World News and Trends: Catholic Church weighs in on intelligent design

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Catholic Church weighs in on intelligent design

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In January, an article in the official Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano labeled as "correct" the recent decision by a Pennsylvania judge that intelligent design should not be taught as a scientific alternative to evolution.

"It is not correct from a methodological point of view to stray from the field of science while pretending to do science," wrote Fiorenzo Facchini, professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Bologna, in the Jan. 16-17 edition, implying that intelligent design is unscientific. "It only creates confusion between the scientific plane and those that are philosophical or religious" (The New York Times, Jan. 19)

Dr. Francisco Ayala, professor of biology of the University of California, Irvine, and a former Dominican priest said: "He is emphasizing that there is no need to see a contradiction between Catholic teachings and evolution. Good for him" (ibid.)

Interesting. Why would the church, any church, give credence to a secular faith that opposes creationism?

Is intelligent design really unscientific? The argument is that it can't be proved through the scientific method. Of course, evolution can't be proved either—as it supposedly happens over eons, thereby preventing observation. Thus evolution is a theory that for many scientists seems to fit the facts.

In reality, however, it does not fit so well. From a mathematical probabilities standpoint, such things as the design and orderliness of the universe, the way our planet is fine-tuned for the existence of life and the astoundingly intricate design of the eye coming about by chance are impossibilities. (To learn more about this debate, request our free booklets Creation or Evolution: Does It Really Matter What You Believe? and Life's Ultimate Question: Does God Exist?)

There is, in fact, no greater scientist than the God who created and sustains the universe, our planet and its biosphere. Why do some scientists insist on separating hard science from religious faith—especially when such scientists show their faith in evolutionary "science," a hypothesis that, again, has never been proved? (Source: The New York Times.)