- February 11, 2009
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As the scientific community prepares to celebrate Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday tomorrow, the Vatican appears ready to fully embrace his theory of evolution within the Catholic Church.
“In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a “higher power” for the complexities of life.
Organisers of a papal-backed conference next month marking the 150th anniversary of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species said that at first it had even been proposed to ban Intelligent Design from the event, as “poor theology and poor science”. Intelligent Design would be discussed at the fringes of the conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University, but merely as a “cultural phenomenon”, rather than a scientific or theological issue, organisers said. …
Conceding that the Church had been hostile to Darwin because his theory appeared to conflict with the account of creation in Genesis, Archbishop Ravasi argued yesterday that biological evolution and the Christian view of Creation were complementary.