Thursday, September 07, 2006

Evolution?

"What do you feel about the evolution theory? The theory of creation seems a bit too simplistic to me. Also if Adam and Eve were the only people and they had kids and their kids married one another to fill the earth.....". An anonymous blogger posed this question and comments, although they didn't finish their last thought (I guess it was up to us to finish the sentence). It's a good question, and one that the Church is not afraid to address.

Evolution and creationism are not necessarily conflicting theories. The former is generally focused on how the different species on Earth have developed, while the latter is concerned with how they came to be in the first place. The question of the "Big-Bang" theory versus the creation theory is more of an apples-to-apples question, in my opinion. I understand that most evolution theories are based on the Big Bang hypothesis, but they are not necessarily conjoined.

Nevertheless, it seems that the blogger's question is directly challenging the traditional view of creationism that the vast majority of human beings have always accepted. Only in the modern age of science has the "Big Bang" theory been developed. It asserts that a big explosion of a mass of hydrogen atoms occurred in the universe (millions of) years ago, and that's what set everything in motion. My basic reply is that someone had to create the atoms and make it go 'bang'. The Big Bang theory is a modern, secular viewpoint that presents the world as physical only (removing any spiritual dimension). It is directly opposed to creationism, Sacred Scripture, and Christian Tradition.

Now, regarding my view of evolution; I take the position of John Paul II*, who said that an evolution theory based in creationism is not at odds with Christianity. Christian doctrine is based in the Truth that God reveals in the Book of Genesis: He creates every man and woman in His own image and likeness. Scientific theories about how human beings have evolved that are rooted in Truth and that can be verified by actual data and facts tell the truth. On the other hand, evolution theories that are not compatible with Truth are to be kept in the theoretical realm only; they do not tell the truth, and mislead us from the truth.
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*Here's are some excerpts from John Paul II's "Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences" (1996). Check out the full text at: http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9703/articles/johnpaul.html

"In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII had already stated that there was no opposition between evolution and the doctrine of the faith about man and his vocation, on condition that one did not lose sight of several indisputable points... The Church's magisterium is directly concerned with the question of evolution for it involves the conception of man: Revelation teaches us that he was created in the image and likeness of God".

10 Comments:

At 5:29 PM, Anonymous BIG BANG............ said...

MC public schools teach the "Big Bang" Theory. However, bbt, can never answer the final question......who created the big bang? uh......duh......maybe there is a GOD? If you believe in GOd, you have already stepped into the world of faith and mystery. However, creation/evolution are explained............the final question is by WHO?

 
At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Pete said...

Yeah, while natural selection is undisputable, certain parts of an exclusively natural view of evolution are very questionable, such as certain large leaps, and the origin of life.

In fact, the inconclusive and proven wrong Miller experiment which in the 50s "demonstrated the possibility of the unaided origin of life," is still taught in middle school/high school biology books and courses, with only a footnote about the problems with the experiment.

Also, Michael Behe, a microbiologist, has been finding and demonstrating many surprising accounts of "irreducible complexity" in nature: things that by their nature would not have evolved through natural selection.

In other words, while still credible, the "infallible" theory of evolution is weaker than it seems, and there is need for a creator or higher power, a timeless one outside of the space-time continuum.

These secular and scientific proofs, as well as many more, are found in the book "The Case for a Creator" by Lee Strobel. Once an atheist, Strobel's purely scientific re-examination of modern science led the now-christian to believe in the necessary existence of a God, in coordination and non-conflict with the evolution he had thought supreme since high school. I read the whole book, it was great.

 
At 6:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who said anything about the Big Bang Theory? My question was how could there be only two people created to populate the earth. I like your sophisticated speech of Uh, duh.

 
At 7:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

last anon:

ROLF! How did A & E populate the earth?, the same way we do today! :)........imagine no birth control. Populating the earth would be a cinch. Father G brought up BIG BANG THEORY.

 
At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If all married Catholics were open to life, we would see the average family size go from 4 to 10. So Adam and Eve and their descendents should not have had a problem.

 
At 11:15 PM, Blogger Fr Greg said...

big bang, thanks for your comments but one clarification. Believing IN God is not necessarily a matter of faith and mystery. I can know THAT God exists through reason and not faith; the Church has presented the five proofs of God's existence for centuries.

One of these proofs, for example, is the "unmoved mover" proof. We can know with our minds that all creatures have been moved into existence by another. Reason tells us that there had to be one who was not created and moved into existence by another. There had to be a Creator who created and moved the first creature into existence. We refer to this Creator, the unmoved mover, as God.

So, questions about the existence of God can be answered by reason. But, questions about WHO God is are beyond reason, and enter into the realm of faith and mystery. For example, is God Father, Son and Spirit? Is Jesus the Son of God?

Questions about the Trinity, the two natures of Christ (human and divine), transubstantiation (the substances of bread and wine changing into the Body and Blood of Christ), etc. are in the realm of mystery. With our finite minds, we cannot know HOW they are true, but we believe THAT they are true because God has revealed it.

 
At 12:43 AM, Anonymous big bang said...

Yes....Father...I agree that the BBT leads to the fact that there is ultimately one creator. However, what is lacking in the public schools is even the mention of God when learning about the BBT. To mention that, as a matter of fact, would place the teacher's employment in jeopardy. Mont. Co. public school students are not permitted to know their teachers religion or political party. The separation of church and state has erred on the side of state. To mention a Creator would be considered inappropiate and out of place. So although we can say yes there is proof of a Creator(God), most of our youth only hear the theories. That is why the church is desparately in need of excellent catechists, informed parents, and involved clergy. Thank you for being one of those people.

 
At 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a whole different note.

There are movies and books about Satan possessing people. What causes this? I know in the case of the Exorcist it was because someone was using a Ouija board. I know the closer we try to come to Christ Satan does his best to interfere with our spiritual lives.
But the whole idea of demon possession is so creepy! Are the newly ordained priests taught to exercise demons?

 
At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the formula, "Creation, not creationism. Evolution, not evolutionism."

I think the question about populating the earth is along the lines of, "Was Cain's wife [Gen 4:17] his sister?" There are different ways of answering this, and I don't think the Church has a doctrinal position on it.

 
At 5:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a Sears hairdryer -- Do not use while sleeping.
(That's the only time I have to work on my hair.)

On a a bag of Fritos -- You could be a winner! No purchase necessary. Details inside.
(the shoplifter special?)


On Tesco's Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom) -- "Do not turn upside down."
(well...duh, a bit late, huh!)


On Marks &Spencer Bread Pudding -- "Product will be hot after heating."
(...and you thought????. ..)


On packaging for a Rowenta iron -- "Do not iron clothes on body."
(but wouldn't this save me time?)



On Boot's Children Cough Medicine -- "Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication."
(We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5 year-olds with head-colds off those bulldozers.)


On Nytol Sleep Aid -- "Warning: May cause drowsiness."
(...I'm taking this because???.. ..)


On Sainsbury's peanuts -- "Warning: contains nuts."
(talk about a news flash)

 

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