EVOLUTION: Arguments For and Against


#1

Arguments for and against “evolution” in many threads indicate that some on both sides have insufficient knowledge about the Existence of GOD. We cannot understand GOD, but we can have some knowledge about GOD. As Catholics do we not believe that GOD’s Essence is BEING? Is He not the BEING of Infinite Existence, which includes Infinite Power and Infinite Knowledge? GOD is the Pure, Absolute, Infinite Act of BEING. Ego sum qui sum. I AM WHO AM.

Do we not believe that “everything” that is not GOD is created by GOD? I do not say “was created,” but always “is created.” Nothing can exist or continue to exist unless GOD maintains His Creative Will to sustain that existence. That applies to the universe, to earth, to Man, and to each sub-atomic particle down to levels yet unimagined by the most advanced theoretical scientists. Only GOD is self-contained, self sustaining, dependent upon no cause externally or internally. There can be no independent “being” outside of the Infinite. That would render BEING to be less than Infinite and, therefore, not GOD! We misuse the idea of “infinite.” There is no such thing as “infinite space” or " infinite time." These are absurdities. The “Infinite” (not finite) cannot be “defined” (from the finite).

Everything GOD creates has a specific purpose. GOD is Infinite and cannot Will anything without a purpose. He cannot “not know” the ends for which His Will creates. Therefore, everything that is not GOD is caused deliberately by GOD and has a specific purpose and the means to achieve its purpose. Those who promote “evolution” as a random existence that forms through unintelligent chance deny the very Existence of GOD. For those who claim that “evolution” is the Intelligent and Deliberate process willed by GOD, I have no serious problem. That is, I have no problem unless they deny any Truth infallibly established by the One, Holy, Catholic (Universal), and Apostolic Church. A most notable certainty is that all human beings are biologically descended from the First Man (Adam). This is a necessary derivation from the dogmas on Original Sin. Neither the belief that GOD breathed an human, immortal soul into a single non-human animal nor that He formed the First Man directly from earthen clay contradicts Sacred Scriptures, if it is maintained that the whole human race descends from that First Man.


#2

As long as we all bear in mind on this Catholic forum that the Vatican is not upset or against the theory of evolution.

Actually, since the Vatican is very much against DARWINISM, that should be the topic of this thread.


#3

Hey Kevin, did I ever get a correct scientific definition of Darwinism out of you? :smiley:

Produce the definition of Darwinism from a scientific source that contradicts Catholic teaching. I gave a few sources in previous threads, such as Eugenie Scott (of the NCSE), from her debate with Phillip Johnson and others:

Evolution is “descent with modification” and Darwinism is simply “evolution by natural selection.” Which is the way I’ve defined Darwinism = “descent with modification by natural selection.” Why is Eugenie Scott (herself an atheist or agnostic) wrong in her definition of Darwinism? Does she and her NCSE organization not know what Darwinism is?

Ernst Mayr defines Darwinism as including five main scientific ideas:

Evolution as such, Common descent, Multiplication of species, Gradualism, Natural selection

Is Ernst Mayr equally clueless about the true definition of Darwinism?

Darwinism according to the online Wikipedia encyclopedia requires the following conditions:

Self-replication, Variation, Inheritance, Selection

The last one is defined as: Inherited traits must somehow affect the ability of the entities to reproduce themselves, either by survival, or natural selection, or by ability to produce offspring by finding partners, or sexual selection.

Is this online encyclopedia wrong also?

Darwin’s theory of evolution according to this PDF produced jointly by The American Geological Institute and The Paleontological Society can be summarized in four statements:

(1) Variation exists among individuals within species

(2) Organisms produce more offspring than the environment can support

(3) Competition exists among individuals

(4) The organisms whose variations best fit them to the environment are the ones who are most likely to survive, reproduce, and pass those desirable variations on to the next generation.

What is conspicuously absent from these definitions of Darwinism is (5) God does not exist, or (5) God had nothing to do with evolution, or (5) God could not guide evolution in any way, etc. Are these geological and paleontological groups also ignorant of the true definition of Darwinism?

In summary: I do not see where Darwinism defined by the standard mainstream scientific sources I have just quoted would conflict with Catholic teaching. Now where are you getting your definition of Darwinism, and what is your scientific source for that definition? You seem to be saying Darwinism = atheism and that evolution is okay since evolution is not atheism. However, neither are atheism, and neither are theism, since those are philosophical or religious questions and science is not about philosophy or religion but follows the scientific method which is neutral concerning God’s existence.

I always try to back myself up. Now back yourself up and produce your definition of Darwinism = atheism from the scientific sources. Then I will agree with you that Catholicism is definitely opposed to atheism. :thumbsup:

Phil P


#4

I cannot give a reference, and possibly the notation comes from a secondary source; but, I believe it was Darwin who stated that if he were persuaded that any INTELLIGENCE had anything to do with the evolution of species by random selection, he would disown the whole theory of evolution. In my opinion Darwinism is a theory which denies the existance of God and His creative process.


