Question about Thomistic Philosophy and Evolution.
#21
(05-06-2020, 06:11 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: The theistic evolution position and progressive creationist positions also suffer from questions in theology about requiring either God's constant intervention in the world to produce new creatures, which is not very easy to fit into the notion of Creation as the production of something from nothing and Providence all at once disposing in a single act all of Creation in His plan. The alternative is that Providence put into the primitive kinds all of the information/dispositions to potentially become the variety we see, but then you would think we would see that in the genetics or information storage, but in fact DNA works the opposite way, in that the more primitive life forms are less informationally complex.

That's one of my hang-ups with the Theistic Evolution perspective, specifically because of what entails from that seventh 'day' of rest. I came across this in St. Bonaventure's Breviloquium on the seventh day:

Quote:On the seventh day, God rested; rested, not from activity and work--He continues to act to this very hour--but from creating any new nature, since all things had been created either in their prototypes, as those things that multiply by generation, or in their seminal principle, as the other things that are brought about in a different way.

So, to take the angle of Theistic Evolution would be to say that God continues to create by producing new essences of creatures through the evolutionary process, which I just do not find plausible. Now, microevolutionary processes, which are simply the manifestation of potentialities within the essences of creatures themselves, is a solid truth with plenty of scientific backing. I don't deny that. I find a lot of problems with macroevolution, which is expressed in my answer to the original post above.

Quote:MagisterMusicae

In short, I really think all of these viewpoints suffer from deficiencies, but each has something about it which it does contribute, and so is worth exploring, which, since you've been around here long enough, you know reflects my position. Many would like to make me out to be an "evolutionist" but I really do not have any position here. I'm just interested in the scientific, theological and philosophical truth. Those are interesting enough to keep me busy enough rather than shilling for any position.


As much as I have sympathies for the YEC position, from a Patristic stance, I do appreciate you challenging all of these positions. Even when I may get frustrated, or otherwise.
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#22
(05-06-2020, 08:15 PM)Augustinian Wrote: That's one of my hang-ups with the Theistic Evolution perspective, specifically because of what entails from that seventh 'day' of rest.

...So, to take the angle of Theistic Evolution would be to say that God continues to create by producing new essences of creatures through the evolutionary process, which I just do not find plausible.

One difficulty with that approach is that the "Seventh Day" would not begin until man was formed, meaning all of those changes were going on over what we would view as a long period of time in human terms, but when man crowned Creation, then God ceased to produce new forms except new human souls. That would fit with St Bonaventure.

Still, I am not going to defend any school of thought as correct. I think every school of thought on the issue has hurdles to overcome. If it didn't the Fathers would have settled on something, and, let's face it we're touching on a mystery here : the production of everything from nothing. Not something we can fully wrap our heads around.

(05-06-2020, 08:15 PM)Augustinian Wrote: As much as I have sympathies for the YEC position, from a Patristic stance, I do appreciate you challenging all of these positions. Even when I may get frustrated, or otherwise.

And I too accept that the YEC position could be true. It's one of the possible schools of thought, just as much as instantaneous Creation.

I just don't like that it gets paraded around as if it is dogma, the only one defended by the Fathers, or as if it does not have it's own real weaknesses, and many proponents promote a Faith-Reason dichotomy which fuels the atheistic promoters of Materialistic Naturalism.

If the weaknesses were admitted, and efforts at real explanations done, I'd have no issues.

Aside from the off-handed dismissal of scientific truth and the value of reason, one of the worst of these weaknesses is the reliance of Catholics on fundamentalist Protestants for their talking points, as if those who do not have the Faith could help us understand what the Faith teaches.

I appreciate your frustration Augustinian, but I am here for your sanctification ... :)
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#23
(05-06-2020, 06:11 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: The 168-hour creation seems to pose problems with God's Providence in seeing fossils that are veritably much older that 10,000 years ago. The YEC solution is to throw out modern science is unreliable or unable to access the antediluvian universe (and oddly then many appeal to "Creation science" based on that "unrelaible" science). Sticking to this calls into question God's veracity, since it seems He is suggesting an old earth by science, but in fact it's all a deception. Seems to go against that Act of Faith in He "who can neither deceive nor be deceived".

