My Most Popular Post of All Time

Looking at my 'stats', something that I very occasionally do, I was astonished to learn that the blog entry below is the most popular blog post on my blog since I began blogging...

'This is a fluffy bunny rabbit. Fluffy bunny rabbits are descended from...err...someone help me out here! Anyway, it is clear from my academic research in a lab that the Lord made fluffy bunny rabbits to breed like rabbits, look fluffy, crap on hillsides, pop up every now and then in parks and make children go, "Look, Daddy! A fluffy bunny rabbit!", for us to pet and feed and keep in our back gardens in hutches and go "aww" when hey twitch their cute little noses. And that, is a scientific fact.'

And that's it! After all the hours and thought I have put into this blog over the years, that this should be my most popular post is a little perplexing. I guess I should keep them short! Obviously, the powerful figure of Charles Darwin hovers still over us all and the theory of evolution remains a complex and highly emotive matter of discussion. Not everyone is convinced, clearly. Most clergy, however, are probably appealing to allegory alone when using Scripture to explain our origins. "This explains our fallen nature, we see ourselves in Adam and Eve. It's a spiritual allegory etc, etc..."

And so we do. For the moderns, this appears to be all the Church can do, but one really does wonder sometimes. If it leads to Catholic priests saying confusing things with regard to certain doctrinal statements of the Church deemed to be infallible, such as our being descendants of one set of first parents, who we know as Adam and Eve, who fell from grace, then how helpful is this approach? I have said similar things to Fr Barron to friends explaining that Adam means 'from the Earth' and Eve, 'mother of all the living', stating that we are descended from first parents who are given these names by the author of Genesis.

Is it really such a joke to take Genesis literally?

I cannot with my hand on my heart chuckle away and maintain that God did not literally make the Earth in seven days (or ages?) and only thousands, rather than billions of years ago creating our first parents, Adam and Eve, making Eve from Adam's side, because I have to be open to the strong possibility that on this matter, as in all others, Scripture is inerrant, that the Holy Spirit does not lie and that it is perfectly possible because God can do all things, as He chooses, when He wants, in the manner in which He desires, because for Him, nothing is impossible or difficult.

At the time of the Creation, I was not there. Neither was Richard Dawkins. Neither were you. There were no human eye witnesses to Creation nor the time scale involved. Who am I, a mere creature, to suggest that any human, scientific theory trumps Holy Writ when human reasoning and even data is open to not only exaggeration, but error and even falsification? If, despite years of scientific research, scientists have struggled to 'carbon date' the Shroud of Turin, which is now being claimed as authentically again as the burial Shroud of Our Lord, then why are carbon-dating experiments of geological sites deemed to be 'unquestionable'? Perhaps I am skating on thin ice here, but exactly what could the margin of error be? Millions of years? Billions of years? Such are the themes explored honestly by the Kolbe Center for the Study of Creation, examining evolution and creation through the sciences, history, philosophy and theology.

I must say that science is really not my thing (as you may have guessed), but I do wonder whether it is plausible, or even probable that the World and the Church has been hoodwinked by the Royal Society (which spawned both Huxley and Darwin and Dawkins) on this issue, as it was on the 'global warming' fiasco in which years of temperature declines were covered up by by the UEA, in order to maintain the chosen narrative that the Earth was warming amid constant propaganda to that effect. Despite all the efforts of scientists to convince the World that only empirical evidence is worthy of submission to a scientific debate, the UEA went to great lengths to 'hide the decline' of temperatures that, they propagated consistently, were rising.

Benedict XVI: Not wholly convinced by evolutionary theory

A friend of mine introduced me recently to a really quite interesting, even compelling website for The Kolbe Center, named after St Maximillian Kolbe. St Maximillian Kolbe held that the theory of evolution was plain wrong and, I would think, of diabolical origin, and that nothing produced by scientists could persuade him otherwise as to the literal veracity of Genesis. Nothing in the writings of St Maximillian Kolbe suggests that the martyr-Saint was a stupid man or an ignorant one, but in the modern day Church one wonders how he would fare among his contemporaries. Perhaps not too well.


