Anglicans & Catholics singing the same tune…

| 78 Comments

…and the tune is evolution. A few things that I happened on today that give some updates on what these groups think about Darwin and evolution, now and in the past. Even if you’re one of those people who think religion is evil and moderate religion is the worst of all, it’s worth being aware of what the dominant opinions are and how they are changing in various groups.

First up is geologist/historian/Vicar Michael Roberts giving his (very informed) opinion on creationism and evolution in the Church of England, then and now. He sees very little evidence of antievolutionism among English Anglicans for most of the last 150 years, but suggests that in the last 20 years, perhaps 5% of clergy have become YECs.

Next, we have “Vatican buries the hatchet with Charles Darwin” from the U.K. Times. Apparently the Vatican is making a substantial effort to stamp out the Discovery-Institute-originated pro-ID spin that has been promoted on various statements from the Pope:

A leading official declared yesterday that Darwin’s theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. “In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a “higher power” for the complexities of life.

Lastly, Larry Moran is doing a series of posts on Darwin, and posts a section of Westminster Abbey’s webpage on Darwin’s burial:

The Dean of Westminster, George Granville Bradley, was away in France when he received a telegram forwarded from the President of the Royal Society in London saying “…it would be acceptable to a very large number of our fellow-countrymen of all classes and opinions that our illustrious countryman, Mr Darwin, should be buried in Westminster Abbey”. The Dean recalled “ I did not hesitate as to my answer and telegraphed direct…that my assent would be cheerfully given”. The body lay overnight in the Abbey, in the small chapel of St Faith, and on the morning of 26 April the coffin was escorted by the family and eminent mourners into the Abbey. The pall-bearers included Sir Joseph Hooker, Alfred Russel Wallace, James Russell Lowell (U.S. Ambassador), and William Spottiswoode (President of the Royal Society).

The burial service was held in the Lantern, conducted by Canon Prothero, with anthems sung by the choir. The chief mourners then followed the coffin into the north aisle of the Nave where Darwin was buried next to the eminent scientist Sir John Herschel, and a few feet away from Sir Isaac Newton. The simple inscription on his grave reads “CHARLES ROBERT DARWIN BORN 12 FEBRUARY 1809. DIED 19 APRIL 1882”. Although an agnostic, Darwin was greatly respected by his contemporaries and the Bishop of Carlisle, Harvey Goodwin, in a memorial sermon preached in the Abbey on the Sunday following the funeral, said “I think that the interment of the remains of Mr Darwin in Westminster Abbey is in accordance with the judgment of the wisest of his countrymen…It would have been unfortunate if anything had occurred to give weight and currency to the foolish notion which some have diligently propagated, but for which Mr Darwin was not responsible, that there is a necessary conflict between a knowledge of Nature and a belief in God…”.

Hey, if Larry posted this, he must agree with it! (Just kidding Larry) [ducks for cover]

78 Comments

Nick Matzke said: …it’s worth being aware of what the dominant (religious) opinions are (about Darwin and evolution)…

This is an important truth to keep in mind: The cdesign proponentsists in the Dishonesty Institute and its fundagelical supporters in the Christian Reconstructionist / Theocratic Dominionist movements make up a distinct minority of Christianity, just as the Taliban and al-Qaeda are a distinct minority in the world of Islam. The trouble these anti-establishmentarians brew is carefully orchestrated to make them appear more numerous / powerful than they truly are. They represent a distinctly dangerous minority - but they are a minority.

This is an important truth to keep in mind: The cdesign proponentsists in the Dishonesty Institute and its fundagelical supporters in the Christian Reconstructionist / Theocratic Dominionist movements make up a distinct minority of Christianity

That might well be true but they are using common delusion amongst their moderate religious peers to force the point…

You are with us or against us…your culture…family .…country…etc.

More often the clarion call of patriotism ring out in the media and political arena…thus neatly masking the premise and the source.

ID is an attempt to put a respectable disguise on Creationism…But as Obama would say…”You can put lipstick on a pig…It’s still a pig.”

The avowed intent of Creationism is to simply denigrate evolutionary theory to an also ran and promote the ‘godwotwentandgoneanddidit’ mantra to primacy in science…that is it…no alternative scientifically justified theory just jeebus and the crew.

To that end they are pushing the ID ‘teach the controversy’ chant at every school board in the States foolish and amateur enough to listen…in the spirit of fairness to the community.

These bunnies are lying blatantly to insure the outcome…they are good at publicity and playing the intolerance card and they are infiltrating school boards to allow the transition. After conning local communities and pretending they promote science!

The trouble these anti-establishmentarians brew is carefully orchestrated to make them appear more numerous / powerful than they truly are. They represent a distinctly dangerous minority - but they are a minority.

That minority is increasing in potency and numbers.

Moderate churches are haemorrhaging congregation at an alarming rate and the ensuing stream is heading straight into the cults…mainly creationism…some folks like their coffee black…other folks like their religion fundamental…and although most major Christian denominations grudgingly accept Evolutionary theory even the moderate C of E are starting to panic on a basic level.

They are slowly drifting into active evangelism…a short hop skip and rapture from Creationist thinking.

When these organizations adopt the cornered shithouse rat attitude there is nothing off limits.

The Vatican is a case in point…They profess no interest in ID…labelling it ‘Bad theology…Bad Science’…all very well but that has never stopped them before and Benny baby has a hankering for a new Ark to float the RC delusions…the old ark being holed below the water line and leaking like a proverbial sieve. He also wants a return to traditional RC values…read circa 1600ad…what better then ID/Creationism?

