The damn Pope doesn’t understand evolution

So much for the Catholic Church being on board with the evolution peeps. According to the Associated Press, His Holiness dissed Darwinism in his Easter Vigil talk last night:

Pope Benedict XVI marked the holiest night of the year for Christians by stressing that humanity isn’t a random product of evolution.

Benedict emphasized the Biblical account of creation in his Easter Vigil homily Saturday, saying it was wrong to think at some point “in some tiny corner of the cosmos there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it.”

“If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature,” he said. “But no, reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine reason.”

Church teaching holds that Roman Catholicism and evolutionary theory are not necessarily at odds: A Christian can, for example, accept the theory of evolution to help explain developments, but is taught to believe that God, not random chance, is the origin of the world. The Vatican, however, warns against creationism, or the overly literal interpretation of the Bibilical account of creation.

Hey, Pope!  Haven’t you heard about natural selection? Human evolution isn’t all mutation and genetic drift, you know.  And do you really want to undo the minimal acceptance of evolution (granted, theistic evolution involving injection of a soul into australopithecines) offered to Catholics by Pope John Paul?

There’s so much fail in the above that it’s not worth dissecting, except to say that the Pope continues to steer the Catholic Church away from evolution and toward creationism.  Perhaps this is a reflexive stance from reading the New Atheists, but what he should have read was The Selfish Gene—or any textbook on evolution.

But let the Clergy Letter Project ponder Random Ratzi’s statement before they start telling Catholics that their Church is totally down with evolution.

h/t: Hempenstein

157 Comments

  1. Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    The damn Pope doesn’t understand evolution

    Also, water is wet; your parents are Santa Claus; and the Pope is Catholic.

    Cheers,

    b&

    • Thomas Paine
      Posted April 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Ben, but the jury is still out on bears and where they may (or may not) answer the call of nature.

      • Dominic
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:40 am | Permalink

        When they hibernate they don’t! I expect there is a big sigh of relief on the first day of spring! ;)

        • saintstephen
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:51 am | Permalink

          Since we’re commenting on the title… it’s actually sound advice for atheists:

          1. If you hear this statement: “Catholics are okay with evolution.”

          2. Respond with: The damn Pope doesn’t UNDERSTAND evolution.

          Or, alternatively (and preferably IMHO) you may employ Richard Dawkins’ sweet advice:

          Well, the next time anybody dares to tell you sophisticated theologians have no problem with evolution, thrust Benedict XVI in their face.

          Ah, such restraint.
          ;)

  2. Robert C. Kashow
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you 100 percent.

  3. NewEnglandBob
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Try to parse the extended message from the Pope. It includes this gibberish:

    But no, Reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine Reason. And because it is Reason, it also created freedom; and because freedom can be abused, there also exist forces harmful to creation. Hence a thick black line, so to speak, has been drawn across the structure of the universe and across the nature of man.

    The Pope’s mind is confused. It is the Pope’s existence which is meaningless. The rest of us make our own purpose for life.

    • Frank
      Posted April 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we need to cut the Pope a little slack. How can one expect him to grasp the subtle point that natural selection is fundamentally non-random when he has had to spend so much time covering up the heinous acts of child molesters?

      • Badger3k
        Posted April 24, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        Indeed – and perhaps he sees the hand of his god in the non-random nature of the child rapists he has sheltered and protected to keep the “good” name of the Church clean?

    • MosesZD
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:17 am | Permalink

      lol. Reason. Anybody that’s read the entire bible knows there’s is little ‘reason’ and a lot of ‘wtfbbq stupidity’ on the part of this ‘God’ fellow.

      I wouldn’t let him lead a raid in an MMO, never mind create the universe.

    • leebowman
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Like any citations out of context, these few words present somewhat of a problem. While it may be a fair assumption, that evolution is discredited here (or disavowed), that may not be the case.

      To parse the first paragraph, including the AP’s added paraphrasing:

      • The Biblical account is supported thusly.
      • Since we are capable of reasoning and rationality, it is wrong headed to surmise that we evolved randomly.
      • We as a species seek finding rationality within creation, or to imbue it with rationality.

      Second paragraph:

      • What would then follow (undirected evolution), there is no purpose to man’s existence.
      • Man’s appearance could conceivably be a chance occurrence.
      Final citation:
      • I disavow those conclusions, however.
      • I attribute the culmination of man to be due to Divine will.

      There is somewhat a problem with these summations, however, particularly in the first paragraph, where there was some paraphrasing (emphasis on the Biblical account, and wrong headedness).

      In these few words, he does not rule out the possibility of either a pre-loaded creation (TE), or evolution as fully operative, but with intervention events (ID). It will be interesting to see/hear the full homily before we pass judgment.

      • Marta
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

        Could you please summarize your point?

        After multiple readings, I am not able to figure out what you’re trying to say.

        • leebowman
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Simply that we are assuming alot, based on a brief summary by the A/P.

          All I’m saying is that we’ll know more regarding the Pope’s position, whether a reversal of a prior Vatican position that evolutionary theory is compatible with Catholicism, or simply a conciliatory word to the flock.

          I view it more as fodder for blogging than an official position reversal, but we’ll see.

