Evolution refuting catholicism?


#1

Hi,
Macroevolution is something that I’ve been deeply struggeling with. I believe in the Catholic Church and everything she says it is though I just don’t see how belief in macroevolution is compatible with Catholicism. None of the evidence points to monogenism. My professors tell me that, even though it is a theory, the evidence is so strong for macroevolution that it’s widely accepted as fact among most scientists. This confuses and scares me.

Help

Brian


#2

The Church affirms that God created the universe, but makes no statements about the physical details. There’s nothing in Scripture that necessarily demands a six 24-hour day creation, or that necessarily contradicts old earth cosmology.

Relax.

What is giving you the most problem?


#3

[quote=Brown10985]Hi,
Macroevolution is something that I’ve been deeply struggeling with. I believe in the Catholic Church and everything she says it is though I just don’t see how belief in macroevolution is compatible with Catholicism. None of the evidence points to monogenism. My professors tell me that, even though it is a theory, the evidence is so strong for macroevolution that it’s widely accepted as fact among most scientists. This confuses and scares me.

Help

Brian
[/quote]

No need to be afraid. The theory of evolution is just that - a theory. Nobody was ever around to witness it. Evolutionists just have pieces of the puzzle to put together the best they can.

Please feel relaxed in the truth that not all scientists believe in evolution, and not all pro-evolutionists are scientists.

No evolutionist wants to admit they spent a great deal of their life dedicating themself to the lie of evolution.

Evolution is attractive becuase people want license to do what they want without regard to morality.


#4

[quote=neophyte]The Church affirms that God created the universe, but makes no statements about the physical details. There’s nothing in Scripture that necessarily demands a six 24-hour day creation, or that necessarily contradicts old earth cosmology.

Relax.

What is giving you the most problem?
[/quote]

I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to science so I’ve pretty much been relying on outside sources for my information on evolution. Theology and Philosophy is just more of my thing. On two occasions I walked into college classrooms this semester and the professor kept going off on how much evidence there is for evolution and that it is almost a fact that macroevolution is true. I didn’t really think much of it until I looked into Leo XIII and Pius XII’s encyclicals and saw the limitations of being a Catholic theist evolutionist and that the majority of evidence points to polygenism rather than monogenism. This really confuses me and even shakens me a little.


#5

I think we need to remember that Divine Revelation can not be wrong. If the theories of man suggests that we have not descended from one man and one woman, then their interpretation of the data is simply wrong. That is an important point: interpretation. Facts are facts…but when it comes to historical science, one must interpret the facts. It is impossible to prove that macroevolution has occured. What scientists do is look at the facts, and try to compose a theory that best explains all the data. I know most people would laugh at me in todays society for saying such a thing…but I am a creationist myself…and I believe that the evidence overwhelmingly supports evolution only because the evidence is being interpreted within a pre-conceived framework of billions of years and evolution.
Check out answersingenesis.org and especially answersingenesis.org/home/area/about.asp, which includes links to a couple introductory articles that explain this issue. Creationists, at least the ones at organizations like AiG and ICR, don’t try to pit a pile of ‘evidence for creation’ against another pile of ‘evidence for evolution’…they simply interpret the evidence within the framework of a recent, special creation. I strongly believe that, despite what many on this forum will tell you, if one looks at what creationists actually say, the evidence does fit very well with the creation model. There are always new developments in the creation model as well…such as catostrophic plate tectonics, but I’ll let you do your own investigation.

In Christ,
Tyler


#6

It’s too bad biologists aren’t as honest as physicists. For all that science has discovered, there is, and always will be an infinite amount of mystery beyond the science of the day.

Knowing that the Standard Model will soon crumble, many physicists don’t seem to take themselves too seriously and realize that all science is based upon un-provable assumptions. Any Freshman philosophy student should know that.

Evolution is a terrific theory, or more precisely a powerful paradigm. But like all scientific thought regimes, it MUST exclude the supernatural - how could one ever conduct an experiment and account for the possibility that God might intervene in replication1 of treatment A but not in replication B?

Evolution is curiously similar to Marxism (they even date from the same period of recent history). Within its constraints, its logic is indefeatable. But it has serious flaws. Flaws which only are of consequence when evolution is used outside of its proper scientific context.

I like to marvel at nature and I appreciate evolution’s attempt to explain it. But the complexity and beauty of creation repeatedly embarrasses and haunts the Evolutionist who tries to take his theory out of academia and into the real world.

Some examples that come to mind are human consciousness, the progression of simple life forms to complex life forms though the former would seem to have higher fitness, and the superfulousness of music.

W


#7

Well, I AM a scientist.

In physics, there are three LAWS (not “theories,” but LAWS) which are the fundamental basis of all physical sciences. These are called the LAWS of Thermodynamics. The word “thermodynamics” is intimidating to many people – it need not be – it is simply another way of saying “energy.” So, essentially, these are the three LAWS of energy.

