creationism and evolution


#1

Does anyone know what the Vatican’s stance on evolution and creationism is?


#2

Uh oh I see the word “evolution” which means I gotta post in this thread. A nice short article is already in the library

Adam, Eve, and Evolution

Also this article on Evolution and the Magisterium is nice, covers human evolution

Basically, Pius XII in 1950 said “evolution is okay to be studied but be careful,” then John Paul II in 1996 said “all right, we cry uncle, evolution is probably true, but we still gotta be careful.” Well not in those exact words. :smiley:

If you wanna really learn about evolution from a science perspective, read TalkOrigins

From a generic Christian perspective the American Scientific Affiliation is quite good.

Stay away from AnswersInGenesis or ICR or DrDino please… :stuck_out_tongue:

Phil P


#3

[quote=PhilVaz] Uh oh I see the word “evolution” which means I gotta post in this thread.
[/quote]

Indeed, you are always there, aren’t you Philvaz :slight_smile: Good to see you…I’ve been away for a while.

Yeah, not quite in those words…and not quite meaning that either. The Church has not indicated it is “probably true”. John Paul II merely said it appears to be more than just a hypothesis. Which merely means, he believes there are elements of truth in it. It is therefore worthwhile to look into the theory.

The truth of the matter is that the Church merely permits the scientific exploration, and acknowleges that we cannot just throw out the whole theory, because there appears to be some truth contained in it.

This is not, in the least, an acknowlegement that the theory of evolution is true. We are free to accept or reject it.

I happen to be one of the people who reject it. :smiley:

It is fair to say that talkorigins gives the scientific perspective. However, talkorigins does not discuss the philosophical consequences of acceptance of that “science”. I believe Catholics do need to consider the philosophical consequences of belief in evolution. We need to ask the question, "does this agree with the truths God has revealed to us through the Word, and through the Church? If it does not agree, then the theory is in error.

Those consequences (the conflicts with Catholic teaching) are the very reason I reject evolution. I trust God’s revealed truth much more than man’s revealed truth.


#4

[quote=Chris W]It is fair to say that talkorigins gives the scientific perspective. However, talkorigins does not discuss the philosophical consequences of acceptance of that “science”. I believe Catholics do need to consider the philosophical consequences of belief in evolution. We need to ask the question, "does this agree with the truths God has revealed to us through the Word, and through the Church? If it does not agree, then the theory is in error.
[/quote]

Either that or we don’t understand the revealed truth completely.

Those consequences (the conflicts with Catholic teaching) are the very reason I reject evolution. I trust God’s revealed truth much more than man’s revealed truth.

No problem there. I would argue, though, that evolution is God’s revealed truth. He just revealed it though a massive amount of evidence and through the gift of intellect He gave us.

Peace

Tim


#5

[quote=Orogeny] Either that or we don’t understand the revealed truth completely.
[/quote]

Agreed. A third option does exists. This third option is possible with regard to evolution too.

Perhaps scientists do not properly understand the evidence they examine, when they conclude evolution occurred. There are a great many sub-theories on which the theory of evolution depends, any of which, if wrong, could cause the failure of the theory of evolution.

[quote=Orogeny] I would argue, though, that evolution is God’s revealed truth. He just revealed it though a massive amount of evidence and through the gift of intellect He gave us.

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

We’ll see, I guess. For now, I cannot accept it, and I am free, as a Catholic, to reject it.

I think Catholic evolutionists should be alarmed at where the theory of evolution is heading (abiogenesis). I believe this theory is anti-Creator and therefore anti-God. The worst of evils are those that are subtle.


#6

[quote=Chris W]Perhaps scientists do not properly understand the evidence they examine, when they conclude evolution occurred.
[/quote]

No doubt that is a possibility.

There are a great many sub-theories on which the theory of evolution depends, any of which, if wrong, could cause the failure of the theory of evolution.

Such as?

