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Philosophy of Evolution: Survey of Literature

Neo-Scholastics in Rome

North America
South America

The treatment of the literature in Rome is divided between the Neo-Scholastics at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and secondly, the Neo-Scholastics at other Roman Universities and Academies.  The Gregorian University is significant because many of the professors taught their successors, and the faculty of Jesuits resides together in the same community.


The Gregorian University, Rome

Franciscus Xav. Calcagno (1937).1 With a doctorate in both philosophy and theology, he was a Jesuit Neo-Scholastic professor of philosophy at the Gregorian University in Rome. Eventually, he became Rector of the same university. He wrote a three volume manual covering all of philosophy which was reprinted up to 1958. His philosophy is Neo-Scholastic, following St. Thomas Aquinas. The language of his text is Latin. He attempts to answer modern problems ("nostris temporibus accommodata"). His division of the philosophy of nature separates the inorganic (Cosmologia) from life (Psychologia Inferior), and has a special treatment for man (Psychologia Superior). He follows the traditional order ("ordinem traditionalem secutus sum") and sees no need to change the philosophical categories ("non enim video rationes vere cogentes quae alium ordinem exigat"). His high quality work was designed as the text for philosophy students in Rome, and the material is presented in thesis form and directly argued. Each thesis is preceded by the state of the question, definitions, opponents. His arguments are mostly metaphysical. Concerning content, Calcagno rejects abiogenesis, rejects evolution and rejects even the possibility of the evolution of the body of man. Calcagno quotes Siwek, who was also teaching at the Gregorian, and Donat who was teaching at Innsbruck.

Carlo Boyer (1939).2 Boyer was a Jesuit Neo-Scholastic professor at the Gregorian University and a member of the Roman Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. His Cursus Philosophiae manual had an introduction by Eugenio Cardinal Pacelli, later to become Pope Pius XII, which praised the doctrine (from Aquinas), the order of presentation, and the treatment of "modern" questions. The presentation is very well ordered, has great clarity using the thesis form, follows the traditional order of philosophical tracts, and is very useful as a class text. Boyer argues very succinctly and to the point. Boyer is useful in his treatment of evolution, he answers both the Neo-Darwinians (Weissmann) and the Neo-Lamarckians. He holds the possibility ("possibilis est evolutio intra plures inferiores gradus classificationis") of evolution "within" the lower grades of classification, such as species, genus, and family. He denies evolution "between" species ("non habetur evolutio ab una specie proprie dicta ad aliam"). He is interested in the origin of the body of man, and denies it originates by evolution ("corpus hominis non est per evolutionem brutorum formatum"). Boyer has an extensive treatment of Charles Darwin, whom he generally opposes. Specific opposition of Boyer relates to Darwin’s view that the sensible appetite is just a complex of sensations; Darwin’s opinion that beasts do not differ essentially from man; Darwin’s view that the whole man, body and soul, evolved; Darwin’s systematic presentation of evolution; and Darwin’s position that God is not demonstrated from order in the world.

Carlo Boyer is also a member of the Roman Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. For example, he wrote for the Academy journal in 1954 in Italian on the proofs for the existence of God given by Aquinas. He noted that atheism and its increase is the scandal of our time. He noted that never before in history has the negation of God been so audacious and so apparently successful. The article on atheism is especially relevant to our presentation of evolutionary atheism. In 1962, he wrote in French for that same Academy journal on "School Liberty." This was an activist article which noted that whoever cares for the good of humanity is very interested in the question of education. This article is especially relevant to our presentation on the evolutionary future of man.

Paolo Dezza (1945).3 Born in Parma, Italy in 1901, he was a Jesuit Neo-Scholastic professor of philosophy at the Gregorian University. He became its Rector (1941-1951). He wrote extensively on philosophy, including books in Italian on the origin of Thomism, the Italian Neo-Thomists of the nineteenth century, and Christian philosophy. All of these works showed his extensive Thomistic and Neo-Scholastic background. In metaphysics, he wrote in Latin for his students at the Gregorian in thesis form. He gives citations from Aquinas, which are especially useful for this presentation in the areas of chance and finality in opposition to Darwin, who had alleged that evolution by natural selection was by chance. Dezza also gives useful principles such as finality, vitalism, and substantial mutation, and also gives useful concepts involved with evolution, such as chance, perfecting cause and material causality by eduction.

Dezza treats Evolutionism. He notes that experimental science has shown that spontaneous generation does not exist, but it has not shown the impossibility of abiogenesis. He rejects the position of Darwinism that the origin of man is from inferior animals. He rejects atheistic Evolutionism. He maintains partial theistic Evolutionism (excluding man’s body) within the confines of a natural species is not philosophically repugnant. He maintains that total theistic Evolutionism (including man’s body) does not seem to be philosophically repugnant, but has grave difficulties scientifically. He maintains the spiritual soul of man is infused by God.

Dezza also illustrates a change in philosophy between his 1945 book on metaphysics and his 1960 book on the scholastic synthesis. While his former audience in 1945 were students for the priesthood, the new audience in 1960 were laity. While his former language was Latin, his 1960 treatment of philosophy was in Italian. While his 1945 style was thesis demonstration by syllogistic proof, the 1960 style was popular. While his reason for philosophy in 1945 was to prepare teachers and thinkers in theology, the motive in 1960 was to educate and increase public awareness of philosophical questions. Nevertheless, this contrast cannot be taken too far. Both Dezza’s 1945 and 1960 works followed the classical tract structure of philosophy. The content and themes of both old and new presentations were classical. The aim of Dezza in all his books was effective communication of the material appropriate to the audience. The 1945 book was meant to teach clerical students how to form concepts and reason philosophically, while the1960 aim was to teach philosophical understanding to the laity.

Paul Siwek (1948).4 Siwek, a Neo-Scholastic philosopher, was born in Poland. He studied at the Psychological Institute in Paris, with a doctoral thesis in philosophy on Spinoza. He entered the Jesuit Order and taught at the Gregorian University in Rome from 1921 to 1930. Then he taught at Fordham University in the United States from 1946 to 1949. He loved science, especially as an instrument to reach scholars. He became a citizen of the United States in 1952. Concerning his literary output, he wrote the Latin Psychologica Metaphysica in 1948, and it was used as a student text. It was republished several times at the Gregorian University up to the seventh edition in1965. He is a very serious scholar who in 1952 translated from Greek to Latin Aristoteles De Anima Libri Tres with notes and commentary, now in the fifth edition published by the Gregorian University Press. He is a Neo-Scholastic who presents this material in thesis form. He is very complete, and gives the history of each question. Practically no page in his book is without footnotes, including Aquinas, Aristotle and the moderns. He gives citations in the original language, even in English, together with exact references. His presentation treats the vital principles of life (143 pages), sensitive life (133 pages) and intellective life (269 pages), distinguishing intellect, will and habit. Obviously, from the length of treatment, the human being is central in this treatment, so that most of his book is a philosophy of man, even if it is not given that name. Useful elements of his presentation are his refutation of Machanicism, his treatment of abiogenesis, and an entire chapter on evolution. He rejects abiogenesis on the basis of human experience and the principle of causality, which now may be debatable. He also refutes evolution in general, and particularly the evolution of man’s body, against Teilhard de Chardin. He holds the creation of the immortal soul by God, and has a scholion about the resurrection of the body in the natural order, which may be useful in my treatment of the future of man. My only objection to Father Siwek is his habit of saying that the proof of some thesis will be given "later," since his book is intended for students and has no internal references. Concerning continuity at the Gregorian University, Siwek mentions Boyer as a favorable reference.

