Evolution
#69
The Catholic Thinker Wrote:However, I must say that upon studying Darwin closely several years ago I did have to conclude that his theory, the way he eventually came to see it, leaves little room for a Creator in the sense we mean it, because natural selection is entirely random and senseless as he sees it.  (That is the difference "theistic evolution" makes - it is guided, and not random.) 

Quote:If macro-evolution did occur, it occurred with such Guidance - with direct intervention - that it no longer resembles the Darwinian process at all. 


It's perhaps worth pointing out that natural selection, as described by the evolutionists, is "random" only in the sense that it is blind -- there is no direction towards a particular goal.  If one accepts that evolution has occurred, it would appear that the process has (broadly speaking) involved a development from the simple to the complex -- in the case of humanity, increasingly large brains which eventually reached a point where they somehow gave rise to language, art, ethics etc. But because evolution only occurs in response to environmental pressures, this increasing complexity is solely because environmental pressures have so far favoured increasing complexity -- there's no teleological 'ascent' or 'progress' going on here. Ergo, there is no reason why -- should environmental pressures demand it -- evolution might not go into reverse, so to speak, as simpler, stupider life-forms find themselves flourishing in the new conditions. In theory, some of us could be destined to devolve into shambling hominids chipping flints!

However, a theistic evolutionist needn't suppose that God was obliged to intervene periodically to "nudge" evolution down the desired path, as the proponents of ID apparently believe. Such supernatural interventions would be quite unnecessary since the Almighty could have set up these physical processes to follow their predetermined course, with their end in view from the very beginning.  In other words, they only appear blind from our worm's-eye view.  To borrow the analogy from  Asimov's short story "Darwinian Pool Room":  How would someone with no knowledge of snooker explain how all these brightly coloured balls came to be in the pockets of the snooker table? The creationist is the man who naively assumes someone placed all the snooker balls individually in their pockets. The evolutionist is the smart fellow who subjects the balls to minute forensic analysis, scrutinizes the layout of the table and correctly deduces that they ended up in the pockets after an elaborate sequence of ricochets. The appearance of deliberate "placing" after the close of the game is just that -- an appearance.  The theistic evolutionist accepts the sequence of ricochets. He just believes it was initiated by someone wielding a snooker cue.

What information does the Book of Genesis convey if read as poetic shorthand? That God brought the universe into being out of nothing. That He brought plants, animals and then man into being out of the raw stuff of matter. That He imparted an immortal spirit and rational intellect to the first man, who then fell from spiritual grace under the prompting of an evil spirit. None of of that seems to contradict the various theories of evolution from Darwin's day to our own.  The Bible doesn't specify whether God created man by an immediate act or through a gradual unfolding of physical processes. To reconcile the biblical account of man's formation from "the slime of the earth" with evolutionary theory, one merely presumes that the human form was not created immediately and directly from the earth.

Whether all this is compatible with Catholic orthodoxy is another question.  I was under the impression that the Church's position on Darwinism has been  prudently non-committal. As has already been pointed out, Humani Generis delineates what is non-negotiable in Catholic teaching -- the immediate creation of the individual immortal soul and the rejection of polygenism. The 1909 statements by the Pontifical Biblical Commission seem to say (albeit with serious qualifications) that Catholics are free to read certain passages in the Book of Genesis in a mythopoeic rather than a 'scientific' sense:

I: Do the various exegetical systems excogitated and defended under the guise of science to exclude the literal historical sense of the first three chapters of Genesis rest on a solid foundation?

Answer: In the negative.

II: Notwithstanding the historical character and form of Genesis, the special connection of the first three chapters with one another and with the following chapters, the manifold testimonies of the Scriptures both of the Old and of the New Testaments, the almost unanimous opinion of the holy Fathers and the traditional view which the people of Israel also has handed on and the Church has always held, may it be taught that: the aforesaid three chapters of Genesis Contain not accounts of actual events, accounts, that is, which correspond to objective reality and historical truth, but, either fables derived from the mythologies and cosmogonies of ancient peoples and accommodated by the sacred writer to monotheistic doctrine after the expurgation of any polytheistic error; or allegories and symbols without any foundation in objective reality proposed under the form of history to inculcate religious and philosophical truths; or finally legends in part historical and in part fictitious freely composed with a view to instruction and edification?

Answer: In the negative to both parts.

