Geocentrism and Young Earth Creationism among TLM Traditionalist Catholics?
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,365
    Honestly, this young earth stuff is just the kind of
    thing that makes non Christians laugh hysterically. No wonder they
    aren't interested in the church, who want to commit intellectual suicide?
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,565
    Don't doubt the temptations to people who suffer from grandiosity (often masked with a certain odd modesty that is not humility) of being perceived as a gadfly as a mark of Prophetic Witnessing.
  • ghmus7
    Posts: 1,365
    How true...
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,806
    Honestly, this young earth stuff is just the kind of thing that makes non Christians laugh hysterically. No wonder they aren't interested in the church, who want to commit intellectual suicide?
    The godless may think as such, but your comment simply brought this scripture to my mind...
    "For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts."

    I think we must do more thinking and pondering than tinkering and proclaiming the philosphy and ways of our present age before we come to our foregone conclusions. When God is replaced by science and not made subject to Him, we then come upon the true 'axis of evil'.
    "Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord, and against his Christ. Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us. He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them."
    It is the LORD who owns laughter.
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,512
    Isaiah 55 opens with an invitation to the thirsty (note that the Venetian version of soft "c" should be as in the more conventional spelling "sitientes"). What kind of thin gruel should be on offer to those who thrill to the creation as uncovered by the many generations that have followed Ptolemy?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 813
    Young earthers think their pseudoscience is superior, disproves Big Bang cosmology and biological evolution, and proves a 6,000 year-old earth and a global flood and a geocentric universe and supernatural special creation of each living species, and that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. It's all nonsense, and it DOES make those Catholics/Christians look silly.

    As I've been talking to and learning more about trad Catholic young earthers, they are quite arrogant about their claims although they try to conceal that in initial conversations. When you don't give in to their young earth proselytism and challenge them with magisterial teaching and Thomistic references that contradict their claims, they get irritated and they send you all sorts of links to Kolbe Center articles and videos, and you get used to hearing the same ten or so points or arguments over and over again. The Fr. Chad Ripperger fanboys are the worst of the bunch. They think if only the Catholic Church would embrace a literal interpretation of Genesis 1-3, Protestants would beat down the doors to convert, teenagers would come to daily Mass, there would be no divorce, and all would be well with the world. They literally believe that evolution is singlehandedly responsible for the decline of the West and the Church, and they are annoyingly adamant about it.

    I think the insularity and fear of the modern world that characterizes much of trad Catholicism, of which young earth geocentrism is an example, is a hindrance to the TLM becoming more widespread. If pseudoscience and bad theology get linked with TLM communities, and if they insist on their narrow, flawed theological and scientific views as being essential to the Catholic worldview, it will hurt their efforts at evangelization.
  • @MarkB, what are the some of the "Thomistic references" you mention that refute the claims of "trad Catholic young earthers"?
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  • Young-Earth creationists apply the Dawkins/Harris anti-theist playbook in reverse and end up looking just as hilariously misguided as those two men do.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 813
    @madorganist, one of the young earther claims, following Fr. Ripperger and a couple other authors/speakers, is that evolution is impossible under Thomistic metaphysics because, among other things, the principle of proportionate causality precludes the more perfect being caused by the less perfect, thus it is impossible for a new, more complex and more perfect species of thing to be generated by a simpler and less perfect type of thing.

    Thomas interpreted the six days of creation in Genesis mostly literally, which is understandable given his historical setting and prescientific era. However, one passage from his Summa that shows he thought it was possible for new varieties of things to be caused to emerge after the work of creation had been completed by God on the sixth day is the following:

    Nothing entirely new was afterwards made by God, but all things subsequently made had in a sense been made before in the work of the six days. Some things, indeed, had a previous existence materially, as the rib from the side of Adam out of which God formed Eve; whilst others existed not only in matter but also in their causes, as those individual creatures that are now generated existed in the first of their kind. Species, also, that are new, if any such appear, existed beforehand in various active powers; so that animals, and perhaps even new species of animals, are produced by putrefaction by the power which the stars and elements received at the beginning. Again, animals of new kinds arise occasionally from the connection of individuals belonging to different species, as the mule is the offspring of an ass and a mare; but even these existed previously in their causes, in the works of the six days. (ST.I.Q73.A1.ad3)


    Thomas was wrong about spontaneous generation from putrefaction, but his philosophical point is larger than his particular example: Thomas clearly thought that the emergence of new species of animals from a totality of causes, a power "which the stars and elements received at the beginning" from God at creation, was not impossible; nor did he think such a possibility was contrary to Catholic faith.

