OK. This one is disturbing. There have been headlines about this for a while now.
The Vatican is hosting a scientific conference on evolution.
Now, it should be noted that the very few scientific controversies involving the Church (i.e., Galileo–can anyone think of anything else?) involved researchers who were *Catholic,* and mostly involved their attempts to change theology based upon science.
The Church has long said that evolution, as a principle, was not incompatible with Catholic teaching. It can be found in St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Augustine, and Aristotle. There are many historical and scientific inaccuracies in Scripture, and you don’t need to live in the Twentieth Century to be aware of them.
But there are many historical and scientific innaccuracies in many ancient –and contemporary– works that we don’t completely devalue because of their authors’ mistakes.
St. Augustine himself said that, iif it’s a choice between science or history and the Bible, insofar as the realms of science and history go, you opt for science and history. Jesus is the Truth, and Christians should love all truth.
That said, my understanding of “intelligent design” is that ID merely says Nature points to the hand of an intelligent designer, that DNA, cells, etc., are so amazingly complex that they show the Universe was created–whether or not evolution is part of the creative process. ID is not simply “creationism repackaged.”
Yet here is the Vatican-as has often happened since the 1960s–going to the opposite direction of previous Church practice in regards to caution.
Catholic philosophy has always been about trying to see the hand of the Creator in creation. ID is just doing the same thing, yet the Vatican is officially *rejecting* ID as a valid theory. It is one thing to say ID is not science. ID is not science . It is the application of science to theology. But *that* is why I find it disturbing that Father Marc Leclerc, a philosophy professor at Gregorian University, is saying intelligent design is *not* philosophy.