Catholic Cardnal saying Evolution correct?


#1

I sure hope I am reading this wrong. I found it on a private pilot web site I frequent. The Tread there says, “Wow, it looks like the Vatican actually [/font]gets it…” As we all know, the Vatican has always had it! I am hopeing you guys can give me some guidance on how to respond to this. Thanks in advance. news.com.au/story/0,10117,17162341-13762,00.html
Then one of the replies to this is "It’s interesting that the Catholic religion is actually sort of PROGRESSIVE with this stance. Not a typical place for that faith. I am encouraged."
We (The CC) do not change our beleifs, righy? We have always beleived what we beleive today. We have come to understand things more but never has any doctrine ever changed. I think this poster is incinuating that we are changing our teachings on Evolution.


#2

[quote=riverman]I sure hope I am reading this wrong. I found it on a private pilot web site I frequent. The Tread there says, “Wow, it looks like the Vatican actually gets it…” As we all know, the Vatican has always had it! I am hopeing you guys can give me some guidance on how to respond to this. Thanks in advance. news.com.au/story/0,10117,17162341-13762,00.html
Then one of the replies to this is "It’s interesting that the Catholic religion is actually sort of PROGRESSIVE with this stance. Not a typical place for that faith. I am encouraged."
We (The CC) do not change our beleifs, righy? We have always beleived what we beleive today. We have come to understand things more but never has any doctrine ever changed. I think this poster is incinuating that we are changing our teachings on Evolution.

[/quote]

The Church’s position has always been that God created the universe and everything in it… Evolution does not contradict this teaching in any way. The Church concentrates on the “who” rather than the “how”


#3

That Cardinal agrees with other Cardinals.

Cardinal Ratzinger: “We cannot say: creation or evolution, inasmuch as these two things respond to two different realities. The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, which we just heard, does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are. It explains their inmost origin and casts light on the project that they are. And, vice versa, the theory of evolution seeks to understand and describe biological developments. But in so doing it cannot explain where the ‘project’ of human persons comes from, nor their inner origin, nor their particular nature. To that extent we are faced here with two complementary – rather than mutually exclusive – realities. But let us look a little closer, because here, too, the progress of thought in the last two decades helps us to grasp anew the inner unity of creation and evolution and of faith and reason.” (In the Beginning…: A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall [1986])

Cardinal Schonborn: “With this, his major work, Darwin undoubtedly scored a brilliant coup, and it remains a great oeuvre [work] in the history of ideas. With an astounding gift for observation, enormous diligence, and mental prowess, he succeeded in producing one of that history’s most influential works. He could already see in advance that his research would create many areas of endeavor. Today one can truly say that the ‘evolution’ paradigm has become, so to speak, a ‘master key,’ extending itself within many fields of knowledge…I see no difficulty in joining belief in the Creator with the theory of evolution, but under the prerequisite that the borders of scientific theory are maintained…When science adheres to its own method, it cannot come into conflict with faith…” (Creation and Evolution: To the Debate as It Stands, 10/2/2005)

Cardinal Darwin: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.” (Origin of Species, chapter 14, last sentence, 2nd to 6th edition)

Phil P


#4

[quote=estesbob]The Church’s position has always been that God created the universe and everything in it… Evolution does not contradict this teaching in any way. The Church concentrates on the “who” rather than the “how”
[/quote]

Modern Macro-Evolutionary theory DOES contradict this; it ascribes the processes of “evolution” to random (unguided) mechanisms.

The fact that some in the Church want to paint a “Christian face” on this theory does nothing to alter its secular (atheistic) underpinnings.

Blessings,
Richard


#5

[quote=Richard_Hurtz]Modern Macro-Evolutionary theory DOES contradict this; it ascribes the processes of “evolution” to random (unguided) mechanisms.
[/quote]

Yes, it does. And it’s funny, too because the DNA proves just the opposite–that form and function are integral to a living being’s make up. There’s no way such a complex system could have just “evolved” from random selection.

