientific articles that disprove evolution exist, you refuse to link to them or point them out in whichever journal you read them in. It leads me to believe they do not exist. Hence, it is not just a consensus of scientists that believe in evolution, but it is the most reasonable scientific explanation of how things came into being. Unless you would like to actually link to these scientific articles or at least state their source. There is no lecture necessary, we are all capable of reading so if these articles exist, why not just point them out?

    I could show you a website that lists, literally, hundreds of sources that show chazal were wrong in some of their scientific statements (Rishonim, Achronim, Midrashim). I could just link you to them and I need not give a whole lecture on it. The only reason you would need to give a lecture is if there are no real sources that back up your claims.

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  27. In case you wanted the actual source links http://torahandscience.blogspot.com/2006/04/sources-indicating-that-chazal-did-not.html

    I hope you find this valuable source useful and learn something from it.

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  28. Also, How could I even attempt to set up a lecture for you, how do I know any of your sources have any veracity? How could I stake my reputation on asking people to come to a lecture that might be grossly in error? You are expecting me to invite my friends and colleagues to a lecture that might embarrass me? How bout this, you show me what scientific proof you have or make a post on it. Until then I am saying you are not telling the truth. I would love for you to prove me wrong. I mean, I can make a claim that the sky is green and I have scientific evidence for it, but that claim is worthless until I bring in the scientific evidence. Wouldn't you agree?

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  29. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    I understand you, but anyway I have been debating B”H for 25 years and I know that when a serious person begins a debate it is because he is ready to go all the way.

    Providing sources is an important step in the beginning of a serious debate. Obviously opponents have the right of trying to refute them, and then…

    I proposed 2 options which I consider “tzorche rabbim”, if for some reason you are not accepting them, do you have a third one, which could be equivalent to the previous 2?

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  30. I really do not understand why you refuse to share your scientific evidence that evolution is incorrect. Why do you need to debate anything, just let us see the articles that argue with evolution and then we can all see how there are some scientists who have evidence for evolution and how other scientists disprove that evidence, or show evidence to the contrary.

    Why do you need to debate someone about this?

    You decided to attack Rabbi Slifkin for Scientists worship. That is fine if you can back up that claim with ANY proof. So far you have not. Evolution is not merely a consensus or a majority of scientists, it is the most logical explanation based on the evidence at hand. The only thing that would refute it is a specific reading of the bible which is not compensatory.

    I really do not care to debate, I just want to see your source to see if I think you have a point or not.

    I know of several scientific articles from the 20's and 30's that argue about evolution. But nowadays there is nothing other than creationist scientists that try to disprove evolution. Even ID people say evolution happened.

    I would love to see some article written in a peer reviewed journal that actually uses scientific evidence to disprove evolution because I have been searching for it ever since I had this discussion with my brother 5 years ago.

    Let me assure you, that search has come up blank for any form of real scientific arguments against the idea of evolution. If you have a source, please share it.

    Again, if this is a real source, I am unsure why you require an audience to reveal it. Until then your bashing of Rabbi Slifkin for scientist worship is unfounded on any level. So please, for your own sake, share your scientific source so we can all see that evolution is merely a possibility and not compelling. Similar to String theory vs any of the other theories out there for how the world (universe) works.

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  31. compensatory should be compelling

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  32. I would just like to add, I DO NOT WANT TO DEBATE. I merely would like to see the sources that you claim to have. Do you have them or are you lying? If you are lying then I think you owe RNS A BIG TIME apology for slander. If you are telling the truth then ok. I am just trying to do my part in trying to help you stay away from Motzei Sheim Ra. If you can provide these sources then you have a point, if not I fail to see how this post is not Motzei Sheim Ra. Can you explain that to me?

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  33. B”H
    Dear e-Man
    I suppose you know details about the controversy about Slifkin´s books, besides that you have been following these 2 months of “debate” with Natan Slifkin and reading this comment thread, otherwise it is difficult for anyone to understand the background. If you want, you can see my summary http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf

    If NS agrees to debate in the proper forum as described in the summary letter, fine. If he still refuses, please see the end of the letter where I wrote:

    I consider this invitation (I extended to NS) to debate and his acceptation or not, as a very significant point since NS has been represented as a victim of those critics who refuse to give him the opportunity of expressing his views.
    I am his longstanding ideological critic and I invite him respectfully to defend publicly his stated position on the 2 books he wrote about evolution of the species.

    Dear e-Man
    If you still refuse to read the background for this invitation to debate, I understand you, but please do not be surprised that you do not understand...

    P.S. You suspect that I am guilty of the prohibition of “motzi shem ra” because you have seen in the above mentioned books any scholarly sources and scientific experiments supporting the evolution of the species?

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  34. Dr, I have been following your discussion with RNS and I am still unsure what it has to do with our discussion. You claim that

    " The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.

    I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species. "

    However, you do not cite a single source that contains a scholarly source or scientific experiment. You claim that RNS follows a global consensus without actually listening to scholarly sources and scientific experiments. I do not see how this is true because no such sources exist and no such experiments have been performed. If you have access to such scholarly sources or experiments that have been performed in a scientific manner then PLEASE share this information with us. However, until these sources are made public you CAN NOT claim that RNS does not research scientific experiments and scholarly sources. That is a lie, no?

    Just because you want to debate him does not mean there are any *Scholarly Sources* or *Scientific Experiments* that contradict evolution. So, your statements are patently false, no? You seem to be claiming that RNS is just listening to the global consensus which is not true. He is listening to the evidence.

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  36. Dear E-Man
    1. In which page of Slifkin´s books regarding the evolution of the species you found support for “RNS… actually listening to scholarly sources and scientific experiments.

    2. Even if the above were true, it is not enough, because he is writing a book based on (CoC page 317) “compelling reasons” to believe that even Rabbi Yisrael Salanter has evolved from monkeys.
    Surely if his reasons are genuinely compelling they can withstand critical scrutiny.
    In which page number did he publish the scholarly sources and scientific experiments?

    E-Man, please provide page numbers for 1 and 2.

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  37. Dr,

    I am not arguing about whether he quotes sources or not. I am challenging you to prove that he IGNORES scientific sources and experiments that show evidence against evolution. YOU are the one claiming that RNS is just following the global concensus. I do not need to show where he EXPLICITLY quotes journal articles, he is not spreading Motzei Sheim ra about that. YOU on the other hand are ACCUSING him of something deragatory WITHOUT any proof or reason. That is called Motzei Sheim Ra.

    RNS has brought evidence supporting his claim, I ask you to do the same for yours. If you are unable I suggest you remove this SLANDEROUS post. Unless you feel the laws of Motzei Sheim ra do not apply to RNS for whatever reason.

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  38. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    Following is the accusation I wrote against NS:

    The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.
    I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species.

    Please read it carefully and show me which sentence is Motzi shem ra.

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  39. You accuse RNS of only caring about what the Global consensus of scientists say and not what scholarly sources and scientific experiments say. This is false until proven true.

    It is Motzei Sheim Ra because it is not proven to be true and I do not think it is true and Rabbi Slifkin would certainly deny this accusation.

    Again it is this "The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says." statement that is patently false and constitutes Motzei Sheim Ra.

    If you could show me one scholarly article or scientific experiment that shows evidence against evolution AND that RNS has been made aware of it then your statement is true. Otherwise you are spreading Motzei Sheim Ra.

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  40. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    Following is the accusation I wrote against NS:

    The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.
    I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species.

    It contains 3 elements:
    1. The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant.

    2. All that was important was what the Global consensus says.

    3. I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species.

    Following are the sources:

    1.
    a. There are no scholarly sources and scientific experiments quoted is his 2 books.
    b. He repeatedly refused to debate the scientific basis for his books.
    See http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf

    2. See for example what NS wrote on the comment thread of his blogspot on September 13 and 22, 2010

    3. It is a sentiment so it cannot be proved or disproved.

    Please read carefully this comment and the sources quoted and then show me which sentence is Motzi shem ra.

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  41. I do not understand what is so hard to get here.

    A) He did not quote any sources in his book for evolution because THERE ARE NO REFUTATIONS OF EVOLUTION THAT EXIST IN ANY SCHOLARLY SOURCE! Therefore, he need no quote sources for something that is not an argument. Would I need to quote a source to say gravity exists?

    Therefore, your accusation that he denies scholarly articles in favor of the global consensus is Motzei Sheim Ra.

    I am utterly befuddled and bewildered at how you can not comprehend this.

    How can you claim THIS "1. The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant."

    This statement is MOTZEI SHEIM RA! It is patently false. Just because he does not cite a scientific source in his book, because it is an UNDISPUTED scientific claim based on evidence, does not mean he is relying on a global consensus. Had you shown him EVEN ONE scientific source or experiment that argues against evolution and then he said, but the global consensus is against this idea, then you might have an argument. BUT, this is not the case.

    When I say scientific source I mean a credible scientific source and not someone basing their ideas on how they interpret the bible.

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  42. Dr. I think I see the problem here. You need to read an article on evolution that brings down the hundreds of compelling bits of evidence for evolution. Here is a website that offers the books and explanations that you need to understand evolution and see why it is reasonable. http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-intro-to-biology.html

    Notice: This is just a starting point. I do not think you understand evolution, especially since you do not know one proof for evolution. So, I linked you to this article with the hope that you would read it and see why everyone (save the people who believe the bible is against it) thinks evolution is logical.

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  43. Side note, I do not agree with everything on this website and I only link to it because I think it can explain evolution in a clear and precise manner.

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  44. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    Please answer my last email following the numbered items.

    ReplyDelete
  45. HAHA ok, I thought I did, but I guess I will have to number them for you.

    "1.
    a. There are no scholarly sources and scientific experiments quoted is his 2 books.
    b. He repeatedly refused to debate the scientific basis for his books.
    See http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf"

    1a. He refers to WELL documented scientific theories. For example, would I have to quote scientific journal articles to comment on gravity or is it something that is accepted fact? Therefore, RNS does not need to cite anything that proves Evolution, THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS OR SCHOLARLY ARTICLES THAT CONTRADICT EVOLUTION. Therefore, NO NEED TO CITE ANYTHING, ESPECIALLY SINCE EVOLUTION IS NOT THE MAIN THEME OF THE BOOK.

    "1b. He repeatedly refused to debate the scientific basis for his books.
    See http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf""

    WHy should he debate evolution with you? All the scholarly articles and scientific experiments that have been performed show evidence for evolution and not against. Therefore, no reason to debate you. You and he are hardly experts, so a debate is pointless. Neither of you have authored any scholarly articles with evidence for or against evolution.

    "2. See for example what NS wrote on the comment thread of his blogspot on September 13 and 22, 2010"

    What is the question exactly?

    "3. It is a sentiment so it cannot be proved or disproved."

    This is kind of funny. You realize that scientific theories are based on evidence and there is no absolute proof for anything. For example, the theory of gravity, there is evidence that this is correct, but there is no absolute proof. So, when you say it is a sentiment so it can not be proved or disproved, I think you lack an understanding of the theory of evolution as it exists today. Hence, I sent you a website that explains EVERYTHING to you.

    Since I have been so kind to humor you and play along, can you PLEASE tell me what scholarly articles you have that show evidence against evolution?

    I still maintain that you are speaking Motzei Sheim Ra against RNS since you have yet to show how he denies ANY evidence to the contrary of evolution FROM SCHOLARLY ARTICLES AND SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS. Until you show evidence of this I am maintaining that you are speaking Motzei Sheim Ra in a VERY public Forum.

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  46. "1. The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant."

    Please, I beg of you, prove this statement with regards to RNS in any way shape or form. And no, a refusal to debate you has nothing to do with this statement.

    "2. All that was important was what the Global consensus says."

    It is not just the global consensus, it is the only scientific theory that is backed up with evidence FROM SCHOLARLY ARTICLES AND SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS.

    "3. I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species."

    What does this have to do with the slander that you put forth towards RNS? A refusal to debate this topic reveals that RNS understands that he is not capable of adding anything new to the theory of evolution. All he would be able to do is QUOTE SCHOLARLY JOURNALS AND SCIENTIFIC EXPERIMENTS that shows evidence that evolution occurred. If you think you have any way of showing evidence or scholarly articles to the contrary PLEASE, share these sources with us. Until then, stop slandering (Motzei Sheim Ra) against another Jew.

    I think it would be proper to either take down the post and apologize or just take down the post. How can you justify this Motzei Sheim Ra?

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  47. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    We are progressing BH.
    Please read again point 2 and 3 in their original context and you will be able to understand.
    Then please intersperse my point with your answers.
    PS In your new post please copy again your last answers to point 1a and 1b, so everything will be together.

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  48. Sorry, I really do not understand. Please explain it to me.

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  49. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    What do you not understand?

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  50. HAHAHA, have you read any of my comments? I do not understand how you can speak Motzei Sheim Ra against another Jew. Please explain how you can say that RNS is not interested in scholarly articles and scientific experiments. The only scholarly articles and scientific experiments ARE evidence towards evolution, not against.

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  51. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    Following is the accusation I wrote against NS:

    The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.
    I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species.

    It contains 3 elements:
    1. The traditional way of arguing one's case - citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant.

    2. All that was important was what the Global consensus says.

    3. I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species.

    Following are the sources:

    1.
    a. There are no scholarly sources and scientific experiments quoted is his 2 books.
    b. He repeatedly refused to debate the scientific basis for his books.
    See http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf

    2. See for example what NS wrote on the comment thread of his blogspot on September 13 and 22, 2010

    3. It is a sentiment so it cannot be proved or disproved.

    Please read carefully this comment and the sources quoted and then show me which sentence is Motzi shem ra.

