Evolution or Creationism?


#1

I'm a cradle Catholic who went to Catholic grade school and high school (went to a Lutheran college, but hey, close enough :p).

Yet I am totally stumped.

What is the Catholic Church's stance on creation/evolution? Someone asked me yesterday, and I have no idea.

In all of my years of education I don't ever remember any of my teachers addressing this. We talked about dinosaurs in science, and we talked about Genesis in theology. It was almost the "separate but equal" approach.

I looked in the Catechism, and I don't quite understand what it is saying. I looked on Google, and I got mixed responses.

I think that theological evolution seems to be the most likely answer, but I want to be sure before I respond to my friend's email.

Thanks.

Please forgive me if this is a stupid question. I've hardly been sleeping thanks to a teething toddler, so my brain is fried. Could be I'll realize I've known the answer for 20 years, and I just couldn't think straight!


#2

Someone will be able to dig up the official stance, but it’s my understanding that the Church teaches that evolutionary theory is not in contradiction with our understanding of Creation (after all, we don’t have a literalist approach to the OT).

My husband also studied evolution in his Catholic high school science classes.


#3

"Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of [Humani Generis], some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."

This was an excerpt of an address by JPII in 1996 to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

As Catholics, we are interested in Truth. Science can lead us to certain truths and is, in fact, compatible with faith. Science is merely the explanation and exploration of God's creation.

However, we are also free to believe in young-earth creationism.

Both are consistent with Scripture and Tradition. The former is just backed up by LOTS more scientific facts;).


#4

I think this topic would be better served in the apologetic section where you would get more answers there. :thumbsup:


#5

It is my understanding that the Catholic Church allows belief in either theistic evolution or a young Earth theory (which can include the six day creation account). Since evolution is still the unproven theory it was in Darwin’s time, I have always opted for the young Earth theory. Of course, a mystery here is the fact that God is outside of time, in eternity, and comparing Earth’s creation, outside of time, to our earthly years leads to difficulties.


#6

See IDvolution


#7

Others are correct. The Church does not teach that evolution happens. It also does not teach that evolution does not happen. It doesn't teach regarding the age of the earth.

The Church does teach that there was originally ONE man and ONE woman, from whom all others descended. This part is often forgotten by those who adopt a "theistic evolution" view.

As His Holiness JPII said in the quote above evolution is a THEORY. It is often present as fact by its advocates.

Among other views presented as scientific fact:

-the world is flat
-men can not survive travel at faster then the speed of sound
-men can not survive running a sub 4 minute mile
-man made global warming
-man made global cooling
-God is a myth.

Truth can not contradict truth. Modern physics teaches that you can't get matter or energy out of nothingness. Modern biology teaches that you can't get life from non-life. Then modern science turns around and discards both those teachings in order explain the origins of the universe and of life on Earth.


#8

[quote="friendster324, post:3, topic:249720"]
"Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of [Humani Generis], some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."

This was an excerpt of an address by JPII in 1996 to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

As Catholics, we are interested in Truth. Science can lead us to certain truths and is, in fact, compatible with faith. Science is merely the explanation and exploration of God's creation.

However, we are also free to believe in young-earth creationism.

Both are consistent with Scripture and Tradition. The former is just backed up by LOTS more scientific facts;).

[/quote]

This is a good answer!


#9

Very, very true. Evolutionists cannot provide an answer for the above.

I am not a scientist or a theologian, and I was taught evolution pretty much as a fact at a public school.

But my view now is that the THEORY of evolution raises as many questions as it does answers. eg If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys? Why is it that it was only man that evolved a developed brain with the ability to reason and philosophise? Does that mean other animals are still evolving their brains and one day man will sit down to discuss the vagaries of the share market with a cow?

Evolutionists say man has been around in some form for millions of years. But I am reminded of something I learnt at school and that is if the life of the earth is a 12 hour clock, man has only occupied it far the last 10 minutes and modern man for only the last couple of seconds. (Hope that’s right, it’s been quite awhile since I learnt this!!)

So, if it took millions of years for cavemen to evolve from monkeys or a single cell microbe or wherever it was we came from, it seems like one minute we were cavemen trying to stand upright, and the next minute we were building pyramids. We certainly seem to have evolved very, very quickly in the last 2 seconds of the clock!

It looks to me that something happened to man, at 2 seconds to 12, and as far as I know the “missing link” that scientists used to talk about has never been found.

God as the missing link, makes creationism more believable than evolution!


#10

Thanks, everyone!

I remembered about an hour ago what we learned in high school which was both work and the Church doesn't have a stance on either.

See what a teething toddler can do to my brain?!? :p


#11

Here is an article from this very site detailing the Catholic position.
catholic.com/library/Adam_Eve_and_Evolution.asp


#12

Modern biology teaches no such thing. Where did you get that idea? :confused:


#13

Boymama: It’s interesting you should bring this up! I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately…I myself was brought up with a more creationist perspective (I was homeschooled ;). I’ve finished school now, but still continued to believe in the creationist theory, to me it answers questions rather than giving rather time consuming theories into the possibilities of all sorts of things happening! Well, my closest friends went through school and were taught evolution was the go. So we’ve been arguing about it of late and it is just getting me confused…however, as much as they have theories none of them seem convincing enough to me. So I spoke to a local apologist about it.

