Vatican Makes Peace With Darwin

Church officials now say evolution theory fits with beliefs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2009 5:13 AM CST
British naturalist and writer of 'The Theory of Evolution' Charles Robert Darwin, pictured circa 1875.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Vatican is clarifying that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is compatible with its doctrine after all, the Times of London reports. The Church never officially condemned Darwin, but his views have been controversial with some because they present a radically different image of the origins of species than what's presented in Genesis. "What we mean by evolution is the world as created by God," said a Church official, apparently leaving wiggle room for Darwin's theories.

A papal-backed conference next month marking the 150th anniversary of Darwin's On the Origin of Species is being regarded as a new milestone in relations between the church and science. Organizers have crushed creationist hopes that Pope Benedict XVI would endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, which credits a higher power with evolution, saying it will be discussed, but only as a cultural phenomenon caused by "poor theology and poor science."