Evolution and Cardinal Schonborn


#1

As I indicated that I might three weeks ago, I’ve written a critique of Cardinal Schoenborn’s two articles that criticised the Theory of Evolution. My critique is currently in pre-publication draft mode, ie it is open to comment and further change, so comments are more than welcome:

evolutionpages.com/Schoenborn_critique.htm

Schoenborn’s position is terribly ill-advised. He has sought to undermine the carefully thought-out position of Catholic scientists who overwhelmingly subscribe to theistic evolution. Moreover his arguments are based on various elements of fundamental misunderstanding about the science in such an obvious way that is bound to provide ammunition for enemies of the Church. He has become, as PhilVaz has said, the Phillip Johnson of the Church. It is sad that in spite of JPII 's and BenedictXVI’s clear statements in acceptance of the science, going so far as to accept contingency and random processes, there are still influential churchmen who prefer special miracles to the grand sweep of evolution.

Alec
evolutionpages.com/Schoenborn_critique.htm


#2

HECD << He has become, as PhilVaz has said, the Phillip Johnson of the Church. >>

Except he’s not a lawyer. But his language of “Darwinian this” and “Darwinist that” sure sounds like Phillip Johnson or something from the Discovery Institute playbook. I do recommend Cardinal Schonborn’s interviews with Steve Ray, he is a wonderful theologian, and editor of the Catechism after all. But he gets himself in trouble with science. At least he’s not a young earther or geocentrist! :smiley:

Hey you credit me at the end of your article! Thanks.

Phil P


#3

nice work Alec! :thumbsup:

if Cardinal Schoenborn is saying the things that you claim I can see where some folks around here get their material


#4

[quote=steveandersen]nice work Alec! :thumbsup:

if Cardinal Schoenborn is saying the things that you claim I can see where some folks around here get their material
[/quote]

Well, don’t just take my word for it. You can read it for yourself.
Here is the original op-ed piece submtted to the NY Times by the same PR agency that works for the Design Institute and published in July 2005. Here is his January 2006 article in ‘First Things’ that directly prompted my reply. Here is my article.

Read them for yourself. In addition to these articles, Schoenborn has been talking about these matters in his catechetical lectures from Vienna and has been interviewed a number of times specifically on this subject in the last six months. This is more than a one-off error of judgement. It is turning into a sustained assault on the efficacy of the scientific method to uncover truth. It has become a pre-mediatated attack on the conclusions of modern biology, an attack which logically extends to modern scientific cosmology and thence to other historical sciences (although Schoenborn has not explicitly made that step yet). It has become an organised anti-intellectual and authoritarian programme wrapped up in a coat of apparent theological sophistication.

We should worry that a leading Catholic theologian, a senior papabile cardinal is persistently taking that line, especially since it is based on flawed logic and an incomplete understanding of the science.

Alec
evolutionpages.com


#5

I’ve linked your critique at Wikipedia under Cardinal Schonborn

Phil P


#6

[quote=hecd2]As I indicated that I might three weeks ago, I’ve written a critique of Cardinal Schoenborn’s two articles that criticised the Theory of Evolution. My critique is currently in pre-publication draft mode, ie it is open to comment and further change, so comments are more than welcome:

evolutionpages.com/Schoenborn_critique.htm

Schoenborn’s position is terribly ill-advised. He has sought to undermine the carefully thought-out position of Catholic scientists who overwhelmingly subscribe to theistic evolution. Moreover his arguments are based on various elements of fundamental misunderstanding about the science in such an obvious way that is bound to provide ammunition for enemies of the Church. He has become, as PhilVaz has said, the Phillip Johnson of the Church. It is sad that in spite of JPII 's and BenedictXVI’s clear statements in acceptance of the science, going so far as to accept contingency and random processes, there are still influential churchmen who prefer special miracles to the grand sweep of evolution.

Alec
evolutionpages.com/Schoenborn_critique.htm
[/quote]

:smiley:

I’ve had a few unexpected events that have kept me from posting to the forum. Since your article is currently circulating the Internet, I’d like to make a few comments then return later after I’ve completed my ‘Discovery’ article. Definately, without a doubt, Schönborn is causing an unwarrented disturbance within the minds of many Catholics.

