A fellow catechist raised this question to me a few months ago and it’s one of those itchy ear type questions that just seems to hang around. I can’t seem to shake it. Bear with me here, as I believe this question deserves a preamble.
If any of this is a misinterpretation of church teaching, then by all means set me straight.
I recognize that the Bible reveals theological truths, not scientific ones and I believe the church makes it clear that when it comes to the interpretation of the early world creation narratives in Genesis, devout Catholics are free to believe anything from a "literalist" seven day creation / 6-8000yr old universe to a 5 billion year old planet. I also recognize that when it comes to these types of questions we will never know with certainty. That being said, many (most) Catholics tend to lean towards a view that legitimate science has shown the age of the Earth to be at the very least hundreds of thousands, if not billions of years old, that the geological sciences in particular point to an earth that is MUCH older than a strict literal interpretation of the Bible presents. "The use of figurative language" is usually employed as a means to reconcile this perceived conflict between faith and science. The church has formally declared that the belief that man may have evolved from a lower form is not in strict conflict of the faith (nor is it a requirement of it). Proponents of this view suggest that at some point man would have taken an ontological leap from his predecessor . Uniquely becoming self-aware, rational and imparted with a soul.
but here’s the rub,
If man evolved from some lower form, if he took an ontological leap from some earlier form. what does that say about the preternatural gifts? (or the fall in the garden)
Sin and death entered the world with the fall of our first parents. Man was initially created to be eternal. How does that reconcile with evolving from some previous form? An infinite form could not have come from a finite one..could it?
Even if you take the story in the garden as mostly figurative, the loss of the preternatural gifts is not something that can be looked over.
I'm just curious, if you lean towards the idea of man evolving from a lower form, how do you reconcile that idea with the loss of the preternatural gifts? :shrug: