How can we reconcile natural selection with Genesis?


#1

So, I think anybody in the science community will tell you that evolution is true, and I have no problem believing in it, but I came across one video that said we, as Christians, cannot believe Genesis is figurative, because there was no fall of man, therefore Jesus had no reason to redeem us. I’m convinced Jesus exists as He is, Lord of Lords and King of Kings, but how can we answer this objection?


#2

Catholics must believe that Adam & Eve did exist. And that they were the first Homo Sapiens or first Homo Sapien Sapiens.

It is totally fine for us Catholics to believe that the “seven days” are not “seven human days” but rather “seven ‘God days.’” From a Physics stand point, it’s very possible that God and Heaven are outside of our Space-time continum, thus experience time differently. For example, we already know that time slows down the faster one travels. Einstien proposed this in his Theory of Relitivity and it has been proven by astronates in space.

Science and religion do not conflict with or negate one-another. It’s only man’s understanding of science and religion that is in conflict.

Therefore, it’s ok for Catholics to believe in “Divine Evolution” which means that God allowed Evolution to play a part in creation.

There are some good articles on Catholic Answers which discusss this, here are a few:

[LIST]
*]catholic.com/quickquestions/did-science-prove-we-were-all-descended-from-a-single-woman
*]catholic.com/quickquestions/how-did-the-dinosaurs-become-extinct-if-death-didnt-enter-the-world-until-the-fall
*]catholic.com/tracts/adam-eve-and-evolution
*]catholic.com/magazine/articles/aquinas-vs-intelligent-design
[/LIST]

God Bless


#3

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Subclass: Theria
Infraclass: Eutheria
Order: Primates
Suborder: Anthropoidea
Superfamily: Hominoidea
Family: Hominidae
Genus: Homo
Species: sapiens

Homo Sapiens is a scientific term which I humbly believe =/= human (which might include Neanderthals for example).
We are not animals btw.


#4

Hi JDGaney,

I believe evolution there is still a ban on strict discussion of evolution, but take a look at this page for more details on the Church’s position (which is not in conflict with certain scientific theories):

catholic.com/tracts/adam-eve-and-evolution

And, as Catholics, we certainly *are *able to refer to certain language in Genesis as figurative. Read more in the link for the distinction between what must be believed theologically, versus what can be read allegorically .


#5

Yes. While I follow Phil’s general statement, I think the usage of the term “homo sapiens” can create some confusion, as it’s a biological classification. Our understanding of Adam and Eve as the first “people” has more to do with the focus on the impartation of the souls by God rather than their actual genetic clustering.


#6

You were listening to Creationists, shut them out!

The simplest way to reconcile natural selection (or Evolution) with Genesis is to understand what the pur-
pose of the Creation Story is. Go back four to five thousand years ago. You have these tribes of Israelites
in the middle of a time/place where/when all other civilizations had many gods, many involved in Creation.
One god did this, the other did that, even that goddess brought the crops, and so forth** . . . Genesis One
is saying GOD DID IT. Who helped him? GOD DID IT! Creation was the act of God alone, no one is there
to assist God, as there is ONLY ONE GOD!
I refer you to this video:
Christian apologetics 1: Genesis**What about the Fall of Man?
Humans evolved from earlier hominids, the Catholic Church, though holding no official position, does not
have a major cow over that. According to the Bible though, at some point Man was perfect, not sinning,
not dying, and so forth. What was the First Original Sin? WE DON’T KNOW! but whatever it was, Man
lost favor with God, thus Sin and Death became part and parcel to Human Experience.

In this case, despite facts and science and evolution, we still are in need of a Savior, Jesus the Messiah.
Creationists, however, hold the dangerous false dichotomy that if Science is right and the Bible is in fact
not 100% literal to their liking, then there is no God, not Christ, no Soul, no Morality, which simply is not
the case at all, no matter HOW MUCH THEY WANT IT TO BE SO.

Keep in mind also that Creationism is SO NOT ancient history, but a rather new and radical movement
brought on by Fundamentalist Christians who do, as I’ve said many times, anything & everything to at-
tack any scientific observation that they BELIEVE threatens their faith. You do not need to be afraid of
facts, evidence, or science, because it does not contradict the Bible or Christianity, seeing especially
how the Bible and Science are not even addressing the same issues.


#7

Very good post.


#8

You mean like the Church Fathers? :wink:

It is unwise to wed oneself to any particular scientific hypothesis about the origin of man. Natural scientific knowledge is an evolving body and what might seem consonant with what it taught today may not be true tomorrow. Take up whatever opinion you like, but let the scientists worry about all the scientific speculation. Finally, remember that even if the young-Earth creationist account were true, science would reject it because it contradicts the atheistic and material presuppositions of modern science.


#9

There is no atheistic presupposition in modern science. Some scientists may be atheists
and the physical evidence does nothing to change them, but science operates by examin-
ing the evidence and drawing conclusions based on them.

And you speak of Church Fathers, so I bring up St. Augustine who considers it
shameful for Christians to try to explain the natural world using Scripture, while
at the same time appraising non-believers for being able to understand so much
about the natural world.

And evolution is not a hypothesis, it’s a theory, which is a well-substantiated explanation of
some aspect of the natural world, based on knowledge that has been repeatedly confirmed
through observation and experimentation.

Also, if the Young Earth Creationism is factual, scientists would find evidence for that.
Creationists have to lie to make that happen, even lie to themselves from time to time.


#10

There are internal clues within the first two chapters of Genesis that make it fairly clear that the author was not intending to give a scientific account of creation. These include the following:

[LIST]
*]There are two complementary creation accounts, one in chapter 1 and the other starting with verse 2:4. There are minor details in these accounts that conflict, especially as regards the order of creation.
*]There is a lot of evidence that the first chapter of Genesis was written as a sort of critique of other, similar creation accounts by other civilizations. The purpose is to establish God’s absolute sovereignty over creation, in particular over those beings that some cultures regarded as divinities (sun, moon, stars, the sea, certain animals, and so on).
*]Genesis 1 is almost certainly meant to be sung: the recurring words “And there was evening and there was morning” is like a refrain. It is not, therefore, actually intended to express the time frame of creation.
*]The arrangement into seven days closely parallels the ancient Hebrews’ custom of working for six days and resting on the seventh. It is likely that the creation account was written well after this custom was established in Israel. In other words, this organization is intended as a pious justification for the very salutary practice of resting on the Sabbath day. (This, by the way, explains why Christians rest on the first, or eighth, day: on that day, God completed the work of his New Creation; namely, the Resurrection of Christ.)
[/LIST]

Therefore, Christians are free to subscribe to any valid scientific theory regarding the origins of man. Such theories do not alter the enduring truths expressed in the Scriptures.

God bless!
Fr. Louis Melahn, L.C.


#11

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