Evolution Must Go
It is very clear in recent Church teaching that theistic evolution is an acceptable position for Catholics.  It is disturbing that people who do not accept this teaching trouble the conscience of people who accept theistic evolution by telling them that one must reject evolution to be Catholic.  All these people are telling Axona that she must choose between what she knows to be true and being Catholic.  While this does not seem to have caused any harm yet, it is potentially spiritually damaging to say such things. 
Reply
(11-30-2012, 12:43 AM)JayneK Wrote: It is very clear in recent Church teaching that theistic evolution is an acceptable position for Catholics.  It is disturbing that people who do not accept this teaching trouble the conscience of people who accept theistic evolution by telling them that one must reject evolution to be Catholic.  All these people are telling Axona that she must choose between what she knows to be true and being Catholic.  While this does not seem to have caused any harm yet, it is potentially spiritually damaging to say such things. 

Jayne, my OP was simply intended to point out that evolutionary theory has changed since Pius XII's time.  When Pius wrote Humani Generis, the best evidence for evolution was primarily the fossil record which (being terribly incomplete) left open the possibility of a single contemporaneous pair of human ancestors, and so Pope Pius cautiously allowed for its consideration.  However, decades have passed.  The DNA evidence that the scientific community now furnishes for us says that there was never a 2-person bottleneck in human history.  So I think that makes it harder for a Catholic to believe in the current evolutionary science, because Humani Generis forbids Catholics to believe in polygenistic evolution, which is the current state of the theory.  If there is a more recent Church teaching than HG which addresses this particular point, I think it would help this conversation.

P.S. Axona seems to have a pretty good handle on things, and I don't think anyone has told her she can't be Catholic for believing in evolution.  If I thought that was the case, I would've labelled the thread "Evolution Is a Heresy."  Personally I am more concerned about Melkite.
Reply
I am very concerned about Melkite, but evolution is not the problem.
Reply
(11-30-2012, 01:01 AM)JayneK Wrote: I am very concerned about Melkite, but evolution is not the problem.

That's true.
Reply
(11-30-2012, 12:43 AM)JayneK Wrote: It is very clear in recent Church teaching that theistic evolution is an acceptable position for Catholics.

How recent?
Reply
(11-30-2012, 01:28 AM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote:
(11-30-2012, 12:43 AM)JayneK Wrote: It is very clear in recent Church teaching that theistic evolution is an acceptable position for Catholics.

How recent?

Too recent for you to accept, but I reject your assumptions.
Reply
(11-30-2012, 09:22 AM)JayneK Wrote:
(11-30-2012, 01:28 AM)Phillipus Iacobus Wrote:
(11-30-2012, 12:43 AM)JayneK Wrote: It is very clear in recent Church teaching that theistic evolution is an acceptable position for Catholics.

How recent?

Too recent for you to accept, but I reject your assumptions.

Jayne, my concern is that the "recent Church teaching" you've mentioned doesn't address the problem in the OP.  If John Paul II says it's "more than a hypothesis," and if George Coyne says it's respectable science, and if John Haught and Cardinal Pell say Adam & Eve are just mythological stand-ins for ape-people, then yes, you're correct, we have popes and bishops and theologians suggesting it's acceptable for Catholics to believe in evolution.  But I'm wondering whether this is the right course to take.  None of the above officials to my knowledge have ever addressed the thorny problem of all the genetic studies that tell us there was never a 2-person bottleneck between the Tigris and Euphrates, which is seriously troubling for the doctrine of Original Sin (as is the proposition that Adam & Eve were mythological).

