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  #1  
Old Nov 21, '12, 10:23 pm
thistle thistle is offline
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Default Adam and Eve

This thread started to avoid hijacking another.

Comment from fnr in another thread:

QUOTE
On another thread, I am perfectly willing to continue to discuss the historicity of two individuals, Adam and Eve, as the first humans who literally (or figuratively) lived approximately when chronology of Genesis says they were. I will say that nothing you've said has told me that I cannot believe in the theory of evolution, which is well-supported by fact and commentary from our Holy Fathers (JPII and BXVI). We must be honest with ourselves and with God in looking at scientific information, and I'll suggest that there's a lack of honesty in rejecting evolutionary theory at this point.
UNQUOTE

From fnr's comment above he seems to be saying (but please fnr jump in and correct me if I am misinterpreting you) that because I said Adam and Eve were real and that Catholics must believe that then that would mean Catholics cannot believe in evolution.
If that is what you are saying you are wrong and have misunderstood me.

I am saying that Adam and Eve were real, that Catholics are obliged to believe that, and also that does not contradict evolution which Catholics are free to believe in.

We are obliged to believe Adam and Eve were real:

HUMANI GENERIS
(Concerning Some False Opinions Threatening to Undermine the Foundations of Catholic Doctrine)
Pope Pius XII
Encyclical Promulgated on 12 August 1950

Extract from the Encyclical:

37. When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.



We are allowed to believe in evolution (both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have stated that).

I see nothing contradictory between the two.
  #2  
Old Nov 22, '12, 1:26 am
Almagore Almagore is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

I know that Catholics are free to believe evolution if they choose to. However, I have a scientific and mathematics background and it is obvious to me that the Theory of Evolution is scientifically impossible. There are hundreds of scientific reasons why the Theory of Evolution is impossible but I will just mention one reason. One of the hallmarks of the theory is that there was no "intelligent design"(as from God). Therefore every genetic change must have happened by accident!.

The Mathematical probability that something came from nothing, that the first living creature came into being by accident and that all of the billions of different life forms came about by accident is zero! Evolution is scientifically impossible! The main problem I have with the public schools teaching the Theory of Evolution as fact is that it acculturates a materialistic world view in children. Once a child's world view is set, because of "cognitive dissonance" it is next to impossible for the child to accept anything as true that is counter to that world view.

There is no place for God in the Theory of Evolution as it holds that there is nothing but matter and mindless energy in existence and that everything came into being by accident, Therefore for the child (or adult) to maintain the world view that the Theory of Evolution presents; God must either be nonexistent or impotent! Neither of which is true.

I used to work as a Registered Nurse on psychiatric units in hospitals for 20 years.
  #3  
Old Nov 22, '12, 1:32 am
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Humani Generis, Pius Xii, 1950 (on one of my many birthdays)
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pi...eneris_en.html

"35. It remains for Us now to speak about those questions which, although they pertain to the positive sciences, are nevertheless more or less connected with the truths of the Christian faith. In fact, not a few insistently demand that the Catholic religion take these sciences into account as much as possible. This certainly would be praiseworthy in the case of clearly proved facts; but caution must be used when there is rather question of hypotheses, having some sort of scientific foundation, in which the doctrine contained in Sacred Scripture or in Tradition is involved. If such conjectural opinions are directly or indirectly opposed to the doctrine revealed by God, then the demand that they be recognized can in no way be admitted"

****
Emphasis in bold is mine.

Regarding Truth -- Truth can only occur when science is conducted properly and Catholic doctrines are properly understood.

The book Science & Human Origins ISBN-13: 978-1-936599-04-2 (paperback) has two interesting chapters by molecular biologist Ann Gauger. Concerned Catholics would benefit from her work.

Blessings,
granny

Divine Revelation trumps!

Last edited by grannymh; Nov 22, '12 at 1:43 am.
  #4  
Old Nov 22, '12, 5:23 am
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Linusthe2nd Linusthe2nd is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Almagore View Post
I know that Catholics are free to believe evolution if they choose to. However, I have a scientific and mathematics background and it is obvious to me that the Theory of Evolution is scientifically impossible. There are hundreds of scientific reasons why the Theory of Evolution is impossible but I will just mention one reason. One of the hallmarks of the theory is that there was no "intelligent design"(as from God). Therefore every genetic change must have happened by accident!.

