The Times (July 9, 2005) has an article following an Op Ed last week by  
Cardinal Schonborn on the issue of Intelligent Design (Both articles below). The  
article starts:  
An influential cardinal in the Roman Catholic  Church, which has long been 
regarded as an ally of the theory of evolution, is  now suggesting that belief 
in evolution as accepted by science today may be  incompatible with Catholic 
One is tempted to think, "What took you so  long?" Not scientific caution or 
concern over truth, it would seem. Clearly the  previous position cited from 
Pope Paul was defensive public relations.  Challenging Darwin in public is 
dangerous for public orgs in their PR mode, and  the Dalai Lama and even most New 
Age gurus (with important exceptiosn) wouldn't  dare mention the issue, lest 
their market share plummet. Maybe now public  opinion has been sufficiently 
reworked from something a bit bolder, some old  scams on the design front 
Now that the ID movement has tested the  waters and taken the flak, the 
Catholic Church may be getting up the nerve to  cash in on the public muddle 
created by the Darwin debate on both sides. The  argument by design used to be 
Catholic dogma, perhaps they can get their old  authority back, this time dressed 
up in the ID proponent William Dembski's  statistical sophistries. So which is 
it? Statistics, or papal authority, and the  'plausibility' created by prior 
faith? At least Behe, Dembski and the Discovery  institute indulged in the 
pretense of arguing the case. This situation can be  dangerous, because the 
propaganda machine run by the Catholic Church is capable  of immense harm in the 
influence it wields on innocent believers, and its  ability to declare by fiat 
and the subtle intimidation of hierarchical  authority. 
In fact, the danger here is also the complete stupidity of  Darwinists 
defending their own 'faith'. They will continue pronouncing the same  Darwin dogmas 
to have scientifically resolved this issue once and for all as  these 
reactionaries, unable to believe their good fortune, are handed a trump  card they 
have no business playing. It is almost pitiful. Darwinists have set  the secular 
public up for a fall, and have actually allowed religionists to  upstage them 
with the criticisms of evolutionary theory. 
What is needed is  an intelligent secular Postdarwinism that can deal 
properly with the shibboleths  of purpose that religionists are all to eager to claim 
from an age of Big  Science frozen in positivistic methodology. In that 
context questions of faith  must be shown up as the problematical legacies they 
are. Darwin's theory may be  flawed, and questions of purpose my be relevant, but 
if this true we must not be  too timid as to exempt Christian theology from a 
thorough critique, and a  warning that authoritarian means of deciding these 
issues can wreak havoc on a  public still lamentably in thrall to exploiting 

Time to consider these issues in light of the eonic effect 
(_http://eonix.8m.com_ ( ), the evidence of non-random  'evolution' visible 
in history, evidence that comprehensively throws light on  the place of 
religion, especially monotheism, in world history. Time to consider  the facts of 
evolution here, what that means. One can only recommend the  methodology of the 
eonic history/evolution discourse, in which the question  of 'evolution' in 
its proper meaning overlaps with the historical enquiry into  the emergence of 
civilization. There the great religions show their signature as  evolutionary, 
not revelatory, constructs, and their remnants must confront the  exploitation 
of Axial Age myths in their metaphysical presumptions. The issues  of 
'providence', and 'purpose' can be wrested from both the fallacies of  reductionism, 
and the ideological propaganda the Christian churches wish to make  of them. 
This creates a level playing field. If you wish to talk 'evolution',  then the 
status of the Old Testament gets tabled immediately. The secular  
interpretation may be as wrong as the religious. So what is the meaning of the  Axial Age 
in light of evolution, taken historically? 
Thus, the Christian  churches are certainly welcome to enter the fray, but 
can have no  real place in the Darwin debate unless they can accept the findings 
of  Biblical Criticism in the same way that they examine the flaws of 
Darwinism. And  the ascription of purpose to the universe must allow challenge to the 
false  teleologies built into Christian theology. This just for starters. In 
general,  the risk here is that the Catholic Church will do what can to 
destroy real  debate, if it can win back sufficient gullible assent to exert its 
authority  over the issue. 
One is suspicious that this kind of outcome was precisely  what the 
Intelligent Design movement leaders wished for all along, in some form  or another. 
Control by fiat, and the indoctrination by religious means of  resurgent 
'postmodern' anti-secularism. Their critiques of Darwinism ring a bit  hollow, having 
been soaked up from dissenting scientists who did not think their  critiques 
for rehashing the argument by design, or theistic metaphysical  exploitations. 
It is the power to control gullible minds that is up for grabs. 
Let us be clear what 'purpose' amounts to in this demented ideologies. Mad  
eschatologists wish to seize control of the future, by appeals to faith,  
otherwise by terrorist acts of---yes it all sounds familiar. 

