Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Orange


I just bought one of these for a dollar in the deli across the street from my office. What a masterpiece of intelligent design! The fruit is sweet, delicious and nutritious. The peel is a beautiful wrapper, easily removed. The pits may be thrown on the ground and, in the right conditions, will each grow into a tree that will produce thousands of additional oranges. Imagine being able to break off part of a computer, throw it on the ground and see a computer factory grow from it.

Human breeding has improved upon the original wild citrus, however those are merely small finishing touches on a masterpiece.

To counter that this all appears to be designed, however in reality has been created by chance, is like saying I only imagine that I am a human, however I am in reality an earthworm dreaming that he is human. It is a denial of what our senses perceive bordering on madness.

17 comments:

A said...

"Creationists seeking to argue against evolution often liken the evolution of complex organisms by natural selection to the building of a DC-10 by a hurricane blowing through a junkyard. Their conclusion? Since such an event is staggeringly unlikely, a special sentient hurricane must have built the plane deliberately."

Josh said...

This topic is so incredibly boring and been debated to death. Evolution does not disprove G-d and G-d does not disprove Evolution. The concept of G-d in Judaism has been that of an infinite, unmeasurable "being", if he wanted to make the world via evolution he could. Genesis is so obviously not a historical account of the creation I don't understand how anyone could take it to be that way. The purpose of the Torah as explained by the Ramban and many other perushim, and an approach that is just plainly obvious to the reader, is to give you a quick overview, Hashem created the world, he attempted to give man a divine mission, man failed, eventually came Abraham who finally got it, his offspring became the Jewish people, Jews lived in Egypt where G-d finally brought them out, gave over national revelation with a covenant, that being the mitzvos, in exchange for performing these mitzvos Jews would enjoy peace and happiness, long life etc., in the land of Israel, and unfortunately not live quite so happily ever after as the historical section of the Bible, that of the Prophets, can attest to. It is not a science book.

If you want to debate Judaism based on the anthropology and archaeology of the time Bible go for it. Science can't tell us anything about G-d and I'm not sure why Dawkins is so interested in using it to disprove G-d. Speak about the documentary hypothesis and other things. To the Jewish religion the way in which G-d made the world, whether it be 6000, 60000, 600000, 6 Billion years doesn't matter, it just matters that it was He who was the Primary Cause. The Gemmara in Chagigah tells us there were countless worlds before this one and all were destroyed because the ultimate purpose, Torah, was not fulfilled.

To a believer we can look at an orange, while still accepting the evolution of plants, natural selection, etc. etc., and merely remark how awesome it is that Hashem made his world work this way. To an atheist it is that and nothing else. Neither view disproves the other. If there was an actual revelation at Sinai so who cares if an orange evolved from an airplane or a cell that we don't even know exists, how does that have any bearing on G-d?

Josh said...

Just to clarify since I realized something could be misconstrued, I do not mean that the entire Torah is meant to be an overview, I was mainly referring to that of the Torah portions of Breishis - Lech Lcha, and of course there are many important things to learn out from there, but I would argue they're not necessarily the historical parts.

jewish philosopher said...

If oranges evolved from a cell, it a makes a difference big time, because that means Genesis 1:11 is false:

And God said: 'Let the earth put forth grass, herb yielding seed, and fruit-tree bearing fruit after its kind, wherein is the seed thereof, upon the earth.' And it was so.

Of course, evolution would mean that God could not have written that verse since God would not lie or make a mistake.

I'm not making this up on my own. Read the Jewish Observer May, 2006.

Josh said...

Does that verse tell you how G-d created the grass, herb yielding seed etc.? Did he snap his fingers? What type of grass? Which type of trees first? All trees? All fruits? Were they ripe first? Seed form? What size were they? In what order did they sprout? All we know from this is that G-d created fruit bearing trees. How this occurred we don't know, because the purpose of the Creation narrative is not to give you a play by play account.

david said...

I would have to agree with Josh on this one. There are 2 thing I think you are overlooking here JP.
The fisrt is that Genesis only tells us that God is the creator, and tells us nothing of his method. Lets take Gen 1:1, In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth. Now we only know that God created this, science tells us that the Big Bang is likely to have been the cause. The 2 things in no way detract from each other. One statement tells us the Creator, the other is the method he has likely used.
The second thing you seem to be over looking is that you are assuming that if evolution is correct, it needs to be exactly as the current theory stands. Is it not possible that Darwins theory could be a generally good one although in certain aspects wrong.
There is no reason to doubt that Evolution is potentialy the one tool God used in creation. If He created all of natures forces He could manipulate them in any way He likes.

jewish philosopher said...

I can’t imagine how the Torah could have made the creation of plants any clearer. And they were created, not evolved.

