Pope Francis: ‘Evolution … is not inconsistent with the notion of creation’

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis on Monday (Oct. 27) waded into the controversial debate over the origins of human life, saying the big bang theory did not contradict the role of a divine creator, but even required it.

The pope was addressing the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which gathered at the Vatican to discuss “Evolving Concepts of Nature.”

“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.

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I vehemently disagree with Pope Francis on this. We have enough blood vessels in our bodies to circle the globe three times! These marvelous machines we all occupy did not “evolve” cell by cell. Our brains contain a million billion synapses, all of which which fire an incomprehensible TEN million billion times every second. There is no step-by-step sequence which could have produced this. Call me disappointed with this pronouncement. :cool: Rob

If these are his actual words and not a bad translation than this is very disturbing.

Your inability to imagine how this could have come to pass through gradual evolution does not constitute evidence that it could not have happened.

Why? Sounds consistent with Church teaching.

Would not the miracle of creation be all the more magnificent if God not only created our complexities but also a process from which such complexities evolved?

Seems like that’s pretty impressive to me.

Hasn’t the Catholic Church been talking and saying this for 50 plus years? It’s in the catechism how is it “wading into the controversy”

Eh…a good point…still, I think dwelling too much on how we “evolved” can be dangerous…

Why are you asking me ?

I merely posted the article and made no comment otherwise.



Sorry I was rhetorically asking cyberspace :slight_smile:

One should always be wary of the possibility of bad translations. And one suspects negating the term “divine” while affirming the word “Creator” doesn’t work as well in English as perhaps it might in some other language, because English usage generally equates the two.

But I personally have never seen a theological problem with the notion of evolution, though I do think many of its proponents sometimes stretch very limited findings beyond their breaking point. But if we believe God created the universe and ourselves, is there some truly good reason why we would limit Him in the manner of His doing it? If He could raise a man from a lump of clay in the way we (and artists) picture it, why should we preclude the possibility that the creative act could have taken eons? On what basis do we preclude that possibility?

Are we on a firm footing to conclude that, for example, God’s act in creating man and in his making man a rational being with a soul, had to all happen at once? I am aware of those who point to complexity as being evidence of a sudden creation. But are we really justified in thinking God could not create complexity over a huge span of time? Why do we suppose that God might not have enjoyed doing it by means perhaps even more marvelous than a sudden and singular act. After all, what’s a billion years to God?

Many theologians believe it philosophically necessary to believe that all the universe and everything (and being) in it was in the Mind of God from all eternity. Now, we really can’t quite grasp such a thing, but if, indeed, God had the notion of man for all eternity, what is the basis for our declaring that He suddenly had to decide “well, I’ll make him now”.

We’re told by some physicists that, while we might never know what existed prior to the Big Bang (if there was one) something likely did, even if it was simply principles. If, for instance, the Big Bang was truly caused by the intersection of two “membranes”, what is our reason for thinking God did not delight in creating the membranes and plan, from all eternity, for two to intersect and create the universe we know? How do we know He didn’t simply invent the principles that were then capable of moving things themselves, the principles always existing in His Mind, which, in that manner, determined everything?

We don’t.

God might well be a lot bigger and a lot more complicated than we imagine. Personally, I’m thinking He is.

I read an incredible fact this morning (to me anyway): the first sapiens - way before Neanderthal man - to inhabit the U.K. have been discovered to have inhabited this island as far back as 800,000 years ago!

It’s really only dangerous if we remove the creator or remove our uniqueness when he breathed life into us and gave us our soul.

The how of how he formed us from the mud of the earth is up for grabs to theorize on.

Many young earth Creationists seem to prefer a God that just made it all appear like a magician saying walla!

I find such a view simplistic, and removing a lot of majesty from creation.

True. But Francis said God was not able to just do anything…???
God was “omnipotent”, remember? SO while I DO believe in evolution, I am VERY disturbed at this pope’s statement…

It’s an issue of translation.

Here’s another translation;

God is not some sort of wizard, said Francis, but rather “the Creator who brought all things into being.” The origin of the world derives directly “from a supreme Principle of creative love,” he added.



No he did not remotely say that!!

He said quote,

“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.

He says it is not so that God is a magician with a magic wand saying “poof a lion” “poof an apple” “poof the grand canyon”

I sincerely hope we can all agree that is not how it happened.

If you read it more closely, it might not seem so disturbing. Understanding the translation might be flawed, he nevertheless did not say God was not able to just do anything. He actually said the concept that God is some kind of magician with a WAND capable of doing everything, is a flawed concept.

In other words, he was saying we often think of God as more limited than He really is.

We agree that that was not how it happened, but I hope we also have faith to say that if God wanted to do it that way he very well could have if he had wanted to. It WAS in his capability.

Sure, if he wanted to make me with purple polka dots and a unicorn horn he could of…the evidence points that is not the case. Same with science/creation

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