You get traditional delusion with Genesis and a very thin layer science to disguise and appeal to the ipod generation and no baggage from liberal movement for an inclusive religion…no gays…no women…no questions…a match made in heaven surely?…Methinks Benny thinks so!

ID and the Vatican and despite their protestations… we have not heard the end of this saga just yet!

This is an important truth to keep in mind: The cdesign proponentsists in the Dishonesty Institute and its fundagelical supporters in the Christian Reconstructionist / Theocratic Dominionist movements make up a distinct minority of Christianity …

But is it true? The fact that a Vatican spokesman has stated something doesn’t mean that every Catholic agrees with it (to put it mildly). You are probably right, if you are just referring to North America and Western Europe. But what is the situation in Africa for example? The little information that I have encountered suggests that YECs are extremely numerous there. How about South America? Or the Philippines?

It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if a substantial majority of the Christians in the world were creationists of one flavour or another. (Even if the majority of them belong to denominations whose leaders are not.) But if you have evidence to the contrary, let’s hear it.

Richard Owen Wrote:

“In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a “higher power” for the complexities of life.

Huh? Evolution says the world is created by a “higher power” and ID says that “complexities of life” are?

Oh well, it’s a nice article despite the poor choice of words. The point ought to be that the Vatican agrees that evolution answers questions regarding what God did, when and how in creating and modifying life. And it agrees that YEC and OEC give the wrong answers, and ID gives no answer.

In addition to the oft-cited “more than a hypothesis” quote of John Paul II, I would have added the rarely-cited “convergence, neither sought nor fabricated” quote. That should speak volumes, especially to those who know that anti-evolution arguments are always sought and fabricated, and yet keep diverging into “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

The announcement reverses a decision to exclude such discussion but officials said intelligent design would be treated only as a cultural phenomenon — not as science or theology.

What or who can change the minds of a RC ecumenical council in the heart of Vatican city charged with organizing a conference on evolution to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species. When originally no such accommodation was contemplated…apparently.

Benny was sold on the premise as far back as 2005…He has not made a statement either contrary or supportive of the nonsense since he fired Coyne…as a total guess..I admit…methinks the fall out was toxic to the action and Benny got curtailed by persuasion… There appears a schism a brewing…between opus dei…of which the present pope graces with his support… and the rest of RC hierarchy that tend to the pragmatic view…and evolution.

So we have a radically retro-pope along with a radically fundamental Opus Dei on one side…and a church hierarchy comprising probably a majority in fundamental disagreement on the potency of an argument…

The pope has obviously been restrained from earlier protestations of interest in ID…in the wake of the ‘Dover’ fiasco wiser heads seemed to have intervened cooling Bennies ardor…for the moment!

A couple of years later a Vatican conference is convened on Evolution…let us not kid ourselves this is not about Darwin… A discredited …according to the press releases from 2005…ID idea is not on the agenda…suddenly…it is to be discussed in ‘Cultural’ terms…This smacks of a compromise high up.…

And who in the RC Church is the boss?

Paul Burnett said:

This is an important truth to keep in mind: The cdesign proponentsists in the Dishonesty Institute and its fundagelical supporters in the Christian Reconstructionist / Theocratic Dominionist movements make up a distinct minority of Christianity …

Well, technically, yes, if you mean the number of people who are actively engaged in, for instance, trying to pass laws to bring ID into schools, or get stickers on textbooks, or whatever the latest ploy is, then that is surely a minority. But if you consider the number of people, in America anyway, who approve of these goals, then there is little doubt that it’s a sizeable majority. Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans, (who are overwhelmingly Christian), want creationism, (whether called ID or not), taught in public schools as an alternative to evolution.

Paul Burnett Wrote:

Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans, (who are overwhelmingly Christian), want creationism, (whether called ID or not), taught in public schools as an alternative to evolution.

And that includes millions (about 1/3 of that majority, from various polls) who accept evolution. I was in that group back in the 1990s, when I naively thought that a side-by-side comparison of evolution and YEC would show clearly how the latter thoroughly fails all the tests. But anti-evolution activists, especially of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” ID variety, want nothing of the sort.

That majority that thinks it’s fair to teach “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution (which shrewdly omits the nothing-but-weaknesses YEC, OEC and ID) is surely even greater than the one that endorses the “evolution and creationism” approach. They just don’t realize what a scam it is, and neither did I back then.

Oops, the quote should be attributed to “tomh” not “Paul Burnett”

Frank J said:

Oh well, it’s a nice article despite the poor choice of words. The point ought to be that the Vatican agrees that evolution answers questions regarding what God did, when and how in creating and modifying life. And it agrees that YEC and OEC give the wrong answers, and ID gives no answer.

I find it easy to ignore considerations of religious doctrine as long as they’re White Hats in the Darwin Wars: “Black cat, white cat – if it catches mice it’s a good cat.”

Cheers – MrG / http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

Frank J said:

That majority that thinks it’s fair to teach “strengths and weaknesses” of evolution (which shrewdly omits the nothing-but-weaknesses YEC, OEC and ID) is surely even greater than the one that endorses the “evolution and creationism” approach. They just don’t realize what a scam it is, and neither did I back then.

