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Aquinas and Evolution

Why St. Thomas's Teaching on the Origins is Incompatible with Evolutionary TheoryFr. Michael Chaberek

To show the substantial incompatibility (contradiction) between Thomas Aquinas’s teachings and theistic evolution we need to refer to the two levels of his intellectual enterprise. One is the level of philosophy (metaphysics); the other is the level of theology. Whereas philosophy is based entirely on the principles of natural reason and being (reality) without the help of revelation, theology is a rational reflection on the supernatural revelation given by God. These two levels can hardly be separated in Aquinas. Aquinas’s philosophy excludes the three grand claims of theistic evolution. Additionally, his theology contains a positive doctrine of creation which is quite different from theistic evolution.

Table of Contents

Foreword

Chapter I: Status Quaestionis

  1. The older and the newer Thomists
  2. The problem of “commensurability”
  3. Preliminary definitions
  4. The two questions to be answered
  5. Modus procedendi
  6. Ordering the arguments

Chapter II: Aquinas and the Origin of SpeciesIn the debate over evolution the relevant notion of species refers to the idea of natural species – a category broader than biological species.

  1. It seems that Aquinas’s teaching does not exclude theistic evolutionTE is the idea that God used secondary causes, such as evolution, to produce all animal and plant species. (objections)
  2. The origin of species In the debate over evolution the relevant notion of species refers to the idea of natural species – a category broader than biological species.according to Aquinas (corpus)
  3. Replies to the objections

Chapter III: Aquinas and the Augustinian Interpretation of Genesis

  1. Augustine and the six days of creation
  2. Augustine and the mode and order of creation
  3. Thomas and the Augustinian “seminal reasons”
  4. Augustine in the contemporary debate

Chapter IV: Aquinas and the Origin of Man

  1. The context of the contemporary debate
  2. Aquinas and the origin of the human body
  3. Aquinas and the origin of woman

Excursus 1: Human Origin in the 1992 Catechism

Chapter V: Aquinas and Intelligent Design

  1. It seems that Aquinas’s teaching excludes intelligent designID is a scientific theory which maintains that at least some biological structures must have been produced by an intelligent cause rather than by an interaction of chance and necessity alone. (objections)
  2. Aquinas and intelligent designID is a scientific theory which maintains that at least some biological structures must have been produced by an intelligent cause rather than by an interaction of chance and necessity alone. (corpus)
  3. Replies to the objections

Chapter VI: Thomists versus Thomas

  1. Aquinas and the progress of science
  2. Why do Thomists adopt theistic evolutionTE is the idea that God used secondary causes, such as evolution, to produce all animal and plant species.?

Excursus 2: Could God have used evolution?

Bibliography