THEOLOGY, EVOLUTION AND ORGANISED RELIGION

Date Created: 2018-08-30 06:23:07

THEOLOGY EVOLUTION AND ORGANISED RELIGION

 Peter Adeyemi

Introduction

      The year 2009 marks the bicentennial of the birth of Charles Darwin and 150 years of his ground breaking book on evolution titled: Origin of Species. The two events are already being celebrated by many universities in Europe and America with seminars and conferences. There is no human being living or dead that has been a subject of controversy, ferocious attacks, vilifications and calumny more than Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882), a British scientist, who laid the foundation of modern evolutionary theory. Most British newspapers and tabloid of his time were reported to have drew caricatures of Darwin with his bald head, long beard hopping on all fours like apes. In all these unfounded, uninformed and ignorance driven public ridicule; Darwin was never reported whether by his protagonists or antagonists to have replied any one in uncomplimentary language. He was an erudite scholar - gentleman to the core, a man of sound moral principles and devoted family man.

        He was a man who towered above his contemporaries and his ideas have shaped almost all human endeavours. God did not make a mistake to have created Darwin with an immense intellect with which he has caused an irreversible revolution of unimaginable proportion in science. If God permitted his ideas to make a break into the human consciousness and to survive till date; then God has a purpose for it. We have a number of propositions in this paper as our defining parameters.

  1. Charles Darwin did not make God or religion the subject matter of his research.
  2. The subject matter of Darwin’s research was evolution, or origin of species.
  3. God is not against Charles Darwin, but uninformed organized religion that separates faith from reason is.
  4. Right from the inception of the theory of evolution till date overzealous religious scholars have misunderstood him; similarly he has been misrepresented by many scientists.
  5. Darwin got many things right in his scientific research but he got a few things wrong metaphysically. It is to be noted here before further clarification, that evolution goes beyond physical descent of biological species.

Evolution and the Darwinian Revolution

        An intelligent contribution to any debate requires a fair knowledge of the subject matter under discussion. It is against that background that this paper will briefly talk about Evolution before stating why theology cannot accept evolution completely; even scientists themselves are divided on its details.

       The theory of evolution is one of the most powerful and outstanding intellectual achievements in human history. The idea is the foundation for biological sciences in the contemporary time. It has since gone beyond its scientific confines and greatly influenced other areas of human intellectual inquiry. There has been a continuous development of the idea of evolution among scholars and when we consider the complexity of the subject, the very definition is disputed.[1] In its etymology the term evolution is from the Latin verb “evolvere” which means to unroll or unfold.”[2] In the real sense of the word, ‘evolution refers to every change, which an observer, even untrained, can record in any category of phenomena, physical, biological or human. The changing nature of the world, its transformation, etc, is accepted as facts.[3]

        The Columbus encyclopedia describes evolution as the concept which embodies the belief that existing animals and plants developed by a process of gradual continuous change from previously existing forms. The natural process through which species come out of existing ones is speculated to have occurred over several millions of years. Encyclopedia Britannica posits that evolution is the theory that explains the appearance of life on earth and means by which living things have acquired their present forms.

        From the myriad of definitions proffered by scholars, one idea is a recurring point that all organisms in the universe can be traced back to the origin of life from inanimate matter and that evolution is the logical application to life of the truth that change is inevitable and universal. Consequently, in 1959, at the Darwin continental celebration in Chicago, where fifty international experts on various phases of evolution theory met, a meaning of evolution was formulated which contemporary scientists accepted, it is defined to mean:

…A one way irreversible process in time that, during its course, generates novelty, diversity, and higher levels of organization. It operates in every sector of the phenomenal universe but has been mostly fully described and analyzed in biological sector.[4]

The history of the idea that life in all its different manifestations is not the creation of the gods but a purely natural phenomenon predates Charles Darwin; we can trace the date back to the time of pre-Socratic philosophers of nature, such as Anaximander, Anaximanes, Heraclitus and later Aristotle etc. Anyhow, the theory of evolution as known since the 19th century can be identified solely with the works of Charles Darwin in his Origin of Species’ it was in it that he developed the idea of natural selection, variation,  survival of the fittest and adaptation of species.

