Arrival of the Fittest


Arrival of the Fittest
Rabbi Shea HechtOn December 20, 2005, a federal judge banned the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution by Pennsylvania’s Dover Area School District, saying the practice violated the constitution by crossing the lines between church and state.

Intelligent design is a theory which presumes that some aspects of nature are so complex that they must have been the work of a higher power rather than the result of random natural selection, as Charles Darwin argued in his 1859 theory of evolution.

Darwin theorized that the world ‘evolved’ by adapting to the changing environment and then through survival of the fittest, though he couldn’t explain the arrival of the fittest. Where did the ‘fittest’ come from?

Additionally, hurricanes demolish weak structures and leave over those built most soundly, but never can a hurricane build or create even a log cabin - and definitely not a skyscraper.

Today’s evolutionists have rejected some of the details of Darwin’s theory and replaced adaptation and evolution with “sudden gene mutations.”

Neither of these theories explains how the world originated. Evolution, starting with Darwin’s theory which argued that the world adapted to atmospheric conditions up to modern-day evolutionists who say the world evolved with “sudden gene mutation” have never explained the obvious difficulty. From where did the matter come that was later adapted or mutated? Not only didn’t the Rembrandt paint itself, the painter also needed paints.

Because of the gaps in Darwin’s theory and because they would like their students to be open to commonsense thinking, Dover became the first school district in the USA to include intelligent design in its science curriculum, in October of 2004.

Ninth grade biology students were presented with a four-paragraph statement saying that evolution is a theory, not a fact, and that there are gaps in that theory. The statement invited students to consider other explanations of life, including intelligent design.

Why doesn’t the court allow schools to suggest that perhaps some creator had to create matter which supposedly evolved? Teaching that the world is complex and was possibly created by a creator could hardly be called religion.

Is the problem with intelligent design that one cannot see the creator of this world? If I pass a house and I say I don’t believe that a builder built it because I didn’t see the action, would I be considered logical? If a bullet hit someone, even if I don’t know or see who shot it, I don’t say it shot itself. How can it be wrong to teach children to look around at the world, see how complex it is and understand that logically there has to be a creator?

By accepting this theory of intelligent design we are also implying that we have to be grateful to a higher power. We should be training our young people to be grateful for all the bounty in their lives, not denying that there may be someone they have to be grateful to and accountable to. We teach our children to be grateful for all that they have - from the food on the table, to the clothes on their back - why can’t we teach them that there is a higher power that brought about the world?

In summary, intelligent design is exactly that - intelligent. For the courts to outlaw teaching intelligent design, but allow Darwin’s theory in an effort to keep religion out of schools, is warped. Just as we can say that Darwin is entitled to his opinion, other theories should be allowed to be explored - under freedom of _expression.

Rabbi Shea Hecht
Chairman NCFJE
824 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11213