The Catholic Thing
Are Catholics Creationists? Print E-mail
By George Sim Johnston   
Sunday, 08 November 2009

Today, the Pope Pius V University in Rome will be the setting for a day-long conference with the arresting title, “The Scientific Impossibili­ty of Evolution.” The sponsors of the event are known crusaders against Darwin. But they go further than most Darwin dissenters and postulate a “young earth” chronology based on a literal reading of Scripture. Need­less to say, the Catholics among them are not comfortable with what the ordinary Magisteri­um has to say on the subject. Both John Paul II and Benedict XVI have affirmed that the Book of Genesis is not meant to teach science and that theories of evolution are permissible so long as God is not excluded from the big picture.

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously remarked that the test of a first-rate mind is to hold two apparently contradictory ideas and still be able to function. In the debate over evolution, a Catholic must allow both revelation and science their due authority, reconciling the ap­parent con­tra­­dictions between Genesis and modern research. Catholics also have to be skeptical about the claims of materialist ideologies dis­guised as science, while being open to the genuine findings of geneticists and paleontolo­gists.

In 1986, John Paul II gave a series of general audiences on the subject of Creation. In them, he laid down a principle of Biblical exegesis that has been around since the Church Fathers: The Book of Genesis is not meant to teach science. Genesis tells what God did, not how he did it. “Indeed,” writes John Paul, “the theory of natural evolution, understood in a sense that does not exclude divine causality, is not in principle opposed to the truth about creation. . . .as presented in the Book of Genesis. . . .It must, however, be added that this hypothesis pro­poses only a probability, not a scientific certainty. . . .[But] it is possible that the human body, following the order impressed by the Creator on the energies of life, could have been gradually prepared in the forms of antecedent living beings.”

In an address to Italian clergy on July 24, 2007, Pope Benedict XVI also recognized evolution as a legitimate scientific theory. At the same time, he expressed impatience with the false polarities of “creation­ism” and “evolutionism.” The doctrine of creation and the theory of evolution, he said, are not “mutually exclusive alternatives.” The world need not be divided between fideists who cram scientific data into a Biblical template never meant to receive them and materialists who think that soothing phrases like “random fluctuation in the quantum void” dispense with the need for a Creator.

While allowing for the possibility of evolution, neither pope has issued a free pass to evolutionary materialism. The Church has nothing to fear from legitimate science, but is wary of materialist philoso­phies tricked up as science – which is what Darwinism often amounts to. In Truth and Tolerance, Benedict com­plains that evolutionists often trespass their legitimate bounds by making sweeping metaphysical claims. As a result, the educated public has the vague impression that “evolution” explains everything. Why, it even explains Darwinists whose purpose in life is to explain that the universe has no purpose.

Benedict reminds us that there are fundamental questions that science in principle cannot answer. Such as: Why is there some­thing rather than nothing? As G. K. Chesterton, an astute observer of the evolution wars, re­marked: “Nobody can imagine how nothing could turn into something. Nobody can get an inch nearer to it by explaining how something could turn into something else.”

Apart from the origin of the universe, there are two other ontological leaps that elude scientific explanation. First, the origin of life: Life only seems to come from life. Second, the human person: How could a purely “natural” process produce a creature so unlike anything else in nature? Mankind did not need the ability to write Hamlet­ or compose Don Giovanni in order to compete with the apes.

While aspects of evolutionary theory are certainly open to critic­ism, I don’t think a conference of Christian scholars who read Genesis as a textbook in geology is very helpful. One could argue that there is not a single scientific datum anywhere in Scripture – for the simple reason that the sacred writers had no notion of science in the modern sense. When­ever I encounter a creationist, I like to ask how we can see the Milky Way if the universe is only a few thousand years old. The response, needless to say, is wonderfully baroque.

The Big Bang is a perfectly reasonable model – as is the common descent of species, since all animals share genetic coding and homolo­gous structures like wings and limbs. Still, we know very little about the origin of species. Darwinists have not satis­factorily explained how bacteria, which appeared over three billion years ago, gradually morphed into everything from trilobites to Homo sapiens. Paleontolo­gists like Steven Stanley and Niles Eldredge tell us that the fossils do not show gradual Darwinian evolution. Geneticists never observe the systematic mutations they deem necessary for major evolutionary changes. Breed­ing experi­ments show species stubbornly clinging to their blueprints: Dogs remain dogs, fruitflies remain fruitflies. All Darwinists can show are small adjustments within species (e.g., the famous beak of the finch) from which they extrapolate macro-evolutionary changes which occur off-stage, as it were.