Filippo Selvaggi (1953).5 He was a student at the Gregorian University under Peter Hoenen, whom he mentions with great admiration. Selvaggi became a Jesuit and a professor at the Gregorian University in Rome. He describes himself as Aristotelian and Thomistic. He also describes himself as a philosopher, and not out to convert unbelievers. All his books carry ecclesiastical approval, and he can be classed as a Neo-Scholastic. Selvaggi breaks new ground in two different fields. In his treatment of the philosophy of science he is unique. He mentions that the treatment is new, and that there is no other general or systematic treatment of the philosophy of science available. In fact, Selvaggi notes that the time may not be ready for a treatment of the philosophy of science, but he wrote in 1953 because he was asked to do so. His treatment of cosmology is both traditional and new. His cosmology is traditional because he uses the traditional references, but does add some hard-to-find texts of Aquinas. His cosmology is new in its treatment of evolutionary cosmology; he also has a thesis on the finite and contingent nature of the cosmos; finally, he has a new thesis on the unity, order, and finality of the cosmos.

Selvaggi’s 1953 book on the philosophy of science is written in Italian. Only a few books existed at the time, according to Selvaggi, treating the philosophy of science. In his three page bibliography, he was able to list only five books by Neo-Scholastics. The book takes a Neo-Scholastic position in philosophy, explaining some real problems that scholastic philosophy has precisely in the philosophy of science. Accordingly, Selvaggi disproves Positivism and the Logical Positivists, the Empiricocentricism of Mach, the Conventionlism of Poincar, Scientific Positivism, Formalism, Idealism, Existentialism, and Realistic Rationalism. In addition to intrinsic problems in the philosophy of science, there is a problem with the distinction between the philosophy of science (epistemology) and the philosophy of nature. He solves this second problem by showing that epistemology studies the "formal" part of cosmology and rational psychology, and not the "material" of inanimate and animate objects . In other words, the philosophy of science is more metaphysical than material. The philosophy of nature, on the other hand, treats mainly "material" reality, with some help from philosophical "formal" principles.

Selvaggi’s 1962 book on cosmology was published in Latin with ecclesiastical approval by the Gregorian University. Here Selvaggi applies the philosophy of science (epistemology) to determine the value, nature, and method of science in relation to cosmology, the study of mobile inanimate objects. His idea of cosmology is that it is philosophy of nature, treating topics such as opposition to Atomism and Mechanicism, studying space and time, considering causality especially the final cause, and treating Evolutionism. His work is very useful to my presentation, since Selvaggi comments on at least seven of the thirteen theses in the synthetic section of this paper.

Petrus Hoenen (1956).6 Petrus Hoenen (1880-1961) was Dutch by birth. He was a Jesuit professor of the philosophy of nature at the Gregorian University and published several books. His well-known Cosmologia was first published in 1931 and was re-published up to 1956. He generally wrote in Latin, but his Philosophy of Inorganic Nature was published in English in Antwerp in 1938. In French, he wrote Recherches de Logique Formele, published in Rome in 1954. He had a good knowledge of modern science. He had a doctorate in physics. He made an effort to process the data and results of laboratory experiments in the light of Thomist metaphysics. With his very open attitude, he carried out a deep renovation of his field, the Neo-Scholastic philosophy of nature. Practically every chapter of his Cosmologia was different from the presentation of the scholastics of the nineteenth century. Some of this was due to new developments in science, and some of the change was due to opposing philosophical systems, especially Mechanicism, which had already been rejected by Aristotle but was now appearing with new vigor. His work Cosmologia can be considered monumental: original in content but traditionally Thomistic. The usefulness of Cosmologia for this presentation is the explanation of hylemorphism and substantial mutation.

Hoenen was part of a number of Neo-Scholastic philosophers working for the renewal of the philosophy of nature. Reliance on the "old" scholasticism was not entirely adequate to answer the more modern problems of the theory of relativity and quantum physics. Others who worked for the renovation of the philosophy of nature were J. Maritain, F. Selvaggi, P. Rossi, and F. Renvite. Robertus Masi of the Lateran University in Rome, in his Cosmologia (Rome: Descle, 1961) mentions that he took a lot of his material from Hoenen. Cosmology, or the philosophy of nature, should not neglect the experimental sciences, and this neglect of empirical science is what caused the problems for the scholastic philosophers of the eighteenth century and nineteenth century. Hoenen taught that philosophy of nature involves both an experimental foundation and metaphysical principles. No wonder Filippo Selvaggi, his student, respected Hoenen so much.

Philippus Soccorsi (1956).7 He was a Jesuit Neo-Scholastic philosopher writing in Latin at the Gregorian University in Rome. His books were student texts for academic courses in the philosophy of nature. All his books have notices of written ecclesiastical approval. His works are of very high quality. No words are wasted in these original and orderly composed philosophical themes. Soccorsi is very helpful in the construction of a philosophy of nature. First, he defines a number of schools of thought, especially those of Positivism. Secondly, he gives a good example of philosophy of nature in the combination of empirical science with philosophical metaphysics. Third, he treats Darwin and Spencer. Fourth, he opposes Materialism. Fifth, his views are generally Thomistic.

Soccorsi wrote about questions of physical quantity in 1956. In the twentieth century, the new hypothesis of Max Planck on the structure of energy deeply transformed the empirical science of physics. This caused a serious crisis in philosophy. Some of the classical scientific principles used to explain the world now had to be revised. However, even if classical scientific principles were inadequate to explain the microsystem, there was still a lot of truth in them. The philosophical problem is the supposed incompatibility of two different scientific systems.

Soccorsi wrote about questions of human cognition in physics in 1958. Most of the book (about 274 pages) concerns scientific fact, with two added scholastic theses and proof (34 pages). Something was happening with the need to treat science more extensively in modern philosophical presentations, as illustrated by the comparative page numbers. Soccorsi begins by asking whether empirical science is more akin to Positivism or to metaphysics. An immediate problem arises because both Positivism and metaphysics have many different meanings. Nevertheless, Soccorsi argues that, although distinct, empirical science can be explained and integrated into metaphysics. However, real empirical science is opposed to any Positivism, which maintains that all knowledge is ultimately only sense knowledge; and the proof of this is from the principle of sufficient reason. Therefore, natural philosophy investigates the material world and applies metaphysical principles. Soccorsi’s opponents, therefore, are the Positivist, the Neo-Positivists, Mechanicism, and even the Idealism of Kant, which Soccorsi believes ecourages Positivism. It was Comte who first encouraged Positivism by teaching that the object of science was only empirical sensible facts, and Classical Positivism followed Comte. Neo-Positivism, arising about 1928, came from empiricism and excessive logical formalism leading to the new epistemology of the School of Vienna. Soccorsi maintains that the results of this movement to Positivism are: first, a subjectivism of congnition arising only from sensation; second, only experience has value; third, an anti-rational movement that seeks just the facts, without reasoning; and fourth, an anti-metaphysical bias.

Soccorsi wrote about truth in geometry in 1960. Soccorsi says there are a number of diverse judgments with some simply affirming the truth of geometry, while others deny the truth of geometry even if reason affirms it to be true. First, there are different meanings for the words "geometry" and "truth. Secondly, there are diverse circumstances, such as the limits of experimental possibility or astronomical phenomena. Therefore, some arguments remain open.

