Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Vatican to Discuss ID, But Still Promote TE

Vatican to Discuss, but Not Endorse, Intelligent Design
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican will include discussion of intelligent design in a conference marking the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," officials said Tuesday.

The announcement reverses a decision to exclude such discussion but officials said intelligent design would be treated only as a cultural phenomenon — not as science or theology.

Organizers of the March 3-7 conference did not explain at a news conference Tuesday why they had decided to include discussion of the view that life is too complex to have developed through evolution alone, and that a higher power has had a hand in changes among species over time.

"The committee agreed to consider ID as a phenomenon of an ideological and cultural nature, thus worthy of a historic examination, but certainly not to be discussed on scientific, philosophical or theological grounds," said Saverio Forestiero, a conference organizer and professor of zoology at the University of Rome.

The Vatican under Benedict has been trying to stress its belief that there is no incompatibility between faith and reason, and the evolution conference is supposed to be a key demonstration of that... Read the rest of the article here.
Here's one idea to follow up this story: Research Pope John Paul II's statements on theistic evolution and have students discuss whether TE is compatible with the descriptions of the events in Genesis 1-2.

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