Theistic Evolution


#1

Does the Vatican have a clue?

one-fold.com/0510.htm#Top


#2

The author of that article either doesn’t have a clue or is trying to deceive.

His treatment of the Galileo affair is incorrect.

The Church does not endorse any theory of evolution, but she has not condemned all of them. Catholics are still free to interpret the creation accounts literally.

“To believe that Adam was a mutated descendent of some creature God created millions of years earlier is absurd.” (from the article) This is absurd. It’s a good thing that’s not the Church’s position.

The Church maintains that spirit cannot evolve (obviously). Thus, properly speaking, human beings cannot evolved. The Church does allow for the possibility, however, that the material part of human beings could have developed over time through God’s guidance.


#3

Sure seems to be quite a few more anti-Catholics coming on. That is such a good thing.

The polite informative truthful responses by so many faithful Catholics will have an effect on them and hopefully lead them a step forward to the truth about the Catholic Church.

Anti-Catholics who post are obviously on a spiritual journey of their own and passionate about that journey. Perhaps with the so very informative explanations about our faith, it will cause our Christian brothers to explore our faith farther and lead to converting.


#4

Oh please, not that dumb anti-Catholic site again. I saw your other thread. :yawn: My articles utterly demolish that article so I’ll just link them:

Evidence for an Old Earth
Evidence for Evolution
Theistic evolution and the Church
Adam, Eve, and the Hominid Fossil Record

article from Brian << The real problem is the severe lack of Scriptural knowledge the Catholic hierarchy actually possesses. Assertions made by people who don’t know what they are talking about will always end up making them look foolish. >>

Hello? Severe lack of Scriptural knowledge? Read the Catechism, and then Fr. Raymond Brown’s An Introduction to the New Testament (900+ pages) and then get back to me. :smiley: And tell him to also find an adequate definition of sola scriptura (the other thread).

Brian << That is why the Catholic Church will not make a stand for the literal genesis creation despite the tremendous amount of biblical evidence supporting it. >>

Hello? The Bible seems to present a tremendous amount of biblical evidence for a flat earth and geocentric universe as well. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the science is not gonna resolve the science and religion question. The Catechism has it right:

  1. Faith and science: “…methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.” [Vatican II GS 36:1]

  2. 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 dimensions of the cosmos, the development of life-forms 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…

  3. 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 man appeared, but rather of discovering the meaning of such an origin…

Phil P


#5

The link posted by the OP is an anti-Catholic website. Why bother? It appears also to be anti-science. This stuff is worthless.


#6

The problem is (and I too am a fan of Raymond Brown), is that if you get too far into historical/ critical analysis, without tempering it with ecclesiology and Christology like Raymond would tell us to do BTW, then the whole foundation of the Bible falls apart from a literary perspective. Notice I said literary, not literal.

Example,
If one goes in for evolution 100%, and dismisses Gensis account as outdated and directed at ancient people who had no sense, why is it part of the Cannon? If we believe in evolution, then man was never created in a paradise, but always had to fight for survival in a Darwinian way. It is a different way of seeing the World and the Bible cannot stand. Somewhere along the way you would have to have parents who had no soul, have offspring to who God gave a soul!? Just think in practical terms. I can’t believe that.

Also God rested on the 7th “day.” We are told in the Decalogue to do the same. Jesus reminds us of that too: “You know the commandments” (to the rich young man). So without some literal basis to Genesis, the literary perspective and beauty of the Scriotures fall apart.


#7

David << Also God rested on the 7th “day.” We are told in the Decalogue to do the same. Jesus reminds us of that too: “You know the commandments” (to the rich young man). So without some literal basis to Genesis, the literary perspective and beauty of the Scriptures fall apart. >>

Sure I’ll hold to as much literal Genesis as the Catechism and the Pope does. Catechism refers to Genesis 1-3 as symbolical / figurative in paragraphs 337-338, 362, 369, 375, 390, 396, while holding to a literal Adam/Eve in 359, 375-377, 379, 388, 390-392, and summary 416-419. I see another thread on theistic evolution which I’ll probably respond to.

