05 June 2011

Why the Catholic Church accepts evolution


Many people don't realize this, but on evolution, there's a split between the Catholic Church and the Protestant fundamentalists. The Catholic Church accepts the theory of evolution, with some reservations.

I think this is an after-effect of the Catholic Church's long-ago battle with Galileo -- who was actually threatened with torture until he backed down and admitted that, yes, the Church was right and the Sun really does revolve around the Earth.

That episode became an embarrassment which the Church, an essentially political institution with a long memory, has never lived down. So when evolution came along, the authorities in the Vatican gave it some thought and decided, "Nah, we're not gonna touch this one. Let the Protestants be the ones to make idiots of themselves fighting against science this time."

Which they have.

8 Comments:

Blogger Robert the Skeptic said...

Well sort-of... The Catholic Church draws the line at biological evolution but still maintains that it was a divinely planed and purpose driven process. The LDS have a similar stance.

My father-in-law, a retired professor from OSU, used to teach an adult Sunday School class at his Baptist church; specifically that biological evolution is a fact and not in conflict with religious belief. But he also believes that god is responsible for the Big Bang.

I think one might find more support for post-"Bang" biological evolution among religious believers - it's in dealing with the ultimate origins of the universe where god get invoked.

05 June, 2011 09:13  
Anonymous Sherry Peyton said...

The RCC is notoriously slow on such matters, and certainly suggests that it believes in the basics of evolution, albeit that God is the original creator of the process. However, they so far have not been definitive enough on the issue such that the extreme right of the faithful, especially in the US still do cling to an anti-evolutionary stance. There has been a long-running debate going on over at Catholic Answers, a rightwing website on this issue. We wish the RCC would say something more clear, instead of "remarks" that can be ignored as "opinion" and not dogmatic declarations.

05 June, 2011 10:21  
Blogger Jack Jodell said...

Good observation, Infidel 753. They learned a little bit from their fiasco with Galileo.

06 June, 2011 04:41  
Blogger Ranch Chimp said...

It was a shame about Galileo, 10 year's of some type of house arrest just for making his discovery, he should have been getting a goddamn merit award of some kind for all he done! This may sound a tad odd to some, but I never seen one reason to not think or believe in evolution's cycle on the earth, even reading both the Bible and Quran ... not one reason, so the idea TO ME, of rejecting the theory of evolution as far as how nature as we seen it evolved, and is still doing so with new species evolving weekly for that matter ... I mean I dont even see where the big bang theory for instance is so unbelievable to some of these type's, perhap's I have just read the Bible with the similar pre- programmed mindset, but never seen one bloody thing in it, to dispute the big bang or evolution, folk's back then, wrote only what they knew (and alot of those spiritual type's then used hallucenating drug's, natural of course, it was part bof early spiritualism, and common), if you would write a Bible in the 21st century instead, it would be much different, at least if I was writing it, and I could still include a higher power/ God in it, on top of that ... but that's just me.

Thanx Guy ....

06 June, 2011 05:20  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RtS: Yep -- like I said, they accept it with some reservations.

In my experience, it's biological evolution that makes the fundies the most antsy -- it touches on their own origins, after all. For them, since they believe in the Genesis story as literal truth, they can't accept the big bang either, but it's a more abstract question. A lot of them don't even understand that evolution and the origin of the universe are separate issues.

SP: I think the religious objections to evolution are basically emotional. People like that will always find a way to cling to them.

JJ: I wonder if it will also take them centuries to learn from the collapse of their moral authority following the child-molestation cover-up scandals.

06 June, 2011 05:25  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

RC: perhap's I have just read the Bible with the similar pre- programmed mindset, but never seen one bloody thing in it, to dispute the big bang or evolution,

It's because the Bible contains a mythological description of the origin of the universe and life, which is completely incompatible with the real origins of those things; so, if someone believe everything in the Bible is literally true (as fundamentalists do, by definition), then he can't accept the real origins of life and the universe because they are contradicted by the myth in Genesis.

he should have been getting a goddamn merit award of some kind for all he done!

After he died, they denied him a monument; but as was once pointed out, in a way, the whole modern world is his monument.

06 June, 2011 05:31  
Blogger Tommykey said...

In my experience, it's biological evolution that makes the fundies the most antsy -- it touches on their own origins, after all.

Yeah, after all, we were supposedly made in God's image.

What cracks me up is when some of them say "Well, if we came from animals, then there's no reason why we shouldn't act like animals!"


That's like saying because you were once an infant you should still drink formula from a bottle and shit in a diaper.

06 June, 2011 09:44  
Blogger Infidel753 said...

Really, they need to look at what kind of animals. Human morality evolved and has precursors in our immediate relatives, the other great apes, just like most other things about us.

Of course, in some respects "acting like animals" would be an improvement.

06 June, 2011 13:39  

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