THIRTY THESES AGAINST THEISTIC EVOLUTION
By Paula Haigh
. . .based on the conviction that "Theistic Evolution" is heresy, debilitating the Church today and causing more harm ultimately than atheistic evolution because of its reduction of God to a mechanism for the supposed natural processes of evolution, its lack of reverence for Holy Scripture as the revealing Word of God, and its insidious attack upon Catholic doctrine and tradition. - December 1976
Dedicated to Mary Immaculate,
the Woman of Genesis 3:15
Who Crushes the Serpent's Head
and Destroys All Heresies
Throughout the World.
I cannot stress enough...the absolute necessity for a Catholic to understand, to know, what is meant by CATHOLIC FAITH. In order to have
a deep love for this priceless possession, a Catholic must know what it is, and how it is different from any other Faith. We...read the warning of
Pope St. Pius X: that the axe is being laid at the very root, that is to the Faith itself... (from F. Albers, The Hidden Schism, p.5, International
Catholic Priests' Assoc., St. George's, Polegate, E. Sussex, BN26 5DG England)
Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your father served on the other side of the river
and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which
your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will
serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14:15)
The following theses are offered as an outline of one possible way to construct a defense of Creation against the error of evolution. A book
could be written on each single thesis, developing the theology, supporting it with quotations and examples from Holy Scripture, from the
Fathers and Doctors of the Church, from empirical science, analyzing the pro's and con's of the question from traditional and modem sources.
And this is work which needs to he done.
Perhaps students will see in the material indicated here the almost infinite possibilities for elaboration, for analysis and for synthesis. And perhaps
some will be inspired to commence research in this field and come to realize, as l have, that here, indeed, is the most exciting and vitally
important area of study confronting us today. It is a new frontier, for the old materialism causes nothing but unhappiness and tragic waste of
talent and of life, as modern thought becomes more and more confused, turning in upon itself only to find either the emptiness and disillusion of
the cultic counterfeits or the "No exit" of a Sartrean hell.
Creation theology and Creation science offer the one true solution for our age, obsessed as it is with the mysteries of the cosmos, with the
vastness of the universe, and with the history of earth and Iife. Here is the possibility of a real breakthrough and with it, a return to sanity for the
academic discipIines and a return home for the cheated and dispossessed of the world.
The humanists tell us that "No deity will save us; we must save ourselves." This is spiritual and intellectual suicide for modern man. Belief in
evolution leads to the death wish and self-destruction. Man is a creature and can only destroy himself by denying his creature-hood and his
Creator. Christians who realize this and who love mankind, even as Our Divine Lord did when He died on the Cross to save us all and to
manifest His love, will not he able to confront this modern humanistic attitude of God-rejection with anything but grief. Only those nominal
Christians who are themselves infected with this deadly poison of unbelief are able to view the modern scene with complacency.
Some think to save modern man by concurring with his evolutionary "faith" and injecting God into this false system. But this does not work, for
evolution rejects God as surely as Creation rejects evolution. The Humanist Manifesto states:
“Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created. Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural
evolutionary forces. As far as we know, the total personality is a function of the biological organism transacting in a social and cultural context.
There is no credible evidence that life survives the death of the body. We continue to exist in our progeny and in the way that our lives have
influenced others in our culture”.
It goes on to assert that "traditional religions" are obstacles to human progress. This is nothing but the mind of Satan proposing again and again
to man, the original temptation to the original sin of rejecting God in favor of self. Christians must realize that the evolutionary system is per se,
of its very nature, God-rejecting. Its raison d'etre is to be rid of God, our Creator. What folly, then, to hope to redeem it by making God its
cause and planner. You will just as soon redeem Satan himself.
Therefore, the purpose of our theses is two-fold: 1) to demonstrate that the theory of evolution is incompatible with the doctrines of Catholic
Faith and 2) to defend those doctrines of the Faith that evolution most directly attacks.
There is no doubt in my mind that eventually the Church will be f__ced to condemn evolutionary theology, also called process theology, as the
dangerous novelty that it is. Pope Saint Pius X singled out evolution as the principal doctrine of the Modernists in his encyclical, Pascendi
(1907, #26, D 2094). And in 1950 Pope Pius XII condemned polygenism as absolutely against Faith (#37, D 2328). Catholic theologians and
scientists, however, were not deterred by these warnings, and so, as Solange Hertz said, "We cannot wait for formal condemnations before
side-stepping heresy. When these are made the disease is already admittedly out of control, and we may be stricken."1
We cannot go wrong if we follow the "Rules of Faith" laid down by Saint Vincent of Lerins (d.445) in his famous Commonitory or "Reminder":
“... in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all
(quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus). For that is truly and in the strictest sense "Catholic" which, as the name itself and the reason of
the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality
if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those
interpretations which, it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we
adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all or at the least of almost all priests and doctors.” (Chaper II, 6.)
A fourth note could be added under the name of novelty as a sure sign of heresy or at least suspicion of heresy, for St. Vincent speaks
frequently of "novel misbelief, "novel doctrines" and "the garbage of heretical novelty," quoting Saint Paul: "Though we or an angel from heaven
preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.(Gal 1:8) We rely not upon our own ability
but upon "the authority of the Divine Law [Holy Scripture] and by appeal to the Church's determinations." (Chapter X, 27)
Such is our attitude towards evolution in the absence as yet of any formal determination and definite condemnation of this so-called scientific
theory which has spawned a false theology and philosophy and leads, in turn, to many scandalous and heretical practices.
What is threatened today is the continuity of all true doctrine, even its very survival in any kind of socially visible form of witness. And this is
particularly true of the doctrine of Creation which is so fundamental to the central doctrines of Original Sin, the Incarnation and Redemption.
People who think that submission of the human mind to Divine Truth as revealed in Holy Scripture and in the teaching of the Church is
submission to repression and boredom or an obstacle to true progress, only reveal their own prejudices and superficiality. It is the
contemporary dominance, even tyranny, of positivist science, of God-less and skeptical empiricism, it is the willful exclusion of theology and
metaphysics from their proper place in the hierarchy of the sciences and it is the rejection of the unity of the sciences including theology and
metaphysics and according them their proper place that has brought about our contemporary impoverishment in knowledge. This reduction of
all things to the physical threatens more and more to result in a fatal confusion of priorities and rejection of saving truth on the part of too many
people within the Church. One example of this fatal confusion is the exaltation of physical needs before spiritual needs.
Today, in practice if not in theory, it seems much more important to ensure three meals a day, proper housing, clothing and a high standard of
living than to dispel the double darkness of sin and ignorance by a strong and steady proclamation of the Truth without which there can be no
true or lasting love. Thus we witness an unprecedented neglect of Catholic doctrine. The Church exists for no other purpose than the
preserving, transmission and nourishing of the Truths of divine Faith. All else must flow from this, as all the other Commandments flow from the
First. The reduction of all doctrine and all moral precept to the second great commandment, to love one's neighbor, and the reduction of the
First Commandment itself to the Golden Rule is nothing less than the triumph of secular humanism in the Church and a betrayal of the Church's
Furthermore, with respect to Holy Scripture, the constant teaching of the Church upholds the view that the Bible is Divine Rhetoric and teaches
scientific and historical as well as religious truth in the mode of discourse of this Divine Rhetoric. To allow Holy Scripture to be sliced up,
fragmented into religious truth and some other kind of non-inspired error is to return to the Reformation and to sanction private interpretation
where before it was condemned. For who is to determine what is religious truth in Holy Scripture and what is non-religious and therefore not
important or not relevant truth or error but only Scripture interpreted by Tradition and the Magisterium?
And so these theses are submitted to the judgment of Holy Mother Church even while this judgment is happily anticipated. And I submit with
the earnest prayer that some word of encouragernent will be given so that this portion of Catholic Truth may once again become a living and
enlivening influence in the Church and in the world where it is so desperately needed to meet and offset the Satanic doctrine of evolution that
would obscure in our minds the knowledge of our Creator, and root out of our hearts the love we owe to our Father, Redeemer and Sanctifier.
The 30 Theses
1. The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation.
2. God alone created the world.
3. To create means to produce from nothing.
4. The world had a beginning in time.
5. All that exists outside of God was, in its whole substance, created out of nothing, in the beginning, by God, the Blessed Trinity.
6. God has created a good world.
7. No creature can as principal or secondary-instrumental cause, from or by its own power, create anything from nothing or bring new beings
into existence that transcend their own nature.
8. The action of God termed Divine Preservation or Conservation is not a communicable attribute but is proper to God alone because it
involves the continual pouring out of existence of which God alone is the Author and Source.
9. The Action of God termed Divine Concursus, by which God cooperates immediately with all secondary causes, can in no way be invoked as
an agent or mechanism for evolutionary ascent from kind to kind or from species to species.
10. The Action of God is without either motion or time, without effort or work.
11. The Gift of Divine Grace in the human soul and the elevation of man to the supernatural order by Divine Grace is not a fit analogy or any
kind of analogical basis for arguing in favor of evolutionary transformation from lower kinds to higher by means of a self-transcendence granted
by God in the natural order analogous to that in the supernatural order.
12. The Thomistlc relation of creation gives no support to a theory of continuous creation
. 13. Creation is not a miracle but rather the very initiation and constitution of the natural and supernatural orders which miraculous as well as all
non-miraculous processes presuppose.
14. All things were created to glorify God.
15. The Hexaemeron ( Six Days of Creation Week) plus other affirmations of Holy Scripture, such as the 10-fold repetition of according to its
kind, constitute positive guiding principles for all scientists.
16. The first man, Adam, was created directly by God from the dust of the earth and his body as well as his soul were created immediately by
God on the Sixth day of Creation Week.
17. The first woman, Eve, was, in the words of Genesis 2:21-22, made from the side of Adam while he slept.
18. The whole human race stems from one single pair, Adam and Eve.
19. Man, as human nature, consists of two essential parts, a material body and a spiritual, immortal soul of which he is one composite being,
unified by the substantial form of the rational soul.
20. The rational-intellectual soul of man is per se, of and by itself, as formal cause, the essential substantial form of the human composite, that
which causes it to be human. Without the rational soul which is a simple, immaterial, spiritual, intellectual and immortal principle, there is no
21. Every human being possesses an individual immortal soul.
22. Every individual soul is immediately and directly created by God out of nothing at the moment of conception.
23. Adam and Eve were endowed by God with supernatural life in the form of sanctifying grace and with other certain preternatural gifts,
namely, bodily immortality, perfect control of nature by reason of freedom from irregular desire, i.e., concupiscence, freedom from suffering and
a knowledge of natural and supernatural truths infused by God. Adam and Eve received these gifts not only for themselves but for their
24. Our first parents in Paradise sinned grievously through transgression of the Divine probationary command.
25. As a consequence of the grievous original, personal sin of pride leading to disobedience, our First Parents 1) lost sanctifying grace 2)
provoked the anger and indignation of God, and 3) became subject to death and the dominion of the Devil.
26. Adam's original personal sin is transmitted to his posterity, not by imitation or by being born into the human condition, but by natural
generation of biological descent and is inherited by us along with our human nature which, by reason of this sin, finds itself in a state of
deprivation that can only be remedied by the application of the merits of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Baptism and other
Sacraments of the Church.
27. In the beginning of time, God created spiritual beings, Angels, out of nothing.
28. The Bible is both inspired and inerrant in all that it asserts, enunciates, and suggests because God is the principal Author thereof.
29. The Deluge described in Genesis 6-8 was a Flood that covered the entire globe, that is, it was universal both anthropologically and
geographically, and the fossil record of the geologists is a Monument-Memorial-Reminder for modern man of this watery catastrophe sent upon
the earth as a punishment for sin.
30. The theory of evolution undermines divine Catholic Faith, poisons the mind in which it takes residence, obscures the supernatural truths of
Faith and warps the natural powers of reason. It is incompatible with divine Catholic Faith and in its theistic form, constitutes a major heresy
infecting the Church today.
The Three Divine Persons are one single, common Principle of the Creation. (De fide. D 704, 428)
St. Thomas, pointing out that the Trinity of Three Persons in One God cannot be known by natural reason but must be revealed to us, goes on
to explain why the knowledge of the Divine Persons was necessary for us.
It was necessary for the right idea of creation. The fact of saying that God made all things by His Word excludes the error of those who say that
God proposed things by necessity. When we say that in Him there is a procession of love, we show that God produced creatures not because
He needed them, nor because of any other extrinsic reason, but on account of the love of His own goodness. So Moses, when he had said, In
the beginning God created heaven and earth, subjoined, God said, Let there be light, to manifest the divine Word; and then Moses said, God
saw the light that it was good, to show the proof of the divine love. The same is also found in the other works of creation. (ST, I, Q 32, a 1, ad
Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. sums up the teaching of Holy Scripture and the Church on this point:
“In Sacred Scripture the work of the creation is attributed equally to one or the other of the persons: "AlI things were made by Him (the
Word)"; (Wisdom 1:7 and John 1:3) "The same God" who worketh all in all... But all these things, one and the same Spirit worketh"; (Col.1:16)
"For in Him (the Word) were all things created in heaven and on earth." (Heb. 1:10)
In the definitions of the Church the work of creation is equally attributed to the three persons; for example, in the Creed: "1 believe in one God.
the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in our Lord Jesus Christ... by whom all things were made." And the Church chants
"Come, Holy Ghost, Creator."
Finally, there are many definitions and declarations of the Church, particularly the declaration of the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) against the
Albigenses and the Waldensians: "We firmly believe that one alone is the true God...the Father generating, the Son begotten, the Holy Ghost
proceeding: consubstantial, coequal, co-omnipotent, and coeternal, one principle of all things, the creator of all visible and invisible things."
Earlier the First Council of the Lateran (649) declared: "If anyone does not confess that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are a Trinity in
unity... the creator and protector of all things, let him be condemned." The Eleventh Council of Toledo: "These three persons are inseparable in
their action and in what they make," even in the work of the Incarnation. In the decree of Pope Eugenius IV for the Jacobites we read: In the
Trinity "all things are one where there is no opposition of relation." "The Father, the son. and the Holy Ghost are not three principles of the
creator, but one principle." (The Trinity and God the Creator. St. Louis. B. Herder, 1952, pp.394-395)
Because of the weakness of our human minds in the presence of such great mysteries but also because of a real appropriation of certain actions
by the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, we customarily speak of God the Father as Creator, of God the Son as our Redeemer and of God
the Holy Spirit as our Sanctifier. But most properly speaking, all Three Divine Persons share in the Creation of all things in the beginning.
Father Garrigou-Lagrange expounds St. Thomas on this point:
“God operates through intelligence and will. But the Son proceeds as the Word in an intellectual manner, and the Holy Ghost proceeds after the
manner of love. Therefore we may say that God creates through His Son and through the Holy Ghost. ...St. Thomas says: "Being the Creator is
attributed to the Father as not having the creative power from another. Of the Son we say, "by whom all things were made." Inasmuch as He
has power from another (or as the principle from a principle). But to the Holy Ghost, who has the same power from the first two persons, is
attributed the position of governing and vivifying the creature: of the Father and the Son by dwelling in them." ...to the Father is appropriated
power, to the Son wisdom, and to the Holy Ghost goodness--- "Thus creation is reduced to power, ordering is reduced to wisdom, and
justification to goodness.” (Ibid, p. 395 and ST, I, Q 39, A 8)
Meditation upon the mystery of the Blessed Trinity impresses upon our minds and hearts the salutary recognition of God's absolutely
transcendent Holiness and inaccessibility except by means of the inestimable and wholly gratuitous Gift of Divine Grace. Evolution and process
theology, on the other hand, reduce the mystery and majesty of God's transcendence to a merely natural immanence, confusing His Absolute
Being with the dynamics of His creation, and conflate the orders of nature and of Grace.
Evolution, therefore, theistic or otherwise, is incompatible with the doctrine of the Most Blessed Trinity because it must sacrifice essential notes
of God's transcendence and must confuse the orders of nature and of grace. Aware of these dangers, Jesuit Walter E. Stokes yet attempts the
impossible. Here is a brief-but-significant excerpt:
“... St. Thomas, ... in his theology of the Trinity insists that within the Trinitarian life of God, into the very notion of person, there enters the idea
of relation: the Persons are subsistent relations. Within the Trinity of the Persons are constituted distinct subsistent relations: subsistent because
of their identity with God's absolute essence, and distinct because of their relative opposition. It seems to me that now we have the elements for
a reconsideration of God's relation to the world. First of all, God's freedom may be understood as self-determination, self-relation or self-giving
in creation. Secondly, person may be understood to have two aspects, that of the incommunicability of a rational supposit and that of the
communicability of that relativity which constitutes a person. Both together provide a new dimension to the doctrine of relations -- a dynamic,
self-relating outgoing personal relation. And this St. Thomas did not consider in his own explicit doctrine.”2
But St. Thomas did consider, both explicitly and at length, the doctrines of God's conservation, His Providence, and the Relation of Creation
which is in the creature and not in Him. (See Thesis 25) However, when Fr. Stokes speaks of God's self-communication and His "self-giving in
creation", he is speaking of something other than the natural relations considered by Whiteheadian philosophy. He is, at least implicitly and
disingenuously, bringing in the supernatural order of divine Grace. But process theology -- which is really only a natural philosophy -- has no
conception of the gratuity of this Gift of Grace nor of its distinction from nature. Fr. Stokes also attempts to convert the relation of Creation
(See Thesis 25) into a necessary relation of God to His creation which is absolutely incompatible with the Catholic doctrine of God's
transcendence and freedom.
That all this noxious heterodoxy filters down to the unsuspecting lay person can be seen in the irresponsible journalism of James Ebner, writing
in the immensely but undeservedly popular National Catholic Reporter (Feb 13, 1976):
“Creation points to mystery's ongoing self-communication, as a here-and-now presence in time and space. Birds and bees happen when God
expresses Himself on our level. Creation is the productive way mystery can be present. ...Creation is especially our self-creation, the process
whereby we grow toward a "yes" to ourselves, to others, to mystery. ..Making much of mystery has only enabled Mr. Ebner completely to
ignore the radical difference between human psychology operating on a very lowly natural level and the operations of absolutely transcendent
Creative Acts by God in the beginning as well as the operations of supernatural Grace in the soul that awaits God's action in Faith and Love.
Unless one reads into this passage the saving distinctions and differences, there is simply no sense but only nonsense in proclaiming such puerile
notions as "Birds and bees happen when God expresses himself on our level."
Process theology necessarily involves itself in a pathway that leads to pantheism, the false philosophy that all is God, that there is no essential
difference between God and His creation. Especially does this false philosophy usurp the realm of theology when it attempts to involve the Most
Blessed Trinity in its natural processes. As Father Matthias Scheeben says, the doctrine of the Trinity is a "mysterious supernatural truth" and "it
cannot be a rational truth nor can it be unconditionally necessary for the explanation and establishment of rational truths. As far as philosophy is
concerned, the Trinity is truly transcendental." This invalidates forever the attempt of process theologians to relate their false philosophy in any
true or meaningful way to the doctrine of the Most Blessed Trinity. Besides that, it leads to pantheism "just as every doctrine does which
represents the universe as the necessary complement of the Infinite."3
Rather than reducing the eternal immutability of God to an evolutionary process, Tradition speaks of the vestiges or traces of God in His
creation. Thus, the Fathers of the Church make much of God's words "Let Us make man to Our image and likeness (Gen. 1:26-27). Saint
Bonaventure sums it up:
“... the universe is like a book reflecting, representing, and describing its Maker, the Trinity, at three different levels of expression: as a trace, an
image, and a likeness. The aspect of trace is found in every creation; the aspect of image, in the intellectual creatures of rational spirits; the
aspect of likeness, only in those who are God-conformed. Through these successive levels comparable to the rungs of a ladder, the human mind
is designed to ascend gradually to the supreme Principle who is God.
This should be understood as follows: All creatures are related to their Creator and depend upon Him. [The relation of creation; see Thesis 25]
They may be referred to Him in three different ways: as He is the Principle who creates, the End who motivates, or the Gift who dwells within
[by divine grace]. All His creatures are referred to Him in the first way, all rational beings in the second, and, in the third, all righteous souls
accepted by Him. All creatures, however little they may partake of being, have God for their Principle; all rational beings, however little they
may partake of light, are intended to grasp God through knowledge and love; and all righteous and holy souls possess the Holy Spirit as an
infused gift. “Now a creature cannot have God for its Principle unless it is conformed to Him in oneness, truth, and goodness [the transcendental
principles of all being as being]. Nor can it have God for its End unless it grasps Him through memory, intelligence, and will. Finally, it cannot
have God as an infused Gift unless it conforms to Him through the threefold dowry of faith, hope, and love. The first conformity is distant, the
second close, and the third most intimate. that is why the first is called a "trace" of the Trinity, the second an "Image," and the third a "likeness."4
Some modern scientists find a reflection of the Trinity in the space-time-matter structure of the universe.
And Solange Hertz writes of the human family as a reflection of the Divine Trinity:
“Fashioned after the Trinitarian model, the human family generates because the Godhead generates: "Shall not I that make others to bring forth,
myself bring forth, saith the Lord? Shall I, that give generation to others, be barren?" (Isaiah 66:9) In their order of being, the human trinity of
father, mother and child represent the three divine Persons who dwell as one in the Most Blessed Trinity as Father, Son and Holy Ghost. So
ineffably real is this representation, however, that from the family there actually issued in the fullness of time, by the power of the Holy Ghost, a
Holy Family whose Son was identical in Person with the Father's divine Son in the Godhead.”5
And in the End of Time, "The diabolic trinity composed of the Dragon and his two Beasts know full well that the Christian family is the human
trinity which will finally rise in opposition to theirs and destroy it."6
Such is the one, true and Catholic view of reality.
It is the formality of structure, of relationships that causes intelligibility and it is the fact of their recurrence that makes for stability and the
constancy of the order of the universe. A more extensive harmony and synthesis of the medieval and modern views is waiting to be
But the error of evolution is a great distraction from such serious work. And it is an evil distraction. For, rather than extolling such truths of Faith
as this of the Blessed Trinity and traces of the Creator in His Creation, thereby giving Glory to God, it attempts, in true diabolical fashion, to
obfuscate and erase them utterly by denying the stability of the form of any creature, the proximate source of its intelligibility and therefore, its
ultimate source of intelligibility -- God, the Creator.
When I approached a Catholic Sister with some evidences in favor of creation and against evolution, she threw up her hands in disgust and
lamented: "Oh, will science and religion ever be reconciled!" Well, it was useless to attempt to convince her that there is no conflict between
true science and religion. But Satan loves to keep up this deception because he is the sower of discord as well as the father of lies.
God alone created the world. (De Fide. D 428)
Holy Scripture exalts God alone as the Creator and Maker of all things.
Isaiah 44:24 says:
Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, and thy Maker from the womb:
I am the Lord Who made all things,
Who alone stretched out the heavens,
Who established the earth -
And there was no one with Me.
The heavens are Thine, the earth is Thine;
The world and all that is in it, Thou hast established;
The North and the South, Thou hast created them.
Psalm 32: 6-9
By the Word of the Lord the heavens were established;
and all the power of them by the Spirit of His mouth.
Gathering together the waters of the sea, as in a vessel;
laying up the depths in storehouses.
Let the earth fear the Lord,
and let all the inhabitants of the world be in awe of Him.
For He spoke and they were made:
He commanded and they were created.
Praise Him, ye heavens of heavens:
And let all the waters that are above the heavens
praise the Name of the Lord.
For He spoke and they were made:
He commanded, and they were created.
This thesis upholds the incommunicability of the Creative Power of God. The Fathers of the Church rejected both the Gnostic teaching,
according to which the world was formed through an intermediary being (demiurg) from the eternal material, and the Arian doctrine which
contended that the world was created out of nothing by a Logos who was a creature. (cf. St. Irenaeus, Adv. Here. IV, 20, 1; and St.
Augustine, De civ. Dei XII. 24)
Most theologians hold with St. Thomas that a creature cannot co-operate even as instrumental cause in the Creation.7
This thesis brings up and out into full light the matter of secondary causes. It must be clear from the outset that in modern evolutionary theology
and philosophy, there is no question of creating ex nihilo, from nothing, on the part of secondary causes, as the Arians held, but rather, it is a
matter of giving to secondary causes or agents, the power to bring forth totally new natures, or species. This directly attacks the words of God
in Genesis 1 wherein God commands each of the creatures He has created to be according to its kind. Translated into the vocabulary of
Catholic philosophy and theology, this means that each created being is endowed with a nature that has definite limits, and modern science
confirms this in its investigations into DNA and interbreeding experiments.
St. Thomas teaches that secondary causes are true, real and dependable causes, reproducing according to their own created natures or kinds.
God thus brought forth in the beginning the entire order of nature, establishing it in stability and variety within certain limits. It is also called the
order of generation as carrying out in the temporal order what God established in the beginning as the immutable order of creation, this latter
including moral as well as natural-material laws.
One searches in vain throughout the works of the self-proclaimed process philosophers and theologians for an intelligible explanation of their
concept of causality. Truth is, they have none. Robert B. Mellert comes up with this approximation: "Consequently, while it is problematic to
say that God creates ex nihilo, there is no difficulty in saying that God is like all other actual entities in that he makes a contribution to the
concrete emergence of each actual occasion."8 Yet, in his chapter on the Sacraments, he has no hesitation in proclaiming the heresy that "the
Eucharist" "... is the re-presentation of the Last Supper event in the new event of the Mass. The community, in causing the actions of the Mass
to become sacramental, is itself transformed by that sacramental action to live at a new intensity and to continue the process of the Church."9
Thus has evolutionary process theology destroyed the true Sacramental Life of the Church. But in 1965, the man touted as the greatest Thomist
of our times, Karl Rahner., S.J., wrote a monograph entitled Hominisation: the Evolutionary Origin of Man as a Theological Problem. Fr.
Rahner tackled the problem of secondary causes with much diffidence and deference to tradition and the Magisterium, particularly Humani
Generis of Pope Pius XII which he claimed to have established a peace "between sacred theology and the present-day scientific theory of
man's evolutionary origins, ... "10 After much circumlocution he was able to conclude:
“... it will first be urged that the concept of God's operation as an enduring active support of cosmic reality must be elaborated in such a way
that this divine operation itself is envisaged as actively enabling finite beings themselves by their own activity to transcend themselves, and this in
such a way that if the concept holds good in general, it will also hold good for the "creation of the spiritual soul" ... Correspondingly, active
change and becoming of finite things (at least in particular and quite normal and natural forms) will appear not only as the active asymptotic
approach to what is higher than themselves through active selffulfillment of their own natures, but also as an active transcending of their own
natures, whereby an existent itself by its own activity (which itself implies that of God) actively moves beyond and above itself.” 11
The first confusion is that between God's divine concursus and Providence with an ability on the part of creatures to transcend their own
natures, the latter being totally imaginary. And this leads to the second and more disastrous confusion, that between nature and grace. It is only
in the order of divine Grace that we human creatures are enabled to transcend our human weakness and achieve the perfection we see, for
example, in the canonized Saints. But Rahner has here conflated the two radically distinct orders. It is a terrible betrayal of Catholic doctrine of
the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas and of Tradition.
As in other cases, the false theology of the professionals has filtered down to the unwitting layman. George A. Kendall asserted what he
considered to be "overwhelmingly plausible" reasons for assuming that God also used secondary causes "in bringing the species of living
creatures into being" by evolutionary processes. He continued: “Really, the burden of proof falls very heavily, under the circumstances, on those
who say He did otherwise. That being the case, scientists are not at all unreasonable in rejecting a version of "Creationism" which removes
secondary causes from its explanations of the world, the search for the secondary causes of things is precisely what the natural sciences are
Mr. Kendall was correct in asserting that secondary causes are what the natural sciences are all about but he had absolutely no clue to the
truths taught by Saint Thomas and the Fathers and Doctors of the Church about natural substances and their properties. Saint Thomas wrote at
length in his Summa Contra Gentiles on the true agency of created beings. But like all good natural scientists before and after him, he recognised
what modern scientists are forced also, to acknowledge, that nature contains within itself, as placed there by the Creator, certain limits beyond
which the variations of species cannot go.
To give to secondary causes the power to give rise to new species is to give them a truly creative power, that creative power that belongs only
to God who established the natural order, in beauty and stability, in the beginning, Process theologians and philosophers give this creative
power to the dynamics of nature in general and indiscriminately. Rahner clearly attributes to nature what only divine Grace can do (though even
Grace does not create new species) and thereby destroys the all-important distinction between nature and Grace, handing on this same heresy
to the process theologians and to Teilhard de Chardin and his followers. Thus we find such an esteemed Cistercian monk as Fr. Basil
Pennington mouthing the vulgar nonsense that
“This creation is not a finished product cast out by God at some moment and left to go its own course. Rather, at every moment, this creation
comes forth from the creating Word of God.” 13
Scripture plainly says and the Fathers of the Church and Catholic theologians up until these days of destructive modernism, have held that
So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made:
and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
And he blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested
from all his work which God created and made. (Genesis 2:1-3)
And Exodus 20:11 confirms the word of Genesis:
For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and the sea,
and all things that are in them, and rested on the seventh day ...