          If it were a true reversal of doctrinal policy, an interview would be more revealing, and judging from the plethora of ireful responses thus far, that may well follow.

          • Posted April 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

            Full text of the homily: http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=481195

            • leebowman
              Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

              It is not the case that in the expanding universe, at a late stage, in some tiny corner of the cosmos, there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it.

              Rather than (A/P version):

              it was wrong to think at some point “in some tiny corner of the cosmos there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it.”

              More later perhaps. Thanx for the link, and you might want to post it at the bottom so it won’t be missed …

              Cheers

              • Notagod
                Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

                Could you please summarize your point?

                Or was your point just that the words aren’t the same?

                Do you want the second statement to be more like the first?

                Which statement do you favor? Why?

      • Ichthyic
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        he does not rule out the possibility of either a pre-loaded creation (TE), or evolution as fully operative, but with intervention events (ID)

        one, neither of those actually IS the theory of evolution, though, they are BOTH religious conceptualizations, and NOT science.

        two, you need to correct your understanding of category here.

        your first example is more correctly described as front-loading, not theistic evolution.

        your second is an example of a type of theistic evolution, not ID.

        in short, it doesn’t appear you really understand what you’re talking about.

        • leebowman
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

          ” … he does not rule out the possibility of either a pre-loaded creation (TE), or evolution as fully operative, but with intervention events (ID)”

          one, neither of those actually IS the theory of evolution, though, they are BOTH religious conceptualizations, and NOT science.”

          Correct, but neither rule out evolutionary processes per se. With regard to ID, depends on which definition one embraces (if any). I accept it as predictive, and as an adjunct hypothesis to the currently accepted NDE, but absent any religious precepts.

          two, you need to correct your understanding of category here. your first example is more correctly described as front-loading, not theistic evolution.

          I would say that theistic evolution entails front-loading, pretty much the consensus view of most TE’s.

          your second is an example of a type of theistic evolution, not ID.

          Agreed, I retract the ID connotation. But in reality, just what do TE’s believe? Their path is somewhat precarious …

          in short, it doesn’t appear you really understand what you’re talking about.

          Perhaps, but appearances can be deceiving.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted April 26, 2011 at 4:29 am | Permalink

        “In these few words, he does not rule out the possibility of either a pre-loaded creation (TE), or evolution as fully operative, but with intervention events (ID). ”

        Yes. This would, in fact, be precisely what Coyne is criticizing.

  4. Phil65
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Dare I say it, but I was actually disappointed to read this news article earlier today. Here I was, optimistically thinking that science and rationality were making incremental progress, and here’s just one more step backwards towards a new dark age.

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      …assuming anyone is listening to him.

    • AlexK
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      It is not science that is in trouble here – evolution by natural selection will still be a good theory in 100 years time, and the catholic church will have fallen apart or still be wrong, or both. Reality is a force to be reckoned with, and Ratzi is not up to it.

      • Diane G.
        Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        The RCC has withstood worse pronouncements than this one.

  5. Tulse
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    in some tiny corner of the cosmos there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it.

    I actually think that is a lovely poetic passage. We are bits of the universe that have evolved to bring rationality into the world — what a beautiful sentiment! It sounds rather like Sagan.

    I’m amused that, for me at least, it had precisely the opposite of its intended effect.

    • Ken Pidcock
      Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

    • Posted April 24, 2011 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Nice!

    • Posted April 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      I see an opportunity here. If legions of creations can quote mine Darwin (re: the passage about the eye), then we ought do the same in turn.

      Even the Pope is a strong advocate for materialistic, natural, non-theistic evolution. Not only that, he makes his case with beautiful prose. Look, here’s a quote!

      • Posted April 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        (edit: creationists, not creations)

        • Tacroy
          Posted April 24, 2011 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

          Well, take out a further ‘a’ and an ‘i’ and you’ve got a pretty good description of them too :)

          • Diane G.
            Posted April 24, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

            I think you meant an “o.”
            ;-)

    • bad Jim
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:55 am | Permalink

      We are stardust.

      Our atoms were forged in the violent hearth of a supernova’s death throes.

      We are bound to this small planet which our progenitors made habitable with three billion years of photosynthesis, but atoms just like ours are scattered throughout all the galaxies in the universe.

      • Phil65
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        We are stardust.

        Not only that, we are golden, and caught in the Devil’s bargain. And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.

        • Tulse
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Just be sure not to take the brown acid…

    • saintstephen
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Watch it! You may have just been placed on the Templeton Prize list with that comment!
      ;)

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      That’s something I think about all the time, actually. I was thinking about it just yesterday…probably having started with thinking about the pope’s nonsense (this was on a walk, so I know I wasn’t actually reading the pope’s nonsense at the time) – to me and I assume many other people it’s endlessly fascinating that evolution produced an animal that can create poetry and computer software and music, and can incrementally build understanding of how the cosmos works. To people like the pope it’s not endlessly fascinating, it’s nasty.

      • Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        @Ophelia

        Beautifully said

      • Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        “it’s endlessly fascinating that evolution produced an animal that can create” an extaraordinarily wrong-headed worldview, involving an omnipotent omniscient intangible humanoid, incarnation and human sacrifice, building a magnificent infrastructure of ritual re-enactment, architecture, art, music, vestment and intellectual sophistry that sustains it for millennia, regardless of its complete intellectual overthrow, in the service of unparalleled power and corruption. Evolution is even more amazing evolution than we thought!

  6. Ken Pidcock
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    And do you really want to undo the minimal acceptance of evolution (granted, theistic evolution involving injection of a soul into australopithecines) offered to Catholics by Pope John Paul?

    Meh. Ratzinger is really offering pretty much the same thing. No theist believes that we are merely a random product of evolution.

  7. Kudu
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I cant help but notice that he mentioned, “some tiny corner of the cosmos” and “some place on the margins of the universe” in his rejection of reality. He seems to be hinting pretty strongly that our location in the universe might be, oh, the exact center? How many times did Galileo turn over in his grave at that?

    • Rams
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      “How many times did Galileo turn over in his grave at that?”
      Exactly zero, mon ami. Our hero Galileo is dead by many centuries, and can alas no longer turn neither in his grave nor at all. And if his soul could have moved his mortal remains, the statement at hand might then have been correct, and thus he wouldn’t feel the need to turn his bleached bones.

  8. Rixaeton
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    “If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature,”

    Surely this is only a 1/2 fail, as the pope is right that it is not merely random? He just failed in the explanation of the other 1/2 (the natural selection bit).

    As I told people working with me on some failed testing in a project, “Well, half-arsed is better than no-arsed.”

    Still, I would like to hear the evidence of the “creative, divine reasoning at the beginning.” Not holding my breath for it though, as it has not appeared in the last few thousand years. Maybe that evidence got lost along the divine recipe for soap?

    • Sastra
      Posted April 24, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      By “random” they mean “nobody wanted it.” Pointing out that the selective process of evolution isn’t technically random in a scientific sense means nothing to them if they’re concerned about the first sense of the word. They want reality to care what happens, like a person. If the process is impersonal all the way down, it’s just too “random.”

      • Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        And too scary. That’s why a magic sky-parent must exist. Can you imagine all the terrifying shit that would go down if there wasn’t one stepping in to take control of all the awful randomness?!

        Except that there isn’t one, and terrifying shit goes down all the time. Hello, cognitive dissonance!

        Thumb-suckers.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      It was no random fail. :-D

      So no, not a 1/2 fail but a deliberate fail, inserting creationism and its ludicrous idea of “random” processes.

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

      “then his life would make no sense”

      But if you accept Ratzi’s God, how much more sense would it make? Are we really any further forward if his deity exists? Does an ant-farm make more sense if there is a petulant child to look at it?

  9. Stabby
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Interesting that the one way that complex, rational life could have arisen without a creator IS the way that it happened. I challenge the Catholic Church to come up with one way other than natural selection that it could have possibly happened otherwise. Until they can it just looks like a big load of BS to try to say that a god set evolution in motion, when it is the one way we know of that it could have happened without a god. Unless you want to suppose there are platonic forms. I don’t and neither do they!

  10. Sastra
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    The pope doesn’t believe man is a “random product of evolution” because he thinks evolution is not a “random product” of the universe. Reason comes from reason; life comes from life; complexity comes from complexity.

    Evolution is supposed to look just like a random process because it was carefully and cunningly planned to look exactly like a random process leading to random products when in reality it’s a random process designed to give a particular special product: us humble humans.

    But you won’t catch that unless you read a super-secret de-coder book or have a special revelation or just go along with what your heart and instincts tell you as a humble human.

    The sort of doublethink involved here reminds me of the old imponderable dilemma beloved of adolescents everywhere: what if person X is an undetectable robot? Not an undetected one, mind you, but a robot that, even in principle, can’t ever be distinguished from human people? You would never know. Scary.

    The unguided process of evolution is like an undetectable master plan. That is, if you limit yourself to science. But there’s not just science.

    There’s art and ethics and poetry and preferences and music and magicalmeansofknowingthroughfaith and ideals and the love of fluffy kittehs. You can’t limit yourself to science.

  11. Ajhuk
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to be contrary, but Ratzi is not really saying anything different from the established Catholic line. Check the scope of the “not”: it’s aimed at “randomly” not at “there evolved…”. That is, he is saying that God is “there at the beginning: creative, divine reason” i.e. God created the Big Bang and with it the process of evolution. So evolution isn’t random because it was designed by god to lead inevitably to Man. Just like Giberson and that lot say. And just like JP2 said (as well as reserving the soul to God, he also reserved the ultimate beginning to God i.e. cause of the Big Bang).

    So in sum; the modern Catholic position on evolution: It’s bullshit, but not inconsistent bullshit.

  12. 386sx
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Good luck trying to figure out what the pope was saying, folks. He’ll tell you straight up he thinks it’s a mystery. (So in other words, even he himself will admit even he doesn’t know what the hell he was talking about.)

    • Dominic
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      Yes – what do they mean? I thought they accepted evolution -
      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5705331.ece

      • Drosera
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:26 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the link. I see they even claim that one of their saints (St. Augustine of Hippo, the patron saint of brewers)had anticipated the theory of evolution:

        Father Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti, Professor of Theology at the Pontifical Santa Croce University in Rome, said that Darwin had been anticipated by St Augustine of Hippo. The 4th-century theologian had “never heard the term evolution, but knew that big fish eat smaller fish” and that forms of life had been transformed “slowly over time”.

