Dinosaurs

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  • #605307
    BaalHabooze
    Participant

    Is there any proof, torah source, or authenticated legend of their existance? Were they in the teiva?

    #1090063
    yytz
    Participant

    There’s an interesting article on this topic on Ohr Somayach’s website, called “Jurassic Judaism.” Definitely worth reading.

    #1090064
    lebidik yankel
    Participant

    there are a few classical sources dealing with them: see Eretz Chemdah at the end of the Yachin UBoaz mishnayos Sanhedrin where he suggests that they are remmennents of previous worlds, the Netziv in his Chumash suggests that they were crossbreeds (which can permute into huge and interesting creatures, like the liger today) and neither suggests they were in the teivah

    #1090065

    Years of peer reviewed and accepted scientific knowledge says they did..that’s good enough for me.

    #1090066
    akuperma
    Participant

    The current theories are that the “dinosaurs” were actually big birds, are in no way extinct, and most of us eat them on Shabbos. Animals frequently change size and shape, and this has been observed even in recent years (for examplemedieval cattle were only the size of large sheep, and the variety of dog breeds are quite recent).

    There are all sorts of traditions of multiple worlds, so almost anything is possible. The whole concept of “time” is discussed in kaballa (and physics), and is very unclear.

    #1090067

    No. It is a vast conspiracy created by scientists in the mid-17-1800s, both to encourage hedonism and ensure that they remain employed.

    The original plan had two prongs. The first was to create hoaxes on their own, “finding” bones and “researching” them. The second prong was to plant more of these bones in areas around the world so that the “scientific” study of dinosaurs would go on indefinitely. This second prong created the ancillary benefit that they didn’t even have to catalog their findings or develop a taxonomy based on what they “discovered”. They created the systems first, and then distributed the bones according to that system.

    The biggest moment in the history of paleontology was when Georges Cuvier developed methods of making bone-like material appear immensely aged. From there, it was just a question of having the manpower to chop cow bones, procure elephant bones (mammoths…) age them, and distribute them around the world.

    So no, there is no evidence.

    #1090068
    OneOfMany
    Participant

    If they turned into anything, they turned into lizards. Not birds. -_-

    #1090069
    Chortkov
    Participant

    Don’t mean to change the subject, but mermaids are brought in Rashi Bechoros 8. Iyin Shom.

    #1090070
    gotbeer
    Member

    The Maharal writes in Parshas Beraishis or Noach that with the temperature of the water heat cooking the bones and earth, it throws off the the calculation of the carbon dating of fossils.

    #1090071
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    The Maharal writes in Parshas Beraishis or Noach that with the temperature of the water heat cooking the bones and earth, it throws off the the calculation of the carbon dating of fossils.

    I *highly* doubt the Maharal wrote *anything* about carbon dating.

    In addition, there are two other salient points to mention:

    1. Heat and/or pressure will not change the rate of carbon decay, so the idea that the heat or pressure of the water would affect carbon dating is fallacious.

    2. You cannot use carbon dating for dinosaur fossils for two reasons:

    a. They are too old. Carbon dating doesn’t work for objects that are millions of years old.

    b. It only works on organic materials. Fossils (which are all that remain of dinosaurs) are not organic.

    The Wolf

    #1090072

    The Torah doesn’t mention kangaroos, either. It is silly to believe that everything that exists should be explicitly mentioned in the Torah. As to non-explicit mentioning, I am sure it exists.

    #1090073
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    The Torah doesn’t mention kangaroos, either.

    And I have never seen one.

    #1090074
    2scents
    Participant

    Someone once asked Harav Avigdor Miller, “what about the Dinosaurs?” to which he responded, “and what about them?”.

    He claimed that he does not know if they existed or not. They do not prove or disprove any theory regarding Creation.

    #1090075
    gotbeer
    Member

    @The Wolf…..

