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back to article Vatican endorses Darwin, slights intelligent design

The Vatican gave the Creationist lobby a left right sign of the cross today, announcing it would stage a conference on Darwinism next month and declaring that it was one of the Fathers of the Church that thought up the idea in the first place. At one point the conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University wasn't going to …

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Alien

Vatican and aliens

Actually the Vatican has had a policy on alien contact since the 1930s, so their astronomer wasn't going out on a limb but was simply repeating old news. The policy was thought up by the Jesuits, who are often nearly as far ahead of the curve as the more benighted orders are behind.

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Coat

The Vatican do Know well

Evolve or die.

/coat -on

/goto exit

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Alert

Darwin got it very wrong by excluding the possibility of God.

Maybe Because his Father was an atheist... he thought that he had to be so too...

Fact is that Both Creationism and Evolution can coexist - if you believe that god used evolution as a tool to make mankind from a muddy pool of ameobas.. the questions that evolution can't answer can still be atributed to a god.

Such as why certain specifc mutations occur (evolution determins which prevail not which happen!) and Why we are what we are... (for example Why are humans two legged when most animals have more!) in other words why did we come from this path of evolution and not another? why did we evolve from apes and not sloths? (Giant slothes were once far more powerful than apes!)

There is still room for God in evolution its just that people like to see it as Black or White and not both.

Now Intelligent Design on the other hand.. well that comes from the land of scientology.. nuff said.

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Yes, of course you did...

Apparently, the Vatican came up with evolution in the first place. Wow. How's that for a little bit of revisionism?

I like this:

Indeed, he said, evolution could be traced back through Scholastics such as St Thomas Aquinas to St Augustine in the fourth century, who had noted that "big fish eat smaller fish".

Now thats definitely a theory to rival the years of travelling in steamy, malaria-infested jungles, collecting and writing that Darwin and Wallace did before they came up with their theories.

"big fish eat smaller fish" - that Tom Aquinas bloke was some kind of genius - he probably came up with that gem of wisdom while quaffing down the 6th of his daily allotment of 6 pints of hyper-strong monkish ale while sitting idly by a pond full of Koi Carp.

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Boffin

Ethics

"with genetic manipulation fairly high on the Vatican's current don't-like list"

And is there any part of science you don't like (as opposed to don't believe in)?

Should there be any limit to what scientists can do?

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IT Angle

Interesting

Interesting and progressive, now lets talk about contraception and the Third world shall we?

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Anonymous Coward

I get it

It's opposite day, right?

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Georges Lemaitre?

Given that it was Georges Lemaitre who came up with the Big Bang hypothesis, which fits rather well with the idea that the universe was created, the Catholic Church could be said to have things pretty well covered.

Perhaps we can look forward to investigations into the workings of Adam Smith's 'invisible hand', which supposedly optimises free markets, and joint research with NASA into similarities between alien abductions and visiting angels.

These might also be reasonably described as 'cultural phenomena'.

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Happy

Next...

...Pope declares "There is probably no God - now stop worrying and enjoy your life" :)

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God, make me good - but not yet.

I think the St Augustine quote that's most relevant to this subject is his call for

"Unity in essential things, freedom in nonessential things, and charity in all things"

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Augustine Misquote

I believe Augustine actually said "Give me chastity and continence - but not yet". The quotation is from Book 8 of his Confessions, which is a great read. Fortunately he received a healthy dose of both, becoming a monk and one of the greatest thinkers and theologians of all time. Though he was instrumental in steering the Church through the Pelagian controversy, it was probably not until the time of the Reformation that his deep understanding of the vital doctrine of grace was fully appreciated.

I was tempted to go with one of the "saint" icons, but I think putting billg or steveb next to a posting about Augustine would probably earn one a swift crisping by lightning-bolt - hence flames.

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Boffin

"Valid Scientific Approach"

And herein lies the key. The Church sees science as a mechanism for us humans to use to describe God's creation. It is axiomatic that all life and all matter in the Universe was created by Him, and our scientific explanations sit within that philosophical framework. So a "valid scientific approach" may be rigorously true within its own philosophical domain without causing any wider problems.