Another intelligent man not wholly convinced by the theory of evolution appears to be Pope Emeritus Benedict. In an article penned in reply to an Italian critic of the Church, atheist and mathematician, Piergiorgio Odifreddi, Benedict wrote...

'Science fiction exists, moreover, in the context of many sciences. What it offers are theories about the beginning and the end of the world as found in Heisenberg, Schrödinger and others. I would designate such works as science fiction in the best sense: they are visions which anticipate true knowledge, although they are, in fact, only imaginative attempts to get closer to reality.

There is, however, science fiction on a grand scale even within the theory of evolution. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins is a classic example of science fiction. The great [molecular biologist] Jacques Monod wrote some sentences which he has inserted in his works which could only be science fiction. I quote: "The emergence of tetrapod vertebrates ... originates from the fact that a primitive fish ‘chose’ to go and explore the land, on which, however, it was unable to move except by jumping clumsily and thus creating, as a result of a modification of behaviour, the selective pressure leading to the development of the sturdy limbs of tetrapods. Among the descendants of this bold explorer, of this Magellan of evolution, some can run at a speed of 70 miles per hour ... " (Quoted from the Italian edition of Chance and Necessity, Milan 2001, p. 117ff.).

The same made it clear that the Church had nothing to fear from scientific discoveries since truth could not contradict truth. Not being a scientist but being more than a little sceptical of anything that comes from scientists as known 'fact' in a world that consistently repeats lies and half truths, especially from institutions such as the Royal Society that spawned a lengthy, consistent list of eugenics advocates, among whom are the Darwin dynasty and the Malthus dynasty, one really does wonder whether evolution (accounting for our origin) is more about faith in the theory to back up the ideology it provides rather than the objective search for empirical data that proves it beyond a reasonable doubt. It just seems to me to be rather convenient that one man's theory should lead to evolutionary principles being applied to human beings and it becoming such a dominant ideology within just one century that Nazi concentration camps emerge, extermination of the 'unfit' soon follows, only then to be followed by a host of other eugenic evils still prevalent today in its wake such as artificial contraception, abortion and sterilisation.

The Immaculate Conception Controversy

Over time the Church has attempted to wash over the deep theological implications of the theory of evolution being accepted generally, but one convincing argument against it is made by the Kolbe Center in this article on Our Lady as The Immaculate Conception. Thus did Our Lady describe herself at Lourdes.

If Our Lady is THE Immaculate Conception and 'THE' can only mean one and only, it means that only Our Lady was conceived immaculately. Though Catholic Doctrine would grant to Eve, the Mother of all the Living an Immaculate pre-Fall existence, had she been 'conceived' by natural means, Eve herself would have been conceived Immaculate and stayed so right up until the Fall. Eve's conception from a pre-Human species of ape is necessary for the evolutionary theory to be held by Catholics rather than shunned. Catholic teaching would hold that had she been conceived in such manner, but by God's intervention granted a living Soul, then by virtue of Catholic doctrine she would have been Immaculate in her conception, if not remaining so after sin entered the World through the sin of our first parents.

Yet Our Lady of Lourdes does not talk of Our Lady being the second Immaculate Conception or one of two, or that any other person was Immaculate at conception. No, she says...

"I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION"

If Our Lady is the only Immaculately conceived Woman, then Eve, the 'Mother of all the living' was not conceived at all, otherwise, Our Lady has told an untruth at Lourdes. Our Lady does not lie, therefore Eve must have 'arrived on the scene' by some other manner than conception. What might this manner be? From the side of a sleeping Adam? Oh no, we don't believe that, because that's 'impossible' (as if turning water into wine at a Wedding is 'possible'.)

This, of course, could never convince atheists who scorn both Jesus and Mary, but I am certainly open to the idea that it should convince Catholics that the theory of evolution can and should be rejected, unless we are to deny Mary the title accorded to her by the Church at her bidding. Richard Dawkins might be some kind of talking monkey, and heck, I might be some kind of talking monkey, but nobody says that about the Mother of God!

If the tasty line of reasoning taken by the Kolbe Center on The Immaculate Conception holds water (and I rather think it does), then evolution cannot be a theory entertained by Catholics without denying an article of Faith promulgated by infallible decree by Pope Pius IX in 1854. On the Origin of Species, as Providence would have it, was published in 1855.

