Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Evolution with Substance / Essence - Substance / Accident Distinction in the Eucharist

Can You Believe in Both Evolution and the Eucharist? w/ Jimmy Akin and Gideon Lazar
15th April 2022 | Pints With Aquinas

Comment 1
0:55 Appeal to what they call Fachidioten in German.

A bit disingenious, given Jimmy Akin himself is less of one than P. Z. Myers who actually is a biologist.

Comment 2
3:03 The questioner actually did not ask Jimmy to explain what is the point of "genetic similarities" since the questioner considered that these could be explained by YEC (and that means both "nested hierarchies" in gene comparisons and endogenous retroviruses - on which Peer Terborg - a pdf from CMI - says "Earlier, in a series of papers, I argued that the origin of RNA viruses can be understood as genetically modified ERVs which acquired virulence genes and thus became disease-causing agents.")

The questioner asked what exact other evidence for the Theory of Evolution there is than this and testimony of biologists who are bad theologians.

So far in the clip, Jimmy Akin seems not able to even comprehend the question.

The question was read at 0:33 in the clip, btw.

Dialogue 1

Elf-lord's Friar of the Meadowlands
This seems like a mistranslation between Theological metaphysics and Biology.
What is a creature's Substance and what is it's Nature? Biology only addresses and answers it's material composition and function.

Also, Evolution doesn't change a creature's Substance/Nature during it's life, only that the next evolved offspring has a different kind of Substance/Nature than it's parent. I think though, the essence might not change. Like how different kinds of Dog breeds all share the same essence of "Dog".
Although if all life is indirectly evolved from a single single-celled creature, do we all ultimately share it's essence, dog and human alike?

Hans-Georg Lundahl
"Theological metaphysics and Biology."

Metaphysics span all of reality, including biology.

We don't do extra tricks in metaphysics for theology that don't concern the rest of reality.

"Although if all life is indirectly evolved from a single single-celled creature, do we all ultimately share it's essence, dog and human alike?"

The point made by Gideon Lazar ...

evolution doesn't completely change a creatures nature at all. a fish is always a fish. even if it comes out of the water, starts laying eggs on land, and moves into the trees. they are still fish, just fish that have manifested a potential that other fishes have not.

this of course means, that we are all really weird fish. :)

Questa Semplice Animazione
this essence-form dichothomy is a model that fails if it's not heavily refined. It's fine to learn about it because it's what Aquinas used, but your argument can't be "this can't be true because I can't describe it well with my model", update your model!
I don't know how others have done it but one way could be that all essences have the potential to become any other across generations, and that this process is actualized by external forces over multiple generations in a poplulation. So a Dog is a Dog, but a Dog is not a wolf because humans acted on the domesticated wolves enough to warp the essence of the population, for most other processes of speciacions we have to attribute this change to natural causes, which under the Aristotelian model are subject to an ultimate intellect.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@MarvAlice not very credible

The exact reason why, when celebrating Atheism on first of April I did it in French for "poisson d'avril".

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Questa Semplice Animazione "this essence-form dichothomy is a model that fails if it's not heavily refined."

I think Gideon Lazar would agree domestic dogs and wolves had a common ancestor couple on the Ark.

But if you consider cats and dogs are of one essence, with each other, with fish, insects, mushrooms and trees, you have actually thrown the distinction out.

Questa Semplice Animazione
@Hans-Georg Lundahl Then we can either throw the distinction out or say that God, through his neverending act of creation gives new essence to each new species that forms, and extend that through the 4 billion years of evolution.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Questa Semplice Animazione which 4 billion years are proven how, for one?

For another, "neverending act of creation" sounds like a denial of Genesis 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.

God has certainly made new dog breeds since then, we must assume it's about distinctions like "cats and dogs" or "land animals and plants" ... that things have over the 7221 years since then have had a fixed essence.

@Questa Semplice Animazione we can either throw the distinction out - the precise problem at which Gideon was poking.

@Questa Semplice Animazione I have already exposed these guys as heretical on the issue a couple of times.

Google "Assorted retorts from yahoo boards and elsewhere" with "Neanderthals were Human and Lived After Adam Was Created 5199 (or 5500) BC - Contra Gaine"
Google "Creation vs. Evolution" with ""Theological, Not Disinterested""

Questa Semplice Animazione
@Hans-Georg Lundahl Nah I've made up my mind, Evolution is real, earth is old, the catechism agrees, deal with it

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Questa Semplice Animazione If your Catechism agrees with an Old Earth and Evolution (of kinds, not just of species and genera within kinds, and most notably of mankind from sth else) are real, you should ask yourself how many lies there are in the three words of its title.

