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When Judaism Meets Science

 

“a rare masterpiece”
– Rabbi Lawrence Hoffman, HUC

“careful research, passionate analysis, and good sense”
– Rabbi David Teutsch, RRC

“clear, engaging”
– Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman, Sinai and Synapses

“a tremendous tome”
– Rabbi Wayne Dosick, SpiritTalk Live!

“an absolutely fascinating book”
– Rabbi Richard Address, Jewish Sacred Aging

“scholarly, judicious, and fair–minded . . . and very ‘readable’”
– Ronald W. Pies, MD

“a fresh way to explore Jewish topics . . . useful in teaching adults”
– Rabbi Gail Shuster–Bouskila

“A must read! . . . careful thought and such literary excellence”
– Rabbi Jack Riemer

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Posts Tagged ‘exoplanets’

Cong. Agudat Achim Explores “When Judaism Meets Science”

Monday, April 5, 2021 @ 02:04 PM
posted by Roger Price
Cong. Agudat Achim

Cong. Agudat Achim (“CAA”) is a full service, egalitarian, and participatory congregation based in Schenectady, New York. For over 120 years, it has identified with the Conservative movement.

In late March, 2021, as part of CAA’s series on Judaism and science, three members of the congregations, each of whom also happens to be a scientist, interviewed your blogmaster, Roger Price, about various aspects of the interplay of Judaism and science. The interviewers were Andrew Gavens, a materials engineer, Advisor at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory, and past president of CAA, Jay Yablon, a theoretical physicist at Einstein Centre for Local–Realistic Physics, patent lawyer, and also a past president of CAA, and Susan Sharfstein, a biochemical engineer and professor of nanobioscience at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Steven Jarrett, a retired physician and former Medical Director for the Capital District Regional Office of the NYS-DOH, also submitted questions.

The principal topics covered over the course of about one hour and twenty–five minutes include the motivation for and the process regarding writing “When Judaism Meets Science,” ethical issues associated with CRISPR technology and gene and germline editing, Moses as an author or, alternatively, a scientist, what, if anything, science says about God and the writing of the Torah, the historical accuracy of the Passover and Exodus stories,  how, if at all, the Torah and science agree on the creation of the universe and humankind, and, finally, how Judaism and science inform each other regarding artificial intelligence, possible life on exoplanets, and exotheology.  The full discussion can be accessed on YouTube by clicking here. Introductions begin at the 2:28 mark. Enjoy.

Extraterrestrial Life-Forms: A Religious View

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 @ 10:10 AM
posted by Rabbi Allen S. Maller

When the inquisition condemned Galileo for writing that the earth might not be the center of the solar system, the Roman Catholic Church was supporting the philosophy and science of the Greco-Roman world because it seemed to support the religious idea that the earth, life in general and human life in particular, should be the center of God’s world.

Today very few religious people think that if the earth revolves around the sun, it makes humans less important to God. The value, meaning and importance of a human life, is not a scientific issue; it is a religious issue.

So too, when by the end of this decade, astronomical evidence of stars with earth-like planets, at the right distance from their star to have liquid water, and an atmosphere with oxygen, is found, there will be no need to deny the evidence and condemn the scientists as anti-religious. Religious people need to know that the Torah and the Qur’an clearly teach that the Living God created the whole universe to be conducive to the universal evolution of life. read more

Extraterrestrial Life Evidence in Ten Years

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 @ 10:05 AM
posted by Rabbi Allen S. Maller

When the inquisition condemned Galileo for writing that the earth might not be the center of the solar system, the Roman Catholic Church was supporting the philosophy and science of the Greco-Roman world because it seemed to support the religious idea that the earth, life in general and human life in particular, should be the center of God’s world. Today very few religious people think that if the earth revolves around the sun, it makes humans less important to God.

So too, when by the end of this decade, astronomical evidence of stars with earth-like planets, at the right distance from their star to have liquid water, and an atmosphere with oxygen, is found, there will be no need to deny the evidence and condemn the scientists as anti-religious. Religious people need to know that the Torah and the Qur’an clearly teach that the Living God created the whole universe to be conducive to the universal evolution of life. The Zabur of David says, “Your kingdom is a kingdom of all worlds; and Your dominion is for all generations.” (Zabur-Psalms 145:13); and the Qur’an says, “We have not sent you but as a blessing for all the worlds.” (Al-Anbiya 107). Muslim commentators say this refers to the 18.000 worlds created by Allah. Our world is one of them. (Mir’at-e-Kainat, vol.1, p.77) read more

New Planets, A God For The Cosmos and Exotheology

Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 09:01 PM
posted by Roger Price

We are blessed to live in an age of great discoveries. Prior to about fifteen years ago, astronomers had not been able to identify planets in orbit around stars beyond our solar system. These planets, known as extra solar planets or exoplanets, have now been found. In fact, in the first dozen years from the discovery of the first exoplanet, about 500 such planets were located in diverse areas of the known universe.

Then NASA initiated the Kepler space mission, which was designed to find Earth sized planets within the habitable zone of a star. The mission focused on a relatively small star field in the constellations Cygnus and Lyra, perhaps the extent of the sky obscured by an average extended fist. The discoveries have been phenomenal, and the pace seems to be accelerating. As science writer Timothy Ferris has said, “We live in a changing universe, and few things are changing faster than our conception of it.” (Ferris, The Whole Shebang (Simon & Schuster 1997), at 11.) read more