Geocentrism and Young Earth Creationism among TLM Traditionalist Catholics?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 259
    How about something really different?

    Can any of you with experience among TLM traditionalist Catholics, especially FSSP communities, comment on whether beliefs in geocentrism and Young Earth Creationism are fringe, growing or dominant among them? My sense is that it is a small but growing movement, and its advocates are especially strident.

    I have encountered some TLM geocentrists and YECs who consider those beliefs to be de fide part of Catholic Faith, which I think is false as well as not supported by the Catechism nor recent magisterial teaching, as well as contrary to sound theology and biblical interpretation, as well as contrary to everything contemporary science has concluded on the basis of evidence about the age and nature of the universe. But for Catholic geocentrists and YECs, a literalist biblical interpretation of creation in Genesis as well as other passages is the decisive factor, and they have all kinds of (pseudo)scientific arguments to support their claims that the universe is only several thousand years old with the earth stationary at its center.
  • A couple of years ago, when I began attending a Latin Mass located at a traditionalist monastic community west of Boston, I was suprised to learn some members of that community read Genesis literally rather than as allegory. I was disappointed because Latin liturgy advocates have enough hurdles to overcome without an accusation of being anti-science. Fortunately, I don't think creationism is a decisive component in the faith of most members of that community.
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  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 195
    Speaking as a former homeschooled evangelical, who then went to an evangelical college: if you are a catechist or other educator, please, for the love if God, root out this nonsense among your students.

    I couldn’t begin to count how many of the kids I grew up with, learning YEC and only YEC in our “science” textbooks and homeschool co-ops, have left Christianity completely. The central idea of the YEC movement is that the very first chapter of the Bible is “true”, and all history and science since then can only be understood in this perspective. If the first chapter of the Bible is “not true”, the whole book and the whole religion is false.

    When children raised this way learn the truth about the origins of the universe and that Genesis 1 is not a scientist’s lab report, unless God is most merciful, they discard the rest of the faith, retaining only the falsehood that Christianity must be linked to YEC or be false.

    It’s not an issue about which there can be legitimate differences of opinion. If children are being taught falsehoods, it’s better they learn early to trust in God than in their YEC parents. Otherwise, when they get old enough to think for themselves, you’ll never see them in church again.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,804
    One place I used to find more literalistic approaches were at Living Tradition, under the aegis of the so-called Roman Theological Forum (Msgr John McCarthy was the editor) that espoused a neo-Patristic approach, but I believe it's been some years since it was active.

    http://www.rtforum.org/lt/index.html

  • I have often thought it curious that those who believe that Genesis and other parts of the Bible must be literally true cough and sputter to explain away 'this IS my body'.
    (One notices, also, that they do not observe the Mosaic dietary laws.)
  • Having been raised with this outside the Catholic faith, I was happy, upon conversion, to encounter a faith which did not require me to accept distant starlight as a kind of lie.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,528
    I think some people above have a misplaced faith in science...

    I am (or was) an Organic Chemist... I am led to believe by various physicists that every experiment to prove the earth is moving has failed. Of course this does not prove the earth is stationary! But the argument is of course nonsense; We can stand on an apparently stationary earth and watch the movements of the Sun, Moon, stars, planets, of course if I sat on the moon I would then observe them moving around the apparently stationary moon. The same of course would apply to the Sun.

    The argument in the past was between Helio-centrism, and Geo-centrism, can we find anybody that claims the Sun is stationary? I think every scientist is more than happy with the idea that everything is moving, this is satisfying to many, as how would you go about proving if something is stationary.

    It is all very well to point out that the Sun is the gravitational centre of our solar system, which is not strictly true... but before invoking gravity, should we not explain how it works? How does the Sun work out where the various planets and asteroids are to attract them? How fast does gravity propagate? What would happen to the solar system if gravity propagated at the speed of light, or perhaps a little slower?

    The number of physicists that have mentioned magic and gravity in the same sentence is more than one!

    As for the age of the earth... well the two dates that are computed from the Bible, one of which is used in the Divine Office is interesting. But as I point out to my students, the Bible is not a scientific book, and should never be read as such.

    The same is true of scientists, what they say should be the Sum of current knowledge... As has been seen far to often lately this Sum has been modified and bits added or removed to suit the whim or personal beliefs of the scientist.

