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Science Briefing

Vatican: Darwin gets no apology

September 20, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Vatican said on Tuesday that the theory of evolution was compatible with the Bible but planned no posthumous apology to Charles Darwin for the cold reception it gave him 150 years ago.

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican's culture minister, was speaking at the announcement of a Rome conference of scientists, theologians and philosophers to be held in March marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin's "The Origin of Species."

Christian churches were long hostile to Darwin because his theory conflicted with the literal biblical account of creation.

"Maybe we should abandon the idea of issuing apologies as if history was a court eternally in session," he said, adding that Darwin's theories were "never condemned by the Catholic Church nor was his book ever banned."

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