The fact that some in the Church want to paint a “Christian face” on this theory does nothing to alter its secular (atheistic) underpinnings.

Blessings,
Richard

I agree. Macro-evolution, as you described it here, isn’t really possible. It is quite evident that there was a Someone who put into his creation the building blocks of life, just as a computer programmer writes a program to do certain functions. No computer ever made just decided to write sonnets or put out 3 dimensional images, etc. It just doesn’t work that way.


#6

THE CREATION, FIRST REVELATION OF THE DIVINE PRESENCE

VATICAN CITY, NOV 9, 2005 (VIS) - Psalm 135, the “great Hallel” or solemn hymn of praise sung by the Jewish people during the Passover, was the central theme of the Benedict XVI’s catechesis during the general audience, held this morning in St. Peter’s Square in the presence of thousands of faithful.

The key word of the psalm is “mercy,” the Pope explained, “part of the language characteristically used by the bible to express the alliance between the Lord and His people. … Within this relationship, God does not appear as an impassive and implacable Lord, like destiny against whose mysterious power all struggle is useless. Rather, He appears as a person Who loves His creatures, Who watches over them, follows them on their journey through history, and suffers from their frequent unfaithfulness to His merciful and paternal love.”

For the psalmist, said the Pope, the first sign of this divine love is to be found in the creation. “Before discovering the God Who reveals Himself in the history of a people, there is a cosmic revelation, open to all. …There exists, therefore, a divine message secretly inscribed in creation, a sign of the loving faithfulness of God, Who gives his creatures being and life. … The prayer of praise arises, then, from the contemplation of the ‘wonders’ of God … and is transformed into a joyous hymn of praise and thanksgiving.”

“Thus, from the works of creation it is possible to ascend to the greatness of God, to His loving mercy. This is what the Fathers of the Church teach us,” said Benedict XVI and quoted the words of St. Basil the Great on Genesis, affirming that “if some people … ‘imagine the universe without guidance of order, as though at the mercy of chaos,’ the sacred writer ‘immediately enlightened our minds with the name of God at the beginning of the story: In the beginning God created. … If, then, the world had a beginning and was created, seek out the One Who began it, the One Who is its Creator’.”

AG/PSALM 135:CREATION/… VIS 051109 (360)


#7

Isn’t there is a difference between “evolution” as a theory and Darwinism as a theory. Evolution is an attempt to explain how things work and Darwinism is more of a materialistic point of view that seeks to explain not how but why. No?


#8

[quote=Richard_Hurtz]Modern Macro-Evolutionary theory DOES contradict this; it ascribes the processes of “evolution” to random (unguided) mechanisms.

The fact that some in the Church want to paint a “Christian face” on this theory does nothing to alter its secular (atheistic) underpinnings.
[/quote]

Should we assume, then, that both Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and Cardinal Schonborn (see Post # 3) advocate (or at least allow for) a scientific position which is essentially atheistic?

Also, your understanding of the scientific concept of “randomness” is misconceived. The term as used within science is much different from the way it is commonly understood in general popular speech.

Truly,
Don


#9

[quote=Donald45]Should we assume, then, that both Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) and Cardinal Schonborn (see Post # 3) advocate (or at least allow for) a scientific position which is essentially atheistic?
[/quote]

I would say that they allow for a scientific position which is agnostic. After all I don’t believe that science takes a position one way or the other regarding the existence of God. If that’s the case, then by definition it is agnostic. However the practical effect of the scientific position in the general population is an atheistic worldview.

The theory of evolution does not generally lead man closer to God, but in fact leads man towards an even more pronounced materialistic worldview and away from God.

The concept that billions and trillions of mutations over the course of eons leads to improvements and complexity flies in the face of entropy in information systems.