        The general statement of evolution clearly explained that the emergence of organisms can be accomplished by materials and forces belonging to the organic universe, and that no miraculous intrusion is needed to account for the proliferation of new forms[5] and the complexity that we find in the world. According to Darwin, this force is an ‘unconscious natural force’ it was this viewpoint that led to the claim that all the designs in the universe are the outcome of an entirely random process.

        Darwin posits that life evolved from simple inorganic matter to microbes, aquatic animals followed, from which amphibians evolved, reptiles developed and avian species, then came the mammals from which apes branched out. These finally are the progenitors of the human race.

        How new species evolved from the old ones was through genetic mutation. Genetic mutation is a mistake in the attempt of the cells to duplicate or copy themselves for onward transmission to their progenies. The mistake often results in accidental passing on of special quality (genes) to the next offspring which in turn will pass it on to many more generations.

        There is also what biologists regard as “the prodigality of nature with respect to reproduction among animals. For instance, a single salmon produces 28,000,000 eggs in a season; an Oyster may pass as many as 114,000,000 eggs at a single spawning”. A struggle for existence inevitably follows the high rate at which all organic beings tend to increase.[6]

        The struggle for existence may be between animals of the same species competing for the limited food supply, mating, physical conditions of nature, or from predator species. This leads to the survival of the fittest. Those species that are able to adapt to the situation and environment survive, while the weaker species will die out or remain the same-not able to evolve into a new species. Those with the special qualities through a combination of survival instincts, variation and genetic mutation evolve into a distinct species through transformation over several millions of years. The method by which the special qualities passed on are preserved is known as natural selection.

        Richard Dawkins, a professor of sociobiology and a faithful disciple of Darwin, in his book, The blind watchmaker, describes “natural selection” which is the mainstay of evolutionary theory advanced by Darwin as the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a ‘master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning.[7]  He makes a distinction between ‘single step’ selection and cumulative selection. Single step is not capable of bringing about the order or design we  perceive in nature or bring about life. But cumulative selection led to living organization (life). The essential difference ‘between single-step selection and cumulative selection is this,  in single-step selection, the entities selected or sorted… are sorted once and for all. In cumulative selection on the other hand, they ‘reproduce’, or in some other way the results of one sieving process are fed into a subsequent sieving, which is fed into the next and so on. The entities are subjected to selection or sorting over many ‘generations’ in succession. The end-product of one generation of selection is the starting point for the next generation of selection, and so on for many generations.[8]

        It is pertinent for us to point out that Richard Dawkins directed his arguments against William Paley’s claim of God being responsible for the design we perceive in the universe in his work titled: “Natural Theology”. Dawkins argued for evolution by stating that due to human ignorance and limited knowledge in time we tend to perceive the design in nature as the hand work of conscious Supreme Being (God). He attacked Paley’s argument for design through his analogy of the wrist-watch. Dawkins argued that Paley got everything right except attributing the complexity of a wrist watch to a conscious designer and thereby extending it to nature. For Dawkins the only watch maker in nature is the natural blind law of physics which is working through natural selection.

        The final submission of Dawkins for evolution is that every complex thing has to be explained within the totality of the interaction of its sub components. In other words, every complex thing has its smaller components that constitute the complexity. He posits that ‘small’ elements came about in nature and over millions of years these elements collide to form complex things through random collusion, but a collusion that follows the laws of nature. It is only when Darwinian Theory of evolution when viewed as random meaningless collusion that natural selection can become unsuitable of forming the complex things we see in nature. He holds that if things are broken down to their smallest components and are allowed over several million years, natural selection will bring about the so called complex designs perceived in nature, which human scientific ingenuity has blind folded people to think that all design must be consciously done. The inference we draw from the foregoing is that man evolved into a conscious species from ape like progenitors as a result of natural selection. This process we shall now examine.

