Three Different Perspectives on Judaism's Approach to Scientific Discoveries
"If the gemara tells us a metziyus, it's emes veyatziv. There's nothing to think about. Anything we see with our eyes is less of a reality than something we see in the gemara. That's the emunah that a yid has to have... We’re coming to hear new kinds of concepts, that we have to figure out a way to make Torah compatible with modern day science – it’s an emunah mezuyefes! ...Our emunah has to be, and will continue to be, that every word of Chazal haKedoshim is emes le’amitoh! ...And that’s the emunah that we were mekabel midor dor."
Rabbi Uren Reich
Rosh haYeshiva of Yeshiva of Woodlake Village in Lakewood
Extract from address at the Melava Malka of Agudath Israel of America's 82nd National Convention
"Judaism does not fear honest scientific inquiry. We have never had a Galileo episode. Indeed not one of our "baaley mesorah" (authentic Torah scholars) has ever suggested the denial of any scientifically demonstrated conclusions about the natural world. The most absurd idea imaginable to Judaism is to suggest that we deny our senses or our minds. It would mean the denial of the event of Sinai, the very basis of our Torah. No true Torah scholar has ever suggested the denial of what we see with our eyes and what is conclusively proven with our minds."
Rabbi Yisroel Chait
Rosh Yeshivah, Yeshiva Bnei Torah
"Historically, there have been a range of attitudes towards scientific discoveries that challenged traditional views. Many Torah scholars, especially amongst the Rishonim of Sefard, were very accommodating towards scientific discoveries, which they did not see as being fundamentally in contradiction to Judaism. They certainly accepted the evidence of their eyes and the conclusions of scientific/philosophical investigation over the words of Chazal. Others, from the many great Acharonim who condemned Copernicus, to R. Yehudah Brill's rejection of scientist's ability to prove anything in opposition to Chazal such as the non-existence of spontaneous generation, to the Shevus Yaakov's rejection of the scientific enterprise in general due to its anti-Talmudic position that the world is round, denied that empirical investigation and the scientific method is credible and can challenge traditional beliefs. This diverse range of approaches continues today."