In conclusion I want to say that I do believe in G-d. I believe that unlike all human knowledge that is limited, Torah contains the complete information about the realm of matter. While scientists are trying to build an elusive theory of everything, the Torah is the only phenomenon in our physical world that is absolute and infinite. This is so because the Torah and G-dly light, the Ein Sof, are one. That’s why Torah (physical as can be, written with ink on the parchment) talks about everything that exists. This information is kept on different levels either openly or in a hidden manner. However we should not forget that this is simply a by-product and not the essence of Torah, G-d forbid. Concept of that the Torah is completely integrated with the Ein Sof, is much more important and in any degree can’t be comparable with the fact that the Torah contains all possible knowledge about our world. However, if having in mind that this world is so insignificant compare to the essence of Torah and at the same time is immensely complex and multidimensional, this in itself makes us to appreciate the greatness of the Creator of the world and stand in awe and admiration before A-Mighty!
It seems that the previous post needs some clarification.
First of all I am not comparing the G-dly Torah with any system that was created by humans. As well I am not talking about synthesis of physical science and history. It is obvious that they are describing different lines of life.
My point was about bigger disagreements and contradictions that talk about the same matter. Such as views of Torah and Science on the origins of life for instance. It is very important to mention that science is often misinterpreted as something that is set in stone. I heard many times that science proved this and that, science says this and that so if Torah says something different we need to revise the Torah in order to bring it closer to science. And most probably Torah meant this and that because the science today proved it.
First of all science doesn’t prove ANYTHING. It is simply not what science is about. Science builds models of processes based on the observations. The better the technology the more sophisticated are scientific discoveries. With the development of technology the results of scientific research can come to total disagreement with the previous results and it can be changed again and again. The examples are plenty.
We can take the following one: quantum entanglement challenges special relativity – since dis-entanglement appears to occur simultaneously. It means in simple words that contrary to previous belief our world is non-local, that there doesn’t have to be a direct communication between two objects in order for them to be affected by one another. It doesn’t have to be even a sequence of events in a manner that smoothly spans the distance between them.)
More than that, Leonard Susskind, the co-founder of the string theory, suggested to get rid of the term”reality” altogether.:) Because, he says:” The problem is that what people tend to mean by “reality” has more to do with biology and our neural architecture than it has to do with physics itself. We’re prisoners of our own neural architecture. We can visualize some things but can’t visualize other.”
And the more modern science develops with the help of technology the closer it comes to ideas that are written in Torah. There is no point to bring sacred texts to modern science when new researches can change tomorrow’s scientific approach.
However even in Torah we know there are many commentaries that sometimes contradict each other. All the discussions in Talmud. R.Eliezer who challenged the Sages is not considered “wrong”. The final halachic rulings are according to Hillel, while Shammai’s instructions are totally opposite, but still in some dimension both are right. Another example. Rejecting and opposing astrology by Rambam (one of the most prolific and influential Jewish scholars of the Middle Ages) on one hand and understanding and accepting of astrology by Ramban and other great rabbinic authorities on another. We know from Midrash (commentaries on the Torah ) that there are 70 faces (facets) of the Torah and they are all valid.
I also would like to mention the idea of M-theory, that modern physicists strive to develop as ( oh, so elusive) theory of everything. It is not a theory strictly speaking but a network of theories. It is more like a map. It is understood by its developers that when you’ll try to create 2D map of the 3D globe and make it in a most precise form you’ll need to use not just one map but a collection of several ones that will cover the particular region. These maps will overlap each other in the places they share. However none of them will work alone to give you the whole picture at once.
Then with this understanding even a paradox that everything is predicted but we still have a free will would not be a paradox any longer.
The world we live in is way too complex and multidimensional for us to comprehend completely.
The Torah (Bible) confirmed the statement that humans never will be able to come close enough to G-d because we are merely His creations as it says in Yeshayahu- Isaiah – 55:8:””For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” says the L-rd.”
However the thirst is still there as Albert Einstein expressed this idea:” I want to know how G-d created this world. I’m not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.” (p. 123, E. Salaman, “A Talk with Einstein,” The Listener 54 ).
Though the same Einstein wrote in 1936 letter in response to a sixth-grader, Phyllis Wright:” … every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”
Thus even Einstein acknowledged existence of the Power that is way above human understanding.
I do believe though that the synthesis of different perspectives on life given by various systematic enterprises will bring humanity significantly closer to the fullest understanding of the matter according to our limited capabilities.
However the more we look from a position of different systems the more we find contradictions. I would say the opposite: the more contradictions the better because the world around us is not one or even three dimensional. It contains multitudes. All these contradictions are united on a certain level and ultimately will lead us on the same path.
We should understand that any form of describing universe around us (physics, geography, psychology, astrology etc.) will not be absolute and all the classifications are based on the definitions that people agree upon. Even about the G-dly Torah it says that it speaks in the language of man.
One of the interesting (though pretty simple in my opinion) examples is the contradiction in defining human beings in Science and Religion. People are classified as members of the Animal Kingdom in Biology but being put into separate kingdom by the Torah (Bible).
In reality there is no conflict between these two interpretations.
Because first you have to clarify based on what characteristics the classification was done. According to science humans share the main physical features with mammals. Mammals are endothermic vertebrates that have hair and produce milk to feed their young ones, and for biology that’s enough.
Nevertheless Torah puts humans into separate category because man has something unique. Something that none other creature has – power of speech to be exact. Bible states that a man has unique intellectual quality – he is called ‘medaber’ (speaking). Even though there are animals who can communicate between themselves or birds who can mimic human speech, that doesn’t qualify them to be in the same category because one can be called “medaber” only if he uses his intellect. The intellect that allows person to distinguish between truth and falsehood according to Rambam (Moishe ben Maimon – one of the most prolific and influential Jewish scholars of the Middle Ages).
Clearly these two pictures are not contradicting one another but represent two different dimensions of a whole. The same method you can apply practically to anything.
Even though we have to admit that our actual knowledge of broad possibilities in synthesis is pretty incomplete at this time we should continue to pursue this very exciting journey to see connections in deep mystery of the realm of Matter.