Evolution-Creation?


#1

Dear Friends,
I am a little dissapointed, when ever I suggest that Creation was as literal as the Book of Genesis says it is some of my Catholic friends jeer. As far as I can see it was Adams sin that bought death in to the world so there could be no death before him, therefore no Evolution. Apart from the fact that evolution is ONLY a theory and one needs more faith to believe in the multi-trillion accidents to create basic life than in the power of God to create all that is seen and unseen within the set framework of 6 literal days. As it says in Genesis…“and there was an evening and a morning, a fifth day”. Why cannot we believe in the awesome power of God to do this without making overtures to evolutionists whose ideology is often more irrational and fundamentalist that a terrorist.
It has been suggested to me that there was death in the world because plants had to die to be food. Genesis says “behold I have given you every plant yielding seed which is on the face of the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for your food”. This suggest to me that God was indicating that these plants need to be eaten for them to propagate and a plant does not have to die to be food! Do cows kill the grass when they graze?, do we kill a tree when we eat its fruit? Remember we were vegetarians until after the flood
It seems to me that to believe in literal Creation is essential for us to believe in the redemption bought us by Christ, for if there was death in the world before Adam, there would be no need for Christ to come and vanquish death that was perpertrated by the first Man and Woman.
I would be interested in what others have to say about this and any theologians or apologists.Thank you and may God bless and Mary protect you all


#2

When reading Genesis, the Catholic Church allows us some leeway in what we believe. At the same time, there are certain aspects of the story which must be believed as written. We aren’t required to believe all aspects of the creation story because the story of Genesis is written using figurative language (see CCC 390). At the same time, parts need to be believed as written, for example the Fall.

I think you may be confused that the Fall was the beginning of all Death, as opposed to the death of Man, but I wouldn’t swear to it.

As for evolution, you’re correct to suggest it’s merely a theory, and a theory with many holes. For one, as you suggest, random errors in a DNA code series isn’t likely to result in the species to species jumps that would have to have occurred for evolution to exist as currently suggested. But the Church as I understand it does not require that we not believe in evolution, or the theory that will evolve from it, to address the holes that are becoming ever more apparent.

CARose


#3

Steven Hawking had an audience with his eminence Pope John Paul and the Pope liked what Dr. Hawking had to say. The Pope has his degree in Phenomenology.

Cosmologists just discovered that not only is the universe expanding, its also excelerating. One could view this as the hand of God.

I like what the Bible has to say about life, and I like to use science to prove it. Science is a useful tool for the theologian!


#4

Steven Hawking had an audience with his eminence Pope John Paul and the Pope liked what Dr. Hawking had to say. The Pope has his degree in Phenomenology.

Cosmologists just discovered that not only is the universe expanding, its also accelerating. One could view this as the hand of God.

I like what the Bible has to say about life, and I like to use science to prove it. Science is a useful tool for the theologian!


#5

I believe in a literal Creation in that God created everything, that Adam and Eve were the first humans and they were responsible for original sin.

I’m not sure if the Genesis story is meant to be strictly literal. I mean there’s no dome that separates two bodies of water, one above and one below. I guess you could say clouds are the body of water above maybe, and the dome is the atmosphere. So maybe it is literal (the DR uses firmament instead of dome which makes the literal interpretation more plausible).

I got chastised for this comment on another thread, but I’ll post it here too (hey, criticism is good for me!): evolutionists have a certain chronological order for when certain life forms started appearing on the earth. This seems to be the same chronological order God created life, especially if birds came from dinosaurs (which is a popular theory): first plants, then life in the water, next birds, then cattle and wild animals (mammals), and finally humans.

I mean, I’m not sure if when God created life He made them all poof out of the air or if He formed them from matter like he did Adam. I mean, as the matter was shaped into various animals it could leave evidence of “evolutionary” changes, but this would make the “days” not literal. It’s a tough call. I’ll wait for more information or an official Church declaration I guess.


#6

One reason you may be jeered at, CreosMary, is because you do not know what you say. When you talk about evolution being only a “theory” you’ve got to understand that in scientific jargon, theory is not used in the same was as a layman uses it in his ordinary daily dialogue.

