Jim Manzi writes at the Corner today, “Today, the formal position of the Catholic church, incorporating this long train of thought [from Augustine and Aquinas], is that there is no conflict between evolution through natural selection and Catholic theology.”
The issue is more nuanced than that. In a New York Times op-ed in 2005, Cardinal Schoenborn, friend of Pope Benedict, wrote: “Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense–an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection–is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.”
Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson has openly stated that Darwinian evolution is not compatible with religion, and of course Cambridge historian of science Richard Dawkins has been saying it for years. The idea that there is no conflict between mainstream religion and the Catholic Church on the one hand, and Darwinian evolution on the other–and that objections arise only from ignorant religious fundamentalists–is also refuted in Ben Stein’s Expelled, which also exposes the thought control exercised by academic scientists against anyone who dares mention the possibility of intelligence involved in creation.