"God is not constantly intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves. Religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator or designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly. Perhaps God should be seen more as a parent or as one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words" (source)
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Flashback: Pope sacks Fr. Coyne
In preparing for an upcoming class I'm doing on Creation and Evolution, I came across this story from 2006.
Remember a few years back when the secular press all over the world reported with glee that the "Vatican" was now supporting Darwinian evolution and had condemned Intelligen Design as being without merit? The statement from the "Vatican" in fact had come from Fr. George Coyne, Director of the Vatican Observatory. Fr. Coyne's statements were made in a response to Cardinal Schonborn's assertion in the New York times that the concepts of random variation and natural selection were "incompatible" with Catholic dogma. Even though Schonborn is a much more prominent member of the hierarchy than Fr. Coyne, when Fr. Coyne made his rebuttal, the press was quick to trumpet that the Vatican had "endorsed" Darwinism and condemned Intelligent Design.
That was until the Pope sacked Fr. Coyne. Following several remarks Fr. Coyne made in the Tablet, in which he said that Intelligent Design was not science even though it might "pretend" to be. Coyne was replaced by an Argentinian Jesuit. Among some of the assinine statements made by Coyne was the following:
He also accused the pope of "not having the slightest idea" of what Intelligent Design means, especially in the United States. Pope Benedict, however, not only understands Intelligent Design but has been supportive of it. He has frequently referred to the universe as the product of "intelligence" and has made strong statements against evolution, at least in its atheistic materialist streak.
But isn't it funny how the press never reports on this? One Jesuit at the Vatican Observatory endorses Darwinism and all of the sudden the "Vatican" has endorsed evolution. Nevermind that Cardinal Schonborn, a student of Benedict and editor of the Catechism says otherwise. Nevermind that Benedict himself favors reserach into Intelligent Design and has fired Fr. Coyne. None of that seems to have mattered. All that matters is that one person with some official capacity at the Vatican said something favorable to the scientific philosophy of the modern world and the press was ready to accomodate it, just like they did when John Paul II made his remark in his Letter to Artists about evolution being more than a theory.
Apparently, people in the media (and many Catholics) can't tell the difference between de fide dogma and what some dude at the Vatican writes in a letter or article.