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Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Fathers and Doctors of the Church Rejected Evolution

Adam and Eve began to experience the
effects of sin from the moment they
disobeyed God and were expelled from
the Garden of Eden: disease and death!
They taught that creation was the work of God alone, that the "works of nature" (according to St. Thomas Aquinas) presuppose creation. You can't extrapolate from the natural order back to the beginning of things.

Harmful mutations, disease, etc. are all due to sin. The "bondage of decay" is due to original sin. As soon as Adam and Eve were driven from the garden, they began to suffer the consequences of sin: degeneration and ultimately death. Of course they were so physically perfect it must have taken hundreds of years for their bodies to deteriorate to the point of death.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says nothing about evolution per se, but it says plenty about creation that points away from evolution:
We believe that God needs no pre-existent thing or any help in order to create,nor is creation any sort of necessary emanation from the divine substance. God creates freely "out of nothing." (CCC 296)
 Just like Genesis says!

The truth about creation is so important for all of human life that God in his tenderness wanted to reveal to his People everything that is salutary to know on the subject. Beyond the natural knowledge that every man can have of the Creator, God progressively revealed to Israel the mystery of creation. He who chose the patriarchs, who brought Israel out of Egypt, and who by choosing Israel created and formed it, this same God reveals himself as the One to whom belong all the peoples of the earth, and the whole earth itself; he is the One who alone "made heaven and earth." (CCC 287)
Hugh Owen, Director of the Kolbe Center, points out in the video below how evolutionary "faith" blinds scientists. Faith in Darwinism prevented doctors in the past from accurately diagnosing various problems. Note the discussion of the appendix and the tonsils and how they are part of the protective immune system. But, until doctors found how important they are in protecting us from disease, evolutionists had everyone convinced they were vestigial organs left over from our animal days with absolutely no function or importance to modern man.

Evolution, as Hugh says says in the video, "collides with reality" as we see more and more. Study evolution and see how recent science is exposing its many errors.

Reading all this reminded me of something Chesterton once said -- that you shouldn't take down a fence if you don't know why it was put up in the first place. Good advice. If doctors were a little less arrogant in their attachment to evolution and a little more respectful of the body God created, they no doubt would do less harm. I'll always be thankful to the wonderful GP who was my children's pediatrician. He cautioned me about listening to the specialist who wanted to take out my son's adenoids when he put in ear tubes. "We're not sure about their function in the immune system," was what he told me. A humble older man and a Catholic, he was a talented diagnostician and a truly caring man. Thank you, Dr. Murphy, I'm praying for you today.


Mary's Child Mariann said...

Magnificent! Thanks so much for this, which leads to other Q&A videos he did. Thank you, and God bless you and your wonderful family this Eastertide and always! He Is Risen!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thank you so much for your kind comment. And God bless you as well. We are certainly gifted with the blessings of the season including the Lord replacing the beehive destroyed by the bear. Praise the Lord in His creatures!

Mack Malone said...

The CCC also says

"Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine ‘work,’ concluded by the ‘rest’ of the seventh day" (CCC 337), but "nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God’s word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history is rooted in this primordial event, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun" (CCC 338). Going back to CCC 337 "On the subject of creation, the sacred text teaches the truths revealed by God for our salvation, permitting us to "recognize the inner nature, the value and the ordering of the whole of creation to the praise of God."Meaning God is the creator of the world, or time of our reality.

Which does not in any way contradict evolution. God created the world and put all things in motion according to his plans, which our human minds cannot begin to understand, try as we might, so we make symbolic stories and a man, a woman, a garden and yes, a sneaky talking snake. Its the "truth" of the story (God as creator, original sin) that matters. Again respectfully, you seem to be conflating you, what I would consider far right wing politics, with theology. I don't understand why evolution is such a bugaboo with people who lean far right.

Anonymous said...

The fathers and doctors of the church also rejected the heliocentric nature of the galaxy. Much has been theorized and learned since their time. I don't understand how someone with any education at all can fail to see that humanity has evolved. As for the soul, who are we to say when that came to be? Perhaps it is in the soul that we are made in His image, not the body?

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

"I don't understand how someone with any education at all can fail to see that humanity has evolved."

That's not an argument. To have an intelligent discussion, one needs to define terms and then provide the evidence for the case. I find the evidence for macro-evolution completely unconvincing and it is a theological disaster since it fails to explain how a system that required all that death to achieve the first man squares with the Church teaching that original sin brought death into the world.

Mack, you say there's no contradiction. Can you explain it? I frankly don't understand why the essentials of Genesis are such a bugaboo. What's the evidence that everything came from a single-celled organism through trial and error? How does the complicated society of a bee colony come about through trial and error -- or even the complicated organization of a cell? I think that's a bigger "story" that requires more faith than Genesis.

I have no problem with people arguing scientific theories. I have a big problem with requiring everyone to accept theories with little proof and demonizing those who disagree as "deniers." (I'm not saying either of you is doing that, but it is certainly a tactic of the evolutionist faithful.)

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware that you were interested in arguments. This seems to be a forum where you state your opinions and then invite others to share theirs. I find the evidence for macro-evolution incredibly compelling and acknowledge that, as much has been learned about our world and galaxy in the 2000 years since Jesus of Nazareth lived, there is much more that we do not yet understand. Your claim about the doctor and fathers of the church seems relative in light of other scientific discoveries that I assume you acknowledge as true (i.e.: heliocentric galaxy). Pope Pius XII wrote extensively about the possible evolution of the body but the divine creation of the soul. I am fully willing to admit that there is much I do not understand about science, but the evolution of the Earth and its creatures (animal and human) seems obvious to me.

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

Thanks, Anonymous. I do have opinions, but I'm open to arguments I find convincing or, if an opinion is based on error, on correction. I just don't find macro-evolution convincing. I'm reading Humani Generis at present and Pope Pius XII doesn't seem to be arguing in favor of evolution. In fact, he urges caution.

"Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that evolution, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.

"6. Such fictitious tenets of evolution which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences.

"7. There is also a certain historicism, which attributing value only to the events of man's life, overthrows the foundation of all truth and absolute law, both on the level of philosophical speculations and especially to Christian dogmas.

"8. In all this confusion of opinion it is some consolation to Us to see former adherents of rationalism today frequently desiring to return to the fountain of divinely communicated truth, and to acknowledge and profess the word of God as contained in Sacred Scripture as the foundation of religious teaching. But at the same time it is a matter of regret that not a few of these, the more firmly they accept the word of God, so much the more do they diminish the value of human reason, and the more they exalt the authority of God the Revealer, the more severely do they spurn the teaching office of the Church, which has been instituted by Christ, Our Lord, to preserve and interpret divine revelation. This attitude is not only plainly at variance with Holy Scripture, but is shown to be false by experience also. For often those who disagree with the true Church complain openly of their disagreement in matters of dogma and thus unwillingly bear witness to the necessity of a living Teaching Authority.

"9. Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, cannot afford to ignore or neglect these more or less erroneous opinions. Rather they must come to understand these same theories well, both because diseases are not properly treated unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in these false theories a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths."

That is certainly not a ringing endorsement of evolution, but it does call for us to be open-minded on scientific theories. I certainly believe in micro-evolution which is self-evident; I just don't see enough evidence for macro-evolution and many of the theories of the evolutionists are more and more being shown to be erroneous -- like the appendix and tonsils being useless leftovers from our animal ancestors. But I'd happily take a look at anything you want to suggest since I find the topic interesting. Have you read Darwin's Black Box?

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

And here Pope Pius discusses the crux of the matter:

36. "For these reasons 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. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.

37. "When, however, there is question of another conjectural opinion, namely polygenism, the children of the Church by no means enjoy such liberty. For 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. Now 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."[12]

The pope prudently calls for "liberty of discussion" but with "the greatest moderation and caution." I don't see much evidence of either moderation or caution in many of the proponents of evolution like Richard Dawkins who responds to any critique, even from other scientists, with contempt and ridicule.

Anna said...