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Resolution on Intelligent Design and the Freedom of Scientific Inquiry

Whereas the Rabbinical Assembly, an association of religious leaders with deep faith,  believing in the truth of our Torah and the teachings of traditional rabbinic Judaism,  also believes that a literal reading of Genesis otherwise known as Creationism is not a dogma of Judaism;

Whereas it is a Jewish religious obligation to study and understand God’s creation through intellectual inquiry and scientific research and whereas such study is one of the foundations of piety (Mishneh Torah Yesodei Ha-Torah 2:1);

Whereas religion and science are both sources of truth which propel us to protect and support the academic disciplines which provide free scientific inquiry;

Whereas it has been shown that the concept of Intelligent Design does not fulfill the characteristics of a legitimate scientific theory and is in fact a theological argument for the existence of God and evolution can be incorporated into a Jewish theology of Creation;

Whereas many proponents of Intelligent Design seek to impose a Creationist agenda by teaching it in the American public school science curriculum which would: 1) constitute a break down of the separation of religion and state which is contrary to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, 2) be a suppression and distortion of scientific findings by religious groups; 3) have serious consequences for human health, public safety, and community well-being; and

Whereas this attack on the freedom of scientific inquiry include issues involving air pollutants, global warming, reproductive health, drug resistant bacteria, endangered species, forest health, and military intelligence.

Therefore be it resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly oppose any effort to introduce the religious based teaching of Intelligent Design into American public school science classes;

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly continue to support scientific inquiry and research free of any religious or political interference or coercion;

Be it further resolved that the Rabbinical Assembly continue to support the separation of religion and state according to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; and

Be it further resolved that Rabbinical Assembly members contact state and local school board officials in communicating the Rabbinical Assembly’s position.

Passed by the Rabbinical Assembly Plenum, March, 2006