Bush: 'Religion not incompatible with evolution'

US president George Bush said today his belief that God created the world was not incompatible with scientific proof of evolution.

In an interview with ABC television’s Nightline, the president also said he probably was not a literalist when reading the Bible although an individual could learn a great deal from it, including the New Testament teaching that God sent his only son.

Asked about creation and evolution, Mr Bush said, “I think you can have both. I think evolution can – you’re getting me way out of my lane here. I’m just a simple president. But it’s, I think that God created the earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don’t think it’s incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution.”

He added: “I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life.”

Interviewer Cynthia McFadden asked Mr Bush if the Bible was literally true.

“You know. Probably not. ... No, I’m not a literalist, but I think you can learn a lot from it, but I do think that the New Testament for example is ... has got ... You know, the important lesson is ’God sent a son’,” he said.

The president also said that he prayed to the same God as those with different religious beliefs.

“I do believe there is an almighty that is broad and big enough and loving enough that can encompass a lot of people,” Mr Bush said.

When asked whether he thought he would have become president had it not been for his faith, he said, “I don’t know; it’s hard to tell. I do know that I would have been – I’m pretty confident I would have been a pretty selfish person.”

Mr Bush said that he was often asked whether he thinks he was chosen by God to be president.

“I just, I can’t go there,” he said. “I’m not that confident in knowing, you know, the Almighty, to be able to say, Yeah, God wanted me of all the other people.”

He also said that the decision to go to war in Iraq was not connected to his religious beliefs.

“I did it based upon the need to protect the American people from harm,” Mr Bush said.


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