Geocentrism and Young Earth Creationism among TLM Traditionalist Catholics?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    That would be Mary Higby Schweitzer, would it?


    No, I believe it was a man...
    ..Mark Armitage.

    I had seen this article shared: http://godreports.com/2017/08/university-settles-lawsuit-with-scientist-fired-after-he-found-soft-tissue-in-dinosaur-bones/
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,211
    I must say as a non-scientist I'm warming to YE and Geocentrism.


    Ahhh…..but will it save your soul???
    Thanked by 2Hugh Elmar
  • Hugh
    Posts: 198
    "But if the notion of an old earth and evolution lead one away from God, why would God place false clues that point in that direction?"

    That's a good question, GerardH, and I've thought about it a lot.

    I have only a couple of tentative thoughts, not a final answer.

    1. Firstly, and to go in the opposite direction from my own development (or decay?): as Ed Feser (Aquinas, The Last Superstition, etc plus great youtube lectures) brilliantly shows, someone who does good honest science that inclines them to the idea that species evolve into other species, should not be thereby turned away from belief in the existence of God. This is for the simple reason that good science always invokes, often albeit unconsciously, the Aristotelian/Thomistic four causes - material, formal, efficient and final. But once you believe in the four causes, the existence of God is as forceful a conclusion, nay more so, than the empirical conclusions you make in your respective science. This is shown in the arguments of Aquinas - the five proofs. (See Feser "Aquinas" inter alia.)

    The Enlightenment (Hume, etc) famously abandoned efficient and final causality. (Hume said that the fact that a brick causes the smashing of a window is a false conclusion from the "constant conjunction" I observe of a brick hitting the glass and windows smashing. There is no "causation", says Hume ... it's just that a constant correlation of observed events leads me to the false idea of causation. So there goes efficient causality, and, on the other side of the coin, final causality, in the sense that there's no innate tendency for a clay brick to smash a thin glass window if hurled at it or for the glass to break with the impact of the brick.)

    But modern, post-Enlightenment scientists, in the actual act of research, constantly invoke the four Aristotelian causes. A zoologist, coming on a new species, will dissect the specimen, ask what is it made of (material cause) how the various parts of the organism are shaped and fit together (formal cause), and then take the individual parts (organs, etc) and ask what they do and how they all work together to make the organism live (efficient and final causes). His or her paper will be written up in these terms, even if the precise Aristotelian/Thomistic terms are not used. Another example: human-caused global warming theory. Human ... caused! So much for Hume and the Enlightenment's definitive eviction of Aristotle! No matter what side one takes on this debate, it's obvious to the observer that none of those who believe in global warming is saying: well, there's definitely a "constant conjunction" between levels of CO2 and events of global warming, but to say that CO2 is "causing" global warming is an ancient and totally unjustified jump.

    So even evolutionary theory along with opposing views (and global warming, pro or con) depends (again, often without acknowledging it) on a Aristotelian-Thomist philosophy of nature, from which the philosophical proofs for the existence of God are derived.

    2. But as someone going in the opposite direction - ie towards rejecting evolution and an old earth and embracing even geocentrism as viable scientific hypotheses, I would say you have dilemmas on either side. For example, the idea of a very old universe, leading ultimately to the creation of man at the apex of the evolutionary pyramid is in itself an attractive idea. God preparing for billions of years for the evolution, first of all of the heavier elements (fusion in the stars) and then the solar systems and then earth itself, then the simplest forms of life and, hundred of millions of years later, man himself. Ta da! In its way, this is a very anthropocentric view of the universe, and of creation. And it's a powerful story that can be told to very primitive people. (The Australian aborigines have hundreds of myths as to how this or that species came from something else, or how the kangaroo got its tail, etc. They're not ill-disposed to "changes" - ie, evolutions, and neither were the other ancients, - see Ovid's "Metamorphoses", etc.)

    But here's the thing: given that great story, which could have been told with powerful theological, moral and poetic force to primitive people ... why didn't God do it? If it REALLY happened that way, why did He lead generation after generation of Adamites, Semites, Hebrews, Abrahamites, Jews, and then Christians to believe a completely contradictory account about a 6-day creation of the world up and running? I mean: He knew that all the generations before the "Enlightenment" would believe the literal account of Genesis. Why did He let that happen? Did it not matter to Him that so many peoples for so long in the history of mankind would be insistent upon the literal account, which He knew to be not the truth?

    So we have the dilemma. Either God has misled hundreds of generations via the literal account of Genesis, since the post-Enlightenment scientists have proved its falsity. Or He's misled the scientists by placing in the rocks etc, indications that the earth and universe are billions, not thousands, of years old.

