Thursday, March 19, 2009
Singing From the Same
Song Hymn Book
You've probably heard about Canadian Science minister Gary Goodyear's original refusal to respond to a question about whether he "believes" in evolution, saying:
I'm not going to answer that question. I am a Christian, and I don't think anybody asking a question about my religion is appropriate.
Be that as it may, Goodyear has now "clarified" his position by saying that he does believe in evolution:
Of course I do. ...
We are evolving every year, every decade. That's a fact, whether it is to the intensity of the sun, whether it is to, as a chiropractor, walking on cement versus anything else, whether it is running shoes or high heels, of course we are evolving to our environment. But that's not relevant and that is why I refused to answer the question. The interview was about our science and tech strategy, which is strong.
Most people of faith agree with what is commonly referred to as "micro" evolution, small changes that are clearly visible.
The controversial "macro" evolution was commonly understood as those major changes that could occur if one species jumped to another.
As if to specifically point out Goodyear's evasion, Ken Ham's Creation "Museum" has announced that it is opening an exhibit that affirms the correctness of Darwin's theory of natural selection:
The exhibit, entitled "Natural Selection is Not Evolution" features a cave aquarium with blind cavefish to show how organisms possess traits specific to their environment. It also features a "Creation Orchard" that shows the family tree of each original kind of created plant or animal as described in Genesis.
Ham believes creatures can gain new traits to fit their surroundings within their own families. He asserts, however, that changing from one organism to another, such as an ape evolving into a human, does not occur.
"Darwin was right about natural selection, right about different species forming and species changing, but wrong that such changes are a mechanism to change one kind of animal into a totally different kind," Ham said.
The only question here is whether Goodyear was reading over Ham's shoulder or was Ham reading over Goodyear's.
Which, if true, only makes the situation worse.
Not that it's worth the exegetical effort.
When confronted with the question of why we do not take penicillin anymore, the creationist finally concedes that there is little teeny tiny evolution (but not great big evolution). There came a time when they had to concede that lightning was not the finger of God striking down the unrighteous, but simple static electric discharge.
This is followed by a period of time then, where they have to deny they every had the previous belief. Ask a creationist if the church ever believed the earth was flat, or that the earth was the center of the universe or that disease was caused by someone who wasn’t right with God. Do they still believe that leprosy is caused by demonic possession, or do they finally have to concede to science?
I see this from time to time, and I'm pretty sure it's wrong (read: massive distortion). The Vatican, after all, has had an official Observatory for a long time, which does legitimate astronomy.
My recollection of the "apology" issued a few years ago was more along the lines of admitting they were wrong to have prosecuted Galileo -- a matter of Church law, somewhat separate from the question of whether his scientific claims were right or wrong.
Plagiarizing from Wikipedia,
n 1610 Galileo published an account of his telescopic observations of the moons of Jupiter, using this observation to argue in favor of the sun-centered, Copernican theory of the universe against the dominant earth-centered Ptolemaic and Aristotelian theories. The next year Galileo visited Rome in order to demonstrate his telescope to the influential philosophers and mathematicians of the Jesuit Collegio Romano, and to let them see with their own eyes the reality of the four moons of Jupiter.
The Inquisition's ban on reprinting Galileo's works was lifted in 1718 when permission was granted to publish an edition of his works (excluding the condemned Dialogue) in Florence. In 1741 Pope Benedict XIV authorized the publication of an edition of Galileo's complete scientific works which included a mildly censored version of the Dialogue. In 1758 the general prohibition against works advocating heliocentrism was removed from the Index of prohibited books, although the specific ban on uncensored versions of the Dialogue and Copernicus's De Revolutionibus remained. All traces of official opposition to heliocentrism by the Church disappeared in 1835 when these works were finally dropped from the Index.