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A member of my shul, scientist who was on the short-list to win a Nobel a couple of years ago, made an interesting point about his own ethical issue. As a scientist involved in biology, professionally, he must assume the existence of biological evolution, and this conclusion is apparent in the papers he writes which discuss how cell biology and behavior evolve over an observable amount of time. On the other hand, he religiously believes that the Torah's account of creation is the truth, although perhaps not literal in all respects. He wonders whether by adopting as true previous science concerning evolutionary biological development, his work directly conflicts with Judaism's fundamental tenets. He has his own rationale, but are there responsas that address this issue for scientists? I note that there have been some pretty amazing rabbinic scholars who were also scientists, Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan (a physicist), for one. So I would imagine there must be something. Among the issues I wonder about is whether the rabbis would consider this scientists' representations as being ganeives daas (improper deception).

  • Some big names have said there is no problem: thejc.com/news/uk-news/102463/… last 3 paragraphs – rosends Dec 31 '14 at 17:38
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    This is very close to being a dupe. We have had a few questions before on reconciling Science with Biblical Creation. Can you clarify how this is not the same as those? – Seth J Dec 31 '14 at 17:52
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    @SethJ It may not be a dupe. It could be that even if one doesn't believe in evolution one may be permitted to "play along" with scientists who do, or it could (though unlikely) be like "Abizraihu DeAvoda Zara" and a Yehareg Ve'Al Yaavor. I think a better form of this question would be about a researcher writing something outright Kefirahdik, such as a frum archeologist writing about the lack of evidence of a "Yetziyas Mitzrayim" – Shmuel Brin Dec 31 '14 at 18:00
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    Is the question about the deception, or is the question about propagating heresy (assuming, for the moment that it's both deceptive and heretical)? – Seth J Jan 1 '15 at 1:34
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    I assume the evolution he directly deals with is microevolution. I believe the evolution which caries particular religous ramifications is macroevolution. – mevaqesh Jan 28 '15 at 1:20
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Torah and religion teach of the world as it is (assuming that we know to understand the teaching correctly) while science deals with the world as we see it. There cannot be any religious problem to speak of the world as God has shown it to us, as long as we recognize that our perception of the world should not be taken as the ultimate true description of the world. (As an aside, this is something which should also be recognized from a purely secular viewpoint.)

Therefore, a religious scientist should not have any problem professionally speaking of the world as it is seen from a scientific perspective, while personally believing that that is not actually the true account of reality.

  • I just realized this is from a year, ago, for some reason it was in the recent questions list. – DanielEvalUlai Dec 23 '15 at 7:50
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    The question is asking specifically for rabbinic responsa that deal with the subject. As for being in the recent questions, the Community ♦ user automatically bumps old, unanswered questions. – Scimonster Dec 23 '15 at 8:09

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