    This book is well worth a read, https://archive.org/details/The.Devils.Delusion/page/n1

    As for Evolution, I will hand over to my friend Fr. Thomas Crean O.P.
    http://www.ignatiusinsight.com/features2008/tcrean_interview_feb08.asp

    and my colleague a former science master (teacher)
    http://www.daylightorigins.com

    As for my view as an experimental chemist, the cell is an incredibly complex design, to suggest it formed by chance shows a lack of understanding about the complexity of the chemistry involved in its workings.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,085
    I have encountered some of this among the more cultish trads. They were not all home schooled, but a fair number were. These folks possess a kind of anti-intellectualism that I don't understand.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,289
    Robert Sungenis is one of the big proponents that explore the concept of GeoCentrism.

    He even produced a movie called 'The Principle'.

    From strictly a scientific point of view, watch it and evaluate the data. The 'spin' may take on a whole new meaning for you. Are we still or do we spin?

    I wouldn't get too caught up in trying to figure out the exact age of earth... I'd concern myself more with saving souls... including your own... cause YOU are going to spin forever, and you want to make sure you are circling the true God.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,480
    I am with Saint Augustine of Hippo on this. The 'Literal sense' of a biblical passage MEANS 'What the author intended to convey'. If the author was writing poetry he was probably not intending scientific precision. Augustine's book 'The literal interpretation of Genesis' says that to imagine it tells us that Creation occurred over six distinct periods of 24 hours is absurd. Along with God saying to himself 'I must go and see how Adam is getting on' and waiting for the cool of the evening to take a stroll through Eden.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 259
    Yes, since I have been introduced to the YEC movement among some trads I have read a little about Robert Sungenis and the Kolbe Center, and I was directed to Sungenis' (pseudo)documentary "The Principle", which has been lambasted almost universally for being inaccurate.

    My concern is that the TLM will be associated with being backwards if a lot of TLM-goers are advocates of YEC and geocentrism. That's one reason I started this thread: to get a sense from others in parish work about how prevalent these beliefs are among TLM trad folk.
    Thanked by 3Liam Elmar Olivier
  • TCJ
    Posts: 638
    Actually, the problem with children falling away from Catholicism rests in the fact that these days, Science itself is put forth as pretty much another god. Furthermore, atheistic scientists (who appear to be the majority) like to belittle Christians for anything.

    Science can't prove transubstantiation. If we teach that to kids, will they fall away when science reveals the Eucharist to be nothing but a piece of bread?

    Just something to think about.
    Thanked by 3tomjaw Elmar Carol
  • GambaGamba
    Posts: 195
    TCJ, are not faith and science/reason like two lenses in a pair of glasses given to us by God, so that we can see the world aright when both are functioning properly?

    My point is that one should not cause scandal by falsely teaching that faith explains what is claimed by science, or vice-verse. If you doubt that millstones await those who do so, I would point out this, from Barna:

    One of the reasons young adults feel disconnected from church or from faith is the tension they feel between Christianity and science. The most common of the perceptions in this arena is “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%). Three out of ten young adults with a Christian background feel that “churches are out of step with the scientific world we live in” (29%). Another one-quarter embrace the perception that “Christianity is anti-science” (25%). And nearly the same proportion (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate.”


    https://www.barna.com/research/six-reasons-young-christians-leave-church/

    So that’s not all the leavers. But leading even one person to believe that the Church teaches falsehood is a sin.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,804
    And yet, we rely on science to have these conversations. Among many other things, from the prosaic to the sublime (though not supernal), even without shared assumptions about epistemology and metaphysics.

  • TCJ
    Posts: 638
    Gamba, I did not attack reason. I merely pointed out that these days, science is generally pitted against religion instead of being an aid to it like it should be. Evolution, as it is taught, is atheistic and incompatible with any reasonable understanding of Scripture, creation, death, and sin (hence, I support reason!).

    Those young Catholics who were taught one thing and are having that belief contradicted by mainstream science (and those who follow it) will have to make a choice between the current science and what they were taught. And while it's true that some will depart the Faith, is that rate any higher than those who are taught OEC who then leave the Faith? My gut feeling (I notice people like feelings, like in that poll!) is that the latter is leaving the Church more rapidly. Fact is, young people are LEAVING THE CHURCH IN DROVES and almost NOBODY is taught YEC anymore. Can't blame YEC for the crisis!