    Please intersperse my point with your answers.

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  52. I can be rude as well and not answer your questions and repeat myself. If you refuse to answer the question you should definitely repeal your motzei Sheim Ra. I explained myself proficiently and your dancing around the subject is rude. I beg you to do teshuva for the slander that you are spreading that is based on nothing. Good luck with your search for the truth and G-D. PLEASE do teshuva and repeal this Motzei Sheim Ra.

    This is why I am saying this:
    Yechezkel 33:9. But you-if you warned a wicked man from his way, to repent thereof, and he did not repent of his way-he will die for his iniquity, and you have saved your soul.

    I am definitely Yotzei my obligation. Have a good one. You know, I think the Chofetz Chaim says that Motzei Sheim Ra is EVEN WORSE than loshon Hora.

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  53. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    Thank you for your expressed good intentions.
    I understand you are not interested in composing an orderly answer.
    At least have you read what NS wrote on the comment thread of his blogspot on September 13 and 22, 2010
    Because otherwise may be you are motzi shem ra on me.

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  54. HAHAHAHA, you are a funny man. I still do not understand how your responses have anything to do with my questions. Perhaps you can write an orderly response. If not, then just say you are not interested in answering my question. You don;t have to subtly divert your efforts to accusing me of doing something inappropriate.

    I have answered your questions, but you have not answered a SINGLE ONE OF MY questions.

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  55. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    Have you read what NS wrote on the comment thread of his blogspot on September 13 and 22, 2010
    If yes please quote the relevant paragraphs.

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  56. Once again, if you are talking about this statement of Rabbi SLifkin's
    "It's not up to me to do that. It's up to you. If you want to challenge the accepted consensus of the global scientific community, then do it! Submit papers to journals which show why their model is wrong. Have you written any?"

    He in no way states that he only relies on the global consensus. He merely says that there is a global consensus and it has all the evidence. There is no evidence, that he is aware of, that contradicts the global consensus. In fact, he invited you to try and disprove the global consensus. Something that you still have yet to do in any shape or form.

    So, one last time, I ask you to retract your false accusation that claims RNS does not care about scholarly articles and experiments.

    YOU HAVE TO PROVE THIS TO BE TRUE OR ELSE IT IS MOTZEI SHEIM RA!

    ReplyDelete
  57. If you are talking about any other paragraph then you are just misrepresenting RNS and not even just misreading him. Again, your accusation is patently false.

    ReplyDelete
  58. B”H
    Dear E-Man, you wrote in defense of Natan Slifkin:
    “There is no evidence, that he is aware of, that contradicts the global consensus.”

    IB:
    Please ask Natan Slifkin to confirm publicly that he thinks as you.

    ReplyDelete
  59. B”H
    Dear E-Man you continue posting without confirming if you read:

    2. See for example what NS wrote on the comment thread of his blogspot on September 13 and 22, 2010

    Please confirm if you have read or not.

    ReplyDelete
  60. HAHAHA, you wrote:Please confirm if you have read or not.

    I have read and I proved it. Notice the quote I took.

    "It's not up to me to do that. It's up to you. If you want to challenge the accepted consensus of the global scientific community, then do it! Submit papers to journals which show why their model is wrong. Have you written any?"

    This is from one of the conversations. Anything else in either thread that you are talking about does not prove anything.

    Dr Betech wrote: "Please ask Natan Slifkin to confirm publicly that he thinks as you. "

    It is called Dan Likaf Zechus. If you want to be Motzei Sheim Ra YOU ARE THE ONE WHO NEEDS TO PROVE THE OPPOSITE, NOT ME! I am starting to see that you do not back up your statements. You are just saying something negative about RNS without ANY PROOF.

    I repeat again: RETRACT YOUR SLANDER THAT IS UNFOUNDED!

    ReplyDelete
  61. I will say it one last time, anything on this thread https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6906205856510467947&postID=4546003264407525210 that you refer to on sept 13 or 22 does not provide ANY clarity as to why you can slander a fellow Jew.

    ReplyDelete
  62. In fact, RNS says straight out ON SEPT 13

    Blogger Natan Slifkin said...

    "There are many people with “qualifications” that make crazy claims, for example, not to vaccinate."

    I didn't say that qualifications automatically lend credibility!

    "Would we say this regarding Einstein as he was working in a post office?"

    His material was accepted on its merits, not on his authority!

    "judge them on what they say, not on what you consider academic priming."

    I do. My point was regarding others who are incapable of evaluating the material, and are basing their opinion on the credibility of these people.

    So you see, he bases his opinion on scholarly articles and not an appeal to the global consensus.

    Case closed, apologies are in order. Continue to say why you think he is wrong, but slander? Come on, you are better than that, aren't you?

    ReplyDelete
  63. The only quote I found, which I quoted, that could have lead you to your erroneous conclusion was found on a later posts thread. The thread I link to here has absolutely nothing that could make you think RNS believes a global consensus is more important than scholarly journals and experiments.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Dr,

    I apologize if I seem harsh, however, try to see where I am coming from. You are accusing of RNS of being dishonest and a perverter of truth. I have respect for this Rabbi and, therefore, I am disturbed that you would accuse him of such fiendish things WITHOUT ANY PROOF whatsoever.

    RNS accused the greater Charaidi community of no longer caring what Rishonim and Achronim say. This has been PROVEN time and again. In fact, the Charaidim do not deny this. They believe that what the Gedolim of this day and age say is more important than what the Rishonim and Achronim say, if they disagree with them.

    You, however, accuse RNS of ignoring scientific data against evolution. This is patently false. You accuse him of only caring about a consensus of Secular scientists. Again, patently false.

    RNS is a truth seeker. As our friend FKM has pointed out in the past, truth is not the most important thing to some people. (see here http://slifkinchallenge.blogspot.com/2010/08/wrapping-up-respect-vs-exposing-truth.html) RNS believes the truth is important and you are accusing him of believing it to be unimportant.

    If someone accused a Rabbi you respected of contradicting himself and, basically, lying, how would you react?

    ReplyDelete
  65. B”H
    Dear E-Man, you wrote in defense of Natan Slifkin:
    “There is no evidence, that he is aware of, that contradicts the global consensus.”

    I answered:
    Please ask Natan Slifkin to confirm publicly that he thinks as you.

    IB 14 Nov./10:
    I read your subsequent posts but I could not understand if you are confirming or retracting this point.
    Please be clearer.

    ReplyDelete
  66. HAHAHAHA,

    You did not respond to a single thing I said. Oh well, I am really glad he is not going to debate you since you do not respond to anything in a substantial way.

    I did not retract it. What on earth could be unclear about my posts? My comments are much clearer than your vague responses which do not address a single point.

    You, on the other hand, refuse to answer a single question. I sent you a link that quotes so many sources that give strong evidence for evolution, but you still maintain that there is no evidence for the evolution of species. I guess you are just poorly read in this field.

    I too am unaware about many things, like string theory. I am unaware of any proofs for string theory. Does that mean there are not books and books written about it? No, it is just that I am ignorant in that field of mathematics/science. I guess this is true for you by evolution. Unless you care to show me the scientific journals that show evidence against evolution. Please, keep it to articles written in the past 20 years.

    Also, if you think that you have come up with evidence against evolution, PLEASE send this data to a peered reviewed journal so the entire world can see the mistakes that have been made and how Dr Betech has shown that the evidence is not like the rest of the scientific community.

    If you have such evidence the world is waiting. I know many creationists that will send you large checks if you can scientifically show that the evidence is against evolution.

    I would love to see such evidence.

    If there is no such evidence STOP SAYING THERE IS! Retract your heresay or show the evidence. But, in order for your motzei sheim ra to be true, you must also prove that RNS WAS AWARE of this evidence and chose to ignore it simply because the rest of the scientific community said so. Until you do that I think you should apalogize for jumping to conclusions and spreading Motzei Sheim Ra.

    Finally,"Please ask Natan Slifkin to confirm publicly that he thinks as you."

    NO NO NO. Should I call someone a pedophile and then when someone says I am wrong tell them to prove that he or she is not????

    You have to prove your claim before you accuse someone of something negative Dr. Otherwise, all you are doing is spreading MOTZEI SHEIM RA!!!

    ReplyDelete
  67. HAHAHAHA,

    You did not respond to a single thing I said. Oh well, I am really glad he is not going to debate you since you do not respond to anything in a substantial way.

    I did not retract it. What on earth could be unclear about my posts? My comments are much clearer than your vague responses which do not address a single point.

    You, on the other hand, refuse to answer a single question. I sent you a link that quotes so many sources that give strong evidence for evolution, but you still maintain that there is no evidence for the evolution of species. I guess you are just poorly read in this field.

    I too am unaware about many things, like string theory. I am unaware of any proofs for string theory. Does that mean there are not books and books written about it? No, it is just that I am ignorant in that field of mathematics/science. I guess this is true for you by evolution. Unless you care to show me the scientific journals that show evidence against evolution. Please, keep it to articles written in the past 20 years.

    Also, if you think that you have come up with evidence against evolution, PLEASE send this data to a peered reviewed journal so the entire world can see the mistakes that have been made and how Dr Betech has shown that the evidence is not like the rest of the scientific community.

    ReplyDelete
  68. If you have such evidence the world is waiting. I know many creationists that will send you large checks if you can scientifically show that the evidence is against evolution.

    I would love to see such evidence.

    If there is no such evidence STOP SAYING THERE IS! Retract your heresay or show the evidence. But, in order for your motzei sheim ra to be true, you must also prove that RNS WAS AWARE of this evidence and chose to ignore it simply because the rest of the scientific community said so. Until you do that I think you should apalogize for jumping to conclusions and spreading Motzei Sheim Ra.

    Finally,"Please ask Natan Slifkin to confirm publicly that he thinks as you."

    NO NO NO. Should I call someone a pedophile and then when someone says I am wrong tell them to prove that he or she is not????

    You have to prove your claim before you accuse someone of something negative Dr. Otherwise, all you are doing is spreading MOTZEI SHEIM RA!!!

    ReplyDelete
  69. Dr, are you going to respond to anything I have said in a substantial way or are you just going to give one liners that are basically just a copy paste of the same questions that mean nothing? Are you ever going to show that you are not speaking Motzei Sheim Ra or are you ok with speaking Motzei Sheim Ra?

    If you are ok with speaking Motzei Sheim Ra, I suggest you stop. That is just the opinion of the Chofetz Chaim.

    ReplyDelete
  70. B”H
    Dear E-Man:

    1.- If you are ready for a systematic and respectful interchange of ideas, please let me know.

    2.- I am not Motsi Shem Ra on Natan Slifkin.

    3.- If someone accuses someone else of being Motsi Shem Ra, but he himself is not ready to analyze the evidences, the accuser himself is guilty of Motsi Shem Ra.

    If you are ready for a systematic and respectful interchange of ideas, please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Dr,

    1) Exchange of what ideas? You need to justify your accusation about RNS. Until that is done you are being MOTZEI SHEIM RA.

    2) Yes you are unless you can show that your statement is true and not just here-say.

    3) HAHAHAHHA, ok I am ready for you to list your evidence that proves you correct that RNS only abides by the global consensus. You have failed to do this at all. I said if you can not prove this you are Motzei Sheim Ra.

    It is absolutely hysterical that you would accuse me of Motzei Sheim Ra when I have not made ANY definitive statements. All of my statements were based on you proving your statement. So how could I be Motzei Sheim Ra???

    Truly remarkable.

    Please, let us have the evidence that RNS only abides by the global consensus in spite of having clear evidence to the contrary. Unless you do this YOU ARE BEING MOTZEI SHEIM RA!

    Please, explain what interchange of ideas you would like. The only thing being discussed here is whether RNS A) Abides strictly by the global consensus disregarding all forms of scholarly articles and scientific experiments and B) That he knew of any of these scholarly articles and scientific experiments if they exist.

    Until you prove to me that A) and B) are true then you are stuck with being Motzei Sheim Ra. Please, don;t just say you are not being Motzei Sheim Ra because that is RIDICULOUS. Explain why you feel you are not being Motzei Sheim Ra. If you can't do this then chances are you are being Motzei Sheim Ra in a VERY public forum.

    I await your explanation. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  72. B”H
    Dear E-Man:

    I read your last post.
    Again, you do not follow any order in your statements, and you did not answer the main point.
    I copy you again my question.

    If you are ready for a systematic and respectful interchange of ideas, please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  73. I repeat again, the only thing to talk about is:

    Please, explain what interchange of ideas you would like. The only thing being discussed here is whether RNS A) Abides strictly by the global consensus disregarding all forms of scholarly articles and scientific experiments and B) That he knew of any of these scholarly articles and scientific experiments if they exist.

    Until you prove to me that A) and B) are true then you are stuck with being Motzei Sheim Ra. Please, don;t just say you are not being Motzei Sheim Ra because that is RIDICULOUS. Explain why you feel you are not being Motzei Sheim Ra. If you can't do this then chances are you are being Motzei Sheim Ra in a VERY public forum.

    What is so hard to get?

    ReplyDelete
  74. B”H
    Dear E-Man:
    I read your last post.
    Nothing is hard to get, but again, you do not follow any order in your statement, and you did not answer the main point.
    I copy you again my question with an additional detail.

