Monday, October 12, 2009

Follow-Up On "An Astronomer at the Vatican"

It seems that my set of questions that I would ask the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno didn't go well with some people (surprise!). There seems to be a misunderstanding that I was confusing some of the "fringe" aspects of Christianity with Catholics, etc.

No, nowhere in my article was there any implication that this was directed at Catholicism only. Whether this is offensive or not I don't know, but I directed the questions to be the view of Christianity in general. After all, the Intelligent Design movement was based on the Christian faith, and so was the Young Earth movement. If these are close to be heresy, then as a Christian, isn't it his or her responsibility to rectify that? Shouldn't the Catholic church stand up at one of these school board meetings to teach creationism and tell those rabid Christians that they're really barking up the wrong tree?

It is because of such lack of internal "self-consistency" that people like Richard Dawkins are making wholesale attacks not only against Christianity in general, but also on all organized religion. When you don't stand up against someone who shares your beliefs, but makes completely different interpretation of it, then you should be ready to being lumped together with him/her. We have seen the same backlash against Islam and other religion, simply due to the stupidity of a few.

The questions I would ask were direct, without any pussyfooting around. Such clear answers articulated by someone of that stature, would be of considerable importance when I'm in a "discussion" with another person who is advocating ID, etc. based on the Christian beliefs. After all, when I'm discussing physics with another person who disagrees with me, that person often tries to make quotes from Einstein, Feynman, etc.. Unless the "denomination" matters THAT much that it can change the age of the universe, what the Vatican astronomer says should carry quite a bit of weight.

But even if you disagree, I would say that my questions would have been a lot more interesting than the ones that were asked. I mean, just look at the feedback that I'm getting now!



Niklaus said...

There is an interview with the former astronomer of the Vatican and Richard Dawkins on youtube about many of these topics. He says lots of things that are rather reasonable, so you might find the quotes you need there.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the issue was that he needs quotes for something in particular. The issue was to criticize the interview for being such a load of pablum.