My question is not whether there's been recent Church speculation on evolution: there undeniably has.  My question is whether it's really trying engage with the science, or if it's just a bunch of people saying, "oh, evolution's fine, la la la.  Perfectly compatible with the faith.  Move along, folks.  Nothing to see here, move along."
Reply
(11-30-2012, 10:11 AM)Hanno Wrote: Jayne, my concern is that the "recent Church teaching" you've mentioned doesn't address the problem in the OP.  If John Paul II says it's "more than a hypothesis," and if George Coyne says it's respectable science, and if John Haught and Cardinal Pell say Adam & Eve are just mythological stand-ins for ape-people, then yes, you're correct, we have popes and bishops and theologians suggesting it's acceptable for Catholics to believe in evolution.  But I'm wondering whether this is the right course to take.  None of the above officials to my knowledge have ever addressed the thorny problem of all the genetic studies that tell us there was never a 2-person bottleneck between the Tigris and Euphrates, which is seriously troubling for the doctrine of Original Sin (as is the proposition that Adam & Eve were mythological).

My question is not whether there's been recent Church speculation on evolution: there undeniably has.  My question is whether it's really trying engage with the science, or if it's just a bunch of people saying, "oh, evolution's fine, la la la.  Perfectly compatible with the faith.  Move along, folks.  Nothing to see here, move along."

To the extent that the theory of evolution is true, it will agree with Church teaching.  Science is always open to reformulation as new data becomes available.  If we do not yet have enough information to show how evolution is compatible with Church teaching, we can wait. 

Few people know enough about science to discuss the subject intelligently.  I do not.  I believe that God is the Creator of the universe and of the human race.  I think that He used a process something like evolution as it is currently understood, but perhaps not in every detail. I am just not interested enough in how God did it to put the necessary study into the subject.  My interest lies in the fact that He did do it.

I agree with you about the proposition that Adam and Eve were mythological.  I cannot see that this is consistent with earlier Church teaching (nor was this proposition taught with any binding authority, so we are free to ignore it.) 
Reply
(11-30-2012, 10:11 AM)Hanno Wrote: None of the above officials to my knowledge have ever addressed the thorny problem of all the genetic studies that tell us there was never a 2-person bottleneck between the Tigris and Euphrates, which is seriously troubling for the doctrine of Original Sin (as is the proposition that Adam & Eve were mythological).

Original Sin is dependent on the bottleneck, not that it took place between the Tigris and the Euphrates.  Original Sin would be just as valid if it took place in Kenya.

I haven't payed much attention to the genetic issue from science, but every time I hear it referenced, I have never heard that the consensus was for polygenism.  That's one hypothesis among many.  I think you're making a mountain out of a molehill on that particular point.
Reply
(11-30-2012, 10:49 AM)JayneK Wrote: To the extent that the theory of evolution is true, it will agree with Church teaching.  Science is always open to reformulation as new data becomes available.  If we do not yet have enough information to show how evolution is compatible with Church teaching, we can wait.

Then, to use Melkite's argument, if science presented you with a theory contrary to Church teaching, you would necessarily reject it as false: is that correct?

I don't think your position allows for any genuine dialogue between evolutionary science and the faith.  Ultimately we will always arrive back to the fact that the two cannot be reconciled.  I am a creationist, but your position is very similar to mine, only you've chosen to accommodate science just a little bit more.  Consider:

SCIENTIST: "Hullo there!  The best available data shows that the human population reached its lowest point about 30,000 years ago with a population of roughly 1,200 persons or so."

JAYNE: "That is incorrect.  The human population was once two."

SCIENTIST: "I'm not aware of any studies that bear that out.  The study that concluded the 1,200 number was widely-accepted and rigorously peer-reviewed.  Is the DNA evidence corrupted?  Is there a serious flaw in the methodology?  Other studies have estimated the number higher, not smaller.  Why do you consider 2 to be the more accurate number?"

JAYNE: "The Church teaches it."

SCIENTIST: "Oh.  I see."

So, essentially, you and I end up in the same boat.  We will not negotiate Church teaching with science.  The difference is that you are willing to accept most of the science and reject the portions you see as contradicting the faith, with the hopes that science will eventually prove them wrong.  I think you're betting on a long shot.  But I admit, it's a (temporary) way out of the bind presented in the OP.  Cheers.

Reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)