What has been proven and what has not been proven in evolution? How do I approach learning about creation in Genesis? I assume that some things were proven (like dinosaurs) and I’d like to know what has been proven. Is it possible a species like a deer or bird can evolve into a few subspecies?
Actually, dinosaurs are quite puzzling according to evolution. They have no fossilized predecessors nor can their disappearance be explained. After all, the rest of the animal kingdom did survive. The Malbim, a Torah commentator who lived over 150 years ago, wrote that “the giant animals that lived before the Flood perished in the Flood” (they were NOT invited into the ark).
Our sages say: The word “false” in Hebrew is sheker. Now, if one looks at the Hebrew letters of the word sheker – shin, kaf, and reish – as they appear in ksav Ashuris (the scribal font in which the Torah is written), they all have a pointy base. This means to say, our sages explain, that sheker, falsehood, cannot stand, just as these letters cannot stand on their pointy bases; however, a falsehood that has a kernel of truth in it can survive longer. If there’s no truth in it at all, it cannot stand.”
Evolution is not a total falsehood; rather, it is a falsehood with a kernel of truth in it. The Talmud explains that species have changed. The Talmud does not suggest that one species have evolved into a totally different one (macroevolution) but instead advocates microevolution (evolution within the framework of that species). The Talmud relates that a buzzard turned into 100 other birds (perhaps subspecies) but they were all birds.
Nature has variety built into it. The Zohar explains that changes take place according to the climates and the environment. This explains how mankind divided into main races according to their region. This is the reason why Asians look different from Africans and Caucasians. These changes were already in the genetic imprint and DNA of man; these are not new creations. Even your own children in future generations will have darker skin if they live in a place with high ultraviolet radiation.
In summary, changes in nature exist but not the “evolutionary” ones that take a slime cell and make him into a man.