Faith & Science
Rabbi Hirsch, Darwin Dissenter
Despite the old canard that the only people to question Darwinian evolution are evangelical Protestants (a canard regurgitated yet again last week by the New York Times), the fact remains that Darwin dissenters can be found among thoughtful scientists and other people from all religions and walks of life. There have been many Catholic dissenters from Darwin, from St. George Jackson Mivart and G.K. Chesterton a century ago to biochemist Michael Behe and philosopher/theologian Benjamin Wiker today. There also have been numerous Jewish dissenters from Darwin. David Klinghoffer writes about one of them in an essay for First Things on Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (1808—1888):
Hirsch insisted again and again that God must be understood as acting with complete freedom in the world, both as it is now and as it was in the process of creation. Accordingly, Hirsch was critical of the then-new Darwinian evolutionary theory. The history of creation was one in which God’s thoughts emerged and freely influenced the shapes of nature: “They are not the result of some force working blindly, but the work of One thinking Being, creating them with intention and purpose”
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