@Hans-Georg Lundahl I'm not an atheist. I think atheism is silly.

deism is also silly, but it is far less rediculous than atheism. but Christianity is where it's at.

@Hans-Georg Lundahl "For another, "neverending act of creation" sounds like a denial of Genesis 2:2 "
God is not a being in time. he is above it. things like "days" for him need to be understood as metaphor. while he can do something or not do it "in a day" from our perspective, it's meaningless to say he did it from his perspective.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@MarvAlice Well, the thing is the days are obviously from the perspective of our created time.

Simple as that.

God prompting me to find your comment, finally, was in this time on 19.IV.2022, Paris time a little before 19:46. But from His perspective He was never not doing it and never will cease doing it. So, obviously the days are the days in which God's creation sees new categories of things. Those finished after God had invented rest, and day 8 is just day 1 all over again.

Calvin Gomes
@Questa Semplice Animazione sorry, the church says you can believe that if you wish. It doesn't say we must all believe it.

Questa Semplice Animazione
@Hans-Georg Lundahl 0 lies

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Calvin Gomes That was certainly true even of the Vatican II Sect back in 1988 when I converted.

Since I became (at first back then) a Trad, there has been the Catechism of the Catholic Church ill so named, which involves at least one level of direct support for Old Earth in §§ 283 and 284, and for modern "Bible scholarship" in 289.

Whether this counts or not as a prohibition to be a YEC seems to vary between different bishops and episcopates.

Irod Jetson
God created animals according to their kind, and God's creation occurs ex nihilo. We have been convinced to accept the whole notion of natural selection over creation thus making us do some theological and philosophical gymnastics in order to make the theory of evolution fit with revelation, and we don't have to do that.
To say that one creature doesn't evolve but rather it's offspring brings about the "evolved one" is not claiming an "evolution" but simply saying that God is creating a soul of a different kind through another kind of being. So an ape will at some moment transition from bringing forth incarnated ape souls to bring about incarnated rational souls into being meaning that God at some point will create from eternity a rational soul that will come about through a being with an animal soul (an ape).

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Irod Jetson "So an ape will at some moment transition from bringing forth incarnated ape souls to bring about incarnated rational souls"

Has it occurred to you, that if this were the case, God would have severely mistreated Adam's childhood?

An ape is not a person, and cannot have true notionality, and therefore cannot use anything like human language.

Adam being created in God's image is however human, able to get language, either supernaturally, if he was created as the Bible states, when an adult, but without missing even a moment of his existence, let alone an entire childhood. Or else - naturally, at a specific age slot of the baby life, through input from parents. However, if his "parents" had ape souls, they could not have fulfilled that and would therefore have left him unable to speak, a feral child.

All this before he sinned and therefore a misfortune not to be attributed to God's justice against his sin, and therefore impossible.

If on the other hand you pretend Adam grew up with a male and a female individual that could speak, that would clearly indicate they were actually human, and he would not have been the first man, which just places the problem further back.

There is no transition between an irrational and a rational soul. If it could be conceived, as the evolution believers generally want to, it would mean the distinction were a superficial and otherwise illusory one.

And lacking a first man would also give no significance to any one man's sin so that innocent people suffer for it for being his offspring - Original Sin and its consequences only make sense if there was a real Adam, and a real Adam only makes sense if God created him with no biological ancestry, for the reason explained.

Dialogue 2

Irod Jetson
Thank you Gideon!!! This is something we speak with in our Thomist circles and that's the very reason why we are not evolutionist, because it is in the end a philosophical and metaphysical problem, and you are correct; the notion of having something like evolution, meaning accidental changes that end up changing the essence of a species and turning it into another one it's very problematic for our Catholic teaching of the eucharist.

But isn't everything, in the end, a philosophical problem? That's why when you get well-versed in something you get a PhD, and are therefore a philosophic doctor of your field.
Also, you're not changing the substance (I think you mean) of anything through accidental changes, because the thing that has the new substance and that newly comes into existence never existed before and therefore had no substance prior to this macroevolutionary one.

