Pope Speaks on Evolution Thursday, April 12, 2007Posted by h3nry in anti-creationism, anti-ID, Christianity, creationism, evolution, faith, God, intelligent design, pope, religion, science, Vatican.
The Pope has, for the first time as a Pontiff, spoken his view on the science of evolution, as shown in this report, which is bound to add fuels to the now re-emerging debate of evolution and “intelligent design” (ID for short).
Pope Benedict has in general being rather vague on this issue. According to the report, the Pope seems to neither openly endorse ID nor completely disagree with evolution. This comes as no-surprise as the Vatican continues to hold the “theist evolution” view that evolution is perfectly capable to exist side-by-side with Catholic Christianity. Although difficult to interpret what the Pope is really saying from the report, it seems to me that although he thinks science provides a natural explanation, it is only part of a bigger picture (which he says cannot be explained by faith along), and evolution cannot take away a “dimension of reason”.
I think the Pope is implying that while evolution itself is a rational process, the process itself must be explained away by the “creative reason of God”. Quoting the report:
“The process itself is rational despite the mistakes and confusion as it goes through a narrow corridor choosing a few positive mutations and using low probability,” he said.
“This … inevitably leads to a question that goes beyond science … where did this rationality come from?” he asked. Answering his own question, he said it came from the “creative reason” of God.
After spending some time searching through the Internet on the Pope’s view on evolution, it seems that he has never officially endorsed or rejected evolution. However, he does have a track record of making unfavourable comments on evolution and seemingly endorsing ID. In this news report, Pope Benedict says:
“… the universe was made by an “intelligent project” and criticizing those who in the name of science say its creation was without direction or order”
This Daily Mail news article provides an intriguing insight to the views of Pope Benedict on evolution.
“Benedict favours intelligent design, which says God directs the process of evolution, over Charles Darwin’s original theory which holds that species evolve through the random, unplanned processes of genetic mutation and the survival of the fittest.”
A cardinal by the name of Schoenborn has been mentioned several times in two of the reports. He seems to be the ID spokesperson for the Pope, as he openly supports ID. Schoenborn also has publicly dismissed the view of the late Pope John Paul II that evolution is “more than just a hypothesis” and that it is compatible with Christian faith. In order to express such views in public, Schoenborn must get permission from the Pope. This directly implies that the Pope, at least, is not opposing ID. Furthermore, as mentioned in the Daily Mail article, the sacking of the chief astronomer of the Pope, Father Coyne, in 2006 seems to be based on the fact that Father Coyne has openly showed his support for evolution as well as spoken out against Schoenborn.