    Of course the Maharal didn’t say Carbon Dating, he wrote counting the age of the objects. However, in 2012, ‘SMART’ people call it Carbon Dating……

    #1090076
    oomis
    Participant

    I believe they existed – I further believe that they may have been the remnants of worlds that Hashem created and then destroyed. OR, the heat and water pressure of the mabul so altered the physical appearance of the dinosaur bones, that they became macerated, elongated, and misshapen. One thing that science has come to believe, is that dinosaurs more closely physiologically are like birds than lizards. Whatever it is, I do not buy into the idea that somehow someone put a great hoax over on us. The bones that have been found are definitely animal in origin. They are large and when assembled together demonstrate the appearance of an animal of apparent great size. Everything else may be pure speculation, but those are facts in evidence.

    #1090077
    oomis
    Participant

    I meant to ask – can anyoen explain to me how after the mabul the animals that are native to very specific regions of the world (i.e. polar bears) got off the teiva and arrived at their respective new habitats? Were the continents all connected?

    #1090078
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    @The Wolf…..

    Of course the Maharal didn’t say Carbon Dating, he wrote counting the age of the objects. However, in 2012, ‘SMART’ people call it Carbon Dating……

    Nonetheless, my points remain. Carbon dating cannot be used with dinosaurs and even if it could, the heat and/or pressure from the water would not affect it.

    The Wolf

    #1090079
    gotbeer
    Member

    @The Wolf

    Go argue with the Maharal….

    #1090080
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Go argue with the Maharal….

    Why should I argue with the Maharal? YOU’RE the one who translated his statement into “carbon dating.”

    The Wolf

    #1090081
    Sam2
    Participant

    Yekke2: He’s clearly talking about the mythical Sirens, not mermaids, but close enough.

    #1090082
    aurora77
    Participant

    Hello oomis1105,

    A LONG time ago, I read that at one time, the continents we know now were connected. My scientific knowledge is severely lacking though — I am sorry that I have no source for this!

    #1090083
    gotbeer
    Member

    @Wolf

    I think you missed the point…

    #1090084
    TheMusicMan
    Participant

    What difference does it make if there were dinosaurs or not?

    The world was created old, complete with fossils and ancient rocks.

    This is absolutely certain:

    A. The Torah says that there were rivers coming from gan eden, and a river takes a great while to be carved out (proof: we don’t see rivers spontaneously appearing, rather slowly getting deeper).

    B. Adam HaRishon and Chavah was able to talk, and had the intelligence of at least a twenty-year-people (they were clearly held responsible for their actions), despite being only a few hours old.

    C. Gan Eden was full of both fully-grown fruit-bearing trees, and trees take years to grow (this is indisputable)

    Additionally, the theory of relativity states that time is not constant, and depends on the speed of the object in space. Because we don’t know what the flow of time was back then, scientists cannot know how old the world is historically, because the flow of time could have been (and probably was,) warped.

    Thus, carbon-dating and fossils (even if the methods are 100% accurate) are then no proof against the Torah’s narrative. The Torah painstakingly records the precise history of the world historically. The scientists analyze the world and find its chronological age.

    No contradiction.

    (Of course, the above cannot be scientifically proven, so bechirah is preserved)

    #1090085
    just my hapence
    Participant

    TheMusicMan, don’t want to get all technical on you, but I presume you know of Bertand Russel’s classic logical objection to your proposition. Also, and I know R’ Dovid Gottleib does attempt to answer this one, but quite why HKB’H would create a world that has deliberately misleading artifacts in it is a mystery. Please don’t talk about bechira, because we’d have the same bechira without it, plus bechira needs to be informed, which, if one has no access to any contrary information, it is not in such a case as there is no reason why the fossils and such should not be as old as they appear to be.

    Your understanding of relativity also leaves a lot to be desired, and your application arbitrary.

    I do not claim to understand any of the issues posed in this thread. Do I believe in dinosaurs? Well, they’ve definitely found bones and why shouldn’t they have? No idea if they really did. How old is the universe? No idea, wasn’t there at the time. I rely on the mishna in chagiga, perek 2, mishna 1. V’hamevin yovin.

    #1090086
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The idea that the Dinosaurs died in the Mabul comes from evangelical christians

    #1090087
    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    @Wolf

    I think you missed the point…

    So, why don’t you illuminate me as to what point I missed.

    The Wolf

    #1090088
    2scents
    Participant

    The world is not misleading, in fact we lived here a couple of thousand years knowing that there has been a creator.

