From the very funny Failblog comes this little diddy. Some kids are going on a field trip the Rocks and Mineral Festival (BYOB by the way). In order to attend the lil tykes need to have a permission slip. This is how one came back.
The note reads.
“Note: Just to let you it is not that we don’t believe in things like that, it is just misleading when you talk about it being billions of years old, when we all know that the world is only about 6,000 years old. So why would I pay so that you can misslead my children, your world is just a revolving(?), ours has a start and an end. God created the world. He created animals and man all in the same week. It was also Adam who named all the animals, they will do the essay ‘Rock and Minerals’ but it might not be 5 pages long, and about billions of years, it will be according to the Bible.”
The best part is that if you look at the picture, she signed the permission slip. Its not that I don’t believe in misleading my children its just that I don’t believe in misleading my children but they can go anyway. Or something.
January 10, 2010 at 5:04 pm
Of course anti-evolutionism (i.e., belief in the special creation of the first man) and "young earth creationism" do not necessarily have to go together. One could certainly reject evolution – which has much more working against it as a theory today in 2010 than it did 50 years ago, before a lot of the "missing links" had been disproven or reinterpreted. One can be a "Catholic creationist" without being a "fundamentalist young-earth creationist". On the other hand, there are certain curious phenomena that make one scratch one's head – such as fossilized trees penetrating several geological layers "that took millions of years to form". I am not saying that proves the earth is young but it raises questions for which the existing model should be made to account.
January 11, 2010 at 12:42 am
Pope Benedict XVI said “We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.” on his first speech as pope!
The Scientific Impossibility of Evolution
Read the abstracts on the site.
Science proves that earth or at least the surface (geologic layers) and dinosaur fossils are not many billions of years old. Therefore evolution which need many billions of years to be true is scientific impossible!
January 11, 2010 at 1:10 am
Stefan, now there's putting words into someone's mouth. What he said was that human beings are not accidental, but intentional. He did not thereby intend to deny evolution. Here are some of the things he said. The Pope is indeed intimately concerned about evolution, and has made several statements about it. Almost every single one of them is concerned with the same thing: challenging not evolution qua scientific theory, but the metaphysical, religious and ethical conclusions illegitimately drawn therefrom. He is one of the things he said:
"I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called 'creationism' and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: Those who believe in the creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, and those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God,"
"This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favor of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such."
He goes on to show specifically what he meant by the quip above:
"But on the other, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, especially the great philosophical question: Where does everything come from? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man?"
The Holy Father is, I humbly submit, throwing his lot not with creationists or Dawkinsians, both of whom he considers absurd, but with the philosophical/metaphysical critiques of extreme Darwinism.
January 11, 2010 at 5:22 am
As a Catholic with a background in geology, who came to question Darwinism through the writings of Michael Denton ("Evolution: A Theory in Crisis"), I wish that Pope Benedict had been more explicit in defining what he means by the term "evolution." Variation within limits, which is easily observed and which all sides on the origin issue agree to, is not the same thing as, for example, the massive genetic overhaul required for a land-dwelling tetrapod to become an ocean-dwelling whale, and which calls for as least as much faith in random mutation as the Catholic faith does in the doctrines of the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, and the Resurrection. The Tradition of the Church from the earliest times has been to accept the first chapters of Genesis as historical, and Humani Generis, the most recent and authoritative teaching, only allows for investigation into evolution, with many caveats, and with a request that both sides of the issue be presented:
36. For these reasons the Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in so far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter–for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions,that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith. Some however rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from preexisting and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.
The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation (www.kolbecenter.org) is one group that is seeking to answer Pope Pius XII's request to present the "other" side of the question, by demonstrating the flaws in evolutionary theory and the unverifiable assumptions of geology in projecting presently observed data into the unwitnessed past. I would humbly submit that while God certainly could have used evolution in His creation of the world, there is much evidence to suggest that He did not, and that it is important to distinguish between observational science and historical science, which must by its nature make unverifiable assumptions about initial conditions that may be reasonable, but that are nonetheless unverifiable.
January 11, 2010 at 11:10 am
This is an excellent discussion. JSM, Francis, and other make many good points. As usual, in discussion of Evolution, it seems that terms get thrown around that perhaps don't mean the same thing to everyone using them. Sometimes it helps to distinguish macro and micro.
For instance the evolution of a deeper orchid along with a longer beak of a hummingbird is clear to all, but the evolution of the ability of the hummingbird to fly as it does takes faith. The lack of respect for the irreducible complexity of such a feat throughout the entire body of the bird is sheer arrogance or ignorance. I repeat my claim about the cell wall’s complexity as well, which is exponentially less complex than my typing on a keyboard.
“Tony”, if you read my post I make no such assertion, insisting on literal interpretation. I simply defer to the authority of the Church. I believe She interprets without error and what she teaches about how to interpret is without error. (see Dei Verbum)
The most important book to read on this subject is "Everlasting Man" by G.K. Chesterton. It is exactly how all Christians should regard Evolution. It's funny too.
January 11, 2010 at 1:50 pm
JSM, with respect, all science makes assumptions. Pierre Duhem famously showed this in his Physical Theory. And further, it is not a problem that one needs to believe in order to understand. The tradition of the Church is quite varied actually. Augustine to take one example has definite problems with the idea of God taking time to do things. The Cappadocian Fathers (and Augustine following them) come up with the idea of Rationes Seminales to explain how creation blossomed out. Up to the twelfth century (and for all I know beyond that), the view that the human body could have naturally developed is available and adopted from time to time. Historically, the Pelikan article I cited above, and Gilson's Aristotle to Darwin and back are the two best books on the subject of evolution, creation, and the Church's beliefs on it.