Evolution of Man and Consciousness

        Mammalian primates were singled out by the circumstances of their tree dwelling existence, to be the ancestors of man. Of all extant primates, there are only four general living, and these are the gorilla, the chimpanzee, the orangutans, and the gibbon. Edward Dodson remarks that: “These most nearly resemble man in structure of skull and skeleton, dentition, physiology, blood groups, parasitic susceptibilities, and other characteristics”.[9] It has been scientifically confirmed that the difference in nucleic composition of man and an ape is only about 90 to 100 in favour of man.

        Tracing the ascent of man from ape like ancestors, Brownowski posits that, “It is the evolution of the head and the skull that has to be traced.[10] Since the brain is the seat of foresight, consciousness and intelligence. He identified six distinct skulls as stages of evolution over a period of 50 million years. There were however many other intermediate steps buried in fossil records that are not known now.

        About twenty million years ago, the line that leads to the monkeys branched away from the main line to the apes and man. Next to that generation was the skull found in Egypt, the Aegyptopithecus. Though it lived on the trees, from then the ancestors of man spent time on the ground as hunters. Ten million years after, the anthropoid apes found in East Africa, Europe and Asia came into limelight. The first harbinger we have is Remapithecus, found in Kenya and India. It is about fourteen million years old; it can be taken for a hominid.

        Finally, about five million years ago we come to the relatives of man though not in direct descent. The fossil is Australpithecus, a vegetarian and robust like man. Meave Leakey describes Australpithecus afarensis as, “our earliest known ancestors.”[11] This partial female skeleton discovered by Donald Johnson in 1974 at Haldar Ethiopia was given the name Lucy. It is said to possess long arms like an ape. But her pelvic and leg bones indicate she walked on two legs and lived about 3.13 million years ago. This species was reported to have made two important discoveries; the rudimentary stone tools and there was a bit of social organization. Based on the care of orphaned ape children, this was a great step towards cultural evolution.

        At what point can we say the precursors of man became man? Asks Dawkins, he admits that, that is a delicate question to answer, because such changes do not take place over night. J. Brownnoski anchors the question of when it happened succinctly: “Two million years ago we were not yet men. One million years ago we were, because by one million years ago a creature appears who can be called Homo erectus… He is the first creature that certainly used fire”.[12] With the discovery of fire, Homo erectus certainly possessed self consciousness. The successor is the species found in Germany known as the Neanderthal man. He already has a three pound brain, as large as modern man’s. Cromagnon man followed at progressively shorter interval before we finally have “Homo Sapiens”.

        The revolution that Charles Darwin caused in Biological sciences is parallel only to the discovery of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity in physics. Darwin’s theory of evolution - natural selection has a profound effect on many other areas of human endeavor beyond the domain of Biology. Evolutionary ideas have resonant effects on economics, politics and even religion. Evolutionary concept of survival of the fittest is the philosophical framework that rules the market forces; this has been transferred to the economic sphere where there is struggle between the economic classes – the exploiters and the exploited; the elimination of business rivals and associates for maxim profit etc. This in turn has ruptured the social order, such that the interest of the stronger party becomes justice. There is therefore injustice and inequality in the distribution of the commonwealth. Those aggrieved by the unjust exclusion from the means of survival legitimately take to crime to get their own share through illegitimate means. Mankind therefore has reverted back to the state of nature when all was fair and brute force the order of the day.

