DI and Theological Deviations

| 19 Comments

Over at Red State Rabble, Pat Hayes, has an interesting commentary on the Discovery Institute’s reaction to the apparent retirement of “intelligent design” creationism critic, Jesuit Father George V. Coyne, from the directorship of the Vatican Observatory.

If Discovery, as the main think tank championing intelligent design, doesn’t address metaphysical and religious questions then we have to ask: On what basis are they weighing in on theological questions such as Rev. Coyne’s alleged support for “Process Theology?”

If intelligent design, as its proponents claim, can tell us nothing about the nature of God, then why is Bruce Chapman – in his official capacity as Director and using Discovery’s Evolution News and Views blog to deliver the message – even addressing the question of whether or not “God is still learning and could not have known what his world was becoming.”

And finally, if intelligent design is truly a scientific theory as claimed, what is the scientific proof that provides the evidentiary basis for making a determination about the truth or falsity of what God knows and what he doesn’t.

Go read Pat Hayes’s Theological Deviations.

19 Comments

Father Coyne is 73. He retired after 25 years as director. On what grounds does anyone think this was anything other than an ordinary retirement?

It seems the new head of the Vatican Observatory may not be as ID-friendly as some fear:

Funes, an astronomer and a Jesuit priest, is one of a dozen scientists, most of them Jesuits, associated with the Vatican Observatory Research Group that operate the Arizona telescope and engages in advanced astrophysics, cosmology and galactic and extragalactic research.

Few Catholics and even fewer Americans are aware that the Vatican has a telescope in Arizona or even that the Catholic Church engages in scientific research. But the priests see themselves bridging the gap between science and religion.

In the process, they have emerged as a powerful voice against “creationism” and the theory of “intelligent design,” which holds that certain forms in nature are too complex to have evolved through natural selection and must have been created by a “designer” who might be called God.

Like all the priest-scientists, Funes said he kept his astronomy and religion separate.

“When I teach at the University of Arizona, I tell students, ‘I am a priest, a Jesuit, but my class is a science class … and Science is about natural, not supernatural causes,”’ he said.

From http://liberalchristians.blogspot.c[…]archive.html

The “Zachman Framework” is used to categorize information in terms of:

Who, What, Where, When, How and Why.

If we look at the various narratives (apologete information) for bio-genesis we find that only the Personal Cause narrative (creationism) actually contains the “Who” attribute. All others deliberately mask (delete or mutate) this vital consideration.

The reason is simple: include a personal cause in a bio-genesis and you must acknowledge a creator.

This is basic Information Science 101.

RSR Wrote:

The ouster of Rev. Coyne comes in the context of an announcement published in the Dallas Morning News that Pope Benedict XVI plans to lead a seminar next month, “Creation and Evolution,” that will reportedly examine Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and its impact on Catholic teaching.

Is the content and angle of this seminar yet known?

There have been several implied indications so far that Benedict’s stand toward evolution is noticeably different than JPII’s, but so far we have yet to either get hard confirmation of this or find out how far the difference goes. I guess this will be our first chance.

The “Zachman Framework” is used to categorize information in terms of:

Who, What, Where, When, How and Why.

If we look at the various narratives (apologete information) for meteorology we find that only the Personal Cause narrative (storehouses for the rain) actually contains the “Who” attribute. All others deliberately mask (delete or mutate) this vital consideration.

The reason is simple: include a personal cause in meteorology and you must acknowledge a creator.

This is basic Information Science 101.

This quote seemed to me full of hubris:

“And finally, if intelligent design is truly a scientific theory as claimed, what is the scientific proof that provides the evidentiary basis for making a determination about the truth or falsity of what God knows and what he doesn’t.”

It may be an effective criticism of ID discourse - but what about orthodox science? What about the mote in the eye of science.

Science can tell us nothing about how the most fundamental physical laws have emerged or why they are framed in that particular way and not another. Science asks us simply to take on trust that there are these mysterious “laws of the universe”. But of course it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask WHY are these particular laws in operation.

Meanwhile cosmologists trade insults over their bizarre competing models - models so diverse that it seems almost impossible to accept that they have emerged from the one discipline! What if evolutionists peddled a hundred competing theories of evolution - would we give them much credence? At least orthodox neo-Darwinism is broadly consistent (even if wrong).

Funes does not seem to be a friend of Intelligent Design either

M,Y STORY ABOUT THE VATI8CAN OBSERVATORY IN ARIZONA

By Alan Elsner MT. GRAHAM, Ariz, June 1 (Reuters) - From his vantage point atop the highest peak in southern Arizona, Father Jose Funes is lining up the Vatican telescope for a night of observation, probing the processes that lead galaxies to form and stars to be born. Funes, an astronomer and a Jesuit priest, is one of a dozen scientists, most of them Jesuits, associated with the Vatican Observatory Research Group that operate the Arizona telescope and engages in advanced astrophysics, cosmology and galactic and extragalactic research. Few Catholics and even fewer Americans are aware that the Vatican has a telescope in Arizona or even that the Catholic Church engages in scientific research. But the priests see themselves bridging the gap between science and religion. In the process, they have emerged as a powerful voice against “creationism” and the theory of “intelligent design,” which holds that certain forms in nature are too complex to have evolved through natural selection and must have been created by a “designer” who might be called God. Like all the priest-scientists, Funes said he kept his astronomy and religion separate. “When I teach at the University of Arizona, I tell students, ‘I am a priest, a Jesuit, but my class is a science class … and Science is about natural, not supernatural causes,’” he said.

