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Vatican Rejects Intelligent Design? 2345

Posted by Hemos
from the tell-that-to-kansas dept.
typobox43 writes "A Vatican representative has expressed a defense of the theory of evolution, stating that it is "perfectly compatible" with the Genesis story of creation. "The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator"." Of course, it'd probably be best if fundmentalists actually talked to, say, the rabbis who wrote the whole thing down. The Orthodox rabbis I've spoken find it amazingly amusing that people take the creation story as literal truth, rather then a story about YHWH's power.
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Vatican Rejects Intelligent Design?

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  • by TurdTapper (608491) * <seldonsplan AT gmail DOT com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:01PM (#13970299) Journal
    Of course, it'd probably be best if fundmentalists actually talked to, say, the rabbis who wrote the whole thing down.

    How exactly is that going to happen? Since this was all written down thousands of years ago, how is someone going to talk to those rabbis? WABAC perhaps?
    • by StressGuy (472374) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:08PM (#13970366)
      oh wait...you said Rabbi's

      nevermind
      • by flyingsquid (813711) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:41PM (#13970813)
        You wascally wabbi!

        I just had an image of Elmer Fudd pointing his gun at an Orthodox Jew with a Bronx accent who then jumps down a hole... man, I am just not getting enough sleep these days.

        Duck Season! Rabbi Season! Duck Season!

    • by aurelian (551052) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:10PM (#13970403)
      How exactly is that going to happen? Since this was all written down thousands of years ago, how is someone going to talk to those rabbis? WABAC perhaps?

      well, compared with the people/beings they usually communicate with, surely it would be easy to talk to someone who did actually exist once?

    • by simon_hibbs2 (792812) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:16PM (#13970484)
      And of course the Rabinical movement didn't emerge untill after the destruction of the temple in 79 AD. Before that Judaism had a priesthood (plus the Pharisees, precursors of the Rabbis). But I'll stop now before your eyes glaze over.
    • Exactly! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdotNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:24PM (#13970580) Homepage Journal
      The fundies do NOT know who those rabbis where, but knowing that they can't talk to them, they don't even try to talk to those rabbis who have ACTUALLY studied the Genesis, or read the writings of the first christian bishops and martyrs on the subject.

      In other words, the fundies are taking a text they did NOT write, and they claim to be the only ones who know the correct interpretation (i.e. claiming to be something equivalent to a Pope). Under what basis? With what authority?

      As a catholic, I think the Vatican's statement has exposed the fundamentalists' fanatism regarding the Holy Scriptures: The ID proponents are not only going against science, they're also going against the Church that represented christianity for more than 15 centuries - that ought to say something.
      • Re:Exactly! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by AndersOSU (873247) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:41PM (#13970822)
        In my opinion the reason that evangelicals often label themselves as non-denominational is so that they can speak with all the authority of their non-existing church.

        While I'm glad that the Vatican is reaffirming its position that evolution is not heretical, this isn't new. JPII wrote a cautious endorsement of evolution years ago.

        Addditionally the fundies aren't going to care what Rome says anyway, and they couldn't care less if they're going against the longest tradition of Christianity - they might even see it as a badge of honor.

        The best thing that could happen from announcements like these is that people stop assuming that being a Christian automatically means you are a young earth creationist. And maybe if were lucky some uninformed Kansasians (what the hell do you call someone from Kansas anyway?) realize that you can see the Bible as True, without it being a historic fact. I mean you would think that if they can wrap their brain around fully man and fully divine they could handle True but not fact...
  • by MoxCamel (20484) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:01PM (#13970302)
    Dear Scientific and (non-fundamentalist) Religious community,

    Normally I would espouse a policy of "attacking the message, not the messenger." But in the case of ID, the problem is the messenger. Intelligent Design proponents no more believe in their so-called theory than any other critically thinking human. ID is simply fundamentalist's latest attempt into having evolution taught in highschool science classes. They have been knocked back time and time again on this issue, and now are trying to beat science at its own game. It doesn't even have to be a good or sound "theory," so long as they can repeat the mantra that it is a theory, long and loud enough for it to stick.

    As long as we (including the Vatican) formulate our arguments on ID as a theory, even to debunk it, the fundamentalists maintain their foothold. In this case, we need to attack the messenger, not the message. ID is political propoganda, nothing more. To address it as anything else is to give undue power to its proponents.

    (oh, and this story does not belong in the Science category)

    Mox

    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:10PM (#13970401)
      #1. Show how ID is not scientific because it cannot be falsified.

      #2. Because of #1, the people who try to push ID as an "alternative" "scientific theory" should be identified as fundamentalists intent upon using the classrooms to push their own religious beliefs upon students.

      There's nothing wrong with being a fundamentalist and believing in ID.

