Skip to comments.Pope prepares to embrace theory of intelligent design
Posted on 08/28/2006 12:02:43 PM PDT by Abathar
Philosophers, scientists and other intellectuals close to Pope Benedict will gather at his summer palace outside Rome this week for intensive discussions that could herald a fundamental shift in the Vatican's view of evolution. There have been growing signs the Pope is considering aligning his church more closely with the theory of "intelligent design" taught in some US states. Advocates of the theory argue that some features of the universe and nature are so complex that they must have been designed by a higher intelligence. Critics say it is a disguise for creationism.
A prominent anti-evolutionist and Roman Catholic scientist, Dominique Tassot, told the US National Catholic Reporter that this week's meeting was "to give a broader extension to the debate. Even if [the Pope] knows where he wants to go, and I believe he does, it will take time. Most Catholic intellectuals today are convinced that evolution is obviously true because most scientists say so." In 1996, in what was seen as a capitulation to scientific orthodoxy, John Paul II said Darwin's theories were "more than a hypothesis". Last week, at a conference in Rimini, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Austria revealed that evolution and creation had been chosen as the subjects for this year's meeting of the Pope's Schülerkreis - a group consisting mainly of his former doctoral students that has been gathering annually since the late 1970s. Apart from Cardinal Schönborn, participants at the closed-door meeting will include the president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Peter Schuster; the conservative ethical philosopher Robert Spaemann; and Paul Elbrich, professor of philosophy at Munich University.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
Don't shoot the messenger please.....
So says the Guardian...
Yeah, I know. Grain of salt and all, but who knows - it might be true.
What progressive thinking.
I bet the DUmmies are all over this, I might slip on my Mental Hazmat Suit and see if they are singing this from the rooftops, I bet they are.
ID is a theory? Really? What hypothesis was tested to come up with it? How can it be further tested?
Kinky Friedman said something like, "How can anyone believe in Intelligent Design after seeing the Texas legislature?"
In anticipation, Vatican Theologians are preparing a statement denying the Democrats really exist.
Father Guido Parolaccio, Vatican Magister Rotationis (or spin meister), said, "Yes, I have seen something that looked like a Democrat, and it even appeared to be alive. But seriously, my children, when you consider how they act, what they do, what they say, would you call that LIVING?"
Check back at the top of the hour for further developments.
And next the Dah Vinci code , right ???
I guess this is a typical 'duh factor' response for those that don't realize the intelligent designer is God.
I like the description of the claim that the designer need not be explained not as a contribution to knowledge but as a thought-terminating cliché.
What? The way you say that almost leads me to believe you think that it's a work of fiction!!
Maybe someone will finally propose a definition of it.
I still follow "Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."
I do not believe that evolution and creationism are mutually exclusive. The Bible is more about "why" than "how" - For all we know, the divine word of God may have included doctoral theses on genetics and string theory, explained at a level that a pre-scientific culture could grasp.
Even if you follow evolution all the way back to the beginning, you don't get to nothingness...
I thought the Guardian and the Telegraph always had the best interests of the Catholic Church at heart. No? I'm disappointed.
Here's a prediction. No definitive pronouncements one way or the other. They'll remain interested observers.
The most salient example of this was when Pope Pius XII condemned polygenism - the notion that human beings may have had different sets of ancestors. The Pope reaffirmed the truth that all human beings are descended from the same two common parents.
The Pope may condemn the notion that the universe originates in chaos and reject that sceintific theory as untenable - but he will endorse any particular scientific theory as being valid.
The Church alone has the deposit of faith - it does not outsource its magisterial authority.
Funny how nobody asks how the higher intelligence came to be...
I expect that the Pope will definitively state in unequivocal terms that the universe is not the result of a random process but that it is the deliberate, planned and freely-willed work of a personal God.
This is not a new doctrine and has been stated and restated over and over - but this time it will be couched in 21st century terminology.
Nevertheless, at least theoretically, the Church has left open the possibility for mankind originating through some kind of evolutionary process guided by God. This was Augustine's belief. And even Aquinas believed in a multi-stage Creation consonant with the Biblical days of Creation.
Genesis 1:19This verse could also be intended to express the difference between man and animal in that man has an eternal, rational, God-breathed soul, while animals do not.
Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air.
How would he know that with certainty?
Did he mistake himself for God?
Agreed, but I don't think the group gathered has the purpose of issuing pronouncements. Isn't that the annual gathering of his old students?
Correct. The only pronouncement that will be forthcoming is if the Holy Father chooses this area as the substance of a forthcoming encyclical. And this gathering implies that he is doing the research he believes necessary for such a document.
Excuse me, but WHERE do you get the idea that "evolution....is accepted without much examination..."?? It's probably the MOST EXAMINED scientific theory ever promulgated.
The great Galileo said that God wrote the book of nature in the form of the language of mathematics. He was convinced that God has given us two books: the book of Sacred Scripture and the book of nature. And the language of nature - this was his conviction - is mathematics, so it is a language of God, a language of the Creator.
Let us now reflect on what mathematics is: in itself, it is an abstract system, an invention of the human spirit which as such in its purity does not exist. It is always approximated, but as such is an intellectual system, a great, ingenious invention of the human spirit.
