Friday, January 07, 2011
The pope explains the Big Bang
Even many Catholics are confused by the concept of papal infallibility. Benedict XVI has put his foot wrong often enough so that anyone could be forgiven for thinking the current pontiff is just a bit off. Or a lot. But papal infallibility applies only to official doctrinal pronouncements. Not to anything else (which is surely obvious by now with this pope). Occasionally, however, the pope gets something sort of right.
Benedict has come forward with a straightforward pronouncement concerning the Big Bang. He accepts it! As far as he's concerned, cosmology's reigning theory for the origin of the universe is simply God's technique for initiating creation. In brief, nearly fourteen billion years ago God said “Let there be light” and the Big Bang happened.
Benedict's acceptance of the Big Bang naturally upsets the hardcore creationists who believe in a young earth, but it's welcome news to Catholics who want a little distance between themselves and their anti-science Protestant brethren. Forward-thinking Catholics can also take comfort in Benedict's sound logic, as illustrated in this morning's San Francisco Chronicle. God was behind the Big Bang for all the best reasons.