      There is a LOT wrong with trying to use the classroom to indoctrinate students with those fundamentalist beliefs.
    • by Vo0k (760020) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:21PM (#13970554) Journal
      As long as we (including the Vatican) formulate our arguments on ID as a theory, even to debunk it, the fundamentalists maintain their foothold. In this case, we need to attack the messenger, not the message. ID is political propoganda, nothing more. To address it as anything else is to give undue power to its proponents.

      Not necessarily so.
      There are people who genuinely believe in it. They treat the Bible literally in many places where they really shouldn't. In many countries they aren't catholic, so they will most likely ignore the voice of Vatican. But there are countries (like Poland, where I live) where the voice of the Pope is the final oracle of truth, and the extremist catholics are very strong, in politics too. So finally there is hope they WILL stop fighting the theory of evolution and follow the voice of Vatican once again, in the right direction this time.
      I just wish same voice came in matters of anticonception, homosexuality, birth control, possibly even limited support for abortion or euthanasia...
      Mayor of Warsaw has forbidden prevent the gay parade in the city. In the name of morality and God. Now he is president of Poland. I'd be really happy to see the Pope set him straight...
    • by sterno (16320) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:23PM (#13970564) Homepage
      Intelligent Design seems to operate on the oz theory that since we can't see behind the curtain we should take what we see in front of the curtain on face value. Of course, throughout history, we've seen this story repeat time and time again. We find something we don't understand, somebody attributes it to the divine intervention, then we figure it out. Once it's made clear that there is an explanation these people run to find the next unsolvable mystery only to see it get solved too.

      Of course given the infinite mystery of the Universe, this is going to continue. If somebody feels that an intelligent designer is the only plausible explanation for the order of the universe, then they'll continue to see it there whether it exists or not. Personally what I've never understood about the logic is this:

      If the apparent order of the universe necessitates a creator, then what created the creator since presumably the creator would be of an even higher level of order? If the creator doesn't need a creator, then why does the universe need a creator?
      • by Coryoth (254751) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:10PM (#13971226) Homepage Journal
        Intelligent Design seems to operate on the oz theory that since we can't see behind the curtain we should take what we see in front of the curtain on face value...We find something we don't understand, somebody attributes it to the divine intervention, then we figure it out.

        It goes further than that. Intelligent design relies on linguistic "sleight of hand" and distraction in the very construction of their arguments. It is akin, in many ways, to the various "logical proofs of the existence of God" - it's all about slipping some subtle hidden assumptions into your definitions while railing on about a set of largely indisputable axioms to distract from this slieght of hand.

        For Intelligent Design so much hangs on definitions or, more importantly, the lack thereof. Proponents spend a lot of time pounding the table and making arguments, but here are a few terms they use that are really never properly defined: "Intelligent", "Irreducible", "Design", "Complexity". You'll note that almost all their arguments hinge on vague, implicit, and imprecise definitions of these terms. There is much effort spent of verbal distraction to make sure you never really notice that, for instance, complexity is not really defined or measurable, or that intelligence is impossible to clearly delineate from unintilligent in any meaningful way. What does designed even mean in the manner it is used by ID proponents? How do we measure the degree of design?

        Jedidiah.
    • by Grab (126025) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:51PM (#13970976) Homepage
      You need to get the words right according to their real meanings. "Hypothesis" means a wild-ass guess that might just match the data. "Theory" means a hypothesis that has been confirmed to match the data, and therefore can be used as a model to predict further events. A hypothesis can be disproved by failing to match existing data. A theory can be disproved by new data.

      Evolution is a theory. Not only can you show it matching the data, but you can also use it to predict what'll happen in future. If someone gets new data then it might be disproved, but to date it's looking good.

      ID is a *hypothesis* though. It's been 100% disproved with existing data. No example given by the ID crowd has stood up to scrutiny.

      It's a nice idea that we could just ignore ID and it'd go away. Unfortunately it has significantly more political capital in the US than science does, and quite possibly more financial capital too. Ignore it and you're screwed - their PR machine will kill you. ID proponents have carefully assessed how best to fight science, and have come up with PR through with appeals to religious beliefs and claims of being discriminated against by the scientific community. By fighting them and *beating* them on their own ground, we leave them without a leg to stand on.

      What ID *doesn't* have is correctness by any standard of measurement. However, ID proponents complained loudly that science wouldn't take them seriously or measure their claims according to scientific principles. Great, so let's do it. By proving without possibility of doubt that ID is a religious stance and not a scientific one, we can force the courts to refuse to allow schools to teach it as science. The court case currently on the go is doing pretty well on this - so far they've forced the main "scientific" ID proponent to admit that if ID is science then astrology is also science, which is a bit of a result.