The IDers don't have such a philosophical framework, and therefore place scientific explanation at odds with creation. The description of ID as a "cultural phenomenon" puts it firmly, and rather wittily, in its place.

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Royale with cheese*

Looks like Darwin's birthday is coming up

So?

He's the bloke that discovered how evolution works

And?

Well people will talk about evolution and how the bible can't be the literal truth

Arse, you're right

What shall we do?

How about locking him up until he admits he's wrong, or just have him killed?

He's already dead.

Double arese, worked on Galileo

Yea, until PJ2 bottled it, said sorry and admitted the earth was moving back in 1992

Splitter

How about saying we thought of it first?

Do you mean mumble vaguely about Tommy Aquinas and how he thought of it first?

Yea, nobody really listens to us anyway

Apart from american evangelicals?

Oh, fuck don't remind me, mentalists the lot of 'em, at least creationists are just stupid

31% of americans believe in the literal truth of the bible

I'm going, that's all there is to it, I'm fucking going

Yeah baby, you'd dig it the most.

*Different scene... I know.... don't care

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Keep up at the back!

With the Vatican eating humble pie, I suppose that leaves just the Palinesque theotards at the back of the class fiddling with their "Jesus riding a dinosaur into Jerusalem" playset. Their destiny? To work as bus drivers refusing to drive buses, one would imagine, given the amazing selection of role models at their disposal.

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Thumb Up

Great

So they're catching up with 19th century science? Excellent.

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Anonymous Coward

Re ethics

> And is there any part of science you don't like (as opposed to don't believe in)?

James, science is about theories and hypotheses that can be verified experimentally. It's not a belief system. You may well choose not to believe in the laws of physics. That doesn't mean they are wrong.

> Should there be any limit to what scientists can do?

Of course. But that's got nothing to do with which parts of science you and I don't like. Or believe in.

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re: Excluding god

Sorry, AC, but there really isn't a place for God at the science table. Unless it can be tested, hence falsifiable, it's not science. And God, by most definitions, can not be falsifiable.

There are holes in evolution ( stop calling it Darwinism you idiots; Darwin was merely the scientist who put all the pieces together, but there has been significant progress with Evolution since then ), true. We will eventually reason or otherwise logically explain those holes. Some explanations may modify the theory of evolution, others may not. But eventually, we'll answer all questions poised.

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God of the Gaps

AC - "the questions that evolution can't answer can still be atributed to a god."

Only if you subscribe to the "God Of The Gaps" notion. If science cannot currently answer a question, then immediately saying "Aha! God did it!" is about as intellectually weak as it is possible to be.

Wouldn't it be better to try to find out, than to invoke the supernatural as an explanation for anything you don't know the answer to?

Evolution does not preclude the existence of a God, but it does show that there is absolutely no need to require a God to explain the entire history of life on the planet.

You might as well say, "Well, I don't really understand every detail of how my Plasma TV works, so I guess God must be working in there somewhere".

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Re: Darwing got it very wrong...

"Why are humans two legged when most animals have more!"

Actually, evolution answers this one very nicely (note that we're still "badly" two-legged and suffer from chronic spinal problems from this fact - but none of those are sufficient to further evolution that way), just like why social primates developped intelligence rather than the loner sloths.

(in case you are wondering - one of the primary reasons we developped intelligence is that smarter apes were a lot better at tracking who was whom among the social primate clans, which led the smart ones to exploit better this to do the deed. Plus a couple of other evolutionary pushes. Being smarter wouldn't help the sloth score one on saturday evenings)

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Anonymous Coward

Every sperm is sacred

"with genetic manipulation fairly high on the Vatican's current don't-like list"

and lets not forget condoms.

God must be well and truly pissed off with this lot by now.

