A Christian Rebuttal to Darwinian Evolution: Part II

existence

With my recent article, “A Christian Rebuttal to Darwinian Evolution”, garnering so much feedback and debate, I have decided to post a second edition. After thinking it over, I believe the best rebuttal is to cite Scripture against that theory. This is a Catholic website after all. All Catholics have been taught that Scripture is God’s divinely inspired revelation to us. I certainly believe it. I think all Protestants believe it also. That’s about half the population on earth. Of course the verification that something is true is not based on the number of people who believe it: it is verified if God said it’s true.

That’s where I am. I would fail in my allegiance to God if I wavered in my defense of His revelation, and I would betray my fellow Christians by not vigorously defending God’s truth to those who argue against it and try to discredit it. So I’m going to reargue my position.

My First Attempt

My first attempt to argue against evolution was largely unsuccessful because I tried to debate the veracity of God’s revelation in the arena of anthropology and microbiology. I’m not an expert in those fields, and my opponents are not believers in the accuracy of God’s revelation. Actually there is very little common ground for a substantive debate between us. So the best strategy is to directly repeat what God revealed and show how it makes basic common sense.

I argued in my first article that Genesis contradicted Darwin’s theory on several major points.

First: God’s revelation to the human race began in the Garden of Eden, where He visited Adam and Eve daily and conversed with them (Genesis 2:15-16). This directly contradicts Darwin’s theory that humans slowly learned the skills of becoming human as they evolved from brute animals.

Second: God created Adam from the dust of the earth. I read that as a factual statement: namely, a statement about the ninety-two elements that make up every material thing in the universe. If scientists say that man evolved from apes, then are not apes also made from the same ninety-two elements as dust?

Third: When He created man, God added a special step: He breathed a spirit into the first man (Genesis 2:7). This is the critical point of origin for human beings. Adam’s physical body, infused with a spirit from God, became the first human being. Being endowed with a spirit made Adam a human being with free will and made in the image of the God who created him.

Fourth: God took a rib from Adam and fashioned it into Eve to be a helpmate for Adam (Genesis 2:21) thereby showing that Eve has the exact same origin as Adam. The two of them are the same flesh, as Adam exclaimed: “This is now flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone” (Genesis 2:23).

Fifth: I pointed out several major differences between man and animals. No animal has ever built a shrine or temple to honor the God who created him, but all humans, even in the most primitive cultures, display some recognition of who their creator might be. All human cultures have developed language. All human beings fashion some form of clothing for themselves. All human beings usually cook their food. No animal does any of these things.

The Role of Scripture

The Catholic Church teaches that Scripture is sometimes written in fanciful language like myths or legends, which add deeper meaning much better than historical accounts can; but all of it is still the inspired Word of God.  Some of the teaching Jesus Himself employed is based on mythical accounts from the Old Testament.

Nobody should think that Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale for three days, but Jesus compared Himself to Jonah when He predicted He would rise from the dead: “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40).

Why would Jesus, whom all Christians believe is actually the divine Son of God, use such a mythological fable to predict His own Resurrection from the dead? I contend this verse, containing an element of etiology (an explanation of the origins of something), is still part of the divine revelation of God and is worded the way God wants.

I have no problem believing Church teaching on this, because I accept that Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to guide His Church against error in explaining His Gospel to future generations. I think Protestants think this also but in a slightly different way. They believe that Jesus did send His Holy Spirit but to inspire believers individually as they read Holy Scripture. Yet, I don’t think that is happening, because if it were, there would not be so much controversy among different groups of Christians on what Scripture means and so much denial by non-believers when they read Scripture. This role of the Catholic Church plays out in my difficulties with evolution, as I will show below.

The Role of Tradition

But there is another directive Jesus gave to His apostles. He told them to preach. He did not command them to write like He told the Old Testament prophets to write. I think He told them to preach because the Church is where God now most fully reveals His divine presence on earth, unlike the Old Testament times where God maintained a physical presence within the Temple. This is a difficult point today because the Church has been divided for several hundred years. Those who separated themselves from the mother church eventually divided into hundreds of autonomous churches not connected to a central authority.

