Re: Pope John Paul II on Science and Faith

From: George L. Murphygmurphy@raex.com <Murphygmurphy@raex.com>
Date: Sun Apr 03 2005 - 09:03:55 EDT

> In a previous note I referred to two addresses by Pope John Paul II
on the relationship between science and faith. The earlier is in the
form of a letter addressed to the Rev. Dr. George V. Coyne, Directory
of the Vatican Observatory, and introduces the papers read at the
Vatican Observatory Conference entitled Physics, Philosophy and
Theology: A Common Quest for Understanding (Vatican City State, 1988).
You can read this letter on line at the ITEST site:
http://itest.slu.edu/theologicalview/readings2/pope.html, and also at
http://clavius.as.arizona.edu/vo/R1024/ppt-Message.html.
>
> The Pope's 1996 Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on
evolution and Catholic teaching can be read at
http://www.its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/sci-cp/evolution.html. It
introduces the papers read at the Vatican conference on Molecular and
Evolutionary Biology held that summer (Vatican City State, 1998).
>
> Five years ago, I was in the audience during a debate between an
evolutionary biologist and an ID proponent in Lexington, KY. The
biologist mentioned that Pope John Paul II had supported acceptance of
evolution. The ID guy, a local dentist, said, "I don't know who the
pope's advisers are," insinuating that they can't be very good. They
are in fact the 80 members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences,
thirty of whom are Nobel laureates (the honor is not restricted to
Catholics: members are appointed without any ethnic or religious
discrimination), and an inner circle of advisers who include Coyne. In
1996, TIME magazine ran a short story on the pope's address on
evolution, and of course they had to interview a creationist, so they
called Henry Morris. He said that he thought the pope had been poorly
advised.

After the Pope made his statement on evolution, Cal Thomas wrote a
column critical of evolution which referred condescendingly to the fact
that John Paul was "in his declining years." I was gald to be able to
get a letter to the editors published noting, inter alia, that while
the Pope might be in his declining years, he was still a better
theologians than those who insisted on the fake "creation OR evolution"
dichotomy.

George L. Murphy
Received on Sun Apr 3 09:06:45 2005

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