But the flip side of that, if God "can neither deceive nor be deceived", is that Scripture appears to do that. Why not give an account of Creation that talks about one sort of animal turning into another side of animal, and God eventually bestowing a human soul on one particular animal and naming him Adam? The ancients might not have understood DNA, but the pagans had all sorts of stories of the gods turning one thing into another. And why the list of "begats" with all those years if they're not true?

Sure, it's possible that we're just interpreting it wrong, just like That Other Topic About The Earth Which Shall Not Be Mentioned, but why let the traditional interpretation stick around for thousands of years? Why not reveal it as best as ancient people could understand it so that, knowing what modern science would eventually show, it would confirm the Biblical account?

(05-06-2020, 06:11 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: One difficulty with that approach is that the "Seventh Day" would not begin until man was formed, meaning all of those changes were going on over what we would view as a long period of time in human terms, but when man crowned Creation, then God ceased to produce new forms except new human souls. That would fit with St Bonaventure.

If that's so, then why could God not have been creating all sorts of new forms, including dinosaurs, over millions of years, through some sort of evolutionary process that He actively intervened in, but ceased to do so once He created man, and any new species (in the scientific sense) are really just variations on a type, like wolves and dogs, or horses and zebras?

(05-06-2020, 06:11 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: Aside from the off-handed dismissal of scientific truth and the value of reason, one of the worst of these weaknesses is the reliance of Catholics on fundamentalist Protestants for their talking points, as if those who do not have the Faith could help us understand what the Faith teaches.

I'm not so sure we should entirely dismiss fundamentalist Protestants. At least they believe the idea that the Bible is revealed by God and teaches the truth, in contrast to the world which treats it as just another book, even if they don't fully follow that since they then interpret it themselves when it says not to. But then, our Lord did use the unjust steward as an example and praised his foresight, while not telling the Apostles to be like him. And it's not like the Church even talks about Creation anymore, with the past few Popes accepting evolution and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences not even really Catholic anymore. You're right we should be very cautious about non-Catholic sources, but when there aren't any Catholic ones, it's understandable why traditional-leaning Catholics look at the only ones that take the possibility of creationism seriously.
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#24
(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote: But the flip side of that, if God "can neither deceive nor be deceived", is that Scripture appears to do that. Why not give an account of Creation that talks about one sort of animal turning into another side of animal, and God eventually bestowing a human soul on one particular animal and naming him Adam?

I don't know of anyone who thinks this. I certainly don't, and it certainly appears the idea of such a thing wars against "special creation" as outlines in Humani Generis, which Pius XII seems to suggest is dogmatic (though not declaring it as such).

(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote: And why the list of "begats" with all those years if they're not true?

I'm pretty sure every Progressive Creationist or Theological Evolutionist would likely say that those "begats" are fine (except we know that there are generational gaps, so probably a few hundred or thousand years off from strict counting).

(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote:
(05-06-2020, 06:11 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: One difficulty with that approach is that the "Seventh Day" would not begin until man was formed, meaning all of those changes were going on over what we would view as a long period of time in human terms, but when man crowned Creation, then God ceased to produce new forms except new human souls. That would fit with St Bonaventure.

If that's so, then why could God not have been creating all sorts of new forms, including dinosaurs, over millions of years, through some sort of evolutionary process that He actively intervened in, but ceased to do so once He created man, and any new species (in the scientific sense) are really just variations on a type, like wolves and dogs, or horses and zebras?

I'd say the "seventh day" kinda shuts down continual creation and changes, but again, I'm not advocating for these positions. I'm pointing out the issues with all of them and also proposing ideas that might overcome some of those.

(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote: I'm not so sure we should entirely dismiss fundamentalist Protestants. At least they believe the idea that the Bible is revealed by God and teaches the truth, in contrast to the world which treats it as just another book, even if they don't fully follow that since they then interpret it themselves when it says not to.

Protestants don't have the Faith. That's why. They may materially have the same text as us and can do linguistic analysis with the best Catholics, but they don't accept Scripture as the Church proposes it, and so their whole interpretive lens is off. If they get things right it will be because they happen to agree with the Church, not because they are using the text correctly as what it actually is.

This is the main problem with the idea of "partial communion". Protestants may have the text of Scripture, but it is not truly Scripture as God intended it. It is necessarily abused by them, even if in that abuse of it, they accidentally get things correct.

That does not mean they are bad-willed, of course, or that all lack the Faith, but because they lack the Faith and the ability to use Scripture as intended by God, they have little to offer us when it comes to exegesis, except perhaps some scientific (linguistic, historical, etc.) analysis of the text which anyone, Christian or not, can do.

This is why the Church always forbid Catholics, except those who were experts and then only with permission, from reading Protestant versions of Scripture or Protestant commentaries on Scripture. Experts would approach these studies understanding the foundational errors and limited value of Protestant exegesis, and then be able to limit themselves to this use. This is why it was very common in theology and exegetical books when referencing a Protestant to put an asterisk next to his name, to distinguish the limited value of such a citation.

Lay Catholics, and this is often the YEC problem, latch on to anything that explains, and often do not have the tools to be able to limit their valuation of Protestants to the historical or linguistic analysis, but often take it all and swallow it.

In short, the value of Protestant exegesis is limited, and it is, for the average Catholic not only useless for help in reading Scripture correctly, but likely very dangerous.

(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote: But then, our Lord did use the unjust steward as an example and praised his foresight, while not telling the Apostles to be like him.

I'd say we can learn from the Protestant scripture scholars that way. Take the limited amount that we can without touching on the error in Faith, so take their linguistic and historical analysis, and leave the rest aside.

(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote: And it's not like the Church even talks about Creation anymore, with the past few Popes accepting evolution and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences not even really Catholic anymore. You're right we should be very cautious about non-Catholic sources, but when there aren't any Catholic ones, it's understandable why traditional-leaning Catholics look at the only ones that take the possibility of creationism seriously.

But it's also a good reminder that the Catholic position on these things is far more nuanced, and unfortunately there is a trad tendency to just latch onto anything which seems to be counter-cultural (counter-counter-cultural really).

That topic that will not be mentioned is a great example of this. No one cared about this topic, and for the last century, even in okay times for the Church, the more wide-spread belief did not cause any trouble for anyone's Faith. However, trads who wanted to buck the system decided to "make a stand for the Faith" which is to say, ruffle feathers in a bit to out trad trads.

Our Faith may be a sign of contradiction, but it doesn't mean we need to latch onto every contradictory thing ... and that from the Resident Contrarian!
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#25
(05-07-2020, 01:38 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote:
(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote: But the flip side of that, if God "can neither deceive nor be deceived", is that Scripture appears to do that. Why not give an account of Creation that talks about one sort of animal turning into another side of animal, and God eventually bestowing a human soul on one particular animal and naming him Adam?

I mean if evolution is true just as the biologists say, why wouldn't God reveal that in Scripture? For centuries people believed in creationism, and then modern science comes along and appears to have lots of evidence that the traditional view is false. If fossils just look old and are God's way of testing us, and that's deception, why isn't it deception for Scripture to appear to teach instant or almost-instant creation (whether all at once or over a few days) and appear to teach a very young earth?

I'm not saying I believe Scripture is deceptive, but there's at least an apparent problem: either God deceived by planting evidence of evolution, or He deceived by making the Bible say the earth is young. Since we know God cannot deceive, we've either misinterpreted Scripture, or the scientists are wrong somehow.

(05-07-2020, 01:38 AM)MagisterMusica Wrote:
(05-07-2020, 12:54 AM)Paul Wrote: And why the list of "begats" with all those years if they're not true?

I'm pretty sure every Progressive Creationist or Theological Evolutionist would likely say that those "begats" are fine (except we know that there are generational gaps, so probably a few hundred or thousand years off from strict counting).


How do we know that? Maybe with the geneaologies in the Gospel, but what about the ones in Genesis with the lifespans of hundreds of years? Even if they're a few thousand years off, and it's 10,000 or 20,000 years instead of the Martyrology's roughly 7,000, that's hardly the hundreds of thousands of years science says humans have been around. Again, seems deceptive. Why not just inspire Moses to write about millions of years if that's what's true?


(05-07-2020, 01:38 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: I'd say the "seventh day" kinda shuts down continual creation and changes, but again, I'm not advocating for these positions. I'm pointing out the issues with all of them and also proposing ideas that might overcome some of those.


