I don’t know why the Pope constantly gets such intense press coverage. I know he is the leader of a large church, but he most often speaks in platitudes, double-speak or with dark-ages insight. Here’s a good example–his recent muddled pronoucement on evolution.
According to the Associated Press, Pope Benedict XVI has concluded that the scientific theory of evolution “cannot be finally proven and that science has unnecessarily narrowed humanity’s view of creation.” Though he generally praised scientific progress, the Pope “cautioned that evolution raises philosophical questions science alone cannot answer.”
“The question is not to either make a decision for a creationism that fundamentally excludes science, or for an evolutionary theory that covers over its own gaps and does not want to see the questions that reach beyond the methodological possibilities of natural science,” the pope said.
He stopped short of endorsing intelligent design, but said scientific and philosophical reason must work together in a way that does not exclude faith.
“I find it important to underline that the theory of evolution implies questions that must be assigned to philosophy and which themselves lead beyond the realms of science,” the pope was quoted as saying in the book, which records a meeting with fellow theologians the pope has known for years.
[T]he theory of evolution is not a complete, scientifically proven theory.”
Benedict added that the immense time span that evolution covers made it impossible to conduct experiments in a controlled environment to finally verify or disprove the theory.
“We cannot haul 10,000 generations into the laboratory,” he said.