The current anti-scientific climate makes a mockery of Judaism’s constant search for truth. The very idea that rabbis might excommunicate people for teaching that the world is more than 5766 years old, or for supporting the truth of evolution, must be repudiated loudly and clearly.
The accumulation of incontrovertible evidence of the great antiquity of the earth has led to the broad rabbinic acceptance of the accuracy of an early interpretation of the word “day” in the Genesis story as meaning “an indeterminate period of time,” rather than “a day of twenty-four hours.”
There will always be some resistance to this approach from people who deny that reason is a valid source of truth. Also, from those whose misplaced loyalty to a particular understanding of a revealed text leads them to the rejection of otherwise established scientific truths.
But for most of us, the depth of our religious commitment and our openness to the process of scientific inquiry, go hand in hand as full partners in our lifelong quest for truth.