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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Thoughts on Evolution

Evolution is a touchy subject, even among Catholics. Generally speaking though, traditional Catholics are against Evolution, and I'd like to talk about why I think this is so. And while Evolution can be a loose concept, I think the following 'blanket approach' is more or less fair.

The first reason is that Evolution originated as a way of explaining the origins of life from a purely atheistic-materialistic standpoint. In other words, there is a philosophy behind evolution, and that philosophy is that of atheistic materialism, the belief that everything can be explained without any reference to God. This is precisely why science is largely dominated by atheist-materialists. This isn't an accident, and it's not lost on traditionalists who are well aware about the link between bad philosophy and bad lifestyles. 

The second reason is that Evolution is taken as a secular dogmas that all are required to believe in. I use the term "dogma" on purpose, because Evolution is held as so important that if one were to even question it (even if they don't deny it), they are viciously attacked and slandered. You cannot get a job in certain fields, especially teaching on the university level, if you have any doubts about evolution. In many places, you're forced to learn it in schools, in the form they want it presented. If you deny evolution, you're slandered with the worst name calling and treated as a piece of ignorant garbage. This is taken by traditionalists as highly suspicious, since the truth doesn't need such force, and such an approach is usually a sign that some sinister agenda is taking place.

The third reason is that Evolution isn't even a specific and sturdy of a thesis, but rather contains many unanswered questions, both on the philosophical and experimental level. There aren't any specific explanations for how and why Evolution takes place, only that it must be so. There are no plain experiments that the average student can even engage in to witness evolution taking place, nor is there any way to verify astronomical numbers that are spit out by equations and instruments. When it comes to examining history, things become more and more speculative and uncertain the further you go back, and after a certain window of a few thousand years, one really cannot say much with confidence. Thus, traditionalists would view Evolution as more of a pseudo-science, masquerading as a open-and-shut case.

The fourth reason is that the Church has yet to give any stamp of approval on Evolution. The closest thing the Church has come to an official statement on Evolution is in a 60 year old Encyclical by Pope Pius XII called Humani Generis (On Human Origins), where the Magisterium said Evolution was by no means a given. All that the Pope said is that in the realm of scholarly debate, it is permissible to explore Evolution as a theory, and weigh its merits and demerits as objectively as possible (paragraph 36). In fact, Pius made it clear: "Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts." As any faithful Catholic should do, traditionalists have simply said we must carefully follow the Magisterium on this matter, and not go beyond it, especially not in the rash manner that many Catholics have done, treating evolution as a completely settled matter for Catholics. 

Some might ask: What about theistic Evolution? So called theistic Evolution teaches that God providentially guided the evolutionary process, and thus one need not be atheist to believe in evolution. This is implausible in my opinion for a variety of reasons. Recall that Evolution is founded upon the idea that what we see today came about as a result of billions of years of failed mutations and mass extinctions. Evolution teaches that fully 99.9% of every species that has ever existed has become extinct. So what does that make us? From the atheist point of view, we're a random accident, and that's the most logical thing to say given the premises. This is why so many of these men are also Nihilists, who see life as having no meaning, since we're just one (temporary) successful mutation. Given that, a theistic Evolutionist has to have the nerve to say that an all Providential God had to rely on billions of years of failed mutations and extinction of 99.9% of creation to eventually come around to His crowning achievement. As an analogy, it's as if someone wrote a massive 1000 page book and yet only the last sentence of the entire book (i.e. when man finally arrives on the scene) was relevant to the main issue (i.e. Salvation history). It really sounds quite silly, which is why those advocating theistic Evolution are never taken seriously by the atheistic science community at large. Rather, the atheistic scientific community sees these folks as poor confused and inconsistent individuals rather than robust academic thinkers. 

Solid Catholic theologians like professor Lawrence Feingold (an atheist to Catholic convert), has given a nice lecture on why he doesn't believe in Evolution (along with a Q&A session). One primary argument he gives is the fact that the way man's body is constituted, man's body is uniquely suited only for a being with the capacity of rational thought, which animals don't have. For example, man is born naked, as opposed to having something like a fur coat, because man can chose to end up living in any environment, rather than being restricted to either hot (no fur), moderate (some fur), or cold climates (a large coat of fur). Another example is man's hands, which are his primary means of survival, by which he can use to build all kinds of tools and such. The use of hands for survival only is possible for a rational being, because the being must be able to envision the concept of tools and formulate plans on how to go about achieving his desired ends. This is why man can build anything from a modest hut all the way up to a sky scraper. This would be impossible for an pre-human species that had hands but lacked the use of reason, because the animal wouldn't be able to make proper use of hands. 

On top of that, the notion that God's crowning earthly achievement was conceived in a non-human being, and was nursed and raised by that same non-human beast, is simply preposterous. It degrades everything about the fact man is superior to the animals. This is why Adam is depicted in Genesis as being created as an adult, since as a baby he would have been entirely helpless and not have reached the age of reason until at least 8 years old. So that's a huge strike against the theistic evolutionary idea that man evolved. Rather, that's a story more akin to the Jungle Book, where a human was raised by apes.
 
I personally am against Evolution for a variety of reasons, all encompassed above. I think Evolution gives away the farm by ceding too much ground to the atheist-materialist end, all for fear of being labeled "stupid" by the establishment. I don't mind being called stupid, but what I do mind is ceding to bad philosophy and dubious science out of fear. I think far more harm is done by blindly embracing Evolution. I think the heavy push for Evolution is akin to the heavy push to normalize homosexuality, because once it takes root in every day life, then the average citizen is radically corrupted and confused in their thought process. 

38 comments:

cwdlaw223 said...

I believer there's a difference between macro and micro evolution. Huge difference.

Anil Wang said...

"As an analogy, it's as if someone wrote a massive 1000 page book and yet only the last sentence of the entire book was relevant to the main issue. "

I don't see a problem. Look at the space analogy. This should give you an idea of how big the universe is and how tiny we are compared to it:
http://i581.photobucket.com/albums/ss252/Iminyourcloset/spaceb.jpg

We're far less than 99.9999999% of the universe. The heavens really do declare the glory of God. Does that make us insignificant? Far from it. If we are alone in the universe, we are truly unique and God loved us to create such an immense playground. And if we are not and the universe is teaming with life (unlikely), then the choirs of heaven will be even more glorious than even Thomas Aquinas imagined. And since we are in God's image and by Grace we are destined to partake of the divine nature, we have been granted a unique privilege that makes us even more special. In either case, we should be humbled, which is something God desires of us anyway.

Getting back to evolution, can you not see how special being the final .01% makes us? If you spend 20 odd years toiling away at school to get a piece of paper (diploma), does that not magnify the importance of the piece of paper, not diminish it?

Getting back to Genesis 1, notice that death existed before the fall. Plants were meant to be eaten, and plants are alive, but won't be after digestion...and there would be waste that needs decomposing by harmful e-coli bacteria, and entropy. We could continue to walk through other consequences, but its best not to over-analyse Genesis 1 since it was not meant to be a scientific text book.

But one should note that according to Genesis 1, God only created (out of nothing) three things, the heavens and earth, higher sea creatures, and man from pre-existing material and his created out of nothing image. In every other case, God said "let there be". What does that mean? It appears to mean that God is allowing an existing process to develop according to his plan. What is that process? It's not specified by theistic evolution isn't out of the question.

