Given that the Catholic Church had always been staunchly sided with the literal Biblical explanation on the origin of life on earth, does its acceptance of Darwinian evolution represents progress?
By: Ringo Bones
As one of the few organizations who had purportedly saved Imperial Rome’s organized knowledge from burning into oblivion during the Dark Ages, the Catholic Church / The Vatican seems to have set it ways when it comes to what it believes when it comes to the origin of life on earth – i.e. the literal account provided by the Holy Bible. But does the recent move by Pope Francis in accepting Darwinian Evolution and also the Big Bang Theory represents “scientific progress” in The Vatican?
As of late, unprecedented moves by the Vatican had been on the rise, remember back in 2008 when Pope Benedict XVI declared that the existence of extraterrestrial biological beings as smart as or smarter than us does not contradict the cosmic genesis story of the Holy Bible? Forward to October 27, 2014, Pope Francis made an unprecedented declaration that Darwinian Evolution and the Big Bang Theory are not that incompatible with the Biblical Genesis.
In the Pope’s speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope said: “When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God as a magician with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Pope Francis said. Pope Francis also added: “God created human beings and let them develop according to the integral laws that He gave to each one so they would reach fulfillment.” The Pope’s stance on Darwinian Evolution and Big Bang cosmology still leaves a room for a divine creator – i.e. the Christian God – but places His or Her role in the time before the birth of the universe as we know it says one Vatican spokesperson.
The Vatican’s new view, obviously, doesn’t fully align with current scientific thought. Yet Giulio Giorello – a philosopher of science – said that he thinks that this move by the Pope is meant to “reduce the emotion or dispute or presumed disputes between the Catholic Church with the physical sciences that has existed for centuries. As a matter of fact, the Catholic Church has recognized (unofficially) Darwinian Evolution during the past 60 years. According to most Vatican insiders, the unprecedented move was meant by Pope Francis to bring the Church’s stance back in line with its historical position on scientific thought and away from the too literal interpretation of the book of Genesis in the Holy Bible.