Skip to comments.Darwinian Evolution Incompatible with Catholic Faith says Cardinal and Author of Catholic Catechism
Posted on 01/07/2007 1:28:33 PM PST by Coleus
On July 7, after years of media-generated confusion, Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, a theologian who helped author the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church, wrote in the New York Times clarifying the Churchs understanding of human origins. Since 1996, the worlds secular media have claimed that Pope John Paul II endorsed Darwinian evolution as being more than a hypothesis. The remark, taken out of context, established in some minds that the Catholic Church was ready to abandon its adherence to the notion of a personal God who created life, the universe and everything. In his article, Schonborn said, that the defenders of neo-Darwinian dogma have often invoked the supposed acceptance - or at least acquiescence - of the Roman Catholic Church when they defend their theory as somehow compatible with Christian faith.
This, the Cardinal says bluntly, is not true.
Schonborn unequivocally establishes that the Catholic Church does not endorse Darwinism. 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. Cardinal Schonborn, a close associate of both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, continued, saying, Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.
The New York Times, never missing an opportunity to bash prominent Catholic prelates, has suggested that Schonborn has changed his tune regarding the legitimacy of Darwinian evolution. But Darwinism, the idea that life sprang and developed into its myriad forms by means of an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection has never been supported by Catholic teaching.
As early as 1950, Pope Pius XII wrote that it is Catholics teaching that all human beings in some way are biologically descended from a first man, Adam. The faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, Pius wrote in his encyclical Humani Generis. Two days after the Cardinals article appeared, the New York Times followed up with an interview with Schonborn in which he reiterated that he had been encouraged by Pope Benedict XVI to continue to refine Catholic teaching on evolution.
Read Cardinal Schonborns essay:
Read New York Times coverage of scientific reaction (free registration may be required):
The heliocentric model was also proclaimed incompatible with the Catholic faith, yet the Earth does move, and Catholicism abides.
Once upon a time, a sun-centered solar system was incompatible with Catholicism.
he needs to evolve.
Further, he (the Pope) seems to be cautioning those who have been claiming Church endorsement of the full-bodied, design-defeating version of Darwin's theory of evolution, which, after all, is often little more than philosophical materialism applied to science, added Chapman.
Chapman noted that in his very first homily as Pope, Benedict XVI had rebuked the idea that human beings are mere products of evolution, and that, like his predecessor, John Paul II, the new Pope has a long record of opposition to scientific materialism."
excerpt from: http://www.discovery.org/scripts/viewDB/index.php?command=view&id=3015&program=News&callingPage=discoMainPage
"Once upon a time, a sun-centered solar system was incompatible with Catholicism."
Who told you that?
And did you know that the Bible told us that the earth is round?
How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization (Hardcover) by Thomas E. Woods Jr
Guys, just ... stop. Do your globes still have areas that read, "Here be dragons?"
Atheists, by definition must not accept intelligent design in any form. Theists, on the other hand obviously believe there is a designer behind the scenes. Either God created the universe or the universe created itself. Which is more fantastic?
There can be no compromise by the atheistic view, since it is cast in concrete. There is no god, therefore there could be no intelligent design, period, end of story. The intelligent design view, on the other hand, can have an infinite number of interpretaions and beliefs within it.
What created God?
Cardinal backs evolution and "intelligent design"
PARIS (Reuters) - A senior Roman Catholic cardinal seen as a champion of "intelligent design" against Darwin's explanation of life has described the theory of evolution as "one of the very great works of intellectual history."
Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said he could believe both in divine creation and in evolution because one was a question of religion and the other of science, two realms that complimented rather than contradicted each other.
Schoenborn's view, presented in a lecture published by his office on Tuesday, tempered earlier statements that seemed to ally the Church with United States conservatives campaigning against the teaching of evolution in public schools.
A court in Pennsylvania is now hearing a suit brought by parents against a school district that teaches intelligent design -- the view that life is so complex some higher being must have designed it -- alongside evolution in biology class.
"Without a doubt, Darwin pulled off quite a feat with his main work and it remains one of the very great works of intellectual history," Schoenborn declared in a lecture in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on Sunday.
"I see no problem combining belief in the Creator with the theory of evolution, under one condition -- that the limits of a scientific theory are respected," he said.
Science studies what is observable and scientists overstep the boundaries of their discipline when they conclude evolution proves there was no creator, said the cardinal, 60, a top Church doctrinal expert and close associate of Pope Benedict.
"It is fully reasonable to assume some sense or design even if the scientific method demands restrictions that shut out this question," said the cardinal.
Oddly enough, the heliocentric system was later proven to be just as inaccurate as the Ptolemaic system. FWIW
No, it wasn't - at least not in the macro sense as you've framed it.
Can we please get away from the notion that Darwinism has anything at all to do with cosmology or the origin of the universe?
It deals strictly with biology, specifically the origin of new species on an already existing earth. Not with the question of how the earth, solar system or universe came into existence.
When I look a painting, I know there is a painter. When I look at creation, I KNOW there is a Creator.
Galileo and Copernicus taught that the sun was the center of the universe. That's what heliocentric means. From a modern perspective that is only slightly less ridiculous than the theory that the earth is at the center.