Note that evolution has some gaps. Two different species cannot breed, and if they can, it results in sterile children. This leads to a dilemma. Suppose somehow a new species is born via mutation. That species should die out unless he can find a mate, but the chances of an identical mutation happening in the immediate vicinity of that individual during the lifetime of that individual of the appropriate sex is astronomical. But God can make even the most unlikely of events happen, and in the case of man, advance the mutations that would eventually be suitable for man, even if they served no practical purpose (and were even disadvantageous) in any species other than man. I have no problem such an activist God with this since we don't have a Deistic God. Notice that in Exodus, the parting of the Red Sea is given a natural explanation (a great wind), but the chances of so many "natural" events happening at precisely that time are astronomical.

Why would God set things up this way? Note that for us to be nourished by other animals, our proteins and DNA sequences would have to be similar. If they weren't all animals would have to have digestive systems that break up all food into their elemental form before building up complex proteins. That would have resulted in a massively more complicated and more inefficient body dedicated more to survival and procreation than man's higher calling.

Steve Dalton said...

One thing thank really ticks me off about the theistic evolutionists crowd is the way they undermine the Holy Scriptures as history by claiming it's not a science textbook, but the history of salvation. Granted, the Bible doesn't teach a particular scientific discipline like biology, but if it is inspired and 100% accurate about salvation history, it has to be the same when it makes a statement about the material world. Otherwise, why trust anything the Scriptures say?

Catholics like Mark Shea who support TE are undermining the faith. The history of the Protestants who have adopted it shows it is a half way house to full blown atheistic evolution. It also opens the door to other false doctrines and ideas. Again, look at what happened to the Protestants. All of the Protestant Churches that have brought into evolution in any form have turned their backs on whatever Biblical truths they formally had. Feminism, liberation theology, social gospelism, the new age, Wicca, and other damnable heresies rush in when the truth is pushed out. Catholics (or is that Catholycs?) who embrace TE will go the same way, but the Church, thank God, will prevail against the gates of hell.

Finally, even the dictionary shows that creation and evolution are two concepts 180 degrees apart. Creation means to bring into existence, while evolution means to make changes in some thing that already exists. Genesis Chapter One makes it quite clear creation, not evolution took place. Any change that took place in man and the animals since that time is caused by the loss of genetic information, so no evolution that advances the species is taking place, and no species is changing into another one. Genesis says ,after their own kind. So man (or any other species)didn't evolve from another, more primitive one.

Steven R said...

Nick,
I believe in evolution and I remain a Catholic. I am currently an undergraduate studying Physics at the University of Chicago. Granted I do not believe myself to be a Traditionalist Catholic, so you may call my credentials in to question about my perspective on evolution and faith.

I believe that your perspective of evolution and science is colored by a particular narrative that atheists use to inappropriately cudgel theists. The study of science is simply the study of what is, that is what exists in the material world. I do not believe this is at all materialistic. We must not be Gnostic or Manichean in our understanding of the world and understand that God made all things good. The capacity for man to dig so deeply into the mysteries of the universe expresses the divine image of God placed within him.

I would say that forceful 'indoctrination' even of true things is not appropriate, and academia is not exactly well known for its virtuosity. Intelligent/well-educated people who are not taught modesty, humility, and other such things tend to be rabid and very proud of their beliefs and thoughts (or so I've seen). St. Bernard warned his monks against this and listed it as a large impediment to humility.

Evolution is the strongest scientific theory as to the generation of species and the diversity of life that there is. There is experimental verification of evolution, especially in the usage of breeding fruit flies but manipulating their DNA so that they acquire mutations. This was how we discovered the HOX gene and were able to make significant advances in the study of human genetics and their disorders.

Natural selection is something that brings order out of, shall we say, chaos. In nature, the cell undergoes divisions whereby replication and division of cells requires the reading of a genetic code which allows the cell to know how to structure itself. As changes in environment occur this process of DNA transcription can become altered or introduce errors in reading which result in different cells with mutations. Usually this DNA is just the production of junk DNA that won't be read and used in cellular processes but sometimes it provides the blue print for cells with different functions.

These kinds of changes can bring about different kinds of tissues and organs whereby as according to each natural environment some mutations will be slightly more successful than others in the multitude of generations that pass over the thousands and millions of years.

As for astronomical events in Physics, the theory of cosmological inflation and expansion is dependent on other well-known and experimentally verified results like the speed of light travelling at only such and such upper bound (3*10^8 meters per second). We receive information from stars no faster than this upper bound (which is dictated by the laws of electricity and magnetism). These sorts of things allow us to generate theories of space and time (Special and General Relativity) which are the foundational underpinnings of GPS and measured quantities such as atomic clocks that go slower when rotating around the Earth in one direction versus a different measurement of time itself as we traverse the Earth in a jet in the other direction.

These things are all the culmination of decades of very meticulous scientific research and questioning. Granted they are somewhat inaccessible to the public for understanding but that is more the fault of poor teaching on the scientists' part rather than some sort of deviance on the part of scientists.

I admit that there are difficulties in human evolution and understanding the content of Genesis 1, however, it is not within the scope of science to strive to reconcile these difficulties, but rather that of theologians. I'd be willing to write a post regarding this since my comment is getting quite long.

God bless,
-Steven Reyes

Steven R said...

Anil,

I believe you've mis-spoken on a particular point in your comment on May 25th, 10:18 pm, where you stated that a gap in evolution is that two different species cannot breed, since in some cases this would result in sterile children (or no children at all, I might add). However, evolution doesn't operate at the level of species differentiation but of genetic mutations. Most mutations result in useless DNA that just sits and perpetuates and builds up over time (as is found in human DNA where there's plenty of fragments of DNA that don't seem to have any role in transcription). Of those that do however, they are usually minor and over time these accidental mutations can result in breeds of a particular kind of animal that are more successful in surviving and reproducing than older breeds. This is how differentiation typically takes place, if I recall. Modern evolution is of course more complex in some respects though.

Michael Klimek said...

The science of evolution is very real, and to ignore it would be to ignore truth. Father Barron has a good talk about how Genesis is true, but is not meant to be a scientific document.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVsbVAVSssc

Nick said...

cwdlaw,
How do you see the distinction between micro and macro evolution?


Anil,
That is a very good 'counter analogy' using the size of the universe. Either our insignificant size means something unique (showing the glory of God), or it means we're one cosmic accident. The only question though would be how evolution shows the glory of God.

As for Genesis, I agree death existed before the Fall. I think Pope Pius said it best though, which is that even though Genesis 1-11 doesn't present history in the modern format of a textbook, it none the less pertains to history "in a true sense". As far as the "let there be" statements go, I don't see how "let there be light" can pertain to evolution. The same goes for "let the waters be separated" and "let there be stars".

I do agree with you though that evolution has 'gaps', and I think that one of the main problems today is that you're not allowed to question any 'gaps' on the university level.


Steve,
I agree that some TEs imprudently make statements that ultimately make the Bible come off as a fairy tale meant for a time in history when people thought the earth was flat. That's indeed why a large percentage of people lose faith in Scripture.