They may not realize what a scam it is, but I think that kind of sidesteps the issue. If you believe, as 2 out of 3 Americans do, that human beings were created in their present form in the last 10,000 years, why wouldn’t you want that taught in school? It’s what people are teaching their kids at home and in churches, certainly they think it should be taught in school.

Generally speaking, only fringe elements in the Catholic Church hold YEC or OEC positions. Evolution is taught at Catholic high schools and colleges. Even among the leaders of the ID movement Catholics are rare: I believe Bruce Chapman and Michael Behe are the only ones (correct me if I’m wrong). I think that any ID sympathy in the Church stems from the knee-jerk evolution=atheism misconception and ignorance of what ID really means, especially that it is not the same as theistic evolution and is not science.

tomh -

But if you consider the number of people, in America anyway, who approve of these goals, then there is little doubt that it’s a sizeable majority. Polls consistently show that a majority of Americans, (who are overwhelmingly Christian), want creationism, (whether called ID or not), taught in public schools as an alternative to evolution.

This is not really true.

1) Polls actually show that the majority of Americans accept evolution, except if the question is about human origins and is framed in some way that presents human evolution as being at odds with Christianity.

2) Of course relatively uninformed lay people, being told there is a “scientific debate”, and then asked whether they “want both sides taught”, will opt for that choice, and I’m sure you’d get the same results in almost any country. That’s an exceptionally biasing way to ask the question. Asking whether “mainstream scientific experts should determine the content of the public school science curriculum” would probably produce the opposite results.

3) Now let’s really talk about reality. There have been very few attempts to put ID into school curricula or to eliminate the teaching of evolution, they have all occurred in isolated rural areas, they have all been stopped by legal challenges so far, and in every subsequent school board election that has occurred, board members who supported the initiative have been voted out, either in a primary or a general election.

Got a cite for #1 Harold? That would be quite a strong piece of evidence that the objections to evolution are religious rather than scientific.

strangebrew:

I don’t wish to make a wild accusation, but you write very much like FL, or “mellotron,” as he posts over on CARM.

In particular, the use of “Bennie” and “fired Coyne,” is indicative, when the facts are that Fr. Coyne stepped down after 23 years as Vatican astronomer, while being treated for colon cancer.

My apologies in advance if I am in error, since I would never wish to falsely accuse someone of being FL.

fusilier James 2:24

In Britain YEC groups like Truthinscience (an Orwellian title) peddle design to get YEC inot schools through the back door. As many do not like Darkins’ approach , ID seems preferabel and apparaently more Christian than eith Dawkins and not as far fetched as YEC.

Several of my colleagues in the Anglican ministry are of this ilk and simply cant/wont understand the issues.

So far I have been unable to persuade my diocese to let me lead a day course following the lines of my article Nick referred to.

To illistrate this I am so far booked 6 times to “deal with Darwin” all in secular situations. and possibly another 3. (one a Chrsitian context)

My view is that leaders in the Church of Engalnd are concerned but are afraid of offending fundamentalist Anglicans (who are growing in number) and are greater contributors of cash

tomh Wrote:

They may not realize what a scam it is, but I think that kind of sidesteps the issue. If you believe, as 2 out of 3 Americans do, that human beings were created in their present form in the last 10,000 years, why wouldn’t you want that taught in school?

When given the choice of “God-guided-evolution” that 66% reduces to ~45%, a number that has remained almost unchanged over 25+ years. Another question I saw recently made it specific about a young earth. In that case the response was only ~33%. Which makes sense since “humans in their present form” includes OECs, and probably many theistic evolutionists who are thinking more in terms of souls than cells.

However one categorizes those who doubt evolution, note that my previous comment was about those who do accept evolution demanding what they think is “fairness.” But you raise another interesting point. Why on earth would those who honestly believe that the evidence supports YEC (or OEC) settle for only “weaknesses” of evolution, and only “don’t ask, don’t tell” about what they they think the evidence does support? If I honestly thought that the evidence supported YEC or OEC I’d want only that taught, not evolution or any other brand of creationism. There would be no need to mention God/creator/designer (IOW the legally risky stuff) just the evidence of “what happened when”. But the scam artists know that they have none, so they increasingly rely on “weaknesses” of “Darwinism.” And they have managed to fool a lot of people, including many who accept evolution.

fusilier said:

strangebrew:

I don’t wish to make a wild accusation, but you write very much like FL, or “mellotron,” as he posts over on CARM.

No I am not he/her..but tis alarming to be informed that there seems to be a literary doppleganger lurking on the net ;-)

…when the facts are that Fr. Coyne stepped down after 23 years as Vatican astronomer, while being treated for colon cancer.…

Yes that is unfortunately correct…he is suffering that disease.… at the time of his…’departure’…there was a little confusion during the first few days…it happened quite fast…make of that as you will. At first Vatican sources suggested Family commitments and resumption of pastoral work was cited then it was a mutual parting…Coyne said not a word of his condition at that time…and he was asked about his leaving…he mentioned an extended holiday after 23 years (Vatican Website methinks) and about a week later the disagreement on ID became public…and just a little later the news of his Cancer was released! Sad news and I do wish him all the best!

My apologies in advance if I am in error, since I would never wish to falsely accuse someone of being FL.

No need..it can be tricky on an internet forum to be really sure of a possible identity from a post from another forum…but I am not He/She!

