Evolution
#31
(10-23-2010, 07:29 PM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote:
(10-23-2010, 06:55 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote:
(10-23-2010, 10:34 AM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote:
(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.

The idea that the Church "traditionally" preached a flat earth or that european scholars believed in it is nothing but a pathetic black legend. Who have you been reading?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myth_of_the_Flat_Earth

Thanks for the link.  I knew I was on slightly shaky ground there.  However, consider

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm
and
http://www.answering-christianity.com/earth_flat.htm

there definitely have been Christians that have insisted the earth is flat based on Scripture.  My main point was simply that such private interpretation carries no weight for Catholics exactly as it does not with regard to the age of the universe.

And the Church cannot be rightly said to have a "traditional position" on the age of the universe any more than it can on this question, certainly not if you count the entire existence of the Church, much less an official position.

In fact, considering the tacit praise by the Church of the Big Bang hypothesis, I would say the current, unofficial position of the Church is against young-earth Creationism.  (And that predates the Council!)

Hah!  What a riot this guy!  The Early Church Fathers were virtually unanimous in their consent of a young earth.  It wasn't until man-centered atheistic science came along during the so-called "Enlightenment" that man removed God from the equation, thus fabricating off-the wall theories like "the big bang" to suffice for their disbelief.  Here's an idea.  Pick up the Bible!  Remember...that book full of inerrant truth.  You won't find your long life ages there, but a systematic genealogy that gives the age of the earth +/- 1,500 years (depending on which of the three texts you use).  You and the other "theistic evolutionists" who give in to the religion of man centered atheistic science can keep trying to force your billions of years between two verses, but you just make yourself more comitted to your evil compromise by not seeing that atheistic man-centered science cannot be reconciled with truth.  Oh wait, you don't believe in molecules-to-man macro evolution, that's right.  So I guess in your eyes God made man 6 billion years ago and we have lived as we are now since that time.  Ever hear of population kinetics?  The population of the earth would be so high that we would be piled on top of each other!  No matter that human civilization just so happened to spring up around 5,000 years ago just out of the blue with the Sumerians followed by the ancient Egyptians (Also no matter that the NUMBER ONE myth or legend among basically EVERY human civilization or cultural group is that of a devastating worldwide flood where only a few people survived).  These are the first post-Deluge civilizations.  Thus, the earth existed pre-Flood for less than 2,000 years - a earth so drastically different than we know today.  Like I said in a previous post - pick up that book by Dr. Walt Brown -- In the Beginning:  Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood.  Read it with an open mind and remove any preconceived notions before undertaking it.
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#32
(10-23-2010, 07:29 PM)The Catholic Thinker Wrote: Thanks for the link.  I knew I was on slightly shaky ground there.  However, consider

http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm
and
http://www.answering-christianity.com/earth_flat.htm
What nonsense. Those links do not present any teaching of the Church. One focuses on a modern society of an apparently heretical sect (not a Catholic organisation) of a fundamentalist Bible worshiping type and the other is an anti-Christian site which tells us what the Bible says and what it means and then refutes it. Since when do the weird goings on of weird sects outside the Church and the Biblical interpretation of atheists become useful to you?

I consider it and reject it. You are being hostile to the faith.

Quote:In fact, considering the tacit praise by the Church of the Big Bang hypothesis, I would say the current, unofficial position of the Church is against young-earth Creationism.  (And that predates the Council!)
Any praise of it is ignorant of the physics involved and based on the presentation. The "Big Bang" is seen as consistent because it represents the creation of the entire universe in a single act and the mental representation of this is consistent with revelation.

There is no young earth or old earth. The earth is the age it is and nothing else. God created it and all.

Is science distracting any from the faith here?
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#33
(10-23-2010, 11:47 PM)Nic Wrote: Hah!  What a riot this guy!  The Early Church Fathers were virtually unanimous in their consent of a young earth.  It wasn't until man-centered atheistic science came along during the so-called "Enlightenment" that man removed God from the equation, thus fabricating off-the wall theories like "the big bang" to suffice for their disbelief.

The Church Fathers were "unanimous"??  That would make it dogma!  I'm afraid that you don't know what they are talking about, my friend.  Please show me a single quote from any Church Father making any pronouncement on the age of the universe.

From Wikipedia - which is correct on this quote: "To a large extent, the early Christian Church Fathers read creation history as an allegory, and followed Philo's ideas of time beginning with an instantaneous creation, with days not meant literally."

