Will the real Catholic please stand up?

Nominally, the Catholic church has no beef with evolution — they’ve got their own official twisted logic in which God did some invisible indetectable hocus-pocus somewhere in the documented evidence of evolution. Sometimes, though, that seems as thin and neglected as church doctrine on contraception. Here’s an article on catholic.org that is pure unadulterated creationism, flatly denying the facts of human evolution because it contradicts the Magisterium of the Church on original sin and our exclusive descent from Adam and Eve.

It’s unclear how this particular site is associated with the official Catholic church, but one thing should be clear: practicing Catholics seem to ignore official papal decrees fairly routinely, and there are a lot of creationist Catholics.

The other thing of note in this particular article is the blatant quote-mining going on. One mention is of this strange Jesuit I first heard of on the Larry King interview of Stephen Hawking, Robert Spitzer — this article makes him sound like he’s anti-evolution, and he actually is, but it’s in that waffling pettifogging traditional Catholic way of accepting the evidence but imagining a lot of god-diddling in the background.

What made me sit up and notice, though, is that in the opening paragraph, it cites John Tyler Bonner as a prominent scientist who questions evolution. Whoa. JT Bonner is the guy who got me excited about developmental biology when I was an undergraduate and picked up a copy of his On Development: The Biology of Form at the UW bookstore. He was a prominent supporter of evolution and against creationism in the 1960s. He wrote The Evolution of Complexity by Means of Natural Selection, The Evolution of Culture in Animals, Life Cycles: Reflections of an Evolutionary Biologist, and First Signals: The Evolution of Multicellular Development. And now they’re insinuating that he’s on the side of the creationists.

How stupid do they think their readers are?