    I'm coming to the view (which I won't belabor here): He's done neither. As someone has mentioned above, they're finding fresh tissue in dinosaurs at, eg the Hell Creek formation that should have disappeared millions of years ago. There are dozens of other discoveries resonant with these findings that seriously challenge evolution, Old Earth and heliocentrism. Moreover, the "infinite parallel universes" reigning cosmology - thoroughly non-empirical - which seeks to explain why earth is so incredibly favored for the creation and sustenance of life (there are an infinite number of parallel universes where this is not so. We're just the lucky ones!) is just a desperate cop-out. Science these days, on every side is being shown up as a heavily ideological discipline, not a "men in white coats" objective activity, even though there are many very good individual scientists. I suspect it's been that way for a very long time ... say, from the Enlightenment, at least!

    I'll stop there ... this is too big topic for a post, and I apologize for taking up time.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,337
    Hugh - The difficulty of teaching us without imposing upon our freedom is well beyond my ability to explain. But a couple of quotations to show how unteachable we are :
    He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. (Matt. 19:8 RSV)

    And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?" (Mk. 8:21 RSV)

    Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. (Matt. 28:16-17 RSV)

  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,011
    So we have the dilemma. Either God has misled hundreds of generations via the literal account of Genesis, since the post-Enlightenment scientists have proved its falsity. Or He's misled the scientists by placing in the rocks etc, indications that the earth and universe are billions, not thousands, of years old.


    I think that's a false dichotomy. There's only a dilemma if you assert that a literalistic interpretation was intended as the meaning of Genesis 1.

    why did He lead generation after generation of Adamites, Semites, Hebrews, Abrahamites, Jews, and then Christians to believe a completely contradictory account about a 6-day creation of the world up and running? I mean: He knew that all the generations before the "Enlightenment" would believe the literal account of Genesis. Why did He let that happen?


    Part of the reason for figuratively narrating creation taking place during one week was for the divine and human authors to emphasize the importance of resting on the Sabbath, a recurring particular day of the week that has deep religious significance in the Old Covenant. Also, since the Holy Spirit knew the entirety of biblical revelation and salvation history before that history had occurred and before the canon of Scripture was complete, creation beginning on the first day of the week prefigures and parallels nicely with the (future) resurrection of Jesus (as a new creation) occurring on the first day of the week, which is not something the human author of Genesis 1 would have been able to know was intended when he was writing the creation narrative.
    Thanked by 3CHGiffen GerardH Elmar
  • Hugh
    Posts: 198
    "There's only a dilemma if you assert that a literalistic interpretation was intended as the meaning of Genesis 1."

    Thanks, but contrary to what you say here, I think I'm basing my dilemma on the hypothetical assumption that God really did intend Genesis 1 to be taken only figuratively.

    I guess what I'm saying (probably badly-apologies) is that, assuming arguendo that God intended Genesis 1 to be taken purely figuratively, why did He write it as He did, with no hint that it's just a fable, knowing 1. full well that people good, honest, smart people, prophets, saints, martyrs, Church fathers, etc over thousands of years would take the account literally, building the figures and types on what they believed to be substantively narrated historical events? And knowing 2. that He could have created the world in the manner literally suggested in Genesis 1, so that the figures and types would be based on historical reality?

    I have in mind, inter alia, Matthew 12:38 : Our Lord says "As Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and nights, so the Son of Man will be three days and nights in the earth."

    Now, was the Jonah story, which after all takes some faith to believe in, a complete myth? If so, was Our Lord intending His hostile audience to believe that just as in the - mythical - story of Jonah, the Son of man will be in the earth for three days and nights - ie, mythically? Or, alternatively was it this: "I tell you the Son of Man will literally be in the earth for three days and nights, just as Jonah was, according the well known myth?" How was the invocation of a known myth in either way supposed to stall his critics, who were demanding a sign - ie, an authoritative proof? It'd be as if Our Lord said: "I tell you solemnly, as Sleeping Beauty was awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince, so the Son of Man will ... &c" !!

    Or did Our Lord know his audience believed the story of Jonah to be an historical event, and played along with that, knowing Himself that it wasn't? In which case He would be lying, saying the Son of Man would really be in the earth for three days and nights just as (you and I - ie, Our Lord and his audience, know) Jonah was (when He himself knew Jonah wasn't). There's a point where deception undermines itself and reduces to incoherence or heresy. We have in Our Lord's public life, if this is to be believed, a mixture of real and amazing historical miracles with a reliance on His audience's (allegedly) mistaken belief in pious myths (such as Jonah, or Genesis 1) to prove His authority as being sent by God the Father! (Of course, modernist scripture scholars have long since dismissed the miracles as myths as well. But that's another story.)

