Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pope: Humanity isn't random product of evolution

According to recent estimates, approximately 1/3 of earth's nearly seven billion people consider themselves Christian. Of those, more than a billion are Roman Catholic. (Source for numbers here.) Speaking on the holiest night of the year for Christians, Pope Benedict XVI stressed that humanity isn't a random product of evolution. (See the KSL article here and the AP article here.)


Blogger R. Gary said...

I think it's cool that the leader of the largest “denomination” of any religion on the planet, thinks it's important to make that particular point to his flock on the holiest night of the year.

4/23/2011 04:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I think the Catholic church's approach is great.

Note what else the articles state: "The Vatican, however, warns against creationism, or the overly literal interpretation of the Bibilical account of creation."

Why do you think the Catholic church warns against creationism?

Hope you have a great Easter.

4/23/2011 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Tim: my guess would be that the excerpt you quote refers to teachings about creation similar to those that might be categorized generally as Young Earth Creationism. It turns out that I myself am somewhat sympathetic toward the publications of groups like the Institute for Creation Research and Answers In Genesis. Ultimately, however, I can't give any of them my full support. Boyd K. Packer has said this about such groups and I feel it expresses well how I feel:

-------------- quote --------------
"For generations, the clergy of the Christian churches (including ours) have been labeled as bumbling and naive because they rejected the theory of evolution and believed in a separate creation of man. Those who have only the Bible have just enough in the Old and New Testaments about men as the children of God, about law and sin, to enforce their belief that man is accountable for his conduct, that accountability requires a special status, a special creation. Confronted by the sophisticated arguments of articulate scientists with impressive visual evidence to support the theory of organic evolution, the clergy could but quote scriptures or testify of inner feelings. This meant little or nothing to the scientist.

"Do not despise those who over the years defended these doctrines in spite of intellectual mocking. Do not belittle their efforts. However foolish they may have appeared to some, there is substance to the position they have defended. I say, God bless them!" (The Law and the Light.)
-------------- end quote --------------

4/23/2011 05:40:00 PM  
Blogger Jettboy said...

Mormon me: Who cares what the Pope thinks about theological or scientific subjects? I'm not Catholic and therefore he has no authority over me.

4/24/2011 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Jettboy:  That's okay by me. But while we're on the subject, have you read Jared*s latest post over at LDS Science Review? Very interesting.

4/24/2011 09:12:00 AM  
Blogger Latter-day Guy said...

I think it's important to point out that most Catholics accept evolution and view the Genesis accounts of the creation as mythological. That is, they believe that God shepherded evolution with the purpose of creating man. This is very far from an out-and-out rejection of evolution. If you read more broadly in Benedict XVI's/Ratzinger's oeuvre, you'll see that he too falls within that camp.

4/26/2011 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Latter-day Guy,  okay. I'll take your word for it. But the idea that "God shepherded evolution with the purpose of creating man" has never been taught in official LDS media by any member of the two highest leadership quorums. Therefore, to me it might be a Catholic idea, but it's not a Mormon one.

4/26/2011 04:46:00 PM  
Blogger Latter-day Guy said...

My comment made no mention whatever about any LDS teachings on the subject. I just think it's important not to misrepresent the pope's position, even inadvertently.

4/26/2011 06:28:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Latter-day Guy,  no problem. I just think it's important to avoid the possibility of confusion about whether your clarification aligns the Pope with the Church's view of evolution.

4/26/2011 07:00:00 PM  

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