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No, no, no, no, no

<quote>Fact is that Both Creationism and Evolution can coexist - if you believe that god used evolution as a tool to make mankind from a muddy pool of ameobas.. </quote>

Nope, creationism can't exist with evolution, creationists indicate that people have never evolved - you're talking about something completely different.

<quote>the questions that evolution can't answer can still be atributed to a god.</quote>

Or aliens, or my nephew kevin, or a small piece of green putty I found in my armpit one day, one supernatural explanation is as good as another

<quote>Such as why certain specifc mutations occur (evolution determins which prevail not which happen!)</quote>

It's "random" as in chance, tossing a coin wil be heads or tails (and rarely on it's side), pehaps random atomic movement (brownian motion) is at the heart of mutations or solar radiation, or the very random interraction of nutrinos, there's no reason to think there's an inteligence behind it.

<quote>Why we are what we are... (for example Why are humans two legged when most animals have more!)</quote>

If we had four legs you could ask the same question, why not two legs or six or eight? why don't we have heat sensors like snakes?

<quote>in other words why did we come from this path of evolution and not another? why did we evolve from apes and not sloths? (Giant slothes were once far more powerful than apes!)</quote>

What difference would it make if we did? assuming that other creatures are not constrained by their environments (cold blood/vegitarian/sea dewlling etc.) then eventually another species will evolve into "higher beings", this probably happened with Neandertals, and development changes can be observed now with chimps, if slothes developed into a higher form then maybe they would say "why didn't we develop from homo erectus?"

What you have described are examples why science is so wonderful, not reasons to believe in any kind of biblical creation or ID, if you say "god must exist because you can't explain X" then when X get explained you'll say "god must exist because you can't explain Y" and so on, this is called "the god of gaps" and it's just as valid to say "we don't know" which has more intellectual integrity.

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Re: Yes, of course you did...

"Now thats definitely a theory to rival the years of travelling in steamy, malaria-infested jungles, collecting and writing that Darwin and Wallace did before they came up with their theories."

Note that Darwin didn't figure out the idea that selection created new species. Any farmer of the previous two or three millenia knew that already. What he figured out is that, apparently, what farmers did, Nature did also, and figured out why she would do so; hence the term Natural Selection.

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Alien

Alien Rapture

I recently worked with a guy who told me that the catholic church came out with the story about aliens so that when The Rapture (TM) comes and all the "true believers" are taken up they will explain the disappearances away as alien abductions.

Genius.

Religious Conspiracists are the maddest ones of all. Give me David Icke and his 4th dimensional lizards any day...

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" Unless it can be tested, hence falsifiable, it's not science"

That's "climate science" taken care of, then.

"Darwin was merely the scientist who put all the pieces together"

Really?

Drat. If only it wasn't for those Mendel-ing kids, he might have got away with it.

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Tetrapods and Apes

"Why are humans two legged when most animals have more?"

Actually, I think you'll find that humans are better described as "4-limbed" rather than "two-legged"

Along with thousands of other animals that are thought to have evolved from a common 4-limbed ancestor. (I think the term is tetrapod in cladistics)

Cows, tigers, frogs, lizards, sparrows, gorillas, etc etc etc. All have 4 limbs.

Oh, and humans didn't evolve from apes - we ARE apes. Humans are genetically closer to Chimps than gorillas, and chimps are gorillas are both apes, so...

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@AC

The questions you mention weren't answered by Darwin personally, but they have been answered since then. The source of mutations - errors in DNA transcription - has been well known for decades. The rest of the theory of evolution is pretty much applied statistics. There's actually not much at all that is still totally unexplained in evolution. The only big point left is abiogenesis, but we're making good progress on that (I heard about RNA replicators just a few days ago). Eventually, and possibly quite soon, we'll have a solid model of how it went all the way from dead dirt to humans.

A few generations after that, people will regard creationists in the same way we regard people who believed that lightnings are the spears of Zeus. The church does well to distance itself from them, as in the long run creationists are doomed to become progressively less believable.

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Paris Hilton

Erm, what about the dinosaurs Benny?

