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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Catholic Darwinists to congregate in Rome?

Recently, I wrote about Christoph, Cardinal Schoenborn’s flirtation with the views of Jesuit paleontologist Teilhard de Chardin - whose teachings were condemned - here. At the time, I was wondering why Schoenborn would even think of something like that, when a friend wrote to explain something like this,
... Schoenborn's difficulty is political. He cannot support Darwinism but he also cannot use terms or concepts like design. Not only would that enrage Top People but it would also imply that Protestant evangelicals are influencing him. But, while understanding his difficulties, many people have expressed dismay to me at his recent choice to present Teilhard as a Catholic thinker widely honored in the Church - which he wasn't.

Well, meanwhile, another friend has written to point out that Schoenborn’s biggest problem is more likely the Pontifical Academy for the Sciences, which is preparing big Darwinfests this fall and another one in the spring .

Schoenborn and B-16 can’t endorse the mud to mind nonsense without intellectual disgrace because they actually know that magic doesn’t happen. But they also can’t afford to appear to act without advice from their Catholic science boffins (even though they might be wise to).

I’m sure glad I don’t have Schoenborn’s job.

While we’re here, Nullasalus writes,
I think it's important to realize that Teilhard is not being offered by the Cardinal as an unimpeachable authority on how to view evolution and life. Instead it looks like Teilhard is being referenced to provide a model for how to approach and consider the subjects of evolution, biology, life, etc.

The cardinal seems to believe (and I'd have to agree) that there's nothing wrong with the pure science and mechanisms of what we normally call evolution. It's the philosophies and assumptions grafted onto the science that he thinks Catholics must reject.

Well, this weekend I hope to get a chance to actually read Schoenborn’s book (which has arrived), and I will review it and get a chance to estimate for myself the esteem in which he holds Teilhard.

However, I disagree with Nullasalus’s second paragraph. Darwinism is NOT and never has been purely a theory about how one species might transmute into another over time. From Darwin on, its promoters have ALWAYS - and quite rightly - assumed that its metaphysical significance was exactly what Stephen Jay Gould explained:
"Darwin's theory uses the same invisible hand, but formed into a fist as a battering ram to eliminate Paley's God from nature. The very features that Paley used to infer not only God's existence, but also his goodness, are, for Darwin, but spin-offs of the only real action in nature-the endless struggle among organisms for reproductive success, and the endless hecatombs of failure." (Gould S.J., "Darwin and Paley Meet the Invisible Hand," in "Eight Little Piggies: Reflections in Natural History," Jonathan Cape: London, 1993, pp.149-150)

And, I must say, I am getting tired of all the well-meaning people who write to me to pretend that things are otherwise.

There are people out there who insist to me that Darwin was not a racist (of COURSE he was a racist, and his Descent of Man is one long ode to racism!). Or that Darwinism doesn’t “really” support materialism (then why is it materialism’s creation story?). Or that Darwinism somehow advances Christianity - then why are the Evolution Sunday churches are mostly heretical dhimmis for Darwin, as a fellow journalist writes?

Most of the people who take the trouble to express their anxiety that I should learn to like materialist rule before something bad happens to me mean well.

They want to be nice. They want me to be nice. They would like everything to be nice.

Well, how nice, exactly, are things for anyone who disagrees, based on evidence?

Notice, I said, "based on evidence." Because that is the key.

(See, the materialist doesn't care if you want to go holler stupidities for Jesus in some tabernacle north of the city somewhere. He likes that. He can jeer and make fun of you.

But if you go into the sciences and discover that most of what he is saying about life and the universe is nonsense supporting his doctrines - and start publishing facts that don't back up his doctrines - THEN he has a big problem with you indeed.)

See the Expelled movie, coming out in April, if you want to know what happens to scientists who do that.

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