      On a separate front, ID proponents claim that evolution equals atheism and so is also a religious position, hence ID is no better or worse than evolution. The Catholic church have neatly busted the wheels off their wagon on that one, which is nice. Unless they can prove the Pope is an atheist, they're screwed on that front too.

      Grab.
  • Thanks (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:03PM (#13970311)
    Thank God for rejecting Intelligent Design!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:03PM (#13970316)
    "I reject your reality and substitute my own." -Adam from MythBusters.
  • by Ieshan (409693) <ieshan @ g m ail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:03PM (#13970319) Homepage Journal
    Evolution isn't a theory about the start of life. Evolution is an attempt to explain variability (and patterns of variability) among and within different species, and how that variability is systematically affected by certain factors.

    Now that we've gotten that out of the way, commence flame war.
    • by Roger_Wilco (138600) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:29PM (#13970639) Homepage

      Evolution isn't a theory about the start of life.

      I suppose it depends what you mean by "start" and "life" :)

      If you read Dawkins' The Selfish Gene [wikipedia.org], he argues that chemical compounds which replicate begin evolution, even if they aren't something that one would consider to be "alive". If the chemical can make a copy of itself, that chemical will quickly become quite common. A few of the copies won't be perfect, and a few of these imperfect copies will be better (faster, more stable, etc.), and will thus make more copies than the original.

      The "start of life" need be only the random coincidence of an amino acid, perhaps one which attracts matching atoms until it is full, at which point it splits into two copies of the original. If you allow that, (and I seem to recall it's been done in a lab, but I can't find a reference right now), evolution will proceed from there.

  • by General Alcazar (726259) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:04PM (#13970328)
    I like to think of ID as the Theory Of Our Own Ignorance (TOOI).

    Mr. Science: "Today, class, we are going to test the Theory Of Our Own Ignorance, sometimes also known as Intelligent Design, or ID. OK, who wants to volunteer?"

    Johnny: "I will, Mr. Science!"

    Mr. Science: "Fine, Johnny. Now, I want you to look at this bird. Do you know what kind of bird this is Johnny?"

    Johnny: "Yes, sir. It is a finch."

    Mr. Science: "Very good, Johnny! Now, can you tell me how the wings of this bird came to be?"

    Johnny: "I suspect that they grew, Mr. Science."

    Mr. Science: "No, no, Johnny. I mean, do you know how the wings of this finch evolved?

    Johnny: "Gosh, no. No, I don't."

    Mr. Science: "Very good, Johnny! You have confirmed my test."

    Johnny: "What test is that, Mr. Science?"

    Mr. Science: "I was testing to see if you knew how the wings of this bird evolved. The Theory Of Our Own Ignorance predicted that you would not know, and since you did not, this validates our theory - that we do not know how this bird developed wings!"

    Class: "Awesome!"
  • Sorry, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Gannoc (210256) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:06PM (#13970349)

    The fundimentalists stopped listening to Jews in A.D 33
    • Re:Sorry, (Score:5, Informative)

      by Burb (620144) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:13PM (#13970443)
      It may be a troll, but I will bite. Rarely has a short comment had so many errors in it. And I don't mean spelling errors. "Fundamentalism" in the way it's understood by many modern Western Christians is a relatively new phenomenon, and certainly it has very specific overtones that relate to 19th/20th century American Christianity. As for "stopped listening to Jews" perhaps the poster should acquaint himself with the book of Acts in which some of the discussions and controversies between Jews and Christians are described. Some of this was by way of preaching and dialog and, yes, some was by less pleasant methods. Judaism as we know it today is different from the Jewish faith practiced in the early 1st century if only because of the destruction of the temple in AD70. AD33 is an approximation since no one is entirely sure of the crucifiction/resurrection dates. And Hemos, leave out the editorialising. It's not necessary.
  • by thewiz (24994) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:08PM (#13970364)
    I was raised to be a Roman Catholic and even went to an all-boys Catholic school. Funny thing is the priests taught us evolution in science class. In theology, they taught us that the story of Genesis was a euphemism that was used by the writers of the Bible to explain how the universe came to be because they didn't understand the universe as we do today! (and, yes, we still have much to learn ourselves)
    There is nothing incompatible between religion and science since, as a newspaper columnist pointed out recently, science is about HOW we came to be here and religion is about WHY we are here. Unfortunately, the rise of the televangelists and other people who claim that a literal reading of the Bible is the only way to understand it miss some of the points that the stories try to make. For example, the story of the loaves and fishes isn't about Jesus "magically" making more bread and fish appear to feed a crowd. The story is about Jesus leading by example, giving what little food he had to the crowd and the each person in the crowd adding what little they had to it to feed everyone. Showing that being charitable is the way to encourage others to do the same is the "miracle". This is the kind of stuff I learned in Catholic school.
    I also find it funny that so many evangelicals are willing to believe Jesus did "miracles" (aka magic) but don't want their kids reading Harry Potter books because magic is "Satanic".
    • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:19PM (#13970522) Homepage Journal
      On the flip side, I had an English teacher in high school that went to Catholic schools and had never heard of evolution until she went to college. She said that she was completely caught off guard.
    • by Dixie_Flatline (5077) <vincent.jan.gohNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:29PM (#13970640) Homepage
      It's worth noting that Gregor Mendel was a monk, obviously religious, and now is someone so important to our knowledge of basic genetics that we all learn about him in high school. Scholars of all kinds have come out of Churches and religions, so it's depressing how big a step back we're starting to take. If Mendel had been an IDer, he would have given up the moment he saw two different breeds of peas and declared the whole situation unknowable.