#5

GeorgeC, you’ll need to go back to Darwin’s Origin of Species. He clearly accepts a Creator and believes in intelligent design as a result of “natural processes” set up by the Creator.

An excellent article I’ve quoted before by Denis Lamoureux, an evolutionary creationist, and an evangelical with a Ph.D. in biology and theology. Good guy. :thumbsup:

Charles Darwin and Intelligent Design by Lamoureux

Phil P


#6

“did I ever get a correct scientific definition of Darwinism”

Saunders, P.T. and M.W. Ho. 1982. “Is Neo-Darwinism
Falsifiable? And Does It Matter?” Nature and System 4:
179-196. The first paragraph:
There is no canonical definition of neo-Darwinism, and
surprisingly few writers on the subject seem to consider
it necessary to spell out precisely what it is that they are
discussing. This is especially curious in view of the
controversy which dogs the theory, for one might have
thought that a first step towards resolving the dispute
over its status would be to decide upon a generally
acceptable definition of it. Alternatively, if this turned
out not to be possible, then this might have indicated
clearly the source of the disagreement. Of course, the
lack of a firm definition does, as we shall see, make the
theory much easier to defend.

“Is Ernst Mayr equally clueless about the true definition of Darwinism?”

do a control-f/ find for: Robson
in
Gould’s 1980 "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?"
groups.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0406040941.7de39c48%40posting.google.com
and see the section in question.

“Are these geological and paleontological groups also ignorant of the true definition of Darwinism?”
“You seem to be saying Darwinism = atheism”

Sagan, Carl. 1996. The Demon-Haunted World: Science
as a Candle in the Dark
(New York: Random House), 327.
Cited in Phillip E. Johnson, Defeating Darwinism by
Opening Minds
(Illinois: InterVarsity Press, 1997), 131pp.,
47.
I meet many people who are offended by evolution, who
passionately prefer to be the personal handicraft of God
than to arise by blind physical and chemical forces over
aeons from slime. They also tend to be less than
assiduous in exposing themselves to the evidence.
Evidence has little to do with it. What they wish to be
true, they believe is true. Only nine percent of
Americans accept the central finding of modern biology
that human beings (and all the other species) have
slowly evolved by natural processes from a succession
of more ancient beings with no divine intervention
needed along the way

materialism
1949 Simpson: “man is the result of a purposeless materialistic process
that did not have him in mind”:
Simpson, George Gaylord. 1949. The Meaning of
Evolution: A Study of the History of Life and of Its
Significance for Man
(New Haven: Yale University Press),
364pp., from the chapter “Epilogue and Summary” on 344:
Man is the result of a purposeless materialistic process
that did not have him in mind. He was not planned. He
is a state of matter, a form of life, a sort of animal, and a
species of the Order Primates, akin nearly or remotely to
all of life and indeed to all that is material.

On 343:
Although many details remain to be worked out, it is
already evident that all the objective phenomena of the
history of life can be explained by purely materialistic
factors.

materialism, blindwatchmaking
Futuyma, Douglas J. 1979. Evolutionary Biology (MA: Sinauer
Associates, Inc.), 565pp. On 9-10, the first paragraph of the
section “The Impact of Darwinism”:
The Darwinian view that evolution not only had occurred,
but was caused by the impersonal process of natural
selection met strong opposition in both scientific and
nonscientific circles, because of its perceived threat to
theological doctrine and to the unique position in nature
that humans would like to arrogate to themselves. The
view offered by Darwin-- of a purposeless universe in
which life changes, to no ultimate purpose, by the survival
of the fittest of random variations; a material world from
which we have arisen and with which we are one; a
universe that does not care about us and is not going to
save us from our follies-- such a vision is far less
reassuring and less flattering to the ego than the notion of a
world created to serve us, the apples of God’s eye. It is a
view distasteful not only to the theologically inclined, but
to the literary tradition that opposes materialism with more
transcendent values (see, e.g., Barzun 1958). Seldom are
the positive implications of Darwinism acknowledged: that
it forces us to view ourselves not as prisoners of a static
world order, but as the masters of our fate; that our
salvation lies not in Providence, but in ourselves.

Timeline of Materialism, Spontaneous Generation, and Blindwatchmaking Views
groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-348jecF47mfcjU1%40individual.net


#7

materialism
Lewontin, Richard. 9 January 1997. "Billions and Billions of Demons"
NY Times Book Reviews. At
csus.edu/indiv/m/mayesgr/Lewontin1.htm
A paragraph:
Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are
against common sense is the key to an understanding of
the real struggle between science and the supernatural.
We take the side of science in spite of the patent
absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its
failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of
health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the
scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories,
because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to
materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions
of science somehow compel us to accept a material
explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the
contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence
to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation
and a set of concepts that produce material explanations,
no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how
mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that
materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine
Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck
used to say that anyone who could believe in God could
believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is
to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature
may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.


