Russia Will Spread Her Errors: Evolutionism: by Kennedy Hall
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,380
    This is another thread that more specifically approaches the THEORY of Evolution. This is a tangent thread to our Geocentric thread.

    I ran across this article today and will link to it's entirety at the end. For starters, I will post some snippets below.

    _____

    Russia Will Spread Her Errors: Evolutionism
    by Kennedy Hall

    ...“Russia will spread its errors throughout the world, raising up wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer and various nations will be annihilated.” It is commonly understood that these errors of Russia would be the errors of Communism and atheism, which are of course grave errors. Nevertheless, there are other inherent errors to the old Russian system that were spread throughout the world through the nefarious means of the Soviets…

    …Yet, a foundational pillar – and error – of Communism often overlooked is Evolutionism.

    Scripture and Tradition against Evolution

    ...I am sure all of us have heard something like: “The Catholic Church has no problem with evolutionary theory because the Church is pro-science.” Like all diabolical deceptions, this is true in part. The word “science” ultimately comes from the Latin word “scire”, which means “to know.” In essence, to say something is scientific is to say that something can be known. This is why many disciplines are called “sciences.” We might think of the social sciences, natural sciences, even literary or library sciences.

    The Church is ‘pro-science’ in the sense that she has always been in favor of true knowledge, since God is the source of all truth. When the natural sciences correctly present something as worthy of belief, then it is compatible with the Catholic Faith. Yet if natural science presents something unprovable, it need not be held as true by Catholics, or anyone else. More importantly, if natural science proposes something against the proper sense of Scripture and the Faith, then that so-called ‘scientific’ knowledge is in error and untenable for faithful Catholics…

    …Thankfully, the Church has given us a host of teachings to clarify what we are required to believe about creation. There is no teaching or declaration more clear, and damning to belief in evolutionary theory, than the following passage from the Fourth Lateran Council (1213-1215):

    “We firmly believe and confess
 without reservation that there is only
 one true God… the creator of all
 things, visible and invisible, spiritual 
and corporeal, who by his almighty
 power from the beginning of time
 made at once (simul) out of nothing
(ex nihilo), both orders of creatures,
 the spiritual and the corporeal,
that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then the human
creature, who, as it were, shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body."

    This statement is part of the infallible magisterium. It cannot be abrogated. In the future, the Church could add greater specificity to this teaching, but this teaching is binding in perpetuity. It may never be disbelieved and its meaning may never be changed. The creation of all things, out of nothing, in the beginning and at once is a dogma of the faith…

    …Some might protest that this teaching is old, and the Council Fathers of the time were not aware of the coming advancements of “modern science.” I would caution those who make such statements, lest they find themselves rank with the stench of a condemned heresy. Consider the following two heretical statements condemned in Lamentabili Sane (1903) by Pope St. Pius X with the full weight of his Petrine authority:

    “5. Since the deposit of Faith contains only revealed truths, the Church has no right to pass judgment on the assertions of the human sciences.”

    “64. Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.”

    To hold the positions expressed in these modernist errors is heretical. Granted, one who is ignorant of Church teaching and holds these errors is not a formal heretic, but he is in material heresy. However, now you dear Reader, do know...

    Bishop Cuthbert M. O’Gara of Yuanling, China relates the following in a booklet titled The Surrender to Secularism: “The first, the fundamental lesson given [by the communists] was man’s descent from the ape – Darwinism! …. Darwinism negates God, the human soul, the after-life. Into this vacuum Communism enters as the be-all and the end-all of the intellectual slavery it has created.”…

    …The logical consequence of this thinking is an immoral “survival of the fittest” mentality like that of the common chimpanzee. Animals operate in ways that facilitate their own needs to be met, and can be conditioned to obey a master. The State is the god of the communist, and all citizens must be led by the Violent Alpha. With its materialistic and atheistic world view, Communism ultimately treats man as an animal, nothing more than cattle to be culled and used for the good of the state which trumpets the supposed progress of man and society…

    …If you deny the intentional creation of man by a benevolent Creator, and replace it with a random evolution of intelligent animals, then ultimately there is no basis for moral good. All obstacles that stand in the way of “progress” are casualties to the cause of the Almighty State. Darwinian Evolution is a bottom-up approach; the complete reversal of the top-down Biblical narrative. Rather than coming forth from the Mind of God, the origins of man emanate from the unconscious matter of a meaningless cosmos…

    …Faith in Darwinian evolution is nothing but a fallible human faith in something that has never been observed nor ever will be. For a Catholic who accepts evolution, it implies God used explosions, chaos, chance, deformity, diseases, suffering and death to create His own image and likeness! How does this not blaspheme our Perfect, Beautiful, Almighty and All-wise Creator? It entails the belief that God chose to evolve the bodies of our first parents, and that Adam was born of a sub-human primate mother and suckled at the breast of a beast. It implies that Eve was conceived immaculately, because she would have been conceived without sin by some ape. Yet this blasphemes Our Lady who is dogmatically and infallibly defined as the only Immaculate Conception. Note, that according to true Catholic teaching, Eve was never conceived but directly created by God Himself…

