The Vatican holds evolution conference

I see from the BBC News website (Vatican hosts Darwin conference) that the Vatican is holding a conference to mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.  According to the BBC

Scientists, 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.

Apparently it’s one of two conferences – the other is about Galileo’s work – the intention is apparently to “to re-examine the work of scientific thinkers whose revolutionary ideas challenged religious belief: Galileo and Charles Darwin.”  Amusingly, the report points out that the Catholic Church never condemned Darwin, as it condemned and silenced Galileo. I suppose that threats of burning at the stake just would’t have cut it in the 19th century.

You can read about the conference at the Pontifica Universita Gregoriana website.  The theme of the conference is explained, sort of, in a typically tortuous piece of text.  On the Aims page, we find that

Thanks to recent discoveries, we can reconsider the problem of evolution within a broader perspective then traditional neo-darwinism. [emphasis mine]

Well, I for one don’t perceive a “problem of evolution”, but I suppose if one’s wedded to a bizarre set of beliefs, one might regard it as a problem.  The program reveals quite an interesting set of speakers – I wonder if there will be any published outcome of the conference.

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