Michael,
Fr Barron is a good example of my concerns, because he basically has gone to the point where he views the Bible as more or less uninspired. Dave Armstrong had a post about him a year or so ago where Dave showed that Fr Barron denied a literal Adam existed.

Nick said...

Steven,
I'm not sure if you're saying this or not, but modern science very much is colored by bad philosophy.

You said:
"Evolution is the strongest scientific theory as to the generation of species and the diversity of life that there is."

This is where I wish there were some obvious examples to point to. I believe the scientific method truly breaks down once it leaves the realm of verifiable data. For example, it's one thing to study an object we know to be 100 years old or even 1,000 years old. These would give us a reference (control) point to judge how old another object is. But once you start going into magnitudes 10 or even 1,000+ in size, then you're extrapolating rather than interpolating. You cannot even trace out a valid trend line if you're comparing the dates of unknown objects that are giving readings many times the magnitude of your 'control' group. So in that sense, I don't see how science is being done validly when you're going back even 100,000 years in history.

You said:
"There is experimental verification of evolution, especially in the usage of breeding fruit flies but manipulating their DNA so that they acquire mutations."

I don't see that experiment as evolution, but more of a human interference, with the term "intelligent design" coming to mind. Plus, it doesn't seem as if new insects are coming about, just another fruit fly with deformities. i.e. the essence of the fruit fly has not changed, it's accidents have.

You said:
"Natural selection is something that brings order out of, shall we say, chaos."

Hmm. What doesn't sit well with me with the term "chaos" is that on the philosophical level I don't think we should refer to it as chaotic at all, especially since God is a God of order. I would be more inclined to say nature is well-ordered, but it can suffer deformities. This is how philosophy colors the science.

You said:
"Usually this DNA is just the production of junk DNA that won't be read and used in cellular processes but sometimes it provides the blue print for cells with different functions."

How does this not make us and the rest of creation an accident? The way this is phrased, it suggests that progress only comes about by random chance, in the midst of multiple irrelevant failures. Can you see how an Atheist would interpret that statement and come to the conclusion there is no God?

You said:
"These kinds of changes can bring about different kinds of tissues and organs whereby as according to each natural environment some mutations will be slightly more successful than others in the multitude of generations that pass over the thousands and millions of years."

These are the kinds of statements I've never been comfortable with. They come off as hand waving at a magic show as if there was nothing more to prove. I simply don't see any experiments that have shown this to take place. And if it takes millions of years for this to be observed, then by that very admission it means the situation isn't scientifically validated at all, it's merely a historical/philosophical hypothesis.

Also, I would be interested in reading your extended thoughts on the post you said you could write.

Anil Wang said...

Steven R said "I believe you've mis-spoken"

I don't disagree with you. However keep a few things in mind. The current science is that a lot of what we call "junk sequences" actually serve a purpose...we just don't know what it is yet. Also, although mutations happen at a genetic level, selection happens at the pair bond (i.e. male+female=>child) level, unless you're postulating that a single individual mutates into another species (e.g. via DNA Migration via parasites). If you focus too much on the details you forget the big picture, and paper over issues that may disprove the popular theory. There are several open questions wrt evolution, which even militant atheists in the field such as Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins come on positions that are polar opposite to each other. Just because evolution via DNA mutations, despite all the gaps, appears to be the best explanation for the Tree of Life, doesn't mean that it will always be. After all Aristotelian science was dominant for over a millennium. However, we can't go to the other extreme and just brush off the science of the day since after all God wrote both the book of creation and the book of the Bible, and all truth is God's truth. So even though Aristotelian science was inaccurate and had its flaws, it was a good way to organize our knowledge and understand the world.

Steven's comment that "I'm not sure if you're saying this or not, but modern science very much is colored by bad philosophy." is definitely true. Let me give you one example. Some scientists (such as Stephen Hawking) are instrumentalists, meaning that they believe that "Truth is irrelevant", "what works" is all that counts. So if you come up with a "true narrative" of how the universe was created (i.e. God) that is not testable and he comes up with a "false narrative" such as M-theory that is testable (i.e. the "infinite number of parameters of existence as defined by M-theory" can be refined via experiment), then he'd say M-theory is "Provably True" and "God created the universe" is unprovable thus "false". Fortunately there are a lot of scientists with a classical understanding of Truth.

Anil Wang said...

Steve Dalton said "not a science textbook"

Don't read more into what I said than I actually said. Science as we now understand it is an invention of the middle ages and the science of today has some significant differences than the one of that time. The Bible was written much earlier and the standards for a people who understood how the world worked better than most us even though they didn't understand it under the scientific paradigm. As such science wouldn't be relevant. This doesn't mean it wasn't true. It just means its not the point. For the record, if you do want to see Genesis 1 as being a scientific account that is consistent with science, it *can* be done. Hint, after the creation of the Heavens and Earth (including the creation of the sun), Genesis 1 describes what can be *seen* from Earth. But the point of Genesis 1 isn't to give a science lesson and few of the Church Fathers in the Alexandrian school (e.g. Augustine, Origen, etc) actually saw it as a scientific account (in even the classical sense) either.

Let me give you another example. The Gospels and all classical histories (e.g. from the Greek, Roman, and Hebrews) are not a historical biography in the modern sense. They all contain true and verifiable accounts, however the point of those accounts isn't to related chronological objectively impartial details. Their histories are more thematic and they all emphasize different aspects of the story (not necessarily chronologically) and liberally used symbolism. So we should not be surprised when we judge those histories by the wrong standards that they don't conform exactly. For instance, order was not nearly as important so some Gospel writers changed the order to emphasize different point. Number wasn't nearly as important, which is why there are so many references to symbolic numbers such as 40, 3, 7, 12, and 10 in some gospels and other gospels have different numbers. Similarly, at the empty tomb, was there only one angel or two? There were at least two, but one gospel writer chose to emphasize one (since that was likely the only one the spoke with Mary) while the other only mentioned two (since that's all the witnesses saw). Were there more? Perhaps there were a choir of angels there rejoicing that our Lord had risen. We don't know. All we know is what the Gospel writers chose to focus on, in the style they under Divine inspiration deemed best reflected Truth.

Steve Dalton said...

Anil. I was not commenting on your post. I was merely stating my opinions on the idiotic idea that the Scriptures are not accurate or true when it speaks on the material world. As I have already said, the Bible was not written as a science textbook, but if the statements on salvation are true, I have no doubt that its statements on physical phenomena are also 100% true too, whether they are written in plain talk or in symbolic language.

Steve Martin said...

Evolution is just an unproven theory, but many take it as fact.

Where are all the fossils of the in- between stages of development in all these changed animals?

There have been documented fraudulent bones of supposed fossils that really turned out to be a completely different species altogether.

BUT...if evolution were somehow proven beyond a doubt...then it would be the chosen way that God had decided to work.

BTW - "Global Warming" is a big crock, too.

Thanks.

Steven R said...

Anil,
Fair enough. Apologies, I did make a mistake in my original statement by not considering how most of these mutations that are influential are so because of development in the womb of the animals.

I suppose it's fair enough that such pop scientists have personal philosophies that are that way, but as I've encountered in Physics nobody likes to talk philosophy, we just want to find out the truth about nature. I think that's fine enough for me.

