"The question is not to either make a decision for a creationism that fundamentally excludes science, or for an evolutionary theory that covers over its own gaps and does not want to see the questions that reach beyond the methodological possibilities of natural science."The pope did not endorse intelligent design, which is surely a disappointment to the American evangelical right eager for a Vatican ally on this issue. As I noted recently, there is a need to keep separate "physics" and "metaphysics" and let not the experts in one domain claim knowledge over the other. Religious believers should stay out of the scientific debate. It is important to note that "intelligent design" does not merely postulate that God is the Creator of everything out of nothing and guides all of creation (sensible), but encroaches on scientific territory by holding that organisms appeared simultaneously (not so sensible). Likewise, the claim of some neo-Darwinists that evolution proves the non-existence of God is equally ludicrous, as they step rather indelicately beyond science and into theological speculation. As the pope says "I find it important to underline that the theory of evolution implies questions that must be assigned to philosophy and which themselves lead beyond the realms of science."
Remember, this is a key theme of Benedict's, that faith and reason are not at loggerheads.
(Tip: Rocco Palmo.)