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Vatican official calls atheist theories 'absurd' - Comments

Brian English's Avatar Comment 1 by Brian English

Has Richard really ever said that Evolution proves there is no God? I've never read this. This reminds me of what the execrable guy from the Age said the other day. It's just a theist canard I suppose.

First post, woo!

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:38:00 UTC | #332570

jignle's Avatar Comment 2 by jignle

I can't prove the negative that Prof. Dawkins never said it... but I know he considers himself a 6 leaning toward 7 on his atheism scale (i.e. the case can never be absolutely proven)... so... yup another cardinal talking out his backside. Shocking!

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:43:00 UTC | #332574

Eshto's Avatar Comment 3 by Eshto

Evolution sure as hell disproves a loving God.

But it still leaves room for a non-intervening one who either doesn't give a shit when creatures suffer or finds it amusing to watch.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:44:00 UTC | #332576

Tranca's Avatar Comment 4 by Tranca

Evolution doesn't prove there isn't a god. But it doesn't help.
But if you ask: Looking at evolution do you find any evidence of a loving God? I wonder what would be Cardinal Answer.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:45:00 UTC | #332577

Raldo's Avatar Comment 5 by Raldo

"The Vatican listens and Learns"

It would be hilarious, except the guy clearly believes it.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:45:00 UTC | #332578

Brian English's Avatar Comment 6 by Brian English

Evolution certainly makes the case stronger for not needing a god to explain anything. Without a viable scientific theory one could say that yes, it's logically possible that life isn't dependent on god for its existence, but what explanation do you have for that?. With evolution by natural selection you can go past the philosophical case (of the unnecessary god) and offer a great theory that's backed by the evidence and explains the fact of evolution (transitional forms, DNA evidence, etc).

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:45:00 UTC | #332579

Sarmatae1's Avatar Comment 7 by Sarmatae1

I don't ever recall reading anything from Dawkins that says evolution proves there is no god either. Or from just about any informed person. Evolution makes gods unnecessary is about as strong a statement as I recall.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:50:00 UTC | #332582

Thomas Byrne's Avatar Comment 8 by Thomas Byrne

On a recent programme on BBC 2 he said that evolution took away the best argument for gods existence (ie. think Paley) but, he never said it proved there was no god.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:51:00 UTC | #332584

Danno Davis's Avatar Comment 9 by Danno Davis

Could we at least all agree that the Vatican's opposing the teaching of ID in schools is a very good thing indeed? There's a spectrum of religious idiocy out there, and it's positions like those that make me think that the Vatican is gravitating toward the more favorable end.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:52:00 UTC | #332586

Brian English's Avatar Comment 10 by Brian English

Could we at least all agree that the Vatican's opposing the teaching of ID in schools is a very good thing indeed? There's a spectrum of religious idiocy out there, and it's positions like those that make me think that the Vatican is gravitating toward the more favorable end.
I agree it's better than the fundis. I had a Catholic education and whilst there was RE classes and the odd school mass, there never was any censuring of science. Religion really didn't come up in science classes. I guess it was a fuzzy NOMA or something.

Anyway, the Catholic Church doesn't hold that the scriptures are the best or only source of doctrine. They have a long tradition of scholastic interpretation and stuff that allows them to accept some scientific thinking, at least accept more than a dyed-in-the-wool fundi would. But don't mistake this freedom for the church being liberal. They hierarchy, at least, is very illiberal.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 15:56:00 UTC | #332587

heafnerj's Avatar Comment 11 by heafnerj

Science doesn't *prove* anything. No scientist has ever proven anything. Science is about gathering evidence and drawing conclusions from that evidence. Our society is obsessed with the p-word: proof. Proof exists only in mathematical theorems and in courtrooms, but not in science. I hit this concept hard in my intro courses.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:00:00 UTC | #332589

Fuller's Avatar Comment 12 by Fuller

Of course he thinks that atheism is absurd. He wouldn't be much of a cardinal if he didn't.

Not news!

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:04:00 UTC | #332590

Brian English's Avatar Comment 13 by Brian English

Proof exists only in mathematical theorems and in courtrooms, but not in science. I hit this concept hard in my intro courses.
This is somewhat confusing to me. The courtroom draws conclusions on evidence that has been gathered by groups like the police and given in testimony. It is very like the scientific method, only less rigorous. Courtrooms say proved beyond reasonable doubt. Which is what we'd say about evolution. A court decision can be and sometimes is wrong. I agree that neither science or the law give mathematical certainty or proof. But if a person can be proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, so can a theory? I guess it's all semantics.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:05:00 UTC | #332591

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 14 by Bonzai

Well the Vatican is not really in a good position to label any 'theory' as 'absurd' given what the Catholic Church believes in.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:06:00 UTC | #332592

Apathy personified's Avatar Comment 15 by Apathy personified

"Of course we think that's absurd and not at all proven,"

Ha! - I was just thinking the same thing when reading what various catholics have had to say about their magical sky elf.

I hope one of these helpful cardinals at the conference will explain how they think that the concept of original sin and the scientific fact of evolution fits together consistantly - I'm not holding my breath though.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:07:00 UTC | #332593

Brian English's Avatar Comment 16 by Brian English

Bonzai, is that a category error? The church doesn't offer it's doctrinal beliefs as scientific theories. They are things one is required to believe, evidence or no, to be a Catholic.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:08:00 UTC | #332594

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 17 by Bonzai

Brian

Without a viable scientific theory one could say that yes, it's logically possible that life isn't dependent on god for its existence, but what explanation do you have for that?