    It is not a large leap, and it is entirely consistent with what Thomas wrote in the passage cited above, to claim that the neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution of new species is compatible with Thomistic philosophy and with Catholic faith because the causal power and potentiality that God gave the universe when he created it included the ability of a totality of causes to produce new, more complex, and better varieties of material things from originally simpler material things.

    The point is that Thomas himself quite explicitly supported a stance that some young earthers today claim is impossible within a Thomistic metaphysical framework.
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  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,323
    thus it is impossible for a new, more complex and more perfect species of thing to be generated by a simpler and less perfect type of thing.


    This claim has been made by mainstream Genetists... as they went on the search for Eve's DNA! and found it by computer programme!

    As for St. Thomas being wrong about spontaneous generation, well he is in the company of more than a few experimental scientists, it was only Pasteur that finally slammed that door shut. It is all very well theorising but the scientific method encourages us to test our theory and hone it with experimental results.

    The creation of the world was a miracle, many physicists are quite happy with such language. Science can not conclusively tell us how long it took. 6 days, 6 million years who cares, it was a miracle caused by the Prime Mover.

    As for the formation of large complex organic molecules, ask an organic chemist... they will say it is impossible or at least highly unlikely.

    Anyway just in case you are worried, our Trad communites in London have better things to talk about than evolutionary theory and the age of the world. Most of the talks being organised by the Kolbe Centre etc. are at places that have the N.O.
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  • It is not a large leap, and it is entirely consistent with what Thomas wrote in the passage cited above, to claim that the neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution of new species is compatible with Thomistic philosophy and with Catholic faith because the causal power and potentiality that God gave the universe when he created it included the ability of a totality of causes to produce new, more complex, and better varieties of material things from originally simpler material things.

    Returning to the scriptures, we have the following account of the creation of living things:

    THIRD DAY (Evening and Morning)
    --grasses that grow and seed
    --fruit-trees, each giving fruit of its own kind, and so propagating itself on earth

    FIFTH DAY (Evening and Morning)
    --huge sea-beasts, and all the different kinds of life and movement that spring from the waters
    --all the different kinds of flying things

    SIXTH DAY (Evening and Morning)
    --every sort of wild beast
    --all the different kinds of cattle and of creeping things
    --man in God's own image, and woman both

    Now, I am aware that the Hebrew word yom does not necessarily mean one single 24-hour period, but I have yet to come across a satisfactory explanation of what else could possibly be implied by one yom divided into evening (erev) and morning (boker).

    Is an evolutionary progression from huge sea-beasts, to all the different kinds of life and movement that spring from the waters, to all the different kinds of flying things, to every sort of wild beast, to all the different kinds of cattle and of creeping things, to man in God's own image, and woman both, consistent with the neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution of new species? If not, then what should your Thomistic neo-Darwinian Catholic make of the first chapter of Genesis?
    Young earthers think their pseudoscience is superior, disproves Big Bang cosmology and biological evolution, and proves a 6,000 year-old earth and a global flood and a geocentric universe and supernatural special creation of each living species, and that dinosaurs and humans coexisted. It's all nonsense, and it DOES make those Catholics/Christians look silly.
    Their pseudoscience is based on the account revealed by the One who was actually there when it happened - indeed, the Creator Himself.
    Thomas was wrong about spontaneous generation from putrefaction, but his philosophical point is larger than his particular example: Thomas clearly thought that the emergence of new species of animals from a totality of causes, a power "which the stars and elements received at the beginning" from God at creation, was not impossible; nor did he think such a possibility was contrary to Catholic faith.
    What is clear is that the Angelic Doctor was specifically considering the production of animals and perhaps even new species by putrefaction, which as you and another commenter already noted, represents a prescientific view. To cite an obviously prescientific view in order to refute a supposedly pseudoscientific view strikes me as, well, rather unscientific.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Young earthers think...

    Makes me think of:

    Catholics think...

    (This is almost always followed by utter nonsense.)