    If you are ready for a systematic and respectful interchange of ideas (on the issues relevant to this post), please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  75. I follow an order, the order is:

    Please, explain what interchange of ideas you would like. The only thing being discussed here is whether RNS A) Abides strictly by the global consensus disregarding all forms of scholarly articles and scientific experiments and B) That he knew of any of these scholarly articles and scientific experiments if they exist.

    Until you prove to me that A) and B) are true then you are stuck with being Motzei Sheim Ra. Please, don;t just say you are not being Motzei Sheim Ra because that is RIDICULOUS. Explain why you feel you are not being Motzei Sheim Ra. If you can't do this then chances are you are being Motzei Sheim Ra in a VERY public forum.

    Apparently something is hard to get because this is very ordered and concise. It asks for a clear explanation that is clearly not forthcoming. Apparently you just want to spread Motzei Sheim Ra without giving a reasonable explanation as to why your statements are not Motzei Sheim Ra.

    Also, Please tell me what exactly it is you want to discuss. That means a topic and description.

    Why must you speak in codes and in a vague fashion. If there is nothing to hide or be ashamed of just explain yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  76. B”H
    Dear E-Man:
    If you are ready for a systematic and respectful interchange of ideas (on the issues relevant to this post), please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Ok, will you answer my questions if I say yes.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Just for the record, I thought we were having a debate about the post in a respectful way. You accused RNS of being a perverter of truth and I asked you what is your proof and if you have none then is this not Motzei Sheim Ra?

    What did you want to discuss again?

    ReplyDelete
  79. B”H
    Dear E-Man:
    If you answer yes, and you behave accordingly (systematic and respectful), I will try to support the accusations I made against Natan Slifkin in this post.

    ReplyDelete
  80. B”H
    Dear E-Man.
    Let’s begin again.

    Please read carefully this comment and the sources quoted and then show me which sentence is Motzi shem ra.

    Following is the original accusation I wrote against NS in this post:

    The traditional way of arguing one's case – citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.
    I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species.

    My accusation contains 2 elements:

    1. The traditional way of arguing one's case – citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant.

    2. All that was important was what the Global consensus says.


    Following are the sources:

    1.
    a. There are no scholarly sources and scientific experiments quoted in his 2 books related to the evolution of the species.

    b. He repeatedly refused to debate the scientific basis for his books.
    See http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf

    2. See for example what NS wrote:

    a.
    NS wrote:
    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2010/09/expert-in-science.html
    The credibility of my scientific positions does not rest on my personal credibility as a scientist (of which I have none), but rather on the credibility of the global scientific establishment that I am quoting…
    The mathematician and physician are not disputing me; they are disputing the entire scientific establishment. And they have zero credibility in doing so.

    IB:
    In response I challenged him to a scientific debate to evaluate what he claims in the name of “the entire scientific establishment” and see who has zero credibility, but as you know he refused with 12 sequential excuses…

    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the entire scientific establishment” why he does not agree to debate?


    b.
    Natan Slifkin said...
    “This is an elaboration of one of the several reasons that I gave for not debating evolution with Isaac Betech. Even if he could out-argue me with regard to evolution, and even in the extraordinarily unlikely case that he could convince me that it is false - it is irrelevant. Evolution (at least in terms of common ancestry, and all the more so for the antiquity of the universe) has met Rav Hirsch's criterion of gaining complete acceptance by the scientific world. Software engineers, aeronautical engineers and pediatricians are not part of this scientific world.”
    OCTOBER 12, 2010 7:04 PM

    IB:
    So even in the remote case that the scientific opposition against evolution of the species was coming only from “Software engineers, aeronautical engineers and pediatricians”, if these professionals claim to have arguments and scientific sources against the evolution of the species, so if NS cares about scientific proofs as you suppose and not only about the “complete acceptance by the scientific world”, why Natan Slifkin is not ready to debate with them?

    ReplyDelete
  81. Continuation:

    c.
    IB 22/Sept.’10
    No problem, if you are not a scientist, you can choose a scientist that will represent you and I will debate with him.

    Natan Slifkin said...
    It's not up to me to do that. It's up to you. If you want to challenge the accepted consensus of the global scientific community, then do it!
    September 22, 2010 8:54 AM

    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the accepted consensus of the global scientific community” why he does not agree to debate?

    d.
    Natan Slifkin said...
    I am speaking of FACTS. The FACT that in 25 years, you have not published a single paper refuting evolution (and I suspect that you have not even submitted or written any). The FACT that the scientific community accepts evolution.
    October 13, 2010 7:53 PM
    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “The FACT that the scientific community accepts evolution” why he does not agree to debate?

    e.
    Natan Slifkin wrote on a public email forum, I was participating:

    Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 06:52:34 +0200
    From: Zoo Torah
    Subject: RE: Naturalism vs. Meta-Natural Creation (ONLINE DISCUSSION)

    Dear Dr. Ostroff,
    I am aware that you consider the various lines of evidence for common ancestry that I bring to be entirely inadequate. Obviously, I disagree. However, for the umpteenth time, let me reiterate that I am not interested in arguing about the science with you. 99% of the global community of scientists, including both secular and religious people, accept this as well proven. Even the majority of scientists in the ID movement accept this. If you want to argue about it, there are many websites that you can participate in. I simply do not have the time to engage in what will in any case be a futile discussion.

    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the global community of scientists” acceptance, why he does consider it a “futile discussion?

    f.
    Etcetera.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Dr, I appreciate you taking the time to explain your problems here. I disagree with your premise. You keep saying "Why does he refuse to debate." Is it not obvious? You need only look at the beginning of your first post in response to me where you state the accusation: "1. The traditional way of arguing one's case – citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant."

    You offered neither scholarly sources nor scientific experiments. Where does RNS refuse to discuss scholarly sources or scientific experiments? He refuses to debate YOU. You, Dr Betech, are neither a scholarly source nor a scientific experiment, nor did you offer to discuss either of those things with RNS. Instead, what was offered was a layman to argue a layman on evolution. That is what is futile.

    Would you debate me on the value of string theory? That would be ridiculous.

    If you are basing your accusation solely on the fact that he refuses to debate you, well then, I am sorry, I can't see how your accusation holds any water.

    If you would post, on this website, or anywhere else, scholarly articles or scientific experiments that disprove evolution, then you could ask RNS to take a look at those scholarly articles and experiments. But to make this accusation solely because he refused to waste his time debating a layman, does that really constitute an aversion to scholarly sources and scientific experiments?

    I am also unsure as to why it is RNS responsibility to find an expert so you can debate him. Why don't you find an expert, debate him and then post that discussion?

    ReplyDelete
  83. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    I read your last post.
    I appreciate that you have been respectful, even though you have not been systematic.

    As I wrote a few days ago:

    “I suppose you know details about the controversy about Slifkin’s books, besides that you have been following these 2 months of “debate” with Natan Slifkin and reading this comment thread, otherwise it is difficult for anyone to understand the background. If you want, you can see my summary http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf
    …If you still refuse to read the background for this invitation to debate, I understand you, but please do not be surprised that you do not understand...”

    I see from what you wrote in your last post, that you do not remember the details of all the many posts in the last 2 months.
    If you want, please read my summary letter again and then, as accorded, answer my last post systematically, i.e. point by point following the original numeration.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Dr,

    Your last post had many quotes, but only one argument, which I addressed. What do you mean Systematic? All you continue to say is "WHY DOES HE REFUSE TO DEBATE?" I answered this question. If you think you have a different argument other than why does he refuse to debate, I am all ears. However, every single one of your arguments is why does he refuse to debate, and I answered that in full. I explained why he refuses to debate.

    Enjoy your continued campaign against RNS. I still don't understand your arguments other than "Why does he refuse to debate" which I answered.

    ReplyDelete
  85. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    “Systematic” I mean to read carefully every quotation (I wrote in response to your question), to analyze its original context and to answer it separately following the original numeration of the items, i.e.
    1a
    1b
    2a
    2b
    2c
    2d
    2e
    If you want, please read my summary letter again and then, as accorded, answer my last post systematically.

    ReplyDelete
  86. E-man,
    I think the problem between the two of you is exactly what this entire debate is about. What primacy does a Frum Jew give to the Torah. As you said, a simple reading of the chumash for you is not compelling. Hence, when "compellng evidence" is presented by the scientific community, the theory is given more "clout". And those who wish to argue must bring evidence to "disprove" the theory. That is your stance, along with many others, unfortunately. On the otherhand, there are those who dont feel that our "Toras Emes" is not compelling, and in fact feel it is very compelling. And when presented with interpretations by the scientific community of the evidence which seem contrary to our mesorah, they do not need evidence to the contrary, rather they just need to place doubts in the scientific community's interpretions. Once that is done (and it has for various reasons) these people (which would be the bulk of the "Charedi" community) can continue with the mesorah of what the chumash says. He needs you to prove evolution (which he has asked numerous times) and you are asking to disprove evolution.
    (Parenthetically, this is what seperates current authors from those of the past such as R Leo Levi and R Aryeh Kaplan- how much "clout" do we give our mesorah)

    -Meishiv K'halacha

    ReplyDelete
  87. Meishiv, Shalom,

    It is quite easy to concede that there are no "irrefutable proofs" of an old universe etc., at least to the standard demanded by our sponsors here. Indeed, one cannot even conceive of such a proof. Personally, I am comfortable with this as a theological stance. That is, the physical laws of the universe were "under construction" during the primordial 6 days of creation and thus it is invalid to extrapolate present day measurements backwards beyond 6000 years.

    It is another to suggest that starlight and fossils do not even suggest an older than 6000 year universe.

    In any case, I applaud your attempt at reconciliation between antagonists.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Meishiv, I think you misunderstand what we are talking about. The good Dr accused RNS of not caring about scholarly articles and scientific experiments. I am not discussing the Torah on ANY LEVEL. So, I am unsure what you are talking about.

    ReplyDelete
  89. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  90. "IB:
    In response I challenged him to a scientific debate to evaluate what he claims in the name of “the entire scientific establishment” and see who has zero credibility, but as you know he refused with 12 sequential excuses…"

    He is not in a position to debate you because you could misrepresent the evidence and he is not familiar enough with it to know if you are lying or not.

    A peer reviewed journal is different because it is reviewed by many other experts that try, day in and out, to test the evidence of the person putting forth a research paper. Therefore, it has credibility. You saying something about a subject which you are not an expert in to someone who is not an expert in that area is worthless.

    "So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the entire scientific establishment” why he does not agree to debate?"

    Because, you are neither a scholarly article or a scientific experiment.


    b.
    " Natan Slifkin said...
    “This is an elaboration of one of the several reasons that I gave for not debating evolution with Isaac Betech. Even if he could out-argue me with regard to evolution, and even in the extraordinarily unlikely case that he could convince me that it is false - it is irrelevant. Evolution (at least in terms of common ancestry, and all the more so for the antiquity of the universe) has met Rav Hirsch's criterion of gaining complete acceptance by the scientific world. Software engineers, aeronautical engineers and pediatricians are not part of this scientific world.”"

    This is exactly what I am trying to tell you. You have no real credibility as a scholarly article or scientific experiment. NO WHERE does RNS deny any scholarly articles or scientific experiments, but THAT IS YOUR CLAIM. THat is why it is Motzei Sheim Ra, because it is FALSE!

    You can say that RNS refuses to debate you and you can list your arguments, but to slander him???

    ReplyDelete
  91. OCTOBER 12, 2010 7:04 PM

    " IB:
    So even in the remote case that the scientific opposition against evolution of the species was coming only from “Software engineers, aeronautical engineers and pediatricians”, if these professionals claim to have arguments and scientific sources against the evolution of the species, so if NS cares about scientific proofs as you suppose and not only about the “complete acceptance by the scientific world”, why Natan Slifkin is not ready to debate with them?"

    Such a bad proof! This is the point. If these people who are not experts can show evidence and not just make claims, then yes you are correct. However these software engineers and physicians do not try to show their evidence, they only try to make unsubstantiated claims. This is why, in the scientific community, new ideas are only accepted once they have been peer reviewed. Because, anyone can say ANYTHING they want. I can "PROVE" the sky is made of wwater, but if it was in a peer reviewed journal (if it even made it that far, which I doubt) it would be proven to be false by experts in the field.

    " c.
    IB 22/Sept.’10
    No problem, if you are not a scientist, you can choose a scientist that will represent you and I will debate with him.

    Natan Slifkin said...
    It's not up to me to do that. It's up to you. If you want to challenge the accepted consensus of the global scientific community, then do it!

    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the accepted consensus of the global scientific community” why he does not agree to debate?"

    Exactly, find your own scientist who is an expert that will debate you and maybe you will see how wrong you are, or how right you are. WHy debate a layman? Again, send your ideas into a peer reviewed journal. However, this is not RNS ignoring scholarly articles and scientific evidence, THERE IS NO SUCH SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES or EXPERIMENTS!!!!!

    "d.
    Natan Slifkin said...
    I am speaking of FACTS. The FACT that in 25 years, you have not published a single paper refuting evolution (and I suspect that you have not even submitted or written any). The FACT that the scientific community accepts evolution.
    October 13, 2010 7:53 PM
    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “The FACT that the scientific community accepts evolution” why he does not agree to debate?"

    LOL, you repeat the same flawed argument. He doesn;t want to debate something that he is not qualified to debate. AND in which you are not qualified to debate either. That is like two 5 year olds trying to discuss string theory.

