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Did Pope Benedict Really Dismiss Evolution as ‘Science Fiction’?

In a recent letter to Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Italian atheist and mathematician, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI used the term "science fiction." Odifreddi is the author of the 2011 book Dear Pope, I'm Writing to You, a critique of Benedict's theological writings. Benedict's letter is a response to that book, extracts of which were recently published in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica. In Odifreddi's book he referred repeatedly to theology as "science fiction." Benedict pointed out... Read More

Can Darwinism Survive without Teleology?

  Ever since Darwin, the concept of teleology has been suspect among biologists. What is so controversial about teleology? Most likely, its history! From the earliest Greek philosophers on, it was widely believed that the world must have a purpose because, as Aristotle would put it, “nature does nothing in vain,” and neither does God, as a Jew or Christian would say. In this often misunderstood view, any change in this world is due to final causes that move things to an ultimate... Read More

I’m a Direct Descendant of Darwin…and a Catholic

Darwin

"Are you related to the economist?” people sometimes ask when they see my surname. I explain that, yes, John Maynard Keynes is my great-great-uncle—his brother Geoffrey married Margaret Darwin, my great-grandmother. “So you’re related to Darwin too?” Yes, he’s my great-great-great grandfather. Eyes might fall on the cross around my neck: “And you’re a Christian?” Yes, a Catholic. “How does a Darwin end up Catholic?” The question genuinely seems to puzzle people.... Read More

What Is the Difference Between Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design?

What's the difference between creation, evolution, and intelligent design?   Creationism, Evolutionism, and Intelligent Design are three of the major positions on the question of how we got here. What’s the difference between these positions? That seemingly straightforward question proves surprisingly controversial. Let’s take a look at it . . .   The Basic Question The basic question at issue in the contemporary origins debate is whether or not the world was created. It could... Read More

Evolution Doesn’t Select for Ethics

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Filed under Evolution

The second most incorrect thing people say about evolution is that it is the survival of the fittest. (The most incorrect award has to go to the claim "it doesn’t exist"). The problem with this framing is that it sets up a picture of evolution-as-craftsman, carefully scrutinizing genetic variations and selecting and nurturing the most promising variant. But evolution isn’t selecting for, it’s selecting against. Instead of survival of the fittest, it’s the persistence of the... Read More

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