After Years of Fighting, the Vatican and Darwin Make Nice

Is the Pope — who already blew us away when he launched his own YouTube channel — hopping on board the recent Darwin trend we noticed last month? A new item in today’s Times suggests it could be true:

“A leading official declared yesterday that Darwin’s theory of evolution was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas. ‘In fact, what we mean by evolution is the world as created by God,’ said Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Design, whose advocates credit a ‘higher power’ for the complexities of life.”

Maybe he got suckered in by the new Damien Hirst cover art like we did? Or maybe he’s trying to be more science-y to impress Obama? Either way, we’re totally floored by Benedict XVI — as the article notes, the closest evolution’s come to acceptance by the Catholic Church in the past was a backhanded remark John Paul II made back in ’96 when he said that it was “more than a hypothesis.”

Side note: Be sure to check out the comment war raging over on the Times piece. Intense.

Related post: Darwin’s 200th Spawns a Publishing Boom