Catholic Position on Evolution


Where can I find the catholic position on evolution and what is the catholic position for those who know?

Thank you!


The Church does not have a “position” on evolution. Evolution is the realm of science, not faith and morals. Where it does not contradict the faith, there is no issue.

However, some propositions are not compatible with the faith.

Pope Pius XII explained what Catholics must hold – ex nihilo creation of the universe, the special creation of our souls, and monogenism (descent from one original set of first parents) in his encyclical Humani Generis.


As well as Humani Generis, you might also want to look at Address of Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences:Today, almost half a century after the publication of the encyclical, new knowledge has led to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis.



One question to all you evolution believers: So then “what” exactly were Adam and Eve? Apes or fish? This whole thread made me sick to my stomach! So this is Catholicism? The Church of Christ? The Church Christ gave His life for? A bunch of apes evolving into Christians? I’m heartsick. This thread just wisened me up to not waste my time here anymore!


Dear Phil :slight_smile:

Are human beings descendents of apes?
Humans are not descendents of chimpanzees, gorillas, or any other ape. But, if we believe in evolution, then we can imagine an ape-like, human-like creature that lived millions of years ago - a common ancestor to modern humans (Homo sapiens) and modern chimpanzees, gorillas, and so on. Louis Leakey sent Jane Goodall to Gombe because he believed the behaviour that is shared by humans and chimpanzees today might have been present in the common ancestor and, probably, the Stone Age hominids whose fossils he discovered.


How can I get a chimp as a pet?
We appreciate your interest in chimpanzees and your love of animals. However, the best way to help wild animals is to leave them in the wild, where they belong. Though they are cute and cuddly when they are young, chimpanzees do not make good pets. They are wild animals, and when they mature, they can be destructive to homes, furniture, and backyards. They are strong and potentially dangerous. People who have had chimps for pets try to find ways to get rid of them when they get older and stronger. Usually, they end up in medical research programs.

Adam and Eve were the first human couple is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and scientists don’t have a problem with that.

Human Chromosome 2 is a fusion of two ancestral chromosomes
by our Alec MacAndrew

And let’s not forget that Nobel prize winner Christian de Duve, a member of the Vatican’s Scientific Advisory Committee, says evolution is a FACT. :slight_smile:

**The Theory of Evolution **
by very own in-house scientist, Dr.Alec MacAndrew:D


wild << Adam and Eve were the first human couple is the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church and scientists don’t have a problem with that. >>

Well…but…at one point they were either ancient apes, fish, tadpoles, or kumquat. Gotcha.

Sorry decided to go crazy creationist for a day posting some oldies.

Phil P



Phil Vaz! Tisk Tisk:D

Let’s adhere to semantics. The first human couple had a tiny chimp chromozome in them. Every new species is a result of a mutation.

Philly, you are a silly human being! :rotfl: Please don’t confuse the children. Human beings were never apes, fish, tadpoles, or kumquats:D We can avoid :juggle: Remember only human beings know how to forgive. :console:

I wrote a poem long ago for children about Adam and Eve explaining to them through Adam and Eve we can tell a story about the first human couple and their discovery of “Forgiveness”.

Adam eventually forgave Eve
for giving him the apple.
Eve eventually forgave Adam
for taking a bite of that apple.
God forgave them both.
Forgiveness began in the Garden!


Oh, be sure to read the CATECHISM of THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. You can pick the language that you may wish to read it.

The Compendium OF THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH and the CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH was approved for publication on March 20, 2005 by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, President of the Special Commission. On June 28, 2005, the vigil of the Solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, in his first year of his Pontificate, BENEDICTUS PP. XVI gave his approval and publication of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. As Catholics it is extremely important when reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church to refer to the Compendium.

Here is the COMPENDIUM that explains about the first human couple (Adam and Eve):


I encourage Catholics to read the COMPENDIUM, especially
Part One, The Profession of Faith, Section One
“I believe” – “We believe”.

I like this part because God can’t possibly be everywhere or in everything! It would ruin science :

29. Why is there no contradiction between faith and science?

159 Though faith is above reason, there can never be a contradiction between faith and science because both originate in God. It is God himself who gives to us the light both of reason and of faith.

“I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe.” (Saint Augustine)

I love science and I have a supernatural Faith in God which shines ever the more because I love JESUS ! Oh, I love the Holy Spirit too for always helping me out!

And Phil, you are special. Thank you for being you. :slight_smile: You always have a way of tickling my heart. God bless you.


The Catholic position is that evolution is more than [just] a hypothesis, as articulated by John Paul II.

That is to say, no one will throw you out of the Church if you disbelieve in Darwin’s theory, but theology is done on the supposition that he is not substantially wrong.


How is human evolution compatible with Catholicism? How is that all humans came from one couple without that couple being something special? So for millions of years, the human body evolved, and in the generation just before Adam and Eve, they had no souls? God just picked two out of millions and ensouled them? Why not en-soul the entire generation? What of the other humans without souls? Undoubtedly their desendants would be around today, souless. They could walk, talk and function like the ensouled ones, but they have no eternal life? I find that the whole argument collapses on itself. Either the human body was created as it is today by the hand of God, or the idea of Original Sin is null.


That is nothing but an argument from incredulity. Are you saying that God could not have used evolution? Really?




The website in which this info was taken has fallen away. So it can not be sourced that way. But I think it rather good, which is why I’ve kept it on file.

D.E. means Darwinian Evolution

Rejection of Polygenism / Animal Lineage

Pope Pius XII in reaffirming constant magisterial teaching specifically repudiated polygenism (multiple sets of human parents) in his encyclical Humani generis. Catholic teaching is clear that all people share in the “original sin” of one first couple, Adam and Eve.[16] Only those exegetical methods which employ a low-view of scripture (which itself is incompatible with orthodox Catholicism) and reject the constant teaching of the Catholic Church can reconcile the completely natural generation of human beings from non-human bi-pedal primates (animals) who at some point become human by the supernatural insertion of immaterial (spiritual) souls. This scenario called for by D.E. is unsatisfactory for multiple reasons including:

1.) D.E. violates the “substance view” of human personhood which the Catholic Church has taught since St. Thomas Aquinas integrated Aristotelian philosophy with Christianity. It holds that the human soul is the “organizing principle” or “form” of the human body (matter) such that the combination becomes a body/soul composite person of matter/form.[17] It is philosophically untenable to posit that God at some point placed a human soul in a non-human bi-pedal primate animal which would already have had its own organizing principle (form) in Aristotelian/Thomistic terms. Under such a scenario it would be correct to state that the first human person (Adam) had “animals” for parents since in Catholic teaching the soul and the body together constitute the composite person as a matter/form composite unity of body/soul which is indivisible during life. (In addition of course, the notion that Adam had animals for parents is contrary to Divine Revelation). The D.E. scenario implies that God would begin the human race by rejecting the truth of the “substance view” of human personhood and then subsequently allow his actual method of human creation to be misrepresented in Scripture and Tradition thereafter as if He had specially created Adam as a body/soul composite entirely new entity.

It also means that God would have dignified a non-human animal by raising it up to the “Image of God” (Imago Dei) through replacement of its animal soul with the spiritual soul of the first man. This is extremely difficult to justify given the multiple biblical texts and copious magisterial commentary which refer to Adam’s Special Creation, body and soul. Moreover, if Adam’s body descended directly that is, was generated physically from animals, then Adam’s parents were “animals” since one is a parent of the entire person not only of the body. This is clear when one considers that the Virgin Mary is truly the mother of God by conceiving and giving birth to Jesus Christ the second person of the Holy Trinity (since Christ is a Divine Person with two natures, one human and one Divine) i.e. she is not only the mother of Christ’s human nature.[18] The scenario which D.E. seems to demand would directly contradict numerous Scriptural references and much magisterial teaching indicating that Adam had no antecedent other than God. It is fraught with contradictions, as well as irresolvable and unnecessary problems. On the other hand, if D.E. is capable of harmonizing the special creation of Adam, (body and soul) then this objection could be dropped. It remains theoretically an open question from this writer’s perspective albeit extremely problematic.[19] The author knows of no such assertion by D.E. proponents and is aware of no way to harmonize D.E. with the special creation of Adam body and soul. Obviously, I.D. of the human body utilizing a common design with variation on a theme could explain it since it would represent special creation of one first couple. This was clearly the issue which concerned Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis. Subsequent research in biology has not lessened the concern. It has only become more so.

