George Coyne, Vatican astronomer obituary (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Sunday, February 16, 2020, 15:24 (224 days ago)

He did not follow my views about God, opposed ID theory:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/science/the-rev-george-c-coyne-dead.html?nl=todayshe...

"The Rev. George C. Coyne, a Jesuit astrophysicist who as the longtime director of the Vatican Observatory defended Galileo and Darwin against doctrinaire Roman Catholics, and also challenged atheists by insisting that science and religion could coexist, died on Tuesday in Syracuse, N.Y. He was 87.

***

“'One thing the Bible is not,” he told The New York Times Magazine in 1994, “is a scientific textbook. Scripture is made up of myth, of poetry, of history. But it is simply not teaching science.”

***

"In an article in the English Catholic weekly The Tablet in 2005, Father Coyne sought to reconcile religion with evolution.
“God in his infinite freedom,” he wrote, “continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity. He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves.”

"He went further by finding fault with intelligent design.

“If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research,” he wrote, “religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly.”
He added, “Perhaps God should be seen more as a parent or as one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words.”

***

“'George was one of the pre-eminent figures in the Catholic world who could speak intelligently and articulately about both science and faith,” said the Rev. James Martin, editor at large of America, the Jesuit magazine. “And George, by nature a humble man, could often dazzle.”

"In the Times Magazine interview, Father Coyne was asked, “How can you describe the universe as a vast empty infinitude, largely uninhabited, and still believe in — ”

“The centrality of man in the universe?” he interjected, completing the reporter’s thought.

“'There’s no doubt about it,” he went on. “To our own knowledge of ourselves, we are unique in creation because of our self-reflexivity. I can know myself knowing. I am having a conversation with you, and I can remember that conversation. To this, the Catholic Church comes along and says, ‘The reason this is true is because you have an individual soul.’”

Comment: His view of God is not mine, and perhaps closer to dhw's in his theistic mode..

George Coyne, Vatican astronomer obituary

by dhw, Monday, February 17, 2020, 08:52 (224 days ago) @ David Turell

“God in his infinite freedom,” he wrote, “continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity. He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves.”

"He went further by finding fault with intelligent design."

“If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research,” he wrote, “religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly.”
He added, “Perhaps God should be seen more as a parent or as one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words.”

"To our own knowledge of ourselves, we are unique in creation because of our self-reflexivity. I can know myself knowing. I am having a conversation with you, and I can remember that conversation."

DAVID: His view of God is not mine, and perhaps closer to dhw's in his theistic mode.

Not sure how he reconciles the concept of freedom at all levels, and not constantly intervening, with “participates, loves” and the parent analogy. But yes, a lot of this would explain the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution which is so baffling to someone who believes that God started out aiming to create just one species. But at least all of us can agree that we humans are unique in our self-reflexivity!

George Coyne, Vatican astronomer obituary

by David Turell @, Monday, February 17, 2020, 14:57 (223 days ago) @ dhw

“God in his infinite freedom,” he wrote, “continuously creates a world that reflects that freedom at all levels of the evolutionary process to greater and greater complexity. He is not continually intervening, but rather allows, participates, loves.”

"He went further by finding fault with intelligent design."

“If they respect the results of modern science, and indeed the best of modern biblical research,” he wrote, “religious believers must move away from the notion of a dictator God or a designer God, a Newtonian God who made the universe as a watch that ticks along regularly.”
He added, “Perhaps God should be seen more as a parent or as one who speaks encouraging and sustaining words.”

"To our own knowledge of ourselves, we are unique in creation because of our self-reflexivity. I can know myself knowing. I am having a conversation with you, and I can remember that conversation."

DAVID: His view of God is not mine, and perhaps closer to dhw's in his theistic mode.

dhw: Not sure how he reconciles the concept of freedom at all levels, and not constantly intervening, with “participates, loves” and the parent analogy. But yes, a lot of this would explain the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution which is so baffling to someone who believes that God started out aiming to create just one species. But at least all of us can agree that we humans are unique in our self-reflexivity!

Your problem is you do not understand that I think the higgledy-piggledy history is required to allow econiches for the necessary food supply.

George Coyne, Vatican astronomer obituary

by dhw, Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 16:00 (222 days ago) @ David Turell

DAVID: His view of God is not mine, and perhaps closer to dhw's in his theistic mode.

dhw: Not sure how he reconciles the concept of freedom at all levels, and not constantly intervening, with “participates, loves” and the parent analogy. But yes, a lot of this would explain the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution which is so baffling to someone who believes that God started out aiming to create just one species. But at least all of us can agree that we humans are unique in our self-reflexivity!

DAVID: Your problem is you do not understand that I think the higgledy-piggledy history is required to allow econiches for the necessary food supply.

Your problem is you cannot explain why your all-powerful, all-knowing, can-do-whatever-he-wants God should have found it necessary to design 3.X billion years’ worth of econiches to provide the necessary food supply for millions and millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles, strategies, natural wonders etc. before he even began to fulfil what you say was his one and only purpose, which was to design H. sapiens.

George Coyne, Vatican astronomer obituary

by David Turell @, Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 18:13 (222 days ago) @ dhw

DAVID: His view of God is not mine, and perhaps closer to dhw's in his theistic mode.

dhw: Not sure how he reconciles the concept of freedom at all levels, and not constantly intervening, with “participates, loves” and the parent analogy. But yes, a lot of this would explain the higgledy-piggledy history of evolution which is so baffling to someone who believes that God started out aiming to create just one species. But at least all of us can agree that we humans are unique in our self-reflexivity!

DAVID: Your problem is you do not understand that I think the higgledy-piggledy history is required to allow econiches for the necessary food supply.

dhw: Your problem is you cannot explain why your all-powerful, all-knowing, can-do-whatever-he-wants God should have found it necessary to design 3.X billion years’ worth of econiches to provide the necessary food supply for millions and millions of non-human life forms, lifestyles, strategies, natural wonders etc. before he even began to fulfil what you say was his one and only purpose, which was to design H. sapiens.

Your usual set-in-stone totally unreasonable mantra. My God, in charge, can reach His goal of humans any way He wishes. Evolution over time requires the plan He followed. Would you prefer humans and nothing else as His endpoint as your unreasonable approach demands?

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