Discover more from Rationalist Judaism
I Accept Dr. Betech's Proposal!
I know that many people here have already had enough of Dr. Betech, the Mexican pediatrician who claims 25 years of 100% success in disproving evolution even to scientists and insists that everyone must reject evolution, yet is strangely uninterested in actually accomplishing this objective by publishing articles in scientific journals, writing a book, or even explaining what his view of the history of life on earth actually is. Nevertheless, there are still one or two more things to take care of, and I must first recant something that I said.
When Dr. Betech declared himself willing to explain and defend his view of the history of life on earth, even though this was (for reasons that I never understood) conditional on my first doing the same with evolution (which Dr. Betech had heard me repeatedly refuse to do), I realized that the good doctor had taught me something about how to phrase and present our positions. So, adopting Dr. Betech's approach, I hereby declare myself willing to discuss the scientific value of evolution of the species in an intellectual, multimedia, respectful, protocolized, neutral, public forum, as per his request!
I only have two minor preconditions, just as he had a precondition to explaining and defending his view of the history of life on earth. Moreover, while I think nobody here understood his reasons for his preconditions, I think that everyone will appreciate mine, especially since they are consistent with Dr. Betech's own values.
The first is that Dr. Betech must show that he is being honest when he claims that he is willing to draw the necessary conclusions based on the evidence. Now, Dr. Betech has a reputation for being a Torah-observant Jew. And I am sure that he would agree that the Torah prohibits believing certain things, such as that Jesus is divine, etc. So before debating evolution, Dr. Betech must declare that he is not Torah- prohibited from accepting evidence for evolution - i.e., he must declare that there is nothing theologically critically problematic about evolution, and that the Gedolim who declared otherwise are mistaken.
The second precondition relates to Dr. Betech's communication to me several years ago when I proposed debating the halachic/ hashkafic issues of my books, i.e. whether evolution is theologically problematic, and whether it is theologically acceptable to say that Chazal erred in some of their statements about the natural world. Dr. Betech responded that, as a medical doctor, he is not qualified to have such a debate. This is similar to the approach of the Charedi Gedolim who refuse to debate this with me because they consider me to be insufficiently qualified. Based on Dr. Betech's values in this, I request that Dr. Betech suitably qualify himself before debating evolution. That is to say, he must either receive formal qualifications in paleontology, evolutionary biology, etc., or publish papers on these topics in recognized scientific journals. (Alternatively, he can nominate somebody else, who has these qualifications, to take his place.)
So I regret and recant my earlier refusal to debate with Dr. Betech. I hereby accept! I look forward to his confirming his desire for this, and fulfilling the preconditions, and then we can begin!