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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Scientific criticism of evolution is excluded from Catholic conference

The Catholic News Service reports,

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Speakers invited to attend a Vatican-sponsored congress on the evolution debate will not include proponents of creationism and intelligent design, organizers said.

The Pontifical Council for Culture, Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana are organizing an international conference in Rome March 3-7 as one of a series of events marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species."

Jesuit Father Marc Leclerc, a philosophy professor at the Gregorian, told Catholic News Service Sept. 16 that organizers "wanted to create a conference that was strictly scientific" and that discussed rational philosophy and theology along with the latest scientific discoveries.

Well, how in the hell can the conference be "strictly scientific" if "rational philosophy" and theology are going to be included?

He said arguments "that cannot be critically defined as being science, or philosophy or theology did not seem feasible to include in a dialogue at this level and, therefore, for this reason we did not think to invite" supporters of creationism and intelligent design.

Well, maybe you did not think to invite them, but you did think to not invite them. Without hearing all sides, the conference has no credibility.

The CNS news report continues,
.
Father Leclerc was one of several organizers speaking at a Sept. 16 Vatican press conference about the congress, part of the culture council's "Science, Technology and the Ontological Quest," or STOQ project.

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the other extreme of the evolution debate -- proponents of an overly scientific conception of evolution and natural selection -- also were not invited.

So they were not invited either. I suppose this means that theistic evolutionists like Ken Miller will be invited but atheistic evolutionists like Richard Dawkins will not.

The conference is going to hear only what it wants to hear.

The conference is also announced here.

Sleazy PZ Myers says,

The Vatican has announced that they are having an evolution congress, and that no creationists or intelligent design creationists will be invited. Isn't that sweet? They're still inviting a swarm of theologians, though, so their exclusion is all window-dressing, a transparent attempt to sidle medieval peddlers of superstitious nonsense up next to some serious science for a photo op and a little propaganda.

PvM says on the Panda's Thumb blog,

On Pharyngula, PZ Myers gives us his perspectives on the event. And while PZ has his usual fun with the attempt at combining science with theology, I believe that he is missing the point.

The Catholic Church, and especially the Jesuits, have been bitten by an anti-science stance more than once and have come to appreciate that a good theology needs to include scientific knowledge, not deny it. So while some churches have chosen to ignore science and embrace (Intelligent Design) Creationism, especially the Young Earth variant, the Catholic church, at least in this case, has rightfully rejected (Intelligent Design) Creationism from a conference which focuses on theology and science.

I find such a position quite refreshing even though I disagree with the Catholic Church on many of its teachings regarding the position of women, birth control etc.

The Darwinists seem perfectly comfortable with the presentation, discussion, and teaching of criticisms of evolution so long as it is not done by scientists or science teachers.

It is mostly the Darwinists who are pressuring the churches to take their side in the evolution controversy — there are the Clergy Letter Project (with a separate letter for rabbis now), the Darwin Sunday sermons, scientists volunteering to serve as "technical consultants" for the clergy, etc.. The Church of England is apologizing to Darwin and the Methodist church has passed pro-Darwinist resolutions. IMO this is a controversy that the churches should not take official positions on. Individual clergy members -- including high-ranking clergy members Cardinal Christophe Schönborn and Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who both criticized evolution on scientific grounds -- have taken sides in the controversy, but I feel that they have done so as individuals and not as representatives of their churches.
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10 Comments:

Blogger Nada Platonico said...

Larry again shows he has learned nothing: all along supporters of the modern evolutionary synthesis have said that ID is not science and that it is bad theology. They "did not think to invite" -- in other words, "they decided not to invite" -- anything that wasn't science (creationism, ID) or philosophy or theology (in this sense, they apparently mean "good" theology, which ID isn't).

The title makes no sense since there is no scientific criticism of evolution, much less any to exclude from the conference. Most people might want to fix that, but apparently Larry likes to wear his idiocy on his sleeve, so he won't and will make a stupid reply to my comment (or he might just ignore, or simply insult me). Care to wager which?

Thursday, September 18, 2008 7:48:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Larry again shows he has learned nothing <<<<<<

As the Earl of Kent said in King Lear, "I am too old to learn." Or as the saying goes, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

>>>>>> all along supporters of the modern evolutionary synthesis have said that ID is not science and that it is bad theology. <<<<<<

Judge Jones heard both sides and had the opportunity to decide that question for himself (and, unfortunately, for many others too). Why shouldn't the Catholic church have the same opportunity?

>>>>>> They "did not think to invite" -- in other words, "they decided not to invite" <<<<<<

That's not what he implied, idiot -- he was trying to imply that not inviting scientific critics of evolution was an oversight and he fell flat on his face.