Not if all those changes occurred on the previous days, and any evolution now don't create new substances - what scientists call new species aren't, in the philosophical sense. What if the whole age of the dinosaurs was part of the fourth day, or fifth day, and God was still creating new substances, using evolution to do it?


(05-07-2020, 01:38 AM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: But it's also a good reminder that the Catholic position on these things is far more nuanced, and unfortunately there is a trad tendency to just latch onto anything which seems to be counter-cultural (counter-counter-cultural really).

Our Faith may be a sign of contradiction, but it doesn't mean we need to latch onto every contradictory thing ... and that from the Resident Contrarian!


Always a good reminder. Like most things Catholic, it's both/and, whereas Protestants take things as either/or - either Genesis is literally true and we reject science, or we throw out the Bible and go with evolution. That's not why God gave us the ability to reason. Maybe if more Catholic scientists and clergy took the issue seriously, Catholics wouldn't be looking to the Protestants. Maybe we're just not supposed to know, and God wants it to be a mystery how it all fits together. Maybe it is a test, to see who has faith.
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#26
Paul Wrote:I mean if evolution is true just as the biologists say, why wouldn't God reveal that in Scripture? For centuries people believed in creationism, and then modern science comes along and appears to have lots of evidence that the traditional view is false. If fossils just look old and are God's way of testing us, and that's deception, why isn't it deception for Scripture to appear to teach instant or almost-instant creation (whether all at once or over a few days) and appear to teach a very young earth?

I'm not saying I believe Scripture is deceptive, but there's at least an apparent problem: either God deceived by planting evidence of evolution, or He deceived by making the Bible say the earth is young. Since we know God cannot deceive, we've either misinterpreted Scripture, or the scientists are wrong somehow.

If evolution is true, why would God reveal it in scripture? Does it have anything to do with our salvation, or revealing Christ to be the fulfillment of the old testament? God doesn't reveal in scripture that there are trillions of other galaxies besides our own, and yet we know there are. I don't know of anyone who would contest the veracity of their existence just because scripture doesn't mention them.

Quote:How do we know that? Maybe with the geneaologies in the Gospel, but what about the ones in Genesis with the lifespans of hundreds of years? Even if they're a few thousand years off, and it's 10,000 or 20,000 years instead of the Martyrology's roughly 7,000, that's hardly the hundreds of thousands of years science says humans have been around. Again, seems deceptive. Why not just inspire Moses to write about millions of years if that's what's true?

Was "million" even a concept people were aware of? There would maybe have been a few hundred million people on earth at the time of Moses, and many of those people lived in parts of the world Israelites didn't even know existed at that time. They believed the earth was only a few thousand years old. The Bible says about 600,000 people left Egypt in the exodus, but I've seen explanations where a more realistic number was 60,000. Hundreds of millions or even billions wouldn't have made sense to them.

Quote:Not if all those changes occurred on the previous days, and any evolution now don't create new substances - what scientists call new species aren't, in the philosophical sense. What if the whole age of the dinosaurs was part of the fourth day, or fifth day, and God was still creating new substances, using evolution to do it?

But is there any patristic or scriptural reason, other than interpreting the first chapters of Genesis literally, to suggest that God stopped creating anything new after the sixth day? Saying God could have used evolution to create all the forms of life up to the culmination of man is an interesting way of reconciling the evidence in favor of macroevolution with a belief that it no longer continues today (although, it doesn't make much sense since the presumable time from Adam naming the animals until today is nothing on a macroevolutionary scale - we wouldn't be able to observe it even if it is still continuing). MM made a good point about God still creating human souls. This to me seems evidence enough to suggest God resting after the sixth day is not to be taken as literally meaning that he has stopped all creation. There doesn't seem to be anything that logically requires that interpretation.
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#27
(05-09-2020, 11:52 PM)Melkite Wrote: If evolution is true, why would God reveal it in scripture?  Does it have anything to do with our salvation, or revealing Christ to be the fulfillment of the old testament?  God doesn't reveal in scripture that there are trillions of other galaxies besides our own, and yet we know there are.  I don't know of anyone who would contest the veracity of their existence just because scripture doesn't mention them.


If it's the truth, because it's the truth, and He knew that people would question the faith because of evolution and how it supposedly disproves Scripture



Maybe you're right, and it's not necessary, and it's all symbolic other than what we're required to believe, that God created everything out of nothing, and, at some point, there was a first man who sinned and we're all descended from him. But that's not what anyone thought until Darwin. 




