Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $37,094 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic World News News Feature

Vatican astronomer rips Intelligent Design theory November 18, 2005

The director of the Vatican Observatory has lashed out at proponents of the theory of Intelligent Design, the Italian news service ANSA reports.

"Intelligent design isn't science, even if it pretends to be," said Father George Coyne. He said that if the theory is introduced in schools, it should be taught in religion classes, not science classes. ANSA reported that the Jesuit priest made his remarks at a conference in Florence.

Father Coyne had criticized Intelligent Design previously, in an article that appeared in October in the British Catholic newspaper, The Tablet. In that article, he took issue with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who had published an essay in the New York Times pointing to the weaknesses of Darwinian evolutionary theory. Whereas Cardinal Schönborn argued that a strictly material approach to evolution cannot answer ultimate questions about the origin of man, Father Coyne countered that critics of evolution are underestimating God's willingness to give "freedom" to the processes of nature.

Statements by Vatican officials about Intelligent Design-- or even indirect references to that theory-- have commanded headlines in recent weeks. On November 3, when Cardinal Paul Poupard said that believers should be respectful of scientific evidence regarding evolution, many reporters and commentators cited the French prelate's statement as a rejection of Intelligent Design.

One week later the tables were turned when Pope Benedict XVI, during a regular weekly audience, gently rebuked those who "imagine the universe without guidance or order, as though at the mercy of chaos." Although the Pope was citing the word of St. Basil the Great, many media reporters claimed that he was not endorsing the Intelligent Design theory.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Pope is not the problem 11 hours ago
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. 13 hours ago
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? October 22
The Synod: It's a Wrap! October 21

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6