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Monday, November 07, 2005

Vatican official defends evolution theory

In the whole debate over evolution vs. creation, a third possibility has been widely overlooked: the notion that they're not mutually exclusive. It's always seemed perfectly plausible to me that God may have set evolution in motion, knowing where it would end up. Or maybe He gave evolution little divine nudges over millions of years.

I've just never bought into the idea that either evolution or "poof"-style creation tells the whole story. Rome isn't buying it either:

The Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally. Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's theory of evolution were "perfectly compatible" if the Bible were read correctly.
"The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator". This idea was part of theology, Cardinal Poupard emphasised, while the precise details of how creation and the development of the species came about belonged to a different realm - science. Cardinal Poupard said that it was important for Catholic believers to know how science saw things so as to "understand things better".
Catholic readers might want to take a look at Fides et Ratio, Pope John Paul II's 1998 encyclical dealing with the relationship between faith and reason.


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