Pope Benedict XVI this morning opened the conference, organised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which will last until next Tuesday. He said that like modern Popes before him, he saw no contradiction between the Christian concept of Creation and science. He cited Galileo, whom, he said "saw nature as a book whose author is God in the same way that Scripture has God as its author." He added: "To "evolve" literally means "to unroll a scroll", that is, to read a book. The imagery of nature as a book has its roots in Christianity, and has been held dear by many scientists."Except that that old meaning of the word "evolve" is not what it means in contemporary biology. My feeling is that this is the usual way for the Vatican to interpret science: Through the centimeter thick spectacles of preconceived dogmatic conclusions.
The pontiff also managed this elaborate feat of sophistry (source):
"In order to develop and evolve, the world must first 'be,' and thus have come from nothing into being. It must be created, in other words, by the first Being who is such by essence."Snort! I wonder if the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (chortle!) has it's own scholarly work on logical reasoning. Aristotle turns in his grave.
Moreover, the Pontiff continued, the recognition of a spiritual being prior to the material world "points to the existence of the intellective soul of a free transcendent subject." This, he said, affirms the Christian belief that every person has a soul, which is immortal.