On the 150th anniversary of Darwin's infamous The Origin of Species, the Vatican will hold a conference to discuss the merits of evolutionary theory. To be held March 3-7, the conference will bring together scientists, philosophers, and theologians (both Catholic and Protestant). The announcement of this conference came only days after the Vatican apologized to Darwin...126 years after his death.
"There is absolutely no incompatibility between evolutionary theory and the Bible's message," Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican's cultural affairs, told the press.
The meeting is being co-organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and our own University of Notre Dame.
Pope Benedict claims that the theory of evolution cannot aptly explain the origin of life. The Pope has already discussed evolutionary theory twice in past private discussions.
Is this meeting a step in the right direction, or as useless as the Church's posthumous apology to Darwin? Do you think this will ease some of the tensions between creationists and evolutionists (though I hate that term)? And does anyone else think the Pope doesn't quite understand the difference between abiogenesis and evolution?
Note: Please don't make this an evolution vs. ID debate. Stick to the article.