    "e.
    Natan Slifkin wrote on a public email forum, I was participating:

    Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 06:52:34 +0200
    From: Zoo Torah
    Subject: RE: Naturalism vs. Meta-Natural Creation (ONLINE DISCUSSION)

    ReplyDelete
  92. Ok Dr, i am unsure why you want me to give the same answer 10 times, but here you go...

    "The traditional way of arguing one's case – citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant. All that was important was what the Global consensus says. This was a revolution which cannot be underestimated.
    I hope this revolution will be reverted and NS will be ready to discuss the validity of the evolution of the species."

    This is Motzei Sheim Ra because it is not true.

    "My accusation contains 2 elements:

    1. The traditional way of arguing one's case – citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant.

    2. All that was important was what the Global consensus says."

    Both accusations are not true.
    "1.
    a. There are no scholarly sources and scientific experiments quoted in his 2 books related to the evolution of the species."

    So?????? How does that make your slanderous statement true?

    "b. He repeatedly refused to debate the scientific basis for his books.
    See http://toriah.com/pdf/Betech-Slifkin-debate2.pdf"

    So??? How does that make your slanderous statement true?

    "2. See for example what NS wrote:

    a.
    NS wrote:
    http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2010/09/expert-in-science.html
    The credibility of my scientific positions does not rest on my personal credibility as a scientist (of which I have none), but rather on the credibility of the global scientific establishment that I am quoting…
    The mathematician and physician are not disputing me; they are disputing the entire scientific establishment. And they have zero credibility in doing so."

    How does this make your statement true? All I see is RNS saying that a mathematician and a physician that have not researched evolution have no credibility to just say evolution is false. If they were to write an article systematically showing evidence against evolution in a peer reviewed journal that is one thing. But there is no reason for a layman to debate evolution with them or believe anything they say. The layman does not know whether they are right or wrong, lying or telling the truth, or misrepresenting the data.

    ReplyDelete
  93. "IB:
    In response I challenged him to a scientific debate to evaluate what he claims in the name of “the entire scientific establishment” and see who has zero credibility, but as you know he refused with 12 sequential excuses…"

    He is not in a position to debate you because you could misrepresent the evidence and he is not familiar enough with it to know if you are lying or not.

    A peer reviewed journal is different because it is reviewed by many other experts that try, day in and out, to test the evidence of the person putting forth a research paper. Therefore, it has credibility. You saying something about a subject which you are not an expert in to someone who is not an expert in that area is worthless.

    "So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the entire scientific establishment” why he does not agree to debate?"

    Because, you are neither a scholarly article or a scientific experiment.
    b.
    " Natan Slifkin said...
    “This is an elaboration of one of the several reasons that I gave for not debating evolution with Isaac Betech. Even if he could out-argue me with regard to evolution, and even in the extraordinarily unlikely case that he could convince me that it is false - it is irrelevant. Evolution (at least in terms of common ancestry, and all the more so for the antiquity of the universe) has met Rav Hirsch's criterion of gaining complete acceptance by the scientific world. Software engineers, aeronautical engineers and pediatricians are not part of this scientific world.”"

    This is exactly what I am trying to tell you. You have no real credibility as a scholarly article or scientific experiment. NO WHERE does RNS deny any scholarly articles or scientific experiments, but THAT IS YOUR CLAIM. THat is why it is Motzei Sheim Ra, because it is FALSE!

    You can say that RNS refuses to debate you and you can list your arguments, but to slander him???

    ReplyDelete
  94. "IB:
    In response I challenged him to a scientific debate to evaluate what he claims in the name of “the entire scientific establishment” and see who has zero credibility, but as you know he refused with 12 sequential excuses…"

    He is not in a position to debate you because you could misrepresent the evidence and he is not familiar enough with it to know if you are lying or not.

    A peer reviewed journal is different because it is reviewed by many other experts that try, day in and out, to test the evidence of the person putting forth a research paper. Therefore, it has credibility. You saying something about a subject which you are not an expert in to someone who is not an expert in that area is worthless.

    "So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the entire scientific establishment” why he does not agree to debate?"

    Because, you are neither a scholarly article or a scientific experiment.

    ReplyDelete
  95. b.
    " Natan Slifkin said...
    “This is an elaboration of one of the several reasons that I gave for not debating evolution with Isaac Betech. Even if he could out-argue me with regard to evolution, and even in the extraordinarily unlikely case that he could convince me that it is false - it is irrelevant. Evolution (at least in terms of common ancestry, and all the more so for the antiquity of the universe) has met Rav Hirsch's criterion of gaining complete acceptance by the scientific world. Software engineers, aeronautical engineers and pediatricians are not part of this scientific world.”"

    This is exactly what I am trying to tell you. You have no real credibility as a scholarly article or scientific experiment. NO WHERE does RNS deny any scholarly articles or scientific experiments, but THAT IS YOUR CLAIM. THat is why it is Motzei Sheim Ra, because it is FALSE!

    You can say that RNS refuses to debate you and you can list your arguments, but to slander him???

    ReplyDelete
  96. " IB:
    So even in the remote case that the scientific opposition against evolution of the species was coming only from “Software engineers, aeronautical engineers and pediatricians”, if these professionals claim to have arguments and scientific sources against the evolution of the species, so if NS cares about scientific proofs as you suppose and not only about the “complete acceptance by the scientific world”, why Natan Slifkin is not ready to debate with them?"

    Such a bad proof! This is the point. If these people who are not experts can show evidence and not just make claims, then yes you are correct. However these software engineers and physicians do not try to show their evidence, they only try to make unsubstantiated claims. This is why, in the scientific community, new ideas are only accepted once they have been peer reviewed. Because, anyone can say ANYTHING they want. I can "PROVE" the sky is made of wwater, but if it was in a peer reviewed journal (if it even made it that far, which I doubt) it would be proven to be false by experts in the field.

    " c.
    IB 22/Sept.’10
    No problem, if you are not a scientist, you can choose a scientist that will represent you and I will debate with him.

    Natan Slifkin said...
    It's not up to me to do that. It's up to you. If you want to challenge the accepted consensus of the global scientific community, then do it!

    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the accepted consensus of the global scientific community” why he does not agree to debate?"

    Exactly, find your own scientist who is an expert that will debate you and maybe you will see how wrong you are, or how right you are. WHy debate a layman? Again, send your ideas into a peer reviewed journal. However, this is not RNS ignoring scholarly articles and scientific evidence, THERE IS NO SUCH SCIENTIFIC ARTICLES or EXPERIMENTS!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  97. "d.
    Natan Slifkin said...
    I am speaking of FACTS. The FACT that in 25 years, you have not published a single paper refuting evolution (and I suspect that you have not even submitted or written any). The FACT that the scientific community accepts evolution.
    October 13, 2010 7:53 PM
    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “The FACT that the scientific community accepts evolution” why he does not agree to debate?"

    LOL, you repeat the same flawed argument. He doesn;t want to debate something that he is not qualified to debate. AND in which you are not qualified to debate either. That is like two 5 year olds trying to discuss string theory.

    "e.
    Natan Slifkin wrote on a public email forum, I was participating:

    Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 06:52:34 +0200
    From: Zoo Torah
    Subject: RE: Naturalism vs. Meta-Natural Creation (ONLINE DISCUSSION)

    ReplyDelete
  98. "Dear Dr. Ostroff,
    I am aware that you consider the various lines of evidence for common ancestry that I bring to be entirely inadequate. Obviously, I disagree. However, for the umpteenth time, let me reiterate that I am not interested in arguing about the science with you. 99% of the global community of scientists, including both secular and religious people, accept this as well proven. Even the majority of scientists in the ID movement accept this. If you want to argue about it, there are many websites that you can participate in. I simply do not have the time to engage in what will in any case be a futile discussion.

    So if he cares about scientific proofs as you suppose, and not only about “the global community of scientists” acceptance, why he does consider it a “futile discussion?"

    Again, because you are not offering scholarly articles, nor scientific experiments as evidence. Only some non-expert opinions which would probably not even get published in a peered review journal. Why? Because the evidence offered is not scientific. However, I invite you to prove me wrong. Have a debate with the people at talk origins. I linked to them earlier on this thread.

    ReplyDelete
  99. Meishiv, I challenge you to prove evolution is against the Mesorah. Where does the Mesorah say evolution could never have happened?

    ReplyDelete
  100. Meishiv your statement "He needs you to prove evolution (which he has asked numerous times) and you are asking to disprove evolution." Astounds me. I never say he should disprove evolution for me to not interpret the one way or another. I AM ARGUING ABOUT HIS ACCUSATION AGAINST RNS!!! What are you chiming in about??? He slanders RNS about not caring about scholarly articles or scientific evidence that would call evolution into serious doubt. This is patently false!

    ReplyDelete
  101. B”H
    Dear E-Man
    I read your posts.
    Please remember that our issue is if I have support for accusing NS on:
    1. The traditional way of arguing one's case – citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments - ceased to be relevant.
    2. All that was important was what the Global consensus says.

    Our issue is not if NS is justified on refusing to debate. His 12 reasons for refusing were already refuted on my summary letter above mentioned.
    Our issue is not if NS is justified on not citing scholarly sources and scientific experiments.
    Please remember that our issue is if I have factual support for accusing NS on the above 2 accusations I made.

    Point 1. was supported by a and b.

    In your response:
    1a. the facts I presented were not refuted, you just tried reinterpreting them.
    1b. the facts I presented were not refuted, you just tried reinterpreting them.

    So my accusation #1 is based on unrefuted facts.

    Point 2. was supported by a, b, c, d and e.

    Regarding what you responded:

    2a. I did not invited him to an informal conversation where credibility has a role; I clearly invited him to a formal scientific debate (sources on screen).
    He knows that I am a scientist in biological sciences (evolution is biology…) and I reminded him I have 25 years experience in studying and debating evolution (even with famous scientists).
    I gave him the opportunity to be represented with an expert who will know how to distinguish between facts and opinions.
    The proper place for this debate is not a peer reviewed journal, but the same audience where he defamed me.

    2b. Ditto.

    2c. Ditto + the extant scientific articles and experiments will be presented in the appropriate forum.

    2d. Ditto + I am not 5 years old.

    2e. Ditto + of course Dr. Ostroff previously offered scholarly articles and scientific experiments.
    Finally I am ready to debate “with the people at talk origins” you mentioned, if they are officially appointed as the representatives of Natan Slifkin.

    Please remember that our issue is if I have factual support for accusing NS on the above 2 accusations I made.

    ReplyDelete
  102. I disagree with you. I think you have not represented a SINGLE scholarly source or scientific experiment. That is what I continuously said. NOT A SINGLE ONE! Show me where you offer a SINGLE scholarly article or scientific experiment. Until then, you have NO CASE!

    I see having this discussion is actually pointless. Have fun. Just remember, I tried based on the verse from Yechezkel.

    ReplyDelete
  103. E-Man,
    I am sorry you did not see the relevence of my point. Oh well.

    "Meishiv, I challenge you to prove evolution is against the Mesorah. Where does the Mesorah say evolution could never have happened?"

    This is a silly statement. Mesorah is a positive act. Information or an action which has been passed down through the generations. Something was either included in this passing down of information, and, if not, there is a "negative mesorah" meaning the mesorah is that it is not included. (This is expressed in the Brisker Rav's opinion regarding techeiles (which I know you dont believe in, or at least you didnt in high school) that because we have no positive mesorah of what the chilazon is and the cuttlefish was known, yet was not claimed to be the chilazon, there is a negative mesorah on the cuttlefish that it is not the chilazon) Therefore to show if something "goes against a mesorah" is silly. Either it was passed down or not. Mesorah does not have to say evolution did not occur, because it doesn't say it did.

    And, as you saw on FKM's blog, DIB is not the one being motzei shem ra.

    ReplyDelete
  104. B"H
    Dear E-Man
    Of course I have not presented a single scholarly source or scientific experiments, as originally stated they will presented in the appropriate debate forum (as defined in my summary letter).
    Meanwhile Natan Slifkin has not shown any interest in knowing them.

    ReplyDelete
  105. "This is a silly statement. Mesorah is a positive act. Information or an action which has been passed down through the generations. Something was either included in this passing down of information, and, if not, there is a "negative mesorah" meaning the mesorah is that it is not included."

    Apparently you do not know the Rambam's opinion about using scientific knowledge to explain how the world works. The Mesorah is in no way excluding the idea of evolution. The Mesorah does not speak of how the world came to be in scientific terms. There is no mesorah in this manner. To compare science to techeiles shows a lack of understanding what a mesorah is. The mesorah exists in halachic terms and statements made by chazal. The mesorah does not exclude things that the mesorah never addresses.

    Go read the Rambam's Moreh Nevuchim if you need further clarification of how science is used to help understand the Torah.




    "(This is expressed in the Brisker Rav's opinion regarding techeiles (which I know you dont believe in, or at least you didnt in high school) that because we have no positive mesorah of what the chilazon is and the cuttlefish was known, yet was not claimed to be the chilazon, there is a negative mesorah on the cuttlefish that it is not the chilazon)"

    I am not sure you are aware that there are two versions of the Brisker Rav. The Radziner rebbes letter did not have this idea in it whatsoever.

    "Therefore to show if something "goes against a mesorah" is silly. Either it was passed down or not. Mesorah does not have to say evolution did not occur, because it doesn't say it did.""

    So how can you use medicine that was invented outside of the mesorah? It is not included in the mesorah and therefore should be forbidden according to you.

    ReplyDelete
  106. "And, as you saw on FKM's blog, DIB is not the one being motzei shem ra."

