vendredi 14 novembre 2008

Le commentaire de Science sur le même sujet

La revue Science a publié aujourd'hui un compte-rendu de cette conférence de l'Académie Pontificale des Sciences. Les scientifiques qui y ont participé sont ressortis avec des avis partagés. En clair, il n'y a pas eu de prise de position officielle de l'Église en faveur de la théorie de l'évolution. Cependant, le simple fait de discuter ouvertement la question est pour d'autres la preuve d'une "détente" dans les relations entre science et foi.
Le Cardinal Schönborn est intervenu au cours de cette conférence, et certains avis sont plutôt sévères : "Il croit qu'il y a des trous dans l'évolution et que Dieu intervient à ce moment là" commente John Abelson, un biologiste moléculaire de l'Université de Californie-Davis. "C'est proche d'une vision datant du XIXème siècle" ajoute-t-il.
Cependant d'autres sont moins sévères, en particulier Francis Collins, l'ancien directeur du programme qui réalisa le premier séquençage du génome humain et qui est ouvertement chrétien : "J'ai été soulagé d'entendre le cardinal prendre ses distances avec le mouvement de l'Intelligent Design, en faisant référence à cette "école" qui avait fait des erreurs". D'une façon générale, le discours du Card. Schönborn a été jugé comme suffisamment générale pour ne pas poser de problème. Mais ce sont les questions du Cardinal pendant le reste de la conférence qui en ont surpris plus d'un, ces questions suggérant qu'il croit à des interventions divines ponctuelles au cours de l'évolution.
En bref, le Cardinal n'a pas bougé de la position exprimée en 2005 : "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense--an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection--is not". En revanche, ses doutes sur l'origine des espèces expliquée par la théorie actuelle sont plus surprenants et représenteraient, s'ils étaient avérés, une différence notable avec les prises de position de Pie XII et Jean-Paul II.

De son coté, Benoît XVI a plutôt parlé de présence immanente de Dieu dans la création, mais rien ne laisse penser qu'il partagerait la position de Schönborn quant à des interventions directes au cours de l'évolution.

Je reproduis ci-dessous l'intégral du texte de Science en soulignant les passages que j'ai cités.

Science 14 November 2008:
Vol. 322. no. 5904, p. 1038
News of the Week
EVOLUTION: Vatican Science Conference Offers an Ambiguous Message
John Bohannon
Scientists who gathered at the Vatican last week for a closed-door conference* on evolutionary origins are giving the event mixed reviews. Those who hoped for a clear statement of support for evolution from the Catholic Church went home empty-handed. Others, expecting little, were happy with a détente between science and faith. But a few criticize what they heard from the Vatican's controversial point man on evolution, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. "He believes there are gaps in evolution and [that] God acts in those gaps," says John Abelson, a molecular biologist at the University of California, Davis, who gave a talk at the meeting. This is a "nearly 19th century" view, Abelson says, amounting to support for the intelligent design movement. Pope Benedict XVI did not clarify his own ambiguous statements on evolution.
The meeting was organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, an international group of scientists who advise the pope. Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking of the University of Cambridge in the U.K., Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Marshall Nirenberg, and others gave lectures on the origins of everything from galaxies in the early universe to cellular life on Earth. It was like many scientific conferences except that the pope showed up to bless the proceedings, and the first talk, titled "The Reflections of Joseph Ratzinger Pope Benedict XVI on Evolution," was given by Schönborn, a theologian.
Schönborn first came to scientists' attention 3 years ago when he penned an editorial in The New York Times shortly after the new pope's election that openly supported intelligent design (Science, 12 August 2005, p. 996). "Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true," the Vienna archbishop wrote, "but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense--an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection--is not."
Schönborn's prepared talk at the conference was not the source of controversy. "It was so very abstract," says Gereon Wolters, a philosopher of science at the University of Konstanz, Germany. "It offered the standard view that evolution is okay" but that "evolutionism"--a term used by religious conservatives for the promotion of atheism through evolutionary biology--"is not." Some scientists even saw signs of progress in the talk. "I was relieved to hear the cardinal clearly distancing himself from intelligent design," says Francis Collins, former director of the U.S. National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, "referring to that 'school' as having made mistakes."
The sparks flew when the cardinal fielded questions. "He still expressed reservations about whether evolution can account for all aspects of biology," says Collins, including whether Darwinian evolution can account for the generation of species. "It was preposterous," says Abelson, who says that the meeting took " a step backwards" in the church's relationship with science. Wolters was disappointed, too: "Schönborn has the same intention as the pope has--to fight evolutionism," he says, but "he is just repeating this creationist gibberish" used by U.S. proponents of intelligent design. Wolters adds: "Fighting science in this way is a losing game."
Other scientists at the meeting disagree. The cardinal's doubts about evolution do not represent a conflict between the church and science, says Werner Arber, a geneticist at the University of Basel, Switzerland, who co-organized the meeting. "Relations continue to be good." Schönborn gave "a confused lecture," says Peter Raven, director of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis and a member of the academy, but "the church's position on evolution, insofar as it can be said to have one, is unchanged. … There is a belief in a creator who existed before the big bang and set the universe in motion, which is something that cannot be proved or disproved by science."
*Scientific Insights into the Evolution of the Universe and of Life, Vatican City, 31 October-4 November 2008.

1 commentaire:

Denis Merlin a dit…

Je ne vois pas comment on peut tenter de concilier le récit de Moïse (la Genèse), fondé sur des témoignages et confirmé par l'Eglise (innerrance de l'Ecriture innerrance confirmée paraît-il par Vatican II (Dei Verbum), avec les élucubrations évolutionistes.

Même s'il faut distinguer la création ab nihilo du commencement du monde avec la création continuée d'aujour'hui.

C'est pourquoi je crois en la Genèse et je ne crois pas en Darwin, Jean-Jacques Rousseau et Hobbes (filiation "intellectuelle" entre ces imposteurs).