To hold otherwise is to reject sacred Tradition and to confuse the orders of nature and of Grace, leading eventually to pantheism and other
heresies of this "New Age". Nor can departure from and loss of the Truths of divine Catholic Faith lead anywhere ultimately but to despair.
Hear the words of Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize-winning French biologist, who puts his faith in science and in socialism: “Where then shall we
find the source of truth and the moral inspiration for a really scientific socialist humanism, if not in the sources of science itself, in the ethic upon
which knowledge is founded, and which by free choice makes knowledge the supreme value -- the measure and warrant for all other values?
An ethic which bases moral responsibility upon the very freedom of that axiomatic choice. Accepted as the foundation for social and political
institutions, hence as the measure of their authenticity, their value, only the ethic of knowledge could lead to socialism. It prescribes institutions
dedicated to the defense, the extension, the enrichment of the transcendent kingdom of ideas, of knowledge, and of creation -- a kingdom
which is within man, where progressively freed both from material constraints and from the deceitful servitudes of animism, he could at last live
authentically, protected by institutions which, seeing in him the subject of the kingdom and at the same time its creator, could be designed to
serve him in his unique and precious essence. A utopia. Perhaps. But it is not an incoherent dream. It is an idea that owes its force to its logical
coherence alone. It is the conclusion to which the search for authenticity necessarily leads. The ancient covenant is in pieces; man knows at last
that he is alone in the universe's unfeeling immensity, out of which he emerged only by chance. His destiny is nowhere spelled out, nor is his
duty. The kingdom above or the darkness below: it is for him to choose.”14
One could not find anywhere a clearer statement of the "faith" of an evolutionist, which "faith" is seen by the honest scientist himself to be
incompatible with belief in the God of the Catholic Church and of the Bible. Monod substitutes chance for God and refuses to look beyond
science itself to any reality outside his own mind; so he ends by making himself and his knowledge the ultimate value and "kingdom". A modern
form of gnosticism to be sure, and definitely a Utopia, as our world is proving more each day in its rapid descent into chaos. Evolution in all its
forms constitutes a test of Faith calculated "to deceive if possible, even the elect." (Matt. 24:24)
But Monod is right on one thing -- it is for us to choose:
Now therefore, fear the Lord, and serve Him in sincerity and truth; put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of
the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if you are unwilling to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether
the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me
and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14 -15)
For matter is not, like God, without beginning, nor is it of equal power with God as having no beginning. For it is created and it is not produced
by any other being, but brought into existence by the Framer of all things alone. (Tatian) Nor was God influenced by any one, but of His own
free will created all things, since He is the only God, the only Lord, the only Creator, the only Father, alone containing all things, and Himself
commanding all things into existence. ( St. Irenaeus) Note to Thesis 2
In the original 1976 version of Thirty Theses Against Theistic Evolution, a work by Rev. Edward Holloway of England was discussed, This
book Catholicism: A New Synthesis, Bedford, England: A Keyway Publication, 1969, is reviewed at length by Anthony Nevard in his
periodical Daylight: Creation Science for Catholics (No. 25, Spring 1998). 1 strongly urge the interested reader to obtain a copy of this
excellent expos from Mr. Nevard at 19 Francis Avenue, St. Albans, Herts AL3 6BL, England. Subscription $15. This essay has just been
reprinted -- but with significant omissions -- by Watchmaker, 1st and 2nd Quarter 1999, Vol.6, No. 1. Obtainable at POB 189, Shade Gap,
To create signifies to produce from nothing. (D 1805)
This de fide note of the general dogmatic statement of Vatican I is necessary to distinguish God's creative action from all other forms of making
St. Thomas says: It is necessary to say that God brings things into being from nothing... To create is to make something from nothing. (ST, I, Q
45, a 2 and ad 2)
All other making activities necessarily start with and presuppose some pre-existing materials. This includes all processes and particularly
supposed evolutionary processes. Therefore, supposed evolutionary processes cannot be truly termed "creative" processes. In view of this
dogma of Creation ex nihilo, theistic evolutionists should clarify precisely what they mean by "creative processes".
And they should clarify their evolutionary processes with respect to ex nihilo. The position of theistic evolution tends so completely to embrace
all that the atheistic evolutionists propound, that they will tell you that "In the beginning" God created, out of nothing, the original primordial atom
or whatever the materialistic evolutionists say came first in the total scheme of things. However. it is becoming more and more evident that
materialistic or atheistic evolutionists really believe in the eternity of matter and therefore, theistic evolutionists must define what they believe
about Creation and defend it clearly or else be so closely associated with this unbelieving science as to merge with it and thus scandalize the
Church by placing themselves in implicit if not explicit heresy and even apostasy.
Robert Francoeur said this: “In the evolutionary world picture, creation is not a unique action long ago. Rather creation is the on-going process
whereby God gradually brings into being creatures in the course of time. In this view creation is completed only at the end of time, not in the
Notice that creation here is explicitly denied any unique character. It is only a natural process. And a process in which creatures are gradually
brought into being -- how? From nothing? It does not seem so. Rather, they are brought into being from other previous creatures, as in all
processes -- in the course of time. And so, where is the ex nihilo? And where is "In the beginning, God." The dogmatic note ex nihilo is thus
necessary to distinguish God's creative power and activity from all other forms of making and producing. Only God can create because only
God can bring beings into existence from nothing, and only He can bestow existence on any being.
Against theistic evolutionists who intimate that God's creative activity is a process in which matter is used in the same manner as in human
making, I quote these Patristic statements:
But others... argue that God has made the world out of matter previously existing and without beginning. For God could not have made anything
(they say) had not the material existed already...Thus do they vainly speculate. But the godly teaching and the faith according to Christ brands
their foolish language as godlessness. For it knows that it was not spontaneously, because forethought is not absent; not of existing matter,
because God is not weak; but that out of nothing1 and without its having any previous existence, God made the universe to exist through His
Word, as He says firstly through Moses: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (St. Athanasius) And what great thing is it if
God made the world out of existent materials? For even a human artist, when he gets material from some one, makes of it what he pleases. But
the power of God is manifested in this, that, out of things that are not, He makes whatever He pleases; just as the bestowal of Iife and motion is
the prerogative of no other than God alone. This authority of Scriptures I claim for myself even from this circumstance, that while it shows me
the God Who created, and the works He created, it does not in like manner reveal to me the source from which He created. For since in every
operation there are three principal things, He who makes, and that which is made, and that of which it is made, there must be three names
mentioned in a correct narrative of the operation -- the person of the maker, the sort of thing which is made, and the material of which it is
formed. If the material is not mentioned, while the work and the maker of the work are both mentioned, it is manifest that He made the work
out of nothing. For if He had had anything to operate upon, it would have been mentioned as well as the other two. (Tertullian) A beginning may
be that out of which a thing comes, the underlying matter from which things are formed. This, however, is the view of those who hold matter
itself to be uncreated, a view which we believers cannot share, since we believe God to have made the things that are out of the things which
are not, as the mother of the seven martyrs in the Maccabees teaches... (Origen)
Saint Bonaventure sums up Tradition:
“...the following must be held. The entire fabric of the universe was brought into existence in time and out of nothingness, by one First Principle,
single and supreme, whose power, though immeasurable, has disposed all things by measure and number and weight. In general, then,
concerning the production of creatures, the foregoing must be held to build up a true concept and avoid error. By saying in time, we exclude the
false theory of an eternal universe. By saying out of nothingness, we exclude the false theory of an eternal material principle. By saying one
principle, we exclude the Manichean error of the plurality of principles. By saying single and supreme, we exclude the error of those who hold
that God produced the inferior creatures through the ministry of the spirits. And by adding measure and number and weight, we indicate that the
creature is an effect of the creating Trinity in virtue of a triple causality: efficient, through which the creatures are given unity, mode and measure;
exemplary, through which they are given truth, species, and number; final., through which they are given goodness, order, and weight. These, as
traces of the Creator, are present in all creatures, whether material or spiritual or composites of both.”16
It may be noted that here, in this one paragraph, Saint Bonaventure indicates clearly what Faith teaches about creation ex nihilo (the present
Thesis 3) by the Triune God (Thesis 1) in time (Thesis 4) and excluding secondary causation (and if not by spirits, then a fortiori not by material
processes). See Thesis 2 et passim.
Saint Bonaventure (1221-1274) is no minor authority, for he is a Doctor of the Church (the "Seraphic Doctor") equal to Saint Thomas Aquinas
(1225-1274) (the "Angelic Doctor") and a major Scholastic theologian. One could not, therefore, ignore with impunity or fail to value his
The world had a beginning in time. (D 428, 1783)
This de fide proposition rules out the pagan and modern notions of an eternal universe or the eternity of matter. The modern version of this error
was first enunciated in 1795 by James Hutton when he said: "The result ... of this physical inquiry is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, no
prospect of an end."17
This modern doctrine, known as uniformitarianism, may confirm the view of St. Thomas that natural reason alone cannot prove that the world
and matter had a beginning in the creation of time. Aristotle believed in the eternity of the world because he did not have access to Divine
Revelation. James Hutton believed in the eternity of the physical because he had rejected Divine Revelation.
However, in God's Providence and Mercy, modern science has hit upon a revealed truth which must, on that account, also be a truth of reason.
For modern science, in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, has discovered that all real processes are essentially processes of decay, of a loss
of order and energy.
This law of entropy, as it is also called, strongly implies that the universe had a beginning in time, for if the cosmos were infinitely old or even as
old as the evolutionists claim -- some 20 billion years for the universe and some 4 to 5 billion for the earth -- many parts of it would
undoubtedly exhibit signs of death, and the cosmos as a whole would be in a near-death condition. But such is not the case. Many processes
which can be measured indicate that the earth and the universe are "young" by evolutionary standards.
For example, science can show no evidence to disprove the general accuracy of the Ussher chronology. Archbishop James Ussher
(1581-1656) reckoned the date of creation at 4004 B.C. Dominican Father Hugh Pope indicates no criticism of this date and its
implications.18 As he points out, the Rabbinical reckoning shows a 2000 year difference. So whether we follow the Biblical chronology of
Archbishop Ussher or that of the rabbis, the earth is not more than from six to eight thousand years old. The Protestant creationists set an outer
limit of 10,000 years and scientific measurements of various processes lend support to these calculations.
I will offer just one example. A creationist textbook19 cites a news wire report of 23 Mar 1980, to the effect that the sun's diameter appears to
have been decreasing by about one tenth percent per century, which means that the sun shrinks about five feet every hour. They reckon back
that if the sun were 100,000 years old, it would, back then, have been double its present size, and 20 million years ago it would have been
touching the earth. So obviously, the calculations of modern evolutionary scientists as to the age of the earth are far, far in excess of the truth.
There are many, many more such examples that could be given from the Creationist literature, for God in His Mercy has enabled scientists who
believe His Word in Holy Scripture to discover these natural evidences of the truth of His supernatural divine Revelation.
So-called theistic evolutionists do not ordinarily deny that the world had a beginning in time. Benedictine Fr. Stanley L. Jaki is a devout
evolutionist of the most committed kind and he insists upon the two dogmas of the Faith, Creation out of nothing, ex nihilo, and in time.20
However, he believes most firmly in the long ages of evolutionary science although he indicates that the first three minutes of the universe have
now been pushed back to about eighteen billion years, instead of the previous twenty.21
Not that it really matters when we have Catholics describing the ages of evolutionary time in a manner that obliterates any kind of belief in the
inerrancy and inspiration of Holy Scripture. Only atheistic evolutionists believe in the eternity of matter, and even those who claim all things
began with a "Big Bang" will go on to say that "our" Big Bang was only one of many. So the question may be raised: How does belief in
evolution affect the dogma that the world had a beginning in time? It affects it by weakening it, by attacking it peripherally. Here is the "faith" of
a Catholic priest, demonstrated in his description of the beginning of all things:
”That the Universe has evolved through time is a fact that few would be prepared to deny... The vast scope of the process through time is
estimated at around fifteen billion years. Initially there was a great expansion of primitive particles, those "building blocks" such as protons,
neutrons, electrons of which all matter is constituted. Rapidly the first atoms were formed, conglomerates of these particles such as hydrogen,
the first and the lightest, closely followed by helium. There followed the cooling and condensation of these gases into clusters of galaxies, the
formation of heavier atoms, by the grouping together and nuclear change of the smaller ones. Then there emerged our own solar system with its
planets, the cooling down of the earth with its special atmosphere of nitrogen and oxygen, the synthesis of water from hydrogen and oxygen into
the seas, and the combination of atoms into simple and now more complex molecules. All is now ready and prepared for the next stage
forward, the emergence of life.” 22
I contend that this kind of writing on the part of a Catholic priest is dangerous to Faith because Fr. Nesbitt has assimilated a completely pagan,
atheistic view of the beginning of things and foists this view upon his readers as if it were Catholic truth!
Fr. Nesbitt is a theistic evolutionist. His evolutionism requires -- not so much God as something, anything, to hide the irrationality of
life-from-non-life by natural processes or random mutation. And since God is there, obviously, for a Catholic, He will fill the bill. And so we are
told that it is God Who has planned this grand evolutionary scenario and it is God Who directs it, as some omnipotent stage-manager. The
Triune God, Who is Truth Itself, is therefore put at the service of this modern idol, Evolution.
And to be candid, Fr. Nesbitt would have to admit that modern evolutionary science has replaced the Divine Revelation of Holy Scripture and
Tradition in his mind. That the world had a definite beginning in time is less and less clear to those who embrace evolutionary science. Rather, as
Fr. Nesbitt tells us, "the Universe has evolved through time ... " There is a difference! For Holy Scripture, interpreted and echoed by Tradition,
plainly says that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
The point to be emphasized here is that the God of theistic evolution is a God divorced from the Creator-God of Catholic Faith, of Holy
Scripture and of Tradition and is reduced to a logically necessary mechanism for supposed evolutionary processes that need and therefore tend
to extend over infinite periods of time, blurring both the beginning and the end. These eons of time require that God's Act of Creation be a
temporal process and that secondary causes usurp creative power that only the Triune God possesses. Such implications are clearly against
Saint Augustine says: “And if the sacred and infallible Scriptures say that "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Gen. 1:1), in
order that it may be understood that He had made nothing previously ... then assuredly the world was made, not in time but simultaneously with
time.” (The City of God. Bk. 11, ch. 6)
All that exists outside of God was, in its whole substance, created out of nothing, in the beginning, by God, the Blessed Trinity. (D 1805)
This dogmatic statement sums up previous ones and adds the note secundum totam suam substantiam (in its whole substance).
As St. Thomas says: Creation does not mean the building up of a composite thing from pre-existing principles but it means that the composite is
created so that it is brought into being at the same time with all its principles. (ST, I, Q 45, a 4, ad 2)
It may be inferred that "its whole substance and the composite with all its principles" refer to the nature of a thing including its genetic limitations
as well as its genetic potential, and correspond to the "kind" of Genesis One. Such an inference, if correct, would certainly preclude the
evolution of one kind into another kind in the course of time and thus the origin of entirely new beings, new substantial forms, new kinds, in the
course of time after Creation Week. St. Thomas may be quoted further in support of this thesis: Nothing entirely new was afterwards made by
God, but all things subsequently made had in a sense been made before in the work of the six days. (ST, I, Q 73, a 1, ad 1) God is said to have
rested on the seventh day, not from all work, since we read (John 5:17): My Father worketh until now; but from the creation of any new genera
and species, which may not have already existed in the first works .... Something can be added every day to the perfection of the universe, as to
the number of individuals, but not as to the number of species. (ST, I, Q 118, a 3, ad 1 and ad 2)
This view of the "fixity of species" does not, for the contemporary creationist, preclude the development of many varieties within the originally
created kind. But it does, most clearly, preclude the evolution of one basic kind into and from another basic kind. And it is equally clear, it
seems to us, that the theistic evolutionist is in direct contradiction to the constant teaching of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, that is, to
Catholic Tradition, and also in very deep trouble with this statement of Vatican I (1870), as with all previous and following statements of the
Magisterium on the doctrine of Creation.
God has created a good world. (D 706, 428)
This de fide doctrine was first defined by the Council of Florence (1441) against the Manichaean error that God is the author of evil, as well as
of good. The Council specifically states:
There is no nature bad in itself, as all nature in so far as it is nature, is good. This is based on Genesis One which repeatedly states that God,
contemplating what He had created, declared it to be good and very good.
There are two important corollaries of this doctrine. One is that the goodness of nature means the completeness of nature, that the being thus
created and constituted has all that it needs to be what it is and to function according to its nature. This kind of goodness precludes the kinds of
natures that the theory of evolution postulates, for evolution does not postulate natures at all in the sense of essences or beings which can be
universally defined but rather pure becomings whose "essence" or "nature" cannot be universally defined because they are essentially in flux, in a
process of becoming something else from something else. They are, therefore, always imperfect.
Theistic evolutionists who subscribe to this view of evolution therefore sin against the doctrine of the Church which teaches that God created all
beings good and complete in their natures, not imperfect and not in a state of constantly having to become something else because of an
originally created imperfection.
It must be admitted, however, that by the very fact of creating finite beings, God has created imperfect beings, or better, only relatively perfect
beings. For to create absolutely perfect beings would be to duplicate Himself in creation. And this is absurd.
Theistic evolutionists, in fact, following their materialistic mentors, exalt all change as if it were a perfection in itself instead of the opposite. For
change denotes the kind of imperfection that is peculiar and indeed necessary to limited beings. A creature's nature, while setting the limits to the
change of which it is capable, also contains within itself the principle of potentiality that requires change and motion within those limits, change
and motion for generation, for growth and decline, and for all the processes that every creature exhibits. Processes take place because of needs
and creaturely processes are fitted to the creature's needs. This is the goodness and completeness of God's creation. But metaphysically, we
may also say, and indeed it is eminently true, that only imperfect or relatively imperfect creatures have needs, because needs mean the Iack of
something either necessary or highly desirable for the well-being of the creature. And God has indeed provided every creature with the
processes necessary to satisfy all its needs.
Thus all corporeal creatures need nourishment and die without it. But God has created a universe and beings situated within that universe that
are equipped, respectively to supply and to obtain that nourishment. And this, too, in such a way that all things relate in a mutually beneficial
manner as long as the originally created and intended "balance of nature" obtains in its broad outlines not destroyed by man's sin.
But to discover what is absolutely perfect and completely self-subsistent -- for to need other creatures is also a mark of relative imperfection
--we must look at God Himself. For He alone has no needs. He has all in Himself and therefore He needs no change. And indeed, change is
utterly incompatible with His perfect Being.
His creation of all things out of nothing and His bestowal of gifts of nature and of grace upon His creatures, and even His seeming "need" of
secondary-instrumental causes to work certain effects -- all this is the result of His Goodness and not of any need or lack on His part. And
ultimately, it will be for His greater glory in the end, and His glory is our beatitude.
But evolutionists, and particularly process philosophers and theologians, exalt what is really a radical imperfection -- change as such -- to the
status of a perfection, and thus they attribute it to God who is said to work in and through evolutionary processes and even, Himself, to evolve.
But this is nothing short of blasphemy.
Secondly, this thesis indicates that the source of evil must lie elsewhere than in God, in His original creation, or in anything that proceeds directly
from Him. Lateran IV makes the sources of evil quite plain:
For the Devil and other demons were indeed good in their nature as created by God, but they made themselves bad by their own conduct; and
man sinned at the suggestions of the Devil. (D 428)
The Devil, then, is the ultimate source of all evil, but man's will must also be said to cause evil, and it is in punishment for this sin of man that God
allowed physical evil to enter His totally good creation. But moral evil, the worst kind, by far, enters the world only in and through man's will.
The theory of evolution, however, and theistic evolutionists who adopt it, must postulate a great deal of suffering and death in the world and
throughout natural history long before the appearance of man and his sin which, as Catholic doctrine teaches and insists, is the sole cause of
physical and moral evil in the world.
For the fossil record, which, they say, is the evidence for evolution, is a record of suffering and violent death on a global scale. Yet, it is said to
be the record of the coming to be of species, genera, etc. and even man himself. Evolutionists, therefore, and this must include the theistic
variety, attribute the source and cause of suffering and death to whatever is the source and cause of evolution itself.
But theistic evolutionists say that the source and cause of evolution is God. They are, therefore, attributing the evils of suffering and death to
God's "creative" activity as they conceive it to take place in and by means of evolutionary processes. And this is really worse than heresy. It is
It has been objected that the animals, of which the fossil record is largely composed, did not fall under the curse of God on man's sin, and that
therefore, the global death exhibited there could all have happened before man's sin.
Besides being against all traditional interpretation of Genesis 3:14-19, this is an exceedingly weak argument and does not extricate man himself
from the universal death of the fossil column. It is simply inconceivable that a record of destruction should be hailed as a record of construction,
of "creation" - and yet, this is what the evolutionists do.
Finally, we may note that God indeed created a perfectly good and marvelously ordered cosmos. But, we may ask, is this the cosmos in which
we live? The world in which we live is still the good world created by God but it is marred by the effects of Adam's sin and all the sins of men
since Adam. The original order of perfection, which is the order of creation, does, however, persist in the total hierarchy of the natural world
that we study. But there is an order of generation which is the order of secondary agencies. It is in this order that the Second Law of
Thermodynamics operates. This Law simply acknowledges the fact that all processes are ultimately processes of decline and decay. "All real
processes go with an increase of entropy."23 So that there is, indeed, a universal process of change but it is not the process of evolution -- it is
a directional change, but it is not an upward change. It is, instead, a universal tendency of all processes to proceed from order to disorder.
And so, the order of secondary causes, the order of generation, by reason of Adam's sin, introduces into the total order of creation -- a flaw.
And there is nothing static about this flaw. It works in creation like a disease. It is, indeed, the disease of sin. God meant exactly what He said
when He told Adam that if he ate of the forbidden fruit, he would die. The time of generation would have existed and operated in a different
manner if Adam and Eve had not sinned.
In a world uncontaminated by sin, the order of creation, which is an order of perfection or a perfect order, and the temporal order of generation
which is characterized by the processes of secondary causes, would have existed together in a mutually harmonious universe. The working of
the Second Law cannot destroy the order of creation and the First Law seems to recognize this as it asserts that matter is being neither created
nor annihilated. The over-all outline of the total hierarchical order and harmony of the universe remains -- and it remains to the wonder and
admiration of all men, whatever their final response to it may be, whether faith and love directed to the Creator of it all, or the stony choice of
unbelief that one finds in the Humanist Manifesto.
THE DIVINE CAUSALITY OF GOD
No creature can as principal or as secondary-instrumental cause, from or by its own power, create anything from nothing or bring new beings into existence that transcend their own nature.
This dogmatic statement is classified as sententia communis (doctrine belonging to the field of free opinions but accepted by theologians
generally). It has been accepted generally and never defined because it is almost self-evident that no creature can create. And it has never been
questioned. Never, that is, until the 19th century and the time of the converging forces of Darwinism In the biological sciences, uniformitarianism
in the geological sciences, Hegelianism in philosophy and the infection of Biblical studies by all of these evolutionary influences at once.
However, it is important to realize that this present thesis is but a necessary complement of the de fide doctrine that God alone created the
world -- past tense. (Thesis 2) For if God alone created the world, then it belongs to God alone to create, as St. Thomas clearly teaches (ST, I,
Q 45, a 5) and it follows with the same force of verity that no creature can perform acts that partake of the nature of creation, even if,
hypothetically, they were assisted by God Himself.
But this teaching is attacked by all theistic evolutionists, particularly by Fr. Raymond Nogar, O.P., Karl Rahner. S.J., and their followers, for
they claim that secondary causes, that is, creatures in the natural order of generation are, indeed, capable of bringing forth new species and new
genera, new kinds of beings that never existed before and that were not present, in any way, in the original creation, which they hold to be but
the simplest inorganic form or primordial atom.
Father Nogar, for example, is led to this view by the fossil record, and particularly by such evolutionary series as that of the horse. His viewing
of the evidence for this supposed evolution is very instructive. He says:
The oldest known member of the horse family is reconstructed as a little animal, less than a foot high at the shoulder, possessed of forty-four
browsing teeth (not fit for grinding) with four toes and a splint on his front feet, and three toes and two splints on his hind feet. He has been
named Hyracotherium by paleontologists but is also called Eohippus, because he represents the early Eocene Epoch. By the liberal use of
ingenious reconstruction, extrapolation and analogy, the line of descent appears to pass, by branching and gradual modifications, through
Mesohippus, Miohippus, Parahippus, Merychippus and Pilohippus to Equus, our own domestic horse and his fellow species. 24
Now in this paragraph Fr. Nogar indicates that he is aware of the nature of the evidence, that it is marked by a "liberal use of ingenious
reconstruction, extrapolation and analogy". This is the reason why G.A. Kerkut of the University of Southampton and an evolutionist remarked
that "At present ... it is a matter of faith that the textbook pictures (of the horse phylogeny) are true, or even that they are the best
representations of the truth that are available to us at the present time." (Implications of Evolution, Pergamon, 1960. p. 148.)
But Father Nogar continues, undaunted by the obvious fact that the evidence is not straightforwardly indicating evolution: “The changes in
structure (and therefore function) of the horse family is gradual but great. The size of the horse has increased from that of a fox to that of a
stallion. His teeth originally low crowned and primitive, fitted for browsing, have become high crowned and very specialized for grinding coarse,
siliceous grasses. The limbs have become elongated, the toes reduced in number, and the fusion of the metacarpals and metatarsals into hooves
has taken place. ...”25
This is the language of certitude and so it seems that Fr. Nogar has simply accepted the faith of which Kerkut speaks. He is far less cautious
than the specialist himself, far more gullible and eager to accept the evolutionary interpretation of this data than the professional scientist himself.
For Kerkut is not this certain. He says:
“One thing concerning the evolution of the horse has become clear. The story of the evolution of the horse has become more and more complex
as further material is collected, and instead of a simple family tree the branches of the tree have increased in size and complexity till the shape is
now more like a bush than a tree. In some ways it looks as if the pattern of horse evolution might be even as chaotic as that proposed by
Osborn (1937, 1943) for the evolution of the Proboscidea, where, "In almost no instance is any known form considered to be a descendant
from any other known form; every subordinate grouping is assumed to have sprung, quite separately and usually without any known
intermediate stage, from hypothetical common ancestors in the Early Eocene or Late Cretaceous" (Romer 1949). We know that the evolution
of the horse did not always take a simple path. In the first place it is not clear that Hyracotherium was the ancestral horse. Thus Simpson (1945)
states, "Matthew has shown and insisted that Hyracotherium (including Eohippus) is so primitive that it is not much more definitely equid than
tapirid, rhinocerotid, etc., but it is customary to place it at the root of the equid group. Similarly it is clear that though in general the horses did
increase in size, certain genera such as Orohippus, Archaeohippus and Nannippus appear to have been smaller than their ancestors. ...”26
Father Nogar does acknowledge the very complex character of the supposed evolution of the horse. But, for him it only increases the
probability of evolution. He says:
” This fact, that at every stage there were many diverse developments going on, gives credence to the evolutionary hypothesis that many, not a
single, individual histories were being elaborated at the same time.”27
Now what I wish to emphasize is that Fr. Nogar outdoes his mentors in credulity. Kerkut, Simpson and other leading evolutionists insist that it is
not clear that Hyracotherium was the ancestral horse. He might just as well have been ancestral to the tapir, the rhinoceros, or some other
animal. Harold Coffin, a creationist scientist says:
If we remove Eohippus (or Hyracotherium) from the series because of its questionable relationship, the remaining animals are all clearly horses.
