The Pope Can Figure Out Science, So Why Can’t the GOP?

(New Republic) Unlike some American politicians, Pope Francis doesn’t see science as an adversary.

In an address at the Vatican on Monday, Francis said scientific theories like the Big Bang and evolution are not at odds with faith. “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.”

Francis may not be breaking ground with his remarks on evolution, as he has on same-sex marriage. The Catholic Church has generally been open to evolutionary science, although Pope Benedict XVI made comments that suggested a preference for “intelligent design” theories. But it does show that the pope—who said God “created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment”—might have more in common with scientists than your average Republican politician.

Consider climate. Katharine Hayhoe, a professor at Texas Tech University and director of the Climate Science Center, has shown how concern for the environment is compatible with faith and conservative values. She is an evangelical Christian who co-wrote a book about faith and global warming science. “What’s more conservative than conserving our natural resources, making sure we have enough for the future, and not wasting them like we are today?” she has said. And on NPR, Hayhoe has argued, “God gave us the brains to make good choices and there’s consequences to the choices that we make.” [more]


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