Thursday, May 9, 2013

Why SOME Jews hate evolution and WW II Survival story

Traits To Develop

Today, be resolved to keep developing patience, creativity, emotional independence, confidence, courage, humor, serene empowerment, calm persistence, self-mastery, unconditional love and compassion.
Love Yehuda Lave

Why Some Jews Hate Evolution

I never understood it. They were good, loving, calm rabbis. But you got any of them, any of them started on evolution, on that theory about people coming from apes, apes coming from some other furry thing, furry things coming from reptiles, reptiles from fish, fish from amoebas… and these rabbis weren't so calm anymore.
Their faces would turn red, red like a strawberry which may or may not have evolved from a raspberry. They'd bounce back and forth and their voices would rise above the usual, "let's just be calm about all this" cadence they usually had. Now they were possessed by some otherworldly anger.
Why? I simply couldn't understand. What makes evolution so contradictory to religion? Why did the rabbis that I usually trusted to give a calm rational answer to the sort of logic that most scientists take so for granted suddenly become so emotional and seemingly illogical when it came to evolution.

Evolution, it seems, has reserved itself a special place in hell among almost all the world's religions. Most rabbis can at least acknowledge the logic of existing scientific theories, avoiding the kneejerk rhetoric of the Christians at the pulpit that have managed to steal almost every meaningful discussion about science away into a world of reactionary zeal. But evolution ain't like that. Evolution, even us calm Jews get pissy about. Why?
The truth is, it has a lot to do with that last word. Why.
Look at articles that in any way relate to how humans became the way the way they did. Look at how they explain why we live the way we do, eat the way we do, stand on two legs the way we do.
Almost all of them use one word to explain it: Why.

They take one of the most powerful words in the English language, the word that's meant to give you the deepest understanding for the way things happen, the ultimate reason for their existence, and they use it to explain the world in a totally physical way.
Why are humans bipedal? Evolution. Why do humans use tools? Evolution. Why do humans talk, write, etc? Evolution.
This is what gives the poor little rabbis conniptions.
You're telling me that the ultimate, deepest reason we exist, that such amazingly deep things are only explained through science?
This is the distinction. This is why evolution gets people so upset, not necessarily the science behind it (although plenty of religious people would probably disagree with me on that point).
I am not arguing for or against the science, but how people use it. Evolution has, for some bizarre reason, become a way to debunk religion. Is it any coincidence that our good friend Richard Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist? Evolution has become the calling card of people with an irrational hate for religion.
They wield it, like some immutable weapon, against G-d, against thousands of years of religious tradition, against the people that represent those religions, and scream on the top of their lungs, "You're idiots! Fools! Don't you see we have all the answers with this theory?"
And so the rabbis get rankled.
The problem with evolution, just like any science, is that it only explains how not why. And that makes it ultimately less important to a religious person.

Fine, you say evolution explains why I walk upright, why I talk, why I have two eyes, why I have a face and why I have a bladder.
I say that the body is simply a manifestation of something deeper. It is simply a reflection of my spiritual self. And to find the why of my body, I have no interest in whether your theory is right, because it doesn't concern me. What concerns me is connecting to my essential self, to understanding the why of the universe not the how of physicality.
Don't get me wrong. If the theory of evolution helps our study of medicine, is useful in scientific endeavors, go for it, believe in it.
But don't let it replace your why. Don't let it make you forget that there are deeper reasons for the way the world works than what Charles Darwin and an army of scientists tell you. Despite what the rest of the world would have us think, science is not, and never will be, the deepest truth in the universe.

That will, and always will be G-d and his wisdom. And until the world comes to realize that, science will always exist on a more exulted altar than it deserves to be.

WW II B 17 Survival Story

B-17 "All American" (414th Squadron, 97BG) Crew

Pilot- Ken Bragg Jr.
Copilot- G. Boyd Jr.
Navigator- Harry C. Nuessle
Bombardier- Ralph Burbridge
Engineer- Joe C. James
Radio Operator- Paul A. Galloway
Ball Turret Gunner- Elton Conda
Waist Gunner- Michael Zuk
Tail Gunner- Sam T. Sarpolus
Ground Crew Chief- Hank Hyland

In 1943 a mid-air collision on February 1, 1943, between a B-17 and a German fighter over the Tunis dock area, became the subject of one of the most famous photographs of WW II.  An enemy fighter attacking a 97th Bomb Group formation went out of control, probably with a wounded pilot, then continued its crashing descent into the rear of the fuselage of a Fortress named "All American", piloted by Lt. Kendrick R. Bragg, of the 414th Bomb Squadron. When it struck, the fighter broke apart, but left some pieces in the B-17. The left horizontal stabilizer of the Fortress and left elevator were completely torn away. The two right engines were out and one on the left had a serious oil pump leak. The vertical fin and the rudder had been damaged, the fuselage had been cut almost completely through connected only at two small parts of the frame, and the radios, electrical and oxygen systems were damaged. There was also a hole in the top that was over 16 feet long and 4 feet wide at its widest; the split in the fuselage went all the way to the top gunner's turret.Although the tail actually bounced and swayed in the wind and twisted when the plane turned and all the control cables were severed, except one single elevator cable still worked, and the aircraft miraculously still flew!The tail gunner was trapped because there was no floor connecting the tail to the rest of the plane. The waist and tail gunners used parts of the German fighter and their own parachute harnesses in an attempt to keep the tail from ripping off and the two sides of the fuselage from splitting apart. While the crew was trying to keep the bomber from coming apart, the pilot continued on his bomb run and released his bombs over the target.When the bomb bay doors were opened, the wind turbulence was so great that it blew one of the waist gunners into the broken tail section. It took several minutes and four crew members to pass him ropes from parachutes and haul him back into the forward part of the plane. When they tried to do the same for the tail gunner, the tail began flapping so hard that it began to break off. The weight of the gunner was adding some stability to the tail section, so he went back to his position.  The turn back toward England had to be very slow to keep the tail from twisting off. They actually covered almost 70 miles to make the turn home. The bomber was so badly damaged that it was losing altitude and speed and was soon alone in the sky. For a brief time, two more Me-109 German fighters attacked the All American. Despite the extensive damage, all of the machine gunners were able to respond to these attacks and soon drove off the fighters. The two waist gunners stood up with their heads sticking out through the hole in the top of the fuselage to aim and fire their machine guns. The tail gunner had to shoot in short bursts because the recoil was actually causing the plane to turn. Allied P-51 fighters intercepted the All American as it crossed over the Channel and took one of the pictures shown. They also radioed to the base describing that the appendage was waving like a fish tail and that the plane would not make it and to send out boats to rescue the crew when they bailed out. The fighters stayed with the Fortress, taking hand signals from Lt. Bragg and relaying them to the base. Lt. Bragg signaled that 5 parachutes and the spare had been "used" so five of the crew could not bail out. He made the decision that if they could not bail out safely, then he would stay with the plane to land it. Two and a half hours after being hit, the aircraft made its final turn to line up with the runway while it was still over 40 miles away. It descended into an emergency landing and a normal roll-out on its landing gear.When the ambulance pulled alongside, it was waved off because not a single member of the crew had been injured. No one could believe that the aircraft could still fly in such a condition. The Fortress sat placidly until the crew all exited through the door in the fuselage and the tail gunner had climbed down a ladder, at which time the entire rear section of the aircraft collapsed. This old bird had done its job and brought the entire crew home uninjured.I love these old war stories, especially the ones with a happy ending !

Please pass this on to someone who will also appreciate this amazing story.

Visit my Blog: