Thursday, April 12, 2007

The limits of scientific reason

~from CWN

Pope Benedict XVI discusses the limits of the scientific method, and in particular of evolutionary theory, in a new German-language book issued on April 11.

In his own essay, Pope Benedict acknowledges the many advances that science has brought, but observed that scientific findings often prompt further questions which science cannot answer. Reliance upon science can become a handicap, he argued, because "it tends to take away from us dimensions of reason that we still need."

The Pope went on to say that today's world needs to recover an appreciation for ultimate philosophical questions, which science cannot properly address. While the use of scientific reason is necessary and proper, he explained, that form of reason cannot address certain questions-- such as, for example, the origin of rationality itself.

In his comments on the topic of evolution, the Pope emphasized that scientific theories cannot resolve all of the questions that arise. Whatever the scientific record demonstrates about the development of life on earth, he said, must be complemented by an understanding of the ultimate cause of life. The emergence of human life, he said, cannot be thought of as a purely random sequence of events, but must be understood as the work of a Creator God.

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