    Being belittled by fellow Catholics and being called "anti-intellectual" (which is just a leftist way of calling someone stupid) might have something to do with driving them away as well.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,804
    Um, right wing people have also called left wing people anti-intellectual in divers ways. It's a stock rhetorical bludgeon. Doesn't mean it's always inaccurate, in either direction.

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  • vogelkwvogelkw
    Posts: 45
    I agree with the importance of helping Catholics/Christians understand the proper relationship between faith and science. My own background was in physics prior to being ordained a priest. Fortunately, I have always held a conviction (that I later found was given at Vatican I), that "truth cannot contradict truth" - truth gained through scientific investigation ultimately cannot conflict with truth revealed by God. It seems to me that some Christians have a certain fear that to use the methods of science might lead them away from faith, when the scientific method itself only came to fruition from within the context of the Christian faith. The rejection of legitimate science in attempts to protect faith, often leads to the opposite reaction: to remain scientific I must reject faith. St. Thomas Aquinas said we should “not try to defend the Christian faith with arguments that make it ridiculous, because they are in obvious contradiction with reason.”

    What often leads both sides (those who reject science or those who reject faith) into error is the lack of knowledge of philosophy. The scientific method limits itself to the study of physical nature (methodological materialism), while faith is knowledge of spiritual realities. There must be a body of knowledge that can bring the two together - and that is philosophy. This is an insight from both John Paul II and Benedict XVI: "often beyond two partial and contrasting perceptions there exists a wider perception that includes them and goes beyond both of them" (John Paul II, 1992) "... reason does not end where experimental discoveries end - it does not finish in positivism; the theory of evolution sees the truth but sees only half the truth: it does not see that behind it is the Spirit of the Creation. We are fighting to expand reason ..." (Benedict XVI, 2008). In another address Benedict XVI mentions specifically one branch of philosophy - metaphysics - as essential.

    When a Christian sees an apparent conflict with science, what they ought to reject is often a false philosophy that has become attached to the science, not the science itself. When scientific atheists make arguments against faith, they often make elementary philosophical mistakes. A return to the study of philosophy is essential to engaging the difficult questions between faith and science.

    For the past several years I have taught a senior theology class "Faith, Science and Reason" at our Catholic high school, in order to help our students prepare for the arguments they might find at college and in the world. If you are interested in resources "Faith, Science, and Reason" by Christopher T. Baglow, is about the best I have found. I have my own series of talks that I gave several years ago (my presentation of the topics has improved since then, but I haven't been able to redo the series yet). You can also check out my Master's Thesis "Evolutionary Science and the Catholic Church"

    (I didn't expect to find this topic here, a place I occasionally come due to my love of sacred music.)

    God bless,

    Fr. Vogel
  • stulte
    Posts: 252
    This thread is amazingly off-topic for this forum.

    My concern is that the TLM will be associated with being backwards if a lot of TLM-goers are advocates of YEC and geocentrism


    Your concern is touching, but unnecessary. The TLM and its advocates have been and will continue to be labeled lots of different, often unflattering things. Life and the TLM will go on.

    The whole Age of the Earth and Geocentrism issues have been turned into clubs to beat the Catholic Church by her enemies (both within and without). Let's be honest, no one really believes that the sun is the center (or near-center at rest) of the universe which is what was originally suggested in contrast to the traditional belief of geocentrism. The real claim is now merely that what was traditionally believed by Catholics can't be/isn't right without actually conclusively showing any real alternative. Or, putting forth an alternative that winds up being abandoned by scientists some time later.

    Whether one believes the universe is ~15,000 years and the Earth is the center of the universe or that it's millions (maybe billions) of years old and floating on a circular course while spinning like a top, the real issue is really about ridiculing and diminishing the dignity and authority of the Church to teach about Faith and morals to have a strong influence in society. The rest is mostly noise.

  • The real problem is non-Catholics and Catholics ascribing authority to the Church which it has never claimed to possess.

    The Church provides a metaphysical answer for the universe, not a scientific one. They exist on completely different planes and may as well not even influence each other.

    The contemplation of the existence of God is entirely irrelevant to fossil study, or mixing chemicals in a lab; similarly, whether we can scientifically explain the minutiae of the universe's creation is entirely irrelevant to the existence of God.

