Re: Pope and Evolution...

Daniel A LaGattuta (
25 Oct 1996 21:10:07 GMT

|> What is this I hear about the Pope (and the church) accepting
|> evolution as being real??????????????? (This should be interesting...
|> as we see how these "staunch" fundamentalist creationists worm their
|> way out of this one - assuming, of course, that this story about the
|> Pope and Evolution is true)...
|> Laters,
|> Emir Mohammed...

The Catholic Church has never been adamantly opposed to evolution.
Catholics believe that Bible needs to be interpretd by the Church and
should not be taken literally. So Darwin's theories are less damaging to
Catholicism than to the fundamentalists who have an all or nothing approach
to the Bible. In fact, earlier Popels have supported evolution. This Pope
just reaffirmed the Catholic position that Darwin's theory of evolution
through natural selection is compatible with Catholicism and also pointed
out that the scientific weight for his theory has grown considerably over
the last century.

Whether the Catholic Church interprets evolution correctly is another
question entirely. According to the New York Times, the Pope prefers
evolution theories with a more spiritual bent. They probably would not
favor a reductionist (and I think correct) view of natural selection explaining
everything. But being largely right is certainly better than being completely

As far as fundamentalist creationists go, what the Pope says does
not matter. Many fundamentalists do not even consider Catholics to be Christian
and have a special animosity towards the Pope. The fact that the Pope supports
evolution would be another reason for them to be opposed to Catholicism, not a
reason to believe in evolution. The problem with fundamentalism, as opposed
to Catholicism, is the inability to change beliefs to new information.
Catholicism changes glacially, but that is better than never changing no matter
how incorrect the views.