Humani Generis, tool for modern apologetics

Encyclical Humani Generis of the Holy Father, Pius XII, 1950

w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis.html

Example of why the wisdom of Pope Pius XII is needed now.
Catholic Answers Daily, article “What You Absolutely Need to Understand About Evolution”, May 31, 2017

catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/what-you-absolutely-need-to-understand-about-evolution

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Each human person is worthy of profound respect.

The Biology textbook is a type of bible unto itself. This isn’t about fear, this is about science education. And this education tells us that natural - nonGod - forces and properties are all there is.

The supernatural is beyond the realm of science to investigate. Our assumption, from a secular standpoint, that God exists, is just that, an assumption.

Ed

Thank you, Ed.

I remember when you used information from biology textbooks. And I can understand why a biology textbook can be considered “a type of bible unto itself.”

Unfortunately, I am not as organized as yourself. I have lost the link to my favorite chart of the Homo species descending from the Homo/Pan split. According to the Science of Human Evolution, each species is a large population like a large community in action.

This is my personal observation. When I read the first three thrilling chapters of Sacred Scripture, I do not find a community. There is only one gardener. Genesis 2: 15. Granted that Eve was there. Genesis 3: 6. Maybe that is technically a community; but, where is the grocery store which is supplied by the gardener Adam?

Getting back to our Homo ancestors, the basic evolution theory accepts the fact that these ancestors lived in large random breeding populations due to polygenesis as the driving force of evolution.

:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

Please.
Quickly.
Note my apology below. This granny is not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

I really love paleoanthropology that I momentarily forgot that we do not have Homo ancestors, no matter what the Science of Human Evolution proposes. Our dear sweet Eve and Adam appeared because of God’s creative love Genesis 1: 27 as the original founders of our own human species.

Originally Posted by grannymh

This is my personal observation. When I read the first three thrilling chapters of Sacred Scripture, I do not find a community. There is only one gardener. Genesis 2: 15. Granted that Eve was there. Genesis 3: 6. Maybe that is technically a community

What about the animals? :smiley:

but, where is the grocery store which is supplied by the gardener Adam?

Is that a joke?

How might HG be used as a tool for modern apologetics?

I don’t dispute the document, and it contains essential teachings. But how do you recommend it be used and cited? What specifically needs to be addressed to other Catholics, Christians, and others?

There is a marvelous painting of Adam and animals, but it looks damaged and I cannot get it to copy and paste. I have seen some others, but they do not appeal to me.

Is that a joke?

As a joke, it is intended to stop our thinking for a moment and go back to the difference between a real working community and two people, Eve and Adam.

Sometimes, I am so over loaded with paleoanthropology discoveries, I need a silly brake. :whacky:

Very good question. Thank you.

In the past, I have referenced certain sections of HG which were appropriate as answers to questions or were appropriate in themselves. Because of my respect for CAF participants and our guests, this time, I simply presented the links in post 1 so that we are free to choose whatever aspect invites our curiosity. Personally, I believe that we first need to be comfortable with our knowledge when we are a part of modern apologetics.

In reply to your questions – But how do you recommend it be used and cited? What specifically needs to be addressed to other Catholics, Christians, and others?

So far, I have found two sections of HG which need to be totally understood if one is interested in modern apologetics.

First Section: Paragraphs 35-39 are important. When using paragraphs 35-37, one needs to understand the complete evolution theory.

Second Section: Paragraphs 11-12 appear to address the topic of Rebuilding Christianity or the topic of Progressive Christianity which are modern concepts. This section reminds me that the way to bring down the Catholic Church is by hacking away at foundational truths. Get enough holes in the foundation and the walls will tumble. Unfortunately, I have only briefly read this section. But one can sense the danger even if it cannot be completely described. This section also reminds me of modern Arianism. In some geographic locations this section would be valuable in apologetics regarding the establishment of the Catholic Church and its basic authority.

What specifically needs to be addressed to other Catholics, Christians, and others?

My only suggestion is to listen first. Then figure out what needs to be addressed.

I don’t think I have seen many paintings of Adam and animals.

The best painting is in my mind :wink:

I just realized that I used paragraph citations. Later tomorrow or the next day, if you give me some interesting words and where they appear, I will do my best to address them.
w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xii_enc_12081950_humani-generis.html

:thumbsup:

Some middle of the night thoughts. Yes, I am that old.

From article catholic.com/magazine/online-edition/what-you-absolutely-need-to-understand-about-evolution
“I am a chemist by training, and as a Catholic I frequently write about evolution, which garners a critical response from people who want to set me straight about the “Darwinian crisis.” This opposition perplexes me, because I think of evolution as fundamentally nothing more than atoms and molecules, organized into physical systems, doing their thing.”

When I compare the above section to “the best painting is in my mind”, I start to wonder how I would “paint” Adam and Eve beyond the atoms and molecules of evolution. Would I look at Adam and Eve from a philosophical view? Or would I think about those children books where there is a smiling man and woman standing behind some tall bushes?

If we are going to use the teachings of *Humani Generis, *it may be a good idea to have some mental pictures of Adam and Eve. They are two real people, on their own, because they are not part of some “Darwinian” evolution population.

By the way, I do admire Charles Darwin as a scientist in the material world. But, when I picture Adam and Eve, they belong in the spiritual world of God.

God, should belong to the realm of Theology. That should be true for both the believer and the non-believer. It is unfortunate that God has instead been moved across into the realm of philosophy, and I see most arguments belonging to that realm, not the realm it should be.