    On the other hand, if the Jonah story was historical fact, and Our Lord believed it, and so did his hostile hearers, so there's no deception, everything falls into place ... even for us today, post His resurrection.

    I also have in mind also Leo XIII I quoted in a comment above in Arcanum divinae, 1880 re Genesis 2: "We record what is to all known, and cannot be doubted by any, that God, on the sixth day of creation, having made man from the slime of the earth, and having breathed into his face the breath of life, gave him a companion, whom He miraculously took from the side of Adam when he was locked in sleep."

    Are we to believe that Leo is saying underneath his breath "Of course, I don't mean that Eve was taken literally from Adam's side!" ?

    2. Part of the reason for figuratively narrating creation taking place during one week was for the divine and human authors to emphasize the importance of resting on the Sabbath, a recurring particular day of the week that has deep religious significance in the Old Covenant.

    Briefly: why does it have to be just figurative, as opposed to both historically true AND figurative (such as the creation of Eve from the side of Adam, as I've mentioned above)? The Bible bursts with events which are both. Our Lord as a newborn babe was laid in a manger. This is both historical fact AND powerfully figurative (a manger is a box wherein there is Food for sheep and cattle.) Why did the authors divine and human (unknowingly in the case of the latter) base the powerful significance of the Sabbath on the account of an event which never happened, at least as it was literally narrated - and moreover, which God would know that in a few thousand years would be discovered by humans as not to have happened? The resting on the Sabbath is just as important a requirement in the New Covenant as it is in the Old. Why are we moderns - we who believe the 6 days of Creation is just a powerful symbolic myth - to take it seriously, since we know the whole story is untrue? Doesn't that new "knowledge" rather burst the bubble?

    One could respond - "Well, we now know God requires observance of the Sabbath. So what if we don't believe in the historicity of the old myths pointing to that? Can't we just kick away the mythical ladder of Genesis and accept that God just wants us to go to Church every Sunday?"
    Yes we could do that (Reminder, I personally believe the literal interpretation of Genesis, substantively, but submit to authentic binding Church teaching on what is allowed to be believed). But 1. By the same token, God could have, in fire and smoke on the Holy mountain, laid down the sabbatical obligation as well, and left it at that, too. People were much more in awe of God in those days, again unlike us moderns. So why didn't He ? 2. Divine voluntarism ("God's decided you should go to Mass on Sunday, and that's that - there's nothing more to it!") is the last step before unbelief. It doesn't go over well with rebellious teenagers. Neither does mom coming back with "Well, let me tell you the beautiful myth in Genesis 1!" And then when the teenager scoffs, and mom says "Well, if you don't, you'll go to hell!", the teenager, rather reasonably, retorts, "How do I know that's not another one of those myths?" 3. How do we know He really does require regular observance on the Sabbath anyway? Perhaps we are interpreting the Church's own declared requirements too literally ?!? Shouldn't we demythologize them a little? (Expect to hear this claptrap at the Amazon Synod.)

    There are lots of other considerations, but I have to leave off. Apologies again for length.
    Thanked by 2m_r_taylor tomjaw
  • Somewhere I recall a priest once saying that the best answer to many of these sorts of questions is to spend six months in intensive daily prayer. Your life changes, and you will find yourself in awe of God, and that awe and fear and love will make all the fussing over things like the above irrelevant. I remembered that when I read Hugh's comment above, where he says "People were much more in awe of God in those days, unlike us moderns..."

    I say get the awe back. I can make no sense of being Christian without accepting the whole of it. If Jonah was in the whale for three days, so be it. I think you have a good point that if any of the faith is merely quaint myth or silly stories for ancient peasants, then there's really no point at all. I really do think that the concrete living of the faith, in its fullness, in constant prayer, solves all these problems on a personal level. One thinks one has to have it all worked out intellectually in order to believe. But really it works even better to ask God to show you how to love Him with your whole heart and soul and mind, and that in itself solves the problem.
    Thanked by 2m_r_taylor CharlesW
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,011
    Fideism is a heresy, as is Rationalism.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,131
    Isn't it established that the Church Fathers were not literalists about Genesis?
  • More or less basic geometry tells me some of this galaxy's stars are as generally far away as we thought, with all that means for the size of the universe. I believe that starlight describes true events - that it wasn't created en route to earth to simulate an old universe to fool us - the universe simply is more or less as old as it looks. When you see a supernova you are witness to it as truly as any people from biblical days witnessed what they saw in their time.

    I also believe the characters in Genesis are real, and not fictional or purely allegorical, and that Genesis describes real events, however long ago they happened. I think the concept of a "literal" interpretation has some problems - see zippycatholic's (God rest his soul) take on this https://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/2014/09/13/literal-insanity/ - but that is not carte blanche to explain away as figurative language whatever I think to be out of the ordinary. Quite the contrary.

    Somehow, despite all events conspiring against me, I don't explode from cognitive dissonance! Hooray.
    Thanked by 3MarkB CHGiffen Elmar
  • Hugh
    Posts: 198
    Isn't it established that the Church Fathers were not literalists about Genesis?

    It's my limited understanding that the vast majority of Fathers believed that the world was created in six natural days, that the sun, moon and stars were created during those six days and not over billions of years, that the world is only several thousand years old and that the flood was as widespread and as devastating to mankind as the Biblical account describes. Etc.

    I think Augustine (d. 430) is the only prominent Father that disputes the ordinary meaning of "day" (Hebrew: "yom") ... (note: St Thomas Aquinas, d.1274, agrees with him on this.) But rather than take "yom" to be some indefinably long period or aeon, Augustine went the other way and said the creation of all things occurred outside of time - instantly.

    The words of Pope Leo XIII (he who in 1880 affirmed the the creation of Eve from Adam's side as narrated in Genesis 2 as an historical fact) are pertinent:

    "It is not forbidden, when just cause exists, to push inquiry and exposition beyond what the Fathers have done." But Leo went on to insist that when we do this, we must heed "the rule so wisely laid down by St. Augustine -- not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires; a rule to which it is more necessary to adhere to strictly in these times, when the thirst for novelty and unrestrained freedom of thought make the danger of error most real and proximate." (Proventissimus Deus, 1893) (My emphasis. HH.)

    So I think that means: take the literal meaning of the scriptural history in Genesis to be the default assumption, and only move away when necessary. This doesn't mean the literal always ends up as the acceptable explanation of course. But for the Fathers it did so in the overwhelming majority of cases.

    In the case of St. Augustine and "yom", his squashing of the works of the six days into a timeless interval occurs because he believed that the literal interpretation of six days clashed with the verse in Sirach 18.1. which according to his Latin translation stated that God created all things simul (simultaneously). So following his hermeneutical principle, later endorsed by Pope Leo XIII above, to avoid a clash between Sirach and Genesis, he departed from the literal sense of Genesis 1 as to the meaning of the word "yom" and came up with a more mystical interpretation. The problem, identified as far back as Cornelius a Lapide, was that Augustine relied on an inaccurate application of the word "simul". Instead of reading the word adverbially and temporally as applying to the act of God's creation of all things, he should have read the word as applying to the object of that verb or action: "all things". (Had he known the Greek, which he didn't, this would have been more evident.) So the correct translation is not "God simultaneously created all things", but "God created the 'whole box and dice' ", as it were. Understood thus, there is no clash between the statement in Sirach 18.1 and Genesis 1, and so no need to abandon the literal interpretation for another sense.

    (Edited slightly since first publication at a couple of points, just to clarify the sense. H.)
  • Maureen
    Posts: 673
    St. Augustine's concept of "yom" as also meaning "time period" was a Jewish idea, not Augustine's. You can read all about it in sources from before Christ's Incarnation.

    The "simul" from Sirach was one of those things that was a "problem verse" in Augustine's time, so he was trying to kill two birds with one stone. Its problematic validity as a translation, and Aug's "simul" argument being invalid, does not affect the Jewish or Christian interpretation of "yom."

    There are all sorts of "cosmic weeks" in the OT that do not consist of seven 24 hour day periods, although they can be divvied up into seven periods of time. Daniel's prophesied weeks of years, for instance. Similarly, there are all sorts of Scriptural days that do not last twenty-four hours, although they do constitute a "yom." Our Savior's time in the tomb, for instance. Seven represents the covenants between God and the Church, and thus a fullness of Creation.

    So yeah, this is a weird thing for Catholics to get stuck on.

    As St. Albert the Great says, "There is only one truth." Either one is misunderstanding science facts, or one is misinterpreting the Bible. But science is one of the handmaids of theology, and Jesus Christ is a rational God Who created all things with order and measure.

