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Thread: Vatican Astronomer: Intelligent Design Not Science

  1. #1
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    Vatican Astronomer: Intelligent Design Not Science

    [QUOTE][B][U][SIZE=5]Vatican Astronomer: Intelligent Design Not Science[/SIZE][/U][/B]

    Friday, November 18, 2005

    From FOXNews.com

    [U]VATICAN CITY[/U] The Vatican's chief astronomer said Friday that "intelligent design" isn't science and doesn't belong in science classrooms, becoming the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

    The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was "wrong" and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

    "Intelligent design isn't science, even though it pretends to be," the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. "If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

    His comments were in line with his previous statements on "intelligent design," whose supporters hold that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power.

    Proponents of intelligent design are seeking to get public schools in the United States to teach it as part of the science curriculum. Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism a literal reading of the Bible's story of creation camouflaged in scientific language, and they say it does not belong in science curriculum.

    In a June article in the British Catholic magazine The Tablet, Coyne reaffirmed God's role in creation, but said science explains the history of the universe.

    "If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly."

    Rather, he argued, God should be seen more as an encouraging parent.

    "God in his infinite freedom continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity," he wrote. "He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves."

    The Vatican Observatory, which Coyne heads, is one of the oldest astronomical research institutions in the world. It is based in the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

    Last week, Pope Benedict XVI waded indirectly into the evolution debate by saying the universe was made by an "intelligent project" and criticizing those who in the name of science say its creation was without direction or order.

    Questions about the Vatican's position on evolution were raised in July by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn.

    In a New York Times column, Schoenborn seemed to back intelligent design and dismissed a 1996 statement by Pope John Paul II that evolution was "more than just a hypothesis." Schoenborn said the late pope's statement was "rather vague and unimportant."[/QUOTE]

    Opinions?

  2. #2
    TMahoney
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    I agree with the Vatican's chief astronomer.

    Intelligent design isn't science. Its a faith based way to explain the birth of the Universe and man.

    I went to a private catholic school, and in science class we learned evolution. In religion we learned about that the first 5 books of the Old Testament or the Pentateuch (Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy) are didactic fiction. Since there were no historical witnesses and those stories were from a time before recorded history, that they were not to be taken completely literally, especially Genesis.

    They're merely stories to explain to people, who didn't have the benefit of modern science, how Earth and Man were created. They also were valuable stories that taught lessons.

    Of course being the typical rebellious catholic school sophomore, I questioned the Brother that taught Earth Science saying how can you, as a marianist brother, teach us this when in the bible it says god created man, we couldn't have come from apes...

    He replied: As long as you believe God had a hand in creating man than the rest shouldn't concern your faith.

    Ever since then, I believe that you should learn evolution and decide for yourself if you believe in God and to what degree.

    There is no reason for our schools to teach intelligent design. It is merely a theory without any concrete evidence. Furthermore, why not teach SCIENCE's theory on the birth of man and the universe in SCIENCE class.

  3. #3
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    it seems like somehow Americans as a group are getting more ignorant year by year. I didn't think it was possible but the evidence is mounting. When astronomers from the Vatican are more forward looking than you that's just sad.

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=CarlSpackler]Of course being the typical rebellious catholic school sophomore, I questioned the Brother that taught Earth Science saying how can you, as a marianist brother, teach us this when in the bible it says god created man, we couldn't have come from apes...

    He replied: As long as you believe God had a hand in creating man than the rest shouldn't concern your faith.[/QUOTE]

    If only more "people of faith" could be so logical and intelligent in their beliefs.

    It may suprise many, but I have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with the idea/belief that God had a "controling guiding hand" in the creation of man vis a vis through His process of evolution. The two ideals (God created man and adaptive evolution) can logicly be held as part of the greater truth.

    I am against organized religion because of it's real wolrd effects on mankind. I am NOT against the concept of a God. Hence my agnosticism, not Atheism. I don't know one way or the other what Form God has, and until He decides to show us, I will remain a "don't belive/don't disbelieve" sceptic, who none the less feels it is important to live a "traditional" moral life. Many of those morals developed hand in hand with faith because they were what was best for our species as a whole, and hence they should not (all) be abandoned.

