Why you should think that the Natural-Evolution of species is true


#2984

I don’t get what you are saying about bringing evolution into the conversation since that’s what this thread is about. I’m thinking you may have meant to say Genesis.

Genesis is brought up because it speaks to the creation of everything leading up to the creation of man, all from nothing by God. It is written in a language understandable, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, by anyone who can understand the words in any generation. The picture it reveals does fit the raw data that we find in science, much better than evolutionary theory.

Clearly you want to share your view on the matter, as do most people here. Hopefully a discussion that leads to a mutual understanding will be a greater benefit to those who come with an open mind and want to learn.

Evolution is a huge subject, and the word itself is vague, varying in meaning here from post to post. Maybe you’d like to focus on a specific point, such as random mutation, natural selection, species, the evolution of mankind, the evolution of mind from matter. Whatever you want. Unfortunately, most of this involves lengthy posts, which most people, from my experience tend not to read.

Sounds interesting.


#2985

I’m afraid you’re mistaken, I did mean to say evolution. The gent and I were conversing about the nature of Genesis as a literary text, apart from any other science. And I believe we’ve discussed about this as well, but that you aren’t inclined to listen or really ruminate on the things I present. So if you find yourself in a mental state where you may be able to, I’d love to have a conversation about it. Otherwise, I won’t waste either of our times


#2986

Do you believe human beings were created before the animals then?
Was there a literal tree of knowledge of good and evil?
A literal snake?
Were Adam and Eve blind until they ate the fruit?


#2987

No. Adam and Eve were not obedient robots. They had free will. God will not force anyone to love Him.


#2988

This is the most intelligent comment you’ve ever posted on this forum.


#2989

The first three chapters contain a mysterious mixture of literal and figurative language, but after that Genesis gets literal.


#2990

The post-Adamic Genesis text is presented as literal history - for 3000 years ago, for today and for 3000 years in the future. Why would anyone NOT read it as literal history?

Have you ever considered the possibility that historical truth can also convey theological truth?


#2991

Please explain how I “condemn” scientific studies into the development of life-forms.

I have no memory of making the claim that my literal interpretation of Genesis 2:7 is “canonical” - I don’t even know what "canonical’ means when applied to interpreting a biblical text.


#2992

Does your version use a different font maybe to note the difference? Or is there a ‘Please note…’ at the beginning of the fourth?


#2993

No one has asked, but these would be my thougts on the matter. Each question you pose is deserving of its own reply.

The answers hinge on the relationship that exists between temporal beings, specifically human beings who possess a free will, and God, who brings all into existence from eternity.

Mankind is the the final cause of creation. We, as persons are here to share in God’s glory. Individually and collectively as the body of Christ, we are means by which creation is brought into communion with the Trinity. We do so becoming Christ-like, Love.

Because of this, I would say we ontologically precede animals.

However, since we are parts of an environment, that environment would have to be present before we enter into the picture. Atoms and molecules, the earth itself with its plants and animals must temporally exist before we can.

As an aside, the seven days may actually represent an objective measure of time, an amount of change happening within the totality of the universe. A day would in the much more complex universe we live in today, which includes us here reading this, could be billions of times shorter than that in the simplest stage which consisted of only atoms. When we mesasure backwards, we use as a standard, time as it is measured now.

I can’t think of how a constant for complexity might be derived and wouldn’t be surprised if I were wrong here, but one thing is sure, and that is that the days are meant to convey that creation happened in steps. This is how our environment came into being and was formed, from an initial basis, the next and each subsequent level of being is built on that which pre-existed.

That is how we here exist. If we consider everything as information in action, this experience contains all the information necessary for the existence of atoms, of cells, of organ systems coming together as a body, that includes a brain, a physical entity structured in along psychological lines, permitting the expression of our relational nature in the world through perception, feeling, thought and action. The layers of our being, the hierarchy of components were brought into the world through different forms, and the utilized in the shaping of our selves.


#2994

The tree of knowledge of good and evil is the cross. The wood of the cross is revealed not only in the person of Jesus Christ, the innocent Lamb, sacrificed at the foundation of the world, but in the ark which contained and protected us in the new garden, the old and corrupt washed away. It is the the wood that Isaac carried up the mountain in obedience of his father to be used as his pyre in compliance with the will of God, who ultimately offered His own sacrifice that we might be saved. It’s the wood of the door, smeared with the blood of the unblemished lamb, the angel of death passing by that household in the Passover.