The LAWS of thermodynamics are both simple and complex (much like theology). On a simple level, you may express the three LAWS thus: You cannot win (you never get more energy out of a system than you put in), **you cannot break even ** (you always loose energy), and you cannot ever get out of the game (energy exchange is always taking place).

The Second LAW of Thermodynamics is of particular interest in the evolution debate. A Christian need not reject macroevolution because it is bad theology – s/he can reject it because it is BAD SCIENCE.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (also called the Law of Entropy, or the Law of Chaos) maintains that an ordered system will break down (fall into entropy, or chaos) unless there is an EXTERNAL (outside the system) application of energy.

Think of your own house. If you do nothing to it, what happens? Does it re-paint itself? Repair its own plumbing? Fix its own roof? Of course not! It would eventually crumble into dust (literally), unless YOU (an external force) exert energy to maintain it.

Ordered systems break down into unordered systems, unless there is an EXTERNAL (outside the system) application of energy. That’s the Second LAW of Thermodynamics.

Evolutionists claim that the unordered gave rise to the ordered. The unintelligent gave rise to the intelligent. Non-Life gave rise to life.

If the evolutionists admit an EXTERNAL application of energy (which could ONLY be God!) than that’s fine! But if they suppose that this happened within the system itself (ie, within Creation) then they have proposed a “theory” which is contrary to a LAW of physics.

In fact, the very existence of the universe (and, especially our own world) confounds the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Our own world should have crumbled into space dust eons ago! Theists can explain this easily (“our existence continues by the Will and Grace of God), but atheists have a scientific problem with the very fact that our world exists. This has given rise to a whole new modern psuedo-science called “Chaos Theory.” The latest twist in this is that the universe exists on the “edge of chaos” which somehow corrects itself. It’s a very Yin/Yang philosophy which has very little resemblance to Physical Science. The people who perpetuate such theories are more philosophers than scientists.

Evolutionists claim the universe was the product of random chance. Let me explain why this is NONSENSE with this example:

Suppose you took the parts of a pocket watch and put them in a sack. Now, suppose you shook the sack for a long time. What would happen to the parts? They would turn to DUST, of course! (as the Second Law of Thermodynamics says) But, imagine the parts (and the sack) were somehow indestructible. How long would you need to shake the sack before those parts assembled themselves (by random chance) into the original watch?

It should be obvious to most people that the parts would NEVER assemble themselves into the original pocket watch, no matter how many BILLIONS of years you shook the sack. Maybe a couple or three parts might momentarily come together in the correct placement, but would quickly be disoriented.

That’s because an unordered system cannot produce an ordered product. That’s the Second LAW of Thermodynamics. Consider that a pocket watch has – what? – maybe a couple hundred parts? A DNA molecule (the “building block” of life) has three BILLION parts! Three BILLION. Three THOUSAND MILLION.

Macroevolution is an absurd theory. The Second LAW of Thermodynamics PROVES it to be absurd.


#8

[quote=DavidFilmer]Well, I AM a scientist.

In physics, there are three LAWS (not “theories,” but LAWS) which are the fundamental basis of all physical sciences. These are called the LAWS of Thermodynamics. . . .Macroevolution is an absurd theory. The Second LAW of Thermodynamics PROVES it to be absurd.
[/quote]

brilliantly stated
just for curiosity, for us liberal arts majors, what is th 3rd law of thermodynamics?

my daughter and son-in-law are also scientists, one a physicist, one a mathemetician. I was leafing through Scientific American at their house (that is the most comprehensible of the journals they subscribe to) about evolution and intelligent design theory, and was jarred to find the statement, as a throw-away tag to another argument, that there is NO fossil evidence for evolution, for a direct fossil link between one species and another. there is evidence for extinction of species, and for natural selection and development of traits within a specie, but not for evolution from one to another.

I asked, appalled if that is true, and they both said, oh yes, of course, it is a theory, not a law. they laboriously explained the difference to me among theories, laws, postulates, premises etc.

If the scientists say there is no evidence, what are we all jawing about?


#9

David, absolutely wonderful explanation. :clapping: I am going to name my next male child after you.


#10

[quote=DavidFilmer]That’s because an unordered system cannot produce an ordered product.

Macroevolution is an absurd theory. The Second LAW of Thermodynamics PROVES it to be absurd.
[/quote]

In the context of this discussion, exactly what is the system you refer to? Where are the boundaries of the system? What is internal and what is external to the system?


#11

[quote=DavidFilmer]…The Second Law of Thermodynamics (also called the Law of Entropy, or the Law of Chaos) maintains that an ordered system will break down (fall into entropy, or chaos) unless there is an EXTERNAL (outside the system) application of energy…Macroevolution is an absurd theory. The Second LAW of Thermodynamics PROVES it to be absurd.
[/quote]

David,

I respectfully submit that you’ve quite severely misstated the Second Law, and so have come to an erroneous conclusion.

