1. Felicific Forest
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    10 Feb '09 20:26
    VATICAN CITY, 10 FEB 2009 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, the presentation took place of an international conference entitled: "Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A critical appraisal 150 years after 'The Origin of Species'". The event is due to take place in Rome from 3 to 7 March.

    The congress has been jointly organised by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, U.S.A., under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Culture and as part of the STOQ Project (Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest).

    Participating in today's press conference were Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and president of the Committee of Honour of the congress; Fr. Marc Leclerc S.J., professor of the philosophy of nature at the Gregorian University and director of the congress; Fr. Giuseppe Tanzella-Nitti, professor of fundamental theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and Saverio Forestiero, professor of zoology at Rome's Torvergata University and a member of the organising committee.

    Archbishop Ravasi pointed out that the forthcoming congress responds to the need "to re-establish dialogue between science and faith, because neither of them can fully resolve the mystery of human beings and the universe".

    For his part Fr. Leclerc explained that the congress will be divided into nine sessions, focusing on "the essential facts upon which the theory of evolution rests, facts associated with palaeontology and molecular biology; ... the scientific study of the mechanisms of evolution, ... and what science has to say about the origin of human beings". Attention will also be given to "the great anthropological questions concerning evolution, ... and the rational implications of the theory for the epistemological and metaphysical fields and for the philosophy of nature". Finally, he said, "there will be two theological sessions to study evolution from the point of view of Christian faith, on the basis of a correct exegesis of the biblical texts that mention the creation, and of the reception of the theory of evolution by the Church".

    Saverio Forastiero observed that "the relative fluidity of contemporary evolutionary theory is largely due to a series of discoveries made in the last quarter of a century, discoveries which require the synthetic theory to be reconfigured and could lead to a theory of evolution of the third generation".

    "It is my view", he went on, "that this congress represents an opportunity, neither propagandistic nor apologetic, for scientists, philosophers and theologians to meet and discuss the fundamental questions raised by biological evolution - which is assumed and discussed as a fact beyond all reasonable doubt - in order to examine its manifestations and causal mechanisms, and to analyse the impact and quality of the explanatory theories thus far proposed".

    For his part, Fr. Tanzella-Nitti highlighted how "from the perspective of Christian theology, biological evolution and creation are by no means mutually exclusive. ... None of the evolutionary mechanisms opposes the affirmation that God wanted - in other words, created - man. Neither is this opposed by the casual nature of the many events that happened during the slow development of life, as long as the recourse to chance remains a simple scientific reading of phenomena".

    "I hope", he went on, "that the natural sciences may be used by theology as a positive informational resource, and not just seen as a source of problems. ... I do not believe biological evolution is possible in a materialist world, without information, without direction, without a plan. In a created world, the role of theology is precisely that of talking to us about nature and the meaning it has, of the Logos which, as Benedict XVI likes to say, is the uncreated foundation of all things and of history".

    http://212.77.1.245/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/a0_en.htm
  2. Joined
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    11 Feb '09 12:28
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    VATICAN CITY, 10 FEB 2009 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, the presentation took place of an international conference entitled: "Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories. A critical appraisal 150 years after 'The Origin of Species'". The event is due to take place in Rome from 3 to 7 March.

    The congress has been jointly organised by the ...[text shortened]... ".

    http://212.77.1.245/news_services/press/vis/dinamiche/a0_en.htm
    This thread should be in the Spiritual forum for this isn’t actually about evolution itself but rather how to reconcile it with Christianity.

    ….I do not believe biological evolution is possible in a materialist world, without information, without direction, without a plan.

    .…


    “without information”? -there is of course the genetic information in DNA that is passed on.

    “without direction”? -there is of course the fact that natural selection is not a totally random process but has some predictability ( a snail would NOT evolve to loose its shell as long as its shell gives it significant protection etc ) although, of course, the outcome is rarely totally inevitable.

    “without a plan”? yes -of course, it is without a plan -why would a deliberate plan be necessary when nature can create the complexity instead?
  3. Standard memberDeepThought
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    11 Feb '09 19:18
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    This thread should be in the Spiritual forum for this isn’t actually about evolution itself but rather how to reconcile it with Christianity.

    [b]….I do not believe biological evolution is possible in a materialist world, without information, without direction, without a plan.

