Thesis

A CRITIQUE OF EVOLUTION WITHIN CATHOLICISM AND ITS SUBSEQUENT LINKS WITH FUNDAMENTAL CHRISTIANITY

by J. Donnelly PhD Critique of Evolution Within Catholicism

Introduction

Evolution is a defunct belief system, which has adversely affected Catholicism, but the key to eradicate this is a return to the fundamental Doctrine of Special Creation found in the Scriptures. Many Catholics assert that the Catholic Church regards evolution as a fact thinking, “evolution is acceptable as long as God was involved”. On the contrary, I submit that evolution, when correctly defined, cannot be casually regarded as scientific fact. The objective truth, known from scientific evidence and theological arguments, contradicts evolution. I also submit that Catholic doctrine has always favoured ex nihilo creation (not Darwinian Evolution) as found in the book of Genesis and that this demonstrates a fundamentally Christian approach. This thesis will provide evidence that in general Catholic doctrine goes against evolution even though some Church theologians seem to state otherwise. Relevant documents will be examined to show the anti- evolution (Creation) theme. The aim of this thesis is not to critique all of the evolution bias within Catholicism but to point out the weakness of the evolution position and by doing so, evolution argument and bias will be exposed. It will also be shown that Catholicism has always had links with fundamental Christianity, demonstrating that Catholicism needs to go back to its origins and follow a more focused or fundamental teaching from the Bible against evolution dogma. Because Catholicism has not primarily focused on the Bible it finds that it has a lot of problems as a church today. This thesis is not an argument for Catholic doctrine in general but rather it is a critique of the philosophy/theology surrounding the topic of evolution, demonstrating the orthodox position which the Catholic Church has always had in relation to evolution, while pointing out the various errors that have crept into Catholicism. It is hoped that the conclusions to this thesis may open the debate, particularly in the Republic of Ireland which is a predominantly Catholic country.

The thesis consists of three parts. Part 1 deals with the critique of evolution. Part 2 has some philosophical considerations arising out of the critique and the dangers of evolution theory. Part 3 demonstrates that the Pentateuch was indeed edited or written by Moses and that the Genesis account of creation is one unit.?Part 1 Chapter 1 exposes the false science of the evolution theory. Some scientific and technical language is used. The next four chapters are somewhat more theological in that they treat of the position of the Catholic Church. There is much historical information interspersed with scientific fact debunking modern evolution theory. This leads naturally into Part 2 in that having critiqued evolution for the first five chapters the next three deal with the exposition of the nature of evolution from a philosophical standpoint and the consequent dangers of supporting such a widespread belief system. Part 3 turns to Scripture because the modern day attack on the Bible in general and the book of Genesis in particular has caused a lot of people to doubt the word of God. The two chapters in this section try to restore confidence in Genesis and the author/editor as Moses.?Having defended the credibility of Scripture I then conclude in the final section by stating that the Catholic Church, in relation to the whole area of evolution, must indeed return to the fundamentals of The Christian faith. This is because the onslaught of evolution must be met head on. If evolution is no longer a fact of science then more authority is put on Scripture/Genesis as representative of simple but factual evidence. I argue that this can aid the Catholic Church in giving answers to her flock in the domain of faith, morality and direction in life. I try to show that the general Fundamental Christian position in the creation/evolution debate can be a sure way of bringing in the new evangelisation the Catholic Church has been looking for.

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