So, even my nine year old daughter (who goes to a C of E school) knows that the bible never mentions the mighty lizards.

When asking the person who taught creation she was told "God put them there to test the faith of man"

As you can imagine I haven't told her about Father Christmas yet, but imagine someone living in an age of medicine, computers and learning being told "oh, some invisible person who keeps an eye on us all the time and refuses to show himself did all this"

I do hope this spread of religious insanity stops and people realise there is no omnipotent creature who guides and punishes everyone.

Life is short and our role is to reproduce and continue the linage of our d.n.a.

Get over your medieval fairy stories and enjoy what time you have wondering at the marvel of how strands of acid can do what they do.

Paris: because she enjoys the close-quarters study of other people's dna.

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Happy

A bit off on the Augustine

Augustine wasn't referring to all sin, just the best kind. The quote in the article should be "Lord, give me chastity, but not yet."

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ian
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The God of the Gaps

AC - "the questions that evolution can't answer can still be atributed to a god."

I'm not religious, but its clear to me that any religious person that attempts to reconcile science with religion by recourse to the "God of the Gaps" idea is dooming their religion in several ways:

1. If religion wasn't obscurantist before, then confining God to the obscure will certainly make it so. Remember, there is no security in obscurity, which leads to the next trap for religion in the God of the gaps idea.

2. As the gaps narrow, the God of the gaps diminishes. So much for your omni-everything God!

As a warning the religious: "MIND THE GAP!"

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Linux

Funny discussions

I get a kick out of people when they argue about evolution vs. creationism.

The pro evolution groups argue that creationism cannot exist because it is fact that the world is more than a couple of thousand years old.

The creationists argue that the idea of dinosaurs and evolution are ideas planted by people trying to destroy the church.

Thing is they are both right and wrong in ways. There is no reason you cannot believe in creationism and evolution.

First TIME is a constant that was created by man, thus only has any basis in fact on this little planet in our terms. The Bible states that God created the heavens and earth in 6 days and rested on the 7th. As God first of all would be Omni-potent and Omni-present why would our limited knowledge of the Universe act as a restriction on this being.

Second lets think about the current timeline as stated by our limited knowledge of the universe. Earth has been around for about 6 billion and some odd years. So who is to say that each billions years is not represented by 1Billion years.

Third option to think about is that our current view of time is based on how long it takes for the earth to revolve and rotate aournd the sun. Thus these ideas are not contants as not all heavenly bodies revolve at the same speed or rotate around thier respective suns at the same speeds.

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Anonymous Coward

(untitled)

There may be no place for God at the science table, but scientists should be capable of considering issues other than science. When science and checked and confirmed all it can we still have outstanding questions such as, "why does maths exist ?". So one needs to label something responsible for all the order we perceive. A God of order.

Ah the "God of the Gaps" quote eh ? So if one can see a process which explains something which was not previously understood, then that is supposed to be some kind of death stroke for any consideration of matters outside of science ? Hardly, it merely shows that much of this physical universe seems to be able to continue under its own processes without further need for intervention. The phrase is useful for pouring scorn on others, and giving one a false feeling of superiority, but little more.

Not sure if AC is just trolling but ... :-)

A form of creationism could exist provided you are happy with the idea that one started with fairly sophisticated creatures, brought into existence by a deity, and that evolution honed the creatures to "perfection" afterwards. But that isn't normally the stated belief of those arguing for creationism.

It matter not which specific mutations occur. So long as enough of them occur to weed out the majority detrimental ones, and leave the rare improvements.

Humans happen to be 2 legged because they found a niche where 2 legs were an advantage to their survival (at least up to breeding age and a little beyond). Most animals have more legs because they were unfortunate enough not to occupy the niche we found. They found one of their own where more legs proved useful to survival.

It matters not which path our species took to reach where we are now. Had we just so happened to have evolved from a different creature we could still ask the same pointless question. Why do we not come from cats, or dogs, or tortoises, or whatever. Obviously power was not a significant factor for our species. After all not every species on the planet can be the most powerful.

