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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Templeton winner trashes design

A friend sends me a note to the effect that a recent Templeton winner, Polish priest Michael Heller, does not appear to understand intelligent design theory.

Fr. Heller says, for example:
... intelligent design advocates contend "there is an opposition between God, who is the creator of everything, and the theory of evolution, which explains that random events, chance events, play an important role in the evolutionary process. They claim that we must assume (it is) intelligent design, and not chance, that shapes the outcome."

"My point of view is that it is a grave, serious theological error -- I underline that grave, serious theological error. It revives old Manichean heresies that claim that there are two major, great principles -- the principle of God which is good, and the principle of evil -- and they are fighting with each other," he said, that "God is one side, and chance is regarded as a rival of God."

But "God is also the God of chance events," he said. "From what our point of view is, chance -- from God's point of view, is ... his structuring of the universe."

As an example, Father Heller said, "birth is a chance event, but people ascribe that to God. People have much better theology than adherents of intelligent design. The chance event is just a part of God's plan."


If Fr. Heller really believes that "birth is a chance event," I am afraid I don't know what to say.

Lots of things crowd into my head, but of course I will not say them. Nor will I print them if readers write to tell me, so don't bother.

Anyway, if readers want to know what intelligent design theory actually holds, I strongly recommend this explanation instead.

As a Catholic, I am embarrassed, but what can I do?

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