    And because music is also a handmaid of theology, and music depends on order and measure, it is rational for sacred musicians to be concerned about this.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    RE: days in the tomb, this is an interesting read, despite its jabs at tradition (Christmas wasn’t 12/25, yet I wonder when these people celebrate it...)

    https://www.ucg.org/the-good-news/jesus-wasnt-crucified-on-friday-or-resurrected-on-sunday-how-long-was-jesus-in-the
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,450
    Mark B:
    In answer to your ORIGINAL question, yes, I know of at least one TLM church where the priest preached creationism from the pulpit and even after he left, continues to sponor creationist speakers. I know of several in the church who are avid creationists
  • at least one TLM church where the priest preached creationism from the pulpit and even after he left, continues to sponor creationist speakers


    Surely, all Catholics are creationists - i.e. Catholics believe that regardless of the mechanism or duration of time involved, God actively created the universe. The Church allows us to believe that this took millions of years - or less than several seconds. The Church allows us to believe that God used evolution as part of His creative process - or that evolution is merely an attempt by "science" (improperly speaking) to attempt to explain the miracle of creation through purely physical means unaided by a Supreme Being.

    The Church grants us this latitude on the MEANS of creation, but not on the substantial NATURE of creation itself - i.e. regardless of the mechanism chosen by God, He is the Author, He is the Prime Mover, He is the Source of all creation - of every plant, of every animal, of every physical thing. Further, without His continued awareness, creation (whether plant, animal, speck of dust or other physical thing) would cease to exist.
  • Speaking of God, the Creator -
    I am reminded of the poem by Evelyn Underhill, the early XXth century Anglican mystic, entitled 'Dynamic Love' - here is the first stanza of the rather lengthy poem:

    Not to me the unmoved mover of philosophy
    And the absolute still Sum of all that is,
    The Great God whom I adore, not this!
    Nay, rather a great moving wave of bliss,
    A surging torrent of dynamic love
    In passionate swift career
    That down the sheer
    And fathomless abyss of being ever pours,
    His ecstasy to prove.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,450
    As usual, MJO has the best word!
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,150
    The Bible is a religious text, not a history text, not a geography text, not a science text.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,011
    It's not so simple as that. The theological consideration is that the Bible is inspired and inerrant. Therefore the Bible teaches the truth about all that God wanted to reveal through it.

    Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures (CCC 107, quoting the Vatican II document Dei Verbum 11).


    There is dispute about whether the phrase "for the sake of our salvation" is restrictive, limiting biblical inerrancy to revealed truths that are specifically religious or moral in character, or whether the phrase is descriptive, meaning that any truth (religious, moral, geographic, historical) revealed in the Bible is for the sake of our salvation.

    So, for example, the Bible presents David as a king of Israel. That would be a historical truth, not a religious or moral truth. Is that historical truth part of what the Bible reveals and teaches inerrantly for the sake of our salvation or can David's kingship only be affirmed if extrabiblical sources attest to his kingship? Is knowing and affirming David's historical kingship necessary for our salvation, perhaps because the Davidic kingship is important as a type, a foreshadowing of the kingship of Christ? Then the historical truth overlaps with the religious truth, but is it a historical truth nonetheless that is taught inerrantly in the Bible?

    YE creationists assert that Genesis 1 inerrantly reveals creation over six 24-hour days as a truth for the sake of our salvation, that it is necessary for salvation to believe creation occurred in that manner (because departing from that belief in favor of Big Bang cosmology and neo-Darwinian molecular and biological evolution leads to scientific materialism and atheism). You can't rebut YE creationist claims merely by saying the Bible is a religious text, not a science text, because they will counter that the Bible is inerrant, and then they will point to all kinds of "scientific discoveries" out of the mainstream that purport to prove that mainstream science is wrong about the age of the universe and the origin of life on earth. The belief in a literal, worldwide flood in the story of Noah plays a large role in young-earthers' dismissal of mainstream geological science because they claim that the global flood messed up the earth's geological features and "proves" that seemingly old geological features could have been created cataclysmically in a very brief time.

    So questions of interpreting the Bible to understand correctly what God is revealing and teaching inerrantly through it are unavoidable.

    I'm learning in conversation with some young-earthers that there is no simple way to break their fixation. It's kind of like a cult. They're very devout Catholics and good people. However, they have a deep-seated distrust of the scientific academy and have all kinds of conspiracy theories about why their "scientific discoveries" that prove the Bible literally true are being suppressed by mainstream scientists who are bent on ridding the world of Christian religion.

