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Re: Evolution - Vetus Ordo - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 12:27 AM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: the "traditional position of the Church" with regard to the shape of the Earth (flat)

Utter nonsense.



Re: Evolution - Historian - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 12:27 AM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: Your argument regarding the "traditional position of the Church" with regard to this question carries no more weight than the "traditional position of the Church" with regard to the shape of the Earth (flat) or its relation to the sun (it goes around the Earth). 

This is in grievous error. The traditional position of the Church is that the earth is round. This is the basis for all navigation.

Summa Theologica Wrote:Reply to Objection 2. Sciences are differentiated according to the various means through which knowledge is obtained. For the astronomer and the physicist both may prove the same conclusion: that the earth, for instance, is round: the astronomer by means of mathematics (i.e. abstracting from matter), but the physicist by means of matter itself. Hence there is no reason why those things which may be learned from philosophical science, so far as they can be known by natural reason, may not also be taught us by another science so far as they fall within revelation. Hence theology included in sacred doctrine differs in kind from that theology which is part of philosophy.

And, for the movement, it is all relative. This is science...I'm surprised at you. Movement is relative. The movements of the heavenly bodies can be described from any point. Our point is the earth, which is immobile relative to us.

You spend too much time defending this learning of yours and attacking that of faith.

I've been reading the Imitation of Christ...I think it is more fruitful for this to be read than what you've been reading.




Re: Evolution - The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 07:57 AM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(10-23-2010, 12:27 AM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: the "traditional position of the Church" with regard to the shape of the Earth (flat)

Utter nonsense.

Oh, really?  So you contend that there are statements from churchmen stating that the earth is no older than ~6,000 years that carry more weight than similar statements that Scriptures such as "the four corners of the Earth" imply that the Earth is flat?  Please post them.

In both cases there are no official teachings whatsoever.  And I don't mean just no dogma or doctrine or statements from councils or Popes, but no consensus among the faithful whatsoever - certainly no consensus among the fathers.  It wasn't really discussed, since it isn't a matter of faith or morals - outside of what the Church *has* defined (monogenism).

I would be happy to change my view - show me I'm wrong.

All Christians would be very wise to heed St. Augustine's advice concerning science:

"Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion. [1 Timothy 1.7]"


Re: Evolution - The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 10:26 AM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: I've been reading the Imitation of Christ...I think it is more fruitful for this to be read than what you've been reading.

Oh, please.  I've read that too, and countless books on theology from the saints and mystics, and I've read little on evolution, except counters from the ID movement, in about a decade. 

My point was that there have been churchmen that have used Scripture to argue that the earth is flat, and their arguments carry the same weight from the Church as the argument that the universe is 6,000 years old - none.

Listen to St. Augustine.


Re: Evolution - The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 04:33 AM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: Those transitional humans are not as you state. If they were fresh, they would clerely be ape or Man. Humans have diversity. Apes have diversity. It is only because of the age of remans that they "must" be something else.

The theory was made and evidence was found for it. Evidence did not preceed theory. It is not science...it is unholy dogma.

I would love to believe that.  I would love it to be that easy.  The Creationist attempts I have seen to explain away hominid fossils have been completely laughable.  As I said, most of them have absolutely no scientific training or knowledge at all.  Please show me what you're referring to above - I'd honestly love to believe it was all a farce.

In any case, as I already said, I don't believe macroevolution resulting in man occurred.  You did see that, right?


Quote:Think how the Queen of Heaven will view those who so ardently defend the idea that her Son is the offspring of creatures without reason.

This argument shows you miss the point entirely.  Theistic evolution concerns only the body, not the soul, which is what makes man man and is instantaneously created by God.

How different is man's body evolving from lower animals than from "the dust of the earth"?

In any case I can't accept macro-evolution since that theory also does not fit the facts.

You appear to be trying pretty hard to make this a binary argument.


Re: Evolution - Historian - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 10:41 AM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: I would love to believe that.  I would love it to be that easy.  The Creationist attempts I have seen to explain away hominid fossils have been completely laughable.  As I said, most of them have absolutely no scientific training or knowledge at all.  Please show me what you're referring to above - I'd honestly love to believe it was all a farce.

In any case, as I already said, I don't believe macroevolution resulting in man occurred.  You did see that, right?
It is that easy. Those "remains" are so sparse and incomplete that they make an entire species out of a tooth (whoops...it was a pig's tooth, well, there are other bones they could use).

I am not interested in changing your mind or proving anything. If you wish to call yourself "Catholic Thinker" be more prudent in your posts. There is nothing to be gained by mocking those without "scientific training" and by affirming fringe science (how exactly is this useful to us?).


