Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Vatican conference on evolution

The Vatican is hosting a conference on evolution from Mar 3-7. Most of the program for Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories looks quite reasonable - and thankfully ID is not being taken seriously at the conference (Ron Numbers will be talking about it in the session on philosophical aspects of evolution). In fact, the ID friendly (or was he duped by the Discovery Institute?) Cardinal Schoenborn is missing from the schedule altogether. I don't know any of the names in the section of theological aspects of evolution - and so I can't say anything about their particular stance.

In any case, it will be interesting if the Pope comes out with a strong statement in favor of evolution via natural selection - even if justified in some form of a theistic principle (what kind?). This model may turn out to be quite important for Muslims as well - as the debate over evolution heats up in the Islamic world.

In any case, you can find abstracts of the all the conference talks here (pdf). The conference website is here and the below is the program:

Tuesday 3 March 2009
First Session: The Facts that we Know
09:00 a.m. Addresses of the Authorities
10:00 a.m. Simon Conway Morris: Paleontological Evidences
10:45 a.m. Coffee Break
11:15 a.m. Werner Arber: Bio-Molecular Evidences
12:00 a.m. Douglas J. Futuyma: Taxonomic Issues
12:45 p.m. Discussion
01:30 p.m. End of the Session and Lunch

Second Session: Evolutionary Mechanisms I
03:30 p.m. Jean Gayon: History of the Evolution Theories
04:15 p.m. Francisco J. Ayala: The Standard Theory
05:00 p.m. Tea Time
05:30 p.m. Lynn Margulis: Symbiosis
06:15 p.m. Jeffrey L. Feder:The Speciation Problem
07:00 p.m. Discussion
07:30 p.m. End of the Session and Dinner

Wednesday 4 March
Third Session: Evolutionary Mechanisms II
09:00 a.m. Scott F. Gilbert: Evo-Devo
09:45 a.m. Stuart Kauffman: Complexity and Evolution
10:30 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m. Robert Ulanowicz: Evolution and Environment
11:45 a.m. Stuart A. Newman: A “pattern language” for evolution and development of animal form
12:30 p.m. Discussion
01.00 p.m. End of the Session and Lunch

Fourth Session: The Origin of Man
03:00 p.m. Giorgio Manzi: Darwin's Expectations on Human Evolution
03:45 p.m. Olga Rickards-Gianfranco Biondi: Molecular Approach
04:30 p.m. Tea Time
05:00 p.m. Yves Coppens: Paleontological Approach
05:45 p.m. Fiorenzo Facchini: Paleontological Approach in the Hominization and Possible Philosophical Implications
06:30 p.m. Robin Dunbar: Paleontological Data
07.15 p.m. Discussion
07.30 p.m. End of the Session and Dinner

Thursday 5 March
Fifth Session: Some Anthropological Questions About Evolution
09:00 a.m. Anne Dambricourt Malassé: Some Paleontological Attempts at Defining Humanity
09:45 a.m. Colin Renfrew (Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn):The Concept of Evolution as applied to the Development of Human Cultures
10:30 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m. Ludovico Galleni: Moving Towards Humankind?
11:45 a.m. David S. Wilson: Some Philosophical Considerations on Human Emergence and En-Culturation
12:30 p.m. Discussion
01:30 p.m. End of the Session and Lunch

Sixth Session: Philosophical Aspects of Evolution I
03:00 p.m. Juergen Mittelstrass: Philosophical Introduction
03:45 p.m. Dominique Lambert: Epistemological Problems of Evolution Theories
04:30 p.m. Tea Time
05:00 p.m. Elliott Sober: Philosophy and Biology
05:45 p.m. Vittorio Hösle: Why Do We Not Get Rid of Teleological Principles?
06:30 p.m. Discussion
07.30 p.m. End of the Session and Dinner

Friday 6 March
Seventh Session: Philosophical Aspects of Evolution II
09:00 a.m. Card. Georges Cottier: Metaphysical Sense of Creation and Evolution
09:45 a.m. David J. Depew: Accident, Adaptation and Teleology in Aristotle and Darwin
10:30 a.m. Coffee Break
11:00 a.m. Massimo Stanzione: Philosophical Issues of Evolution Theory
11:45 a.m. Ronald Numbers: Historical Background of "Intelligent Design"
12:30 p.m. Discussion
01:00 p.m. End of the Session and Lunch

