In the 14th Edition of B’or Hatorah there is an article by R’ Moshe Tendler entitled "On the interface: Immutable Torah, Unchanging Laws of Nature, Ever-Changning Understanding of these laws". In the article he basically gives the same approach advanced by R’ Slifkin and others, citing the Otsar Hagaonim and R’ Avraham ben Ha’Rambam. Below is an interesting, if not sharply worded rebuke of some contemporary trends in Orthodox Judaism
The disdain for Science in the Yeshiva World:
I have just mentioned solutions to an objection in the name of science that some people express about G-d. Now there is a serious problem to discuss from the other direction: the disdain which has developed in the yeshiva world.
There are rabbinic authorities today, such as the great posek Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliasvhiv, who object to using group blood tests or DNA blood tests to determine paternity. Rabbi Eliashiv refuses to accept identification of body parts using DNA idenity. Unfortunately, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel does not accept DNA identity. We have individuals who do not want to take advantages of the best knowledge that we have today. Their refusal has nothing to do with religion and causes us embarrassment.
A biography of Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Aurebach, of blessed memory, by CIS publishers attributes to him the advice that when theres a conflict between medical wisdom and Talmudic remedies, one should use Talmudic remedies. I knew Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach well. He had a great, broad mind, and I do not believe that he said this. Five Hundred years ago, the Maharshal said it was forbidden to use Talmudic remedies.
I am certain that Rabbi Aurebach’s cardiac problems were not treated with the embryo of a white monekey, as the Talmud advises. But there is unfortunate trend of disseminating this type of hocus-pocus.
You know the story about the Reform “rabbi” whose son become a Lubavitcher Hasid and the other son joined the Brisker Kolel? He went to his “rabbi” and asked, “What should I do?”
“Check your mezuzas”, he was advised
Many Jews today believe that checking mezuzahas will explain an illness. They believe that because rain seeped into a mezuzah and erased a letter on the parchment, a woman becaome ill with cancer. Why are we willing to believe such a thing? Because the mind doesn’t function anymore. Because we gave up Hashem Elokim. Sure you should check the mesuzas. Check your tefillin, check your tongue, check your business records, make sure you do thinkgs better next time so that G-d will have mercy on you. But to think that there’s a cause and effect relationship? Nonsense/
I’ll give just one more example of this type of nonsense to convince you. The Viznitser Hasidim threw out a man for living with a non-Jewish woman. Then they took him back after checking his ketubah, his marriage contract. They found a mistake in the ketubah. Instead of the words zekukum kesef (pure silver) was written zenunim kesef. Zenunim means licentiousness. Therefore, it was not his fault, and they took him back.
These kinds of things hurt us. People who should be attracted to Torah are turned away by this type of behaviour. We need to explain to these people that our Torah is a the Torah of Ha’shem Elokim. Everything makes sense. Theres nothing futile in the world.
The Talmud says that if you check the coop at night just before sunset and there are not eggs there, then if you find an egg there in the morning before sunrise – which was laid on Shabbat or festival – you may use it that same day. In this case surely the egg came halfway out the day before and went back in. How can the Talmud say such a thing? I checked this in the embryology books. Sure enough, if an egg is about to be laid, as soon as night falls, the hen will not lay it. She’ll save it for the next day. There, the completely ready egg does go back into the hen.
It is not necessary to find an answer to every question, but never accept the notion, G-d forbid that Hashem is in conflict with Elokim. We have only one G-d, the creator of the universe who gave on Torah to one nation, Israel.