(ANSA) - Vatican City, February 10 - The Vatican is preparing to re-evaluate 19th century British naturalist Charles Darwin 200 years after his birth and 150 years since the publication of his landmark work, On the Origin of Species.
As opposed to the Anglican Church, the Catholic Church never condemned Darwin's work and next month will examine his theory of evolution in depth from the point of view of Christian faith.
This will be done at a March 3-7 conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Culture to be attended by a host of international scholars and theologians.
Theistic evolution seems to be quite popular within Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, etc., so it will be interesting to see exactly what, if anything, comes out of this conference.
Also, if you feel the urge to debate Evolution vs. Creationism vs. etc...
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I am very interested in what the outcome will be. I think being critical of Darwinism is a good thing. The hard thing is developing an alternative........which will be time consuming. I already made up my mind years ago, that there is something wrong with people being dogmatic about something that will change 5, 10, 20, 30 years in the future. And I blame this on predictions that are based on too many assumptions. Just like Scripture is able to be interpreted in many different ways......I have learned that the evidence of nature can be interpretated in more than one way......and depending on ones narrative, will determine the angle/spin of how one will interpret the evidence. The less assumptions we base our predictions/theories on, the more stable the prediction will be.
But looking at Darwins faith. He was raised as a Unitarian, but his father had him Baptized in the Anglican Church. His wife(also his first cousin) was a strong Unitarian believer. Later in Life, around 1828(give or take some years) he became an Anglican(I think, I am speculating here), after reading "Exposition of the Creed" by Pearson, he went to Christ Church College where he tried to be a Church of England clergyman. This is where he read a work called "Natural Theology: Evidences of the Existence and Attributes of the Deity" by William Paley. It was Charles Darwin's natural science professor John Stevens Henslow that tought Charles everything he knew about natural science. It also should be known that John Stevens Henslow was a Creationist! Another major influence on Darwin around this time was Adam Sedgwick (another Creationist). He was the professor of Geology around 1818. Henslow and Sedwick were both Catastrophists. I am also a Catastrophist. What changed Charles Darwin's mind back in the direction of his grandfather, was a book he was told not to read or not to accept certain views. And that book was Charles Lyell's "Principles of Geology".
Around 1831, Darwin traveled on his famous trip. And he read that book during that time. It was the millions and millions of years evolutionary view in geology that gave him the idea that one species could change into another over millions and millions of years. So what his grandfather didn't explain, his grandson was now able to put into words.
Charles Darwin attended church services until the death of his child Annie, that's when he swore off religion. After the death of his child, he stopped attending church. (around 1851 A.D.) It also should be known that both of Charles grandfathers were members of the "Lunatics Society", There were alot of Athiests in this group as well.
Erasmus Darwin(one of Charles Darwin's grandfathers) believed in the theory of evolution before Charles did. To be honest, this theory can be found in ancient pagan greek philosophy. But his granfather wrote a book called "Zoonomia" (the Laws of Organic life). Two years ago, I found this work online. I don't know if it is still up or not. but it was published around 1794.
His grandfather also wrote a Poem in 1802 called "The Temple of Nature". So Charles Darwin didn't create these views from a vacumme. These ideas were already tought by his grandfather. Now his grandfather never explained how one species turned into another, but decades later, his grandson did in his well known book.
But despite all this. I was told that Charlse Darwin himself advocated a form of Theistic evolution in a preface of one of the editions of "The Origin of species". If this is true, then he wasn't as Atheistic as some may think. He could of became an Agnostic after the death of his daughter, but I don't think he was an Atheist.
But it would be interesting to see the conclusion of what they have to say. I know that Darwin's former professors "Henslow & Sedgwick" were upset with him at first, when he came out with his book. but alot of christian intellectuals either lost their faith or slowly adapted to a theistic evolutionary modal. Now that the belief has been around for over 150 years. Creationism has enough history to look at in order to form a counter system. So there is no reason for christians or any religious group to loose faith over something like this.
Most of the details in dates & events came from the book "evolution's fatal fruit" by Tom Derosa.