The Second Law is a mathematical description of the ability of the available energy of a system to do work. It has absolutely nothing to do with “order” as you’ve defined it.

If you take a box of white and black marbles that have been segregated by color, then shake the box up well, the only change in entropy is that due to the energy you expended in shaking the box. The change in entropy due to the fact that the marbles are now de-segregated is exactly zero. That you never manage to shake the box until the marbles are re-segregated is due to the fact that the number of arrangements in which the marbles are mixed vastly outnumber those in which they are segregated. If you shake the box long enough, you’ll eventually get lucky - it’ll just take a very, very, very long time.

Were your statement correct, then the entropy of ice at 32 degrees would be greater than that of water at 32 degrees. We could then create an engine that has no effect but to make heat flow from a cold object to a warmer object, which is a Second Law violation.

asquared,
The Third Law can be stated as “the entropy of a perfect crystal of an element at absolute zero is zero”. Such a crystal is at the bottom of the heat well, and in principle no work can be gotten out of it.

Brian,
I’m not familiar with the encyclicals you refer to, but I have no doubt that extremely careful study (and that’s the tricky part!) will show there are no discrepancies between infallible teaching and good science. The problem many people have is that they forget that there are limits to what science can conclude.


#12

[quote=Brown10985]Hi,
Macroevolution is something that I’ve been deeply struggeling with. I believe in the Catholic Church and everything she says it is though I just don’t see how belief in macroevolution is compatible with Catholicism. None of the evidence points to monogenism. My professors tell me that, even though it is a theory, the evidence is so strong for macroevolution that it’s widely accepted as fact among most scientists. This confuses and scares me.

Help

Brian
[/quote]

About 2 years ago I watched a science programme from the USA, anyway I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
A scientist at the end said, " I don’t understand this but we went so far back in time, and you know what, before all this there was nothing".
He was baffled after all his study, and in Genesis it said that God made everything out of nothing.

So I think I’ll go with God.


#13

[quote=DavidFilmer]Well, I AM a scientist.
[/quote]

What kind of scientist are you?

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (also called the Law of Entropy, or the Law of Chaos) maintains that an ordered system will break down (fall into entropy, or chaos) unless there is an EXTERNAL (outside the system) application of energy.

Think of your own house. If you do nothing to it, what happens? Does it re-paint itself? Repair its own plumbing? Fix its own roof? Of course not! It would eventually crumble into dust (literally), unless YOU (an external force) exert energy to maintain it.

Ordered systems break down into unordered systems, unless there is an EXTERNAL (outside the system) application of energy. That’s the Second LAW of Thermodynamics.

Evolutionists claim that the unordered gave rise to the ordered. The unintelligent gave rise to the intelligent. Non-Life gave rise to life.

If the evolutionists admit an EXTERNAL application of energy (which could ONLY be God!) than that’s fine! But if they suppose that this happened within the system itself (ie, within Creation) then they have proposed a “theory” which is contrary to a LAW of physics.

I’m not a physicist and I also agree that God is the driving force for evolution, but what about a nuclear reaction taking place ~93 million miles away. Couldn’t that be a source of energy? Hmm?

In fact, the very existence of the universe (and, especially our own world) confounds the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

You just refuted the second law of thermodynamics! Prove that and you have the Nobel wrapped up with no competition! How can you on one hand argue that the second law of thermodynamics invalidates evolution and then turn around and make the case that the second law is invalid?

Peace

Tim


#14

This is a very good article explaining the relationship between Catholic teaching and evolutionary theory:

ewtn.com/library/HUMANITY/EVOLUTN.TXT

Also the encyclical of Pope Pius XII Humani Generis, which isn’t as hard to wade through as you might fear:

ewtn.com/library/ENCYC/P12HUMAN.HTM


#15

[quote=SocaliCatholic]No need to be afraid. The theory of evolution is just that - a theory. Nobody was ever around to witness it. Evolutionists just have pieces of the puzzle to put together the best they can.
[/quote]

ok… agreed

Please feel relaxed in the truth that not all scientists believe in evolution, and not all pro-evolutionists are scientists.

Drifting… Maybe not all scientists, but I’d challenge you to find a single biologist or paleontologist working in the field who does not accept the general theory.

No evolutionist wants to admit they spent a great deal of their life dedicating themself to the lie of evolution.

Now I’m surprised at you. After all the other evolutionary threads and progress made in communicating the basics of the theory, you throw out this kind of innuendo. You really don’t believe that there is some kind of dark secret amongst scientists — that they plod on with their research and papers, knowing all along that they are living a lie?

Evolution is attractive becuase people want license to do what they want without regard to morality.

