I have pondered this question for several years since a friend who’s a member of Opus Dei told me he believed in an exact interpretaion of the bible which is about 5,000 yrs even though the old calendars are unknown. He also believes God created the world with fossils, dinosaur bones etc already there to make the earth look old etc for our benefit. I have wondered about this question and never agreed. My parish priest thinks we’ve been here about 100,000 yrs I think. Last night I was thinking about it and here is my conclusion.
One of the philosophical proofs for the existence of God follows-
Ontological (Anselm): “God” means “that which has all conceivable perfections” ; and it is more perfect to exist really than only mentally; therefore God exists really. The most perfect conceivable being cannot lack any conceivable perfection.
From this I feel it is more perfect to have existed and happened than to be made to look like it existed or happened. God does everything perfectly so I think my friend is wrong. I think the world is very old as per the big bang theory. I’m not sure but I think man was created between 10,000 yrs and 100,000 yrs ago. Created from dust and no evolution.
My dear friend
I don’t see why God can’t deceive people. He does it all the time. There are many examples of God deceiving in the bible such as when Abraham was decived into thinking he must sacrifice his only son, as a test. God does everything for a good reason and out of a motive of love though. God can only do good and sometimes deception is necessary. I agree that God would not deceive us here because it would be the less perfect way to go about things and God does everything infinitely perfectly.
It is my friends personal opinion too. Opus Dei is in perfect line with the church in every way. My friend is a very learned expert on this subject but I must disagree with him i think. I believed the 10,000 yrs too but have widened the timeframe to allow for all evidence. I know our scientists make lots of mistakes, particularly with dating, but I think it could be up to 100,000 yrs. The lack of evidence apart from bones does not mean anything here in my opinion.
I see Tim Staples from here is coming to Sydney very soon. If any are from Sydney here go and see him. He’s talking for a week starting July 5 and I’m sure he’s in the class of Scott Hahn or close. They have a website on the brochure www.thecatholicforum.org check him out.
Very interesting topic however I couldnt vote as you didnt have an appropriate choice for my vote.Having said that I was intrigued by what your Opus Dei friend said.
I definitely do not agree with that friend 5000yrs.I actually believe God created everything including the Big Bang.Dinosaurs and all other pre-historic creatures come from God.I am with the group of Catholics who dont disagree with scientific opinion and religious combined.I believe God created us when he had to give us the choice of free will.To choose God or satan.When this happened I am not concerned with but I feel it was long before 100,000yrs.I have no basis for that other than evidence is found all the time by scientists of skeletal remains of human life dated lond ago.
God gives us mysteries, but deception is not from God.
The problem is that particular interpretation of the Bible, which is not in keeping with Church teaching or tradition. The Church has never rejected the theory of evolution (keeping in mind that it is theory). There is nothing incompatable between science and faith as John Paul II and Benedict XVI have repeatedly emphasized.
On a more profound level, Western culture and science was built on a Christian (Catholic) foundation. That foundation posits that God is rational and made the universe in a way that is both rational and at some level understandable. Studying the physical world around us is way to enter into the mystery and beauty of God’s creation: creation reflects the Creator. So to posit that God seeded the earth with fossils and dinosaurs to mislead us is illogical on several levels, including the theological level.
Well I personally very much believe in Evolution, and as a concrete fact not as theory. As for your question as to how long man has been here, it depends on what you consider “Man.”
I am a Biological Anthropology major which is basically the study of human evolution and if you only consider man to be the present Homo Sapien, then we have been here at least 150,000 years. Before that of course, was the lineage of different species and subspecies of our ancestors that eventually lead to us. And one of the things that annoys me the most is when people tell me,“We didn’t come from monkeys!” Which I agree with very much, because we didn’t come from monkey but all other apes and ourselves at once shared a common ancestor, just as all life once shared a common ancestor, and then we diverged into our own lineage about 5 millions years ago into the family known as Hominidae, which includes the living species of chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans, also known as the great apes.
