Vienna Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is one of the Catholic Church’s most vocal critics of what he calls evolutionism, which he defines as an ideology that applies Darwin’s theory of natural selection to a wide variety of questions beyond biology. He usually directs his criticism at scientists and philosophers who say evolution proves that God does not exist. (Photo: Cardinal Schönborn, 16 March 2007/Leonhard Foege)
In an interview with the Austrian provincial newspaper Vorarlberger Nachrichten on Jan. 5, Schönborn, a former student and close associate of Pope Benedict, said his criticism also applied to the current financial crisis:
Q, One of your favourite topics is evolution and creation. Wouldn’t it be more reasonable to devote yourself to more practical things than those that cannot be proven anyway?
A. Look at the current economic crisis. The question of evolutionism and the economic crisis are very closely linked. What we can call the ideological Darwinist concept that the stronger survives has led to the economic situation we’re in today. I think that if education only focuses on making young people fit for the rat race and doesn’t teach them the great human values that society needs, it’s because it’s based on an image of humanity linked to ideological evolutionism. So it has very, very practical consequences.
Q. Where is this discussion leading and what can emerge at the end of it?
A. We can’t say, but (scientific) research continues. Very successful, very exciting. On the one hand, it certainly is going very strongly in the direction that says all life can really be proved to be linked together. In this respect, the scientific theory of evolution is, of course, supported and carried by very strong arguments.