John Henry Newman on evolution and man’s origin

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“Does Scripture contradict [Darwin’s] theory?—was Adam not immediately taken from the dust of the earth? ‘All are of dust’ —Eccles 3:20 — yet we never were dust — we are from fathers. Why may not the same be the case with Adam? … I don’t know why Adam needs be immediately out of dust — Formavit Deus hominem de limo terrae [God formed man from the dust of the earth]—i.e. out of what really was dust and mud in nature, before He made it what it was, living.”

John Henry Newman, Letter to E.B. Pusey (The Oratory, 5 June 1870)

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Mary Ellen Boole’s Letter to Charles Darwin

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Mary Everest Boole, a committed Christian,  wrote to Darwin seeking clarification that his theory might be compatible with her religious faith on 13 December 1866:

Dear Sir
Will you excuse my venturing to ask you a question to which no one’s answer but your own would be quite satisfactory to me.
Do you consider the holding of your Theory of Natural Selection, in its fullest & most unreserved sense, to be inconsistent,—I do not say with any particular scheme of Theological doctrine,—but with the following belief, viz:
That knowledge is given to man by the direct Inspiration of the Spirit of God.
That God is a personal and Infinitely good Being.
That the effect of the action of the Spirit of God on the brain of man is especially a moral effect.
And that each individual man has, within certain limits, a power of choice as to how far he will yield to his hereditary animal impulses, and how far he will rather follow the guidance of the Spirit Who is educating him into a power of resisting those impulses in obedience to moral motives.
The reason why I ask you is this. My own impression has always been,—not only that your theory was quite compatible with the faith to which I have just tried to give expression,—but that your books afforded me a clue which would guide me in applying that faith to the solution of certain complicated psychological problems which it was of practical importance to me, as a mother, to solve. I felt that you had supplied one of the missing links,—not to say the missing link,—between the facts of Science & the promises of religion. Every year’s experience tends to deepen in me that impression.
But I have lately read remarks, on the probable bearing of your theory on religious & moral questions, which have perplexed & pained me sorely. I know that the persons who make such remarks must be cleverer & wiser than myself. I cannot feel sure that they are mistaken unless you will tell me so. And I think,—I cannot know for certain, but I think,—that, if I were an author, I would rather that the humblest student of my works should apply to me directly in a difficulty than that she should puzzle too long over adverse & probably mistaken or thoughtless criticisms.
At the same time I feel that you have a perfect right to refuse to answer such questions as I have asked you. Science must take her path & Theology hers, and they will meet when & where & how God pleases, & you are in no sense responsible for it, if the meeting-point should be still very far off. If I receive no answer to this letter, I shall infer nothing from your silence except that you felt I had no right to make such inquiries of a stranger.
I remain
Dear Sir
Yours truly
Mary Boole

Charles Darwin answered the next Day:

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EVOLVE – UNROLL a SCROLL

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On 31 October 2008, Pope em. Benedict XVI said in his Address to Members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on the occasion of their Plenary Assembly:

To “evolve ” literally means “to unroll a scroll” ,that is, to read a book. The imagery of nature as a book has its roots in Christianity and has been held dear by many scientists. Galileo saw nature as a book whose author is God in the same way that Scripture has God as its author. It is a book whose history, whose evolution, whose “writing” and meaning, we “read” according to the different approaches of the sciences, while all the time presupposing the foundational presence of the author who has wished to reveal himself therein. This image also helps us to understand that the world, far from originating out of chaos, resembles an ordered book; it is a cosmos.

The whole address can be found at inters.org.

Odd Man Out

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A Reflection on the origin and the destiny of mankind

written by Dean Ohlmann

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According to naturalistic Darwinism, unplanned and unguided evolution has progressed nicely for billions of years with everything occupying a definable “natural” niche—until we get a being so powerful that it has the capacity to send everything back to primordial slime: Homo sapiens. This odd creature seems to have no natural niche. Nature, in fact, would seem to work much better without it. One is forced to conclude that this animal is oddly out of place with its needs and wants, its loves and lusts, its art and music, its crafts and creeds, its words, its thoughts, its emotions, its dreams, its illogical desire for independence in a world that exists only through interdependence. A godless process seems to have created a demigod; nature has birthed the unnatural. Many now believe that mankind has become a cancer so malignant that he will indeed bring about “the end of nature.”

Or could it be true that mankind has an origin that transcends nature? Centuries ago an awestruck writer wondered about this: “[O Lord,] You made [man] a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:5-9).

The evidence compels me to believe that mankind has an origin, a destiny, and an accountability that are beyond the natural. To me there are only two ways to consider mankind: he is either a meaningless, cosmic orphan, or he has a purpose and an importance that transcend the cosmos.

– Dean Ohlman, a Christian nature writer recently retired from Our Daily Bread Ministries where he was a website host, writer, TV producer/scriptwriter on the theme of “The Wonder of Creation.”

Photo: from the movie” ODD MAN OUT” (1947)

The second Law of Thermodynamics and Evolution

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2nd LoT

“Nice try, evolutionist! But the second law of thermodynamics contradicts evolution” No, it doesn’t. Consider the energy provided by the sun.

Here a little explanation for those not familiar with the argumentation: Some arguments from the creationist/ID community are coming back over and over again, and one of them is that evolution cannot be true, because it contradicts the 2nd law of thermodynamics (2LoT).

The 2LoT states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems always evolve toward thermodynamic equilibrium, a state with maximum entropy.This means, in lay terms, that in an isolated system, everything tends to get to a random-chaotic state (thinks of a house becoming a ruin over time).

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