So there, ultimately you are the judge of what you believe or don’t.
On another personal note, believing in evolution does not discredit God in my eyes in any way shape or form. I do follow my Catholic faith with joy. Though I can’t say I believe in intelligent design either or that I take a literal interpretation of Genesis but I do believe God created life. That he gave that first spark of life, perhaps knowing what would come from it or perhaps not but that he loves every living and even nonliving thing that has come into being and has yet to come.
I appreciate your input. Man is made of exactly the same stuff as dirt though. You should find that with your study. There is no evidence for anything ever evolving. How can you evolve an eye if you don’t know light exists? You should really look into intelligent design theory much more because it pretty much proves Darwin wrong and by Darwins own words. i know others will try to dicredit it and challenge it but they are not friends of God all too often. It really presents no obstacle to me to believe in creation as taught in the bible because God can do this with no effort and I’ve only seen evidence saying it is so and none for evolution. I understand the church allows for some evolution but I disagree and I think eventually science will disprove and cast out the theory. I think it’ll take a long time to cast out evolution because scientists all too often refuse to believe in God or creationism because their too proud and are petrified they may believe in a fairy tale. I say this with charity though. I’m simply saying it how I see it. I wish you all the best with your studies and pray you are an exception and are humble enough to search and find truth and accept it regardless of your peers.
Thanks for your input. I would just say that the church permits some evolution now but i think science will disprove it and be forced to reject it eventually then the church will follow suit. And I’ll be happy then because the main contender , maybe only contender- I’ve heard of no others , is creationism or intelligent design. I am a bit down on the scientists because their too proud and arrogant to accept God and creation all too often because their scared stiff they may believe in a fairy tale. They need humility. Then they would have a chance of getting faith. I agree and say science should note there is no conflict between faith and reason. I’m not angry if it sounds that way and thank you for your contribution here.
It is understandable to feel “down” on scientists, given what we hear in the media. Please remember though that many if not most scientists in America are Christians. For every atheist celebrity like Richard Dawkins or Steven Jay Gould there are dozens of good men and women who believe in God and dedicate themselves to research that makes life better for you and me and education of the next generation.
Let us also remember that the Catholic Church is the #1 private sponsor of scientific research in the world. There are many pontifical academies filled with leading scientists who are faithful Catholics and not at all arrogant about their role in the world.
Fr. Benedict Groeschel is fond of quoting the words of Albert Einstein: “The most beautiful and profound emotion we can experience is the sensation of the mystical. It is the sower of all true science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead.” Einstein refers to the created universe as a profound mystery created by a higher power (Tears of God, p.25). Hardly sound arrogant to me.
I’m not a natural scientist so I can’t evaluate many of the claims of intelligent design, but many seem quite plausible and worthy of consideration. They do not necessarily contradict all aspects of evolutionary theory and it is quite possible that parts of the theory of evolution hold up to scrutiny better than others. What Darwin originally proposed was limited and he did not set out to launch an attack on religious belief. Rather, many “intellectuals” of his time used his theories to wage war on what they believed (wrongly) was superstition and backwardness. They, not Darwin, created “Darwinism.” Misuse of Darwin’s theories resulted in terrible atrocities, including the Holocaust, (indirectly) Marxism/Leninism, and so-called “scientific racism” which has been used to justify many sins. Intelligent design is not as susceptible to such abuse, though we should never underestimate the power of human weakness to mess things up.
I’m uncomfortable with the notion that you or I somehow know better than the Church and that the Church will eventually “come around” to our way of thinking on this or that. If both John Paul II and Benedict XVI–who are both much smarter than I am–can accept the theory of evolution, the existence of dinosaurs, etc., then who am I to contradict them?
Interesting statement about evolution because it’s not true. Not only do we have evidence of things evolving but we can… actually I have, see things evolve in a lab.
