Thoughts on Judaism

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ida and us

As you must know by now, scientists found Ida, a 47 million year old (a lady never tells) protosimian fossil. She has fingernails, opposable thumbs and many features suggestive of humans, while being a pre-ape. It is proposed that she is way up on the simian family tree, before apes and humans took fully separate paths. She is not quite the "missing link", but she intriguing evidence of evolution in primate line.

Naturally, the faithful will write this off like they do all other evolution evidence, but it is now much easier to imagine that "transitional" form that spawned the higher families. It will go to show that no matter how much evidence is amassed, and there will never be enough for someone who is willfully blind and ignorant.

The oldest human fossils to date are in the 3 million year old range. The proto lemur-human will fascinate people who understand the science behind evolution, the medical progress that bolts forward on its account, and the greater new world that will grow from the knowledge that it provides. The Jewish people has accepted the truth of many things that challenged the common wisdom that has grown around it. We withstood the heliocentric universe, the refutation of spontaneous generation, the older than 5769 year old world, the refutation of 4 element physics, the refutation of Talmudic "medicine", the concept that certain anatomical ideas and ideas about pregnancy that were accepted by our sages were false, and severe challenges to our traditional history in archaeology. We are still plugging along, and the acceptance of evolution will not dent Judaism one small bit. G-d created man out of bacteria and ultimately out of other animals. Why is this so difficult for Judaism? Judaism does not even oppose it. The only ones who do are those that claim the mantle of "true Judaism", the Charedim, Chabad, (or for that matter, Jews who practice fundamentalit Christianity) and sectarian Jews of all stripes who imagine that Moses wore their particular type of hat and then throw in a bunch of their own platitudes in place of Judaism's diverse theology.

Ida has testified. But then again, she is a woman.


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