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Re: Evolution - Mixolydian - 11-20-2010

(11-03-2010, 04:09 PM)Grasshopper Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 08:00 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(11-03-2010, 01:05 AM)Grasshopper Wrote: I do not regard the Vulgate as authoritative.

The Church, that has authority to decide these matters, does.

They did at one time, but the Vulgate of St. Jerome that was authorized by the Council of Trent has been replaced by the Nova Vulgata, and the Douay-Rheims English translation has been replaced by the NAB (in America), the Jerusalem Bible (in the rest of the English-speaking world), and the RSV Catholic Edition as an alternative to either of these.

Anyway, I didn't mean my statement to sound as categorical as it does, and "authoritative" is also a loaded word. The Vulgate was declared "free from doctrinal error", but it's not clear to me that this extends to details such as whether a particular verb should be translated as "formed" or "had formed" or "having formed". Note that all 3 of the more modern (and currently preferred) English translations listed above use "formed" or "fashioned" (without the participle "had" or "having"), which would be in line with my argument. I would be interested to hear from an expert in ancient Hebrew (if any of those are lurking here) as to what the most accurate translation of the original manuscript is. I would regard that as more authoritative than any secondhand translation from intermediate sources.

My main point remains -- translation of ancient manuscripts is anything but an exact science, and there is a reason why we have dozens of distinctly different English translations of the Bible, including at least 5 that are recognized by the Catholic Church, and many of which claim to be "the most accurate". My brother, who drifted away from the Catholic Church around the same time as me (about 40 years ago), and "got religion" about 10 years ago as an Evangelical Protestant, swears that the translation that his church uses is "the best" (because his pastor told him so). I'm extremely skeptical that there is any such thing as a single "best" or "most accurate" translation, given the inherent difficulties of the enterprise. They all have their pros and cons (and potential "agendas" of the translators). And given that many of the original writings were poetic or allegorical in nature, I still think it's absurd to interpret them literally, regardless of which translation you're looking at.

Well I know the New church has a new Vulgate and a new translation. It's because they needed a new set of Scripture to match the new theology and the new Mass. However what the Council of Trent has defined cannot be replaced. The Fathers of Trent knew that the Greek and Hebrew texts were older than the Latin, but, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they declared that the Vulgate was free of all moral and doctrinal error. In fact from an academic viewpoint, the Vulgate used sources which are no longer extant.


Re: Evolution - Historian - 11-20-2010

(11-20-2010, 01:06 AM)Mixolydian Wrote: Well I know the New church has a new Vulgate and a new translation. It's because they needed a new set of Scripture to match the new theology and the new Mass. However what the Council of Trent has defined cannot be replaced. The Fathers of Trent knew that the Greek and Hebrew texts were older than the Latin, but, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, they declared that the Vulgate was free of all moral and doctrinal error. In fact from an academic viewpoint, the Vulgate used sources which are no longer extant.

Actually, the Nova Vulgata uses older Latin texts. It is not about age:

Quote:The Nova Vulgata (Bibliorum Sacrorum nova vulgata editio, ISBN 88-209-2163-4), also called the Neo-Vulgata or Neo-Vulgate, is currently the typical Latin edition published by the See of Rome for use in the Roman rite. The Second Vatican Council in Sacrosanctum Concilium mandated a revision of the Latin Psalter in accord with modern textual and linguistic studies, while preserving or refining its Christian Latin style. In 1965 Pope Paul VI appointed a commission to revise the rest of the Vulgate following the same principles.[48] The Commission published its work in eight annotated sections, inviting criticism from Catholic scholars as the sections were published. The Latin Psalter was published in 1969; the New Testament was completed by 1971 and the entire Nova Vulgata was published in 1979.[42] A second edition was published in 1986.

The foundational text of most of the Nova Vulgata's Old Testament is the critical edition done by the monks of the Benedictine Abbey of St. Jerome under Pius X.[42] The foundational text of the books of Tobit and Judith are from manuscripts of the Vetus Latina rather than the Vulgate. The New Testament was based on the 1969 edition of the Stuttgart Vulgate. All of these base texts were revised to accord with the modern critical editions in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic.[49] There are also a number of changes where the modern scholars felt that Jerome had failed to grasp the meaning of the original languages, or had rendered it obscurely.[50]

In 1979, after decades of preparation, the Nova Vulgata was published and declared the Catholic Church's current official Latin version in the Apostolic constitution Scripturarum Thesaurus[51] promulgated by the Pope John Paul II. The Nova Vulgata is the translation used in the latest editions of the Roman Lectionary, Liturgy of the Hours, and Roman Ritual.
The Nova Vulgata has not been widely embraced by conservative Catholics, many of whom see it as being in some verses of the Old Testament a new translation rather than a revision of Jerome's work. Also, some of its readings sound unfamiliar to those who are accustomed to the Clementine.

