Atheistic evolutionists and creationists (including intelligent design theorists) are quoted on this wiki. The quotes from these sources are for their scientific content not for their theological views (whether atheistic or creationist). Hopefully the distinction will be clear from the context.
The Torah point of view is that G-d created the universe meta-naturally, i.e. not via the instrument of nature. Naturalism (Darwinism) is not only a scientific failure (given the increasingly compelling empirical observations that contradict it), but it is morally repugnant and a metaphysical falsehood (see Origin science). There are thus good reasons why leading Torah authorities have pointed out that reconciliations that force the Torah into the Darwinian mold tamper with our mesorah and compromise core Jewish beliefs (see The Slifkin Affair). Chumash Bereishis is elegant testimony to the meta-natural creation of the mature universe by Divine decree over the six day creation week as described in the first chapter of the Torah.
Abraham was the first Jew. He saw that the whole cosmos bespeaks the wisdom and kindliness of the Creator and he and his wife Sarah thus made it their life's mission to live a live devoted to helping others. Abraham is 99 years old, with a whole life behind him. It was then that G-d entered into a covenant with him (the covenant of bris milah):
- On the one hand, "Be a mensch, a decent human being, before attempt to be a Jew." First acquire all the humane virtues; only can you become a Jew. On the other hand, you are not yet a Jew if you have reached only the level attained by Avraham until this point. A person who is compassionate, forgiving, and benevolent - qualities demonstrated by Avraham until this point - is merely the embodiment of the ideal Noachide. G-d educated Avraham for 99 years and Avraham met all the goals that are assigned to every man of purity. Only then did G-d say to him: Ani Keil Shakai. ...
- “Contemplate My world!” The larger whole and each of its parts bear the impress of “די” [from the Almighty’s name שקי, i.e. I am the one Who said “Enough”]. And this “די” bears witness to G-d. Were heaven earth the ongoing result of blind forces of nature prevailing endlessly - as argued by the ancient wisdom that is the folly of man's mind - why have these forces ceased creating? Who has put an end their creating during the thousands of years of the world’s existence? What is the “די” that restrains their supreme creative power? What keeps them from continually producing new creations? This “די”, the stamp of Sabbath in creation, is the stamp of G-d on heaven and earth. This stamp makes a mockery of man’s wisdom and affirms that heaven and earth are not the result of blind, unfree forces of nature, but the reign work of the Creator, Who actualizes His thoughts through His free Will and through his sovereign almighty power. (Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, Lech Lecha, 17:1, emphasis added).
While evolutionists and creationists often debate the scientific evidence for evolution, the source of the ongoing dispute is much deeper. It is not just a clash about gaps in the fossil record or dinosaur bones. Rather, it is a profound dispute about fundamentally different worldviews. A free-running translation of the words of Rabbenu Asher of blessed memory best summarizes the caution we must exercise when approaching chochmas hateva.
- (Teshuvos HaRosh 55.9.) ועל זה אמר החכם: כל באיה לא ישובון, רוצה לומר: כל הבא ונכנס מתחלה בחכמה זו, לא יוכל לצאת ממנה להכנס בלבו חכמת התורה, כי לא יוכל לשוב מחכמה טבעית שהורגל בה, כי לבו תמיד נמשך אחריה. ומחמת זה לא ישיג לעמוד על חכמת התורה, שהיא ארחות חיים, כי יהיה לבו תמיד על חכמת הטבע, ותעלה ברוחו להשוות שתי החכמות יחד, ולהביא ראיה מזו לזו, ומתוך זה יעות המשפט; כי שני הפכים הם, צרות זו לזו, ולא ישכנו במקום אחד.
- King Solomon wrote: “all who come to her do not return” (Mishlei 2:19). This means that anyone who starts his studies with this naturalistic wisdom rather than Torah will not be able escape from it. Torah will not enter his heart; for, he will not be able to remove himself from this naturalistic method of wisdom to which he has become accustomed. For his heart has been seduced after it. Because of this he will not be able to apprehend the wisdom of Torah – which is the way of life. His heart will continually dwell on naturalistic wisdom which will cause him to equate such thinking to Torah and to reason incorrectly from one domain to the other. This will lead him to distort Torah judgments. Naturalistic philosophies and Torah are two opposites and are antagonistic to each other – they cannot dwell in the same place.