I don’t wish to make a wild accusation, but you write very much like FL

Strangebrew can answer for him/her serf, but in the PT forum, FL always posts as FL without exception. (Presumably fusilier always posts as fusilier, likewise.)

Side note: I never refer to Pope Benedict as “Bennie”. Not even once. I could never diss that guy, he is solidly kewl all the way.

However, as we have previously discussed elsewhere, that rot-gut pole-cat var-mint goober-woober Coyne DID get his no-count evolutionist fanny fired, for publicly “actin’ a foo” and disrespecting his own Pope.

FL :)

James F wrote

“Even among the leaders of the ID movement Catholics are rare: I believe Bruce Chapman and Michael Behe are the only ones (correct me if I’m wrong)”

Chapman is an Anglican/Episcopalian though connected with the conservative splinter groups of the TEC which tend to be ID. I consider it highly significant that the Anglican groups threatening to break away or have broken away all lean to ID, as do Anglican Mainstream in Britain. .

And nope, no aspersions are being cast on Coyne’s illness of colon cancer. That is a heavy disease for anyone to have.

But Coyne’s mouth, not Coyne’s colon, was honestly what got him fired and replaced by a far more sensible chief astronomer.

FL

harold said:

1) Polls actually show that the majority of Americans accept evolution, except if the question is about human origins and is framed in some way that presents human evolution as being at odds with Christianity.

So what if people accept evolution as long as it doesn’t include humans. I doubt that many here would be happy if evolution were taught up to but not including humans. The poll linked above asked if people agreed with, “ Creationism, that is, the idea that God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.”

That seems pretty straightforward. 66% said definitely or probably true. And, of course people look at evolution differently if human beings are excepted. This has been true from the beginning. Most people, and churches for that matter, don’t care much about the “lower” animals, it’s all about humans being special. That’s what created in God’s image is all about.

Now let’s really talk about reality.

The reality is that public schools in America are always one court decision away from having creationism taught legally in science class. If you think that’s farfetched, look at the dissent in Edwards v. Aguillard written by none other than our current Justice Scalia. Scalia has much more influence on a much more conservative court than there was in 1987 and this dissent could easily become the basis for a majority opinion in the next creationism case to reach the Court. One comes up every 25-30 years, so we’re about due.

Michael Roberts said:

James F wrote

“Even among the leaders of the ID movement Catholics are rare: I believe Bruce Chapman and Michael Behe are the only ones (correct me if I’m wrong)”

Chapman is an Anglican/Episcopalian though connected with the conservative splinter groups of the TEC which tend to be ID. I consider it highly significant that the Anglican groups threatening to break away or have broken away all lean to ID, as do Anglican Mainstream in Britain. .

Rev. Roberts,

Thank you for the article - there is much ID influence to counteract.

Perhaps Bruce Chapman converted? He is listed as Roman Catholic on Wikipedia and elsewhere. Really a sad case: from railing against anti-intellectualism to promoting it.

FL said:

However, as we have previously discussed elsewhere, that rot-gut pole-cat var-mint goober-woober Coyne DID get his no-count evolutionist fanny fired, for publicly “actin’ a foo” and disrespecting his own Pope.

FL :)

Quick! Call Ben Stein! Another one “Expelled!”.

Oh. I guess being fired for being anti-ID doesn’t matter to that crew. Never mind.

P.S., FL, got a link to substantiate that Coyne was fired? Thanks in advance …

Most people, and churches for that matter, don’t care much about the “lower” animals, it’s all about humans being special.

It doesn’t take evolution to realize that any specialness we have isn’t due to our biology - all that requires is to notice that our species fits into the same nested hierarchy as all the others; we don’t even have a family to ourselves, let along a phylum or kingdom. (And as I understand it, we wouldn’t have had a genus to ourselves if the originators of the classification system had been objective about it.)

Henry

FL said:

Side note: I never refer to Pope Benedict as “Bennie”. Not even once. I could never diss that guy, he is solidly kewl all the way.

However, as we have previously discussed elsewhere, that rot-gut pole-cat var-mint goober-woober Coyne DID get his no-count evolutionist fanny fired, for publicly “actin’ a foo” and disrespecting his own Pope.

FL :)

You do realize that Pope Benedict has issued several statements about how evolution and Christianity are perfectly compatible and acceptable, while Intelligent Design is not, right?

Cheryl Shepherd-Adams said: got a link to substantiate that Coyne was fired? Thanks in advance …

Hope you forgive my intrusion on this one…

It is worth mentioning that the ‘Magisterium’ do not wash cassocks in public if that can be avoided..as amply confirmed by the pedophilia scandals in the States for the last 20 odd years…and going back further…

The Coyne debacle seems to center…and in some ways was triggered by Cardinal Schönborn, a friend of Pope Benedict XVI.…known colloquially as Benny or Benny baby…cos he such a cuddly hunk of German DNA.

I think this is what occurred…but in no way is it gospel just an opinion…the devil is in the confirmation…and by default getting the goods on the the RC church is not for the faint hearted.

Schönborn had made a speech at some conference just after JP2 had done the resurrection shuffle…whilst pimping for the Discovery institute… in which he waxed lyrical about ID primarily and kicked JP2 in his infallibility status secondary.