    ...Our Faith requires us to believe in a First Couple who propagated the whole human race, but these were the first created human children of God, not the randomly occurring children of soulless animals. In some fashion, the evolutionary Adam would need his soul to be infused into him either at conception or during gestation. He would be destined for a life with God, while his own mother, in whom he was gestating, remained soulless and destined for eternal annihilation. It is an offensive blasphemy to say God would use an ape to achieve the miraculous creation of the first human being, and that the “son of an ape” would prefigure the “Son of Man.”…

    …Evolutionism is a great scourge of Russian error against which we are warned by Our Lady…

    ===============================
    Full Article Here:

    https://fatima.org/news-views/russia-error-evolution/
  • I, for one, am not horrified at the theory of evolution. If it is true, then that is how God brought us into being. If it isn't, then it remains to be seen (or unseen!) just how God brought us into being. Two things are certain: 1) the geological and fossil records are there before our very eyes and they tell us that for an awful lot of millenia an awful lot was going on on this planet before we arrived, and that 2) however things came to be, God did it. I have no doubt, though, that God did not simply go 'zot' and everything was magically there in six literal days. Above all, my faith in and love of God are neither dependent upon nor modified by theories of the creative process.

    Other, more subtle enemies of people of Faith are, however, a clear and present danger.

    Godless communism remains the enemy of Christian civilisation, but has no shortage of other godlessnesses to keep it company. Russia is no longer technically communist since the current regime has become nominally Christian and keeps company with the Russian Orthodox Church. One might observe, though, that there remains significant numbers of communists who were reared on that hideous doctrine and remain faithful to it. And, after all, it is not Russia's now-Christian religion which seeks company with other nominally Christian states, but its autocrats who seek company with other autocrats and will poke us in the eye at every opportunity.

    Communism in China, however, continues to have a stranglehold on that unfortunate land and nothing short of a tremendous civil upheaval or war will dislodge it. Such is the rule and nature of 'party-rule' regimes of the last hundred years. Anyone who is alert to events will know that the avowed goal of communist China is to attain hegemony over the free world, this American nation (us!) in particular. Is it not nauseating and sick that even a pope has now given that godless communist party the right of approval in the naming of Chinese bishops in return for diplomatic relations with its well-dressed ruling thugs? This hearkens back to the investiture problems of mediaeval Europe (which it took centuries for the Church to rid itself of!) - at least the European rulers at that time were Christian.

    Both the Russian autocrat and his friends, and the Chinese communists and their friends, by arms or by the subtle corruption of our elites (who would sell their immortal souls for US$5.00), would destroy Western Civilisation if they could.

    Chinese communism is not the only godless system of our time, however. Relativism and materalism, post-modernism, feminism, and a host of other -isms have no shortage of godless acolytes. God is not popular these days with large numbers of Americans. Plus, we will likely see the rolling back of religious freedom in this country within our lifetimes. Further, the sentiments of our European brethren have been well expressed by the European Union official who some time ago famously said 'we do not like God', as Europe turned its back on its Christian faith and heritage. Christians are the most persecuted religious people in the world.

    The Darwinian theory of evolution, whether fact or fiction, is the least of our worries. It really says nothing one way or the other about God. Wasting time getting stewed up over it is tilting at windmills - while our elites get rich doing business with the Sino-Trojan horse.

  • For all the horrors it propagated in the twentieth century, Marxism-Leninism is probably one of the least relevant forces in today's world (at least of those countering the Church), and to pin Darwin's theories and others on it makes practically zero sense. Your quoted article sounds like it was penned by Senator McCarthy himself.

    We don't need another Red Scare when we have more important things to worry about.
  • MarkB
    Posts: 288
    Thankfully, the Church has given us a host of teachings to clarify what we are required to believe about creation. There is no teaching or declaration more clear, and damning to belief in evolutionary theory, than the following passage from the Fourth Lateran Council (1213-1215):

    “We firmly believe and confess without reservation that there is only one true God… the creator of all things, visible and invisible, spiritual and corporeal, who by his almighty power from the beginning of time made at once (simul) out of nothing (ex nihilo), both orders of creatures, the spiritual and the corporeal, that is, the angelic and the earthly, and then the human creature, who, as it were, shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body."

    This statement is part of the infallible magisterium. It cannot be abrogated. In the future, the Church could add greater specificity to this teaching, but this teaching is binding in perpetuity. It may never be disbelieved and its meaning may never be changed. The creation of all things, out of nothing, in the beginning and at once is a dogma of the faith


    Catholic YECs (young earth creationists) pull this one out all the time. It's easily harmonized with the possibility of the Big Bang and biological evolution. It doesn't restrict nor bind Catholics to YEC at all, like they claim it does.

    God created at once and out of nothing both the angelic and the earthly orders of creatures. Yep. All true. And capable of being harmonized with the Big Bang and evolution: in addition to creating the heavenly realm with the angels, the Big Bang was an instantaneous generation of the universe which immediately co-generated the corporeal order of all the energy/matter that would later evolve into a variety of physical things, all consisting of the same physical matter generated at the beginning. God did it.

    "And then the human creature, who, as it were, shares in both orders, being composed of spirit and body." Yep. All true. And capable of being harmonized with evolution because "and then" means afterwards/later/subsequently, and because evolution would only pertain to the preparation of the physical matter of the human body, which would have been ensouled by God at the moment of the creation of Adam, making a new spiritual and corporeal being in the universe that had hitherto consisted merely of physical things.

    So, no difficulties there. A Catholic theistic evolutionist could and should support everything in that declaration. Hardly "damning to belief in evolutionary theory."

    As for any causal relation between evolutionary theory and the evils of Communism, even if true it wouldn't negate biological evolution in the slightest, as if biologists are responsible for the erroneous misapplication and transferal of an idea in biology to the realm of government.

    Furthermore, whereas naturalistic evolution would consider evolution occurring apart from any activity of God (a stance not permitted to Catholics), theistic evolution would consider evolution occurring as intended and caused by God as the means through secondary causes by which he prepared for human beings. Still comes from the mind of God, still created by God, still maintains an objective moral standard of good, still top-down because God is the First Cause who made it all happen and upon whose being and power everything depends.

    Faith in Darwinian evolution is nothing but a fallible human faith in something that has never been observed nor ever will be. For a Catholic who accepts evolution, it implies God used explosions, chaos, chance, deformity, diseases, suffering and death to create His own image and likeness!


    No, God's own image and likeness weren't created until the immaterial soul was joined with the physical matter (which could have been prepared by evolution) of the human body, which physical body was not itself the image and likeness of God and which could have been prepared through a process that was not a smooth development. Evolution did not and could not have produced God's image and likeness, but God miraculously ensouling a product of evolutionary development could have.

    It entails the belief that God chose to evolve the bodies of our first parents, and that Adam was born of a sub-human primate mother and suckled at the breast of a beast.


    If God chose to do it that way, so what? God's infinite power cannot be restricted to the six-day account in Genesis 1.

    It implies that Eve was conceived immaculately, because she would have been conceived without sin by some ape. Yet this blasphemes Our Lady who is dogmatically and infallibly defined as the only Immaculate Conception.


    The definition of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary being preserved from the stain of original sin from the first moment of her conception. Since prior to Adam committing original sin, that spiritually disordered condition wasn't a reality, the conception of Adam and Eve would not have been immaculate in the sense that Mary's conception was. Adam and Eve were created with original holiness, and if they were conceived, then from the moment of their conception/creation they would have been conceived in original holiness. Nevertheless, Mary's Immaculate Conception was greater in view of it being in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, which were pre-applied to her at the moment of her conception. Mary was conceived as radically redeemed by grace and preserved from sin by God's grace, whereas Adam and Eve were created (and conceived if that's how it happened) as supernaturally holy by grace yet still able to sin, which they did. Mary's gift of grace was greater.

    Note, that according to true Catholic teaching, Eve was never conceived but directly created by God Himself


    That's not necessarily what the inspired author of Genesis intended to teach. Cf. Ludwig Ott's Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma (2018, Baronius Press), pp. 105: "There is no need to hold fast to the literal interpretation, because the way and manner by which the first woman was formed is hardly to be reckoned among the facts that touch on the foundation of the Christian religion."

    Our Faith requires us to believe in a First Couple who propagated the whole human race, but these were the first created human children of God, not the randomly occurring children of soulless animals. In some fashion, the evolutionary Adam would need his soul to be infused into him either at conception or during gestation. He would be destined for a life with God, while his own mother, in whom he was gestating, remained soulless and destined for eternal annihilation. It is an offensive blasphemy to say God would use an ape to achieve the miraculous creation of the first human being, and that the “son of an ape” would prefigure the “Son of Man.”…


    Yes to an Adam and Eve as the first human man and woman from whom all other human beings descend. That's not incompatible with evolution, though, for God could have ensouled the first human man and woman at whatever point he deemed their physical bodies suitable for ensoulment.

    God did not use a primate ancestor to achieve the miraculous creation of the first human being, for that would have required God's direct action in creating the human soul, as already mentioned. However, God could have used a primate ancestor to provide Adam's physical body that was ensouled by God, thereby making it truly human and making him a different kind of creature than his immediate biological progenitors would have been.

    Adam would be the son of a primate ancestor in a strictly physical, biological sense but not in a metaphysical sense.

    There is nothing whatsoever in the original post's essay that refutes evolution nor persuasively argues that evolution is incompatible with Catholic faith.
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  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 756
    But why do people so desperately, willingly wish to believe that humans came from non-human primates? I just don't understand the attraction of such a notion.
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  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 756
    I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here, previously, but the Radio Replies books/site by Frs. Rumble & Carthy hold a special place in my heart. I'd like to share a snippet from them, now:

    646. Let us leave these mysterious inner activities of God, and turn to external creatures. How do you view the theories of creation and evolution?

    Creation is not a theory. It is a fact revealed by God.

    Evolution is a fact within certain restricted spheres, but a mere theory when made of universal application.

    We have to admit evolution in knowledge, or in growth from babyhood to manhood. As a universal theory, however, evolution from nothing is absurd. Yet granted that God created something, it is quite possible that God endowed His original creation with power to evolve.

    Did He create vegetables, and animals separately, or did He create a vast rotating nebula and give it the power to evolve into various forms of being and life? The latter idea has never been proved. It is a matter of speculation, with no certainty attached to it, save that science quite discredits spontaneous generation of life.