Finding Design in Nature--NY Times OP ED 

Published: July 7, 2005

EVER since 1996, when  Pope John Paul II said that evolution (a term he did 
not define) was "more than  just a hypothesis," defenders of neo-Darwinian 
dogma have often invoked the  supposed acceptance - or at least acquiescence - of 
the Roman Catholic Church  when they defend their theory as somehow compatible 
with Christian faith.
But  this is not true. The Catholic Church, while leaving to science many 
details  about the history of life on earth, proclaims that by the light of 
reason the  human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in 
the  natural world, including the world of living things.
Evolution in the sense  of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in 
the neo-Darwinian sense - an  unguided, unplanned process of random variation 
and natural selection - is not.  Any system of thought that denies or seeks to 
explain away the overwhelming  evidence for design in biology is ideology, not 
Consider the real  teaching of our beloved John Paul. While his rather vague 
and unimportant 1996  letter about evolution is always and everywhere cited, 
we see no one discussing  these comments from a 1985 general audience that 
represents his robust teaching  on nature:
"All the observations concerning the development of life lead to a  similar 
conclusion. The evolution of living beings, of which science seeks to  
determine the stages and to discern the mechanism, presents an internal finality  
which arouses admiration. This finality which directs beings in a direction for  
which they are not responsible or in charge, obliges one to suppose a Mind 
which  is its inventor, its creator."
He went on: "To all these indications of the  existence of God the Creator, 
some oppose the power of chance or of the proper  mechanisms of matter. To 
speak of chance for a universe which presents such a  complex organization in its 
elements and such marvelous finality in its life  would be equivalent to 
giving up the search for an explanation of the world as  it appears to us. In fact, 
this would be equivalent to admitting effects without  a cause. It would be 
to abdicate human intelligence, which would thus refuse to  think and to seek a 
solution for its problems."
Note that in this quotation  the word "finality" is a philosophical term 
synonymous with final cause, purpose  or design. In comments at another general 
audience a year later, John Paul  concludes, "It is clear that the truth of 
faith about creation is radically  opposed to the theories of materialistic 
philosophy. These view the cosmos as  the result of an evolution of matter reducible 
to pure chance and  necessity."
Naturally, the authoritative Catechism of the Catholic Church  agrees: "Human 
intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to  the question 
of origins. The existence of God the Creator can be known with  certainty 
through his works, by the light of human reason." It adds: "We believe  that God 
created the world according to his wisdom. It is not the product of any  
necessity whatever, nor of blind fate or chance."
In an unfortunate new twist  on this old controversy, neo-Darwinists recently 
have sought to portray our new  pope, Benedict XVI, as a satisfied 
evolutionist. They have quoted a sentence  about common ancestry from a 2004 document of 
the International Theological  Commission, pointed out that Benedict was at 
the time head of the commission,  and concluded that the Catholic Church has no 
problem with the notion of  "evolution" as used by mainstream biologists - 
that is, synonymous with  neo-Darwinism.
The commission's document, however, reaffirms the perennial  teaching of the 
Catholic Church about the reality of design in nature.  Commenting on the 
widespread abuse of John Paul's 1996 letter on evolution, the  commission cautions 
that "the letter cannot be read as a blanket approbation of  all theories of 
evolution, including those of a neo-Darwinian provenance which  explicitly 
deny to divine providence any truly causal role in the development of  life in 
the universe."
Furthermore, according to the commission, "An unguided  evolutionary process 
- one that falls outside the bounds of divine providence -  simply cannot 
Indeed, in the homily at his installation just a few  weeks ago, Benedict 
proclaimed: "We are not some casual and meaningless product  of evolution. Each 
of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is  willed, each of us is 
loved, each of us is necessary."
Throughout history the  church has defended the truths of faith given by 
Jesus Christ. But in the modern  era, the Catholic Church is in the odd position 
of standing in firm defense of  reason as well. In the 19th century, the First 
Vatican Council taught a world  newly enthralled by the "death of God" that by 
the use of reason alone mankind  could come to know the reality of the 
Uncaused Cause, the First Mover, the God  of the philosophers.
Now at the beginning of the 21st century, faced with  scientific claims like 
neo-Darwinism and the multiverse hypothesis in cosmology  invented to avoid 
the overwhelming evidence for purpose and design found in  modern science, the 
Catholic Church will again defend human reason by  proclaiming that the 
immanent design evident in nature is real. Scientific  theories that try to explain 
away the appearance of design as the result of  "chance and necessity" are not 
scientific at all, but, as John Paul put it, an  abdication of human 