We’ll see, I guess. For now, I cannot accept it, and I am free, as a Catholic, to reject it.

As I am free, as a Catholic, to accept it.

I think Catholic evolutionists should be alarmed at where the theory of evolution is heading (abiogenesis). I believe this theory is anti-Creator and therefore anti-God. The worst of evils are those that are subtle.

Abiogenisis and evolution are different things. Evolution can exist quite well without ever dealing with how life began.

Peace

Tim


#7

[quote=Chris W]I think Catholic evolutionists should be alarmed at where the theory of evolution is heading (abiogenesis). I believe this theory is anti-Creator and therefore anti-God. The worst of evils are those that are subtle.
[/quote]

No, I think it just advances the plane of inquiry back a bit further.

In abiogenesis, biochemists would ask how could simple living things arise from non-living chemicals (which also involves questions of what we define as “life”). But beyond that, there is still the question of where did non-living chemicals come from. At this point physicists could point to the “Big Bang” as the point of creation of matter, and stellar events like nuclear fusion in stars and in supernovae for the creation of heavier elements.

But this still leaves plenty of room for a creator - how and why did a “Big Bang” happen? And, to me, a more interesting question, why is it that matter behaves the way it does? Why is it that a few relatively simple concepts - the behavior of electrons in atoms or groups of atoms, along with some longer-range electrostatic forces can give rise to incredibly complex behavior? This, to me, is the work of God - to create nature in such a way that it can do these wonderful things. Does this glorify God any less than assuming that God must have intervened specifically to create the first cell, or the first protein and DNA molecules, or whatever else would be required if we must reject abiogenesis?


#8

[quote=Bobby Jim]No, I think it just advances the plane of inquiry back a bit further.

In abiogenesis, biochemists would ask how could simple living things arise from non-living chemicals (which also involves questions of what we define as “life”). But beyond that, there is still the question of where did non-living chemicals come from. At this point physicists could point to the “Big Bang” as the point of creation of matter, and stellar events like nuclear fusion in stars and in supernovae for the creation of heavier elements.

But this still leaves plenty of room for a creator - how and why did a “Big Bang” happen? And, to me, a more interesting question, why is it that matter behaves the way it does? Why is it that a few relatively simple concepts - the behavior of electrons in atoms or groups of atoms, along with some longer-range electrostatic forces can give rise to incredibly complex behavior? This, to me, is the work of God - to create nature in such a way that it can do these wonderful things. Does this glorify God any less than assuming that God must have intervened specifically to create the first cell, or the first protein and DNA molecules, or whatever else would be required if we must reject abiogenesis?
[/quote]

AMEN!

We could also note an article in today’s Jewish World Review which is probably not to the liking of Philvaz or Orogeny and our other religiously staunch evolutionists:

jewishworldreview.com/0105/homnick_evolution.php3

Newman60


#9

Newman60,

Since you obviously know me well, what, as a “religiously staunch evolutionist”, do I disagree with in Bobby Jim’s post?

As far as the opinion piece you linked to, I noticed that the author specifically stayed away from challenging evolution with science. Why do you think that is?

Peace

Tim


#10

The Vatican embraces evolution but frowns on Darwinism, and I have no idea what the view is on creationism.


#11

[quote=Orogeny] Such as?
[/quote]

Are you really insinuating that evolution does not rest on other theories? If you are serious, I will provide examples, but that would pretty much start another new debate wouldn’t it?

[quote=Orogeny] As I am free, as a Catholic, to accept it.
[/quote]

Indeed. No argument there.

[quote=Orogeny] Abiogenisis and evolution are different things. Evolution can exist quite well without ever dealing with how life began.

Tim
[/quote]

Ahhh. A point that theistic evolutionists insist on so emphatically, but a distinction that is rarely if ever mentioned by atheistic evolutionists, including on talkorigins.com.

I didn’t say evolution cannot exist without aboigenesis. Abiogensis is just the next step in the study of evolution.


