Wednesday, December 21, 2005

My Birthday Present

No, J.R., it's not a Ring of Power.
It's yesterday's opinion by Judge John E. Jones III of the Middle District of Pennsylvania in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, a/k/a the Intelligent Design case. 
NYT coverage here.  Opinion here (courtesy of J.R.).
I happen to believe that 139 pages (which I have mostly skipped over) is much too long, but, your Honor, it's the thought that counts.  Thanks!
The Old Testament rocks. 
I bought a new translation of it a few months ago, and it's great.  Especially Genesis.
But it has parts--the creation of the world and its inhabitants, references to geocecentric astronomy, the Flood, and the Tower of Babel-- that are, how should I put it . . . not helpful as guides in trying to understand the physical world.
The Bible is an amazing work of literature, spiritual and ethical guide, and historical account of Jewish history. 
It does a lot!  It does it well!
But it is not a Swiss Army knife-- it's not a recipe book, a science textbook, a treatise on economics, or a cleverly-coded message foretelling the coming of Jesus or the date on which the world will end. 
Nothing's wrong with the Bible, but there are other books that do, or try to do, those things.
And Judge Jones's message, delivered on my birthday, translated into Litvak, might be:
Pick one up!

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