(05-09-2020, 11:52 PM)Melkite Wrote: Was "million" even a concept people were aware of?  There would maybe have been a few hundred million people on earth at the time of Moses, and many of those people lived in parts of the world Israelites didn't even know existed at that time.  They believed the earth was only a few thousand years old.  The Bible says about 600,000 people left Egypt in the exodus, but I've seen explanations where a more realistic number was 60,000.  Hundreds of millions or even billions wouldn't have made sense to them.


They believed it was only a few thousand years old because that's what Genesis said. And a million is only a thousand thousand, so they likely could have made sense of that. Archimedes used the number "myriad myriads" 10,000 ten thousands, or 100 million. And there's always the current Martyrology's "innumerable ages".



(05-09-2020, 11:52 PM)Melkite Wrote: But is there any patristic or scriptural reason, other than interpreting the first chapters of Genesis literally, to suggest that God stopped creating anything new after the sixth day?




That's a question for MM. I seem to remember him saying there is; if there isn't, then I suppose God could create a new substance whenever an animal's DNA has mutated enough to be a new species, maybe.
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#28
Evolution is a pagan theory, not at all a Catholic or Christian one. God did not create Man from beasts, as evolution vainly pretends. God Created Man simply by His Almighty Power, as the Prophet Moses recounts in the Book of Genesis.

"(b) The Common Opinion of the Holy Fathers. In his book, The Theory of Evolution Judged by Faith and Reason,9 Ernesto Cardinal Ruffini, demonstrates that the Greek, Syrian and Latin Fathers, whom he names and quotes, all held the opinion that the description of the creation of our first parents in Genesis 2 is literally true.
© The Magisterium Teachings of Pius IX, Leo XIII and Pius X
Pius IX. The year after the publication of Darwin’s evolution thesis, the Provincial Council of Cologne issued the following canon, which was approved by Pope Pius IX:
Our first parents were immediately created by God (Gen. 2.7). Therefore we declare as quite contrary to Holy Scripture and the Faith the opinion of those who dare to assert that man, in respect of the body, is derived by spontaneous transformation from an imperfect nature, which improved continually until it reached the present human state." https://kolbecenter.org/human-evolution-...-of-faith/ This from St. Kolbe centre showing why evolution can never become part of the deposit of Faith. 

Evolution is demonstrably disproven by the fossil record alone and the manifest lack of the necessary intermediate forms empirically falsifies the pagan theory of evolution. As Mr.Darwin himself confessed, "The number of intermediate varieties which have formerly existed on the earth must be enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links". Why indeed.

This alone falsifies the theory. If we have thousands or millions of fossils of species A and B, and none of any alleged intermediate species AB that evolution requires to exist, and which supposedly existed for millions of years, we have here then a crystal clear proof that evolution never happened.

Evolutionary hoaxes also abound. One such hoax was the "Piltdown Man" Hoax, now universally acknowledged as a fraud. Just look at the depths to which these modern pagans go to make monkeys out of men, as evolution does to all who believe in it. God did not make Man from monkeys, but evolutionists have succeeded in making monkeys of men: "3. Piltdown Man (See Appendix). The next fragments of bones, in chronological order, upon which evolutionists rely to prove their impossible theory, has been called the Piltdown man. It has been more truthfully called the Piltdown fake. Dr. Chapin gravely tells us (Social Evolution, p. 67): "During the years 1912, a series of fragments of a human skull and a jaw bone were found associated with eolithic implements and the bones of extinct mammals in Pleistocene deposits on a plateau, 80 feet above the river bed, at Piltdown, Fletching, Sussex, Eng. ...The remains were of great importance. The discoverers regard this relic as a specimen of a distinct genus of the human species and it has been called Eoanthropus Dawsoni. This extinct man lived in Europe hundreds of thousands of years ago." We have passed over 200,000 to 300,000 years since the Heidelberg man, that have not yielded a scrap of bone, though according to the theory, countless millions of ape-men must have lived in various stages of development, in that great stretch of time. Why were not some of them preserved? Simply because there were no ape-men. There are countless relics of apes, but none of ape-men. Even Wells says: "At a great open-air camp at Solutre, where they seem to have had annual gatherings for many centuries, it is estimated there are the bones of 100,000 horses." Would we not expect as many bones of ape-men? While Wells says the bones of 100,000 horses were found in a single locality, Dr. Ales Hrdlicka says that the bones of 200,000 prehistoric horses were found in another place. Why should we not find, for the same reason, the bones of millions of ape-men and ape-women in 750,000 years? Instead of mullions we have the alleged fragments of 4, all of which are of a very doubtful character." http://www.ldolphin.org/wmwilliams.html