As you must already know by now, as a Roman Catholic woman, I’ve always been against the Intelligent Design movement. Isn’t Jason Meyers, Phil Porvaznik, and JK proponents of the Intelligent Design movement to some degree? (After reading your article, I did a search on the Internet, and was lead to believe they are proponents of ID.) If this be the case, ironic as it may be, they’ve helped you to write an article against the Intelligent Design hypothesis put forth by Cardinal Schoenborn, who is on the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education? :ehh: Wow! Never seen this done before if it be the case! :wink: A welcomed invitation for them to clarify their position, otherwise I’m lead to believe they are still proponents of the Intelligent Design hypothesis/ the Intelligent Design movement.

Brief comments pertaining to your article is as follows:

  1. Love the title, Life: Puppetry or Pageantry , and the tone of the article is perfect :smiley: with an objective balance that gently rolls the reader along.

  2. I’d like mention of what organization or ID proponent prompted Cardinal Schönborn to write the New York Times article. Do you know? I think that would be very important to mention. Wasn’t it a member of the Discovery Institute?

  3. Schobourn’s articles aren’t supposed to represent the Holy See. Are they? Several articles worth mentioning that you may wish to incorporate within your article:
    stephanscom.at/edw/reden/0/articles/2005/07/08/a8795/
    stephanscom.at/edw/katechesen/articles/2005/10/14/a9347/

  4. You use the word ‘soul’ in the article, which if fine, however I’d prefer to use the word ‘supernatural events’ unexplainable by natural science.

5)I would appreciate references from peer-reviewed scientific journals supporting the science within your article, Alec. :smiley:

I’ll return over the weekend to add a tad more. Alec, the copyright date on the front page of your website is outdated. What year is it? 2006! :thumbsup: And I would appreciate seeing a date on the on-line draft and stating it is a ‘DRAFT’.

God bless you, St. Alec :).

p.s. Phil, you may consider linking Alec’s draft on Wikipedia to Catholic.com for further debate, though in my opinion, there isn’t much to debate! Unless people like massive headaches. I wouldn’t be one of them.


#7

Alec, my message #6 was in response to your first draft that was presented to us on January 26, 2005. I noticed you have made corrections to that draft on January 28. You’ve omitted items I thought were excellent. I favor the first draft more than the second. :slight_smile: In my opinion, your second draft is stern and sterile. It doesn’t have the appeal the first draft had. :frowning: Why did you take it out? Did Phil, Jason, or JK ask you too? I’m curious why you changed it? Some of the ladies I had lunch with liked the first better too! Ah well…


#8

Today is the 28th of January! WAKE UP Alec :bigyikes: , you read what I wrote in message #6 about Phil, Jason, and JP. Didn’t you? Or caught your blooper! ADMIT it! :rotfl: and changed the text in the first draft today? :yup: I have a hard copy of the first draft you wrote. :smiley: If you need to refer back to it, I’ll be more than glad to mail you a copy so you can add the pizzazz back into it.

Protecting the men, eh? :rolleyes: As a female, I guess I’ll have to pat myself on the back. :stuck_out_tongue:


#9

Alec, a quote from your draft dated 28th January 2005:

“In fact randomness in both gamete production and sperm competition is not a condition just of evolutionary biology, but also of reproduction. Random processes are fundamental in the determination of the genotype and the phenotype of individual human beings. It is essential to understand that whatever definition of ‘randomness’ one chooses to describe cell-line mutations, random sorting in meiosis and sperm selection, then that definition applies equally to the mechanism of evolution and to the creation of individual human beings. These random processes neither mandate nor eliminate God from the creation of a human being. I wonder if Schönborn resists the idea that random elements exist in human procreation, or whether he reconciles these elements by accepting that the randomness is part of divine providence and by the belief that each individual is willed by God. There is, in fact, no difference in kind between the randomness that determines the genetic makeup and hence fundamental physical and mental properties of an individual human being, and the randomness that is the foundation for evolution. If Schönborn can reconcile one with divine providence, there is no reason why he should not reconcile the other.”

Alec, please open your heart and mind by placing into your article which is a draft, until I am otherwise notified, that ‘supernatural events’ are not explained by natural science. The quote above might suggest divine providence didn’t occur.