III: In particular may the literal historical sense be called in doubt in the case of facts narrated in the same chapters which touch the foundations of the Christian religion: as are, among others, the creation of all things by God in the beginning of time; the special creation of man; the formation of the first woman from the first man; the unity of the human race; the original felicity of our first parents in the state of justice, integrity, and immortality; the command given by God to man to test his obedience; the transgression of the divine command at the instigation of the devil under the form of a serpent; the degradation of our first parents from that primeval state of innocence; and the promise of a future Redeemer?

Answer: In the negative.

IV: In the interpretation of those passages in these chapters which the Fathers and Doctors understood in different manners without proposing anything certain and definite, is it lawful, without prejudice to the judgement of the Church and with attention to the analogy of faith, to follow and defend the opinion that commends itself to each one?

Answer: In the affirmative.

V: Must each and every word and phrase occurring in the aforesaid chapters always and necessarily be understood in its literal sense, so that it is never lawful to deviate from it, even when it appears obvious that the diction is employed in an applied sense, either metaphorical or anthropomorphical, and either reason forbids the retention or necessity imposes the abandonment of the literal sense?

Answer: In the negative.

VI: Provided that the literal and historical sense is presupposed, may certain passages in the same chapters, in the light of the example of the holy Fathers and of the Church itself, be wisely and profitably interpreted in an allegorical and prophetic sense?

Answer: In the affirmative.

VII: As it was not the mind of the sacred author in the composition of the first chapter of Genesis to give scientific teaching about the internal Constitution of visible things and the entire order of creation, but rather to communicate to his people a popular notion in accord with the current speech of the time and suited to the understanding and capacity of men, must the exactness of scientific language be always meticulously sought for in the interpretation of these matters?

Answer: In the negative.

VIII : In the designation and distinction of the six days mentioned in the first chapter of Genesis may the word Yom (day) be taken either in the literal sense for the natural day or in an applied sense for a certain space of time, and may this question be the subject of free discussion among exegetes?

Answer: In the affirmative.


