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Religion and Science: The Evolutionary Controversy

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By Kyle Jorstad, Grove City College
11/18/2015 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

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Abstract: Though members of the scientific and atheistic community alike often tout science as the downfall of religion, theories regarding Darwinian evolution and the age of the earth are not necessarily incompatible with traditional Christian views on creation. While differing on the professed method by which life occurs, the core tenants of multiple such theories are shared under the broad theoretical framework on the origins of life. Despite the routine exclusion of religious creation theories from the public square on the grounds of being utterly incompatible with concrete scientific knowledge, many such theories are more compatible with modern science than many secular scientists and atheists are willing to admit. With careful analysis of the conclusions reached by modern science and consideration of religious beliefs on the nature of creation, the individual doctrines of each not only allow for but provide strong evidence in favor of the compatibility between both stances.

span style="font-size:12.0pt;line-height:107%;font-family:" times="" new="" roman",serif;="" mso-fareast-font-family:calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:="" en-us;mso-fareast-language:en-us;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa"="">Following the 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, Charles Darwin was being simultaneously praised by the scientific community for his biological research and lambasted by Christians defending biblical creationism.[1] Although periodically challenged since the Scopes trial of 1925, greater and more accurate evidence has since solidified the hold of evolution in the minds of scientists around the world as well as in the classroom.[2] Darwin's theory, in succinct review, is based upon the idea that all life is related and descended from a common ancestor. Life began with a few infinitely basic organisms that gradually evolved through genetic mutation into more complex beings until life as we know it was formed. Through the process of natural selection, those creatures with modifications granting them a functional advantage in their habitat survived and reproduced while less capable members of the ecosystem went extinct. As a result, those species which best adapted to their particular environment survived.[3] Since presenting his ideas in 1858, Darwin's theory on life has grown firmly entrenched in the minds of modern society. As this scientific unanimity forms the crux of every case against theistic creation theories, its contemplation is crucial in analyzing the claims of religious creationism.

Another general consensus reached by the scientific community necessary for consideration is the age of the earth. While varying by several million years, the scientific community largely agrees that the earth is roughly 4.6 billion years old and that the universe is 18 billion years old, conclusions mainly derived from radioactive dating methods.[4] Though this calculation was not personally arrived at by Darwin, who posited the age of the earth as several hundred million years based on geological processes such as the thickness of sedimentary layers, the two theories are intrinsically linked.[5] Not only does this scientifically derived "earth age" supply the necessary time required for Darwin's extensive, long-term evolutionary processes, but it fortifies scientific claims against young-earth creationists who defend a literal interpretation of Genesis from the Bible. Together, Darwinian evolution and the scientific age of the earth are able to explain not only the wide variety of life forms across the planet, including fossils at various levels of development such as dinosaurs, but also the geological formation of the earth cited by Darwin as evidence of an "aged" planet.[6] Between Darwin and modern science, it would appear that religion is no longer tenable as a source of accurate historical information on the rise of humanity.

So how can Christian theism be reconciled with science? In order to fully comprehend how these scientific theories clash with Christian creationism, it is important to gain an understanding of the various perspectives held by members of the Church. Pinpointing one particular stance by any religious denomination is difficult because there is no single creationistic theory adhered to by all Christians; in fact, there are numerous perspectives. These stances, however, can be effectively narrowed into two categories: creationism and theistic evolution. A third view, intelligent design, will also be addressed but remains agnostic and uncommitted towards defending any sacred religious text or doctrine, Christian or otherwise.[7] While Christianity allows some flexibility on individual creation doctrine, there are several core prerequisite tenants: God alone created the universe "ex nihilo"; God transcends, upholds, and sustains creation; and He does so freely of His own will.[8] In short, the Church argues for special creation: that the universe and all life in it originated in its present form by unconditional fiat or divine decree. Both creationism and theistic evolution firmly adhere to these core beliefs, yet differ widely on the professed method by which life arose.

