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← Pope: Humanity isn't random product of evolution

Pope: Humanity isn't random product of evolution - Comments

sbooder's Avatar Comment 1 by sbooder

"If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature," he said. "But no, reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine reason."

And the evidence for this "creative, divine reason"? Oh yes, none what so ever!

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 12:50:33 UTC | #619179

HardNosedSkeptic's Avatar Comment 2 by HardNosedSkeptic

Someone needs to explain how evolution works to this chap. Who says it's random chance?

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 12:54:10 UTC | #619180

liq's Avatar Comment 3 by liq

Everytime I hear someone say "It cant have happend by chance" I hear Prof. Dawkins voice in my head saying "WELL OFCOURSE IT CANT"

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:04:48 UTC | #619182

Chrisss212's Avatar Comment 4 by Chrisss212

How many times do people like Richard have to spell out "IT'S NOT RANDOM CHANCE!"

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:04:58 UTC | #619183

bujin's Avatar Comment 5 by bujin

The pope isn't merely a "random product of evolution". I think he dropped out of a camel's arse.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:05:33 UTC | #619184

plasma-engineer's Avatar Comment 6 by plasma-engineer

I wonder whether anyone has any evidence to suggest that we should expect anything more rational from Ratzinger. I don't think I have seen any yet!

I would like to issue a challenge to photographers too. Has anyone ever seen a photo of him were he does not look like the embodiment of all evil?

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:06:34 UTC | #619185

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 7 by Stafford Gordon

The headline should read "Old Man in a Frock and Funny Hat Makes a Declaration on a Subject About Which he is Totally Ignorant."

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:06:48 UTC | #619186

Pete.K's Avatar Comment 8 by Pete.K

Oh come on now, he has to spout this clap trap in order to keep himself in the luxury to which he has become accustomed, if he couldn't sell the god idea he would have to work for a living like the rest of us mere mortals.

Attack being the best form of defence we are now seeing an increase in attacks on the secular movement, they just don't want to let go of the privileged position they hold in some governments, unelected positions I might add. I don't ever recall voting for any one of the 26 bishops in the House of Lords. (But neither did I vote for the other tossers!).

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:09:28 UTC | #619187

Monkey Man's Avatar Comment 9 by Monkey Man

Someone needs to photoshop a picture of The Pope vs. The Wicker Man

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:14:44 UTC | #619188

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Comment 10 by Jos Gibbons

First the original article:

Humanity isn't random product of evolution

Indeed, it's an unintentional but non-random product of evolution, like all species. (Do not conflate intention with non-randomness.)

Benedict emphasized the Biblical account of creation

The Vatican has already conceded at least bits and pieces of evolution are right, and certainly enough of them to mean there never was a Garden of Eden or an Adam, Eve or talking snake. Do not emphasize a wrong Biblical account.

If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature ... reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine reason.

I've already dispensed with the random thing. Our ability to reason and our seeking teleological explanations are both well-understood in terms of adaptation; they are no more relevant to the Pope's defence of theism than any other biological adaptation of any species. If by "reason" he instead means the world obeying rules which make sense, I suggest the Pope Iook up Noether's theorem, which kinda forces that to happen with a for-once-pleasant catch 22.

God, not random chance, is the origin of the world.

The origins of the universe, Earth, its life & any one species (e.g. us) are separate processes with different explanations and occurred respectively 13.7 Gya, 4.5 Gya, 3.8 Gya & 6 Mya (all approximate). In each case the correct explanation is neither a deity nor random chance, though some statistics is needed to understand much of it.

Secondly, Coyne's:

There’s so much fail in the above that it’s not worth dissecting

Oops. Sorry.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:27:07 UTC | #619191

epeeist's Avatar Comment 11 by epeeist

Note this set of Catholic teachings on evolution and various other cosmological questions. In particular note the paragraph that ends

While the Church permits belief in either special creation or developmental creation on certain questions, it in no circumstances permits belief in atheistic evolution.