2.) D.E.’s prediction of non-human animal ancestry for Humans (Adam and Eve) is contrary to DNA mutation rate studies, mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome data as well as morphological studies demonstrating that humans have no direct genetic, biochemical or morphological link to bi-pedal primates.[20] The basic scientific research data amassed over the past 15 years is growing; there is no pre-human (lower animal) bi-pedal primate to human ancestral connection. The supposed “missing link” remains undiscovered. This is suggestive of special Creation of Adam and Eve rather than D.E. which calls for common descent with modification from non-human animals. Accordingly, anthropologists should base their conclusions on the data at hand not that which is non-existent and called for by an a-priori commitment to D.E. alone as a total explanation for terrestrial life.[21]

3.) Constant magisterial teaching which holds that humans were directly (Specially) created by God from the “dust of the earth” that is non-living pre-existent matter not pre-existent living animals.

“Then The LORD God formed (bara and asa are both used in the biblical Hebrew with reference to the creation of humans, connoting something entirely new {presumably soul} and something already existent {presumably non-living matter referred to as “dust”}) man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being;’ Man whole and entire, is therefore willed by God.” (CCC # 362 and Gen. 2:7).


You should tell the Pope about this. How fortunate that we have people who are able to tell when the Pope has erred in matters of faith.

Fact is, we are animals. That is what our bodies are. The Church has no problems with the fact that humans evolved from other animals. Only when people assert that we are only our bodies, or that God had no role in our origin, is there a problem.


[quote=website]It is philosophically untenable to posit that God at some point placed a human soul in a non-human bi-pedal primate animal which would already have had its own organizing principle (form) in Aristotelian/Thomistic terms.

I would have thought that it was philosophically untenable to say that God was incapable of doing such a thing. Since the Catholic Church says that God can change the substance of something (as in transubstantiation) then it seems silly to deny that God can also change the form of something.

[quote=website]On the other hand, if D.E. is capable of harmonizing the special creation of Adam, (body and soul) then this objection could be dropped. It remains theoretically an open question from this writer’s perspective albeit extremely problematic.

Why? God can create a new adult male body, physically identical with members of an existing hominid species and also imbued with a human soul. He can then create a new adult female body from a rib of the male, and also imbued with a human soul. From the scientific point of view the new bodies will appear as members of the pre-existing species; from the religious point of view you have monogenism.

If I can think of this, then why is it beyond the author of this webpage to do so? I am not impressed.

[quote=webpage]2.) D.E.’s prediction of non-human animal ancestry for Humans (Adam and Eve) is contrary to DNA mutation rate studies, mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome data as well as morphological studies demonstrating that humans have no direct genetic, biochemical or morphological link to bi-pedal primates.[20]

Do you have the details of reference 20 please. Those assertions are false, and can be shown to be so. Just to take two, ourselves and Chimpanzees have identical Cytochrome-C, all other species have different Cytochrome-C. That is biochemical link to our primate ancestors. For a genetic link we have the same fault in our GULO gene as other apes, which is why neither we nor they can make our own vitamin-C.



Where can you find the Catholic position on evolution? Try reading Augustine of Hyppo.



Fact is, we are animals.[/QUOT]

The fact is, that statement is false for a number or reasons.


The fact is, that statement is false for a number of reasons.


We are, to be precise, primates, mammals, vertebrates, chordates, dueterostomes, metazoans, eukaryotes, living things.

We fit nicely into the nested hierarchy of our kind; living things on earth. That’s not all we are, of course. We also are spirits, immortal souls that are given to us by God. But our bodies are the results of billions of years of evolution.

That’s how God did it. Let Him be God.


Precisely. When God created the universe, He did it His way. He did not ask for my advice, and it would be presumptious of me now to tell Him how He should have done it.

As I have pointed out before, I live in Stone County, Arkansas – and amongst all the stones, I find plenty of fossils – remains of plants and animals that used to live here long ago.

But if I try to find those same plants and animals living here now, with a few exceptions, I can’t. They no longer exist. Nor do they exist anywhere else on earth. There has been a 98% turn over in living creatures here.

Furthermore, if I go into the fossil record at different levels, I find it happening over and over – an almost complete turnover in life forms.

But there** are** claddistic links between forms from one layer and those from the next. And more and more, we are beginning to find DNA links with earlier life forms.