Theistic evolutionists hold true to the Christian doctrine that God is the ultimate creator of life on earth and is active in maintaining it, but allow for some compatibility with scientific theories. While God is the ultimate creator, Darwin's theory or another similar biological process is still true to the extent that these progressions are the result of God's guiding intervention. Of religious creation stances, theistic evolution is the most similar to that of evolutionists, though Darwinists generally reject this theory outright. Theistic evolutionists argue that evolution is scientifically supported and well-founded, but maintain that evolution takes place only by God's will; while evolution could be an indirect process of creation, humanity is ultimately a direct creation of God.[9]

Creationism, the other common theological perspective on creation, directly contradicts both theistic evolution and established science. Most commonly attributed to "young-earth creationists," creationism is a Scripture-centered theory espousing the literal interpretation of creation presented in Genesis. Creationists use biblical time cues to defend the concept of creation of the world and life in six literal days roughly 6,000 years ago.[10] God directly intervened to create life and man; at no point did evolution or natural selection take place in the development of life. A new branch of creationism called "scientific creationism" began to distinguish itself in the early 1960's. Scientific creationism is "biblical creationism stripped of explicit references to God, Adam, and Noah," providing scientific ancestry and explanations for all of life within the parameters of no life before Adam and no death before the fall of man.[11] In other words, it is an adjusted version of strict creationism without the explicit connections to religion, and is used by creationists who attempt to justify their theologically-founded theories on creation to secular individuals.

It is extremely important to distinguish between creationism and intelligent design; although often closely associated by naturalistic Darwinians who coin it "intelligent-design creationism," the two are very different.[12] As stated earlier, while creationism seeks to defend the literal biblical creation story, intelligent design is a scientifically-centered attempt to empirically determine whether life is simply a chance product of natural laws, or if there truly is an intelligent designer behind nature who is not necessarily God.[13] While creationism and intelligent design might both reach similar conclusions, the process of arriving at these findings is thoroughly different, a fact exacerbated by continued criticism from creationists who argue that "design is not enough!"[14] Many creationists strive not only to reject evolution but intelligent design as well on the grounds of its openness to a designer other than God.[15] In fact, the intelligent design movement shares more theoretical aspects with Darwinism than it does with creationism. Standard intelligent design advocates typically make no attempt to explain how life got here while asserting that natural selection alone could not have resulted in life today. Moreover, many of its adherents often grant evolution and natural selection a secondary role in the development of life.[16] There are less-than-mainstream branches of intelligent design who posit a "who" for the existence of life; one such branch, the Raëlian Movement, which claims over 35,000 members worldwide, asserts that life arose as a result of biological experiments by aliens-the Elohim-who created all life on earth.[17] Such movements are not granted much international credit.

It must be understood that among religious clergy, as well as much of the laity, the controversy between science and the Bible is a question of Scriptural inerrancy. Since Vatican I, the Catholic Church has upheld Scripture as divinely inspired and "must be acknowledged as teaching solidly, faithfully and without error that truth which God wanted put into sacred writings for the sake of salvation."[18] However, this does not mean that everything written in the Bible can be taken literally. Christian understanding of Scripture largely has to do with hermeneutics, which deals with the interpretation of biblical and literary texts. The Bible is written in various genres and contexts, and it is sometimes necessary to distinguish between what is written versus what is actually meant by the Holy Spirit.

