Pope on Science

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siddharth

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This is from the http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2008/01/popes_takes_another_pop_at_sci.html" [Broken]

This time the Pope seems to have waded into my favourite topic in the philosophy of science – reductionism. “Man is not the fruit of chance or a bundle of convergences, determinisms or physical and chemical reactions,” he boldly declared to scientists at a Paris meeting (Canada’s National Post).

He might have got away with this if he hadn’t gone further, saying “In an age when scientific developments attract and seduce with the possibilities they offer, it’s more important than ever to educate our contemporaries’ consciences so that science does not become the criteria for goodness.”
Attract and seduce? At least he agrees that science is sexy.
 
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Is it just me or does anyone who still cares about what the Pope says anymore? He seems to think that he is some kind of ultimate authority on science and the universe.

"I'm just finding the old boy increasingly irrelevant as he continues his reactionary slide into medieval thinking. More and more it's like hearing reports of what some random homeless man in a Philadelphia subway station ranted about — it's amusing and appalling, but it's hard to work up the outrage to care any more" - http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008/01/do_we_really_care_what_the_pop.php [Broken]
 
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Hurkyl

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*gasp* An evangelical atheist not caring about the Pope? I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die from that surprise.
 
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lisab

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Funny thing is, were it not for such "scientific developments" as this here internet, I would never have occation to learn the pope's thoughts on anything.

And yes, I do listen. I'm atheist but I can appreciate someone who tries to live by Christian faith.
 

dst

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"Educate contemporaries" through what process? :biggrin:
 

Ivan Seeking

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I really don't understand the context. What is the motivation for his statement about goodness? What was the general context? He seems to be saying that science can't be a metric for morality, which is true.
 
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That's like saying you can't drive a soup can: nobody ever claimed you could.
 
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I really don't understand the context. What is the motivation for his statement about goodness? What was the general context? He seems to be saying that science can't be a meter for morality, which is true.
It is a result of the now-frequent fear of scientific reductionism among elements of the religious right, especially when it comes to behavior as well as an outcry against the success of science compared to his particular version of the naked emperor. In any case, I dare say that for most purposes, statements by the Pope is utterly irrelevant. I can't wait until the Vatican becomes the Museum of Roman Catholicism as the philosopher Daniel Dennett so eloquently put it.

Also, your statement about morality is somewhat false, but I guess that is a subject for another discussion.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Statements by the Pope matter to Catholics, which is a huge population - about 1.15 Billion, or 17% of the world's population. So to say his words don't matter is like saying that it doesn't matter what the leader of China says.
http://cara.georgetown.edu/bulletin/index.htm

If we are simply counting heads, that makes him over three times more influential than the US President.

Is it possible to read the entire statement and not just an excerpt that appears to be taken out of context?

Btw, he is not saying that evolution is a false claim. I think the Catholics are basically theistic evolutionists.
 
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The actions of the US President affects everyone on the planet. Come on, how many Catholics actually follows his ramblings on contraceptive?

Btw, he is not saying that evolution is a false claim. I thiink the Catholics are basically theistic evolutionists.
Indeed, but that was not my point. The fear of reductionism among some elements of the religious right can be found in areas such as emotion, neuroscience, behavior, consciousness and so on. The Pope has somewhat agreed on evolution, but like Dalai Lama, cannot accept the idea that certain cognitive features of humans might be natural.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Speaking as an X-Catholic, I think it is a mistake to link the Catholics to what is popularly perceived as the religious right. The Church is slow to change but does accept scientific doctrine. However, they will always assume that the hand of God was guiding natural events...when needed.

Logically this leads the average C to assume that the hand of God lies within the probability of an event.
 
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Speaking as an X-Catholic, I think it is a mistake to link the Catholics to what is popularly perceived as the religious right. The Church is slow to change but does accept scientific doctrine. However, they will always assume that the hand of God was guiding natural events...when needed.

Logically this leads the average C to assume that the hand of God lies within the probability of an event.
Hence, why I used "some elements of the religious right". My main point was that the Pope has made somewhat negative public statements about it.
 

