Monday, April 26, 2021

I don't take Francis Marsden for a Catholic

Mike Hartigan took me for a Protestant · I don't take Francis Marsden for a Catholic · Mutually Small Respect with Susan Kelly · Mikey Clarke Thinks YEC is American Protestants Only, Austin Middleton That Heliocentrism was Proven by Parallax (or he thought so, at least) · Own Answer, Same Question

Francis Marsden
April 20
36 years a priest. Lived and studied six years in Rome.
The pope now accepts evolution. What consequences will follow? I see the universe and us created in 6 days will now come under question and the consequences from this acceptance being the collapse of faith?

Pope John Paul II said in one address “l’evoluzione è più que una teoria.” The Press translated this as “Evolution is more than a theory” i.e. it is a fact.

However he may equally have meant: “Evolution is more than one theory.” There is neo-Darwinian theory of random mutations as the motor for evolutionary progress. Or there are theories of guided or theistic evolution.

The Church rejects the idea that human beings are just a random accidental outcome of meaningless physical processes. It insists that God has willed humanity into existence, whether by evolutionary pathways or by direct creation.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Do you accept the timeline of millions and billions of years or of 6000 / 7200 / 7500 years?

If the latter*, how long ago was Adam created?

Francis Marsden
23h ago
13.8 billion years since the Big Bang. Sure. No problem.

4.5 billion years since the formation of Planet Earth. No problem.

Since the emergence of homo sapiens - whatever the anthropologists say, but it is rather uncertain.

Since God breathed a living spirit (nefesh) into our ancestors, giving them self-awareness, self-consciousness, language, moral conscience etc. - I just don’t know.

Adam in Genesis is not a personal name, by the way. It means “man made from earth” (adamah), just as Hawwah (Eve) means “mother of all the living.” Are they symbolic, or collective personalities, or single individuals? Who knows?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
You are overstepping the limits posed by Humani Generis in doubting a personal Adam and a personal Eve.

You are also making a joke of Catholic metaphysics by pretending God could have breathed a living spirit into our ancestors way after Homo sapiens emerged, especially as new evidence supports Neanderthals, Denisovans and Homo erectus being certainly endowed with language.

If you put Adam at 90 000 years ago, or earlier, you make historicity of Genesis 3 a joke. If you put him at 7500 years ago or more recently, you are making the common descent from him of all men a joke.

* I meant former.

Epilogue, next day:

Francis Marsden
20h ago
Hans-Georg, you’d better go and tell the exegetes at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome that they are overstepping the limits of Humanae Generis too! And making the historicity of Genesis a joke!

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Just now
I think you have better contacts to them than I.

If you’d invite them to take on the debate with me, I’d be game, not sure that they would be.

Plus, as to their authority, I don’t think they are since 1958 any such thing. As Pontifical, that is.

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