Personally I am extremely pleased that they can definitively say

Concerning cosmological evolution, the Church has infallibly defined that the universe was specially created out of nothing.

it means I can dump all my books on cosmology.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:27:48 UTC | #619193

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 12 by nancynancy

Poor Ratso, I almost feel sorry for him. He's in the twilight of his years; in charge of a morally bankrupt, increasingly irrelevant and dying institution. Certainly, he realizes that according to the standards of the "Good Book," he like the pedophile priests he sheltered over the decades, will roast in hell for all eternity.

What an idea for an opera -- Ratso's Inferno.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:28:10 UTC | #619194

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 13 by AtheistEgbert

I think it is time for a collaboration project between the main new atheist bloggers (Jerry Coyne, PZ Myers, Ophelia Benson, Eric Macdonald, and so on) and of course Professor Dawkins, to set up a website that provides information about new atheism, what it is about, what are its intentions, politically and socially. Why we've moved on from the old rational debates against apologists, why we're defenders of things like secularism, freedom, equality and open debate.

Such a website can provide leading articles about the movement, so that everyone is on message. Also provide articles about why only accommodationism is not the way forward.

I think that message is sometimes failing to reach those new to atheism, or those who are unaware of the efforts being made against atheists or the efforts to close the minds of children in education.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:38:21 UTC | #619198

Flapjack's Avatar Comment 14 by Flapjack

Well I'm glad he finally cleared that one up and I for one certainly don't feel the need to back that statement up with any data or empirical evidence. If the Pope said it it's good enough for me.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:39:39 UTC | #619199

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 15 by Steve Zara

Such a website can provide leading articles about the movement, so that everyone is on message.

My goodness no. The last thing we want is to try and encourage everyone to be 'on message'. We don't want New Atheism to become like New Labour, with urgent text messages going out from HQ as soon as anyone steps out of line.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:41:16 UTC | #619200

epeeist's Avatar Comment 16 by epeeist

Comment 12 by nancynancy :

Poor Ratso, I almost feel sorry for him. He's in the twilight of his years; in charge of a morally bankrupt, increasingly irrelevant and dying institution.

It isn't quite dying, simply moving to the third world. Note where the bigger numbers are in this article.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:42:04 UTC | #619201

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 17 by debonnesnouvelles

If I had said something like that in my biology school exams, I would have had zero points. Fail. Where did this pope get his school education? Oh dear, my home country... what a disgrace.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:42:16 UTC | #619202

AlexP's Avatar Comment 18 by AlexP

"If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature," he said. "But no, reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine reason."

So there has to be a creator, because if there weren't... life would make no sense.

I am at a loss how this argument is supposed to convince anyone. It is so obviously upside-down, it could be funny if it weren't for the solemn nods from the pope's hypnotized audience.

Despite, or rather because of its simplicity, this argument shows more than any other that religion boils down to nothing more than wishfull thinking. People want their lifes to make sense. Not a "mundane", limited sense you could find in work, joy, family, friends, art, science etc. No, a grand sense, an eternal, divine sense.

They want it, wish it, to be so. And if the only way to fulfill that wish is to imagine a creator and invent elaborate stories about him, than that is the "obvious" path to choose.

That our life would lack sense otherwise is not a reason why a creator must exist.

But that we crave for sense is the reason why the idea of a creator exists.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:43:20 UTC | #619203

robaylesbury's Avatar Comment 19 by robaylesbury

I see he's used his free tickets to the Creation Museum then.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:49:13 UTC | #619205

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 20 by aquilacane

Snordle

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:54:49 UTC | #619210

robaylesbury's Avatar Comment 21 by robaylesbury

Perhaps Cardinal Comfort has his ear, so to speak. Why do I have images of The Two Towers in my mind.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 13:56:48 UTC | #619211

Doonhamer's Avatar Comment 22 by Doonhamer

Wonder what Ken Miller will make of these comments!

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:13:31 UTC | #619219

Zelig's Avatar Comment 23 by Zelig

As the BBC never tired of telling us, this Pope may lack the "charisma" of his predecessor, but he is a scholar, an intellectual!

We can't allow the truth to emerge, for this would mean people like me and my organisation had little or no power. From this calculation everything else pretty much follows . . .