    *eye roll*

    But why is it so important that "young earthers" be incorrect - not only that, but then ridiculed?
  • MarkB
    Posts: 813
    It's not "so important" that young earthers be incorrect, but what is wrong with attempting to determine the truth of the matter? Should young earthers be permitted to make their case, no rebuttals permitted? I myself didn't know that young earth creationism was a thing among Catholics (I thought it was limited to Evangelicals) until some trad Catholic young earthers tried to proselytize me. That's when I became interested in it.

    What is clear is that the Angelic Doctor was specifically considering the production of animals and perhaps even new species by putrefaction, which as you and another commenter already noted, represents a prescientific view. To cite an obviously prescientific view in order to refute a supposedly pseudoscientific view strikes me as, well, rather unscientific.


    This ignores Thomas' larger theological and philosophical point, which is that he was arguing that the work of creation did not finish making different kinds of things by the end of the sixth day. As he states, "...all things subsequently made had in a sense been made before in the work of the six days."

    Thomas didn't look at the apparent evidence of spontaneous generation and conclude it had to be rejected because it contradicted Genesis 1 and his own metaphysical system. No, he explained how it would be possible for new kinds of things to be made after the work of the six days was finished, and he explained it with reference to a totality of causes, which causes had been created by God during the work of the six days, and by supporting such an explanation he upheld its consistency with Catholic faith.

    Theistic evolution, which posits that God, instead of specially creating each and every kind of thing himself by direct divine action, created the universe with natural causes that could naturally produce different kinds of things, nonliving and living, over the course of billions of years of cosmic history, is being faithful to Thomas' method.

    Their pseudoscience is based on the account revealed by the One who was actually there when it happened - indeed, the Creator Himself.


    This begs the question of how to interpret Genesis 1-3. The Catechism presents it as symbolic: “Scripture presents the work of the Creator symbolically as a succession of six days of divine ‘work,’ concluded by the ‘rest’ of the seventh day” (337).

    Is an evolutionary progression from huge sea-beasts, to all the different kinds of life and movement that spring from the waters, to all the different kinds of flying things, to every sort of wild beast, to all the different kinds of cattle and of creeping things, to man in God's own image, and woman both, consistent with the neo-Darwinian theory of biological evolution of new species? If not, then what should your Thomistic neo-Darwinian Catholic make of the first chapter of Genesis?


    The same thing the Catechism makes of it: it's symbolic while also revealing some facts that really occurred, such as that God himself created everything out of nothing, that all of creation is good, and that human beings are created in God's image and likeness, unlike the other animals. The sequence of creation in Genesis 1 is not to be understood as revealing a progression of created things that occurred in that specific way in history.
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  • Their pseudoscience is based on the account revealed by the One who was actually there when it happened - indeed, the Creator Himself.


    I thought we were done with purely literalistic Biblical interpretation ages ago.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,057
    Newest fad in Catholic Bible Study - fundamentalism.
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,323
    symbolic while also revealing some facts that really occurred, such as that God himself created everything out of nothing, that all of creation is good, and that human beings are created in God's image and likeness, unlike the other animals. The sequence of creation in Genesis 1 is not to be understood as revealing a progression of created things that occurred in that specific way in history.


    This is the problematic idea that caught out Cardinal Pell... it implies that Adam and Eve did not physically exist, if humans evolved (from some sort of Ape) you have no Adam, and you will then have no Eve... Oh and then you won't have two people in a garden, no tree, and as Richard Dawkins pointed out you do not have Original Sin.

    So if a famous atheist can see the problem, what are we going to do? If we don't have Original Sin is our Faith, faithless?
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Have you seen the episode of "Friends" when Phoebe and Ross argue about evolution?

    Did it make any difference to anything else?
    It just seems like such a silly subject to constantly argue about, as it literally doesn't matter to anyone except for those who are for some reason need evolution to be "true."

    It's one of those subjects that just don't affect "real life," and so doesn't really need to be brought up every time you meet up with those friends/family who have differing opinions from yours - unless your goal is to always feel "better" than them.

    It isn't like abortion - where lives are literally being lost, and comission/omission could literally affect one's Salvation.

    It isn't government-regulation in response to "climate change."