      I've started to notice a different breed of religious person that I like to call the rational religious. I'm sure they've existed throughout the ages, but they seem to be scarce. Thankfully, they're becoming more populous. Of course, these are the people that understand not only science, but their faith and themselves. More and more, I've seen that people that don't understand science don't understand their church or themselves either.
    • by bazmonkey (555276) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:55PM (#13971023)
      ...has had the curse/fortune of having spent the last 1600 or so years being the largest single Christian denomination. Acting as the source of true interpretation of their religion (inspiried by God and such), they've often talked themselves into horrible situations, like rationale for taking money to pardon sins (which is over now), purgatory, limbo, and various scenarios involving unbaptized babies, people who sinned since their last confession, Africans unexposed to Christianity, etc. It also, however, has tempered them in matters such as this.

      Since I've been alive (ok, it's only 22 years, but still), Catholicism's view has been that the better part of Genesis, Revelations, a few other events, and various numerical figures (read: 700-year old men) that simply don't make sense, are poetic in nature, fable-like, or simply misread (saying a man lived 300 years may have simply meant that it was another 300 years before another noteworthy person came around important enough that a person considered this group of people as the family of such-and-such as opposed to the original guy, for example). At least since Vatican II, the Church has been somewhat cooperative regarding matters of science, and really does try to make sense in the context of matters of fact.

      Especially in America, we don't often realize that Fundamentalism is for the most part a very recent, very American phenomenon. People who believed what the Bible said 400 years ago simply didn't know better, they weren't fundamentalist. It's a modern occurence that, given convincing, sensible, objective scientific knowledge, a person consciously chooses to believe otherwise.

      It's something to watch out for, especially with a dominant conservative faction in place, whose members take their cues from the oft-Fundamentalist right. At least for 2 1/2 more years, these people comprise the loudest voice of our country.

      In anticipation of any replies, no, I'm not Catholic anymore. As much as the Church has tried to mesh their thoughts and ideas with that of logical reality, evolution blessed me with a brain, and I'd rather mesh those thoughts myself.
  • by SisyphusShrugged (728028) <me@@@igerard...com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:11PM (#13970412) Homepage
    As an intelligent Christian I find these fundamentalists to be annoying and damaging to the reputation of christianity.

    Intelligent design is illogical and unneccessary, as the ed said, the Genesis story is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE TAKEN LITERALLY! (Unless you genuinely believe that women are created out of a rib, somehow)

    Please fundamentalists, stop damaging everyone else who is actually able to accept the scientific logical explanation for life on this planet and still believe that the idea of an cunctipotent entity that follows more the strands of deistic tradition ( a la Benjamin Franklin) is possible.
  • by TheWhaleShark (414271) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:12PM (#13970419) Journal
    Let me preface this by saying that I am a scientist, a Bacteriologist for New York State to be precise.

    (residents of New York State, you are paying me right now to post on Slashdot; thanks)

    I went to a Catholic grammar school from 3rd to 8th grade (I'm 23 now, so you can get a reference as to roughly when I went to school), and I remember being SPECIFICALLY taught in my Religion classes, by nuns no less, that there is NO conflict between scientific evolution and the creation story, so long as you believe the soul was created by God. Since the soul cannot be touched by science one way or another (cannot prove or disprove), that's absolutely fine. There shouldn't be any conflict whatsoever; Genesis is a version of how everything got here, and evolution tells you how what is here changes. No problems, at least in theory; it seems that fundies just keep trying to drag up the old debates.
  • by Microsift (223381) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:13PM (#13970442)
    The Vatican has also come out against the idea that thunder is caused by angels bowling.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:15PM (#13970457)
    If Intelligent Design is really a science, then the next step is to generate and test hypotheses about the designer(s). Surely the fossil record and current genetic and phenotypic characteristics of organisms could be used to hypothesize the nature of the designer(s). If scientists did this I suspect that Christians might be less supportive of the theory. Consider these likely hypotheses about the designer:
    1. Multiple Designers: Why are there so many different designs for the eye and what does that say about the designer(s)? Why does the human eye lack important innovations such as the reflective layer in the cat's eye that improves night vision or the more logical retina-over-blood network of the octopus eye or the four-color vision of the jumping spider eye (or the 6-color vision of the mantis shrimp) or the polarization sensitivity used by bees and ants for navigation? One strong hypothesis is that multiple designers participated -- different designers, working independently, created these different designs. Perhaps the joke that a camel is a horse designed by a committee is really true.

