I think I was the only theologian testifying. And some of these are Protestants and Rahner a Catholic. JH: Today in the academic world, Christian theologians are ecumenical in their thinking. Almost all the theology that I do is the kind of reflection on biblical faith that falls within the wide circle of Christian thinking.
Karl Rahner, for example, was a Catholic, but his thought was also informed by his reading of non-Catholic theology. AS: Do you think that particular religions have separate issues in terms of science and religion? JH: Oh, yes. The concordist approach is still literalist at heart. Yet something like that is still being practiced, at times at least, in both the Christian and the Muslim worlds. Religious traditions—including Christianity—still have a long way to go in looking closely at evolution. AS: But in general, you see this as really an ecumenical enterprise? JH: Ecumenical and interreligious.
JH: I like to tell people that Catholicism is a very pluralistic religion, and by that I mean it comes in many different stripes.
At other Catholic law schools, such as Georgetown or Loyola, there is a different atmosphere. AS: Is there a single Catholic position on evolution? In John Paul II issued a statement in which he said that evolution is more than just a hypothesis, that the research of many different sciences points toward its high degree of coherence and plausibility.
He went on to say that what Catholicism rejects is materialism. The Pope knew that there are materialistic interpretations of evolution, and he wanted to distinguish the science of evolution from the materialist spin that some thinkers put on it. The way natural theology works is to see if we can determine by way of our studying of the Book of Nature, as distinct from the Book of Scripture, whether anything in nature points toward a creator.
In my testimony I just mentioned a couple of the high points: Thomas Aquinas and William Paley, who are only two—but two major—figures in the natural theology tradition, and Catholicism has traditionally been rather favorably disposed towards natural theology. There are two different ways of looking at it. There is no attempt to prove the existence of God. In my theology of evolution I ask: What might the Darwinian understanding of the life story mean when viewed from the perspective of Christian faith, and what are the implications of evolution for understanding the content of faith?
The conversation with science allows us to dig deeper into the meaning of our faith traditions. AS: That seems to be quite a lot of what the science and religion dialogue does. JH: Very much so. What do you see as your role in groups like this? JH: As a theologian, one of my objectives is to share with others the beauty that I see in my tradition, and that means that I want to remove any unnecessary obstacles that stand in the way of intelligent people appreciating what I see as truthful, lovely, humane and salvific in my faith tradition.
Part of the reason for that is that many scientists are no better educated in scriptural interpretation than are creationists and biblical literalists. And so I think my role is, first of all, to make sure that when we look at important scriptural texts we look at them with a level of depth that gets beneath their surface meaning.
What I hope we can all do is dig beneath the texts of our religions on one hand and the scientific reading of nature on the other and find a new level of depth beneath both of those books, the Book of Nature and the Book of Scripture. In this depth my wager is that a meaningful conversation can take place in such a way that the two readings nourish each other. AS: When you were testifying in the trial, there was obviously the specific case at hand, but it appears that there was also an awareness on the part of everyone in the trial, that there was a larger audience.
JH: Yes, and as I said earlier, this was a legal context. If you can make the case that intelligent design, like creationism, illegally introduces theology into public school science classrooms, then that helps the judge make his decision; and of course I thought he made the right one. AS: Did you agree with the way that he reached that decision, the legal reasoning that came out in his opinion? JH: Yes, I thought it was very rationally done, and there was really nothing in it that I found objec ionable.
I think the judge could have arrived at his decisions on the basis of the testimony of the scientists and philosophers. I think I had only a rather peripheral role in the event. I think that at least part of my function at the trial was to show that one can reject intelligent design as both a scientific and a theological idea without being a materialist Darwinian. JH: Not at the level of science and religion.
There is a conflict, however, between a materialist interpretation of evolution and a theological vision of reality, and part of the problem with the whole intelligent design movement, is that the advocates of intelligent design have not clearly seen this difference. AS: In your testimony, you described it by saying that, even though people like Dawkins or Gould, or E. AS: And the same thing holds for the intelligent design advocates.
And most of the original scientists, such as Galileo, were deeply religious people. But Galileo clearly understood, better than many of the churchmen of his own day, the difference between scientific information and religious belief.
AS: So when people get involved in the science and religion dialogue, do they have to step outside of those contexts? So, to have a meaningful conversation between a theologian and a scientist today, the theologian somehow has to be willing to accept the scientific evidence for evolution. And then the scientist might ask me: Well, how can you believe in God? But that question assumes that science should be able to answer questions about ultimate reality. As the conversation goes on, you have to make a distinction between what scientific method can uncover and what science leaves out.
Moreover, you have to agree that any phenomenon in the universe admits of a plurality of levels of explanation or understanding. But we distinguish in order to relate. The reason for making distinctions is not to keep things separate, but to relate them.
Some people think that relation means fusion or conflation. Not at all.
The conversation between science and religion has allowed us to be able to formulate more clearly than before just what science is all about, and just what theology is all about. But after the conversation between science and religion got going, especially after Galileo, what happened eventually was that we got to see more clearly what science is about and what kind of information it gives us, what it leaves out, and so forth. And the same with theology. We came to realize, for example, that theology can no longer moonlight by giving us scientific information.
On the other hand, Young-Earth Creationists use a literal interpretation of the Bible as the core of their beliefs, whereas Day-age creationism holds that each Biblical day of creation is in fact a long period of time Isaak. But, as is the nature of any age-old debate, the fires fueling this conflict have once again been fed, this time with the controversy surrounding the teaching of Intelligent Design in public schools.
There are things in the universe and on the planet that point to an intelligent design and that God is that Intelligent Designer. There are many unique items within animals, plants, and human beings. These items are just too unique and complex to have just happened. The intelligent design of these items points to an Intelligent Designer not just chance. Intelligent design is the study of patterns in nature, animals, and human beings that are best explained as the result of intelligence. Therefore, intelligent design directly challenges Darwinism, Evolution, and other naturalistic approaches to the origin of life.
The outer layer of the beak is not a solid structure. It is made up of layers of teeny, tiny hexagonal plates that overlap like roof shingles. The interior is made of something completely different. It is made of light, rigid foam made of little beams and membranes. The beak is also hollow is some spots. John Eliot says that the beak of the toucan is ingeniously designed to be both strong and light.
The dictionary defines the word ingenious to mean marked by inventive skill and imagination. Evolutionists are astounded at the myriad of varying structures found on the duck-billed platypus. Show More. Read More. Intelligent Design vs.
Kitzmiller v. Creationism vs. Popular Essays. Jekyll and Mr. Open Document.