Monday, July 30, 2007

The pope and darwinism

Religion and science sometimes clash - mostly when both claim they have the explanation of everything. The International Theological Commission compiled the Vaticans views on evolution in a chapter called 'Science and the stewardship of knowledge' as parts 62-70 of 'Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God'. In this text they do not express a denial of evolution, but rather an acceptance that the evolutionary theory is compatible with the existence of God.

In summary paragraph
69. makes an interesting statement (here paraphrased by Philip):
According to the church both
(1) the neo-Darwinists that deny God because the incorrectly conclude 'purely materialistic evolution (A) -> no God (B)' and
(2) the intelligent design disciples which say "'purely materialistic evolution -> no God' is a wrong conclusion -> evolution is wrong" (i.e. not(A->B) -> C)
are *equally* wrong (the former because their conclusion (A->B) is wrong, the latter because they think that evolution exactly means (A->B) which it doesn't).

This is a very diplomatic and logical point of view expressed by the church. From reading this, my personal opinion about the pope and statements from the church has been shifted towards a more positive attitude.

See also:
Catholic opinions on evolutionary origins -
Evolution and the pope -

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