Question about Thomistic Philosophy and Evolution.
#31
Hi Magister. Ok, if scientific data is irrelevant, let's use Scripture as interpreted by Liturgical Tradition. This is what the Roman Liturgy teaches us, "In the year 5199th from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, in the year 2959th from the flood, in the year 2015th from the birth of Abraham, in the year 1510th from the going forth of the people of Israel out of Egypt under Moses, in the year 1032th from the anointing of David as King, in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel, in the 194th Olympiad, in the 752nd from the foundation of the city of Rome, in the 42nd year of the reign of the Emperor Octavian Augustus, in the 6th age of the world, while the whole earth was at peace, Jesus Christ, Himself Eternal God and Son of the Eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and when nine months were passed after His conception, [all kneel down] was born of the Virgin Mary at Bethlehem of Juda made Man, Our Lord Jesus Christ was born according to the flesh." https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/spa...as-liturgy So do we apply lex orandi, lex credendi here?

It is great for us to be liturgical traditionalists. But if we want to be doctrinal traditionalists also, we should not hesitate to defend the doctrine, taught here by Our Lord Jesus in His Christ-Mas Liturgy, that only 5200 elapsed from Adam, the first man, to Jesus Christ, the New Adam. This has been changed in the new liturgy to indeterminate periods of time. Do we believe Adam lived about 7200 years ago, or less than 10,000 years ago? There is also a book of the history of Adam and Eve that confirms this.

We can judge the doctrine of evolution by the atheistic and Communistic fruits it produces: "In 1947, Bishop O’Gara was imprisoned by the Chinese Communists and wrote from his prison cell regarding the Marxist indoctrination of his flock. A number of them were “hopeless” to the new regime and were executed. Those considered “salvageable” had to attend a week-long class as the new “People’s Republic” was born. His letter described the retraining classes. He does not refer to Marxist philosophy, redistribution of wealth, or even basic socialist principles, but rather Darwinian evolution. This was what was considered the first vital step towards a cooperative communist populace. Eliminate God the Creator, eliminate original sin, replace God with the State." http://archives.sspx.org/against_sound_b...lution.htm

I am not speaking to any current controversy on this thread. But long experience shows evolution leads step by step to unbelief and atheism. It ruined even Marx's one time Christian faith: "Born in 1818, Marx was baptized a Lutheran in 1824, attended a Lutheran elementary school, received praise for his ‘earnest’ essays on moral and religious topics, and was judged by his teachers ‘moderately proficient’ in theology (his first written work was on the ‘love of Christ’)8,9,10 until the time he encountered the materialistic and atheistic notions then prevalent at the University of Berlin. Marx wrote tirelessly until he died, producing hundreds of books, monographs and articles. Sir Isaiah Berlin even claimed that no thinker “in the nineteenth century has had so direct, deliberate and powerful an influence upon mankind as did Karl Marx”."https://creation.com/the-darwinian-found...-communism 

From the earlier link, "Can a theory that is consistent with false theories, like chance and atheism be true? Truth is consistent with truth, but not with falsehood. We can judge a theory by the company it keeps. Evolution naturally affiliates with false theories rather than with the truth. It favors infidelity and atheism. A theory in perfect harmony with manifest error, raises a presumption against its truth. Evolution seems to have a natural attraction for erroneous hypotheses and manifests the closest kinship with impossible theories. This is not a mark of a true theory.

So baneful has been the effect of teaching evolution as a proven hypothesis, that multitudes have been led into infidelity and atheism. Prof. James H. Leuba, of Bryn Mawr College, Pa. sent a questionnaire to 1000 of the most prominent scientists teaching sciences relating to evolution. The replies indicate that more than one-half do not believe in a personal God, nor the immortality of the soul--beliefs almost universal even in the heathen world. So pernicious is this doctrine of evolution that more than one-half of the professors who teach it and kindred subjects, are infidels and atheists and farther from God than the ignorant heathen ... 30% of the Juniors and over 40% of the Seniors have abandoned the Christian faith. Note the steady and rapid growth of infidelity and atheism as a result of this pernicious theory.http://www.ldolphin.org/wmwilliams.html


It has had similar baneful effects on the Faith of Catholics. I hope Catholics unite to fight it with all our strength and ultimately defeat it.
"My dear Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your Most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, I hereby offer my whole life to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Together with my life, I place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all my Holy Communions, all my good deeds, all my sacrifices, and the sufferings of my entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father and Priests ..."

https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/
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#32
Another issue I will throw out there that has been noted regarding Theistic Evolution is that it immediately posits the error of Platonism of the pre-existence of souls and the futility of bodies as more of a "vehicle" of the soul rather than as fundamentally necessary for the human composite.

