Published on June 9, 2012 By lulapilgrim In Current Events
In my blog entitled, For Greater Gloryhttp://forums.joeuser.com/426259, I wrote that I think the release of this film is very timely and may help us gain a better understanding of the seriousness of the current Obama administration's attack on our freedom of religion in the form of his HHS mandate.
 
 
 
Denver archbishop: HHS mandate an attempt to remove religion from society
By Hillary Senour

.- Denver's newly-appointed archbishop says the federal contraception mandate is the result of a larger push to remove religion from the public sphere.

“Essentially what people are saying to us is, 'We want you to pretend you're agnostic or atheist like us, and that is the way society should be,'” Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila explained to CNA on May 28, as he assessed the thinking that made the mandate possible.

“Today what is happening is that those who do not want faith in the public square are really saying, 'It's our lack of faith, our unbelief that we want you to follow,'” he said.

Archbishop Aquila, who was announced as the new Archbishop of Denver on May 29, called the federal mandate a direct infringement on the First Amendment that is simply another example of  “the erosion of religious liberties” which has been occurring for some time.

“It's the violation of our consciences and it is the violation of religious liberty,” he said. 

In its current form, the federal contraception mandate would force employers to purchase health insurance to cover birth control, sterilizations and abortion-inducing drugs even if doing so violates their religious beliefs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, announced a narrow “exemption” from the mandate for religious organizations that serve and employ only members of their own faith on Feb. 10.

Since then, 43 Catholic organizations across the country, including dioceses, charities, hospitals and universities, have filed lawsuits against the Obama administration on the grounds of religious liberty.

Bishops from every diocese in the U.S. have spoken out against the mandate, warning that it poses a serious threat to religious liberty and could force such organizations to shut down.

Archbishop Aquila said that he would “continue to speak out” against the mandate and will “ help people to recognize the violation that is taking place.”

Christians, he said, should do the same, even if doing so is unpopular.

“If we become martyrs, so be it,” he said. “It is for the Lord that we do it.”

Although such comments may sound pessimistic, the archbishop said that history has already proved that the Catholic Church is able to withstand such opposition.

Throughout the 2,000 year history of Christianity, “there have been the rise and fall of many governments,” Archbishop Aquila said, “but the Church is still here.”

 


Comments (Page 3)
on Jun 21, 2012

Jythier
Apparently only Lula and GFTess can discuss science here.

Jythier, 

Your #23 and 25 summed up your science points quite well. 

Cool your jets. 

on Jun 21, 2012

Yes, but you deleted my source.   If I just SAY their dating method is wrong without showing a source I'm not very credible.  And I try very hard to be like The Credible Hulk.

on Jun 21, 2012

Jythier
Yes, but you deleted my source.

I'm Sorry about that. 

Being credible is important, so go ahead and add the source as an edit to # 32. 

on Jun 21, 2012

Schweitzer and Staedter (1997) is most charitably characterized as a dumbed down version of the scientific publications published the same year (Schweitzer, et al. 1997A, B, C). Schweitzer, et al., "Heme compounds in dinosaur Trabecular bone" (1997A) gives us a straight forward data presentation,and concludes that there were heme, and hemoglobin protein fragments sufficiently well preserved in a small portion of a particularly well preserved bone from which they could produce an immunological response in rats. There is no indication that there were "blood cells" found in the bone.

 

Seems my little bit of information totally disagrees with yours about that dinosaur, and why are you arguing against the Pope, since the catholic church is behind evolution?

on Jun 22, 2012

lulapilgrim
R. Sungenis: In this article, field researcher Mary H. Schweitzer writes in the most prestigious science magazine today, Scientific American, about her discovery of soft tissue and blood cells in the bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur that, according to modern evolutionary dating techniques, is about 70 million years old. If it hasn’t struck you already, science tells us that organic tissue could barely last 7,000 years, much less 10,000 times 7,000 years.

Flakey101
Schweitzer and Staedter (1997) is most charitably characterized as a dumbed down version of the scientific publications published the same year (Schweitzer, et al. 1997A, B, C). Schweitzer, et al., "Heme compounds in dinosaur Trabecular bone" (1997A) gives us a straight forward data presentation,and concludes that there were heme, and hemoglobin protein fragments sufficiently well preserved in a small portion of a particularly well preserved bone from which they could produce an immunological response in rats. There is no indication that there were "blood cells" found in the bone.

 

Flakey101
Seems my little bit of information totally disagrees with yours about that dinosaur,

Flakey,

Here is Schweitzer's article in which she mentions the 1997 statement. 

“Blood From Stone”

By Mary H. Schweitzer

From Scientific American, December 2010

 

     Peering through the microscope at the thin slice of fossilized bone, I stared in disbelief at the small red spheres a colleague had just pointed out to me. The tiny structures lay in a blood vessel channel that wound through the pale yellow hard tissue. Each had a dark center resembling a cell nucleus. In fact, the spheres looked just like the blood cells in reptiles, birds and all other vertebrates alive today except mammals, whose circulating blood cells lack a nucleus. They couldn’t be cells, I told myself. The bone slice was from a dinosaur that a team from the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., had recently uncovered aTyrannosaurus rex that died some 67 million years ago--and everyone knew organic material was far too delicate to persist for such a vast stretch of time.