    Ascribe to science what is science's genuine responsibility, and jealously guard the worlds of spirituality and metaphysics from those who do not possess a real claim to the disciplines.
  • Excuse me for turning this on its head for a moment, but the main reason people need to believe the universe is billions of years old is that they need room for Darwinian evolution to be possible. The Catholic Church doesn't need to reject an old universe (since a thousand days are but as yesterday, when it is past) but those who subscribe to Darwinian evolution must have an old universe.

    Let's pursue this thought line further. A biochemist of my acquaintance once pointed out that if "evolution" were a Chemistry idea, it wouldn't be taken seriously. When I raised a question about scientificity with a student of mine, his own textbook (accidentally) shot down the idea that "evolution" could be considered real science.

    Of all the concerns to have, Young Earth Creationism is not a serious one.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 7,853
    It's not a huge problem, in terms of the numbers of people believing in it, but to the extent that the people promoting the erroneous ideas tend to do so in the name of divine revelation, it becomes our problem, especially since such misrepresentations of the Catholic faith, perpetrated by Catholics, give aid to the aggressive promoters of atheism.
  • Elmar
    Posts: 143
    I couldn't agree more, Fr. Vogel, that
    What often leads both sides (those who reject science or those who reject faith) into error is the lack of knowledge of philosophy.
    Thanks for your great links!
    I vividly remember a television debate between two theologicians and R. Dawkins on his (then) new book 'The Selfish Gene', same for S. Hawking in his last boek 'Brief Answers to Big Questions' on "Does God exist?" How can some of the most brilliant scientists be so lousy philosophers? (It is not all of them - I have known both 'types' as a PhD student)

    On the other side, over several years (luckily this has stopped now) we had lots of articles in te catholic newspaper supported by our bishops' conference advocating 'intellegent design' against evolution theory, on an even worse philosophical level. Our local 'trads' thought these were great ...

    There was even a booklet on the topic meant to make the youth 'immune' to the negative influence of those 'atheistic sciences' on faith; but would rather have the opposite effect in the end. My daughter got one from our pastor (without our knowledge!), but as it turned out, with her 1st year (high school) basics of philosophy she had already concluded that it was rubbish even before we found out - made me wonder at what level 'philosophy of science' is taught in priest formation ...

    It appears to me that "real" catholic faith and "believing in science" are widely seen as incompatible.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,085
    One does not have to accept all of Darwin to accept change through time. Those changes, are apparent and verifiable in living organisms extinct or extant. I have taken the view for some time that believing the words, "In the beginning God created..." would sum it all up nicely. He did create. Did what he create look as it did or does now? There's no proof that it does. But is that really important?
    Thanked by 3Elmar MarkB Carol
  • Elmar
    Posts: 143
    To a scientist it certainly is, as science is about how things change (or don't, for that matter). So theology has to have a stance in it to avoid a false opposition between scientific 'beliefs' and faith.
    I guess the problem is not so much in "God created", but rather in "In the beginning" - time being part of the physical reality of the universe, and the Creator (necessarily) exisiting beyond the universe and therefore beyond time. Eternity is not the same as an infinite stretch of time, and the beginning of the world not some definable 'moment' in eternity.
    See my example above ("Short answers ...") how even one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists has fallen in this trap.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,085
    Scientists are a unique little subset of the population. While they can and often do great amounts of good, one can take them far too seriously. Especially when they venture into matters of faith where their opinions are no more valid than anyone else's.
    Thanked by 2Elmar tomjaw
  • Elmar
    Posts: 143
    I know, I am one ... thanks for pointing out once more, nevertheless.

    Still there is this perception that science could 'prove' it to be unreasonable to believe in God. There are quite some scientist who are shouting this out; and they are being heard and echoed by the general public.
    Therefore, as pope B.XVI (among many others before) pointed out, there is a moral obligation for scientists to counter that. One of the good reasons that there is the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
    Thanked by 1MarkB
  • Carol
    Posts: 477
    I have noticed that the order of the days of creation in Genesis seems to correspond to the order of occurrence that science currently seems to believe. A bunch of cosmic gas comes together to form celestial bodies, land masses form, creatures live on the land and finally humans. "A day is but a thousand years and a thousand years but a day to the Lord."