There are however those who place God into the natural sciences, entirely ignoring philosophy and more important theology, which of course will fail, for the very reason you state, God is supernatural.

In other words, I think I agree with you, but at the same time disagree with your assumption.

I should perhaps point out what I see the difference is. Philosophy examines ourselves to explain God, Theology examines God to explain our existence, and science can only examine where we are.

I’m afraid Encyclical Humani Generis of the Holy Father, Pius XII, 1950 goes way over my head, I can’t digest it in a way that I understand what is being taught…:blush:

In fact I know very little about evolution, so I won’t be any use in any proper discussion. I’ll be asking questions rather than answering.

All I know is we share our DNA with many creatures and other forms of living things.

We are stardust I’ve heard before, and that seems to be what the writer in Genesis explained while writing about being made from the earth. Different uses of words, but same out come.
Only difference would be God breathing life into the human (soul) but that human was still part of the ‘non’ spiritual world, if that’s how you see it.
I find it hard not to think of the whole of creation as spiritual in a way. The stars around us seem like a supernatural event to me at times.

Anyway like I said I know little, only the small simple thoughts. :thumbsup:

For the purpose of this thread, the main thing to know about *Humani Generis *is that Adam is not a member of a large random breeding population.

In fact I know very little about evolution, so I won’t be any use in any proper discussion. I’ll be asking questions rather than answering.

For the purpose of this thread, one needs to recognize that the evolution theory depends on large populations slowly evolving from previous large populations. Adam and Eve, a population of two, did not evolve from any kind of previous large population

All I know is we share our DNA with many creatures and other forms of living things

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I would say that sharing our DNA with many creatures and other forms of living things is a tad exaggeration. That idea comes from the notion that we all descended from some ancient single source. Currently, there are claims that humans have some genes which are similar to a similar species. However, it looks like humans still retain their human nature.

We are stardust I’ve heard before, and that seems to be what the writer in Genesis explained while writing about being made from the earth. Different uses of words, but same out come.
Only difference would be God breathing life into the human (soul) but that human was still part of the ‘non’ spiritual world, if that’s how you see it.
I find it hard not to think of the whole of creation as spiritual in a way. The stars around us seem like a supernatural event to me at times.

Anyway like I said I know little, only the small simple thoughts. :thumbsup:

Everyone is entitled to their own thoughts. We can get into trouble when there is a serious denial of a serious Catholic doctrine.

I love the stars. When my daughter was in Alaska, I would send her good thoughts via the Big Dipper.

HG states that the Adam in Genesis is not representative of a larger community. It does not strictly state what you say.

For the purpose of this thread, one needs to recognize that the evolution theory depends on large populations slowly evolving from previous large populations. Adam and Eve, a population of two, did not evolve from any kind of previous large population

HG also does not state this.

I’ve offered thoughts in othee threads, and won’t repeat any proposals here, but will refrain myself to only what HG says, and it does not state either of the points you made.

From Wesrock, post 16.

Originally Posted by grannymh
For the purpose of this thread, the main thing to know about Humani Generis is that Adam is not a member of a large random breeding population.

granny replies. HG denies the large random breeding population here.
Paragraph 37
" When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty."

Originally Posted by grannymh
*For the purpose of this thread, one needs to recognize that the evolution theory depends on large populations slowly evolving from previous large populations. Adam and Eve, a population of two, did not evolve from any kind of previous large population. *

HG also does not state this.

granny replies.The first sentence is from the Science of Human Evolution which is not in HG. The second sentence is stated in HG Paragraph 37
" When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty."

I’ve offered thoughts in othee threads, and won’t repeat any proposals here, but will refrain myself to only what HG says, and it does not state either of the points you made.

Important clarification of the word Polygenism.

Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polygenism

Polygenism is a theory of human origins positing that the human races are of different origins (polygenesis). This is opposite to the idea of monogenism, which posits a single origin of humanity.

Catholic Dictionary catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=35622

Polygeneism

The theory that, since evolution is an established fact, all human beings now on earth do not descend from one human pair (Adam and Eve), but from different original human ancestors.

Polygenism dictionary.com/browse/polygenism

Word Origin
noun 1. the theory that the human race has descended from two or more ancestral types.

So it’s not necessarily about the evolution of humans evolved from apes?

It’s about having more than two humans procreating?

Having more than two Adam’s and two Eve’s would prove original sin false, or at least have some humans free from original sin, or maybe not, because we get 50% DNA from each parent, so original sin would have been passed on through generation by either parent, but that’s considering Eve could have passed it on, which I think the church insists could not happen.

I suppose this is why science and religion cross roads, and would not agree with each other.

Yes, HG does state that, but you didn’t finish the thought and come to the actual context, bounds, and statement of dogma that must be applied to the part you quoted:

For the faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents.

That is the part we cannot reject, to which the statement you quoted was only a setup without additional context. And this is made very apparent by the statement that follows:

Now it is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin…

It was, to the pope, in no way apparent how polygenism and the actual dogma stated above can be reconciled. The purpose of this paragraph is to set in stone the first part I quoted as being undeniable and to put an end to certain allegorical interpretations of Adam and Eve.

granny replies.The first sentence is from the Science of Human Evolution which is not in HG. The second sentence is stated in HG Paragraph 37
" When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty."

My previous point applies. You’re leaving out the actual salient points about what Catholics are not at liberty to deny.

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