I’d been talking to our friend Universal regarding an article suggesting that the Pope may be thinking of embracing Intelligent Design (ID). I was quite excited, to be honest, about the Church looking into this whole subject of ID, since I had the idea that both the previous Pope, John Paul II, and the previous Vatican Astronomer, Rev. George Coyne, were against it, or at least were more pro-evolution.
It soon became clear though, as we chatted on the Instant Messenger, that the semantics and the media bias were creating a lot of confusion, at least in my mind – and I’m sure in the general public as well – as to the real stance of the Church on the matter. For example, the late Pope John Paul II’s statement that “theory of evolution more than a hypothesis” has often been quoted in the media (including the above article), giving the impression that the Catholic Church is embracing something new – conceding to the ‘enlightened’ concepts of today’s man – but the Catholic World News article, Media Twists Papal Statement On Evolution (which features excerpts from actual statements), makes it clear that “Pope John Paul has made no new pronouncement, as has been reported lately, concerning the acceptability of any hypothesis of evolution. He has merely reasserted that the scientific inquiry into the origins of life is commendable as long as it is recognized, above all, that the soul is created by God alone.”
As often is the case, the church has not presented any new ideas but the media loves to present it so it appears controversial. As Universal says, “…the Church coming out and supporting ID [won’t] mean much since we already do, we just don’t necessary support what has come to be known as ID, just like we are creationists but not Creationists. …I’m thoroughly sick of the media misrepresenting what the Pope and various Catholic notables say, and hyping it all up with empty speculation.” While I do still look forward to seeing the Church evaluate the merits of ID, I can appreciate what he has to say there.