the Vatican celebrates Darwin

The Vatican is celebrating the year of Darwin by sponsoring a conference on evolution at Pontifical Gregorian University.  “Biological evolution: facts and theories” is part of a series of conferences commemorating the work of both Darwin and Galileo, and discussing their theological and philosophical implications.

The conference is organized into sections which will first present those facts that are known, then expand on the scientific theories that try to explain evolutionary mechanisms, on humanization, on philosophical questions and finally on the theological issues about Evolution.

The abstracts for all the presentations are available on the conference website.  It seems scientifically sound.  The best part?  According to a news blurb from AAAS,

The conference series has already sparked protests from backers of intelligent design, who claim that they have been barred from the meetings.  Conference organizers have explained the omission of ID proponents by referring to ID as “not a scientific perspective.”

I find it extremely gratifying that the Vatican does not recognize Intelligent Design.  The conference does include presentations of the history and background of creationism and intelligent design, and I applaud their convention of encapsulating “Intelligent Design” in quotation marks.

Overall, I think the Vatican is to be applauded for this timely and admirable forum on science and faith.  However, I just wanted to note that the only thing that strikes me as questionable are the numerous references to Teilhard de Chardin, who I consider to be the father of pseudoscience, and who is ironically often cited by IDists.  (I could be wrong about Teilhard de Chardin’s Omega Point theory being pseudoscience.  Maybe it’s just philosophy?  But just for fun, everyone should read the “scientific” explanation of the Omega Point in The Physics of Immortality by the pseudoscience genius and IDist Frank Tipler.)

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