Skip to comments.Atheist says that Church accepts darwinism [Catholic Caucus]
Posted on 12/03/2009 11:53:05 AM PST by Pope Pius XII
I said to him:
The Church doesn't accept darwinistic evolution
Here's how he replied:
"In July 2004, the International Theological Commission published a statement titled "Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God" on creation, evolution, and God's providence. The president of the commission was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, then head of doctrine in the Catholic Church, who the following year became Pope Benedict XVI."
"The statement made explicit the Church's support of the findings of modern science and biological evolution, calling universal common descent "virtually certain," and that "even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within Gods providential plan for creation." ( quoted form Theistic Evolution and the Roman Catholic Church)
How would you answer this?
Which theory of evolution are you talking about?
“...What is the significance of such a theory? To address this question is to enter the field of epistemology.
A theory is a metascientific elaboration distinct from the results of observation, but consistent with them. By means of it a series of independent data and facts can be related and interpreted in a unified explanation. A theory’s validity depends on whether or not it can be verified; it is constantly tested against the facts; wherever it can no longer explain the latter, it shows its limitations and unsuitability. It must then be rethought.
Furthermore, while the formulation of a theory like that of evolution complies with the need for consistency with the observed data, it borrows certain notions from natural philosophy.
And, to tell the truth, rather than the theory of evolution, we should speak of several theories of evolution.
On the one hand, this plurality has to do with the different explanations advanced for the mechanism of evolution, and on the other, with the various philosophies on which it is based. Hence the existence of materialist, reductionist, and spiritualist interpretations. What is to be decided here is the true role of philosophy and, beyond it, of theology.
Consequently, theories of evolution which, in accordance with the philosophies inspiring them, consider the spirit as emerging from the forces of living matter or as a mere epiphenomenon of this matter are incompatible with the truth about man. Nor are they able to ground the dignity of the person. ...”
Theories of Evolution http://www.firstthings.com/ftissues/ft9703/articles/johnpaul.html
John Paul II
Copyright (c) 1997 First Things 71 (March 1997): 28-29.
Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, October 22, 1996
70 posted on 02/10/2006 10:44:06 AM EST by Matchett-PI
I believe that little by little, the church is giving away its basic beliefs. If I person can’t open the Bible, read Genesis, and come up with the correct message that God created man (and woman) in his likeness, unique from all the other animals, then that person cannot believe anything in the Bible.
Ugh! If a (NOT i) person . . .
Let the Catholic bashing begin.
It soon will here.
After they purge the Mormons, the Catholics are next.
However, there are many kinds of "apples and oranges" comparisons that crop up when dealing with this topic.
The main point of confusion starts with the origin of life. There is currently no scientific explantion for why life began. We as Christians believe that God originated all life. However, evolution itself does not contradict the notion that God could have created life initially, and all life forms, including ourselves, evolved from that creation.
Converesely, the ascent of humans as the dominant species of life on Earth illustrates both the evolutionary principle of "survival of the fittest" as well as the Biblical principle that God gave to humanity all of the resources of the Earth as explained in the Book of Genesis. In this regard, the two concepts reach the same conclusion, albeit through different means.
In essence, the debate isn't really "evolution vs. creationism" but rather, how does evolution, as it is observed, fit in with church teachings?
Here is the complete text:
A good refutation is found in section 64 and later. Written during the province of John Paul II,
“...acknowledges that there are several theories of evolution that are materialist, reductionist and spiritualist and thus incompatible with the Catholic faith. It follows that the message of Pope John Paul II cannot be read as a blanket approbation of all theories of evolution, including those of a neo-Darwinian provenance which explicitly deny to divine providence any truly causal role in the development of life in the universe...
“Pope John Pauls message is specifically critical of materialistic theories of human origins and insists on the relevance of philosophy and theology for an adequate understanding of the ontological leap to the human which cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. The Churchs interest in evolution thus focuses particularly on the conception of man who, as created in the image of God, cannot be subordinated as a pure means or instrument either to the species or to society. As a person created in the image of God, he is capable of forming relationships of communion with other persons and with the triune God, as well as of exercising sovereignty and stewardship in the created universe.”