     For more than 300 years paleontologists have operated under the assumption that the information contained in fossilized bones lies strictly in the size and shape of the bones themselves. The conventional wisdom holds that when an animal dies under conditions suitable for fossilization, inert minerals from the surrounding environment eventually replace all of the organic molecules—such as those that make up cells, tissues, pigments and proteins—leaving behind bones composed entirely of mineral. As I sat in the museum that afternoon in 1992, staring at the crimson structures in the dinosaur bone, I was actually looking at a sign that this bedrock tenet of paleontology might not always be true—though at the time, I was mostly puzzled. Given that dinosaurs were nonmammalian vertebrates, they would have had nucleated blood cells, and the red items certainly looked the part, but so, too, they could have arisen from some geologic process unfamiliar to me.

     Back then I was a relatively new graduate student at Montana State University, studying the microstructure of dinosaur bone, hardly a seasoned pro. After I sought opinions on the identity of the red spheres from faculty members and other graduate students, word of the puzzle reached Jack Horner, curator of paleontology at the museum and one of the world’s foremost dinosaur authorities. He took a look for himself. Brows furrowed, he gazed through the microscope for what seemed like hours without saying a word. Then, looking up at me with a frown, he asked, “What do you think they are?” I replied that I did not know, but they were the right size, shape and color to be blood cells, and they were in the right place, too. He grunted, “So prove to me they aren’t.” It was an irresistible challenge, and one that has helped frame how I ask my research questions, even now.

     Since then, my colleagues and I have recovered various types of organic remains—including blood vessels, bone cells and bits of the fingernail-like material that makes up claws—from multiple specimens, indicating that although soft-tissue preservation in fossils may not be common, neither is it a one-time occurrence. These findings not only diverge from textbook description of the fossilization process, they are also yielding fresh insights into the biology of bygone creatures. For instance, bone from another T.rexspecimen has revealed that the animal was a female that was “in lay” (preparing to lay eggs) when she died—information we could not have gleaned from the shape and size of the bones alone. And a protein detected in remnants of fibers near a small carnivorous dinosaur unearthed in Mongolia has helped establish that the dinosaur had feathers that, at the molecular level, resembled those of birds.

     Our results have met with a lot of skepticism—they are, after all, extremely surprising. But the skepticism is a proper part of science, and I continue to find the work fascinating and full of promise. The study of ancient organic molecules from dinosaurs has the potential to advance understanding of the evolution and extinction of these magnificent creatures in ways we could not have imagined just two decades ago.

FIRST SIGNS

     Extraordinary claims, as the old adage goes, require extraordinary evidence. Careful scientists make every effort to disprove cherished hypotheses before they accept that their ideas are correct. Thus, for the past 20 years I have been trying every experiment I can think of to disprove the hypothesis that the materials my collaborators and I have discovered are components of soft tissues from dinosaurs and other long-gone animals.

     In the case of the red microstructures saw in the T.rex bone, I started by thinking that if they were related to blood cells or to blood cell constituents (such as molecules of hemoglobin or heme that had clumped together after being released from dying blood cells), they would have persisted in some, albeit possibly very altered, form only if the bones themselves were exceptionally well preserved. Such tissue would have disappeared in poorly preserved skeletons. At the macroscopic level, this was clearly true. The skeleton, a nearly complete specimen from eastern Montana—officially named MOR 555 and affectionately dubbed “Big Mike”—includes many rarely preserved bones. Microscope examination of thin sections of the limb bones revealed similarly pristine preservation. Most of the blood vessel channels in the dense bone were empty, not filled with mineral deposits as is usually the case with dinosaurs. And those ruby microscopic structures appeared only in the vessel channel, never in the surrounding bone or in sediments adjacent to the bones, just as should be true of blood cells.

     Next, I turned my attention to the chemical composition of the blood cell look-alikes. Analyses showed that they were rich in iron, as red blood cells are, and that the iron was specific to them. Not only did the elemental makeup of the mysterious red things (we nicknamed them LLRTs, “little round red things”) differ from that of the bone immediately surrounding the vessel channels, it was also utterly distinct from that of the sediments in which the dinosaur was buried. But to further test the connection between the red structures and blood cells, I wanted to examine my samples for heme, the small iron-containing molecule that gives vertebrate blood its scarlet hue and enables hemoglobin proteins to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Heme vibrates, or resonates, in telltale patterns when it is stimulated by tuned lasers, and because it contains a metal center, it absorbs light in a very distinct way. When we subjected bone samples to spectroscopy tests-which measure the light that a given material emits, absorbs or scatters-our results showed that somewhere in the dinosaur’s bone were compounds that were consistent with heme.