Comments

Unknown said…
The Kolbe Centre have a seminar in London on 2nd March. Their seminars are well worth attending. The details are on their site

Chloe
viterbo said…
The theory of evolution itself is riven with controversy and agreement can not be claimed on the canonical expression of its central ideas. Indeed, there remain members of the biological community who deny its warrent and even reject it's claim to cognitive legitimacy...there are serious biologists who hold it to be a vaccuous and circular triviality. Others insist that, though a respectable theory it does not provide even in principle the explanatory and predictive results physics has led us to expect of a theory. Moreover, there is no concensus on how this theory is to be related to the rest of biology. A. Rosenburg, The Structure of Biological Science (CUP - 1984)

I am the Immaculate Conception. (a complete contradiction to the late evolution theory and happily made dogma in the face of the darwinian farce - no ssimians in the genealogy of salvation, Charles). the first man and woman, sinless, made, not conceived, flesh from earth and flesh from flesh. then, the only evolution, the long years of Israel puryfying herself through the law and the purpose and pinnicle of this purification is the Immaculate Conception.

'Our Dependence on Mary is greater than we can imagine. We receive all graces, absolutely all of them, from God through the Immaculate, who is our universal mediatrix with Jesus'. St. Maximilian Kolbe: Let Yourself be led by the Immaculate.

p.s. cute kittens are blog gold.
Savonarola said…
Maybe it is not so much that science trumps Scripture, but that if both are true then they must in some way be compatible.
The story in Genesis, the gradual unfolding of the created world, seems to me to accord rather well with evolution theory - but only if you do not read it literally. This in itself is a strong indicator that belief in literal infallibility or inerrancy must be wrong.
Science can be an aid to religion in helping us not to discard, but to refine and deepen our religious beliefs. But if religion is going to set itself against science, it surely cannot expect much of a future. Religious people would do well not to pose as experts in science and imagine that their religious beliefs can trump scientific theories. If we oppose Prof. Dawkins' views on religion, when it comes to biology we need to listen to him.
Pelerin said…
This post encouraged me to look up Evolution and the Catholic Church as I have to admit that I have always accepted Evolution as the most logical development of living beings. This does not ignore the fact that somewhere along the line Man was instilled with a soul.

I remember when under instruction many years ago being worried about whether I would have to believe in the literal words of the early part of Genesis and being relieved when I was told by the Priest that it was written as Jewish literature and we did not have to take it as historic fact.

I see from Wikipedia (Yes I know I should not believe everything I see on that!) that Pius XII said that there was no intrinsic conflict between Christianity and the theory of Evolution. It also states that the 'Origin of Species' was never put on the Index.

If these two facts are indeed true then surely as Catholics we are entitled to carry on believing in Evolution?
Tony McGough said…
Creation: it is OK to think that the "days" in Genesis are not days of 24 hours, since the Sun seems to be made only on the third day. And why would God deceive us by making pre-potted fossils which point to evolution, or at least to a very long history of animal life on the planet?

As a physicist I am happy with an earthly history of billions of years ... and delighted that God seems to have started Creation with electromagnetic radiation : "Let there be Light". And how!

As to evolution, there is much more evidence for the stability of species than for their evolution; although the obvious similarities in our structure betrays a common origin or indeed a common Creator.
Pity that the idea of Evolution was taken up so heartily by the God-bashers. That makes it so difficult to discuss without rancour.

Tony McGough
Mary Gleeson (school teacher) said…
If the creation story is literally true then how did the earth populate after God created Adam and Eve? The only answer can be incest.
The Bones said…

''As, therefore, the human race, subsequently to the first marriage of the man who was made of dust, and his wife who was made out of his side, required the union of males and females in order that it might multiply, and as there were no human beings except those who had been born of these two, men took their sisters for wives,—an act which was as certainly dictated by necessity in these ancient days as afterwards it was condemned by the prohibitions of religion..........‎. And we see that, since the human race has increased and multiplied, this is so strictly observed even among the profane worshippers of many and false gods, that though their laws perversely allow a brother to marry his sister, yet custom, with a finer morality, prefers to forego this license; and though it was quite allowable in the earliest ages of the human race to marry one’s sister, it is now abhorred as a thing which no circumstances could justify'' (St. Augustine, City of God, 15.16.1-2).

