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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  12:47:33  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19956961/

“They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the pope said. “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”

Interesting, I think Poe John Paul II made statements like this as well.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington

GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  13:09:54   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
[The pope] said evolution did not answer all the questions: “Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question, ‘Where does everything come from?'”
And thereby clearly demonstrating that he doesn't have as clue as to what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain.
The pope, leader of some 1.1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide, said: “We must respect the interior laws of creation, of this Earth, to learn these laws and obey them if we want to survive.”

“This obedience to the voice of the Earth is more important for our future happiness ... than the desires of the moment. Our Earth is talking to us and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive,” he said.
Does he really think the Earth talks? And how would we go about deciphering its message? Seems odd that these believers in magic can't just say what they mean without couching it in all that mumbo jumbo.
Last April, the Vatican sponsored a scientific conference on climate change to underscore the role that religious leaders around the world could play in reminding people that willfully damaging the environment is sinful.
And which commandment was that, again?
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Siberia
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Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  13:13:07   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
C'mom, GeeMack, he was speaking metaphorically (about the voices of the Earth and such)... give the man a credit. It's better than many Evangelicals' positions, at least.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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Bill scott
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USA
2103 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  13:13:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Bill scott a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by GeeMack



[The pope] said evolution did not answer all the questions: “Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question, ‘Where does everything come from?'”



And thereby clearly demonstrating that he doesn't have as clue as to what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain.


No doubt. He should have said cosmology fails to answer where everything comes from.

"Lets get one thing clear, Bill. Science does make some assumptions." -perrodetokio-

"In the end as skeptics we must realize that there is no real knowledge, there is only what is most reasonable to believe." -Coelacanth-

The fact that humans do science is what causes errors in science. -Dave W.-

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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  13:28:02   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
GeeMack wrote:
And thereby clearly demonstrating that he doesn't have as clue as to what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain.
Huh? I think he demonstrated that he knows exactly what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain. Like all scientific theories, it should be expected to explain some things about the natural world. Evolution doesn't get into the matter of ultimate origins or the meaning of life. Indeed, no scientific theory can “exclude a role by God”. We atheists have our worldview influenced by science in the sense that scientific discoveries have smashed most religious explanations about the natural world, and thus we regard the existence of a God as increasingly unlikely and a totally unnecessary complicated explanation for existence. That is a philosophical stance, not a scientific one.

Does he really think the Earth talks? And how would we go about deciphering its message? Seems odd that these believers in magic can't just say what they mean without couching it in all that mumbo jumbo.
As Siberia said, he was obviously being metaphorical. Metaphor isn't “mumbo jumbo.” It seemed pretty clear to me – he was saying that we need to use reason and empiricism – science – to understand the natural world so that we don't harm it and ourselves with it. And I agree with him whole-heartedly on that point.

And which commandment was that, again?
Not a single sensible Christian on this planet will say that the Ten Commandments are where their moral compass begins and ends, so this is a silly criticism. It is pretty obvious – what from the mention of destroying the earth because of our ignorance – that the “sin” is harm. Obviously if the earth is badly damaged or destroyed, that would harm people too.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  13:39:14   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by GeeMack

[The pope] said evolution did not answer all the questions: “Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question, ‘Where does everything come from?'”
And thereby clearly demonstrating that he doesn't have as clue as to what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain.
I disagree. He is saying that evolution cannot explain where things come from. Which is correct. He is clarifying that God can still exist even when science says evolution is a fact.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington
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Siberia
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Brazil
2322 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  13:57:11   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Siberia's Homepage  Send Siberia an AOL message  Send Siberia a Yahoo! Message Send Siberia a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Robb

Originally posted by GeeMack

[The pope] said evolution did not answer all the questions: “Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question, ‘Where does everything come from?'”
And thereby clearly demonstrating that he doesn't have as clue as to what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain.
I disagree. He is saying that evolution cannot explain where things come from. Which is correct. He is clarifying that God can still exist even when science says evolution is a fact.

Pre-ci-se-ly. Because evolution doesn't deal with origins, only with what happens after something's there. How it started is irrelevant for evolution.

"Why are you afraid of something you're not even sure exists?"
- The Kovenant, Via Negativa

"People who don't like their beliefs being laughed at shouldn't have such funny beliefs."
-- unknown
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GeeMack
SFN Regular

USA
1093 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  14:08:31   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send GeeMack a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by marfknox...

GeeMack wrote:
And thereby clearly demonstrating that he doesn't have as clue as to what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain.
Huh? I think he demonstrated that he knows exactly what the theory of evolution should be expected to explain.
Apparently I misinterpreted the comment. So often we hear the woos claim that the theory of evolution is invalid because it doesn't explain the origin of life. It seemed the pope was taking that position, but on re-reading the quote, I see how he probably meant otherwise.
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Dude
SFN Die Hard

USA
6891 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  14:30:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Dude a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Robb said:
I disagree. He is saying that evolution cannot explain where things come from. Which is correct.


Its still a straw-man. He drops that line as if he thinks the ToE should be able to explain where things come from, when the simple fact is that the ToE has never made any claims to the origin of life. You'll note that he uses this strawman to set up his next line and lend false support to his own implied claims that religion is the answer to the question he posed.

Its dishonest no matter how you look at it.


Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong.
-- Thomas Jefferson

"god :: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument." - G. Carlin

Hope, n.
The handmaiden of desperation; the opiate of despair; the illegible signpost on the road to perdition. ~~ da filth
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H. Humbert
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USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  14:48:04   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Pope said:
“They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the pope said. “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”
So we have proof of evolution on one hand, and what's on the other again?


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
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JohnOAS
SFN Regular

Australia
800 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  15:46:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit JohnOAS's Homepage Send JohnOAS a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

Robb said:
I disagree. He is saying that evolution cannot explain where things come from. Which is correct.


Its still a straw-man. He drops that line as if he thinks the ToE should be able to explain where things come from, when the simple fact is that the ToE has never made any claims to the origin of life. You'll note that he uses this strawman to set up his next line and lend false support to his own implied claims that religion is the answer to the question he posed.

Its dishonest no matter how you look at it.


I'm unsure about this. It's easy to see the context in which GeeMack originally took it, but I think Robb's (and other's) take on it is probably the correct one.

I guess it comes down to how crafted such statements really are. If it is an off-the cuff comment during a non-staged interview, I can imagine it being simple misunderstanding and lack of expertise with the subject.

If, on the other hand (and I'm leaning this way) it's a considered statement, then I agree with Dude that it's somewhat deceptive.

I don't present to have any insight into the process behind papal statements, does the pope write his own material? Regardless, this seems to be rather less stupid statement than a lot of the things he's said/written in recent times

John's just this guy, you know.
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Ricky
SFN Die Hard

USA
4907 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  16:22:19   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Send Ricky an AOL message Send Ricky a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

Robb said:
I disagree. He is saying that evolution cannot explain where things come from. Which is correct.


Its still a straw-man. He drops that line as if he thinks the ToE should be able to explain where things come from, when the simple fact is that the ToE has never made any claims to the origin of life. You'll note that he uses this strawman to set up his next line and lend false support to his own implied claims that religion is the answer to the question he posed.

Its dishonest no matter how you look at it.


Not at all. I've said that exact line, "Evolution does not explain where everything came from" to a many Creationists. It's just that we are so hardened in woo that we see it and red sirens go off. Because when a Creationist says this, they are certainly implying that evolution should, as they are trying to argue against evolution. The pope, on the other hand, is clearly is not a Creationist, hence such implication is not there.

It is a true statement that evolution does not explain where everything came from. He states this to clearly differentiate the science from his religion, showing precisely where the boundary exists.

Why continue? Because we must. Because we have the call. Because it is nobler to fight for rationality without winning than to give up in the face of continued defeats. Because whatever true progress humanity makes is through the rationality of the occasional individual and because any one individual we may win for the cause may do more for humanity than a hundred thousand who hug their superstitions to their breast.
- Isaac Asimov
Edited by - Ricky on 07/26/2007 16:25:57
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Robb
SFN Regular

USA
1223 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  17:41:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Robb a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Dude

Robb said:
I disagree. He is saying that evolution cannot explain where things come from. Which is correct.


Its still a straw-man. He drops that line as if he thinks the ToE should be able to explain where things come from, when the simple fact is that the ToE has never made any claims to the origin of life. You'll note that he uses this strawman to set up his next line and lend false support to his own implied claims that religion is the answer to the question he posed.

Its dishonest no matter how you look at it.


Evolution does not explain where life cam from but it does explain where humans came from. That is important question for Christians and when most Christians talk about origins they really mean human origins. In my understanding, evolution does explain where humans came from. I think this is where confusion comes from when talking to Christians about evolution.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. - George Washington
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marfknox
SFN Die Hard

USA
3739 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  19:54:24   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit marfknox's Homepage  Send marfknox an AOL message Send marfknox a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dude wrote:
He drops that line as if he thinks the ToE should be able to explain where things come from, when the simple fact is that the ToE has never made any claims to the origin of life.
Where are you getting that he thinks it should be able to explain origins? Contemporary Catholicism has embraced science exactly because they realized that the natural limits of science allowed for them to always make this very argument.

You'll note that he uses this strawman to set up his next line and lend false support to his own implied claims that religion is the answer to the question he posed.
I don't think he was using the limits of science to support his claim that religion answers the question he posed. I think he was pointing out that science doesn't create a barrier to claiming religion as the answer exactly because science by definition doesn't deal with things outside the natural world and laws of nature. Lots of people, both atheists and fundamentalist Christians, like to claim that the really believing in the theory of evolution means also being an atheist and materialist. The pope is basically arguing that science and religion don't necessarily have to clash, and that his religion in particular he thinks does not clash with science, but in fact, values the scientific method for what it is capable of doing.

