Vatican official: Atheist's theories 'absurd'

Mar 3, 2009 Full story: MSNBC 234

Vatican official calls atheist's theories 'absurd' Cardinal Levada: No conflict between evolution science and faith in God A A How we worship A A Judaism Jews pray at the Mount of Olives, matzoh is baked in ...

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“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#1 Mar 3, 2009
This just goes to show that even Vatican officials are not immune to using straw man arguments. Of course the ToE does not prove the non-existence of god. No one has ever said it does - except fundamentalists who actually understand neither theology nor evolution, and are thus hardly qualified to state an opinion on the matter.

What the ToE says WRT to god is precisely nothing, nil, zip, nada.

The reason why god gets dragged into the ToE debates is because of dishonest people who seek to introduce religious ideology into the science classroom by sleight of hand and because of those people who take the position that the bible (or whatever their favourite sacred text may be) is the complete and literal truth and so feel threatened by the actual truth as revealed by the hard work of many, many scientists over the last 150 years or so. Of course those scientists great "crime" is to only look at the evidence, rather than their bibles. This flies in the face of religious authority and so we get statements like the one made by our Vatican official that demnonstate that such officials should stick to their own field and leave the science to the scientists.
The Dude

UK

#2 Mar 3, 2009
What "atheist theories" are these?

“I am evolving as fast as I can”

Since: Jan 08

Brooklyn, in Dayton OH now

#3 Mar 3, 2009
Bluenose wrote:
This just goes to show that even Vatican officials are not immune to using straw man arguments. Of course the ToE does not prove the non-existence of god. No one has ever said it does - except fundamentalists who actually understand neither theology nor evolution, and are thus hardly qualified to state an opinion on the matter.
What the ToE says WRT to god is precisely nothing, nil, zip, nada.
The reason why god gets dragged into the ToE debates is because of dishonest people who seek to introduce religious ideology into the science classroom by sleight of hand and because of those people who take the position that the bible (or whatever their favourite sacred text may be) is the complete and literal truth and so feel threatened by the actual truth as revealed by the hard work of many, many scientists over the last 150 years or so. Of course those scientists great "crime" is to only look at the evidence, rather than their bibles. This flies in the face of religious authority and so we get statements like the one made by our Vatican official that demnonstate that such officials should stick to their own field and leave the science to the scientists.
You'll like this:
http://exploringourmatrix.blogspot.com/2009/0...

Since: Nov 08

Boise, ID

#4 Mar 3, 2009
I think it is important to keep in mind that there were atheists before Darwin and after Darwin. Evolution has nothing to do with it. If we had no explanation for how biodiversity was created this would in no way discredit atheism, nor does having this explanation support atheism.

Although I don't agree with Gould's "non-overlapping magisteria" I am more than happy to say that evolution does not disprove God. What atheists have always asked for is evidence of God.
Common Sense

Cincinnati, OH

#5 Mar 3, 2009
Erasmus05 wrote:
I think it is important to keep in mind that there were atheists before Darwin and after Darwin. Evolution has nothing to do with it. If we had no explanation for how biodiversity was created this would in no way discredit atheism, nor does having this explanation support atheism.
Although I don't agree with Gould's "non-overlapping magisteria" I am more than happy to say that evolution does not disprove God. What atheists have always asked for is evidence of God.
And what Ive always asked for is proof of his nonexistence.
deanoff

London, UK

#6 Mar 3, 2009
Common Sense wrote:
<quoted text>
And what Ive always asked for is proof of his nonexistence.
And I want proof of the non-existence of the flying spaghetti monster.

“Boot to the Head”

Since: Jul 08

Mogadore, OH

#7 Mar 3, 2009
Bluenose wrote:
Of course the ToE does not prove the non-existence of god. No one has ever said it does - except fundamentalists who actually understand neither theology nor evolution, and are thus hardly qualified to state an opinion on the matter.
Not so Bluenose. I have heard many an proclaim this very thing: in textbooks, radio shows, and podcasts.

“Maccullochella macquariensis”

Since: May 08

Melbourne, Australia

#8 Mar 3, 2009
Cathoholic wrote:
<quoted text>
Not so Bluenose. I have heard many an proclaim this very thing: in textbooks, radio shows, and podcasts.
Citations?

“Turning coffee into theorems”

Since: Dec 06

Trapped inside a Klein Bottle

#9 Mar 3, 2009
Cathoholic wrote:
<quoted text>
Not so Bluenose. I have heard many an proclaim this very thing: in textbooks, radio shows, and podcasts.
I seriously doubt that you have ever seen "ToE refutes God" in a textbook. I never have.

As for other sources, I grant you may have heard some offer their opinion that ToE does refute God. However, try actually reading what is said by science. There is no mention of God anywhere, in ToE or any other theory.

OTOH, Bluenose is right in that fundamentalists are always saying ToE refutes God. But then, they don't have a very good grasp of either science or theology.

“Boot to the Head”

Since: Jul 08

Mogadore, OH

#10 Mar 4, 2009
Citations? Don't you know people throw around unsupported facts as a matter of course here? It seems almost wrong to present sources on Topix without 6 posts in a row with nothing but block quotes.

Anyway, the podcasts would include 'Point of Inquiry,''Skeptiod' and just about any show built around critical inquiry. NPR typically presents ToE in direct opposition with religion. Granted after the debacle in Kansas it seemed like the natural thing to do.

As to textbooks I've heard quotes of some and I don't mean to imply that they all do only that they do exist. Likely in similar numbers to 7 day creation textbooks.

I myself have no problem reconciling ToE and the book of Genesis. The Bible tells Who and why, not how and when.

“Transitional Molecular Fossils”

Since: Dec 06

Somewhere in Penn's Woods

#11 Mar 4, 2009
Bluenose wrote:
This just goes to show that even Vatican officials are not immune to using straw man arguments. Of course the ToE does not prove the non-existence of god. No one has ever said it does - except fundamentalists who actually understand neither theology nor evolution, and are thus hardly qualified to state an opinion on the matter.
What the ToE says WRT to god is precisely nothing, nil, zip, nada.
The reason why god gets dragged into the ToE debates is because of dishonest people who seek to introduce religious ideology into the science classroom by sleight of hand and because of those people who take the position that the bible (or whatever their favourite sacred text may be) is the complete and literal truth and so feel threatened by the actual truth as revealed by the hard work of many, many scientists over the last 150 years or so. Of course those scientists great "crime" is to only look at the evidence, rather than their bibles. This flies in the face of religious authority and so we get statements like the one made by our Vatican official that demnonstate that such officials should stick to their own field and leave the science to the scientists.
Awesome Aussie, just one comment. To me, it seems that when Cardinal Levada referred to “the atheist notion that evolution proves there is no God”, he was not speaking of atheist-collectively, but of one or two specific fundamental atheists as he mentions later in the article:

“He said that while the Vatican did not exclude any area of science, it did reject as "absurd" the atheist notion of biologist and author Richard Dawkins and others that evolution proves there is no God.”

And

“In his remarks, Levada referred to both Dawkins and the debate over teaching creationism in schools in the United States.”

I do no think Dawkins ever stated that “evolution proves that there is no God”, he has stated that “evolution makes God unnecessary”, so I think that the Cardinal is extrapolating here.

Let’s face it though, Dawkins is quite vocal in his atheism, in the same manner that some are in their theism, and he did help launch Britain’s first atheist campaign in January, pledging I believe around 5,000 pounds to place "There's probably no God. So stop worrying and enjoy your life" on the side of 800 British buses.

When he spoke at the launch in Central London, said he would have rather not had the word "probably" in the advertisement. He said the existence of God was about as likely as that of the tooth fairy.

People like Drs. Miller and Collins have desperately tried to let people know that you do not have to give up your faith in order to accept the facts and theory of evolution, in order to stem the evangelical wave of attempting to place “alternative theories” in the classroom and increase the integrity of science education in the U.S.

I think that this is all the Cardinal was trying to say, that you do not have to give up your faith to accept evolution as fact.
The Dude

London, UK

#12 Mar 4, 2009
Cathoholic wrote:
Citations? Don't you know people throw around unsupported facts as a matter of course here? It seems almost wrong to present sources on Topix without 6 posts in a row with nothing but block quotes.
Anyway, the podcasts would include 'Point of Inquiry,''Skeptiod' and just about any show built around critical inquiry. NPR typically presents ToE in direct opposition with religion.
Go take that up with them then.(shrug)

But there will be those who will point out that evolution contradicts a literal interpretation of the Bible. And they'd be right. So for those who believe that God really did make Adam and Eve the first humans out of dirt and a spare rib, that is a problem.
The Dude

London, UK

#13 Mar 4, 2009
Katydid wrote:
I think that this is all the Cardinal was trying to say, that you do not have to give up your faith to accept evolution as fact.
From the headline, it did seem that either the Cardinal or the writer of the article was blowing things a bit out of proportion.

In fact, I'm surprised the headline alone hasn't attracted a ton of fundies to this thread.

“I am evolving as fast as I can”

Since: Jan 08

Brooklyn, in Dayton OH now

#14 Mar 4, 2009
The Dude wrote:
<quoted text>
From the headline, it did seem that either the Cardinal or the writer of the article was blowing things a bit out of proportion.
In fact, I'm surprised the headline alone hasn't attracted a ton of fundies to this thread.
Just like the recent New Scientist Cover ( http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/01/ne... )!

