Thursday, August 24, 2023

On Evolutionism and Other Evils

Can Christians Be Evolutionists? | Guest: Ken Ham (Part Two) | Ep 862
Allie Beth Stuckey, 24.VIII.2023

0:13 A shout out about how things started to go wrong among Catholics (btw, I don't count the Catechism of the Catholic Church with its § 283 as a Catholic writing or the "popes" endorsing it as actual popes).

In the 1860's, quite a lot of Catholic theologians would simply uphold young earth creationism, usually six day, but one moment is also an orthodox option. Dito for global flood. Dito for water being sufficient for covering mountains that existed before the flood and for mountains higher than what the water could have covered.

THEN two apparent problems whittled this away:
  • how to fit all Linnean species onto the Ark
  • Pyrenees are already too high, but much older than the Alps.

The solutions, before we go on, and Ken Ham would agree on them:
  • Linnean species are not identic to Biblical kinds (my favourite example is, there was one pair of hedgehogs on the Ark, but now there are 17 species, no, that's not involving porcupines, I mean real hedgehogs)
  • Pyrenees didn't first rise as Alps and then get worn down to their less edgy shape, they rose in a different way, also after the Flood.

What was the first thing one tried to do?

Same as some had been doing even before, namely Gap Theory and Day-Age theory.

Cardinal Wiseman in England was an adherent of Gap Theory.

Father Fulcran Vigouroux, a Sulpician, a congregation around the Paris Church of St. Sulpitius (the Pious, the III Sulpitius who was bishop of Bourges), was (as per an intro to the OT) an adherent of:
  • Day Age
  • limited (huge regional, not just local) Flood (universal for then human inhabited lands, but not for cangaroos in Oz or moose in Canada)
  • possibly more omissions in Genesis 11 than just the second Cainan, but he didn't think that was needed yet.

In other words, while he was perfectly serious that earth had been there 100 000 or 1 000 000 years before man, he considered all archaeological men (not sure if he recognised Neanderthals as such) as descended from Adam, and Adam as created little more than 3000 years before Abraham was born.

He was obviously also, as everyone up to 1941, except perhaps creeps like Mivart, against Adam having any kind of ancestry between slime of earth and his own fashioning directly by God.

In 1909, he sat as judge in the Biblical Commission of the Popes, in this case of Pope St. Pius X. Whose catechism, by the way, is pure YEC. He had occasion to approve exactly one of his tenets, namely Day Age - not the other two.

The first pope (or possibly already not such) who came out on the side of Old Age compromise was Pius XII, in 1951, when he used a 5 billion year date of earth (same method he called "very exact" which now gives 4.5 billion years) as proof that earth was not eternal. Let's note, he never was very much into science, he was a lawyer and prior to papacy, diplomat. But the good side is, this was not in a bull, not in an encyclical, just in a papal allocution to the pontifical scientific academy.

What's worse is, in 1941 in a similar allocution and in 1950 in the encyclical Humani Generis, he refused to condemn, no, he did not declare licit, just that he was for now refusing to condemn, that Adam had biological ancestry.

In Humani Generis, he laid down as a rule that debaters on both sides (yes, according to his wording he was in fact putting up a debate forum, basically by experts behind closed doors) should be prepared to submit to the ruling of the Church. He did not specify the ruling had to be subsequent, and I'm submitting to Council of Trent, Session IV on general exegetics and Session V on specifically Adam as individual first sinner, which are rulings of the Church. Another rule specifically forbade polygenism, forbade saying Adam was not a single man and ancestor of all mankind.

Probably, he could still have been entertaining something similar to what Fulcran Vigouroux thought : lots of time before Adam, but ... not very many millennia since him.

When carbon dating came along, given that a very old age of earth basically forces C14 to already have reached stability, it became apparent that old age implied men as long ago as 20 000 or 40 000 years ago.

In 1962, one of the things Cardinal Ottaviani tried to do, the man who had been preparing Vatican II, was a schema which, according to the journalist Christine Pedotti, would have dogmatised the idea that creation happened as the Bible described it. This would have been a ruling one would have had to submit to, precisely as already Trent (Sessions IV and V, as mentioned) was. But the council became hijacked.

Even so, when I converted in 1988, YEC was still an option. Clearly not the favoured one, but an option.

Urban legends had it, Church Fathers weren't YEC. Famously, St. Augustine wasn't a six day literalist. It's just that his option was the inverse of that of Fulcran Vigouroux. It shortened the timeline by 144 hours. I later found out (1999 or 2000) that in City of God he clearly defended a YEC timeline and a perfectly global Flood. Since then I've been YEC, like up to my conversion. I had taken a break from it, but not into full blown deep time or evolutionism.

7:21 That sounds like tithing, good for them!


9:54 I don't believe Nimrod was what one would normally categorise as an idolater, like a Hindoo or Fetishist or Shinto.

I believe he was totally secularist.

And while Babylon in Classic times, like when Daniel was captive there, was not Nimrod's Babel, locally, it was the same social community (much like Boston is the same community as Boston across the Atlantic, but at a much shorter distance). This means, while Babylon clearly was idolatrous in the normal sense, it should be secularist.

It was.

Enuma Elish says something about gods creating men to serve their needs, but nothing about a first man, and nothing about a couple.

Gilgamesh is so often quoted on tablet XI, for when Utnapishtim (more or less meant to be =Noah, except the situation is fake) tells of the Flood, but how about quoting the first words on tablet I for a change?

In those days · in those ancient days
In those nights · in those ancient nights
In those years · in those far off years
when the world had been established
when bread had been baken in the ovens
when mankind had been established

... OK, what's established is not a first man, not a first couple, but "mankind," and from the first in a city where bakers are about their work.

That's about as secularist as it gets.

24:15 If the Bible says that more than the Bible was infallible or theopneust, the Reformation was in fact not ensuring to stick to the infallible word of God.

Matthew 16:19, note, I'm not saying verse 18, I know the debate about who or what the rock was, but 19, seems like a strong promise of papal infallibility insofar as Peter and successors hold the keys of the kingdom and their judgements are confirmed by heaven.

Tradition and magisterium as much as the NT books start with the Apostles, who were theopneust, very clearly, you read it in John 20:21 - 22. Unless you are Arians, of course.

26:13 In fact, there is more here against the Reformation.

The Catholic Church actually stuck to Mark 10 (the context of Mark 10:6), and Mt 5:32 and Mt 19:3 - 19.

Various Protestant sects didn't, like Anglicanism got started to grant Henry VIII a divorce.

Calvin basically pretended that "except for fornication" means "except for adultery" ... but apart from allowing a cuckold to divorce and remarry, he nearly was as strict as the Catholic Church.

However, this did not remain so. Divorce on demand came from Protestant countries.

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