Cardinal Clarifies His Support of Evolution - Not That What Clerics Think of Science Is Particularly Relevant

Cardinal Backs Evolution and 'Intelligent Design'

from Reuters

PARIS - A senior Roman Catholic cardinal seen as a champion of "intelligent design" against Darwin's explanation of life has described the theory of evolution as "one of the very great works of intellectual history."

Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn said he could believe both in divine creation and in evolution because one was a question of religion and the other of science, two realms that complimented rather than contradicted each other.

Schoenborn's view, presented in a lecture published by his office on Tuesday, tempered earlier statements that seemed to ally the Church with United States conservatives campaigning against the teaching of evolution in public schools.

"Without a doubt, Darwin pulled off quite a feat with his main work and it remains one of the very great works of intellectual history," Schoenborn declared in a lecture in St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on Sunday.

"I see no problem combining belief in the Creator with the theory of evolution, under one condition - that the limits of a scientific theory are respected," he said.

Science studies what is observable and scientists overstep the boundaries of their discipline when they conclude evolution proves there was no creator, said the cardinal, 60, a top Church doctrinal expert and close associate of Pope Benedict.

"It is fully reasonable to assume some sense or design even if the scientific method demands restrictions that shut out this question," said the cardinal.

Schoenborn, who ranked among the papal hopefuls last April, caused an uproar in the United States last July with a New York Times article that seemed to say the Church no longer accepted evolution and backed intelligent design.

Proponents of intelligent design argue that Darwin's natural selection theory is flawed and alternatives should be taught.

Scientists reject this as a disguised form of Creationism, the literal belief in Creation as described in the Bible and barred by the U.S. Supreme Court from being taught in public schools.

Even Catholic scientists, including chief Vatican astronomer Rev. George Coyne S.J., contested Schoenborn's view.

In his lecture, Schoenborn said his article had led to misunderstandings and sometimes polemics. "Maybe one did not express oneself clearly enough or thoughts were not clear enough," he said. "Such misunderstandings can be cleared up."

Schoenborn said he believed God created "the things of the world" but did not explain how a divine will to bring about mankind would have influenced its actual evolution.

"They were so to speak let free into their own existence," he said.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question? if god came to earth,found a marrried virgin,did some daterape thing,got her pregnant,then took off and no one's seen hide nor hair of the boy since,,,would not that made him like the original deadbeat dad?

October 05, 2005 11:54 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

Well, he's not exactly the most attentive deity, now that you mention it. At least Zeus came to Earth once in awhile!


October 08, 2005 9:26 PM  

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