    Did man himself evolve from lower living beings? It is absolutely certain that his soul did not. The soul is an intelligent spirit, and an intelligent spirit cannot evolve from matter. Moreover, God has revealed that the soul is created immediately by Himself.

    Did man's body evolve from lower animals, God creating the rational soul when some lower animal had sufficiently evolved towards manhood? Despite conjectures in favor of this notion, the evidence is against it.

    The missing link is still missing, and reason discounts the probability that a purely animal soul could develop an animal body beyond its own powers, lifting it to the higher stage needed for a rational soul.

    http://www.radioreplies.info/radio-replies-vol-1.php?t=62
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,789
    Senator McCarthy


    Unfortunately for you Zinn-"educated" folks, Joe McCarthy was proven correct on EVERY major thesis he held on Communists in the US Government. You could start with the Venona Papers; when you finish that, there's more available.
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,789
    Timing is everything. As @MarkB mentions, the soul-body fusion could have happened at any place along the 'humanoid' time-line.

    And as @Francis implies, the materialist dogma of Communism, when merged with the conveniently-agnostic theory of evolution, is an error which has spread like wildfire.
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  • Jeffrey Quick
    Posts: 1,565
    For all the horrors it propagated in the twentieth century, Marxism-Leninism is probably one of the least relevant forces in today's world (at least of those countering the Church),

    Everyone's a Marxist now. Why foment a revolution when people (or cardinals) will vote one in?
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 288
    But why do people so desperately, willingly wish to believe that humans came from non-human primates? I just don't understand the attraction of such a notion.


    It's not a matter of "desperately" wanting to believe it. For centuries human beings didn't believe it because it didn't occur to them to believe it due to a lack of discovered evidence that would later give rise to evolution as an explanatory theory.

    Now, as the evidence has been amassed that supports evolution as an explanation of the evidence, it's a matter of accepting a highly probable explanation of a natural process of species diversification; highly probable because it rationally accounts for the evidence better than any other explanation of the evidence gathered.

    I hasten to add that of course the natural process could not have occurred without God's creative act that made the universe, and every natural process is entirely within God's providence.

    Radio Replies Volume 1 was published in 1938. Quite a lot has been discovered since that year in genetics and other sciences that requires we not take that reply as being entirely applicable today without revision. The commentators seem open to the possibility of evolution: "Yet granted that God created something, it is quite possible that God endowed His original creation with power to evolve." Their reservations were due to a lack of evidence which, over 80 years later, has been satisfied.
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  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 724
    The problem with Kennedy Hall's supposition, is that Communist Russia rejected Darwinism in favor of Lamarckianism, i.e. that acquired traits could be inherited by offspring - a dis-proven theory.

    So many people reject evolution out of hand without even learning what it says.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,892
    "I just don't understand the attraction of such a notion."

    I just don't understand why it's unattractive.
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  • Liam,

    Here are just a few picnic-item reasons why the idea is unattractive....

    "Evolution" proposes that higher life came out of lower life, but physics tells us that in a closed system, entropy increases, not organization.

    "Evolution" proposes, in effect, that living stuff came from non-living stuff, but the discrediting of the theory of abiogenesis tells us otherwise.

    "Evolution" can't account for the Cambrian explosion.

    "Evolution" has never been observed in nature or caused in a laboratory. Neither has a prediction been made about when and how a particular kind of change will take place been made and then observed to take place. (When we predict an eclipse, and it happens when and how we say it will, that is at least evidence in support of a reasonable, rational hypothesis in search of direct evidence).

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  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 724
    @Chris
    The earth is not a closed system. Energy is pouring in daily.

    Not all science is predictive. Only physics works that way, and then only in the most simple circumstances. An eclipse can be predicted because it is a simple two-body problem. Add enough complexities and the best you can do is state statistically something should happen. Living things are some of the most complex things known to us. Evolution happens over the course of millennia and eons, not overnight. Natural selection (one component of evolution) happens more quickly and can be observed everywhere.

    The Cambrian 'explosion' did not happen overnight, but over the course of millions of years.

    Life coming from inanimate matter is in line with Genesis.

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  • Obviously there were Communists in the US that McCarthy identified. Whether they posed any existential threat to the US simply by holding those opinions is a different matter - and quite like the topic at hand here, I think.

    I remain uncomfortable at the lack of consistency some, but not all, posters here are displaying with regard to what is divine Revelation and how we should interpret it. In particular, there has been no explanation of how we should reconcile two literally accurate but contradictory accounts of creation.
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  • BHCordova,

    Liam asked (in effect) how any sensible person could not find evolution attractive. I posited some reasons.

    Following your definition of an open system, is there anywhere in concrete reality which is, actually, a closed system?

    You're quite right that not all science is predictive, but I didn't propose this as the only criterion. One way we know that a hypothesis has reason to be accepted is that a predicted action took place when, where and (perhaps) how predicted. This doesn't make something scientifically true, only reasonably plausible. As I understand the situation, scientists can accept indirect evidence as well as direct evidence under certain limitations.

