darwin: throwing the dice at blind chance

…To some, the implications of Darwin’s theory were negative and desolating. The whole earth no longer proclaimed the glory of the Lord. Paradoxically, in revealing the closeness of man’s links with the rest of creation, Darwin seemed to have cutt the emotional ties between man and nature. The world was not, apparently, the rational creation of a Being whose purposes, though infinitely beyond man’s full comprehension, were in some sense akin to the purposes and feelings of man himself ( at least they were purposes). Nature according to Darwin, was the product of blind chance and man a lonely, intelligent mutation, scrambling with the brutes for his daily bread….

—Cat eating a bird
Artist: Pablo Picasso
Completion Date: 1939
Style: Cubism
Period: Neoclassicist & Surrealist Period—Read More:http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/pablo-picasso/cat-eating-a-bird-1939


(see link at end)…Kook employed the same kabbalistic doctrine of the Sabbatical Worlds as Benamozegh did, and this allowed sufficient time for evolution. He felt no need to refute evolution, and in fact believed that the concept of evolution was very similar to ideas in Kabbalah. It is unclear whether this was in reference to Darwinism specifically or evolution more generally. Nevertheless, Kook asserted that both the physical and the spiritual world undergo progression, advancing through stages, and, as this entails a process of evolution in both worlds, “no step in the gradually unfolding pattern is ever left vacant”. This would imply that evolution as a process was a concept already mandated by Judaism. Kook explained that, kabbalistically, the spiritual worlds which preceded our own were created by a series of emanations; they developed and progressed from previous stages, and thus it made sense for the physical world to incorporate a corresponding mechanism.

Kook felt that those who had problems reconciling evolution and Judaism were actually only having problems accepting that the Torah contained parables, allegories and allusion. Other than this, he argued, there was no inherent contradiction. Elsewhere, Kook took kabbalistic doctrines which implied that there had been other humans apart from Adam, and interpreted them as precursors to modern humans; this allowed for the development and evolution of man in earlier epochs before Adam. However, he asserted, the Torah is only interested in the end result, modern humans. Kook explained the absence of evolution in the Torah by noting how, when an order is given by a king to build a structure, x, scripture does not always list those who are actually building, or the methods they use, but only that the command was given by the king, and thus that the king built x. Therefore, the omission of a description of the process of evolution from the creation story in Genesis did not necessarily imply that the process by which God had created life, and ultimately humans, had not been evolutionary. Similarly to Hirsch, Kook pointed out that evolution was only a theory, and was thus still liable to being falsified, no matter how well corroborated it may be. Similarly to Benamozegh, Kook seems to have espoused a linear view of evolution, in which progress was not random, but rather tended towards a goal, specifically, humans. Read More:http://michaelakay.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/darwin-and-the-rabbis/

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