Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Evolutionary Theology and More

Have you heard the refrain from conservative Catholic apologists that the Church has "never had a problem" with evolution? Or perhaps that theological objections to evolutionary theory are based solely in rigidly literalistic interpretations of Genesis 1 or are primarily Protestant concerns? This new exhaustive article on evolutionary theology on Unam Sanctam Catholicam's website will demonstrate that the opposite is in fact true; the Catholic Church was one of the first Christian bodies to object to evolution, doing so in 1860, only one year after Origin of Species. And the fundamental objection was not centered on literalism in Genesis 1 - although that was a concern - but on the question of substance and how creatures could be said to have substances expressed in 'natures' if everything was in a constant state of change. How could we speak of "being" when evolution teaches that there is only "becoming"? 

Click here to read "Solemn Enthronement of Evolution" on Unam Sanctam Catholicam.

While you're at it, here are some other recent articles:

Power of St. Patrick's Breastplate - Why we should not omit petitions against witches and warlocks in this famous prayer.

Great Storm of August, 1792 - Record of the violent tempest during the French Revolution which threw down the crosses of Paris' churches and signified the entry of Satan into the kingdom, according to contemporaries. 

Our Greatest Lie - We always tell people, "I'll pray for you", but do we really?

Di Rossi finds the Catacombs of Callixtus - Fascinating story of the discovery of one of the most important Roman catacombs, with touching anecdotes about Pius IX and his interest in the work.

Resisting Temptation - Why we are tempted and what is the best way to resist it, based on Scripture and the Imitation of Christ.

Multiple Voices in the Passion Readings - History of one of Holy Week's most distinctive liturgical practices.

Canonization and the Early Church - A tremendously long and bulky article on how saints were declared in the first four centuries of Christendom; I am still revising my thesis here, but the majority of it is sound.

Homosexual "Marriage" is not a Civil Right - Legal, social and philosophical reasons why it is inaccurate to speak of homosexual so-called marriage as a civil right.

RCIA Church History part 2 - Continuation of our RCIA Church History series, spanning from 1054-2013

Movie Reviews

Monuments Men (2014)
Heaven is for Real (2014)
Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)
Noah (2014)
God's Not Dead (2013)
Olympus Has Fallen (2013)

Sancti Obscuri

St. Plegemund of Canterbury (d. 923)


Nick said...

I cannot wait to read this article!

I've written an article myself on the *philosophical* problems of Evolution, which most people seem totally oblivious to. As you noted in your post, one fundamental issue is how something can evolve into something else if the concept of substance/nature/essence doesn't *pre-exist* the evolving matter? In other words, you cannot build a house without a blue print that pre-exists the house. But Evolution says only matter exists, there is no spiritual realm, and thus no place for a blue-print to factor in. This means that matter can only go from one *blob* form to another *blob* form but cannot take on any actual consistent shape.

I look forward to reading your article when I get the chance!

Nick said...

Great article. I agree that it's almost as if the crisis in the Church (modernism particularly) goes hand in hand with the lax/favorable take on evolution. This plays right into the refusal to teach traditional, Thomist philosophy.

Anonymous said...

Thank you and Mr Larson for posting on this issue. That these ideas are floating at the highest levels of the church could be at least part of the reason for the disconnect between the hierarchy and the faithful. It is not just an issue between "Amchurch" and the "Vatican"


Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

The first to do this was Fr. Alfred Loisy (1857-1940) who taught that the substance of the faith had formally since the apostolic times and believed that the Christ of Nicaea was substantially different from the historical Christ

In the first linked -EXCELLENT - piece, there is a word missing in that sentence.

Evolution and the putative ascent of man is the inverse of the truth. Adam was the smartest man who has ever lived and it has been downhill since his Fall.

O, and please tell me about evolution and how a pair of animals copulated resulting in the birth of a baby animal that had one or more organs neither "parent" had?

I mean, that is the essence of macro evolution.

I believe in micro evolution; the idea that St. Thomas Aquinas and Bill Marr are descendants of humans and not reptiles (OK, Bill Marr is a bad example)

Boniface said...

Thanks, Brain Surgeon. I fixed it. It is so hard in such a long article to not have typos.

Anonymous said...

A very detailed article.

I think it is also very appropriate to look at this subject and see how it can be backpeddled, as well.

Evolution is toast. The science is not there. In no area; genetics, paleontology, chemistry, biology, medicine, agriculture, in nothing does the science stand up.

Evolution is merely lingering as an after effect of the atheistic beliefs that infect the scientific community. If they don't have evolution, then they have a creator - one that might put demands upon them, and of course, they "will not serve."

Another issue, for the scientists, is that creation can not be studied. (The same applies to evolution, actually, but for different reasons.) So there will be no PhD's in any of the above areas (Dr. of Evolutionary Biology, etc.). So lots of scientists would lose there jobs, or get retrained as theologians! But that is an aside.

The interesting thing is what will the Church do when the theory of evolution final runs out of steam and is broadly regarded as the myth that it is?