It’s a bit embarrassing to see the other side struggle to maintain their dignity in the face of overwhelming odds.
Here we have the pope making it crystal clear to his flock that, yes, there was a big bang, albeit one that god created, by a wave of the hand, or whatever performance art one uses to create universes. He also went on to discuss the role of the bible, relegating its contents to being allegorical, rather than a historical record:
The Catholic Church no longer teaches creationism — the belief that God created the world in six days as described in the Bible — and says that the account in the book of Genesis is an allegory for the way God created the world.
Full marks to the Catholic Church for at least not denying the undeniable.
So what do the young-earth creationists make of this? Surely his holiness’ pronouncements are anathema to a sizable portion of true believers who hang on every word of the bible?
Well, yes. Ken Ham, from the execrable ‘Answers in Genesis’ website, presents a desperate sounding rationalisation of the vatican’s position, but ultimately slags off the pope as follows:
Bottom line: if the Pope believes in the Big Bang and the Pope believes Genesis is an allegory he is teaching something that contradicts and undermines the Word of God.
So I guess Ken Ham claims to know the word of god more clearly than the pope. The fact that the likes of Ken Ham makes the Catholic church sound progressive, indicates how conservative and fundamentalist religion can get.
Turf wars aside, the Pope’s pronouncement has continued the inevitable marginalisation of god – he is being pushed into smaller and darker corners, into which the light of truth has yet to shine. Now that that light has revealed the big bang and subsequent events, the big fella is seeking refuge beyond the big bang, as its creator no less. While it may be some way off, I have every confidence that we may one day squeeze him out of that position as well. However, even if we do show that, for example, the big bang arose from the inevitable fluctuation in the quantum foam, no doubt his followers will claim he cunningly devised the quantum foam itself.