Steven R said...

Nick,
I think it's fair to question object of science that are very far removed from us, but the body of human knowledge has come down to us by which we can accurately make assumptions down a chain of reasoning and causality that can let us plausibly say, determine at what point in time say a certain star went supernova billions of years ago.

We'd have to get more specific into taxonomy, paleontology, and anatomy than I'm skilled in to explain how these extrapolations are made regarding the evolution of species, but I have little doubt that the scientists who conduct these experiments and make these observations do so rigorously under strict peer review.

As per my statement of chaos, it was only a term, though I knew it was a loaded term. God's Providence guides all things, even things that seem to be chance to us. There is nothing that occurs in the universe without cause.

As per magic shows and what not. Mutations that occur during embryonic development (i.e. gastrulation) can result in huge changes in an animal.

If I ever get the time I will consult with some of the biology students that I know and formulate out an outline of the theory of evolution.

As a final remark you regarded the changing of flies and the changing of their accidents but not their essences. It's my understanding that in the Middle Ages it was thought that flies were generated from maggots through putrefaction, or the spoiling of meat. It strikes me that in Aristotelian terms the meat had the potentiality to produce a new substance, maggots, and that this is a change in essence.

Of course we know that's completely wrong. While one could technically formulate modern genetics and the like in Aristotelian or Thomist terms, it strikes me that a less cumbersome route would be a scholastic revolution with the new sciences.

Peace in Christ,
Steven

Michael Klimek said...

Nick,

Father Barron isn't alone in reading Genesis as something other than a scientific document.

Pope Emeritus Benedict, then Cardinal Ratzinger, endorsed the following statement from the International Theological Commission in 2004.

"According to the widely accepted scientific account, the universe erupted 15 billion years ago in an explosion called the 'Big Bang' and has been expanding and cooling ever since. Later there gradually emerged the conditions necessary for the formation of atoms, still later the condensation of galaxies and stars, and about 10 billion years later the formation of planets. In our own solar system and on earth (formed about 4.5 billion years ago), the conditions have been favorable to the emergence of life. While there is little consensus among scientists about how the origin of this first microscopic life is to be explained, there is general agreement among them that the first organism dwelt on this planet about 3.5–4 billion years ago. Since it has been demonstrated that all living organisms on earth are genetically related, it is virtually certain that all living organisms have descended from this first organism. Converging evidence from many studies in the physical and biological sciences furnishes mounting support for some theory of evolution to account for the development and diversification of life on earth, while controversy continues over the pace and mechanisms of evolution."

Scientific truth and philosophical truth are not different realities, they are the same. Truth in both science and philosophy ultimately lead to God. Part of the issue is the definition of "evolution." If evolution means there is no God and is not involved in the creation on the universe it's obviously false. But evolution, as far as the age of the universe, and evolution of species do not contradict scripture, if you interpret Genesis more broadly.

In the past, some scriptures were interpreted to say that the sun revolved around the earth.

1 Sam. 2:8 – “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.”

1 Chron. 16:30 – “yea, the world stands firm, never to be moved.”

Psalm 93:1 – “Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved.”

Psalm 96:10 – “Yea, the world is established, it shall never be moved.”

I don't know many people who try to argue that the earth "shall never be moved." We don't interpret those passages literally, because to do so would contradict science, which also leads us to truth. It's not like truth from Scripture "trumps" science. It only trumps bad science. The evidence for the age of the universe is overwhelming. There are simple proofs for the age of the universe that are easily proven, like:

We can see stars that are millions of light years a way. Light requires millions of years to travel millions of light years. Therefore, the universe is millions of years old.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read through all the comments, but if it hasn't already been mentioned, the main problem from a Catholic perspective with evolution is a theological contradiction. According to Scripture, tradition and the Fathers, death and suffering were caused by sin and did not exist before sin. So accepting evolution would also mean accepting the idea that God created death and suffering from the very beginning.

Nick said...

Hello,

While that is a good line of thinking, and I used to think that myself, it turns out that folks like Aquinas have argued that 'no death' only applied to humans, as the Preturnatural Gift of Immortality.

Kim said...

Nick, you sound like my Born-Again Evangelical friend who also doesn't believe in Evolution. Never mind that this would have to be the conspiracy of all conspiracies....scientists over generations across disciplines and nations propping up a false theory...and for what? To make the world atheist? Even though they are theist, Jewish, Christian, and Catholic scientists who research this theory?

That said, I am also believe in theistic-evolution and am a Roman Catholic. Although I am a Roman Catholic I attend Byzantine Catholic liturgy when I can and would attend every Sunday if I could. The reason I mention this is that Eastern Christian theology I think makes it easier accept evolution. As I understand Eastern theology, humans do not die because we are sinners (as the West believes)but we sin because we die. It is our knowledge of our mortality that causes us to sin. If you believe in evolution you know that we are the first species to contemplate the world around us and outside of us and wonder how all this came to be. We are also the first species that is aware that we and our love ones will die, and we don't know when it will happen. Following Eastern theology, this is when sin began and made the incarnation necessary. During the season of Pascha, the Eastern Church recites "through death he trampled death". God came to be with us to experience his greatest creation and to free us from our sins and ultimate fear...death.

Nick said...

Kim,

Much of our world is blind to the truth and millions, even billions, of people have been led astray by errors and heresies. And the truth is, most who subscribe to evolution don't take a critical look at it, they just blindly accept. Those who do take a critical look have their careers jeopardized. Even if a person simply said they're agnostic about the matter, their career would be in jeopardy (I've met people in higher education who have told me this).

I'm not sure what you mean by humans "sin because we die," since Adam was originally not subject to death. Plus, death is more or less out of our control, where as sin is more or less in our control, being an act of the will. Nothing is strictly compelling us to sin, which is why for something to be properly sin we must do the act freely and intentionally.

Even Jimmy Akin brought up the point that Adam and Eve in their original creation were adults, not infants and children raised and nursed by some sub-human parents.

Serena said...

Nick,

I think you would have to admit you reject evolution on theological grounds not scientific, which isn't a proper way to reject a scientific claim; just as the new atheists reject all theology on scientific claims.

Yes men are let astray by errors and heresies, but science can only view what is measurable and observable. You would have to believe that scientists who continue to observe findings based on evolution are not really seeing what they are seeing.

"And the truth is, most who subscribe to evolution don't take a critical look at it, they just blindly accept" A layman like myself perhaps. But actual scientists, whose job it is to study the origins of life don't take a critical look at evolution?!

The Eastern belief stems from what the East believes is a mistranslation of Romans 5:12 "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned," (Douay-Rheims Version).

The East translates it as "Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world and by sin death: and so death passed upon all men, because of which all have sinned," (Douay-Rheims Version). Because death passes upon all men, all of us sin.

Yes, we chose to sin because of free will, but no human (with the exception of Mary)is successful at avoiding sin; because we will all succumb to death.

In case you are interested, here is where some of my exploration of eastern theology began east2west.org/

Nick said...

Hello Serena,

I don't see how scientists are "seeing what they are seeing" when evolution pertains mostly to history and not experiments in the lab. In other words, they're not really watching evolution take place so much as they're saying evolution must have taken place over the course of billions of years.