>>>>>> The title makes no sense since there is no scientific criticism of evolution, much less any to exclude from the conference. Most people might want to fix that <<<<<<<

So how do you propose fixing it, bozo? Anyway, as I said, I try to keep my post titles brief so that they will fit into the limited length allowed in the sidebar list of recent posts -- that's one reason why I didn't add the qualifier "pseudoscientific to some." Even as it is, the title exceeds the limit. Anyway, I am really tired of adding that qualifier -- it is not necessary.

>>>>>> but apparently Larry likes to wear his idiocy on his sleeve, so he won't and will make a stupid reply to my comment (or he might just ignore, or simply insult me). Care to wager which? <<<<<<

You lose both sides of your wager, doofus -- you didn't even propose a fix for the post title.

Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice in the Urbanness said...

>>>>>> but apparently Larry likes to wear his idiocy on his sleeve, so he won't and will make a stupid reply to my comment (or he might just ignore, or simply insult me). Care to wager which? <<<<<<

> You lose both sides of your wager, doofus <

No. He clearly won both sides. We are always kicking your butt. That's why you don't like us.

Thursday, September 18, 2008 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger Nada Platonico said...

All of Larry's posts should have the title, "Another lame attempt by a stupid blogger, wherein I am shown to be an utter moron once again."

The Church has no obligation to "hear both sides" -- as horrific as their methodology is, perhaps they have already come to the (correct) conclusion that ID is not science and need not hear more.

Larry's inability to learn new tricks is what brings us back -- his attempts at getting things right (at which he always fails) provide humor (or should I write humour?).

Friday, September 19, 2008 12:43:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>> All of Larry's posts should have the title, "Another lame attempt by a stupid blogger, wherein I am shown to be an utter moron once again." <<<<<<

All your comments should have the title, "Another breathtakingly inane comment by a stupid troll," dunghill.

>>>>>> The Church has no obligation to "hear both sides" <<<<<

The refusal to hear both sides at the conference makes an understatement of Cardinal Schonborn's charge, "There is almost a ban on debate. Critics of evolution theory are discriminated against and discredited from the start." Also, "proponents of an overly scientific conception of evolution and natural selection" are also not being invited to the conference.

Friday, September 19, 2008 1:12:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

Cardinal Schönborn shows himself in your link to be a dingbat (which is no doubt why he appeals to you).

He does, however, make some comment-worthy observations.

"In the end, it's a question about intelligence. Is intelligence the product of matter?" Yes. "Is the information that intelligence shapes a product of matter?" Irrelevant; mixing apples and oranges. ...

"But life functions roughly 80 percent in a synergistic and symbiotic way and 20 percent as a struggle. Darwin singled out one aspect, the survival of the fittest."

Misinterpreted. Darwin's definition of "fittest" included synergistic and symbiotic. He was a keen observer of the natural world, after all.

Friday, September 19, 2008 8:43:00 AM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

>>>>>> Cardinal Schönborn shows himself in your link to be a dingbat <<<<<<

You're the dingbat.

For obvious reasons, you prefer to have "dingbats" instead of scientists present scientific criticisms of evolution at the conference. I am defining "scientific" as being based on scientific observation and scientific reasoning instead of being based on theology.

Friday, September 19, 2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

This is the usual tendency of the Catholic Church and of liberal Protestant denominations to bend the knee to "mainstream science" in an uncritical manner, in spite of the fact that the religion of most of the "mainstream" evolutionary biologists is materialism, or is some mechanistic philosophy.

The result is that Christian fundamentalist denominations are gaining adherents rapidly, while the denominations which kowtow are paying a heavy price.

Friday, September 19, 2008 1:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

The theologically very liberal and pro-Darwinist Espiscopalian Church (Episcopal Church in America,) has had plummeting membership for decades. Last year the Episcopalians even formally swooned over Darwinist "science" at their assembly. Their parishoners are leaving for the Pentacostals and other fundamentalist churches, it seems.

Closely associated with them is Judge Jones' denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, which is also cluelessly pro-Darwinist. Some ELCA preachers even do double-duty as Episcopalian pastors. It's thus no marvel that ELCA is losing members also, although not so rapidly as the Episcopalians.

The Episcopalians are formally part of the Anglican communion of Rowan Williams. So strange things are happening among the theistic-Darwinist denominations.

Friday, September 19, 2008 1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"You're the dingbat."

I am speechless at the brilliance of this argument.

Friday, September 19, 2008 6:22:00 PM  

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