Evolution


#1

The Church accepts the possibility that we physically evolved from pre-human creatures. If evolution is true then we may need to develop our understanding. For example, are we to accept the possibility that the first true human at conception was in the womb of a pre-human creature and raised by a pre-human creature?


#2

Offhand I don’t see why that would be problematic. According to evolution that is the case with every mutation that brings about species change.


#3

The Church teaches that all modern humans had Adam and Eve as their parents.

God bless,
Ed


#4

Consider a pre-human tribe. For a few years before the first true humans are born there would be pre-humans born. So as adults there would be pe-humans and the true humans that are near in age. We cannot accept the idea that the first true humans “joined” with and/or reproduced with pre-humans of the opposite gender that were their same approximate age, can we?


#5

Dear Ed, I recommend considering current Vatican documents. The recent popes have accepted the possibility of physical evolution. You can see in my other thread where I propose the idea that our first parents were “two” spiritually. I do not know the answer. I seek to understand.
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=4035258#post4035258

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040723_communion-stewardship_en.html

Chapter Three 1.70
The above document clearly refers to the emergence of the first humans as individuals or in populations.

Chapter Two 3.43
Refers to the original unity of the human race and that the human race was made in the image of the divine Trinity. Adam is referred to as a symbol although it is not clear if this is meant to imply polygenism as acceptable.

This document was permitted for publication by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (now the pope).

Ed, it is clear that the Church accepts evolution as a possibility. If it is possible then I am trying to understand more about the first true humans. On cannot accept evolution without accepting that Adam and Eve would have been born of pre-human creatures. This is by the very definition of evolution. I am struggling with this.


#6

It is an alternative to incest, which would be required if true humans only mated with true humans. The DNA of the two groups would be from the same biological species so they would be able to mate. The only difference would have been the presence or not of a soul, which is not detectable by biological science.

The evidence on past human population sizes indicates that the lowest population of biological humans was between 1,000 and 10,000 breeding pairs. A population size of two is too low to match current evidence.

It is possible for God to give a soul to the offspring of a mating between a souled human and an unsouled almost-human. The offspring would obviously be descended from Adam or Eve or both via the souled parent.

rossum


#7

Can’t be. First off the prototypical human is Adam. For the whole human race to be made in his image requires he was created first and eve second, from him.

From these two all have descended.

To think that God took a pre-human and then instilled a prefabricated human soul into it goes against pretty much all of Catholic teaching for 1900 years. It also smacks of dualism.

Catholics believe in special transformism.

Show me how your claim is non-dualistic.

Furthermore scripture tells us God breathed life into nonliving matter. Breathing life into a pre-human who is already alive is redundant.

Also, the fact that evolution required God to transform the pre-human into a form able to accept a human soul cuts down evolution. It is saying that it could not evolve far enough without Divine intervention.


#8

Gen 2:7 then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Sounds like a two-step process to me.


#9

Hi buffalo, The popes accept evolution as a possibility (probability? i.e. “more than a hypothesis”). Therefore, I seek answers to what we are to believe if evolution is true such as the possibility of the physical union of a true human and non-human. Given the sacredness of the human conjugal act, I would think this is not acceptable.


#10

The text should read that God took an animal and put a soul into him. It doesn’t. :frowning: I suppose it was easier for the ancients to believe we came from dust rather than from an animal.:wink:

Catholics understand the unity of the soul and body are so profound that it is not two natures combined but one nature from the beginning. Man did not come from generation. To believe so violates causality.


#11

I’d be very careful about claiming what scripture should say. :slight_smile: Evolution is most certainly compatible with the statement that life was formed from dust.

Catholics understand the unity of the soul and body are so profound that it is not two natures combined but one nature from the beginning. Man did not come from generation. To believe so violates causality.

When the Church declares what you state then I’ll believe it. Until then yours is just one argument among many.


#12

You are correct. It is not acceptable.

Special transformism is Catholic belief. Now mind you God can do this even if evolution is occurring in nature with regard to lower forms.

And another question - Did God know what Adam and Eve were going to look like? Or did He just stand back with a with a see attitude?

Catholic teaching is we are made in the image an likeness. This in itself says that God had us in mind.


#13

vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/cti_documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20040723_communion-stewardship_en.html

Chapter Three 1.63:
…general agreement among them that the first organism dwelt on this planet about 3.5-4 billion years ago. Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism.


#14

365 The unity of soul and body is so profound that one has to consider the soul to be the “form” of the body:234 i.e., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man, are not two natures united, but rather their union forms a single nature.


#15

It would have to have been prevented somehow.

Good point.


#16

But is incest acceptable? The reality is, either explanation seems to lead to behavior outside the bounds of Christian sexual morality.


#17

from the same document:

[LEFT] 9. Two themes converge to shape the biblical perspective. In the first place, the whole of man is seen as created in the image of God. This perspective excludes interpretations which locate the imago Dei in one or another aspect of human nature (for example, his upright stature or his intellect) or in one of his qualities or functions (for example, his sexual nature or his domination of the earth). Avoiding both monism and dualism, the Bible presents a vision of the human being in which the spiritual is understood to be a dimension together with the physical, social and historical dimensions of man. [/LEFT]
[LEFT]10. Secondly, the creation accounts in Genesis make it clear that man is not created as an isolated individual: “God created mankind in his image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). God placed the first human beings in relation to one another, each with a partner of the other sex. The Bible affirms that man exists in relation with other persons, with God, with the world, and with himself. According to this conception, man is not an isolated individual but a person – an essentially relational being. Far from entailing a pure actualism that would deny its permanent ontological status, the fundamentally relational character of the imago Dei itself constitutes its ontological structure and the basis for its exercise of freedom and responsibility.

And it is fair to followup with this:

  1. Pope John Paul II stated some years ago that “new knowledge leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge”(“Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution”1996). In continuity with previous twentieth century papal teaching on evolution (especially Pope Pius XII’s encyclical * Humani Generis* ), the Holy Father’s message acknowledges that there are “several theories of evolution” that are “materialist, reductionist and spiritualist” and thus incompatible with the Catholic faith. It follows that the message of Pope John Paul II cannot be read as a blanket approbationof all theories of evolution, including those of a neo-Darwinian provenance which explicitly deny to divine providence any truly causal role in the development of life in the universe. Mainly concerned with evolution as it “involves the question of man,” however, Pope John Paul’s message is specifically critical of materialistic theories of human origins and insists on the relevance of philosophy and theology for an adequate understanding of the “ontological leap” to the human which cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. The Church’s interest in evolution thus focuses particularly on “the conception of man” who, as created in the image of God, “cannot be subordinated as a pure means or instrument either to the species or to society.” As a person created in the image of God, he is capable of forming relationships of communion with other persons and with the triune God, as well as of exercising sovereignty and stewardship in the created universe. The implication of these remarks is that theories of evolution and of the origin of the universe possess particular theological interest when they touch on the doctrines of the creation ex nihilo and the creation of man in the image of God.[/LEFT]

#18

Of course. To speculate that God used evolutionary means to arrive at the human body in no way suggests that God didn’t know exactly what he wanted and what he would get. God may have adjusted the parameters of the big bang to give you the precise color of your eyes, and the number of hairs on your head. Nothing is impossible for God.


#19

Incest in the direct line is intrinisically evil. Incest in the line brother, sister, cousin is not. In the beginning it was ordained by God. Only later was it stopped.


#20

God’s hand in the process is evident.

God could also have specially created Adam and Eve supernaturally in His likeness and inserted them into the timeline anywhere He wished regardless of what may or may not have been happening in the universe at the time.


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