I don't believe that most scientists, including the ones who study origins of life, take a critical look at evolution. And that's the key word, "critical" in the sense of an unbiased and objective look at the mechanics. They just default to it. And if you've seen movies like "Expelled" you'll see atheist scientists who have problems with evolution but none the less are forced to keep quiet or lose their job.

Evolution is more than just saying the earth or universe is millions/billions of years old. It's much more than that, saying that natures (in the Scholastic sense) evolved. In fact, evolution is basically based on the total rejection of 'essences' and instead sees everything as merely materialistic re-organization of atoms. So what distinguishes a tree from a horse isn't 'essence' but simply a reconfiguration of atoms.

In terms of verifying evolution in the lab, I really don't see how it can be done, for a few reasons. First, it's impossible to simulate in the lab a process that they admit takes millions of years. And when it comes to fossils, it would be highly improbable that a verifiable set of transitional fossils could be found given that many fossils are lost to the decay process and the realization that there's (allegedly) been so many billions of extinct species that you wouldn't be able to really connect the dots.

Serena said...

Hi Nick,

True anthropology and archaeology use different methodology that the "hard sciences". But since evolution transcends scientific disciplines, there has been evolution in progress that has been seen.

They've seen bacteria evolve in a lab:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html#.UeHbCm37bIs

Also, primates have an extra pair of chromosomes than humans. Scientists never had an answer of what happened to the extra pair of chromosomes until they cracked the genome of the chimp: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oweUN-GaN3M

I can see your problem with evolution and human "essence", and evolution can't really explain for that. In fact, the branch of study that tries to account for that,evolutionary psychology, is often debated in the scientific community if it is a legitimate study of evolution. http://io9.com/the-rise-of-the-evolutionary-psychology-douchebag-757550990

Nick said...

Hello Serena,

I read that bacteria article a few times over and it's not clear to me exactly what was being 'proven'. They apparently found that one strand of the Ecoli would consistently and eventually develop the ability to digest citrate. But this didn't appear to be an 'essence' changing mutation but rather something akin to a human being able to eat digest grass. Is an acquired digestive ability proof of evolution?

Also, the article concluded with something strange, saying: "the experiment stands as proof that evolution does not always lead to the best possible outcome." This comes off as suggesting the citrate ability was not a good thing, as if it led to negative effects overall.

Lastly, it was not clear to me just how improbable of an 'evolution' this was. Was it something that required so much controlled environment and so many mutations that it would be mathematically unlikely if it were to happen in nature?


As for the primate chromosome clip, the two main problems there are (1) assuming that similarity demands common ancestry, and (2) even more problematic is the eradication of 'essences' and reducing the difference between human and ape to that of chromosomes, which is then ultimately the atheistic-materialist view in which everything is simply a different configuration of atoms and nothing more.

There are famous atheists like Thomas Nagel that have rejected evolution on philosophical grounds and have received the worst kind of treatment from the establishment. Here is an article that came out a few months back where Nagel was effectively labeled a 'heretic':
http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/heretic_707692.html?nopager=1



zuma said...

Despite Pope Pius XII did not forbid evolutionary theory, he treated it to be the new erroneous philosophy.

The following are the extracts from the speech of Pope Pius XII at St. Peter’s (Rome) on 12th August 1950:

Pope Pius XII: “5. If anyone examines the state of affairs outside the Christian fold, he will easily discover the principle trends that not a few learned men are following. Some imprudently and indiscreetly hold that EVOLUTION, which has not been fully proved even in the domain of natural sciences, explains the origin of all things, and audaciously support the monistic and pantheistic opinion that the world is in continual evolution. Communists gladly subscribe to this opinion so that, when the souls of men have been deprived of every idea of a personal God, they may the more efficaciously defend and propagate their dialectical materialism.”
6. SUCH fictitious tenets of EVOLUTION which repudiate all that is absolute, firm and immutable, HAVE PAVED THE WAY FOR THE NEW ERRONEOUS PHILOSOPHY which, rivaling idealism, immanentism and pragmatism, has assumed the name of existentialism, since it concerns itself only with existence of individual things and neglects all consideration of their immutable essences.

Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above and observe those letters that are placed in capital letters. As the phrase, evolution…have paved the way for the new erroneous philosophy, is mentioned above, it implies that he treated evolutionary doctrine to be misleading and erroneous. As evolution was treated by Pope Pius XII to be the new erroneous philosophy, he did not treat it to be the truth of God.

Pope Pius XII followed his speech: “8. IN ALL THIS CONFUSION OF OPINION it is some consolation to Us to see former adherents of rationalism today frequently desiring to return to the fountain of divinely communicated truth, and to acknowledge and profess the word of God as contained in Sacred Scripture as the foundation of religious teaching. But at the same time it is a matter of regret that not a few of these, the more firmly they accept the word of God, so much the more do they diminish the value of human reason, and the more they exalt the authority of God the Revealer, the more severely do they spurn the teaching office of the Church, which has been instituted by Christ, Our Lord, to preserve and interpret divine revelation. This attitude is not only plainly at variance with Holy Scripture, but is shown to be false by experience also. For often those who disagree with the true Church complain openly of their disagreement in matters of dogma and thus unwillingly bear witness to the necessity of a living Teaching Authority.”

Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above. The phrase, In all this confusion of opinion, as mentioned above should refer to his speech as mentioned earlier pertaining to his thought of evolution. The phrase, In all this confusion of opinion, as mentioned above, gives us the impression that he treated evolution to be full of confusion.

Pope Pius XII followed his speech: “9. Now Catholic theologians and philosophers, whose grave duty it is to defend natural and supernatural truth and instill it in the hearts of men, CANNOT AFFORD TO IGNORE OR NEGLECT THESE MORE OR LESS ERRONEOUS OPINIONS. Rather they must come to understand THESE SAME THEORIES well, both because DISEASES ARE NOT PROPERLY TREATED unless they are rightly diagnosed, and because sometimes even in THESE FALSE THEORIES a certain amount of truth is contained, and, finally, because these theories provoke more subtle discussion and evaluation of philosophical and theological truths.”

zuma said...

Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above. As the phrase, cannot afford to ignore…these…erroneous opinions, is mentioned above, it implies that he demanded Christians to be alert and beware of these erroneous opinions instead of ignoring them to let it has the influence upon the Church. The phrase, these false theories, gives the implication that he treated evolutionary theory to be a false theory and should not be treated as part of the truth of God.

Pope Pius XII followed his speech: “10. If philosophers and theologians strive only to derive such profit from the careful examination of these doctrines, there would be no reason for any intervention by the Teaching Authority of the Church. However, although We know that CATHOLIC TEACHERS generally AVOID THESE ERRORS, it is apparent, however, that SOME TODAY, as in apostolic times, desirous of novelty, and FEARING TO BE CONSIDERED IGNORANT OF RECENT SCIENTIFIC FINDINGS, TRY TO WITHDRAW THEM FROM THE SACRED TEACHING AUTHORITY and are accordingly in danger of gradually DEPARTING FROM REVEALED TRUTH and of drawing others along with them into error.”