    It isn't like "young earthers" believe the world didn't exist before Christ was born to Mary.
    They simply believe Adam and Eve didn't spring forth from the ribs, or progeny, of animals.

    Why not argue about something more interesting?
    For example, did those people in the OT really live 900+ years? Why were those old guys so "giant?" What was missing later to make everyone so... human-sized?
    Did chimps use to be giant, too? If not, how'd they become erect, giant people?

    I digress.

    The point is that every time you start something with "those young-earthers..." or the like, you're showing your unnecessary disdain, which isn't especially engaging, except to those who share your disdain.
  • Tbh, I naturally sympathize with people who ridicule my positions about most anything. I harbor a deep suspicion that I am thoroughly laughable.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 1,057
    @CCooze,

    This biology major finds the subject of evolution very interesting and not at all boring. In fact, this biology major finds creationism very interesting and not at all boring (finding the holes in the creationists arguments is entertaining on a cold winters night. Right up there with mathematical proofs!)
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    @bhcordova

    I didn't say it's "boring."
    As I admitted, I did digress.

    The point, was that people are - at times - needlessly rude and presumptuous.
    Being so does not actually further one's case, but simply makes them, "sounding brass or tinkling [read: clanging] cymbals."
    Edit: The other point was that the age of the earth, in general, isn't important to the salvation of souls.
  • Corinne,

    Part of why one side behaves the way it does, it seems to me, is this:

    If the world is ancient, Catholic doctrine can quite happily accommodate that idea

    but

    If the world is 6000 years old, Evolution simply hasn't had anywhere near enough time to do any of the things it is purported to have done in a much larger time frame.


    Another reason is, perhaps, this:

    One purpose of advancing the theory of evolution by natural selection is to remove the stability of the unchanging teachings of Holy Mother the Church. Doctrines, like organisms, apparently, must evolve.

    A third reason, but this time, to explain the other side:

    Some traditionalists (and others, as it becomes convenient) see all biological inquiry as threatening. I pointed out to a group of students some years ago that we shouldn't run away from good science because it couldn't, by itself, take us away from our faith. In response to a question from a student, who claimed that the study of DNA contradicted Genesis, I said that it would be proper to challenge ideas purporting to be scientific on science grounds, and that if he wanted to be taken seriously by scientists who valued their reputations, he shouldn't begin the discussion with "The Bible says..."
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,026
    As an exemplary young priest I know says: "Catholics need to stop reading the Bible."

    His point being that too many Catholics read the scriptures (particularly in lay-led parish "Bible Study Groups"), and then attempt to interpret them, without any solid background in Patristics, Philosophy, Theology, etc., etc., or even Linguistics; and then, because they don't know any better, they look things up on the internet and find tracts by Fundamentalists (Protestant and Catholics).
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,565
    That's not so far from saying that people need to stop having families, because of the high likelihood that they will screw up their kids and the world.
  • GerardH
    Posts: 279
    @Chris Garton-Zavesky, I hope that this line of argument you presented was for illustrative purposes only:

    One purpose of advancing the theory of evolution by natural selection is to remove the stability of the unchanging teachings of Holy Mother the Church. Doctrines, like organisms, apparently, must evolve.

    Need we be reminded of the Galileo affair?
  • Need we be reminded of the Galileo affair?


    As in, must we be reminded of the Protestantized explanation, or what actually happened?

    Galileo wasn't rapped on the knuckles for proposing discoveries of scientific interest. He was admonished for trying to use his scientific discoveries and hypotheses to explain and contradict Scripture, something entirely out of his purview. If I remember, the particular passage he contradicted involved the battle where the day was extended so that their victory could be more complete.

    As a Catholic, you can believe anything you want - as long as you acknowledge the unchanging teachings (aka doctrine) of the Church. The Church doesn't endorse evolution; it allows one to believe that theory PROVIDED you acknowledge that God is the Creator of all things; that there was one Adam and one Eve from whom we are all descended; that any evolution was in accord with His direction.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 813
    Ah, but as I've found out in talking to young earthers, they don't believe that Catholics have the latitude to believe in theistic evolution. They believe Catholics who accept that the Big Bang and biological evolution are compatible with Catholic faith are deficient in their faith and depart from authoritative Catholic teaching. They assert that vast numbers of Catholic clergy and laity have succumbed to a modernist error by attempting to harmonize Catholic faith, doctrine and the Bible with mainstream science. The Kolbe Center is quite explicit about all of that. They believe they are restoring the Church to its proper foundation of belief by promoting geocentrism and special creation over six twenty-four hours days 6,000-10,000 years ago, with a global flood whose sedimentary and fossil deposits every mainstream geologist and paleontologist is misinterpreting as being millions and billions of years old.
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  • Gerard H,