    2. Flawed Designer(s): The waves of extinctions and vast numbers of extinct species suggest that the designer(s) were flawed in their designs. It would seem that the designer(s) thought that velociraptors, plesiosaurs, trilobites, Homo erectus, etc. were good ideas, but then changed their mind(s) or found they created creatures that were too flawed to survive.

    3. Lazy Designer(s): The fossil record suggests that little happened for the first 6/7ths of the Earth's existence -- everything happened on the seventh "day". Out of the last 4.5 billion years of the planet's existence complex life only in the last 600 million years or so have complex life forms appears. Humans didn't appear until about 30 seconds to midnight late on the metaphorical 7th day. (Note that this fact is used by some non-atheistic scientists to say that a deity set up the rules of evolution and then "rested" while the mechanism of evolution created everything. This explanation refutes IS because then the designer is not participating in the creation of all these complex organisms on the seventh day).

    Overall, I'd wager that the scientific evidence would provide more "scientific" support for a polytheistic religion with humanistic/flawed dieties (such as the ancient Roman/Greek religions) than for an omnipotent monotheistic religion such as Christianity.

    The bigger issues is that the allegedly religious ID people probably don't want to entertain hypotheses about designer(s) and would be especially uncomfortable letting school children even discuss these questions. Yet the entire purpose of science is to ask these questions and that is why it doesn't mix well with religion which is entirely based on faith. From a theological standpoint, I would suspect that Christians would prefer a separation between church and science.

    • by Ieshan (409693) <ieshan @ g m ail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:35PM (#13970736) Homepage Journal
      ID People don't want to talk about the intelligent designer. They say things like, "You can't look at a watch and tell things about the watchmaker!", and other absurdities.

      If they talk about "God" as the Intelligent Designer, they give up the game and lose. So they talk about the Intelligent Designer as some sort of force we don't need to understand anything about to understand Intelligent Design. It's an absurd argument.

      This whole thing was taken care of by Socrates quite some time ago (well, Plato, in Apologia). Socrates asks, "Who believes in Equestrian Phenomena, and does not acknowledge horses?" The answer of course, is no one. "Who believes in human phenomena, and does not acknowledge humans?" Again. "And who believes in divine phenomena, but does not acknowledge gods?" Answer: Intelligent Design proponents.
    • by ivan256 (17499) * on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:45PM (#13970881)
      Multiple Designers: Why are there so many different designs for the eye and what does that say about the designer(s)? Why does the human eye lack important innovations such as the reflective layer in the cat's eye that improves night vision or the more logical retina-over-blood network of the octopus eye or the four-color vision of the jumping spider eye (or the 6-color vision of the mantis shrimp) or the polarization sensitivity used by bees and ants for navigation? One strong hypothesis is that multiple designers participated -- different designers, working independently, created these different designs. Perhaps the joke that a camel is a horse designed by a committee is really true.

      Bible literalists should have no trouble believing this. The Bible, and the commandments do not say that there are no other gods. It says that God is the creator of man, and the you shouldn't worship any other gods. It is only through interpretation that this is taken to mean that God is the only god; but literalists don't interpret. Genesis doesn't say anywhere that no other creators ever came along and added to God's creation. There was no octopus, spider, bee, or ant on Noah's ark... Again, this is only implied. But the bible is meant to be taken purely at face value, right?

      Of course it's silly to talk like that, because literalists are only literalists about the parts they like.
      • by Phreakiture (547094) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:35PM (#13971526) Homepage

        There was no octopus, spider, bee, or ant on Noah's ark... Again, this is only implied. But the bible is meant to be taken purely at face value, right?

        This presents and interesting concept.

        Yahweh (to the other gods): Hey guys, I need to reformat the Earth. Any objections?

        Other gods: No, just make sure you back up our stuff.

        Yahweh: Okay, no problem. I'll just have this guy named Noah take care of it.

        (Forty days later)

        Yahweh (to the god who created unicorns): Um.... I have some bad news....

        On another note, I have often expressed the idea that there is ample evidence of multiple gods.... Look at the universe and tell me, honestly, that this doesn't look like the work of a committee.