    Your defense of complexities and predictions, rather than help the "theory" of evolution, hinders it. If we can make only statistical predictions, we're making comments about the natural world which might be reasonable and might be true but aren't scientific. At least, they're not scientific in the proper sense of the term.
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  • I know next to nothing on this, but who here has read Wolfgang Smith? He's a physicist and a traditional Catholic who has also released a movie on this subject recently. I used to be fairly pro-evolution until I read Teilhardism and the New Religion which made me question a lot of presuppositions I had on this subject, especially stemming from Augustine's observation that Time comes from Creation, and not the other way around. I think Smith's scholarship is worth a look.
  • TCJ
    Posts: 654
    It was only a matter of time before the "it took millions of years" argument came up.

    How did something come from nothing? "It took millions of years!"
    How did monkeys evolve into humans? "It took millions of years!"
    Can you provide actual evidence of macro evolution occurring? "It took millions of years!"

    It's like trying to get an answer from a politician. Now that WILL take millions of years.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,380
    evidence has been amassed that supports evolution as an explanation of the evidence
    truly? What EVIDENCE?

    The whole million year excuse is as good as a multi-universe. Let’s get real. Historically, we can’t even determine how earlier Catholics sang Gregorian chant much less how a human could evolve.
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  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 724
    TCJ, evolution does not say that monkeys evolved into humans. Only creationist who are ignorant about evolution make that statement about evolution.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,380
    @bhcordova

    Extraterrestrials? Subhumans? Prehumastoids?
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,610
    @francis

    It really is unkind to remind us that various evolutionists have claimed that life came to the earth from another planet.

    Now who said that those that look for Alien intelligence are those for whom all intelligence is alien...
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 756
    Their reservations were due to a lack of evidence which, over 80 years later, has been satisfied.


    I disagree. If this was so, this discussion would be much different.

    Did God really have to wait and watch for the best point in time to instill an immortal spirit into an evolving animal?
  • BHCordova,

    Life coming from inanimate matter is in line with Genesis, that's because God acted on the matter -- He made man out of the slime of the earth. The slime of the earth didn't make anything without God's permissive will or His direct action. So, you're right that inanimate matter being made no longer inanimate is quite acceptable. Evolution proposes, however, a purely natural course of change caused (or perhaps accompanied by) "natural selection". The change, rather, was caused by SUPERnatural selection



    About the whole "millions of years" thing, .... agitprop scientists have an unsettling way of using millions of years, not unlike how Sen. Sanders uses millionaires and billionaires. First, the world couldn't have been made in 6 days, since it takes millions of years (cue the Serenade Teilhard). Then, of course we can't see evolution taking place because (cue the Suite Dawkins) it takes place too slowly and subtly, but it may have come from another planet, where life evolved at an earlier stage, so much earlier and evidently faster that ET travelled here across light-years of space to seed this unfashionable planet still developing sludge and soup.....

    Even if the Cambrian explosion didn't occur literally overnight, Darwin's theory doesn't accommodate a short term effusion of life until multiple forms of prevenient life can and must be seen. Missing links are.... mostly still missing.

    About the monkeys, could you lay out clearly, therefore, what Darwinian evolution does say (or any of her daughter or sister theories do say) about evolution, monkeys, primates in general, human beings or anything related to the topic, which creationists have so hopelessly misrepresented?
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  • dad29
    Posts: 1,789
    Whether they posed any existential threat to the US simply by holding those opinions is a different matter


    Perhaps they did not pose an existential threat because of Joe McCarthy's campaign. We know that the Church will never face an existential threat, but filling the Vatican with Her enemies doesn't seem like a prudent thing to do.
  • Dad,

    You're not one of those Anti-Francis fanatics, are you, who thinks that His Holiness has filled the Vatican with the enemies of the Church?

    [smirk]

  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 724
    Chris, here is a link https://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/evo_01 that might help.
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  • dad29
    Posts: 1,789
    Francis I did not begin the hiring of termites, snakes, and rats at the Vatican.

    But he certainly has not reversed it.

    There are many people who are attracted to 1) power or 2) money (or both). All of that is available at the Vatican. And it was foretold in the Gospel, with the "power" portion as the story of James & John asking that they be seated at the side of Christ--and the "money" portion the story of Judas. (Later on, "simony" became a thing, too; a variation on the theme.)

    Interesting that the "power" boyzzzz had a much better ending than Judas, no?
  • Elmar
    Posts: 163
    Chris,
    If we can make only statistical predictions, we're making comments about the natural world which might be reasonable and might be true but aren't scientific. At least, they're not scientific in the proper sense of the term.
    You might want to reconsider this statement; a lot of scientific research would be labeled unscientific this way (or at least, not properly scientific); e.g. most of medical research.
  • Elmar,

    I stand by my statement.
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  • Elmar
    Posts: 163
    OK, finally I know that I got my PhD on research that was "not scientific in the proper sense of the word", thanks.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 724
    Chris, are you saying that quantum mechanics is not a real science?
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,610
    Quantum mechanics is a branch of philosophy... If we are going to have the scientific method we need to test our theories. Of course in certain areas the theories cannot be directly tested, so it would be fair not to put them on the same level as theories that can be directly tested. Some ideas or theories by their very nature can never be tested i.e. the multiverse)
    When I was a post graduate researcher if I drew a mechanism on the board, I had to go into the lab next week to prove it! So sometimes the following week we had to admit we were wrong and come up with a new theory.

