Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Pope Francis is visiting the US and people are excited, but what if science is your religion? How should YOU feel about Papa Francis? In the 1950s, Pope Pius the Twelfth wrote that he hoped evolution would "prove to be a passing fad," BUT that it doesn't contradict faith as long as "ensouling" of humans was left to God. Pope John Paul the second said in a 1982 book, that evolution was an "effectively proven fact." AND More recently, Pope Francis said God isn't a magician, and creation lasted millions of years while the evolutionary processes played out. And yet, a 2014 Gallup poll found 42 percent of the American people believe the world was magically created in 7 days, and that we hold dominion to destroy it as we wish… This kind of makes you wonder what religious leaders are really teach us about science… The Catholic church has long been party to the scientific community. In the mid-1700s, Pope Benedict the Fourteenth formed academies of science, art and religion, and the Big Bang was originally proposed by Georges Lemaître - a Belgian Cosmologist and Catholic priest! Some religious people are definitely science bros. More recently, Pope John Paul the Second wrote in a letter to the Vatican Observatory, a Church-run telescope dedicated to astronomical research, "Science can purify religion from error and superstition," that "Molecular biologists have probed the structure of living material," showing the, "unity of nature." And with this in mind, "Simple neutrality is no longer acceptable," keeping religion and science exclusive from one another "fosters a fragmented vision of the world." JPII was all SCIENCE AND RELIGION NEEDTA BE BROS, and that was back in 1988! Religious institutions have spent centuries trying to learn more about "God's Creation" through science. Even celebrated scientist Galileo Galilei was offered a place in the Pontifical Academy of Science back in 1610! Of course... the Roman Inquisition later imprisoned him for attempting to reinterpret the Bible, but good times come and go for both science and religion. Before joining the Catholic establishment at 32, Pope Francis was called Jorge Mario Bergoglio and he was much like you or me. He worked as a bouncer in a nightclub, and went to a technical school in Buenos Aires, graduating with something akin to an associate's degree as a chemical technician! POPE FRANCIS IS DOWN WITH SCIENCE TOO. Earlier this year, Pope Francis issued a 98-page plea to all the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church to stop climate destruction. He commented that Christians should care for the environment and admitted that humans affected our changing climate, saying, "most global warming in recent decades is due to the great concentration of greenhouse gases." But, that wasn’t the first time he made a huge splash in the political and scientific communities! In 2014, Pope Francis said, in a conversation with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve." He went on to say there is evidence for evolution and it is a "reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life." He also remarked that the Big Bang is "considered to be the origin of the world." He was clear when he said, these ideas are NOT contradictory to God or the teachings of the Church. This is the Pope, guys. When this happened, there were some collective heads exploding across the spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and on the purple mountain majesties… because a select group of Americans have long rallied against these exact messages! And yet, here's a religious leader, acknowledging and accepting them. Perhaps the surprise that a Pope would come out in favor of science, is exacerbated by the fact that only 20 percent of people in a 2013 Pew study knew nitrogen was the most abundant gas in our atmosphere; and only 58 percent knew CO2 causes rising temperatures. Perhaps it's because americans don't science good. Despite his more progressive views on climate change and evolution, Pope Francis' alignment with the Church on contraception, expanding roles for women, and allowing priests to marry hasn't budged. So, whether Pope Francis the most scientific Pope is a solid 'maybe.' Yes, things have changed in the last century, but the Church has definitely been SCIENTIFICALLY FRIENDLY for a few hundred years. Instead, I think, as we've become a more polarized culture; we're simply more surprised to hear agreement with scientific facts from such a powerful religious leader. His outspoken views on science aren’t the only things that make Pope Francis stand out. For more on what makes this pope different from the others, check out this video from our friends at Test Tube news.