In 2001, the Vatican released the instruction Liturgiam Authenticam, establishing the Nova Vulgata as a point of reference for all translations of the liturgy of the Roman rite into the vernacular from the original languages, "in order to maintain the tradition of interpretation that is proper to the Latin Liturgy".
The big differences are in the various manuscripts used in the Old Testament.


Re: Evolution - Mixolydian - 11-21-2010

As you have admitted in your quote, the Stuttggart Vulgate is the basis of the Nova Vulgata, not the Clementine.

The Stuttgart "Vulgate" is a product of the Protestant German Bible Society. This heretical organization also publishes the New "Vulgate", the composition of which was assisted by Protestants. This New Vulgate is not the true Vulgate, but a protestantized version in the name of the heretical false ecumenical movement.

The Clementine Vulgate, solemnly declared an infaalible guide of faith and morals by the Council of Trent and reiterated by Pope Pius XII remains the Catholic Church's Bible. I am uninterested in what the new Church under Paul VI "promulgated." The Clementine is much closer to the one used by Catholics of ancient times, the Nestle-Aland (the Greek basis of the Stuttgart) has its own issues, such as the inclusion of Alexandrian text to the exclusion of all others when the Alexandrian type was not the only text extant.

In charity,
Mixolydian


Re: Evolution - steph_86 - 11-30-2010

I am particularly intrigued and interested by the subject of evolution. I have a blog and on that site, I wrote an essay on the subject. I am posting it here for you to read it:

On the Evolution of Man

The question of the origins of man has been a central problem for Catholic theology and doctrine, as well as an area of contention between faith and reason, religion and science. Since the genesis of the theory of evolution, the Catholic Church has shown an openness towards the theory, to the point of expounding behind the words of the Venerable Pope John Paul II that, evolutionism was "more than a hypothesis". Thus, the relation that the Catholic Church has held with the scientific theory has remained ambiguous and the gestures of openness have often revealed the Church's conviction that the theory is not complete, nor is it in its final form. As such, the Church's Magisterium has yet to make a doctrinal pronouncement on the issue limiting itself to public statements that have revealed over the years, its respect for science and its favorable consideration of evolutionary theory.
     
With regard to the faithful, the Church has not required belief and assent to evolutionism as an article of faith. In fact, she has simply opted to allow for scientific investigation on "the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter" to take its course, although restricting at the same time, the scope of their intellectual freedom imposing by its supreme authority boundaries on the faith of its Catholic members. With Humani Generis, the Church represents her official response to the scientific postulate. Behind the words of Pope Pius XII, she authoritatively set down the particular belief to which every Catholic faithful was bound to ascribe, the fact that "[all human] souls are immediately created by God." Even further, the Church maintained the necessity of ascribing to the historical existence of the First Parents and to the rejection of the scientific postulate of polygenism, which holds that humanity may have arisen from multiple parents - and not just from the two parents of Adam and Eve. All in all, it can be seen that apart from these limitations, the faithful have been at liberty to speculate on the scientific theory, and the subject of human origins.


Historically, the interpretation of the first chapters of the book of Genesis has posed difficulties due to the mystery and sometimes, the richly symbolic nature that characterizes them. Particularly, the accounts on the Creation of the world and of the First Parents, the Fall after the sin of the origins, the concurrent corruption of humanity and the chapters concerning the universal Flood and the new creation; have been the subject of theological and of scientific speculation for centuries. At the same time, the literal interpretation of the Scriptures seemed to have triumphed of the traditional understanding of the first book of the Bible constituting thus, the favored approach of biblical scholarship in this area. More specifically, many Fathers of the Church held to a position that held the creation origin as being achieved by the Creator God in six literal 24 hour days. More importantly, based on the account offered by New Testament writers on the ancestry of Jesus, many Fathers, such as St Augustine, had maintained against the opinion of the Greek that, the human race had not remained on the earth for more than six thousand years. As such, humanity and the world itself, were the fruit of a young creation whose natural history though shrouded in mystery, seemed to have been rightly apprehended by the sure deposit of the Tradition of the Church.
     
