The late Pope John Paul II made a widely publicized address to The Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1996, saying “new knowledge leads the theory of evolution to be no longer considered as a mere hypothesis”. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has its origins in the Academy of Lynxes in 1603 under the Patronage of Pope Clement VIII, and was recreated in 1847 as the Pontifical Academy of New Lynxes by Blessed Pius IX. It was further re-organised in 1936 by Pope Pius XI and is now called the Pontifical Academy of Sciences or P.A.S. for short. The goals of the Pontifical Academy of Science are, “The promotion of the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences, and the study of related epistemological questions and issues”.
Members to P.A.S. are appointed for life by the Pope, and at present there are about 86 academics appointed. Members hold varying scientific credentials, such as physics, disciplines, astronomy, chemistry, the earth & environmental sciences, mathematics, applied sciences, philosophy & history of sciences, botany, agronomy, zoology, genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, neurosciences, and surger. The majority of members are non Catholic and some are either atheists, or agnostics; Steven Hawkins and Paul Davies are respective examples.
The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has a heavily pro-evolution stance but has no teaching authority, despite its esteemed position within the Catholic Church. This has been made clear by Archbishop Luigi Barbarito in a letter to the late Gerard Keane of Australia stating “About this body [P.A.S.] I would say that it has no authority in matters of faith and doctrine and expresses only the views of its own members who belong to different religious beliefs”
Today the modern position of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on origins of man is that evolution is taken for granted as a fact to be explained, but not to be challenged. But, evolution requires the natural gaining of higher genetic information, and if matter ever did contain inherent properties which would allow this to occur we should by now have great trouble in identifying separate species. Not only is there no field evidence in support of evolution but it is conceptually impossible; for nothing can give what it does not have.
The late Gerard Keane contended that the heavily pro-evolution stance of the P.A.S. has resulted in materialistic views being aired at P.A.S. conferences and that the mostly non-Catholic Academy, through its prestigious position, has for many decades asserted effective and largely unchallenged domination of what is being taught regarding creation/evolution in Catholic centers of learning worldwide. Why does the Pontifical Academy of Sciences have a pro-evolution stance when macro-evolution has been shown to be impossible?
For more details on the Pontifical academy of sciences, read the late Gerard Keane’s article “THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES AND THE CRISIS OF FAITH” in Daylight magazine no. 37 printed in 2005