'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.
'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.