Certainly, this situation would not remain the same forever. Evolutionism, which had first been formulated during Antiquity by the Greeks, found renewed favor among the men of science. With Lamarckism, characteristics of animals acquired during their life-time, were passed to their offspring. Eventually, as the ages went by, it would lose its relevance in scientific debate. The Darwinian theory of evolution, however, was a thoroughly naturalistic explanation of the origins of all life. It posited a natural mechanism - natural selection - by which all life on earth had gone through successive stages, the more adapted and successful ones, surviving to pass on its traits to their offspring. Its rapid popularity symbolized the triumph of the naturalistic metaphysical view which posited natural forces as the only causes necessary to explain created reality; relegating thus, the supernatural to the realm of the unscientific and hence, of the irrational. Nonetheless, although its immediate end was to provide a completely scientific understanding of reality, it came however, to constitute over the years the rallying cry of militant atheism. In its modern sense, Darwinian evolutionism came to benefit from the discoveries of Gregor Mendel, forming a new synthetic explanation of the evolutionary process now understood as the change in alleles - forms of genes - in a given population of organisms through successive generations. Through genetic mutation, a new mechanism was proposed which introduced variation and adaptive characteristics to the organism, becoming thus, the driving force and the creative power of the evolutionary process.
     
Instead of lifting the veil on man's supposed origins, evolutionism complicated matters for the Catholic Church. Indeed, it introduced into the creative process an element of struggle and chaos that had not been foreseen as a principle in the original creation. Not only did it suggest that matter was a self-creating and self-replicating principle, it also provided man with the tools to further reduce to "nihil", the total creative action of God. In the new naturalistic and rationalistic universe of science, God was no longer needed. He was now seen as an extraneous part of the process of the whole origin and of the evolution of life. And although the Church seemed to make peace with the theory, it had to come to terms with its particular postulates with difficulty. In reality, it would not be a simple thing to reconcile the claim that man was truly identical with the other animals, the fruit of an evolutionary process that without purpose had achieved rationality out of the disorder of original creation, with the particular truth that man was a creature of God, specially created by him and possessing of a natural dignity that baptized him as the king and crown of material creation, the point of union between Heaven and earth, and between the material and the spiritual worlds. More importantly, the theory involved serious consequences for the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.


Indeed, the story of the creation of man, and of the whole creation for that fact, had been understood till that time, as being a literal rendering of God's creative activity and of his formation of the human being. God had formed man out of the clay of the earth, modeled him, fashioned him and had instilled his spirit into him. Afterwards, from his particular rib, he had also formed the woman. In this sense, the implications of evolution were far-reaching as they involved theological questions both concerning the true and historical sequence of man's creation, and as well as the origins of sexual differentiation.


Thus, the primordial cell, had been the origin of all living things. This, was ultimately the final hypothesis of evolutionary thought. In this, speculation as to what had been the source of that primordial organism and the generator of its life, was indeed inconclusive. For the theologian, the answer was obvious: God was the origin of all. Behind, the apparently unguided forces that moved the evolutionary process, lied a divine purpose that disposed every thing to its final end. Nonetheless, one could no longer accept the biblical truth of a virginal universe, of an ordered, beautiful creation produced out of the hands of God in which reigned no sin. In truth, in the evolutionary view of the world, it is seen that, struggle, disorder, chaos and enmity, had reigned before the sin of the origins, before the sin of the First Parents who were now to be apprehended as the descendants of an evolved race of animals. This particular truth, certainly posed immense problems to which reality it seems, the Church never acquired real consciousness. But if evolution had threatened the foundations of the faith itself, it had also provided the impetus for a whole historical and theological revision of the biblical account.


Up till that time, the theory of the world ages had held an influential part in the interpretation of natural and human history. Owing to the scientific advances made in paleontology, geology and statigraphy, the scientific current came to sponsor theories which saw in the earth, an old, long-lived world whose formation had been evolutive and owing itself to the causes of natural laws that are inherent to matter. Millions of years, had been the necessary period of time, for the evolution of life to take place and produce through trial and error, out of disorder, the ultimate order of rational activity. Undoubtedly, this contradicted the accepted understanding of the account of Tradition, which saw actually a young creation as having been produced by the Creator God. The world, had not evolved by itself. Rather, it had been created, formed directly out of the hands of Yahweh. It is in this context, that the theory of evolution came to be validated, providing for the many scientists eager to upset the foundations of Revelation, a tool to further undermine in the consciences of the common people, the truths that had been a part of their whole upbringing, and in fact, of the whole civilization.
     
