The Big Bang theory and evolution do not eliminate the existence of God, who remains the one who set all of creation into motion, Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy of Sciences this week.
"When we read the account of creation in Genesis, we risk thinking that God was a magician, complete with a magic wand, able to do everything. But it is not like that," he said. "He created living beings and he let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave each one, so that they would develop and reach their full potential."
God gave creation full autonomy while also guaranteeing his constant presence in nature and people's lives, he said.
The beginning of the world is not a result of "chaos," he said, but comes directly from "a supreme principle that creates out of love."
"The Big Bang, which today is held as the beginning of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator, but requires it," he said. "Evolution in nature is not at odds with the notion of creation because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve."
Members of the academy, many of them renowned scientists and philosophers, were meeting at the Vatican between 24 and 28 October to discuss "Evolving Concepts of Nature."
Above: Pope Francis delivers a talk during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican 22 October. Photo: CNS photo/Paul Haring