Theory here, means a rigorously tested hypothesis, that has held up under all tests this far. I’ll admit, some of Darwin’s ideas have been proven false. Science seems to believe nowadays that life began in the deepest oceans, not in a shallow pool struck by lightning. But on the whole, Dawin’s ideas have helped science construct a valid, reliable, and predictive understanding of the past.

Now, thanks Be to God for the Catholic church, for if I was part of any other religion, I doubt I could’ve said the above without being branded as a heretic. However, you may still say that evolution, as a theory, brings up problems. And this is true. Evolutionists will be hard pressed to tell you how sex began. Going furtherback, we have unconvivincing theories attached to the development of Eukaryotic cells (you and I are Eukayotes, amoebas are prokayotes, single celled organisms). Remember, science is based on proof, and the theories which talk about sex and Eukaryotic cells are based more on speculation (at least as far as I can see). And this is where we get God coming in. I wonder if those two things are purely naturally possible in and of themselves. In fact, I doubt they are. I think God had to do something there, just as I think he had to do something again when he gave us the capacity for aesthetic experience, morality, and conscious rationality. After all, dogs may dream and whales may sing, but I see no museums of art, temples or codified laws in the kinddom animalia (except for us).

Your difficulty with death before Adam can be summed up like this. Remember, the old Christian story (laid out beautifully by the poet milton) is that the Demons fell before we did. It is quite possible that the demons had been usurping creation from its perfect order for quite some time before we appeared.

After all, what does Genesis say? We were brought in to “tend the garden”. And we do, according to traditional Christianity have authority over the beasts…

I hope this helps, but remember, it’s just my own ideas and ramblings. I love to be challenged and tested. Please, see if you can poke holes in that!


#7

I thank you all for your interesting and insightful comments. I believe the Church has never made any concrete definations on what we are to believe in this debate…
I readsomewhere on another post that at least one Pope has said that Adam and Eve are the first humans and we all descended from those two.
To me the problem with evolution is that it is;
a/ Presented as fact in schools and documentaries and all secular media
b/ It is still not proven
c/ Why does it seem so inplausable to many that Almighty God created everything in 6 literal days; St Augustine actually tried to comprese those six days in an instant!
d/ evolution generally seeks to try and prove non-existence of God, that evreything is by chance (a lot of bloody chances to get were we are)
e/ the fruits of evolutionary thinking are valueless and lacking in the sacredness and dignity of Man and creation.
I choose to have faith and believe Genesis literally and good science has no problem with that.
God bless :slight_smile:


#8

Related to this, my teacher in my biology class has split us into two groups, and since he knew that I was Catholic, chose my side to defend religion in creation while the other side will defend evolution. The problem is, this is for marks, and could some person provide me with some evidence of loop holes or a website? I need this by Monday, so let me know ASAP! :slight_smile:


#9

Silverwings and Creos, let me try to work through your posts.

I’ll start with Silverwings.

There’s not much you’re going to be able to do. Evolution’s got so much physical, practical, and theoretical (not to mention it’s valid and reliable) proof behind it, you cannot attack it directly, per say. What you can do is frame it. What I mean by this is look at the whole question from the other end of the spectrum. Here’s what that means. People who believe Evolution as a rellgious theory will try to construe humans as only animals. Yet, we have clearly defined aspects of our personality and existence that are not animalistic. There is nothing in nature which would make our brains suddenly become moral, nor is there anything that would make them understand art, nor is there anything that would make them begin to worship. Anthropologists seem to put the cart before the horse here. They often see religion as developing from primitive animism to the complex beliefs we have today. Yet, there is nothing in nature which would make an animal realize it has a soul/identity. How can a religion even begin without this presumption? It is just as likely to think that God gave us rationality and an abilty to see beyond material physical sensation. The same goes for morality. Freud envisioned a son killing his father and later regretting it as the beginning of morality (and I believe religion). But this presupposes that there would be some sort of moral sense in the animal. Animals do not have any such a sense. I hope this makes some sense to you. If it doesn’t a clearer exposition of what I’m trying to say can be found in the first chapter of G. K. Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man.