    All the theory’s that currently exist are were not born on any facts, Darwin started his theory based on wishful thinking.

    #1090089
    oomis
    Participant

    Hello oomis1105,

    A LONG time ago, I read that at one time, the continents we know now were connected. My scientific knowledge is severely lacking though — I am sorry that I have no source for this! “

    Hi Aurora. I have heard this also, but I wonder if that held true post-Mabul as well. Also, what happened to all the animals in Eretz Yisroel? The Mabul covered the entire earth EXCEPT there.

    #1090090
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Aurora, The single continent theory is generally accepted

    And if you look at Africa and South America, it sort of looks like they were connected at one point like a puzzle piece

    #1090091

    oomis:

    I believe I saw somewhere that the animals were brought to the teivah by malachim. Even not assuming Pangaea, imagine how long it would have otherwise taken for an animal from one side of the continent to get to where it needed to be had it walked. Likewise, it wouldn’t be difficult for a malach to cross an ocean.

    just my half penny:

    Thanks for the source in R’ Dovid Gottleib. I just looked it up and found that he has a lot of great things on his site. I don’t understand why you have the question of why Hashem would create misleading artifacts. R’ Gottleib answers that himself, explaining that since Hashem already told us the truth, those artifacts are not deceptive, rather science is misinterpreting their existence.

    #1090092
    Sam2
    Participant

    Oomis: The scientists call it Pangaea or something like that. And no, it did not exist post-Mabul. I once did hear a theory that the Mabul is what broke it up.

    But to answer your question, the Passuk in Shvi’i says that Hashem spread the people out all over the world after Migdal Bavel. So HKBH himself put people in these far-flung places. And, of course, he moved animals and a functioning ecosystem there with them.

    #1090093
    Naftush
    Member

    zahavsdad, I wonder if the whole dinosaur debate came from Evangelical Xians who learn the “Old Testament” with false commentaries or none at all, or who put their hearts into it without any learning. It’s embarrassing to see rabbanim (or rabbinical-looking people) occasionally get sucked into the same patterns of defensiveness and truculence. R. Shimshon Rafael Hirsch offers some very good tools to deal with this, chiefly: we’re here to master Hashem’s world and to find Him in all its aspects, including and specifically the sciences.

    #1090094
    Health
    Participant

    zahavasdad -“The idea that the Dinosaurs died in the Mabul comes from evangelical christians”

    And who says they’re wrong? It would explain why they aren’t roaming around anymore.

    #1090095
    WIY
    Member

    OOmis

    Polar bears, Kangaroos and other such animals are great swimmers so even if the continents weren’t connected (although I have also seen that they were) they could have walked, ran, and swam their way to their natural habitats.

    #1090096
    Health
    Participant

    Wolf -“a. They are too old. Carbon dating doesn’t work for objects that are millions of years old.”

    Who says they are millions of years old? I think that they were only here since the begining of creation – a few thousand years.

    “b. It only works on organic materials. Fossils (which are all that remain of dinosaurs) are not organic.”

    I’ll grant you this point, but this doesn’t explain why fossils are inorganic instead of organic.

    So in order to explain why they are inorganic you have to come onto this – “gotbeer – The Maharal writes in Parshas Beraishis or Noach that with the temperature of the water heat cooking the bones and earth, it throws off the the calculation of fossils.”

    This changed the Metzious of the bones into inorganic material.

    #1090097

    Also, I believe the Yalkut Me’am Lo’ez in the first chelek speaks a bit about the changes in nature and the world that took place early on.

    #1090098
    twisted
    Participant

    The Sforno has an interesting pshat on chet kaf bet, that the post flood world is now set in an unnatural order from the changing of the earths axis and orbit, that the original setup had no seasonality (perpetual spring) and that is the cause of optimal growth of plants, animals, and people.( the long lives). And that this will eventally return, base on Yeshayohu, and Tehilim. This closely matches the sudden change to meat eating, and the cosmology/causality discussion on Brochos nun tes bais. (ceidit to Daf Yomi)

    The was also a quote of the Mahatz Chajes somewere that allowed dinosaurs and other curiosities because the time frame of creation might have been reckoned otherwise than our concept of days.