Quote:This argument shows you miss the point entirely.
It wasn't an argument. It was an attempt to refocus you on things which matter.

Quote:  Theistic evolution concerns only the body, not the soul, which is what makes man man and is instantaneously created by God.
Man is not the soul. It is the body and soul and our nature. If parts of us were made separately, then you have a serious problem with the idea.

Quote:How different is man's body evolving from lower animals than from "the dust of the earth"?
Sex. Man was created by God in God's image, not the result of animal copulation and genetic chaos.

Quote:You appear to be trying pretty hard to make this a binary argument.
That is which is true cannot be false and that which is false cannot be true. Basic reasoning here.

You seem well "trained" in the sciences or whatever. How trained are you in theology?

I accept that creation is fallen. Using the ruins we see to reconstruct the past is like using the rubble of a demolished building to determine its structure. You get bits and pieces but it is impossible to reconstruct the original state.

I am not trying hard at all. I am making small statements selectively in an attempt to inspire YOU to think. I am not going to do your thinking for you. Either way, it is a matter of will, not "proof".

Imitation of Christ Wrote:What good is much discussion of involved and obscure matters when our ignorance of them will not be held against us on Judgment Day? Neglect of things which are profitable and necessary and undue concern with those which are irrelevant and harmful, are great folly.

We have eyes and do not see.

What, therefore, have we to do with questions of philosophy? He to whom the Eternal Word speaks is free from theorizing. For from this Word are all things and of Him all things speak -- the Beginning Who also speaks to us. Without this Word no man understands or judges aright. He to whom it becomes everything, who traces all things to it and who sees all things in it, may ease his heart and remain at peace with God.

O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for. Let the learned be still, let all creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me.

I am only posting at all on this because of the danger in its conclusions and its reasoning (or lack of it).




Re: Evolution - The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010

As a final point, be aware that the Fathers accepted the Greek philosophers' definition of man as a "rational animal".  It's the [capacity for] rationality that makes man man.

Of course, in the neo-Darwin formulation, man is nothing but an animal.


Re: Evolution - Historian - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 10:52 AM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: As a final point, be aware that the Fathers accepted the Greek philosophers' definition of man as a "rational animal".  It's the [capacity for] rationality that makes man man.

Yes, that is how God created us. I fully recognise the animal side. I also recognise that God created the other animals FOR us. We are above them. We were created out of God's love and given an entire universe and an incredibly diverse and perfect creation in which to live without any sorrow, yet, we blew it.


Re: Evolution - The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 10:50 AM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: It is that easy. Those "remains" are so sparse and incomplete that they make an entire species out of a tooth (whoops...it was a pig's tooth, well, there are other bones they could use).

Yes, that type of thing goes on, which is why I said there are no transitional specimens.  But there are whole skulls (many) and whole skeletons.  Anyone who looks at one of these skulls can see that it is something not ape and yet not man.  Again, do you have any actual references to something exhaustively demonstrating that *all* of these fossils are a farce of some sort?  I very much doubt it - I've looked hard for that.


Quote:I am not interested in changing your mind or proving anything. If you wish to call yourself "Catholic Thinker" be more prudent in your posts. There is nothing to be gained by mocking those without "scientific training" and by affirming fringe science (how exactly is this useful to us?).

That is a stupid insult.  It is you who are being less than Catholic by insisting that something that is *not a deposit of the faith* be treated as such.

I mocked absolutely no one, and neither did St. Augustine in his quote - that quote is absolutely on the money and is the same thing I am saying.  Someone who has no training in physics, geology, chemistry or cosmology is not qualified to make a determination on the age of the universe.  This should be plainly obvious.  Since the Church has made *no pronouncement whatsoever* on this question (and could be said to have specifically avoided it, such as in certain declarations of 12th Lateran IIRC), it is *not* a question of faith or morals and cannot be treated as such.

Whether or not a question is pertinent to ones' salvation is a completely different question as to whether it is pertinent at all.  You are almost literally saying here that we should simply bury our heads in the sand and ignore these issues and problems.  St. Augustine would say that that would make us as Christians look just as foolish as when we make pronouncements in areas we're not qualified to.  These questions *must* be considered because we are now in the world, though not of it, and we must engage it - we must speak to potential converts who have questions and difficulties in these areas.  I seriously doubt that telling them "you shouldn't think about it" will suffice.


Quote:Man is not the soul. It is the body and soul and our nature. If parts of us were made separately, then you have a serious problem with the idea.

I did not say that man IS only a soul, I said that it's the soul that "makes man man", which is absolutely true - animals have bodies and yet are not akin to men.  You seem to be reading/digesting very quickly and/or looking to score points by interpreting my words in ways they don't warrant.