As such, Catholic theology had to reconcile itself with the new understanding of the world. Science, which had contributed to the revolutionizing of the conditions of life that was under way, was now laying to rest many truths which since the time of the Enlightenment had been perceived as mythological. The theory of evolution, confirmed and validated the suspicions of the rationally and scientifically bent elements of society, who saw in the records of Holy Writ, accounts produced out of superstitions maintained under the guise of popular imagery. In this sense, one could not under-estimate the extent of the issue involving the Magisterium and the theories sponsored by human science. The Church however, reacted judiciously never officially sponsoring any scientific theory whatever and revealing in its diplomatic openness, a willingness to accept science as it is, a human endeavor whose orientation is progressive but whose purpose is certainly not complete.

--- From http://philossophiasirach.blogspot.com


Re: Evolution - steph_86 - 11-30-2010

(10-30-2010, 09:34 AM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: What we see in this thread are examples of some people who's thinking must be kept so simplistic they cannot discern any position other than "evolutionist" (atheist) and "creationist" (theist).  Such childish thinking is antithetical for the deep respect for actual science (as well as simple facts) that the Catholic Church has always shown.

These people are unwilling to even discuss the matters at hand - the actual evidence and the teachings of the Church on these subjects (which are the opposite of what they're saying) - and so stoop to calling their opponents not Catholic and/or lacking in faith.  These are either honest ad hominem attacks designed to shift the focus from the actual matters under discussion or honest but misguided slanders, the owners of which simply cannot understand that "the Bible" doesn't simply say that the Earth is 6,000 years old and so conclude that anyone who accepts that must be lacking in faith!

Where it becomes more than a problem of understanding is the refusal to listen to the Church on the matter.  The Church has never made any ruling regarding the age of the universe and on the contrary has made many official and unofficial statements supporting both the general notion that specifics on the age of the universe are required for belief (see the Fourth Latern Council's declarations on creation) and that the findings of modern science that the universe likely began in a single creation event that can be traced backwards through time and which implies a long age to the universe are worthy of respect.

The general mindset that (natural) science is opposed to God - which is exactly what some in this thread are proposing, implicitly or explicitly - is irrational and has never been supported any any Father, saint, or Doctor of the Church.

I would urge casual readers of the thread to do their own research and not be influenced by the posters who confuse true Catholicism with a middle-ages level of knowledge about nature.  

In some respects, I agree with you. It is interesting to note that the Church has not made a definitive statement whatever either on the age of the world - and by relation, the age of humanity - the place of the earth in the universe and the theory of evolution. As far as the place of the earth in the universe is concerned it is seen that she has not officially changed her teaching on geocentrism which following the council of Trent was reasserted during the 16th and 17th centuries since, the Holy Office condemned the real possibility of the heliocentric theory of Galileo to be true, as a heretical.

As far as evolution is concerned, the faithful are required to believe that souls are immediately created by God, that Adam and Eve existed and that all humanity was derived from them (monogenism). Still, it must be said that contrary to popular opinion, science is not a neutral endeavor. Naturalism, is the metaphysical and methodological position of science. According to this perspective, only natural causes are to be sought in order to explain the phenomena occurring within Creation. This is certainly in contradiction to the Catholic Faith for whom, the supernatural is a real, causal agent in the created world. Nevertheless, scientists would rather conjure up very hypothetical explanations in order to divest themselves of the reality of the Divine Intelligence.

It is in this context that the theory of evolution exists. Evolution radically excludes God in the natural world and explains Creation as though it had never been produced ex nihilo out of the Thought and Hands of the Creator God. And this, is the fatal flaw of science since the time of the Renaissance. It attempts to explain the world and its history without any reference to the world of Faith, namely Sacred Scripture. Since that time, Faith and Reason have been dissociated and today it must be said that they are perceived to be in enmity. As such, I am of the opinion that the conviction that science actually undermines Faith is a certainty brought by the evidence of the facts. Rationalism, which has come to the fore, since science came to become the final authority on all knowledge, has contributed to persistent doubt and a skepticism that undermines true, unwavering Faith.

It must be realized that, science truly is merely a human endeavor. Because of Original Sin, man is affected in his whole self with an inclination to sin. This includes also reason. Without the grace and the light of Faith, reason can and does err. Reason and Faith need one another. And a reason that seeks to explain the world on its powers is bound to stumble before the mysteries of the past and of the created world. For this reason, I am wary of the easiness with which modern man readily accepts the verdicts of science. Let us not forget that, in truth, Sacred Scripture does warn us concerning the futilities of human knowledge and warns of the errors that would spread during the End Times. In my conviction, evolution is one of them.

Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labour in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. (2 Tim:2-5)


Re: Evolution - The Catholic Thinker - 12-01-2010

(11-30-2010, 09:46 PM)steph_86 Wrote: In some respects, I agree with you. It is interesting to note that the Church has not made a definitive statement whatever either on the age of the world - and by relation, the age of humanity - the place of the earth in the universe and the theory of evolution. As far as the place of the earth in the universe is concerned it is seen that she has not officially changed her teaching on geocentrism which following the council of Trent was reasserted during the 16th and 17th centuries since, the Holy Office condemned the real possibility of the heliocentric theory of Galileo to be true, as a heretical.

It would be far more interesting if the Church had made any definitive statement on the age of the world, given that the Church has *never* strayed in the realm of natural science authoritatively.

The age of the universe is also not directly related to whether or not any sort of evolution occurred.


Quote:As far as evolution is concerned, the faithful are required to believe that souls are immediately created by God, that Adam and Eve existed and that all humanity was derived from them (monogenism). Still, it must be said that contrary to popular opinion, science is not a neutral endeavor. Naturalism, is the metaphysical and methodological position of science. According to this perspective, only natural causes are to be sought in order to explain the phenomena occurring within Creation. This is certainly in contradiction to the Catholic Faith for whom, the supernatural is a real, causal agent in the created world. Nevertheless, scientists would rather conjure up very hypothetical explanations in order to divest themselves of the reality of the Divine Intelligence.

Yes, the soul created instantaneously by God and monogenism are required beliefs (as has been covered here).

"Still, it must be said that contrary to popular opinion, science is not a neutral endeavor. Naturalism, is the metaphysical and methodological position of science." - you are making your misunderstanding of natural science evident.  You've been influenced by popular philosophers who want to redefine "science" to include a certain philosophical bent (materialism).  In fact, that is *not science* and not related to natural science.  The Church has always been clear on those things.

I'm not sure how much of the thread you've read, but it is clear your thought process is already to some degree pitting (what you see as) science against the Church (and thus against Truth) - a dangerous and in fact illogical position. 


Quote:It is in this context that the theory of evolution exists. Evolution radically excludes God in the natural world and explains Creation as though it had never been produced ex nihilo out of the Thought and Hands of the Creator God. And this, is the fatal flaw of science since the time of the Renaissance. It attempts to explain the world and its history without any reference to the world of Faith, namely Sacred Scripture. Since that time, Faith and Reason have been dissociated and today it must be said that they are perceived to be in enmity. As such, I am of the opinion that the conviction that science actually undermines Faith is a certainty brought by the evidence of the facts. Rationalism, which has come to the fore, since science came to become the final authority on all knowledge, has contributed to persistent doubt and a skepticism that undermines true, unwavering Faith.

What kind of evolution?  What "radically excludes God"?  By definition, theistic evolution does not exclude God at all.  (As I've said over and over in this thread, I do not accept the common formulation of theistic macroevolution because of the scientific evidence against it.)

What you are speaking of above, actually, is neo-Darwinian evolution - the Darwinian worldview.  It's a rather different subject than "evolution" in general or even macro-evolution in general.

I'm not going to comment on the rest of the post since it's written with this science-vs.-faith bias.  You should study what natural science truly is, how the Church has always viewed it, why it cannot by definition ever contradict the faith, and how, where, and why modern materialistic philosophers attempt to blur the lines between natural science and philosophy.

You could start with the writings of Fr. Stanley Jaki or any of the neo-atheist debunkers (books refuting Dawkins, et al).  They all cover this territory.


Re: Evolution - Nic - 12-01-2010

(11-30-2010, 09:46 PM)steph_86 Wrote:
(10-30-2010, 09:34 AM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote: What we see in this thread are examples of some people who's thinking must be kept so simplistic they cannot discern any position other than "evolutionist" (atheist) and "creationist" (theist).  Such childish thinking is antithetical for the deep respect for actual science (as well as simple facts) that the Catholic Church has always shown.

These people are unwilling to even discuss the matters at hand - the actual evidence and the teachings of the Church on these subjects (which are the opposite of what they're saying) - and so stoop to calling their opponents not Catholic and/or lacking in faith.  These are either honest ad hominem attacks designed to shift the focus from the actual matters under discussion or honest but misguided slanders, the owners of which simply cannot understand that "the Bible" doesn't simply say that the Earth is 6,000 years old and so conclude that anyone who accepts that must be lacking in faith!