Comment upon the speech of Pope Pius XII as listed above. As the phrase, Catholic teachers…avoid these errors, is mentioned above, it implies that Catholic teachers should avoid these errors especially evolution had been treated by him as the new erroneous philosophy. As the phrase, some today…fearing to be considered ignorant of recent scientific findings, is mentioned before the phrase, departing from…truth, it implies that he treated some people that involved in evolution (recent findings) to be those people that depart from the truth of God.

Pope Pius XII followed his speech by: “36. For these reasons THE TEACHING AUTHORITY OF CHURCH DOES NOT FORBID that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to THE DOCTRINE OF EVOLUTION, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the CATHOLIC FATIH obliges us to HOLD that SOULS ARE IMMEDIATELY CREATED BY GOD. However, this must be done in such a way that the reasons for both opinions, that is, those favorable and those unfavorable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure, and provided that all are prepared to submit to the judgment of the Church, to whom Christ has given the mission of interpreting authentically the Sacred Scriptures and of defending the dogmas of faith.[11] Some however, rashly transgress this liberty of discussion, when they act as if the origin of the human body from pre-existing and living matter were already completely certain and proved by the facts which have been discovered up to now and by reasoning on those facts, and as if there were nothing in the sources of divine revelation which demands the greatest moderation and caution in this question.”

As the phrase, the teaching authority of church does not forbid…the doctrine of evolution, is mentioned above, it implies that Paul Pius XII did not interfere the doctrine of evolution despite he treated it as new erroneous philosophy.

As the phrase, souls are immediately created by God, is mentioned above, it implies that he supported that Catholic faith should be based on the concept that all souls are immediately created by God. This teaching certainly contradicts evolutionary theory that teaches that all souls could not be created immediately by God but it would take many years to evolve so as to come into being. Besides, evolutionary theory supports that God do not create directly all souls but have assisted in the process of evolution. This concept is certainly wrong since it implies that God do not involve in the creation of souls but to stand aside just to assist them to be formed. A question has to be raised. Did God create the souls personally or He just stood aside to assist their formation?

zuma said...

Nevertheless, Paul Pius XII did not support that evolutionary theory is the truth of God despite he did not forbid its teaching.

zuma said...

There are three different views regarding the time in which the stars were formed.

1)Scriptural order of creation.

Let’s meditate the verses below:

Genesis 1:6, “Then God said, “Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear”; and it was so.” (New American Standard Bible)
Genesis 1:11, “Then God said, “Let the earth sprout [j]vegetation, [k]plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after [l]their kind [m]with seed in them”; and it was so.”
Genesis 1:16, “God made the two [w]great lights, the greater [x]light [y]to govern the day, and the lesser [z]light [aa]to govern the night; He made the stars also.”

As Genesis 1:11,, the creation of fruit-bearing plants or flowering plants, is mentioned after Genesis 1:6, the appearance of land, and before Genesis 1:16, the creation of stars, it implies that the scripture highlights fruit-bearing plants should have been created after the appearance of land and before the creation of stars (Genesis 1:16).

2)Scientific view of creation.
What did scientists suggest the date in which flowering plants began to evolve?

It was shown in the chart from the website address, http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-evolutionary-history-of-plants.... , that the flowering plants began to evolve between 135-65 million years ago.

What did scientists suggest the date of formation of stars?

The following is the extract from the website address, http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/questions/question55.... , after the sub-title, Answer:

‘Results from NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) released in February 2003 show that the first stars formed when the universe was only about 200 million years old. Observations by WMAP also revealed that the universe is currently about 13. 7 billion years old. So it was very early in the time after the Big Bang explosion that stars formed. ‘

As scientists suggest that flowering plants began to evolve between 135-65 million years ago, the above discovery that first stars were formed only about 200 million years ago would turn up to be that the flowering plants began to evolve after the formation of the earth (4.5 billion years) and after the formation of stars (200 million years ago).

3)Alternative scientific view of creation.

Let’s compare with the extract below from first paragraph of the website address, http://fossils.valdosta.edu/era_precambrian.html :

The sun and solar system formed about 4,600 million (or, 4.6 billion) years ago from a vast cloud of interstellar hydrogen and helium, enriched with a sprinkling of heavier elements. …..LONG BEFORE OUR SUN WAS BORN, generations of STARS LIVED AND DIED, paving the road for the existence of Earth and the other rocky planets.

When was the sun formed?

The following is the extract from the second paragraph of the website address, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun ,

‘The Sun formed about 4.6 billion[b] years ago from the gravitational collapse of a region within a large molecular cloud.’

As the earth was formed in 4.5 billion years ago and the sun was formed in 4.6 billion ago and the stars lived and died long before our sun was born, it implies that this website, supports that the flowering plants began to evolve (135-65 million years) after the formation of the earth (4.5 billion years ago) and before the formation of the stars since they were formed long before the sun was born.

The great discrepancies about times in which the stars were formed have caused us to question how accurate the times that have been furnished by scientists.

zuma said...

The discrepancies between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth:

The scriptural verses about the beginning of the earth:

Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

As the phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies that the earth was initially covered with water.

As the phrase, let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies that land should appear lately. If the land should appear first, there should not be any reason for the scripture to mention with the phrase, let the dry land appear. Besides, it would not be possible for the scripture to mention with the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered unto one place, if the land should have appeared before the existence of sea. Even if one might assume that land and sea water would coexist in the beginning in the creation of the earth, why should the scripture mention with the phrase, Let the dry land appear, as if that there was no land initially on earth?


The following is the extract from the website address, http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/timeline/timeline.html , pertaining to the evolution of the earth:

4650 mya: Formation of chondrules in the Solar Nebula
- 4567 mya: Formation of the Solar System
Sun was only 70% as bright as today.
- 4500 mya: Formation of the Earth.
- 4450 mya: The Moon accretes from fragments
of a collision between the Earth and a planetoid;
Moon's orbit is beyond 64,000 km from the Earth.[33]
EARTH DAY IS 7 HOUR’S LONG[34]
- Earth's original hydrogen and helium atmosphere
escapes Earth's gravity.
- 4455 mya: Tidal locking causes one side
of the Moon to face the Earth permanently.[30]
- 3900 mya: Cataclysmic meteorite bombardment.
The Moon is 282,000 km from Earth.[34]
EARTH DAY IS 14.4 HOURS LONG[34]
- Earth's atmosphere becomes mostly
carbon dioxide, water vapor,
methane, and ammonia.
- Formation of carbonate minerals starts
reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
- There is no geologic record for the Hadean Eon.

My comment: As listed above, the earth day was 7 hour’s long in 4450 mya and yet in 3000 mya, its speed reduced to 14.4 hour’s long per earth day. Thus, the spinning speed of the earth was super fast prior to 4450 mya since it took 7 hour’s long to finish its full day. In such a high speed, all the substances, such as, sea water, would fly out of the sky. Or in other words, sea water should not be in existence in beginning of the evolution of the earth.

As listed above also, earth’s orginal hydrogen and helium atmosphere would escape from the earth’s gravity in 4450 mya. Considering the environmental condition if the whole earth was filled with water, it is impossible for the earth to emit hydrogen and helium when the land was covered fully with water.

Besides, the rapid spinning of the earth in 7 hour’s long prior to 4450 mya would cause sea water to fly out of the earth.

The above show the contradiction between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth.

zuma said...

Was the earth formed through several destructions that were brought forth by volcanoes, meteorites and etc.? Does it differ from scriptural point of view?