    Copernicus proposed similar ideas long before anyone knew who Galileo was, and didn't suffer persecution or excommunication or anything of the sort. So, if the lesson to learn from the Galileo affair is that the Church's teachings really do need to evolve, to keep up with mainstream science, why on earth didn't Copernicus find himself in a jail cell attended by the Spanish Inquisition (which no one expects)?

    Mainstream (so called) Science is highly sympathetic to .... Laudato Si, so I'm not sure what that demonstrates about either science or Catholic doctrine, but taking that many pages to say "Don't waste stuff" seems ironic.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 813
    The Copernicus matter is interesting. He proposed a heliocentric model of the universe, but still with circular orbits instead of ellipses (as Kepler would discover later), so his model wasn't the best but it was mathematically much simpler than a geocentric model with epicycles and deferents and accurate enough for its time in predicting astronomical phenomena.

    His book proposing the heliocentric theory was published shortly before his death, and unbeknownst to him a friend added a preface that stated it was a mathematical fiction: that the model was for computational purposes only, not to be asserted as a model of reality. Hard to know for sure, but it's likely that Copernicus thought the model described the reality of a sun-centered planetary system. The preface was added to assuage ecclesiastical authorities who might charge the book's author with an ecclesiastical crime, such as heresy.

    The fact that Copernicus delayed publishing his work until just before his death is evidence he realized it would likely create a stir.

    Cardinal Bellarmine, of the Inquisition, ruled that the Copernican theory was acceptable and may be taught and used as long as it wasn't asserted as a model of reality. His reason was that there was insufficient evidence for its reality, and in the face of a lack of scientific evidence there wasn't justification for departing from a traditional interpretation of Scripture. But Bellarmine was prudent and wise enough to admit that if evidence were to become persuasive, the Church's traditional interpretation of Scripture would have to be modified to harmonize with Copernicus' model.
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  • To not see the obvious parallels between the climate change debate and the YEC debate is, charitably, mistaken thinking.

    Chris, if you believe that advancing the theory of evolution is done to posit that the Church must, too, evolve in its previously unchanging teachings, then what are we to make of progress in other fields?

    Also, our faith is indeed a development (or fulfilment, more accurately) of Judaism, and did not exist in its present form for all eternity anyways.
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  • Liam
    Posts: 4,565
    This breaking news just in: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

    There is probably an appropriate Robt Sungenis analogue to that.
  • Schoenbergian,

    As a matter of historical fact, development of doctrine is accepted by the Magisterium, but evolution of doctrine is not. These two ideas are simply not semantic differences describing the same thing. Essential to "evolution" is the idea that an organism's descendants will become something they aren't already.
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  • I do suspect that some amount of the zealous attachment described is more to do with the temperament of the people involved: based on my own experience young men and converts are often zealous. A zealously pious dear friend of mine was once told by a wise old priest that most of his problems were simply the problems typical of his youth, and he would grow out of them. I've been terribly zealous myself (convert), though I'm getting a bit less so as the years go by.

    In any case, zealous people will be super zealous in whatever context they are in (check out the ferocity of hoof care conversations on a horse forum, for instance...).

    It's hard to redirect zeal into moderation - that requires a change in personality more than a change in subject matter.
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  • GerardH
    Posts: 279
    @Incardination

    As in, must we be reminded of the Protestantized explanation, or what actually happened?

    How about "As in, must we be reminded of the Protestantized Traditionalist / Scripture fundamentalist explanation, or what actually happened?"

    I'm so glad you can point out the contradiction between these two things. My point was this: just as damaging as the anti-science view ascribed to the Church in the Galileo affair because of the actions of a few is the anti-science view ascribed because of the vocal few who hold to a literalist scriptural interpretation of creation.

