Franciscan University, Steubenville, Ohio, hosted a conference on Science and Faith a couple of months ago that emphasized the issues now under discussion in the Catholic Church over creation doctrine and scientific authority. It’s a thorny topic, since the power of the Darwinian left is felt not only in faculties of major Catholic (or nominally Catholic) universities and the media, but even in precincts not far down the road from St. Peter’s in Vatican City (e.g., the so-called Pontifical Academy of Sciences, that seems to operate apart from the papal offices, per se). The Franciscan conference had a good sized audience, but the quality of the lectures and discussions deserve a much wider reach.
Among the Discovery fellows speaking were Michael Behe, Ben Wiker and Jay Richards. Richards’ talk is especially provocative because it directly addresses two points of contemporary confusion that afflict not only many Catholics, but many other Christians as well: 1) Do the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, noted doctor of the Church, support intelligent design and undercut Darwinism, or is it the other way round? 2) Is the theistic evolution position that contends that there are no inherent reasons why one cannot support Darwinian theory and Christian faith, both, valid or not — as either philosophy or as science?
Richards, a PhD in philosophy and theology specializing in science issues, is, inter alia, co-author (with Guillermo Gonzalez) of The Privileged Planet and editor/contributing author of God and Evolution, on the challenges Darwinism poses to Protestants, Catholics and Jews. Most recently, he is co-author with James Robison of the bestselling Indivisible.