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The Challenge of Creation

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Rabbi Natan Slifkin, with a black-and-white ruffed lemur.

In January 2001 Rabbi Natan Slifkin published a book, entitled The Science of Torah, in an attempt to reconcile Judaism's understanding of the biblical account of Creation with the modern scientific approach towards cosmology and evolution.[1]

Slifkin republished this work in 2006, in a greatly revised and expanded edition, under the new title, The Challenge of Creation. The ideas expressed in these texts were extremely controversial although they were, for the most part, not new ideas. Within a short time the book was banned by a large group of Orthodox rabbis for its perceived irreverence towards the rabbis of the Talmud, as well as its assertions that the Talmud is not necessarily authoritative, such as in its statements related to science.

Much of Slifkin's approach of reconciliation rests upon the view, supported in part by Rambam and Ralbag among others, that the accounts of Creation and those of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden are to be understood in a non-literal sense.

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