Rabbi Dr Zvi Aviner
IDOLATRY-10/Science as an Idol
ELHM consulted Wisdom and Science and made Adam
Last class we saw that the creation of Adam was intertwined
with introducing to the world, the option of IDOLATRY.
G-d, ELHM, consulted in plural, saying “Let Us,”
thereby opening the room for idolaters to think
that there are more than One and Only CREATOR
With whom did ELHM consult?
We’ve said: with whoever is mentioned in the miraculous Chapter One.
He consulted them one by one, and each contributed
a layer in Adam’s body and soul.
Like a CEO of a company building a humanoid robot,
ELHM first established the goal of Adam’s life
And the direction of Adam’s history,
moving forwards from our Sixth Day to the Seventh.
For that, ELHM consulted the Merciful Attribute YHVH,
Who rules over the Eternal Sabbath, asking Her,
Let Us Make Adam in Our Form and Our Image,
And He (They) made Adam accordingly
That consultation was a tremendous gift to Adam
enriching his life with holiness and joy
but it came with a price: the option of IDOLATRY
for by speaking in plural, ELHM opened up the door
for idolaters to think that YHVH and ELHM are two different gods
Adam would have to be given a Torah
that would tech him not to fall a prey to such IDOLATRY
and how to unite YHVH and ELHM in his mind and life
ELHM then turned to build Adam’s body.
For that, He turned to the Six Days,
Saying to each Day “Let Us Make Adam…”
and from each Day He built a layer in Adam’s body
We’ve also said that
One can see the evidence of these consultations
In the way that a human embryo develops in the uterus
as it passes through all the stages of the Evolution
as described in Genesis Chapter One
Those consultations were a major gift to Adam,
making Adam an integral part of Nature
capable of identifying with all the creatures
so that Adam could rule over Nature
as a King Who Consults his subjects
and comprehend their wishes and needs
Tremendous gift it was, yet by speaking in plural
ELHM opened the door for idolaters to believe
that the items in Nature are Partners of G-d,
even replacing G-d altogether
We also saw how Moses predicts here the course of history
that would follow the path of IDOLATRY.
Man, we said, hears the CREATOR calling him
“Adam, where are you? Comme to me!”
And Adam looks for his CREARTOR in Nature
First, Adam seeks G-d in creatures
made close to him on the Sixth Day,
and he worships holy cows, ferocious beasts and Dragons
But as Adam progresses, he seeks G-d deeper in Nature
in creatures made on the Fifth Day: Fish, Birds, Crocodiles
and he worships them instead of G-d, like the Egyptians did
Adam continues to progress, and he seeks G-d in
elements made on the Fourth Day: The Celestial Bodies,
and he worships them instead of G-d, like the Babylonians did
As Adam progresses, he seeks G-d in items made on the Third Day,
made on the Third Day: Vegetation, Trees, even Fertility
and he worships them instead of G-d, like the Canaanites did
Adam also worships elements made on the Second Day, the Sea,
And he worships it as the Greek did.
How amazing it is that al those predictions of the course of IDOLATREY
In history have been implemented, in the order that Moses describes
in the miraculous Chapter One of Genesis
Now Mankind faces the items mentioned in the First Day,
the most primordial elements of the Universe.
Would Adam worship them too?
For that, let’s go to the story of Adam creation.
After consulting with the Six Days to provide for Adam’s body,
ELHM wanted to make Adam a smart creature.
For that, ELHM turned to the very Beginning, where it says
“At the Beginning, ELHM created the Heavens and the Earth.”
In Hebrew, the word Beginning – BeReishit – can be read as:
“At the Head of the Events, ELHM created…”
Meaning: ELHM created the Heavens and the Earth, using His “Head,”
Meaning – using Wisdom and Science” that is in His Head.
Now ELHM turned to that
“Wisdom and Science by Which He Created the World”
saying: “Let Us Make Adam in Our Form and Our Image”
He then consulted the Wisdom and Science in His Head
And planted it in Adam’s head.
Indeed, this consultation gave great gift,
making Adam a Homo sapience
That is why Adam’s mind can
comprehend how the Universe works,
decipher all the Universe mysteries
and use that Wisdom and Science
to create technology that improves our lives
But as important that consultation is,
It has also opened the door for idolaters
to adore Science so much that in their minds
Science replaces G-d.
