Grandmuffti is often amused in America over how, well, ridiculous things can be here. When I first arrived, I noticed the war of the fish: Jesus vs. Darwin, dueling it out on trunks of cars everywhere. Then, just today, I noticed a news story about Georgia: apparently, the Scopes Trial of 1925 wasn’t enough for Georgians who still are rather suspect of theories that contradict the oh-so-implausible version of creation laid out in Genesis (twice!)
Anyhow, it turns out that Georgia is hearing a case in court over the matter of text book stickers that say that evolution should be ‘critically considered’, and claim that evolution is ‘a theory, not fact’. (Question to the intelligent reader: are these merely truisms? Isn’t quantum mechanics a theory that we should critically consider?) This is the latest development after a plan by Schools Superintendent Kathy Cox proposed the (even stupider) idea of replacing the word ‘evolution’ with ‘changes over time’. (I think this is kind of like changing the word ‘atom’ in physics texts to ‘little spinning dealies that follow God’s plan’). Apparently it all traces back to a complaint by Marjorie Rogers, who felt that:
the (evolution) theory is atheistic. And it’s all that’s presented. It’s an insult to their intelligence that they’re only taught evolution.
Of course, teaching them that the world was created in 6 days flat, that 3 days past before the sun and moon were created, and that vegetation preceded the creation of the sun is a clear respect for their intelligence. I assume, on this model, that it would be an insult to the intelligence of adolescences to tell them that parents give them their christmas gifts without also providing the counter-theory that a jolly fat red suited man travels at incredible speeds in a celestial sleigh, all the while finding time for illegal entry down the chimney in order to put said gifts in their place.
Anyhow, I only harp on about this because (a) it seems ridiculous but (b) it got me to wondering whether or not we (the Jewlicious ones) are firmly anti-evolution. I would imagine that the letter of Genesis is rather forbidding: evolution doesn’t seem to happen very quickly, certainly not over the course of days. And even if it did, evolutions is a theory that involves preservation of traits apt for survival, not intentional agency. But surely we aren’t stuck with literal interpretations. (Philo of Alexandria was known to say, the entire Torah is metaphorical in nature. So, I posed as a question to the more Judaically informed than I (which probably includes, well, all of you), what’s our deal with evolution? The Muffti is hoping that we are less like Georgians than he fears we are.