Pope Francis has recently declared at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that the theory of evolution and the big bang are real, and God is not “a magician with a wand.”
Apparently, the Big Bang—which scientists believe led to the formation of the universe some 13.8billion years ago—was all part of God’s Great Plan.
Experts believe that the pope’s comments aim to „reduce the emotion of dispute or presumed disputes with science.”
Furthermore, the Pope explained that scientific theories are not incompatible in any way with the exists of the creator. If anything the ‘require it.’
According to reports by the Independent, the Pope’s comments are aimed at putting to an end “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design, some of which were encouraged by the Pope’s predecessor, Benedict XVI.
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. 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 in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve. –Pope Francis.
For centuries, the Catholic Church has been considered an anti-scientific community. However, welcoming new knowledge and in line with the progressive work of Pope Pius XII, Pope Francis has welcomed new creative thinking saying that he actively welcomes the big bang theory, opening a conversation on evolution as well.
Interestingly, in 1996, John Paul II went further and suggested evolution was “more than a hypothesis” and “effectively proven fact.”
The Pope’s comments created a new debate among experts. Giovanni Bignami, a professor and president of Italy’s National Institute for Astrophysics, told the Italian news agency Adnkronos:
“The pope’s statement is significant. We are the direct descendants from the Big Bang that created the universe. Evolution came from creation.”
“No one could ever say of him that study and science made him and his love for God and his neighbor wither,” Francis said, according to a translation by the Catholic News Service.
“On the contrary, knowledge, wisdom and prayer enlarged his heart and his spirit. Let us thank God for the gift that he gave the church and the world with the existence and the pontificate of Pope Benedict.”