Werner Arber Heads Vatican's Pontifical Academy of Sciences

The Vatican has appointed Swiss microbiologist Werner Arber as the new president of its scientific advisor body, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Arber is the first protestant to lead the organization, with roots dating back to the early 17th century.

The Pontifical Academy consists of 80 scientists, male and female, who have a variety of religious affiliations, including being nonreligious, and includes several Nobel Prize winners. Werner Arber himself is a Nobel Price winner in microbiology.

Arber is a believer in the concept of ‘intelligent design’. This article explains his beliefs that even the ‘big bang’ can’t be explained as an unguided event. We have several followup articles this week affirming the little-discussed reality that Catholicism rejects Genesis, and the story of Adam and Eve, in view of the scientific evidence.

A topic that the Vatican is probing scientifically concerns the definition of death. Are humans dead when the brain stops functioning, or when the body dies not on life support.