      • by TheFlyingGoat (161967) on Monday November 07, 2005 @04:14PM (#13972618) Homepage Journal
        The Bible, and the commandments do not say that there are no other gods

        "I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6)

        "Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any" (Isaiah 44:8)

        "There is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else" (Isaiah 45:21-22)

        "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me" (Isaiah 46:9)

        "There is none other God but one" (I Corinthians 8:4)

        "One God and Father of all" (Ephesians 4:6)

        "For there is one God" (I Timothy 2:5)

        "Since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith." (Romans 3:30)

        And other people just like to make things up.
  • by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker&gmail,com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:19PM (#13970525) Journal
    Intelligent Design is the idea that God manipulated and brought upon evolution. Creation theory is the litteral interpretation of Genesis. The Vatican is supporting Intelligent Design with this announcement not rejecting it.
    • Nope, try again. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Otto (17870) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:55PM (#13971012) Homepage Journal
      Intelligent Design is the idea that God manipulated and brought upon evolution.

      See, this is one of the major problems with Intelligent Design. Nobody seems to know just what the fuck it actually is.

      For the record, the idea of intelligent design is that the design of biology is too complex to have evolved into that state. That some higher power designed it instead of evolution.

      But ID doesn't say that this higher power guided evolution! No, Intelligent Design rejects evolution entirely, albeit not in so many words. Because if you have evolution but then take away natural selection (in favor of "intelligent") and random mutation (in favor of "design"), then you no longer really have evolution, do you?
  • by alucinor (849600) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:20PM (#13970531) Journal
    Assuming that we did teach ID in schools ... what would be the material?

    "And so God created all the organisms on earth."

    Little Johnny asks, "How?"

    Teacher replies, "Well, he just created them. Poof! And there they were."

    That's all ID would contribute to science.

    If someone wants to believe now that the HOW is evolution, and the WHAT/WHO that started it all is God, then great, but it's not science. Science (apart from cosmology) makes no attempts at explaining the origin of Origin, just all the processes. In the end, to explain the origin of everything, you have to get axiomatic about something: everyone agrees that axiom to be some form of infinity, whereas some attribute consciousness to that Infinity and others, non-consciousness. Did Void spawn the Universe, or did the er ... opposite of Void (God) do it?

    As someone who believes God exists, I think evolution is fine. I accept spiritual evolution as a necessity for myself, so I don't see why physical evolution would be a problem either.
  • by MBCook (132727) <foobarsoft@foobarsoft.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:22PM (#13970562) Homepage
    This is the thing that confuses me. The Vatican supports evolution because it makes perfect sense (evolution never says there is no God, God could be directing evolution). Now I know that the ID people aren't Roman Catholic, but you would think they were the media portrays it. Most stories I've heard have two sides: the scientists/"normal people" (who seem to be portrayed as atheists most of the time) and the ID proponents (who are described as religeous people). Thus all religeous people (specifically Christians) don't like evolution.

    Yeah right.

    This would have been over long ago if in every report about this "debate", the media would point this fact (that the Vadican supports evolution) do dispell this fact. I have to wonder how many Catholics even know this, and how many support evolution and think they disagree with their religion on that point.

    This whole thing is rediculous. Atheists support evolution. The roman catholoic church supports evolution. Just about ever major religon supports it. A few nuts start a fuss though and all of a sudden there is a "religious war" between the "religous" (radial fundamentalists) and the "sane people" (everyone else).

    This whole thing just confirms that old quote (paraphrased): "Evil triumphs when good men stand idly by."

    Note that I don't think that the fundamentalists are evil. But you can't let that little group remove evolution from schools. The "good men" need to stop standing idly by. If even 10% of the "good men" were to stand up and say "No way," then this debate would end FAST. Pure supiriority of numbers.

    -- A fed up Kansan Catholic.

  • by Fished (574624) <amphigory@ g m ail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:50PM (#13970950)
    For the umpteenth time, Intelligent Design and creationism are not the same thing.

    There are certainly many creationists who hold to intelligent design. However, there are creationists who regard the whole ID movement as missing the point.

    Intelligent design argues (or attempts to argue) from scientific evidence, that evolution is not a sufficient explanation for different species without some sort of guiding force. Creationism argues that evolution is not compatible with Genesis.

    These are very different things. There are people in the Intelligent Design community (e.g. Michael Behe) who are not fundamentalists and who would feel no need to defend Genesis as a literal account of the origins of the earth. It would be possible (although I have to admit I can't name a case) for someone of any religious persuasion to hold to Intelligent Design. The Intelligent Designer doesn't have to be the Christian God, nor does it even need to be a God at all. It could be little green men.

    The assumption that intelligent design and creationism are the same thing is little more than a smeer campaign that allows people to completely bypass the arguments (which, whether they are faulty or not are not religious arguments) that ID proponents make in support of their position. The way the scientific community has attacked ID is sickening: it is almost always founded in ad hominem (circumstnatial and otherwise) attacks rather than actual criticism of their arguments.