Now, as for you Creos, let’s work through your difficulties. I’ll attempt to answer them as you have lettered them.

a) What’s wrong with this. Media that is secular is just that. It has no ties to Christianity. Neither should it in a democratic country. Science and religion are two different fields. To ask the secular media to report with a religious preference (i.e. creationism) would cease to make them secular. They are only doing their job to keep as objective as they can be. As for it being a fact, I don’t know. I think some people who are proselytizers and hacks will sometimes present it as an absolute fact, but there are many things about it which are unexplained as of yet. I think what you’re upset with is more the abuse of the biological theorem.

b) What do you mean by proven? Evolution is a rational, predictive hyposthesis which has helped doctors, biologists, historians, etc etc. What *IS *unproven are the theory’s horrible philosophical and pseudo-scientific offshoots such as social darwinism and its evil cousin eugenics.

c) It’s not implausible that God created the world in 6 days, theologically. But that’s just it, science cannot say anything from a theological standpoint. As for science proving God created the world, that is not unplausible, it is impossible. There can be no proof that a supernatural Being brought about evolution or created the world because a supernatural Being is outside the scope of a natural science.

d) Not true. I’m a believer in evolution, but I’m also a confirmed, strong, goes-to-daily-Mass cradle Catholic. Your problem here is again caused by the confusion you seem to have between philosophy and science. Science cannot disprove a philosophical/religious theorem and vice versa (though all science has some philosophical presumption behind it). Science does prove that we have animal bodies though, and this helps science predict and stamp out such awful things as viruses, influenzas (those two categories overlap, but oh well), and genetic diseases. Evolution also helps scientists get to the root of how diseases come about, how/why eathquakes happen, etc. It does not disprove God in the least.

e) No, even a hardcore evolutionist atheist will tell you humans have value (or at least most of them will), though they’ll make a fool out of themselves and say that humans themselves create that value. This may be a large contradiction, but at least they’re trying. The only people who will say we are valueless are the people who have a political agenda that they’re trying to get across.

In closing, I’d like to say this; Scientists do not often speak on God, and conversely Theologians do not often speak on science. Neither should they, as they are not experts in each others’ field. But what I can say is that science cannot disprove Theology. Evolution is not a hard burden on Christians. For it is only those people who will take the theory and use it for their own political agenda, their own bias, and their own hatred that have given Darwin’s idea such a bad name.


#10

Hello, Nikazu.

That was a very nice answer. You touched on many of the same things that have been pointed out before in previous evolution/creation threads, but they definately bear repeating.

Only one small correction for you.

[quote=Nikazu] Evolution also helps scientists get to the root of how diseases come about, how/why eathquakes happen, etc.
[/quote]

Evolution, of course, has nothing to do with earthquakes.

Peace

Tim


#11

. Evolution also helps scientists get to the root of how diseases come about, how/why eathquakes happen, etc. It does not disprove God in the least.

In closing, I’d like to say this; Scientists do not often speak on God, and conversely Theologians do not often speak on science. Neither should they, as they are not experts in each others’ field. But what I can say is that science cannot disprove Theology. Evolution is not a hard burden on Christians. For it is only those people who will take the theory and use it for their own political agenda, their own bias, and their own hatred that have given Darwin’s idea such a bad name.

What a load of wordy wordness, full of words of no substance!, the sort of thing I expect for the defense of a shaky theory.
How on earth does the theory of evolution explain how earthquakes happen or the onset of disease?
I have always seen sciences like geology and biology responsible for the investigation of these things.
I have seen this before, when the theory of evolution is ‘believed in’, a faith to itself, usually at the detriment of religion.
The great faiths of the world have a Creation sense of history, and literal Creation was sufficient for The Church and pre-Church (Judaism) for 6000 years or so. What makes homo-sapien think he is cleverer now?
I suppose you would then say man has increased in intelligence since then, however 'science is discovering more and more that man has always been as intelligent and knowledgable as now and has applied in many different ways in the past, a lot of things that we do not have or understand now. Technology is not the only progress in the world.
As for the poster who asked for some info for a school presentation, sorry CAForums collapsed under its own intellectual weight (crashed) before I could get it to you. There is a prody site at www.answersingenesis.org. Its quite good just ignore the silent anti-Catholism. How did you go anyhow?
God bless and Mary protect you all
Br CreosMary


#12

I believe that the book of Genesis reveals the truth about man’s origins in a language that describes spiritual realities with material references that were understood by the author and those that were taught.