Eighth Session: Theological Aspects of Evolution I
03:00 p.m. André Wénin: The Theme of Creation in the Old Testament
03:45 p.m. Jean-Michel Maldamé: Theology and Evolution Theories
04:30 p.m. Tea Time
05:00 p.m. Jacques Arnould: Creationism, "Intelligent Design" and Evolution
05:45 p.m. Georges Chantraine: Theological Vision of Evolution by Teilhard de Chardin
06:30 p.m. Discussion
07:30 p.m. End of the Session and Dinner

Saturday 7 March
Ninth Session: Theological Aspects of Evolution II
09:00 p.m. William R. Stoeger: Emergence and Finalism
09:45 p.m. Rafael Martinez: The Reception of Evolutionary Theories in the Catholic Church
10:30 p.m. Coffee Break
11:00 p.m. Robert Russell: Theological Debate around Evolution
11:45 p.m. General Conclusions

18 comments:

Nathan Schneider said...

Thanks for this, Salman! I've been getting lots of press releases on the subject from the Harun Yahya folks. Take a look at my post, which links back to this one.

Salman Hameed said...

Thanks Nathan. Yes I'm now on their e-mail list too (yes - very tempted to identify it as spam). I think this is again one of those instances where they want attention - any attention. A dismissal of Yahya's ideas as crazy (which they are) by anyone related to the Church will be more than enough for all the publicity they need. I'm glad that the Vatican has not yet taken the bait (it's Yahya who needs the Vatican for publicity - not the other way around) and are taking the right approach of simply ignoring Yahya's group.

Jeff Grace said...

Salman, thanks for the post and the links! I didn't realize they had a website and was really happy to find the PDF of Abstracts. I've written a post on my own website that includes the links as well as links back to your fantastic site! I'll be visiting your site often... it's a great find!

Jeff

Jeff Grace said...

Sorry... I mean to add a comment on this bit in your post:

In fact, the ID friendly (or was he duped by the Discovery Institute?) Cardinal Schoenborn is missing from the schedule altogether.

I think he probably was mislead a bit. Judging from his consequent responses to criticism, I suspect he stepped into a context he was unfamiliar with... the ID phenomenon in the US is very unique and uses language that can mislead even the best... my 2 cents worth!

Jeff Grace said...

Salam, sorry for yet another comment... but I just posted a short description of your blog which includes a link to the PDF of your paper...

Salman Hameed said...

I think he probably was mislead a bit. Judging from his consequent responses to criticism, I suspect he stepped into a context he was unfamiliar with... the ID phenomenon in the US is very unique and uses language that can mislead even the best

I completely agree with you on this. In fact, Vatican astronomer George Coyne had the same view on the whole Schoenborn affair (he even wrote a rebuttal to Schoenborn's position). In Coyne's opinion, the Discovery Institute instigated Schoenborn to write the op-ed in NYT with a particular take - and as you point out, Schoenborn did not properly take into account the context of US creationism debates.

Still, the Schoenborn affair raised the possibility (also known as rumors) that Pope Benedict may modify church's position to ID-lite. But that didn't happen. And that is encouraging.

Thanks for the latest info from the Vatican conference.

Jeff Grace said...

Still, the Schoenborn affair raised the possibility (also known as rumors) that Pope Benedict may modify church's position to ID-lite. But that didn't happen. And that is encouraging.

It is encouraging indeed! I was worried in that regard for awhile as well...

Thanks for the latest info from the Vatican conference.

You're welcome!

Awais said...

Salman,
has Richard Dawkins responded in any way to Harun Yahya's challenge for debate?

http://www.harunyahya.com/new_releases/news/dawkins_challenge.php

If he hasn't, i think he should, and put an end to this Yahya nonsense once and for all and expose the fallacy of his arguments.

Awais said...

The URL didn't come complete in the previous comment. Click here

Salman Hameed said...

Awais,

There is a big difference between scientific debates and public debates. Scientific debates take place in peer-reviewed journals. If Dawkins debates Yahya then this is all the publicity that Yahya needs - remember its not Dawkins who is seeking legitimacy here. This is an old creationist trop - such a debate only elevates the level of creationists.

Lets think about the debate over astrology. There has been not an iota of support for astrology from the sciences - and scientists don't discuss claims from astrologers. It is not worth spending research time on arguments that have been shown to be wrong centuries earlier. However, an astrologer can challenge Martin Rees - one of the top British astronomer for a debate. If Rees and the astrologer are on the stage together - then it gives the appearance that astronomy and astrology are pretty much equal - and this is a hearing of who is right. But that is not the case, and Martin Rees will be crazy to accept such a debate invitation. By simply being on the same stage - Rees will give credibility to the astrologer. In the same way, Dawkins will be crazy to even mention Yahya's work - beyond pointing out almost farcical mistakes in the Atlas.

