Friday, July 08, 2005

Intelligent Design

I'm sure some will be disappointed, but I personally am somewhat relieved that the Catholic Church, in keeping with its long tradition, has come down firmly on the side of ignorance and superstition in the matter of Darwinian evolution. Cardinal Schonbrun, Archbishop of Vienna and lead author of the 1992 Catholic Catechism, explains it all in the above linked New York Times Op-Ed. He pretty forthrightly ties the ID albatross around the Church's neck as follows:

Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.
Perhaps this will cheer up the IDers, but it should also remind the rest of us what a backward and decadent force this institution created in imitation of the Roman Empire really is.

The Cardinal adds:
Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with scientific claims like neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology invented to avoid the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in modern science, the Catholic Church will again defend human reason ...
Like it did when it burned Bruno and imprisoned Galileo for the ridiculous claim that the Earth went around the Sun rather than vice versa. Come to think of it, though, it finally conceded Galileo had a point sometime in the middle of the Twentieth century.

I think we can think of this Op-Ed as kind of a confession that their story can't really endure against what Daniel Dennett called the "universal acid" of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea."