Wednesday, May 9, 2007

A Vatican astronomer repudiates the Intelligent Design movement

Transcript of today's show:

Before his recent resignation, the director of the Vatican Observatory went public with his belief that the Intelligent Design movement actually demeans God and insults human intelligence. George Coyne noted that many in the Intelligent Design movement fondly hope for scientific gaps in our knowledge of evolution, so that they can fill them in with God. This, Coyne says, is antithetical to what human intelligence is all about. [source: National Center for Science Education]

Listen to the 1-minute broadcast of this story [mp3]

Sound Off: Science & Faith. Our point/counterpoint regulars Shelley (the voice of science) and Peter (the voice of faith), comment on the story.

The Voice of Science: Shelley Greene, Ph.D., comments:
This is a rare and admirable example of a man of the cloth allowing his ecumenical beliefs to be consistent with scientific certainty. Astronomer Coyne clearly does not believe that looking for scientific gaps in our knowledge of evolution makes for good science or religion. Perhaps he believes too that filling in those gaps with supernatural explanations amounts to what we might call 'bad science'.

The Voice of Faith: Peter Williamson, M.Div., comments:
Coyne, I believe, resigned his post in line with the new Papacy's long-awaited “course-correction” regarding matters of liturgical and philosophical comportment. Pope John Paul II’s congenial regard for evolution theory was unappreciated by a large number of Catholics and Christians. This kind of acquiescence will tend to breed confusion. Many of us have experienced directly how difficult it can be to keep that faith if scientific materialism gives you a statement of ‘truth’ that contradicts the Scripture. Coyne may appear to be a man ahead of his time, but he simply is a man with loosely held convictions.