I came across the following quote while reading Christianity and Evolution
, by the esteemed Jesuit Pierre Teilhard De Chardin (1881-1955). The religious response to Darwinism is something to examine. I've read other Catholic responses to the notion of evolution and the origin of life, and I cannot help but find them lacking in method and conclusion. They are not much better than the contemporary feebleness of proponents of “intelligent design” and their often conflicted ramblings. But today’s entry is about a note that Pierre included in his text. In a section entitled “Religion Put to the Test” he leaves the following words on the bottom of the page: “Islam, in spite of the number of its adherents and its continued progress (in the less evolved strata of mankind, we may note) is not examined here, because to my mind (at least in its original form) it contributes no special solution to the modern religious problem. It seems to me to represent residual Judaism, with no individual character of its own: and it can develop only by becoming either humanist or Christian.”
To include something so blatantly obtuse is one thing, but to admit to the existence of "strata" among humankind (a species of sorts) in a book that attempts to debunk evolution is eye-rubbingly hypocritical. The need to explain Islam has been an obsession with many in Christendom, and to flippantly reduce Islam to a "residual" of anything is as small-minded as one can get. The reasons are obvious and can wait for another post. I mention this now for those who wonder about the roots and cultural ether that provoked Pope Benedict’s choice of "readings" last year.