    By asking my original question at the start of this thread, I was interested to know whether others with exposure to Catholic traditionalist communities have experienced anything similar. I wanted to find out how prevalent YE creationist or geocentric views are among trad Catholics, because it's only trad Catholics who have those views among Catholics. No novus ordos that I'm aware of are young-earthers.
  • francis
    Posts: 10,638
    Well, it seems to me that calling it an “axis of evil” is a clue of being bent toward the denial of creationism.
  • I was interested to know whether others with exposure to Catholic traditionalist communities had experience anything similar. I wanted to find out how prevalent YE creationist or geocentric views are among trad Catholics, because it's only trad Catholics who have those views among Catholics. No novus ordos that I'm aware of are young-earthers.

    In my 40+ years of attending the TLM, I have only encountered a small handful of YE - and fewer yet of Geocentric. Of course that's only based on my experience and given the circumstance that the topic came up in discussion.

    From a logic standpoint :) - I must dispute your assertion that "it's only trad Catholics who have those views among Catholics." Perhaps in your experience, that is true. But our collective experience is unequal to drawing that as a firm conclusion because there is no universal sample. Just as there are liberals who attend the TLM (believe it or not), there are conservatives who attend the N.O. - and a "fundamentalist" (for lack of a better term) who believes in YE or Geocentrism are more likely to be conservative. So it makes sense that your experience would be that more YE and Geocentrists are connected to the Latin Mass... but logically your syllogism is inaccurate when you try to draw that conclusion.

    At the end of the day, I don't see why it matters. Estimating the duration of time of creation is not a matter of Faith and is not conclusively proven by science.
  • ryandryand
    Posts: 1,640
    I have met Novus Ordo Catholics who believe in young earth. Also non-denominationals, Presbyterians, Lutherans, and non-churchgoers who have never read the Bible but claim Christ solely because they’re afraid of the bad scary place.
  • I have no difficulty accepting an old Earth, since there is an enormous Biblical corpus which points to very, very old parts of creation. On the other hand, I find Darwin's ideas (and most that derive from him) to be absurd, so while I don't need the Earth to be 4.5 billion years old, Darwinists need an Earth which is at least that old for Evolution and Natural Selection to be possible, and they need to address how we managed to get from non-living to living cells.
    Thanked by 2Incardination CCooze
  • francis
    Posts: 10,638
    Chris

    If you shake the cigar box long enough it will shake into a watch. That's how primordial soup is made!

    O and by the way, the theory itself is less than 100 years old but somehow professes to know that this occured over 4 billion years ago.

    "Primordial soup, or prebiotic soup (also sometimes referred as prebiotic broth), is the hypothetical set of conditions present on the Earth around 4.2 to 4.0 billions of years ago. It is a fundamental aspect to the heterotrophic theory of the origin of life, first proposed by Alexander Oparin in 1924, and John Burdon Sanderson Haldane in 1929.[1][2]" wiki
  • Francis,

    I should have added that a young Earth doesn't trouble me. As to primordial soup, the nearest equivalent (from a story book) is Stone Soup, but we still have to get the ingredients into the pot. That's only slightly easier than negotiating a peace treaty with a progressive diocesan liturgist.
    Thanked by 1madorganist
  • francis
    Posts: 10,638
    did a bit more digging...

    why did i smell something "primordial" in these two?

    "Haldane was a professed socialist, Marxist, atheist and humanist whose political dissent led him to leave England in 1956 and live in India, becoming a naturalised Indian citizen in 1961. He was the son of John Scott Haldane.

    Oparin became Hero of Socialist Labour in 1969, received the Lenin Prize in 1974 and was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal in 1979 "for outstanding achievements in biochemistry". He was also a five-time recipient of the Order of Lenin."

    both from wiki
  • Can we get argument against the theory beyond ad hominem attacks on the authors?
  • francis
    Posts: 10,638
    It would be ad hominem if their theory wasn't attached to their belief in atheism. Same problem we had with Hawking, Chardin, etc. And ad hominem would be personal... we are addressing a belief system of which this thread is addressing... evolution/atheism, creationism/christianity. My point is, this is a belief system and often one goes with the other.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • I'm sorry, Francis, but just because someone is an atheist/socialist/humanist does not automatically discredit everything they did as a scientist. That's literally the definition of an ad hominem attack.
    Thanked by 1sergeantedward
  • francis
    Posts: 10,638
    I am not discrediting anything anyone has done. I am simply linking atheism and evolution as a believe system.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,011
    For those interested, a pdf of a useful book, Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyne:

    http://bayanbox.ir/view/4895178644579663320/Coyne-Why-Evolution-Is-True-True-PDF.pdf

    Yes, Coyne is an atheist and a rabid anti-religionist, but that's irrelevant to his work as an evolutionary biologist, and he's one of the best in the world. The book is about the best overview and explanation for the layman of the current state of evolutionary science.