Bernard Lonergan (1957).8 Bernard Lonergan (1904-1984) was a Canadian Jesuit priest who was trained as a Neo-Scholastic and became a professor of theology at the Gregorian University in Rome. Lonergan entered the Jesuit Order in 1922, but was not ordained until 1936. Young Lonergan specialized in both theology and economics when he studied at Heythrop College in 1929 for a B.A. in philosophy and later at the University of London from 1929 to 1930. He received his training in theology at the Gregorian University in Rome from 1933 to 1937 and received the S.T.L. While he was in Rome as an undergraduate, Lonergan was broadening his intellectual horizons. From his writings at the time, we can see an interest in culture, the philosophy of history, and the human sciences of sociology, politics, and economics. Lonergan was also reading Hegel and Marx, and began to note that the modern idea of history and the modern idea of philosophy are based on the idea of ongoing creativity. This led him to dissatisfaction with the state of Catholic education, so that he began to plan for a renewal of Catholic studies. Father Charles Boyer, S.J., was the director of Lonergan’s doctoral dissertation in 1940; this dissertation was later published as Grace and Freedom. After 1940, he taught theology to Jesuit seminarians. His teaching career spanned Montreal, Toronto, the Gregorian University in Rome (1953-1965), Regis College in Toronto, Harvard University (1971-1972), and Boston College (1975-1978). While teaching at Boston College, Lonergan once more turned his attention to the economic interests of his younger days.

Lonergan was a Neo-Scholastic. After his return from Rome, Lonergan pondered the method of St. Thomas Aquinas, and eventually wrote a series of four articles for the magazine Theological Studies on the inner word in the psychology of St. Thomas. These articles became highly influential in the study of St. Thomas.

Lonergan wrote Insight: A Study of Human Understanding while he was teaching theology at Regis College. This study inaugurated the generalized empirical method. This method belongs to a movement of "transcendental Thomism" inaugurated by Joseph Marchal, and followed by Lonergan and De Finance at the Gregorian, and by Rahner in Germany. Lonergan called the generalized empirical method by another name, critical realism. By "realism," Lonergan affirmed that people do make judgments of fact and of value. By "critical," Lonergan based knowing and valuing in a critique of consciousness. So the generalized empirical method traces all meanings and values that make up personality, social orders, and historical developments to their source in consciousness. How does this happen? First, the empirical method is a success in natural science. This confirms that the human mind can reach knowledge. The empirical scientific method ascends from data, thought hypotheses, to verification. Secondly, there is a need to account for the human disciplines that deal with meanings and values. To do this, Lonergan generalized the notion of data to include the data of consciousness (Idealism if pushed too far) together with the data of sense (Positivism if pushes too far). Thirdly, by way of conclusion, from this compound data, one may ascend through hypothesis to verification of the operations by which humans deal with the meaningful and the valuable. Since data is "generalized" and the "empirical method" of ascent from data, through hypothesis, to verification, the method is rightly named the generalized empirical method.

Lonergan published Method in Theology in 1973. Lonergan’s method divides the discipline into eight functional specialties. Lonergan’s idea of method is the phenomenon which applies to every discipline and is founded in consciousness. One purpose of this new method is to establish a firm basis for agreement and progress in disciplines such as philosophy and theology. Lack of agreement in such areas inhibited substantive agreement for mutual progress. On the contrary, Lonergan noted that in the natural sciences widespread agreement among scholars on the scientific "method" has enabled remarkable progress.

Georgius Cruchon (1958).9 He is a professor at the Gregorian University whose Latin textbook is for the aid of students, although the bibliography cites works in French, German, Italian, and English. Notable is the fact that the bibliography does not cite any Latin works, all of which would be the older philosophical psychology. Almost all his book is experimental psychology, as opposed to the metaphysical "rational psychology" still being taught at the Gregorian University with the texts of Calcagno and Boyer. In fact, Cruchon’s text represents a break with the past and the signal for the opening of an entirely new department, scientific or experimental psychology, a psychology of more facts and rather less principles. Nevertheless, Cruchon is a Neo-Scholastic and his work includes morals and religion.

Cruchon often uses the word evolution, but equivocally to indicate personal and social psychological growth, rather than evolution in the Darwinian sense. Cruchon is interested in personal and social growth, and does not endorse any internal psychological or external social effects of Darwinian evolution. About personal growth, he deals with education in morality and religion even from the age of three years old. In adolescence, Cruchon treats puberty and social integration without any sign of "evolutionary force" In fact, in opposition to chance evolution, he advises parental and social discipline. Between the ages of sixteen and twenty, Cruchon acknowledges temptations to sensuality and narcissism, and recommends to teens the voluntary and affective use of the Sacraments, prayer, and fasting as ways of personal growth. Cruchon uses the work "instinct" only once, in relation to teen desire for emancipation, but even here the use of the word instinct appears to be equivocal, just indicating a natural desire for autonomy. He condemns the false image of love in the media. Cruchon’s book does not endorse evolutionary society.

Joseph De Finance (1960).10 De Finance was a Neo-Scholastic professor at the Gregorian University and a member of the Pontifical Roman Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. His writings were in French, but his classes at the Gregorian University were in Latin. His writings have a Neo-Scholastic point of view, noting that metaphysics still has much to say that is valuable. His writings are clear, popular for the educated layman, and modern. His theme was being, the act of all acts, beyond action but knowable by analogy with action. During the Second World War, his publication was interrupted. His works contain abundant footnotes which indicate his fond dependence on Boyer at the Gregorian University and Cornelio Fabro at the Urbanianum University. He often cites Aquinas, and also Marchal whom he follows. Like Marchal, Lonergan, and Rahner, De Finance is a transcendental Thomist; and he explains that method of reflection on consciousness itself and to its constituent structure, while at the same time noting that "to act" has and existential and realist character. He puts the problem of "action"at the center of the philosophy of Aristotle and Aquinas, and the basis of his presentation from page one is about act ("agere sequitur esse", and "omnes res sunt propter suam oprationem"). When he treats evolution, De Finance notes that Hegel forces an opposition between the inventiveness of man and the conservatism of nature, but De Finance notes that nature is inventive as well, although is not intelligent, except for the action of God in nature. Also, De Finance notes that Bergson’s "eln vital" is blind and outside of self, so cannot be a principle of self-activity. It is man who is the agent of history. In history, the natural becoming, biological evolution continuing to the interior of the species, interferes continually with free activity in its diverse levels and radically with the taking of a position before Value itself. De Finance also touches on creation, distinguishing with Aquinas, that creation is "participation by similitude," so that the subject created only imperfectly reproduces the perfection of the Creator. De Finance had made a great impression on Barrajon, who quotes another book by De Finance, Citoyen de Deux Mondes (Rome: Gregorian-Tgui, 1980). Battista Mondin, of the Lateran University and the Urbanianum University, was the student and friend of De Finance, and noted that De Finance was one of the great students and experts of St. Thomas.

Vincentius Arcidiacono (1962).11 He was a Jesuit Neo-Scholastic professor at the Gregorian University. He notes that St. Thomas did not have an entire tract on mathematics, but the papal Apostolic Constitution Deus Scientiarum Dominus assigned the teaching of mathematics to the faculty of philosophy. Thus Arcidiacono treats mathematics in Neo-Scholastic and Aristotelian way. His text is in Latin, but he does not have the usual ecclesiastical permission printed on reverse of his title page. He does use references from Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, and he mentions how Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, and Spinosa were all affected by mathematics. He notes that mathematics are not as certain as may first appear, with Euclidean geometry as an example, even though Arcidiacono maintains that Euclidian geometry still works for our accessible universe. Arcidiacono helps to understand philosophy of nature. Metaphysics has value by giving principles for the foundation of all sciences. Mathematics liberates man from the servitude of material.

Vittorio Marcozzi (1968).12 Marcozzi was born in 1908. He joined the Jesuits at 20 years of age and was later ordained a priest in 1938, with solemn profession in the Jesuit Order in 1945. He began to teach experimental psychology, biology, and anthropology in 1939 at the Galarate Philosophical Institute. He then taught for three years in Milan at Sacred Heart University, and then moved to the University of Padua to teach. He began teaching at the Gregorian University in 1943 and continued up to 1978, teaching scientific questions of biology and anthropology. At the same time, he taught at several institutes of the Gregorian University, the Institute of Spirituality and the Institute of Religious Science. He also worked on the physical anthropology of Sinanthropus Pekingensis, continuing the studies which made his fellow Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin famous. He had an important part in explaining the relation between Christian thought and evolution, both in the area of general evolution of species, or in the special field of the evolution of man. He participated in International Meetings, such as on the fossils found at Atapuerca in Spain. He visited South Africa to see Professors Leaky and Tobias. He went to see the excavations at the Olduvai Gorge. Cultural anthropology interested him, and he was one of the major experts on the Shroud of Turin. He wrote 55 books and 120 articles. He was living at the Gregorian University when he died at 96 years old in 2004.

Marcozzi wrote a book Perb l’Uomo O Diverso (But Man Is Different) in 1981. This book explores both the difference and the similarity between man and the higher animals, especially the anthropoids. Marcozzi’s exposition is timely, because some followers of Darwin still refer to the animal world as normative and the pattern for human action. Of importance is Marcozzi’s integration of a psychological approach with the anthropological. Marcozzi begins his book with an examination of the psychological and morphological differences between man and anthropomorphic monkeys. Then he continues with a treatment of the capacity of monkeys or apes to understand, in addition to their behavioral and psychological characteristics. He concludes that man is different in his moral conscience, his freedom from instinct, his comprehension of the world as illustrated by funerary ceremonies, man’s symbolic language, and man’s religious sentiment. This approach is continued in the exposition of his successor at the Gregorian, Maria Teresa La Vecchia. This approach is also very useful to this dissertation.

Marcozzi also wrote a compendium of paleo-anthropology entitled Alla Ricerca dei Nostri Predecessori (On the Research of Our Ancestors) in 1992. He maintains that the road of evolution leads from the Australopithecine to Homo habilis, then to Homo erectus, and finally to Homo sapiens. He explains current controversies about evolution, and its principle problems, namely abiogenesis and the problem of the physical mechanism (genetic mutation) of evolution proposed by the Synthetic Theory. He explains, important for La Vecchica and this dissertation, how we can conceive the psychic evolution of mankind. Marcozzi also says that there are at least three phases in which God’s intervention is necessary: first, at the appearance of living organisms; second, the evolutionary possibilities with which God imbues those organisms; and third, the appearance of man, whose spiritual qualities demand God’s special intervention.

Sante Babolin (1997).13 He is a Neo-Scholastic teacher in the department of philosophy of the Gregorian University. He is a priest, but not a Jesuit. All of his books and his classes are in Italian. He has been teaching simiotics since 1989 and esthetics since 1993. His major works are on simiotics (1996-1997), and his text begins with a consideration of Aristotle. All his books are highly philosophical. His classes in Rome usually include an international group of students, so it is correct that the book on simiotics includes a bibliography of fifteen pages with works in Italian and French, with some English and German. However, as helpful as his student texts may be, none of them contain an index. He is writing at the end of the twentieth century. None of his books use the thesis system, and none have a printed notation of ecclesiastical approval, as would have appeared earlier in the century. He treats modern problems and notes the positions of Locke, Kant, and other modern philosophers. He is at the cutting edge of philosophy, using mostly experience and concrete examples, and then uses philosophical principles and explanations by analogy. He, like Lonergan, is concerned with the metaphysics of judgmental certitude. Babolin has a commitment to clear thinking, and to bring his students to the truth. He also emphasizes experience, and art education. He promotes communication in all its aspects, subjective and affective. His use in this dissertation is an illustration of the change in philosophy in the last half of the twentieth century, and also his commitment to the future of man.

Gustave Martelet (1998).14 He was born in Lyons, France, in 1916. He is a Jesuit Neo-Scholastic professor of theology at the Centre Svres in Paris and at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has published 16 books between 1962 and 2005, most of which are still in print. Recently, he has published two books on creation (1998 and 2003) and a book on Teilhard de Chardin (2005). At the International Meeting: The Theological Vision of Teilhard, between 21 and 24 October 2004 in the Aula Magna of the Gregorian University in Rome, Martelet gave the talk: "Un Mondo in Evoluzione: Fede, Scienza, e Teologia."

Martelet is an author who has always been attracted to themes of anthropology and evolution. He recently wrote Evoluzione e Creazione: Dall’Origine del Cosmo all’Origine dell’Uomo which is not always an easy book to read. He takes seriously the questions of science and philosophy, and attempts to give synthetic answers. The text is organized into three parts. The first section, "Fullness of Facts," treats physics and biology from the origin of the cosmos to the advent of man. The second section, "Identity of the Man in Question," reflects on the nature of being human, which includes the emergence of man from the rest of creation. In his attempt to understand the uniqueness of man, Martelet considers the opinions of Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, and Nietzche. The third section, "Science and the Mystery of God: An Appeal," Martelet confronts the problem of God with scientific and philosophic questions, such as: cosmic evolution, the drama of suffering and evil, and finally the enigma of death. This third section of Martelet’s book is the most original, since the material in the first two sections can be obtained elsewhere. This book is not a treatment of a rapport between evolution and creation, nor does Martelet give a theology of creation strictly speaking. Rather, this book is a philosophic road about the problem of man and the problem of God, problems founded on scientific cosmology and scientific biology. Martelet moves from the philosophical level to the existential treatment of the enigma of death as man’s biggest question. Man has to take a position on existence and of a possible transcendent foundation. Martelet is useful for this dissertation because he wants men to be responsible, to be the image of God, in the measure that man can be. This involves the future of man. Also, concerning the origin of man by evolution, Martelet laboriously seeks the unique identity of man, beginning with evolution up to the death of man as the ultimate insult, to promote a deeper understanding of how God comes to man.

Maria Teresa La Vecchia (1999).15 Dr. La Vecchia is a Neo-Scholastic who teaches the course in evolution in the philosophy faculty at the Gregorian University in Rome. She cites Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and Jacques Maritain. When she taught the course on evolution in the academic year 2004-2005, she recommended the book Caso e FinalitB (Chance and Finality) by Vittorio Marcozzi, her mentor. Her own book Evoluzione e FinaltB (Evolution and Finality) was published in 1999, but was the foundation for the class presentation in 2006. The book did not have the notice of ecclesiastical approval that would have been usual in the first half of the twentieth century. Both her book and her class is taught in Italian, but her bibliography includes works in Italian, French, English, Spanish and German. She has no index in her book, only a general table of contents. Her presentation is very modern, and much more concerned with the empirical sciences of biology, paleontology, and genetics, than with the kind of philosophical proof that concerned the Neo-Scholastics during the first part of the twentieth century. However, as can clearly be seen from the title of her book, Evolution and Finality, she believes the greatest weakness of Evolutionism is its omission of the philosophic principle of finality. She also is very strong on the natural philosophy of man: the discontinuity between man other animals, the origin of the human body determined by psychic development, and the creation of the human soul. She does not extensively treat the limits of evolution: human future, abiogenesis, evolution of the cosmos, and the Creator. Thus her work could be considered to be restricted to two major questions: first, is there evolution at all, and second, did man evolve? Dr. La Vecchia’s work is of high quality and as up-to-date as possible. Further, her work shows continuity with Marcozzi, that is, continuity among the philosophers of evolution at the Gregorian University for the last half of the twentieth century.

La Vecchia does not use the thesis system in her book, Evoluzione e FinaltB. However, it may be valuable to distill some theses from her material, rather than try to repeat the table of contents to get an idea of the direction of the thought of Dr. La Vecchia. I personally believe that the following propositions reveal the central themes of her book. First, Evolutionism without finality is not sufficient to explain evolution. Second, the physical mechanism of evolution is largely unknown to empirical science. Third, the evolution of man involves morphology, physiology, and the psychic development of the lower species. Fourth, there is an essential difference between the human and the animal psyche. Fifth, animals may excel in sensitive faculties; humans excel in language. Sixth, in language is the undeniable difference between animals and man. Seventh, between the sensitive and the rational there is no continuity. Eighth, the body of man has to be a proportionate cause to accept the Spirit. Ninth, the spiritual soul is properly human with an intellect that can abstract and have reflex consciousness, which is indicated in prehistory by rites of burial, "religion," and art. All of these positions make the presentation of Dr. La Vecchia very helpful to my dissertation. Her treatment of prejudice leads me to try to explain how this could happen in the area of evolution. Her position affirming finality is the same as mine, except I believe a more extensive proof is in order. Her position on finality and perfection is elaborated in my treatment of the future of man. Her explanation of the fears of the Anti-Finalists that lead to atheism is further treated in my position that Evolutionism need not be atheistic, and that evolutionary atheism would be a denial of the principle of sufficient reason.

Rafael Pascual (2005).16 Rafael Pascual is a Neo-Scholastic who was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1959. He obtained his doctorate at the Pontifical Gregorian University with a thesis entitled: The Division of the Speculative Sciences in St. Thomas Aquinas. From 1993, he has been the ordinary professor of the philosophy of science and the philosophy of nature at the Pontifical Atheneum Regina Apostolorum., which is an institution of the Legionaries of Christ religious order of priests. In 2002, he was named Director of the program, Master of Science and Faith. In 2002, he won the Science and Religion Course Program Award given by the University of California, Berkeley, for his course: Science, Philosophy and Theology: Possible Dialogue? He is the author of numerous publications on the dialogue between science and faith.

Rafael Pascual was the coordinator of the International Congress on Evolution: Crossroad of Science, Philosophy and Theology which was held in Rome under the auspices of the Pontifical Atheneum Regina Apostolorum on 23 and 24 April 2002. The major question of the congress was the epistemological status of evolution. Fourteen Neo-Scholastics philosophers discussed the problem and submitted papers, while two other Neo-Scholastic philosophers were unable to attend the congress but submitted papers. The congress seemed traditional in its academic papers, but new in its equally important dialogue among the philosophers. Concerning the traditional aspects of the congress papers, one finds Neo-Scholastic definitions, divisions, lists of philosophers both as allies and opponents, histories of philosophical questions, and very literary presentations. Footnotes were in the original Latin or Italian. Citations were drawn from Church Fathers, Aquinas, and modern popes. However, even in the traditional presentations there was more science, and less metaphysics, which was becoming the hallmark of the last half of the twentieth century. The topics, although convergent to philosophy, were wider than would have been discussed in the early twentieth century. In short, the written presentations were more involved with material science, with the guidance of only a few metaphysical principles. Even the traditional written presentations were creative philosophy. The real novelty of the congress was its periods of dialogue. First, this dialogue was interdisciplinary by design. This was intended to include different countries, different cultures, and different academic disciplines relating to evolution. Secondly, openness was aggressively promoted. The participants of the dialogue were told to avoid reductionism and over-simplification. Rafael Pascual noted that only with profound openness could the congress give a convincing reply to the problem of evolution. Rafael Pascual was also the editor of the subsequent publication Evoluzione, which reproduced the papers presented at the congress in their original languages. Contributions to the Congress were in Italian, French, Spanish, and English.

Rafael Pascual participated in the international congress himself by delivering a paper entitled La Teoria dell’Evoluzione: Status Questionis (Theory of Evolution: State of the Question). He sets out three questions. The first question relates to science, which asks about the verification of the fact of evolution, and asks with what certitude that fact can be known. The second question relates to theology, which asks if evolution from simple to complex forms of life can be compatible with the creation of the world, which creation can be known not only by revelation but also by rational demonstration. Here Rafael Pascual does note that Fixist Creationism and Materialistic Evolutionism deny the compatibility. Thirdly, and most importantly at the international congress, Pascual poses the question about what may be the epistemological state of Evolutionism, the philosophical question. He asks whether evolution is a fact, a phenomenon of nature, a hypothesis, a theory, a law, a system, a model, a paradigm (according to Thomas Kuhn), a program of research (according to Karl Popper), or simply a mental fantasy. Further, Rafael Pascual wants a clear distinction between the facts of evolution as brought up by naturalists like Lamarck, Darwin, and Wallace, from the philosophical theories of Evolutionism supported by Herbert Spencer and Father Teilhard de Chardin. The answer to these proposals given by Rafael Pascual is that evolution is now more than a simple hypothesis, and evolution should be regarded as a theory, but not a fact. He also adds that joining evolution to philosophical Materialism or to the denial of purpose in Antifinalism is not compatible with good philosophy, much less with theology. Materialism and Antifinalism reject the rational explanation of facts and are a type of epistemological suicide. He also notes that one cannot admit a double truth, which would be against the Principle of Contradiction, as noted in the papal document Fides et Ratio, number 85.

CONCLUSION: Conclusions about the teaching of evolution at the Gregorian University in Rome can readily be seen. First, all the faculty are concerned about a clear and reasonable communication with students, since all are teachers. Boyer even wrote an article about freedom and truth in education. Lonergan, dissatisfied with the Catholic education of his youth, wanted a new program for Catholic education. Second, creativity was important. Lonergan saw creativity necessary in philosophy. Hoenen creatively revised every single chapter in the traditional tract on the philosophy of nature. Third, there was a development in the whole approach to philosophy. Calcagno mentions the need to meet modern problems. Hoenen and Soccorsi actually modify the philosophy of nature to meet modern problems. Selvaggi explains the material emphasis in this newer philosophy of nature. Crushon and Babolin follow by doing psychology and linguistics with few philosophical principles. La Vecchia continues this same pattern by using Italian with an emphasis on empirical science in her treatment of evolution. Fourth, there is a great deal of intellectual interaction between faculty members, illustrated by Calcagno using Siwek, Siwek using Boyer, Selvaggi using Hoenen and Marcozzi, and La Vecchia using Marcozzi extensively. Fifth, there is a development of views on evolution. Calcago and Dezza both deny abiogenesis, deny evolution in general, and deny the evolution of the body of man. Boyer is willing to admit evolution "within" species. Marcozzi is careful to maintain evolution with some divine influence. La Vecchia follows Marcozzi, and is explicit about the possibility of abiogenesis, some evolution, and the possible evolution of the body of man. Sixth, the principle of finality is crucial in the discussion of evolution at the Gregorian University. Calcagno, Dezza, Selvaggi, and Marcozzi all endorse the principle of finality in the philosophy of nature. La Vecchia, following Marcozzi, gives her book a title including finality: Evoluzione e FinalitB. Rafael Pascual also endorses the finality of nature. Finally, Rafael Pascual not only follows the pattern set in the second half of the twentieth century, using principles to deal with the extensive material of the philosophy of nature, but he embodies a philosophy of action. Rafael Pascual not only coordinated an international congress on evolution, but promoted an open and interdisciplinary dialogue there.

Other Roman Universities and Academies

Matteo Liberatore (1892), Pontifical Roman Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas.17 Liberatore was a philosopher, theologian, writer and promoter of the revival of the scholastic philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was born in Salerno, Italy, in 1810 died in Rome in 1892. He studied at the Naples college of the Jesuits in 1825. He applied for admission to the Society of Jesus in 1826, and even then was noted for his remarkable intellectual brilliance and his strength of character. He taught philosophy for eleven years between 1837 and 1848. The revolution in Italy drove him to Malta. On his return, he was appointed to teach theology. He gave up that work in order to be the founding editor of La CiviltB Cattolica in 1850. This periodical was founded by the Jesuits to defend the Church and the papacy, and also to spread the knowledge of St. Thomas Aquinas. He published 40 books and more than 900 articles. He was regarded as the greatest philosopher of his day.

Liberatore’s greatest glory was that he brought about the revival of Neo-Scholasticism and the scholastic philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. He inaugurated the Neo-Scholastic movement by publishing his own course in philosophy in 1840, when philosophy was not well taught. His opponents at that time were Rationalism (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz held real knowledge sprang from reason, not experience), Ontologism (knowledge comes from contemplation of the divine Ideas of God), and Rosminianism (Rosmini was an Ontologist). Liberatore continued to promote the revival of scholastic philosophy by classroom teaching, by textbooks on philosophy, by articles in La CiviltB Cattolica and in other periodicals, and by his work as a member of the Pontifical Roman Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. He was appointed to the academy by Pope Leo XIII, himself interested in the restoration of Scholasticism.

Josephus Gredt (1931), University of St. Anselm, Rome.18 Gredt (1863-1940) is a Neo-Scholastic who taught at the Benedictine University of St. Anselm on the Aventine Hill in Rome. His works are all prefaced by ecclesiastical approval. His books are intended for students in a three year philosophy course, although he indicates the course could be shortened to two years. He writes in Latin and in thesis form. The first edition of his Elementa Philosophiae was published in 1909, and could be the model for the Neo-Scholastic manuals for the next fifty years. He cites Aristotle (in Greek), St. Augustine, Aquinas, and a number of Scholastics. His bibliography is included in each chapter. His treatment of Natural Philosophy (Philosophia Naturalis) is at least nominally ahead of its time, with three sections: mobile being in general, special mobile being including local motion and generation, and the soul. His philosophy is very deep, but also very clear.

Gredt held a number of positions precisely on evolution, and these positions reflect his thinking in 1909. Evolution of species is best explained by divine disposition. Substantial generation is treated. Fossils do not prove monophyletic evolution. Polyphyletic evolution is more probable. Haeckel’s law is probably false. Gredt argues against the evolution of the human body. The origin of the human soul is by immediate creation. The human soul is immortal. Gredt argues against abiogenesis. Gredt does favor cosmic evolution.

Raymundus Sigmond (1959), University of St. Thomas, Rome.19 Sigmond is a Dominican priest and Neo-Scholastic who has written on social philosophy. His work is in Latin and written for students. Presentation is traditional for 431 pages. There are no footnotes. The five page table of contents is labeled "index.’ Sigmond notes that the philosophy of man treats rational psychology (life, sense life, intellectual life), and then philosophical ethics, and finally is completed by sociology. For Sigmond, sociology is the way that man attains perfection insofar as he lives and grows in a community of others. Social philosophy completes the philosophic cognition of man.

Sigmond is the most useful where he treats the schools of sociology. He notes that in the past, Plato, Thomas More, and Campanella speculated about the ideal city, and from this concept drew some fundamental social principles. Others, such as Aristotle, Aquinas, and Montesquieu, did an analysis of objective social life by observation and personal experience, or by historical descriptions, so that they could indicate the right direction of social action by virtue of moral principles. However, in modern times sociology took a new turn under the influence of Positivism and the growth of natural sciences. August Comte (1798-1857) taught that sociology had a static part, inquiring about social mechanisms, and a dynamic part, which inquires about the laws of progress or social evolution according to the "laws of the three states." The sociology of Karl Marx (1818-1883) denies that sociology and politics can be explained by the general evolution of the human spirit, but by the external material forces of production. From the Marxist position arose "sociology of knowledge" in which the social and the historical are linked, according to Max Scheler (1874-1928), Karl Manneheim (1893-1947), and Sorokin. Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) held that society was organism properly so-called, and that the laws of biology were able to be applied to society in a univocal way; thus the role of the sociologist is to discover how the general law of evolution applies to societies. This biological view was rejected by the "Sociological School" of Emil Durkheim (1858-1917). Useful for this dissertation is the modern position of Comte and Spencer maintaining social evolution, and its rejection by other sociologists.

Cornelio Fabro (1959), Urbaniana University, Rome.20 Cornelio Fabro (1911-1995) was an Italian Catholic priest and Neo-Scholastic philosopher. He first studied biological sciences at the University of Padua and the University of Rome. He did his philosophical studies at the Lateran University and the University of St. Thomas (the Angelicum) in Rome. He taught metaphysics as a professor at the Urbaniana University in Rome from 1938 to 1948. In 1948, he taught theoretical philosophy at the University of Rome. He also taught at the University of Perugia. Back at the Urbaniana University, he headed the faculty of education from 1965 to 1967. He is known for his prodigious philosophical production, relating not just to St. Thomas, but also to Kierkegaard, Marx, Rahner, Rosmini, and Feuerbach. He published books on Aquinas in 1939, 1960, 1969, and 1983. Mondin, also teaching at the Urbanianum, notes the Fabro was a good teacher and friend, and among the great students and experts on St. Thomas.

Fabro is useful for this dissertation. He had already founded, in 1959, the very first European Institute for Higher Studies on Unbelief, Religion and Culture. His written works on atheism were published in 1953, 1964, 1967, and 1989. His dialogue with Existentialism raised the importance of the metaphysical concept of "esse" (to be). So his writings on Existentialism in 1943, 1945, and 1953, all raised a new light on the important distinction in creatures between essence and existence for the meaning of creation.

Robertus Masi (1961), Lateran University, Rome.21 Masi is a Neo-Scholastic and a professor in both the Lateran University and the Urbaniana University in Rome. His book on cosmology is current up to 1961. Masi notes that he is indebted to Hoenen at the Gregorian University and that Masi’s book updates Hoenen. Masi treats Aristotle and Aquinas both historically and theoretically. His book is a Latin student text. The index of names in the book runs eight pages. Every section of the book has a special bibliography, and the general bibliography lists works in Latin, Italian, French, English and German. Masi is useful for this dissertation for a number of reasons. Masi has a whole section on the value of St. Thomas. Second, Masi refutes Mechanicism. Thirdly, concerning the origin of new forms from material substances Masi has the thesis: Substantial form of the material is educed from the potency of the material.

Ambrose J. McNicholl (1961), University of St. Thomas, Rome.22 McNicholl was a Neo-Scholastic Dominican priest resident at the Church of San Clemente in Rome. He received his theological training in Rome at the University of St. Thomas, and then did his doctoral studies at the University of Fribourg. He was the professor of history of modern and contemporary philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in Rome. He also lectured in esthetics at the Graduate School of Fine Arts at Villa Schiffanoia in Florence. He contributed many articles to philosophical journals. His article, for the studies in the philosophy of science in honor of William Humbert Kane, is about the sociological aspects of science. McNicholl makes a plea for the restoration of metaphysical thinking on the part of Thomists. He shows the divisions in modern Catholic philosophy. Marcel and Lavelle are Catholic Existentialists. Blondel’s philosophy of the concrete is centered on action. Gilson’s philosophy is intrinsically incomplete and indifferent unless perfected as Christian philosophy. Other French and Italian contemporary Catholic philosophers were turning to the Augustinian and Platonic tradition. Others, McNicholl laments, remove books of logic and metaphysics from school libraries.

McNicholl is useful for this dissertation for a number of reasons. First, he sees the task of contemporary Thomists to participate in a revival of metaphysical thinking. Second, he affirms the autonomy of science. Third, he maintains the clear distinction between science, philosophy and religion. Fourth, he defends values, and the Christian world-view. Fifth, he recommends responsible dialogue with other schools of philosophy. Sixth, he promotes logic, and helpfully notes that morality and art are pre-logical. Sixth, he recommends awareness of trends in science. Seventh, he notes that metaphysics, not mathematics, is the link between philosophy and science. Eighth, McNicholl encourages scientists through a philosophy of nature to an integrated synthesis which interprets the phenomenon of change, such as evolution, in the light of metaphysical principles.

Raymond J. Nogar (1963), University of St. Thomas, Rome.23 Nogar (1916-1967) was a Neo-Scholastic who studied biology at the University of Michigan, and did his doctorate in philosophy at the Pontifical Faculty of Philosophy, River Forest, Illinois. He was lecturer in natural philosophy at the University of St. Thomas in Rome. He returned to the United States to become assistant professor of philosophy and lecturer in theoretical biology at the pontifical faculty of philosophy, River Forest, Illinois. He was also executive secretary of the Albertus Magnus Lyceum, for the philosophy of science.

Nogar’s book The Wisdom of Evolution is both a popular presentation for the educated reader and a class text at the Aquinas Institute, River Forest, Illinois. J. Franklin Ewing, of the Department of Anthropology of Fordham University states that the book was the best book on the topic by an American Catholic scholar. The general purpose of Nogar is to establish, from logical argument, the fact of evolution. Nogar admits that there is no scholastic demonstrative proof for evolution, but there is a high degree of convergent probability. Nogar holds the progressive evolution of the body of man, as illustrated from convergent evidence; but Nogar also holds that man owes his existence to the special intervention of God, and man is the image of his Creator. Nogar holds an essential difference between man and beast, citing Hallowel and Hilgard at the Darwin Centenial Celebration. The presentation does not go into metaphysics. Nogar is negative, or very cautious, about abiogenesis. Nogar is negative about the evolutionary origin of the universe. Nogar endorses that evolution is the method by which creation is accomplished; Nogar treats God as Creator, His providence, and His co-operative action. Finally, Nogar notes that there is no "law" of evolution. All of these issues are relevant to the third part of this dissertation, the academic course on evolution.

Nogar’s book The Wisdom of Evolution has a forward by Theodosius Dobzhansky, the "dean" of American geneticists. Dobzhansky notes that Nogar is a priest of the Dominican Order and equally at home in biology, philosophy or theology. Nogar’s book is an examination of the philosophical status of the evolution theory. Further, Dobzhansky notes that Nogar regards his account of the fact of evolution as compatible with the philosophy of Thomism and with the doctrines of the Catholic Church. But Dobzhansky also notes that notes that Nogar is also aware of vigorous disagreements with his position on the part of unreconstructed Fundamentalists on the one hand, and the Agnosticism and Materialism on the other hand.

Giuseppe Mario Galli (1965), University of St. Thomas, Rome.24 Galli is a Neo-Scholastic Dominican priest and a teacher in natural philosophy. His books cover the old scholastic tract of cosmology, with a more modern title, Space and Time in Modern Science. His material is frontier philosophy touching non-Euclidean geometry and relativity. His Latin texts are meant for students, with Aristotle in footnotes in the original Greek. He is very modern, with all the new geometries. He adequately treats Galileo, Newton, and Einstein.

Galli comments on the experiment of Michelson, which was regarded as the most famous experiment in physics. Galli notes that it is only natural to try to find an empirical basis for any new theory. Galli was shown a book by a philosopher who denied the validity of Michelson’s experiment because the experiment was disputed by a few physicists. Galli notes that the argument from authority alone is very poor (agrumentum auctoritatis est infirmissimum). He notes that authority alone was distrusted by the medieval philosophers. Even today in tracts on epistemology one can frequently note the prudent advice: check everything! Do not merely trust human testimony! However, Galli notes that with the growth of science, it is not possible for a single man to repeat every experiment or check every fact (vita brevis, ars longa). In reply to this, Galli distinguishes the idea of argument from authority: authority alone, or authority with reasons. Galli would follow an argument from authority if reasons were given, an experiment described, and fellow scientists allowed the possibility of debate in reputable journals. This is useful for the present dissertation, since there does not appear to be an experiment as such to prove evolution.

Galli treats the origin of the universe. He treats only the observable universe. He finds homogeneous, made of the same atoms that constitute our Earth. There is no doubt that some stars and galaxies are evolving, but what about the universe as a whole? There are two theories, the evolutionary and the stationary. The Evolutionary Theory is based on the fact that the galaxies are receding from each other. From this recession, there is a rarefaction of material as it spreads through the universe. One concludes that in the past, the density of the universe was greater, leading to the image of the Big Bang, in which the elements were formed. One element was uranium, which decays to lead. Accordingly, uranium had to have a beginning. The Stationary Theory, considering the universe as a whole, views the new galaxies as continuous creators of matter lost by the death of other galaxies. Galli notes that the Evolutionary Theory of the universe is more favored by scientists today.

Galli treats the extension of life in the universe as an important problem, perhaps the most important problem in modern cosmology. If an experimental answer is required, Galli admits we are in total ignorance. However, he notes that on Earth life is fragile. Galli thinks that some planet similar to Earth might have life, and there is a serious probability of finding life on such a planet. Nevertheless, Galli says that for the moment it is better to confess our ignorance.

Battista Mondin (1999), Urbaniana University, Rome.25 Mondin is a Neo-Scholastic and Dominican priest who taught for years at the Lateran University, and is now teaching at the Urbaniana University on the Janiculum Hill in Rome. He had written an encyclopedia of ideas contained in St. Thomas’ works, which made those ideas easier to access. Written in Italian, with references to the works of Aquinas, it is an important reference tool. In 1999, he prepared and published a systematic manual of philosophy written in Italian in the Neo-Scholastic tradition. The series is modern, clear, and well argued. Mondin’s recommended bibliography includes professors from the Gregorian University, Hoenen, Marcozzi, and Selvaggi, and a professor from the Lateran University, Robertus Masi. The first three volumes of Mondin’s manual, logic, natural philosophy, and metaphysics, follow the traditional division of scholastic philosophy very closely. The last three volumes on the philosophy of religion, of anthropology, and of ethical politics, contain traditional material but in a more modern form. Of interest to this dissertation is the second volume of the series, in which Mondin combines epistemology and cosmology. This had been the inclination of Neo–Scholastics like Marcozzi, Nogar and Weisheipl, but Mondin appears to be the first to join the disciplines in the same volume so that they can be easily coordinated by the student. Mondin mentions that he was pleased to join epistemology to the cosmological treatment of natural science, and wanted to do this for a long time. His book is for the student experiencing philosophy for the first time, so it does not use the thesis form, nor is it rigorously scholastic in form, although it is throughly Thomistic.

Mondin does treat evolution. He notes the origin of species can come from evolution by chance, from creation, or from programmed evolution. First, evolution by chance is the preferred theory of the Jacques Monod, who professes the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, based on Darwinism and updated with evolution by DNA. Monod mentions only two other "interesting" theories of evolution: Teilhard de Chardin who explains evolution by the law of consciousness and complexity, and Franois Jacob, who explains evolution by the law of bricolage (do it yourself) in which the bricoleur does not know what he is creating but picks up pieces of string, or wood, or old cartons, which eventually can form something useful. Secondly, creation instead of abiogenesis is the preferred theory of the French scientist Jean Servier, who argues mainly (in Modin) against abiogenesis. His argument that only life comes from life (omne vivum ex vivo) is a posteriori, since no laboratory has produced life yet. Thirdly, Programmed Evolution is the theory that evolution is realized by a program pre-established by God, in which God ordained that at a certain moment life would develop from the forces which God originally endowed in material. As an explanation Mondin cites Jacques Maritain, who in turn cites St. Thomas (Aquinas Summa Contra Gentiles 3. 22), in which St. Thomas describes a pre-existing hierarchy in the order of generation of forms from material, which corresponds to the ascending order of perfection of the activity proper to the nature of each. This Programmed Evolution seems to be the preferred theory of evolution of Mondin.

Marcelo Snchez-Sorondo (2005), Pontifical Academy of Science, Rome.26 Snchez-Sorondo is the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He participated in the international congress on evolution in Rome on 23 and 24 April 2002, and delivered a paper on science and faith. He delivered his paper in Italian. He underlines a new scientific realism, "a second scientific revolution." Human reason, he notes, works on different levels in different areas, such as empirical science, philosophy, and theology. This is a fundamental idea. There is a need of an analytic and wise metaphysics which will open these different levels of rationality to an ever greater integration of thought, and of compliance with faith. In fact, concerning faith, history shows valid examples of how faith in dialogue with scientific rationality and philosophic rationality produces great cultural consequences. Therefore, his presentation takes issue with atheism. This will be a useful point in this dissertation.

Snchez-Sorondo emphasized that evolution is only a hypothesis, and even if more than a hypothesis, it is not confirmed by experimentation. Thus evolution is not science in the strict sense. It is hazardous to think that the evolution of life, and the evolution of man, as a real scientific theory unless empirically proved. This was the problem between Galileo and the Roman Curia, which wanted some experiment or empirical proof from Galileo and not just a mathematical hypothesis. However, experimental science in the twentieth century has grown immensely in the search for complete reality. Science also has distanced itself from Descartes, with his division of reality into thinking being (res cogitans) and extended being (res extensa), and even from Kant, for whom space and time are a priori subjective forms. Modern science can be aided by philosophy. Heisenberg said that material is not able to be understood without the Aristotelian idea of potency. Thus, science can be aided by philosophy and even by theology, all in dialogue. Neither philosophy nor religion are substitutes for science but aids in an interdisciplinary dialogue to find real and complete truth.

Jess Villagrasa (2005), Regina Apostolorum Atheneum, Rome.27 Jess Villagrasa

was a participant in the international congress on evolution in Rome on 23 and 24 April 2002, and he was also the editor of the papers of the participants. He stressed the need for a metabiology, to scientifically critique biology. He stressed that dialogue was necessary, and should be both interdisciplinary and metadisciplinary. Not only did he write about dialogue, but he participated in the dialogue of the participants in the congress; he notes that verbal dialogue was animated and constructive. Villagrasa notes that the risk of science today is fragmentation. This is the reason that science needs philosophy and theology. Philosophy, he quotes from the book of Rafael Pascual, can be the mediator between science and faith. The need for such mediation is evident in the dialogue about evolution, since evolution is the crossroad between science, faith, and philosophy.

CONCLUSION: The conclusion for Neo-Scholastic philosophers in Rome at the various pontifical universities and academies is that there was a growing concern about Evolutionism. First, there was a need for a philosophic tool to accurately examine reality, and this accounted for the growth of the Neo-Scholastics, especially of the Thomist variety. Liberatore was appointed to the Roman Academy by Pope Leo XIII, who himself was interested in the restoration of Scholasticism. The Roman Academy promoted the philosophy of St. Thomas even prior to the twentieth century, and its influence was felt for the next hundred years, with members such as Boyer and Lonergan. Masi, McNicholl and Snchez-Sorondo all promoted the metaphysics of St. Thomas. Second, there was a constant interplay between these Neo-Scholastics living in Rome. Masi stated that his book was an update of Hoenen. Mondin cited Hoenen, Marcozzi, Selvaggio, and Masi, in his select bibliography. Third, evolution in general was regarded as a fact from the convergent logic in Nogar’s book. However, Mondin only accepts Programmed Evolution. Gredt will only accept polyphyletic evolution. Snchez-Sorondo only accepts evolution as a theory not proved by experimentation. Fourth, abiogenesis is rejected both by Nogar and Mondin. Fifth, the evolutionary origin of the body of man is affirmed by Nogar but rejected by Gredt. Sixth, the evolution of the universe is endorsed by Gredt and also by Galli, who gives an excellent explanation. Seventh, social evolution, explains Sigmond, is not a recent phenomenon but the inclination of both Comte and Spencer, and social evolution has a history of rejection by a number of sociological schools. Eighth, the existence of God as creator was treated in various ways. Nogar holds that man owed his existence to the special intervention of God, and that man is the image of God. Nogar also holds God as Creator (evolution as the method), God’s providence, and God’s co-operative action. Gredt believes that God is the best explanation of evolution. Snchez-Sorondo encourages dialogue between science and religion, but notes that evolution and creationism are a fundamental problem. Cornelio Fabro founded an institute on atheism at a Catholic university. Ninth, interdisciplinary dialogue is necessary, says Villagrasa. Science does not have all truth, but can profit by the insights of philosophy and theology. However, Snchez-Sorondo notes that philosophy and theology are aids to science, and not substitutes for science.

Author:  John Edward Mulvihill, S.T.D., D.Min., Ph.D.
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