Also, accidental changes can beget substantial changes. First of all, this isn't even necessary to prove in macroevolution, because you're dealing with multiple different existent beings. Second of all, even if it were necessary, it's perfectly tenable. Cutting a cat in half is an accidental change that causes a substantial change, because the cat has now died. Turning a pile of wood into a chair changes it accidentally and substantially.

Irod Jetson
@Jack that's a very simplistic argument and it's only analogous, an being with living soul is not the same as a souless object. I mean chopping a dog's tail doesn't turn him into other species of dog. You are making the transhumanist claim, adding some accidental things to a human (robotic limbs, neuralink, or whatever) will change the human soul into the soul of a different being. And in your example of chopping a cat you begin the process of separation between the cat's body and the cat's soul, but the process doesn't turn the cat into a different type of animal essentially.

@Irod Jetson
I never said the human soul is the direct result of evolution, nor did I say that a lower animal could generate a human soul in another, apart from any Divine Intervention. All I am saying is that accidental changes can result in substantial changes. If you want to say that God is involved in every substantial change, I would disagree with that, even though I do believe that God must have been involved in the course of human evolution. I certainly was not making a transhumanist argument, even though you misinterpreted it that way.

I made that analogical argument only to demonstrate that accidental changes can result in substantial changes. You say that "the process doesn't turn the cat into a different type of animal essentially," and I agree: chopping a cat in half turns the cat into a non-animal essentially.

Also, again, are you actually changing the substance of anything? Genuine question. The new substance (or new "historical substance" -- more on that later) never had a substance before: it never had the substance of its parents at any point in its existence, because from the beginning of its existence, it is, in evolutionary understanding, a different substance.

Am I misunderstanding you? So far I've understood what you mean as: accidental changes cannot cause substantial changes. Perhaps you're trying to say that, although accidental changes can separate the soul from the body, they cannot cause a new soul in a new body?
I tentatively agree. I could be completely wrong about this, but God intervenes in the creation of every soul, correct? Not just human, but animal as well? Because biological systems cannot create non-biological realities. So then it seems that the biological-accidental changes merely accompany substantial changes, and I'd say that this is true regardless of whether or not you accept evolution, because this happens in the conception of every animal: sperm and egg are essentially and substantially different from the creature which is conceived by their union. There's already a substantial change which is caused by (or perhaps accompanies) the accidental change.

Also, here's something I'm still working out, and maybe you have some insight into this. Considering the case of one species of dog generating another species of dog in two individuals' offspring: accidental changes in the chromosomes of the sperm of one dog and the egg of another dog result in a "specially" different creature --- whether you want to say that it's substantial or not is up to you, because 1) that's entirely a gray area (biologically and experientially) and 2) "dogness" may be the true substance, and each species merely a "historical substance," or more broadly, all animals may have the same soul substantially (i.e., "animal soul," instead of "dog soul" VS "cat soul"), making all of these macroevolutionary events merely accidental, special, and historically-substantial. This latter option seems correct to me. I wouldn't say that elephants have an elephant soul, but that they have an animal soul.

Lastly, what do you mean "begin the process of separation"? Why begin? What concludes it? If you think Divine Intervention does: sure, I think that's a tenable position, and it's perfectly compatible with what I've just said. In fact, I already mentioned that.

Irod Jetson
@Jack I am sorry if I am not expressing my best but English is my second language.
The potential is given by God and he is also the one who actualizes that potential, he gave us the primordial matter (water/chaos/earth/abyss in Genesis, the singularity from quantum theory or a primordial condensed field of quantum fluctuation, how ever you want to call it) , that's on the level of "first cause" bringing about creation, when God uses secondary causes to manifest that reality fractally in creation, he uses the matter available to actualize a God's created soul into a material reality, so the sperm and the egg of an animal are the material available to actualize the soul that God created, and that's fine, the difference in matter available will change the accidental aspect and tendencies when that soul materializes, but the change it's still at the accidental level, it's only materially but not essentially, the matter is the same that has always existed thus this has not "evolved" and the soul is created from eternity by God thus it can't "evolve" you can only see a difference in development by the number and kind of potential available in space and time, now if you call that "evolution" then we are both agreeing, but if you say that God creates a fish soul that is to be embodied in a specific matter so that we have an actual material living fish, and that his soul is to reproduce its kind (fish) by using the matter available in fish (to maintain that kind of animal) but then at some point God uses that material lineage to bring about souls of other animals then that understanding of "evolving" becomes problematic, at what point does a fish ends up becoming a Dog, is God gradually from eternity making souls different to the point that it changes the kind of animal after a period of time? Having different races of dogs is not the same as a dog turning into a horse some day after too much breading. Evolution is a philosophy that doesn't include revealed theology in the understanding of created things, once you integrate revelation and theology into the philosophy of evolution you must make the philosophy fit in the theological reality and not do the contrary, that's why Saint Thomas was never an "Aristotelian" but rather a baptizer of the philosophical language of Aristotle into revelation and the life of the Church. With evolution the same must happen, development of kinds of animals is not the same as evolution from one animal into another.

