Vatican Event to Exclude Intelligent Design

Catholic News Service reports:

Speakers invited to attend a Vatican-sponsored congress on the evolution debate will not include proponents of creationism and intelligent design, organizers said.

The Pontifical Council for Culture, Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana are organizing an international conference in Rome March 3-7 as one of a series of events marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species."

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.

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.

Ouch, that's gotta hurt! I predict outrage from the DI and the folks at the echo-chamber over at Uncommon Descent.

HT Nick M.

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Outstanding. They should keep Cardinal Schönborn out of it too.

It is not all good news though. As Sparc at AtBC points out:

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.

By afarensis (not verified) on 16 Sep 2008 #permalink

I wonder if the words of Pope Pius XII
will be mentioned at the conference:

- Genesis contains real history--it gives an account of things that really happened.
(Pius XII)
- Adam and Eve were real human beings--the first parents of all mankind.
(Pius XII)
- Evolution must not be taught as fact, but instead the
pros and cons of evolution must be taught.
(Pius XII, Humani Generis)
- Investigation into human "evolution" was allowed in 1950,
but Pope Pius XII feared that an acceptance of
evolutionism might adversely affect doctrinal beliefs.

Quoted from:
What Does The Catholic Church Teach about Origins?

"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."
I think this point is the heart of the matter.
Antievolution in the US is essentially protestant creationism. Its a central point in 'mainstream' evangelical teachings that are widespread in the US and spreading in the catholic churches major population bases of South America and Africa.
The Catholic church cannot afford to remain silent on this question while evangelicalism is using it to their obvious advantage.

afarensis says:
It is not all good news though. As Sparc at AtBC points out:

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.

One more time:
It is not all good news though.

LOL!... how stereotypical of antifanatics to see their equally unproductive righteousness as being less damaging to science than their fanatical counterparts.

No protestant style creationism or ID allowed.

Catholic compatible theistic evolution only.

No evolution untainted by god(s) permitted.

Just a nice middle of the road scientific conference at the Vatican that will further our understanding of one of the most important explanations of life as we find it here on this planet - Catholicism.

One can only hope that something useful to science will come out of this propaganda event. There's nothing wrong with wishful thinking, is there? Not holding my breath.

By JohnnieCanuck, FCD (not verified) on 18 Sep 2008 #permalink

With Palin,religion and religious views so in the news these days, I'm wondering what you all think about this. I came across this interesting site, the other day while doing some research on religion and its place in politics.

It's a site where there are numerous interesting debates on all sorts of subjects that are on everyone's mind. The debate that specifically captured my attention is the one asking whether Intelligent Design has merit. I do like the idea that their debaters are not simply average people giving their opinions, but all are experts in their chosen fields.

The point of view that really got to me though, is the one from the Ayn Rand Institute in which they call ID a supposedly non-religious theory, and a crusade to peddle religion by giving it the veneer of science. They use words like it is metaphysical marijuana intended to draw students away from scientific explanations and get them hooked on the supernatural. I'd like to place my comment there, but I'd really like to get some input from you before doing so. Here's the specific debate I'd like to comment on. Thanks so much.