Monday, November 3, 2008

Stephen Hawking Heads to the Vatican, on Behalf of Darwin

In October, I posted about the Anglican and Vatican unofficial apologies to Charles Darwin. Again, I found the whole news thread a non-issue. Still, I can’t resist giving you all an update: Pope Benedict XVI has invited Stephen Hawking to the Vatican, which is holding a week-long conference organized by the very offical sounding Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

In a London Times article, Hawking, explained that he took part in another scientific conference at the Vatican 30 years ago. At that time, he suggested that since the universe had no identifiable beginning, there had been no creation. Now, on his return to the Vatican, he’s hoping that the current is Pope was unaware of his remark for fear that he'll “share the fate of Galileo.”

The article reiterated the Catholic Church’s view on evolution, which included yet again a reminder that there’s no reason to formally apologize to Darwin. It also pulls out the cliché that oh-so-many Americans are fundamentalist Christians. Personally, I preferred the heydays of Dallas and Dukes of Hazzard, when most Brits simply assumed all Americans talked like a Texan or Daisy Duke.

Here’s the Pope’s latest thinking on the e-word, according to the Times:

The Catholic Church accepts evolution, but sees it as part of the divine plan. Pope Benedict has been described as a ‘theistic evolutionist’ who believes that God created life through evolution, and thus that there is no inherent clash between religion and science.

Laura Moorhead

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