This preaching is called Tradition and is also preserved from error by the Holy Spirit. This is difficult for Protestants to recognize, but if there is no central authority (i.e., the Magisterium, which hands on and interprets Scripture and Tradition), there is no logical way for the Holy Spirit to guide them “to all truth” as there is in the Catholic Church. If we want to defeat those who try to undermine the credibility of Scripture, we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The Role of the Catholic Magisterium

Some of my critics said my thoughts did not agree with Catholic teaching. Bob Kurland in his comment on my first article, supplied documents that show Catholic teaching on this issue. Here is his quote:

The Dogma of Original Sin and the Dogma/Doctrine of monogenesis are crucial in determining the present position of the Church on evolution. …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 [but] the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.” [emphasis added]

~Pope Pius XII, encyclical letter, Humani Generis

“Pius XII underlined the essential point: if the origin of the human body comes through living matter which existed previously, the spiritual soul is created directly by God….” [emphasis added]

~Pope St. John Paul II, Address to Pontifical Academy of Sciences, “On Evolution”

So there you have it: I did not contradict the magisterial teaching of the Church. I argued that God took a special step in creating Adam (breathing God’s breath into him) and a special step in creating Eve (forming her from the rib of Adam). That makes Adam and Eve uniquely human. And all human beings descended from the same original pair of humans (monogenesis).

I think we all know that humans are a unique species. They cannot cross breed with apes or other animals. I think they are so special that scientists should have conjured up three kingdoms of life on earth: plant, animal and human. Humans are part physical and part spiritual. Their spiritual souls give them the power to be aware that they exist and that God exists. It makes them sovereign persons possessing free will and made in the image of God.

I am so glad God made His revelation about the origin of man four thousand years ago, and, when I got into trouble this year trying to defend the truth of His revelation, I’m so glad the Holy Spirit stepped in to encourage His Church to back me up. Alone, I might have faltered when faced with such a large and hostile opposition.

Other Considerations

Commentators on my first article brought up questions of humans evolving from multiple species, and their children practicing incest. I think the Magisterium’s acceptance of monogenesis settles that question, but I got curious to see if scientists have found crossbreeding between humans and apes or other animals.

I decided to google the subject. I saw that all humans (Homo sapiens) are fully human: there are no half breed humans, but I was surprised that there have been many efforts to experiment with cross breeding of humans with animals. With the advent of stem cell research and the recent proficiency in manipulating genetic makeup, there is a lot of interest in experimenting with doing this, but none of it has succeeded as of yet.

Criticism of Science

In my first article, I criticized Dr. Roberts, author of Evolution: The Human Story. I wrote that I don’t know why so many authors either ignore God or actually argue that God may not exist. It would be much more edifying for all of us in our culture if these authors credited God for what God has done and try to encourage our fellow humans to learn how to love God and obey Him as God commands all of us to do.

If all humans actually believed God and tried to obey Him, we would have immeasurably less crime and violence in our world. But if these authors continue to teach that God may not exist and we are most likely highly evolve apes, then what would anyone expect from apes trying to find their place in this world that knows no God and no valid reason why they exist.

I still criticize our culture for this, and I think my warnings about refusing to teach about God are valid. Whether God created us or whether we simply evolved from animals is not an intellectual game smart people should play to exercise their wit in argumentation. There are two more players in this game: God and the devil, and both of them are playing this game for keeps. God expects all of us to believe Him. After all, He is God and His Word is good. Jesus told His apostles, when He sent them out to preach the Gospel. If they refuse to believe, they have already been judged (John 3:18).

The devil wants to defeat Jesus Christ and take over what God has created for Himself. God is never going to abandon His creation to a renegade angel. The devil is really the source of all resistance against God. If one is willing to believe God’s revelation, he will know this. If one refuses to believe God, he will find out about this truth when God brings all of us to judgment.

Apes vs. Ancestors

When I stated my objection to Roberts parading a whole string of apes and proto humans as my ancestors, one of my critics told me what Roberts said is true. I not only have a long string of apes in my ancestry, I also have a long string of fish. I looked this up as well. The word “ancestor” has three similar, but not identical, definitions (1) its primary definition relates one’s family line. (2) A secondary meaning relates to precursors to humans. The dictionary actually gave the example of evolutionary predecessors of humans. (3) A tertiary meaning has nothing to do with humans or animals. It refers to machines that are considered as ancestral to computers. Of course, when I am speaking of my ancestry, I am speaking of my human ancestors.