        It is paradoxical that modern man feels embarrassed to be linked up with apes in ancestry, while in actual fact his habits and activities despite his sophisticated scientific discoveries and advanced cultural orientations inadvertently betray his animal origin as theorized by Darwin. Desmond Morris in his book. The Naked ape, Captures the matter clearly in these words:

There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a named ape self-named Homo sapiens. This unusual and highly successful species spends a great deal of time examining his higher motives and an equal amount of time studiously ignoring his fundamental ones. He is proud that he has the biggest brain of all the primates… Homo sapiens has remained a naked ape nevertheless; in acquiring lofty new motives, he has lost none of the earthly old ones. This is frequently a cause of some embarrassment to him, but his old impulses have been with him for millions of years, his new ones only a few thousand at the most and there is no hope of quickly shrugging of the accumulated genetic legacy of his whole evolutionary past.[13]

      The ‘genetic legacy’ that Morris writes about can be seen in political order as well. In the attempt to capture political power, opponents are eliminated through brutal assasinations; unlawful arrest and detention of opponents, physical assaults and propaganda are all influence of evolutionary factor of the survival of the fittest. The boxer and heavy weight wrestler fighting for world championship belt are merely exercising the evolutionary animal instinct but in a socially acceptable way. This trait is not alien to religious circles as well. The outbreak of spectacular brutality in God’s name between the Moslems and Christians in Nigeria and the inquisition of heretics and the burning of witches at the stake in the Middle Ages are all manifestations of the survival instinct of the dominant group within religious circle. The trait no doubt is an evolutionary genetic legacy.

The Theology of Evolution

        Theology simply put is ‘theos-logia’ meaning talk or discussion about God. A corollary of that etymological definition is the classical one attributed to St. Anselm who defines theology as ‘fides quaerens intellectum “ – faith seeking understanding. Evolution as we pointed out is a scientific theory on the origin of species without the influence of any supernatural entity. One therefore is not surprised that right from the its inception the theory of evolution met with stiff opposition from theological circles and the brain behind it; Charles Darwin was held in disdain by theologians and even other human beings who felt embarrassed by the prospect of their apes ancestry. Christian theology tenaciously holds the view that God created the universe and everything in it ‘ex nihilo’, that is out of nothing pre existing. For them God created ‘sui generis’ without the influence of any force. That has been the Christian profession ever since the creed of Nicene-Constantinople of 381 A.D. The creed stated that; professing Christians believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth, and things visible and invisible. Theology relies on Genesis creation narratives; though accepted as pre historic and non scientific account upholds fixity of species which is diametrically opposed to evolution.

        Despite the overwhelming support that Darwin’s evolutionary theory has received from scholars and scientists of great repute, there are still many scientific objections to the theory why theology cannot embrace it totally. These include:

  1. Darwin had no direct evidence for the effectiveness of natural selection, let alone for the origin of new species.
  2. Darwin could not show a single species that was transitional between two known species.
  3. Complex organs, such as the vertebrate eyes, could not have evolved by stages, since they would have been useless at any preliminary stage and hence would have given their possessor no selective advantage.
  4. If evolution has taken place, then some evolutionary trends must have continued past the point of usefulness to the organism, such trends could not be accounted for by Darwinian selection.
  5. Evolution by natural selection is incompatible with the laws of inheritance, it is to be noted that scientific discoveries in genetic research has thrown more light on the matter, the idea is not conclusively foolproof.
  6. Appeal to an immense period of time as evidence for evolution is not tenable. Time does not ultimately bring about organized complexity, but decay. The law of Thermodynamics has proven that there is no aggregation of elements towards higher complexity but gradual disintegration of chemical elements. Even radioactive elements are subject to decay given enough time.
  7. Second law of thermodynamics posits that for every amount of order in any part of the universe there is an equal proportion of disorder in other part. Evolution from cosmic level that sustains the aggregation of the primordial elements of hydrogen that resulted in a sub atomic particle of quarks and anti quarks could not have been possible without a “supernatural” interference. The same argument is applicable to the biological evolution of life from the nutritional broth of methane and ammonia. Life could not have evolved under the natural circumstances which were highly destructive without an external force beyond the laws of nature.

Besides the scientific objections to evolution raised above there are some theologically disturbing issues for consideration.