Schönborn argued that JP2 had overstepped the mark by endorsing Evolutionary theory to the extent that it was more then a hypothesis… Thus back pedaling like a good little theologian… The speech was …apparently authorized by Benny…well they were in close contact because Benny was sorting his possé out at the Vatican having been recently deified…and Schönborn was a trusted Oberleutenant…

It is debatable if the content of the speech was discussed… I think it likely…Schönborn was about to kick Benny’s predecessor in the infallible ecclesiastical version of the ghostly papal nuts…calling into question JP2’s grip on reality when he endorsed evolution… Remember at the time…just after he ascended JP2 was being hailed loudly and hysterically by damn near every Jesuit that drew breath as a saint and in the process was accorded sainthood before due process was enacted to do it proper like.…except a notable few…Benny among them…

Benny started to make sympathetic sounds about ID…plenty of evidence for that on the net…circa 2005… Schönborn had kicked it off…Benny picked up the ball midfield…

Coyne… as chief scientist in the Observatory and probably the most rational human in the Vatican got irritated by the nonsense and said so…Coyne left his job next day…Big kafuffle…Benny suddenly cools his previous ardor for ID…

Then we get a meeting at the Vatican supposedly to commemorate Darwin…which it is not by the way if you read the press release you see the mechanization at work…and suddenly out of the cold…ID sneaks in the back door…

Coincidence…I think not…but then again I am biased.…and completely suspicious of anything the RC church does or says.…and have been since the first ecumenical council in Nicaea !

That is my take on the shenanigans… I am sure other folks have a different one.…..so it goes!

FL, got a link to substantiate that Coyne was fired?

Not a link, just Coyne’s own royally screwed-up statements and a TIMING situation that totally tells the tale. I invite you to consider the indirect–but indisputable–evidence.

Recall that Pope Benedict had previously said:

(Benedict) quoted St. Basil the Great, a fourth century saint, as saying some people, “fooled by the atheism that they carry inside of them, imagine a universe free of direction and order, as if at the mercy of chance.”

“How many of these people are there today? These people, fooled by atheism, believe and try to demonstrate that it’s scientific to think that everything is free of direction and order,” he said.

“With the sacred Scripture, the Lord awakens the reason that sleeps and tells us: In the beginning, there was the creative word. In the beginning, the creative word – this word that created everything and created this intelligent project that is the cosmos – is also love.”

(Btw, Pope Benedict has never recanted nor retracted these statements.)

Anyway, Coyne was unhappy about what Pope Benedict said, and ultimately Coyne directly opposed the Pope, not privately, but PUBLICLY, in front of the world’s media.

***

(Question: How many of you readers can publicly oppose YOUR employer in front of the national and world media, and not lose your job? Hmmm?)

***

There are three outstanding examples of Coyne bucking the Pope, the last being the worst.

Look again at what Benedict said. See how he openly linked God’s love with God’s “intelligent project”? Now watch out, here comes Coyne openly and publicly spitting on that particular papal statement:

“The intelligent design movement belittles God,” he told reporters before the event. “It makes God a designer, an engineer.”

“The God of religious faith is a god of love. He did not design me.” — Coyne, AAAS 2006 Evolution Event, “Evolution on the Front Line.”

Notice carefully what just happened there. The Pope has already said in front of the world’s media that God IS a designer. Judas Coyne has just called the Pope’s statement a falsehood, directly denying that God is a designer. (Check it again—see where Coyne says that it “belittles” God to claim God’s a designer? No escaping his words.)

But it’s actually worse than that. Benedict LINKED God’s love and God’s role as Designer of the cosmos. Unbelievably, Coyne now not only DENIES that same linkage, but takes the incendiary next step of DENYING that God is a God of love IF God is a Designer.

At this point Coyne has not merely crossed a Catholic line but the Protestant, Orthodox, and all other Christian lines. Most of all, he’s spitting on the Bible — both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, both the Catholic Bible and all the Protestant Bibles too.

At this point, it’s no longer clear which supernatural entity is supposedly being represented by Coyne. Coyne had just spitted (or an appropriate synonym thereof), on his own clerical collar. .

***

There was more, of course. Coyne also said that John Paul II’s declaration that “evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis” is “a fundamental church teaching.” Again, this was not an accidental remark on Coyne’s part. Pope Benedict had previously said “My predecessor (John Paul II) had his reasons for saying this (that evolution was more than a hypothesis).…“But it is also true that the theory of evolution is not a complete, scientifically proven theory.”

More public disagreement. Again, Coyne publicly arguing against, publicly denying, the Pope’s position.

***

But that wasn’t nearly the end of it.

The next step after the AAAS and other statements–the final straw honestly–was for Coyne to make things personal instead of positional, going after the Pope directly in front of all the world’s media.

Then in a November interview, the 73-year-old priest said the Pope should withhold judgment on the issue, saying he “doesn’t have the slightest idea of what intelligent design means in the U.S.”.

—-“Pope sacks astronomer over evolution debate” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art[…]-debate.html

Pope Benedict, the elected spiritual leader of all the world’s Catholics, is a respected theologian in his own right. And yet you have Coyne talkin’ smack on him in front of the entire planet. Git the picture?

And btw, the Daily Mail wasn’t the ONLY commentator who said that Coyne was “fired.” The list includes the AAAS journal Science.

George Coyne, the Vatican astronomer who has been a vocal critic of intelligent design, has been fired.

ScienceScope, 25 August 2006 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/conte[…]3/5790/1031d

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Do YOU, the reader, get to keep YOUR job if you tell the world’s media that YOUR boss doesn’t have the slightest idea of the topic he’s already given a very-high-visibility media speech about? No? You say yore butt will be fired on the grill pronto? Well, NOW you know what happened to that snake oil varmint Coyne, CsAdams.

