I really think religious leaders in general are a bit lost about about how to deal with the interaction between science and religion. Have a read of the extract below from the BBC. It is rather a convenient way to avoid critical examination of your scripture if you designate as non-literal everything in it which is contradicted by contemporaneous scientific consensus. It is only a snippet from the Chief Rabbi so perhaps there is more context to it.
In general though I suspect that most religious leaders tend to intellectually duck and hide when they see science-based atheistic attacks on their scripture. Its time for the world’s religious to get back to true religion, which presents a clear harmony between revelation and rationality, offering clear proofs of its truth.
Although Prof Dawkins described the book as “gentle” at the debate with the Chief Rabbi, he has been no stranger to controversy since he set out his view of religion in The God Delusion.
The latest controversy may strike some as an example of the colliding perspectives of science and religion.
But the debate also showed areas of agreement.
“How do you decide which bits [of scripture] are symbolic and which bits are not?” asked Prof Dawkins at one point during the discussion.
“Very simple,” replied the Chief Rabbi.
“The rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: if a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific fact, it is not to be read literally.”
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