Yes, there are differences -- differences in size, in the type of teeth, in the position of the eye on the head, in the number of toes -- but these
differences do not constitute major or fundamental changes. Size variations may be conspicuous, but such variations are common in many
families of animals both past and present. The horse family has remained intact. Thus we do not see here an example of change from one major
type into another. These creatures have not originated from something which is not horse, neither have they developed into something which is
Other scientists, both evolutionary and creationist, are not so willing to admit that the evidence indicates any clear relationship between the
individuals in the series. Dr. Gish quotes:
“...duNouy has stated in reference to horses, "But each one of these intermediaries seems to have appeared 'suddenly,' and it has not yet been
possible because of lack of fossils, to reconstitute the passage between these intermediaries. Yet it must have existed. The known forms remain
separated like the piers of a ruined bridge. We know that the bridge has been built but only vestiges of the stable props remain. The continuity
we surmise way never be established by facts." Goldschmidt has said, "Moreover, within the slowly evolving series, like the famous horse
series, the decisive steps are abrupt without transition."29
And another fact, rarely noted by anyone, is mentioned by Coffin:
“In the same rock formations where scientists find fossils of more modem horses, they also find fossils of more primitive ones. These fossil
formations show "modern" and "primitive" horses living at the same time”. 30
Coffin goes on to point out that if one collected together all the different varieties of dogs in the world today, one could select out an interesting
series from small to large. But obviously, the large did not evolve from the small; rather, all varieties are clearly contemporaneous. The
evolutionist imposes his time scale on the evidence and then proceeds to tell us that the relationship between the individuals in the series must be
one of evolutionary descent. But there is not any such necessity in the evidence itself. These individuals might just as well and with just as much
logical necessity be contemporaneous. Given the nature and extent of the Noachian Deluge, this is the much more probable interpretation of the
But to return to Father Nogar. It is plain that he did not do his homework as thoroughly as he should have done, for one does not like to say
that he was prejudiced. However, it seems quite likely that this latter is the case. He says: “In terms then, of the objection raised about the
"gaps" in the record in general, it can be said that detailed study of the family tree of the horse reveals the same pattern of development, this time
on a more detailed level. Creationism becomes increasingly more untenable, the more deeply one looks into the fossil record.”31
The more deeply one looks into the fossil record -- the more detail is amassed. It is certain from the evolutionists themselves that the record
becomes more and more complex, that the straight phylogenetic line becomes rather a tangled up, bush-like structure, showing a tremendous
variety of individuals. How, then, does this indicate an increasingly untenable case for Creationism? It does not do so for Harold Coffin, nor for
Dr. Duane T. Gish, two of the leading Creationist scientists. How, then, may it be said to do so for Fr. Nogar? Only for one reason. He is
heavily and deeply predisposed to accept evolution rather than Creation. Fr. Nogar continues:
” Descent with modification -- evolution -- becomes more and more likely, for in spite of the degree of conjecture involved in setting up the
horse phylogeny, the probability that this appearance of descent is misleading becomes the more remote as fossils are found which augment and
fill in the pattern. Add to this the numerous phylogenies of the camels, swine, crocodiles, ammonites, fishes, etc., which manifest the same
appearance of descent with modification, and the doubts concerning the probability of the evolutionary solution to origins are increasingly
Again, Fr. Nogar has not done his homework properly, for he has inexcusably equated "Descent with modification" -- a highly ambiguous term
-- with evolution. The Creationist does not deny descent with modification if this term denotes variety within kinds, as in the case of
contemporary men, contemporary horses, contemporary dogs, contemporary camels, contemporary swine, contemporary crocodiles and
contemporary fishes. Variety within kinds is undeniable and the Creationist does not deny or dispute it. Rather, he sees it as a consequence of
nature's fulfillment of God's original command to "Increase and multiply" (Genesis 1:22, 28) but each "according to its kind". Fr. Nogar does not
make this necessary distinction and presents a very misleading idea of the Creationist position.
Father Nogar then goes on to consider another position, that which he terms "Sequential Creationism." And herein we come to precisely what
Fr. Nogar does hold regarding Creation in the sense of our present thesis. In the interests of fairness to all concerned, these quotations are
“But, it might be objected, even though the record seems to rule out creationism in the Linnaean sense, since all known species were evidently
not created from the beginning of time, is it not possible that a sequential creation would explain the facts of the record? With each new
proliferation of species in the record, could not this be explained by a special act of God, creating new species in every period and epoch of
It must be admitted that sequential creationism is a possible explanation of the paleontological record, for God certainly could have extended
His creative power in any way that He wished. But there is a very important reason why both the theologian, the philosopher of science and the
scientist himself would regard such an explanation as unsatisfactory. All would agree that, if possible, a natural explanation is to be sought. To
invoke the extraordinary, the miraculous, in explaining the course of natural events is not good theology, nor is it good biology or cosmology.
The theologian, as well as the scientist, is bound by an important axiom: God works in an orderly fashion through natural causes. As long as
natural causes are available, the theologian, the philosopher and the scientist should seek them. And because a natural explanation for the origin
of new species is available, namely, descent with modification, sequential creationism is not needed. So far as the science of paleontology is
concerned, the convergence of evidence is too great to entertain serious doubt that the most probable explanation of the origin and diversity of
present organic species is some form of organic evolution.”33
There are two very important points here. The first to be disposed of is the problem of sequential creation. The Creationist position has most
emphatically rejected any form of progressive, continuous, or sequential creation. (See Theses 13 and 15, in particular) We are in complete
agreement with Fr. Nogar on this point and we accept the Scholastic axiom that God works in an orderly fashion through natural causes. The
precise nature of this all-important relation between secondary, created causes and the Divine Causality of God is the subject of this and the
following three Theses. A very serious objection to the work of Fr. Nogar is the fact that in his books one finds no explanation of precisely how
secondary causes can bring about the emergence of new species and genera in the course of time. Fr. Nogar simply accepts the evolutionary
explanation of origins and, with no attempt to pursue the difficulties, quotes the axiom that God uniformly works through secondary causes. If it
were not for the claim of evolution to account for much more than variation within kinds, this would be acceptable. But evolution claims to
explain the appearance of all kinds of beings by natural processes. This is quite something else and requires, demands a confrontation of this
kind of natural process with the dogmatic statements concerning Creation. Fr. Nogar does not attempt this and Holy Scripture is disposed of by
very neatly dividing "The Imagery" from what is "To be retained". This latter is nothing but a distillation of very general concepts such as the
basic equality of Adam and Eve and statements like "Our first parents enjoyed perfect happiness" all of which are later on "fitted into" an
evolutionary explanation of natural and cultural history on the all-encompassing basis that Holy Scripture is not intended to teach us science or
anything that remotely relates to science, geography, culture and history in general. This position is challenged in Theses 15 through 29.
Our present concern is with Fr. Nogar's acceptance of the notion of species. Now when it comes to representing the Creationist's position, the
notion of species is taken to be a rigidly fixed type that has persisted unchanged since the Creation. Furthermore, every variety of a species is
supposed to be thought of by the Creationist as having been directly created by God in the beginning. Such a position is obviously not tenable
and is, indeed, rather ridiculous and really an insult to the intelligence of thinking men and women. The Creationist accepts the taxonomist's
definitions of species but is careful not to equate this definition, which is always shifting and is really quite arbitrary, with the Genesis kind, which
is his real guiding principle in trying to determine the limits of genetic change. All the scientific evidence from the past and in the present points,
unmistakably, to the fact of genetic limitations to biological change. The evolutionist's extrapolations from small changes within kinds to major
changes across kinds is pure speculation and interpretation according to the dictates of his philosophy, not of anything in the nature or the
And so, Fr. Nogar accepts the evolutionist's notion of species and quotes Aristotle: "Natural species exist in nature, but they defy simple
definition and recognition." We agree. Natural species, or rather kinds, types do exist in nature because there is definitely something in their
biological nature that limits the extent of the change of which they are naturally capable. Living types do defy simple definition and recognition
but they do not defy all definition and recognition. If they did, science would be impossible. But science is possible and systems of classification
continue to serve and to witness to the undeniable fact that there are limits to change and that natural beings were created by God in the
beginning according to their kinds, not according to their varieties which develop in time and multiply, as God commanded, but according to a
basic genetic barrier that God creates with each creature, and revealed to us in the word kind.34
This is the fact which Fr. Nogar and his evolutionary mentors deny. And this is precisely why the only implication that one can draw from his
work, since he does not explore these difficulties, is that nature itself is responsible for the creation of all kinds of beings. And this is simply to
take from God Himself His creative power, as that creative power is defined in these Theses and to give it to nature, to evolution. This, I
maintain, is against Catholic Faith.
Ollerenshaw shows that in the case of man, the modern taxonomical classification of species is the Genesis kind; in the case of the domestic
dog, the genus could be the created kind; in the case of the bovines, the family; and in the case of domestic fowl, the order. The author
concludes: "I do not believe that the Ark carried all species that were alive at the time of Noah. It was necessary for him to carry one male and
one female of each of the created 'kinds'. Since then, these kinds have diversified through such mechanisms as geographical isolation, chemical
and physiological changes, mutation and hybridization to give us the diversification of animals that we know and modern science classifies
In spite of much variation within kinds, Genesis in its assertion that plants and animals were created in all their kinds does teach fixity in the living
world. For example, never has a basic kind like the cat produced a new basic kind, like a dog, Of course there are kinds of cats, but the fixity
of Genesis is at the higher level of the cat kind. Variation among individuals of a kind does take place, but never has there been any conclusive
evidence that a new kind has ever been produced. Darwin discovered that different varieties and species of finches had apparently developed
on various islands of the Galapagos group, but the finches were still finches. They were all descendents of the original finch kind.36
This, of course, is borne out by the fossil record in which species and genera appear suddenly, differing sharply from other groups. In addition
to this fact, scientists never seem to have any difficulty in classifying new fossil finds into already known groups. Fr. Nogar died in 1965. His
work has been incorporated and extended in a book by John N. Deely who is so confident of faithfully representing Fr. Nogar's later thought as
to use his name as co-author. The book is The Problem of Evolution: A Study of the Philosophical Repercussions of Evolutionary Science.
(New York: Appleton, 1973.)
On page ix. in the Preface of this book, there is the following statement: The challenge this book poses the reader is simply that of thinking long
and hard about the evidence indicating that the universe and all of its parts, man and his spirit included, are unfolding in an evolutionary fashion,
and of facing up to the implications of this evidence. (Emphasis added)
I accept the challenge thus offered and urge all other Catholics to do the same. I would insist upon only one condition and that is the observance
of the rule laid down in 1950, and so utterly disregarded before and since, that the reasons against evolution be allowed equal study and
seriousness with those presented for it. (Humani Generis, paragraph 36.) (Note: All quotations from Fr. Nogar in the above article are taken
from The Wisdom of Evolution. Doubleday, 1963, pp. 66-70 and 325)
This Thesis is so much at the crux of the whole problem of theistic evolution that an article of St. Thomas may be quoted in its defense.
” Creation does not mean the building up of a composite thing from pre-existing principles; but it means that the composite is created so that it is
brought into being at the same time with all its principles.... Creation is the production of the whole being and not only of matter. ... to create can
be the action of God alone. For the more universal effects must be reduced to the more universal and prior causes. Now among all effects the
most universal is being itself (very existence): and hence it must be the proper effect of the first and most universal cause, and that is God ...
Now to produce being absolutely (that is, existence as such) ... belongs to creation. Hence it is manifest that creation is the proper act of God
alone. It happens, however, that something participates in the proper action of another, not by its own power, but instrumentally, inasmuch as it
acts by the power of another; as air can heat and ignite by the power of fire. And so, some have supposed that although creation is the proper
act of the universal cause, still some inferior cause acting by the power of the first cause, can create. Thus Avicenna asserted that the first
separate substance created by God (in turn) created another after itself, and the substance of the world and its soul; and that the substance of
the world creates the matter of inferior bodies. And in the same manner the Master (Peter Lombard, Sentences 4: D.5) says that God can
communicate to a creature the power of creating, so that the latter can create ministerially, not by its own power.”
Now this latter claim of Peter Lombard is precisely the same as that made by theistic evolutionists today, namely and particularly, Raymond
Nogar. O.P., Karl Rahner, and his followers. What then is the answer of St. Thomas to this position? The following:
” But such a thing cannot be, because the secondary instrumental cause does not participate the action of the superior cause, except inasmuch
as by something proper to itself it acts dispositively to the effect of the principal agent.” (all ST, I, Q 45, a 4)
Stop here to reflect a moment and ask: is there anything in any creature, anything proper to itself, that is, to its own nature, that would dispose it
to Rahner's "Transcendental causality" by which it would evolve into something besides its proper nature? In other words, is there anything in a
primate, either in the present or in the past, anything in the nature of an ape, that disposes it to cooperate with the transcendent cause, God, in
its own evolution into a man? All that modern science has learned about genetics is dead contrary to any such disposition and I challenge any
scientist to prove otherwise.
Most people do not seem to realize the crucial importance of the science of genetics in conclusively demonstrating the impossibility of evolution.
And that is mainly because the evolutionists themselves, knowing this, have very cleverly appropriated that science and magnified every minor
change into a "proof" for evolution. But they are not able to re-code the DNA. They are trying to do so with the experiments in recombination.
What will be the outcome? Dr. Gish has predicted monsters.
God has created good beings, fully operational products, complex systems, marvels of design, total, complete in themselves, as products
destined to operate in a certain environment.
Evolutionists say that these marvels of design articulated themselves by mutational and selectional processes. But reason and science both reject
this as nonsense, as impossible. The science of genetics and the healthy reason of man conclusively prove -- proof from empirical science and
proof from reason -- that natural processes do not produce products; rather products produce processes and contain processes. The
bombardier beetle needs his whole package -- the total design -- before he can operate. He has to be and to have a package, a completed
system as a pre-requisite for his survival and not, certainly, as a result of his survival.
Why is it that Frs. Nogar, Rahner, Nesbitt and Holloway have not considered these objections to their position? Rahner makes much (in
Hominization) of the active as opposed to the passive potency of creatures. But this is no real help to him at all for active or passive, if the
potentiality is simply not there in the genetic constitution of the creature, his transcendental causality has no basis -- short of pure miracle -- and
not only pure miracle but a miracle that does violence to and actually contradicts the created laws of God Himself. Rahner's transcendental
causality thus obliges him to say that God intervenes in such a way as to contradict His own created laws. Evolution by Rahner's transcendental
causality thus requires constant intervention on God's part and not just a simple intervention but a continuous miraculous intervention that sets
aside the originally created laws of each creature's nature. This seems quite contrary to any natural or revealed notion of God's Wisdom.
St. Thomas continues:
If therefore it (the secondary cause) effects nothing, according to what is proper to itself, it is used to no purpose; nor would there be any need
of certain instruments for certain actions. Thus we see that a saw, in cutting wood, which it does by the property of its own form, produces the
form of a bench, which is the proper effect of the principal agent. Now the proper effect of God creating is what is presupposed in all other
effects, and that is absolute being (existence). Hence, nothing else can act dispositively and instrumentally to this effect, since creation is not
from anything presupposed, which can be disposed by the action of the instrumental agent.
So therefore it is impossible for any creature to create, either by its own power, or instrumentally -- that is, ministerially. And above all it is
absurd to suppose that a body can create, for no body acts except by touching or moving; and thus it requires in its action some pre-existing
thing which can be touched or moved -- which is contrary to the very idea of creation. ...no created being can cause anything, unless something
is presupposed; which is the very idea of creation. (ST, I, Q 45, a 5)
It may be objected here that today we do indeed witness persons acting upon other beings without touching them, by means of mental powers.
The answer to the objection would be, in my opinion, that such agency is not bodily but spiritual, either preternaturally human, as harking back
to powers that Adam had in Paradise, or, and this I think more likely, either diabolical as in the case of powers granted to Satanists by the Devil
himself, or Divine, as in the case of powers granted to the Saints by God or the Angels. Obviously, however, these are not creative powers but
merely powers of motion. Further, miracles of healing granted to the Saints and holy people are not creative powers but powers that hasten and
enhance the powers of nature itself but in a manner not presently proper to natural processes.
The action of God termed Divine Preservation or Conservation is not a communicable attribute but is proper to God alone because it involves the continual pouring out of existence of which God alone is the Author and Source.
The Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph Pohle, whose work has been adapted and edited by Arthur Preuss (thus referred to as Pohle-Preuss) held as a
thesis embodying an article of faith the proposition that No mere creature ever created anything out of nothing. (God, the Author of the Natural
and the Supernatural. B. Herder. 1912, p. 55) In the defense of this statement he says the following:
This truth can be proved from Sacred Scripture by a twofold method: (1) by showing that Creation is never attributed to any one but God; and
(2) by demonstrating that the Bible positively denies that any creature ever exercised creative power. Hebrews 3:4: "He that created all things,
is God." Apocalypse 4:11: "Thou hast created all things; and for Thy will they were, and have been created." This truth is enunciated even more
solemnly in Isaiah 44:24: "1 am the Lord that make all things, that alone stretch out the heavens, that establish the earth, and there is none with
me." And in John 1:3: "All things were made by Him: and without Him was made nothing that was made."
Pohle-Preuss further declares: “The power which sustains the universe is an incommunicable attribute of God in the same sense as the creative
power which called it into being.... The action of God termed Divine Preservation is a positive divine influence directed to the very substance of
a creature, and by which the creature is enabled to continue its existence.” (p. 63)
St. Thomas says: “The conservation of all things by God is not by means of any new action but rather through a continuation of the action by
which He originally gave existence and this action is without either motion or time.” (ST, I, Q 104, a 1, ad 4).
This action of God is distinct from Creation because no new beings are called into existence by it but rather all previously created beings are
preserved and sustained in existence by this action of God. Conservation, therefore, works no change in the creature but secures its natural
operations by continually pouring out existence into its entire being with all of its processes.
Therefore, theistic evolutionists who try to place the so-called "continuous creation" of evolutionary processes in this Divine Conserving action
of God cannot sustain a position that is either theologically or philosophically sound. For only the Source of all existence can confer existence
and only that same Source can continue to sustain all creatures in that same existence which He alone originally conferred. Existence as such is
proper to God alone, and were He to communicate this attribute to any creature, that creature would then become God Himself. Which is
absurd. God is existence. Creatures have existence from God.
Therefore, those theistic evolutionists who hold that natural history is a "Continuous creation by Evolution" make a God of Evolution and sin
against the First Commandment.
The Action of God termed Divine Concursus, by which God cooperates immediately with all secondary causes, can in no way be invoked as an agent or mechanism for evolutionary descent from kind to kind or from species to species.
Pohle-Preus may be quoted here:
“The doctrine of the divine Concursus is not strictly a revealed dogma. But it is a certain theological conclusion, as appears from the fact that it
is held by all theological schools. We quote the Roman Catechism as of special weight in this matter: Not only does God by His Providence
protect and govern all things that exist, but by His intimate (that is immediate) power He also impels to motion and action whatever things move
and act, and this in such a manner that, although He excludes not, He yet prevents (that is, comes before) the agency of secondary causes; for
His most secret influence extends to all things, and as the Wise Man testifies, "reacheth from end to end mightily, and ordereth all things
sweetly." Wherefore the Apostle, when announcing to the Athenians the God whom not knowing they adored, said: "He is not far from every
one of us, for in Him we live, and move, and be." (p. 69)
Now it is precisely in this Divine Concursus that Rahner and his followers place the "Transcendental causality" and the evolutionary becoming of
self-transcendance by which creatures are supposed to be able to go beyond their natures with the help of God's power. And that this power
which is appropriated to aid the creature in its evolutionary self-transcendence is truly a creative power is indicated by Nemesszeghy and
Russell in the following passage:
“Any true development, any new being, is produced not partly by finite causes and partly by God but wholly by the finite causes in virtue of the
evolutionary dynamism God endows them with. For this reason God's creative activity is not an item in our experience; it is always mediated to
us through finite things...”37
There are two notes here to be singled out: 1) God is said here to endow creatures with an "evolutionary dynamism" which can only mean a
power to evolve into beings higher than themselves, to self-transcend, to go beyond their created nature. This kind of power can only be a
creative power since it involves the coming into existence of entirely new beings, with entirely new genetic constitutions, and entirely new
substantial forms or natures, for a man is entirely different from a primate in this sense, that it is not in the power of a primate to develop
naturally into a man. And so, these theistic evolutionists are claiming that God communicates His creative power to creatures. And this, as we
have shown in Thesis 7, is contrary to the doctrine sententia communis, and all of Catholic tradition. 2) These authors claim that God's creative
activity is mediated to us through finite things. But such is, again, against all previous theological teaching and Tradition, for not even the Divine
Concursus, and therefore much less the Creative Activity is mediate but always direct and immediate since only God can effect His own proper
Action, and He does not communicate this power to any creature.
This is not to deny that secondary causes have their own proper action. Again, St. Thomas may be quoted at length:
“Some have understood God to work in every agent in such a way that no created power has any effect in things, but that God alone is the
immediate cause of everything wrought; for instance, that it is not fire that gives heat, but God in the fire, and so forth. But this is impossible.
First, because the order of cause and effect would be taken away from created things; and this would imply lack of power in the Creator: for it
is due to the power of the cause, that it bestows active power on its effect. Secondly, because the active powers which are seen to exist in
things, would be bestowed on things to no purpose, if these wrought nothing through them. Indeed, all things created would seem, in a way, to
be purposeless, if they lacked an operation proper to them; since the purpose of everything is its operation. For the less perfect is always for the
sake of the more perfect: and consequently as the matter is for the sake of the form, so the form which is the first act, is for the sake of its
operation, which is the second act; and thus operation is the end of the creature. We must therefore understand that God works in things in such
a manner that things have their proper operation.
“In order to make this clear, we must observe that as there are few kinds of causes, matter is not a principle of action, but it is the subject that
receives the effect of action. On the other hand, the end, the agent, and the form are principles of action, but in a certain order. For the first
principle of action is the end which moves (motivates) the agent; the second is the agent; the third is the form of that which the agent applies to
action (although the agent also acts through its own form); as may be clearly seen in things made by art.
For the craftsman is moved to action by the end, which is the thing wrought, for instance a chest or a bed; and applies to action the axe which
cuts through, its being sharp. Thus does God work in every worker, according to these three things. First, as an end. For since every operation
is for the sake of some good, real or apparent; and nothing is good either really or apparently, except in as far as it participated in a likeness to
the Supreme Good, which is God; it follows that God Himself is the cause of operation as its end.”
This does not mean that the little ant, for example, who works to carry a bread crumb into her nest, is conscious of the good for which she is
acting as God Himself. Only man and the angels are capable of such conscious motivation. But the little ant, and all creatures, operate for an
end which is within the range of their created nature, and this end or reason participates in a likeness to the Supreme Good which is God
Himself, the Author of all Good, and is, indeed, both proximately or immediately and remotely for the good of that created ant-nature, which,
insofar as it is good, participates in a likeness to the Supreme Good which is God. But clearly, the ant has and performs the operations that are
proper to its ant-nature, and these are good because they are created for and therefore fitted for that ant-nature and not any other.
St. Thomas continues:
“Again it is to be observed that where there are several agents in order, the second always acts in virtue of the first: for the first agent moves the
second to act. And thus all agents act in virtue of God Himself, and therefore He is the cause of action in every agent.”
The hierarchical order of all things may not be broken. All creatures derive their causal agency from the First Cause of all things which is God.
But this causality that is proper to creatures and which all creatures exercise according to the proper operations of their own natures, is not
creative nor is it self-transcendant, as Rahner and his followers would have us believe. For if it were, it would violate and break out of the
operations proper to the creature. And this is impossible for the creature, and while it is possible for God, it is not anywhere evident, either in
nature or in divine Revelation, that He has ever done this.
St. Thomas continues:
“Thirdly, we must observe that God not only moves things to operate, as it were applying their forms and powers to operation, just as the
workman applies the axe to cut, who nevertheless at times does not give the axe its form; but He also gives created agents their forms and
preserves them in being. Therefore He is the cause of action not only by giving the form which is the principle of action, as the generator is said
to be the cause of movement in things heavy and light; but also as preserving the forms and powers of things; just as the sun is said to be the
cause of the manifestation of colors, inasmuch as it gives and preserves the light by which colors are made manifest. And since the form of a
thing is within the thing, and all the more, as it approaches nearer to the First and Universal Cause; and because in all things God Himself is
properly the cause of universal being (very existence) which is innermost in all things; it follows that in all things God works intimately. For this
reason in Holy Scripture the operations of nature are attributed to God as operating in nature, according to Job 10: 11: Thou hast clothed me
with skin and flesh: Thou hast put me together with bones and sinews.” (all ST, I, Q 105, a 5)
Therefore while every creature has its proper operations of which it is truly said that creatures themselves are the proper causes, still this agency
of causality is always exercised in a hierarchical order and the power of the agency is a power derived immediately -- not mediately -- from
God Himself who always works in all things most intimately, therefore immediately. And in this way, the operations of creatures are said to be
due first of all and immediately to God Himself who alone continually pours out existence into all creatures and thereby enables them to exist
and to operate, and secondly but properly to the creatures themselves who thus, by the power given them immediately and continually by God,
perform all the operations proper to their nature.
It is therefore quite false to say, as Nemesszeghy and Russell do, that God's creative activity is "always mediated to us through finite things."
Neither God's creative activity nor His conserving and concurring activity is capable of mediation by creatures because God's activity is proper
to Him alone and cannot be communicated to any creature. And it is proper to God alone to uphold and sustain the activity proper to each
creature by sustaining its existence, directly and immediately.
From all of the foregoing it is clear that God's creative activity in the beginning is distinct from His conserving and concurring activity throughout
time, and in no way impairs the proper activity and operation of secondary causes which always act within the limits of the nature conferred
upon them in the original creation and which, furthermore, always act within the area of process, whereas God's activity is not in the nature of
process; but He created all things in the beginning and sustains them in the order of existence which precedes -- metaphysically, logically and
physically -- the order of essence, of change, of process. To operate, however, that is, to move, to change, and to carry on processes, existents
must, of necessity, be sustained in their existence. And this is God's conserving and concurring activity, always in the order of existence. The
order of change, of generation and corruption, the order of process is the order of operation proper to the creature. But it could not operate, of
course, unless it were, at the same time, sustained in existence by the power of God and by His Goodness.
But to say, as Rahner et alia do, that this conserving and concurring action of God in the order of existence, communicates to the creature a
power to transcend -- to go beyond its own nature in the order of generation and process -- this is completely to alter the meaning of Divine
concursus and conservation as understood by St. Thomas and traditional Catholic theology. Furthermore, Rahner's position violates all that the
science of genetics reveals about the nature of finite, creaturely process and cannot, therefore, in reason be admitted.
The Creative Action of God is without either motion or time, without any effort or work.
This proposition is a direct corollary of the de fide doctrine that God is Pure Spirit and absolutely simple in His Nature. He simply and
absolutely transcends all matter, space, time and process. He is absolutely immutable (de fide), present everywhere (omnipresent), all-knowing
and all-powerful. And therefore, none of His actions -- which are Himself -- can be limited by space, time, measure, motion, or any kind of
St. Thomas says: “Creation is without movement.” (ST, I, Q 45, a 2, ad 3)
“God alone can create; for the first agent alone can act without presupposing the existence of anything; while the second cause (a creature)
always presupposes something derived from the first cause....and every agent that presupposes something to its act, acts by making a change
therein. Therefore everything else acts by producing a change, whereas God alone acts by creation.” (ST, I, Q 90, a 3)
The point of this thesis is that God's activity may never be reduced to a natural or material process whereas all finite activity is properly
characterized as such. It is common among theistic evolutionists to find God's creative activity referred to as a process, as when it is asserted
that God used evolution as His method of creation. Now, whatever else evolution may or may not be, it is most certainly held by its proponents
to be a process and moreover, a very slow, gradual process requiring millions and billions of years to accomplish its purposes.
To say, then, that God used evolution as His method to create, certainly limits His creative activity to a long, drawn-out temporal and material
process. And this is in direct contradiction to the de fide doctrines concerning God's nature and action which may not be limited by space, time
and matter. For, as St. Thomas says: "Creation is without movement." Creation, therefore, is not a process at all but the immediate effecting of a
product, that is, a being complete with all its principles.
” Creatures are the cause of becoming but only God is the cause of being.” (cf. ST, I, Q 104, a 1)
Therefore, it is entirely false to say, as Nemesszeghy and Russell do (page 66) that "God's creative activity unfolds wherever there is true
development and evolution." God's creative activity is herein reduced to an evolutionary process of unfolding and this is to reduce God's
creative activity to a natural process which is proper to the created activity of creatures causing becoming, but not to God's Action, which
effects and sustains existence -- the absolutely necessary and prior condition for all becoming.
To thus reduce God's Action to natural processes is most certainly dangerous to Faith if not in direct contradiction to doctrines defining the
Nature of God and of His Action. The "locus" so to speak of God's action in His creatures is precisely in that most intimate, secret and
immediate "place" of existence, prior to all becoming and the necessary "Foundation" for all becoming.
Therefore, God's Creative Activity is not a process and all such notions as "Continuous creation" or "creation by evolution" are reduced to
nonsense. And since the immediate effect of God's Creative Action is always a product, a fully-formed and fully-operational being, nothing
prevents His creation of such products on the successive days of the Creation Week, just as Holy Scripture teaches. For the Six Days of
Creation Week do not, by any manner or means, imply that Creation was a process but rather that the Creative Acts of God brought into
existence a multitude of products (creatures) with their processes that were thereby initiated with time and in time and began to operate
according to the created laws of each distinct created nature or kind and also, according to the created laws of time itself which began to be
and to pass with "in the beginning", of the First Day. From that moment on, God worked with time but not within, that is not circumscribed by
or limited by time.
But with the close of the Sixth Day and the rest on the Seventh, God ended His creation of all species and genera. Thus St. Thomas says that
henceforward "In the works of nature, creation does not enter, but is presupposed to the work of nature." (ST, I, Q 45, a 8)
Therefore creation is not a process either of God or of nature but is that total constitution and order of the universe which is presupposed to all
the works of nature and of God Himself in time.
The Gift of Divine Grace in the human soul and the elevation of man to the supernatural order by Divine Grace is not a fit analogy or any kind of analogical basis for arguing in favor of evolutionary transformation from lower kinds to higher by means of a self-transcendence granted by God in the natural order analogous to that in the supernatural order.
