The Vatican Criticizes Intelligent Design:
Why I Can't Take Them Seriously & Other Thoughts
By Jason Carlson
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This week the Vatican's newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published an article which states that Intelligent Design is not valid science and should not be taught in schools. The article's author, Fiorenzo Facchini, an evolutionist from the University of Bologna, states that Darwin's theory of evolution "represents the interpretive key of the history of life on Earth." Facchini further commented that the Intelligent Design movement is in error because "it's not correct from a methodological point of view to take oneself away from the scientific field pretending to do science It only creates confusion between the scientific and philosophical and religious planes."
After reading these comments out of Rome, I was struck by a number of thoughts:
First of all, I wonder what Chuck Colson thinks about this statement from the Vatican? For those of you who aren't aware, Mr. Colson is one of the leading Evangelical proponents of the Intelligent Design theory, but he has also drawn a lot of heat for his positive stance in promoting the Protestant and Catholic ecumenical movement. Looks like his friends in Rome have sold him out on this issue. Apparently ecumenism doesn't extend to the reality of an Intelligent Designer. So far the new Pope has only been willing to recognize God's handiwork as an "Intelligent Project." Maybe the Pope should take on the intelligent project of reading his Bible? He could start with Hebrews 11:3; Exodus 20:11; or Job 12:7-10.
Secondly, you'd think the Vatican would have better scientific advisors. To publish a statement which says that Darwinian evolution "represents the interpretive key of the history of life on Earth" is total nonsense. When I hear the words "interpretive key", I think: answer, solution, proof, etc., but Darwinian evolution is none of these things.
What does Darwinian evolution explain? Two words: micro-evolution, or change horizontally within species. This is called natural selection. Natural selection is basic science, it happens every day, all around us; nobody disputes the reality of natural selection. However, what has happened in the evolution debate today is that evolutionists have redefined natural selection to equal macro-evolution, one species turning into another species. They say that since we see small changes within species, if given enough time, these small changes could add up to really big changes, thereby creating entirely new creatures.
Apparently the Vatican's scientific advisors are not aware that nobody has ever observed macro-evolution in the natural world. Apparently they missed that day in Biology 101 where you learn that natural selection never creates any new genetic information, it only sorts, selects, and removes pre-existent genetic information. Apparently they aren't aware that to go from a single cell to a human being you have to account for the accumulation of literally millions of pieces of new genetic information. Where does this new, additional genetic information come from? No scientist, anywhere in the world, has ever observed natural selection creating new genetic information. Surely the Vatican's scientists are aware of this? Oops, please forgive me Mr. Facchini; here I am just another dogmatic creationist "pretending to do science."
Finally, how ironic is it that the Vatican calls Darwinian evolution the "interpretive key of the history of life on Earth."? I thought Christians believed that the Bible was the interpretive key of the history of life on Earth? Since when does the Church elevate the theories of fallible men to the level of infallible Scripture? Oh wait, I forgot, the Catholic Church has been doing that for centuries. And the result of this is a long and ridiculous history of human proclamations of "truth" that later get revoked by other humans who are also supposedly speaking the "truth" (for example, did you hear that the Vatican recently dropped their doctrine of "limbo" for the dead, held since the 13th century? Why? Because the new Pope didn't find it relevant anymore.). So, to the Vatican, please forgive me if I don't take your recent proclamations on Darwinian evolution and Intelligent Design seriously, but you're really not helping your cause.
Friends, there was a very good reason why Martin Luther declared, "sola scriptura". For as soon as you stray from the timeless, infallible, unchanging word of God, you are left with only the dreams and imaginings of fallible men and women; and when you get to that point, anything goes.
Why do I believe in Intelligent Design? For two very good reasons: Scripture testifies that God created all things, fully formed and functional, in six 24-hour days; and everything we observe scientifically in the natural world confirms the Bible's testimony.
You see, all truth is God's truth and God's truth is consistent, no matter what discipline it is found in. God's revealed truths will never contradict each other; scripture will always guide us into right answers about the natural world and the natural world will always confirm scripture. This is exactly what we see when we read the Bible's account of creation and when we study the natural world. The Bible testifies to an Intelligent Designer, it states that he created all things in six 24-hour days, fully formed and functional, and it says nothing about any type of macro-evolutionary process; and this is exactly what we observe in the evidence found in the natural world. Again, God's truth is always consistent.
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