|email - March 2015|
A more reasonable evolutionist
Although Sam is typical of most of the evolutionists who write us, we donít want to create the misleading impression that all evolutionists are like Sam. Occasionally, we get correspondence from honest, sincere evolutionists, like Jenn. Here are some excerpts from some correspondence we had with her last month.
Hello, Mr. Pogge:
I just finished reading Why Evolution is True for my college science class.† I also read your reviews (Why Evolution is False) of this book.† In fact, I used your articles for my college class (I am working toward my PhD in psychoneuroimmunology).† Ö† It is a class on evolution and I have to report on scientific evidence against evolution.† I found your website interesting although I actually support evolution.† I also just finished Coyne's book and, although I was a little skeptical about some of the information, I found it to be fairly credible.†Ö† Will you be publishing another, more substantial, critique of the book?† I am curious to read your more educated and thoughtful views on this book if you have any.
We told her we donít have anything more to say about Coyneís book; but we were glad to know that both sides of the issue are being discussed in her class. So, I asked her where she went to school.
Ironically, [I go to] a Catholic school called [school name] in [a southern state].† I find it rather ironic that a Catholic school would teach a class on evolution alongside our religion classes.† (I am not religious but it's the price for going to one of the best schools in [that southern state].)† The interesting thing about this class is that several people in the class are proponents of creationism so we have some pretty lively discussions.
It isnít ironic at all. The Catholic Church punted on evolution long before Scott Walker and Charles Krauthammer did. Jenn is not religious, so one would not expect her to know the official Catholic position on evolution; but it is occasionally mentioned in the secular news.
In 1950, Pope Pius XII proclaimed there was no opposition between evolution and Catholic doctrine. In 1996, St. John Paul II endorsed Pius' statement. 1
Last October, Pope Francis expressed his views on the subject.
Francis said the beginning of the world was not "a work of chaos" but created from a principle of love. He said sometimes competing beliefs in creation and evolution could co-exist. 2
Often, people (like Sam) who think all opposition to the theory of evolution is based on religion, know as little about religion as they do about evolution.
The official beliefs of the Catholic Church are contained in the Catechism, which is available on the Internet. 3 The beliefs about creation are contained in paragraphs 282 through 289 in Subsection I. CATECHESIS ON CREATION, paragraph 295 in Subsection IV. THE MYSTERY OF CREATION, and paragraph 302 in Subsection V. GOD CARRIES OUT HIS PLAN: DIVINE PROVIDENCE. 4 These paragraphs say little more than ďGod did it in some mysterious way we donít understand.Ē Even in paragraphs 2168 through 2173, which are devoted to the Sabbath, there is no mention of Adam and Eve, or six days of creation. 5
The vague endorsement of evolution is found in paragraph 302.
302 Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created "in a state of journeying" (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. 6
We must point out that even though the Catholic Church accepts evolution, not all Catholics do. Donít believe (or disbelieve) anything just because someone in authority says it is true. Examine the facts for yourself.
(To be continued Ö)
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USA Today, October 28, 2014, "Pope Says Evolution, Big Bang are Real", http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/10/28/pope-francis-evolution-big-bang/18053509/
3 CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - Latin text copyright (c) Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Citta del Vaticano 1993, http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM
4 ibid. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P19.HTM
5 ibid. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P7N.HTM
6 ibid. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P19.HTM