Catholics should take their cue from the Magisterium: Welcome the genuine discoveries of modern science while casting a skeptical eye on evolutionary “science” that for philosophical reasons dispenses with a Creator and treats man as a thing. At the same time, Christians who insist on explaining the universe in terms of ancient Hebrew cosmology are going to have a difficult time engaging the modern world.

George Sim Johnston is the author of Did Darwin Get It Right? Catholics and the Theory of Evolution­ (Our Sunday Visitor).
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Comments (40)Add Comment
RE: Creationist Catholics
written by Royce, November 09, 2009
Boils down to 2 different theories.. One trying to descredit a creator, the other glorifying Him. Is it really so important that we understand how we got here if it causes us to turn our eyes away from our Lord? Call me credulous but I'll take the "story" of creation over what the world has to offer (Darwinism) ANY day!
written by Dennis Larkin, November 09, 2009
If you look at the time it takes for two original homo sapiens to multiply into 6 billion, given the historically verifiable rates of population increase, you get a longest period of something like 20,000 years. At a slower rate of compounding population, the earliest humans would be wiped out by a single bout of flu; at higher rates of compounding, Adam and Eve are recent figures. It is hard to maintain that we humans are a million years old, and didn't reproduce notably for thousands of years.
False argument
written by Joseph, November 09, 2009
"In the beginning, God made the heavens and the earth." Then along came the first theologian in the guise of a snake, saying: "Did God really...?"

So, today we have 14 kinds of evolutionary theory, none of which satisfy, but the quest will go on to figure out how you make something out of nothing, along with the Who, Why and How.

Man will never know, but he won\'t give up trying. Rather than accept the truth of Genesis, he will continue to throw questions into the air, like Job.
A Day\\\\\\
written by Willie, November 09, 2009
Time varies according to the expansion of the universe. Some physicists have postulated that the universe has been expanding since the Big Bang.It could be that the first day of Genesis was several billion years. Our concept of a 24 hour day may be a result of the expansion of the universe over time. If that is the case there is no reason for a clash between the Creationist and the Darwinian. Ex nihilo creation of being is not satisfactorily answered by the Darwinian and Genesis is not physics.
What about original sin?
written by Blake Helgoth, November 09, 2009
Obviously, Genesis cannot be all literal, there would be no sun until the 3rd day! However, evolution cannot explain original sin, the creation of only one set of parents for all man (doctrine of the Church) and their passing on O.S. to all their offspring (also a doctrine of the Church). So, I do not know how evolution could possible square with the doctrine of the Church. That does not mean that Catholics need be Creationists (in the Protestant sense), though. Indeed, it would be hard to find evidence that the world was created in just 6 days.
written by WW2 Marine Veteran, November 09, 2009
I agree with what Royce contributed below. I support the Creationist theory rather than what Darwin offered.
Science: AMDG
written by Bradley, November 09, 2009
Better to struggle with 14 types of evolutionary theory than to stick our heads in the sand, as the church did with Galileo. God gave us the intellect and curosity to pursue scientific theories like evolution, so let's embrace such work whole-heartedly to glorify Him! We might be surprised that our discoveries, instead of threatening a narrow, literal intepretation of Genesis, actually open our eyes more fully to the Creator's splendor and majesty.
Philosophy of Science
written by Joe K, November 09, 2009
A major problem today is that most scientists are not sufficiently grounded in a viable philosophy of nature and science. I thank Dr. Herbert Hartmann for his amazing class In that subject. These days most people are left to their own designs and forced to accept that physical science replaces metaphysics and faith (Dawkins and his ilk). Somehow evolutionary biology is considered more credible than scientific fact? A great book is Dr. Rizzi's "The science before Science" on this very subject.
It doesn\\\\\\
written by R. Easonable, November 09, 2009
To say theories of evolution or the universe's origin discredit God are a disservice to the incomprehensible genius of our creator. To snap your fingers and have a world pop into existence is nothing - any 5 year old can do this. But to set up processes that can start with atoms and end with humans is incredible! (and astounding! and beautiful!) We've spent 100s of years studying and we're still trying to understand. Appreciation of life's complexities does not preclude appreciation of God.
First Shot
written by Jim Miles, November 09, 2009
Well said by George Sim Johnston – the Church has wisely seen scientific investigation as a God-given tool for human understanding of His creation and a means by which we can further advance the dominion he offered in Genesis. The first shots in the war between the Biblical Creationists and the Neo-Darwinian community came from the academics who stated with assumed assurance that the statistical data uncovered did not allow for the existence of God. See Expelled by Ben Stein.
written by lucemichael, November 09, 2009
I thought this article was reasonable and fair, challenging both sides and pretty much staying in keeping with the Magisterium. JPII was right on this one too.

