PvM posted Entry 1645 on November 3, 2005 11:18 PM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1640

More news from the Vatican

A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into “fundamentalism” if it ignores scientific reason.

Vatican: Faithful Should Listen to Science

Not surprisingly the questions asked, involved the issue of evolution and Intelligent Design

Poupard and others at the news conference were asked about the religion-science debate raging in the United States over evolution and “intelligent design.”

Intelligent design’s supporters argue that natural selection, an element of evolutionary theory, cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence of highly complex life forms.

Monsignor Gianfranco Basti, director of the Vatican project STOQ, or Science, Theology and Ontological Quest, reaffirmed John Paul’s 1996 statement that evolution was “more than just a hypothesis.”

“A hypothesis asks whether something is true or false,” he said. “(Evolution) is more than a hypothesis because there is proof.”

Indeed, the comments by the Pope are in fact Catholic doctrine while the statements by Schoenborn, other than being perhaps confused by DI rethoric, were just that “his own comments”.

He was asked about comments made in July by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who dismissed in a New York Times article the 1996 statement by John Paul as “rather vague and unimportant” and seemed to back intelligent design.

Basti concurred that John Paul’s 1996 letter “is not a very clear expression from a definition point of view,” but he said evolution was assuming ever more authority as scientific proof develops.

Poupard, for his part, stressed that what was important was that “the universe wasn’t made by itself, but has a creator.” But he added, “It’s important for the faithful to know how science views things to understand better.”

And since ID is scientifically vacuous and theologically risky, it should not come as a surprise that it has not much to contribute to these issues. Other than to add to the confusion of the faithful.

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Comment #55119

Posted by Dan Hocson on November 4, 2005 12:14 AM (e)

Any bets on how long it will take for the first ID apologist to assert that Monsignor Basti doesn’t really speak for the church?

Comment #55121

Posted by K.E. on November 4, 2005 12:34 AM (e)

When the ID’ers are delivering the bodies of apostates to the feet of the second coming they will be keeping a close eye on their fellow Christians.

Comment #55126

Posted by kay on November 4, 2005 12:58 AM (e)

The Chatolic Church got burned with Galileo and I guess they learned their lesson.

Comment #55128

Posted by Sylas on November 4, 2005 1:26 AM (e)

And in related news, one of the major attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Dover Pandas trial is a Roman Catholic Christian; and another is a practicing Jew. Both see the case as a battle to protect religion; and I think they are quite right in this.

There is a good article by Gina Passarella in the Legal Intelligencer (Oct 17, 2005): Intelligent Design Case Puts Spotlight on Pepper Hamilton Lawyers

in her article, Gina Passarella wrote:

The two attorneys, both religious in their own right, came into the case with a strong opinion on the separation between church and state, they said.

“I’m a big believer in our civil liberties,” said Rothschild, a practicing Jew. “As a member of a minority religion I am particularly sensitive to the problem of when a government tries to introduce a particular religion in a public place or a public school.”

Harvey, a Roman Catholic, said he is very pro-religion, but also has strong views on separation of church and state.

“We’re never going to be able to agree on religion,” he said. “I don’t see any real good if it’s in the public sphere.” Religion in the private sphere, however, flourishes, Harvey said.

Rothschild said this trial is serving to protect religion.

“This is not the plaintiffs or Pepper or the ACLU trying to harm religion or confront religion,” he said.

The director of the firm’s pro bono programs, Joseph A. Sullivan, said those personal views are not directing the focus of the case.

“We are acting as lawyers, and our personal views are not at issue here,” he said.

But Sullivan didn’t deny that personal interest makes Rothschild and Harvey a good fit for the case.

Comment #55131

Posted by Registered User on November 4, 2005 2:48 AM (e)

Fundamentalism? You mean like the Taliban?

The Vatican linked anti-science propaganda with fundamentalism?

So the anti-science propagandists like Michael Behe and the folks at the Discovery Institute are, in effect, promoting fundamentalist ideology or ideas that lead to fundamentalist ideology? Like the kind of fundamentlist ideology preached by Osama bin Laden and the Taliban?