Human language is not perfect. One smart way to try to win an argument is to shift the meaning of words your opponent used and argue to defeat that shifted meaning. This is done all the time in politics. It is called spin. This website is not about politics; it is about God and God’s teaching. Nobody should resort to spin on this website.

I sum up the same way I did in my first article: we humans are not highly evolved primates. We, unlike every other animal on the planet, are created in the very image and likeness of God. We are sovereign persons with free will. No animal can match what we are. No animal, no matter how highly evolved it is, has the mental capacity to even understand what those claims mean.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

30 thoughts on “A Christian Rebuttal to Darwinian Evolution: Part II”

  1. Greetings Hugh Farey,

    In reply to your post –
    “The Kolbe Centre is fairly antagonistic to both Pope Francis and even Pope John-Paul II and is clearly not representative of current Catholic thinking. It is welcome to its views, but it should neither claim that it represents Catholic theology, nor insist that Catholics follow its ideas.”

    Firstly, it’s great that you have had the opportunity to read the material on http://www.kolbecenter.org.

    May I ask in what way do you consider that the Kolbe Center “fairly antagonistic” to Pope Francis and Pope St. John Paul II? For the sake of fairness, I would really like details, so that I can respond to you on specifics.

    Contrary to Kolbe Center expressing “its views”, or “insist(ing) that Catholics follow its ideas”, their articles invariably present Holy Scripture and the magisterial teaching of the Church. What, as you have implied, did you find in the http://www.kolbecenter.org website that contradicts Catholic theology?

    Also what “current Catholic thinking” does the Kolbe Center not represent (I assume it concerns evolution but please correct me) and is this “current Catholic thinking” congruent with “Catholic theology”? Thank you in advance for clarification.

    Here is a Kolbe Center article on creation, in which the Church’s guidance on how Catholics should respond to the theory of evolution is fully and clearly stated. https://kolbecenter.org/the-traditional-catholic-doctrine-of-creation/

    Hugh Owen (director of Kolbe Center) gave a radio interview a few days ago and answered questions on whether the Catholic Church accepts evolution, as many Catholics seem to think it does. He even quotes Pope St John Paul II specifically, with no hint of antagonism. https://virginmostpowerfulradio.org/28-apr-2020-interview-with-hugh-owen-director-kolbe-center-for-the-study-of-creation/

    1. Hi Karen,

      I’m sorry not to have responded sooner. I did reply a few days ago, but either I pressed a wrong button or my comment was blocked, as nothing seems to have come of it.

      If I search for “Pope John Paul” or “Pope Francis” on the Kolbe Center website, I get numerous comments on the various statements of these Popes concerning evolution, all to the effect that either they hadn’t thought about what they had said, hadn’t meant what they had said, or had been duped by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and/or the Pontifical Biblical Commission. I consider that a rather hostile approach. Indeed, there are several arguments, beginning with the statements of the Popes and ending with “let him be anathema,” that are thinly veiled condemnations of their Holinesses in the most extreme terms.

      There is no doubt that very few Catholic theologians dispute the ‘Big Bang’ and ‘Evolution’ explanations for the origin and development of the Universe, and no doubt that these scientific explanations can be seen not to disrupt the theology of the Church. Those few theologians who cling to more biblically literal explanations essentially try to claim that Theology can demonstrate that Science is false, which is deeply misguided.

  2. I LOVE John’s review of creation. Tongue in cheek.
    I have floated down the Colorado River and looked up at the mile-high cliffs, which used to be sea bottom, and then lifted up 2 miles as the tectonic plates moved. So God’s one-day creation of the cosmos took the care to make a universe with everything in precise precision JUST AS IF IT HAD BEEN STARTED 13.5 billion years ago and flying outward till now. Very clever of God, but one must ask, WHY that way?

  3. When are you all going to accept the fact that God created the world in 4004 BC. There is no prehistory. Fossils were created by the devil to deceive us. Dinosaurs were destroyed in the great flood. The earth is the center of the universe. The so-called galaxies and stars were created on one day and are only a short way from the earth. Genetics and geology are fake sciences. God decreed that some humans were superior to others. The descendants of Ham were meant to serve the rest of humanity.