The major problem with the Creation camp is that Creationism is becoming a litmus test of belief, and is replacing valid moral and theological issues as central to Christianity.

Just my two cents.
A Theory in Name Only
written by Jim Belna, November 10, 2009
Mr Johnston is much too generous to evolutionists. Darwinians have not only failed to satisfactorily explain how bacteria evolved into a vast array of life-forms, they have absolutely no idea how a simple bacteria became a slightly more complex one. I think it is perfectly fair for creationists to point out the obvious fact that there is no theory of evolution that even tries to explain the nuts and bolts of macroevolution with any semblance of scientific rigor.
What a cowardly tactic
written by John, November 10, 2009
I do not believe the theory to be reasonable. Many try to mesh the Bible and evolution, but the end result is a disaster. I say this in my unbiased, humble opinion. Those who are Catholics that do endorse evolution are merely cowards. That is, about 90% of the time. The other 10% consists of the ignorant followers.
Stop the Madness
written by Mike, November 10, 2009
UGH! Just look at what Augustine says in his writing "On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis", he clearly explains that Christians make themselves look like fools to the scientific community when they assert their theological doctrines as scientific fact. Certainly, Augustine was more of a creationist, not having the luxury of modern science. Nevertheless, he recognized the logical inconsistency in holding the creation account as anything other than allegorical.
entrenched paradigm
written by Burton, November 10, 2009
For the most part, I applaud Mr. (Dr.?) Johnston's even handed approach. However, he unfairly impugns the conference in Rome as being out of touch with the modern world. I invite him and TCT readership to read the ZENIT piece interviewing the geologists and paleontologists participating in the conference. If there is new data which contradict the current entrenched paradigm, we should all be open to it. This type of evidence is too often rejected out of hand because of anti-religious bias.
The science religion mix
written by Mary, November 10, 2009
In an article in Discover Magazine (3/09), a molecular biologist, Sean Carroll, says there is a "master tool kit that sculpts the body structures of all animals", from humans to nematode worms. Discovery of this small set of universal body-building genes became a new science, - evolutionary developmental biology(evo devo) which decodes the genes that control life’s physical forms and explores how mutations in those genes drive evolutionary change.

Science can explain it, but God provides the tools.
Original Sin & Evolution.
written by Ismael, November 10, 2009
It is even possible to reconcile Original Sin with Evolution.

At a certain point, in evolution, there must have been a first human. Ofcourse what made him fully human was a human SOUL that comes not from evolution but from God.

It is not unreasonable to accept that God put a soul in two Proto-humans and those were "Adam and Eve"

Of course this is just an opinion and there are many others. There is NO need to bash evolutionary theory as long as empirical evidence supports it.
Evidence for Darwinism?
written by cc, November 10, 2009
We look around us and many people will readily admin that evolution has occurred. Evolution appears to be a firmly grounded fact.

Does that mean that Darwinism is true? Far from it. The Cambrian Explosion is replete with novel body plans that literally came out of nowhere. This is evolution in action if there ever was such a thing.

But does Darwinism explain it? Hardly. Darwinism requires eons of geological time. The Cambrian Explosion happened in a blink of a geological eye.
written by Joseph, November 10, 2009
Yes, it certainly makes sense that everything started with the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago when out of a soupy maze or primordial atoms, suddenly the cosmos exploded into bits and pieces of protoplasm that eventually worked its way from single-celled organisms through a vast evolutionary chain ending in Man.

