Christianity finally reconciles with science January 23, 2017

Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’

Francis goes against Benedict XVI’s apparent support for ‘intelligent design’ – but does hail his predecessor’s ‘great contribution to theology

Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Francis explained that both scientific theories were not incompatible with the existence of a creator – arguing instead that they “require it”.

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said.

“The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.

“Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

The Catholic Church has long had a reputation for being anti-science – most famously when Galileo faced the inquisition and was forced to retract his “heretic” theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun.

But Pope Francis’s comments were more in keeping with the progressive work of Pope Pius XII, who opened the door to the idea of evolution and actively welcomed the Big Bang theory. In 1996, John Paul II went further and suggested evolution was “more than a hypothesis” and “effectively proven fact”.

Yet more recently, Benedict XVI and his close advisors have apparently endorsed the idea that intelligent design underpins evolution – the idea that natural selection on its own is insufficient to explain the complexity of the world. In 2005, his close associate Cardinal Schoenborn wrote an article saying “evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense – an unguided, unplanned process – is not”.

Giovanni Bignami, a professor and president of Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics, told the Italian news agency Adnkronos: “The pope’s statement is significant. We are the direct descendents from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation.”

Giulio Giorello, professor of the philosophy of science at Milan’s University degli Studi, told reporters that he believed Francis was “trying to reduce the emotion of dispute or presumed disputes” with science.

Despite the huge gulf in theological stance between his tenure and that of his predecessor, Francis praised Benedict XVI as he unveiled a bronze bust of him at the academy’s headquarters in the Vatican Gardens.

“No one could ever say of him that study and science made him and his love for God and his neighbour wither,” Francis said, according to a translation by the Catholic News Service.

“On the contrary, knowledge, wisdom and prayer enlarged his heart and his spirit. Let us thank God for the gift that he gave the church and the world with the existence and the pontificate of Pope Benedict.”


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  • Wolf Schmitz says:

    What foolishness for a so-called leader of the Roman Catholic Church. To think that God is not a magician and that both evolution and creation are necessary is simply ignorant of rhe Holy Bible that he supposedly believes. Of course, God is omnipotent which means He can do anything otherwise He wouldn’t be God!

    • Basit Ali says:

      Instead of shutting your brain off and saying that God did everything, go educate yourself about the big bang theory and evolution. How can you possibly believe that the earth is a few thousand years old when all the evidence points away from it?

      • Joseph Ulicki says:

        Regarding being educated about God and science. The Catholic web site The Kolbe Center (1.) has many resources that confirm: “Natural science offers no evidence that would contradict the plain and obvious sense of Genesis 1-11, the consensus of the Fathers of the Church, or the magisterial teaching of the Catholic Church on creation and the origins of man and the universe.” And
        “Many worldwide natural processes indicate an age for the earth of 10,000 years or less. These include population kinetics, influx of radiocarbon into earth’s atmosphere, absence of meteorites from the geologic column, and decay of earth’s magnetic field.”

        More sample quotes:
        What Does Cutting-Edge Science Teach about Origins?
        – Molecules-to-man evolutionary theory violates the second law of thermodynamics by positing spontaneous increases in order through random interactions of matter.
        – Matter from explosions does not condense to form objects like galaxies.
        – Chemicals do not react together randomly to form amino acids through natural processes.
        – Amino acids do not randomly interact to form living cells through undirected natural processes.
        – Molecules-to-man evolutionism violates the Law of Biogenesis: Life does not come from non-life.
        – The specific complexity of genetic information in the genome does not increase spontaneously.Therefore, there is no natural process whereby reptiles can turn into birds, land mammals into whales, or chimpanzees (or any other creature) into human beings.
        – All organisms are irreducibly complex.Therefore, in order for any kind of organism to exist, all of the essential parts of that organism must be fully functioning from the beginning of its existence.
        – As now used by evolutionary scientists there is virtually no value in radio dating as an objective source of prehistoric chronology.
        – Many worldwide natural processes indicate an age for the earth of 10,000 years or less.
        These include population kinetics, influx of radiocarbon into earth’s atmosphere, absence of meteorites from the geologic column, and decay of earth’s magnetic field.
        – Sedimentological research has challenged the principles upon which the geological time scale is based.
        – There is no gradualism in the fossil record, no intermediate types.
        (End of quote)

        (1.) The Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation
        What Does Cutting-Edge Science Teach about Origins?

        Genesis 1-11 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
        “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. …”

        • Basit Ali says:

          All you have posted is a bunch of logically flawed claims from biased catholic sources. Saying that the earth is younger than 10, 000 years is worse than believing in a supreme being who no one has ever seen but who exists only because of peoples’ fear of eternal damnation. Heck, there is antarctic ice that is more than 10, 000 years old. There are human mummies that have been dated to be older than 10, 000 thanks to dating technology. Same goes for animal fossils. So unless you have credible scientific sources to substantiate your claims, you are just wasting everybody’s time by copy-pasting illogical links.

        • Bill Ludlow says:

          A bunch of dumb quotes by creationists. Not one single scientific dating method gives results that date the earth under 10,000 years old, lol. There are thousands of transitional species in the fossil record. Visit for the real facts.

  • Joseph Ulicki says:

    A very informative on-line, Catholic, 2 page brochure is entitled:
    What Does The Catholic Church Teach about Origins?

    Sample quotes:
    – God created everything “in its whole substance” from nothing (ex nihilo) in the beginning. (Lateran IV; Vatican Council I)
    – Genesis (i) does not contain purified myths. (Pontifical Biblical Commission 1909[1])
    -Genesis contains real history – it gives an account of things that really happened. (Pius XII)

    – The “beginning” of the world included the creation of all things, the creation of Adam and Eve and the Fall (Jesus Christ [Mark 10:6]; Pope Innocent III; Blessed Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus).

    – We must believe any interpretation of Scripture that the Fathers taught unanimously on a matter of faith or morals
    (Council of Trent and Vatican Council I).
    – All the Fathers who wrote on the subject believed that the Creation days were no longer than 24-hour-days. (Consensus of the Fathers of the Church)
    – The work of Creation was finished by the close of Day Six, (iii) and nothing completely new has since been created – except for each human rational soul at conception (Vatican Council I)
    – St. Peter and Christ Himself in the New Testament confirmed the global Flood of Noah.(iv) It covered all the then high mountains and destroyed all land dwelling creatures except eight human beings and all kinds of non-human creatures aboard the Ark (Unam Sanctam, 1302)
    – The historical existence of Noah’s Ark is regarded as most important in typology, as central to Redemption. (1566 Catechism of the Council of Trent)
    – Evolution must not be taught as fact, but instead the pros and cons of evolution must be taught. (Pius XII, Humani Generis)
    – Investigation into human “evolution” was allowed in 1950, but Pope Pius XII feared that an acceptance of evolutionism might adversely affect doctrinal beliefs.

    References (i-iv):
    (i) Genesis 1
    “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. …”

    (ii) Mark 10:6
    “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.”

    (iii) Day Six:
    Exodus 20:11
    “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day
    and made it holy.”

    (iv) the global Flood of Noah.
    Genesis 7 – 8
    “1 The LORD then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 2 Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, …”

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