       First, is the fact that the variations that led to differentiation of species are purely random, thus suggesting that the workings of nature are accidental and irrational. Contrary to this view scientific and even crude observation reveals that there is order in the universe. The sub atomic particles have been noted to move in an intelligent way in their electric field. Russell Stannard explains the physical order in the universe thus:

The moon is attracted by the gravity of the earth; the Earth is attracted by the sun’s gravity; the sun to the other stars that make up the Galaxy; the Galaxy is attracted to the local group of galaxies, the local group is bound to the super cluster, the super cluster experiences the gravity of the other super clusters.[14]

Second, the fact that individuals have to struggle for survival, and that most of them suffer and lose out in this contest, points to the basic cruelty of the universe, particularly towards the weak.

Third, the mindless process of natural selection by which only the better adapted organisms survive, points to a universe that is essentially blind and indifferent to life and humanity.[15]  The above assumptions suggest that the universe is impersonal and utterly unrelated to any interested God. It is against this background that theology held evolution in abhorrence in the past.

Contemporary theological analysis of evolution

        In the opinion of informed theologians of today, a moderate doctrine of evolution is consistent with theological beliefs about the creation of man. The moderate doctrine of evolution can be distinguished from the radical one in three ways. First, it traces the process of evolution, with man as its climax, to the creative will of God. Second, it contends that although the human body and psyche arise out of the continuous process of evolution, the human spirit does not; that the human spirit resulting from a special divine creative will at a certain stage of development in organic life, originated as a new principle of being and activity which cannot be adequately derived from the previous level of development. Third, the scriptural account of the origin of man testifies to an actual event that is, the appearance of man on earth, however, it does not explain its physical or biological occurrence. It offers no information about the secondary cause or about the processes within the world which God, as the primary cause employed. The concern of the Genesis narrative is not a scientific interpretation of the process but a witnessing to the creative will of God.[16]

        The positive disposition to evolution would not have been possible from the Catholic theological circles but for the encyclical of Pope Pius XII in 1950 titled: Humani Generis – Human origin. The Pope declares thus,

…the teaching Authority of the church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in so as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter – for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God.[17]

The encyclical stresses that the theory of evolution, which until a few decades earlier was considered contrary to faith or at least dangerous to it, is now regarded as a theological possibility which require that, “the reason for both opinions, that is, those favourable and those unfavourable to evolution, be weighed and judged with the necessary seriousness, moderation and measure…”[18]

       Pope John Paul II with the benefit of hindsight and advantage of scientific discoveries towards the end of the twentieth century, took up the theological interest in evolution from where Pius XII  left it in 1950. In his address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1996,  John Paul II asserts that: “Rather than speaking about the theory of evolution, it is more accurate to speak of the theories of evolution. The use of plural is required here in part because of the diversity of explanations regarding the mechanism of evolution, and in part because of the diversities of philosophies involved. There are materialist and reductionist theories, as well as spiritualist theories. Here the final judgment is within the competence of philosophy and beyond that of theology.[19]

       In his address (John Paul II) to the Vatican observatory in 1996 the Pope clearly tells the whole world that evolution is not against Christian beliefs .According to him:

The search by philosophers, theologians, and scientists for a fuller understanding of life in the universe and the role of humanity is consistent with the church’s commitment to intellectual inquiry. The truth of scientific conclusions cannot contradict the truth of faith since truth cannot contradict truth. Today the theory of evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis. It is increasingly accepted by scientists and supported by the convergence of research from a variety of fields. Humanity represents an ontological difference from the rest of nature. Such a claim is not irreconcilable with the physical continuity pointed to by evolution, since the transition to the spiritual is not observable using scientific methods.[20]

From our analysis above, it is clear that the contemporary informed theological position on evolution is that, the theory is not evil, not anti creation if the effort is made to distil the facts of the theory from the commentaries on the origin of man and other species. Theologians who deny out rightly the usefulness of the theory of evolution in understanding the process of the origin of man are either ignorant of the facts or are simply religious fundamentalists.

