Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Schoenborn Speaks on Evolution

I hadn't heard about this until the radiant MrsDarwin forwarded me a link to The Corner, but it seems that Cardinal Schoenborn has been in the news in relation to evolution again:

Christoph Schoenborn, the cardinal archbishop of Vienna, touched off a controversy with a July 2005 New York Times op-ed hinting at a change in the Catholic Church's position on the creationism-vs.-evolution debate. Tonight he delivered a 62-minute lecture here in Manhattan outlining a judicious middle ground on the controversy, accepting the scientific evidence on evolution but rejecting the philosophical claims that evolution disproves the existence of God or of purpose in the universe. (He said that it was time to reclaim Darwin from Darwinism.) The evening's fireworks came when a representative of a traditional Catholic group called the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation asked the cardinal whether he would be interested in scientific evidence that disproves evolution. The cardinal dismissed the notion, replying that "I'm sorry," but creation did not take six chronological days. He added that the same sort of biblical exegesis that led to such a conclusion would also require belief that the sun literally stood still in one of Joshua's battles (Jos. 10:13).

It is hard to exclude the possibility that the events in Joshua actually occurred, unless one accepts a priori the hypothesis that miraculous events reported in the Old Testament are necessarily unhistorical—which hypothesis I believe Cardinal Schoenborn would hesitate to affirm. But in general, he outlined a credible way to affirm simultaneously both evolution and the intelligent design of the universe. His remarks are helpful, and I hope they will be published soon.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Darwin,

Perhaps the good Cardinal's point was much more subtle. That is, one would have to believe that the SUN stood still rather than the Earth. Because, after all, the sun's motion is only apparent.

Probably not, but given the Cardinal's understanding of matters scientific, I would not put it past him to have this quibble.

More to the point, and less controversial would be to say that we would be required to believe in a Earth-Centric universe with a big bowl of water existing somewhere above a crystal sphere called sky. Along with many other patent absurdities that pass for natural science in the Old Testament.

When will people finally catch on that the Bible is not nor has any valid claims to being a science textbook.

shalom,

Steven

Darwin said...

Steven,

Yeah, I guess I pretty much read the points you make into the description of what the Cardinal said. I would assume that he meant that one would have to (taking such a literalist intretation) believe that the sun was physically moving around the Earth and that it stopped, rather than simply believing that (by whatever miraculous means) the sun appeared to remain in the sky much longer than it normally would.

I certainly didn't take him to mean (as the author of the blog post seems to wonder) that the miracle didn't happen.

John Farrell said...

The evening's fireworks came when a representative of a traditional Catholic group called the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation asked the cardinal whether he would be interested in scientific evidence that disproves evolution. The cardinal dismissed the notion, replying that "I'm sorry," but creation did not take six chronological days.

Good for him. Maybe he's been reading more Stephen Barr and Edward Oakes lately.

:)

CMinor said...

Slightly off topic, but--
Do any of these folks work themselves up into a similar frenzy over ideas like, say, Continental Drift theory?

Also, am I missing something? What has St. Maximilian Kolbe to do with Creationism?

And when did traditional Catholics start thinking like Protestant fundamentalists?

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

Actually I always wonder how these literal bible believers fit two of everything in the ark.... that's an awful lot of beetles just to start with....

Darwin said...

The ark was bigger on the inside than the outside, just like Dr. Who's tardis. :-)

Yeah, I suppose the flood is another whole area of discussion. I'll have to wade into that some time when I'm feeling dangerous.

G. Morton said...

The Sun standing still is not much of a miracle from a God that created the Universe.
On the Earth Centric Universe. Who can prove it isn't?
If measure in terms of complexity and not space we are the complex center of the universe as Man, our brain and life forms here dwarf the rest on complexity and organization.
On size - If the Milky Way was reduced to the size of the USA, Earth is the size of a speck of dust in it. Space is so vast everywhere is the center.
Science has little validity in Creation theories. For example. Take the Quantum theory that there was a fluctuation in a false vacuum, a lump of matter appeared and then became the Universe.
Pure speculation - a fairy tale that can never be proven. Our crude scientific minds can't even touch our origins, yet we feel we limit God to being a little chap who couldn't deal with the Sun if He chose.

Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I guess that is the same principle that Snata Claus' sack must operate on as well Darwin.... makes sense;-)