Efforts to Reconcile Faith and Science


#1

Tomorrow, November 22, marks the day that Darwin’s book “On the Origin of Species” went on sale in 1859. And life has never been the same since. The book launched the Third Reich and Nazis a new way of seeing ourselves and our place in the universe, as well as fruitful research that continues to this day. And it raised theological questions. Lots of them.

So I thought I’d post a link to a 2015 article by Roman Catholic writer John Farrell, called Still Seeking Omega. It discusses both historical and ongoing efforts to reconcile the Roman Catholic faith with evolution.

And here’s a more recent article about Teilhard de Chardin: Will Pope Francis remove the Vatican’s ‘warning’ from Teilhard de Chardin’s writings?


(George Brooks) #2

@beaglelady

Your sense of humor is Gorgeous!

The “strikethrough” font doesn’t “reproduce” when I put the URL into a private message… but that’s a superficial glitch!


#3

Date fixed. Thanks. I realize that the strike-through doesn’t get copied, which is a shame.


#4

You could also simply add the “strikethrough” tags yourself.


(Albert Leo) #5

Again, thanks so much @beaglelady for the two links! How do you find the time to read so widely??

As a young Catholic, leaving the protected environment of a parochial school and entering the 'secular/science-dominated world of high school and college, I was lucky enough to read (and be greatly influenced by) the works of Teilhard de Chardin. From your links I am happy to learn that his philosophy is now being given serious attention among Vatican circles. But, like the Titanic headed for the iceberg, the momentum of the Vatican makes such a course change so time consuming.

As Farrell says: “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.” There are powerful Fundamentalists in the Vatican (e.g. Cardinal Schonberg et.al., authors of the current Catechism) who will fight tooth & nail to retain Original Sin as essential dogma. I can only pray that the views I have posted on replacing O.S. with Original Blessing could encourage the progressive voices in the Vatican to persist in their efforts to bring about this change.

I was especially pleased to learn of Ilia Delio’s views: ‘Instead of evolving, it (the Church) is devolving,’ Delio writes, ‘its very presence is thinning out to the extent that in some areas of the world, such as parts of western Europe, it is dissolving’. I have seen this first hand from attending many science conferences in Europe where so many of my friends, who were raised in Christian homes, no longer believe religion is relevant.

Farrell again: “The Church has accepted the Big Bang, the start of the world’s evolutionary journey – but this isn’t enough. It must follow in Teilhard’s footsteps. Unless it embraces not just the evolution of the Universe, but the evolution of all life, including humans, and reclaims a truly cosmic view in which the faith makes sense, the Church is pulling the wool over its own eyes as its people continue to file out the door.”

All humans, whether a scientist in a laboratory or an Aka pygmy in central Africa, have a ‘gut feeling’ that they are fundamentally different than other animal life. For Homo sapiens the road to becoming THE dominant force on this planet began when some (a couple? a few?) Homo sapiens rather suddenly discovered art, music, and a language that could knit larger a larger society together–a society that could, eventually, send messengers out to far off planets to look for other life forms there. Richard Dawkins, an atheist and ardent Darwinian evolutionist, and thus who ridicules the idea of 'saltation’ but is unable to explain this Great Leap Forward that propelled Homo sapiens from animal kind to humankind–except that it must have been epigenetic. He was simply in agreement with Pope John Paul II who stated that, although all other life forms arose through a process called Darwinian evolution, we modern humans are fundamentally different. Neither science nor theology can currently explain it. Someday we probably will. But that will not eliminate the belief that God had a hand in it.
Al Leo


#6

Al,

Thank you for your comments. I knew you’d like this piece since you are a Roman Catholic “on the edge,” so to speak. You might want to send a friend request on Face Book to John Farrell.


(Albert Leo) #7

Unfortunately I must still remain in the ‘single sapiens’ stage–I don’t belong to Facebook. I did order Delio’s book “From Teilhard….” from Amazon. Thanks again for steering me to it.
Al Leo


#8

Let me know how it is, please.