So, we, our generation, still hear G-d calling us
Adam, where are you? Come to me!
And like our predecessors, we too
Look for Him in CREWATION.
Of course, we wouldn’t fall a prey to the IDOLATRY of the past,
But we would seek Him in the deepest layer of CREATION,
In the items of the First Day, in the Beginning, or in the
Wisdom and Science by which He had created the world.
Moses actually predicts here,
that the moment Mankind would discover Science,
Man would be tempted to worship it, instead of G-d.
This prediction is amazing by itself,
since no one in Moses’ time saw any
Wisdom and Science behind Nature
nor did they know what the Scientific Method is.
The Egyptians in Moses time,
told mythical stories about CREATION,
full of bloody rivalry between the gods,
full of ugly sexual perversions.
So did the Babylonians and the Greeks.
No one in Moses’ time knew what Science is,
and no one saw it behind Nature.
The Egyptians knew “empirical science,”
Like which herb can cure this or that malady.
But they combined their knowledge with witchcraft,
Believing that their medications
chase away bad spirits and demons
The Scientific Method as we know it today
Came to the world at the 18th century
By the great philosopher of Science, Emanual Kant
Before Kant, people saw G-d in every event in nature.
When an apple falls from a tree on your head, it is G-d who is doing it.
When a leaf moves by the wind, it is G-d who is doing it,
When a plague hits the city, it is G-ds’ hands who is doing it
Thus G-d was perceived as an intermediator between us and Nature
This is what people said for thousands of years,
even today, especially in Islam.
Kant came and changed that perception
By eliminating G-d from our observation of Nature
Kant set up the Rule of Pure Reason,
That actually introduces a new religion,
The religion of Pure Reason
Rule number one that Kant introduced
calls every man/woman to have the courage
to follow only his/hers Pure Reason,
and reject any dogma or theory that
is imposed on him by authorities, priests or kings.
By this rule, without being aware,
Kant actually fulfilled the prediction made by Moses
That when humanity would discover Science
It would be intertwined by rejecting G-d.
Kant went on to set up his second rule,
The rule of the Pure Reason Critique.
This important rule says that when we explain Nature
We should consider valid only theories
That can be validated by our senses
Or can be measured by our instruments
Or can be tested by experiments in the lab
Or can be expressed by mathematical equations
Or can produce new real product such as technology
All other theories, as charming and appealing they might be,
Should be discarded and move away to the
supernatural, transcendent realm
that can never be validated
Thus, when an apple falls from a tree on your head,
do not consider the “G-d Hypothesis” as a factor,
since G-d can’t be sensed, measured or described
by a mathematical formula.
Instead, when dealing with the falling apple,
consider only factors that can be sensed or measured.
Such as gravity F, the apple’s mass M, its acceleration g,
then arrive at Newtons’ Formula: F=Mxg square.
And here is the difference: Newton’s formula describes
not only the falling apple, but the attraction of the
moon by Earth, and the Earth by the Sun.
The new theory does not consider God Hypothesis as a factor
Similarly, when we face the Ebola plague,
we should divert our energy to finding the real causes
that can be sensed, seen, measured and tested
rather than seeking supernatural causes
So, while in the past G-d was seen as
an intermediator between us and Nature,
by Kant, we should remove G-d from our considerations
and replace Him by our Pure Reasoning, by Science.
Again, by this rule, Kant fulfilled, unknowingly,
Moses’ prediction and warning,
that Science would challenge our believe in G-d.
After Kant, we have Man, Science and Nature.
Moreover, as Moses predicted,
Kant also removed G-d from our morality.
Each and every individual, Kant said, is free
To use his own Pure Reason to accept or reject
A moral behavior on himself. On one condition:
That he would wish the entire society, to adapt
his moral behavior as a law for everyone.
Hence, Man does not need G-d anymore to set up our morality
For we should propose and follow our own Pure Reason
that knows well what is good for us.
Needless to say, we, today, recognize how naïve
Kant is by assuming that Man’s Pure Reason can be relied upon.
When the mass murderer Eichman, the architect of Auschwitz
and the holocaust, was brought to a trial before Jerusalem Court,
he defended himself by arguing that he had acted as a Nazi
as an avid disciple of Kant, obeying the law of society
And another point:
Kant was fascinated by the way our brain works
when dealing with Nature.
