Vatican hosts Darwin conference  By David Willey 
 BBC News, Rome 

The Vatican is sponsoring a five day conference to mark the 150th
anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species.  
The subject is the compatibility of evolution and creation. 
It is one of two separate international academic conferences being sponsored by 
the Vatican this year. 
They aim to re-examine the work of scientific thinkers whose
revolutionary ideas challenged religious belief: Galileo and Charles
philosophers and theologians from around the world are gathering at the
prestigious Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome to discuss the
compatibility of Darwin's theory of evolution and Catholic teaching. 
Christian churches were long hostile to Darwin because
his theory conflicted with the literal biblical account of creation. 
But the Catholic Church never condemned Darwin, as it condemned and silenced 
Pope John Paul II said that evolution was "more than a hypothesis". 
“ The design of organisms is not what would be expected from an intelligent 
engineer  ” 
Prof Francisco Ayala 
Yet as recently as 2006 a leading Catholic Cardinal, Christoff
Schoenborn, of Vienna, a former student and friend of Pope Benedict XVI
caused controversy by saying that Darwin's theory of natural selection
was incompatible with Christian belief. 
A leading American scholar of biology, Prof Francisco
Ayala, plans to tell the conference that the so-called theory of
intelligent design, proposed by Creationists, is flawed. 
"The design of organisms is not what would be expected from an intelligent 
engineer, but imperfect and worse," he said. 
"Defects, dysfunctions, oddities, waste and cruelty pervade the living world". 
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2009/03/03 02:27:06 GMT


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