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“The Pontifical Academy of Evolutionists”

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Here’s a quote from THE CHRISTIAN ORDER going back more than a decade:

The Pontifical Academy of Evolutionists

Despite being widely accepted even at the highest level in the Church, there has never been any authoritative teaching approving of evolution. Hence the reaction of the worldwide media to the Pope’s message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on October 25th 1996. The ambiguous phrase that evolution is “more than just a theory” was greeted with glee by the materialistic press as an official admission of the collapse, under the weight of scientific research, of the Church’s traditional beliefs in Adam and Eve and any literal sense of Genesis.(37) Yet by no stretch of wishful thinking can the Pope’s message, arguably not even written by him personally, be considered a Magisterial teaching, still less an infallible new dogma of faith, overturning previous doctrine.

If John Paul II is unaware of the contemporary crisis in the credibility of evolution, this could be related to the fact that his 80 scientific advisors in the Academy are all evolutionists, including Fr. Stanley Jaki and the atheist cosmologist Stephen Hawking. This bias must severely limit the competence of the Academy to fulfil the stated intentions of Pope Pius IX, on its foundation in 1936, “… who wished to surround himself with a select group of scholars, relying on them to inform the Holy See in complete freedom about developments in scientific research and thereby to assist him in his reflections.”(38) In his 1996 Message, John Paul reminded the Academy that the Magisterium has already made pronouncements on these matters, and cites the encyclical “Humani Generis” in which Pope Pius XII: “considered the doctrine of ‘evolutionism’ a serious hypothesis, worthy of investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposing hypothesis.” A comparison with the text shows that the Message paraphrases the encyclical in a subtle but misleading way and omits its explicit warning that the evolution of man must not be treated as certain fact.(39) It is also difficult to believe that “the opposing hypothesis,” which remains unnamed but is presumably Special Creation, can have been given “equal investigation and in-depth study” by the Pontifical Academy if there is not one expert on Creation Science included among its members! A prudent Catholic cannot regard such pronouncements, especially in the contemporary post-Vatican II context, as of sufficient weight to overturn two millenia of Scripture, Tradition and Magisterial teachings.

QUESTIONS: Why are all 80 members of the PAS evolutionists? Is the PAS self-selecting? How much say does the Holy Father have in the selection of members? How many of these members are themselves Catholic? How many are theologically sound (i.e., can say the creeds without smirking)?

99 Replies to ““The Pontifical Academy of Evolutionists”

  1. 1
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    I don’t want to get into theological matters, but this is the biggest problem with Catholicism, IMO. They have an infallible king who can just tell you the way things are and the way things are supposed to be.

    That is NOT GOOD for independent thought. To be honest, I don’t know how any real American could be Catholic. The whole point of the revolution was to not live under kings and queens anymore. I think Catholics missed the point.

    I think the answers to the questions are all obvious except for “Why are all 80 members of the PAS evolutionists?” But if I’m not mistaken, this was right around the time that John Paul II apologized to Galileo, so maybe he was just trying to suck up to the “elite”.

  2. 2
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    I’m also curious how much of the PAS is non-white. I don’t think the Catholic Church is racist, but the Darwinian establishment certainly is. So if the PAS is mostly self-selecting, I would expect to see very few people on the list who aren’t white. (Despite the fact that the Catholic Church has huge numbers in Africa.)

  3. 3

    Also, from what I have read about his character, I think that John Paul II would not have hesitated to remove someone from the PAS if he thought their ideas conflicted in any way with Catholic theology. The fact that he did not, and instead turned to them confidently for advice, makes me suspect that the whole premise for this thread is faulty.

  4. 4

    As to the alleged racism of the Catholic hierarchy, I believe that the record shows that John Paul II appointed more non-white bishops, cardinals, and other officials than all of the other popes put together.

    Or are you trying to say that African Catholics are necessarily anti-evolutionists by definition? On what basis might one make such a claim?

  5. 5
    DanSLO says:

    The vast majority of scientists worldwide accept evolution. In addition, many on this blog claim that scientists who do not accept evolution are demoted or discriminated against, which should shift the balance even further. Certainly if you were to randomly pick out 80 scientists, it wouldn’t really be all that surprising if they all accepted evolution. Conspiracy theories don’t seem warranted when this is easily explainable by statistics.

  6. 6
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    As to the alleged racism of the Catholic hierarchy…

    I think I was very clear. The Catholic hierarchy IS NOT racist.

    But as Dr. Dembski points out, there are probably a lot of non-Catholics and “fake” Catholics (atheists) in the PAS.

    Seriously, with all the EXPELLED stuff that goes on in academia, would you seriously put it past big science to try to sneak some people into the PAS in order to get the “infallible” leader of the world’s largest religious group to promote evolution?

    Also, what criteria are you using to justify your assertion that the “Darwinian establishment” is racist?

    Hitler.

    QED.

  7. 7
    sparc says:

    AmerikanInKananaskis

    Hitler

    = white, catholic and EXPELLED from academia

  8. 8
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    Huh? Google “From Darwin To Hitler”.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    I may be mistaken but it is my understanding that the Catholic Church runs a lot of schools, including institutes of higher learning. It is not in the Church’s interest to run afoul of the accrediting agencies, as these are mostly under secular control. The whole PAS affair seems to be about politics and very little science. But then again, I could be wrong.

  10. 10
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    Sigh. There’s nothing wrong with drawing someone’s attention to Hitler when it’s warranted.

    If you want a non-Hitler example, okay, sure. For racism, Darwin himself. Francis Galton. William Shockley. James Watson. Need I continue?

  11. 11
    DanSLO says:

    You’re comparing someone who slaughtered 10 million people to people who made allegedly racist statements (and were consequently ostracized by mainstream science in most cases). If that isn’t ridiculous hyperbole, I don’t know what is.

  12. 12
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    No. Darwin and Galton, as well as Haeckel (and Madison Grant, and Lothrop Stoddard… I could really keep going if you want me to) are partially responsible for the Holocaust. You can’t put all 10 million directly on Hitler.

    I don’t remember who it was in Expelled who said it (maybe Berlinski) but he was exactly right: Darwin was not sufficient for Hitler, but he was necessary for Hitler.

  13. 13
    Charlie says:

    Hi Allen Macneill,
    Re: #9
    It’s nice to finally agree with you.

  14. 14
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    Besides, if you want an example of a racist who’s actually ON the PAS, no problem. I found a list of members on Wikipedia. This guy was among the first 5 or 10 listed:

    http://www.stanfordalumni.org/.....forza.html

    Now I’m not saying he promotes racist eugenics. My proof that Darwinism is racist by reference to Nazi eugenics got us off-topic.

    What I’m saying is that Darwinism naturally lends itself to the idea of racial (usually white) superiority. (But Darwinists contradict themselves by saying that chimps are our equals!) Now that I’ve taken a look at the PAS list, I can definitely say that blacks are underrepresented.

    Why might that be, I wonder…

  15. 15
    tribune7 says:

    Calling Hitler a Catholic would be like calling Madelyn Murray O’Hair a Presbyterian.

  16. 16

    “…the existence of this Pontifical Academy of Sciences, of which in its ancient ancestry Galileo was a member and of which today eminent scientists are members, without any form of ethnic or religious discrimination, is a visible sign, raised amongst the peoples of the world, of the profound harmony that can exist between the truths of science and the truths of faith…..The Church of Rome together with all the Churches spread throughout the world, attributes a great importance to the function of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The title of ‘Pontifical’ given to the Academy means, as you know, the interest and the commitment of the Church, in different forms from the ancient patronage, but no less profound and effective in character….How could the Church have lacked interest in the most noble of the occupations which are most strictly human — the search for truth?”

    “….Both believing scientists and non-believing scientists are involved in deciphering the palimpsest of nature which has been built in a rather complex way, where the traces of the different stages of the long evolution of the world have been covered over and mixed up. The believer, perhaps, has the advantage of knowing that the puzzle has a solution, that the underlying writing is in the final analysis the work of an intelligent being, and that thus the problem posed by nature has been posed to be solved and that its difficulty is without doubt proportionate to the present or future capacity of humanity. This, perhaps, will not give him new resources for the investigation engaged in. But it will contribute to maintaining him in that healthy optimism without which a sustained effort cannot be engaged in for long.” (John Paul II)

  17. 17

    Here is a direct quote from the article linked in #14:

    “In fact, genetic similarities tend to belie traditional ethnic or national groupings, Cavalli-Sforza observes. He takes this idea of deep genetic unity even farther to argue — and this is a key message of his work — that races don’t exist; they cannot be scientifically defined. His stance on race has drawn vicious attacks from white supremacists, but its scientific logic, echoed by most in his field, is difficult to rebut. People tend to fixate on external differences — skin color, facial features, hair texture — when in fact these are malleable characteristics that evolve relatively swiftly, Cavalli-Sforza explains. Our physical differences actually represent ancestral adaptations to different environments. The obvious differences in skin color, for instance, relate to the intensity of sunlight at different latitudes.”

    How, precisely, is this evidence that Luigi Cavalli-Sforza is a racist?

  18. 18
    O'Leary says:

    AmerikanInKananaskis: Just for the record, the Pope has very little power compared to, say, Anglican primates. He has no liberty to change the tradition. For example, when faced with demands for the ordination of women, JPII and B-16 said, “I don’t have the power to do it” – and that was correct.

    Many real Americans are/were Catholic. (Flannery O’Connor, Dorothy Day, Mother Angelica, come immediately to my mind because they were two writers and a broadcaster.)

    Allan MacNeill, JPII was not particularly concerned about the evolution debate. Like most modern Popes, he set an agenda for his pontificate, and his primary agenda was repairing relations with various groups.

    The one statement he did make was grossly misrepresented, and I will have more to say about that later.

    Re Hitler, Darwin, and racism: As scholar Richard Weikart notes in his excellent “From Darwin to Hitler,” Hitler was not much of a reader of scholarly or science works; he got most of his ideas from popular literature. It is more useful to concentrate on thinkers like Haeckel, Darwin’s advocate in Germany, to understand the origin of the “scientific” racism that Hitler would absorb through popular culture.

    tribune7: You are correct, of course. Hitler was in no sense a Catholic. Documents released from archives after WWII made clear that he intended to destroy the churches after he was done with the Jews. I have actually read, in translation, the Nazi rituals that were to replace the churches. Creepasaurus!

  19. 19
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    …of which today eminent scientists are members, without any form of ethnic or religious discrimination…

    Yeah, and that’s the Pope speaking. Why do you insist on taking me out of context? I DID NOT SAY that the Pope was a racist. I’m not trying to talk about Catholicism here. But take a look at the list of PAS members. How many non-whites are there? Is this number:

    a) representative of the global population as a whole
    b) representative of Catholics worldwide
    c) representative of the proportion of respected scientists in the world?
    d) none of the above

    If I’m NOT implying that the Church is racist, who am I implying IS racist? (Note, I have been consistent in making this statement, so all you have to do is LOOK UP.)

    Here is a direct quote from the article linked in #14…

    That’s right. That’s the new thing that all the population geneticists say. “Races” (defined by skin color) are meaningless because important genetic changes don’t correspond. BUT “geographical ancestry” is important.

    Now ask yourself, is there likely to be some correlation between skin color and “geographical ancestry”? And why does he want to study differences between groups?

    And why did you skip over this quote about his project?