Christoph Schönborn, the Roman Catholic  cardinal archbishop of Vienna, was 
the lead editor of the official 1992  Catechism of the Catholic Church

Followup article on frontpage of Times,  July 9, 2005

An influential cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, which  has long been 
regarded as an ally of the theory of evolution, is now suggesting  that belief 
in evolution as accepted by science today may be incompatible with  Catholic 
The cardinal, Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, a  theologian who is 
close to Pope Benedict XVI, staked out his position in an  Op-Ed article in 
The New York Times on Thursday, writing, "Evolution in the  sense of common 
ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense  - an unguided, 
unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is  not."
In a telephone interview from a monastery in Austria, where he was on  
retreat, the cardinal said that his essay had not been approved by the Vatican,  but 
that two or three weeks before Pope Benedict XVI's election in April, he  
spoke with the pope, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, about the church's position  
on evolution. "I said I would like to have a more explicit statement about 
that,  and he encouraged me to go on," said Cardinal Schönborn.
He said that he had  been "angry" for years about writers and theologians, 
many Catholics, who he  said had "misrepresented" the church's position as 
endorsing the idea of  evolution as a random process.
Opponents of Darwinian evolution said they  were gratified by Cardinal 
Schönborn's essay. But scientists and science  teachers reacted with confusion, 
dismay and even anger. Some said they feared  the cardinal's sentiments would 
cause religious scientists to question their  faiths.
Cardinal Schönborn, who is on the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic  
Education, said the office had no plans to issue new guidance to teachers in  
Catholic schools on evolution. But he said he believed students in Catholic  
schools, and all schools, should be taught that evolution is just one of many  
theories. Many Catholic schools teach Darwinian evolution, in which accidental  
mutation and natural selection of the fittest organisms drive the history of  
life, as part of their science curriculum.
Darwinian evolution is the  foundation of modern biology. While researchers 
may debate details of how the  mechanism of evolution plays out, there is no 
credible scientific challenge to  the underlying theory.
American Catholics and conservative evangelical  Christians have been a 
potent united front in opposing abortion, stem cell  research and euthanasia, but 
had parted company on the death penalty and the  teaching of evolution. 
Cardinal Schönborn's essay and comments are an indication  that the church may now 
enter the debate over evolution more forcefully on the  side of those who oppose 
the teaching of evolution alone.
One of the  strongest advocates of teaching alternatives to evolution is the 
Discovery  Institute in Seattle, which promotes the idea, termed intelligent 
design, that  the variety and complexity of life on earth cannot be explained 
except through  the intervention of a designer of some sort.
Mark Ryland, a vice president of  the institute, said in an interview that he 
had urged the cardinal to write the  essay. Both Mr. Ryland and Cardinal 
Schönborn said that an essay in May in The  Times about the compatibility of 
religion and evolutionary theory by Lawrence M.  Krauss, a physicist at Case 
Western Reserve University in Cleveland, suggested  to them that it was time to 
clarify the church's position on evolution.
The  cardinal's essay was submitted to The Times by a Virginia public 
relations firm,  Creative Response Concepts, which also represents the Discovery  
Mr. Ryland, who said he knew the cardinal through the  International 
Theological Institute in Gaming, Austria, where he is chancellor  and Mr. Ryland is on 
the board, said supporters of intelligent design were "very  excited" that a 
church leader had taken a position opposing Darwinian evolution.  "It 
clarified that in some sense the Catholics aren't fine with it," he  said.
Bruce Chapman, the institute's president, said the cardinal's essay  "helps 
blunt the claims" that the church "has spoken on Darwinian evolution in a  way 
that's supportive."
But some biologists and others said they read the  essay as abandoning 
longstanding church support for evolutionary  biology.
"How did the Discovery Institute talking points wind up in Vienna?"  wondered 
Glenn Branch, deputy director of the National Center for Science  Education, 
which advocates the teaching of evolution. "It really did look quite  a bit as 
if Cardinal Schönborn had been reading their Web pages."
Mr. Ryland  said the cardinal was well versed on these issues and had written 
the essay on  his own.
Dr. Francis Collins, who headed the official American effort to  decipher the 
human genome, and who describes himself as a Christian, though not  a 
Catholic, said Cardinal Schönborn's essay looked like "a step in the wrong  
direction" and said he feared that it "may represent some backpedaling from what  
scientifically is a very compelling conclusion, especially now that we have the  
ability to study DNA."
"There is a deep and growing chasm between the  scientific and the spiritual 
world views," he went on. "To the extent that the  cardinal's essay makes 
believing scientists less and less comfortable inhabiting  the middle ground, it 
is unfortunate. It makes me uneasy."
"Unguided,"  "unplanned," "random" and "natural" are all adjectives that 
biologists might  apply to the process of evolution, said Dr. Kenneth R. Miller, a 
professor of  biology at Brown and a Catholic. But even so, he said, 
evolution "can fall  within God's providential plan." He added: "Science cannot rule 
it out. Science  cannot speak on this."
Dr. Miller, whose book "Finding Darwin's God"  describes his reconciliation 
of evolutionary theory with Christian faith, said  the essay seemed to equate 
belief in evolution with disbelief in God. That is  alarming, he said. "It may 
have the effect of convincing Catholics that  evolution is something they 
should reject."
Dr. Collins and other scientists  said they could understand why a cleric 
might want to make the case that, as Dr.  Collins put it, "evolution is the 
mechanism by which human beings came into  existence, but God had something to do 
with that, too." Dr. Collins said that  view, theistic evolution, "is shared 
with a very large number of biologists who  also believe in God, including me."
But it does not encompass the idea that  the workings of evolution required 
the direct intervention of a supernatural  agent, as intelligent design would 
have it.
In his essay, Cardinal Schönborn  asserted that he was not trying to break 
new ground but to correct the idea,  "often invoked," that the church accepts or 
at least acquiesces to the theory of  evolution.
He referred to widely cited remarks by Pope John Paul II, who, in  a 1996 
address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, noted that the scientific  case 
for evolution was growing stronger and that the theory was "more than a  
In December, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, chairman of the  Committee on 
Science and Human Values of the United States Conference of  Catholic Bishops, 
cited those remarks in writing to the nation's bishops that  "the Church does not 
need to fear the teaching of evolution as long as it is  understood as a 
scientific account of the physical origins and development of  the universe." But 
in his essay, Cardinal Schönborn dismissed John Paul's  statement as "rather 
vague and unimportant."
Francisco Ayala, a professor of  biology at the University of California, 
Irvine, and a former Dominican priest,  called this assessment "an insult" to the 
late pope and said the cardinal seemed  to be drawing a line between the 
theory of evolution and religious faith, and  "seeing a conflict that does not 
Dr. Miller said he was already  hearing from people worried about the 
cardinal's essay. "People are saying, does  the church really believe this?" He said 
he would not speculate. "John Paul II  made it very clear that he regarded 
scientific rationality as a gift from God,"  Dr. Miller said, adding, "There are 
more than 100 cardinals and they often have  conflicting opinions."
John  Landon

World History 
And The Eonic Effect
2nd  Edition
Selections from new edition &
Darwiniana: Evolution  Blog
_http://eonix.8m.com_ (