It is for this reason that the Catholic Church encourages higher criticism, a form of sophisticated biblical exegesis which permits a broad range of scriptural interpretation.[19] According to Dei Verbum, the incipit of the Second Vatican Council's Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, an inerrant doctrine can only be found in Scripture if it is relevant to human salvation. Consequently, if human salvation does not hinge upon the question of evolution, we will be unable to identify an absolute Scriptural answer.[20] As the question of evolution is a question of doctrine rather than salvation for the Catholic Church, Catholics have at large tended towards embracing evolution as a credible and well-supported scientific theory. However, leaders, such as Pope Benedict XVI, caution against an overly narrow view of mans' origins and human existentialism.[21] Similarly, St. Augustine wrote on the impossibility of truly understanding the events transcribed in Genesis, warning against restricted perspectives which risk the faith being perceived as ridiculous.[22]

This stance on evolution and Scriptural infallibility by the Catholic Church represents only one of various Christian denominations. Mainline Protestants argue for the compatibility of modern science and the Bible, and as a result they are more willing to reinterpret Scripture and accept evolution as factual.[23] On the other hand, evangelicals, fundamentalists, and other doctrinally conservative Protestants more commonly hold literal interpretations of the Bible. Being fully invested in the authority of the Bible, such conservative traditionalists forcefully oppose evolution as questioning Scriptural teaching and the Genesis account of creation.[24] Quite often these groups, especially fundamentalists, criticize both the Catholic Church and theistic evolutionists for allowing Scriptural reinterpretations which are too broad and thus distort its supposed true meaning.[25] These attitudes towards evolution and the actual personage of Adam and Eve are reflected in a study of data collected from the Combined Clergy Survey of 2001-2002. The results showed that 91.4 percent of Evangelical clergy rejected evolution as "the best explanation for the origins of life," while 91.8 percent thought "Adam and Eve were real historical persons." This contrasts with only 51.4 percent of mainline Protestants rejecting evolution and 34.8 percent believing in Adam and Eve. Catholics by far were shown to be the most open to evolution with 55.5 percent of clergy embracing evolution as the best explanation for life, and 70.7 percent rejecting the historical personage of Adam and Eve.[26] Yet even this open approach regarding the historical accuracy of Scripture by the Catholic Church is rejected by many of Darwin's staunchest proponents.

Despite efforts by many Christian churches to allow for the theories of evolution and natural selection, individuals such as social scientist and Professor James Wilson still reject models not solely dependent on natural processes that exclude a superior intelligence. In responding to assertions that intelligent design is as much a theory as evolution, Wilson argues that where evolution is a scientifically testable and confirmable relationship, intelligent design advocates offer "a guess, a faith or an idea."[27] Wilson argues "evolution, like almost every scientific theory, has some problems. But they are not the kinds of problems that can be solved by assuming that an intelligent designer created life."[28] Similarly, evolutionary biologist and staunch atheist Richard Dawkins argues that "science, then, is free of the main vice of religion, which is faith."[29] Dawkins contends that religion and science are inherently rationally unequal, as there is solely evidence for science.[30] Going so far as to argue faith as "irredeemably irrational," Dawkins identifies Christians as "dyed-in-the wool faith-heads" whose religion immunizes them against any rational argument.[31] Dawkins concludes that religion and science are incompatible solely by virtue of religion's investment in an invisible, incomprehensible God whose existence is premised on the lack of that one aspect which is required to establish truth: empirical evidence.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Dawkins never truly addresses, however, the issue of compatibility between religion and science by asserting the lack of empirical verifiability of faith. Times magazine author Dan Cray, in referring to both Dawkins and his army of atheistic Darwinists as well as his theological opponents, writes "the most ardent of these don't really care very much about science [or theology], and an argument in which one party stands immovable on Scripture and the other immobile on the periodic table doesn't get anyone very far."[32] Alister McGrath, a once-atheist with a doctorate in molecular biophysics and now a leading Christian theologian, responds to Dawkins on this point: "Where Dawkins sees faith as intellectual nonsense, most of us are aware that we hold many beliefs that we cannot prove to be true but are nonetheless perfectly reasonable to entertain."[33] The reality is that many truths simply are not empirically verifiable; one such area is human memory. A memory of a certain day or sequence of events may be perfectly accurate, yet completely untenable; to individuals like Dawkins, this lack of evidence should completely disqualify such truths. Yet this is clearly illogical; many beliefs may be justified even in the absence of empirical verification, especially memory. Another example is the constancy of nature. Science can only prove that gravity was present yesterday; though the assumption of gravity's presence tomorrow morning is entirely reasonable, we take on faith its constancy. [34] The existence of what we take to be universal truths without complete empirical backing thus becomes a major flaw in the arguments of scientific naturalists.

