Creation


#1

Hello All,

One of the biggest and most contentious theological/scientefic issues out there is the issue of Creation. There are three major opinions on the subject: 7 Day Creation, Intelligent Design, and Dawinian Evolution. I personally favor Intelligent Design. I want to get a sense of what most Catholics believe on the subject.

  1. 7 Day Creation: The Biblical account of Creation is literally true.

  2. Intelligent Design: God used Natural Forces to Create the Universe and Life over a long period of time.

  3. Darwinian Evolution: The Origins of the Universe can be atributed to Natural Causes alone and not to any Higher Power.


#2

I also favor Intelligent Design, although I cannot discount the possiblility of literal seven-day creation if one allows for the possibility that God could have created the earth in a way that reflected a prolonged development.

For example, God could have created the earth in a day, but have done so in a way which indicated prior existence. He could have created the earth complete with fossil records, etc. There is absolutely no way to scientfically disprove such a possibility, so I must accept the possibility that it could be true.


#3

[quote=DavidFilmer]I also favor Intelligent Design, although I cannot discount the possiblility of literal seven-day creation if one allows for the possibility that God could have created the earth in a way that reflected a prolonged development.

For example, God could have created the earth in a day, but have done so in a way which indicated prior existence. He could have created the earth complete with fossil records, etc. There is absolutely no way to scientfically disprove such a possibility, so I must accept the possibility that it could be true.
[/quote]

Doesn’t this make God deceptive: burying fossils that look like they have been there for millions of years and that humans, in good faith, would naturally be led to believe have been there for millions of years, when in fact they are only six thousand years old?


#4

[quote=aridite]Doesn’t this make God deceptive: burying fossils that look like they have been there for millions of years and that humans, in good faith, would naturally be led to believe have been there for millions of years, when in fact they are only six thousand years old?
[/quote]

Consider the multiplication of the loaves and fishes. It’s not especailly miraculous that wheat and fish multiply - we see it happen all the time. But we don’t normally see it happen in the manner that happened on those plains. Jesus did not do something completely “unnatural” (such as create a meal from thin air), but, in a sense, he “sped up” the natural process.

Could (or, would) Jesus have accomplished this miracle if the young boy (or some other) had not offered to share his supper? Theologians debate this point, but I say no.

LIkewise, God could have, in the act of Creation, have decided to “speed up” the process. He could have created a “mature” world, with all the signs of youth, but without the actual events of youth having occured. As they say in the movies, God “cut to the chase.”

So what if we think these artifacts are eons old? That’s how God WOULD have done it, if He had actually bothered with the “insignificant” bits. Maybe He did, and maybe He didn’t - we simply cannot say for sure.

It’s a possibility. And it cannot be disproved.


#5

OK, I’ll vote Darwinian evolution, which I’ll define as follows from the July 2004 International Theological Commission statement

RATZINGER: “Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution…In freely willing to create and conserve the universe, God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce. Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation…But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation.” (paragraphs 62-70, excerpts from Communion and Stewardship)

A vote for Darwinian evolution is a vote for the Pope. :smiley:

Summary:

(1) Macroevolution (descent with modification) of all existing life on this planet from a first life some 3 billion years ago is called “virtually certain”

(2) The evidence for macroevolution (descent with modification) is well supported from converging evidence from many sciences.

(3) God can create and act through natural causes and this is compatible with divine providence.

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.” (Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, chapter 14, last sentence, maintained from 2nd to 6th and final edition of 1872)

I’m all for an “intelligent designer” (e.g. specifically, the God of the Bible) but is “Intelligent Design” scientific? No, it hasn’t made it’s case to the scientific community yet. Michael Behe (along with William Dembski) is probably the best they got, but even he accepts descent with modification, including human evolution. See his many debates with (Catholic biologist) Kenneth Miller from Brown Univ.

Phil P


#6

These do not have to mutually exclusive propositions. For instace it is said that a thousand years is as a day to God, others say that the lifetime of a man is a twinkling in God’s eye. Therefore, if creation is compressed into six days (for on the seventh God rested) then the first two become largely reconciled.

As to evolution, one must only remember that it is a scientific theory, that is that it attempts to describe what happens by looking at the end results. Its problem lies in two things, one we do not have a perfect understanding of the end to be able to give a perfect picture of what came before, and two, it is being perverted by those who wish to attack religion. Creation describes these same events from the begining and cause, that is God, as does intelligent design.

When human understanding is perfected we will find that science and religion will say the same thing. Science is trying to describe what the Church already accepts on faith.


#7

OK I replied without reading the definitions.

