Friday, August 25, 2006

Must Be Running For Office

A story at CNS reports that Cardinal Schonborn of Vienna thinks that his OpEd piece in the New York Times last year may have been "too much crafted with a hatchet." It turns out that, in his opinion, "the church does not support creationism", and "the church teaches that the first page of the Book of Genesis is not a page of science." He now says that his article "might have been more nuanced."

While this is a salutary development--it's good to know that prominent Church leaders are not Silly Persons--one still wonders just how nuanced the Cardinal's position could get. On the one hand, he wants to claim that there is a distinction to be drawn between what he calls "the science of Darwin" and "ideological Darwinism", but on the other hand he criticizes those who ignore what he claims is the "overwhelming [scientific] evidence for design in biology" and goes so far as to propose "a metaphorical image: Darwin's scientific ladder of rising evolutionary development on one hand, and on the other the biblical Jacob's ladder, from which angels descended from heaven to earth."

It is difficult to see how one could further nuance such manifest ignorance of the nature of evolutionary theory, but I suppose it's a step in the right direction: he at least admits that "Darwinian theory and the faith can coexist". But scientific evidence of design in biology? Rising evolutionary development? Come on.

One almost gets the impression that the Cardinal's remarks were somehow a response to certain kinds of criticisms from certain quarters.

According to the CNS story,
The cardinal was one of several scholars invited to join Pope Benedict XVI at his summer villa in early September for a private two-day symposium on "Creation and Evolution." The encounter is an annual one in which the pope meets with his former doctoral students from his teaching years in Germany.
Oh.

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