You have been brainwashed by dishonest Creationists, frankly.  Again, the fact that you uncritically accepted the notion that evolutionists drive fields like cosmology and physics (or even geology) demonstrates that you are completely unfamiliar with the actual science of the matter or science in general for that matter.  And the fact that you must stoop to questioning my faith over the topic demonstrates that you are emotional and defensive. 

An accurate estimate for the age of the universe came about late in the game because technology and the fields of science related to it were not mature enough to make one before that.

The Big Bang is "atheistic"?  I had never heard such completely clueless drivel until I read that in The Remnant (generally a good paper, and possibly where you got it to).  It makes no sense whatsoever.  I am sure you are aware that a Catholic priest is very much responsible for the initial hypothesis:

http://www.catholiceducation.org/article...c0022.html

There is hardly any discovery in all of science that shouts "God" more loudly than this one.  It decimated the "steady state" model of the universe atheists have always used and put them on the defensive on the topic.  It brings to mind immediately the dogma from the Fourth Lateran Council on ex nihilo creation.

You are certainly aware that while, of course, there is no *official* teaching of the Church on this scientific question, in general the reaction from the Church has been positive?


Quote:Here's an idea.  Pick up the Bible!  Remember...that book full of inerrant truth.  You won't find your long life ages there, but a systematic genealogy that gives the age of the earth +/- 1,500 years (depending on which of the three texts you use). 

Insulting idiocy.  I have read the Bible cover to cover, multiple times.  It is indeed inerrant.  You, though, should give up the Protestant habit of individual interpretation, which is what you're engaging in.

For a person to tell any Catholic that any belief he holds that has been declared *not* contrary to the faith or Church teaching is in fact un-Catholic is not only incorrect but possibly sinful based on the motivation.  You should learn some humility.


Quote:You and the other "theistic evolutionists" who give in to the religion of man centered atheistic science can keep trying to force your billions of years between two verses, but you just make yourself more comitted to your evil compromise by not seeing that atheistic man-centered science cannot be reconciled with truth.  Oh wait, you don't believe in molecules-to-man macro evolution, that's right.  So I guess in your eyes God made man 6 billion years ago and we have lived as we are now since that time.  Ever hear of population kinetics?  The population of the earth would be so high that we would be piled on top of each other!  No matter that human civilization just so happened to spring up around 5,000 years ago just out of the blue with the Sumerians followed by the ancient Egyptians (Also no matter that the NUMBER ONE myth or legend among basically EVERY human civilization or cultural group is that of a devastating worldwide flood where only a few people survived).  These are the first post-Deluge civilizations.  Thus, the earth existed pre-Flood for less than 2,000 years - a earth so drastically different than we know today.  Like I said in a previous post - pick up that book by Dr. Walt Brown -- In the Beginning:  Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood.  Read it with an open mind and remove any preconceived notions before undertaking it.

This statement again reveals that your education on this matter is so one-sided that you don't even know what others believe.  Nobody is suggesting that human beings have existed on earth for anything close to ~4 billion years (never mind the other holes in your logic).

Many readers of Genesis, LONG before modern times, concluded that the spans of time it refers to between various creation steps are indeterminate and that parts are allegorical.  To God, "a day is as a thousand years".  What you are doing in reading your own interpretation into the text and then not only arguing with anyone who disagrees but insulting there faith as well.  I am pretty confident that readers who know something about the subject can see how foolish this attitude is. 

Here is that quote from St. Augustine again, with some highlights this time.  If you read and understand this quote, take a look at the actual scientific evidence about the age of the universe, and read and understand the Church's actual teachings, you will back off your argument.

"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]"
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#34
(10-24-2010, 08:13 AM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: What nonsense. Those links do not present any teaching of the Church. One focuses on a modern society of an apparently heretical sect (not a Catholic organisation) of a fundamentalist Bible worshiping type and the other is an anti-Christian site which tells us what the Bible says and what it means and then refutes it. Since when do the weird goings on of weird sects outside the Church and the Biblical interpretation of atheists become useful to you?

I consider it and reject it. You are being hostile to the faith.

Because Catholics have made the same claims, at times.  You have now ignored more than once the *main* point:

The Catholic Church does not have any official teaching whatsoever concerning the age of the universe.  Period.  *You* are being hostile to the faith by defining scientific interpretations of Scripture as "faith".


