Thursday, March 05, 2009

Saint Darwin?

As this year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, people are turning to reflect on the relationship between his pet theory and the Truth of the Catholic Faith.  I find the topic sociologically fascinating.  Nothing, not even discussions of sexuality, lead to so many ridiculous statements based on complete ignorance.  I might have to rant about that sometime, but for now I'm just going to list some fairly good recent news and some wisdom from the Catholic Encyclopedia. 


 Rome - The Catholic Church does not seek to contradict Darwin's theory of evolution, but it rejects as "absurd" attempts by atheists to use it as proof that God doesn't exist, a Vatican cardinal said Tuesday. "We believe that however creation has come about and evolved, ultimately God is the creator of all things," Cardinal William Levada said (full story)


Catholic evolutionist argues science and religion compatible


Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday has sparked celebrations all around the world, and surprisingly enough, this year, the Catholic Church is no exception. Next month, a papal conference in honor of Charles Darwin will be held at the Vatican and Swarthmore’s very own biologist, Professor Scott Gilbert, will be in attendance.
As reported by the Times Online, the Catholic Church has officially endorsed evolution as a theory that is both scientifically sound and reconciliable with Christianity. (full story)

And, unsurprisingly, the old Catholic Encyclopedia puts it very well:


"If God produced the universe by a single creative act of His will, then its natural development bylaws implanted in it by the Creator is to the greater glory of His Divine power and wisdom. St. Thomas says: "The potency of a cause is the greater, the more remote the effects to which it extends." (Summa c. Gent., III, c. lxxvi); and Francisco Suárez: "God does not interfere directly with the natural order, where secondary causes suffice to produce the intended effect" (De opere sex dierum, II, c. x, n. 13). In the light of this principle of the Christian interpretation of nature, the history of the animal and vegetable kingdoms on our planet is, as it were, a versicle in a volume of a million pages in which the natural development of the cosmos is described, and upon whose title-page is written: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth."" (citation)


The whole article from which that's taken Catholics and Evolution is very short and very well worth reading.




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