@Irod Jetson I'm not sure I follow, and I think that's my own shortcoming, you probably have a better grasp on English than I do.
I'll try to sort things out here. Tell me where I'm wrong or misrepresenting you, but I think I got your ideas down faithfully.

"he uses the matter available to actualize a [dog's] created soul into material reality"
Wouldn't it be vice-versa, because matter is in potency? Wouldn't it be the matter that is actualized by its form? Or is that what you're already saying?

"...the sperm and the egg of an animal..."
"...the difference in matter available [in the genetic material of the sperm and egg] will change the accidental aspect and. tendencies when the soul materializes, but the change [is] still at the accidental level, it's only materially but not essentially..." [Emphasis added]
Okay, so you seem to establish here that there is a change occurring, but that it's accidental because it's only material change.
"The matter is the same that has always existed thus this has not 'evolved'..."
But evolution is a process of change, correct? Basically it's governed by random mutation, meaning change. And you said that the matter has changed. Evolution is a process of change.

"...the soul is created from eternity by God thus it can't 'evolve'..."
In the precise moment of a macroevolutionary event, i.e. speciation, no soul has changed. There is no soul which is changing in any step of evolution. If you hold to the position that each "kind" of animal (whether that means "species," "genus," "substance," or whatever else) has its own unique soul (e.g., "dolphin soul" VS "chimpanzee soul"), then the moment of speciation would be something like a wolf (with a wolf soul) giving birth to a dog (with a dog soul). In this event -- and this might be where we disagree -- no change has occurred in any individual nor in any species. The wolf does not become a dog, and the dog never was a wolf. The wolf species does not become a dog species, and the dog species was never a wolf species.

" can only see a difference in development by the number and kind of potential available in space and time..."
I don't understand this phrase. What do you mean by development, number, and kind, and why do you mention space and time?
Concerning "kind," are you talking about logical potential VS real potency? Before the emergence of dogs from wolves, there was only a logical potency for dogs to exist, but after this speciation event, there is a real potency. Is this what you mean?

"...if you say that God creates a fish soul...but then at some point God uses that material lineage to bring about souls of other animals, then that understanding of 'evolving' becomes problematic, at what point does a fish end[] up becoming a dog?"
I am carefully saying that this is not what I believe. I commit myself against this belief, but not because of the "gray area" argument you bring up about fish VS non-fish, but because it's possible that there is no such thing as a "fish soul," but that every animal (fish, dog, cat, etc.) just has an "animal soul," and that "fish" and "dog" are just current, historical embodiments along the continuum of what constitutes an "animal," hence why I tentatively call such things as dogs and turtles "historical substances," or maybe "historical essences," if I'm using the term "substance" wrong. I don't know if I'd say that dogs and cats are truly substantially different, but mere historically-essential. Look at the two paragraphs below, and what I think should make more sense, hopefully:

Picture a mouse and a rat, and a chimp and a human. Given that you believe that "kind" is determined by visual similarity (presumably based on material, accidental differences, specifically in the genome of each species), you'd say that mice and rats are more genomically comparable than are chimps and humans, and you'd be tempted to say that mice and rats are more likely to be "kinds" of each other than are chimps and humans. In other words, that a rat is more likely to give birth to the slightly-different animal called "mouse" than a chimp is to give birth to a human. Genomically, you'd be wrong: chimps and humans are more similar than are mice and rats. Why is this significant? Because you make the point that material changes (i.e., changes in the genome, ultimately) cannot get you from one species (or perhaps you'd say "genus" instead) to another. But! If it is true that the identification of "kind" is based on material similarity, which can change only so much, then it would be more reasonable to group humans and chimps as one kind than it would be to say that mice and rats are one kind. Humans and chimps share about 98-99% of our genome, and mice and rats share 80%, more or less.