Let us all embrace this sturdy theory as believable and worth pursuing, and let us discount the Genesis account as strictly allegorical. Man's wisdom is God's foolishness, indeed.
Milky Way
written by Boniface, November 10, 2009
How can we see the Milky Way if the universe is only a few thousand years old? Uh, how about the simple fact that God created the light en route so that we would not have to wait thousands of years to see it. Seems pretty simple.
Cork Unitarians, Ireland.
written by Brendan, November 10, 2009
God created night and day on Day 1 but the sun and moon Day4? Perfectly valid myth but impossible science! Genesis 3 seems to me to refer to the transition from (natural) hunter-gatherer socety to (city-type) civilisations via the domestication of animals and, more especially, plants. Nothing to do with origin of species but the origin of history.
Re: Milky Way
written by Marianne, November 10, 2009
Why would God go to all the trouble of creating physical laws that require the Milky Way to be millions of years old before we can see it and then break them? Let's not forget that both faith and reason are essential for humans, and that we shouldn't abandon inquiry into our world by simply saying, "God did it, we can't know why."
creationist catholic
written by Mark Hobart, November 11, 2009
The last time I checked, the big bang theory had more holes in it than swiss cheese.
RE mutations cause change
written by Dan, November 11, 2009
"Geneticists never observe the systematic mutations they deem necessary for major evolutionary changes."

You might want to read up on nylon eating bacteria. Here's an observation of a frame shift mutation (when nucleotides in DNA are not inserted or deleted in groups of three so the whole strand is misread when translated) allowing bacteria once not being able to digest nylon now being able to do so. You can find it at Wikipedia, and I can find more examples if needed.
Why are there monkeys?
written by Blake Helgoth, November 11, 2009
If evolution is true, then why are there still monkeys? Shouldn't they have evolved into humans? Also, where is there any proof of macro-evolution? Oh, and why are most mutations harmful to the creature rather than helpful?
quote mines
written by Dan, November 11, 2009
"Paleontolo­gists like Steven Stanley and Niles Eldredge tell us that the fossils do not show gradual Darwinian evolution."

Do not quote mine scientists. They were speaking of punctuated equilibrium, or periods when evolution occurs rapidly. They were not denying gradualism, but expressing that it wouldn't be the best tool to explain the data in this case. TalkOrigins.Org has a list of common quote mines, where you can read their full statements. Search Stanley and Eldredge to find them.
written by it is ecological adjustment., November 12, 2009
Steven Stanley writes in "The New Evolutionary Timetable" that "the fossil record does not convincingly docu a single transition from one species to another." Your changing bacteria, meanwhile, remain bacteria. That is not evolution.
written by Dan, November 12, 2009
"Breeding experiments show species stubbornly clinging to their blueprints: Dogs remain dogs, fruitflies remain fruitflies. All Darwinists can show are small adjustments within species...from which they extrapolate macro-evolutionary changes which occur off-stage."

Macroevolution is the sum of many tiny changes over a long period of time, which is all that evolution requires. It doesn't mean that an organism will suddenly have offspring of a diffrent species, like dogs giving birth to cats.
Micro-plus is not Macro
written by George Sim Johnston, November 12, 2009
For those paying attention, macro-evolution was long ago decoupled from micro-evolution. If you have a thousand-point mutation in the gene of a fruitfly, a statistical impossiblity, it is still a fruitfly. Hence Stephen Jay Gould insisted that evolutionists have to give up on the idea of micro shifts adding up to macroevolution.
RE adjustment+not macro
written by Dan, November 14, 2009
Nice tries. See Talk Origins quote mine archive (quote #7) or Stanley's book, and you'd see that he was talking about the fossil record in Bighorn Basin, Wyoming, not the fossil record worldwide. And where is a citation for Gould's assertion so we can check the source? How do we know that this isn't another quote mine? How would you feel if I plucked Bible verses to make it say things it never intended? For example, Psalm 14:1 says that there is no God. So why waste your time at church?
Is it the nature of God?
written by John, November 14, 2009
Can anyone honestly say that they believe that the infinitely merciful and loving Lord Jesus Christ used the cruel method of millions of years of death, cancer, and suffering in order to make man? According to the Bible man brought death into the world. Acoording to evolution, death brought man into the world. These two views are completely backwards. In saying that God used evolution, (which is a religion of death) one would have to question what God means when He says it was "Very Good"
What Gould Said
written by George Sim Johnston, November 15, 2009
In "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?" in Paleobiology 6:119-130 (1980) Gould writes, "The decisive step in evolution, the first step towards macroevolution, the step from one species to another, requires another evolutionary method than the sheer accumulation of micro-mutations." See also his essay, "Return of the Hopeful Monster." As for Stanley, I do not have his book at hand ... A similar opinion: Otto Schindewolf, "Basic Questions in Paleontology"
excuse me?
written by jason taylor, July 04, 2010
"At the same time, Christians who insist on explaining the universe in terms of ancient Hebrew cosmology are going to have a difficult time engaging the modern world."