The Mathematical probability that something came from nothing, that the first living creature came into being by accident and that all of the billions of different life forms came about by accident is zero! Evolution is scientifically impossible! The main problem I have with the public schools teaching the Theory of Evolution as fact is that it acculturates a materialistic world view in children. Once a child's world view is set, because of "cognitive dissonance" it is next to impossible for the child to accept anything as true that is counter to that world view.

There is no place for God in the Theory of Evolution as it holds that there is nothing but matter and mindless energy in existence and that everything came into being by accident, Therefore for the child (or adult) to maintain the world view that the Theory of Evolution presents; God must either be nonexistent or impotent! Neither of which is true.

I used to work as a Registered Nurse on psychiatric units in hospitals for 20 years.
There are different theories of evolution. Some say God is not necessary but not all. However I personally do not believe in evolution of living things from preexisting matter or from species to species. Theologians, etc. can believe whatever they want. I see no evidence for evolution at all.
  #5  
Old Nov 22, '12, 6:28 am
inocente inocente is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

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Originally Posted by thistle View Post
I am saying that Adam and Eve were real, that Catholics are obliged to believe that, and also that does not contradict evolution which Catholics are free to believe in.
So although I've accepted Christ as my personal savior, I'd be turned away from your Church purely because I can't believe A & E are anything more than allegory? Nothing about me would matter except that I wouldn't be let in unless I say I believe A & E were real? Yikes.

Quote:
We are obliged to believe Adam and Eve were real
Faith isn't like changing our shoes, we can't force ourselves to believe something. We can pretend to go along for the sake of not standing out of the crowd, but another word for that is hypocrisy. Imho that's all you'd end up with by "obliging" people to believe in things, do you really want a church full of hypocrites?
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  #6  
Old Nov 22, '12, 7:11 am
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bzkoss236 bzkoss236 is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Quote:
Originally Posted by inocente View Post
So although I've accepted Christ as my personal savior, I'd be turned away from your Church purely because I can't believe A & E are anything more than allegory? Nothing about me would matter except that I wouldn't be let in unless I say I believe A & E were real? Yikes.


Faith isn't like changing our shoes, we can't force ourselves to believe something. We can pretend to go along for the sake of not standing out of the crowd, but another word for that is hypocrisy. Imho that's all you'd end up with by "obliging" people to believe in things, do you really want a church full of hypocrites?
Without Adam and Eve, how do you explain the fall of man? If there is no fall of man, then either we sin and God made us sinful, which would be contrary to His nature, or there is no need for Jesus because there is no sin.
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Help us to fight for truth,
Help us to know truth,
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Amen.

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  #7  
Old Nov 22, '12, 8:00 am
grannymh grannymh is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Quote:
Originally Posted by inocente View Post
So although I've accepted Christ as my personal savior, I'd be turned away from your Church purely because I can't believe A & E are anything more than allegory? Nothing about me would matter except that I wouldn't be let in unless I say I believe A & E were real?


Faith isn't like changing our shoes, we can't force ourselves to believe something. We can pretend to go along for the sake of not standing out of the crowd, but another word for that is hypocrisy.
I understand your position and the positions of other Christians and of non-theists.

Therefore, I will do my best to post only from the Catholic point of view --- without debating the faith or non-faith of other good people.

From the Catholic doctrinal position, the historical presence of two, sole, real, human parents of humankind is founded on the existence of God as Creator.(Source: Genesis 1: 1) The belief that God is Creator continues today in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed professed in Sunday's Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. "I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible."

I can only guess why some, not all, Catholics start with an unquestionable belief in natural science as their primary guide to the existence of the human species.

Isaiah chapter 55 is a good place to start when we consider the power of our Creator. Personally, I like verses 8 and 9. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are My ways above your ways and My thoughts above your thoughts." (Those verses were originally my penance as part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)

We need to believe with every cell in our body, that God created a peerless species with Adam and Eve. Adam's nature, like our own, is an unique unification of both the material world of elephants and ants as well as the spiritual world of God Who calls us to share eternally in His divine life through the faculties or functions of our spiritual soul.

We humans live in the material world which is why our anatomies are similar to various animals. We share some of our bony structure (we are vertebrates) and internal structure (we have to eat) with animals. Catholics, because we believe our goal is eternal happiness in the presence of the Beatific Vision, also believe in our rational, non-material, spiritual soul. It is at the point of our spiritual soul and goal, that we are separate from all other living organisms. It is here that Catholics need to decide if natural science is the creator.