Blessings,
Richard


#10

[quote=Richard_Hurtz]I would say that they allow for a scientific position which is agnostic. After all I don’t believe that science takes a position one way or the other regarding the existence of God. If that’s the case, then by definition it is agnostic. However the practical effect of the scientific position in the general population is an atheistic worldview…

The concept that billions and trillions of mutations over the course of eons leads to improvements and complexity flies in the face of entropy in information systems.
[/quote]

I think a better designation is “non-theistic” (as science necessarily is), rather than agnostic. You suggest that the practical effect of evolution on the public is atheism. However, the fact that upwards of 90% of people in America claim belief in a Supreme Being appears to contradict this notion. In fact, the vast majority of laypeople have almost no idea (at least no accurate idea) what biological evolution even is, although most are more than willing to offer an opinion on the subject. Your last statement, quoted above, is a good example of this general misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, and suggests that perhaps further self-education may be called for (and who can’t use more of that?).

Along those lines, I can recommend a few excellent texts:

Edward J. Larson, Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (Random House, 2004)

Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001)

Keith Miller, ed. Perspectives On An Evolving Creation (Eerdmans, 2003)

Kenneth Miller, Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God & Evolution (HarperCollins, 1999)

Robert Pennock, Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism (MIT Press, 1999)

____, Intelligent Design Creationism & Its Critics (MIT Press, 2001)

These are some of the finest popular works on science and evolution theory. Happy reading!

God bless,
Don


#11

Catholics may believe in evolution. There are certain things that cannot be denied; however, among these being 1) Creation ex nihilo (supported by Big Bang theory), 2) if evolution did occur, it is under the impetus and guidance of God, and 3) the special creation of the soul.

Evolution is not necessarily anti-God. I find natural selection to be a very accurate theory that I would never refute. Macroevolution seems less realistic to me, however. Many biologists don’t like distinguishing between macro and microevolution because it is driven by the same processes, but I just can’t understand macroevolution. Part of evolution is founded on random mutation, something that should harm organisms by the laws of enthalpy. The reason scientists disregard enthalpy in respect to evolution is that enthalpy can be overcome by adding energy to the system (we would get it from the sun). For example, I can exert energy on a deck of cards and make a house. What they fail to recognize is the need for that energy to be ordered to an end. Taking the same example, if I simply throw myself at the cards with no purpose, no order will result from it.

What is God’s part in evolution? There are a couple options, with the first being that evolution doesn’t exist. Of course there is intelligent design, with God “programming” the universe at the beginning of time to turn out how it is now. I have no moral/philisophical qualms about this, but only scientific ones. This is because some prior mutations are no longer beneficial, meaning that our bodies adapted to surroundings and not to an earlier design. I personally believe the greatest sign of God in nature is the laws of physics. These are constant and ordered and have been so since the beginning of time. I like to think that God put an understanding of efficiency either into the laws of physics or into the DNA sequence (or both). This explains how the energy taken into the system could be used to create a higher order and how God might have chosen to give order to his creation. Scientists believe that complex organs, such as the eye, came about because each incremental step was useful and more efficient. I agree, but to say that these would come about purely by chance isn’t acceptable (by reason or faith).

Ultimately I don’t lose any sleep over this myself. What I’ve written is just some random thoughts I’ve had while in Biology class (college). Don’t forget that miracles do occur and that God can violate his own laws.


#12

Evolution denotes a weak God who couldnt get it right. By its very definition it implies randomness from nothing.

Any Catholic should see, that being as it doesnt effect salvation, and the bible is pretty clear on evolution not being the case. All previous Catholic popes, fathers etc… seem to agree. Then its best to stick to what we have always taught and realise the falsities of evolution.


#13

[quote=Magicsilence]Any Catholic should see, that being as it doesnt effect salvation, and the bible is pretty clear on evolution not being the case. All previous Catholic popes, fathers etc… seem to agree. Then its best to stick to what we have always taught and realise the falsities of evolution.
[/quote]

You sure you want to stick with that statement?