Ratzinger / Benedict on Genesis 1-3: “We cannot say: creation or evolution, inasmuch as these two things respond to two different realities. The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, which we just heard, does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are. It explains their inmost origin and casts light on the project that they are. And, vice versa, the theory of evolution seeks to understand and describe biological developments. But in so doing it cannot explain where the ‘project’ of human persons comes from, nor their inner origin, nor their particular nature. To that extent we are faced here with two complementary – rather than mutually exclusive – realities.”

Phil P


#8

I for one can see no problem with the Big Bang theory. It says “In the Beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It doesn’t say how. So God could have used the Big Bang to do such. I can also accept a symbolic “periods of time” attitude to days.

However, evolution from other species is a different matter, because it conflicts with the Bible. I am free to hold to a creationist idea as a Catholic as you are to argue for theistic evolution.

Let me ask you some questions:

  1. Was there a first man and woman? (ie a first couple who had a soul). Did their parents have a soul, or were they “almost human”
  2. Were they “created” perfect? Or just glorified Neandrathals?
  3. Was there a first sin?
  4. Did God create them in a paradise, or did they have to fight for their lives from the dinosaurs and tigers?
  5. Was the world ever without pain, but full of only pleasantness before the fall? (This is extremely important, because we teach that sin is the cause of suffering and death, physical as well as spiritual). If you believe in evolution, you always had survival of the fittest.
  6. Do you realise then that you contradict that “ALL Scripture is useful for teaching…”?

I respect your right to your opinion, but I am a scientist, and believe me, evolution requires as much faith as creationism. In fact, if you like, I can explain how evolution is in fact not a scientific theory at all, but is an a priori assumption (sorry about the tautology). It contradicts the very methodology and philosophy of science.


#9

David << Let me ask you some questions: >>

All righty, but we theistic evolutionists have seen these questions many times in here (since 2004) :smiley: I’ll give it a shot (again)

<< 1. Was there a first man and woman? (ie a first couple who had a soul). >>

Adam/Eve would be the first truly human couple with spiritual souls infused by God. Adam/Eve’s parents would have been just like their children of course, but without souls. That is one position to take if Adam/Eve were a literal historical couple and we try to fit in with science. I gave more detail in the other thread, and here is an article I accept.

<< 2. Were they “created” perfect? Or just glorified Neandrathals? >>

Not sure what you mean by perfect? Did they have a belly button? I think so since they came from their parents. They were not literally created from “dust” nor ex nihilo. Ratzinger / Benedict: “The story of the dust of the earth and the breath of God, which we just heard, does not in fact explain how human persons come to be but rather what they are.” (In the Beginning commentary)

They were sinless until they deliberately chose to disobey God. They were the first truly human couple with spiritual souls, and when they sinned, they became the first truly human couple who sinned.

<< 3. Was there a first sin? >>

A deliberate choice was made against God at some point. That’s the original sin of Adam/Eve.

<< 4. Did God create them in a paradise, or did they have to fight for their lives from the dinosaurs and tigers? >>

I thought you said you accepted an old earth. If so, animals were dying long before the origin of homo sapiens (who originated in Africa about 150,000 to 200,000 years ago). So dinosaurs were not a problem, they died out 65,000,000 years ago. As for exactly where paradise was or is, that’s something I still need to research and put an article on my site. I’ll go with the idea it was a very small portion of earth protected by God from outside influence. But don’t quote me on that. :smiley: Others in here take Genesis 1-3 as more mythical. The Catechism simply says there was an Adam/Eve who sinned but that much in Genesis 1-3 is symbolical or figurative (paragraphs listed above).

<< 5. Was the world ever without pain, but full of only pleasantness before the fall? (This is extremely important, because we teach that sin is the cause of suffering and death, physical as well as spiritual). If you believe in evolution, you always had survival of the fittest. >>

Sin is the cause of human death and suffering (Romans 5:12). Sin requires a truly human being with a spiritual soul to make a choice against God. There is no Catholic dogma telling us when the Fall occurred, where paradise is located, or that paradise was the entire earth.

<< 6. Do you realise then that you contradict that “ALL Scripture is useful for teaching…”? >>

Begging the question on how ALL Scripture (including Genesis 1-3) is to be interpreted. Give me the Catholic dogma that

(A) no animal, no plant, and no CELL could or did die before the Fall of Adam/Eve
(B) that “paradise” was the entire planet earth

I’ll need those two dogmas, thanks. :smiley: You already accept the earth is old, so you accept (A) animals died and suffered before humans, and (B) paradise was not the entire earth before the Fall.

