Skip to comments.Pope fails to address 'intelligent design' theory of evolution
Posted on 09/04/2006 8:42:37 AM PDT by PatrickHenry
Pope Benedict and his former doctoral students spent a weekend pondering evolution without discussing controversies over intelligent design and creationism raging in the United States.
The three-day closed-door meeting at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo outside Rome ended as planned without drawing any conclusions but the group plans to publish its discussion papers, said participant Father Joseph Fessio S.J.
Media speculation had said the debate might shift Vatican policy to embrace "intelligent design," which claims to prove scientifically that life could not have simply evolved, or even the "creationist" view that God created the world in six days.
"It wasn't that at all," Fessio, who is provost of Ave Maria University in Florida, said from Rome. The Pope's session with 39 former students was "a meeting of friends with some scholars to discuss an interesting theme".
"We did not really speak much about intelligent design," said Fessio, whose Ignatius Press publishes the Pope's books in English. "In fact, that particular controversy did not arise."
Creationism -- the view that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible -- was "almost off the radar screen of the people in this group," he added. The Catholic Church does not read the Genesis account of creation literally.
Fessio said Benedict took part in the discussions but said nothing different from previous public statements, in which he has recognised evolution as a scientific fact but argued that God ultimately created the world and all life in it.
As the Pope put it at his inaugural Mass after being elected in April 2005, "We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God."
Benedict, who taught theology at four German universities before becoming archbishop of Munich and then the Vatican's top doctrinal official, has held these annual get-togethers since the late 1970s. The international group debates in German.
Charles Darwin's theory of evolution has long been rejected in the United States by conservative Christians who want to have a Bible-based view of creation taught in public schools, where the church-state separation bars the teaching of religion.
More recently, Darwin's critics have campaigned to have "intelligent design" taught as a scientific alternative to evolution. President George W. Bush and other conservative politicians support this drive to "teach the controversy".
The "ID movement" does not name the designer as God, but its opponents say that is the logical conclusion and call this an unacceptable bid to sneak religion into the teaching of science.
Schools in some parts of the United States teach intelligent design as an alternative to evolution but a Pennsylvania court banned it there last year, saying it was religion in disguise.
Catholic teaching accepts evolution as a scientific theory but disagrees with what it calls "evolutionism," the view that the story of life has no role for God as its prime author.
Vienna's Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, a close associate of the Pope, was one of four speakers who addressed the meeting. He raised eyebrows last year with a New York Times article that suggested the Catholic Church supported the "ID movement".
Schoenborn and Benedict have said several times over the past year that intelligence in the form of God's will played a part in creation and that neo-Darwinists who deny God any role are drawing an ideological conclusion not proven by the theory.
They say they use philosophical reasoning to conclude that God created the world, not arguments which intelligent design supporters claim can be proven scientifically.
Your state religion is safe from Vatican meddling for another season.
...where are these types of proceedings usually published?
This is a 'non-story' since there wasn't any discussion about it to begin with.
It's like the MSM reporting 'Bush doesn't speak about Iraq at meeting today'.
If there's nothing to say or nothing planned, then the MSM gets in a snit because they were just 'sure' SOMETHING ABOUT IT would be addressed.
Like I said. NON-STORY.
If it's good enough for the Pope, it's good enough for me.
They might be Thomist. They are not interested in that Reformed stuff, which includes Paley.
Just a press opportunity to assign the word "fail" to the Vatican.
Nevermind that the basis is simply the media's FAILURE to predict the agenda.
and that is the appropriate response.....he knows that the lord works in mysterious ways...why not through evolution.
I commend the Pope for not wasting any time on frivolous ID nonsense.
There is also the recent statement opposing creationism by the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the 70-million-member Anglican Communion.
>> Pope fails to address 'intelligent design'
> and that is the appropriate response.....he knows that the lord works in mysterious ways...why not through evolution.
Yes, we were taught evolution in my Catholic school science class.
I learned from my 12 years of Catholic school that science is the way we understand the genius workings of God, and that the incurious acceptance of the non-explanation of "just because..." is a sin... of rejecting God's glorious gift of intellect.
After you've said: "Intelligent design is just the Logos theology of John's Gospel restated in the idiom of information theory," you've said it all.
Sounds like something Alamo-Girl might have said... :-)
It's a quote from Dembski. It does belie the idea that Intelligent Design isn't based on religion.
I'm not an IDer or a Creationist, but I do know where science begins and religion ends. Evolution is quite likely manifestation of God's Creation. But that is a philosophical position. Not a scientific one. I really like the deep position your Catholic school took on the approach of science.
exactly...and you have 2 years on me....
.........I went through the 10th grade then we moved to the burbs where the schools were better and I went 11-12 in regular public HS, but the parochial education was very good...
Not surprising, that as a former teacher the Pope would recognize ID for what it is.