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.

Source: Times Online via GW Offtopic

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.

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4 thoughts on “Vatican Admits It!

    1. Yes, it’s been a while. The main difficulty in accepting evolution by the Church is fitting it with its own genesis. However, one can say that the bible is only a figurative representation, and evolution was initiated by God (I don’t hold this view though).

  1. I think Protestants are more frenzied about an absolute literal telling of the Bible because it’s the only thing that they build their interpretations of Christianity from.

    The Catholic Church takes a less-literal approach on the non-theological aspects of the Bible. For example, the Church has never official taught that creation only took 7 days and that the universe is less then 6000 years old.

    I think the reason why evolution is so hated on by religious people is atheists use it to prove God doesn’t exist. Which I don’t understand because science is the study of the physical universe so how can it be used to disprove God, when he isn’t a physical being.

    And I always thought “Intelligent Design” sounded like a cop-out but the idea that our universe could be running as a simulation in some sort of computer is one I think needs to be investigated further.

    1. Yes, taking some things literary may cause more harm than good.

      Indeed, science can’t prove or disprove existence of God because it is impossible to test this claim.

      The simulation idea is interesting, but it is not easy to assess it.

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