I fail to see where he's being dishonest. If you want to argue against the man's theology and philosophy, more power to you, but he isn't making any false statements about science or evolution.

Robb wrote:
Evolution does not explain where life cam from but it does explain where humans came from. That is important question for Christians and when most Christians talk about origins they really mean human origins. In my understanding, evolution does explain where humans came from. I think this is where confusion comes from when talking to Christians about evolution.
Huh, thanks for writing this. I never considered that as part of any confusion, but now that you bring it up, I recall having many conversations with Christians in college who immediately brought up human evolution when disputing the ToE. That seemed to be the focus, and certainly that is the most controversial thing to teach in school.

I've never understood what the big deal is, but maybe that is because I was raised Catholic by Christians who believed in evolution. Accepting evolution as scientific fact didn't shake their faith at all. In fact, they found it to be a brilliant and beautiful method designed by God for bringing forth highly complex species. One of my cousins is Mormon and he once mentioned to me something from his scripture about giants in mankind's ancient past, and when he learned about the more robustly-built Neanderthals, he thought – maybe that's what scripture was talking about. It seems quite popular today for people of faith to look for naturalistic explanations for miracles, such as television specials about what the plagues of Egypt in the OT might have been. It seems that when naturalistic explanations for miracles are uncovered or even suggested, people of faith are often eager to interpret that as confirmation of their faith, not proof of atheism.

Meh. To each his or her own.

"Too much certainty and clarity could lead to cruel intolerance" -Karen Armstrong

Check out my art store: http://www.marfknox.etsy.com

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pleco
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USA
2996 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  20:01:47   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit pleco's Homepage Send pleco a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by Robb

Originally posted by Dude

Robb said:
I disagree. He is saying that evolution cannot explain where things come from. Which is correct.


Its still a straw-man. He drops that line as if he thinks the ToE should be able to explain where things come from, when the simple fact is that the ToE has never made any claims to the origin of life. You'll note that he uses this strawman to set up his next line and lend false support to his own implied claims that religion is the answer to the question he posed.

Its dishonest no matter how you look at it.


Evolution does not explain where life cam from but it does explain where humans came from. That is important question for Christians and when most Christians talk about origins they really mean human origins. In my understanding, evolution does explain where humans came from. I think this is where confusion comes from when talking to Christians about evolution.


In my opinion, the main problem is that science forces the religious folk to make a decision about the "truthiness" of their creation story. If the creation story is just a story and has no basis in reality, then how much more of the religious text can be suspect? It is far easier (and intellectually lazier) to just believe the story and ignore the facts.

Is it because these people have a weak faith? I suspect so. Why do religious people cry at funerals?

I think the theistic evolutionists are stronger christians/muslims/etc. because they are able to see (to an extent) between the reality of the science and their faith. They do not put their god in a box. They are able to see the larger picture.

I'm saddened that the anti-intellectual, anti-science fundamentalists seem to be growing in power and influence, both in developing and (supposedly) developed countries. It was not such a long time ago that in the US science was not viewed as it is now. I think the culture wars of the '60s played into this, plus the power grab of the religious in the '80s (thanks Gipper!) and the influence of televangelists through the mass media of TV.

by Filthy
The neo-con methane machine will soon be running at full fart.
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H. Humbert
SFN Die Hard

USA
4574 Posts

Posted - 07/26/2007 :  22:40:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send H. Humbert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Originally posted by pleco
I think the theistic evolutionists are stronger christians/muslims/etc. because they are able to see (to an extent) between the reality of the science and their faith. They do not put their god in a box. They are able to see the larger picture.
Eh, I'm not entirely convinced of this. As an atheist, of course I prefer theists to hold beliefs which do not contradict known facts, since it means they are that much less crazy.

But I also think the fundies are correct when they label this as lukewarm religion. If a religion were true, then it should make successful predictions, confident pronouncements even, on the nature of reality. The Catholic Church now refuses to do this not out of some embrace of or deference to science, but because after centuries of getting their asses kicked on this issue they finally wised up. (*cough* *cough* *Galileo* *cough*) Now their position is just: "whatever you scientists discover, that's what our god did." It's a completely defeatist position, content to claim credit for discoveries it doesn't have the balls to predict in advance. It is a hollow shell of its past self.

However, they've learned that so long as they concern themselves only with unknowables and fictions, they don't need to concern themselves with reality. The people will still line up nonetheless. I guess you could call this theological desperation "stronger faith," but only with the implication that faith is not an admirable trait to possess.


"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." --Demosthenes

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself - and you are the easiest person to fool." --Richard P. Feynman

"Face facts with dignity." --found inside a fortune cookie
Edited by - H. Humbert on 07/26/2007 22:46:53
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