Yes, Catholics can believe that natural science can produce truth about the material/physical world-----But can natural science produce the whole truth about human nature as described by Catholic doctrines?

Last edited by grannymh; Nov 22, '12 at 8:14 am.
  #8  
Old Nov 22, '12, 8:24 am
rossum rossum is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Almagore View Post
I know that Catholics are free to believe evolution if they choose to. However, I have a scientific and mathematics background and it is obvious to me that the Theory of Evolution is scientifically impossible. There are hundreds of scientific reasons why the Theory of Evolution is impossible but I will just mention one reason. One of the hallmarks of the theory is that there was no "intelligent design"(as from God). Therefore every genetic change must have happened by accident!.

The Mathematical probability that something came from nothing, that the first living creature came into being by accident and that all of the billions of different life forms came about by accident is zero! Evolution is scientifically impossible!
You are being lied to by anti-evolution websites. Evolution is not a random process because it includes natural selection, which is not random. Abiogenesis is not a random process because it includes chemistry, and chemistry is not random.

Any calculation which is based on pure randomness is not a model of either abiogenesis or evolution. If the model does not reflect the process it is meant to be modelling then the results of the model are useless and can be ignored.

I could go further, but I won't given that there is currently a moratorium on the discussion of evolution.

One last thought; if two Popes, three if you include Pius XII, do not have a problem with Catholics accepting theistic evolution then why do you reject it?

rossum
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  #9  
Old Nov 22, '12, 8:34 am
rossum rossum is offline
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Default OT: Grandmothers

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannymh View Post
(on one of my many birthdays)
Completely off topic, but I thought you might like this: Tallulah & Marlene.



rossum
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  #10  
Old Nov 23, '12, 3:56 am
inocente inocente is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

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Originally Posted by bzkoss236 View Post
Without Adam and Eve, how do you explain the fall of man? If there is no fall of man, then either we sin and God made us sinful, which would be contrary to His nature, or there is no need for Jesus because there is no sin.
We all sin but aren't there simpler explanations? To me the purpose of the story is not to provide answers but to give us a framework to ask questions about what it is to be human. We all suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, represented by the capriciously unjust god (totally unlike the Christian God) and the deceitful serpent, but we can also imagine a perfect life, represented by the garden. We are all Adam and Eve, the naive couple swept along by our own imperfections and all the disasters and diseases and other stuff that life throws at us. The story is about a beginning, but it's the beginning of trying to understand. Thatís my take anyway.
__________________
Faith, hope, love - Are the sum of perfection on earth; love alone is the sum of perfection in heaven. Wesley's Notes on 1 Cor 13:13
  #11  
Old Nov 23, '12, 3:57 am
inocente inocente is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Quote:
Originally Posted by grannymh View Post
I understand your position and the positions of other Christians and of non-theists.

Therefore, I will do my best to post only from the Catholic point of view --- without debating the faith or non-faith of other good people.

From the Catholic doctrinal position, the historical presence of two, sole, real, human parents of humankind is founded on the existence of God as Creator.(Source: Genesis 1: 1) The belief that God is Creator continues today in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed professed in Sunday's Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. "I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible."

I can only guess why some, not all, Catholics start with an unquestionable belief in natural science as their primary guide to the existence of the human species.

Isaiah chapter 55 is a good place to start when we consider the power of our Creator. Personally, I like verses 8 and 9. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are My ways above your ways and My thoughts above your thoughts." (Those verses were originally my penance as part of the Sacrament of Reconciliation.)

We need to believe with every cell in our body, that God created a peerless species with Adam and Eve. Adam's nature, like our own, is an unique unification of both the material world of elephants and ants as well as the spiritual world of God Who calls us to share eternally in His divine life through the faculties or functions of our spiritual soul.

We humans live in the material world which is why our anatomies are similar to various animals. We share some of our bony structure (we are vertebrates) and internal structure (we have to eat) with animals. Catholics, because we believe our goal is eternal happiness in the presence of the Beatific Vision, also believe in our rational, non-material, spiritual soul. It is at the point of our spiritual soul and goal, that we are separate from all other living organisms. It is here that Catholics need to decide if natural science is the creator.