#8

The evolution threads continue to evolve.

However, it seems to be purely random. Can anyone divine a mechanism?

Reader’s Digest version of davidford’s posts -
Some evolutionists are atheists (or agnostics).

Is anyone disputing this?


#9

"Reader’s Digest version of davidford’s posts -
Some evolutionists are atheists (or agnostics)"
No true ‘evolutionist’ is anything less than an atheist.

1987 Dawkins: "the whole point of the theory of evolution by natural selection was that it provided a non-miraculous account of the existence of complex adaptations"
groups.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0407280430.4459fca3%40posting.google.com


#10

Gosh, Dave, if you say so! :rolleyes:


#11

[df]“No true ‘evolutionist’ is anything less than an atheist.”

"Dave, if you say so!"
I say so.

And another thing:
Wheat can be bred via artificial selection into
grapefruit, pigs can be made to grow wings via artificial selection,
and hens can via artificial selection be bred to make cylindrical eggs.

//////////////////////////////////////////////////
Deevey, Jr., Edward S. June 1967. “The Reply: Letter from
Birnam Wood” The Yale Review 56(4): 631-640. Yale
University Press published The Yale Review quarterly.
Deevey was replying to Macbeth’s June 1967
google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0405231903.3eb81283%40posting.google.com
On 636:
Some remarkable things have been done by crossbreeding
and selection inside the species barrier, or within a larger
circle of closely related species, such as the wheats. But
wheat is still wheat, and not, for instance, grapefruit; and
we can no more grow wings on pigs than hens can make
cylindrical eggs, convenient as they might be in some
environments.


#12

[quote=davidford][df]“No true ‘evolutionist’ is anything less than an atheist.”

"Dave, if you say so!"
I say so.

[/quote]

That settles that.

By the way, if **you **say so, why do you keep quoting other people’s articles?

Peace

Tim


#13

[quote=davidford] …And another thing:
Wheat can be bred via artificial selection into
grapefruit, pigs can be made to grow wings via artificial selection,
[/quote]

they can?

[quote=davidford] and hens can via artificial selection be bred to make cylindrical eggs.
[/quote]

ouch! :eek:

short of genetic engineering wheat isn’t going to be growing grapefruit anytime soon through cross breading.

While it is true that “wheat is still wheat” It also can be argued that chordates are still chordates regardless of whether some have evolved into fish or humans. :wink:

IIRC The final evolution of wheat to it’s modern form it actually quite interesting. Not only is wheat capable of maintaining a fairly complex genome (with 4 and even 6 sets of genes) but it is not clear if the final jump from the wild to the cultivated varieties was done naturally or by humans.


#14

"if you say so, why do you keep quoting other people’s articles?"
Beats me.

Also, belief in spontaneous generation, blindwatchmaking, and mental spoon-bending is scientific.
google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0401291120.41a6d843%40posting.google.com


#15

“short of genetic engineering wheat isn’t going to be growing grapefruit anytime soon through cross breading.”

I take it you’re unaware of the lab experiments in which biologists have bred fruit flies into dragonflies and bluebirds and wasps, using artificial selection plus large doses of mutation-inducing radiation.

////////////////////////////////////////////////
fruit fly URLs
groups.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0403082115.67a4b153%40posting.google.com

One literature search for “mutation”; mutation URLs
groups.google.com/groups?selm=dford3-37elv4F5260vbU1%40individual.net

historical background to rise and fall of the Synthetic Euphoria; 1936 A. Franklin Shull
groups.google.com/groups?selm=b1c67abe.0403271329.1e569adf%40posting.google.com


#16

david
your links appear to all be links to your own links :confused:

and I would suggest that turning on and off certain genes using radiation to allow or inhibit the development of exisitng traits within insect species is a world away from having a grass grow a cirtrus fruit.


#17

"david your links appear to all be links to your own links"
It’s links all the way down.

“I would suggest that turning on and off certain genes using radiation to allow or inhibit the development of exisitng traits within insect species is a world away from having a grass grow a cirtrus fruit”

Under laboratory conditions, mutation-inducing radiation has been administered to populations of these organisms, turning on and off various genes, to get the indicated sorts of changes:
grass ==> citrus fruit
oaks ==> maple trees
pear trees ==> walnut trees
dogs ==> cats
fruit flies ==> termites
pigs ==> cows
squirrels ==> bats
porcupines ==> lions


#18

davidford << No true ‘evolutionist’ is anything less than an atheist. >>

Then explain the natural evolution of the creatures known as Miller, species Kennethus Millerus and species Keithus Millerus, who states: :smiley:

–God is the creator of all things.
–All things were created through the Word who is Christ the crucified (John 1:1-3; Col 1:15-20).
–God is both transcendent over creation, and immanent in creation.
–God’s creative power is continually at work, even to the present day (Psalm 104:29-30).
–God is as active in natural events as in miraculous ones.
–God is intimately and actively involved in what we perceive as natural or law-governed processes (Amos 4:6ff).
–God is in control of random or chance events (1 Kings 22:17-38; Acts 1:21-26).
–God is revealed in the present creation (Job 38-41).
–God is active in the world, providing for the needs of its creatures (Job, Psalm 104, Matt 6:25-30).

