The Roman Catholic Church Accepts Evolution
Pro will argue in support of the following resolution:
The Roman Catholic Church officially endorses Evolution.*
*of which Universal Common Ancestry (UCA) is a central pillar.(1)
Con will oppose the resolution. Pro is to post his opening arguments in the first round.
Explicitly defined rules:
1. Nobody (neither commentators nor debaters) may discuss non-meta subject matter in the comment section until after Voting Period closes.
2. Until Voting Period closes, debaters may not contact voters regarding their votes.
"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 . . . 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—[but] the Catholic faith obliges us to hold that souls are immediately created by God" (Pius XII, Humani Generis 36),
The Catholic Church is compliant and accepting of Evolution.
Compliance can be equivalent to endorsement. A moral example (albeit extreme; apologies):
If I have a gun pointed at a man, and I look at you and ask you if I shouldn't kill this man, and you say nothing, and so then I shoot him, then I argue that you would feel partially guilty for the situation. You would take some responsibility for your silent consent.
The same is true with the Catholic church. They argue that Evolution is compatible with the Christian faith. By arguing that it is compatible, it undermines the Christian faith. They should be opposing Evolution.
So, even though the Catholic Church may allow its members to decide between Creationism or Evolution, its compliance with Evolution is its compliance with an atheistic doctrine. They endorse it to be seen as relevant to the world.
“[T]he Church does not forbid that, in conformity with the present state of human sciences and sacred theology, research and discussions( … ) take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution( … ).”
Your quote demonstrates the Church merely allows Evolution to be “researched” and “discussed.” By your logic, Juggle (the parent company of this website) endorses pedophilia just because they allow it to be debated.
You have not demonstrated any official support at all for Evolution from the Catholic Church. Back to you.
My opponent proposes an analogy of my argument with Juggle and pedophilia. Allow me to explain why this analogy breaks down:
The Catholic Church endorses research and discussion of Evolution,
Juggle endorses debates about pedophilia.
This is not similar, so a correct analogy cannot be made. In one situation, Juggle is endorsing free thought, but not endorsing either side of the debate. With the Catholic Church, it endorses both sides- Creationism and Evolutionism.
If the Catholic church endorsed research into atomic bombs, it would be consistent to argue that the Catholic Church, though possibly through silent consent, would be also endorsing war.
“[N]ew scientific knowledge has led us to realize that the theory of evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge. The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory” (Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution, October 23, 1996).
The Catholic Church endorses Evolution as a viable scientific model. This proves the thesis: "The Roman Catholic Church accepts Evolution.
My opponent simply paraphrased his earlier argument, which I already rebuted. It's very simple: “The Catholic Church endors[ing] research and discussion of Evolution” is not endorsement of Evolution, anymore than debate.org endorsing research and discussion of pedophilia is endorsement of pedophilia itself.
Besides, Pro is twisting the Church's words to make them sound more favorable to his case. The Church never said it endorses even research and discussion of Evolution; it only said it “does not forbid” it.
Medic is a well-known anti-Evolution debater on this site. You probably know of him. Given his thousands of posts where he discusses and researches Evolution, does this mean Medic endorses Evolution? Of course not!
If you think Medic endorses Evolution, you don't know Medic.
Let's look at Pro's quote again:
“[T]he Church does not forbid that( … ) research and discussions( … ) take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution( … )”
That's not endorsement of Evolution. The Church is not afraid to allow discussion on Evolution to take place because the Church proclaims that it is the source of all truth. It is confident that it is right and true, so it has no qualms with evolutionary research and discussion. For the Church to forbid it would imply the Church has something to be afraid of, which it does not.
“If the Catholic church endorsed research into atomic bombs, it would be consistent to argue that the Catholic Church, though possibly through silent consent, would be also endorsing war.”
Using a reductio ad absurdum argument, we can see this is nonsense: by Pro's logic, endorsement of research into car anti-freeze is the same as endorsement of murder, just because some murderers use anti-freeze to kill innocent people.
Con quotes a 1996 “Message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution”. Let's take it apart line by line.
“[N]ew scientific knowledge has led us to realize that the theory of evolution is no longer a mere hypothesis.”
Ok, Evolution is more than a hypothesis.
“It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers, following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge.”
Ok, the general acceptance of Evolution is remarkable.
“The convergence, neither sought nor fabricated, of the results of work that was conducted independently is in itself a significant argument in favor of this theory”
Ok, the existence of a scientific consensus in favor of Evolution is a good argument in favor of Evolution.
No where in this letter does it state Evolution is true, or even probably true, or that's it's even alright for Catholics to subscribe to it.
In the same exact letter which Pro just quoted, Pope John Paul II goes on to say, “[T]o tell the truth, rather than the theory of evolution, we should speak of several theories of evolution.”
This means Pro must, per the resolution, show that the Catholic Church endorses the particular “Evolution” which encompasses Universal Common Ancestry. He has not done so. Back to Pro.
I concede that my earlier quotes were not that powerful in demonstrating the nature of what the Catholic Church views on Evolution, and even though one can recognize that they favor Evolution as the correct theory, when being hyper-critical, you can deny that possibility,as my opponent has done. Because of this, I will provide quotes that cannot be criticized for ambiguity:
The Vatican's chief astronomer, Rev. George Coyne, said that Intelligent Design "isn't science, even though it pretends to be." (http://www.theregister.co.uk...).
Pope John Paul II's belief was that Darwinian Evolution is true (http://www.christianpost.com...).
Pope Benedict XVI wrote: "Currently, I see in Germany, but also in the United States, a somewhat fierce debate raging between so-called "creationism" and evolutionism, presented as though they were mutually exclusive alternatives: those who believe in the Creator would not be able to conceive of evolution, and those who instead support evolution would have to exclude God. This antithesis is absurd because, on the one hand, there are so many scientific proofs in favour of evolution which appears to be a reality we can see and which enriches our knowledge of life and being as such. But on the other, the doctrine of evolution does not answer every query, especially the great philosophical question: where does everything come from? And how did everything start which ultimately led to man? I believe this is of the utmost importance." (http://io9.com...)
So, scientific officials of the Catholic church deny Intelligent Design, and two popes have set their beliefs in Evolution.
Now, another point I want to get across: Allowing discussion between disagreeing sources is different than allowing discussion within an agreeing source.
For example: A Catholic allows the debate between a Catholic and an atheist on the existence of God. However, Catholics do not promote their own members to see atheism as a possible alternative within their set of beliefs.
Another exampl: Catholics endorse people's rights to belief in whatever they want to, but they do not endorse fellow Catholics to believe in whatever they want.
So, do Catholics require a belief in Evolution? No, but they accept it, and is demonstrated as their top astronomer and previous two popes have accepted it.
GarretKadeDupre forfeited this round.
I would like to thank my opponent for the debate. I am sorry to see a forfeiture, but I understand how busy life can be. Also, my opponent did not get a chance to respond to my stronger quotes of the Catholic faith endorsing the Theory of Evolution, so the resolution of the Roman Catholic Church endorsing Evolution stands to be true and unrefuted.
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