Schönborn & Ratzinger on Evolution, Creation, and “Intelligent Design”

This program will be re-run this weekend:

Upcoming Schedule

Sunday, April 13, at 9:30 AM EDT
Sunday, April 13, at 2:00 PM EDT

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This weekend I heard the talk by Christoph Cardinal Schönborn at Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley, California, given February 15, 2008, and aired this weekend on CSpan2/BookTV (where it might be re-aired in future weeks). [Click here for info on the event, links for online viewing, or to order the DVD.]

Cardinal Schönborn spoke on the subject of his book Chance or purpose?: creation, evolution and a rational faith, which has been available in English since October 2007.

[added later:] The book of proceedings from the conference on Creation and Evolution hosted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 is also now available in English.

As I see it, the key statement by the Pope himself, as it appears in the German text, is:

Zusammenfassend möchte ich sagen: Die Naturwissen­schaft hat große Dimensionen der Vernunft erschlossen, die bisher nicht eröffnet waren, und uns dadurch neue Er­kenntnisse vermittelt. Aber in der Freude über die Größe ihrer Entdeckung tendiert sie dazu, uns Dimensionen der Vernunft wegzunehmen, die wir weiterhin brauchen. Ihre Ergebnisse führen zu Fragen, die über ihren methodischen Kanon hinausreichen, sich darin nicht beantworten lassen. Dennoch sind es Fragen, die die Vernunft stellen muß und die nicht einfach dem religiösen Gefühl überlassen werden dürfen. Man muß sie als vernünftige Fragen sehen und da­für auch vernünftige Weisen des Behandelns finden.

Pope Benedict XVI, Sept. 2, 2006, in Horn, Stephan O., and Siegfried Wiedenhofer, eds. Schöpfung Und Evolution: Eine Tagung Mit Papst Benedikt XVI, in Castel Gandolfo. Augsburg: Sankt Ulrich, 2007, pp. 151-152.

I plan to write about this when I get a chance. I will be quoting from the published English translation, except that I will keep Die Naturwissen­schaft in the German, or else substitute the more literal “Nature-science,” with some explanatory annotation.

The meaning of “science” has been central in U.S. debates over “Intelligent Design.” It’s important to observe the differences in meaning between “science” and “Wissenchaft,” if only to excavate problems in how “science” is being used in these U.S. debates.

One Comment

  1. Posted April 10, 2008 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Upcoming Schedule

    Sunday, April 13, at 9:30 AM EDT
    Sunday, April 13, at 2:00 PM EDT


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] Such beliefs are not even beliefs about the world that natural science investigates. The beliefs of Cardinal Schönborn and Pope Benedict concerning creation are on the same order: They are beliefs about metaphysical […]

  2. […] between religious faith and evolutionary science. Catholic authorities, including the current Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessors since at least Pius XII, also have affirmed the fundamental difference between […]

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