A famous anecdote from 19th century New England involves Margaret Fuller, an early feminist and ardent exponent of the spiritual movement of transcendentalism. Besotted by her emotions, she once blurted out, “I accept the universe!” When he heard of this, the Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle remarked dryly, “Gad—she’d better.”
While the story may be apocryphal, if you replace Fuller with Pope Francis and “the universe” with “evolution,” then Carlyle’s feelings are identical to mine. For, according to many media outlets (for example, here, here, and here), Pope Francis has just declared that he accepts the fact of evolution.
Gad, he’d better. Evolution has been an accepted scientific fact since about 1870, roughly a decade after the theory was proposed by Darwin in 1859. And there are mountains of evidence supporting it, as documented in my book Why Evolution is True, and no evidence for the religious alternative of…
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