The Encyclical Humani Generis states as follows:
For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents.
Now it seems that ‘test tube babies’ (and clones and so forth, things that are either realities or foreseeable in the future) are not naturally generated from their own ‘parents’, and thus do not take their origin through natural generation from the First Man.
They are not naturally generated in both senses of the word ‘naturally’: (1) they are created through some artificial method, and thus not ‘natural’ in the organic sense of natural, and (2) they are not originated in a way consistent with human nature, because it is contrary to human nature, i.e. the natural law, to make children without sex (and thus divorce the unitive and procreative purposes of sex).
If test tube babies (or clones, etc.) are not naturally generated from their parents, then it seems either (i) they do not exist, or (ii) they are not human, or (iii) there is error in Humani Generis when it says there are no true men who did not take their origin from natural generation from The First Man. I would like some help in understanding what the Pope meant by ‘naturally generated,’ otherwise it seems like one of the above three (i)-(iii) stances will need to be taken, and I do not like any of those stances. Clearly there are test tube babies, and I have no question that they are human, so either Humani Generis is incorrect on this point (I don’t like that either) or some other interpretation of Humani Generis or the phrase ‘natural generation’ must be given so that it is properly understood to be correct.
If anyone else has a different sense of the word ‘natural’, or a definition or understanding of what is meant by “natural generation” that would resolve this problem (without being something that Pope wouldn’t think of), I would greatly appreciate your assistance.
(The encyclical was promulgated before the first ‘successful’ test tube baby.)
Please note: This is not a thread that should have anything to do with Evolution. This is not a thread that should have anything to do with Polygenism. This is only a thread about interpreting this papal document.
Thanks for any assistance anyone can give!