The Vatican has announced that they are having an evolution congress, and that no creationists or intelligent design creationists will be invited. Isn’t that sweet? They’re still inviting a swarm of theologians, though, so their exclusion is all window-dressing, a transparent attempt to sidle medieval peddlers of superstitious nonsense up next to some serious science for a photo op and a little propaganda. And they aren’t even trying to hide what they’re doing.
Jesuit Father Marc Leclerc, a philosophy professor at the Gregorian, told Catholic News Service Sept. 16 that organizers “wanted to create a conference that was strictly scientific” and that discussed rational philosophy and theology along with the latest scientific discoveries.
Right. Strictly scientific. With theology.
He said arguments “that cannot be critically defined as being science, or philosophy or theology did not seem feasible to include in a dialogue at this level and, therefore, for this reason we did not think to invite” supporters of creationism and intelligent design.
What an out — they’re only going to allow arguments critically defined as scientific, oh, and theology. Those are two different things, you know.
I eagerly await the announcement of the associated banquet for the participants. They will only be serving the highest quality food, made by master chefs of Europe, using only the freshest, best ingredients, oh, and there will be dollops of runny, rancid fecal material splattered over the tables and dishes. But the meal will be a magnificent gourmet experience, and the world will know that Vatican shit deserves to be served to the greatest minds of science.
I’m sure they’ll get some good smart people to go along with this, because there is no shortage of competent scientists willing to compromise the public face of science by associating it with wishful thinking and the supernatural. And the Vatican will, of course, throw buckets of pomp and money and somber news quotes at this, all to decorate the rotting flesh of their decrepit dogma with the jewels of science.
And look! Their exclusivity runs the other way, too!
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the other extreme of the evolution debate — proponents of an overly scientific conception of evolution and natural selection — also were not invited.
“Overly scientific conception of evolution”? What the heck? So the problem with evolution, to these Catholics, is that there’s too darned much science in it? I guess Richard Dawkins won’t be pining by his mailbox, hangdog with disappointment that his papal invitation hasn’t arrived yet. Why, the whole problem with evolutionary biology is that we don’t have enough religion in it, to poison and distort and attenuate the science. But not just any religion: it seriously needs more Catholicism.
Phillip Sloan, a professor at Notre Dame, told the press conference the evolution debate, “especially in the United States, has been taking place without a strong Catholic presence … and the discourse has suffered accordingly.”
My usual position is that we need a diversity of approaches to getting science across to the people, and I’ll normally hold my nose and say that those who want to accommodate their religious beliefs to evolution and reach out to people of faith are a necessary part of the process, and that they should be encouraged (but always, also, criticized!). I cannot say that of this conference. Scientists who willingly participate in this obvious game of propaganda are not helping science at all — they are simply selling sectarian Catholic dogma by adding a false luster of rationalism to a body of rank nonsense. The Vatican is asking for a façade of superficially presented science and an illusion of selectivity to make their lies and fantasies look specially favored by the scientific community … and they have even admitted that scientists who reject their teleology and their doctrines and their lunatic beliefs will not be permitted to question.
The conference is a lie. It’s an attempt to pad religion’s résumé. It will get only a sneer of contempt from me, but watch: some scientists and the media and the public, all the people who really, really want transubstantiating triune gods and inherited sins that damn all to hell to be true will lap it up. The Catholic Church will frame it masterfully to serve their corrupt and dishonest ends.