Klinghoffer Quote-Mines Pope Francis

This one is such a classic example of creationist behavior that we had to mention it. It’s by that noted philosopher, theologian, and intelligent design theorist, David Klinghoffer, and it appears at the blog of the Discoveroids. Both Klinghoffer and the Discoveroids are described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page. The thing is mercifully brief: Francis I on a “Plan Inscribed in Nature”.

We have a minor quibble with Klinghoffer’s title. The new Pope is the first to call himself Francis, but is it appropriate to use the numeral “I” after his name? We suspect not, although we have no expertise on papal nomenclature. To us it’s like referring to a man with no children as “Jim Smith, Senior.”

But that’s a trivial matter and it shouldn’t distract us. Let’s see what Klinghoffer has to tell us today. In the quotes that follow, the bold font appears in Klinghoffer’s original — as he thoughtfully emphasizes the phrases he wants us to notice. Here we go:

OK, this papacy is starting off nicely, in a number ways. Here’s one. Pope Francis I, in his installation Mass homily, delivered on Tuesday:

[Klinghoffer purports to quote the Pope:] Please, I would like to ask all those who have positions of responsibility in economic, political and social life, and all men and women of goodwill: let us be “protectors” of creation, protectors of God’s plan inscribed in nature, protectors of one another and of the environment.

Wow! He said “plan” and that’s all the proof we need. That’s a flat-out infallible commitment to the theory of intelligent design, right? Yeah — no doubt about it. What more evidence could you want — a burning bush? You’re probably stunned by all this, but Klinghoffer doesn’t stop with that. He says:

The obvious religious context aside — he’s the Pope, after all — plans being “inscribed in nature” is language pregnant with significance.

Only a fool would deny it! But wait ’til you see Klinghoffer’s next move. Having quoted the Pope (whose language is “pregnant with significance”) he finishes his brief post by giving us a quote from Discoveroid Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell.

The juxtaposition of the Pope’s words with those of a Discoveroid is supposed to do … what? Is this a subtle suggestion that the Pope is endorsing what Meyer says in his book? Or that the Pope has read the book so thoroughly that he has made Meyer’s phrases his own? We don’t know what the implication is, but here comes Klinghoffer’s quote from Meyer. Again, the bold font is in the original:

Our uniform experience affirms that specified information — whether inscribed hieroglyphics, written in a book, encoded in a radio signal, or produced in a simulation experiment — always arises from an intelligent source, from a mind and not a strictly material process.

That’s it. That’s the end of Klinghoffer’s post. We’re left to draw the obvious conclusion. But what is that? You’re supposed to look at the Pope’s language, and then look at Meyer’s language, especially the parts that Klinghoffer highlighted, and conclude … what? If you figure it out, please let us know.

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7 responses to “Klinghoffer Quote-Mines Pope Francis

  1. Whenever I see an argument against evolution (I have never seen an argument *for* an alternative, never having seen an alternative), my first test is to see whether it is at least as good an argument against reproduction.
    The test works once again.

  2. I think Klingadingaling is saying that ID is religious … opps!

  3. What the Pope said was actually in Italian so he certainly didn’t say that. John Paul II made some sort of conciliatory gestures to evolution sort of allows for a big tent that allows your catholic evolutionists along with your conservatives like Patrick Buchanan to coexist. So is this pope moving back to creationism? I doubt it, the Catholic church learned a thing or two with the whole Galileo debacle.

  4. It seems to me that the Pope is making a call to those in power to exercise good stewardship of nature and the environment. He clearly believes that such stewardship is consonant with Catholic principles. It certainly isn’t surprising to hear the Pope associate nature with God’s handiwork, in fact it would be odd if he didn’t. It is obvious he has a devout belief in God and all of his statements will be based on his theology or will at least be reconcilable to Catholic beliefs.

    ID, likewise, is based on a theological belief. The difference between the Discoveroids and the Pope is that they lie about it, and make claims for the existence of the “Designer” using scientific terminology (some of which they invent) to conceal the religious basis.

    Klingflapper should realize that looking to a religious organization for validation for a supposedly scientific idea is not helpful.

  5. I have a little experience with papal nomenclature and you are right, he is the only Francis so there is no I.

  6. My uniform experience affirms that having Discoveroids read specified information — whether inscribed hieroglyphics, written in a book, encoded in a radio signal, or produced in a simulation experiment — will then force them to say something truly stupid, insipid, inane, insane, or a combination of these, and the response always arises from an intelligent source, whether it be one of the commenters here or the Sensuous Curmudgeon himself.

    Quote mining. I does it.

  7. I’d really like to hear from someone with a reading knowledge of Spanish and access to this book:

    Jorge Mario Bergoglio & Abraham Skorka
    Sobre el cielo y la tierra (On heaven and earth)
    Editorial Sudamericana, Buenos Aires 2010, ISBN 9789500732932

    Skorka is a biophysicist (with a doctorate in chemistry), rabbi and professor of biblical and rabbinic literature at the Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano.