Friday, April 13, 2007
Well, the Discovery Institute's reaction to the recent stories about the Pope's views on evolution and Intelligent Design is in and, just about as I predicted, it is equal parts spin and backhanded criticism of the Pope, via Jay Richards:
I'm sure Benedict will be grateful for the Disco Boyz' instruction on Catholic dogma. I know we're all grateful for the reminder that ID is all about the science, yessiree Bob!Of course [the Pope is] challenging scientism and calling for a broader concept of reason than is contained in experimental science. That's easy for classically informed philosophers to understand. But you can be sure that exactly 0% of reporters and 1% of readers will understand that. What every reporter will take away is that all this talk about God, purpose, and design are private, since in modern parlance, only ‘science’ constitutes public knowledge. Thus the story ends:’This ... inevitably leads to a question that goes beyond science ... where did this rationality come from?’ he asked. Answering his own question, he said it came from the ‘creative reason’ of God.’Thus is the dispute domesticated into categories acceptable to the secularist. God gets to be discussed in conversations that go ‘beyond science,’ along with fairies and the Easter bunny.
This issue is just not that complicated, despite the sociological pressures to keep the fog machines going at all times. Either some or all of the history and complexity of life are the product of design or they're not. Either that design is discernible or it's not. Evolution is either purely random or it's not. Not even God can direct an undirected process. Complicated discussions about the definition of ‘philosophy,’ ’reason,’ and ‘science’ are dull blades. The reader is thus left to vaguely believe something that I'm sure is not true: that the Pope endorses a two-truths view, according to which Darwinism works as ‘science’ (narrowly defined) but theological types get to talk about God as long as they call it philosophy and promise not to make trouble for the Darwinists.
Labels: Designer As God
Seems like folks on both sides are taking a pessimistic view of the Pope's words.
As for the rest, I'm not all that surprised at the reaction. Both sides have too much at stake to be sanguine about any development that may make some major shift in the public perception of the debate.