  4. I’m an 89 year old, enlisted USAF 1954, about Maurice’s time.
    I’m with our Founding Father, Thomas Paine, and his 1794 book The Age of Reason, where he deconstructs the bible, and refers to all religions as “revealed.” And another truism, “In the Beginning, Man created God.”
    Think Stonehenge, Machu Pichu, Aztecs, all the Roman and Greek gods, and a multiplicity of oriental gods.
    The human genome of the present contains ALL of the history of evolution, showing comparisons of the genomes of humans that started in the Rif Valley in Africa, migrating across Asia, coming back to Europe, ending up coming down through Alaska all the way down South America. More than one aspect of genome comparisons show this.
    Certainly a supreme being created the cosmos, you just need to look at the Milky Way at night. But it’s a bit of a stretch to have the hubris that God sent His son to the Middle East of a trivial planet orbiting a dying star, one of 10^22 stars, that’s ten thousand million trillion stars. And if He was so interested in saving souls, why didn’t He come 10,000 years before 0 AD?
    BTW, photo evidence shows Adam and Eve were born by woman, because all their church paintings show them with navels. I personally wonder what your Christ’s genome looked like, was the half of his genome that was furnished by the Holy Ghost a UNIQUE genome or an average of all male genomes that came before. Maybe if the shroud of Turin has Christ’s blood it could be sequenced. KIDDING, I think the shroud is a hoax.

    1. It also takes an incredible amount of hubris to believe that the low entropy conditions and fine tuning of this galaxy happened by accident. Like breaking a pool rack, sinking every ball and the balls magically reforming on their own into a tight rack.

      That’s hubris.

      RE: saving souls. The souls that existed before Christ were were either Jews–judged on their faithful adherence to God’s revelation –or gentiles–judged on their adherence to natural law. Everybody who lived before Christ isn’t condemned.

  5. I have never quite understood why the subject of evolution in general and human specifics in particular, became so crucial in determining the validity of one’s religious beliefs. In no other that I can think of is it possible to separate those like Dawkins from the Popes simply on the matter of a biological question that has not been fully answered by any party. My wife is Buddhist and they also have a creation story that reduced to it very basics, is not so radically different from ours that it could not be tweaked into some familiarity. The first five books of the Old Testament contain much that can be interpreted in several different way as to the details of occurrence and meaning. An example would the the sun stopping in the sky so that Joshua could win a battle. Our salvation does not depend on whether Adam first mutated from an ape and then brought about Eve through parthenogenesis or some other reproductive oddity. Those who wrote the first books of the Old testament would surly have been driven out of camp had they started off with lessons in comparative anthropology. I understand there are those who like their facts laid out in a perfectly accurate and continuous fashion but the reason that is not possible is that despite millenia of inquiry, we simply will never have all the answers to everyone’s satisfaction.

  6. Here are two websites that provide Catholic teaching on origins.
    https://foundationsrestored.com/ provides an excellent new DVD series on the Catholic perspective on creation, with scientific refutation of evolution. The first 2 episodes are available free online and concentrate on Catholic teaching about our origins, and also explain what many Catholics assume is Catholic teaching, and why.
    https://kolbecenter.org/ is a great site with many articles and resources on creation.
    Dawkins, biologist, who for all his 16 books and many lectures about evolution, was unable to answer a question put to him many years ago, when asked for an example of a mutation that increased the genetic information in the genome. He was unable to answer because there are no examples of a beneficial mutation, even though this is crucial to the supposed mechanism (that is, mutations followed by natural selection of the fittest, over millions of years) for the evolution of life from a single cell. All mutations are either neutral or deleterious. Scientists readily acknowledge this fact. In truth, it takes more faith to be an evolutionist these days, than to believe in creation.
    Look for a youtube clip called “Dawkins stumped”. It’s about 30 seconds long.
    Just to mention that many people confuse mutations with alleles, which are built into our DNA and account for the many different dog breeds, for example. See the work of Gregor Mendel.
    May God bless you all.

    1. Hi Frances,

      The Kolbe Centre is fairly antagonistic to both Pope Francis and even Pope John-Paul II and is clearly not representative of current Catholic thinking. It is welcome to its views, but it should neither claim that it represents Catholic theology, nor insist that Catholics follow its ideas.

  7. Hello Bob Kurland,

    I think I should respond to your statement that “it is not possible to engage in rational discourse with those who believe the book of Genesis to be literally true.” You are referring to me. I happen to believe Scripture is the inspired word of God, and his word is true even if he sometimes speaks in fables. I also know the Church teaches that much in Scripture is written in the form of fables. I did not claim that Genesis is literally true, like a scientific paper, but one can easily pick up the hidden teaching even if it is written as a fable.

