On the absurdity of Catholic evolutionism (or, as I call it, Theo-Darwinism)
April 2010 entry
, “Problems with conservative Darwinism; And, Moldbug’s commentary on Dawkins’s view of religion as a “‘complex of parasitic memes,’” I wrote:
But then there are other Darwinians or socio-biologists, though I don’t know the specifics of their theories, who say that at the human level, once consciousness has come into existence (via Darwinian processes of course), consciousness then develops in directions of its own that are independent of biological Darwinian processes, thus explaining human civilization, religion, art, and so on. This Darwinian position is embarrassingly similar to the position of the Catholic Darwinians, who say that materialist Darwinian evolution via random mutations and natural selection explains everything up to the human stage, and then at the human stage God implanted the soul in man.
I just added this further note to that comment:
Here is one of the absurdities of the Catholic Darwinian position. In order for the human form to be “ready” for the implantation of the soul, it would have to be the complete human form that we have, with the distinct human biology and physical organs, attributes, and capabilities that we have. But according to the Catholic Darwinians, that physical human form is the result of a purposeless, naturalistic process of chance mutations plus natural selection. How could a purposeless process achieve the human form that God required as the vehicle to implant the soul? It would seem that according to the Catholic Darwinians, God did not say, “Let us create man, in our image and likeness.” No. Instead, the human physical form just happened to come into existence, by good fortune, and then God said, “Wow, cool, here is a being that is suited to receive the soul, so I will implant the soul in it.”
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Indeed, in the Theo-Darwinian view, God’s creation of man (or rather his merely being present at the creation of man) would seem to resemble Richard Brookhiser’s witty characterization of Progressivism:
Progress was not progress toward anything definite…. It was going with the flow, waiting in the baggage-claim area of history to see what rumbled up the belt next.
Jake F. writes:
Thanks as always for VFR.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 03, 2010 06:04 PM | Send
Although I sympathize with your argument about the implantation of the soul, I don’t think it’s convincing. You say:
——In order for the human form to be “ready” for the implantation of the soul, it would have to be the complete human form that we have, with the distinct human biology and physical organs, attributes, and capabilities that we have…. How could a purposeless process achieve the human form that God required as the vehicle to implant the soul?——
As I’m sure you agree, the thing that makes us “in the image and likeness of God” isn’t our bodies, and people with defective bodies are no less children of God. It follows that we could possibly have different bodies and still be creatures made in the image and likeness of God. We wouldn’t be Man, of course—“we” might be an incorrect pronoun—but the Theo-Darwinists against whom you’re arguing don’t care about that point.
[LA replies: I am not speaking of defective human bodies. I am speaking of non-human bodies. In order to have a human soul, a body would have to have the basic human organization, i.e., upright posture, arms, legs, a face not a muzzle, the vagina hidden away so that copulaiton is not just a matter of the male mounting the female but requires intimacy, the human brain with all its capabilities, organs of speech, etc. You could not put a human soul in the body of a gorilla. See my point?]
As an analogy to what I’m saying, consider Mary, mother of God. Her birth came about because of the free choices of many generations of men. Did God have to specially create her to be the vessel He needed, or did He wait for her (more precisely, someone suitable whom He could then choose) to be generated by natural processes? If we believe in free will then it must be the latter. We can accept that and still admit that He may have guided her forebears along a path that led to her birth. Note also that her “natural” generation doesn’t preclude the possibility (we Catholics take it as a fact) that God supernaturally intervened with her birth, taking away original sin.