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:18:04 UTC | #619222

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 24 by strangebrew

This is not news...

For the last couple of years every time I had the audacity to mention on blogs and fora, that the Catholic church hated evolution and never wanted to support the premise apart from a slight wobble in the 80's, and that even the thought of it gave then colly wobbles then folks have derided my 'obvious bias 'and point out rather pompously that ' for my information JP2 accepted Evolutionary theory as far back as the 80's.'

I point out time and again that that was not exactly the case...if they read JP2's wobble on the subject they see this random selection meme was the Catholic Church attempting to draw a shaky line in the sand...this far no further quoth they to the encroachment of Science! That was a caveat....one of several JP2 inserted into the 'The RCC now believe in Evolution' meme.

It was wiggle room....nothing else...the RCC are pragmatic to say the least, but they had to appear contemporary, this was a smoke and mirrors gambit which paid off for a little while. Until Benny got top doggy spot...

Seems Benny flirted with ID...got papal fingers burnt and has now turned righteous indignation back on the 'ole enemy' Evolution! He is wiggling his geriatric torso as much as he can manage...he never liked it from the beginning anyway cos the middle ages weren't like that and the 'katoliks back then managed just fine without it!

Further evidence that spots never change and dogs don't do tricks in old age...

This year, students of the Legion of Christ, the conservative order undergoing a major Vatican-mandated overhaul, provided the liturgical service at the vigil. The Vatican took over the Legion last May 1 after confirming its founder was a pedophile.

A major Vatican-mandated overhaul ensures that the guilty bunch of kiddy fiddler enablers in that order get to lick Bennies nether regions, That is not an overhaul that is acceptance that they are holy enough to be in the Popes face...or other.. A kiddy fiddlers own private gang no less!...well! well! wel!l how shocking!

Further support for the claim that the RCC hierarchy have no intentions of dealing with kiddy fiddlers...just making sure that less folks know about it is all.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:20:41 UTC | #619223

scattering-like-light's Avatar Comment 25 by scattering-like-light

Comment 6 by plasma-engineer :

I would like to issue a challenge to photographers too. Has anyone ever seen a photo of him were he does not look like the embodiment of all evil?

No. It makes me laugh all the time to see him in dark emperor / evil overlord style photos. It's only the silly hat that makes him look more ridiculous than outright evil.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:22:05 UTC | #619224

ajs261's Avatar Comment 26 by ajs261

What justification does he give for his argument?

I wonder whether he is deluded or ignorant to the extent he comes across here or if he is just pandering to his deluded or ignorant followers.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:27:23 UTC | #619227

Richard Dawkins's Avatar Comment 27 by Richard Dawkins

We are told, over and over again, that evolution and Christianity are fully compatible, that sophisticated theologians understand this perfectly well and it is only fundamentalist wingnuts who have a problem with evolution. Well, here is the Pope, presumably a sophisticated theologian if ever there was one, demonstrating that he doesn't understand the first thing about evolution, even going so far as to think it is random.

Well, the next time anybody dares to tell you sophisticated theologians have no problem with evolution, thrust Benedict XVI in their face.

Richard

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:33:40 UTC | #619230

Tyler Durden's Avatar Comment 28 by Tyler Durden

Comment 27 by Richard Dawkins :

Well, the next time anybody dares to tell you sophisticated theologians have no problem with evolution, thrust Benedict XVI in their face.

Richard, please, I'm trying to eat lunch :)

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:40:04 UTC | #619233

archdeacon pluto's Avatar Comment 29 by archdeacon pluto

Divine reason? = square peg in a round hole . The Godsquad just don't get it .

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:49:57 UTC | #619238

paulmcuk's Avatar Comment 30 by paulmcuk

saying it was wrong to think at some point "in some tiny corner of the cosmos there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it."

But perfectly ok to think at some point there evolved randomly a being capable of creating a species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it.

Sounds to me like PB16 is worried the RCs have been left behind in the relevance stakes by the fundementalists since the Vatican started vaguely suggesting that there me be something to the whole evolution malarkey. He's trying to cash in on the popularity of creationism among the deluded by aligning himself with it.

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 14:57:28 UTC | #619241