Creation, Thomistic Philosophy, and the Natural Sciences


#242

Yes, I agree it appears that the most obvious sense of the Genesis 2:7 text is that God formed Adam’s body from inanimate material, the ‘dust of the ground’, and then infused the rational soul into it which animates the body where it continues and ‘breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being’. The CCC also gives this interpretation to the last part of the text of 2:7 concerning the human rational soul. I don’t dispute this text of Genesis for I believe it to be literally true and that God miraculously and immediately created the first man Adam both as to soul and body as well as the first woman, Adam’s wife Eve, from Adam’s side or rib.

What I said about Jesus breathing on the disciples and saying to them ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ and connecting this breathing to God breathing into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life is like an analogy of the former with the later, Jesus connecting the New Testament with the Old Testament as he is the author of both and confirming as it were the divine inspiration and truth of the Old Testament text. The quotes I gave above from St Irenaeus and St Augustine and the analogies they write about concerning the Old Testament with the New Testament follows this same sort of analogy I brought up about the ‘breathing’ concerning Adam’s creation and Jesus breathing on the disciples. There is also the analogy between the creation of Eve from the side of the sleeping Adam and the birth of the Church, the bride of Christ, from the sleeping Christ on the cross when he was pierced with a lance and out flowed blood and water, symbols of the two great sacraments of the Church, namely, the eucharist and baptism. All these analogies and figures of the Old Testament with the New Testament, the sacred writers of the Old Testament probably did not know, definitely without a divine revelation, would be fulfilled in some analogous manner in Christ and the New Testament. But God, the principle author of Sacred Scripture, was guiding their writing and so I see in all these analogies and figures of the Old Testament in the New Testament the divine inspiration and truth of the Old Testament scriptures whose principle author is God himself guiding the writing of the sacred human authors.


#243

While not conceived in the natural way Jesus was truly Mary’s son.

I’ve always seen the comparison as Jesus took away the sin that Adam brought into the world.


#244

Here is an interesting point about Genesis 2:7 that you may not be aware of: In the Hebrew, the word “formed” in this verse is unique in the Old Tesament, for it features two ‘yods’ - a ‘yod’ looks like an apostrophe (’). Every other use of the word “formed” in the OT features just a single ‘yod’. For example, Genesis 2:19 says “the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air” - the word “formed” here features only one ‘yod’.

The significance of the double ‘yod’ in the word “formed” in Genesis 2:7 is that Adam was or will be formed" TWICE. Thus, there are two possible interpreatations:
(a) Adam was formed (1) in PHYSICAL sense, and (2) in a SPIRITUAL sense; or
(b) Adam was formed for (1) an earthly life, and (2) a resurrected life.


#245

Evolution doesn’t stand against Thomistic Metaphysics.


#246

Interesting. No, I was not aware of that. Thanks.


#247

Here is also an interesting article I came across one day on the internet doing some research into the hebrew words (et)“את” and (v’et)“וְאֵ֥ת” in Genesis 1:1 which you may find interesting. These words are also found in other places in Genesis 1 and other texts of the Old Testament. I believe they are called particles in hebrew language grammer but I believe their precise meaning and function is controversial or debatable among biblical scholars and they appear to be difficult to translate into the english language. At any rate, the following link concerns a discussion about these particles on hermeneutics.stackexchange.com that I came across and the third answer from Revelation Lad to the question proposed I thought was quite interesting. By a study of these particle words in Genesis 1-3, he came up with some pretty interesting observations.

https://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4933/meaning-of-et%D7%90%D7%AA-and-vet%D7%95%D6%B0%D7%90%D6%B5%D6%A5%D7%AA-in-genesis-11


#248

The genealogies in the OT is a fascinating study especially the genealogies of the ancient patriarchs from Adam to Abraham and the ages and years assigned to them. In regards to the pre-Abrahamic geneaologies, it appears there is little doubt that the sacred writer/s or sacred redactor/s were interested in some manner in a kind of ‘sacred numerology’ or the significance of the meaning of numbers though not necessarily and exclusively so. There happens to be a kind of harmonious or symmetrical numerical sequence in the years that are assigned to these patriarchs in various ways and there appears to be a sacred, theological, symbolic meaning to the apparent numerical sequences beyond the literal or real numerical values. What the precise symbolic or sacred numerological meaning/s may be is debatable and various interpretations have been offered by scholars and church fathers such as St Augustine. A lot has been written on this topic. The following are some links to some interesting articles I found on the web:

http://www.theopedie.com/IMG/pdf/pscf12-03hill.pdf

http://jbburnett.com/resources/ot/christensen-patr-ages.pdf

(Disclaimer: linked articles do not necessarily express my own personal views in all that is said in them and the various authors’ interpretations and opinions. For example, in the second article from Duane L. Christensen where he has two first born columns on page 1, these so-called ‘first born’ are not necessarily the first born of their fathers nor even the patriarch’s immediate children but possibly grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on. We know this from studies of other genealogy texts in the Bible including the gospel genealogies of Jesus. St. Augustine was attune to this in his book ‘The City of God.’ I offer these articles as a kind of introduction to the apparent symmetry of the ages of the ancient patriarchs in the OT.)