It is true that the Divine Gift of Sanctifying Grace makes of a person the "new creation" exalted by St. Paul (2 Cor. 5:17). Grace is defined as
"A gratuitous -- that is wholly unmerited -- gift infused by God into the rational creature with reference to the end that is eternal life." (Dictionary
of Dogmatic Theology. Bruce, 195I)
It is, furthermore, the life of God Himself but in us, it is a participated and created mode of the Divine Life. St. Thomas says that "because grace
is above human nature, it cannot be a substance or a substantial form, but is an accidental form of the soul." (ST, I-II, Q 110, a 2, ad 2)
Rahner. in Hominisation (p.90) implies that an analogy may be drawn from the transcendance accorded to human nature by the Gift of Divine
Grace to another self-transcendence, accorded by God's power, in the natural order whereby one kind of creature transcends its nature to
evolve into another, higher kind of being, particularly, a primate creature into a human being. But such is impossible, for Grace is not a new
substantial form but a new mode of life for that same substantial form which is the soul of man. Thus Grace raises and perfects a fallen,
sin-wounded nature. It does not raise it above its own created level, as if to transform it into another higher form of human nature (as New Age
Theosophy teaches) or into an angelic nature, but rather restores an original innocence and continues to aid in the healing and perfecting of a
sorely wounded human nature.
Rahner's suggestion is far indeed from all traditional and orthodox views of the Gifts of Divine Grace and their relation to human nature.
Furthermore, in us Divine Grace is never uncreated but only in God. St. Thomas says: What is substantially in God, becomes accidental in the
soul participating the Divine goodness,...And thus, because the soul participates in the Divine goodness imperfectly, the participation of the
Divine goodness which is grace, has its being in the soul in a less perfect way than the soul subsists in itself. Nevertheless, inasmuch as it is the
expression or participation of the Divine goodness, it is nobler than the nature of the soul, though not in its mode of being. (ST, I-II, Q 110, a 2,
Rahner would confuse the mode of being of the soul and Divine Grace in the soul, the first of which is substantial and the second, accidental.
And he would confuse thereby, also, the Divine and the human in created nature, appropriating the Divine to the human in such a way as to
violate and go beyond its own created nature. Such is absurd, and indeed, even blasphemous. Finally, the term accidental is not to be taken as
implying anything un-important or anything in the way of an appendage. Rather, Divine Grace in the soul is analogous to whiteness in something
that is white. For accidental refers to that whose nature it is to inhere in something else as in its subject. The soul, therefore, is the subject in
which Divine Grace inheres. Divine Grace is not the substance of the soul itself but rather inheres in the substance of the soul and in the
substantial form that is the soul.
If Divine Grace were the soul itself or identical with the nature and form of the soul itself, we would either be divine creatures by nature or else,
Divine Grace would be something quite natural. But both of these alternatives are absurd.
As it is, the Gift of Divine Grace raises the life of the soul to a new level in God, in the supernatural order, and it does this by reason of the
newness of the quality it brings to the soul and to its life. And it is this new quality, a permanent habitus of the soul, unless cast off by sin, that
makes of the soul and causes it to be a new creation in Christ; for it is in Him, and because in Him, also in the Blessed Trinity, that we have this
The new life imparted to our soul by Divine Grace is not, therefore, something that evolves -- or could even be conceived of as evolving our
created human nature into something super-human or angelic. Such is utterly alien to the entire purpose of Divine Grace, for it is not as other
kinds of beings that we are intended to enjoy God but precisely as the kind of being He created us to be -- human beings. Rather, Divine
Grace, as a created Gift of new life, is something that needs the substratum of created human nature in which to act in order that it might
perform its purpose of perfecting that created human nature and bringing it to the utmost limits of its created capacities for Beatitude, which
capacities, nevertheless remain human. Otherwise, how could God be glorified by human kind?
And Creation in the beginning must also be distinguished from the continuous pouring out of existence which is termed Divine Conservation.
This is not continuous creation but continuous conservation in being, in existence. The two actions are really distinct in us. For, all corporeal
being received existence during Creation Week and with that existence, the power, the ability to "Increase and multiply" according to God's
Will and the natural laws which He created. And this initial bringing into being is Creation. God does not continue to create throughout history
as each new individual being is born because He endowed all beings with the power to generate their like and to transmit the formality of their
nature to their progeny. In the case of the plants and animals, this power of propagation resides in the material-formal causes -- the genetic
make-up of those plants and animals. The soul here is not subsistent but rather subsists in the formal cause of each creature. Thus, it may be
transmitted by generation. But the human soul is subsistent and immortal, spiritual and simple and can not take its rise from any physical or
corporeal cause. Its nature requires Creation by God. Only He can bestow the gift of intelligence. Nothing physical, nothing corporeal is
capable of generating or bestowing this gift of a rational nature.
And so, Creation enters into history only at the point of the creation of each individual human soul -- and that is very often -- but Creation does
not otherwise enter because the whole effect of Creation by God in the beginning during Creation Week was to institute and establish an
operating universe full of the intelligibility of natural laws and regularities. God created a marvelous Order which He must sustain in existence but
which contains its own proper modes of operation, its own processes. (See Thesis 7)
And so, St. Thomas asserts:
” In the works of nature, creation does not enter, but is presupposed.” (ST, I, Q 45, Q 8)
The theory of "continuous creation: robs creatures of their own proper actions, or else robs God of His proper Creative Action in the beginning,
and so it is to be rejected as false.
The Thomistic Relation of Creation gives no support to a theory of "continuous creation".
St. Thomas says:
“Creation places something in the thing created according to relation only; because what is created is not made by movement or change. For
what is made by movement or by change is made from something pre-existing. And this happens, indeed, in the particular productions of some
beings, but cannot happen in the production of all beings by the universal cause of all things which is God. Hence God, by creation, produces
things without movement. Now when movement is removed from action and passion, only relation remains. Hence, creation in the creature is
only a certain relation to the Creator as to the principle of its being (its very existence). Nor is it necessary that as long as the creature is, it
should be created.” (ST, I, Q 45, a 3)
This Thomistic relation of creation, then, is nothing other than that radical and absolute dependence of every creature upon the Creator for its
very existence. It is the passive aspect of that action of preservation whereby God, of necessity, "Does not preserve all things in existence
otherwise than by continually pouring out existence into them." (ST, I, Q 104, a 3) And all creatures receive this gift of existence in a limited
manner defined by their essence or nature. The relation of creation is analogous, in a faint manner, to the relation of the child to the parent that
continues throughout time.
Some modern theologians, notably Paul Tillich, reduce Creation as such and in the beginning, to this relation of creation. (An analysis of Tillich's
thought on this point is given by Thomas E. Hosinski, "Creation and the Origin of the Universe" in Thought, 48 (189) Summer 1973, pp. 213
ff.) But this cannot be, obviously, because it postulates the eternity of time.
And so, the creation of all things in the beginning must be distinguished from the relation of creation which remains in the creature as a condition
and state of radical dependence upon God and is a result of having been created, either 1) in the beginning during Creation Week, as is the case
with all the corporeal kinds, or 2) at the moment of human conception when, it is assumed by most theologians today, the human soul is created
directly and immediately by God in time but not in any way as a process of the temporal nature of time,
And Creation in the beginning must also be distinguished from the continuous pouring out of existence which is termed Divine Conservation.
This is not continuous creation but continuous conservation in being, in existence. The two actions are really distinct in us. For all corporeal
beings received existence during Creation Week and with that existence, the power, the ability to "increase and multiply" according to God's
Will and the natural laws which He created. And this initial bringing into being is Creation. God does not continue to create throughout history
as each new individual being is born because He endowed all living corporeal beings with the power to generate their likeness and to transmit
the formality of their nature to their progeny. In the case of plants and animals, this power of propagation resides in the material formal causes --
the genetic make-up of these plants and animals. The soul here is not subsistent but rather subsists in the formal cause, of each creature. Thus, it
may be transmitted by generation. But the human soul is subsistent and immortal, spiritual and simple and can not take its rise from any physical
or corporeal cause. Its nature requires Creation by God. Only He can bestow the gift of intelligence and will. Nothing physical, nothing
corporeal is capable of generating or bestowing this gift of the rational nature.
And so, Creation enters into history only at the point of the creation of each individual human soul -- and that is very often -- but Creation does
not otherwise enter because the whole effect of Creation by God in the beginning during Creation Week was to institute and establish an
operating universe full of the intelligibility of natural laws and regularities. God created a marvelous Order which He must sustain in existence but
which contains within itself its own proper modes of operation, its own physical processes. (see Thesis 7)
As St. Thomas asserts:
In the works of nature, creation does not enter but is presupposed. (ST, I, Q 45, a 8) The theory of "continuous creation" robs creatures of
their own proper action as secondary causes or else it robs God of His proper Creative Action in the beginning, and so it is to be rejected as
Creation is not a miracle but rather the very initiation and constitution of the natural and supernatural orders which miraculous as well as non-miraculous processes presuppose.
This thesis is necessary in order to point out the fact that Creation is not something that occurs within the order of nature or of Grace but it
precedes and is presupposed by both. For it is the very bringing to be of the entire natural and supernatural orders.
But when theistic evolutionists attribute the creation of new beings and new forms to natural processes of supposed evolution, even postulating
God's help or direction, they thereby place Creation within the natural order and thus reduce it to some species of miracle. For it could only be
by a miraculous setting aside of all natural processes, of all known natural mechanisms, and both the first and second laws of thermodynamics,
that the evolution of basic kinds could take place in time. Thus, for the theistic evolutionist, creation is either a continuous process that is
miraculous or it is a discontinuous process but equally miraculous.
Furthermore, the miraculous nature of the postulated evolutionary process is such as to require of God that He constantly intervene to change,
to contradict, to reverse, and otherwise to interfere with the total order and design of the universe that He originally created. Or else, the
implication must be that He never created any order and laws at all but rather only flux and chaos which are still in process and a turmoil of pure
becoming. But both of these alternatives are extremely repugnant both to natural reason and to Divine Faith. They must, therefore, be rejected.
It must also be pointed out that many theistic evolutionists accuse Creationists of falling back on the miraculous as an easy explanation of things.
Thus, Nemesszeghy and Russell, speaking of the weaknesses of the evidence for evolution but its strengths as a workable theory, say:
The only alternative seems to be Special Creation -- the theory that each species or family. or whatever it may be, was specially created by
God either out of nothing or, in some unknown or miraculous way, out of pre-existing matter. This is not a scientific theory and is scientifically
Now it may be a tedious and a thankless job, but the errors in this passage -- and they are manifold -- must be dealt with.
First of all, even in its contemporary elaborated form as scientific creationism (e.g. the works of Henry M. Morris, Duane T. Gish, et alia), what
the two learned Jesuits are referring to as "Special Creation" is not properly termed a theory and this is because it contains too many elements
of divine Faith. Faith is not a theory -- it is absolute, certain knowledge insofar as it is based on Divine Revelation and more especially on that
Revelation as interpreted for us by the Magisterium of the Church and Tradition. The doctrines of and pertaining to Creation are the subject of
this present work, and while theoretical elements may be present in the supportive branches of philosophy and empirical science, Creation of all
things by God is not a theory -- it is a revealed and therefore absolutely certain doctrine of Christianity.
But worst of all, the Jesuits Nemesszeghy and Russell misrepresent Creation in general and "Special Creation" in particular. It is an article of
Catholic Faith that God created all things, in the beginning, ex nihilo -- out of nothing. (See Theses 3 and 5 in particular.) To deny this, then, is
simply to deny an article of Catholic Faith and place one outside of her Communion. Then, the authors quoted above represent the doctrine of
Creation as teaching the so-called "Fixity of species" position held by the great biological taxonomist C. Linnaeus (1707-1778). According to
Isaac Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, "Linnaeus ... fought the whole idea of evolution, stubbornly insisting that
all species were created separately in the beginning, that no new species had ever been formed since Creation and that none had ever become
The difficulty here is in the definition of species. The Penguin Dictionary of Biology concludes that "A comprehensive definition of species
applying to all kinds of organisms is in fact hardly possible" and that "There can exist no general rule as to the minimum degree of difference
separating any two species." However, it is certain that there are genetic barriers of some sort that act as limiting factors. Thus, the same source
recognizes that "'for the great majority of animals and many plants, a species is roughly a group of individuals able to breed among themselves ...
but not to breed with organisms of other groups."' And indeed, there is a great deal of evidence from all the life sciences, that there is something
in the genetic make-up of all creatures that limits the number and kind of variations possible within any given kind or species. And it is on this
basis that the Creationist holds that in the beginning God created certain kinds of creatures -- as described in Genesis One -- and that all
varieties of creatures existing today are, indeed, descendants of these original kinds. It is problematic whether any of the original kinds have
ever become extinct. The accumulation of evidence seems to be indicating that they have not. For example, some contemporary forms of lizard
or other reptile may be descendants of the dinosaurs, although most varieties of dinosaurs seem either to have perished in the Flood or in the
catastrophes that followed it.
The point to be emphasized here and the point which Nemesszeghy and Russell completely misrepresent is that the Creationist position does
indeed hold that in the beginning God created, as the wording of Genesis One is careful to reiterate, all things according to a certain kind or
nature. This is simply the Divine Revelation of what the science of genetics tells us today in other terms and what has always and everywhere
been an axiom -- a commonsense observation of natural philosophy -- that like produces like. And modern science has proved the universality
of this law by disproving the ancient belief in -- and puzzlement over -- so-called spontaneous generation. But the Creationist position does not
hold that every variety of creature existing today was originally created by God in the beginning. This would be to deny the very obvious fact of
minor change within kinds. And there simply is no scientific evidence for the evolutionary thesis that there has been major change across kinds.
However, when Nemesszeghy and Russell describe "'Special Creation" as the "Theory" that each species was specially created by God "either
out of nothing or, in some unknown but miraculous way, out of pro-existing matter" they may be referring to the traditional distinction between
First and Second Creation, this latter denoting the works of distinction and adornment, of fashioning and forming, such as the creation of Adam
from the dust of the earth and of Eve from Adam's side. (See under Thesis 15)
But the nature of miracle can no more be claimed for the works of Second Creation than for those of the First because the same definition holds
here. Where there is before simply nothing -- as the earth was without man before Adam was created, and then something, as there was when
God created him -- is not in the nature of miracle because the total creation that resulted from the divine work of the six days was a harmonious
order of being, a hierarchy of graded perfections with each and every creature existing for the perfection of the entire universe and the entire
universe with all its parts being ordained toward God as its end. (cf. ST, I, Q 65, a 2)
Therefore, it is plain that the works of distinction and adornment are not in the nature of a miracle by which an existing order is contravened or
transcended but rather in the nature of works completing and perfecting an existing order. And this completed order is that which all known
processes and acts presuppose.
Furthermore, miracles concern processes, some kind of alteration, speeding up or retardation of a process, the walling up of the water at the
Red Sea, the change of sticks into serpents, both of which existed before, or the healing of the sick and wounded members, the restoration of
the soul to the dead body, and so on. None of these instances concerns the creation of anything. But all of these instances presuppose and
require, absolutely, that Creation has happened, in the beginning. It is very obvious.
When, however, the theistic evolutionists tell us, as Fr. Nogar for example never tires of insisting, that "we are looking for a natural explanation
if one is to be had" and that the "deus ex machina resolution of the dramatic plot is psychologically unsatisfactory" in both drama and in science,
and that "'God ordinarily orders all things wisely through secondary causes, that is, not by miraculous intervention but through his natural laws"
(Wisdom of Evolution, p. 45) we could not agree more with him.
And so, it is quite ironical that the Creationist should be accused of falling back upon a deus ex macbina and upon the miraculous when it is
really the evolutionist who does this, because natural processes simply are not capable of what the evolutionist claims for them. And if they
were, it would indeed be miraculous in nature and require the constant intervention of God to change and rearrange the laws which He
established in creation, namely, the natural laws that science studies and discovers, most relevant for us here being the laws of genetics and the
genetic barriers to change. It has never been demonstrated nor even indicated to a right-minded person, by any scientific evidence or fact
whatsoever, that any creature ever evolved from its own nature into that of some other creature.
Theistic evolutionists should ponder this traditional teaching of Catholic theologians that Creation is not a miracle. It may seem to demean
Creation. But rightly understood, this truth is a very valuable safeguard against the error of evolution. For evolution would reduce creation to a
natural process giving rise to the order of creation by processes of nature, whereas in reality, all natural processes presuppose and require for
their very operation, the Creation by God of the product, the order itself and the very establishment and constitution of the whole that makes
processes possible. And a miracle, while it is super-natural in its mode of operation, also presupposes Creation and is itself a process.
If Jesuits and Dominicans, men like Nemesszeghy, Russell. Nogar, and Rahner, had only meditated more deeply on the marvelous doctrine of
Creation, how much distress they would have saved the Church and the world, and how many souls they would have spared from the darkness
of evolutionary error and ignorance. That their knowledge of the doctrine of Creation is extremely superficial is abundantly proved by their own
words on the subject. Finally, it must be noted that when theistic evolutionists like Nemesszeghy and Russell accuse the Creationist of falling
back on miracle and therefore, on that basis, being able to explain anything in a seemingly plausible way, they are really, in the words of St.
Paul, condemning themselves (Cf. Romans 2:1 ff). Here is what Nemesszeghy and Russell say:
Now the difficulty about Special Creation is that it is consistent with almost any conceivable pattern of events. 39
There should be no need to prove the falsity of this assertion at this moment. Creation is not consistent, first of all, with any evolutionary pattern
of events. But please note that the theory of evolution is extolled as a truly scientific theory, "consistent with the known facts" enabling the
scientist "'to integrate and co-ordinate the phenomena into a single, simple, intelligible pattern. . . " And so on.40
Now I ask you to consider this (and I could bring other examples) Dr. Geoffrey Bourne. Director of the Yerkes Regional Primate Research
Center of Emory University, an Australian-born, Oxford-educated American cell biologist, anatomist, and now considered to be one of the
world's leading primatologists, has declared his belief that apes and monkeys are the evolutionary descendants of man. This is, of course, the
exact opposite of what evolutionists have been saying ever since Darwin. 41
This latest "datum" apparently will have no difficulty at all being incorporated into the "single, simple intelligible pattern" that is the evolutionary
world view. I asked a biology teacher about this and she replied, confidently: "Oh, we don't know how it happened! There is so much we don't
know yet! "
For a theory that can be so strikingly dogmatic, so certain of its own validity, these lapses into skepticism can be very telling. An analysis of the
logic, too, of a position like "We know that it happened but we don't know how it happened" could be most revealing. It seems that the totally
assumed "fact" of its happening need have no real relationship whatsoever with how it might have happened or even with what happened!
Thus, the theory of evolution stands clearly exposed as a false ideology completely divorced from reality and existing only to further darken the
minds of unthinking people and to deprive our young people of access to the truth about God and man and history. It should be abundantly
clear from the above that commitment to the theory of evolution is commitment to confusion -- and worse.
And it should also be clear which position -- the theory of evolution or the doctrine of Creation as taught by the Church -- must rely on the
miraculous for its ultimate explanation. Evolution requires an entire history of miracles to explain the evolution of kinds from and into other kinds,
in utter defiance of all natural law created and established by God to the beginning.
Acceptance of a fully developed Creation position requires the divine gift of supernatural Faith or at the very least, a true receptivity for this gift.
And not the least of the marks of the Creationist position is its strong supportive evidence from science and philosophy. Ours is most truly the
reasonable service that St. Paul speaks of in Romans 12:1.
All things were created to glorify God (De fide. D 1805)
Theistic evolutionists often claim that the theory of evolution gives more glory to God than does the traditional, orthodox view of special
creation. This is probably a much more subjective judgment than theistic evolutionists realize, for the fact could be documented that in Catholic
Colleges where the theory of evolution is the basis of the science curriculum, there results a shocking loss of faith among the graduates of that
College. The case is the same in secular colleges among students who originally come to those institutions with supernatural faith but graduate
I urge those who have the means (Father Greeley, e.g.) to undertake a survey to discover what percentage of those who give up their faith
attribute this loss of belief to the authority of science. Such a survey was conducted in Germany. The results:
Carl Winterstein of Saratoga, California has sent us a photostat of a religious survey taken in Germany. A number of reasons were given why
people no longer go to church, but a total of 46.9 percent attributed it to the difference between the theological and scientific explanations of
creation (creation/evolution). This should serve notice to churches and theologians in America that teaching and acceptance of evolution does
make a difference.42
I suspect that the percentage would be much higher in America due to our greater technological advancement. If, however, the theory of
evolution could be exposed for the disastrous distortion and diabolical counterfeit of the truth that it is, God would thereby come again into
men's minds and hearts and all of creation would once more, through man's stewardship and governance, give Him the glory that is His due as
Creator and Sustainer of all things.
But precisely how do things -- non-intelligent and irrational beings, like stars and stones, or trees and flowers, and all animals from the most
seemingly un-intelligent rhinoceros to the highly "intelligent" chimps and, in a more discriminating age, horses -- how do these essentially
unthinking creatures give glory to God? None of these creatures is capable of bowing or kneeling down and consciously, reflectively, and
willingly, with love, worshipping their Creator. How, then, do they glorify God?
There is more than one way. I can think of at least five and I imagine there may be others, though all may be reducible to one or two. First of
all, everything, from the atom and the sub-atomic particle to the largest galaxy and the universal cosmos itself, that is, the whole and all its parts
render glory to God by the naked fact of their existence.
Furthermore, this recognized fact of existence (by all but stubborn and willfully contentious non-realists and subjectivists) contains a further note,
immediately acknowledged by the human mind upon small reflection, and it is that of contingence. As my agnostic uncle was fond of repeating
-- really repeating, because it stumped him -- "Why something instead of nothing? " By this question he was acknowledging that all things might
not be, as well as be. And this is contingency, or non-necessity. Only my uncle seemed to be congenitally unable to take the next step and
realize that whatever was so un-necessary argued, conclusively, for an absolutely necessary Being, God. However, this seems to be a common
failing. Not everyone is capable, it seems, of appreciating St. Thomas' third way, which embodies this argument from the non-necessity of
creatures to the necessity of God. I blame it on our evolutionary conditioning which accustoms the modern mind to accept randomness, chance,
and a certain implicit denial of intelligibility in things themselves and of Divine Providence in general.
But it is true, nevertheless, that a universe of contingent, un-necessary beings would be absolutely impossible without one absolutely necessary,
un-contingent, and All-Sufficient-Being-God, to sustain it. You can see from this, too, that the non-eternity of the world is far from being
immediately evident. Creation had to be revealed, St. Thomas held.
But, with all their transience and radical contingency, creatures are seen and known, immediately, to exist. And apart from all consideration of
them by our human minds, but simply in themselves, this fact of their existence gives glory to God because it is an effect of His goodness. The
very fact that anything exists is a voice proclaiming the goodness of God's creative action. Thus, Psalm 18 declares:
The heavens are telling the glory of God;
And the firmament proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words;
Their voice is not heard;
Yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world.
It is the voice of existence, of being replacing and displacing nothingness, as it were. Existence is like an aura for the intelligibility of essence, of
determinate nature, like a halo proclaiming the sanctity of being as an effect of God's goodness. But it is really more. It is the absolute
pre-requisite for the intelligibility of nature. A thing must be before it can be this or that. But once it is, then it is some thing. And this thing-ness
or reality of being is so full of intelligibility that the history of human thought is but one long chronicle of the mind's attempt to possess it and slake
its thirst at these fountains of being and truth.
Philosophers and theologians in the Catholic tradition speak of all things as being one, true, and good. Some add beauty. This is evident in the
language of science (as well as otherwise). For today, when the oneness or unity or self-identity of all things is questioned, one still finds the
scientists attaching names to things. Thus, even sub-atomic particles have a certain identity or unity which is acknowledged by the scientist when
he calls them by such names as protons, neutrons, electrons and quarks. A name is the mind's recognition that a thing -- out there -- is itself and
not something else.
And this identity of any thing, which is an acknowledgement, also, of its stability and its stasis, gives glory to God by reason of intelligibility. And
this intelligibility is possible because of an element of stasis, of unchangeableness. For undoubtedly, if St. Thomas had had an electron
microscope in the 13th century and could have viewed the traces of sub-atomic particles viewed by modem physicists, he would have seen the
same beings. He would not have seen angels any more than the modern scientist does -- though he was much more disposed to make
inferences about their activity.
And so, quarks have always been there -- assuming they are really there now. Furthermore, all things, even the sub-atomic particles, must, of
necessity, be still -- static -- long enough for the senses to perceive some thing that the intellect can see into and grasp, as form. This is
intelligibility. The form is what the intellect sees and takes from the sense data.
Structure, another name for form, is one more descriptive, in that it connotes more graphically the fact of components arranged in order.
Structure gives glory to God by its structuredness, by its intrinsic and inherent order. This, for our contemporary minds, is perhaps the source of
intelligibility in nature par excellence, because we are so accustomed, by technology, to think in terms of gadgetry. Whatever else may be said
for and about or against gadgetry, this is certain: a gadget either works or does not work. And when it does not work, which is an experience
common to everyone, from toddler to senior citizen, then we know that something has gone wrong with a part and the system has broken down
as a result. We know that the whole thing cannot work well unless all of its parts are working equally well. We know that one screw does not
make -- nor will ever evolve itself into -- a vacuum cleaner. And we know that if one of the screws inside falls off, the engine might also fall off,
or some other internal part necessary for the functioning of the whole machine.
And so, in God's providence, most people today have not only the native mental equipment but also the cultural conditioning, which is an added
help, to understand the utter impossibility of the theory of evolution, theistic or otherwise. And this is because we are conditioned by the
technology of our times to understand and to appreciate the really super-abundant intelligibility of things. How proud are the makers of certain
products! How they glorify and magnify their "creations" in the TV and radio commercials. How every watch and every automobile can be the
greatest is a logical problem not to be investigated here. But if human beings receive such glory -- and such profits -- from their products, how
much more does not God receive glory from the things that He has made! The bombardier beetle gives more glory to God than the Ford
Mustang does to Mr. Ford, simply because the making of the bombardier beetle took more intelligence than the making of a Ford Mustang.
Furthermore, the creation of the bombardier beetle took a kind of power that Mr. Ford could not lay claim to in 100 thousand million years.
And yet, there is a similarity in the message communicated by the bombardier beetle and by the Ford Mustang. Both speak of intelligence, skill
and power. Both the natural and the artificial things glorify their maker. That Mr. Ford or any human being could not create a bombardier beetle
but can and does make automobiles is not the question here but rather that all things are made and that all things glorify their maker. When men
refuse to glorify their Maker, they are simply being wicked and perverse -- out of step with all the rest of Creation.
The truth of all things is very closely related to their identity just as the goodness of all things is very closely related to their beauty.
St. Thomas defined truth as the conformity of the human mind to reality. And the truth of things, as an attribute of their being, is their
conformity to the Mind of God, to His idea of them, and so, to what He had in mind when He created them. Now here is another fatal
objection against evolution. If evolution were to be true, then we would have to say that God did not have anything special or particular in mind
when He created all things. Rather, I suppose our theistic evolutionist would say that He created the primordial atom in its primeval environment
-- and worked from there, by Fr. Holloway's overall Unity-Law of Control and Direction which acts as a kind of blue-print for all of history,
stretched parallel to time in eternity and conforming, at every point, with what is going on in nature. That seems to be a fair explanation of Fr.
Holloway's idea -- and much clearer than he makes it at any time in his book.
And so, what of this? I will mention only three objections: 1) You must forget all of Holy Scripture, and 2) all of Catholic tradition and teachings
of the Magisterium on Creation. Finally, even if as a Catholic you could do this, then there remains the final objection: 3) those transitional
forms. If things are going to evolve, as you say, from one basic kind to another -- and this, I understand, is still what the evolutionists are telling
us despite some maverick theories reversing the directions of the lines of change, as Dr. Geoffrey Bourne's man into ape -- one still has the
troublesome problem of all those beings in between. Unless you are a follower of Dr. Richard Goldschmidt, who simply could not swallow the
in-betweens that his imagination was forced to conjure up to fill the gaps -- then you must face up to the fact that between the fish and the frog,
between the Cotylossurs and members of the deer family -- a direct line in one evolution book -- there are creatures which are neither the one
nor the other but partake of the nature of both.
Now, so stubbornly true to its nature is the human mind that any creature your imagination would construct to fill these gaps, that creature
would have some intelligibility. But it would be superficial, it would not stand the test of nature itself. Actually, this is the very stuff of which
mythologies are made. And the hominids of the evolutionists are Exhibit A.
