February 12, 2009 is Darwin’s 200th birthday.
A leading official declared yesterday that Darwin’s theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. “In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a “higher power” for the complexities of life.
Organisers of a papal-backed conference next month marking the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species said that at first it had even been proposed to ban Intelligent Design from the event, as “poor theology and poor science”. Intelligent Design would be discussed at the fringes of the conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University, but merely as a “cultural phenomenon”, rather than a scientific or theological issue, organisers said.
The conference is seen as a landmark in relations between faith and science. Three years ago advocates of Intelligent Design seized on the Pope’s reference to an “intelligent project” as proof that he favoured their views.
Archbishop Ravasi argued yesterday that biological evolution and the Christian view of Creation were complementary.
The “time has come for a rigorous and objective valuation” of Darwin by the Church, he said.
Creationism remains powerful in the US, however, notably among Protestants, and its followers object to evolution being taught in state schools.
Here is a presentation about implications of evolution to some religions. However, the claims made in this presentations may only be true if you interpret the bible literally.