About time. The connection has been obvious to many Americans for some time.

Comment #55165

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on November 4, 2005 8:59 AM (e)

Syntax Error: mismatched tag 'quote'

Comment #55166

Posted by Pete Dunkelberg on November 4, 2005 9:02 AM (e)

Sylas wrote:

And in related news, one of the major attorneys for the plaintiffs in the Dover Pandas trial is a Roman Catholic Christian; and another is a practicing Jew. Both see the case as a battle to protect religion; and I think they are quite right in this.

I agree. You may be thinking of protecting religion from becoming an arm of the state (or sturch). That’s important. Also note that what the DI creationists and other creationists are pushing is crank theology: God of the gaps, and to make it worse they make up their gaps. Sensible religionists ought to be concerned, and many are.

Comment #55216

Posted by Globigerinoides on November 4, 2005 2:42 PM (e)

I think that respectable, mainstream religions would do themselves a favor just by declaring that God did not intend to use creation to deceive humans as some kind of test of our faith in one particular religious viewpoint, and the scientific method is an appropriate way to investigate nature.

Comment #55298

Posted by Chiefley on November 5, 2005 12:01 AM (e)

That’s exactly what mainstream religions say. My only complaint is that they are not very vocal about it. But their positions are clear, however. You could call what mainstream Christianity believes “Theistic Evolution”. A great book to read about this is (found at Amazon):




Comment #55341

Posted by K.E. on November 5, 2005 11:14 AM (e)

One can conclude that the ultimate negative impact of natural theology/ID on traditional Religion is that:

By asking science to find a limited natural (real,testable,falsifiable, rational) explanation for a material god, in preference to revelation through scripture, received wisdom of a supernatural god or some sort of personal enlightenment ID stands to damage the people they are trying to protect.

Fundamentalist ID’s inability to include science as “God’s work reveled” into their very limited interpretation of the Bible is indeed a very dangerous harbinger.

The Catholic Church and other old Christian churches are well aware of this and can still include a creator because they understand that science cannot see back to the time before the “big Bang”. Thus no major upheaval of belief and fresh insights into the revelation of scripture enlivens their faith.

What is the Fundamentalist response? Instead of fixing “the hole in the roof” (their interpretation of Gen.1 & Gen.2) they want to fix the whole sky.

Are the reactionaries that insecure that they do not have enough “faith” without a god they can bite or indeed bite them? A sure sign of moral weakness in my view.

Their almost pathological desire to nail Jell-O to the wall produces crackpot science, reinterpretations of language, meaning, reality and magic.

The typical Fundamentalist leader has the craft, cunning and power of a bird of prey and in his every widening quest for more power rises above the collected wisdom of man and woman and their centeredness in nature.

Destruction of knowledge and the collected wisdom of man/woman are the consequence of Fundamentalist thought. Their target is the youth of the world to perpetuate their own future. The leaders in Philosophy, Theology, Science, Humanities, Art, Politics and Law seem by and large uncommitted, hot heads are not helping.

The Fundamentalist knows he can promise heaven on earth or heaven in heaven if he is a Christian Reconstructionist or a radical Mullah. Didn’t JP II say that heaven and hell are states of mind here on earth? Certainly The Buddha and Christ said it.

So where is this going? Well the sharks, crooks, cooks and charlatans keep resurfacing year after year, eon after eon to repeat the cosmic dance of the dwarf with A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.

In 1919 Yeats mined the ancient texts which warn of Fundamentalism and produced “A vision”
(Joan Baez has a version -look it up.)

The Second Coming
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight; somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Comment #55380

Posted by Troll on November 5, 2005 7:32 PM (e)

A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into “fundamentalism” if it ignores scientific reason.

I can’t of better advice for an evo. :)

Comment #55384

Posted by CJ O'Brien on November 5, 2005 7:49 PM (e)

Garbled syntax: check.
Double post: check.
Incoherent point: check.
Stupid smiley: check.
This is a troll who knows his business.