As for the "complexity" argument, so what? We believe in a lot more complex things happening naturally, or being naturally explicable. We always have. It is rather the root of all this that we don't understand. The more fundamental question is not how the transition happened between whales and land-dwelling mammals, but how there is anything at all.
Keep in mind that Pius XII wrote 60 years ago, when things were a lot less clear than they are now.
January 11, 2010 at 2:04 pm
Pope Benedict XVI knows the truth for sure. Especially that macroevolution is scientific impossible. He founded the Gustav Siewerth Academy (http://www.siewerth-akademie.de), which did great scientific research in this direction ("Schöpfung und Evolution" – creation and evolution), which he pointed out on many visits and letters.
German letter thanking for the positiv work of the academy from a scientic and church related point of view: http://www.siewerth-akademie.de/dokumente/referenzen/paepste/Cardinal-Ratzinger.pdf
“Central Theme” through the main Research
of the Gustav-Siewerth-Akademie
Page 10, but the other pages are also very recommended to read!
The rector (Albrecht Graf von Brandenstein-Zeppelin) and co-rector (Prof. Dr. Alma v. Stockhausen) of the Gustav-Siewerth-Academy did and do many lecturs and discussion on catholic television like EWTN and K-TV, unfortunatly AFAIK all only in german language. They are clearly argue against ape and human being related or having a common ancestors and also against the macroevolution which claims without any scientific proof that ameba developed to fish, then to amphibia, then reptiles, then birds, mammals and apes and finally humans.
January 12, 2010 at 4:28 am
Maybe someone should also mention that teachers should use better grammar than what is found in the permission slip?
January 12, 2010 at 7:16 am
15 Now will I recall God's works; what I have seen, I will describe. At God's word were his works brought into being; they do his will as he has ordained for them.
16 As the rising sun is clear to all, so the glory of the LORD fills all his works;
17 Yet even God's holy ones must fail in recounting the wonders of the LORD, Though God has given these, his hosts, the strength to stand firm before his glory.
18 He plumbs the depths and penetrates the heart; their innermost being he understands. The Most High possesses all knowledge, and sees from of old the things that are to come:
19 He makes known the past and the future, and reveals the deepest secrets.
20 No understanding does he lack;
no single thing escapes him.
21 Perennial is his almighty wisdom;
he is from all eternity one and the same,
22 With nothing added, nothing taken away;
no need of a counselor for him!
23 How beautiful are all his works!
even to the spark and the fleeting vision!
24 The universe lives and abides forever;
to meet each need, each creature is preserved.
25 All of them differ, one from another,
yet none of them has he made in vain, For each in turn, as it comes, is good; can one ever see enough of their splendor?
January 12, 2010 at 7:41 am
I know that it can be VERY irritating when someone simply copies and pastes, so I hope people will read to the end anyway and praise GOD.
1 The clear vault of the sky shines forth like heaven itself, a vision of glory.
2 The orb of the sun, resplendent at its rising: what a wonderful work of the Most High!
3 At noon it seethes the surface of the earth, and who can bear its fiery heat?
4 Like a blazing furnace of solid metal, it sets the mountains aflame with its rays;
By its fiery darts the land is consumed; the eyes are dazzled by its light.
5 Great indeed is the LORD who made it, at whose orders it urges on its steeds.
6 The moon, too, that marks the changing times, governing the seasons, their lasting sign,
7 By which we know the feast days and fixed dates, this light-giver which wanes in its course:
8 As its name says, each month it renews itself; how wondrous in this change!
9 The beauty, the glory, of the heavens are the stars that adorn with their sparkling the heights of God,
10 At whose command they keep their place and never relax in their vigils. A weapon against the flood waters stored on high, lighting up the firmament by its brilliance,
11 Behold the rainbow! Then bless its Maker, for majestic indeed is its splendor;
12 It spans the heavens with its glory, this bow bent by the mighty hand of God.
13 His rebuke marks out the path for the lightning,and speeds the arrows of his judgment to their goal.
14 At it the storehouse is opened, and like vultures the clouds hurry forth.
15 In his majesty he gives the storm its power and breaks off the hailstones.
16 The thunder of his voice makes the earth writhe; before his might the mountains quake.
17 A word from him drives on the south wind, the angry north wind, the hurricane and the storm.
18 He sprinkles the snow like fluttering birds; it comes to settle like swarms of locusts.
19 Its shining whiteness blinds the eyes, the mind is baffled by its steady fall.
20 He scatters frost like so much salt; it shines like blossoms on the thornbush.
21 Cold northern blasts he sends that turn the ponds to lumps of ice. He freezes over every body of water, and clothes each pool with a coat of mail.
22 When the mountain growth is scorched with heat, and the flowering plains as though by flames,
23 The dripping clouds restore them all, and the scattered dew enriches the parched land.
24 His is the plan that calms the deep, and plants the islands in the sea.
25 Those who go down to the sea tell part of its story, and when we hear them we are thunderstruck;
26 In it are his creatures, stupendous, amazing, all kinds of life, and the monsters of the deep.
27 For him each messenger succeeds, and at his bidding accomplishes his will.
28 More than this we need not add; let the last word be, he is all in all!
29 Let us praise him the more, since we cannot fathom him, for greater is he than all his works;
30 Awful indeed is the LORD'S majesty, and wonderful is his power.
31 Lift up your voices to glorify the LORD, though he is still beyond your power to praise;
32 Extol him with renewed strength, and weary not, though you cannot reach the end:
33 For who can see him and describe him? or who can praise him as he is?
34 Beyond these, many things lie hid; only a few of his works have we seen.
35 It is the LORD who has made all things, and to those who fear him he gives wisdom.