Quote:Any praise of it is ignorant of the physics involved and based on the presentation. The "Big Bang" is seen as consistent because it represents the creation of the entire universe in a single act and the mental representation of this is consistent with revelation.

I can't wait to hear you refute the physics involved.  You should be able to do that easily based on your level of confidence.


Quote:Is science distracting any from the faith here?

Your misunderstanding of it is causing you to make incorrect statements about faith, so I'd say it is.

Here is my challenge to you & Nic: describe the scientific evidence for the (long) age of the universe and why you reject it.  In other words, try to bring SCIENCE into this discussion about science.  

If you can't do that (and do a good job of it) you sure as hell have no business criticizing anybody's FAITH for accepting teachings that are not only not prohibited by the Church but absolutely have support from It.

I have never been seen such scathing and seemingly emotional hostility (I say "seemingly" because I can't to be able to read anyone's heart, but to me Nic's posts sound quite emotional) over the matter of the age of the universe.  Even the entire Intelligent Design movement accepts the vast body of evidence from geology and cosmology supporting an age for the universe on the order of tens of billions of years.  (And, if it turned out all that evidence was actually wrong, that would be fine, because science can indeed be wrong - but science is still science.)  This body of some of the best scientists in the world, many of them devout Catholics, starts from the premise of an old universe because that is quite simply the only model that fits the evidence at all.  

To give you just one relatively minor point to chew on, you do realize that almost every star in our own galaxy and every single other galaxy in the universe is much farther away from us than 6,000 light-years, right?  That means that if the universe was ~6,000 years old, the only way we could see ANY of these bodies would be if God artificially created photons (light) from them that weren't actually generated!

And any question certainly shouldn't be COULD God do that but WHY ON EARTH would He do such a thing?  It is preposterous to suppose He would.

HINT: Creationists have attempted to "solve" this problem.  Their "solutions" are completely nonsensical and mostly outside of science, supposing that God essentially changed all of physics for some unknown reason just so the universe we observe now will fit their model.  Some ignore the big problem that God would really be "lying" in creating such photons - they would "show" events (such as the stars collapsing and exploding) that we see that *never really happened*.

This single example demonstrates the type of illogical hoops that YECs have to jump through.  God does not work like this.  It is an insult to God and to the Catholic Church's longstanding respect for science and the scientific method to assert that He does, and not only that but that anybody who doesn't believe it has a problem with their faith!  Such a position is beneath a serious Catholic, who should respect his God-given intellect.
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#35
Look, I don't pretend to have the answers. I do not care. It is not important for salvation. In fact, is overly distracts.

God created all, that is enough. We have reason, and the senses, with which to develop the sciences.

You are bring up points for me to answer which I never advocated in any way.

Quote:Here is my challenge to you & Nic: describe the scientific evidence for the (long) age of the universe and why you reject it.  In other words, try to bring SCIENCE into this discussion about science. 
The age of the universe is the age which it is. It is neither long nor short because that would require comparison to something else and we have no such reference points. I do not think our vantage point on this rock is sufficient to determine the complete nature and history of the universe. How old is the universe in terms of the current relative motion of the earth and sun? I have no idea...but I do not think such a question is important. The universe has a beginning and it will have an end. That is all I need to know.

Some may say it is six thousand years old. Some may say a hundred thousand. Some say millions. Some say billions. That is fine with me if it helps them with grasping the extent of God's creation.
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#36
(10-25-2010, 09:10 PM)Herr_Mannelig Wrote: Look, I don't pretend to have the answers. I do not care. It is not important for salvation. In fact, is overly distracts.

God created all, that is enough. We have reason, and the senses, with which to develop the sciences.

You are bring up points for me to answer which I never advocated in any way.

All of that is more or less Ok with me.  No, it's not by any means necessary for salvation, but the *proper understanding* of science shows us that it is another path to appreciate and love God more.  His creation is magnificent.


Quote:The age of the universe is the age which it is. It is neither long nor short because that would require comparison to something else and we have no such reference points. I do not think our vantage point on this rock is sufficient to determine the complete nature and history of the universe. How old is the universe in terms of the current relative motion of the earth and sun? I have no idea...but I do not think such a question is important. The universe has a beginning and it will have an end. That is all I need to know.

Some may say it is six thousand years old. Some may say a hundred thousand. Some say millions. Some say billions. That is fine with me if it helps them with grasping the extent of God's creation.