    And, the Torah lists “the taninim gedolim” as created between the fish, birds, and terrestrial creatures. That some meforshim take them to be the livyoson does not lead to an easier understanding.

    #1090099
    just my hapence
    Participant

    Derech Hamelech – like I said,I knew he attempts to answer it. The emphasis there is on the word attempts. It isn’t really all that convincing an answer. As for why, I think I said so in my first post, but have a look at what I’m about to write to 2scents for further clarification… Also, please note R’ Saadia Gaon’s rule about logic vs. revelation (although the Kuzari argues, he is very much a da’as yochid in this respect as far as rishonim go) which is that if we have a question as to whether or not something that may be revelation is correct when it contradicts logic, we follow logic as HKB’H gave us logic to determine whether or not revelation is accurate (in other words, the only reason we believe in any revelation is because it is logical to do so, otherwise we’d end up beleiving every novi sheker around [see further Rambam hilchos dei’os for further elucidation, especially regarding novi sheker]).

    However, I’m not entirely even sure where this revelation about the age of the planet is. I can’t find it in my chumash anywhere…

    2scents – I’m not entirely sure what your reply means. How are fossils that appear to be extremely old but aren’t not misleading? The fact that you may be privy to knowledge about the age of the planet does not mean that someone who sees these artifacts without that knowledge will not be misled.

    Further, some knowledge of history and science would do you a little bit of good. So I’ll let you in on a secret. Darwin believed in G-d. In fact, at one point, he trained to be a priest. His theory of natural selection was not intended to explain the origin of life, simply speciation (how we have many species and not one prototype of each animal) and was arrived at, not by wishful thinking, but by nearly 20 years of research. Natural selection, though the basis for evolution, is not actually the same thing. Furthermore, the people who were most against Darwin at the time of his publication were scientists, not clergy. The church were quite happy to accept it at first. Now, micro-evolution is something that can be seen pretty much every day – bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics for example – the scientific discussion is purely to do with macro-evolution. And there is considerable debate even within the scientific community there, though they won’t admit it. Regardless, the existence of dinosaurs and fossils has nothing to do with evolution, fossils had been discovered and dinosaurs named and exhibited before the publication of ‘On the Origin of Species’.

    Got all that?

    #1090100

    Just my hapence, my understanding of the reason why the “God created an old world” theory is not misleading is basically this: Hashem didn’t create an brand new world, with seeds in the ground but nothing grown, with eggs but no chickens, etc. To some extent, the new world was only possible with some level of “backstory”. The same way a fully grown lion that was created would have had to in theory be born, a fully grown tree would in theory have had to be planted, a fallen tree would have had to be felled; the entire world as a functioning ecosystem had to have a backstory.

    It’s not that Hashem had this clever thought, “Let me put in some tricks to fool them!”. It’s that the entire premise requires that the newly created world paradoxically had a past. Dinosaurs, this argument goes, were part of that past.

    As an analogy, it’s like in Harry Potter, when the story starts with Harry at 11, (or, if you like, as a baby). But there is a story behind the story, and it happened over centuries.

    #1090101

    jmh:

    I think he was going for a more philosophical answer, but I think his point remains valid. Also, I don’t think your point of logic vs. revelation is relevant here. Logic is not fact, it is a tool of reasoning- meaning because something seems logical doesn’t mean that it is necessarily true, just that given a number of facts and a certain amount of understanding, we can assume a conclusion.

    But in this case, the argument is that scientists don’t have all the facts, be it because of changes in nature or previous universes etc. That is not an attack on the logical conclusion of scientists, but a statement towards the accuracy of the currently observable data to conclude the reality.

    In such a case, if someone with complete knowledge of the relevant data – not just the observable, were to reveal to me the purpose these bones, it should take precedence over sciences conclusions.

    Just for example take some rain-forest tribesman’s logical conclusion of the purpose of a chair vs. a civilized individual explaining to him its purpose. The tribesman might be very logical but his conclusion will still be faulty.

    Also, I don’t think the chumash explicitly says how old the world is but chazal does.

    #1090102

    Also Darwin “went off the derech” and never went back.

