Posted by PvM on September 26, 2004 06:04 PM

“A recent Vatican document analyzed evolution in the light of faith, stepping into an area that has long been a religious and scientific minefield. ” Thus starts an article on the recent work by the International Theological Commission.

First, it accepts as likely the prevailing tenets of evolutionary science: the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in a “big bang”; the earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago; all living organisms on earth descended from a first organism; and man emerged some 40,000 years ago with the development of the larger, human brain.

(John Travis Creative tension: omnipotence of God vs. dynamism of a universe )

Noticable quote by U.S. Jesuit Father George Coyne, director of the Vatican Observatory:

“But I think the question itself is wrong. It’s not just necessity or chance, it’s also opportunity. We live in a universe that statistically offers so many opportunities for the life-building processes to work together,” he said.

Some additional quotes

“Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism,”

“Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution,”