    Medical research is an interesting area, just because someone gets better when we give them a medicine, does it mean the medicine works? (No, we do not have enough evidence) say we cure 6 people? (No we do not have enough evidence) what about 6 million? Well that is interesting, but still does not mean our cure works for everyone.

    Around the time of the merger of GlaxoWelcome with SmithKlineBeecham, one of the Chairman (a former boss of mine) said the following, "Most of the drugs don't work for most of the people most of the time" this statement is true (depending on your definition of most), but trying to find which of the drugs work for which sub-selection of the people... is a rather difficult, if not impossible task.
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  • Elmar
    Posts: 163
    Although quantum mechanics is definitly physics, that which is usually called its 'interpretation' (related to the "measurement problem") isn't to a large extent.

    Concerning the testing of your hypotheses, tomjaw, you were very lucky when you came to the conclusion that you were wrong after only one week of experimenting. The worst thing in this regard - very instructive, though - was that after two years of coming up with a new (version of the) mechanism time after time, we had to admit that our theory had become so flexible that it could possibly explain anything - and therefore: nothing.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 756
    Haha, medical research.

    As the saying goes, there's a reason we call what doctors do a "practice."

    Have you seen the video of the Chief Scientist at the W.H.O saying that they need to find out how to respond when vaccines kill people? She said that they put vaccines and medicines into the world because they think they're safe, and then they find out they have awful side effects, including death. So what does that say about medicine and medical research being any kind of an exact science?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,610
    @Elmar
    I was an organic synthetic chemist... almost all of our beliefs (ideas / theories etc.) are based on observation, almost all of our reactions that we use have been discovered by accident. We usually have a clear goal to work to, we need to make this drug candidate or this natural product. So we can create a plausible route to our goal, we can choose a starting point, and then we go to the lab and try to do the first step... We have weekly progress meetings and group sessions so we can provide input to our colleagues.
    O.K. it may take a year, maybe two years to get to the last step, and our route may have been changed by either being made longer or if we are lucky it may be shorter. But our ideas are constantly being tested. So we develop a good sense of what will work and what is outlandish!
    This experience means I end up viewing other branches of science in the same way...
    Is this something that is observable?
    Can we repeat this?
    Can we test this?
    How does this fit in the bigger picture?
    Is the language being used seem outlandish?
    Is there more hope than practical experience?
    Is this wishful thinking?

    @CCooze
    I can't speak for the quacks... sorry practitioners of medicine. But as someone that has been a very small cog in the development of an anti tumour agent...
    So we make drug, we make sure it is pure, we than can test it in a range of trials, at each stage we need to show that it has a beneficial effect, eventually it is tested in humans against a placebo. But our results / output is an average...
    So for any drug we can say,
    1. This should help some people.
    2. That most people taking it will not get worse.
    3. The side effects are acceptable.
    4. It 'should' not kill anyone.
    So our problem is the definition of the word safe... So when we are told a drug is safe, it really means it is safer than eating peanuts, but more dangerous than drinking a glass of water. So it is relatively safe!
    Then we have cost benefit, so the health service can say if we give everyone this vaccine,
    1. Some people will be protected
    2. Most people it won't make any difference. (they always forget this one)
    3. A small number of people may suffer adverse effects.
    So as long a the 'some' of point 1 is much larger than the 'few' of 3, and the cost of treating 1. if they fall ill is much more expensive than the vaccine plus the cost of dealing with the adverse effects of the 'few', we are good to go!
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • BH Cordova,

    I don't know enough about quantum mechanics to address the question, except this way: if it claims the mantle of science but fails the test of the scientific method, yes, it would be something other than science.

    Elmar,

    I don't know about your research, and I'm not qualified to answer the question in specific detail for this reason. Nevertheless, if it meets the criterion of not being scientific, it isn't I who fail it, for it fails itself.

    I rather imagine a situation I had some years ago, when students tried to get me to admit exceptions to the seal of the confessional.

    1) What if the penitent just confessed to poisoning the chalice?
    2) What if the penitent just confessed to child abuse?
    3) What if the penitent just confessed to .... [multiply the examples]

    The seal isn't contingent on any of these conditions. In the same way, a marriage is either valid or not, the fact that the husband became a philanderer in his mid-life crisis doesn't actually change the question: is it a valid marriage or not?
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,968
    I suppose it's just as well to know that as an admirer of Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov as well as Wallace and Darwin I fall under double suspicion, but if I may stray from the topic at hand, why are musically germane threads like Standard Rates for Wedding Choir Members and Advice for Search for the Least Expensive yet Best Quality Electronic Digital Self-Contained Organ in the tinfoil hat "Opinions" category?
    Thanked by 3JL CHGiffen toddevoss
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,968
    Christians are the most persecuted religious people in the world.
    You'd have to show me the math for this assertion. Recently there've been 700,00 Rohinga driven from their country, about 1,000,000 Uyghurs put in concentration camps, ongoing violence against Muslims in India, not to mention that the majority of dayesh's victims were Muslim.