    #1090103
    oomis
    Participant

    Thanks to all those who gave answers about the animals getting to various parts of the world after the mabul.

    I read that the non-kosher animals all went on the Ark themselves, but the kosher ones had to be gathered together and brought on by Noach.

    #1090104
    oomis
    Participant

    Thanks to all those who gave answers about the animals getting to various parts of the world after the mabul.

    I read that the non-kosher animals all went on the Ark themselves, but the kosher ones had to be gathered together and brought on by Noach.

    #1090105
    just my hapence
    Participant

    veltz – I understand your point, but I think there is a huge difference between creating a world with fully formed things in and adding in things that aren’t necessary. The back-story in this case does not add anything to the running of the world nor to our understanding of HKB’H, unlike, say in Harry Potter, where the back-story is quite vital.

    And Derech Hamelech, I think I explained why his philosophical answer didn’t do it for me. My mention of logic vs revelation was a bit of a sidebar, and referred only to your mention of having the age revealed to us. The problem here is that, as you mention, the scientists ‘don’t have all the facts’, in which case, why did HKB’H put the fossils there to be found, presumably by the people who ‘don’t have all the facts’? I mean, it wasn’t for us, to whom you claim revelation of age – no point – and it wasn’t for them because that would be deliberately misleading, as they are not in possession of ‘all the facts’. So for whom?

    By the way, chazal do not count as ‘revelation’, they were not nevi’im. As for it being in chazal, I presume you refer to shita alfei shnin hava alma. Please learn rishonim, as there is some debate as to what ‘alma’ means. According to many (e.g. Rav Chisdai Crescas [rebbe of the Ran]) it refers to civilisation (see Torah Or, droshos);hence ‘v’chad choruv’ – an impossibility if it refers to the universe (if nothing exists, there can be no time to measure how long it does not exist for [see gr’a on the words ‘breishis boro’, and also general relativity]) and which would also otherwise beg the question of ‘what comes after that?’. This is also the opinion of the Ibn Ezra and Ramaban (Al Hatorah). Furthermore, there are plenty of chazals about the age of the universe which give different ages (medrash yovelos, shittas r’ yehuda in medrash rabba etc.). So which is the ‘authentic’ revelation through chazal?

    Please understand, I am not saying that I personally believe in a billion-year-old universe. I don’t have any belief whatsoever as to the age of the universe, it makes no difference to my emuana. All I am trying to point out is that the issue is not as cut and dry as some make it out to be.

    As for your assertion that Darwin ‘went off’. I suppose that that’s why in the end of ‘Origin'(you know, that book in which he supposedly rejected G-d…) he marvels at how G-d made such a wonderful system for running the world. The fact is, he never actually lost his faith. His student, Huxley, was the one that made evolution into an anti-religion issue. It was him who claimed that Darwin lost his faith, despite there being no evidence for that, and even, as just mentioned, evidence to the contrary.

    #1090106
    tzaddiq
    Member

    barney read this thread and says hi

    #1090107
    Nechomah
    Participant

    A known religious scientist, Gerald Schroeder, has studied this issue and written books, including “Genesis and the Big Bang” on this issue. He analyzes the issue of a 24-hour day as something that could not exist until the creation of the sun and moon, which was on the 4th day of creation. He talks about universal time in relation to the earth. It’s too scientific for me to explain here, but his explanation made some sense to me many years ago and would give plenty of time for the existence of the dinosaurs and their fossils afterwards. He has his own web site now as well.

    #1090108

    jmh:

    I don’t think your question of “for whom?” is really a question. Maybe for someone, maybe for no one. Just because we don’t immediately see the reason, doesn’t make the initial assumption factual.

    Put another way, let’s say tomorrow science works out that because of x,y and z, their previous estimations of the age of these fossils were inaccurate- they are in fact no older that 5,700 years. Would you then ask for whom Hashem created fossils that appeared to be older than they actually were. Or would you say, scientists were mistaken again in interpreting the creation.

