by Greg Spearritt
According to The Australian, the Vatican “has admitted that Charles Darwin was on the right track when he claimed that Man descended from apes”. And so it should, of course, acknowledge what is by now the bleeding obvious.
However, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is said to have “argued yesterday that biological evolution and the Christian view of Creation were complementary”.
I have a logical problem with this. It’s fine to argue that God is somehow the author of evolution: I assume that’s what Archbishop Ravasi is saying. It’s certainly what many liberal Christians seem to believe. But please don’t tell me that God loves his creation.
Evolution is not some warm, fuzzy process magically producing “all things bright and beautiful”. In contrast to the God proclaimed by the Catholic Church, it cares not one whit about individuals. It’s about populations. And worse: for the bulk of the history of life on Earth, natural selection has involved individuals dying agonising deaths, including very frequently being eaten alive.
Here, from my review of Scott Cowdell’s A God for This World, are the words of one Catholic contributor to The New York Times, writing in 1996 after a proclamation by Pope John Paul II endorsing the theory of evolution:
What can one say about evolution, even a spiritual theory of evolution? Pain and suffering, mindless cruelty and terror are its means of creation. Evolution's engine is the grinding of predatory teeth upon the screaming, living flesh and bones of prey… If evolution be true, my faith has rougher seas to sail.
You can have evolution. You can have a loving Creator God. I just don’t see how you can have both.
It's not true that man is "descended from the apes". What is true is that we share a common ancestry, which is quite different.
Posted by Richard
Leave out the word 'loving' and you can have both, no problem!
Posted by rachel