The Pope Speaks Out On Evolution

The Pope Speaks Out On Evolution July 27, 2007

There is a wonderful little article in the New York Post drawing attention to a recent statement by the Pope. He points out how problematic it is when the current debates present creation and evolution “as if they were alternatives that are exclusive – whoever believes in the creator could not believe in evolution, and whoever asserts belief in evolution would have to disbelieve in God…This contrast is an absurdity, because there are many scientific tests in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and enriches our understanding of life and being.” The statement also rightly states that evolution doesn’t answer certain questions, not because of problems with the theory or inadequate scientific data, but because they are philosophical questions, such as why something rather than nothing exists.

A fuller statement is available in Italian on the Vatican web site.

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  • Dang it you beat me to this one! Oh well, I guess back to your regularly scheduled martial arts post. :-)~BCP

  • The pope’s comment is 100% in line with the views of Michael Behe, who is a Catholic and probably the foremost spokesman for the movement of scientists commonly called Intelligent Design.So why is it smart now when you usually think it’s stupid?

  • I suppose one could view the statement as leaving room for intelligent design, or merely a divine ‘spark’ to get the ball rolling, and not merely the contingency of existence. I was just pleased mostly because the Pope’s view had been unclear and it had seemed he might be backtracking on evolution and reversing the Catholic Church’s endorsement of it as ‘more than a theory’. As long as the Catholic Church continues to embrace science, as it has fairly consistently in recent years, then we don’t need to worry about them leaving room for a creator, since they will hopefully be committed to doing that in a way that does not seek to undermine the foundations of science. Then again, being a Catholic nowadays doesn’t mean one necessarily accepts the Church’s teachings on this or that, and so it unfortunately remains true that many Catholics may still fall for young-earth creationism and other nonsense. In short, I was just glad to hear the Church reiterate from the top its support for evolution. Perhaps if I read the whole speech I’d feel differently – my Italian is not fluent, except for names of foods, unfortunately.

  • mikrofon

    Although I am not a Catholic, I do have certain spiritual beliefs which do not include evolution. Just to weigh in on the subject, though, I don’t see that the Pope is endorsing Evolution as a fact but more as an hypothesis that Catholics “may consider”.Here’s a segment of a news article in which he makes his position quite clear: “The Pope also says the Darwinist theory of evolution is not completely provable because mutations over hundreds of thousands of years cannot be reproduced in a laboratory. But Benedict, whose remarks were published on Wednesday in Germany in the book ‘Schoepfung und Evolution’ (Creation and Evolution), praised scientific progress and did not endorse creationist or ‘intelligent design’ views about life’s origins.