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Notable Quotes #3 Saturday, June 9, 2007

Posted by Henry in biology, Catholics, Christianity, church, consilience, embryology, evolution, genetics, morphology, Notable Quotes Series, paleontology, pope, religion, science, Vatican.
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Pope John Paul II stated in 1996 that the theory of evolution is of no threat to religion:

New knowledge has led to the recognition that the theory of evolution is more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.

– Pope John Paull II

The “convergence of various fields of knowledge” is also known as the consilience argument, in that various unrelated studies all agree and point to one fact. In the case of evolution, studies such as paleontology, fossil records, biogeographical distribution, morphology, genetics, embryology, biological classification, modern medicine… and so on, has independently verified evolution.

Pope Speaks on Evolution Thursday, April 12, 2007

Posted by Henry in anti-creationism, anti-ID, Christianity, creationism, evolution, faith, God, intelligent design, pope, religion, science, Vatican.

The Pope has, for the first time as a Pontiff, spoken his view on the science of evolution, as shown in this report, which is bound to add fuels to the now re-emerging debate of evolution and “intelligent design” (ID for short).

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict has in general being rather vague on this issue. According to the report, the Pope seems to neither openly endorse ID nor completely disagree with evolution. This comes as no-surprise as the Vatican continues to hold the “theist evolution” view that evolution is perfectly capable to exist side-by-side with Catholic Christianity. Although difficult to interpret what the Pope is really saying from the report, it seems to me that although he thinks science provides a natural explanation, it is only part of a bigger picture (which he says cannot be explained by faith along), and evolution cannot take away a “dimension of reason”.

I think the Pope is implying that while evolution itself is a rational process, the process itself must be explained away by the “creative reason of God”. Quoting the report:

“The process itself is rational despite the mistakes and confusion as it goes through a narrow corridor choosing a few positive mutations and using low probability,” he said.

“This … inevitably leads to a question that goes beyond science … where did this rationality come from?” he asked. Answering his own question, he said it came from the “creative reason” of God.