Am Echad was founded by Agudath Israel's Rabbi Moshe Sherer to fight the idea of "streams" or denominations in Judaism. Only one legitimate form of Judaism exists according to Rabbi Sherer's ideology – haredi. Everything that is not ultra-Orthodox is therefore treife, including, it would seem Modern Orthodoxy.
Am Echad's chief spinmeister is Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum, a convert to haredism. (Yes, I know this is politically incorrect; Rabbi Rosenblum is a ba'al teshuva, and, as the haredi dogma goes, a Jew cannot convert to haredism – he simply "returns" to his natural state. This dogma is false, but here is not the place to explain why.) Rabbi Rosenblum, a product of the Ivy League, is a talented polemicist. His latest effort is a broadside against evolution, in which Rabbi Rosenblum sets up several straw men and then – effortlessly! imagine that! – knocks them down. He does this by selecting statements from evolution's scientific critics and buttresses them with out of context quotes from evolution's scientific supporters.
What Rosenblum does not tell you is the scientific critics of evolution number proportionately fewer than the number of academics who deny the Holocaust. It is like taking a minute sample of Americans who support a Stalinist takeover of America and representing them as a significant force in American politics. He also insists on labeling evolution as random, when only the most radical scientists (helpfully quoted by Rosenblum to misrepresent the scientific mainstream) would describe it that way.
Further, Rosenblum avoids entirely recent findings in genetics that confirm findings in other disciplines dating human presence on this earth to tens of thousands of years ago – much earlier than the Torah's 6000-year-old universe allows.
Haredim, fresh from their ban on Rabbi Nosson Slifkin, are now engaged – with the help of Christian fundamentalists – in an effort to promote Intelligent Design, the pseudo-science created by Christian fundamentalists after their earlier pseudo-science, creationism, was laughed out of court and out of the nation's public schools. They want ID taught as science in public schools, even though ID has no peer reviewed science and is nothing more than religion thinly, if at all, veiled.
Rosenblum will argue his misrepresentations are not lies and, while drawn brashly for effect, his points are not invalid.
But truth matters. As does context. As do one's political bedfellows. Science has taken us from donkey carts and witches brews to airplanes, space flights and modern medicine in less than 200 years. It did so in large part because it was freed from the restraints of religion enforced by a state-supported church and a rabbi-dominated Jewish community. Rosenblum would return us to those days of yore to preserve his fundamentalist reading of the Torah. We must not let him.