The Roman Catholic head made the comments as he spoke to the Vatican’s doctrinal department on how science and religion were not opposed to each other. He continued saying that Christians should fear trying to understand how the two compliment each other in explaining the mystery of life on Earth.
The Pope’s words come at a time when debate rages, especially in the U.S.A between proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) and the Theory of Evolution. In December last year, a Pennsylvania court ruled that ID could not be taught as science in schools.
The Pope said that: "The Church joyfully accepts the real conquests of human knowledge and recognises that spreading the Gospel also means really taking charge of the prospects and the challenges that modern knowledge unlocks,"
|AD|He continued speaking to members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith saying that: “the logic of faith in God” could be revealed to the faithful with the aid of the dialogue between religion and science.
The Pope was previously head of the department until he assumed his current position last April. He said that the rapid arrival of scientific discoveries sometimes meant "that it becomes very complicated to recognise how they are compatible with the truth revealed by God about man and the world."
He continued saying that the Church, however, should not fear the challenge of reconciling faith and reason because God was "in fact, the Lord of all creation and all history."
The ID debate in the U.S.A. has been fought by (occasionally) agnostic scientists and believers who claim that science shows some of the compleixities of life point to a supernatural “designer”.
Supporters of ID have been attempting to have it taught with Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in Biology classes in school. Opponents claim it has no basis in science.