Firstly, he agreed, there doesn’t appear to be enough evidence for the evolution theory to make it one that you would want to commit to.

Secondly, (upon asking him about the Church’s teaching - Benedict XVI coming out and saying it was ok to believe in) he said that the popes statement wasn’t a definite agreement nor disagreement of the theory of evolution, for one it wasn’t clear what context it was given in. The pope could have been speaking about micro evolution (where changes are made within species - which happens with every reproduction on earth!) or macro evolution (the changing from one species to another). On this note I do not have the popes exact quote, but it appears that his statement wasn’t necessarily in agreement with evolution though may have appeared to be.

Thirdly, he said that he did his own research and looked at the apparition at Lourdes. The apparition occurred in 1858. And in 1859 Darwin presented his publication the origin of species, so beginning the major evolution revolution.

In the apparition at Lourdes Our Lady said, “I am the Immaculate Conception”. Four years previous Pius IX had proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary as dogma. So Our Lady came and confirmed this in her apparition.

Now, for evolution to be real Adam and Eve would have had to have been born. Being the first humans to be born they could not have been born with original sin - for it is said that they themselves committed the first sin (original sin). “The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents” (CCC 390). So as Catholics we cannot deny that our first parents committed original sin. At the same time we cannot deny a dogma of the Church - Mary being Immaculately conceived, which she herself confirms, “I AM the Immaculate Conception”. This statement of Mary’s is one that says she alone was immaculately conceived, for she IS the immaculate conception.

We could then conclude that Adam and Eve either could not have been conceived immaculately or were not conceived at all. Because as Catholics we believe in the original sin of our first parents the first conclusion cannot be valid - for they could not commit sin before conception. Hence, it seemingly follows that they were not conceived at all - being created by God as adult beings.

It also seems that Our Lady appeared with the perfect message, just before evolution became massive!

Wellll, that’s a lot to digest but it’s what I am most convinced of…I’m still looking into things and trying to get the argument perfected - also it can only really convince a Catholic - so got to work on a convincing argument for someone from a purely scientific viewpoint :wink:

If I have got any facts wrong please let me know - it is only the thought of this apologist, it seems valid enough, but yea if it’s not correct I’d rather be corrected!! :smiley:

Any thoughts on the above would be appreciated! :smiley: & hope it helps :smiley:

God Bless!
Live4Life :slight_smile:


#14

[quote="live4life, post:13, topic:249720"]
Boymama: It's interesting you should bring this up! I've been thinking about it a lot lately...I myself was brought up with a more creationist perspective (I was homeschooled ;).

...]

In the apparition at Lourdes Our Lady said, "I am the Immaculate Conception". Four years previous Pius IX had proclaimed the Immaculate Conception of Mary as dogma. So Our Lady came and confirmed this in her apparition.

...]

Now, for evolution to be real Adam and Eve would have had to have been born. Being the first humans to be born they could not have been born with original sin - for it is said that they themselves committed the first sin (original sin).

...]

We could then conclude that Adam and Eve either could not have been conceived immaculately or were not conceived at all. Because as Catholics we believe in the original sin of our first parents the first conclusion cannot be valid - for they could not commit sin before conception. Hence, it seemingly follows that they were not conceived at all - being created by God as adult beings.

It also seems that Our Lady appeared with the perfect message, just before evolution became massive!

...]

God Bless!
Live4Life :)

(trimmed to meet character quota)

[/quote]

I happen to believe in theistic evolution. As Catholics, we are taught that humans are subject to the Natural Law, and I believe evolution is simply the natural process by with which God created humanity.

Now, its important to realize that if evolution were true, then Adam and Eve would not have been Immaculately conceived, but merely conceived before sin existed within humanity. The Holy Spirit provided Mary the graces of Christ's sacrifice from the very moment she was conceived, and provided special grace to remain sinless for her entire natural and eternal.

Adam, and later Eve, would have simply been conceived and born to some proto-human animal. As an animal without reason, the "parents" would be be incapable of sin, and thus Adam and Eve, as children of this animal, could have not inherited any sin.

However, as humans, whether you believe in theistic evolution or literal creation, Adam and Eve chose to sin, and thus passed Original Sin on to their progeny. Unlike Mary, Adam and Eve were not protected for their entire natural lives from sin, thus Mary still is the Immaculate Conception.


#15

This is a banned topic in this sub forum. However it is allowed in the Back Fence for now.
It is not allowed in the apologetics sub forum either.

I hope everyone can comment in the back fence. Some who posted here KNOW it’s banned here.


#16

Thanks Running Dude! I think I personally need to do a lot more study on the subject before coming to my final conclusion, and I said in the post I’m still not sure!

Anyways, I won’t discuss this anymore seeing as it is a banned topic - I was unaware of this StrawberryJam.

God Bless!
Live4Life


#17

As far as Adam and Eve being born of an animal…

Pope Leo XIII wrote an Encyclical ARCANUM in 1880, responding to Darwin’s Descent of Man (1871). Excerpted:

We record what is to all known, and cannot be doubted by any, that God, on the sixth day of creation, having made man from the slime of the earth, and having breathed into his face the breath of life, gave him a companion, whom He miraculously took from the side of Adam when he was locked in sleep.


#18

Sorry! I didn't realize this was a banned topic. :blush:


#19

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