Cardinal creates controversy
, I noticed this in
the NCSE feed for this forum.
[Christoph Schönborn, the Roman Catholic cardinal archbishop of Vienna] argued, in the Catholic view, "[e]volution 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." Deprecating Pope John Paul II's 1996 letter to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences as "rather vague and unimportant," Schönborn instead
cited statements from John Paul II and Benedict XVI that endorse divine providence as opposed to materialistic philosophy as evidence that the
Catholic Church opposes "neo-Darwinism."
This is interesting, considering that everyone knew at the time that JPII's statement was quite loaded and a huge nod to evolution. JPII was a man
very much intersted in science, he took an interest in what people like Stephen Hawkings were doing and had meetings with him (and others) and even
conveyned yearly meetings under the office of the papacy wherein scientists met and discussed, science. JPII also made frequent use, apparently, of
an astronomical observatory that had been built into his papal apartments. He is on record, i beleive, of having suggested to Hawkings that he not
investigate beyond the 'big bang', because science can't investigate beyond it and that's the realm in which god can be expected, by the faithful,
to operate. Some might see this as an interference, but I think its quite impressive that he even knew about inflationary theory and that it
indeed generally thought amoung scientists that science can't get at any evidence for whatever happened beyond it. Infact, I think its
great that the leader of a body of faith would actually spend time out of his day thinking about the big advances in science and what they mean for
science and theology and mankind. He certainly didn't just ad lib a statement like that when meeting with Hawkings, he obviously thought about these
kinds of things thoughout the day. Infact, I've read that many scientists who met JPII were actually rather suprrised at how literate he was in
science, and that he was quite comfortable and well versed enough to discuss a wide range of scientific topics with these scientists.
So the fact that a cardinal in the RCC is trying to underplay that, and underplay it in such a silly 'I am really saying nothing way', is bizzare.
I say silly because its pointless to say that 'darwinism' is flawed because it doesn't invoke supernatural forces and explanations, at least say
that issac newton was also wrong, and while you're at it, recant on the apology to galilleo for not having considered guided supernatural design in
And lo and behold, who's hand is in this?
According to the article, the Discovery Institute's Mark Ryland
took credit for urging Schönborn to write the op-ed, and it was submitted to the Times by the Discovery Institute's public relations
Not many scientists have PR firms. Not many research groups inside universities and the like have PR firms work with outside, supposedly independant
agencies in order to get opinions and editorals inserted into major, but still popular, news media. Llet alone don't
reveal that it was the PR
firms employers who 'suggested' that the article be written in the first place, that might even be considered a 'conflict of interest. In
sciencific papers (which of course, this is not, its just the opinion of a cardinal who is apparently now associated with the ID movement), scientists
are often outright required to reveal any conflicts of interest like that.
So can there be any doubt that the Discovery Institute and the Intelligent Design movement is just that, a movement, not a scientific programme of
research? Especially when taken into consideration along with the fact that the movement published a document that outlined a secret agenda to
overthrow science and replace it with faith-based 'natural' theology, or along with the fac that the biggest supporter and advocate within the
movement is not a scientist, but rather a lawyer, iow a rhetorician?
No, I do not beleive that it can be doubted. And I do no beleive that it can be doubted that these people are not exactly honest, when they try to
hide the fact that they are trying to use
the authority and respectability of the RCC and cardinals to give their poilitical agenda some of
that authority. Heck, before long, if JPII becomes the great and is beautified, they'll be working against the saints themselves!
[edit on 20-7-2005 by Nygdan]