Scriptural verses about the creation of the earth:

Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

The phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, in Genesis 1:2, implies that the scripture supports that the earth was initially covered with water. As the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together…and let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies the appearance of land lately. Thus, the scripture supports that the land was not visible on the surface of the earth since it was covered with water.

As the scripture mentions that the earth was covered with water, it is unlikely that volcanoes could be visible at that time since they should be under the sea water. As all the mountains were in the sea as mentioned in Genesis 1:2, how could the earth be under-attacked by volcanoes? As all the lands were in the sea water as mentioned in the scripture, how could the earth be under-attacked by meteorites? This is by virtue of meteorites would simply drop into the sea without any strong impact upon the land of the earth.

The following is the extract from the website, http://www.universetoday.com/76509/how-was-the-earth-formed/ , in which contradiction has been found against the scripture:

‘This first eon in which the Earth existed is what is known as the Hadean period, named after the Greek word “Hades” (underworld) which refers to the condition of the planet at the time. During this time, the Earth’s surface was under a continuous bombardment by meteorites, and volcanism is believed to be severe due to the large heat flow and geothermal gradient. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. Condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered by comets, accumulated in the atmosphere and cooled the molten exterior of the planet to form a solid crust and produced the oceans. This period ended roughly 3.8 years ago with the onset of the Archean age, by which time, the Earth had cooled significantly and primordial life began to evolve.’

zuma musa said...

Scientific evolution of the earth contradicts the scriptural view of God’s creation:

The following is the extract from the website, http://www.bobthealien.co.uk/earthform.htm, under the subtitle, Four billion years ago, seems to support the presence of the sun prior to the formation of the earth:

‘This is an artist's impression of what Earth looked like 4 BILLION YEARS AGO. The planet has no oxygen in its atmosphere and no ozone layer, so poisonous ULTRAVIOLET RAYS FROM THE SUN HIT THE SURFACE DIRECTLY….”

The website, http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/earth/earth_timeline/earth_formed ., under the heading, THE EARTH FORMS, seems to imply the simultaneous formation of the sun and the earth:
‘THE EARTH IS thought to have been FORMED about 4.6 billion years ago by collisions in the giant disc-shaped cloud of material that ALSO FORMED THE SUN. Gravity slowly gathered this gas and dust together into clumps that became asteroids and small early planets called planetesimals. These objects collided repeatedly and gradually got bigger, building up the planets in the Solar System, including the Earth’

My comment: Genesis 1:3-5, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (King James Version)

Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

Genesis 1:3-5 should undoubtedly refer to the creation of sun since the phrase, God divided the light the darkness, is mentioned in Genesis 1:4. As Genesis 1:4, the creation of sun, is mentioned after Genesis 1:2, the creation of the earth, it implies that the sun only existed after the creation of the earth. Even if some would assume that the creation of sun should fall within day four, the creation of sun was still treated to be after the creation of the earth since Genesis 1:2, the creation of the earth, is mentioned before the day four.

Some might argue that the arrangement of creation in Genesis 1 should not be in sequential order. However, there is no reason to assume that the scripture would support the sun could be created prior to the earth since the phrase, the earth was…darkness….upon the face of the deep, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2. The word, darkness, in Genesis 1:2 implies the absence of light on earth. As long as there was sunlight on earth, the entire darkness on earth should not be present. As the word, darkness, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies the non-existence of sun or else the earth should be filled with some brightness. Thus, the scripture supports the sun was created after the earth and yet scientific evolution supports otherwise. Besides, the arrangement of creation in Genesis 1 should be in sequential order.

The following is the extract from the website, http://www.mcwdn.org/MAPS&GLOBES/Earth.html, to support the earth was a ball of white gases with extreme heat:

‘The earth was formed in the same way as the sun, planets, stars. At first the earth was a hot glowing ball of white hot gases with a temperature that was millions of degrees Fahrenheit. This was caused by particles of gases being drawn together and compressed, giving off a lot of heat. This happened millions of years ago.’

My comment: Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon THE FACE OF WATERS.”

Genesis 1:9, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”

As the phrase, the face of waters, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies that the earth was initially filled with water. As the earth was covered with water initially, it would be impossible for the earth to emit gases since all its lands were under water.

zuma musa said...

It is irrational to assume that active volcanoes might erupt in the water or the earth could be in molten stage. This is by virtue of any of these disasters would cause the earth to be shone with brightness especially the presence of larva. The word, darkness, as mentioned in Genesis 1:2 rejects the possibility of the earth in molten stage or the presence of eruption from volcanoes.

The following is the extract from the ninth paragraph of the website, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/apr/28/starsgalaxiesandplan... :

‘Early Earth was a very different place to the planet we inhabit today. Initially the planet didn't have a crust, mantle and core, and instead all the elements were evenly mixed. There were no oceans nor continents and no atmosphere. Meteorite collisions, radioactive decay and planetary compression made Earth become hotter and hotter. After a few hundred million years the temperature of Earth reached 2,000C - the melting point of iron - and Earth's core was formed.’

My comment: As Genesis 1:2 supports that the whole earth was covered with water, it opposes scientific evolution of earth that supports the non-existence of ocean.

As Genesis 1:2 mentions that the earth was filled with darkness and water, it is impossible for the earth to become hotter due to the absence of sign that the earth was in molten stage or the sign of larva from the eruption of volcanoes. The presence of eruption of volcanoes or the earth in molten stage would cause some brightness on the earth.

The following is the extract from the twenty second paragraph under the heading, How our earth was formed (Apr, 1923), from the website, http://blog.modernmechanix.com/how-our-earth-was-formed/ :

It- is reasonably certain that the earth at first was very hot, hot enough to be molten all the way through. Its surface was a sea of melted rock in which great flaming tides hundreds of feet high raced twice daily around the globe. Gradually the rock grew cooler. It hardened. After awhile there was a solid surface crust. And slowly, after many millions of years, this crust grew cool enough for water to collect in hollows on it and to stay there. The first oceans were formed.

My comment: As Genesis 1:2 mentions that the earth was in darkness, it is irrational to support that the earth was in molten stage due to the absence of sign of brightness on earth.

zuma said...

The doctrine of evolution contradicts the books of New Testament:

Provided with environmental factors that would be suitable for apes to be transformed into human beings in the past, many of them would evolve into human beings at that time. There is no reason to assume that there would only be one man to be evolved from evolution if the environmental condition would turn up to be suitable for apes to evolve. If human beings flourished in the past were the result of the evolution of many apes, the origin of human beings could not be traced back to one man, i.e. Adam. The sin of Adam would not affect all human races if their forefathers could not trace back to him but to another human being that would have been evolved from other apes. Why is it that Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22 mention that all fall into sin by one man? Thus, the doctrine of evolution does contradict Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22.

The following are the extracts:

Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

If human beings were evolved from apes, did Jesus die for apes also as they were the forefathers of human beings? Why should Jesus Christ not die for apes when human beings were evolved from them?

Was Eve formed from Adam?

Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

If 1 Timothy 2:13 should be interpreted literally, why shouldn’t Genesis 2:21-23 be interpreted the same literally since both of them agree that Adam was formed prior to the existence of Eve?