I don’t believe that a rib was taken from Adam but if I were to understand the reality the author conveys I would think’ ahhh ,yes, Eve was formed from Adam’s body while he slept. That’s what happened.


#13

To Mary and all others.
Thank you for correcting me. Evolution is no (direct) help in understanding how earthquakes come about. Sometimes, I mash the ideas originated by Darwin and Lyell together, since they go hand in hand. What I think I meant was: understanding how old earth is, and how it works, both biologically and geologically could be put under the umbrella idea of “evolution”. I’m much less learned in the area of Geology, but I do remember the ideas of continental shift, ocean floor spreading, etc working together to explain how earthquakes, etc happen. Now, this of course goes hand in hand with evolution, because the earth is very slowly still forming, and the life on the planet is reacting in due course. I hope this adequately explains what I mean. I’m sorry for my mistake.Now, as for your objections, Ms. Mary. Evolution can explain disease by helping us understand how life works. Evolution hinges on 2 things: life and death. The strong live, the weak die. Now, in the human world, it is a sin to let it go on like that. Thank God for that, since social Darwinism is one of the most terrible things on the planet. However, in the world of viruses (who’re just as evolved as we are, yet have taken a different path) evolution takes place each and every year. One obvious example is the flu virus. So, doctors, using the context of evolution, attempt to predict which flu viruses will be the most prevalent next year. They do this working in the context of evolution, seeing which viruses may have died off and which strains may have gained strength, etc. Thus, evolution, as a context to work in, helps us understand and defeat disease. Also, in Africa, we see how sickle cell anemia (a genetic disease) actually fights malaria when the carrier of the sickle cell genes are heterogenous. Thus, more and more babies are born in certain portions of africa with a heterogenous genotype.


#14

sorry for the wordiness, here’s part 2!

However, these are just two ways in which evolution can help us understand disease, and help us fight it.Also, there is nothing wrong in believing in a literal six day creation. Absolutely nothing. The problem comes when, as I’ve said, we try to apply that to science. Also, nothing makes this homo sapien sapien think he’s any cleverer than the early or ‘pre-’ church. I’m certainly no match for St. Paul, Thomas Aquinas, all the Doctors and Fathers of the church when it comes to brain power. We have not grown any cleverer, however our scientific knowledge has grown. Thus, we have evolution as a helpful scientific understanding of the world. But thats where it must stay. Just as you cannot apply creationism to the world of science, you cannot apply Darwinism to the world of the Spirit. You are absolutely right when you say,"I have seen this before, when the theory of evolution is ‘believed in’, a faith to itself, usually at the detriment of religion."Because, the religious application of Darwinism is an outright abuse of such a theory. We must rememebr that Darwin, in his voyage on the Beagle (as he was formulating his understanding of evolution and Natural selection), never thought that God didn’t exist, nor that he hadn’t made the universe. Darwin only renounced religion after his son died. That’s a terrible reason to renounce religion. But, it makes the point that Darwin himself saw no huge conflict between his scientific and his religious beliefs. (If someone knows differently than this, please correct me, as I’m no big reader of Darwin’s journal.)
Finally, we must understand what the Jewish scriptures are. They are a spiritual guide to the world, and they are starkly original and uplifting compared to the world around them. In comparison to the Jewish scriptures’ creation story, we have huge, blood thirsty gods who are willing to bring humans about to toy with them, gods who mate with humans, the idea that the world is god and that humans are only pieces of god who are mistaken that they are actually humans! You see? The scriptures are really a good God’s word, because they are the only scriptures that can possibly be called good. (Sorry if I’ve offended anyone out there with this statement. If you feel the need to argue this with me, I understand. Privately message me.) The Jewish people, however, do not express such things as the origins of the world as we Europeans would desire. They do not answer with a straightforward answer. They give you a story as a type of allegory. Modern African tribes with Semitic ancestry still do this (See Chinua Achebe’s Things fall Apart, I know this by virtue of being a lit major). And that is exactly what the Creation stories are, in my view. They are an allegory for what really happened. God DID create the world. Evolution may or may not be how He did it. I won’t comment on that.