Where it becomes more than a problem of understanding is the refusal to listen to the Church on the matter.  The Church has never made any ruling regarding the age of the universe and on the contrary has made many official and unofficial statements supporting both the general notion that specifics on the age of the universe are required for belief (see the Fourth Latern Council's declarations on creation) and that the findings of modern science that the universe likely began in a single creation event that can be traced backwards through time and which implies a long age to the universe are worthy of respect.

The general mindset that (natural) science is opposed to God - which is exactly what some in this thread are proposing, implicitly or explicitly - is irrational and has never been supported any any Father, saint, or Doctor of the Church.

I would urge casual readers of the thread to do their own research and not be influenced by the posters who confuse true Catholicism with a middle-ages level of knowledge about nature.  

In some respects, I agree with you. It is interesting to note that the Church has not made a definitive statement whatever either on the age of the world -

The Church doesn't have to - Scripture tells us how old the world is.  Depending on if you see the Hebrew Masoretic Text, the Greek Septuagint or the Sarmatian Text as the one that is authoritative  - the earth is between aprox. 6,000 and 7,500 years old.  The Church has declared through the Pontifical Biblical Commission of 1909, a wing of the Magesterium whose dissent from was tantamount to dissent from the Pope - that Genesis doesn't contain purified myths.  Therefore, the book is literal, and so are the genealogies.  True science attests the the fact that the world is less than 10,000 years old.  "Theistic Evolution" is a bogus theory that tries to force billions of years between two verses of Scripture.  We have 99% of the Church Fathers who commented on the subject agreeing on a very young earth and a literal 6 day Creation (St. Augustine only offered conjecture that Creation could have happened in an instant, but held to 6 literal days as well).  We have more of a consent of the Fathers on this subject than we do certain dogmas of the Catholic Faith.  It is only atheistic science that has removed God from the equation, thus trying to force a scenario upon mankind that is therefore Godless.  Since the average person holds the scientific community as some sort of infallibility - but are also declared Christians, they were forced to mix the two ideas into a bastard theory  -- Theistic Evolution, which is truly ridiculous.  The proper way to see this is that modern science removes God from the equation - and they are mere men who can make errors.  Scripture is innerrant - it cannot make errors.  Besides, true cutting edge science attests to the fact that Scripture is indeed true concerning the age of the earth (who would have guessed!), and scientists are dissenting from Darwinism everyday because the theory is falling apart - it has more holes than Swiss cheese!  BUT, the true atheistic scientists will NEVER dissent from Darwin - if they did, they would have to admit their ignorance and possibly admit to a belief in an Intelligent Designer.  This is something that they simply will not do - especially admitting to being wrong all along (there are a LOT of scientists who are some of the most arrogant people in the world).


Re: Evolution - steph_86 - 12-01-2010

(12-01-2010, 10:50 AM)A Catholic Thinker Wrote:
(11-30-2010, 09:46 PM)steph_86 Wrote: In some respects, I agree with you. It is interesting to note that the Church has not made a definitive statement whatever either on the age of the world - and by relation, the age of humanity - the place of the earth in the universe and the theory of evolution. As far as the place of the earth in the universe is concerned it is seen that she has not officially changed her teaching on geocentrism which following the council of Trent was reasserted during the 16th and 17th centuries since, the Holy Office condemned the real possibility of the heliocentric theory of Galileo to be true, as a heretical.

It would be far more interesting if the Church had made any definitive statement on the age of the world, given that the Church has *never* strayed in the realm of natural science authoritatively.

The age of the universe is also not directly related to whether or not any sort of evolution occurred.


Quote:As far as evolution is concerned, the faithful are required to believe that souls are immediately created by God, that Adam and Eve existed and that all humanity was derived from them (monogenism). Still, it must be said that contrary to popular opinion, science is not a neutral endeavor. Naturalism, is the metaphysical and methodological position of science. According to this perspective, only natural causes are to be sought in order to explain the phenomena occurring within Creation. This is certainly in contradiction to the Catholic Faith for whom, the supernatural is a real, causal agent in the created world. Nevertheless, scientists would rather conjure up very hypothetical explanations in order to divest themselves of the reality of the Divine Intelligence.

Yes, the soul created instantaneously by God and monogenism are required beliefs (as has been covered here).