Is the idea of the whole thing to have an easy time engaging the modern world?
written by zuma, August 17, 2013
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.”

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?

Nevertheless, Paul Pius XII did not support that evolutionary theory is the truth of God despite he did not forbid its teaching.
written by zuma, August 19, 2013
Did Pope John Paul II really support evolutionary theory when he delivered his message to the general audience on 29th January 1986 that the theory of natural evolution was not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world as presented in the Book of Genesis?

The following is the extract from the third paragraph of his dialogue:

The first account, later in time of composition, is more systematic and theological. It uses the term Elohim to designate God. IT DISTRIBUTES THE WORK OF CREATION OVER A SERIES OF SIX DAYS. Scholars have concluded that this text had its origin in the priestly and cultic circles, since THE SEVENTH DAY IS PRESENTED AS THE DAY ON WHICH GOD RESTS. It proposes to man the worker the example of God the Creator. The author of the first chapter of GENESIS wished to CONFIRM the teaching contained in the Decalogue by inculcating the obligation TO KEEP HOLY THE SEVENTH DAY.

Comment upon the speech of Pope John Paul II as listed above and observe those letters that are placed in capital letters. As the phrase, it distributes the work of creation over a series of six days, it gives an undisputable truth that he supported that God’s creation fell within six days. Did he refer a day of the creation as mentioned in Genesis 1 to be a thousand years? No, he did not refer it to more than a day. As the phrase, seventh day is presented as the day on which God rests, is mentioned in his speech above with the phrase, to keep holy the seventh day, it implies that he referred a day to be literally a day instead of more than that. Unless he did not relate the Sabbath day in which the Jews have to keep holy to the seventh day as God rested, a day could represent a thousand years or more. This is by virtue of Sabbath day that the Jews have to observe falls exactly a day instead of more. As he relates Sabbath day to be the seventh day in which God rested, it implies that he did not support that a day in Genesis could be interpreted as a thousand years or more.

The following is the extract from the 8th paragraph of the speech of Pope John Paul II:
‘Together with all that Sacred Scripture says in different places about the work of creation and about God the Creator, this description enables us to set out certain elements in relief:
1) GOD CREATED THE WORLD BY HIMSELF. The creative power is not transmissible—incommunicabilis.
2) GOD FREELY CREATED THE WORLD, WITHOUT ANY EXTERIOR COMPULSION or compulsion or interior obligation. He could create or not create; he could create this world or another one.
3) THE WORLD WAS CREATED IN TIME, therefore, IT IS NOT ETERNAL. It has a beginning in time.
4) THE WORLD CREATED BY GOD is CONSTANTLY MAINTAINED IN EXISTENCE by the Creator. This "maintenance" is, in a certain sense, a continual creation (conservatio est continua creatio).’

Comment upon the speech of Pope John Paul II as listed above. As the phrase, God created the world by himself, is mentioned in his speech above, he absolutely supported that this world was God’s creation undoubtedly. As the phrase, God created the world by himself, is mentioned above, it gives also a significant truth that he did not support that God did not create the world directly but to stand aside to assist the evolution of the world. Instead, the creation of the world was the master piece of direct construction from God.

As the phrase, the world was created in time, is mentioned in his speech above, he supported that the world was created in time or immediately. Or in other words, he did not support that this world would take many years to be formed.

As the phrase, it is not eternal, is mentioned in his speech above in the same line with the phrase, the world was created in time, it implies that he did not support God’s creation was eternal and yet evolutionary theory supports eternal evolution.