    Works for me!
  • Young Earth Creationism seems plausible to me, but -- as with the discussion of whether there is intelligent life on other planets -- my faith, in fact, the faith itself, neither stands nor falls on the answer to this question.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,289
    The law of entropy destroys any semblance of the slightest possibility of evolution.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Carol
    Posts: 477
    Francis can you explain further, please. It;s a long time since I had physics.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,289
    Here is a perfect example of entropy... put all the parts of a watch in a box and shake it... then report back to me when it finally shakes into a fully functioning watch.

    That is exactly the claim of evolution. Two cells accidently meet up and create a NEW entity that "is greater than the sum of their total parts". L(aughing) O(ut) L(oud). Then, those two ascended cells meet up with even more cells and together they throw a party because they have become something even MORE ascended.

    Doesn't take much brain power to see the foolishness. If you try to run away from the debate you then wander into a multiverse. (see multiverse theories on the web held to be a possiblity by the scientific community)
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,528
    @Liam

    I see a post-doc in physics who does not want to upset the apple cart...

    An explanation for those that have not heard of Entropy...

    So we get the idea that everything tends to disorder... otherwise known as the Entropy Law (2nd Law of Thermodynamics), we can see the increasing disorder all around us, children bedrooms, music folders and choir lofts the list is almost endless. CharlesW is always telling us about the increasing disorder in his loft.
    Anyway some scientific examples of increasing disorder,
    1. Which ever way we look the stars are all moving away from us (Red shift / Doppler effect) the further the star the faster it is travelling away from us. You may think that as everything is moving away from us we must be close to the centre of the universe, but don't worry your committed Atheist has another explanation. The Universe is expanding in the the void of space and so becomes less ordered.
    2. Evaporation is another example.
    3. Radioactive decay.

    So to create order we need energy, we use energy to make the cells in our body. A chemist uses energy to make the medicinal drugs. Plants use energy from the sun to produce glucose.

    So what our Physicist has told us that even though the THEORY of Evolution is showing the exact opposite to the LAW of Entropy everything is fine if we have an energy input. Our input is natural selection, we see this in action as animals adapt (micro evolution) to their environment. The North American Racoon is a good example, it is adapting to survive and thrive in an urban environment.

    The problem with this, is these are small changes and the genetic material (Genes) are already in the genetic code. What macro evolution demands is that major changes are possible. Except these major changes can only happen very slowly, they are also incredibly unlikely (beneficial mutations are the rarest), and we would need an enormous amount of energy input to counteract the Entropy that is constantly trying to bring disorder. It would be interesting to work out the Energy input needed for 1 cell to evolve into all the different life forms we have and have had. Sadly this is impossible because the biologist have not worked out how many missing links and intermediates there are. Some suggest they have not worked this out because they are worried that the number may be so big to become effectively impossible.

    Sir Fred Hoyle has some of the better quotes,
    Though Hoyle declared himself an atheist,[31] this apparent suggestion of a guiding hand led him to the conclusion that "a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and ... there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature."[32] He would go on to compare the random emergence of even the simplest cell without panspermia to the likelihood that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein" and to compare the chance of obtaining even a single functioning protein by chance combination of amino acids to a solar system full of blind men solving Rubik's Cubes simultaneously.[33] Those who advocate the intelligent design (ID) belief sometimes cite Hoyle's work in this area to support the claim that the universe was fine tuned in order to allow intelligent life to be possible.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW MarkB
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,480
    1/ my faith,
    2/ in fact, the faith itself, neither stands nor falls on the answer to this question.
    Agreed to 2; And glad of 1. The problem is with people who are not of this view. Indeed that was Darwin's problem, as a student he had been intending to become a clergyman. His interest in natural history made him well known as a discoverer of new species of beetle while still an undergraduate, he commented 'The Lord seems to be inordinately fond of beetles'. But he never lost the view that creationism underpinned Christianity, so instead of developing his faith he abandoned it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,289
    Truth is, anybody who does a little bit of digging (and this is brought out in the movie I mentioned above) will find out that God is very much a creator, and nothing evolves from nothing. It’s all a supernatural act, and the more you investigate science, the more you either have to lie to yourself or make up fairytale stories so you don’t HAVE to believe in God. (Aka... the Multiverse syndrome... “Perhaps there are intelligent aliens out there who have made all of us possible)”

    I suggest you go watch the movie and decide for yourself who is spinning what… (the spin from the scientific community seems to me akin to what spins in my porcelain apparatus in the rest room of my house)

    One of the subtle philosophies that is all pervading in the general scientific community is the need for us to see ourselves as 'insignificant' in the grand scale of all matter... that we are just an anomaly that happened to be in just the right place and the right time for the 'easy bake oven' of science to create our little whoville.

