evolution

Is there a Homo optimus in your future?

Homo optimus and the God is Dead Morality The saying goes that “truth is stranger than fiction” and there are some days when I firmly believe it. Just prior to writing this article, I came across two headlines out of Britain that sounded like science fiction but were presented as much more real than that. The first article, published by […]

“First Human” Discovered in Ethiopia: What It Means For Catholics

Last week, Professor Brian Villmoare’s team at the University of Nevada Las Vegas reported in Science the discovery and analysis of a fossil in Ethiopia, the partial lower jaw of what is thought to be the oldest known member of the genus Homo. The “hominin mandible with teeth” is identified as the left side of an adult jaw with partial and complete […]

Pope Benedict XVI on Creation and Evolution: “Complementary Realities”

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

In 1981, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Ratzinger, developed a catechesis for adults on the creation narratives because, he noted, creation catechesis was nearly absent from teaching, preaching, and theology. His catechesis was in the form of four Lenten homilies given in the cathedral of Munich. Later in 1986, and at the request of many people, he published the […]

Five Questions From Catholics About Evolution

In elementary school, children learn about dinosaurs and fossils, how fossils form, how paleontologists reconstruct skeletons of animals from the past using those fossils. There seems no difficulty whatsoever accepting that all kinds of plants and animals lived on the Earth before people lived. Meanwhile, the Catholic children learn about Creation, Adam and Eve, Original Sin, Noah’s Ark, and the birth, life, death, […]

You are Dust: The Chemical Origin of Life

"Creation of Adam" (detail) by Michelangelo

On Ash Wednesday, the minister marks the cross on our foreheads with ashes and says, “Remember, you are dust and to dust you will return.” It is a reminder that we are human, that in death our bodies will remain on the earth and decay while the souls of the just will go to meet God and wait to be reunited with […]

When Children Wonder if Faith Conflicts With Science

My first grader, Lucy, is learning about Adam and Eve, Original Sin, and The Fall. Typically, she’s dotting her i’s and crossing t’s. Typically, I’m bracing for the usual question. “Wait Mommy, who did Cain and Abel marry?” I’ll explain how we do not know, and for the first time she may wonder if faith conflicts with science. That pains me a little. […]

Does the Church Say Humans Evolved from Matter?

After Pope Francis’ comments last week about evolution and the Big Bang, a mommy-friend asked me a question. Us mommies like clarity because we need clear answers for inquisitive children. She said: “I get that the Big Bang is possible, simply caused and designed by God. I get that life changes and evolves over time. No problem. But, does the Church really say that human […]