A little confused about evolution, Adam/Eve, and the RCC

So I understand that many Catholics and members of other denominations accept evolution as a plausible theory to the development of species and all. I understand that when talking about “death” being the wages of sin, this was referring to more of a “death of the spirit” kind of thing, if that’s a proper term to use. Many I’ve talked to refer to humans before the Fall (if we’re to suggest the Fall occurred long after the introduction of humans in the material form) as having an “animal soul” of sorts. It also occurred to me that Genesis 1 might not have been a chronological account, making room for belief in an Old Earth.

There’s still something that’s been nagging at me for a while, even though it might not be that big of a deal but would still like some insight on it nonetheless: did Adam and Eve walk this Earth at the same time humans were there, the ones that had existed before the Fall? Was this “new Man” of sorts with a connection to God brought about by Adam and Eve’s physical procreation on Earth, only affecting their offspring and not the rest of humanity? Or did humanity as a whole get implanted with this “rational soul” upon Adam and Eve’s Fall?

I’m sorry if I’m not making much sense here, since I’m rather tired IRL but also have been trying to reasonably reconcile things like evolution with the story of Genesis and humanity’s relationship with God. Again, I’ve always felt there’s room for evolution here in some way, shape or form, and I knew some things shouldn’t be taken so literally as they are by many others, but yeah, it’s getting to a point where it’s rather confusing trying to make sense of it. Hopefully people more familiar with this stuff and much more knowledgeable can help me out here.

We Just went through this 45 pages…

Why do so many Catholics accept evolution as fact?


Evolution is a bunch of hoo-ha.

How can anyone be a Christian and believe in evolution? God created the Heavens and the Earth. He created man. Man did not evolve from anything. Adam and Eve were the FIRST humans and all people are descended from them. I’m not sure where you are going with Adam and Eve and “the rest of humanity.”

And why not take the Bible literally?

According to Genesis…Humans or Man was created by God in His own image when He took the clay & fashioned the man & breathed life into him. God then made the woman from the man’s rib.
There were no other humans around…Adam & Eve were the first humans!

The general idea is that man evolved physiologically, but that these men lacked rational souls. That doesn’t mean they lacked complex behaviors or basic tool use. Anyway, from these, God created Adam. Adam was the first metaohysically true man in body and soul.

Now, opinions can diverge here. Maybe this new Adam and Eve with human souls were raised with and among other physiological humans, finding themselves different, but at that level of civilization it wasn’t as apparent as it would be comparing a man today to those non-ensouled humans. Or perhaps God quite literally did remove Adam from his non-ensouled kin into a garden and Adam was gifted with true immortality, and Eve really formed from his rib… It’s not really an issue from a scientific compatibility standpoint. Either way, when Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden (real or symbolic), their children existed simultaneously with these proto-men. Perhaps even took them as spouses (again, behaviorally comparing men at that stage of civilization wouldn’t be as drastic as comparing a man from modern civilization to them). The offspring of these true humans with these physiological humans could have resulted in children gifted by God with human souls: that is, metaphysically human children. Eventually, all “proto-humans” were phased out.

That’s not an official explanation, but Catholic speculation on how the Church’s teaching could fit with modern evolutionary theory.

More Catholic then the last at least 4 Popes in a row, who all accepted the science of Evolution, wow!:rolleyes:

Guys if you just want to bag on the OP how about not bothering to answer at all? You have nothing of value to add to the discussion by attempting to take it off the rails at the start and saying basically “just leave your brain at the door”. Evolution is a fact of nature, well proven in numerous scientific papers and studies, observed in nature, and shown in the fossil record, and science has long since moved on.

In an actual attempt at response to the OP, I think this is an area that the Church has not definitively spoken on, so it’s open to your own ideas. We are bound to believe there were two original “human” parents and that all of us alive today are descended ultimately from them. Whether other Homo sapiens as a scientific matter of species were alive at the same time as they is open (I think this overwhelmingly likely based on the science of genetics and the pure fact that we cannot have ever experienced a genetic bottleneck of so small a number as two in the Homo sapiens line based on human genetic diversity today observed). Whether any other such Homo sapiens were “human” just as we are or had souls like ours is a matter open to theological discussion in the Church.

Here’s an interesting proposal related to my last post: www3.nd.edu/~afreddos/papers/kemp-monogenism.pdf

Everything you are saying is completely against the account in the Bible…I refuse to even consider the error you are spewing!

I’m sorry you’re in disagreement with the Magisterium on acceptable Biblical interpretation.

Oh this is interesting, because this is always the way I’ve reconciled evolution and us having descended from two parents. Interesting to see this idea out there from other people.