Would you deny or detest or loathe Roman Catholics who believe in a ‘Triune God’ and the Imaculate Conception? Would you think they weren’t intelligent? I realize you can’t concieve of it nor many Orthodox Catholics and other people, though that doesn’t necessarily make it untrue just because pure science doesn’t lean in that direction which you and I both agree upon. Stripping away everything from life that Roman Catholics hold dear to their hearts and believe to be true would be most cruel and mean. Don’t you think? Futhermore, I have read where you’ve mentioned ‘supernatural events’ in another topic of discussion. :wink:

I’ll pray that you will deeply reflect upon my plea. I think you’ll enhance the article with greater chance of it being accepted by a Roman Catholic audience. Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter. :slight_smile: (Perhaps a little re-wording is all that is needed.) :thumbsup:


#10

I’m a creationist myself, and don’t buy evolution at all. Plus the Church didn’t slam Intelligent design but what can you expect from flaming liberals like MSM.


#11

wild << Isn’t Jason Meyers, Phil Porvaznik, and JK proponents of the Intelligent Design movement to some degree? (After reading your article, I did a search on the Internet, and was lead to believe they are proponents of ID.) >>

Lower case “intelligent design” is written into Scripture (Romans 1:19-20, Psalm 19) and the first Vatican Council. I am in favor of God being behind the universe as Creator and intelligent designer of course. As for direct intervention (upper case Intelligent Design), I think science has explained biological evolution naturally (i.e. methodological naturalism) since Darwin, and the evidence for common descent or macroevolution is overwhelming.

Phil P


#12

[quote=PhilVaz]wild << Isn’t Jason Meyers, Phil Porvaznik, and JK proponents of the Intelligent Design movement to some degree? (After reading your article, I did a search on the Internet, and was lead to believe they are proponents of ID.) >>

Lower case “intelligent design” is written into Scripture (Romans 1:19-20, Psalm 19) and the first Vatican Council. I am in favor of God being behind the universe as Creator and intelligent designer of course. As for direct intervention (upper case Intelligent Design), I think science has explained biological evolution naturally (i.e. methodological naturalism) since Darwin, and the evidence for common descent or macroevolution is overwhelming.

Phil P
[/quote]

You seem to be telling me you’re an Orthodox Catholic and don’t agree with a ‘triune God’ or the Imaculate Conception. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

The American Bible:

Romans 1:19-20:For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them. Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse;
vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/__PYP.HTM

Psalm 19 : Doesn’t show up in The American Bible on the Vatican website:

vatican.va/archive/ENG0839/_INDEX.HTM

Are you telling me that Alec has teamed up with Orthodox Catholics to do battle against Roman Catholics? If that is the case than where is LOVE? Alec, do you dream of ears at night? Listen to your heart…


#13

wild << Are you telling me that Alec has teamed up with Orthodox Catholics to do battle against Roman Catholics? >>

No, he asked me in private but I told him I don’t want to host an article critical of Cardinal Schonborn. I post only positive pro-Catholic pro-science articles on evolution on my site (with one exception from Richard Dawkins), and I have one from Schonborn and Genesis commentary from Ratzinger that are pro-evolution, and explain Catholic teaching on God the Creator. And I recently added a search engine to my main page. Finally!

Alec has every right and duty as a concerned scientist and citizen of this rational world :smiley: to criticize Schonborn for his bad biology or science misunderstandings, and I encourage him to do that. He just wants some backing from Catholics for that. I don’t think he discusses the Immaculate Conception or the Trinity in his article (I need to read the latest draft). That is a matter of revelation and has nothing to do with science.

On Romans 1:19-20 and Psalm 19, these suggest God can be “known” by the existence of his creation. That is what I call lower case “intelligent design.” Vatican Council I also teaches that here:

“On revelation. 1. The same Holy mother Church holds and teaches that God, the source and end of all things, can be known with certainty from the consideration of created things, by the natural power of human reason : ever since the creation of the world, his invisible nature has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made…” [Romans 1:19-20 is cited; also the deteurocanonical book of Wisdom chapter 13 has similar language which Schonborn has quoted before]

However, neither Romans 1, nor Psalm 19, nor Wisdom 13, nor the First Vatican Council go on to say God can be proved by examining the design of the bacterial flagellum, the whale, or the eyeball. That is upper case “Intelligent Design” that I reject since I think science has a generally good idea of the natural evolution of the flagella, the whale, and the eyeball. :smiley: We don’t need to invoke direct divine intervention for those or a “God of the gaps” fallacy. Thanks for allowing me to clarify! But I think I’ve been super duper clear all along! :thumbsup:

Phil P


#14

Hi Phil and Alec, :slight_smile:

Apparently, you both have consulted with each other privately as stated in Phil’s msg. 13. Alec, your draft pertains to a Roman Catholic cardinal. As a Roman Catholic woman, I do think that my comments and viewpoint expressed in this thread is significantly worthy of respect and consideration due to the fact that you stated in message 1, "*My critique is currently in pre-publication draft mode, ie it is open to comment and further change, so comments are more than welcome… *’ I appreciate you [Alec] for giving me the opportunity to amend the first draft from the 26th and the second draft dated the 28th which I’ve haven’t yet fully finished.

