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FW: Vatican wants to end battle with science - Cardinal says unreasonable religion can fall prey to fundamentalism

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  • Popplestone, Ann
    ... From: Joan Bradley [mailto:bradley.1@osu.edu] Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 2:27 PM To: Steven A. Edinger; Science Education Subject: Re: Vatican wants
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 5, 2005
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      -----Original Message-----
      From: Joan Bradley [mailto:bradley.1@...]
      Sent: Friday, November 04, 2005 2:27 PM
      To: Steven A. Edinger; Science Education
      Subject: Re: Vatican wants to end battle with science - Cardinal says unreasonable religion can fall prey to fundamentalism


      Most non-fundamental (Christian and Non-Christian) religious groups are inclusive of evolution. There is a great short book called "Voices for Evolution" that documents this. http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=2
      PLEASE don't fall into the trap of calling all Christians antievolution, or conservative. Do not paint all those of faith with the same brush. Don't let the few define the many.

      Joan Bradley

      PS Below is the abstract of "Voices for Evolution" Project of the National Center for Science Education. http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/4980_introduction_to_the_project_12_7_2000. <http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/4980_introduction_to_the_project_12_7_2000.asp> asp

      <http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/articles/4980_introduction_to_the_project_12_7_2000.asp> *Introduction to the Project
      by Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

      Voices for Evolution is a project of NCSE to collect the full diversity of organizations and perspectives in support of teaching evolution in the public schools.

      "Scientific" creationists claim that theirs is a legitimate scientific endeavor, and that there is "abundant scientific evidence" that the world and its life forms came about exactly as described if Genesis is interpreted literally. The Voices for Evolution statements from scientists refute this claim of scientific evidence for what Craig Nelson calls "quick creation."

      Another claim advanced by "scientific" creationists is that those who accept the idea that evolution took place are anti­religious. The statements in this volume from religious organizations make that idea untenable, a position with which the statements from educational groups agree. These two groups, along with scientific organizations, and that evolution is scientific, creationism is not, and that the Biblical literalist view is not the only view acceptable to religious people. As this book documents, mainstream Judaism and the major Christian denominations, both Protestant and Catholic, have no difficulty accommodating evolution to their religious perspectives.

      We hope Voices for Evolution will assist in spreading this important message to members of the public and those responsible for the decisions which shape our children´s educations.

      The National Center for Science Education is funded by subscriptions, donations, and grants from a number of private foundations. The first edition of Voices was funded primarily by donations from the Deer Creek Foundation, the Carnegie Foundation of New York, the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, and a foundation which wishes to remain anonymous, as well as donations from members; the Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Foundation provided additional funding for the second edition. We wish to thank all of these individuals and organizations for making the work possible.

      December 7, 2000

      At 01:58 PM 11/4/2005 -0500, Steven A. Edinger wrote:


      Dear Colleagues,

      Some clarifications of the Catholic Church's thoughts about evolution.
      Compared to many (most?) Christian churches in this country, the Catholic
      Church is certainly taking a much more moderate view that is much more open to
      science. What are the chances that the Southern Baptist Convention will follow
      the Catholic Church's lead on this (or the chance they will read it and think
      about it)?

      Best Wishes,

      Steve Edinger

      >From MSNBC at URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9913712/

      Vatican wants to end battle with science
      Cardinal says unreasonable religion can fall prey to fundamentalism

      The Associated Press
      Updated: 3:16 p.m. ET Nov. 3, 2005

      VATICAN CITY - A Vatican cardinal said Thursday that the faithful should listen
      to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks
      turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason.

      Cardinal Paul Poupard, who heads the Pontifical Council for Culture, made the
      comments at a news conference on a Vatican project to help end the "mutual
      prejudice" between religion and science that has long bedeviled the Roman
      Catholic Church and is part of the evolution debate in the United States.

      The Vatican project was inspired by Pope John Paul II's 1992 declaration that
      the church's 17th-century denunciation of Galileo was an error resulting from
      "tragic mutual incomprehension." Galileo was condemned for supporting Nicolaus
      Copernicus' discovery that the earth revolved around the sun; church teaching
      at the time placed Earth at the center of the universe.

      "The permanent lesson that the Galileo case represents pushes us to keep alive
      the dialogue between the various disciplines, and in particular between
      theology and the natural sciences, if we want to prevent similar episodes from
      repeating themselves in the future," Poupard said.

      Are scientists listening?
      But he said science, too, should listen to religion.

      "We know where scientific reason can end up by itself: The atomic bomb and the
      possibility of cloning human beings are fruit of a reason that wants to free
      itself from every ethical or religious link," he said.

      "But we also know the dangers of a religion that severs its links with reason
      and becomes prey to fundamentalism," he said. "The faithful have the obligation
      to listen to that which secular modern science has to offer, just as we ask
      that knowledge of the faith be taken in consideration as an expert voice in

      Views on intelligent-design debate
      Poupard and others at the news conference were asked about the religion-science
      debate raging in the United States over evolution and "intelligent design."

      Intelligent design's supporters argue that natural selection, an element of
      evolutionary theory, cannot fully explain the origin of life or the emergence
      of highly complex life forms.

      Monsignor Gianfranco Basti, director of the Vatican project STOQ, or Science,
      Theology and Ontological Quest, reaffirmed John Paul's 1996 statement that
      evolution was "more than just a hypothesis."

      "A hypothesis asks whether something is true or false," he said. "(Evolution)
      is more than a hypothesis because there is proof."

      He was asked about comments made in July by Austrian Cardinal Christoph
      Schoenborn, who dismissed in a New York Times article the 1996 statement by
      John Paul as "rather vague and unimportant" and seemed to back intelligent

      Basti concurred that John Paul's 1996 letter "is not a very clear expression
      from a definition point of view," but he said evolution was assuming ever more
      authority as scientific proof develops.

      Poupard, for his part, stressed that what was important was that "the universe
      wasn't made by itself, but has a creator." But he added, "It's important for
      the faithful to know how science views things to understand better."

      The Vatican project STOQ has organized academic courses and conferences on the
      relationship between science and religion and is hosting its first
      international conference on "the infinity in science, philosophy and theology,"
      next week.

      © 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
      published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
      © 2005 MSNBC.com

      URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9913712/

      Please see the Ohio Citizens for Science's web page at:

      http://OhioScience.org <http://ohioscience.org/>

      Steven A. Edinger, Physiology Lab Instructor

      064 Irvine Hall
      Department of Biological Sciences steven.edinger.1@...
      Ohio University Office: (740) 593-9484
      Athens, Ohio 45701-2979 Fax: (740) 593-0300

      "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of
      evolution." Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973



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      "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of
      evolution." Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1973

      Joan Bradley
      Joan E. Bradley
      The Ohio State University at Mansfield

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