#12

[quote=Bobby Jim] No, I think it just advances the plane of inquiry back a bit further…

…there is still the question of where did non-living chemicals come from…

…how and why did a “Big Bang” happen? And, to me, a more interesting question, why is it that matter behaves the way it does?

…This, to me, is the work of God - to create nature in such a way that it can do these wonderful things. ?
[/quote]

Thank you for explaining exactly why I say evolution is anti-creator and anti-God.

What you have said, if I understand you correctly, is that perhaps God is the Creator of matter, but not necessarily the Creator of life.

I am pretty sure, as Catholics, we are supposed to believe God is the Creator of life. In fact, I suspect this is precisely why Philvaz and Orogeny insist that abiogenesis is NOT part of the theory of evolution.

[quote=Bobby Jim] Does this glorify God any less than assuming that God must have intervened specifically to create the first cell, or the first protein and DNA molecules, or whatever else would be required if we must reject abiogenesis?
[/quote]

Yes. It does Bobby Jim. In your theory, God is not the Creator of life. He is merely the creator of matter, and He supposedly just happened to design things in such a way that non living matter became living matter all on its own. These are very different things. And I have to believe that most Christians in general (not just Catholics) would vehemently disagree with your approach.


#13

[quote=Chris W]Yes. It does Bobby Jim. In your theory, God is not the Creator of life. He is merely the creator of matter, and He supposedly just happened to design things in such a way that non living matter became living matter all on its own. These are very different things. And I have to believe that most Christians in general (not just Catholics) would vehemently disagree with your approach.
[/quote]

Really now - I don’t see the distinction as sharply as that. In my theory (which is not “my” theory), God is not “merely the creator of matter”. Indeed, God is the creator of matter, and all of nature, and he is also the creator of souls and all that we would call “supernatural”. I don’t think “my” theory denies the supernatural, or that God can and does intervene in specific ways in the material world. Nor does it deny that God is the author of life.

A trivial example - I grow some wheat, grind it into flour, and make bread. Then before I eat it, I thank God for it - “Blessed are you, Lord God of all creation, through your goodness we have this bread to offer, which earth has given and human hands have made…” Why? I grew it and I made it, right? Why do I say it’s through His goodness that we have this bread? God certainly didn’t specially create the grains of wheat from which my plants grew - they came from a previous harvest of wheat, which itself came from a previous harvest of wheat and the hard work of farmers, and natural things like sunlight and photosynthesis, and so on from time immemorial. But somehow I still acknowledge that God was responsible. Does it matter whether I hypothesize that God specially created the first life single-celled life form, or the very first grain of wheat, or that God created the matter which eventually became the first life form through some natural process? Do any of these fail to acknowlege that God is the creator of the bread on my table, and that everything I have is a gift from God, whether it is 6 thousand, 2 billion, or 12 billion years removed from the specific act of God’s creation?


#14

[quote=Chris W]Yes. It does Bobby Jim. In your theory, God is not the Creator of life. He is merely the creator of matter, and He supposedly just happened to design things in such a way that non living matter became living matter all on its own. These are very different things. And I have to believe that most Christians in general (not just Catholics) would vehemently disagree with your approach.
[/quote]

I think you misunderstand “my” theory… God is not merely the creator of Matter - he is the author of nature, and of all that we would call supernatural - souls, for instance. Nor does my theory imply that God can not or would not intervene in the physical world at specific points in history, or that God is remote from us.

If I grow wheat and use it to make bread, I thank God for that gift. Why? I did all the work. But somehow I acknowledge that God created it, and without him I couldn’t do anything. He didn’t create that particular wheat out of nothing - it grew from seeds from a previous harvest, which itself came from a previous harvest, and the work of human hands, and sunlight, and other natural processes. We can hypothesize that God created the first grain of wheat 6,000 years ago, and human and natural processes took over from there. Or we can hypothesize that God specially assembled some DNA and proteins and other stuff into the first primitive cell 2 billion years ago, and natural processes (and eventually human processes) took over from there. Or we can hypothesize that God created all of nature 12 billion years ago, including chemicals that somehow “on their own” came together to form living things, including, eventually, the wheat. But no matter what, I still acknowledge that God is the creator of the bread on my table.