David << I respect your right to your opinion, but I am a scientist, and believe me, evolution requires as much faith as creationism. >>

No, there is no scientific evidence for creationism since (1) creationism is not a scientific theory or hypothesis, since (2) it cannot be tested, and (3) it cannot be falsified, further (4) there is no evidence supporting it. A particular interpretation of Genesis is not scientific evidence for creationism. I invite you to read the TalkOrigins articles here.

Phil P


#10

I accept the idea of an older Earth (maybe not millions upon millions of years, but more than 6.000 years) not because of evolution, but because of cosmology.

My picture of Eden is as you describe, where there was a section of Earth that was perfect (free from sin, suffering, death, etc). In Eden animals did not kill each other, but all animals and humans lived on grain and plants.

So Adam and Eve had language (Adam named the animals). Did their parents have language too? Why are their parents not mentioned, since you believe in a literal Adam and Eve? Were their parents created in God’s image?

I don’t believe the dinosaurs died so long ago. In fact, I believe they are the dragons of Chinese mythology.

Creationism is indeed a hypothesis. You are right in that it cannot be tested, but nor can macroevolution (ie evolution from single cell organisms to man). Another hypothesis is that simple life arrived on Earth from Mars and evolved here (put forth by Paul Davies an Australian physicist/cosmologist). Another is the Flying Speghetti Monster (see youtube if you don’t know it). Funniest ten minutes of my life.

youtube.com/watch?v=W1Uo5DQTtzc

There is little evidence for evolution. OK, so the drosophila fly has been altered enough to not be able to reproduce with the individual species, so that proves that zillions of such events occured, eventually resulting in man. That is what my Dad calls drawing a long bow. It is an extravagant bit of extrapolation! Evolution from one animal into another kind of animal has never been done observed, repeated, etc. AFAIK, no new novel characteristics have ever been produced, like a set of wings on a worm for instance.


#11

I’m just curious, David. You say that you are a scientist. What kind of scientist are you?

Peace

Tim


#12

I have come to learn from debates on forums that no good comes from answering such questions, and that they tend to be used in attack later on. If you have a problem with my understanding of scientific method, theory or philosophy, then attack that, OK?


#13

David, you stated that you are a scientist so I was curious as to which field of study you pursued. I’m a geologist, so your statements about the age of the earth are certainly of interest to me.

But your other statements about creation being a hypothesis or that there is little evidence for evolution or that macroevolution cannot be falsified are just wrong and very un-scientific. Since you mentioned that you are a scientist, presumably to give weight to your statements, I thought that you might want to elaborate on which field of science you study.

Peace

Tim


#14

I never said that macroevolution cannot be falsified. I said it has not been reproduced and therefore lies outside the realm of scientific method, which requires reproducibilty.

I have had all these debates before. I will not convince you, nor you me. But if it gives you jollies, go to whywontgodhealamputees forum and knock yourself out. The atheists will love you.

Ok say I used “hypothesis” loosely. Man got here one way or another. I am simply saying that it requires many great leaps of faith to believe in evolution based on the evidence. In fact most believe it because they think it is the only acceptable alternative, because the scientific community/ faculty expects them to. What actually happens is that evolution is assumed a priori, and so if you want to strict about “hypothesis” then neither is NDE a hypothesis, since it cannot be tested. In fact it is a matter for history to decide, not science. It is like Richard Dawkins (a biologist) writing about God and philosophy in “The God Delusion.” He should stick to his area of expertise, IMO.

I mentioned that I am familiar with the human skull. Looking at the various fossils, I can tell you that they are well within the variation of ordinary human beings. In fact I have seen far less human-looking skulls on people walking and talking. The skulls of “H.Erectus, H.floresiensis, H. africanus, H.habilis” are all quite normal human skulls. But people will believe what they WANT to believe first and foremost.


#15

You’re right, you didn’t say that it can’t be falsified. My mistake. What you said was that it can’t be tested. That is an incorrect statement.

I have had all these debates before. I will not convince you, nor you me. But if it gives you jollies, go to whywontgodhealamputees forum and knock yourself out. The atheists will love you.

