Toward Theological Evolution


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.

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David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.