Vatican astronomer says "intelligent design" doesn't belong in science class

Vatican astronomer says ‘intelligent design’ doesn’t belong in science class

billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/11/18/build/world/49-design.inc
**By NICOLE WINFIELD
Associated Press **

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican’s chief astronomer said Friday that “intelligent design” isn’t science and doesn’t belong in science classrooms, the latest high-ranking Roman Catholic official to enter the evolution debate in the United States.

The Rev. George Coyne, the Jesuit director of the Vatican Observatory, said placing intelligent design theory alongside that of evolution in school programs was “wrong” and was akin to mixing apples with oranges.

“Intelligent design isn’t science even though it pretends to be,” the ANSA news agency quoted Coyne as saying on the sidelines of a conference in Florence. “If you want to teach it in schools, intelligent design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science.”

His comments were in line with his previous statements on “intelligent design” – whose supporters hold that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by a higher power."

How cool is it that we have a chief astronomer? Go Vatican scientists!

Vatican Observatory site is here.

[quote=gilliam]Vatican Observatory site is here.
[/quote]

Cool! I may email the director.

I completley agree with him and I think that people who do think that ID is a scientifically valid theory don’t know scientific theory at all. I have siad before in discussion forums that because ID includes the existance of God and you cannot scientifically prove or disprove the existance of God, then ID has no place in a science classroom.

[quote=beckyann2597]I completley agree with him and I think that people who do think that ID is a scientifically valid theory don’t know scientific theory at all. I have siad before in discussion forums that because ID includes the existance of God and you cannot scientifically prove or disprove the existance of God, then ID has no place in a science classroom.
[/quote]

This is one aspect of the RCC that I continue to admire. Fundamentalist run around like chickens with their heads cut off and reject science that is plain as day. The RCC is not afraid of the theory of evolution or physical science. While it doesn’t reject ID, it feels it is better taught in a philosophy/religion class.

Imagine a God that’s creation is so perfect that it adapts to changes around it? This is the God of the RCC.

Nohome

[quote=Nohome]This is one aspect of the RCC that I continue to admire. Fundamentalist run around like chickens with their heads cut off and reject science that is plain as day. The RCC is not afraid of the theory of evolution or physical science. While it doesn’t reject ID, it feels it is better taught in a philosophy/religion class.

Imagine a God that’s creation is so perfect that it adapts to changes around it? This is the God of the RCC.

Nohome
[/quote]

Nohome, it´s only important to know the importance and existence of original sin. Always we are seeing the original sin, but other things, although I think that it´s possible the intelligent design, I don´t know, although I want to say that Darwin Theory, it´s only that, a theory.
I hope you find the catholic church like your home soon.

[quote=Nohome]This is one aspect of the RCC that I continue to admire. Fundamentalist run around like chickens with their heads cut off and reject science that is plain as day. The RCC is not afraid of the theory of evolution or physical science. While it doesn’t reject ID, it feels it is better taught in a philosophy/religion class.

Imagine a God that’s creation is so perfect that it adapts to changes around it? This is the God of the RCC.

Nohome
[/quote]

I think that the Church ought to be concerned about becoming too cozy with the fundamentalists and it is trying to draw a distinct line. Most of us who went to Catholic school were taught about evolution and it was not considered a threat to our faith. The Church looks seriously at issues of science and can speak with great authority; something that others cannot do.

[quote=Thekla]I think that the Church ought to be concerned about becoming too cozy with the fundamentalists and it is trying to draw a distinct line…
[/quote]

I’m confused here. The Church is concerned about becoming as cozy to God as She can. The only lines drawn are those established by God’s Law.

[quote=gilliam]I’m confused here. The Church is concerned about becoming as cozy to God as She can. The only lines drawn are those established by God’s Law.
[/quote]

Maybe I didn’t explain it right. I think that the Church is making these statements about evolution because Catholics in this country have been confused by the fundamentalists. I even had a fellow Catholic on this forum suggest that I was opposing Church teaching by my belief in evolution.

[quote=Thekla]Maybe I didn’t explain it right. I think that the Church is making these statements about evolution because Catholics in this country have been confused by the fundamentalists. I even had a fellow Catholic on this forum suggest that I was opposing Church teaching by my belief in evolution.
[/quote]

If I am not mistaken, he made the comment overseas and I think it was because someone asked him a question.

Sorry to hear some are questioning your faith for whatever reason. That is rude.

[quote=beckyann2597]I completley agree with him and I think that people who do think that ID is a scientifically valid theory don’t know scientific theory at all. I have siad before in discussion forums that because ID includes the existance of God and you cannot scientifically prove or disprove the existance of God, then ID has no place in a science classroom.
[/quote]

Well, I don’t know why fundies are so hot for ID. It doesn’t necessarily prove the existence of God – or at least not our God.
In Robert Heinlein’s story “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag” this world was created by an Artist of some kind of mega-beings. Other SF authors have played with the same idea.

