Chance or Purpose? Creation, Evolution, and a Rational Faith
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Title: Chance or Purpose? Creation, Evolution, and a Rational Faith
Author: Christoph Cardinal Schönborn
Date Published: October 2007
Comments: A voice of sanity speaks clearly on a contemporary debate
Michael Behe, Author, Darwin's Black Box
"Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn's 2005 essay in the New York Times, which
seemingly condemned Darwin's scientific theory of evolution, ignited a
firestorm of controversy. Yet the hasty responses did not look deeply
enough into the Cardinal's words. Rather than the science of Darwin, it
is the philosophical claims made in its name that the prelate upbraided.
Science cannot speak of ultimate purpose, and scientists who do so are
outside of their authority. In Chance or Purpose? the Cardinal shows
that the data of biology, when properly examined by reason and
philosophy, strongly point to a purposeful world."
Owen Gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science,
Harvard University. Author of "God's Universe"
"Cardinal Schoenborn writes with masterful simplicity on profound
theological issues. I, as a scientist and Christian outside the Catholic
tradition, welcome his wisdom. He argues effectively that there are
multiple approaches to reality, and he states clearly that while
intelligent design is worthy of human reflection, from a scientific
perspective the evolutionary model is the true story."
Richard John Neuhaus, Editor, FIRST THINGS
"Intellectual curiosity is here joined with precision of reason and
vibrancy of faith. The result is a wondrously instructive guide to one
of the most controverted questions of our time by one of the most
influential leaders of the Church."
Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn's article on evolution and creation in The
New York Times launched an international controversy. Critics charged
him with biblical literalism and "creationism".
In this book, Cardinal Schoenborn responds to his critics by tackling
the hard questions with a carefully reasoned the "theology of creation".
Can we still speak intelligently of the world as "creation" and affirm
the existence of the Creator, or is God a "delusion"? How should an
informed believer read Genesis? If God exists, why is there so much
injustice and suffering? Are human beings a part of nature or elevated
above it? What is man's destiny? Is everything a matter of chance or can
we discern purpose in human existence? In his treatment of evolution,
Cardinal Schoenborn distinguishes the biological theory from
"evolutionism", the ideology that tries to reduce all of reality to
mindless, meaningless processes.
He argues that science and a rationally grounded faith are not at odds
and that what many people represent as "science" is really a set of
philosophical positions that will not withstand critical scrutiny.
Chance or Purpose? directly raises the philosophical and theological
issues many scientists today overlook or ignore. The result is a
vigorous, frank dialogue that acknowledges the respective insights of
the philosopher, the theologian and the scientist, but which calls on
them to listen and to learn from each another.