    I replied to many of FKM's points and they are all lacking.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Dr Betech said "B"H
    Dear E-Man
    Of course I have not presented a single scholarly source or scientific experiments, as originally stated they will presented in the appropriate debate forum (as defined in my summary letter).
    Meanwhile Natan Slifkin has not shown any interest in knowing them. "


    You have not presented them as scholarly articles or scientific evidence.

    ReplyDelete
  108. "The mesorah exists in halachic terms and statements made by chazal. The mesorah does not exclude things that the mesorah never addresses."

    If Sefer Bereishis is part of the Torah that was handed to Moshe at Har Sinai, it would follow that the proper understanding of the texts would be handed down as well (usually refered to a Torah Shebaal Peh). According to your understanding, the proper understanding of the pashut peshat of the pasukim was not understood properly until recent times because there are no statements in the gemara about common decent and evolution. Which would mean that Moshe did not know what the pasukim meant. He also would not have understood the aseres hadibros properly either, as Hashem creating the world in 7 days is mentioned there as well. This seems highly unlikely.

    Just curious to know, how do you explain the Chazal which explain how Adam was a special creation, created as a twenty year old man? Does that not preclude evolution?

    "So how can you use medicine that was invented outside of the mesorah? It is not included in the mesorah and therefore should be forbidden according to you."

    "Vrapo yerapeh" allows us to rely on medicine,and besides, there is no parsha in the chumash describing medicine. There are pasukim describing maaseh bereishis.

    "I am not sure you are aware that there are two versions of the Brisker Rav. The Radziner rebbes letter did not have this idea in it whatsoever. "

    This is how R Elyashiv understads the Brisker Rav.

    ReplyDelete
  109. "I challenge you to prove evolution is against the Mesorah. Where does the Mesorah say evolution could never have happened?"

    The mesorah says that the processes responsible for the development of the original mature beings on earth were not natural, but meta-natural processes that included the creation of an adult man who had no biological ancestors, within a six-day (or less) period.

    This is how the mesorah, transmitted through the Geonim and Rishonim, depicts it. Rabbi Slifkin explicitly agrees that this is basically true.

    To say that No; man, for example, developed from biological ancestors through the natural processes of nature in affect today, is against the mesorah.

    Rabbi Slifkin agrees, but holds that sometimes the mesorah is wrong.

    He defends his approach by saying that "when Rambam was faced with things in his day that he felt contradicted the literal meaning of Torah, he allowed for the Torah's allegorization. Rav Nadel explains that we have simply taken the principle of Rambam (and Ralbag, RSG etc.) and applied it to the new circumstances."

    But the Rambam and Rav Saadia Gaon held that their non-literal explanations of pesukim [such as those ascribing physical properties to G-d, or the nature of the"Nachash"] were the explanations intended by the mesorah. In their works, they consistently cite statements representing the consensus of Chazal and Midrashim that specifically point to the their explanations. They did not say the mesorah was wrong. Any statements by any of our baalei mesorah which may--after careful analysis--indicate that they were attributing error to the mesorah's basic take of pesukim would be aberrational.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I guess Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch is not part of the Mesorah. Oh well.

    "He also would not have understood the aseres hadibros properly either, as Hashem creating the world in 7 days is mentioned there as well. This seems highly unlikely."

    Are you joking? MANY rishonim, achronim (including the Rambam), say the seven days are not days. There are many that say the world is older than 5771. So, you are not arguing with me but many greater people.

    Honestly, I do not have the time to argue with you guys right now about obvious things that are stated throughout Jewish literature and rishonim.

    "To say that No; man, for example, developed from biological ancestors through the natural processes of nature in affect today, is against the mesorah."

    I don't think youare right, especially since the Rambam says straight out in the guide that we must reinterpret the Torah if science has strong evidence to the contrary to whatever it is that we think the Torah is saying. The Rambam says science is used to explain the Torah.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Meishiv, I am sure you have the utmost respect for Rabbi Twerski from Skokie Yeshiva. So, about techailes read his pamphlet http://www.tekhelet.com/pdf/tw01.pdf.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Are you joking? MANY rishonim, achronim (including the Rambam), say the seven days are not days. There are many that say the world is older than 5771. So, you are not arguing with me but many greater people.

    Dear E-Man,

    I am sorry, but you are a victim of distortions promulgated by others. The rishonim, including the Rambam, all take the creation days to be regular days. Perhaps you missed the line in my Comment that said that Rabbi Slifkin himself admits this (except that he falls for the claim that the Rambam differs on this). The only exception is the Ralbag, who--based on Chazal--concludes that most of Creation was completed in one instant.

    I realize that this comes as a surprise to you, but if you will look through the rishonim you will see this is true. See if you can come up with one well-recognized rishon who says that the seven days are not days.

    I plan to post a blog entry to elaborate on my assertion. Please pursue the sources I quote and summarize, and examine them yourself.

    "To say that No; man, for example, developed from biological ancestors through the natural processes of nature in affect today, is against the mesorah."

    I don't think you are right, especially since the Rambam says straight out in the guide that we must reinterpret the Torah if science has strong evidence to the contrary to whatever it is that we think the Torah is saying. The Rambam says science is used to explain the Torah.


    Even if you would be correct about what the Rambam is saying, you are not disagreeing with what I said. I said it would be going against what the mesorah taught about how the world developed. You are saying the Rambam says it's alright to go against the mesorah, given enough scientific evidence. So you are agreeing that it goes against the mesorah. You are just claiming that the Rambam says that doing so is legitimate.

    But the Rambam in the Guide insists that theories regarding the world's origins derived through extant evidence are inadmissable. Creation was a meta-natural process.

    The Rambam never said the mesorah was wrong about anything. On the contrary, he consistently invokes Chazal to validate his intepretations.

    Also, although he is aware that one is physically able to give any intepretation one wishes to pesukim, he does not accept, as valid intepretations, interpretations that are obviously not the original intention of the pesukim. There are boundaries.

    Once Creation ex nihilo is unchallengable, the entire meta-natural 7-day porcess of Creation as depicted in Torah and Chazal stands, despite the invalid, naturalistic-based extrapolations from extant physical things.

    Assuming the hypothetical, the Rambam says, that somehow Creation ex nihilo would be disproven, he does not accept reinterpreting the pesukim.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Zvi, I have never spoken to anyone who was so wrong that it actually hurt me to read their post. Please read the Rambam in the MN 2:25 where he specifically says creation according to plato would also be acceptable. Also, the Rambam saying we reinterpret the Torah in accordance with science IS THE MESORAH!

    I don't actually think you will understand what I am saying. But what i can PROVE to you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that numerous rishonim and achronim say the world was not created in seven actual days. I am not sure how you even begin to make this assertion. I will link to a source you should DEFINITELY read.

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol14/v14n065.shtml#09 read the A of the U by Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer Just a summary of the main points:
    "While one is certainly entitled to believe that the world is precisely
    5765 years old (by our current measurment of years), no more - as this
    appears to be the opinion of the Arizal (see below) - a person who holds
    this way is also entitled to know that this is probably the "minority"
    view amongst Chazal, the Rishonim, and perhaps even Gedolei HaAcharonim."

    Rav Schwab held it was millions of years old also: http://www.simpletoremember.com/faqs/Science_and_Judaism.htm#_ftnref18

    Must I continue to prove your statements false?

    ReplyDelete
  114. Please read the Rambam in the MN 2:25 where he specifically says creation according to plato would also be acceptable.

    1. Plato maintained that the eternal G-d eternally maintained the primary matter of the universe, but did at one point of time cause changes in its form to produce the universe as we know it. This does not contradict the Torah description of the stages of the universe’s development over the six days of Creation. And, as opposed to Aristotle’s theory—which posits that the eternal material is unchangeable, and must have always existed in the form it does at present, without going through any stages—it allows for miracles to take place, again not contradicting the Torah. It only contradicts the mesorah’s insistence that matter was not at all always in existence, but was itself created by G-d after having not existed.

    Also, the Rambam saying we reinterpret the Torah in accordance with science IS THE MESORAH

    2a. How do you understand the Rambam's rejection of extrapolating from the current way things behave to how the world originated?

    2b. I understand what you're saying. But, assuming a definition I am assuming, you must realize that you are proposing a self-contradiction. "Mesorah" means that a fact--in our case, a historical fact--was described by Moshe Rabbeynu and accurately transmitted through the prophets and Chazal and rishonim to us. Yes, some details may become unclear. But surely you must recognize that the concept of (a) a meta-natural creation within seven days, culminating with the creation of an adult human without biological ancestors is essentially at loggerheads with the concept of (b) an allegedly natural process over eons of time?

    The former is the mesorah of what the Torah means. You are saying that [Rambam is saying]there is a mesorah that future discoveries might contradict the mesorah. In other words, the first mesorah is not really a mesorah. It is only tentative, always liable to being unseated by the academic proofs of each age.

    3. I find incredulous the thought that Hashem would write the Torah in such a way that it would successfully mislead all its transmitters to defend a view of the world's beginnings that is false; I find it incredulous to think that man evolved over aeons, yet Hashem wrote the Torah in such a way that would mislead all its transmitters; I find it incredulous (as does the Kuzari) that a historical fact of billions of years of past events would have been lost upon the Jewish people, who forgot their ancestry and foolishly thought it began merely 26 generations of long-living people before them. And I find it incredulous that one can consider an approach to Torah legitimate if it is contradicted by its transmitters. This eviscerates the definition of mesorah. I find incredulous the thought that Hashem would write the Torah in such a way that it would successfully mislead all its transmitters to defend a view of the world's beginnings that is false; I find it incredulous to think that man evolved over aeons, yet Hashem wrote the Torah in such a way that would mislead all its transmitters; I find it incredulous (as does the Kuzari) that the fact of billions of years of past events would have been lost upon the Jewish people, who forgot their ancestry and foolishly thought it began merely 26 generations of long-living people before them. And I find it incredulous that one can consider an approach to Torah legitimate if it is contradicted by its transmitters. This eviscerates the meaning of mesorah.

    Ideas about man evolving from other creatures as well as of the world being eternal were around in Greek times as well.

    Just as Chazal did not have to negate every new avodah zorrah that would crop up--but just say that Hashem is the One and Only, and all else follows, so too Chazal did not need to say the world is not billions of years old, and that man did not evolve--but just say that the world did not exist more than 2000 years before Moshe Rabbeynu, and man was created without a progenitor.

    ReplyDelete
  115. Zvi, you misunderstand the Rambam's view of the Mesorah. The Mesorah is that the current science explains what the Torah actual meant. This allows for every generation to adapt the Torah to their current times. If you think about it, it is the most ingenuis way for G-D to have written the Torah. It keeps the Torah relevant for every generation. That is the gadlus of the Rambam's view of the mesorah here.

    G-D did not want us to defend beliefs that are contradicted by clear evidence just because we would hold onto some religious dogma. G-D wants us to understand the natural world in order to appreciate Him better.

    The main point of the Mesorah is simply to transmit the laws of the Torah from one generation to the next. Can you please show me where there is a law stating that we must believe the world to be 6000 years old? Plus, we have many Rishonim and achronim, like I pointed out to you which you failed to comment on, that say the world is older than 6000 years. Are they against the mesorah. If yes, then why should we care about the mesorah in instances where many great rabbis went against it?

    ReplyDelete
  116. (Continuation)

    I don't actually think you will understand what I am saying. But what i can PROVE to you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that numerous rishonim and achronim say the world was not created in seven actual days. I am not sure how you even begin to make this assertion. I will link to a source you should DEFINITELY read.

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol14/v14n065.shtml#09 read the A of the U by Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer


    Dear E-man,

    Again, you are relying on secondary sources. Rabbi Coffer has already dealt with RGB's claims.

    (Rabbi Coffer, can you please link?)

    Even if YGB were correct about previous cycles, etc., that is not relevant to the amount of time , and the kind pf processes involved in the creation of our world. RGB was not denying, and did not claim, that there is any source "reinterpreting" the meta-natural process described by Torah and Chazal and rishonim as the one Hashem used in this world's creation. And, if I remember correctly, he explicitly argued with Rabbi Slifkin against accepting evolution.

    Rav Schwab held it was millions of years old also: http://www.simpletoremember.com/faqs/Science_and_Judaism.htm#_ftnref18

    Must I continue to prove your statements false?


    Again, you're allowing yourself to be victimized.

    Let me quote from a "Google Books" copy of Natan Slifkin's quotes and comments upon Rav Schwab's suggestion:

    [Rav Schwab writes:]


    During the period of creation….The earth could have turned around its axis much more rapidly…the billions of years which science claims to have calculated, all actually occurred during six ordinary days.

    p. 171

    [T]he reconciliation of the fourteen billion years with the six days explained by Rabbi Schwab…retains the concept of time, and alters the laws of the universe during creation to fit fourteen billion years within that time.


    So, E-Man, Rav Schwab, z"l, follows the same approach as the Rambam and all the other rishonim in saying that the events of the six days of creation happened in a meta-natural way within six ordinary days. (Hmmmm...wonder why he doesn't say the six days were really billions of years. Could it possibly be just because that's the clear mesorah of Chazal and the rishonim?)

    So here we find yet another failed attempt to deny that Torah-literacy could support the idea that the six days of creation were longer than six ordinary days.

    E-Man, I plead with you. Learn the primary sources with an open mind, and don't rely on other peoples' representations. Use my blog entry ("How The Days of Creation Were Understood by Our Sages," that I hope to put up up soon) as a guide. But please look up the sources yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  117. Thank you, Rabbi Coffer, for your concise reply on my behalf.