Alan Elsner

field: a flat expanse, superficial, lacking in depth; overall, a boring vista.

Maybe you should try taking out an ad in the Personals, dude: fallow field, aching to be plowed, but needs fertilizer (manure acceptable, though prefer sterilized); likewise in desperate need of seeds from which novel thought might someday spring.

field Wrote:

”…what is the scientific proof that provides the evidentiary basis for making a determination about the truth or falsity of what God knows and what he doesn’t.”… may be an effective criticism of ID discourse - but what about orthodox science?

Orthodox science doesn’t really care one way or the other what God knows or what he doesn’t.

The Discovery Institute apparently does care a great deal.

The Discovery Institute is the only one taking a position on the subject, therefore they’re the only ones being asked to justify their position on the subject.

What about the mote in the eye of science.

It’s got error bars

Science asks us simply to take on trust that there are these mysterious “laws of the universe”. But of course it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask WHY are these particular laws in operation.

It’s a reasonable question to ask, but… I don’t think it’s entirely reasonable to expect an answer.

Meanwhile cosmologists trade insults over their bizarre competing models - models so diverse that it seems almost impossible to accept that they have emerged from the one discipline! What if evolutionists peddled a hundred competing theories of evolution - would we give them much credence? At least orthodox neo-Darwinism is broadly consistent (even if wrong).

“Neo-Darwinism” is a relatively old and stable science. Big bang cosmology is relatively young and unstable. We shouldn’t expect the two disciplines to look all that alike.

The reason is simple: include a personal cause in a bio-genesis and you must acknowledge a creator.

But ID isn’t about religion. No siree Bob. It’s just them lying atheist darwinists who say it is.

(snicker) (giggle)

Science can tell us nothing about how the most fundamental physical laws have emerged or why they are framed in that particular way and not another. Science asks us simply to take on trust that there are these mysterious “laws of the universe”.

The fundamental physical laws are general rules of physical behavior inferred from large amounts of evidence – there’s no taking on trust involved; these laws were not handed to us on tablets from on high. As for why the world is as it is, science doesn’t provide an answer, but it doesn’t pretend to … unlike the hubristic folks at DI.

But of course it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask WHY are these particular laws in operation.

I have a possible answer that’s hard to beat, because it seems to explain every detail in a straightforward way: David Lewis’s theory of modal realism, which holds that all possible worlds exist. Of course, this is just one of those infinitely many worlds. It’s as absurd to ask why we are in this world rather than some other world or why this world has the rules of operation it has rather than some other rules of operation as it would be to ask why I’m me and not you or why chess isn’t played according to the rules of checkers or vice versa.

Meanwhile cosmologists trade insults over their bizarre competing models - models so diverse that it seems almost impossible to accept that they have emerged from the one discipline!

Not if you actually understand the models, the evidence, the math, and so on – or the social fabric of the community of cosmologists, for that matter.

In response to Gerald Harbison’s comment about whether Coyne jumped or was pushed:

As the author of the post that Reed Cartwright kindly linked to on Red State Rabble, I don’t personally know if Coyne was “ousted” or simply retired.

Early reports – including in the Chronicle of Higher Education and from the Religion News Service – which I relied on when writing this post used the words “oust” and “replace.” Here are the links:

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/ 1…ry_19838_1.html

http://chronicle.com/news/articl…er-of- evolution

Notice too, that Chapman – who would seem to have sources of information from inside the Catholic Church – frames it as the Pope ousting Coyne.

If anyone has any information about the exact nature of Coyne’s departure from the Vatican Observatory we would be interested to hear it.

Though a long-lapsed Catholic, I can’t help but feel a bit smug comparing the sophistication of the Catholic theological enterprise to the arid silliness of its noisier fundamentalist competititors. But maybe I should wait and see what Mr. Ratzinger is up to first.

Though a long-lapsed Catholic, I can’t help but feel a bit smug comparing the sophistication of the Catholic theological enterprise to the arid silliness of its noisier fundamentalist competititors.

While that is a justified view, it is obviously still not good for the development of the human race if people still relied on a guy up top to tell them what they have to think. Maybe that’s why you describe yourself as “long-lapsed”, maybe not. One change from the Pope level and you suddenly have a third of the world against the pursuit of knowledge.

From another group I participate in, it seems Coyne has cancer and is in his seventies, so felt it was time to retire:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Debun[…]essage/96471

Ondoher,

Firstly, Meteorology aint Theology. Your parallels are bent and twisted.

Secondly, you might try quoting someone when you lift their lines.

Meteorology aint Theology

Right. It’s *ID* that is theology.

Right. It’s *ID* that is theology.

To be more exact, it’s really awful theology, as has been noted by many influential theological organisations.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Reed A. Cartwright published on August 22, 2006 5:49 PM.

Dept. of Education SMART grants: Evolutionary biologists need not apply was the previous entry in this blog.

D. James Kennedy: BUSTED! is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Categories

Archives

Author Archives

Powered by Movable Type 4.381

Site Meter