Evolution isn’t a matter of belief – it’s a matter of science. And the Church accepts that.


To continue to offer proof of the obvious is to give credence to those that propose that there is a need for proof. The proof has existed for a good many years. Those who continue to deny evolution do not do so because of serious factual problems. They find evolution incompatible with their carefully constructed personal theology. That said, they then search out any and all “evidence” that supports this need. They are for the most part neither educated enough to sort through the evidence to determine legitimate science from the rest, but they are not motivated to seek any truth, but simply want “ammunition” to support their frightened beliefs.

The US, remains the only major country among the “advanced” that continues with this tired childish grade school discussion. We are laughed at around the world for this weird adherence to out moded conclusions. We have a long and sad history of anti-intellectualism in this country, in large part fostered by frightened religious fanatics. Better to let the uneducated local parents decide on school texts than actual teachers and academics who might actually know something. Such is the history that we adher to.


Ajith Abraham, IITA Professorship Program, Korea (co-chair)
Nadia Nedjah, State University of Rio de Janerio (co-chair)
Janos Abonyi, University of Veszprem, Hungary
Yuehui Chen, Jinan University, Jinan, China
Lakhmi Jain, University of South Australia, Australia
H. Kwasnicka, Wroclaw University of Technology, Poland
Etienne Kerre, Ghent University, Belgium
Janusz Kacprzyk, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
Marcin Paprzycki, SWPS, Poland
Jeng-Shyang Pan, National Kaohsiung University, Taiwan
P. Saratchandran, Nanyang University, Singapore