The great all-encompassing fact that proves such in-between creatures can not and could not exist -- except in imagination and mythology -- is
this: Products need all their parts, not just some of them. Otherwise, no working product. Thus, no survivable product. And no evolution. A fish
with half-lung system and half-gill system would be so confused it would die. That's an amateur's idea. The scientific explanation is this: the
genetic code which is written into the physical cells of each corporeal being would have to be completely re-programmed to produce a different
kind of creature. Now, evolutionists tell us that this re-programming takes place little by little over billions of years due to the actions of
mutations which are inherited. This would indeed be a perfect explanation except for one little point: all that science knows about mutations
today points to the fact that they are harmful and that individuals and populations that undergo these kinds of genetic change are precisely those
individuals and populations that do not "increase and multiply". And so, there is no evidence for in-between forms. They belong to mythology
and to fiction. Their imaginary being gives glory only to evolutionists, not to God, because God is glorified by real beings, first of all, and by
imaginary beings only in so far as these acknowledge His ultimate efficiency and intelligibility. Such is the case with great works of art. All
structures insofar as they are full of pattern, order, design, give glory to their makers, human structures to their human makers, and human
makers to God the Creator and ultimate Author of all intelligibility.
Those who embrace the error of evolution really hate intelligibility because the intelligibility of things points clearly and directly to God. Thus, the
Soviet Cosmonaut who returned from space and commented that he had seen neither God nor angels in his flight, denied the intelligibility of the
whole universe and his own mind. If he had not hated this intelligibility, he would have recognized it and proclaimed it as Frank Borman did
when he, too, acknowledged that he had not seen God either but that he had seen His evidence. And the evidence of God is in the clarity of
being that all things possess.
All beings are, that is, they exist, and this gives glory to God who gave them this existence and sustains them in it. All beings are intelligible by
reason of their self-identity, their goodness (see Thesis 6) and their conformity to God's idea of them. Such an abundance of intelligibility, of
designedness and of creaturely glory -- for it is the glory of the creature to be and to be intelligible -- this gives glory to God with a chorus of
silent praise that the Angels hear and rejoice in and that God hears and loves. And He wants us to hear it too, for it is joy to the heart and the
perfection of the intellect of man, made for truth.
Isaiah shows the great Seraphim in heaven worshipping God and crying out to all creation of His Holiness saying also that "the whole earth is full
of His glory." (Isaiah 3:3) The earth is full of God's glory because all creatures -- except man in many cases -- are totally occupied in giving Him
glory. Not all creatures give God an equal degree of glory because not all creatures have an equal degree of intelligibility -- of that marvelous
structured-ness, that wonderful design and arrangement that is God's fingerprint, as it were, in natural creatures. The evolutionists love to talk of
things going from simple to complex but the fact of the matter is that no created thing is simple. Everything that God has created is a marvel of
structure, of design. But in all fairness to the evolutionist who, in spite of himself, does perceive some truth, some creatures are more complex
than others. And this is seen most clearly in the differences between the inorganic and the organic realms. For all the marvelous and admirable
beauty of the exquisite patterns of geometric design that we see in the mineral kingdom -- still, there is more wonder in the high complexity of a
cell and the more wonder is probably due to the fact that it moves -- and that it moves for a purpose -- designedly, teleologically, to finalize its
activity. And the higher up we go in the scale of being, the more of this complex activity we find. The insect world is so full of it that we find a
new example in almost every issue of Scientific American or Audubon. A recent issue of the former tells of the burying beetles who, small as
they are, yet contrive to bury a dead mouse and convert it into food for their babies. The whole operation is a marvel of engineering. The earth
is, indeed, full of the glory of God! For these little beetles witness to God's infinite intelligence and wisdom more dependably than men. And yet,
the greatest glory that God receives from any of His creatures is that given him freely and with love by us, His children. For this the lower
creatures lack. The little beetle does God's Will but he cannot do otherwise. From us, He receives the free service not of slaves, but of lovers.
This gives Him glory.
A few years ago, a slogan was taken from St. Irenaeus and was very popular on the banners used in some liturgical celebrations. The slogan
read: "The Glory of God is a Man Alive!" The banners on which this sentence was embroidered, painted, and otherwise displayed in varied
colors was seen everywhere for a long time. I often wondered what the context of that passage was and so I tracked it down to its source. I
found that the passage read this way: "The Glory of God is a man alive and the glory of man is the worship of God!" I have never been able to
understand why the second half of St. Irenaeus' sentence should have been omitted from the banners.
But the theory of evolution is a great hinderance to the worship of God because it tries to give to natural processes the power that belongs to
God alone. And this cannot be done. God forbids it. He says, through the mouth of Isaiah (48: 1).
“My glory I will not give to another.”
And so, I think theistic evolutionists should be very careful and consider well, how their position as evolutionists compromises their divine
Catholic Faith. For the Glory of Creation belongs to God alone.
THE SIX DAYS
Tbe Hexaemeron or Six Day of Creation Week plus other affirmations of Holy Scripture such as the 10-fold repetition of "according to its kind" constitute positive guiding principles for all scientists.
The main contention of this thesis is that the dogmatic statement which affirms that Holy Scripture is both inspired and inerrant in all that it
asserts, enunciates and suggests because God is the Principal Author of it (see Thesis 28) applies with just as much force and authority to the
first chapter of Genesis and indeed, to the first eleven chapters of Genesis, as it does to the rest of the Bible and that it is nothing but a baseless
fear of the false theory of evolution aided and abetted by secularism and anti-supernatural modernism pervasively infecting the Church today
that causes people to hold that timorously compromising and un-Catholic view of the Sacred Scriptures which would limit its meanings to suit
worldly convenience and the dictates of a false and tyrannical scientific establishment
Solely because a false evolutionary science has arisen in our time and has proceeded to dogmatize about the origin and age of the universe --
because of this, how many Catholics have abandoned a belief in Biblical inerrancy? Oh, this infidelity is rationalized in many very clever and
high-sounding, pietistic phrases extolling the literary power and beauty of the first chapters of the Bible. But however beautiful and powerful this
poetry may be, the ashy fact remains, when all is said and done, its world view is hopelessly antiquated, its cosmology is quaint and its science
presumptuous. Everyone today knows that the universe took billions of years to evolve and to hold it was done in six days is childish, to say the
least, and excessively fundamentalist, to say the most. Everyone knows nowadays that the Jews invented the week to enforce the Sabbath
(which wasn't a bad idea, really) but don't confuse it with a six-day Creation Week that really happened.
Now, I would like to know why I should accept in any sense or at all the first chapters of Genesis if they are just a poetic preface? If these
chapters are not really inerrant, then they are not really canonical, because any speech that should so positively teach such an error (from the
point of view of modern evolutionary science) as the creation of the universe and all that it contains in six literal days simply ought to be
scratched from the record in order to protect gullible people like me.
But this, of course, is impossible. The decrees of the Pontifical Biblical Commission (see, especially, the Decree for June 1909 "On the
Historical Character of the First Three Chapters of Genesis" RSS pp. 122-123) affirm in no uncertain terms the historical character of these
chapters and emphatically repudiate any notion that they contain fables derived from pagan mythologies or symbols and allegories destitute of
foundation in reality.
There is, furthermore, a great deal of support for an acceptance of the literal days of Creation Week in the Fathers and Doctors of the Church,
all of whom with the exception of St. Augustine and one or two others, strongly influenced by Platonism, accepted Holy Scripture at its word
on this point. That is, they upheld the literal interpretation of the days (as is evidenced in the term Hexaemeron for the literary genre of a
theological work on the Six Days of Creation) and preferred a realistic exegesis in place of a more allegorical one. St.Augustine allegorized the
Six Days, holding they referred to successive acts of angelic knowledge. Of this, one author says:
This unique theory of the meaning of the six days was adopted by some of the later Latin writers, but usually only in part. It was too speculative
and difficult to appeal to the majority, who preferred to believe that the six days were really periods of time.43
This same author (op. cit. p. 21) affirms that St. Augustine did, indeed, reject "the ordinary belief that the world was created in six natural days"
and to justify the plain meaning of Scripture, devised his allegorical interpretation of angelic knowledge. The only point to be made here is that
the majority of Fathers and Doctors of the Church, holding "the ordinary belief that the world was created in six natural days, "took Holy
Scripture at its plain meaning.
In addition to support from tradition and from decrees of the Biblical Commission upholding the historical character of the first three chapters of
Genesis, there is today a growing body of empirical evidence against a great age for the universe and the earth. This evidence tends to remove
the basis of all objection to taking the Six Days literally for, as it is beginning to be clear, there is absolutely nothing un-scientific in a literal
acceptance of the days of Creation Week Rather, the contrary. Empirical evidence is pointing more and more clearly to the fact that you must
have a product before you can have a process, that you must have a functional unit before you can have functions, and that intelligence is
absolutely necessary to produce such operating products and functional units. (see, in particular, A.E. Wilder Smith, The Creation of Life,
Harold Shaw, 1970.) There is coming into view, then, a realization that the creation by God of fully operational products is not only plausible
and reasonable but necessary, whereas the evolutionary view of parts assembling themselves over long periods of time by random processes is
Add to this the growing evidences from the earth sciences and from astronomy and physics that the universe is really very young, and it seems
to any open-minded person that an acceptance of the teaching of Genesis One is the only reasonable position. Gerard J. Keane, Catholic
creationist in Australia, has written well of the empirical evidences. In his book, Creation Rediscovered (1991, p.126-131), he describes the
discovery of "Radioactive Halos" which "constitute evidence of direct, virtually instantaneous creation -- less than three minutes -- of the
foundation rocks of the Earth" These "radiohalos" could not be present in the rocks if evolutionary geology were correct.
With all this in view, it would be blindness indeed to refuse to accept the Word of God as written in Genesis One -- and One through Eleven --
with the same Faith that I accept the rest of the Bible and Tradition and the teaching of the Church.
Here, a detailed study of the Six Days of Creation Week cannot be attempted but will be offered in another work wherein the Days of Creation
Week in St. Thomas Aquinas will be synthesized with the work of today's creationist scientists and Biblical exegetes.
In the present work the firm teaching of Holy Scripture itself on Creation Week and the soundness of a literal position on the word day in
Genesis One will be defended. Holy Scripture says:
” Thus the Heavens and the Earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished His Work which He had done,
and He rested on the seventh day from all His Work which He had done. And He blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it He
had rested from all His Work which He had created and made.” (Genesis 2:1-3)
Here the Sacred Author, under divine inspiration, looks back on Creation Week as one divine work comprised of many distinct works, a total
temporal product, the universe and all that it contains, "the heavens and the earth," the entire cosmos posited, placed in the temporal form of a
If it were not for Creation Week, the theory of evolution and the position of the theistic evolutionists might find some Scriptural basis. As it is,
however, I conclude that Holy Scripture herein offers positive teaching against the evolutionary hypothesis and world view. Saint Thomas, in the
tradition of Fathers and Doctors, asserts: Nothing new was afterwards made by God, but all things subsequently made had in a sense been
made before, in the work of the Six Days. (ST, I, Q 73, a 1, ad 1) God is said to have rested on the seventh day, not from all work ... but from
the creation of any new genera and species, which may not have already existed in the first works. (ST, I, Q 118, a 3, ad 1)
The point of this thesis is to emphasize the positive teaching of Holy Scripture in Genesis 1-3 and to assert that this positive teaching is clearly
against the theory of evolution. For, by clearly teaching that the work of creating the universe took place within the temporal limits of a week,
Holy Scripture clearly precludes, by this teaching, either 1) an eternal world or 2) the billions of years of evolutionary time in which it is claimed
that the kinds of beings emerged into existence by slowly operating natural processes.
However, the Biblical Commission (Decree of June 30, 1909) has ruled that the word day used in the first chapter of the book of Genesis may
be taken in two ways:
"Yom" - Whether the Word Yom (day), which is used in the first chapter of Genesis to describe and distinguish the six days, may be taken
either in its strict sense as the natural day, or in a less strict sense as signifying a certain space of time; and whether free discussion of this
question is permitted to interpreters. Answer: Affirmative. (RSS, p. 124)”
This thesis maintains that the word day in Genesis One should be taken in its "strict sense as the natural day." We also hold that the "less strict
sense as signifying a certain space of time" cannot, without doing intolerable violence to the Sacred Text of Genesis One and to Holy Scripture
as a whole, be taken as equivalent to or as accommodating the eons of evolutionary time. And it is, indeed, highly questionable whether the
Biblical Commission's words, "a certain space of time" are linguistically or logically capable of bearing the sense that an evolutionary
interpretation would force upon them. It seems possible, rather, that they may have been intended to allow for the fact that the first three days of
Creation Week, having passed before the sun was created, are possibly to be interpreted "in a less strict sense as signifying a certain space of
time", rather than a solar day of approximately twenty-four hours similar to what we experience now.
In any case, there are serious Scriptural and theological reasons why the word day of Genesis One should be taken literally.
1) The Sacred Text itself repeats that "the evening and the morning were ... day" (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, 19, 23, 31).Furthermore, Exodus 20:11
says: "For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day." This passage
unmistakably refers to a literal week of seven literal days. And it would hardly make sense if, in the context of this Third Commandment to keep
holy the Sabbath, we should be commanded to work for six days that referred to eons of evolutionary time. Thus, Holy Scripture is harmonious
in its references, but evolutionary interpretations destroy the perception and appreciation of this divine harmony in the minds of those who
accept this error.
2) Those who wish to take the days of Genesis One in such a way as to accommodate evolutionary time, involve themselves in theological
difficulties that are not short of serious offense against Catholic doctrine. These difficulties and offenses should be pointed out:
A) Proponents of long ages in Genesis One commit themselves to a theory of successive creations extending over very long periods of time
wherein God intervened in the course of natural history to create the kinds and species as evolutionists tell us there appeared in time. This
theory says, by implication, that God did not finish His work of Creation, but this is in clear conflict with the assertion of the Sacred Text itself
(Genesis 2:1-3). If God did not finish His work of Creation during Creation Week, then what He did create "In the beginning" must have been
unfinished and therefore imperfect, so that God needed the eons of evolutionary time in which to develop, complete and perfect His originally
imperfect and incomplete Creation, just as the evolutionists in fact say of nature itself. But these views are not only contrary to the clear teaching
of Holy Scripture but they are repugnant to any sane notion of God's Wisdom and Perfection.
B) By this evolutionary view of "Creation" the hierarchical order of Creation universally recognized by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church
and by Catholic Tradition, both in philosophy and theology, is thereby temporalized and the grades of perfection that we recognize in Creation
as constituting its total harmonious order are thereby submitted and subordinated to a fictional temporal-evolutionary development. The model
for all things, then, including God's transcendent Creative Activity, becomes evolutionary development and transformism. This kind of rejection
of the hierarchical order of reality is extremely repugnant to Catholic Tradition and Doctrine and to sound Catholic philosophy and should
certainly be resisted.
C) But most devastating of all is the fact that the fossil record is taken by these proponents of successive creations to be concrete, historical
evidence of such evolutionary development and transformism. But, the fact of the matter is that the fossil record has nothing to do with the
imaginary evolutionary history of the world and nature but is actually a record of the Noachian Deluge of Genesis 6-8. Refusing to recognize this
event as universal, that is global, both anthropologically and geographically, as Scripture clearly teaches, the theistic evolutionists and
proponents of evolutionary ages thereby choose the evolutionary interpretation of the fossil record which necessarily involves them in the serious
error, if not blasphemy, of attributing suffering and death directly to God's "creative" activity. For the fossil record is a record of violence, of
tortuous suffering, of sudden entrapment, and violent death. To hold that this record is a record of Creation, therefore, is hardly short of
blasphemy, attributing such evils to God Himself, and by a willing or unwitting ignorance, failing to see that the Flood, as Holy Scripture clearly
teaches, is a punishment for man's sin and that the fossil record is a most eloquent witness to this fact.
Therefore, neither a theory of successive creations, accommodating the days of Genesis One to evolutionary time, nor a theory of continuous
creation, reducing God's Creative activity to natural processes, can in any way be demonstrated as consonant with or as compatible with
Catholic Doctrine and the clear, positive teaching of Holy Scripture.
Creationist scientists, on the other hand, have and continue to accumulate a body of empirical evidence that clearly and emphatically verifies the
positive teachings of Holy Scripture on the origins of all things, both physical and cultural.
The other consequence of rejecting Creation Week as taught in Holy Scripture is the attribution of Creation to natural, evolutionary-secondary
causes. The objections to this are discussed in Thesis 7 through 10, and throughout, for this position -- the transfer of Creation to evolution -- is
that of theistic evolution which we are attempting to demonstrate as false and heretical. The only difference between theistic and atheistic
evolution is that the former theoretically has a mechanism -- God -- whereas the latter is "as yet" without one, either theoretically or empirically.
Finally, it may be objected that not all the works of Creation Week are strictly creative and that God's fashioning and forming of things may
indicate a possibility of some kind of evolution. Theologians in the Thomistic tradition distinguished First Creation (creatio prima) and Second
Creation (creatio secunda). According to this distinction, the Creation of all things out of nothing in the beginning is Creation in the proper sense
of the term. The works of distinction and of adornment, such as the separation of the waters above from the waters below in Genesis 1:6, the
command that the earth yield vegetation in Genesis 1:11 and that the seas swarm with creatures in Genesis 1:20 are designated as Second
Creation because they took place after the Creation of "heaven and earth " on the first day.
But it must be maintained and emphasized today, in the face of evolutionary error which would usurp, wherever possible, the action of God,
that God alone is able to perform the works of Second Creation as well as those of First Creation.
An adequate treatment of these questions belongs to a detailed study of Creation Week and this cannot be attempted here. Suffice it to say at
this time that the diversity of things, for which evolutionists are unable to account, is due only to God and His original Creation of kinds. St.
Thomas enunciates this principle when he says:
And because the Divine Wisdom is the Cause of the distinction of things, therefore Moses said that things are made distinct by the Word of
God, which is the concept of His Wisdom; and this is what we read in Genesis 1:3-4. (ST, I, Q 47, a 1)
But in the first production of corporeal creatures no transmutation from potentiality to act can have taken place, and accordingly, the corporeal
forms that bodies had when first produced came immediately from God, whose bidding alone matter obeys, as its own proper cause. To signify
this, Moses prefaces each work with the words, God said, "Let this thing be", or tha t, to denote the form-ation of all things by the Word of
God, from Whom, according to Augustine, is all form and fitness and concord of parts. (ST, I, Q 65, a 4)
The Divine Wisdom of God is the Cause of the diversity of creatures that make up the universe. The distinction of creatures in their great
diversity is thus an effect of the Divine Wisdom. And to thus distinguish creatures according to their kinds belongs to God alone. This is a
positive teaching of Genesis One.
But Fr. Raymond Nogar, Fr. Karl Rahner, and their followers, challenge, even deny this positive teaching of Holy Scripture. Fr. Nogar says:
” The "direction" of the horse family evolution was not predictable, yet it was not random, but was determined from age to age by natural
adaptability to the environment which, in turn was constantly undergoing radical changes.”44
Fr. Nogar is saying that horses came to be by means of natural processes within the pre-horses' biological systems interacting with the
environment. Besides being a tremendous de-preciation of what it is to be a horse and not a dog or a cat, it is also an implicit denial of any
necessity for the creation of any recognizable creature or what is properly termed informed matter. Fr. Nogar is saying we do not need God to
create a horse because the horse can be brought about by means of natural processes. The scientific objections to this are treated elsewhere
(see particularly Thesis 7). Here let it be asserted and emphasized that only God can bestow substantial form upon a creature because the
substantial form is the first act of a creature by which it exists as such and such a being, as a horse or a dog or a cat. In the case of inorganic
beings, such as light and the planets, minerals and rocks, these elements must be given formality if they are to function, and the only Being Who
is capable of bestowing this kind of formality is God.
There are several reasons for this. One is that the elements themselves lack the necessary intelligence to bestow upon themselves the
intelligibility that they obviously possess. As the physicist would say, it is impossible, according to the Second Law, for matter to assemble itself
or for order spontaneously to arise from disorder or from nothingness. The First Law recognizes that nothing is now being created and the
Second Law recognizes that matter cannot order itself. And yet, Fr. Nogar is trying to tell us that the horse somehow "decided" he wanted to
be a horse and so, even before becoming a horse, proceeded to make himself into one by adaptation to the environment. Or perhaps, he did
not explicitly direct himself to becoming a horse but it just turned out that that was what he became by "natural adaptability". But, we are told,
the process "was not random". It was "determined from age to age by natural adaptability".
What it all comes down to is that natural processes, not God, are the ultimate cause of the horse. And yet, this is explicitly declared to be
impossible by the Second Law of Thermodynamics which says, absolutely, that no natural process is able to increase its own order of itself but
that rather, on the contrary, of itself its order decreases. The physical laws of nature declare evolution to be impossible.
And so it is with all creatures. Their intelligibility, by which I mean that formality which they possess and which makes it possible for our minds
to apprehend them in a meaningful relation, is a given and must be a given because nature is not capable of bestowing this upon itself. The case
of DNA is an exact analogy and a primary example because the information it contains is an absolute pre-requisite for such an assemblage.
So it is with the cell. No one bit or piece of cellular structure is able to fend for itself because the cell is a basic unit, a given formality which is
the immediate, proximate and material cause of the cell's being and operation. Lacking such a complete structure, there are lesser formalities
functioning on lesser levels, but there is no possibility that these lesser formalities may eventually assemble themselves into the higher formality. It
is not within them to do so. Such a higher level of organization and structure must be given to them, must be bestowed upon them -- by God,
originally, and perhaps man may come along later and imitate the work of God by using what God originally created out of nothing. Thus men
tinker in the laboratories of modern science and try to do what God has done.
The point to be made here is that Fr. Nogar is very much mistaken and with him, all theistic evolutionists. It is really a question here as to just
what extent Fr. Nogar may be said to be a theistic evolutionist and not a purely materialistic one. But let that pass. He had lived too long with
the biologists and closed his ears to other very basic laws of science, such as the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. And with the
biologists he had closed his eyes to the clear and insistent message of genetics that "like only begets like" and that the processes of natural
adaptability operate according to a programmed nature given to them in the beginning and not as natural "creative" causes seeking and directing
themselves to a higher intelligibility than that with which they were originally created.
Therefore, the works of the so-called Second Creation by which God bestows form upon matter or informs matter, causing things to be this
and not that, such and such as distinct from any other thing, are proper to God alone and are not capable of being performed by any secondary
cause or natural agent precisely because this activity proceeds from the Divine Wisdom alone and directly relates the intelligibility -- the proper
nature -- of each creature to its only adequate Cause and Originator. No creature can determine its own nature. This is a freely given formality
and only God is the Author of such formality. Only He thought of it. And only He gives it. No creature can think of or invent its own nature and
then proceed to accomplish it. And yet, this is what the evolutionists tell us. In this way, both the theistic and the atheistic evolutionists would
replace God with nature and natural processes and ultimately, with man himself as the controller and director of his own so-called evolution.
The Days of Creation Week as taught by Holy Scripture are thus seen to be a Divine safeguard against the idolatrous error of evolution
because in Genesis One, the phrase "according to its kind" is spoken 10 times to remind men of all ages that God has built into the genetic
material of each corporeal creature certain limits beyond which change cannot go. Contrary to what Fr. Nogar and all other evolutionists may
say, God created horse-kind on the sixth day as surely as He created man-kind. God, not nature, created the horse.
Finally, there is nothing that contradicts the temporal succession of the six days of Creation Week in the fact that Creation is an Act and not a
process, that it effects an immediate appearance of a complete product, a total and fully operational creature, mature and capable of fulfilling the
command to "Increase and multiply," and that Creation as an Act of God and thus inseparable from Himself "takes place" or "happens" without
time and without motion. It is transcendent Act.
With the first Creative Fiat of God that brought the heavens and the earth into being, time also began. It is completely reasonable, therefore, that
God Himself should proceed according to the temporality thus created and initiated. The theistic evolutionists love to tell us that God works
according to natural laws. What they forget is that God created these natural laws in the beginning and what they fail to see or willingly overlook
is that the theory of evolution breaks these laws, violates them and defies them, constantly.
But God proceeds according to the Order of His Divine Wisdom. Having created time, He proceeds to work according to time. And so,
having created the light which He called day, he proceeds to create a firmament -- an expanse of space -- between the waters in the universe,
and to separate waters above the sky from those below the sky, in the earth. And so on, through Creation Week, according to the time of each
The alternation of the light and the darkness before the Creation of the sun is indeed mysterious. The light that God created on the First Day of
Creation Week may well have been what the physicists refer to as the electro-magnetic spectrum, what the philosophers see as the very nature
of physical light and what the mystics and theologians see as a symbolic representation of the hypostatic union of the Second Person of the
Blessed Trinity with the human nature He assumed from the Most Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, the Woman of Genesis 3:15.
The fact that Our Divine Lord referred to Himself as The Light of the World (John 8:12) and that He even tells His disciples that they, too, are
the light of the world, because of Him (Matt. 5:14) and that throughout both the Old and the New Testaments light is opposed to the darkness
of sin and ignorance -- this fact surely indicates that light as such is something very special in God's eyes and especially magnificent amongst His
The alternation of light with darkness to form a day in the first three days of Creation Week is a mystery that I accept on Faith because God has
revealed it and made it consistent with the subsequent days by limiting it to an evening and morning no different, according to the Sacred text,
on the first three days than on the subsequent four.
And yet we know for certain that the light of the first three days was not the same as that of the subsequent four because on the Fourth Day
God created the sun, moon and stars to give light on the earth:
Genesis 1:14-18 And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven,
to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons,
and for days and years: To shine in the firmament of heaven,
and to give light upon the earth. And so it was done.
And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day,
and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars.
And he set them in the firmament of heaven to shine upon the earth,
And to rule the day and the night, and to divide the light and the darkness.
And God saw that it was good. And the evening and morning were the fourth day.
Unlike the light of the First Day, these "lights" are light-bearers, shining lights, having light within themselves, contained, whereas the light of the
First Day is uncontained. The Fourth Day reveals the cosmology of the universe. It is beautifully static, a wondrously ordered structure. Only in
later Scriptures do we find indications that things are, indeed, as they appear, that is, the universe is geocentric, the sun and moon and stars --
and galaxies -- revolve around this specially created Earth.
The sun riseth, and goeth down, and returneth to his place: and there rising again,
maketh his round by the south, and turneth again to the north: the spirit goeth forth
surveying all places round about, and returneth to his circuits.
R.G. Elmendorf, geocentrist engineer par excellence, holds that these verses of Scripture are an accurate description of the sun's daily and
annual journey, in its spiral, helica1, motion around the Earth. The Hebrew word translated here as "spirit" could also be rendered as "wind" and
refer to the "solar wind", the powerful supersonic stream of charged particles flowing into space from the sun's corona." The solar wind could
even be considered to be the "spirit" of the sun, and thought of as a type of the Holy Spirit, just as the sun itself is often considered to be a type
of Christ." 45
Then there is the historical event recorded in the Book of Joshua where the sun and moon obeyed the command of Joshua to stay their course
until the Israelites had defeated their enemies in battle:
There was not before nor after so long a day,
the Lord obeying the voice of a man, and fighting for Israel.
Joshua commanded the sun and the moon to stand still, and the Lord obeyed, showing clearly Who controls what.
Psalm 18:6-7 celebrates Our Divine Lord's desire to accomplish His mission of Sacrificial Redemption for us: He hath set his tabernacle in the
sun, and he, as a bridegroom coming out of his bride chamber, Hath rejoiced as a giant to run the way: His going out is from the end of heaven,
And his circuit even to the end thereof; and there is no one that can hide himself from his heat.
John 3-14 and 12:32
It is the light of Truth, lifted up on the Cross to draw all things to Himself.
Nor should we forget the great Adversary, Lucifer, the shining one, a son of the morning (Isaiah 14:2) as he was in his glory before he rebelled
and became the Prince of Darkness who rules this world. But his sun shall be turned into darkness (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, 2 Peter 2:17 and
Matt.24-29 with Mark 13:24). Or is it that the sun of truth will be turned into the darkness of sin and ignorance as the End of Time
Such are the riches of Divine Revelation that Mystics and theologians,, philosophers and scientists can never exhaust but which will reward
beyond measure the docile heart and mind. The motion of the sun around the Earth, the stability of the Earth at the center of the universe --
these are not articles of Faith but are strongly favored by Scripture and Tradition. I believe geocentricity will be reinstated, that the Church's
condemnation of Galileo will be vindicated, and that heliocentrism will be seen as the error that opened the door to evolutionism, by
undermining the authority of Holy Scripture, and thereby paved the way for Modernism, that sewer of all heresies.
Having created time and having differentiated it according to an alternation of light and darkness which He termed a day, God then proceeded
to create those creatures that were to adorn the respective environments of heaven and earth. Thus the Third Day sees the appearance of dry
land and its vegetation; these latter could not have existed long without the light of the sun, and so the Fourth Day sees the appearance of sun,
moon and all the stars in space. The Fifth Day witnesses the seas swarming with newly created marine life and the sky directly above the earth,
full of birds. The Sixth Day, the most momentous of all, witnesses the appearance of all the kinds of animals, and finally, of the first man and the
Such a literal interpretation of the Six Days of Creation Week is, for us today, the most certain safeguard against evolutionary cosmogonies.