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As if it mattered.

The majority of the Creationist cum IDers aren't Catholic. You read that right, not Catholic. Many of the Catholics I know are down right reasonable and pragmatic folk, albeit most could be best described as Cafeteria Catholics or Condom Catholics, much to the chagrin of "true" Catholics, AKA Papists. Note, theoretically, there aren't any divisions in Catholicism as practiced by lay people, only the elite group running the show have their sects but the hoi polloi don't. Don't get me wrong, Catholics have problems too but that has more to do with pent up issues about gender identity, sexual preference and impotence. Hence the different sects for the elites.

No, most of the ID card carrying members are of the Protestant persuasion and couldn't give a gnats arse about what the Vatican does or says about putting a Darwin-fish on the back of your Prius. The real screamers are typically the Evangelicals, who have a burning desire to show their superiority and are often anti-Pope to the point of disgust. After all, either they are right or the Pope is, can't have any grey, grey is bad for the chitlin's.

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Quiz night - beer caps at the ready

A man from Mars might observe the human male has only a single penis. Given that failsafe IT systems have a large degree of redundancy built in, is this

a) Intelligent Design?

b) because of evolution?

c) not because of evolution?

d) not yet because of evolution?

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Happy

The Bigger Picture

Look, it's like this. God is everywhere and he (or she) knows everything. So, knowing that a BIG BANG would start off the whole Universe and all of the processes that scientists theorise about, right about, argue about and sometimes prove - there you have it, you can spend as much time as you like trying to argue for Evolution vs Creationism vs Natural Selection vs MTV (cos everyone is entitled to it), but at the end of the day - an all-knowing, all-seeing, omnipresent being flicked over the first domino and the rest (as they say - whoever they are) is history. Get over it and enjoy life people ! You're only here for approx 70 years and then you're worm food, so burn that candle at both ends !

P.S. There is no God - he (she!) was just a way for the religious leaders of the times to get control of the nwashed, ill-educated masses - but, hey, who gives a shit.

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about time

finally the church is starting to accept facts over speculation and age old stories from so called learned people who did not know any better.

its about time too.

there is millions of scientific evidence to support evolution and absolutely none to support a god. (peoples faith and what they believe is not proof of anything i;m afraid)

now they are saying that it was actually the church that came up with the idea in the first place...... yeah right..... its just so childish.

they placed galileo under house arrest for a good part of his life for stating that the earth wasn;t the centre of the universe and it took them hundreds of years to actually acknowledge it as fact and give the poor guy a reprieve.

even tho the evidence was staring them blatantly in the face for centuries. (but they chose to believe otherwise because it went against what they had been teaching for centuries)

religion was just a way to control the masses of the past by telling them if they were good they would go to heaven and if they were bad they would go to hell.

if people want to believe in god then fine I will not think anything less or more of them, what gets me is the shock from these religious zealots when you say you do not believe in it. (it is laughable to be honest)

would the case for there being a god stand up in court.... you can bet your ass it wouldn;t

would the case for evolution stand up...... Yes it would because there is evidence to show within reasonable doubt that it is fact. (the doubt I may add is from the church)

I know which theory i believe in. and its certainly not an almighty creator.

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@"Darwin got it very wrong by excluding the possibility of God. "

Oh dear, you have fallen at the first hurdle, you are stuck at the classic creationist 'wrongthinking'....you're starting here, at the end...looking back at a journey of several hundred million years and saying, oh that was a complex route I could never of got here by chance, there must have been someone guiding me... but evolution works the other way, you start at the beginning, you take random turns,dead ends, fast lanes, back streets, eventually you end up somewhere you like, you had no idea where that would be, but it just happens to be here, could have been a thousand other places, but you've chosen here, for now...and you got here all by yourself...

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@ AC 13:37

"Fact is that Both Creationism and Evolution can coexist - if you believe that god used evolution as a tool to make mankind from a muddy pool of ameobas [sic]" -- Except that's not quite what happened, though, is it? Try reading a science textbook sometime.

