Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Darwin!

In case you hadn't heard, 200 years ago today, Charles Darwin (and Abraham Lincoln too!) was born. In what we might think of as a birthday present, the Vatican has finally decided that Darwin is probably not burning in Hell after all. Here's an article from the New York Times (thanks to Henry Walton for the link!) discussing the changing attitude of the Catholic Church towards Darwin's ideas.


Period 1 Chloe P-C said...

Though I commend the Catholic Church's dismissal of intelligent design as "poor science", I find the Vatican's view on evolution deeply strange. One of the archbishops said that "what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God." So, basically, the Vatican meant that God created the world, and then stepped back and let evolution take place? This doesn't seem consistent with the theory of an ever-present God, and I find it really confusing and weird. However, I think that the Vatican accepting evolution is a really good step; maybe now, those who scorned evolution as anti-Christian will rethink that view.

period1marina said...

I agree with Chloe above: some of the assertions made in the article seem odd. I would like to see an article that describes some of the complementary patterns that the church makes between it and evolution before i really understand it- considering that i don't really understand most religion.
I am glad that the vatican seems more capable of accepting evolution, as it has a ton of proof and really seems logical and THE driving force of the world.
i don't think it's completely wrong though to consider that God/evolutoin don't make sense together
I think it might changesome of the ways people view/have viewed God, like "oh this earthquake happened because God was punishing us for something", but it's not ridiculous to think that God works alongside science: there's no "one" power anywhere so why should God/Science have to prevail?

Period 1 Virginia said...

The Vatican seems to be unwilling to admit that they're are wrong. Although I'm glad that they are finally acknowledging evolution (they aren't quite "embracing" it yet from the sounds of the article), they do so in a way that makes scientists seem like they jumped to conclusions and how ultimately God is responsible for evolutioin. The Vatican even goes as far as to claim that members of the Church thought of the idea of evolution long before Darwin. It seems rather ironic that they're claiming to be the first ones to jump on the evolution bandwagon when they're basically the last. However although the Church is stating that it has accepted evolution, they seem to just be using Darwin's 200th birthday to "re-examine" the concept, trying to find fault with it. I think it's time that the Church admits that they were wrong; but this doesn't seem likely since they seem to be linking evolution with denial of the existance of God, despite their claims that the two concepts can co-exist.

Period1_Micaela said...

In general, when religion and science are mixed together they contradict each other confusing people who belief in opposing ideas. In response to Marina's question of "there's no "one" power anywhere so why should God/Science have to prevail?" In some cases (as here Catholic church) I believe that those who believe in God as the creator and the book of Genesis are such strong believers and serve as the model for the rest of the church. Thus, for some if science is allowed into the Church, they church may be seen as fraud because it is not consistent with catholic belief. Thus, they must stick with their "one God" belief even if they don't completely agree with it.

Thus the Vatican's view on evolution seems to be the only possible option for accepting and allowing part of science into the church while still maintaining the idea of God being the creator. It seems to be a compromise and one that is trying to allow science and religion to coexist in a modern society.