Keith Miller then concludes: “If one accepts the above theological statements, then it seems to me that a completely seamless evolutionary history of life would be entirely acceptable theologically.” (Keith B. Miller, essay “Design and Purpose within an Evolving Creation,” from Darwinism Defeated? page 111).

You should also check out the distinction he makes between methodological vs. metaphysical naturalism:

“Methodological naturalism is simply a recognition that scientific research proceeds by the search for chains of cause and effect and confines itself to the investigation of natural entities and forces. Science does not ‘assume away’ a creator – it is simply silent on the existence or action of God. Science restricts itself to proximate causes, and the confirmation or denial of ultimate causes is beyond its capacity. Methodological naturalism places boundaries around what science can and cannot say, or what explanations or descriptions can be accepted as part of the scientific enterprise. Science is self-limiting, and that is its strength and power as a methodology. Science pursues truth within very narrow limits. Our most profound questions about the nature of reality, while they may arise from within science, are theological or philosophical in nature and their answers lie beyond the reach of science.” (Keith Miller, Evangelical geologist from Kansas State, in “Design and Purpose Within an Evolving Creation,” page 112-113, from Darwinism Defeated?)

The best two books arguing against creationism and against atheism, and for a theistic evolution are by the two Millers (no relation), Finding Darwin’s God and Perspectives on an Evolving Creation. Check into them.

Also see the Wikipedia article on evolutionary creationism. Several founders of the evolutionary theory were believers in a God, or explicit Christians (Sir Ronald Fischer, Theodosius Dobzhansky, many others). Darwin, though agnostic later in life, wrote this last sentence of Origin of Species, found in the 2nd to 6th (final) editions:

“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)

See Darwin and Intelligent Design by Lamoureux.

And biologist Darrel Falk makes this point on testability and science:

“The fact is that Christianity has core beliefs that are not accessible to the scientific method…The resurrection, existence of the Holy Spirit and immortality are all beyond the realm of scientific testability. Even testing the power of prayer will probably not bring scientists to their knees. The history of life on earth, however, is in a much different category. It has been possible to explore this using scientific methods…For the past century and a half, thousands of scientists from disciplines as diverse as physics, geology, astronomy and biology have amassed a tremendous mass of data, and the answer is absolutely clear and equally certain. The earth is not young, and the life forms did not appear in six twenty-four-hour days. God created gradually…” (Darrel Falk, Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology, page 213, 214)

Nothing I haven’t quoted 4.5 billion times in past threads. Please pay attention. :smiley: :smiley:

Phil P


#19

[quote=davidford]"david your links appear to all be links to your own links"
It’s links all the way down.

“I would suggest that turning on and off certain genes using radiation to allow or inhibit the development of exisitng traits within insect species is a world away from having a grass grow a cirtrus fruit”

Under laboratory conditions, mutation-inducing radiation has been administered to populations of these organisms, turning on and off various genes, to get the indicated sorts of changes:
grass ==> citrus fruit
oaks ==> maple trees
pear trees ==> walnut trees
dogs ==> cats
fruit flies ==> termites
pigs ==> cows
squirrels ==> bats
porcupines ==> lions
[/quote]

Maybe I’m just tired and I can’t recognize a joke, but what?

If this isn’t a joke, then this is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You can’t just add “radiation” and change something like that. Mutations, being spontaneous using radiation, would not just change stuff. What makes people think this is how evolution even works? You don’t just turn off a gene and a dog becomes a cat. Any basic biology course that doesn’t involve solely internet information will tell you that.

Nevermind, I’m just going to go breed a human using a UV light and an orange.


#20

Although I am aware that changes occur in species over generations I don’t believe that any theory of evolution is compatible with the Catholic Faith. If evolution is true can the doctrine of original sin be true? Can we be saved? Then what are we being saved from? Jesus died on the cross for the forgiveness of sins and to save us from our sins. Evolution would mean that he saved us so that a higher more perfect creature can evolve. Can you believe it we are all working with the help of God and the Church to achieve personal perfection. Sounds like a waste of time doesn’t it? If evolution is true we must ask of what value is our faith beyond this world. I believe it is that simple. I am not perfect so if anyone can explain how the theory is compatible with all the doctrines of the Church please do so.


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