Saturday, July 09, 2005

christoph cardinal schonborn clarifies rc teaching on evolution

EVER since 1996, when Pope John Paul II said that evolution (a term he did not define) was "more than just a hypothesis," 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.

But this is not true. The Catholic Church, while leaving to science many details about the history of life on earth, proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world, including the world of living things.

From the New York Times on Thursday. Read the whole thing here. Today there is an article about Cardinal Sconborn's essay.

What is WB's view of evloution? He isn't very interested. I'm happy to defer to the scientists -- so long as they aren't those vitriolic atheist scientists, who have those fish-with-legs that say "Darwin" on the backs of their cars. Those people need to calm down. But apart from that, it seems to me that some "Creationists" are out of control and, without meaning to, distort the message of Genesis. I seem to recall that C.S. Lewis had an enlightened and enlightening essay about how Christians need not get their knickers in a knot about evolution. I commend it to your attention, if you can find it.

But Cardinal Schonborn's point is well taken, in a sense. We must guard against those scientists who, upon the latest discovery of an eighty trillion year old Australoanthropomorphosaurus fossil, cry "There is no god!" If there are such scientists.


Lucas Grubbs said...

I'm highly supportive of the "those people need to calm down" statment. How true.

Philip said...

You are not interested in evolution? Do you mean that it is not important to you theologically? In my mind, Cardinal Schonborn finally had the strength to clarify an obvious overstatement of compatibility within Catholic theology (since Newman).

father wb said...

I mean that I'm open to the possibility that man evolved from seaweed. I agree with Schonborn that, if evolution is true, God obviously has to be behind it. In other words, if the assertion "God does not exist" or "God had nothing to do with the creation of man" is taken to be a part of the theory of evolution, I'm not on board. But if the theory of evolution is only taken to refer to the slow change of one species into another species (or whatever; I'm obviously not a biologist), then fine. I'm happy to believe that.

Richard said...

Which is exactly my viewpoint, wb. To put it briefly, "God made man. How, I don't care!"

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