The majority of catholic believers has a strange relationship with Darwin’s evolution. Since they can no longer support a full creationist point of view, they try to find reasons to make creation and evolution coexist. How? In someway, the best they can imagine. So, if you talk with an average catholic, he will tell you that evolution is still part of divine plan of creation, or maybe he will purpose the idea that creation really happened, but it will limit the thing to the birth of life on the earth. God started the process, evolution did the rest. This attitude could seem positive and conciliatory, light years away from the dumb american christian fundamentalists and their intransigence. But let’s see what is moving under the hood.
One of the cardinals that spent more efforts into the reconciliation between creationism and evolutionism is Gianfranco Ravasi. The idea he’s proposing since a few years is that the incompatibility of the two theories is no longer acceptable. Evolution doesn’t exclude creation and creation doesn’t exclude evolution. In this spirit, Ravasi organized the first stand dedicated to the Vatican in the history of Venice Biennale the last May. A 40 square meters pavilion completely dedicated to the 11 books of the Genesis. In a few words, we must sadly denote that one of the most important cultural events in Europe reserved 40 square meters to creation. An international team of photographers, visual artists and media groups focused on creation.
Not to mention how despicable a thing like this can be for the Country of Galileo. I just would like to reason about the real sense of the Church’s openings towards the evolutionary ideas. If they kept supporting creationism as it is, and kept denying evolution, the only result they could get would have been making fools of themselves. So, they realized that what they need is a survival strategy, a way to store creationism in a safe place from the unstoppable attacks of Science. Basically this doesn’t differ much from the strategy we have seen with the “intelligent design”. As they discover cell biology, molecular biology and DNA, we try to find a way to modify creationism in order to include the new discovers.
It is remarkable and quite funny to notice how creationism is changing under the pressure of the overwhelming amount of evidences in support to Darwin’s theory. Basically, as any prey, creationism tries to evolve in order to survive to the attacks of its fearsome predator. Maybe they will keep talking about creation for years, but to do it, they will definitely need to choose an evolutionary attitude.