There is a garden, in which we here dwell, a garden that contains many trees, the many blessings bestowed on mankind, of which we, who are fallen, have been apportioned our particular share, along with the crosses we bear that ultimately provide for our journey Home. That garden, the relationship between the person and all that is other to our selves, had a beginning. And, yes it has, as always at its Centre, the Word of God. When we chose to be gods without God, eating of the fruit that was meant to be His, we fell and met death, fraying the connection with His saving graces. We are healed again, doing God’s will, partaking if the fruit of eternal life, Christ Himself, who is with us always and whom we incorporate body and soul, in the form of the Eucharist.

There is and was literally a Garden of Eden. The words in Genesis speak to its existence in a way that, through the grace of the Holy Spirit, is understandable by all.


#2995

A serpent, yes. Snakes are symbolic of its stark reality. Within the garden, dwell the evil ones who fell from heaven. They are permitted because they make possible the choice to love or to place ourselves at the centre of our lives. And Lucifer who was the most beautiful of angels, destined to reveal the Love of God, in his attempt to do the opposite and bring us death as Satan, participated in doing just that in the seduction of mankind, which ultimately led to the revelation of Jesus Christ.

God curses the serpent who has his limbs taken from him. Without arms which allow us to create, we are powerless to act in the world. Likewise Satan, who can only tempt us. It is we who decide to follow, to sin or to demonstrate our intention to do Gods will. God who in and through Jesus allows us to be redeemed when we fail. The serpent exist through the eating of dust, that from which we came, given life by the Spirit of God and to which we will return in death.

I wouldn’t call Darwinistic evolutionary theory evil, but it does reflect the nature of this fallen world where random mutations of the existing order and the natural selection of those creatures who are not fit, rule. Both reflect the power of death and like the serpent, these forces, whatever is being taught as science fact, cannot create.

The reality is that there was and is a snake in the garden that forms our individual and collective relationship with God. It happened in Moses’ time in the desert, when the poison of pride and ingratitude infected God’s chosen people, bringing death in the form of snakes. God told Moses to fashion a copper snake and mount it on a pole, that all who saw death hanging from a tree, yet another the revelation of the Cross, would be saved.

Genesis is literally true, metaphysically in describing the structure of our being, theologically, our relationship with God, and historically, addressing our creation. It is a matter of discerning its truth.


#2996

I was referring to the scientific studies that describe evolution as the mechanism for the development of life-forms. I thought you condemned evolution. Was I wrong?

“Canonical” means an interpretation that is officially taught as correct by the Church. As you know, Protestants, for example, interpret biblical texts very differently from Catholics. That is why we look to the Church when there are disputes over how to interpret scripture.


#2997

Certainly I have considered it. But the texts themselves, especially read in Hebrew, reveal a lot about the nature of the narratives.

Again, feel free to believe what you will. I’m convinced, but I don’t feel the need to inform you if you wouldn’t be receptive


#2998

They weren’t so much blind as they saw wrongly in the sense that we heard yesterday that if our eye should cause us to sin, better to have it plucked out. What we saw was the lure of sin, and subsequently their own guilt which they projected outward, Adam to Eve and to God who put her in the garden, and Eve onto the serpent and his deception, in an ongoing placing of their own will at th centre of their being. And so, sin went on to proliferate in the world as our feet tend to walk along paths that lead from God and cause us to stumble. Again, it is literal, but not everyone seems to hear.


#2999

I haven’t a clue how you got that from what I wrote.


#3000

The “darkside” if you will, that contrasts with a rose-coloured view of love, is justice. There are consequences to our actions. Everything that is not Love, will be destroyed ultimately because it is transient and illusory. The entire universe, from beginning to end is an Act of Divine Love. There is one humanity, who has lost its way, placing itself, its will individually and collectively above that of God. Everything we are given is to be given in turn for the good of the other. Because to the core of our being, we are sinners, we all will suffer and die. But, we’ve been given a second chance in Jesus Christ, to become our true selves in eternity. We will be resurrected whole, the crosses we bear in this life revealing the strength of our spirit. God’s vengence that you understand to be an indicator of a God who is not loving, is actually built into the system that is the will. Everyone knows there is something like Karma. It’s love or nothing.

