Friday, July 15, 2005
scientists battled efforts by Christian fundamentalists to counter the
teaching of evolution, we took comfort in the more enlightened position of
the Catholic Church. But as WN reported last week, a powerful cardinal
wrote in the July 7 New York Times that evolution may be incompatible with
the Catholic faith. His argument sounded like the the Discovery
Institute's intelligent design nonsense. It was. The NYT revealed two
days later that Schoenborn's essay had been written at the urging of Mark
Ryland, vice president of the Discovery Institute, and submitted to the
Times by the Discovery Institute's public relations firm.
Schoenborn's op-ed was meant to refute a May 17 NYT op-ed by Larry Krauss,
then chair of physics at Case Western Reserve, which said the Catholic
Church "has no problem with the notion of evolution." Krauss is not
Catholic, but yesterday he was joined in a letter to Pope Benedict XVI by
two well-known Catholic biologists: Francisco Ayala at UC Irvine and Ken
Miller at Brown. They urge the Pope not to reestablish the divide that
once existed between the scientific method and religious belief.
Tuesday, at the National Press Club in Washington, Cardinal Theodore
McCarrick told reporters that Catholics can believe in evolution --- as long
as it's understood to have been guided by "the hand of God" rather than
chance. The Church cannot accept the belief that "this is all an
accident," he said.
As Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, hits book stores, we learn that
Pope Benedict XVI is not a fan. "Those are subtle seductions that deeply
distort Christianity in the soul," he wrote two years ago. Catechism
number 2117: "All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to
tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a
supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of
restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion."
You want to take magic out of kids books? Why not ban Cinderella?
Scientists look at it differently: Magic and sorcery don't work.
shuttle is still on the ground, the Kansas City Royals are 28 games behind,
cold fusion is a memory, missile defense isn't even being tested, and
intercessory prayer has no effect according to researchers at Duke
reporting in Lancet. Didn't we already know that
(WN 3 Dec 04)? Prayer is just one of the
things the Samueli Institute supports that don't work. The Institute is
headed by Wayne Jonas, a genuine authority on the subject of things that
don't work. Former head of the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine, Jonas
authored Healing with Homeopathy (WN 2 Aug 96).