Pope Francis reaffirmed that theories of the physical evolution of man and other living creatures and the Big Bang theory are not opposed to the Catholic teaching on creation. A Catholic may believe in them in good faith. The Pope said: "Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve." Pope Francis does condemn scientific ideas that hold that this process is chaotic in its source. The Pope said: "The beginning of the world is not the work of chaos that owes its origin to something else, but it derives directly from a supreme principle that creates out of love." Equally a Catholic may be unconvinced with the theory of Darwinian evolution as the path nature has taken. Pope Francis may personally believe in Darwinian evolution (I have no idea what he personally believes) as Popes are products of their times and education but that doesn't mean all Catholics must accept these theories. The Popes of early times believed in the ideas of Aristotelian science of their day.
I personally don't believe in Darwinian evolution but I do believe that everything was formed under God's guidance from original material matter that God created out of nothing. In Hebrew there is a different between bara (created out of nothing) and yetzer (formed from pre-existing matter). The Biblical account speaks of man and living creatures being formed (yetzer) from pre-existing matter (dust of the earth). How this was formed could have been by an evolutionary process over large amounts of time if God willed it. I respect that devout Catholics can hold that view but I don't.
I do believe in a form of the Big Bang theory but I don't think the present dating of it is necessarily correct. I believe the Creation of the Earth with Life occurred less than 10,000 years ago. God created the Heavens (Universe) first in preparation for earth and man. The Pope said: "The 'Big Bang', that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God, on the contrary it requires it." I also believe the older geological idea that the earth's geological formation was formed by Catastrophes to be correct. I have many reasons why I think as I do that is not appropriate to discuss in this blog entry. I also believe a new generation is rising that questions the ideas of the present atheistic Darwinian evolutionary scientific and academic establishment. Neither do I expect the Church to declare any one scientific theory to be correct as knowledge in the sciences should remain open to further dispute, discussion and research.
Professor Kenyon writes:
"Macroevolutionary theory is still the reigning doctrine in academia and among intellectuals generally. For a large majority of Catholic and non-Catholic scientists it is the only defensible view of origins. Yet over the last fifty years signs of the growth of a formidable challenge to macroevolution have been steadily growing. The number of scientists who dissent from neo-Darwinism in the U.S.A., Europe, Australia and around the world is steadily growing and many hundreds have made their views publicly known. Why is this process occurring? Part of the reason is that recent scientific advances in molecular biology, genetics, sedimentology, information theory and other fields have cast doubt on some of the major tenets of Darwinism. Another part of the reason is that the sweeping claims of macroevolutionists have run far beyond securely documented evidence. Their large and unwarranted extrapolations (e.g., in the leap from microevolution to macroevolution) make them unique among natural scientists. The intellectual rigor that works to diminish unwarranted extrapolation from empirical data remains intact in most other scientific disciplines..."
Professor Maciej Giertych gives an interesting talk on genetics.
see Forbidden Science.