Pope Francis on Creationism vs. the Big Bang and Evolution

While scientific reason and theism contrasted in many respects for much of history, today the Church is beginning to advocate for theories regarding evolution and biology as independent from God’s direct influence. In his Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis intertwines creationist and Darwinist ideologies, indicating that evolution and the Big Bang aren’t independent of God’s influence; rather, their existence requires the presence of an intelligent creator. The Pope alludes to Genesis, stating that “the beginning of the world was not a work of chaos that owes its origin to another, but derives directly from a supreme Principle who creates out of love.” Thus, the creation of the universe- in this case the Big Bang- did not occur by chance, but rather because of God’s influence. 

With the creation of the universe followed the formation of planets and then of nature and man. With this in mind, Pope Francis promotes Darwinist notions while confirming divine presence as he writes that “He created beings and he let them develop according to the internal laws with which He endowed each one, that they might develop, and reach their fullness.” The Pope takes a deistic approach as he suggests that God, while responsible for the creation of man and nature, does not interfere in their progression. Accordingly, God is not a “magician complete with an all-powerful magic wand” as it may have been conceived in previous times; rather, He trusts man as the “steward of Creation,” free to develop and care for nature at his own will. While refraining from interference, He created the means for man and nature to evolve, letting evolution and natural selection take place under his presence. 

AEC

Sources Cited:

“Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; inauguration of the bust in honour of Pope Benedict XVI (27 October 2014) | Francis.” Plenary Session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences; inauguration of the bust in honour of Pope Benedict XVI (27 October 2014) | Francis. Casina of Pius IV, 27 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Jan. 2017.

 

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