    Apparently, scientists are discovering that they are naked and that research is beginning to point to the earth as it resides in the center of the universe, and they are scrambling to find some atheistic clothing to hide the fact.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,289
    tomjaw 12:09PM Thanks
    Posts: 0
    @Liam

    I see a post-doc in physics who does not want to upset the apple cart...
    Yea, the post-docs are frantic at this point.

    So what our Physicist has told us that even though the THEORY of Evolution is showing the exact opposite to the LAW of Entropy everything is fine if we have an energy input. Our input is natural selection, we see this in action as animals adapt (micro evolution) to their environment. The North American Racoon is a good example, it is adapting to survive and thrive in an urban environment.

    The problem with this, is these are small changes and the genetic material (Genes) are already in the genetic code. What macro evolution demands is that major changes are possible. Except these major changes can only happen very slowly, they are also incredibly unlikely (beneficial mutations are the rarest), and we would need an enormous amount of energy input to counteract the Entropy that is constantly trying to bring disorder. It would be interesting to work out the Energy input needed for 1 cell to evolve into all the different life forms we have and have had. Sadly this is impossible because the biologist have not worked out how many missing links and intermediates there are. Some suggest they have not worked this out because they are worried that the number may be so big to become effectively impossible.
    I had a friend who was a oceanographer and told me all about the genetic mutation problem back in the 80s.

    Sir Fred Hoyle has some of the better quotes, Though Hoyle declared himself an atheist,[31] this apparent suggestion of a guiding hand led him to the conclusion that "a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and ... there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature."[32] He would go on to compare the random emergence of even the simplest cell without panspermia to the likelihood that "a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble a Boeing 747 from the materials therein" and to compare the chance of obtaining even a single functioning protein by chance combination of amino acids to a solar system full of blind men solving Rubik's Cubes simultaneously.[33] Those who advocate the intelligent design (ID) belief sometimes cite Hoyle's work in this area to support the claim that the universe was fine tuned in order to allow intelligent life to be possible.
    OTFLOL when I read about the tornado... never heard about that one before... exactly like the watch parts in a box...
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Some of us believe we have a fallen nature. Some of us believe nature is evolving. Some of us believe that nature is both fallen and evolving. Some of us are totally indifferent about such matters. Were cataclysms, entropy, and death all part and parcel of nature before the Fall, or is scripture really stating the truth when it says, "Since by man came death..."? Are sickness and death consequences of sin or part of God's plan from the beginning?
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,085
    Tomjaw, the disorder is real. We call it "chaos theory."
    Thanked by 2tomjaw CHGiffen
  • Since I've told students to critique science on science-valid grounds:

    1) The cell cycle works once there's already energy outside the system to work, but where did the energy itself first come from?
    2) The cell theory (all living things are made of cells. All cells come from other cells) works really well once we have the first living cell, but until then, ......(crickets)
    3) Creating the next generation involves a means to do so... but why would any means develop, of its own, which would allow genetic diversity?
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  • It would seem to follow that those who believe that all just happened of its own accord to evolve into our universe would, as well, believe that a da Vinci painting found in the desert wilderness just happened of its own accord and 'natural processes' to be there.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,528
    @MJO
    “When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.” ― G.K. Chesterton
  • Carol
    Posts: 477
    I do firmly believe that God is the Creator and that it is He who caused the Earth to form, the land and sea, the creatures and that He created humans in his own image and likeness. I believe it so firmly that in my mind it was a given. I still find it interesting that Genesis written so long ago appears to be corroborated to an extent by modern science theory.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,480
    "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? (Job 38:2 NRS)
    "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. (Job 38:4 NRS)
    IMHO all who pretend to this knowledge, whether neo-Darwinists or Creationists have fallen into the enemies trap.
  • Regarding this agitating topic...

    There is phrase I've heard...

    From whence it comes I know not...

    But it is simultaneously factually correct and quite satisfying to my personal sense of (dare I say it under the circumstances?) "whimsy".

    "The Bible tells us how to go to Heaven. It does NOT tell us how the Heavens 'go'".