    Hammond’s group leveled a darker charge: that the data could pave the way for genocide by uncovering population-specific genetic traits that “unscrupulous parties” could use as targets for biological weapons.

  20. 20

    Here is a list of the current members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences:
    Werner Arber
    David Baltimore
    Antonio M. Battro
    Gary Becker
    Daniel A. Bekoe
    Paul Berg
    Enrico Berti
    Günter Blobel
    Aage Niels Bohr
    Thierry Boon-Falleur
    Nicola Cabibbo
    Luís Angel Caffarelli
    Luigi Cavalli-Sforza
    Aaron Ciechanover
    Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
    Bernardo M. Colombo
    Suzanne Cory
    Hector R. Croxatto
    Paul J. Crutzen
    Christian de Duve
    Manfred Eigen
    Albert Eschenmoser
    Antonio García-Bellido
    Paul Germain
    Takashi Gojobori
    Theodor Hänsch
    Stephen Hawking
    Micha? Heller
    Raymond Hide
    Fotis C. Kafatos
    Krishnaswami Kasturirangan
    Vladimir Keilis-Borok
    Har G. Khorana
    Klaus von Klitzing
    Nicole Marthe Le Douarin
    Tsung-Dao Lee
    Yuan Tseh Lee
    Jean-Marie Lehn
    Pierre J. Léna
    Rita Levi-Montalcini
    Félix Wa Kalenga Malu
    Jurij Ivanovi? Manin
    Mambillikalathil Govind Kumar Menon
    Beatrice Mintz
    Jürgen Mittelstrass
    Mario J. Molina
    Marcos Moshinsky
    Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer
    Rudolf Muradian
    Joseph Edward Murray
    Marshall Warren Nirenberg
    Sergej Petrovi? Novikov
    Ryoji Noyori
    Czeslaw Olech
    George Emil Palade
    Crodowaldo Pavan
    William D. Phillips
    John Charles Polanyi
    Ingo Potrykus
    Frank Press
    Yves Quéré
    Veerabhadran Ramanathan
    Chintamani Nagesa Ramachandra Rao
    Peter H. Raven
    Martin J. Rees
    Alexander Rich
    Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe
    Carlo Rubbia
    Vera Rubin
    Roald Z. Sagdeev
    Michael Sela
    Maxine F. Singer
    Wolf J. Singer
    Govind Swarup
    Andrzej Szczeklik
    Walter E. Thirring
    Charles Hard Townes
    Hans Tuppy
    Rafael Vicuña
    Chen Ning Yang
    Edward Witten
    Ahmed H. Zewail
    Antonino Zichichi

    There 79 males (93%) and 6 females (7%) in this list. Here are the nationalities (in order of decreasing frequency):
    America = 17 (19%)
    Italy = 9 (10%)
    Germany = 7 (8%)
    France = 6 (7%)
    India = 6 (7%)
    Poland = 4 (5%)
    Russia = 4 (5%)
    Britain = 3 (4%)
    China = 3 (4%)
    Switzerland = 3 (4%)
    Austria = 2 (3%)
    Chilé = 2 (3%)
    Japan = 2 (3%)
    Mexico = 2 (3%)
    And one each from the following countries:
    Armenia
    Australia
    Belgium
    Brazil
    Denmark
    Egypt
    Greece
    Hungary
    Israel
    Netherlands
    Romania
    Spain
    Zaire
    Two things are noticeable about this list:
    Africa, South America, and women are under-represented.
    Americans, Italians, Germans, and French are over-represented.

    Is this evidence of racism and sexism, or simple demography?

  21. 21
    SaintMartinoftheFields says:

    Thanks Allen. The only two names I recognize on that list are Stephen Hawking and Martin Rees — both atheists.

  22. 22

    There is a list of the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P.....f_sciences

    And there is a list of prominent evolutionary biologists here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....biologists

    Copying and pasting into Excel yielded the following degree of overlap:

    0%

    That’s right; there are no prominent evolutionary biologists among the membership of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. None. Not one.

    Kind of hard to confirm the hypothesis at the head of this thread with that kind of data…

  23. 23
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    Saint Martin, I realize that my first comment was probably inappropriate to this forum. O’Leary pointed out that I am likely wrong in what I’ve said.

    If I offended, I apologize. But again, I am NOT IN ANY WAY, making ANY claims of racism on the part of the Pope or the Catholic Church. NONE. To clarify what I’m saying, please read my second post.

    I made a prediction that if the PAS was self-appointed, we would expect to see minorities underrepresented, for reasons I’ve made clear. I looked up the list, and lo and behold, by Allen’s own semi-admission, it is a biased list. So the conclusion I draw is that the PAS is largely self-appointing (i.e. they have a large say over their own membership).

    That is all.

  24. 24
    DanSLO says:

    And why does he want to study differences between groups?

    The project would improve our understanding of human genetics and diversity, while answering questions of history and evolution. And it could help pin down genes linked to diseases like cancer and diabetes.

    As for “developing targeted weapons for genocide”…

    As for the bioweapons concern, he says it’s groundless because most genetic differences are between individuals, not groups. Almost never does one group have a trait that is missing in the rest of humanity and that could therefore be a target for a selective weapon, he says.

    If you really want to claim that this guy is a racist, you’ll need to provide something a little more concrete, I think.

  25. 25

    Being a Catholic (or even a theist) is not a requirement for membership of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

    Being a respected scientist is.

  26. 26

    The one thing I noticed about the list of members of the PAS is that there are no field biologists on the list, and no ecologists. Indeed, physicists seem to be over-represented and biologists (except for physiologists) under-represented.

    A large fraction of evolutionary biologists are field biologists and ecologists, which may also explain the lack of a single evolutionary biologist on the PAS list.

    So, anyone want to try to explain how an organization that contains not one evolutionary biologist (and is apparently low on biologists in general) is biased toward “evolutionists”?

  27. 27
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    And it could help pin down genes linked to diseases like cancer and diabetes.

    Right, so what he’s saying is that there ARE important genetic differences between populations to be found.

    And that makes his anti-genocide defense is simply untrue. But we already knew that. To give two examples that I have lectured on recently, there was a study that came out a while back about a gene for a genetic heart disorder (only found in India), and of course there’s BiDil.

    And we found those “race-based” differences by simple trial and error. By processing the and cataloguing the genomes of entire populations you’re asking for a WORLD of trouble.

    And yeah, I just grabbed that link off his Wikipedia page. It’s an alumni magazine (and he used to be a professor there) so you can’t expect it to be overly critical.

  28. 28
    StephenB says:

    I really don’t have time to visit this site these days, but I cannot allow some of these comments to go unchallenged. For one thing, popes cannot supervise every single operation on their watch or stop all secularist infiltration in strategically targeted Catholic institutions. One thing is for sure, the current pontiff (Benedict XVI) does not agree with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (PAC) current orientation to the subject of “evolution.” More than once, this pope has pointed out that the evidence does not support Darwinism. Unfortunately, the PAC, which is morally obliged to provide an honest and accurate account of contemporary science is, for the most part, a band of ideologically driven tyrants who have wormed their way into a position of high visibility.

    As a matter of fact, (does anyone care about facts these days), most of the 80-90 PAS members are not even Catholics, and several infamous atheists are on the roster. That is why they are not interested in hearing from Catholics who dissent from their ideology, which is most definitely not a part of Catholic teaching. The few Catholics who do find a place in that group tend to compromise their own doctrines in order to accommodate their questionable scientific speculations. In other words, they subordinate their religion to their ideology even as they claim that there is no contradiction between the two. That they refused to invite Michael Behe, Thomas Dubay, and other Catholic scholars/scientists, dramatizes the fact that they reject the true Catholic spirit of inquiry and resist any forum which will allow a fair exchange of ideas. Catholic scholar Richard John Neuhaus made this point shortly before he died, and yes, he was speaking about this very conference.

    While many of the so-called theistic evolutionists in the PAC are not necessarily conscious biblical deconstructionists, they do, at the very least, facilitate evolutionary “modernism” and are thus complicit in undermining the same Biblical principles which they claim to accept. As Pope Pius X wrote about this mentality, “they have combined [with the Modernists] to generate a pestilence in the air which penetrates everywhere and spreads the contagion.” The end result, as he pointed out, is not evolutionary ascent to religious perfection, but demonic descent to the denial of all religion”

    In keeping with that same point, it is also clear that the PAC mislead John Paul II about the current status of the debate, meaning that they did not inform him about the dishonest ways that they were using the terms they employ. For the most part, they use the same ploy as Allen MacNeill. On the one hand, they use the language of “macro evolution,” a reasonable concept for which there is some evidence, while arguing that Darwinistic processes can drive the entire process, a reckless claim for which there is no evidence at all.

    Even at that, John Paul II was forceful in renouncing Allen’s faith-inspired brand of materialistic evolution. Make no mistake, the Catholic Church, while acknowledging the possibility of common descent, renounces Darwin’s alternative creation story and the notion that design is simply an “illusion.” Only a purposeful misapplication of language could lead anyone to believe other wise. Anyone who tries to define “evolution” as “neoDarwinism” without distinguishing the event from its alleged cause, is either ignorant or is being disingenuous.

  29. 29
    jerry says:

    Here is what I said two weeks ago

    “Allen,

    How many times have you invoked Godwin’s law on this site in the past couple years?”

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-306971

    Another thought:

    One of people mentioned is Stanley Jaki who is anything but a materialist and well respected in the Catholic Church not only because he is a priest but because of his research. Jaki has said there is no evidence for Darwinian evolution and not one species can attribute its origin to these processes. However, he believes in it because of its unifying nature of biology.

    This is sort like the reverse of the atheist who defends religion because of its palliative affect on society. With friends like these who needs enemies.

  30. 30
    DanSLO says:

    Thats fine if you want to disagree with the idea of cataloging the DNA of the world’s populations. There are legitimate ethical concerns that could be raised. But you can’t call someone a racist simply because he is advocating that. His stated reasons for doing so are quite clear – scientific research and developing targeted medical treatments – so even if you think that it will lead to harm, that is not evidence that this guy is a racist.

    Also, this:

    I made a prediction that if the PAS was self-appointed, we would expect to see minorities underrepresented, for reasons I’ve made clear. I looked up the list, and lo and behold, by Allen’s own semi-admission, it is a biased list. So the conclusion I draw is that the PAS is largely self-appointing (i.e. they have a large say over their own membership).

    is a textbook example of a logical fallacy. There are other reasons besides self-appointment for an institution to be under-represented in minorities. ‘If P, then Q; Q, therefore P’ does not hold. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....consequent

  31. 31
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    Thanks, Tips. You know, you’re making the same mistake as the guy who invoked Godwin’s Law on me. These supposed “fallacies” you guys whip out are not always so cut and dry.

    From your link:

    Although affirming the consequent is an invalid inference, it is defended by some as a type of inductive reasoning, sometimes under the name “inference to the best explanation”. That is, in some cases, reasoners argue that the antecedent is the best explanation, given the truth of the consequent. The strength of such inferences, however, depends on the likelihood of alternative hypotheses, which shows that such inferences are based on additional premises, not merely on the affirmation of the consequent.

    I thought I attempted to establish a high likelihood of racism within the PAS, and dismiss at least the main alternative–racism within the papacy.

    Do YOU have some likely alternate hypotheses for why there is only ~one black person in the PAS?

  32. 32
    R. Martinez says:

    William A. Dembski: “QUESTIONS: Why are all 80 members of the PAS evolutionists?”