So, as I've understood you, you want to try to determine "kind" through accidental information, and you think that this accidental information is generated through material changes. But -- here's where I disagree -- greater material changes actually can correspond to lesser accidental changes.
The human/chimp example is not perfect, I admit, because the greatest difference between us is the difference of our souls, and that is not the cause of genetic mutation. I would've found a better example, but I couldn't think of any, and that was the one I knew.
(It might be the case that chimps and pigs are more similar than are rats and mice, because chimps and pigs both share over 98% of their genomes with humans, so there shouldn't be a vast disparity between each other.)

I don't cede the point that each biological species/genus of animal has a distinct substance.

EDIT: Fixed a grammar mistake.

@Irod Jetson Just so you don't have to sift through what I wrote to get what I mean by historical substance: I do not think historical substances are truly substances, but our own method of categorizing what is already in-itself categorized in the more-encompassing substance of "animal." Historical substances are necessarily vague, indeterminate, nominal categories, initially based on the accidents that previous, pre-genetics cultures perceived, and currently based on genomic similarities.

EDIT: "Substance" has no bearing on what kind of animal a thing is. Substance just tells you that it is an animal. The thing that determines what kind of animal is the matter, and matter is in potency: there's the theory of evolution.

@Irod Jetson Hey, just decided I'd leave another reply. Does what I say make sense? I wouldn't come back to this conversation and reply except that it's an important topic.

Irod Jetson
@Jack Human souls inform the available matter (to make a human) in a human way. So if you lack the proper matter, the proper material resources to make up a human you either don't get a human or you get a malnourished human, but you never get a monkey like being (as evolution claims). The soul of a human will organize and animate the available matter in a human way, and the available matter has always been the same, since matter in principle is simply pure potentiality and the souls are created from eternity. We can speak of "change" but not in the way evolution is proposing, saying that we were at some point one cell organisms and then turned into some sea creature and then we moved to the land and that kept happening until humans appeared so at some point we were not exactly "humans", so for evolution the development process is not about one kind of animal changing its accidental properties but rather a change at every ontological level. So Humans can have accidental differences and in that sense we can speak of "development" I mean even in one human being we see development, but the changes are only accidental (the color of the skin, the length of muscles, size of organs, etc.) You never get to the point that the accidental changes are so big that you get another species of humans, since for that to happen it's the human soul that would have to be different, the soul would have to inform matter in a totally different way, so we would need a change at the soul level. And if we accept that we enter in a lot of other issues.

@Jack Because you have to be able to speak about souls, human souls, monkey's souls, etc. And you have to be able to speak about how that soul informs matter. If you can't address those points then there is no discussion, we will be simply talking pass each other since all I cab perceive is that you treating the human and animal soul the same as the substance of an object... Plus even if God is creating souls randomly different from eternity thus creating no "change" in the space-time developmental process of that species then it's not evolution but simply the arbitrary will of God. I guess I need to know what you understand by "evolution" since you believe in it and I can't seem to understand how you fit that in with Classical and Thomistic Philosophy and Theology.

@Irod Jetson That's not at all what I'm doing. I wrote very, very clearly about what I mean in my last four replies.

Human souls and animal souls are different. But I do not think that there is a "monkey" soul, as opposed to a "dog" soul, but that monkeys and dogs are substantially the same, and their material differences constitute a different "species" from our perspective.

I am not treating human and animal souls as the same. This is why I'm not a proponent of human evolution, but simply of non-human evolution. I don't doubt human evolution; I'm simply impartial to it, because I see great evidence for it, but emotionally I can't bring myself to accept it, that Adam, a prefigurement of Christ, was conceived in the womb of an ape.
I have spoken about how souls inform matter, but you seem to be rejecting the possibility that matter also informs other matter. Genetics inform the rest of the organism.

Irod Jetson
@Jack I don't know what you mean by "evolution"

@Jack The relationship between secondary causes (matter affecting matter) has nothing to do with God creating souls that inform matter. And technically what you are saying is incorrect "matter" can't inform matter, matter is simply the potential principle, and form is what actualizes that potential, potency can't actualize potency, ergo matter can't actualize matter, the very fact that certain material beings or things can interact in a specific manner between them is part of the way God informs that matter through their souls. The thing here is not that matter affects matter but rather that the soul receives information from actualized matter and that soul informs its matter back according to the information received, but the specific soul has specific properties that don't allow them to go beyond their species, so matter can inform the soul of a human for millions of years but that doesn't mean that at some point during that time the human will develop to be something beyond a human, the perfections of each species are bound to that kind of animal. God creates each creation according to their kind Genesis 1:21 so it's not correct through revelation to think that one kind can jump into another kind, and that whole distinction of "animals" as all part of one kind, is not in the Holy Scriptures neither is part of Tradition.
Like I said, I need to understand what you mean by evolution.