Charles Darwin and Organized Religion

       Organized religion, with its complex theological formulations and ideas, began very recently in human history, so also modern scientific inquiry with its sophisticated theories and calculations.[21] It is possible therefore to separate God from organized religion given the many faces of religion and myriad of Christian sects teaching conflicting ideas about God. That probably may be responsible for Darwin’s interest in helping out in the local church of his community without getting involved in attending formal religious rituals. We can reasonably hold the view that the attack on the person of Charles Darwin in the past did not come from God but organized religion claiming to hold brief for God. When we speak of God in this paper, we mean God as revealed in the sacred scripture of the Christians. The book of wisdom II: 22-24 recounts the majesty and omnipotence of God thus:

The whole world, for you, can no more than tip a balance, like a drop of morning dew falling on the ground. Yet you are merciful to all, because you are Almighty, you over look people’s sins, so that they can repent. Yes, you love everything that exists, and nothing that you made disgusts you, since, if you had hated something, you could not have willed it. And how could a thing subsist, had you no willed it?[22]

The book of Psalms 145:9 corroborates the above quotation that “Yahweh is generous to all, his tenderness embraces all his creatures” without begging the question, God does not hold Darwin in abhorrence, because nothing he made disgusts him. Moreover, wisdom is a special gift from God both Old Testament and New Testament bear testimony to that fact. Proverbs 2:6 says Yahweh himself is giver of wisdom from his mouth issue knowledge and understanding”. James 1:5 admonishes those in need of wisdom to ask God who gives it generously. If Charles Darwin had the kind of wisdom that caused revolution in human understanding of the origin of man, then it follows the gift came from God for a purpose. Furthermore, Proverbs 18:15 declares that; “The heart of the intelligent acquires learning, the ears of the wise search for knowledge”. Darwin was faithful to that passage through his many voyages aboard H.M.S Beagle that took him round the world over a period of five years, two thirds of which Darwin spent on land according to Wikipedia on line encyclopedia. He carefully noted a rich variety of geological features, fossils and living organisms, and methodically collected enormous specimens, many of them new to the sciences. Scientific data he collected enabled him to reach his conclusion on the origin of species.

 Similarly, attacks on the theory of evolution and total rejection of it without looking at its philosophical and scientific assumptions can be traced to some organized Christian religious sects that separate faith from reason. The consequence is that such attitude that severe faith from reason is not from God. John Paul II in 1988 calls for mutual integration of faith and reason. He believes that “a rational unity between science and religion, can be achieved which would result not in identity crises or assimilation but in dynamic interchange, with each “radically open to the discoveries and insights of the other. This is important because sciences can purify religion from error and superstition, religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutism. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.[23]

 Conclusion

        There are many scientists today who combine their belief in God as creator with their scientific convictions; the reason being that there are many approaches to the theory of evolution, while some chose to be purely materialistic in their understanding, equal numbers of professional scientists have theistic views that Evolution is not necessarily against the idea of God as the creator. Some examples include, Paul Davies in his book, God and the new Physics (1983), Gerald Schroeder, Genesis and the Big Bang (1990), The Hidden Face of God: How Science Reveals the Ultimate Truth (2001), The Science of God, and Michael Denton, Evolution a theory in Crisis, just to mention a few.

The theory of evolution obviously has many shortcomings that it will be highly presumptuous on the part of the evolutionists to make absolute claim that God or the supernatural being should be completely removed from the human understanding of the origin of species. Evolution has only explained the processes involved in the physical evolution of the species; it has not been able to answer the question of origin life. Evolution and religious view of the origin of man are not necessarily irreconcilable; they are both complementary. Absolute rejection of the theory of evolution is from uninformed segment of the organized religion rather than from God. Creationism presented as the only possible account of origin with its fundamentalist and literal interpretation of Genesis creation account is now simplistic and not acceptable in the light of contemporary discoveries in the sciences. Intelligent design framework is also unacceptable because, “it diminishes God; makes him an engineer who designs systems rather than a loving creator”.[24]

Charles Darwin the main proponent of the theory of evolution began his life as a Christian and obviously believed in God as the creator initially. However, when he propounded his theory of evolution he identified natural selection working through the natural laws of nature as being responsible for the complexity and order we perceive in the world of physical reality. The fact remains that Darwin propounded the theory of evolution strictly from a scientific point of view without mixing his ideas up with religious sentiments. We can affirm categorically that he treated his religious convictions as private phenomena while his view of evolution was open to discussion and debates with his contemporary in the intellectual circles of his day.