[quote=Thekla]Maybe I didn’t explain it right. I think that the Church is making these statements about evolution because Catholics in this country have been confused by the fundamentalists. I even had a fellow Catholic on this forum suggest that I was opposing Church teaching by my belief in evolution.
[/quote]

I believe that this is part of the reason why The Church is being more vocal about her support for Evolution as of late. The fundamentalists are getting a lot of media attention and are confusing people about the matter. So naturally The Church is providing guidence to her flock so that they are not swayed by them.

Personally I think that the Church is better off distancing herself from the fundies and drawing a sharp line between Catholicism and fundamentalism. Catholicism is a rational religion, not a fideistic and irrational one.

Valz

[quote=didymus]Well, I don’t know why fundies are so hot for ID.
[/quote]

Me either. Personally I believe ID is incompatible with Catholicism.

Valz

Where did the Vatican astronomer publish his arguments?

Has anyone from the Discovery Institutes had a chance to refute them?

[quote=Mike Rainville]Where did the Vatican astronomer publish his arguments?

Has anyone from the Discovery Institutes had a chance to refute them?
[/quote]

Isn’t it up to the ID proponents to prove their theory is science and not the other way around? This is now the second Vatican official to come out in recent weeks excorciating the anti-science creationists. Something’s going on here between the Catholics and the fundamentalists.

[quote=Valz]Me either. Personally I believe ID is incompatible with Catholicism.

Valz
[/quote]

:confused: How is ID incompatible with Catholicism? Our Faith allows latitude in the belief of how God created the world.

Personally, I still don’t have a problem with a teacher explaining that there are other beliefs about the origin of the world. It takes about 5-10 minutes…and then onto the Theory of Evolution. My son’s Biology teacher did just that, and it was very well handled. I do agree there is no reason to go into the details of ID, as it belongs in a Philosophy class.

Robert

[quote=Thekla]Something’s going on here between the Catholics and the fundamentalists.
[/quote]

Yes and it is that the position of the fundamentalist influences people into a sola scriptura and biblical literalist mentallity which is contrary to The Church. Catholics that are confused about this issue are prone to be convinced by the fundamentalist and may end up joining them while rejecting The Church.

Valz

[quote=Thekla]Isn’t it up to the ID proponents to prove their theory is science and not the other way around?
[/quote]

The ID group have made a carefully documented case, which is deserving of a formal response. If the Vatican astronomer, Rev. Coyle, has taken the time to form a contrary opinion, given his international stature, he has a responsibility to make his case in a way that gives the other side an opportunity to refute his arguments. The news article online does not have a clear argument or sufficient definitions to permit any reply.

Most people appear NOT to have a clear understanding of the very idea “intelligent design” as the ID group define it:

Called intelligent design (ID), to distinguish it from earlier versions of design theory (as well as from the naturalistic use of the term design), this new approach is more modest than its predecessors. Rather than trying to infer God’s existence or character from the natural world, it simply claims “that intelligent causes are necessary to explain the complex, information-rich structures of biology and that these causes are empirically detectable.”

William A. Dembski, Intelligent Design (Downer’s Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1999), p. 106.]

They appear to me to much more careful about distinguishing clear science from the religious implications or their work, than their opponents.

“Mere Creation - Science, Faith, and Intelligent Design,” William A. Dembski, ed.(InterVarsity Press) is a collection of essays on the subject. It would be a good starting point to learn the definitions and frame of reference for the debate.

“Uncommon Dissent, Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing,” William A. Dembski, ed.(ISI Books)

The above not only makes the case, it explains the strategy of the opposition.

[quote=rlg94086]:confused: How is ID incompatible with Catholicism? Our Faith allows latitude in the belief of how God created the world.

Personally, I still don’t have a problem with a teacher explaining that there are other beliefs about the origin of the world. It takes about 5-10 minutes…and then onto the Theory of Evolution. My son’s Biology teacher did just that, and it was very well handled. I do agree there is no reason to go into the details of ID, as it belongs in a Philosophy class.

Robert
[/quote]

You may find the Discovery Institute position helpful.

QUESTIONS ABOUT SCIENCE EDUCATION POLICY

2. Is Discovery Institute trying to eliminate, reduce or censor the coverage of evolution in textbooks?

It (Discovery Institute) believes that evolution should be fully and completely presented to students, and they should learn more about evolutionary theory, including its unresolved issues.

  1. Should public schools require the teaching of intelligent design?

No. Instead of mandating intelligent design, Discovery Institute recommends that states and school districts focus on teaching students more about evolutionary theory, including telling them about some of the theory’s problems that have been discussed in peer-reviewed science journals. In other words, evolution should be taught as a scientific theory that is open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned. …

discovery.org/csc/topQuestions.php

There is a complete issue of Touchstone Magazine dedicated to the subject. Some articles are archived and public,

“Intelligent Design,” Touchstone, July/August 1999
touchstonemag.com/archives/issue.php?id=49

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