CSC fellow Jonathan Wells wrote a short response taking a Nature letter writer to task for spreading the old flat-earth BS knee deep. The spherical shape of the Earth was known to the ancient Greeks, who even made some pretty good estimates of its circumference. Christian theologians likewise knew that the Earth was a sphere. The only two Christian writers who seem to have advocated a flat Earth were a 4th-century heretic, Lactantius, and an obscure 6th-century eccentric, Cosmas Indicopleustes. And he makes a couple of suggestions of how to keep your feet clean in those Darwinian pastures. For an objective and very readable account of the Flat Earth Myth, see Jeffrey Burton Russell, Inventing the Flat Earth (Praeger, 1991).
There’s no doubt that Nature got an earful for publishing an article in which writer Geoff Brumfiel didn’t adaquately skewer the theory of intelligent design. Nor do the letter writers think he delivered a satisfactorily vicious enough savaging to the theory’s proponents. One letter writer proclaimed: ID creationism is not science, despite the editors’ suggestion that ID “tries to use scientific methods to find evidence of God in nature”. Rather, advocates of ID pretend to use scientific methods to support their religious preconceptions. Another was aghast that Nature published a short sidebar that actually verified some of the persecution scientists suffer for criticizing Darwinian evolution or even mentioning ID.
According to Neo-Darwinism, once the first lusty cell leapt onto the stage of the world, purely impersonal, material processes reigned — a blind watchmaker and less than blind. It was a mindless mechanism. This is quite different from the teleological evolution that some, including the Catholic Church, have considered a possibility. Darwininian evolution possesses no distant goal nor is man the twinkle in the eye of any god.
In a homily at his installation on Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI made his first comment on evolution: We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. It will be interesting to see if the news media will report about this, given their interest in the last Pope’s statement on evolution.
To the Editor: Jim Holt’s piece “Unintelligent Design” is filled with the usual Darwinist canards about how various designs found in living things are suboptimal according to the writer’s undefined and untested opinions on optimality. That’s all standard fare — chock full of unexamined theological presuppositions (of the “God wouldn’t have done it that way” variety) and not worth a response. Holt also trots out the usual nonsense about Pope John Paul II somehow accepting Darwinian evolution. The Pope’s 1996 message on evolution simply states that evolution (in the sense of common descent, not the materialist Darwinian mechanism) is “more than an hypothesis,” which is certainly a true statement about modern biology. Yet in the same message the Pope explicitly Read More ›