Later, in the same Creation Science book, first written in 1925, and correctly stating Piltdown Man is a fraud about 3 decades before evolutionists caught up (in 1953), the case is updated: "APPENDIX


THE GREAT PILTDOWN HOAX

These busts of the Piltdown Man are on display in the Natural History Museum in London. Recently "Piltdown" was exposed as a hoax. Discovery of the fraud has evoked scientists' comment that only disservice that could result from exposure would be widespread skepticism about other important discoveries of mankind's vestigial past,
For more than 40 years Piltdown Man was a member in more or less good standing of the society of "earliest humans," rubbing mandibles with such distinguished, if lowbrow, company as Neanderthal Man and Peking Man. The startling discovery that he was an out-and-out humbug abruptly terminated his membership in December 1953. The Bulletin of the British Museum in carried the first account of the hoax. And recently the whole fantastic story was published in The Piltdown Forgery, a fascinating real-life "whodunit" by Dr. J. S. Weiner, Oxford University anthropologist and "chief detective" in the case."
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#29
(05-07-2020, 12:53 PM)Paul Wrote: I mean if evolution is true just as the biologists say, why wouldn't God reveal that in Scripture?

First, no, that doesn't follow.

Secondly, I know of few faithful Catholics who would defend what "the biologists say" which is Darwinian evolution, since this has at its core "chance" and unguided and undirected mutation. And if God is Creator and Sustainer, then "chance" is impossible.


(05-07-2020, 12:53 PM)Paul Wrote: For centuries people believed in creationism, and then modern science comes along and appears to have lots of evidence that the traditional view is false.

I dislike the use of "Creationism" this way, because it already creates a false dichotomy. It is not as if a Progressive Creationist or Theistic Evolutionist rejected the idea of God as author of Creation.

(05-07-2020, 12:53 PM)Paul Wrote: If fossils just look old and are God's way of testing us, and that's deception, why isn't it deception for Scripture to appear to teach instant or almost-instant creation (whether all at once or over a few days) and appear to teach a very young earth?

I'm not saying I believe Scripture is deceptive, but there's at least an apparent problem: either God deceived by planting evidence of evolution, or He deceived by making the Bible say the earth is young. Since we know God cannot deceive, we've either misinterpreted Scripture, or the scientists are wrong somehow.

Again, I think that is a false dichotomy. Scripture has been read in a myriad of senses, and if St Augustine does not see any problem with the idea of an instantaneous Creation with Genesis being a logical description only, or perhaps six visions given to Moses to relate the history, then clearly it can also be interpreted just as easily to permit an apparently longer period. Also, other Fathers had no problem with Creation happening over thousands of years.

Quite simply, no, the Bible does not say the earth is young. Nowhere does it say that. Petitio principii. What it suggests if we use our own common understanding of what "day" means is a very young earth. This we get by some interpretation. The interpretation if we use our modern normal sense of "day". The question is whether this is the literal sense

To forestall an objection, no, this isn't just semantics.

The Bible also doesn't say St Peter is the Pope. It certainly suggests this, but the exact meaning of Mt 16.18 and Jn 21.15-17, is an interpretation of what those phrases actually mean. To know this we rely on the Church and the Fathers in that order. For Genesis 1, the Church does allow a wider interpretation of "day", and so we can confidently say that the Bible does not say the earth is young or old. We have to interpret Genesis 1 to glean what the meaning of that passage is and whether it does insist on a young earth.




(05-07-2020, 12:53 PM)Paul Wrote: Maybe with the geneaologies in the Gospel, but what about the ones in Genesis with the lifespans of hundreds of years? Even if they're a few thousand years off, and it's 10,000 or 20,000 years instead of the Martyrology's roughly 7,000, that's hardly the hundreds of thousands of years science says humans have been around. Again, seems deceptive. Why not just inspire Moses to write about millions of years if that's what's true?