"Still, it must be said that contrary to popular opinion, science is not a neutral endeavor. Naturalism, is the metaphysical and methodological position of science." - you are making your misunderstanding of natural science evident.  You've been influenced by popular philosophers who want to redefine "science" to include a certain philosophical bent (materialism).  In fact, that is *not science* and not related to natural science.  The Church has always been clear on those things.

I'm not sure how much of the thread you've read, but it is clear your thought process is already to some degree pitting (what you see as) science against the Church (and thus against Truth) - a dangerous and in fact illogical position. 


Quote:It is in this context that the theory of evolution exists. Evolution radically excludes God in the natural world and explains Creation as though it had never been produced ex nihilo out of the Thought and Hands of the Creator God. And this, is the fatal flaw of science since the time of the Renaissance. It attempts to explain the world and its history without any reference to the world of Faith, namely Sacred Scripture. Since that time, Faith and Reason have been dissociated and today it must be said that they are perceived to be in enmity. As such, I am of the opinion that the conviction that science actually undermines Faith is a certainty brought by the evidence of the facts. Rationalism, which has come to the fore, since science came to become the final authority on all knowledge, has contributed to persistent doubt and a skepticism that undermines true, unwavering Faith.

What kind of evolution?  What "radically excludes God"?  By definition, theistic evolution does not exclude God at all.  (As I've said over and over in this thread, I do not accept the common formulation of theistic macroevolution because of the scientific evidence against it.)

What you are speaking of above, actually, is neo-Darwinian evolution - the Darwinian worldview.  It's a rather different subject than "evolution" in general or even macro-evolution in general.

I'm not going to comment on the rest of the post since it's written with this science-vs.-faith bias.  You should study what natural science truly is, how the Church has always viewed it, why it cannot by definition ever contradict the faith, and how, where, and why modern materialistic philosophers attempt to blur the lines between natural science and philosophy.

You could start with the writings of Fr. Stanley Jaki or any of the neo-atheist debunkers (books refuting Dawkins, et al).  They all cover this territory.

Forgive me if my comments seem to have been misunderstood. Regarding the relationship between science and religion, I must say that, in current times, there is a divergence of interests between the activity of the scientific community and the concerns of the Christian religion. As a good example, the current controversy over human and animal cloning is in the scientific community a futile and irrelevant one since, it is known that, animal hybrids are produced on a regular basis in biological experiments; as such, humans who are seen as no different from other species, should not be regarded and awarded a special status. Hence, much of the scientific community is quite oblivious to the guidelines set by the Magisterium and sees its efforts as stunting the advances of science towards progress and knowledge.

But more precisely, let us tackle once again the issue of the philosophy that forms the world view of the natural sciences. The natural sciences are like, any human endeavor, defined in terms of a specific philosophical and even metaphysical position. What must be said however, is that, science in general, reveals a commitment to a world view that is oblivious or in the eyes of some atheists, antithetical to the reality of the supernatural. Naturalism, is adopted both as a method of inquiry and also as a source of explanation. In the face of natural phenomena, scientists seek natural causes for their explanation. And in this, they do well since, there is in this respect, the assumption that, the cause and the effect are related by the same nature. However, the difficulty comes in when naturalism is adopted as a world view, that is, a metaphysical understanding of reality. This is naturalism, in its most authentic expression and as you can see, it poses a serious problem to the rationality of God as a causal agent in creation. Indeed, it poses the phenomena perceived by the scientific method as accounting for the whole of reality. The problem lies in the sense that, scientists seem unaware of the fact, by the very practice of the scientific method, there comes a limitation on their ability to explain the whole of reality using only natural causes. But to the common man, such distinctions are hardly ever noticed. Hence, there comes the assumption that since science has accounted for the causes behind the phenomena occurring in nature, then, such an investigation is exhaustive.

