The Vatican has issued a strong defense of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian Fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.
Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture (yeesh, where do they come up with these names?), said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's theory of evolution were "perfectly compatible" if the Bible were read correctly.
His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners.
"The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator".
This idea was part of theology, Cardinal Poupard emphasised, while the precise details of how creation and the development of the species came about belonged to a different realm - science. Cardinal Poupard said that it was important for Catholic believers to know how science saw things so as to "understand things better".
His statements were interpreted as a rejection of the "intelligent design" view, which says the universe is so complex that some higher being must have designed every detail.
In the US, Intelligent Design proponents couldn't care less about what the Vatican says, and continue their attempts to have the doctrine inserted into the public school curriculums in a number of states, continuing their efforts to mix religion with science. It is illegal to teach anything with a primarily religious purpose or effect on students in government-funded US schools.
Meanwhile, in the courtroom, under cross examination, ID proponent Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, admitted his definition of “theory” was so broad it would also include astrology. So, Astrology would be considered a scientific theory if judged by the same criteria used by a well-known advocate of Intelligent Design to justify his claim that ID is science, a landmark US trial heard in mid October.
The score? Church 1, Fundamentalists, 0 (IMHO)
Church, for respecting science as a valid domain separate from Religion and the fact that the two can exist together without negating each other.
Fundamentalists, zero - for attempting to pass off religion as science.
You know what I think? It's funny watching people get cut by their own swords. One group wants Creationism, another wants handing out condoms, another wants a moment for prayer, and yet another wants to teach how to save the environment.
What's been lost in all of this is that our schools still can't adequately teach reading, writing and arithmetic! That's why my boss is importing talent from another country.