Question for theistic evolutionists


#43

continued

Genesis 3 :1[ The First Sin and Its Punishment ] Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made…satan selected the snake because it was crafty and suited his nature.here also God does for the greater Good .other wise we will not experience the love and mercy of God ,all things are hidden in Jesus,God know how to save us.and also God is separating the good from the bad in this live so that we live for ever with him.


#44

Seeing as my background was in a Christian sect (depending on your notion of a “Christian”) that denied evolution and took a pretty hard stance that before the Fall there was no death in the world. This lead to all kinds of strange justifications for why there appear to have been predators before the Fall. Now I haven’t been a member of this sect since I was 16 or 17, which is the better part of thirty years ago now, so perhaps they’ve updated this particular view, but when they talked of Adam and Eve’s sin bringing death into the world, it often sounded like there literally was no death (as in, dogs and muskrats didn’t die either).


#45

Are there any carnivores who are vegan?

Pandas.

Are there any carnivores who eat grass?

Dogs.

Are there any carnivores that eat fruit?

Tigers.


#46

All of your questions are related, for you seem to be suggest that because evolution sometimes causes things that prove counter-productive for the survival and well being of humans, then God is somehow implicated in moral wrongdoing.

First off, it is of Catholic teaching that the Universe was deliberately set up in a state of journeying: It is not yet perfected. No matter how literally one takes the creation account and story of the Fall of man in Genesis, ultimately the Catholic faith believes that God intentionally created an imperfect creation, only to be consummated in the “New Heavens and New Earth.”

But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection. CCC#310.

Can we know a bit more about why God would allow this? It seems he prefers the freedom of his creatures. And by this I don’t just mean “free will,” but the very inherent goodness God has given to his creation to work for its own purposes, which ultimately are tied to God’s purpose.

God is the sovereign master of his plan. But to carry it out he also makes use of his creatures’ co-operation. This use is not a sign of weakness, but rather a token of almighty God’s greatness and goodness. For God grants his creatures not only their existence, but also the dignity of acting on their own, of being causes and principles for each other, and thus of co-operating in the accomplishment of his plan. CCC#306

Now humans are central in God’s creation. But Catholicism also professes that has created all things with inherent goodness. The snake you mention may sometimes bite the human, or even kill him. But the snake is good and has its own place in creation as well.

At the end of the day, we don’t know enough about why this or that virus was allowed by God. But what we DO KNOW is that the human species has only formed after millions of years after Earth even formed. Therefore, it seems that everything has worked together to ultimately bring about the human race.

To take an example. I thought of this a few months back. Some scientists believe that one mass extinction with the dinosaurs took place because a meteor struck the Earth. That’s very unfortunate and was a physical evil, causing death and destruction for many organisms. But without that seemingly unfortunate event, we most certainly wouldn’t even be here.

On the one hand, God see absolutely everything from His “eternal now.” He knows everything that must happen for the human species to event get kickin’ in the first place. But he also respects the “freedom” of his creatures. Nature is nature, but God’s ultimately in control.


#47

This is not Catholic teaching, so don’t present it as such (not that you were).

Catholics are not required to think that sin brought sickness and suffering into the world. In fact, the catechism suggests otherwise (see my quotes in my other reply). Physical evil is part of being in a limited, imperfect creation.

Thomas Aquinas accepted that predators and physical death were part of God creation from the beginning.


#48

My cat eats grass, as do most cats and dogs. Even predators require some nutrients that can only be gained by eating vegetation, but the large bulk of a cat’s diet, at least in the wild, is meat. In fact, cats are so efficient at gaining essential nutrients from their prey that the reason a house cat’s urine is so toxic is because it’s kidneys are so efficient at making sure the maximum amount of water is retained that the urine is highly concentrated compared to many other animals. In the wild, cats need far less water than canines.


#49

As I said before, I wanted to talk about this topic with people who believed death was a process before the fall.
And this part I quoted I just wanted to add something. We don’t know if Satan used a snake, since the biblical author probably used it as a metaphor since in Semite mythology snake’s played a big role, and the biblical author probably used this as a way of contrasting paganism and using it as a symbol of evil and how it causes sin. So it’s important to not take everything literally, the Bible is meant to show theological truths, not scientific ones.


#50

Do you know why cats eat grass in particular though? I was always told when I was a kid that my cat does that when her stomach hurts, but I find that kind of weird.


#51

That’s why I also mentioned the Panda. My point is that we don’t know what dinosaurs ate. We make assumptions based on their physiology. A Panda looks like a bear. So, most people would assume he’s a strict carnivore. But, he’s a herbivore.


#52

Thats a really nice explanation. Thanks !