The Bones said…
An interesting article here.

http://www.academia.edu/1598580/St._Augustines_view_of_Biblical_Creation_versus_a_21st_Century_Day-Age_View
Mary Gleeson said…
Didn't the writings of Popes JP2 & Benedict agree with evolutionary theory as being compatible with catholic teaching?
Unknown said…
It wasn't incest until God made it so.

Also try reading "Creation Rediscovere" by Gerard Keane. It will make you think.

Chloe
Savonarola said: "This in itself is a strong indicator that belief in literal infallibility or inerrancy must be wrong."

No, the literal meaning of the Scriptures is indeed inerrant, but it is important to understand what the literal meaning was that the author intended. The mistake that both fundamentalists and Dawkinites make with respect to Genesis is to assume that Moses was writing a scientific hand-book on the literal "how" of the making of the universe. It is naive on the part of both groups to assume that Moses possessed the same worldview that existed after the the era of modern science began.

The theological truths imparted in Genesis 1 & 2 are far more important than trying to reduce it to the nuts and bolts of how things are made or come into existence at the molecular level.


Scipio said…
I went in a Kolbe Centre lecture in 2011 a Darwinist and came out ... perplexed. Had all I been told in school and later been wrong? I decided to read 'Creation Rediscovered: Evolution & Importance of the Origins Debate' (Catholic author) and now I no longer have any truck with Evolution theory. In the minority, though.
Delia said…
There are some good things from the Faith movement on all this.
Physiocrat said…
Evolution is happening today. In, amongst other places, Sussex County Hospital. MRSA evolved in hospital environments.
Unknown said…
Delia, the origins of the Faith movement are..........odd!

Chloe
Savonarola said…
DA, 'the literal meaning of the Scriptures is indeed inerrant.'

No. It cannot possibly be the case because the literal meaning of the Scriptures often contradicts itself and says things that nobody today would accept as literally true. The inerrancy of Scripture does not reside in its being literally true, it is of a different order.
Savonarola said…
DA, may I make another comment? The problem here, that your comment does not address, is that some religious people do believe that the creation story in Genesis is literal historical fact and for that reason set it in opposition to evolution or other scientific theory. You seem to be saying that there can be another kind of literal truthfulness than historical physical factuality, but what is that?
Of course the author(s) of Genesis did not have a contemporary scientific world-view, but I don't think that means they could not distinguish factual historical accounts from stories or myths that have a poetic or symbolic or spiritual truthfulness (which may be in a sense deeper, so to speak more true than literal truth) - and they probably knew that their creation story was of that kind. Your second paragraph skates over the question of what theological truth could be and how it differs from factual truth. And some religious people do clearly think they are one and the same. Please define the nature of your theological truth.
viterbo said…
geneisis says, 'and God made THEM, male and female.' there are two accounts of the creation of human beings - there is a general account of the creation of humans and a specific one with regards to Adam and Adam's rib. Jewish exegesis on this goes swimming in the ocean doing flip flops and rolling plastic rings on it's nose. in typical restrained circumspect Roman fashion - yes the bible tells us that Adam and Eve were given an eviction notice by their landlord for destroying the communion between God and man and the unity between peoples, but the kingdom of Eden was not the only inhabited earth. we wouldn't expect that Windsor was the only inhabited acre - OK many many acres - in Berkshire.
Lynda said…
The theory of evolution is just a theory, with atheistic assumptions. If you haven't read it already, I strongly recommend the 3 Volume work of Robert Sungenis and Robert Bennett showing that there is no science showing heliocentrism, on the contrary. The work is called "Galileo was Wrong, The Church Was Right, The Evidence from Modern Science (the 3rd volume is the Evidence from Church History). Robert Sungenis was also involved in the soon-to-be-released film called "The Principle", which shows the fallaciousness of the Copernican Principle (the metaphysical assumption upon which modern cosmology is imploding, as it struggles to come up with more and more far-fetched ideas to prop it up). See theprinciplemovie.com.