<< (2) Intelligent Design: God used Natural Forces to Create the Universe and Life over a long period of time. >>

That is not intelligent design but THEISTIC EVOLUTION, which is what I accept. And the Church too if you see the statement I quoted above.

<< (3) Darwinian Evolution: The Origins of the Universe can be atributed to Natural Causes alone and not to any Higher Power. >>

That is not Darwinian Evolution but metaphysical naturalism. You are quoting Dawkins, not Darwin. :slight_smile:

I already quoted the last sentence of the Origin of Species, and Darwin refers to a Creator at least seven times in that book.

See Charles Darwin and Intelligent Design by Denis Lamoureux, an “evolutionary creationist.”

Nope you shouldn’t re-define Intelligent Design. Intelligent Design simply means the “Design” can be detected “scientifically.” But it encompasses young-earthers, old-earthers, even flat-earthers and geocentrists can be “intelligent design.” It does not mean God used “natural forces to create the universe.” That is the classic definition of “theistic evolution” NOT “Intelligent Design” (capital ID). Most “Intelligent Design” people are against theistic evolution. Sorry, your poll is wrong. :smiley:

Phil P


#8

BTW, if you know anything about the “Intelligent Design” movement it says nothing about the “age of the earth.” They are silent about the issue. You should read the “Wedge” document. Paul Nelson one of the ID leaders and founders of the “Discovery Institute” is a young-earther I believe, and he rejects “common descent.” God created all the major “kinds” in six days a couple thousand years ago is his idea of “Intelligent Design.”

So a vote for “Intelligent Design” in this poll is a vote for the Pope and for theistic evolution. Hooray.

And my latest article, sent to me from a Ph.D. in physics. Speculative but interesting, its on human evolution. Don’t be afraid. :rolleyes:

Phil P


#9

I choose intelligent design but that was before I read your description of it. I believe God could have done it in a short period of time, or a long one. I do not believe in any form of evolution. Why? because science deos not support the theory, but actually disproves darwinism and evolution. If you don’t believe me you should get a few good books on intelligent design.


#10

I chose 7 day creation,the bible states it was 7 days,then thats good enough for me!


#11

[quote=DavidFilmer]So what if we think these artifacts are eons old? That’s how God WOULD have done it, if He had actually bothered with the “insignificant” bits. Maybe He did, and maybe He didn’t - we simply cannot say for sure.

It’s a possibility. And it cannot be disproved.
[/quote]

You’re right that this is within the scope of divine power, and no, it cannot be disproved, since any evidence advanced against it can be construed as consistent with the theory. But by this standard, there are infinite implausible possibilities that cannot be disproved. For instance, that the universe was created 5 seconds ago, and we came into being with memories of a life that didn’t exist. This is not evidence in favor of this theory. This only shows it is conceivable.

While God could have buried fossils of dinosaurs that never roamed the earth, I still think it would be, at best, pointless for him to do so, and deceptive, at worst.


#12

I think Genesis hides as much as it reveals.

It does however tell us several important things like - God everything, and that the present creation is in a fallen state because of mans own free choice.


#13

There’s a lot of symbolism in numbers. The Bible states six days for creation (He rested on the seventh day), but this may not be entirely as it would appear. 6 = 2 x 3, and there are two “phases” in the creation: 1) creating stuff, 2) seperating stuff (light from dark, land from water, etc). Three is symbolic (in Biblical terms) for “enough” (it is often representative of two things, “opposites,” plus a third unifier). Thus, God made the earth by seperating things first, and then by creating more things (such as animals), and he used “enough” time to do both adequately.


#14

[quote=RikasAngel]Hello All,

One of the biggest and most contentious theological/scientefic issues out there is the issue of Creation. There are three major opinions on the subject: 7 Day Creation, Intelligent Design, and Dawinian Evolution. I personally favor Intelligent Design. I want to get a sense of what most Catholics believe on the subject.

  1. 7 Day Creation: The Biblical account of Creation is literally true.
    [/quote]

Oh, it’s literally true - that is common ground: what is disputed, is what is “sign-ified” by the meaning of the letter: yom is translated correctly as “day” - it does not follow, that what is sign-ified in this context, is that God created al things in 6x24(=144) hours of 60 minutes each.

A complication: did the author(s) mean that the world was created in 144 hours ? Quite possibly - especially of the text is designed to draw attention to the Sabbath. This question of who intended what & how, is a bit tangled - as we are not the original readers of the narrative, we can’t expect the first readers to share our ideas about the universe. ##

  1. Intelligent Design: God used Natural Forces to Create the Universe and Life over a long period of time.

  2. Darwinian Evolution: The Origins of the Universe can be atributed to Natural Causes alone and not to any Higher Power.