Clearly, this is detrimental to the cause of the faith and a greater appreciation of the fact that the questions raised by science need to find adequate philosophical exposition. It is in this sense then, that, the natural sciences unconsciously or consciously, oppose the province of faith. Faith, in fact, since the time of the Renaissance, has been divorced from reason. Since that time, scientists have sought to explain the world using their reason alone apart from the living Tradition and the indications contained within Sacred Scripture. And this, is the problem: human reason left to its own powers is able to arrive at the truth, but at the same time, it is prone to error. This reality, I believe, is one that is not asserted enough in current times. This means that, science standing apart from the wisdom of the Church, is in danger of promoting error and misunderstanding due to the fact that, human beings are ignorant. Also, and this applies more specifically to the issue of the theory of evolution; since God is the author of the world, a simple question may be asked: must have God used natural causes alone to create, or instead, did He create directly in such manner that, creation cannot be understood without reference to Him. If indeed, God used natural causes alone to create then, it is possible for science on its own powers to arrive at the truth. But if creation has come out of his hands directly, as accounted for in the Book of Genesis, then, it is impossible to understand creation without recourse and reference to God. And in this sense, it must be said that natural history and human history which evolution attempts to account for on its own, can only be truly understood when there has been recourse to the Magisterium. The crux of argument is therefore this: in order to exclude error from scientific investigation, it is necessary to refer to the living Tradition of the Church and the Sacred Scriptures.

For example, let us suppose that the Lord created all animals directly - as I believe, the Sacred Scriptures reveal. In this hypothesis, it is certain that, the manner in which God created them must have been different than the hypothesis that is surmised by Darwinian evolution. In this respect, it is certain that the process must not have taken eons to work itself out, but must have occurred instantaneously. In this sense then, God must have created according to laws which, in reality, might be unknown to us. But if indeed, God created all species according to "their kind", then it must be said that evolution in the sense of macro-evolution or transformism, did not occur. In my opinion, the Sacred Scriptures and the Tradition of the Church point to this reality: God created the animals on the sixth day of creation according to laws known to Him and in accordance to His plan, and all of them were created according to "their kind", meaning that, they were full, complete species. Now, it is certain that his particular point of view is not shared by all. Faced with the evidence of the fossil record, many are those who are convinced of the rationality of supporting Darwinian evolution as the most adequate theory to account for the observations found in the natural world. Others, in an attempt to reconcile their faith to secular science, favor a theistic form of evolution, in which God is the initiator and the supervisor of the evolutionary process. Certainly, I do not share any of the above views.

Finally, going back to my previous point concerning the world view that forms the bias of science; it must be said that, naturalism does not necessarily equate itself with materialism. Indeed, it is possible to be a naturalist and still adhere to the reality that, for example, man is a composite of body and of soul. As such, spirituality can still exists even a universe in which there is no God as demonstrated by pantheism and other forms of religion. However, in current times, naturalism has given birth - in my understanding - to materialism, the conviction that, only matter exists and that the spirit or more precisely, the mind, is an epiphenomenon of matter. The following is presented to you for your examination, it speaks of the inherent bias that pervades the scientific community and the commitment that many have made on a priori grounds, to a materialistic world view:

‘We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen [but see the difference between origin and operational science—Ed.].’

--- Professor Richard Lewontin, a geneticist (and self-proclaimed Marxist)


Re: Evolution - formerbuddhist - 12-22-2010

I try to keep it simple. So much of modern science does have an atheistic bias that I simply ignore it. I'd rather hold a simple faith in a world that was literally created in the manner Scripture and the Fathers say it was in the short time period that most agree on, period, close the book. One can study the science if one chooses to do so, but I have enough to study about the faith and enough to do in working out my own salvation than to delve into the murky waters of science/religion debates and where they may or may not intersect. My only prayer is for a  simple faith. I think we need to know our type of personality, talents and inclinations and work with them accordingly, Those that have the mind for science can certainly delve into it but I don't and so I simply do not pay attention to anything going on in the science world. To involve yourself in things that you are not prepared to handle or understand can destroy your faith and as it says in Holy  Scripture "without faith it is impossible to please God" meaning without Catholic Faith since there is no salvation outside the Church.


Re: Evolution - INPEFESS - 12-22-2010

(12-22-2010, 07:16 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I try to keep it simple. So much of modern science does have an atheistic bias that I simply ignore it. I'd rather hold a simple faith in a world that was literally created in the manner Scripture and the Fathers say it was in the short time period that most agree on, period, close the book. One can study the science if one chooses to do so, but I have enough to study about the faith and enough to do in working out my own salvation than to delve into the murky waters of science/religion debates and where they may or may not intersect. My only prayer is for a  simple faith. I think we need to know our type of personality, talents and inclinations and work with them accordingly, Those that have the mind for science can certainly delve into it but I don't and so I simply do not pay attention to anything going on in the science world. To involve yourself in things that you are not prepared to handle or understand can destroy your faith and as it says in Holy  Scripture "without faith it is impossible to please God" meaning without Catholic Faith since there is no salvation outside the Church.

Well said!