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Messages In This Thread
Evolution - by mirarivos - 10-21-2010, 10:21 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-21-2010, 10:26 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-21-2010, 09:26 PM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-21-2010, 09:29 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-21-2010, 09:36 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-21-2010, 09:48 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-22-2010, 10:35 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-22-2010, 10:40 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 12:27 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 04:33 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-23-2010, 07:57 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 10:26 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 10:34 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 10:36 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 10:41 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 10:50 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 10:52 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 10:58 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 11:20 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 11:28 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 11:30 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 11:34 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 11:40 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 11:53 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 12:25 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-23-2010, 12:30 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-23-2010, 04:26 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 05:46 PM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-23-2010, 06:55 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-23-2010, 07:29 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-23-2010, 11:47 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-24-2010, 08:13 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-25-2010, 09:01 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-25-2010, 09:01 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-25-2010, 09:10 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-25-2010, 09:22 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-25-2010, 09:55 PM
Re: Evolution - by ggreg - 10-26-2010, 06:18 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-26-2010, 08:15 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-26-2010, 09:27 AM
Re: Evolution - by SaintSebastian - 10-26-2010, 10:57 AM
Re: Evolution - by SaintSebastian - 10-26-2010, 11:04 AM
Re: Evolution - by formerbuddhist - 10-28-2010, 08:08 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 10-28-2010, 09:14 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-28-2010, 09:39 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-28-2010, 09:44 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-28-2010, 09:50 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-28-2010, 10:02 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-28-2010, 10:09 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-28-2010, 10:28 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-29-2010, 08:09 AM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 10-29-2010, 03:37 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-29-2010, 05:09 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-29-2010, 05:19 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-29-2010, 08:59 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-29-2010, 09:03 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-30-2010, 06:14 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-30-2010, 08:48 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-30-2010, 09:21 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-30-2010, 09:30 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-30-2010, 09:34 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-30-2010, 09:42 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-30-2010, 09:45 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-30-2010, 09:55 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-30-2010, 10:12 AM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 10-30-2010, 11:45 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-30-2010, 12:09 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-30-2010, 04:41 PM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 10-30-2010, 04:48 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-30-2010, 04:55 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-30-2010, 05:21 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-30-2010, 05:43 PM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 10-30-2010, 07:19 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-30-2010, 07:30 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-30-2010, 07:31 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-30-2010, 07:33 PM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 10-30-2010, 08:12 PM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 10-30-2010, 08:12 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-31-2010, 06:23 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-31-2010, 06:44 AM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 10-31-2010, 08:56 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-31-2010, 09:39 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-31-2010, 10:13 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-31-2010, 10:26 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-31-2010, 10:43 AM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-31-2010, 10:53 AM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 10-31-2010, 01:27 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 10-31-2010, 02:30 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-31-2010, 05:34 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 10-31-2010, 05:35 PM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 10-31-2010, 05:36 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 10-31-2010, 05:50 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 11-01-2010, 04:08 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 11-01-2010, 04:58 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 11-01-2010, 05:25 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 11-01-2010, 05:37 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 11-01-2010, 11:38 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 11-02-2010, 03:45 PM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 11-02-2010, 07:14 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 11-02-2010, 08:07 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 11-02-2010, 09:13 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 11-02-2010, 09:16 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 11-03-2010, 01:05 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 11-03-2010, 08:00 AM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 11-03-2010, 03:47 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 11-03-2010, 04:09 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 11-03-2010, 06:04 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 11-03-2010, 06:49 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 11-03-2010, 08:44 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 11-05-2010, 05:02 PM
Re: Evolution - by Mixolydian - 11-20-2010, 01:06 AM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 11-20-2010, 11:06 PM
Re: Evolution - by Mixolydian - 11-21-2010, 03:19 AM