        That bigger fish eat smaller fish is irrelevant and not even generally true, but the last remark sounds intriguing. Well, it seems to refer to this quote from the saint in question:

        God created all things simultaneously in the term of His act, by imposing
        upon elementary matter the seminal reasons of all things that were to appear in the long course of
        time.

        If this is anticipating Darwin, then my great-great grandfather who said that everything is relative anticipated Einstein.

        Religion: it’s all smoke and mirrors, wherever you examine it more closely.

        • Dominic
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:49 am | Permalink

          Just came across the A.A.Milne poem ‘Explained’, which starts -
          Elizabeth Ann
          Said to her Nan
          “Please will you tell me how God began?
          Somebody must have made Him. So
          Who could it be, ‘cos I want to know?”

          Yes! Mainly mirrors!

        • Ken Pidcock
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:59 am | Permalink

          If this is anticipating Darwin, then my great-great grandfather who said that everything is relative anticipated Einstein.

          Great line.

        • Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          Of course, even if that’s anticipating Darwin, it isn’t anticipating Empedocles from c. 900 years earlier, who *should* be regarded as inventing the idea of evolution by natural selection. Too bad he had insufficient evidence for it …

  13. 386sx
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    “If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature,” he said. “But no, reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine reason.”

    He gets close to making your typical “is and ought” fallacy. It’s close. Almost there. Maybe all the way there. We don’t know if he committed it or not. That’s pretty typical of the pope. We never know what the hell he’s saying. Even about condoms. We still don’t know what the hell. We thought we knew, then we didn’t. Lol.

  14. Posted April 24, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    The reality is that no one really cares what the pope says. Most people are just bobble heads when at mass and nothing more than a drones. Most Catholics don’t follow their own doctrine that well. I’ve known a few in my time. Most are cultural Catholics. They do the Catholic thing when it suits them.

    The reality is that they see him nothing more than a figure head who is ‘blessed’ by god. Someone who is special. Nothing else. Of course there are a few who take what he says literally but I think that would be a minority. Not to mention that I think they would say he didn’t ‘literally’ mean what he said, kind of like how they treat the bible.

    However saying that I agree with some sentiments that people have already stated. I highly doubt many Catholics understand evolution that well or see themselves as a product of it. In other words, humans are special. I also believe this is true of most Christians.

    • Dominic
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:47 am | Permalink

      Yes – as Rees is a cultural C of E… the trouble is that they do not put pressure on the church to ‘evolve’ by walking out.

      • Microraptor
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        And their monitary contributions let the church continue its antiscience and antihuman activities around the globe.

        • Microraptor
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          Blah, monetary.

      • truthspeaker
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        In addition to contributing financially to sloppy thinking, by raising their children (if any) in a form of Christianity that pretends much of the Bible and Christian history don’t exist, they are setting their children up to be easy targets for fundamentalist proselytizers.

        “You believe in Jesus and the Bible, right?”

        “Yes, of course!”

        “Did you know Jesus said x, y, and z?”

        “I had no idea! My pastor never mentioned that! But if Jesus said that worshiping him is the only path to salvation from burning in hell, I guess I better believe it! Tell me more!”

        • Dominic
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          That is why religious people do not like to teach children critical thinking, because that would educate them to discontent with their dogma.

  15. Cents
    Posted April 24, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    So much for the story that there is no conflict between religion and science. When you are spinning your story to the folks at the carney you certainly don’t want someone providing a different world view. Keeping the masses belief inline is a requirement for any regime not just in the circus.

  16. Diane G.
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    My divine Reason tells me the Pope is full of what the bear does in the woods.

  17. Drosera
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    I’m not surprised. When you think about it, almost every branch of science is in conflict with his faith. Jebus could walk on water, so the theory of gravity goes out the window. The dead can be brought back to life: there goes the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Water can be turned into wine: bye, bye, Chemistry!

    We should be grateful to the Pope: he is an ally in our battle with the accommodationists. It’s offical: science and religion are not compatible.

    • Filippo
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink

      At least the Pope, unlike certain literalist, temperence-minded Southern Baptists, doesn’t claim that the wine was “not really” wine. (Though the carbon in that fluid, whatever it was, had to come from somewhere. The liquid equivalent of manna?)

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      This sort of pronouncement illustrates what’s so wrong about the NCSE’s “faith initiative”. Few theists, “liberal” or conservative accept the TOE — what they accept is a modified (gutted) version of it that is not compatible with science. Their supposed acceptance of the TOE is superficial.

      And the public just becomes more confused about the TOE and other important scientific theories.

  18. Peter
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:44 am | Permalink

    Let’s see, our ancestors lived in caves, raped women to procreate, and believed thunder was proof of an unhappy deity. We no longer live like our ancestors did. Could it be that we have evolved?

  19. TheRationalizer
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Of course the Pope accepts evolution, but only the parts which he cannot deny.

    So instead (as expected) there is a magic invisible bit of woo woo driving it behind the scenes which cannot be measured or disproven.

    It doesn’t do anything precise like ensure perfect implementation, it just issues edicts such as “make sure Catholics appear.”