We know with Moses that they are. Moses in 1 Pa 6.3 is called "son" of Amram. If there are no gaps in the Genesis genealogy, then Amram was dead before he gave begot Moses. In Ex 6.20 Amram dies at age 137. If we accept the Genesis genealogy depending on the version used, he was dead for 79-225 years.

Granted, indeed, we're not going to make up tens of thousands of years this way, but the point should be clear that the genealogies are meant to connect people back to notable figures, and there are gaps. Genesis is not meant to be an academic history book.

The "why not just" questions are unanswerable forms. Instead of letting Adam fall, why not just ...?

One can deal only with the data he has, not with counterfactual hypotheticals, especially when it comes to supernatural grace (which is part of Biblical inspiration).
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#30
(05-10-2020, 04:03 AM)XavierSem Wrote: Evolution is a pagan theory, not at all a Catholic or Christian one. God did not create Man from beasts, as evolution vainly pretends. God Created Man simply by His Almighty Power, as the Prophet Moses recounts in the Book of Genesis.

Xavier, this is supremely unhelpful.

The Church, through the Popes, has taken a far more nuanced position than you assert here, so swooping in and throwing out some kind of
"anathema" does no one any good, and certainly does not further the discussion.

Also, just quote grabbing from the Kolbe Center (it's in the url, so I imagine you just grabbed it from their website) is also unhelpful. They have been shown to play fast and loose with theology and St Thomas Aquinas, as well as ignoring the Church Fathers to try to claim "All the Fathers" support their view, which is patently false.

(05-10-2020, 04:03 AM)XavierSem Wrote: In his book, The Theory of Evolution Judged by Faith and Reason, Ernesto Cardinal Ruffini, demonstrates that the Greek, Syrian and Latin Fathers, whom he names and quotes, all held the opinion that the description of the creation of our first parents in Genesis 2 is literally true.

No one here questions that Genesis is "literally true", but "literal" in a Biblical verbiage refers to a particular sense of Scripture. The "literal sense" is the meaning that God wanted to communicate directly, not simply what the modern understanding of a word or phrase would be.

If Genesis 1 is trying to communicate a longer period of time than 168 hours, then that longer period would be the "literal sense". Those who have not done exegetical coursework or the equivalent often confuse "literal" and "metaphorical" in these kind of passages.

But, that's quite immaterial here.

Look at what you quoted. Your citation says that these Fathers assert man's creation "in Genesis 2 is literally true."

We're talking about Genesis 1 when it comes to the timing of these things, and you've cited a passage about a different chapter, which you then try to make seem like it applies to Genesis 1.

There are plenty of Fathers who take very different approaches on Genesis 1. All agree on Genesis 2, but that's not the question, so I call a Red Herring.

(05-10-2020, 04:03 AM)XavierSem Wrote: Our first parents were immediately created by God (Gen. 2.7). Therefore we declare as quite contrary to Holy Scripture and the Faith the opinion of those who dare to assert that man, in respect of the body, is derived by spontaneous transformation from an imperfect nature, which improved continually until it reached the present human state[/b]."

Okay. But again, that's not what we're talking about here.

(05-10-2020, 04:03 AM)XavierSem Wrote: This from St. Kolbe centre showing why evolution can never become part of the deposit of Faith. 

You do know that their patron, St Maximillian, professed an Old Earth, right?

Interesting choice of patron when St Maximillian could write:

Quote:To reach the furthest star, 140 million years would be necessary. It is therefore easy to understand that the position of the stars, which we now see with our eyes, is not the actual one, but the position they had 140 million years ago.

...[Science] teaches that the moon was detached from the earth after the latter came into existence. The earth itself was detached from the sun, while the sun originated from a nebula. Besides, it seems probable that an enormous number of stars, together with the Milky Way, have been detached from a nebula. This is what science teaches. It could be observed that the history and evolution of the earth take place just as they used to happen in the past, in very remote eras, in some nebula.

(05-10-2020, 04:03 AM)XavierSem Wrote: Evolution is demonstrably disproven by the fossil record alone ...

Again, unhelpful, since we're looking not at the science, which I think all of us agree is not in favor of Darwinian evolution, but at the philosophy and theology and its relation.
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