Pope Ratzinger spoke out against evolution yesterday in a new book that harkens back to the good old days – you know, when the Catholic Church denied Galileo’s heliocentric theory.
Benedict XVI, in his first extended reflections on evolution published as pope, says that Darwin's theory cannot be finally proven and that science has unnecessarily narrowed humanity's view of creation.
In a new book, "Creation and Evolution," published Wednesday in German, the pope praised progress gained by science, but cautioned that evolution raises philosophical questions science alone cannot answer.
Yes, science perhaps cannot answer some of the philosophical questions, but neither can religion. Religion thinks it answers those questions, but in reality it just makes stuff up and pretends these are the answers. This is just another lame appeal to other ways of knowing.
Think the comparison to Galileo’s day is excessive? Check out how Catholic Answers justifies how they treated Galileo, and compare the wording with Ratzo’s yesterday:
Anti-Catholics often cite the Galileo case as an example of the Church refusing to abandon outdated or incorrect teaching, and clinging to a "tradition." They fail to realize that the judges who presided over Galileo’s case were not the only people who held to a geocentric view of the universe. It was the received view among scientists at the time.
Many people wrongly believe Galileo proved heliocentricity. He could not answer the strongest argument against it, which had been made nearly two thousand years earlier by Aristotle: If heliocentrism were true, then there would be observable parallax shifts in the stars’ positions as the earth moved in its orbit around the sun. However, given the technology of Galileo’s time, no such shifts in their positions could be observed. […]
Thus Galileo did not prove the theory by the Aristotelian standards of science in his day.
Of course, science doesn’t “prove” theories, but where the evidence is overwhelming, a theory is given pretty strong provisional acceptance. The evidence for the heliocentric theory was good, the Catholic Church just didn’t want to hear it since it conflicted with what was written in their magic book. Make no mistake, if they could suppress evolution the way they were able to censor Galileo – they would. Ratzinger has shown where he would like to take his church if he could – back to the dark ages.