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Greetings Leora, and thanks for bringing up this important issue.
Most people do not know how to distinguish between scientific fact and conjecture. Gravity is an example of a scientific fact that can be proven by observation and reconstructed in a laboratory. Every object that falls to the ground is an indication that G-d created gravity in the universe, but the Theory of Evolution is far from being such a scientific fact.
We do not see in nature that wild animals are evolving and becoming entirely different animals; the inanimate are not turning into live creatures — not in the wild and not in laboratory conditions. When we look at nature, we don’t see “ape-men”, “lizard-birds”, “fish with legs”, or any evidence of natural evolutionary development. Even in the study of fossils, fuzzy and biased personal interpretation often overrides the scientific facts. Until today they have not found any conclusive findings supporting evolution, and every finding they point to has been revealed as a broken and fragmented piece, and therefore is open to all kinds of interpretations on which they base their theory. Scientists around the world reconstruct the same findings in entirely different ways, but the textbooks only present the interpretation that is compatible with its worldview, and does not disclose to the students the genuine findings and the fierce scientific debate about them.
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The real problem with the study of evolution is that it is presented as a fact and not as a theory. When I spoke in the past with students on this issue, I found that most of them completely believed in it, because they had not been exposed to any criticism of the theory and were confident that their university lecturer had taught them an absolute fact. If university students were fooled into believing this unproved theory, all the more so teenagers will make this mistake when teachers present the theory as a proven fact.
When I was a child, the school where I studied in Ramat Gan took us to visit the “Man and Animal” Museum in the National Park, where the teacher showed us a model of a hairy and bent-over ape, and told us stories about him. As children, we thought that the teacher was describing real scientific findings discovered in the ground, over which there can be no scientific argument. Only when I grew up and I looked into the matter further, did I discover that the figure seen at the National Park Museum was just a clay figure. The skeleton was made of plastic, and the restoration of the skeleton was done according to the imagination and desires of the evolutionists, rather than according to genuine findings that had been discovered (in truth, they haven’t even found one complete skeleton or even one skull).
However, as children, we didn’t know it. In retrospect, I believe that the teacher was also innocently misled into thinking that this is a fact.
Unfortunately, even science books for adults do not treat this issue with integrity, and all media and science programs mislead the general public on the subject of evolution, presenting theoretical information as factual information, and presenting interpretations as conclusive and indisputable facts.
How can we be surprised when teenagers ask rabbis why the Torah does not admit to the “fact” of evolution? Anyone who thinks that this is a scientific fact, will not expect the Torah’s plain meaning to contradict such an unequivocal fact. Evolution in our generation has become a very atheistic and missionary religion, that tries to stick its hand and foot in every educational institutions in the world.
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Children are naturally influenced by what they are taught when they are at an age where they rely on adults to teach them. Most children will not challenge the information presented to them as a known fact, especially when they see attractive illustrations in their textbooks, or wildlife programs with impressive three-dimensional demos. When a serious teacher teaches the children that this theory is an accepted scientific fact — the children will trust him and believe that this is the indisputable fact.
Even if the school system wants to expose youth to different theories in the world of science, that does not give it the authority to mislead children. And that is what teaching evolution is doing in our generation — it is misleading the public into believing that it is absolutely true, despite it being remote from that.
It is important for us to realize why this issue suddenly is on the agenda in Israel. As we know, Israel tries to emulate the educational institutions in the United States, and who is promoting evolution in the US? The answer is: Atheists who are fighting religion. People like Dawkins who write books against religion and seek to ridicule the religious and disparage them. The agenda of those atheists is out in the open, and disseminating the Theory of Evolution is one of their tools to try and vindicate their heresy.
It is important to know that the goal of the evolutionists in our generation is to wage a political war against religion, rather than achieve a purely scientific goal. Children who are exposed to evolution are in fact exposed to propaganda which aims at promoting heresy in Israel and around the world.
In addition, evolution promotes atheism by suggesting that man is just another species of animal. Such a view, which has already resulted in genocide, will not promote moral standards in children. A child who believes that his conscience is just the product of random evolution, will not feel the need to fight his inner vices and corruption, while the child who recognizes the Divine origin of man, will recognize the important values that the Creator implanted in us, and will fight against his vices.
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A year ago, we published a big article in the Hidabrut magazine which talked about Israel’s core curriculum, and we raised the concern that in the future, the Education Ministry will seek to teach children heretical and false theories under the guise of truth in Israeli schools.
Unfortunately, our prediction has been fulfilled before our eyes today, and is a red warning sign for all those who think that you can rely on the curricula of the Ministry of Education.
Many parents these days, including even secular and traditional ones, are enrolling their children in haredi educational institutions, because they see these institutions are the last remaining oasis where one can acquire genuine Jewish values in a world that is filled with anti-educational values and heresy on all sides.
There are many articles and books showing the vacuity of the Theory of Evolution which can be found on the Hidabrut web site. It is recommended specifically for children or adults who had been exposed to the theory.
May G-d save us from the errant and those who seek to lead us astray, and may His righteous Redeemer be revealed quickly in our days, Amen.