Besides, there should not be any reason for 1 Timothy 2:14 to mention the word, Adam, if this word in the book of Genesis should not be interpreted literally. As the word, Adam, is mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:14, the book of Genesis should be interpreted literally instead of treating it to be a non-existing event. The following is the extract:

1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

If the first human beings were not made by God but evolved through nature, why should the word, made, be mentioned in Matthew 19:4?

Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

zuma musa said...

Miller and Harold Urey did successfully create non-life organic compounds through experiments in year 1950s. The successful creation of non-life organic compounds does not provide the evidence that lively creatures could be evolved from non-life object. This is simply due to they failed to create lively organic compounds previously. Thus, it is not justifiable for any scientists to use them as an excuse that lively unicellular organisms could be evolved from non-life object.

The following is the extract from the website, http://rainbow.ldeo.columbia.edu/courses/v1001/7.html , under the subtitle, VI. LIFE EVOLVES :

'Such experiments have been repeated many times and it is clear that it is easy to make many complex organic compounds BUT NONE OF THESE SIMPLE EXPERIMENTS PRODUCED EVEN THE BASICS OF LIFE.So have scientists managed to produce life from non-life? Many have tried, but no experiment has succeeded. A scientist called Stanley Miller made an attempt at this and claimed that he had succeeded. However a closer look at his experiment shows that even he did not succeed (for more info on Stanley Miller’s experiment click here.This was shown in the famous Miller-Urey experiments done in the 1950's.'

The same is mentioned in the third paragraph from the website, http://www.findtheanswer.net/whataboutevolution/waechemicallife.php :

'So have scientists managed to produce life from non-life? Many have tried, but no experiment has succeeded. A scientist called STANLEY MILLER MADE AN ATTEMPT at this and claimed that he had succeeded. However A CLOSER LOOK AT HIS EXPERIMENT shows that even HE DID NOT SUCCEED (for more info on Stanley Miller’s experiment click here.'

Nick said...

Zuma,

Thank you for these quotes. I basically came to the same conclusions in my article. It cannot be ignored that Evolution is caught up in philosophy, and Pius said the Communists promote it because it conforms to their materialist philosophy and obliterates the notion of 'essences' and the spirit realm.

zuma said...

Is gap theory or the so-called, Lucifer’s flood, justifiable from scriptural point of view? Was there any living creature during or prior to the event in Genesis 1:2?

The gap theory or the so-called, Lucifer’s flood, that could be located in the website, http://www.gotquestions.org/Lucifers-flood.html , states that it supports another human races without souls that have no connection with any genetic mutation with the plants, animals and human living today could have existed during or prior to the event in Genesis 1:2. At that time, Satan was a ruler of the earth and sin entered into the universe as a result of its rebellion that caused God to execute His judgment with pre-flood as mentioned in Genesis 1:2.

Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and DARKNESS [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

The word, darkness, in Genesis 1:2 rejects the possibility of any light on this earth. As long as there was sunlight, the entire earth at that time should not be in darkness. As the earth was in darkness, the sun was not created at that time.

As we know plants needed sunlight to perform photosynthesis. Without sunlight, carbon dioxide could not be able to divert to oxygen through photosynthesis. Without sunlight, all the oxygen on this earth would be diverted to carbon dioxide due to the respiration of all living creatures even if oxygen would have existed in Genesis 1:2. How could there be any animals, especially another human race, to be able to survive in Genesis 1:2 at the absence of sunlight since they needed oxygen to breathe in? How could animals be able to evolve from one to another at the absence of sunlight for a prolonged period, such as, million years, due to oxygen would entirely be consumed without a chance to be diverted to oxygen at the absence of sunlight? Thus, it is impossible to have another human race to have existed in Genesis 1:2. As it is impossible to have another human race to have existed in Genesis 1:2, how could it be that Genesis 1:2 was treated to be God’s judgment in bringing flood?

zuma musa said...

Big Bang Theory contradicts the teaching of the scripture.

The following are the extracts from the website, http://www.space.com/52-the-expanding-universe-from-the-big-bang-to-today.html :

‘About 400 million years after the Big Bang, the universe began to emerge from the cosmic dark ages during the epoch of reionization. During this time, which lasted more than a half-billion years, clumps of gas collapsed enough to form the first stars and galaxies, whose energetic ultraviolet light ionized and destroyed most of the neutral hydrogen.
Although the expansion of the universe gradually slowed down as the matter in the universe pulled on itself via gravity, about 5 or 6 billion years after the Big Bang, a mysterious force now called dark energy began speeding up the expansion of the universe again, a phenomenon that continues today.
A little after 9 billion years after the Big Bang, our solar system was born.’

My comment: The stars were formed about 400 million years after the Big Bang and yet our earth was formed a little after 9 billion years after the Big Bang.

Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

As the phrase, darkness was upon the face of the deep, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies that there was no light on earth. If stars were created at that time, starlight would still be visible at that time especially the sea water would reflect the starlight from the sky.

The following is the extract from the website, http://helios.gsfc.nasa.gov/qa_star.html, that states that stars do give off light:

‘Stars do give off light, that's why we can see them far away. The Sun, which is just an ordinary star, gives off the light that allows life to exist on Earth. Stars give off light the same way the filament in a light bulb does. Anything that is hot will glow. Cool stars glow red, stars like the Sun glow yellow, and really hot stars glow white or even blue-white.’

As stars could give off light by themselves and yet the earth was filled with water initially as mentioned in Genesis 1:2, the sea water would reflect the starlight and would cause the earth no longer to be in darkness if stars would be assumed to be created prior to the formation of the earth. The word, darkness, in Genesis 1:2, implies the absence of light especially the starlight in the sea that reflects the light from stars in the sky. As the scripture mentions with the word, darkness, there is no reason to assume that stars could exist in Genesis 1:2 at the presence of the earth or else the sea water would not be in darkness instead, there should be many spots of starlight. Or in other words, the scripture places the stars’ creation to be in Genesis 1:16 after the creation of the earth, Genesis 1:2, should be considered in sequential order since the stars should be created after the formation of the earth or else the earth would not be in darkness as mentioned in Genesis 1:2 since it would reflect the starlight. However, the Big Bang Theory supports the reverse and that is stars should be formed prior to the formation of the earth.

Michael Klimek said...

Is there anyone here who has a scientific background that does not believe in evolution?

I think most people who deny evolution get their evidence from a fundamentalist approach to Scripture, rather than interpreting Scripture as narratives teaching a spiritual truth. Does anyone here have a scientific background?

Nick said...

Michael,

The issue isn't about having a "scientific background," since the subject matter is much more broad than what modern day science will affirm. A larger percentage of influential scientists are atheist and have already defaulted to evolution, so it would be naive to think the evolution question is a settled matter based on science alone.

The real subject at hand is of a philosophical nature. These same atheist scientists who affirm a big bang are already biased so as to deny God was necessary to get this big bang going from the start. Caught up in this is the fact evolution is largely a historical question, but science cannot really answer historical questions since it's based on present observability.

This also has nothing to do with a "fundamentalist approach to Scripture," since that comes off as putting a wedge between trusting Scripture versus trusting science. There is no conflict, but unfortunately most Christians who say there is no conflict end up sacrificing the inspiration of Scripture for science.