Then why do you post in a thread like this? Why the snide brush-off with the whywontgodhealamputees forum reference?

Ok say I used “hypothesis” loosely.

If you are a scientist, speak as a scientist.

Man got here one way or another. I am simply saying that it requires many great leaps of faith to believe in evolution based on the evidence.

There is no basis in fact for that statement. There is a massive amount of evidence for evolution.

In fact most believe it because they think it is the only acceptable alternative, because the scientific community/ faculty expects them to.

Well, you obviously have very high regards for most. How about getting more specific. Most scientifically trained people accept evolution because there is so much evidence supporting the conclusion and no evidence opposing it.

What actually happens is that evolution is assumed a priori, and so if you want to strict about “hypothesis” then neither is NDE a hypothesis, since it cannot be tested. In fact it is a matter for history to decide, not science. It is like Richard Dawkins (a biologist) writing about God and philosophy in “The God Delusion.” He should stick to his area of expertise, IMO.

I agree with you about Dawkins, but that doesn’t change the fact that evolution occurs. I don’t know what you are refering to by NDE, so I won’t comment.

I mentioned that I am familiar with the human skull. Looking at the various fossils, I can tell you that they are well within the variation of ordinary human beings. In fact I have seen far less human-looking skulls on people walking and talking. The skulls of “H.Erectus, H.floresiensis, H. africanus, H.habilis” are all quite normal human skulls. But people will believe what they WANT to believe first and foremost.

Maybe that is the reason for the Homo part of the name.

Peace

Tim


#16

Firstly, to say you can reproduce macroevolution is nonsense. According to evolutionists themselves it would take millions of years, although the newer NDE (neo-Darwinian evolution) proponents recognise periods of stability and then great shift. The theory is that since animals change a little over a little amount of time, that over millions of years they would change a lot. That cannot be proven, unless you’ve got a few million years to spare, so it is not reproducible.

I didn’t actually wish to debate the science of evolution, but moreso to show how acceptance of it makes the Bible fall apart at the seams. If you enjoy the scientific debate the site I mentioned will in fact be very enjoyable for you. It is not a brush off, just a “been there, done that.” However, be prepared to be flamed severely if you mention you are Christian. Your belief in evol. and geology may buy you some cred there though.

To be honest, I used to lay aside scientific enquiry about evolution, “making all thoughts subject to Christ”, and was a little afraid of it. When the RCC said it was OK I looked into it. This was while debating on the above forum. In fact the above forum was what informed me the RCC accepted evolution! Most Catholics I asked were most surprised to learn that.

I was surprised myself when I allowed myself to intellectually honestly examine it and still found it wanting. Here’s how I see it. There are some known genetic mutations which we can cause and observe (micro-evolution/ or natural selection), so that is scientific. The theory goes that you can extrapolate that a million-fold in each direction and get a spectrum of life from a single cell to Homo Sapiens. That is a LOT of extrapolation! That is faith, not science. Science would say, “We don’t know yet.”

Then there is the fossil record. It is my opinion (and I have a right to it) that the skulls I have seen are human. I do head 3D CT scans as part of my job, so I know what a normal skull looks like. I would be interested to see some fossilised pelvises however.

Anyhow, you are right maybe I should not post here. You don’t want me to change your mind, and I don’t want to waste me time.:stuck_out_tongue:


#17

David << I accept the idea of an older Earth (maybe not millions upon millions of years, but more than 6,000 years) not because of evolution, but because of cosmology. >>

Ah trying to pull a fast one. :confused: Well it makes a difference if you believe in an “old earth” that is 7000 years old, or an “old earth” that is 4.5 billion years old. If the former, you are basically a young-earther. If the latter, then welcome to science. There was plenty of death and suffering of the animals before Adam/Eve in the latter. Homo sapiens arose millions of years after the extinction of the dinosaurs, for example.

David << My picture of Eden is as you describe, where there was a section of Earth that was perfect (free from sin, suffering, death, etc). In Eden animals did not kill each other, but all animals and humans lived on grain and plants. >>

All right, we’ll agree there. Eden was a local spot. Outside that spot there was death and suffering. Besides Adam/Eve were “cast out” from Eden, so they couldn’t have been cast out from the whole earth. :smiley: Then we agree.

