In 1768, Antoine Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry, declared, “Stones don’t fall from the sky, because there are no stones in the sky!” Many museums in Europe actually threw out their meteorite specimens, considering them nothing more than superstition.
In 1865, a man named Joshua Coppersmith was arrested in New York for attempting to raise funds from the “ignorant and superstitious” for a device he claimed would convey the human voice at any distance over metallic wires. He called it a telephone. Journalists supported his incarceration.
In 1903, just weeks prior to the first flight at Kitty Hawk, Simon Newcomb, professor of mathematics and astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, published an article proving that powered human flight was “utterly impossible.” When the Wright brothers claimed to have built a flying machine, it was dismissed as a hoax by the scientific journals, newspapers, the US military, and most American scientists.
In 1957, Britain’s Astronomer Royal, Sir Harold Spencer Jones, famously said “space travel is bunk” only two weeks before Sputnik 1 was launched into space by the Russians.
These statements, which are just the tip of the iceberg, reflected a broad mindset of the times they lived—and we live in. A culture of extreme criticism and skepticism rejects belief in anything beyond the narrow parameters of conventional thinking, even when the matter in question is eminently logical and believable—once carefully considered.
Pillars of Faith offers reasonable, logical approaches to some key foundations of Judaism. This remarkable and easy-reading work includes impressive explanations to those who find themselves at the beginning of their spiritual journey, and serves as a tremendous source of strength to the seasoned Torah student.