Science!!!


#1

This is a sweeping generalization but I have noticed the following.

Protestant churches seem to be exceptionally afraid and bitter toward science whereas the Catholic church takes a relatively enlightened view of it; almost reminiscent of Stephen J. Gould’s non-overlapping magesteria.

Pope John Paul II all but said he believed in Evolution.

What is your theory on why the Catholic church is able to address and deal with science in a more educated manner than their Protestant cohorts?


#2

good question. my husband is a former evolutionist. and he is studying the catechism. so i think from his point of view, since he did discuss evolution with a priest, that maybe Catholics are more able to sit back and listen? i don’t know. regarding evolution, i don’t support it. do you have a credible source that proves JP2 said he all but believed in evolution? if so, please put the link here on this post.

the priest that my husband spoke to was very kind, and answered each and every one of his questions he had very knowledgeably and very kindly. since iam not a protestant, i can’t speak for them. i can only tell you what i observed first hand from my hubby’s conversation with the priest. and believe me, my husband was a staunch evolutionist. he really was. the priest just answered every thing he had a question for. and that led to his becoming a Catholic.


#3

I agree with your assertion. I have noticed it, too. I don’t understand why Protestants (well, mostly Fundamentals I guess) are so against the idea of Evolution. Some of my best friends in the world are Creationists, and I don’t get it.


#4

I suspect that AnubistheJackal was referring to this:Taking into account the state of scientific research at the time as well as of the requirements of theology, the encyclical Humani Generis considered the doctrine of “evolutionism” a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposing hypothesis. Pius XII added two methodological conditions: that this opinion should not be adopted as though it were a certain, proven doctrine and as though one could totally prescind from revelation with regard to the questions it raises. He also spelled out the condition on which this opinion would be compatible with the Christian faith, a point to which I will return. Today, almost half a century after the publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. Aujourdhui, près dun demi-siècle après la parution de l’encyclique, de nouvelles connaissances conduisent à reconnaitre dans la théorie de l’évolution plus qu’une hypothèse.] 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 this theory.

Source: Address of Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (October 22, 1996)

rossum


#5

He didn’t say that exactly.

I tried to post his lengthy explination, but it was too long. Now, I have a few things to do at work so I can’t go find it again.

google: John Paul II and evolution.


#6

thanks rossum. for the OP when you posted about what JP2 said, you should always use a link in your post.

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#7

I don’t think we can make such a sweeping generalization about what all Protestants, all non-Catholic Christians, or their theologians think about science, so I don’t think this discussion will go anywhere. If you want to begin with a specific instance of a Protestant leader, preacher, theologian, writer which is “anti-science” I suggest you begin with a citation or quote and go from there.


#8

It is.

Protestant churches seem to be exceptionally afraid and bitter toward science whereas the Catholic church takes a relatively enlightened view of it; almost reminiscent of Stephen J. Gould’s non-overlapping magesteria.

Conservative Protestant churches tend to take that attitude, though the liberal churches are more likely to follow something like the Catholic line.

What is your theory on why the Catholic church is able to address and deal with science in a more educated manner than their Protestant cohorts?

The Catholic Church has always recognised that there are valid non-Biblical sources of knowledge: tradition and so forth. Conservative Protestants seem to be stuck in sola scriptura. When the Catholic Church finds a discrepancy between science and the Bible, she is inclined to allow the science (or other external knowledge) to influence her interpretation of the Bible. This lesson was learned a long time ago, from the time of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas:“In discussing questions of this kind two rules are to be observed, as Augustine teaches. The first is, to hold to the truth of Scripture without wavering. The second is that since Holy Scripture can be explained in a multiplicity of senses, one should adhere to a particular explanation only in such measure as to be ready to abandon it if it be proved with certainty to be false, lest Holy Scripture be exposed to the ridicule of unbelievers, and obstacles be placed to their believing.”

Summa

The classic example of where the Church got it wrong is Galileo. The church may not be perfect, but it generally learns from its mistakes. It has certainly learned from this one.

For a conservative Protestant there is no tradition of using outside sources to interpret the Bible. Hence when their interpretation of the Bible says that the earth is 6.000 years old and science says that the earth is 4.5 billion years old, they are in a dilemma. Some resolve it by ignoring the parts of science they disagree with, others resolve it by taking a different interpretation of the Bible. It is the first type that are most noticeable because they make the most noise. A classic example of their attitude to science is from Answers in Genesis:D 6. No apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record.

Source: AiG Statement of Faith
In effect, this says that if any scientific result disagrees with their interpretation of the Bible then the science must be invalid.

In the long term this is not a good position to take because when it comes to material things science will normally win out in the long term.

Perhaps it is because the Catholic Church has learned different lessons from its history, while the Protestant churches have not had the same history to learn from.

rossum


#9

Are you joking?

