The only news story worth reading about Pope Francis’ views on evolution

The media proves once again that it's basically clueless when it comes to science and religion (photo by PaoNu, via Flickr).

October 29, 2014

If you’ve been anywhere near Facebook the past couple days, then you know that Pope Francis has shaken the stuffy old Roman Catholic Church to its core by his stunning remarks recently that — believe it or not — evolution and the big bang theory are not inconsistent with church teachings.

No. WAY. Right?

Except, no.

While it’s true Francis did say that, and more, it’s absolutely not true that this is some kind of watershed moment for Catholicism. Because, you see, since at least 1950, when the Humani Generis was issued by Pope Pius XII, the Holy See’s official stance has been that the idea of the physical bodies of mankind originating from pre-existing, ancestral forms through a natural process guided by God (i.e., theistic evolution) is compatible with the Bible and church tradition. This view was explicitly confirmed by Pope John Paul II in 1996, speaking before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (the same body to which Francis addressed his comments that almost broke the Internet). And, of course, supportive views of individual Catholic leaders go back much farther than that.

If anything, Francis’ remarks represent little more than a reiteration of what has been established church policy for well over 60 years. Which makes the media frenzy of the past couple days silly and even a little irritating at best, and lackadaisical, shoddy journalism (not to mention blatant click bait) at worst. Read on

21 responses

Latest Developments

  • Photo by Yoel Ben-Avraham, via Flickr.

    Answers in Genesis responds: ‘No thanks, but here’s a book you can buy’

    October 20, 2014

    10 responses

    Almost a month ago, I posted a response to a rather critical article about me on Ken Ham’s blog.

    In that same post, I invited Ken Ham, or any representative of his organization, to an open dialogue on evolution, creation, the gospel and the proper interpretation of Genesis. Shortly thereafter, I sent a brief message along very similar lines through Answers in Genesis’ feedback form, which is the only forum for interaction on the group’s otherwise comment-disabled website.

    In my message, I also expressed interest in discussing whether it is fair for Ham and other AiG writers to regularly describe other Christians who disagree with them, like myself, as “compromisers,” who don’t accept “the authority of God’s word.”

    On Oct. 16, more than three weeks after I sent my inquiry, I received a response from one Terry Mortenson.

    Well… actually, I received a response claiming to be from Terry Mortenson, which was actually forwarded from a man named Troy Lacey (I found his bio too; he looks like a friendly chap, doesn’t he?). Read on

  • Ken Ham finally comes clean (photo by John Foxe, via Wikimedia Commons).

    Ken Ham tells the truth

    October 17, 2014

    105 responses

    Some months ago, I wrote a post in which I accused Ken Ham of being a fibber.

    I am not above changing my views to accommodate new facts (I’m not a young-earth creationist, after all), so I feel obligated to share with you an article at Answers in Genesis’ website in which the unthinkable happens: Ken Ham tells the truth.

    Ostensibly a response to these gracious words by Deborah Haarsma, president of The BioLogos Foundation, Ham’s post is jarring in its candid presentation of what he actually believes.

    No longer do people like me have to speculate, infer, imply and otherwise intimate that Ham is an arrogant and self-righteous prig, who believes young-earth creationism trumps the gospel and fancies himself to be in a lonely and Quixotic battle against anyone who finds reason to see allegory in Genesis; in this article, he makes that quite plain all by himself. Read on

  • It's OK if you're lying for Jesus, right? (Photo by Angelii-D, via Deviant Art.)

    Jerry Bergman and Creation Ministries International caught fibbing

    October 16, 2014

    19 responses

    My friend, Jerry Bergman, has a very interesting article about C.S. Lewis over at the website of Creation Ministries International (CMI).

    CMI, if you’ve never heard of it, is an international nonprofit organization with close historical ties to my even better friends at Answers in Genesis.

    In this particular article, Bergman and CMI attempt to argue that the Christian author and apologist C.S. Lewis was opposed to evolution (which, of course, he wasn’t). But that little bit of truth-twisting is only the beginning.

    As evidence in support of their position, they say this: “Lewis stressed that the doctrine of evolution is ‘certainly a hypothesis,’ adding that he has concluded ‘the doctrine of Evolution as held by practicing biologists is … a less satisfactory hypothesis than was hoped fifty years ago.'”

    I’ve also taken some screenshots, just in case Bergman and CMI decide to get creative with this article. If they did, it would not be the first time a createvangelist organization blatantly altered the words of a respected Christian figure, then backtracked after being found out. Read on