Another significant flaw with the view that science supersedes religion is the fact that many accomplished scientists, such as McGrath, profess compatibility between the two. The noted Harvard astronomer Owen Gingrich states "the universe has been created with intention and purpose, and.this belief does not interfere with the scientific enterprise."[35] Francis Collins, originally an atheistic scientist, explains his conversion to Christianity in his book Language of God, which maintains that the universe has been "fine-tuned for life as a result of the wonder and orderliness of nature."[36] Staunch atheist Steven Jay Gould asserts that "the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs-and equally compatible with atheism."[37] These individuals represent only a few of a rapidly growing body of well-educated scientists either professing faith in God or supporting harmony between science and religion. Naturally this does not substantiate concord between theists and Darwinists; it does, however, counter Dawkins' insistence that real scientists are atheists. With respect to such individuals, it is no longer reasonable to dismiss religion on the grounds of faith's lack of empirical verifiability without further consideration of the rationale behind the various creation ideologies.

One stock argument given in support of both theistic evolution and creationism is the complexity argument. Though there are many versions of this analogy, the argument essentially states that the parameters for life's existence are so narrow that the odds of random life occurring are infinitely small.[38] Intelligent design proponent Fred Heeren argues, "The chance that amino acids would line up randomly to create the first hemoglobin protein is one in ten to the 850th power.and one chance in ten to the 78,000th power even for the DNA of a simple microorganism."[39] With only 10 to the 80th atoms in the universe, Heeren argues the sheer improbability of our existence is surely a sign of intelligent design, if not the direct hand of God. Arguments from improbability such as Heeren's are referred to as the fine-tuning argument, which states that life has been fine-tuned to the specific parameters at which it can flourish. Darwin's response is that no part of life is so irreducibly complex that it could not have evolved to its present state. On the Origin of Species further argues that evolution, as a guided process, is actually less a product of chance and more a result of natural biological laws.[40] Likewise, Dawkins argues that improbability is not evidence of design; improbable is not impossible and cannot eliminate the tenability of evolution.[41]

Wilson counters intelligent design advocates by pointing out that if indeed life was designed, the designer made some big mistakes. For example, Wilson argues, the eye is often cited as evidence of a designer due to its intense chemical and biological complexity[42]. Yet the human eye has a blind spot, reducing the ability to see; some individuals are colorblind, and many require corrective lenses as their vision degenerates. Each flaw conforms to the theory of evolution, yet is inconsistent in the face of theoretical design by a superior intelligence, which lacks the evidence necessary for broad acceptance outside of the faith community.[43] Dawkins poses a similar argument when he identifies theistic evolution as a "tremendous cop-out."[44] Dawkins finds it odd that God, in creating human beings, would wait 18 billion years through the creation of the universe and the process of evolution instead of simply creating life and humanity instantaneously.

Francis Collins, author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief, has a response to both Wilson and Dawkins on this count. "Who are we to say that that was an odd way to do it? I don't think that it is God's purpose to make his intention absolutely obvious to us. If it suits him to be a deity that we must seek without being forced to, would it not have been sensible for him to use the mechanism of evolution without posting obvious road signs to reveal his role in creation?"[45] From Collin's perspective, it is only natural that there are defects in human anatomy, flaws in life, and complex, seemingly natural explanations for our entire universe; a lack of reasonable alternatives would render Christian faith worthless. Collins' line of reasoning is consistently dismissed due to its theological foundations; yet for Christians, theology continues to provide a basis for explaining our origins while still accounting for the worldly flaws cited by Darwinists as evolutionary proofs.

It is certainly recognized by religious groups and the church at large that their stances on creation cannot be irrefutably substantiated, especially to the scientific community. American pastor, theologian and Christian apologist Timothy Keller presents this stance well when he posits "As a "proof," the fine-tuning argument is rationally avoidable.however, as a clue, this line of thinking has force."[46] After the establishment of each of the fifteen very precise scientific constants (gravity, atomic attraction, nuclear force, etc.) and the creation of earth, the existence of humanity becomes exponentially less probable beyond human comprehension. In The God Delusion, Dawkins also latches onto the improbability argument, yet instead employs it in defense of atheism. Dawkins coins his argument "Why there almost certainly is no God," identifying the argument from improbability as "the big one."[47] Yet the improbability of human life, let alone life in general, is well documented and recognized; Dawkins' argument on the improbability of God is not inherently contradictory to Christian theology. As McGrath puts it, "the issue, then, is not whether God is probable, but whether God is actual."[48] In the face of demands for rigorous empirical support, design theories appear incredibly weak. Yet when searching for clues rather than irrefutable proof, theological creation theories bear remarkable weight and actually turn on their head many of the arguments presented by scientific naturalists and atheists.

The question on creation therefore ultimately comes down to whether or not one believes in God.[49] Regardless, individuals such as Dawkins who take a firm stance against religion have not sufficiently proven the incompatibility of faith and science. In the long run, evolution actually poses a relatively minimal threat to Scriptural and Biblical infallibility.[50] Should it somehow be determined beyond all doubt that evolution is factually inerrant, this would only force religious literalists such as Evangelicals and Fundamentalists to adopt the more open perspective demonstrated by Catholic Church and Protestants towards scriptural exegesis and evolution. John Ostrowick, researcher in Philosophy at the University of Cape Town, stipulates that science's claim of invalidating religion is ridiculous. Noting religion's general benefits-group identity, culture, moral codes, wisdom, guidance, unity-as well as Christianity's core tenants, Ostrowick believes that the confirmation of evolution would only serve to strengthen religion in the face of scientific progress.[51]

Of the various religious models of creation, theistic evolution has been shown to be entirely compatible with evolution, given the assumption of God's divinity and guidance of creation. Darwinian evolutionists and atheists such as Dawkins who object to any union of the two do so solely from a stance against the existence of God. This reason, while perhaps sufficient for secular individuals, is ineffective within the faith community itself as the existence of God is presupposed. Thus, the only firm argument against theistic evolution originates within the faith community itself-namely, creationists. As such, science and religion are certainly not mutually exclusive, but compatible within certain frameworks of Christian and societal beliefs. In the words of Pope John Paul II, "Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. . . .Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth."[52]

-----------------------------------------

[1] Larry A. Witham, Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), 16-21.

[2] Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum, Intelligent Design: Science or Religion? Critical Perspectives (New York: Prometheus Books, 2007), 23-30.

[3] Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection (Birmingham, AL: Gryphon Editions, 1987), 459-470.

[4] R. H. Steiger and G. R. Tilton, "Lead Isotopes and the Age of the Earth," Science 150 (1965): 1805.

[5] Victor Stenger, "Darwinism and the Age of Earth," CSI: The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, June 2003. Accessed Feburary 12, 2015, http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/darwinism_and_the_age_of_earth

[6] Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 346-355.

[7] John G. West, "Intelligent Design and Creationism Just Aren't the Same," Discovery Institute-Center For Science and Culture: Research News and Opportunities in Science and Theology. Accessed February 1, 2015, http://www.discovery.org/a/1329

[8] Catechism of the Catholic Church: "The Profession of Faith: The Creator." Accessed February 1, 2015, http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p4.htm

[9] Philip E. Devine, "Creation and Evolution," Religious Studies 32 (1996): 1-2.

[10] Jonathan Sarfati, "Refuting Evolution: How Old is the Earth?" Creation Industries International. Accessed February 12, 2015, http://creation.com/how-old-is-the-earth

[11] Ronald L. Numbers, The Creationists:  The Evolution of Scientific Creationism (Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1992), 5.

[12] Baird, Intelligent Design: Science or Religion, 153.

[13] West, "Intelligent Design and Creationism." Accessed February 1, 2015, http://www.discovery.org/a/1329

[14] Henry M. Morris, "Design is Not Enough!" Institute for Creation Research. Accessed March 14, 2015, https://www.icr.org/i/pdf/btg/btg-127.pdf

[15] Ibid.

[16] West, "Intelligent Design and Creationism."

[17] Baird, Intelligent Design: Science or Religion, 158.

[18] Vatican II: Dei Verbum, Chapter 3: "Sacred Scripture, its Inspiration and Divine Interpretation." Accessed March 23, 2015, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html

[19] Ted G. Jelen and Linda A. Lockett, "American Clergy on Evolution and Creationism," Review of Religious Research 51 (2010): 278-279.

[20] Vatican II: Dei Verbum, "Sacred Scripture." Accessed March 23, 2015, http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html

[21] Catechism of the Catholic Church: "Meeting of the Holy Father Benedict XVI with the Clergy of the Dioceses of Belluno-Feltre and Treviso." Accessed February 12, 2015, http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2007/july/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20070724_clero-cadore.html

[22] Catechism of the Catholic Church: "The Profession of Faith: The Fall." Accessed March 14, 2015, http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm

[23] Jelen, "American Clergy," 278.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Numbers, The Creationists, 38.

[26] Jelen, "American Clergy," 281.

[27] James Q. Wilson, "Faith in Theory: Why 'Intelligent Design' Simply Isn't Science," in Intelligent Design: Science or Religion? Critical Perspectives, ed. Robert M. Baird et al. (New York: Wall Street Journal, 2005), 49-51.

[28] Ibid., 51.

[29] Richard Dawkins, "Is Science a Religion?" in Confronting Life's Challenges, ed. P. C. Kemeny & Smith et al. (Acton, MA, 2012), 40.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Alister McGrath and Joanna Collicutt McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalist and the Denial of the Divine (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2007), 23.

[32] Dan Cray, "God vs. Science, Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins," Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science. Accessed March 14, 2015, http://inters.org/Dawkins-Collins-Cray-Science

[33] McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion, 26.

[34] Timothy Keller, The Reason for God (New York: Penguin Books, 2008), 132.

[35] McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion, 42.

[36] Ibid.

[37] Ibid., 34.

[38] Baird, Intelligent Design: Science or Religion, 155-157.

[39] McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion, 156.

[40] Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 44-47.

[41] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (Bantam Press, Transworld Publishers, 2006), 114.

[42] Wilson, "Faith in Theory," 51.

[43] Wilson, "Faith in Theory," 51.

[44] Cray, "God vs. Science." Accessed March 14, 2015, http://inters.org/Dawkins-Collins-Cray-Science

[45] Ibid.

[46] Keller, The Reason for God, 131.

[47] Dawkins, The God Delusion, 113.

[48] McGrath, The Dawkins Delusion, 29.

[49] Ibid.

[50] Richard F. Carlson and Tremper Longman III. "Science, Creation and the Bible." Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2010, 41.

[51] John M. Ostrowick, "Does Evolution Really Threaten Religion?" Journal of Theology for Southern Africa (2013): 89-90.

[52] The Holy See, Letter of His Holiness John Paul II to Reverend George V. Coyne, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory. Accessed February 12, 2015, http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1988/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_19880601_padre-coyne.html

References

Baird, Robert M. and Stuart E. Rosenbaum. Intelligent Design: Science or Religion? Critical Perspectives. New York: Prometheus Books, 2007.

Carlson, Richard F. and Tremper Longman III. Science, Creation and the Bible. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2010.

Catechism of the Catholic Church: Meeting of the Holy Father Benedict XVI with the Clergy of the Dioceses of Belluno-Feltre and Treviso. Accessed February 12, 2015. http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2007/july/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20070724_clero-cadore.html

Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Profession of Faith: The Creator. Accessed February 1, 2015. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p4.htm

Catechism of the Catholic Church: The Profession of Faith: The Fall. Accessed March 14, 2015. http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p1s2c1p7.htm

Cray, Dan. God vs. Science, Richard Dawkins and Francis Collins. Interdisciplinary Encyclopedia of Religion and Science. Accessed March 14, 2015. http://inters.org/Dawkins-Collins-Cray-Science

Darwin, Charles. On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection. Birmingham, Alabama: Gryphon Editions, Inc., 1987.

Dawkins, Richard. Is Science a Religion? In Confronting Life's Challenges, edited by P. C. Kemeny and Gary Scott Smith, 39-45. Acton, MA, 2012.

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Great Britain: Bantam Press, Transworld Publishers, 2006.

Devine, Philip E. Creation and Evolution. Cambridge University Press: Religious Studies, 32 (1996): 325-337.

Jelen, Ted G.; Lockett, Linda A. American Clergy on Evolution and Creationism. University of Nevada: Review of Religious Research, 51 (2010): 277-287.

Keller, Timothy. The Reason for God. New York: Penguin Books, 2008.

McGrath, Alister, and Joanna Collicutt McGrath. The Dawkins Delusion? Atheist Fundamentalist and the Denial of the Divine. Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2007.

Morris, Henry M. Design is Not Enough! Institute for Creation Research. Accessed March 14, 2015. https://www.icr.org/i/pdf/btg/btg-127.pdf

Numbers, Ronald L.  The Creationists:  The Evolution of Scientific Creationism.  Berkeley:  University of California Press, 1992.

Ostrowick, John M. Does Evolution Really Threaten Religion? Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 146 (2013): 79-103.

Sarfati, Jonathan. Refuting Evolution: How Old is the Earth? Creation Industries International. Accessed February 12, 2015. http://creation.com/how-old-is-the-earth

Steiger, R. H. and G. R. Tilton. Lead Isotopes and the Age of the Earth. American Association for the Advancement of Science: Science, 150 (1965): 1805-1808.

Stenger, Victor. Darwinism and the Age of Earth. CSI: The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Accessed Feburary 12, 2015. http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/darwinism_and_the_age_of_earth

The Holy See: Letter of His Holiness John Paul II to Reverend George V. Coyne, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory. Accessed February 12, 2015. http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1988/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_19880601_padre-coyne.html

Vatican II: Dei Verbum, Chapter 3: Sacred Scripture, its Inspiration and Divine Interpretation. Accessed March 23, 2015. http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html

West, John G. Intelligent Design and Creationism Just Aren't the Same. Discovery Institute - Center for Science and Culture: Research News and Opportunities in Science and Theology. Accessed February 1, 2015. http://www.discovery.org/a/1329

Wilson, James Q. "Faith in Theory: Why 'Intelligent Design' Simply Isn't Science," in Intelligent Design: Science or Religion? Critical Perspectives, edited by Robert M. Baird and Stuart E. Rosenbaum, 49-52. New York: Wall Street Journal, 2005.

Witham, Larry A. Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

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The Rev. Donald S. Nesti, CSSp Center for Faith & Culture at the University of St. Thomas honored Houston hero Jim "Mattress Mack" ... continue reading


University of St. Thomas in Texas Recommended in 2018-19 Edition of The Newman Guide

Image of University of St. Thomas Chapel of St. Basil

The University of St. Thomas is recommended in the 2018-2019 edition of The Newman Guide, the flagship project of The Cardinal Newman ... continue reading


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