     One of the most compelling experiments we conducted took advantage of the immune response. When the body detects an invasion by foreign, potentially harmful substances, it produces defensive proteins called antibodies that can specifically recognize, or bind to, those substances. We injected extracts of the dinosaur bone into mice, causing the mice to make antibodies against the organic compounds in the extract. When we then exposed these antibodies to hemoglobin from turkeys and rats, they bound to the hemoglobin--a sign that the extracts that elicited antibody production in the mice had included hemoglobin or something very like it. The antibody data supported the idea that Big Mike’s bones contained something similar to the hemoglobin in living animals.

     None of the many chemical an immunological tests we performed disproved our hypothesis that the mysterious red structures visible under the microscope were red blood cells from a T. rex. Yet we could not show that the hemoglobinlike substance was specific to the red structures—the available techniques were not sufficiently sensitive to permit such differentiation. Thus, we could not claim definitively that they were blood cells. When we published our findings in 1997, we drew our conclusions conservatively, stating that hemoglobin proteins might be preserved and that the most likely source of such proteins was the cells of the dinosaur. The paper got very little notice

THE EVIDENCE BUILDS

     Through the T. rex work, I began to realize just how much fossil organics stood to reveal about extinct animals. If we could obtain proteins, we could conceivably decipher the sequence of their constituent amino acids, much as geneticists sequence the “letters” that make up DNA. And like DNA sequences, protein sequences contain information about evolutionary relationships between animals, how species change over time and how the acquisition of new genetic traits might have conferred advantages to the animals possessing those features. But first I had to show that ancient proteins were present in fossils other than the wonderful T.rex we had been studying. Working with Mark Marshall, then at Indiana University, and wit h Seth Pincus and John Watt, both at Montana State during this time, I turned my attention to two well-preserved fossils that looked promising for recovering organics.

     The first was a beautiful primitive bird named Rahonavis that paleontologists form Stony Brook University and Marcalester College had unearthed form deposits in Madagascar dating to the Late Cretaceous period, around 80 million to 70 million years ago. During excavation they had noticed a white, fibrous material on the skeleton’s toe bones, No other bone in the quarry seemed to have the substance, nor was it present on any of the sediments there, suggesting that it was part of the animal rather than having been deposited on the bones secondarily. They wondered whether the material might be akin to the strong sheath made of keratin protein that covers the toe bones of living birds, forming their claws, and asked for my assistance.

     Keratin proteins are good candidates for preservation because they are abundant in vertebrates, and the composition of this protein family makes them very resistant to degradation—something that is nice to have in organs such as skin that are exposed to harsh conditions. They come in two main types: alpha and beta. All vertebrates have alpha keratin, which in humans makes up hair and nails and helps the skin to resist abrasion and dehydration. Beta keratin is absent from mammals and occurs only in birds and reptiles among living organisms.

     To test for keratins in the white material on the Rahonavis toe bones, we employed many of the same techniques I had used to study T. rex. Notably, antibody tests indicated the presence of both alpha and beta keratin. We also applied additional diagnostic tools. Other analyses, for instance, detected amino acids that were localized to the toe-bone covering and also detected nitrogen (a component of amino acids) that was bound to other compounds much as proteins bind together in living tissues, including keratin. The results of all our tests supported the notion that the cryptic white material covering the ancient bird’s toe bones included fragments of alpha and beta keratin and was the remainder of its once lethal claws.

     The second specimen we probed was a spectacular Late Cretaceous fossil that researchers from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City had discovered in Mongolia. Although the scientists dubbed the animal Shuvuuia deserti, or “desert bird,” it was actually a small carnivorous dinosaur. While cleaning the fossil, Amy Davidson, a technician at the museum, noticed small white fibers in the animal’s neck region. She asked me if I could tell if they were remnants of feathers. Birds are descended from dinosaurs, and fossil hunters have discovered a number of dinosaur fossils that preserve impressions of feathers, so in theory the suggestion that Shuvuuia had a downy coat was plausible. I did not expect that a structure as delicate as a feather could have endured the ravages of time, however. I suspected the white fibers instead came from modern plants or from fungi. But I agreed to take a closer look.

   To my surprise, initial tests ruled out plants or fungi as the source of the fibers. Moreover, subsequent analyses of the microstructure of the strange white strands pointed to the presence of keratin. Mature feathers in living birds consist almost exclusively of beta keratin. If the small fibers on Shuvuuia were related to feathers, then they should harbor beta keratin alone, in contrast to the claw sheath of Rahonavis, which contained both alpha and beta keratin. That, in fact is exactly what we found when we conducted our antibody tests—results we published in 1999.