    As for the "primordial soup" scenario, it is true that the leap from non-living matter to living organisms or primitive self-replicating molecules is not understood, with no satisfactory natural explanation.

    But, as Coyne explains, after life began in its primitive form, we understand and know quite a lot about how life evolved from primitive forms into diverse species.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,674
    But, as Coyne explains, after life began in its primitive form, we understand and know quite a lot about how life evolved from primitive forms into diverse species.


    I would view it more that we have a trail of tiny islands of knowledge in a vast ocean of unknowns...

    One of the bigger problems is that while some organisms externally look simple and therefore less evolved, their cells are more complex and more evolved.
    Plant vs Animal cells and dicotyledons vs monocotyledons

    Also how can a scientist write a book with a suggestion that something is true... What does true mean? and is it used in the pagan sense of "My (insert belief) is true and all heretics will be punished"
    Interestingly I don't remember seeing books with titles "Why gravity is true" and "Why thermodynamics is true"
  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,011
    @tomjaw, you should read at least the introduction to the book, which addresses your question. In sum, Coyne says that a book explaining why evolution is true--meaning the explanation that all life on earth is a product of evolution and that evolution was driven largely by natural selection is a correct explanation--is needed for non-scientists because unlike the germ theory of disease or gravity, which are accepted universally by people outside expert scientific circles, evolution as a correct explanation of how life diversified still meets resistance among laymen, mostly for religious reasons instead of evidentiary reasons.
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  • Mark,

    In many logic classes, students are instructed that coincidence isn't the same as correlation, and these two are distinct from causation. (I'm sure you know that, but bear with me.) From what I've read of evolutionary "science", the "evidence" is (at best) circumstantial. A bio-chemistry PhD former colleague of mine used to say that if "evolution through natural selection" were a chemistry idea, no one would take it seriously.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,674
    @MarkB

    Have just read the preface and Intro of the book. He once again mentioned truth and facts, I am not convinced that he understands either of the words. He talks about the wonders of creation and that we need to know that where we came from... Why? We don't know where the Atom came from, the Elements, time, Mass. Why does it matter where Man came from... Oh yes, I understand why it is important for them to explain where man came from, they don't like religion, and he effectively implies this in the introduction. The great scientists were happy to accept that all living things were created by God, it did not effect their discoveries in Physics and Chemistry. Why should it now?

    Most scientists are busy enough with their own research and are not especially interested other non-connected areas, why should we?

    I also wonder why they are teaching this in schools, I am glad my syllabus only has a short section on adaption. It is similar to sections on Pollution, so much of it is subjective, and the question more about feelings, and politics rather than science.

    Former colleagues of mine have been involved in this, https://retractionwatch.com and other related antics to shine some light on to the 'dark side' of science. Just because a scientist says something is true, does not mean it is true, and it also does not mean his research has any meaning beyond the trivial.

    I have heard and read too many scientists (interestingly most of them evolutionary) make comments in the style of a pagan priest or an evangelical preacher, while trying to defend the supposedly scientific basis for their confirmed and freely admitted atheism.
    If your scientific research is rigorous, and you are honest, it does not matter what your religious belief is.
  • Would those claiming that evolution cannot be considered a "fact" consider any knowledge apart from direct Divine Revelation to be objectively "true", and if so, what would be the necessary basis for objectively true knowledge?
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  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 3,337
    If your scientific research is rigorous, and you are honest, it does not matter what your religious belief is.

    I agree. The converse is also true - the scientific paradigms with which you understand the physical world are irrelevant to salvation.
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  • francis
    Posts: 10,638
    Schönbergian

    1+1=2

    And it has nothing to do with divine revelation... but it IS a fact unlike a lot of scientific theories promoted as such.
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  • Would those claiming that evolution cannot be considered a "fact" consider any knowledge apart from direct Divine Revelation to be objectively "true", and if so, what would be the necessary basis for objectively true knowledge?

    I'm sorry... did I miss something? Isn't it the THEORY of evolution? It most certainly is NOT a fact by any scientific standard.

    I read a fascinating book written by a mathematician - who started with the premise that evolution was true, and intended his book to conclusively determine that via mathematical probability... only to discover that, as he studied various considerations offered as evidence, the facts led him further and further from proving evolution. In his final analysis, he put the odds at 10^300 to 1 that evolution is the answer to creation (which he pointed out is mathematically impossible).