    I don’t think you have to really go ad hominem here telling me to learn rishonim. I believe Seder Olam is one of the main sources for the calculation of 5,700 years. The sefer Sifsei Chaim explains the concept of shisa alfei shnin as 6,000 years very nicely-I believe he brings it according to the Ramban but I don’t remember. There is also the shita of the sefer HaTemunah.

    Also, I don’t believe there is “one true answer” to the exclusion of other chachamim, rather, each is calculating according to his own parameters. For instance, in this example of shisa alfei shnin, we have the calculation of the sefer HaTemunah talking b’chllalus of the entire creation and you have the Ramban etc. speaking b’pratus of our universe. And both are describing different parts of an epicycle, that are equally true within chazal’s description of the epicycle called shisa alfin… I’m not saying that this is the solution to the different calculations, I’m just demonstrating that there is a solution and all the “revelations of chazal” are true.

    Origin was published in 1859. In 1879 he wrote in a letter “I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.” This is brought on Wikipedia, with a link to the letter. There are other links there proving this as well.

    Also, regarding your comment to veltz, I think its possible to disagree with you. For instance, we know the physical world reflects the spiritual. Its possible that spiritual events took place prior to the creation of the world, such that at the time of the physical creation, the world reflected a “mature” spiritual reality. To back up this idea, the Sifsei Chaim explains that before the cheit of Adam reality was entirely spiritual and the spirituality of the world was even more spiritual. So, the “history” that we see could be reflections of vestiges of those spiritual events that took place prior to the spontaneous materialization of the world at Adam’s cheit. In which case, your point would be as valid as saying that there is nothing to add anything to the running of the world anymore than say, a deer’s skeleton.

    #1090109
    just my hapence
    Participant

    Derech – I think you may have slightly missed the point of my question. HKB’H does not do things for no reason, and therefore would not have put anything into the creation for no reason. Therefore it is valid to ask what the point of the fossils/dinosaur bones would be. The dating methods normally used were not invented, but discovered, i.e. they use rules that HKB’H put into teva, and, as the Rambam writes, this is the way in which HKB’H designed the world to act optimally. Therefore, the question can be asked why HKB’H put into the creation things that would, according to the way that He has designed the world to run, be wrongly interpreted. For whose benefit? Now, I hear your Sifsei Chaim but I don’t understand what dinosaur skeletons have to do with physical manifestations of prior spiritual realities any more than, say, Alpha Centauri. And the deer skeleton analogy doesn’t work either – HKB’H created physical deer with physical skeletons that are left when the deer die and all the flesh has decomposed; they were not placed, fully formed, into creation as simply skeletons of things that had no physical reality. Deer skeletons do not violate the derech hateva, whereas dinosaurs would. And much can be learned about the world and how it runs from said deer skeletons, which would help enhance our appreciation of the chochmas haborei. Not so the dinosaurs, because, according to this theory, they never actually were nivro.

    I think also my comment about learning rishonim might have been taken a bit sharper than it was intended. It was not an ad hominem attack, simply a direction to marei mekomos. If offense was taken, I apologise. However, I do not know why you had to resort to the Seder Olam, a sefer of disputed authorship or even age (it was definitely around at the time of the Rishonim, as Rashi quotes it, but may be of Gaonic, Ammoraic or Tannaic authorship), when you have perfectly good Rishonim who do learn the Shita Alfei as referring to the age of the universe (e.g. Rashi, Rambam), all I was pointing out was that there are others who don’t.

    I’m not sure, however, that your solution isn’t tantamount to admitting to a billion-year-old creation anyway. If you have a ‘klolus’ of the shitta of the Sefer HaTemunah (or Bahir, or Midrash Yovelos, or whatever) then you have a physical existence that is that old, whatever ‘protiyusdike’ epicycle is referred to in the other shittos still takes place within that creation. Unless, of course, you refer to the theory that the universe expands until it grows too large, so contracts to a minute point (the Alpha Singularity), leading to another Big Bang and the whole cycle repeats endlessly. Which is just a fancy modern version of the ‘Olom Kadmon’.