The phrase, the world created by God is constantly maintained in existence by the Creator, as mentioned in his speech above implies that God maintain the existence of His creation. It could be by means of protecting the world and to prevent it to be worse off or whatever as a result of natural disaster or whatever.

Pope John Paul II had mentioned the same in his following speech to emphasize that God was undoubtedly to be the One that directly created the world. He did not stand aside to assist the world to form but to involve personally so as to create it by Himself:

‘For almost two thousand years the Church has consistently professed and proclaimed the truth that THE CREATION OF THE VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE WORLD IS THE WORK OF GOD. It has done this in continuity with the faith professed and proclaimed by Israel, the People of God of the old covenant. The Church explains and thoroughly examines this truth by making use of the philosophy of being, and she defends it from the distortions that arise from time to time in the history of human thought. In the First Vatican Council, in reply to the trends of the pantheistic and materialistic thought of the time, THE CHURCH’S MAGISTERIUM HAS CONFIRMED with particular solemnity AND FORCE THE TRUTH THAT THE CREATION OF THE WORLD IS THE WORK OF GOD. Those same tendencies are present also in our century in certain developments of the exact sciences and of the atheistic ideologies.’

The same is also mentioned below that God was the One that created the world:
‘According to the "canons" added to this doctrinal text, the First Vatican Council confirmed the following truths:
2) It is contrary to faith to affirm that only matter exists (materialism) (DS 3022).
3) It is contrary to faith to assert that God is essentially identified with the world (pantheism) (DS 3023).
4) IT IS CONTRARY TO FAITH to maintain that creatures, even spiritual ones, are an emanation of the divine substance, or TO AFFIRM THAT THE DIVINE BEING BY its manifestation or EVOLUTION BECOMES EVERYTHING (DS 3024).
5) ALSO CONTRARY TO FAITH is the idea THAT GOD IS the universal or INDEFINITE BEING which in BECOMING DETERMINATE constitutes universe divided into genera, species and individuals (DS 3024).
6) It is likewise contrary to faith to deny that the world and all things contained in it, whether spiritual or material, in their entire substance have been created by God out of nothing (DS 3025).’
Comment upon the speech of Pope Paul II as listed above. As the phrase, It is contrary to faith…to affirm that the divine being by…evolution becomes everything, is mentioned above, it implies that he opposed the faith that God (the divine being) would use evolution as a source to cause everything to be in existence.

As the phrase, God is the universal or indefinite being, is mentioned in his speech above with the phrase, becoming determinate, it implies that God was not created from something else.

Nevertheless, Pope Paul II did not support that God used evolution to be the source that caused everything into existence.

If he did not support that evolution was the source that caused everything into existence, why should he mention that the theory of natural evolution was not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world as presented in the Book of Genesis?

It could be that:

When he mentioned that evolutionary theory was not in principle opposed to the truth about the creation of the visible world as presented in the Book of Genesis, it could mean that he supported that evolutionary theory and Genesis have the principle and that is to find out how this universe was formed; or to find out how animals were created; or to find out how plants were created; or etc. However, he did not support that the formation of everything was not the direct work of God but through evolution.


He could have made a mistake in his statement.


He spoke it ignorantly.
written by zuma, August 20, 2013
What did Pope Pius IX want Christians to do towards those fellow Christians that support all things were the divine work from God through evolution?
The following is the extract from Catholics and Evolution, wiki:
On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, during the papacy of Pope Pius IX, who defined dogmatically papal infallibility during the First Vatican Council in 1869–70…..
On God the Creator, the Vatican Council was very clear. The definitions preceding the "anathema" (as a technical term of Catholic theology, let him be "cut off" or excommunicated, cf. Galatians 1:6–9; Titus 3:10–11; Matthew 18:15–17) signify an infallible doctrine of the Catholic Faith (De Fide):
1.On God the creator of all things
4.IF ANYONE SAYS THAT that finite things, both corporal and spiritual, or at any rate, spiritual, emanated from THE DIVINE SUBSTANCE; or that the divine essence, BY the manifestation and EVOLUTION of itself BECOMES ALL THINGS or, finally, that God is a universal or indefinite being which by self-determination establishes the totality of things distinct in genera, species and individuals: LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.