The point to be emphasized here is that the appearance of each corporeal creature for the first time is the effect of an act that only God could
perform because what appears for the first time is a new creature, different from all the others created before and after, And this creating,
whether of the first or the second, traditionally so-called, is proper to God alone because it necessitates the immediate bestowal of existence on
a total being, with all its principles, and not the generation of one being from another.
Nor is there anything unreasonable or unscientific in the Scriptural teaching that God created the plant kingdom on the third day with the
appearance of the dry land, the sun, moon and all the planets and stars on the fourth day, the marine creatures and birds on the fifth day, all the
animals and mankind on the sixth day. These works of God are not limited by time; but in His Wisdom, He ordained that they take place
according to time, that is, each one on a certain divinely-appointed day.
The transcendent and timeless character of God's creative act is not affected by the fact that it took place on a certain day any more than the
creation of the human soul is changed as to its immediacy and timelessness for each new individual conceived by human generation in time.
God's Creative Acts are not processes and the appearance of a new being in time does not in any way necessitate a process when it is a matter
of God creating. Processes enter only after the products have been created, after the whole package has been delivered, after the creature with
all its principles has appeared and after the laws of its nature and of the entire natural and supernatural order have been instituted, established,
I wish to stress the primacy of Creation over process. It may be that the processes begin simultaneously with the appearance of the creature.
Even so, it is abundantly clear that Creation is primary and as St. Thomas says, is presupposed by everything else. In summary, this thesis
intends to emphasize and defend a literal interpretation of the days in Genesis One. We uphold that just as time was created with the first
corporeality or informed matter, so also, time itself was in-formed, structured and patterned according to an alternation of darkness and light, of
evening and morning, God Himself called the light day (Genesis 1:5) and the sequence "evening and morning" -- "one day," the "second day"
and so on. This day, in turn, was structured successively and patterned in the seven-day period of the week. Thus God Himself gave to
mankind the model and example of the proper rhythm of activity. For even Adam and Eve in Eden, had they persevered in grace, would not
have been idle but were given the task of tending the Garden (Genesis 2:15).
This perfect order of creation which the Creation Week shows us in its completion and in its hierarchical nature, exhibits the grades of
perfection in the grades or diverse kinds of beings, from the mineral kingdom, up to and through the plant and animal kingdoms, to man, and on
up through the angels to God Himself. Of this marvelous ordering of parts within the whole, St. Thomas says:
In the parts of the universe every creature exists for its own proper act and perfection, and the less noble for the nobler, as those creatures that
are less noble than man exist for the sake of man, while each and every creature exists for the perfection of the entire universe. Furthermore, the
entire universe, with all its parts, is ordained towards God as its end, inasmuch as it imitates, as it were, and shows forth the Divine goodness, to
the glory of God. (ST, I, Q 65, a 2)
This is what Creation Week shows as: the perfectly ordered and completed universe, the parts adding up to the whole and the whole existing,
as the finished product, hierarchical-vertical in its intrinsic perfection, as part is ordered to part, but also exhibiting a temporal character which is
really not so much simply horizontal as it is cyclical in its dynamism. For days and weeks, seasons and years recur.
The over-all pattern of natural and human history indicated by Holy Scripture is not, then, the straight linear horizontal history of evolutionists.
Much less is it an upward linear ascent from simple to complex, from less order to more order in time. Here, the evolutionists confuse the order
of Creation which is hierarchical and does ascend from the least grades of perfection mirroring the Goodness and Being of God in the lowliest
manner and degree up through the grades of more being and more order and complexity through man and angels to God Himself. This is not a
temporal order though evolutionists try to make it so. And their entire view of history is false precisely because they confuse this
vertical-static-hierarchical order (and static here does not mean non-operational) with the horizontal-temporal "space" between the beginning
and the end of all things. This, indeed, may be seen as a linear horizontal succession. But it might be said that what moves along, so to speak, in
this line from the beginning to the end of all things, are "wheels within wheels" -- cycles, the cycles of the solar day, the cycles of the working
week followed by a Sabbath, the cycles of the lunar month, the cycles of the seasons and the years.
The Scriptural view of natural and human history, then, is modeled for us in Creation Week. There is a vertical order of perfection containing
the immutable moral laws, such as those of marriage; then there is the temporal order wherein the immutable is lived out in time. From the
beginning of all things in Creation, the temporal line of history is marked by peaks and nadirs, periods of achievement and of decline, of victory
and defeat as the original War in heaven is transferred to Earth and continued to the end of the ages.
But the outline, the model, is clear and Creation Week stands as the pattern of the perfect order which sin disrupted and continues to wound
but cannot, in the end, destroy. In Genesis 31 the Remedy for the Fall is clearly predicted and even given as The-Woman, Mary, and
Her-Seed, Christ, are shown to Adam and Eve on the day of their Fall as a pledge of eventual Victory over the Serpent, Lucifer and Satan.
History has its grand disruptions, such as the Flood, the persecutions of the Church and the on-going Revolution against the Mystical Body of
Christ, the Great Apostasy and the Final Tribulations. But the Incarnation and Redemption prevail over all and the Church will rise, victorious
and triumphant with Christ and Mary in the End.
Saint Bonaventure says:
” God could have brought all this about in a single instant. He chose instead to act through time, and step by step, and this for three reasons.
First there was to be a distinct and clear manifestation of power, wisdom, and goodness; second, there was to be fitting correspondence
between the days or times, and the operations; third, the succession of days was to prefigure all future ages, in the same way as, at creation, the
seeds of all future beings ware planted. So the distinction of the future times -- ... the seven ages of history -- stemmed, as if from seeds, from
the distinction of the seven days. That is why, to the six days of work, there is added one of rest: a day to which no dusk is ascribed -- not that
this day was not followed by night, but because it was to prefigure the repose of souls that shall have no end.
Now, if it should be said, in opposition, that all things were made at once, this is simply considering the seven days from the viewpoint of the
angels. At any rate, the first manner of speaking is more in keeping with the Scriptures and the opinions of the saints, both before and after the
blessed Augustine. 46
The first man, Adam, was created directly by God from the dust of the earth and his body, as well as his soul, was created immediately and directly by God, on the sixth day of Creation Week.
This literal interpretation of Holy Scripture with respect to the creation of the first man, Adam, has never been defined by the Church but
Pohle-Preuss (p.127) hold the doctrine to be sententia satis certa and proceed to give proofs for it:
The modern antithesis of Christian Anthropology is atheistic Darwinism, which teaches that in soul and body alike, man is descended from the
brute, the human soul being merely a more highly developed form of the brute soul. This teaching is as heretical as it is absurd. The modified
Darwinism defended by St. George Mivart, who holds that the body of Adam developed from the animal kingdom, whereas his spiritual soul
was infused immediately by the Creator must likewise be rejected, for while not directly heretical, it is repugnant to the letter of Sacred
Scripture and to Christian sentiment.
And yet, we have Catholic evolutionists today holding such compromised and compromising positions as the following: “...man is both a special
creation and a product of matter at the climax of the evolutionary process.” (Nesbitt, p. 10) Such views can only be maintained at the expense
of separating human nature into two substantial forms, the material-brute form and the immaterial-soul form from which man emerges not as one
substantial unitary living being but rather, as a Cartesian yoking of matter and spirit, of thought and extension. Such a view of human nature is
against the clear teaching of the Catholic Church which holds that the rational-intellectual soul is the one essential-substantial form of the unitary
being which is man, (D 481) as will be defended later in Thesis 21.
The point of this thesis is to defend the positive Scriptural teaching on this subject and thereby to challenge the now common view that
"Scripture neither teaches nor disproves the doctrine of the evolution of the human body." (Messenger, Evolution and Theology, 1931. p. 275.)
This view is repeated in The Teaching of Christ: A Catholic Catechism for Adults (Our Sunday Visitor, 1976, p. 58) which states: "The Bible,
to be sure, does not teach evolution; neither does it say anything to oppose scientific theories about bodily evolution."
This present thesis maintains that the Scriptural description of the creation of Adam and Eve on the 6th day of Creation Week, constitutes
positive teaching that does, indeed, most clearly oppose "scientific theories about bodily evolution" and this in two ways: 1) by clearly and
positively teaching, according to the literal sense of the words, which is the basis of all other Scriptural interpretation, that God did, in fact,
create Adam directly from the dust of the earth and Eve from Adam's side, which sense can in no way be reconciled with "scientific theories
about bodily evolution" which hold that mankind emerged gradually, over millions of years, from an animal population by means of genetic
mutations in those animal bodies; and 2) by clearly teaching that the creation of man and of woman, of Adam and Eve, was completed, finished,
and fully accomplished on the 6th day of Creation Week, thereby precluding absolutely any possibility of a long, drawn-out process of
emergence for the first man's body, over eons of evolutionary time.
The first woman, Eve, in the words of Genesis 2:21-22, was made from the side of Adam while he slept.
There are no dogmatic statements concerning the creation of Eve. Ott points out, though, (p. 95) that the Fathers agree in interpreting the
manner of Eve's creation as teaching the essential assimilation of the woman to the man, that is, the essential nature of woman as derivative, for
"woman", Hebrew isha, means "taken from, derived from man." What is derived from is not primary or ordinal but sub-ordinate and secondary.
The Fathers also see here the Divine inauguration of marriage, confirmed by Our Divine Lord (Matthew 19:3 -9; Mark 10:2-12) and by St.
Paul (Ephesians 5:21-33). Finally, the creation of Eve from Adam's side is a divine type of the birth of the Church from the side of Christ on
Calvary. The fact of this divine typology establishes the concrete, historical reality and objective truth of the account of Eve's creation because
the type's fulfillment, that is, the existence of the anti-type, derives its very meaning from the historical reality of the type itself. In other words,
mere symbols and allegories can not be the basis of typology nor can a mere symbol or allegory be a type.47
Saint Thomas has much to say on the creation of woman and the order of marriage which is thereby instituted. It may be summed up as follows:
Woman is not made to use authority over a man, is not made to be intellectually equal with him or to be a head as he is; and so, she was not
formed from Adam's head. Nor is she made to be subject to man in the capacity of a slave, and so she was not formed from Adam's feet. But
she is formed from Adam's side, very near his heart, because she is made to be his loving bride and wife, to influence him -- as Mary did at
Cana -- gently and sweetly, and to resemble, typify, exemplify and imitate the relationship of the Church to Christ: one of living submission and
complementarity. (cf. ST, I, Q 92)
Saint Bonaventure says simply:
” Woman was formed out of the side of man, to be his companion and his assistant in immaculate procreation. They were given the tree of Life
as a means of permanent subsistence and of perfect immutability through perpetual immortality.”48
Surely Saint Vincent of Lerins -- not to mention the great Doctors and Fathers of the Church -- would be horrified at such outrageous novelties
as those of Catholic evolutionists who are able, without batting an eye, to hold that Adam and Eve were born of female apes! How can such
persons be really Catholic? And so, far from being scorned as a childish and unscientific myth, this Scriptural account of the creation of Eve
constitutes positive, divine teaching about the relations between the sexes, the divine institution of marriage, and the nature of the Church. It
also, according to Pohle-Preuss (p.129) "furnishes a decisive argument against the evolutionary hypothesis."
This is quite obvious for there is simply no way to reconcile this unique manner of Eve's creation with the evolutionary view wherein both the
first man and the first woman emerged from an animal population precisely in the manner that male-female pairs are generated today from
populations, only in the case of this hypothetical first man and first woman, their appearance was due to the mutated genes of female primates,
so that in the evolutionary view, both the first man and the first woman were born of female primates In such a view, all is reduced to animal
nature and it is difficult, indeed, to see how the Our Sunday Visitor catechism can claim that there is nothing in the Bible "to oppose scientific
theories about bodily evolution."
In the absence of any dogmatic statement, we may cite the decree of the Biblical Commission (D 2123) which states that the literal, historical
sense of Holy Scripture may not be called into question when it is a matter of facts pertaining to the foundations of the Christian religion, for
example, among others: * the creation of all things wrought by God in the beginning of time;
* the special creation of man;
* the formation of the first woman from the first man;
* the oneness of the human race.
The whole human race stems from one single human pair.
Pohle-Preuss (p. 131) affirms: "The unity of the human race, though not yet formally defined, is a Catholic doctrine." Vatican I (1870), a Decree
of the Biblical Commission (D 2123) and most recently, Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis (1950) proclaim what today we would call the
doctrine of monogenism, or the descent of the entire human race from a single human pair -- Adam and Eve. The Biblical Commission (Decree
of June 30th, 1909, D 2123, RSS page 123) states "the oneness of the human race" as pertaining to the very foundations of the Christian
religion and therefore, the literal historical sense of Scripture on which this doctrine is founded, is not to be called in question. The teaching of
Scripture on this point may therefore be said to be positive and clear, rather than the opposite, as people too frequently say today under the
influence of evolutionary ideology. But the Catholic doctrine of the unity of the human race, that is, of monogenism, is an insuperable barrier to
the false evolutionary hypothesis. And the teaching of Humani Generis (1950) warns Catholics, in no uncertain terms, against pollution by this
error. Pope Pius XII says:
The Faithful cannot embrace that opinion which maintains
1) either that after Adam there existed on this earth true men who did not take their origin through natural generation from him as from the first
parent of all, or
2) that Adam represents a certain number of first parents. It is in no way apparent how such an opinion can be reconciled with that which the
sources of revealed truth and the documents of the Teaching Authority of the Church propose with regard to original sin, which proceeds from
a sin actually committed by an individual Adam and which through generation is passed on to all and is in everyone as his own.
Man, as human nature, consists of two essential parts, a material body and a spiritual, immortal soul of which he is one composite being, unified by the substantial form of the rational soul.
This thesis is intended to acknowledge the de fide doctrine (D 428 and D 1783) that man is indeed dual in nature. And this is clearly taught in
Scripture, especially in Genesis 2:7: "Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life:
and man became a living being."
But this basic, foundational Scripture just as clearly teaches that God created the first man on the 6th day of Creation Week, after which He
rested, clearly and positively precluding any such fantastic idea as that of the evolution of man's body over millions of years.
It seems, in fact, that the false theory of evolution would impute to man more than one soul, at least in the course of evolutionary time, for this
theory holds that man, as a unit, evolved through the ages from a primitive brute, half-human, half-animal, up to his present status. But the nature
and kind of soul possessed by those horninid in-between creatures has never been elaborated upon by theistic evolutionists.
However, most theistic evolutionists evade the difficulty and postulate a sudden emergence of man, due to the immediate creation of the human
soul, as Catholic Faith requires, and leave the body to the evolutionists and their hominids. The difficulties involved in this position have not gone
unrecognized. For now we find Nemesszeghy and Russell (1971, p. 71) claiming that "The whole man is the result of evolution, and still a part
This biological feat is accomplished by means of Rahner's transcendental causality (see Thesis 9) reducing God's Creative Activity to immanent
evolutionary processes operating under the influence of the Divine Concursus which enables them to transcend themselves and evolve more
complex beings from simpler ones, including man from the primates.
It may be asked whether this kind of theistic evolution honors the Catholic teaching that man is composed of two really distinct principles, the
material and the spiritual, for if the whole man is the result of evolution, and still a part of it, as Nemesszeghy and Russell assert, and if evolution
is a natural process as the evolutionists assert, then it is difficult to see how the whole man thus evolved, however transcendentally caused, can
be anything more than a superior kind of beast in which it would be difficult to find the rational-intellectual soul, simple, spiritual and immortal, of
Catholic doctrine and tradition.
The rational-intellectual soul of man is per se, of and by itself, the formal principle and cause, the essential substantial form of the human composite, that which causes it to be human. Without the rational soul which is a simple, immortal, spiritual, intellectual and immaterial principle, there is no human being.
Pohle-Preuss says (p.142) "The spiritual soul is the immediate substantial form of the body. This is de fide." (D 481) Ott (p. 97) says:
"According to Genesis 2:7, the dust, by virtue of the creation of the soul, becomes a living being, a human composite." It is impossible to see, in
view of this teaching of the Church and all of Catholic tradition, how in the world "The whole man" could be the result of evolution" as
Nemesszeghy and Russell hold on the basis of Rahner's transcendental causality or how, in view of the common interpretation of Genesis 2:7,
anyone could say, as the Our Sunday Visitor Catechism does, that the Bible has nothing to say "to oppose scientific theories about bodily
evolution." For in either of these cases -- an evolution of the whole man or an evolution of only the bodily part of man -- violence is done to the
doctrine that the soul is the substantial form of the unity that is a man. This is the scholastic doctrine of hylemorphism or unity of matter and form
in all corporeal beings.
Vera Barclay quotes Msgr. Kolbe: "This body of ours is not a separate thing.... (that is to say, able to exist without the soul). We deny that it
has any organic life of its own which a superadded soul comes in by some mysterious influence to control and direct. Sensation is not a
gathering by the soul of impressions on particles united to but external to itself. ...whatever the body is, the soul makes it. The moving of the
limbs, the circulation of the blood, the renovation of tissue, the digestion of food, are all as much the work of the soul as are sensation and
thought. I am one being, not two. My soul is simple in its essence, as well as various in its powers; and it is one and the same thing which thinks
beyond the body's range, which in the body feels, which organizes the body itself, and which constitutes (or gives being to) the very minutest
particle of which the body is composed. All this is included in the meaning of the statement that "the soul is the form of the body." Every human
being is a unique totum or whole, a single substantial form with its basic matter. Nor is it anything superadded to the parts. It is the parts in their
co-existence and co-activities."49
This is the meaning, too, of St. Thomas' dictum that the soul contains the body. (ST, I, Q 76, a 3)
From this doctrine, it is abundantly plain to the mind sensitive to reality, that the so-called evolution of the body from the beasts is an utter
impossibility in the light of both reason and of faith. Indeed, a special kind of blindness seems to be required to believe in this fantastic
hypothesis of our times. And yet we find the most orthodox theologians, even after long study and reflection, willing to entertain not only the
possibility of human evolution but even its probability. (E.G. Nogar, Rahner, Holloway, and most recently Hardon and the authors of the Our
SundayVisitor Catechism.) How to explain it? Best not to try. But one cannot help but recall the "mystery of iniquity" (2 Thes. 2:7) and grieve
that it is at work even within the Church.
The words of St. Thomas are very clear: “The first formation of the human body could not be by the instrumentality of any created power, but
was immediately from God.” (ST, I, Q 91, a 2)
Some have thought that man's body was formed first in priority of time, and that afterwards the soul was infused into the formed body. But it is
inconsistent with the perfection of the production of things, that God should have made either the body without the soul, or the soul without the
body, since each is a part of human nature. This is especially unfitting as regards the body, for the body depends on the soul, and not the soul
on the body. (ST, I, Q 91, a 4, ad 3) These words of St. Thomas further emphasize the impossibility of bodily evolution, for human evolution,
even when held and propagated by theists, really postulates the primacy of the body over the soul and reverses the real and right order of
things, assuming that the body can exist and develop apart from the soul in the form of hominids.
The point of this thesis is to emphasize the unity of human nature in man, the unity of the two composite parts that are the body and the soul, and
particularly to emphasize the primacy of the soul in this composite that is man, for it is the spiritual, rational-intellectual principle alone that
causes the composite to be human and that communicates the act of existence -- very existence -- to the composite that is man. Without the
rational soul, then, there simply is no human being.
Advances in biotechnology and the manufacture of test-tube babies make one wonder if these procedures could not bring forth creatures with
the appearance of human beings but with only an animal, i.e., sensitive soul, lacking true human intelligence and will. Theologians surely need to
address such problems.
Theistic evolutionists err on two sides. Some err on the side of the body, submerging the rational principle into the material and elevating the
material to a primacy wherein the development of the material, or evolution is made to appear plausible. But this is impossible to argue on any
sound basis because the rational nature of man is absolutely beyond the power and capacity of matter to produce or to educe or to evolve.
Theistic, especially Catholic evolutionists, realize this and therefore they insist that God must create the soul in man. But in the meantime, they
have accepted the hominids, the half-human, half-ape creatures of the materialists, and they do not explain to us how the rational soul of man is
thus reduced to the hominid status. The only way it could be done would be to subordinate the soul to the body in such a way that it partakes of
the same developmental processes. This is simply to fall back into materialism and to fail to acknowledge that while the soul of man is, indeed,
susceptible of change, it is not -- if it is to remain the same basic kind of rational-intellectual principle that it is in man -- susceptible of that kind
of change that would allow it to be, in the hominid, less than its nature, and to develop, along evolutionary lines, into something more than itself.
This is to postulate, in any kind of being, a potentiality that is undefined and unlimited, that is, a potentiality for becoming another kind of being.
But this is impossible. St. Thomas says "It is impossible for the same identical form to belong to different species. " (ST, I, Q 118, a 3) But to
remove the limitations of potentiality is to reduce all of nature to chaos, and all of reality to becoming. And to thus remove the stability of being
(of nature and of essence) is to take the intelligibility out of reality. For matter is not any kind of principle of intelligibility but only form and there
is no such thing as matter without form, no such thing as becoming without existential intelligibility, which resides in and comes from formality.
Now evolutionists, like all rational beings, even devils, need intelligibility. And so. they mask the real absurdity of their thesis by telling us one of
two things: 1) that man is the ultimate source of intelligibility (Ashley Montague is a good example of this position) or 2) that God is the ultimate
source of all intelligibility.
But the theistic evolutionists are here discovered to be the more culpable and the more diabolical in their inspiration even than the atheistic
evolutionists, because the position of the former is consistently absurd, but the latter are using God to mask the original absurdity. In other
words, theistic evolutionists call in the all-Holy God and reduce Him to a mechanism for evolution. Is not this the ultimate in blasphemy? Is it not
the Devil's own perverse "theology"? Catholics who use evolutionary terminology thereby adopt and school themselves in an evolutionary way
of thinking, and this is to embrace an ideology. In the words of a French writer:
"More than ever, two spirits confront us, and we must choose between two languages." The spirit and the language are most intimately related.
There is the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. The Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, and the spirit of the Devil, Satan. Theistic evolution is more
dangerous and more evil than atheistic evolution because, typical of all of Satan's activities, it cloaks its poison in seeming holiness, in apparent
truth, and in pious terms emptied of their substance.
Every human being possesses an individual immortal soul.
This thesis was affirmed and defined by 5th Lateran (D 738) against neo-Platonic and Averroistic monopsychism which is not unlike modern
Teilhardian pan-psychism. Such errors result from a conflation of matter and spirit, of nature and grace, and are especially typical of theistic
evolution of the Teilhardian variety.
Teilhard de Chardin implicitly denied that every human being possesses an individual soul directly and immediately created by God so that each
individual is a unique person destined to give a special, a particular glory to God in heaven for all eternity, He did not deny this doctrine
explicitly nor attack it directly. As the Monitum against his works is careful to state: they are full of grave errors and ambiguities that offend
Catholic doctrine. One of these ambiguities is the way in which he speaks of individuals.
Msgr. Leo S. Schumacher describes Teilhard's belief:
"There are not many beings in the universe, just one. "The world is not an agglomeration of juxtaposed things; ... (it is) a great Whole." And this
reality is not actually a being. but a motion. i.e., evolution. The man in the street may think he encounters many individual persons and things
every day, but these are only manifestations of the one, underlying reality. The man in the street himself is merely an appearance or phenomenon
of it. ... ... Life is more real than lives ... man is nothing else than evolution become conscious of itself . ... there is not scientifically speaking
minds in nature; but there is one mind...Evolution has reached its highest state so far in becoming man, but it is in the process of becoming
"super-humanity," a gigantic collective super-organism as well as a supreme consciousness. That there is but one reality and that what we call
individual beings are merely facets or sparkles of it ... Conscious beings are truly only the different pinpoint manifestations of a magnitude which
includes them all. ... "the dimensions of the magnitude which we call 'mind' ... are the very same as those of the universe. ... Mind then is the
very substance of the universe and individuals are like its freckles. ..."50
Individual people, men and women, boys and girls, immortal creatures for whom Our Divine Lord Jesus Christ died a most horrible death on
the Cross to redeem from sin so that they might live forever with Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, with the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all
the Saints and Angels, in Heaven -- freckles?
It should be evident, too, that this extremely collectivist mentality is about the best preparation one could imagine for a totalitarian regime. There
is the same ominous tendency to personify evolution as some super-force in Fr. Edward Holloway's work that we see in Teilhard. And yet. Fr.
Holloway explicitly repudiates any infection with the error of Teilhard. I wish the fad were as pure as the intention.
I doubt that the many Catholic Sisters who rhapsodize over Teilhard de Chardin, who christen the science buildings in their colleges with his
name and place his picture in prominent places in these halls of modem learning -- I really doubt that they realize what they are doing. If they
did, they simply could not do it. Such is the harm worked by ignorance, even without malice.
Every individual soul is immediately and directly created by God, out of nothing, (Sententia certa) at the moment of conception.
The first part of this statement has never attained the de fide status mainly because of the controversies between generationism and creationism
(see Ott, pp. 99-100 or any good history of dogma) which concerned the creation of the human soul and its relation to the transmission of
original sin by generation. St. Augustine had difficulty in reconciling the transmission of original sin by generation with the creation of the soul by
God, not being able to hold that God would create a soul in the state of sin. God, however, does not create any evil. He creates a human soul
thus causing the creature conceived by the parents to be human but He does not cancel out or negate the contributions of the parents who carry
the defects passed on by Original Sin. Nor does he elevate the newly created human soul to the supernatural order by giving it His Grace. That
is done, according to the present dispensation, by the Sacrament of Baptism.
But the vast majority of the Fathers and Schoolmen taught what is termed creationism, or that doctrine that the individual soul is indeed created
by God out of nothing at the moment of its unification with the body. And St. Thomas went so far as to condemn as heretical the opposite
opinion of generationism, that the soul was transmitted from the parents in the act of generation. (ST, I, Q 118, a 2.)
Today, our problem is not with this particular point, especially since Pope Pius XII has stated quite dogmatically (in Humani Generis, 1950) that
"The Catholic faith obliges us to believe that souls are immediately created by God." What he did not go on to say is when. And this point is
hotly debated today. St. Thomas laid down the principle, still and forever valid and true, that "the rational soul, which is not transmitted by the
parent, is infused by God as soon as the human body is apt to receive it." (ST, I, Q 100, a 1, ad 2) Now Aristotle, and St. Thomas, with all the
medieval schoolmen following Aristotelian and ancient science in general, knew nothing of genetics. The discoveries of this science have been, in
God's Providence, reserved for our times. And so, here is a statement from a textbook of genetics, quite secular, and so, completely
unprejudiced to our present cause: The zygote cell has, within itself, all the information which is necessary to form a new individual organism. 51
The zygote is that cell which results from the fusion of the sperm and the ovum in the process called syngamy. The zygote, therefore, it seems to
me, is as apt to receive the soul as the material substrate of humanity could ever be, if it does indeed, as the geneticists tell us, have all the
information necessary to form a new individual organism. Perhaps the situation is similar to a computer that has been programmed. Once it has
been programmed, you have only to make whatever use of the computer you wish along the lines of that programming. And so with the zygote:
it is fully programmed; all that remains is for it to grow and develop.
It seems safe to hold, then, that insofar as we can determine and insofar as we may presume to discover the hidden mysteries of Almighty God,
He deigns to infuse the human soul at the moment of conception; and that the zygote is a human being and may not be prevented without
preventing a human fife from coming to be, and may not be killed without murdering a new human being. Abortion at any time after fertilization,
then, would properly be termed homicide. And it may reasonably be asked if there is any Scriptural confirmation of this view. To my mind,
there is, indeed, a very powerful and clear Scriptural basis for this view, and it is found in the first chapter of the Gospel of St. Luke where the
Angel Gabriel appears to Mary. I find the clearest indication of the moment of the Incarnation of Our Divine Lord in these words Mary said:
"Behold, I am the Handmaiden of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." And the Angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38.) The
moment of Mary's consent is the moment of the Incarnation. As she hastens to visit her cousin Elizabeth, the very sound of her voice causes the
infant John to leap in his mother's womb and causes Elizabeth herself to understand, mystically, that it is the very Mother of God whose voice
has thrilled both her child and her own heart.
In 1679, the Holy Office under Pope Innocent XI, condemned the following proposition (D 1195): It seems probable that every foetus (as long
as it is in the womb) lacks a rational soul and begins to have the same at the time that it is born; and consequently it will have to be said that no
homicide is committed in any abortion.
There are many today who would like to believe this error. But the public stand of the Church against both contraception and against abortion
seems to give clear proof that the view most favored by Catholic theology and the official Teaching Authority is that which we hold: that the
human soul is present from the moment of conception and that the zygote is a human being not to be violated without the grievous sin of murder.
Finally, I would like to call upon all those Christians in the pro-life movement to speak more frequently of the soul which is directly and
immediately created, from nothing, by Almighty God, Himself! What a tremendous act of condescension on His part! How it speaks of the
dignity and goodness of man and of God's infinite love for His favored creature. Should not this fact be more widely acclaimed? It is Catholic
doctrine. May we not proclaim it as such? St. Teresa of Avila, that great mystic and Doctor of the Church, compared the human soul to a castle
made of a single diamond or very clear crystal, but a few phrases later admitted that she could find nothing with which to compare the great
beauty of a soul and its capacity for grace. And this great beauty of man's spiritual nature derives from his having been created in the image and
likeness of God Himself. And she concludes: "for, though it is His creature, and there is therefore as much difference between it and God as
between creature and Creator, the very fact that His Majesty says it is made in His image means that we can hardly form any conception of the
soul's great dignity and beauty." (Interior Castle, chapter 1.)
