Great piece in the NYT Magazine called "Unintelligent Design" poking logic holes into pseudo-science creationist stuff. Here’s something I didn’t know about my pope:
That is why Pope John Paul II was comfortable declaring that evolution has been ”proven true” and that ”truth cannot contradict truth.”
Here’s the complete text of the Address of Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (October 22, 1996) called "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth".
In his speech, the Pope refers to the work of his predecessor:
In his encyclical
Humani Generis (1950),
my predecessor Pius XII had
already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the
doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did
not lose sight of several indisputable points.
Taking into account the state of scientific research at the time as well
as of the requirements of theology, the encyclical Humani Generis
considered the doctrine of "evolutionism" a serious hypothesis, worthy of
investigation and in-depth study equal to that of the opposing hypothesis.
Pius XII added two methodological conditions: that this opinion should not
be adopted as though it were a certain, proven doctrine and as though one
could totally prescind from revelation with regard to the questions it
raises. He also spelled out the condition on which this opinion would be
compatible with the Christian faith, a point to which I will return.
Today, almost half a century after the publication of the encyclical, new
knowledge has led to the recognition of
the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.
[Aujourdhui, près dun demi-siècle après la parution de
l’encyclique, de nouvelles connaissances conduisent à reconnaitre
dans la théorie de l’évolution plus qu’une hypothèse.]
It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been
progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in
various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated,
of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a
significant argument in favor of this theory.
This part I don’t really understand & I need to delve further into it:
And, to tell the truth, rather than the theory of evolution, we should speak
of several theories of evolution. On the one hand, this plurality has to do
with the different explanations advanced for the mechanism of evolution, and
on the other, with the various philosophies on which it is based. Hence the
materialist, reductionist and
What is to be decided here is the true role of
philosophy and, beyond it, of
But here’s the essential germ of what the pope has to offer here:
Consequently, theories of evolution which, in accordance with the
philosophies inspiring them, consider the
spirit as emerging from the forces
of living matter or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter, are incompatible
with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the dignity of the
Yes, we are subject to geologic time and the vagaries of disinterested evolution, but that is not all we are.