Saturday, July 09, 2005

Part 2 - My Beliefs Are Firm, Until There's A New Pope...

Frum may have been psychic. Below, I mentioned he said that 90% of Americans are Christians and he doesn't feel something should be taught that offends 90% of the people, i.e. evolution. Of course, by this logic, Palestinian schools are a-ok not teaching about Israel's history and Japanese schools are hunky-dory by not saying they attacked at Pearl Harbor and the Civil War history will be rewritten in some Southern areas...but hey, you know, let's make sure that facts don't offend.

Well, I pointed out that Catholics, who by most definitions are indeed Christians, accept evolution. Which threw his 90% claim out the window. Well, today it may have sprouted wings and fluttered back:

An influential cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, which has long been regarded as an ally of the theory of evolution, is now suggesting that belief in evolution as accepted by science today may be incompatible with Catholic faith.

You know, like the Copernican theory and other hell-inspired science.

"Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."

If you don't like Intelligent Design, you may like Intelligent Design Lite - now with Super-Catholicism grip!

Cardinal Schönborn, who is on the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education, said the office had no plans to issue new guidance to teachers in Catholic schools on evolution. But he said he believed students in Catholic schools, and all schools, should be taught that evolution is just one of many theories.

Name three not including ID.

One of the strongest advocates of teaching alternatives to evolution is the Discovery Institute in Seattle, which promotes the idea, termed intelligent design, that the variety and complexity of life on earth cannot be explained except through the intervention of a designer of some sort.

Mark Ryland, a vice president of the institute, said in an interview that he had urged the cardinal to write the essay. Both Mr. Ryland and Cardinal Schönborn said that an essay in May in The Times about the compatibility of religion and evolutionary theory by Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, suggested to them that it was time to clarify the church's position on evolution.

So, the guy on the council for Catholic education is allied with an ID institute. Coming soon, revisiting that whole "Earth is round" deal and the restarting of indulgences.

Dr. Miller, whose book "Finding Darwin's God" describes his reconciliation of evolutionary theory with Christian faith, said the essay seemed to equate belief in evolution with disbelief in God. That is alarming, he said. "It may have the effect of convincing Catholics that evolution is something they should reject."

Well, of course believing in evolution equals disbelief in God! And so does belief in gravity and the atomic theory! Heck, accepting science has ANY claim to truth is just wrong, wrong, wrong dammit!

Doesn't this sound like something a fundamentalist church would have said, just before condemning gay people to Hell?

He (Schonborn) referred to widely cited remarks by Pope John Paul II, who, in a 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, noted that the scientific case for evolution was growing stronger and that the theory was "more than a hypothesis."


But in his essay, Cardinal Schönborn dismissed John Paul's statement as "rather vague and unimportant."

The leader of the Catholic Church was "rather vague and unimportant." Here's some remarks from that speech:

In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points.


4. Taking into account the state of scientific research at the time as well as of the requirements of theology, the encyclical Humani Generis considered the doctrine of "evolutionism" a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposing hypothesis. Pius XII added two methodological conditions: that this opinion should not be adopted as though it were a certain, proven doctrine and as though one could totally prescind from revelation with regard to the questions it raises. He also spelled out the condition on which this opinion would be compatible with the Christian faith, a point to which I will return. Today, almost half a century after the publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.


However, does not the posing of such ontological discontinuity run counter to that physical continuity which seems to be the main thread of research into evolution in the field of physics and chemistry? Consideration of the method used in the various branches of knowledge makes it possible to reconcile two points of view which would seem irreconcilable. The sciences of observation describe and measure the multiple manifestations of life with increasing precision and correlate them with the time line. The moment of transition to the spiritual cannot be the object of this kind of observation, which nevertheless can discover at the experimental level a series of very valuable signs indicating what is specific to the human being. But the experience of metaphysical knowledge, of self-awareness and self-reflection, of moral conscience, freedom, or again of aesthetic and religious experience, falls within the competence of philosophical analysis and reflection, while theology brings out its ultimate meaning according to the Creator's plans.

I can see where the statements are "rather vague and unimportant". Pope Pius XII felt the theory was worth investigating almost sixty years ago and saw no opposition b/t it and the doctrine of faith with certain exemptions, i.e. the forming of a soul. Pope John Paul mentioned evolution was more than a hypothesis due to the growing evidence over the years and that the science measures and describes the manifestations of life with growing precision. Lots of wiggle room there.

Here's the link to the actual editorial. "Design" is mentioned eight times.

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