Sorry to nitpick here, but I think even without any scientific theory the case for 'God did it" is just as weak. 'God did it" is not an alternative explanation, not even a poor one. It is just another way of saying "I have no fucking clue so I made up a story".

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:12:00 UTC | #332596

Bonzai's Avatar Comment 18 by Bonzai

Brian

Bonzai, is that a category error? The church doesn't offer it's doctrinal beliefs as scientific theories


No, not as theories. They assert that their absurd beliefs are facts.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:15:00 UTC | #332599

Tranca's Avatar Comment 19 by Tranca

11. Comment #348613 by heafnerj
"Science doesn't *prove* anything"


Right. Science disproves. No scientist i know talks about proof. Usualy they say a lot about facts (that just are), theory (an explanation supported by lots of facts), and the scientific method (drives the all thing). Because our knowledge isn't perfect theories can only be opened to new facts that can or not disprove them.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:18:00 UTC | #332601

Star Spangled Eagle's Avatar Comment 20 by Star Spangled Eagle

HAHA:

Solve: Vatican official calls atheist theories 'absurd'

Given: The very idea of Jewish Savior Zombies is not absurd.

'nuff said.

*edited for clarity.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:19:00 UTC | #332603

Diogenes of Sinope's Avatar Comment 21 by Diogenes of Sinope

Evolution may not disprove the existence of God, but it does disprove the existence of an immaterial soul, which together with the afterlife is far more important to religion than the idea of God. If there was no God but there was an afterlife, the idea would affect our lives just as much; however, if there was a God but no afterlife, no-one would care about him in the least, or certainly not enough to fly into buildings!

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:26:00 UTC | #332604

KRKBAB's Avatar Comment 22 by KRKBAB

I have heard R.D. come real REAL close to saying there is no god- BUT- he never does. Besides, don't theists get the fact that you can't "prove" the non-existence of anything? Can't they accept that what we (atheists) state is that a god is highly, highly, highly unlikely? Perhaps the best way to "enlighten" theists is to say that evolution (by natl' selection) makes god obsolete.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:29:00 UTC | #332605

Brian English's Avatar Comment 24 by Brian English

Bonzai:

Sorry to nitpick here, but I think even without any scientific theory the case for 'God did it" is just as weak. 'God did it" is not an alternative explanation, not even a poor one.
You're right, but a lot of people want an explanation, any explanation (or pseudo explanation). Before evolution was a well supported theory there weren't many explanations going around. Most people just assume that if there's only one explanation, then it must be the only one. Godbots still think that if they can disprove evolution that proves creation true. The old if it's not Christmas day it must be New Year's day fallacy.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:30:00 UTC | #332608

root2squared's Avatar Comment 23 by root2squared

In other news, astrologers claim theories of astronomy are absurd.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:30:00 UTC | #332606

PrimeNumbers's Avatar Comment 25 by PrimeNumbers

Talk about straw man! And talk about pot calling kettle black - Catholicism never proved anything beyond "there's one born every minute."

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:41:00 UTC | #332610

Blue Monster 65's Avatar Comment 26 by Blue Monster 65

Don't you just want to come back and say to them, "Well - DUH! What else would someone from the Vatican or any religious organization to say?"

I can say the frogs in my pond talk to me and tell me of the great amphibian in the muck who started it all, but it doesn't make it so.

Actually, that makes as much sense to me as anything I've heard in ages from the Vatican.

Idiots all, interested only in their own political power. Sigh ...

Scott

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:43:00 UTC | #332611

Tranca's Avatar Comment 27 by Tranca

22. Comment #348629 by Diogenes of Sinope
"Evolution may not disprove the existence of God, but it does disprove the existence of an immaterial soul" ´

How so? it depends how you define it right?

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:45:00 UTC | #332612

AmericanGodless's Avatar Comment 28 by AmericanGodless

..described as "absurd" the atheist notion that evolution proves there is no God.
Right. And there is also that equally absurd notion that astronomy and interplanetary space probes have proved that the Earth orbits the Sun. Evolution is just the way God makes his miracle of creation appear to atheistic naturalists; and orbital mechanics is just what His created Earth-centered universe looks like to unbelieving materialists.

Science never "proves" anything. But what is probable?

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:46:00 UTC | #332614

MelM's Avatar Comment 29 by MelM

"...there is no incompatibility between faith and reason"

Alright you scientists. You're holding out on the scientific basis of the eucharist crackers. C'mon now; quit suppressing the truth.

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:48:00 UTC | #332615

Diogenes of Sinope's Avatar Comment 30 by Diogenes of Sinope

Tranca-

Depends how you define what - God or the soul?

Of course, certainly a loving, and almost as certainly a personal, God is knocked right out of the picture, disproved to all but the philosphers. A Deist god is of no interest to anybody.

And as to the soul, I was using the word in it's religious sense, i.e., the part of us which is (allegedly) somehow seperate from our physical selves, and to which justice will be (and should be) meted, which simply HAS been disproved by neuroscience.

I trust I explain myself :-)

Tue, 03 Mar 2009 16:53:00 UTC | #332616