You’re gonna make me whip out some quotes by Robertson or Falwell before you consider this a legitimate discussion?

Let me save you some time. How many Catholics are on the board of the Discovery Institute?


#10

never heard of it.

rossum, in regards to the galileo controversy see this link:

catholic.com/library/galileo_controversy.asp


#11

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a board member of the Discovery Institute.


#12

I didn’t say you were.


#13

hehehe. Back to your original question.

I think the Catholic Church is generally more accepting of the hard sciences because it was the Church that came up with what is now modern University style of education. Despite rumors to the contrary, it was The Church that was the beacon of light in the dark ages. That beacon was Christ illuminated through education. Link")


#14

I believe the Catholic Church has learned from it’s own history (with mistakes like the Galileo/heliocentric issue) to treat science as something that is not in competition with faith.

If we truly believe that God created this world, then we also have to believe that He created the science that defines what we see in this world.

They cannot be in competition… it’s illogical.
Now, there are many illogical things that some protestants believe. Not all, but some… but the issue of science is one.


#15

Actually that would be the “scientific” thing to do. Otherwise this thread will wander on this very broad topic. As it is now people will say “evolution is false” “the Church learned her lesson with Galeleo” “Protestants are uneducated” “Science is the ultimate authority” “People who subscribe to reason over faith are better people” All of these are good discussions in thier own right but ultimately cannot be talked about in a broad thread. Please specify a topic or an event.

for instance. I personally believe evolution is a theory that has gone throuh so much change and manipulation that it is hardly recognisable as its original theory anymore…Thank God our faith doesn’t do that. I also think science has no moral compass and reason, facts and natural law do not trump god’s wisdom, Triuth and Law.


#16

Because I think you should do that research yourself given my caveat at the start of this thread. I didn’t say this thread was scientific nor to be a scientist myself. I’m going to refer to two things:

“The Truth Cannot Contradict Truth” by John Paul II

newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm

and

“Enemy of the Cross”

evangelicalright.com/2006/09/falwell_lists_evolution_femini.html


#17
  1. Taking into account the state of scientific research at the time as well as of the requirements of theology, the encyclical Humani Generis considered the doctrine of “evolutionism” a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposing hypothesis. Pius XII added two methodological conditions: that this opinion should not be adopted as though it were a certain, proven doctrine and as though one could totally prescind from revelation with regard to the questions it raises. He also spelled out the condition on which this opinion would be compatible with the Christian faith, a point to which I will return.

And, to tell the truth, rather than the theory of evolution, we should speak of several theories of evolution. On the one hand, this plurality has to do with the different explanations advanced for the mechanism of evolution, and on the other, with the various philosophies on which it is based. Hence the existence of materialist, reductionist and spiritualist interpretations. What is to be decided here is the true role of philosophy and, beyond it, of theology.

Did you read the article? I’ll bet evyone would agree with what JPII said. Maybe science should also take it into account in regaards to its massive ego.

The second link is trash and is a website aimed at targeting evangelicalls with spin and out of context quote. Shame on you for posting it in a forum that by the title should be involved with reason and not skewed results. That is a credible sourse for you??? Man I like to bag on the “evangelicals” as much as the next guy but I prefer to actually bag on stuff that is not meant as a smear campaign. I hope that you don’t really believe that hatred.


#18

So, Falwell didn’t say what the website’s video had him saying?

I’m confused. You ask for a Protestant attacking Evolution and it is provided. Yet, the source is arbitrarily defined as invalid since it is anti-evangelical.

Do I need to find another quote from a protestant on the matter from an approved website? Let me know.

I don’t agree entirely with what JPII said, no. Of course not.


#19

It is preferable that you link to websites that don’t have profanity to back your scientific assertion. You also may want to read and take what people say in the full context of what they were saying. I don’t know exactly what he meant but I could assume that he could have meant that the ramming of evolution an the denile of the existance of God by our education system is a bad thing. Many “educated” people would agree with that. I don’t know if that is what he meant but as Catholics we are called to charity which is to assume the best.
you certainly can believe what you will becuase in your thread there is no “absolute” I wish you the best in your endeavors. Welcome to the forums and I hope your experience is pleasant.


#20
  1. Sola Scriptura Protestants seem to be most prone to anti-evolution - I agree with the previous poster.

  2. Galileo didn’t get it right. In addition to what Copernicus (a Catholic priest) was proposing decades before him, Galileo also said that the sun was the center of the universe, not just that the earth revolved around the sun. He was wrong. And the church didn’t condemn him for his science, but rather for his theology.

  3. The Discovery Institute is a proponent of Intelligent Design. In short, this means a sort of guided-by-the-hand-of-God sort of evolution. They are NOT 6 day creationists. The atheistic forces of the world are trying to portray them as creationists in disguise, but in fact the only thing they seem to have in common with creationists is that they believe in God.


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