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30 October 2014

Catholic Church catches up with Science

I has been my long-held view that Religion and the churches that peddle it, do not, as a rule, lead the development of society. What happens is that from time to time the Church takes a leap forward to catch up with society.

Take the matter of contraception; officially discouraged by the Catholic Church, we all know (and that includes the Church) that it is widely practised by Catholics. I venture to suggest that the time will come when it receives the Church's official approval.

Meanwhile, Pope Francis - who in many ways has so far been a remarkable Pope - has (according to USA Today) just made an interesting statement about Creation. Addressing the Pontifical Academy of Sciences he said "When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so; He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment."

This is not entirely new because earlier Popes have talked in similar terms. I think the current Pope's pronouncements carry more weight, however, because of his radical views on many things, and because of his popularity.

"Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve."

Pope Francis .. October 2014


It is probably because the Catholic Church has previously dabbled in a more scientific view of creation that the more rabid evangical protestants (found predominantly in the USA) denounce Catholics as not being "Proper Christians".

The Pope's view on Creation is anathema to those who like to adhere to the Disneyesque view of Genesis and indeed the rest of the Bible. In fact the Pope falls into line with other eminent thinkers such as Lionel Beck and Thomas Paine. What? Oh, alright, Thomas Paine!

So if we accept evolution, the question that now arises is, at what point along the evolutionary path did the organic beings that preceded primitive humankind acquire a Soul capable of surviving death and "ascending" into "heaven"?

I'm not going to try and answer that one becasue I wish to retain some semblance of sanity, but I'm sure there are people out there who are going to tell me the answer.