Sorry, I saw this on the main page and assumed it was a creationist thread.
It is where it belongs (in the religion forum). I am a catholic scientist that has been jousting with the fundamental creationists.
The Church doesn’t have a problem with the biological science known as Darwinism i.e evolution by the mechanism of natural selection. The Church does have a problem with Philosophical Materialism (this is a worldview) that is sometimes called Darwinism or is said to be an outgrowth of it.
The limited theory of evolution described in Origin of Species is not the same as “darwinism,” which incorporates philosophic materialism.
God made man and woman in his image. But the “image” is the soul.
The body could have evolved, until God placed a soul into it. Much of the creation story is about our relationship with God, that He didn’t spring from creation (as in pagan myths) but made the world from nothing.
Curiously, at one point, if you believe DNA studies, there was a “bump” in evolution, and we all are descended from that one man.
Bingo. To wit, the great St. Augustine:
On Genesis, Book II "Question of the phase in which the moon was made" 15, 30
"God, after all is the author and founder of things in their actual natures. Now whatever any single thing may in some way or other produce and unfold by its natural development through periods of time that are suited to it, it contained it beforehand as something hidden, if not in specific forms and bodily mass, at least by the force and reckoning of nature, unless of course a tree, void of fruit and stripped of its leaves throughout the winter, is then to be called imperfect, or unless again at its origins, when it had still not yet borne any fruit, its nature was also imperfect. It is not only about the tree, but about its seed also that this could not rightly be said; there everything that with the passage of time is somehow or other going to appear is already latent in invisible ways. Although, if God were to make anything imperfect, which he then would himself bring to perfection, what would be reprehensible about such an idea? But you would be quite within your rights to disapprove if what had been begun by him were said to be completed and perfected by another."
Campion’s right. Go back to the Primary Source:
I actually agree with what the document said on this score. Maybe not “virtually certain” from a *single* organism but I do hold to some form of common descent.
Nevertheless, this is a study document of the International Theological Commission. It was approved for publication by then Card. Ratzinger, but it looks to me more like a theological meditation of this commission rather than a document with any kind of magisterial force (as Humani Generis was). There’s no notion here of “this must be believed” etc. The belief in common descent is obviously endorsed by the Commission but that doesn’t mean it is endorsed infallibly by the entire Church. And as its a scientific fact with no readily apparent theological ramifications, I’m not sure the Church would ever presume to pronounce on it anyway.
It would seem to me that any Catholic has the right to disagree with the Commission on this point of science.
Oh, and I forgot to reply to this:
“even the outcome of a truly contingent natural process can nonetheless fall within Gods providential plan for creation.”
That’s quite accurate, cf. the Augustine quote at post 15. But CAN fall is not DID fall. The Commission is leaving the door open for such a process but not excluding, at least in this quote, other ideas.
I believe it is also Aquinas' position that the Creation is a completed act of God but that we who live within it see only the concretion of it as an unfolding or secession of events and things.
IMO Augustine and Aquinas' positions are the reason the Church will never have any particular quarrel with the biological science of evolution provided it stays within their boundary. It does seem to fit nicely with the ancient idea of the creation being revealed to us as a succession of forms.
About Creation the Catholic Encyclopedia says this-
"Whether, with St. Augustine and St. Thomas, one hold that only the primordial elements, endowed with dispositions and powers (rationes seminales) for development, were created in the strict sense of the term, and the rest of nature plant and animal life was gradually evolved according to a fixed order of natural operation under the supreme guidance of the Divine Administration (Harper, "Metaphysics of the School", II, 746); or whether, with other Fathers and Doctors of the School, one hold that life and the classes of living beings orders, families, genera, species were each and all, or only some few, strictly and immediately created by God whichever of these extreme views he may deem more rational and better motived, the Catholic thinker is left perfectly free by his faith to select."