@Irod Jetson I am trying to formulate my view of evolution. I think this discussion is more satisfactory for that purpose rather than a one-sentence, simplistic definition.
I was hoping you wouldn't mention how "technically" it's incorrect that matter informs matter. I was speaking only anthropomorphically/metaphorically, which is why I proceeded to bring up genetics as the seed of "information."

"According to their kinds"
I've been waiting to hear that objection. The truth is that I'm not entirely sure what to make of it, but I am more inclined to study it carefully than to reach a hasty conclusion -- not that I think you're being hasty, but that you might be forcing your interpretation onto Scripture.

One thing that I have to make clear from the get-go, and have tried to previously, is that the matter that the soul informs would be genes, which are undeniably more fundamental and "informative" (metaphorically) than any other matter, like proteins which they encode, or lipids or sugars. So, genetics reflects, or perhaps suggests, the information of the soul. That's how I should have phrased it before, but I thought you'd allow the common anthropomorphism.

Also, the question of abiogenesis is probably what you should really be bringing up, because that's where we'd agree. I don't believe that we come from lifeless matter; I don't believe that plants could evolve into animals; I don't believe that animals could evolve into humans.
To posit something like plants evolving into animals would possibly require a kind of "prime organism," like a unicellular organism, on par with Aristotle's prime matter, and I do not make that claim.

1. Given (and I think you will agree with this) that animals began to exist hundreds of millions of years ago, and given the reality of catastrophic extinction events, how do you suppose that such things as "cattle" survived these events? Over the course of hundreds of millions of years, you'd think that every animal would have gone extinct by now. If you respond that cattle are of the same "kind" as something like the T-Rex (whose bones weextinct 65,000,000 years ago, unlike cattle, which apparently also existed back then), I accuse you of stretching your definition of the word "kind," because you seem to claim (but are still unclear on this) that "soul-kind" is made apparent through an animal's accidents: that mice and rats are of one "kind," whereas chimps and pigs are not -- nevermind the genetic evidence.

2. Why don't we find cattle fossils from hundreds of millions of years ago? If you respond that remains simply haven't been found, the probability of that seems on par with a miracle, and that's a claim that you'd have to make a priori.

3. Might "According to their kinds" be taken as a human-perspectival account? Something akin to anthropomorphism? Again, cattle and whales are mentioned, and if you choose to believe that those animals existed from the beginning (and somehow survived massive extinction events), that's up to you, but there is no evidence for that. Again, what I'd call historical substance. Temporary kind. Perspectival kind.

4. What about vestigial parts, such as a whale's leg bone?

5. Scientists have observed "speciation" in labs. Does this constitute a change in "kind"?

6. Genesis says "Let the earth bring forth," "The earth brought forth," "Let the waters bring forth," and "Let the earth bring forth." As you said, this is secondary co-creation. Why not secondary co-creation of kinds? I don't believe this, but why not?

7. What is a kind? What exactly is included in a kind? How do you determine that? Give me an example with real animals. Non-evolutionists constantly ask for examples of real transition fossils, and evolutionists are able to provide examples, so it's entirely fair to apply the same standards.

8. I do not deny that kinds exist, but I ask that you be clear about what exactly they are, because I think that neither of us are sure.

9. If you predicate "soul-kind" on accidental similarity, accidental similarity is predicated on genetics. Genetically, that would place mice and rats as less of the same kind than chimps and pigs.

I'm a busy student, it's finals week right now, I really shouldn't be taking too much time for a while. I don't get notified when you respond (I haven't for a while), I don't know why, but I'll check back here when I have more time.