    Because the Catholic Church seeks to please and placate the world; this is why we are Protestants.

    “Is the PAS self-selecting? How much say does the Holy Father have in the selection of members? How many of these members are themselves Catholic? How many are theologically sound (i.e., can say the creeds without smirking)?”

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-306100

    “William Dembski, *No Free Lunch*, section 6.2, p. 314:

    First off, intelligent design is not a form of anti-evolutionism. Intelligent design does not claim that living things came together suddenly in their present form through the efforts of a supernatural creator. Intelligent design is not and never will be a doctrine of creation…. intelligent design has no stake in living things coming together suddenly in their present form. To be sure, intelligent design leaves that as a possibility. But intelligent design is also fully compatible with large-scale evolution over the course of natural history, all the way up to what biologists refer to as ‘common descent’ (i.e., the full genealogical interconnectedness of all organisms). If our best science tells us that living things came together gradually over a long evolutionary history and that all living things are related by common descent, then so be it. Intelligent design can live with that result and indeed live with it cheerfully.”

    How theologically sound are your own ideas? Objectively speaking: Genesis is anti-common ancestry/descent; and the concept of evolution, as advocated by Darwin, presupposes the absence of Theos/ID—that is why transmutation by unintelligent-unguided material agency is proposed; and that is why all Atheists are Evolutionists. The concept of “evolution” was accepted on the firm belief that the concept seen in “ID” is absent from nature.

    Since your comments are subjective, giving away the store, do not be surprised when Catholics do the same. To say the concept seen in “ID” is compatible with the concept seen in “creation” and “evolution-common descent” is the fusion of contrary or contradictory concepts or ideas (= confusion).

    Ray Martinez, Protestant Evangelical, Old Earth-Young Biosphere Paleyan Designist-species immutabilist.

  33. 33

    In #31 AmerikanInKananaskis asks:

    “Do YOU have some likely alternate hypotheses for why there is only ~one black person in the PAS?

    Name all of the world-famous scientists from Africa. Now, count the number of scientists from Africa on the PAS roster. I believe you will find that, if anything, scientists Africa are over-represented on the PAS.

    Now, tell me how you know that the Americans, Italians, Germans, Russians, Poles, Brits, etc. on the PAS are not black (simply mentioning their last names does not count).

  34. 34
    DanSLO says:

    Well, here’s an example. I attend a public university that is very under-represented in terms of minorities, even more so than most universities. However, it wouldn’t be correct for me to simply state “well, the admissions board is obviously racist.” The reasons for my school’s demographics are a combination of complicated historical factors, socioeconomic inequalities among the different races, cultural problems, etc. I’m not claiming that it is a good thing, and it is likely that you can trace it down to racism at some point, but I am merely saying that you cannot conclude that it is due to simple racism at the institution in question. I would apply the same thinking to the PAS in this case.

  35. 35

    In #32 Ray Martinez states:

    “…this is why we are Protestants.”

    Who’s “we”, Ray? The moderators and commentators on the blog? I seem to recall that at least one of the moderators is Catholic; what’s up with that, Ray?

  36. 36

    Since when does “theological soundness” have anything to do with the scientific validity of ID (or any branch of the natural sciences, for that matter)?

  37. 37

    In #32 Ray Martinez also asserts:

    “…all Atheists are Evolutionists”.

    Is this true?

  38. 38
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    So you’re saying that this is a representative sampling of “good” black scientists and female scientists? There’s no higher-order discrimination going on here? That’d mean that only:

    1.2% (=1/85) “good” scientists are black
    7.1% (=6/85) of “good” scientists are female

    I doubt that very much. And even if that were true, all it might show is that even at lower orders the Darwinian establishment is biased against people of color. (They never get the chance to become “good” scientists.)

  39. 39
    DanSLO says:

    Maybe. I don’t know what the statistics are for women and blacks in scientific research positions, but it is pretty common knowledge that they are both well under-represented when compared to their proportions in general society. Since 85 is such a small number when compared to the total number of scientists, you can’t expect the percentages to match up precisely.

    I don’t know about the “Darwinian establishment” (whatever that is), but the U.S. educational system is definitely biased against women and people of color going into “hard” sciences. Again, most people think that this is a combination of historical discrimination, economic inequalities, and cultural disincentives to enter the fields. Certainly that would have an adverse effect on minority representation within science, without requiring outright racism in the way candidates to this committee are appointed.

  40. 40
    sparc says:

    AmerikanInKananaskis,
    I may be wrong but I get the impression that at least women are very under-represented at web sites discussing ID. I guess nobody can judge the situation for other minorities but does anybody accuse UD of discriminating women or minorities.

  41. 41
    Timaeus says:

    R. Martinez (#29):

    You wrote:

    ***

    William A. Dembski: “QUESTIONS: Why are all 80 members of the PAS evolutionists?”

    [R. Martinez:] Because the Catholic Church seeks to please and placate the world; this is why we are Protestants.
    *****************

    1. Please specify exactly whom you are referring to as “we”.

    2. Please provide documentation, i.e., written statements of doctrine and policy by official spokesmen for the Church of Rome, to prove that “the Catholic Church seeks to please and placate the world”.

    T.

  42. 42
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Interesting. It’s no surprise that all 80 are Darwinists – for the same reason that most biologists in secular American Protestant colleges that started out Christian are Darwinists as well. Does Baylor ring a bell?

    OK, maybe not all of them are, but a significant majority are. You can’t have that secular scientific prestige while allowing the “Creatiists” to bring their “divine foot in the door.”

  43. 43
    R. Martinez says:

    Allen MacNeill (#35): “Who’s ‘we’, Ray?”

    Dr. Dembski and I and all other Protestants?

    “I seem to recall that at least one of the moderators is Catholic; what’s up with that, Ray?”

    I recall the same. I see nothing wrong with having moderators who are Cathlolic, Allen.

    Ray

  44. 44
    R. Martinez says:

    Timaeus (#41): “[R. Martinez:] Because the Catholic Church seeks to please and placate the world; this is why we are Protestants.”

    Timaeus (#41): “1. Please specify exactly whom you are referring to as ‘we’.”

    Dr. Dembski and I.

    “2. Please provide documentation, i.e., written statements of doctrine and policy by official spokesmen for the Church of Rome, to prove that ‘the Catholic Church seeks to please and placate the world’.”

    The evidence in this context is a Pontifical Academy consisting entirely of Evolutionists and Atheists.

    You need to pay attention to the basic facts of this topic that have already been established.

    Ray

  45. 45
    R. Martinez says:

    CannuckianYankee (#42): “You can’t have that secular scientific prestige while allowing the ‘Creatiists’ [sic] to bring their ‘divine foot in the door.'”

    Why would the Catholic Church object to a Divine Foot in their door?

    This is why I said earlier that the Catholic Church is seeking to please and placate the world. My point applies equally to any Protestant Church as well. Any Church or any Christian who accepts Darwinism (= Materialism), for any reason, that is, the same theory that Richard Dawkins fanatically promotes, is a Judas. And the Bible is clear: Judas did what he did while under the direct control of Satan. Now we know how and why “Christians” could accept the same biological production theory that Richard Dawkins accepts and not the Biblical explanation.

    The Bible explains everything.

    Ray

  46. 46
    madsen says:

    Ray,

    How about Christians who accept that life is billions of years old, that common descent is true, etc., but who still believe God steps in to do some designing every so often? Are they under the direct control of Satan?

  47. 47
    George L Farquhar says:

    The Bible explains everything.

    And before the bible? Was nothing explained?

    And in countries where the bible is not a popular book? How do they get by?

    That’s something of an extreme view you’ve got there Ray!

  48. 48
    Timaeus says:

    R. Martinez (#44):

    So the pronoun “we” referred to you and William Dembski? And the reader was supposed to infer that, without explanation? I doubt very much that everyone picked that up. I suggest to you that it would have been clearer if you had written:

    “… that is why you and I, Dr. Dembski, are Protestants.”

    But leaving that complaint aside, back on Feb. 22, when you were again making a remark about Catholic teaching, you wrote:

    “The Reform[a]tion said the Pope and the Vatican were totally corrupt. Nothing has changed. This is WHY we are Protestants.”

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ur-theory/

    Did “we” there also refer to you and William Dembski? Or did it refer to you and someone else? Or was it perhaps the “royal we”? And whether it was Dr. Dembski or someone else or the “royal we”, how did you expect the reader to infer your meaning in that case?

    I am trying to stress, Mr. Martinez, that the pronoun “we”, when used in conversation on the internet with a group of people who do not know each other personally, does not automatically have a clear antecedent. I for one would appreciate it if you would not use “we” again without explicit identification of the included parties, especially since I (and, I suspect, many other posters here, including many other Protestants) do not want to be part of your “we”.

    As for your statement that “the Catholic Church seeks to please and placate the world”, it was stated without qualification. If you had added “with respect to the theory of evolution”, your statement would have been less offensive (though it would have remained very contestable, as it would still impute motivation, the inference of which is generally debatable). But you did not qualify the statement in any way. You therefore left it open to be taken as a general statement about the attitude of the Catholic Church toward “the world”, and followed it up with an apparently favourable reference to Protestants. Possibly you did not see how such a juxtaposition might appear to potential readers of your remark. Possibly you did not see that it could easily be taken to mean: “Catholics sell out to worldly values, but we Protestants stand fast for truly Christian beliefs”. If you did not foresee this interpretation, then take it as a piece of friendly advice (from someone who has been teaching writing skills to university students for 30 years now) that you need to be more careful in your expression.

    I would not hesitate to give most UD commenters the benefit of the doubt in such cases. However, your attitude toward the Catholic Church is in doubt, since your earlier statement, which you have never retracted, inescapably implied that the Roman Church is currently (not just back in the Reformation days, but still now) “corrupt”. Corruption is a serious moral and spiritual charge. It should not be levelled without evidence. I do not believe John Paul II was “corrupt” when he issued his apparent endorsement of (guided) evolution. He may have been making a theoretical error, but we all make theoretical errors, and such errors do not make us “corrupt”. Further, the fact that you coupled the charge of current Catholic corruption with the words “that is WHY we are Protestants” could easily be taken to suggest the partisan view that only Protestants are serious about fighting corruption.

    I would urge you to be somewhat more cautious in your language when making generalizations about forms of Christianity which are not your own. The general social rule, when speaking critically of the faiths of others, is to employ understatement. I suspect that this is a hard rule for you to observe, but I recommend that you try to do so.

    T.

  49. 49
    R. Martinez says:

    Madsen (#46): “How about Christians who accept that life is billions of years old, that common descent is true, etc., but who still believe God steps in to do some designing every so often? Are they under the direct control of Satan?”

    Any Christian who accepts the concept of “common descent” (= ancestry) is also accepting the concept of “evolution.” This means they are either horribly ignorant or under the direct control of Satan since the objective claims of both concepts presuppose the absence of God from reality and the utter falsity of Genesis 1 and 2.

    IF God is NOT involved with biological production the same is called Darwinism (evolution, natural selection, common ancestry; God-didn’t-do-it).

    IF God IS involved with biological production the same is called Creationism (God-did-it).

    Again, why would any Christian accept the same biological production theory that Richard Dawkins accepts and not the Biblical explanation?

    I have answered this question (see msg.#45).

