Theoretically speaking, science can never contradict religion. Even miracles have rational explanations. The rabbis were adamant that God does not perform miracles by violating the laws of nature. Nor do the historical accounts have to be accurate: the rabbis insisted that all of them were given only for the sake of their interpretation.

Three questions distinguish religion from science: does God exist, how was the universe created, and what is the nature of life?

The first proposition cannot be disproved. It cannot be proved, either, but at least it passes the Occam’s Razor test as the simplest explanation of observed phenomena.

Scientific explanations of how the universe appeared border on religion because they are inherently unverifiable and use transcendent notions. Scientists declare that matter is eternal, thus sidestepping the issue of creation. Curiously, Genesis employs a similar approach when it says that the world was bara, ‘formed’ rather than ‘created.’ The scientific concept of eternal matter is just as otherworldly and improvable the religious one. Just like religion, science postulates that before the Big Bang, time stopped (there was no day and night in the Torah), the universe was shapeless (just as the world in the opening chapter), and all the matter was transformed into energy (Torah specifies carefully that spirit—a field—had been moving before the Creation).

Human understanding of life amounts to tautology: life is that which has DNA. But we have not the slightest understanding of the processes which bring inorganic molecules into a rigid DNA structure or build three-dimensional organisms from two-dimensional DNA.

Human knowledge is increasingly confused with observation. Thanks to science, we have observed wondrous facts: limited universes, time-space fabrics, the consequences of the Big Bang, and DNA. But just like the Bronze Age Hebrews standing before Mount Sinai, we have no idea of the moment before Creation, when time and matter did not exist.

And superstitions lurk from dark corners just as before.