And for Yahya: He should get training in biology, do research, publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, and then he can debate these ideas in journals. That's how science works.

JAMSHED MOIDU said...

”Douglas Futuyma left the platform in the face of truth. Futuyma found the solution in fleeing, just like Richard Dawkins.”

1. why did he left the platform without answering?

2. if he is” a man of science” why didn’t he respond to the questions put forward by creationist?

THE QUESTION WAS PUT FORWARD BY A NEUROSURGEON

THE ANSWER FOR THIS IS ”’HE DOESN’T KNOW THE ANSWER…..HAHAH…….HAHA

PAGAN RELIGION ( DARWINISM) IS UNDER THREAT…HAHAH HAHAHAHAHA ………

JAMSHED MOIDU said...

PLEASE DO REMEMBER ” THE QUESTION WAS POSED BY A DOCTOR”"

HE LEARNED ANATOMY, PHYSIOLOGY, BIOCHEMISTRY, PATHOLOGY, PHARMACOLOGY, MICROBIOLOGY,FORENSIC MEDICINE, OPTHALMOLOGY, ENT, COMMUNITY MEDICINE, GENERAL MEDICINE, SURGERY, OBG, PEDIATRICS…..etc….etc TO BECOME A DOCTOR..

””BECAUSE YOU CANNOT GIVE NONSENSE REASON LIKE HE DIDN’T KNOW SCIENCE THAT WHY Douglas Futuyma DID NOT ANSWER”’

JAMSHED MOIDU said...

PLEASE DONT BE IRRITATED BY MY QUESTIONS !!!

JAMSHED MOIDU said...

''And for Yahya: He should get training in biology, do research, publish papers in peer-reviewed journals, and then he can debate these ideas in journals. That's how science works.''

FIRST OF Mr SALMAN MY QUESTION TO IS

1. FIRST OF YOU ARE JUST AN ASTRONOMER --WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN POSTING ''EVOLUTION THEORY BASED'' ARTICLE?

2. HAVE YOU LEARNED BIOLOGY?

3. IF YOU CAN POST WRITINGS ON EVOLUTION THEORY THEN WHY CANT Mr. HARUN YAHYA PUBLISH ' ATLAS OF CREATION' BECAUSE YOU ARE AN ASTRONOMER.

JAMSHED MOIDU said...

Mr. AWAIS AND SALMAN

DAWKIN WILL NEVER EVER DEBATE WITH HARUN YAHYA BECAUSE HE IS NOT 'INTELLECTUALLY FIT ' TO DEBATE.

Mr DAWKIN IS 'ADAPTING' HIMSELF NOT TO DEBATE WITH HARUN YAHYA AND NOW ONWARDS HE WILL NOT DEBATE WITH ANY OF THE CREATIONIST. HE WILL ONLY DEBATE WITH L.K.G, U.K.G STUDENTS AND WITH PRIESTS.

NOW DAWKIN IS LIKE ''MUTATED'' GENE
GOOD FOR NOTHING...IF HE CAN WRITE MANY BOOKS ON EVOLUTION WHY CANT HE DEBATE HARUN YAHYA?

JAMSHED MOIDU said...

''If Dawkins debates Yahya then this is all the publicity that Yahya needs - remember its not Dawkins who is seeking legitimacy here. This is an old creationist trop''

Mr. SALMAN
WHAT YOU MENTIONED ABOVE YOUR ''TRAP'' TO JUSTIFY DAWKINS DENIAL IN DEBATING WITH HARUN YAHYA....

Mr DAWKIN IS NOT A ''MAN OF SCIENCE'' HE IS A '' MAN OF IDEOLOGY'' AND HIS IDEOLOGY IS ATHIESM..

JAMSHED MOIDU said...

''There is a big difference between scientific debates and public debates. Scientific debates take place in peer-reviewed journals.''

1. WHAT ARE THOSE ''BIG DIFFERENCE''?

2. WHO SAID SCIENTIFIC DEBATES ONLY TAKES PLACE IN ''PEER-REVIEWED'' JOURNALS?

3. WHY ARE TRYING TO DECEIVE YOURSELF JUST FOR THE ''SAKE OF JUSTIFYING' DAWKIN?

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