    For what it's worth, I am an ordained minister, but I am not a creationist. If anything, I regard the whole debate as irrelevant--no matter what your account of human origins, God's status as creator is secure in my book. But let's do try to understand the terms we throw around.

    • by Ieshan (409693) <ieshan @ g m ail.com> on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:53PM (#13972402) Homepage Journal
      "The Intelligent Designer doesn't have to be the Christian God, nor does it even need to be a God at all. It could be little green men."

      No. This is a philosophical problem called "First Cause". This is what will happen. You will say it was little green men. I will say something like, "And where did they come from?", and you will say something like, "Oh, the little green men before them." And I will say, "And where did THEY come from?" and you will say, "The little green men before THEM". And then at some point, we will reach the end.

      Intelligent Design is an absurd argument that rests on assigning the complexity of origins of one thing (say, for instance, very complicated molecules) to the infinately more complex and unlikely appearance of something that could have created these things (say, God). The reason we must have God as the intelligent designer is the simple reason that God gives us the clever property of having always existed and very nice things that solve the issue in the Argument of First Cause. Not nicely, mind you, because there IS no way to solve that issue nicely (Where did GOD come from? etc).

      Intelligent Designers are very clever creationists in sheep's clothing. This is not a difficult thing to understand. They don't want to talk about God, because as soon as they do, they give up the game.

      There is no science in Intelligent Design. If you can name one paper in a recently published, reputable scientific journal (i.e., peer reviewed) with new empirical data (not simply a review article of previously published hogwash arguments, but NEW EMPIRICAL DATA), that is derived from the viewpoint of intelligent design, I will stand corrected.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday November 07, 2005 @01:56PM (#13971035) Homepage Journal
    " he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator"."

    How is this a rejection of intelligent design. The universe had a creator. It was designed.
    This statement only moves the argument about intelligent design to the cosmic vs the biological level.
    I believe in a creator of the universe but I have to say that it is very strange logic to call this a rejection of intelligent design. It is at best a defining of it.
  • Designed by WHO? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trurl7 (663880) on Monday November 07, 2005 @02:32PM (#13971473)
    Guys (and the occasional girl),

    Picture this: your friend Tom comes to tell you about his friend "Bob". Now, you've never met Bob. For some reason Bob is never around, and Tom has never introduced him to you. But Tom tells you that Bob exists, and they hang out, and talk, and things like that. Frequently, Bob will have these amazing things that Tom doesn't, and Tom will excitedly tell you about them. Sometimes Tom relates things that Bob has told him, or opinions he has based on something Bob says.

    Now, what kind of behavior is that? If Tom is 8, we call that "having an imaginary friend". If Tom is 30, he's probably hallucinating, or schizophrenic (or experiencing some psychosis). But....if Tom is 30, and we replace "Bob" with "God", and this is said in the context of "faith and community" then Tom is a fundamentalist christian who has a "personal relationship with God".

    So, what's the difference? What's the difference between a serial killer who "hears voices in his head" telling him to go into McDonalds and let loose with an Uzi, and a drunk frat boy hearing the voice of God saying "You will be president", and staging a couple of wars? It's only a question of degree, yet the first is clearly a candidate for a white jacket and a padded cell, while the latter is the "Leader of the Free World (tm)".

    Ladies and Gentlemen: There Is No God. None. Nada. He ain't there. Nobody home. Get it? Stop using your insecurity and inadequacy, and face the world for what it is - a harsh, brutal, and sometimes beautiful place. It's harder this way, but at least you are an adult human being, not a kid hiding behind an "imaginary friend". Any form of belief that starts out with "there's an invisible man who did X" is utter madness and self-dulsion. This is the 21st century! How did 300 years of progress and science and rational thinking pass you by? ID is crap not because it's not consistent, or because it's not a theory, but because it presupposes the existence of a god. Stop whining, get off your knees, and quit talking to yourself - no one's listening. Whipe your own butt and face reality like Monday morning - it's tough, and you're tired, but when you get up you are a Man.
    • by trurl7 (663880) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:51PM (#13974331)
      Original poster here. In light of some comments, I feel I should clarify something: my statement "Ladies and Gentlemen: There Is No God" was meant along the lines of an exhortation - an emotional appeal.

      As posters have pointed out, neither I, nor anyone else, has proof that God does or does not exist (the "big-rock" argument is quite nice, but I think would ultimately fail as a conclusive "proof"). However, that's not the point I'm trying to make. The first point is that claiming a belief in God, from a practical standpoint (remember: the claimer can't prove God exists!), is equivalent to schizophrenia (inability to distinguish real and imaginary things). The second point should, perhaps, be elaborated on:

      As a self-aware creature, Man owes a responsibility to that self-awareness. Being a true human being, being Man, means, effectively, the same thing as being an adult - accepting final responsibility for your actions. Thus, if humans decide to start a nuclear armageddon, god's not going to step in and stop the rockets. If humans decide to turn the Earth into a biohazard wasteland, god's not going to hand us a new planet. Final responsibility is ours - we can't shoulder it off on god. That's being an adult.

