Feeds

Pope calls a meeting on evolution

Not known whether God will attend

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The pope is set to host a seminar with his senior clergymen to discuss the Catholic Church's position on evolution. The move follows months of mixed signals from the Church with supporters of Darwin's theory at odds with those giving more credence to Intelligent Design, and other more creationist views.

The last pope, John Paul II was pretty clear on the subject. In 1996 he issued a formal statement that evolution was "more than a hypothesis".

The recently departed head of the Vatican Observatory was also an outspoken supporter of Darwin's theory. Father George Coyne had described creationism as a "religious movement devoid of all scientific basis".

In an interview with a science magazine, he expressed further support for the theory of evolution when he said: "God isn't a designer and life is the fruit of billions of attempts".

It is not known if Coyne will be at the meeting. He stepped down from his post earlier this month saying he needed treatment for cancer, but there has been speculation that he was given the old heave-ho because of his stance on evolution.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is known to be attending, according to New Scientist. The good cardinal, once considered a papal contender, has been seen as a supporter of intelligent design, the notion that life is too complex to have arisen without the intervention of a superior intelligence, presumably God.

He last made an appearance on El Reg when he announced that evolution and creationism need not be incompatible, although he reserved the moment of genesis for God himself.

However, his remarks at Rimini when he announced the seminar seem to have backtracked again. According to New Scientist he repeated his belief that life could not have formed in a random way.

Dominique Tassot, a prominent Roman Catholic scientist who does not support evolution, said that the meeting should help to broaden the debate.

It is hard to say what the seminar will mean for the wider public. While the intelligent design vs. Darwin debate is still raging in the US, the Roman Catholic Church has not been a major player in the dispute.

In his inaugural speech, however, Pope Benedict did say that humanity was not the "accidental product, without meaning, of evolution", which suggests that he might not share his predecessor's support for science. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.