    For the record, I decided to reproduce this essay now in response to an exchange I was having in the Comments on the blog entry, "Strange Parallelism." I am taking the liberty to cut and paste the exchange here:

    Zvi Lampel said...
    Are you joking? MANY rishonim, achronim (including the Rambam), say the seven days are not days. There are many that say the world is older than 5771. So, you are not arguing with me but many greater people.

    Dear E-Man,

    I am sorry, but you are a victim of distortions promulgated by others. The rishonim, including the Rambam, all take the creation days to be regular days. Perhaps you missed the line in my Comment that said that Rabbi Slifkin himself admits this (except that he falls for the claim that the Rambam differs on this). The only exception is the Ralbag, who--based on Chazal--concludes that most of Creation was completed in one instant.

    I realize that this comes as a surprise to you, but if you will look through the rishonim you will see this is true. See if you can come up with one well-recognized rishon who says that the seven days are not days.

    I plan to post a blog entry to elaborate on my assertion. Please pursue the sources I quote and summarize, and examine them yourself.

    "To say that No; man, for example, developed from biological ancestors through the natural processes of nature in affect today, is against the mesorah."

    I don't think you are right, especially since the Rambam says straight out in the guide that we must reinterpret the Torah if science has strong evidence to the contrary to whatever it is that we think the Torah is saying. The Rambam says science is used to explain the Torah.

    Even if you would be correct about what the Rambam is saying, you are not disagreeing with what I said. I said it would be going against what the mesorah taught about how the world developed. You are saying the Rambam says it's alright to go against the mesorah, given enough scientific evidence. So you are agreeing that it goes against the mesorah. You are just claiming that the Rambam says that doing so is legitimate.

    But the Rambam in the Guide insists that theories regarding the world's origins derived through extant evidence are inadmissable. Creation was a meta-natural process.

    The Rambam never said the mesorah was wrong about anything. On the contrary, he consistently invokes Chazal to validate his intepretations.

    Also, although he is aware that one is physically able to give any intepretation one wishes to pesukim, he does not accept, as valid intepretations, interpretations that are obviously not the original intention of the pesukim. There are boundaries.

    Once Creation ex nihilo is unchallengable, the entire meta-natural 7-day porcess of Creation as depicted in Torah and Chazal stands, despite the invalid, naturalistic-based extrapolations from extant physical things.

    Assuming the hypothetical, the Rambam says, that somehow Creation ex nihilo would be disproven, he does not accept reinterpreting the pesukim. November 16, 2010 10:03 PM

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  118. (Continuation)
    E-Man said...
    Zvi, I have never spoken to anyone who was so wrong that it actually hurt me to read their post. Please read the Rambam in the MN 2:25 where he specifically says creation according to plato would also be acceptable. Also, the Rambam saying we reinterpret the Torah in accordance with science IS THE MESORAH!

    I don't actually think you will understand what I am saying. But what i can PROVE to you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that numerous rishonim and achronim say the world was not created in seven actual days. I am not sure how you even begin to make this assertion. I will link to a source you should DEFINITELY read.

    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol14/v14n065.shtml#09 read the A of the U by Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer Just a summary of the main points:
    "While one is certainly entitled to believe that the world is precisely
    5765 years old (by our current measurment of years), no more - as this
    appears to be the opinion of the Arizal (see below) - a person who holds
    this way is also entitled to know that this is probably the "minority"
    view amongst Chazal, the Rishonim, and perhaps even Gedolei HaAcharonim."

    Rav Schwab held it was millions of years old also: http://www.simpletoremember.com/faqs/Science_and_Judaism.htm#_ftnref18

    Must I continue to prove your statements false?
    November 16, 2010 10:20 PM

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  119. (Continuation)
    November 16, 2010 10:20 PM
    Zvi Lampel said...
    Please read the Rambam in the MN 2:25 where he specifically says creation according to plato would also be acceptable.

    1. Plato maintained that the eternal G-d eternally maintained the primary matter of the universe, but did at one point of time cause changes in its form to produce the universe as we know it. This does not contradict the Torah description of the stages of the universe’s development over the six days of Creation. And, as opposed to Aristotle’s theory—which posits that the eternal material is unchangeable, and must have always existed in the form it does at present, without going through any stages—it allows for miracles to take place, again not contradicting the Torah. It only contradicts the mesorah’s insistence that matter was not at all always in existence, but was itself created by G-d after having not existed.

    Also, the Rambam saying we reinterpret the Torah in accordance with science IS THE MESORAH

    2a. How do you understand the Rambam's rejection of extrapolating from the current way things behave to how the world originated?

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  120. (Continued)

    I don't actually think you will understand what I am saying. But what i can PROVE to you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that numerous rishonim and achronim say the world was not created in seven actual days. I am not sure how you even begin to make this assertion. I will link to a source you should DEFINITELY read.
    http://www.aishdas.org/avodah/vol14/v14n065.shtml#09 read the A of the U by Yosef Gavriel & Shoshanah M. Bechhofer


    Dear E-man,

    Again, you are relying on secondary sources. Rabbi Coffer has already dealt with RGB's claims.

    (Rabbi Coffer, can you please link?)

    Even if YGB were correct about previous cycles, etc., that is not relevant to the amount of time , and the kind pf processes involved in the creation of our world. RGB was not denying, and did not claim, that there is any source "reinterpreting" the meta-natural process described by Torah and Chazal and rishonim as the one Hashem used in this world's creation. And, if I remember correctly, he explicitly argued with Rabbi Slifkin against accepting evolution.

    Rav Schwab held it was millions of years old also: http://www.simpletoremember.com/faqs/Science_and_Judaism.htm#_ftnref18

    Must I continue to prove your statements false?


    Again, you're allowing yourself to be victimized.

    Let me quote from a "Google Books" copy of Natan Slifkin's quotes and comments upon Rav Schwab's suggestion:

    [Rav Schwab writes:]


    During the period of creation….The earth could have turned around its axis much more rapidly…the billions of years which science claims to have calculated, all actually occurred during six ordinary days.

    p. 171

    [T]he reconciliation of the fourteen billion years with the six days explained by Rabbi Schwab…retains the concept of time, and alters the laws of the universe during creation to fit fourteen billion years within that time.


    So, E-Man, Rav Schwab, z"l, follows the same approach as the Rambam and all the other rishonim in saying that the events of the six days of creation happened in a meta-natural way within six ordinary days. (Hmmmm...wonder why he doesn't say the six days were really billions of years. Could it possibly be just because that's the clear mesorah of Chazal and the rishonim?)

    So here we find yet another failed attempt to deny that Torah-literacy could support the idea that the six days of creation were longer than six ordinary days.

    E-Man, I plead with you. Learn the primary sources with an open mind, and don't rely on other peoples' representations. Use my blog entry ("How The Days of Creation Were Understood by Our Sages," that I hope to put up up soon) as a guide. But please look up the sources yourself.
    November 16, 2010 11:25 PM

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  121. Rabbi Lampel wrote:

    Dear E-man,

    Again, you are relying on secondary sources. Rabbi Coffer has already dealt with RGB's claims.

    (Rabbi Coffer, can you please link?)


    I wish I could. Rabbi Bechhofer and I had an offline debate regarding this issue. I no longer possess the interchange.

    Notwithstanding, I don't see the problem. E-Man claims that he is able to PROVE (beyond a shadow of a doubt mind you) that there are numerous rishonim and achronim that say the world was not created in seven actual days.

    So, let him advance a few. After all, according to him there are "numerous". In fact, let's start with one! Until E-Man supports his claim with textual based evidence, I see no reason to take his claim seriously.

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  122. Here is just one source online that shows Rambam held days are not literal days: http://sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp117.htm MN 2:30. Notice how he says DAYS ARE NOT LITERAL DAYS. (It is the first paragraph that points out how ridiculous it is to think that literal days existed during the time of creation)

    Also, Rav Schwab says that the 6 days of creation are, in essence, 14 billion years. Can you PLEASE think about that statement.

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  123. Rav Schwab says that the 6 days of creation are, in essence, 14 billion years. Can you PLEASE think about that statement.

    I already answered that:

    [Rav Schwab writes:]


    During the period of creation….The earth could have turned around its axis much more rapidly…the billions of years which science claims to have calculated, all actually occurred during six ordinary days.

    p. 171

    [T]he reconciliation of the fourteen billion years with the six days explained by Rabbi Schwab…retains the concept of time, and alters the laws of the universe during creation to fit fourteen billion years within that time.

    Please recheck the original reply (it's just a few up) for more elaboration.

    "Six ordinary days" means six times that the sun from the earth's perspective revolves around the earth.

    According to Rav Schwab's suggestion--and he himself held it was only tentative--I understand that the sun from the earth's perspective revolved only six times. Do you understand him differently?

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  124. Here is just one source online that shows Rambam held days are not literal days: http://sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp117.htm MN 2:30. Notice how he says DAYS ARE NOT LITERAL DAYS. (It is the first paragraph that points out how ridiculous it is to think that literal days existed during the time of creation)

    E-Man, I'm sorry, but the Rambam makes no such statement or implication. On the contrary, he is teaching that the consensus of the mesorah is that from the first, Hashem created the ordinary day system determined by the revolving sphere, which explains how there were three ordinary days although the sun was not operating the way it does now until the fourth [apparent] cycle of the sphere.

    This was also explained in my essay. Have you read it?

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  125. I wrote:

    E-Man claims that he is able to PROVE (beyond a shadow of a doubt mind you) that there are numerous rishonim and achronim that say the world was not created in seven actual days.

    So, let him advance a few. After all, according to him there are "numerous". In fact, let's start with one!


    To which E-man responded:

    Here is just one source online that shows Rambam held days are not literal days: http://sacred-texts.com/jud/gfp/gfp117.htm MN 2:30. Notice how he says DAYS ARE NOT LITERAL DAYS. (It is the first paragraph that points out how ridiculous it is to think that literal days existed during the time of creation)

    Of course anyone bothering to check E-man's source will discover that the Rambam says no such thing. Since this is the showcase source E-man chose to trot out, it would seem clear that his claim

    "beyond a shadow of a doubt...numerous rishonim and achronim say the world was not created in seven actual days..."

    is false.

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  126. SC- I didn't realize speaking the truth was false. I realize tha tyou do not check any sources though, as you and Zvi refuse to look at the other sources I quoted from RYGB post.

    Rambam says:
    "This explanation is in accordance with the theory of the Creation. We find that some of our Sages are reported to have held the opinion that time existed before the Creation. But this report is very doubtful, because the theory that time cannot be imagined with a beginning, has been taught by Aristotle, as I showed you, and is objectionable. Those who have made this assertion have been led to it by a saying of one of our Sages in reference to the terms "one day," "a second day." Taking these terms literally, the author of that saying asked, What determined "the first day," since there was no rotating sphere, and no sun? and continues as follows: Scripture uses the term "one day"; R. Jehudah, son of R. Simon, said: "Hence we learn that the divisions of time have existed previously." R. Abahu said, "Hence we learn that God built worlds and again destroyed them." This latter exposition is still worse than the former. Consider the difficulty which these two Rabbis found in the statement that time existed before the creation of the sun. We shall undoubtedly soon remove this difficulty, unless these two Rabbis intended to infer from the Scriptural text that the divisions of time must have existed before the Creation, and thus adopted the theory of the Eternity of the Universe. But every religious man rejects this. The above saying is, in my opinion, certainly of the same character as that of R. Eliezer, "Whence were the heavens created," etc., (chap. xxvi.). In short, in these questions, do not take notice of the utterances of any person. I told you that the foundation of our faith is the belief that God created the Universe from nothing; that time did not exist previously, but was created: for it depends on the motion of the sphere, and the sphere has been created."

    Notice that Rambam explicitly says to take the words one day and second day is wrong.

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  127. E-man,
    This is a quote from R. Slifkin's website of Rav Gedalyah Nadel, who personally believed in an ancient universe. Please read it carefully:

    Rabbi Gedalyah Nadel, BeToraso Shel Rav Gedalyah, p. 91
    : …The expression "one day" that the Torah uses, according to its literal translation, refers to one [conventional] day. Maimonides and the other early authorities truly held of this view, that each of the six days of creation lasted for one [ordinary] day, because they had no reason to believe otherwise. However, for us, there are indeed such reasons

    Michoel

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  128. Michael J, did you not read the quote from the Rambam?

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  129. If you want to see someone else using this quote while discussing this issue and reading the Rambam the same way as I in MN 2:30 see http://daattorah.blogspot.com/2009/03/rav-solveitchik-evolution-by-rav.html

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  130. If you need some more sources than the Rambam, here is a good summary of about 5 sources http://www.aishdas.org/asp/2006/03/the-rambam-on-time-during-creation.shtml

    ReplyDelete
  131. I just feel that, on this forum, I must actually quote a few of the sources in order that no one can say I am lying. So, here it goes:

    Ralbag (Milchemes Hashem book IV, II8):

    You already know from the preceding that the generation of the universe by God occurred in no time, since [its generation] was from nothing to something. Thus, our Rabbis maintain that the heavens and’ the earth were created simultaneously. As it is said in the Chapter [called] “One Does Not Interpret”: “Both were created as one. For it is said, ‘Yea, Mine hand hath laid the foundation of the earth, and My right. hand hath spread out the heavens; When I call unto them they stand up together. “‘ It is therefore evident that the description of creation as being completed in six days is not to be construed as [implying] that the first day preceded the second, for example, by one [whole] day [i.e., twenty four hours]. Rather, they said, this is in order to show the priority amongst various created things. For example, the movers of the heavenly bodies are causally and by nature prior to the heavenly bodies, whereas the latter are causally and by nature prior to the elements and to that which is generated from them. Now, the elements are prior to that which is generated from them according material priority, and the compounds of the elements are also [related] to each other by this kind of priority.For example the plant is prior to the animal; and similarly the imperfect animal is prior to the perfect animal. In the same way, an aquatic animal is prior to a flying animal, and the latter is prior to a walking [i.e., terrestrial] animal while the latter is prior to the rational [animal, i.e., man]. For an aquatic animal produces an imperfect egg, whereas the bird produces a perfect egg; the walking animal, however, produces a living animal in its own body. For this reason Aristotle says in The Book, of Animals that the bird is more perfect than the aquatic animal and the walking animal more perfect than the bird. And there is no doubt that man is the most perfect animal amongst the walking animals.