Peace

Tim


#14

[quote=Donald45]I think a better designation is “non-theistic” (as science necessarily is), rather than agnostic. You suggest that the practical effect of evolution on the public is atheism. However, the fact that upwards of 90% of people in America claim belief in a Supreme Being appears to contradict this notion. In fact, the vast majority of laypeople have almost no idea (at least no accurate idea) what biological evolution even is, although most are more than willing to offer an opinion on the subject. Your last statement, quoted above, is a good example of this general misunderstanding of evolutionary theory, and suggests that perhaps further self-education may be called for (and who can’t use more of that?).

Along those lines, I can recommend a few excellent texts:

Edward J. Larson, Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (Random House, 2004)

Ernst Mayr, What Evolution Is (Basic Books, 2001)

Keith Miller, ed. Perspectives On An Evolving Creation (Eerdmans, 2003)

Kenneth Miller, Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God & Evolution (HarperCollins, 1999)

Robert Pennock, Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism (MIT Press, 1999)

____, Intelligent Design Creationism & Its Critics (MIT Press, 2001)

These are some of the finest popular works on science and evolution theory. Happy reading!

God bless,
Don
[/quote]

Can you please identify for me a single writing from Athanasius, Iranaeus, Origen, Augustine, or anyone else that indicates any other Creation model other than a literal Creation week?

Apparently the ECF were wrong on that point!

Hmmm I wonder what science has to say about Transubstantiation since we can now look at the molecular composition of matter.
What will we then say about the Real Presence I wonder?

For we walk by faith, not by sight - II Cor 5:7

Blessings,
Richard


#15

magic << Evolution denotes a weak God who couldnt get it right. By its very definition it implies randomness from nothing. >>

Heck don’t be so wishy washy. Why not go all the way…

“The solid evidence for the above sequence of events is admittedly tenuous…If something like this really happened, early in post-diluvian history, then Satan himself is the originator of the concept of evolution.” (Henry Morris, The Troubled Waters of Evolution [1975], p. 74-75)

“Behind both groups of evolutionists [theistic and nontheistic] one can discern the malignant influence of ‘that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world’ (Rev 12:9). As we have seen, it must have been essentially the deception of evolution which prompted Satan himself to rebel against God, and it was essentially the same great lie with which he deceived Eve, and with which he has continued to ‘deceive the whole world’.” (Henry Morris, The Twilight of Evolution [1963], p. 93)

Of course other people said similar things about astronomy

“I believe the real source of Modern Astronomy to have been SATAN,” wrote flat-earther David Wardlaw Scott (1901, p. 287). “From his first temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden until now, his great object has been to throw discredit on the Truth of God.” John Hampden agreed, calling the spherical theory “that Satanic device of a round and revolving globe, which sets Scripture, reason, and facts at defiance” (1886, p. 60).

I’ll stick with the modern Popes and Cardinals, thanks, and you anti-evolutionists can believe Henry Morris and the flat-earthers if you prefer. :smiley: :smiley: Not very Catholic it seems to me. Yes, the early Fathers were young-earthers, but they were also geocentrists, and a few were flat-earthers. They followed the science of their day which was all they knew. Now we know better. An article on evolutionary creationism from Wikipedia is also a favorite.

Phil P


#16

I learned these things in the Great Adventure Bible study by Jeff Cavins. He said Catholics are bound to believe the following 9 things in regard to Genesis:

  1. creation of all things by God at the beginning of time
  2. special creation of man
  3. formation of first woman from man
  4. unity of the human race - we all have common parents (otherwise original sin could not be ‘transmitted’ if we came from a ‘group of people’)
  5. original happiness of our first parents
  6. divine command placed upon man to prove his obedience
  7. man’s transgression of that command at the instigation of the devil by the serpent
  8. fall of our first parents from the state of innocence
  9. the promise of a future Redeemer

#17

[quote=PhilVaz]magic << Evolution denotes a weak God who couldnt get it right. By its very definition it implies randomness from nothing. >>