    You seem to be a staunch Catholic, and I respect you for that. But I can see that you are much more zealous for the cause of science than you are for the cause of God. I would like to point out that there is in the world a spiritual war between God and those who do not want to obey God as God commands all of us to do. We human beings are small fry in this war. Lucifer and the devils are the real combatants against God.

    These, who side against God, want to destroy belief in God’s word anyway they can. An opportunity arose with the current interest in evolution. Evolution is a brilliant theory. I think it is useful in explaining how God created the world and humans, but we should all recognize that it has become the tool The Devil is using to destroy human acceptance of God’s revelation.

    It presupposes that all life evolved from previously existing life on Earth. I think this is the fatal flaw in what I like to call Darwinian evolution. Scientists long ago divided their understanding of life on Earth into two kingdoms: plant and animals. I contend that there are four kingdoms: Pure spirits (like God is) and three kingdoms of lesser created life: plant, animal and an intermediary life form that is part material and part spiritual: human beings.

    Arguing against Biblical literalists, citing science to debunk what is clearly spiritual in the creation story is not going do anyone any good. Pushing the Magisterium up against the wall using recent scientific discoveries will only result in the Magisterium reluctant to have a showdown with science, but when I finally found the Catholic position on the creation myth in Genesis, I saw they had not backed down at all.

    Scripture should be understood as God’s revelation no matter how God’s truth is revealed. Catholics have the benefit of realizing that the Holy Spirit is inspiring the Church to stand behind the authenticity of Scripture. I get the impression that you think the Magisterium has finally recognized the contribution science is making toward human understanding of how they came into existence. But in my searching to prove that my simplistic understanding of the fable of Genesis did not contradict magisterial teaching. I saw instead that your misunderstanding of the Popes intent was in error. The Church still holds the same understanding as it did before the time of Darwin.

    I know you are a staunch Catholic. I don’t think you would want God to hold you complicit in the loss of Faith of Christians not smart to see through this presumed defeat of the Magisterium. Science is still in its infancy compared to the knowledge of God. It is not smart to contradict God’s revelation to promote the inadequate theories of science.

    I apologize for being so critical of you, but encouraging others who are not near as intelligent and well educated as you are to continue making war against anyone who appears to be a Biblical literalist is not in your best interest.

    However stupid you think I am, I did successfully present a case for taking God’s revelation seriously. Here are four major points I surmised from reading the fable of Genesis that I cited in my first article on evolution:
    1. God created Adam from the dust of the Earth
    2. God breathed a spirit in the body of Adam, which made Adam become Human
    3. God made Eve from a rib of Adam
    4. All humans are descended from Adam and Eve

    After I had been accused of teaching something against Magisterial teaching, I took the trouble to look up Magisterial teaching on the creation of Adam and Eve. Here it is:
    1. God created all things out of nothing.
    2. God created man special.
    3. God created woman from man.
    4. All humanity descended from an original pair of human beings.
    5. Adam and Eve were created in an original state of holiness and immortality.
    6. They underwent a test to prove their obedience to God.
    7. They disobeyed at the instigation of Satan.
    8. We all lost holiness and immortality because they disobeyed God.
    9. God proposed a future redeemer to restore man to man’s original innocence.

    I worry about those who are emboldened by your conviction that the Magisterium has surrendered to science. They carry it further and argue that God has sanctioned incest, that humans have a mixed ancestry and have crossed boundaries by interbreeding with sub humans. I don’t think you would relish it if God held you at least partially responsible for their errors.

  8. As well intentioned as I believe the author to be, I was shocked to see another published article void of any substance on a matter that is not even the least bit essential to the faith. To assume that the magisterium has signed off on subjective morality (at least as it relates to incest) simply because Genesis is referenced in various church teachings is a far greater theological leap than just about any popular heresy. To continue to deny that shared DNA proves European modern humans interbred with Neanderthals and south Asian modern humans with Java men (two distinct species) on the basis of the author’s lack of understanding of the difference between genes and hereditary DNA is so beyond comprehension that one has to wonder if the author has simply decided to disavow all science as the only way to maintain his obsessive need to believe in the literal interpretation of scripture. At this point, the author’s argument is so far-fetched that it is barely necessary to ponder whether his reasoning is capable of influencing any true “undecideds” on the issue.

