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Chance or Purpose? Creation, Evolution and a Rational Faith Hardcover – October 25, 2007
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"Intellectual curiosity is here joined with precision of reason and vibrancy of faith. The result is a wondrously instructive guide to one of the most controverted questions of our time by one of the most influential leaders of the Church." -- Richard John Neuhaus, Editor, FIRST THINGS
"Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn's 2005 essay in the New York Times, which seemingly condemned Darwin's scientific theory of evolution, ignited a firestorm of controversy. Yet the hasty responses did not look deeply enough into the Cardinal's words. Rather than the science of Darwin, it is the philosophical claims made in its name that the prelate upbraided. Science cannot speak of ultimate purpose, and scientists who do so are outside of their authority. In Chance or Purpose? the Cardinal shows that the data of biology, when properly examined by reason and philosophy, strongly point to a purposeful world." -- Michael Behe, Author, Darwin's Black Box
Top Customer Reviews
Cardinal Schonborn is clear that a literal interpretation of the Bible is not science and that the Bible was not written as a science book. Cardinal Schonborn mentioned that even the early Church Fathers were clear that the Bible was not meant to scientifically explain the Cosmos. In fact, St. Augustine (354-430)stated that the Bible was not an astronomy book, and students could study science in the schools. St. Augustine stated that the Bible and the Church teachings were designed to help men achieve salvation and not to teach science. In fact St. Augustine as well as other early Church Fathers stated that the much of the Bible was allegorical.
Another topic that Cardinal Schonborn examined is the fact that the Catholic Church enshrined reason next to Revealed Truths as part of learning. The Medieval Scholatics and especially St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)stated that science and the Bible were not at odds. His conclusion was that apparent conflicts were due to an inadequet understanding of the Bible. In other words, Cardinal Schonborn argued that there were Medieval scholars who recognized that there were apparent differences between the Bible, Catholic teaching, and science.Read more ›
As a statement of traditional Catholic belief the book is just fine. But it simply doesn't address what I would consider the central issue in the evolution vs creationist debate: granted the physical laws of the universe and the state of the Earth some four billion years ago, is it logically possible and reasonable that the complexity of life could have arisen by the operation of physical laws alone? This is what most scientists implicitly believe, what those like Richard Dawkins The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design explicitly seek to demonstrate, and what a small minority like the author of Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution explicitly disagree with. But on this issue author abandons his otherwise sophisticated nuanced theology in favor of occasional statements like the following, without attempting to develop an argument.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book. Anyone interested in the current controversy over chance vs design in the science world should read this treatise. Read morePublished 5 months ago by L. Donahue
I purchased this book because it was referenced in another work. It gave me greater insight into a Roman Catholic perspective on this issue. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Brent Beery
The Cardinal raises some interesting points and this is a good general introduction, but he steers clear of the really tough questions. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Great Silence
Cardinal Schönborn lives up to his reputation as a great teacher of Catholic doctrine in this book. Read morePublished on December 22, 2013 by Derek Rotty
This book has gave me a greater view of the Creator , and its help me to overcome the haze which circle the relationship between science and religionPublished on July 27, 2011 by Caliph al Ma'mun
Cardinal Schornborn presents a well thought-out and logical description and comparison of the key points in Darwinism as it has been used by the "Evolutionists" and Rational Faith... Read morePublished on March 31, 2009 by Amazon Customer
Cardinal Schonborn's latest work is, I believe, an extremely important one
for anyone who thinks about the reason why we are here on earth, and how
we can both enjoy and... Read more
In this book, Cardinal Schoenborn dismantles the imagined and false dichotomy between chance and purpose. Read morePublished on November 13, 2008 by Dennis at Holy Apostles