Evolution Must Go
#1
Pope Pius XII promulgated his encyclical Humani Generis in 1950, wherein he allowed for a consideration of theory of evolution.  In it, he expressly condemned the notion that Adam and Eve, as a pair, were a figurative way of speaking of a larger group:
Quote:The faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains that either after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first parent of all, or that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. It is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which, through generation, is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.


In the ensuing years, the evolutionary hypothesis (using genomic DNA sequencing) has flatly challenged the doctrine that there were but two contemporaneous parents of all humanity, Adam & Eve.

1.  The DNA evidence appears to have ruled out the possibility of there ever having been a point in human history when only two people existed.  The estimates do vary, but even the most conservative survey puts it at a minimum of 1,200 (and the estimate postulates that the actual size was, if anything, actually larger than that number).

2.  The same evidence claims the paternal ancestor of all humanity and the maternal ancestor of all humanity lived thousands of years apart.  "Mitochondrial Eve" and "Y-Chromosomal Adam" were not a couple, which is (again) another assertion that the human population was seeded from a broader group (however small) than just a single pair at a single point in time.

Given these points, is it any longer possible for a Catholic to accept the supposed "evidence" for evolution without contravening Pope Pius' condemnation?
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#2
Here's a youtube link to an excellent talk on the subject by John Salza.

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#3
Axona in 3…2…1…
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#4
(11-23-2012, 07:04 PM)Hanno Wrote: Given these points, is it any longer possible for a Catholic to accept the supposed "evidence" for evolution without contravening Pope Pius' condemnation?

Like others have said in a different thread, there are differences between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Macro-evolution claims humans evolved from animals. This seems to contradict Pius XII's teaching.

Micro-evolution is why we have roses that are red, white, pink, etc. Micro-evolution is why we still have influenza in spite of flu shots. Micro-evolution is why our obsessive overuse of antibiotics is causing viruses to become drug-resistant.

Micro-evolution is essentially just building on Friar Mendel's observations, and can be easily tested in any high school biology lab.

Macro-evolution is a shot in the dark theory that is entirely hinged upon circumstantial evidence, the circumstances of which can only be proved by further circumstantial evidence, the circumstances of which can only be proved by untestable mathematical theories.
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#5
(11-23-2012, 09:11 PM)Servus Immaculatae Wrote:
(11-23-2012, 07:04 PM)Hanno Wrote: Given these points, is it any longer possible for a Catholic to accept the supposed "evidence" for evolution without contravening Pope Pius' condemnation?

Like others have said in a different thread, there are differences between micro-evolution and macro-evolution. Macro-evolution claims humans evolved from animals. This seems to contradict Pius XII's teaching.

Micro-evolution is why we have roses that are red, white, pink, etc. Micro-evolution is why we still have influenza in spite of flu shots. Micro-evolution is why our obsessive overuse of antibiotics is causing viruses to become drug-resistant.

Micro-evolution is essentially just building on Friar Mendel's observations, and can be easily tested in any high school biology lab.

Macro-evolution is a shot in the dark theory that is entirely hinged upon circumstantial evidence, the circumstances of which can only be proved by further circumstantial evidence, the circumstances of which can only be proved by untestable mathematical theories.

To be entirely fair, Pope Pius XII did allow for a theological consideration of macro-evolution:
Quote:The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.

Basically, Pius supposed that the body of man could've evolved from animals (i.e., "pre-existent and living matter"), provided that we still believe the soul came from God, as in the case of Adam & Eve, which would make them the first true humans.  But if the ensouled Adam & Eve were part of a population of 1200 (or 55,000), then the children of Seth and Cain were marrying brute primates who only had animal souls, rendering some of their grand-children nothing more than animals (animals have a soul, but not an immortal soul, and thus are not tainted with original sin, and not in need of salvation).  I feel like this would have to be a problem for evolutionists.  It was for this reason that Pius maintained that you absolutely had to believe in a single pair of first parents, not a population of 1200 or more.
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#6
(11-23-2012, 07:58 PM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote: Axona in 3…2…1…

Yes indeed.  Axona is a very able defender of evolution, and I look forward to seeing her thoughts on this.  I actually made the OP because I finally read Humani Generis in its entirety for the first time recently.  I knew that Pius XII had permitted an acceptance of evolution (at least, as it stood in 1950), but I didn't know that he absolutely insisted on a singular pair of first parents.  Given that the since-accumulated "evidence" for evolution almost definitively rules out such a scenario, I think theistic evolution (weak from the start, IMO)  is backed into a pretty tight corner at this point.
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#7
(11-23-2012, 09:54 PM)Hanno Wrote: To be entirely fair, Pope Pius XII did allow for a theological consideration of macro-evolution:
Quote:The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.

Basically, Pius supposed that the body of man could've evolved from animals (i.e., "pre-existent and living matter"), provided that we still believe the soul came from God, as in the case of Adam & Eve, which would make them the first true humans.  But if the ensouled Adam & Eve were part of a population of 1200 (or 55,000), then the children of Seth and Cain were marrying brute primates who only had animal souls, rendering some of their grand-children nothing more than animals (animals have a soul, but not an immortal soul, and thus are not tainted with original sin, and not in need of salvation).  I feel like this would have to be a problem for evolutionists.  It was for this reason that Pius maintained that you absolutely had to believe in a single pair of first parents, not a population of 1200 or more.

Yes, but this allowance seems to be more of a camel passing through the eye of a needle scenario: "And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible: but with God all things are possible."

A model of macro-evolution which can also fit in with the infallible teachings of the Church on the authentic interpretation of Genesis is all but inconceivable. Of course, a model of macro-evolution which uses real, non-circumstantial evidence which can be demonstrated by experiment (as the Scientific Method necessitates) also eludes modern science.
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#8
What is the qualitative difference between micro and macro-evolution?
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#9
(11-23-2012, 11:08 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: What is the qualitative difference between micro and macro-evolution?

Here: http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary...oscales_02

Essentially, micro-evolution occurs within a species over a short period of time, and can thus be observed and replicated by lab experiment.

Macro-evolution crosses over (i.e. creates new) species, and is a philosophical theory invented in such a way that it can never possibly be replicated by experiment. It is therefore not scientific.
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#10
(11-23-2012, 11:08 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: What is the qualitative difference between micro and macro-evolution?

Well, only one of them compromises the doctrine of original sin.

Perhaps more qualitatively, macro-evolution would require significantly more time.  We could debate whether there's actually been enough time, but what then?  Even if we somehow supposed that there has been enough time, we would still have to reject the DNA modeling with regards to population bottlenecks and common ancestors, based on Pope Pius' teaching in Humani Generis.  We would only be able to accept the evidence for evolution as it stood in 1950, which was primarily buttressed only by a fossil record.  We couldn't accept the DNA modeling.  We would be in the awkward position of accepting evolution based on evidence that is considered less substantial than the subsequent evidence accepted by the scientific community.  Say what you will about creationism, but at least it's more honest than that.
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