Pope Francis has some bad news for creationists and those who believe in the theory of intelligent design: He thinks both camps are wrong. In remarks to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Francis embraced the concepts of evolution and the Big Bang theory in straightforward language, reports the Independent.
- God not a magician: “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."
- Instead ... “He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfilment."
- Big Bang: “The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it."
- Evolution: “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”
Religion News Service provides some context: Francis is affirming what other popes, notably Pope John Paul II, have said about evolution. But Francis' predecessor, Benedict, seemed to shift back toward intelligent design with the argument that evolution couldn't account for the world's complexity. “Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense—an unguided, unplanned process—is not," wrote one of his close associates in 2005. Francis has now brought the Catholic church back more in line with scientific consensus, with NPR calling it "a move that could be aimed at healing a rift between science and religion."