Heck don’t be so wishy washy. Why not go all the way…

“The solid evidence for the above sequence of events is admittedly tenuous…If something like this really happened, early in post-diluvian history, then Satan himself is the originator of the concept of evolution.” (Henry Morris, The Troubled Waters of Evolution [1975], p. 74-75)

“Behind both groups of evolutionists [theistic and nontheistic] one can discern the malignant influence of ‘that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world’ (Rev 12:9). As we have seen, it must have been essentially the deception of evolution which prompted Satan himself to rebel against God, and it was essentially the same great lie with which he deceived Eve, and with which he has continued to ‘deceive the whole world’.” (Henry Morris, The Twilight of Evolution [1963], p. 93)

Of course other people said similar things about astronomy

“I believe the real source of Modern Astronomy to have been SATAN,” wrote flat-earther David Wardlaw Scott (1901, p. 287). “From his first temptation of Eve in the Garden of Eden until now, his great object has been to throw discredit on the Truth of God.” John Hampden agreed, calling the spherical theory “that Satanic device of a round and revolving globe, which sets Scripture, reason, and facts at defiance” (1886, p. 60).

I’ll stick with the modern Popes and Cardinals, thanks, and you anti-evolutionists can believe Henry Morris and the flat-earthers if you prefer. :smiley: :smiley: Not very Catholic it seems to me. Yes, the early Fathers were young-earthers, but they were also geocentrists, and a few were flat-earthers. They followed the science of their day which was all they knew. Now we know better. An article on evolutionary creationism from Wikipedia is also a favorite.

Phil P
[/quote]

I think I see it now.

Obviously the Biblical Creation account in Genesis cannot be literally true, we have hard scientific evidence against a young Earth. There is a preponderance of fossil evidence that shows transitional forms throughout the geological strata. Furthermore, the Church Fathers were only bringing their understanding of science to bear on the issue of Creation, the Flood, the Tower of Babel etc…these things are probably not literal.

But you know they also brought their understanding of science, specifically Aristotelian physics to bear on the subject of Transubstantiation. While they couched the ‘mystery’ in terms of one form of matter being replaced with another, they also believed that it was possible turn lead into gold. But now we have microscopy, we have a much better understanding of the nature of matter - we “know” that one form of matter does not “turn into another” - after all we have modern science right?

If we can rely on scientific evidence to disprove the literal interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2, why not use it to disprove John 6 and adopt a symbolic ‘Eucharist’? The methodology is exactly the same.

When we open the door to accepting scientific ‘fact’ over the Bible this is exactly where we end up.

Blessings,
Richard


#18

Richard << I think I see it now. Obviously the Biblical Creation account in Genesis cannot be literally true, we have hard scientific evidence against a young Earth. >>

Young earth to Richard, come in Richard. John Paul II has a message for you he wrote to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences from early in his papacy:

“Cosmogony and cosmology have always aroused great interest among peoples and religions. The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its make-up, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise, but in order to state the correct relationships of man with God and with the universe. Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, and in order to teach this truth it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer. The Sacred Book likewise wishes to tell men that the world was not created as the seat of the gods, as was taught by other cosmogonies and cosmologies, but was rather created for the service of man and the glory of God. Any other teaching about the origin and make-up of the universe is alien to the intentions of the Bible, which does not wish to teach how heaven was made but how one goes to heaven.” (Pope John Paul II, 10/3/1981 to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “Cosmology and Fundamental Physics”)

And in the same document citing Pius XII, John Paul II wrote: " ‘One cannot deny that a mind which is enlightened and enriched by modern scientific knowledge and which calmly considers this problem is led to break the circle of matter which is totally independent and autonomous – as being either uncreated or having created itself – and to rise to a creating Mind. With the same clear and critical gaze with which it examines and judges the facts, it discerns and recognizes there the work of creative Omnipotence, whose strength raised up by the powerful fiat uttered billions of years ago by the creating Mind, has spread through the universe, calling into existence, in a gesture of generous love, matter teeming with energy’ " (ibid).

