• The Catholic church does not believe in Darwin's theory of evolution as is evident in the book of Genesis. However, it does recognize the existence of dinosaurs. Although the world was created in "six days," it is believed that this is not an exact, literal number. In other words, six days to God could equal any number of years, decades, centuries, etc. The dinosaurs were thus created and destroyed before man's creation.
  • The above answer is correct, except that my church has no position of Darwin's theory of evolution. I personally recognize Evolution as an established and very probable means of the origion of our species. Just as long as you believe that God guided the course of evolution, any Catholic can choose to believe in natural selection (God created nature and all of its rules).
  • To answer this question correctly understand exactly what Darwins theory of evolution is. Darwin never said that man came from apes. All he said is that we are alike species. Just as birds and fish are. Also it doesnt speak on the creation of the world, just how it has changed since the beginning. Now some are reading this and saying that change is evolution. Yes that is correct. It would be ignorant to say that things havent evolved because it is very obvious that some things have. It is one of the biggest misconception we have today. Mainly because our schools dont know any better. We must remember everybody thought that the world was flat at one point in time. Dont believe the things about evolution till you have read them yourself. It is a lot, but it is also a learning experience. History and science are on Christianity side.
  • I concur with Travis Simpson's answer herein, but would like to point out that the question is really a non-question, such as " do you believe in UFOs" (to which the answer must always be "yes"... in other words 'do you believe that people see things they don't recognise?'). In this example, people think the question refers to 'flying saucers' when they answer that question. With respect to the question of Darwin, the answer must be "yes" as the question is asking if catholics believe that Darwin had an idea about evolution. Of course he did! As to the intent of the question: whether Catholics believe the theory (which by its nature is yet un-proven), the church believes that it is as likely a theory as the theory of creation. It actually goes one step further, in that it has the 'proof' of the Bible and faith that the creation theory is the correct one. This is actually quite a strong and valid one. The problem comes with education, in that instead of teaching evolution as one of several theories, it teaches it as fact - which it is not. It is because of this mis-belief (that evolution is fact) which is why peoiple ask if the church believes in it or not. Any theory, if strong enough, is valid...and science to-date favours the church's opinion. The problem is that many people think that evolution is fact, and that Darwin said that man descended from ape. This is wrong. Evolution is just a theory, an idea, yet to be proved - just as the theory of Creation. The question of man being descended from ape is a big mis-understanding. Darwin said that man and apes share a common ancestor who no longer exists. This ancestor 'fathered' homo sapiens sapiens, and also the lineage of apes. Apes and man are not directly related according to Darwin. To-date, this "missing link" does not exist. He is saying, in a much simplified sense, is that man appeared on the planet at a certain point in time, altered/evolved from an unknown source. This does not contradict the Bible or the church's teaching. The only difference is that the Bible says that God created man (Adam) which is why there is no predescendant (missing link)... which so far is true. Until a lifeform fossil is found that shows where modern man came from, the evolution of man remains an unproven theory.
  • It is a common misconception that Catholicism does not accept Darwin's theory of evolution and strongly supports creationism. The Church is not against the theory, nor does it support a literal interpretation of the creation stories. There is a theory by English theologian William Paley. According to a textbook used at my Catholic school, "His theory was known as intelligent design—the idea that the development over time of an organism's complexity is evidence for the existence of a cosmic designer." (_Light of Faith_ 2004 edition. Harcourt Religion Publishers) So Darwin and the Pope can work in peace. And the dinosaurs shall not be ignored. Yes, I did earlier say creation "stories." In fact there are many, two of which are right next to each other in Genesis. The "six days" story mentions the creation of man, man is created last, but this is not the same as the story where Eve is made from Adam's rib, where animals are created in an attempt to make a partner for Adam. So you see, even if we interpreted the creation story literally, which would it be? Don't think of it as contradiction, think of it as being open to many possibilities. Another important thing to remember is, when reading Scripture, one must remember the context of the passage. Remember the culture, the time frame, etc. The Bible was not written for the purpose of explaining scientific truths. It wasn't written to be a textbook. The real most important thing that is constant throughout all of the stories is that this one God is behind all life. It isn't crucial for our faith to know how God did created it, but the important thing is that God did.
  • well i went to a catholic school and we were taught evolution, but the teacher said there were 3 theories, evolution, god created the earth theory and the theory that aliens put life on earth. although most of the study went into evolution theory.
  • Evolution is exactly that...a theory. The Catholic Church does recognize that evolution is a process of growth and change. As long as God is included in the equation, evolution is totally acceptable. All life could have stemmed from one cell and as long as we believe God created that is acceptable. The Bible....while inspired of God...was written by men. God himself, other than when Jesus wrote in the dirt...has written nothing.
  • The existence of dinosaurs is a scientific fact as demonstrated by the fossil record. One's "belief" in their existence is completely immaterial to whether or not one believes in the Christian faith, Catholic or Protestant. Catholics therefore have no issue with Darwin's theory of evolution which is the best theory yet for explaining the range and diversity of animal, plant and fungal life. Darwin lived before the emergence of the science of genetics and any knowledge of the function of DNA. He could not therefore explain why or how mutations occured; but he noted that they did occur and his theory, put simply, was that if a mutation was beneficial to the survival of an organism in a particular environment organisms with the mutation would tend to survive, particularly if it gave an edge over an unmutated form. In time therefore new species emerged and older ones became extinct. Mutations are, so I understand, random events, some may be detrimental to an organism's survival, and these will not persist into the gene pool; others may be neutral at the time of their emergence and just add variety. In time the environment might change and one such mutation may prove to be better able to cope with the change and this form will tend to survive and multiply at the expense of the others.
  • Why do you think the Catholic faith has practically disappeared ?
      Hmmm...most adherents of any religious denomination on Earth, and it's disappeared? Not many people know that.
  • Catholic teaching says that Genesis is not meant to teach scientific fact. Though the Creation and the Fall were real events, we don't know exactly how they played out. One can believe any theory one wishes about human origins so long as they believe in two original human beings as mother and father of the race(polygenism is right out). Whether they were evolved from less advanced creatures or created ex nihilo isn't important to the story. Since what separates man from animals is a rational soul, it could have been either. God could have zapped a Neanderthal with a soul, or He could have literally done as in the Genesis story. Dinosaurs aren't an important question. Since in matters of science the Church lets scientists work out the answers, it's the normal position to believe in dinosaurs.
  • You can’t blame anyone for not believing in the theory of evolution because, and I quote, "There are innumerable questions to which Darwinism is unable to provide any rational and scientific answers. One of the greatest problems facing evolution is the extraordinary variety of living things, and the origin of these species on Earth. The realization that there are insuperable genetic barriers between species, the sudden emergence of life forms in the fossil record, and the fact that living things possess organs and systems that are wondrous marvels of design unmatched by even the most advanced 21st century technological progress, have all demolished evolutionist claims." The quote is from where you will find more details. No one in their right minds would deny facts established beyond doubt whether or not they are mentioned in scriptures. The Holy Qur’an (HQ) makes references to the present creation and warns mankind that they could be replaced by a fresh creation. Perhaps like the dinosaurs were. HQ 35:16-17 according to Mr. Pickthall’s translation from the original says “If He will, He can be rid of you and bring (instead of you) some new creation. That is not a hard thing for Allah.” There is a similar message in HQ 14:19 while in HQ 50:15 God is effectively saying producing the present creation did not tire Him and He can do it again if He so wishes, or as Mr Pickthall puts it in his translation of the original “Were We then worn out by the first creation? Yet they are in doubt about a new creation.”
  • I go to a catholic school - much to my annoyance, they skirt around saying the word 'evolution' at all costs. I don't know whether this is particular to my school, or whether all catholic schools are like it. Note: I believe in evolution. Sue me.
      Strange. Never ran into that at the Catholic high school I attended in the 70s.
  • The whole answer to this confusion is that in the eyes of God, millions of years is like a single day. No one can ever understand the how powerful God's (creator) power is. So even if evolution happened, it should be according to the creation plan of God.
  • Evolution has been accepted by the Catholic Church for over 50 years. As Pope Pius XII stated in his encyclical 'Humani Generis' (1950).
  • Most Christians do not take the stories of creation in the Bible literally. Catholics believe the book of Genesis tells religious truth and not necessarily historical fact. One of the religious truths is that God created everything and declared all was good. Catholics can believe in the theories of the big bang or evolution or both or neither. On August 12, 1950 Pope Pius XII said in his encyclical Humani generis: The Teaching Authority of the Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields, take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter - for the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God. Here is the complete encyclical: The Church supports science in the discovery of God's creation. At this time, the theories of the big bang and evolution are the most logical scientific explanations. However tomorrow someone may come up with better ideas. As long as we believe that God started the whole thing, both the Bible and responsible modern science can live in harmony. The Clergy Letter Project an open letter endorsing the Theory of Evolution signed by over 10,000 clergy from many different Christian denominations: With love in Christ.
  • The Catholic Church does accept the theory of evolution. They do not think it conflicts with church doctrine. I went to Catholic school and they taught both creationism and evolution. One was taught in religion class and the other in biology.
  • Yes they accept both and teach both. A little strange but true,
  • Of course they have to recognise that dinosaurs existed! There is evidence of that. Evolution has not, nor can ever be proven.
  • [recognize Charles Darwin] - No, he is not considered an important religious figure in Catholicism, and Catholocism (the religion) does not really attempt to teach science or the history of science but, rather, religious principles. (Note: of course Catholic schools teach about Darwin and the theory of evolution.) . . . . [Do the Catholic teachings recognise...the theory of evolution?] - Yes, the official Catholic teaching is that it is permissible for Catholics to believe in the theory of evolution. . . . . [Does the Catholic Faith recognise that dinosaurs existed?] - Like Darwin, that is not considered relevant to Catholic doctrine (as it is not a religious matter). However: there is no Catholic prohibition against the idea or against believing or teaching the idea. Catholic schools teach natural history in exactly the same way as do non-Catholic schools, using non-religious textbooks to do so.
  • The Church does accept the facts of dinosaurs, but has never commented on Darwins theory. Darwins theory is not part of our deposit of faith.

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