    I don’t think that here is the most sensible place to go into detailed discussions of Darwin’s beliefs (and, yes, I know I brought it up in the first place, but it wasn’t meant to evolve into something like this…), but suffice it to say he was not an agnostic b’shitta, but someone who struggled with his faith (as your quote I think demonstrates). Agnostic simply means ‘no knowledge’, and though Darwin did admittedly grow more and more uncomfortable with, and became more unsure of, his faith he never actually rejected it as far as I can tell from what I have learned. If this is not the case, then I would be happy to admit to it. However, as I think I pointed out, that has nothing to do with dinosaurs or old universes.

    #1090110

    jmh:

    I agree with you that it is valid to ask what the purpose of these bones might be. But I don’t think that drawing a conclusion that is antithetical to conventional Rabbincal knowledge is valid. The same question can be asked why Hashem created an Earth that appears flat, a sun that appears to revolve around the Earth etc., deliberately misleading people. I doubt you would say that the Earth must have really been flat since the available methods of observation at the time indicated this. But Hashem could have created the Earth in such a way as to appear ellipsoidal. For whose benefit was that? It is to this that I believe R’ Gottleib is saying the answer is irrelevant. Why Hashem created the appearance of heliocentrism is irrelevant to the reality, He has His reason obviously, but that reason is not because the galaxy really follows the heliocentric model.

    I understand that radiometric dating is derived from the rules of nature. But it is still possible for science to determine that certain natural events (such as the numerous cataclysmic events brought in chazal) altered the results of these dating methods. Science is hardly immutable. Because of that, although we can look to science as a resource, it can’t be any more of an authority of nature than say, Josephus on Jewish history. It is probably correct, except for where we know its wrong.

    I’m not saying that dinosaurs couldn’t have existed as living creatures- just that a solution should only be proposed within the parameters of chazal. Proposing conventional scientific belief without any modification though, is problematic because it includes abiogenesis, macro-evolution and a relative age of our world as being greater that 5,773 years old.

    What I was proposing with fossils, is that they could represent vestigial reflection of spiritual realities that took place prior to the physical manifestation of the world. Alpha Centauri would not be vestigial because they reflect a spiritual existence that is still functioning. Hence AC are still shining stars while fossils are dead.I’m not saying this is an answer, just something I thought up after I learned that piece to explain the apparent age of the Earth in lieu of chazal.

    The point of my deer analogy was that deer are reflections of some spiritual deer-mazal. Yet after the deer dies, the skeleton doesn’t cease to exist, it persists reflecting a vestigial spiritual existence. Similarly, fossils could reflect vestiges of whatever it was they represented. The rule (tentatively) being that Hashem doesn’t completely eradicate anything once its function has ended.

    I mentioned the Seder Olam only because he actually goes through the generations so its harder to mess around with the time frame (talking about relative vs objective time). And this sefer is quoted in the gemarah as well.

    I don’t think I am really speaking about a Big Bounce (which would probably take 6,00 years to contract as well, once the arrow of time reverses). I think in general Judaism views time as being more cyclic than oscillatory. The idea would be more similar to a sort of spiritual Brane consmology. You have a bulk (which we can call the “area” of the tzimtzum) where conventional time and space don’t exist. And Hashem creates seven consecutive branes within the bulk, each brane lasting for 7,000 years. In such a case you wouldn’t say that the universe is actually billions of years old, because the age of the universe can only begin from the start of the singularity of the individual brane. I’m not familiar with the concept of olam kadmon.

    I don’t think he meant he was an agnostic theist as it sounds like you are suggesting, but I never read a biography about the guy, I just read specific points that I need on Wikipedia with the sources. But like you said, some goy’s beliefs definitely have no bearing here.

    #1090111
    anon1m0us
    Participant

    I think it is foolish for anyone to think Hashem plays practical jokes on people by putting in old bones either for bechira orfor any other reason.

    What does one gain by seeing old bones? Who said hashem did not create dinosaurs? So they lived either thousands or millions of years? How does this challenge ones faith with bechira? I think anyone that thinks Hashem put old bones in the ground to confuse even one person is trying to project their human faults on to Hashem..C’v. Hashem is bigger than that!

    And just to throw a wrench into this connversation, the world is NOT 5000 and change old. Adam Harishon received “a Neshama” 5,000 years old. Aish has a great article asking “Did Adam have parents?” Now argue away:)

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