Often Theistic Evolutionists will try and rationalize this by saying that the soul was simply placed into the pre-existing form of the human body once it "sufficiently developed" for rationality. Which I see as a denial of the soul's relationship with the body.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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#33
(05-10-2020, 09:41 AM)Augustinian Wrote: Another issue I will throw out there that has been noted regarding Theistic Evolution is that it immediately posits the error of Platonism of the pre-existence of souls and the futility of bodies as more of a "vehicle" of the soul rather than as fundamentally necessary for the human composite.

Often Theistic Evolutionists will try and rationalize this by saying that the soul was simply placed into the pre-existing form of the human body once it "sufficiently developed" for rationality. Which I see as a denial of the soul's relationship with the body.

I've never heard a theistic evolutionist say this.  Is there something about theistic evolution that requires one believe in the pre-existence of the soul?
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#34
(05-10-2020, 11:14 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(05-10-2020, 09:41 AM)Augustinian Wrote: Another issue I will throw out there that has been noted regarding Theistic Evolution is that it immediately posits the error of Platonism of the pre-existence of souls and the futility of bodies as more of a "vehicle" of the soul rather than as fundamentally necessary for the human composite.

Often Theistic Evolutionists will try and rationalize this by saying that the soul was simply placed into the pre-existing form of the human body once it "sufficiently developed" for rationality. Which I see as a denial of the soul's relationship with the body.

I've never heard a theistic evolutionist say this.  Is there something about theistic evolution that requires one believe in the pre-existence of the soul?

What I meant is that the implantation of the soul into a pre-existing body implicitly presumes the pre-existence of the soul; but more explicitly, adheres to the presupposition of Platonism which teaches that the body as a mere vessel for the soul rather than something substantially united to it.

E Michael Jones has a nice summation of this in the 2nd chapter of his new book Logos Rising:

Quote:"[Gerard] Verschuuren's attempt to reconcile Genesis and Evolution leads him, unfortunately, into a Platonic dualism which allows a previously existent spiritual soul to inhabit a previously existing biological body, when he tells us that 'the bodies of human creatures must have been apt to receive a human soul, which includes the right genes and proper brains.' If the soul is the form of the body, it is difficult to understand how a body could exist without its form. Plato felt that a pre-existent soul inhabited a material body as a pilot was 'in' a ship. If, however, the soul is its form, the body is not an empty vessel waiting to be filled by a soul, in the sense that a car sits fully formed in the drive-way waiting for a driver. The human body is an expression of the human soul; it had to be created with that expression in mind. It could not exist apart from its existence as the material expression of the soul's first act of rationality, speech, etc. The idea that there were physical human beings with animal souls is simply untenable and flies in the face of any sophisticated of what the soul is and how it acts. The first man's body, therefore, had to be a special act of creation every bit as much as the creation of the first man's soul was because, according to Aristotle's more sophisticated understanding of the soul as the form of the body, neither soul nor body can exist independently of the other." -Ch. 2, pp. 81-82.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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#35
Assuming evolution to be true, I don't understand why this poses a problem.  If the soul is just the form of the body, then why couldn't have God created the first rational human soul at the conception of the first human?  That is, if the soul of a human is different from the soul of a frog, then whatever the first human's parents were, if not human, would have had a soul according to their form, and the first human in the modern sense would have had a soul according to its form.

I don't see the problem here.
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#36
Paul Wrote: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.

But people use the existence of various galaxies to question the faith. They use all kinds of examples from science to question the faith. God didn't address any of them in scripture. I don't see why evolution should be any different.

Quote: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".