***

And who replaced Coyne, pray tell? The astronomer Fr. Jose Funes. Instant, Immediate, Vast difference of several parsecs between the two astronomeers. Listen to this:

As for his own views on evolution, Father Funes emphasized that he was an astronomer specializing in galaxies, not a biologist, and so did not plan to make statements about Darwinism and intelligent design.

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/st[…]/0604813.htm

Well, imagine that. Coyne attacked intelligent design for breakfast lunch and dinner, and now Coyne’s gone, replaced by a guy who’s not even going to “comment on Darwinism” let alone offer any attacks on intelligent design. (Plus Benedict did NOT fire Cardinal Schoenborn, Coyne’s design-sympathetic nemesis.)

Pope Benedict does NOT endorse the ID hypothesis as given by Dembski and Behe, btw. Benedict is a theistic evolutionist. But Benedict had had enough of Coyne’s crapola.

***

Now, everybody’s on the same public page. Coyne “retired.” Coyne got colon cancer. Coyne is past 70 years old. Coyne requested it all anyway, (as if there were no problemos boiling in the headlines.)

That’s the official Vatican line, and nobody—least of all Coyne or Funes—will be the first to buck that line and create ANOTHER public clash with Pope Benedict.

But NOW, you have what Paul Harvey would have called “The Rest Of The Story”. Got 4 words for you: CHECK THE TIMING BABY!!

***

Okay, there you go CsAdams. I really, really didn’t mean to get into all this, but you did ask and there’s your answer. Indirect, yet indisputable evidence. The Benedict-Coyne affair offers interesting insights into the TENSION that exists in the Catholic Church on these issues.

But I have faith in Pope Benedict on these issues. Benedict is out to change this world, he’s out to made a HUGE mark against secularism and materialism and atheism, and I don’t think he’s done making that mark yet.

FL

you go, FL.

I love how you keep fanning the flames of your own demise, even as folks like Nick try to put them out.

Here’s some fuel fer ya:

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=4340

Cardinal Christof Schonborn called “neo-Darwinian”, evolution, or the idea that there is no intelligent design behind creation, incompatible with the Catholic Church and in conflict with nature itself.

“Any system of thought”, he clarifies, “that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”

The Austrian prelate further lamented that the new Pope Benedict XVI now finds himself falsely aligned with an incorrect idea of evolution as well.

burn baby, burn.

And yet, not did Jerry Coyne deny that he was sacked for criticizing Intelligent Design, so did his replacement, Jose Gabriel Funes

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/st[…]/0605165.htm

Or, can you tell us why you know better about Coyne’s situation than either Coyne or his successor?

In fact, Father Funes holds that there may alien life on other planets that are free of Original Sin.

So please explain why Coyne would be sacked for criticizing Intelligent Design, a movement that the Catholic Church does not officially endorse, only to be replaced with a gentleman who holds ideas even more heretical than his predecessor?

Also, can you cough up the exact statements where Pope Benedict specifically endorses Intelligent Design/Young Earth Creationism and thus, contradicts what his predecessor, Pope John Paul, had said concerning this issue?

Stanton said:

And yet, not only did Jerry Coyne deny that he was sacked for criticizing Intelligent Design, so did his replacement, Jose Gabriel Funes

It’s theistic evolution.

No David, it’s not “theistic evolution.” It’s not “biological evolution” either, Eric.

Why not? Because Pope Benedict specifically used the terms “direction”, “order”, and nost of all, “intelligent” to characterize that which was “created” (also his term).

Direction, Order, Intelligence. That combination signs the dotted line, right there. Under those combined conditions, there’s absolutely NO chance of co-opting the Pope’s statement into PandasThumb Evolution, Inc.

Take Note:

It is no part of Darwinian theory to claim that there is order rather than chaos in nature. Rather, given the major role assigned to chance in that theory, Darwinianism must be committed to the claim that nature is chaotic. If the religious take on the issue has it that nature is ordered rather than chaotic, then it contradicts Darwinian theory. As for Darwinian theory, it is very difficult to see what grounds it might have for accepting the religious-type claim to the effect that nature is ordered.

—theologian Prof. Jakob Wolf, “A Critique of Theisic Evolution”, The Global Spiral, 02-04-2005

Remember, evolution is an undirected, unintelligent process. No conscious forethought. No purpose, no goal-directedness, no “designed end”. Your own evolutionists say this. “Evolutionary theory does NOT admit conscious anticipation of the future”, said Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology 3rd edition.

Evolution does not admit ‘conscious forethought’ (Futuyma’s term), and even Eugenie Scott has said “There is no purpose in evolution”, so there’s NO chance that teleology and intelligence can be part of biological evolution or of theistic evolution.

Otherwise, you have clearly allowed a Divine Foot in the door and you destroy any rational grounds for trying to ban YEC, OEC, or ID in America’s science classrooms ever again.

******

So that’s that. The bottom line: Pope Benedict’s specific words equate to DESIGN, not to the non-negotiable No-Design categories that we call ‘theistic evolution’ and ‘biological evolution.’

Pope Benedict has a TE mind of his own, he’s an independent thinker who makes up his own mind, and Benedict’s view is that the cosmos and all that’s in it do display design—NOT Dembski/Behe’s ID hypothesis, but still specifically design, chock full of order and direction and intelligence all the same.