I think about the bodily resurrection and the beauty our glorified bodies will possess all the time.  It is an amazing thing to contemplate.  My wife & I were just discussing the other night the teaching - this is defined apparently - that one of the four attributes our glorified bodies will possess is the ability to move anywhere instantaneously.

Quote:** How different is man's body evolving from lower animals than from "the dust of the earth"?

Sex. Man was created by God in God's image, not the result of animal copulation and genetic chaos.

Again, man's soul was created in God's image, and I think it's fair to say our glorified bodies will be far more than our fallen, corrupt ones.  Is a body rotting in the grave reflecting the Image of God?  Hardly. 


Quote:** You appear to be trying pretty hard to make this a binary argument.
That is which is true cannot be false and that which is false cannot be true. Basic reasoning here.

No kidding.  What I meant is that you are immediately responding to me as if I'm a neo-Darwinist attacking the Church which is absolutely preposterous.


Quote:You seem well "trained" in the sciences or whatever. How trained are you in theology?

Or "whatever"?  Is that what science means to you?  It's not what it means to the Church, which could be said to have *created* science in the western world.

To answer your question, I've been reading Catholic literature vociferously for about 23 years but especially constantly in the last six, among other things.  I would say I've read at least 100 books from the saints, concerning Church history, and especially apologetics.  Lately I've been especially interested in Thomism and while still a novice, I have a very capable mentor.

How about you?


Imitation of Christ Wrote:What good is much discussion of involved and obscure matters when our ignorance of them will not be held against us on Judgment Day? Neglect of things which are profitable and necessary and undue concern with those which are irrelevant and harmful, are great folly.

You seem to be literally saying that we should have no interest in science whatsoever, or in answering difficult questions related to the faith.  This is just a preposterous position.  You are taking something completely out of context, and frankly insulting the Church's healthy relationship with science which goes back at least 1,000 years.

To put science or anything else ahead of our spiritual state would obviously be a grave error and put our soul in jeopardy.  I think that's what the quote is saying.  The way you seem to be interpreting it does not support the teachings of the Church regarding science.

FYI, in Emmerich's incredible work, Christ says that love of science is one of the divine loves.  Love of science, like all true love, is love of God.


Quote:What, therefore, have we to do with questions of philosophy? He to whom the Eternal Word speaks is free from theorizing. For from this Word are all things and of Him all things speak -- the Beginning Who also speaks to us. Without this Word no man understands or judges aright. He to whom it becomes everything, who traces all things to it and who sees all things in it, may ease his heart and remain at peace with God.

O God, You Who are the truth, make me one with You in love everlasting. I am often wearied by the many things I hear and read, but in You is all that I long for. Let the learned be still, let all creatures be silent before You; You alone speak to me.

Typical of a Creationist (or, frankly, a Protestant), you are posting material entirely unrelated to the questions at hand.


Re: Evolution - Historian - 10-23-2010

(10-23-2010, 11:20 AM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote:
(10-23-2010, 10:50 AM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: It is that easy. Those "remains" are so sparse and incomplete that they make an entire species out of a tooth (whoops...it was a pig's tooth, well, there are other bones they could use).

Yes, that type of thing goes on, which is why I said there are no transitional specimens.  But there are whole skulls (many) and whole skeletons.  Anyone who looks at one of these skulls can see that it is something not ape and yet not man.  Again, do you have any actual references to something exhaustively demonstrating that *all* of these fossils are a farce of some sort?  I very much doubt it - I've looked hard for that.
What do you mean "not ape"? So it was another species that is now extinct. So what? There are many species of sharks. There are many species of rodents. There are several species of apes, and it is known that a few are extinct, and perhaps there were other kinds. That doesn't mean it was anything special; it is just another ape species.


Quote:Typical of a Creationist (or, frankly, a Protestant), you are posting material entirely unrelated to the questions at hand.
I am Catholic. I do not see the point of discussing this topic in this manner so I am pointing out a few key important things. Science does not lead to God (including Theology), but faith. That is what is important.

I am not interested in debating the merits of the bones of hominids. I am trying to point out something higher than this. There is no need to so ardently defend that which does not matter and to insult others in the process.

It was an excerpt from the Imitation of Christ. If you wish to call me creationist (whatever that means..."We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible."...I do not pretend to say how it was done, but I do know how it was NOT done to some degree) then fine. You can call me whatever you wish. If you wish to accuse me of heresy, please do so in a way that is corrective. Perhaps I am mistaken in interpreting your intentions. If that be the case, please correct it, not make accusations.