Phil, I’m deeply concerned and don’t understand why you placed Alec’s pre-publication draft on Wikipedia. Did you ask his permission prior to doing that?

Alec, I don’t understand why you’ve made it available to the public on your website when you haven’t given members of Catholic.com a chance to respond. You haven’t given us notification that your article has been finalized and no longer a pre-publication draft. Alec, you didn’t state a deadline for participants so in all fairness it remains a **pre-publication draft ** that was presented on the 26th January 2005 until we are otherwise notified, henceforth still open for revision.

Alec, I’ll look forward to your response to my above mentioned requests and questions. :slight_smile: I’m confident that these issues will be resolved which will result in the final article sparkling with an appeal that will be pleasing to Roman Catholics, who are the majority of people you wish to affect by your article. The most important element for a writer is questioning your own intent then editing that intent by moving onto what would be best to present to your reader that would grab their attention. :wink: Motivating people in the right direction can be accomplished when slowly moving their reading audience toward the light of reason, as well as realizing men don’t think like women. Truth is that women are the teaching creatures of children. This fact can’t be denied. I promise you that your ‘whole’ audience from generation to generation will be apt to return to visit you in the future. Isn’t this what every author desires? :wink:

Thank you both for your time. :slight_smile: Once again, my ‘Discovery’ article is behind schedule. Ah well, life is filled with unexpected happenings! Best to deal with them as they come along. The remainder of this Sunday will be spent outdoors. :smiley: I have to admit that men here do keep a woman walking around on her tippy toes. Look away for a minute and …boomaranged from out of the blue by MEN! :wave:


#15

wild << Phil, I’m deeply concerned and don’t understand why you placed Alec’s pre-publication draft on Wikipedia. Did you ask his permission prior to doing that? >>

It is only a link to his site. No I didn’t ask his permission, I just linked it. Alec has the article on the front of his site www.EvolutionPages.com

The good thing about the web is one can make changes anytime when necessary, to fix mistakes, make things clearer, etc. So the web version I assume will be a “work in progress” until Alec perfects it. The link remains the same. Once the article is edited to his satisfaction, that’s when Alec submits it for possible publication. I assume that’s how it works.

Phil P


#16

Wildleafblower asked Phil in message #14, “Phil, I’m deeply concerned and don’t understand why you placed Alec’s pre-publication draft on Wikipedia. Did you ask his permission prior to doing that?”

PhilVaz responded in message #15, " It is only a link to his site. No I didn’t ask his permission, I just linked it. Alec has the article on the front of his site www.EvolutionPages.com

“The good thing about the web is one can make changes anytime when necessary, to fix mistakes, make things clearer, etc. So the web version I assume will be a “work in progress” until Alec perfects it. The link remains the same. Once the article is edited to his satisfaction, that’s when Alec submits it for possible publication. I assume that’s how it works.”

Hi Phil, :slight_smile:

I’d like to respond to the first paragraph of your response to me. You clearly state as a fact that you didn’t ask permission from Alec MacAndrew to link his article entitled Rebuttal of Cardinal Schönborn which is referenced on the homepage of his website found here evolutionpages.com/
to Wikimedia. Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales statement at the bottom of the page of Wikimedia:General disclaimer states, "Please note that the information found here may be in violation of the laws of the country or jurisdiction from where you are viewing this information. Wikipedia does not encourage the violation of any laws, but this information is stored on a server in the State of Florida in the United States of America, and is maintained in reference to the protections afforded to content providers and readers in that jurisdiction. The laws in your country may not recognize a similarly broad protection of free speech; Wikipedia cannot be responsible for potential violations of such laws, should you link to this domain or reuse any of the information contained herein."
The above statement is found on this url:
wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Wikimedia:General_disclaimer :slight_smile:

My response to your second paragraph is pertinant to Alec’s comment in msg. # 1 dated 26th January 2006, “My critique is currently in pre-publication draft mode, ie it is open to comment and further change, so comments are more than welcome…” There isn’t any mention on Alec’s article that it is a draft. It appears to me that Alec published the article* Life: Puppetry or Pageantry? A response to Cardinal Schönborn’s attack on science* as of 28th Jan 2006 found on this url:
evolutionpages.com/Schoenborn_critique.htm

Unless he tells me otherwise I would be led to believe I’m correct. If this is the case than he hasn’t given anyone a ‘fair’ amount of time to comment.