(Tom Larkin) #9

Recent statements from Pope Francis do not indicate their is a conflict.

I personally believe that Adam and Eve were real people. I also have a Master’s Degree in Biochemical Engineering and understand molecular genetics. I believe the perceived conflict arises from the assumption that the creation of Genesis 1-2:4 and the creation of the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve are a retelling of the same story. There is almost nothing similar or consistent between the two.

When this assumption is removed, the conflict between evolution and the Bible goes away (the creation sequence in Chapter 1 is consistent with evolution. The creation of the Garden, Adam and Eve can be viewed as specific to the Garden.

I feel this view is consist with the rest of Genesis as the genealogical line not leading to Jesus is consistently given before the line leading to Jesus all throughout Genesis. The generations of Cain (Genesis 4:17-24) are given before the generations of Seth (Genesis 5). The generations of Japheth (Genesis 10:1-5) and of Ham (Genesis 10:6-20) are given before the generations of Shem (Genesis 10:21-31 and 11:10-32).

Chapter 1 gives the line not leading to Jesus and the Garden creation gives the line leading to Jesus.

In chapter 6, man created in Chapter 1 is described as the “Daughters of Men” and the offspring of Adam and Eve are described as the “Sons of God”


(George Brooks) #10

@TGLarkin,

Have you been following the postings of @Swamidass?

I assume you have been. But just in case you have not, you two need to meet! :smiley:


#11

As a young man interested in science and being in the church books by Tielhard De Chardin helped me to feel I could be a Christian and science student. TdC was of course just one of many who began to forge a kind of Christian Evolution stance.

Other Cathoilic writers continue in his wake. Among them Ilea Delio, a Franciscan, who uses both TdC and St Bonaventure to think about faith and spirituality in a modern way.
You may be interested in her website:

https://www.omegacenter.info/ilia-delio/


#12

That you for this great resource. Will be following this on Facebook.


(Theophilus Book) #13

“Sons of God” is a reference to "Angels."
Found so labeled again in Job.(Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7)

They are referenced again in II Pet 2:4 “For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; 5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;”

And in Jude 6
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

And finally in 1 Peter 3:18-20
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water."


(Tom Larkin) #14

In other parts of the Bible, the terms “sons of God” refers to those who love God, try to do his will or led by the Spirit of God:
• Hosea 1:10
• John 1:12
• Romans 8:14, 19
• Philippians 2:15
• 1 John 3:1-2

You are correct, in Job the phrase appears to apply to angels based on the context. I do not believe the Genesis reference refers to angels based on what is stated in Matthew 22:30 and Mark 12:25:
• (Matthew 22:30) “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
• (Mark 12:25) “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”

It states clearly that angels do not marry. If these were angels that disobeyed God, then they would not “love God, be led by the Spirit of God nor try to do His will” therefore they would not be called “sons of God”, so I do not believe this passage in Genesis 6 refers to angels.


(Theophilus Book) #15

[quote=“TGLarkin, post:14, topic:37285, full:true”]
In other parts of the Bible, the terms “sons of God” refers to those who love God, try to do his will or led by the Spirit of God:
• Hosea 1:10
• John 1:12
• Romans 8:14, 19
• Philippians 2:15
• 1 John 3:1-2

You are correct, in Job the phrase appears to apply to angels based on the context. I do not believe the Genesis reference refers to angels based on what is stated in Matthew 22:30 and Mark 12:25:
• (Matthew 22:30) “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
• (Mark 12:25) “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”

It states clearly that angels do not marry. If these were angels that disobeyed God, then they would not “love God, be led by the Spirit of God nor try to do His will” therefore they would not be called “sons of God”, so I do not believe this passage in Genesis 6 refers to angels.[/quote]

Angels (EESH) do not marry OTHER ANGELS (EESH); In Gen 6 they were marrying WOMEN (EESHEE), daughters of MEN (EESH). No gender IN HEAVEN, Gender between EESH = Angels, and Daughters of MEN = EESHE; ON EARTH…

Interesting!