Maybe the Magisterium is playing both sides of the fence & wants to appease the evolutionists.

The Bible says God made man independently from all the other creatures.

Man is the only creature on Earth that God gave rational soul to and made in his image. It was the culmination of creation.

I agree, but I don’t agree there were other humans before Adam & Eve.


It’s not exactly my own, either. I linked to a proposal from Kenneth Kemp on this.

Also, seeing you quote me, I realize I wrote, “from these [proto-humans], man created Adam.” I meant “from these, God created Adam.”

I don’t think there were any true humans, either. Creatures physiologically the same, but not true men, lacking souls.

Give the Chapter & Verse, please.

Catholicism is not fundamentalism.

CCC 110 In order to discover the sacred authors’ intention, the reader must take into account the conditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes of feeling, speaking and narrating then current. “For the fact is that truth is differently presented and expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, and in other forms of literary expression.”

282 Catechesis on creation is of major importance. It concerns the very foundations of human and Christian life: for it makes explicit the response of the Christian faith to the basic question that men of all times have asked themselves:120 “Where do we come from?” “Where are we going?” “What is our origin?” “What is our end?” “Where does everything that exists come from and where is it going?” the two questions, the first about the origin and the second about the end, are inseparable. They are decisive for the meaning and orientation of our life and actions.

283 The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Solomon they can say: "It is he who gave me unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements. . . for wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me."121

284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin: is the universe governed by chance, blind fate, anonymous necessity, or by a transcendent, intelligent and good Being called “God”? and if the world does come from God’s wisdom and goodness, why is there evil? Where does it come from? Who is responsible for it? Is there any liberation from it?

286 Human intelligence is surely already capable of finding a response to the question of origins. the existence of God the Creator can be known with certainty through his works, by the light of human reason,122 even if this knowledge is often obscured and disfigured by error. This is why faith comes to confirm and enlighten reason in the correct understanding of this truth: "By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made out of things which do not appear."123

289 Among all the Scriptural texts about creation, the first three chapters of Genesis occupy a unique place. From a literary standpoint these texts may have had diverse sources. the inspired authors have placed them at the beginning of Scripture to express in their solemn language the truths of creation - its origin and its end in God, its order and goodness, the vocation of man, and finally the drama of sin and the hope of salvation. Read in the light of Christ, within the unity of Sacred Scripture and in the living Tradition of the Church, these texts remain the principal source for catechesis on the mysteries of the “beginning”: creation, fall, and promise of salvation.

337 God himself created the visible world in all its richness, diversity and order. Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine “work”, concluded by the “rest” of the seventh day.204 On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation,205 permitting us to "recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God."206

338 Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. the world began when God’s word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun.207

339 Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection. For each one of the works of the “six days” it is said: “and God saw that it was good.” "By the very nature of creation, material being is endowed with its own stability, truth and excellence, its own order and laws."208 Each of the various creatures, willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things which would be in contempt of the Creator and would bring disastrous consequences for human beings and their environment.

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man.264 Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.265

396 God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. the prohibition against eating “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil” spells this out: "for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die."276 The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil"277 symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.

I can offer you this. I have learned in all my years of life in the RCC (am a cradle catholic) that in a discussion/question lik the one you have raised, that I no longer state, I believe. I prefer the term, “open to the possibility”.

As to the creations story, I am open to the possibility that the Genesis account is accurate, I am open to the possibility that God used and uses tools such as evolution/big bang to created and continue to create existence, and I am open to the possibility that mankind was seeded on this planet by aliens from, oh say, Ceti Omicron IV in the Multara Galaxy. My own personal belief is one of those, but whatever I believe, the RCC says that one must believe is a pair of first human beings in which God instilled his image and likeness, reason and will (and probably the higher emotions). Man chose a path contrary to the will of God, and by that action, the state of life with God was abrogated.

Did it happen exactly as Genesis states? Maybe, maybe not, but the basic belief of the RCC is that God is the author of life, and in some way, man separated himself from God, incurring a course different than that set out by God, and consequently needed a savior/Messiah.

It is my understanding that the actual history begins with Abraham and Sarah, and everything before is pre-history and subject to being allegorical. After all, Christ in His teaching used allegorical stories to make his points. Might he have been continuing a tradition set down by Moses and the early writers of pre-history.

And, if the creation account is suspect as to being actual history, don’t even try to make a case for Noah and the Great Flood.


I’m sorry, this post is too time consuming so I’ll just stick to Genesis & I believe I can’t go wrong. :thumbsup:


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