Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vatican OK’s Evolution (article adapted)

During an announcement regarding an upcoming conference to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, the culture minister for the Vatican, reiterated the Catholic Church’s acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution, though don’t expect an apology. He explained that the ideas were “never condemned by the Catholic Church nor was his book ever banned.” He went on to emphasize the idea of “theistic evolution,” where evolution and God’s hand in creation were not mutually exclusive, and that “Most of this debate has been taking place without a strong Catholic theological presence, and the discussion has suffered accordingly.”

I’m not sure the exact papal document, but there was an encyclical published in the 1950’s that stated fairly explicitly that there’s nothing in study of evolution that necessarily presents a theological issue for the Church and that the only thing that the Church would condemn would be any claim that, because evolution takes place, that somehow means God had no hand in the creative process.

In other words, believe in evolution by natural forces all you want, but remember that those natural forces are necessary products of the universe as it exists, and that existence has God as a first cause.

The problem of god is beyond biology.

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