Please correct me if I am wrong; however there is no reference anywhere in any Jewish text prior to the publication of “Origin of Species” to anything like evolution. Therefore I think to say “the author of Genesis really meant evolution” is clearly an unconvincing apology.

david said...

I for one do not believe that evolution is correct, I honestly do not know. All I would say is that at least to a point it doesn't matter. I doubt very highly that Moses was talking of evolution when he wrote Genesis, but why do you assume that he Knew the methods employed in creation. As you reguarly point out in this blog, just because it is not stated in scripture doesn't mean that its not real.
Genesis in parts uses alot of poetic language, this is also true of the Bible as a whole in many places. There is no reason to say that this makes the account any less true, but it is clearly not writen in the style of a scientific journal, and should not be taken as such.
Lets assume for a minute that there is some truth to evolution, doesn't this serve to further lorify God. Consider how finely tuned this world is. It points even futher to design that if food did evolve, it did so in a way that allows so many speicies to live. the idea for instance that we evolved to be able to live off what was around to me is rubbish. We would have died out well before the generations it would take for this evolution could have lived. And it is the athiest who needs to find a far fetched explination for the amazing complexity of the world without God, not the creationist.

jewish philosopher said...

Evolution is OK, except that it contradicts Scripture and is not even hinted at in the Talmud. Therefore, I would conclude, if evolution is true, Judaism is false.

david said...

Are you also a young earth creationist, or do you accept that the world seems to have been here longer than the 5 or 6 thousand years that the bible seems to cover.
I don't think it does contradict the creation account in the Bible, and you need to consider the idea that it is right in some ways and wrong in others. To what degree could you accept evolution before it begins to bring doubt on the Genesis account?

jewish philosopher said...

I have a post about fossils.

david said...

Listen I am not an evolutionist. What I know of the fossil record tells me that evolution is very doubtful. But I think to write it off blindly because it is commonly used to argue against religion is silly. We have no way of knowing for sure how God creted this Earth, but to write off a naturalistic explaination is wrong, every bit as much as claiming a naturalistic explaination writes off the need for God. God created nature and to assume he didn't use it to form the world in ways is ridiculous.

badrabbi said...

"What I know of the fossil record tells me that evolution is very doubtful"

What is "very doubtful"? You guys write as if you know something we don't. What is it about the theory of evolution that bothers you so much?

Evolution may be compatible with God, as David claims. However, Evolution theory is not compatible with the Torah. Either Genesis is correct, or Evolution theory is correct. The two are mutually exclusive.

jewish philosopher said...

Bad, I agree. I don't think you can honestly accept evolution and Torah.

In my humble opinion, what the scientific evidence itself demonstrates, without any emotion or theology added, is a series of special creations - the Big Bang, the appearance of bacteria, the Cambrian explosion and so on.

Josh said...

How is evolution not compatible with Torah? What we know is this. Approx. 10,000 years ago Civilization emerges in the Fertile Crescent area seemingly out of no where. Before this stage we have no evidence of language, farming, etc. It all rises up suddenly. There are many different theories given as to why this is but none are conclusive, in fact I'd hesitate to call them theories because that would equate them with such theories as gravity and the conservation of energy. There is simply much conjecture of how man as we know it, 10,000 years ago, emerges. This very well could be the first Adam that we know of in the Torah. Once again the Torah is not giving you a play by play account of Creation. To say it's not compatible with Torah is to contradict numerous meforishm all hold there is infinite things going on by the story in Breishis that we know little about. Modern Man that we know bursts on to the scene in a way that is still unexplainable.

And even if he didn't, we know there is more going on then the Torah tells us. Cain is exiled and goes where? To another society. He has a wife. Where did he get this wife from? Yes the medresh says there were twin daughters etc. etc., I for one don't know whether the medresh is meant to be taken literally or not but clearly there is something else going on in the story that is not being told. Why? Because once again according to numerous meforishm, and according to a simple reading of the Torah, it is not, not, not, repeat yet again, a science or history book. It is concerned with the development of Klal Yisrael into a nation who will enter the Land of Israel. The covenant at Har Sinai and the subsequent entering into the Land are the major thematic points.

jewish philosopher said...

You see, the problem is that the Torah explicitly states that each life form came from inanimate matter, not other life. If there would be a midrash saying that something else really is meant, that would be fine, but there isn't.

badrabbi said...

"What I know of the fossil record tells me that evolution is very doubtful"

What is "very doubtful"? You guys write as if you know something we don't. What is it about the theory of evolution that bothers you so much?

Evolution may be compatible with God, as David claims. However, Evolution theory is not compatible with the Torah. Either Genesis is correct, or Evolution theory is correct. The two are mutually exclusive.