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  132. Alschich (Bereishis 1:1):

    Bereshit Rabbah 1 comments on the repeated use of the word “es”, i.e. “es hashamayim”. The first “es” is supposed to include the solar system, whereas the second “es” is a reference to all the vegetation on earth. This sounds perplexing, seeing that vegetation is specifically reported as having been created on the third day, and the galaxies are reported as having been created on the fourth day; so how could they have been included by the words “es” at the very beginning? The answer is that the author of the Midrash did not want foolish people to think that what we know as a time-frame was indispensable for the development of the physical universe from its inception to its completion. We must not be allowed to think that G-d required six days to accomplish what He did. This is one reason why G-d did not say in the Ten Commandments that He created the universe in six days The words used are “six days,” as distinct from in six days, etc. 20,11) The idea conveyed in that verse is that G-d created these six day simultaneously with creating heaven and earth. The Midrash goes on to tell us that the word “es” in that verse is to alert us to the fact that heaven already contained all the elements for the galaxies, etc., and that “earth” already contained beneath the surface all the elements of vegetation, etc. These elements became revealed only at a later stage during the creative process.

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  133. Aqeidas Yitzchaq (Bereishis sha’ar 3):

    The Rambam in Moreh Nevuchim gives the reason for Torah saying that there were days in the Beginning by citing the gemora in Chullin(60a). There it states that the products of Creation were all created complete. In other words all of creations was created at the first instant of creation in their final perfect form. Thus he says that the Creation description is not describing the chronological sequence of events but the days are simply serving to indicate distinctions in their levels and to inform of of the hierarchy of Nature. This was a major esoteric doctrine of the Rambam concerning Creation as those who are understanding can discern from Moreh Nevuchim 2:30) which is devoted to this issue. However the Ralbag publicized it in detail and expounded it thoroughly….

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  134. Shem Tov (Moreh ad loc):

    Just as G-d is an absolute unity, His actions are also unified and from His organization came out the sequence of Creation. At the start — time was created simultaneously with the rest of Creation. It is incorrect to say that Creation began at the start of time. Consequently creation consisted of entities that were separate and distinct and prioritized — which is not a reflection of G-d Who is an absolute unity. Their prioritization is the result of their nature as to what their purpose and causal relationship is in combining and interacting with other things. Therefore it only in describing their level in reality that we say Day One, Day Two — but not that they were created in this sequence. Thus the Rambam’s explanation rejects the literal meaning of the Torah verses. He asserts that everything was created simultaneously. It is only as a reflection as to their purpose and importance does the Torah say first second and third and the rest of the days.

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  135. Abarbanel(Bereishis):
    Thus the Rambam believed that the work of Creation happened all on one day and was not divided amongst six days. He claimed that in a single moment of creation everything came into existence. He explained that the reason for the Torah stating that there were six days of Creation was to indicate the different levels of created beings according to their natural hierarchy. Thus the Rambam does not understand the word day to be a temporal day and he doesn’t read Bereishis to be describing the chronological sequence of creation….

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  136. But, please, I encourage everyone to visit the website that contains these sources.

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  137. Hello E-Man,
    I looked at all your quotes, some that I have seen already. I don't have time to do this converstation justice. Rav Nadel was a great expert in the Moreh, so much so that he taught himself Greek so that he could read Aristo in the original. Not to any any way slight The Rav's expertise. Even the Rav is not arguing that the Rambam holds that the world was not created in 7 days, only that he also discusses the seven days in a deeper context. I once had the pleasure of a back and forth with R' Micah on some of his m'koros. It is not so pashut. In any case, regardless of how Rambam viewed time during the six days, it is clear that he held that at the end of it, there was literally 1 man that all humanity subsequesntly decended from, and also that all humanity is decended from one man called Noach. I think R. Slifkin would readliy agree to this and I once asked him about it. Yes, he has some support for the idea that Moreh allows us to reinterpret based on factual observations. Also, the entire musag of shmitos does not work well at all with modern scientific assumptions. Again, R. Slifkin has agreed to this somewhere. In every expression of the idea I have seen, a complete overturning of the creation is involved, not a continuous development that would allow for evolution

    I would like to see any unambigous 1st hand m'koros for your assertion that numerous rishonim held a non-literal six days.

    Respectfully,

    Michoel

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  138. I hadn't refreshed before posting he previous so I am seeing your last few posts now. An instaneous creation certainly does not help mordern science, I'm sure you agree. R. Lampel's main point, I think, is that the mesora clearly points to a recent creation. The literalness of six actualy days is somewhat less of his stress.

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  139. I am sorry, I am so disgusted with Simcha Coffer (SC) that I can not continue to come back to this abhorrent website ever again. I quote the Rambam verbatim and he says the Rambam says no such thing. How does this man think? Michael, if you wish to discuss this further then please e-mail me at jsmith11085@gmail.com

    How can someone call another a liar when they are telling only the truth?

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  140. E-Man,
    Please don't be overly offended. Sometimes in the heat of war (hainu blogging) people say things more harshly than they really mean too. Simcha Coffer is a nice guy. I can show you plenty of examples from "the other side" of this discussion as well.

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  141. E-Man,

    SC- I didn't realize speaking the truth was false.

    Neither did I. What truth have you spoken that was labeled false? The amazing thing is that you actually then go on to cut and paste a portion of the Moreh from another website (do you possess the Moreh at home? Which edition? Did you actually ever read Chapter 30 in the second chelek?) and claim that it supports your contention that the Rambam says that the "days are not literal days." and how "ridiculous it is to think that literal days existed during the time of creation". There obviously seems to be an issue with reading comprehension here. I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you highlight exactly which words in this quote you feel support your claim and we’ll take it from there.

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  142. Re: E-Man's quotes Micha's Blog.

    The following presentation is for the benefit of anyone who may be confused regarding E-Man's four or five quotes from Micha's site.

    Abarbanel, Akeidas Yitzchak, Shem Tov.

    First of all, these three quotes together do not even amount to one quote! These meforshim were offering their interpretation of the Rambam's shita in the Moreh, not their own opinions. So these opinions are not additional to E-Man's original quote from the Rambam! In fact, these individuals actually disagree with the Rambam and thus constitute more quotations in favor of a literal ma’aseh bereishis!

    Now let's treat each one separately.

    Abarbanel,
    Abarbanel is actually a ra'aya listor! Yes, initially Abarbanel accuses the Rambam of allegorizingma’aseh bereishis. But later on, the Abarbanel switches tracks and recognizes that Rambam's allegorizing relates solely to the story of Adam Chava and the snake in the second chapter of Bereishis and not to the details of ma’aseh bereishis in the first chapter! Here's my translation of the Abarbanel, on page 86 of the standard edition.

    "Behold you see that the opinion of the Rav (the Rambam) was not that all of ma’aseh bereishis was an allegory, rather, only a small part of it (some elements in the second chapter of Bereishis, not the first), and that all which is mentioned [in the Torah] regarding the activity of the six days, from the creation of the heavens and the earth, and all of the phenomena, and the creation of Adam and his wife, up until [the passage of] "va'yichulu", have no allegory whatsoever for everything was [understood as] literal to him and therefore you will see that in this very chapter, #30 in the second section, in all which the Rav has explicated regarding the activity of the six days, he did not make [of ma’aseh bereishis] an allegory or a hint (pirush tzurayi oh remez) at all;”

    So, it is clear from Abarbanel that Rambam was not allegorizing ma’aseh bereishis as Rabbi Slifkin does in his books. Rather, he took it literally as practically every Rishon does.

    Incidentally, the other major explicator of the Rambam, Crescas, also interprets the Rambam in the Moreh as aligned with a literal ma’aseh bereishis. I didn’t see Crescas in Micha’s quotes… Nor did I see Abarbanel on 2:30 which clearly takes the Rambam k’pshuto as Dr. Ostroff has pointed out on several occasions.

    This comment is exceeding the HTML maximum for this site. It is continued in the following comment.

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  143. Akeidas Yitzchak

    The Akeidas Yitzchak seems to be struggling with what appears to him as contradictory messages in the Rambam. After outlining what he feels is the Rambam’s interpretation of ma’aseh bereishis, he states as follows: (my translation)

    "And behold the Rav the Moreh there required [for the purpose of] repair and completion of his [posited] order [of creation] to say something, and this is what he says:

    ‘and what you must know is that the sages have already explained that the grass and trees which Hashem caused to sprout from the earth indeed occurred after He caused the rain to descend upon them and that which it states [in the Torah] that ‘a mist rises from the earth’ is indeed [the Torah relating] the chronological event which preceded [the verse] ‘let the earth bring forth grass’ etc. and to this (the former verse) Onkeles translates ‘a cloud ascended from the earth’ and this is understood from the verse ‘and the trees were still not on the earth and the grass had not yet sprouted’ etc. this is clear …'

    Behold he (the Rambam) needed to establish that the category of rain, which is the accomplishment of the second day to his mind, possessed a temporal precedence to the category of growth which is the accomplishment of the third day. And he (the Rambam) explicated this accordingly and entertained no doubt in the matter. And the wonder is that he accepted the testimony of one verse which states ‘and the trees were still not on the earth and the grass had not yet sprouted’, despite the fact that he did not need to feel compelled by this verse to explain as he did, as shall be demonstrated in its place, while [simultaneously] rejecting the testimony of several verses which repeat 6 times regarding the order of creation, ‘and it was night, and it was day' etc.” (pg. 41 of the standard edition).

    As you can see, the Akeida is conflicted. On the one side, he’d like to interpret the Rambam as aligned with allegory yet on the other side the Rambam seems to be going with a ma’aseh bereishis k’pshuto.

    Besides, you can clearly see that personally the Akeida favors a literal ma’aseh bereishis so technically the Akeida himself is aligned with all the rest of the Rishonim and Acharonim that Zvi outlined in his Blog Entry and here, and I outlined here.

    My comments on Shem Tov will be continued in the next comment bi’ezer Hashem.

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  144. Dear E-Man,

    I was hoping to get a chunk of time to address your points thoroughly, and I see others have already begun. But I see I must cut to the chase before this gets out of hand.

    I know why you think the Rambam says in that first paragraph that "days" are not literal. The Freidlander translation of the Moreh Nevuchim, which is what the websites you cut-and-pasted from cut and pasted from, is a tremendous help in learning the Moreh, and I use it often. But there are sometimes errors in translation that change the Rambam's meaning. And this is an example of that.

    The clause I place in bold ("these terms literally") is the culprit:

    We find that some of our Sages are reported to have held the opinion that time existed before the Creation...Those who have made this assertion have been led to it by a saying of one of our Sages in reference to the terms "one day," "a second day." Taking these terms literally, the author of that saying asked, What determined "the first day," since there was no rotating sphere, and no sun?

    The clause, "Taking these terms literally," is a mistranslation of "אומר זה המאמר, הענין על פשוטו. "Ha-inyan al p'shuto" does not translate "these terms"---referring two the terms "day one" and "day two." "Ha-inyan al p'shuto" translates, "taking the matter in its simple sense." Rambam is saying that the mistaken opinion that time always existed even before creation is based on the simple take of the pesukim that everything was created ex-nihilo on the attributed day. This led them to wonder how there could be the first three days when the sun was first created on the fourth day. To this the Rambam explains--based on Chazal--that actually everything was created in potential form the first instant, including the sun and the revolving spheres, and thus there was a "day one" and "day two" before the fourth day.

    If you re-read the entire passage of the Rambam, you will see how well the real words fir the context (and how incomprehensiblly it reads the other way).

    I, RSC, RMJ, and Rav Nadel, are looking at the Hebrew. You (and the websites you're getting your information from) are looking at the English mistranslation.

    You will no doubt respond that despite these facts, nevetheless somehow the Akeidas Yitzchak, etc., , think the Rambam held that the days werfe not literal days. I hope to treat that this weekend.

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  145. Shem Tov –

    Shem Tov is even more enigmatic than the Akeida. Here’s what I told rabbi Slifkin five years ago about the quote in Shem Tov (copied from Toriah)

    Quote

    RSC: Whereas in your quote (Challenge page 189-190) Shem Tov seems to subscribe to the idea that the Rambam allegorized ma’aseh bereishis,, shortly after he states as follows:

    “And from this [we understand that which] our sages have said that Adam and Chava were born united, back to back, the allusion here being that although maaseh bereishis is all literal (kulo ki’mashma’o), it also encompasses deeper allusions that man is composed of substance and form etc.” (pg. 61)

    This is only one of several quotes from the Shem Tov which would seem to indicate that the Shem Tov understood the Rambam as taking ma’aseh bereishis, literally, albeit in addition to a ‘deeper’ allegorical understanding. Truthfully, I am currently undecided regarding the Shem Tov.