    As you have kindly pointed out, @Chris Garton-Zavesky, doctrine may develop, but it doesn't evolve. Since the traditionally-held belief of a geocentric universe was shown to be false (beginning with Copernicus and Galileo), clearly geocentricism must never have been doctrine at all! Galileo may have overstepped in his dogmatic assertions, but his science was accurate for the time - and I hardly think one could ascribe an agenda to bring down the Church to Copernicus.

    Similarly, if science shows that the traditionally-held belief of six-day creation is false - and believe me, the evidence is staggering - then clearly that must never have been doctrine. The vast majority of cosmologists, biologists and evolutionary scientist have no agenda beyond Scientia itself. In fact, you'll find far more "scientists" with agendas in YEC and flat-earth spheres. (This strikes me as being like the difference between scriptural exegesis and isogesis.)

    We should be more like Robert Bellarmine, as @MarkB has kindly pointed out:

    ... Bellarmine was prudent and wise enough to admit that if evidence were to become persuasive, the Church's traditional interpretation of Scripture would have to be modified to harmonize with Copernicus' model.
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  • I'm also afraid I don't understand the difference between religion developing and evolving, since obviously God cannot evolve.
  • GerardH
    Posts: 279
    @Schönbergian, compare to dogmas being defined well after apostolic times - Mary's conception didn't suddenly become immaculate in 1854, but that was the first time the teaching developed to the point of defined dogma. Also compare to the development of the Church's view on slavery.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 813
    An example of doctrinal development would be from the early Church's understanding of the Eucharist as the Real Presence of Christ's Body and Blood, humanity and divinity, to the Council of Trent's dogmatic statement that the Eucharist entails a change of substance, fittingly called "transubstantiation." The doctrine was still the same, but developed into a better understanding and more explicit definition by the magisterium.

    Also the Council of Trent's dogmatic statements about justification in response to the Protestant Reformation.

    Another example would be Vatican I's teachings about the relation between faith and reason. Those things had been believed and applied all throughout the Church's history, but not defined nor articulated as explicitly as the council fathers did at Vatican I.

    Essential to doctrinal development is continuity with the past. The development is not a reversal of prior infallible teaching; it's a greater understanding and more precise definition of the content of faith, even if the development entails discontinuity with some prior minor, noninfallible aspect of Church teaching.

    Doctrinal evolution, I suppose, would be a doctrine changing to become something entirely different and discontinuous with the past, or a reversal of an infallible teaching. Something like if the Church were to approve of same-sex marriage. That would entail a complete reversal of prior infallible dogmas, which is why such a reversal would be impossible according to Catholic faith and theology.

    Less easy to analyze and understand is the teaching from Vatican II about religious liberty, which prima facie is discontinuous with prior Church teaching that error has no rights and false religions were not to be tolerated. That's why a lot of SSPXers and sedevacantists have objections to Vatican II: it seems to them to be an unacceptable reversal in Catholic doctrine. There is both continuity and discontinuity in Vatican II's teaching on religious liberty, but Catholic faith and doctrine accept the possibility of reversing prior ordinary, noninfallible magisterial teaching for good reason as part of the way Church doctrine develops, and Vatican II's teaching on religious liberty can be understood as a development of doctrine that entailed continuity with some parts of prior teaching along with a reversal of minor, subordinate aspects of prior ordinary and noninfallible magisterial teaching.

    God cannot evolve--certainly not--but the Church's understanding of what God has revealed can develop.
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  • That was my understanding too, which makes me question why this confusion between "development" and "evolution" developed in the first place. Humanity would have evolved to roughly its present genetic state by the earliest recorded historical events in the Bible, so it's not as though our physical evolution would have any effect on the development of our faith. In other words, the concept of macroevolution could have no effect whatsoever even on how our faith applies to a physically changing human race.
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  • MarkB
    Posts: 813
    That's not what young earthers are worried about. Their beef with neo-Darwinian macroevolution is that it is incompatible with their (they claim the Church's authoritative and unchanged) interpretation of what God has revealed in Genesis 1-11: namely, that God created the world in six 24-hour days 6,000-10,000 years ago, he created each species of animal directly and specially, and there was a global catastrophic flood that covered the whole earth's surface with water.