Yes, Catholics can believe that natural science can produce truth about the material/physical world-----But can natural science produce the whole truth about human nature as described by Catholic doctrines?
Leaving aside scientific arguments, Iím just asking a religious question. I know you have a soft spot for Adam and Eve but they seem tangential to the gospel. Personally I canít remember any sermons, hymns or prayers about them, they rarely get a mention except by the occasional creationist. The story is so fantastical that they actually put me off being a Christian until friends said don't worry, and then the Spirit zapped me anyway, so I guess He's not bothered either .

My impression is itís much the same in Catholic circles, and your post kind of gives that away: in the story Adam and Eve donít really have any spiritual qualities, they donít even need any faith as god is physically right there walking in the garden.

So my question remains: would I be turned away from your Church purely because I can't believe they're anything more than allegory?
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  #12  
Old Nov 23, '12, 5:45 am
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bzkoss236 bzkoss236 is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Quote:
Originally Posted by inocente View Post
We all sin but aren't there simpler explanations? To me the purpose of the story is not to provide answers but to give us a framework to ask questions about what it is to be human. We all suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, represented by the capriciously unjust god (totally unlike the Christian God) and the deceitful serpent, but we can also imagine a perfect life, represented by the garden. We are all Adam and Eve, the naive couple swept along by our own imperfections and all the disasters and diseases and other stuff that life throws at us. The story is about a beginning, but it's the beginning of trying to understand. Thatís my take anyway.
How would you, seeing as you are interpreting the bible in your own way (which is dangerous), describe how man fell? Did God make man sin?

Catholics are allowed to believe Genesis literally or figuratively. However, we do believe that there must have been two first humans (male and female) who were given a human soul that was rational and had free will, who then were also the first to sin against God, bringing a sinful nature upon mankind.

What simpler explanation could there be for why man is sinful?
__________________
St. Bernard, pray for us!
Help us to fight for truth,
Help us to know truth,
Help us to follow our
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  #13  
Old Nov 23, '12, 6:56 am
inocente inocente is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

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Originally Posted by bzkoss236 View Post
How would you, seeing as you are interpreting the bible in your own way (which is dangerous), describe how man fell? Did God make man sin?

Catholics are allowed to believe Genesis literally or figuratively. However, we do believe that there must have been two first humans (male and female) who were given a human soul that was rational and had free will, who then were also the first to sin against God, bringing a sinful nature upon mankind.

What simpler explanation could there be for why man is sinful?
Iím not interpreting the bible my own way, just reading Genesis figuratively like you say Catholics are allowed to.

Unless you're saying there's literally only one figurative interpretation.

Is the two first parents theory simple? How do you get round the problem that with no one else around then for a number of generations the offspring must necessarily have committed incest? They wouldn't have done that if they had free will because all normal people are completely grossed out by the idea. So why did God put them in that situation, were they forced, did God change human nature afterwards, did an unchanging God change His moral law ... ???
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  #14  
Old Nov 23, '12, 7:30 am
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bzkoss236 bzkoss236 is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

Quote:
Originally Posted by inocente View Post
Iím not interpreting the bible my own way, just reading Genesis figuratively like you say Catholics are allowed to.

Unless you're saying there's literally only one figurative interpretation.

Is the two first parents theory simple? How do you get round the problem that with no one else around then for a number of generations the offspring must necessarily have committed incest? They wouldn't have done that if they had free will because all normal people are completely grossed out by the idea. So why did God put them in that situation, were they forced, did God change human nature afterwards, did an unchanging God change His moral law ... ???
I reconcile this with either incest was necessary initially (God's law against incest was not yet in place), or the necessity to mate with closely related human-like creatures, whose children were given human souls.

I'm still interested to hear your take on the fall of man.
__________________
St. Bernard, pray for us!
Help us to fight for truth,
Help us to know truth,
Help us to follow our
Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  #15  
Old Nov 23, '12, 9:10 am
inocente inocente is offline
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Default Re: Adam and Eve

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Originally Posted by bzkoss236 View Post
I reconcile this with either incest was necessary initially (God's law against incest was not yet in place), or the necessity to mate with closely related human-like creatures, whose children were given human souls.
If the law was not in place and God added it later then you've destroyed the doctrine of absolute Natural Law, while if other creatures were involved then there were a whole lot more than two first parents and you've destroyed your theory.

Sounds like it needs more work.

Quote:
I'm still interested to hear your take on the fall of man.
The Fall is just the name given to Adam and Eve's expulsion, so if they are figurative then that event never happened. That actually makes original sin easier to explain, because without the fall sin doesn't have to be transmitted, it's just a fact of life that complex creatures in a complex world can't avoid sinning.
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