I received a great collection of responses from readers on my recent column exploring the Pope's homily and possible areas of conflict between Catholicism and science. In case you missed it, you can find it here.
Below are three of the more concise and provocative ones. The second is the meanest I've received so far.
The sun definitely circles the earth as proved by Ptolomy in the 2nd Century. All science followed him for 14 centuries until Copernicus proved him wrong. Einstein showed that the stars in the sky were fixed in place until Hubble proved they are moving. Anything science proves today could be right but the chances are it could be wrong. Remember that Evolution, the science, requires as much faith as creationism and both could be wrong.
I know you're trying to be cute when you equate the Catholic church's (and the rest of the world) belief that the Earth was the center of the universe with its denunciation of godless evolution. But it's not.
Your classic setup of pitting the religious (Catholics) versus the atheists (scientists) is see thru. You don't make up for it in the end of your article, either.
Pope Benedict doesn't blurt out ideas without consulting "scientific advisors." You've tried to trivialize his understanding of the issue. I'm Catholic and realize that our flock as a lot of people who simply dislike or don't believe in God yet call themselves Catholics. I don't think you realize the same. You should ask these scientists, that you referred to as Catholics, if they believed in God, not whether or not they were baptized a Catholic.
Evolution is an industry. It flaws are obvious and plentiful. It must be protected, however, or the whole speculative business of the contemplative science field fall apart.
Yours is a hatchet job. It was meant to provoke. Unfortunately your paper only provokes decent minded independents and conservatives. Liberals are dwindling in record numbers because all of your ideas have failed. It is the reason your paper is irrelevant to anyone under 75 and from the Main Line, who happen to only buy your paper out of habit.
Just a quick thought on your piece today: why are you giving credence to scientists' claims that there is no supernatural element present in the universe? How would they know? Their job is to make and test theories about the physical world based on physical evidence. By definition, there is no, and never will be, any physical evidence for the supernatural. The fact that they believe there is no supernatural is just as much an ideology as religion is. It's a belief because it's not based on scientific evidence.
True scientists understand this. Unfortunately, there aren't many true scientists, who stick to their area of study and don't make ideological statements and pass them off as science. As my friend, Brian Schmidt, an award winning astronomer in Australia, points out: there is no more reason to for a scientist to be theorizing about God than there is for claiming the existence of multiple universes. Scientists can talk about it but there is no evidence for or against either one. Hence, it is the realm of philosophy, not science.
The truth of Catholicism can and does exist along side evolution, as long as we don't take to heart many scientists claims that there is no God or that they can know the reason or lack of reason for evolution.