    1. “Who is this who darkens counsel with words of ignorance?” Who would ever believe you saying it is, “a matter that is not even the least bit essential to the faith”? Who told you? The Magisterium disagrees: “Catechesis on creation is of major importance (CCC 282)”. “Where were you when [God] founded the earth?” Is not the tree of knowledge of good and evil essential to understanding? “And to mortals He said: See: the fear of the Lord is wisdom; and avoiding evil is understanding.”

      Why are we mortal? From where were we banished? Most importantly, can we return? Apparently, news about the Tree of Life is out of fashion these days. Am I at “odds with current Catholic thinking”? Noticeably, pride and ego are far-more trendy. The new evangelism – defend my ego not the faith, but Maurice knows better.

      “Gird up your loins now, like a man.” You preach on about “subjective morality” and “incest”. Who told you? Apparently, news of a virgin birth is non-essential to your faith. That impossible rational discourse would require reading 6 pages. Perhaps you might ask why, when and where she was called Eve? “Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

  9. I decided to surf The Internet and see what the Magisterium had to say about the truthfulness of the biblical story of the origin of man found in Genesis. I found a discussion stating that modern science is questioning the myth-like account in Genesis causing much controversy about what exactly happened. The stories in Geneses were not meant to be scientific or historical in revealing how God created man. They were meant to convey ontological truth about what God did. The Magisterium advised Catholics to avoid literal interpretation because that could lead to confusion. So I now realize I was mistaken in my line of argument and might have embarrassed the Church, so I think I will refrain from explaining my thoughts on Scripture.

    But there are two sources of divine revelation: Scripture where God inspired prophets to write down messages and Sacred Tradition. Jesus never told his apostles to write: he told them to preach. Preaching provides a benefit in that one can have a dialog with the Church whereas one cannot have a dialog with a book written thousands of years ago. Tradition is based on the preaching of the apostles and the explanation of that preaching, guided by the Holy Spirit.

    I found this summary of Magisterial teaching on the creation of man: https://aleteia.org/2015/04/21/does-the-catholic-church-teach-that-adam-and-eve-are-myths/

    Here are the 9 points of Magisterial teaching from Genesis:
    1. God created all things out of nothing.
    2. God created man special.
    3. God created woman from man.
    4. All humanity descended from an original pair of human beings.
    5. Adam and Eve were created in an original state of holiness and immortality.
    6. They underwent a test to prove their obedience to God.
    7. They disobeyed at the instigation of Satan.
    8. We all lost holiness and immortality because they disobeyed God.
    9. God proposed a future redeemer to restore man to man’s original innocence.

    There it is, much more detailed as to what I gleaned from the myth in Genesis. But it does not prove me wrong in any of my conjectures.

    1. Glad to see that your viewpoint has evolved. Upon encountering a new environment (the Magisterium) only a mutated form could survive.

  10. I liked your article Bob. I especially liked that we became human when God breathed His spirit into Adam, that He gave us an awareness of ourselves, gave us free will, and we began activities that other animals don’t do.

    1. But we don’t do activities that other animals (and good for you for referring to “other” animals) don’t do.

      Other animals use tools, clothes, language, etc.

      Human aren’t special in any particular way.

  11. Mr. Kurland is completely correct: it is impossible to debate with the irrational. I will merely remind Mr, Williams that St. John Paul II had no problem in the least in accepting the theory of biological evolution. (John Paul went so far as to quote, with appropriate cautions, Teilhard de Chardin!)

  12. Modern DNA is vastly inferior to ancient, more mutations (almost always a detriment), more prone to disease et al. Microevolution always rolls downhill, the exact opposite of what evolutionists claim. Even “intelligent designers” — I ask the latter, did God really draw Eve from Adam’s rib? (foreshadowing the Church drawn from Christ’s side) Did suffering and death exist in the universe before the Fall? Because that makes God, rather than sin, the Author of death. Are you comfortable believing that? I’m not.

    1. Dennis, I really don’t understand this twisted logic. Death is a consequence of sin, not a creation of God. The devil brought death. Read Wisdom 1:12-14. He’s a murderer from the beginning, John 8:44.

  13. Chomsky has noted the important point, namely, that human language does not vary by type/kind/degree from other animal language. Instead, there is an inexplainable mystery to the giant leap forward in human language.