    Ray

  50. 50
    R. Martinez says:

    Timaeus (#47; quoting Ray Martinez): “This is why we are Protestants.”

    My quote needs no explanation or interpretation to anyone who is not mentally challenged. I made a serious mistake by answering your “question” the first time.

    The remainder of your very long winded post literally makes no sense based on the obvious fact that you are in a state of rage caused by the inability to address or refute anything that I actually said.

    I will repeat: any Church, Catholic or Protestant, or any Christian (includes the Pope) who accepts the same biological production theory that Richard Dawkins fanatically promotes, is a Judas (or horribly ignorant) since the objective claims of evolution presuppose the veracity of Materialism (= Atheism) and Biblical falsity.

    Ray

  51. 51
    Timaeus says:

    R. Martinez (#49):

    We seem to have different notions of what a Christian is. I was brought up to believe that when Christians correct each other, it should be in the tone of loving mutual admonishment. I tried to adopt this tone in pointing out that some of your language could be taken as aggressive Protestant- boosting and partisan Catholic-bashing, even if you did not intend it in that way.

    Your Christian response to my gentle admonishment was this:

    “My quote needs no explanation or interpretation to anyone who is not mentally challenged.”

    I cannot think that this is the manner in which Jesus would have wanted his disciples to talk to each other.

    However, since, on a number of occasions, on several threads at UD, you have shown a propensity to talk to other Christians in this insulting way, I think the best thing for me to do is to give up this conversation, and leave you to your conscience, and to remind you that one of the Christian virtues is humility, and also that some of Jesus’s harshest words were directed against whoever would call his brother “fool” — a word which is reminiscent of the phrase “mentally challenged”.

    Just for the record, I wish to deny a claim which, in various posts, you have strongly intimated (even if you have never made it explicitly). The Church of Rome has never accepted “the same biological production theory that Richard Dawkins fanatically promotes”. The position of the Roman Church is that it is permissible (not mandatory, but permissible) for Roman Catholics to believe in various hypotheses of biological evolution, provided that the evolutionary process is understood to be, at least in certain key respects, guided by God. Dawkins, on the other hand, insists that evolution is not just a permissible hypothesis but a certain fact, and he denies that the evolutionary process is guided by anything; further, he denies the existence of God. You are free to reject any form of evolution at all, if you wish, and you are free to criticize the Roman Church for permitting belief in evolution even in a carefully qualified sense; but to say or even intimate that the Roman position is the same as Dawkins’s is to promote a falsehood. Whether this falsehood proceeds from a lack of knowledge of the relevant Church documents on your part, or from some animus connected with your unretracted statement that the Catholic Church is “corrupt”, or from some other cause, I cannot say.

    T.

  52. 52
    Timaeus says:

    Allen MacNeill (#26):

    You wrote:

    “So, anyone want to try to explain how an organization that contains not one evolutionary biologist (and is apparently low on biologists in general) is biased toward “evolutionists”?”

    Allen, you’re being just plain silly.

    You know perfectly well that the overwhelming majority of biologists, in all fields of biology, not just “evolutionary biology”, supports neo-Darwinian evolution, so any selection of biologists, unless it takes care to consciously ensure a balance of views (for example, by inviting Behe and Denton to join the panel), is going to be biased in favour of neo-Darwinism.

    But while we’re on the subject of allegedly important specializations within biology, I’d like to lodge a complaint (though I’m not hopeful that you’ll break your streak of refusing to answer my posts). Often critics of ID have complained that Behe has no business writing about evolution because he is “only a molecular biologist” and not an “evolutionary biologist”. Yet I have never heard a single critic of ID complain that Ken Miller has no business writing about evolution because he is “only a cell biologist” and not an “evolutionary biologist”. And I’ve never heard them complain that Eugenie Scott is “only an anthropologist” or that Barbara Forest is “only a philosopher” or that Robert Pennock is “only a philosopher and computer scientist” or that Jason Rosenhouse is “only a mathematician” or that Brian Alters is “only a general biologist and education theorist” or that Nick Matzke is “only a geographer” (his highest degree to date being a Master’s in geography). There is a double standard operating here, no?

    T.

  53. 53
    R. Martinez says:

    Timaeus (#51): “We seem to have different notions of what a Christian is. I was brought up to believe that when Christians correct each other, it should be in the tone of loving mutual admonishment. I tried to adopt this tone in pointing out that some of your language could be taken as aggressive Protestant- boosting and partisan Catholic-bashing, even if you did not intend it in that way.”

    I agree that Christians are obligated to be kind to one another and to speak the truth in love. In other words we are to treat others how Christ has treated us. You did not comply. You presupposed Catholic-bashing on my part, which is a gross misrepresentation of what I actually said. Legitimate criticism is not bashing. I attacked position and the institution, not the man or the congregation. I have also extended my criticism to include Protestantism.

    “Your Christian response to my gentle admonishment was this:

    ‘My quote needs no explanation or interpretation to anyone who is not mentally challenged.'”

    Okay….I should have not said as such. I should have said that you had made a mistake. I apologize. Your mistake is shown below:

    Message #50:

    “Timaeus (#47): So the pronoun ‘we’ referred to you and William Dembski? And the reader was supposed to infer that, without explanation?

    [Ray Martinez:] Since I was replying to William Dembski and since he is a well known Protestant, of course [see #32].”

    “The position of the Roman Church is that it is permissible (not mandatory, but permissible) for Roman Catholics to believe in various hypotheses of biological evolution, provided that the evolutionary process is understood to be, at least in certain key respects, guided by God.”

    Can you support this claim?

    “Dawkins….denies that the evolutionary process is guided by anything….”

    That is the number one objective claim of evolutionary theory since it was accepted in 1859.

    You do not seem to understand that the concept of “evolution” presupposes natural or material causation. Natural-material means that God or supernatural is absent and not involved. IF God is INvolved with biological production we already have terms that designate: Creationism-ID.

    To say one can (subjectively) believe anything about evolution reveals jaw dropping ignorance since the concept was accepted as not being guided by Mind. Again, IF Mind is involved with biological production this is called Creationism or Intelligent design.

    The whole point of evolution since 1859 is that God is not involved.

    Once God is accepted as having a role IN biological production the same is also called Theism. Darwinism presupposes Deism-Atheism (= no role for God).

    This is 101 stuff, come on.

    Ray

  54. 54
    CannuckianYankee says:

    R. Martinez: “Why would the Catholic Church object to a Divine Foot in their door?”

    Well, I think it’s because the Catholic heirarchy does something that is rather peculiar – they separate faith issues from issues of science – as if there need be a separation. And this is precisely why IDists in general get accused of being Creationists – their opponents fail to see them separating faith from reason. This is because they don’t. Faith is compatible with reason.

    Darwinists are ok with people of faith as long as those people acknowledge that their faith is not reasonable. Most serious Bible-believing Christians are not willing to allow that separation. It appears that when one calls themselves a Christian but does not think seriously about their theology and its implications, it’s quite easy to believe anything that does not conform to reason. This is how heresy begins. It is a separation of faith from reason. This is what the early Church fought against.

    Post Modernism has also had a strong influence on modern Christianity, and people accept “spirituality” for spirituality’s sake, even if their given spirituality does not conform to reason. And there are others who believe that the only virtuous spirituality is that which does not conform to reason.

    Given the unorthodox doctrines that spill out of the Catholic Church like holy water, it’s easy to see how theological reasonableness has been flooded out of the church, leaving it vulnerable to “every wind of doctrine,” even if it is counter to Christian doctrine.

    This is not an attack on Catholics per say, as I know some very good Catholic Christians – but the heirarchy of Catholicism has never had its mandate directly from God as it claims, and this is where I think the error begins.

    Without “sola scriptura” it is easy to stray from orthodoxy. The only true Christian authority is scripture itself, and it is scripture that opposes the doctrines of Darwinism.

  55. 55
    StephenB says:

    Oh dear, it appears that I must revisit this site to explain Catholicism’s position on evolution and a few other things.

    Officially: Pope Pius X is the only pope to speak about it in an official capacity, meaning that he is the only one to raise the issue in an encyclical (Humani Generis). What he said was this: Catholics may not believe in materialistic evolution, meaning that IF they accept macro evolution, (and they need not), they must accept the proposition that God creates the human soul directly and not through a naturalistic process. That means that Catholics may NOT believe in unguided macro-evolution. Further, they must also affirm that we were preceded by SINGULAR first parents (Adam and Eve), which means that current versions of theistic evolution, many of which posit multiple first parents, are also forbidden.

    Unofficially: Pope John Paul II did seem a little more open to macro-evolution than was Pius X, but he too insisted that Catholics may not propose materialistic unguided evolution. His famous statement that it is “more than a theory,” referred to guided evolution only and did not, in any way, support Dawkins’ position.

    Benedict XVI, on the other hand, takes a position much closer to that of Pope Pius X, saying outright that Darwinism has NOT been proven. Further, he even spoke of an “intelligent project,” which clearly argues against the ridiculous atheistic idea that design is an illusion.

    Is there corruption in the Catholic Church? To answer that question, one must first understand the Church’s composition. For Catholics, the Church is BOTH Divine and human.

    It is “Divine” insofar as it has been given the task of teaching the truth and leading souls infallibly toward the way of sanctification. In that context, it cannot be corrupted. No teaching has ever changed in over two thousand years.

    It is “human” insofar as it is populated by sinners who often violate its teachings and shame its founder. In that context, it has been corrupted several times, sometimes seriously. In fact, The Catholic Church has fallen to great lows and risen to great heights throughout history. In the fourth century, it almost fell under the weight of the Arian heresy. The situation was so bad at one time that the majority of the bishops had embraced the very doctrine that they had been commissioned to contend against. Many of them appeared to have lost their faith. Still, one man, St. Athanasius, almost single-handedly rescued the Church and brought it back to sanity.

    Something similar happened in the tenth century with the East-West split, and again, five hundred years later during the time of the reformation. The Catholic Church is always falling down and always getting back up. Even so, there is no getting around the fact that, by a country mile, it has done more for the world than any other institution. Yes, it has had its flaws, abuses, and even outrages, but for every corrupt pope you can name, and there were a few, I can show you ten more who became saints who died as martyrs. I can also show you thousands of everyday Catholics who rose to the level of heroic virtue.

    When I say “saint,” I am not talking about “nice” people who know how to hold their cup at tea time. I am talking about men who were both strong enough to become warrior King’s and humble enough to clean bed pans for lepers; reformers who slept one hour a night for decades while converting whole nations to Christianity; mystics who prayed sixteen hours a day and bore Christ’s wounds on their hands and feet as a means of compensating for the sins of the world.

    You might also be interested to know that the Catholic Church was not slack in making the world a more livable place. For starters, it launched the modern science project and built a little thing called Western Civilization. If you would like to confirm that, consult a few responsible scholars who don’t have a chip on their shoulder. (Two good people to begin with would be Rodney Stark and Thomas Woods. They don’t whitewash anything.) You might also be interested to know that the Catholic Church wrote the very same scriptures that you are trying to use as your main weapon of attack. Were you under the impression that this book just fell out of the sky?

    This up and down cycle continues to this day. During the 1950’s the Catholic Church was a positive moral force to be reckoned with and even put the fear of God into Hollywood. Whenever a good institution starts accomplishing things, bad people do their best to destroy it. If they can’t do it from the outside, they will infiltrate it and try to get the job done on the inside. Today, the Church has been compromised in exactly that way and is indeed in the middle of its most serious crisis.

    Perhaps most noticeable is its recent tendency to de-emphasize its universal teachings (they never change), take the easy road, and look for ways to fit in with the world. That is why some U.S. Bishops (not all) have neglected Catholic seminaries and Catholic universities. It is also why many church leaders tolerated illegal immigration, remained silent in the face of sex scandals, and allowed this ridiculous conference on evolution. Yes, we can also throw in those misguided sycophants who think that Christ’s teachings can be reconciled with Darwin’s materialism. Even at this low point, however, Catholics still probably do more good than harm.

    One thing all anti-Catholics must explain: How did such an evil institution last for over two thousand years? How is it that it was on the brink of death three other times, and rose to become stronger than ever? If it wasn’t Divine, it would have gone under long ago. Right now, the human side is having its day, but, just as in that past, a few saints will rescue it and restore it to its original beauty. That is the way it has always been and always will be until the end of time.

    With regard to the comment on “sola Scriptura,” there is an equally egregious misunderstanding.

    The idea of the “Bible alone” (sola scriptura) is, ironically, nowhere in the Bible. On the contrary, the Bible speaks of an infallible Sacred Tradition and an infallible Church that has authority to interpret Scripture.

    —–“[O]n this rock I will build my Church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matt. 16:18-19).

    —–“He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16).

    —–“I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I have delivered them to you” (1 Cor. 11:2).

    —–“[W]hen you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers” (1 Thess. 2:13).

    —–“So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter” (2 Thess. 2:15).

    —–“[I]f I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:14-15).

    Sola Scriptura is a man-made invention. The whole idea obviously refutes itself. If “sola scriptura” is the rule of faith, then we should not accept it since it is not in the Bible. On the contrary, according to the Bible, it is the Church which is “the bulwark of the truth.” According to the Bible, Christians are to accept BOTH Sacred Tradition and the written Scriptures as the infallible word of God.

  56. 56
    riddick says:

    StephenB, there are lots of “sacred” traditions out there. How do you know that yours is the correct one?

  57. 57
    StephenB says:

    …”there are lots of “sacred” traditions out there. How do you know that yours is the correct one?”

    Do you know of any other “sacred traditions” that were started by someone who claimed to be God, identified himself as “the truth,” and then raised himself from the dead?

  58. 58
    Timaeus says:

    R. Martinez (#53):

    I accept the apology. Note, however, that after apologizing, you continue in the same aggressive vein, speaking of the “jaw dropping ignorance” of people who disagree with you (whether that is meant for me, or the Catholic Church, or both, I’m not sure). And at the end, speaking as if you are a teacher and I a slow student, you write, “This is 101 stuff, come on.” This disrespectful, belittling mode of speaking is never constructive.

    Fortunately, my feelings are not that easily bruised, and I will not ask for any further personal apology, but you have a bigger apology still to make, to Catholics who might have been offended by this:

    “The Reform[a]tion said the Pope and the Vatican were totally corrupt. Nothing has changed.”

    This implies that the Pope and the Vatican are still “totally corrupt”. You still refuse to withdraw this remark. You do not even seem to grasp how insulting it is. And yes, I know that you did not target the average Catholic with the remark (though you did target the Pope, who is not just an abstract office but a Catholic individual); nonetheless, you issued a blanket, absolute condemnation of institutions that Catholics hold dear. Unless you can prove that these institutions are “corrupt”, this is nothing less than a gratuitous insult. It is still a form of Catholic-bashing.

    It is perhaps possible that you do not know the meaning of the word “corrupt”, that you do not realize how deep and hurtful a charge it is. It is possible that you think that “corrupt” means simply “theologically liberal” or “intellectually faulty in doctrine”, or “morally imperfect”, or “religiously flawed”. If so, you need to avail yourself of several good dictionaries and thesauruses, and try to get the feel of this word. And then, once you know what the word means, you should either prove the corruption charge, or retract the claim, with apologies to any Catholic readers who might have been offended by it. Even if no one was actually offended, the sheer love of truth demands a retraction, since the claim is false.

    As for your remarks about evolution, intelligent design, and so forth, while many of them are correct, others are wrong or misleading, due to your lack of knowledge of the primary sources and/or your lack of terminological precision. However, I will not take the time to explain your errors, or discuss evolution or ID with you again, on this or any other thread, until I see an unambiguous and apologetic retraction of the above anti-Catholic comment. I don’t want to harp on this subject any more, and will not return to it again.

    T.

  59. 59
    deric davidson says:

    At this very moment I read in the Catholic newspaper in Western Australia an article which reports that the Vatican (via a spokesperson) says (in brief) that the theory of evolution is “science”, intelligent design is “faith” not science. Obviously ID has a long way to go as a scientific theory if its most likely supporter rejects it’s basis as “science”.

  60. 60
    hazel says:

    Stephen, that Jesus raised himself from the dead is a matter of faith: it is true to the believer but false to those who aren’t of that faith. Just because that claim is made doesn’t prove that Christianity is the one true sacred tradition, and all the rest is false.

    There are no tools for us collectively to decide religions have true metaphysical belief. One can choose to believe in the dogma of a particular religion as an act of faith, but choosing to believe as an act of faith is not the same as establishing the truth of something. Others who choose to believe different religions are just as sure for themselves as you are sure for yourself, and there is no objective way to decide if anyone (or no one) is right.

  61. 61
    StephenB says:

    —–Hazel: “Stephen, that Jesus raised himself from the dead is a matter of faith: it is true to the believer but false to those who aren’t of that faith. Just because that claim is made doesn’t prove that Christianity is the one true sacred tradition, and all the rest is false.”

    Hazel, Christ’s resurrection is a matter of recorded history. The central question is and always has been, “Who moved the stone?” If he had not risen, his enemies would have provided the dead body as evidence that the apostles were lying. These were the same people that had been witnessing miracles all along and attributing them to the Devil. Notice that they didn’t deny the fact of the miracles, only their source. That, by the way, is why they sent Roman soldiers to guard his tomb. Christ had promised to raise himself from the dead, and they had hoped to put a stop to it. In that respect, Christ’s enemies had more faith than did his apostles.

    In any case, you and others have shifted the ground on my original point. It was not my intent to do Christian (or Catholic) apologetics; I was simply responding to anti-Catholic arguments which were founded on erroneous assumptions, nothing more. I am not pro- proselytizing; I am simply correcting errors. One blogger misunderstood Catholicism and evolution and suggested that the Catholic Church was corrupt. I tried to put that point in context by showing that the Bible cannot logically be the sole rule of faith. In responding to that point, another blogger changed the subject to comparative religion. So, I found it necessary to modify the argument to address his changing context.

    Now, you have introduced still another element, namely the error of reducing the facts of history to an affirmation of religious dogma. In fact, the Judeo/Christian religion is founded on history; all other religions are founded on self-proclamation. You error is in believing that Christ’s resurrection is solely a matter a faith. While you assert that “there are no tools to decide on such matters,” you fail to take account of the best tool of all—-reason itself. Also, you labor under the assumption that all articles of faith are solely matters of faith and nothing more. It many cases, they are; in many other cases they are not. Christ’s tomb was occupied for three days and then it was empty. It is still empty. That is a fact.

    You would be surprised at how many skeptics will deny even the most obvious facts. Some even claim that Christ did not exist in time/space/history. Others simply hope that is the case, which explains why they changed the calendar references from B.C.—A.D. to B.C.E and A.C.E. Rewriting history is one of the skeptics’ favorite activities.

    I am well aware that many who embrace other belief systems do indeed reject any possibility that they could be wrong. That is irrational. We all have doubts. The difference is this: Only psychotics are immune from doubt just as only neurotics are immune from belief. That is why all arguments for and against every belief system ought to be subjected to the test of reason. There is no better tool that than. You assume that since some zealots exhibit unjustified certitude there can be no such thing as justified certitude. That assumption is erroneous.

  62. 62
    hazel says:

    Hi Stephen. I responded to your reply to Riddick, but I agree that this is off the subject and I agree we should take the topic no farther.

    And I understand why you and Timmaeus would respond to R. Hernandez, whose anti-Catholicism is extreme.

  63. 63

    Timmaeus (and others):

    Please forgive my failure to address your questions. I have been trying to post statements, replies, and evidence to back them up for two days now, but almost all of my comments have been moderated. If you are reading this comment, that situation may have changed. However, I find it rather dismaying to spend a great deal of time putting together cogent arguments, backed with evidence and links to sources, only to have them removed without explanation.

  64. 64
    R. Martinez says:

    Timaeus (#58): “….you continue in the same aggressive vein, speaking of the ‘jaw dropping ignorance’ of people who disagree with you….”

    The protest expressed above says it is illegitimate to point out ignorance. This is self-evidently untrue.

    “And at the end, speaking as if you are a teacher and I a slow student, you write, ‘This is 101 stuff, come on.’ This disrespectful, belittling mode of speaking is never constructive.”

    Since you were advocating evolutionary theory to NOT have objective claims, that evolution (= Materialism) is compatible with Theism (= Ken Millerism), you are incredibly ignorant, or a slow student or even worse (“but I would rather not consider that”).

    I owe you—a stranger—nothing. I have behaved like a perfect gentleman. I have not used invective or argued the man. I have, like you said, aggressively made my points and your main complaint is an absence of femininity in them.

    You are hoping for a groundless Moderator rescue. I suggest that you man-up and respond.

    Ray

  65. 65
    AmerikanInKananaskis says:

    sparc@40 said:
    I guess nobody can judge the situation for other minorities but does anybody accuse UD of discriminating women or minorities.

    You’re missing the point. We ALREADY KNOW that Darwinism leads to vile bigotry. History has proved it again and again. Ben Stein said it best: “science leads to killing people”. (Although I would qualify that by changing “science” -> “unchecked science” or “science without religion”, and “people” -> “people of minority groups”.)

    If you have some evidence that shows that ID is sexist, I would like to see it.

  66. 66
    R. Martinez says:

    Allen_MacNeill (#63): “Timmaeus (and others):

    Please forgive my failure to address your questions. I have been trying to post statements, replies, and evidence to back them up for two days now, but almost all of my comments have been moderated. If you are reading this comment, that situation may have changed. However, I find it rather dismaying to spend a great deal of time putting together cogent arguments, backed with evidence and links to sources, only to have them removed without explanation.”

    IF TRUE, that is, IF Allen is being “moderated” (= censored) then this is wrong. Atheist-evolutionist Allen MacNeill has done nothing deserving of censorship, which is a Third World practice. In my opinion his messages convince persons that evolution is false. If Allen is being censored then I will stop posting here in protest based on principle. I will monitor the site to see in the coming days.

    Censorship is a pro-Darwin-Supreme Court/Federal judiciary/Judge Jones thing. Real Christians should never treat their enemies like their enemies treat them.

    Ray Martinez, Protestant Evangelical, Old Earth-Young Biosphere Creationist-species immutabilist-Paleyan Designist.

  67. 67
    StephenB says:

    —Hazel: “And I understand why you and Timmaeus would respond to R. Hernandez, whose anti-Catholicism is extreme.”

    Timmaeus is one of my favorite commentators and I appreciate his spirit of solidarity with Catholics although I gather he is not in that fold.

    For my part, I am not singling out R. Martinez for censure. Frankly, I find his straight talk easier to digest and respond to than the doubletalk coming from irrational skeptics and Darwinists, which consist of nothing but deflections, obfuscations, and changing definitions.

    R. Martinez and I may disagree about Catholicism, but his comments are definitive enough and consistent enough to address. What I find more disconcerting are the moving targets (Darwinists) who shift their ground and reframe the issue each time I correct their errors, as if I had misunderstood their original theme. (Examples abound)

    Back to substance:

    [A] Authentic Catholicism is not pro-Darwin

    [B] The Divine component of the Catholic Church (Universal Magisterium) cannot be corrupted; the human component can and has been corrupted many times.

    [C] “Sola Scripture” is not Biblical..

    [D] Christs resurrection is a matter of historical fact.

  68. 68
    jerry says:

    Allen,

    If you have detailed replies that are not being expressed here, place them on your blog and they can be referenced here. About a year ago someone from ASA had a long reply that contained a few banned words that were used innocently enough but which prevented the post from getting out of moderation. We were able to post the comment piecemeal till we found the problem paragraph.

    So post it on you own site if you wish and reference it here. That may be the problem or it may be something else.

  69. 69

    Re my comment in #63:

    Interesting; even my comment explaining why I had suddenly stopped commenting was moderated, but then magically reappeared 48 hours later, along with almost all of the other comments I had posted (but which disappeared for 48 hours).

    As this thread seems to be winding down I will withhold further comment here. However, if there are forthcoming threads in which I would like to join in the discussion, I will attempt to do so.

  70. 70
    R. Martinez says:

    StephenB (#67): “R. Martinez and I may disagree about Catholicism….”

    I have been quote-mined mercilessly. My position is as follows: IF ANY Church (includes Protestant churches) accepts or advocates evolution for any reason then they correspond to Judas.

    Evolution, since Darwin 1859, was accepted on the presupposition that God is absent from reality and that only material causation exists (= Materialism). These are round earth facts that explicitly say Atheism is true and that the Bible and Christianity are false.

    Ray

  71. 71
    iconofid says:

    William Dembski: QUESTIONS: Why are all 80 members of the PAS evolutionists?

    If you took 80 distinguished scientists at random, the chances are they all would be “evolutionists”

  72. 72
    R. Martinez says:

    William Dembski: “QUESTIONS: Why are all 80 members of the PAS evolutionists?”

    Obviously a very good question since their conclusions are not in doubt—being entirely predetermined.

    Ray

  73. 73
    Timaeus says:

    Allen MacNeill wrote (#69):

    “As this thread seems to be winding down I will withhold further comment here.”

    Once again continuing the pattern of refusing to engage poor old Timaeus (see #52).

    Sigh. On a previous thread, it was the “I’ve got the flu” excuse. Above, it was the “I’m trying to reply, but I can’t through because I’m being moderated” excuse (#63). Now it’s the “this thread seems to be winding down” excuse.

    I’ve seen much more creative dodges from undergraduates who are late with their essays. Surely a Cornell lecturer can come up with more sophisticated pretexts for failing to respond to reasonable criticism.

    T.

  74. 74
    StephenB says:

    —-Ray: “Evolution, since Darwin 1859, was accepted on the presupposition that God is absent from reality and that only material causation exists (= Materialism). These are round earth facts that explicitly say Atheism is true and that the Bible and Christianity are false.”

    Ray, I am sympathetic to your insistence that truth should not be compromised, and I believe that this laudable conviction shapes the substance of your correspondence. On the matter of evolution and atheism, you are correct that Darwinism rules out teleology in nature, which is another way of saying that it cannot be logically reconciled to Christianity.

    Still, other non-atheistic evolutionary concepts have been brought to the forefront in the 20th Century that proposed both cosmic and biological evolution. A rogue Catholic priest named Teilhard de Chardin, for example, ignored the teachings and admonitions of his own church, and proposed a teleological brand of evolution that, while theistic, appeared to compromise the doctrine of original sin.

    To put the matter in an obscenely simplistic fashion, Chardin posited that mankind was the axis of evolution into a higher consciousness and suggested that a supreme consciousness, God, must be drawing the universe toward him. Like many fads, it caught on with the intellectual elite because it seemed to facilitate a belief in both God and evolution. It was Chardin that got the ball rolling for what we think of today as theistic evolution. As a point of interest, I would point out that the Catholic Church condemned this heretical world view. In keeping with that point, theistic evolutionists almost always end up sacrificing many of their Christian beliefs at the altar of scientific speculation.

    In any case, many scholars and even some clergy got caught up in this foolishness. Indeed, it is the primary reason that some Catholics have bought into Christian Darwinsim, unaware that they have made the subtle transition from religious heresy to practical atheism. The point is, though, that Chardin’s evolutionary scheme was NOT atheistic, which is why so many Christians fell for it.

    For better or for worse, evolution, micro or macro, is no longer synonymous with atheism, at least not since Chardin hit the scene. While I could develop the point further and point to the more modern notion of macro-evolution and “front loading,” which can be reconciled with theism, I will leave it alone for now. The point is, we must now distinguish between “evolution” in general, which is not necessarily atheistic, and Darwinism, which, for all practical purposes, is.

  75. 75
    NSM says:

    Am I the only person that has found this thread to be extremely troubling? There are too many things I want to say. I apologise if this seems disjointed:

    @ Iconofid:

    “If you took 80 distinguished scientists at random, the chances are they all would be “evolutionists””

    This is misleading, as it assumes the scientists have been chosen at random. Stephen Hawking wasn’t there because he won a raffle. The point is that there is no balance in terms of the views being represented. ID theorists weren’t excluded because they weren’t lucky enough to be included as part of some probability sample. There was a definite, conscious effort to exclude these ones.

    The comments on racism and catholicism are frightening, in my opinion, and should be cause for concern.

    @ AmerikanInKananaskis

    “If you have some evidence that shows that ID is sexist, I would like to see it.”

    I think the fact that you issued this challenge indicates the problem. ID can’t be sexist for the same reason that the theory of gravity can’t be sexist. ID is a proposition that states that certain aspects of the universe are better explained by a designer, than by unguided processes. Obviously there is nothing inherently sexist or racist about that.

    However, how is the theory of evolution inherently racist? How is the proposition that the current diversity of plant and animal life is the result of random mutation and natural selection inherently racist? Or sexist?

    Let me also put forward the following:

    Suppose that ID is correct. If there is design in nature, it stands to reason that such design can be emulated by human beings (as ID doesn’t specify that the designer is omnipotent, omniscient etc). In the year 2040, scientists suggest that human beings are sub-optimal, perhaps due to the degradation of the original design over time. It is further reasoned that there should be only one race (as racism is a major cause of division in moder society). Scientists thus come to the conclusion that genes should be manipulated (or whatever), so as to ensure that there is only one race.

    Is that not racism? The fact that is hasn’t happened is no impediment to its possible occurrence. The world didn’t need Darwin to justify their racism. (incidentally, I don’t disagree that Darwinism was a necessary but not sufficient cause for the holocaust).

    @ R.Martinez

    “Since you were advocating evolutionary theory to NOT have objective claims, that evolution (= Materialism) is compatible with Theism (= Ken Millerism), you are incredibly ignorant, or a slow student or even worse (”but I would rather not consider that”).”

    I’m slightly shocked by this. At least at first you were only applying your position to Catholics. Now you state that theism is incompatible with evolutionary theory? Huh?

    Firstly, how do you define theism, and how do you define evolution? Does common descent = materialism? So Mike Behe is now a materialist? Is theism not simply the opposite of atheism?

    Your statement that Catholics who accept evolution are under the control of Satan is irresponsible. Anyone reading this thread would immediately be turned away from intelligent design if they were to read that. It reminded me of those Zeitgeist conspiracy theorists. You’re essentially stating:

    1)I’m right
    2)Those that disagree are under the control of Satan

    Does that sound like a position conducive to debate? This is especially irresponsible due to the fact that you haven’t properly and clearly stated what you meant by “evolution.” You didn’t even use the accepted “Darwinism.”

  76. 76
    R. Martinez says:

    StephenB (#74): “Ray, I am sympathetic to your insistence that truth should not be compromised….”

    As we shall soon see the comment above contains an invisible asterisk.

    “On the matter of evolution and atheism, you are correct that Darwinism rules out teleology in nature, which is another way of saying that it cannot be logically reconciled to Christianity.”

    Arrow straight facts and logic; but they exist in the context of an invisible asterisk.

    “Still, other non-atheistic evolutionary concepts have been brought to the forefront in the 20th Century….”

    False.

    It was Darwin’s theory of evolution that science accepted 1859-1879. Evolution was accepted as being caused by unintelligent and unguided material agencies even though natural selection was rejected by the majority. As we know the biological synthesis of the 1930s and 40s ratified natural selection as the main but not the exclusive cause of evolutionary change, thus vindicating Darwin. In addition, and most importantly, Darwin was arguing against Creationism (God involvement): independent creation of each immutable species (Darwin 1859:6).

    The point here is that the concept of “evolution” was accepted on the basis that Mind was NOT INvolved with biological production. This objective fact corresponds to a pro-Atheism position. Conversely, the INvolvement of Mind (= independent or special creation) corresponds to Theism, that is, the INvolvement of God in reality/biological production.

    Therefore the concept of “evolution” since acceptance is pro-Atheism: God is NOT involved. IF God is involved with biological production the same is called Creationism or Intelligent design. Based on these facts the concept of “evolution” CANNOT be propagated as being caused by Theos. The concept means “God is not involved.” That is why it was proposed by Darwin (who self-admittedly became a Materialist by 1838 (Notebooks M and N)): God was judged to be absent from nature. Darwin accounted for God at the end of his book, placing Him in a deistic position, external to reality (1859:490). The placement sought to escape a charge of Atheism which was illegal to propagate in Victorian times (reference available upon request).

    “A….Catholic priest named Teilhard de Chardin…. proposed a teleological brand of evolution that, while theistic….”

    And his proposal was DOA (dead-on-arrival) based on the above facts. See Daniel Dennett, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” (1995) in support of this fact.

    Again, the concept seen in “theism” and the concept seen in “evolution” are antonymic and oxymoronic.

    “It was Chardin that got the ball rolling for what we think of today as theistic evolution.”

    William Dembski has argued vehemently against TEism (“Intelligent Design” 1999). Again, every fact argued above exposes the invalidity of TEism.

    “For better or for worse, evolution, micro or macro, is no longer synonymous with atheism, at least not since Chardin hit the scene. While I could develop the point further and point to the more modern notion of macro-evolution and ‘front loading,’ which can be reconciled with theism, I will leave it alone for now. The point is, we must now distinguish between ‘evolution’ in general, which is not necessarily atheistic, and Darwinism, which, for all practical purposes, is.”

    Hence the “invisible asterisk.”

    “Darwinism” and “evolution” are synonyms. StephenB departs objectivity thus negating the straight thinking that began his message. Stephen is catering to ignorance, subjectivity and corruption (the entire spectrum) known as Theistic evolutionism. Why?

    Answer: Apparently he cares more about being liked than he cares about the truth (which, as we have seen, he knows).

    OBJECTIVE FACTS:

    IF Theos is INvolved with nature the same is called Theism, Creationism, Intelligent design, God-did-it.

    IF Theos is NOT INvolved with nature the same is called Darwinism, evolution, Materialism-Naturalism, Atheism, God-didn’t-do-it.

