Pell 'agnostic' on intelligent design

Cardinal George Pell has said that while the theory of evolution is compatible with the church's teaching, it is sometimes taught "in an anti-God way" and he'd "be happy for [science teachers] to talk about design or intelligent design [ID]".

Cardinal Pell told the Weekend Australian that science cannot infer that there is a designer, hat is the business of philosophy.

The paper's feature was responding to news that, in coming weeks, science students at Sydney's Pacific Hills Christian School will begin learning about this theory that challenges much that conventional science says about the origin of life. Education, Science and Training Minister Brendan Nelson has supported the teaching of ID.

It quoted Australia's world-renowned physicist Paul Davies, who described ID is codswallop, not science but creationism in disguise.

The paper also quoted Fr Andrew Hamilton, publisher of the Jesuits' Eureka Street, who said science will "see off" the ID argument, but for religion it is dangerous.

"It makes God dependent on scientific evidence," he said. "You are locking God into being a discernible actor within the world rather than the principal on which the world depends. You're domesticating God."

It is, he suggests, more about the search for security than truth. "[With faith] you don't have the security of absolute proof, it's always a move into the unknown," he says.

Designed to put God into the gaps (The Australian 3/9/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Evolution and Intelligent Design - Eureka Street Comment (Jesuit Australia)

Continuing debate on Minister's support for intelligent design teaching (CathNews 29/8/05)
Vatican Observatory head clashes with cardinal on evolution (CathNews 8/8/05)
Cardinal redefines Church's view on evolution (CathNews 11/7/05)
Vatican Observatory sponsors conference on evolution (CathNews 22/6/04)
Vatican scientist joins effort to define new object in solar system (CathNews 29/3/04)
'Intelligent design' theory threatens evolution in US schools (CathNews 24/11/04)

Tim Thwaites: Designer deity (Eureka Street Sep 05)
School to teach ID theory (The Australian/The Advertiser 3/9/05)
School to make evolution optional (The Australian 5/9/05)
Schönborn urges Creation debate (The Tablet 3/9/05)
Cardinal Ratzinger's Thoughts on Evolution (Zenit 1/9/05)

5 Sep 2005