Pope Francis: evolution and creation both right
It is possible to believe in evolution and the Catholic Church’s teaching on creation, Pope Francis has said, as he cautioned against portraying God as a kind of magician who made the universe with a magic wand.
“The big bang, which is today posited as the origin of the world, does not contradict the divine act of creation; rather, it requires it,” the pope said in an address to a meeting at the pontifical academy of sciences.
“Evolution of nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings, which evolve.”
Pope Francis (77) said it was easy to misinterpret the creation story as recounted in the Book of Genesis, according to which God created heaven and Earth in six days and rested on the seventh.
“When we read the creation story in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining that God was a magician, with a magic wand that is able to do everything,” he said.
“But it is not so. He created beings and let them develop according to internal laws, which He gave every one, so they would develop, so they would reach maturity.”
Although the pope was packaging the ideas with his trademark eye for a soundbite, the content of what he was saying does not mark a break with Catholic teaching, which has modified considerably since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859.
Popes before him have also said that – with certain provisos – there is no incompatibility between evolution and God as divine creator. – © Guardian News & Media 2014