"The questions that evolution can't answer can still be atributed [sic] to a god." -- only until science finds out the real answer.

"Such as why certain specifc mutations occur (evolution determins [sic] which prevail not which happen!)" -- mutations occur at random. When DNA is copied, there is a definite probability of errors. Which of the randomly-occurring mutations prevail is not random, but is determined by their contribution to the viability of the next generation.

"and Why we are what we are... (for example Why are humans two legged when most animals have more!) in other words why did we come from this path of evolution and not another? why did we evolve from apes and not sloths? (Giant slothes [sic] were once far more powerful than apes!)" -- we are what we are because that is what we are, and if we were different that's still all we'd know. Asking this question is no different from a puddle of water wondering why the hole in the ground is the exact right shape for it. We adapted to fit an environment that already existed. There are other potential solutions that would be valid, granted; but humans happen to be what the process of trial, error and refinement came up with.

"There is still room for God in evolution its [sic] just that people like to see it as Black or White and not both." -- well, that "room for god" is shrinking day by day.

"Now Intelligent Design on the other hand.. well that comes from the land of scientology.. nuff said." -- Intelligent Design is just creationism, reheated. It still suffers from a fairly fundamental flaw: If complexity cannot arise spontaneously, meaning complex life-forms must have required a more-complex designer, then how do you account for the existence of the required designer in the first place?

Anyway, Scientology is ultimately no more riduculous than Christianity.

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When you see a sign saying "Secret Nuclear Bunker" you know the war is already over.

Is your subconscious intelligent? It is almost certainly massively intelligent. Isn't that what the whole father son thing was all about? You came to the subconcious mind via the conscious mind, you could only come to the father (subconscious) via the son (conscious). Certainly some ideas of Shell seem to be pushing us along the idea of a conceptual religion sort of multi-verse, you could say we live in a single mind as multiple personalities, in which case playing one thought (person) off against another would be evil except for anyone other than the owner of that overall mind of which we form the subconscious elements if you like, one person could be the conscious mind, we and all the rest of creation would form the subconscious part. Sort of makes some sense of the stuff from Shell. Google the words Shell Boffin Sinclair and read the stuff in that sort of light. After all how can something real such as matter come from nothing as in the big bang theory, ..... now that is true madness but a conceptual reality could appear real to fellow concepts such as you and me. What would YOU call the top concept? TLG, tender loving God? Or electro-magnetic-spin? I know which I would prefer and maybe subconsciously so do we all. Maybe the church has thrown in the towel just as it won.

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Lamprey ...

... a small that eats bigger fish.

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re: Climate

Focus, we're talking about evolution here, not the climate.

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Alert

What a great idea . . . !

"why don't we have heat sensors like snakes?"

I want - wings like a swan so I can fly, eyes that see into the infrared and UV, and a bifurcated whanger (like snakes have) so I can do the twins next door simultaneously instead of sequentially.

Interesting to make a list of the various senses/capabilities various animals have and then do a bit of genetic engineering so we can have them as well.

Igor, fetch my coat, that's a good lad . . .

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Now all they need to do is

Say Nazis, IRA terrorists, Spanish Inquisitors and pedos are evil, expose all in their midst and hand them over to the authorities where necessary and get rid of the Nazi Pope.

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Boffin

RE:Darwin got it very wrong

Darwin wasn't an atheist, and in fact, he mentions g*d (or a Creator) in his Origin of Species, as the one who laid down the rules for natural selection. That is what makes the whole ID/Creationist argument so funny. If they only read what they criticised...

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Anonymous Coward

Genetic manipulation is okay by the Vatican

Actually genetic manipulation is okay by the Vatican under two conditions.

1) The genetic manipulation is not done to humans.

2) Diversity is preserved

And from a non-religious standpoint, #2 makes a lot of sense. Less diversity makes a population more susceptible to bad things.

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Pirate

Oops!

"..original sin, the stubborn blemish that has condemned humanity to a progressive decline from the Garden of Eden..."