I hope this helps.

If it doesnt, feel free to tear me to shreds.

-Nik


#15

CreosMary: God bless you. I would like to address your points over all, but I’ll start with the latest first.

I have seen this before, when the theory of evolution is ‘believed in’, a faith to itself, usually at the detriment of religion.

I don’t think anyone here is advocating this attitude. I assume that when you say that the Theory of Evolution is believed in as a faith to itself, you are refering to when it is used to weaken religion, or held up in place of religion. No one here seems to be arguing for this, but rather for understanding Creation through rational studies of the sciences, including Evolutionary Theory.

The great faiths of the world have a Creation sense of history, and literal Creation was sufficient for The Church and pre-Church (Judaism) for 6000 years or so. What makes homo-sapien think he is cleverer now?

Literal Creation was sufficient because it was all we had. Now we have a new rational understanding that fits both observable evidence and Scripture. We are not more clever, but we do have more information to work with, such as genetic mapping and a firmer grasp of just how reproduction works. The Church never stated that “Literal Creationism” was dogma, and in fact St. Augustine strongly warned against such an attitude. On a side-note, the people of the Church have often been at the very front of the pack when dealing with scientific discovery. Copernicus was a canon of the Church, Gregor Mendel was a monk who contributed to our understanding of genetics and evolution, and George Lemaître was a priest who first proposed the Big Bang Theory.

Now for your list of issues by letter:

a) Yes, it is, but you have to remember that it’s the most solid, observable theory we have in addition to it not holding any religious basis. As has been said, the secular media does not present religious views in any case, so it will fall back on the most well established non-religious views. Incidently, it’s also taught in even conservative Catholic schools as largely factual. I would be quite shocked to learn of a Catholic school that rejects it on principle, at least in a scientific context. It really is the best science we have available.
b) As I stated above, it’s the best we’ve got, and it’s really, really good on a scientific basis. You can never, ever “prove” something with science to the degree I think you expect. We can only establish explainations for what we see, and test those explainations to see if they hold up under scrutiny. So far, evolution holds up marvelously.
c) It’s not implausible at all, and no one here is saying it is. All we’re saying, and I stress this point, is that world we see around us indicates some kind of evolutionary force. We can either pass this off as an illusion, or accept that this evolutionary force does indeed fall within the intent of God and try to understand it. For many people it simply doesn’t matter, but for those of us with scientific minds it’s a very important study, and a beneficial one for things like medicine. Many of us, myself included, would abandon such exploration if the Church said it was heretical, or definately false, but the contrary has occured; we’ve received the blessing of the Church to explore, and been assured that certain evolutionary theories are not heretical.
d) I don’t think this is true, simply because evolutionary thought is independent from “intent to prove or disprove” God. Some scientists have this intent, and try to bend evolution to that end, but such attempts are fruitless and non-scientific. Science does not seek to prove or disprove God any more or less than architectural design does; it’s a tool and nothing more.
e) I agree to a certain extent. Evolution does not, and can not, tell us anything about the sacred dignity of humanity; that is religion’s job. It can, however, lead us to a great appreciation for God’s perseverence and skill, and that can have religious value if we are so inclined.

Thanks for your time :slight_smile:


#16

Bravo Ghosty :thumbsup:

The basic problem with the Genesis story being literally true (besides of the mounds of evidence that our God-given intelligence has allowed us to grasp) is that there are two separate and contradictory creation stories in Genesis.