EXTRAORDINARY FINDS

     By now I was convinced that small remnants of original proteins could survive in extremely well preserved fossils and that we had the tools to identify them. But many in the scientific community remained unconvinced. Our findings challenged everything scientists thought they knew about the breakdown of cells and molecules. Test-tube studies of organic molecules indicated that proteins should not persist more than a million years or so; DNA had an even shorter life span. Researchers working on ancient DNA had claimed previously that they had recovered DNA millions of years old, but subsequent work failed to validate the results. The only widely accepted claims of ancient molecules were no more than several tens of thousands of years old. In fact, one anonymous reviewer of a paper I had submitted for publication in a scientific journal told me that this type of preservation was not possible and that I could not convince him or her otherwise, regardless of our data.

     In response to this resistance, a colleague advised me to step back a bit and demonstrate the efficacy of our methods for indentifying ancient proteins in bones that were old, but not as old as dinosaur bone, to provide a proof of principle. Working with analytical chemist John Asara of Harvard University, I obtained proteins form mammoth fossils that were estimated to be 300,000 to 600,000 years old. Sequencing of the proteins using a technique called mass spectrometry indentified them unambiguously as collagen, a key component of bone, tendons, skin and other tissues. The publication of our mammoth results in 2002 did not trigger much controversy. Indeed, the scientific community largely ignored it. But our proof of principle was about to come in very handy.

     The next year a crew from the Museum of the Rockies finally finished excavating another T. rexskeleton, which at 68 million years old is the oldest one to date. Like the younger T. rex, this one—called MOR 1125 and nicknamed “Brex,” after discoverer Bob Harmon—was recovered from the Hell Creek Formation in eastern Montana. The site is isolated and remote, with no access for vehicles, so a helicopter ferried plaster jackets containing excavated bones from the site to the camp. The jacket containing the leg bones was too heavy for the helicopter to lift. To retrieve them, then, the team broke the jacket, separated the bones and rejacketed them. But the bones are very fragile, and when the original jacket was opened, many fragments of bone fell out. These were boxed up for me. Because my original T. rex studies were controversial, I was eager to repeat the work on a second T. rex. The new find presented the perfect opportunity.

     As soon as I laid eyes on the first piece of bone I removed from that box, a fragment of thighbone, I knew the skeleton was special. Lining the internal surface of this fragment was a thin, distinct layer of a type of bone that had never been found in dinosaurs. This layer was very fibrous, filled with blood vessel channels, and completely different in color and texture from the cortical bone that constitutes most of the skeleton. “Oh, my gosh, it’s a girl—and it’s pregnant!” I exclaimed to my assistant, Jennifer Wittmeyer, She looked at me like I had lost my mind. But having studied bird physiology, I was nearly sure that this distinctive feature was medullary bone, a special tissue that appears for only a limited time (often for just about two weeks), when birds are in lay, and that exists to provide an easy source of calcium to fortify the eggshells.

     One of the characteristics that sets medullary bone apart from other bone types is the random orientation of its collagen fibers, a characteristic that indicates very rapid formation. (This same organization occurs in the first bone laid down when you have a fracture—that is why you feel a lump in healing bone.) The bones of a modern-day bird and all other animals can be demineralized using mild acids to reveal the telltale arrangement of the collagen fibers. Wittmeyer and I decided to try to remove the minerals. If this was medullary bone and if collagen was present, eliminating the minerals should leave behind randomly oriented fibers. As the minerals were removed, they left a flexible and fibrous clump of tissue. I could not believe what we were seeing. I asked Wittmeyer to repeat the experiment multiple times. And each time we placed the distinctive layer of bone in the mild acid solution, fibrous stretchy material remained—just as it does when medullary bone in birds is treated in the same way.

   Furthermore, when we then dissolved pieces of the denser, more common cortical bone, we obtained more soft tissue. Hollow, transparent, flexible, branching tubes emerged from the dissolving matrix—and they looked exactly like blood vessels. Suspended inside the vessels were either small, round red structures or amorphous accumulations of red material. Additional demineralization experiments revealed distinctive-looking bone cells called osteocytes that secrete the collagen and other components that make up the organic part of bone. The whole dinosaur seemed to preserve material never seen before in dinosaur bone.

     When we published our observations in Science in 2005, reporting the presence of what looked to be collagen, blood vessels and bone cells, the paper garnered a lot of attention, but the scientific community adopted a wait-and see attitude. We claimed only that the material we found resembled these modern components—not that they were one and the same. After millions of years, buried in sediments and exposed to geochemical conditions that varied over time, what was preserved in these bones might bear little chemical resemblance to what was there when the dinosaur was alive. The real value of these materials could be determined only if their composition could be discerned. Our work had just begun.

   Using all the techniques honed while studying Big Mike, Rathonavis, Shuvuuia and the mammoth, I began an in-depth analysis of this T.rex’s bone in collaboration with Asara, who had refined the purification and sequencing methods we used in the mammoth study and was ready to try sequencing the dinosaur’s much older proteins. This was a much harder exercise, because the concentration of organics in the dinosaur was orders of magnitude less than in the much younger mammoth and because the proteins were very degraded. Nevertheless, we were eventually able to sequence them. And, gratifyingly, when our colleague Chris Organ of Harvard compared the T.rex sequences with those of a multitude of other organisms, he found that they grouped most closely with birds, followed by crocodiles—the two groups that are the closest living relatives of dinosaurs.