Irod Jetson
@Jack I mean, that's the issue, I think we don't agree on many things fundamentally, am gonna try to answer each number:

1. I don't agree with the notion that animals came to exist millions of years ago, I don't take the contemporary notions of time and space to be the axioms by which we observe, contemplate and study reality as such, the fact that the "tecne" has developed tremendously in these times doesn't mean that modern "science" has the proper principles and metaphysics to come to the right conclusions, modern "science" will come to results because it is interacting with reality and can find phenomenological correlations in their studies, but as we have seen always in modern science we always have this concept of "studies have shown..." and then you go on to show that past correlations were incorrect, or that the causes of certain things were not proper to define X aspect of reality. When creation was created so was time created, so we don't have to assume that things could have not happen in an instant.

2. The whole fossil thing assumes many things a priori that we must accept in order to have this discussion. Plus many things are not found in fossils to explain the supposed notion of "evolution".

3. The way people categorized animals 6.000 years ago is not the same as now, I recommend you read "the language of creation" by Matthieu Pageau, you can't read back with modern notions.

4. Vestigial parts is a theory, many say that the appendix is a vestigial part in humans, yet others theorize that it helps storing good bacteria, thus it's an aspect of the human soul that is embodied and has nothing to do with evolution. Those are simply theories.

5. speciation is part of the "evolutionary process", again, I need a definition of evolution.

6. Yup God makes the earth and water bring forth according to their kind, God is informing matter (water, earth) through his will, Spirit and Logos.

7. I mean just read Genesis, God literally defines different types of creatures, ones that live in water, ones that walk, ones that crawl, ones that fly. From what I understand evolution claims that a "kind" of animal (sea animals) evolved to become the kind of animals that move along the ground...

8. I don't have to pin down specific animals, to know that God makes a distinction between animals that fly and their kinds and animals that crawl and their kinds, the claim that evolution makes is that everything came from one ancestor and they evolved to become different kinds.

9. Through accidents we can abstract the intelligible (spiritual) aspects of beings. Wings for example come about from a soul that informs matter in order to bring about wings, and those wings have accidental aspects of course; texture, color, shape, whatever, but you won't get the accidents of "wings" in a being if you don't have a kind of soul that is capable of informing matter in that way.

Here is the thing, the concept or idea of evolution is "Non existent" that's why you are making your own, and everybody makes their own or follow a specific evolutionary tradition, you can understand evolution from many different philosophical axioms and they don't all agree, you are trying to come up with your own, and that's the problem "evolution" is an empty word, you can fit in that word whatever you want, for example you say that you don't think an animal can become a human, but that's what many evolutionist claim, so what kind of evolutionist would you be?
The whole natural selection idea, or the survival of the fittest, or whatever axiom is not a scientific one but a philosophical one, and "science" is simply making correlations between observable reality "accidents", phenomena, and their philosophical claims.
You can say something like God willed natural selection to bring about his creation, sure, you can make that claim and use a bunch of philosophical and theological gymnastics to make that claim, but God created everything "ex nihilo", there was no time before creation, there was no "primordial matter" before creation, and God "created" the different animals, it's a creation of God directly, ex nihilo, so the whole idea of "millions of years of development and natural selection, it's simply a philosophical perspective, I am not saying it is unreasonable, all I am saying is that reason must submit to revelation in order to see reality as it is, if we get stuck in reason without faith, and without revelation, then sure, we can become like Saint Thomas Apostle and ask for Christ to show us his wounds and let us touch them to believe him because we don't have a "reason" to believe. I don't simply believe in God, but I also believe God and what he says, and if he says that he created certain kinds of animals ex nihilo, then sure, I will go with that, and I don't bother if we find fossils, or anything, it must fit with revelation, and if it doesn't fit then it's just a distraction and I probably shouldn't even bother with it, I mean if we did have dinosaurs how is that even important in our salvation history? how is that important in my sanctity? I find way more important chatting with you than trying to find some correlation between natural selection and creation ex nihilo. The very content of this conversation is not the most important thing for our souls, but the fact that we are both contemplating God and trying to speculate about him and about his creation is way way more important than the specific content of our conversation.
I don't believe in evolution, I think it is a cosmology, a cosmovision that can be used to explain certain things but I don't think is the revealed cosmovision of God, but a rationalistic, materialistic, naturalistic and subjectivist cosmovision for humans without revelation and faith and that's fine if we place that in it's proper place.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Irod Jetson "Picture a mouse and a rat, and a chimp and a human. Given that you believe that "kind" is determined by visual similarity (presumably based on material, accidental differences, specifically in the genome of each species), you'd say that mice and rats are more genomically comparable than are chimps and humans, and you'd be tempted to say that mice and rats are more likely to be "kinds" of each other than are chimps and humans. In other words, that a rat is more likely to give birth to the slightly-different animal called "mouse" than a chimp is to give birth to a human. Genomically, you'd be wrong: chimps and humans are more similar than are mice and rats."

