We interrupt our regularly scheduled blogcast Summary Against Modern Thought to bring you breaking news: Evolution & The Big Bang Are Perfectly Consistent With Christianity.
In what should have been a non-story, Pope Francis last week confirmed to the world what Catholics already know—or rather, what they already should know—that evolution, the Big Bang, and other firm findings of science are consistent with Catholic faith.
Yet the news startled some Catholics. Why? Perhaps because they have been saturated by Protestant-Atheist propaganda which insists Science “disproves” Christianity. “It’s either Science or fantasy,” crow shallow secularists, unaware they are trumpeting the dismal fallacy of the false dichotomy.
Of course, those folks who proclaim the world is only 6,000 years old (or whatever) and that men used to ride saddled dinosaurs are not helping the cause of Christianity, either. Atheists are only too happy to join with these sects in their hyper-literal interpretation of the Bible, because why? Because if this is the proper way to interpret scripture, then scripture is provably nuts. And if scripture is provably nuts, then so is the idea of Christ sacrificed himself for our sins and all that that entails.
In plain English: a literal interpretation of scripture confirms atheism.
The Catholic church from the beginning was careful not to insist on fanciful meanings of scripture. Sometimes the literal translation is best and sometimes she ain’t. To decided which passage merits which flavor of exegesis depends on a host of conditions the majority of folks never bother to learn. This includes nearly one-hundred percent of atheists who will resist all tutoring so that they can hold fast to the literal myth.
Now I have seen this week on Catholic blogs some of the same cheesy so-called criticisms of evolution and the Big Bang that are found on creationist or intelligent design sites. For example? One critique went that since the Piltdown Man was a hoax, so was evolution. Exsqueeze me? What does the Piltdown Man have to do with the price of duck-tongue1 in Peking? If we had to reject a theory because of hoaxes, every time some crank touted a perpetual motion zero-point energy machine, we’d have to dump all of modern physics. Chiropractory would falsify modern medicine. And so on.
We don’t need creationism or intelligent design to explain how God works in the universe. See this highly educational roundup from Ed Feser on why.
Listen: there is nothing wrong, and it is to your great credit, to criticize any theory with cogent and unanswerable queries. Some people claim that evolution implies all changes to a species are gradual. This must be false based on observing non-gradual changes. But because any change is abrupt and multifarious does not mean a miracle was required to bring it about. It merely implies that we don’t understand all there is to know about how mutations occur and in what magnitude.
If you really want to bite into absurdity go after Evolutionary Psychology. What a dismal field! One Just So story after another, much of it backed up by (ugh) “statistics.” Yesterday we learned large breasts are an evolutionary advantage because men lust after them. But today we are taught that large breasts are an evolutionary disadvantage because of increased cancer rates and caloric costs.
All creatures including man are trying to maximize their genes (or whatever), eh? Then explain to me, Mr Scientist, why: contraception, abortion, infanticide, adoption, medicine, homosexuality, priesthood and other forms of celibacy, the touting of the mental illness wherein a man pretends he is a woman, bestiality, and many, many other forms of dissipation and clearly non-self-eugenic behavior.
Answers come there none. You bigot.
Best books to read on this subject are from three self-proclaimed atheists (no conflict of interest here, fella): David Berlinkski’s The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions, David Stove’s Darwinian Fairy Tales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution, Mary Midgely’s The Solitary Self: Darwin and the Selfish Gene (both Midgely and Berlinsky have more than one book on the subject). And there are others—if only you’d bother to look for them.
Evolution pushes too far when it tries to explain rationality, free will, and morality. That evolution creates morality is disproved in one line: if evolution creates all behaviors then there is no way to externally judge (a behavior) any behavior. To know anything about rationality etc., we need metaphysics, which naturally leads to God. Nothing else will do.
The Big Bang? I’m unable to understand the distaste Catholics have with this theory—discovered by a Catholic priest!—other than some might believe the world really is only 6,000 years old? Readers can enlighten me on this. I recommend Alan Guth’s The Inflationary Universe. Of course, it might be true that inflation will turn out false, but the smart money is on this theory. Anyway, how beautifully consonant is the Big Bang with Catholic faith!
Of course, there were frequent theological quibbles from our best minds whether the universe always existed or was created, and thus began time. See Denys Turner’s lovely Thomas Aquinas: A Portrait, Chapter 7. St Thomas said, “That the world has not always existed can be maintained by faith alone, and it cannot be conclusively proved…” (where by “world” he meant “the universe”). The beginning of the universe is the beginning of time. And much more!
Don’t forget the question, which should ever be put to atheists: why is there something rather than nothing. The Big Bang does not explain this. It explains how something evolved. On how that something got here, this and all physical theories are forever silent. Thus is just doesn’t matter whether the universe started with the Big Bang or whether it was always around. Neither view can say word one about how the something that is could have come from nothing that isn’t. (Incidentally, quantum fields are not nothing: nothing is no thing, and nothing else.)
Know what? It’s actually atheism that’s anti-science. How any motion or change occurs can only be explained via meta-physical principles. There must be an Unmoved Mover or physics is impossible. Not unlikely. Impossible. (And so we’re back to Summa Contra Gentiles after all!) And have you seen some of the interpretations of quantum mechanics? What the Romans did to the Sabine women pales next to what these theories do to causality. Men jousting on the backs of pterodactyls are more plausible than atheistic science. It’s atheistic science which proclaims the obviously absurd anti-observational fruity idea that free will doesn’t exist. It’s atheistic science which insists morality can be discovered by what are in essence polls. It’s atheistic science which is on the ropes, sisters and brothers. Let it be on the defensive where it belongs. You play offense.
1Hao hao chu.