    If I limit the horizon to my personal experience, on my first visit to Portland I was singled out and challenged to a fight by a stranger, not as a Christian, but for being spotted taking to Indonesian friends. My second visit was somewhat anxious, being immediately after 2 Good Samaritans were stabbed to death, not as a Christians, but for intervening on behalf of a woman in hijab. Can't say I remember the last time a deranged feminist martyred creationists for their beliefs, though.

    Thanked by 2JL CHGiffen
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,789
    Richard, I don't have numbers handy, but African Christians are being slaughtered by Muslims in a couple of African countries; you may recall "Armenians", of course; there are very few Christians remaining in Lebanon (most fled rather than get killed); and in India, Catholics are targets of the Hindus AND the Mohammedans.

    Is Portland still a US city?
  • Richard -

    I can't remember where I read that statistic. It was several months ago from a respected news source or periodical. (I realise that these are not always the last word in reliability, but I was favourably impressed on this occasion.) So, if, indeed, Christians are 'the most persecuted', the numbers must be astronomical when compared to the Uighurs and others. And, I want to be on record for being appalled at the persecutions of Uighurs and every other religious group by that paranoid regime in China. As for Christians in the US, as a group they are, shall we say, not respected on our campuses and university classrooms - they are openly discriminated against (and murdered) in large parts of Africa and the Muslim world. As far as 'the West' goes most any kind of religion is fashionable and respected (at least amongst our educated classes) except Christianity. One hears the cry, 'Islamophobia!', at the drop of a hat, but 'Christianophobia', though never called that, is quite alright (even fashionable). A Sikh, for instance, may be (as he should be) admired for being devout - but Christians are not supposed to be devout and are thought weird, unkind (even a threat or a tad kooky) if they are serious about their religion. Just in the last twenty years we have seen the calculated banishment of any hint of religion from society's year-end 'holiday season'. One could go on, but this will do for now.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • With post-modernism having accomplished its goal of destroying the credibility of the "old guard" in the eyes of many, society is left scrambling to find a new God and new prophets suspiciously similar in treatment to those they abhor. Hence the popularity of social media "influencers", the spiritual-but-not-religious movement, factional politics (especially in the US), and the recent craving for some sort of order which has propelled populist politics to the fore as a curiously unfulfilling counter-balance to all this. In my opinion, all of these toxic trends are little more than a misguided search for the same Old Firm on which humanity has relied for the last two millennia, and explains the doublethink of supporting the "new", "hip" versions of ultimately Christian concepts while despising their origins.
    Thanked by 1Elmar
  • Elmar
    Posts: 163
    Just in the last twenty years we have seen the calculated banishment of any hint of religion from society's year-end 'holiday season'.
    Interesting observation ... here on the other side of the big pond, we are a few decades 'ahead', but I feel (without any hard evidence, for the record) that these things are less a 'calcuated banishment', but rather a consequence of us Christians being lukewarm for a long time.

    Of course there are lots of anecdotes + urban legends like stopping to sing Christmas songs at schools for fear of provoking Muslims etc. ... without questioning that such things happpen occasionally, I guess that these stories become so widespread because that helps to blame others for our giving up of our Christian roots, out of laziness in our wealthy western society, rather than prosecution.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,610
    Recently there've been 700,00 Rohinga driven from their country,


    This is untrue,
    The Rohinga are Bengali Muslims from Bangladesh, they have been gradually invading Burma a Buddhist country. As anyone with any knowledge of the region will know the Muslims have over the last few centuries invaded countries across Asia killing and raping as they go.
    Guess what the Hindus (in India) and Buddhists are fed up and now fight back.
    So 'some' these 'poor' Bengali have been killing Burmese policemen, and raping the local Buddhist girls, and this has been going on for quite a few years. Of course the majority of the Bengali Muslims are reasonably peaceful but of course do nothing about their more violent members. So when the more violent members went on yet another killing and raping spree, the peaceful Buddhists decided they had had enough and sent the army in to solve the problem!

    As for the Uyghurs, you are quite right, but the Han Chinese have been happily doing this to every minority in China (remember Tibet!) oh! since when we U.K. / U.S.A. funded the communists to help fight the Japanese! But we still fund their economy by buying their produce, so we must agree this is a good policy. We get cheap goods and a better lifestyle thanks to this arrangement!
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • All very true, Elmar -
    A few months ago I watched a youtube video about the choir at King's and was deeply saddened when the choirmaster (a knighted man whom we all admired and often seek to emulate) had only this to say about Lessons & Carols and Christmas in general... 'it's about the birth of a baby boy - anyone can relate to that'. So there you have it! That's all there is to Christmas - lest anyone be offended by it.
    Of course, Jesus never said anything that people didn't want to hear.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw Elmar
  • dad29
    Posts: 1,789
    But we still fund their economy by buying their produce,


    I think you meant "products."

    That will largely be coming to an end over the next decade or so as Trump's policies take effect AND the supply-chain effects of the "Wu-Flu" bite into factories here in the US--not to mention Red China and Korea.

