EVOLUTION & GOD DO MIX: POPE
By BILL SANDERSON
July 26, 2007 -- Pope Benedict XVI says the theory of evolution is backed by strong scientific proof - but the theory does not answer life's "great philosophical question."
Benedict told 400 priests at a two-hour event that he's puzzled by the current debate in the United States and his native Germany over creationism and evolution.
Debaters wrongly present the two sides "as if they were alternatives that are exclusive - whoever believes in the creator could not believe in evolution, and whoever asserts belief in evolution would have to disbelieve in God," the pontiff said.
"This contrast is an absurdity, because there are many scientific tests in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and enriches our understanding of life and being.
"But the doctrine of evolution does not answer all questions, and it does not answer above all the great philosophical question: From where does everything come?"
A transcript of the Tuesday event was posted in Italian yesterday on the Vatican's Web site.
The speech came at the end of a three-week vacation in the mountains of northern Italy near the Austrian border, where people are worried that global warming will change their way of life.
"We all see that today man can destroy the foundation of his existence, his Earth," Benedict said.
"We cannot simply do what we want with this Earth of ours, with what has been entrusted to us." With Post Wire Services