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> Pope says science too narrow to explain creation, Pope says science too narrow to explain creation
Culture
post Apr 13, 2007, 11:19 PM
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ARIS (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, elaborating his views on evolution for the first time as Pontiff, says science has narrowed the way life's origins are understood and Christians should take a broader approach to the question.

The Pope also says the Darwinist theory of evolution is not completely provable because mutations over hundreds of thousands of years cannot be reproduced in a laboratory.

But Benedict, whose remarks were published on Wednesday in Germany in the book "Schoepfung und Evolution" (Creation and Evolution), praised scientific progress and did not endorse creationist or "intelligent design" views about life's origins.

Those arguments, proposed mostly by conservative Protestants and derided by scientists, have stoked recurring battles over the teaching of evolution in the United States. Some European Christians and Turkish Muslims have recently echoed these views.

"Science has opened up large dimensions of reason ... and thus brought us new insights," Benedict, a former theology professor, said at the closed-door seminar with his former doctoral students last September that the book documents.

"But in the joy at the extent of its discoveries, it tends to take away from us dimensions of reason that we still need. Its results lead to questions that go beyond its methodical canon and cannot be answered within it," he said.

"The issue is reclaiming a dimension of reason we have lost," he said, adding that the evolution debate was actually about "the great fundamental questions of philosophy - where man and the world came from and where they are going."

NOT BY FAITH ALONE

Speculation about Benedict's views on evolution have been rife ever since a former student and close advisor, Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, published an article in 2005 that seemed to align the Church with the "intelligent design" view.

"Intelligent design" (ID) argues that some forms of life are too complex to have evolved randomly, as Charles Darwin proposed in his 1859 book "The Origin of Species." It says a higher intelligence must have done this but does not name it as God.

Scientists denounce this as a disguised form of creationism, the view that God created the world just as the Bible says. U.S. courts have ruled both creationism and ID are religious views that cannot be taught in public school science classes there.

In the book, Benedict defended what is known as "theistic evolution," the view held by Roman Catholic, Orthodox and mainline Protestant churches that God created life through evolution and religion and science need not clash over this.

"I would not depend on faith alone to explain the whole picture," he remarked during the discussion held at the papal summer palace in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.

He also denied using a "God-of-the-gaps" argument that sees divine intervention whenever science cannot explain something.

"It's not as if I wanted to stuff the dear God into these gaps - he is too great to fit into such gaps," he said in the book that publisher Sankt Ulrich Verlag in Augsburg said would later be translated into other languages.

AGAINST ATHEISM

Schoenborn, who published his own book on evolution last month, has said he and the German-born Pontiff addressed these issues now because many scientists use Darwin's theory to argue the random nature of evolution negated any role for God.

That is a philosophical or ideological conclusion not supported by facts, they say, because science cannot prove who or what originally created the universe and life in it.

"Both popular and scientific texts about evolution often say that 'nature' or 'evolution' has done this or that," Benedict said in the book which included lectures from theologian Schoenborn, two philosophers and a chemistry professor.

"Just who is this 'nature' or 'evolution' as (an active) subject? It doesn't exist at all!" the Pope said.

Benedict argued that evolution had a rationality that the theory of purely random selection could not explain.

"The process itself is rational despite the mistakes and confusion as it goes through a narrow corridor choosing a few positive mutations and using low probability," he said.

"This ... inevitably leads to a question that goes beyond science ... where did this rationality come from?" he asked. Answering his own question, he said it came from the "creative reason" of God.
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lucid_dream
post Apr 15, 2007, 11:48 PM
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if the pope understood more about science, he might come around. His speaking from the depths of utter ignorance doesn't carry much weight. No doubt the pope would probably believe that human flight is impossible if someone questioned him about it in the 19th century.
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maximus242
post Apr 16, 2007, 12:15 AM
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Well, I guess what we are really looking at here is another close minded situation. Its not exclusive to religions, its just more prevelant in them.
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trojan_libido
post Apr 17, 2007, 12:30 AM
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There is no denying that the process of life becoming more and more complex, mutating and selecting as it goes, only brings to light the question of why and where the origin of life came from.

Its easy to dismiss every religion as being close minded, but we are the creations of the local Earth/Sun. We were the creations but now we are the creators. There IS a process that is continuing to evolve and has now left the biology and has leapt into vocalisations and behaviours.

The amount of variation possible in biological life has been exponentially increased by our usage of vocalisations. These "words" have then been refined and expanded upon into full descriptive and technical languages. Now they are being shortened into acronyms and slang terms which themselves are an organic evolution.

Scientists don't recognise this process, are they close minded?
Of course not, but to see this picture fully they have to factor in everything we know and then add a pinch of spirituality.

Aren't religion and science both guilty of ignoring this process?
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lucid_dream
post Apr 17, 2007, 01:23 PM
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why would you think that scientists are precluded from recognizing this process?
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Tim4848
post Apr 17, 2007, 09:46 PM
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Maybe someone should ask him about my theory?

Thank you,
Tim
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trojan_libido
post Apr 18, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Because the whole thing is inately spiritual lucid. But it removes man from being the final point on the evolutionary pyramid. Plus you have to take in the whole view rather than the reductionary scientific method, are they really compatible?
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Hey Hey
post Apr 18, 2007, 11:11 AM
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QUOTE(trojan_libido @ Apr 18, 2007, 06:50 PM) *
reductionary scientific method
Not all scientific methodology is reductive. A better term is "analytical scientific method". For example, many hypotheses on "mind" and "consciousness" are far from reductive in nature.
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Lindsay
post Apr 18, 2007, 02:11 PM
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POPE BENEDICT XV
I have a great deal of respect for the present pope of Rome, Pope Benedict XV, as the Bishop of Rome. I also respect his right to express his opinion on any subject of interest to him. However, IMHO, Benedict's opinion on matters of science is of the same value as that of any other well-educated human being.

Culture, as you point out:
QUOTE
"Speculation about Benedict's views on evolution have been rife ever since a former student and close advisor, Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, published an article in 2005 that seemed to align the Church with the "intelligent design" view.

"Intelligent design" (ID) argues that some forms of life are too complex to have evolved randomly, as Charles Darwin proposed in his 1859 book "The Origin of Species." It says a higher intelligence must have done this but does not name it as God.


Culture, you also point out that certain scientists denounce this, as a disguised form of creationism, the view that God created the world just as the Bible says. U.S. courts have ruled that both creationism and ID are religious views that cannot be taught in public school science classes there.

Furthermore you add: "In the book, Benedict defended what is known as "theistic evolution," the view held by Roman Catholic, Orthodox and mainline Protestant churches that God created life through evolution and religion and science need not clash over this.

"I would not depend on faith alone to explain the whole picture," he remarked during the discussion held at the papal summer palace in Castel Gandolfo outside Rome.

He also denied using a "God-of-the-gaps" argument that sees divine intervention whenever science cannot explain something."

It seems to me that this is what happens when we think of God as someone who is seprate and apart from us.

Enter process theology.......(More on this).
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lcsglvr
post Apr 18, 2007, 04:11 PM
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ID is not necessarily religious, per se. Rather, it's not taught in science classrooms more so because it's not science. It's not falsifiable and cannot adhere to the scientific method. Therefore, creationism and ID need to be in their own realm of classes - i.e. metaphysical classes, such as religious studies or philosophy.

Although, I agree that ID is just creationism in disguise.
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