    .…


    “without information”? -there is of course the genetic inf ...[text shortened]... a plan -why would a deliberate plan be necessary when nature can create the complexity instead?[/b]
    No it´s reasonable enough as people interested in Evolutionary theory may like to watch the Catholic Church squirm a bit - er I mean see what they have to say. Also within the terms of the debate in the evolution of the eye thread (Thread 107600) it´s rather important as the grand design theory is being put forward as an alternative to natural selection. In that thread the design proponent (KellyJay) has asked the question: ¨How can we distinguish between a common ancestor and a common design?¨ It is a difficult compare theories when you are not told what the opposing theory is. It would be nice to know exactly what the opposing position is, so hopefully this conference will lead to a well defined position for the design proponents so that at least there are some terms of reference in the debate.
  4. Joined
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    11 Feb '09 19:352 edits
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    No it´s reasonable enough as people interested in Evolutionary theory may like to watch the Catholic Church squirm a bit - er I mean see what they have to say. Also within the terms of the debate in the evolution of the eye thread (Thread 107600) it´s rather important as the grand design theory is being put forward as an alternative to nat ...[text shortened]... tion for the design proponents so that at least there are some terms of reference in the debate.
    ….No it´s reasonable enough as people interested in Evolutionary theory may like to watch the Catholic Church squirm a bit - er I mean see what they have to say.
    ..…


    Lol -you mean it is a bit of entertainment -I would agree that it could be that.

    ….it´s rather important as the grand design theory is being put forward as an alternative to natural selection.
    .…


    But this “grand design theory” is not even a scientific hypothesis let alone one that is a credible scientific “alternative” to evolution. It is simply a bit of religious dogma that the scientific community in general just dismisses as being just that.
    That’s why I think it would be more appropriate to put this in the spiritual forum rather than the science forum.
  5. Felicific Forest
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    11 Feb '09 19:466 edits
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    [b]….No it´s reasonable enough as people interested in Evolutionary theory may like to watch the Catholic Church squirm a bit - er I mean see what they have to say.
    ..…


    Lol -you mean it is a bit of entertainment -I would agree that it could be that.

    ….it´s rather important as the grand design theory is being put forward as an alternati ...[text shortened]... k it would be more appropriate to put this in the spiritual forum rather than the science forum.
    [/b]You are restricting ánd altering the intended scope of this conference.


    "Saverio Forastiero observed that "the relative fluidity of contemporary evolutionary theory is largely due to a series of discoveries made in the last quarter of a century, discoveries which require the synthetic theory to be reconfigured and could lead to a theory of evolution of the third generation".

    "It is my view", he went on, "that this congress represents an opportunity, neither propagandistic nor apologetic, for scientists, philosophers and theologians to meet and discuss the fundamental questions raised by biological evolution - which is assumed and discussed as a fact beyond all reasonable doubt - in order to examine its manifestations and causal mechanisms, and to analyse the impact and quality of the explanatory theories thus far proposed".

    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    Apparently you have been too long in fighting mode in your battle against the American Evangelical fundamentalist creationists that you are unable to switch back to thinking mode ..... may I invite you to relax and follow the debates during this conference ? It may be interesting .... and I mean interesting from a scientific point of view ... unless you're not interested in science, the evolution theory and the fundamental questions it raises of course.
  6. Joined
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    11 Feb '09 20:529 edits
    Originally posted by ivanhoe
    You are restricting ánd altering the intended scope of this conference.


    "Saverio Forastiero observed that "the relative fluidity of contemporary evolutionary theory is largely due to a series of discoveries made in the last quarter of a century, discoveries which require the synthetic theory to be reconfigured and could lead to a theory of evolu sted in science, the evolution theory and the fundamental questions it raises of course.
    …....which is assumed and discussed as a fact beyond all reasonable doubt
    ..…


    Ok -I admit somehow I missed that line when I read the post. This is a relief for me to hear that they just except scientific fact as scientific fact.
    So sorry I got the wrong end of the stick 🙂

    -But he confuse me a bit given the fact that he accepts evolution when he said:

    …....I do NOT believe biological evolution is possible in a materialist world, without information, without direction, without a PLAN.
    ..…
    (my emphasis)

    -I mean, clearly the word “PLAN” above imply a “PLAN” from a deity.
    But given the fact that the theory of evolution clearly implies that things evolve completely without any “plan” or Devine intervention, wouldn’t this go against the theory of evolution?

    He also says:

    ….None of the evolutionary mechanisms opposes the affirmation that God wanted - in other words, created - man
    .…


    That is simply wrong. For a start, the theory of evolution doesn’t say nor imply that we are in any sense at the “top” of the tree of evolution ( although I am not sure if he implies this here) -quite the opposite -we evolved just like any animal and there is nothing “special” about our evolution.
    Also, the modern theory of evolution says we evolved through a combination of random mutations and natural selection acting on those random mutations:
    -does random mutations constitute intervention from “God” -answer, clearly no.
    -does natural selection constitute intervention from “God” -answer, clearly no.
    Thus the theory of evolution very CLEARLY implies that NO “God” intervened to create man nor any other particular species because the theory of evolution CLEARLY says that we evolved into existence through natural processes.
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