    Can’t have god’s work obvious, faith is a virtue you know. With proof we’d have no choice but to believe, and then we’d have no free will.
    :)

  20. The Bear
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Jerry: Please don’t ask the pope to read “The selfish gene”.

    He’ll never get past the title (they never do for some strange reason) and we’ll never hear the end of it.

  21. bad Jim
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Consider the fine tuning argument. It’s a shiny object to physicists, who, mindful of Einstein wondering whether God had any choice in creating the world. It can be entertaining to speculate exactly why the universe is the way it is, but in the case of this argument it’s beside the point.

    This universe allows intelligent life to exist. This is only an argument for God if a different universe would not be. God didn’t dial in the parameters just because He enjoys watching supernovas. It’s all about us.

    Humans exist, therefore God exists. God’s purpose is to create us. He created the universe for our sake.

    Isn’t it obvious?

    • bad Jim
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:04 am | Permalink

      Sorry about the second sentence. I blame the tempranillo even as I sip another glass.

      It’s a common theme that our lives are meaningless unless we are God’s special creation, as though we wouldn’t matter otherwise, mere dumb beasts without that divine spark.

      The dinosaurs that flit about my yard seem pretty blithe, and the crows are nearly fearless, calmly calculating, raucous in caucus. They defer to me, since I feed them, and surely they don’t remember the millions of years when, presumably with God’s favor, their lumbering ancestors lorded over ours, tiny scurrying things.

      • Diane G.
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        Lovely last paragraph. :- )

  22. Martin
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    Ah come on. Ratzinger is saying what he has to say every year, to keep the flock interested, its not chance, its not random, no, POOF is the much better explanation, and therefore the Trinity. Or whatever. Just a snakeoil salesman trying to keep his sales up. Ratzinger’s most pressing issue is not the accurate representation of the Theory of Evolution.

  23. Greg Esres
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:33 am | Permalink

    I think you misconstrue what what a theist means by “random”…he means “non-teleological.” Natural Selection is certainly random in this sense.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Well, as bad Jim notes above, if everything is to have a purpose, obviously the purpose of “God” is to create humans.

      All science is saying then is that natural laws have proven themselves to have the same purpose.

      So out goes “random”, if that was the concern.

      [Also, ironically, out goes the purpose for a "God". Who needs that?]

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        I feel that comments needs a lot of :-D :-D :-D. So there.

  24. Dominic
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    What the ‘holy father’ does not appreciate is that NOTHING [in biology] makes sense – ‘except in the light of evolution’, to quote mine Simpson.

    Why do people need a reason?
    Why not just ‘Be’!?

    • Dominic
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:01 am | Permalink

      Doh! Dobzhansky,I meant. Sorry….

      • Filippo
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 3:14 am | Permalink

        As in Homer Simpsom?

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Mmmm, ‘Be’…

  25. Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:06 am | Permalink

    “If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature,”

    I don’t know what the margins are supposed to be. That’s not how I understand the Big Bang and Cosmic inflation. There is no center, there are no margins, there is just Universe.
    But I never held out much hope for this pope understanding nor caring to understand science.

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps the Pope and Martin Amis should get together & discuss physics…

  26. Mateja
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:11 am | Permalink

    Hahaha listen to yourselfs! The pope says that we were created out of love and for a reason instead of just being a meaningless, random coincidence and you get offended! Is he hurting you in some way by sayng that you exist because you are loved and precious. How sad mustn’t your life be if you spend your time hating someone who sees more value in you than you yourselves!

    • Drosera
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:29 am | Permalink

      Some people think it is not a good idea to live a life based on illusions and to deny scientific facts to keep the illusions alive.

      Feel free to stick your head in the sand, but realize that this only exposes your ass to the rest of us.

    • julian
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      “How sad mustn’t your life be if you spend your time hating someone who sees more value in you than you yourselves!”

      This makes several assumptions about how Dr. Coyne. Measures ‘self-worth’ and what self worth even is. It sounds like your understanding of it comes from more of a religious mandate then actual appreciation of the person you are speaking to and that may be one of the reasons it sounds so hollow; you only see me as worthwhile because someone is telling you to. Sort of like with abortion; you only care about my well being so I can produce a child.

      The disdain you are seeing is just a rejection of that and in no way reflects how anyone here feels about themselves or their ‘worth.’

    • Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      How sad your life must be if you need a Pope to tell you that your life only has meaning because an imaginary being created you. Do you have a family? Do you have friends? The Pope says those things are meaningless.

      By the way, Mateja, why are you so filled with hate for those who live without believing in gods, who believe that life has more value and meaning because it’s the only one we get?

      • Kevin
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        +1

      • Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother…he cannot be my disciple.”

    • truthspeaker
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      “The pope says that we were created out of love and for a reason instead of just being a meaningless, random coincidence and you get offended!”

      Who says we’re offended?

      We’re mocking the pope for saying something so obviously contrary to reality, and mocking the faithful who believe it.

      • Kevin
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        And another … +1.

        I hate it when I’m one-upped … and even more when I’m two-upped.

        Moving along, nothing to see here but the flayed corpse of a bad argument.

        • truthspeaker
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          It’s not a contest, but thanks for complimenting my comment.

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          But you know, hic et nunc.