You see then, if the RCC really accepts evolution, they should fold up their frocks and go out of business. Because...

If evolution is true, then the creation myths of Genesis are not. No six day creation, no Garden, no Adam & Eve = NO ORIGINAL SIN!

No original sin, no need for the sky-god's little boy to be grotesquely sacrificed to save us from it, and voila...no more need for the RCC or any of its considerably diverse and divergent offspring.

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Mind the (God of the) Gaps.

"... the questions that evolution can't answer can still be atributed to a god..."

No, they can't. By labelling everything unknown as 'God did it', you're espousing the very opposite of scientific theory. When a scientist encounters an unknown quantity in a formula, or lacks a theory to rationally explain something, the correct answer is "I don't know". Admitting your ignorance is not shameful, and highlights areas where other people should focus their research. To assume that anything that can't be explained has to be the work of God is to admit that there's no point trying to find an answer.

I wouldn't be typing this now if at some point in the past scientists had given up trying to explain electricity and just declared it was angry sparks hurled from the sky by God. The electron gun in my monitor wouldn't exist if science hadn't discovered the atom and its fundamental particles. Back then, they couldn't see these particles first-hand so their solution should have been to accept that everything was made of magic God-stuff and leave it at that?

Most importantly, using God as an explanation is simply replacing one unknown quantity with another. Many people with your reasoning often attribute the Big Bang to God, since the universe can't just have been created from nothing, right? Maybe, but this doesn't answer the question - it just raises more. If God made the Big Bang, who made God? What is God made of? Is there more than one God? What physical phenomena or stimulii caused the God to react to form a Big Bang? Can we reproduce the God in controlled experiments?

OK, silly, but the point is that it's much more scientific to say "we don't know, but let's research the hell out of it and get some answers" than to say "we don't know so God must have done it, case closed. Let's cancel all research and go sing us some Kum Ba Ya".

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Anonymous Coward

What did the Pope ever do to you lot?

There's an awful lot of hostility evident in some of these comments, and in the original article. There's nothing particularly newsworthy in the Vatican's position on Evolution - for example, Mendel was a Catholic priest, and his work on genetics wouldn't fit well with an organization that was doctrinally opposed to Evolution, would it?

Assigning bad motives to people you don't like is bigotry. A rather unscientific approach to the world.

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stu
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@AC 19:04

"What did the Pope ever do to you lot?"

oh.. I don't know... how about single handledly slaughtered millions in Africa due to his moronic take on sperm for starters ?

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Coat

Just because...

Just because I can see the flaws in "Intelligent design", and recognise that (at least some - I've not seen it all) creationist literature is a pack of misrepresentations designed to impress the gullible, does that make me an atheist? No!

Just because I get angry to see God's name linked to lies, does that make me a heretic?

Just because I can see the gaping flaws in, say, Dawkin's arguments, does that make me some gullible extremist loony? Doubt it.

Just because I can read Genesis without thinking I need to ignore scientific results, does that mean I deny my faith? Naaaah.

Do I know all the answers? No, of course not, I'm a scientist!

Do I know who does know all the answers? Yes, he's my friend, my saviour.

Am I glad he's not telling us all the answers? Yes, it's much more fun to find things out as we go along!

Coat... I'd like the flame proof one that Daniel's friends had, please!

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@What did the Pope ever do to you lot?

Well for starters he will be happy to tell me that I am guilty of a sin that condemns my soul to an eternity in hell. A sin that was alleged to have happened at the dawn of creation by two people I have never met nor had any relation with. He will be all to happy to judge me and find me guilty based on information he lacks because "God told him to." While I am fortunate enough to be out of his tyrannical reach, his followers attempt to push their religion on me through numerous pieces of legislation that demeans whole classes of people and favors "proper" living situations based on nothing more than a monogamous relationship between a male and female. Given the historical evidence and failure of many a Pope to cry out "X was wrong," the question should have been, what haven't the Pope and his lot done to us?

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