Outside the paradigm through which you observe the world, justice may be understood as an inevitable consequence of any action, since what we do is played out on a moral stage. If one does not believe that death entered into the world as a result of our willful sin, that we are not participants in our own creation, the vision then is that either God causes miscarriages and the suffering we all will bear because He made the world imperfect or our disobedience was inevitable.

Cast out of Eden, life is a journey, one that can lead us back home, to be who we were destined with our consent, Christ-like.


#3001

And it is these actions that are individually involved as it is impossible for me to accept that God would punish you if I sinned decades or centuries previous. Instead, I do believe God allowed our world to be imperfect, thus ours to take care of and improve upon whereas, like you well said above, we can believe and live the Gospel.


#3002

Much depends on how we understand the person.

As I put it all together:

We are each of us an expression of humanity.
We are individual, unique, each irreplaceable by anyone else.
Our body and spirit are one thing, a unity.
Our humanity transcends our physical form, including our genes, and bodies.
The spirit is primary, uniting within its metaphysical structure, all the physical and psychological information that allows for our being relational beings, capable of love.
Adam is humanity as the progenitor of everyone, including Eve.
In him, we all fell, because we are one, now separated in our individuality.
In Christ, one man, through His sacrifice and resurrection, in His Love, we are made whole within ourselves and with one another, united as His body.

For those who are into the physical sciences, John Archibald Wheeler may be a name that may be familiar. The famous American scientist’s quotes include: “We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.”

A man after my own heart, he came up with the whimsical idea that there could exist only one electron, traversing all time and space and interacting with itself to give the appearance of many. Its something like what I am getting at above, except that although there would be one electron, each position in time and space would make it completely different from any other electron manifestation.

Since we are not solely matter, but essentailly spirit, it would be not time and space that defines our individuality but finite human beingness. There is one Vine, giving forth many shoots, of which you and I would be one. We wither as we ignore the truth held in the Ground of our existence, which is God. While electrons are not capable of determining what they are, we can through our actions. In the first act against the will of God that decided who would be mankind, we hurt our relationship with Him and suffer as a punishment, a loss of grace. This brought death into the world and leaves us vulnerable to sin. We cannot improve on what God has created, but can by bringing Christ into our hearts, return to what we were meant to be in relation to God.


#3003

Your Ratzinger-quote “ammo” failed to impress … it had nothing to do with my arguement.

Anyhow, here’s another chance to demonstrate the awesome fire-power of your “modern academic” arsenal:
Please consider the following extract from the Genesis account of the Noah’s flood and note the precise chronological details (that I’ve emphasised with capital letters):
“In the SIX HUNDREDTH year of the life of Noe, in the SECOND MONTH, in the SEVENTEETH DAY OF THE MONTH, all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the flood gates of heaven were opened: And the rain fell upon the earth FORTY DAYS AND FORTY NIGHTS …
And the waters returned from off the earth going and coming: and they began to be abated A HUNDRED AND FIFTY DAYS. And the ark rested in the SEVENTH MONTH, the SEVEN AND TWENTIETH DAY OF THE MONTH, upon the mountains of Armenia. And the waters were going and decreasing until the TENTH MONTH: for in the TENTH MONTH, the FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH, the tops of the mountains appeared…
Therefore in the SIX HUNDRETH AND FIRST YEAR, the FIRST MONTH, the FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH, the waters were lessened upon the earth, and Noe opening the covering of the ark, looked, and saw that the face of the earth was dried. In the SECOND MONTH, the SEVEN AND TWENTIETH DAY OF THE MONTH, the earth was dried.”

If these details aren’t literal, what is their purpose? What “theological truth” (a term borrowed from your post, #2939) do they convey?

Similarly, here are some other details that relate to the ark:

  • it is made of “gopher wood”
  • it is “inside and out with pitch”
  • the dimensions of the ark are “the length of the ark three hundred cubits, its breadth fifty cubits, and its height thirty cubits” and “a roof for the ark, finish it to a cubit above”

If these details are literal. what is their purpose?


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