#53

But it says in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 405 says that “Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam’s descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death…”


#54

Pandas are bears, but their dentition is more that of a herbivore than a carnivore. When you look at T rex dentition, that is a full on predator’s jaw you’re looking at. Doubtless the T rex, like many predators, may have eaten some vegetation, as I say above, even predators need certain minerals and vitamins that can only be gained by eating plants, but animals like T rex would have starved to death if they could only eat plants. They simply do not have the teeth for it.


#55

Different alligators and crocodiles will eat all sorts of fruits and veggies, says Switek, everything from “wild grape, elderberry, and various citrus fruits” to pears, apples, and even corn. Why crocodylians are eating fruits and seeds, as well as how they’re detecting the plants, is unclear.Aug 23, 2013
Kumquat-Eating Crocodilians: Crocs And Gators Love Their Fruits and …
www.smithsonianmag.com/.../kumquat-eating-crocodilians-crocs-and-gators-love-their-f


#56

No, they do it because they do need some nutrients that can only be gained from vegetation. I heard the same story about dogs, and while my dog would sometimes eat grass and then vomit, as often as not, he’d eat the eat grass and then go on his merry way. We used to joke that he wanted a salad along with the entree.


#57

Yes, human death and suffering.

Traditional Catholic belief understands that the original sin left man susceptible to an imperfect world.


#58
  1. just because we can’t see the value in a virus doesn’t mean God made something ‘bad’. We are now learning that what we consider harmful viruses can be used for good. Some have been adapted to attack cancer cells.

  2. How do you know that is a failure? Dinosaurs didn’t fail, they served their purpose. The age of dinosaurs made it possible to have ‘fossil’ fuels. These fuels, used properly, have been a huge benefit to mankind.

  3. Everything created by God is good, from God’s perspective. Our perspective is limited and therefore we should defer to God and declare everything, even that which harms us physically, as good.


#59

They are of organic material, and replicate. It’s a start anyway. : )


#60

If you like (since im a bio-medical scientist working in a general hospital) ill add to your first point. In a simplistic layman’s fashion, so it’s understandable.

The evolutionary process / current construction of human cells, have component parts, that originally came from bacteria.

In that sense, those bacteria and viruses gave life to cells through donating parts of themselves.

Cellular respiration (and thus function / life) was dependant on that for example.

Understand that even something like Cancer, one of the worlds biggest killers; is also a simple offshoot of an ordinary process that goes out of control.

So there is no contradiction. Good and bad live along side one another in co-existence. There is no need to think that a bad outcome contradicts your belief. Infact ‘the bad’ is an integral and necessary part of life.


#61

That’s God’s awesome creations was done in a week just as in the Bible if you dont think so, then here is another verse 2 Peter 3:8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. for skeptical. (Ref Genesis 1:24-26) the predators did exist before the fall, I agree with you on that, but they were, mild creatures eating grass other veggies, harmless creatures’ even the dinosaurs which perished after the deluge .the sin of Adam and Eve caused the trigger, they where hardly a week in paradise", so i don’t see any reason they didn’t exist .( Ref Psalms 8:3-8 ) Remember God had put all his creation at the feet of man that is and caused them to fear man, like a lord over them to take care of them too. I would like to remind you that death came into the world because of the envy of the devil (Ref Wisdom 2:24 but through the devil’s envy death entered the world, and those who belong to his company experience it.) yes there was no death yet, because they were in paradise, immortal beings. But when Adam and Eve sinned. Then all creature lost their natural state of immortality and mildness and became wild and beastly,they hence, became predators, killing for their food.the wild creature became enemies of man as such as we are the cause of the fall and responsible for losing the immortality and their natural state.
Hear I would like to emphasize that even the irrational creature we always have battle with eg ants bees, cockroaches insects hideous creatures etc it’s because of sin and the consequences of disobedience, Once man was endowed with the kingship of nature, but now all in him has become nature. He is now one of its slaves, a master conquered and fettered. He must now struggle and fight with nature and the creature, God pointed out to Cain a region to which he should flee. And because Cain said: “Then, wilt Thou let me starve?” - (the earth was for him accursed) that he should eat the flesh of animals. He told him likewise that a nation would arise from him. Before this men ate no flesh.
But there are hundreds of example of saints who were in a state of Holiness and Grace who even spoke to rats eg like st martin de pores, and many other saints even the wildest animals were instantly tamed, St Francis Assisi ,St Rose of Lima etc many others please check it Google or wiki ,ants and other creatures obeyed them. Isaiah 11:6-9 6 The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.7 The cow and the bear shall graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.9 They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. as it was in paradise Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.God Bless


#62

Your doubts are similar to the problem of evil. Why is there evil in the world? it is a mystery that we’ll never understand.
However, the other side of the coin is also similar, atheists would have a hard time to explain why is there good in the world at all?
Hence no i can’t explain why there are viruses and snakes, but equally no one can explain why evolution has produced such a complex and wonderful human species.
This goes back to the difference in science and religion. Science only asks questions of how, it is descriptive. Religion tries to provides answers to why questions.


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