It’s been reported by Croatia’s portal Index.hr Tuesday 16 February 2016 that Croatia’s new Minister for Science, Education and Sports Predrag Sustar believes that God is the designer of the world and that the question of evolution remains open. Media outlet in Croatia – Index.hr – makes malicious allegations that Croatian scientists claim that Sustar cannot stay as a minister, writes Index’s journalist Martina Paucek Sljivar without actually giving the public some clue as to how many of Croatia’s scientist might think this way, apart, of course, from the two men from Split the article mentions (further on in this post) – and, oh boy – is Split red as in communist red!
Index.hr seems to have dug out an article written by Sustar in 2012 “Science and Religion of Rudjer Boskovic”, in which he reportedly states that the question of evolution remains open and that the God option (as the one who created the world) remains open, for testing the waters in order to see whether yet another minister of the new government in Croatia could be pinned up for ridicule and eventual sacking or resignation (first the minister of veterans’ affairs Mijo Crnoja was on this agenda, he resigned from pressure ….then came Zlatko Hasanbegovic who still honourably survives). Destabilising the new government so it’s incapacitated to do its work is very much the agenda of the left side of politics, former communists, who simply have no interest in seeing significant progress and advancements in all aspects of democratic life and independent Croatia.
“It seems that so far the theory of evolution did not offer any definitive solutions, which still leaves room for God as the designer. In other words, that means that the God option is open “, Index.hr says Sustar wrote in 2012 in the article together with his colleague from the Faculty of Philosophy Aleksandra Golubovic.
“Many scientists in modern times believe that the design can be perfectly explained by the theory of evolution and that God in this context is redundant. How can the organization of the universe be supported by the evolution? Evolution, it seems, is sufficient to explain the process of natural selection, which results in adaptation of organisms to their environment. The only question is whether the theory of evolution can constitute the final explanation for the organization of the whole universe or whether it explains only one aspect, one segment? If the evolution cannot explain the whole of reality, and it seems that it cannot, than there is space for God”, wrote Sustar as reported by Index.hr.
“Theism, that is the view that God is the one who in an optimal way ‘arranged’ the interplay of forces seems like the best explanation for the fact that life in the universe is possible, because if the values of forces were different (or if there was even a minimum deviation in their values), the likelihood of survival would be extremely low or even non-existent. This interpretation could be seen as the best explanation, which tells us that of all the solutions we should choose the one which has the highest probability. God, as the one who ‘arranged’ the forces in an optimal way, is according to theists the best explanation”, Sustar reportedly added.
Even though it quotes from 2012 the journalist wickedly compares them with what Pope Francis said in 2014 as if the two were occurring at the same time – today! “These statements by the Croatian Minister of Science are at odds with what Pope Francis said two years ago. “’The theory of evolution and the Big Bang are accurate, and God is not a magician with a magic wand’, said Pope Francis and put an end to theories about God as the creator and designer of the world,” says that evidently ridiculous and seemingly malicious journalist of Index.hr, obviously manipulating Pope Francis’ words and cutting the full truth of Pope’s words from the Croatian public. What Sustar reportedly wrote in his 2012 seems not all at odds with what the Pope said in 2014, indeed if anything both opinions are quite commensurate with one another.
Furthermore, the Index.hr article goes on to refer to what two scientists in Croatia have said about the 2012 Sustar article as though the article was fresh off the press! Those two scientists Ivica Puljak, Split Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Shipbuilding: “…The strangest of all statements in the article (Sustar’s) is that the world has obviously been designed. I do not believe that someone could write something like that. Not a single serious religious person would say that. This is totally wrong because the world has not been designed. Science and religion have nothing in common. All that we know about nature and the universe we have learnt through science, and it will remain so in the future. I would like him to explain what he meant when he said that the question of evolution is open and that the world has been designed”, said Puljak.
Well Mr Puljak – and Index,hr – check out Pope Francis’ words in full from 2014, including: “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
Dejan Vinkovic, School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Split and the director of the Institute of Synergy Between Science and Society, who also spoke for Index.hr on this issue, was reportedly “shocked by ministers words and went a step further and said that a person who does not accept biological evolution is not capable of heading a science and educational system of a country.” Again Vinkovic refers to a 2012 article as if it represents current views of its author and at no time has Index.hr written about any attempt to seek minister Sustar’s current views on “evolution Vs divine creation”; besides and contrary to insinuations made here against Sustar he did not in his writings reject evolution. Indeed, Vinkovic tells us “Creationism advocates the view that the world is a few thousand years ago, and that God created everything as it stands now. These views are equivalent to those who believe that the Earth is flat.” What a ridiculous man – he and not minister Sustar needs a brush-up on how Catholic religion accommodates evolution and creationism as hand-in-had process to the world we have today.
“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it,” said Pope Francis in 2014 on the issue.
It is apparent that the article in Index.hr by Martina Paucek Sljivar had no intention of educating the Croatian public as to where evolution stood against creation when it comes to the world’s origins as we know it, but to pluck out bits and pieces of a 4 year old article written by the scientist Sustar in 2012, who is a government minister in Croatia in February 2016, and use those to start a public lynch against him regardless of the facts or full truth – as it stands then and now. “The Council of Europe has warned about the expansion of creationism in schools, but Croatia is making a step backwards by having an education minister who advocates a milder version of creationism. The only responsible thing would be for the minister to resign, or for the prime minister to dismiss him. Everything else would be putting the religious over the secular, pseudoscientific over the scientific”, concluded Vinkovic and proves the correctness of my analysis of the intention of the article on Index.hr.
Well now, all the free and democratic world needs to do right now to satisfy Index.hr and its collaborators’ as to how much religion should guide secular democracies includes: the USA must erase “In God We Trust” written on its Dollar bill; EU countries such as France, Germany, Austria – almost all – must remove from their Euro currencies in circulation all religious symbolism; and such. I do trust the new government in Croatia will know how to swiftly kill-off stumbling blocks to progress such as this Index.hr attempt to vilify and destabilise represents. Secular governance does not exclude personal religious beliefs and should not require it and the sooner the Croatian government acts in discrediting these social and scientific dilettantes from Index.hr the better. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)