CONTROVERSY AND ITS AFTERMATH

     Our papers detailing the sequencing work, published in 2007 and 2008, generated a firestorm of controversy, most of which focused on our interpretations of the sequencing (mass spectrometry) data. Some dissenters charged that we had not produced enough sequences to make our case; others argued that the structures we interpreted as primeval soft tissues were actually biofilm—“slime” produced by microbes that had invaded the fossilized bone. There were other criticisms, too. I had mixed feelings about their feedback. On one hand, scientists are paid to be skeptical and to examine remarkable claims with rigor. On the other hand, science operates on the principle of parsimony—the simplest explanation for all the data is assumed to be the correct one. And we had supported our hypothesis with multiple lines of evidence

     Still, I knew that a single gee-whiz discovery does not have any long-term meaning to science. We had to sequence proteins form other dinosaur finds. When a volunteer accompanying us on a summer expedition found bones from and 80-million-year-old plant-eating duckbill dinosaur calledBrachylophosaurus canadensis, or “Brachy,” we suspected the duckbill might be a good source of ancient proteins even before we got its bones out of the ground. Hoping that is might contain organics, we did everything we could to free it from the surrounding sandstone quickly while minimizing its exposure to the elements. Air pollutants, humidity fluctuations and the like would be very harmful to fragile molecules, and the longer the bone was exposed, the more likely contamination and degradation would occur.

     Perhaps because of this extra care—and prompt analyses—both the chemistry and the morphology of this second dinosaur were less altered than Brex’s. As we had hoped, we found cells embedded in a matrix of white collagen fibers in the animal’s bone. The cells exhibited long, thin, branchlike extensions that are characteristic of osteocytes, which we could trace from the cell body to where they connected to other cells. A few of them even contained what appeared to be internal structures, including possible nuclei.

     Furthermore, extracts of the duckbill’s bone reacted with antibodies that target collagen and other proteins that bacteria do not manufacture, refuting the suggestion that our soft-tissue structures were merely biofilms. In addition, the protein sequences we obtained from the bone most closely resembled those of modern birds, just as Brex’s did. And we sent samples of the duckbill’s bone to several different labs for independent testing, all of which confirmed our results. After we reported these findings in Science in 2009, I heard no complaints.

   Our work does not stop here. There is still so much about ancient soft tissues that we do not understand. Why are these materials preserved when all our models say they should be degraded? How does fossilization really occur? How much can we learn about animals from preserved fragments of molecules? The sequencing work hints that analyses of this material might eventually help to sort out how extinct species are related—once we and others build up bigger libraries of ancient sequences, and sequences from living species, for comparison, As these databases expand, we may be able to compare sequences to see how member of lineage changed at the molecular level. And by rooting these sequences in time, we might be able to better understand the rate of this evolution. Such insights will help scientists to piece together how dinosaurs and other extinct creatures responded to major environmental changes, how they recovered from catastrophic events, and ultimately what did them in.

 ..............................................

You can take from it what you will. As for me, I say they found soft tissue and blood cells in that T-Rex..and both Jack Horner and Schweitzer KNOW that and that's why they refuse to allow others to test using C-14. 

 

 

 

 

 

on Jun 22, 2012

Flakey101
and why are you arguing against the Pope, since the catholic church is behind evolution?

I'm not arguing against the Pope. You are mistaken to think and say that the Catholic Church is behind evolution.

The last authoritative magisterial teaching on evolution was Humani generis in 1950, which warned against errors of evolutionary thought, defended important elements of the traditional understanding of Genesis 1-11, and urged Catholic experts to study the evidence for and against the hypothesis of human evolution. H.H. Pope Benedict XVI has acknowledged that the thorough evaluation of the evolutionary hypothesis requested by Pope Pius XII sixty years ago has still not taken place. 

In a work published a year before his election as Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger asked: 

Has the last word been spoken? Have Christianity and reason permenantly parted company? There is at any rate no getting around the dispute about the extent of the claims of the doctrine of evolution as a fundamental philosophy and about the exclusive validity of the positive method as the sole indicator of systematic knowledge and of rationality. This dispute has therefore to be approached objectively and with a willingness to listen, by both sides--something that has hitherto been undertaken only to a limited extent. No one will be able to cast serious doubt upon the scientific evidence for micro-evolutionary processes...it is not toward that point, therefore that a believer will direct the questions he puts toward modern rationality but rather toward the development of evolutionary theory into a generalized philosophia universalis, which claims to constitute a universal explanation of reality and is unwilling to allow the continuing existence of another level of thinking. Within the teaching of evolution itself, the problem emerges at the point of transition from micro-to-macro evolution, on which points Szathmary and Maynard Smith, both convinced supporters of the all embracing theory of evolution, nonetheless declare that: "There is no theoretical basis for believing that evolutionary lines become more complex with time; and there is also no empirical evidence that this happens." 