I doubt the latter.

But given the real question, it doesn't really matter. Mice and rats both have irrational souls and communicate in very similar ways. And we have plenty of transitions at least within each.

I just found a page about a comparison : "Scientists Compare Rat Genome With Human, Mouse"

I cite one sentence : "Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes, while rats have 21 and mice have 20."

Mice actually have 20 down to as few as 11. Reduction of chromosome numbers by merging two previously distinct chromosomes is one clearly possible rearrangement of the genome. And between rats and mice there are fewer such mergers than within mice themselves.

However, the page also says that there were about 50 rearrangements in each of rats and mice since a common ancestor, and fewer when it came to chimps and men. Are you sure you are not overdoing the comparison, since there are 100 000 locus differences, or more, and of these obviously the FOXP2 gene with the human version capable and the chimp version incapable of existing in a talking person?

Irod Jetson
@Hans-Georg Lundahl You started strawmaning me. The accidental similarities do not mean "kind" but certain souls will bring about certain accidental aspects that other souls wont and souls are created from eternity so there is no "evolution" there. In Genesis "kinds" are very well defined, sea creatures and their kinds are different from the animals that fly and their kinds... If you want to follow only what is humanly reasonable, then sure go along that line, but is not necessarily what is revealed by God. Saint Thomas Aquinas understands the difference between what is reasonable and what is revealed, by reason through philosophy you can make the claim that matter has always existed for example, but by revelation we know that is not true...
I am not inventing what "kinds" are, I wasn't the one who made the distinctions between flying animals and crawling ones it was God in Genesis...

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Irod Jetson No strawman involved.

Read again.

Not only are sea creatures other kinds than land creatures, within each group there are different kinds.

And while genes in common have some interest when it comes to kinds of irrational animals, it cannot mean a rational one evolved from an irrational one.

As to what is revealed, you don't evolve man and chimp from common ancestry within the 24 hours of day VI. Yes, I know, a certain day age paradigm is dispensed as not being heretical as per 1909 Bible commission, but adding tens of thousands of years onto human history or an evolutionary background to Adam is not covered by that dispensation. The man who gave the dispensation on behalf of Pope St. Pius X, didn't believe that kind of things. And they are not in the text of it. AND Humani Generis doesn't actually give a dispensation for believing Adam's evolutionary origins either.

You are strawmanning the Church, if there is any strawman involved here!

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Irod Jetson I am sorry, after reading the debate, it seems I was in fact strawmanning you by taking as your positions what you were commenting on what had been said by Jack, so, if I understand you correctly, you are not an evolutionist, we are on the same board?

However, for another time, try to distinguish more visibly between what you are repeating, like "You started strawmaning me" is repeated from you and what you answer - to make the italics you use an underdash ( _ ) attached on each side of the italicised text and a space outside it.

Irod Jetson
@Hans-Georg Lundahl It's ok, you know how these things go on the comment section haha hard to stay chill. I am not an evolutionist, evolutionists tend to focus on genes as if the genes are the essence of the being, and from there they make a bunch of accidental correlations with othere beings with similar genes. And I am sorry if my English is not proper but is my second language.

@Hans-Georg Lundahl and thanks I didn't know how people did those italics

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Irod Jetson It's my third. Swedish and German first.

Genes do have some importance. Did you know that a fish in Mexican caves have 10 genes for the retina, and because two are dysfunctional, the fish can't see? And that it takes one mutation for a gene to make it dysfunctional, but one could hardly build it up from scratch?

No chance of new genes developing evolutionist manner. However, there is a chance of old genes diversifying like that, like between red haired and black haired ...

Irod Jetson
@Hans-Georg Lundahl Everything is important in creation, I do not think anything in creation is bad or unnecessary, because everything partakes in the Logos, wisdom and providence of God. it's about an ontological hierarchy, the genes are not the essence of the being, genes follow what the particular soul informs to its matter. The main issue with evolution for me has to do with souls more than the accidental material differences and variations possible for each kind of living being.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
@Irod Jetson I would rather say, the genes and the soul are on the one hand picked by providence, on the other created directly, but either way meant for each other by God.

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