God it outside of time, it’s one of the most important aspects of our Sacrifice of the Mass. Trying to make God fit into our understanding of time is for our benefit not His and actually causes theological problems.
God reveals things to us when we are ready. Were a group o nomads with no understanding of theoretical physics ready for how God actually created the Universe? Of course not, the best way for them to understand that it was a process and not instantaneous was the use of the days of the week.
You have to also realize we have evidence of other cultures that predate the OT right?
I guess I just don’t understand the interest and I TRULY don’t understand why a member of OD would be concerned about it.
“I appreciate your input. Man is made of exactly the same stuff as dirt though. You should find that with your study. There is no evidence for anything ever evolving. How can you evolve an eye if you don’t know light exists? You should really look into intelligent design theory much more because it pretty much proves Darwin wrong and by Darwins own words. i know others will try to dicredit it and challenge it but they are not friends of God all too often. It really presents no obstacle to me to believe in creation as taught in the bible because God can do this with no effort and I’ve only seen evidence saying it is so and none for evolution. I understand the church allows for some evolution but I disagree and I think eventually science will disprove and cast out the theory. I think it’ll take a long time to cast out evolution because scientists all too often refuse to believe in God or creationism because their too proud and are petrified they may believe in a fairy tale. I say this with charity though. I’m simply saying it how I see it. I wish you all the best with your studies and pray you are an exception and are humble enough to search and find truth and accept it regardless of your peers.”
I have taken it upon myself to read up on intelligent design, though just because something is plausible doesn’t not make it a concrete fact or to be accepted with totality. Something absolutely crucial to keep in mind when thinking of evolution, is that the process of evolution has no premeditated plan behind it. You an eye doesn’t evolve because it “knows” there’s light, an eye evolves because it has helped an organism survive long enough to reproduce and pass on its genes, which encompasses the development of eyes as well as everything else. The origin of such traits only arise from mutations, meiosis, and genetic drift which can either work against an organism or in favor of its survival, which dictates the traits that are to be passed on. This is what is often referred to as “survival of the fittest,” but this has been ill used because the fitness of an animal means nothing if it can not adapt to its environment which in some cases is ever changing. This is natural selection which again has no premeditated plan behind it in nature. Natural selection simply preserves certain traits(that already exist from prior generations) from one generation to the next. Another thing that must be essential to your understanding is that evolution does not occur in one generation along but across generations. You or any organism does not undergo evolution during your life. Your choices in mate, the genes your mate possesses as well as your own, which genes are to be expressed in your offspring and so on is what evolution is.
Perhaps a more practical way of seeing this process is in noting man’s best friend. All breeds of dogs have shared a common ancestors, but they vary drastically among each other today. Why is that? In this case, Man has manipulated the process of natural selection, taking it upon himself to select traits to his liking and breeding them into following generation until he has reached results in a dog he is satisfied with. This is an artificial and quickened process of evolution, that has been used on various animals. I can go far more into depth about evolutionary processes as well as breeding but I think I tire my audience. If you ever have the opportunity, I suggest you take an evolution course, as you have suggested I learn more of intelligent design, which I intend to.
As for the ease that God could have done all this…I have no argument that an all powerful God could have done it all in a moment of his eternal time…but does that mean he would? I’m sure he can do anything at anytime if he so willed but does he do things just because he can?
i appreciate your input. I do not consider myself better than the church because on creation i agree with scripture and tradition and evolution is a relatively new theory so I think the church did not recognise the possibility of evolution for a good while. I have a brain and 5 senses and I’ve looked at he data and think evolution false. i believe in creationism because I think it’s right. Adam was created from dust and God breathed a soul into him and he became a living soul. Then God took a rib and made Eve because Adam wanted a mate. This is what happened. Einstein was a very religious Jew I’ve heard. perhaps a litte quaint but very religious. I am upset when if a scientist wants to believe and teach creationism in a university he is shunned and unemployed quickly because of his faith. If scientists will seek truth genuinely and openly and accept it when found and be humble enough to accept there may be a God and creator then I’ll be happier. i know there are many scientists who are religious. A small % of these are probably openly religious and stand by their faith like everywhere. Science is about searching for truth and this is good. It should do it properly.
