Re: Pope says universe made by 'intelligent project'

From: George Murphy <>
Date: Sat Nov 12 2005 - 19:47:32 EST

MessageAgain I point out something Denyse has shown herself to be opaque to but which may be helpful for others. "Intelligent Design" as used by Behe, Dembski &c is a technical term IN ENGLISH. In order for the Pope to "identify with" ID he should do it in English. Translations in German, Italian or any other language simply produce ambiguity in such a situation, & a claim by Cardinal Schoenborn, z.B., that the Pope "really" meant ID is a statement by a translator. In the same way, a theologian who is making a formal statement about, z.B., something in the Augsburg Confession will refer to the German (or secondary Latin), not a translation in some other language.

& in addition (as I've also noted) the distinction between "intelligent design" as a religious belief & as a putative scientific theory has to be borne in mind. So until the Pope (a) makes a statement using the English terminology and (b) explicitly identifies "intelligent design" with the idea that such design can be detected scientifically & should be part of a scientific theories, it cannot be said that the Pope has "identified" with ID. (& of course if he does I'm quite prepared to follow Luther in saying "Popes and councils have erred.")

This is not "spin," though Denyse's dizziness may make her think it is.
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Denyse O'Leary
  To: 'janice matchett' ;
  Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2005 7:09 PM
  Subject: RE: Pope says universe made by 'intelligent project'

  Janice, go to

  I've now received information that the Italian used to mean "intelligent project", as reported in the news site you kindly linked to, means "intelligent design." That is what Cardinal Schonborn insists at his site, which you can also link to from the Post-Darwinist.

  Later this evening, I hope to put up a second opinion from a native Italian speaker who lives in Italy and says the same thing.

  So the Pope has decided to identify with the idea of intelligent design.

  Let the spin begin.

  cheers, Denyse

  Read brief excerpts from my book, By Design or by Chance?: The Growing Controversy On the Origins of Life in the Universe (Augsburg Fortress, 2004) at

  Study Guide:

  My blog:
  (go to other blogs from here)

  Denyse O'Leary
  Tel: 416 485-2392
  Fax: 416 485-2392

    -----Original Message-----
    From: [] On Behalf Of janice matchett
    Sent: Saturday, November 12, 2005 6:40 PM
    Subject: Pope says universe made by 'intelligent project'

    Pope says universe made by 'intelligent project'
    Waterbury Republican-American ^ | November 12, 2005 | Associated Press
    Posted on 11/12/2005 2:23:11 PM EST by Graybeard58

    VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has waded into the evolution debate in the United States, saying the universe was made by an "intelligent project" and criticizing those who in the name of science say its creation was without direction or order.

    Benedict made the off-the-cuff comments during his general audience Wednesday. The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published the full text of his remarks in its Thursday editions.

    Benedict focused his reflections for the audience on scriptural readings that said God's love was seen in the "marvels of creation."

    He quoted St. Basil the Great, a fourth century saint, as saying some people, "fooled by the atheism that they carry inside of them, imagine a universe free of direction and order, as if at the mercy of chance."

    "How many of these people are there today? These people, fooled by atheism, believe and try to demonstrate that it's scientific to think that everything is free of direction and order," he said.

    "With the sacred Scripture, the Lord awakens the reason that sleeps and tells us: In the beginning, there was the creative word. In the beginning, the creative word -- this word that created everything and created this intelligent project that is the cosmos -- is also love."

    His comments were immediately hailed by advocates of intelligent design, who hold that the universe is so complex it must have been created by a higher power. U.S. proponents of the theory are seeking to get public schools to teach it as part of the science curriculum.

    Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism -- a literal reading of the Bible's story of creation -- camouflaged in scientific language.

    Questions about the Vatican's position on evolution were raised in July by Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, who attended Wednesday's audience.

    In a New York Times op-ed piece, Schoenborn seemed to back intelligent design and dismissed a 1996 statement by Pope John Paul II that evolution was "more than just a hypothesis." Schoenborn said the late pope's statement was "rather vague and unimportant."

    Schoenborn attended Wednesday's audience. He was seated on the dais behind Benedict in St. Peter's Square, along with other Austrian bishops making a regularly scheduled visit to the Vatican.

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Received on Sat Nov 12 19:49:34 2005

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