By which, to be clear, I mean in the sense of heliocentric vs geocentric. In that sense, the heliocentric system is most certainly not as innacurate as the Ptolemaic system.
It's a historical fact that reading Copernicus' book would earn you death at the hands of the Church. The book was on the Church's prohibitted books list.
Well, if it's even slightly less ridiculous then it can't be just as innacurate. :)
In fact, we can probably approximate it as less innacurate by an order of 332,946 magnitudes. ;)
I've read two or three statements which look like claims that the evolution/creation debate should have been over the day DNA was discovered, i.e. game, set, and match to the creationists.
Slight modification. It appears that Galileo believed the sun to be one of many stars. I believe Copernicus taught true heliocentrism, that all heavenly bodies, including of course the stars, orbited the Sun.
Whatever answer works for the Trinity works just as well for the universe.
DNA the unit that evolutionary biology measures.
Whether you like this science or not is irrelevant. You slander the Church when you claim it's anti-science. The church has no problem with evolutionary biology and never has.
Only if the adherents of scientism admit to being faithful.
Golly, you must have been reading Dawkins. Actually the notion of evolution by blind chance is essentially agnostic about the intellligibility of the universe. Neither you nor Dawkins recongizes that Darwin posit a demiurge, called Evolution, to produce the evidence we have in hand. The early stages of the earth as as remote to human beings as the remotest galaxies. More remote, because we can through telescopes faintly see them. The earth of earliest times we can see only with our imaginations.
Your's is a correct statement but id certainly doesn't address the thesis of the article.
"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.
Umm, no. My own answer is the correct answer: I don't know. Most people simply can't handle that truth and prefer to make up fairy tales.
But regardless, no matter what answer one finds satisfactory for the origin of the Trinity then from a rational standpoint that same answer will always be equally satisfactory for the origin of the universe, which is why the false dilemma that was set up by OK is a meaningless argument, and a fallacy.
" an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not."
Nobody is saying entirely "random." Mutations can be caused by many things. There are scientific laws governing things.... except, perhaps, at the quantum level.
Anyone who believes a magical deity created decided to create human out of mud is certainly not following modern science.
Um yes. Catholicism is faith based. When you state " Whatever answer works for the Trinity works just as well for the universe." I take that at it's face value. The answer that works for the Trinity is faith. Feel free to edit your statement.
As for fairy tales, I have no opinion or interest in what you do or do not consider to be fairy tales.
It had slipped my mind that the original heliocentric model also posited a stationary sun at the center of the universe. Thanks for reminding me! I could be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that, although he did hold that the sun was one of many stars, Galileo was at most vague about the centrality of the sun. Whatever the case, it was not until the period between Kepler and Newton that it was widely accepted that the sun as well was neither fixed nor central.
"Vatican Policy: Not Evolving (ScienceMag, Sept. 2006)
Don't look for a big change any time soon in the Catholic Church's views on evolution. Although supporters of evolution had feared that the Pope would embrace so-called intelligent design, Pope Benedict XVI gave no sign at a gathering last week as to how he thought the topic should be taught.
The pope said little during the meeting, which included his former theology Ph.D. students and a small group of experts near Rome. Peter Schuster, a chemist at the University of Vienna and president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, attended the meeting and gave a lecture on evolutionary theory. "The pope
listened to my talk very carefully and asked very good questions at the end," he says. And the Church's most outspoken proponent of intelligent design, Cardinal Schönborn, seemed to distance himself from the theory."
Uh, yeah, and as you yourself pointed out when you incorrectly thought that would be my answer, that answer works equally well for the universe.
Darwin is. Darwinian evolution theorizes RM/NS/heritability.
Mutations can be caused by many things.
There are scientific laws governing things.... except, perhaps, at the quantum level.
I think there are no exceptions to scientific laws, just scientific laws that are not well understood.
Uh yeah, which is what I said that you took exception to. Why? I have no idea.
Either God created the universe or the universe created itself. Which is more fantastic?
As I pointed out, whatever answer works for God works for the universe. So, it is no less "fantastic" to think that the universe created itself, or that the universe is eternal and uncreated, than it is to think that God created itself, or that God is eternal and uncreated.
Whatever the answer it doesn't matter. It will work equally well for the one as for the other, in terms of rational credulity.
Well, except for the fact that the universe demonstrably exists.
"Anyone who believes a magical deity created decided to create human out of mud is certainly not following modern science."
Well... except for stories like this -
Study suggests life sprang from clay
WASHINGTON (Reuters) --
" Science backed up religion this week in a study that suggests life may have indeed sprung from clay -- just as many faiths teach..."
Science doesn't operate by faith. I took exception to any role whatsoever for faith in science. However, I free acknowledge that if one considers faith to be a satisfactory answer then one can equally have faith in the universe springing out of nowhere or in God springing out of nowhere. Neither is more incredible than the other if one looks beyond the fact that God is rationally indistinguishable from a phenomenon that doesn't exist.
Like I said, I have no idea what you took exception to. Creationism is a faith based belief. Believing the universe created itself is a faith based belief. You disagree?
No, I agree with that. But science does not hold that the universe created itself. That was a false dilemma set up by a random freeper. Science holds that we do not know how the universe originated.