    In fact, of the two causes, supply-chain problems will probably have more effect than the new trade arrangements.
  • This forum reminds me of the movie Inception sometimes - a tangent within a tangent within a tangent, each consuming more time than the last :)

    The evolution question has always fascinated me, though. I still think that there is fuzzy thinking involved in the Pollyanna approach: "There is NO conflict between Faith and Reason, therefore no conflict between Catholicism and Evolution!"

    It partly depends on how you define the terms. If Evolution is a purely natural process by which all life developed from non-life, then YES there is a direct conflict between it and the idea that God created life. If by "evolution" you mean that "God used a natural long-term process to create life" then YES, the two could harmonize. But the problem I see is that Catholics seeking to harmonize faith and science mean the latter thing, while scientific sorts mean the former thing. This conflict was brought home to me with clarity in the famous address by new Pope Francis in 2014 - summarized in the quotable: "Evolution in nature is not opposed to the notion of Creation, because evolution presupposes the creation of beings that evolve."

    This was hailed around the world as important, and "official vatican support for evolution". The problem is that when scientists say "evolution" they usually do not mean that God created beings that then evolved. Do they ever mean that by "evolution"? No, because that would be, essentially, the Intelligent Design position - which is roundly mocked in scientific circles. To say "there is no conflict between evolution and creation because God created life-forms capable of evolving" is not resolving a tension; rather, it is highlighting the tension. Most creationists understand that we have micro-evolution (the development and even speciation of existing life) and that this is observable everywhere around us. It is fundamental to life. The problem is more in believing that life came from non-life spontaneously, or that "simple life" can evolve to be ever more complex by spontaneously generating new and compatible and helpful genetic material.

    I think non-religious scientists would laugh at you if you told them "there is no conflict between evolution and creation because God created life-forms capable of evolving". Yes, there is a conflict, at least between evolution as it is commonly taught and understood, and the idea that some divine being created life ex nihilo.
  • I think part of the problem is that people define creation too narrowly. If God created the universe, then by extension He also created all the laws by which it operates - physical and metaphysical. The evolutionary process would naturally be part of that, as would entropy and the like. Some may call this deism, but I firmly believe that the universe must be logically comprehensible to enable us to properly exercise free will - otherwise, we fall into the Ghazali school of ridiculous justifications for everything. I also don't view evolution as falling outside of that purview.

    To go beyond that (i.e. speculating on exactly how much God is micro-managing the world and the evolution of species) is to put too much faith in our ability as finite beings to understand infinity; however, I take issue with the notion that God would plant intentionally misleading evidence to "test" us (not referring to evolutionary theory necessarily, but things like carbon-14 dating and redshift that would need to be specifically engineered to account for an old universe.)

    Jared, though I agree with the position you advance about "there being no conflict between E and C because God created life-forms capable of evolving", I believe some of the skepticism surrounding that idea is because it renders the theological component unnecessary from a scientific point of view. God is responsible for these beings - great, but that doesn't (and shouldn't) impact the scientific inquiry at all. It's bringing in theology where it's unnecessary from their point of view (vs. young-earth creationism where the theology is an intrinsic component of the theory) For the record, I don't feel threatened by that, nor do I think it's a specifically atheistic position. We should aim to keep metaphysics and physics separate, except in the one place where they intentionally collide - the Church.

    As for the comments about vaccines by some individuals here - I think that's symptomatic of an overly skeptical view of the scientific profession in general, and I mean that as charitably as possible.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,610
    carbon-14 dating and redshift that would need to be specifically engineered to account for an old universe.)


    C14 dating well since the half life is 5,730 years (the time taken for half the C14 to decay), while the oldest dates that can be 'reliably' measured by this process date to around 50,000 years ago, the tree ring calibration only goes back 13,900 years!

    As for redshift this tells us that everything is moving away from us, because of the shift of the spectral data, the greater the shift the faster it is moving... using these speeds that are a snapshot in time... to then come up with a date for the big bang is once again going to rely on assumptions that cannot be tested!

    As for vaccines, science has failed, it has said they are safe but not explained what safe means, and so when the tiny number of people fall ill due to the side effects found in any medication, instead of putting their hands up and saying sorry, they go into panic mode trying to find some other explanation. As for people being skeptical I can name quite a few professors of chemistry and doctors of medicine, that will refuse mainstream treatment paths... I will note that doctors do appear to be happy to pay for their children to be vaccinated with the most effective vaccine!
    Thanked by 1CCooze
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,968
    As anyone with any knowledge of the region will know

    …the Myanmar regime has an official line of its own, towards which a bit of skepticism might be due. As in Indonesia (where I lived and studied) Islam was brought to Arakan by proselytizers. As for whether members of a group that 'over the last few centuries invaded countries killing and raping as they go' deserve anything that comes their way, let's save that to contemplate over pumpkin pie next Indigenous Peoples Day.
    Thanked by 1JL
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 1,968
    I'm sorry MJO, but you surely weren't expecting to change my mind with the syllogism

    "a respected news source or periodical" said Christians are most persecuted

    a few cited figures of the sticks and stones variety put persecuted Muslims well into the 7 figures

    therefore, even more Christians must be suffering persecution.

    "Christians are the most sneered at religious people in Houston" is perhaps less scientific because less falsifiable, and perhaps by the same token unprovable. Have you anecdotes of your own?
    Thanked by 1JL