Creationism in a Cheap Mitre?
The Washington Post has picked up again on this story:
PARIS (Reuters) - Pope Benedict gathers some of his former theology students on Friday for a private weekend debate on evolution and religion . . . .. . . .
Religion and science blogs are buzzing about whether it means the Vatican will take a more critical view of evolution and possibly embrace "Intelligent Design," which claims to have scientific proof that human life could not have simply evolved.
One of the organizers was quoted thus:
"It has nothing to do with creationism," he added, referring to a fundamentalist Protestant view that God created the world in six days as described in the Book of Genesis. "Catholic theology does not endorse creationist views."
I laughed when I saw this, because I can only imagine the response by stereotyping materialists. I am sure some will say that they are lying theocrats and that it is just "Creationism in a cheap mitre." Or perhaps a "cheap pallium"?
I also laughed when I read this:
The "ID movement" does not name the designer as God, but its opponents -- including scientists who are believing Christians -- call this an unacceptable bid to sneak God into the teaching of science, which should only focus on empirical knowledge.
It is the ID proponents who insist that we should focus on the empirical evidence, and avoid all a priori philosophical assumptions which prevent the evidence from speaking for itself. It is the evolution proponents who say that unless the evidence is filtered through a rigid materialism, you are undermining science.
The article closes with this:
Catholic teaching accepts evolution as a scientific theory and does not read the Biblical story of creation literally. But it disagrees with what it calls "evolutionism," the view that the story of life has no role for God as its prime author.
"The possibility that the Creator used evolution as a tool is completely acceptable for the Catholic faith," Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, one of the two main speakers at the meeting, said last week.
Schoenborn, a close associate of Benedict, raised eyebrows last year with an article in the New York Times suggesting the Catholic Church supported the Intelligent Design movement.
He did not endorse it outright, but agreed with the ID movement's view that scientists who say evolution rules out God draw an ideological conclusion not proven by the theory.
Benedict has argued this way since his teaching days. At his inaugural mass after his election last year, he declared: "We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God."
Horn said Benedict and his students would probe further into this issue at their meeting: "We have to ask what is really scientific in Darwin's theory and its later development and where there are ideological elements that are unscientific."
It is too bad that most American public school students are forbidden from asking these kinds of questions.