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Creation and Evolution: A Conference with Pope Benedict XVI in Castel Gandolfo Hardcover – May 1, 2008


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Creation and Evolution: A Conference with Pope Benedict XVI in Castel Gandolfo + In the Beginning…': A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall (Ressourcement: Retrieval & Renewal in Catholic Thought)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586172343
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #788,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By James E. Egolf VINE VOICE on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
CREATION AND EVOLUTION is a book based on papers and discussion presented by well known scholars at a Conference at Castel Gandolfo hosted by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. The men who wrote papers and engaged in intelligent debate offered "food for thought" to those interested in the supposed debate re Creation vs. Evolution. Regardless of what one believes re this debate topic, the book offers an intelligent alternative to the ad hominem views presented in the popular press and media.

The participants during this conference were Pope Benedict XVI, Prof. Peter Schuster who is professor of chemisty at the University of Vienna, Prof. Robert Spacemann who is professor emeritus of philosophy at the Ludwig Maximilian-University in Munich, Germany, Prof Paul Erbrichch who is professor emeritus in Muhich Germany,and Cardinal Schonborn who is the Archbishop of Vienna and author of the book titled CHANCE OR PURPOSE. These men wrote papers and debated differences with intelligence and clarity.

Prof. Schuster wrote a facinating paper re molecular biology, genetics, and develop of organisms from simple cell structure. This essay had some interesting points that cellular development appears to have purpose and some sort of design. Prof. Schuster used effective metaphors to explain mutations of cells which occur much faster than previously thought. One interesting metaphor was the competition between cells and viruses. Prof. Schuster explained that when viruses attack cells, cells mutate a genetic defense. Then the viruses mutate to overcome cellular defense while in turn cells develop (mutate) to face new challenges. Prof. Schuster called this continual "combat" and arms race between cells and viruses. Prof.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arben Cukaj on January 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For one who teaches science and lives by faith reading this book was a reinforcement of my belief that I am doing the right thing and living the right way.
Life is more than just physical matter. In our daily lives we need to make decisions that could impact and change our lives forever, for this reason, our brain isn't always at it's best therefore at this point we need some greater than ourselves guidance.
The opinion expressed in the book by some of the greatest scientific and theological minds will be a source of wisdom and intellectual wealth to any reader despite the scientific or theological point of view.
I am going to read the book again, because this is one of these books that you want to learn, remember and get the most out of it.
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mark LaPointe on November 26, 2011
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About me: I'm a former seminarian, have a degree in theology and a degree in electrical engineering--one foot in each stereotypical world view. About this book: I have to force my way through this; it is dry and boring. And I wonder about the accuracy of the papers submitted within the session. I gave this five stars not because I appreciate the German pedagogical style which is always difficult but because this is a unique way to learn how to interpret what Rome thinks about evolution. True, it cannot address explicitly what JPII, Benedict XVI, and curial authorities under them have said about evolution, but does give the matter a thorough review in the presence of the Pope. One might consider much of what he knows about the topic came out at this meeting. The only qualification I would put on this book is that no one seems to have understood the many valid criticisms of evolution. They are all attempting to act aloof, superior to the problem and say that there is no conflict between the faith and a certain understanding of evolution as a mechanism. Great, but that misses half of what people wonder about: is there a conflict between the faith and creationism / intelligent design? In other words, no criticisms of evolution came up. I agree it is a beautiful theory but decade after decade the experts keep promising us proof of evolution, which never comes! So this "circle of students" session in 2006 seems to have completely missed an obvious problem: if evolution is not true, people everywhere are being pressured by a falsehood of the liberal elite to adopt a reductionist view of humanity and moral relativism as a value system.Read more ›
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Duncan on December 30, 2012
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If the Pope's advisors decided that he needed to know more about how a car worked, how likely is it that they would have set out to achieve this by inviting a successful designer of jet engines to discuss the matter with a collection of philosophers, historians and theologians? Not very, I suspect, but that is effectively what they did in order to teach him about modern biology.

The scientist that they chose, Peter Schuster, is very distinguished, but he is no Steven Gould or Richard Dawkins. His professional work is at a very refined and specialized level, and in this book he provides an honourable and generally correct account of evolutionary biology. He deals also adequately with the often simplistic questions raised by the theologians, but I would have preferred to hear from someone closer to the front line in the contemporary war with creationists.

As far as I could tell, none of the others have any serious qualifications to discuss biology, unless we count a single (and until now largely uncited) paper "On the probability of the emergence of a protein with a particular function" published by Paul Erbrich in 1985. I have tried to read this paper, but found it consists of little more than armchair theorizing about what its author considered to be plausible.

With the exception of Schuster himself, all of the participants in the symposium could be called creationists, but they are very different from most of the people who are doing their best to wreck the teaching of biology in the modern world -- closer to Richard Dawkins, say, than to Ken Ham.
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