How are we Catholics to answer the question of the age of the sun? Science claims its much older that the earth, but Genesis states otherwise… Also, how could light and darkness have existed before the creation of light-bearing objects? Perhaps scientist made a mistake over the age of the sun by not taking into account that celestial light. Sound plausible?
The Bible is not a science textbook. The age of the sun is irrelevant to our faith.
The Church doesn’t rule on matters of science. Catholics are permitted to follow the evidence wherever it leads.
The Sun is the same age as the Earth, give or take a few days.
God can make light and darkness anywhere He wants, He is not ruled by what we are.
Scientists always make mistakes, the first one being their disbelief in God.
These are questions you must weigh up in your own mind,
I think the Big Bang story is the way to go… Scientists do make mistakes ,
But there mistakes pale into insignificance with what they prove as fact.
That is a false dichotomy though. There are many Catholic priests and bishops who are also scientists, and there always have been. Revelation and science are both means to reach truth. It is only where the claims of revelation conflict with the claims of science that we have a problem.
A great quote I heard once goes: “The Bible tells you how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go.”
In fact, it was a Catholic priest, Fr. Georges Lemaitre who developed the Big Bang theory. (The scientific one, not the TV show. ) And Gregor Mendel, a pioneer in genetics, was an Augustinian friar. Just two of many examples.
Why do Catholics need to answer the question of the age of the sun? That is a matter of neither faith nor morals.
Genesis does not say this.
Please note, Genesis is not a science treastise.
Perhaps we need to put things in their proper perspective and understand the difference between science text and bibilcal literature.
Genesis may simply be referring to the appearance of the sun as seen through the Earth’s clouded atmosphere.
As there was no human life at the time, in either account, what does it matter?
Unlike many denominations of Christianity, Catholicism doesn’t teach that certain books of the Bible are literal fact. Truth, yes…of course. Something most certainly can be truth without being a literal FACT (as far as our manmade science can prove, anyways). For instance, the Book of Genesis as you mention. The creation story was written the way it was, to illustrate more of WHY we were created than anything else. The MESSAGES conveyed are more important than how it literally happened. Our feeble minds cannot even begin to grasp the glory of God. The important things to take from Genesis are:
A) God created all things; earth, cosmos, angels, man, animals, everything…all out of nothing
B) mankind was created in His image, with souls, above all other creatures as God’s favorite
C) Man, initially created not knowing sin, intentionally sinned removing him from God’s grace.
D) all of mankind since then is born with original sin, and with a predisposition towards sin.
E) God remains faithful and loving towards man, regardless of our sin
What makes the Bible so beautiful, is that the New Covenant brings us back full circle with God as Christ gave us the means of forgiveness and reconciliation with the Father.
All of these truths cannot be discounted by any literal fact science may profess. Taking the Bible as literal fact presents us with all sorts of issues. Understanding that the message and these things in particular are what’s important and what truth should be taken from the creation narrative is a large hurdle for many Christians to overcome…but if/when they do, the pieces tend to fit together more beautifully and harmoniously.
No argument of science can overcome these truths…
Is it possible man evolved from apes?
-sure. If that’s the means God chose to create man, why not? What’s important to recognize, is that at some point Homo Sapiens came into existence…God gave us souls from that point on, ‘Adam and Eve’ sinned against God and all man since is born with original sin because of it.
Can the sun be billions of years older than the earth?
certainly. God creating all of creation in 6 days and resting on the 7th is taken too literally. One day to God can be a billion years to us…our feeble minds cannot grasp the power and immensity of God. Again, the message is what is necessary for one to acknowledge as truth…in this case, the message is that God is the author and creator of all things.
Could dinosaurs have pre-existed man as inhabitants of the earth?
Again…it is not at odds with these truths. The earth could’ve been, and likely was, trillions of years old before man’s creation. Again, who’s to say what a day is to God??
THIS IS ENTIRELY MY INTERPRETATION OF CATHOLIC TEACHING…I believe that I am far from being alone in this belief. Church teaching is that science and faith compliment each other. I don’t have my catechism handy, or perhaps its in an encyclical…but it IS addressed.
I put God before science.
Irrelevant. I will always put more faith in God and the Bible over any scientist.
No one is asking anyone to put their religious faith in any scientist. But the Catechism is quite clear that there is nothing wrong with science, and that it does not conflict with faith.
And I will put my faith in the One Holy and Apostolic Church, which states:
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.” Catechism.
Once the Church makes a definitive teaching on the age of the sun (if ever), I will accept it. Until then, I will follow the teaching of the Catechism when it states that “many scientific studies have splendidly enriched our knowledge and age of the dimensions of the cosmos . . . .” Apparently the Church finds scientific inquiry into the age of the cosmos relevant.
According to Wikipedia, the age of the sun is 4.567 billion years old:
According to Wikipedia, the age of the Earth is 4.54 billion years old:
According to “science,” this is a difference of age of about 1.3%. By what measure do you determine that this trivial difference is “much older?” “Science” seems to confirm that the sun and earth are about the same age (with the sun being slightly older).
Really ? Where would you put Science in your thought process ?