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    [QUOTE=Warfish]If only more "people of faith" could be so logical and intelligent in their beliefs.

    It may suprise many, but I have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM with the idea/belief that God had a "controling guiding hand" in the creation of man vis a vis through His process of evolution. The two ideals (God created man and adaptive evolution) can logicly be held as part of the greater truth.

    I am against organized religion because of it's real wolrd effects on mankind. I am NOT against the concept of a God. Hence my agnosticism, not Atheism. I don't know one way or the other what Form God has, and until He decides to show us, I will remain a "don't belive/don't disbelieve" sceptic, who none the less feels it is important to live a "traditional" moral life. Many of those morals developed hand in hand with faith because they were what was best for our species as a whole, and hence they should not (all) be abandoned.[/QUOTE]

    Couldn't have said it better myself! Bravo, Fisher, bravo...best post ever on this forum, period. We have a winner!

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    [QUOTE=CarlSpackler]I agree with the Vatican's chief astronomer.

    Intelligent design isn't science. Its a faith based way to explain the birth of the Universe and man.

    I went to a private catholic school, and in science class we learned evolution. In religion we learned about that the first 5 books of the Old Testament or the Pentateuch (Genesis Exodus Leviticus Numbers Deuteronomy) are didactic fiction. Since there were no historical witnesses and those stories were from a time before recorded history, that they were not to be taken completely literally, especially Genesis.

    They're merely stories to explain to people, who didn't have the benefit of modern science, how Earth and Man were created. They also were valuable stories that taught lessons.

    Of course being the typical rebellious catholic school sophomore, I questioned the Brother that taught Earth Science saying how can you, as a marianist brother, teach us this when in the bible it says god created man, we couldn't have come from apes...

    He replied: As long as you believe God had a hand in creating man than the rest shouldn't concern your faith.

    Ever since then, I believe that you should learn evolution and decide for yourself if you believe in God and to what degree.

    There is no reason for our schools to teach intelligent design. It is merely a theory without any concrete evidence. Furthermore, why not teach SCIENCE's theory on the birth of man and the universe in SCIENCE class.[/QUOTE]

    That's a real good post, Carl. Can't say I disagree with any of it.

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    [QUOTE=jets5ever]Couldn't have said it better myself! Bravo, Fisher, bravo...best post ever on this forum, period. We have a winner![/QUOTE]

    And bonus points for no mention of hamsters. :yes:

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    That is a good read.

    Without the intellectual background, I have long resolved the bible vs science conflict in my mind as thinking of the 'adam an eve' story as a simplified way of explaining evolution to simple people.

    Fish, if you remember way back you asked me about it and I said I didn't find the two(science and religion) as necessarily in conflict.

  9. #9
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    This is more a disagreement between Catholics/liberal Protestants and fundamentalist Christians. Fundamentalist Christians are louder and give the perception they have a corner on Christianity. They dont speak for all Christians.

    Glad to see this article from the Vatican.

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    [QUOTE=sect112row36]This is more a disagreement between Catholics/liberal Protestants and fundamentalist Christians. Fundamentalist Christians are louder and give the perception they have a corner on Christianity. They dont speak for all Christians.

    Glad to see this article from the Vatican.[/QUOTE]

    Good point. I'd also add that this sort of thing is not uncommon. The Catholics have a much richer intellectual and academic tradition, relative to most other Christian sects. Whatever the merits one thinks different religions have, Catholicism is a rigourously developed tradition - you can't take that away from it.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=quantum]And bonus points for no mention of hamsters. :yes:[/QUOTE]

    [COLOR=Silver][SIZE=1]Shhhhh!!!!! They might be listening......beware their wrath!!!![/SIZE][/COLOR]

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Piper]That is a good read.

    Without the intellectual background, I have long resolved the bible vs science conflict in my mind as thinking of the 'adam an eve' story as a simplified way of explaining evolution to simple people.

    Fish, if you remember way back you asked me about it and I said I didn't find the two(science and religion) as necessarily in conflict.[/QUOTE]

    I remember. And agree.

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