    They think belief in evolution undermines belief in the Bible, undermines Catholic faith, leads people to reject the Church and become atheists and has produced the decline in the Church and in the West that we are currently witnessing. They really do blame it all on the widespread acceptance of evolution, which they consider to be inherently and irredeemably pernicious because it is a biased, atheistic philosophy instead of a neutral scientific theory about biological origins and species diversification.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,806
    because it is a biased, atheistic philosophy instead of a neutral scientific theory about biological origins and species diversification
    that could be the case...
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  • GerardH
    Posts: 279
    And the beef many irreligious have with Christianity is that they think it's intrinsically tied with young-earth creationism, which:

    is a biased, a-theistic philosophy instead of a neutral scientific theory about biological origins and species diversification stagnation

    It really doesn't help our case.
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,806
    If one is trying to 'win' someone to Catholicism by touting arguments about evolution or biology then one is entirely confused about The Faith altogether.
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  • GerardH
    Posts: 279
    @francis But if someone is turned away from Catholicism entirely because of creationist nutters, that would be a great shame indeed.
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  • I'm aware, Mark. I'm addressing the point that Chris brought up about evolution being tied to a belief that the Church, too, must evolve, even though the two would occur on entirely different time spans (if it did evolve, the Church would only have two thousand years in which to do so, a blink of the eye when it comes to human evolution)
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  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,806
    @GerhardH

    If an argument over creationism turns someone away from the Faith, we should all step back and weigh what is more important... Which is it... the Eucharist and the Cross OR the scientific measurement of the age of dirt?

    I suggest we get real.

    If the tipping point of belief leans into unbelief over how rocks were formed on earth and steals away ones eternal destiny, then flee science and embrace Truth for the sake of your very soul, I implore you.

    To dirt you shall return, but your soul to God or not for eternity.
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 1,259
    Thank you, Francis. That was much more eloquent than my former post ended up being.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 2,323
    @GerardH
    "Since the traditionally-held belief of a geocentric universe was shown to be false (beginning with Copernicus and Galileo), clearly geocentricism must never have been doctrine at all!"

    Geocentrism is not a belief it is an observational reality, we stand on an apparently immovable object and see other objects moving around us in various different orbits (paths). What Copernicus showed was that the observations of the movements could be more easily explained by a Heliocentric universe... they did not show that Geocentrism is false.

    Of course we now know that we do not live in a Heliocentric universe... the Sun moves! in fact we are told that everything is moving. This is mainly because it is too difficult to prove if something is stationary... Now it is all very well appealing to gravity, but the Sun is not the gravitational centre of the solar system either (but is pretty close).

    So after asking someone to believe in God, the Angels and the soul (immaterial beings), the creation of heaven and earth out of nothing, original sin, the Immaculate Conception, the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Assumption, Transubstantiation, miracles, eternal life... you tell me we are going to loose a convert because we believe that the earth was created in 6 days!
  • GerardH
    Posts: 279
    I've lost count of the number of my peers who have said to me "I don't believe in God, I believe in science". Because of bad theology that tries to contradict science, they won't even come close to the church or the chance of an encounter with God.

    Truth can't contradict truth. Science can't contradict divine revelation - and divine revelation can't possibly contradict science.
    Thanked by 3CharlesW MarkB Elmar
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,806
    I've lost count of the number of my peers who have said to me "I don't believe in God, I believe in science"
    You have a lot of work to do! Your argument 'against' science will not change their thinking. That is dead end. Forsake it.

    If the 'science' they believe in moves them away from God, then it is a FALSE science at best. True science always brings us to Faith in God, not away from him. The false science they are grasping is dangerous to their soul.

    This is why evolution is not just a science... it is a religion... one that has pagan roots in earth worship.

    I also have people telling me that my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit and that is why I should excersize and take good care of my body. Problem is, the people who tell me these things have made their body their god as they have rejected Faith, and live in the blindness of not at all preserving or caring for their soul. One is not exclusive of the other, but when the material outweighs the spiritual, that is a warning sign that one may be "gaining the world and losing his soul."
    Thanked by 2tomjaw madorganist
  • GerardH
    Posts: 279
    @francis Science couldn't possibly lead away from God - truth cannot contradict truth. But it could lead away from a false god...
    Thanked by 1Marc Cerisier
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 9,806
    FALSE science will lead you to a FALSE god. TRUE science will lead you to the TRUE God.