David << So Adam and Eve had language (Adam named the animals). Did their parents have language too? Why are their parents not mentioned, since you believe in a literal Adam and Eve? Were their parents created in God’s image? >>

In my scenario, Adam/Eve’s parents didn’t have souls. They might have had language, they just didn’t have souls. Why are their parents not mentioned? You mean not mentioned “in Genesis” ? The same reason that Genesis doesn’t mention the earth is 4.5 billion years old, that the earth rotates and goes around the sun, and that the universe is about 15 billion years old, and that we have common ancestors with the chimps and the great apes several million years ago. These things don’t get mentioned since Genesis is not a scientific account of earth and human origins in my opinion. And in the Pope’s opinion too. :thumbsup:

David << There is little evidence for evolution. OK, so the drosophila fly has been altered enough to not be able to reproduce with the individual species, so that proves that zillions of such events occured, eventually resulting in man. >>

Well there’s a bit more than that. I provided links to the evidence already. Since you like videos, here is one featuring Catholic biologist Ken Miller, a two-hour video filled with evidence for macroevolution.

The Collapse of Intelligent Design

Phil P


#18

Oh, just as a little aside, saying there is no evidence against evolution is the same argument Dawkins uses in the God Delusion.

There is no evidence against x
Therefore x must be true

Lets try it:

There is no evidence against pink Unicorns flying around Uranus, so they must be there!

In fact it is the massive gaps that would lead an honest scientist with no a priori axe to grind to say, “Well, it can’t be proven, pity that, seems like a good theory, too.”

Do you know what petitio principii is? (I had to look it up first time). It is when one starts with the conclusion (man evolved from Bonobo and our common ancestor) and then tries to find evidence to support the conclusion. When anything at all that could possibly be used as evidence is found, then they’ll say “see we were right.” Can you see the circular reasoning there?

It is what atheists throw at Christians: “You say that God exists because the Bible tells you so, but that God wrote the Bible (circular reasoning), so give us some external reference.” Evo’s commit the same logical error.


#19

I didn’t say that it can be reproduced, I indicated that it can be tested. And it can. Do some research on Tiktaalik and you should see what I mean.

According to evolutionists themselves it would take millions of years, although the newer NDE (neo-Darwinian evolution) proponents recognise periods of stability and then great shift. The theory is that since animals change a little over a little amount of time, that over millions of years they would change a lot. That cannot be proven, unless you’ve got a few million years to spare, so it is not reproducible.

Predictions based on the theory is one way to test. Predictions have been made and confirmed. See the example I gave above.

I didn’t actually wish to debate the science of evolution, but moreso to show how acceptance of it makes the Bible fall apart at the seams.

You have failed to support that contention.

I was surprised myself when I allowed myself to intellectually honestly examine it and still found it wanting. Here’s how I see it. There are some known genetic mutations which we can cause and observe (micro-evolution/ or natural selection), so that is scientific. The theory goes that you can extrapolate that a million-fold in each direction and get a spectrum of life from a single cell to Homo Sapiens. That is a LOT of extrapolation! That is faith, not science. Science would say, “We don’t know yet.”

Nope, that is not faith, that is going where the evidence leads. You have oversimplified the theory to the point that you have misrepresented it.

You seem to whitewash the evidence because you have made a conscious decision that the conclusion drawn from it is wrong. That is faith, not science.

Then there is the fossil record. It is my opinion (and I have a right to it) that the skulls I have seen are human. I do head 3D CT scans as part of my job, so I know what a normal skull looks like. I would be interested to see some fossilised pelvises however.

You certainly are entitled to your opinion and I wouldn’t suggest otherwise. Remember, though, that there is a lot more to the fossil record than hominid fossils that support the theory.

Peace

Tim


#20

Phil, I really have done all this before. You would have much more fun on:

whywontgodhealamputees.com/forum/

The RCC allows me to keep my more fundamentalist ideas, and the Pope is not a scientist, BTW but a terrific theologian from all accounts.

Language means one can convey ideas, and since intellect (responsible for ideas) is part of the soul, you cannot have it both ways. You are arguing that there were animals that looked exactly like humans but had no soul who had offspring who all of a suuden did have a soul (mind +will). That’s rediculous! Or at least repulsive. The same kind of repulsion that causes me to disbelieve atheism.


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