Thursday, October 06, 2005


Enter RSR's Cardinal Schoenborn Clarification Acknowledgement Watch Contest and Win a Free Poster

Last July, Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn wrote a New York Times Op-Ed that seemed to attack Darwin and evolution, and give support to intelligent design. Two days after the Op-Ed appeared, John West of the Discovery Institute -- like a modern Joshua mounting an assault on the walls of Darwinism – trumpeted the Cardinal’s statement on Discovery’s Evolution News and Views blog.

“Darwinism is incompatible with Roman Catholic doctrine as well as the findings of human reason,” is how West characterized the Cardinal’s Op-Ed

Ten days later, Bruce Chapman gloatingly
cautioned “cheerleaders for scientific materialism” not to ask the pontiff to "clarify" the church's position on evolution. “Do they really want the Pope to clarify Church doctrine further? They could be sorry if he does,” Chapman warned.

Now, of course, it is Cardinal Schoenborn, not the pontiff, who is doing the clarifying. In a lecture published by his office on Tuesday, the good Cardinal allowed as how, maybe he did not express himself clearly enough or his thoughts were not clear enough. "Such misunderstandings can be cleared up," added the Cardinal.

And clear them up, he did.

Cardinal Schoenborn said he could believe both in divine creation and in evolution because one was a question of religion and the other of science, two realms that complemented rather than contradicted each other.

“Without a doubt, Darwin pulled off quite a feat with his main work and it remains one of the very great works of intellectual history,” the Cardinal went on to say “I see no problem combining belief in the Creator with the theory of evolution, under one condition — that the limits of a scientific theory are respected.”

Now, we may be overly cynical about the intellectual honesty of the intelligent design movement, but we seem to have noticed a pronounced tendency at Discovery – and other fine purveyors of intelligent design on the web, such as Denyse “Buy My Book” O’Leary’s Post-Darwinist blog – to play up the good news and bury the bad.

And speaking of Ms. O’Leary, here’s a typical

“As a Roman Catholic myself, I am glad to see the Church weighing in against Darwinism… I would suggest… that [scientists and science teachers] make up their mind whether they think they are Christians or not… As a Catholic Christian myself, I cannot imagine anything worse for the faith than invoking secular powers, typically masterminded by idiot mortals… if you are or think you ought to be a Christian, you simply cannot be a Darwinist. Don't deceive yourself: Either there is design in nature or there is not. Either the design is evident, as the Bible claims (Rom 1:20, NIV*), or it is not evident, in which case the Bible is obviously untrue, and you shouldn't be a Christian.”

You’ve heard the old line that goes, “Is the Pope Catholic?” We guess the new line will be, “Is the Cardinal Christian?”

So, here’s the question: How long will it take Discovery and O’Leary to acknowledge on their blogs that the Cardinal has had a change of heart?

As of the time we posted this morning neither had mentioned the shift in the Cardinal's position.

Red State Rabble would like to give readers a chance to play along with us on the Cardinal Schoenborn Clarification Acknowledgement Watch Contest.

All you have to do is come closest to guessing when either Discovery or O’Leary will publicly acknowledge the Cardinal’s change of heart. You get two guesses – date and time, please – and two chances to win.

The prize is a 17X22 poster, suitable for framing, designed by Red State Rabble in 1999 (before we were RSR) as a fundraiser for Kansas Citizens for Science. The poster is a predecessor to the Historic Discoveries poster in the sidebar of this blog. A slice of history, it was done before creationism evolved into intelligent design on the Kansas Bored of Education.

RSR will post the entries and announce the winners – if after a reasonable period of time, Discovery and O’Leary fail to admit the Cardinal has retracted his earlier Op-Ed statement favoring intelligent design, we will draw two winners at random from a hat containing all the contest entries.


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