Let’s look at the date and time of postings for messages 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13 later. Interesting, Alec posted his msg. #4 at 2:11 a.m. and you posted your msg. # 5 an hour and 16 minutes later (3:27 a.m.) to Wikipedia where you posted his link there? Do you think that he may have followed your link there later?

Phil, as you have stated, “The good thing about the web is one can make changes anytime when necessary, to fix mistakes, make things clearer, etc. So the web version I assume will be a “work in progress” until Alec perfects it. The link remains the same. Once the article is edited to his satisfaction, that’s when Alec submits it for possible publication. I assume that’s how it works.”

Really? You’re telling me by your statement that it’s perfectly ‘ok’ to present to the public misinformation. And, Alec’s website doesn’t provide me with accurate information that I can rely on. Interesting. Alec has on his homepage a disclamer. It states, “I am a trained scientist, but obviously not trained or working in every scientific discipline. There is very little on this website which rests on my own authority. However, where I make claims or statements, they are backed up by **references ** to the primary literature. Most creationist arguments can be refuted by any trained scientist who is prepared to undertake some literature research.” Well, I’d like to see Alec’s references as I asked for in his article as he mentions in msg. #4 and I have requested in my msg. #6. :smiley: However, he has presented a disclaimer that is highlighted in purple on his homepage! :mad: :rolleyes:
evolutionpages.com/

BAD boy :mad: Alec, I’m patiently waiting on you, oh serious one! :smiley:


#17

wildleafblower aked Phil in msg. #14 , "*Are you telling me that Alec has teamed up with Orthodox Catholics to do battle against Roman Catholics? * "

PhilVaz replied in msg. #15, “No, he asked me in private but I told him I don’t want to host an article critical of Cardinal Schonborn.

Phil :), you can’t escape the fact that your name appears on Alec’s article that is critical of Cardinal Schonborn. Alec clearly states at the end of the article, “*I am indebted to Jason Meyers, Phil Porvaznik and John King without whose help this article would have been even poorer than it is. I am solely responsible for all errors, omissions and non-sequiturs *” In my opinion, it doesn’t matter to readers if the article had been on your website or Alec’s. :stuck_out_tongue:
evolutionpages.com/Schoenborn_critique.htm

Ah well, what done is done. And I have to admit that I’m :frowning: and :mad: and rightfully so … I’ll wait for Alec to reply to my questions and requests. I hope he isn’t like this old professor I knew who liked to drop granades on peoples’ heads then runaway and hide! :smiley: :rotfl:


#18

Isn’t Jason Meyers, Phil Porvaznik, and JK proponents of the Intelligent Design movement to some degree?

I am absolutely NOT a proponent of Intelligent Design. I think that is is not science, and that it is horrible theology. I do believe in God and the Catholic faith, and as Cardinal Ratzinger wrote “divine causality”, but I do not believe in Intelligent Design. I teach and study evolution and practice methodological naturalism in my research.
JRM


#19

wild << Really? You’re telling me by your statement that it’s perfectly ‘ok’ to present to the public misinformation. >>

No, but this happens all the time on the web. What are we getting all upset about??? :smiley:

I need to read the latest draft, but what I have read from Alec is accurate. He certainly knows the science a lot better than myself. And he knows some philosophy and is familiar with Catholic theology enough to take on Schonborn.

While I wouldn’t want to host an anti-Schonborn article on my site, I appreciate Alec mentioning me at the bottom, shows that he consulted Catholic people who are interested in this issue (since Alec is not Catholic himself). :thumbsup: If Alec’s article does get published somewhere (TalkOrigins, or print media, or only on his own site, etc), and people see my name at the bottom, and wonder who I am, maybe they will do a Google search on my name, and what do you know… I get some more hits to my apologetics site! :smiley: And they see my pro-Catholic and pro-evolution articles. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? :thumbsup:

Phil P


#20

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