Mel Gibson and Evolution
Mel Gibson evidently believes in evolution as much as his father believed in the Holocaust. PZ Myers reports here, citing an interview with Playboy magazine (July 1995, p 51).
PLAYBOY: Do you believe in Darwin's theory of evolution or that God created man in his image?
GIBSON: The latter.
PLAYBOY: So you can't accept that we descended from monkeys and apes?
GIBSON: No, I think it's bullshit. If it isn't, why are they still around? How come apes aren't people yet?
Gibson is known for going by what "comes from the papal chair". What's curious is that Catholic acceptance of evolution well predates Vatican II. The arch-conservative Pius XII stated there was no opposition between evolution and Catholic faith, albeit grudgingly (Humani Generis, 1950). And John Paul II strongly reaffirmed this less than a decade ago, saying that evolution is factual ("Truth Cannot Contradict Truth", 1996). The late Stephen Jay Gould wrote a wonderful article about these papal decrees. Gould states:
"Pius XII had grudgingly admitted evolution as a legitimate hypothesis that he regarded as only tentatively supported and potentially (as I suspect he hoped) untrue. John Paul II, nearly fifty years later, reaffirms the legitimacy of evolution —no news here—but then adds that additional data and theory have placed the factuality of evolution beyond reasonable doubt. Sincere Christians must now accept evolution not merely as a plausible possibility but also as an effectively proven fact. In other words, official Catholic opinion on evolution has moved from 'say it ain't so, but we can deal with it if we have to' (Pius's grudging view of 1950) to John Paul's entirely welcoming 'it has been proven true; we always celebrate nature's factuality, and we look forward to interesting discussions of theological implications.'" (1996). (Natural History, March '97, pp 16-22)Whatever secessionist breed of Catholicism Gibson adheres to, it's pretty extreme to call forth waffling over the Holocaust and denying evolution. But he seems to enjoy sleeping with the fundies. Funny though, as ignorant he is -- and a lame actor, too -- Gibson is a good filmmaker. I actually liked Passion of the Christ.