The surprising thing is that this invention of our human intellect is truly the key to understanding nature, that nature is truly structured in a mathematical way, and that our mathematics, invented by our human mind, is truly the instrument for working with nature, to put it at our service, to use it through technology.
It seems to me almost incredible that an invention of the human mind and the structure of the universe coincide. Mathematics, which we invented, really gives us access to the nature of the universe and makes it possible for us to use it.
Therefore, the intellectual structure of the human subject and the objective structure of reality coincide: the subjective reason and the objective reason of nature are identical. I think that this coincidence between what we thought up and how nature is fulfilled and behaves is a great enigma and a great challenge, for we see that, in the end, it is "one" reason that links them both.
Our reason could not discover this other reason were there not an identical antecedent reason for both.
In this sense it really seems to me that mathematics - in which as such God cannot appear - shows us the intelligent structure of the universe. Now, there are also theories of chaos, but they are limited because if chaos had the upper hand, all technology would become impossible. Only because our mathematics is reliable, is technology reliable.
Our knowledge, which is at last making it possible to work with the energies of nature, supposes the reliable and intelligent structure of matter. Thus, we see that there is a subjective rationality and an objectified rationality in matter which coincide.
Of course, no one can now prove - as is proven in an experiment, in technical laws - that they both really originated in a single intelligence, but it seems to me that this unity of intelligence, behind the two intelligences, really appears in our world. And the more we can delve into the world with our intelligence, the more clearly the plan of Creation appears.
In the end, to reach the definitive question I would say: God exists or he does not exist. There are only two options. Either one recognizes the priority of reason, of creative Reason that is at the beginning of all things and is the principle of all things - the priority of reason is also the priority of freedom -, or one holds the priority of the irrational, inasmuch as everything that functions on our earth and in our lives would be only accidental, marginal, an irrational result - reason would be a product of irrationality.
One cannot ultimately "prove" either project, but the great option of Christianity is the option for rationality and for the priority of reason. This seems to me to be an excellent option, which shows us that behind everything is a great Intelligence to which we can entrust ourselves.
However, the true problem challenging faith today seems to me to be the evil in the world: we ask ourselves how it can be compatible with the Creator's rationality. And here we truly need God, who was made flesh and shows us that he is not only a mathematical reason but that this original Reason is also Love. If we look at the great options, the Christian option today is the one that is the most rational and the most human.
Therefore, we can confidently work out a philosophy, a vision of the world based on this priority of reason, on this trust that the creating Reason is love and that this love is God.
Doesn't this impy ID? Doesn't seem earth shattering to me.
Everybody gets one free ask. After that any further ask is very, very expensive.
OOOOOOOO K , have another sip of kool-aid .
Interesting. Three primordial assertions in one sentence. A linguistic riddle, a statement of faith, and an irrelevancy. We'll have to discuss the nature of Reality some time.
I think the headline and the premise of the article are entirely misleading. This Pope, his predecessor, and the CAtholic Magisterium in general, simply do not reason in sound-bites and simplistic formulae, such as being "for" or "against" ID. Anyone with a search engine can find at least 10 major documents or statements from the Popes and Magisterium regarding Evolution, etc., and the matter is dealt with much more intelligently than in this news item.
Thank you for citing at length that wonderful statement by B XVI to the youth of Rome.
Agreed that is a controversial subject, especially whether it is invented or dicovered. But the only place that I KNOW mathematics exists is among the cultures created by homo sapiens on planet Earth. In that sense saying it "invented by the human spirit" is not a non-sensical statement. Where else does it exist?
I think it might be an invention. It works okay and that's not the problem, but it can't ultimately be proven necessarily.
The most examined theory? Hardly. It became the conventional wisom of the time with remarkable speed. It reminds me of the rapid acceptance of the
acceptance of homosexuality, even though almost no meaningful research. has been done about the ailment since 1972.
I think you need to read more Socrates--that is, Plato. Understand he was not talking about psychological but real certainty, which Dr. Johnson demonstrated by kicking a stone.
Malarkey. The "Theory of Evolution" has been under continuous scrutiny ever since it was promulgated. Get your Creationist prejudices out of the way and read some history.
Maybe in things. That seems to be the basis of modern science.
Who do you mean by "he," and what is the difference between "psychological" and "real" certainty?
I am a creationist only in that I accept the theological doctrine that the world was created by God. Within fifteen years, Darwinism was the accepted biological wisdom of German biology. Within a generation, most children in German secondary schools were being educated in its tenets.
Just out of curiosity, do you have a link to a source for that?
"He" was Plato and his idealism was quite different from Kant's. Psychologial certainty is what we feel to be true. Real certainty is what we feel when we step in front of a speeding truck.
If you can get hold of it. My copy has disappeared so I am depending on my memory. I will look for something more accessible. But the title reminds me that pupular acceptace of his theory by the educated public came before acceptance by scientists. One reason was that the age of the world was thought to be only tens of millions of years, certainly not enough time for a trial and error process to work itself out.
The Descent of Darwin: Popularization of Darwinism in Germany, 1860-1914 by Alfred Kelly
Review author[s]: Ruth Rinard
German Quarterly, Vol. 55, No. 1 (Jan., 1982), pp. 133-134
BTW, Kelly has a web site. You can e-mail him directly and ask him. I may be all wet about his opinion.
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