          [Not that I'm suggesting you are hic-upped or anything.]

    • Dominic
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Value is a meaningless concept. It seems to me that you really do not get it because you are unable to throw off the shackles of religious dogma.

      I do not hate the pope. I think he is probably an intelligent & interesting person, but he is a victim of the belief system he was brought up in & I seriously doubt he has ever properly questioned church ‘teachings’ in the light of actual EVIDENCE about the world that we have from OBSERVATION!

      • truthspeaker
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        I hate him. In addition to spreading vile ideas about sex, homosexuality, and abortion, he personally helped protect child molesters.

        • Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

          Well said. I generally don’t use the term hate, especially when referring to someone I do not personally know.

          However, if I were acquainted with someone who spread such despicable nonsense while shielding pedophiles, I would surely use the word hate.

          Consider my policy against such invective from afar hereby revoked.

        • Dominic
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          It is possibly true that if you wreck a childhood you probably wreck a life, so in as far as he is the head of his organisation & responsible for the appalling activities of his followers being covered up or not being punished, he is hateful, but I do not hate him personally at present. I detest Tony Blair on the other hand because he has had a major effect on my life in a way that the pope never could.

          • Diane G.
            Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

            I don’t know, I think popes & the RCC in general have a major effect on all our lives…political regimes come and go; the pernicious policies of the Catholic Church, not so much.

        • Microraptor
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. I find the Pope to be an absolutely vile individual who’s somehow wrapped himself in a cloak of pleasant lies and illusions to the point that a good percentage of the world somehow finds him heroic.

  27. murci3lag0
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, where is Martin Rees? Telling everyone that “science and religion are not incompat…. Oh shit te Pope spoke again!…”

  28. Stan Pak
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    How poor Ken Miller will square this with his opinion about materialistic evolution?

    • Kevin
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      You could throw a blanket over both positions and not have a bit of the two arguments spill out.

  29. Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    For those who have access to BBC4 or BBC iPlayer, there is the 2nd of two programmes on tonight by Dr Adam Rutherford. The Gene Code gives us the full story so far of the journey we’re on.

    Brilliant.

    Anybody know the Pope’s email address?

  30. Marta
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I feel a bit depressed about it, really.

    There’s a post up at rd.net about an English Bishop who, in his annual happyholyjesusisrisen blessing, had enough time left over to curse the spread of “aggressive secularism”, and to share his fear that “aggressive secularists” were marginalizing the poor, poor Christians.

    After which, of course, the Prime Minister invited him to tea.

    • Dominic
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Along with a bunch of other ‘persons of faith’ – because of course none of them would disagree that they are all going to heaven together, would they?

    • Marta
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      I’m in error. It isn’t a Bishop, it’s a Cardinal in my post above, so that’s better then.

  31. Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    “If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature,”

    His if/then seems fine to me. I do agree with earlier posts that “making sense” is overrated and unnecessary.

    The disagreement doesn’t appear to be about the big bang or the idea and nature of evolution. It is “merely” a disagreement about complete randomness versus some level (unlcear how much)unseen guidance. So while people disagree on that point (a disagreement that can never, unfortunately, be proven), there is much more agreement with Catholics about the cosmos and evolution than so many other groups. That is, they shouldn’t be found in the 55% or so of Americans who don’t believe in evolution.

    • Drosera
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      The Pope said that

      it was wrong to think at some point “in some tiny corner of the cosmos there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it.”

      At the very least, poorly expressed as it is, this seems to imply that our ability to reason did not came about through evolution by natural selection. The Pope is clearly peddling Intelligent Design here, which puts him squarely in the camp of those who do not accept evolution.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      It is “merely” a disagreement about complete randomness versus some level (unlcear how much)unseen guidance. So while people disagree on that point (a disagreement that can never, unfortunately, be proven),

      Not verification “proven” of course, but theories that suggest “unseen guidance” are thrown out as having untestable superfluous elements.

      More generally, natural processes have none of that, indeed they can’t have or we wouldn’t be able to pose them in the first place. Magic destroys experiments, not observation.

      That is why Coyne is berating Ratzinger, he is indeed misrepresenting the nature of evolution. Moreover he makes a claim that is testably nonfactual, eliminated by its inability to form a useful theory.

      And all that is even before we start to consider that to our knowledge processes, not “guidance” is _all_ that is observed. What makes a theologian a biologist?

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Oops. Not “berates”, obviously – I just checked its precise description. Laments his stupidity?

  32. pittige maki
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    what had you expected when the church say they acknownledge evolution, they can’t accept evolution, it’s impossible.
    It’s a lie, it has nothing to do with misunderstanding, it has to do with power. the use of God (who is an idea, not a person) has only one goal : we are his Representatives, and you had to obey us. it’s that simple.

  33. pittige maki
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Sorry, i forgot a sentence.
    what had you expected when the church say they acknownledge evolution, they can’t accept evolution, it’s impossible.
    It’s a lie, it has nothing to do with misunderstanding, it has to do with power. the use of God (who is an idea, not a person) has only one goal : we are his Representatives, and you had to obey us. it’s like an eel floundering in his last struggle against death. They will never give up
    because it should be the end of their parasitic existence

    • Dominic
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Ah – religious lampreys!

