Fundamentalist Religions and the whacko’s who practice them have long been battling science and the ever increasing data set that comes with it. Hangings, Burning at the stake, and forced renunciations were once the order of the day. From Scopes to the push to include creationism in science classrooms, the battles continue.
But, not all religious folk are so ludicrous. My grandfather is a Southern Baptist Preacher, and he sees no problem whatsoever with Evolution or the age of the Earth. And, apparently, neither do some Jewish Rabbi’s.
The seeming ease with which this branch of Judaism has embraced science can in large part be credited to the towering intellectual legacy of Moses Maimonides. In his 12th-century masterpiece, “Guide to the Perplexed,” Maimonides opened the door to a Judaism unfettered by a literal reading of religious texts. For many Jews the persuasive case for evolution does indeed amount to a crisis of faith, but the Maimonidean precedent of figurative interpretation provides a framework within which conflicts arising between Torah and science can be argued away. To be sure, some arguments are more compelling than others (and a great many are not compelling at all). But in contrast to many observant Christians, there is a greater willingness of these believers to live with such inconsistencies.
Fundamentalists are the more vocal of the different religious types, always griping about the ‘sinfulness’ of all of the rest of us heathens. And, maybe they’re right. But, it is refreshing to remind oneself that a person can believe in God and still be a rational human being who understands what the facts are telling them, and wouldn’t implode if they sat in on a science class.