The Church and Evolution


#1

Ok, this is by no means another Creationism vs Evolution debate, in fact, I only wish for evolutionists to post. My question is, how exactly does the Church view evolution? What I mean is that, does she say that every form of evolution comes forth by the will of God? Take for example the evolution of our modern elephants (the African Elephant Loxodonta Africana, and the Indian Elephant Elphas Maximus) That God put His will on the Primelephas, the species our modern day elephants evolved from, and little by little, caused it to evolve into the elephants we know of today? This would go the same for every single organism of life. Does the Church believe God controled every single movement, pulled every single string, and is still doing that today as things continue to evolve?

This is the idea I normally get from the Church, but I disagree with it entirely. It sounds ridiculous to me. I’ve taken the belief that God created all energy and matter in the univerese, having His will set upon that, exploded it (the Big Bang) and some point during the explosion He released His will allowing His creation to flow a free course, where things freely evolved.

God, knowing everthing, knew eventually Mankind would come, and He wanted us to be with Him, to have an eternal soul as He has, so waited until we would be able to experience His Presence, He waited until we evolved an auditory processing to hear His voice, visual processing to see His face, and cognitive processing to make sense of His message. Even for Him speaking to us mysticaly, without words, man had to of evolved needcognitive functions to comprehend His meaning, and input from the brain’s emotional centers to fill us with rapture and awe. I mean, neurology makes it clear: there would be no other way for God to get into our heads except through the brain’s neural pathways.

And so once mankind evolved this, a process which He began then let go of in order that we would be tottaly free creatures to accept or reject His love, He appeared to us and gave us an eternal spirit.

This is what I believe.

I have this feeling that many of you are going to bitterly attack me, but I don’t care. No other way makes sense to me. And I can’t say that because the Church says something else, that I MUST follow, or I’m dammed, especially regarding a matter as this!


#2

Evolution is a tool by God… you could say that God creates using evolution (though he can just as easily create by saying poof… your a double billed delapidasarous…)

Nothing ‘evolves’ without God’s will. period…

you could just as easily say that Evolution is creationism when viewed through the lens of God

In Christ


#3

What kind of logical sense does this make?? It seems absolutely ludicrous**.** I’m sorry, I just can’t accept it for a hundred reasons. It would make more sense if the days of Genisis were literal, or simply a poof creation.

When it comes to God and creation I think people desire to see a “stamped by Yahweh” sticker on overy piece of creation. Yet that’s not what we find, nor would it be what we would find since evolution is fact. And why? I truly believe because He desired to have creatures of total independance and freedom to give souls to, created in His image, and to choose to either love or reject Him.

What many anti-Evolutionists don’t seem to get, is that a strictly determined chain of events in which our emergence was preordained, would require a strictly determinant physical world. In such a place, all events would have predictable outcomes, and the furture would be open neither to chance nor independent human action. A world in which we would always evolve is also a world in which we would never be free, but puppets of God.

It is often said that a Darwinian universe is one in which the random collisions of particles govern all events and therefore the world is without meaning. I disagree. A world without meaning would be one in which a Deity pulled the string of every human puppet, and every material particle as well. In such a world, physical and biological events would be carefully controlled, evil and suffering could be minimized, and the outcome of historical processes strickly regulated. But freedom is best supplied by the open contingency of evolution, and not by strings of Divine direction attached to every living creature.

These last ideas are from Orthodox Christian scientists, so I’m not alone.


#4

And when you pay attention to the way the universe works, it makes the most sense. God can and does intervene at times, I can see examples in the Old Testament, but I don’t believe He controls every jot and tittle movement. He could, but chooses not to so we may learn to *live *and not be pulled.


#5

Your response confuses me…

How does my response not make logical sense, and/or is ludicrous

I simply said that no creature can exist without the will of God. If god chose to use evolution to create that being then he still created it.

I am pro-evolution… and I am also pro-God… they aren’t exclusionary… Any creature that evolves evolves to serve HIS will…

Perhaps I did not word it properly and for that I apologize… :shrug:

But for someone that is pro-evolution and also pro god, how can they say that a creature did not evolve according to His will…

In Christ


#6

The key is to understand that to an omnipotent and omniscient God, there is no such thing as “random”. Evolution is predicated on random mutations, but God knows and/or controls every random event. If he chooses that you will have blue eyes, he can arrange the initial conditions of the big bang to result in your having blue eyes.


#7

I disagree with you, I think. There is, at the very least the appearance of randomness from man’s perspective. Your reasoning would lead one to conclude that because God is omnipotent and omniscient, there is no such thing as free will. That would be heresy, from what I understand. It’s the same exact reasoning. I see no reason to believe there is no such thing as random based on God’s omni-qualities.

