Pope says evolution doesn't mean there's no God

In an address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope explains that God is not some sort of wizard.

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The pope says evolution is valid, as long as God is the beginning. Vatican/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Arguments around creation and evolution sometimes seem too similar to "Which came first? The chicken or the egg?"

Science and religion get placed on either side of a spectrum, with a section in the middle for those who'd like to hedge their bets.

On Monday, the pope outlined his belief with respect to God and evolution. Speaking to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Pope Francis insisted that there was no reason to believe that God and evolution were somehow incompatible.

It's just, he suggested, that God came first.

He said, according to Breitbart's translation: "Evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve." Though God is, he said, no wizard, he's still at the heart of all things, because he's the creator of all things.

The pope explained that God "created beings and let them develop in accordance with the internal laws that He has given to each one, so that they could arrive at their fulfillment," according to the translation.

The pope's views differ radically from those of some eminent scientists, such as Stephen Hawking. Hawking recently made it clear that he dismisses the idea of God. He said: "Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation."

He added: "Religion believes in miracles, but these aren't compatible with science."

The pope clearly does believe in miracles, as well as anointing recently deceased popes as saints.

The Catholic Church has long accepted evolution as a valid theory. However, at the heart of its doctrine is the idea that the human soul was created only by God.

One day, perhaps, one side will be proved right. Perhaps.

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