Older Archival Material
The links below refer to older archival material from prior versions of toriah.org, toriah.com and the wiki (no longer accesible). Items are persented in no particular order.
- Rav A. Feldman on the Slifkin affair
- Rav S. Miller on Slifkin
- Rav S. Miller on Slifkin (Heb)
- The Scientific Pretensions of Atheism (Berlinski
- R. Slifkin’s Blind Watchmaker
- RSC Defending the Mesorah
- RSC Defending the Messorah
- RSC debate with R. Slifkin
- YSO Contra R. Slifkin
- YSO Gaonim and Medicine
- Age of the Universe and Big Bang Cosmology
- YSO Contra R. Slifkin
- YSO Letter to R. Slifkin
- YSO On the Shafan (Dialogue #4)
- Slifkin Solid Dome hypothesis
- Whale Evolution
- Science Headlines
Operational Science vs. speculative Origin Sciences
Not all science is as solid as Newton’s laws (approximately correct), Maxwell’s laws of electromagnetism and quantum mechanics.
Operational Science describes how the universe operates today. Operational sciences are based directly on empirical testing and can be used to get us to the moon or map the human genome. Good technology is based mostly on such empirical observations and testing. The stability and rationality of nature is guaranteed by the Creator of the Cosmos, thus making the operational sciences possible.
By contrast, Origin Sciences attempt to explain via chance and naturalistic processes how the cosmos and the marvels of life originated. For example, how did the first cell originate? How did the human genome originate? How did creatures with no eyes develop eyes? How did creatures with no no brains develop brains? How did the solar system or galaxies of stars originate? How did the cosmos, fine-tuned for life and discovery, originate?
The Origin Sciences include implausible naturalistic accounts of such origins using chance and naturalistic explanations such as Big Bang Cosmology, the Chemical Origin of Life, Biological Evolution and Dating Methods. Origin Sciences are speculative and often suspect because they are based on untested foundational assumptions, vast extrapolations (see Extrapolation) to an open-ended and unobservable past, and the need to postulate unobserved hypothetical entities to save the theories from disconfirmation from stubborn anomalies in the data.
Naturalistic origin theories are widely advertised to be a fact, as firmly established as the shape of the earth. Defenders of these theories insist that there is no scientific controversy over these facts. Those who criticize the naturalistic origin theories are typically accused of being ignorant or naïve fundamentalists. However, Karl Popper (regarded as one of the great philosophers of science) wrote:
Science does not rest on solid bedrock. The bold structure of its theories rises, as it were, above a swamp. It is like a building erected on piles. The piles are driven down from above into the swamp, but not down to any natural or “given” base; and if we stop driving the piles deeper, it is not because we have reached firm ground. We simply stop when we are satisfied that the piles are firm enough to carry the structure, at least for the time being. (Karl Popper, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Routledge Classics, 1959, reprint of first English edition, 2002, p94.)
If what Popper writes is true about the foundations of all science, then it holds even more clearly in the case of the origin sciences. Evolutionists need to constantly proclaim to the public and an uncritical press that “evolution is a fact”. They have to do that. Change that to “evolution is a philosophy” and the game is over.
Science is vital for the survival and development of humanity and a testimony to the cognitive capabilities given to humans by their Creator. But only our acceptance of its limited and partial character will prevent it from becoming a fossilized belief system