    If Chomsky were not committed to materialism, he could see very easily that a rational soul is what makes us distinct from other animals, not our materiality per se. However, the fallacy, found in many Zoo exhibits, that compare species based upon DNA similarities, stating that “x%” of our DNA is shared with “y” other species would hold true for a host of irrelevant comparisons. Nonetheless, low information works.

    The point is that it is both true that we have a striking material relationship to the rest of nature, but it is also true that our rational capacity is not fully explainable by that material condition. Honest evolutionary linguists see as much, even if they don’t believe in special creation.

    Dawkin’s missing intermediaries can be explained by either a personal commitment to the absolute necessity of the existence of those intermediaries OR the commitment to a different explanation: special creation of a rational soul. Understood in Aristotelian terms, this soul would have a formative feature on our matter, and as such, might explain what we have today. In the absence of evidence, both are simply a personal commitment to the impossibility of the null hypothesis.

  14. I’ll not presume to debate Mr. Williams. As I said in a previous article, it is not possible to engage in rational discourse with those who believe the book of Genesis to be literally true even though they credit the science applied to medicine, electronics, computation and other aspects of our contemporary world.

    For those readers of this blog who might want support for the proposition that evolution, both cosmological and biological, does not conflict with Catholic teaching, please see “Why Catholics Can Believe in Evolution—Part I: God’s Gift of the Periodic Table,” and “Why Catholics Can Believe in Evolution—Part II: Adam and Eve Were Given Souls.”

    The arguments there are supported by quotations from Popes Pius XII, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

  15. Hello Hugh,

    I see you still do not understand where I am coming from. My root concern with the theory of evolution is that it offers a different opinion of the origin of the human race. It’s not so much what scientists teach about evolution; it is how our culture picks up on it and tries to argue against the idea that God created the world and everything in it. We should all be aware of the hostility of culture against Scripture. That’s my main concern.

    I quoted Scripture against Dr. Roberts correctly when I believed the fable God used to explain how he created the first two humans. Taking a rib from Adam is a fanciful way of explaining it, but nobody who believes God’s simple explanation, would presume that Adam is different from Eve. They are like clones, both having the same flesh, the same genetic origin. If you argue against this, I think, you will be at a loss in explaining where Eve came from.

    Some others who questioned my first article argued that Eve must have had a different origin, which opens the question of human origin coming from a mixture of humans and apes. I avoided that difficulty by simply believing how Scripture explained how God created man.

    Actually, someone else supplied the answer to why humans are a single species from a single pair of parents: the doctrine/dogma of theological monogenesis. Since this is the magisterial position on the origin of man, and that position is preserved from error by the Holy Spirit, I am not going to waver in my conviction that it is absolutely true. That means Catholic thinking does not accept Dr. Roberts’s argument.

    In addition, I do not agree to having apes and fish in my ancestry. This is kind of difficult because we are looking at this from different angels. It might help if I cast our difficulty in a different way. We are all familiar with the famous statue Venus de Milo. It was carved from marble by the skilled sculptor Alexandros of Antioch in around 100 B.C. It was his skill that transformed that piece of rock into the beautiful work of art it now is, just like it was Gods skill that transformed an animal’s body into Adam’s body and Eve’s body.

    Nobody considers the Venus de Milo a piece of rock anymore: it is a beautiful work of art. And nobody would place any beautiful statue in their rock collection. In the same way, nobody should consider Adam and Eve as animals anymore. They actually are God’s masterpieces, made in the image and likeness of God. I think you place too much emphasis on the physical nature of humans having evolved from apes and not enough emphasis on the whole human being exactly made in the image and likeness of God.

    My main concern is how the wicked world would amplify Dr. Robert’s misconceptions to our culture with an aim to mislead our youth in their understanding of who and what God is. That’s why I’m sticking to my guns in criticizing her errors.

    1. Hi Maurice

      I do not refuse you your right to your opinions of evolution. There are many who also hold your view. To the extent that some people’s acceptance of the science of evolution may cause them to suffer, or be the cause of suffering to others, I would agree that it is a dangerous concept to bandy about.

      However, the fact remains that many of our ancestors were fish, and that the teaching of the Catholic Church neither refutes, rebuts nor denies that. If the point of your posts is to try to persuade other people who believe their ancestors were fish that their ideas are false, then I wish you well, but if you are claiming that the Catholic Church teaches or even endorses your ideas, you’re wrong.