They point to the cover while never reading the articles! When you are drowning, you will reach for anything to hold onto ... proof in point!
Nuggin

Granada Hills, CA

#15 Mar 4, 2009
Common Sense wrote:
<quoted text>
And what Ive always asked for is proof of his nonexistence.
One does not need to offer proof of nonexistence in the absence of proof of existence.

Can you proove the non-existence of invisible butt monkeys that fart unicorns and burp rainbows? No? Then they must be real!
Nuggin

Granada Hills, CA

#16 Mar 4, 2009
Cathoholic wrote:
<quoted text>
Not so Bluenose. I have heard many an proclaim this very thing: in textbooks, radio shows, and podcasts.
Yes, and _ALL_ of those people are Fundamentalist Christians who are asking you to attack evolution.

No scientist makes this claim. Not one.

Evolution, at best, disproves the LITERAL READING OF GENESIS.(ie the Earth is 6,000 years old, flat and set upon pillars. Rain comes from leaks in a sphere of water which surrounds the planet. Adam and Eve road vegetarian T-Rexs to work. Dinosaurs were on the Ark and only died out later. etc etc etc)

If you believe ALL those things to be absolutely, unquestionably true, then for you evolution disproves the Bible and therefore God.

However, if you believe (LIKE THE AUTHORS INTENDED) that Genesis is a METAPHOR, then evolution has nothing to say about the rest of the Bible whatsoever.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#17 Mar 4, 2009
Cathoholic wrote:
Citations? Don't you know people throw around unsupported facts as a matter of course here? It seems almost wrong to present sources on Topix without 6 posts in a row with nothing but block quotes.
Anyway, the podcasts would include 'Point of Inquiry,''Skeptiod' and just about any show built around critical inquiry. NPR typically presents ToE in direct opposition with religion. Granted after the debacle in Kansas it seemed like the natural thing to do.
As to textbooks I've heard quotes of some and I don't mean to imply that they all do only that they do exist. Likely in similar numbers to 7 day creation textbooks.
I myself have no problem reconciling ToE and the book of Genesis. The Bible tells Who and why, not how and when.
The ToE as explained by scientists in the relevant fields has no comment on religion or gods. The fact that others choose to use the ToE to claim that it "disproves" any gods means nothing to the science or theory itself.

Obviously, the ToE is in "opposition" to a literal biblical genesis; this doesn't need to be a claim of the ToE, it is simply a condition of it. It is this reality that most likely asserts itself in talk shows, etc., given the prevalence of christian fundamentalism in this country.
Nuggin

Granada Hills, CA

#18 Mar 4, 2009
Cathoholic wrote:
Citations? Don't you know people throw around unsupported facts as a matter of course here? It seems almost wrong to present sources on Topix without 6 posts in a row with nothing but block quotes.
Anyway, the podcasts would include 'Point of Inquiry,''Skeptiod' and just about any show built around critical inquiry. NPR typically presents ToE in direct opposition with religion. Granted after the debacle in Kansas it seemed like the natural thing to do.
Now you are just lying. A typical Christian tactic when asked to back up earlier lies.

Give us a SPECIFIC EPISODE of skeptoid in which the host/hosts have said that Evolution DISPROVES the existence of God.

You can't do it.

What you CAN find is an episode in which they tell you that Evolution and Fundamentalism are incompatible.

Tough titty.

If you choose to follow a religion which is observably in opposition with reality, it is not our duty to protect you from this.

If you don't like it, stop following that religion because I can guarentee you one thing - reality ain't go to change to fit your beliefs.
Cathoholic wrote:
As to textbooks I've heard quotes of some and I don't mean to imply that they all do only that they do exist. Likely in similar numbers to 7 day creation textbooks.
Nope. You haven't. Like every other self indulgent Christian to come on the boards, you are claiming to be a martyr.

"Oh, it's so hard to be a Christian. Boo hoo. Everyone beats up on us."

Yawn.

Find me a textbook. ANY textbook that specifically says that Evolution disproves God.

If you can find one, I'll bet you $1000 that it's published by an anti-Evolution Christian publishing company and that the CORE concept of the book is about how wrong evolution is.

Since: Nov 08

Boise, ID

#19 Mar 4, 2009
Common Sense wrote:
<quoted text>
And what Ive always asked for is proof of his nonexistence.
The burden of proof lies with those who say that God does exist.

Since: Nov 08

Boise, ID

#20 Mar 4, 2009
Cathoholic wrote:
NPR typically presents ToE in direct opposition with religion. Granted after the debacle in Kansas it seemed like the natural thing to do.
It is not NPR who is putting science in direct opposition to religion. That would be the creationists.
As to textbooks I've heard quotes of some and I don't mean to imply that they all do only that they do exist.
No, they don't. You will not find the word "god" in textbooks.

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