Scolds science writer John Farrell at Aeon:
The Vatican still refuses to endorse evolutionary theory- – setting a billion believers at odds with modern science
He; right, you know. We Catholics haven’t done near enough for the Other Billion — who belive in Darwin and in every a-crock-alypse going, especially the ones that prevent poor countries from getting where we are. (Ifyou are even legally reading this, you are better off than most.)
More from Farrell:
Many in the Roman Catholic hierarchy agreed, but for different reasons. Teilhard incurred the particular displeasure of Rome because he suggested that the Bible’s account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and their Fall from grace as the ultimate origin and explanation for evil in the world, needed to be reinterpreted. Once you adopted an evolutionary perspective, Teilhard argued, evil can be considered a natural feature of the world – a sort of inevitable secondary effect of the creation process itself. As for the age-old belief in a founding couple and an act of disobedience that universally brought sin and death into the world? It was no longer necessary, or even credible, in his view.
Now, that point of view, intended so or not, makes clear that no individual is responsible for causing or promoting sin, any more than one is responsible for the recent viciously cold winters here in northeastern Ontario.
It is then not clear if anyone has free will at all. It is part of a broad movement to curtail human liberties, in favour of government management of a society where human beings are treated as agricultural animals.
Shocka: The oldest institution in human history doesn’t so far go along with it.
In 1950, five years before Teilhard’s death, Pope Pius XII issued the Vatican’s first – and to date, only – official comments on evolution. Here the pope reiterated the Church’s commitment to belief in a historical Adam as the unique father all of humanity, and the man responsible for transmitting sin to the entire species. He did accept, in a provisional sense, the legitimacy of scientific research into the material origins of the human body, but he rejected explicitly the ‘opinion’ that modern humans could have descended from a founding population rather than a single pair.
He reiterated that they were responsible, and so are we. Fun:
What is more, several leading proponents of the ‘intelligent design’ pseudo-science movement in the US are Catholics. This includes Bruce Chapman who heads the Discovery Institute, the Seattle-based think tank that not only promotes intelligent design as a supposedly credible alternative to evolution, but repeatedly denigrates the scientific consensus in self-published books, articles and videos – and attacks the very methodology of modern science itself. Their writings are often cited and picked up by parish bulletins throughout the US (including churches in my home town, Newton, MA).
So Farrell thinks the Catholic Church would be better off to agree that there is no detectible design in nature? He quotes two individual Catholics whose opinions are probably at odds with any actual Catholic way of seeing the world, then primly announces,
None of Haught’s or Delio’s work is getting any official encouragement from the Church hierarchy. But neither are they being censured. Indeed, Delio believes that the Vatican is making a greater effort to listen, and she appreciates the work of Trafny’s office. ‘It will listen to all the latest scientific insights. It will bring in quantum physicists and astronomers; it’s done some wonderful publications.’
Why censure Haught or Delio when no one who should be a Catholic cares what they think anyway?
Evolution is different: biology is messy. The lines between species in the long extinction-ridden, trial-and-error aeons of evolution are much fuzzier than textbook diagrams of the ‘tree of life’ suggest. And the more we learn about the contingencies involved in the evolution of life, the less and less privileged the human species seems to be.
Really? When was the last chimpanzee moon landing? The chimp Mother Theresa?
How are such facts to be incorporated into the faith? How are they to be treated?
The point is, they are not facts. They are progressive talking points.
The faithful part of the Catholic Church knows that, as it always has known such things. It is why the Church took a strong stance against Darwinian eugenics.
When people decide they want to become Catholics, they look at the horror and ruin created everywhere by naturalism and progressivism, seeping into our homes, schools, and offices, and say, “I renounce it.” Others race on into the darkness, sustaining its attendant losses and deformities. Farrell adds,
Perhaps in the end, the Vatican cannot integrate evolutionary science because it really is too threatening. It would require a thoughtful reinterpretation of the Church’s understanding of the doctrine of original sin – the fundamental idea that Adam and Eve’s epic act of disobedience wounded human nature for all who came after. More.
We all know that human nature is wounded. Unlike animals, we do things we know we shouldn’t. The Church’s explanation is no worse than anyone else’s (and actually probably better) except for one thing: It is not naturalist and does not lead to the idea that government should replace philosophy and religion.
At Pentecost, my own church will receive some people. Thousands meanwhile will fall away, pursuing naturalist aims, and will receive in their lives the outcomes of their choices. – O’Leary for News
More informative note: See Ann Gauger on that “founding population” stuff. Not what you may think: See Adam and Eve and Ann Gauger
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