Problems at school


Well I have been enrolled in a Pre Ap Biology course and learned that we are going to have to test over the theory of evolution and write papers on it. The teacher has shared that she is also a Christian but that we need to answer it as an intellectual…I dont know what to do… I would rather take 0s than dissapoint my Lord. Advice please!!:confused:


1). The Catholic Church doesn’t say that a person can’t believe in evolution, if they want (although some people’s theories of it are something else).
2). It sounds to me in your post that you wouldn’t be asked to say/write that you believed or disbelieved in the theory - only to state and describe what the theory consists of. (You might be interested in some of the Intelligent Design theories written.)


You just have to learn the theory. You don’t have to claim to believe in it. In the same way we might learn about Hinduism, but that doesn’t mean we believe in it.

But, as the previous poster has said, there is nothing wrong with believing in Theistic Evolution.


What exactly is theistic evoulution? Because really the bible is the only thing I go by, and I believe in every single word written in there.


Theistic evolution is basically saying that God’s creative processes include “creation by evolution”.

Tommy, it is difficult to answer as you would wish, as the Catholic official teachings do seek to understand the bible in context of science and reality in a deeper sense than you are accustomed to. It may not help you much but perhaps may give some small idea of how you can reconcile scripture to the real world and scientific evidence.

It may be difficult to be absolutely literal about everything in the bibe, eg, Jesus wan’t literally “the Good Shepherd” for instance, in spirit He was, but not literally. Nor was he literally a Vine, and we the branches, as He claimed…Once again, a spiritual truth not a literal fact. I hope this doesn’t faze you.

It’s nearly 1 a.m. here in Australia so I haven’t thought out how to explain the quotes below in clearer language. I should be asleep! Could someone read these words and put them in plainer language for Tommy? Or do you get what these quotes are saying, Tommy. I should get to sleep but I wanted to do this bit of research for you.

The Catholic Catechism: Imprimatur Cardinal Ratzinger( Pope Benedict.)

***Article 283 "The question about the origins of the world and of man has been the object of many scientific studies which have splendidly enriched our knowledge of the age and the dimensions of the cosmos, the development of lifeforms and the appearance of man. These discoveries invite us to even greater admiration for the greatness of the Creator, prompting us to give him thanks for all his works and for the understanding and wisdom he gives to scholars and researchers. With Soloman they can say: “it is he who gave me the unerring knowledge of what exists, to know the structure of the world and the activity of the elements…”

"284 The great interest accorded to these studies is strongly stimulated by a question of another order, which goes beyond the proper domain of the natural sciences. It is not only a question of knowing when and how the universe arose physically, or when men appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such and origin: is the universe governed by chance, blind fate, anonymous necessity, or by a transcendent, intelligent and good Being called “God”? …***

It is a pity that people become trapped with words that are translations of translations from long age cultures where “day” means “period of time.” When humanity reached the point of evolution that God put eternal souls into them, shared His Spirit with them, this was when humankind became of central value in creation.

*"The literal sense of a passage of scripture"is not always as obvious in the speeches and writings of the ancient authors of the East as it is in the works of our own time…the interpreter must, as it were, go back wholy in spirit to those remote centuries of the East and with the aid of history, archeology, ethnology, and other sciences which accurately determine what modes of writing, so to speak, the authors of that ancient period would be likely to speak." *( Quoted from Catholic Christianity Richard Chilson. Imprimatur John S. Cummins Bishop of Oakland)

**"The spiritual sense for interpretation of scripture, “The exegete, just as he must search out and expound the literal meaning of the words intended and expressed by the sacred writer, must also seek the spiritual sense, provided it is clearly intended by God…”**etc. (Pope Pius 12th, quoted in “Catholic Christianity”.

God bless and guide you, Trishie


why do you think our Lord would be disappointed in you discussing and studying the science that explains the world He created? Even if you happen, on a religious or scientific basis, to reject the Theory of Evolution as a valid explanation of certain observations about the natural world, you will not be in a position to defend your views unless and until you study the theory and its explanations, from the point of view of its defenders as well as of its detractors.


the Catholic Church is a bit more broad-minded than you are.


What exactly is theistic evoulution? Because really the bible is the only thing I go by, and I believe in every single word written in there.

Do you believe the words in it that say that bats are birds (they aren’t) or that rabbits chew cud (they don’t)?


What exactly is theistic evoulution? Because really the bible is the only thing I go by, and I believe in every single word written in there

Theistic evolution is evolution that God controls. It says that he has spent eons forming mankind by natural selection. The most important part is that God created us. If you’d like some more info specifically on it, just ask, it’s actually pretty interesting.

But Tommy, if you want to believe in Strict Creationism, that is your right. We believe God created us. Did He speak us into existance? Maybe. Did He allow us to evolve? Maybe again. A good Catholic may believe either, just as we may prefer Traditional Spirituality to Charasmaticism.

Either way, learning evolution is part of Biology. It does not involve denying Christ even if you believe in Creationism. Look at it just as learning theory.

I had to sit through a presentation by Planned expletive Parenthood for a Marriage and Family Life class in College. The presentation was on forms of Contraception. I was disgusted, but I looked at it as learning a theory, gauging the enemy so to speak, and afterwards wrote a defense of Natural Family Planning. In doing so I had to research the effects of ABC and the benefits of the Sympto-Thermal method of NFP. I presented my paper to the teacher and got a good grade on it.

The point of my little story is you can learn about things contrary to our Faith and not agree with them, and usually we’re given a chance where we could explain our view. There is some interesting info defending Creationism as well (I wrote that paper a year later for a Natural Science Class) that some teachers will usually respect as long as you don’t say something that cannot be proven.

If you have any more questions feel free to PM. I love Biology and my Faith, and love to talk!


I like how you handled the question, and am glad you said the above. Much as I believe what I sourced, I have had some lingering concerns regarding the best interests of this young man in his circumstance and beliefs. One feels responsibility about one’s posts when they impact on others’ needs and beliefs.


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