    ;-)

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
  • Thank you a_f_hawkins!

    I take so much consolation from the Book of Job, in so many ways!

    Gaudete in Domino Semper!
  • jcr
    Posts: 49
    Some time ago I heard from an acquaintance that there were some "popular" scientists who claimed to have "done the math" and that they had found an explanation for how something (everything) could come from nothing. Intrigued, I inquired further about this and he dilated on the topic a bit. It seems that this "scientist" said "Well, before there was anything, there was this huge energy field..."! Now, suppose that this "huge energy field had will and personality. What might we have then? And, of course there is the obvious; who is it that says that a huge energy field is nothing?

    I have learned that science is, like everything else in our modern world, run more by politics than by the quest for truth. Scientists are driven by the quest for institutional and foundation funding and nothing too controversial or favorable to faith claims or other impolitic things gets funded. Hence, the unpopular research will not be funded and, therefore, the studies not done. Hypothesis to theory to law can occur due to the absence of research that refutes the popular wisdom.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw spottedmetal
  • GerardH
    Posts: 83
    I think, @MarkB, that this thread confirms your suspicion. It is a tragedy that so many committed Catholics would wilfully try to distort, misrepresent or ignore truth - wherever it is found - to support their flawed and ignorant interpretation of physical and metaphyiscal reality.

    Now to address some misconceptions in this thread:

    @tomjaw and @francis. You completely misunderstand the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. The shorthand of "disorder must always increase" is misleading to say the least. Order ≠ complexity. A far better explanation can be found in this video (and this video). Basically, "life" is a fantastically complex way to increase entropy in the universe by dissipating and using up stored energy differentials. We humans are entropy machines - entropy machines ensouled, willed for all eternity and loved immeasurably by the Creator God - but entropy machines nonetheless.

    Also @tomjaw:
    but before invoking gravity, should we not explain how it works?

    Ought we not observe first, and then attempt to explain? Otherwise we end with things like Aristotelian physics which would predict that an object would fall at twice the speed of another half the weight.
    How fast does gravity propagate? What would happen to the solar system if gravity propagated at the speed of light, or perhaps a little slower?

    You're right, gravity propogates at the speed of light.


    The attitude towards science I think I encounter most amongst people convinced of these ideas is wilful ignorance. But how can truth oppose truth? If God created the universe, why would he include clues that apparently deny his existence? Clearly the two cannot be incompatible. This isn't an us vs. them situation.
  • I don't understand why some people would be opposed to trying to learn more about the world that God created, and the constant suspicion of science that those same people seem to have. Surely that would be one of the greatest honours we could give Him, instead of whiling away our time in ignorance of just how the universe functions.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 259
    I'm tempted to start a thread about what people think of Harry Potter.

    Actually, Harry Potter is another dividing line among Catholics that baffles me, and the sides fall about the same as they do over geocentrism and YEC, in my experience. Witness Fr. Chad Ripperger. That correlation might be revealing.

    Thank you to those who have contributed to this thread so far. It's been very interesting and illuminating.

    Scratch the surface and you'll be surprised what you find underneath the shared love of sacred music and the Mass.
  • Stella611
    Posts: 108
    I didn't have time to read ALL the comments on this thread, but I am really curious to know, if anyone here has taken any time to read in depth the documents put out by the Kolbe Center? I have read some of the works, visited the Ark Encounter in Kentucky, which has lots of education exhibits throughout the boat, and have heard talks in person by the Kolbe Center. I believe in a young earth based on competing scientific evidence, NOT primarily based on a literal interpretation of Genesis, and I do NOT believe in the earth as the center of the universe... I am not even exactly sure why the original poster seems to think these two go hand in hand in trad circles. I have never heard a TLM goer say they believe in the earth at the center, but there are certainly a growing number of us that believe in a young earth, and I think you will find the Kolbe Center's works to be based on BOTH competing science, and as Fr. Vogel points out, the importance of sound Philosophy.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • MarkB
    Posts: 259
    Yes, I read a lot of what the Kolbe Center provides when I first learned about YEC as a movement among traditionalist Catholics. It's junk (pseudo)science.

    Go here: http://www.oldearth.org/young_earth_creationist_argument_index.htm

    Almost any argument you have heard at the Ark Encounter or read at the Kolbe Center will be refuted.