    Ray

  77. 77
    R. Martinez says:

    #76: “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

    I did not write this comment. It somehow appeared when I posted my message.

    Ray

  78. 78
    Clive Hayden says:

    R. Martinez,

    “Stephen is catering to ignorance, subjectivity and corruption..”

    “Apparently he cares more about being liked than he cares about the truth”

    Ray, do you think this sort of attack helps the discussion? Do you think it wise to impugn someone’s character for what you think are his motives? You do this sort of thing often, which is why I put you on moderation. If you continue, I will delete your comments before they are posted, and then, if you continue, I will be forced to ban you. I’m being dead serious Ray, you can contribute all day long to the discussion as long as you leave insults out of it.

  79. 79
    R. Martinez says:

    Clive Hayden (#78): “Ray, do you think this sort of attack helps the discussion? Do you think it wise to impugn someone’s character for what you think are his motives?”

    Your comments contain no truth whatsoever. I argued position, not the man, that was the plain-to-see context.

    For you to want to imitate Judge Jones and censor me is disturbing.

    You cannot ban me since this is my last post (also known as a parting shot). Like Judge Jones and his fellow Atheists on the Federal bench, you are practicing the same corrupt business on the opposite side of the street.

    Neither I nor Atheist-evolutionist Allen MacNeill have done anything worthy of censure or banishment. To say what I wrote to somehow be illegitimate is an insult of intelligence.

    Ray Martinez, Protestant Evangelical, Old Earth-Young Biosphere Creationist-species immutabilist, Paleyan Designist, British Natural Theologian.

  80. 80
    StephenB says:

    —-“Ray: “Stephen is catering to ignorance, subjectivity and corruption (the entire spectrum) known as Theistic evolutionism. Why?”

    Ray, I hope that you will not disengage since we have not yet finished our business. In any case, I thought that surely you would read out of my words the meaning that was intended rather than to read into them your own personal convictions. I made it clear, and have always made clear, that theistic evolution, as it is understood today, makes no sense. What in the world prompts you to think that I am catering to that which I have always deemed as illogical?

    No one on this site has argued more forcefully against theistic evolution—-no one. If you don’t believe that, just check out what they say about me at the ASA. One of its members has even established a special website dedicated to me in which he continually plays back one of our debates except the he records only what he wrote, leaving out all my refutations.

    My point is that an illogical theist is not the same thing as an militant atheist. Indeed, I submit that the former does more damage than the latter, but that doesn’t change the fact that one must be distinquished from the other.

    If you think that I am tempted to compromise truth for the sake of popularity, you have not read my posts very carefully. In any case, I contend that there is no evidence whatsoever to support the fantasy of Darwinian evolution and I also contend that modern-day theistic is an intellectual madhouse because it posits both guided and unguided evolution at the same time.

    On the other hand, the concept of a God-guided evolution is not inherently illogical nor is it a faith buster. The fact that I don’t believe it happened that way suggests that we have a lot in common. Still, remember this: Faith ignited by passion moves mountains, but faith hampered by fanaticism moves nothing or no one.

  81. 81
    Thomas Cudworth says:

    StephenB (#74, #80):

    I thought your remarks on evolution, Darwinism, theistic evolution, etc. were entirely correct, and well-explained. I also thought your tone and manner were entirely gracious. However, based on past experience, I predict that your noble efforts are not going to be rewarded by reasonable responses from Mr. Martinez. I tried the same arguments and the same gentle approach on a previous thread, and was angrily scorned, much as you have been. See the discussion on:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ur-theory/

    I would not recommend investing much more time on this thread.

    However, you made a remark which interests me. You wrote:

    “No one on this site has argued more forcefully against theistic evolution—-no one. If you don’t believe that, just check out what they say about me at the ASA. One of its members has even established a special website dedicated to me in which he continually plays back one of our debates except the he records only what he wrote, leaving out all my refutations.”

    Could you direct me to: (1) Places on the ASA site where people have responded to you; (2) the special website that you are referring to?

  82. 82
    R. Martinez says:

    As far as I can tell my messages are on a delayed status. I am surprised to see my parting shot post (#79). Since it has posted I will at least finish with StephenB.

    I reserve the right to identify ignorance, subjectivity and corruption when I see it. The identification is attacking position and not the man.

    StephenB (#80): “I made it clear, and have always made clear, that theistic evolution, as it is understood today, makes no sense. What in the world prompts you to think that I am catering to that which I have always deemed as illogical.”

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-309657

    You have ignored and evaded everything in the above link.

    “No one on this site has argued more forcefully against theistic evolution—-no one. If you don’t believe that, just check out what they say about me at the ASA. One of its members has even established a special website dedicated to me in which he continually plays back one of our debates except the he records only what he wrote, leaving out all my refutations.”

    False

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-309610

    StephenB:

    BEGIN LINK QUOTE: For better or for worse, evolution, micro or macro, is no longer synonymous with atheism, at least not since Chardin hit the scene. While I could develop the point further and point to the more modern notion of macro-evolution and “front loading,” which can be reconciled with theism, I will leave it alone for now. The point is, we must now distinguish between “evolution” in general, which is not necessarily atheistic, and Darwinism, which, for all practical purposes, is. END LINK QUOTE

    For the record: I am without a doubt the number one enemy of TEism where I post regularly (the Talk Origins Usenet). The quoted excerpt of yours (above) contradicts your denial. I am at a complete loss to explain why you are unable to see this egregious contradiction. Evading my post #76 (link also posted above) is just as baffling since its main point is to show this egregious contradiction.

    “I contend that there is no evidence whatsoever to support the fantasy of Darwinian evolution….”

    I completely agree; that is why I am a species immutabilist.

    “I also contend that modern-day theistic [evolution] is an intellectual madhouse because it posits both guided and unguided evolution at the same time.”

    (bracket added by R.M.)

    I completely agree.

    But the excerpt of yours quoted above exists in direct contradiction. So is your next quote.

    “On the other hand, the concept of a God-guided evolution is not inherently illogical nor is it a faith buster.”

    Egregious contradiction.

    Again, you are utterly blind, catering.

    Again, in your message #80 the second to the last paragraph egregiously contradicts the last paragraph. Of course, like I have been saying, you are utterly blind to the fact.

    Ray

  83. 83
    StephenB says:

    —-ThomasC: “Could you direct me to: (1) Places on the ASA site where people have responded to you; (2) the special website that you are referring to?”

    On #1, I refer to reports passed on to me from Jerry, who alerted me about it sometime ago. I didn’t follow up to observe it first hand, so I don’t know where the comments are. Apparently, they were all angry with me for aggressively challenging the logic of their position during their visit here a year of so ago.

    On #2, The special website that is reposted from time to time is called “Quintessence of Dust,” designed by Steve Matheson, a theistic evolutionist who posts regularly at the ASA. It hasn’t been posted for a couple of days, but it will likely come back again. When anyone googles “Uncommon Descent,” they will often find it located on the middle of the same page as our website, which is, of course, at the top. It begins with the phrase that goes something like this: “I continue to repost this for all those who, like me, do not read uncommon descent”……

    The dialogue that he alludes to happened on a UD post, the title of which I cannot remember. On his specially designed site, he recounts parts of that debate, reporting his comments to me and deleting my comments to him. He then opens it up for others to congratulate him for “dressing me down.” Naturally, none are even curious about what I might have said in defense of my own argument, the substance of which was, in my judgment, sufficient to disabuse anyone of the illusion that it was he who prevailed. Indeed, I assume that is why my comments did not appear.

  84. 84
    jerry says:

    StephenB,

    I sort of remember the exchange but can’t remember the time. I frequently look as the ASA site but do not spend much time there since 80% of what they talk about is religion and I am interested in science.

    A few are hard core Darwinists in the sense that evolution had to be naturalistic but do not accept the notion that it was completely unguided but make no claims as to how it was. In general they are not very knowledgeable about evolution because they just accept it and do not study it. This hard core seems to be reflexively anti ID. There are apparently a fair number of ID sympathizers there and one commentator said the membership of the organization is more ID friendly than the posters at ASA.

    Stephen Matheson is very knowledgeable about evolution but I have only read parts of his blog four or five times and actually found it helpful in refuting a Darwinist here who was making a big deal about maize. Matheson seems to emphasize micro evolution examples as they all do and is a good writer but contentious a lot of the time.

  85. 85
    Thomas Cudworth says:

    StephenB, Jerry:

    It sounds as if you are referring to the discussion on my first UD column, 21 June 2008:

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....-help-you/

    Steve Matheson came in at post #50.

    I will check out the ASA discussions from that time period.

  86. 86
    CannuckianYankee says:

    A little off subject

    StephenB:

    “Back to substance:

    [A] Authentic Catholicism is not pro-Darwin

    [B] The Divine component of the Catholic Church (Universal Magisterium) cannot be corrupted; the human component can and has been corrupted many times.

    [C] “Sola Scripture” is not Biblical..

    [D] Christs resurrection is a matter of historical fact.”

    Re: A] authentic Catholicism? How about authentic Christianity altogether?

    B] The “universeal magisterium” notion (as far as it is equal to the Catholic leadership) is not biblical. You know it’s funny how scripture is used conveniently as an authority for this idea (but scripture is not the only authority?).

    The only universal magisterium is Christ himself directly above all. Scritpure gives no indication of a papacy. None whatsoever. In fact, Scripture apparently condemns any kind of heirarchy apart from the original apostles.

    C] Sola Scriptura’s scriptural basis:

    “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NIV)

    D] Christ’s resurrection – historical fact – on that we can agree.

    We also apparently agree on ID. Thank God for that.

    The reason – and the only reason I am so opposed to the idea of the heirarchy (majesterium) in the Catholic Church is due to the fact that it leaves all other Christians out of the picture, which is contrary to John 3:16. Anybody can call upon Christ for salvation – not just Catholics. I don’t think Jesus had the Roman Catholic Church in mind as His universal Church – rather, the universal fellowship of all believers, who call on his name. I have to believe this, because this is what Scripture apart from human tradition, says is true. This is why I don’t completely count all Catholics out either (as some Protestants do). If Christ’s authority is what was meant by the divine magesterium, then I would agree with B as well. The true spirit of Christ’s word is never corrupted. Human traditions, on the other hand can and often are corrupted.

  87. 87
    NSM says:

    @R.Martinez

    “you are incredibly ignorant, or a slow student or even worse (”but I would rather not consider that”).”

    In what sense is this not arguing the man? How can calling someone a slow student or wicked (which is what I assume you were implying with the words quoted) be interpreted as anything but an insult?

    And yet you say:

    “I argued position, not the man, that was the plain-to-see context.”

    Not so plain-to-see in my opinion.

    The rest of your argument is confused. Evolution and Darwinism are not synonyms. This is a debate in which the meaning of words is important, and you have used words carelessly.

  88. 88
    StephenB says:

    I have probably tried the patience of administers by providing an abbreviated rational defense for Catholicism, but I gather they understand that I was responding to anti-Catholic screeds that needed to be answered. That is very broad minded of them, since most of them are non-Catholic. Normally, I don’t do things that way, preferring to emphasize what we ID advocates hold in common both scientifically, philosophically, and theologically (which is almost everything). Even at that, I am starting to feel as if I am abusing my posting privileges by presenting these points. Perhaps, I should call a moratorium on my own responses after this explanation.

