The Problem of Evolution

Facts and theories of biological evolution.
by Brother Paul Stein, LC | Source: Catholic.net


The Gregorian University in Rome recently held a congress on "Biological Evolution: Facts and Theories." It unveiled two mistaken views on evolution.

On the one hand there is the creationist who claims that the world began only 10,000 years ago. He denies an incredible amount of scientifically discovered facts because they do not fit into his mental structure of the universe and his views about God. He sees a foe in evolution, and has not realized that if God made the world, He would not have made it contradictory to Himself.

On the other hand there are the unscientific scientists whose sacred rule states that anything not understandable by the mathematical and physical sciences is illusionary or irrelevant. It really is a “scientist creed” that they follow, a philosophy and a metaphysics masquerading as true science. The result is that the Stephen Dawkins’ of the world start doing a biological metaphysics and talking about how evolution ‘proves’ there is no God. It is because of scientists like these that the creationists have created a fissure: if evolution means no God, believers are forced into rejecting evolution completely.

The truth is that both of these positions are fanatical. One bases everything on a personal interpretation of a book inspired by God, the other on the observations of a limited scientific field extrapolated to the whole of reality. As Simon Conway Morris, professor of Paleobiology at the University of Cambridge, told me during the congress, we are not fighting to see which side wins the evolution war. We are looking for the truth. How did the world come to exist? Why does it exist? Any one who is doing scientific politics is in the wrong boat. Truth is not a two-party system.

One of the most important aspects brought to the light by the congress at the Gregorian was the difference between the systems of evolution proposed by Darwin, Chardain, and Werner. The natural tendency is to throw all of these together under a generic title: but that’s nothing less than an injustice to many and a boon to few. It is equivalent to sticking Jews, Christians, Catholics, Moslems, Hindus, and Buddhists under one label and saying they believe the same thing. If we are ever going to get past the name calling that today’s evolution debate so often boils down to, we need to study the facts. The true facts. 

As an example of how much evolutionary theories diverge, all we need to ask is which “tools” the theory says nature uses in order to evolve. Then again, the role of finality, directionality, predictability, and chance in evolution are open ended questions. What this means that while most are agreed on the law, no one is certain about the mechanism of the law. It is similar to agreeing that there is a universal law of gravity but without agreeing on the formula. If that’s the case, however, the disagreement is really about what gravity, and evolution, really are.

What conclusion can we draw from all this? Evolution is real: there are organisms that evolve. Evolution is not a fact, however, because a law is never a fact, but a rule describing the facts. Evolution has not been proven because we still need a lot more work done on the subject of macroevolution: the jump to a new species. What is known for certain is that we have no other theory that can better describe the biological facts that we possess.

Looking at it from the opposite angle, we can say that God is not outside nature working against it or in spite of it; He works with it and through it. So the proposition of God does not rule out evolution, while evolution in general remains the best and most convincing explanation we have if we look at the facts.

The decision is no longer about which school one belongs to or which side comes out on top. We must discuss what it is that the particular evolution theory being used really proclaims and what rules and principles it uses. We must look for the truth without prejudice or narrow-mindedness to discover the reality of our world.



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Published by: Robert Schaefer
Date: 2011-04-16 22:24:17
Did God create man or did he evolve from a monkey? Matter solved! Natural selection is not evolution and it does not create, God does.

Published by: Robert Ormsbee
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Article re: evolution thinking problems... Excellent thought and presentation. This such information must be spread around the world right now... immediately... profusely... emphatically... thoroughly! Thanks, plus prayers.

Published by: Daniel Largy
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
The statement concerning the conference on Biological Evolution is based on unproven science. Where is the fossil for the creature that supposedly existed before it became modern man? How many monkeys have evolved into humans lately? The answer, none. I suggest these scientists proffessors might want to read a very reliable source from the Book of Genesis chapter one where we see that God made plants yielding there own seed, and also fruit with the seed in it. When this seed enters the ground it turns into the same plants and type of fruit. No need for evolution, I,d say. The conclusions they come to, do not correspond with what has been occuring in nature since the beginning of time.

Published by: Robert Ormsbee
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Article re: evolution thinking problems... Excellent thought and presentation. This such information must be spread around the world right now... immediately... profusely... emphatically... thoroughly! Thanks, plus prayers.

Published by: Daniel Largy
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
The statement concerning the conference on Biological Evolution is based on unproven science. Where is the fossil for the creature that supposedly existed before it became modern man? How many monkeys have evolved into humans lately? The answer, none. I suggest these scientists proffessors might want to read a very reliable source from the Book of Genesis chapter one where we see that God made plants yielding there own seed, and also fruit with the seed in it. When this seed enters the ground it turns into the same plants and type of fruit. No need for evolution, I,d say. The conclusions they come to, do not correspond with what has been occuring in nature since the beginning of time.

Published by: Robert Ormsbee
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
Article re: evolution thinking problems... Excellent thought and presentation. This such information must be spread around the world right now... immediately... profusely... emphatically... thoroughly! Thanks, plus prayers.

Published by: Daniel Largy
Date: 2009-01-01 10:00:00
The statement concerning the conference on Biological Evolution is based on unproven science. Where is the fossil for the creature that supposedly existed before it became modern man? How many monkeys have evolved into humans lately? The answer, none. I suggest these scientists proffessors might want to read a very reliable source from the Book of Genesis chapter one where we see that God made plants yielding there own seed, and also fruit with the seed in it. When this seed enters the ground it turns into the same plants and type of fruit. No need for evolution, I,d say. The conclusions they come to, do not correspond with what has been occuring in nature since the beginning of time.

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