This is beneath you. We can do better than insinuating selfish and evil motives in others.


#16

[quote=DavidFilmer]Well, I AM a scientist.
[/quote]

Cool. As am I.

The Second LAW of Thermodynamics is of particular interest in the evolution debate. A Christian need not reject macroevolution because it is bad theology ? s/he can reject it because it is BAD SCIENCE.

The second law has been shown repeatedly to be of no consequence in relation to the genetic difference of offspring in relation to their parents. Here is a link:

2nd law discussion

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (also called the Law of Entropy, or the Law of Chaos) maintains that an ordered system will break down (fall into entropy, or chaos) unless there is an EXTERNAL (outside the system) application of energy.

Think of your own house. If you do nothing to it, what happens? Does it re-paint itself? Repair its own plumbing? Fix its own roof? Of course not! It would eventually crumble into dust (literally), unless YOU (an external force) exert energy to maintain it.

Ordered systems break down into unordered systems, unless there is an EXTERNAL (outside the system) application of energy. Thatês the Second LAW of Thermodynamics.

Sort of. Really, the 2nd law is a precise statement of the distribution of energy (a macrostate) amongst many constituent microstates. The law asserts that the most probable state of a system is one with the greatest number of microstates.

Evolutionists claim that the unordered gave rise to the ordered. The unintelligent gave rise to the intelligent. Non-Life gave rise to life.

Strictly speaking, evolution is not concerned with the non-life to life transition. It only speaks to the diversity of genetic forms extant today and the history of their variation. Nor is there a good theory (that I’m aware of) of the development of intelligence. Can the “unordered” give rise to the “ordered”? Sure. Happens all the time. Snowflake formation out of water vapor, for example.

If the evolutionists admit an EXTERNAL application of energy (which could ONLY be God!) than thatês fine! But if they suppose that this happened within the system itself (ie, within Creation) then they have proposed a –theory” which is contrary to a LAW of physics.

Your understanding of physics is in error. The sun provides plenty of energy to drive many natural processes.

In fact, the very existence of the universe (and, especially our own world) confounds the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Our own world should have crumbled into space dust eons ago! Theists can explain this easily (–our existence continues by the Will and Grace of God), but atheists have a scientific problem with the very fact that our world exists. This has given rise to a whole new modern psuedo-science called –Chaos Theory.” The latest twist in this is that the universe exists on the –edge of chaos” which somehow corrects itself. Itês a very Yin/Yang philosophy which has very little resemblance to Physical Science. The people who perpetuate such theories are more philosophers than scientists.

That is not at all what “chaos theory” is, nor why it was developed. I know some atheist scientists, and they have no problem at all with the existence of the world.

Evolutionists claim the universe was the product of random chance. Let me explain why this is NONSENSE with this example:

Your example is flawed. No scientist believes that evolution is driven by random chance. Rather, advantageous changes build upon each other. You really ought to acquaint yourself with evolutionary science before attempting to discredit it.


#17

I apologize for my part in hijacking this thread. Perhaps we can start another in which to discuss the Second Law.

Brian,
I pulled down a copy of Humani Generis and will read it. I repeat my assertion that if evolution is true, it can nonetheless be squared with the infallible teaching of the Church. I can’t promise to be smart enough to do it myself.


#18

So if evolution were to be proven true tomorrow, how would God threatened?

Can someone explain to me why so many people feel threatened by science? :confused:


#19

[quote=St3746]So if evolution were to be proven true tomorrow, how would God threatened?

Can someone explain to me why so many people feel threatened by science? :confused:
[/quote]

I think it has to do with original sin which is the foundation and basis of our faith.There needs to be one man and one woman in order for the sin to be transmitted to the human race which would be Adam and Eve.Without this sin there is no need for Christ or anything we believe.No need for redemption.Now if science proves that there was polygenism,there goes our faith.And if old earth science is correct,then there was death and chaos for billions of years when the Bible says that God created everything perfect until Adam and Eve messed up.How can there be death and destruction for so long and when did Paradise finally come along? It can’t be reconciled.


#20

<< why so many people feel threatened by science? >>

Because they’ve never read the Catechism apparently (paragraphs 159, 283-284) :confused:

  1. The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers…

I see the same old scientific misconceptions: 2nd law of thermo, no transitional fossils, and many others dealt with by TalkOrigins.

As for the polygenism vs. monogenism conflict, I don’t know yet, and evolution being fully compatible with Catholic teaching, the book to get is

Responses to 101 Questions on God and Evolution by John Haught

I ordered this and waiting to get it. I’ll let you know what he says in evolution thread #582,368,188,991. There is also a book by Cardinal Ratzinger on Genesis which I should try to find.

A thoughtful review by Behe of Haught’s book God After Darwin

Here ya go, interviews galore

All the major players in the evolution and faith conflict and debate

Phil P


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.