I didn't mean it in the sense that they couldn't have conceived it absolutely. I'm sure if someone had wanted to back then, they could have sat down and thought up a million or a billion. I just mean those numbers wouldn't have been a part of ordinary conversation for them. We grasp them because we hear about them regularly, usually in the context of economics. But when you try to conceive of a quadrillion or quintillion, doesn't your brain kind of fart a little (assuming you're not a mathematician)? And really, even though we think we grasp them, we really don't. Aren't you stunned a little when you see someone demonstrate the difference in height between a million sheets of paper and a billion sheets? Or the difference in time between a million seconds ago and a billion seconds ago? That awe we feel when that's explained shows that even now, we don't really grasp these large numbers. It just feels like we understand them because of regular familiarity with the terms. The genesis account was written in a way that its hearers could make meaning of. If they had heard that creation took 12 billion years, what would that even mean to them? It would be like if we read Genesis and it said creation took 43 septendecillion days. It would be as meaningful as if it said a bazillion gajillion years.
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#37
MagisterMusicae Wrote: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.

I like to think of it as God setting it in motion. He put all the necessary components there in the first instant, but it pleases him for some reason to let it unfold on its own rather than for him to dictate each and every detail in an independent action. Sort of like spiral art. The longer it spins, the more the paint spreads out from the center and creates different shapes, designs and colors, based on the laws of physics they are bound to. Even though it appears God let the whole thing unfold on its own, the whole, or any part therein, cannot be said to not be his creation. The laws he put in place at the beginning determined how one thing would react to another, and he foresaw exactly how it would turn out, even though temporally, he let it act independently, unguided and undirected.

Isn't this kind of like what the Church teaches with predestination? We truly have free will. And yet, at the same time, God knows exactly what we will do - what choices we will make, what choices we will neglect to make. Inside time, our choices are free, unguided and undirected (the influence of grace could be the analogue to the laws of physics, pulling the will in one direction or another but not truly forcing it), yet, outside of time, God has foreseen everything, and his will remains sovereign.

So, academically speaking, it's entirely possible that evolution could have taken place differently, and God would have placed rational souls in highly-developed velociraptors, which would have led to Christ being incarnate in reptilian form. Temporally, if that's how the laws had played out, God would have been equally pleased with that result as he is with the one we find ourselves in, because temporally, he's watching his creation unfold as it will on its own. But outside of time, God knew that of all the potential, sufficient outcomes, our particular one was the only one that would be efficacious, and as such, is his creation.
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#38
(05-10-2020, 12:11 PM)Melkite Wrote: Assuming evolution to be true, I don't understand why this poses a problem.  If the soul is just the form of the body, then why couldn't have God created the first rational human soul at the conception of the first human?  That is, if the soul of a human is different from the soul of a frog, then whatever the first human's parents were, if not human, would have had a soul according to their form, and the first human in the modern sense would have had a soul according to its form.

I don't see the problem here.

If the soul is the form of the body, it dictates what that body is. Therefore, an ape ancestor to modern man cannot bestow even the form of a human to their offspring because the form of an ape can only beget another ape, e.g. the soul cannot give what it doesn't have.
So for God to bestow rationality on a soul, means that soul must have the capacity for rationality, and as an ape soul does not have this capacity, it would have to have been made immediately as a new creature. Therefore, an ape could not give birth to a man, unless, again, the soul is not the form of the body, which sets us right back to where we were before with the erroneous Platonic conception of the body being a mere vessel for the soul.
"The Heart of Jesus is closer to you when you suffer, than when you are full of joy." - St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. - Ps. 145:2-3

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4
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#39
(05-10-2020, 11:35 AM)Augustinian Wrote:
(05-10-2020, 11:14 AM)Melkite Wrote:
(05-10-2020, 09:41 AM)Augustinian Wrote: Another issue I will throw out there that has been noted regarding Theistic Evolution is that it immediately posits the error of Platonism of the pre-existence of souls and the futility of bodies as more of a "vehicle" of the soul rather than as fundamentally necessary for the human composite.

Often Theistic Evolutionists will try and rationalize this by saying that the soul was simply placed into the pre-existing form of the human body once it "sufficiently developed" for rationality. Which I see as a denial of the soul's relationship with the body.

I've never heard a theistic evolutionist say this.  Is there something about theistic evolution that requires one believe in the pre-existence of the soul?