He was amazed to realize how well our brain
can come up with theories that fits Nature so well,
theories so precise that they can be expressed by
mathematical formulae and equations.
So much, that he proposed, that our brain dictates Nature.
Our brain works, he said, as if it has inherent ‘boxes’ of thinking
planted in us “a-priority”, before we have any real experience,
as if our brain is “programed” to think in a certain way
that matches Nature perfectly.
But unknowingly to him, Kant only discovered what Moses had said
that to make Adam, ELHM consulted His Wisdom and Science
by which He had created the world, and made Adam’s mind accordingly.
No wonder that Man’s mind can come up with theories
That match perfectly well what we see in Nature.
Thus, we see that Moses’ prediction has materialized,
And that the arrival of Science was accompanied with
A threat to our Faith in G-d and in the Bible
But Kant’s revolution has prompted farther attacks on the Bible, from all branches of Science,
Astronomy and Cosmology.
The historians and archeologists have argued
That there is no evidence for the revelation on Sinai,
That the Torah was written by different authors in different times
That the Exodus did not happen the way it is described in the Bible,
That Joshua never existed
That David never existed
But today, a miracle happened
And Science itself has shown
The validity of the Bible
And the fallacy of the claims made against the Bible
In the name of Science.
The computer code has shown clearly
that the Five Books of Moses were written by one author.
And that the Exodus did take place the way the Bible describes it
That Joshua and David did exist
Other scholars have attacked the Bible
In the name of Geology and Earth History
Well, we have already seen how the History channel report
on the History of Earth, and the Story of Genesis in Chapter One
do match perfectly well!
In fact, the more we discover by Science about the history of Earth,
the more we appreciate how miraculous is Genesis Chapter One
Another challenge made in the name of Science
Came from biology and the story of the Evolution
According to Darwin, life on Earth advanced
by random genetic mutations and natural selection
rather than by G-d’s Commands.
But today we realize how false that claim is.
It would take 10 with 84 zeros number of years, to advance
the animal’s species by random mutations and natural selection
more than the life time of the Universe!
Darwinism can’t explain the sudden explosion of species
That took place in the ocean in the Cambrian Period
That fits Moses’ Fifth Day. It can’t be explained
By random mutations and natural selection.
Darwinism can’t explain the origin of the DNA
And the information embedded in it
That appeared complete and ready
Even in the most primordial cell.
The chance that such information shows up at random
Is extremely small.
Other scholars have attacked the Bible
From Astronomy and Cosmology
Steven Hawkins, for instance, has repeatedly claimed
That we can understand the Cosmos without
the “G-d Hypothesis.”
Recent review of all the findings about the Cosmos
Has shown that the chance that the Universe is built
In such a way to allow Life develop on Earth, is extremely small.
These considerations have led many scientists to call for
Re-inserting the “G-d Hypothesis” into our consideration of Nature
At least as an “Intelligent Designer.”
But the strongest threat to the belief in G-d, came
from the success of Science to produce technology
We are aware how Science has improved and prolonged
our lives. Instead of turning to the supernatural, we turn
to doctors, to medications and surgery. In the eyes of many,
this trend has made G-d obsolete.
How then would Noahides relate to Science and its success?
One way: Think of Noah’s Ark.
You see, G-d could have saved Noah and his animals by
Forming a bubble around him or by any other miracle.
G-d ordered Noah to build a scientifically sound floating device,
an Ark whose dimensions assure that it would never capsize.
When loaded, the Ark’s center of gravity was below the waters’ surface,
so that it wabbled, yet but stayed upright.
Its pyramidal shape and the slanting walls assured
that the water of the rain would wash off to the sea.
The Ark did not have a front or a back,
since it was not supposed to go anywhere,
just stay afloat.
By this, G-d sent us a message, that we too
Should use Science to protect us from
Nature and its calamities.
We should think of the Ark as an interface between
Noah and Nature, while inside the Ark
There, inside the Ark, Noah and his family and the animals
were protected by YHVH,
who “closed the Ark’s door” for him,
stopping the water from coming in,
providing warmth and peace to everyone inside.
Inside the Ark, under YHVH,
the wolf did not prey on the lamb,
a child could play safely on the snake’s pit
and all the futuristic visions of Israel’s prophets
have been fulfilled.
Noah’s Ark therefore presents Science
as the interface between us and Nature.
But G-d is our shelter, in our personal life and homes