CNN- “God is not a divine being or a magician, but the creator who brought everything to life,” the Pope said Monday in an address to a gathering on “Evolving Concepts of Nature,” hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of things that evolve.”
So why all the headlines? Three reasons, I believe.
First, some saw Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, as backtracking on openness to evolution, preferring instead the concept of “intelligent design,” which accepts some aspects of evolution but not others (such as its being undirected).
Francis’ words, then, indicate that the church is back on track with its openness toward evolutionary theory.
Secondly, Francis is newsworthy, plain and simple. The “church-has-new-open-leader” narrative has taken hold, and anything he says is presented as groundbreaking — even if previous, more traditional, popes said it before he did.
In the same vein, much of the media cling to the image of the church as anti-science. It’s not all their fault, what with the church’s opposition to artificial birth control, assisted reproduction, stem cell research and other medical procedures accepted by a majority of Americans, even a majority of American Catholics. That the whole Galileo thing is still baggage, some 400 years later, seems unfair, though.
The truth is that the first person to propose what would become the “Big Bang Theory” was a Catholic priest, Msgr. Georges Lemaître, a Belgian astronomer and professor of physics, who was never persecuted by the church for his ideas. Read full: http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/29/opinion/schlumpf-pope-evolution-big-bang/index.html?hpt=hp_t3