Friday, November 18, 2005

Evolution or Autonomy

Voices from the Vatican have now weighed in on the debate in America over Intelligent Design. The Rev. George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory, stated today that "Intelligent Design isn't science, even though it pretends to be." His conviction is that evolution has been a decided issue and that infact there shouldn't even be a debate over the matter. "If you want to teach it in schools," Coyne said, "Intelligent Design should be taught when religion or cultural history is taught, not science."

His statements are parallel to those in the secular community who are calling ID merely an attempt to slip religion into schools. It is suprising, however, that such things are coming from teh Catholic church. Well perhaps not that suprising! Pope John Paul II believed that evolution was more than theory. The current Pope, however, has reversed that, sort of. He stated in a rather ambiguious way that the universe was made by an "intelligent project". Whatever that means!

Coyne's comments, however, stretch beyond simply saying that ID is not science. The AP quotes him having spoken of Christians, "If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research, religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly." Instead of dictator God should be seen as an encouraging parent, so he argues.

"God in his infinite freedom continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity," he wrote. "He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves."

This final quote is really evidence of the motivations behind much of the disdain for Intelligent Design. It comes down to an issue of human autonomy. There is no conclusive evidence for evolution but, as Richard Dawkins once said, many would rather beleive in evolution than that they have to answer to a Holy Judge. So are these comments from Rev. Coyne dealing with evolution or human autonomy? Well the answer must be both, for the one is connected to the other. But in the end no amount of self-deception will removed the Creator/Judge. Only repentace of sin and belief in Jesus Christ will remove His wrath from being upon you, and that is the Christian gospel, an even better message than Intelligent Design.


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