  16. I think a crucial part of Dawkins’ essay is:
    “Humans are clearly separable from chimpanzees and pigs and fish and lemons only because the intermediates that would otherwise link them in interbreeding chains happen to be extinct. This is not to deny that we are different from other species. We certainly are different and the differences are important – important enough to justify eating them (vegetables are our cousins too). But it is a reason for scepticism of any philosophy or theology (or morality or jurisprudence or politics) that treats humanness, or personhood, as some kind of essentialist absolute, which you either definitely have or definitely don’t have.”

    I think, and I dare say the Church thinks too, that it is needless to define the humans of today only, or even mostly, in terms of our ancestors of millions of years ago. Dawkins would have been better to stick at: “Humans are clearly separable from chimpanzees and pigs and fish and lemons.” As such, humans, chimpanzees, pigs and lemons are indeed different in kind. What’s more, Dawkins knew well enough that chimpanzees, pigs and lemons have always been different in kind. There was never a time when any of those three could have been mistaken for any of the others. Nevertheless, they all, and humans, had common ancestors. All but the lemon had the same ancestors four hundred million years ago, and they were all fish. And I, Maurice and Bob, the rest of humanity and all the chimpanzees in the world had common ancestors less than ten million years ago. So what? Maurice, Bob and I are recognisably not chimpanzees, regardless of our ancestry.

    I hope that helps.

    1. I agree with you that fish and chimpanzees differ in kind, but I also agree with Dawkins that in biological ancestry, like begets like. To be consistent, I must disagree with both of you that fish are the ancestors, i.e. biological progenitors, of chimpanzees.
      Dawkins is correct that two numerical values of a variable continuous over its range of definition differ in degree not kind. If it is granted that the spectrum of genetic mutations defines a continuum and that fish are the ancestors of chimpanzees, he correctly argues that they cannot differ in kind.

    2. Hi Bob,
      I’m not sure I follow your argument. Dawkins certainly agrees that our direct line of ancestry, and that of chimpanzees, includes in the most literal sense, the earliest mammals, the reptiles from which they descended, the amphibians from which they descended, the fish from which they descended, and the primitive boneless pre-Cambrian blobs all vertebrates descended from, right back to the earliest cells, which are the direct biological progenitors of all of us, including lemons. He even calls his popular book explaining some the science involved more simply, The Ancestors Tale. Grippingly, it is not a metaphor.

  17. I’m sorry to say that I don’t think Maurice has added anything to his previous argument. There was no need to clarify it, as it was quite clear to begin with. Maurice has established clearly that in common with the authority of Catholic Church, he believes that the Bible is the divinely inspired word of God, that it is sometimes written in fanciful language, and that regardless of any human’s material past, his soul is created created immediately and especially for him. As far as I know, none of the Catholic commenters on your post disagreed.

    However, he then produced his own interpretations of some of the ‘fanciful language’ which is clearly at odds with current Catholic thinking, including the idea that Eve was created from a rib of Adam, and concluding with ‘we humans are not highly evolved primates.’ Apart from the philosophical concept of the soul, which makes humans distinct from other animals, Catholic thinks currently accepts that we humans are indeed highly evolved primates.

    Actually I write because my comment regarding fish was referenced. I thought it was clear enough. A great many of Maurice’s, mine, and everybody else’s direct biological ancestors, directly descended from father to son, mother to daughter, were fish. If Maurice were gifted with an album of photographs of every single one of his direct male ancestors, father-to-grandfather-to-greatgrandfather-to-greatgreatgrandfather and so on, there would be millions of pages, and far more of them would be recognisably fish that would be recognisably primate.

    1. In an essay, “The Tyranny of the Discontinuous Mind”, Richard Dawkins correctly noted that any two numerical values of a variable, continuous over its range of definition, differ in degree, not kind. He applies this to the descent of living things and concludes that lemons, fish, and humans differ, but not in kind. Would you clarify your position in this regard?

    2. Hugh Farey, I’m sure all of the Fathers of the Church, the doctors of the Church, the brightest theologians in history would get a real kick out of your fish theories and stories. But hey, this is the Internet age. We’re free to speak our minds here, even when our ideas are a bit…fishy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for the Catholic Stand Newsletter!

%d bloggers like this: