• Why the Church can do without theistic evolution

    Last week, Pope Frank backed up the accomodationist Catholic Church hypothesis that evolution is not inconsistent with creationism, which garnered him a ton of fair rebuttals by people who actually understand evolution, such as Jerry Coyne.

    The thing is the Catholic Church doesn’t care about the truth, they just need this whole metaphysical jumble to keep their charade going.

    If the Church were to accept scientific evolution, they would need big enough mental gymnastics as to have the Lost scriptwriters confused.

    First of all, evolution dismisses the myth of Adam and Eve.

    If there were no Adam and Eve, then there was never such a thing as the original sin. And without the original sin, then Jesus, the central mythological figure of Christianity, would have come to Earth to die for nothing, which would be really stupid (I mean, stupider than a pigeon having sex with a Palestinian girl and stupider than getting pissed at Judas —the guy who got Jesus to fulfill his destiny—, but I digress…).

    And if there’s no original sin and Jesus came for nothing, then Earth is not a valley of tears, this material and natural world is not a place for us to come to suffer and be punished and tested, sex wouldn’t be taboo, and gay people would be left off the hook.

    And if we’re not supposed to come here to suffer, then there’s no point in opposing euthanasia, stem cell research or drugs. If there was never a first human being, then the soul never enters the newly formed fetus, therefore, there would be no theological basis to ban abortion.

    All the nefarious Catholic political stances would fall… but they wouldn’t and they won’t. Haters will hate, and bigots won’t care whether their ridiculous dogma is more or less incoherent than it is now.

    How can I say this? Because we’re there already — the Catholic Church has said that the Adam and Eve story is an allegory. So, to be clear: they’ve been recruiting and indoctrinating newborns based on a metaphor of something that didn’t actually happen, and they’ve admitted so!

    And, yet, they keep on opposing the most basic Human Rights and civil liberties on these grounds. So they don’t need theistic evolution. As long as there are emotionally broken and mentally unstable people who can hide behind the Catholic message, business is gonna be fine.

    (Imagen: jimforest via photopin cc)

    Category: AtheismPhilosophy

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    Article by: Ðavid A. Osorio S

    Skeptic | Blogger | Fact-checker
    • Joe G

      Baraminology accepts that evolution occurs. The debate is about the starting point(s) and the extent evolutionary processes can take a population. So it all depends on what you mean by “evolution”. That is a slippery word that can mean several different things.

      Unguided evolution doesn’t have any scientific basis…

      • Uhh.. no. There’s no such a debate and evolution is unguided by definition.

        • Joe G

          There is plenty to debate and evolution is not unguided by definition. Evolution is merely a change in allele frequency over time. What part of that refers to unguided?

          I can provide more accepted definitions of evolution that do not refer to unguided. What do you have?

          • It doesn’t need to be guided. Circa Laplace

            • Joe G

              Now you have changed your tune. Unguided evolution can’t even be modeled.

    • Joseph Muldoon

      The Catholic Church doesn’t cling to theological evolution because their theology is dependent on a literal Adam and Eve. They’re actually somewhat open to metaphorical intepretations of Adam and and Eve.

      They accept to a large degree the findings of modern science but they are of course unwilling to acknowledge the implications. Ultimately, supernaturally guided evolution is just a cumbersome version of Intelligent Design; evolution by nonrandom mutation and supernatural selection involves just as much magical thinking as Kentucky Fried Creationism, it’s just conveniently obfuscated.

      The whole Jesus dying for yout sins story really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense whether you believe in a literal Adam and Eve or not. At the end of the day there are limits to how much science and reason an institution like the Catholic Church can accept and still remain a religious body in any meaningful sense. The core dogma requires them to accept remarkably implausible and irrational things as true.

      I think the whole “Jesus as redeemer” thing seems to have been backfitted onto the Jesus story by the early Church so as to make some sense of his death. But if it made sense of his death it did so at the expense of his message. The Jewish messiah was never imagined as someone who would come to earth to pay with his life for man’s sins.

      • But being open to metaphorical interpretations of Adam and Eve is a way of stripping themselves out of any religious body in any meaningful sense whatsoever.

        • Joseph Muldoon

          You’re conflating “religious” with Biblical literalism. There are Christians, even clergy, who interpret all of the core dogma of Christianity metaphorically, including Jesus himself (i.e. there are Christians who don’t think there actually was an historical Jesus).

          Certainly religion doesn’t have to involve irrational beliefs; one can imagine a religion which was chiefly about cultivating a sense of awe at the profundities of existence and promoting values that maximize public well being etc. Unfortunately however in practice most organized religion tends to require acceptance of irrational dogma.

          • Actually, “religion” means irrational beliefs.

            • Joseph Muldoon

              I really couldn’t disagree with you there so far as the term “religion” is commonly understood.

              Then again it doesn’t literally mean “irrational beliefs”. I think in principal a ‘religion’ that does not require acceptance of irrational beliefs is possible – but probably unlikely. This would be ‘religion’ in the sense Einstein used the term, which involves no irrational dogma but rather the cultivation of a sense of awe or appreciation of ‘the mysterious’ as Einstein put it.

        • Joseph Muldoon

          “But being open to metaphorical interpretations of Adam and Eve is a way of stripping themselves out of any religious body in any meaningful sense whatsoever”

          Well, of course; this was in large measure the point of my post.

    • hatmanm

      Kind of inaccurate, but hey, scientists have access to the only form of true knowledge. There was a good reply here: https://theoplankton.wordpress.com/2015/03/30/stop-sharing-jerry-coynes-views-on-theistic-evolution-and-pope-francis-they-make-no-sense/