 Our final submission is that it is only a supernatural being (God) that can sustain the delicate conditions under which matter and life evolved. Theological narrative offers an account of the origin of the universe and man; while evolutionary theory offers an inconclusive explanation of the processes involved. The supernatural being (God) endowed the sub-atomic particles with an inner driving force that would in time evolve to an intelligent “other” Capable of a loving response to God’s self communication.[25] Since evolution is still an ongoing process, theological acceptance of the truths inherent in the theory is summed up in the concept of creatio-continua – that is creation is an ongoing work of divine providence, without compromising the doctrine of creatio-ex nihilo, which asserts that God created the “universe out of nothing pre-existing, including the spiritual nature of man called the soul. It evident now more than during the life time of Charles Darwin that evolutionary portraits of life has opened  up fresh ways of thinking about God and his creation in the  contemporary age of science.

[1] Raymond J. Nogar, The Wisdom of Evolution, New York: Double day and Company, 1963,  p.30.

[2] Chance J. Hylander, Encclopedia International, 1973, S.V. “Evolution”

[3] Collins R. “Evolution” 20th Century Encyclopedia of Catholicism, Vol. 30 1959.

[4] Raymond J. Noger,  “Evolution”, Scientific and Philosophical Dimension, Palestine Saint James University Studies III, 1962, p.54.

[5] Dodson O. Edward, Evolution: Process and Product, New York: Reinhold Publisher inc, 1960, p.5.

[6] Charles Darwin, origin of Species, New York: The New American Library, 1958, p.75.

[7] Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without design, New York: W.W . Norton, 1996, p.21.

[8] Ibid p.45.

[9] Dodson O. Edward, A Text Book of Evolution, London: W.B. Saunders Company, 1952, p.217.

[10] J. Brandnowski, The Ascent of Man, Boston: Little Brown and Companies, 1973, p.36.

[11] Meave Leakey, “The Dawn of Humans” The Farthest Horizon”, National Geographic, Vol. 188, September, 1995, p.42.

[12] J. Brownowski, op. cit, p.41.

[13] Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape, Suffolk: Jonathans Cape Ltd, 1967, p.9.

[14] Russell Stannard, Doing away with God? Creation and the Big Bang, London: Harper Collins, p.

[15] John F. Haught, Science and Religion: From Conflict to Conversation, New York: Paulist Press, 1995, p.6.

[16] Michael Schmaus, dogma 2: God and Creation, London: Sheed and Ward, 1969, p.124.

[17] Pope Pius XII, Humani Generis, August 12, 1950, no. 36.

[18] Ibid. no.36.

[19] John Paul II, Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences “Magisterium is concerned with Question of Evolution for it involves conception of man”, October 22, 1996, no 4.

[20] Pope John Paul II, Message to the Vatican observatory conference on Evolutionary and Molecular Biology, 1996.

[21] Fr. Peter Adeyemi, “Harmony Between Science and Religion: The Neurotheology Contention”, Orita; Ibadan Journal of Religious Studies, vol. XXXIX 1, June 2007, p.58.

[22] Cf The New Jerusalem Bible, Longman and Todd, 1985. The quotation is from Wisdom II: 22-24.

[23] John Paul II, an address to Vatican observatory in 1988.

[24] See the text of paper presented by George V. Coyne, director Vatican observatory titled: “Science does not need God or does it? A  Catholic Scientist looks at Evolution”, delivered at Palm Beach Atlantic University were palm Beach, Fla. Jan 31, 2006.

[25] William Duggan, Myth and Christian Belief, Indiana: Fides Publishers Inc. 1971, p.49.

 

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