#15

[quote=Chris W]Are you really insinuating that evolution does not rest on other theories? If you are serious, I will provide examples, but that would pretty much start another new debate wouldn’t it?
[/quote]

How about starting with those theories that you can show to be incorrect based on scientific evidence.

Ahhh. A point that theistic evolutionists insist on so emphatically, but a distinction that is rarely if ever mentioned by atheistic evolutionists, including on talkorigins.com.

Regardless, abiogenesis is not evolution.

I didn’t say evolution cannot exist without aboigenesis. Abiogensis is just the next step in the study of evolution.

Not necessarily.

Peace

Tim


#16

[quote=Chris W]What you have said, if I understand you correctly, is that perhaps God is the Creator of matter, but not necessarily the Creator of life.
[/quote]

No, he is saying that God is the creator of everything.

I am pretty sure, as Catholics, we are supposed to believe God is the Creator of life.

Which is precisely what I believe.

In fact, I suspect this is precisely why Philvaz and Orogeny insist that abiogenesis is NOT part of the theory of evolution.

Won’t speak for Phil, but you are incorrect when it comes to me. I insist that abiogenesis is not part of the theory of evolution because it isn’t part of the theory of evolution.

Yes. It does Bobby Jim. In your theory, God is not the Creator of life. He is merely the creator of matter, and He supposedly just happened to design things in such a way that non living matter became living matter all on its own. These are very different things. And I have to believe that most Christians in general (not just Catholics) would vehemently disagree with your approach.

That is your interpretation of his post. I didn’t read it that way at all.

Peace

Tim


#17

I believe God uses evolution in his creation…but I dont accept we came from apes as evolution theory…nor do I accept a random big bang that somehow chaotically blew everything into perfect order either.


#18

[quote=Bobby Jim]I think you misunderstand “my” theory… God is not merely the creator of Matter - he is the author of nature, and of all that we would call supernatural - souls, for instance.

Sorry if I am being thick headed here, but I still hear you saying God is the creator of matter, and nature, and “everything” (whatever else that may include), but it sounds as if you are okay believing God did not actually create life.

That is to say, God created all the means and all of the matter for life to exist, or come about on its own (as abiogenesis suggests), but He did not necessarily actually create life (other than supernatural life). Is that correct?

Sorry if I am continuing to misunderstand you, but your response did not clarify this issue for me.
[/quote]


#19

[quote=Orogeny] How about starting with those theories that you can show to be incorrect based on scientific evidence.
[/quote]

I didn’t say any of them are incorrect. I said the theory of evolution is based on a number of other theories, and that if any of those sub theories are incorrect, it would call the whole theory of evolution into question.

These are simple facts. I am not being argumentative here.

[quote=Orogeny] Regardless, abiogenesis is not evolution.
[/quote]

Clarification: Abiogenesis is not part of “biological evolution”. I would argue that it is, however included in the theory of evolution. And the only people I have found, thus far, who will argue that point are theistic evolutionists.


#20

[quote=Orogeny] Which is precisely what I believe.

Won’t speak for Phil, but you are incorrect when it comes to me. I insist that abiogenesis is not part of the theory of evolution because it isn’t part of the theory of evolution.

[/quote]

So you and I will be united in rejecting the theory of abiogenesis, regardless of how many notable scientists may someday accept it, because you and I both believe God is the Creator of life? I am pleased to hear that, if that is what you mean.

My response was to Bobby, who seems content to accept that God may not have created life, but just everything necessary for life to have come about on its own. I see that belief as conflicting with Catholic doctrine.


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