The Vatican apparently seeks to understand biological evolution, as long as speakers do not address the issue of origins whether advocates of Intelligent Design, Creationists, or Evolutionists. That appears to a priori exclude the foundational issue of causation. It also appears to assume that papers on “biological evolution” do not have any unstated assumptions on mechanisms or causes. It will be interesting to see the papers and results from this conference. See following articles and Dembski’s previous post: The Pope Circling Around ID:
“Intelligent design” not science: Vatican evolution congress to exclude creationism, intelligent design
Speakers invited to attend a Vatican-sponsored congress on the evolution debate will not include proponents of creationism and intelligent design, organizers said.
The Pontifical Council for Culture, Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana are organizing an international conference in Rome March 3-7 2009 as one of a series of events marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.”
Jesuit Father Marc Leclerc, a philosophy professor at the Gregorian, told Catholic News Service Sept. 16 that organizers “wanted to create a conference that was strictly scientific” and that discussed rational philosophy and theology along with the latest scientific discoveries.
He said arguments “that cannot be critically defined as being science, or philosophy or theology did not seem feasible to include in a dialogue at this level and, therefore, for this reason we did not think to invite” supporters of creationism and intelligent design.
Father Leclerc was one of several organizers speaking at a Sept. 16 Vatican press conference about the congress, part of the culture council’s “Science, Technology and the Ontological Quest,” or STOQ project.
Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the other extreme of the evolution debate — proponents of an overly scientific conception of evolution and natural selection — also were not invited.
He reiterated that evolutionary theory “is not incompatible with the teachings of the Catholic Church or the Bible’s message.”
Gennaro Auletta, professor of philosophy at the Gregorian and head of the STOQ project, said organizers hope the encounter will help theologians and philosophers be “a bit more humble and learn to listen a bit more” to what science is unveiling about humanity and the world.
. . .
Sloan said he hoped the March conference and other initiatives planned by Notre Dame and the Vatican would foster the development of “informed Catholic thought” on the subject.
By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service. See also: “Evolution is Fine”
See Full Article: “Intelligent design” not science . . .
At: Communio: …bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Paul Zalonski reports on:
Biological Evolution: Faith & Science Evaluate September 10, 2008 9:45 AM
An international conference “Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical human Appraisal 150 years after ‘The Origin of Species,'” will be held in Rome 3-7 March 2009.
This conference is jointly organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University (Rome) and the University of Notre Dame (Indiana) coordinated by the Pontifical Council for Culture as a project of STOQ (Science, Theology and the ontological Quest).
Seeking to foster a dialogue between science and religion, between science and STOQ logo.jpgfaith, three universities in Rome (Italy), under the coordination of the Pontifical Council for Culture, have launched an initiative entitled “Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest” (STOQ), a project that unites professionals from the fields of theology, philosophy and scientific investigation, in the common search for the truth.
STOQ, following the teaching of the Church as found in documents like Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason), published by Pope John Paul II in 1998.
“The Church needs science and science needs religion. Science purifies religion of error and superstition; religion purifies science of idolatry and false absolutes,” Cardinal Paul Poupard, President-emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
STOQ seeks to promote this dialogue by means of formative courses, in-depth investigations, publications, congresses and a student exchange program. Targeting professors and students alike, the project has three centers of investigation in each of the universities collaborating in the initiative:
-The Pontifical Gregorian University will concentrate on the foundations of philosophy of science.
-The Pontifical Lateran University will focus on the relation between the scientific and humanistic disciplines, especially Logic and Epistemology.
-The Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum will focus on the relations among the fields of philosophy, theology and the science of life, especially through its faculty of Bioethics.
The STOQ project seeks to create a new mentality within the Catholic Church that is open to the challenges that science presents to society and our faith of today, while promoting a new outlook in the realms of science, seeking the truth and at the same time open to the mystery of transcendence of the human person.
The Archdiodese of St. Louis reports on the: International Conference on Evolution To Be Held in 2009
VATICAN CITY (VIS)—The Holy See Press Office announced September 16 an international conference entitled “Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical Appraisal 150 Years After The Origin of Species.” The conference is to be held in Rome March 3-7, 2009.
The conference has been jointly organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and the University of Notre Dame, under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture and as part of the STOQ Project (Science, Theology, and the Ontological Quest).
Asia News reported: Archbishop Ravasi, overcoming the mistrust between evolutionism and theology09/16/2008 16:20
An international conference has been presented at the Vatican, proposing a scientific examination of the work of Darwin, eliminating the ideological context of “evolutionist” and “creationist” that marks the mistrust between Darwinism and theology.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – There is no “a priori incompatibility” between the theory of evolution, biblical teaching, and theology, but there is a need to “clarify”, 150 years after its publication, the work of Charles Darwin, which today “is too often discussed more in an ideological than in a scientific context”, generating confusion to the point of frontal opposition between “evolutionism” and “creationism”, present above all in the United States.
This is the objective of the international conference “Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A Critical Appraisal 150 years after ‘The Origin of Species'”, which will be held in Rome from March 3-7, 2009. It is jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Gregorian University and by Notre Dame University (Indiana, USA), under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The conference is part of the council’s project STOQ (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest), which was presented today at the Vatican.
The Catholic Church is highly interested in this question. It has never condemned Darwin’s work, and many popes, beginning with Pius XII, have affirmed that evolutionism is not in contrast with the faith. On the contrary, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture (in the photo), highlighted today the address that John Paul II made in 1996 to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, in which he affirmed that “new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis”, and that “this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines”.
From this, added the head of the pontifical council, arises the importance of the encounter between evolution and theology, which must overcome their mutual mistrust. This encounter, he added, has become something like an “emblem” of the relationship between science and faith. “The conference”, he concluded, “seeks to weave together harmoniously the scientific side with the philosophical and theological side, in mutual openness”.
The participants at the meeting will include scientists from every faith, and nonbelievers as well, philosophers and theologians, Catholics and Protestants. But there will be no representatives of “intelligent design”. This, as Fr Marc Leclerc, professor of natural philosophy at the Gregorian, explains, especially in the United States, has “contributed” to the current “confusion”, because, “while admitting the overwhelming fact of the evolution of the species, it tries to exploit the shortcomings of neo-Darwinian theory in order to present itself as an alternative explanation, on the same level: as if only the ‘intelligent design’ of God could explain the processes of evolution”. In this way, one arrives at confusing the “two distinct levels” of “finality” and “modality”.
On the other hand, as emphasized by Gennaro Auletta, the scientific director of the STOQ project and a professor of the philosophy of science at the Gregorian, “an encounter on the crucial question of evolution among scientists, philosophers, and theologians, is not something entirely irrelevant, and even those who use the theory of evolution in an anti-religious and anti-humanistic sense, precisely in doing this, must recognize it”. . . .”In such circumstances,” Father Leclerc continued, “as Christian scientists, philosophers, and theologians directly involved in the debate alongside colleagues from other confessions or of no confession at all, we felt it incumbent upon us to bring some clarification. The aim is to generate wide-ranging rational discussion in order to favor fruitful dialog among scholars from various fields and areas of expertise. The Church has profound interest in such dialog, while fully respecting the competencies of each and all. This is, however, an academic conference, organized by two Catholic universities, the Gregorian University in Rome and Notre Dame in the United States, and as such is not an ecclesial event. Yet the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture serves to underline the Church’s interest in such questions.”