Richard << If we can rely on scientific evidence to disprove the literal interpretation of Genesis 1 & 2, why not use it to disprove John 6 and adopt a symbolic ‘Eucharist’? The methodology is exactly the same. >>

Not the same. One is testable by the physical sciences (global flood, young earth/young universe tested by geology, astronomy, physics, etc), one is not testable by science. As for the transubstantiation vs. science issue, I already answered this so I get to do copy/paste:

The above also confuses science with faith. We don’t learn from science that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ (i.e. transubstantiation), we take that on faith based on revelation (Scripture and Tradition) and the authority of the Catholic Church who interprets that revelation. Science would have nothing to say about that, nor about miracles in general. So here we’re confusing faith and divinely revealed doctrine with science. Also, science is not about “absolutes” or “proof” but improves as we move forward in research, discoveries, and technology. Scientists themselves are certainly not infallible, they have made many mistakes. But it is once again science and other scientists using the “scientific method” that corrects them.

From my Evidence for Evolution articles :cool:

And how we knew the earth was old well before Darwin. It was (for the most part) Christian creationist geologists who figured this out.

Phil P


#19

There’s an interesting study out now called RATE conducted by creationists that adds to the evidence for a young earth.

The statement released by the Vatican concerning Evolution by John Paul II and Cardinal Ratzinger was a vaguery that said something along the lines that evolution was “virtually certain” and that we may believe whatever truths evolution holds… what those truths are we are never told and well… sure, evolution holds some truths, for example micro-evolution is part of evolution and that’s truthful. The concept of Natural selection is also truthful… anyway the point is such things were always believed by creationists anyway…

Evolution and biblical creationism have always been origns sciences that assume a truth before they examine the evidence and interpret the evidence according to their assumptions. They’re both nothing like operational science which is the only true science there is that observes what happens in the present. To accept either naturalistic evolution or Biblical creation is always a statement of faith. For those that try to harmonize the two myths, what they do is nothing but speculate. The fact is that the Bibical account of Creation was written originally by Moses and written as if it was real history, with the days of Genesis as representing regular 24 hour days with day, night, morning then evening… The commandment in Exodus tell the Israelites to observe the sabbath as God created the world in 6 days and rested on the seventh thus giving them the 7 day week.

Also one should ask why God would create a world where death and decay preexisted the Fall of Man, creating death as a part of the universe and then having Christ come to die and save us from something God set up in the first place. Tom harpur, the author of the Pagan Christ (long discredited by Apologists) hit the name on the head when he said that if there was no literal fall, and no death, then the cross and resurrection from death would be nothing but nonsense. Informed atheists know this… evolution and death and decay millions of years before the fall make a sham out of Christianity.

“And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female” (Mat 19:4)

"‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ (Rom 5:2)

‘Christianity has fought, still fights, and will continue to fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the Son of God. If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing.’**- G. Richard Bozarth, ‘The Meaning of Evolution’, American Atheist, p. 30. 20 September 1979. **

answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/compromise.asp
answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/genesis.asp


#20

I have never been able to get very worked up over this issue. Science cannot destroy religion; Catholicism has nothing to fear from science, not from evolutionary theory, not from cosmology.

Science must as a matter of operational necessity, operate in a non-theistic manner, because one can never test or measure for the supernatural. That doesn’t invalidate scientific results.

Aristotelian or Aquinan metaphysics can also reach true conclusions about reality, although not using the techniques of science.

Scientific explanations of the origins of the earth, or of man, or of the universe, can not by their very nature, invalidate the idea that God created it all to begin with.

Even evolutionary theory cannot say that at this particular time, in this particular place, these particular human beings were endowed with a soul. Such a conclusion is not within the province of science.

So why is evolution considered such a threat? Why must we insist on treating the book of Genesis as a physics or astronomy or cosmology or anthropology textbook?


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