International Program Committee
Abdelhamid Bouchachia, Austria
Adil Baykasoglu, Turkey
Ajith Abraham, South Korea
Akshai Aggarwal, Canada
Albert Zomaya, Australia
Alexey Rodionov, Russia
Alireza Rashidi Komijan, Iran
Amin Milani Fard, Iran
Amparo Fuster-Sabater, SPAIN
Ana Madureira, PORTUGAL
Andreas König, Germany
Andrew Nelson, USA
Andri Riid, Estonia
Anna Bartkowiak, Poland
Anthony Brabazon, Ireland
Antonio Gaspar-Cunha, Portugal
Antonio Mesquita, Brazil
Aristides Hatjimihail, Greece
Arun Khosla, India
Ashish Umre, United Kingdom
Ayeley Tchangani, France
Bagus Arthaya, Indonesia
Baikunth Nath, Australia
Bernadetta Kwintiana Ane, Indonesia
Bing Nan LI, China
Brijesh Verma, Australia
Broderick Crawford, Chile
Carlos deMoura, Brazil
Chao-Chun Chen, Taiwan
Chin-Wei Bong, Malaysia
Chiu-Ching Tuan, Taiwan
Christian Blum, Spain
Chuan-Kang Ting, Taiwan
Costin Badica, Romania
Crina Grosan, Romania
Damminda Alahakoon, Australia
Daniel Merkle, Germany
Daniela Zaharie, Romania
David Monismith, USA
Debajyoti Mukhopadhyay, INDIA
Dilip Pratihar, India
Dongwon Kim, KOREA
Eduardo Hruschka, Brazil
Eduardo J. Solteiro Pires, Portugal
El-Ghazali TALBI, France
Elizabeth Goldbarg, Brasil
Emilio Corchado, Spain
Emmanuel Munguia Tapia, USA
Estevam Rafael Hruschka Jr., Brazil
Fernando Lyardet, Germany
Frank Klawonn, Germany
Gabriella Kokai, Germany
Georgios Sirakoulis, Greece
Grabot Bernard, France
Graham Kendall, UK
Gregg Vesonder, USA
Hae-Duck Joshua Jeong, South Korea
Halina Kwasnicka, Poland
He Guo, P.R.China
Hector Fraire, Mexico
Hongbo Liu, China
Hoon Joon Kouh, Republic of Korea
Huayang Xie, New Zealand
Hui Li, China
Ignacio Ponzoni, Argentina
Isabel S. Jesus, Portugal
Isabel S. Jesus, Portugal
Isabel Lopes Nunes, Portugal
Ivan Jordanov, UK
izzettin Temiz, Turkey
Jaime Davila, USA
Jaime Mora-Vargas, México
Jairo R. Montoya-Torres, Colombia
Janardan Misra, India
Janusz Kacprzyk, Poland
Javier Jesus Sanchez Medina, Spain
Jerzy Grzymala-Busse, USA
Jerzy Duda, Poland
Jessica Carballido, Argentina
Johann Dréo, France
Jong-Hyouk Lee, Korea
Jorge Núñez Mc Leod, Argentina
Jorge Amaral, BRAZIL
José Amaral, Brazil
Jose Alfredo F. Costa, Brazil
José Paulo Cunha, Brazil
Juan Flores, Mexico
Kamran Fatahi, IRAN
Kaori Yoshida, Japan
Katrin Franke, Germany
Ke Zhang, P. R. China
Keshav Dahal, United Kingdom
Khalid Saeed, Poland
Kiam Heong Ang, Singapore
Kin Fun Li, Canada
Kubilay Ecerkale, Turkey
Lahcene MITICHE, Algeria
Laura Diosan, Romania
Leandro Coelho, Brazil
Liang GAO, China
Lihe Zhang, China
Lino Costa, Portugal
Lisandro Lovisolo, Brazil
Lotfi Ben Romdhane, TUNISIA
Luiza Mourelle, Brazil
Lukas Sekanina, Czech Republic
Maolin Tang, Australia
Marcin Paprzycki, Poland
Marco Paulo Carrasco, Portugal
Maria Ganzha, Poland
Maria Blesa, Spain
Maria do Carmo Nicoletti, Brazil
Maria Luiza F. Velloso, Brazil
Mario Ventresca, Canada
Mario Koeppen, Japan
Mariusz Paradowski, Poland
Marley Vellasco, Brazil
Martine De Cock, Belgium
Masri Ayob, Malaysia
Matjaz Gams, Slovenia
Matteo Gagliolo, Switzerland
Maurice Clerc, France
Mehmet Aydin, UK
Mengjie Zhang, New Zealand
Michael O’Neill, Ireland
Michael Gourley, USA
Mohammad Reza Daliri, Italy
Mohd Helmy Abd Wahab, Malaysia
Monica Chis, Romania
Mustafa Mat Deris, Malaysia
Nadia Nedjah, Brazil
Nicomedes Cavalcanti, Brazil
omar al jadaan, india
Oscar Castillo, Mexico
Oscar Cornejo, Chile
Oscar Corcho, United Kingdom
Pandian Vasant, Malaysia
Patrick Siarry, France
Paulo Branco, Portugal
Paulo Moura Oliveira, Portugal
Petr Pošík, Czech Republic
Phuc Hiep Luong, France
Pierre-François Marteau, France
Prof. Dr. Nouri Taoufik, Switzerland
Qinglei Hu, China
Qinjun Du, china
Rajesh R, India
Ramin Halavati, Iran
Ramiro Barbosa, Portugal
Raquel Barco, Spain
René Witte, Germany
Reza Ebrahimpour, Iran
Roman Neruda, Czech Republic
Ruibin Bai, UK
Ruqiang Yan, USA
Rustem Popa, Romania
Sadok BEN YAHIA, Tunisia
Selva Rivera, Argentina
Sezgin Kilic, Turkey
Shahid Butt, Pakistan
Sharon Cox, UK
Son Doan, Japan
Sorinel Oprisan, USA
Suash Deb, India
Sugata Sanyal, INDIA
Sung-Bae Cho, Korea
Swagatam Das, India
Sylvain Piechowiak, France
Tanveer Siddiqui, India
Tarek Bouktir, Algeria
Thanasis Daradoumis, Spain
Thanh Ha Dang, France
Thomas Hanne, Germany
Tsung-Che Chiang, Taiwan, R.O.C.
Urszula Markowska-Kaczmar, Poland
Vaclav Snasel, Czech Republic
Venkata Reddy Muppani, India
Viorel Negru, Romania
Weiwu Wang, China
Wilfried Elmenreich, Austria
xiangguang zhang, China
Xiao-Jun Zeng, U.K.
Xiao-Zhi Gao, Finland
Xiyu Liu, PR China
Yan Yang, P. R. China
yan peng, china
Yiliang Han, China
Yu-Jiu Yang, China
Yuehui Chen, China
Yun-Chia Liang, Taiwan
Yusuke Nojima, Japan
Zhigang Zeng, Wuhan University of Technology

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit