Philosophy of Evolution: For Human Body

Participants in the Dialogue

Overview
Background
Dialogue
Definitions
Question
Aquinas
Solutions
Certitude
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Neo-Scolastics can admit an evolution of the human body.
 

Adversaries to the proposal in this chapter are some of the Neo-Scholastics of the first half of the twentieth century. For example, Calcagno argues against anthropological transformism, the evolution of the body of man, based on physical science alone.11 Palmes likewise argues that the evidence for the evolution of the body is insufficient from physical science.12 However, Palmes adds that the evolutionary origin of the body of man is impossible without the special intervention of God, and argues extensively; nevertheless, Palmes does not continue the discussion of evolution of the body of man, with divine intervention.13 Maquart also argues that the hypothesis of the evolution of the body of man has to be proved, but says that science cannot prove either the mode of the evolution of the body of man,14 nor can science prove the morphological continuity between man and his supposed animal predecessors.15 Concerning the mode, Maquart (1937) did not have the scientific information now available concerning DNA and similar discoveries.16 Concerning the morphological continuity, it appears that Maquart uses the same comparative demonstration as Calcagno, the demonstration of morphological differences between living Primates and man; but both the Primates and Homo sapiens have been evolving like branches on a tree in different directions, and the correct judgement must rather take into account the common ancestor. In short, the scientific method of comparison used by Maquart is erroneous. Donat objects that there are no facts that demonstrate anthropological evolution, but he was writing in 1914 when there were less facts.17 For example, the Neanderthal man was found near Dsseldorf in 1856, and Donat noted that the species seemed to be inferior to recent man, but more noble than monkeys; while La Vecchia, after serious analysis, maintains that the Neanderthal concluded the process of Hominization.18 Gredt argues that to say man evolved from the brutes is as if to deny the spirituality of the human soul; but more modern Neo-Scholastics hold the creation of the soul by God, so the direct and immediate creation of the human soul by God does not directly affect the evolution of the human body one way or another.19

Proponents of the thesis are such Neo-Scholastics as Nogar,20 Klubertanz,21 Benignus,22 and La Vecchia.23 Even in 1927, Hugon was willing to admit the evolutionary development of the body of man as long as God was involved "to form the human body from the body of the brute."24

Adversaries who reject the proposal make it clear that the thesis proposed is a serious subject for discussion. The thesis proposed and defended as true presents an objective problem worthy of dialogue.

Adversaries who seriously contradict the proposal in this chapter deserve respect. These adversaries have reasons for their position. In every false position there is some truth. In dialogue, every attempt should be made to clarify that truth. In this case, the scientific basis for the evolution of the human body has increased.25 Accordingly, even if our proposal and its proofs demonstrate the adversaries wrong, their reasoning can be understood and respected.

Anthropological Evolutionism is the theory of those who hold the first individual or first individuals of the human species originated, by way of generation, from living organisms distinct and inferior in nature in the animal kingdom.26

Author:  John Edward Mulvihill, S.T.D., D.Min., Ph.D.
Copyright 2009 by The Genealogist, 3236 Lincoln, Franklin Park, IL 60131 U.S.A.