“God Did Not Design Me”, To Coyne a Phrase!

Evolutionists are becoming rather worried about the distinct lack of success at indoctrinating American students with the wonders of their mythological creed. Notwithstanding the support of biased judges in U.S. Courtrooms, they have decided that they must launch a propaganda offensive to try and win the hearts and souls of the coming generations of young Americans.

This was recently illustrated by a well publicized symposium entitled ‘Anti-Evolutionism in America: What’s Ahead?’ Under the auspices of this symposium, a special event was held for pro-evolution teachers, bussed in from all over America. According to well respected Professor of Anatomy, and Creation lecturer, Dr. David Menton, teachers had been accused, throughout the main symposium, of a dismal failure to teach evolution. But during the special session, “teachers were warmly praised for their noble efforts”! www.answersingenesis.org/docs2006/0311aaas.asp

One of the principal speakers at the special session was none other than the notable Jesuit priest, Rev. Fr. George Coyne, who heads the Vatican Observatory at Castel Gandolfo, Italy. He is closely associated with the John Templeton Foundation, an extremely wealthy organization that seeks a Hegelian synthesis between religion and science.

Unfortunately, the Church was misrepresented before the speaker had even reached the podium. He was introduced as a leading authority on Catholic views about evolution, and while it is true that he is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, it is also true that this body, in the words of Archbishop Luigi Barbarito, “has no authority in matters of faith and doctrine and expresses only the views of its own members who belong to different religious beliefs.” (See ‘The Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Crisis of Faith’ in our Articles section). The fact is, no Catholic priest has doctrinal authority over the Magisterium, and the position of the Church is to be found in its Traditional teaching and Holy Scripture. The Council of Trent and Vatican Council I both stated explicitly that Holy Scripture must be interpreted in agreement with the unanimous belief of the Fathers of the Church. All of them teach that Genesis I-XI is an historical account and must be understood in the literal historical sense. Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical ‘Humani generis’, whilst allowing discussion and research of the development of the body from living matter, warned against the Theory of Evolution:

“Now Catholic theologians… cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand these same theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths.” http://webtools.kolbenet.com/shopcart.php?n=2&p=detail&i=358

A number of important points are raised by Fr. Coyne. We will limit ourselves here, to commenting upon those that concern the question of origins and science. A video presentation of the entire speech, ‘Evolution and Catholic Teachings’, can be viewed at www.aaas.org/programs/centers/pe/evoline/index.shtml

  • “Is God a scientist”. He is obviously not a scientist, but He is the author of creation, of nature, of intelligence, understanding and will. Therefore it could be said that He is the author of science.
  • “My eyes, our eyes, are amazing instruments, but if someone omnipotent were to design them I wish he’d given me 360 degree vision…” www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ss/stories/s1581473.htm Our eyes are indeed incredible instruments. They are often cited by evolutionists as examples of bad design. But this betrays a lack of scientific understanding on the part of evolutionists. Dr. David Menton, mentioned earlier in this report, explains why in a fantastic lecture that can be viewed online: www.presenttruthmag.com/genesisvideos/AIG_TEHI124.ram
  • “And no scientist, as such, is a Catholic… There is no such thing as Catholic science.” This statement betrays a common symptom of the modern world that stands in opposition to the sensus Fidei. The modern world wishes to separate and compartmentalize everything; when a Catholic scientist is at work, he is a scientist, he leaves his faith at home. When he gets home he can practice the Faith. This idea is erroneous. It rejects the rights, the majesty and the absolute sovereignty of Christ the King. In his encyclical letter ‘Quas Primas’, written to announce the establishment of the Feast of the Kingship of Christ, Pope Pius XI stated: “When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.”
  • “God is not a designer of the universe.” and “God did not design me.” can be found at www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/0220evo.shtml. These statements are, we assume, aimed as a not so subtle barb against the Intelligent Design movement. But it is a very poor choice of words. The Encyclopedia Britannica 2004 standard edition CD Rom defines ‘design’ as follows: “to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan or, a) to conceive or plan out in the mind b) to have as a purpose: intend c) to devise for a specific function or end.”
  • “Science was born, as we said, let’s say in the 17th century. The scriptures were written 2000 years before Christ, the Christian scriptures, and 200 years after Christ. How can there be any science in scripture? It didn’t exist…” This incredible statement appears to suggest that the pyramids of Egypt, Mexico or Peru, for instance, were put together without scientific knowledge. How about the precise astronomical knowledge and engineering that went into the building of Stonehenge or Newgrange? No-one suggests that Holy Scripture is a scientific textbook. But what is plainly evident through faith and reason is that Scripture is a history book. Furthermore, part of that history relates to processes that can be investigated and researched by scientific enquiry.

At a time when many secular commentators are beginning to recognize the important role played by the Church and the faithful in the development of science, it is very sad to see prelates of the Church denigrate and dismiss Catholic science, and the science of Creation. “…the literal interpretation of Scripture; that is a plague in our midst..” Tom Bethell, for instance, who is senior editor at the ‘American Spectator’ and a well respected science commentator, is not Catholic as far as we are aware*. Yet, Mr. Bethell donates an entire chapter of his book ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science’ to defending the historic role of the Church in this regard. Do two thousand years of Catholic existence, dogma, tradition and piety really count for nothing?

* Editor: We have since become aware that Mr. Bethell is a Roman Catholic. EAR 4/25/06

Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad; for the work of Your hands I shout with joy, O Lord, how great are Your works! How deep are your designs! The foolish man cannot know this, And the fool cannot understand.

Psalm 92.