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October 27, 2009

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'Tis Himself, OM

Someone who accepts microevolution but not macroevolution is saying that one can walk across a room but can't walk across a city. Macroevolution is made up of a large number of microevolutionary steps taking place over a long time. Incidentally, neither Eörs Szathmáry nor John Maynard Smith deny that macroevolution takes place. I suspect the Pope either misconstrued the quote or quotemined.

Pope Benedict is a theologian and philosopher. He's not a scientist. He should confine his remarks to theology, where he knows what he's talking about and stay away from science where he displays his ignorance.

David Marjanović

Incidentally, neither Eörs Szathmáry nor John Maynard Smith deny that macroevolution takes place. I suspect the Pope either misconstrued the quote or quotemined.

Or he just misunderstood it. There is indeed no trend towards increasing complexity; there's a lower limit to complexity, but no upper limit (at least nowhere in sight), so life expands, chaotically, like a gas, to fill the available space above this lower limit.

Pope Benedict is a theologian and philosopher. He's not a scientist.

And it shows. To call evolution a "doctrine" may make sense in the 17th-century sense of "doctrine", but today it's misleading; to call it a "philosophy", let alone a "fundamental philosophy", is nothing short of embarrassing.

To warn against Social Darwinism is fine, but it comes a bit late – Social Darwinists have been... a bit thin on the ground for the last several decades.

David Marjanović

(Oops, my blockquote tags were automatically removed. I hope it's obvious which paragraphs I quoted from the previous comment.)

Sigmund

Szathmáry's comment on Ratzingers quotation was as follows:
"One thing seems certain to me: Cardinal Ratzinger’s way
of quoting us is misleading and inappropriate, and it is a special
insult to John’s fairness and open-mindedness"

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