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Irreconcilable Differences: The Divorce of Materialism and Truth

According to many today, the advance of the natural physical sciences continues to shrink the “space” for God. The “gaps” where someone can place God are decreasing, and therefore the “God hypothesis” will one day be swallowed whole by the progress of the scientific endeavor. Even more, the “space” where one could posit the human person as something more than just a complex, organized collection of matter and energy is said to have disappeared. While I find a materialist... Read More

Monogenism or Polygenism?: The Question of Human Origins

NOTE: Today we finish our two part series by Dr. Edward Feser exploring questions about evolution, creation, faith, and human origins. You can read the first part here.     How can the doctrine of original sin be reconciled with what contemporary biology says about human origins?  For the doctrine requires descent from a single original ancestor, whereas contemporary biologists hold that the genetic evidence indicates that modern humans descended from a population of at least... Read More

Knowing an Ape from Adam

NOTE: Today we begin a two part series by Dr. Edward Feser exploring questions about evolution, creation, faith, and human origins. We'll share the second part on Friday.     On questions about biological evolution, both the Magisterium of the Catholic Church and Thomist philosophers and theologians have tended carefully to steer a middle course.  On the one hand, they have allowed that a fairly wide range of biological phenomena may in principle be susceptible of evolutionary... Read More

Does Evolution Contradict Genesis?

The theory of evolution proposes an explanation for how life in general and mankind in particular arose. It holds that that there was a long period in which natural processes gave rise to life and to the different life forms on earth. This in no way conflicts with the idea of God. As the omnipotent Creator, he is free to create either quickly or slowly and either directly or through intermediate processes that he sets up. He can even do a mixture of these things, such as creating the universe... Read More

What the Media Got Wrong about Pope Francis and Evolution

Have you heard about Pope Francis’ recent comments about God, evolution, and Creation? If so, chances are you’ve heard wrong. Here are four things you should know:   1. Pope Francis is Not an Atheist Amazingly, the popular news site Independent Journal Review (IJ Review) ran — and as of this writing, is still running — the following headline: “God is not a Divine Being”? We’re supposed to believe that the pope got up, denied that God was actually God, and that everything... Read More

God, Professors, and Evolutionary Biology Classes

Professor David P. Barash recently wrote an opinion column in the New York Times titled “God, Darwin and My College Biology Class.” Professor Barash is in the psychology department at the University of Washington. He teaches courses on sociobiology. He explained in his essay why he gives undergraduate students “The Talk.” No, it’s not about sex. The Talk is about faith and science. He says: "And that’s where The Talk comes in. It’s irresponsible to teach biology without... Read More

Adam and Eve and Ted and Alice

John Farrel recently wrote a column at Forbes.com entitled "Can Theology Evolve?", quoting from an epistle of Jerry Coyne: "I’ve always maintained that this piece of the Old Testament, which is easily falsified by modern genetics (modern humans descended from a group of no fewer than 10,000 individuals), shows more than anything else the incompatibility between science and faith. For if you reject the Adam and Eve tale as literal truth, you reject two central tenets of Christianity:... Read More

Bill Nye, Ken Ham, and the Catholic Third Way

Did you watch the big debate last night between Ken Ham and Bill Nye? It was an excellent exchange with good points made on both sides, but decidedly missing from the debate was the fuller and traditional Catholic view. Thus for the purpose of our dialogue here at Strange Notions, I'd like to explore the "third way" absent from last night's event. How are Catholics taught to view the world? To quote the apologist Frank Sheed, in the very beginning of his book Theology and Sanity: “There... Read More

Darwin’s Blind Spot

It is a well-known fact that Charles Darwin, the author of that famous, and at the same time infamous, book entitled On the Origin of Species, used to be all over the religious map during his lifetime (1809-1882). Darwin’s personal beliefs remain ambiguous. I think what expresses his ambiguity best is what he wrote in a letter to J.D. Hooker (1861): “My theology is a simple muddle; I cannot look at the universe as the result of blind chance, yet I can see no evidence of beneficent... Read More

Did Dinosaurs Die Before the Fall?

  St. Paul tells us:   "For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:21-22).   Does this mean that there was no death--of any kind--before the Fall of Man? Would that mean that no animals, plants, or microbes died? What about animals that are carnivores? Were lions vegetarians? How about alligators? Or sharks? How about carnivores like Tyrannosaurus Rex? Let's... Read More

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