    The link below is not the book, but is a different analysis that demonstrates a mathematical probability model against evolution. Regardless - let's stop thinking that evolution is a given FACT. It is not. It is a THEORY.

    https://www.icr.org/article/493/
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  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,740
    [the above-cited author] has won many evolutionists to accept the truth of special creation
    …which is of course not a theory. I wonder how one is supposed to go about calculating the mathematical probability of a watchmaker?
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,131
    1+1=2

    And it has nothing to do with divine revelation... but it IS a fact


    Well, when you take a class in number theory, you find out that it's based on how "1" and "2" and "+" and "=" are defined. :-)
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,137
    You are precisely correct, chonak!
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  • Learning about evolution can transform us in a deep way. It shows us our place in the whole splendid and extraordinary panoply of life. It unites us with every living thing on the Earth today and with myriads of creatures long dead. Evolution gives us the true account of our origins, replacing the myths that satisfied us for thousands of years. Some find this deeply frightening, others ineffably thrilling.
    Coyne op. cit., p. xiv.
    How can you believe anything from a man who writes such utter nonsense.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,011
    Why is that nonsense? Here's a more prosaic rendition of what I take as Coyne's meaning:

    Learning about evolution makes a difference to us. It shows us our relationship to all other living creatures on earth, past and present. It reveals to us how human beings got here, and it's a more accurate natural explanation of how we came to exist than the ancient myths that people believed for much of human history. Some people are threatened by this knowledge, in others it evokes wonder.

    There's no nonsense in that paragraph, neither in the original nor in my rewording. You might disagree with some claims, but that doesn't make it nonsense.

    ---

    And regarding evolution being a "theory," in science the word "theory" doesn't mean "an unsubstantiated hypothesis," as it often means in colloquial usage. General Relativity is a theory too in the scientific sense. Virtually no scientist thinks General Relativity is fundamentally incorrect; General Relativity isn't the total explanation for gravity, but it explains a lot by satisfactorily accounting for evidence and observed tests. A superior explanation will incorporate General Relativity, as GR incorporated Newtonian mechanics, but it won't overthrow GR.

    The "theory" of evolution has to be understood in a similar way: it's a theory in the scientific sense. Hardly any scientist thinks evolution might be fundamentally incorrect; evolution isn't the total explanation, but it explains a lot by satisfactorily accounting for evidence, which includes fossils, genetics, biogeography, and directly observed mutations. A superior explanation will incorporate current neo-Darwinian evolution (as neo-Darwinism incorporated original Darwinism) but it won't overthrow it.
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  • The claim that evolution is more accurate than the myth many clung to for thousands of years is simply untrue. It is more materialistic or naturalistic (not, therefore, relying on the supernatural). If something has a supernatural cause, relying on a merely natural one won't do, and can't be classified as accurate.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 1,011
    We need to distinguish in what sense evolution is accurate and in what sense Genesis 1-2 is accurate.

    There's much, much more evidence for evolution's thesis that life evolved from primitive form than there is for special creation of each species separately by God.

    In that sense, evolution is indeed more accurate than a literalist interpretation of Genesis 1-2. Neo-Darwinian evolution in general terms accurately explains the natural mechanisms and history of how life came to exist in diverse species from original primitive form. It doesn't explain how life originated in primitive form, however, nor does it explain the origin of the contingent universe.

    I agree that evolution can't provide a metaphysical explanation for the origin of contingent creation. That doesn't mean evolution can't provide an explanation for the diversification of species within creation once life began. Just because evolution doesn't provide a total explanation for everything doesn't mean it's not valuable as a partial explanation within its restricted field of inquiry.

    Evolution can be accurate in a scientific sense, in terms of providing an explanation of natural events. Genesis 1-2 is accurate in a theological sense. You don't have to choose one to the exclusion of the other. Faith and reason complement each other in Catholic doctrine and faith. If you do science correctly and if you interpret Revelation correctly, truths in both domains will cohere because God, who cannot deceive, is the source of both the natural world and of Revelation.
  • MarkB - Your redaction of the passage is an acknowledgment that it is problematic even for you.
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  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,150
    Alls I knows is that the 2nd chapter of Genesis contradicts the 1st chapter.
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  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,150
    Inerrant doesn't mean literal. Inerrant doesn't mean infallible.
  • Mark,

    For all the research we've done on micro-organisms, have we ever had a bacterium become something other than a bacterium? Do we now have, locked in cryogenic suspension, a species which used to be a bacterium, and which is now no longer a bacterium? The problem with evolution as a scientific theory is that we've not one shred of evidence of new species arising as the theory proposes. We do see horses, cows and other animals bred by humans to accentuate particular characteristics, but as soon as man is involved in controlling the process, it's no longer "natural selection" as the theory proposes.
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