The Case of Dr. Isaac Betech
Dr. Isaac Betech is a pediatrician in Mexico. He is very active in Jewish outreach, in collaboration with Rabbi Yosef Yagen of Monsey. By his own admission, he was instrumental in getting several Gedolim to sign a letter of condemnation against my books. According to someone in Mexico who wants to translate my books into Spanish, he would be unable to distribute them in bookstores due to Dr. Betech's influential opposition.
In a previous comment thread (link), an extensive discussion with Dr. Betech occurred. Dr. Betech requested to publicly debate the scientific merits of evolution with me, and said: "The reason I want to debate is because I want to know the truth, and this has been one of the main mottos in my whole life." He still has not responded to my main question to him, despite my having posed it numerous times. Here it is again:
Dr. Betech, you claim to want to have a scientific debate, but is that really the case? In other words, supposing I were to present overwhelming evidence in favor of evolution. Would you then accept it? And what would you then say about Bereishis?
Meanwhile, I am not accepting his proposal of a scientific debate about evolution. I am instead offering a counter-proposal, and I am also accepting another proposal of his.
The counter-proposal is to publicly debate the scientific theory of his creation model. After all, he claims that his beliefs about the development of the world are not only based on Torah, but also on science. And he claims that such debates are important for reaching truth, and that pursuing truth is one of his main mottos.
I propose a format for such a debate as follows: Dr. Betech would first describe his model in detail, explaining when and how each major group of animals (Paleozoic fauna such as ammonites, Mesozoic fauna such as Jurassic and Cretaceous dinosaurs, mammals, birds etc.) appeared and disappeared. Then I would pose ten question to him about his model. Then he would respond. Then I would pose further questions about his responses, to which he could again respond. Then I would make a brief closing statement, and then he would do the same. I would be generous and allow him to have the final word.
The second proposal is as follows: In a correspondence with a friend of mine, Dr. Betech said that he is able and willing to debate the question of "Did Chazal ever err in science", because it befits a scientist such as himself to evaluate (according to present day factual scientific knowledge) if there are any scientific inaccuracies when Chazal stated their innumerable specific statements describing nature. (He refused to debate the different question of whether it is legitimate to say that Chazal erred in science.)
I would be willing to engage in this debate, and the format would be as follows: Dr. Betech would first explain his methodology for determining what Chazal's words mean, in preparation for assessing whether they are consistent with modern science. I would then ask him questions on this methodology, to which he could respond. Then I would ask him to explain ten statements in the Gemara in light of modern science. Dr. Betech would give his explanations, I would ask questions, to which he could respond. Then I would make a brief closing statement, and he would do the same, again having the final word.
Dr. Betech, what do you say?