Pope Francis gave a very short speech on Oct. 27, 2014, while visiting the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to unveil a bust of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. The short speech has produced shock waves throughout the religious community including Catholics and Protestants. The pope espoused the theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory as palatable fact with some caveats according to a report at the Ars Technica science news website.
The Pope explained that “The Big Bang, which currently appears to explain the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of a divine creator but demands it.” The Pope added that “The evolution of nature is not inconsistent with the notion of Creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve.” The Pontiff was very careful in attributing the Big Bang and evolution to the work of a divine presence.
This announcement is the latest in a series of efforts by Pope Francis to bring the Catholic Church closer to what some term “main stream” thought. The reality is that the Big Bang theory began with a Catholic priest. Georges Lemaître, a Belgian cosmologist and Catholic priest, presented his paper that was the original work proposing the Big Bang as the origin of the universe in 1927.
For those who may have a problem with the convergence of God, evolution, and the Big Bang one might suggest a better understanding of the attributes associated with God as presented by Christians of all denominations. God is considered to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. This means God knows all, is all powerful, and is present everywhere.
The juncture at which most people may lose the train of thought that would make worship of God and the acceptance of the Big Bang and evolution impossible is their concept of time and omnipresence. Time is an invention that is made by man to measure distance. An hour on Earth is about 1,000 miles. The distance is one twenty-forth the “time” it takes for the Earth to revolve on its axis.
The concept of omnipresence means that God is present in all times and in all spaces. The spaces may be other dimensions. Omnipresence also means God has always existed in every point of time and every dimension of space and in all spaces that exist including those we cannot measure.
An all-powerful being that knows everything before it even happens would not think in the slow plodding steps that even the brightest of humans do. Being able to see all the past and all the future at the same time would allow God to initiate the Big Bang or evolution and allow them to run on their own. The all-powerful being also has the ability to intervene at any time and change anything in the past or future without making any sentient being aware of the change.
The Catholic Church accepted the Big Bang theory as soon as evidence from General Electric’s first microwave communication listening device proved the Big Bang to be more than theoretical. The Pope merely reiterated the acceptance of the concept. Naturally, those that do not believe in any God will take umbrage at the statement that can be seen here.