STATE OF ORIGINAL JUSTICE AND THE FALL
Adam and Eve were endowed by God with supernatural life in the form of sanctifying grace (de fide) and with certain other preternatural gifts, namely bodily immortality (de fide), perfect control of nature by reason or freedom from irregular desire, i.e., concupiscence (sententia fidei proxima), freedom from suffering (sententia communis) and a knowledge of natural and supernatural truths infused by God (sententia communis); and Adam and Eve received these gifts not only for themselves but for their posterity (sententia communis).
There is so much theology contained in this extended thesis that it would take volumes to explicate it. The point to be emphasized here is that
Catholic evolutionists are indeed hard put to fit these doctrines into their evolutionary scheme of things.
Let us single out but one point. The Our Sunday Visitor Catechism (The Teaching of Christ, pp. 59) is quite embarrassed about the state of
original justice and innocence. The cause of such embarrassment is only the theory of human evolution. The fear of this false and evil hypothesis
so deceitfully vaunted as scientific, leads the otherwise fine and orthodox authors of this catechism seriously to compromise the doctrines
concerning the original state of mankind in the persons of Adam and Eve. Thus they claim that Holy Scripture "does not teach that the first man
was sophisticated or enjoyed a rich culture, ..."
The word sophisticated is curious in the context. What does it mean? Let its precise definition pass. St. Thomas has an article in the Summa
which answers the question "Whether the first man knew all things?" The objectors to this question would not only answer with a resounding
"No! " but would also make Adam out to be quite un-sophisticated, that is, quite a simpleton! But how does St. Thomas answer? He says:
On the contrary, Man named the animals (Gen. 2:20). But names should be adapted to the nature of things. Therefore Adam knew the animals'
natures; and in like manner he was possessed of the knowledge of all other things. I answer that, in the natural order, perfection comes before
imperfection, as act precedes potentiality; for whatever is in potentiality is made actual only by something actual. And since God created things
not only for their own existence, but also that they might be the principles of other things: so creatures were produced in their perfect state to be
the principles as regards others.
” Now man can be the principle of another man, not only by generation of the body, but also by instruction and government (Bases of all
culture. PH) Hence, as the first man was produced in his perfect state, as regards his body, for the work of generation, so also was his soul
established in a perfect state to instruct and govern others.
Now, no one can instruct others unless he has knowledge, and so the first man was established by God in such a manner as to have knowledge
of all those things for which man has a natural aptitude. ... To Adam, as being the first man, was due a degree of perfection which was not due
to other men. ...” (ST, I, Q 94, a 3)
This apparently simple event -- Adam's naming of the animals -- thus contains a great deal of the "scientific anthropology" that the authors of the
OSV Catechism insinuate (p. 73) has nothing to do with Genesis. For, the fact of the matter is that evolutionary anthropologists have so far
been completely unable to account for the origin of language. In man's present state, language must be learned, and it must be learned early. But
Adam engaged in such a highly sophisticated activity as that of classifying, according to the creationists, about three thousand different kinds of
animals, including birds. Therefore, he had learned, directly from God Himself, or else had been created with a fully developed human language.
And language is foundational to all culture. Therefore, Scripture does indeed teach, if we approach it with the faith and reverence due to God's
Word, that the first man Adam was -- perhaps better than sophisticated -- wise and very discerning. Furthermore, it teaches that had there
been more than two people, there would indeed have been, from the very beginning of human life, a rich culture, for the foundations of it were in
very high intelligence and its corollary, language.
Our first parents in Paradise sinned grievously through transgression of the Divine probationary commandment. (De fide. D 788)
The comments of Ludwig Ott on this decree of Trent are valuable enough to include in our understanding of this doctrine: The Council of Trent
teaches that Adam lost sanctity and justice by transgressing the Divine commandment. Since the punishment is proportional to the guilt, the sin
of Adam was clearly a serious sin.
The Biblical account of the Fall through the sin of the First Parents is contained in Genesis 2 and 3. Since Adam's sin is the basis of the dogma
of Original Sin and Redemption, the historical accuracy of the account as regards the essential facts may not be impugned. According to a
decision of the Biblical Commission in 1909, the literal historical sense is not to be doubted in regard to the following facts: a. that the first man
received a command from God to test his obedience;
b. that through the temptation of the Devil who took the form of a serpent, he transgressed the Divine commandment;
c. that our First Parents were deprived of their original condition of Innocence. (D 2123)52
Because of the high state of Adam and Eve, their sin was not of a lower type, such as any sin of the flesh, but rather an intellectual sin of the
highest -- and worst -- kind, namely, of interior pride leading to the act of disobedience. (cf. ST, I, Q 94, a 4, ad 1; II-II, Q 163)
These truths of faith are upheld in opposition to the false evolutionary view that would reduce the first man and woman to some pre-logical or
pre-civilized status hardly capable of real sin at all. But this is exactly what an evolutionary "Theology" would have us believe -- that the first
man (or men) and woman (or women) were brutish, or at best childish creatures, primitive in their "developing reason and conscience," as
Francoeur says below. But this modern view of sin has no real conception of the personal nature of sin. For all their talk of personalism and
inter-personal relations, modem theologians seem to have lost any notion of the real personal malice of sin and its essential disorder. Rather,
they have the Original Sin, which was of necessity intensely personal, occurring in a world already in a state of disorder -- which entirely misses
the dogmatic fact that it was this original personal sin that caused the disorder in which mankind has found itself ever since and which only union
with Jesus Christ can overcome.
Robert Francoeur clearly shows, to those who understand the teaching of the Church, that his views are not compatible with Catholic teaching.
Quoting two Jesuits, Alszeghy and Flick, he says:
"Adam and Eve" is a literary device epitomizing the revolt of all men against their consciences. Every man has a moral obligation and every man
inevitably rebels against this imperative. Original sin is a collective reality. Whether it was first committed by one man or by many in one or more
groups does not matter since subsequent interfertility would bind all men together in the solidarity of rebellion against God. As a result of this
collective sense and looking at man in terms of evolution, we can maintain that man is born into a situation of inward alienation before his
Creator. The essence of original sin is then a state of privation which separates man from God and accounts for the lack of selflessness and love
in our world. The redemptive grace and example of Christ is the only remedy to this situation.
The literary device of "Adam and Eve" symbolizes the first human being or beings, the stage at which man became man, emerging from an
earlier form of bipedal gait and developing reason and conscience. Just where and how the first men appeared is a question for science, though
it is clear that from biblical and theological arguments alone we cannot deny the possibility of mankind having emerged from more than one
unique couple, the historical "Adam and Eve." 53 Fr. Edouard Bone, Jesuit anthropologist, is quoted as saying "As an anthropologist, the words
'Adam and Eve' have no relevance for me." And Karl Rahner is quoted as saying that "There is no reason why such scientific views as
polygenism should be incompatible with Catholic doctrine. Polygenism does not alter original sin."
By reducing Adam and Eve to a literary device, these men sweep away the authority of the Biblical Revelation and indeed, the possibility of
By reducing Original Sin to a mere "collective reality," these men distort the true nature of Original Sin and also, its relation to us. First, the
consequences of Original Sin -- universal suffering, disease, death, and all else that the wounded intellect and will of man entails -- are
inconceivable except as a result of sin of such magnitude and malice that could only have been committed by persons of a very high and noble
One simply does not punish the sins of children and the feeble-minded in the same manner that one does the transgressions of intelligent adults
and those "to whom much has been given." The anger of God that we read of in Genesis 3 could hardly be directed against primitive people
who had just attained the evolutionary "age of reason." It would make of God a most cruel and unjust monster. But the first man and woman
who committed the first sin would be, in the evolutionary view, people who had just emerged "from an earlier form of bipedal gait and
developing reason and conscience." How did such creatures become so intimate with God that to disobey His command could cause such
disaster for themselves and for all their descendants?
Secondly, men and women having just turned human, could scarcely be capable, it seems to us, of the intensely personal act that the first sin
was. For sin, in any form, is the most intimately and intensely personal kind of act there is. It is true that in us, original sin is not a positive evil but
a state of deprivation of divine life. But it is inconceivable, again, that this radical deprivation should be allowed to descend to us on account of
some primitive misdemeanor, or genetic "mistake," a la Teilhard.
Again the evolutionary view of Original Sin greatly obscures the personal nature of the first sin. It is inconceivable that Our Divine Lord should
have undergone the horrors and incredible torments of His Passion and Death on the Cross to redeem us from the extremely hypothetical "sin"
of evolutionary "firsts." The "inward alienation before his Creator" and "the rebellion against moral obligations" that Francoeur speaks of are not
the state of original sin in us but rather its consequences. Concupiscence, weakened will, and darkened intellect are the result of a terrible Fall
from a very high state of nobility in which there was eminent control of the passions, an integral will and a brilliant intellect. Such a picture hardly
squares with a group of suddenly reasoning but barely reasonable primates in a family of brutes.
Nor can it in any way be reconciled with the Passion and Death of Our Divine Lord. No, sin is something else again from what these men
would have us think. Only contemplation of Christ's Redemptive Sufferings and Death on Calvary can teach us the real personal nature and
malice of the first sin and of our own constant and desperate need for restoration, and even after the restoration that Baptism effects, for the
continual aid to overcome the effects of original sin in us.
I suggest that Francoeur, the Jesuits Bone, Flick, Alszeghy and Karl Rahner, with many other theologians of our time, have fallen from divine
Catholic Faith into a secular, pagan naturalism which is typical of the evolutionary world view. Let their words stand as evidence of what the
assimilation of the evolutionary ideology does to divine Catholic and supernatural Faith in the minds and hearts of those who allow themselves to
be poisoned by this error.
Against these heretical teachings, we have the sure and certain Decrees of the Council of Trent:
"If anyone, does not confess that the first man, Adam, when he had transgressed the commandment of God in Paradise, immediately lost the
holiness and justice wherein he had been constituted; and that he incurred, through the offence of that prevarication, the wrath and indignation of
God, and consequently death, with which God had previously threatened him, and together with death, captivity under his power who
thenceforth had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil, and that the entire Adam, through that offence of prevarication, was changed, in
body and soul for the worse; let him be anathema.
” If anyone asserts that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity, and the holiness and justice, received of God,
which lost, he or himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death and pains of
the body into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema: whereas he contradicts the Apostle,
who says: "By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned." (Rom. 5:12)
“If anyone asserts that this sin of Adam -- which in its origin is one, and being transfused into all by propagation, not by imitation, is in each one
as his own -- is taken away either by the powers of human nature, or by any other remedy than the merit of the one mediator, our Lord Jesus
Christ., Who hath reconciled us to God in His own blood, made unto us justice, sanctification, and redemption; or if he denies that the said
merit of Jesus Christ is applied, both to adults and to infants., by the Sacrament of Baptism rightly administered in the form of the Church; let
him be anathema. "54
No one ever even thought of denying the historical existence of Adam and Eve until the heretical novelties of Modernism gave rise to such
fantastic notions, and of Modernism, the principal doctrine is evolution, as St, Pius X warns us in Pascendi.
As a consequence of the grievous original-personal sin of pride, leading to disobedience, our First Parents: 1. lost sanctifying grace,
2. provoked the anger and indignation of God, and
3. became subject to suffering and death and the dominion of the Devil. (De fide)
This and the following thesis serve to further emphasize the constant teaching of the Church with respect to the historical existence of the first
man and the first woman, our Parents, Adam and Eve, and the historical reality of their actions.
Their Fall from the high state in which they were created and originally established, had its most serious consequences in the spiritual order with
the loss of intimate friendship with God. But, as if to ensure that the human race would never be able to forget the seriousness of rebellion
against the All-Holy God, He allowed the effects of this sin to touch the entire creation. The consequences of Original Sin that are evident
throughout the entire universe seem also to emphasize for us the fact that the universe is indeed a cosmos, an ordered unity, a great system in
which, as in any organized body, a flaw in one part inevitably affects all the other parts and thereby the whole in one way or another. We are
told that when an infection afflicts the little toe of a person, all the cells of the body mobilize to mount a campaign against it. And so, when Adam
and Eve sinned, the repercussions were felt and the damage proliferated throughout the universe of which they were an integral part and
especially, throughout the earth over which they were created to hold dominion and ruling power.
All the evils that entered the world as a result of Original Sin and as a punishment for it, may be summed up in the one word -- death -- for,
whether it is of the spiritual or of the material order, evil is the absence of life or a lessening of vital powers or actions that lead directly either to
the cessation of life or its weakening.
No physical evil can compare with moral or spiritual evil which is sin, but the physical evils are intended by God, it would seem, to be for us --
corporeal creatures that we are -- constant reminders of the real horror that is sin, that to be separated from God is to die, but also as a means
of atoning for the moral evil in the same way that Our Divine Lord did on Calvary, and in union with Him. The Creationist position, then,
recognizes that physical evils are present and active in the world today only because of the Original Sin of Adam and Eve and as punishment for
What could be more reasonable and just? Solange Hertz sums up Tradition most concisely and clearly:
"As soon as Adam, in his capacity as divinely constituted head of creation, engaged his God-given authority to ratify Eve's disobedience by
sharing the forbidden fruit with her., the whole world began dying prematurely. Left a prey to his own mortality, he was told, "In the sweat of
thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth out of which thou wast taken; for dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return" (Gen.
3:17-19) Without the vivifying support of grace, nature began taking its course, following its hierarchs Adam and Eve into disorder. Sorrow and
pain, labor and toil, thorns and thistles made their appearance in what till then had been a perfectly harmonious environment. Everything in the
universe was affected, from the lowest to the highest. The serpent lost its graceful upright posture, locomoting "on thy breast" (Gen. 3:14) over
the earth, and the light of heaven itself began to fail.
On the fourth day of creation God had "made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day, and a lesser light to rule the night: and the stars.
And he set them in the firmament of heaven, and to give light upon the earth." Not only would these luminaries "divide the day and the night," but
they would "be for signs, and for seasons and for days and years: To shine in the firmament of heaven and to give light upon the earth. And to
rule the day and the night, and to divide the light and the darkness" (Gen. 1:14-18). The plain literal sense of this passage is that the moon when
created was incandescent, burning with its own light "to rule the night" instead of merely reflecting the sun's as it does now. According to
Fernand Crombette, once the original sin was committed, the moon's light immediately began waning, the exact date of its final extinction
apparently recorded by ancient astronomers in hieroglyphic writings. From that time forth nights are darker than they should be." 55
(And we have noted a similar lessening in the sun's size and therefore light. See Thesis 4)
There were similar catastrophic effects in man himself, as if the primordial "slime" from which God created him had turned to mire. Not only did
he have to wear clothing to cover his nakedness, but Sr. Anna Catherine Emmerich said., "I saw Adam and Eve losing their brilliancy and
diminishing in stature. It was as if the sun went down." Man seemed to "draw creation into himself. It was as if man once possessed all things in
God ... but now he made himself their center, and they became his master. I saw the interior, the organs of man as if in the flesh, in corporeal,
corruptible images of creatures, as well as their relations with one another, from the stars down to the tiniest living thing. All exert an influence on
man. He is connected with all of them; he must act and struggle against them, and from them suffer."
Since the Fall, every newborn child, normally conceived in pleasure, begins life wailing ... Furthermore, from the moment man is conceived in
the womb, everything he produces of himself is fetid.
St. Paul summed up the effects of the Fall by saying, "The wages of sin is death," because sin, like death, produces separation. It parts the
material body from its immaterial soul as it parted man from God, the one being a direct consequence of the other. Because "the Grace of God"
is "everlasting life" (Rom. 6:23), the original rupture in Eden eventually caused not only the separation of souls and bodies, which is physical
death by definition, but it initiated the interminable series of separations and dislocations which characterizes a world always on the verge of
Catholics recognize that physical evils are present and active in the world today only because of the Original Sin of Adam and Eve and as
punishment for that sin and all our personal sins thereafter.
Moreover, because man is a microcosm., the wounds he suffered both in body and soul as a result of Original Sin., were also felt throughout
the macrocosm and their traces remain to this day. The state of the animals before and after the Fall is a controversial one. Some of the Fathers
of the Church held that animals and plants were different before and after the Fall. Saint Thomas was of the opinion that the Fall did not change
the nature of the animals, and that those whose nature it is now, after the Fall, to devour the flesh of other animals, were not any different before
the Fall. (ST, I, Q 960, a l, ad 2; cf also Q 72, ad 5)
And of the plants, he says:
"If man had not sinned, the earth would have brought forth thorns and thistles to be the food of animals but not to punish man because their
growth before the Fall would bring no labor or punishment for the tiller of the soil, as Augustine says (Gen. ad lit. iii,18)"
Alcuin, however, holds that before sin the earth brought forth no thorns or thistles whatever. But the former opinion, of Augustine, is the better.
(ST, I-II, Q 164, a 2, ad 1) Alcuin (730-804) is no mean authority, but Saint Thomas is simply being consistent with his general principle that
the world God created in the beginning is essentially the same world that we live in as regards the created natures of things, for these do not
change. However, it is certainly possible to adhere to this principle of the fixity of created natures and laws and still admit the cosmic reaction to
Saint Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) is in the line of Alcuin and she writes:
” Creation opposed Man because he rebelled against God. And so all the elements of the world, which before had existed in great calm, were
turned to the greatest agitation, and displayed horrible terrors, because when Man chose disobedience, rebelling against God and forsaking
tranquility for disquiet, that Creation, which had been created for the service of humanity, turned against humans in great and various ways so
that Man, having lowered himself, might be held in check by it. What does this mean? That Man showed himself a rebel against God in the
place of delights, and therefore that Creation, which had been subjected to him in service, now opposed itself to him.” (Scivias. Vision Two.
No Creationist position would be complete or even adequate without a firm and loud proclamation of our Redemption from spiritual death, the
only really fearful kind, by Our Divine Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Romans 5 is the Scriptural locus for this proclamation and St. Paul
"Then as one man's trespass (Adam's sin) led to condemnation for all men, so by One Man's act of righteousness leads to Acquittal and Life for
all men. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by One Man's obedience many will be made righteous." (Romans
Theistic evolutionists, by their de-emphasis if not outright denial of Adam's historical reality and individuality, thus violate or seriously weaken
this necessary connection between Adam and Christ. It should be abundantly clear that if you reduce Genesis 1-3 to poetry and myth, you
disastrously weaken and undermine the doctrinal basis of the Incarnation and Redemption. And this is nothing other than to cut the very heart
out of Christianity, and out of the world.
Adam's sin -- original sin -- is transmitted to his posterity not by limitation nor by being born into the human condition, but by natural generation of biological descent and inherited, along with human nature which, by reason of the sin, finds itself in a state of deprivation that can only be remedied by the application of the merits of the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Baptism and other Sacraments of the Church. (De Fide)
The teaching of Scripture, of Tradition and of the Magisterium is clear: Original Sin is a personal sin committed by an individual historic Adam
and Eve, our First Parents, and is transmitted to us by biological generation along with human nature. It is essentially a negative state of
deprivation in which the soul is lacking that divine gift of sanctifying grace that enables it to see God. This gift of elevation to participation in the
Divine life can only be restored to us by Baptism, in which the merits of the Passion and Death of Our Divine Lord are applied to the soul, or
better, in which the soul is embraced by the Divine in the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
The intrinsic and necessary connection between the Incarnation-Redemption of Our Divine Lord and the Original Sin of Adam and Eve, our
First Parents, makes abundantly clear the foundational character of the Book of Genesis and the need for Christians of our time to proclaim its
historical character in the face of an evil ideology that would deny it.
The theory of evolution is a root error. It goes about its evil work of undermining all that is most sacred and true in human life in the dark
recesses of the human mind and heart. But it is time, very long past time, that the light of Divine Truth, supported by true scientific evidence and
insight, began to search into these evil depths and expose their true character and their true source in the Father of Lies himself.
These de fide Truths reveal clearly the necessary and intrinsic relation between the Fall of our first parents and the Incarnation. By denying the
historical facts that called forth the Incarnation, theistic evolutionists cannot see the world as it really is. They live in a terrible illusion that blocks
out the supernatural light of Truth. They cut out the very heart of Christianity and the world it must redeem. For if they reject Genesis as poetry
and myth, they also reject the Great Promise of the Proto-Evangelium. They fail to honor Mary, The-Woman who crushes the Serpent's head
and destroys all heresies (Gen. 3:15) and they therefore fail, also, to rightly honor Christ, Her-Seed, for these two cannot be separated.
In the beginning of time, God created spiritual beings, Angels, out of nothing. (De fide)
The theology of the angels is important for a complete creationist position for several reasons, not the least of which is, as Lateran IV (1215)
puts it, "the devil and other demons were created by God good in nature, but they themselves, through themselves, have become wicked. But
man sinned at the suggestion of the devil." (D 428)
Angels are more intimately connected with the universe and with human life and history than most of us are aware. These relationships are
brought out by the following doctrines of the Church:
1) the primary task of the good angels is the glorification and the service of God (sententia certa);
2) the secondary task of the good angels is the protection of men and care for their salvation (de fide);
3) every one of the faithful has his own special guardian angel from Baptism (sententia certa);
4) the Devil possesses a certain dominion over mankind by reason of Adam's sin (de fide).
Therefore, no Creationist position would be complete or even adequate without recognition of the place of the Angels in the beginning and
throughout human history, including the very prominent part they will play in the end times.
As to the precise time that the angels were created, there is division of opinion, for Holy Scripture is not clear on this point. St. Thomas
researched the subject and found the Fathers holding a twofold opinion. Evaluating both sides, he concluded:
"The more probable one [position] holds that the angels were created at the same time as corporeal creatures. For the angels are part of the
universe; they do not constitute a universe of themselves; but both they and the corporeal natures unite in constituting one universe. This stands
in evidence from the relationship of creature to creature, because the mutual relationship of creatures makes up the good of the universe. But no
part is perfect if separated from the whole. Consequently it is improbable that God, Whose works are perfect, as it is said in Deut. 32:4, should
have created the angelic creature before other creatures."
At the same time, the contrary is not to be deemed erroneous, especially on account of the opinion of Gregory Nazianzen, whose authority in
Christian doctrine is of such weight that no one has ever raised objection to his teaching, as is also the case with the doctrine of Athanasius, as
Jerome says. Jerome is speaking according to the Greek Fathers, all of whom hold the creation of the angels to have taken place previously to
that of the corporeal world. (ST, I, Q 61, a 3, ad 1)
St. Thomas holds the first of corporeal creatures to be the heaven and earth of Genesis 1:1. (ST, I, Q 65, a 3) Therefore, a fair interpretation of
his thought would seem to place the creation of the angels along with the creative work of the first day.
St. John Damascene says, in his Exposition of the Orthodox Faith (Bk. 2. Ch. 3) He is Himself the Maker and Creator of the angels: for He
brought them out of nothing into being and created them after His own image, an incorporeal race, a sort of spirit or immaterial fire: in the words
of the divine David, "He makes His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire." (Psalm 103:4)
The Bible is both inspired and inerrant in all that it asserts, enunciates, and suggests, because God is the principal Author thereof.
The decrees of Councils, the teaching of Encyclicals, and the decisions of the Biblical Commission all testify to the inspiration and inerrancy of
Holy Scripture, and since the book of Genesis is a canonical book, this constant teaching must apply also to the first, foundational book of the
Bible. The teaching of the Catholic Church on the inspiration and inerrancy of Holy Scripture may be summed up in the following paragraphs
from Emmanuel Doronzo:
“Inspiration as a fact is defined by Trent and Vatican I (1870). Its nature is described as a direct action of God into the intellect and will of the
hagiographers, on account of which their writings are to be attributed to God Himself as their principal author (Vatican I; Leo XIII; Vatican II).
Its extension embraces all the canonical books of both Testaments, "in their entirety and in all their parts" (Trent; Vatican I; Vatican II), "in
everything asserted by the inspired authors" (Vatican II) and not only in "matters of faith and morals" (Leo XIII); briefly, "everything the
hagiographer asserts, enunciates, suggests" (Biblical Commission, June 18, 1915, Denzinger 3629). The inerrancy of the Biblical text, being a
mere consequence of its inspiration, can be considered implicitly defined by Trent and Vatican I, at least as regards matters of faith and morals.
The absolute exclusion of all error, even in other matters, follows from the same inspiration, which makes God author of the entire text and is
considered by Leo XIII as likewise defined by the Magisterium (Denzinger 3293 f).”58
Some modern theologians attempt to introduce a distinction between inspiration and revelation, as if Genesis 1-11 were "inspired" but did not
contain revelation! But such a distinction does not belong to the official teaching of the Church. Doronzo says (Revelation, p. 13):
"... supernatural revelation consists essentially and formally in a speech of God to man, secondarily also in deeds inasmuch as these manifest and
confirm in a practical way the words themselves ... Furthermore, the fittingness and necessity of revelation extends beyond its proper object and
reaches also natural truths themselves (as Vatican Council I teaches, sess. 3, can. 2 and chap. 2 on relation) ... Its fittingness for the knowledge
of natural truths is shown by the limited perfection of our intellect, subject to the deception of the senses and to the influence of the will and its
passions, which are often sources of error ... Therefore, to be taught by God, infallible Truth, concerning the very things which human reason
can know with its own limited and fallible light, is highly perfective of reason itself ..."59
It is in this sense that the Bible is normative for all human learning.
The Deluge described in Genesis 6-8 was a Flood that covered the entire globe, that is, it was universal both anthropologically and geographically, and the fossil record of the geologists is a Monument-Memorial-Reminder for modern man of this watery catastrophe sent upon the earth as a punishment for sin.
There are three points to be emphasized here:
1. the historicity of the Flood,
2. its geographical universality,
3. its anthropological universality.
1) The Historicity of the Flood. That the historicity is well founded in tradition:
"It will not ... be enough to grant that the ancient Flood legend became the vehicle of religious and spiritual truth by means of a divinely guided
religious feeling and insight of the inspired writer. The Deluge is referred to in several passages of Scripture as a historical fact; the writings of
the Fathers consider the event in the same light, and this view of the subject is confirmed by the most distant nations of which the Flood tradition
lives in the most distant nations of the earth. ... the Bible story concerning the Flood bas never been explained or understood in any but a truly
historical sense by any Catholic writer ... It would be useless labor ... to enumerate the long list of Fathers and Scholastic theologians who have
touched upon the question. The few stray discordant voices ... are simply drowned in this unanimous chorus of Christian tradition."60
That was in 1908. But there is another view abroad today; it is widespread within the Catholic Church and it is being taught to our children. It is
an attitude deeply influenced by modernism. It says:
"We are not to ask ourselves how the Flood can have happened or what were the details about the Ark and the number of the animals. At the
time of the inspired author the story of the Flood was thus named on the basis of a very old tradition which is found also in Babylonian
documents. The author took two versions of that tradition and interpolated one into the other without modifying them and without taking
complete account of them (hence the obvious repetitions): instead, he gave to the old tradition a totally new meaning, which is actually the lesson
we must draw about God's justice and His persistent will for our salvation."61
This brief passage illustrates three of the most typical characteristics of modernism pointed out by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi. First, it
illustrates that agnosticism toward all things but especially toward the things of Faith, a deeply anti-intellectual prejudice in favor of experience
even while at the same time it exhibits a false rationalism in being against all things supernatural. Thus we -- and many students -- are told that
we are not to attempt to understand the historical events of Holy Scripture but rather leave our reason outside when we come to Holy Scripture
and adopt an attitude of nescience. This is also the heresy of fideism, which makes an un-natural separation between the supernatural virtue of
Faith and the human intellect in which it is rooted and practiced. Secondly, we have here that "dismembering of the records of Sacred
Scripture" which Pius X lamented, for it is plain that the Documentary Hypothesis of the Welhaussen school underlies the exegesis and literary
criticism of these authors. Thirdly, there is here the quite obvious assumption (also forbidden by the official Teaching Authority of the Catholic
Church) that "the subject of these books is not science or history, but only religion and morals" (Pascendi).
A fourth and very serious objection is to be taken to the assertion that the Biblical author borrowed versions of the Flood from pagan traditions,
which are thus held to be prior to the Biblical Revelation itself. Although the 1909 Decree of the Biblical Commission pertains specifically to
Genesis 1-3, its decision may certainly be applied with equal force to Genesis 1.11. In that Decree it is emphatically forbidden to teach that the
Holy Scripture contains "fables derived from mythologies and cosmologies belonging to older nations, even if these be considered to be purified
of all polytheistic error ".
The fact of the matter is that the Hebrew Scriptures contain Divine Revelation whereas the mythologies of pagan nations are either corruptions
of this original Divine Revelation or later inventions, or a mixture of both. Our children are being taught a perverse view of the Sacred Scriptures
and the Catholic population in general is being indoctrinated in such a way as to view Holy Scripture as a purely human set of books full of
errors which they must somehow disregard in order to extract a read-back-into "religious" meaning.
