Wednesday, January 12, 2011

On the Catholic Church and Science

Pope Benedikt XVI
According to a news release by the Vatican Information Service on October 23, 1996, Pope John Paul II was reported as saying that evolution is "more than just a theory." This seems to mean that the Catholic church now considers evolution a scientific fact. (See Pope accepts Evolution).

Before that, Pius XII, in his famous 1950 encyclical "Humani Ceneris" made a point of allowing Catholics to study and accept evolution as a scientific theory of origins, again with the limitation that God created the soul, and that all men are descendants of Adam, along with the doctrine of original sin as inherited from Adam.

Now the current pope, Benedikt XVI, accepts the Big Bang theory as an explanation how the universe was created - as long as Catholics see the Big Bang as God's work. Benedikt XVI said that "God's mind was behind complex scientific theories such as the Big Bang, and Christians should reject the idea that the universe came into being by accident". (Read more here: NewsDaily: God was behind Big Bang, universe no accident: Pope)

Given how the Catholic church treated scientists like Galileo in the past, I guess this is step in the right direction.

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