Kenneth Miller, Francisco Ayala, and Lawrence Krauss have decided to go to the top, asking Pope Benedict XVI to clarify his views on evolution and design.
New pope questioned over evolution
New Scientist, 23 July 2005, 5.
THREE prominent US scientists have asked the new pope, Benedict XVI, to clarify the Roman Catholic church’s views on evolution, and to reject a piece in The New York Times last week by Austrian cardinal Christoph SchÃƒÂ¶nborn, a close associate of Benedict, which said that the church does not accept “neo-Darwinian dogma”.
A 1996 statement by the late Pope John Paul II seemed finally to mark the church’s acceptance of evolution. But while common ancestry for life “might be true”, SchÃƒÂ¶nborn wrote, “an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection is not”. Denial of the “overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science”, he added. Most biologists would question that such evidence exists.
“Denial of the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science”
The cardinal’s language is highly reminiscent of intelligent design activists in the US, with whom he has links. Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University in Ohio, and prominent Catholic evolutionists Francisco Ayala of the University of California at Irvine and Kenneth Miller of Brown University in Rhode Island have asked Benedict not “to build a new divide, long ago eradicated, between the scientific method and religious belief”.
Miller calls himself an orthodox Catholic and an orthodox Darwinian. Ayala left the Catholic priesthood long ago — is there evidence that he is still a practicing Catholic? I have no knowledge of Krauss being a Catholic.