Re: Evolution - by steph_86 - 11-30-2010, 09:19 PM
Re: Evolution - by steph_86 - 11-30-2010, 09:46 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-01-2010, 10:50 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-01-2010, 06:22 PM
Re: Evolution - by steph_86 - 12-01-2010, 09:25 PM
Re: Evolution - by formerbuddhist - 12-22-2010, 07:16 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 12-22-2010, 07:27 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-22-2010, 08:33 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 12-22-2010, 10:32 PM
Re: Evolution - by formerbuddhist - 12-22-2010, 10:33 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-23-2010, 09:03 PM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 12-23-2010, 09:46 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-23-2010, 10:53 PM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 12-23-2010, 10:59 PM
Re: Evolution - by Gladium - 12-23-2010, 11:13 PM
Re: Evolution - by dnu - 12-24-2010, 01:38 AM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 12-24-2010, 01:51 AM
Re: Evolution - by sheep101 - 12-24-2010, 06:01 AM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 12-24-2010, 11:35 AM
Re: Evolution - by DrBombay - 12-24-2010, 11:58 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-25-2010, 07:24 AM
Re: Evolution - by Gladium - 12-25-2010, 03:37 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-26-2010, 08:19 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-26-2010, 08:57 AM
Re: Evolution - by faith3faith - 12-26-2010, 10:58 AM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-26-2010, 11:07 AM
Re: Evolution - by steph_86 - 12-26-2010, 06:26 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-27-2010, 07:19 AM
Re: Evolution - by icecream - 12-27-2010, 07:34 AM
Re: Evolution - by Gladium - 12-27-2010, 03:22 PM
Re: Evolution - by Thomist7735 - 12-28-2010, 03:23 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-28-2010, 06:04 PM
Re: Evolution - by Gladium - 12-28-2010, 06:26 PM
Re: Evolution - by icecream - 12-28-2010, 06:31 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-28-2010, 06:43 PM
Re: Evolution - by Gladium - 12-28-2010, 06:46 PM
Re: Evolution - by Thomist7735 - 12-28-2010, 10:47 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-28-2010, 10:58 PM
Re: Evolution - by devotedknuckles - 12-28-2010, 11:01 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-28-2010, 11:15 PM
Re: Evolution - by devotedknuckles - 12-28-2010, 11:17 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-28-2010, 11:18 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-28-2010, 11:18 PM
Re: Evolution - by devotedknuckles - 12-28-2010, 11:40 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-29-2010, 07:19 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-29-2010, 07:23 AM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-29-2010, 01:32 PM
Re: Evolution - by faith3faith - 12-29-2010, 01:55 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-29-2010, 03:20 PM
Re: Evolution - by Cambrensis - 12-29-2010, 04:14 PM
Re: Evolution - by Thomist7735 - 12-29-2010, 04:49 PM
Re: Evolution - by James02 - 12-29-2010, 11:59 PM
Re: Evolution - by James02 - 12-30-2010, 12:08 AM
Re: Evolution - by James02 - 12-30-2010, 01:56 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-30-2010, 07:26 AM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-30-2010, 03:54 PM
Re: Evolution - by devotedknuckles - 12-30-2010, 04:44 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-30-2010, 05:28 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-30-2010, 05:32 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-30-2010, 05:34 PM
Re: Evolution - by Gladium - 12-30-2010, 05:43 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-30-2010, 05:59 PM
Re: Evolution - by Resurrexi - 12-30-2010, 07:26 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-30-2010, 07:46 PM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 12-31-2010, 12:51 AM
Re: Evolution - by Resurrexi - 12-31-2010, 05:06 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 12-31-2010, 08:01 AM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-31-2010, 08:53 AM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-31-2010, 09:07 AM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 12-31-2010, 08:07 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-31-2010, 08:28 PM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 12-31-2010, 08:35 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-31-2010, 08:43 PM
Re: Evolution - by violet - 12-31-2010, 08:57 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-31-2010, 09:16 PM
Re: Evolution - by violet - 12-31-2010, 09:20 PM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 12-31-2010, 09:25 PM
Re: Evolution - by The Catholic Thinker - 12-31-2010, 09:45 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 01-01-2011, 07:59 AM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 01-01-2011, 08:42 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 01-01-2011, 09:15 AM
Re: Evolution - by Grasshopper - 01-01-2011, 12:51 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 01-01-2011, 02:03 PM
Re: Evolution - by justlurking - 01-01-2011, 05:35 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 01-01-2011, 06:07 PM
Re: Evolution - by Christus Imperat - 01-01-2011, 07:55 PM
Re: Evolution - by Resurrexi - 01-02-2011, 04:13 AM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 01-02-2011, 06:35 AM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 01-02-2011, 06:21 PM
Re: Evolution - by cathkath - 01-02-2011, 07:45 PM
Re: Evolution - by CrusaderKing - 01-02-2011, 09:21 PM
Re: Evolution - by steph_86 - 01-02-2011, 11:53 PM
Re: Evolution - by James02 - 01-03-2011, 03:09 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 01-04-2011, 05:28 PM
Re: Evolution - by DrBombay - 01-04-2011, 11:32 PM
Re: Evolution - by Nic - 01-05-2011, 12:57 PM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 01-06-2011, 12:49 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 01-06-2011, 01:37 AM
Re: Evolution - by InNomineDomini - 01-06-2011, 01:46 AM
Re: Evolution - by Vetus Ordo - 01-06-2011, 11:33 AM
Re: Evolution - by cherylfoster - 01-07-2011, 11:53 AM
Re: Evolution - by steph_86 - 01-16-2011, 03:01 PM
Re: Evolution - by Metatron - 01-19-2011, 04:47 AM
Re: Evolution - by DrBombay - 02-19-2011, 02:26 AM
Re: Evolution - by someguy - 04-04-2011, 06:11 PM
Re: Evolution - by Crusading Philologist - 04-04-2011, 06:19 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 04-04-2011, 06:24 PM
Re: Evolution - by Crusading Philologist - 04-04-2011, 06:30 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 04-04-2011, 06:32 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 04-04-2011, 06:33 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 04-04-2011, 06:38 PM
Re: Evolution - by Crusading Philologist - 04-04-2011, 07:02 PM
Re: Evolution - by INPEFESS - 04-04-2011, 07:13 PM
Re: Evolution - by Crusading Philologist - 04-04-2011, 07:24 PM
Re: Evolution - by Historian - 04-04-2011, 08:47 PM
Re: Evolution - by twinc - 04-05-2011, 01:33 PM
Re: Evolution - by twinc - 04-05-2011, 01:48 PM
Re: Evolution - by someguy - 04-05-2011, 03:45 PM
Re: Evolution - by catholicSD - 04-05-2011, 05:40 PM
Re: Evolution - by Bminor Mass - 04-09-2011, 08:34 AM
Re: Evolution - by mikemac - 04-15-2011, 03:12 AM
Re: Evolution - by ggreg - 04-15-2011, 09:59 AM
Re: Evolution - by Bminor Mass - 04-16-2011, 11:31 AM
Re: Evolution - by someguy - 04-21-2011, 11:51 AM
Re: Evolution - by UnamSanctam - 04-21-2011, 12:00 PM



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