Friday, August 03, 2007

Pope Benedict has no problem with evolution

Consitent with Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict seems to be fine with evolution:
Pope Benedict XVI said the debate raging in some countries — particularly the United States and his native Germany — between creationism and evolution was an “absurdity,” saying that evolution can coexist with faith.

The pontiff, speaking as he was concluding his holiday in northern Italy, also said that while there is much scientific proof to support evolution, the theory could not exclude a role by God.

“They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the pope said. “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”

He said evolution did not answer all the questions: “Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question, ‘Where does everything come from?’”

This is a fair question until we actually find out.

So it appears that the Pope has not fallen for Intelligent Design. Its not completely clear from the news story, but I think he is endorsing Theistic evolution - that evolution is guided by God. Fair enough, as long as he does not include supernatural as an explanation for any physical/biological phenomenon. His statement that "the theory could not exclude a role by God" is a bit ambiguous, but I'm assuming that he is talking about providing meaning behind evolution.


hedge said...

We can assume that he is talking about providing meaning for evolution, and he can assume that evolution needs a god behind it. I can live with this arrangement.

Speaking of science and religion, I was reading Phil Plait's anticipatory blog post about Sunshine, and one of the comments mentioned that the science lessons given to the cast "converted" a couple people to atheism. Old news, really, but funny.

hedge said...

(To cover my ass, lest it be believed that I repeat unsubstantiated claims from the interwebnets, that comment was later verified by the wife of the Science Advisor for the film.)

Salman Hameed said...

I hope the science lesson did not include any thing about how fusion works and how one can 'restart' the Sun ;)

Did you get a chance to see "Sunshine"? I saw it couple of days back. I liked most of it despite its questionable science (the Sun has stopped working in 2050s and it can be reignited by a human-made bomb!). The first 2/3 of the film fantastic, and the last 1/3 is either great or really stupid - and it depends on your interpretation. Danny Boyle is a smart director, so I'm leaning towards the good-side...but its still hard to defend that view. It also has moments of clash between science and religion. If you haven't seen it, you should definitely check it out.

hedge said...

I tried to see it a couple weeks ago, and walked out an hour in (I think that's the first time I've ever done that). Surprisingly enough, it wasn't any questionable science that was ruining the movie for me (getting past the premise was the hard part, but hey, I have seen The Core- I can handle anything). The lack of discipline on a ship with apparently very advanced psychological tools was pathetic, and really, who only puts one oxygen production facility on the ship that's apparently mankind's best hope?

I'm going to try again when it hits video. I know Danny Boyle can make a good movie out of just about anything. I think the direction that the ship's psychologist was heading was an interesting one, and I'd like to see where that goes. I guess I was expecting more monsters and fewer captains-going-on-suicide-missions, though.

Smashed said...

You really think there's any difference between ID and Theistic design? You must think again, grasshopper.

Powered by Blogger.