I’ve been on pro life rallies and seen the look on the scientists and doctors faces as we protest against their death convention. I know not all are abortionist but how can you call yourself a man of science when you are full of such lies as to say its only blubber or its for the greater good. And to look at me like I’m a loony when their so proud and arrogant they can’t see because they refuse to see or just don’t care about the slaughter of the unborn. Is this why doctors dropped their oath? So they could kill? I’m going off track here. I know there are good ones too.
I know there are good scientists and we need them. They need humility though. Humility is to live in the truth and science is about truth so it should be natural for them.
You have a bit of my take o it here. Thx for your input.
If we evolved from gases or single cells with no eyes how can you evolve eyes if you don’t know light exists. Evolution is about evolving from one creature to a completely different creature and is done for the purpose of improving in many ways. Adaptation and cocoons etc are not evolution.
EVOLUTION. The theory that something was or is in a state of necessary development. Materialistic evolution assumes the eternal existence of uncreated matter and then explains the emergence of all living creatures, of plants, animals, and human beings, both body and soul, through a natural evolutionary process. This is contrary to Christian revelation. Theistic evolution is compatible with Christianity provided it postulates the special divine providence as regards the human body and the separate creation of each human soul.
I also completely disagree with allowed evolutionary theories because I think evolution is false and there is no evidence of it anywhere and science will prove this soon enough I think.
Jesus is the truth and He wants us to seek out truth because He knows it will lead us to knowledge of then love of God. So seeking truth is good. perhaps the church supports and promotes science ecause of this among other reasons. I’m not set on God creating things as said in Genesis such as day 1 , day 2 etc. I believe in the big bang. But God created Man as I say in my other posts. this is what i believe.
My friend is voicing his personal opinion. OD believes what the church teaches always.
Thank you for taking the time to write your good reply. Many of the things you mention such as adaptation and natural selection are not evolution. I have just posted a brief defintion. I have looked into the question often over the last 20 yrs and pondered it often for several years now and have my conclusion. I think science will draw the same conclusion eventually. we’ll see. I believe evolution is unscientific and science will see that soon. science is progressing and advancing fast and evolution is going to look draconian soon. There is only one other theory and this will be a dilema for many scientist I think. I will continue to study and hope you do too. Keep the faith.
I have no idea how old the earth is, & I honestly don’t think that it matters…Thetre are all kinds of theories, & I think that, so long as we ultimately attribute all things to God, that :shrug:worrying about the age of the world, is a total waste of time.
But, I have to agree with Bpbasilphx about the fact thatyour friend seem to be saying that God is :eek::eek::eek:deceptive. God cannot, and does not, lie!! Scripture tells us this, & I am always disturbed when someone talks about things being made looking old, etc, because I feel like they are casting aspersions on the character of Almighty God.
Evolution isn’t about “improvement”, per se, it’s about how populations are shaped by their environments and it explains adaptations and speciation. “Knowing” about light has nothing to do with it - individuals don’t evolve, for one… and it’s not a conscious process any more than your mother sat down and decided to form you in her womb from a combination of her and you father’s DNA.
Evolution is such a fascinating process and such a satisfying thing to learn about that it just makes me sad when people miss out - at first glance it can seem nuts, but there are answers to all of your questions and the way that life works on our little planet is just awe inspiring to me.
Now that’s something we can both agree on!
Thanks for starting such an interesting discussion…
My brain and mind and soul and abilities are finite. Perhaps more finite than most. I am quite stupid but I can think a little and like to try and think. Forgive me if my thinking upsets you. If you find joy without all the fuss and can love God without all the questioning then you must be very happy. Probably holy too. So pray for me please.