The Rebbe studied both sciences and humanities at the University of Berlin and at the Sorbonne.

Throughout the nineteenth century and for most of the twentieth, rabbis dealt with the "challenge of science." Generally, their approach was the classic one of apologetics, redefining tradition so it would not conflict with what science seemed to say.

The Rebbe was intolerant of such apologetics. To him there was no conflict to begin with, only a gross misunderstanding of what science is and what it says.