The Corner

Cardinal Speaks Out on Evolution

Christoph Schoenborn, the cardinal archbishop of Vienna, touched off a controversy with a July 2005 New York Times op-ed hinting at a change in the Catholic Church’s position on the creationism-vs.-evolution debate. Tonight he delivered a 62-minute lecture here in Manhattan outlining a judicious middle ground on the controversy, accepting the scientific evidence on evolution but rejecting the philosophical claims that evolution disproves the existence of God or of purpose in the universe. (He said that it was time to reclaim Darwin from Darwinism.) The evening’s fireworks came when a representative of a traditional Catholic group called the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation asked the cardinal whether he would be interested in scientific evidence that disproves evolution. The cardinal dismissed the notion, replying that “I’m sorry,” but creation did not take six chronological days. He added that the same sort of biblical exegesis that led to such a conclusion would also require belief that the sun literally stood still in one of Joshua’s battles (Jos. 10:13).

It is hard to exclude the possibility that the events in Joshua actually occurred, unless one accepts a priori the hypothesis that miraculous events reported in the Old Testament are necessarily unhistorical–which hypothesis I believe Cardinal Schoenborn would hesitate to affirm. But in general, he outlined a credible way to affirm simultaneously both evolution and the intelligent design of the universe. His remarks are helpful, and I hope they will be published soon.

Most Popular

U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More
Religion

Billy Graham: Neither Prophet nor Theologian

Asked in 1972 if he believed in miracles, Billy Graham answered: Yes, Jesus performed some and there are many "miracles around us today, including television and airplanes." Graham was no theologian. Neither was he a prophet. Jesus said "a prophet hath no honor in his own country." Prophets take adversarial ... Read More
Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More