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Vatican Paper Hits 'Intelligent Design' 

VATICAN CITY, Jan. 18, 2006
(AP) The
Vatican newspaper has published an article saying "intelligent design"
is not science and that teaching it alongside evolutionary theory in
school classrooms only creates confusion.

The article in
Tuesday's editions of L'Osservatore Romano was the latest in a series
of interventions by Vatican officials _ including the pope _ on the
issue that has dominated headlines in the United States.

author, Fiorenzo Facchini, a professor of evolutionary biology at the
University of Bologna, laid out the scientific rationale for Darwin's
theory of evolution, saying that in the scientific world, biological
evolution "represents the interpretative key of the history of life on

He lamented that certain American "creationists" had
brought the debate back to the "dogmatic" 1800s, and said their
arguments weren't science but ideology.

"This isn't how science
is done," he wrote. "If the model proposed by Darwin is deemed
insufficient, one should look for another, but it's not correct from a
methodological point of view to take oneself away from the scientific
field pretending to do science."

Intelligent design "doesn't
belong to science and the pretext that it be taught as a scientific
theory alongside Darwin's explanation is unjustified," he wrote.

"It only creates confusion between the scientific and philosophical and 
religious planes."

of "intelligent design" hold that some features of the universe and
living things are so complex they must have been designed by a higher
intelligence. Critics say intelligent design is merely creationism _ a
literal reading of the Bible's story of creation _ camouflaged in
scientific language and say it does not belong in science curriculum.

said he recognized some Darwin proponents erroneously assume that
evolution explains everything. "Better to recognize that the problem
from the scientific point of view remains open," he said.

But he
concluded: "In a vision that goes beyond the empirical horizon, we can
say that we aren't men by chance or by necessity, and that the human
experience has a sense and a direction signaled by a superior design."

article echoed similar arguments by the Vatican's chief astronomer, the
Rev. George Coyne, who said "intelligent design" wasn't science and had
no place in school classrooms.

Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed in
off-the-cuff comments in November that the universe was made by an
"intelligent project" and criticized those who in the name of science
say its creation was without direction or order.

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