      Conversely, saying "I believe in God, so he'll forgive me", is the whining of a small child who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. The excuse that "God's mercy is infinite", and "it'll be better in the afterlife", or "God wants me to do this", are the symptoms of humans with stunted development - like children who refuse to grow up. And unless a given person can throw off this yoke of belief, he will forever be denying his own heritage, his gift as a self-aware rational creature.

      As should be obvious, it is "belief" I disagree with, not existence of God. I think Man should stand firmly on his own feet, and admit that he's out there clawing his way to survival by his own efforts. Then, and only then, can humanity look in the mirror and say "we are adults". Trying to have "faith" is perhaps compatible with this, but I find that hard to believe.

      Ultimately, consider this - suppose God really does exist. What does he want from his creatures? To see them forever sniveling and making mud pies, or does he want to one day regard his creation and look proudly at their achievements, to admire them for the adults they've become? Isn't that the goal of a parent? (Cause let's face it, guys - thus far our actions, especially motivated by religion are the equivalent of bullying little children, lieing, and torturing insects.) Whether God exists or not, belief in him stunts the development of Man. If God truly exists, then perhaps denying this existence is the ultimate act of faith, for it allows you to become worthy of being His (or Her) child by your own efforts. And if God truly does not exist, then you'd look really stupid bowing to a figment of someone's imagination. Either way, rejection of belief in God is, I believe, fundamental to an individual becoming an adult socially, and humanity becoming an adult species as a whole.
  • by JungleBoy (7578) on Monday November 07, 2005 @03:31PM (#13972172)
    I have two thoughts on ID and Genesis, but since I'm posting on the thread late, they'll probably get buried.

    1) The label "Inteligent Design" was hijacked by the Young Earth Creations (those who believe that the years is no more than 10k years old and was created in a six literal 24 hour days. Inteligent design has its roots in Michael Behe's book, "Darwin's Black Box". Behe's purpose in this book is to provide counter examples to current evolutionary theory at the biochemical level. I think it's a great book and asks the right questions, scientifically, about evolutionary theory. Though I think his answers are weak. Basically his answer is: if current evolutionary theory can't explain a biochemical system, then God did it. Luckly, the book is mostly questions and counter-examples to evolution and a little of his answers. It is a very good read.

    2) On the book of Genesis. Christian fundamentalists try to view Genesis from a western, scientific perspective. Which is why they try to see it as a scientific text. This view and culture is so different from the original intended audience that their interpretations are laughable. 15th century BC nomadic herbrew tribes were certainly not a scientific, post-enlightenment culture. The stories recorded in Genesis were intended, in my opinion, to give the hebrew tribes a perspective on who they were, who thier God was, and how they were different from the people around them. Whether the creation story in Gensis is literal or mythical isn't really knowable, and doesn't really matter. What mattered was what it meant spiritually to the ancient hebrew tribes. Anything more than that is speculation.
  • A Jew's perspective (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AB3A (192265) on Monday November 07, 2005 @05:03PM (#13973130) Homepage Journal
    Having read "Bresheet" (Most English speakers call it the Book of Genesis) for many years in the original Hebrew, and having been through the experience of a technical education, these are my opinions:

    1) The Catholic Church isn't stupid about this issue. They've learned a thing or two since they contradicted Galileo. Basically, The Bible is not a text to tell us what we can figure out for ourselves. It is a text for the purpose of telling us the appropriate morals upon which we can build a lasting society. To assign it a purpose other than that would denigrate the human race's image in God's eyes.

    2) The real miracles are not physical. They are social. The miracles we should be thankful for are when a criminal develops a concience and turns him/her-self in; when a person finds a large sum of unmarked money and returns it to the owner; or when a person reveals the truth on the witness stand in a court of law. Those are the acts of faith that we should all take note of and be thankful for. If they didn't exist, our societies would not last long.

    3) Many people are happy with a very childish God-in-Sky view of things. But for those who seek it, there is plenty more to study in most religions. I am quite content and clear minded about my beliefs. I also don't think those beliefs have anything to do with Science except in an extremely abstract way.

    4) Fundamentalists and cults of all faiths attempt to install a denial of surrounding community in their followers so that they can wrench their flock from the communities and build one of their very own. It's a power trip. There are plenty of wide eyed people who are willing to follow because they do not understand the nature of religion. I fault the leaders of these movements, but I also fault the followers just as well. We all have a responsibility to understand the world around us better. You can't get that veiwpoint from inside a cult, a fundamentalist movement, or even from a nebulous bit of philosophical quackery called Intelligent Design.

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