#249


(Creation of Eve by Michelangelo, ceiling of Sistine Chapel, Rome)

So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh; and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed (Gen. 2: 21-24).


#250

creator of all visible and invisible things of the spiritual and of the corporal . … by his own omnipotent power at once (simul) from the beginning of time created each (utramque) creature from nothing, spiritual and corporal namely angelic and mundane and finally the human, constituted as it were, alike of the spirit and the body (DZ 428) teaching on Creation by the Fourth Lateran Council


#251

Adam was the first man (Councils of Carthage, 418; Trent, 1546). He was created in the state of immortality (Trent, Pontifical Biblical Commission 1909). The first woman was created from the rib of the first man (Encyclical Arcanum Divinae Sapientiae, 1880). Death didn’t enter into the world before the original sin of Adam (Romans 5:12; Council of Orange, 539; and Council of Trent). The historicity of these matters cannot be called into question PBC 1909)


#252

As it was His own goodness that influenced Him when He did all things whatsoever He would, so in the work of creation He followed no external form or model; but contemplating, and as it were imitating, the universal model contained in the divine intelligence, the supreme Architect, with infinite wisdom and power, attributes peculiar to the Divinity, created all things in the beginning. Let all the earth fear the Lord, and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of him. He spoke and they were made: he commanded and they were created Ps 33:8-9


#253

Your brain is like 100 billion mini-computers all working together

Each of our brain cells could work like a mini-computer, according to the first recording of electrical activity in human cells at a super-fine level of detail.

Natural Selection, random mutations, time, and blind unguided chance are really amazing…:grinning:


#254

We’re here because we’re here. And… uh… that’s it, right? I think it’s a bit more complicated and guided than that.


#255

MIndlessness is so incredibly brainy!
If I become mindless, perhaps I will become incredibly brainy too!


#256

Despite claims to the contrary, I think I will stick with the Martyrology of the Catholic Church, which implies Adam was created in about 5199BC. I assume that the scholars who came up with this date were experts in the field of biblical history and were thoroughly familiar with any ambiguities and uncertainties implicit in the genealogies described in Scripture.


#257

It’s amazing that I was once a bag-like sea creature that kept upgrading and upgrading. And human brains, upgrading and upgrading, allegedly over a great span of time.


#258

Thank you for the link. Yes, the human brain is incredibly amazing and this is just one organ of the body.

Here are some fascinating facts about the human brain that I googled and placed on another thread some time ago on this forum:

  • It is estimated that the brain is composed of 100 billion neuron cells, approximately 3 times as many glial cells, trillions upon trillions of synapse connections between the neuron cells, i.e, it is estimated that each neuron cell makes anywhere from approx. 1000-10,000 synapse connections with other neuron cells;

  • each neuron cell contains the entire human genome or DNA molecule which is composed of approximately 3 billion nucleotide base pairs and roughly 204 billion elemental atoms arranged in precision order;

  • it is also postulated that the human brain can process 1 exoflop (thats 10 to the power of 18 or 1 followed by 18 zeros) calculations per second using only 12-20 watts of power or energy; a recent study has suggested that the human brain can store the entire internet in its memory.

Some human DNA facts:

  • If all the DNA in a single human cell was placed end to end it would be six feet long.

  • If all the DNA in all of the cells in a human body was placed end to end it would reach the sun and back 194 times! That is approx. 35 trillion cells x 6 feet divided by 93 million miles = 388.

  • The number of elemental atoms in the DNA alone in the human body is roughly 7.14e+24 ( 7.14 followed by 24 zeros = approx. 35 trillion cells x 204 billion).


#259

The Hebrew calendar gives the current year as 5779.


#260

That’s fine. If one adds up all the years listed in the Bible from Adam to Jesus, the number comes up to about what you say. I’m not sure it was the sacred writer’s intent to give a precise chronological history of the human race from Adam to Abraham. Without a divine revelation, he would be working with whatever sources and traditions he had at hand and were passed down through the ages. It is interesting that the pre-Abrahamic lineages of the ancient patriarchs and the years listed do form various numerical seemingly ‘symbolic’ patterns that reasonably appears to be purposely laid down by the sacred writer and not just coincidental. I think what we have here is both literal and symbolic meanings of scripture and the same goes in my opinion to the creation ‘days’ of the Genesis creation narrative. I think these days have both a literal and symbolic meaning at one and the same time, i. e, they can be taken as 24 hour days in one sense in conformity with a human 7 day week with the Sabbath rest and indefinite periods of time, God days as it were, in another sense which could be understood more or less with the mainstream science of the long ages of the world.


#261

“The first effect of not believing in God, is that you lose your common sense.” GK Chesterton


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