G01

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I am going to play Devil's Advocate here. (Yes, I am playing devil's advocate by defending the pope. I realize the irony!:biggrin:)

Catholicism may be slow to accept some scientific facts, but recently they have been better that many other denominations. For instance, the Church recognizes evolution, which many branches of Christianity still find appalling. Catholics also interpret the Bible in a much more allegoric fashion than other denominations. They do not believe in a literal 6 day creation, but support the scientific consensus of the Big Bang. Of course, they do say God had a hand in the Big Bang, but it's not like they claim that that fact can be scientifically proven.
 
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I like how the speaker in an above quote used the term "old boy", brings to mind the term in the US relating to Republicans. Talk about the ultimate "good old boys", all the popes.
 
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They do not believe in a literal 6 day creation, but support the scientific consensus of the Big Bang.
The Church does more than acknowledge the Big Bang: a Catholic priest was the one who came up with the idea. In fact, Pope Pius XII pushed it before it was even well-established. (The reasoning being that it supported the idea of a universal starting point.)
 
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The Church does more than acknowledge the Big Bang: a [/[URL [Broken] priesturl] was the one who came up with the idea. In fact, Pope Pius XII pushed it before it was even well-established. (The reasoning being that it supported the idea of a universal starting point.)
You have no idea what your talking about. If you read the books that I read, and knew the things that I knew you would know that it was invented by this man: Dont you do your homework?

http://www.newstoob.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/tom_cruise_scientology_fraud.jpg

This is him, receiving the equivalent of the nobel prize on his theory.

You know, this is exactly the problem with people like you, who believe anything and everything on wikipedia. What are your crimes? What are you hiding?
 
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So according to Manchot's reasoning and background information Big Bang= God(in a sense)?
 

Ivan Seeking

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I am going to play Devil's Advocate here. (Yes, I am playing devil's advocate by defending the pope. I realize the irony!:biggrin:)
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
 

Ivan Seeking

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The actions of the US President affects everyone on the planet. Come on, how many Catholics actually follows his ramblings on contraceptive?
That depends on the country. Also, there is more to life than contraception. :biggrin:

If you don't think he's influential, then review the events at the funeral for John Paul. People came from all over the world...
 
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Catholicism may be slow to accept some scientific facts, but recently they have been better that many other denominations. For instance, the Church recognizes evolution, which many branches of Christianity still find appalling.
Barely. It took a look of pushing to the Benedict XVI to accept evolution (which he only does selectively). There are many high cardinals that are ferociously against evolution, most notably Cardinal Schönborn.

Catholics also interpret the Bible in a much more allegoric fashion than other denominations.
Generalization.

The Church does more than acknowledge the Big Bang: a Catholic priest was the one who came up with the idea. In fact, Pope Pius XII pushed it before it was even well-established. (The reasoning being that it supported the idea of a universal starting point.)
He made sure to tell the Pope not to make that statement infallible.
 

siddharth

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Another comment about science.

Benedict, who headed the same department for years before his election in 2005, said the Church was not against scientific progress but wanted it based on "ethical-moral principles".

He said this included total respect for the human being as a person "from conception until natural death," and respect for the natural transmission of life through sexual intercourse.

Practices like freezing embryos, suppression of embryos in multiple pregnancies, embryonic stem cell research, the prospect of human cloning and artificial insemination outside the body had "shattered the barriers meant to protect human dignity", he said.

"When human beings in the weakest and most defenseless state of their existence are selected, abandoned, killed or used as pure 'biological material,' how can one deny that they are being treated not as 'someone' but as 'something,'" he said.
http://www.reuters.com/article/blogBurst/science?type=scienceNews&w1=B7ovpm21IaDoL40ZFnNfGe&w2=B80EKKDZW7XjzuNGrifTUKY&src=blogBurst_scienceNews&bbPostId=BAcfaLOhG3fKCz3I6xBX6irG8Cz49elDSilTB8Cz4Uu2Mf9ED33&bbParentWidgetId=B8AQEfMRrRMuz9s4jRmSqBK8

That seems consistent with his view on science.
 
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