    RNS: In that quote, the allegorical meaning does not conflict with the literal meaning, so they can both exist. But in the quote I brought, Shem Tov says explicitly that the six days were NOT a chronological sequence of time. He is not enigmatic at all - he is perfectly clear about this.

    RSC: You may be correct but then why does the Shem Tov have to say that ma’aseh bereishis is all kulo kimashmao? This is one of the reasons I consider the Shem Tov enigmatic but like I told you before, I am willing to let the Shem Tov issue slide. I only bring ra’ayos from sources that are perfectly clear. Concordantly, I don’t think you have a right to cite the Shem Tov as a conclusive ra’aya to your view of what the Shem Tov’s shita was regarding the Rambam. Whatever the case, I already mentioned (see here #Davar Shebichlal, Viyatza Lidon Bidavar Chadash) that this whole issue is, in my opinion, irrelevant, because even if the Rambam was to allegorize ma’aseh bereishis, it is based on his understanding of Chazal. He still holds of a recent creation and Rav Miller’s distinction of natural versus meta-natural still applies. You simply cannot use the Rambam to support your suggestion of a ‘billions of years old’ naturally evolving universe which contradicts every known source in Chazal and Rishonim.

    End Quote

    Incidentally, my previous comments re Abarbanel and Akeida were also taken from Toriah. E-Man makes the claim that I realize that you do not check any sources though, as you and Zvi refuse to look at the other sources I quoted from RYGB post.. Meanwhile if E-Mna bothered to look, he would see that RYGB was talking to me! I was the one at the other end of the conversation! And the quotes from The Abarbanel Akeida and Shem Tov were not only looked up by me but extensively treated five years ago, probably long before E-Man was even aware of them.

    So now we are down to the Alshich and the Ralbag. This comment will be continued after Shabbos bl’n. We’re making a Shabbaton (in which I will proudly be corrupting the minds of over one hundred children and adults with my ridiculous positions on hashkafa :-)) so I gotta run for now…

    Good Shabbos

    P.S. E-Man: Notwithstanding my direct style, don’t take anything I say personally. I’m not worth getting upset over. I'm nothing special. Just ask my wife…

    Be well and have a great Shabbos…

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  146. Zvi Lampel -

    I know why you think the Rambam says in that first paragraph that "days" are not literal.

    Hmm... I must confess that when I read this I jumped in anticipation. Finally an explanation for the inexplicable. Unfortunately, I do not understand your explanation Zvi.

    You wrote: The clause I place in bold ("these terms literally") is the culprit:

    Is it? Let’s assume for a second that the translation is correct. How does this justify a reading in the Rambam that he maintained that "days are not literal days." and how "ridiculous it is to think that literal days existed during the time of creation"?

    The Rambam goes on to answer R’ Yehuda and R’ Simon’s questions by indeed conceding to a literal interpretation of the terms (day one and day two) and explaining that everything was created on day one but was put into place in day 2-6 of the Creation week.

    I’ll tell you why E-Man believes that the Rambam maintains a position which is diametrically opposed to the one the Rambam actually espouses. Because E-Man doesn’t read the sources! (sound familiar?) He simply cuts and pastes quotes from websites that have quote-mined the Rambam out of context. If one would actually bother to look up the source and actually read at least the entire first two paragraphs (as split up in Kapach) of the Moreh one would be hard-pressed to come to E-Man’s conclusion!

    What sayeth thee to my tirade Rabbi L?

    (Now I’m definitely late for my Shabbaton…)

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  147. SC wrote:

    Zvi Lampel -

    I know why you think the Rambam says in that first paragraph that "days" are not literal.

    SC asks: You wrote: The clause I place in bold ("these terms literally") is the culprit:

    Is it? Let’s assume for a second that the translation is correct. How does this justify a reading in the Rambam that he maintained that "days are not literal days."


    Because the wrong translation reads:

    We find that some of our Sages are reported to have held the opinion that time existed before the Creation...Those who have made this assertion have been led to it by a saying of one of our Sages in reference to the terms "one day," "a second day." Taking these terms literally, the author of that saying asked, What determined "the first day," since there was no rotating sphere, and no sun?

    Taking these sentences in a vacuum, and in a fuzzy way, (with a sprinkling of anticipation that the Rambam will treat the matter allegorically) the Rambam is saying that a wrong conclusion was caused by those who take "these terms" of "one day" and "two day" literally.

    Also, E-man was influenced by how the Akeidas Yitzchak, Shem Tov and the Abarbanel took it. Considering that the Ralbag explicitly states that no rishon before him though of his take, it remains to be explained how the Akeidas Yitzchak (and the Abarbanel who, before reconsdering, did what in his day was a "cut and paste" of the Akeidas Yitzchak) thought the Rambam held, as the Ralbag was to later, that Chazal taught that almost all was created in actuality on the first day, and the rest of the "days" are describing the hierarchy of the beriah.

    and [how does this justify a reading in the Rambam that he wrote] how "ridiculous it is to think that literal days existed during the time of creation"?

    It does not. Here, E-man was agitated and speaking hyperbolically. Some people do that...

    As you point out, the rest of the context does not work with the mistranslation.

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  148. The clause, "Taking these terms literally," is a mistranslation of "אומר זה המאמר, הענין על פשוטו

    Interesting dialogue Gents.

    In considering translations, do we also need to keep in mind that the Hebrew itself is a translation from Arabic? (Not that I am volunteering for the job).

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  149. Yitz -

    In considering translations, do we also need to keep in mind that the Hebrew itself is a translation from Arabic?

    No doubt. Incidentally, I personally follow R' Y. Kapach's translation. I consider him one of the most unique Torah scholars of the 20th century. The Moreh was only one of the Arabic seforim he took upon himself to re-translate. Rabbi Kapach was a Yemenite Jew who was fluent in Arabic and grew up, from childhood, on the Rambam’s works. I trust his translation implicitly.

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  150. RZL writes:

    Also, E-man was influenced by how the Akeidas Yitzchak, Shem Tov and the Abarbanel took it. Considering that the Ralbag explicitly states that no rishon before him though of his take, it remains to be explained how the Akeidas Yitzchak (and the Abarbanel who, before reconsdering, did what in his day was a "cut and paste" of the Akeidas Yitzchak) thought the Rambam held, as the Ralbag was to later, that Chazal taught that almost all was created in actuality on the first day, and the rest of the "days" are describing the hierarchy of the beriah.

    Huh? Abarbanel writes (page 10) that Ralbag was the one who revealed the Rambam’s “true” intentions in Moreh 2:30. Where does the Ralbag write that no Rishon before him thought of his hierarchal interpretation of ma’aseh bereishis?

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  151. Rabbi Kapach? Here's some fuel for the fire...

    Some say that Dor Daim are heretics by reason of their non-acceptance of Zohar and Lurianic Kabbalah.

    Source: Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Derech Emunah p.30.

    Please don't flame me for this - I have no personal opinion on the matter. I just think that the issue is relevant.

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  152. Yitz -

    Please don't flame me for this - I have no personal opinion on the matter. I just think that the issue is relevant.

    Why? (Before I "flame" you, I suppose I should be civil...)

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  153. 1. Why not flame me? No reason, I suppose. Just a plea for mercy.

    2. Why don't I have a personal opinion? I'm still developing it.

    3. Why do I think that it is relevant? Someone might claim that Rav Kapach had some sort of hidden agenda.

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  154. Yitz -

    3. Why do I think that it is relevant? Someone might claim that Rav Kapach had some sort of hidden agenda.

    Who cares what people claim? Not me, that's for sure...

    I care about one thing: substance. I think I may have mentioned that once before... :-)

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  155. I was quoting the Ibn Tibbon translation ("אומר זה המאמר, הענין על פשוטו.) from the Arabic. Rav Kapach's translation from the Arabic is essentially the same: "והבין--אומר דבר זה--את הענין כפשטו, וחשב שאם לא היה שם גלגל מקיף, ולא שמש--אם כן, באיזה דבר שוער יום ראשון?"ס

    Rav Kapach has some complaints about Ibn Tibbon's translation in other passages (thus his decision to redo it). On the other hand, the Rambam himself assigned Ibn Tibbon to do the translation of the Moreh and praised it.

    Regardless, here they both agree.

    On yet another hand, both Friedlander and Pines translate "these terms." Perhaps the Arabic words can be translated both ways. Nevertheless, as I pointed out, the context makes Ibn Tibbon's/R. Kapach's translation meaningful, and renders Freidlander's/Pines' translation incomprehensible. Maybe they had an agenda?

    By the way, the Arabic is available online at HebrewBooks.org, so if there is someone out there who knows Arabic, perhaps they can shed some light.

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  156. Where does the Ralbag write that no Rishon before him thought of his hierarchal interpretation of ma’aseh bereishis?

    In the Rav Kook edition of the Ralbag's commentary on Breishis, it's on p. 51:

    ובכאן נשלם לנו הביאור המסכים לאמת וללשון התורה בכל מה שבא במעשה בראשית. ישתבח ויתעל' הצור המגלה לנו עמוקותיו ברוב רחמיו וחסדיו, על כל ברכה ותהלה. וראוי שלא נקצר מלתת תודה לקודמים במה שדברו במעשה בראשית. כי הם--ואם נמצאו רחוקים מהכונה אשר מצאנוה בכאן, כמו שתראה ממה שביאר בזה הרב המורה בספרו הנכבד מורה הנבוכים, והחכם ר' אברהם א"ע בפירוש התורה--הנה הם היו סבה, באופן מה, להעמידנו על האמת בזה

    Translation:

    "Herewith is completed by us the explanation that conforms to the truth, and to the Torah's language, concerning everything contained in Maasei Breishis....And it is proper that we should not be skimpy in expressing thanks to the previous commentators, for what they spoke concerning MB. For--even if they are found far from the intent that we found here, as can be seen from how HaRav HaMoreh explained in his honored work 'Moreh Nevuchim,' and the Chacham R. Avraham Ibn Ezra's Torah commentary--behold they were nevertheless a cause, in whatever manner, for us to establish the true way."

    It should also be noted that the Ralbag in his commentary offered an alternative approach to Maasei Breishis. That approach is essentially that of the Moreh Nevuchim as I explained it. To me it is obvious that the Ralbag understood the Rambam as I explained him.

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  157. Dear Yitz
    You wrote:

    Source: Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Derech Emunah p.30.

    Could you be so kind to post in which volume and which edition of Derech Emuna?

    Thanks

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  158. Where does the Ralbag write that no Rishon before him thought of his hierarchal interpretation of ma’aseh bereishis?

    Besides in his Torah commentary, the Ralbag also writes this in his Sefer Milchemes Hashem:

    ספר מלחמת ה' להרלב"ג, מאמר ו' חלק ב' פרק ח

    ואתה המעיין, ראה איך נפלינו בבאור זאת הפרשה [על פי חז"ל] מכל מי שקדמנו. וזה ממה שלא יסכל המעיין בדברינו, וזה כי זאת הפרשה מעידה עלינו, אם מצד הלשון אם מצד הסדור, שזהו ביאורה בלא ספק.

    Ralbag, Sefer Milchemes Hashem, Presentation VI, Part II, Chapter 8 (conclusion)
    And you, the examiner, see how we have surpassed all who came before us in explaining this parshah [in accordance with Chazal]. And this is in the aspect that whoever examines our words cannot question them, for this parshah itself, both through its terminology and its sequence testifies on our behalf that this undoubtedly is its true intepretation.

    (I inserted the words in brackets, "in accordance with Chazal," because otherwise one might think that the Ralbag is differing with Chazal, whereas reading his explanation one sees that on the contrary, he is citing Chazal as the basis of his interpretation. "Those who came before" him is referring to those in his era (namely, rishonim, including the Rambam--as he explicitly says in his Torah commentary) who preceded him.

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  159. Dr. Betach:

    I would love to debate you. I happen to have possession of an ancient Jewish manuscript that conclusively disproves each and every one of your positions. However, I refuse to identify it in any way, or describe its contents, until you do the following:

    1) Arrange a yom iyun on which we can debate. Please arrange for a hall in my area (I'll tell you where I'm located after you do some initial legwork, so I know you're serious) and that fits with my schedule (ditto).

    2) At this yom iyun, I require the attendance of at least 1,000 people. Please confirm for me that you will be able to guarantee their attendance. Until you do, I won't tell you anything at all about my sources

    3) It is very important for an event like this to be comfortable for people - please arrange for each attendee to be seated in a massaging recliner.

    If you are not willing to do this, I assume it's because you are aware that you will lose the debate, and not because you have no interest in jumping through absurd hoops to set up a "debate" on a topic for which you have no reason to believe your opponent would have anything of substance to say or cite to. I await either your confirmation that you've taken the above steps, or your shameful and cowardly retreat.

    Kol tuv,

    Akiva

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  160. B"H
    Dear Akiva:
    Your parallelism is not strong.
    There are many significant differences, but for now it's enough to say that you are an anonymous challenging an identified person.
    In the original case where I challenged Natan Slifkin, I (with 25 years of experience discussing about evolution of the species) using my personal name challenged an author of two books on the subject.
    By the way, please inform me where can I buy one of the seats with a massaging recliner.
    I need one for my office.

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  161. get your massage chair here:

    http://www.dr-gav.co.il/

    ReplyDelete