… is it really just the SSPX defending the SSPX again (i.e., Activating their assets to run damage control)?
Does anyone with more than 200 posts have anything to say in favor of Fr. Robinson's book?
With regret and reluctance, I am coming out of "retirement" from this site just this once to comment upon this topic, even though I cannot answer either of the quoted questions—that is, I have not read Robinson's book nor am I privy to SSPX defense strategies and postures.
I am very sympathetic to the comments of VeritasLuxMea, especially his seemingly inarguable assertion that as the misquotation of the foreword's language places the discussion in the straw man category, the conclusions drawn are ipso facto at least suspect and perhaps utterly false. Has it truly been forgotten by all and sundry that a fundamental principle in logic—one adopted by the Schoolmen and at least deducible in Aristotle—is that contra factum non valet argumentum
? On this basis alone, the first words in response typed by everyone else on this thread ought to have been "mea culpa." Yet they weren't, to all his antagonists' shame. Had "fair point; I'm sorry" been typed just once
, the ensuing attacks on VLM's bona fides would have been unobjectionable responses (i.e., within the context of morally motivated argument or dispute) rather than what they look like to someone without a dog in this fight: the CathInfo version of the street tough's sneer of "faggot" at everything he dislikes or is unable to respond to or comprehend.
As for the comment of TKonkel time-stamped April 11, 12:25:13 p.m., I am in essentially full agreement with it, but suggesting that agreement with the comment necessarily implies an embrace of macroevolution is, to exercise Christian discretion and politeness in word choice, a red herring. What TKonkel implies there and openly states later—in paraphrase, that the bulk of pre-twentieth-century science is not a priori dismissible as Jewish, atheist, or otherwise Christophobic in motivation and outcome—strikes me as the only conclusion any reasonably sedulous, intelligent, and properly tutored student of the history of science can arrive at.* If, however, TKonkel did not mean his comment to imply what I just wrote, I apologize to him while continuing to assert the foregoing as my own closely considered and, yes, informed opinion. Surely no one here, even that arrogant blockhead Cassini, would claim that TKonkel is erroneous in his account of Augustine's and especially Aquinas's condemnation of those who spurn the maximization of the use of reason and the quest for secondary causality.
May I add here that a bit more precision in vocabulary would have been helpful throughout. Specifically, the universal failure to distinguish between microevolution, in which everyone (including me) with eyes and a functioning brain "believes," and macroevolution, the form that posits interspecies leaps over huge time spans—hence, various "missing links" between man and ape or whatever (here I am oversimplifying radically, of course)—is lamentable. Nor is it particularly adult—but then, this is CathInfo, where adultness has never exactly lain thick on the ground (as you yourself, Sean, have frequently experienced).
For the record, I am not an adherent of macroevolution, but I share TKonkel's opinion that it is not illicit for a true Catholic to accept it as a functional basis for scientific analysis and evaluation of bio-archeological evidence. I think that those who hold the view may with justice point to Providentissimus Deus
and Divino afflante Spiritu
as offering them support. Still, I have little doubt that, in time, macroevolution will join flat-earthism in the dustbin of really warped ideas.
Finally, flat-earthism calls to mind geocentrism, and geocentrism calls to mind Cassini (whom I have called an arrogant blockhead with formal purpose and intent) and Cassini's scandalously and culpably ignorant misrepresentation of the entirety of the Galileo affair and, far worse, his blasphemous attacks on every orthodox pope from Benedict XIV through to Pius XII (and obviously, beyond Vatican II into our own degenerate times) as apostates for "rehabilitating" heliocentrism after it had been infallibly declared heretical. The problem for Cassini and other roll-your-own-dogma Catholics, of course, is that no pope ever formally declared heliocentrism heretical, and to claim that Paul V or any pope did so is to promote mortally sinful scandal. For this alone, Cassini should have been banned from this site, as he already has been from several others.
What is more, although Cassini has published several hundred thousand words of Galileo-phobic polemics here, he shows no evidence of ever having read any of the primary source documents that he ought to feel morally obliged to read before shooting off his big mouth: at a bare minimum the formal interrogatives of the 1633 trial, the draft of the sentence, and Galileo's reply to the sentence (preceded by his formal statement to the judges that if they did not withdraw the charge that he had acted in bad faith or had lied to get the license to publish the Dialogue on the Two World Systems
, he would refuse to accept the sentence and instead accept death because he would be perjuring himself before God to do otherwise). Cassini, however, might possibly have read Bellarmine's letter to Foscarini and the letter (1616) he gave to Galileo formally declaring Galileo free of any suspicion of heresy or contumely. But if he has indeed read them, he is guilty of willfully twisting their words and distorting their plain signification on many more occasions than one.
Of this topic I say no more, now or ever again. Anybody who has the wits to figure out how to scour this site's archives will be able to discover that I commented on these matters at some length in various threads in what will seem the distant past to this site's prepubescent majority. Though few will give a hoot, I add here that Galileo and the trial have been objects of serious documentary study for me for almost fifty years. I have found that what may simplistically be described as the pro-Catholic and anti-Catholic positions are both characterized by poverty of evidentiary support, poverty of reflection, unpersuasiveness of reasoning, and a shortfall of argumentation from hard evidence and reasonable supposition. These are the hallmarks of 90 percent of the published Galileo material with which I am familiar and of 100 percent of Cassini's comments. I have no reason to believe that the even larger body of material of which I know little or nothing does any better, at least if one credits what both its friends and foes say about it—and I am referring by no means to this blog alone!
*Any reader who suspects that I am hinting that I myself fill the bill I've just laid out would be quite right. Guilty as charged, Your Honor.