Comment upon the speech from Pope Pius IX as listed above and observe carefully those letters that are in capital letters.

As the phrase, If anyone says that…the divine substance (could be God)…by…evolution of itself becomes all things…let him be anathema, is mentioned in his speech above, it seems to be that he discouraged Christians to have faith in evolution. The phrase, finite things…spiritual…the divine substance, as mentioned in his speech, could refer to God in which Christians support the divine work of God in evolution. Thus, the phrase, the divine substance…by…evolution…becomes all things, could be interpreted as these Christians should have supported that God by evolution that becomes all things. What did he mention about these people? Let him be anathema. Excommunicate!
written by zuma, August 30, 2013
Single cells should have secreted enzymes initially so as to pull all the cells together to cause the ultimate formation of multicellular organism.

The explanation to link up single cells to the formation of multicellular organism seems to be logical at a glance. However, detailed examination would have caused many queries to be brought forth.

a)How could those unicellular organisms that lived in the sea in the beginning of its evolution be hardened so as to cause them to be bound up to the ultimate formation of multicellular organism, i.e. algae? By logic, it could only be possible for unicellar organisms to be bound up in the dry place when many of them would have come together at a fixed place. When they finished the food supplies, the place dried up and so they stuck together. It was not possible to the formation of multicellular orgainism in the sea especially scientists assumed many were formed in the sea. The reason is simply that sea water was wet and it was not possible for numerous unicellular organisms to be bound up tightly as a result of the existence of surrounding sea water. As that could be so, how could multicellular organism, i.e. algae, be able to be formed in the sea? The existence of the surrounding sea water would not cause numerous unicellular organisms to be bound up tightly especially the existence of sea wave.

b)How could those unicellular organisms that lived in the land be able to be pooled up together if they would be located in different area in the land? It was also impossible for unicellular organisms to be pooled up in the land so as to form a multicellular organism especially the existence of friction of rocks and sands.

c)In the wide sea, it is impossible for numerous unicellular organisms to come together despite of their secreting. Let’s give an example. An unicellular organism in the North Pole would not be able to be pooled up to another unicellular organism that would be located in the South Pole. How could numerous unicellular organisms be able to come together so as to form multicellular organism when they were located different regions in the wide sea? The existence of sea wave would hinder them to come together as a pool. Besides, the existence of sea wave would also cause the secreted enzymes to spread all around the sea. As the discharge of enzymes could be spread all around the sea easily as a result of sea wave, it would not be possible for them to come together so as to form multicellular organism.

d)By logic, when unicellular organism combined to turn up to multicellular organism, the function of each unicellular organism within the multicellular organism would remain the same. This is by virtue of every unicellular organism would react the same way in habit or in routine movement after the formation of multicellular organism. There should not be any reason why there should be any discrepancy of their behaviour between unicellular organism and multicellular organism especially multicellular organism, i.e. algae, has been treated by scientists to have its origin from unicellular organism. For example, how could it be possible that the capacity of regeneration for unicellular organism was present and yet there was a reduction in the capability for regeneration for multicellular organism? The presence of discrepancy between nunicellular and unicellar has caused us to ponder whether multicellular organism in the beginning of the creation should have its derivation from unicellular organism.
written by Brad Miner, September 04, 2013
Zuma: I sent an email to the address with which you registered. Apparently you did not receive it. We never publish comments that contain links. Here's the comments policy, which is always above the comments area:

Rules for Commenting

The Catholic Thing welcomes comments, which should reflect a sense of brevity and a spirit of Christian civility, and which, as discretion indicates, we reserve the right to publish or not. And, please, do not include links to other websites; we simply haven't time to check them all.

AND we'd appreciate it if your comments were a bit more concise.
written by zuma, September 07, 2013
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?
written by Gelly, February 06, 2014
Ugh. I hate how people are all like "Evolutionary science is completely wrong, there's no evidence, evolution would desecrate God." I'd argue the exact opposite - God's plan of having evolutionary tactics would just show how impressive and awesome God is - at least, to me. I'll argue that evolution happens in life all the time, but doesn't necessitate that we came from apes. Ignoring science is like ignoring a beautiful library that God's put in place for us and we're discovering all the time - no false books, just false ways to read them.

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