I also agree with you that there is no certainty regarding the age of the universe.  I would say the scientific evidence that it is far older than 6,000 years is overwhelming, but not certain.  The big problem is making the question one of faith! 

I have no problem with the (seemingly few YECs) who do *not* insist it is a matter of faith.  I think the fact that most of them do makes it clear that they cannot properly separate science from faith, and I also believe based on my observations over time that it is sometimes or even frequently a *sign* of weak faith.  (I'm not saying that all YECs have weak faith - I'm saying that some Christians *have* to believe it because it's the only way they can read Genesis, and so they see any evidence against it as an attack on the faith.  Also, the vast majority of YECs I have known have been fundamentalist Protestants.  I think virtually all the "experts" in the field are.)

I guess I somehow misunderstood you on this point, for I did indeed believe you were asserting that believing in a young earth is a matter of the faith.

I am putting together my replies while making dinner and caring for a toddler, and they are really not quite up to the standard I'd prefer, so, sorry.
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#37
Nic, FWIW, I would be happy to debate the old vs. young universe question with you here but I will not reply further unless you will agree that this is not a matter science and not of faith and to assert that it is a matter of faith is, in fact, contrary to Catholic teaching (because to assert that a Catholic must accept anything not taught by the Church is contrary to Catholic teaching).  It is beneath me and a waste of my limited free time to continue the discussion otherwise.

In case it isn't apparent, I find it very irritating to have my Christian faith questioned because of using my God-given intellect and reason and God-inspired love of truth and science to conclude that the young-earth position is not tenable.  Even its proponents tacitly admit that the belief is anti-scientific since almost all of them concede that the laws of physics have to have changed for it to work (an extremely dubious assertion and one that I think no Catholic scientist in the Church's long tradition of science could ever have accepted). 

This is the first time I have ever seen a Catholic make this argument (that you must believe in a young Earth as a matter of faith).  Before this it has only been fundies (fundamentalist Prostestors) who say they are Biblical literalists but are not so when it comes to the Eucharist, the primary of Peter, and every other Catholic doctrine clearly supported by Scripture.
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#38
It is a question that needs addressing that is for sure.

I'm fairly well educated in the sciences (mainly Physics and Chemistry) and I agree that the 6000 year old universe does contradict a lot of things such as the birth and death of stars and the number of star birth/death cycles required to form the heavier elements.

To my mind there are two types of "evidence".  There is some fragment of bone that a biologist tells me belongs to a missing link, and shows me pictures of the "then" and the "now" and they look much the same.  I can see more of a difference in the two sister Lucys which my reason tells me is bullshit.  i.e. the evidence is VERY subjective.  They're guessing or just making it up.

Then there is pointing the Hubble Space telescope to a dark patch of sky, leaving the aperture open for 10 days to collect a few photons and developing a photograph of 3000 Galaxies billions of light years away.  That is a little more objective.  Those photons clearly came from SOMEWHERE.

Obviously God could have snapped his fingers and put everything into motion, but that would be a little unfair on the scientist who using his reason and knowledge of things like radioactive decay came the conclusion it was older.

Try as I might I cannot help feel differently about a God that took 13 billion years to get to where we are today and a God that took 6000.  I know time doesn't mean much to God, but it means something to me.
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#39
(10-26-2010, 06:18 AM)ggreg Wrote: Then there is pointing the Hubble Space telescope to a dark patch of sky, leaving the aperture open for 10 days to collect a few photons and developing a photograph of 3000 Galaxies billions of light years away.  That is a little more objective.  Those photons clearly came from SOMEWHERE.

Since space can expand faster than the speed of it, is it possible that these distant images are actually old images of things that are visible elsewhere? How would we know?

The radioactive decay issue is a problem as it relies on it being constant and predictable. Who knows what happened in the past?
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#40
(10-26-2010, 06:18 AM)ggreg Wrote: Try as I might I cannot help feel differently about a God that took 13 billion years to get to where we are today and a God that took 6000.  I know time doesn't mean much to God, but it means something to me.

I'd bet on the 6000 years God.

To believe in Evolution is to cease believing in the Bible as it is written. You need to explain away the creation, the fall, the long ages of the patriarchs, the flood, etc., effectively destroying your trust in the word of God and becoming a stepping stone in your road to modernism and agnosticism.
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