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Truth and Tolerance (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), pp.179-180.

 

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And in 2006, the Pope said: 

Pope Preaches Against Chance Evolution: “Man is Not the Chance Result of Evolution”

By John-Henry Westen

REGENSBURG, Germany, September 12, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - This morning Pope Benedict XVI discussed evolution in his homily at the outdoor Mass celebrated in Islinger Field. In a direct attack on the concept of random chance evolution, Pope Benedict asked rhetorically: “What came first? Creative Reason, the Spirit who makes all things and gives them growth, or Unreason, which, lacking any meaning, yet somehow brings forth a mathematically ordered cosmos, as well as man and his reason.”

The Pope explained that the belief in God as Creator comes in the most ancient profession of faith known to Christians, the Apostles’ Creed.“As Christians, we say: I believe in God the Father, the Creator of heaven and earth - I believe in the Creator Spirit. We believe that at the beginning of everything is the eternal Word, with Reason and not Unreason,” he said.

While faith is not opposed to science, the Pope noted that some scientific endeavor is aimed at opposing faith.“From the Enlightenment on, science, at least in part, has applied itself to seeking an explanation of the world in which God would be unnecessary,” he said. The Pope added, “And if this were so, he (God) would also become unnecessary in our lives.”

Man, “would then be nothing more than a chance result of evolution and thus, in the end, equally meaningless,” said the Pope.

However, Benedict XVI, noted assuredly that attempts to show God as unnecessary in the explanation of the universe are futile.“But whenever the attempt seemed to be nearing success - inevitably it would become clear: something is missing from the equation!,” he said.“When God is subtracted, something doesn’t add up for man, the world, the whole vast universe.”

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I agree with the Holy Father and what he says is what I've been saying all along. 

 

on Jun 22, 2012

lulapilgrim
Reply #36  lulapilgrim

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy  — Pope Benedict XVI said the debate raging in some countries — particularly the United States and his native Germany — between creationism and evolution was an “absurdity,” saying that evolution can coexist with faith.

The pontiff, speaking as he was concluding his holiday in northern Italy, also said that while there is much scientific proof to support evolution, the theory could not exclude a role by God.   “They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the pope said. “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”   He said evolution did not answer all the questions: “Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question, ‘Where does everything come from?’”   Benedict also said the human race must listen to “the voice of the Earth” or risk destroying its very existence.   The pope is wrapping up a three-week private holiday in the majestic mountains of northern Italy, where residents are alarmed by the prospect of climate change that can alter their way of life.   “We all see that today man can destroy the foundation of his existence, his Earth,” he said in a closed door meeting with 400 priests on Tuesday. A full transcript of the two-hour event was issued on Wednesday.

“We cannot simply do what we want with this Earth of ours, with what has been entrusted to us,” said the pope, who has been spending his time reading and walking in the scenic landscape bordering Austria.   Our Earth is talking to us World religions have shown a growing interest in the environment, particularly the ramifications of climate change.   The pope, leader of some 1.1 billion Roman Catholics worldwide, said: “We must respect the interior laws of creation, of this Earth, to learn these laws and obey them if we want to survive.”   “This obedience to the voice of the Earth is more important for our future happiness ... than the desires of the moment. Our Earth is talking to us and we must listen to it and decipher its message if we want to survive,” he said.   Last April, the Vatican sponsored a scientific conference on climate change to underscore the role that religious leaders around the world could play in reminding people that willfully damaging the environment is sinful.

msnbc.com news services updated 7/25/2007 2:55:35 PM ET   Reuters contributed to this story.

There is no role for god today in evolution based on all the data we currently have, but we don't have nearly all the data we would like to have, as if. We will never get enough proof to prove the god(s) don't exist and because of this there can always be a place found for them later as the data indicates, but not in our lifetimes. The writing is an the wall!

on Jun 22, 2012
As it stands today, the only thing the Magisterium has allowed is a continued discussion on Evolution Theory.  Here are two articles that show the Pope is developing his own thought process regarding continued discussion on Evolution Theory. 
 

Universe is product of design, not chance, Pope says

LifesiteNews

 

The universe reflects “the wisdom of the Creator, the inexhaustible creativity of God,” Pope Benedict XVI said in his homily as he celebrated Mass for the feast of the Epiphany, January 6.

Commenting on the visit of the Magi, the Holy Father said that the wise men who followed a star recognized the plan that is inherent in all creation. The universe is not driven by random chance, he said. “In the beauty of the world, in its mystery, its greatness and rationality, we cannot fail to read the eternal rationality,” the Pope said. “We can not help but be guided by it to the one God, Creator of heaven and earth.”