I believe God created all things, but not in six days :slight_smile: I believe there is a process of Christ-centred continuous creation by evolution.


#15

There is a verse in Scripture (I cannot remember where right now) that says that One day for God is a thousand years and a thousand years, one day. For God, there is no time, the measurement of time was created by man. For God, time is eternal, no beginning or end. The writer of the creation story is mentioning that God is the creator of the universe and all that exists in it. How it was done is not explained. All we have is that “God created . . . .”


#16

Here is something that can help Catholics view on Creation I’m still deciding for myself how much evolution I want to believe. I don’t agree with the big bang but I do believe in some evolution. Here are some Protestants on Creation


#17

[quote=D Quintero]Here is something that can help Catholics view on Creation I’m still deciding for myself how much evolution I want to believe. I don’t agree with the big bang but I do believe in some evolution. Here are some Protestants on Creation
[/quote]

Why don’t you accept the big bang theory?

Peace

Tim


#18

I believe God created everything. He is the Source.

I accept evolution as fact because all scientific evidence that I am aware of points to it and no scientific evidence that I am aware of points away from it.

I believe evolution is the tool God has used to generate the diversity of life on earth.

Peace

Tim


#19

[quote=Orogeny]Why don’t you accept the big bang theory?

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

I basicaly agree with this
"Another specially strong aspect of the design argument is the so-called anthropic principle, according to which the universe seems to have been specially designed from the beginning for human life to evolve. If the temperature of the primal fireball that resulted from the Big Bang some fifteen to twenty billion years ago, which was the beginning of our universe, had been a trillionth of a degree colder or hotter, the carbon molecule that is the foundation of all organic life could never have developed. The number of possible universes is trillions of trillions; only one of them could support human life: this one. Sounds suspiciously like a plot. If the cosmic rays had bombarded the primordial slime at a slightly different angle or time or intensity, the hemoglobin molecule, necessary for all warm-blooded animals, could never have evolved. The chance of this molecule’s evolving is something like one in a trillion trillion. Add together each of the chances and you have something far more unbelievable than a million monkeys writing Hamlet.

There are relatively few atheists among neurologists and brain surgeons and among astrophysicists, but many among psychologists, sociologists, and historians. The reason seems obvious: the first study divine design, the second study human undesign.

But doesn’t evolution explain everything without a divine Designer? Just the opposite; evolution is a beautiful example of design, a great clue to God. There is very good scientific evidence for the evolving, ordered appearance of species, from simple to complex. But there is no scientific proof of natural selection as the mechanism of evolution, Natural selection “explains” the emergence of higher forms without intelligent design by the survival-of-the-fittest principle. But this is sheer theory. There is no evidence that abstract, theoretical thinking or altruistic love make it easier for man to survive. How did they evolve then? "
From Peter Kreeft

Peace


#20

[quote=PhilVaz]OK, I’ll vote Darwinian evolution, which I’ll define as follows from the July 2004 International Theological Commission statement

RATZINGER: “Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution…In freely willing to create and conserve the universe, God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce. Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation…But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation.” (paragraphs 62-70, excerpts from Communion and Stewardship)

A vote for Darwinian evolution is a vote for the Pope. :smiley:

Summary:

(1) Macroevolution (descent with modification) of all existing life on this planet from a first life some 3 billion years ago is called “virtually certain”

(2) The evidence for macroevolution (descent with modification) is well supported from converging evidence from many sciences.

(3) God can create and act through natural causes and this is compatible with divine providence.

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.” (Charles Darwin, Origin of Species, chapter 14, last sentence, maintained from 2nd to 6th and final edition of 1872)

I’m all for an “intelligent designer” (e.g. specifically, the God of the Bible) but is “Intelligent Design” scientific? No, it hasn’t made it’s case to the scientific community yet. Michael Behe (along with William Dembski) is probably the best they got, but even he accepts descent with modification, including human evolution. See his many debates with (Catholic biologist) Kenneth Miller from Brown Univ.

Phil P
[/quote]

Some Theologians On All This:

http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/aquinas/q1.74.shtml

http://capo.org/cpc/lavallee.htm
[list]
*]http://www.newadvent.org/summa/107400.htm
*]http://www.newadvent.org/summa/107401.htm
*]http://www.newadvent.org/summa/107402.htm
*]http://www.newadvent.org/summa/107403.htm
[/list]http://www.dabar.org/Theology/Hodge/HodgeV1/P1_C10.htm

(for a Calvinist account) ##


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