Pope Benedict admits evidence for evolution

Any comments on this article?

Pope Benedict admits evidence for evolution
Article from: Reuters
By Philip Pullella in Loranzago di Cadore, Italy
July 26, 2007 07:49am

POPE Benedict has said there is substantial scientific proof of the theory
of evolution.

The Pope, speaking as he was concluding his holiday in northern Italy, also said the human race must listen to “the voice of the Earth” or risk destroying its very existence.

In a talk with 400 priests, the Pope spoke of the current debate raging in some countries, particularly the US and his native Germany, between creationism and evolution.

“They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the Pope said.

“This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favour of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”

But he said evolution did not answer all the questions and could not exclude a role by God.

“Above all it does not answer the great philosophical question ‘where does everything come from?’“

His comments appear to be an endorsement of the doctrine of intelligent design.


Three cheers for the Holy Father!

His words, as quoted above, echo my sentiments: that modern scientific theories and a belief in a God who created everything needn’t be mutually exclusive; that ultimately, God is responsible for the creation of everything that exists – no matter how many millions or billions of years it took to become what it is.


I’m with Benedict on this one (good thing! :))

Any time I ask somebody how evolution “proves” there is no God, they cannot come up with an answer. It just seems to be an unquestioned assumption tacked on to the theory.

Genesis 3:19-
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return."

Seeing how fast a typical dead human body “returns to dust” by decomposing, why is it so hard to believe that our creator raised the human body(Adam) up from dust any faster?

That’s not hard to believe at all. What’s hard to believe is that God would then leave vast amounts of evidence, in many different scientific realms, hinting strongly (but falsely) that he did things another way.

I agree with the Pope. Evolution just isn’t that important. If it’s true, great. But it just isn’t that important, in my opinion. It doesn’t solve anything that matters and it doesn’t make the slightest difference in terms of salvation, eternal life, etc.

On the other hand, if people mean by evolution to say that all living things, including us, are the result of a random process that doesn’t involve God, then that’s just silly. The odds that everything needed for life as we know it just to happen randomly are so small that they are virtually zero. On the other hand, insisting that Genesis is a science book is also silly, IMO.

I think His Holiness just has common sense, that’s all.

Just because the evidence exists doesn’t mean that the prevailing interpretation is correct or true. The scientific community, like any other, is subject to herd behavior just like any other community.


Evolution does not generally contradict Catholic theology. JPll made such comments back in 1996. Benedicts comments dont appear substantially different than those from JP ll at that time. I didnt read the entire article.
Here’s a link to JPll’s comments: newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm

Perhaps you’re right, but to argue that the prevailing scientific theory is wrong as a result of this tendency is a flawed argument.

The bottom line is that our universe provides us with information which allows us to deduce how it works. Why would God create a universe that deceives us? Genesis says over and over again that “He saw that it was good”, and it was man that fell – not nature.


Hence why I made no such argument.

The bottom line is that our universe provides us with information which allows us to deduce how it works. Why would God create a universe that deceives us?

There’s a big difference between the claims of physicists and chemists and biologists about how the world works today, and the claims biologists make about what, historically, has occurred. Being a creationist doesn’t mean denying the evidence that we see exists today: mutation, speciation, population change, etc. It simply means rejecting that as a historical explanation of the origin of life, and especially, mankind.

The evolution that creationists reject is a historical theory masquerading as science.

Genesis says over and over again that “He saw that it was good”, and it was man that fell – not nature.

Which is one reason why creationists are so opposed to evolution. Is a creation that improves only by death and pain and suffering something most people would call “good”?


(who doesn’t anathemize those who seek to reconcile evolution and Christian belief, but who doesn’t find evolution a compelling historical theory)

Yes. With the recent rulinng that Intelligent Design cannot be taught in schools because it is a religious position, and doesn’t appear in peer-reviewed journals, we win the battle but might lose the war. These are spectacularly bad arguments against ID that wouldn’t persuade anyone except a lawyer.

However in this case the scientific consensus is in fact correct. We know that because evolution is so consistent with what we see. For instance in biochemistry we deal with a lot of proteins with similar amino acid sequences and functions, but very slightly different structures, We can talk about “conserved residues”, those which are usually the same in species that we believe to be related from non-biochemical analysis. Unless we beleived in evolution we woud need a whole new language and way of thinking.

What’s to comment on? The Catholic Church has never said we must believe in creationism.

It hasn’t? The Church doesn’t formally teach that God created everything? The Church does not teach that there was a literal Adam and Eve?

Think again. :slight_smile:

That’s an illogical argument based on a priori that evolution is fact and that if it weren’t why’d God leave evidence that points to evolution. That same evidence can mean many things, not just evolution so God’s not advertising evolution at all.

Absolutely. IN the 1800s there was ‘evidence’ that pointed to the earth being formed by giant seas. This theory was called Neptunism

One could then have argued the circular argument that it must be true, else why’d God put the evidence there that proves the idea true!

No. The problem is that there’s evidence that suggests one thing now and some are saying that it must be true, else why’d God put the evidence there! It’s simply to have God back up what ever theory mortal man has come up with at the time.

The idea that God deceives us is just not logical. The best scientific evidence at one stage said that the earth was the centre of the universe. Why’d God deceive us to believing that?

Why’d God deceive us into believing several fossil finds were our ancestors (and they turn out to be dead ends)?

Consider this, if God created the earth 6 thousand years ago and made it to look billions of years old, that would be deception. God does not deceive nor can he be deceived. So, if the earth appears billions of years old, then it probably is. I am very glad the Pope made his declaration.

It is reviewed by their peers - those who believe in it. As evolution is reviewed by people who believe in it.

What consensus? Some believe evolution was super slow, others fase, and some even faster

What consistancy?

And yet some animals that are further away from us, genetically to be closer by other measures

Granted the Eastern Orthodox believe in intelligent design, but is there a leaning one way or another on evolution within intelligent design? Are there a majority of theologians that lean one way or another? Just curious. :slight_smile:

By creationism, I mean believing that God literally created the universe, the earth and everything on it, and Adam & Eve, all in 6 days.

Yes, we must believe that God created everything and that Adam & Eve were the first humans, but we are not required to believe that they were brought into existence within 6 days. One can believe that evolution lead to the first humans, who would be Adam & Eve.

God could have made the universe, the earth and everything on it, and Adam & Eve all by way of evolution. That is consistent with believing that God created everything and that there was a literal Adam & Eve.

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