A Fox News report on the homily drew the curious conclusion that the Pope was speaking about the “Big Bang” theory. But in fact the Pontiff spoke about the limitations of all human ideas about life—political as well as scientific—and all human plans that tend to shut out God. He reflected on how King Herod feared the Christ Child, because of jealousy for his royal power. All believers should learn from that story, he said:

 

Herod is a character whom we do not like, whom we instinctively judge in a negative way for its brutality. But we should ask ourselves: maybe there is something of Herod in us? Perhaps we, too, on occasion, see God as a kind of rival?

At his midday audience on January 6, the Pope sent his greetings to the Eastern Christian churches that celebrate Christmas on January 7. He offered a prayer that all of Christ’s faithful would be “strengthened in faith, hope, and charity.” In an apparent reference to Christians who have been the victims of violent attacks, he prayed that “comfort be given to communities that are suffering.” 

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Pontiff says that man is not 'merely a random product of evolution'

 

Pope Benedict XVI marked Easter Sunday by stressing that humanity isn't a random product of evolution. Benedict stressed the Biblical account of creation in his Easter Vigil homily by saying it was wrong to think at some point "in some tiny corner of the cosmos there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it."

 LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "If man were merely a random product of evolution in some place on the margins of the universe, then his life would make no sense or might even be a chance of nature," he said. "But no, reason is there at the beginning: creative, divine reason."

Roman Catholicism has said that evolutionary theory are not necessarily at odds. A Christian can, for example, accept the theory of evolution to help explain developments, but is taught to believe that God, not random chance, is the origin of the world. The Vatican has previously warned against creationism, or the overly literal interpretation of the Biblical account of creation.

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on Jun 25, 2012

From Heritage.org......

Protecting Religious Liberty from Obamacare

The Supreme Court will hand down its verdict on Obamacare this week, making it a timely occasion for Americans to show their support for religious freedom—only one of many freedoms steamrolled by the health care law.

This spring, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged she did not even enlist the legal advice of the Department of Justice on whether it is constitutional to force religious employers to provide coverage of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization against their moral or religious beliefs. She admitted in congressional testimony that she neglected to obtain an adequate legal analysis of the HHS anti-conscience mandate before promulgating the Obamacare rule that tramples on religious liberty.

That disrespect for constitutionally guaranteed religious freedom has led Americans to participate in the Fortnight for Freedom, a nationwide demonstration. Launched June 21, the Fortnight for Freedom runs through July 4—a two-week opportunity for citizens to celebrate our rich heritage of religious liberty and call for greater defense of this precious right.

Often called the "first freedom," religious liberty is the cornerstone of American freedoms. The ability to freely worship and act in accordance with a particular faith without fear of government reprisal is essential to civil society.

As Heritage's Jennifer Marshall has explained:

Far from privatizing religion, the American model of religious liberty assumes that religious believers and institutions will take active roles in society…In fact, the American Founders considered religious engagement in shaping the public morality essential to ordered liberty and the success of their experiment in self government.


That right includes the ability to practice one's faith even outside the four walls of a church. The Constitution does not merely protect the freedom to worship in private and on certain days of the week. It is a guarantee that individuals can allow their faith to inform and motivate their lives and work.

That is why Secretary Sebelius's disregard for the Constitution's religious freedom protections is so particularly egregious.

Obamacare's anti-conscience mandate has a narrow religious exemption that applies only to formal houses of worship. Countless other religious employers, like Catholic schools, hospitals, and crisis pregnancy centers are forced to provide coverage for the mandated services despite moral or religious objections—simply because they step outside the four walls of a church to serve others.

Insinuating that faith should remain behind closed doors, not influencing or inspiring care for others, the government's narrow view of religion has created what some have called a "religious caste system." Only those considered "religious enough" by government bureaucrats are awarded religious freedom under the mandate.

The HHS mandate's narrow view of religion is only one of many examples of the increasing erosion of religious liberty. For example:

  • State laws instituting civil unions or redefining marriage have forced faith-based adoption and foster care services in Illinois, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia to close their doors rather than violate their beliefs about placing children in homes with a married mother and father.
  • Last fall, HHS bureaucrats refused to renew a grant for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to partner with law enforcement to help victims of human trafficking, simply because the group would not violate its beliefs by referring for abortions.


Religious liberty conflicts are often early warning signs for threats to general freedoms. The anti-conscience mandate, for instance, is only the first of many rules that will run afoul of freedom as Obamacare is fully implemented. Rescinding the mandate would protect religious freedom in this instance specifically, but only repealing Obamacare can adequately protect religious and other liberties more generally and make way for health care reform that meets patients' needs, consistent with their convictions. If the Supreme Court does not strike down the entire health care law this week, Congress should move to repeal what remains.

Protecting Americans' right to live out their faith in the public square and for organizations to hire and serve others in accordance with their deeply held beliefs is essential to sustaining robust religious freedom. That kind of respect requires leaders who recognize constitutional limits on government power.