The stories are obviously allegorical in nature. The Bronze Age folks who wrote down the stories really didn’t have the technological background to grasp molecular biology or billion year time frames.

And they really didn’t have to.

The important fact is that God created everything not how He did it.


#17

How many versions of this poll are possible?


#18

Nikazu
It’s actually Br CreosMary if you bothered to check. I wonder if the condescending attitude will change now that you realise I’m male?
Yes our intelligence is the same but we have gained more knowledge on how things work in all fields of science but there sre still many things lost to us in history.
You mentioned the allegorical nature of Jewish storytelling, In fact they were very particular about writiing their scriptures and ensuring that every word was checked, how many words in each book etc.
It would seem curious that the only the Book of Genesis be allegorical and the rest of the Old testament be factual. We may as well start on how Exodus is merely symbolic on how the Hebrews were freed from Egypt and I can gaurentee that is the next step from an evolutionary outlook on Creation.
Ghosty;
You mention the theory of Evolution is the ‘best weve got’ so you will not even consider Literal creation as a position to work from! What an insult to the many scientists and laity that work from a Creation position.
‘Even conservative catholic schools teach it" I think this says more about the state of Catholic education than anything else, Many Catholic schools here have no knowledge of the catechism but teach other religeons in there RE classes.
You mention an "evolutionary force’ mmmmmmmmmm sounds a little like God, a creative force. "God keeps all things in being"
It still amazes me that with entropy people still are born, life awakes time and time again against the notion of continual decay.
The Church has not pronounced dogma on this topic we are aware but we must be open to the scriptural references concerning Creation, I for one am happy with the “Wisdom and love” with which God created all things.
Serendipity
Probably many have come and many may be…


#19

[quote=CreosMary] …………
You mentioned the allegorical nature of Jewish storytelling, In fact they were very particular about writiing their scriptures and ensuring that every word was checked, how many words in each book etc.
It would seem curious that the only the Book of Genesis be allegorical and the rest of the Old testament be factual.
[/quote]

Actually a lot of it is allegorical

That doesn’t mean it isn’t factual
Just not lieterally so

Jesus taught in parables. Why couldn’t/wouldn’t the writers of the OT?

[quote=CreosMary] We may as well start on how Exodus is merely symbolic on how the Hebrews were freed from Egypt and I can gaurentee that is the next step from an evolutionary outlook on Creation.
[/quote]

IIIRC there is no non biblical source that corroborates the story in Exodus

And what would be wrong with evolution being the mechanism for creation?

Why couldn’t a transcendent, eternal God take 15 billion years to create man?

Trying to anthropomorphize God and squeeze Him down to our time frame doesn’t seem right to me

[quote=CreosMary] Ghosty;
You mention the theory of Evolution is the ‘best weve got’ so you will not even consider Literal creation as a position to work from! What an insult to the many scientists and laity that work from a Creation position.
[/quote]

Well, I’m sorry if anyone feels insulted but it is the best we got

[quote=CreosMary] ……. I think this says more about the state of Catholic education than anything else, Many Catholic schools here have no knowledge of the catechism but teach other religeons in there RE classes.
[/quote]

someone has a chip on their shoulder?

[quote=CreosMary] ……It still amazes me that with entropy people still are born, life awakes time and time again against the notion of continual decay.
[/quote]

Why?

Entropy doesn’t preclude life
Nor does it mean continual decay

It just means that you have to work to keep things together

Surely thermodynamics is a clear demonstration of Works over Faith :wink:

[quote=CreosMary] The Church has not pronounced dogma on this topic we are aware but we must be open to the scriptural references concerning Creation, I for one am happy with the “Wisdom and love” with which God created all things.
Serendipity
Probably many have come and many may be…
[/quote]

I’m glad that you are happy with it but to me it is a non issue
God Created man
Evolution of species through natural selection is how He did it.


#20

I formally withdraw from this conversation. Had I known I was talking to a monk, I would’ve never said anything. I’m sorry Br. CreosMary. I hope you can forgive me.


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