Wikipedia describes Ami Magazine (“ami” means “my nation” in Hebrew) as “an Orthodox Jewish news magazine published weekly in New York and Israel.”A pseudonymous reader using the monicker “freethinking Jew” sent me a scan of a recent letter to the magazine’s offshoot, AIM, which Ami‘s Facebook page describes as “an educational and entertaining magazine for teens.”
Any time you see a statement that begins “As [a member of random religion] we believe,” you know it will be followed something delusional. What’s worse is “Esty’s” reply, in which the magazine refuses to take a stand on heliocentrism. It reminds me of BioLogos’s refusal to take a stand on whether Adam and Eve were real people.
Lest you think that BioLogos’s real mission is its avowed one—to help evangelical Christians accept the truths of science—here’s its weaselly answer to the question, “Were Adam and Eve historical figures?“:
Genetic evidence shows that humans descended from a group of several thousand individuals who lived about 150,000 years ago. This conflicts with the traditional view that all humans descended from a single pair who lived about 10,000 years ago. While Genesis 2-3 speaks of the pair Adam and Eve, Genesis 4 refers to a larger population of humans interacting with Cain. One option is to view Adam and Eve as a historical pair living among many 10,000 years ago, chosen to represent the rest of humanity before God. Another option is to view Genesis 2-4 as an allegory in which Adam and Eve symbolize the large group of ancestors who lived 150,000 years ago. Yet another option is to view Genesis 2-4 as an “everyman” story, a parable of each person’s individual rejection of God. BioLogos does not take a particular view and encourages scholarly work on these questions.
Here’s my answer to “Yiddish girl”:
Dear Yiddish Girl,
Regardless of what “we Jews believe”—and I consider myself a secular Jew—you’re simply wrong about the Sun going around the Earth. The truth about that, which is the reverse, was established 500 years ago by observations, and only those blinded by adherence to ancient books of fiction could think otherwise. —Professor Ceiling Katz
And to BioLogos:
Get real. There is no evidence that Adam and Eve existed, much less that they were the ancestors of all humanity—unless you see the Old Testament as a historical document. And of course you know that that book contains many other falsehoods, including the existence of the Exodus of the Jews and the Flood of Noah. (Or do you see the Flood as simply a parable for humanity drowning in sin?) Your weasel words about Adam and Eve do your organization discredit, making it clear that you’d rather hedge the science than rile the Christians. It’s like saying that you take no stand about the historical existence of Paul Bunyan and his giant blue ox.
J. A. Coyne