Despite the Obama Administration's recent neglect of those limits, the freedoms enshrined in our founding document will be hard to ignore on July 4. As the Fortnight for Freedom concludes, church bells across the country will ring simultaneously at noon (Eastern time), declaring loudly: Let Religious Freedom Ring.


on Jun 26, 2012

Such a bunk argument on religious liberty conflicts...
Nobody is forcing you as an individual to get involuntarily implanted with an IUD or disallowing you to abstain from sex before marriage.

What they are forcing is freedom from religious tyranny... for people who do not want to live under such oppressive patriarchal Religious rules.

Decision making is also being made by non-elected officials without expertise in evidence-based medicine or public health. That is where the real liberty conflict is... allowing religious leaders to interfere with goverment health policy.

Come on sing it... you know the song...
"Now the world doesn't move to the beat of just one drum... what might be right for you, might not be right for some"

on Jun 27, 2012

LORD-ORION
Such a bunk argument on religious liberty conflicts...

Let's start with the basics. First,  by understanding that man is created by God for God from Whom his intrinsic dignity comes from as well as his freedom to practice true religion. Religious liberty conflicts arise when the State, instead of acknowledging and safeguarding those truths, attacks them.    

Attacking our freedom of conscience to practice the Christian Faith is exactly what the Government is doing through HHS mandate as part of Obama's Health Care law, i.e. "Obamacare".  

 

LORD-ORION
Nobody is forcing you as an individual to get involuntarily implanted with an IUD or disallowing you to abstain from sex before marriage.

True, it hasn't gotten that far at least for now.  But the HHS mandate (law) maliciously requires Catholic Church institutions and agencies to provide and pay for certain prescriptions and procedures in violation of God's law and the Church's moral teaching. 

Forcing Catholic institutions and agencies to act against their conscience and provide and pay for these evils is also a violation of the religious liberties guaranteed by the First Amendment, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and other federal laws.   

LORD-ORION
Nobody is forcing you as an individual to get involuntarily implanted with an IUD or disallowing you to abstain from sex before marriage.

Definitely forcing others overseas with our tax monies paying for it.

I"m talking about the fact that Barack Obama has been funneling money to the UN organization known as UNFPA, which is involved with some of the most horrific population control programs the world has ever seen. In China for example, UNFPA's "model country",  the program is rife with human rights abuses, including forced abortions and forced sterilization. The money pays for computers and sterilization/abortion equipment to China's family planning police. They track all women and target those who get pregnant "out of plan". UNFPA supports CHina's one child policy and promotes exporting it to other countries. 

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LORD-ORION
What they are forcing is freedom from religious tyranny... for people who do not want to live under such oppressive patriarchal Religious rules.

Knock, knock, have you read the US Constitution? What is the one core constitutional principle concerning freedom of  religion? Is not freedom of religion our most basic and fundamental liberty?

Knock, knock, it is the unlawful tyranny of Obamacare that is assaulting religious liberty, not the other way around.  

Knock, knock, the Catholic Church and the Christian religion is concerned with completing Christ's mission of caring for and saving souls not taking over Government. 

Knock, knock, take a look at the big picture. You'll find it's clear that for years now, the organized assault on religious liberty in the courts, in academia and as well as in the Government. You know about the judges who tried to ban "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. You know about the lawsuits trying to remove all crosses from public places. You know about the judge who forbade student led prayer before games? Or the judge who forbade prayer before town council meetings. The secular and atheistis campaign against religious liberty has even leaked into the military. Obama is trying hard to move all this forward..waging war on religious liberty. 

I call Obama's brazen act against religious liberty for what it is: an in-your-face offensive against Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.

 

on Jun 27, 2012

It boggles my mind how much I agree with you about some things, and disagree about others so strongly.

on Jun 27, 2012

Ha,ha, ha, ha, I know what you're saying. 

on Jun 28, 2012

LORD-ORION
Come on sing it... you know the song...
"Now the world doesn't move to the beat of just one drum... what might be right for you, might not be right for some"

Actually, I don't know the song, but the message it's indoctrinating is moral relativism, a mindset one would be smart to avoid adopting.

Moral relativism doesn't recognize anything as definitive and has as its highest value one's own ego and one's own desires. Moral relativists cast aside all absolute or objective truth beyond themselves. Moral relativists decide what is right and wrong for themselves and claim all views are equally valid. "I'm OK; you're OK"; "Whatever floats your boat.";  "Anything goes". This new morality is a recipe for societal chaos.

 

on Jun 28, 2012

Moral relativism doesn't actually exist.  Everybody knows what is right inherently.  It's built into us because there is a creator who bestowed it upon us.  That's why, when people do what's right, they never need to defend their actions through moral relativism... everyone knows it's right. 

When someone does something wrong, they always need to justify it... because it was wrong.  The fact that people, even moral relativists, still feel the need to somehow get their behavior to fit into a certain moral standing becomes the very proof against them.