******

Btw.…..You try to deflect the impact by saying the Pope wasn’t talking about intelligent design as viewed by the Discovery Institute, but you forgot that I already said that Pope Benedict does NOT endorse the intelligent design hypothesis of Dembski/Behe.

Sorry, no deflection here.…only impact.

FL

So if you do admit that Pope Benedict does not endorse Intelligent Design Theory as presented by the chuckleheads at the Discovery Institute, then what were you babbling on and on about how “design” = “intelligent design”?

Once again FL’s arguments are about semantics instead of reality, word games instead of evidence. As always.

Yep, FL’s playing silly games with meaning.

A deist can believe, with perfect rationality, that God is present in each and every interaction of every particle/wave that ever happened since the Universe began, or will ever happen. In fact this is a necessary conclusion arising from what are held to be the attributes of God: eternity and infinity - and hence indifference to time and space - omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence.

Hence, a deist like Benedict can perfectly happily hold that God’s omniscience is such that every such interaction is known to God from the beginning unto the end, part of one gestalt, one singularity. God made the laws that created and govern the Universe. His laws are the expression of His will - that the Universe He made bring forth a conscious creature that can come to know Him, an outcome that He ordained from the beginning. That’s design, in a sense, and it’s intelligent. I think it’s what Benedict meant.

It offers little comfort to the Intelligent Design crowd, who’d have their tinkerer of a back-shed mechanic fool about with the machine whenever it broke down, and it’s no comfort at all to damnfool YEC’s like FL. For that crowd of morons, God is a cheap conjurer, a stage magician in the sky.

FL said:

Remember, evolution is an undirected, unintelligent process.

I can’t remember this, because I never knew it in the first place.

And I never knew it in the first place, because it isn’t true.

Evolution is directed toward higher numbers of reproducing offspring. This was emphasized explicitly by Darwin, by Dawkins, and (in this forum) by Dan. The fact that FL keeps on repeating his misunderstanding as if if were true only emphasizes his culpability.

Dan said:

FL said:

Remember, evolution is an undirected, unintelligent process.

I can’t remember this, because I never knew it in the first place.

And I never knew it in the first place, because it isn’t true.

Evolution is directed toward higher numbers of reproducing offspring. This was emphasized explicitly by Darwin, by Dawkins, and (in this forum) by Dan. The fact that FL keeps on repeating his misunderstanding as if if were true only emphasizes his culpability.

It’s also worth recalling that according to Dembski’s definition of intelligence (the ability to choose among alternatives), some evolutionary processes are in fact intelligent. Check out this thread for more information and argumentation.

Even if we grant FL his take on what the Pope believes — and we really shouldn’t; Ratzinger is quite specific about this topic —, the disagreement between his (FL’s) position and the Pope’s is still far more significant than between the Pope’s and biologists’.

Between FL’s and the Pope’s history is 15byo Creation, 4.5 byo Earth, 3.5-4byo life, a non-literal reading of Genesis w.r.t. the Creation of Man, common ancestry, and “some theory of evolution” to account for the diversity of life on the planet.

Design or not, FL still has virtually nothing in common with this, particularly important, Catholic.

FL said:

It’s theistic evolution.

No David, it’s not “theistic evolution.” It’s not “biological evolution” either, Eric.

Why not? Because Pope Benedict specifically used the terms “direction”, “order”, and nost of all, “intelligent” to characterize that which was “created” (also his term).

You can’t take three words out of context and say, “See, he means what I say he does.

Btw.…..You try to deflect the impact by saying the Pope wasn’t talking about intelligent design as viewed by the Discovery Institute, but you forgot that I already said that Pope Benedict does NOT endorse the intelligent design hypothesis of Dembski/Behe.

Oh, now I see the problem – you have your own definition of “intelligent design” which is different from that of intelligent design advocates! Bait and switch, FL?

Because Pope Benedict specifically used the terms “direction”, “order”, and nost (sic) of all, “intelligent” to characterize that which was “created” (also his term).

Direction, Order, Intelligence. That combination signs the dotted line, right there.

BTW, quoting single words from somebody’s writing to summarize what that person was saying is the most primitive form of quote mining.

This habit of folks like FL to continually repeat things they have already told to be false; what do you suppose it’s caused by? Willfull dishonesty? Inability to learn? Rudeness? I recognize that many theists (and ALL creationists) are stupid, but I just wonder WHY they’re stupid. Any ideas?

Dan said:

FL said:

Remember, evolution is an undirected, unintelligent process.

I can’t remember this, because I never knew it in the first place.

And I never knew it in the first place, because it isn’t true.

Evolution is directed toward higher numbers of reproducing offspring. This was emphasized explicitly by Darwin, by Dawkins, and (in this forum) by Dan. The fact that FL keeps on repeating his misunderstanding as if if were true only emphasizes his culpability.

I think we ought to understand what FL is saying - that scientists do not assign FL’s god the role of protagonist in manipulating evolution according to some divine master plan.

I have no problem with FL’s wording - one could say that water running downhill is undirected and unintelligent, since we don’t generally regard gravity as having plans and motives. But this doesn’t mean it can’t be explained or understood, only that FL’s god isn’t considered to be personaly directing every molecule.

