Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Elevating The Debate

Never mind about what bishops and priests in Kansas have to say about evolution and creationism. It seems a group of scientists has some questions on the subject for the Pope.

From the New York Times:
Three scientists, two of them Roman Catholic biologists, have asked Pope Benedict XVI to clarify the church's position on evolution in light of recent statements by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, an influential theologian, that the modern theory of evolution may be incompatible with Catholic faith.

The scientists asked the pope to reaffirm earlier statements on the subject by Pope John Paul II and others "that scientific rationality and the church's commitment to divine purpose and meaning in the universe were not incompatible." It is crucial, their letter says, "that in these difficult and contentious times the Catholic Church not build a new divide, long ago eradicated, between the scientific method and religious belief."

Lawrence M. Krauss, a physicist at Case Western Reserve University, wrote the letter on behalf of himself and the two biologists, Dr. Francisco J. Ayala of the University of California, Irvine, a former Dominican priest, and Kenneth R. Miller of Brown University, a Roman Catholic who has written on the reconciliation of science and faith.

Cardinal Schönborn's remarks, which appeared Thursday in an essay on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times, were prompted in part by an essay Dr. Krauss wrote in Science Times in May on the compatibility of religion and evolution. The Vatican press office, contacted Tuesday, had no comment on Cardinal Schönborn's article.

Dr. Krauss, who is not Catholic, said yesterday that the letter was en route to Cardinal Schönborn.

In his essay, Cardinal Schönborn said the theory of evolution, as it is understood by scientists today, is not true. He dismissed Pope John Paul's comments on the subject in 1996 as "rather vague and unimportant."

This could be very interesting...


At 9:40 PM, July 12, 2005, Blogger Talmida said...

No kidding! I can't wait to hear the answers to this one!

At 4:20 AM, July 13, 2005, Blogger Steve Bogner said...

It's good to see someone who knows something about it make a rebuttal to the cardinal.

At 6:58 PM, July 14, 2005, Blogger Hedgehog said...

Well...time to reread Rocks of Ages by Stephen Jay Gould. The gist of the book is that science and religion are two separate realms: science defines the natural world, religion defines the moral world. The two are not incompatible. (Way too simplistic..maybe after I reread it I can give a better report!)

At 7:20 PM, July 16, 2005, Blogger Vavoom said...

What an interesting post! I can't wait to hear the Church's response.


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