What I meant is that the implantation of the soul into a pre-existing body implicitly presumes the pre-existence of the soul; but more explicitly, adheres to the presupposition of Platonism which teaches that the body as a mere vessel for the soul rather than something substantially united to it.

E Michael Jones has a nice summation of this in the 2nd chapter of his new book Logos Rising:

Quote:"[Gerard] Verschuuren's attempt to reconcile Genesis and Evolution leads him, unfortunately, into a Platonic dualism which allows a previously existent spiritual soul to inhabit a previously existing biological body, when he tells us that 'the bodies of human creatures must have been apt to receive a human soul, which includes the right genes and proper brains.' If the soul is the form of the body, it is difficult to understand how a body could exist without its form. Plato felt that a pre-existent soul inhabited a material body as a pilot was 'in' a ship. If, however, the soul is its form, the body is not an empty vessel waiting to be filled by a soul, in the sense that a car sits fully formed in the drive-way waiting for a driver. The human body is an expression of the human soul; it had to be created with that expression in mind. It could not exist apart from its existence as the material expression of the soul's first act of rationality, speech, etc. The idea that there were physical human beings with animal souls is simply untenable and flies in the face of any sophisticated of what the soul is and how it acts. The first man's body, therefore, had to be a special act of creation every bit as much as the creation of the first man's soul was because, according to Aristotle's more sophisticated understanding of the soul as the form of the body, neither soul nor body can exist independently of the other." -Ch. 2, pp. 81-82.

That's interesting.  I haven't really been involved in the evolution-creation dispute for sometime.  That said, of the theistic evolutionists that I know, I've never heard any of them say that "there were physical human beings with animal souls."  Instead, what I've heard them say is something like "there were nearly human animals" that lacked rational souls.  Very close to being human, as close as is possible without a rational soul.  I guess that means nearly physically identical or something, though I might be wrong about that.  This doesn't seem far fetched to me.  Some animal species are genetically close enough to us for blood transfusions to be theoretically possible.  For example, the blood from a chimp with blood type O can be fairly easily transfused into humans, though chimps with other blood types present more difficulties (though not impossible).  My point with this isn't that we evolved from chimps, or that chimps and humans share a common ancestor.  I don't really have a position on whether or not evolution, in some form, is correct.  However, I don't see why you can't, in theory, have an animal that is very close to being human, physically-speaking, but lacking a rational soul and, therefore, the animal isn't truly human.  In such a scenario, God might allow evolution for lesser forms of life but it takes an act of special creation for the first humans, as the soul cannot evolve.  I don't think this involves Platonism or the pre-existence of human souls.
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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#40
(05-10-2020, 12:47 PM)Augustinian Wrote:
(05-10-2020, 12:11 PM)Melkite Wrote: Assuming evolution to be true, I don't understand why this poses a problem.  If the soul is just the form of the body, then why couldn't have God created the first rational human soul at the conception of the first human?  That is, if the soul of a human is different from the soul of a frog, then whatever the first human's parents were, if not human, would have had a soul according to their form, and the first human in the modern sense would have had a soul according to its form.

I don't see the problem here.

If the soul is the form of the body, it dictates what that body is. Therefore, an ape ancestor to modern man cannot bestow even the form of a human to their offspring because the form of an ape can only beget another ape, e.g. the soul cannot give what it doesn't have.
So for God to bestow rationality on a soul, means that soul must have the capacity for rationality, and as an ape soul does not have this capacity, it would have to have been made immediately as a new creature. Therefore, an ape could not give birth to a man, unless, again, the soul is not the form of the body, which sets us right back to where we were before with the erroneous Platonic conception of the body being a mere vessel for the soul.

My own opinion is that God formed the first man from the dust of the Earth, a special creation.  Whether or not other lifeforms evolved, including the so-called pre-human ancestors like Homo Erectus and so forth, is, in my opinion, a separate question.  Might God have created Adam from dust, but used a body that was similar to an existing animal species?
"For the true friends of the people are neither revolutionaries nor innovators, but traditionalists."
- Pope St. Pius X

"For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables."
- 2 Timothy 4:3-4

"Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: That all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity."
- 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12
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