William M. Briggs

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The Stream: The Scientific Pantheist Who Advises Pope Francis

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Today’s post is at The Stream, “The Scientific Pantheist Who Advises Pope Francis: The scientist who influenced Laudato Si, and who serves at the Vatican’s science office, seems to believe in Gaia, but not in God.

St. Francis of Assisi’s hymn Laudato Si’ spoke of “Brothers” Sun and Fire and “Sisters” Moon and Water, using these colorful phrases figuratively, as a way of praising God’s creation. These sentimental words so touched Pope Francis that he named his encyclical after this canticle (repeated in paragraph 87 of the Holy Father’s letter).

Neither Pope Francis nor St. Francis took the words literally, of course. Neither believed that fire was alive and could be talked to or reasoned with or, worse, worshiped. Strange, then, that a self-professed atheist and scientific adviser to the Vatican named Hans Schellnhuber appears to believe in a Mother Earth.

Go there to read the rest.

Update I’ve been told the article was linked on Drudge. Thank God for that.

13 Comments

  1. the link-to ain’t workin

  2. Not necessarily the link, “The Stream” (stream.org) itself seems to be broke…

  3. It is reprehensible that such a person has influence at the Vatican. What can the motive of this Christ-denier be other than to poison the well of Christian virtue with Modern ideology and dogma? What other purpose could he have for involving himself with a theological leader rather than a secular political one? It seems clear his ends are hostile to the Christian faith.

  4. The section on ecological science (Loss of biodiversity [32-42]) is an atrocious mess too, reading like a World Wildlife Fund panic brochure, and culminating with a call for more funding no less!

    42. Greater investment needs to be made in research aimed at understanding more fully the functioning of ecosystems and adequately analyzing the different variables associated with any significant modification of the environment.

  5. The handy website “Is it down?” says The Stream is down.

  6. The Gaia Principle, first advanced by chemist James Lovelock (who has lately had second thoughts)

    What has Lovelock had second thoughts on? The second thought is on the rate of warming, not on the Gaia hypothesis. In one of his books, he disparaged both warmist and deniers. He was not happy that scientists ignored his Gaia theory that the Earth as alive and responsive, and wanted the theory to be incorporated into the study of AGW. He also believed the Earth does not need saving because it can save itself.

    Given this, how likely is it that the Holy Father was fully aware of the views of the chief scientist who advised him?

    If he was fully aware of them, is it a good or bad thing? Does this matter? It doesn’t seem to matter to Schellnhuber that Pope Francis believes in God. It is highly likely that Pope Francis has consulted Schellnhuber for his expertise in physics and climatology, not his views on Gaia theory. What does Schellnhuber really think about the Gaia theory?

  7. There’s nothing Holy in being pro-pollution.

    JMJ

  8. Michael Crichton wrote an essay on environmentalism as religion. The worship of animals, streams, trees, mountains etc. is called animism. It’s the religion of stone age natives in New Guinea and the environmentalists.
    http://www.pe.tamu.edu/DL_Program/graduate_seminar_series/Documents/MichaelCrichton_evironmentalism.pdf

  9. JMJ: Do you ever have an original thought?

  10. “JMJ: Do you ever have an original thought?”

    Apparently he prefers polluting the comments section of every post.

  11. NH report on Lovelock
    “he {Lovelock] disparaged both warmist and deniers …
    … He also believed the Earth does not need saving because it can save itself.

    That’s rather schizophrenic…

    Doesn’t believing the second part make one a denier?

  12. John B(),
    Are there any logical inconsistencies if Lovelock accepts global warming but feels Earth needs no help from us?

  13. In Gaia’s metabolism, carbon gets pulled from the air and deposited in rock (as compressed animal “sea” shells) on the ocean floor, and coal seams on the land. Phosphorus is pulled from the ocean system and deposited, as guano, on rocky island. Over time the essential nutrients of life itself become more and more scarce, to Gaia herself, and the biodiversity of that system becomes more fragile.

    Until very recently. Gaia, through evolution, has brought into her systems a new mechanism for releasing carbon from coal, phosphorus from guano islands, and all manner of essential trace elements from sequestration and dispersal in inaccessable pockets. Human technology has reversed the entropic course of billions of years, restoring carbon levels (for instance) to those prevailing millions of years ago.

    For Gaia worshipers, surely this must be considered a good thing, yes?

    If not, would a Gaia-ist please explain to me why not? Why would Gaia allow herself to run down? And why is a mechanism that evolved (like mankind surely has) to fill a necessary niche, in this one case, an undesired consequence of natural selection?

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