  34. Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    The only way life makes sense is if you believe you’re the product of the arbitrary whims of an ineffable superbeing, forced to play in its capricious and incomprehensible morality game, with the threat of eternal torture hanging over you constantly?

    Yeah, that’s much more inspiring than “we make our own meaning”.

    • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      I think I said something to a similar effect a long time ago; but your nym makes such comments somewhat unintentionally humorous.

      “Won’t someone think of the bunnies!?”

  35. Matt Penfold
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Has the NCSE, BCSE or Matzke come up with a list of those religious denominations whose religious dogma meet their criteria for being compatible with science ? And if so, is the RCC on the list ?

    • tomh
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Has the NCSE, BCSE or Matzke come up with a list of those religious denominations whose religious dogma meet their criteria for being compatible with science ? And if so, is the RCC on the list?

      Of course they are. The RCC is the epitome of liberal, mainstream religion that we can’t risk offending.

      • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        But they offend children, us and sensible people everywhere.

        What to do, what to do, … NCSE would like to have the cake and eat it too.

        • Torbjörn Larsson, OM
          Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

          “Us” meaning scientists, for once.

  36. Dave
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    “Hey, Pope!”
    :-) :-) :-)

  37. Posted April 25, 2011 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I was raised as a Catholic young earth creationist (I attended Catholic school from the mid-’80s through 1997). People often doubt me when I say this, claiming that the Church would never teach such things, that they’re so much more sophisticated than the fundamentalists, that I must be remembering it wrong, that I really should re-read the Catechism, etc. These responses, I think, are indicative of the Church’s keen PR skills. Many Catholic leaders (the Jesuits in particular) like to present themselves as intellectually sophisticated theologians. And, of course, they’re certainly not uneducated fundamentalist buffoons. However, make no mistake: they’re no friend of science in general, let alone of evolution, and, at the most, they begrudgingly tolerate a very limited theistic form of evolution. And despite its wishy-washy obfuscatory silliness, JPII’s 1996 statement actually did indicate a tiny bit of progress on the Church’s part, a progress that Benedict is clearly working hard to reverse.

    • saintstephen
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      A Jesuit currently heads the church I was raised in. I agree with your assessment of their tactics.

      • gillt
        Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Many Catholic leaders (the Jesuits in particular) like to present themselves as intellectually sophisticated theologians.

        This perception of Jesuits (and Franciscans to a lesser extent) is true and they act aloof because of it. However, the few I met were well-spoken but had a high school understanding of biology, which oddly didn’t seem to bother them.

    • Ken Pidcock
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Well, that’s gotta vary. In the mid-70s, I was teaching in a Catholic high school. For teaching biology, they used, as a textbook, BSCS Blue, one of the more evolution-centered high school biology texts. And the teacher was certainly committed to correcting misunderstandings that the students may have brought from home. The school was run by Salesians, if that makes a difference.

    • SLC
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      It is my information that most Catholic high schools use the textbook by Miller and Levine in beginning biology courses.

  38. Microraptor
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    See, this is clearly the fault of the gnu atheists and their strident insistence that only reality be taught during science. If only they’d tone down the angry rhetoric and allow the Catholics to claim that their zombie snuff novel was scientifically compatible, none of this would have ever happened.

    /sarcasm

  39. Gayle Stone
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    What did we expect? His writers are at it again just like they helped Ratzi for 30 odd years to Justify abuse of children and word Canon Law so as to protect the abusing Priests and higher. Since he controlled the protection procedure,he (Ratz) is the #1 abuser as outlined by Geoffrey Robertson, QC in THE CASE OF THE POPE.
    He has to tell his FOLLOWERS that the Bible STORY of creation still stands and his writers help him to weasel word it in such a way that they, his HEARERS, (most won’t or are afraid to read anything that smacks of
    evolution) won’t know the difference.

  40. Dominic
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    There has been a lot in the papers recently about the impending beatification of the previous pope.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/23/protests-john-paul-beatification
    They are certainly in an unholy hurry to turn him into a ‘saint’ on the basis that a nun who supposedly had Parkison’s Disease but probably did not, was ‘cured’. So much for science as far as the RC’s are concerned.

  41. Dominic
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    There has been a lot in the papers this weekend about the impending beatification of the previous pope -
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/23/protests-john-paul-beatification
    He is supposed to have cured a nun of ‘Parkinson’s Disease’ which it was probably not. So much for the RC Church & science.

    • Dominic
      Posted April 25, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      oops – sorry double comment due to slow USB connection thingy! :(

    • Posted April 26, 2011 at 12:16 am | Permalink

      They’re just beatifying him on on Saturday to distract attention from the Royal Wedding!

  42. Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    I always new that the Pope would eventually have to come clean. You can’t say evolution works on everything except what I don’t want it to work on.

  43. Cleta Hughes
    Posted April 25, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I resent the adjective ‘damn’ in front of the Pope’s name. He may be an emporer with no clothes, but he is an emporer. Damn is not essential to the message which is of some merit and its use is adolescent.
    to assume our reductionists scientific tools has already provided judgment from both judge and jury regarding the truth of man’s relationship to the universe as a done deal is as arrogant as that of any institutional dogma.

    • Drosera
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 4:35 am | Permalink

      Hey, look. A real tone troll!