    Cannuckian Yankee

    —-“The “universeal magisterium” notion (as far as it is equal to the Catholic leadership) is not biblical. You know it’s funny how scripture is used conveniently as an authority for this idea (but scripture is not the only authority?).”

    The Church’s teaching authority is confirmed in Scripture. I am prepared to cite numerous passages to confirm that point. Why is it funny to use Scripture as evidence for those Christians who will accept nothing else? In any case, the Gospel was presented in oral form decades before it was committed to Scripture and people were being saved on its strength. Sacred Oral Tradition (not the traditions of men) and the Scriptures present the same Gospel, except the each is interdependent with the other. The Scriptures make this very point, declaring its harmony with Sacred Tradition.

    —–“The only universal magisterium is Christ himself directly above all. Scritpure gives no indication of a papacy. None whatsoever. In fact, Scripture apparently condemns any kind of heirarchy apart from the original apostles.”

    That is true. Christ is the head of his church. We agree on that. On the other hand, Christ established a singular head of the Church to act in his name and arranged for apostolic succession so his teachings would not be corrupted over time. The reason for that should be clear. He didn’t want his followers to embrace ten-thousand different interpretations of the one, true, Gospel.

    —–“C] Sola Scriptura’s scriptural basis: “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NIV)”

    You are confusing “necessary” with “sufficient.” Good diet is necessary and “useful” for health, but it is not sufficient. Similarly, the Scriptures are necessary for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training, but they are not sufficient. That is precisely what Scripture says about itself, which I alluded to in the many passages appealing to both oral and written traditions that you seem to have ignored.

    —–“The reason – and the only reason I am so opposed to the idea of the heirarchy (majesterium) in the Catholic Church is due to the fact that it leaves all other Christians out of the picture, which is contrary to John 3:16. Anybody can call upon Christ for salvation – not just Catholics. I don’t think Jesus had the Roman Catholic Church in mind as His universal Church – rather, the universal fellowship of all believers, who call on his name. I have to believe this, because this is what Scripture apart from human tradition, says is true. This is why I don’t completely count all Catholics out either (as some Protestants do). If Christ’s authority is what was meant by the divine magesterium, then I would agree with B as well. The true spirit of Christ’s word is never corrupted. Human traditions, on the other hand can and often are corrupted.

    Isn’t it the confusion over what we must do to be saved that causes all the fuss? Is it really enough to simply call on Christ for salvation? As a Christian you say yes; as a Christian, I say no. Were we meant to be in dispute over that matter? Which authority, if not a Church which was designed to define these matters, is to act as the final moral arbiter and bring us together in unity? It can’t be the Scriptures, because we both agree on its authority and disagree about the meaning of certain critical passages. When James says that “faith without works is dead,” and that we are “NOT saved by faith alone,” I take him literally and seriously. I gather that you do not. In any case, someone must speak as the final authority, and that someone must speak in the name of Christ. You speak of a universal fellowship of believers, but there is no such thing as unity without leadership.

  89. 89
    Timaeus says:

    StephenB (#88):

    As usual, I agree with you. I was going to post very similar remarks about Catholicism, but now they are redundant.

    This theological discussion can be brought back around to a UD concern, i.e., the subject of theistic evolutionism. There is a certain irony here. The very Protestant principle to which R. Martinez appealed — the right of the individual believer to go over the head of Church authorities (such as the Pope) and read the Scripture for himself or herself — is precisely what has given Christians the freedom to embrace and propagate the forms of theistic evolution which R. Martinez despises.

    If Scripture is the only authority, and if it is the right of every Christian to interpret Scripture individually, then there is no ecclesiastical basis for ruling that Teilhard de Chardin is wrong and R. Martinez is right. But if the Church itself possesses an authority equal to that of Scripture (since the Church also was inspired by Christ), then the Church can rule on the propriety of evolutionary interpretations of creation doctrine, and rule out all those interpretations which conflict with the core assertions of the faith received by the Apostles.

    I am not making an argument that the teaching of the Roman Church on evolution is correct, and that the teaching of any particular Protestant church on evolution is false; rather, I am making an argument that no Church, Catholic or Protestant, can take “sola scriptura” 100% literally. Without an authoritative Church, “sola scriptura” is a paper tiger that can enforce nothing, and in fact is a recipe for an anarchy of private interpretations, on evolution and on every other theological topic.

    Luther and Calvin did not, in practice, take “sola scriptura” 100% literally; they framed their interpretations of Scripture, just as Rome did, within a Church context; but it was their radical slogan, not their conservative practice, which governed much of the subsequent history of Protestantism. The result is 2000+ Protestant denominations, each prone to further subdivision in the event of some new quarrel over the meaning of Scripture. In addition, we now have thousands of “freelance” theologians, each flooding the internet with his or her private interpretation of the Bible, and generally unwilling to submit that interpretation to even the slightest correction or modification. It is this very unwillingness of “sola scriptura” Christians to submit their interpretations to the authority of the Church — any Church — that guarantees the long life of the liberal heresies that R. Martinez inveighs against.

    It is precisely the fact that Rome understands this point that gives me hope that leadership on the evolution question will continue to come from Rome. I think the current Pope is a strong individual, and trained deeply enough in theology to fully understand that he has the right, and even the duty, to set aside the advice of even a hundred Darwinist advisors, if that is what Christian teaching demands. Thus, while I do not underrate the danger indicated by William Dembski on this thread, I trust that this Pope will come through in the end, making it clear to the rulers of the age that even “consensus science” cannot dictate the contents of the Christian religion.

    T.

  90. 90
    StephenB says:

    Timeaus: I agree with your assessment. It appears that this Pope has already begun to detach himself from his advisors and their dubious orientation to the problem of evolution. It was he, after all, who coined the phrase “the intelligent project,” declared that Darwinism has not been proven, and fired Jerry Coyne, radical Darwinist and Vatican astronomer, all of which sent shock waves throughout the Catholic TE academy. I think he understands the importance of this issue, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he weighs in on it again in a year or two.

  91. 91
    David Kellogg says:

    StephenB, first, you’re confusing Jerry Coyne and George Coyne. Different people. Father George Coyne, who is in his seventies, asked to be replaced. Read about it in the link.

  92. 92
    hazel says:

    Uh, Jerry Coyne and father George Coyne are entirely different people. I suggest a little googling.

  93. 93
    Upright BiPed says:

    Hazel, unlike many internet entities, I think Google actually uses a capital G in their name.

    🙂

  94. 94
    utidjian says:

    StephenB,

    First, Jerry Coyne is a well-known evolutionary biologist at U. Chicago. The Vatican Astronomer Observatory head was Fr. George Coyne.

    Second, Fr. Coyne wasn’t fired. At 73 years of age, he had been asking his superiors to find a new director and they finally did just that.

    Where did you read about the “shockwaves”?

    -DU-

  95. 95
    StephenB says:

    —-First, Jerry Coyne is a well-known evolutionary biologist at U. Chicago. The Vatican Astronomer Observatory head was Fr. George Coyne.

    You are correct. I misplaced the two names, though I am aware of the difference.

    —-Second, Fr. Coyne wasn’t fired. At 73 years of age, he had been asking his superiors to find a new director.

    That is one version of it. I heard another. As one report put it, “Fr. Coyne was writing against Christoph Cardinal Schonborn, a principal author of the Catholic catechism, who said that an “unplanned process of random variation and natural selection,” both important parts of evolutionary thinking, are incompatible with Catholic belief in God’s ordering and guiding of creation.”

    I don’t think that his release was a coincidence, and neither do a lot of other people.

    In any case, you are using demographic details to avoid the larger point. Benedict XVI is no Christian Darwinist and the Christian Darwinists clearly do not like that. Like their fellow atheist Darwinists, they don’t take well to intellectual debates, as is clear from their presumptuous snubbing of the intelligent design community. Considering the fact that they would probably have outnumbered their adversaries ten to one or even a hundred to one, it was a manifestly cowardly act.

  96. 96
    riddick says:

    Timaeus #89:

    “The very Protestant principle to which R. Martinez appealed — the right of the individual believer to go over the head of Church authorities (such as the Pope) and read the Scripture for himself or herself — is precisely what has given Christians the freedom to embrace and propagate the forms of theistic evolution which R. Martinez despises.

    If Scripture is the only authority, and if it is the right of every Christian to interpret Scripture individually, then there is no ecclesiastical basis for ruling that Teilhard de Chardin is wrong and R. Martinez is right.”

    Wow. My heart goes out to you, Timaeus. Jesus has promised that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. Each must be convinced in his own mind. The Gospel saves, not some ecclesiastical authority.

  97. 97
    StephenB says:

    —-riddick: “Wow. My heart goes out to you, Timaeus. Jesus has promised that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth. Each must be convinced in his own mind. The Gospel saves, not some ecclesiastical authority.”

    Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide his Church and the apostles in the one truth. He did not promise that the Holy Spirit would guide all others to a hundred alternative truths. There are at least 50 different interpretations of the words, “This is my body.” Tell me which one is correct and how you know it.

  98. 98
    Timaeus says:

    Riddick (#95):

    Each must be convinced in his own mind about what? That Jesus is his Lord? Yes, of course. I was not suggesting that an ecclesiastical authority saves anyone. But we aren’t talking about salvation here. We are talking about the correct interpretation of the doctrine of Creation, and whether it can be made compatible with some version or other of evolutionary theory. That judgment involves the study of evolutionary theory, and it involves the study of difficult Biblical passages, and of the history of the doctrine of Creation, and it requires understanding of Trinitarian doctrine, the imago dei, etc., etc. It is not a matter for the private speculations of autodidactic internet hobbyists who rest arguments on capricious, offbeat interpretations of one or two “pet” passages in Genesis, and misunderstand Darwinian theory based on some popular summary. It requires learning, study, reasoning, judgment, care, and spiritual wisdom. That is why the Vatican, before issuing statements on such subjects, does years of background study.

    Remember also that the Holy Spirit does not speak only through the Bible. It speaks also through the Church, which it descended upon at Pentecost. So the Bible itself indicates that the Bible is not the sole link between God and the Christian believer. The Church itself — understood not as buildings or bishops or regulations, but as the people of God living under collective inspiration — is an equally important link. And the Church was serving that mediating function before the books of the New Testament were even written, let alone canonized. The doctrine of “sola scriptura” is thus a historically incorrect description of the faith of the earliest Christian Church.

    So yes, basic faith belongs to the individual Christian; but theological doctrine, especially on difficult matters where whole regions of the faith interconnect in complex ways that must be got “right”, cannot be left to the individual fancies of someone who is convinced that the Holy Spirit speaks only to himself or herself. At times the individual judgment (again, not regarding the core of faith itself, but regarding the intellectual formulation of faith) must be submitted to the decision of the Church. That is why Teilhard de Chardin was disciplined by the Roman Church. And if Ken Miller, a lay Catholic, were a theologian with teaching privileges in a Catholic seminary, rather than just a cell biologist with an interest in theology, he, too, might well come under the scrutiny of the Church for some of his speculative remarks about evolution and creation. If a lay Catholic makes some speculative errors, the Church can overlook it; but if someone with theological teaching responsibilities makes claims about the faith which are highly questionable, the Church must surely investigate.

    T.

  99. 99
    R. Martinez says:

    NSM (#87): ” Evolution and Darwinism are not synonyms.”

    I just obtained controlling interest in a bridge in Brooklyn, looks like a cash cow, email me if you want in.

    Ray

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