August 28, 2006


Pope sacks astronomer over evolution debate (SIMON CALDWELL, 8/23/06, Daily Mail)

Pope Benedict XVI has sacked his chief astronomer after a series of public clashes over the theory of evolution.

He has removed Father George Coyne from his position as director of the Vatican Observatory after the American Jesuit priest repeatedly contradicted the Holy See's endorsement of "intelligent design" theory, which essentially backs the "Adam and Eve" theory of creation.

Benedict favours intelligent design, which says God directs the process of evolution, over Charles Darwin’s original theory which holds that species evolve through the random, unplanned processes of genetic mutation and the survival of the fittest.

The Pope has to walk back the cat after the mess that his predecessor made, but until he gets to simple Creation and drops Intelligent Design altogether it's pretty hard to take him seriously on the topic either. This is one area where he's too European.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 28, 2006 1:03 PM

There are really two ID's, or rather two intellectual thrusts that go by that name. There are the cross-examiners like Berlinski, Johnson and Strove, who are devastating in their critiques and for whom the Darwinists reserve a special contempt. They are, respectively, a mathematician, lawyer and philosopher--all professions trained in logic, and they excel, often hilariously, at showing how flimsy and illogical and even bizarre the whole project is. Their message basically is "Not even close. You can't get here from there".

Then there is the gang, mainly dissident scientists, who can't resist the taunt: "OK, so you tell us how it all happened" and then go on to spout parallel foolishness. We should all adopt Nancy Reagan as a patron and "just say no."

Of course, there are also at least two evolutions, but that's another story.

Posted by: Peter B at August 29, 2006 6:44 AM

Didn't the astonomer leave because he had cancer and asked to be replaced?

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at August 29, 2006 9:17 AM

Benedict favours intelligent design...

Really? Now how could this reporter possibly get that idea in his brain housing group? How about:

If anyone denies the one true God, creator and lord of things visible and invisible: let him be anathema. -- First Vatican Coucnil

Posted by: Benjamin at August 29, 2006 12:27 PM

Ali Choudhury:

Really? I wondered if there was more to this story than they were telling us. Do you have a link?

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 29, 2006 2:49 PM

Ali Choudhury:

Thanks! Funny how they always leave out the pertinent stuff.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at August 29, 2006 8:50 PM