    • Marta
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      Gah. Spelling is not my long suit. However, “emporer” is spelled “emperor”. Easy to get these mixed up, but the red squiggly line under a misspelled word is a good tip that your spelling is askew.

      As for punctuation, syntax and usage, only god can sort that out in the comment.

    • truthspeaker
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      “Damn” is barely a swear word. I would hardly call it adolescent.

      And what does his being an emperor (not technically true, but he is a head of state) have to do with it?

      The damn president of the United States protects torturers and other war criminals.

      The damn queen of England wears ugly hats.

      The damn president of Russia is a puppet for the dictator Putin.

      The goddamn motherfucking president of Syria is murdering Syrian civilians.

      Heads of state deserve negative epithets more than almost anyone else.

    • Fred Mounts
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Who will protect the powerless Pope? Cleta is on the case!

  44. Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    For religionists it always boils down to: “I don’t want to be dead forever after I died.” The alpha and omega of the whole she-bang.

  45. Posted April 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    I am very disappointed after reading the comments here. So many large words wasted when all you needed to do was go youtube and say “the pope is on dope” or “religion be stupid”.

    Do people really sit around discussing the fantastical imagination/nightmare?!? of the uneducated populations idea of what sky daddy is/was/will be? When i was 8 i thought “this is bullshit” and now that i am 35 i think “this is bullshit”. Do we really need to waste any more energy on it?

    • Diane G.
      Posted April 26, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      As soon as the major media quit ballyhooing his every pronouncement (and church fathers quit telling people how to vote, whom to demonize, and whom to kill by with-holding condoms and abortions), we can ignore him.

  46. Pierce R. Butler
    Posted April 26, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    But did his Holiness explain how that “creative, divine reason” came to invent atheists, so that there could be Nazis?

  47. Rico Rich
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Is evolution of man true? I don’t believe it because if it is true how come that there are still apes today. LOL

  48. Posted September 7, 2011 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    His comments were not a total dis of evolution, only as it applied as “random” to man. There are many ways to take that, as well.

  49. Posted October 10, 2011 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    What is real is shared, and thus that includes everything. There is nothing that isn’t alive. So the question of inanimate matter would be, to what form of life does it belong? If we consider that all that is real to be states of consciousness, then what is real as being shared is a consciousness into which we all transcend and participate. The universe is the consciousness of the first cause, a pattern into which we all imitate and participate. The idea of object is an illusion, as would the idea of the universe as an externally created object, of and for it. The universe is simultaneously simple and complex, with both ends of the spectrum assessed simultaneously. Experience and free will is only possible by transcendence and as such is a choice. Evolution and regressing is a matter of choice. The only thing that is natural is by choice.

    • Microraptor
      Posted October 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I think you and whatever you’re smoking ought to try being separated for a while.

  50. Tim
    Posted December 21, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    All of these discussions are mute, of course. The reason is, if you are Catholic, you simply have no choice but to believe as your pope tells you to believe because of his papal authority. You WILL believe as he tells you to believe if you wish to remain Catholic. If he tells you the moon is made of green cheese, you WILL believe it. You have no choice in the matter.

  51. Mateja
    Posted December 22, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I guess you smart, “all knowing” people would laugh these stupid, narrow-minded, poor religious, incompetent idiots straight in their face:

    http://www.adherents.com/people/100_Nobel.html

    If they would have been as wise and valuable as you are, they would surely have contributed way more to the development of mankind ;)

    • Microraptor
      Posted December 22, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      The first name on that list is Albert Einstein, who was flat out offended by the suggestion that he believed in God. We might not be laughing at those people but we’re certainly laughing at anyone dumb enough to try to use such a poorly researched bit of argument from authority.

      • Mateja
        Posted December 24, 2011 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        “The finest emotion of which we are capable is the mystic emotion. Herein lies the germ of all art and all true science. Anyone to whom this feeling is alien, who is no longer capable of wonderment and lives in a state of fear is a dead man. To know that what is impenetrable for us really exists and manifests itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, whose gross forms alone are intelligible to our poor faculties – this knowledge, this feeling … that is the core of the true religious sentiment.” – Albert Einstein

        • Microraptor
          Posted December 24, 2011 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          “I do not believe in immortality of the individual, and I consider ethics to be an exclusively human concern with no superhuman authority behind it.” Albert Einstein

          “I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil.” also Albert Einstein

          Don’t know how much more plainly it can be spelled out than that.


6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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  2. [...] The Pope doesn’t understand evolution Posted on April 24, 2011 by marksolock The Pope doesn’t understand evolution [...]

  3. [...] via Jerry Coyne and as he puts it on WEIT “So much for the Catholic Church being on board with the evolution peeps.“ [...]

  4. [...] via Jerry Coyne and as he puts it on WEIT “So much for the Catholic Church being on board with the evolution peeps.“ [...]

  5. [...] via Jerry Coyne and as he puts it on WEIT “So much for the Catholic Church being on board with the evolution peeps.“ [...]

  6. [...] Inquirer, who doubles as a trapeze artist in her spare time.  Inspired (so to speak) by Pope Ratzi’s Easter Homily, which said strong stuff about evolution, Faye was writing a column about whether Catholics see [...]

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