Rabbi Moshe Averick has been a royal pain in the tuchus, spreading his creationist views all over the internet, most shamefully at the Algemeiner Journal, a Jewish weekly newspaper whose chairman of the board is, of all people, the renowed Elie Wiesel. Wiesel is, of course a Nobel Laureate, a Holocaust survivor, and author of the acclaimed book Night about his life in Buchenwald. He doesn’t deserve the Averick albatross around his neck, and I wonder if he knows he harboring a creationist.
Averick’s schtick is to pretend to accept much of modern evolutionary biology, but then to claim that because scientists don’t fully understand how life began, Yahweh must have done it. Averick has even distorted the work by scientists like Jack Szostak (another Nobelist) to further Averick’s creationist views. I’ve written about the Duplicitous Rabbi several times (e.g., here), and if you need to see more, just enter “Averick” in the website search engine.
Averick is a lightweight with a big mouth and a strong desire to see his name in print. But he’s so easily pwned that even a cat can do it. To that end Faye Flam, science writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer, pressed her yellow cat Higgs into service again to take down the good Rabbi. (As I noted in a recent post, Higgs has had experience rebutting creationists).
At Flam’s Inquirer site Planet of the Apes, you can read how Higgs makes lunch of Averick in the post “Yellow cat offers rebuttal to creationist rabbi.” Higgs sets Avericks straight on several issues, including what it means to offer a god-of-the-gaps argument, why Averick lied when trying to argue that Jack Szostak agreed that the origin of life from non-life (“abiogenesis”) was deeply problematic, and crushes Averick’s argument that science is a form of faith. And, as usual, Higgs asks for a reward at the end:
I’d also like to call attention to your misleading use of the word “faith” to describe the thinking of Dr. Szostak as well as Dr. Jerry Coyne. Neither of them ever said they believed science would answer everything. We don’t know which questions will be answered by science in our lifetimes, which will be answered in the future, and which will never be answered. The physicist Richard Feynman has remarked that we don’t know if science will ever get to the bottom of things or just keep peeling back layers of an endless onion. That didn’t stop him from peeling back a quite substantial layer.
Furthermore, science works because scientists don’t apply a religious-type faith to their theories. They get in big trouble when they do. Scientists either change their minds when the evidence turns against them or they risk going down in history as defenders of a wrong or outdated idea. Think of cold fusion.
Some people argue that scientists have faith in the process of science, but this type of faith is not a religious leap but a logical extension of our experience. The scientific method has worked in the past many times. Therefore it’s quite rational to think it will continue to work in the future.
Thank you for letting me express my opinion – Higgs. Can I have a treat?
Even a cat can look at a king, and even a yellow cat can demolish Rabbi Averick. Go back to the Torah, my good rabbi, for that’s where your talents lie.