This situation should be vigorously opposed by all Christians who value, not only the Holy Scripture as God's Word, but also and especially the
existence of the Church itself, for how can the Church stand in any healthy manner, deprived of its real sustenance in Scripture and Tradition?
The "new theology" of which the text quoted above is eminently typical in its subtle appeal to the anti-supernatural bias of modern people, is a
theology divorced from both Holy Scripture and Tradition. It represents a real bifurcation in the movement of history and will ultimately end in
the deserts of unbelief. That such a large number of Catholics and that such a large number of Catholics in high places, especially priests and
religious, have committed themselves to this divergent, wayward stream, does not presage a good time ahead for the Church or for the world.
Therefore, in union with Catholic Tradition and the mind of the official Magisterium of the Church as perceived in her documents, we uphold
1) the historicity of the Flood of Noe's time
2) the geographical universality of the Flood is also upheld. This fact was not disputed until the modern rise of uniformitarianism which began to
impose upon the fossil record an evolutionary rather than a catastrophic interpretation. But again, Tradition and the Magisterium are on the side
of a literal reading of Genesis 6-8 and full acceptance of what Scripture clearly teaches about this cataclysmic event.
3) the anthropological universality of the Flood is well attested by both Scripture and Tradition. St. Peter speaks twice of the fact that only eight
persons survived the Deluge (I Peter 3:20 and 2 Peter 2:5) and these were in the Ark, namely, Noe and his family. There is, indeed, a really
frightening degree of fitness in the second Epistle of St. Peter to our times. For never in the history of Christianity have the historical events of
the Bible itself been so scoffed at as unworthy of belief by "enlightened" men. And never in the history of Christianity have the Shepherds of the
Church been so blind and negligent with regard to these "destructive heresies" which thus invade the Flock of Christ "secretly" because, either
wittingly or unwittingly, unseen and unheeded by the guardians of truth. (II Peter 2:1 and 3:3) It must be emphasized, also, that Catholic
Tradition has always regarded the Ark as a divine type of the Church and the purifying waters of the Flood as a type of Baptism. The 1908
Catholic Encyclopedia article says that this view of the Fathers was not entertained as a private opinion "but as a development of the doctrine
contained in I Peter 3:20" wherein the Apostle points out that these eight persons, that is Noe and his family, "were saved through water." As
pointed out earlier (in Thesis 17), the existence of a divine type in Scripture is a guarantee of the reality of the type or original event. Thus, the
historicity of the Flood may not be doubted without danger to divine Faith.
Thesis 30 (summarily)
As an inescapable conclusion of all the foregoing, the thesis is put forward that the theory of evolution, touching as it does, the all-important
foundational doctrines concerning Creation, Sin, and Redemption, by its very nature undermines divine Catholic Faith and poisons the mind in
which it takes residence, obscuring the supernatural truths of Faith and warping the natural powers of reason. Acceptance of this error forces
the Christian to hold false views of Holy Scripture, to disregard the constant teaching of the Catholic Church and its Tradition, and distorts his
understanding of crucial Christian doctrines. In the general sense, then, the error of evolution must be asserted to be incompatible with divine
Catholic Faith. In more specific senses it is against Catholic Faith, as can be seen from the foregoing theses.
THE SCIENCE OF CREATION
In Genesis 28:12 and again in John 1:51, the Angels of God are described as ascending and descending, in the first instance, upon a ladder and
in the second, "upon the Son of man." This Image may also be seen as a symbol of our growth in knowledge and the gradual maturing in our
souls of wisdom and love. For all knowledge begins in the senses and ascends from there to higher orders, but we also return down again to
verification in sense knowledge and experience, and so ascend again and descend. If the process is one of true growth and maturity and if the
goal is truly desired (it is an aberration of our times to exult in the quest as quest and to deprive the journey of its attainable purpose), then each
ascent attains a higher degree of wisdom and each descent a deeper degree of understanding until the limits of our capacity are reached and
God calls us to the end and goal of all our striving in the Beatific Vision of His Glory.
This ascent and descent of our soul as it seeks to know God more deeply in order to be able to love and serve Him more intensely and purely,
may be compared to the inductive and deductive methods of all science. When we proceed deductively, we begin with the reflection upon the
truths of Faith known as theology. The truths of Faith are revealed to us in Holy Scripture and in Tradition. Therefore, the Bible and Tradition
are presupposed to theology as its source and foundation. And as a living guardian of the truths of Faith, the Magisterium of the Church, the rule
and analogy of Faith operate to guide and protect the ascents and descents of theological reflection from error. But because theological activity
never takes place in a vacuum but always in time and in a particular culture, two other kinds of thinking impinge upon the theologian as upon any
person who reads the Bible and reflects upon the truths of his Faith. These are philosophical concepts and what today we term scientific
concepts. Both of these differ greatly from culture to culture and from age to age. But the first question to be asked of them is this: do they offer
us truth? To answer this question requires a degree of maturity in these disciplines themselves and especially in that branch of philosophy known
as epistemology. Here, one can only assert that the human mind is indeed not only capable of attaining to truth (which is defined by St. Thomas
as the conformity of the mind with reality) but that it is made for truth, for the real Truth is the good and the perfection of the intellect of man.
Strange perversion then it is, of our time, to deny that truth can be attained.
Obviously, the truth offered us by any one branch of science cannot contradict that of any other field of study and still be termed truth. And the
ultimate norm of all truth is God's Revelation of Himself in Holy Scripture and Tradition, for He is truth-full and can neither deceive nor be
deceived. But there are many truths that God has not revealed to us because we are capable of knowing them without the aid of Revelation.
Some of these are self-evident, such as the fact that my senses give me true knowledge of reality, that a thing cannot be and not be at the same
time, and that a thing is what it is, it exists and it exists as such and such a kind of being. These are the first principles of all knowledge and to
deny them is to deny the possibility of any kind of knowledge, to commit intellectual suicide, a not uncommon phenomenon of our time.
The rungs of the ladder may thus be counted as four: the Bible and theology are supernatural in their objective and subjective modes while
philosophy and empirical science are natural. But the four belong together, they are part of the same ladder, and we could see empirical
science, with its emphasis upon the material-physical universe, as the bottom rung, with philosophy and theology being the higher rungs. And in
a sense, the Bible is both bottom-foundation, containing much that is material, especially in the historical parts, but also the highest, containing as
it does, the most sublime theology. In summary, we might say that the total subject of Creation -- specified in its formal object as the study of
origins -- could be entered from any one of four points.
1) the Theological, which in a sense includes and certainly presupposes the Bible and Tradition.
2) the Philosophical, which functions as an instrument inasmuch as it provides from its own proper sphere of rational activity certain definitions
such as those of cause and effect, existence and essence, being, act and potency, substance and accident, change, motion, time, place, quality,
quantity, and so on. When these categories are subsumed into theological reflection and are used in the light of divine Faith, then the concepts of
philosophy are protected from the kinds of errors that we see multiplied and multiplying today in those systems that divorce themselves from this
saving and sanctifying influence.
It is also in the realm of philosophy that Aristotle's four causes are examined and it is by looking at these that one can see perhaps more clearly
than anywhere else the precise relations between philosophy and theology.
Thus, the efficient cause of things becomes in theology God, our Creator, the highest Efficient Cause of all things and the only source of
existence for all things. The formal cause of things falls into the realm of essence and especially of nature (the composite of existence and
essence or existing beings) as a principle of identity and of operation. The material cause is that upon which empirical science presently
concentrates most distinctively but always, it must be emphasized, in-formed because matter without form is nothing but pure potentiality or
possibility and as such, is only a logical concept with no extra-mental actuality. (Theories of modern science enter this realm of pure possibility
and of fantasy with increasing frequency and sometimes with rather bizarre effects as witness the credibility with which the popular TV program
Star-Trek is entertained.) Then, just as there are lesser agencies and efficiencies acting in the manner of secondary causes, so there are lesser
finalities in the cosmos and more proximate ends which are studied by the natural scientists as they investigate, for example, human and animal
behaviors. But the Final Cause and ultimate destiny of all things is God Himself and His Glory.
Aristotle's four causes would be an excellent way to unify all the sciences. This kind of model or total framework would impose no more stasis
than there actually is in reality. And best of all, it would admit of no more dynamism than there actually is. Today's much-touted emphasis upon
dynamism and the irrational rejection of all stasis that often accompanies it, is not by any means the emphasis that is necessarily most true to the
real. Rather, it seems to us to be a distinct preference, a cultivated and calculated bias of certain powerful intellectuals of our time. And their
preferences should not be permitted to shape the world view of all other persons -- unless, of course, all other persons so choose. I, for one,
feel bound to question the bias of today's evolutionary scientists and resist their tendency to impose their false philosophy upon my mind and my
life for the precise reason that having examined it, I find it false.
3) Empirical Science. What today we call science is but a narrowed portion of the total reality open to the human mind for study. This science
limits itself to the measurable and observable physical data of the senses and the data yielded by the instruments constructed to extend the range
of the human senses. And because the physical universe which this science studies is a vast system of inter-related particulars and particles, it is
obvious that, as one Creationist textbook points out: Science ... has the drawback of never producing final or absolute answers. The findings of
science must be taken as merely temporary answers. If science were absolute, science textbooks could be written once and left unchanged,
with no need for revised editions. But science is changeable.62 This passage might leave the impression that there are no real laws, no
universals that modern science recognizes. But this is not so. There could be no system of classification at all without universal concepts and
there are laws, such as the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
What is designated as changeable is the mind's construct of a certain portion of the studied reality. And this work of revision is hardly peculiar
to empirical science. Everyone is always revising and correcting their views as more data are encountered. This is part of the total process of
learning. One continually adjusts one's interior "model" of the way things are. But again, there are limits. And the evolutionists' model is false and
misleading precisely because its limitations are the wrong ones. The limits, plainly indicated in reality itself, are those of created nature. The true
Creationist position recognizes only those limitations discovered in created nature itself. Thus science, which is knowledge, studies realty and
each branch of science is distinguished by its formal object or what is more commonly called, its subject matter.
But the evolutionist says No! He says that reality is only what you can observe and measure. He says that science is only what he says it is and
not what nature indicates. And he says there is no Creator, no first efficient Cause and no Final Cause and destiny for all things outside of
present measurable processes. But he will also tell you that there are no limits to what these present processes of matter can do so long as you
continue to understand them as nothing but material processes. And so, he puts limitations in the wrong places and imposes his own desires
upon created nature and upon the Creator Himself, refusing Him a place in reality. When seen from this angle, it is plain that evolution does not
deserve to be termed a theory for its will-full character is plain. It is not so much an intelligent comprehension of reality as it is a preference, a
choice, and a willed exclusion of certain portions of total reality.
The theistic evolutionist goes along with this view of science and thereby contributes to and reinforces the fragmentation of knowledge and the
fideistic necessity for an unreal leap of faith across artificial chasms constructed by a false science. This is nowhere better illustrated than in those
Catholic schools where some variety of creation is taught in Religion courses and straight evolution is taught in science courses. (More and
more, though, the compromise is wholly on the side of the Religion courses and the variety of creation taught is not creation at all but the
evolutionary process itself, hiding under the name of "creative processes" or some such euphemism.)
4) The Bible. Holy Scripture is itself the source of our knowledge of Creation. It is also the source of our Faith and our Worship since it is the
Word of God telling us what we must believe, what we must do, and how we must both believe and do (e.g. "in spirit and in truth" John 4:24).
But most relevant to our present purposes is the discipline of exegesis. Today we witness a harmful separation of Biblical exegesis from
theology as the textual and literary aspects of the Sacred Books are excessively analyzed in terms of purely human literature. Thus we are
confronted with that "dismemberment of the records" of which Pius X spoke in Pascendi.
There could be no more healthy corrective to this situation than to take seriously the words of A.M. Rehwinkel, a Lutheran scholar whose
views in this matter are entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching and tradition. He says:
“...the religions of Greece and Rome, of Egypt and Persia, of India and the East, did not postulate an historical background. The mythical
period of the Greeks, though similar in form, was distinct in kind from the historic. The objective reality of the scenes and events of each period
was not even conceived as belonging to the same order, or as being of the same kind. It is quite otherwise with the religion of the Old
Testament. There the doctrine is bound up with the facts; and, moreover, it is so dependent upon them, without them it is null and void. If there
is no first Adam there is no second Adam. The facts are the necessary substratum of the truths or doctrines of the Old Testament precisely as
those truths are the necessary substratum of the beauties that arise out of them.”63
This passage emphasizes the fact that if the historicity of Holy Scripture is undermined, the reality of doctrine is called into question.
The present-day relation to science and to history can also be seen very clearly from the following, as Rev. Rehwinkel continues:
"... today there is a glaring conflict between the Biblical concept of the origin and age of the universe and the theories propounded by modern
scientists. According to our Bible. God created heaven and earth in a period of six days, and this occurred within historic times. But according
to the theories of the scientists, this universe with all its creatures, including man, came into being through a process of evolution extending over
millions and billions of years.
According to the Bible, Creation, Fall, and Redemption occurred within measurable human history. The theories of the scientist know nothing of
man's creation and fall, and completely ignore His redemption.
As a result, people become confused. If the opinions of these wise men of the world are right, the Bible must be wrong. But if the Bible is not
reliable in these matters, how can we be sure that it is reliable in the far more important questions concerning the person, the work and the
redemption of Christ, the certainty of life hereafter, the resurrection from the dead, and the ultimate consummation of this universe in the final
So a careful and reverent study of the Biblical Chronology will indeed prove to be profitable and important and will show conclusively that the
three greatest events in the history of the human race, namely, man's creation, fall, and redemption, are intimately connected and that they have
occurred within historic times and are not separated from each other by the astronomical figures commonly ascribed to the history of man.
“... the Bible is absolutely the only source of information in the world concerning the chronology and the history of the human race from the very
beginning. For the first 2,000, or possibly 3,000 years of human history, there is no other reliable record outside of the Bible. This record is
found in the first 11 chapters of the book of Genesis. ... the Bible record is complete and accurate, beginning with the creation of the first man.
It presents him not in a nebulous sub-human condition, but as a superior personality endowed with intelligence and perfect holiness, and created
in the image of God, and then traces his history for more than 2.000 years directly from father to son (even including the ages of each) so that
we have not only an accurate genealogy, but also an exact chronology."64
This author is quoted at length to emphasize the fact that Holy Scripture does indeed give us knowledge -- revealed knowledge -- of that
portion of history which the natural sciences also claim to reveal to us. And since the two conflict when the latter is informed by the false
philosophy of evolution, we know from God Himself where the truth is to be found, and that, of course, is in His Word.
In conclusion, the insidious influence of the error of evolution and its real incompatibility with the Catholic Faith can be seen more clearly when
the doctrine of Creation is viewed in the total perspective of the hierarchy of Catholic Truth: The Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology says in its
introductory article entitled "Synthesis of Theological Doctrine":
"Christian doctrine is not a fragmentary collection of truths, ... but a compact system of truths organically elaborated, in which reason moves in
the light of faith and divine revelation. It is also science, but science that transcends the subject matter and the method of common human
sciences, because its principles consist in a datum or known fact which rests on the authority of God, the infallible Truth. The datum or premise
is divine revelation consigned in two sources: Holy Scripture and Tradition. Custodian and authentic interpreter of both these sources is the
living and infallible teaching authority (magisterium vivum et infallibile) of the Church instituted by Jesus Christ."65
This hierarchy of divine truth is a system in which all the parts are related organically and, as Paul Hallet says (National Catholic Register, 9
May 1976) Catholicism is thereby "so compact in its doctrinal edifice that to remove the least of its established teachings would be to throw the
whole thing into ruins."
Where precisely then, is the doctrine of Creation situated in this hierarchy? The General Catechetical Directory issued by the Sacred
Congregation for the Clergy in 1971 indicates this for us in the following directives:
Hierarchy of truths to be observed in catechesis
43. In the message of salvation there is a certain hierarchy of truths which the Church has always recognized when it composed creeds or
summaries of the truths of Faith. This hierarchy does not mean that some truths pertain to Faith itself less than others, but rather that some truths
are based on others as of a higher priority, and are illumined by them On all levels catechesis should take account of this hierarchy of the truths
of Faith. These truths may be grouped under four basic heads: the mystery of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Creator of all
things; the mystery of Christ the Incarnate Word, who was born of the Virgin Mary, who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation; the mystery
of the Holy Spirit, who is present in the Church, sanctifying it and guiding it until the glorious coming of Christ, our Saviour and Judge; and the
mystery of the Cburch, which is Christ's Mystical Body, in which the Virgin Mary holds the pre-eminent place. The doctrine of Creation and the
doctrines most immediately following from it (Creation of Adam and Eve, their natural perfection and elevation to divine grace, the state of
original innocence and the Fall) are seen here to be situated at the very top of the hierarchy of Catholic Truth, with the doctrine of the Blessed
Trinity. In other words, they are foundational truths. Later on in the General Catechetical Directory (paragraph 51) the centrality of Jesus Christ,
Our Divine Lord, and His Redemptive life and death is insisted upon and emphasized. In other words, given the Fall of man, everything is
ordered to and hinges upon "the salvation wrought by Jesus Christ."
Thus, we may say that the history of the world begins with a perfect universe, and the first man and woman begin with a perfect nature
indescribably enriched with supernatural gifts. Very early in this history, however, the first man and woman commit the most disruptive act, a
mortal, grievous sin, and thereby bring death and degeneration into their own human nature and into the entire universe of which they are a part.
From henceforth, the history of man and of the world looks forward to and yearns for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Second
Person of the Blessed Trinity, Who incarnates His Divine Person in human nature, thus redeeming all men who are willing and in them, all matter
in the Baptism of His Death and glorious Resurrection.
This, then, is the central fact of all history -- the Incarnation and Redemption of sinful man and his world. But it hinges upon the Fall of man in
the beginning of history and makes no sense without this prior event. The Incarnation of the Word harks back to Creation and the Fall and
forward to the consummation of all things in Glory.
One cannot mar or distort this perfect unity of historical Fact, Doctrine and Faith, this trinity of reality, without threatening its collapse. But this is
precisely what the error of evolution attempts. It undermines, in the minds of men. the historical foundation, the very incarnational aspects of the
It presents to the mind of modern man who idolizes empirical science and whatever his senses present to him, a view of history that claims to be
that of science itself. But this view of history is a most perverse counterfeit of that given us in Divine Revelation. It is a very clever reversal of the
Divine Order of all things.
Thus, the theory of evolution is not just a scientific theory or hypothesis. It is a systematically developed world view, a consummate web of
error able to twist any fact to fit its own perverse ends. It has penetrated and deformed every academic discipline and every area of ordinary
life. It is the best preparation one could imagine for the reign of evil in the world, for the (temporary) defeat of Christianity (as Our Lord suffered
a seeming defeat on the Cross) and for the (again, temporary) sovereignty of Satan in the world.
As such a systematic counterfeit of the true, divinely revealed truth about man and his history, his origin and his destiny, the evolutionary
ideology is worthy of the totally perverted but still angelic intelligence of Satan himself. The success it enjoys is but a further proof of its diabolic
origin and we are indeed laboring under "the dominion of the Devil" (see Thesis 25).
ONLY the truth of God's Word can set us free from this net of error and darkness that Satan has so ingeniously woven and continues to weave
with such cunning and tenacity of purpose. All the clear proofs of reason and of faith do not affect those who have chosen to embrace this
error. Against these Our Divine Lord says: "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer
from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies he speaks according to his own nature,
for he is a liar and the father of lies." But to His disciples He says: "If you continue in My Word, you are truly My disciples, and you will know
the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8: 32,44)
And so, the doctrine of Creation in the total hierarchy of Catholic truth is not only an alternative world view to that of evolution, a more likely or
even more rational and more aesthetic choice of beliefs, though it is all these things. It does not just present to the mind of modem man another
item on the menu of his opinions available to his cosmopolitan taste. No, God is not a theory and His Word is not an a la carte in the
smorgasbord of life, not even as dessert. Rather, God's claim on us is absolute and total and those who have not seen with their intellect and
experienced in their heart and along the strings of their nerves the fact of their own creaturehood and fallen down in worship at God's Feet as a
result of this Grace -- such people have missed the only really important fact of life, the one that gives meaning and importance and proper
perspective to all the others.
The theory of evolution could have attained such a degree of acceptance as we witness today in the Catholic Church only in a time of great
doctrinal decline and obscurity. The theses presented in this paper emphasize the fact that clear and strong doctrinal affirmation will extirpate the
evil of this ideology from the Body of Christ and do much to restore its health and unity. That this will happen, and happen soon, is the prayer of
the author, and must, it seems to us, be the prayer of every concerned Christian.
Evolution is an Error. Science and Philosophy disprove it; the Bible and Theology reject it. The Catholic Church is the Mother of Truth and
cannot teach Error. Nor can She allow Her children to embrace Error. Therefore: The Catholic Church cannot teach Evolution, cannot accept
Evolution, and cannot allow Her children to accept it. The Catholic Church must reject Evolution as the Falsehood that it is, because She is the
Mother of Truth, and Falsehood has no Fellowship with Her. I know it is the major premise that will be questioned. I welcome such a
challenge, for the burden now rests entirely upon theistic evolutionists to demonstrate that their position is other than what is claimed in these 30
Theses or that it is in any sense a true rather than a false position. Respectfully submitted to the judgment of the Church, the ultimate Authority in
all of these matters.
SOURCES OF CATHOLIC DOCTRINE USED IN THIS WORK Denzinger. The Sources of Catholic Dogma. Translated by Roy J.
Deferrari from the 30th ed. of Henry Denzinger's Enchiridion Symbolorum. St. Louis: B. Herder, 1957.
Ott, Ludwig. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. 6th ed. Ed. in English by James Canon Bastible. Transl. by Patrick Lynch. St. Louis: B.
Pohle, Joseph. God: The Author of Nature and the Supernatural, A Dogmatic Treatise. Adapted and edited by Arthur Preuss. St. Louis: B.
Rome and the Study of Scripture. 7th ed., St. Meinrad. 1964. (RSS)
St. Thomas Aquinas. Summa Theologica. New York: Benziger Brothers, 1947.
Garrigou-Lagrange, Reginald. The Trinity and God the Creator. St. Louis: B. Herder, 1952
Notes 1 "How to Detect Heresy Before It Bites You". Soul magazine, May-June 1970. Reprinted from The Sacred Heart Messenger.
2 Ewert H. Cousins. Editor. Process Theology: Basic Writings by the Key Thinkers of a Major Modern Movement. Walter E. Stokes, S.J. "A
Whiteheadian Reflection on God's Relation to the World." pp.146-148. New York. Newman Press, 1971.
3 Matthias Joseph Scheeben. The Mysteries of Christianity. Transl. by Cyril Vollert, S.J. R. Herder Book Co., 1946, p.125.
4 The Breviloquium. Part II. Chapter 12. Transl. by Jos de Vinck. Paterson, N.J. St. Anthony Guild Press, 1963, pp. 104-105.
5 Beyond Politics. Santa Monica, CA, USA. Veritas Press, 1995, pp. 186-187.
6 Ibid., p. 196.
7 Ludwig Ott. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. Edited by James Canon Bastible & transl. by Patrick Lynch. B. Herder Book Co., 1964, 6th
edition, p. 86. Hereafter referred to as Ott.
8 Robert B. Mellert. What Is Process Theology? New York: Paulist Press, 1975, p. 55.
9 Ibid, p. 107.
10Questiones Disputatae. Herder and Herder, 1965, p. 45.
11 Ibid, pp. 68-69. Emphases added.
12 George A. Kendall, The Wanderer. 19 Sept 1991, "Fundamentalism: a Spiritual Dead End".
13 Fr. Basil Pennington. Our Sunday Visitor. 10 Oct 1993. "Why Monks Still Matter".
14 Jacques Monod. Chance and Necessity: An Essay on the Natural Philosophy of Modern Biology. Vintage Books Edition, 1971, p. 180.
15 Robert Francoeur. In an article in Critic, Vol 25, Feb-Mar 1967, pp. 27,34.
16 St. Bonaventure. Breviloquium. Part II. Chapter 1.
17 John C. Greene. The Death of Adam: Evolution and Its Impact on Western Thought. Ames, Iowa, USA. Iowa State Univ. Press, 1959, p.
18 The Catholic Student's "Aids" to the Study of the Bible. London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, 1926, pp. 2, 276.
19 Dennis R. Petersen. Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation. Creation Resource Foundation, 1986, pp. 1-35. Also, Walt Brown. In the
Beginning. 1995, 6th ed, p. 30. Center for Scientific Creation, 5612 N 20th Pl, Phoenix AZ 85016, USA.
20 One will find adherence by Jaki to these doctrines in just about anything he writes, but perhaps of special influence is Catholic Essays,
Christendom Press, 1990, the last essay entitled "The Intelligent Christian's Guide to Scientific Cosmology." Catholics should be warned,
however, that Fr. Jaki is a skilled writer and tends to overpower his reader by the sheer force of his scientific brilliance.
21 Ibid., p. 149.
22 Fr. Roger Nesbitt. Evolution and the Existence of God. Catholic Truth Society pamphlet, 1971, pp. 2-4.
23 Harold Blum. American Scientist, Oct 1955, p. 595
24 Fr. Raymond Nogar. The Wisdom of Evolution. Doubleday, 1963, p. 66.
25 Ibid, pp. 66-67
26 Op.cit., p. 149.
28 Harold Coffin. "Creation -- Accident or Design." Review & Herald, 1969, pp. 193-197.
29 Duane T. Gish. Evolution? The Fossils Say No!" 2nd ed., 1973, p. 118. Emphases added.
30 Harold Coffin. Creation: The Evidence from Science. p. 9.
31 Nogar, Op.cit
. 32 Ibid.
33 Ibid., pp.69-70.
34 See Daylight. Editor, Anthony Nevard, England. May 1994. Article by Kay Ollerenshaw, "Adam's Animals: The Genesis Kinds".
37 Ervin Nemesszeghy, S.J. and John Russell, S.J. Theology of Evolution. (Theology Today Series, No. 6) Notre Dame, IN, USA. Fides
Publishers, 1971, p. 65.
38 Nemesszeghy and Russell. Theology of Evolution. Fides, 1972. p. 25.
39 Nemesszeghy an Russell. Op.cit. p. 25.
40 Op.cit. p. 24.
41 Quoted from ICR Acts and Facts, 5 Aug 1976.
42 Carl Winterstein. Bible-Science Newsletter, June 1976, p. 8.
43 F. E. Robbins. The Hexaemeral Literature. Univ. of Chicago, 1911, p. 22.
44 Fr. Raymond Nogar. Wisdom of Evolution. Doubleday, 1963, p. 68.
45 The Labor of the Sun, 1998, p. 11. Obtainable from the author: R. G. Elmendorf, 208 S Magnolia Dr, Glenshaw PA 15116, USA
46 St. Bonaventure. Breviloquium. Part II. Chapter 1.
47 Steinmueller. Companion to Scripture Studies. 1969, vol. 1, P. 262 ff.
48 St. Bonaventure. Breviloquium. Book II. Chapter 10.
49 Msgr. Kolbe. A Catholic View of Holism. 1928, pp. 47-48. Kolbe is here quoted by Vera Barclay in her excellent 1951 book entitled
Challenge to the Darwinians, Johns, pp. 264-265.
50 Msgr. Leo S. Schumacher. The Truth about Teilhard. Catholic Polls, 1968, pp. 21-22.
51 I. J. Predder and E. G. Wynne. Genetics: A Basic Guide. Norton, 1972, pp. 17-18. Emphasis added.
52 Ludwig Ott. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. p. 1, 6, 7.
53 Robert Francoeur. Critic, Feb-Mar 1967, pp. 30-31.
54 Council of Trent. Session V, 17 June 1546, Decree Concerning Original Sin. D 787-792.
55 Solange Hertz. Apostasy in America. Veritas Press, 1999, pp. 157-159.
57 For an extended discussion of this subject see the author's paper, "Entropy and Eden", April 1992.
58 Emmanuel Doronzo. The Channels of Revelation. 1973, p. 3.
59 Ibid., p. 13.
60 The Catholic Encyclopedia. 1908.
61 Enrico Galblati. The History of Salvation in the Old Testament. Edizione Instituto S. Gaetano, 1969. Dist. by Alba House Comm. p. 45.
62 Emmett L. Williams and George Mulfinger. Physical Science for Christian Schools. Bob Jones Univ. Press. 1974, p. 6.
63 A. M. Rehwinkel. The Age of the Earth and Chronology of the Bible. 2nd ed. Adelaide, South Australia. 1967, p. 10, wherein Rehwinkel
quotes from the work of the Biblical Chronologist, Rev. Martin Anstey.
64 Ibid., pp. 2, 3, 7-8.
65 Parente, Piolanti, and Garofalo. Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology. 1974. Original edition, Bruce, 1951. From introductory article entitled
"Synthesis of Theological Doctrine".