The Vatican’s Arrogant Mockery of God

The Vatican has been hosting a conference this week celebrating Darwinian evolution. The conference specifically excluded any mention of Creationism or Intelligent Design, as I’ve already noted. But here’s the shocker–the abstracts show that some of the invited guests promised to engage in mockery of God. Francisco J. Ayala, for instance, says in his abstract:

The design of organisms is not intelligent, as it would be expected from an engineer, but imperfect and worse: defects, dysfunctions, oddities, waste, and cruelty pervade the living world.

… Darwin’s fundamental discovery is that there is a natural process that is creative although not conscious.

Another voice critical of Intelligent Design and Creationism that was to be heard: Ron Numbers.

I’m reminded of the words of Puddleglum in The Silver Chair:

Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things–trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

8 thoughts on “The Vatican’s Arrogant Mockery of God

  1. You could interpret those words a couple of ways. The sentence you left out would aid in that. “The theory of evolution conveys chance and necessity, randomness and determinism …”

    This is an incomplete thought, but here goes. Evolution is like gravity. Gravity exists, we can measure it, we rely on it to stay on the ground, and to keep our planet a useful distance from the Sun. But, there’s no scientific way to measure or discover how gravity was “designed”. We can establish its characteristics with precise mathematics, but our physical perceptions cannot find where it was “designed”.

    On the other hand, you and I know that gravity was created, just as the rest of the stuff in the physical world was created. The fact that it is also explained in terms of our physical world, doesn’t detract from that.

    Finally, I think that a conference which addresses the philosophical and theological reconciliation of religious faith and evolution, ought to have a clear-eyed view of what it’s addressing. So calling it “mockery” was a little harsh.

  2. But here’s the shocker–the abstracts show that some of the invited guests promised to engage in mockery of God. Francisco J. Ayala, for instance, says in his abstract:

    The design of organisms is not intelligent, as it would be expected from an engineer, but imperfect and worse: defects, dysfunctions, oddities, waste, and cruelty pervade the living world.

    … Darwin’s fundamental discovery is that there is a natural process that is creative although not conscious.

    ————

    I think you misunderstood Ayala. He was not mocking God. He was just explaining why God didn’t have anything to do with the diversity of life. His point was the bodies of modern creatures, including human creatures, are not as perfect as they could be because they developed naturally from ancient life, life that was much different from life today. In other words creatures were not made from scratch by some supernatural magician.

    Does this mean God is a useless invention that didn’t ever do anything because He was unnecessary? Probably yes, but that’s not my problem. I don’t believe in magic god fairies.

  3. Ayala’s quote is silly, as it necessarily implies a denial of original sin – however one chooses to define that term. This was Darwin’s problem as well.

  4. I’m confused why you feel this quote mocks God. I don’t hear any mocking when I read it. In fact, based only on this small quote and depending on what he’s talking about, I might agree with him.

  5. “The design of organisms is not intelligent, as it would be expected from an engineer, but imperfect and worse: defects, dysfunctions, oddities, waste, and cruelty pervade the living world.”

    He is specifically mocking the Biblical understanding of God as creator. Let me paraphrase. “You stupid Christians who believe that God actually designed this world–what sort of a dolt is he? You say he’s all powerful. Sheesh! Any human engineer could have done a better job. Creation is defective. It’s imperfect. It is dysfunctional, odd, wasteful, and cruel. Face it. There is no such creator as you imagine. It all got here through chance and necessity. That makes me feel so much happier–give me a weak, impotent, distant, god. That makes more sense.”

  6. Modify that statement to read:

    “You stupid atheists who believe that, given enough time, a microbe will develop, overcoming all hostile elements, present AND future, BEYOND that which is necessary for it to sustain itself, into a sophisticated organism possessing attributes and characteristics so frivolous and unnecessary… such as love and the appreciation of sunsets and vast scenic panoramas… all quite useless in the consideration that the only requirement for existence is to consume sustenance and reproduce – what stupidity is that? Where is the efficiency, there? Face it… everything had it’s beginning and design through God… etc.”

    Hoo-boy! Then listen to the howls of indignation from the Darwin crowd! See, it’s one thing to make fun of Christians and their Creator, but don’t ever think it’s funny to knock the humanist’s saviour and guru, that’s dirty pool!

    The infidel likes his god meek and malleable, and set off at a distance. Anything that barks of restraint is repugnant to the rebel.

    It’s amazing what people are willing to believe in the evolutionary paradigm, yet the existence of a supreme being quite escapes them.

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