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Pope on Science

  1. Jan 30, 2008 #1

    siddharth

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    This is from the Nature blog

    Attract and seduce? At least he agrees that science is sexy.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2008 #2
    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" - PZ Myers
     
  4. Jan 30, 2008 #3

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  5. Jan 30, 2008 #4

    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.
     
  6. Jan 30, 2008 #5

    dst

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    "Educate contemporaries" through what process? :biggrin:
     
  7. Jan 30, 2008 #6

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  8. Jan 30, 2008 #7
    That's like saying you can't drive a soup can: nobody ever claimed you could.
     
  9. Jan 30, 2008 #8
    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.
     
  10. Jan 30, 2008 #9

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  11. Jan 30, 2008 #10
    The actions of the US President affects everyone on the planet. Come on, how many Catholics actually follows his ramblings on contraceptive?

    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.
     
  12. Jan 30, 2008 #11

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2008
  13. Jan 30, 2008 #12
    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.
     
  14. Jan 30, 2008 #13

    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.
     
  15. Jan 30, 2008 #14
    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.
     
  16. Jan 30, 2008 #15
    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.)
     
  17. Jan 30, 2008 #16
  18. Jan 30, 2008 #17
    So according to Manchot's reasoning and background information Big Bang= God(in a sense)?
     
  19. Jan 31, 2008 #18

    Ivan Seeking

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    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
     
  20. Jan 31, 2008 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    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...
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  21. Jan 31, 2008 #20
    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.

    Generalization.

    He made sure to tell the Pope not to make that statement infallible.
     
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