FL’s error, as always, lies in the presumption that the PURPOSE of evolution was to produce, ahem, us. And where there’s a purpose, there must be direction and intelligence. If we regard ourselves as one of an infinity of contingent results within the scope of the evolutionary feedback process, this demotes FL to the level of an unnecessary accident. Pride wars against this. FL wants to be special, the crown of creation.

Here is what Paul (Porkie) Taylor of AIG-UK would have said on BBC Radio.

Spot the deliberate factual and historical errors

+*******Darwin Thought for the Day The BBC have asked a number of people, from different religious backgrounds, to provide a Thought for the Day on their flagship Today programme, in praise of Charles Darwin, because of 2009 being his bicentennial year. No one sceptical of Darwinism has been invited to contribute. If they had asked me, this is what I would have said. Even his supporters agree that Charles Darwin was a prevaricator. He very nearly lost out in the race to publish a theory of evolution by natural selection to a little known collector from Wales. He had been spending years writing letters, testing opinions and compiling his ideas. His ideas were largely influenced by other people. He grew up under the influence of an atheist father and a mother who belonged to a church which denied most of the accepted beliefs of normal Christianity. His grandfather had already published his own evolutionary views. And, before he even began his famous voyage on the Beagle, he had accepted the long age views of his hero - and later his mentor and friend - Charles Lyell - a man whose views were motivated, not by scientific evidence, but by a desire to undermine belief in the chronology of the Bible. During my years as a science teacher, pupils would often ask - with no prompting on my part - why there seemed to be so little evidence for evolution. Children are natural creationists. The most obvious conclusion to the observation of the beauty and complexity of the biological world is that if it looks as if it has been designed, it is probably because it has been designed. Evolutionary biologists can be clever at waving their ‘just-so’ stories, in a vain attempt to explain how organic mechanisms have appeared. Some Christians have allowed themselves to be persuaded that the ‘just-so’ stories constitute evidence. They do not. The first chapter of Colossians maintains that everything was created by Jesus, for Jesus and through Jesus. Jesus, Himself, reminded us that not even the smallest part of the Law - by which he meant the books of Moses, including Genesis - would be superseded until He comes again. It is time for Christians to recognise the failure of Darwinism as a pseudo-science, and, with humility, to acknowledge that what God said He did is what He actually did.

pupils would often ask - with no prompting on my part - why there seemed to be so little evidence for evolution. Children are natural creationists. The most obvious conclusion to the observation of the beauty and complexity of the biological world is that if it looks as if it has been designed, it is probably because it has been designed.

My young nephews have asked - with no prompting on my part - how the world can actually be round when it is so obviously flat. Children are, apparently, also natural flat-earthers.

The most obvious conclusion to the observation of the flatness of the world is that if it looks as if it is flat, it is probably because it actually is flat.

But, of course, we know this is wrong, now don’t we.

We know that children make these mistakes because they are, frankly, ignorant of the mechanics of the natural world. They are children, and that’s perfectly understandable. I’m somewhat slightly less generous in trying to figure out why creationists choose to stay ignorant, even though ignorance is highly curable.

(Children also can’t seem to understand why they can’t fly like superman. That’s actually tougher for me to explain, because they can easily imagine the point of view of an ant on a basketball, but they really, really want to fly).

Ichthyic said:

regression skepticism = moving the goalposts

Exactly, except regression skepticism highlights the iterative and unbounded nature of the exercise. Something along the lines of Achilles and the tortoise: “We’ll always stay a half-step ahead of you.”

Cheers – MrG / http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

stevaroni said:

The most obvious conclusion to the observation of the flatness of the world is that if it looks as if it is flat, it is probably because it actually is flat.

And of course it is intuitively obvious the Sun goes around the Earth as well … well, if it’s obvious, it must be true, hang the homework. It’s no fun anyway.

Cheers – MrG / http://www.vectorsite.net/gblog.html

Let me summarize the situation here:

This threat concerns a Vatican-sponsored conference concerning the compatibility of evolution and Christian faith

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/co[…]e5705331.ece

This conference comes as no surprise, because Pope Benedict has already proclaimed the opposite to be absurd:

Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called “creationism” and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: those who believe in the Creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, and those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, especially the great philosophical question: where does everything come from? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man?

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/b[…]dore_en.html

Despite this evidence, FL proclaims that Pope Benedict is a closet design theorist:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-178713

I pointed out the the Pope’s statement did not even use the word “design”:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-178720

Offering not even an iota of reasoning in support, FL suggests that the Pope’s words “necessarily imply” design and brusquely chides me:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-178727

I politely point out that FL is dead wrong in the “necessarily imply” department:

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-178759

FL repeats his error that the Pope made a “claim of design”!

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-178804

FL makes his error again –“ Pope Benedict’s specific words equate to DESIGN” – again with no supporting reasoning!

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-178850

In the same post, FL revels that he doesn’t understand what evolution concerns!

http://pandasthumb.org/archives/200[…]mment-178860

At this point, FL takes to the hills and is never heard of again.

At this point, FL takes to the hills and is never heard of again.

He’ll be back. They always come back.

At some point there will be a new goalpost to move or a new piece of trivial semantics to argue endlessly.

When you have no actual evidence, that’s the only case you can make.

Yo, FL, if ID is science and not just religion, then why do the ramblings of a religious leader on the subject of “design” even matter? Shouldn’t you be able to demonstrate ID’s validity without having to quote-mine the words of any religious authority?

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This page contains a single entry by Nick Matzke published on February 10, 2009 7:29 PM.

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