The passionately contested scientific critique of Darwinian evolution called "Intelligent Design" is hotter than ever. Yet in this controversy, with its profound moral and spiritual implications, the Jewish community has remained curiously abstracted and irrelevant.
Our irrelevance stands out when you consider how many Christians, from President Bush to Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, have weighed in on the intellectual issue itself or on the more practical question of whether American public school students should be familiarized with Darwinism's serious shortcomings. But it's not just in comparison to Christians that Jewish silence on Intelligent Design is so notable. It is also a departure from our own tradition of engagement with scientific and theological questions of just this kind.
Intelligent Design, as most readers must be aware, is not creationism. It fully accepts that what we know of the earth's great antiquity and of the interrelationship of species can't be squared with a literal reading of the Genesis creation account. Rather, it asks probing questions about whether natural selection operating on chance genetic variation can explain the development of complex life, questions as yet not convincingly answered by Darwin's modern champions.Continue Reading at