Nathan Aviezer is an American-Israeli physicist who writes on creationism, evolution and cosmology from an Orthodox Jewish perspective. He is a Professor of Physics and former Chairman of the Physics Department of Bar-Ilan University.
Aviezer was born in Switzerland and raised in the United States. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, and subsequently held a research position at the IBM Watson Research Center near New York. In 1967, He and his wife Dvora made aliyah to Israel. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles on solid state physics. In recognition of his important research contributions, he was honored by being elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (1984) and a Research Professor of the Royal Society of London (1992).
Views on creation and evolution
Aviezer is particularly notable for being one of very few modern writers from the religious Jewish perspective to publish on these issues using the language of science, rather than religion. Aviezer allows for divine guidance within an evolutionary paradigm in the transmutation of species over time, including the emergence of modern man from homo erectus. He interprets the six days of creation as broadly referring to large periods of time, an interpretation for which he cites rabbinic sources, including Maimonides and Nachmanides, citing in particular the problem with defining the several "days" of creation that precede the creation of the Sun, according to the Biblical narrative.
For Aviezer, the evolutionary framework applies, except where the Hebrew verb bara (create) is used. To Aviezer, "It is particularly meaningful that Modern Man is intellectually and culturally so vastly superior to his closest relative, the extinct Neanderthal Man, even though both species are very similar." He explains this through a literal interpretation of Genesis 1:27 — "And God created Man in His image."
- Modern day Orthodox Jewish views on evolution
- Prominent Orthodox physicists:
- Cherry, Shai. "Crisis management via Bilbical Interpretation: Fundamentalism, Modern Orthodoxy, and Genesis." in Geoffrey Cantor and Marc Swetlitz (editors) Jewish Tradition and the Challenge of Darwinism. University of Chicago Press (2006). 169-172.
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