I personally liked the way Kenneth Miller explains the relationship between creation and evolution in “Finding Darwin’s God.”


#8

**With respect to the evolution of conditions favorable to the emergence of life, Catholic tradition affirms that, as universal transcendent cause, God is the cause not only of existence but also the cause of causes. God’s action does not displace or supplant the activity of creaturely causes, but enables them to act according to their natures and, nonetheless, to bring about the ends he intends. In freely willing to create and conserve the universe, God wills to activate and to sustain in act all those secondary causes whose activity contributes to the unfolding of the natural order which he intends to produce. Through the activity of natural causes, God causes to arise those conditions required for the emergence and support of living organisms, and, furthermore, for their reproduction and differentiation…

But it is important to note that, according to the Catholic understanding of divine causality, true contingency in the created order is not incompatible with a purposeful divine providence. Divine causality and created causality radically differ in kind and not only in degree. Thus, even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within God’s providential plan for creation. According to St. Thomas Aquinas: “The effect of divine providence is not only that things should happen somehow, but that they should happen either by necessity or by contingency. Therefore, whatsoever divine providence ordains to happen infallibly and of necessity happens infallibly and of necessity; and that happens from contingency, which the divine providence conceives to happen from contingency” (Summa theologiae, I, 22,4 ad 1).**
Report of the International Theological Commission

So even God is always involved, and even randomness can serve His purposes.


#9

Well I think He does intervene on certain occasions, just not the fact of eyes. I think He got involved with a mutation for the blind man in the Gospel, where Christ said he was born this way in orde rto give praise to God. But things like that, not every single event.


#10

Yes exactly, and I will share a few things he talks about in another post down below.


#11

I agree somewhat, and I own the Summa. Very beautiful, but St. Thomas was not a scientist.


#12

You are not asking a scientific question, you are asking a theologic question. The post by The Barbarian answered your original question regarding how the Church views evolution. If you want a striclty scientific answer, the Church isn’t your best resource.

Peace

Tim


#13

Does God get involved in every single act of nature and creation? Well I suppose He could, but that would eradicate free will. When one who is close to the Lord, who also loves animals, drives to work and a puppy runs out in front of the car and gets killed, did God do that? I do not believe so, not at all. When a loved one dies in a car accident, is that God’s doing? Surely if /he was in control of EVERYTHING that would’nt of happened, oh unless of course He’s “testing” us. I’m not saying God does not intervene, I believe He does. But mostly these are random free acts of nature, because just as we are free, so is the universe, which in terms owes it’s existense to God, since He began it.

I know many disagree, but let’s go back to the elephants for example. So we are to believe that God was working His will on a small organism quite unlike the elephant today over 50 million years ago, that He evolved; over time He crafted scores of new species, His designs gradually drifting closer and closer to the modern elephant. Then, in the last few million years He constructed in rapid succession nearly a dozen semifinal drafts until Elphas Maximus finally came off His drawing table.

This goes the same for every single living organism on the planet, if God willingly brought them into existense, He took his time, created, and destroyed thousands of species until they were what they are today. And even now, He will destroy hundreds more as He willingly evolves them into other entities.

Don’t you see how RIDICULOUS this sounds? And saying “you can’t question God’s ways” does not apply, because God is logical and this type of process of life–if He’s purposely willing it is illogical.

God is the Creator, He gave us an eternal soul, and nature I also thinks reflects his mind, in many ways, but He wanted us to be free in order to choose Him freely.


#14

Whose logic, yours? Mine? I don’t pretend to have any possibility of ever having the same logic as God. Nothing He does is or can be illogical.

Peace

Tim


#15

point taken :slight_smile:


#16

As to you, or even some in the Church, who probably take what I’m saying as blasphemous, I see blasphemy in those that claim God is responsible for every created organism, only to destroy them time and time again, before the sin of Adam.


#17

Why do you assume that I take what you are saying as blasphemous? I don’t have the slightest inclination to accuse you of blasphemy.

I think you are wrong, and the Church would too, but that doesn’t make your questioning blasphemy.

Peace

Tim


#18

Ok, I’m sorry :slight_smile:

But when it comes to science, I just can’t listen to what the Church has to say, they’re not scientists, and there are some things I disagree with within the Church. I respect and agree with the doctrines, so don’t misunderstand me, but there are some issues I have alot of problems with. And I’m not going to roll over and say “um ok, the Church says so, so it must be true, everything else is a trick of Satan!”

Ok, I think I’m about to get scolded :slight_smile:


#19

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