Feeds

Pope calls a meeting on evolution

Not known whether God will attend

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
LOHAN packs bags for SPACEPORT AMERICA!
Spanish launch goes titsup, we're off to the US of A
Gigantic toothless 'DRAGONS' dominated Earth's early skies
Gummy pterosaurs outlived toothy competitors
'Leccy racer whacks petrols in Oz race
ELMOFO rakes in two wins in sanctioned race
TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company
Ten points of stuff out of a five pound bag
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
BAT-GOBBLING urban SPIDER QUEENS swell to ENORMOUS SIZE
But they'd lose a deathmatch against the coming Humvee-sized, armoured Arctic ones
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?